Her dark brown eyes flashed. Deck watched her intently, trying to see if any other changes had taken place. She looked under control of her pain. “Why?”
“Please, just do it.” Benj brushed his already immaculate hair back nervously. She tugged at several bobby pins and pulled the beanie and wig off with an exasperated sigh. Under a wig stocking were pointed ears. Her hair had changed to a burnished copper hue.
“Guys, what’s going on?” she demanded once again, pulling on her wig and tucking in the bobby pins, hiding the ears. She didn’t meet Deck’s gaze.
“We’ll explain it on the way. Need to check on Zola and Yeller,” Benj gulped as he realized that they too would be going through the changes, unsure of what was happening. Sun Hee, Nat, and Deck followed him. They grabbed their coats and bags and headed out the door. Human shadows passed by on the wall, but something was different in their swift movements.
“What about your parents, your grandparents?” Benj asked Deck and Nat.
“I didn’t find them in the house, just dogs. They up and left I guess. Couldn’t find them anywhere, and they left their cells,” Nat shrugged. Benj didn’t press too hard. Nat had a rough relationship with his folks and it had only gotten worse in college. They rarely talked to each other. The most they did was let him rent his old bedroom from them.
“I couldn’t find my grandparents either. Like Nat, there were some dogs in the house, but they wandered out when I left the door open. I don’t know where they’d have gone off too. Nan doesn’t have the strength to make it out in this ice and granpa’s been dealing with a bum leg since he tripped last month,” Deck kicked a can down the street.
“So, we’re turning into dogs. Maybe we can assume the dogs you saw in the house were them?” Sun Hee offered. The rest nodded mutely as they questioned the laws of the universe. It had to be a bad trip and they’d all be waking up with a horrid hangover on someone’s couch soon. Dogs? Really? This had to be a shared dream. They couldn’t just drop everything and leave their families behind. Their families though were no where to be found. They went around and around in circles trying to logic their way out of the horror they found themselves in.
It was a cold walk to Yeller’s bungalow. The snow had stopped, but the temperature had plummeted another ten degrees. The air was stinging in its crispness, burning the lungs. The smell of the orchards burning had started to finally waft into their section of town. The stomping of their feet on crunchy snow paired with the squabbling caw of crows was disconcerting in the vast emptiness of their small town. “Where is everyone?” Sun Hee whispered to Deck.
“Maybe still asleep?” he asked.
“No, it’s almost seven. There’s no one out, trying to leave,” she pressed. He looked at the duplexes and bungalows along the block they were tramping through. There were no cars warming in the drives. There were no kids throwing snowballs at each other.
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