Fred Barton stood hesitantly before the conspicuously large and white, two-story building in front of him. He was a veteran in the sense that he had participated in many blood drives before, but this one was different in many respects. The organization in charge of this particular drive, the Peppermint Foundation, obviously liked to handle things very differently. Unlike most blood drives, this one was by invitation only. Fred ran his fingers through his short, brown hair as he looked again at the letter he had received.
Dear Fred Barton,
Due to the recommendation of one of our members, Brett Lacington, we are honored to extend our invitation for you to attend our blood drive and donate at our local establishment. It will be run by our most experienced staff and afterwards, you will be able to enjoy the top quality menu items served in our canteen. Our hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday. Please make sure you follow the included Pre-Preparation Guidelines and bring proper identification, as well as this letter with you. Until we issue a Donor’s Card for you, this letter will be your proof of invitation.
We hope to see you soon,
Mimi K. Monoe – Head Phlebotomist
Fred took a minute to double check the included list. Eating iron-rich food and drinking lots of water beforehand were not unusual suggestions for a blood drive, but that’s where the typicality ended. He had to either come alone or with someone that had a donor card and then there were the rules that applied specifically to first-time donors. Not only was he supposed to use a separate entrance, but there was also an insistence on wearing baggy, loose-fitting clothing.
Fred was able to confirm that he had fulfilled at least most of the requirements. He already had a full breakfast complete with a vitamin supplement and an extra glass of water before heading out. Because his friend Brett was apparently a member, Fred would’ve bugged him for directions were it not for the fact that he hadn’t seen nor heard from him for several weeks. Fortunately, the map included with the letter indicated that the Peppermint Foundation was only a few blocks from his home. Because Fred had been slowly losing excess weight over time and still had some of his larger clothes, the dress code requirements were quite doable. It wasn’t the most glamorous outfit, but his oversized brown sweatpants and dark blue T-shirt met the criteria. Although it wasn’t required for donating, Fred also had a pair of blue acoustic earmuffs around his neck as part of his own personal routine.
Keeping one hand in his pocket to discreetly hold up his sweatpants, Fred tried to locate the first-time donor’s entrance. For some strange reason, this place either invested quite a bit in business promotions or their target donor group was usually female cosplayers. Already, he had counted two girls with bunny ears and tails, three more likewise but of the dog persuasion, four cats, and a squirrel. Each of the cosplayers varied greatly with their ears and tails a rainbow of color varieties and outfits ranging from casual wear to formal dresses and even anime convention costumes. Regardless of appearance, all of the girls seemed to exhibit a blissful, carefree attitude of pure joy.
Suddenly, Fred felt a hand on his shoulder and jumped in surprise to see a busty girl with full-back-length raven hair, green feline eyes, white cat ears, and a black cat tail with a white tip. She was wearing a maid-style dress with slight cleavage, a miniskirt with a small, white apron, white hand gloves, white tights, black heels, a maid’s headband, and a black choker with a functional silver jingle bell approximately 2 inches in diameter.
“Nyello, are nyu here for the blood drive-nya?” she inquired with a bright and cheery smile.
“Uh, yeah,” Fred nervously replied, trying not to stare at her cat parts or her other assets. “Um, do you know where the first-time donor’s entrance is?”
“Certainly-nya,” she answered, looking positively giddy. “Just go around the cornyer that way and it’s the first door nyu come to. Nyu remembered to bring nyor letter, didn’t nyu?”
When Fred showed her his parchment pass, the girl’s cat ears seemed to perk up and a twinkle appeared in her eyes. Without warning, she suddenly held him in a tight, friendly embrace. Fred’s face turned fire engine red from the point-blank proximity of her squishy chest to his own. Oblivious to his discomfort and imminent danger of passing out from an anime nosebleed, the cosplaying girl ecstatically assured him, “Nyu are going to love this place-nya. It’s the best. I hope to see nyu later at the canteen, Fred-nya.”
With that, the cat girl’s bell made a tinkling sound as she skipped over to the general area of the main entrance where she started to converse with another pair of girls sporting bunny ears and tails. Fred couldn’t make out what they were saying, but he wasn’t entirely surprised when she went and hugged one of them in the same manner that she had previously done to Fred.
“It seems there are a lot of girls here with nice racks,” he thought to himself. “I sure do envy her, though. It must be nice to be able to walk around so pretty and cheerful without worrying about being ridiculed or lynched.”
Although it was not something he openly disclosed, Fred had actually wanted to be a girl for years. Over the years, he had mostly kept that secret to himself with one exception; although Brett did have a bit of a jokester streak and occasionally threw some discreet jabs Fred’s way about his secret, they were still able to accept each other as close friends.
“It’s strange that I haven’t seen Brett in quite a while. He has sometimes been known for having chronic wanderlust, but never for this long before. I wonder where he went off to and stranger still, his family doesn’t seem to care about him being gone,” Fred mused to himself. “He is a member of this place, so maybe someone here might know about him. While I’m on the subject of wondering,” he stopped to ponder, “how did that girl know my name?”
Fred found the first-time donor’s entrance to the Peppermint Foundation just where the cheerful cat girl said it would be. Although it was out of the way, there was a sign to indicate that he was in the right spot. The door was locked, but there was a small call box with a camera next it along with a sign stating, “First-time donors, please press the black button and follow instructions. Have your letter of invitation ready.”
Fred did as instructed and a slightly stern female voice replied on the other end, “Welcome to the Peppermint Foundation. Please state your business.”
“I received an invitation to participate in your blood drive,” Fred replied, trying to keep his nervousness in check.
“Please hold your proof of invitation in front of the camera.”
When Fred did as he was asked, he noticed a bunch of high-tech red beams sweep the paper as the call box mysteriously whirred. After a few seconds, a ding was heard and the voice on the other end adopted a friendlier tone, “Welcome to the Peppermint Foundation, Fred. We’ve been expecting you. Please enter through the nearby double doors.”
A sudden click told Fred that he was now able to enter. The hallway was pure white with a futuristic, sterile feeling. As he came to the door on the other side, a small chair erupted from the floor while a nearby compartment in the right wall opened up to reveal a thin, plastic binder. Over a nearby loudspeaker, the female voice instructed, “Please take some time to look over the necessary reading materials. When you’re done, please put the binder back in the compartment.
Fred thought he knew exactly what this was about from previous experience. Every time he had gone to a blood drive, one of the first things they would do was provide him with a small binder or booklet with information including what will be done with the donated blood, various circumstances that would make one ineligible to donate (AIDS, certain drugs/procedures, traveling to certain countries, etc.), and other relevant information. At first glance, this binder appeared to be similar, albeit brand new. Fred’s jaw dropped when he saw the contents. While the usual information was certainly there, the pages were also littered with chibi versions of generic anime girls with animal ears and tails wearing various costumes in friendly and adorable poses. They were all so cute that Fred couldn’t help but stare in admiration and envy as he silently wished that he could have been included in their ranks.
After several minutes, Fred regretfully returned the binder, the compartment closed, and the door opened to welcome him further in. He stepped into an examination room with a floral carpet design, light green walls, and pictures of various cosplay girls similar to the ones Fred had seen entering the Peppermint Foundation’s main entrance. The atmosphere was much warmer and cheerful inside and since no one else was present, Fred took some time to look around. There was a desk with a computer and various strange devices on it that he assumed were some sort of custom versions of medical supplies necessary for a blood donation pre-check. Two cushioned chairs were situated adjacent to the desk, which appeared to be far more comfortable than the fold-up chairs that Fred was used to seeing at blood drives. The pictures looked like they were fresh out of an anime convention and the girls posing in them had a plethora of different outfits, but one thing in common; they all had animal ears and tails. Most were cats with several dogs and bunnies thrown into the mix. There were also some kitsunes and tanuki, as well as a few with squirrel and mouse motifs.
“See anything you like?” Fred jumped in surprise as a tall, thin woman seemingly appeared out of nowhere. She had on a white full-body-length lab coat, mint green heels, and an ID tag. Her dark hair was tied neatly in a bun and her black, thick-rimmed glasses did nothing to hide the happy-go-lucky glint in her eye.
“I uh, was just looking around while I was waiting,” Fred nervously explained.
“You must be Fred. We’ve been expecting you,” the woman smiled cheerfully as she offered a greeting hand. “I’m the head phlebotomist of the Peppermint Foundation. You can call me Mimi.”
“I’m Fred Barton, veteran blood donor,” he replied with a smile as he accepted her greeting.
“So Fred, do any of these pictures strike your fancy?” Mimi inquired, seeming genuinely curious.
“Um, well,” Fred shyly stated as he uncomfortably started to fidget around.
“No need to be shy. I ask this to all the first-time donors,” Mimi chuckled. “Do you like girls with cat ears, dog ears, bunny ears, or is it that you want to actually be the girl wearing the ears?” Upon hearing this, Fred’s face suddenly became redder than even the freshest ketchup as he was shocked speechless.
“It looks like I hit the nail on the head. Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Mimi assured Fred as she slowly walked him to the desk and helped him to the chair.
“So which is it?” she eagerly asked. “Mice, kitsunes, squirrels, tanukis? Which do you think would flatter you the most?”
“Um…” Fred just sheepishly looked down at his lap as he twiddled his thumbs.
“Don’t worry dearie, I can give you a little time to think about it,” Mimi said as she sat down and started up the computer. “Can you show me some ID and your letter of invitation, please?”
As Fred did as he was asked, he figured that this would be a good time to ask a question that had been lingering in his mind for a while, “Do you know my friend Brett Lacington? I haven’t seen him in a very long time, but apparently he donated here at some point.”
Mimi paused in thought for a moment before responding, ”Ah, Lacington. It would have been about eight weeks ago that he was in this very room. Actually,” she added, “your friend has an appointment to donate again today and you two should be able to meet at the canteen. From what I heard, the both of you arrived at roughly the same time.”
Fred was perplexed by this piece of news. “Brett would have stuck out like a sore thumb from the crowd at the entrance. Why didn’t we cross paths?” he silently wondered.
“Can I have your height and weight, please?” Mimi asked as she got back to work.
“5’10” and 185 pounds.”
Mimi entered the data into the computer and grabbed a strange device that was apparently a thermometer, though it looked more like a carrot. Fred could easily imagine one of the bunny-eared girls from outside smiling with this thing in her mouth. He hoped that the newly painted picture in his mind didn’t mess with his temperature reading.
“98.4, very good. Please hold out both arms for me.”
Mimi checked the insides of Fred’s elbows for bruises or other injuries. She gave a satisfied nod as she grabbed a nearby piece of equipment that was supposedly a custom-made version of the standard blood pressure measuring device (which Fred had only recently learned was called a sphygmometer). Unlike the typical black armband appearance, this one had a pink background design with tiger-striped hearts. The bulb portion looked like a cylindrical piece of meat with a bone going through it and gave a soft, adorable squeak each time Mimi squeezed it. At 124 over 75, his blood pressure was in good shape. Mimi then proceeded to grab Fred’s wrist and check his pulse.
“65, not bad. You’re going to feel a slight pinch in a little bit,” Mimi warned. Fred knew what was next and immediately shifted his gaze to the white, tiled ceiling. Mimi grabbed his right middle finger and pricked it. Once the blood came out, she collected it via a glass slide. Fred returned his head to its normal position once Mimi placed a piece of gauze over the recently incurred injury and instructed him to hold it down. She quickly inserted the slide containing Fred’s blood into a machine that resembled a small, red treasure chest with a golden outline before providing him with an adhesive bandage featuring a design of foxes and raccoons with single leaves on their heads for his finger.
After a few seconds, the machine relayed Fred’s hemoglobin reading. “15.4, very good. Just a couple more things and you’ll be good to go,” Mimi said in a satisfied tone. “Since you’ve done this a few times before, I expect you know what’s next?” she inquired, gesturing towards the computer; Fred nodded in reply “I need to go get something. If you finish or need assistance, just click the red button on the screen.”
Mimi left while Fred began another routine part of the pre-screening process. He knew that the computer would display various questions inquiring about information including whether or not he felt healthy, if he was pregnant, if he participated in risky sex or took illegal drugs, if he visited certain countries, etc. Fred was relieved that the room was quiet. Sometimes, a radio would be blaring at blood drives as a measure to ensure individual privacy, but even with his earmuffs, the music made it difficult for Fred to even read the questions and he’d end up with a headache afterwards. Everything seemed like the usual fare until a mysterious question popped up at the end, “Which ears would suit you the best?” Unlike the previous yes/no questions, this one was multiple choice with an option for every type of girl pictured in the room as well as a few others.
Fred clicked the red button and almost immediately, Mimi burst through the nearby door carrying a strange device. “Done already?” she asked.
“Almost, I just never had this particular question pop up before. Why would it even matter?”
“Still can’t decide which of the girls you would most like to be like, huh?” Mimi teased him. “Don’t worry, that’s what this Mimi-Tron ID 5000 is for.”
Mimi held out the enigmatic device, which resembled a pink curling iron. “You’re not the first person who’s been a little shy, so I put together this little doohickey that tells me for sure. Just stick a finger in this end,” she instructed. Fred did so and he felt a weird jolt. The Mimi-Tron emitted a series of rhythmatic beeps for several seconds before ending with a ding. “Ah, you’re a cat,” Mimi exclaimed, happy to have some closure. “It’s one of the more common results, but nekomimi are just too cute.”
“Nekomimi?” Fred wondered.
“It means ‘cat girl,’ although a more direct translation would be ‘cat ear.’ Thanks for entertaining this crazy phlebotomist’s curiosity. Just select ‘cat’ on the computer screen and that should be the last of the questions.”
Fred didn’t need to worry about double-checking the rest of his answers. With few exceptions, most of the questions were usually answered in the negative anyway. Mimi proceeded to enter a confirmation code before escorting Fred to the next stop.
The next hallway contained a series of alternating red and white doors with a sign on each one. Fred was a little weirded out by the fact that instead of room numbers, they were labeled by animal names. Mimi stopped in front of one of the doors labeled “Cats” and proceeded to unlock it.
“She might be a little too obsessed,” Fred thought to himself as he stepped into the room. The walls were pink and littered with various pictures of both cats and nekomimi; there was also various related paraphernalia alongside the pictures. In the middle of the room was the only familiar sight Fred could find; it was similar the other cots that Fred was used to, but the padding was bright pink.
“Which arm do you want me to stick?” Mimi asked as she started to move both sides of the cot into a sitting posture.
“My left arm,” Fred replied before adding, “Could you please set the cot up to a laying down position?” Mimi nodded as she situated both sides as Fred requested and hooked up the armrest on the port side. For some odd reason, the armrest had a series of large pink rings on it.
As Fred got onto the cot, he remembered something important, “Before you try sticking me, I should warn you that I have deep veins.”
“Oh don’t worry, dearie. I’m the go-to girl for cases like that,” Mimi confidently replied as she slid Fred’s arm through the armrest’s rings, fastened a sphygmometer with a sushi motif to his left arm, and placed a stress ball in his matching hand.
“I’m not allergic to iodine if you guys use that, by the way,” Fred preemptively explained as he tried to prop his acoustic earmuffs into a working position.
“We have our own little concoction and method. It’s hypo-allergenic.” Mimi answered as she assisted him in adjusting his earmuffs. As Fred squeezed the stress ball so that Mimi could find a vein, he was sure that even though the person extracting his blood was a little weird, this experience would still be better than his last blood drive.
Fred’s last donation attempt wasn’t exactly pleasant. It was at a local sports complex and the best way he could think of to describe it was “Amateur Hour.” The actions of the staff throughout the entire process made it obvious that they were all inexperienced recruits. He had been made to wait an absurdly long amount of time on the cot throughout the entire process, but that wasn’t even the worst of it. Sphygmometers had a second use at blood drives aside from measuring blood pressure; they were also used to apply pressure on the veins and force them to pop out more, making them easier to stick. Despite Fred’s warning that he had deep veins that would be hard to pinpoint, the staff had used a tourniquet bandage instead, which only provided a fraction of the necessary constriction. They were unable to properly puncture the vein and the subsequent wriggling and digging with the needle was both painful and fruitless. Fred was still able to donate blood after the staff managed to get a good flow with his other arm, but that would be the last time he would donate at that place.
A sudden mechanical whirring interrupted Fred’s trip down memory lane. All but one of the rings had constricted around his left arm, effectively pinning it in place. Figuring that this would help avoid more unpleasant needle digging, Fred merely smiled and started his routine. He had learned early on that he should never look at the extraction needle while it permeated his flesh, or he’d feel clammy and faint for a couple of days. By putting on earmuffs, relaxing on his back, staring at the ceiling, and listening to the sound of blood flowing through his head, Fred was able to consistently donate with very few negative effects beyond the occasional bruise where his vein was tapped.
As he tightly gripped the stress ball in his hand, Mimi continued to prod the inside of his elbow to search for a good vein. Unbeknownst to Fred, she was using what appeared to be an oversized highlighter that left a “don’t-shoot-me green” dot where her target was. The final ring secured itself over the point and the inside portion rotated until a small hole appeared over the area Mimi had just marked.
Fred felt a familiarly sharp sting as the needle was successfully injected and blood successfully came up and went through the tubing and into the corresponding pouch. Sticking with his usual policy of staring at the ceiling, Fred did not notice that unlike the usual tubing for the procedure, he had been connected to a set with a sort of double helix formation and only one of the two tubes had his blood in it. Mimi discreetly injected a syringe of what appeared to be a golden liquid light into an IV-like apparatus connected to the unused tube. As it seeped into Fred, he started to feel more and more relaxed and dozed off; he was completely unaware that the second tube was now extracting a glowing, silver-ish, ethereal substance that was neither liquid nor gas.
Whatever this strange substance was, the lack of it began to trigger significant physiological changes in Fred. As he slept, his body hair completely vanished and his height decreased about three inches (the cot shrank at the exact same rate as if not to wake him). Fred’s remaining head of hair started to grow wildly, as it changed to a bright red color. In no time at all, it would have been long enough to reach halfway down his back if he were to stand up.
Fred’s hands slendered out into a feminine appearance and his nails extended a quarter of an inch as his arms rapidly lost diameter. The armrest’s rings discreetly retightened themselves around Fred’s twig-like left arm as the tubes continued to extract his blood and the other substance; they currently possessed a color motif that may have given the Peppermint Foundation its name.
Although it wasn’t visible, Fred’s feet were shrinking as well. They had become quite dainty and would now fit fantastically in a nice pair of heels. Not wanting to be left out, his legs also shed excess fat and muscle; they were now well toned, but they also made Fred’s sweatpants look even baggier than they already were.
Despite the changes, Fred still didn’t take notice as a serene smile formed across his face. As his eyes rounded out to a discreetly larger size and his lashes lengthened, Fred’s cheeks softened while his nose shrank, his chin became pointier, and his lips puffed out a bit. The front of Fred’s neck caved in as his Adam’s apple receded without a trace and his shoulders shrank.
Almost as if insisting on a change of pace, Fred’s chest began to balloon. His new breasts rapidly expanded until they reached a DD size; his formerly oversized shirt was barely enough to contain them. Meanwhile, Fred’s waist had been shrinking, complete with a new arch in his lower back, while his hips widened significantly, giving him quite a set of feminine curves. As his rear expanded, filling out the top of his pants, the last proof Fred had of being a male imploded inwards on itself, leaving behind a fully functional female equivalent in its wake.
“All done, Fred. You look great,” Mimi cheered as she began to remove the needle and tubes from her latest donor’s arm. Upon hearing Mimi, Fred snapped out of her torpor and suddenly noticed a tickling sensation on her forehead and a significant weight on her ribcage. She was surprised at how quickly Mimi had applied the gauze and wrapped a pink tourniquet bandage around the needle site on her arm, but there was something bothering her.
Still groggy, Fred asked in her new, much higher voice, “Could you please get that stuff off my chest so I can sit up?”
“Don’t worry about it. Large breasts are a perfectly normal side effect from the procedure. I don’t recommend handling them too much, though,” Mimi cautioned.
“B-Breasts?” Fred suddenly sat up in surprise at Mimi’s statement. As she did so, her new weight shifted accordingly and something obscured her eyes. Fred was at a loss for words when she realized that it was her own hair. After brushing it aside, she examined her new front-side extensions. Fred spasmed in surprise when she confirmed that they were real, but then thought, ”If I have breasts now, then does that also mean-?” She put her hand between her legs to check and sure enough, where there once was something, only a void remained. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” Fred shrieked at the top of her lungs once she realized the truth. “What did you do to me?” she screamed at Mimi.
“I granted your wish,” Mimi started to explain. “Do worry, this is normal. You’ll feel much better after the next step.”
“NEXT STEP?” Fred screeched in panic. “I’ve seen smaller melons at the county fair and you want to do MORE to me?”
“I’ve only extracted your male essence. There are still a couple more steps before you’re finished. You are going to be so cute when you’re-“
“ARE YOU DAMAGED IN THE HEAD?” Fred snapped. Her anger was well past boiling point.
“Oh my, it seems like you need some time to cool down. I’ll be back in a few minutes, so use that time to think things over. Just don’t get too overworked,” Mimi warned her. “You just gave blood and you haven’t been familiarized with your new body yet.”
Mimi collected the pint of burgundy-colored blood that she had just removed from Fred and left through the door. A subsequent click served as Fred’s confirmation that she wouldn’t be getting out anytime soon. Still steaming, she removed her earmuffs and reached into her right pants pocket for a small snack package of cookies that she had taken with just in case she didn’t like the food that was served at the canteen. Nibbling on the bite-sized munchies, Fred started to calm down a bit. She realized that for the time being, anger would not be a viable asset and that the best thing she could do was calm down and assess the situation.
Fred closed her eyes as she reapplied and readjusted her earmuffs around her longer hair. The temporary sensory deprivation would be beneficial toward gathering her thoughts and she would still be able to feel the door opening. As she took some slow, deep breaths, Fred went over the past events in her head. She received an invitation to an exclusive blood drive that mentioned Brett, her friend who had been incommunicado for several weeks. The only other possible donors were girls cosplaying with a consistent animal ear theme. She had been turned into a girl by an overly friendly and eccentric phlebotomist.
“First inconsistency,” she thought to herself, “Blood drives are not normally so exclusive or secretive. It runs counter to their goals of maximizing their supplies.” The necessity of a referral from a current donor further reinforced Fred’s hypothesis that there was another ulterior motive. “What was it that Mimi said? Something about granting my wish?” Fred continued contemplating.
The pieces of the puzzle began crashing into place. Despite her apparent panic and rage, turning into a girl was something she had actually wished for for quite a long time. Only Brett Lacington knew her secret and his name was in the letter. The need for a referral had to have been part of a precaution for secrecy and/or finding the best candidates to girlify.
“Why didn’t Mimi tell me the truth?” Fred wondered. Almost immediately, another thought formed in her head, “Would you have believed her?”
A loud click aroused Fred from her speculating and the door began to open. She removed her earmuffs and opened her eyes to see Mimi holding a white paper package and three pieces of what looked like colored gauze or skin patches. One patch was red, another yellow, and the third blue.
“Have you calmed down?” Mimi asked as she set the package next to her “victim.” Fred calmly nodded. She had successfully quelled her anger and in her currently focused state, she had decided to get as much information as possible.
“I’m still a little peeved that this happened to me without warning, but I’ll at least hear you out,” Fred calmly stated. “You do this to all donors, don’t you?”
“Yeah, but we’re pretty good about hitting our marks,” Mimi replied with another smile.
“I’ll yield to that point, but I have a few questions before we continue.”
“All in good time dearie, but first, we need to advance to the next step,” the perky phlebotomist explained as she unwrapped the packaging on the blue patch and immediately stuck it on Fred’s forehead.
Fred felt a strong jolt of electricity and was struck with a sudden and extreme dizzy spell as the blue patch dissolved into her skin. She could feel her eyes tingling and her teeth sharpening. As Fred’s upper canines extended to slightly beyond her lips, she became even dizzier as her ears started to twitch and shift upwards on her head. A sudden surge of pressure erupted just above Fred’s rear and a red, furry, 3-foot-long cat tail pierced its way through her pants.
“You look even more adorable than I thought you would. See for yourself,” Mimi excitedly proclaimed as she handed Fred a small mirror.
Still to dizzy to even sit up, Fred could only respond with a “Nya?” as she looked at her new face. It was clearly a feminine visage, but even more surprising was her new eyes. They now had bright yellow irises and feline pupils. She next averted her gaze towards the top of her head where she saw her new, much larger ears. They were pointed outwards and obviously catlike. As she twitched and moved them, Fred could see that they had a fine coating of fur identical in color to her hair.
“Before we go any further, you need a new name. How about Clara?” Mimi suggested. Fred just replied with a look of distaste. “No? Well did you have a different name in mind Ms. Barton?”
Fred took a minute to think. Although she did fantasize frequently about being a female in the past, she had never decided on a girl name for herself before. As she wagged her tail and twirled a lock of her hair with her finger, an idea came to mind, ”How about Ginger-nya?” Fred immediately put her hands over her mouth in surprise when she realized what she had just ended her sentence with.
“Ginger-nya Barton, huh? Are you sure?” Mimi joked. Upon seeing that the newly named Ginger wasn’t amused, she continued, “So Ginger, I’m going to explain the next step while there’s still time. The yellow patch is next and it will answer pretty much all of your questions and will allow you to adjust to your body and a new lifestyle immediately. The dizziness from the blue patch will also subside.”
“Nyu are going to change who I am? Will I lose my memories-nya?” Ginger nervously mewed.
“No, that’s what the red patch is for. I’ll get to that one in a minute,“ Mimi clarified. “The nanites in the yellow patch will give you new mannerisms and instantly implant necessary experience into you. It will be as if you were born with this body and you will also know everything you need to about the Peppermint Foundation. Your old memories will stay intact and you will be able to distinguish the difference between them and the ones implanted by the yellow patch. You really need this one right now. Currently, I don’t think you’ll even be able to stand up without it.”
Ginger knew Mimi was right. The room was still spinning and it was starting to seem like everything was getting louder. Her sense of smell seemed to have sharpened as well. However, there was one little issue beforehand, “Are nyu going to make me take the red patch as well to make me forget who I am-nya?”
“The red patch modifies your memory to the point to where you forget your previous life as a guy with a smooth transition to always having been a nekomimi. We don’t require you to take it, though we do insist that you keep it handy in case you ever decide to do so,” Mimi assured her. “I’m going to leave for a few minutes now. Just apply yellow patch to the back of your neck below your hairline. There’s a new set of clothes for you in the package on the cot. I strongly advise getting redressed; another side effect of the blue patch nanites is that they tend to dissolve the affected person’s old clothing.”
Not long after Mimi locked the door again, Ginger began to feel a breeze. Still too dizzy to even check her legs, she grabbed her shirt instead. The portion that she grabbed crumbled and disintegrated away like it was thousands of years old. Not wanting to be exposed in more ways than one, Ginger hastily peeled the back off the yellow patch, lifted her hair up and out of the way, and slapped it in place as instructed. An overwhelmingly strong and sudden jolt surged through her entire body as years of experience rushed into her head; to an average onlooker, she would have looked like she was having a serious seizure.
After about half a minute of thrashing, Ginger’s body finally calmed down. Her dizziness had completely dissipated and she was finally able to stand again. However, the localized air currents in the room confirmed that she no longer had a scrap of clothing save for the pink tourniquet bandage on her left arm. A slight shiver ran down her spine and tail as she opened up the paper package that Mimi left behind. Inside was a red pair of panties with an opening for her new tail and a matching bra, red high-heeled shoes, and a green dress. The dress resembled what was commonly associated to be a Chinese martial arts style of female clothing and resembled a modified version of a qipao that Chum-Mi from the Road Brawler series might wear.
Ginger examined the undergarments and as she tried to figure out how to put them on, new memories flashed in her head. She immediately knew what she needed to know and recognized the applicable “memories” as the yellow patch’s doing. Although they felt almost identical to her old memories, which were still fully intact, these new ones had what could be best described as a certain tactile tint.
With the most important parts covered up, Ginger moved on to the qipao-like dress. Yet again, the information she needed in order to correctly don the garb appeared in her mind as if she had known how to do so for years. Ginger was able to slip it on without any trouble and looked at herself for a minute. There were no sleeves and her shoulders were completely exposed. Although there was no cleavage, the dress was tight enough that the size of her new bust was readily apparent. The bottom half was cut in two places for ease of movement, resulting in a front side and a rear side (complete with tail hole) that reached down to about three inches above her ankles. The cuts in the dress were a little higher than she would have preferred (they just barely covered the straps from her panties), but she liked the design overall.
Just as Ginger was putting on her new heels, a knock came at the door. “Nyu can come on in. I’m decent-nya,” she mewed, now feeling completely comfortable with her new accent. Mimi opened the door just as Ginger stepped into her heels.
“You look so adorable,” Mimi giddily squealed as she rushed in and gave Ginger a squeeze without any warning. “I just brought some cosmetics with me. Once you’ve dolled up, we can head for the canteen.”
“Nyat a problem,” Ginger cheerfully mewed. “Apparently I’m nyow an expert. I even knyow what type of style I want-nya.”
Mimi pulled a small compact out of her wallet. After inputting what Ginger now knew to be the combination for opening a dimensional pocket, an assortment of beauty products was suddenly available for use. Ginger applied some blush to her cheeks and mascara to her eyelashes. Next, she applied some green eyeshadow and a green shade of lipstick to go with her dress. Deciding to go with a simpler look, Ginger brushed her red hair straight and put a green oriental comb behind her left ear. Finally, Ginger applied some quick-dry green nail polish to finish her new look.
“Not bad at all,” Mimi complimented. “You just need a couple more accessories. She then proceeded to hand Ginger a choker. It was like the one Ginger had seen on the nekomimi that had hugged her before she entered the building, but it was red instead of black. Something about it seemed too adorable to pass up and she couldn’t put it around her neck fast enough. As Ginger tinkled the bell in delight, Mimi handed her an expensive-looking green purse.
“I’ve already stocked it full of the basic necessities,” the satisfied phlebotomist explained. “I also put a red patch inside as well should the inclination ever strike you.”
Ginger swung the purse over her shoulder and giggled as she trotted along to the canteen with Mimi leading the way. Ever since the yellow patch kicked in, she had felt gleeful, and full of energy despite the recent loss of blood, but more than anything, Ginger felt amazingly free. Her secret dream had been realized and it was turning out to be far better than she had imagined. As they wandered the maze of hallways, Ginger was struck with one déjà vu after another. The nanites were imprinting a mental map of the building into her head and soon Ginger rushed to the lead, knowing exactly where to go. Mimi merely smiled as she followed along.
As Ginger got closer to her destination, she started to smell a wonderfully delicious aroma. She could barely contain her drool and started to jump up and down in a giddy fashion as Mimi unlocked the door. The large room on the other side was striped all over in red and white and the walls were littered with pictures of more Peppermint Foundation blood donors like what Ginger had seen in previous rooms. This was a canteen like no other. There was a huge buffet spread with an abundance of quality food selections from fish, chicken, and other meats to carrots, exotic fruits, and a variety of salads. Roughly a couple dozen girls were happily partaking of the generous feast. Like Ginger, they all had animal ears and tails and each one wore a tourniquet bandage around one arm, signifying that they had just finished donating blood.
Mimi pressed a button near the door and a buzzer sounded. All of the girls stopped what they were doing and turned to face the two.
“May I have everyone’s attention please?” Mimi proudly announced. “We have a new member today. I’d like everyone to give a warm welcome to Ginger Barton.”
Ginger shyly stood and waved as the rest of the girls cheered and applauded. After shaking hands with a few of them, she was escorted to the buffet. Ginger couldn’t contain her appetite any longer and made a beeline toward a plate of grilled salmon. She was so excited that she actually grabbed one with her mouth. It was beyond delectable and the harmony of the moist meat and spices seemed to melt into perfection.
“Don’t forget to try the sushi. It’s like nyathing nyu have ever experienced before-nya,” Ginger turned to see the same nekomimi in a maid-like costume that she had met at the entrance. “Would nyu forgive an old friend for betraying nyor confidence-nya?”
Ginger was so surprised the she dropped the fish in her mouth. Fortunately, it landed squarely on her buffet plate. She nodded in shock as she and the other nekomimi finished filling their plates before finding a nearby table to sit down.
“Is that really nyu Brett?” Ginger asked, still surprised.
“It certainly is-nya, although I don’t go by Brett anymore. Allow me to reintroduce myself. My nyame is Doily, Doily Lacington-nya.”
Ginger couldn’t contain her laughter, “Nyu had the opportunyaty to choose any nyame and nyu went with Doily? Nyu always were a little kooky in the head-nya.”
“I was nyever really fond of my last nyame, but when I changed, I figured that I might as well have some fun with it-nya.” Doily explained.
“Nyu hugged me earlier just to see my reaction, didn’t nyu?”
“Sorry-nya, I couldn’t resist. Once a prankster, always a prankster. Besides, nyu should have seen nyor face-nya. It was priceless,” Doily replied with a giggle.
“Well it looks like I have nyu to thank for this little lifestyle change-nya. I’m nyactually grateful, but there are a couple questions I have that the nyallow patch doesn’t answer-nya,” Ginger inquired.
“What are the bell collars for-nya? Ever since the nyallow patch did its magic, I’ve had the insatiable urge always wear one, but I have nyo idea why-nya.”
“That’s an easy one,” Doily replied with a smile as she suddenly grabbed Ginger’s shoulders. “It’s because a nyekomimi with a bell is one of the cutest things in existence-nya!” With that, Doily immediately put Ginger in a headlock and began petting and scratching her ears. Ginger tried to fight back at first, but the sensation was too much for her and she blissfully relaxed with a long, contented purr while her tail danced around like a charmed cobra. Ginger spent the next couple of minutes in Doily’s lap. She was aware via the yellow patch that her ears were now sensitive to this sort of thing, but it was an entirely different matter to actually experience it.
“Do nyu have any more questions-nya?” Doily asked as Ginger yawned and stretched, returning to her meal.
“I really like this nyu body, but there is one last concern I have-nya,” Ginger admitted. “How are we going to explain this to our families? This nyus might be a little hard for them to take-nya.”
“N-nya?” Doily uttered as she gave Ginger a blank stare. Apparently, she hadn’t thought that far. Her ears drooped as she confessed, “Nyaaa, I was kind of hoping nyu would skip that one. I don’t have much to offer on that front-nya. Maybe nyu could smooth things over by assuring them that you don’t need a litter box-nya?”
“That’s nyat funny, Doily,” Ginger replied as she hung her head in frustration.
“Okay, okay, how about I go with nyu when nyu explain? Hopefully things will be better for nyu than for it was me-nya,” Doily suggested as a painful memory entered her mind. “It’s nyat something I like to talk about, but when I came home after my first donyation, my family didn’t exactly welcome me back. In fact, they flat out disowned me-nya. Nyu were the only person who would’ve accepted me at the time, but I knyu that this life would be a wonderful surprise for nyu, so I waited until we could both donyate on the same day-nya.”
Ginger put her hand on her friend’s shoulder for support. Doily’s ears perked up a bit as she smiled and said, “Thanks, nyaaa-?” Without warning, Ginger suddenly had Doily in a headlock of her own as she stated, “Turnyabout is fair play-nya!” and proceeded to give Doily a petting session of her own. As Ginger’s fingers ran across Doily’s ears, she giggled as she screamed “Nyat fair! Nyat fair!” before finally surrendering to Ginger’s magical touch with a contented purr of her own as her tail went from straight to waving every which way.
“At least nyu still have nyor best friend,” Ginger assured her, “and I nyoticed that nyu seemed to be awfully chummy with some of the other donyors-nya.”
After Ginger released her grip, Doily sat back up in her seat and smiled. “Nyactually,” she admitted, “I’ve been quite busy these past few weeks-nya. In-nyaddition to making so many wonderful nyu friends who accept me for me, I got us both enrolled at Peppermint Nyunyiversity. Truth be told, nyu were my last connyection to my old life and I was planning on taking my red patch soon-nya. Nyow that nyu are like me, I can do so with nyo regrets.”
Ginger was excited by this prospect. According to the information afforded her by the yellow patch, Peppermint University was a new high quality campus that was built with the premise of allowing donors and regular humans to peacefully co-mingle. As a new Foundation member, Ginger could now get in for free. In fact, this was not the only perk Ginger now had access to. Apparently, the Peppermint Foundation took great care of its donors and available assistance including finding a good home and the perfect job was easy to come by.
The two friends continued to catch up on old times and Doily introduced Ginger to some friends she had made since becoming a nekomimi. It was a very cheerful group and Ginger felt like she immediately belonged. After they ate their fill at the canteen, Doily drove Ginger to her parents’ home for the inevitable confrontation.
Ginger’s family was definitely shocked to be sure (her dad actually fainted immediately), but while there was clear hesitation, it was obvious that Ginger’s parents were willing to at least try to understand and accept the wishes of their new nekomimi daughter.
A couple of days later, Doily arrived at Ginger’s home to help her move into their new college dorm. “The last step towards a nyu world. I can’t wait-nya!” Ginger excitedly exclaimed.
“And time for me to leave the old world behind-nya,” Doily replied as she pulled her red patch out of her purse. Ginger didn’t try to stop her; she new that Doily had thought this decision through. As soon as Doily applied the red patch to the back of her neck, her body seized up and she fell flat on her face. At the same time, the effect of Ginger’s yellow patch nanites caused her brain to surge with new information.
“Nyow! What hit me?” Doily wondered as she slowly got up to her feet.
“Nyu looked like nyu had a bit of a dizzy spell from the red patch-nya,” Ginger assured her as she helped Doily to a nearby couch.
“What red patch-nya?” Doily wondered. “I nyever had one of those. They don’t give them to nyaturally born nyekomimi like me-nya.”
“Nyever mind. Nyu must be tired. Go ahead and take a breather-nya,”
Ginger sat next to Doily and allowed her to place her head on her lap. As Doily purred and her tail twisted to and fro from Ginger’s caresses, Ginger was a little sad that her friend no longer remembered being human, but she knew that this was what Doily wanted. Doily’s memories had been completely altered and although Ginger still remembered the old Brett, as Doily’s friend and roommate, she was also now privy to relevant information about Doily’s new past including how to interact with her.
Even after the red patch incident, the two remained close friends. Ginger didn’t feel the need to use her own red patch because as it turned out, her parents needed less than a week before the awkwardness surrounding their new daughter had dissipated. The college courses were tough, but Ginger and Doily reveled in the challenge. Every eight weeks, the two would donate more blood at the Peppermint Foundation and although Ginger had to come up with a new routine to replace her old acoustic earmuffs, each time was an enjoyable experience.
At every arrival, they were greeted at the front door by the Peppermint Foundation’s friendly staff, “Welcome back. It’s always nice to see such cheerful repeat donors.”