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Shifting Seasons 2018 Writing Contest: The Transformation

The Transformation
By: Silverpelt60

Cassie made her way along the darkened streets, only with the light of the waning moon and the flickering streetlights to guide her along the road. She swerved her head from side to side, constantly making sure she was on the right track, She had lived in Silverflecked Village or some time now, been there as it slowly grew, but Cassie had always been the cautious type and had never trusted the forests of Dragonsmaw Manor that surrounded the quaint village. Thus, she always wanted to make sure she was truly alone when traveling along the streets of her home during the night.

The coyote clutched her jacket closer to her, forcing her eyes forward as she sped up, straightening her posture as a sign of confidence. The possibility of creatures that may lurk in the dark wasn't the only thing that Cassie had to be nervous about that day, for she was on her way to get her life changed forever. This was something Cassie had been planning for a long time now, and her excitement and anticipation were beginning to contribute to her nerves. She scanned the multiple signs for the tell-tale emblem of a poultice filled bottle with multiple shimmering bubbles rising out of the top, signifying a potion shop run by an alchemist. And not just any alchemist-Cassie was going to see one of her most trusted friends, Fern the fennec fox, who was the only person Cassie believed was skilled enough to help the coyote with her task. Fern had tried to convince Cassie to go to a more experienced potion maker, as they could probably take care of her in less time, but Cassie had been determined to get the potion from Fern. And now her waiting had paid off, for Fern finally had what she needed.

Lost in thought, Cassie had to stop and backtrack when she realized she had passed her destination-Fern’s house. Taking a deep breath and closing her eyes, Cassie stepped up the sagging steps and precisely knocked on the door, her fist rapping on the door and echoing throughout the night. She shuffled her feet anxiously as she waited on the creaking wood, the cool night breeze ruffling her fur. Then, she heard footsteps on the inside of the building, and the rattling of the chain locks that held the door closed coming off of their hinges, and then the short fennec fox was staring up at her. Fern’s face was one of surprise and concern, her eyes narrowed as she lifted the black-rimmed goggles up onto her forehead.

“H-hey Fern!” Cassie giggled, her voice stuttering as she tried to manage a nervous smile. Fern’s jaw hung agape, and it took a moment for her to shake her head and clear her throat before responding. “Hello Cassie…” Fern greeted with an unsure tone. She wasted no time in getting to the point. “Are you sure you really want to do this? You're asking yourself to take on a transformation that will change your life, for better or worse, and trying to change back might have unprecedented consequences. You've heard the stories, where those who've used faulty morphing potions with little to no preparation end up suffering from mutations and deformities. You know it's not too late to back down, right?”

Despite the weight and seriousness of Fern’s words, Cassie couldn't help but chuckle. The coyote placed a paw on Fern's shoulder, her smile softer and more genuine. “Don't worry Fern, I'll be fine,” Cassie tried to reassure her friend. “There's no other alchemist that I trust more than you, remember that. I have complete faith in your abilities, even if you don't. Now, let's get started, shall we?” Fern stiffened in response, but managed a wary smile in return. She nodded silently, then stepped aside and out of the doorway so that Cassie could walk into her house. Cassie nodded gratefully and stepped inside the building, letting out a content sigh as she was met with a warm atmosphere instead of the cool breeze outside. Fern stepped in after her, shutting the door quietly.

“Wouldn't want to wake up any of the residents here, as some of them can get kind of cranky,” Fern chuckled. “Now, just head on down to the basement and take a seat, and I'll take the lead from there.” Cassie nodded and took a deep breath to calm her nerves, then began down the creaking steps into the cellar. She heard Fern turn on the light and follow after, and allowed her mind to drift. This was no longer a dream-it was reality. In a moment, everything she had ever known about herself would become useless as she became something completely new. Cassie knew the risks, but nothing would stop her from taking on the transformation, even if it killed her. The coyote sat on a cold bench and stared at Fern expectantly. Fern made her was to the bottom of the stairs and began rummaging through the cabinets, passing a large cauldron that held a mysterious liquid that simmered and glowed over the tiniest spark of a flame. Fern got to her knees and she reached into one of her cabinet, stretching her paw to the very back of the space. And then, the fennec fox pulled out a large bottle filled with a bright cyan substance. Instantly, Cassie recognized the contents of the bottle, and her eyes shot open wide as her ears perked straight up. Fern slowly walked over to Cassie, holding out the bottle.

“Now, I must admit, this wasn't made using the most conventional methods or recipes, but it should give you the transformation you desire,” Fern stated. Cassie gingerly took the bottle, the bubbling liquid inside warming Cassie’s paws through the glass. She stared into its cyan depths, breathless. Fern placed her goggles back over her eyes, and Cassie could no longer read the fox’s emotions as well as she could before. Fern let out a huff and began to wring her paws. “I advise that you drink it as quickly as possible,” she mused. “So that you are able to get it all down, and the transformation can go off without a hitch. Now, this is your last chance to back out and go on with your life, to-”

Cassie didn't wait for Fern to finish. Confidence glimmering in her eyes, she quickly tossed aside the cap on the bottle and drank the whole thing in one gulp. Fern let out a gasp and stepped back in surprise as Cassie stood up, spots filling her vision. She didn't feel it at first, but then a faint tingling sensation spread throughout her body. Her fur fell out in clumps, and she could practically hear her bones begin to creak. She gasped as a dull pain began to radiate throughout her limbs, and she barely registered growing slightly taller. And then, an agonizing pain rocketed throughout her back, and her vision went white, and then…

Cassie sat on a large boulder, staring out at the moon reflected on the dark surface of a lake. They were surrounded by pine trees, but were not worried about the creatures and monsters that were no doubt residing within the woods. The Dutch Angel Dragon felt something crawl over their paw, and was surprised to see that it was a fat caterpillar. “Oh little insect, how will you react?” Cassie chuckled, picking up the caterpillar and letting it travel around on their paw. “When everything you thought you knew about yourself disappears in an instant, as you spread your new wings and take flight for the very first time. I assure you, it may be overwhelming at first, but you will soon realize it was indeed worth the trouble.”

“I thought I'd find you here.” Cassie turned at the new voice, recognizing it instantly. Wren was standing to the side of the boulder, having taken on a more canine form so that he looked like a dog made of rainbow sludge, staring up at Cassie. “Oh, Wren! I thought I was alone!” Cassie exclaimed. Wren laughed, and climbed up onto the boulder besides Cassie. “I thought I'd find you here, wanted to see how you were doing,” he explained. “Because now we actually have something in common! Tell me-how does it feel having wings now? Did it hurt when they came in?” Cassie glanced at their wings, the feathers fluttering slightly in the breeze that traveled through the trees and over the lake. “Well… it was pretty painful when they first came in, but I'd go through that a thousand times over again if it meant becoming who I am today,” Cassie smiled. Wren gave a toothy grin in return, and then the two sat in silence for a while, just gazing out into the night.

“Hey, Wren,” Cassie began suddenly. Wren turned to her, curiosity filling his usually blank white eyes. Cassie turned to him, a serious expression on their snout. “Do you remember who you used to be?” Wren was taken aback by this, and had to think for a moment before responding. “In all honesty, I've forgotten who I was before I became a shifty,” he admitted with a nonchalant shrug. “But I don't really care. This is who I am now, for better or for worse, and I'm happy about that.” Suddenly, Wren’s ears perked up and he smiled mischievously. “Say, how are you at flying? I bet you can't beat me to the heart of Dragonsmaw Manor!” Cassie watched on in surprise as Wren transformed into a rainbow falcon, his wings spread out in anticipation. It took Cassie a moment to respond, but when they did they could barely keep the excitement out of their voice. “Oh, you're on!” she giggled, standing up and spreading out her own wings. And then the two took off into the night, the sounds of laughter echoing throughout the forest.