Thirteen Tales continues, and Dr. Callyco introduces tonight’s guests victim, Jak the jackalope.
Meanwhile at the lair of Dr. Callyco.
“Well Dr. Cutie Pup.” The kitten in a lab coat addressed the mouse that was currently rested in his paw. “It seems the trail has gone cold. There’s no way to know who did this or if there is any way to reverse it. I’m afraid you’re going to be a mouse for the entire event this year.”
“Squeak.” The mouse rolled his eyes, having already figured that was how it was going to go.
“But hey, being small like that can be fun! So cheer up! There are plenty of things you can do. Still… It’s been so long since I’ve done this solo I’ve forgotten how hard it is to carry the show on my own.” The kitten looked thoughtful. “So um… Tonight’s guest, is Jak, a Jakalope. He wears tank tops.” He paused. “That was a terrible introduction. But, anyway, Jak comes across an invitation meant for someone else as well as a lost item. An attempt to be a good Samaritan leads him into trouble he never could have expected. But… If he gives it a chance, he may find his situation isn’t all bad. I bring you our fourth tale. The Tale of the Glitter Attack.”
Thirteen Tales 2020
The Tale of the Glitter Attack
Jak didn’t have any particular reason he should be hanging out in a school. It was true, the brown and cream furred Jakalope was sometimes mistaken for a teenager. He was just one of those people who naturally looked young. He could easily pass for a high schooler, but currently he was at a grade school. And the simple truth was, he had no idea why. He was following an invitation of sorts. It was probably a bad idea. But if he didn’t follow up on it then it was going to be bugging him all day.
The incident that brought him here had occurred earlier in the morning. He had just finished getting dressed, in a tank top, jeans and sneakers combo before setting out for the day. Then something or someone ran right into him. They hadn’t been that big but the impact had knocked him down. Whoever it was had apologized in a boyish voice; but took off running before Jak had even realized what happened. By the time he had recovered his wits they were completely gone. However, as he picked himself up off the ground he noticed that the person he ran into had dropped something.
It was a school planner. Jak picked it up and a small notecard fell out of it. There was a very simple message in it.
‘Room 206. 1:30 PM during recess. Don’t be late. Teacher won’t be gone long.’
The invitation had obviously been intended for someone else. Someone it would never be delivered to now. It wasn’t any of Jak’s business and he wouldn’t have followed the invitation were it not for one small detail. The invitation wasn’t the only thing inside the planner. It also included someone’s completed math and language arts homework. Whoever had lost this was going to be in a bit of trouble unless the planner was returned. Luckily for whoever had lost this, the name of the school was on the front of the planner. Unfortunately, the name of the student was not written anywhere. Something he should probably alert the owner to when he returned it before they turned in their homework lest they become a mysterious phantom, turning in homework but never taking the credit. A mysterious superhero for a mysterious era.
Jak had a time and place, but not a name. The only way to return the lost property was to follow that invitation. And that was why he now found himself on the second floor of an elementary school searching for room 206. It didn’t take long. It was the third door on the right. It was 1:15, so Jak was slightly early. He hoped whatever kid lost this was already there, but he could wait around for a bit if he needed to. He opened the door and stepped into the classroom. Then he heard soft thud above him as he entered the door. He looked up just in time to see a bucket had been placed above the doorway. The second Jak had opened the door it had tipped over spilling its contents.
Glitter. Sparkling glitter spilled the bucket getting all over Jak’s body. It was everywhere. Jak sneezed several times as the glitter eventually settled. There must have been at least five pounds of glitter in that bucket. It was caught in Jak’s clothing, in his fur, on his antlers, and piled around on the floor around him. He felt like no matter how many showers he took it would never come out. It was a glittsaster.
“I can’t believe it was a prank.” Jak rubbed his face trying to at least dislodge the glitter there before it got in his eyes. Jak was tempted to just leave at this point and forget leaving the planner. But, he was too much of a softie to just walk away like that. Sure, he might be quick with a wit but he was still a kind person. Plus, he wasn’t actually sure how mad he should be. He had no idea who had set the prank or who it was intended for. It was possible that it was a joke between two friends who had that kind of rapport that they could pull stunts like that. Jak could think of a few people he had such rapport with. Or it could have been a mean-spirited trick by a bully. Jak chose to believe it was the former. After all, if it had been the latter why would the intended recipient follow the invitation. “I’m going to look ridiculous walking home. Now I’m more of a jackaglow.”
Jak gave a slightly nervous laugh as he calmed down a little bit. He began to pat down his clothing trying to free as much of the glitter as possible. It felt like an impossible task. No matter how much he dislodged there was more left. It was almost like it was multiplying. It really was impossible to get glitter out of anything. He held his shirt out as more of it fell to the floor and then froze. He was wearing a tank top. It wasn’t exactly a loose fit on him. But while trying to free the glitter and pulling his shirt outward it had reached far from his chest without stretching the fabric. Jak let go of his shirt. The tank top fit him loose. And the end of it now stopped at his thighs instead of his waist. His jeans, which were a tight fit, in theory, also felt strangely loose.
Jak took a few steps back in confusion and tripped in the process. His own shoes were the culprit, feeling far too big as he landed on his bottom. At least he hadn’t landed in the pile of glitter. Jak looked at the spot where the glitter had covered the floor then froze. For a brief moment he forgot the problems with his own clothes as he stared at the glitter, or more accurately, where the glitter should have been. All of it was gone. Not a single speck remained. And yet with every movement Jak made more of the sparkling glitter fell to the floor. He held up his arm and watched as specks of glitter fell to the floor and then completely vanished.
“That’s… Strange…” Jak tilted his head confused. He looked down at himself. There was still plenty of glitter stuck in his fur, but all the glitter that had been attached to his clothing was gone. “What?” The jackalope sat their dumfounded for a few moments as he tried to process what was going on. The glitter had vanished everywhere else, but kept falling from his body as if he was producing it.
As he sat there his clothes grew baggier on him to the point it was impossible not to tell they were far too big. As he tried to stand back up his feet slipped right out of his shoes and he barely caught hold of his jeans before they slipped from his hips. His clothing wasn’t the only thing getting bigger. All the desks and chairs in the classroom seemed to be growing in size as well.
Jak lost his grip on his jeans when his tank top slipped from hiss shoulders. It got caught on his waist and trailed against the ground. This revealed a pattern of a shooting star on his chest. That was normal, Jak had that mark for as long as he could remember. What was not normal was the fact that it now glowed with a faint golden light.
“Okay, seriously, what?” Jak demanded. His voice squeaked as he spoke. It sounded much younger than it should have. He looked down at his body studying it. His muscles were less tone. His proportions shorter. He looked like a kid.
Jak began to stumble around the classroom looking for anything that could be used as a mirror to get a better look. He tripped again and tumbled out of his shirt as he moved about. Something didn’t make sense. He was clearly getting younger. He could wrap his head around that idea. He didn’t know how that was happening other than it was likely glitter related, but the simple fact was that he was child now. What didn’t make sense was the fact that he wasn’t tall enough to see over the tops of each of the students’ desks in the room. Even if he was a kid, he was way too small! There were toddlers bigger than him. And the tops of those desk continued to grow further away from him.
Jak wasn’t having any luck finding a mirror as he ran around the classroom frantically now naked. Then a new idea dawned on him. He ran back to where his jeans had fallen to the ground and dug through his pockets until he found his cellphone. It was almost as tall as he was. It took two hands for him to free the cellphone from his pocket and then prop it up against a wall. Thankfully the phone’s touch screen registered the impact of his tiny paws as he entered the unlock code and pulled up the camera app. He switched it to the forward-facing camera and through that got a look at himself.
He couldn’t be a day over seven years old. His previously tall antlers had been reduced to tiny nubs. Then of course there was the fact that he was so small. He couldn’t be sure of the exact size. But his phone was about six inches tall and he was at least a head taller than that. So likely around seven inches? Sever years old and seven inches tall. He was in quite the predicament.
And the glitter was still falling away from his body. The strange part was he no longer saw any of it caught in his fur. Instead he just seemed to randomly sparkle and drop bits of glitter that disappeared as soon as they hit the floor. Then of course there was still the fact the mark on his chest was glowing. What was happening to him?
He got an answer much faster than he expected. He felt something stretch from his back, and through his cell phone’s camera he saw a pair of butterfly-like wings with a gold and orange pattern had grown from his back. He stared at his phone in disbelief for a few moments. Nothing else physically changed with his body, but the glitter continued to fall from him and he now radiated a golden light that surrounded his entire body.
He was a faerie kid. All the glitter he thought was falling from his body, it was fairy dust. And that meant… The glitter in the bucket had also likely been fairy dust. And now, Jak was stuck down on a classroom floor in nothing but his fur with no idea how to progress from here.
Except, he wasn’t stuck down on the floor! He had wings! It was a strange thought, but he slowly began to beat them as he lifted into the air. He flew up too fast at first, and then nearly fell all the way back down to the ground. After a few seconds of experimentation, he managed to hover a couple of inches off the ground. It took a few minutes of additional experimentation and crashing into the wall twice before he got the hang of steering. But the longer he stayed in the air the more natural it felt. He flew a loop around the entire classroom and couldn’t help but let out a laugh. The situation was a little scary true, but he couldn’t help but take a pure childlike joy in his ability to fly. Who hadn’t wished they could do that at least once in their life? Jak lost himself to the moment, flying around the room, doing loop de loops and just enjoying himself. He didn’t remember his situation until he heard a school bell ring.
Right! He was a faerie. He should probably be doing something about that. But no one really gave out instructional pamphlets on what to do once you spontaneously become a faerie. Ah, but there was the student or whoever the planner belonged to! They might be able to give him an adequate explanation and know how to reverse this.
Though… Maybe he could hold off on reversing it right away and enjoy flying around a little longer.
He had dropped the planner when he had shrunk out of his clothes. He just had to find where he dropped it, hope it wasn’t very heavy then find the owner. Whoever it was, they were late to their own meeting. Perhaps they never intended to come, or maybe after they lost their planner had changed their mind. But eventually the classroom door opened and it was not a student who stood on the other end of it but a teacher. Jak came to a stop and hovered in place in the air as he and the teacher stared at each other. Suddenly, he felt very aware of his lack of clothing.
“So you’re the new student.” The teacher, a kindly looking kangaroo recovered her composure first. “I apologize I wasn’t expecting a faerie. Truth is I didn’t even know your kind attended schools, let alone normal schools.” She paused. “That wasn’t insensitive was it?”
“No…” Jak shook his head. “But the thing is-“
“What is this?” The teacher lost her focus on Jak as she found his discarded clothing and cell phone laying on the floor. “Who left all this behind?” She picked it up bundling it all up. “I suppose it is hot out today, but just leaving their clothes behind in the classroom.” She shook her head. “Well they can get it from the lost and found later.”
“Well, there’s a faerie odd story about that-“ Jak tried to interrupt her as the teacher dumped his clothes and belongings into a large drawer in her desk.
“Sorry, right, you’re probably wondering which desk is yours.” The teacher was still convinced he was a new student. “I think, given your size it’s best to put you in the front row so you can see easily.” She pointed at the fourth desk in that row. “You can use that one.”
“Okay, but-“ Jak tried to interject again. But this time it was the loud chatter of students that cut him off as other students returned to the classroom. There were at least fifteen others in total as they came rushing in all at once.
Jak’s only hope to find who did this and find out where if there was a way to reverse it. He quickly flew to where he remembered losing his clothes and scanned the ground for the planner. It wasn’t there. One of the kids must have picked it up when they came in. The person who caused this might be in the room right now, but no one had approached him and so he had no idea who to even suspect or ask. He was getting stares from a lot of students, and he could understand why. It wasn’t everyday someone met a faerie, and now all of them had one as a classmate.
“Please stop flying around and return to your desk, we need to move on to today’s science lesson.” The teacher spoke. Then she paused. “I don’t seem to have your name on your roster.”
“It’s Jak, and that’s because-“
“Thank you, Jak.” The teacher cut him off again. “If you have any questions or need any help I’ll be happy to talk to you after class, but right now we need get moving. I apologize but we only have so much time to cover each subject.”
“Ok but…” Jak gave up. He floated back to the desk assigned to him and landed on it. “This has been a faerie odd day.” Jak spoke in a whisper to himself as he sat down and listened to the teacher. It was easier to go along with it than speak up.
He settled in and listened to the afternoon lecture. Eventually the school bell range again indicating the end the school day. Most of the kids could not get out of there fast enough. Soon Jak was alone in the room with the teacher again.
“Don’t worry about everything being so big.” The teacher gave him a warm smile. “I’ll make sure we have some paper and pencils you can use easily by tomorrow. And probably a magnifying glass for me to grade your papers. Is there anything else you need to be able to do your work?”
“Well, no, but you see the thing is…” Jak gave a nervous laugh. He wasn’t sure how to explain he wasn’t really a faerie or a kid. He didn’t want to lie, but he was also aware that he might sound insane. Then again, he was a faerie so clearly magic was already in play. But faeries were known for playing tricks on people. She might not believe him, and if he angered her the situation might get a lot harder to deal with. So instead he fell silent.
“Alright then, I’ll see you tomorrow Jak.” The teacher gave a polite nod.
“Uh… Yeah… Sure…” Jak replied as he flew up from his desk and out the open classroom door. He was soon stuck though when he reached the doors leading out of the school. He wasn’t strong enough to open them on his own and the rest of the kids had already left so there was no one around. “Come on! Open says a me darn you!” Jak landed and pushed as hard as he could against the base of the door. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind sprung up out of nowhere. Very strange weather considering he was inside. It blew straight forward and blew the door open allowing Jak to quickly fly outside before the doors shut again.
It felt good to be out in the sun and really stretch his wings. There was so much more room than in the classroom. For a moment he forgot all his worries as he allowed himself to just drift through the air, riding currents and enjoying the moment. Then he remembered how the door had opened. A giant gust of wind from nowhere. It was like magic. He looked down at his paws. Had he caused that? Did he have magic in addition to being able to fly? Maybe being a faerie would be kind of fun…
Oh, but he supposed he couldn’t exactly go back to his normal job looking like this. They’d just see a kid… Which meant the only place for him to go during the day was the school.
“Well… I guess I’m rabbpeating the second grade.” Jak snickered less nervously this time. The longer he stayed in this form the more comfortable it felt. He could handle this. He’d come back to school and attend classes as one of the students. It might be fun to be a kid again for awhile… And besides how else was he going to figure out who was behind this and return the favor.
Oh? That was a thought. Perhaps it was his new youth, or maybe his faerie nature. But he did feel as if one trick deserved another. But that would require figuring out who did this first. For now, he was just a normal grade schooler. Who happened to be tiny, sparkle and fly.