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Synopsis: Damien has dedicated his life to trying to become a social worker, and be the kind of man he never had growing up. Unfortunately, the mistakes of the parents he never met are catching up with him, and when they do his entire life is ripped apart. He is morphed into a young girl and is forced to live with a mother he never wanted to meet in a world he doesn’t care about, while emotions he thought he’d buried years ago painfully resurface.
Powerful people are trying to convince him to use his emerging powers for the benefit of humanity, but he refuses to accept what’s happened and this refusal is slowly tearing his body apart. He doesn’t care about anything other than going back home and to the life he used to live, in the body he felt safe in, with his kitten.
Will he manage to return to his previous life, or will his body give out and die in the process? Or will he accept what’s happened to him and try to work through it?
Author's note: I'm posting this to see how much interest I get in this, based off of the premise and the first chapter. I'm putting feelers out, I guess! And if they feel a good reception then they'll start feeling me for more! And it'll feel good, cos feelers are...feeling...yeah...what...
If you'd like more let me know by Kudos or comment, whichever :) This story will become my secondary focus after The Waitress, if so. If not then...cool. I'll feel myself for some more...feelings. Yep. >.>
Chapter 1: Damien
I was running out of time. I’d only written three lines of the two thousand word essay due tomorrow morning and the library was going to close in an hour. I hadn’t even finished half of the reading material necessary to write the essay either. I was screwed. Psychology had, once again, thoroughly defeated me.
‘No…’ I moaned and pushed my laptop away from me so I could slump down on the desk’s warm surface. ‘I suuuck.’
‘Hmm?’ my classmate Laura looked up from the table next to mine, a frown on her handsome face. We were sitting at the back of the library, amongst the many study tables behind the bookshelves. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘I’m not going to be able to finish this.’ I jerked my head at the laptop.
‘Well, yeah,’ She smirked, brushing her loose blonde hair behind her large ears. ‘You should have started it two months ago, not two hours ago.’
‘I was busy with the statistical assignment though.’ A weak spark of anger shot through me and I sat back up. ‘And before that I had to study for that stupid maths test we had, which was a waste of time because I failed it anyway. This is impossible!’
‘Well, I’ve managed to keep up with everything, and so has everyone else in our class,’ Laura said matter-of-factly. ‘So you just need to do better.’
I stared at her in disbelief. ‘B-but I’m doing the best I can!’
‘Really?’ She looked genuinely surprised, and then shrugged. ‘Well, then, that’s disappointing.’
‘What? Don’t say that!’ I moaned and she smirked before lowering her head down and flipping through her textbook.
I stared at her head before snarling and slumping back down on the table. God damn it! I hated Laura! And this stupid school too! I should have known it would end up like this. Why had I even bothered coming here?
It had seemed so new and exciting at first though…Lowe was a private school that let year nine students study the VCE psychology course, something that was normally only available to year ten students. I’d wanted to be a social worker even since I was twelve and when I’d found out about Lowe last year I’d immediately applied for an economic scholarship, and had actually been accepted!
It’d been a dream come true and I was intent not to waste the opportunity. I knew first-hand how painful childhood abuse could be and desperately I wanted to help children who were suffering. I wanted to become the person I’d never had as a child. A competent, caring adult who could help kids in need, kids who had nobody else to help them. I’d cheer them up and give them hope for a better future, a better life. It was all I’d ever wanted! To be someone important, someone who helped people and was genuinely caring and kind…but…
Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like any of that was going to happen.
Even though I was passionate about being a social worker, I was absolutely terrible at learning how to be one. I’d never been able to concentrate very well and because the coursework was two years above my level I was having far more trouble than normal. I was constantly struggling to understand words and concepts and was too embarrassed to ask for the teacher to slow down. Everyone else seemed to be able to follow the coursework, even other kids my age, so I didn’t want to single myself out as the only idiot. As such, I kept silent and fell further and further behind with each passing day.
It was nearing the end of the semester now and if I didn’t get more than seventy percent on my overall grade then I’d be forced to drop the subject and start it again next year. And from how things had been going I couldn’t imagine being allowed to continue. I was going to have to drop the course…
I glared at my laptop and saw my reflection looking back, making me slam it shut. I really didn’t want to see myself right now, although it wasn’t like I was particularly ugly. My face was starting to break out in acne but it wasn’t too bad, and my strong nose and chin helped elevate my rather thin lips and dull eyes. My messy black hair reached down to my ears and covered my uneven forehead quite well, and I was tall and gangly too, which was pretty useful.
It wasn’t my body that was the problem, it was my brain. I was…just dumb. Slow and stupid. I couldn’t think clearly for more than a minute before getting distracted and whenever I tried to think about complex things for too long I got an actual headache. I couldn’t even focus on something I was passionate about! It was my dream to be a social worker but I w-
‘Yo! Damien!’ a boy’s voice said from behind me and I gasped, having completely lost myself in my misery.
I turned around and suppressed a groan as I saw one of the last people I wanted to see right now. Shannon Hine, with his girlfriend standing behind him. He was a year older than me and also studied psychology. He was tall, lean and had a round, rather babyish face that made him seem even younger than me. His ginger hair was cut close to the scalp and always had a pair of expensive sunglasses resting on top of it, even in winter. Teachers were constantly telling him to take them off but he never did, and if they were confiscated he always seemed to have another pair ready to replace them.
‘Shannon. What’s up?’ I sighed, hoping he was just here to talk to me about psychology.
‘Nothing much. Just waiting for my dad to get here.’ He nodded to the laptop and pile books behind me. ‘You working on that assignment due tomorrow?’
‘He hasn’t finished it yet.’ Laura unhelpfully commented and I glared at her.
‘Really? It’s worth thirty percent of our grade, you know.’ Shannon laughed and adjusted the glasses on his head. ‘You need to finish it, man.’
‘Yeah, I know.’ I moaned and ran my hands through my hair.
‘Is this the weird kid you were talking about?’ Damien’s black-haired girlfriend said and I froze. Weird? ‘The one that doesn’t like being touched?’
‘Oh! Yeah, this is him.’ Shannon grinned at her and then raised a hand. ‘Check this out!’
The girlfriend watched with interest as Shannon slowly moved his hand towards me, still grinning.
‘Wh-stop it!’ I reflectively recoiled from the hand, a shiver running down my spine. I did not like being touched and Shannon clearly knew it! What the hell was he doing?
‘Naw.’ Shannon’s grin widened and he moved his hand closer to my face, making me flinch. He laughed and my face burned as I heard his girlfriend join in. ‘See? It freaks him out.’
‘Stop it.’ I repeated as firmly as I could, anxiety curling in my stomach. I was in far too bad of a mood to deal with this right now…
‘We’re just having some fun,’ Shannon said and pulled his hand away. ‘Relax.’
‘Yeah, relax.’ his girlfriend giggled. ‘It’s just fun!’
‘It’s not fun fo-FUCK!’ I jolted to my feet as she leapt at me, throwing her arms out in front of her. She stopped inches from my face and then laughed delightedly as I backed into the table and grunted in surprise.
‘Dude! You seriously need to chill!’ she giggled as I grasped at my chest. ‘We’re just playing, yeah?’
‘G-go away!’ I shook my head and winced as an unpleasant buzzing began to grow in my ears. A memory flitted through my mind, of a large man reaching out to touch my body while painful sobs shook my chest an-
‘Are you high or something?’ she leant closer and inspected my eyes with a frown.
‘What? No.’ I hugged my chest, feeling sick. More memories flashed through my head but I tried to ignore them. I was not in the right mindset to deal with this right now! ‘I just don’t like being touched!’
‘I don’t either, but I don’t freak out like a retard when someone tries to touch me.’
‘I’m not a retard!’ I snarled, the word immediately setting me off. ‘Don’t call me that!’
‘Aww, sorry mate,’ Shannon held out his hand. ‘We didn’t mean to upset you. Let’s shake and make up.’
‘Just go away.’ I swallowed. ‘Please…’
‘Shake my hand and we will.’ Shannon grinned. ‘Go on! It’s just a hand. It’s not gonna bite you.’
‘No. Go away!’
‘Don’t be so pathetic.’ His voice hardened. ‘It’s just a handshake you pussy. Come on!’
I shook my head and began packing up my psychology textbooks. ‘I’m going home.’
‘Okay, now you’re just pissing me off.’ He said and…
Grabbed my shoulder. Hard.
His hands on my shoulder were like metal weights, forcing me onto my knees while Jon came into the room.
‘Shh…’ he said as I stared crying again, my chest feeling like it was about to break. ‘You should be used to this by now. Why don’t you just close your eyes and pretend that you’re Demi, okay? Demi doesn’t cry. Oh no, she doesn’t. She’s a good girl.’
‘Are you a good girl?’
A warm, nauseating strength flooded through my veins and I felt my eyes darken behind my thin eyebrows. My heart began to beat faster and faster, far beyond what it should have been capable of.
‘Fuck. OFF!’ I spun around and shoved Shannon in the chest so hard that he was jolted backwards over one table and into the one behind it. He grunted with surprise as he crashed into the table and both of them were slammed into the ground by his momentum.
He lay on the ground for a moment, a look of shock on his face, and then he pushed himself back up as his girlfriend cried out in shock.
‘What the hell!’ Tom snarled and rubbed his lower back while making sure his glasses weren't damaged. ‘The shit is wrong with you, man?’
‘I told you not to touch me.’ My breathing was ragged, and the warm feeling was already fading as my heart calmed itself down. This was only the third time I’d ever felt it and it always disappeared after I punched or pushed someone, unfortunately.
‘You’re insane!’ his girlfriend spat. ‘Wh-’
‘Stop it!’ Laura shouted and all of us stared at her in surprise. I’d completely forgotten that she was even there. ‘I’m trying to study, you morons!’
‘Awh, don’t be a bitch Laura.’ Shannon said and she glared at him. ‘We’re just messing around.’
‘I don’t care! This is a library, not a…a gym! Get out of here,’ she turned to look at me. ‘And you too Damien! You’re always ruining my concentration with your bullshit! You’re either muttering to yourself like a retard or getting into fights like this! I’m sick of it!’
Her words jerked me out of my rage and I stared at her in shock. ‘W-what? I didn’t do anything!’
‘I don’t care! Just go away!’ She angrily flipped through her textbook. ‘Some of us actually have futures here, and I don’t want you dragging me down to your level with your bullshit.’
I gaped at her, the last vestiges of my rage turning into shame. ‘Wh-bu-my…my level?’
‘Yes. Your level. Shit.’ She sneered.
‘Oh damn!’ Shannon laughed, staring at Laura. ‘That was harsh!’
Tears stung my eyes and I turned back to my psychology books, feeling sick. Laura had always been mean but never that mean. I’d actually thought she was my friend, kind of. At least not someone who…who hated me…
My throat swelled up and I felt the urge to run away, but I needed to pack up my things first. I couldn’t leave my laptop here, it was far too expensive to lose in a fit of misery.
‘I was gonna punch you for shoving me before, but man…I think you’ve been hurt enough.’ Shannon said as I shoved my books into my schoolbag.
‘You should still punch him.’ The girlfriend said. ‘He pushed you over!’
‘Yeah, but…I kinda deserved that.’ Shannon smirked. ‘Sorry about that, Damo. I was just messing with you.’
‘Okay.’ I pushed my laptop into its case and swung my schoolbag over my shoulder. ‘I’m going. Bye.’
‘You gonna be okay?’ he asked as I walked away but I didn’t answer.
‘What a weirdo.’ His girlfriend said loudly.
‘Yeah…I think he might be retarded.’ Shannon said, also loud enough for me to hear.
A stab of pain ran through my chest and fresh tears streamed down my cheeks. Shit…
Why had I ever bothered coming here? I was a failure.
It was only five thirty, so while there weren’t many people on the school grounds it was still fairly light outside. I kept my head bowed so my hair would hide my red eyes and walked as fast as I could out of the library, ignoring the angry questions coming from the librarian about the commotion I’d just caused. There was a wooden walkway that wound down from the library and to the front of the school, and as I walked down it pain scratched at my chest.
This school was supposed to be where I started turning my dream of being a social worker into a reality. The classrooms were so big and fancy, with projectors and laptops in each room, and the three-storey tall IT building could had all of the latest technology for students to try out, and the science buildings had state-of the-art labs and…and…
I didn’t belong here. This was a school for genius rich kids like Laura and Shannon. People who actually had parents and the money to be able to afford to send them here. Not parentless poor kids like me who lived alone in a tiny apartment with only a kitten as company.
At least I had Whiskers for company. He was a black and white ball of love and affection that always made me feel better. He was so snuggly! When I got home I’d crawl onto my bed and he’d curl up next to me and purr-
‘Oh for god’s sake! Damien!’
‘Ah!’ I gasped as a tall girl stepped out in front of me and managed to stp walking before I crashed into her.
I blinked away tears and was surprised to see that it was Bailey, my best friend. She was a tall, athletic girl with dark black hair and a pink, healthy complexion that made her pretty face even more beautiful. She was holding onto a basketball and was dressed in the school’s black sports uniform.
‘Jesus! I’ve been trying to get your attention for like a minute!’ She brushed her long ponytail off of her shoulder and looked up at me in concern. ‘Are you okay?’
‘I’m fine.’ I rubbed my eyes and took a deep breath to calm myself down. ‘What are you still doing here?’
‘Basketball practice.’ She held up the basketball and raised a neatly plucked eyebrow.
‘Oh yeah.’ I looked around and saw that I was across from the basketball courts now, and nearing the exit to school. ‘Are you done? Want to walk home together?’
‘Sure,’ she dropped in next to me and began bouncing the ball. ‘So what’s wrong?’
I considered once again telling her that I was fine, but stopped myself. I’d first met Bailey when she’d found me beaten up after failing to fight off some bullies after my money, so it wasn’t like my stories of woe were anything new to her. Still…I didn’t want to relive what had just happened so shortened it down a bit.
‘I’m not going to be able to pass psychology.’
‘Oh,’ she stopped bouncing the ball and smiled lopsidedly. ‘I take it you didn’t manage to finish your essay then?’
‘No. I couldn’t even finish the introduction.’ My voice cracked and I looked away from her as Laura’s words rang in my mind. ‘D-do you think I’m stupid?’
‘No.’ she said immediately. ‘Why would I? Because you’re failing psychology?’
‘Yes!’ I sniffed and rubbed my nose. ‘Everyone else in our class who took it like Laura are doing fine! I’m the only one who’s going to fail!’
‘So? I’d fail it too if I did it.’ She bounced in front of me and pointed at herself. ‘Do you think I’m stupid?’
‘Then you’re not either.’ she said simply and began bouncing her basketball again. ‘We’re both C-average students, Damien. There’s nothing wrong with that.’
That…made sense but… ‘But I-’
‘Oh, cheer up!’ She threw the ball at me and I caught it before it squashed my stomach. ‘If you fail psych this year then you can just do it again next year! Simple.’
‘But I came here so I could do it this year.’ I bounced the ball a bit and then threw it back to her. ‘If I do it next year then there was no point in me even coming here.’
‘Yes there was.’ She looked at me with a wide smile. ‘You met me.’
I couldn’t help smiling back, my chest lightening a bit. ‘That’s true. You’re pretty awesome.’
‘I am.’ She jumped onto the small wire fence lining the edge of school and stood straight. ‘And so are you. I wouldn’t be friends with you if it wasn’t true.’
I blushed and looked down at the ground. ‘T-thanks.’
She laughed. ‘So, why don’t we two awesome people go to your place and eat a tub of ice cream while watching the rest of that anime show we saw last week?’
‘That sounds…perfect.’ I breathed and grinned up at her.
‘I know.’ She winked and jumped off the fence, landing in front of me. ‘Now come on! I’m starving.’
Just as I was about to follow her I stopped, hearing a strange sound coming from somewhere in the distance. It was a creaking, cracking sound followed by a heavy moaning. I frowned and looked back at the school to see if someone was there, but there was only empty pavement and dark classrooms. For a moment I thought I saw a shape on top of one of the classroom's metal roofs, and I heard a soft cracking, but then the shape was gone.
'What's wrong?' Bailey called and I jumped.
'Umm...' I looked at the classroom again before hurrying after her, starting to be a bit creeped out. 'Nothing. Let's go!'
As I caught up to her I heard the strange moaning again, but it quickly faded as we left the area. It was probably just the groundskeeper doing...something. Groundskeeper stuff.
Maybe if I couldn't be a social worker then I'd end up being a groundskeeper. That didn't sound so bad...
To be continued...
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