Chapter 16Mature

“Maybe, but,” Alex paused, pulling his meal away from his muzzle. “I wouldn’t mind if that ends up being true.” Alex thought to add in that he felt like another person in his were form. As though he was wearing a second skin that concealed his human side.

He didn’t get to say it before his father spoke again. “I would think you’d want to change back.”

“I tried. Didn’t have any luck with it.” Pausing to let his folks talk, they didn’t. Looking over to his mother, she seemed to be just taking in what was said, but her expression was clearly something other than that. “I’m sure it’s possible. Maybe I wasn’t doing something right.”

“What do you mean?” his mother asked.

“I don’t know. I shifted by imagining it. I thought it would work in reverse if I was calm instead of tense.”

His parents didn’t speak after that. Looking between them, his father seemed deep in thought about what he had told them, while his mother had gone back to eating. Albeit not without looking up at him every so often. With the direction of the breezes around them, he could just smell her fear scent in the sea of charcoal and cooked meat.

Following her example, Alex finished off his burger, looking over at her with a slight smile as he went for a second one. Picking one that was coated in cheese, he took a bite before sitting back down.

His father soon broke the silence. “So, what happened to you while we were gone?”

“This, and then…” Alex halted for a second. From his spine outwards, he felt a creeping of emotions coming on as he remembered the deer. He couldn’t bring that up. “nothing else happened. I stayed in control.”

“Stayed in control?”

Alex nodded. “Like I am right now. I didn’t start doing things I had no control over. Like I was afraid I would.”

“So, I take it you have a good idea of what to expect when you’re like that?”

“I still have my doubts, but in general, yes. What I’ve seen so far though has been pretty amazing, so this isn’t all bad.”

His father didn’t share his growing pleasure in what he had said. “I find that a bit hard to believe.”

The End

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