Author's Note

This particular part of the story sparked the most debate of anything I’ve ever written. Looking back, I believe much of the criticism was warranted, but this time around I hope I’ve managed make this so called ‘naked march’ more plausible. Before leaping to conclusions please be assured there will be repercussions at the end of story that I hope will satisfy any of the remaining naysayers.

Part 5 – The Naked March

Bright light blinded me as I came awake. I tried to bring my hand up to block it out, but my arm refused to move. I opened my mouth to talk, but even my voice would not cooperate. My initial impression was that someone very large and very strong was holding me down, but when my eyes adjusted to the light, I realized that my original impression had been wrong. I tried to move again, but my muscles refused to budge. I panicked, but then Megan’s hand touched my shoulder.
“Jim, you will be all right; don’t worry,” she said and while there was a slight quiver in her voice, her words kept me from giving into my hysteria. “Just breath, I’ve heard of this happening before and most people regain use of their muscles within a few minutes.”
It struck me then what a good friend she’d been. Too bad she was a lesbian I think we might have grown to be much more than friends.
I saw the crowd for the first time and remembered that I was still in the gaming store. What the hell happened? What about the game? Who removed the helmet? Why was I on the floor? Why couldn’t I move? Whatever happened my mind didn’t seem to have been affected. At the moment I had plenty of questions, but no damn answers.
A third attempt to move my hand proved more effective, and it twitched if only just a little. It wasn’t much, but I took it as a good sign. I breathed a sigh of relief and I worked at it longer. With my fourth try I was able to lift my arm and touch my face, but as I did, my fingers brushed against something on my chest that shouldn’t have been there. My heart hammering in my chest, I found the strength to sit up, glanced down and found a pair of naked lumps sticking out from a blue chest… my chest.
I stared at those two masses in confusion before realizing that I was looking at a pair of breasts. I glanced around at the crowd and saw their eyes burrowing into me. My brain still struggled to process the changes to my body and for a moment became convinced I was still in the game, but that didn’t seem right. As far as I knew the real world and the game weren’t able to interact, but why the hell did I have blue skin like Kalena and why was I naked? My cheeks burned, and I used one arm to cover those inexplicable breast and another to cover my new and female privates.
“Holy hell!” I cursed and tasted bile in my throat as the only possible explanation came. I was Twisted, I curled up into a ball, a wave of nausea washing over me as my knees pressed into my chest. I gripped the side of my head as the tears came.
“What is it?” A boy to the right of me said I glanced at him and realized with a sinking feeling in my stomach it was Jeff.
“It kind of looks like that character from the game. That hot looking alien chick. How is that possible?” a voice said somewhere behind me.
“I’ll tell you how it’s possible,” said a girl standing right in front of me. “That thing is a twisted freak.”
“Oh, god!” I screamed and sobbed.
I was a freak a damn twisted freak!
Though I made the connection, I didn’t want to accept it. Mom knew, I realized, which is why she’d always been so secretive about my father. I must have inherited it from him, but then…
“Your kind aren’t welcome here,” the girl screamed, and I fell backward when she approached with fists clenched at her side. “Get out before you expose us all to the Kincaide Virus!”
“Hey,” a boy said stepping out from among the crowd. “She has as much right to be here as the rest of us.”
“You’re twisted too, aren’t you? Freak!” she screamed glowering at the boy.
The boy stared back at her fists clenched at his side, but the rest of the crowd moved in. Everyone screamed at once and the girl pounced on me her nails tearing into my new soft skin. I tried to raise my hands in defense, but I was still so weak and she threw them aside with almost no effort. Megan stepped in before it got too bad and punched the girl across the nose. She spun away and fell to the ground clutching at the face.
“Get the hell off Jim, you stupid fucking bitch,” Megan said looming over the other girl the threat of more violence reflected in her eyes.
The scene erupted into a full blown brawl. I tried to crawl away, but the girl grabbed me by one of my ankles and dragged me back into the fray. “Leave me alone!” I screamed and kicked at her with my free foot. She didn’t relent, but another brawler appeared to come to my aid. Things were getting bad, but I think if the trio of mall cops hadn’t picked that moment to show up it would have gotten a lot worse.
They cut right through the crowd and went straight for Megan, handcuffing her arms behind her back. Most of the brawlers scattered, but a few remained to watch including the girl who Megan had punched in the face. She had a triumphant grin on her face as she pointed an accusing finger at me. “The freak started it!”
One of the mall cops, the tallest of the three glared down at me. “Get up!” he demanded.
I wobbled, but with what little strength I had available I managed to climb to my feet unaided. Once standing, my hair brushed against my shoulder and reached up to touch it. I looked down at my chest and new tears welled up out as I sucked in my breath fighting back another wave of panic.
One guard, I didn’t see which, grabbed my wrists and forced my hands behind my back. I didn’t resist and felt the cold steel of his cuffs lock in place around my wrists. He shoved me and I jerked forward. I kept walking, but glanced back before the game store was out of sight and through my tear soaked eyes I noted the burn marks on the ground where I’d been standing. I didn’t understand much about the processes involved, but I sensed it was a result of my twist. The damage to the floor was extensive, and I was surprised and more than a little grateful, no one had been hurt.
I glanced back catching sight of Jeff, and met his gaze pleading for help, but he didn’t budge an inch. When I gave up and turned my head away, he spoke.
“Freak!” Jeff’s voice called after me as one guard pushed me forward.

The trip across the mall was the most memorable one of my life which would surprise no one under the circumstances. Every step I took, it reminded me of everything I had lost and it took all the willpower I had just to keep moving. My breasts jiggled, but there was a noticeable absence of movement between my legs. The guards never attempted to cover me up, so every eye was on me as I walked barefoot and unclothed through the very public areas of the mall. I looked down, watching my blue six-toed feet move across the cold ceramic tiles of the mall walkway.
“You know, my father’s a lawyer,” Megan spoke part way through our little jaunt. “One call from him and you’re gonna wish you’d let us go.”
I glanced toward her and the guard that was leading her along. He didn’t say a word, but rolled his eyes and pushed her forward. She was right, forcing someone butt-ass naked through a public mall was a lawsuit waiting to happen, but all I could think about was my shame and humiliation. The outrage would come later.
I looked around and almost wished I hadn’t. The eyes of the onlookers burrowed into me and though I closed my eyes, the damage had already been done. I could still feel their eyes on me and I wanted nothing more than to hide, or crawl into a ditch or do anything that would let me escape those terrible eyes! Tears splattered against my breasts and I shook. I couldn’t bear it any longer I had to get away.
I tried to run, but I’d never realized just how hard it was to move without use of my hands until I’d had them cuffed behind my back. The impact of my breasts against the cold tiles sent shock waves of pain through my chest. I grunted, gasping for breath as a hand forced me up from the ground. Before recovered, those hands pushed me and I stumbled barely able to keep from falling back over. I cursed myself, realizing how stupid my escape attempt had been, but I wasn’t in my best mind at that the time.
I hoped Megan wasn’t just spewing out empty threats. If her dad sued the mall, I imagined he would take them for a pretty penny if the courts sided with me.
When we reached the security offices, Megan, and I had our handcuffs removed and then they shoved us into a holding cell. It sent me flailing to the ground, but this time, I twisted to my side and avoided falling on my breasts again. Megan helped me back up to my feet, and I collapsed into her arms sobbing. The flood of emotions became too much, and she wrapped her arms around me providing the only comfort she could. She didn’t speak, but made her presence known. It was enough.