The Transformation Story Archive Strange Things and other Changes

Short Takes

by Lots of people

A few vignettes and short shorts by members of tsa-talk

To thine own self be true

by "Thomas Hassan"

He was ugly, he had a stupid little job and he never had had a girlfriend. He had even grown tired of giving flowers to his right hand. So, when the fairy came and offered him a wish, he didn't think long and wished to be transformed into something else, something true to himself. The fairy nodded.

The ugly little donkey gelding turned the millstone for another few years and then it died.

Uncle Bob's Book

by "Jack DeMule"

The book of fairy tales excited him. Toss a coin into a well and have your wish granted. It seemed so logical. When He lost a tooth his parents told him to put it under his pillow and the tooth fairy would leave him a quarter. The Easter bunny always left a basket of colored eggs and Santa with his flying reindeer never missed a Christmas delivery.

Although the abandoned cistern was declared off limits by his parents, he couldn't resist the temptation of having a wish granted. As his coin fell, he made a simple wish. A gust of wind whipped through the barn yard and the sky darkened. A bolt of lightning hit the ground in front of the terrified child. As the smoke enveloped him he felt his body changing, his legs and neck shrunk, his vision became strange and distorted. He felt small and cold.

He heard his mother scream. "Brent! What have you done you naughty thing! He cringed at the look of anger on his mother's face. "Nothing mother, I just wanted to be a real boy like the ones in the book."

The centauress gathered up her child. "Pish! All pink and no hair to keep you warm. I'll give your uncle Bob an ear full for leaving that trash were you could find it.! Real boy indeed! Whatever made you think you weren't a real boy in the first place?"

She trotted to the house with Brent on her back. "Your father and I told you not to play with the well. Tomorrow you'll just have to make another wish and and change yourself back into a proper little boy. Now throw that vile book away."

Brent tossed the book into the rubbish bin but lingered for one last look. "If only it were real." He sighed. "But I can always pretend."

The New Television Set

by "mike allegretto"

After reading the usual notes on his pc, Bob came to his senses. "All this transformation stuff is horseshit. Its not real and i am kidding myself for wishing it'll happen to me. Not that i wouldn't sell my soul to the devil to achieve it..." POOF! Right before Bob appeared Satan himself! The big S! "Cool! You really came! You know though, you look alot like John Lovitz?" "Shaddup punk...now, waddaya want?" "I want to be able to transform myself!" Satan then said,"Is that all? I'd thought if you were goingto sell your soul you'd want something really cool and amazing like a pc program with no bugs..oh well..here's what you want." Right before Bob appeared the coolest tv ever! The remote wasn't that bad either. "Oh by the way, sign here please..." Reaching into his cloak, John Lovitz..errr...Satan took out the usual forms and stuff and had Bob sign them. After that was done Satan said "bye!" and disappeared saying, "Gotta run or Bill Gates will be really pissed at me." Bob hooked up the tv, at down and turned it on using the clicker. After a while he noticed that whenever a scene came on where the actor was alone several light on the remote lit up. They were 10 seconds,30 seconds, 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day and another that said DO NOT PRESS!!!! After studying the remote for a while his favorite show, MISTER ED came on. "Oh boy! I always wanted to be a horse, of course!" So when a solo scene came on Bob decided to press the 1 minute button and ZAP! he was Mister Ed!

"This is SOO COOL!!!" He stomped around the stable for a few seconds and then heard wilbur come in. "Hey wilbur! How the hell's it hangin'? Poor ol' Wilbur almost died when he heard that. When he was about to respond to Bob, ZAP! and Bob was his old self again.

He looked at the tv but the scene was playing out normally as if nothing unusual had happened! "Wow! It really works! I can be anything i want!" Bob turned the channel some more and came to a movie where a girl had just got done having sex with her boyfriend and had gone into another room by herself ."hehehhe...always wanted to be a girl! But i wonder what this DO NOT PRESS button does? So Bob pressed the button anyways and ZAP! He was the girl! Right away Bob noticed he had to be. "Oh well, now i guess i know why she left the guy. One thing thats wierd is that this scene looks awfully familiar. It should have since it was the scene from the first Friday the 13th movie where the girl catches a hatchet with her forehead...

Substitute

by "Bob Stein"

Peters scowled at the little girl standing in front of his desk. "I'm sorry, Mary Lou. If you don't dissect a live frog, you can't pass Biology."

She frowned back at him. "I won't cut up no animal. My momma says we can't do that, 'cause it makes the spirits mad."

He rolled his eyes. Hillbilly superstition in this day and age was a bit more than he could take. "I'd worry a little less about the 'spirits' and worry more about failing sixth grade."

As he spoke, a clap of thunder outside the window made him jump. He landed on the top of the desk, bewildered by how much larger everything looked. Monsterous hands closed in around him before he could get away.

Mary Lou grinned down at him as she moved to the work table. "Ok, Mr. Peters. Where shall we start?"

The End

Worms and Stuff

by "Jack DeMule"

"You're a pig" Cathy cried trying to hold back her tears. She ran to the house holding her hands to her face. "Moma Donnie just ate a worm and he's just doing it to tease me."

"Donald Arthur get your self in this house immediately" Mrs. Smith boomed. "What, what'd I do now maw." Donnie held the screen door half open and picked at the door frame, ready to bolt if he thought a licking was imminent. "Quit teasing your sister and quit eating those worms. You know it's planting time and there's stuff all over the barn yard." "Oh maw, that stuff can't hurt you, it only kills the weeds. I read the directions when paw was filling the sprayer." "Mr. Harrington who owns that section north of us was in the hospital for a week after he spilled it on his self so don't tell me it won't hurt you and don't talk back."

"O.K. maw, I'm gonna go down to the cow pasture and see how the calves are doin'"

"Just be home in time for dinner you know your father doesn't like it when you're late."

"O.K. maw."

Donnie sat on the low hill overlooking the pasture. There were a few trees and this was his favorite spot to loaf on a hot day. Huh, maybe maw was right. My gut is a little queasy. He curled up in the shade of a silver maple clasping his uneasy stomach. It was still too hot. Even the sunlight that filtered through the huge tree's canopy was searing. "Owwh! I must have the grip. I'd better get home before paw starts yellin it's supper."

The pain in his stomach was now intense, it radiated from the center of his body into every limb.

He could feel his heart beat as a throbbing pain. "Maw. Paw, Come here I don't feel so good" Donnie cried but no one could hear him above the idling tractor in the barn yard. His father would be home just long enough to eat supper. Then he'd return to the field. Planting was a twenty four hour a day job until it was finished. Donnie felt odd, the throbbing pain was less intense now but it was syncopated, as if there were two hearts beating, dividing his punishment between them.

"Oh man, this is worse than I've ever felt before. I'm never eating another worm again, that last one was poisoned" Donnie moaned, it was just a whisper. Donnie held out his hand and looked at it. The skin was red and swollen, moist from perspiration. He felt his fingers and toes becoming numb. The rhythm of his heart beat became more confused. He was sure he could feel five distinct beats then a pause. Suddenly he was blind. "Help me, maw paw, anybody!" Donnie thought he was screaming but he made no sound. Short bristles of hair popped from his skin as his limbs withered and shrank. His bones melted away as his body reorganized into a simple form. He slid from his clothes and instinctively burrowed into the damp cool earth. There in the earth the change could be completed. His new body crawled from the remains of the old.

"Mother, where's that boy of yours, I'm not waiting until the food gets cold." "Cathy go get your brother he said he'd be down the pasture." "O.K. mother."

Cathy searched the pasture and outbuildings thinking Donnie was hiding. Then she found his clothes under the maple tree. "Donnie, you'd better come home right now or you'll get a beating and get your clothes you know moma doesn't want you skinny dipping in the stock tanks." It wasn't a sound, Donnie couldn't hear, but the vibration seemed reassuring He made his way toward the source.

"Eeek, get away" Cathy shreiked as the large earthworm inched toward her. She ran to the house clutching Donnie's clothes. "Moma here's his clothes he must have been into the stock tanks." "Hell, mother I've told that boy not to swim in there, it's bad for the animals. Well, he'll come home when it gets cold. Can't stay out all night without his clothes. Send him out to me when he gets back I want to talk to him." Donnie had no thoughts of returning home. In fact he didn't think at all anymore. Finally the search parties went home and life returned to as near to normal as it ever would be. That fall each day after school, Cathy would sit under the maple tree where she found Donnie's clothes. It somehow made her feel close to him and eased her grief. When a large red earthworm crawled across her shoe she didn't scream. It reminded her of Donnie and how he would tease her. She smiled and picked it up. "You know what Donnie would do if he was here you fat red worm? He'd eat you in one gulp"

She popped the worm into her mouth and swallowed. "That wasn't so bad, and he used to tell me how awful worms taste." The autumn sun sets quickly and a chill is soon to follow. Cathy slowly trod the winding cow path back to the barn. It would be cold tonight she thought. I hope Donnie is someplace warm.

You Get What You Pay For

By "Bob Stein"

Barry tossed a penny into the well, giving the '5 a Wish' sign a wry smile. As if throwing in a nickel would make any difference. It was just a hole in the ground, probably covered by some sort of net to catch the money people threw in.

Even though he didn't believe, he grinned and wished. "I wish I was a kid." Then he blinked, for he thought he heard a deep and rather unpleasant-sounding voice say "Granted."

He felt a sudden itching, as if covered with ants or fleas, and gasped as the well and everything around him started to get larger. His pants bagged, then fell down around rapidly shrinking legs. The strange sensations stopped for a moment, and he stared down at the scrawny body of a little boy.

Then his back twisted suddenly, and he fell forward onto his hands. Bewildered, he watched as his fingers closed up and formed into small cloven hooves, and his arms became thin, white-furred forelegs. Barry screamed, but the noise that came from his muzzle was a high-pitched bleat.

A young couple found him nibbling grass next to the well. His goat's mind no longer comprehended human speech, but if it had, he would have heard the woman say "Oh, look at the cute little Kid."

Under The Stars

by "Thomas Hassan"

"Why do we do it here in the woods, instead of your cozy penthouse?" The blonde girl pouted a bit. He answered, while undressing her. "First, I like it. Isn't it romantic here under the stars?" They proceeded, and as he took her from behind, they grew. When the bull had finished, he came down, and became a man again. He took a rope from under a bush and slipped it over the neck of the slightly confused cow. "... And second," he said, "it's a lot easier to get you to the farm this way."

Sadie Hawkins Dance

By "Bob Stein"

Erik tried to melt into the background as the music started. "Sadie Hawkins Time. Girls choose their partners!" So far, he'd managed to avoid having to get out on the dance floor. But there were more girls than boys at the school party, and he knew he was doomed. Already a couple of them were heading his way.

Then salvation arrived in the form of a two year-old. The little boy belonged to one of the chaperones who couldn't find a sitter, and he'd somehow escaped his mother. A quick whistle and a smile brought the toddler stumbling over before the first girl reached him, and Erik grabbed his hand to take him back to his mother.

The dance was fun, even if mommy had made them stop and sit down. Erik tugged at her dress, and then at the diaper underneath. Her twin brother fidgeted next to her. It was boring waiting around. She could hardly wait for the next Sadie Hawkins dance.

Reality Slips

by "Daniel Boese"

Reality's a lot more plastic for me these days than it used to be. And it's all thanks to a few people I've never met, though I've come to know them well.

I first 'met' "kEf", oh, three months ago now. It was through the Internet, on what's called a "MUD"; a sort of pre-virtual reality, where everything is written out instead of pictured, typed instead of moused. There's hundreds of MUDs, most devoted to specific interest groups: Star Trek, comic books, Dungeons & Dragons, and on and on. The MUD we found each other on is devoted to "furries", a pleasant group of people who enjoy part-animal, part-human beings, from Bugs Bunny to Peter Rabbit to thousands of their own creation.

We did the usual social maneuvering, and eventually he introduced me to a subgroup on the MUD called "The Inner Walk"... a group devoted to finding out, personally, what limits there are on hypnosis. I already knew enough about hypnosis to ignore all those TV hypnotists who just wave their hands and , you're asleep. I found out much, much more over the coming months, though.

After doing some reading, I decided to hypnotize myself. It was quite simple, actually; I simply tensed and relaxed all my muscles in turn, lying on my back, and started to daydream. Not quite just letting my mind wander, though; I directed it to certain repetitive images, relaxing sounds, and so on. Eventually, I was drifting, almost asleep. That was what I was told was the actual trance state, so I gave myself a quick suggestion: "I'll be unable to pull my hands apart when..."

Just then, I was conveniently interrupted, and woken up, by the phone. After I hung up, I leaned back in a chair and thought about the self- hypnosis I'd just missed, hands behind my head. After a while I shrugged to myself and stood up, planning on making some spaghetti for supper. Somehow, though, my knuckles had locked; no matter how I wriggled my fingers or pulled on my hands, they were locked together! I even tried soaping them apart before I recalled the last sentence I'd told myself while in a trance...

Exulted, I laughed to myself and headed to my computer, intent on sharing my discover with my Inner Walk friends. I had to wait for twenty minutes, though, to re-hypnotize myself and remove the suggestion before I could type, though.

After two weeks of simple commands to myself like the first one, kEf had a brainstorm: Hypnotize ourselves so that whenever we saw a certain word while on the MUD, such as "villosus" or "persiflage", we'd go back into our trance states; everything we saw on the MUD from then on until we woke up would be "valid input." To shorten the story, it worked beautifully.. We were regular little compu-hypnotists from then on.

The breakthrough came, as it often does, by accident. I was in a trance with kEf mentioning something about improving myself, when a stranger, "Valmil", walked in. Not knowing what was going on at the time, he asked me something about my tail (My MUD analogue was currently a humanoid fox at the time). To kEf's surprise, I responded, still in the trance.. Once Valmil left, kEf asked more about my tail, a simple fox's brush growing out of my rear end. He quickly woke me up, and to my shock, I still had the tail!

It seemed an ordinary tail, with russet and white fur, under my control as much as my legs and eyes were. I stroked it, tugged it, dropped a book on it, and felt everything it touched.. Still not quite believing in it, even though it was somewhat sore, I used it to push the power button on my radio. Sure enough, the local rock station started blaring.. the tail was real!

Unfortunately, it was also really uncomfortable, thanks to pants and underwear. I manually tucked the tail down my pantsleg, and logged back into the MUD. fEk was kind enough to hypnotize me and remove the tail. However, he also told me that I had fox's ears and that I thought them a perfectly natural part of my body, not exceptional at all. And so I logged off and went grocery shopping, paying no attention at all to everybody's pointed ears, on top of their heads.

Yesterday I was a dolphin, and the whole world was a beautiful underwater seascape. Today I am a beeswarm, all other people also hives, mingling. And tomorrow? Perhaps a fox, maybe an eagle... possibly even a human.

Quashing the Bug

by "Mark Thompson"

Bill frantically scanned the code of his experimental biological augmentation routine, then suddenly grinned in twisted triumph. "Yes!" he hissed as he moved his cursor to the offending line and hit the equals-key. One measly missing equals sign in a for() loop - but he had found it! The rumbling outside was growing louder and the door to the office was vibrating as he recompiled, just to check the code was clean. The wall near the door crumpled inward as the giant breast pushed its way in, its unconscious owner unaware of the havoc she was wreaking. As his desk was slowly absorbed, the nano-machines in the breast using its raw material to grow their mammarian home even larger, Bill sighed with resignation. Figures, he thought as the breast's growth trapped him in a corner and inexorably inched towards his impending absorption. All the goddamn test treaties and nuclear weapons bans, and the world was going to be destroyed, literally eaten alive, by a stupid infinite loop.

Gaskin for Trouble

by "Bob Stein"

Bob's mane problem was an aversion to a stable relationship. Every girl he dated wanted to lead him down the bridle path, and he didn't want to be saddled with that much responsibility. So he had about given up wondering wither or not he'd ever find the right girl.

Bit-by-bit, he'd shut himself off from the outside world, until lonliness reined supreme. Lack of contact had begun to stifle his communication skills, and he'd even thought about trying croup therapy.

Finally, his problem reached a crest. Not wanting to stirrup trouble, he sought out a witch who wouldn't foal around. He was hot to trot, but the witch made him go into hock to pay her. At first, he thought it was just an attempt to stall. But once she had the money she took a different tack.

Handing him a potion, she grazed into his eyes and said, "Drink this, and youll be pasture point of no return."

Bob gulped it down. "Don't be a neigh sayer. This will be a cinch." Suddenly, there was the sound of heavenly corral music, and he found himself in a grassy field with no mare troubles. Now a massive Percheron stallion, he'd finally found girls who just wanted to horse around.

Even Trade

By "Bob Stein"

John Davies sat at the traffic light, giving a wistful look at the scruffy teenage boy standing on the corner. He had a nice job, a nice family, and a secure future. But it would be great to be young again, with no cares or responsibilities.

Danny Malone stood on the street corner, admiring the guy in the Mustang. School was a drag, and his parents kept after him to do chores. It would be great to be grown and outa there, with a cool car and no more school.

And then both had the same thought at the same time. I wish I could be him.

John stumbled, suddenly standing on the street corner. Danny blinked, suddenly sitting behind the wheel of the Mustang. Each shared a moment of amazement before the exchange was complete.

Then the light changed. The man who had been Danny drove off, sighing about a new problem at work. Yes, it would be wonderful to be young. And the teenager who had been John scowled as he remembered he had to cut the grass when he got home. He couldn't wait to grow up.

The Button

by "David Fenger"

"Oh, Darryl, that's wonderful! An invitation to the Larraby's ball? How did you manage to swing that?"

Darryl smiled enigmatically at his wife. "Ancient family secret."

"But what did it cost?" she asked.

"I was told 'a touch of karma'. But that's not important now. The limo will be here in less than an hour. We have to get ready!"

Her face fell. "It's tonight?" she asked, tremulously. "But what will I wear? None of my clothes are good enough..."

Darryl held something in his hand, presenting it to her with a flourish.

Yana looked at the simple blue button, skeptically. "It won't cover much."

"Ah, but you're wrong. It's a magic button. If you visualize what you want, and touch it to... anything, I guess, it will make you a dress." He proceeded to put words into action, touching the button to a pillow on the bed.

Yana watched in amazement as the pillow melted into the form of a cute white halter-top with three little white buttons. "How long will it stay like that?" she asked, in an awed voice. "I don't want to re-enact Cinderella..."

"Not to worry." Darryl plucked one of the buttons free. "Removing the transformed button is the only way to break the spell." In moments, the button in his hand was again a plain blue button, and the top was again a pillow.

He handed the button to Yana, then started removing his shirt, walking toward the closet and the rental tuxedo within. "Have fun!"

She ran over to him and hugged him tight. "Oh, I can't wait! This will be so wonderful," she gushed. As she held him close, the button clutched in her hand, she imagined the dress she'd wear...

Her eyes closed as she felt him melt against her, then snapped open again in alarm as his weight dropped to nothing. She stumbled forward, and looked down at the puddle of black silk where Darryl had been.

"Oh no... This will take forever! Forgive me, Darryl..."

Yana was the belle of the ball in her sequin-encrusted evening gown.

Side Effects

by "Pony"

Brooke climbed out of the shower and finished drying herself. Then she sat down and took out the brush - something she could now look forward to! As she began to brush, she glanced over at a picture on the counter. Only six months ago at her 16th birthday, and in that picture her hair was so flat and stringy. She smiled at her reflection as she pulled the brush through her masses of dark hair, flowing down her back almost to her butt. "More hair than I EVER thought I'd have - only a few months ago I was afraid I'd never get my hair looking long and pretty!"

She was almost in a trance as she worked the brush through her hair. She used to hate brushing her unresponsive hair, but it was such a pleasure now! She glanced back at the shower and smiled, thinking "I was so desperate and all it took was this one purchase!" She finally finished brushing her hair and let it return to flowing down her back.

She went over to the shower and got the bottle - it only came in this large two litre size, so it was always so hard to use. She sat down and winced a little, muttering, "I'm always pulling that thing!" She reseated herself and turned her attention back to the bottle - scanning the instructions, "I still can't believe I missed it" she thinks to herself, eyes searching the label until she finds what she was looking for.

She sets the bottle down and gets the brush again. Twisting a little in the seat she winces again and sighs, this time reaching behind her and pulling into her lap the long tail extending from her spine. She began to brush her tail - its color perfectly matching the mane of hair flowing down her back. Sighing as she removes the tangles from her tail, she looks back at the bottle of "Enhanced Mane and Tail" and thinks to herself, "All the other girls were talking about this horse shampoo - how good it worked. They looked at me a little funny when I ordered it, but how was I to know enhanced mean genetically enhanced? They could have at least made the side effects clearer!"

She leans down and reads the tiny panel, "Warning - not for use on humans! Genetically enhanced product for equines only". She sighs again and looks down at her tail and flits it once ... then smiles, "Oh well, I guess it was worth it!"

Hoarse Call

by "Stephanie"

"Jesus, Bill." Carl said into the phone. "You really do sound ill."

"Yeah," replied the husky voice on the other end of the phone. "I'm sorry I won't be able to make it in to work today."

"That's okay, Bill. I hope you feel better tomorrow."

Bill laughed on the other end of the line. "I'll do my best. I really don't feel myself today."

"You get back to bed. We'll be able to manage without you today."

"Thanks, Carl. I'll see you tomorrow."

Ann looked up as Carl put the phone down. "What's up with him?"

"I'm not sure exactly. He said he's a little hoarse this morning and his throat does sound bad."

At his home, Bill carefully picked up the phone in his teeth and put it back on the cradle. Then he carefully turned around and trotted off down the hall.

Be Careful What You Wish For

By "Bob Stein"

Brad stared at the huge Genie who floated in the air above him. Three wishes? He thought furiously as he hung onto the battered lamp.

"I want to be rich!" The Genie nodded, and he was surrounded by chests full of gold and jewels. "I want to be young and handsome for the rest of my life!" Again a nod, and Brad was an incredibly good-looking 19 year-old. He looked down, and then grinned. "I want to be hung like a horse!"

The inspector shook his head when he saw Brad's carcass. Why would anyone have sent such a beautiful young stallion to a meat packing plant? Then he drove a hook into the dead animal's neck, and raised it up to hang with the others.

The Critic

by "Bill Hart"

He stood outside the window of the man who had publicly lambasted his work. Pure destructive criticism meant solely to destroy. The Critic hadn't liked his work -- after all, it wasn't what he liked, so others shouldn't like it either.

The lights had been out for hours, when he climbed in through the open window.

He made his way to the Critic's bedroom. He entered. He removed the syringe from his jacket pocket. He swabbed the Critic's arm, then injected the Circe Serum.

The Critic stirred.

He smiled as he said "Now you can be what you truly are."

As he escaped out the window, he heard the ass bray.

A Simple Wish

By "Bob Stein"

Hassan crouched in the stall, sweating as the Sultan's guards searched the stable. If they found him, death would be the best he could expect. Even so, the risk paled in comparison to the possible rewards, for he had stolen the magic lamp!

Once the shouts and commands had faded, he pulled the battered bronze artifact from his shirt. Desert Wind, the old stallion who was sharing his stall with the thief, worked his jaws and snuffled at the boy's hands in hopes of a treat.

"This is my key to great fortune and power, my old friend." Hassan held up the great magical object for the animal to inspect. "From common stable boy to Sultan in one wish. Perhaps I'll make the Sultan a stable boy! I can do anything, be anything. The lamp is mine!" He laughed as the horse's nose brushed across the tarnished metal, still searching for something to eat. "Not yet, boy. I'll have the Sultan feed you once he replaces me."

Hassan rubbed the lamp, surprised that it was already vibrating in his hands. He was terrified of the immense power he was unleashing, and had to keep reminding himself that the Genie always served the one who called him. A billow of thick, rainbow-colored smoke poured from the spout, forming into a massive, bronze-skinned man. The Genie bowed low. "I am yours to command, Master!"

Trembling, Hassan barely managed to keep his voice steady. "I wish to become the greatest and most powerful Sultan in the world!" The Genie scowled.

"Silence, quivering worm! I was speaking to my Master! He rubbed the lamp first. And his wish is known to me already!"

Confused, the boy suddenly realized that the magical being was looking past him, at Desert Wind. The animal was snuffling the back of Hassan's head, oblivious to the djinn's presence. "No! I was the one who called you! I command you to obey me!"

The genie smiled evilly as he began to change back into smoke. And Hassan felt his head pulled back as the stallion lipped at his hair. The beast's teeth dug at his scalp, and then he felt a strange pulling sensation. Startled, he reached back to feel his head. His hair had a strange texture. The stallion's mouth closed around his hand before he could pull it away, and the strange pulling was repeated in his fingers.

He jerked his arm back, and discovered that only a clump of green foliage emerged from his wrist. He stared in horror at the sweet clover and grass which had been his hand, and then at the huge stallion. Desert Wind swallowed, and brushed his bristled lips across the boy's face. Hassan's scream was cut short as flesh and bone became leaves and flowers. There as no pain, only a strange awareness as he was chewed and swallowed.

He'd sought power and respect. But as the huge animal continued to eat, Hassan realized he'd failed completely. Instead of getting respect as a great Sultan, by tomorrow even the other stable boys would be treating him like shit.

A Perfect Mate

By "Bob Stein"

Mark stared at the door nervously, holding the potion tightly in his hand. He'd finally found the secret to getting the girl he wanted. One sip, and he'd become the perfect lover for the next female who set eyes on him. A perfect mate for Andrea.

He sighed. Until now, he'd always thought the beautiful girl was beyond his reach. Balding, skinny older men usually wouldn't have a chance with a knockout like Andrea. She had a dozen men longing for her, but Mark was going to be the winner. This vial of purple liquid had cost everything he had in savings, but the old woman in the Occult shop had promised his money back if he wasn't satisfied.

What would he become? She could have any man she wanted, so whatever her dream lover was would be really spectacular. Mark didn't care. All he wanted was Andrea.

He knocked. "Andrea?" He downed the potion and tossed the bottle aside. A tingling sensation spread throughout his body. And then the door opened.

Andrea jumped back from the massive black Great Dane that looked up at her from the doorway. Her cheeks flushed, and she looked up and down the hall before crouching down in front of the beast. "Oh my God. I don't believe it." She checked him for a collar, and then grinned. "Come on in, boy. You and I are gonna be such good friends."

A Good Job

by "Jack DeMule"

This morning the teaser gelding had tried to mount her and she was receptive. Gary cleaned the mare's dock and wrapped her tail. She was just another nameless animal in the stream that passed through his care. He tied her lead through the hole in the heavy plank wall of the breeding pen and left to prepare the stud.

As he cleaned the stud Gary wondered where his life had gone wrong. "Shit I hate this job. I spend my days playing pimp for this great ugly beast. I should have gone to college so I could move out of this God forsaken burg." When he had finished he lead the stallion to the mare. The horse had been here many times and knew what he was to do. In a few minutes it was done.

He had seen this process so many times that the initial somewhat lurid excitement had long since worn off and it was now just boring ritual. As Gary walked the mare around the pen to make sure she wouldn't squat. His to thoughts returned to his failure. He had not accomplish anything that he felt was important with his life as of yet. "One more year at this place and I'll have enough money to get an apartment in town. Then I'll find a job, a real job." At that point he was stumped. What could he do? After dropping out of high school he took the job at the ranch. He was glad to get it at the time, as it paid better than most work he was qualified for.

After lunch it was time for the stallion to be excercised. Gary stood in the circular pen staring at the stallion. It turned it's rump to him and began to doze in the warm summer sun. An occasional twitch of an ear or the fly shaker muscle was as much exercise as he'd volunteer for.

"Lazy beast. Always making it difficult for me." Gary filled his pockets with pebbles and returned. He tossed a pebble at the stallion's hinder parts. it awoke with a start and ran to the other side of the pen. Another pebble followed and the horse crossed back and forth.

Gary was about to throw a pebble when he noticed the odd character of the stone. "Hey, neat! It's a meteorite! Just like the one in the window of the curio shop in town. Maybe it's worth a few bucks."

As he held it a strange sensation enveloped him. He dropped the pebble and stepped away from it. "Crap! That's weird! I'd have to get some gloves but first I'd better put lover boy in his stall."

As he touched the stallion Gary felt a rush of sensations. A jumble at first but after a minute he began to sort them out. He was annoyed that the human was bothering him. He just wanted to sleep in the sun after his latest conquest. With a start Gary realized he was inside the horses head. He could partake of the horses senses and know it's emotions. There was a special bond between the two now as they are really one.

Gary's boss noticed the change in him and commented on how much his attitude had improved. He was pleased with the fine care that the horse was receiving. Gary just smiled. He couldn't explain why he doted on the stallion or how much he looked forward to the arrival of the next mare.

Eye for an Eye

By "Bob Stein"

Randy strained against the straps, screaming as the doctor made the first injection. "I didn't mean to hit the kid! I swear to God! Please! I was drunk!" The Warden stood alone on the other side of the glass wall, watching impassively as the second and final shot was prepared.

"It was an accident! You can't do this to me for a lousy accident!" He tried to pull away as the doctor approached for the final time, but couldn't do more than twist slightly. The he caught sight of the young woman who was inside the cell with him. "Lady! Don't let them kill me! I didn't want to hurt anybody. I just had a little too much to drink!"

Like the Warden, she showed no emotion at all. His second scream was cut short as the second needle sent liquid fire boiling through his veins. The very flesh of his body started to vaporize, bones melting into new, smaller shapes. And his mind felt the burning pain, memories being seared away as the very core of his being was stripped clean.

Confusion. He was sitting in some big chair wearing a grownups' shirt. Where was he? The man next to him was smiling, but he was a stranger. Tears started to well up in his eyes. The last thing he remembered was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, and then there had been a car...

"Wes?" He twisted around at the familiar voice.

"Mom!" Scrambling easily out of the loose straps, he ran over and threw his arms around her. She didn't hug him back at first, and he looked up in confusion. "Are you mad at me? Did I do something bad?"

She hugged him tight then, and started crying herself. "No, Wesley. Someone else did the bad thing, but he's gone now. Everything is just fine."

Wishes again

The odd peddler glared at the dirty street urchin who had overheard the bargain he made with other Powers. The alley had been dark and secluded, but evidently not hidden enough for secret dealings. The brat had heard his True Name... "Wh'dya want, boy?" he snapped. Five centuries, and caught by this trash.

The boy smirked and and rubbed his hands. "Gotta do what I want, doncha?" When the gnarled elder not reply, the boy added, "Want me ta shout out what I heard?"

The peddler grunted, leaning on his cane. "Wha do ya want?" "I want to kill monsters, be admired by folks, and know lots of women."

The cane lifted up and slammed into the ground. "Done!"

The Amazon captain looked up in surprize as the dirty peddler limped into the room. "Here," he rasped, offering her a long sword inscribed with runes. "This sword will solve your problems," he told her before she recovered enough to call for the guards. He tossed the sword on to the table where it glittered in the light, bejeweled. "The monsters in the keep will fall before it." She picked it up slowly. "It's beautiful." "Yes, isn't he?" And with that cryptic remark, the peddler disappeared back out on his own business.

I hate Football Now

by "Jack DeMule"

That damn Cassandra and her stupid magic. "Come on Jack! It will be fun." she said. "Met me in the athletics equipment room after school and we'll do it like a couple of animals."

Yeah sure, I couldn't wait. I already had a couple of mats on the floor when she finally showed up. "Here, drink this." She said as she handed me a little bottle of some gross smelling crap. She continued as she rummaged through her purse. "After you finish with that I'll touch you with this horse hair. See?" She held up a few strands of black hair. "I pulled these out of Sultan's tail. You'll change into the same kind of animal as the next thing you touch came from."

The stuff in the bottle tasted like puke. I gagged, tripped on the edge of the mat and fell. One of those big net bags full of equipment broke my fall.

Cassie started laughing. "Oh Jack! You're such a jerk! It was a lot of work mixing up that potion and now you've spoiled it. Give me a call when you get home."

I hope this stuff wears off before school starts tomorrow. Did you know they still make footballs out of pig skin?

I'm Waiting

by "Jack DeMule"

I heard a thud. Imagine someone slamming a car door on a bunch of celery, that's what it sounded like. A flash of blue light followed, then darkness. When I awoke, I found myself lying on my back. At first I didn't open my eyes, when I did, It took a minute for my vision to come into focus. I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I saw tall grass, three feet high or more. Nothing too odd about that, but the sky was orange and yellow. It was a sunset sky, yet the sun was directly over head.

I felt something tug at my sleeve, then the familiar sensation of a horse searching my jacket for a treat. I turned my head and the world spun wildly around for a minute. I groaned and closed my eyes. When my stomach stopped flipping, I opened my eyes again. I was looking at a Haflinger mare, one of the most beautiful horses I've ever seen. She had tramped the grass down around me, and I could now see that I was in the middle of a great herd of horses. There was every breed, color, and age of horse, no two were alike. The mare resumed nuzzling me, checking every pocket, ruffling my hair. She stopped and stared into my eyes. "Come run with us." I heard her say. I sat up and noticed my tool box by my side. Then I looked at her feet. "You need a trim." She shook her head at me. "You're not here for that. Let go and run with us." I noticed that they all needed a their hoof trimmed. "I can't run with you, I could never keep up." The mare rubbed her head against my shoulder. "If you let go, you will be able to keep up, you'll be one of us." "I can't, not yet. You all need to be trimmed. Then, maybe when there's nothing left to do."

The doctor scribbled one line on the chart, persistent vegetative state, then returned it to the holder. A passing nurse stopped to chat. "Doctor Blake, how do you like Nashville so far?" He smiled, it was a weary half smile. "Well Karen, it's a bit different than Hartford. Cars, motorcycles, and gunshots, were all we had to deal with." Karen looked into the patient's room then tried to manage a smile, but couldn't. Yeah, we get as many horse related accidents as motorcycle. I didn't think that one would last the night. What keeps him hanging on anyway?" The doctor shrugged. "I don't know, I guess he's just not ready."

It took me a few months, but I finally got them all trimmed.

A New Pet

by "Grimbo"

"Jane? Where are you?" asked Thad as he entered the apartment he shared with his sister. "I've got some good news." The sound of a cat's meow drew him to the kitchen. Sitting on the counter was a white long hair cat with blond curls on its head. Next to the cat was a cookbook opened to a recipe called "Cat's Pie" and a three quarters filled casserole dish.

"Damn it Jane, how many times do I need to tell you not to confuse mom's spell book with the cookbooks." Picking her up and scratching under her chin, he said, "I hope this one wears off quickly. After all, we never put down a pet deposit and I would hate to have to give you to the SPCA."

Do It Yourself

By "Jack DeMule"

Ted was a do it your self kinda guy. When he saw the advertisment for the Custom Canine Kit on the holo screen he hit the purchase button without a second thought.

When the kit arrived he was impressed by the attractive box. A picture of a beautifull German Shepherd Puppy above the following lines. "It's easy and fun for the whole family! Just follow the simple instructions to create the puppy of your dreams in only two days."

Ted skimmed through the directions. "Hmm...Gene splicer programming, consumeable materials list, deposit on machine refunded when returned undamaged, where's it tell you how to run the thing? I wish these directions were written in American English. What do they mean by "Warning! insert on objects foriegn to prevent results unacceptable also do not contact without cleaning extensivley. thank you?" Like any experienced do it your self type person he threw the directions away and decided to wing it.

The gene splicer was menu driven so all he had to do was select the characteristics he desired. He picked a female Husky along with a mix of Akita and Samoyed to modify the body just a little for that custom look.

He finished loading the machine and started it up. The machine wirred for a minute then stopped. Ted slapped it on the top but elicited no response. "Hmm....Maybe there's something stuck. If I can get my finger in this vent maybe I can free it up." He jammed his index finger into a slot in the side of the machine. "Can't feel anything. Damn! My finger's stuck." The machine began to wirr again. "Eeech! Something sloppy is splashing around in there." Ted wrenched his finger from the machine. "Shit, Cut myself!" He went to the bathroom to get a bandage. It was a deep gash and it took a while to stanch. He wrapped the bandage tight. "Maybe I should put some antiseptic on it? Could start it bleeding again. Naw! Better to leave it alone."

The next night He slept fitfully. "Dreams are funny, I thought I heard a baby crying." Now wide awake, he heard a muffled cry like that of a baby coming from the Cannine Kit machine.

He opend the machine to find a human baby, well almost human. It had a dogs ears, a tail, sharp milk teeth and was rather furry. Ted smiled and picked the infant up. "Well, you're not what I expected but you are a cute little rascal." Ted returned to the bed and lay down with the puppy on his chest. It found one of the eight nipples right away and began to nurse.

The Poacher

By "Bill Hart"

"Jefferson Addams," read the judge, "you have been found guilty of rhinocerous poaching. Sentence, as proscribed under the law, is reassignment, which will be carried out tomorrow morning."

As he was being taken from the courtroom, Jeff couldn't help but smile. Tomorrow morning he'd be re-assigned. Those bleeding heart liberals and conservationists at the trial would probably make sure he'd end up as a rhinocerous. Some punishment, to be put into a protected environment.

The next morning, Jeff was awakened as a couple of lab techs entered his cell. "It's time," is all one said as he swabbed Jeff's arm and the other injected him with the serum that would make him a rhinocerous.

Jeff's arm tingled. He felt funny. As he looked up at the lab techs, he realized he was shrinking. He looked at his arm and saw feathers. And he had to look over, what appeared to be a long beak. What the hell was going on!

As Jeff continued to shrink, the feathers covered his body. Just as the tingling quit, the doctor entered the cell.

"Well, Mr. Adams," spoke the doctor, "I imagine this is not the form you thought you'd be in right now. The judge, in your case, decided you'd be reassigned as an oxpecker. You'll make restitution for your rhinocerous poaching by cleaning one's hide, that is eating ticks and other insects, for the rest of your life."

The Screentest

by "Bill Hart"

On seeing the tall, gangly young boy enter from the wings, the producer proclaimed "He's perfect. Just what I had in mind."

The screen test was mere formality. The boy spoke his lines. Where called for in the script, he drank from the glass they provided him.

As he finished the reading, he felt strange. His skinny legs were becoming skinnier, almost stick-like. His neck lengthened. He began to flap his arms as white feathers grew out to cover his body, his neck, his wings????

"I told you he was perfect. Not only do we have a whooping crane to send to Texas, but we've got a great transformation video with no copyright problems."

Vengeance is mine

By "Tony Cheval"

A young man drove home from work, seething with anger. "This job is killing me, every day is filled with stress. Why do people have to be so RUDE!!" He arrived home, and thought a while, then smiled. "I'll show them, I know just how to deal with this!" With an evil grin on his face, he made a call to a friend...

The next day, he was back at work. Things were the same as always.. BEEP! "Thank you for stopping at Burger Barn, how may I help you!" "Uhhh, I'd like a... uhhh, 3 Mega-burger Combos, with...uhhh, Coke... no, make it 2 Diet Cokes and... uhhh, 1 Sprite!" "OK, that'll be $9.47, thank you and drive around please!"

He couldn't resist snickering softly "Would you like saddles with that?" as he slipped the Virus into their drinks...

THE END (as if you couldn't guess)

Pull

By "Bob Stein"

"Pull, Uncle Jack!" The little boy had a death grip on his end, and Jack had done his best to make sure that the child would win. He tugged, and heard a cracking sound...

"Pull, Jack!" A teenager was shouting at him, and he heard another crack. "Pull, boy!" Confusion caused him to stop pressing against the leather harness, and the heavy weight of the sled stopped again. The boy came up and patted his sweating flank. "Come on, boy. Just one more pull and we win the championship. You can do it." The soothing voice cleared Jack's mind, and he lunged forward with fresh determination. This time, he did not falter until the sled had passed the white place on the scarred earth. There were many other people around him, and even other mules, all making noises. But his master was pleased, and that was all that mattered.

The boy stared at the empty space in front of him, and looked around in bewilderment. "Uncle Jack?" Then he stared at the small end of the splintered wishbone for a long time.

Imagination

by "Bob Stein"

Linda grinned at the kids crowding around her door. A 6 year-old werewolf, a 12 year-old girl vampire, a red-haired brother and sister team as 8 year-old Raggedy-Ann and Andy dolls, and a 10 year-old dressed as a gnarled old man. "Finally! I've been waiting for some real costumes to show up! Most of the kids don't show any imagination at all." Reaching past the piles of cheap candy, she pulled out her special stash and held the bowl out. "I think you'll find what you want in here."

:Oh man! My favorite!" The werewolf had the wrapper off of his before the others had taken a turn. "Wow! The twins beamed up at her as they predictably took the same thing. "Thanks a lot!"

She smiled as they started back towards the street. Imagination was a wonderful thing. Without it, there could be no Halloween, or monsters, or magic. She waited a bit before calling out. "By the way! I'm a wicked witch, and you just ate magic candy that turns you into what your costume is!"

The resulting scuffle was fun to watch, but she was sorry she'd let them get so far down the walk before she'd spoken. The newly-transformed wolf had chewed up the Raggedy-Ann doll, and she had so wanted the pair for her mantle.

Hair of the Dog...

by "Bob Stein"

Allan had to laugh as he washed the blood off his finger. Served him right for playing games with the kid. The father had just about freaked when the little boy bit him, but Allan told him not to worry about it.

The child had just gotten a bit too much into the part tonight. Not that Allen blamed him. He'd never seen such a great costume. Trying to play along, he patted the top of the mask and said that he'd like to be a monster just like him. The boy had said 'OK,' and then made a snack of Allan's hand.

As he wrapped a band-aid around the punctures, he puzzled at his scruffy appearance in the mirror. Had he forgotten to shave this morning? Funny. The thick stubble somehow made him look a little younger. Then he shrugged and went back to the front door. He wasn't gonna stop handing out candy just because some 8 year-old werewolf had bitten him.

Party Animals

by "Bob Stein"

Vince groaned and stretched as he woke up. What a hangover. His mind drifted back to last night's party, and he cringed. Oh, shit. Let some of those memories be the product of some weird dreaming. He tried to remember who had been there. No one from the office, thank God. But the new neighbors had invited a few of the other people he knew on the block.

Who'd have thought such normal-looking people were so kinky? If the punch hadn't been liberally spiked, he'd have probably made an early exit. Instead, he'd made an early drunk, and observed the goings-on from a pleasant stupor on the couch.

General conversation somehow turned into some costume-based dares that started out strange, and got progressively wilder. One of the first was making the 30 year-old baby girl drink formula from a bottle. The guy in the 'Flipper' dolphin costume had to eat a live goldfish. And his Donkey costume, worn because of the election, won him the early trial of having to bray and whinny instead of talking.

But that had only been the beginning. By the end of the night, the husband and wife dressed as the canine stars of the new '101 Dalmatians' movie were doing it doing-style in the living room, and the 'baby' had wet and messed her enormous diaper. Having come alone, he figured he was safe. But then they brought in that damned miniature horse. He hadn't really made that much of a jackass of himself, had he?

His throat was dry, and he tried to clear it. The sound startled him, and he finally opened his eyes and looked around. It was easy to guess who the two sleeping dalmatians were, and no mistaking the huge porpoise in the tank by the wall. He tried to clear his throat again, and then twisted a long neck around to examine himself. Well, there was one good thing. He'd been afraid he'd made a total jackass of himself. But he was just feeling a little horse.

In Time, Maybe A Cat

By "Jack DeMule"

I remember my first transformation, I was a cat. I know that surprises you, as I'm not the feline type. I was very young. My universe was as big as a three-bedroom house. I followed my mother's Siamese cat. I was allowed to transform myself into a cat, no-one thought it was peculiar. The change crept after me on cat's feet too. I didn't notice it.

I was a few years older when the neighbor's dog befriended me. He met me everyday, and walked with me to and from the bus stop. It was a long walk but I didn't mind, because I too was a dog. I know what your thinking. You can't imagine that I could ever be a dog, but I was. It was wrong to be a dog they said, "grow up, and act your age". I would still transform myself into a dog, but now I knew I mustn't let it show. The change now stalked me. It had my scent, but I was sure it couldn't catch me.

Years passed, and as I sat in the stifling class room, I would transform myself into a bird, a goat, a bull, or a lion. I was all these things, but I never let it show. "Quit your day dreaming and pay attention" I was told. I felt the change caress my neck with it's fangs. I didn't care. As it was about to close it's jaws, I laughed. Humiliated, it would slink away, but the change is patient.

One day I discovered I was really a horse. I felt much older, and I was loosing the ability to transform. It was being torn from me. "You're very strange," they said, "but we can help, we know what's best, conform." I clung to what was left of my ability, compressing it into that space where dreams reside. The change runs fast, but the horse in my dreams is fast too.

Now I can only transform myself in a dream, but I am not disheartened. My universe is as big as my dreams, and when the change catches me, there will be nothing but dreaming, which is everything. Maybe I'll be a cat again, for just a little while.

The Cat in the Basement

by "regal"

Ken looked down at the white cat standing in front of the basement door. "You don't want to go down there again, do you?" Puff looked at him and then at the door. "You won't stay down there." The cat looked at him again and meowed. "Okay, okay," said Ken, opening the door.

Quickly Puff padded down the stairs. Where was it? It had to be there. Then she remembered, as she remembered so many times before. This was the wrong basement. Forlornly she jumped up on the pool table and struggled to think.

She was... Puff. No. That was what the man called her. She was... Donnah. Yes! That was it. Donnah... something. She had to concentrate! She was here. No, she was in her own basement. Somewhere. She had experimented, wanting to find some way to transform herself. Her lifelong dream. She had found it, but in becoming a cat, she had lost herself. She wandered away from her home. Now she didn't know where it was... and it was so hard to think. Her human thoughts rarely surfaced for long.

If only she could return to her basement! But how? She had to think. She had to hold on to her mind. Maybe she could communicate with the man, let him know she was human. How? How? She had to hold on! She could write her name... someway. How was it spelled? There was a "D". Yes. A "D". What did it look like?

Just then a sound reached her ears and a smell touched her nose. TUNA!!! In an instant, Donnah was up the stairs and gone from the basement.

In an instant, Donnah was gone.

Short Takes copyright 1996 by Lots of people.

<< Shanghaied Snow Unicorn >>