|The Transformation Story Archive||Mythical Beings|
Scott, a dark-haired twenty-one year old with a neat beard, was at the beach on fine July day, with his girlfriend Gabrielle. They had found a spot some distance from the crowded main part of the sandy shore, on the other side of a small dune. Putting up their beach umbrella for shade, the two young people settled down for a while, just lying on the sand looking out to sea and talking. It was early afternoon, and too hot to swim just yet.
A little later the tall, beautiful red-head expressed a desire to sunbathe, and started poking through her bag for some sunblock. Eventually finding the bottle, she shook it with an expression of dismay on her pretty face. "It's nearly empty," she complained, and looked beseechingly at her companion. "Scott, be a dear and get me some more."
"Where am I supposed to get some around here?" he said in puzzlement, waving his arms at the empty beach.
"Surely there's some sort of shop or something back there. Go have a look for me?" She gave him a winning look, and pouted slightly when he didn't immediately leap to his feet. He looked doubtfully back in the direction they had come. He didn't remember seeing anywhere he could buy any sunblock anywhere close, but her expression drove him to his feet.
"All right, I'll go and look. I might be a while, though."
"Oh good. I'll wait here for you." She smiled radiantly at him, and lay back under the umbrella with her eyes closed. He sighed, and started walking. However, he'd only gone about two hundred yards or so, just far enough to round the corner of the dune and get out of sight of Gabrielle, when he was accosted by a voice from behind.
"Hello, young man. Can I persuade you to make a small purchase from my meagre stock?"
Whirling in surprise, he was startled to see a man with a tray full of odds and ends on a strap round his neck and wearing a long coat with dozens of pockets in it. On his head was a wide-brimmed hat, which cast a shadow over his face, and he had a pack on his back as well. It was also festooned with pockets, some of which had things sticking out of them.
Bemused by the sight, Scott had the brief thought that it was pretty strange attire for someone to wear at the beach in July, and must be damned hot and uncomfortable. This thought was quickly replaced by a different one, and he frowned. "Hey, where did you come from?" he said in amazement, looking around with a puzzled expression. There was nowhere that the guy could have been hiding, and he was sure he'd have noticed walking past such an odd-looking figure. It was like he'd just popped up out of the beach behind Scott as he walked by.
"Ah, there's a deep question. Where did any of us come from? Many minds over the years have wondered, but no satisfactory answer has yet been suggested." The deep, whispery voice sounded amused, but there was something oddly... wrong... about it. Scott shivered, a sudden chill running through him. He felt strangely uncomfortable for a moment, staring at the dark figure, and tried to get a look at his face. The man subtly shifted his stance, the shadow from his hat becoming deeper and successfully foiling his gaze.
After a couple of seconds, Scott shrugged slightly, throwing off his momentary discomfort. There was no apparent threat to him, despite the unusual appearance of the mystery figure. Ignoring the strange answer to his question, he remembered the stranger's opening remark and, feeling foolish, asked, "I don't suppose you have any sunblock, do you? My girlfriend ran out." It didn't seem likely that an initerant salesman or whatever the guy was would have something so prosaic in his stock, but it was worth a try. Already thinking it was a silly question, he was starting to turn away when the man spoke, once more the sound of his voice making him shiver slightly in an instinctive reaction.
"Sunblock?" There was an inquisitive tone to his voice. "Ah yes, I think I may be able to fulfil your requirements. I have here, somewhere..." He trailed off, rapidly sorting through the contents of his tray. Apparently not finding what he was looking for, he then felt various pockets for a minute or so. Suddenly, his fast-moving hands stopped on one pocket, and he reached inside. After a moment's fumbling, his hand reappeared with a small pink plastic bottle in it. The man held it up and examined it carefully, then the hat moved in a satisfied nod.
"Yes, I though so. This would appear to be what you need." He offered the bottle to Scott, who looked at it dubiously. It was about six inches high, round, and had 'Seaside Delights Tanning Cream' written on it in an elegant cursive script, which appeared almost archaic. It didn't resemble any make of sunblock he was familiar with, and he hesitated. Peering up the beach to the distant crowd, he wondered if he might be better off trying there, even though he didn't think he'd be able to find any.
Apparently sensing his hesitation, the figure moved a step closer and held the bottle up. "I am feeling generous, my friend, so I will part with this item for the sum of only one dollar. You won't find a better deal elsewhere, I assure you." A few seconds more thought, and Scott nodded.
"OK, I'll take it. Here you are." He held out a crumpled dollar bill, and blinked in surprise as the money was removed so quickly from his fingers that it appeared to vanish. The man tossed the bottle to him, and he caught it in one hand. "Thanks", he said, examining his purchase closely. There was no answer, and when he looked up a couple of seconds later he was shocked to see that there wasn't a trace of the mystery man. Looking wildly up and down the beach, he tried to figure out where he'd gone. There wasn't anyone within a quarter of a mile that he could see, and eventually he shrugged again, and began walking back to Gabrielle. Scott didn't notice the curious absence of footprints where the man had been standing.
When he got back to his girlfriend, she looked up at him over her sunglasses and said in surprise, "That was quick. Did you find any sunblock?" He held up the bottle triumphantly, and she smiled, an expression that turned into a mild frown when she took it from him and read the label.
"'Seaside Delights Tanning Cream?' What's that? I've never heard of it." She stared at him and said suspiciously, "Where did you get it?"
Scott related the tale of the strange figure that had appeared and disappeared so mysteriously, and she looked at the bottle again carefully. "It's probably some ineffective cheap knock-off or something." Reading the label on the back carefully, she couldn't find a list of ingredients, just a section of fine print labelled 'instructions for use'. One phrase caught her eye, that being 'For the use of women only. Use by men may have undesirable side-effects, which the manufacturer will not be held responsible for. DO NOT INGEST.' She pointed it out to Scott, who laughed.
"What could the 'side-effects' be, I wonder?" he said with a snicker. Having read the instructions twice, she shrugged.
"It doesn't say. Oh well, I suppose it's better than nothing. I'll give it a try. Scott, if I burn because this stuff doesn't work you'll be in trouble." He smiled at her, and she grinned back. Removing the top of the bottle, she squeezed a little into her hand and began applying it to the arm holding the bottle. It was a herbal-scented pale green cream, which disappeared into the skin readily.
After rubbing it on all the exposed cream she could reach, she rolled onto her stomach and gazed at Scott. "Do my back, please", she asked, holding the bottle out to him. He took it from her, and began applying it to her back neck. Once he had finish, he re-capped the bottle and dropped it into her bag, then wiped his hands on his shorts.
"Slimy stuff", he muttered distastefully. Feeling hungry, he dug out a sandwich, offering one to Gabrielle, who turned it down. He bit into his snack, and chewed for a few seconds. Suddenly acquiring a pained expression, he spat out the mouthful of half-masticated bread and meat with a wordless sound of disgust.
"What's the matter?", she asked quizzically.
"I don't know", he replied, looking closely at the sandwich and lifting the top piece of bread to inspect the contents. "It tastes really foul." He turned it over, and found the reason; A smear of the sunblock from his hands on the bottom of the sandwich. "God, that stuff tastes awful."
Looking up at him, she said with concern, "The bottle said you weren't supposed to ingest it."
"I'm not surprised, with a taste like that", he muttered, looking for a can of soda to wash it away. He took a couple of mouthfuls of soda and swilled it around, then spat. "Yuck. I can still taste it." After drinking the can, he had managed to get rid of most of the taste, although traces were left which made him keep muttering for some time. However, he lay down beside his girlfriend, in the shade of the umbrella since he had no desire to burn, and went to sleep.
A pain in his feet woke him about half an hour later, and he sat up with a grunt. Gabrielle was dozing beside him, and was starting to tan nicely. He had the passing thought that the cream did in fact seem to work, and bent over to inspect his feet. They were both aching slightly, and for some reason were twisted out to the sides, pointing away from each other in an odd fashion. He massaged them and tried to move them into a more normal position, but found that he couldn't. Feeling worried, he watched as they twisted even more all by themselves, until they were lying completely flat to either side of his legs, which were still normally positioned. There was only a dull ache during the seconds-long process, even though by rights there should have been bones breaking and muscles ripping.
By now scared and puzzled, he nudged his girlfriend and said urgently, "Gabby, wake up!" She awoke with a start, and rolled over to look at him.
"What's wrong?" she asked, and he pointed frantically at his feet. She looked at them, and gasped, one hand covering her mouth. "What happened? Did you fall down and twist your ankles?", she asked faintly. His strangely twisted feet looked horrible.
"No, I woke up and they went like this. It hurts a little bit, but not as much as it should." He bent his knees to bring his feet closer so he could look at them, and his inward-pointing heels touched. As soon as they did, he shouted in agony as a sharp pain shot up his legs. They watched in horror as his heels almost instantly merged together, the flesh rippling and flowing like a thick liquid. In a panic he tried to separate them, and once more cried out in pain.
Gabrielle tentatively reached out a finger and felt his fused feet. The skin seemed normal at first, but she suddenly could feel it becoming bumpy and rough under her touch. Pulling her hand away, she bent close and watched, as did Scott. After a few seconds she whispered, "You're growing scales!"
Sure enough, small iridescent scales like those of a fish were popping up all over his feet. His toes began to slowly get longer, with the big toes lengthening most and the little ones the least. Within a matter of minutes his toes had grown to over eighteen inches in length, curving out and down in a graceful sweep that put the tips of the outermost toes three feet apart. His feet had flattened during the process, and they realised the end result looked a lot like the tailfin of a huge fish, but without the webbing.
Scott was almost at the point of fainting by now. Gabrielle was taking it a little better, but then the strange changes weren't happening to her, after all. A short while later a tickling sensation started at the base of his remade toes, and he reflexively wiggled them. They watched in silence as the missing webbing put in an appearance, growing slowly along the length of his toes, which were taking on the appearance of ribs on a fin. He quickly realised that this was exactly what they were. The scales gradually spread up his legs, and the legs themselves fused together higher and higher.
When the current changes stopped, his legs were a single limb from just below his knees to where his feet had been. Below this the new appendage had lengthened noticeably, being just under three feet from the scale-line to the start of the fin.
The fin itself was huge, three feet across and a foot or more deep in the middle. His ankles had disappeared without trace. The scales began to change colour, flushing a deep pink that gradually shaded to a near-purple colour at the tips of his fin. He stared aghast at his changed appendage, and tried moving it. He found he was able to wave it around with a little practice, the changed parts of his legs being much more flexible than they should have been. He could furl the fin up to a degree, and fan it open and shut.
While he was experimenting, yet another wave of discomfort went through his legs, and the fin began to slowly rotate. It turned through ninety degrees in as many seconds, and he was left with a vertical tailfin like that of a normal fish. He found he could now bend his fused lower legs from side to side.
"What the HELL is going on?" he finally said, having been too engrossed in the changes to speak during them. Gabrielle had no useful answer for him, and shook her head helplessly. Rolling over, he rose to his still-normal knees, and asked for her help to try to stand. The attempt was unsuccessful, and his tailfin bent sideways under him very painfully.
He shouted in agony, and dropped to his knees again, near tears of frustration. She knelt in front of him and hugged him hard, her head on his chest. A few seconds later she pulled her head away and stared at his shirt in surprise. Feeling it with one hand, then both, she whispered, "Scott? I think something else is changing."
Looking at her, then down at himself, he felt his chest as well. He found his nipples seemed to have expanded enormously, and were visibly pushing against his tight T-shirt. As they watched his nipples grew even larger, protruding like thimbles beneath his shirt, and then his chest began to inflate. Grabbing it in disbelief, he felt what could only be female breasts growing slowly from him. Gabrielle pushed his hands aside and felt his developing bosom herself, looking surprised.
His bust developed quite quickly, expanding through a A-cup, to a B, then C, then D. The weight of his new breasts pulled harder and harder on his upper body, and he found he was slowly leaning back to compensate. This had the effect of making the protrusions stand out even more, and they were still growing. His shirt was becoming uncomfortably tight, as the breasts finally stopped somewhere around an F-cup or so. She lifted one of them, feeling how firm and full it was. Briefly envious of his development, she looked at his face and could feel the horror in his expression as he stared down at himself.
Slowly reaching down with shaking hands, he lifted the bottom of his T-shirt and tried to remove it to view the damage. As it was raised, it became stuck under his huge breasts and he was forced to pull quite hard, lifting them nearly to his chin. It finally popped free, and his breasts flopped out of their confinement, wobbling massively up and down in recoil. He gasped at the peculiar and uncomfortable sensation, and pulled his shirt over his head. Staring at himself he lifted his breasts in his hands, noticing how they overflowed his large palms on all sides. They were the largest tits he'd even seen in real life, and he had a hard time believing they were growing from his body.
Weighing them in his hands, he found his large feminine nipples becoming engorged from the stimulation of the breasts being handled. He dropped them, cursing. The last thing he wanted was to begin to enjoy this. Gabrielle was staring at him wide-eyed, trying to reconcile the incredibly female mammaries with the sight of the rest of his masculine frame.
A pressure that had been building around his waist for the past few seconds finally attracted his attention, and he felt himself. Once more he was changing, this time around the waist. It was slowly shrinking in diameter, as if an invisible corset was being tightened. The shrinkage was now visible from the outside, so to speak, and Gabrielle watched his waist become narrower and narrower, until it was smaller than her own slim midriff. Ending up at what she estimated as approximately twenty-two inches around, his new waistline looked extremely bizarre. Scott could only feel the change, not see it, since his breasts were so big he couldn't see down past them.
Pain in both ears made him reach up with a squawk, only to find them changing as well. This change happened very fast, leaving him with ears that were more side-fins than anything else. They were a few inches long and wide at the ends, and he found he could move them easily. Gabrielle informed him they were a golden-yellow colour, and he could feel the tiny scales on them. Waving them slowly back and forth, he tried to figure out what had happened to him, and why.
After twenty minutes, nothing else had changed, and they began to believe that nothing else would. Eventually, Gabrielle said, "It must have been that sun-block! The label said it wasn't to be used by men, and shouldn't be eaten, or strange side-effects would occur. You 'used' it, since it got on your hands, and ate some as well by accident."
"Yeah, but how could it have changed me like this, for god's sake?" He was lying down on their blanket, in the shade of the umbrella, and gestured down the length of his transformed body. The motion made his breasts wobble a bit, and he grimaced at the sensation. He'd put his shirt back on for fear of sunburn, and to give some support to his new bosom, but the latter wasn't very effective.
"It seems to have half-changed you into a mermaid. 'Seaside Delights,' sure. I suppose mermaids must be one of the delights of the seaside, but I never thought I'd see one."
"I never thought I'd BE one," he grumped. "What am I going to do now? I can't walk, or even stand up, and if I crawl on hands and knees my breasts bounce around so much it drives me crazy. My waist is so small my shorts fall down, but I can't get them off without scissors since my feet have turned into a tailfin."
She thought, and suggested slowly, "Maybe using more of the sunblock might reverse the change?"
He snorted. "Maybe, or more likely it would change me even more. At least I'm still male. I don't want to turn completely into a mermaid, and I'm sure you don't want one for a boyfriend either."
Giggling, she nodded. "No, I like you the way you are. Or were, at any rate. Ok, then why don't we try to contact the manufacturers of the stuff, and see if they can tell us how to change you back?" She reached into her bag, and felt around for the bottle. Not immediately finding it, she pulled the bag onto her lap and searched more thoroughly, then dumped the entire contents out onto the sand and frantically looked through them. "It's gone!" she finally said, looking amazed.
Scott nodded heavily, not totally surprised, but upset all the same. "It's magic, I guess, and now that it's done it's worst there's no reason for it to stay. The same sort of thing is in fairytales going back centuries. I think the guy I bought it off knew this would happen."
Looking down at his odd new body, he said, "I guess I'll have to get used to this. Let's go back to the car, it's getting cold now." She packed up all their stuff, and managed to carry it. Scott crawled along beside her, his tailfin leaving a furrow in the sand, moaning about his breasts jostling around.
As they disappeared around the dune and into a life of strangeness and celebrity, the tall dark figure of the mysterious man appeared, and unseen eyes watched them go from under his hat. The strange whispery voice laughed in satisfaction, and he vanished once again. The odd air of darkness that had arrived with him also went, leaving only the wind, which patiently began covering the tracks of the two young people with sand, grain by grain.
Seaside Delights copyright 2001 by Changer.
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