A Curse, Ever-Changing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts

Written for a challenge from the BoMoWriCha House.

 

 

 

A Curse, Ever-Changing

For centuries the Kilgorans and the Hannigans had lived together. Maybe not in peace, but they respected each other’s territories, never over-stepping the boundaries. To do so would have been to face untold danger, and an all-out declaration of war.

Both families, or clans might be a better way to put it as they spanned so many generations now, were accomplished shape-changers. Every bird, beast, every water-creature could be nothing more than it appeared to be, or one of the people, morphed and changed in to being something else. Only those within the same blood-line seemed to be able to distinguish genuine from shape-changed. Better just to go elsewhere than to risk eating some high-ranking family member from the other clan.

And it worked out fine until Rory Kilgoran set his eyes on Julia Hannigan. They were both in their true human form at the time, and to say that the attraction was instant would be putting it mildly. Both Rory and Julia felt as though they had come home; that they had met their true and forever soul-mates. They had stepped over the boundaries, both of them, embracing and never wanting to let go.

Birds flew, deer fled, a wolf and a lynx sped off in different directions. Within minutes it seemed that the couple were surrounded by an odd assortment of birds and beasts, in varying stages of becoming human again. One thing the Kilgorans and the Hannigans shared was anger. How dare these two off-spring risk generations of peace for what was simply a case of animal attraction?

Unsurprisingly, magic accompanies shape-changing in a big way and both clans had their own very accomplished magicians. They did not converse with each other, at least not in the usual way of talk and answer, but they shared a secret meeting of minds. It only took them seconds to come up with a solution to stop this love affair before it even started.

Simultaneously they uttered curses. The Kilgoran magician cursed Julia at the exact moment that the Hannigan spell-caster struck Rory. The couple did not even have time to drop their arms before Julia changed in to a white cat and Rory into a mouse.

Both feline and human impulses battled inside Julia’s brain as she flexed her claws, found her paw reaching towards Rory, who was now a hastily retreating field mouse.

From now on, whenever you should set eyes upon each other you will change to become natural enemies,” announced the Kilgoran magician.

One will become predator, the other prey,” continued the Hannigan spell-caster. “You will have no control over these changes.”

That is your curse!” the two finished speaking in perfect unison.

Julia sat licking a paw but then the true meaning of those words filtered through to her human brain-cells. She and Rory would never be allowed to be together; would never again feel the true home of each other’s arms. They were being made in to the Romeo and Juliet of the Shape-Shifter world. It was just too much to bear, so she turned and fled up the nearest tree, where she remained over-night.

Rory had fled in to the forest. Once away from Julia he had quickly returned to his human form, and spent the night, miserable and shivering next to a moss-covered tree. They had only just met and already they were destined to be forever apart. He wouldn’t accept it. There had to be a way.

Julia hung on to her cat shape for most of the night. Several of her family appeared up in the tree in various guises, but she saw through them all and batted them away. How dare the family meddle in her love-life! They would find a way to beat the magic.....somehow.

Both Rory and Julia felt compelled to stay close to each other, and spent as much time as they could close to the border between their lands. It was torture so much of the time, for whenever their eyes met the change would be instantaneous. He would become a hawk while she would become a vole; or she would become a fox and him a rabbit.

Over and over again they found themselves being morphed, having to fight against the natural instincts that accompanied their physical changes. They were faced with a real hunger, a physical need to devour each other which was taking it’s toll on them from the resistance of fighting against it.

In their times away from each other they resumed their human forms and continued to try to find a solution. They belonged together – there had to be some way that they could be without one or other of them resisting the urge to tear out the other’s throat.

There was only one thing that Julia could think of and that was to seek out the Hannigan spell-caster, to beg that the curse be lifted. She hated travelling so far from Rory, worried that she would never be able to find him again. It was a pointless worry though, as he himself, had had the same idea and had gone in search of the magician.

They were met with reluctance, and with resistance. It was a love that could not be allowed, a romance that could never be permitted to flourish, not around this area because once the borders were crossed there was bound to be wide-spread, if accidental killings, between the clans.

There was one solution, and one solution only. Much discussion was carried out between the elders and chiefs of the families and the magicians. If both Julia and Rory were permanently turned in to a species that lived far from the clan-lands, then maybe they could be permitted to stay together. But what species? And would they really be willing to sacrifice all of their humanity for each other.

From a distance, Rory looked at Julia, and Julia looked at Rory. The instant their eyes met, their gazes held, the decision was made for them. What ever the cost, they belonged together. There followed an hour of tearful farewells, for all knew that neither would ever be seen again.

Stand well back.” The Hannigan spell-caster warned.

Make sure the path to the North is clear, for that is where they will head,” the Kilgoran magician continued.

The next thing they knew, two massive white polar bears stood side by side. They turned to each other, nuzzled each other, then with one last look behind them began their long trek to the frozen wastes that would now forever become their home.

 

(1097 words).

 

 


Submitted: October 04, 2018

© Copyright 2020 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

D. Thurmond aka JEF

Ah, the classic ending to a great story. --- Thanks Hul!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 5:25pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for giving this a read, JE!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 10:26am

Mike S.

Ah, those wacky magicians, huh? Excellent, Hull!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 5:34pm

Author
Reply

The challenge I got was to write a romance, where for some reason the couple were unable to be together and to do it in a funny way. I'm not sure I succeeded, but it was fun trying.
Thanks so much for giving this a read, Mike.

Thu, October 4th, 2018 10:44am

Jeff Bezaire

The solution I'd thought of too. A fantastic story, Hully!
It's so stupid how two peoples rationalize their hatred for each other - that to keep the peace between their two clans, they'd each force one of their own to become hostile towards each other. As if that wouldn't create a feud were one to kill the other. Some people are so consumed by hatred and prejudice, it's sad and pathetic when there's no room for love or understanding.
Well done, Hully! This piece bears a wonderful message!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 6:13pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much, Jeff. I have to say this was a first for me to write about shape-shifters, but I quite enjoyed it. I'm not sure how well I stuck to the challenge though.

Thu, October 4th, 2018 11:17am

Sue Harris

This was different, Hully, and it really appealed to me. You did a great job of creating these opposing communities of shape shifters, and the ending, despite them going to their new icy home, left me with a warm glow. Great job!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 6:19pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Sue!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 11:34am

T. E. Jackson

I like it :D it seems the challenge Chey gave you gave you quite the prompt indeed, for this is one well done piece of writing. Very unique and very interesting. Awesome job, hully! :D

Thu, October 4th, 2018 6:28pm

Author
Reply

Ah, thank you, T. E. I've never written about shape-shifters before. Really glad you enjoyed it.

Thu, October 4th, 2018 11:36am

Keke Serene

What a creative twist on Romeo and Juliet! A brilliant idea, Hully! Their transformation to polar bears seems almost legendary. Well done! I'm glad they're able to be together. :)

Thu, October 4th, 2018 6:30pm

Author
Reply

I had to do that really, in the end! Thanks, Stars!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 11:37am

Joe Stuart

The story isn't really funny - if that was part of the challenge - but a wonderful story nevertheless. A classic tale of romance against all odds. And what better way to share their life together than as a couple of big cuddly polar bears? Not that I have ever tried to cuddle a polar bear. I can just imagine them running around in their bear skins each day and never getting cold.This is one of your best, Hully. ~ Joe

Thu, October 4th, 2018 8:54pm

Author
Reply

You really think so, Joe? Well, thanks so much for that. I'd never attempted to write anything around shape-shifting before. I'm not too sure it really fitted the challenge but I did have a lot of fun writing it!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and for pointing out that oh-so-crucial mistake!

Thu, October 4th, 2018 2:15pm

Drinks Much Soda

I was thinking they were gonna take their own eyes out.

Fri, October 5th, 2018 6:40am

Author
Reply

Okay, I can see that might have worked....but....Thanks so much for giving this a read.

Fri, October 5th, 2018 4:40am

C. J. Davis

Aw, poor R&J. Glad they got ti be together in the end. I'm such a sucker for hard-won love - excellent story!

Sat, October 6th, 2018 4:57am

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for that, CheyJade.

Sat, October 6th, 2018 2:11am

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