Story (c) 2000 by Keith Dickinson. All rights reserved. Characters Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, Tabitha, Carli, Tammy Vixen Shiela Vixen, Clarisse, and Carrie Squirrel (c) Eric W. Schwartz. Character Roxikat (c) John Barrett. Character Thomas Woolfe (c) Michael Higgs. Characters Chris Foxx, Susan Felin, Cindy Lapine, Debbye Squirrel, Clarence Skunk, Mr. Canis, Dexter Collie, Angel Collie, Sarge and Endora Mustelidae, Wendy Vixxen, and Wanda Vixen(c) Chris Yost. Character Florence Ambrose (c) Mark Stanley. Character ZigZag (c) Max BlackRabbit. Character Cyberhorn (c) William Morris. Character Terl Skunk (c) Rodney Stringwell. Character James Sheppard and Marvin Badger (c) James Bruner. Character John Silverback (c) Himself Character Kittiara and the restaruant "Callahan's" (c) "Kittiara" Character Katja (c) Herself Character Mark the cheetaur (c) Mark White Eric W. Schwartz (c) Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz. Arden Eastridge (c) Keith Dickson. All rights to additional characters reserved by their respective owners.

Identity Crisis - Chapter 19
No more Mr. Passive Resistance

  Michael returned to the station house to try to get some work done. From the sounds of it, the doctor at the hospital wouldn't be letting him visit his suspect today. Sitting at his desk he noticed someone had cut out an advertisement for Life Cereal and stuck it on his desk. Plastered on the front was "Hey! Mikie! He likes it!" Crumpling up the advertisement he tossed it over his left shoulder with out bothering to look. He heard the electronic ringing of the basketball hoop that sat over his wastebasket as the ball sailed through the ring. His colleagues took great pleasure in teasing him about his name. He was Michael, not Mike, not Mikie, not Mikearoony and most certainly not Michelangelo. Anyone could see he was neither a turtle nor a martial artist. He remembered the first day when his new "partner" had decided to keep screwing with his name. After giving him warning after warning Michael finally lost it and wound up holding the little rodent up at eye level against the wall with one hand while shredding the front of his suit with the other. It had gotten him into a trouble with the chief, and he had been forced to replace the suit, but it had the desired effect. Nobody teased him to his face, although anonymous reminders were a daily occurrence.

  Opening the file drawer in his desk he took out the "Doe, Jon 2000-35" file and opened it up. He may not be able to talk to the guy, but he could still work the case. Flipping to the back of the file, he reached for the spare copy of the death certificate. Pausing, he noticed that it was upside down in the file. Michael was as meticulous about his paperwork as he was his name. Someone had been in his file.

  Looking around to see if anyone was paying attention to him, he returned to the folder. He could understand someone wanting to see what was happening with the case, but for the document to be upside down, it would mean they removed it, probably to make a photocopy. That meant someone was probably going to get a bonus from some tabloid for helping break the news.

  Picking up the file, he gave a small snort of derision at the unknown culprit. That kind of profiteering was second to prostitution in his mind. They were supposed to be cops, why the hell couldn't they act like it.

  Proceeding to the copier he made two extra copies of the entire folder and returned to his desk. Placing the original file back inside he closed the drawer. Reaching into his top desk drawer he took out a combination lock that he occasionally used when going to the gym. Placing it through the hole in the tab on the front of the drawer, he locked it. That would stop some casual snoop from digging through his files for now. If someone wanted to badly enough, they could get the lock off, but not without destroying it.

  Satisfied he placed the copies in two new folders and headed out of the station. This was his first real investigation that involved serious fieldwork and he was in the mood to bang on some doors.


  Closing the book I lay back in bed and thought about what I had read. Examining the cover, I saw the name "Elijah Grahl"

  In the few days that Dr. Grahl had spent researching the amulet he had discovered some interesting things about it. According to legend, the demon Lakesh was one of the first demons cast out from heaven along with Satan for trying to overthrow god's plan. Lakesh was a particularly important to Satans plan to overthrow the cosmos as Lakesh had been responsible for maintaining continuity of the plains. This gave him the knowledge needed to bend or break certain rules that were set in motion when God created the universe. Lakesh had created the medallion as a way to break the law and thus bring chaos to order. However, the fact that he was only a demon limited the effect that it could have upon the universes. There had also been mentions of other items of Lakesh that had been created, functioning differently, but with the same ultimate goal.

  The only thing that was specific about the amulet was that he had made a rough translation of the script on the back with the help of a linguist at the university. "A (whish/desire/need) (requested/granted/made) is not a wish(?) (fulfilled/accomplished), never to be (repeated/returned/restored)"

  Buzzing the nurse's station, I asked them to send for the doctor please. I had things that needed to be done: Determine how to clear my name, apologize to Sheila, and hopefully try to learn something about my new world. I wasn't going to get any of that done laying around in here.

  It was time to talk to Dr. Grahl about getting my fuzzy butt out of this place.


  In her dream, Sheila was walking through a forest. The sun was streaming down between the breaks in the leaves. All around her she could hear the singing of birds and the droning of bees and other insects as they went about their business.

  Coming to an open glade, she saw a small stream trickling into a pond. Kneeling down to get a drink, she looked into the water and saw her reflection. Her face had changed once again, to that of her other dreams, only this time it was somehow different. There was no fear. It felt almost as if she were in a waking dream.

  Looking closer she saw that her face was not quite the same as it was before, it was narrower than the other dream, and the ears were curved to a point at the top rather than rounded. The eyebrows looked like a bird's wing in flight rather than the arches she was used to, and the shape of her eyes were more of an almond shape. Her snout was less pronounced than before, sloping in a gentile curve outward from her brow to a triangular tip that was reversed from the normal shape. Opening her mouth, she saw that her teeth were a combination of flat and sharp, that of an omnivore, rather than the sharp tearing teeth of her old face. The only constants were the green of her eyes, and the large volume of red fur that still fell from her head.

  Standing she looked down at herself. Though furless, her shape remained strikingly similar to before, though she lacked a tail, and she noticed that each hand held an extra finger. Flexing the fingers on her hands, she found the sensation eerie but yet not uncomfortable.

  As she looked around she saw a primitive hut standing near the edge of the glade, smoke wafting up from a hole in its roof. Entering, she saw a comfortable looking though sparse environment. As she spied some baked bread and a drink on the table, she realized that she had an over powering hunger. Sitting, she poured some of the liquid and began eating. As she finished eating, Sheila realized she was tired again. Going to cot near the fire pit she lay down, and relaxed. The last thing she heard as she fell asleep was the gentle sound of someone singing.


  After leaving David's office, Zig Zag headed back to her house. Calling the office on the cell phone, she verified that there was no pressing business at the shop. Right now she just wanted to go home and soak in the Jacuzzi. Heading into her bedroom, she undressed and put on a robe. Grabbing a large terrycloth towel, she headed out to the kitchen. Grabbing an ice bucket, she took a couple cans of diet soda out of the fridge and, after placing them in, covered them with ice. Grabbing one more can and a glass, she picked everything up and headed out to the combination Atrium and Jacuzzi room. Setting the bucket, glass and extra soda by her favorite spot, she disrobed and tossed it and the towel over onto a near by chair.

  Going over to the timer she verified the temperature on the Jacuzzi and set the timer. Watching with satisfaction as the jets kicked in, she closed the timer box and carefully climbed into the tub. Letting herself sink until the water reached her neck, Zig Zag allowed her body to fall backwards slowly till she simply floated, buffeted by jets of air and water coming from all directions. Had she been a cat she would have purred.

  Finally feeling the kinks start to work out of her muscles, Zig Zag gently straightened up and moved over to her favorite spot. Pouring some soda into the glass, she took a sip. Stewing in this tub could really take it out of a girl, especially in a fur coat and she was always careful to keep hydrated. Normally she would have had a refreshing wine cooler, but it was too early in the day for her to be drinking. Reaching over past the drinks she picked up the omni-remote for her entertainment system. Switching it on, she activated the stereo system in the living room, then activated the speakers in the Atrium and selected a series of songs by Kitaro, he was always good for relaxing to.

  Putting down the remote, she adjusted the nozzles a little then leaned back and closed her eyes in quiet contentment, determined to let the worries of the day be washed away on the currents of the jets.


  When Sheila finally woke up, she looked over at the clock and saw that it was already 4:38PM. 'Good lord! I've been asleep for almost 3 hours! That pill must have really knocked me out.'

  Rolling over, Sheila got up and headed to the bathroom. After taking care of Mother Nature's call, Sheila realized as she cleaned up that her ribs didn't hurt as much when she twisted. Experimenting she discovered that, although they still ached, the sharp pain was gone. 'Wow. That's some pill the doc gave me. I'd better be careful I don't over do it.'

  Heading back out to the bedroom, she shucked off the dress she had warn home from the hospital. Unwrapping the bandages that they had put to keep her ribs stable, Sheila gently probed around where her ribs had been cracked. Again, there was the dull ache, but no sharp pain. Carefully re-wrapping her ribs, she went to her closet.

  She didn't have a lot of stuff that would look good on her while wearing a elastic bandage around her ribs. Finally giving up on any of her usually outfits, she went instead to her dresser and pulled out a Hooter T-shirt and a pair of denim pants. Quickly dressing, she picked up her purse and went over to her makeup table. In a rack next to the table was a series of bags for all occasions. Taking out a small one resembling a day timer, she started to transfer items between her main purse and the new one.

  Pulling out the amulet that Arden had given her she paused. Once again, while looking at the markings on the back she came to realize that it felt warm. Suppressing a shudder, she opened up a small jewel box and pit it inside. When Sabrina was in town, she'd have to get her to help find out what that thing was. Sabrina had been to college and knew about images; surely she'd be able to help find something out.

  Finishing up with her handbag, Sheila went over to the full-length mirror and checked out her appearance. "We may not be dressed to kill kiddo, but we are DEFINITELY dressed to shop!"

  With a spring in her step, a renewed Sheila Vixen headed out for the mall.

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