The Shapeshifter’s True Self

Ciera’s great. An all around great girl, really. When she chooses to be. Not that she ever chooses not to be great. I mean to say that she sometimes chooses to not be a girl.

No, no, no. She isn’t genderfluid or transexual or anything like that. At least, I don’t think. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’m just not sure what terminology applies to shapeshifters. Usually, Ciera takes the form of a girl. I certainly prefer that form, because I’m not the type who enjoys getting it on with cats or dogs or other men. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s just not my thing. Now I know that might make me sound kind of picky, but I’m really not! I really do enjoy the myriad shapes and sizes of Ciera the Shapeshifter. Sometimes she’s a bit heavier set. Sometimes she’s just a little curvy. Other times she’s as thin as a supermodel. Occasionally she’s muscular and intimidating. She doesn’t seem to enjoy that form very much, but I get a real kick out of it! And sometimes she’s of average height and build, but with a pair of cat ears. She likes those. Don’t ask me why.

Most of the time, when we’re not doing the do or getting in the mood to do the do, she takes the form of a household dog. I have to say, it really creeps me out. She insists that I treat her as a dog whilst in dog form, but it weirds me out, to be honest. I want to, but giving commands to a powerful shapeshifter like that? I’d really rather not. Sometimes I’ll pet her, though.

About a month ago, she and I were sitting on the couch. She had, as per usual, transmogrified into a canine and nestled her head in my lap as we binge watched random shows on Netflix. Pretty typical Saturday afternoon. There was a sad look in her adorable puppy dog eyes, but I shrugged it off as it just being a dog thing. It was a seemingly pleasant day, but something had been eating at me for a long time. So I decided to try my luck with a question I had pressed a few times before.

“Hey Ciera… can I ask you something?”

She tilted her head.

“Can I ask you something in… human form?”

There was an explosion of purple smoke that completely obfuscated my vision. Half a second later, she had taken the form of a burly lumberjack clad in plaid and sporting an impressive brown beard.

“Maybe something more… feminine?” I requested.

With another puff of periwinkle, she transformed once more, this time into a petite, slender girl with a pixie cut and an innocent boyish face. It would have to do.

“I…” I stopped.

“What? What’s the matter?”

“W-w-what’s your, uhh….” I stuttered.

She gave me a puzzled look.

“What’s your true form?” I blurted out.

“Oh, not this again….” She groaned.

“It’s just that… I wanted to believe it was love at first sight when I met you, but that first face was one of many. And I haven’t seen it since.”

I still remember it clearly. Walking into the bar, I caught a glimpse of the sweetest looking redhead I’d ever seen. Tall and imposing like a statue carved by Michaelangelo with features to match a work of Renaissance art. Oh, she was beautiful. I nearly walked into a wall when I first saw those long legs. I bumbled my way through buying her a drink and we kind of hit it off. Must of thought I was cute or something. I’m certain she didn’t appreciate me for my rugged good looks or raging masculinity. I was and have always been a class A beta.

But she took to me anyway. A few drinks down the line and I found myself at her place, an unassuming apartment on the corner of Merrimac and Lancaster. We got to fooling around, and then eventually, fooling around in her bed. It was all pretty straightforward… up until she climaxed and turned into a jaguar. So there I was at full mast staring down a jungle cat. I screamed at first, but she was on top of me before I could do a thing. And not on top of me in the way I wanted, either. She pounced towards me with her big jaguar legs, and mid-leap there was a poof of purple haze. Suddenly, out of the smoke, a thick strip of cloth wrapped around my mouth. I guess I didn’t mind. Not what I originally had in mind, but I didn’t mind. Too much.

I made muffled screams and cries for about an hour afterwards before just breaking down into a light sob. When I had finally calmed down, the gag loosened and landed on my lap. I looked down, bewildered. Had I imagined it all? I certainly couldn’t have made love to a feline, could I? Before I could even say a word, there was another sudden puff of violet vapour. From the smoke sprang forth a bullfrog, which leapt from my naked crossed legs and off the bed, where it disappeared into another cloud of smoke. This time, it was another woman. Not the same redhead from before, she was a little shorter than that, with curly black hair and ebony skin.

Ciera explained herself to me right then and there. She introduced herself as a shapeshifter, a woman with the ability to transform into anything or anyone at will. I hadn’t ever dated a shapeshifter before, so I figured I’d give her another shot.

But by that Saturday afternoon, it was really eating at me. That redhead I first met was not the true form of Ciera the Shapeshifter. It couldn’t have been.

“I have to know! Show me your true form, please. I just want to know your original shape. You don’t ever have to show me again, I promise!”

She looked at me with the sweetest gaze I had ever seen. “Babe… my true form is whatever you want it to be.”

Her sweet expression turned into a playful smirk.

“No, I have to know! I need to know you for who you are!”

“Hey, how about I change into a Slinky again. You like playing with me, don’t you? How about it? Wanna throw me down the stairs a few times? She asked, clearly trying to change the subject.

“No! Just show me!” I shouted.

“Oh, now you decide to be assertive….” She mumbled.

“Please….” I was begging now.

She let out a long sigh and threw her head back. “Okay. You really want to see?”

“Yes.”

“You sure? There’s no turning back once you find out, you know?”

“Yes, yes, yes!”

There was one final explosion of lavender. What appeared shook me to my core. I looked up and down, but there was absolutely no mistake about it. Looking at her was like looking into a mirror. She wasn’t a she at all. She – or rather he – was me.

“I don’t, but… what?” I blurted out, more confused than I had ever been in my life.

“I am you. From the future, that is.”

“From the… from the f-future!?”

“Yes. You live to be a powerful sorcerer, Samuel. Not just a shapeshifter, but a full-fledged sorcerer, with the ability to change shape and even travel through time. But you’re alone, Sam. You… err, I wanted – I mean, will want – nothing more than the touch of a good woman. Even with all of our powers, we were alone. So… I went back in time. Back before you got your powers, when you were still a miserable nobody. I came to you and conceived a clever ruse. It was difficult, but I knew it’d be worth it, to ensure my past self lives a happy life. I’m sorry, I really am. Look, it’s not you, it’s… well, it’s you. But from the future. You understand, don’t you?”

I didn’t answer. I didn’t speak another word for about a week. With those parting words, the thing I had known as Ciera the Shapeshifter – who may have been me from the future after all – transformed into an RC helicopter and flew out of the living room window and out of my life.

Now, here I am, sitting on a barstool downing a shot of scotch in some seedy bar on the wrong side of town. Not that there’s a right side of this town. I think of myself now as wiser. Not wise, but wiser, certainly. Another three or four drinks down the line, I think to myself yet again: If she wanted to break up with me, why didn’t she just come out and say it?

But part of me still thinks that, if I shut my eyes real tight and think real hard, I’ll transform into a well-endowed redhead. Who knows? Maybe one day. Or maybe I’m just an idiot. Aw hell, either way, I’m an idiot.

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