Raven Song (Tanner)
Animew (ME AS AN EEVEE)Tanner looked out of his window. It was another glorious morning. Rays of dappled sunlight filtered from the surface, glistening off of the rocks and kelp surrounding his home. At the corner of his garden, his treasure chest bubbled away.
Tanner had a good life. This he knew. He was a reputable builder, able to move copious amounts of pebble with his maw. He had recently won an award from the local Aquathority. And yet, he felt alone.
Tanner slid out of his sand bed, his coral pillows and seaweed blanket floating back into place. He sighed, a small air bubble floating to his roof.
A near empty fridge met him in the kitchen. He'd forgotten to go shopping again. Looking up, an ASPCAB (Atlantis Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Air Breathers) advert drove last on the side of a Eelectric Bus.
"Cant look after yourself? Don't get a pet".
"I can look after myself" Tanner huffed.
Picking up his wallet and shellphone, Tanner stuck a determined face on his gelatinous bulging lips.
Today was the day. Enough of being lonely.
Today, Tanner was going to get, a pet.
The ASPCAB office was on the far side of the ocean. A few other fish were seated in the waiting room. A tall, business like pike sat at the reception desk.
"Welcome to Coral Bay ASPCAB. How can I be of diserv- I mean service today?" She drones, not looking up from the computer.
Tanner smiled his most charming smile.
"I would like to adopt an air breather."
The pike raised her eyes just enough to glare at Tanner, who felt his confidence waining. If he were able to sweat under water, he was sure he would be doing it.
"Fill out this form and report to education room A101." She said, sliding a clipboard and pen towards Tanner.
Taking them in his fins, Tanner floated along towards the class rooms.
"A good, responsible pet owner has all the necessary equipment for their pet!" Boomed the large parrot fish. His teeth flattered together and his army uniform scared Tanner somewhat.
"You'll need an airtight container, large enough for your pet to move about in. And an oxygen converter."
Tanner wrote notes down on the small note pad he kept on his fishson at all times.
"A heater lamp and day light lamp are necessary if you love below a depth of 50 meters.
And you'll need a feed machine. Otherwise you'll flood your pets room every time you feed it."
Tanner nodded and quickly took note. He raised his fin.
"How much on average does all this cost?"
The parrot fish chuckled.
"Intelligent question. On average, 2500 clams. Surface dwellers are not cheap pets. These things are delicate. Fragile. They don't breath underwater and some of them require massive amounts of space.
Do not underestimate the costs involved."
Tanner sighed. He could afford it easily. He knew that. But he also knew the time and responsibility required.
Tanner left the shelter, mixed feelings playing football in his cartilage skull.
A month had gone by and Tanner had finally hit the buy button on Seabay. In one hour his tank would arrive. In three hours it would be set up.
In a day he would have his own air breather.
Tanner looked out of his bedroom window at the space he had cleared for the tank.
It was large, most of his acre of land was taken up by the pebble base he had made.
He checked the instructions from the ASPCAB Instruction Leaflet again.
A honking outside cut Tanners thought in two. His heart beat faster. Excitedly, Tanner swam to the front door. The delivery truck had arrived.
Two sharks got out and moved the tank into position.
"You want the feeder near the house or the other ways round?" Said the hammerhead. He had to tilt his head sideways to look Tanner in the eye.
Tanner pointed to the sliding glass door in his castle shaped house.
"As near that door as possible please."
The sharks nodded and slid the tank over. The feeding mechanism sat a fins breath from the door. Tanner would be able to see his pet the moment he awoke in the morning.
The oxygen filter clicked on. The machine whirred into life and there it stood, Tanners Tank. A small sandy beach with a single grassy knoll, 2 palm trees and a rock hut lay basking in the glow of a sun lamp. Fresh water lapped the shores of this island paradise. Tanner would have to invest in a hammock for his pet.
The container arrived. Tanner smiled like a school fish on leaving day.
He beckoned the officers over, and the pair of tuna carefully manouvered the container to the tank opening.
"Now you understand Mister Gouldvis that the pet you've chosen is a high energy pet. What toys have you bought it?"
Tanner smiled and pointed to a pile on the island. A beach ball, radio and jet ski lay ready for use.
"Thematic of course." Said the tuna.
His partner clipped the container into the airlock. Bubbles focused furiously upwards and the container door slowly slid open.
A small black and white snout stuck out, sniffing the air. It sneezed. Two large, pointy ears, each a different colour, and burnt sunset coloured hair followed.
It's eyes were different as well. One had black sclera and a lime green pupil. The other normal but lime as well.
It fell. Into the water.
"Can it swim!" Shouted Tanner in a panic! He hadn't thought about that!
The officers laughed and pointed at the now floating jackal.
It lay on its back, the water bobbing it up and down. It's hair floated outwards, and it's tail pushed it along like a small paddle.
"We will be back in a week to check up."
Said the tuna while unclippijg the container.
"Be very careful with the airlock. Also, when you clean, use an automatron rather than attempting to do it yourself. We lost a good client last month because his pet duck got him. Who knew ducks ate fish!"
Tanner nodded and bid them farewell. He swam over to his pet. She was sat on the beach near his house, playing with the radio. Tanner couldn't hear the music but she seemed to like it. He waved at her. She waved back.
"Oh she's smart! I'll have to teach her a few tricks."
He picked up a packet of crisps. They were good, healthy treats he'd been told. He loaded it into the feeder and shot it off.
The packet soared through the air, landing at her feet. She jumped back.
The jackal sniffed the packet, and carefully opened it.
"Did you like that? You must have."
Tanner smiled and she smiled back.
"What am I going to name You?"
The jackal crawled along the beach. Her body began changing. She shifted and stretched out. She looked like a snake now.
"Oh! You can change!"
The little black and white snake slid into the cave and curled up into a ball.
"Alright then. You sleep. I'll figure out what to call you tomorrow." Said Tanner. He switched off the sun lamp. Heading inside, Tanner beamed happily to himself.
Morning came quickly. Tanner stretched out. Remembering his pet, Tanner bounded out of bed. He slid open his glass door.
"Good morning my fur friend! How are we today!"
Tanner scanned the tank for his new friend. She was nowhere to be seen. His heart stopped. He panicked a little. He panicked a lot. Tanner swam around the tank. Still no sign. He clicked the sun lamp on. Still no movement.
Tanner began to go cold.
He floated. Trying to figure out where she was. He peered into the blackness of the cave.
A pair of lime eyes peered back.
His body relaxed.
"Phew. You almost had me worried there." The eyes glowed brighter still. Behind him, a pair of cars collided. But Tanner did not notice. Across the street, the house began to rot and collapse. But still he did not notice. The radio in his house had turned to static, and the water beyond his house began to boil.
Tanner saw nothing. All Tanner could see was the end. The total destruction of Atlantis. The crumbling decay of millennias worth of life. The ruin of a civilization.
Tanner knew what he had been given. A god. A shape shifter. The bringer of destruction. The bringer of death.
And she was his. And he was hers. He was her carer. Her worshiper. He would feed her. And love her. And she would keep him safe.
She was the bringer of death.
She poked her head out from her cave, staring into the burnt out holes where Tanners eyes had once been.
"Hello. My little Raven."
FlameWolf2Awakening one morning I saw,
In place of hands was only paw.
I raised them to puzzle,
My face now had a muzzle.
Feeling my new long ears,
Confirmed all my fears.
Where once I was tall,
Now I am small.
My new body was so fluffy,
The fur around my neck extra puffy.
How could this be?
I am now a little green eevee.
But fear soon turned to elation,
I could not get enough of this sensation.
With boundless vigor I ran,
Surprised at the distance my small paws can span.
But I was still in my home,
Yet I was not alone.
In the doorway stood she,
who was once me.
realization had then dawned,
I have not transformed.
Rather by some mystical glitch,
Our minds did switch.
In the body of Animew was now Thunderfluff,
And Animew now inhabits this fluffy eevee duff.
As apprehension did soon fade,
Joyous memories were made.
The life of a pokemon,
Smoothly so far it has gone.
To eat to play to mate,
These appetites were easy to sate.
Life was nothing but fun,
To enjoy your vitality in the sun.
but it soon became apparent,
For Thunderfluff sure haven’t.
Expectations responsibilities and woe,
Was all the anthro did now know.
Remembering when Thunderfluff was near.
She always brought animew cheer.
Animew could now see,
The true responsibilities of an eevee.
Jumping up on her lap
I settled in for a nap.
This was my place.
By her side, Bringing joy to my master’s face.
Plush fur to cuddle,
Warmth to melt her trouble.
A fluffy ball of infectious cheerful glee,
That is now me as an eevee.
Trace (The Black Cat)Francois had recently moved to Russia following an amazing work opportunity that made itself available to him in the Soviet capital of the world. He had to leave his comfortable home in Cape Town with his collection of cats, dogs, mice and other miscellaneous pets. He made arrangement with his friends to make sure they all went a good home, but despite knowing his pets back at home are well cared for, he still wanted to find a new friend to keep him occupied. However, he wasn’t sure how long he was staying, or he would keep proper care over him, so he eventually decided that it’s not a good idea.
However, that changed when he was welcoming home from the metro station and found himself followed by a stray golden retriever. This dog was in good shape for a stray dog, looking well-fed and exercised...
Francois at first was not keen to take him in. ‘Go back to your house, I can’t keep you... I only have a small apartment, nowhere near enough space to keep you...’ But the dog kept following him, playfully running around him and by the time they got home, Francois had given in.
‘Ja, okay, you can come stay with me...’ At least the block of flats allowed pets, but most tenants stuck to smaller pets that were more easily managed and didn’t require a boatload of daily attention. Nevertheless, Frans was used to keeping a multitude of pets entertained and still work a full day at work, so he figured a single dog shouldn’t be that bad. He led the retriever up the stairs and into the flat, where the dog instantly went and sat on his bed, looking him right in the eye.
There stretches an uncomfortable silence as the two lock gazes. There’s something about it, something that seems odd about it... an almost human mannerism behind the black dog pupils. After a few painful moments of doing nothing, Frans broke eye contact. ‘I should be getting food for him...’ he thinks to himself. ‘But first, a place to sleep...’
He moves around, trying to clear a space on the floor, eventually just grabbing a heap of clothing and boxes out of one corner and making an even bigger heap in another corner. ‘There you go, a place for me to sleep...’ He carries on for a bit before realising what he said. ‘A place for me to sleep?’ He thinks to himself. ‘Why did I say that? I have a bed...’ He shakes his head and fetches a glass of water to try to clear his head. He makes his way to the bed, sitting down next to the retriever who has been watching him with great interest. Frans pets his head, remarking what a well trained dog he is. ‘I wonder where you came from... surely you have a loving home...’, rubbing him behind the ears...
‘Oh...’ They sit there for a bit and then suddenly Frans realises... he narrows his eyes... ‘Did you just talk?’ The dog is silent. But strangely, he seems even larger than he did a few minutes ago, taking up more of the bed. ‘What is wrong with me? Why is my brain not working properly? Thinking the corner is a bed, the dog speaking... I really need to get some sleep...’ He gets up to put the glass of water back in the kitchen, but it slips out of his fingers, onto the floor. Luckily it was caught by the multitude of clothes around arrayed across the floor, but still... Frans shakes his head again... ‘And I’m never THIS clumsy...’ he bends down to pick up the glass, but he finds himself unable to grasp it in his hands, the glass just sliding around in his palm. Confused, he tries to stand up, but suddenly his back cracks into a new position, and a cold shiver runs down his spine. He blinks and his arms morph into paws. In the same instant his face transforms into a dog’s muzzle, and a golden fur replaces his visible skin. ‘What’s happening?’ he tries to work out... Frans looks around at his body, now much smaller, with paws, and covered by golden fur much like the retriever that followed him home. ‘Woof!’ He barks, trying to make sense of his new doggy body.
A nagging feeling starts bugging him, and he turns around to where the retriever is sitting, now seeing a large muscular anthromorphic retriever looking at him with amusement in his eyes... ‘Oh, how I love watching the confusion in your eyes when I Switch for the first time...’ he seems very comfortable on the bed, perfectly in control of every new muscle that he finds himself in possession of, unlike Frans who is struggling to just stand where he is without falling over.
‘Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it...’ He bends down to scratch Frans behind the ears, causing a flood of overpowering new sensations to course through his brain. What was moments ago confusing, is now a one of the best things that happened, at least to his fogged, dogged brain. As the last urges of humanity fade away, Frans hears the retriever speak once more...
‘In Russia, pet owns you.’
One day, the black cat followed me home.
I had seen it before, but hadn’t really given it much notice. Every time I left my home and went outside, it was there. Not just in one place either. It seemed to go wherever I went, following me from when I left until when I got home. Eventually someone had pointed it out to me, and I had seen it every day since. I wondered how long it had been around before I noticed it.
It never approached. Just stared, and followed. My attempts to coax it towards me were met with only a disinterested gaze, even when I tried to offer it food. When I tried moving towards it, it always stayed just out of my reach. This continued on for quite some time. Eventually, I just got used to seeing it and mostly ignored it. But one night after my walk back from work, I noticed something brush up against my leg.
I jumped at the sudden contact. I looked down to see the cat there, gazing up at me expectantly. It meowed pathetically. I stared down at it, unsure of what to do. Eventually I gave a nervous chuckle. “Finally decided to come for a visit, huh?” It gazed up at me with its golden eyes. The ear with the ragged bite taken out of it twitched. “Okay, come on in, then.” I cracked the door open and it ran inside. I turned the light on to see it sitting on the floor, looking up at me, as if it were acting like a polite guest. For the first time, I noticed a scar across its muzzle.
“I guess I should get you something to eat.” I put my things away and then set about preparing dinner. I lived alone, and so I tended to make quick and easy meals. I had plenty of cans of tuna, and I opened one up and put it in a bowl to give to the cat, along with a dish of water. It watched me as I did so. When I set the bowl down in front of it, it began eating daintily. When it had finished, it watched me as I prepared my own dinner and sat down to eat.
The cat watched me for the rest of the evening. I glanced at it on occasion, but couldn’t spend more than a few seconds at a time looking back into those piercing eyes. I planned to see how long it stayed before I considered picking up supplies for it. Eventually, it was time to go to sleep. I crawled into bed and passed out promptly, exhausted by the long day at work and confused by the cat’s behaviour.
I woke suddenly in the middle of the night to find the cat lying on my chest, staring at me. I started and the cat hissed, dragging a claw across my face. I yelled and threw my covers off as the cat bolted away. I went to the bathroom to wash my face off. There was a deep cut across my upper and lower lip where the cat had swiped. I cleaned it off and disinfected it, cursing my stupidity as I did so. I was certain I had left my door closed… but it must have been opened. How else would the cat have gotten in? I didn’t blame the cat. I had startled it, and it had simply responded. When the cut was cleaned, I looked in the mirror. I was surprised to see that it had already sealed up, but it was clearly going to leave a scar. I went back to my bed, noticing the cat sitting in the living room, staring at me. This time I was sure to shut the door behind me.
In the morning, I let the cat out on my way to work. As usual, it followed me to the building. One of my co-workers asked me about the cut, and I told them that I had cut myself. When I started on my work, I couldn’t quite figure out why I had lied. As the day progressed, I began to feel sick. I pushed on anyway, struggling through the day. By the time work was over, I felt like death. I stumbled outside to find the cat waiting for me. I slowly walked home, and it followed me inside once again. I left it some food and then collapsed on my bed.
The next day I somehow felt even worse. I called in sick, my body feeling as if it was rebelling against me. At least now I would have the weekend to recover. I crawled back into bed, fitfully sleeping the day away, occasionally tossing in my bed. It felt like pins were being pricked into all of my skin. I had a headache, and my organs felt as if they were rearranging themselves. I manged to shakily get up once to get some water for myself and some water and food for the cat. It stared at me, its yellow eyes boring into me, and I blearily stared back for a long second. A sudden, sharp pain in my lower back made me look away, and I retreated from the kitchen. I went back to my bedroom and shut the door, but not before seeing the cat’s eyes, still staring at me.
When I woke up, it was dark. The majority of the pain seemed to be gone. Groggily, I got up and went into the bathroom. When I flipped on the light, I gasped. I was covered in black fur. I tripped over myself in sudden shock as I tried to get to the mirror. When I pulled myself up, I stared at my reflection. I was covered in fur from head to toe. My nose and mouth had pulled away from my face into a slight muzzle. My ears had lifted into points. My eyes had a yellow tint to them, threatening to overtake my natural green. I was startled by a sudden scraping noise, and looked down to where I was clenching my fingers. My nails had hardened into claws, leaving scratches on the sink. I stared in fascinated horror at the paw pads on my palms, and looked down to my feet. They felt… wrong. They had become paw-like and were stretched into a digitigrade stance. I had no idea how I had made it this far on them. As I looked down, I noticed something swishing behind me, and I caught a hold of it. I felt the alien sensation of clutching my own tail and I screamed in horror.
“This has to be a dream…” I muttered. My voice was hoarse, unrecognisable. I slapped myself in the face. “This… this can’t be real!” I drew my claws across my arm, leaving me gasping in pain. I stared in horror at my reflection, then noticed movement outside of the bathroom. I turned to find myself staring into the eyes of the cat. They were tinged with green. “You… you!” My voice went from whispered disbelief to rage. “You did this! WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?” I found myself staring at my reflection again. “WHAT IS THIS?!” I howled.
I looked back to the cat. It stared back with that expression that only cats can muster, as if you are insane for talking to them at all. I leapt at the cat. “CHANGE ME BACK!” I shrieked. I tripped over my own feet, and the cat jumped out of the way before I could land on top of it. It hissed and jumped on top of me. I screamed as I tried to pull it off, and I felt a sudden sharp pain on my ear that made me shriek.
The cat suddenly let go and dashed away, blood dripping from its muzzle. I reached up to my ear and felt the ragged edge where the cat had bit me. I got shakily to my feet. Sudden pain and nausea overtook me, even worse than what I had felt before. I collapsed onto the ground, curling up into a ball of pain, mouth stretched open in a silent scream. I found myself enveloped by darkness.
I awoke to the feeling of something stroking me. I half-opened my eyes to see sunlight pouring in the window. I was confused, my thinking muddled. I was on the floor… but even taking that into account, the window seemed high up. As I slowly looked around, I realised that everything looked slightly bigger, as if a giant hand had stretched everything out… or as if I had shrunk. My eyes snapped fully open as I felt it again… a hand, running along the length of my back. It felt so good… I shut my eyes in a moment of bliss, feeling a strange sensation, as if I wanted to cough. I gave into the feeling and heard the sound of purring. My eyes snapped open once again, and I scrambled desperately to get away. Fear threatening to overwhelm me, I dazedly looked up to stare into the face of… myself.
“It’s okay.” The me before me said. “I know this wasn’t your choice… but I will make sure that you are well taken care of.” His smile was kind. My fear began to fade… what was I scared of? I couldn’t remember. My head was muddled… something was wrong, but… no. Nothing was wrong. This was the way things were meant to be. My tail twitched behind me as I walked back over to the human. He smiled and scratched me behind the ears. “See? Everything is fine.” I looked up at him and saw warmth in his eyes. I meowed loudly for food. “Good kitty.” He said.
Maybe this won’t be so bad… was the last thing I thought before I followed him into the kitchen, weaving around his ankles.