The Mind Manifests Chapter 4
I hit the floor just as David started filming. Everyone would see this, and this was the last step, I had to save face, no matter how bad it hurt, I had to maintain composure, I couldn't let myself break down.
The changes started on my feet first and progressed rapidly. My shins shortened as my feet grew longer. My four smaller toes on each foot fused into two larger toes, making a total of three on each foot as the toenails on the remaining, larger ones, grew longer and sharper, mutating into claws, as a dewclaw, or talon, whichever you prefer to call it, pushed out of my heel. In mere seconds, scales met one another, and now the only part of my body still human was my head.
Moments later, my head began changing, hair fell out in clumps to the floor as scales started sprouting and my teeth fell out. I spit them to the floor, along with much blood, as my nose started bleeding just before my vision went black. Though I couldn't see what was going on, I could hear and feel it, the pain was agonizing, and the popping and cracking noises were sickening. Soon, my face started growing longer, along with a sensation like being punched in the nose.
My mouth and nose pushed out, forming a long muzzle, as the first hints of vision came back, my hearing went, and I felt two horns growing out of my head. Large, sharp teeth began growing out of my gums, and my tongue suddenly became immobilized with pain, and I couldn't even grit my teeth to sustain the pain, as closing my mouth hurt more. The teeth finally finished forming and my tongue stopped hurting, it was now much larger, filling my larger maw, and it was forked, as could be expected.
My vision came completely back as my hearing returned, and both were now much clearer than before. I seemed to have a wider field of view now, along with an increased perception of movement, possibly even echolocation. The first thing I noticed, though, was that most of the end of my snout had blood on it. My horns were the last thing to finish, and I could just barely see the ends of the ram's horns coming into my field of view as they finished growing and the itching and burning finally stopped. I sat and panted for a moment.
It was done. I was now a dragon; Dracano Sapien, the anthro.
I rubbed the end of my snout, the nose still sensitive, and wiped away as much blood as I could, before hearing Mom's voice "Daniel, are you alright?"
I just coughed, able to taste blood, and replied, attempting a grin "I'll live, I think." I worked my way to my feet shakily, Dad helping me, and said "I think I need to take a shower to get this blood off me."
Dad started helping me to the bathroom, and Mom said before I went through the door "If anything starts happening, I'll be right outside the door."
"Mom, I'm certain the worst is over. I'll shout if anything snaps or pops, alright?"
She silently nodded, and Dad let me walk the rest of the way to the tub, as I could stand on my own now. He left the room and closed the door, but just before I turned the water on, I was able to just barely hear them talking in hushed tones.
"Frank, what are we gonna do? We can't keep him around here like that."
"I don't know, I was thinking that he could stay at James's"
"But Brenda visits there all the time, what if she found him? You know she'd think he's a demon or something."
"Melynda, it's not like we have a choice, it's for his own good, if he stayed here, word would get out eventually, and he'd be carted off to a zoo somewhere."
"But I don't want to lose my baby twice."
I heard mom break down into tears and start crying, so I turned on the water, not that I wasn't sad that she was sad, but the sound of her crying was just taking it over the line of what my mind could process. The warm water felt good flowing over my scales, and I saw large amounts of hair and pink water flowing into the drain, all the blood from where the scales came out, along with every bit of body hair that hadn't fallen to the floor in the living room.
While I opened my mouth and let the water rinse out the taste of blood from my new fangs and forked tongue, I pondered why that last change made me bleed while none of the others had any blood loss at all, then the answer slapped me in the face. Lung and sinus tissues are prone to bleeding when disturbed, and if anything could cause a bloody nose, having your skull double in length definitely would. Plus, I wouldn't doubt my ability to breathe fire now.
I actually decided to test that. Facing a side of the shower that was very moist to prevent burning it, I thought of how Dracano's flame was triggered in my stories. It was a sparking mechanism and a false pallet, so I felt around with my tongue, and, sure enough, I felt two hard bumps, like small rounded teeth, at the top and the back. After some effort, I was able to find a new muscle group and twitch it, and I felt the spark jump at the top of my throat. That was one item off the checklist. Now I had to see if I had the false pallet and flight bladder.
I tried a few muscle movements in my gut, and eventually I felt something shift and it seemed like I was exhaling, but an unusual taste filled my mouth. I made a spark, and a ball of flame rushed out of my maw. I can't say I wasn't happy, and I also can't say I wasn't a little startled, that was only a mouthful of gas, maybe less, and it made a massive fireball that filled the whole shower stall for a whole two seconds, leaving the room much hotter than it was a second ago.
A moment later, I heard mom knock on the door "Are you alright, what was that noise?"
"I was experimenting, and it turns out I have firebreath."
"Did you burn anything?"
"No, ma, I aimed it at the shower, I'm not an idiot."
It took me a second to realize something. That was a normal banter, just like we always have. It was a little comforting knowing nothing between us really changed. I was afraid she'd not believe I was still me under the scales.
I quickly finished in the shower, letting the warm water flow over my wings. It was just as enjoyable a sensation as I had imagined while writing stories about dragons. I even made sure to scrub my tailblade, getting that nice shine out of it. I was liking this new body more and more with every passing minute as I realized it was exact in every detail to how I envisioned Dracano.
I finally finished and toweled off, flitting my wings a few times to shake off moisture, and stepped out of the shower. As I stood at the door, I debated with myself "towel, or no towel?" I decided, after some thought, that since my clothes would need to be modified to fit me now, I'd be naked for a while, so the towel would be pointless.
I took a deep breath, and stepped out, only to see mom waiting expectantly. She seemed kind of bothered by me not wearing anything. "Mom, I've got scales now, and my clothes won't fit me until they're altered. There's nothing wrong with me being naked for a while. It's not like I enjoy it anyways."
That was a lie, I was enjoying it, it felt nice, somehow…liberating.
I walked back into the livingroom and David was back on his computer. He looked up and smirked "So how ya feeling, Dracano?"
I glared back at him "Don't even joke about that. You do realize I'm going to have to hide now, right?"
Dad got out of his chair, and said "yeah, about that, your mother and I-"
"Think it would be a good idea for me to hide out at James's for a while, I heard."
"How could you hear us?"
"Draconic hearing, I guess. I've been hearing and seeing things a lot better, but I can still only smell my own blood, most likely because my nose is still sore."
David interjected "You mean your snout."
I scowled at him "You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Sorry, but my best friend just turned into a dragon. I'm understandably giddy."
Mom, Dad, and I glared at him for a second, before Mom said "There's nothing to be giddy about. This is serious."
I sighed. He was right; there was nothing wrong with him being a little overjoyed. It's not like something like that happens every day…or every year…or every lifetime, for that matter. I turned and went to my room, grabbing a couple pair of jeans and my three favorite shirts.
I sat back down on the couch, and asked Mom "Where's the sewing kit?" without responding, she went to the hallway and retrieved it, coming back and sitting down next to me "Here, I might as well do it for you."
I sat on the couch and held my wings half erect so she could take measurements, and I just stared at the wall, there was still a lot of data left to process, my whole life had changed now, I knew nothing was going to be the same again...