|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
Waking, the huge male stretched. His blood-stained claws dug into the soft ground of this strange cave, meeting a harder surface underneath. Carpet? A word sprang from the dwindling part of his mind which retained human memory.
Laura had picked it out. Laura? He shook his head in confusion. The word had the connotation of mate, yet the familiar scent which went with it didn't belong to a sleek, golden-furred female of his kind. A lioness.
And he was a lion. He drew in the rich scent of his own musk, flexed the powerful muscles which rippled under his coat. Young, powerful, ready to take on any challenger. Satisfaction rumbled in his throat as he admired himself. A perfect duplication of the original.
Original? Again, the beast knew confusion. A flash of memory. Another lion, snarling in rage, but confined in a small box someplace else. Almost losing his hand to flashing claws as he took the DNA samples. Hand? DNA samples? He stared at one thick paw, and licked the dark, sticky fluid which stained the fur. Had his thick, black claws actually been frail and useless fingers?
The images whirled away, replaced by others. A hypodermic being stuck into his legs and arms, and then into his chest. Watching the first patches of yellow hair begin to sprout. His DNA being reprogrammed, altering itself rapidly as the mutation formula spread through his cells.
Henry blinked in growing comprehension. That was his name. Henry. Twisting around, he leaped up on the shredded remains of the bed and looked at himself in the dresser mirror. A magnificent specimen. He let loose a roar which rattled the windows. The incredible sensation washed over him, feelings of strength, vibrant energy, and awareness.
No longer a nameless, faceless lab assistant. That small, thin, aging human shell was no more. Henry had injected himself with mutation agent without anyone's knowledge or permission. The oh-so-smart Doctors and researchers had been worried about the effects, frightened to try out their great discovery. Well, Henry had proven the mutating formula worked! He was a young lion, and he had even pulled human memory and intelligence back from its hiding place.
Hiding place? His muzzle wrinkled, forming a fearsome snarl. What did his human mind have to fear? He and Laura would be rich! Oh, she had been upset when he told her. And frightened when she saw the thick pelt which covered most of his body when he got home. He had tried to explain how wonderful everything would be. The smell of fear had gotten thick in his nostrils, almost choking him even before his head changed too much to allow speech.
And then she had begun screaming. He tried to stop her, to let her know everything was OK. Her scent was maddening, no longer that of a mate. The running, crying thing stumbling through the hallway was prey.
Henry froze, staring at the beast in the mirror. Dark stains marred the whiskered muzzle. Stains like those on his forepaws. Bloodstains. The blood of prey. The blood of...
Leaping from the tattered mattress, he bounded down the hall towards the front door. There was a strong odor here, one which made his mouth water and his mind recoil in horror.
The lion spun around, alert for danger. The odor wasn't frightening. It made him hungry. But he could also hear movement and voices from the other side of the flat cavern wall. Men with guns. The beast felt fear, and snarled defiance. The last traces of Henry felt relief. It was a matter of perspective.
Perspective copyright 1997 by Bob Stein.
|<< A Peri Tale Ending ...||Playing Horse >>|