A/N: Do not look too in-depth into the title. Welcome the Zootopification of a species while trying to preserve some of their earthly qualities. I didn't really know how to tag this.
Chapter 1: Suspicions
"Run from the police when alone." Everyone drilled this message into her. Her school repeated the message once every morning, once before classes ended. Her parents reminded her at random and quizzed her at times She didn't understand why. The police were helpful.
Her enthusiasm for the new school year quickly faded as it started just like the previous one.
"What do we do if we're alone?" her teacher asked. Not even a new teacher allowed her to escape this boring repetition.
"Run from the police," the class replied.
She sat beside Christopher, her best friend. "Do your parents do the same?" she asked. "They always remind me to run from police."
"I've never heard my parents say it even once. Police are friendly though," he replied. "Come on, Danielle, I know you hate it, but at least it doesn't take much time."
The teacher called everyone's attention. "We'll begin with English…"
The rest of the day passed like a blur and her parents were there to pick her up. Her mom was always inquisitive about her day. "How was school today, sweetie?"
"Boring as usual," Danielle said.
"What do you do if you're alone?"
"Run from police. I'm not going to forget, Mom."
"Don't take that tone with her, she cares about you a lot," her father admonished. "Apologize."
"I'm sorry," she mumbled.
"I don't like your tone. Do it again."
"Was that so hard?"
She was unlucky to have strict parents. She saw a meal in the middle of the street extravagantly prepared, but everyone walked on by as if it wasn't even there. It couldn't be too tall, or the cars would run it over. She remembered the rage and fury her parents had when she took a bite from one of those. It was only last year but it was still fresh in her mind.
She had run towards an appetizing slice of cake.
"Never do that again." Her father stared at her.
"You're grounded for a week. I need to fix this," her mother said.
"I was hungry," she replied.
"Those are off limits. We told you about this. Don't eat them when you're with us." Her mother took the cake she was eating even though she only had a nibble before they caught her. She watched her mother throw the cake into the trash.
"Why?" she asked.
Her mother didn't respond, and she didn't push her luck. She had a cooking lesson that day. She learned how to create that cake. It was almost an exact replica of the one she tried to eat.
Her mother placed the cake in the middle of the road once more. "I finally fixed your mistake."
Her parents deprived her of joy for the entire week. They didn't allow her friends over, no games, no special treats, nothing she loved. She remembered it well.
"Don't even think about it," her mother said, pulling her mind back into the present, as they walked on by.
"I didn't forget," Danielle replied. "I remember everything."
Everything might be a stretch, but she recalled with great clarity another time her parents acted bizarrely. She was at the park playing with other pups her age. Running around chasing each other. She saw an injured pup wearing yellow clothing alone and afraid. It was that pup's birthday. The pup's clothing was torn in places and there were visible cuts on his skin. "Come out, it's okay," she coaxed.
The frightened pup slowly came out of hiding with her reassurances. "Thank you," he said shakily. He seemed slightly older than her.
"There you are!" Her mother screeched. "Go back to your father now!"
She saw her mother chase her new friend away. The injured pup ran like never before while sobbing. She didn't understand. "Have I done something wrong?" she asked her father.
"No, but he has. There are other pups for you to play with. Have fun with them."
She was so disturbed by the display, she questioned the next pup she saw. She told them what her mother did just now. "Are your parents like this too?"
"I don't know, they aren't my parents. They care about me a lot though," he smiled sweetly. "Forget about it, I'm sure your parents are nice."
"What happened to your parents?"
"I'm not allowed to say, but let's have fun. Tag! You're it!"
Desperate for an answer, she chased. Even when she caught up to the older pup, her attempts at receiving an answer were futile. She gave up on pursuing the question and enjoyed the rest of the day.
Her parents jolted her back to reality. "You remember everything do you?" her mother asked. She nodded, fearing that she was in trouble again. "Good." Her mother seemed pleased. "Why don't I make you a nice cake, today? You can invite your friends."
"Today? My birthday's a week from now! I can't tell my classmates on such short notice. How about two days from now?"
"What about tomorrow? I want to practice baking."
"What about my birthday?"
"You can have another cake then too."
"You're the best!" She jumped hugging her mom. She always loved cake, but it was for special occasions only birthdays. She wasn't going to turn down such an offer. Her mother even altered her plans but didn't cave into her wishes completely.
"I know." She hugged her daughter. Danielle groomed her mother's fur. She did that when she was happy or when she wanted something really bad.
The teacher took attendance. "Aeron is absent today," the teacher said.
Danielle didn't know Aeron much at all. She found it strange that her teacher was broadcasting that unremarkable fact. She did know the Aeron had wasted no time showing off her dazzling yellow dress. It must have been her birthday. Everyone wore yellow on their birthdays and only their birthdays. It shown with the brightness of multiple gems. It certainly showed how rich Aeron was. It made her jealous, and secretly she was glad that Aeron was gone.
She had the same classmates for every single class. It was different because, in the previous year, classes were intermingled. Towards the end of the school day, she announced, "My parents are throwing a party today. Anyone want to come?"
It was short notice, but they were willing to come regardless.
Guests arrived at her house one by one. They played pin the tail on the pony. She wasn't too good at it, but she had fun. It was strange, she never saw any other species, but their party games were certainly inspired by them.
"Normally, rabbits go in hats," Danielle said.
"But we don't have rabbits here," her father said.
"This is embarrassing. Can't you practice magic somewhere else? With cards maybe?"
"Your mother's going through all this trouble."
"Fine," she said. Her father pulled her out of the hat. "Happy now?" She blushed from all the pink lace her father put on her.
"That's my girl," he said. He kissed her on the forehead.
She gasped in horror when she saw the cake her mother had prepared. It was exactly like the one she tried to sneak a bite out of last year. A perfect replica! "Can I eat this?" she asked her mother.
"Of course," she said. "It's for you."
She leaned forward to take a bite. "I won't be grounded, will I?"
"What gave you that idea?"
She told her in extravagant detail that incident they had on the road last year. "Really?" her mother seemed amazed. "This cake is safe to eat. You won't be grounded."
She eagerly took a slice of the black forest cake with insect filling. "So good."
Her party also ended with the repetitive mantra reminding everyone they had to run from police if they were alone. They asked everyone to recite on command.
She noted that her friends were all picked up by both parents. No one was ever alone.
The teacher announced Benjamin was absent. Aeron still hadn't returned. She took careful note that the teacher didn't mention Aeron was absent again. The teacher didn't even call Aeron's name. She noticed only now that Benjamin hadn't come to her party. She felt bad because in her excitement, she realized she stole his potential guests. Today, Bradleigh wore a yellow dress. Danielle resolved to follow Bradleigh wherever she went.
"Pay attention please!" the teacher said. He was staring at her.
"Sorry, I'm distracted." She wouldn't let Bradleigh out of her sight.
She paid attention to the math teacher once more. Bradleigh didn't seem afraid or anything, but she was the only one wearing yellow because it was her birthday. By the end of the school day, Danielle's parents came to pick her up. Bradleigh was still there waiting for hers.
"Mom, I want to wait until Bradleigh is picked up," she said.
"We don't have time," her mother said.
"But I think something might happen to her."
"She's safe at the school," her father replied. "You trust the teachers, don't you?"
Her mother went to talk to her teacher. "Has she caused any trouble?"
"She was distracted during class," her teacher replied.
"I will see what I can do." Her mother returned to her. "If you don't pay attention in class, your grades might slip."
They told her the mantra yet again.
On the way home, they saw a car run over one of those precious cakes in the middle of the road. Her mother used her cellphone. "Hi, I'd like to report a crime on Lemur Street. A black car just ran over a slice of cake."
She tried to listen to what the other animal said. She couldn't hear, but she saw police speeding past her on the way home. When they returned home, her mother wasted no time in baking a slice of cake just like before.
After dinner, they went out for a walk. Her father carried the slice of cake. They walked to where the previous cake was. Her mother set the cake in the middle of the road once more.
"Why?" Danielle asked.
"It's tradition," her mother replied.
She was right! Vindication gives way to fear. Bradleigh went missing! Bradleigh wore yellow yesterday. The teacher announced Bradleigh was missing, just like she imagined that would happen. Carl was wearing yellow today.
She didn't care. She marched right up to the teacher's desk.
"Where is Aeron?" she asked. "It's been three days."
"Her parents moved her to another school," the teacher replied.
"Where is Benjamin?"
"He's visiting sick relatives."
"Where is Bradleigh?"
"Her parents called in sick for her. She's caught the chickenpox. It's very contagious."
"Carl is going to go missing too, isn't he?"
Carl happened to overhear. "Chill out, my parents are taking me on a cruise tomorrow! I'm so excited! It's my birthday present!"
The teacher sighed. "Now, settle down so I can start class." She heard him mutter under his breath. "They don't pay me enough for this job."
The rest of the day was uneventful. The mantra was repeated yet again to everyone that remained.
She asked her parents if they could visit Bradleigh.
"Are you crazy? She has the chickenpox," her mother replied.
"I don't care," she said.
"But we do."
The next day, Christopher wore yellow. She asked her best friend, "Are you going to disappear too now?"
Carl had vanished, but the teacher still noted his absence. It was like clockwork.
"My parents told me they're running late today. I'll be here on Monday. They were too busy for my birthday," he replied.
She smacked him. scratching his face deep enough to draw blood. "If you aren't here. I'll give you worse. I will find you wherever you go."
"Don't worry about it."
"Young girl, bullying is not allowed here," the teacher said.
"It's okay," Christopher said. "I enjoy her wild imagination."
"Come with me to the principal's office, both of you."
They bandaged Christopher up promptly even though it was just a scratch before sending him on his way. The principal herself taught her. There was no time for any of her theories, the principal was strict and ensured she was productive.
She let her mind wander just for a moment.
"Now, what's the capital of Zootopia?" the principal asked.
"Wrong, that's where most animals live. Now, pay attention."
Her parents came to pick her up as usual. "I want to wait until the parents of my best friend arrive. They're running late today."
"We don't have time for this," her mother chided.
"I don't care. I'm staying here until his parents arrive."
"Your mother's right. We don't have time to wait."
"Make me come home then. I'm not moving."
"Look, I'll be fine, really," Christopher said.
She remained despite everyone's pleas. She wouldn't even trust her classmates to keep watch.
"Ungrateful pup." Her parents simply walked away.
She remained with her best friend, but his parents never came. Hour after hour even as everyone else left. The teacher said, "You two have to leave the school now."
"But my parents didn't come," Christopher said. "Something must have happened."
"Where do you live?"
"I'll drive you both home. Danielle, why must you cause so much trouble?" the teacher admonished.
They both got in the car. "Still think you're not going to disappear?" Danielle said.
"My parents told me they were late. Things happen," Christopher said.
"Why were you wearing yellow anyway? You knew my theory about it."
"You're too paranoid. I'm fine see? See you on Monday."
She scratched his other cheek.
"We're here," the teacher said. "Off you go now."
She watched her best friend depart, and enter the brick house he lived in.
"Can we stay until he enters the house?" she asked.
"Fine, if that'll put an end to your theories. They don't pay me enough for this job."
Her friend walked right into the inviting house. "Can we go now?"
"You're right," she said to placate the irritated teacher.
The teacher was true to his word. He drove her home even though she was suspicious.
"Are you going to apologize?" her mother said. "You wasted his time."
"I'm sorry," she said.
"It's okay really," the teacher said. "You should be glad to have such a bright pup."
"Sometimes I think she's too smart."
"I think she takes that as a compliment."
"It's meant to be one."
She woke up in the middle of the night. She heard a commotion, drawn towards the window. She swore she saw a pup being chased by a police car. She couldn't see that clearly, but her parents had to know.
"Mom! Wake up! Dad! Wake up!" She pulled on their covers trying to rouse them.
"What is it?"
She told them what she saw. They walked with her to the window. "See? There's nothing out there," her mother said.
"But I saw them, one frightened pup and a police car."
"It must have been a nightmare. Do you want to sleep with us?"
She usually slept in her own bed. It seemed shameful, but she was still afraid. "Sure."
Her parents surrounded her. It made her feel safe.
Two days later, something strange happened in the park.
Her best friend was lying in the middle of the park surrounded by red sand, with a red lollipop in his mouth. No one paid her friend any mind. They walked around him as if he didn't exist. "Wake up." She pounced upon him. She nudged him trying to wake him up but there was no sound, not even a snore or a breath.
Her friend's attire was torn in several places. There were numerous claw marks on his fur. She licked the blood from the wounds. Her friend didn't even wake up then.
"Let your friend rest. He's clearly tired," her mother said. "There are other things to do."
There weren't any pups her age here yet there was a playground with a set of swings. "Come, I'll push you."
Danielle sat on the swing. Her mother pushed her, she enjoyed the sensation of the wind. It distracted her from the scent of blood. She heard someone say, "She's not supposed to be here."
She grew tired of the swings. She tried to wake her friend up once more to no avail. A whisper she clearly heard, "Pathetic, I hope your next."
She heard a scream from behind. She turned around seeing a euplerid on the ground, struggling as blood-drenched the sands below.
"What happened, Momma?" she asked.
"He was a bad animal. We killed him," her mother replied. "Your friend needs his rest."
"Can he come home with us?"
"We shouldn't move sleeping animals. He'll be okay. You'll see him at school tomorrow," she said.
Tomorrow was her birthday. Her birthday dress was yellow as well. "I don't care. I'm not wearing it," she said.
"But you love the dress," her mother replied.
"I am not wearing it. Not to school. I'm not going to disappear."
"You have a wild imagination."
"I'm staying home."
"No, you're not. You're going to go to school whether you like it or not."
"Try and make me."
"Fine, you don't have to wear the yellow dress." Her mother shredded the dress right in front of her very eyes. "You're going to wear this." She revealed a humiliating pink outfit for her to wear.
"I'm not wearing that."
"We can always send you to the police."
"But what about always run from the police if you're alone?"
"Well, we don't have time for this. It's your choice. Those fine gentlemen are helpful."
"You even repeated the mantra to me yesterday!"
"Well, what do you want to do? We have jobs to do."
A/N: I wasn't sure if this was a good place to end the chapter.
This story is inspired by science then I thought: How would it work in Zootopia? and what would happen?