Strand 3

My nose itched. I twitched it. The itch continued. I reached up to scratch it, but my hand recoiled... HAIR! Well, bristles, really- bristles? No! Fur! Fur? FUR???

"What is going on?" I thought frantically. I looked at my hands- paws! No thumbs! Small, furry paws! I looked myself over- Short...fat...covered with fur...and a long, swirling tail. A squirrel? A dream! This has to be a dream! I can't be a squirrel!

"Okay, breathe," I told myself, pressing the fluffy tail to my chest with my tiny paws to keep it from swishing agitatedly back and forth into my face. "There's got to be an explanation for this!"

Taking a deep gulp of air, I paused for a moment in mid-thought to take in my surroundings...

Darkness was all around me, but overhead, a pale bluish circle of light shone in like a window on the inside of a high tower. As my eyes adjusted and focused, I could see small steps leading up in a spiral all the way around to where the light peeked in on me.

Stumbling over the acorn shells that littered the floor of the room, I made my way to the stairs and began to cautiously ascend, clutching the awkwardly over-long tail in front of me.

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