The Transformation Story Archive Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...

Lone Wolf

by David J. Rust

Musky heat, smoky air and pounding sounds are most of what I remember from the party. Understand that it wasn't due to any lack of clearheadedness on my part; unlike the other two-hundred-odd souls at Lyon's Pub that night, I have perfect recollection of what transpired. Rather, it was due to the simple fact that here, at a bachelor's party in a public bar a week before Hallowe'en, the atmosphere and noise were the most prominent elements.

I sat with my brother and his friends while the gyrating lights flashed on the dance floor playing endless mixes of badly synthesized music from the 70's and 80's. They called it "Retro-Night" at the door, but it was more akin to the "Over-played tracks from 'Pulp Fiction'".

Men and women, human at the time, danced and played their social games amidst the grinding beat and floating tobacco smoke while intoxicating themselves on cheap Budweiser and seeing how many ways they could offend members of the opposite sex. The place had been packed with college students of all types. Jocks, Frat-boys, Sorority-queens, Goths, Punks, Geeks and others were all awash in a mix of Autumn glee and inebriation...

I sat at the corner table and drank my Cherry Coke with a cynical eye towards the masses that churned around me like a river of shallow and faded lives. My uncomfortableness at the situation was understandable. I'm not what you would call a gregarious sort with the 'mainstream'. By inclination, I read a lot; science fiction, horror and fantasy - writing some of it when I have time. I'm bisexual; enjoying that GBLT community at every annual Pride festival, and hanging out with my various friends in Faandom. I've been called a gamer, furry, filker, trekker, rocky-horrible, six-of-oner, whovian and just about every other label attributed to a pop-culture fan in the modern age. But even there, I've still been a lone wolf.

Separate and distinct ... alone.

I had dreamed of change; to live in the stars ... another time ... another race. I used to read copious books on WereWolves and their kin. I'd even had a dream once about becoming a centaur. I desperately desired ANYthing to give me release from the mundane form to which I'd been cast 29 years ago. I honestly believed that had the option been open, I'd have sold my soul towards that end. But it was not to be.

Now, please understand that I most certainly *do believe in magick. Even before that late October night, I had studied it and actually made it my religion. But still, for me it was a vague and undefined force; something that I had a taste of but never a full meal. With this in mind, consider how difficult it still is for me to explain what happened next.

It was nearly ten-thirty; the dancing beginning to work its way into a frenzy while video monitors flashed discordant scenes from 70's TV shows like "The Brady Bunch", "Incredible Hulk", "Scooby Doo" and "The Dukes of Hazzard".

At first it reminded me of what others have described as the onset of an epileptic attack; a dull flashing behind the eyes accompanied by lapses in concentration. I know that everyone must have seen it, but moving as they were in the gyrating, staccato pulses of light from the dance floor, most of them paid no heed.

A high-pitched shriek erupted from across the room by the bar and I (along with a few others) turned to look. There, a slender, short-haired bleach- blonde woman was standing by her corner booth, her retro-thick-framed glasses not fully outlining her wide-open eyes as she pressed her palms to her chest and stared at her body.

Perhaps as recent as a century ago, onlookers would have gasped and called the occurrence a 'miracle' or 'demonic possession'. They would have called a county clergyman or tried desperately to figure out what they had done to deserve the wrath of the supernatural. Today, it's quite different. When she began to change, those that noticed her cries at all, merely stared dumb- founded as if to ask themselves if this was some sort of stunt or trick. The few people she had been sitting with looked on with stunned expressions on their faces (one of them chuckling nervously) watching as the woman they once knew became something else.

I can only imagine how it must have felt to her (and by extension, everyone else), but on The Night of Change, there were at least two hundred souls in that bar who could make the reasonable attempt. Her hair flowed freely from her beret; wisping around her head like a halo of blonde-white. Neck straining with shrieks -not of pain, but of surprise- it thickened and rippled with small waves of altered flesh, muscle and bone.

"C...carol!" one of her friends had mouthed across the din, but the straining woman was in no condition to hear it. Instead, her body molded and shifted rapidly; muscles bunching and compacting as she pitched forward across a neighboring table. By this time, she had gotten the attention of just about everyone in the room. The music still pounded, but the dancers stood still. Cigarettes hung from the occasional lip, burning crimson at the tip, but not being inhaled. Silence began to descend as unbelieving onlookers took in the scene.

It was not destined to remain a spectator sport.

As I sat in my chair, watching the unfolding tableau as stunned as the rest, other cries rose from the assembled throng. Cries of surprise, fear and occasionally pleasure, mingled with the music in an uncanny blend of discordant, unharmonious sound and the thumping beat of two-decade-old disco.

I stared, transfixed by what was happening; the rational part of my mind rebelling against the sights, but my deeper -intuitive- self accepting it with rapture and an acute sense of irony that it should progress first with these unaware drones in their hollow, empty lives.

Carol continued to change; her neck shortening slowly and her muscles rippling beneath her flesh. I watched as her white muscle shirt began to slowly fill out with a more thick barrel and a sheen of tiny, white hairs began to creep over her body. Her ears lost their lobes, merging softly and seamlessly with the sides of her face, as they began to rise and lengthen. I could see her gasp and move her hands to the sides of her face as she staggered and tried to sit down. I watched those ears flow up her face; her hands following them in disbelief as they widened and lengthened comically! Long, wide and white, her ears became nestled amidst a tousle of white hair that now covered her head like an uneven mop and coated her face in a light dusting of fur.

Carol's face opened in a soundless 'o' of surprise as her cheeks pushed outwards to accommodate a lengthening jaw and broad, flat teeth which replaced her sharp canines. Quickly, I checked my own skin and body; no change as of yet, but with more and more of the metamorphosis creeping across the room, I was sure not to be left out. I scanned the full room, watching in glee and amazement as individual after individual became some sort of blended animal.

The whinnies of surprised equines shivered up from the bar as their larynx's became slender and muscular hybrids between those of humans and horses. One of them, a striking woman of Native American descent, had developed striping in deep waves of black and white; a powerful torso with large, full breasts and a zebra's whinny mixed with her own alto voice.

On the other side of the bar, surprised yips and cries of fear came from four rapidly shrinking men (still in their football jerseys). I had to suppress a chuckle as I watched them sprout squirrel's tails and diminish to a mere, humiliating 3' high each...

On the dance floor it was a mess!

It was if someone had brought a Heironimus Bosch painting to life. Fox-like women, their bodies sprawled in mid-change, twined with long-haired cat men in a dance that had become a scramble to comprehend the fullness of what had become them.

But despite all this, still I had not changed. I ached to be amongst the throng as I kept watching Carol; her metamorphosis the first one I had seen, and was now reaching it's conclusion. The gentle pink of her former flesh grew darker as her chest filled out and stretched her shirt; large, full breasts replacing the slender, athletic build she once had. Her hands massaged her chest slowly, as if in disbelief; her waist slimming down with taught, firm muscles growing over her legs and arms. The white fur now covered her body fully as she kicked off her shoes; her feet growing broad and flat -padded with large, animal-like prints.

I stared as she moaned in delight and waning fear as shock set in. The change slowed as it neared an end; her ankles lengthening and rising up to where her knees had been. Her thighs foreshortened slightly as her legs made the transition between plantigrade to digitigrade. My head shook in disbelief.

The dance had ended and amidst the Moreau-like setting before me; like a framed Madonna in an Old Master's portrait, Carol looked up at herself and the room; a lovely, curvaceous rabbit-woman...

It was a glorious night, a week before Hallowe'en.

I don't think I've ever felt more alive. It had been like Christmas Eve when I was very, very young; seeing my brothers and sisters open their gifts to squeals of glee and joy. Heck! To further the analogy, my brother had even *been there on his Bachelor's Party night! His "gift" had been the stunning form of a tall, strapping stallion with thick, dinner-plate hooves and endowments to make even the most sex-starved size-queen stammer with hesitation. His black mane and tail clashed with the deep rich Arabian-brown hair of his new body, even though he was still too shocked and stunned to appreciate his handsome features.

I guess it was inevitable.

I sit now in this room, comfortable in body, if not mind and soul. The doctors wait outside and occasionally come in to talk to me; their words completely incomprehensible. Why I should have been the only one not to change, I don't know. The sadness I feel and rage at being alone still sickens me to the core, and leaves me ashen inside. I sit here and stare at the mirror, wishing to turn back the clock; to go through it again and maybe get involved; make a different choice... I'd try anything to be like them.

I suppose in the back of my mind I always knew that I'd not get what I wanted so badly. My mind even plays tricks on me now, and occasionally -when I look into a reflective surface, someone else looks back. The psychiatrists outside my room aren't any help; they just gibber and make meaningless noises, showing me pictures of that delusion in the mirror.

It's as if they are actually encouraging me to believe that I've become what I know I have not! Don't they understand? Don't they think that I'd welcome such a change as what I've seen in the mirror? I'm sick -hallucinating... I must be. The shock of being left out has made me see the wolf that I know I cannot be. His handsome, silver-grey fur is the sort I've always dreamed of. His emerald eyes and long, flowing hair; out takes from my most deep and hidden fantasies. His build and sexuality are large, sound and an affirmation of a sensual creature of power, self-reliance and unbridled lust. It can't be me...

I've made my life out of being apart and separate; of being proud to be a free-thinker and fantasist. I can't have become the strong, handsome wolf I see in polished surfaces. I know better.

I'm still just a lone wolf.

Lone Wolf copyright 1996 by David J. Rust.

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