|The Transformation Story Archive||Strange Things and other Changes|
Andy was safe for now, but there were no truly safe places here. He cringed in the darkness as something else shattered in the room outside the closet. When Greg ran out of things to break he'd search a little harder, and then the hurting would start again.
If only he hadn't told about the puppy. Greg had warned him not to be a tattletale. But when he told momma that Andy had done, he'd blurted out the truth. "Greg kicked it because it peed on him! And he told me he'd kick me if I told you!"
He'd thought momma would protect him. Even if he was only five and Greg was a grown-up, she'd know he was telling the truth.
After all, he was her son, and Gary was just a new daddy. There'd been lots of different daddies since his real daddy left. But she'd gotten a funny look on her face, and started crying and yelling at him, not Gary. And when he kept saying he wasn't lying, she'd slapped him.
That's when Greg started the hurting. Just a slap, or maybe calling him some nasty names at first. Then he'd break some of Mamma's things on purpose, and say Andy did it. And then momma would spank him. Andy finally gave up saying Greg was lying, 'cause mamma would just scream at him and spank him harder.
But now Greg was really mad, and he'd been drinking too. Andy shivered as glass shattered somewhere close. Why had he been so stupid? The lady at kindergarten had said not to be scared, she just wanted to know where all of Andy's bruises had come from.
All she wanted to do was keep him safe. And he'd finally told her.
Greg was screaming now, using words Andy didn't know, except that they were bad words. And the man's voice was getting louder.
He hadn't screamed when the kindergarten lady came to talk with him. He'd been real nice, and said how Andy had gotten into fights with other kids, and kept lying about it. Greg was the liar, but he was real good at it. When the lady left, she'd been real sad. Andy knew she didn't believe him, either.
That's when Greg started the screaming and drinking. Andy had hid real good. Greg had even looked in the closet, but didn't see him pressed into the corner under a coat. If only Princess was here. The big Labrador used to protect him from bad people. But Greg was too smart. He'd tied her out in the yard on a real short rope ever since he killed her puppy. Andy could hear her now, barking furiously. She knew he was in trouble, but he rope was real strong. And now it was too late.
The closet door flew open, and he didn't get the coat back over his head before Greg saw him. "Gotcha, you little bastard! You think you got bruises now?" A massive hand grabbed the front of Andy's shirt and jerked him into the air, banging his head against the clothes pole. And then he was thrown across the room.
The shock of landing knocked the air from Andy's lungs, and he couldn't move. Greg's face was twisted into a sneer as he glared down. "They all think you're a liar. Nobody believes you, you little shit. Even your momma don't believe you no more, because she wants me! Not some whiny little brat, but a real man!" Greg's foot lashed out, and Andy screamed as something snapped in his leg.
"If you'd just kept your mouth shut, we coulda been friends.
But it ain't safe to have a tattletale around. So you're gonna join that precious puppy you cried so much about. And then I'll shoot that bitch outside." Another kick lifted Andy off the ground, and he curled into a ball There was a low growl from close by. "Oh, shit! Stay back, you lousy mutt!" Despite the pain wracking his body, Andy opened his eyes and saw Princess. There was blood on the rope where it was still tied around her neck, with the snapped-off end trailing on the floor. Greg was looking around frantically, trying to find something to protect himself. Andy hoped he was scared.
Then Sandy jumped. Unable to move, Andy tried to shut out the snarls and shouts with his hands. Greg started screaming now, and there was a sound of tearing. The man's scream stopped suddenly, becoming a soft gurgle. And there was a loud thud.
Andy coughed, tasting blood. He tried to move, but his body wouldn't respond. All he could do was move his eyes a little.
Greg's feet were sticking out from the end of the bed. They weren't moving.
Then Princess came over to him and started to lick his face.
There was blood on her mouth, but he couldn't tell if it was Greg's or some of the growing pool which came from his own mouth.
He shivered. Why was he so cold? Princess gripped the bottom of his shirt with her teeth, and pulled it up. He felt her tongue licking at his belly. And then he jerked as sharp teeth nipped his navel. He hardly felt the pain through the growing numbness, only wondered why even Princess had turned against him.
She was whining now, and he felt her press her rump against his bleeding stomach. Then there was a tickling sensation, and the pain stopped. Andy felt warmth spreading out from his stomach, and a curious melting sensation. The room was getting larger around him.
He could move a little now, but Princess had him pinned under her weight. A pleasant throbbing joined the warmth, and he stopped trying to move. The dog's tongue licked his face, and he reached up to stroke her bloody muzzle. Only to stare at his hand.
What had happened to his fingers? They were really short, with tiny black nails. And golden fur was spreading over his hands and arms. And he was getting smaller real fast. The warmth had reached his head and feet, and he felt his face start to push out. It was funny to see his nose so far in front of his eyes.
Princess' tongue washed over him, huge enough to wash his whole head with a single stroke. She shifted again, almost burying him under her butt. Andy giggled to see how little he was now. But the noise came out as a kind of whimper.
He felt a tug on his belly, and slid up close to where Princess used the bathroom from. Another tug, and he was being pulled against another place, lower on her butt. The throbbing was strong now, and he squirmed feebly as her butt seemed to open up like a mouth and start to suck him in.
Then the mouth swallowed him up, and he felt himself being squeezed deeper into the dog's body. It was dark and wet. When the pressure stopped, he was floating in warm liquid. It didn't matter that he wasn't breathing anymore. It didn't even matter that he wasn't a little boy any more. All that mattered was that Andy had finally found someplace safe.
Someplace Safe copyright 1996 by Bob Stein.
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