She woke up in the canopy bed, soft as a dream. For a while she couldn't remember what had been so bad, then she moved her legs and felt velvety fur brushing together.
She got up to sitting on the edge of the bed. The fear was slow and less important than the spinning in her head. She – for a moment she had trouble remembering her name. Her thoughts flowed so thickly now. The strange people in the lab had called her Guide, did that mean that was her name? No, a guide was something you were, not something people called you. The panic was over, she'd remembered, it was Daniel. But Daniel was a boy's name. Danielle, then? It was almost the same.
By the time Danielle got to the mirror, she was already tired. She held her mouth to make sure she wouldn't scream before looking up at the reflection.
It wasn't as bad as she'd been afraid of. Her shape was still human, even though everything was covered in fur. At least now the ears and tail looked like they were in the right place. Her nose had morphed into a rabbit-snout. It was kind of cute, if she looked at it as something outside her. Her hands had become long, dainty paws with dark claws. She could still grip with them. Her legs felt different, but it was hard to see through the silk stockings. Her toe-tips still fit in the high-heeled shoes.
Realisation came through slowly. Danielle scrunched up her face and saw the nose twitching. The rabbit ears bobbed on her head. She reached up and touched her nose, and felt the touch, and saw the white paw moving in the mirror. She still didn't scream, but everything blurred with tears and she couldn't stop herself whimpering. She physically forced it back. Who knew what they would do to her if they heard her complain?
Danielle turned to the table – maybe food would make her feel better. There wasn't anything on the tray except a small round-bellied bottle and a note. She picked up the note out of habit, but she'd forgotten that she couldn't read. The signs were grey marks that looked the same as each other, and her thoughts were like moving through treacle.
The note fell out of her hand.
“What do you want from me?” she called out loud.
There was a response. A voice, lightly mocking, poured out of the ceiling and walls:
“You thought you were the hero, didn't you? That you would be sent a sign to guide you on your quest?”
“I'm sorry,” Daniel replied, staring down. She didn't know if she'd done something wrong. “I don't think that any more.”
There was silence, long enough that she'd given up waiting, then she heard the voice again.
“You are the guide. You are the white rabbit.” It paused. “The flask is the final step. Drink, and you will be happy with what we have done to you. Don't drink, and you will serve us anyway.”
The voice didn't come back.
Danielle circled the bottle as if it might have been able to leap at her on its own. There wasn't any choice, was there? They'd changed every part of her body. She couldn't move or stand without seeing a glimpse of white fur, or feeling how her legs had changed. Even her mind...
Her gaze slipped to the dorm doors. There was no escape through that way, and she'd found out what happened when she tried to escape. Her only choice now was whether or not to hate the rest of her life.
A dark syrup-coloured liquid swirled in the bottle when she picked it up. They'd written something on the label, even though she couldn't read.
She hesitated only a moment, then put the opening of the bottle to her mouth.
Written by on 03 June 2019