Yes, this is another reference to The Little Mermaid. Remember, stories are culture.
See what you think, and enjoy.
She's the first one through the doors when the store opens. Not just any modshop - this is the good modshop, the superpremium one with the real licensed, goods, genuine trained technicians on hand to make sure the transition goes well. It's the day after Andrea's seventeenth birthday, the second day that she can legally shop here.
"May I help you? First time?" The attendant, a woman not much older than Andi, swishes her tail around the air in complex patterns as she approaches the day's first customer, her ears twitching gently in the air-conditioned shop.
"Yes. Well, not my first. I mean, I dress all the time. It's just my first... well.."
The stranger smiled and touched Andi's arm. "Yes, I do know what you mean. I dressed for years before my first mod." Her tail twitches a bit as she speaks."It's not too long ago that's all there was. If you were otherkin... well, you dressed up, and that was that."
Andi nods. "But these are real, right? I mean, you really feel them."
The shop attendant gently took Andi's hand, put it on her tail. "Feel." It was furry and warm and alive in her fingers. She wrapped her fingers around it and squeezed lightly, causing the cat-girl to playfully yelp. "Gentle... tails are sensitive. Are you also a cat?"
Andi shook her head, walked to the display case. "That one." It was a black sheath dress, the inkyblack of the deepest sea. Inklyseablack fabric melding seamlessly into treelimb-thick tentacles with dark purple suckers. Catgirl frowns.
"The Ursula? It's nice, but most girls who go for the Ursula are more... you know..."
The catgirl's ears flip backward, flat against her head. "You know.. you have the figure to be an Ariel." She points at a classic single-fin design. "the fin even splits in half. You know, so you can have legs and what comes with them..."
Andi shook her head. "I'm not an Ariel. I'm an Ursula. I need tentacles. Lots of tentacles. OK?"
When Andi finally tried it on, it fit like a dream. The dress - really a colony of nanobots, but it's nicer to pretend it's a dress - clung as if it were tailored just for her (because it was nearly alive and, in a sense, was). As the ursuladress dug its way into her body, to her nervous system she felt the tentacles, all pins and needles like extra legs that had fallen asleep. Two tentacles wrapped her legs, the rest splayed out around her, reaching towards the floor, lifting her body. SHe thought it would be awkward to walk - it always was in costume - but these felt vibrant and alive, part of her. It helped that her center of gravity was lower, her body more stable. She walked out of the shop.
She even managed to climb up onto a bus on her own, proudly, feeling more comfortable in her movements by the second. She saw the cute hip boy checking her out, gave a flirty wave with two of her tentacles. He smiled. "Lookin' good. Lose some weight? Going to graduate to an Ariel? I LOVE Ariel's." He winked. Andi felt her tentacles involuntarily tighten, like a whole-body fist. She turned her head away.
"Leave her alone," she heard another man respond. "And stop objectifying. Besides, Ursulas are hot. If she put a few pounds on, she'd be perfect."
Andi fled the bus a stop ahead of hers, took the next one the rest of the way home.
The next day she left her Ursula dress at home, already feeling a tingle of phantom limbs where her tentacles should have been.