One particular costume catches your eye. Colourful, strange and with a mysterious glint behind what you assume are synthetic ruby eyes set into the headpiece’s eye sockets. It is the manticore costume that you walk up to and lift up off of its hinge. The huge furry thing is heavy, but you make do, stumbling back with its weight before examining it in closer detail under the meagre artificial light that the bulb overhead is providing you.
Turning it over you find a zipper on the back hidden between plastic wings and under synthetic fur. It leads from the base of the neck to end of the back. You undo it and the costume loses a lot of its cohesion, falling limply with limbs dangling against the ground. The manticore costume appears several sizes too large for you, almost as if it was made someone closer to seven feet than a little under six. Not that this is much of an impediment for climbing on inside it, quite the opposite actually.
Driven by that curious desire to see what it looks like you starts putting it on, leggings first. There is ample room to not be concerned by your own clothes as you pull it over like a pair of overalls as if you are about to go paint a wall. You do however take your shoes off, since the suit’s leggings end with a pair of fake paws with leather soles to serve as shoes. With a little wiggling you easily among it on both of your legs and you hold the rest around your waist as you shuffle around and test the lower half of the costume.
Snug you think to yourself. Despite its apparent size the costume feels just right around your legs and feet. Now you continue putting it on, threading one arm and now the other through as you bend forward and duck your head in to try and pull the headpiece on. This is now taking some trial and error as you try to figure out where everything is whilst your head is buried inside of fake fur and velvet lining. You try to move back a little to readjust your torso and head, but in doing so you step on the fake scorpion tail that dangles between the legs and almost lose your balance.
You pause, catch both your balance and breath, before now resuming your struggle between man and costume. This time you manage to get your head tucked in underneath the headpiece. Your arms are also now inside of their exterior counterparts and everything feels far more snug than you guessed it would do. Straightening your back, you now start peering through the baubles that constitute the eyes of the headpiece. It restricts your vision, but not to such an extent that you can not move about as normal, your peripheral vision inside of the suit is sufficient to not be blinded by inanimate objects.
Suddenly the zipper on the back of the costume shoots up along your back, sealing the suit shut tight. Animal instinct compels you to freeze and assess what has just happened. Is someone behind you? Impossible, even with all of your attention on getting the suit on. Yet before you are given the liberty of reaching back or turning around to check, the entire suit begins to constrict around you. Pressure from every angle, along every inch of your person increases exponentially with every passing second as you struggle to understand what is happening.
You attempt to move your arms and legs, trying to fight your way out, but the suit has your body paralysed in its grip now. A fantastic yet oddly logical realisation strikes you that the costume itself is somehow alive. Some ethereal vitality is coursing through every fibre of its tacky exterior and interior as it hugs your body with possessive strength. Your chest is constricted even as you feel your genitals and other sensitive areas such as your sinuses begin to ache with pain from the pressure being applied to you. Breathing is difficult if not impossible now as your brain grows starved of oxygen.
Pins and needles shoot across your back, down your legs and make the ground uncomfortable. It is not exactly painful but it is irritating. You hiss and strain even harder against the costume but to no avail. Even as your skin crawls something in the realm of the supernatural is taking hold of you. Flesh and bone is being sized up and subverted by forces that are beyond this world. The prickling sensation is changing to one where flashes of cold and hot spread over your back and chest. Though you are ignorant as to why this is happening, the fact is that the costume is beginning to merge with your body.
The process is a piecemeal one, but occurs simultaneously every part of your body. Bone and muscle mass is gained, whilst the arrangement of anatomy and your body’s shape both internal and external are radically altered. However, the most frightening stage happens now as your eyesight and auditory senses suddenly cut off. Though you can still feel a great many things through tactical senses, you are effectively blind and deaf. Whole seconds of terrifying absence pass before your vision and your hearing return to you, now through monstrous light-sensitive eyes ruby eyes and pointed, furry ears that pick up a far greater dynamic range of sound. It just so happens that this is also where your body is finally released.
‘Fuck!’ You exclaim as you stumble forward and tumble headfirst onto the floor beneath you.
A mild concussion is a distinct worry, but not nearly so much as the slow realisation that everything is different. You flip over onto your back, a new set of smooth wings and a long, arthropod tail separating your bum and back from the carpet. Looking down across your torso and to your legs, your new nocturnally-acclimated eyes take in the sight of what has become of you. Emotions have been nulled by shear disbelief as you behold a naked but fur wrapped body, digitigrade legs, claws and a scorpion stinger on the end of your tail. But, most disturbing of all is the lack of your usual junk in the trunk.
Stripped of any modest clothing, you are free to explore with both hands the changes along your chest and between your legs. For some unfathomable reason, the process that has effected you has not only changed your species to that simulating a mythical manticore, but also your sex. For all intents and purpose you have been remade as a two legged, female manticore. You test your voice, still noticing a change in tongue, teeth and lips, and realise that you are speaking with a distinctly feminine voice. Not only has the transformation changed your body, but even your personal attributes, switching your idiolect from the one you had born all of your adult life to something that sounds like a woman from the baltic states. The accent is tantalising, but definitely not yours.
Whilst still stuck in a daze you get back up on your feet. Your balance is off, not only due to your new legs and paws but the addition of the tail and wings. You stumble around a little as you learn to balance your new body. Everything not only looks but feels new, from your mouth to your toes. It is hard to really process it all. Even just from touching your coarse new fur your brain is assimilating nerve impulses that are nothing like the ones that you have known all of your days as a normal human man.
Yet your opportunity to adjust grows short as once the metamorphosis has settled, something anew but equally radical occurs. You are aware of something hissing. It is like air escaping from a soda bottle containing carbonated liquid. The sound may have even escaped your attention if not for your new ears. But, before you can locate it the sound quickly grows until, right before your eyes, a bubble-like vortex opens up. It is sucking air and much more besides as the strange artefact tugs at your body.
Naturally you try to resist. Using your newfound claws to dig in even as your fur becomes disheveled from the irresistible force. But, your attempts are futile and ultimately you lose your balance. Tumbling towards it, you have no power to stop yourself as the vortex swallows you up whole. Lights bombard you, sound is a rush of air and there are flash of heat and cold as you go spinning through a medium of which you have no understanding of or anyway to even describe it to another. Ultimately the g-forces grow too great, blood pushing back down from your brain as you slowly lose consciousness.
Written by iscin on 08 December 2017