1 Hour Stream Commission: Frost Endwood
Frost squinted at the device’s screen, occasionally writing down data points or notes onto a clipboard held with blue furred fingers. His focus could not be broken; not during this critical test stage. Playing with the fabric of reality was a dangerous game even in the best circumstances. But everything needed to be perfect for this beta test of a brand-new machine. It could cause reality changes on a large scale. The design of an experiment like this had to be absolutely pristine. Out of place variables could lead to disastrous changes.
The wolf nodded, finally happy with the settings. He readjusted the lab coat’s shoulders to better fit his lithe, grey and blue frame. It was always just a little small on him. Setting down the clipboard next to the refrigerator-sized, stainless steel box labeled ‘Change-O-Matic-9000’, Frost approached the testing platform letting his machine hum and beep undisturbed.
Sitting on an uncomfortable chair at the top of a small set of stairs, Thomas kicked his feet at the dust. “How much longer until we can start the test?” the four-foot-tall mouse asked. “Getting bored waiting for you to finish preparations.” Thomas wasn’t sure why this was taking so long. Or why Frost spent the last hour double, triple, and quadruple checking every part of the machine, and his platform, and his chair, and him.
Frost looked the platform up and down one last time before flashing the mouse a smile. “Gotta be patient when it comes to science experiments, Thomas. We’re ready to go now. I wanted to check in and make sure you didn’t need anything-”
“Yup, I know what the plan is. Fire up the machine, it’ll change reality so you’re a mouse and I’m a wolf, then we go back to normal,” he recited from memory. “I’m getting hungry Frost. Let’s get going to I can get lunch!”
“Is the grilled cheese calling your name?” the wolf asked with a wry smile.
Thomas stuck his tongue out at the taller scientist, and flipped his long green hair out of his face. “Hah hah, stereotypes. I was thinking fruit instead.”
“Just teasing,” Frost said. “Alright, we can get started. Don’t move from that spot.” He returned to the Change-O-Matic-9000’s console and gave a thumbs-up to his test subject. After a series of rapid button presses the device sparked and beeped rapidly. To anyone without scientific training it looked like total chaos. Sparks of purple plasma randomly fired and landed throughout the lab, like an out of control plasma ball. Frost showed no signs of fear as he flipped one final switch. The plasma in the room coalesced into two beams, one landing on Thomas and the other on Frost.
When the smoke cleared, Frost looked around to get a better sense of his surroundings. He looked at his hands, now without the usual wolfish claws. Good sign… he reached behind to grab his tail, grinning when he felt a mouse’s tail instead of the fluffy wolf tail. It worked! It took years of effort to perfect, but it finally paid off. With this machine anyone could change reality at the push of a button. Look out Nobel prize, here comes Frost Endwood!
He also wasn’t wearing his lab coat anymore. It looked like a sweatshirt and jeans took the place of his usual lab attire. And that sweatshirt and jeans looked identical to the ones Thomas wore. That was unusual. There was no setting for changing clothes like this. Maybe there was an extra variable he hadn’t considered? Pondering it for a moment, the mouse started to brush away residual soot from his sweatshirt. No… from Thomas’s sweatshirt. Right.
“Huh. It switched our positions. That wasn’t supposed to happen,” Thomas said as he stood up, brushing soot off the lab coat he wore. The species change wasn’t a one way trip; Thomas was now the spitting image of a wolf, from his clawed paws all the way up to his pointed ears. He wore exactly the same lab coat as the one Frost had a few minutes earlier, but with one glaring change. The embroidered label said ‘Thomas, Lead Scientist’. Frost’s heart sank to the pit of his stomach.
“You’re right, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. We were only supposed to change species. Let me fix some variables-” the mouse squeaked.
“WOAH, woah. Let’s not be hasty Frost. You don’t know how to use that,” Thomas said, rushing over to the Change-O-Matic-9000. He pushed the mouse out of his way without a second thought.
Frost furrowed his eyebrows. “What are you talking about? I made this. I know it better than anyone, Thomas.”
The wolf adjusted his green hair to stay behind his ears as he focused on the screen Frost used not even five minutes ago. He picked up Frost’s clipboard and started writing. “What? Don’t be silly Frost, I made this.”
Frost’s thin, furless tail flicked back and forth. “Okay, then how does it work smart guy?”
Thomas responded with a perfect explanation of all the ins-and-outs of reality changing quantum mechanics. At the end of his mini-lecture, he tilted his head to the side. “Does that make sense? Besides, if you made this machine, why is the screen and console meant for someone my height?”
Frost’s rounded ears folded back as he looked up to the screen, now easily a foot above his head. That made sense, but he had to convince Thomas somehow. Or anyone. Someone needed to believe that he was a scientist, and a wolf, and that this was his machine.
It took several minutes of arguing with Thomas and his fellow scientists for Frost realized he wasn’t going to win this argument. The change to reality was much more thorough than he’d expected; not only was he a mouse, his life was taken over by Thomas. And that meant his former-mouse friend didn’t remember the previous reality. The best he could do was go home and wait for Thomas to figure out what happened. Maybe tomorrow he could come back to the lab and explain a little better what happened.
The walk home was very odd. For one, it took much longer to get home than usual. His stride was much shorter now that he was 4-feet-tall. He waved hello to friends as they passed, and none of them commented on being a mouse or 2 feet shorter than usual. In some corner of Frost’s mind he hoped that someone would recognize the change and say something. But it seemed his experiment was an amazing success; it was meant to change reality on a large scale, and that meant no one remembered he was a wolf.
“Hey Frost!” called a deep voice from behind. The mouse froze in place and was about to turn when a pair of beefy, black and brown furred arms scooped him up from behind and lifted him off the sidewalk. Frost squeaked in a high-pitched voice that felt far too natural for his mousey vocal cords. He recognized the voice, but the bulky arms manhandling him solidified it. He squirmed in Squared’s grip before the rottweiler flipped Frost around to look his friend in the eyes.
“Whatcha up to today, short stack? Better question, are you ready to workout tomorrow?” he asked with a wide grin.
“Squared! Put me down, I need to figure out what I did wrong with the temporal mechanics on my quantum reality altering machine before the fabric of reality is too set in place for me to change it back,” Frost said calmly. The canine’s grin faded for just a second, and Frost dared to hope that perhaps this friend would be able to help. He could explain what happened is Squared just waited to listen for a moment.
The dog broke into a huge belly laugh. “Oh man, you almost had me there little buddy. You almost sounded just like Thomas! Come on goofball, get home. I’m headed to the gym. Make sure you come along tomorrow, we’ll get you up to using 5 pound weights eventually!
He sighed. Even Squared didn’t believe him. He didn’t even think he was smart enough for that matter. To the rottweiler Frost had taken on Thomas’s old goofball personality too. There was nothing to be done about it right now except get home and-
Frost froze when he turned the corner to his street. He could see his house, standing in the usual spot, but… something was wrong. On the outside it looked like his house. But the novelty mailbox with wolf ears and a canine snout he’d installed in the front yard was now a mouse. And as he approached the front door, the pattern on his ‘Wipe Your Paws’ doormat had changed from wolf paws to rodent paws. Frost gulped and opened the front door.
The furniture inside was all the same size thankfully. He hadn’t changed size quite enough for reality to adjust the size of his house. There was a magazine on the coffee table opened to a ‘Custom Furniture For The Small And Large!’ article though. The biggest furniture change he could notice was his treadmill. The expensive workout equipment was gone, replaced with a running wheel. It was the right size and shape for a rodent. And in the kitchen, his refrigerator had been totally restocked. Gone were the chicken, beef, and pork, replaced instead with more cheese than he’d ever seen before in one place.
Frost huffed, crossing his arms. The worst part of this situation… was that the cheese smelled delicious. He wasn’t even mad that the meat was gone, or that his treadmill and mailbox and who knew what else had changed; he was hungry, and cheese sounded great. That was the frustrating part. Not only could he not convince anyone else he was a wolf, he couldn’t even convince his own body!
“This is quite the situation. How will I ever get back to normal? If I can’t convince anyone, then what hope do I have?” Frost sighed. And when his stomach gurgled, he shrugged and pulled a block of pepperjack cheese off the refrigerator shelf. He’d figure something out eventually. Being a mouse wasn’t the worst for now.
1 July 2018 at 17:39:25 MDT
This Story Includes:
I don't write much transformation of this scale, but I think I like it quite a bit. A TF story for Frost Endwolf, wolf to mouse!