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

Sticky Fingers

by Myron Comus

Raphael thought he would enjoy being a butler to the worldly, glamorous woman known as Madame C. Passing through the wealthy resort community, he had heard about the opening at her mansion, applied and was hired on the spot. At first it was interesting work, attending to the needs of Madame C, her friends, business staff and acquaintances. As the weeks wore on, however, their distant, icy demeanor began to grate on him. It was as if they all considered themselves his superiors, not just socially or professionally, but on some deep, secret level of knowledge that only they were privy to - as if they were some superior species, and he was at best an insignificant mortal, if that.

Underscoring this realization, his treatment at their hands turned suddenly shabby, with Madame C and her cronies taking delight in rubbing his nose in his menial status. Whereas before he was ignored or treated as if beneath notice, now they seemed to go out of their way to remind him he was merely hired help, to order him about in the most condescending manner, or inquire if he were intelligent enough to carry out their requests.

At first Raphael endured these petty humiliations in silence, looking forward to the bonus promised him at the end of his first 6 months and a departure for more friendly pastures shortly thereafter. As the insults mounted, however, he decided his treatment entitled him to some immediate compensation. Madame C's people were constantly leaving cigaret lighters, expensive pens, jewelry & other shiny trinkets about the mansion; one of Raphael's duties was to return them to their owner, or to a lost & found cabinet in Madame C's office. No one ever seemed to notice they had misplaced these objects, or bothered to thank him for their return; it was a very simple and easy decision for Raphael to start pocketing them instead.

In a few days, he had accumulated a very handsome treasure trove beneath the clothes in his bottom dresser drawer. Despite (or perhaps because) the objects themselves meant nothing to him, Raphael took a growing, and perverse, thrill in their acquisition and possession. Whenever he came across a forgotten key ring or lipstick case, his pulse raced as he pocketed the new item. He almost looked forward to his shabby treatment at the hands of Madame C and company as the weeks went by; with it came a deeply pleasing sense of entitlement to continue his sticky-fingered behavior. When Madame C rescheduled him onto a 9pm - 6am night shift, he rapidly acclimated to his new nocturnal schedule, relishing the opportunities it afforded him to add even more goodies to his collection. Madame C's lost and found cabinet soon became a regular stop on his surreptitious rounds, where there was almost always a forgotten cufflink or earring to be appropriated.

Raphael's 6-month anniversary finally arrived, and with it, his bonus check exactly as promised. He waited a week for the check to clear then started packing that night, intending to leave under cover of darkness and without bothering to give notice. Around 4 in the morning Raphael uncovered his stash, now a sizable pile of shiny, glittery metallic & plastic objects and began stuffing them into a small black nylon laundry bag. Grabbing a chromatic patterned sunglass case, he felt something crumpled and soft under it. He dropped the sunglass case into his boodle bag and turned his attention to the other object: a narrow, crumpled scrap of black fabric.

Puzzled, he grabbed its edges and spread it open. It was a small black domino mask, made of a wonderfully soft velvet or felt-like material - something a comic book superhero or cartoon burglar would wear. Raphael remembered Madame C's masked ball from the week before: passing through the darkened ballroom after the party, he had caught a rainbow glint of light shining off the case and swooped the item up on his way to bed. At the time he thought there was something dangling from it, but had forgotten all about until this moment.

Well, now I can dress the part, Raphael thought with a grin. He peered through the mask's eyeholes, then pressed it to his face. It seemed to adhere almost by itself, melting onto the curves around his eyes and cheeks. He straightened out the two narrow strips of fabric coming off its sides and stretched them around and behind his head; as they neared, they seemed to reach out on their own and become as one the moment they touched. Must be some sort of velcro, Raphael thought. He could barely feel the mask at all and checked his reflection in the mirror above the dresser to make sure it was still there. He was pleasantly shocked to see how well it suited him - almost as if he were born with it on. The fabric that had been all crushed & wrinkled moments ago now clung smoothly to his skin; only its differing texture - and a slight extrusion off the surface of his face - hinted that the mask was not actually part of him.

Suddenly inspired, Raphael went to his suitcase and pulled out a dark honey colored old sweatshirt and his thin black leather driving gloves. He pulled the sweatshirt on over his T-shirt and dirty khaki jeans, then the gloves; it wasn't a cat burglar's black jumpsuit, but for some reason he felt more the sneak thief every second. I could get used to this, Raphael thought, as delightfully naughty tingles ran up and down his spine. He turned out the light in his room, went to the door and opened it ever so slightly and quietly.

Raphael cautiously eased his nose into the narrow space, then slowly opened it wider to peek out. The house, empty of guests for a change, was dark and silent. His room was on the ground floor, in the back near the laundry; all he had to do was carry his suitcase and swag through the library and to the service entrance next to the kitchen, and he would be in his car parked out in back and on the interstate in ten minutes.

He hoisted the bag over his shoulder and headed out the door in a slightly crouched, creeping gait, grinning all the while at his own cleverness. He would take his swag to the car, then return for his suitcase and leave the mansion forever! The bag felt bigger on his back than it had looked in his room; the house's dimensions also seemed a tad larger than usual, perceptions Raphael attributed to his fully energized senses working overtime in the darkness.

The library door was just ahead. Raphael reached for its ornate, gold-plated handle. It too felt slightly larger than normal; had Madame C had it replaced since that afternoon? Strange. Raphael turned the handle and entered. It was a full moon that night, and he could see the door to the kitchen on the far wall beyond the conference table and walked towards it, through the light streaming in through the glass patio doors on his left. Even the conference table seemed taller than normal, thought Raphael. A stray moonbeam lit up the sleeve of his sweatshirt; the garment seemed unnaturally puffy, but this had to be another -

The chandelier over the conference table suddenly blazed to life. Raphael froze between two of the patio doors and whirled to see Madame C resting in one of the plush armchairs across the room. She had been waiting for him all along."Why Raphael," she purred, her voice oozing mock concern, "leaving us so soon?" Not very logically, Raphael found himself wondering how the woman who had employed him for half a year could recognize him behind the narrow eye mask he was wearing. As if she had read his mind, Madame C answered: "How? It's very simple Raphael - you see, you're not wearing a mask - anymore."

Utter confusion - and a strange, growing sense of dread - froze Raphael where he stood. "Don't believe me? See for yourself, Raphael." Madame C gestured at the wall behind him, where a full-length mirror filled the space between the patio doors.

Even as he turned, the thick shafts of moonlight streaming in through the glass doors he stood between began moving towards him, as if the moon had somehow, impossibly split into two and was now doing Madame C's bidding. The two squares of light on the carpet were slowly merging beneath his feet; the moment Raphael's eyes met his reflection the two became one, illuminating him from below in an eerie, glowing pool of light.

Raphael gasped at his reflection, and his breath came out in a strange squeak. The mask itself had indeed disappeared from - or perhaps into - his face; its deep black color remained, spreading out further from his eyes (suddenly sporting enormously large pupils & hardly any white at all) as he watched. Not only that, his nose was growing strangely prominent, turning dark and shiny at its tip, and his ears were now protruding, and angling upwards from the sides of his head.

"I knew you had the makings of a born thief, Raphael - that's why I hired you." He wanted to flee, but he couldn't move; her hypnotic voice and the strange spectacle in the mirror kept him transfixed where he stood. He was getting shorter, more hunched over and rounder; his clothes were puffing up - no, they weren't clothes any more. He was puffing up, his clothes were merging into his body, their earth tones deepening, the fabric melting into tiny individual strands of, of - fur!

"My friends and I left those trinkets for you on purpose, Raphael - we wanted you to develop a fetish for collecting bright and shiny objects." Trembling, he bought his hands up to his face. The driving gloves were gone, too, but his hands had taken on their shiny, black-leather quality, the fingers becoming gnarled and knobby, the nails growing into small, sharp claws.

"We knew that with the right - encouragement, we'd see your true nature emerge." With a start, Raphael felt - and saw - whiskers start springing out from the blunt, snoutlike appendage his nose (now as black and shiny as a dog's) had become. A black marking ran along its top past his eyes and into his forehead, merging with the short dark fur his hair had turned into; only horizontal streaks of lighter-colored fur above his masked eyes hinted at the bare human skin that once existed there. "You see, every keepsake you found contained another element of the spell I've been casting upon you since you arrived."

Raphael's arms and legs were growing shorter, reducing him in size from near-6 feet to slightly over 3 feet tall. His body was turning increasingly plush and round, except where his stubby hands and feet emerged from his brownish-beige pelt. His ears kept pushing up the sides of his head, growing to slightly rounded points above his forehead. "And each element of the spell also served to increase your desire to acquire more treasures, which in turn made the spell grow even stronger - a self fufilling prophecy, in a way." She paused to smile. "I have to admit, I thought that was a clever touch."

Weirdly pleasurable chills were sweeping through Raphael's body, further disorienting him and causing the few stray thoughts he had entertained of resisting his transformation to evaporate. He could see Madame C's reflection in the mirror behind him, relishing the sight of the metamorphosis she had tricked him into bringing upon himself. "And tonight, of course, was the moment for my beloved moon to bring the spell to full fruition." As if on cue, the moonlight grew more intense until Raphael could feel its weight on his fur; the curtain on the patio door wavered in some unseen breeze, and a brighter beam landed on his wet black nose, creating a glowing highlight in the mirror. Raphael's whiskers twitched in response (somewhere in the back of his mind he heard himself thinking in disbelief, my whiskers?!), as an uncanny new sensation began sweeping down his snout, around the sides of his furry face, merging together behind his head and started travelling down his spine. This is it, he thought to himself dizzily; he knew what was about to take place.

"Yes, Raphael, this is the moment I've been waiting for. In a few more moments your metamorphosis will be complete, and you'll be leaving for your new forest home in the far reaches of my estate." The sensation, the wave of magick, moon-born energy reached the base of Raphael's spine and vanished with a tiny pinprick of pain that left a tingling feeling behind. He felt another wave of energy begin traveling down his spine, this time joined by similar sensations from his side and shoulders, all spiraling down towards the strange tinging at the base of his spine; nearer and nearer... The new energy reached its destination and as if two volatile chemicals had been mixed together, the tingling blossomed into a strange new feeling - a blooming sensation that Raphael could no longer ignore.

Raphael's now-stubby legs waddled in a half-circle where he stood, his small steps bringing his plush backside into view in the mirror. He glanced over his shoulder, down toward the base of his spine, now ridiculously close to the floor. A small tail, perhaps six inches long, had emerged into view. It was light beige like the rest of his fur, except for a darker brown band circling it about halfway down its length. As he watched in the mirror, he could see new waves of energy rippling through the fur on his back, flowing down towards the slowly lengthening tail. The sensations merged together around the base of his tail, and in a continuous motion travelled onto the appendage, which seemed to grow another inch or two in response. Raphael could feel the energy bristling through his tail begin to weaken, slow down and then dissipate into the fur itself, turning into a second dark band just above the first. More waves of energy flowed down his back and into his tail, each one adding a ring to it, each one causing it to grow longer and plusher. In spite of himself, Raphael found himself thinking how distinctive his tail looked. He was pleased to notice that it was very sensitive to the space around it; with it; he now felt as if he could now sense what was going on behind his back without having to turn around.

The tail was now nearly two feet long, and with a bristling twitch reached its full length. The sensation of having a tail, of feeling it move, of making it move and brush against its surroundings was perhaps the strangest part of his transformation. Raphael looked at his raccoon face in the mirror, now both strangely new yet weirdly familiar. Behind him, Madame C smiled in triumph. "You see," she explained, "I needed a raccoon to join my woodland menagerie, and now your moment is at hand.

Raphael's small, handlike paws rubbed his eyes in disbelief. He could still recognize his human features - his eyes, his nose (even though it was now jet black and shiny) remapped on this animal form, and he was much larger than he thought he'd be, perhaps 4 or so feet tall.

"Perhaps you're wondering why you did not dwindle to the size of a wild raccoon. I wanted to you to retain your human intelligence so that you can fully savor the sensations of your new appearance, as I will from afar. Of course, this meant preserving your body's basic volume while reshaping it to my ends. You'll find yourself fully in proportion to the others of your kind in the woods, and I think you'll be very happy among them." Others of my kind?, Raphael thought to himself. Who had preceded him in this strange house? How many others had been turned into -- The patio door opened of its own accord. Raphael could feel a gentle breeze ripple across his fur. Madame C rose up from her chair. "Any questions before you go?"

Raphael's tail twitched once or twice as he thought. Finally he looked up at her. "Yes." He took a longing glance at his bag of stolen treasures. "Can I take my stuff with me?"

Sticky Fingers copyright 2000 by Myron Comus.

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