|The Transformation Story Archive||Mythical Beings|
Going Wild ...
As he crept through the underbrush, Leo Senask was certain of one thing.
To night would be the night ... the night he saw a sasquatch.
With his long hair and chest-covering beard, people might've mistaken Leo for any of a number of things. Tramp, hobo, good ol' boy ...
If they caught a whiff of his months-unwashed aroma, they'd think he was a bum.
What he was was a hunter.
A hunter on the trail of sasquatch.
After living in the woods for most of a year, without bathing, shaving, or changing clothes ... without doing anything to give his scent the artificial stink of modern man ... Leo was sure he could sneak up on almost anything in the wild. As he crept through the underbrush, he felt a sudden pull on his hair. Turning slowly and quietly, he gently pulled the wayward strand from the branch that had grasped it. Returning to his path, he moved forward ...
A shadow darkened the moonlit trees before him. Quickly, he froze, hoping that his woodslore would help him hide from the keen senses of whatever lay ahead. Then, taking great care not to make a sound, he craned his head around an intervening tree ... and gasped.
And the shadow vanished. But there in his mind's eye, he could still see it ... the long, shaggy hair over the entire body, the paws that might be hands ... and the eyes.
The sad and knowing eyes of the sasquatch.
Advancing to the small clearing ahead, he found a pool, the water still rippling from a recent disturbance. Taking some of the water in his hand, he sniffed it. No scent but water. Still, he decided not to take chances. He turned his hand over and let the water run back to the pool, the silvery surface breaking the moonlight into a thousand shards of mirrorbrightness.
And the bank gave way beneath him.
Bobbing to the surface, he cursed loudly, knowing that the splash of his entry would be enough to scare away anything he'd want to meet. He crawled to the bank, dragged himself a good ways from the edge, and stood up. Wringing the water from the sleeve of his plaid shirt, he could feel the waistband of his jeans tighten from the water it had absorbed. Wiping his mouth to remove a few more drops from his mustache and beard, he looked around ...
The cramp hit almost before he could feel it, bending him double. As he writhed in pain on the ground, he cursed the water he must've swallowed when he fell in.
Then he heard a rip. He looked down at his sleeve ...
He stared, bewildered, at the sight that met his eyes.
There, in his shirt sleeve, was someone else's hand. As he watched, the huge, hairy arm grew a few more inches, the rip in the cloth widening as it was stretched beyond endurance by the expansion.
Another, deeper-sounding rip drew his attention and his gaze to his pants. The denim was splitting, the rivets tearing from their seats or rocketing off into the underbrush as chance would have it.
Then the cramps intensified.
And he roared.
Finally, the pain eased and vanished, leaving him gasping and panting with relief.
But the arm was still in his sleeve.
Crawling to the edge of the pool, he raised himself to his elbows and looked down.
There, in the pool, its great golden-furred body half-covered with the remains of a plaid shirt and blue jeans ... was a sasquatch.
Leo giggled hysterically. Of course. The water must be tainted. He was having a fever dream from the water he'd swallowed. Of course, he needed to get to a hospital ...
Leo turned at the sound of the deep, rolling voice.
The sasquatch he'd originally sighted stared back at him.
"I see you've gotten the same treatment I did. I'm sorry I couldn't warn you ... but enough of that. What's your name?"
"Leo", he said, deciding to play along with the hallucination until his head cleared enough to find help.
"Nice to meet you, Leo. Name's Bill. Wish we were meeting under better circumstances, but ... "
"Well, you can't win 'em all, right?"
The great furry face split itself in a toothy grin. "Right. I have to admit, Leo, you're taking this a lot better than I did."
"Oh? What'd you do?"
"Oh, ran around screaming, tried to get help ... no point in it, of course .. "
"Well, we can't use human language now. See, all anyone else hears ... and I get this from the last guy who was here before me ... is a bunch of grunting and howling. And we simply can't write."
"See for yourself.", the Bill-sasquatch-hallucination said, handing him a stick. "Write your name in the mud."
Bending over, Leo began to write ... write what? What did an L look like, anyway? He skipped ahead, intending to come back later. The next letter was ... was ... was what? He shook his head with a strange smile. This was one of the strangest dreams he'd ever had, tainted water or not. "Well, I'll be."
"Yeah, weird, isn't it? You know you're supposed to do something, but ... ", the hairy shoulders lifted in a shrug, "You just can't remember what."
"Yeah. Say, what do we eat, anyway?"
"Oh, leaves, berries, roots ... just about anything around here'll do. You hungry?"
"Here", Bill-sasquatch-hallucination said, reaching to the bushes at the edge of the clearing. "Have some of these. They're pretty good."
Munching the sweet, dew-cooled berries slowly, Leo took a closer look at the hallucination in front of him. Everything was just like that brief glimpse he'd had before his dunking. Then he reached the hallucination's crotch.
Then he checked his own crotch.
/Now what did that shrink say about dreams of emasculation?/, he wondered. The hallucination tracked his line of sight. "Oh, that. Don't worry, it's all still there. Just out of the way."
"Whew. That's a relief."
"Yeah, I figured you should find out sooner than I did."
"Why, when'd you find out?"
"Ma--". Leo coughed, spitting out a few half-chewed berries as he laughed.
"Yeah, yeah, I know", said the hallucination with a wry smile, "But don't knock it 'till you've tried it. After all, my son looks pretty good, all things considered."
Leo choked down his laughter, a little surprised he hadn't choked on the berries. "Sorry. But where do you find females, anyway?"
"What, it's only guys who can fall into pools?"
"Okay, okay", Leo gasped as he brought himself under control. "Listen, I'd better take a nap. That water ... "
"Yeah, those cramps do take a lot out of you, one way and another. Just a few more things you need to know, and I'll let you sleep."
"First off, we're pretty much nocturnal. We can stay up during the day, but it isn't easy and it doesn't feel too good. Also, we're pretty tied to the woods. You can leave, but it takes some doing ... and you'll be coming back in a hurry. Last, we're pretty hard to see if fomeone isn't looking right at us ... or near the pool, for some weird reason."
"That's it. Sasquatch 101."
"Thanks, teach", Leo said with a yawn. "Now just let me be right here."
"Night, Leo. Seeya later." -------------------------------------- When Leo awoke, it was still dark, but his head felt clear. Reaching behind him, he levered himself to a sitting position. Then, shifting to a crouch, he ...
Noticed his arm.
His big, hairy, fur-covered, arm.
He blinked. The arm stayed.
He waved his arm up and down. The fur billowed, but stayed attached to the arm.
Finally, he gave it up. /Must be something long-lasting./ With a shake of his head and a billow of his furry beard, he headed for the farmhouse he'd passed on his hike out. ---------------------------------------- Coming to the edge of the clearing, Leo stopped.
And wondered why.
He took a step forward ... and drew back his foot.
Something didn't ... feel right.
Finally, he walked down to the house, nervously looking around him all the way. He'd never felt so ... so exposed before. As he passed the back of the house, he turned completely around just to be safe ...
And fell over the trash cans.
Without thinking, he froze.
/Now why'd I do that?/
He tried to move ... but his arm shook when he moved it, the fringe area of the fur shimmying with the vibration.
He was frightened.
Heck, he was petrified!
After what seemed forever, he saw the farmer's wife approaching. "Excuse me", he said, determined to kill the quaver in his voice, "but can you call an ... "
The woman screamed.
"Ma'am? Ma'am, I need help. I drank some ... "
Then she started babbling.
Literally babbling. Not a single coherent word could he find in all the tons of sounds that poured from her mouth.
/Great. She's hysterical./
Then she flapped her apron.
And Leo ran for the trees.
After he'd calmed down, he looked back at what had just happened. /Why'd I run/, he wondered. /She was just flapping her apron at me. Why was I scared?/
"I told you it wouldn't do any good."
Leo backed into a tree.
His hallucination was back.
"Maybe you thought I lived out here for the great view?"
And, as the walls of sanity in Leo's head came tumbling down ...
... a roar echoed through the woods.
Going Wild ... copyright 1996 by Wanderer.
|<< Glaucus||Halloween Cinderella >>|