a rooster's curse - DoA - Chapter 1

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a rooster's curse - DoA

by seepran

Libraries: Fantasy, OriginalFiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

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DoA Hallows Eve 2021, Curse of the Shapeshifter. 710 words, aq283


    A profanity echoed across the seafloor. Then another, and then a third - the stream had no end, and they each increased in harshness. Ulrin growled and huffed as he swam forward, suddenly flopping down to the sand under him. He desperately tried to scratch his side against a rock's edge, that peeked out of the sand. It didn't help. As a matter of fact, it made it worse. He had accidentally dived face-first into a patch of underwater weeds, their species or origin unknown to him. He didn't even know that he was allergic to, well, anything. The Giant stumbled up from the fine sand, dusting it around him as he rose with a near furious gurn on his face. He pulled himself forward with his fins, when suddenly, he felt sick. It wormed up in his throat, and spread an odd, weak feeling across his whole body. It wrapped around his chest, engulfed his fins, and tied up every singe one of his muscles, tightly and carefully. His body fell limp, and he fell to the sand yet again - this time against his will. He couldn't fight it, as his eyes forced themselves shut. He wondered if he'd feel afraid of this kind of darkness.

    He didn't know how long he was out cold - all he knew that he had to get up. You wouldn't survive long if you laid still on the seabed - scavengers would eat you alive. Or, that's what Kalea had told him when he was still just a small lad. Perhaps just a tall tale to keep him in line, or not. He didn't care - nor listen to warnings, then or now.

    Ulrin lifted his head. It felt light somehow, lifting from the sand exceptionally easily. He didn't think much of it, and scrambled his upped body higher with his front fins. They felt odd, but he didn't bother to take a look. He had felt weird many times before. Then he attempted to whisk his tail from one side to another, to seek for balance as he rose - but he couldn't find it - the balance, nor the tail. With widened eyes the Aqrion turned his head. His tail was gone - he only saw whisk-like appendages floating in the water, where his tail should've been. While it was still in the colors of his own body, it did not help his disbelief and rising levels of panic. His heart started to pound in his chest, as his breathing turned fast and shallow. He remembered his front fins, turned his head again and looked down. They weren't fins. He didn't even know what they were. They bent strangely, and were covered in similar... things as his tail, but sturdier and shorter. Hastily Ulrin tried to get up, but got tangled into his own legs, dipping face first back into the sandy seafloor. Wait, legs?

    Yes, legs. Like a newborn foal, the not-Aqrion looking Aqrion scrambled himself up. He stood there, completely still, his legs far apart from each other, barely even staying up. For a moment he hesitated, and then inspected his body again.

    He assumed they were feathers. He was covered in them. His tail was just a stub, but it had long, whisker like things growing from it. He spread his front limbs. They were even weirder, as the long feathers didn't even grow from his skin to conform the limbs, but seemed to face backwards, at least on some parts. His legs didn't have feathers, but they looked scaled, and their toes were adorned with sharp, long talons. Carefully, Ulrin lowered his head, and felt his nose with his new, odd front limbs. The sense of touch was dull like a butter knife from the feathers, but he could make out enough details - his pretty face was gone too, transformed into something hideous. He felt a beak - like on the shrimp-tailed Pygmy Singers.

    Ulrin came to a realization. He didn't like it - he hated it. His insecurity - manifested. They had all the reason to laugh at him now. Call him by the name he, finally, actually, was. Could he even show up anywhere like this? No. Absolutely not.

    He wouldn't let anyone know, even if it was permanent. No matter the cost.

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