|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
"Oh, Look! 'Beware of Horse!' 'Mean Pony! Will Bite!'"
Bob heard the voices outside by the fence. Another group of Trick or Treaters were looking over his decorations outside. The signs had been easy - red spray paint on oversized paper. And he'd had that old draft horse team hitch in a closet. Throw in a couple of oil lamps for spooky illumination, and he had a perfect stage set for the main attraction. Or should that be, 'mane' attraction?
He eased himself onto aching feet, still a little unsteady. Just one more group of kids, and then he was going to have to get out of this elaborate horse-morph costume. He'd remembered that it was miserable to wear, but he'd survived three hours in it when he'd won the SciFi convention five years ago. Sculpted from close cell foam and covered with stretchy fake fur, the outfit was very realistic. Unfortunately, it had the breathability of Saran Wrap, and he was feeling symptoms of heat stroke after just an hour and a half.
Still, it had been worth it. More than a hundred kids had come to the door tonight, and almost all of them had gasped when he clomped to the door with a plastic sword in one hand and a bowl of Tootsie-Rolls in the other. More than one had bolted without waiting for goodies, and a boy who looked to be at least ten had actually dropped his bag of candy and refused to come back. That bag was a prized trophy for the night.
He grabbed the candy and waited. Had to time it just right, listen for the footsteps on the cocoa mat just outside the door. Taking a deep breath, he whinnied deep in his throat and stepped into view. Despite feeling terrible, he had to grin behind the mask as most of the half-dozen kids cringed back. Only the smallest, a blonde girl in a pink ballet dress, remained on the porch.
She looked up at him in awe. "Are you real?"
Not sure what to say, Bob looked at the other kids still hanging back by the front gate. Well, it was Halloween. He nodded and then did his best whicker.
The little girl beamed, and looked back to her parents. "He's real!" Then she reached up and touched his foam-covered fake hoof. "You're real."
Bob swayed a little as he got lightheaded again. Time to call off this showing. Waving to the little girl, he passed out a few more hooffuls of candy, dumping more on the ground than he got in the bags. This was going to be the last group. As soon as they left, he was pulling the costume off. It would probably take another five years to dry out the sweat from tonight.
Just as he got inside, another chorus of "Trick or Treat" sounded behind him. His resolve to call it a night crumbled when he heard some older kids whispering about the 'great costume.' Ego won out, especially since he really wasn't feeling so bad. Getting a second wind, maybe. Grabbing the Tootsie-Rolls, he stepped out for an encore.
"Wow! It looks even better than the first time!" Two older boys dressed as vampires stared at him, one of them a kid who'd run off. His buddy grinned at Bob, revealing plastic fangs. "We already got candy. We just wanted to see your costume again. Really awesome! Did you buy it?"
Bob shook his head and tried to tell him it was homemade. A whinny broke from his throat. Coughing once, he made another attempt. A whicker this time, oddly modulated. The boys both grinned, probably figuring he was keeping up the act. With a quick 'Thanks!,' they took off into the darkness.
What the...? Bob stumbled back inside. Movement was awkward, even though he no longer felt tired or unsteady. His legs had tightened up, becoming hard to flex properly. Muscle spasms? Maybe he was in worse shape than he thought. Voice gone and legs giving out. He grabbed at the back of the costume, fumbling with the belt that held the top half of the costume on. Even the three-fingered hoof-like costume hands could work the rear buckle, part of his design to make it easy to get in and out of without help.
The belt fell away, along with the silver fabric loincloth that covered part of the costume he didn't want kids to see. The fake genitalia looked surprisingly realistic for sculpted foam and an old sock. Bob frowned. The belt had been attached to the upper costume section. It must have broken free when he was pulling on it. But the costume hadn't loosened. There shouldn't be anything holding it on.
He tugged at the sides, accidentally pinching himself through the thick material. Trying again, he froze. Not through the material. The sensation of pinching came from the costume itself. Confused, he twisted around and watched as he grabbed his side. Ouch! Not only did it hurt, but he realized there was no longer a break between the upper and lower halves of the costume.
OK. Take a deep breath. He must be hallucinating. Bad heat stroke. He'd pushed himself too far. Scared now, he reached behind his neck and pushed aside the long wig that served as a mane. Undo one clip, and the whole headpiece came off. Where was the clip? He flipped the mane again, unable to get it clear. It seemed to be caught along the center. The effect was accidental, but pretty effective. Like a real horse's mane growing out of its neck.
His arms cramped and he dropped them back to his sides before he could find the fastener. Both shoulders throbbed, and he felt a peculiar pulling inside his muscles. Was this what a heart attack felt like? A nervous whicker broke from his throat, and he blew anxiously through bristled lips. It took a moment for him to realize that the bristles he felt should have been lifeless latex. The costume's muzzle had always moved with his real jaw, thanks to careful form fitting of the original mold. However, the hobby plastic teeth and flaring nostrils were obviously, and impossibly, very alive and very much part of him.
A combined thrill of terror and excitement coursed through him. Mostly terror, as he felt his body continuing to transform in ways that were not possible. Yet a small corner of his mind was fascinated by the prospect. After all, he'd created the costume to see how horse-like he could make himself look. He just hadn't expected anything more than the trophies sitting on the bookcase.
Muscles pulled at the base of his spine, and the wig on a coat hanger that served as his tail lifted up and to the side. His bowels churned, and he discovered that new plumbing had been added not only to the rump of the costume, but the foam sexual equipment as well. Urinating in a decidedly realistic manner, he tried to make it to the tile floor of the kitchen, almost comically concerned about the living room carpet. His legs refused to cooperate, and he ended up stumbling and falling forward, catching himself with jarring force on his hands.
Bob stared down at the dark lumps that had broken his fall. No longer the three-fingered gloves of his costume, they swelled out and pushed against the floor as his arms lengthened. The sensation was almost like hanging from something - wrists, elbows, and shoulders all feeling outward pressure. Now the pulling spread to his neck, shifting his point of view forward, higher. The tile under him began to sag, plywood subflooring starting to crack under his weight. Vision split, his eyes no longer facing forward. Confused and frightened, he shifted around and knocked the breakfast bar almost a foot across the floor.
Shaking, he clenched blurred and distorted eyes shut, trying to understand sensory input gone haywire. His nose reported strong odors of urine and manure, plus the sharp, acid stench of fear. Ears took in the cracking of wood, the sound of hooves shuffling against cushion tile. And his body reported muscles, extensions, and mass that shouldn't exist. He was a horse. Not just a costumed morph, or even a human-horse hybrid. He was a genuine, hundred percent, draft horse of some kind, huge and heavy. And very real.
His mind raced. He'd started feeling sick again when that little girl touched him and said 'You're real.' After he had nodded his head to answer her innocent question. He'd been joking, dammit! It was Halloween. You were supposed to be scary, play tricks, tell stories. Except that this joke had backfired. What could he do? In honesty, the transformation was as exhilarating as it was frightening. What was the old line? Having something is often not as good as wanting it. He'd fantasized about being a horse for years. Well, now he had gotten his fantasy granted for Halloween.
"Trick or Treat!" More kids at the door. Turning awkwardly in the narrow space, he eased his way carefully back to the candy bowl and picked it up with his teeth. This group of children was going to get a real treat. The big question was if this would end with Halloween? Bob plodded to the door, not sure what the answer would be, and even stranger, unsure of what answer he wanted it to be.
Real Halloween copyright 2000 by Bob Stein.
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