The Change

Nicky had lied. Jason wasn't afraid of the storm, in fact, he loved storms. They were the one time he could forget about having to hide himself and just have some fun flying in the rain. After he had run into the kitchen to avoid Sharla seeing the change, Jason allowed himself to embrace his gryphonic nature. That always made the change easier and less painful.

The feathers tended to come first for Jason; just as for Nicky, it was her hands. A rippling pain descended his body as feathers sprouted, covering him to the waist where they met the fur that had grown at the same time. Next, Jason's skeleton began to shift, forcing him to the floor on his hands and knees. The grating sounds coming from within his body were more disturbing than the mild pain that accompanied the noise. He then lost the power of human speech as a beak grew out from his face, replacing his mouth. Finally, his head shifted and he sprouted the lion-like tail that all gryphons have. Jason now stood in the kitchen as a full gryphon, the descendant of a proud species reduced to hiding in his own house.

The change seemed to take forever to Jason, but Sharla had only just stepped outside and Nicky was still beginning to transform. Jason and Nicky had chosen this small town in the middle of Wyoming particularly because there was so much open land to hide in and never be seen. Jason pushed the back screen door open with one talonned hand and squeezed out through the too-small door. The wind whipping at his feathers reminded Jason of the days they had shared as nestlings with their parents. Then, the hiding had been so much easier and they had been able to stay for long periods of time in their true form. Now it wasn't so easy.

Jason took off, flying into the storm clouds above. This freeing feeling now came only during lightning storms - the one time they couldn't stay human. Not that Jason minded being human, it had some definite advantages, but he missed being able to soar through the open sky with the sun beating down on his wings. Nicky would join him soon. They would fly and play for as long as the storm lasted before grudgingly returning to the forest to change back into humans. Then it was back to 'normal life' until the next storm.

As he climbed into the clouds, Jason noticed a small shape that seemed out of place at the front of the house. At that moment, he paid it no mind, but later he would have to find out what was on the porch.

The End

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