Emily heard a high pitched whistle off in the distance as she walked through the tall castle doors from her previous lesson. It was extremely hard to hear at the tone it was blowing, Emily cupped her ears to see if that helped. If it did she didn’t see the difference, she shook her head of wispy red hair off of her ears and then tried again. After another half minute of still no difference to how loud she could hear the whistle she shook her head once more in light frustration. Why was she trying to listen to a whistle anyway?
She turned to go to her next class before she was late, only to stop half way down the hall, back track to a window and watch a very odd sight being held outside.
Flare was going in the direction of the annoying whistle she’d been listening to—but what made it odd was that he was going over the edge of the cloud to get to it. Emily‘s eyes widened in astonishment. Her dragon was leaving?
She ran to the doors in an attempt to catch up to him before he got too far, but a loud voice called from behind her. Stopping abruptly so that she almost slammed into the massive doors she yanked herself around quickly to see who had startled her with their sudden call. It was Principle Treefrog—and he didn’t look patient.
“Why are you out in the hall? Your next class started 3 minutes ago!” He grumbled and seizing her arm steered her (more like dragged her.) to her class.
Emily was soon afterward shoved into the classroom and given a tardy mark. When she had plopped her stuff noisily onto a desk she couldn’t help but to start growling under her breath about Principle Treefrog.
When the teacher called her name and asked her what the difference was of a Werewolf and a Shapeshifter, she without thinking said—“Treefrog.”
This made the whole of her class erupt into suppressed giggles (some not so suppressed) making Emily’s cheeks flush red to match the color her hair.
Today they were learning about how to control Shapeshifting at your own risk, and Emily found this very easy. As it all turned out, she was rather good at changing her shape.
“Miss Flameheart please demonstrate how to transform into a tiger,” called Mrs. Hersey.
Emily took a deep breath and closed her eyes to focus on changing shape. A picture formed in her head of a tall, muscular tiger with a ginger coat marked by stripes and he claws fitted into its paws. She felt the tiger shift its wait as it walked; its muscles bunch and loosen as it crouched and sprang into the air. The ground thudding beneath its padded paws as it landed neatly on all fours.
And suddenly… She was the tiger. Her ginger hair was now ginger fur covering her body—her fingernails were claws—her teeth were sharp, long fangs—and when the transformation from- human- to- tiger- was complete—she opened her eyes to see the amazed faces of her classmates all focused on her.
She grinned, but instead she only succeeded in showing them all her set of fangs. Nala laughed nervously, not very sure if Emily was smiling or giving some kind of weird twisted snarl. A boy voice suddenly sprang from the crowd gathered round’ Emily. It was Fred Dork, jumping up and down on the balls of his feet.
“Mrs. Hersey is it my turn yet? Is it, is it?! This is just to cool!”
Mrs. Hersey applauded Emily as Emily transformed back into her usual form before answering Fred’s question.
Emily went to stand next to Nala to watch Fred attempt at turning into an armadillo. (His armor covering wasn’t quit all there.) When a piercing whistle broke through the laughs that Fred was giving. Nobody else seemed to notice the high pitched call—so when Emily gave a small annoyed chirrup, Nala turned to stare questioningly at her.
“Do you hear that?” Emily whispered into her friend’s ear.
Nala cupped one hand to her ear to hear better. “Yeah I hear it too,” whispered Nala back to Emily; and very carefully they slunk away from the class and out of the room.
Once having closed the classroom door with a quit click and walking down the hall a good distance Emily pulled Nala over to the side. “Listen Nala. I saw Flare going off the Castle Cloud not too long ago, and….” She paused.
“And?” Nala asked.
“And I’m kind of worried about him…I mean you know—he is my dragon…No matter how annoying he can be…uh—you hearing me?” Asked Emily desperately yet in an extremely awkward voice.
Nala nodded her head and waggling her finger for Emily to follow she walked to the big wooden doors. Emily pushed….It didn’t open. Nala pushed….It still didn’t open. They both pushed at the same time….It didn’t even budge.
By now Emily was becoming very frustrated and felt like kicking the doors. (As if that would open them.) Nala sat down in hopeless frustration and positioned her head limply on her palms in thought.
Emily leaned her back against the door and strained as she gave a last weak attempt at pushing them open. When they didn’t move even an inch she slowly slid to the floor, and exasperation overwhelming her just sat there….waiting….for anything to happen—any random brainstorming miracle to randomly pop out of nowhere in her head….But after 5 minutes of trying her hardest to think up a brainstorm in her mind—still nothing had happened. Emily closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. Suddenly Nala jumped up and said something very odd.
“AyeEmilyjustransformintoabiganimal!” She rushed excitedly her lips moving so fast to form her sentence that all the jumbled up syllables made Emily feel ever so slightly nauseous.
“Erm—come again Nala? Since when have you spoke so….oddly???” Emily asked now more confused than awkward.
Nala fidgeted and her dark cheeks reddening began to talk much more slowly. “Emily why don’t you just turn into an animal that’s big enough and strong enough to push the doors open.”
Emily froze and for the first time in nearly 7 minutes the wheels of her mind began to turn. What Nala said sounded reasonable enough. Plus Emily was better at transforming than Nala was. But what Animal was big and strong enough to push to 10 foot tall doors open? Instantly Emily’s mind turned to an elephant—or giraffe. But Emily hadn’t actually started to learn how to turn into such big animals yet. Whatever I turn into it better be quick cause Mrs. Hersey will be after us soon…Lion? Tiger? No….That that didn’t seem right. Whale? She’d need water for that, plus a whale was still beyond her size limit. But suddenly a wonderful idea popped into Emily’s head. A snake!!
It was simple, yet brilliant, utterly brilliant. Jumping up like Nala had she blurted out her idea. (Although slow enough for Nala to understand.) “Nala! I’ll just turn into a little snake—slither underneath the doors—and open them from the front!!”
Nala clasped her hands over her mouth. “That’s genius Emily!”
Emily shrugged the compliment off, then turned to concentrate on transforming.
Sitting down she closed her eyes and pictured a snake. Long and thin, shiny, smooth black scales covering its long body. The snake in her mind raised its triangular head and flicked its tongue out at her with a soft hiss like a balloon being let loose of its air. Its scales blended in smoothly in her skin, her arms and legs shortened and thinned until they weren’t even there. She herself thin out dramatically. Her eyes were thrust open as she slowly lost her eyelids. (Snakes don’t have eyelids.) Finally she was a small skinny little black snake lying on the floor with her tongue flicking in and out of her mouth continually. She stood higher (can it be called standing if she didn’t have legs?) And swaying twisted her triangular head to look around.
She looked around at the rest of her body which was in coils. She had a white belly and chest. Maybe she was a Water Moccasin? It was hard to tell since apart from her white underbelly her scales were still auburn like her hair always was. She gave a small “Tut,” that sounded more like an annoyed hiss and swiveled her head toward Nala.
It was weird being a snake…She was a lot more aware of her surroundings then she ever was a human. She could see fine—but what made it odd was that she could taste the air around her with her tongue the same way she could smell things as a human. Nala looked like she might laugh. Seeing Emily as a small auburn-colored-Water-Moccasin was something you didn’t see every day. Emily flared her tongue and slithered over to the base of one of the big wooden doors. Flattening herself so that she could fit underneath, she slowly slithered underneath the huge doors.
Coming out the other end she gulped in the fresh air, tasting all that she needed to know about around her. A rabbit hopped nearby, and Emily had a sudden odd urge to chase it. She shook her head with a hiss that scared the rabbit enough for it to hop away as fast as it could. Rabbits on clouds? This school was weird—being a wizard was weird—it was all weird.
Standing up on the tip of her—what was it? Tail? She pushed up a heavy lock and let the doors swing open. (A lock on the outside of a school? This was a joke right?)
Transforming back into a person and still grumbling about the lock on both sides of the door, Nala walked out, her dark cheeks flushed. “Thanks Em, now what?” She asked also staring at the door with an outdoor and inside lock. (Pointless I tell you!!!)
Emily looked around until she spotted the window she’d been looking out of when she saw Flare go over the side of the cloud. “That way,” she said pointing directly in front of the window.
Together they ran to the edge of the cloud that was in front of the window and peered down below them…Emily leaned forward stretching her neck out as far as it could go. Suddenly there was a loud scream of terror and a whoosh! Like something falling! Emily wheeled around, searching for the source of the two noises. But no one was there. Turning around to ask Nala if she’d seen anything she froze. An icy hand clenched at her heart as she stared at the place Nala had just been standing!
Emily screamed and rushed toward the place Nala had been to peer over the edge. In her haste her feet slipped on the cloud and she fell to a sky stretched so far below she couldn’t see the ground below!