WARNING: It is entirely likely that this story will join the ranks of my other forgotten stories. I know it's infuriating to get into something and then have the author abandon it... Still, there are some stories I know I would rather read unfinished than not at all.
I wrote this months ago, but held back on posting until I felt more assured I would be able to post several chapters. As of right now, this chapter, along with another hundred words are all that exists of this story. If I do update again, it won't be for a while.
Still, I'd love to read your thoughts.
Leo quod Agna
Upon the day of their birth, there was said to be a God who suffered a moment of mirth. As he gazed down upon their heads, an act of boldness did he spend. With words of magic, he elegantly weaved a fate that should not have been perceived.
Although he altered the shapes of their form, he did not believe that they should be torn. If their future love was to be so great, then this change, no difference shall it make. Their lives were certain to contain woe, but perhaps this experience would enable them to further thrive and grow.
Should their troubles weather the ties of lovers' twine into withered crumpled spines, then they did not deserve a destiny so fine and would make a liar out of fate.
Bella tried not to be nervous as she took her seat in English. Although at night she felt peace and ease, during the day she feared even a mild provocation would cause her secret to spill off her tongue.
The shift in scenery had been her choice, for she often felt guilty over how her condition crippled Renee. A second story apartment that banned pets had not been very facilitating and her mother was often forced to remain home at night to look after her. Despite this, somehow Renee had managed to find a man who was willing to be with her, and although Renee had mentioned possibly revealing the secret to him, Bella knew how afraid her mother was that this would scare him off.
So she chose to move to a new town to live with her dad, remarking that the wilderness would give her freedoms she had not known in the past. Renee agreed to let her go as long as she told her father the secret they had kept from him for so many years.
She didn't feel particularly ashamed of her condition, but she did hate the reactions she would gather sometimes. Although she knew Renee loved her, there were times when she would look on Bella as if to ask herself—how could I give birth to this freak?
Bella's relationship with her father was already strained by their lack of contact and she didn't want this to make things even worse. It was probably a miracle that he hadn't discovered the truth for himself. She was lucky that his shifts had always begun before dark and ended after first light.
As dusk approached, she looked back at the small white house she now called home and contemplated all of the changes she had made in her life. Like a prison sentence, she would serve her remaining two years of high school here, but what after that?
With every change, time slipped by far slower and its evidence became less obvious. Would it eventually just stop? Would she look in a mirror fifty years from now only to see the same face she has now?
Although she didn't look forward to wrinkles and gray hair, what would she do if she didn't age? Where would she go? Would she have to watch her parents' brittle bones turn to dust? Could she handle the loneliness?
Sighing, she stepped through the line of trees for cover and shed her robe. As the Sun departed, she felt the shift begin with a twist of her stomach and the dizziness that always brought her to her knees. Her creamy skin blossomed with snowy fur and her nails blackened as her hands became hooves. Her nose and lips almost seemed to slip back into her face while her ears grew longer and more flat.
On shaky legs, she journeyed farther into the forest in curiosity. Exploring in this form provided greater entertainment, especially with her heightened senses. Although she maintained her mind, being like this allowed her to look at the world through new eyes.
Sniffing the leaves of a nearby bush, she pulled a couple off and chewed. In the first days of her transformation, the idea of eating random plant life hadn't been something she wanted to entertain, but after many starving nights, she finally relented. She learned to trust her instincts in this form, which happened to enjoy eating leaves.
As she moved deeper into the forest, she began to wonder if maybe those false reasons she gave her mother for coming to live here did have merit. After all, this town did provide her with the space to move and breathe and be during her transformations. The fact that no one besides herself knew the secret only raised its appeal.
Yes, she would have to pretend, but sometimes pretending is better.
Stepping through a pair of twisted trees, she came to a small meadow. Luscious grass decorated with piles of flowers greeted her hooves and she marveled at the sight before her. The array of petals seemed to splash their color amidst the blades as if they had emerged from the drops of rain themselves.
With a noise she had scarcely heard from herself—a sound she thought must have embodied her glee—she pranced around the small meadow. Ages had passed since she had felt so carefree. It was as if the bright pigments that surrounded her coerced her to joy.
Hours were spent in uninterrupted play, paying no mind to the darkening sky or the nighttime creatures scurrying around her. Perhaps if she had been more alert, she would have noticed his approach.
"Don't go too far now!" She wiped her hands dry on her apron, watching a head of messy dark hair disappear among the trees. The backdoor swung shut and her gaze shifted to brown locks as he sped past her. "Keep an eye on your sister!" she called after him before heading back inside to finish preparing dinner.
"Hey Bree! Wait up!" he shouted to her as she began weaving through the trees. Now that she was hidden among them, he had to rely on the sound of her giggling to lead him to her. Unfortunately, she grew quiet before he had managed to find her.
He took in his surroundings, hoping to spot a familiar branch. She tended to migrate to the same trees and although they looked almost indistinguishable at times, she usually left little clues. It didn't take him long to realize that they had never gone this deep into the forest before.
"Bree!" he yelled through his cupped hands, growing slightly frantic. As her older brother, it was his job to watch her and keep her safe. If anything happened to her, he would never forgive himself.
He yelped as something seemed to swing at him from up in the tree. His frightened eyes quickly turned into a glare as he realized what it was—Bree. With her legs curled around a thick branch, she was hanging upside-down, just like she did on the school's playground.
She giggled hysterically at having managed to scare him.
"Boo!" she laughed happily, waving her arms in what she considered a ghostly motion.
"Bree! Get down! You're gonna fall!"
She stuck her tongue out at him, but did as he asked. As she was maneuvering her way down the trunk, she felt the branch she was hanging onto begin to break. Surprised, she unintentionally let go before it could, and landed on the ground with a thump.
The fall wasn't very long—definitely not enough to hurt her—but that hardly mattered. She began to cry anyway.
"Oh Bree," he said sympathetically as he bent down to give her a hug. Despite the tricks she played on him earlier, she hugged him back tightly.
"Can we go home, Riley?" she sniffed, rubbing her tears on his favorite Batman shirt.
"Sure thing, Bree," he smiled softly. He didn't seem to mind.