When the two girls turned into animals, they had more trouble than they did as friends. On their way to a party, one transformed into a goat and the other into a miniature male deer. When they locked horns, inevitably feelings were hurt, skin was broken and their Red Bulls upset. In the car, the air conditioner blasting, Marcia pulled over to unwrap some Bubblicious and check the house numbers. Their transformation happened when Sue requested a cigarette and Marcia got totally sick of Sue’s mooching. She meant to lightly throw the cigarettes at Sue’s chest, but instead she pelted Sue’s face. Immediately the girls argued, and two seconds later Marcia was a goat.
Neither of them seemed surprised at being animals. At one time Marcia had pulled Sue’s hair when they fought at a party, and people said they were like animals, even though both were normally mild-mannered accounting assistants. Because Marcia flew into rages, she got the docile shape of a Muntjac. Since Sue tended to be a glutton and hard-headed, she got the domestic goat. Even as early as the party that night, people thought it was weird, but accepted them and dumped the cat’s indoor-oat-grass and Thai food containers on the floor. Marcia got a job extracting things from holes in the back section of a power plant. Sue became a garbage supervisor in the suburbs.
Sue’s family developed a complicated tap-booklet with convenient quick-tabs. They built platforms in her apartment and tried to keep at least level 4 recyclables in open wicker baskets.
As Sue became jittery and prone to digestive problems, they increased the number of baskets and fastened them to every cabinet in the house. She tapped out, "No. I don’t want to become too obsessed with food."
Her mother cried. She never expected her beautiful daughter to look this way. "Do you want lichen or old clothes?" she said.
Sue had previously been a straight vegetarian. She walked over the linoleum in even, non-committal clops.
"How can we make this better, sweetie?" her mom said. Both parents considered her loneliness, her time at home, and the changes in her diet.
"I miss my boyfriend," she tapped. With the knotty goat top she had the same profile as before, when she wore an athletically-suggestive pony-tail.
But when they made it clear that her boyfriend wouldn’t visit, or commit to any future visit, even a platonic one, she turned away and nuzzled the curtains.
"How can we change things for you, sweetie?" they asked again.
Sue lifted her tail and ran up the goat ramp. She stared out the window. Her response was pessimistic, and the more emotion she experienced, even that of intense resignation, the more goat-like she became – her haunches lifting away from her round, barrel-shaped body, her hair growing coarser, her lobes slackening. Eventually, goats from the neighboring commune farm came and stood outside her apartment and tried to involve her in their misadventures. But Sue would often ignore their constant chewing on the doorbell plate.
As Sue stayed in her apartment, she also saw less of Marcia. Many of Sue’s relationships deteriorated, because it was difficult for anyone to read the complicated tap-booklet her family had laid on the foyer table. Sue spent large amounts of time by herself. She grew quieter, not even bleating. Finally she could only hear the sound of her own heart and her own hooves beating, and she was silent with it.