“A Special Birthday” by Numba-One
It was 2:00 PM.
For Victoria Beaufort, it was also her 18th birthday…a day which she had been looking forward to for all her life – or at least, as far as she could remember.
She wasn’t a year older quite yet. Victoria was born at 11:59 PM, seconds away from being born on a different date. It was only fifth period, and she still had hours to go.
The day had been fine. Just like any other day, really – first the morning shower, then a short walk to school. She tried to pay attention to class, as was typical of a straight-A student like herself. But her thoughts wandered off; she daydreamed of the night that was to come – a night of partying with friends, and finally feeling free from her drab, methodical life.
But it wasn’t just the partying and alcohol that had her dreaming – nor was it the prospect of meeting some cute guys that night with whom she might hook up. It was the idea of liberation – the idea that she would finally be in control of her own destiny. For her, it would be something new.
Victoria was a normal, if rather attractive, girl. She was 5’5”, with lightly tanned skin, golden hair, and deep blue eyes. She was a bit on the thin side, but knew that many guys regarded her athletic body as well shaped. Even so, she was always too shy – too constricted – to really get into a serious relationship with someone she liked.
But not anymore, she thought to herself. The night before, she had prayed fervently for her life to start improving. Let it take flight, she thought. Let me be free. Let me be happy.
It was 10:30 PM.
Victoria was a little tipsy, but not drunk. She knew she had a rather high tolerance for alcohol, but never really brought herself to her limit.
There had been people her age everywhere. Guys and girls – some familiar, some not – had crowded the rooms of her friend’s house. The parents, by coincidence, were gone that evening.
However, by this hour, many of the others had left – some for other parties, others to go home before their parents got suspicious. Even most of her friends had left. None of this surprised her; it was, after all, still a school night.
Victoria got up out of her chair. Some of the stragglers said a final “Happy birthday!” to her as they went out the door. She smiled and waved back at them.
With the room nearly empty, she realized that Monica – her ride for that night – was missing. Asking around, she learned that Monica had already left – too drunk, it seemed, to remember to take home the birthday girl.
Sighing, Victoria headed for the door. She hadn’t even remembered to bring a jacket. From where she was, she could hear the rain coming down outside.
“Hello there, birthday girl.”
She turned to meet the voice behind her. It was Chris, a boy she had a major crush on ever since she started high school. They had something of an awkward relationship – neither really spoke to each other given their shy, quiet characters, but they both liked each other. Deep down, they knew this; apparently, half the school did as well. Even so, nothing ever came of it.
“H-hey!” she stammered. It was a pleasant surprise, to be sure, but a surprise nonetheless.
Chris scratched his head nervously. He was smiling.
“Hey,” he laughed a little. “I noticed your ride’s missing.”
“Yeah,” she said, nodding her head. “Guess it’s the cold road home for me, huh?”
“Haha…well, um…actually, no, I…um, I could give you a ride if you want. My car’s out in front.” His hands seemed to gesture out in front of him as he spoke.
“Aw, you’re so sweet,” she responded.
“Before we go, though, would you like to have a drink with me?” Chris asked suddenly. His expression seemed to plead her to agree.
Hell, why not? Victoria thought to herself. It was her 18th birthday…and while her day hadn’t been bad so far, it was still far from how she had imagined it would be.
“Sure! I’d love to,” she said, and they walked back into the dining room.
Once there, Chris took an aluminum can out of his pocket. He laughed to himself.
“Sorry, not exactly high class. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Oh, no problem,” she said back to him with another smile. An awfully strange can, though, she thought. The label was dark green, with the aluminum shining through in a neat, segmented pattern. Before she could see the brand name, Chris poured the beverage into two nearby cups, serving them both.
“Happy birthday,” Chris said before lifting the glass to his mouth.
She smiled. They finished their drinks and walked to the car. All of a sudden, Victoria clutched her forehead.
“Heh…must have had too much to drink tonight.” Victoria tried to smile, but couldn’t hide the fact that somewhere inside her, something didn’t feel right.
What was in that can?, she thought to herself.
With an unnatural silence, Chris helped Victoria into the car and took her home. They said goodnight, and Victoria ran down her driveway, opened the door, and ran upstairs, her hand clutching her hot forehead the entire time.
Victoria stumbled into her room. She left the light off. Only the soft glow of the moon shone through the window.
"Damnit, what's wrong with me?"
She took off her constricting t-shirt and glasses, throwing them upon the messy bed. Removing her uncomfortable shoes and jeans required quite an effort, as she found it hard to focus her mind on anything except for the overwhelmingly bizarre feeling deep inside her.
With her eyes closed, she felt the rug with her bare feet and blind hands and guided herself to her mirror. She placed her hands on the table and gazed into her reflection, and immediately gasped at what she saw.
Looking into her own eyes, she saw that they were no longer simply their normal dark blue color, but had instead taken on a wild, azure hue. As she examined these alien eyes, she saw her pupils narrow and elongate into vertical reptilian slits, as her eyes seemed to glow in the surrounding darkness. Before closing her eyes, she noticed how she could see everything so sharply; amazingly, her vision was no longer nearsighted.
Victoria was sweating heavily; her wet palms slid on the smooth surface of the table as she reacted to a sudden surge in her body. With her muscles tense and her lungs panting for air, she grabbed the edges of the table, trying to hold steady as she felt the strange feeling within her spreading throughout her body to her fingertips and toes.
She opened her eyes again, and to her horror, saw that her fingernails were extending from their neatly manicured state into sleek, black claws. She tried to close her eyes to hide from this nightmare, but she soon felt a similar sensation in her toes, and witnessed her pedicured toenails beginning to lengthen and sharpen into dark talons.
She was hit with a surge of force as her changes began to accelerate. She could feel her spine begin to lengthen, and experienced the tingling sensation of her new tail slowly sprouting just above her firm bottom, in the process ripping off her black underwear. Her shoulder blades began to buckle, and she screamed as two enormous wings sprouted from her back, in doing so cutting off her bra and leaving her completely naked before the mirror.
Again, she opened her eyes, mustering the courage to examine herself as she sensed her humanity slipping away. Her skin began to segment itself into a neat pattern of emerald scales, beginning with the regions around her new wings and tail and spreading to the surrounding skin. Her dainty hands and feet strengthened as her fingers and toes gripped the surfaces of her room in order to steady herself. She watched as her fingers became encased in a layer of tough scales on the top, retaining their slender human shape but becoming stronger and more powerful. Her feet changed even more; she felt her big toes move up almost to her ankles, while her four smaller toes lengthened into full talons, allowing her to stand naturally on the balls of her new feet.
As her body became completely covered in a layer of shimmering scales, Victoria gazed once more into the mirror. Her dazzling golden hair began to grow down her neck, becoming a long, flowing mane. Her muscles grew in size and strength, becoming sleek and toned throughout her body. She could feel spines growing on her elbows and knees as her body took on a more menacing look. Her breasts stayed firm and retained their definition, but like the rest of her body, became encased in her scaled emerald armor.
When she looked in the mirror, Victoria saw that the only remaining human part of her body was her head. She knew immediately that this would soon lose its humanity as well. As she clenched her teeth in pain, they extended into sharp, deadly fangs. At the same time, she felt her tongue grow longer and become more flexible. Her eyes, already glowing and slitted in the darkness, took on a new intensity as her mind began to accept the new changes.
As she closed her eyes, Victoria could feel the final changes taking her over. The skin on her face segmented into smooth scales, starting with her neck and working its way up. Long horns grew from her forehead, as her ears elongated and became pointed and spiked. Trying desperately to maintain control, she cried as her face pushed forward into a small, pointed snout, her skin and bones stretching into their new shape. Victoria opened and stretched her new jaws and, with a feral roar, finished her transformation.
Sensing that this was the end, Victoria struggled to balance herself on her new digitigrade feet with her tail. She found herself remarkably calm, as though part of her found this natural. She explored her body, spreading her great wings, swinging her tail around, and scratching marks into the wall with her sharp new claws. Finally, she blew into the air; sure enough, out came a burst of blue, superheated flame.
"Wow...," she whispered to herself. She was amazed that she could still talk so easily; her voice was recognizable, but carried with it a sort of echo.
Once she had the hang of her new body, Victoria stepped in front of her mirror once more. Before her stood a tall, emerald dragoness, shaped like the young human female she used to be, but now with sleek, toned muscles, brilliant emerald skin, powerful wings, a smooth tail, intimidating claws on her hands and feet, and a mostly draconic face that still carried elements of her former human visage.
"I just may get to like this..." she said as she admired her beautiful new form. With that, she turned around and strode elegantly through the hallway and down the stairs, hearing the taps of her freshly grown claws as they made contact with the wooden floor. She opened the window to the back yard. Feeling the cold concrete beneath the soles of her scaled feet, she took in the clear night sky - a sky that seemed now to invite her to play within its limitless bounds. She crouched, and, with a push from her powerful legs, sent herself soaring through the sky, free of her previous human restrictions.
In the sky, another winged shape joined her – another newly changed form, the last remaining piece of her new life…and in her room, on the table in front of the mirror, her clock struck midnight. Victoria was now eighteen.