From Feathers to Fur
You sift around between the different possibilities before your mind ends up wanting to be a land animal over the other two - returning to human form is easy, and, you feel no rush to do that yet. So, why not experience the life and abilities of an animal with four legs for a change? Now the only thing is deciding what sort of creature you want to be.
You mull this over, but then you recall something the genie said earlier on when he was explaining the rules of the wish you’d asked. Namely, you remember the animal he gave as an example, and latch onto that idea.
You like wolves. Wolves are one of the animals you’ve always liked since you were a kid, and why wouldn’t you like them? Wolves are cool - they’re gorgeous creatures, they look and sound awesome, and they are essentially a bigger, badder dog, or that’s how you looked at it when you were younger, you suppose. Either way, you decide that is the animal you wish to transform into.
‘I think I’ve made my choice,’ you say. ‘You mentioned a wolf as an example before, and to be honest, I find myself sort of gravitating toward that.’
The genie chuckles. His expression is one of unsurprise. “Master, I am quite pleased you would choose it, mostly because it’s one of the more common picks among those whom are granted similar powers using a wish. Wolves are majestic, and revered, and I’ve heard they’re quite fun to… play as.”
‘Is it the same as before?’ you ask to be certain. ‘I envision myself as a wolf?’
“Yes,” the genie replies. “Will yourself into the body of a wolf - imagine yourself becoming one, imagine its features as yours.”
You close your eyes and begin to envision a wolf. You know of several different breeds by nature, but, around here you know wolves aren’t exactly a common sight. But you envision a gray wolf, a gray wolf that looks as… gentle as possible, perhaps even like it could be a mixed breed since those exist.
You then begin to feel the transformation coming.
Your body grows first, elongating outward. You can hear the bones cracking and even feel them, faintly, snap and crack and tear. Yet like before, it is a painless process. You find it strange to FEEL it without really feeling it, but, you mostly absorb the sensations in wonder since there is no pain or discomfort.
Your body grows and grows, thickening, as your wings begin to shrink in size and the feathers start to fall away, scattering to the ground and then vanishing into the grass. Your body grows wider still, and larger, and with it, your bones and your muscles expand and stretch out as well. Your legs - the talons you have merge into a single stub as you feel toes sprout out, and as this happens, your wings - or rather, your arms now as the wings are no more - fall to the ground, growing long and then forming paws just like your feet have become.
You feel fur begin to grow, as your head begins to bulge out and stretch out. Your beak crackles and splinters as your nose and mouth jut out in its place - nostrils bulge and flare as numerous smells hit you at once. You breathe in, and you can smell so many things, it’s almost overwhelming. Your head is spinning, but you are somehow able to remain in complete control over this, and despite an urge to freak out, you can ignore it, because you’ve done this before.
Your eyes become larger and longer - and though your vision weakens slightly since you aren’t a falcon now, you see just as well, and possibly see even more than you did moments before due to a larger field of view, or so you think of it that way. That is when you feel your ears blooming from the sides of your head with a newfound, sharper sound of hearing hitting them the instant they finish. It is sudden and strange to hear so much better, but, you adjust.
You feel teeth break from the gums, drooping down and saliva bubbling on your longer, stronger tongue. And at last, you feel a final part of you from your other end - a tail, long and bushy, swaying there as if it were a part of you all along. It all feels natural, and yet new, at the same time.
At last, the shift is complete. You are no longer a falcon that soars with speed and grace through the skies - no, you are a wolf, a prowling hunter blessed with sharpened smell and hearing, fangs, and fur.
You stand there on all fours, four legs that you wiggle the toes of to better feel the grass beneath your new paws. You have claws that arc out from each paw, like fingernails, but you can tell these are sharper and a bit more… menacing. You feel so very strange on all fours - it’s going to take some getting used to, yet you are overcome with excitement, along with all the new sensations.
‘Wow,’ you think.
You take a moment to look around and breathe in, smelling so many different scents that it takes a moment within that moment to really gather all this in, to separate all the smells so you can better understand what they are.
You can smell the grass, and the trees - both the wood of the trees and the leaves in them give off their own scents. You can smell flowers not far from you, their aromatic scent wafting in the gentle breeze that ruffles your furry body. You can also smell the city - you smell the pavement, the exhaust left behind by the cars driving by, and people! You can smell a variety of things that combine to form what you know in your chest to be humans - sweat, perfumes, fabrics, and food smells, all fusing into a strange mass that is… familiar.
“A lovely choice indeed,” the genie says. “Well done, Master. You have transformed into a handsome specimen, if I do say so myself.”
You blink, and turn your head to find him hovering there. You are surprised to find that he, too, has a scent - he smells of… some sort of incense. It is spicy, with a tang to it, yet not at all unpleasant. You blink again and eye him, and you also note he is smaller than he was before, because you are bigger now.
‘Now then, I…’
You pause and blink, and you turn about. You are still in the normal world, your world, and you are also in a city where there are people and animals and cars.
And you are a wolf.
Not exactly the best creature to become when you are in a place where people might freak out at the sight of you. You ponder this, because you don’t want to hurt anyone, nor do you want to get chased after by any animal control centers or anything like that. You had not thought of that, so, you realize you need to decide what you want to do next…
Do you ask the genie for advice? Do you use that third wish you’ve not tapped into yet? Do you perhaps return to the proverbial Narnia you came from, to be able to run about freely?
You wrack your brain to decide.
Written by Hollowpages on 13 July 2020
Wolf: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing