A Cheetah’s Tail – Chapter 1

This is the UPDATED version of A Cheetah’s Tail, chapter one. It’s pretty good, I think. It’s the first (and best with the revisions) animal TF I’ve done. If you’ve already read it, read it again, because there are some MAJOR changes! Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Jason was just an average kid living in an average home with average parents getting average grades at an average school in an average Illinois town. He had average friends and an average family. He earned an average amount of money. He spent an average of 30 minutes per day watching TV. But one way he wasn’t average was running. He could run like no one else in his school. People would see him and say, “Hey, Lightning, how’s it going?” or, more often, “Hey, wait up!” Jason had also always liked animals. He was especially fascinated by cheetahs. He had pictures of them all over his walls, recorded every single Discovery Channel program that had even one cheetah in it, and so on. He had even made his own cheetah stationery that he used for all of his letters and school assignments. Unfortunately, Jason did not live in a large city, and their zoo did not have a cheetah.

One day, the news came that there would be a circus in town. This was an exclusive circus that would feature performing cheetahs that could do all kinds of neat things. Needless to say, Jason was on the Ticketmaster website right when the tickets went on sale and got a special deal for front-row seats. He asked his parents if they wanted to go, but they said they would drop him off and pick him up because they had work to attend to. As the day of the circus approached, Jason became very excited. He was finally going to see a cheetah up close! Finally, the big day arrived. Jason was there a half hour before anyone else, hoping to catch the first glimpse of the cheetahs. As he was watching, a man came up behind him.

“Do you want to see the cheetahs?” asked the man.

“Sure!” said Jason, overjoyed. The man led him into what looked like a large cage. “Wait here,” he said. “I’ll bring one in. We currently only have one cheetah, a female, but we want to get a male soon.”

Jason waited in the cage for a few minutes, wondering why the man had him wait in the cage, but not moving for fear of upsetting the man and losing the privilege of seeing the cheetah. Suddenly, a bright streak of red light from somewhere outside the cage surrounded him. His arm started to itch furiously, and when he started to scratch it, he noticed it felt fuzzy. He looked down and nearly jumped out of his skin. His right arm was covered in a light fuzz. But it wasn’t the fuzz that bothered him, it was the pattern. It was yellow with black spots. It took him a few moments to register what he was seeing. “I have cheetah fur!” he said. “What’s happening to me?” No sooner had he said that than the itching started again, this time much worse. He closed his eyes as it spread over his entire body. Finally the itching stopped. He opened his eyes and stared in disbelief. “This can’t be happening!” he yelled. He tried to run to get help, but the cage door suddenly shut and locked on its own. “Somebody, help!” The fur was now complete, forming a pelt of brilliant yellow fur and black spots. The changes resumed and he felt his posture shifting. He was being forced forward into a quadrupedal stance. “No, I don’t want to be a cheetah!” he yelled. But it was no use. His legs began to shorten, as well as his arms. Fingers shortened, nails reshaped into sharp claws. He watched in horror as his clothes fell off as he shrunk in size. He looked back just in time to see his legs reshape into digitigrade form. “No!” he screamed, as he fell forward onto all fours and caught himself with his forepaws. The changes continued, his head reshaping so he was looking straight ahead instead of down. His ears moved to the top of his head and gained a rounder shape. His face began to push out into a muzzle. Moments later, it was done. He somehow knew he was a cheetah cub. He looked himself over. “Wait, there’s something missing,” he thought. Just as soon as he thought it, the base of his spine started to expand. It grew until he had a long, furry cheetah tail. Then his mind started to change. He screamed mentally at the thought of losing his humanity. He couldn’t let go! The fear of losing his humanity was more terrifying than anything he had ever felt before. He tried to fight it, but it was no use. He felt animal instincts forcing themselves on him, but something was off. He was still thinking. He still had his humanity! It was then he realized he actually felt pretty good. In fact, he felt better than he ever had before. As he finished this thought, the man came back.

“I see you’re finished. You are a very handsome cheetah cub and will be a fine addition to my circus.” So that was what this was about! Jason felt anger building. This man was about to force him to become a circus animal! Jason decided to play it cool and wait for a chance to escape. His opportunity came sooner than expected. Just as the man unlatched the cage, Jason leaped at him, knocking him over with his speed. As he ran, he thought about how he could convince his parents that he was a cheetah. After only a few minutes, he reached the house. He grabbed a stick in his muzzle, beat on the door, and hid behind a bush. He knew that he had to get inside the house quickly so his parents didn’t just slam the door and call animal control. The last thing he wanted was life at the circus, at the zoo, or in the wild. He waited a while, and was just about to try again when he saw a note on the door. It read, “Jason, I had a meeting to go to, I’ll be back around 10. Love, mom.” Jason looked through the window at the clock. It was only 4:30! His dad wouldn’t even be back for 3 hours, and there was no way he could use the key they had under the doormat to open the door with his paws. The man might even be gone by then! Thinking desperately, he decided to go to his friend Roy’s house.

Minutes later, he got to the house. Thinking quickly, he found a piece of wood and scratched his name into it with a claw, carrying it in his muzzle and banging the door with it. When Roy opened the door, Jason moved about halfway in the door and sat down. Roy jumped back, but then saw the wood. Stunned, he looked at the cheetah before him. “Are you Jason?” he asked uncertainly. Jason nodded his head. “No, it can’t be you!” he said. Jason again nodded his head. “Okay, if you are Jason, then drop that piece of wood where we used to build our snow forts.” Wasting no time, Jason ran over to a large tree and dropped the wood, looking back at Roy. Roy swore under his breath. “You really are Jason! But how?” Jason ran back up to Roy. “Do you think you can use a computer? You could type whatever you need to say.” Jason nodded. Roy ran inside the house. “Come on in, just don’t knock anything over or tear anything up, my parents would go nuts.” It took a while, but Jason finally managed to tell Roy that a man at the circus turned him into a cheetah.

A while later, Roy had gotten together three of Jason’s friends, Bob, John, and Zack. “So what do we do?” asked John.

“Well,” said Zack, “we need a plan so we don’t get turned into cheetahs too.”

“But that would help us!” protested Roy. The others stared at him blankly. “All we have to do is make a big sign that says ‘Turn us back or we kill you.’ Then we get him to turn us into cheetahs. Once he does, we all pounce on him and shove the sign in his face. He’ll have no choice. Besides it would be fun to be cheetahs for a few minutes.” The last argument seemed to win the others over.

“Yeah, it would be a lot of fun.”

“I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be an animal.”

“Let’s do it!” With a cheer, the four boys got on their bikes. Jason looked at the others, then started off at a leisurely pace (for a cheetah) so the boys could keep up with him. As they continued on, Jason thought about what had happened. He loved being a cheetah now, but he hated not being able to talk, play video games, or do other things he had always enjoyed doing as a human. He almost felt sorry to go back, but he knew he couldn’t live his whole life as an animal. He would be a pet at best, and at worst, he would be constantly studied by scientists and doctors or put into a zoo. As a cheetah, he had no hope of a better life. His thoughts were cut short as they approached the parking lot in front of the circus grounds. Jason’s fur bristled as he saw the man standing there, waiting.

The man laughed at them. “I’ve been expecting you. Why try, it’s no use. Why not just ask me to change him back? It’s a lot better than anything else you could come up with!”

As he laughed again, Roy yelled, “We’re not leaving him like this! Change him back or make us cheetahs too.”

“What an excellent idea!” exclaimed the man. Before they could react, he gestured at each of them, sending four bolts of red light their way. “I really must go, however. I will see you some other time!” With that, the man vanished in a flash of light.

“Come back, you coward!” yelled Zack.

Bob sighed. “Great, now we have to find him again and make him change Jason back. We have to figure out how he uses his power first. Then maybe we can stop him.”

“Um, guys, I think we have a bigger problem.” Bob, Zack, and Roy turned around. John stood behind them, looking at his arm. It was covered with yellow fur with black spots. “I think this is going to be harder than we thought.”

“Great, what do we do now?” Roy looked at the others.

“I don’t know.” said Zack. “I thought it would be cool to be a cheetah, but now I’m not so sure. I just hope we can find that guy again. I don’t want to be stuck as an animal.”

“I don’t either. We just have to convince that guy to change us back,” said John, looking nervously at his new tail.

“We just have to not panic,” said Bob. “If we panic, we could lose all hope of getting turned back to normal.” He looked at the others, noticing that they were beginning to be forced forward onto all fours just as he felt himself being forced forward. He looked at his new paws just in time to see his nails reshape into claws. He fell forward and caught himself with his forepaws, grunting. Then he noticed himself shrinking. “How big are cheetah cubs supposed to…” He froze when he realized that what he had tried to say came out as cheetah sounds, but a voice to his right was even more surprising

“Did you just talk in cheetah language?” asked Jason.

“Yeah! We can understand each other! This is cool.”

Moments later, they were all finished. Jason looked around at the others, then stopped in shock. “Umm, Roy, John? I think… you’re…”

“What?” Roy asked.

John looked at Roy and gasped, then twisted around and looked at himself in panic, confirming his fears. “We’re… girls!”

Roy froze, then turned around slowly, already knowing what she would and wouldn’t find. She looked at John with a look of despair on her face. “So what next?” she said slowly.

“Well,” said Jason, “let’s look around here and look for clues as to where he went. We’ll meet back here in ten minutes. Don’t worry, we’ll fix this.” With that, the five cheetah cubs split up and headed off into various parts of the circus grounds.

Meanwhile, the man sat comfortably in his fortress, hidden by magic, laughing hysterically. “Enjoy your new lives, fools!”

Forward to Chapter 2

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