This is a new story about a SHAPESHIFTER
The lore is mostly pulled from the show Supernatural with influences from Norse mythology. I claim no higher or better knowledge on shifters; I just liked this particular brand of lore. And if you ever want to discuss lore, PM me because I know nobody else who likes it D:
The First Time I shifted
Being a shape shifter isn’t nearly as pretty as they make it in Hollywood. When the shift happens, the shifter doesn’t simply walk into the new form. Sometimes, I know, they show that it hurts. God, I think the closest they’ve come is some were wolf transformations who, in fact, hardly change at all. No, shifters have a very ugly and messy shift because we can’t be birds or cats; we just change human forms—kind of like Mystique from X-men, but not.
I say not because she’s blue. I’m not blue. To be honest, I don’t really know what I am anymore, but I remember what I used to be. Yea—that’s another thing, shifters aren’t born blue or deformed or whatever Hollywood says. We also don’t have parents that tell us “you’re a shifter sweet heart and this is how you change.” No, you just live your whole life feeling uncomfortable in your skin until you realize you can peel it off.
When I first noticed, I was twelve. I hit puberty and I changed; it was like everyone else. I had a textbook growth spurt, got boobs, and had a healthy layer of fat that no amount of running could make go away. I was also uncomfortable in my skin, but it wasn’t the same ‘oh I just hate how my nose is.’ Actually, thinking more on it, I liked the way I looked. I just kind of knew it would change. When I had told my mom this she explained it away as puberty.
So I went through middle school with an air of invisibility: I liked it that way and my friends batted for the same team. It’s when I hit high school that things changed again, just slight shifts. Like I caught myself picking up people’s mannerisms like it was my job; I nearly lost my best friend because she thought I was constantly imitating her; I wasn’t intentionally but I still joked “everything you can do, I can do better”. I could pick up and throw away accents like scraps of paper. I felt the fine tremor of thoughts that meant mood swings, emotional changes, and they were strong, nearly earthquakes when I was impersonating the person with the hormone shifts. Sometimes I could catch glimpses just inside their head.
It was puberty, though, as my mom had said; it was puberty that made me read people’s minds and adopt their habits. Yea, I didn’t believe it too much either. But I believed it enough to be thoroughly surprised when the ‘itching’ began. It was kind of like the chicken pox on steroids. I had this uncomfortable itch everywhere and no matter how much lotion I slathered on, it never went away. It would come in waves, last a week, last a month, and then leave me be.
Second semester of college, though, I had a bit of a fit. I’d been having needlessly itchy skin forever and, fucking screw it, I was going to give into the temptation to scratch. Sounds harmless right? I thought it did too and it was, at first. Because at first I just scratched my skin red and raw—lucky as hell my roommate was out because I was doing a fine impersonation of a mad man with my scratching. Then, though, I thought of my roommate, like really thought of her. It was as if just the thought coated me and I could feel her image, her thoughts, just nestle up against mine. Suddenly the skin I was scratching gave and a glob of me caught under my fingernails.
It wasn’t a huge bit, about the size of a quarter, but it was enough to make me let out a wretched squawk. Pain was searing through the cut and my mind was playing tug-of-war with thinking of my roommate in that creepy voyeuristic sense and wondering if I should go to the hospital. I had breathed noisily through my nose, wanting the panic and nausea to go away. The itching continued and it went bone deep. I felt it splinter into my bones, delve into my marrow and suddenly my eyes were rolling back in my head. I thought of things, of people I saw, and I was searching fervently until I decided to just settle on someone I knew best.
It happened to be my best friend from home, Kaitlin. She was nice and had an otherworldly obsession with cheetos. In middle school we were a lot closer, but we saw each other the odd weekend in high school. I remember strongly the length of her hair and the buzzing quality of her thoughts; I remember how she always was a little sad around the edges because her mom was dead. When I finally pulled myself from the reverie, most of my skin had been torn off, a wet mess on the floor, and my back ached with angry, hot licks of blistering fire. I still drove forward because, caught in frenzy, I couldn’t stop. Eventually I slew my skin and my hair, my bones stopped crackling under my skin and, when I met my eyes in the mirror, I saw Kaitlin staring back at me.
In fact, for a moment, I wondered if I had been Kaitlin all my life.