This is a Tomorrowlands universe story; they are listed at http://www.tomorrowlands.org/story/stories.html.
(c) 2002, Thrames
Diary of David Mordred November 28, 1996: Thanksgiving was a few days ago, of course. It wasn't too big of an event. Dad's in Ottawa, with his new family, not wanting to see us ever again. Mom got drunk off her ass again this year. Ron, my brother, simply ate then went to stay in his room. Ashley and Michael were with their families and didn't even call me. Maria, my girlfriend, called, but she didn't talk with me for long. 5 minutes. I seem destined to be unhappy all the time. December 1, 1996: Mom got drunk again, slapped me a few times, called me worthless and lazy and that I deserve nothing. Considering how my life is, I begin to wonder if maybe she's right. December 4, 1996: Damn it, damn it, damn it! Maria broke up with me. Why? Things were going so well between us, but she said that she was no longer satisfied with the relationship and that she felt too constricted. Damn it, what did I do to make her do this? Maybe Mom was right. Maybe I don't deserve anything. December 6, 1996: I see the insects crawling in the apartment, and I empathize with them. Poor things, nothing lasts long for them, and any happiness they may have is fleeting. And only those like them like them at all. I sometimes hate sharing so much with the crawling beasts. December 18, 1996: Holy shit! I saw something on CNN about this real-life dragon! Apparently some guy who had thought he was a dragon became one. And others are doing the same thing. God, I hope that sort of thing doesn't happen to me. Instead of a majestic dragon, I'd be some sort of ugly, hopeless monster. December 20, 1996: I've heard more and more reports of people turning into things. I'm starting to think that perhaps I'll do the same. I hope not. I'll just be a beast. January 5, 1997: It's been several days, now, since my transformation. It is quite horrid, turning into a giant roach-man. I've kept some of my humanity, but not much. I have 6 limbs now, 4 of them on the ground. My arms have stretched into 4-and-a-half foot long monstrosities. They are thin tubes with joints in them, they look like those small PVC pipes. My hands, by god, they are terrible. They've elongated to about a foot long, and end with 3 flexible claws with 2 other claws below them, facing the opposite way. I can grab things, but I have no manual dexterity. And, I have wings now. Not those majestic wings of the dragons, oh no, but vestigial, ugly things. They are veined, fragile things that flap about pathetically when I try to fly. My face, it doesn't even look remotely like something from Phylum Chordata. It's like a giant oval, with a pair of 3-foot long antenna bursting out of the middle of my face, and two giant eyes on the sides of my head, wrapping upwards, covering the entire sides of my face. They are all black, too, not showing a hint of emotion. And my sight has been all fucked up, I can see ultraviolet now, I think, along with normal light. My vision isn't too good beyond about 40 feet, but I can focus on damn near everything. My jaws are these weird cutting things now, like a pair of paring shears and a bunch of other stuff lodged way up in it. And, I have this damn compulsion to run my antenna through my mouth every hour or so. And, gods, my ears are behind my legs. And I can barely hear either. I can detect patterns well, but I can't hear what people say too well. Damn it, why did this happen to me? January 21, 1997: I didn't attend "The Meeting", but I heard it was quite a success. Yeah, right, I'm still looked at by everyone as a damned freak, even other therianthropes. I'm shunned everywhere I go, and I can't, for the damnedest reason, change back. Only my best two friends and my brother actually care about me anymore. They have to support me now -- no place is going to hire me. Last time I went to a bookstore and glanced through a book, the clerk forced me to buy it, saying I was diseased and would harm his customers with my filth. Kind of ironic that this book was "The Metamorphosis." (Damn, it's hard to use a typewriter with these hands.) I can't even wear clothes now. All I have is a trench coat and wide brim hat, but, even those don't conceal me all that well. Difficult to hide 4-foot-long arms and 3-foot-long antennae, as well as four legs and a giant abdomen. February 14, 1997: Ah, Valentine's Day, the day when everyone gets together with their special someone and does all those lovey things together. I hate this damned day. My friends and brother are all out with their girlfriends (boyfriend in Ashley's case). God damn, I feel alone. February 19, 1997: I was assaulted today. Well, I got into a fight. Some prick just decided to start whaling on me. The bastard almost broke my arm. I did manage to almost bite off a finger, though. Hopefully he won't call the police ... February 21, 1997: I've been arrested for assaulting a man. February 22, 1997: My public defender is a lowlife who refuses to do anything for my case, stating in my face that he'd like to see me lose. I told the judge this, but he simply shrugged his shoulders and said he was the only one available. The media is making me out to be some sort of terrible monster out to kill all of mankind ... February 24, 1997: All I've read about in the newspapers is "Vile Roach-Man Attacks Innocent Citizen!" or something like that. The town's been inundated with a flood of reporters and people from CNN. Every time I go to or from court, I get assaulted by reporters. Luckily, the ACLU has heard about this and has actually gotten several attorneys to help me out. The lawyers are even working pro bono! February 26, 1997: Apparently the guy that's trying to get me convicted has fled the state. He has a few arrest warrants in Texas. For assault, no less. February 28, 1997: The police department is very antsy right now. All sorts of liberal groups are pointing out similar sort of stuff that the police department has done in the past. Mostly some therianthrope incidents, but also minority ones. March 2, 1997: Ha! I've been let off because the guy isn't here to testify and the police department doesn't want some federal investigation of this sort of thing. The media has been hellish, though. Saying that I've just gotten off on a "technicality," yeah, sure, technicality. The bunch of assholes ... March 21, 1998: Sorry I haven't written in over a year, it just sort of slipped my mind. The exposure of the media of me being a monster left me pretty depressed -- hell, I'm still depressed. I'm starting to wonder if I deserve this. March 28, 1998: I've tried to find a more therianthrope-filled community, but even there I get odd looks and harassment. I've heard all sorts of stuff about theris being so kind and nice to those who are different. I suppose it's only if you still have a backbone. Bunch of assholes. April 11, 1998: Finally have a new home. My brother had to buy it for me, though. The people selling the home refused to sell it to a "filthy bug." Jonathan, Ashley's boyfriend, has decreed to her that she either abandons me or loses him. She decided to go with Jon. Seems that almost no one loves me. I can't even cry, despite my hurt. What'd I ever due to deserve this horrible fate? April 15, 1998: This is my fifth damn jaywalking ticket. I was behind a group of about four other people, just coming home after grabbing a bottle of honey and a 6-pack of Mountain Dew from the grocery store, and this cop comes up behind me, taps me on the shoulder, and tells me I was just jaywalking and I have to pay off the damn ticket. I pointed to all the people in front of me and asked him why he didn't ticket them too. He said that if I kept up that sort of talk, I was going to get a ticket for obstructing justice. What bullshit. April 23, 1998: I've finally learned to stay indoors. No one wants me out there, so I stay in. I've just been playing Playstation for the past week or so. Luckily Ron, my brother, is taking care of me. I can tell he wants to live on his own, though. I'm starting to feel like such a burden. Maybe I do deserve this now. April 30, 1998: Still not much going on. Not much happens when you sit in your room staring at everything that your eyes can focus on and drinking a bunch of sugary water. I'm not even having Ron buy any pop anymore. Sugar and water suffice. My brother has become increasingly annoyed with me, demanding I find a job. May 4, 1998: Well, I got a job. Night janitor at a factory. They make a lot of electronic stuff. By electronic stuff, I mean fuses and power cords and stuff like that. I don't actually clean the factory, just the offices. I make okay money, I guess. $6.50 an hour and I work 6 hours, from 10 until 4. Fits my schedule just fine. May 18, 1998: I can keep a job, apparently. At least, I can keep this one. My first paycheck, and I have received an enormous $415. I'm giving $100 to Ron, for him letting me live in his house, I'm going to put $215 in the bank. The remaining $100 I'm going to buy a few cd's with as well as Gran Turismo -- it just came out! It's a racing type game. Hopefully it won't be too difficult. I've gotten quite proficient with the controller, despite my hands being almost exactly the wrong design to use it. May 23, 1998: I finally have Gran Turismo. It is quite a fun game. I like how it uses the analog controller, makes it that much easier for me. Michael and I play it a lot. He thinks he's good, but I always kick his ass. Ron, though, just plain sucks. However, yesterday night at work wasn't anywhere near as fun. Irene, a secretary, was working late. As soon as she saw me, she said she doesn't want me cleaning up her cubicle, she says I'll end up infecting her. Stupid bitch, I wear a fucking uniform and bathe daily. I'm probably cleaner then her. Damn idiots, I hate them. June 2, 1998: As I was strolling to work, I saw something quite unusual. It was another therianthrope. Yeah, yeah, not all that unusual, but this one was another insect. He was rooting around in a dumpster, looking for food. He was some sort of beetle, though. His wing cover was metallic green, and his face had these great big mandibles on them. And the rest of his face was freaky looking too. His eyes looked like these big, gaudy yellowish gems. His mouth retained a more human part to it, in that he still sort of had these humanlike jaws between those mandibles, and I could see some weird toothlike things. I couldn't see much else -- I was in a hurry and he was about 30 feet away, so I was straining my eyes anyway. I should probably try talking to him soon. June 3, 1998: Not much happened today or last night, so I have a few jokes. Did you hear about the new pirate movie? It's rated 'Arrrr'. You know what they say about the evil tuna? He was rotten to the albacore. Yes, I know those are terrible. I have a better one. A teenage guy likes this one girl, but he doesn't have the nerve to talk to her. So, he asks his friends about her. He learns that she's working at the hospital. So, he finally works up his courage, goes to the hospital, and asks for her, when the head nurse asks him who he his, he replies, "I'm her brother." The head nurse replies, "Well, that's nice to know, I'm her mother." In other news, Ron is quite happy that I'm keeping down a job and am bringing in my portion of the bacon. Too bad I hate bacon! I'd prefer to be bringing home the nectarines, or, at least, the grapes. June 6, 1998: Well, I finally talked to that beetle-person. Turns out that he's a she! Of course, now that she is a beetle, she lost her, shall we say, "feminine indicators." I gave her $20 and said I'd see if I could help her out more. Her name is Elizabeth, and she's a tiger beetle. June 7, 1998: I asked my brother if I could have someone bunking with me. He said it was all right as long as I paid an extra $75 per month and as long as the person pitched in with groceries. So, I plan on asking Elizabeth to live with us, if just for a few weeks. June 8, 1998: Elizabeth is now living in my room. She says she likes it. I set up a partition for her, so she could have some privacy. It was easy to set up, thankfully. It always helps being able to crawl on ceilings. Excellent for dusting, too. No need for those annoying extendible things. June 11, 1998: You know, some days I hate being a giant insect, but, on other days, I love it. I don't watch much TV anymore, except for "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill," and I don't read much either, or listen to much music, but I've taken up painting and drawing. These eyes come in really handy for that sort of thing. Details are so much easier, and Ron and Elizabeth say that my drawings are extremely realistic. I've even got a decent pencil drawing technique down. I can actually use my hands very efficiently now. Writing, typing, drawing, and all that are much, much easier now. I think I can get used to this. Also, Elizabeth and I have been talking a lot recently. I found out why she transformed, or, at least, why she thinks she did. It's really odd, she conceded. All through her childhood, she always imagined herself as some sort of insect, crawling around doing fun bug stuff (play in the mud, eat stuff, things like that) and looking very pretty with her metallic wingcase and compound, jewel-like eyes. About 3 years ago, though, she and her mother became homeless, and she had only those fond memories to look back on. One day in December, she became a beetle, and she felt she rather liked it. She's decided that even though she could potentially turn back into a human, she won't. There was nothing good when she was a human, only when she thought of herself as a beetle. Now that she's a beetle, she says, her life is a lot better. I quite admire her strength. June 15, 1998: Ick, between my brother, taxes, and groceries, I barely have any money left over. I've been saving it for 2 weeks and all I have is $40. I should have closer to $100, but I've been supporting Elizabeth. I hope she gets a job soon. She's smart and competent, I'm sure she can get a job. June 19, 1998: Liz has a job. She's working at the airport as a cargo loader. It's easy work for her, she's pretty strong. Nowhere near as strong as a tiger beetle proportionately, but she can lift 500 lbs. over her head with ease. Note to self: Never get into a fight with Liz. June 24, 1998: Days have been passing slowly. The neighborhood is finally okay with a pair of giant insects living in their immediate vicinity. Or, they have learned to just ignore us. I don't care either way; none of them are too interesting anyway -- wouldn't be cool friends. Liz and I talk a lot now. We've been renting a lot of movies as of late. TV sucks, mostly, and most books don't hold much interest for us. Fiction has gotten much too unusual since the changes. So, we've been watching a lot of movies and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Even rented some Japanese animation. One of them is called "Akira". It has quite a good storyline. Much too complicated to write in my journal, though. I don't think I could forget it anyway. July 5, 1998: Nothing has really happened in the past 2 weeks, for the most part. Yesterday, though, Ron brought over a few of his friends and I brought over a few of mine. We had beers and lit fireworks. Such fun mixing alcohol and explosives. Me is samrt! July 12, 1998: Well, I suppose I can stop writing for a while. Everything's well, life is going good, and I'm slowly amassing a pile of cash. Hopefully I can buy Liz and myself an apartment sometime soon. Not a car, though. They are too difficult to drive in this body. Or even ride in comfortably, most of the time. A couple of years later (fine, a year and 4 months; you happy?): November 5, 2000: I have finally moved out on my own, with Elizabeth. I suppose one could say we are an 'item' now. Besides being insects, we like a lot of the same things. We have the same tastes in music, food, books, TV, and all sorts of other things. That's tangential, though. My original point, we found a nice little apartment in Tucson, Arizona, a mere 50 miles from our hometown. It's quite nice, and it's in a nice little "village" of other therianthropes. I quite like this life. I may be a bug, but I'm a happy one. Like Elizabeth now, I don't think I would change back.
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