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The Hanover Papers:
by Jeffrey Hollar
Alright people. Everybody please take your seats and insure that all items are securely stored in either the overhead compartments or underneath your seats and that…Aww to hell with it!! Just sit down and shut the hell up and let’s get this show on the road. Since, once again, you worthless idiots got me off of topic last time; we have a lot of ground to cover. I should have come to expect as much by now. Anyway, I have a poker game in a coupla hours that I do not intend to miss on your accounts. Malt liquor and microwaveable foods do not pay for themselves so thus the need to go shear some sheep at the tables. You can wish me luck if it will make you feel better, but I cheat whenever the opportunity arises, so luck is not really a factor. Okay Fuzzy. Focus boy, focus!
So there I was, standing on my back porch and staring out at the tranquil yard. I remember thinking, Wow, this ain’t so bad. For the record, I do think that those are five of the most stupid words that I have spoken in my entire life. And I have been known to say some pretty stupid shit so keep that in mind over the next few minutes of the story. Let’s clear up one other thing before we dive in here because there really won’t be time once the story begins. A lot of what I am about to relate to you I have little conscious recollection of. It was passed on to me via an audiovisual recording and I was able to assimilate it all a lot better after the fact. That being said, here goes nothin’.
Standing on that small porch, I gazed out at the world around me. To recap, it was a clear, cloudless day and bright sunlight streamed down. There was a light breeze that caused me to shiver in the shadowed place where I stood. I grasped my pen and pad firmly in hand and started down the three steps to the yard proper. As my feet left the steps, I stood on smooth paving stones and once again looked around skeptically. No, there were still no threats of any kind to be seen, just the grass and hedges and stuff one would normally associate with a nicely-maintained yard. So, with a deep breath, I summoned up my courage and stepped out of the shade and in to the morning sun.
Now this is where it gets firmly in to the realm of mega-freakin’, holy crap, yowza man weird! Looking back on the recordings after the fact, I am fairly amazed that I survived the experience at all. As I stepped forward and left the shade, all hell broke loose. Literally…seriously folks, all hell literally broke loose. The jeans and tee shirt that I was wearing were shredded to rags and my faithful old sneakers literally exploded off of my feet. A primal scream burst forth from me, rattling the house’s windows with its sheer force. And thus, the transformation began. Yeah, you read it right. Transformation. Now, if you shut the fuck up and just munch on your popcorn and sugary beverages quietly, I won’t have to go off on you. Consider yourselves warned!
For convenience and to remain orderly, I will describe what took place next in as ordered a fashion as possible. It was as if my entire body had been doused in a particularly nasty blend of flaming gasoline, thermite, sulfuric acid and rusty razor blade fragments. Oww! Yeah, I know how fun that sounds to you guys. Simply put, it wasn’t. I fell to my hands and knees on the soft grass, alternately howling and groaning loudly. It seemed as if my bone structure and my skin had become oddly fluid and malleable. The pain was beyond anything I can possibly describe to you. So, I ain’t even gonna try. As much as I know you fucks were looking forward to taking joy in my misery…not happening today.
From my forehead, bony protrusions burst. They grew in both length and thickness and then curled backward to form a pair of very respectable ram’s horns. My forehead swelled and ridges of bone pushed forward, forming plates of armor that served as protection for my eyes. My jaws stretched and elongated. I could feel my teeth becoming longer and sharper and it felt like there were far more of them than I had had just moments before. I could feel that two of my teeth had reformed themselves to become fangs that would have shamed the proudest saber-toothed tiger ever. My ears swelled in size and shape and came to most closely resemble those of an enormous bat. The changes to my head and face were only the beginning of the process.
The skin on my entire body continued to flow and writhe becoming something other than what it had been. My skin was harder, thicker…redder. All of my muscles seemed to grow and swell until it seemed impossible that I could be any more muscular and still move. Sharp spikes of bone formed at my shoulders and sprang up along my forearms. My fingers became longer and thicker and resolved themselves with razor-sharp claws. My feet became broader and my largest and smallest toes grew to become brutal claws. At my heels, a single thick spur of bone formed talons. There was an inexplicably odd sensation in my hindquarters that was, in fact, explained seconds later as my long, sinewy tail lashed menacingly about. The spiked ball at the end of the tail glistened with what I could only assume was venom. The molten burning sensation faded to a dull glow as the physical transformation ended.
I felt, at once, immensely powerful and yet oddly weakened. The process had been exceptionally intense and I am not sure that my body much liked it. I staggered unsteadily to my feet, trying to resolve all of the changes in to something my mind could grasp. As if some unheard alarm had been triggered by my ability to rise, the next stage began.
If I thought I had experienced pain at this point, boy was I in for a fuckin’ nasty surprise! In the blink of an eye it seemed as if my head exploded. I know I previously touched on the various aspects of Demonborn sight. Experiencing it for the first time was too surreal for me to put in to words. While not previously mentioned, ALL of my senses are either modified or enhanced by virtue of my demonic heritage. My nose, while having broadened and flattened to my face, was assaulted by half a thousand different scents and odors of varying degrees of acceptability. Please do not force me to reminisce about the smells. Wow!! My newly formed ears were overwhelmed by a gamut of sounds both natural and man-made that most New Yorkers take for granted and ignore. However, when your ears have never heard such sounds before and said ears are immeasurably more sensitive than any mortal creature, it is pretty fuckin’ daunting. My tongue flicked across my lips as if sucking odd flavors and tastes from the very air itself.
After an indeterminate amount of time, the various affronts seem to lessen in intensity. My senses dazed, my body violated, I simply wanted to get back to the familiar safety of the house. Not only had I lost the pen and notepad, I am positive that I was in no shape to be jotting down my experiences for posterity’s sake. Orienting myself, I managed to focus on my objective of the stairs back inside. On shaky legs I started up. My hand and foot claws gouged deeply into the soft stone and my enhanced strength caused me to snap off a section of the wrought iron handrail. With hands made clumsy by my newly grown claws, turning the door knob might prove
problematic but there was a good chance I could just rip the door off of its hinges if necessary.
As usual, it never made sense to underestimate the house and its capabilities. I grasped the door knob and, of course, it failed to turn. It seemed that the four hour assignment time had not yet passed. I was really NOT in the mood for technicalities at this point. Bunching my new-formed muscles I braced myself and made ready to remove the annoying barrier the hard way. I may as well have been a Chihuahua trying to drag off a side of beef. The door and its frame did not creak, groan or in any way recognize my attempts at all. I grunted and strained. I pushed both of my powerful feet at the base of the door and bowed my back so far that my horns nearly brushed my heel spurs but the door would not surrender. Sometimes I REALLY hated that house.
After finally realizing the futility of my efforts, I slumped down on the back stairs breathing heavily. There seemed little to do, so I passed the time trying to grow accustomed to the changes I had undergone. Slowly, the sun climbed higher on the sky and I sensed that the required time had to have passed and yet here I sat. I was stretching and muttering under my breath about the undependable nature of the house when it happened. In spite of my enhanced senses, there was no telltale warning as the back door swung suddenly open and cracked me a good one right in the back of the head. I drew back my taloned fist and threw the strongest punch I could at the offending portal. It was like something out of one of those old-assed Tom and Jerry cartoons where Tom punches an anvil and his hand gets all huge and shit. It stung. It hurt. It hurt a lot and yet the completely undamaged door swung open just a bit, as if to taunt me. Sometimes, I really, REALLY hated that damned house.
Before it had an opportunity to change its mind, I scrambled to my feet and lunged through the door. It slammed shut behind me narrowly missing my tail. That is to say it would have narrowly missed my tail if my tail had still been there. It was not. I was laying face down and completely nude on the hard, cold kitchen tiles. My body had, in an instant, reverted to its normal short, pudgy self. I was me again. Well, not that I hadn’t been me outside the house, but at least I was now a me that I recognized. There was nary a mark on my pale skin and, as I got to my feet, I could tell that the transformation had reversed me back to “normal”. Yeah, you shits, I acknowledge that there just ain’t much about me that could be termed normal by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to reward all of you for your astute observations by saluting you with the ceremonial Fuck You Bitch hand gesture. If you form an orderly line, I will also distribute sharp blows to the forehead from the fabled Claw Hammer of Congratulations to all you worthy recipients that so desire.
I really had no fuckin’ idea what had just happened to me or why. I had some nasty suspicions that I would, most definitely, confirm when I got back to The Library in the morning. Yep, I was calling an end to the school day. I really didn’t give a shit whether the house retaliated against me on The Library’s behalf or not. I was sore. I was tired. I was hungry and I needed a shower. For once, I didn’t really even care about what was on TV. I was still curious about the specifics of the outdoors time but it was a curiosity I could put a damper on until tomorrow. With a groan and with soreness in muscles I didn’t even know that I had, I staggered through the house towards my room. The hall clock chimed to remind me it was time for Loretta to come up for lunch. Could the house work any harder to make my life miserable today? As if in answer, an ottoman I don’t remember ever have seen before, slid out and tripped me up nicely. Hardwood met forehead and I really, REALLY had a headache now.
I made it to the appointed spot just in time for the door to appear and Loretta to come storming in for her lunch. She took one look at my naked, disheveled appearance, before stomping a boot heel down on my defenseless foot and telling me to go put some clothes on my heathen ass. I stumbled away, grumbling perhaps too loudly, for her boot heel next connected with an even more vulnerable part of my male anatomy. Looking back now, there are actually some times I truly miss mom. Fond memories like the ones of that day usually help those feelings of nostalgia and loss to pass quite nicely.
Anywho, I got things to be and places to do so…uhh…oh never freakin’ mind! It has really not been a day that I enjoyed reliving for the benefit of a bunch of useless meat sacks such as you. I know you think you have had a rare glimpse in to the vulnerable, weak side of Fuzzy. You haven’t. Well, maybe you have but I would heartily encourage you to NOT try exploiting that knowledge. It would only serve to piss me off and to make you more dead than you are now. So, if I hurry I have just enough time for a shower and to make myself presentable (don’t GO there asswipes) before my poker game. Peace out humanoids. See ya and sure the fuck wouldn’t wanna be ya.
Copyright© 2011 Jeffrey Hollar. All rights reserved