"Stupid jerks." Brandon muttered under his breath as he threw the open package onto his bed. The packing peanuts spilled over the edge of the cardboard and onto the bed, the card
Landing wide open on the covers. He clearly wasn't pleased with the early Christmas present, grabbing the hem of his shirt and pulling it over his head. His tank top ruffled a bit, his hands straightening it out before he fell backwards on his bed. He hadn't received any mail in such a long time, and seeing a gag present from some old friends felt like a kick in the face. A nostalgic one, yes, but a kick nonetheless. He let out a long sigh at the warmth of his comforter, closing his eyes before he let his hands fall to the sides of his head. They landed with a soft thud and a crinkle, catching his attention as he was inadvertently crushing that very same card from his friends. There was a bit of a pause, Brandon mulling things over in his mind before he let out a defeated sigh. The card was quickly in his hand, floating above his head as his eyes scanned over the message one more time.
"Merry early Christmas, Brandon!"
He opened the card.
"We know how much you love dogs, so here's something for you to be a good boy~! ;D
Best wishes from your old best friends to you. Come bark at us some time!"
With a roll of his eyes, the card was casually tossed off to the side and away from his thoughts. He'd admittedly been a furry for quite some time, but he'd kept that part of his life under wraps for a while due to some...very forward people he met. He just wanted to draw some mediocre art, make a story or two, and admire some great pictures online. That was why he hit his head against the sheets of his bed once more, groaning and gritting his teeth in frustration. His hands balled into fists, rubbing up against his face and brushing against his eyes. He was too tired to think back on his old friends from his home town and how he'd changed and liked different things and hardly spoke with them anymore and...
...with a noticeably audible groan, he rolled onto his stomach with his face staring directly at that box. It almost stared back at him, taunting him as he didn't want to look back inside. His eyes shut, hands running up through his black hair as he did a bit of soul searching. His bedroom was silent, only him and his thoughts mulling about as he stared down that plain cardboard box. Another moment or two passed, and Brandon summonsed up the courage to react. He sat up on the bed, jean-covered legs inching closer underneath his body until he was practically kneeling in front of the present. His attention focused on the open flaps, one keeping it covered as he could see a glimmer of metal shining from the packing peanuts. The single glance almost made him grimace, turning his head away as he pushed the box further toward the edge of the bed. He turned over once more, grabbing a pillow and pressing it to his face with an exasperated mumble of discontent.
He laid still on his back for a couple minutes, babbling a couple of random side thoughts into the pillow. His arms and legs shifted a couple of times, biting and huffing into his soft pillow while he seemed to struggle through some sort of inner conflict. There was a part of his life he left behind a while back, and he'd only thought upon once or twice every...week. If not sooner. His hands gripped the top of the pillow, nails digging into the cover before he arched his back in the air and let his weight slump back down. His legs both hung over the side of his bed and kicked at a pile of clothes idly. His inner debate was completely isolated from everything else going on in his life, and as he realized the only person suffering from it was him...he stopped moving once again. Why was he so frustrated over something he used to love? It wasn't like it was harming anyone. It wasn't like he was some sort of demented lunatic. It wasn't even like he would be changing any other part of his life. He just liked cartoony animals.
With a soft sigh, his hands slowly dragged along the pillow and pulled it off of his face. He looked somewhat haggard from the constantly shifting thoughts...though mostly from how the pillow messed up his hair. He threw the soft cushioning toward his door, hearing it thunk gently against the wood before it slid lifeless to the ground. One more time, Brandon rolled onto his knees and inched his way toward the box. Maybe he should send a card back to his old friends to say 'thank you.' Granted, he was still embarrassed to admit how much of his life being a furry took up, but it wasn't like it was an obsession that overtook his life. He just liked animals and art! That was really it. So, with this shaky affirmation slowly strengthening his confidence, he let out a deep, pent up breath before grabbing the box with both hands. His fingernails hesitantly tapped along the sides, playing with the flaps a few times before it lifted off of the bed in careful expectation. Brandon's hands inverted the cardboard container, watching as the styrofoam peanuts spilled over onto his sheets. They slowly cascaded everywhere, bouncing and rolling in each and every direction before the present quickly followed with a dull clink on his bed.
The box was suddenly empty. Just as soon as he spilled the entirety of the contents, he threw the empty box toward the wall and looked at his gift. It was a single strap of burgundy nylon, a somewhat deep purple hue with a silver buckle attached to one end. A single metal ring was looped around a hook, a shiny silver dog bone hanging from it with a single word etched in the middle: TOOLY. He rolled his eyes with a nostalgic laugh as he remembered the character he made so many years ago. It was at that exact moment he decided to make a new character starting immediately...or at least come up with a name that didn't sound so stupid. Still, he picked up the collar and ran his hands along it in quiet and somewhat reluctant admiration. It was pretty well made...and it was just the right size for his neck. He had no idea how his friends managed to get a custom collar that looked like it was a perfect fit, but frankly he didn't want to guess. They were very innovative people, and very kind for reminding him of such an old part of his life. Well, there wasn't much else to wait for, was there? Taking the purple collar in both hands, he placed the tag against his neck before wrapping it behind him. The strap easily slid through the latch as it comfortably tightened at his neck. He slid the bar through a hole in the collar, securing the loose strap before the deed was done.
...and that was all that happened. He sat there on the bed, the nylon feeling warm against his neck before he put a finger in the collar and pulled at it with a clear of his throat. He...wasn't exactly sure what he was expecting. Pushing off of the bed, he walked over to his dresser to look at the mirror. He looked...kind of silly. A guy staring into a mirror in a tank top and a purple collar with the name 'TOOLY' on it, glinting a bit in the sunlight that was peeking through his window. He stared for a moment or two, scratching his head awkwardly. "...huh." He said finally, blinking at his reflection. There was something...he didn't know. Generic about it? He had this strange inner turmoil about whether or not he wanted to be a furry again, and lo and behold, it did literally nothing to change his life. The thought almost made him smile, letting out a quiet chuckle as he felt the collar. It was almost therapeutic, realizing it didn't make a difference if he revisited this part of his life or not. He gave his reflection a contented sigh, placing his hands on the top of the dresser as he leaned forward a bit more. It was a happy revelation...and it was making his cheeks flush a bit in a happy sort of warmth and relaxation. He felt great! So great that he actually started panting a bit from his flushed cheeks.
That...was actually somewhat strange. He wasn't generally one to pant ever, and the thought made him laugh a bit from how 'dog-like' it really was. But that didn't quite seem right...and as he looked in the mirror and rubbed at his chin, he noticed he felt a bit of a...twitch. He panted more, swallowing a bit as he couldn't stop his tongue from hanging just over his lower teeth. Was his tongue always that long? He gave it a bit of an experimental poke before he rolled it back into his mouth and closed it tight. Mere seconds later, his mouth opened again in a pant as it seemed to be almost longer? This didn't make any sense...and as he leaned forward toward the mirror, he almost could've sworn his ears were twitching. He moved a hand to poke at them, gasping in pain as he cut himself with a fingernail. He'd have to cut them later, but another gentle poke and his ears actually DID twitch. He cocked his head curiously, rubbing at his ears as they twitched more and more. Suddenly, his eyes widened as Brandon rubbed at the side of his head in disbelief.
His ear was...gone??
"No...n-no no no, this can't be real." He stammered in the mirror, brushing at it before going back to his head. He couldn't feel his right ear! And...his left ear was disappearing too!! But as he focused more, he thought he saw two little bumps on the top of his head, a headache starting as he felt another odd pressure. His hand went to grasp at the two nubs, finding a sinking realization as they twitched and he could hear sounds through them. "N-no way, th-this can't be..." He stammered, moving away from the mirror before tripping on that same empty box and falling over. He landed on his bed with a yelp of surprise, covering his mouth in shock. It took him only seconds to get back onto his feet, feeling almost awkward as he picked up the box and shifted his weight back and forth. He looked for any other note, something that might explain what was going on as the pressure moved down to his legs and feet. Standing was suddenly almost difficult, wincing as he felt a building pain at his feet. He had no idea what was going on, but he'd read enough stories and knew his friends to know what this would be if it weren't real. He put a collar on and was noticing strange things happening. By furry logic, he'd be turning into his 'sona, but that was absolutely ridiculous!
He scratched his free hand along the dresser, surprised as he saw claw markings appearing from what he thought were his nails...now growing longer, darker, sharper. Everything was happening so quickly. The pressure in his feet was building as he felt his toes curling and straining under his socks. He shivered again, grasping harder against the edge of the dresser as a strange stiffness suddenly hit his elbows. He turned to them, tongue still hanging out of his mouth as it slowly started to stretch out with a sudden crack. He gasped out in a strangely muffled growl, gripping the dresser for dear life as he felt his slowly forming claws digging and scraping against the wood. He shook and shivered, sweating heavily as he continued to pant. He shifted his arm around awkwardly, reaching under his shirt to carefully scratch along his itching and hot belly only to realize...it wasn't the heat that was making him sweat. He turned his head down, legs shaking as he saw the white fur spreading out from his navel. He gasped at the sight, rubbing and pulling at it with a wince before another strange feeling came to his notice. He paused, thoughts churning around in his mind as he slowly took his hand away from his body, turning it over as he saw the black paw pad spreading out from the center of his palm. He stared at it as if it was some sort of sick growth pushing out of his hand...soon to be paw. It wouldn't be so bad considering this was a fantasy come true until he realized his original fursona was a feral dog.
His spine suddenly arched as he let out a yowling cry of pain, gritting his slowly sharpening teeth as he whined out even more like a dog than before. He was hunched over the dresser, his face stretching out further and further as his ears flicked up higher and higher. Black fur was starting to cover his cheeks, opening and closing his mouth over and over as he tried to adjust his jaw to the strange feeling. There was another foreign pressure just above his rear, pressing out against his jeans before he tried to straighten his back. It had the opposite effect, hunching him over the dresser even more with a slight gasp of pain with the attempt. He struggled to hold onto the dresser, whining as he seemed to be shrinking back from the furniture. He could hardly hold himself up anymore, his thumbs shifting back and shrinking toward his wrist as his arms weren't quite bending right anymore. He pawed uselessly at the dresser before his hand slipped, body pressed up against the dresser as he felt the strain against his jeans and socks.
His body wavered a bit more before a loud tearing signaled the destruction of his socks, two black-clawed paws poking out of the torn fabric as they shifted to keep his footing. The pressure on the back of his pants kept building more and more and more, his arms trying to grasp at the dresser better as he couldn't quite straighten them anymore. His balance was wavering, mouth-muzzle hanging open as his ears started to fold over his head and more black fur spread along his face. His foot paws were shaking, legs twitching and shifting around with his shaft rubbing achingly up against the dresser before he let out a sudden yelp as his handpaws slipped from the dresser. He tumbled to the floor, landing on all fours with his footpaws disappearing into his jeans. He was panting and gritting his teeth hard, his back still arched high into the air before he heard a soft tearing noise. With a final crack, his jeans ripped at the seat as a long black and white tail whipped out and wagged in the air. He was panting and drooling onto the carpet, the fur slowly creeping further along his body as his clothes were starting to fall to the floor.
The fur was growing faster along his body, his muzzle fully formed as his nose darkened, paw pads forming along his former hands and feet, tail gaining more fluff and legs popping and shifting into place. He could hardly think with all the changes rushing through his body, a headache rushing through his mind as his forehead flattened out and his face took on more of a canine shape. There were only a few final changes his body was struggling through as his thighs flattened more, his ankles stretched out further, and his spine flattened. His tail flicked and wagged, three white spots growing on his back and sides with another one growing around his left eye. Dark, jet black fur covered the rest of his body with white surrounding his underside, gritting his teeth harder before with one final howl into the air, his changes were complete. He shook and panted heavily, vision blurry and ears flicking as the purple collar around his neck itched noticeably less than it did before. He lifted a shaky paw, stepping out of his pants and whining as he lowered his head and pawed off his tank top. His thoughts were muddled, the room spinning around him as he had to readjust his balance and panted heavily before his paws gave out from under him and he fell to the floor.
His head was spinning from all he'd been through, his mind a daze as he was slowly coming to coherent thoughts once again. He grimaced as a soft whine came from the back of his throat, his eyes blinking a few times before he looked down at his body. He could feel the collar hugging along his neck, ears flicking in embarrassment as he was looking at...well, himself as a border collie. 'This...uh...well, merry early Christmas to me I guess...' He thought to himself before he huffed with a frustrated flick of his tail, standing still as he awkwardly looked around his room. It was a strangely wonderful feeling to be a dog, but at the same time, he was stuck wearing a collar with possibly no way to turn back to a human. He could probably just get the collar off and shift back, but still! His friends would have to be paid back for this, and - Brandon's ears suddenly perked. His head shifted over toward the side of his bed as he saw the packing peanuts from the box. He blinked. Staring at those peanuts, his upper body slowly lowered in a playbow, tail wagging as he wiggled his hindquarters in the air and suddenly pounced! The packing peanuts went flying, the border collie rolling around and pawing at them in the air as he panted and barked playfully at the styrofoam bits. He didn't know how long he would be stuck as Tooly, but if it was going to be a while...he might as well have some fun with it!
Brandon gets a surprise present from some old friends. Unfortunately, he isn't terribly happy they're reminding him about a part of his life he put behind him. Sometimes revisiting the past can be fun! Other times, it can be real ruff...