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West Shores Wildcat

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4 years 4 months ago - 4 years 4 months ago #15437 by konzill
konzill created the topic: West Shores Wildcat
Monday, 8th Oct 2007, Salton City California
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Tabitha was up ten minutes before the alarm she had set the night before. She uncurled from her nest of blankets, arching her back into a long languid stretch. The room felt wrong.

The football trophies on the bookshelf marked it as a boys room. Framed photos covered the wall beside the window. One showed Tom and Ric from their first game for the Wildcats. They looked ridiculous, shoulder pads on scrawny shoulders and helmets tucked under their arms. Coach had even let them off the bench for the last quarter. No more football games for me, she thought. Only the uniform laid out on the study chair hinted that a girl lived here.

She Padded naked to the window, her pawed feet silent on the floorboards. Outside, the yard was still in shadow, save for the green rear fence. The indent where a swing set had once stood where the only break in the lawn. Tom had declared it for babies when he was ten and made his dad remove it.

She slid the window open, and breathed in. The air was cool and smelled of salt. Today, she decided, would be a great day. A uniformed girl with perfect blonde hair rose from yard next door. The blue skirt and white blouse marked her as a fellow West Shores High student.

Tabitha meowed, leaning further out the window. She mimed putting on a mask. The girl waved back shrugging her shoulders. Then angled forward like a ski jumper, sailing over the back fence and away. “back in a few,” she called.

Tabitha headed for the bathroom, only glancing at the shower. Fur made a quick shower an impossibility. Instead she wiped her face with a damp cloth, then patted it dry. At least her face still looked human, the fur being fine enough to be almost invisible in dimmer light. she tried on a smile, eyes fixed on the mirror. In brighter light her amber eyes narrowed to slits , but right now they looked almost normal.

Her coat, scruffed from sleep, needed attention. She grabbed a brush and ran it down her arms in long even strokes. Her fur was mostly blonde fading to a translucent white on her chest and tummy. Tiger stripes and leopard spots, both in a rich auburn, completed the tabby look.

Half an hour later, her fur glossy, she was back in Tom’s room. Finding underwear that worked with the tail had been a chore. The pair she had today were white, with far too much lace, and came with a matching bra. The crested West Shores blouse and blue skirt completed her uniform. I need a mirror in here, she thought looking down at herself. Girls have mirrors in their rooms don’t they?

Lastly she clipped the oversized phone to her waistband. It was a devisor phone uncle Robert had presented her with on the day she came home from the hospital. Sized for her thicker fingers, she could use it without extending her claws. Not only could it interface with any computer but it also had a voice synthesizer.

She’d spent hours every day learning to type on it with either hand. That was another surprise, Tom had been a leftie, but Tabitha was ambidextrous. Well, time to face the day. she thought. Two strides took her down the hall and over the banister. she landed in the entryway downstairs without a sound.

Mom stood at the stove a pink housecoat wrapped about her belly. She was at that stage of pregnancy that made her waddle when she walked. She shifted the pan making its contents pop and sizzle.

“Morning mom.” Tabitha typed on her way into the kitchen, pausing to give her mom a peck on the cheek. “How’s the spare child?”

Mom put the spatula down beside the pan and gave her daughuter a hug. “Sign language please dear.” she said signing along with her words. “You need to practice, even if you have that devise for school. And your little sister is fine thank you.”

Tabitha nodded, skipping to the pantry. “I can’t find any tuna,”

“Your father took the last can for his lunch. I’ve got sausages and eggs for you.”

Tabitha slammed the pantry shut, and stalked towards the door. “don’t want eggs.” She typed into her phone.

“Tabitha Albion, you get back here, and act your age.” mom said, as she slid the eggs onto a plate and placed it on the breakfast bar. “sit down and eat your breakfast. Honestly i’m not sure you going back to West Shores is a good idea.”

She sat down, still grumbling, her tail swishing. She stabbed a defenceless sausage. “all my friends go to West Shores.”

“Sign language please,” mom said rinsing the pan. “And how many have you told about your change?”

She set her fork down and swallowed, then signed over her plate, “just Carol, and Ric.”

Mom came around the bar to give her another hug. “you’ve been very irritable lately, stomping, slamming doors. I know you’ve had lot to adjust too. The accident, the GSD, becoming a girl.”

“The spare child.”

Mom held Tabitha by the chin and tilted her head until their eyes met. “We were not trying to replace you. Yes you were on life support. And we needed all the comfort we could give each other. It was an accident”

Tabitha squirmed. Pulling out of the hug, tapping on her phone. “T.M.I. mom. And I am not irritable”

“Your tail says otherwise I’m not sure that this is a good idea. Maybe that school your uncle told us about.”

Tabitha stilled her tail, sitting straight on the stool, and folding her hands in her lap. A low growl reverberating in her throat. She tapped on the phone rapidly. “No. I don’t want to go to Whateley. I'm not being sent away for being a mutant”

A tap on the back door distracted them. Carol floated on the other side of the glass, strands of hair forming a halo about her head. Her skirt flaring out and showing way more leg then permitted in the school handbook.

Tabitha pounced on the door sliding it open. “Ever hear of gravity, its the law.” she signed.

Carol landed with a slight oh, her hair and clothes setting like thoses of a normal person. Though that still left her looking like a catalogue model. As far a mutants go Carol had gotten the whole package, brains, beauty, brawn and some kind of air elemental.

“Morning Mrs Albion.” she said, then turned to Tabitha rising an inch off the floor again, “ready to go?”

Tabitha put her empty plate in the sink, then wiped her hands on a paper towel. Standing up she was a good foot shorter then Carol. “I’m ready,” she typed. “bye mom.”

Mom frowned, absently massaging her belly. “We’ll continue our chat later. Have a good day Tabby.”

“Come on wonder girl.” Tabitha typed before scooping her backpack up from beside the front door. “Lodestone is going to be pissed at you flying in your civilian clothes, and no mask.” she typed, showing her friend the screen rather than letting the synthesiser talk.

Carol shrugged. “Taku found a lost puppy last night. We just had to rescue it. And my code name is Zephyr not wonder girl. Bye Mrs Albion. come on gumbie.”

“Meep?”

“I have gumbie cat in mind.” Carol sung, “her name is - hay!”

Tabitha swiped at her, claws extending from her fingertips. Carol evaded, skipping down the path, and even remembering to touch the ground now and then.

The concrete was still cool under the pads of Tabitha's paws. The clear blue of the sky promising that this would not be the case for long. She glanced back to see her mom, watching from the lounge room window, still worried. Tabitha squared her shoulders and followed Carol towards the bus stop. Yes today would be a great day, even If it killed her

“So you doing anything after school today?” Tabitha asked when they had taken their seats in the bus. “Want to come to the marina with me?”

“Sure why not,” Carol said pulling out her phone. “Hang on, I've got a message from Lodestone, he's pissed.”

"Told you so.”

The bus deposited them on Shore Gem Road outside the four story main building. Built one summer three years ago the faux brick exterior disguised its modular nature. It still looked new, from the footings to the solar panels on the roof. The whole thing was built to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Other students streamed past them into the double doors of the school. She spotted Ric Williams hopping down from an electric blue pickup truck.

“Hay Carol,” he called out approaching them. His varsity jacket buttoned up despite the heat. After a quick glance for teachers Carol greeted him with a peck on the lips. “Morning gorgeous,” she whispered.

Tabitha rolled her eyes at the nauseating display of affection. Who wears a jacket in Salton City in October? Why does a school built in a desert even have a varsity Jacket.

“So. About this afternoon.” Ric said, “I was thinking.”

Tabitha stabbed at her phone, shifting from paw to paw on the warming sidewalk. It was asphalt rather than concrete and already growing uncomfortable. “You were going to come to the marina with me.” She typed.

Carol waved one hand without turning away from Ric. “Shoot I forgot, I kind of promised Ric I'd meet him after football practice.”

“Oh, hi Tom,” Ric said, sparing her a glance before turning back to Carol.

Tabitha growled, tugging on Carol’s arm until she looked her way. “I thought we had plans.” she signed, “and could you kindly ask your boyfriend not to call me that.”

“I'm sorry Tabby, but can we do it tomorrow?“ Carol said, “She says not to call her that. She has a point you know.”

Ric scratched his neck undoing the top few buttons on his jacket. “Sorry, so anyway about this afternoon.”

Tabitha huffed, her nose wrinkling at the smell of sweat, emanating from the now open jacket. She could almost see the hot air escaping. Carol had turned again, no doubt smiling like a loon and gazing at Ric’s dimpled cheek. “Grr”

She let her hand drop off Carol’s arm and adjusted her backpack. Then stalked off, her tail swishing from side to side. a hush seemed to follow her through the doors and down the corridor as she made her way to the office.

Twenty minutes later she made it to homeroom, moments before the bell. It was the same ground floor room she’d had last year. A new bunch of boys holding the back wall, one flicked his longish blond hair off his face as she came in, staring at her. “Wow”

“Meow” She said in reply, meeting his stare.

The homeroom teacher looked young. Crisp haircut, styled with gel. Polo shirt and chinos, giving him that hip youth pastor look. “Manners Mr Bryce, as you can see we have a new student starting today”, he said into the sudden quiet.

Tabitha found an empty seat near the center of the room. She curled her tail around her leg as she sat down, smoothing the fur, and holding it still. “Hi,” she typed into the phone.

“What’s with the phone,” the blond haired boy called out. The teacher cleared his throat, looking at Tabitha at her nod he started to speak. “Miss Albion’s mutation has left her mute. For this reason she is permitted to use a voice synthesizer for communication. Now Salton City prides itself on its inclusiveness and tolerance. As does this school.”

“Albion, wasn’t there an Albion, here last year?” said a glossy brunet.

Just then the bell rang. And Mr Jones called for quiet, marking the roll. Tabitha was first, follwed by the surfer boy, whose name was Nick, not Nicholas but just Nick. The glossy brunette proved to be Heather Doyle. She continued staring at Tabitha throughout the roll call and the announcements that followed.

“Oh, My god!” Heather exclaimed, “you're him aren't you? Tom Albion, the boy that got hit by a car last year. My sister was in your class.”

Tabitha squirmed in her seat, her tail whipping to the side until the tip hit the adjacent empty seat. She swallowed, her hand going to the keypad. “My name is Tabitha.”

“Shit,” Nick said, sitting up straighter in his chair.“ you're a dude.”

“Mr Bryce, Miss Doyle, if there are any more interruptions you will both find yourselves joining me for lunch. Now as I was saying. Due to some unexpected departures the school cheerleading team has several vacancies. They will be holding tryouts on the football field before school tomorrow.” he said, looking from Heather to Tabitha. “All female students are encouraged to try out for the team. Isn’t that right Heather?”

“Yes sir. We’re looking for two more girls.”

Mr Jones leant back in his chair, checking his watch. His gaze seemed to stop on several students. Then settled on Tabitha. “this morning has certainly been eventful. I would remind you all that spreading rumors is not appropriate behaviour. Am I making myself clear?”

“Yes sir,” the class chorused not quite in unison. Tabitha could feel her face heating and was grateful for the fur that hid her blush. Both Nick and Heather shot her dirty looks the moment Mr Jones looked down at the papers on his desk. “Boy,” Heather mouthed without making a sound.

Whispered conversations started up about the room. Tabitha heard her names, new and old. She sat rigidly pretending not to. Only the constant twitching of her ears, betrayed her unease. Finally the bell rang.

Tabitha rushed out of the room. First period was English on the third floor, a class she shared with Carol, and boy did she need to talk to her. Not five minutes in and she was already outed. That wasn’t part of the plan. Could the day get any worse?

By lunchtime she was ready to rip someone’s head off. Sure mum had warned her, dad had warned her, Hell if roles were reversed she’d be staring too. The next person to make a catgirl joke was going to get it.

She stalked into the girls bathroom near the cafeteria. It was a long white tiled room with sinks under a stainless steel mirror down one wall and six stalls down the other. The blue melamine doors handing not quite closed. Heather was standing at the far end, talking to a girl with a black pixie cut.

“Jane, of course you can come to tryouts. All I'm saying is not to expect too much. I mean you're not exactly -” Heather trailed off on seeing Tabitha in the mirror. She stepped away from the other girl, swinging her hand out in a stop motion. “You can’t come in here. This is a girls bathroom, you know for real girls.”

Tabitha moved towards the first stall. “I am a real girl.”

Heather jumped forward, blocking the doorway. And poking her in the chest. “Don’t believe it Jane, his real name is Tom, and he was in my sister's class last year.”

“she doesn't look like a boy,” Jane said.

Tabitha’s tail swished, her hands shaking too much to type. She signed a retort instead, using wide sweeping motions. Heather watched without comprehension. Her hand still blocking the stall. “what’s that supposed to be.”

“She said you should get out of her way,” Jane said, “then she called you the b word.”

“I guess it's useful that one of us understands freak.”

“Cut it out. I have a deaf cousin ok,” Jane said. “How'd you end up looking like a cat anyway?”

“I was in a coma, when I woke up I looked like this.” she signed, then started typing, all the while glaring at Heather. Her reply finished, she grabbed Heather's arm and jerked her away from the door. Despite Heather’s slight height advantage Tabitha was stronger. She set the volume as high as it would go and pressed play. “get out of my face or I’ll scratch you bitch.”

Heather grabbed Tabitha's tail and yanked it.

A shockwave of pain ran up her spine. She lunged, her right hand going straight for Heather's throat. “Yeowl!”

Heather back paddled until she ran up against the sink.

Tabitha kept pressing forward. She held the other hand close to Heather’s face the claws still extended. Behind her she heard Jane, give a yelp and dart towards the door. Moments later she bounced back with another yelp.

“Sorry,” Carol said from the door, “what the. Tabby, what are you doing?”

Heather smirked, “she's assaulting me, can't you see”

Carol took hold of both of Tabitha’s arms and pulled them away, forcing her to let the other girl go. Heather tried to duck away, but Carol stopped her too."So what's going on?”

“She pulled my tail.” Tabitha signed.

“The freak attacked me. He shouldn’t be in a girls bathroom in the first place.”

Carol, glared at her. "Sounds like you started it. And she has every right to be here. Not one word Heather.”

“Or what?”

Carol sniffed the air, “is that smoke I smell? Don't you smell it Tabby?” She allowed Heather to push past her.

The girl smoothed her clothes, and glared, “come on Jane, we better leave the freak dykes to it.”

“but I thought you said she was a boy?” Jane said following Heather out of the bathroom.

“Hay Heather, see you at tryouts,” Tabitha typed.
Last Edit: 4 years 4 months ago by konzill.

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