We drove for about 20 minutes before we reached the edge of the climate control and could see the snow falling not too far ahead. We kept on driving and were soon surrounded by blowing snow as we neared the skiing suburb of town.
“Dad? Why are we way out here in the cold part of town? I’m gonna freeze. Silk isn’t exactly warm,” I complained. I was already feeling cold, as the heater in the car had just been turned on.
“We’re headed out here because there’s a restaurant near the resort that the guest are constantly raving about. And you’re not going to be that cold, we’ll park right near the doors,” Dad said. I saw him look at my shivering form in the rearview mirror. “Just try not to blow up the place this time.”
“That wasn’t my fault!” I snapped back.
Amy had been thinking about Sanura all day long. She knew she liked her. Maybe she even loved her. She had always had those feelings for Jason. Maybe she felt like this because she knew they were the same person and the fact that Sanura looked like a girl was somehow a non-issue.
She needed to think about all of this and left her house to take a walk. She had gone to a small park backing onto a forest not far from her house many times in the past to simply be alone and think. This was one of those times. The walk didn’t take long and she was soon passing the playground and heading down the pathway to the forest. She went about halfway into the forest before making a left turn off the path. The underbrush looked quite thick, but Amy pushed aside the hanging branches of a weeping willow tree and entered into a hidden area around the bade of the large tree. She walked over to her sitting rock, a somewhat chair shaped stone settled along the bank of the small stream that made its way along the ground under the tree. She took a seat on the rock and closed her eyes.
‘I really want to be with her, but I’m not a lesbian,’ she thought to herself. ‘I guess we could have a normal boy-girl relationship, but anyone who sees up together is going to assume we’re both girls and I don’t think Nura is ready to announce to the whole school that she’s a boy-girl or whatever. She has already had to deal with people who don’t like hybrids. She needs to break it off with Colin, though. Do I want a boyfriend that’s been with a guy before?’
She was ripped from her thoughts by the sound of willow branches being pushed aside. She opened her eyes and was shocked at what she saw. She wasn’t sure whether to be scared by its presence, or amazed to see something so rare. The eagox stepped closer to her and her heart began to race. It was staring right at her. The fox like creature spread its large wings out at its sides and in one quick swoop, moved forward through the air and landed in front of Amy on the rock. It sniffed at her and then closed its wings against its back.
“KIAAARK!” it screeched causing Amy to jump. It put its front paw on her knee in a way that seemed to tell her that it was okay, and not to be afraid, then lowered its head until it was resting in her lap. She wasn’t sure what exactly to do. She knew that trained eagox were gentle creatures, and that some could even talk, but this one was wild.
‘No one is going to believe me when I tell them I had a wild eagox resting its head in my lap like a puppy. This is so crazy.’ “I’m Amy,” she said, immediately feeling stupid for talking to a wild animal like it would be interested in such introductions.
“Griyok.” The eagox lifted its head from her lap.
Amy looked at it in surprise. “Is that your name? Is your name Griyok?”
The eagox put his paw on her leg again and said, “Name … Amy.” He lifted his paw, touched his nose with it, and said, “Name… Griyok.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Griyok.”
When I stepped out of the car, I was immediately assaulted by the wind and blowing snow. I tried pulling the black silk wrap tighter around my shoulders, but it did nothing to warm me. My long silk dress was slit to mid thigh and was blowing around me. I tried taking a step forward in my narrow heels and barely avoided falling on the slippery ground. “Daddy?” I called out. “A little help, please?”
Without a word, Dad came over to me. He put his warm furry arm around my bare shoulders and held out his other hand in front of me. I took his hand and with his help, carefully made my way to the front door of the restaurant where Mom and Crystal were waiting for us.
We went inside, where after checking our reservations; the waiter led us over to our table. Dad held Mom’s chair for her and the waiter did the same for Crystal. I wasn’t really sure what to do, and was about to just seat myself when the waiter pulled out my chair for me. I was about to just drop into my seat when I noticed Mom glaring at me and remembered what she had told me, so I moved my tail to the side and smoothed my skirt as I sat down.
The waiter pushed my chair in a bit, and then handed each of us a menu. I could tell by the rich smells in the room that with was going to be a good place to eat and after looking at the prices inside the menu I realized why this place was a black tie affair. My back was to a large stone fireplace and I basked in the warmth while I looked through the menu. The first few pages were smaller entrees and appetizers. I flipped the pages, skipping over the salads and vegetables. I wanted meat. They had some fish that looked pretty good. I was tempted to get the Salmon Wellington, but then I saw what I really wanted.
When the waiter returned and started pouring drinks, I got a half glass of champagne and took a sip. Its was kinda gross, and I must have made a face because Dad laughed as I put down my glass and asked what I’d rather have to drink.
“Milk?” I asked hesitantly, no knowing if they even had it. To my surprise the waiter just nodded and scribbled something on his notepad. He started taking our orders and I wasn’t surprised when Mom ordered a Caesar Salad for me. I think I shocked my family and the waiter when I placed my order, “Porterhouse Steak for me, please. Medium rare.”
Amy sat there for nearly an hour, thinking over the problems with her relationship with Sanura while petting Griyok on the head. She still couldn’t figure out why this wild predator was beings so docile. It was beginning to get dark when Amy got to her feet. Griyok was quickly on his feet beside her. When she started back towards the trail, he followed.
“Griyok, I have to go home now,” said Amy. The eagox seemed to nod its head but when Amy stepped out onto the trail, Griyok followed. “Griyok, you can’t come with me, you need to go to your home.” Griyok let out a whimper and gave the classic sad puppy look to Amy. “Go, I come here a lot. I’ll see you again.” She pointed up into the sky above the forest and said, “Griyok, go!” The eagox turned quickly and lifted itself into the air.
The waiter had just come with our food and my milk. I was really impressed with the service this place had. I was working on finishing my salad when Dad cleared his throat and I looked up at him. “Sanura, I have to tell you, you look absolutely beautiful tonight.”
I squirmed in my seat bit. It just seemed weird for Dad to be saying that to me. “Also, as you’ve probably figured out we are out for dinner to celebrate something, and I think now is about as good a time as any to give you this.” He reached into the inside pocket of his jacket, pulled out a large envelope, and handed it to me.
I put down my fork and took the envelope from him, eyeing it suspiciously. Then I looked up at dad, who told me to just open it. I slipped the claw on my pointer finger under the edge and cut open the envelope. I pulled out the contents and was left with a handful of what looked like legal documents. I flipped through them quickly, not really understanding them. At the bottom of the stack was a smaller envelope. I opened it and pulled out the few things inside. “Oh wow!” I said. “Are these real?” I asked holding up the cards. Mom and dad both nodded. I looked down at the official birth certificate in my hand, the one with my new name on it and my new middle name…
“Anne?” I could feel my eyes start to water. “You gave me Grandma’s name?”
“Yes, Anne, after Grandma. It was going to be your middle name if you had been born a girl, anyway. You don’t mind that we picked it without asking you?” asked Mom.
“Of course I don’t mind,” I sniffed. “I’m flattered that you’d give me that name. What about Grandma, won’t she mind? I am her grandson, after all.”
“We already asked her. They’re coming up next weekend to meet their new granddaughter. I think we might make a big family thing of it, and invite your aunts and uncles and your cousins, too. From what I’ve heard, you’re not the only one in our family to morf since we were all together at Christmas,” Dad said.
“Okay. And thanks again for the name.” I looked back down at the birth certificate and noticed something odd. “Why does this say ‘I’ under sex?”
“The ‘I’ is for intersexed. Due to morfs, that’s the new third option on birth certificates. Take a look at the driver’s licenses, there’s two of them.”
Sure enough, there were two of them. They both had the same picture, but I spotted the difference right away. One of them had an ‘F’ and the other had an ‘M’. I had a feeling I’d be using the female one as my regular ID.
I ate more of my steak, determined to finish it. It was definitely cool to have legal ID for myself now, but that also meant that Jason no longer really existed and that was kind of sad to think about. I was also a little apprehensive about having my grandparents and my other family to see me like this. Being seen by people around town isn’t that big a deal, because for all they know, I’ve always been a girl. But family is different, they’ve seen me grow up as a boy, and now I’ve changed completely. I really have no idea how they’re going to react to this.
“So now that I have a valid license again, can I drive home?”
“I think that can be arranged. Just take your heels off before driving.”
“Hey Colin,” I said.
“Nura!” exclaimed Colin. He sounded really excited to hear me and that made me feel even worse. ‘He’s been so nice to me. How am I supposed to break this off without really hurting him?’
“So, what you up to?”
“Nothing much. I’ve just been hanging out at home today. How was your sleepover last night?”
“It was fun.” I said, then thought, ‘I realized I like girls better than I do you.’
“What you doing tomorrow night?”
“Want to get together?”
“Sure, can we just find somewhere quiet and talk a bit. I don’t feel like actually going anywhere.”
“That’s fine, Nura.”
“Well, I’ve got to get some sleep. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The next morning I was able to sleep in later than usual, as I didn’t have to be at my appointment until 10:30. I rolled out of bed around 9:00am and made my way to the bathroom to take care of business. Hopping in the shower woke me up, and after shampooing and conditioning the hair parts of my body, I did one final rinse and then got out, to once again take on the task of drying myself off. This always took way too long and I was getting sick of it. ‘There’s got to be a faster way,’ I thought. Then an idea came to me.
I concentrated and one of my energy shields started to appear over my hands. The shield was thin and literally just on top of my skin, with my fur sticking out above it. Knowing that my energy tends to repel things close to it, I increased the amount of energy in the shield and watched as the water in my fur was forced off of my arms and dropped to the towel on the floor. I did the same thing with my tail and was ecstatic that my idea had worked. Dried off in less than five minutes. I’ll take that over half an hour, any day.
I decided today was going to be a dress down day, so I picked out a pair of loose fitting cargo pants in black, and paired them with a green tank top. I dropped my towel and pulled on my panties. The pair I had grabbed had a ribbon tie in the back that did up around my tail. I ended up having to tie it while looking over my shoulder into the mirror. Once I had that, I quickly put on my bra, tank and pants. My stomach started to grumble at that point, and I decided putting on socks could wait until after breakfast.
I hurried out of my room and jumped over the stair railing across the hall. I turned myself in the air, grabbed the base of the rails and swung myself down the flight of steps. As I landed silently at the bottom, I stood up to see Mom staring disparagingly at me.
With my tail between my legs I made my way past Mom and into the kitchen to pour myself some cereal. I was just putting my bowl into the dishwasher when Mom called my name.
“What, Mom?” I called back.
“We’re leaving in ten minutes. Go finish getting ready, grab your purse and let’s go.”
“Okay,” I said as I headed back up the stairs. My first stop was the bathroom. I worked as fast as I could, brushing my hair before putting it in a ponytail. I headed to my room next and found myself a pair of socks. I put those on, stepped into my sneakers and grabbed my purse. I bounded down the stairs just as Mom got there, car keys in hand.
“Wow,” commented Mike as Amy walked into the classroom and sat in her usual spot in the back with Dani, Mike and Trance. “Amy?”
“Yeah, it’s me. You like my new look?”
Mike simply nodded. Trance stayed quiet. There was something new about Amy other than her appearance. ‘It has to be some kind of ability,’ he thought. He focused his mind sight and could see that there was indeed something in the air around her. It was similar appearance to when he saw perfume around someone. The difference was that this was actually coming out of her. He made a mental note to talk to her about it.
Walking into the waiting room, it was obvious what field the doctor was in. Around the room were groups of either one or two parents, with a recently morfed child. The parents were waiting patiently while the kids seemed to all be embarrassed about being there.
Mom and I made our way across the room and sat down near a large window. One seat over from myself was a sad looking boy around twelve years old. He was most likely the first in his class to morf. I couldn’t help but notice the fact that he was wearing a pair of thick rubber gloves. He looked up at me as I sat down and I gave him a little smile.
“So what are you in for?” I said jokingly.
“Trying to learn how to deal with my morf. I don’t have any friends that have morfed yet,” he said. “What about you?”
“My parents made me come,” I answered honestly. “To be honest, I’d rather be at school.” He laughed at that.
“So what’s with the gloves?” I asked, hoping I hadn’t crossed the line in asking that.
“I have to wear them so that I don’t hurt anyone. I’m an electricity elemental and I can’t shut it off yet.”
“Can I see? Without your gloves, I mean.”
“I’ll get in trouble, I don’t want to shock you.”
“I’m an elemental too, I’ll make a force field between us, and then you can take off your glove, okay?”
“I guess.” He sounded unsure, but I created the shield anyways.
Hesitantly he pulled off his left glove and held his hand out for me to see. It was amazing; you could actually see the electricity surging over his hands. I felt bad for him, knowing he had to wear those gloves all the time, just to be able to touch anything. After a minute, he put his glove back on and I took down the shield.
“So what kind of element is that?” he asked me.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I wish I did.”
“At least you can control it,” he said.
“You’ll learn eventually. Just don’t give up.”
“I won’t …”
The receptionist interrupted by calling a name, ‘Rick’, over the PA system. “That’s me,” he said as he stood up. “It was nice to meet you …”
“Well it was good to meet you Sanura. My name’s Rick.”
“You too, Rick.”
He headed off to see the doctor and I looked through their selection of magazines. I found a sports magazine and pulled it out to read.
“Nura,” said mom. “That wasn’t very nice of you.”
“What?” I asked in confusion.
“You were flirting with that boy,” Mom stated.
“I was not, Mom. Besides, he was like twelve, I was just being nice.”
“Nura, you could pass for a girl his age you know. I doubt he knew you were almost sixteen.”
“But I wasn’t flirting,” I insisted.
“You might not have thought you were. But you need to be careful around boys, so that you don’t give the wrong signals.”
I went back to my magazine and tried to pass the time. How come when you go to the doctor’s you never get in until like twenty minutes after your appointment time? I was just about finished my magazine when I was called in to see the doctor.
“Good morning Sanura. I’m Dr. Golding.” She smiled softly at me, extended her hand, and I shook it. “Why don’t we have a seat over here,” she said, gesturing towards a sofa and an armchair. I sat down quickly on the couch, hopped back to my feet and then sat down again with my tail around my waist that time. I was still constantly getting used to that thing. “So, Sanura, tell me a little bit about yourself.”
“Well, I’m fifteen years old, I like to play sports, and I used to be on the school basketball team. I just morfed about two weeks ago, so I’m still getting used to that …” I trailed off.
“Tell me about the changes you had from morfs.”
“Well I used to be taller, and I grew this tail and then there’s the paws and the cat ears. I have some sort of elemental power, which is cool. The biggest change though, is that I used to be a boy,” I said.
“How do you feel you’re handling the changes?” asked Dr. Golding.
“I think I’m doing pretty well. I always assumed that I would get MORFS at some point, and my dad is a hybrid, so becoming one myself wasn’t as big a shock as I’m sure it is for some people. It’s the forced sex change that is the hardest to deal with, and not only the physical changes.”
“What exactly do you mean?” she inquired.
“Well, it’s like everyone expects me to know how to be a girl and wants me to act like one ‘all' the time. My own parents treat me as if I’ve always been their daughter. I’m still the same person that I was before, but its like people assume that I’m different now. They all expect me to wear makeup and pretty clothes all the time and to be a real girly girl. That’s not who I am.” I felt as though I was ranting but the doctor was writing things down as I spoke.
“I see from your medical records that you’re actually male and female. If you’re unhappy with how you’re treated as a female, why don’t you express your male self?”
“Do you honestly think I could portray myself as a boy, looking the way I do? No matter what I did, I’d still have a girls figure and a girls face. I accept the fact that I have to live as a girl, and I’m not saying there aren’t some good things about it. … It … it’s just hard to be forced to switch sides.”
“Well I have to say, and don’t take offense at this, but you present yourself well as a female. The way you talk, the way you move, it’s all feminine.”
I thought about it and she was right. I was even sitting on the couch with my legs crossed. That was a easy habit to pick up after having to wear skirts to school everyday.
“Okay Sanura. You’ve told me what you don’t like about being a girl. Now I want you to tell me what you do like. I’ll remind you, that what we discuss in here is in confidence, so please be honest.”
“I said I don’t like how people expect me to act like a girl, but I do really like the way I’m treated as a girl. People are nicer to me than when I was a boy. I like ummm … the clothes …” I was blushing now, and I wasn’t sure why I should even feel embarrassed about this. “I like the fact I can wear pretty much whatever I want. I can wear boys’ clothes or girls’ clothes and it doesn’t really matter. I also like the way a lot of girls’ clothes feel. They’re always really soft and feel really nice on my smooth skin.”
“Good. I’m glad that you at least enjoy some aspects of being a female. Now, how do you feel about your sexuality? Your parents tell me you have a boyfriend?”
“Yeah, I do. His name is Colin. This is a bit of a difficult subject right now. I actually need to break up with Colin. There’s someone else that I like a lot more,” I said.
“Is this someone another boy, or a girl?” she asked with a grin.
“It’s a girl. We’ve been best friends for a long time but just over the weekend I realized how much I actually liked her. The amazing part is that she likes me back, even though I look the way I do,” I was beaming at the thought of Amy.
“I can tell from the look on your face that you really love her. It must make you feel very special to have her love you for who you really are. How do you plan to break things off with your boyfriend?”
“Well,” I started while I gathered my thoughts. “It’s complicated because he knows about me. That I’m male and female, and who I used to be, so if it’s a bad breakup I don’t know if he’ll spread that around school or not.”
“What I would suggest, since he sounds like a very mature young man, is that you sit down with him and simply explain how you feel and both try to be mature about it.”
“Okay young lady, you go get ready for school and I’ll make us some lunch,” Mom said as she pulled the car into the garage.
“Yes Ma’am,” I replied jokingly as I got out of the car.
The counseling session hadn’t been too bad. Definitely not what I’d expected. I made my way up to my room and decided that a simple swap of a skirt for my pants would be fine for school. I found a black gypsy skirt that looked like it would be comfortable enough. I sat down and carefully pulled on some nude stockings. The skirt was next and then I fished out a pair of black shoes with a small heel. Next stop was the bathroom for some makeup. Just a little mascara, eye shadow and lip gloss and I was done. I took a look at myself in the mirror and thought I looked pretty good. Depending on which teachers saw me, I figured I might have a bit of trouble about the tank top I had on. ‘Stupid dress code.’ Not wanting to be hassled about it, I grabbed my denim jacket out of the closet before heading downstairs for lunch.
Mom had made up some grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. That had always been one of my favorites and I had a bit of deja vu as I pulled out one of the high stools at the kitchen bar and had to pull myself up to sit down. Being small in a house built for a large bear hybrid was not cool. Mom got herself a plate and sat down beside me. She surprised me by putting her arm around me and giving me a hug.
“I’m glad you went today. I hope it helped you some.”
“It did, Mom,” I replied. “But I have to ask you something.”
“Go right ahead.”
“I’m meeting with Colin tonight to talk. I’m going to break up with him.”
“So soon?” questioned Mom.
“Yes, I thought it was working but I’ve found someone else I like better. How do you feel about having a lesbian for a daughter?” I asked.
Mom choked a bit at my question and then started to chuckle. “Sanura, why would I be upset at you dating a girl? You were our son for fifteen years and you’re still part boy. I don’t know if that would even qualify you to be a lesbian. You date who ever makes you happy.”
“Its Amy, isn’t it?” asked Mom.
“How did you know that?”
“Mother’s just have a way of knowing these things.”
I had barely walked into school when I was pulled aside by coach Harding. She pulled me aside and we went into her office. “Sanura Miller, I’ve heard quite a bit about your basketball skills from coach Williams. He’s recommended that I let you try out for the girls’ team even though we’re already into our season. Normally I wouldn’t allow this, but as you were on the boys team, I’m willing to let it happen.”
“Thank you so much, coach,” I said.
“You’ll be trying out after school today during the team’s practice,” said the coach. “Also, I’ll remind you that using any supernatural abilities during play is against the rules. However, enhanced abilities such as your speed, jumping and agility are allowed. We meet in the gym at 3:15. I expect you there on time, changed and ready to play.”
“I’ll be there.” Coach excused me from her office and I hurried to my next class. I slid into my seat just as the buzzer went. I was glad I had made it back for science class. We were currently doing our MORFS unit, and had recently been talking about different supernatural abilities. I was hoping that we might touch on something that would enlighten me concerning my own powers. So far, that hadn’t happened. I must have got lost in thought as I was startled by the teacher, Mr. Grandover, calling my name.
“Yes?” I asked hesitantly.
“Would you please come up to the front Miss Miller?” he asked.
‘Great, why am I being singled out like this?’ I was thinking that I must be in trouble for something as I walked up front. But as I was walking up there, Mr. Grandover called two other students to the front of the class, as well.
“Okay class, today Sanura, David and Paul are going to be my teaching assistants.” The three of us looked at each other, all equally confused. “Today we will be learning about hybrids. Please take out your text books.” That’s when it hit me, the three of us at the front where all hybrids.
I zoned out a bit as Mr. Grandover droned on about gene swapping between species and how the genome could be compromised by MORFS. I’d heard all this before. Having a father who is a hybrid, I grew up asking the standard questions that kids do. ‘Where do babies come from?’ ‘Why is the sky blue?’ but I also asked questions like, ‘Why does daddy have fur like an animal?’
After about ten minutes of reading from the textbook, Mr. Grandover turned back to the three of us at the front. “Sanura, would you step forward please?”
I moved forward and blushed a bit as everyone focused in on me. I looked up and tried not to laugh as Damian made faces at me from the back of the room. “Sanura is a perfect example of a partial hybrid. This is apparent by the even mix of human and feline characteristics. When only certain hybrid characteristics are present, they usually each serve a specific purpose. Sanura, would you please explain the functions of your various feline attributes and their purpose, demonstrating if necessary?” asked Mr. Grandover.
“Well, first are my ears. Uhh … I’m able to move them in many directions to focus my hearing on particular things. I also have a keener sense of hearing due to their shape and their position higher on my head,” I said, while moving around my ears. I was hoping that’s what the teacher wanted to hear. I looked over at him and he gestured for me to continue.
“Another attribute is my tail. It’s used for helping me balance, and can, with concentration can act as an extra hand. My hands and feet both have retractable claws that can be used for climbing. My forearms are covered in a thick fur that acts as a protective layer when I am climbing. That’s about it,” I said, looking back over at Mr. Grandover.
“Miss Miller also has enhanced senses and abilities similar to a feline. Speed, agility, smell and night vision are only a few. You can return to your seat now Sanura.”
I walked back to my desk and sat down as he called David forward. “David is what is known as an absolute Hybrid. As you can see, he displays more animalistic characteristics than Human.”
I considered myself luck that I hadn’t ended up as an absolute hybrid like Dave. People like him take way more abuse and harassment than I would. I’ve even heard that in some countries absolutes are actually considered no longer human, and are forced to live in the wild. The sad part is, that Dave has always been a really nice guy, but thanks to morfs he’s avoided by almost everyone, just because he looks like your stereotypical werewolf from the movies. Eventually David was sent back to his seat and Mr. Grandover had Paul move forward into the spotlight.
Paul is a very ‘normal’ looking kid. I’m sure most people would assume that he never morfed, based on his appearance. This part was bound to shock a few of the students in the class.
“Paul here is was is known as a concealed hybrid. That means that he is a hybrid, but that his animal characteristics are hidden from plain sight,” stated Mr. Grandover. “Paul, would to please reveal your hybrid attribute to the class please?”
Paul pulled his shirt off and tuned his back to the class. His back was well muscled and you could faintly see two folds of skin running down his back, starting near his shoulder blades and down to the bottom of his ribs. He flexed his arms out at his sides and the folds in his back opened up, releasing a pair of large silver dragon wings with blue webbing. He spread them wide and they touched both side walls of the classroom before he closed them and they became once again hidden in the cavities on his back. I noticed that a good amount of the class looked shocked, while the rest of us seemed to think it was very cool.
‘What am I going to say to him?’ I asked myself. ‘If only he was some kind of jerk, then I could break this off and not feel so guilty.’ I pulled my sports bra on over my head and then stepped back into my shorts. I had tried wearing my old boy’s shorts that were still in my locker but when I had tried them on, they were practically pants. That left just my leotard from gym, and I wasn’t about to wear that for basketball. Getting down on all fours, I had run home in record time and quickly traded my skirt and top for a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I grabbed some clothes for later, and stuffed them in my backpack before speeding back to the school. I got there just in time to change into some more athletically appropriate underwear than the wispy stuff I’d had on.
‘Okay, worry about Colin later,’ I told myself. ‘Right now you need to focus on getting on the team. And careful with the claws, don’t pop the ball.’ I smiled at my last thought as I opened the locker room door and walked into the gym. The girls were all warming up, so I decided to do some stretches. I did a one handed handstand before twisting into a cartwheel, followed by a standing back flip, when suddenly the whistle blew and I headed over to where coach Harding was standing.
“Okay, girls. Today’s practice will be pretty normal for all of you. We’ll be doing some drills and then play a short game. We do have a new student, Sanura Miller, who is going to be trying out for the team though,” said Coach. The girls didn’t seem too happy with me being a possible addition to the team. “I want you to be nice to her and give her a fair chance here today.”
“We don’t need someone like her on the team,” said one of the girls. She stepped forward and I recognized her as the green metal chick from in the bathroom that one day. “We don’t need animals on this team!”
“Cali!” snapped coach Harding before I could say anything back. “Go hit the showers, you’re on probation.”
“I can’t believe you’re defending that!” she screamed, pointing at me, before storming off to the locker room.
“Do any of the rest of you have a problem with Sanura being on the team?” the room was silent other than some faint screaming coming from the locker room. “Good. Now we’ll start with a few passing drills. Everyone go grab a ball.”
I picked up a ball off the rack and held it in my large paws. I never could palm the ball, not even as a guy, but with my claws poking out of my fur, just barely touching the ball, I was able to finally do it. I played around with that as we got into the positions Coach wanted us in. I noticed a couple girls watching me and they looked impressed as I held the ball out at my side, pointing down, with only one hand. Things got under way and the next half an hour were pretty boring as we practiced passing and dribbling and shooting. Finally it was time to play an actual game for the remainder of the practice.
Two captains were chosen and I was surprised when I was one of the first to be picked for a team. My team won first ball and started down the court. We had just arrived at half court when the ball was tossed to me and the girl who had been dribbling it said, “Show us what you’ve got.”
I only hesitated a moment before dribbling towards the net. All the other girls were taller than me, but I was able to weave in between them with ease. When I got close to the net, with most of the other team following me, I jumped high into the air. I pulled back both arms and the ball, preparing for a monster dunk and then slammed the ball through the hoop. ‘Wow!’ I thought as I hung from the rim for a few seconds. My impressive 92lbs didn’t seem to put any stress on the net. I dropped to my feet and then hustled back to our end as the other team made their way up the court.
The game continued to go back and forth across the court but I was doing a good job of keeping the other team from scoring. Coach called out that we had one minute left and the ball was in our end. They took a shot and missed, but caught the ball as it rebounded. Coach called out thirty seconds and started to count down out loud. As she called ten seconds, I managed to steal it for a break away. I weaved in and out between the other players and got to half court as she started counting down from five. I was already in a run when I got there and launched into a long and high jump as she counted. “Four… three… two…” I was at the net and reached out towards the rim… “One!” I put the ball through the hoop as coach Harding called out “Time! Game over!”
I grinned and walked over to the other girls. I was surprised when I was met with hugs from my teammates and “good jobs” from the girls on the opposite team. Coach Harding walked over with an amused smile on her face.
“Well that was a bit of a lopsided game,” she said. “Sanura, your team won 62 to 10, and you scored 40 of those points. Congratulations, you made the team!”
I let out a very girlish squeal and started jumping around.
He was walking towards me. This was the moment I had been dreading. I forced a smile as he walked up to me. “Hi Colin.”
“Hey, Nura,” he said, leaning in for a kiss. I moved my head back and to the side to avoid it.
“So where we going?” I asked.
“Well, you wanted to just talk, so I figured we could just go to that café at the mall. You ready to go?”
“Yeah, let’s go.” We walked in silence to the mall. We were holding hands, but for me, the spark that we’d had was completely gone. When we arrived at the little café, Colin found a little table in a secluded corner. We sat in silence for a while. I still had no idea what to say.
“So what’s on your mind?” asked Colin. “You’ve been acting pretty distant.”
“Colin,” I started, “we need to talk about … about us. This is really hard, 'cus I don’t want to hurt you, I like you and I really value our friendship. It’s just … its just that I don’t think our relationship is working…”
“What do you mean? I thought we had something going on?”
“We did, but I think I was just rushing into our relationship. I had just got over MORFS and I was new to being a girl and there was some attraction but I think I was just willing to be your girlfriend, because I was thinking that no one would ever like the new me. I was trying to be a girl the way everyone wanted me to be, and I wasn’t being myself. I went out with you because that’s what girls do, they date boys,” I had to stop and catch my breath before I continued.
“So … are you breaking up with me?” asked Colin.
“Yeah, I guess I am. But Colin, it’s nothing personal. I was a boy for over fifteen years before I morfed and well … I still like girls. … I do have some attraction to boys, to you, but it’s not as strong as how I feel towards a girl. I’m sorry.” I reached across the table and put my hand on top of his. “Colin, can we at least be friends again, like we used to be?”
“Nura … Jason, we’ve been friends for a long time and I’m not the kind of guy to ditch my friends because of a morf, so yeah, we can still be friends. I’ll admit that I really like you, and if you ever change your mind, I’ll be here, but when I found out who you were before you morfed, I kinda had an idea that it wouldn’t last.”
“Thanks Colin, for being there when I needed you, for keeping my secret and for being my friend.” I rose from my seat and went around the table and gave him a hug.
“Well, I guess our friendship will be a bit different now that you’re a girl. I don’t remember you ever hugging me as a boy,” chuckled Colin as he hugged me back.
“Yeah, well, I’m a bit more emotional that I used to be,” I said, sitting back down in my chair. “It’s the hormones, I swear.”
Amy was sitting on her bed when she heard a quiet tapping on her bedroom window. She looked over and couldn’t see anything there. She went back to doing her homework but after a minute she heard the tapping again. She got up and went over to her window. She opened it to look out when Sanura dropped down in front of her. She was upside-down and hanging from the edge of the roof.
“Hey Cutie, you know you could have just come to the front door,” remark Amy as she opened the window all the way and stepped back.
“I know, but then I wouldn’t have surprised you.” Sanura swung herself around, landing on all fours on the windowsill. “So I broke up with Colin today Aim. Can I come in?” Amy gestured towards her room and Sanura came in through the window. The need to be close to Amy was building in her again and she stepped in close to Amy and kissed her. They kissed for what seemed like ages, Sanura purring happily, her tail wrapped around Amy. She was absolutely in love with this girl. They fell back onto the bed, Amy’s homework falling forgotten onto the floor. Their kiss ended, they lay quietly together in a quiet embrace.
Sanura curled her small body into a ball and rested her head on Amy’s shoulder. Amy looked down at the cute little catgirl, who was purring softly. It reminded her of her encounter with Griyok in the forest. He too had sat there, resting quietly against her, just as Sanura was doing. It made no sense. She could tell that Sanura wasn’t acting like herself.
I was lying next to Amy and she was all I could think about. Every time I was around her she dominated my thoughts. ‘But that doesn’t bother me, I realized. ‘I love her and I love thinking of her. If only I could figure out how to talk coherently around her, but right now I’m content to just be with her.’
Mmmmm… Amy, my girl. My girl!
“I am not a patient man, Doctor,” said the man in the white suit, his red eyes focused intently on the head technician.
“Sir, its almost complete, but we have no way to test the device properly without the girl. In theory it’s all perfect.” The technician handed a diagram of the device to the imposing man.
“Hmmm… this is exactly what we need. Be sure it works! I want our little cat to become very well acquainted with her new cage.” The man in white walked over to the device and ran his hand across the smooth exterior. “I understand how this is supposed to absorb her energy and contain it, but will it withstand her strength and her claws, Doctor?”
“Yes of course. We’ve used top grade alloy, and its been specifically designed based on her stats. Get her in there and she’s not getting out.”
“Perfect. Have it finished by the deadline and you will be handsomely rewarded. I don’t think I have to say what will happen if it’s late.”
*What’s up Trance?* I asked, mildly annoyed at having my daydreaming disturbed. I sat up in my bed and tried to clear my head.
*I did some checking on those guys that attacked you.*
*Did you actually find anything?* I asked.
*Yeah, I did,* said Trance. *Turns out they’re part of some secret worldwide organization that may or my not be funded by the government. Some kind of secret police. Their job is to monitor specific morfs, detain powerful morfs and study unknown ones. I’m guessing you got on their radar when you blew up your aunt’s restaurant. *
*Well I would have thought after the first fight that they would have given up and realized that I don’t want to be detained or studied! *
*That’s where it gets a bit weird. *
*What do you mean? * I asked.
*From my sources, they’ve only come after you once. Other than attacking you, were their any similarities between the two times? *
*N … no … not really. The first group came at night with guns and surveillance stuff. They seemed to be normal using smart-came. The second time it was a bunch of morfs fighting me, and it was in broad daylight. * Now I was becoming even more paranoid. *Do you think there’s two different groups? *
*Yeah, Nura, I do. I’ve heard things, nothing more than rumors and whispers, about another group. That’s the group that you really want to avoid. Apparently the same group of terrorists that started the whole MORFS thing are now kidnapping and experimenting on morfs, usually kids who have recently morfed. I’ve heard that they’re doing everything from brainwashing the morfs to work for them, to cloning morfed abilities in others. As I said, all those things are rumors, but a lot of the time these rumors turn out to be the truth. I know that the government has been trying to cover up a lot of abductions. *
*Trance, do you have any idea how much you’re freaking me out? *
*Don’t worry, you have friends looking out for you, * said Trance. *And I’ll keep trying to get to the bottom of all this. *
*That’s another thing. How do you, at fifteen, have sources that know these kinds of things? * I asked.
*Remember when I told you I can only ‘take over’ a persons mind if they’re very stupid or weak willed? Well, let’s just say that there are a lot of that kind of people in important places. Usually not the ones running the show, but lackeys that have a lot of knowledge that I can leech off of. *
*OK, try to keep yourself out of trouble, though. *
*Always do. *
To Be Continued...
Encyclopedia Entries for part 7
Fox/Eagle morf indigenous to North America. In most cases it appears to be a fox with eagle wings and tail feathers with some feathers on the ears, although many other variations have been known to exist. The Eagox has very high intelligence and usually hunts in packs. Due to their increased intelligence they also can be trained to talk and interact with humans.
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/Encyclopedia.html