Brandy slowly walked down the scorching sidewalk that ran along one of the Crescent Isle's seawalls. Her body slouched, her ears drooped, and a prominent frown hung gloomily on her muzzle. Despite the gorgeous scenery of the beaches and the ocean, Brandy struggled lifting her spirits. Scenes from the past week replayed in her head. Her church excommunicated her and she was ridiculed so heavily that she decided to leave her home town of Cedar. Even her mother suggested she leave.
She paused in the middle of the sidewalk and bit her lip as tears started welling up behind her eyes, a feeling that was becoming too familiar for her liking. It isn't my fault that I've always wanted to be a girl, she thought to herself. I was born with these feelings.
She shook her head in an attempt to rid the negative thought from her psyche and continued walking with a faster, more upbeat pace. After several minutes, an intriguing, colorful sign caught the vixen's eye. "Beach Social. If anyone wants to join, feel free! Bikinis/Beach attire required though!"
Brandy's ears perked up at the idea of a social. It's exactly what she needed to cheer herself up, but her heart skipped a beat as she read the last line a second time. Small droplets of sweat formed on her forehead and she paced back and forth while pressing her index fingers together. B-bikinis? she blushed. I mean, yeah, I'm a girl now, but I don't know if I'm ready for that yet.
Brandy glanced down at the beach and noticed a plethora of people scurrying about with warm smiles. She knew she needed this. She knew she needed social interaction. She closed her eyes and released a short sigh. "Alright, let's do this," she said aloud.
Brandy pinpointed a swimwear shop on the beach in the style of a tiki hut. A sign hanging under the shop's straw roof read, "Crazy Cresselia's Swimwear." Brandy chuckled, thinking the name Cresselia sounded cute. Not wasting any time, she stepped inside the shop.
As Brandy opened the door, she triggered a small, brass bell that hung in the air. The bell alerted the cashier of Brandy's presence. "Welcome to Crazy Cresselia's Swimwear! How may I help you?" the cashier said with her back turned. After she finished sorting jewels in the cash register, she faced Brandy. The young girl had pale skin, pink hair, and colored contacts that matched her hair. She wore a bikini with an off-blue bottom and a cream-colored top.
"Hi, I'm looking for a bikini," she said cheerily.
"A bikini? Sorry, but we don't have anything for your kind," she spat. Brandy drew back, her ears folding downward. "Besides, doesn't your kind prefer to run around naked?"
"That's enough!" a firm voice shouted from the back of the store. Both Brandy and the cashier jumped in surprise from the abruptness of the comment. A middle-aged woman with light skin and turquoise hair and eyes walked toward the two women. She wore a bikini as well with a dark-purple bottom and a cream-colored top. Despite being older, the bikini still flattered the woman. "Forgive my daughter for her rudeness," she apologized to Brandy. "She still has a lot to learn."
"It's okay! I'm getting used to it," Brandy lied.
A sad expression consumed the older woman's face and she replied, "To be insulted so regularly that one claims that they are 'getting used to it' is a sad sign that our world needs help." Brandy was taken aback by the wisdom in this woman's words. What's someone like this doing here selling binkinis? Brandy wondered silently. "I'm Cresselia and I'm the owner of this shop," Cresselia welcomed. You said that you were looking for a bikini correct?"
"Y-Yes ma'am!" Brandy stuttered.
Cresselia motioned with her right hand and said, "Then follow me." Brandy shadowed the mysterious woman around the store. "I'm sorry to say that we don't have any bikini bottoms with a hole in it to account for your tail."
Brandy patted one of her daggers with her left hand. "Oh, don't worry. I have a solution for that."
Cresselia turned around and noticed what Brandy was doing and laughed. "Yes, I suppose that would work. Might I ask what size you are?"
Brandy smiled. "I'm a six."
Cresselia laughed a second time. "Well, my dear, I am jealous." Cresselia made her way to a section in the right of the store and rummaged through a rack with Brandy close behind. "Do you have any colors or designs that you'd prefer."
"A simple solid purple would be nice, like what you are wearing."
"Good choice!" Cresselia picked one that matched Brandy's specifications and asked, "Does this one work, my dear?"
Brandy nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I'll buy it. Do you mind me using your dressing room to 'fix' the bikini bottom?" she asked while pointing at a dagger.
"Of course! Let my daughter check you out first."
Cresselia's daughter complained, "But Mom, she's a..."
"Hush child!" Cresselia cut her daughter off. "She's just as much of a human as you and me and she deserves our respect."
Brandy was stunned by their argument. No one had stood up for her the way Cresselia was since before her transformation. Cresselia's daughter scowls. "Yes ma'am." Brandy grabbed the dark-purple bikini and walked over to the cash register. Cresselia's daughter took it and rang it up. "40 jewels," she mumbled dejectedly. At first, Brandy thought the daughter overcharged her because she was a vixen, but she realized that prices were always higher in tourist attractions.
Despite her crude comments, Brandy smiled at Cresselia's daughter."Thank you." Cresselia's daughter returned the product to Brandy and Brandy walked to the dressing room, preparing her dagger. Once inside, she cut a small hole in the back of the bikini bottom, a procedure that she was accustomed to. After several minutes, she worked her bushy tail through the tiny opening and changed into her new bikini. Brandy turned her body several ways while gazing into the mirror and she grinned. "I'm so glad I'm a girl," she whispered. "I look great in this." With one final nod of approval, Brandy picked up her backpack, stepped out of the dressing room, and moved to exit the store. "Bye," she sang while waving to Cresselia.
"Goodbye, my dear," she responded. "You look great in that by the way."
"Thanks!" Brandy left the store oozing confidence, ready to meet new people.