The Second Change
That – night? – he remembered his dreams more clearly. He thought he saw a figure, invisible inside its protective suit, standing by the bed, writing on a clipboard. It must have opened the drapes. As soon as he'd registered that thought, some sort of needle stung him, just briefly. He was certain it had come from the bed itself.
He was awake. The drapes were open – but he couldn't remember if he'd closed them – and, to the surprise of no-one, there was a new cake on the table and the flask was filled. He staggered out of bed, in case they had left another message, but there was nothing. Someone was able to get in and out of here. If he could stay awake and catch them –
The thought faded. He'd just realised why his body felt so wobbly, off-balance. The silly white bikini top was filled. One rabbit ear tickled on his cheek as he bent his head forward. He tugged at the top, still hoping he might find just cotton stuffing. Inside was silky flesh.
He spun to the mirror. The reflection still looked like him – like a sister. His dark hair formed a tomboyish style around a pretty, pink-lipped face, so pretty it was hard to recognise his own features. The reflection's breasts weren't huge, but round and perky, pushed up by the top. Her build was still slender, but her muscles were less toned. The bulge in the pants was gone. She couldn't bring herself to pull out her pants and look. Even her shoulders and legs, things you wouldn't expect to have changed, looked different. She could still have believed this was some trick of the mirror, but when she looked down, she saw the same body.
Daniel cried out, no more able to help it than if something had sliced her hand off, and heard a different voice come out of her mouth. She choked it back. If any observer had heard, they didn't show themselves.
She noticed something else, unrelated to the changes in her body. The ear that had flopped against her cheek was standing almost straight up, half-turned as if listening for something, not like cloth. The headband was gone, the ears were coming straight out of her hair.
She parted her hair – her fingers were more slender – and saw where the ears grew out of her scalp. Where her human ears had been were just empty stretches of skin. She reached up to grab one of the rabbit ears, but pinched too hard and it hurt. When she reached back and tweaked her tail, it felt the touch as well. Nerves had grown out through something no other human had.
Daniel spent the rest of the day crouched up in a corner where she could watch over the room. She didn't want to look at herself, but even a slight movement made her feel the changes inside her.
She kept as much of the room as possible within her field of sight, but the hours went by, tiredness became a heaviness in her entire body and then a pain. Nobody came to replace the food, but her sight flickered enough in the end that she might not have seen them if they'd come. Him, her. Did those words even have meaning any more, when anyone she might see might be a completely different gender from the one they'd been born as?
In the end, nothing she could frighten or reward herself with could make her stay awake.
Written by on 12 May 2019