Chapter I: A Transformation
"Thank you and good night!" I said, sending the last costumer away.
I slumped on my chair and sighed. It had been a hell of a weekend. I worked nearly non-stop for two days and I was dead tired. Cashier life isn't as easy as one might think, particularly at this time of the year: Christmas. Fortunately, I was free to do whatever I wanted for the next two days, and I'd take the most advantage of it.
I snapped out of my thoughts and called my supervisor to end my working day. She arrived rather quickly, to my surprise. Looks like I wasn't the only one looking forward to a comfortable bed. She "bled" out the money on my pay-box, cashier jargon, and I quickly counted fifty Euros, the fund, for the next worker for the following day. We then proceeded to the vault and deposited everything there. Minor pleasantries and goodbyes exchanged, I went to the changing room to trade my uniform, which consisted on a white shirt, black trousers and steel toed shoes, along with a green waistband for storing small objects like pens or coupons from the "bleedings", for more casual clothes. I exited my workplace and hopped on my Honda 125cc motorcycle, putting my clothes inside the trunk, and drove home.
As I dismount my Honda, a stabbing pain shoots up my entire body. I gasped, but as soon as it appeared, it was gone. 'What was that about?' I thought, but shrugged it off, and made my way home. My house had two floors, the lower one contained a kitchen, a living room, a small larder and a bathroom. On the upper floor there were two rooms and another bathroom. I also had a medium-sized backyard, along with a barbeque and a large storeroom. All of this fit into eight hundred square meters. I entered the main building, greeted my parents and had dinner, a healthy combination of lettuce, arugula, oregano, onion and garlic, sprinkled with olive oil and vinegar, followed by two slabs of pork ribs and rice. Delicious. After that, I went upstairs to my room and lied down on my bed, falling into a dreamful sleep even before my head touched the pillow.
My dreams were really the usual, a blurry amalgam of the things that happened to me in the last few days, with the ocasional explosion or weird swirl. However, that all was about to change. My dream screen suddenly went black, causing my dream self to become confused. Things like that don't usually happen while asleep. After a few dream seconds, which were the equivalent to a few minutes on the real world, a flash of light appeared and a voice boomed in my head.
"Hello", it said. A pause followed.
"Who?... What?..." I was still confused.
"Worry not, my friend." Friend? "Listen well, for I will not repeat myself. My kind, the dragons, is in great peril; our numbers are dangerously low and I am resorting to extreme measures to prevent extinction. I am searching for the very ones that caused this tragedy: the humans. Not all of you will be worthy of such gift, though; I am searching solely for those pure of heart and faithful in our kind. You are one such human. There will be others, but you, my friend, are the very first one." The voice started to fade. "Now awaken... and embrace your fate." My dream started to swirl wildly and then melted into darkness.
I slowly opened my eyes. It was still fairly dark, but I could see a small flicker of light on the horizon. I rose from the bed and immeadiately noticed something was wrong. Everything seemed bigger than it should have been. I blinked several times to make sure this wasn't another crazy dream of mine. I pinched myself to assure myself further. I stifled a yelp of pain. It hurt more than it should have. I felt along where the pain was and felt something mostly smooth, but rough in some places, in regular intervals. Now I was really starting to get scared. But wait: this was no dream. I already made sure of that. There. My calculist mind kicked in and overcame the fear. What could have caused my skin to become like that? I racked my brain for answers. Could it be pox? Impossible, I already suffered from that disease several years ago. Some sort of allergy? I was in bed all night. What if I caught it on my job? I come in close contact with a big variety of materials. Could one of them have done it? No, if it did, it would have expressed itself a while ago, given I've been working there for five months and the products on sale don't change overnight. My rational part defeated, fear started to take a hold on me again. There was only one thing left to do: look into the mirror. I hopped off the bed and tried to walk, but I quickly found I couldn't do so in two legs. I shrugged it off for the time being and dropped on all fours and made my way to the bathroom.
'The mirror is too high...' I thought. 'Why is it everything seems so big?' Once again, I shrugged it off and went for the mirror in my parents' closet. Careful so not to awaken them, i tiptoed my way to the mirror and looked into it. Even with the dim lighting, what I managed to see shocked me, to say the least. Where I expected to see a human face, a scaly dark blue muzzle with two slightly lighter blue eyes gazed back at me. Two earfins with visible veins covered my ears. I opened my mouth and the image in the mirror did the same, at the same time. I saw rows of small, but razor-sharp fangs and a forked tongue. I closed my mouth and looked to the rest of my new body. Two bat-like wings hung limply by my sides and a long tail lined with small spikes and a blue membrane uniting them also hung limply on the floor. Slightly larger spikes ran all over my back until the top of my neck. I looked at my arms, now forelegs. They were more muscular than those of my old body. The same applied to my legs, I mean, hindlegs. My hands now had four fingers each and on the tip of each finger there were sharp, but soft claws. Fear and shock slowly turned to amazement as realization dawned on me. 'I am a...' Suddenly, the memories from my dream with the entity claiming to be a dragon rushed back to me. '...the dragons...' '...tragedy...' '...you are the very first...'. I gasped, astonished, and backed away from the mirror. Dragons didn't exist! They...! 'Embrace your fate.'. I slowly closed my mouth and tried to smile, but only an odd-sounding growl escaped my throat. 'Now they do.'