Midnight. They always came at midnight. The chimes from the old grandfather clock in the den jolted Daniel out of his restless dreams. It wasn't the chimes that woke him so much as the knowledge that They were coming. It was the same horrifying ritual, every single night.
The room was illuminated by an eerie pale green glow. Three figures in haz-mat suits stood around his bed. One of them held a large briefcase, another held a gun, and the third--the apparent leader, from the way he acted--was making entries into a large handheld computer. Daniel tried to escape, to run, to even move, but some unseen force held him in place, as immobile as the bed itself. The leader looked up from his computer and signaled to the one holding the briefcase, who set the case down and began to open it. Daniel strained to see its contents, but couldn't from his position. If only he could move...
The leader reached forward, grabbed the bedcovers and--
The shrill blast of Daniel's alarm clock filled the room. He'd had that dream again, the same one he'd been having every night for nearly a month. Except that it didn't feel like a normal dream. It felt more like a memory, but one that had been partially forgotten. Anyway, Dan had more important things to worry about, so he pushed whatever it was aside for the moment. Today was the last day of school, finally. All he had to do was survive his last few final exams, and he'd be home free. He wasn't about to let a creepy dream get him down.
Dr. DiCaoz glanced over his biology classroom. "Is anybody still working on the final?" he asked tiredly. He paused for a moment, then said, "If everybody is finished, you may talk quietly amongst yourselves for the remainder of the period." As the class erupted in chatter, he went back to nursing his hangover.
Daniel loved his biology class. It wasn't just that he was good at it, or that it was the last class of the day. By some bit of luck or fate, he happened to be in the same class as his four closest friends, Gassan, David, Pammy, and Jake. Gassan, David, and Pammy had become absurdly popular since coming to high school. Gassan was Lebanese and therefore "exotic," David was a star swimmer, and Pammy was a cheerleader. In retrospect, popularity was an inevitability. To the other popular kids, Jake an avid follower of the Furry subculture (he called it a craze, but nobody else did) and Daniel, the introspective writer, were social liabilities. Still, Gassan, David, and Pam never let their newfound "friends" keep them away from Jake and Dan. Privately, Daniel was grateful that he had managed to befriend the four people who appeared to be immune to high school drama.
"So, what'd you guys think?" Pammy whispered.
"I'm pretty sure Dr. Di is a nutcase," Gassan answered quickly. He was met with a chorus of approval from his companions.
"Anyway," Pam continued, "are we having our annual Thank-God-The-Schoolyear's-Over party tonight?"
"I can't go," Jake said, "I've got a convention."
"I can't go either," said David, "My dad's taking me camping. He's on a back-to-nature kick."
"I'm visiting my grandma," Gassan said. Pammy rolled her eyes.
"Alright," she sighed, "when do you guys get back?"
"Sunday, but it'll be late."
"So," Pammy continued, "is Monday night alright with everyone?"
The days passed quickly. By the time Monday arrived, he had gone an entire weekend without his mysterious dreams. He was mostly relieved, but part of him wished the visitors would come back so he could find out what they were up to.
The streets were charged with an eerie calm. A summer storm was coming. As Daniel reached Pam's door, he couldn't help but feel a strange foreboding. Something was decidedly wrong. He rang the bell.
"Come in," called Pammy. Dan opened the door and found friend sitting on the floor in a tidy circle. They were all staring at him, an unsettling hunger in their eyes. "We are playing Truth or Dare," Pammy intoned mechanically. "Please, join us. Truth or Dare?"
"Please choose Dare," Gassan said, in the same unearthly voice.
"The Truth is never any fun," agreed David, still in the same tone. Throughout the exchange, none of the four took their eyes off of Daniel.
"Is everything alright?" he asked. "You all seem...different."
Pammy answered in the same monotone as before: "We are collectively unnerved at a series of recurring dreams we have been having. Perhaps you too are experiencing these visions?"
"Yeah," Dan said, "but I'm not acting that weird about it."
"Perhaps," Pammy said, "All will be made more clear if you answer this simple question: Truth...or Dare?"
Written by Zodiac on 31 May 2008
“It´s been just a dream, just a dream…” Daniel muttered to himself, pacing around his small bedroom. His short hair was damp with sweat, his breathing coming out in small gasps.
“Just a dream…”
The problem was that Daniel didn´t even remember his dream. Only the unsettling presence of them, and that they wanted something from him. During the last few weeks, he had this dream again and again and he never remembered who they were or what they wanted from him.
Only that they wanted it badly.
Running his fingers through his hair, Daniel tried to calm down. It was just a dream, whatever it was about. It probably meant something in dreams theory too, something silly like internalized guilt for not studying hard enough for his tests. It was no big deal.
But he would be really glad if the dreams stopped finally.
Eventually, Daniel went back to bed. No point in loosing whole night worth of sleep over some stupid dream, he thought. He had chemistry test tomorrow, he should sleep a bit before it.
Written by lulu-illussions on 01 January 2018
In the morning at school their is a big flyer saying 'Costume Party Friday.'
After some debate the five friends agree to try the mall for their costumes.
After school they arrive at the mall and split up.
Written by catprog on 16 January 2020
“What is taking them so long?” Daniel tapped his foot outside the entrance to the shop. He was sure the store keeper inside was staring out the window wondering you the weirdo out front was. Daniel could picture the cops coming, his parents picking him up from the slammer. His mother would cry, his father's disappointed face. His friends, his four close friends would laugh their asses off.
“I could go in?” Daniel muttered staring at his wrist. Time didn't bring his late friends any closer to appearing before him, but he could hope, right? “Screw 'em.” Daniel said a flash of bravery. They were supposed to be looking for a costumes together for a party. The school was hosting it, and for once it didn't sound lame.
“I'll go in and get the best costume for myself.” Daniel nodded, that would show them. Turning from his pacing steps. Daniel opened the door, setting off a charming little bell. Daniel looked up and shape at a dangling fairy. The berries in her hands were the little bells that chime. “Cute.” Daniel smiled, charmed by the little figure.
“Isn't see?” A voice came from Daniel's side. “Many costumers don't even notice her.” Daniel turned and saw a young woman. Dressed in frilly clothes that would make his geeky friend droll. Her blonde hair curled, and tumbled around her shoulders. “Can I help you find what you seek?”
“Please,” Daniel ignored the funny why she spoke. It must be a gimmick for the shop, so he should go with it.
“You liked our fairy, would you like to be one?” She asked speaking in a soft and steady tone. That Daniel found to be soothing.
“No,” Daniel couldn't even begin to image the torment he would suffer. Dressing like a fairy to a school party. Shivering Daniel forced the image to the back of his mind. The mere passing thought would fuel his nightmare later.
“Something a little cooler, but different?” Daniel didn't have a real idea in mind. Crossing his arm, Daniel tilted himself left to right in thought.
“Cooler, and prettier.” She tapped her lips with her ring finger. The cuffs of her dress, swinging in front of her as she spoke. “Perhaps even mysterious?” “Mysterious.” Daniel snapped his fingers at her.
“Yeah, I want to be completely different from myself!” Daniel always daydreamed about whisking away to a new place, where he was the hero, the star. No offence to his friends, but they were so colourful and popular. That Daniel wasn't sure they understood him at times.
“Completely different I can do.” Her eyes narrowed at him, and she brought her hand up, with the palm out. Laughing, “But the price can be high.”
“Oh,” Daniel's shoulder slumped. He didn't have much money on him. Not enough to cover something the shop keep thought was pricey.
“It won't cost you any money.” She smiled with a nod, clapping her hands together. “You noticed my fairy after all.”
“Great!” Who knew there would be such a great perk for noticing a cute fairy chime? Daniel did a little dance on the spot to celebrate. Blushing red when the shop keeper joined him.
“What fun, but now we can not dance, you must try on the piece I'm thinking of!” She took Daniel hand into her smaller one, dragging him past the rows of costumes and accessories. Past a beaded curtain covering a doorway. To a back, and in Daniel's mind, secret room.
“What costume is it?” Daniel's palm sweated with excitement, and nerves. Mostly it was nerves. “A dragon? A skunk? A warrior? Or even a hydra?” Daniel rattled off a couple of things that came to the top of his head. They didn't make much sense once said out loud, but who cares! This was a free costume, and even his friends couldn't find a better deal than that?
Written by psto1464 on 17 January 2020
“A sphinx.” She pulled a baggy piece from nowhere. It looked like a hunk of skin dangling from her hands. A hunk of skin covered in feathers. It looked like an animal skin, with the lion paws sagging on the floor with life like fur. The talons of the suit where his hands would be, looked like they glinted with a sharp and very real edge.
“Is that even wearable?” Daniel edge back from her, the costume gave him the chills; he couldn't finger on why. “You'll never want to take it off, and if you do?” She smiled with bright white teeth. “It'll only be because you found an even better one!” Laughing she continued.
“We have little shops everywhere. We're like mini treasure chest waiting for discovery!” She was good at this, selling her shop. Daniel nodded, impressed, he should at least try on the costume...what's the worse that could happen?
“And it's free?” Daniel asked, inching back over to her.
“I won't take a nickle of your money.” She smiled again, pushing the costume into Daniel's arms.
“I should put it on right here?” Looking around for a changing room. The feather part of the costume felt soft and fluffy under his hands, the costume wasn't as nasty as it looked.
“Clothes won't inter with your change.” She shook her head. “It is a girl sphinx, so we'll be fine in the same room.” She covered her mouth behind her arm sleeve while giggle.
“Okay then.” Daniel shrugged and found the hole for him to step into the costume. His feet felt weird. Like he was stepping into wet rubber. “Feels kinda weird.” Daniel muttered pulling it up his legs anyway.
“That's normal.” She waved a hand, dismissing Daniel's concerns. “Might want to work on that a bit.” Daniel offered his two-cents, while shrugging into it. “You won't notice that soon.” She smiled once again. Daniel went to disagree when the costume head came up from behind him slamming down on him, blinding him.
“What's-” Daniel tried to yell. When his mouth was glue shut by some force he could see, or even feel. The costume tightened. He could feel his clothes dissolve over his skin! Daniel failed his arms, scratching at his chest to get the costume off. It was all in vain, Daniel soon felt the weird wet rubber resting on his skin, as the last of his clothes disappeared.
“The next part is a tad painful. Try to bear it.” Her voice, her soft, relaxing voice. Echoed in his head, but was far from enough to stopped the fear making his mind scream. Then came the pain.
“Emf.” Daniel shouted as his veins felt like they ran with lightening instead of blood. The suit pulled his feet into the shape of paws. He could feel the lost of each toe, reshaping and reforming. The same went for his fingers. Dropping to his knees, no dropping onto all fours. Daniel felt his groin tightening and pinch with the costume ever shrinking in that area.
“Being a female will suit you much better.” Her voice echoed in the distance, Daniel souls cried. He couldn't feel his face to cry. His manhood popped with searing pain, and he felt his insides shift to had something more. Something that no man owned. “May your new life bring you happiness.” Her voice chimed off like the tinkle of the fairy chime.
“Your new life will have many choices. Be it darkness or the light. That is all up to you now.” Daniel's mind faded, no longer able to bear with the pain, his only hope his that he would wake up and it all be a dream.
Written by psto1464 on 18 January 2020
Jungle City- Macon
“Ugh” Daniel's head pounded. A hard and unrelenting sound, it reminded Daniel of the time Jake tried to learn the drums. There was no rhythm, only noise. His head hurt so bad, trying to open his eyes made a glare of light stab into his eyes.
“Miss, miss, are you okay?” called a faint voice. Daniel opened his eyes again, and saw the shadow of someone leaning over him. Oh, Daniel thought blinking to bring the face into focus; he found help. The craziness in the store, the suit, the pain of transforming must have all been a dream, right?
“Here try sipping this.” The shadow whispered. A cup touched Daniel's mouth. A sweet fruity taste filled his mouth. The light and refreshing drink, took Daniel's headache away.
“That's better.” Daniel sighed. The pain of headache faded and gone, like Jake's old drums. Made the world a better place.
“Good, but can you open your eyes for me?” The voice pinched sounding worried. Daniel opened his eyes, not noticing he had closed them.
“AHH!” Daniel screamed, his once rich voice became a high pitch, and rather girl like scream. Before him was a monster! Daniel rattled his brain for the what it was.
“AHH!” It screamed back. The voice came out of the face of a plain freckled women with brown eyes, and flowing brown hair in a tight pony tail. The head of a woman was normal, and fine. It was the body that made Daniel tremble and fail backwards until he slammed a wall. Her body was that of a lion! Her eagle claws that should have been her hands clutched her chest has she panted. Large brown wings on her back folded in and out in a restless motion.
“Oh my stars, you scared me!” The monster took a deep breath in and out. “It's okay I brought you in from the wilds. You're safe now.”
“Wilds?” Daniel rack his brain, but all he could recall was being scared, and in pain. Daniel raised his hands to his face. Seeing four sharp black talons flex in their place.
“Oh yes, horrible place; not safe for sphinx or beast out there.” Daniel heard her voice roll over him like a dream. Looking down he saw he was resting not butt, but on his haunches. Soft golden colour fur covered his flank, and his paws? Wiggling his toes, he confirmed he did have control over them, and they were his.
“For someone as young, and pretty as you.” She paused and Daniel looked up, letting the reality of the transformation sink into him.
“I'm glad I found you before some hunters did.” She shivered her feathers fluffy outwards when she did. “What were you doing out there?”
“I don't know.” Daniel's voice flowed in a soft alto, he sounded like a beautiful lady, but was he one?
“Do you really think I'm pretty?” Daniel wondered, finding that he could control his new body like he once did his old one. He gentle flared out his own wings to see vibrate shade of navy with a shinny gold edges.
“Your very pretty honey, has no one ever said that to you before?” Daniel shook his head and the women, sphinx shook her head. “Your gold crown of feather and blue wings are a very rare thing my dear.” She spoke in a soft tone, and to Daniel it felt like he was talking to someone a lot older than him. A grandmother, who felt kind and reassuring.
“I was trying to get home.” Daniel's voice wavered, emotions clogged his throat. He could feel tears forming in his eyes.
“But I don't know how too.” Omitting this sent the tears flying.
“There, there now. Annie's got you.” She came over and tucked Daniel under her wing.
“I'll help you get settled here. Your family will come here, every sphinx from even the farthest coast comes here, at least once a year.” Daniel shook his head, knowing she wouldn't understand. He. No she. She the sphinx Daniel. The human male Daniel was no more. Would have to stay here for now.
“What will I do?” Daniel didn't know, wiping her tears off with a claw foot she sunk down on all fours, feeling lost.
“You can focus on the present for starters!” Annie stood up and pulled her along for the ride. “I take it you've never been to Macon before?”
“This is the farthest I've been from home.” Daniel wanted to be truthful to Annie, she was being kind to her after all, but what else could she say? That she was from a whole other world!
“Then let's get you to the crystal.” Annie nodded, pulling her out the large open door. Out into the sun Daniel winced, letting Annie drag her along until her vision cleared. “The crystal helps all new sphinx find the place that's for them.”
Written by psto1464 on 19 January 2020