View Full Version : Dervland

07-24-2015, 10:14 PM
Here's a story I started writing in 2005. It was supposed to be a comic originally (and I posted the outline to it a few years ago), but the comic never panned out so I started writing it as a story. Let me preface this by saying that it was originally not supposed to be a tickling story, but having a tickling fetish I couldn't help but putting some nylon tickling fan-service in each chapter. Still, there's more story than tickling in it, but I hope you'll still enjoy it.


Chapter 1 - Old Sneakers

Angelica looked down at her old buffalo sneakers as she walked out of school. They were big, they were clunky, and they were ugly, but she loved them. They were oh so comfortable, she loved the way they slid against her nylons as she walked. They were old and getting pretty worn, but they were tough and had held up well over the years. They were her mother’s sneakers, and she had them since she was a kid. It’s amazing they lasted as long as they did. Indeed, they were probably the best made, longest lasting pair of shoes ever. Only her friend, Attis, appreciated this, having worked with his dad in a shoe repair shop. But all of her friends seemed to make fun of her for wearing such an old pair of sneakers to school every day she had Gym class. She didn’t care. They were her mom’s sneakers, and they were awesome.

She was walking with her friends Janet, Yumi and Tanya on this spring day, all of them wearing their school uniforms. They had stayed after school as usual for extra help. Their senior year was almost over, and their future was in question, but in truth they just wanted to spend as much time together as they could before the year ended. “I hate these tests, I can’t wait until next year when college life starts and we can party,” Janet said brushing her red hair aside.

“You’re lucky to be going to college next year, Janet, with your grades,” Yumi said with a hint of envy in her voice. It was pretty clear at this point that Yumi was not going to be going to college. The end of the summer was going to be heart breaking when it was time to part ways.

Snickering could be heard from behind the four friends. Angelica looked back and sighed when she saw the four girls she liked least eavesdropping on their conversation. She had hoped that by staying after school she would avoid walking home with them, but it seemed they were now following them on this new routine as well. Ever since freshmen year they had been a shadow they couldn’t shake. Often jokingly referred to as “The ‘in’ Girls” because of how their names ended, Jasmine and her lackeys Joslin, Catherine and Carolyn seemed to be whispering to themselves and giggling mockingly as they eyed Janet and her friends. It was hard to make out exactly what they said but Angelica definitely heard “she’s too stupid to get into a university,” snicker from Jasmine. As Carolyn walked she pushed passed shy and timid Kaylee, a smaller girl from their class whom they often picked on. Poor Kaylee gasped and fell out of one of her mary janes as she tripped. The bullies just laughed at her misfortune.

But from behind “The ‘In’ Girls” came running Attis, eager to catch up with Angelica. Angelica’s cheeks reddened as he approached. Angelica and her friends had left school before sports practice ended so that they could avoid boys flirting with them on the way home, but Attis never played sports. In fact he was quite the stereotypical nerd. He was scrawny, with a messy bowl haircut and large glasses. But he was sweet, and always helped Angelica with her homework. It was obvious to everyone that he had a crush on her.

“The ‘In’ Girls” laughed as he ran passed them. Angelica could hear them whispering mocking insults at him to each other as they giggled. Fortunately, Attis didn’t seem to hear them. He always seemed oblivious to their passive aggressive bullying. Angelica wasn’t though, and she still couldn’t help but feel embarrassed as he awkwardly approached her. “Ummmmm … hi Angelica … thank you for studying with me today … I … uh really enjoyed it,” he said stumbling over his words. Angelica cringed. He always seemed much more confident when it was just the two of them. But when he was around people he didn’t know so well, he was completely awkward.

“I should be thanking YOU, Attis,” Angelica said politely hoping to boost his confidence. She really did like Attis, “You know as well as I that I’m hopeless when it comes to Physics.”

Attis stared back at Angelica taken aback by the compliment. Angelica couldn’t help but find him adorable. He was like a puppy, totally in love with her. The girls giggled and Angelica grew angry as she watched Attis’s face turn red. Not only was Jasmine’s crew giggling, but even Janet and Yumi, her own friends, were laughing at Attis. “How dare they?” Angelica thought to herself, “I’ll show them!” Just as Attis was about to run away in shame, Angelica grabbed him and kissed him right on the lips in front of everyone. The onlooking girls all gasped. After pulling away, Angelica noticed that Attis looked as if he was about to faint. Then his nose started to bleed and he started to gag. It looked as if he was about to throw up. He panicked and ran off.

“Hahahahaaa, you made the dweeb sick, Angelica,” Jasmine pointed and laughed as Attis ran passed leaving a trail of blood and vomit. That was all it took. The whispering, the passive aggressive snide comments were annoyances that Angelica, Janet, Yumi and Tanya had no choice but to overlook. They were just waiting for a good reason to finally confront her and put her in her place. And now, she finally crossed the line. Angelica and her friends turned to Jasmine and her crew angrily.

Janet, the most confident of the group, was the first to speak, “You shouldn’t talk, Jasmine, you make everyone in the school sick!”

Jasmine was taken aback by the confrontation. She was clearly intimidated by Janet, who was one of the most popular girls in the school and held a pretty high status. Angelica could sense the envy just dripping from Jasmine’s gaze. Still, she seemed to summon up some courage when backed up by her crew and fired back. “I never made a boy vomit in the street. Seriously, I’m surprised at you, Angelica. You’re one of the better looking girls in this school, despite those ugly old sneakers you wear. Well, maybe that’s why you like him. He’s not only a dork, but he’s the son of a shoe repair man. How lame. I’d expect a freak like Tanya here to make a loser like that hurl, but not you,” she said pointing at Tanya dismissively.

Tanya bowed her head hurtfully as Yumi moved in to comfort her. She always looked like she was about to cry with her dark lipstick and heavy eye shadow, and when she wasn’t wearing her school uniform she often wore black gothic attire. She always regarded herself as an outsider, despite the fact that she was close friends with Yumi, and through her was friends with one of the most popular group of girls in the school. That didn’t stop Jasmine and her crew from ridiculing her.

Angelica had had enough of Jasmine’s bullying, it was time to tell her off once and for all. She got right in her face and said “You think you’re so much better than everyone else because your parents are rich and they spoil you with your slut rags! Everyone knows you’re an insecure brat who’s only popular because she has her daddy’s money to throw around on her so called friends!”

Jasmine’s eyes widened in shock. It was clear that no one had ever dared speak to her like that before. Angelica regretted her words almost immediately when she saw how deeply her words cut. As cruel as Jasmine had been over the years she wondered if it was worth sinking to her level to put her in her place. Jasmine looked to her friends to defend her honor, but they seemed more surprised by Angelica’s outburst than anything. There must have been more truth to the words than she initially thought. Still, Angelica was afraid that things would quickly turn ugly. Carolyn was known to be quite a tough fighter.

Fortunately, Janet had her back, “Haha, good one, Angelica,” she said as she put her arm around Angelica and escorted her out of harms way. Yumi and Tanya followed leaving “The ‘in’ Girls” behind. Angelica glanced back and saw them standing as they chatted, stealing wicked glances at Angelica every so often. “Don’t look back,” Janet said, “Let’s just get out of here and away from them.”

“You know she’s just jealous of your popularity, that’s why she’s been following you around for all these years,” Angelica said to Janet.

“I know, we used to be friends,” Janet said, “way back in elementary school. But she was always a spoiled brat even then and I stopped hanging out with her after fifth grade. She still resents me for that, and resents you guys even more for it since she sees you guys as the ones I replaced her with. It’s sad because I was probably her only real friend. I think she really does pay those girls to be her friends.”

“Hahahahaaa,” Yumi laughed, “how pathetic.”

“How depressing,” Tanya said gloomily.

“listen, let me walk you home, Angelica, I don’t like the way they were looking at you,” Janet said when it came time for the four of them to part ways.

“I’m not afraid of them, they’re all talk,” Angelica said bravely.

After parting ways with her friends, Angelica made her way back alone through one of lesser known backstreets of Tawashi. The afternoon was getting late and the shadows were starting to get quite long. Angelica wished she had taken Janet up on her offer to walk her home. She hated this section of the city when darkness started to creep in. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being followed as shadows crept behind her. She quickly looked back to see if anyone was there, but all she could see was the shadows cast by the lamp posts and trash cans.

She continued walking, now at a brisker pace, her heavy sneakers clomping more loudly on the rough pavement. The sounds of footsteps behind her had become unmistakeable when she looked back again. But, again there was nothing there.

Just then, suddenly, she was grabbed from behind. She shrieked in terror but her mouth was covered as well. Jasmine and Carolyn emerge from behind a nearby trash compactor as her eyes darted left and right to make out her assailants, who turned out to be Joslin and Catherine. The four of them must have been stalking her and waiting until she was alone before attacking.

“I’m going to make you regret how you embarrassed me in front of my friends, Angelcakes!” Jasmine said as she approached. A surge of adrenaline came over Angelica, she bit Joslin’s hand and kicked at Jasmine. Jasmine was not expecting this and it knocked her right out of her shoes and onto her ass. Angelica smiled when she saw Jasmine’s shocked expression as she stared at her stocking feet.

“I can see they’re still on your payroll anyway,” Angelica said mockingly, “What do you have to give them a raise now?” But Angelica’s defiance changed to fear when Carolyn grabbed her foot before she could bring it back down.

“Hold her!” Jasmine ordered angrily as she wiggled her toes in her sheer black nylons looking to see where her shoes landed. She was clearly embarrassed to have been knocked out of her flats in such an undignified manner.

“Gym class today? These are quite some kicks you’re wearing,” Carolyn said as she held Angelica’s heavy buffalo sneaker threateningly.

“Yeah it knocked Jasmine right out of her shoes!” Catherine laughed, the other girls couldn’t help but snicker at the comment. But Jasmine fumed as she got back to her feet, brushing the dirt from her skirt and pantyhose.

“Shut up!” she shouted angrily as she approached Angelica. She grabbed her other sneaker. Angelica felt utterly helpless as she was now lifted completely off the ground with both feet stretched out in front of her by Carolyn and Jasmine while Joslin and Catherine held her arms. “Only a bum like you would wear these ugly old shoes to school,” Jasmine said as she tugged threateningly on her sneaker. Angelica curled her toes defensively try to hold onto to her shoes, but knew she had no chance. Her sneakers were rather large and loose fitting and her sheer dark nylons were very slippery and smooth.

“Let’s relieve her of them,” Carolyn threatened teasingly as she slid the heavy but easy to remove sneaker off her slippery nylon clad foot.

“No! Please don’t!” Angelica begged.

“You made me lose my shoes, it’s only fair that I return the favor,” Jasmine said mercilessly as Angelica’s stocking clad heel popped free of her shoe, “I probably have a run in my pantyhose thanks to you!” Angelica couldn’t help but feel tickled by the sensation of her sneaker sliding up against the soles of her feet as they slipped off. Soon her wiggling and flexing toes were exposed panicking to the cold air under her thin nylons. Angelica felt much too ticklish and helpless as she tried to squirm free of their grip.

“Look at those ticklish looking feet,” Jasmine said as she started running her finger up and down Angelica’s freshly exposed sole. Angelica’s fearful expression suddenly changed to one of pure joy as she burst out laughing. Carolyn joined in, still holding her ankle with one hand, and tickling her foot with the other. Angelica tried her best to kick and thrash and pull away, but the four girls had a strong hold on all four of her limbs and there was nothing she could do but laugh helplessly as they tickled her intensely ticklish stocking feet.

Soon Catherine and Joslin joined in the tickling and began tickling her ribs and armpits. Angelica bucked and thrashed as tears began to well up in her eyes. She couldn’t take it. She screamed with laughter. “Guys we better stop or she’s going to get us in trouble,” Joslin said cautiously after a good ten minutes of tickling.

Jasmine sighed, “You’re right, let’s put her in the trash can over there so she doesn’t go for help.” Angelica was exhausted by the tickling and did her best to catch her breath. She would have screamed for help if she had the energy. Instead she watched helplessly as they stuffed her butt first into a trashcan.

“Where’s my other shoe?” Jasmine said annoyed, as she hopped around trying to clean the dirt off her stocking feet.

“Over here,” Catherine said handing the red flat to Jasmine. Jasmine gratefully returned the shoes to her feet.

“What’ll we do with these ugly old sneakers?” Carolyn asked after handing the sneakers to Jasmine.

“Let’s burn them!” Joslin said as she lit a fire in another nearby trashcan.

“No! Those were my mother’s shoes!” Angelica protested. She loved those sneakers.

“Eeww, they’re that old? We’re probably doing you a favor then,” Jasmine said looking at the sneakers in disgust.

“Her tastes were as bad as yours, eh?” Carolyn joked before tickling her feet a final time.

“Pleeahahaeheheaaease!” Angelica pleaded trying her best to pull herself out of the trashcan, but she was wedged in too deep and still hadn’t recovered her strength. Her cries fell on deaf ears as Jasmine cruelly dropped the sneakers into the fire.

“Noooooooo!” Angelica cried. The girls laughed as the shoes burned, but ran off when they heard a door open nearby.

“What’s going on here?” An older woman was heard saying, “Is there a fire?” Angelica had a difficult time making out the woman, but as she approached she looked strangely familiar.

“Mom?” Angelica heard herself say. The woman was even wearing the blue buffalo sneakers her mother always wore … the ones Angelica had inherited … the ones Jasmine had destroyed … and they looked shiny and new … much newer than Angelica remembered her old ones looking. In fact, Angelica had forgotten that the sneakers even used to be that shade of blue. But as the woman got closer, she could tell it wasn’t her mother, though she looked strikingly similar to her. Was she a long lost relative? She stared at her face as if looking into a mirror and seeing herself in thirty or so years.

The woman, when she approached, wore an expression of concern. She didn’t seem to recognize Angelica. “Oh you poor thing. Who did this to you? What happened?” she asked.

“They burned … my shoes … my mother’s shoes,” Angelica said sadly. She still couldn’t take her eyes off the woman. She looked to be about fifty years old, but was very attractive for her age. She was dressed professionally in a business suit and black pantyhose. The heavy blue sneakers looked rather comical in contrast. Her features were striking because they really did look quite similar to her mother’s, though her hair and eyes were different, in fact they matched the color of Angelica’s. Still, she looked about the same age her mother would have been had she not died.

“Oh how horrible,” the woman said helping her out. Angelica brushed the trash off of her skirt after getting back to her feet. The fire had gone out, but her shoes were burnt to a crisp. There was no wearing them now. “I’m sorry,” the woman said consolingly, “Why don’t you come inside. I’ll get you some shoes so you don’t have to walk home in just your thin stockings.”

The woman’s apartment was a meager dwelling with a kitchen and a bedroom. Angelica sat at the kitchen table trying to keep her feet warm by covering one foot with the other. Tears were still welling in eyes. It was hard to believe that her mothers old sneakers were gone for good. They had lasted for so long and had always been a comfort to her since her mother died. “Here, drink this,” The woman said handing her a glass of a strange gold liquid.

“What’s this?” Angelica asked curiously as she stared at the cup, still sobbing quietly.

“It’s a special concoction I brewed up. It will make you feel better. You shouldn’t cry so much, it makes you age faster.”

Angelica looked at the woman’s kind eyes and there was something inherently trustworthy about her. Maybe it was because she reminded her so much of her mother. She sniffed the liquid. It had a sweet scent, then she took a sip. It tasted wonderful, sweet yet wholesome. There was nothing else she could compare it to. It did make her feel better and she stopped crying immediately. “Wow, that was good …”

“You feel better don’t you?” The woman said as she bent to slip her sneakers off her feet.

“I do,” Angelica nodded.

“These will do I think,” the woman said handing her the blue sneakers she was just wearing. Upon looking at them up close, Angelica was astonished to see how closely they resembled the sneakers that had been burned. They looked much newer than her old ones, but not brand new, they definitely looked like they’d been worn for quite a few years at least. Still, they were the exact same type of sneakers.

“I can’t believe it … Those look just like the shoes I lost …” Angelica said shocked.

“That’s a strange coincidence,” The woman smiled. Angelica studied her face convinced she knew something about them she wasn’t telling her. It seemed the woman sensed her skepticism as she went on, “I’ve had these shoes for ages. You keep them. Big sneakers don’t quite suit me anymore. They’re yours now,” she winked.

Angelica took the shoes from her and studied them, “this is too strange of a coincidence,” Angelica said, “My mother once told me that she got them from a kindly stranger after some bullies tossed her shoes into a well … similar to what just happened to me. And …” Angelica trailed off looking at the woman’s pretty toes as they wiggled under her sheer nylons.

“Go on,” the woman said smiling as she took a seat opposite Angelica seemingly somewhat self conscious of her exposed feet.

“Well … the strange thing is … the stranger, some strange woman she never met before, just gave her the shoes right off her stocking feet … just like you did.”

“Well, that’s not too strange. There are a lot of good samaritans in this world,” the woman said.

“I guess …” Angelica said still staring at the shoes, “Only, in my mom’s case, it happened outside, so the poor stranger probably ruined her nylons when she had to walk home.”

“Now that IS a good samaritan,” the woman laughed, “did she have far to go?”

“Well …” Angelica thought for a moment, “Now this is the part that’s really unbelievable … my Mom always said that she didn’t walk more than few steps. She came with someone else … a man … and he opened some sort of portal or something … the two of them walked through it and they were never seen again! Of course I never believed that part of the story. Still, those sneakers lasted decades without falling apart, so who knows.”

“I believe her,” the woman said, “I’ve seen my share of unbelievable things in my long life, and portals opening up to strange new worlds is not as strange as you might think. Now go on, put them on.” With trepidation, Angelica slipped her feet into the sneakers. It was as if she never lost her old pair, in fact they felt even better than her old pair. “How do they fit?” the woman asked. Angelica bent to adjust the laces … they didn’t reach to tie them on, just like her old pair.

“They’re a little loose, but then my mother’s were also loose … where’d you get them?”

“Like I said, I’ve had them for ages. I think I got them in Dervland … No, I definitely had them before that, well they weren’t quite the same shoes before I went to Dervland … where did I get them anyway? Maybe they were my mother’s too? Haha, Ah I don’t remember it was a long time ago and my memory’s not so good anymore,” she laughed.

“Dervland?” Angelica asked, but she had better questions in mind as she studied the woman’s face, “Who are you anyway? Do you know me? I feel like I recognize you. Did you know my mother?”

The woman smiled again, she seemed to always be smiling, “We do look alike, don’t we. Maybe we’re long lost relatives. But no, I don’t think I’ve ever met you,” she looked at her watch, “You should be off home. Your mother would be worried.”

“My mother’s dead,” Angelica said without breaking eye contact. The woman looked right back at her consolingly. “Oh I’m so sorry. You poor thing, that must have been why it troubled you so much to have those sneakers burned.”

“You knew my mother was dead, didn’t you?” Angelica said still not breaking eye contact. she wasn’t buying the woman’s act anymore. She was hiding something and Angelica knew it, and now she was trying to get rid of her. “Nobody else has shoes like these … you’re not telling me something.”

The woman responded seriously, “I think you better go now,” she said getting up to escort her out. She opened the door. “Now hurry home it will will be dark soon,” she said as she ushered out the door.

“I’m 18 you know, I’m allowed to be out after dark,” Angelica said defiantly.

“Not under my roof you’re not, young lady.”

“Just because you look like my mom doesn’t mean you are my mom!”

“Well, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,” the woman said pushing her out the door. Just before the door closed on her the woman said, “Click your heels together before you run.”

“Wait, what?” Angelica said looking back inside. Just behind the woman, Angelica saw a portal open up inside the house. She saw a man fall through it and wince in pain as he slumped to the ground just as the door closed on Angelica’s face. “What the hell!?” Angelica exclaimed as she tried to open the door again. But it was locked, she listened at the door but heard nothing. She knocked but there was no answer, and the curtains were drawn on the windows.

“Did I really just see a portal open up?” Angelica asked herself, “And who was that guy? And what did she mean by click my heels together? What is she, the Good Witch of the South? This is stupid … Ah what the hell, I’ll give it a try … 1 … 2 … 3 …” she said as she clicked the heels of sneakers together three times to see if anything would happen. “Nothing … what was I expecting anyway. It’s probably some old timer expression. I better run home though, I don’t want to have to explain this to dad.”

Angelica looked happily at her sneakers as she slowly built up speed, “Just wait till Jasmine and her goons see me tomorrow wearing these sneakers. I can’t wait to see the look on their faaaaaaa…” Her thoughts were interrupted by her speed suddenly increasing exponentially until she found herself racing down the road at thirty miles an hour. “Oh my god! What the hell is going on?!” She shouted as she seemed to zoom through the streets of the city in seconds.

She was going so fast she couldn’t avoid bumping into poor Kaylee, who was innocently walking the opposite direction down the sidewalk as Angelica accelerated. Poor Kaylee was once again knocked right out of her shoes.

When it became clear that she was going dangerously fast, Angelica made herself slow down, though she knew she could have gone much faster if she wanted to, but any faster and her shoes would fly off her feet. “That was incredible!” She said to herself looking around the neighborhood, “Where am I anyway? Wow, I shot way passed home!”

Angelica looked at her sneakers in disbelief. “These are no joke, I HAVE to tell Janet about them,” she thought to herself as she pulled out her cell phone to text her best friend. The text message read “You’ve GOT to see these new sneakers, I’m coming over right now!”

She spent the rest of the afternoon with Janet playing with her new sneakers. In a nearby field, they spent the whole evening swapping shoes so they could see who could run the fastest. They even tried doing it each with one sneaker and tried racing each other, but found it just didn’t work as well. Angelica proved to be the fastest, both in a single shoe race, and in a timed race in which they took turns each wearing the sneakers. In any case Janet wanted a pair of those sneakers.

“Do you think I can visit that crazy witch’s house and get a pair for myself?” Janet asked.

“Who knows! I tried knocking on the door after she kicked me out but she didn’t answer. She reminded me of my mom though. Still, in hindsight drinking that potion was probably a bad idea,” Angelica said, “Who knows what stuff will turn me into!”

Both girls laughed.

On her way back home, she adjusted her skirt, there was a small bump just below the small of her back, though she paid little heed to it…

Attis’s Journal April 7th 2005

This may be my final entry in this journal. Today I’m going to do it. There’s no turning back.

This could have been the best day of my life, but, of course, I screwed it up. Angelica needed my help studying for the Physics test, so I agreed to help her after school. If physics didn’t come so naturally to me, I probably wouldn’t have been able to help her at all … she’s just so beautiful, it was so hard to concentrate.

Anyway, like an idiot, I ran to her as they were walking home to thank her for studying with me. Everyone was laughing at me, I probably looked like such a dork. But Angelica was so sweet. She even kissed me. But I lost it. My stupid nose started bleeding and I started throwing up. I ran away in shame. Why am I cursed with these panic attacks? I guess I’m just not meant for love.

I couldn’t face Dad when I got to the shop. I just went straight to my workbench and buried myself in my work. The day was slow and there was only one shoe to repair, so I decided to continue work on my project. Dad must have known something was up though because he walked in just as I was installing the derivative crystals.

“What are you doing to those old buffalo sneakers, Attis?” he asked.

“You wouldn’t understand,” I said. The last thing I wanted to do was explain to him the workings of particle physics.

“Come on, son, you looked pretty upset when you came in, tell me what’s bugging you,” he persisted.

Strike that, even worse than explain particle physics to my Dad would have been to explain what happened on the way back from school, so I decided to tell him, in my best lay-man’s terms, what I had been working on for the past year. “Well, you know how gas prices have been going up ridiculously and everyone’s looking for alternative sources of fuel, Dad?”

“Yeah, tell me about it. It’s costing me a fortune to get new supplies in. I don’t know how I’m going to stay in business …”

“Well,” not to be rude but he would have gone forever had I not interrupted him, “I’ve been working on an alternative energy source, one far more efficient than fossil fuel energy. I think I’ve invented something.”

“Is that so? I always knew you were a smart kid,” He said smiling though clearly not really believing a word, “How’s it work?”

I sighed knowing this was coming, “Well, you know in Star Trek, how they powered their space ships with those dilithium crystals?”

“Yeah, matter / antimatter …” my father frowned, “Don’t tell me you somehow managed to produce a matter / antimatter reaction in that little crystal?”

“Not exactly. You see I was able to work out an equation that relates quantum mechanics with relativity principles. The equation I discovered allows for a much safer alternative to a matter / antimatter reaction. In String Theory there is a constant that can be used to calculate the derivative of …”

“Okay, okay, I get it, it’s complicated,” Dad said, still not believing a word, but clearly not wanting me continue with my explanation. It’s a shame because if more people understood quantum mechanics they would really appreciate what an enormous breakthrough the discovery of this equation is. Proof of “The Theory of Everything” is nothing to sneeze at. But it’s all for the best. The fewer people know about my experiments the better. I don’t want anyone else meddling in my experiments. He was about to leave before asking, “Why put them in those old buffalo sneakers?”

I couldn’t help but smile, “Oh, well, I have to test them on something.”

He shrugged, “Okay son … just … don’t blow anything up. If you’re going to test anything out, do it outside.” And with that he left me alone at last.

I checked the derivative crystals one last time before inserting them into the special housings I built into the sneakers. I sat for a moment staring at them. They did remind me of Angelica. My pretty girl. She always wore those old Buffalo sneakers for as long as I knew her. They held up so well over the years too. I wonder who made them? Would I ever see her again? It was very likely this test would kill me. I wasn’t really the suicidal type. I was a man of science. But I really had nothing to live for in this world. Angelica didn’t really love me. Sure she thought I was cute. Cute like a puppy dog. She liked me as a friend, as long as I could help her with her homework. But I would never live up to her status. She was one of the popular girls, and I was one of the most awkward and wimpy nerds in the school. Everyone made fun me. I was the lowest on the totem pole, and the events of today only reinforced that.

So I put the sneakers on and got ready to head outside to test these puppies out. If this is my last journal entry, then I guess my science experiment failed. If not, then … we’ll see …

07-24-2015, 10:15 PM
Chapter 2 - Transformation

The alarm clock rang. Angelica yawned as she wiped the sleepees from her eyes. “That was a weird dream,” she said to herself, though by the time she finished the sentence she had already forgotten most of her dream. All she remembered was that she was queen in a castle in a strange land, and had just told the strange woman who had given her the sneakers the day before to drink a potion and jump through a portal, much like the one she had just seen open up. She told her a bunch of other strange things she couldn’t remember. “Was yesterday a dream too?” Angelica shook the thoughts from her mind as she jumped out of bed and shut off her alarm clock.

When she turned away from her clock, it fell over. She turned around confused. “Dammit! how did that happen?” When she picked up her clock she noticed it had reset, “Now I have to set it up again!” She started to fidget with the buttons but decided to do it later. She hated the mornings and the rush to get to school. So she just shoved it back on her dresser and headed towards the bathroom.

As she passed her bedroom mirror she saw her reflection in her peripheral vision. It didn’t look quite right. Something was wrong with her hair, and her nightgown seemed to lift up in the rear. She did a double take just after passing the mirror and went back. She was shocked at what she saw. She not only had fox ears sticking out of the top her head, but she also had a fox tail! “Daaaaah!” She shouted clutching her tale in surprise.

“Angelica, are you okay?” her Dad shouted from the door. Angelica gasped, should she show her father? She couldn’t decide! She needed to buy time!

“Ummm … yeah Dad .. I’m … Okay … sorry!” She shouted back locking her door.

“Okay, your breakfast is ready,” her Dad said. She sighed with relief when she heard him walk away. She took a moment to study her tail and ears. The fur on them was very soft, and she had to admit the ears looked cute on her. Still, unless she planned on going to a furry convention, it probably wasn’t a good idea to go out in public with them in plain site, especially since they had replaced her normal human ears. Still, they were completely functional. She did have much better hearing with them, as she could now hear her father moving around downstairs, and even little birds tweeting outside. She could even move her ears to the side and flatten them on her head. Her tail was another story. It seemed to have a mind of its own.

“What am I gonna do?” She asked herself as she turned back to her dresser. Her tail knocked over her lamp as she turned. “Stupid tail!” She said, lifting up her lamp, thankfully it wasn’t broken, “I’ve got an idea!” she said opening her tights drawer. She pulled out a pair of sheer black pantyhose and pulled them on under her nightgown. She wrapped her tail around her waist just before pulling them all the way up. It wasn’t the most comfortable solution, but it hid her tail from view, and prevented anymore tail mishaps. “That should do it … aww crap, I forgot I was going to take a shower first!”

After a quick shower, Angelica completed her disguise. The pantyhose, of course, hid her tail, as did her skirt and the rest of her uniform. But her ears were another problem. Angelica never wore hats, but she did have a large one that covered up her ears nicely. It was also rather fashionable with felt ribbons and feathers, if not a little bit over the top for school. Still, going to school wasn’t her plan, at least not until she solved this whole “fox ears and tail problem”. “I need to find out what that witch made me drink yesterday!” she thought to herself, “I know it was that potion that did this to me! It had to be!” Still she wondered if she should tell her father first. “No, I better not worry him until I know more. Besides, I might be able to solve this myself.”

Last, she slipped into her sneakers, the ones the woman had given her. She wondered if this was a good a idea, given what the potion had done to her, but she was going to need their speed if she was going to do this before school. With her outfit completed, she went downstairs.

“Morning Angel,” her dad said from the kitchen. He seemed to take on a more motherly role in the years since his wife died, but neither he nor Angelica felt very comfortable with it, “Did you have fun at Janet’s last night? You got home real late.”

“Yes Dad, sorry, won’t happen again,” she said doing her best to avoid an argument. She just wanted to get out of the house as quickly as possible.

“That’s okay, you’re 18 now, I’ll give you some leeway …,” he said smiling at her as she passed through the kitchen. “Hmmm, it’s rare to see you wearing a hat to school.”

“Thought I’d try something different,” she smiled back nervously as she reached for the door.

“It’s still early, don’t you want …”

“… Breakfast?” his last word was heard just as Angelica slammed the door behind her. She did indeed want breakfast, and her stomach rumbled. But she was in a hurry. She nearly tripped in her large sneakers as she stepped outside.

“Crazy woman’s shoes! What the hell did she do to me?” she asked looking down at her shoes in frustration.

“You probably shouldn’t have swallowed that potion,” her left shoe said through a mouth that Angelica never knew the shoe had. Every time it opened it seemed to reveal Angelica’s stocking clad toes.

“Eeeeeeek!” Angelica, horrified, screamed and hopped cartoonishly right out of her sneakers. Her freshly exposed slippery stocking feet landed on the steps awkwardly and she found it impossible to keep her balance. “Wooaah,” she cried out as she slid down the stairs and soon found herself tumbling to the bottom.

“Hahahahhahaha!” she heard a voice a laugh as she moaned in pain lifting her head up to see the source of the laughter. She was shocked to see that it was her own right shoe laughing at her, still sitting at the top of the steps leading to the front door, while she lay shoeless at the bottom with fresh bruises and a nasty run in her stocking. Her hat had fallen off as well. “I knew this girl was going to be a fun one!” The shoe taunted. Angelica’s eyebrows lowered as her shock changed to anger. The witch’s shoe was actually making fun of her!

Angelica scrambled to her knees and made a violent grab for the shoe that was taunting her. “Hey! Wait a minute!” It protested just before she scooped it up with both hands clutched it tightly.

“What did you say?” She asked threateningly as she “choked” the shoe maniacally.

“Umm … nothing,” the shoe said stuttering as if fear was in his voice. Angelica noticed for the first time that the circular designs on the tongue of the shoe were actually eyes, and they were darting around fearfully as Angelica continued to choke the sneaker. Was she going crazy? No, it was all the witch’s doing, and she needed answers.

“If you don’t talk, I’m going to throw you into the ocean. Now what the hell are you and what did that crazy witch do to me?” She demanded as she squeezed harder. Was the shoe actually gasping for air? Did it actually need air? It seemed to as it squirmed and hacked and unraveled its laces. But then Angelica started to feel something tickle her toe. “Hey! Hahahahahahaa!” She looked down and saw that the shoelace was tickling her foot. She squeezed harder.

“Acckkk!” The shoe gasped, but it only countered by joining in the tickle assault with its other lace. Soon her ankles were wrapped around and pulled out from under her as her soles and toes were stroked ever so gently by tips of the shoelaces. Angelica couldn’t even remember the shoelaces being that long. They always seemed too short when she tried to tie them, but now they overwhelming her with their length as they wrapped around and tickled her. She rolled around in hysterics as she was tickled to submission by her own shoe!


“Can’t … Breathe … let go … and I’ll stop … okhkk!” The shoe offered through gasps for air.

But the submission battle was interrupted when the front door suddenly opened. “Angie, are you okay?” her dad asked deeply concerned through the open door. The shoe immediately returned to its lifeless state and Angelica suddenly felt quite foolish strangling a shoe. She also remembered that she was no longer wearing her hat. She did her best to flatten her ears and hoped her father wouldn’t notice.

“Ummm … I’m okay … it’s just … these shoes … they won’t stay on … and I fell is all. I got a little mad at them,” she said shamefully evasive.

“Umm … Okay … Angie,” her father said with a concerned expression.

“He must think I’ve gone crazy,” Angelica thought to herself.

“You know, I gave you money to buy a new pair of sneakers awhile back. You don’t have to wear your mom’s every day you have gym. Do you even have gym today?” Her father asked.

“Yes … I do,” Angelica lied, “don’t worry, I’ll get new shoes today. I’m actually going to check the shop before school,” she said evasively.

“Okay …,” he said his expression softening into a smile, “I can see why you’re wearing a hat today. It looks like you’re having a bad hair day,” he laughed.

“Oh!” Angelica said grabbing her hat and quickly covering her ears. She gave him one last guilty smile before saying goodbye.

Attis’s Journal - Date Unknown

Unimaginable! Yet I suppose it makes perfect sense. For most of history, humanity was limited to two dimensions. We could travel North, South, East and West. Sure there were great figures in history like Hannibal who climbed great mountains. But in the grand scheme of things we were limited to the standard X/Y axis. The Z axis was forbidden to us.

But then, in the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution happened, and we harnessed the power of fossil fuel energy. By the time the 20th century came around we launched our first rockets into space. The third dimension was ours! We had conquered it! We could move freely through Three axes.

But what about the fourth dimension? Yes, time is the fourth dimension. Einstein discovered that the faster one moves through space, the slower one moves through time. This process of time dilation is observable only with objects that move at great speeds. But it has been proven. And clocks on rockets that have been traveling at great speeds in space have come come back slightly behind those that have remained on Earth.

But the Earth is also moving, nothing is standing still. It’s the energy that one puts into overcoming the entropy of drifting objects that slows down one’s movement through time. And as one approaches the speed of light, time can effectively stand still. But this approach is asymptotic, one cannot reach the speed of light, because one’s mass would effectively reach infinity for that to occur. But can one surpass the speed of light? During the Planck Epoch the universe was expanding at faster than the speed of light, and anti-matter may be traveling at faster than the speed in black holes. But in general, no, things don’t travel at faster than the speed of light.

Yet here I am! Perhaps, like the rocket that just needed enough potential energy to escape Earth’s atmosphere to break into the third dimension, my sneakers needed more still to escape my universe to break into the fourth. I have left my old universe and I’m in a new one. I’m in the past. But it must not be my past, because I don’t think I was ever in my past. If I was than it would be quite paradoxical. Surely it would be quite ridiculous if I were to accidentally kill my own grandfather and erase my own existence.

But no that’s impossible, because my grandfather’s not yet born, although it’s very likely I could prevent him from being born. In fact that very likely could happen considering how far back in the past I’ve gone. I think I’m on Earth because there is oxygen and there appears to be mammals, mostly rat like creatures, but there are also dinosaurs. Could this be the Cretaceous period? Either way there are no humans besides me.

I am still in the dark as to how I survived the journey here. I had gone out back, and taken my pack with my journal and basic supplies. After all, I had planned on my shoes taken me to distant lands, but not to a distant time! Actually, I thought the most it would do was get me to jumping really high and running really fast. Landing safely was the thing that I was afraid was going to kill me, which is why I left a copy of my journal on my computer. But I’m guessing the safety measures I put into the crystals worked, because I’m alive. I just don’t remember them working.

All I remember is that I tried a jump. I went up, kept going up, and just kept going, and then I realized that I was getting so high I was running out of oxygen. I was higher than most birds fly. I seemed to be picking up speed too. I knew that if I didn’t slow down I was going to break out of the atmosphere. I thought I was going to die. But then I blacked out.

When I woke up … I was here, just lying on the ground. Sure I had a few bruises, but I was okay for the most part. I opened my eyes to see Pterodactyls flying overhead. I still can’t believe it. If I’m not careful I’m going to get eaten by a T-Rex. I still don’t have any idea how I’m going to get home. If I jump again I’ll probably go further in the past.

My guess is, that as long as you’re going slower than the speed of light you can move forward through time, the faster you expend energy to move through space, the slower you move through time. But, if you go faster than light, you’ll move backwards through time. So the fastest way to move forward through time is to just sit still. Isn't that a saying? "No faster way to waste time than to sit around doing nothing ..." So I guess I'll just have to wait here for about 70 million years or so to get back to my own time. I don’t think I can wait that long though.

It is strange because I should be more excited. As far as I know, I am the first person to travel backwards through time and live to tell about it. But there's no one here to tell my story to. I am alone in a very dangerous and hostile environment. I am in the process of building a small shelter out of some branches I have torn down. Right now it's very crude, but it will be enough to get me through the night. I hope to build some sort of makeshift lab so I can build something that can hopefully get me back home. But first I will need to make some basic tools. Though I'm grateful that I brought my survival kit, it's woefully inadequate. I have a few days worth of food and water, matches, some bandages and pain killers a pocket knife and a tarp. It would have been nice if I brought a tent, sleeping bag, tooth brush and a mess kit, but I'm grateful for what I have. I’m not sure how long I will be able to survive here, but I must try. This is too great a discovery to simply let die.

07-24-2015, 10:16 PM
Chapter 3 – Frod and Jod

“So why didn't you guys talk to me yesterday?” Angelica asked her sneakers as she walked down the street. She still couldn't believe she was talking to her sneakers. Had she gone crazy? But there she was looking down at her feet as she walked down the sidewalk talking to the shoes on her feet.

Crazier still: one of them answered her question, “You didn't ask us anything yesterday,” the right shoe answered. Angelica never felt comfortable the way the front of the shoe opened its “mouth” to speak revealing her pink painted toes under sheer black nylons. The way the cold air rushed in felt very exposing. She couldn't help but curl her toes into a fist every time they “talked”.

“That never stopped you flapping your mouth before!” the other shoe said. This, left shoe, seemed like the quieter, more sensible one of the two. It, at least, had not laughed at her earlier when she had fallen down the steps. And did not try to tickle her either. Angelica felt she could trust this one a little more.

“What am I thinking!” Angelica thought to herself, “trust my left shoe?!” She shook the thought from her head as she nearly walked into a lamp post, she was so busy watching her shoes speak to each other that she wasn't watching where she was going.

Her shoes were oblivious to this near accident, and her right shoe continued to speak, “True, but I'm a bit shy when it comes to new feet. Though yours are quite nice … in fact I would consider your foot an upgrade from our last owner. These are sweet young feet, don't you agree, Jod?”

“Umm, thanks?” though Angelica felt more than a little disgusted by the comment. Still, if you lived your life as a pair of shoes I suppose things like that would matter. Angelica looked at the run in her stocking. It had grown quite a bit since her fall and was now running down her left leg. “Oh shit! This run in my tights is getting worse!”

“Allow me, miss,” her left shoe said as it started to unlace. Angelica felt her heel pop out of her shoe as the shoe loosened. “Hey! You're loose enough as it is! I don't need you unlacing on me now! … I can't believe I'm actually arguing with my shoe. Am I going crazy?”

“Just stand still, this will only take a moment,” her left shoe said as its long lace extended up her calf. Angelica held out her leg in front of her and watched in amazement. Her shoe dangled off her toes as the lace coiled around her leg.

“You better not tickle me, shoe!” Angelica threatened.

“I'm not like my brother, Frod,” he (and Angelica assumed them to be male based on that comment) said, “and call me Jod. We have names you know.”

“Frod and Jod? What kind of names are those?”

But Jod seemed to ignore her question. The eyes on the tongue of her sneaker seemed to be transfixed on something on her leg. “Ooooh, lint!” was all he said at last. Using the plastic thing on the end of his shoelace, he managed to somehow pick up the piece of lint and put it inside the shoe.

“You and your lint obsession!” Frod said rolling his eyes.

“What the hell?” Angelica said baffled, “Did I stop just for that?”

“Sorry, no, I'll get back to work,” Jod said moving his lace back up her leg, “Here goes ...”

“Here goes what?” A strange light started emanating from the tip of his laces as he ran them up and down the run in her stocking. “Oh my god that tickles! Heheahahaaha You said you wouldn't tickle meeheaeheehehee! What are you doing?”

The light died down and he pulled his laces away. The run was gone. “Mending your stockings,” Jod answered.

Angelica put her foot down slipped her heel back into her shoe admiring her repaired pantyhose in astonishment. “That's amazing! How did you do it?”

“We have certain powers, if you haven't noticed already.”

“Did the witch give you these powers? You have to tell me everything!” Angelica demanded.

“I wouldn't call her a witch ...” Frod answered, “... now that witch in Dervland, she's definitely a witch, but the old lately barely dabbled in witchcraft,” Frod responded.

“Dervland? Witchcraft? Oooh … you're not answering any of my questions!” Angelica said frustrated. She knelt down and grabbed Jod's laces and pulled them tightly. “Nevermind! I'll ask her myself!”

“Hey! Hey! Let go! No need to get rough!” Jod said defensively.

Angelica dropped the laces impatiently, “I'm going to have to lace you up if I'm going to run back to her house without leaving you behind, shoe!”

“The name's Jod, and I'll be happy to do it for you, young miss,” Jod said as he seemed to magically re-lace himself back up. But once again, the shoelace came too short to be able to tie itself up.

“Can you go any tighter? I'd prefer it if you were actually tied on so that I don't have to worry about you flying off my feet as I run down the street,” Angelica said still annoyed.

“Hey, we don't like to be tied down, we're free spirits,” Frod said coolly.

“Don't worry, young miss, we'll stay on,” Jod said reassuringly.

“Speak for yourself, Jod, I have a social life,” Frod said. Angelica closed her eyes and shook her head annoyed wondering how much trouble this Frod was going to be. But she was going to have to put up with him for now, until she found the woman and got the answers she needed.

After clicking her heels together Angelica zipped down the street in a flash. Within a few minutes she was back at the woman's apartment. She climbed the steps to her door and knocked with purpose. She was ready to bombard the woman with all sorts of questions and wasn't going to leave until she had the answers she needed.

A few minutes went by and no one answered. “Damn, she's probably asleep,” Angelica said looking through the window. Unfortunately the curtain blocked her view inside. “I wonder ...” Angelica said as she tested the doorknob. It turned and the door opened! “Haha, she left it unlocked!”

“Hello?” Angelica asked as she stepped inside, “Anyone home?” There didn't seem to be anyone in the living room or the kitchen. It was a small apartment, and the only other rooms were the bathroom and the bedroom. Angelica wondered if she was pushing things by intruding further. “Hello! Lady are you here?! I need your help! It's an emergency!” She shouted.

“I don't think she's home, young miss,” Jod said.

“How do you know? Does she have a cell phone?” Angelica persisted as she tried to peak into the bedroom. The door was closed, but not all the way.

“Come on lady, if you're here wake up!” Angelica said walking towards the bedroom door. She knew she was really pushing things by walking into the bedroom, but she didn't care, “That potion you gave me really messed me up! You have to make things right!” With trepidation she pushed the bedroom door open. The room was empty. The bathroom was empty too. The woman was gone. Angelica sighed and sat down on the couch defeated pulling off her hat in frustration. “Now what? Should I wait here for her to get back? Where is she? Why did she do this to me?”

“How should we know? She rarely told us why she did any of the strange things she did,” Frod answered.

“That's because you always argued with her when she did,” Jod shot back.

“Dammit!” Angelica cried out, feeling tears welling up in her eyes, “How am I going to turn back to normal?”

“There is a potion that can turn you back, but I think only the witch in Dervland knows how to make it,” Jod answered.

“Dervland?” Angelica said looking down at Jod with a modicum of hope. She didn't know whether she wanted to hug him or strangle him, “I keep hearing you guys mention this place, Dervland. What is that place, anyway?”

“I don't know, it's just a place called Dervland,” Jod said.

“I know it's place, but what kind of place is Dervland?” Angelica said starting to get annoyed.

“It's a land with lots of derv,” Frod said.

Angelica sighed, “And what, pray tell, is derv? No strike that, just tell me where I can find this place so I can find this witch.”

“That's a good question,” they both said simultaneously.

Angelica started to fume. “That's it! I can't stand another moment talking to my shoes! I'm going to school! Maybe the woman will be back here when school's out!”

You're late, Angelica,” Miss Lake said as Angelica walked into the classroom.

“Sorry … overslept,” Angelica said sheepishly. Jasmine, who sat to the left in front of a large open window all seemed to giggle and snicker as she walked in, in the second row next to Angelica's seat sat Janet, Yumi and Tanya who looked at her sympathetically. The whole class watched her as she took her seat. The hat she wore definitely was something she was not used to wearing in class, and she could tell all eyes were on it. But Jasmine's eyes were on Angelica's sneakers.

Joslin pointed at the sneakers and whispered to Jasmine, “aren't those the sneakers you burned?”

Jasmine just watched her angrily.

Angelica just couldn't help but smile at their reaction. After Angelica took her seat, her teacher said “Angelica, your hat.”

Angelica's mind raced, she had forgotten about the no hats in class rule. “Oh please Miss Lake, let me keep it on. My hair's a wreck.”

“Very well,” Miss Lake said sympathetically, “Just this once.”

Miss Lake continued her lecture but Angelica immediately found it apparent that she could not pay attention. All she could think about was the secret she was hiding under her hat and tights and how she was going to solve this problem. What if the woman wasn't home when school ended? What then? Maybe Attis could help her. He was a scientific genius and maybe could come up with a chemical antidote of some sort. But to her dismay she noticed that Attis was not in class today. She wondered if she should tell her friends. She could trust Janet at least.

She tried to get her mind off things by focusing on the class and she watched pretty Miss Lake as she lectured about a research paper they were to write for their senior project. She should really pay attention to this. Miss Lake was very attractive. She had long blonde hair that she kept braided and always dressed very professionally. Today she wore a red business suit with sheer black pantyhose and red designer high heels. All the boys in class were in love with her. But Frod seemed to be in love with her shoes.

After the the teacher turned around to write on the board Frod whispered excitedly “They looked at us! Did you see that, bro?!” Angelica felt her shoe loosen as Frod unraveled his laces, “I'm going to introduce myself … you be my wingman, Jod!”

“I don't think Angelica would appreciate you popping off in public like this and leaving her stocking footed,” Jod warned.

“Nonsense,” Frod said as Angelica felt her right foot lift off the ground, “She's sitting indoors, she doesn't need us on her feet right now.”

“Oh no,” Angelica thought to herself worriedly and she looked under desk. Her very loose, mostly unlaced right shoe had managed to use its laces as arms and was pulling itself off her foot by grabbing onto the legs of the desk. “No Frod! Don't!” she whispered.

“Now class, I want you to work on this assignment individually,” the teacher said as Angelica felt her shoe pop off her heel. Angelica tried to curl her toes to keep him on, but Frod folded his tongue forward. That was all it took to free himself from her foot. He slingshotted his way passed the underside of several students desks and was already at the front of the class near the teacher's desk.

Frod's escape did not go unnoticed, however, and soon all eyes were on Angelica again. Embarrassed she tried to cover up her exposed stocking foot with her still shod one. It didn't help though, and the whole class seemed to laugh as her cheeks reddened.

“Angelica, I can see you're having a bad day,” Miss Lake said sympathetically, “but do try to keep your shoes on in class,” she finished before taking her seat behind her desk.

The students returned to their assignment … well most of them did. Angelica noticed that Carolyn and Jasmine seemed to be tinkering with a meter stick. Meanwhile Frod was shuffling his way forward using his laces as makeshift legs. Angelica watched anxiously as he made his way under Ms. Lake's desk. “No!” she whispered, “Can you stop him Jod?”

“Probably not, but I'll try,” Jod said as he started to pop off her foot as well. Angelica wasn't sure if she had just made a huge mistake as she felt the cold air hit her left foot this time. “I don't like the idea of my shoes being able to just pop off my feet whenever they want,” she thought to herself as she wiggled her toes nervously. She pulled her feet up and sat Indian style in an effort to keep her stocking feet off the cold floor, but just then felt something tug at her hat!

Meanwhile, Frod had just made his way to Miss Lake's chair. Her legs were crossed under the desk. There he was face to face with the most beautiful pair of shoes he had ever seen! “Let me take you away from all this,” he said flirting with the right red high heeled pump that was still on Ms. Lake's foot just inches off the floor, “your sister can come too of course. I have a brother who's almost as good looking as me!”

Jod, meanwhile had stopped under Catherine's desk. Up to this point, he had been intent on dragging Frod back to Angelica, but something on Catherine's pantyhose clad thigh had caught his eye. “Ooh, lint!” he said excitedly.

“Oh, I see I have rendered you speechless with my charms,” Frod said to the unresponsive high heels, “Very well, it is inevitable that I must sweep you off her feet, or foot rather, unless you want me to take your sister too ..” he said as he wrapped his laces around the heels of Miss Lake's shoes. Now Miss Lake's shoes were by no means a tight fit. On the contrary due to her slick nylons they were downright easy to remove. But that doesn't mean she didn't put up a fight keep them on. The right shoe slipped off rather quickly and Ms. Lake gasped when she realized it was gone. She wiggled and flexed her sheer nylon clad toes in shock as she stretched her legs out to search for her suddenly wayward shoe.

“Woah!” Frod said dodging the spiked heel of her left shoe as it probed its way toward him. “It looks like your sister is looking for you my sweet!” he said, “We'll sweep her off her foot as well.” Frod wrapped his laces around Ms. Lake's left heel and repeated the process. The shoe started to slide down her soft stocking clad heel but Miss Lake wasn't just going to let herself be rendered shoe-less.

“What the hell! Now MY shoes are flying off!” she said as she tried to keep her left shoe on with her right unshod stocking foot.

But the class's attention was all turned to Angelica whose hat had just been lifted off of her head. At first she didn't realize it had happened. But when all eyes were on her staring at her fox ears she put her hand on her head knew the jig was up. She looked up and saw that her hat was hanging from a fishing line that was tied to a meter stick. Holding the meter stick was Carolyn and next to her was Jasmine who was laughing and pointing, “I didn't know you were into that furry stuff, Angelica! Do you go to furry cons and yiff with the sweaty fursuit guys?”

Angelica buried her face in her hands as the rest of the class started laughing. She found it hard to hold back her tears, so she just let them flow. Only her friends Janet, Tanya and Yumi had the sympathy not to laugh.

Catherine's laughter was not coming from Angelica's humiliation though, instead it was coming from Jod's attempt to retrieve the lint from her thigh. Instead all he managed to do was tickle her leg through her thin pantyhose. She tried to kick him away but only managed to kick off her flat leather dress shoe. With her stocking foot now exposed, Jod saw another piece of lint on the arch of her foot and decided to add that to his collection using the tips of his laces. If the soft touch of his laces was immensely ticklish on her thigh, it was off the charts on her arch. She found herself screaming with laughter and soon fell off the chair.

“Hmm I wonder if there's more lint under this other shoe,” Jod said as he deprived catherine of her remaining shoe. And indeed there was white as day against her sheer black stocking.

“Stohahahahop! Thahahat Teehehickles!” Catherine screamed in between laughter.

But Jod ignored her pleas. “Wow three excellent pieces of lint in my collection. I wonder how many more bits of lint there are on the rest of these students' feet. I should remove more shoes.”

Jod said moving underneath Kaylee's desk.

“That's quite a fight she's putting up,” Frod said as he released his grip with one lace, “I'll have to change tactics.” Frod instead chose to tickle Miss Lake's toes with one lace while tugging on the heel with the other.

“Now class settle down! We have to get back on TrAaaaahAhahahahahaack!” Miss Lake burst out laughing when she felt the lace touch her foot. She instantly pulled her foot away leaving her left shoe vulnerable once again.

“Gotcha!” Frod said as pulled the shoe off her heel. Miss Lake still held onto it with her toes though and she curled them upwards in an almost futile attempt to hold onto it.

“Who the hell is trying to steal my shoes!?” She asked angrily as she peaked under her desk.

Jasmine, still thinking Angelica was wearing fake fox ears, walked over and attempted to pull them off only to discover that they were indeed real and attached.

“Aaaaaaah!” Angelica screamed tears still running down her face. Indeed her ears were very sensitive and it hurt a lot to have them tugged on so cruelly.

“What the hell? What are you, a freak? Those are real!” Jasmine said in shock before taking a step back.

“What is she a were-fox?” Joslin laughed assuming Jasmine was joking.

“I'm not joking those are real fox ears, she's a mutant!” Jasmine said in fear and disgust, “Like from one of those X-Men comics.”

Angelica had had enough. She was going to grab her hat and get out of that classroom, even if it meant leaving in her stocking feet. Frod and Jod were more trouble than they were worth anyway. “Give me back my hat!” Angelica said angrily as she tried to grab it away from Carolyn's fishing line. But Carolyn just laughed and lifted it higher. Enraged she stood on her desk and tried reaching for it again, but again Carolyn also stood on her desk and lifted the hat higher and laughed even more. Angelica stood on her tippie toes and could almost reach it as Carolyn tauntingly hung the hat just out of reach. But Joslin couldn't resist and crept up behind her tickling her exposed soles through her pantyhose. Angelica nearly fell over laughing, but Joslin grabbed her skirt.

This saved her from falling off the desk, but also succeeded in pulling her skirt down a ways. The skirt also pulled down the top of her tights and suddenly her fox tail popped out. The rest of the class gasped in shock.

Meek little Kaylee had been watching the whole spectacle speechless. She didn't like laughing at other people's misfortune, but she couldn't help but laugh nervously when the rest of the class laughed at Angelica. “She did knock me right out of my shoes yesterday and didn't even apologize for it,” Kaylee said justifying herself, though she was starting to feel guilty the worse things got for poor Angelica.

And now, as she felt her feet lift up off the floor and her shoes suddenly abandon her feet, it was as if she was getting her comeuppance for that bit of laughter at Angelica's expense.

“Wow that was easy,” Jod said as Kaylee's loose fitting mary janes fell off her feet, “I didn't even have to unbuckle them. In only a matter of seconds, Jod had managed to restrain Kaylee's ankles to the legs of the desk so that they were suspended in midair before flicking off her shoes. He now had a perfect view of the soles of her pretty petite stocking feet. “Now let's see, it's hard to find lint on white stockings but I know it's there. I guess I'll just have to feel for it.”

“Oh my god why me! Hahahahahahaha!” Kaylee laughed as she felt the soft sensation of tiny laces brushing against the soles of her feet clad in very thin nylon stockings.

No one seemed to notice what was happening to Kaylee due to everything else happening in the classroom, but Tanya noticed, and couldn't take her eyes off the strange sneaker tickling Kaylee's feet.

“Eeeek!” Miss Lake screamed when she saw the living sneaker that was Frod in the tug of war with her shoe. Her surprise had lost her the battle as it had caused her to bend her toes the opposite way. Frod managed to tug the shoe free of Miss Lake's pretty, but reluctantly exposed stocking foot.

“You are free, Madam,” Frod said grabbing the right shoe again, “Now let me take away from all this!”

“Give those back!” Miss Lake said angrily as she watched Frod hop off with her shoes wrapped around his laces. If there was one thing Miss Lake loved more than just about anything it was her shoe collection, and strange though it seemed, she wasn't about to let a sneaker run off with one of her favorite pairs and leave her in just her thin stockings. It seemed that regaining control of her classroom was secondary to getting her shoes back on her feet. So Miss Lake sprung into action hopping over her desk and chasing after footwear thief.

“Uh oh! Angry mother in-law on my six!” Frod said panicking as he looked back.

“Give me back my shoes or I'll rip out your sole!” Miss Lake threatened as she ran after Frod. And she nearly caught up with him too, only she underestimated how much traction her slippery stockings would have on a marble floor. Before she knew it, she was “nylon skating” into Carolyn's desk.

“Uh oh!” Carolyn, who was still standing on her desk, said the second before the collision occurred. And the next thing she knew, she was flying out of the large open window behind her. She had released her grip on the meter stick before she found herself tumbling through the schoolyard. She lay there for a moment stunned, thankful that she had only fallen out of a first floor window. She wiggled her toes under her thin stockings and realized her shoes had fallen off.

“Haha, you lost your shoes too!” Jasmine laughed picking up Carolyn's flats from the floor, “Everyone's losing their shoes today.”

Carolyn sat up annoyed, she had some aches and pains, but she wasn't too hurt. “Toss 'em out the window over here, Jasmine.”

“Nah, it'd be funny to watch you walk in your stockings outside in the grass.”

“You little bitch!” Carolyn said fuming as she stood up and lunged towards the window. But Jasmine closed the window before she could get to it. The students all seemed to laugh as Carolyn struggled to walk through the grass that seemed to tickle her stocking feet with each step. She was going to have to walk around the whole building to get to the entrance.

Miss Lake, who had meanwhile been trying to recover from the collision, was fuming, “Everyone get to your seats right now or you're all getting suspended!” She hissed. The class was taken aback. The vicious tone was so very unlike her. It was enough to get the students back to their seats, but seeing Miss Lake in her shoe-less disheveled state was enough to show the students that the class was an inch away from falling apart again. “Good,” Miss Lake said trying to regain what was left of her composure by straightening out her hair and sweetening her voice again, “Now where are my shoes?”

The entire class looked around confused, many noticing for the first time that she wasn't wearing any shoes. Miss Lake always wore shoes, it was very unlike her to go around class in just her sheer stockings.

One boy raised his hand nervously and Miss Lake called on him. “Where'd you take them off?” he asked innocently.

Miss Lake's sweet voice soured again “I didn't 'take them off', Toby, they were pulled off by Angelica's little … hey where is Angelica?” The whole class looked around and noticed for the first time that Angelica's desk was empty. Also, it looked as though her hat had been pulled off the makeshift fishing pole that Carolyn was using.

“She's gone,” Toby said.

“I can see that, Toby, but where did she go?”

“Iunno,” Toby said sheepishly.

“I'll find her,” Janet volunteered, “I'm her best friend, I think I might know where she might have gone.”

“Me and Tanya will look too,” Yumi said, “We're also good friends with her and might be able to cover more ground.”

“Very well, just get me my shoes back as soon as you can. I know she has them! If I get them back before the end of the day I'll only suspend her for one week instead of the rest of the year. And I don't want to see her wearing … or not wearing … I just don't want to see those sneakers in this class ever again or I'll see to it that she's expelled!”

Angelica was still fighting back tears as she tore through the lost and found bin looking for a pair of shoes. She was wearing her hat and had her tail hidden again, but felt uncomfortable keeping it all under wraps. She wanted to let it all hang out. Why bother hiding what she was now? Just then, Ms. Arochigee, one of the gym teachers, came down to the girls locker room as she sifted through the clothes. “Angelica, what are you doing here?”

“I lost my shoes,” she said sniffing back tears as she pulled out an old coat, a torn backpack and some some scissors from the bin.

“Oh you poor thing. I think I have an extra pair tennis shoes I can lend you in my locker. How'd you lose your shoes?” Ms. Aroochigee noticing that Angelica was standing in her stocking feet.

“I'd rather not talk about it right now. Chances are you'll be hearing the story soon though.”

“I'm sure I will, news travels quick here. But you should tell someone, especially if it was bullies. I'll go and fetch my shoes for you and you can go down to guidance.”

After Ms. Arochigee left, Angelica collapsed and started to cry again. Just then Frod appeared from another hallway, still gripping Miss Lake's red designer high heels. “I suppose these won't suffice for a pretty lady like you,” he said.

Angelica couldn't help but laugh despite her tears, “You know that you may have gotten me expelled from school?”

“For this? Nah. I'm just taking them for a day out on the town. I'll have them back before midnight.”

“Miss Lake loves her shoes more than anything. Do you know how much those are worth?”

“I don't put a price on love, sweet feet.”

“You're insufferable. Where's your more reasonable brother?”

“More reasonable? I'm afraid you're mistaken. All of the lunacy in the family went to him. Last I saw he was collecting lint from your classmates' feet. He's more trouble than me, I'm afraid.”

Angelica sighed, “What am I going to do with you guys?”

“Angelica?” Janet said as she came around the corner. “I had a feeling I'd find you here. Yumi, Tanya, she's here!”

“Shhh Janet, don't tell the whole school,” Angelica whispered.

“So what the hell is going on with you,” Janet said ignoring her shush, “One day you've got magic speed sneakers, the next day they're talking and walking and stealing the teacher's shoes, and you have fox ears and a tail to boot.”

“Believe me, if I fully understood what was going on I'd tell you,” Angelica said.

“Well, Miss Lake is pissed,” Yumi said, “She wants to suspend you for a month unless she gets her shoes back right away.”

Angelica eyed Frod in an “I told you” sort of way.

“Hey at least she doesn't want to expel you,” Frod said defensively.

“Amazing,” Tanya said approaching Frod, “just like the other one,” she continued as she placed Jod on the ground next to him.

“I am nothing like my brother,” Jod said defiantly.

“Yeah, don't associate me with that left wing nutcase,” Frod said.

“Haha, I get it, left vs right,” Yumi laughed.

Angelica rolled her eyes as she put Frod and Jod back on her feet. “Okay Frod, time to let go of your girlfriends so you can tie onto me.”

“Hey one was for me and one was for my brother, I'm not greedy,” Frod said.

“I'm not interested,” Jod said.

“How can you not be? Look at them! They're beautiful. Oh wait, maybe you swing the other way? It's okay Jod, you can tell me we're brothers I won't judge. I may be on the right but doesn't mean I'm not open minded.”

“No, you idiot! Look at them. They're just ordinary high heeled shoes! They're not alive like you and me. How many times do I have to tell you, you can't have a relationship with inanimate objects!”

Frod sighed dejectedly, “You always ruin my fun. You know that there are no others like us in the world so what else am I supposed to do, romance you? I'm sick of you, bro. You have no imagination. You'd rather collect lint than try and live a real life.” With that Frod released his grip on Miss Lake's precious red high heeled pumps.

“What the hell am I watching right now?” Janet asked astonished as the drama of Frod and Jod unfolded before them.

“I don't know and don't really care, let's just get Miss Lake's shoes back to her before she expels me,” Angelica said picking up the pumps before standing up.

“Umm, she doesn't want you going back to class with those shoes either, Ange,” Tanya said pointing to Frod and Jod, “that, she said she definitely WOULD expel you for.”

Angelica sighed and looked down at her shoes, “Do you see what trouble you caused me?”

“Sorry,” Frod and Jod both said meekly.

“Well I guess I could wait for Ms. A. to get back with her tennis shoes. But then what am I going to do with you guys? Put you in my locker and hope you don't cause any trouble?”

“Here, why don't I take the shoes back to Miss Lake while you wait for Ms. A.,” Janet offered, taking the red pumps from Angelica, “You might be better off going to a guidance councilor or something rather than going back to class. Miss Lake's class is almost over now anyway.”

“Haha, she has to teach another period shoe-less, you should make her wait,” Yumi laughed.

“No, then she'll just take it out on Angelica,” Janet said.

“Let's go then,” Tanya said just as the class bell was ringing. The next period had begun.

Ms. Arochigee came back soon after Janet, Yumi and Tanya left. But upon seeing Angelica wearing Frod and Jod she said, “Oh, it looks like you found your sneakers, I guess you won't be needing mine then.”

“Wait, actually I will,” Angelica started to say.

“Oh? Why's that?”

“Well ...” Angelica thought for a moment, the only reason she actually needed Ms. Arochigee's shoes was so that she could go back to Miss Lake's class. But seeing as the class was over and there was no need to go back to her class today there was no point, “Actually, never mind, I guess I won't be needing them, sorry to bother you.”

“That's alright, do you still want to talk to someone about what happened?”

“No … actually, I kind of want to go home ...” It was the truth, the last thing Angelica wanted to do was talk to teachers about everything that had happened, and she really didn't want to go to her next class either.

“Well, me too. On a stressful day all I want to do is go home. But part of growing up is realizing that sometimes we just have to tough it out,” Ms. Arochigee said just before leaving her.

“She's right,” Angelica thought to herself as she picked up the scissors from the lost and found bin, “I just have to tough this out, but that means no more hiding this from the world.” She cut a hole in the back of her skirt and hose and put her tail through it. She also threw off her hat and put it in the lost and found bin, “I was never a hat person anyway.”

“So are you going to go to class like this?” Jod asked.

“No, screw class, screw guidance councilors. I'm doing what I should have done in the first place. I'm going home and telling Dad.”

“But isn't going home the opposite of what she meant by 'toughing it out'?” Jod asked.

“Oh shut up, Jod.” Frod said as Angelica walked out through the gym exit.

“Angelica, where are you going?” Ms. Arochigee shouted as Angelica walked out the door. But Angelica didn't answer, she just laughed as she tapped her heels and ran like the wind across the track and field.

Nothing felt so freeing as the wind through hair and fox ears. She could feel it brush passed her tail as it bobbed up and down bouncing as she raced ever faster down the track. She spread her arms to her side and closed her eyes and imagined herself flying home like an airplane. It wasn't long before her feet began to lift. At first it felt so natural, as if simply by picking up enough speed the air beneath her tail and feet was lifting her off the ground. But as she rose ever higher she soon realized that something was very wrong.

“I'm flying!” she screamed as she seemed to rise higher and higher off the ground, “Why am I flying!?”

“I think it's the tail,” Jod said, “It's generated enough drag to allow for enough lift for when you reach escape velocity.”

“Well that's all well and good to know, but how do I land?” Angelica demanded. The schoolyard looked so small beneath her. She could see almost the entire neighborhood.

“Well, it looks like you're already landing,” Frod said. It was true, she had arched up a good 75 feet in the air but it was clear that now she had peaked and was descending fast.

“Oh shit!” she panicked flapping her tail and arms wildly, it helped to slow her descent somewhat. But she was tiring, she couldn't keep it up forever and eventually she was going to fall hard. “You guys have to help me! Do you have any more tricks up your sleeve? Any more magic?”

“Well what do you want us to do?” Jod asked.

“What do you think? Just land me safely! Just take me home! Anything!” Angelica said starting to panic. She was nearly exhausted.

“Frod and Jod looked at each other knowingly. “Home it is then,” they both said almost regretfully.

The winds seemed to pick up around her and seemed to lift Angelica up higher than she had been before. Angelica screamed as she felt herself being whipped around in a cyclone. She watched helplessly as both Frod and Jod were ripped off her feet. The Earth spun beneath her as she was lifted ever higher into the sky. She thought for sure that she was going to die. If the violent whipping of the cyclone didn't kill her, the fall certainly would. Up and up she went for thousands of feet. The spinning became nauseating. Eventually she could take it no longer and she lost consciousness.

Angelica awoke to a darkened sky. The strange thing about the sky was that it wasn't that dark. It looked like a night sky, stars could be seen in the distance, but there was an unnatural brightness to it that looked uncanny. Angelica sat up taking stock of her condition. She was alive, astonishingly enough, and in one piece. She looked at her stocking feet. Her shoes were gone. Yes she remembered seeing Frod and Jod fly off her feet when she was first caught up in the cyclone. She wiggled her toes. At least she wasn't paralyzed. “Well they did land me safely at least, but was the cyclone really necessary?” She said to herself as she slowly stood up.

She was surprised at how unhurt she was. Aside from a few aches and pains from being whipped around, she didn't feel as though she had fallen from a great height at all. She adjusted her skirt and she noticed some new runs in her hose, but otherwise she was no worse for wear.

“This doesn't look like home at all,” Angelica said as she looked around the strange desert she found herself in the middle of. She appeared to be standing in a rocky oasis of sorts with a little bit of green grass and trees surrounded by a sea of strange dull brown sand. There appeared to be, what looked like had once been a shack of some sort, but now was nothing but two walls and a collapsed ceiling. She decided to head over there and see what she could find.

As she approached she saw a familiar looking sneaker lying in front of the ruins. “Jod? Frod? Is that you?” she asked.

“It's me,” Jod said weakly, “I think Frod is in the shack over there, I thought I heard him before.”

“Well, that's good news, at least I won't have to walk around shoe-less in this strange place,” She said slipping Jod on, “Did you guys cause that whole cyclone? Did you mean to bring me here?”

“Mmmmf!” a muffled cry could be heard from inside the shack. Angelica headed towards it and found Frod under a collapsed piece of wood.

“How'd you manage to get trapped under there?” Angelica said lifting the wood off of Frod.

“Well, part of the ceiling wasn't collapsed until I fell through it, it seems,” Frod said after being freed,
:thank you, any longer and I would have died of oxygen deprivation.”

“Do shoes really breathe oxygen?”

“Only the good ones. On hot days you really won't regret buying a pair of good running shoes that breathe.”

Angelica rolled her eyes as she slipped her foot into Frod. “So let's stop the wisecracking give me some answers. Where the hell are we anyway?”

“Dervland.” They both said. Just then lightning struck the cliffs to the north in the distance, and that strange source of light that Angelica couldn't put her finger on was revealed. It was a very large, very ominous castle.

07-24-2015, 10:18 PM
Here's a little explanation of how this story came about and why it took so long:

When i first started writing it, it was supposed to be a science fiction / fantasy love story based around time travel. It wasn't really supposed to be centered around fetish elements, but the whole magic shoe thing sort of took over and I couldn't resist sprinkling it with shoe loss and tickling fan service. I wanted to make it into a manga, and it took me a long time to find an artist to work with. I tried doing some artwork myself but was never satisfied with it. I even tried working with models and doing it as a photo comic but it never worked out.

Eventually I did find an artist to collaborate with in 2011. ~Zeiram0034 on deviantart is best known for his anthropomorphic "furry" art. He had some good ideas and I liked his designs so I altered my story-line to incorporate some of his anthro characters into the story. If you look on my deviantart page at http://mandrakemoorglade.deviantart.com you'll see some of the art he did for the project under the dervland folder.

I wrote outlines for the first three issues of the comic for him to draw up in 2012 but, unfortunately, his life got too hectic and he was never able to finish the work. A few other artists got involved to help out, including ~Darkzadarprime, ~p-o-t-k and ~orangefox24 who actually did manage to illustrate the first chapter of this story in 3DCG. As it stands the official manga as illustrated by Zeiram is on hold indefinitely, maybe even forever, but we'll see what illustrations come out of it from him and other artists. Who knows maybe the whole thing will get finished someday.

In the meantime I'll just write the chapters when I have time. These first three chapters basically cover the first two issues of the comic with a little bit of Attis's backstory and extra embellishment thrown in.

11-07-2015, 08:22 AM
Chapter 4 – The Derv Sea

Attis's Journal – Day 8

My camp was destroyed, including my journal … well most of it, I was able to recover a few entries. I'd be lying if I didn't say it's been a rough first two weeks in this prehistoric age, but I was finally starting to make progress and then this had to happen! I guess I'll have to sum up what happened since a lot of my old entries are gone.

I guess it all started when I discovered the giant rats. They weren't exactly rats, more like boars, but they had rodent-like faces so I guess they're kind of a rat-boar combo. Whatever species of mammal they are, they've become extinct in our own time. They're mean and aggressive but slow and rather stupid. At first I tried to tame one and keep it as a pet. Having a companion around here would have proven to be useful. Especially with dinosaurs around. Hey, what can I say, it was only my second day here and I was still na´ve. Let's just say it didn't work out. All the thing did was try to bite me, and it even succeeded a couple times. It's a good thing I had my first aid kit or I might have gotten a nasty infection that would have ended my time here pretty quickly.

By the third day I had had enough of their annoying noises and my stomach was grumbling so hard that I decided to just kill one and eat it. I sharpened a stick and speared one that wandered a little too close to my camp. I was actually quite surprised by how easily I killed it. With all the dinosaurs around here I wondered how they survived so long. But then, it seemed the dinosaurs don't really come around here. Sure I see a few in the distance, and the occasional pterodactyl overhead, but for the most part all I see are a few plant eaters on the other side of the crevasse. No meat eating dinosaurs. I wonder if this is the near time period of the extinction event. Anyway, I cooked the meat to a delicious medium rare and probably had the best tasting meal of my life.

With renewed energy I set to work on finding a way out of here. I needed to make new derivative crystals. I wasn't sure if it was possible to hop back to my own time. My theory was that I had hopped into the past of a parallel universe and it was my guess that it should theoretically also be possible to hop back to the present of my own universe if I reversed the polarity of the derivative crystals. The only problem was that I had no clue how to do this. In order to figure this out I was going to have to perform some experiments with smaller crystal encasements.

I built a makeshift lab in my camp. It wasn't much to write home about. Just a table made out of some wood that I carved, and beakers carved out of the skulls of the rat-boars that I had killed. By that point (the fifth day) they had become a regular source of food. It was crude but functional, and I have to admit, I must have looked like an evil wizard as I gathered ingredients to build new derivative crystals and mixed the chemicals together in the skulls. Unfortunately, some of the materials could not be found, and my only choice was to break open one of the derivative crystals I had brought with me. I had made several attempts but none of the new derivative crystals I made seemed to work at reversing the polarity. I was running out of crystalline extract too and I wasn't willing to break open my last derivative crystal to get it. Was I going to have to search this land for a cave with orium crystals in it?

To make matters worse, there was something about the smell of the chemicals that attracted the rat-boars. I had to constantly fight them off so that they wouldn't disrupt my experiments. Then, it happened. One of the rat-boars ate a derivative crystal! I could see the effect it had on it immediately as if it was being eaten alive from the inside. I knew I had to put it out of its misery so I grabbed my spear and was about to run it through when it bit me hard on my wrist. I screamed in agony as I brought my spear down upon it, my blood pouring all over the beast. The rat-boar's carcass seemed to dissolve into a strange taffy-like mud that turned a strange reddish sort of brown as my blood fell onto it. The stuff pooled out and touched my shoes and I soon realized I was stuck in it! I was forced to step out of my shoes but I made sure to pull them free before it spread to far. I didn't want to leave them behind, especially the one with the derivative crystal!

As I backed away I saw that the poor rat-boars that had surrounded the one I killed were also stuck in the muck and couldn't get out. The stuff seemed to spread uncontrollably far until it consumed my entire camp. I didn't have time to save everything, but I managed to get my first aid kit and some of the derivative crystals I had made. Unfortunately my journal was on the floor of my tent and had been consumed, I only saved part of it. By the time my entire camp was consumed, the rat-boars who were stuck had disappeared. I don't know if they dissolved into whatever that stuff was or if they escaped. I'm hoping it was the latter, but somehow I'm doubtful.

I'm still not sure how this could have happened and what that stuff is. I shall have to experiment with it to find out its composition. As I write this, now from a safe distance, it seems to still be spreading, though much more slowly than it was before. The rat-boars are also still attracted to the smell of it! It has a sweet smell, not entirely unpleasant. Some of them are licking it up. I shudder to think what consequences that will have on this new alternate future I may have unleashed …

“How did we get here? I don't understand ...” Angelica said as she walked around the shack in astonishment.

“You told us to bring you here,” Frod answered, “You said the magic words 'Take me home' so we did.”

“This is NOT my home,” Angelica said looking around the wasteland that surrounded her. The broken down shack seemed to stand on an island of sorts. The odd brown colored sand was surrounding the island was like an endless unbroken sea of nothingness. Aside from the large mountain range atop which sat the large imposing castle, there was little else to of note outside her small island.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” Jod replied, “We still have the old home point saved in our memory … you never updated it.”

“Old home point saved in your memory? What are you guys a GPS?”

“What's a GPS?”

“You know, one of those computers that can find directions. My dad had one in his rental car a year back. It was pretty neat.”

“Hmm, interesting, I wonder if the inventor stole the idea from our designs,” Jod said.

“I doubt it … Oh never mind! Why was this your home point? Was this your home? Did the old woman used to live here?”

“Yeah, it used to be a nice joint back in the day,” Frod answered, “before the witch flattened it.”

“Witch?” Angelica asked with a hint of hope in her voice, “Wait. is this the same witch that you said could turn me back to normal?”

Frod and Jod looked at each other concerned. Jod finally spoke, “See that castle up there?”

“Yes,” Angelica said shuddering as lightning struck the castle again.

“Well, that's where the witch lives. And I wouldn't go anywhere near there if I were you. She's as evil as sin.”

“Angelica walked out of the shack and towards the castle with trepidation. “I'm going to have to try. I'm here now, and I can't go back like this,” she said bravely.

“Ummm ...” Frod started to say as she continued to walk towards the edge of the island. But he was interrupted by Angelica.

“Where is this place, anyway? How far is it from my home?” Just then she felt her right foot slip out of her shoe and nearly soiled her stocking foot in the dark brown sand, which appeared to be of a very sticky mud-like consistency. “Huh?” she asked dumbfounded looking at her stocking foot. Standing on one foot she looked back angrily at her errant sneaker. “Frod! Don't be a coward! You can't expect me to go there in just my thin stockings! It's your fault I'm here, after all. You have to come with me!”

“I'd love to, sweet feet, but I'm stuck,” Frod answered as Angelica did her best to slip her foot back into him without stepping into the mud.

“Dammit!” Angelica said annoyed as she lost her left shoe this time as she took a step back, “Why didn't you tell me this stuff was so sticky!”

“We thought everyone knew not to step in derv,” Jod answered sheepishly as Angelica tried to pry him free of the taffy like mud while balanced on one foot.

“How could I have known, I've never seen 'derv' before, woah!” Angelica shouted as she fell backwards onto the island after pulling Jod free. In the process she fell out of Frod and landed with her stocking feet up in the air. But she felt strangely unhurt by the fall. She looked down and noticed that she was balanced on her tail! Fortunately she had succeeded in freeing Jod and was holding him in her hands.

“Yeah, it is kind of strange how there's no derv where she comes from,” Frod responded ignoring Angelica's predicament.

“I've never heard of it, “Angelica said as she struggled to her now shoeless feet, “You guys never answered my question. Where is this place?” she asked again trying to pull Frod free while still clutching Jod in her hands.

“Like we said before … we don't know where Dervland is in relation to where you come from … it's just … here,” Jod answered just before Angelica managed to pop Frod free.

“Ah thank you, sweetfeet,” Frod said relieved to be free of the sticky derv.

“But you whisked me over here with that whirlwind. Can't you just whisk me back?” Angelica asked equally relieved to be slipping Frod and Jod back onto her feet. She didn't like the feeling of walking around this strange land in just her thin stockings. Especially when most of the ground was covered in that strange taffy-like derv. It didn't help that she had very sensitive and ticklish feet.

“That was auto-pilot, sweetfeet,” Frod answered, “all we can do is bring you to this homepoint, nowhere else.”

“So you can't get me back home?” Angelica asked with growing despair as she walked slowly back to the shack. She was fighting back tears.

Frod and Jod looked at each other with pity in their eyes. “Not the way we brought you here, but there might be another way,” Jod answered trying to console her. But they were empty words. He had no good ideas to offer.

“I bet that witch knows a way to get you back,” Frod said suddenly.

Jod sighed, “Bad idea,” he said, “She's the worst person to ask for help.”

“Who else can we ask?” Angelica asked turning back towards the mountain with the imposing castle set atop it. Frod and Jod had no answer.

“Okay, that settles it,” Angelica said tapping her heels together three times. “I'm not just going to sit on this island and rot because I'm too afraid to face a mean old witch,” she said as she began running towards the mountain, “If you can't transport me home, you can at least fly me over this nasty derv to that mountain over there.”

“Ummm ...” Frod started to say as Angelica bobbed her tail up and down and spread out her arms like an airplane.

“I think we should tell you ...” Jod continued as Angelica's feet lifted off the ground just before stepping off the island into the derv.

“What? See! I made it! I'm flying over the derv!” She said ecstatically. And indeed she was. She was gaining in altitude rapidly and had cleared a good 45 feet above the ground. She was nearly a half a mile away from the island when she reached her peak and started descending.

“You can only fly so far!” Frod finally said as her descent started to increase in rapidity.

“Oh crap, I forgot!” Angelica panicked as she tried to turn herself around while flapping her arms and tail wildly. “Help me fly back to the island.”

“It's too late, we're too far out!” Jod shouted back.

“Well! Let's head for that rock then!” Angelica shouted pointing to a large purple protrusion in the derv beneath her.

“We'll try and give you as much lift as we can, but the steering's all on you,” Frod said as Angelica clumsily steered her way towards the tiny landing target drawing upon every bit of memory she had concerning the way birds and insects fly and doing her best to emulate that with her woefully inadequate human arms, legs and not so human fox tail. Much to her surprise, she managed to do it. Her land was far from graceful, but Frod and Jod must have done a good job providing lift because she found it to be a rather soft landing.

“Yes! We made it!” Angelica shouted triumphantly as she stood up. But as she did so, she quickly learned why the landing was so soft. It seemed as though the “rock” she had landed on wasn't a rock at all. The surface was quite slippery and gooey, and it even began to move as she found herself fighting to stay atop it.

“Oh no! Yuck! What did I step in now?!” She cried out as she lost her balance and found her right foot sliding off and into the derv. She tried to crouch down and grab onto it, but found the whole slippery platform sinking. Suddenly, eight purple tentacles sprung up on all sides of her! “What the hell this?!”

“Uh oh! It's an dervoroct!” Frod screamed as the tentacles grabbled Angelica by the wrists and ankles.

“Aaack! No! Let go!” Angelica shouted helplessly as she was lifted into the air by the powerful tentacles losing her right shoe in the process. It seemed Frod had gotten stuck in the derv when Angelica slipped and Angelica was lifted right out of him. Angelica felt utterly helpless as her limbs were pulled in opposite directions by the powerful tentacles. She looked down at the “rock” upon which she was just standing moments before and saw that it was the head of a hideous beast which had now risen partially out of derv. She could only see its eyes staring up menacingly at her, but Angelica wondered if it had sharp teeth and if she was about to become its next meal. She could hear a very distant low pitched hum. Was it the monster's stomach rumbling?

Just then, a second pair of tentacles approached her midsection. Angelica's mind raced in fear as the soft pointy tendrils at the end of the tentacles hesitated for a moment just hovering inches away from her belly. Was it going to rip her open and spill her guts into its mouth? Was it going to strip her bare and rape her? She had seen that sort of thing happen in certain Japanese cartoons but never thought she'd be in a position where she could actually become the victim of such a horror. Either way there was nothing she could do. The four tentacles that wrapped around her wrists and ankles were far too strong for her small body to overcome. The thing could easily rip her limbs right off and draw and quarter her if it wanted to. She shuttered at the thought. “Jod? Am I going to die?” she asked fearfully as the hum got louder as if to sound out her doom.

If Jod answered her question, she never heard it, because just then the two tentacles began very rapidly, but very gently, wiggling across her belly. Angelica burst into sudden uncontrollable laughter. The damn thing was tickling her! “Ahahahahha! Oh gohohahahahod” she screamed. Before she knew it, another tentacle had removed Jod from her left foot and a duel assault commenced on both of her very ticklish feet. “Not the feeheeeheheeeet!” she begged.” She wiggled her toes under her sheer stockings helplessly as she did her best to squirm free of the strong grip. But her resistance only made them tighten their grip and pull her more tautly into a spread eagle position. She was tilted forward and her eyes widened in fear as the full face of the dervoroct emerged.

It looked rather … goofy. It had buck teeth and a strong overbite. “Dahuhuhuh!” It seemed to laugh as it continued to tickle her. Angelica would have laughed at how funny it looked if she wasn't so busy laughing from the the tickling she was receiving. “Hahahahahelp mehehee!” she cried out.

Frod and Jod, who had fallen into the derv after having been pulled off Angelica's foot, started swatting at the dervoroct with their laces in an attempt to help her out. It wasn't having much of an effect though. Angelica couldn't take much more and felt as though she was going to pass out. The hum in the distance was getting louder, however. It was definitely very close now and was starting to sound familiar. Was it the hum of an engine?

Suddenly, a large red object struck the dervoroct from her left, knocking it a good five feet back. Angelica felt the tentacles release from her wrists and, for a moment, she was suspended above the derv. But gravity soon had its way with her as she fell landing onto something soft. It turned out to be someone.

“Ouch! Get off of me!” the someone said. It was a girl's voice, and it sounded very familiar. But Angelica had no time to think about that as the vehicular contraption she had landed in was careening out of control towards the island she had just left behind.

“Look out!” Angelica screamed, still sitting on top of the girl she had landed on. It was only now that she realized this girl had been operating this vehicle, which appeared to be a small hovercraft of sorts. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Angelica was now sitting on her there was no way for the girl to continue operating the vehicle competently nor was she able to comply with Angelica's request. Before she could get up, the hovercraft smacked into the bank of the island and Angelica found herself flying off the vehicle and landing right back onto the beach that she had just left. As if that wasn't enough, she found herself getting pummeled by small red things as soon as she landed. “Ugh …” Angelica said dumbfounded as she lifted herself off the ground. She found herself surrounded by what appeared to be red berries.

“Dammit!” the girl said angrily as she climbed out of the hovercraft, “Dad's going to kill me for this! You okay, half-human?”

“Umm … I guess … Half-human?” Angelica replied still dazed by the fall. The girl didn't seem interested in Angelica's well being though, she seemed more interested in the damage to the hovercraft. For the first time Angelica got a good look at her and was shocked by what she saw. She wasn't human! Well, not fully human. Aside from her spotted tail from the neck down she looked like a normal girl of about Angelica's age. She even wore human clothes. It was a short red skirt, a white button down blouse, white stockings and expensive looking red high heels. “It looks like the type of outfit Janet would wear,” Angelica thought. In fact everything about her reminded her of Janet: Her voice, her mannerisms, her hair, her face … no definitely not her face … well, actually her face did look like Janet's, if Janet had the face of a Cheetah-girl! Yes, it was an animal's face … well sort of. Her face had human characteristics and was very expressive. It was as if Janet had been turned into one of those anthropomorphic funny animal cartoon characters … except this wasn't a cartoon! This was real life! Or was it? “I must be dreaming,” Angelica thought to herself.

“Thank god, just a few scratches. I can cover that up easily,” The cheetah-girl said licking her hand and rubbing the red paint job. She then turned to Angelica who was still staring at her. “What's wrong with you, half-human? Are you stupid or something? Going into the middle of the derv sea like that without a hovercraft? How'd you get this far out anyway?

“Why do you keep calling me half-human? What are you anyway? A cheetah-girl?” Angelica asked still studying the girl's strangely familiar anthropomorphic face.

“You really are stupid, aren't you. You're lucky I came along and saved you,” the girl said as she bent down to pick up a split bag that seemed to have once contained the berries that had landed mostly around where Angelica was sitting, “Well, don't just sit there, help me gather those dervberries so this whole trip wasn't a huge waste!”

“Dervberries?” Angelica said standing up slowly and looking at the berries at her feet. She wiggled her toes under her thin stockings trying to shake out the lingering tickling sensation. Seeing her shoeless feet suddenly reminded her that Frod and Jod were still out there, possibly in great danger. Perhaps this girl could use her hovercraft to help her recover them. Angelica shook herself out of her stupor and started picking up the red berries.

“You never heard of dervberries either? Where are you from anyway, half-human, and what's your name?”

“Angelica and … ummm . Where am I?” Angelica asked as she emptied a handful of dervberries into a new bag that the girl had produced from the hovercraft.

“Did you lose your memory or something?” the girl asked as she put the last of the berries into the bag, “I've never seen anyone this clueless.”

“Umm, maybe,” Angelica responded meekly, although Angelica was starting to get quite annoyed. “She really is just like Janet,” Angelica thought to herself remembering how difficult Janet could be sometimes.

“Well, I don't know where this is. Just some dumb island in the middle of the derv sea. I'm from Driftwood, a town to the west,” she said pointing to a distant settlement on the horizon, “oh and by the way, my name's Janet.”

Angelica's eyes widened, “Janet?! I knew it was you! Don't you remember me? I'm your best friend, Angelica!”

“Okay … calm down, half-hu … I mean Angelica ... I never met you before in my life,” Janet said backing away somewhat fearfully.

“But we were just at school together!. All of us, with Yumi and Tanya. Of course you looked different then, but, then I looked different yesterday too so ...”

“Woah, wait a minute!” Janet said, her eyes now widening, “You know Yumi and Tanya? Are you sure you're not from Driftwood?”

“I don't know anymore ...” Angelica said in confused despair, “I think this is all just a weird dream.”

“I think you need to see a doctor,” Janet said as she loaded the hovercraft. “Come on, I'll take you to driftwood and get you some help,” she said pushing the hovercraft off the beach and back into the derv sea before hopping back into the driver's seat.

“Okay … I guess,” Angelica said sadly as she looked down at her stocking feet again. “Wait! What about my shoes?”

Janet looked at Angelica's shoeless feet trying to hold back a laugh. “Forget 'em. They're gone. Lost forever in the derv sea. That'll teach ya to walk in derv.” The words sounded so cold and heartless. Had they just been any old pair of shoes perhaps it wouldn't have, but she was talking about Frod and Jod. And as annoying as those two were sometimes, she had grown fond of them.

“No!” Angelica exclaimed. “I have to get them back,” she said as she said as she started towards the derv with nothing but her thin nylons to protect her feet.

“Hey! Careful!” Janet said deftly blocking Angelica's path with the hovercraft. “Listen, I get it. I love my shoes too and would hate to lose them. But it's better to get your shoes stuck in derv than your bare feet. I've heard horror stories of people getting permanently stuck in derv because they walked in it without shoes. They were forced to cut off their own feet! And don't think those thin stockings of yours will protect you!”

Angelica shuttered at the thought. “But I can't leave them out there!” she exclaimed anyway.

“Okay, okay! We'll try and get your shoes back. And, I thought Tanya was attached to her shoes! The dervoroct probably sunk to the depths after I smashed him so we won't have to worry about him. I'm more worried about your shoes sinking to the depths. Hopefully they haven't sunken in too deep yet,” she said while helping Angelica into the hovercraft.

Angelica couldn't help but think about the Tanya she knew back in her world. She too was very much attached to her goth boots. “Could it be the same Tanya?” Angelica thought to herself bewildered. As Janet piloted the hovercraft towards the location where Angelica lost her shoes, Angelica wondered if the world she had arrived in was some sort of strange warped mirror image of her old world in which everyone was some strange anthropomorphic animal version of their other self. “In that case, this new me probably belongs here.” She started to wonder if there was, indeed, an alternate version of herself here, but the thought was quickly driven from her mind when the hovercraft stopped.

“It's your lucky day, Angelica! It looks like they haven't sunken completely yet!” Janet said as she leaned over the edge to pull Frod free of the sticky derv. “Don't just sit there! Help me! You wanted your shoes back and this isn't easy, you know,” Janet barked. Angelica woke from her stupor and assisted Janet. Frod had sunken in so deep that they could only pull him free by the laces. Angelica held one end, while Janet held the other.

Frod wasted no time in flapping his mouth as soon as it was dislodged from the derv. “Hey watch the laces!” he complained.

“Who said that?!” Janet asked suddenly dropping her lace end. Now she was the one bewildered.

“I did lady! Pull me out from my sole or you'll rip my arms off!” Frod barked.

“Your shoe just talked to me!” Janet said staring at Frod stunned.

“Yeah, I know, sometimes they don't shut up,” Angelica said finally popping Frod free of the derv, “I thought here, of all places, people would be used to talking shoes. But I guess not. So you've never seen anything like this before?”

“Nope,” Janet answered popping back into the drivers seat, “I've heard of strange magical shoes that can do all sorts of weird things though. They're pretty popular in Attis, but I haven't seen any in Driftwood. Is that where you're from? Attis?”

“Attis? He's here too!”

“Attis isn't a person, it's a city … oh come on, you must be from there. You probably call it something else. Tell me, what are humans like anyway? Do they smell as bad as everyone says?” Janet asked as she drove towards Jod.

“Humans don't smell bad … well, as long as they shower regularly,” Angelica said as she pried Jod free of the derv. Fortunately he hadn't sunken in as deeply.

“I knew it! You're from Attis!”

“Honestly, I don't know what you're talking about,” Angelica said just as Jod popped free.

“Damn, you really did lose your memory didn't you. You've got to be from Attis, though. It's the only explanation for those shoes.” As Angelica slipped her foot back into Jod, she thought about the name Attis and how strange a coincidence it was that a city was named after another friend from school. Had everything not felt so real, she would have been sure she was dreaming. “We also don't get too many half-humans like you around here,” Janet continued as she picked up Frod. “So tell me shoe, where are you … is SHE from?”

“None of your business!” Frod said biting her finger.

“Ow! You ungrateful little ...” Janet scowled dropping Frod.

“It's okay Frod, we can trust her. She saved our lives, after all.”

“Yeah! If it wasn't for me you'd be under the derv forever lost and here you are biting my finger,” Janet said angrily threatening to kick him with her high heeled shoe. Frod backed away like a fearful dog and slipped himself back onto Angelica's right foot. Janet watched his movements with fascination. “Okay that was a little too weird,” she said, “Let's get out of here before something else happens.”

The ride to Driftwood was just a long straight path across the vast Derv Sea. Angelica could see the settlement on the horizon and estimated that it was about ten miles away. The hovercraft, though an impressive vehicle, wasn't particularly fast and Janet said that it would take about twenty minutes to get there.

“So you do measure time in minutes, and you speak english, and you're just like my friend Janet, yet you're not human and I don't think I'm on Earth anymore … at least not my Earth … I just can't make sense of any of this!” Angelica said trying in frustration.

Janet just laughed, “Why don't you tell me your story and I'll see if I can make sense of it.”

Angelica considered it for a moment, but could see no reason why she shouldn't. She felt she could trust this Janet. So she told her the whole story about the world she came from, the friends she knew with particular focus on the events of the passed couple days. Janet found the whole thing rather amusing, and Angelica didn't think she believed a word, but she never interrupted her and listened intently.

“So you're a formerly human half-human with talking shoes that somehow flew you here on a whirlwind from a place called Tawashi?”

“Umm … yes, except Tawashi's just the city I'm from. But that's from another world called Earth. But why do you keep calling me half-human? What do you mean by that?”

“Well, you never left Earth, you're still here. But I never heard of Tawashi. As for half-human, that's what you are. You're half-human / half-anthro. I'm full anthro, of the cheetah variety. You'll find many varieties of anthros in Driftwood … foxes, badgers, wolves, cats, … we're all part of the anthropomorph species though. At least that's the official name for us, but everyone goes by the term 'anthro'.”

Angelica wondered if Janet knew what “anthropomorph” actually meant. She decided not to bring it up though because it seemed like something that could be cause for offense given the way she was talking about humans before.

“Humans are a different species, but there has been some intermingling to create half-breeds like yourself. See how you have a human face but still have the tail and ears of a fox. That makes you half human / half anthro … of the vixen variety, a female fox. Well, I guess you're kind of a special case since you started off fully human but became a half-breed overnight … at least according to your funny little story. But most half-breeds are born that way due to mixed parentage.”

“But how could humans and anthros be a different species if they can interbreed?” Angelica had to ask this time not caring if she offended her.

“Look, I don't know … maybe they are. But there are no humans in driftwood so they're pretty alien to us. They might as well be a different species. Plus there's still some bad blood between humans and anthros, even though the great war ended over eighty years ago.”

“Great war? Between the humans and anthros? Is there bad blood against half-humans like me?”

“We have a small community of half-humans in Driftwood. I'll be honest, they're kind of looked down upon there by some of the less tolerant villagers. But not all of us are bigoted against half humans. My family's pretty cool.”

As the hovercraft approached Driftwood, Angelica found it to be a rather aptly named little settlement. The entire town rested on a wooden boardwalk of sorts that seemed to float, or “drift” on the derv. Of course it didn't really drift at all, since the derv was quite stagnant, but the enormous wooden rafting on which the entire settlement was built did indeed seem to rest on the derv without sinking. “How does your village not sink?” Angelica asked.

“It's actually not floating on the derv … well some parts may be, but most of it is held up by enormous pillars that descend deep to the bottom of the derv sea. We had brilliant ancestors, I tell ya.”

“Amazing ...” Angelica said quietly as hovercraft drew closer. She could see that the town was actually bustling with activity, despite it appearing to be night time (albeit a well lit night thanks to the castle).

“There's my family's shop. I have to deliver these berries. I'll introduce you to them. I'm sure they'll let you crash with us tonight until we figure out what to do with you,” Janet said as she parked the hovercraft near a marketplace at the center of town. “Careful stepping out of the hovercraft. Don't step in the derv or you'll lose your shoes again.” The boardwalks seemed to meet into one large central section here, so Janet and Angelica had to get out and walk the rest of the way. Angelica was fascinated by all of the anthros she saw passing by her. Sometimes it was hard to guess what animal they identified as, but Angelica noted they mostly seemed to be of the feline or canine category, although she did see a few rodent variety anthros, in particular mice and rabbits.

Angelica also observed that anthros tended to have smaller frames than most people, and they moved with an uncommon quickness and grace that distinguished them from humans. They were a very beautiful race of creatures, despite how uncanny they seemed, at times. It was a short distance to Janet's shop, a small fruit and vegetable market run by Janet's parents, both anthros of the cheetah variety. Once again Angelica was amazed by how they looked and acted like human Janet's parents despite being of a completely different race and from a completely different … dimension?

“Not much on sale at the farm today, just dervberries,” Janet said dumping the sack of berries into a basket.

“My cousin's gotten very stingy of late,” her father said.

“I think we're going to have to bite the bullet and pay full price,” her mother said, “we can always buy from Godwell's farm. His prices are more reasonable.”

“If Fred finds out we bought from his biggest competitor he'll never sell to us at a discount again.”

“Well, what good is his discount doing us, now? We can gather our own dervberries for free in the Derv Sea.”

“Well, Janet, what do you say. Would you be up for gathering dervberries after school once a week or so? I'll raise your allowance considerably.”

“Ugh no! Gathering dervberries from the derv sea?” Janet looked down at her expensive high heels “These are my favorite shoes and I'll not risk losing them! I'll wind up spending more money replacing lost shoes than you'll be able to pay me. Speaking of which, look what else I gathered in the derv sea,” Janet said as she ushered Angelica forward.

“Awww, how cute, a half-human fox girl,” a boy said from behind one of the counters. Angelica hadn't even noticed him as he had been busy behind one of the counters. He looked younger than Janet, though a familial resemblance was there. Angelica wondered if he was Janet's younger brother. But then, Angelica didn't remember human Janet ever having a younger brother.

“Yes, I rescued her from a dervoroct in the middle of the derv sea. Unfortunately she lost her memory and doesn't remember where she came from. I was wondering if she could stay with us until she figures it out.”

“Well … I guess,” her father said, “As long as she doesn't mind helping out around the shop to earn her keep. I suppose you're off the hook for gathering dervberries then, Janet.”

“Exactly!” Janet said smiling at Angelica, “don't worry it's easy as long as you're careful not to step in the derv. I'll show you how to do it.”

“Umm … okay,” Angelica said wondering what sort of job she was just volunteered for.

“Here, let me introduce you to my family,” Janet continued, “This is my dad.”

“Call me Wally,” her father said.

“My mom.”

“Marcia,” her mother said.

“And my little brother Harry.”

“You're pretty for a half-human,” he said shyly.

“Harry!” her mother scolded.

“Just ignore him, he's weird.” Janet said.

“It's nice to meet all of you,” Angelica said after a pause, “and I want to thank you for taking me in. I don't really know how to gather dervberries, but I'll do my best to help out where I can. I'm just hoping that I won't be here too long, I want to figure out how to get back home quickly.”

“Do you remember anything about your home, dear?” Marcia asked.

Angelica was about to tell her the whole story about Tawashi and how she got here, but Janet gave her a look and shook her head as if to say “don't tell them that ridiculous story” so she refrained. “Not much, just images. With time it will come back, I hope,” was all she said.

“You poor thing,” Marcia said, “Those dervorocts are such horrible beasts.”

“I'm going to show her around Driftwood,” Janet said changing the subject, “and maybe introduce her to Tanya and Yumi.”

“Don't get home too late!” Her parents said as Janet was already dragging Angelica out of the shop.

“Wow! they're just like your real … I mean the human Janet's parents,” Angelica said once they were a fair distance from the shop.

Janet suddenly turned to Angelica sharply, “don't go around telling people what you told me about that alternate dimension where there's a human version of me and my friends and family. You know what I said about people not trusting humans and half-humans. Well if you start talking crazy, they'll lock you up. My parents are sweet folk, but they're old fashioned and simple, and we don't want to go spreading gossip that could get you into trouble.”

“I understand,” Angelica said nodding her head, “although in my world you didn't have a younger brother.”

“Well maybe that's because 'in your world' the Janet you're thinking of isn't me. She's a completely different person with a completely different family, and may just even be a completely different species.”

“Well, you both have very similar personalities,” Angelica thought to herself.

Janet just sighed, “Listen, I do feel bad for the situation you're in. I'll try to help you out as best as I can. Your best bet is to go to Attis. It's the human city. It's pretty far from here and, unfortunately, there's no public transportation that will take you there, but maybe if you save up some money you can pay someone to take you there. I'd take you there myself but I have school and work. Summer vacation is coming pretty soon and I'll be graduating so maybe, if you're willing to wait until then, we can go together. I always wanted to visit Attis. You'll probably find your answers there.”

“You're going to Attis? I want to go too!” a girl's voice could be heard. It sounded distinctly like Yumi's. Angelica turned to her left and saw her. It was definitely Yumi. She was wearing an outfit only Yumi would wear too: black shorts, a dark blue blazer over light blue blouse, sheer blue tights and her big white go-go boots. She looked just like Yumi. The only difference? She was a raccoon anthro. Normally that would be a pretty big difference, but Angelica was starting to get used to that.

“Yumi? How long were listening?” Janet said in surprise as she turned to see Yumi behind her.

“Oh just to the part when you mentioned that we're taking a derv trip to Attis. When are we going? Can we leave this weekend?”

“WE are not going anywhere, Yumi. There's a big test next week, remember?”

“I know. That's why I want to get out of here.”

Angelica couldn't help but say it, “She's just like the Yumi I knew from home … and you said you have a friend named Tanya too?”

“Jasmine's coming!” A small familiar voice was heard shouting from behind Yumi.

“Speak of the devil,” Janet said as Tanya came running up to the four of them. Angelica couldn't believe her eyes. There was Tanya, wearing her black and purple goth skirt and blouse with the big heavy boots … the same outfit she always wore ... right down to the sheer white and purple striped tights. She looked just like Tanya ... yet she was a wolf anthro.

“Wolves were always her favorite animal,” Angelica thought to herself as Tanya stopped next to Yumi and tried to catch her breath. “Did you say Jasmine? Now don't tell me she's here too!” Angelica couldn't help but say out loud as soon as she realized what Tanya had said.

“Yes! And she's really on a tear!” Tanya said after catching her breath, “Just bought these new boots from a traveling merchant who said he came from Attis. They've given her some magic powers or something. It's as if she can control people's minds!”

Yumi shook her head, “How many times do I have to tell you that there's no such thing as magic.”

“Shh, here she comes!” Janet said as a vixen anthro approached with her entourage. Angelica knew in a second that she was Jasmine. She had the same arrogant swagger, wore the same slutty black outfit she always wore, and those high heeled boots just screamed Jasmine. Her “In Crowd” followed closely behind, Carolyn, Joslin and Catherine. Carolyn's species of anthro was difficult to place, but Angelica guessed her to be a badger anthro, while Joslin's species was even more difficult to identify, although the character “rikki tikki tavi” came to mind when Angelica looked at her more closely and identified her as a mongoose anthro. Catherine was the easiest to identify as a cat-girl, but strangely enough, she was half-human, like Angelica, and only had cat ears and a tail that poked out from a hole in her dress.

“I see you befriended a halfy,” Jasmine said eyeing Angelica suspiciously, “I guess your cheetah trash family isn't as bigoted as I thought.”

“Hah! You of all people accusing others of being bigoted?” Janet said standing up to Jasmine.

As if on queue from Janet's challenge, the four girls faced off against each other ready to fight it out. Jasmine faced off against Janet, Carolyn faced off against Yumi, Joslin faced off against Tanya and Catherine, who now had a half-breed nemesis of equal status to her, faced off against Angelica. The situation all seemed very familiar to Angelica.

“I should have known you'd get a halfy in your ugly clique. I know how hard you try to be like me,” Jasmine said eyeing Angelica, “A vixen halfy too. I can almost smell the desperation! Why don't you lick my boots since you obviously worship me?”

“Ha! You wish, Jasmine ...” Janet started to say but then stopped suddenly as her expression changed from her normal confident demeanor, to one of someone who was deeply troubled by something that had suddenly come over her. As if fighting for control of her body, Janet found herself dropping to her knees before Jasmine.

“That's right! Kneel before me, cheetah trash!” Jasmine laughed.

“What's happening to me?” Janet said as if struggling to regain control of her body.

“You're doing what you've been born to do. To lick the boots of your superior.”

“Ugh noo!” Janet said in disgust as her face descended just above Jasmine's right boot. Angelica watched appalled as Janet's tongue licked the top of her boot clean.

“Get the bottoms too, I may have gotten some yucky derv stuck to it,” Jasmine ordered lifting her foot.

“Don't lick her boot! Rip it off her foot and throw it in the derv!” Yumi cried out. It would have been easy enough for Janet to do. The boots looked rather big and loose fitting on Jasmine, and she was only wearing very thin and slippery black stockings underneath. The boot would have slipped off like butter and there would have been nothing Jasmine could have done to prevent Janet from pulling it off. Yet Janet subserviently continued to lick her boot and even licked the grimy bottom much to the amusement of Jasmine and her crew, but to the disgust of Janet's friends.

“Hmm, that gives me an idea, Yumi,” Jasmine said putting her boot down and nearly stepping on Janet's tongue, “I see you're still wearing those old clunky heels, Janet. Don't you think it's time you bought some new ones?”

“Uh oh!” Janet said in a panicked voice as she found herself unwillingly lying on her back with her feet up in the air. Jasmine extended her hands and, as if in direct response to this queue, Janet placed her shoed feet right into each of Jasmine's hands.

“Haha, what's this? Are you giving me your shoes?” Jasmine asked acting surprised.

“Nnnn-yes,” Janet answered clearly against her will.

“Why thank you!” Jasmine smirked as she slipped the expensive heels off of Janet's stocking feet. Janet just watched helplessly as her shoes were removed against her will.

“Give them back to her, Jasmine!” Yumi demanded.

“Why?” Jasmine said inspecting Janet's shoes, “She gave them to me. You heard her … Actually they do look a bit too shabby for my tastes. Is that a scuff mark? Hmm and that looks like a derv stain. Too bad, they looked they were nice shoes at one point. Why you go dervberry gathering in such nice shoes is beyond me. I think it's time they were retired,” Jasmine said just before tossing Janet's shoes far into the derv sea.

“Nooooo!” Janet cried upon seeing her favorite shoes land well beyond the reach of the boardwalk. She would need her hovercraft to get her shoes back, and it was parked too far away to get them in time.

“Ohh, let me cheer you up. I'll make you laugh like your cousin, the hyena,” Jasmine said as she tickled Janet's feet through her sheer white stockings.

“Hahahahahahaha!” Janet laughed loudly but she was still unable to pull her feet away. Her toes wiggled and feet twitched helplessly but she continued to lie on her back and held her stocking feet up subserviently so that Jasmine could continue to tickle them without resistance.

“You're an evil bitch, Jasmine! I don't know how you're doing this, but you better release her now! How would you like it if someone pulled your boots off and threw them into the derv sea?” Yumi scowled threatening to do just that.

“Oh shut up, Yumi, you're the one who gave me the idea,” Jasmine said backing away from Jasmine and turning all her attention to controlling Yumi, “and speaking of boots, I rather like yours. May I have them?” Jasmine asked holding out her hands expecting Yumi to just give her boots to her the same way Janet did. Yumi, as if fighting against herself, walked towards Jasmine and slowly raised her foot as if to place it in Jasmine's hand. Jasmine and her friends just laughed. “Haha, I didn't think it would work on two--” Jasmine started to say, but she was interrupted by a kick to the chin. Yumi was faking it! She had raised her foot just high enough to give Jasmine a nasty high kick. The kick was so powerful that Jasmine literally flew right out of one of her loose fitting boots! Jasmine arched in mid air and landed right on her back!

Carolyn and Catherine were quick to react though, and grabbed Yumi by the arms. Yumi did her best to fight back, but was overmatched. “Leave her alone!” Tanya shouted. But this only prompted Joslin to jump in and push Tanya to the ground. Yumi meanwhile was pushed further, despite her efforts to wrestle her assailants in the opposite direction, until finally she was pushed off of the boardwalk and into the derv. “Nooo!” she screamed as she fell backwards and found herself sinking. Fortunately she managed to keep her hands out of the derv, but her boots and her even her rear end were engulfed.

Now the last one standing was Angelica. Jasmine, who sat impotently with one stocking foot exposed was stunned by the kick and sat rubbing her chin. But the other three “in girls” were closing in on poor Angelica. “Umm, I think it's time to get out of here!” Jod said.

“I agree!” said Frod as rockets sprung up from their soles and Angelica found herself shooting up into the air much to her surprise.

“What the hell!?” Catherine exclaimed as Caroline and Joslin coughed from the smoke their rockets generated.

“She has Attisian shoes!” Jasmine said frowning while pulling her boot back on, “She must have gotten them before I did. I'm going to have a word with that merchant! He said I was his first and only customer!”

“What should we do?” Carolyn asked nervously as Angelica looked down upon them while hovering in the air. She tried to look imposing, but the truth was she was quite surprised that Frod and Jod had this power. In fact she was angry that they didn't use it before when she needed it to fly over the derv.

“Let's just get out of here,” Jasmine answered as she cautiously got to her feet still feeling quite dazed from Yumi's kick, “I think my boots need to be recharged anyway.”

And with that the four of them ran off as Tanya tried to pull Yumi out of the derv and back onto the boardwalk. Frod and Jod gently lowered Angelica to the boardwalk next to where Janet sat, hugging her knees and staring at her shoeless feet frowning. She was tempted to ask Frod and Jod why they hadn't used this rocket power before when she needed it, but the look on Janet's face filled her with concern and she felt that consoling her took precedence. “You okay?” Angelica asked as she approached.

“She controlled my mind … it was an awful feeling … not sure if I'll get over it,” Janet said sounding very shaken.

“Well, don't dwell on it. Come on, let's help get Yumi out of the derv,” Angelica said helping Janet to her feet.

Getting Yumi out wasn't an easy process. Although the boardwalk was low enough for them to reach Yumi without them having to get a hovercraft, she was stuck pretty deep. Not only her boots were stuck, but she had also fallen backwards and gotten her rear end stuck. As the three girls pulled her up her shorts and jacket tore right off her back. “Oh no my clothes!” she complained upon feeling the cold air through her thin tights on her butt. Fortunately She had managed to pop her left boot out of the derv, but the right boot was stuck too deep. As the girls pulled her the rest of the way out it became inevitable that she was going to be pulled right out of it. “And there goes my boot!” she said as she was lifted back onto the boardwalk minus her right boot.

“Don't worry, we can pry it out, Yumi,” Tanya reassured her.

“Frod Jod, fly me out to Janet's shoes!” Angelica ordered.

“No can do, those rockets are emergency propelled. They only work when we're in great danger,” Frod said. Both Yumi and Tanya momentarily stopped trying to pull Yumi's boot free from the derv and looked at Angelica surprised to see that not only was she talking to her shoes, but they were talking back to her.

“Emergency propelled? That's bullshit! Fly me now!” Angelica said frustrated.

“Don't worry about it, Angelica, it's too late,” Janet said sadly.

“It's not too late. Remember, you helped me get my shoes back with your hovercraft. Where did you park it?” Angelica assured Janet. But Janet just shook her head as she stared off into the derv sea. Her shoes were nowhere to be seen.

“It's too late. They've sunken in too deep. I can't even see them anymore. By the time we get to my hovercraft and get out there they'll be so deep we'll never find them.”

“But you helped me recover my shoes from the derv, I should help recover yours! We should at least try!”

“I appreciate it, but we got lucky with your shoes. I'm surprised they hadn't sunken in deeper by the time we got to them. But then, yours are special attisian shoes. Maybe it's time I got special attisian shoes of my own. Come on Yumi, forget about your boot. Let's go see this attisian merchant Jasmine was talking about.”

“I can't just walk around in one boot and with my butt hanging out!” Yumi said.

“Well, I'm shoeless too, so you won't have to feel embarrassed alone. And we'll get new clothes for you first. You've got tights on, it'll be fine.”

“Sheer tights! They don't exactly cover up much.”

“Hey, I got your Jacket out, Yumi, you can tie it around your waste and wear it as a skirt until you get new shorts,” Tanya said holding up her slightly torn jacket.

“Okay fine,” Yumi complained as she grabbed the jacket from Tanya and took one last look at her sunken boot. It was a lost cause at this point and had sunken in way too deep. “Ugggh, I really loved those boots too!”

“Don't worry, Yumi, I think I've seen this attisian merchant earlier today while doing my rounds, and if I'm not not mistaken, he has exactly the type of boots you're into.”

And with that, the four friends went shopping. It was as if Angelica never left home.