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A Little Funky: Confused

Rose sat up, blinking as sunlight poured through the window. She cursed softly. Stupid sunlight. Why did the only patch of sun in the room have to land on her face? It was just so unfair. She sighed melodramatically and sat up, looking around. Katsuro was still sprawled out on her bed, fast asleep, and Miyuki was curled up in a lump under her blankets, also presumably still asleep. Rose pulled herself out of bed, putting on a silky red bathrobe and a pair of fuzzy slippers. Making an executive decision that it was time for everyone to be awake, she padded over to the side of Miyuki’s bed, shaking her shoulder to wake her up. Grumbling a bit, the brunette dragged herself out of her bed and stretched.

“Why’d you wake me up?” she asked, pulling on a pair of socks.

“Because it’s time to get up,” stated Rose, smiling sweetly.

Miyuki rolled her hazel eyes, sighing. Typical Rose. She was always showing up when you were least expecting her. Miyuki walked over to Katsuro, smacking her side heavily. Katsuro let out a groan, turning and cracking a green eye open.

“What time’s it?” she asked groggily.

“6:00,” said Miyuki, looking up at the clock on the wall.

A pillow flew, hitting Rose square in the face with a soft “whump”. She tumbled backwards, sitting down on her own bed from the force. Katsuro stood, bending to pop her back. She immediately started dressing, donning a pair of loose, linen trousers and a white tank top, wrapping her wrists and hands in bandages as she always did in preparation for swordplay. Hefting her ever present katana over her shoulder, Katsuro grinned, ready for action. The girls went down to the small kitchen, poking around for something to eat. Baba’s refrigerator was practically empty. Rose decided to nose around the cupboards, finding only a large jug of what appeared to be grape juice.

“Who keeps grape juice in a cupboard?” wondered Miyuki, pouring three glasses of the liquid.

“Baba, I guess,” noted Katsuro, sipping at the beverage.

Miyuki, Katsuro and Rose drank the juice in silence, sitting down at the low table. A few minutes passed before Katsuro felt an odd tingling sensation in her toes. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat as the tingling spread up her calves and thighs. Katsuro’s sharp eyes noticed her friends squirming in their chairs as well.

“Am I the only one who’s tingling?” asked Miyuki, rubbing absently at one of her hands.

“Nope. I am too,” replied Rose, looking thoroughly thrilled at the prospect.

“As am I,” said Katsuro. The tingling had reached her hips, starting also at her fingers and slowly creeping up her arms.

“What was in that grape juice, Rose?” asked Miyuki, twitching.

“I don’t know! It tasted like normal grape juice,” defended Rose.

Katsuro shifted. The tingling had reached her head and her eyes were beginning to blur. A moment later, darkness crept into her vision and she felt herself falling...

THUMP

Katsuro awoke in a foggy haze, a kind and worried face hovering above her. As her vision cleared, she could make the person out more clearly. It was a young woman. She had big hazel eyes and curly chestnut hair. She was wearing a long, pinkish dress with a white apron over it. Katsuro blinked up at her.




“Are you alright, sir?” the girl’s voice was sweet, with a rustic sounding accent.

Sir... thought Katsuro groggily... I’m not a guy. Deciding to ignore the detail, Katsuro sat up, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She looked around, noting that she obviously wasn’t at Baba’s house anymore. She was in a small hospital wing. There were two other beds in the pristine room, but both were unoccupied. The girl was the only other person in the room.

“Where am I?” asked Katsuro, ignoring the girl’s previous question.

“Yalowen Hospital, m’lord,” replied the girl promptly.

“Why do you insist on giving me male pronouns?” Katsuro snapped, slightly irritated.

The girl looked confused, cocking her head to one side as though Katsuro had just asked her why the sky had just turned orange. Katsuro was puzzled. She looked down at herself, doing a double take at what she saw. Her normally average sized chest had completely flattened out, and her torso was bare. A sick feeling rushed through Katsuro’s gut and she quickly took a peek under the blanket covering her. That explained why the girl had insisted on the masculine pronouns. Katsuro shook her head, trying to straighten out her muddled thoughts.

“Sorry... I’m not thinking too clearly today,” murmured Katsuro for the benefit of the girl.

“That’s alright, m’lord. We all have those days,” said the girl, smiling, “Now, I was told by ‘is lordship that you were to go to the counsel hall as soon as you woke up. Shall I fetch some clothes for you, m’lord?”

“Yes, please,” replied Katsuro.

The maid, for that was what she was, ran from the room, quickly returning with a bundle of clothes. Katsuro thanked her, and the girl left the room. Trying her best to ignore her new male anatomy, she put on the soft, black suede trousers and red poet-sleeved shirt the girl had given her. The clothes fit so well that Katsuro wondered if they’d been tailored especially for her. After dressing, Katsuro was led from the small room, out into a hall and down a flight of steps and into a wide, airy atrium. She-- or maybe I should say he spotted his friends immediately. It seemed that Katsuro hadn’t been the only one the potion had changed.

Miyuki had gotten even taller, now reaching about 5’11” tall. This, however, was not the most noticeable change. That was her wings. A pair of huge, black feathered wings protruded from her back, folded tight. Though beautiful, her wings were useless. She wasn’t strong enough to use them. Also, her hair colour had changed. The formerly deep chocolate coloured locks had turned an exotic, bright turquoise. The roots started the colour of the Caribbean Sea, gradually darkening out to black at the very tips.

Rose, it seemed, had changed the least. Her formerly green eyes now burned a flaming red-orange, with slitted pupils like a cat’s. A pair of deep burgundy cat ears flicked from the top of her head, and a long, similarly coloured tail twitched from the seat of her long black skirt. She grinned as she saw Katsuro, running over to him and embracing him. A cat-like grin crossed the redhead’s face.

“I always thought you’d make an attractive guy,” she noted.

A light tinge of pink crossed Katsuro’s cheeks and he gently pushed his best friend away. He bowed slightly to Miyuki, who bowed back, smiling. It was then that a tall, grizzled old man in long robes stepped into the atrium, bowing deeply.

“My lord, and ladies, if you would follow me, I shall take you to His Majesty,” he intoned, voice deep and harsh, though kindly in tone.

Katsuro nodded, following the man out of the hospital onto a large, beautifully manicured lawn. Katsuro looked around at the world around him. It was only then that he began to realize that they were no longer in Japan. The architecture was different... significantly more European. The people that they passed were obviously not of Asian descent. They wore clothes similar to the ones Katsuro, Rose and Miyuki were wearing; something of a hybrid of the Victorian age in England and modern-day France. Katsuro’s sharp eyes also caught other peculiarities; girls with big, fluttery butterfly wings, men with the heads of dogs, an old woman with hair that dripped purple slime, and other oddities. Katsuro dropped back to walk next to Miyuki.

“Where are we?” he whispered, voice low enough to avoid their guide overhearing.

“Ok, so according to the maid at the hospital, the grape juice was actually a magical, semi-dangerous form of transport to get here. Don’t you recognize this place?” Miyuki sounded excited.

“No...” replied Katsuro, puzzled, “Should I?”

“It’s the Middle Realm. Like in Baba’s stories! The king he’s taking us to see is King Ereseis. Don’t you get it? Katsuro... they think you’re the Hero of Lost Hope,” whispered Miyuki.





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