“John.” Skylar hissed before he could say anything. “Look.” A hand waved in front of John’s face quickly, but even though it was gone faster than he could blink, he knew there was something wrong with it.
“What?” He set the tray on a table and grabbed Skylar’s arm, pushing up the sleeve. It wasn’t just the hand. Before Skylar could tug their sleeve back into place John watched as another inch of skin went from regular to translucent and covered in hives. “Are you shifting back?” He whispered.
“Not exactly, but-”
“Hey John, are you, oh,” Hannah came around the pole and Skylar shoved their hands deep into their sweatshirt pocket, “hey Skylar. What’s happening?”
“Nothing!” John waved his hands. “Just Skylar scaring me, you know. Go back to the table, we’ll be there shortly.”
“Oh my gosh,” Hannah brushed past John and grabbed Skylar’s shoulders. “Are you okay?” John looked up, the tiny little bumps spreading to Skylar’s face and splotchy clear patches appearing.
Without a thought he pulled Skylar’s hoodie up and over their face.
“It’s spreading isn’t it?” They squirmed. “It’s so itchy!” In their pocket their hands were moving. Scratching their fingers as hard as they could trying to get rid of the itchy feeling.
Meanwhile Hannah was trying to pull John’s hands away from Skylar’s hood, and they were pushing each other. “John, they still need to breathe.”
“If we can make the itchy feeling go away then I’ll go back to normal!” John grabbed Skylar’s collar and pulled them away from Hannah.
“What is going on?” Hannah threw her arms to the side.
“Skylar.” Hannah ignored John. “You tell me.”
“These tiny bumps are spreading from my hands to all over.” Skylar’s words were muffled by the hood.
“Hives.” John and Hannah said at the same time.
John cleared his throat while Hannah tried once more to get a closer look at Skylar. “What were you doing immediately before your hands started getting itchy?”
“I was touching some dried flowers in the bathroom and then my hands got all itchy.”
“The potpourri?” Hannah ducked around John’s arm when he froze and she pushed Skylar’s hood partially up before gasping and pulling it down herself. “Oh my god.” In that split second she had seen a walking, breathing, muscular anatomy model. “Skylar why-” John’s hand clamped over her mouth and she bit down.
“Hannah we’ll explain everything,” Skylar blurted, “but first we need to make the hives go away so I can return to the normal human phenotype. Just don’t draw attention to us.”
“You owe me.” Hannah seethed.
“Fine. Get Skylar out of the mall and to your car.” John pinched the bridge of his nose. “Keep hidden.”
“What are you doing?” Skylar’s voice squeaked.
“Getting you Benadryl. Emily’s allergic to potpourri so…”
“I am too.”
“Go,” John waved a hand, “before anyone else sees."
Word count: 485