I don’t remember what I was when she began.
The first memory I have is of a single moment, something I feel was only one of many. The woman had released from her mouth what I now knew was a scream of frustration, throwing flames from her arms to strike the wall of my cell. She turned to me, livid, and just glared angrily at me for a few long minutes. She then grabbed a vial full of a pulsing green potion and poured it on me. I felt the elixir’s power surge into me, and I thrashed my tentacles about. I had one slimy eye that didn’t stop burning all throughout the process, and as it settled, I felt my limbs fall limp.
She glared at me, still disapprovingly, and duly said, “Speak, abomination.”
My eye widened and I tried to speak, but only managed a wet gurgle. Her eyes suddenly lost their dark glare and began to sparkle with interest.
I later learned that the ability to speak wasn’t important – what was important was that I’d reacted at all. It showed I was now aware, and she was thrilled to finally be getting results.
Her name was Althra, she told me as she petted my wretched form. She was a wizard – or more accurately, apprenticed to a wizard. She had spoken against him in her hubris, and so he had given her a task they both knew was impossible: to create life from nothing. Such a task, it was said, was beyond even the goddess of life, now.
But she took the assignment seriously, she told me, despite it’s utter impossibility. For reasons I still do not understand, she decided that the first step would be to create a new form of life from one that already existed. That was me – I was to be her template, what she began her plans with…
It had been many months since that first night.
Ouran knew his name now – Althra whispered it to him as she stroked whichever form her elixirs had given him. Right now, he was some strange, chitinous creature with six legs and a head mounted on a stalk. Ouran opened the mouth on his back, breathing in deeply, as he opened the mouth on his stalk so he could see out of his one massive eye in the back of his throat.
As the various concoctions (and occasionally full-blown rituals) Althra subjected him to became more complex, he found his intelligence and strength slowly growing. As they had, however, he also felt a desire to escape build within him. Before him lay the wooden door that had barred him all his life. Ouran knew that the door would repel him magically if he tried to attack it, he’d tried before, and his current form had nothing else to offer. No limbs to open the door, no magical abilities to bring to bear, nothing.
He wondered how long it had been since Althra had last come. Some days it felt like she’d never left. Sometimes she stayed gone for so long, he began to wonder if she might just let him starve. He ‘blinked’ his eye and then sat down again.
It would be many hours still before Althra brought her next concoction. She poured it down Ouran’s mouth without ceremony and simply stared at him. For a time, nothing happened. Then he convulsed as his form began to shift, to change once more.
Althra eyed what he was now with distaste. Ouran had shifted into a four-legged, slightly brown potato… THING with ears twice the size of it’s body. It had an ugly, half-smashed face and it’s legs were hooved and stumpy.
Still no limbs. Still no magic.
…But he could hear Althra’s heartbeat. And his own… and… oh, all the sounds… he could hear mice scratching in the walls, breathing from above, the whisper of the wind… There was a small scritch and he realized he could hear Althra’s hair rub against her clothes.
“… That’s not right… He’s supposed to be blue… Speak.” She commanded.
“urrrrrrrrrrrrrgh…” Ouran moaned.
She sighed. “Well, at least you’re making sounds again, that’s something.” She turned to leave. “Perhaps something simpler is required here… If I could just…” She walked up to the door and whispered something.
The door shut behind the arrogant apprentice.
Two weeks later
Ouran’s form had not stopped shifting for a week now. He smirked with a fanged mouth he wouldn’t have for much longer as he pulled back from the older wizard’s tore up neck. He ran for the door…
- Lord of Change – Part 2 (halftangible.wordpress.com)