A gun shot.
Blood. All over.
Dripping from the head. To the floor.
The body. Doubling over.
Crashing to the floor.
The life leaving.
The last moan.
The last breath.
Kissing the floor with his body.
A big lake of blood.
The lifeless hand releases the revolver.
Eyes still open, lips still parted.
As if to breathe.
Any minute now.
The death of man, still living and breathing seconds ago,
minutes ago before he received a slip of paper,
hours ago when he still had a normal life.
Just a slip of paper.
With words on it.
Written in black ink.
Signed in blood.
But not human blood.
Words. 6 of them.
"It happens to all of us."
It happens to all of us.
It happens to all of us.
"Really, that's what it said. Signed by Insanity."
Fey laughed. She felt something soft and warm bump against her.
"Oh Private," she said to the little penguin trembling against her. " It's just a story. See?" She held out the book.
Private shook his head, "But-"
"What? The "It happens to all of us"? Oh dear, Private, you have US to take care of you."
"And who'll take care of you?"
"You as in me or as in a group?"
"You as in you."
"Me? You guys, I guess. I can handle myself, too." Fey nudged the little penguin with her body, then laid her head on his.
"I never wanna lose you, big sister," Private whispered.
"I love you, little bro," Fey smiled.
They sat there like that for a few minutes, just staring into nothingness, each thinking about different irrelevant things.
Then the peacefulness errupted into bubbles of colors, cheerful noise, and a "There you guys are!"
Private laughed and Fey was happy he forgot the gory story from before.
"What time is it?" Fey asked, running over to Marlene, Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski.
"It's shopping time!" Marlene said happily.
"It's human time!" Fey laughed. "Finally, again, we've skipped it last time!"
"True, the bi-monthly practice that we have, turning ourselves into Homo-sapiens, or in other words, humanizing ourselves, whenever we feel the need to go "shopping", as the females call it, has been quite-"
"Kowalski," Skipper interrupted. "In the army, I have learned a quite good lesson. You might benefit from that lesson."
"Yes, sir? What would that be?" Kowalski asked.
"Learn to use full-stops. Points. End your sentences. Please."
Marlene snickered, then laughed outloud at Kowalski's stunned face.
"Then, let's go shopping, as the females call it," Fey said impaitiently.
Kowalski sighed and took out a glass jar, in it several white pills with blue dots running through them. He unscrewed the lid with his flippers and took out a pill.
He had eaten pills many times before too, but this time a look crossed his face, a scared look. Just for a second and then it was gone.
But Private saw it.
A thought flashed through his british brain. One sentence.
It happens to all of us.
"Kowalski?" Private asked.
Kowalski smiled at him, then swallowed the pill.
Right, nothing out of ordinary happened. As the penguins, otter, and red panda each took a pill, Kowalski fainted, fell to the floor, and a kind of light shone out from inside of him. The kind of light that isn't very bright but makes you look away, anyway. But that was what happened to everyone when their DNA gets mixed up, the cells newly arrange themselves, and the species changes to human. Duh, everyone knows that.
Kowalski was the first to stand up. He was tall, about the age of a young adult like Rico and Skipper who were now also recovering. They helped Private up, then looked at each other and laughed. Then they ran as fast as they could to the next toilet. Nature doesn't give you clothes to go with your Big Mac Menu.
The two girls, Marlene and Fey, who were much smarter than the penguins, had already been in the ladies', when they changed their species. Marlene, ever so careful, had stacked a minium of clothes in a little bag on the top of the janitor's shelf.
Fey grabbed the bag before they left the toilets.
"We're gonna need this," she explained. "I've gots loads of shopping to do."
Marlene went out first. Marlene hadn't been very tall as an otter and she was averagly built as a human, too. When she stepped out of the door, the sunlight reflected on her smooth, slightly tanned skin. Her hair hung down her back in otter-brown locks. Marlene's eyes were big, greenish-brown pupils, and brown curly eyelashes, eyebrows carefully drawn on. She had a few freckles on her nose and shoulders. Marlene was wearing jeans and a white tanktop that said "Central Park Zoo."
Fey stepped out behind her. She was smaller than Marlene, also a little younger. She was olive-skinned, with thick, dark hair that stopped right above her shoulders. Her eyes were dark brown, like her hair, with a serious look in them. She had a aquiline nose, a little hooked, but otherwise ok. Enough to make Fey uncomfortable, though. Fey was wearing her own clothes that she had left behind when she had changed into a red panda. Just jeans and a purple shirt, three hair bands on her arm, and the bag across her shoulders.
The two girls sat down on a nearby bench to wait for the guys.
Finally, the penguins came out. But they weren't penguins anymore.
Skipper was as tall as Marlene, his body fully trained. His eyes were ice-blue, squinting a little in the bright sun. Skipper had spiky, black hair that was unorderly in a orderly way. Private was looking around for Fey, when he came out. He had big blue eyes, a little stubbed nose, and blond, wavy hair that hung across his forehead in an lofty Justin Bieber look, just cooler. Private found Fey and waved to her excitedly. Rico blasted out of the door next. He had emo, jetblack hair that twisted into a mohawk, sidebang kind of way. It was obvious he had to use a lot of gel, but the effect was grand. The tips of his hair were tinted bluish. His fierce blue eyes looked almost as if he had used eyeliner, but Skipper would have never permitted that. Rico had a long scar running through the left side of his face, from his cheek to his neck almost. Kowalski stepped through the door last of all. He was taller than all of them, but just by half an head. His raven black, medium length hair was hanging into his forehead and partly into his eyes, tousled, as if he had forgotten to brush it. He really had forgotten to brush it. Kowalski's eyes were a forget-me-not blue, thoughtful behind a pair of black typical "nerd" glasses.
All the penguins had very pale, almost whitish skin.
"Alright, let's go, men... and Marlene... and so on!" Skipper jerked his head towards the gate.
The gang went out together, anxious to mix with the New Yorkers. Rico was spitting money into Fey's open bag, he hadn't lost his ability to regurgiate things as a human. Private was chattering to Fey, talking about how the Lunacorns were so splendid. Skipper and Marlene were talking together, holding hands, as a purely "friendship" thing, as they called it. Fey knew it wasn't the type of "friendship" that she and Private had, that was more of a close, special, brother-sister type of "friendship", while Skipper's and Marlene's "friendship" was more of a "relationship." Fey smiled at her rationalizing and turned to watch Kowalski. He trudged behind them all, trying to figure out something, she could see it in the way he softly talked to himself and the way how his face was all confused.
I need to talk to him later, Fey reminded herself. She was jerked out of her thoughts, when she realized that Private was still talking to her.
"...and then Princess Rainbowclouds said, "No, I don't want to eat away all of your chocolate-sprinkled doughnuts." And then Prince Goodie-goodie said, "No, I want to share them with you." Then Princess Rainbowclouds said, "I love sharing with my friends! Now we are both happy!" And then it ended."
The little penguin fell silent, walking along Fey. Rico had finished spitting out dollar bills into Fey's bag. He grabbed Kowalski by the arm and pushed him to the front.
"Whaddya doin?" he asked Kowalski.
"Nothing, just thinking." Kowalski answered. He was shocked to see the serious looks on Fey's and Private's faces, each thinking to themselves what they had seen, both going into the same direction.
"What? Just saw a monster out of a horror movie?" Kowalski joked. The joke did not bring the effect he desired, instead Private's eyes filled with tears.
"Fey?" Private asked and was instantely enveloped in a hug by Fey.
"Hey, Private, look at me," she said. "Look at me, everything's alright. It was just a book."
"Hey, guys," Marlene shouted over her shoulder. "Look, we're in the city!"
Private, Fey, Rico, and Kowalski instantely caught up with Skipper and Marlene.
"So," Skipper said, "we'll form groups. Now, who wants to do what?"
"Game Aca'dy," Rico shouted.
"Oh, I want to go to the toy apartment." Private clapped his hands.
"I want to go shopping," Marlene said, looking down at her "Central Park Zoo" shirt.
"Chocolate-sprinkled doughnuts for me," Fey answered. Private's story made her hungry.
"Candy!" Kowalski yelped.
"Men's department is what I want. Guns, shirts, millitary stuff, and so on." Skipper said. "Ok, we will have two groups. Since Fey and Kowalski just want to stuff themselves, they'll be in Group A."
"A for Awesome," Fey commented.
"And Marlene, Rico, Private, and I will go to that big shopping center thing as Group B," Skipper finished.
"B for Boring." Fey smiled. She divided the money among them. Group A had 382 dollars and 54 cents and Group B had 765 dollars and 8 cents.
Everyone was happy, looking forward to the good times they'll have. As they parted, a few jokes fell and half-hearted goodbyes followed. Not one, not Skipper, not Rico, not Kowalski, not Private, not Marlene, and neither Fey realised that this could be their last goodbye. That they might not see each other for a long time after that. That not everyone might return.
Because it happens to all of us.