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Arrow's Vignettes:Luminari transformation
With all the activity that's been going on in your life lately, you've been driven to a near breaking point. You can't seem to fix anything and every single day seems to bring more bad news that stacks on top, and there's only so much that can be done to staunch the flow of blood. But in an attempt to help, you decided to treat yourself to a hot bubble bath/shower tonight, to just try and relax in the heat of the water and let your cares vanish for a few hours, until the water gets cold.
After getting into the bathroom, you close and lock the door, and cover the clock so that you don't stress about the time. Divesting your clothing, you step into the tub and close the drain, turning on the water at a high temperature and letting it fill the tub, filling the entire basin up with hot, soapy water. Turning off the tap and flopping into the tub with a splash, you lean an arm over the edge of the tub and lean back, just absorbing the heat and letting it soothe aching muscles and a weary soul. Nothing can bother you here in your personal refuge, as you relax and lie there as the water soaks into your skin, your body, your mind.
It's hard to say how long you lie there soaking in the water. It can't have been a short time because you can feel the water starting to cool after a while, but at the same time it doesn't seem to be nearly long enough. You turn on the tap to add more hot water to the mix, but it's not as hot as it was earlier, it seems. Mentally cursing at the small size of the water heater, you relax in the tub for a bit more before all the heat drains out.
Unfortunately this does eventually happen, so with a sigh you pull open the drain and turn on the showerhead, moving to stand up. Your first foot finds purchase, but as soon as you try to heft yourself up, it slips out from under you on something slippery, and your head splashes under the water, filling your eyes and lungs with soapy liquid! It's not under for more than a few seconds, but the unpleasant taste in your mouth, coupled with coughing and choking to expel the water makes it feel much longer. The soap in your eyes burns horridly, causing you to squeeze them shut in pain, and suddenly this whole endeavor doesn't seem like that good of an idea. You're now more angry than when you started and there's barely enough hot water left for a rinse off shower! And you splashed water all over the floor so now THAT needs to be cleaned up too.
Rubbing your eyes doesn't help, so with the help of the railing and wall you carefully stagger to your feet and start to rinse off with the shower spray. You grumble about your misfortune as you start an eye rinse, trying to get all the caustic soap out of your eyes so you can see again. After a minute or so things seem better, but your vision is all blurry. You stretch out a bit as you rinse, trying to regain a fragment of the earlier relaxation as you turn around in the water when you suddenly realize that the flesh on your hand isn't squishing against the wall like skin that's been in the water for half an hour should. Rubbing your eyes a bit more, you pull your hand into view and examine the skin, which is as firm and elastic as if you hadn't bathed at all. Odd...did you hit your head when you fell? THere's no blood, but you rub across your head to be sure.
Finding nothing, you reach for the shampoo when your hand brushes against something spiny on the back of your head. What the hell...? You feel again. There's like...a rubber stick, or a straw...or...something, there. By this point the main mirror and windows are completely steamed up and you can't see anything in them, so you fumble for your pocket mirror you keep for shaving under your neck and rinse it off, moving it to examine your head. Through the beaded water, you see something extending off the back of your ear, like a lionfish spine, except...well, attached to you. In fact, while there's only one on your left ear, your right ear already has three on, and the ear structure is starting to stretch back, webbing across the gap between the spines.
Shaking your head in confusion, you're about to call for help when you notice that the fingers holding your mirror are suddenly a fair shade bluer, and more transluscent. LIke a...no. It can't be. As if in response, your skin ripples a bit at the wrists as small spines push out there, webbing developing between them. Blue webbing. The silvery blue coloration starts spreading up your arms, the skin itself feeling more elastic and less pliable. Like rubber, really, but biological.
Breaking your attention is a sharp sensation on your neck, a burning similar to the soap in your eyes. You instinctively turn to rinse that area and the pain evaporates. The hot water feels amazing on your neck...so good that it takes you several seconds to notice you've stopped exhaling. It's not that you aren't breathing, it just feels like you don't need to exhale right now for some reason. Feeling the sides of your neck reveals the presence of several very sensitive small new slits along the side that seem to be fanning the water as it moves over them.
Your body starts to change to bluish as a few more fins grow in. Your whole build becomes a bit more lithe and flexible, a swimmer's build...guess this is one easy way to get fit! Your chest expands a bit as the abdomen slims down a bit. Your hands grow small claws on the end as a flexible webbing stretches out in between the fingers with an odd tickling sensation. It's amost pleasurable...your toes stretch out forming a longer base for flippered feet, more webbing growing in there as you watch, powerful leg muscles developing for swimming as you watch, the physique improving. Further articulation fins grow in on the legs, just as you've always seen in art and drawings commissioned...except this is real...no, it can't be, can it?
And suddenly in further response you feel your spine start to pull out, a tail starting to develop. It pushes out, looking like a reptilian tail at first, just a lengthening appendage. But the sensation! New sensory feedback floods your brain as it grows in, delicate nerve bundles developing inside as it grows, flexing. It slams against a wall with a sudden growth spurt, and your brain registers as the tail twists around to the front of your legs to make room as it continues growing. This itself grants you a better view of it as it develops, powerful muscle and sinew developing, twitching and moving at your command, splashing some water around the room. Flukes start to push out the sides, delicate, almost paper-thin flesh webbing across the entire thing, turning it into a rudder even the best Olympic swimmers could only wish for. But you have it, attached to you, obeying your commands mentally as your skin finishes turning a constant blue.
You look up at the shower again and get a face full of water spray, but you barely notice this time, your eyes simply seeing through the water clearly as if it wasn't even there, as you feel it slowly slide off your eyes and down your face. And finally the changes are almost done...your face gets hot, though not unpleasantly so, as it stretches out into a muzzle, tiny nose, mouth, entering the lower part of your field of view as it grows out. A grin develops across your face, the sides of the muzzle visibly moving as you smile a bit in happiness. Perhaps this shower didn't turn out so bad after all...