|The Transformation Story Archive||Mythical Beings|
I'll Be Home With Bells
Kira was almost amazed with herself. Never before had she been able to make a decision of this magnitude without consulting her parents, but this time she couldn't. She was afraid of what they would tell her. Ever since the new technology had come out, she had considered this. She was brought up on a horse farm and had ridden since she was five years old. It was almost as if she was born on horseback. Kira was entering competitions by the time she was eight and winning consistently by the age of twelve. There was nothing else in the world like the feeling of having all of that coiled power underneath her as she flew across the field. She had always had saddles when competing, but rode bareback whenever she could, so as to be closer to the animal underneath her.
Her father saw her at this one day and made her promise not to ever do it again. He said that it was too dangerous to ride without a saddle. Her legs were not yet long enough to get a good grip on the horse. Kira knew however that this was bunk. She would never fall from a horse no matter what. It was as if she were part of the horse. Her father, as accomplished a rider as he was, could never understand. Her mother was the same way. They rode beautifully, but anyone who knew horses could have told that it was a learned response, not a natural one. There was always that mechanical aspect to it. Things were technically correct, but there were just something lacking when compared to their daughter. This led to Kira's secret dream.
She had graduated high school and applied to college. Her grades were good and she was offered a scholarship to a good school in a neighboring state. Her parents were less that ecstatic about her going away, but realized that they didn't have the kind of money needed to educate her properly. She had not been at school a year yet, when she learned of the breakthrough in nanotechnology that might just allow her dream to come true. You see, she longed to feel the power of the horse in a different way. No matter how close a relationship you might have with a horse, you could never really feel what it was like to run at a full gallop across a field. She wanted this.
The government had quickly clamped down on the new technology, bringing the scientists that had invented the thing into a government facility. They figured that there would be all kinds of crazy creatures running around out there if they didn't exert some kind of control. They put in place a bureau that any who wanted something like this had to go through. Of course, there was the black market as usual on anything that the government tried to control, but it was very dangerous and Kira didn't wish to risk her life for her dream. She immediately applied to the Bureau of Change for the right to become a centaur. She figured that it was the only way that she could ever get what she wanted and still be safe.
Kira was only seventeen when she first applied and would have had to have her parents consent first, but before she even had her application processed, she had passed her eighteenth birthday, making that irrelevant. She was called in for the initial interview and passed with flying colors. Over a year later, she was given a second interview with a psychologist to determine if she were indeed stable enough to undergo the procedure. In reality, the process took so long that she had despaired of ever getting to the point she was at now. She had received a registered letter at her dorm one day informing her that her request had been approved and setting a date for the procedure. It was December tenth and just a couple of weeks before she was scheduled to go home for Christmas. Her parents were in for a surprise this year!
Kira found herself in a cold clinical room with nothing but a single chair and a table. She dearly hated sitting here waiting on a doctor to attend her. She wondered how long this would take, as she still had a class left before going home. The man finally came in.
"Hi, I am Dr. Creggar," he told her. "I am here for the procedure. First, we must prepare you for the transformation. Come with me."
Kira followed him out of the door and down the hall where she was led into a room with a table covered with food.
"You are to eat as much as you can hold, even if you are not hungry," he said to her. "The process requires material to work with as you change."
This did not put off Kira. It fact, she really did feel hungry. She hadn't stopped for breakfast before coming here and was ready for something. There were all sorts of pasta, cakes, cookies and virtually anything that would provide instant energy. She ate until she felt like it was going to back up her throat. The Doctor came back in an hour or so and found that she was ready. Again she was led down a hall and into another room that was a bit different. It was much larger for one thing. There was a padded floor and more food lying there. After telling her to wait there, the Doctor closed the door and left. In but a few more minutes and nurse came in and took her blood pressure and pulse. Then it was her temperature. Kira was getting tired of this poking and prodding but kept her cool. After all, it was a means to an end. When she was about to explode, the nurse came in again and told her to remove her clothes.
She was embarrassed, but complied. Them the Doctor once more came in, this time with a syringe and a bottle in his hand. As he loaded the syringe, he said to her," Last chance to back out my dear." Kira bravely shook her head, for the moment sure of what it was that she wanted. The Doctor came over, swabbed her arm and made the injection. Kira felt a kind of burning sensation as the contents of the syringe entered her system. She looked up at the man, hoping that he was not going to stay and watch. The Doctor, being a man of compassion, left her in the room alone and shut the door on the way out. Little did she know that there were others watching behind the two-way glass.
The young woman stood there for a few moments wondering what she had gotten herself into. Now that she was alone, she was no longer so sure of herself. Then she looked down to see hair starting to grow on her otherwise smooth legs. They were also beginning to thin as her heels rose. Her toenails merged together to form the front hooves. Kira felt a surge from the area of her behind and looked back to see that things were bulging back there also. The extra weight was throwing off her balance and she managed to flop over onto the padded floor. Things were progressing rapidly, when they suddenly slowed. Kira felt a moment of terror as she contemplated being stuck as some kind of halfway-formed monster.
Then she remembered her instructions and grabbed the food left for her and began to eat. After a few minutes, the change started again and went relentlessly on. She lay on her
now as her back and butt surged outward forming her new body. Within a few minutes, a second pair of legs had sprouted from the bulge and Kira thought she could even see a tail. Her skin on the new area turned darker and white hair grew from all four of her legs and steadily burgeoning chest and belly. The really weird thing was when the nerves became sufficiently developed and she could for the first time feel the new addition to her formerly human self. Her muscles twitched and her rear legs kicked a little. For the first while, she caused things to happen without control as she now had parts that she had never had before. It took a while to sort things out.
Another moment of panic happened when she made the transition from her human lungs to the new ones. The new ones were larger and were needed for support of her new size. Everything had to increase to provide oxygen and blood to the extremities. Her breathing stopped and she fought for breath. Then the new lungs drew their first breath and everything was fine again. Kira felt things slow down once more and stop. This time it was for good and the change was complete. She was still lying on her side and struggled to get up. What she didn't know was that she would get no help in this phase. If she couldn't do this on her on, then she would suffocate. The people in charge of this project had long ago decided on the rules of the procedure and would not change for anyone. They thought that if the new creature didn't have the will to get up on their own, then they would perish on the outside if the same thing ever happened.
But Kira was always a fighter and in a matter of minutes, she had managed to flip over and get her feet under her. Getting to those four feet was another matter entirely! Firstly, the legs were weak from transformation, but as she struggled, they got steadily stronger. After an hour she got shakily to all four hooves and stood there shaking. Now she understood what the colts that she had helped birth went through. The first couple of times she tried to take a step, ended with her back down on knees, but gradually she got the hang of the thing and was able to walk. The government people who watched her through the two-way glass smiled. They had another success. They were so glad for the chance to try out things like this on volunteers. There were many possible military applications for this that they had only began to explore.
Kira was fed well and checked over for the next few days before she was allowed to leave. Her apartment had been altered in her absence to fit her new form. All a part of the agreement that she had signed. She thanked God that she lived on the first floor. She really didn't want to try and negotiate steps yet. She was too new to the form. Now she wore nothing but the jacket they had provided her. Nothing else that she owned would have fit now anyway. Her driving license and other important thing had been changed to show her new self. She giggled when she thought about a driving license. What kind of car could she ever drive again? She supposed it was for identification purposes. She had an appointment with a farrier in the morning before her new hooves got damaged. She idly wondered if it would be anything akin to the dentist and shivered with the thought.
Over the next week Kira became more and more used to her new form. She had the name of an organization dedicated to centaurs. It seemed that this was a popular form and there were others like her. She wanted to go to a meeting, but had not the time before her trip home. That was one thing that dampened her high spirits. How would her parents take this? She hoped beyond hope that things wouldn't go badly. They loved horses, so maybe they could understand her decision. She sent them a letter telling that she would get there the middle on next week. She also said," I'll be home with bells on." That last was a sort of idea she had about a further surprise. She had to go shopping first.
Kira had made a beautiful centaur filly. Her long brown hair hung down her back and was accentuated by the pure white of her horse lower half. She was quite striking and got many admiring looks when she went to the mall. There was a specialty store there that carried things for those with her form. Leave it to humanity. No matter what ever happens, someone will be quick to find a way to make money off of it. There she found what she was looking for. It was a light blue leather harness of the sort draft animals wore to pull a wagon, except these were for ornamental purposes only. There were little silver bells sewn onto the leather and they gave a pleasant tinkling sound as she trotted. They were perfect!
Travel had taken her several days. She had arranged to be taken most of the way by train, but had to hoof it for the last few miles from the train station. She couldn't wait to see her parents and her little sister Meg. She finally came in sight of the house and all apprehension evaporated for the moment. She bolted into a gallop, hair flying out behind her and pounded up to the edge of the yard. There she slowed to a trot to take full advantage of her new attire. Bells merrily jingled away as she came into the yard. The first person out of the door was Meg, her sister.
She screamed at the top of her lungs," OH, WOW!"
She ran up and hugged her big sister and seemed oh so happy with the newness. Her mother was a different story though. As soon as she got to the door, she fainted dead away. Her father caught her mother before he even saw what had caused the commotion.
"OH........MY...........GOD," He said!
Kira just stood there in shock. She had thought she was prepared for the worst, but this shocked her to the roots. Her father acted first, dragging her mother back into the house and set her in a chair. Then in a moment, he was back outside and came up to Kira.
"Just stay in the yard," he said. "You'll mess the house if you come in. I'll be back in a few minutes to deal with you," He told Kira!
Kira stood there with her ten-year-old little sister jumping all around her flinging questions at her a mile a minute. She seemed unaffected by what had happened. She thought it was cool. A tear rolled down Kira's cheek.
"Kira don't cry," her sister begged. "Papa didn't mean it. He was just surprised, that's all," she comforted. Kira wished that she were sure that was all it was.
"Please, can I go for a ride," Meg begged?
Kira reached down with her now immense strength and helped her sister onto her back and started off across the yard in a trot.
"Weeeeee, this is fun," Meg screamed! "Go faster!"
Kira began to enjoy herself for a moment and her sister had the time of her life. She pounded across the yard and down the long driveway. This was the thing that she had wanted so badly! To feel the bunching of powerful muscles and the immense speed, it was almost worth it for those few minutes. Then the thoughts of her father intruded on the happy moment and she turned back into the yard and came to a stop. She helped Meg down and turned to her father standing on the porch.
" You and mother have lived around horses all of your life," she told him quietly," I thought you of all people would understand my need to do this."
"Do what," he asked? "Become this monster?"
"I'm not a monster," she retorted. "I'm still the same daughter that you raised here on the ranch.
"My daughter would have never done such a thing! You shocked your mother out of several years of life with this crazy thing! You can stay here if you want, but you sleep in the barn!"
With that final word she watched her father turn his back, go inside and slam the door. She sobbed quietly. This was the man whom she had seen cry when a foal died at birth, now turned cold and hard. She considered leaving and if it weren't for her sister, she would have. She walked silently into the barn and picked a clean stall. The one thing she could be thankful for was that her father was fastidious about having a clean barn. Meg followed her into the barn and tried to say something soothing, but stumbled over the words. Kira held her tight with a fierceness until her father yelled out of the door for her to come eat dinner. Kira looked around the barn and found the sack of sweet feed. She made a meager dinner out of this. She cried as she ate, an outcast in her own home.
It was late that night, when her sensitive hearing detected a sound and her mother stepped quietly into the barn. She walked down to the stall where Kira was bedded for the night and for the first time since she had fainted looked upon the daughter she had given birth to. Kira looked up into her mother's face and saw not the loathing she had seen in her father's face, but the love of a mother for her child. Her mother stooped down without saying a word and hugged her daughter.
"You gave me a shock there," she told Kira. "It was about the last thing I would have ever expected from you, but you're still my daughter and I love you. After I had time to think, I realized that it didn't matter to me any more. I could even understand the attraction that drew you to this form."
"But papa," Kira started.
" Don't worry about your papa," Her mother told her. "He'll come around when he's had time to cool off and think things over. "Here," she told Kira," I made you some oatmeal. I didn't know exactly what you eat now.
"Thanks mom," Kira said. "It will be fine as long as it's hot."
"I'll see you in the morning," her mom told her," Merry Christmas."
Kira watched her mom walk back out of the barn and into the house and hoped that she was right. She had never wanted to hurt her father, but wanted this thing so much, she had never thought about the consequences. She finally dozed off for the night. Sometime during the early morning, she woke up with a start. She realized that something was wrong. Then smoke drifted into her stall and she realized what was going on! Fire!!! She surged to her feet and backed out of the stall. Kira fought the urge to panic and went from stall to stall opening the door and shooing the occupants out of the barn away from the end with the fire. Only when all of them were out, did she turn to leave and it was almost too late. The fire blocked both ends of the building now and she was trapped. Still having the intelligence of a human, she thought things out quickly.
Kira backed into the stall where she had been sleeping and began to lash out with her hind legs. The power there served her well now and the boards started to give. With a final lurch they shattered and she backed out of the intense heat just as a burning board fell on her singing her side. She stumbled out coughing and when she was well away from the fire, fell to the ground. She heard her father screaming!
"But she's still in there," he yelled at someone unseen!
"John, there's nothing we can do now," someone yelled back!
Kira surged to her feet and ran around the barn to find the foreman holding her father back from running into the burning barn. When her father saw her he tore free and ran over to her hugging her.
"Oh, God," he sobbed," I thought you had burned up!" "I was so stupid. I let what you did to yourself blind my love for you!" "It took the thought of loosing you to teach me that it didn't matter what form you were in, I still love you."
Kira and her father both were crying when her mother showed up. She looked at the two of them and smiled. The barn groaned in the background and fell into a pile of burning rubble. In the distance they heard the sirens of the fire trucks that would get there too late.
"Gods Kira, I thought we had lost you," her mother said.
"But the barn," Kira said
"The barn was insured," her father told her. "You saved the stock and almost got yourself killed in the process. I don't know what I would have done if you were killed over my pigheadedness.
"Papa, don't worry," Kira responded. "I'm alright and we're all together. That's all that counts! They made their way into the house, Her father no longer complained about her size. Owing to the fact that the house was a hundred years old it was plenty big enough for Kira to get around in. She went to her room and collapsed onto the floor. The adrenaline was gone and she was mortally weary. As drifted off to sleep a couple things crossed her mind. She really needed a bath and tomorrow was going to be the best Christmas yet!
I'll Be Home With Bells copyright 1999 by Tekwolf.
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