Zachariah had a proud grin on his face. “This’ll be fun then. To begin, I learned how to become animals from a mentor of mine, a very old fellow who didn’t look his age. In fact, he never looked his age; if he did he’d be a pile of dust and bone.” The shapeshifter laughed at that. “Anyway, he showed me how after me and my adoptive brothers helped him out with a big problem of his back where I come from.”
“How exactly can you do it?”
Zachariah leaned forward and put a finger to Gideon’s lips as the hand transformed into a clawed, furry paw resembling that of a tiger. Black claws right in Gideon’s face and so close to him that he swore he’d start bleeding any moment. “It’s story time. Try not to interrupt, or you’ll miss the parts you might want. ‘Kay?” Gideon nodded his head.
“Splendid.” Zachariah allowed his hand to return to human form and removed it from Gideon. “Since you asked preemptively, I suppose I’ll tell you right away. To put it simply, I envision an animal and what I know of it or how I perceive it to be, and then I assume its form. The simpler the creature, the easier it is, but the more complex ones require more effort and concentration. If you’re talking about the specific how am I able to do it, well the best answer is that you have to have a very strong will, a firm understanding of life and nature, you need to be able to use magic and be gifted with it, and you have to be able to transform your body in some way, whether it’s through illusions, drugs, spells or rituals, or having a malleable form, and then the rest goes from there all on its own. It gets a lot easier the more you do it. Once you’ve got animals down, then people are a piece of cake. You can look like anyone you choose.” What Zachariah said next wasn’t in his voice, it was one that Gideon knew all too well, his own. “You can even mimic another person’s voice. Mannerisms are much harder, but those aren’t too important if you have the look and sound down.” Hearing his voice come from another person’s mouth somewhat sickened him, but he also found it morbidly fascinating.
Zachariah’s eyes widened and it seemed his voice went back to normal. “All that said, I must depart! People are waiting on me, and it’s rude to keep them waiting for too long.”
“Hey!” Gideon injected. “What am I supposed to-?”
“Enjoy the mansion while I’m gone, Gideon!” Zachariah interrupted him. “I should return within a day. Toodles!” On that note, the shapeshifter did as his title implied and became a creature, this time a large, black bat, that flew out one of the high windows, causing glass to shatter before the glass paused in midair and rewound itself back into place as if nothing happened. Gideon was all alone at a table in the palace of a strange being that could turn into animals, monsters, and people on a world that hardly resembled his own.
“Ugh…” He sighed. “What in the world am I involved in?”
Written by KnightofFellsia on 25 May 2018
The end (for now)