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It is quite a beautiful day, I muse, strolling forwards on the gravelly road beneath me, a metallic can of gasoline held in my right hand. The sun is shining, the air is that perfect temperature where it is neither too hot nor too cold, and there is even a bit of birdsong coming from the lush greenery off in the distance. A few fluffy, white clouds adorn the skies, but it's nothing that would cause any sort of unpleasant downfall, really. The rather unremarkable gravel beneath my feet crunches as I walk, continuously letting its presence be known. There's the occasional bigger piece, and there was that one time when most of the path had gotten obstructed by some sort of large, grey boulder, but in general the road seems to be in good condition, if a bit uncared for as of late.

In true form of the gaming addict I am, I suddenly get an irresistible, unexplainable urge to take up my cell phone and play games... whilst walking and carrying the previously mentioned can of gasoline back to my out-of-fuel car at the same time. Yes, I know, it's uncommon for a girl to become addicted to games the way I have, but I just can't help it. Thankfully, it works rather well for a while, as this is not the first time I have been multitasking in such a manner, even if I know very well that it is a disaster just waiting to happen and that I should really not be doing this right now. Still, nothing have gone wrong so far, so why would th-

The thought never gets a chance to finish forming in my mind, as my left foot suddenly snags on something, sending me falling head-first towards who-knows-what, completely at the mercy of gravity. My hands scrape over a grassy surface as I break into a roll, tumbling further and further as my momentum carries me down a slope I had not even known was there. The world is spinning, and by the time that my momentum suddenly stops with a crash, leaving me slumped down upside-down next to a tree, I am dizzy, confused, thoroughly disorientated and feeling a small but vocal need to dispose of my stomach contents. My can of gasoline whizzes past me, continuing down the hill and into the undergrowth behind me; at this point my mind is dominated by a single thought: good thing the lid was on.

I turn my head, which unbalances my position, and thus I fall down onto my side, my body slamming down hard into the ground. Grabbing command over my arms, I push down on the lush, green grass beneath me, and slowly rise, wincing at the general feeling of soreness now omniprescent throughout most of my body. Wobbling slightly, I rise to a human being's usual, bipedal pose, leaning on the previously mentioned tree as my mind struggles to reorientate itself.

Once the dizziness fades, I carefully begin to step forwards, knowing very well that I have to find my lost objects. My cell phone is, thankfully, quite easy to find; it is lying in the grass a few meters up the slope, having seemingly skidded to a halt there. Aside from a few scrapes and scratches on its backside, it thankfully looks unharmed, certainly a relief considering that I bought it quite recently. Unfortunately, it is plainly obvious that, despite its size and flamboyant colour, the can of gasoline is going to be a lot harder to find than my cell was. Muttering a quiet swear, knowing very well that the only alternative to trying to find it is walking all the way back and then buying another one with a sheepish look on my face, I begin to make my way down the slope, descending towards the lively growth below. I find myself limping slightly, my left ankle sending a small burst of pain each time I set the foot down; I must have hurt it in my fall. Well, there's nothing for it, I think; if I do not fetch the gasoline I am going to have to walk even further on it before it can get a chance to rest, so really, I do not have a choice right now.

The bushes are thicker than I anticipated. They cover the ground in a persistent growth, blocking my path and hiding the object I seek with barrier after barrier of twigs and leaves, grabbing onto my clothes and chestnut-brown hair at every turn. I push aside one handful of branches, only to find myself facing another, which in turn reveals yet another blockage, and all through it, my brilliantly red fuel container -which really should be blatantly visible amongst the mess of brown and green- is nowhere to be seen. I take another step, and suddenly, the ground gives way beneath me. I frantically grasp at the nearby bushes as my injured foot slips in after the other one, losing its grip as I instinctively retract it following my injury's sudden burst of pain at having to support my entire body's weight. The branches and twigs groan and crack under the stress, a thorn-adorned one grabbing onto my shirt as my legs wave about in thin air. One final crack signals the end of the game, as I suddenly fall down, pulling an entire bush down with me... only to find the hole being no more than about three meters deep, a bit more than half of which is negated by my relatively tall body's length. I land with a small outcry as my injured foot is forced to help stop me in my fall, and end up collapsing in a haphazard sitting position. A bit of dust rises around me as I slam into the solid stone beneath me, the detached bush coming down together with a shower of dirt on top of my head just a moment later.

I look up from my pained foot and out into the ground cavety, finding myself met with  a solid wall of darkness that contrasts strongly with the sunlight shining down through the tree-canopy far above the hole from which I had just fallen. It takes a few moments for my eyes to get somewhat used to the darkness, enough to afford me at least a somewhat comprehensible view of what the blackness was hiding. It is a cave. A cavity in the rock beneath the soil, stretching out dozens of meters, the dim lighting making it hard for my eyes to see its true extent. Stalactites and stalagmites, longer than any I have seen before, adorn the ceiling and floor alike, protruding from the solid, mostly gray rock that makes up the majority of the cave's interior, and I note that their pointed ends seem lethally sharp. A smooth, oval rock rests in its center, completely immobile in its peaceful haven, and next to it, a splotch of red. My gasoline. Uncertainly, I look out over the cave, wondering if I'll be able to get to it safely, simultaneously noting with a slight discomfort that the air down here is rather chilly.

Finally, I decide against it, thinking it much easier to simply go and fetch another one. I look up, stretching my arms in an attempt to reach the edge of the cave's entrance hole, but even when I'm standing on the tip of my toes, I find my reach to be far too short of what I'd need to get out of here. I'm stuck. I need something to stand on, that is undoubtable, but what do I have?

Once more, I look out over the cave. There are precious few loose objects in here, I note with a small hint of growing despair, and none of them seem easily accessible, even fewer of which are actually large enough to serve my purposes. Rather round rocks, I know, are not particularly good objects for standing on, and will probably just result in further injury, so with that, even more are cleansed away. I look over my surroundings once more, and my eyes fall onto my lost gas can about a dozen meters away, somewhat below me; I know, immediately, that it is the only thing that will work here, or at least get me a lot closer so that I might be able to jump up.

Left with no choice, I begin to make my way towards the object in question, trying not to get stabbed by one of the smaller protrusions in the cave floor (or any protrusion, for that matter). Oddly, despite my injured foot granting me a bit of a limp it actually goes well, my body having collected merely a single scratch on the side of my arm by the time that I make it to my destination. Once there, however, I am met by a dismaying sight. There is a hole in the gas can, and its contents have spilled all over the place, covering the rock at my feet and slowly soaking my formerly-white sneakers in the flammable liquid. I frown as I pick the broken object up, watching as drop after drop of my precious gasoline drops down from the leaking container and splashes down into the steadily growing puddle on the cave floor.

My disappointment over this fact suddenly flares, turning into anger for one crucial moment. Without thinking, I throw a kick towards a nearby, loose rock, and immediately regret it as the slowly numbing pain in my ankle returns tenfold. That is not all, however. The rock which I kicked, it did not remain still. Whilst I am busy hopping on one foot, holding onto the source of the pain with both my hands, the flying stone collides with a nearby pillar, with a burst of sparks and a loud 'clack!' being the results. The sparks fall, and at least some of them must have ended up reaching the spilled gasoline, because suddenly the entire floor is covered by a blazing inferno.

A wordless cry of surprise escapes my lips as my mind suddenly panics, my body stumbling backwards on auto-pilot in an instinctual attempt to avoid the flames, the pain in my foot completely forgotten. However, my back soon slams into something hard and cold, leaving me cornered between a rock and a hot place. I find myself pressing up as much as I can against the solidity of the rock, yet the fire's approach is unrelenting, and the flames are getting dangerously near.

Through the growing layer of thick, black smoke, I almost think that I can see the large, oval rock in the inferno's core vibrating and shaking a bit. However, that observation is waved away to the recesses of my mind in an instant as the fire finds my footwear, spreading itself in an effort to consume me. I frantically try to pull them off despite the flames licking my hands as I do so, but the combustion spreads to my socks, and then the edge of my jeans start to smoke ominously before I've even managed to pull off the first one. The heat sears my skin, and with my next cry of pain there are suddenly tears in my eyes.

I- I have to get out of here. I don't want to die, please, whatever deities there are, don't let me die. Please.

Rational thought is long since gone, but on some base level I still recognise the fact that I would undoubtably be roasted, were I to stay where I am. My entire body feels numb, my mind detached, as I begin to shamble into the flames in an effort to make it through them. My clothes ignite, and I am aware of my skin being grilled by the intense heat, but the pain just doesn't register beyond being a numb feeling at the back of my mind. The oval rock comes up in my line of vision and I am heading straight for it and why aren't I turning? Nonono-

I slam straight into the hard object, collapsing in a heap of flaming cloth and fabric amongst the gasoline as a web of cracks spread across what I had just hit. With a deep crackle, the crust of the object falls apart, and a blood-red, semi-liquid goo flows out from the newly formed opening. It splatters down on my head, sticking to the singed tops and expelling the flames before flowing out over my barely living, semi-conscious form. As it covers my skin, I actually find it to be... strangely soothing for my burnt outsides.

All around me, the inferno rages on. I hardly notice. My body is by now fully covered by the red goo, my mind barely conscious as it dissolves the burnt material on me, skin and clothing alike. I detachedly note that I haven't taken a breath since I began to run, but oddly, I don't feel the need. The goo has already clogged my nostrils, a small part of it flowing in through my half-open mouth and slowly trailing its way down my throat; I can feel it dripping into my lungs even as it reaches my stomach, slowly beginning to fill it up.

Then, it begins to dry. It is barely noticeable at first, the outer layer of my covering growing less transparent, its color more approaching that of orange. Unfortunately, it doesn't stay like that for long – slowly but surely, the hardening crust begins to shrink, pressuring the red matter against my ravaged outsides even as more of it proceeds to further strengthen the dark-orange shell. On reflex, I try to cry out in pain as it pushes against my vulnerable, damaged body, only to find my voice blocked in my throat, my cry accomplishing nothing more than a slight wave in the goo.

With nowhere else to go and continuously pressured by the shrinking crust, the still-flowing goo around me begins to enter my body through every orifice it can find. At first, it just causes my throat to become more trafficked, which feels more like an annoyance than anything, but soon it is coming in everywhere, tearing paths straight through my pores and filling my womb. The last part... actually doesn't feel that bad, but the rest of me is screaming bloody murder at the indescribable pain my body is now suffering. In the end, the goo leaves nothing untouched – I almost think that some of it made it up to my brain. The last of it is pushed through as the shell molds to my shape, and I am left immobile, completely unable to move even a finger. The transparency fades away, complete darkness covers my sight, and everything goes silent.

However, despite what it had just done, the gel does not appear to be content. Without warning, my stomach lurches, its contents moving around violently, and I am hit by a sudden nausea and a desire to puke, except my body isn't obeying my commands anymore. It quickly escalates, my upset stomach triggering the rest of my now goo-filled body to do the same. My flesh begins to wobble as my bones begin to bend, deforming my physique without me being able to do a thing about it. The pain is mind-crushing – I had thought it bad before but this, it's ten times worse. All thoughts are instantly wiped from my mind; I feel nothing save for the unrelenting torment and pain.

I do not know how much time passes with me in this state, flickering in and out of consciousness. It could be seconds, it could be years. It does not matter; what happens during this time is what actually makes a difference. My bones creak and reform their shape, the flesh following along as they change my body's fundamental form. It starts at the epicentre, my organs being battered and bashed, reformed into something very similar, yet different. They are still my organs, just not the same, and there appears to be at least one new addition. My legs, my arms, they twist and bend, changing my natural posture to a quadrupedal one resembling crawling, except instead of hands and knees, I am standing on four deadly, clawed feet, each one adorned with three sharp toes. My lungs suddenly fill up; I cough and wheeze, only to find a sooty smell entering my nose from within. The smoke-like smell lingers in my nostrils even as my coughing abruptly pulls to a halt, my lungs briefly being overtaken by a most peculiar feeling before suddenly feeling perfectly fine.

My backbone cracks, forcing my body to re-adapt to my legs' favoured posture even as a small protrusion tears itself out of my rear. It continues to grow even as two more protrusions begin to form on my back, and along all of this, the outer shell is being forced to adapt to my changing shape. It finally gives up, the protrusions on my back finally growing too large for the shell to hold, bursting out of the confining crust. The crust itself begins to reform further, gradually growing further and further from one solid object to a multitude of six-sided scales. My face begins to elongate, eyes and ears becoming more sensitive whilst my teeth sharpens into those of a predator. My tongue grows longer, becoming almost the length of my entire head, whilst my ears and eyes also both grow a bit in size to aid in their sensitivity. My nose, too, grows more sensitive, magnifying the sense far beyond a human's normal limits.

Meanwhile, my tail finally overtakes the shape of my rear as my body changes into something more aerodynamic and streamlined; my chest flattens and my scales smoothen to more easily allow the air to flow. On my back, my wings blossom out, the leathery membrane between the bones perfect for catching the air, large muscles forming so that I may operate them. A pair of fins form on the edge of my tail as my scales finish aligning with my shape, and for a moment, everything is still. Coherent thought slowly returning, I slowly move my right-front foot, still too shocked to really absorb what had just happened, though not above realizing that I am now able to move again. I do not rise from the ground, but it is a start.

However, there is one last surprise left for me. With a feeling like if a white-hot knife had stabbed through my skull, pain sets my mind alight once more, stars flying across my suddenly blackening vision as the -until just now- far more clear cave-shapes disappear from my sight for a second time. My thoughts begin to fog up, my memories blending together into an indechipherable mess as my very psyche is reorganised. My head is hurting and why is it doing this and why won't it stop?! Make it stop, make it stop, please, I can't take this anymore! It's too much, please, just kill me, anything, just make it go aw-



My eyes flutter open. Where am I?

I lift my head, my eyes falling upon a cracked, empty, oval and rock-like shape. 'Egg', my mind supplies, recognising the object for what it is. My eyes move to take in the rest of the surroundings – apparently I am in a cave. I look around the cave in question, taking in the shadowy surroundings in stark contrast to the bright light shining in through a hole near a corner of the cave's ceiling. A calm silence, together with a smell of stone and burnt gasoline, hangs in the air, generally giving off a vibe of calm peace and relaxation. For the most part, anyways; there's a hint of tension floating around too, though I can't seem to figure out from where.

That still does not explain how I got here. Did I just hatch from that egg?

The question triggers something in the back of my mind, and suddenly, memories flow into my mind in droves. Twenty-one years of life as a human girl, later woman, from running around with my best (and so far life-long) friend Carrie, going on a whole load of adventures and experiences with mommy and daddy, growing up to the later years in high school, falling in love with a guy called Steven (a relationship which unfortunately ended in heartbreak), graduating near the top of my class, getting a job, a second-hand car, and then finally ending right here, in this very cave. Yet, it is as if I am watching somebody else do all this, as if it isn't really me, but merely an actor, someone completely different living through a life that wasn't really mine in the first place.

I rise, my four feet pushing against the stone floor, quite effortlessly keeping me up. My wings are feeling a bit stiff, so I unfold them (which is actually a lot harder than it looks) and give them a flap, sending dust flying all over the place, but I don't really care. It feels good to stretch them out. Next, I take a deep breath, feeling air rush into my lungs, granting oxygen to my entire being; it feels right, this body. Who I was in those memories... no, I can't imagine ever wishing to go back to that existence. It's just not me. I'm not Marcie B. Johansen anymore – I'm a hatchling, who is going to grow up, live for a dozen-or-so centuries, lay eggs of her own and see the world. At least, I hope I will; it would honestly suck to get killed right now. Or at any other point, for that matter.

Well, first things first, I need to figure out what time it is. It is daytime, obviously, judging by the sunlight coming through the opening, but other than that, who knows. I suppose my -Marcie's- cell-phone might have the answer to that question, but where is it? It should be here somewhere; I don't know exactly where it ended up when I began to hatch, but it couldn't have gone that far.

There! A black, rectangular shape is lying on the ground a few meters away, looking to be about the right size. I slowly make my way over there, still a bit unsteady on my new legs, only to find two essential problems. One, I don't have any hands, which means it will be difficult to use the touch-screen at all (have to admit – that specific part of my old physiology was quite useful), and even if I could use it properly, the whole thing is completely burnt out, one side having melted completely into an unrecognisable mess. I give it a nudge, and am rewarded by the screen coming loose from the main piece, scraping against the rock beneath with an ear-grating sound. Yep, this thing won't be of any help to me at all.

Leaving the broken device where it lies, I begin to make my way towards the pillar of light emerging from the hole in the cave ceiling. It goes fairly well; I find that walking comes naturally, though I am yet loathe to try any undue acrobatics, knowing that it will most likely end in disaster, in some form or another. Thankfully, the fact that my body (not counting the tail; it nearly doubles my length) is only about a meter long helps tremendously with keeping me from getting stuck in some odd place, and with my wings folded up I'm not all that wide either.

I finally reach the small plateau under the solar beam, feeling my body heat up as the sun's rays shine on my scaly hide, and for a moment I am hit by the desire to simply lie there and bask, to relax in the sunlight. The rock under my feet suddenly looks so comfortable. It couldn't hurt to stay just a little while... Yes, just a little while...

I lie down on the heated stone surface, and before I know it, sleep overtakes me.
I don't really know where the idea for this work came from - one day, it simply appeared in my head, and so I began to write on it. For your information, I am planning to expand on it with several additional chapters, which will hopefully appear in due time.

Next chapter here.
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:icontimplazasta:
TimPlazasta Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Very interesting! Tomorrow I'm definitely reading more!
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:iconcholtfo:
choltfo Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Very well written! Fun to read!
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:icondrake-starfire:
Drake-Starfire Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
Very cool! An interesting transformation as well!

Nicely done! :)
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:iconklingkan:
Klingkan Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I must say, the quality of this story honestly caught me off guard. This story was, rather simply, well written. It was fun to read (even when you were intending to sleep...), and I found myself sympathizing with the main character a lot. And the mental changes at the end... It's not my favorite trope (even though I incorporate it to some extent in all my stories), but I found it to work quite well with the way it was written here.

More coming, you say? I've seen so many stories that would be happy leaving it where it is currently, but seeing how these changes might play out is something I'm interested in seeing.
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:iconreel123:
Reel123 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 18, 2015
Wow. I like to think I have pretty high standards for stories on here, dont normally read random new stories for fear of it being three paragraphs of poor grammar. Way to make me rethink those fears. This story is absolutely class, top notch! Only error I could find was that you misspelled "Deities" just when the fire starts up and she doesnt want to die.
I really enjoyed it, you played with my expectations tremendously- I figured maybe she'd catch on fire and change, or lay on an egg and change, but then fire and egg fluid and everything, a really strong way to change someone, end one life and begin another. The character is nice and interesting, not too panicky, not too enthusiastic, not too regretful, it's good to see straight up acceptance sometimes, and seeing how this new "little" hatchling deals in whatever world lies outside her cave should prove very interesting- so I implore you to write those other chapters.


Seriously, your vocabulary is so good you've made this comment fancier. :D

PS, mind if I add this to some TF groups? It deserves some attention.
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:iconfwiffoforce:
FwiffoForce Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015
No, I don't mind at all.

By the way, thanks for the spelling error alert - fixed that minor issue now. The only problem is that now, I know that I've misspelled deities everywhere else, too - darnit. Still, I must say that, though I am aware of having relatively high standards with my writing, your praise still caught me off-guard. I never quite seem to get used to it. Regardless, rest assured that I already have a few ideas in mind, and have written a bit on the second chapter already, so unless something sudden and unexpected happens, I can probably get it done within the week, give or take a few days.
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:iconreel123:
Reel123 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
Cool, I'll look forward to it, the second chapter is always key, its when we find out what dragons can do and what world she is in.
Reply
:iconfwiffoforce:
FwiffoForce Featured By Owner Edited Oct 19, 2015
Well, that might take a little while. I'm over a thousand words in and of course, with our dragon being kind of unused to her new body, she's still trying to get out of the cave. Besides, I'm not dumping all the info at once - that would be spoilers. Fire-breathing is a sure thing, though Marcie (if she still goes by that name) is as of the writing of this reply unaware of that fact. As for the rest? Well, you will just have to wait and see...
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:iconreel123:
Reel123 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
Yeah, thats the thing, you managed this story in such a way that I'm not even certain magic exists, or if it's more a biological change. Marcie. Oops, I misread it as Marie earlier, I like Marcie better.
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October 18, 2015
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