I rolled out of bed that morning thinking it was going to be a great day. I had a date with my girlfriend Sandra that evening and while it was a school day, it was Friday so it was almost the weekend.
I got up and got dressed. I took a look in the mirror at the short slightly overweight blond haired boy staring back at me and tried to get my unruly hair in some sort of order. After a series of relatively unsuccessful attempts at taming it I gave up, it was good enough for school. I ran down to breakfast feeling uncharacteristically alert and perky. I grabbed some cereal and sat down at the table. My older sister Hannah was already there munching away.
"Morning Eric," she said having a little difficulty speaking due to her tendency to stuff all her food in her cheek pouches.
"Morning Sis," I replied.
Hannah had been mad about hamsters, as a young girl she had one as a pet and had taken it with her everywhere. It was a somewhat cruel twist of fate that when she got MORFS she gained a lot of hamster features. She now had short orange and white fur all over her body but kept her shock of red hair, a small pink stub of a tail, little round pink ears on top of her head, whiskers, continually growing teeth she had to grind down, and the pouches which could be used to store stuff. Her eyes were also the same black spheres a hamster had, which unnerved some people. She had been bullied relentlessly. She was also a little chubby when she was younger and that had given the bullies yet more ammunition, remarking that she was just a fat little hamster. She had come home many times bawling her eyes out. Eventually she decided to do something about it, she joined the school multi gym and took up martial arts. Pretty soon she had lost the extra weight, put on a bit of muscle, and the bullies were getting wary of her after she started to fight back. As she got older she became quite an attractive girl, her physical conditioning giving her an athletic body and nature supplied her with some impressive curves. Many of the people who had laughed at her were now after her for dates. She never forgot their cruelty though and spurned the advances of anyone who had been mean to her. Her experiences had toughened her and left her very independent and strong.
We were typical brother and sister and would fight tooth and nail sometimes but we loved each other deeply. It made me very angry what people had done to her just because she was a little different. I had been the little brother though and in no position to help her then, and now she didn't need my help. She was taller and stronger than me by quite a way. It had made me sure never to judge people that way just because they looked different since they were just like me inside.
We sat and ate our breakfast preparing ourselves for the day ahead.
"So big date this evening," teased Hannah.
"I guess," I squirmed.
"Aww, my little bro, is growing up," she said tousling my hair.
"Leave your brother alone, Hanna you know it's my job to embarrass him" said Mum walking in to the kitchen. She had a lot of features in common with my sister being the same red hair and similar figure. She lacked the conditioning Hannah had but still was quite an attractive woman. She had the same eyes as me, a sort of dark blue. Hannah used to more take after Dad with much lighter blue eyes.
"Sorry Mum," said Hanna grinning.
"So Eric when will we get to meet this wonderful girl you're crazy about?" Mum asked.
"I don't know, I've asked her a couple of times but she is always busy," I said. It was strange when ever I asked Sandra if she would like to come over she would suddenly remember something she had to do. I had wondered if she was avoiding coming to visit my family, but she seemed quite happy to go out with me so I couldn't imagine why.
"I won't accept that excuse much longer young man, you ask her for real," Mum said was convinced I was the one not wanting to subject Sandra to my family, "Anyway, you kids better get moving, I can't give you a lift as I have things to do today."
Hannah and me groaned in unison at having to walk, then laughed together at our mothers eye rolling reaction. We packed up our things and headed off. We walked together up to school. Hannah was a sixth former, she would be off to university next year and I, all going well, would be starting in the sixth form at the same time.
My sister set a grueling pace and my somewhat less physically fit body began a bit. School was at the top of a hill from our house and I began puffing as my sister powered her way up the hill.
"Come on keep up," she said.
"What's ... ah ... your ... hu ... hurry sis," I panted feeling like I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen.
She shook her head at me and said, "Bah, come on, it's not that tough a hill. I could run up it and not be out of breath."
"You could," I said, "That would kill me. It's making me feel ill as it is." I was feeling a little unwell.
"Oh stop being so melodramatic," she rolled her eyes but slowed a bit.
The slightly slower pace was enough for me so I could keep up and more or less catch my breath, "You need to get more exercise Bro, else that girlfriend of yours will dump you for a fitter boyfriend. Girls like a guy with stamina," Hannah giggled.
I would have said something but I was still out of breath, so I just glared at her for a bit which just caused her to chortle more.
We reached the brow of the hill and the pavement finally leveled off, much to my relief. It also marked the branching point of our two paths, the sixth form having its own site a bit down the road.
"Well, catch you later slow coach," my sister said with a wave and took of at a pace that might as well have been a run.
I took a moment to rest the sick feeling leaving me as I recovered, then I headed in through the gates.
"Morning Eric," called a soft musical voice. I turned to see Sandra smiling at me as she sat on one of the walls near the gate. She was a pretty blonde with long flowing hair and sparkling blue eyes. She was slim and delicate, her movements always graceful, a side effect of many years ballet training she had when she was younger.
I walked over to her and she hoped down to take my hand. Many of the people I knew that had been going out like us would meet at the gate and kiss, but Sandra didn't like kissing in public. In fact holding my hand in public was something she had only recently decided to do. She was very concerned with appearances and being proper, something most of my friends found weird about her. I found it interesting in that anything we did do felt more special because of it. We walked to our classroom together. When we got to the door she smiled at me, let go of my hand, then went in and sat down with her friends. This was another aspect of her rules; she wouldn't sit near me in lessons or in registration. She would hardly ever speak to me in front of her friends, who were a strange lot ... very aloof and distant regarding everyone down the end of their noses.
It was all part and parcel of dating her. The strangeness and the rules were worth the good times.
I greeted my friends and sat down to wait for school to start in earnest.
School kicked off and lessons were as boring as usual. I did my best to pay attention, but I had a tendency to day dream that teachers hate. When I could focus I did OK but my rep as a time waster meant a lot of the teachers didn't like me and were extra hard on me.
By the time morning break arrived I was beginning to feel ill again. This was just what I didn't need with my date with Sandra tonight. I tried to fight it down and keep going, hoping it was nothing and headed off to my lesson after break, but in the middle of Maths I had to run out of the room to throw up in the toilets.
I was taken to the nurse's office for a check. I was soon shivering and shaking as well as feeling rotten. They sent me home so Mum came to get me. I sent a text to Sandra cancelling our date since I knew Mum would never let me go out after being sent home from school ill. I promised to call her later. Later I got a reply saying "get well soon".
I gradually got worse. The sickness made it hard to keep anything down; I was running a temperature and in a fair amount of muscle pain, so Mum called the Doctor. Some time later he turned up and examined me, he said he was fairly sure what it was wrong and pulled out a blood test. I knew straight away what that meant, he thought I was starting MORFS. I had recognised the symptoms but was hoping I was wrong. When the Doc thought the same thing I knew I was probably right. So when the blood test came back positive I wasn't overly surprised.
The Doc went over the usual rigmarole of what to expect and what to watch for, both with me and Mum. I had a few friends that had been through it and I remembered Hannah's week of hell, so I was fairly up on what was going to happen. The Doc wished me well and gave my Mum a prescription for some MORFS home transition packs. She tucked me up in bed and headed out to get me the drugs. I dozed a bit, my body still feeling rotten, but tired from all the throwing up.
I woke up with someone stroking my hair I looked up to see Hannah looking down at me.
"Hey sis," I said weakly.
"How you doing little bro," she said with a somewhat forced smile. I could see she was worried.
"OK I guess apart from I feel rotten."
"Yeah I remember what it's like. Soon as you get your drugs you'll be out of it though."
"Hannah ... I'm scared.".
"I know," she said smiling at me, "No matter what, I'll be there for you." she kissed me on the head.
I smiled at her, I never had any doubt that she would be there for me, but it was nice to hear her say it. Hannah kept me company till mum returned with my meds which didn't take long. I had to force down a horrible tasting energy bar and take a pill then I was off to sleep.
I awoke some time later, my body aching and my skin all grimy. I staggered out of bed to take a look.
I seemed to have lost some weight and I noticed my body hair was coming out. Not a good sign. I hit the shower and tottered back to find Mum changing my sheets.
"How are you feeling?" she asked.
"Still lousy," I replied.
"Well come on back to bed, the sooner it's over with, the better you'll feel."
I nodded and clambered back to bed, I was just about to take my pill when my Dad popped his head round the door.
"How you doing sport?" he asked, he had a deep powerful voice which was some what at odds with his short, balding, slightly overweight body, a shape I had inherited from him. He worked doing voice over's and on radio where his looks didn't mater and his larger than life voice carried a premium. He had once done the voice to a villain in a movie, the actors voice was too high pitched to be convincing so they dubbed in Dad instead.
"OK Dad, bit sick still," I said.
"Well you get wrapped up and sleep your way through it. It'll be over soon enough," he said with a smile putting a hand on my shoulder.
"OK Dad," I replied, Mum handed me my pills and the two of them left me to it.
"Sweet dreams Eric," said Mum as they left.
I took my pills and slept again.
The next day brought more changes. I itched all over. My ears seemed to be changing, moving further up my head. The hair on my head was being replaced by red hair.
The following day my ears were pointed and on the top of my head, a thin layer of red and white fur now covered all over bar the top of my head where I had normal hair that was now the same red as the fur. The biggest shock was my eyes that were now golden. A patch at the base of my spine ached and there was a slight bump there.
The next day my fur was slightly longer and thicker, my eyes were now slits and my eye sight seemed amazingly sharp. I was taller and a little thinner; I seemed to have more musculature than before. The bump at the base of my spine was growing out, it was now about 20 centimetres long and the fur on it was longer and stuck out more. It felt very strange to have this thing hanging off me, shifting around. It meant, I couldn't sleep on my back which annoyed me.
Another day passed to sleep and I woke up feeling finally well again.
I sniffed and discovered my sense of smell seemed to have improved dramatically. This was not a good thing since I had started growing fur I hadn't been washing, since more than a quick wipe down had felt like too much effort. As a result I reeked, probably even to normal senses, but especially bad to my new improved nose. A shower seemed like it should be top of my to-do list, but first I decided to see what other changes had taken place.
I inspected the damage. I had two pointed ears on the top of my head that could swivel about. My eyes were golden coloured with cat like slit pupils. My nose and mouth area protruded slightly to form a slight muzzle with whiskers protruding from my now dark nose. I opened my mouth to reveal a fairly nasty looking array of teeth. I was covered head to toe in red and white fur, my front predominantly white and the back of me red. My face was a mixture with the top half red then part of my muzzle down white. I had a fairly tall lean yet muscular body. It looked agile. A large bushy tail, maybe half a meter long, stuck out of my back. It was red with a white tip.
I looked like a human fox.
As far as I could tell the rest of me remained normal: my hands, feet and private areas all seemed more or less normal. My legs seemed more or less the same, just a bit longer and more powerful looking.
That seemed to be about it for the changes so I decided I should take a shower. Walking over to the bathroom felt different, walking felt more like stalking now. My rearranged limbs and my new tail made me light on my feet. I was still a little clumsy as I wasn't used to my new shape and size, but it was close enough to make getting the hand of things relatively easy.
The shower was also a strange experience with all that fur, my bushy tail acted like a sponge absorbing loads of water.
I got out clean but still soaking wet and tried to get the water out of my now saturated fur. While I was trying and failing to dry myself with a towel I noticed a note stuck to the mirror.
It read, "Bro, you'll need the hair dryer. I put it in the box under this with a brush for de-tangling purposes. Kisses Hannah."
I took the worst of the wetness off with a towel then I opened the box, removed the dryer, and hooked it up. It was some industrial strength one built with fur in mind that Hannah had gotten from some specialist shop. It certainly seemed to do the trick and after a while of blow drying and brushing, my new fur was dry.
I padded back to my room, and looked for something to wear. I noticed another note, this time in my mother's hand writing on top of a plastic bag.
"Thought you'd need this when you are done. Love Mum," the note said.
I opened the bag and found a one size fits all track suit for me to wear with a tail hole already cut. Some time later, after a lot of struggling I was dressed. I headed down stairs to find my sister watching TV.
Her eyes turned to me when I came into the room and she looked me up and down.
"Hey sis," I said, or tried to say it came out a little more like 'he ssss' my new mouth and tongue making my speech a bit muddled.
"Hey Bro, how you feeling?" she said.
I tried to think of what to say but I couldn't put it into words and just sort of hung my head. Hannah came over and gave me hug. We stood there for a bit, it felt a bit odd fur brushing against fur. Eventually we broke apart and Hannah took me by the hand.
"Come on, let's get you some real food," she said leading me into the kitchen.
She sat me down at the table and then went and to get some food for me. This had to be the first time she had ever prepared food for me, it was very sweet of her. I sat there just taking things in, my new sharper senses were odd, I could smell things much more clearly and with much greater fidelity than before. My hearing was very sharp and with some concentration I could zero in on sound with my pointed swivelling ears for even better hearing. My eyes were sharp and a lot better than before. I could make out details on things from further away, I suspected I would have pretty good night vision as well.
I decided to call Sandra while I waited, it probably wasn't the wisest move given I couldn't speak very well yet but I was anxious to talk to her, to tell her what had happened.
I rang her number, "Eric? I'm quite cross with you. Five days and not even a phone call! I know you were ill, but you could have called me," she said a little angrily.
"I wasss sleap in," I said.
"What's wrong with your voice?"
"Iss ma mouf an tong, no workin lie I used too," I replied trying to get the right sounds out of my mouth.
"What do you mean? What's happened to you!"
"Iv ha Morrrlfssss."
The line went silent.
"Ima frrox hiiibriiiiduh," I said trying to enunciate my words clearly.
"I see..." said Sandra in a cold voice then went silent again. I didn't like the tone of her voice. The line was quiet for a while.
"Ssaandahrahh?" I asked.
There was more silence, then in a quiet angry voice she said, "Never call this number again beast! Don't even speak to me again or you'll regret it!"
The line went dead, I stared at the receiver in shock. I hadn't expected this reaction. I had assumed it might change our relationship but I hadn't thought she would suddenly cut me off and tell me to stay away. I had always thought of the love between us as something that would not be affected by physical shape. The same way I loved my sister as much now as before her change, she was the same person inside and that was what I loved not, the shell.
I felt terrible. MORFS had cost me my girl, someone who I was madly in love with, who I idolised. I felt like I was breaking apart inside. I sat there staring at the phone tears dripping down my face frozen in place.
My sister bustling around in the kitchen eventually spotted me sat there, "What is it?" she asked.
"San ... Sa ... San ... drah dussnit lov me enry maorrr!" I sobbed.
"What! oh Bro," she said rushing over hugging me to her as I cried. She held me for quite a while stroking my head as I bawled like a baby. The tone of Sandra's words and her calling me a beast stabbed me to my core. Hannah made comforting noises and rocking me gently as she stroked me.
At some point Mum and Dad came in carrying some shopping, "What's wrong," asked Mum.
"Eric called Sandra and she didn't want to see him any more," said Hannah.
"Oh dear, come here sweet heart," said Mum and took over Hannah's place hugging me. Dad came over and put a hand on my shoulder.
Eventually I calmed down and stopped crying, I didn't feel much better, it was like some part of me had been ripped out and had left me numb inside.
Hannah put a plate of food in front of me, "Come on Bro eat up, it will make you feel better. I know it's tough to get rejected like that but you will get over it," she said, I looked up sharply. Part of me wanted to shout and scream at there that she didn't know what it was like but I knew full well that she did. She had lost almost all her friends once and lived through it, I guess so could I. I nodded to her and picked up the fork and began eating what ever it was she had made me. My sense of taste was a little off I guess due to the new sense of smell, so I didn't really know what it was. I ate it robotically, too shocked to really focus.
"Don't worry about Sandra, maybe she'll come round, if not there's plenty more fish in the sea," said Mum ruffling my hair.
My family gave me some space, staying close but not crowding me too much. I finished up the food and went to wash up my plate but Mum swiped it, "I'll take care of that darling, you go in the living room and watch some TV or something."
I went into the living room and sat down on the sofa, Hannah came in and sat next to me. She told me jokes and tried to cheer me up. I was grateful for her attempts, even if they didn't do much. In the end she put on some random show and sat with her arm around me. Eventually I must have dozed off I woke up when she kissed me on the forehead finding myself in bed.
"Get some rest Bro, I promise things will look brighter in the morning," she said smiling.
I nodded and snuggled down. I was off to sleep fairly quickly, my dreams echoed with Sandra's voice cutting me off and out of her life.