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User:Eirik/Best Laid Plans

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Best Laid Plans

Author: Eirik

Bob walked into through the door, grinning ear to ear. "Take a look at this!" he said as he tossed a small canvas bag toward Jack.

The sound of a couple small metal items clanging together rang though the room as he caught it. Curious, he opened it and looked inside. "Toy horseshoes?" he asked. He reached in and picked one up. It was only a couple of inches across. "What are these for?"

"Something I picked up for Eric in the Magi district," he said with a smile.

Jack dropped the bag and shoe to the floor where they clattered against the tile of the kitchen. "The Magi district! Are you nuts?! You of all people know how dangerous that stuff is! You remember what happened the last time! What the hell are these?"

Bob hung up his coat, "It's just a little practical joke, don't worry so much about it. I just want to give him a little scare, okay? Wanna help?"

Jack shook his head, "Not a chance."

"Don't you even want to know what I'm planning on doing?" he asked.

Jack reached out with his foot and touched the tiny horseshoe. "I assume that you're going to… Hey!" he yelled as the metal clung to his bare foot. "What the…?" His foot almost immediately started to deform into a hoof, slowly spreading up his leg. In a panic, he looked at Bob, "Stop this!" he screamed.

Bob just chuckled, "That's what it is supposed to do!" he said, barley able to keep from completely breaking up. "It works a little faster with both, which is why I bought two, but that's okay. I can get Eric with one."

Jack barely heard him as he watched black fur sprout from his growing leg. His shorts started to rip as his hips grew and the transformation spread down his other leg. In a fit of rage, he reached out to try and grab Bob by the shirt, but stumbled and fell to the floor. He took a few deep breaths as his torso expanded tremendously, tearing off his shirt. He tried once more to reach out for the one who started all this, but his hand refused to work as it formed into hoof. He laid on the kitchen floor, exhausted, when he finished the transformation.

Bob just laughed, "I'm sorry, it's just too funny. I'll tell you how to change back later, after I deal with Eric."

He reached down and picked up the canvas bag, grabbed one of Erics riding boots from the foyer, and headed into the living room. It would only take a few seconds for him to glue the other horseshoe to the bottom of the heel. The young streetmage that he'd bought it from had assured him that it would work even through the thick leather of the boot sole. He could hear the horse trying to stand up in the kitchen, the one iron shod hoof scraping badly against the tile.

Bob had a feeling that this was going to be an expensive joke in the end, but worth it. Eric was always on his case. He reached in and grabbed the horseshoe and slipped the boot over his hand. Touching the tiny horseshoe to the heel, he smiled. Perfect fit.

When he tried to set it on the coffee table to pick up the glue, it was stuck to the boot.

For the first time since he was three, Bob lost control of his bladder as he watched his hand turn into a hoof. "Whoa! No! Stop!" he screamed ineffectually. The spell would only stop with the counter spell, and he couldn't calm himself down enough to say it! He stopped and took a deep breath as the transformation spread to his shoulder and closed his eyes. Think!

The simple words of the counterspell popped into him mind, but when he tried to say them all that came out was a strangled whinny!

Rapidly, his head and neck became so heavy that he fell forward onto his new forelegs, collapsing to the floor in exhaustion. He laid there for a few minutes trying to get his bearings.

As he finally tried standing on the wood floor, he heard the front door open and a couple of footsteps that stopped for what seemed like a very long time. There was a long sigh, then a couple more steps before Eric walked into the family room. Another long sigh. "Let me guess," he said finally as he reached down and picked up the remains of one of his riding boots, "this was meant for me?"

The horse didn't answer, instead turning his head away and not meeting Eric's gaze.

Without saying a word, Eric went to the basement and came back with a large pair of vice grip pliers. "Give me the hoof," he said flatly. When Bob didn't immediately raid the shod hoof off the floor, Eric just folded his arms. "Either you give me the hoof or I'm going to take you to the nearest riding school and see if they need any new horses. You can spend your days carrying ten year old kids around…" The horse snorted and raised his hoof off the floor.

Eric took it and yanked several times as hard as he could. For a few minutes it looked like the magically held shoe wouldn't come off. All at once, it released from the hoof cleanly. Within a few seconds, the hoof started to change back into a hand.

As the leg turned back into an arm, Bob laid on the floor to wait for it to finish, all the while glaring at Eric. "Don't give me that look. It's your own fault," said Eric as he unclipped the pliers from the suddenly tiny horseshoe and slipped it into his pocket. "I'll take that and add it to my collection. When you're done, take the shoe off Jack and clean up this mess!"

He dropped the pliers onto the coffee table and went upstairs. He heard the angry grunts behind him. Bob had been trying to get him somehow for two years, but hadn't figured out yet why every plan backfired. He shut the door and picked up the phone, dialing an all too familiar number. "It worked again," he said with a smile. "I really liked the horse, too. Nice work on the saddlebred. I'm going to enjoy that one. It was almost as nice as the clyde that those apple candies turned him into last month." He nodded, "Sure, I think that he's pissed enough to come back, probably when he gets paid next time. Suggest to him something in a donkey, it's about the only equine I don't have a way to become yet."

He chuckled quietly as he grabbed his checkbook and wrote it out for an amount that was a mere fraction of what a magic item usually goes for. "The usual backfire clause, of course." He finished the check and hung up the phone as the paper dematerialized in his hand.

Copyright 2000