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Birthday

The one constant for her was the darkness. When she was changing so much every day, the warm, nurturing dark held her in place as she lost her tail and webbed toes and gained consciousness. It was her security.

So, at the onset of the intense pressure, the little bursts of pushing, she wasn’t afraid, just a little startled. It was the first time she could remember not being in control of her world. But the darkness was still there, a protective shield. With that shield, she knew that it would be all right, as it always was.

Of course, it was painful. But it was nothing compared to the drawn out ache of her metamorphosis. It was comprised of short, intense bursts where she felt there was enough pressure to squish her back into the almost unknown little creature that she thought might have once been her. It was manageable, though, with plentiful spells of recovery time.

But then, much too soon compared to the sloth of the rest of her existence, it intensified. With each push, it felt like her bones were shattering, her skull compressed into nothingness, her skin flattened and shredded. And the pressure of it all against her eyes broke up the darkness that cradled her. She panicked, desperately trying to thrash around and stop it all, to go back home- but she couldn’t. This was a force much larger than herself, larger than anything she ever knew. She felt internal pressure, a kind of beast, well up inside her chest, and when her head came out into the light, she screamed.

It was too bright. This new world burned her eyes, and, she believed, her skin. And the sound, the noise, the racket! The strange voices, the whirring of something that she could just sense wasn’t organic, bombarded her into shock. In the darkness, she thought the noise outside was disturbing, but that was just a whisper compared to this experience. She wanted to crawl back to the darkness, to home. She knew that was impossible, as she felt the pressure leave her legs and her former home finally rejected her forever.

She tore the new sounds to pieces with the power of her desperate cries, shrieking into the garish light. She felt herself being picked up and moved for the first time. Against her wet skin, this new entity felt warm and dry, but seemed to jerk her around roughly and wildly compared to her steady home. She felt something soft press into her, and saw the edges of this soft, fuzzy new thing in her peripheral vision. At first she thrashed against it, but when she felt its warmth and the familiar way it was pressed into her body, she relaxed a little. If she closed her eyes, she could almost imagine that she was back home.

This new world demanded to be experienced, though, and her eyes were not closed for long. Something was cooing in her face, emulating the soft murmurs of sounds she heard while she was back in the darkness. She looked towards this new, comforting thing and was surprised that it looked a lot like her. Dark hair, like the fuzz on her head, was plastered on its shiny, moist forehead. It cradled her to its chest, bringing back waves of familiarity. She looked into the brown eyes that mirrored her own, feeling an instinctual connection.

She stopped crying, and smiled.




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