|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
Mike made a final survey of his preparations. The hand-made copper knife lay on a log he had dragged from the nearby forest. His clothes were hidden in the brush, and the ancient spell book lay open to the proper page in the center of his intended circle. He glanced at the odd lettering of the title for the hundredth time. "To Become A Werewolf."
It was a perfect night. The moon was full, the sky was clear, and it wasn't so cool out that standing naked in a pasture wasn't too uncomfortable. Better yet, the full moon had come on a Saturday, just five days before Halloween. No problems having to make excuses for being out late, since it wasn't a school night.
He checked his watch. 11:40. Time to start. Picking up the book, he re-read the directions carefully.
"Before midnight on a night of the full moon, stand unclothed in the center of a circle marked by thy own urine. Stab though a natural-fallen timber with a knife made of copper, and recite the verse. Once the verse is complete, thou must defecate in the circle and leap over the timber. At midnight, thou shalt be transformed."
Mike tensed, nervous, eager, and feeling just a little stupid. He didn't really expect this to work, but he had to try. If he could be a werewolf! No more being stuck as just another invisible, average nobody. Most of his classmates at the high school probably didn't even know his name. As far as they were concerned, he might as well be one of the cows grazing on the other side of the pasture. Some of that was probably his fault, since he hadn't really put any effort into joining sports, or clubs, or anything else.
Well, if this worked, he'd get noticed. The thought of running through the hallways as a huge wolf, snarling and snapping at those stuck-up cheerleaders and obnoxious jocks made him grin. Swallowing hard, he wished desperately for this ritual to be real. And then he turned slowly in place as he began to piss. When the circle was complete, he picked up the tiny knife made from a beaten-out penny, and jabbed it into the log. Now for the verse.
"Wolves, vampires, Satyrs, ghosts,
elect of all the devilish hosts,
I pray you send hither, send hither, send hither,
the great gray shape that makes men shiver.
To roam 'neath the moon when it shine full and bright,
striking terror in those who I meet in the night.
Restore me when dawn comes and banishes dark,
to the form which deposits this demonic mark."
Squatting, he dropped the book and tried to take a dump. Nothing happened. Well, he had plenty of time. It was just 11:50. He was concentrating on his bowels so hard, he almost missed seeing the lights at the other side of the pasture. He froze as the sound of motorcycles echoed over the field. Then the cattle suddenly charged in his direction.
"Shit!" Mike jumped up and ran for the brush, only to catch a foot on the log and go sprawling in the grass. Scrambling up, he made it out of the pasture just as the herd arrived, along with two kids his age on dirt bikes. The bikers were shouting and laughing as they circled the bellowing cows. Playing cowboys, or maybe just having fun scaring the animals.
"Go away. Go away." Mike muttered a curse under his breath. The bastards had forced the herd into his end of the pasture. Even if he wasn't afraid of being seen, he was afraid to try pushing through the big animals to get back to the circle. Dammit! Why did they have to pick now to play games?
His heart sank as they continued to circle the field for a few more minutes, and finally left. Making his way over to the folded clothing, he picked up his watch. 12:06. Six minutes too late. Frustrated, he threw the timepiece on the ground and plopped down in disgust. He'd come so close to getting it all done. And then failed because of a lousy little pile of shit.
After wallowing in self-pity for a while, he got dressed. At least he could try again tomorrow night. If he could sneak out that late on a Sunday. By this time, the cows had started wandering back to the far side of the pasture, and he went back to get his book and knife.
As a final insult to injury, one of the damn cows had left a large and fragrant gift which partly covered the book. Snatching it out from under the pile, Mike frantically wiped the mess off the paper with a clump of grass, and was relieved to find that the manure had only stained the paper slightly.
He retrieved his bicycle from its hiding place and started the long ride home. As he pedaled over the rough trail, he squirmed a little as his skin started to itch. Sitting naked in that coarse grass probably hadn't been too smart. The way his luck was going, he'd probably sat somewhere a cow had pissed.
The itching got worse, and he finally had to stop the bike and scratch. Only to freeze and stare at his arm when his finger raked through thick gray fur. Bewildered, he looked at his watch. It was 1 a.m. exactly. But the change was supposed to happen at midnight! Something flickered across his mind, something about time. Of course! Sunday was the 27th. The day that daylight savings time ended. Time got set back an hour, so it was really midnight on Saturday again!
He began to pull off his clothes, staring in awe at the thick pelt which spread over his skin like a shaggy fire. Fingers shrank as he fumbled with his shoes, but he managed to strip completely before the transformation kicked into high gear.
Mike fell to the ground, writhing in agony as his bones twisted into new shapes. His cries caught in his throat, and then burst out as the whining of an animal as his face pushed into a snout. Arms shrank and altered into flailing forelegs. The pain grew more intense, becoming a burning which seared every cell of his body. And then it was over.
He rose cautiously onto all fours, testing the wind with his expanded senses. Twisting around revealed the powerful body of a massive gray wolf. Mike was terrified and thrilled at the same time. For once, his luck had been good! The spell hadn't been completed, but it had still worked.
Run. He wanted to run through the night. The scent of cattle aroused thoughts of hunting, but Mike forced those back. No point in starting a hunt for a cow-killing animal his first night. For now, he would enjoy the feel of muscle and sinew, powerful scents and sharp sounds. He was a wolf!
Many hours later, Mike trotted back to the spot where his clothes and bike had been abandoned. Panting from exhaustion, he could see the first glow of dawn as it crept over the horizon. What a glorious night! The wolf's senses were intoxicating, and he had explored places he never knew existed. Caves, creeks, even old culverts and barns took on a whole new identity in this body. Last night had been a time to learn and explore his new form. Tonight he would let loose completely, and revel in his new existence as the feared hunter.
The top edge of the sun was visible now, and he felt the transformation start again. Surprisingly, there was no pain, only a pleasant sensation of warmth and tingling. His body began to get larger, legs and arms lengthening and becoming thicker. Fascinated, he watched his forepaws begin to swell and split. But not into fingers. Bewildered, he began to panic as wolf's black claws fused into larger black lumps. The shaggy gray fur was getting darker and coarser, not becoming familiar pink skin.
What was happening? Mike cried out, making a strange, guttural sound. Twisting awkwardly, he looked down in time to see the sheathed canine penis vanish into his belly. There was a swelling between his hind legs, a swelling which got heavy and familiar. Realization hit as teats pushed out, and his scream came out as a loud bellow.
He lay there for a while, trying to deny the bovine body which was now his. The spell had been completed after all, just not by him.
"Restore me when dawn comes and banishes dark, to the form which deposits this demonic mark."
In this case, the demonic mark had been that damned cow pie, not his own waste. Mike felt like crying, but bovine eyes didn't seem to work the same way. The true horror of his situation hit home as he struggled up onto his hooves. He wasn't human anymore! When the spell 'restored' him, it had erased the boy and replaced it with cow. Come the full moon, he might change to a wolf again. But other than those few nights, he was doomed to life as a cud-chewing, dull-eyed herbivore.
Mike found himself automatically plodding towards the pasture, forced to obey the instincts of this new body. No amount of mental effort could defeat those urges, and he finally gave up fighting. Acceptance brought a kind of calm, along with a growing thickness of mind. He still remembered his past, and with bitter irony, understood his future. Instead of being different and powerful, he was literally part of a mindless herd. The set back of clocks had been a major setback for him, and now it was time to get milked.
Setback copyright 1996 by Bob Stein.
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