|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
Andy crouched low, listening for the tell-tale crackling of brush. His hands were sweaty despite the cool weather, and he had to let go of the rifle's barrel every now and then to wipe them on his jeans. Like it or not, he had to kill a deer today.
There was a cold lump in his stomach just from thinking about it. He didn't want to kill anything. Much less one of the beautiful, gentle does that he'd seen wandering through the woods here at night. But his father wouldn't take no for an answer. And Andy had the bruises to prove it.
Maybe if he hadn't complained so much about the waste. Andy understood that hunting was necessary sometimes. And he didn't have too much of a problem with those who killed and ate the meat. But his father was a trophey hunter who prided himself on the stuffed heads of dead beasts which stared from every wall of the house with their glass eyes.
When Andy had seen his father carrying yet another mounted stag's head down the attic steps, he'd forgotten his place. Called the Old Man a murderer, and a stupid head-hunter who killed for fun, not for sport. And that was a big mistake for a skinny, gawky 16 year-old with a father who topped 250 lbs and 6 foot-2 inches. At least nothing had been broken. But that was promised to be a temporary situation.
He'd been dragged to the old pickup truck, and driven out to the woods where his father had a deer stand. Tossing a rifle and some bullets on the ground, His father had made a simple statement. He would be back in the morning. If Andy had a deer, he was forgiven and they could go back home as a couple of real men. But if he was empty-handed, dear old dad would beat the crap out of him and leave him there to fend for himself. Permanently. His belongings would be tossed, and Dad would have a gun ready to shoot any 'intruders' who tried to sneak back in the house.
So here he was, cold, scared, and sick at the thought of killing. It had been hours now, and he had let at least four deer escape. Damn them! It would be so easy if they stayed away, or ran off when he intentionally made noise. Instead, the stupid beasts actually came closer, sniffing him curiously. One doe had licked his face, tasting the salt of his tears. He finally chased her away by screaming and waving his arms. "Run, you stupid animal! I'm a hunter! A killer!" And he'd actually fired the rifle. Into the branches above.
There wasn't much time left. Maybe two hours or so before his father came back. Andy steeled himself, forcing back the screaming protests of his own mind. The next deer had to die. One good shot through the heart. Except he barely knew how to shoot. Any kill he made would be slow and painful.
A rustle of leaves brought his attention back to the woods. He struggled within himself, wishing for the approaching beast to go away, yet needing it to come close. Then he saw the antlers basked in moonlight.
A stag. Had to be a huge one, from the height of the tips. He could just make out the rack above the thicker brush which obscured the animal's body. Taller than Andy, for sure. Maybe taller than his old man.
Trembling, he lifted the rifle up and began to sight down from the antlers. If he could just get one clear shot, maybe he could get lucky with a painless kill. The stag was heading for a clearing directly in front of the deer stand. Swallowing hard, Andy took careful aim and began to pull the trigger as the stag stepped out into the open.
His mouth fell open, and nerveless fingers dropped the rifle to the ground. What stepped into the clearing was not a deer, but some sort of man-stag. It was bipedal, with human-looking torso, arms and hands. The rest of his body, including rather prominent male genitalia, resembled a bull elk.
Huge, piercing brown eyes stared down at him from the regal head, itself overshadowed by the impressive antlers. Heavy and formidable, the tannin-stained main beams and off-white tips were polished to a high sheen.
Andy tried to cry out, to run, to do anything. His body refused to obey, locked by a combination of terror and awe. The creature looked down at the rifle, and his muzzle wrinkled in obvious anger. He began to approach Andy, massive hands gripping an elaborate bow which the boy hadn't noticed before.
The man-stag stopped less than two feet away, glaring down at him with those solid brown orbs. Andy was hit by a strong odor, heavy and rank. It burned his nostrils and his eyes, yet he still couldn't move. After an endless minute, the creature's expression seemed to soften. One of the massive hands reached out towards him, and Andy cringed and shut his eyes against the expected attack.
Only to feel coarse, yet gentle finger stroke his cheek. Then the hand slipped under his chin and pressed lightly up to raise his head. Andy risked a peek, and found himself staring directly into the man-stag's eyes. He couldn't break the gaze, either. The creature seemed to be staring deep into Andy's soul, as if he could read the boy like a book.
The hand slipped down to his flannel shirt, and popped the buttons off with a single downward slide. Pulling it off carefully, the man-stag looked at the purple bruises and cuts which covered the boy's back and chest, and gave a very human-like sigh as it seemed to come to some decision.
Andy was starting to lose some of the fear, yet he remained transfixed as the creature dropped his bow by the rifle, and used both hands to stroke the swollen flesh. The touch should have hurt, but Andy felt only soothing warmth. Curious, he looked down just as the massive hands returned to press gently on the sides of his head, and rub back through his hair.
The pleasurable sensation made his eyes lose focus for a moment. When vision cleared, he blinked at what they reported. If the bruises and cuts were still there, he couldn't feel them. But more importantly, he couldn't see them! A thick, dark pelt of hair had appeared on his chest, and seemed to spread out like a soft fire burning over his body.
Alarmed, he reached up to feel his head. A protrusion of mouth and nose met his fingers, which themselves began to darken and grow numb as the man-stag's own hands passed over them. Shock broke through the paralyzing awe, and he tried to back away. Massive arms encircled him, drawing him against the creature in a gentle embrace. He could feel those transforming fingers drawing fur and muscle from his back, lengthening his spine as they dropped to pull down his jeans and shorts.
Andy cried out as the creature hefted him like a small child, cupping his buttocks for a moment before using one hand to trace his legs and feet. And then he was lowered to the ground. The man-stag stepped back, allowing the boy to examine himself.
Attempts to stand failed, one look at his feet showed why. Both shoes had fallen off the large, cloven hooves which tipped his transforming legs. His arms no longer reached his face, but since his hands had transformed before his feet, he would have felt nothing anyway. Despite the horror of the situation, Andy was consumed by curiosity. What was happening?
The creature made a gesture with one hand, and the ground to Andy's right shimmered. In moments, there was a clear pool reflecting the trees, the moonlight, the man-stag... and the creature that was Andy.
He stared at the image. Its face was almost unrecognizable as ever having been human, and as he watched, it pushed out into a more perfect replica of the man-stag's visage. It occurred to him that he was also getting larger. Much larger. it was difficult to turn his head far enough to see, but he could feel himself gaining mass. Already, the stiffening lengths of his arms were more massive forelegs than human limbs.
As his face pushed out yet again, the heavy odor of the man-stag washed over him again. His transformed nostrils drank in the scent, rich and musky, and he turned away from the pool to stare at the source.
A greenish glow surrounded the strange creature, and it began to grow even larger. The gentle hands fused rapidly into dark masses, and in moments the man-stag had transformed completely into the largest bull elk Andy had ever seen.
The boy almost forgot his own transformation as the magnificent animal plodded towards him. A glance at the pond confirmed that he was almost the same animal, and he felt a surge of joy that confused him. He tried to summon up terror, fear of the unknown, grief for his lost humanity. All that answered his call was a growing contentment and inner peace.
The bull rubbed against him, starting a strange and unfamiliar craving deep inside his body. Andy shook his head in confusion, trying to sort out animal instincts and human memory. The male raised his head and bugled a deep cry, a noise which Andy repeated without knowing why. As he walked around the former human, the dark shaft of his penis pressed out and swung heavily from side to side.
Andy looked back at the pool to make sure, but he already knew that he lacked the bull's massive rack. Oddly, even that no longer mattered to him. Or her. Changing sex was certainly no more traumatic than changing species. She could feel the need for him growing as she came into rut, and desire that increased until her whole being existed to surround that swollen organ. And then he slid gracefully over her rump in a fluid motion, pressing into her with the gift of peace, tranquility, and future life.
Actaeon stayed with the female for a while after mating, using his gentle touch to seal the transformation and confirm the bonding of his seed and her egg. The sun was starting to peek over the horizon, and he would lead her away from this place of death to his realm of magic. He had allowed the boy to retain awareness of self, even memory of his past. There was no danger of madness or grief, for he had possessed the gentle soul of a doe even in human form. Life as a elk held contentment and joy.
Not so for the father. Actaeon had touched the boy's mind, and seen what had forced him to stand alone in the woods. The fate that he had planned for the son would now fall on the one truly responsible. A quick, painful transformation into a powerful buck. The physical size and strength, the antlers and hooves. But not the mind. Not the instincts. The brute would flail his legs uselessly, unable to coordinate new limbs. And in an hour or so, one of the other hunters that he called friends would claim his noble head and powerful rack to hang on the wall.
Trophey copyright 1996 by Bob Stein.
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