Sera the Dragon: the first day (3)

By spurged

Sera glowered, grumbling as she dropped herself in the seat next to you. You didn’t even need to ask to know what the problem was; she couldn’t see. Something that had struck you as odd, given that she was a dragon. Whatever subspecies she was apparently weren’t very active at night. Gently, you reached over and took one of her large claws in your hand and gave it a squeeze.

“It’s okay kiddo,” you murmured, as lights played out on the stage of the auditorium. A member of the school staff making her way to the podium. A rather plump and fluffy Tanuki stood there, in what could only be described as the pinnacle of office-lady wear, before tapping at the mic.

The usual gist of school this and that was issued forth. Welcome back, yes things have changed since Mamono took over don’t worry too much about it, and hello to the newcomers. Eventually you began to drown out the speech and general school talk as you stare at the Tanuki.

She seemed oddly familiar, but you couldn’t place her at all. It wasn’t as if you knew any Tanuki, and Mamono weren’t a thing for until just two years ago. So why did she seem familiar? Could she had been a convert? You knew that mana exposure could change women, but you were certain you didn’t know anyone who worked at a school. Hell, with the anachronistic technology laws that had been put in place you certainly didn’t have a way to check either. The internet as you had known it was dead.

There in the dark you felt yourself shiver as a chill ran up your spine, glowing eyes catching the light and reflecting them back at you as the Tanuki returned your gaze. It wasn’t the gaze of a typical predator, but none the less you did sense a certain kind of threat from it. You couldn’t help but swallow loudly, this time Sera squeezing at your hand in response as she turned to look at you in the dark.

“What’s wrong?” Sera whispered to you, her head pressed against your shoulder.

“It’s nothing,” You stared back at the fluffy tailed woman on the stage as she eyed you while continuing her speech, on odd certainty boiling up in you. You did know her. You had to have. She had to be one of those who were converted, you were certain of it; but who the hell was she? “Just spooked myself is all.”

“Those scary shows are bad for you.” Was her only response as she pulled away from your shoulder as a frown painted your face. What exactly was scary about a larping bumbling Italian detective? It wasn’t high-cinema, but it was certainly a decent show; hell, even one of the Lilum said she was a fan of it despite it often touching on subjects that Mamono considered taboo or overly inappropriate.

You sighed dejectedly before a wry grin played over your face. Was this the first ‘you old people are weird’ interaction you were getting from your adopted daughter? Admittedly it wasn’t that bad of a thing and part of you somewhat yearned for more of the odd admonishment. The rest of the presentation was simple and straighforward, the same usual shlock that you had heard when you went to school; so after a time, you drowned it out as began to think over what you could make for dinner.

As you began to finalize your idea between broccoli-cheese soup or hamburgers the lights came up and the presentation ended; and you and your daughter, like everyone else, went to file out. It was time to go home, get away from the stress of insistent Mamono and just relax. Finally.

Or at least it was supposed to be until you heard the clacking of high heels behind you as you were helping Sera load up into her booster seat. A chill ran down your spine and for a moment you thought it might end up being Ms. Morrin, her aggressive drive had made you rather nervous. It wasn’t until you turned round that began to wonder at things.

“Is that you Anon?” Asked the Tanuki from the auditorium as she eyed you with curiosity. Her large thick tail batting this way and that behind her, her bright blue eyes seeming to pull you in despite the dark mask around them. Her suite was form fitting, leaving exactly enough to the imagination to truly make a man wonder, and somehow it was wrinkled in just the right places to titillate. She was plump, short, and definitely thicker than half-set concrete. The same odd sensation and idea welled up in you that you knew her coming back to your mind. “It is you isn’t it? It’s been years,” She paused, peering over into your car at Sera. “I heard you had a little one who was going to be at my school but I had no idea it was going to be you a-”

“Who are you?” you couldn’t help the odd inflection in your voice. You were definitely suspicious of her and you couldn’t help it. Who the hell was this woman? Why did you feel that you knew her?

“Oh! Yeah, right-right. I’m uh… I’m different now. Um…,” your forehead bunched up as you tried again to rack your brain for the answer. She didn’t look at all like anyone you had ever known, let alone anyone who would remember you that you could think of. And you certainly couldn’t place her voice either. “W-we used to go to school together.”

“When?” you were now thoroughly confused, her change must have been extensive. You certainly didn’t know anyone that looked even vaguely like her; was that common? Your eyes quickly locked to Sera, who was still mostly a dragon. Obviously it was for a Mamono to suddenly look drastically different from the original.

“Well it was middle school and then we were in high school together unti-” A frown found itself on your face and you mechanically shut the car door.

“Get away from me.” you spat out at a flat and low level, not wanting to make a scene in front of Sera. Sure she was in the car, so the sound would be muffled, but still…

“Anon, look I kn-”

“No.” You cut her off. You did know her, and as memories flooded back all you got was a mix of embarrassment and anger. Did she honestly think making a pass at you, even as a Mamono would be alright after everything? “You do not get to do this. It’s whatever with the aliens and the constant inappropriate looks and suggestions but you-”

“I-I’m sorry. Okay?” She responded in a similarly low tone, likely mimicking your worry that Sera might hear. “I’m not that person anymore, I’m good now.” she waved her hands about and across her body, as if to indicate her monsterization as the primary cause of all of it.

“No you haven’t, and no your not Jen.” you stated flatly, eyeing her coldly. “Do they even know what you used to do?” you spat out, causing her to flinch and cower up on herself; her arms folding across her chest as if to protect herself from the next barrage of words.

“T-the process removes those kinds of issues, I- I’m completely clean now.” she looked away, refusing to meet your gaze. “Honestly I’m differ-”

“And your shining personality?” venom crept up into your voice as your hands balled into fists at your sides.

“Anon please, I was young and w-”

“You’re a real piece of shit, you know that?” you muttered out as your anger got the better of you. She stepped back, tears welling up in her eyes as she looked at you with shock. Memories of the two of you flooded back, starting early in middle school and ending sometime in college; from bittersweet and saccharine to nothing but misery. “You think that because you’ve got a new coat of paint on, it just undoes everything? That what- I would just fall into your arms and pretend that none of what you d-”

“Y-you don’t have to be so cruel about it Anon.” She spat back as tears started to flow. “I-I just figured that… y-you were the first person who ever confessed to me and I figu-”

“And you were also the last.” you cut her off again, a horrified look playing out on her face as the realization of it. “I already told you. You don’t get to do this to me Jen. Stay away from me and my daughter.” You eyed her, your anger demanding you say something else or even do something. But even if you wanted, you couldn’t. You had responsibilities now. You had Sera. “Leave me alone.” you muttered out, your eyes boring into her coldly for a moment before you moved as quickly as you could to hop in your car and get out of there.

Wasn’t even her first day and you were already thinking of pulling her out to homeschool.

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