Loosely inspired from the "Friday the 13th: the Series" episode of the same name.
It was a cool day at Ricky's Bar, the place where I work. By "cool" I mean that the heater was down, so we were all freezing our asses off, you know? Of course, after my love life and recent marriage, I'm pretty used to cold. Well, I guess I better introduce myself, so you know what and who the hell is going on here, eh?
My name is Julie Vetrablik. Before, I was a brunette thirty- four year old waitress at Ricky's, remarkably well-endowed (if I do make that remark myself) and with a figure that men would die for. That is, before. Before the divorce, I guess, would be the best term to tell you without ruining the entire story.
It all started with the divorce. I was married to a volunteer firefighter, whose name I'll withhold right now, and replace with a pseudonym, "Rob". He was a real weirdo, but the thing that most attracted me to him was the mystical look in his eyes. So, we eventually married. But then he became more mystical than ever, and he started getting attached to his dog. After I caught him with that other woman, that was it. I filed for a divorce. Immediately. Mistake number uno.
It isn't right to mess with a mystical person.
It was twelve-thirty that day. I had moved out from "Rob"'s house three days ago, and he was having trouble accepting the fact that I just didn't want to be with him anymore. I was ringing up two marguerites and a Coors Lite. The bill came to six dollars and seven cents, I thought, as I rung it up. The guy had given me a twenty-dollar bill, so I tried to think what the change would be.
The key word here is "try". My mind balked. I couldn't figure out that simple mathematical problem. And like it or not, being able to add and subtract on your feet is one of the most important things in the "waitress" profession. Joy noticed my confusion and said, "Hey, dummy, it's $13.97." I said a quick thanks and counted out the change, handing it to the person. "Hey, lady, all you gave me was $4.97," the guy shouted in protest. I took a look at the bills. My eyes blurred and then focused again. I had given the guy a one dollar bill instead of a ten dollar bill. I walked over to the drawer, pulled out a ten, and got the one back from the guy. How had I missed that simple glaring "10" on the bills in the drawer?
Well, on your own, you'd think "The poor girl is tired, it's natural to make a couple of slipups." First, I don't make those kind of slipups. I've been a professional waitress for five years, and I've pretty much got things down pat on that end. Second, that wouldn't explain what happened that night. The bar had been closed, and we had had such a bad rush hour that I didn't have time to eat even a donut or wash down a cup of coffee. I collapsed, exhausted, on a stool. Joy placed a plate of hot, steaming beef stroganoff in front of me.
You know how some things just come naturally? What follows next was done by my mind naturally -- just like an ingrained reflex. First, my head perked up and took a couple sniffs of the rich aroma rising from the beef in front of me. Then my head went down, and my tongue came out of my mouth, scooped up a little beef chunk, and rolled it down my throat. Joy was in the back room, and I lapped up the rest of the meal, quickly. But the thing was, it was an automatic reflex. It was like someone had made eating with a knife and fork alien to my body, and made lapping up food natural for me ... further thoughts left as the food poured down my throat. Joy had put down a mug of Coke (I don't drink) next to the food. I stuck my tongue in the glass and slurped up some of the soda.
Finally, the meal was finished. At that time, it was perfectly natural to eat that way, and the realization actually didn't hit me until later of the exact manner in which I had devoured the meal set before me. It was like that of a wild animal, like a pig or cat.
The actual truth didn't hit me until that night, when I was getting dressed for bed. Unfortunately, a bachelorette who's thirty-four doesn't get many house calls, unless she's rich, so I was pretty much alone for the night. I took a look at myself in the mirror. Gravy stains covered my shirt, while my face had Coke and gravy drying on it. "Strange," I thought to myself, and replayed my memories back to the meal. It hit me then how I had eaten the meal. I should have been forewarned there. Mistake number two: instead I just chalked it up to a busy day and too much overwork.
The next day I woke to the sound of a buzzing alarm. Walking sleepily to the bathroom to get changed, I gave a whimper when I saw the face in that mirror. My eyes were dog eyes.
You probably think I'm kidding, right? No. The sclera (the usually white part) was a dull, dirty yellow. My iris was a light ring of brown surrounded by a huge black pupil. "Oh no," the words escaped from my mouth, along with a whimper. "Oh no," I said, drawing the 'oh' sound out into a long whine. I ran crying from the bathroom. I don't know how or why I did it, but I put on shades and continued the day. During the occasional dull moments, I reflected on what the hell was happening. It must be some disease I contracted, I thought. I'll wait for some money to pile up on next week's payday, and then I'll take a visit to the doctor's.
That night's sleep was a troubled one, let me tell you. I tossed and turned the night away. The next day I woke up to find that the problem with my eyes had not abated. Instead, the problem had spread. My two canine teeth (the cuspids) had grown large -- like a dog's. A whimper escaped my mouth, as tears ran down my face. I reached for the phone with trembling hands. "Joy," I said, my voice muffled by the new teeth, "I'm feeling sick today. I won't be in, okay?"
"Sure. Want me to come over?"
"No, no, please don't!" I urged. I thought fast. "It's a really contagious flu bug, and I wouldn't want to give it to you."
"Sure. Take all the days off you need -- just come in when you're feeling better."
"Thanks, Joy." With that, I fell back on the couch, and watched NBC for the rest of the day. You'd think I would have known better. Maybe it was the effect of "Rob"'s spell (or whatever it was). Maybe it was just my own carelessness. But that night, I found my nails pointed and the same color as my dull brown eyes. Well, that was it. I knew this was out of the ordinary, and I decided to go where my mother taught me to go when you don't know an answer -- books. I walked over to the public library, with my nails in my pocket and shades covering my eyes. You'd think I would have known better. Than to go in public, I mean. Mistake number three.
When I looked up 'Magic', I was directed to go over to a large shelf with big, fat dusty books on it. I looked up 'Dog'. Not a lot of help there. I looked up 'Domestic Animals'. Zip. I looked up 'werewolf' on a wild chance. None of the symptoms looked familiar. All of a sudden, a huge ripping sound filled the library. The skin-tight leotard which I had worn was now splitting around my buttocks, to allow a thick, brown tail to emerge. I tucked it under my coat as well as I could and quickly left the library.
I became panicked that night, and grabbed a couple Valium to calm me down. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sleep. And sleep was evidently the catalyst for this transformation (although it did seem to go forward during the day, too). I knew after this tail, I had to stay out of the public's eye.
Luckily, I had brought the book home so I could research while this strange transformation happened to me. The next morning I got out of bed and I stumbled a bit. I was dreading the look in the mirror. At first look, I didn't see anything, but then I thought, "Maybe it's something underneath my clothes." I flipped my nightgown over my head and took a look. My chest above my breasts had grown a thick mat of brown hair. Taking a look at my hands, they had grown a slight film of hair on top. My feet had grown a slight mat of hair on the arches. My hands had become stiff and clawed.
A continued look under the different topics looked hopeless, but I went back to the book. I looked under 'dog' and read the entire hundred pages. It mentioned that he was often known as man's best friend, and it mentioned the ... 'Leash of Dreams'? I took a look under that heading. "'Leash of Dreams'", it said. "A device that when looped around a dog will blur the wishes and hopes of an individual with reality, thus allowing that person's wishes or hopes to become true. This can actually alter reality, giving it one of the most powerful magical rankings known. However, for it to be active, it must be looped around the neck of a host body, which must be canine. One murder must be effected through strangulation using the leash in order to set the blur in motion." I thought a bit, which was hard to do in my present form. My habits and thoughts were frequently being replaced by dog habits and thoughts.
It had been a busy day, and I walked into the bathroom. I had been so involved in the book and research that I had not bothered to get dressed or put on my nightgown again. Looking in the mirror, a whimper escaped my lips, and dull yellow fluid trickled down my legs, dripping on the floor. I had changed again.
My human ears had disappeared, being replaced by smooth skin where my ears once stood. In place of my human ears, two gentle pointed ears had grown on the top of my head. There was a slight tuft of white hair in each of the ears themselves. Brown hair had spread not only around my ankles and wrists, but all over my hands, too. I also had grown a nice little crop of brown hair all over my breasts and stomach. I pulled on my nightgown.
I cleaned up the mess in there, and flopped on my bed. I tossed and turned for a couple minutes, but could not get comfortable. Finally, I got off the bed, pulled a couple blankets on the floor, and curled up on them. With a contented sigh I drifted off to peaceful sleep. I woke up in the morning. Something felt strange -- what was constricting me? With my claws I ripped off the long cloth that covered my arms and body. There was a material supporting my breasts, and with a mighty roar I ripped that off, too. I realized, all of a sudden, that my body was no longer used to clothing, and that I would be prancing around naked for the rest of my life. Whoopee.
I walked into the bathroom to find that my buttocks had spouted hair all over them -- a very thick mat -- and that that mat had spread down my legs to cover them. I went back to my blankets and went back to sleep. Who cares, I'm going to become a dog, I thought as I went back to sleep.
I woke up to find that my groin had grown a bunch of hair, now practically covered by it. But that wasn't the biggest surprise. I walked into the bathroom and involuntarily experienced a sudden chill. As I walked into range of the mirror I caught a glance of my reflection and was frozen.
My nose and mouth was bulging -- about half of a dog's snout, if you know what I mean. I walked out to the car. About halfway there, I tripped on a stair, and fell down the rest of the steps, my furry naked brazen-breast body twisting and turning to get a hold on some step. Finally I landed on the bottom step. I got to my hands and knees, and tried to get up. I couldn't.
Now I'm not talking paralyzed here. My body shuffled over to a car mirror. I was panting and fogging up the mirror, but even through the fog I could see that hair was covering my back. I took a look around from this new perspective. If I used my elbows, maybe I could crawl up my front steps before anyone saw me.
Amid fervid panting, my tongue hanging out of my mouth, I used my elbows to walk my way up the stairs one at a time. All of a sudden, I took a look at my dangling breasts. They were shortening. My legs felt strange, too -- and they were shortening as well! Finally, I got to the front of the steps and pushed open the door with my blunt weight. My arms were completely hairy. I trudged elbow and knee into the bathroom, propping my body up on the sink, and pulling myself up. I was going to lose my balance, but I held onto the sink. My hair fell off, and my nose and mouth grew forward into a full dog snout. A small black nose formed at the tip of the snout, and my tongue elongated. My hands and feet became paws. With a mighty yelp, I took a look at my breasts. They had gone. My hands and feet had become a dog's hands and feet.
I was a dog.