The Transformation Story Archive Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...

The Necklace

by James Charles Young

Alicia sighed quietly to herself as she stared at the blank page on the Word Perfect screen. Slowly tilting her head from side to side she mused over what to write, her fingers poised at the ready at the keyboard. After a few moments she threw out a few words describing the weather of the day in her fictional world, or the description of the king, but all these were summarily removed by the swift backspace. She spent several hours doing this before she finally got up from her chair, tapped the off button on her computer and monitor, then spun around and headed for bed in the dark room. Normally, she never kept any of the lights on; they would tell her leaving them off was bad for her eyes, and that much she had found to be true. Over the past year or so, her eyesight had degenerated from perfect vision to the point she needed glasses. This didn't bother her too much. Sure, it was disturbing, but because she virtually lived at the computer and could see monitor just fine and so had little trouble with her growing nearsightedness.

As she took off her robe and dropped it to the floor, she thought heavily about the image in her mind she so wanted to express in writing. Words always seemed to come easy for her in school writing assignments, but when she tried to write something that would be interesting-- something she could proudly say was her's--her mind failed her. She slid nakedly into bed, and pulled her covers up over her body, trying to get comfortable and take her mind off of the unmade story. It was no easy task, but after a few minutes her mind began to wander and she was soon in the world of dreams.

A field of the lushest green grass Alicia could remember, wet with the morning dew as she ran. It was all so natural. She was on all fours, darting at speeds no human could reach on two feet, much less all four. But she was human, she could tell that as her arms came into view, but she didn't mind; she felt free. Turning at a ninety degree angle she didn't slow at all. Chasing nothing. Enjoying the freedom. Then it was over.

With a yawn she looked over at the clock. After a few seconds of lying still in the bed, trying to convince her body to move, she finally pushed the covers back and slowly got up. The morning was like any other. She took her shower, got dressed, and sat down on the couch to talk to her father. She enjoyed his stories, and liked the fact he had a seemingly endless array of them. Most were of the times on the truck, which she remembered well, having spent the better part of the first five years of her life on one. After about a half an hour, the two got up and headed for the nearby Burger King. They walked, of course, it being only a few blocks away, and on the way she continued to listen to her Dad's stories, smiling and nodding all the while. When they reached the parking lot of the Burger King she spotted a sparkling red object on the pavement and bent to pick it up. She examined closely and answered "I don't know" to her fathers questions of what it was. She turned it around in her hand, a teardrop shaped gem with a white streak in the middle of it. After only a few moments they resumed into the Burger King. She sat while her Dad went and ordered breakfast, examining the little gem; dangling it in front of her eyes by the little golden chain it was attached to so that the early morning sunlight that streamed from the nearby window caused an eerie red glow to appear on her face, the bright streak inside the gem sending a bright white streak to her face from her nose to the base of her neck.

Her dad came back, smiling widely as he carried the tray. She carefully put the little necklace down on the table and smiled back to him. "Pretty little thing, isn't it," he noted as he sat down. She nodded and pulled her food from the tray. She never did talk much, even around her father, the person she felt most comfortable with. Her dad had gotten used to it, however, and learned that a simple nod was what she felt was enough of an answer. They ate, and through the bites of their food and the sips of their orange juices, he talked again of stories of the truck-- how a group of his friends carried large loads down a steep grade in the old trucks. The Sterlings, as they were called, didn't have today's technology, and so as the semi hurtled down the hill toward a sharp left curve, the brakes would burn up and the air under the truck would lift the cab slightly into the air. No way to stop, no way to steer as it headed for a cliff which a left turn would have avoided. Though the cliff was the least of their concerns because the Sterlings had two gear shifts, and the speed the truck was going determined when to shift into a higher geer. At certain speed, you shift; if you don't manage to upshift in time. . .bad things, worse possibly than simply driving off a cliff. Her dad survived, as did most of his friends. He talked of one that didn't, the that went off of the cliff, clearing phone lines before being thrown to his death. He enjoyed recalling the memories of the truck, and talking about it made him happy, which made her happy.

Their meal disappeard quickly and she made sure she didn't forget the prize she had found in the parking lot. Draping it around her neck and tucking the tear drop into her t-shirt, she followed her father out of the Burger King. Her dad chuckled and nudged her softly with an elbow as they headed back for the appartment they called home, "Another thing for your neck, huh?"

She threw him a menacing look, then smiled sweetly and nodded, "Yup." She preferred this piece of jewelry over the other one her dad spoke of--her collar. She still hadn't told him why she wanted it, she actually didn't know herself. It was just one of those things she wanted; and, as with most things she wanted, her dad didn't hesitate to buy it for her. It was a purple little thing she wore around the house. Hoping, as she wore it, that it would make her feel more like she felt inside, what she longed to be. Everyone that she called a friend understood her passionate desire to be what she called a furry, and after awhile no one questioned it, just accepted it. Some even encouraged her to continue her quest to become the half woman, half animal creature she so wanted to be, and these friends she treasured the most.

The rest of the day was unremarkable and it soon became night. Her dad was going to bed, which meant that she could get online for awhile. So, for a couple of hours she talked with dear friends she had discovered on the other side of the United States, then signed off to go to sleep.

She turned on the fan, then went over to the blinds that covered her window, raised them, then opened the window itself. She held the little teardrop up to the night, looking at the full moon through the red gem, and smiling to herself. The stars were unusually bright that night, and she decided to leave the blinds up with the necklace dangling from a little hook that held the blinds up. Admiring the red glow the gem casted on the room for several minutes from the warmth of her bed, she slowly drifted off to sleep, dreaming dreams she wouldn't remember in the morning.

At about two in the morning she shot up in bed, and in a split second was clutching her leg, kneading her thumbs into it. An incredible pain had formed in her calf, and she felt as though she had been shot. She made a rather high pitched whining sound as she pressed her thumbs into the hardened ball of muscle in the calf, trying to keep from screaming and waking her dad up. After a few seconds however, she laid back in the bed and sighed, she had one like this before, and knew that after the initial agony, everything was okay. Her dad called them growing pains, but she could never figure out how growing pains would cause a muscle to knot up like that. Rubbing her eyes with her hands she slowly rolled out of bed, walking quietly through the dark room toward her door.

The moon was down now, but there was enough light from the lamps outside to give her a good sense of where the door was, she opened it and then headed for the bathroom to relieve herself. Minutes later she flushed the toilet and walked from the bathroom to the ajoining washroom. Turning on the light to try and wake herself up a bit. She turned to the mirror that took up almost the entire back wall above the sink and counter, and smiled slightly, having forgotten to take her collar off before she went to bed. She fingered at the metal clasp idly as she leaned close to the mirror, looking for any stray blemishes that might have formed overnight. "A silly habit," she thought, but it didn't really matter, she hated those things and liked them gone as soon as she found them. Oddly, however, she didn't find anything. In fact her skin was amazingly smooth. She brushed her long golden hair from the side of her face and stared curiously, still rather groggy from sleep.

Leaning closer still to the mirror she placed one hand on the counter and let the other one explore her now unmarked face, her mind, slow to react so early in the morning finally got around to giving her the message . "Oh, a dream." she said to the mirror and sighed, "Ahwell, it would have been nice to have no more pimples." Then with a yawn she turned to shut off the light, but another stabbing pain, this time at the ends of her fingers, cut her short. She leaned up against the wall, facing the mirror and clutching her fists to her breast. Again, after a few seconds the pain died down and she raised an eyebrow to herself in the mirror, "Having painful dreams? Great." And promptly moved to turn the light off again. But as she raised her hand to the light switch she blinked at the sight. Her nails were gone, replaced with rather sharp looking black claws. Spinning quickly and hopping up onto the counter she held her hand close to her face, examining the tips directly and in the reflection the mirror offered.

She slowly realized it a change dream, one of the ones she so rarely has, but so dearly cherishes. She smiled to her claws as her toes began to sting as well. This time, she tried her best to ignore the excruciating pain, curling herself up with her chin on her knees and her arms around her legs as she sat on the counter, looking curiously to the digits of her foot as the nails slid down and become the same tough little claws her fingers now. Alicia giggled tiredly as the pain died down, and shifted around in front of the mirror so that she was on hands and knees, being careful to not knock anything off. She looked over to herself in the mirror, "Just remember this when you wake up, got it? I'd hate to let a dream like this go to wast--"

She was cut off by her own scream. The shrill voice filled the entire apartment as she lifted herself up onto her tippy toes, still in the all fours position with her back in the air. Her eyes squeezed shut reflexivly, but she could feel the changes of her body through the pain. Fur slowly sprouted over her naked body, tickling her, but the pain now in her arms and legs overshadowed it. The sodden sound of snapping bones and tearing flesh filled her ears as they reformed on the top of her head. She felt her hair fall out, and her face extend painfully. Letting out a little yip she jumped forward and bumped her head against the wall, hard enough to knock herself out, but just before she lost consciousness she swore she could feel her spine extending behind her.

Alicia slowly drifted back to the waking world, keeping her eyes closed from the bright sun outside. She sighed quietly, feeling the warmth of her blankets, and the softness of her bed under her again. "Only a dream," she thought to herself with a yawn, "Damn." She felt a rather odd muscle twitch at the top of her head as she heard the door open, swinging with a loud creak and admitting her dad who quickly came to her side.

"You got your wish, daughter of mine." was all he said. Her mind took a few moments to process the information before she opened her eyes and looked back to him, and she made a quiet grunt which sounded vaguely like huh?'

Another few moments and she realized that he was gigantic and she backed instinctively away, staring at what looked like a much larger version of her dad. He put his hand out slowly toward her, and she summarily back away. She could smell him, a strong musky scent, but she could recognize only that he meant no harm, so stopped backing up and stood still, shivering as he put his hand on her head and started to scratch. Her body started chrrrring reflexively and she leaned up into the petting before yanking her head away again and staring cross-eyed down to her nose. She caught the sight of a long muzzle, tipped at the end with a black wet nose and whiskers. When she breathed she could see and feel it flare. Staring at it for a few minutes she looked back up to her father with questioning eyes. He answered by scooping her little body into his arms and walking slowly toward the bathroom.

The whole ride, all she could focus on was her paw, a beautiful, red covered paw. Her mind tried futilely to tell her this was a dream, and indeed the rather fuzzy feeling she had was almost enough to convince her. But when they reached the washroom, she stared down at a magazine on the counter, closed her eyes, and opened them again. The words stayed the same, and she knew that words nearly never stayed the same in dreams. Blinking quite a few times to make sure the words did indeed stay fixed, she began to slowly lift her head up and look into the mirror, her dad beginning to explain.

"I love you, Alicia," she flicked her tail tip a bit, overjoyed by the sensation, "And I know you wanted this, so as any good Dad would have done, I've given it to you. I bought that necklace, and set it out in the parking lot before we left, the man assured me it would find only you." He sighed and rocked her little body, "You will be able to change to a human again, and the man said you will even be able to be half and half in awhile. But for now you will have to learn to be a fox." A little tear rolled down her fur covered cheek, catching the reflection in the mirror she saw that the teardrop was colored red, the white streak down her vulpine form causing the same white streak to appear in the middle of the tear.

A few years later, Alicia sat at her computer, typing away. As her dad came in, she spun from her chair and bounced over into his arms, hugging him tightly. He returned the hug with a warm smile, "So little lady, what are you up to?"

She looked back around to the computer screen and shrugged, "Writing a story," her voice soft and musical as she chrred out the words.

"Ooh, okay, I'll leave you to it then, call me if you need anything." He then released her and she sat back in her chair, the tapping of her claws on the keyboard filling the air as she told the story of a young man named Jody that longed to be feline who found a little golden necklace with black spots and stripes within.

The Necklace copyright 1996 by James Charles Young.

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