Metamorphosis: Part I

a Series by Raquel Swann

“Yes, I am the one you seek,” she whispers. Her tone seems warm and inviting, yet somehow ominous.

She is wearing a dark grey cloak and it casts a shadow over most of her face. Her cold grey eyes and crooked nose are visible by the dim light of the crackling fire in the hearth by the side of her wooden chair.

She peers at me waiting for an answer, but I don’t seem to know the question. “You look as if your puzzled, my dear. I have what you are looking for,” she continues, “the one thing you have wanted.”

“I don’t understand,” I say, but, somehow, deep inside my heart, I know what she is talking about. I scan the small cottage and stare out the window behind the old decrepit woman. It is near dusk and it is clearly the middle of winter. There is a brisk snowfall and I can hear the howling of the wind as trees whip back and forth in the distance. I look back at the woman and her face widens as she begins to cackle. The fowl stench of tooth decay fills my nostrils. I turn my head to the side trying to escape the rotten odor. It was obvious she caught me looking out the large window behind her and it found it amusing.

“You have no idea where you are, do you?” She questions.

“No,” I respond with a quiver in my voice. I am very confused and I don’t remember anything. I’m trying not to let on as to how lost I really am but I think she knows.

“You, my dear, are not happy with the way you look. I have the remedy for that. But once you accept my offer there is no turning back,” she once again laughs.

“How do you know this? Who are you? Where am I?” I question her. She scowls at me. I am afraid and lost, but she is right about me. How does she know such things?

“My dear, does it matter where you are or how you came to be in my service? Your dreams can come true if you but trust me.”

“How am I to trust someone I don’t know? And what is your intention with me?” I can feel my heart beating faster. A lump forms in my throat and my mouth is dry. It is as if I have been stuck in a desert for days without food or water.

“My intention is to fix you to the standards you deserve, my dear. My intention is to make you what you want to be – but this is forever, so I caution you.”

“You mean-”

“Yes,” she snaps, “all that and more. Your wildest dreams will come true, but something like this comes at a great cost.”

I search for my wallet but I am wearing sweat pants with no pockets. I have a plain white t-shirt over my body and my feet are bare. She laughs again and looks at me as if I am crazy.

“I am not speaking about money, you fool. Do you think your money means anything to me here, in the dead of winter? You’ve already looked out the window. Do you think I can find use of your worthless currency?”

“What cost then? What is this great cost?” I ask, confused and afraid.

“Some things you had before will be lost. Other things will remain the same. Some things about you will be gained. There is no way to tell what will happen. This is the cost I speak of, my dear.”

“I don’t know if I am ready to take that risk? I just don’t know.”

She is struggling and shaking as she reaches for a side table made of oak next to her and grabs a tiny blue glass filled half way with clear liquid. She slides her hand slowly towards me expecting me to take the glass of the mysterious elixir.

I hesitate for a moment, then reach out and grab it. I am holding it as my hand and body tremble with fear and excitement.

“You drink that and you will become the opposite of what you are now. The change will be painful and permanent. Do you understand?” She asks. Her face is as cold and still as stone.

“What is it?” I ask but I already know.

“It is a special drink meant for you.”

“I have always wanted this, you know,” I say.

“Yes, I know.”

“I mean, I’m not happy inside,” I say, sounding more like I am trying to convince myself and not this old woman.

“You are not a man, as your appearance suggests, my dear. You fancy pretty things don’t you?”

“Yes, but-”

“You fancy long flowing hair and garments made from lace and silk showing off a tight curvy body, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I respond. I feel a rush of warmth all over my body. I felt feverish with excitement. I raise the glass to my lips and hold it there as I shut my eyes.

“Drink it!” She bellows. “IT is what you want, isn’t it, to be a beautiful, sensual, sexy, Woman!”

“I-I,” I stutter, the glass pressing gently against my lips.

“The rest is up to you, my dear. The first steps are yours to take.”

I open my eyes wide and drink from the glass quickly. The liquid tastes sweet, as if it was infused with some kind of fruit. My heart begins to beat like a drum in my chest. I feel faint and my head rolls back. My eyelids feel as heavy as granite and I feel sleepy, well, more like exhausted. I fall off my chair to my knees and I feel pain, NO, agony all over my body. I try to cry out to the woman and my voice cracks. I can feel the vibration in my throat. It is certainly me speaking but the pitch is higher, softer, and more feminine.

“What have you done to me?” I scream out.

“Only what you wished,” she replies and chuckles with delight.

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