She was soaring above a meadow, feeling the whoosh of air currents, instinctively adjusting her wings as needed. All her attention was focused below; she was able to view the rabbit without any problem. She circled round and started on a fast descent, ready to grab the tasty treat with her sharp talons. As she swooped low… the alarm went off and Gwen Brahms was blinking awake in bed, getting her bearings on a Monday morning, the dream slowly fading away. Stretching and yawning, she noted that her arms were covered with feathers and her fingernails seemed sharper. A quick peak under the covers confirmed it; she was definitely some kind of raptor. Gwen sighed; she really had to take the time to learn more about animals. It was hard enough to wake up in some new body, but not even knowing what you were; well, that was just ridiculous.
Getting dressed she tested out her new form. Feathers had replaced hair. Her toes were longer, sharper and like talons; heels were out of the question today; in fact, none of her shoes fit. Her face still looked like her, but there was a definite raptor-like quality to it; her nose and mouth had merged into a single beak-like object, large, sharp and dangerous looking. Luckily, there was still enough soft tissue around her new mouth to allow her to drink a cup of coffee, but what she was really craving was some meat.
Driving to work, she saw ostriches, bears, dogs, and cats all driving alongside her through rush hour traffic. She didn’t blink; there was no longer anything strange about it. Oh, at first the MetaMorph had been a major event. No one know exactly when or where it started, and there were a million theories as to the cause; but regardless of all that the fact was that a majority of humankind were now metamorphosing into other creatures on a regular basis. There was no schedule anyone could figure out; a person might be a were-giraffe for two solid weeks, then two months later, that same person would wake up as a were-kittycat. The transitions always occurred during sleep, and they were never too extreme. No one ever woke up as a fish gasping for oxygen through gills, or the size of a whale. Regardless of what animal (or “weremal” as it was now called) a person was transformed into, the basic human upright, bipedal shape was still kept. As was the ability to talk and act mostly the same as the person was before the change, though aspects of their personality in keeping the weremal were heightened.
Gwen’s turning into a were-raptor gave her the appearance of a hawk, but she was still an IT project manager at InfoTechSys Inc., though now one who was sharper and more observant. Even reading through emails that morning she noticed how keenly her mind was able to compartmentalize messages into those she could ignore and those requiring action. She smiled a little, thinking of the upcoming meeting. Her team had better be on time and ready, because she felt alert and in no mood to deal with excuses. Yup, being a raptor was a good morph for a project manager. Much better than the last time, when she was a were-gerbil, 4 days mostly spent hiding in her office with the door shut. The timing of this was perfect as her project was getting behind. This week would be productive.
She strode confidently into the conference room to face her staff. Raj was himself today; Steve was different; he’d gone from the dog of last week to a bear. Amir was a sloth and Susan was the same goat she’d been last week. Too bad, Gwen thought; these were not particularly good forms for work. It would be hard to get Amir to do anything this week; not only were sloths lazy, they were unperturbed by raptors. Steve’s natural unpredictability would only be increased as a were-bear; he would most likely spend the week off on whatever work caught his fancy, regardless of whether it was the most critical item in the project plan. Thank goodness for Susan and Raj; they were going to be the lynchpins for getting anything done.
So began just another week work.