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The First Day in a New Life

by Xander Opal

I surprised myself:  I woke up.

I looked around, and saw the clearing of the forest I had chosen to die in.  A roughly circular spot, with a tree stump in the middle, on which lay the knife I had used.

A large patch of red-brown stained the old leaves on the ground, a tribute to my slashed vein.

Clambering to my feet was difficult, for some reason... but I didnt notice that.
I wasnt depressed.
That crushing weight, that had borne down on myt soul was gone.
I simply was.

I was also, as I looked at myself, a velociraptor.
Sort of.
I was still human in build, though my tail made me lean forward.  Its a comfortable stance, though, at least for me.

Something did seem odd, though... my clothes fit my new form perfectly, as if they'd been tailored to it.  My t-shirt and jeans felt as natural as when I'd bee human, though my stature was now different, my joints altered, but... there was even a little 'sleeve' in my jeans that my tail poked out of.

I examined my body closely, inspecting myself.
My feet were bare, socks and shoes missing, leaving the digitigrade 'raptor feet exposed.  My scales were a green-red pattern, showing up the ebony slashing claws on my inside toes... toes of which I had only three.
My legs were covered in denim, but they were jointed very differently from my old form.  My hips were a blend of human, and saurian, a good bit of it due to the tail.
The tail was a bit of an anomaly, being quite flexible, which the true 'raptors' tails were not.  The thing was about five feet long, too, while my height had remained close to my original six feet.
Waist and torso were almost human, though there was that alien look to them, from my inhuman part.  My arms and hands were nearly precisely like a true velociraptors, save for the fact that I had thumbs, and a bit more human flexibility.
My head was on a slightly elongated neck, bringing me up to my original height, despite my forward-leaning stance.  My muzzle was a little blunt, and my skull was a bit enlarged, from what I could feel, but that was about the difference from the real thing.

I walked back toward my truck, amazed at myself...
I could /smell/ the world, and see it, and hear it, with a predator's senses.

I finally reached the pickup, and looked in a rearview mirror, to see my face.  It was the green-and-red pattern the rest of me had, though with an almost-black tiger striping on my neck.  A reddish line divided my face in two, until it swerved to travel over my right nostril, and down to my lip, where it disappeared.
My mouth was filled with dagger teeth, save for in the back, where there were some molars, in the last few positions.

It was a very good thing I had a cellular phone in my truck, else I would have had to walk back home- with my tail, I could never drive, or even ride in my vehicle.

I just told my friend that I'd had an accident, and I couldnt drive my truck, because of something wrong with it.

I waited for him to come, as I began my first day in my new life, a life that held hope and dreams in it once more.

For, whatever happened to me from here, I knew in my soul that I would not have the burden of despair any more.

This is a first story... I'm going to be mirroring my life in this series.   I just hope the ending is a happy beginning for my future; I've been drowned in despair for so long.

Oh, and I never saw the part about a prize before I deleted the email about the contest.

Xander Opal

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Copyright 1997: "Xander Opal" <xander_opal@hotmail.com> . If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first.       Thank you

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