19. No Control (part 3)

          A roar jolted him from his private thoughts and back to his reality of observation only. A small child trembled before him. Zephyr. No, please, not the boy! Levi silently begged to the deaf ears of the beast. Somebody save him! As if she had heard him, the princess arrived between Zephyr and the monster. I didn't mean you, Hataru. As soon as the he laid eyes on her, Levi could feel the ardent and conflictual emotion oozing out of the creature’s black heart. There she stood, quivering like a leaf in the autumn, ready to blow away and go wherever the wind may take her. He watched intently as her lashes fell like curtains over her eyes and she moved ever so slowly toward the beast, her lips beginning to pucker. Hope returned to Levi. She knows! She knows what to do! Yet Fate always likes to contradict one’s expectations, especially at the least convenient moment.

          The bear-like monster took a stand against her affectionate attack by grabbing her ‘round the waist and lugging her up the main mast. Levi heard shots being fired, along with a cry from Hataru. Irritation flooded him, Call a ceasefire, Firious! You’re hurting her! No bullets flew even remotely near them after that. The suspense was so thick that the captain was sure he could have sliced through it with his claw if only he could move his arm. When they reached the top of the mast, the beast held her out, preparing to drop her like a child bored with an old toy. She appeared to be dead already, but the captain couldn’t believe that to be true. Wake up, Princess! Wake up! The monster shook her fervently, shrieking in rage, but before it could drop her, the sun began peeking over the horizon, blinding the creature as the princess’ lips smacked its nose. Infuriated, it released its clutch on her, allowing her to dangle from its muzzle. Captain Levi could already feel the blistering pain of a reversionary transformation coming on when she cried out to him, her last handful of fur pulling free from the beast’s chin. The moment she fell away, his body burst into burning agony.

          Fortunately, the return to his natural state went much smoother, still quite painful, but quicker. The beast's fur melted away from his skin, like the feathers of a molting bird, and drifted off in the wind, crumbling into the dust of soon forgotten memories. His bone structure reverted to that of a bipedal being, and the beast's facial features were shifted back into the face of the bona fide Captain Levi Spry that his crew had come to know and love. He felt weak in the knees, ready to keel over from the exhaustion of the physical trauma he had just experienced; he wanted to finally go to bed and get some shut eye, but he was himself again, in full control of his own body. He had never felt so blessed!

The End

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