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Peer Pressures
by Sly Squirrel
©2003 Sly Squirrel -- all rights reserved

Terry walked around the mall with his good friend Eric, looking around and commenting on everything he saw. He brandished an overpriced soda like a conductor's baton; with it he pointed to the Body By Ology kiosk in their mall. "Dude, everyone's doing it," he commented.

Eric felt a pang of anxiety eat at his chest. "I know what you mean. Half the school has a pelt now."

"Plays hell on the dress code, I'm sure." Terry laughed at his own joke. Eric shifted in place as if something were biting at his ankle.

It was all he could do to smile weakly and make talk. "And the newest ones -- those Little twins -- they make nice lapines..."

"Especially in bikinis." Terry growled and smiled. "Their parents said that they have to lose the fur before spring break, y'know. Say that those beachgoers are crazy when it comes to anthro forms."

"So they'll just get the Bimbo-to-Go body. Pretty simple, I guess."

"Guess so." Terry shook the loose ice cubes in his cup, then lit up. "Say! Why don't we get new bodies? It'll be fun!"

"Terry --"

"Don't get cold feet on me, Eric!" He snickered. "You're always worried about this or that. Just forget about the consequences and do it!"

"What if my parents find out?"

"God, do you live in the twentieth century?" Terry pointed to a bright red sign hanging above the kiosk. "Thirty days or your body back guarantee. You can't go wrong, my man."

"You sure about this?"

"Sure thing... and if we play our cards right it will make one hell of a senior prank. What if we were to pick two forms that just lock with each other..." he snapped his fingers. "Oh! How does that fox pair sound to you? We could come into school waving around a bunch of cartoon merchandise, make some jokes --"

"I'm not sure about this, Terry."

"What's wrong; you chicken?"

"No." He coughed. "It's just that... well... it doesn't seem right." Terry's brow furrowed, and Eric explained: "We'd be essentially trading in our bodies for a new model."


"Doesn't it strike you as strange? We humans were created to live in this body, and now we're turning it into a playground. What used to be the most beautiful thing in the world has been diluted into nothing more than combinations of A, T, G, and C." He sighed. "Humanity is falling apart at the seams."

"And violence is any different?" Terry pulled his cup to his lips, sucked on the straw, and barely brought liquid to his lips. "Look at where we've come from. A few decades ago a fight event was a boxing match. Entertainment was that swell family humor that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Where have we gone from there?"

Eric sighed and reluctantly supplied an answer. "We enjoy watching others hurt, especially when there's blood. We fight and make it right with moral justification. As a whole our race has become more primal, downright animalistic."

"Chalk one up for entropy." Terry replied, raising his cup high. "What do you say, Miles Fox? You ready to have some fun?"

"Let's get this over with." The sun beat down on the two from a skylight above. And, as Miles walked over to the kiosk and stepped into the automated Tank, he couldn't help looking to the feather-light clouds and wondering what could possibly have weighed his race down with the burden.

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