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

The Year of the Frog

by K. M.

(Author's note: I wrote the following story as the script for a comic book that, sadly, was never published. The format should be easy enough for anyone to follow; a description of what's in the panel, followed by dialogue. I hope you like it. {And, should any artists out there feel inspired to actually draw it, I'd be interested in the results. You can e-mail me at

SCENE, PAGE ONE, PANEL ONE: A TV screen with the words "News Special" on it is to the left of the caption. The main picture shows Douglas Mahoney, a generic TV news anchorman. He is handsome and his hair obviously blow- dried. His expression changes little throughout the story, showing almost no emotion. On the wall behind him is a map of Aswelan, a tiny country in Europe. Among the countries bordering it is one called Rokonia.

CAPTION: Our regular programming will be delayed one half- hour, so that we may bring you the following News Special.

MAHONEY: Few people in this country could tell you exactly where on the globe to find Aswelan. If they know of it at all, it's because of the royal family ...

SCENE, PAGE ONE, PANEL TWO: A close-up of a young couple, both smiling broadly. The man, Roberto, is in early middle age and is rather doltish looking. His eyes are tiny slits and his nose is quite large. He has almost no chin. He looks like he keeps in shape, however. Next to him is his wife, Deborah, who is the personification of sophisticated beauty. She is attractive, every feature perfect. Her hair, which comes down to her shoulders, isn't so much styled as sculpted. She is well-dressed and very slender.

CAPTION: ... Prince Roberto and his wife, Princess Deborah, known affectionately to her subjects as "Debbie."

SCENE, PAGE ONE, PANEL THREE: Deborah is making a grand entrance at a very formal affair. She now is wearing a tiara on her head and a diamond necklace. She looks almost like a figurine on a wedding cake.

CAPTION: Many said Deborah's life was a fairy tale come true. But they forgot fairy tales often have dark sides to them.

SCENE, PAGE ONE, PANEL FOUR (SPLASH PANEL): This panel is a TV screen shows a close-up of Deborah's face in the upper-left corner and a picture of a frog in the lower- right corner. Between these two images are the words that make up the title of the special and our story.

CAPTION: Tonight, we'll look at the dark part of Deborah's fairy tale; its beginning, its end, and its effect on the world in this special report...


SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL ONE: A castle is shown. It is surrounded by ponds and has a single road leading up to it. Several expensive cars, including at least one limousine, are on this road, heading toward the castle.

CAPTION: The affair began last year, during a royal tour of Rokonia, an old ally of Aswelan. Roberto and Deborah had just entered the courtyard of a castle in Rokonia's "Pond Country."

SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL TWO: We see a full-length view of Deborah, with Roberto in the background looking away from his wife, chatting with a bystander. Deborah is looking at her hands, wondering what's happening. She is dressed for warm weather and wearing a hat.

CAPTION: TV cameras recorded what happened next.

SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL THREE: Clouds of steam are beginning to roll off of Deborah's body. She is starting to shrink a little. Her clothing doesn't fit and hangs damply on her, including her nylons. She's starting to look slightly bowlegged. Roberto is still looking away and doesn't see what's happening.

DEBORAH: Help! Help me!!

SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL FOUR: Roberto, wondering what's happening, looks over his shoulder at Deborah. Deborah is almost completely obscured by her clothes, now far too big for her. Steam is coming out in even heavier amounts than before. It looks like what's left of Deborah is about a foot tall. The bystander Roberto was talking to is looking at Deborah in shock.DEBORAH: ... I'm melting!

SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL FIVE: All that is left of Deborah, apparently, is a pile of clothing with a few last wisps of steam coming from them. Deborah's hat is on top of the pile and Roberto is cautiously reaching for this.

ROBERTO: Deborah? I say...

SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL SIX: Roberto takes the hat off of the pile of clothing. As he does, a small, green frog hops out from underneath.

ROBERTO (in small lettering): ... Deborah?

SCENE, PAGE TWO, PANEL SEVEN: A close-up, ground lever view of the frog. In the background are the bystanders, looking in horror at what's happened to Deborah. The frog is completely uninterested in them or anything else.

CAPTION: Unbelievably, Deborah had turned into a perfect Rana clamitans melanota - the common green frog.

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL ONE: We see three "head shots" of a plump society woman, a rough-looking man, and a valley girl.

CAPTION: Quickly, the news spread around the world.

SOCIETY WOMAN: It's just awful - Roberto, married to that slimy little thing! I knew something like this would happen someday!

MAN: 'S a real waste. Debbie was a real looker. Her picture's in my locker at work. Now, she's a fat little toad.

VALLEY GIRL: Poor Debbie! She has, like, y'know, this bitchin' wardrobe and she can't wear any of it now! And green's just not her color!

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL TWO: This is a very thin panel, showing Sir James Garrett, a plump "fuddy-duddy" of a man, very pompous looking.

CAPTION: The couple returned to Aswelan immediately, where a task force was formed to study the tragedy. Its head: Sir James Garrett.

GARRETT: We first examined the princess, finding her to be a healthy, if underweight, frog.

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL THREE: The frog, sitting on a table, has wires taped to her temples. The wires, in turn, are hooked up to a machine producing brain-pattern charts. Two charts are on the wall over the machine. One chart (very similar to the chart being produced by the machine) is labelled FROG, the other HUMAN. A scientist is carefully studying the chart from the machine as Garrett looks over his shoulder.

CAPTION: "We then ran an EEG on her."

SCIENTIST: These brain patterns aren't human - but they aren't frog, either.

GARRETT: So, we don't know if there's anything of Her Highness in there or not.

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL FOUR: Roberto is holding the frog in his open hand. He looks at it with disgust as Garrett stands nearby. CAPTION: "Soon, we began trying to return Deborah to normal, starting with the traditional method." ROBERTO: Kiss it? GARRETT: It, er, she is your wife, sir.

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL FIVE: As Roberto kisses the frog, his eye open wide. The frog response is to pee in Roberto's hand. CAPTION: "The results - weren't what we'd hoped." SOUND EFFECT: Smooch! SOUND EFFECT (in tiny letters): Pssss!

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL SIX: Douglas Mahoney's picture is next to the caption to indicate he has begun speaking again. The main picture shows a portrait, done in medieval style, of a beautiful, dark-haired woman - Anna DuGeer. She is dressed regally with a large, jewelled pendant around her neck. CAPTION: Rokonian officials, meanwhile, found the cause of the transformation. In the 14th Century, a curse was placed on the castle the Royal Couple had visited by this woman, Anna DuGeer.

SCENE, PAGE THREE, PANEL SEVEN: This is a split-panel, with one side showing DuGeer with a Druidic man standing outside the same castle Deborah was in when she changed. It is night and a full moon is in the sky. The sorcerer is gesturing at the castle with a wand. The second side of the panel is a nearly identical SCENE. Now, however, it is daytime, and DuGeer is offering the castle to Philip, a ruggedly handsome king with long, red hair and a beard. CAPTION: According to DuGeer's diaries, the man she loved, King Philip of Rokonia, was engaged to Josette, an Aswelian princess. She placed a curse on the castle that would turn Josette into a frog upon entering it. DuGeer then gave Philip the castle as a wedding gift.

SCENE, PAGE FOUR, PANEL ONE: Philip is grieving over a coffin. CAPTION: The wedding never took place. Josette died of plague. The curse, unfulfilled, waited for someone - Deborah - with the right qualifications to enter the castle.

SCENE SCENE, PAGE FOUR, PANEL TWO: A group of middle-aged women are sitting at a table in a swank restaurant. In the background is the restaurant's owner, Anton Margolais, a dapper man reminiscent of David Niven. One of the women, Blanch (a rather bony-looking blonde), looks at a menu in dismay. The other women look at her. CAPTION: Meanwhile, more reactions to Deborah's plight appeared ... BLANCHE: Oh! 2nd WOMAN: What is it, Blanche? BLANCHE: Look at this. Frog legs. Frog legs!

SCENE, PAGE FOUR, PANEL THREE: As her luncheon companions leave the restaurant, Blanche confronts Margolais. In the background, others look on, and Blanche addresses them, too. BLANCHE: I suppose if poor Debbie were here, she'd be plopped in a frying pan, too?! BLANCHE (to customers): The rest of you can eat here, but those of us who care are leaving!

SCENE, PAGE FOUR, PANEL FOUR: Anton's is being picketed, mostly by women (including Blanche). Picket signs include FROG FRYER!, MONARCH MAIMER!, etc. Another of Blanche's friends, who looks like the kind who reads supermarket tabloids, is interviewed on television. PICKETER: We've got to do this, and not just for Debbie! How do we know that a frog butchered today wasn't a person yesterday? CAPTION: It was a powerful argument. Soon, frog legs disappeared from restaurant menus, or the restaurants serving them disappeared.

SCENE, PAGE FOUR, PANEL FIVE: In a school science lab, a professor addresses a group of students. The students have dissection pans on their desks and scalpels in their hands. CAPTION: And there were other changes as well ... PROFESSOR: For your biology final, you will be dissecting salamanders.

SCENE, PAGE FOUR, PANEL SIX: This is a picture of a short, cute, middle aged woman with short hair and an impish grin on her face. This is Dr. Evelyn Bromley. Behind her is a news picture of an imposing edifice, a sort of concrete gazebo surrounded by Aswelan palace guards. CAPTION: Desiring the best of care the Princess, Aswelan retained the services of Dr. Evelyn Bromley, the world's leading herpetologist. BROMLEY: The first thing I did was have adequate shelter made for Debbie. Frogs have many enemies, you know.

SCENE, PAGE FIVE, PANEL ONE: Inside the concrete gazebo is a lily pond surrounded by grass. Deborah is sitting on a pad in the middle of the pond. Dr. Bromley is kneeling by the pond and opening a jar to release several flies, mosquitoes, etc., into the air. The frog's tongue shoots out to snare one of these. A guard is nearby, facing away from the pond. CAPTION: "Then, I saw to it she had plenty of food."

SCENE, PAGE FIVE, PANEL TWO: A close-up of the face of the guard. He is slapping his cheek, trying to kill an insect. We see he already has several bites on his face. CAPTION: "This, unfortunately, made things uncomfortable for Debbie's guards."

SCENE, PAGE FIVE, PANEL THREE: Back at the restaurant where the frog legs incident took place, Margolais is in the background, a big smile on his face, as he watches a pair of customers eating soup full of flies and a plate of roasted cockroaches. CAPTION: Deborah's new diet was quickly adopted by the restaurants who had lost business for their earlier menu listings.

SCENE, PAGE FIVE, PANEL FOUR: This panel is split into three different scenes. The first scene shows a boy digging eagerly into a box like you'd get for french fries in a restaurant - but a sign behind him advertises FRENCH- FRIED WORMS. The second scene is a close-up of a mouth opening wide to swallow a centipede dangling from a fork like a strand of spaghetti. The third scene is an extreme close-up of a toothpick cleaning out insect body parts (legs, wings, antenna) from between teeth. CAPTION: In spite of initial reservations and questions about the nutritional value of the new food, the results were spectacular!

SCENE, PAGE FIVE, PANEL FIVE: A couple of women are walking out of a store. They are dressed normally, except for swim fins on their feet. CAPTION: Deborah was still a trendsetter in fashion as well. The flipper was in!

SCENE, PAGE FIVE, PANEL SIX: This is a montage of women wearing various things with a definite "frog" motif to them, including: Shoes shaped like a frog's foot; an aerobics class doing leap-frog exercises; a woman wearing a jacket with a frog-skin design on it.CAPTION: There were other Deborah-influenced fashions -

SCENE, PAGE SIX, PANEL ONE: This is a split panel. The first scene shows a woman walking bow-legged to accommodate the flippers on her feet. The second scene shows the same woman walking bow-legged without the flippers on. CAPTION: There was even a new medical condition - "Debbie legs."

SCENE, PAGE SIX, PANEL TWO: Inside the concrete gazebo, a pretty, blonde woman, Janet Haverson, is kneeling by the pond. She sets down a box, out of which jumps a bullfrog, much larger than the frog princess (who's sitting on the bank nearby). Sarah is smiling as she watches the frogs. As usual, the guard is nearby, facing away from the scene. CAPTION: Deborah had a close call one day. An old friend, Janet Haverson, brought her a gift. JANET: Look, Debbie! Company for you!

SCENE, PAGE SIX, PANEL THREE: A close-up of Janet's face, showing sudden dismay. Behind her, the guard starts to turn in her direction. JANET: Hey! Stop that! No! Mr. Guard, help! GUARD: What is it ...?

SCENE, PAGE SIX, PANEL FOUR: We see a close-up of the bullfrog, which has almost completely swallowed Deborah! only her legs are sticking out of its mouth. GUARD (from off-panel): God in heaven...!

SCENE, PAGE SIX, PANEL FIVE: As Janet looks on, her hands over her mouth, the guards yanks Deborah out of the bullfrog, pulling out some of the bigger frog's insides in the process. CAPTION: After that, Dr. Bromley gave strict instructions that she was to be consulted before anything was brought to the princess.

SCENE, PAGE SIX, PANEL SIX: The guard who saved Deborah in now dressed in a heavy coat and kneeling over the pond. All vegetation around the pond is dying. Vapor is coming from the guard's mouth. The frog is nowhere to be seen. CAPTION: Nonetheless, the princess gave everyone a bad scare several weeks later. GUARD: Son of Our Lady! Her highness ... she's gone!

SCENE, PAGE SEVEN, PANEL ONE: A collage of newspaper headlines from tabloids with names like "The National Scrutiny:" Headlines include FROG PRINCESS VANISHES; DEBBIE DISAPPEARS!; FROG-NAPPING? CAPTION: Everyone feared the worst had happened.

SCENE, PAGE SEVEN, PANEL TWO: Dr. Bromley stands at a podium. Using a pointer, she indicates diagram showing a cutaway view of Deborah's pond and the ground underneath it. Just below the pond, buried in the mud, is a frog.

CAPTION: Dr. Bromley quickly held a press conference. BROMLEY: Like any good frog, Deborah is probably hibernating now. This will allow her to sleep through several months of her ordeal. Leave her alone.

SCENE, PAGE SEVEN, PANEL THREE: Dr. Bromley and Garrett are in the gazebo. Everything has a look of spring about it and the frog princess is sitting on her lily pad again. The frog is fatter, though. As Bromley talks to Garrett, the eyes of the guard, in the foreground, go wide.

CAPTION: Sure enough, Deborah was back in spring. But there was a new shock. BROMLEY: I think she's carrying eggs.


CAPTION: Again, the story leaked to the press ...

SCENE, PAGE SEVEN, PANEL FIVE: Bromley is again talking to reporters, again pointing to a chart. This time, though, the chart is of a frog's anatomy. BROMLEY: Female frogs naturally carry egg cells. They are not the result of intercourse. Fertilization occurs only as the eggs are laid.

CAPTION: Later, the palace reported the eggs had been safely prompted from Deborah and destroyed.

SCENE, PAGE SEVEN, PANEL SIX: Garrett, Bromley, Roberto, and several other people are standing near a large pond. Men are in the pond, checking its depth, placing netting over trees, using nets to take fish out of the pond. Bromley holds a jar in her hand with the frog in it.

CAPTION: Nothing further occurred until early today when the princess was returned to Rokonia. The curse had a condition to it. If the victim were brought to a certain pond a year and a day after the change, she'd return to normal.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL ONE: Dr. Bromley releases the frog from the jar (and we can see there were holes in the lid). Deborah hops quickly into the pond.

CAPTION: Just minutes before the deadline, Deborah was released. The world waited.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL TWO: In the middle of the pond, a mild rippling, bubbling effect takes place. Under this effect is the shadowy outline of the frog.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL THREE: This is the same scene as in panel two, except the rippling has turned into a violent churning and the outline underneath is bigger, less distinct. The water level of the pond has dropped.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL FOUR: The water in the pond is now very shallow. A form is clearly seen, almost completely the size and shape of a woman trying to stand in the water. We can see one hand with human nails, but also with webbing. Some frog-like spots may still be on her body, but they're very faint.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL FIVE: Finally, Deborah stands. She is completely human, naked but covered by mud - and much heavier than she had been before she turned into a frog! She cover herself as best she can with her hands. She looks very confused.

CAPTION: Later, Dr. Bromley admitted she had probably given Deborah too much to eat over the months.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL SIX: Deborah, dressed in an elegant gown, walks beside Roberto. They are approaching the bottom of a long, curving staircase.

CAPTION: And so, Deborah is herself again. She seems to remember little of her ordeal. The past year is just a bizarre dream.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL SEVEN: While Roberto watches in shock, Deborah bounds up the stairs in several long, frog-like leaps.

CAPTION: If there are any after-effects, they've yet to show themselves.

SCENE, PAGE EIGHT, PANEL EIGHT: Deborah continues walking normally from the top of the stairs, as though nothing strange has happened. A dazed Roberto follows.

CAPTION: This has been Douglas Mahoney reporting. Good night. THE END

The Year of the Frog copyright 1996 by K. M..

<< WWW.CIRCE.COM Zoomorphia.Ltd >>