Midnight. They always came at midnight. The chimes from the old grandfather clock in the den jolted Daniel out of his restless dreams. It wasn't the chimes that woke him so much as the knowledge that They were coming. It was the same horrifying ritual, every single night.
The room was illuminated by an eerie pale green glow. Three figures in haz-mat suits stood around his bed. One of them held a large briefcase, another held a gun, and the third--the apparent leader, from the way he acted--was making entries into a large handheld computer. Daniel tried to escape, to run, to even move, but some unseen force held him in place, as immobile as the bed itself. The leader looked up from his computer and signaled to the one holding the briefcase, who set the case down and began to open it. Daniel strained to see its contents, but couldn't from his position. If only he could move...
The leader reached forward, grabbed the bedcovers and--
The shrill blast of Daniel's alarm clock filled the room. He'd had that dream again, the same one he'd been having every night for nearly a month. Except that it didn't feel like a normal dream. It felt more like a memory, but one that had been partially forgotten. Anyway, Dan had more important things to worry about, so he pushed whatever it was aside for the moment. Today was the last day of school, finally. All he had to do was survive his last few final exams, and he'd be home free. He wasn't about to let a creepy dream get him down.
Dr. DiCaoz glanced over his biology classroom. "Is anybody still working on the final?" he asked tiredly. He paused for a moment, then said, "If everybody is finished, you may talk quietly amongst yourselves for the remainder of the period." As the class erupted in chatter, he went back to nursing his hangover.
Daniel loved his biology class. It wasn't just that he was good at it, or that it was the last class of the day. By some bit of luck or fate, he happened to be in the same class as his four closest friends, Gassan, David, Pammy, and Jake. Gassan, David, and Pammy had become absurdly popular since coming to high school. Gassan was Lebanese and therefore "exotic," David was a star swimmer, and Pammy was a cheerleader. In retrospect, popularity was an inevitability. To the other popular kids, Jake an avid follower of the Furry subculture (he called it a craze, but nobody else did) and Daniel, the introspective writer, were social liabilities. Still, Gassan, David, and Pam never let their newfound "friends" keep them away from Jake and Dan. Privately, Daniel was grateful that he had managed to befriend the four people who appeared to be immune to high school drama.
"So, what'd you guys think?" Pammy whispered.
"I'm pretty sure Dr. Di is a nutcase," Gassan answered quickly. He was met with a chorus of approval from his companions.
"Anyway," Pam continued, "are we having our annual Thank-God-The-Schoolyear's-Over party tonight?"
"I can't go," Jake said, "I've got a convention."
"I can't go either," said David, "My dad's taking me camping. He's on a back-to-nature kick."
"I'm visiting my grandma," Gassan said. Pammy rolled her eyes.
"Alright," she sighed, "when do you guys get back?"
"Sunday, but it'll be late."
"So," Pammy continued, "is Monday night alright with everyone?"
The days passed quickly. By the time Monday arrived, he had gone an entire weekend without his mysterious dreams. He was mostly relieved, but part of him wished the visitors would come back so he could find out what they were up to.
The streets were charged with an eerie calm. A summer storm was coming. As Daniel reached Pam's door, he couldn't help but feel a strange foreboding. Something was decidedly wrong. He rang the bell.
"Come in," called Pammy. Dan opened the door and found friend sitting on the floor in a tidy circle. They were all staring at him, an unsettling hunger in their eyes. "We are playing Truth or Dare," Pammy intoned mechanically. "Please, join us. Truth or Dare?"
"Please choose Dare," Gassan said, in the same unearthly voice.
"The Truth is never any fun," agreed David, still in the same tone. Throughout the exchange, none of the four took their eyes off of Daniel.
"Is everything alright?" he asked. "You all seem...different."
Pammy answered in the same monotone as before: "We are collectively unnerved at a series of recurring dreams we have been having. Perhaps you too are experiencing these visions?"
"Yeah," Dan said, "but I'm not acting that weird about it."
"Perhaps," Pammy said, "All will be made more clear if you answer this simple question: Truth...or Dare?"
Written by Zodiac on 31 May 2008
Daniel took a deep breath and figured his friends were just messing with him. The bit about the dream had certainly caught his attention, but he decided to play along for a while.
"Well then, I chose Truth." Said Daniel as he sat in the floor next to Jake and David.
"Tell us your name." Came Pam, almost mechanically.
"Really, Pam? You could have asked anything and y-"
"What is your name?" Barked David.
"Listen guys, I-"
"Your name." Said Jake, violently.
"Alright, fine! Fuck... Daniel, it´s Daniel, ok?"
They all sat in silence for a couple of seconds, eyes locked on Daniel as he started to wipe the expression of annoyance out of his face.
"You can´t lie to us." Said Pam without breaking eye contact.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"What is your name?" Barked David one more time.
"Guys, come on... This isn´t funny anymore".
"You chose Truth, so now you have to answer our question." Came Jake.
Daniel cursed under his voice and clumsily reached for his pockets, he then noticed he had left his wallet at home. Still, he took out a small leather journal and threw it to the middle of the circle.
"See? There it is, right on the top. My father gave me that journal and had my name engraved on the cover. Are we done yet?"
His friends leaned into the circle and carefully read the engraved letters. They then went back to Daniel while keeping their emotionless demeanor.
"Yes, the journal is right. So, what is your name?" Said Pam without flitching.
"For the love of god... are you guys high? Can´t you see? D-A-N--"
Daniel froze as he himself took a good look at the journal. The familiar binding he had seen a thousand times was still there, but the engraving showed something different. It used to read "Daniel", yet somehow a couple of characters had been added to his name. He never thought he would ever feel so eerily disturbed by two letters stitched on a piece of leather, but still, the fact that his beloved journal now read "Danielle" certainly sent a shiver down his spine.
"You guys are dicks." Said Daniel as he stood up and bolted towards the door.
"Don´t knock anything with your tail on your way out." Came Pam.
"My wha-? Just fuck off, Pam..."
Daniel was truly mad. At first, he thought his friends were just pulling an elaborate prank on him. However, after reading the engraving on that journal, something certainly felt amiss.
On his way back home, Daniel felt way hotter than usual. That was particularly strange considering it was really cold outside. Not only that, but he felt itchy all over. He thought about taking off his coat or his winter-globes, but then he figured he might just be coming down with a fever and decided to hurry and get in bed.
"Hi sweetie, I thought you were staying out late." Said Daniel´s father as soon as he opened the door.
"Erm... I felt a bit under the weather, I think I´m gonna take a nap".
"Alright, let me know if you need anything."
Daniel was a bit confused, his dad had always been nice to him, but that was probably the first time he called him "sweetie". Daniel did not think much of it and went upstairs to his room. Once in, he mindlessly took off his coat and globes and dove head first into his bed. He was actually feeling sort of sick, so he just dozed off for a while.
After a couple of hours, he was woken up by a loud knocking on the door.
"Honey, dinner´s ready. Your mom made lasagna!"
Daniel sat on his bed and rubbed his eyes. He was still pretty much asleep, so he just robotically walked towards the bathroom to take a leak. Once inside, he pulled down his pants and tried to go about his business as usual. That´s when it hit him.
Written by crimsonstar on 24 February 2016
Daniel was horrified. For a second, he couldn´t speak or move. He touched himself, struggling to reach for something that evidently wasn´t there. He stared at his groin for a good two minutes, desperately trying to make sense of it all. Not only was he unable to find the genitals he was born with, but everything seemed to be covered by a dense layer of orange fur.
He closed his eyes and moved towards the sink while mumbling under his voice:
"This is a dream, this is a dream, this is a dream, this is a dream."
Once there, he soaked his hands in water and practically slapped himself in the face. Facing the mirror, he slowly started to open his eyes. And there it was, something so inconceivably unreal that Daniel couldn´t help but to take a few steps back and lay on the wall behind him. He could still see himself clearly, a couple of wet whiskers in a protuberant muzzle, a pair of deep green eyes, and two small black ears, very much like those of a cat, coming out of his fur covered skull. Deep inside, he was hoping to snap back to reality in any second, but when he realized he could move those small cat ears at will, everything became just way too real.
He wanted to scream, but at that point it seemed quite useless. He stood back up again and, out of curiosity more than anything, disrobed completely. The shower screens were made up of reflective glass, so he got a chance to take a good look at his new body. Everything was completely covered in orange fur, with black stripes all over his back, legs, arms and face. A long and fluffy tail that he hadn´t noticed before extended out of his tailbone. He was as tall as before, and besides his feline head and tail, the rest of his body pretty much resembled that of a human. Not any human though... The hourglass shape of his anatomy and the two humble breasts that protruded from his chest were unfaltering female, that and, of course, the fact that he was missing the essential parts that once made him a boy.
Daniel was mesmerized by his own image, slowly exploring his new shapes with a sense of absolute wonder. But then another knock on the door came in and broke his dreamlike state.
"Danielle, honey, is everything ok?" Said Daniel´s mother from the hallway. The bathroom door still closed.
"Oh, shit..." Said Daniel under his breath.
"Honey, what are you doing?"
"N-Nothing mom! I´ll be out in a minute!"
"Alright honey. Don´t forget to dry your tail if you took a bath!"
"My ta- Sure mom..."
A truckload of questions swarmed Daniel´s head. How did she know about the tail? Why wasn´t she freaking out? Did she just called him "Danielle"? All that uncertainty coupled with the sheer madness of the situation would have sent anyone else to the psych-ward. But Daniel managed to keep it together. Hastily, he put his pants and shirt back on and opened the bathroom door. After taking a couple of deep breaths to calm himself down, he made his way downstairs, unsure of what would happen.
"Your mom made chicken lasagna. I know you like the beef one better, but she says the store had ran out of beef." Came his father nonchalantly as Daniel shyly took a sit on the table.
"I don´t need you to make up excuses for me Robert! Besides, she likes chicken too. Isn´t that right honey?"
Daniel took a couple of seconds before realizing his mother was talking to him.
"Heh... yeah, sure. Chicken is fine".
"See? Now eat up before it goes cold! Oh, and honey, I love your fur today. It looks wonderful. Did you use that new shampoo I got you?" Said Daniel´s mother as she served the food.
"T- Thanks mom. I don´t know, maybe..."
Daniel was still trying to get in terms with the fact that his parents were not even slightly concerned by his transformation. As a matter of fact, it would appear as if he had always been like that.
"Well, you better use it. It´s supposed to make your fur shinier!"
"Yes mom..." Came Daniel under his breath.
"By the way, I got the bug spray you asked me for a couple of days ago. They only had the big bottle, but you can share it with your friends".
Daniel nodded without taking his eyes off his plate. In a way, he still feared that if he looked up, everyone would see the animal he had turn into and act accordingly. Still, everything was just... normal.
Daniel finished his meal and went back upstairs. An aura of sheer fantasy still surrounded the whole situation. He sat on his desk in silence, doing absolutely nothing for more time that he would have cared to admit.
Written by crimsonstar on 25 February 2016
Feeling the panic rise up inside him, Daniel was quick to get up from his desk. He felt himself begin to shake, swallowing nervously as he paced the room - only to veer sharply to the nearest mirror, staring at himself in disbelief. He - or rather, she - raised a paw to her face and rubbed frantically at her eyes, wondering if this was all just some crazy nightmare. There’s no way this was real; she had to be dreaming! She wasn’t a tiger, she was a human; but yet, the visual in the mirror proved otherwise. She stood with digitigrade legs in her usual clothes a casual but comfy t-shirt and jeans. But, her body was that of a feline; a gorgeous tigress, with orange and white fur, black stripes streaking across the fluffy pelt and along her face. The fur was quite smooth and would’ve been soft to the touch, had she run her fingers through it. Each pitch black stripe ran across her face, arms, and rest of her body with perfect symmetry - contrasting beautifully with the bright, orange fur covering her from head to toe. At the top of her head were two small, rounded ears that twitched occasionally, picking up just about any sound. Her eyes were a beautiful golden color, piercing and standing out from her already bright pelt. Daniel’s snout was marked with a dark black nose at the very tip, capable of catching and identifying most scents, even some humans couldn’t, with absurdly long white whiskers poking out from either side.
Growing more and more uneasy, Daniel shifted nervously in front of the mirror and stared at herself in distress, feeling her breathing beginning to get a little heavier and quicker as the panic trickled through her. This seriously couldn’t be happening. It was a dream; yeah, it totally had to be. Just a dream, and he’d wake up in the morning like nothing happened and be back to normal! Or rather, that was what Daniel kept telling herself over and over again. Biting her lip, Daniel let his gaze drift to the bottom of the mirror where she saw the visual of a long, striped tail swishing back and forth behind her; long, furry, and swishy. The tail was thin, not quite fluffy; but looked just as soft as the rest of her bright orange and black-striped pelt. Her throat felt dry and she was admittedly starting to feel a wee bit nauseous, but who could blame her?
Written by Jasondicks on 22 September 2019
She was a tiger, whether this was some stupid dream or not. Most people would just be startled, or hell, even amazed; but not Daniel - he didn’t want to be a tiger, he wanted to be a regular human being! Maybe if I just… Daniel hesitated for a moment before he reached around haphazardly for that darn swishing tail; she managed to grab it in her massive paw, yet again hesitating before he gave it a quick, but firm yank. As he did so, a mix of a yowl and a roar escaped her lips and his jaws parted, showing off rows of sharp white teeth, black gums, and a thick pink tongue. The brief pain shot through his backside from the abrupt tug; he figured pinching his skin through fur wouldn’t work well, so he had to make do with a tail tug to prove he was dreaming. But...Daniel didn’t jolt awake. He just stood there, numb with fear and the uneasiness creeping throughout his entire body. This wasn’t some stupid, crazy dream; this was reality, and as that sunk in, Daniel’s panic only worsened.
“What the hell happened to me…?” Daniel wondered aloud, unable to help but stare at himself in the mirror - he found himself observing the unusual movements of his jaw, the way his lips formed words in this new, foreign animal form. None of this made sense; he was walking and even talking, but yet his body and face betrayed his species - tigers couldn’t talk, and they certainly couldn’t walk on two legs either. And...well, as far as Daniel was considered, they didn’t change sexes either. I’m a boy; but, I guess I’m a girl now? Gosh, this is all so weird...Mentally battling with his, or rather, her pronouns, Daniel shifted uncomfortably as she placed a paw on the mirror, spreading out the fingers to study them; but the longer she looked at them, the more uneasy she got. She felt his heart beginning to pound and she was quick to pull his hand away, looking at her palm anxiously and flexing his fingers. Doing so caused the long claws to pop out, which made Daniel yelp in panic and stare at her paw, stunned - how the hell would she be able to control this?
What if she scratched herself on accident, or hurt someone? That was one nightmare she was terrified to think of. Daniel’s mind started to reel with the moment of panic, feeling her stress levels rise considerably as she stepped fearfully away from the mirror and gripped one paw’s wrist with the other. She gulped nervously as she looked down at his paws, growing more anxious as she found himself flexing those massive claws again, moving her fingers a bit more till she managed to retract the black, sharp weapons, much to her own relief. She’d have to learn how to control these damn things - otherwise, she’d be terrified of her claws popping out again out of nowhere. The last thing she wanted was to hurt someone, like her mom or any of her friends; the idea of that was more terrifying than he could ever imagine. Daniel felt herself begin to shake as she looked down at her paws, slowly releasing the tight grip on her wrist now that the claws were out of sight; her heartbeat was still going a mile a minute, but it eventually began to go down now that the panic was subsiding.
Written by Jasondicks on 24 September 2019
Doing a few deep breaths in the hopes of calming herself down, Daniel went ahead and made her way back to the mirror to take another look at herself. Growing uneasy, she angled her head this way and that, studying the unusual, feline structure of it; she had never seen a tiger up close before, led alone a bipedal one for that matter. This was still terrifying, but odd most definitely now that she thought about it.
As she angled her head, Daniel opened her mouth when she took notice of the horribly sharp teeth lining her jaws, fear striking her core at the sight - she definitely hadn’t seen that up close before, either. Her teeth were pristine and white, but incredibly sharp and pointed at the tips; filling her jaw from top to bottom with deadly hunting tools. The idea of nipping at someone with those pearly whites was enough to spook Daniel; jeez, it seemed nothing could ease her nerves at this point. She was quick to close her mouth so she didn’t get another look at those wretched teeth, focusing on the reflection with piercing golden eyes staring back at her.
What was she supposed to do, now that she was some fuzzy tiger beast? How come her mother didn’t panic, and yet, Daniel was losing her mind over this? She couldn’t wrap his head around it; not with such a startling appearance and drastic species change. What if her friends panicked, or were terrified of Daniel; or hell, what if they had no real reaction just like her mother? Daniel’s mind started to drop down the rabbit hole again as she worried senselessly over hurting her friends; what if she couldn’t control her claws and accidentally scratched someone, or if someone scared her and she bit them?
The nonsensical possibilities swarmed her brain and sent Daniel into a brief panic attack as she shrank back against the wall, gripping her head in her hands as her heart thudded wildly under her newly furred chest, her tail swishing frantically beneath her legs. “Oh gosh, this can’t be happening; I could hurt people…” Daniel caught herself muttering the panicky words, helping as she realized her own claws had popped out and she had been digging them into her head on accident, pricking her skin hard enough to cause the girl to release her grip with a frightened gasp.
Gosh, what was the matter with her? It seemed Daniel just couldn’t keep herself together, nor could she control those darn claws - and all of this seemed to freak her out even more. Shaking, Daniel shrank back and pulled her paws down from her hand, glancing down at them in panic for the millionth time that day. It seemed just as she thought she was calm, she’d panic all over again and the difficult cycle would repeat; calm, then panic, calm, then panic - and this was absolutely no way to live, now that she thought of it.
How the hell was she supposed to survive like this, let alone deal with her friends and family in this odd form? There was no way she could if she kept freaking out, but honestly...who could blame her? It wasn’t everyday when someone woke up and turned into a girl, let alone a tiger girl! The whole thing was absurd, scary, and honestly the weirdest thing Daniel had ever gone through - but that didn’t make it any less uncomfortable or frightening.
Written by Jasondicks on 26 September 2019
Uneasy, Daniel glanced around frantically before spotting her phone on the bedside dresser. She hurried over - admittedly almost tripping over her own tail - and scooped up the smartphone, tapping away at the passcode to grant herself access. Maybe she could call someone - yeah, someone who could help! Perhaps her friends would know what to do; as terrifying as it was to approach them in such a form, her friends were her only shot at this point. After all, her mother didn’t seem bothered at all by what was going on.
Daniel needed someone who’d be on her side, and share her concern. Surely her friends couldn’t fail her now. Scrolling around on her smartphone till she reached her contacts, Daniel scanned the list of familiar names and matching icons. It took her a moment before she located the name of one of her closest friends, Allen - surely he could come over and help in Daniel’s time of need, or so she hoped. Tapping the name and holding the phone awkwardly in her paw, Daniel lifted it to the rounded tiger ear on her head as it began to ring.
A few rings passed, but her anxiety spiked with how many rings it was taking; usually, Allen would’ve answered by now! He hardly missed Daniel’s calls.
“Come on…Allen, come on!” Daniel growled in frustration, only to jump a little, startled at the feline growl that emitted from her lips; jeez, even the noises she made were enough to freak the poor girl out.
Shifting uncomfortably where she stood, Daniel waited a few more rings till finally, Allen picked up, and relief washed over Daniel.
“Allen! Dude, you have to help me!”
Daniel’s panicky voice sounded through the phone to Allen, someone who Daniel thought would be his saving grace. They’d been friends since preschool; surely his buddy could help him out.
“Whoa, whoa, hold up - what the hell’s going on? Man, you sound freaked - and...uh, kinda like a girl.” Allen’s concerned voice responded, sounding quite puzzled as well.
“Explain first then we’ll talk, dude. You’re freaking me out a little. Is this some stupid prank?” He questioned, a hint of annoyance easing into his tone.
“No, no, no! I’m totally serious, this isn’t a prank, I swear! I’m in trouble, Allen! I woke up this morning and I- um...changed?”
Daniel almost facepalmed; she would’ve, had it not been for the paw and claws hidden in her fingertips. What a terrible way to word it; she was terrified Allen would assume this was a joke and hang up on her. She had to recover, and quickly, before she lost her chance to get reliable help.
“What do you mean “changed” dude? Well, your voice sure, but - you sound like you’re just messing with me.” Allen replied firmly - it wasn’t the first time Daniel had done a playful, harmless prank on him, so he knew better than to let his guard down too much.
They loved to mess with eachother in good fun on occasion, hence why Allen was still standing firm on the possibility.
“I dunno man, you’ve screwed around with me before, how do I know you’re not doing it now?”
“You just have to trust me, man! I know I’ve pranked you before but like, I’m serious this time! Listen, if I tried to explain it now, you’d just hang upon me. I need you to come over. Please; no one else will listen to me!” Daniel exclaimed on the phone, feeling his panic rise up and worsen.
What if his buddy didn’t show up? What if he totally brushed him off? He’d have to scramble and hope his other pals would answer, let alone believe he was in trouble.
Written by Jasondicks on 28 September 2019
“...Alright, fine, man. But if this is a stupid prank, don’t expect me to believe you the next time you come crying wolf, alright?”
Daniel felt a wave of relief wash over her as Allen gave in, honestly glad he wouldn’t have to keep going back and forth with his buddy.
“Yeah, yeah, totally! You got it, man. Just come over to my place as soon as you can; I’ll wait for ya.” Daniel assured, smiling for the first time that morning; if anyone could help, it’d be his pal.
“See you in 20 minutes.”
With that, Allen hung up the phone and Daniel put the device down on his desk. Only then did Daniel finally relax, plopping herself down on the bed with a heavy groan. Jeez, all this stress over a weird tiger body, of all things. Rolling over on her bed, Daniel clutched at her pillow; only to help as she realized her claws were digging into it. Quickly, she recoiled and got up hastily, shaking her paws and glancing at the pillow; it had a few holes scattered on it, with pillow fluff starting to seep out. A sigh of inconvenience escaped her lips, but Daniel straightened up and got off the bed pretty quickly, unwilling to rip apart her covers next.
Glancing at her paws, Daniel flexed her claws a little and tilted her head as curiosity overcame her, mingled with that same sensation of fear as before. It felt odd, to be able to pop them out and ease them back in - and of course, for all that to be done out of nowhere. She wondered if there was an easier way to control them; after all, her claws had just come out earlier, digging into the pillow - granted she’d realized it quickly, but still. What if she shook someone’s hand and her claws popped out? The panicky, anxiety-ridden thoughts struck Daniel again and she shook her head, trying to clear it.
Breathe, just breathe. I’m gonna be fine. All I gotta do is wait for Allen to show up and he’ll know what to do. When I’m with a friend I’ll be calmer, I know it. Daniel thought to herself in the hopes of lifting her uneasy mood; it helped a little, but not much.
Uneasy, Daniel straightened up and made her way over to the window, glancing outside anxiously, as if she expected Allen’s car to appear any second now. Biting her lip, she didn’t notice her tail was swishing rapidly back and forth behind her as she looked out the window. Daniel hesitated for another moment before she turned away from the window and began to make her way out of the room. Maybe she could stay with her mom while Allen came - surely she could convince her mom that something was wrong? Heading down a flight of stairs - and quite nearly tripping over her tail - Daniel got downstairs and scampered into the kitchen, where her mother was making lunch.
Daniel spoke up nervously, peeking around the corner and glancing over at her mother; she was named Katherine, and was a woman in her 40s-50s, with long brown hair and fair skin. She stood in the kitchen making a few sandwiches for lunch, pausing to look over her shoulder at Daniel with an oddly calm smile.
Written by Jasondicks on 29 September 2019
The end (for now)