as narrated by Princess “Guardian” Weaver
She wakes and she is happy. It is morning. The family will be up soon. She stretches. She walks to the door and waits. The sun is not up yet but it is bright enough to go outside. Light plays on the wall. The trees are swaying.
She looks at the door. It is a magic she understands. Master can make it open when he touches the handle. Then she can go out. She can tell Master she needs to go out by standing at the door. She doesn’t need to tell him in the morning. It is their routine. She stands by the door anyway. It is her place in what they do. That is all she needs to know.
Master is slow today. She is patient. He arrives and scritches her head. It is a nice gesture.
She is not interested in nice gestures yet.
She wants to go out.
He snaps the leash to her collar. She feels excitement rise. They are close to going out. She stays still, except for her tail. It wags and shows her excitement. Master does not mind that.
Master does his magic to the door and it opens. He walks through and she follows.
The scent of the new day fill her nose. So many aromas. She is behind Master. She is ahead of him. She is drinking in so many things she doesn’t know where she is.
It is good to go out.
Master pulls on the leash gently. She comes back to herself. The scents are in order. Her domain smells as it should. There have been encroachers overnight. Birds, squirrels. No threats.
Master leads her the edge of their small range and she relieves herself.
It is very good to go out.
Master waits until she is done. He leads her beyond their range. They are walking. The weather is good. Master likes to walk when the weather is good. She likes to walk all the time.
There are new scents on the walk, but she does not pay attention to them. Her attention is on Master. Except when they pass a pole or a mailbox. There are just too many smells on those. Master understands. He lets her drink in the scents. Not for as long as she wants. Longer would be better. It is long enough though.
They are at the farthest point of their walk when she hears the noise. It is not like other noises. It is loud, but distant. Her ears spring forward to locate it. The sky is no longer clear. There is a cloud in the direction the noise came from. It is growing bigger.
She does not like this.
Master does not like this.
They begin walking back home. They are walking quickly. She is much faster than Master but she does not run ahead of him.
The air smells bad. The cloud is overhead. She is with master so she does not growl at it.
It begins to rain. She is unhappy. She does not mind water rain but this is something else.
She shakes to get it off herself. She does not like the fumes that she is breathing. They feel bad.
They are home. Master opens the door quickly and she runs in ahead of him. It is not right to do so but she does not like the rain.
Master is moving quickly. He barks at Mistress. She does not know what the barking means, but she can feel that he is worried. She shakes again. The smell of the rain is still on her.
Mistress puts a towel around her. It is attacking her. She bites the towel. Mistress scolds her. The towel is not attacking her. She feels Mistress rubbing her up and down but the towel is in the way. She wants to bite the towel again but it is staying away from her face. Mistress pulls the towel away. She smells less like the rain.
She does not feel good though.
She does not want to be out and exposed. She seeks the deep, safe part of their cave.
She hears Master leave. He is in a hurry. Mistress leaves too. She is in a hurry as well. Only young Master and young Mistress are left.
She does not feel good at all.
Something in her is not right. She tries to whimper but her throat is funny. She tried to stand but her leg do not work.
She sniffs herself. She smells wrong.
Her body is moving on its own. She is scared but also confused. Things are shifting. She is growing. She doesn’t feel pain, but she does feel dizzy.
She lays her head down. She will rest. There is nothing else she can do.
She opens her eyes. The sun has risen. She can see light on the walls even in the deep part of the cave.
She tries to stand.
Everything is wrong.
Her legs are too long. Her arms are too short. Her body is changed.
But she can still stand. On two legs. She is standing like Master and Mistress do! She collapses to the ground in surprise at that.
She hears a voice. She looks around. No one is there. She hears the voice again.
She does not like the voice.
The voice pushes on her. She growls.
The voice tells her to submit. She closes her eyes. She thinks of biting the voice. She thinks it very hard.
The voice screams. It is angry.
She bites it again.
It screams again. The voice is angry and afraid.
She feels the voice push on her more strongly than before. Her arm moves. It claws the wall. She did not tell it to do that.
She rises to her feet. She did not chose to do that either.
From upstairs, she hears the Young Master. He is getting ready for school. He will make sure his sister is ready for school too. The two of them will check on her before they leave.
The voice will not allow that.
She begins to walk upstairs. The voice wants to end the Young Master and the Young Mistress. They are no threat but the voice has been instructed to sow chaos and they will make a good starting point.
She growls. Silently. Deep inside herself.
The voice wants to harm her pack. It wants to make her harm her pack.
She attacks the voice and holds nothing back.
The humans do not fight like this. This is the way an animal fights when there is no backing down.
She cannot control her body, but the voice is not outside her. It is not hurt by her fangs or her claws. It is hurt by her thoughts. So she thinks red thoughts.
In her mind, the battle rages. Pieces are torn from the creature she thinks of as the voice. With each bite that she rips off the mental parasite, it grows weaker and she changes more.
You are what you eat, and she feasts upon a creature of nearly pure knowledge and will.
“Stop. You cannot do this! I will destroy you if you do!” the voice says and she understands him.
The voice is foolish. Words will never stop her. She has seen it’s heart. Seen how the center of its being is malice and greed. She understands what the voice is as she pulls its power from it.
‘Psycho-Lord’ was the name it called its species. Creatures of mental energy that arose on the psychic plane which permeates the Earth. Something had released them on the physical world and directed them to creatures such as her.
She knew that many of the Psycho-Lords would find hosts that had neither the will nor the desire to fight back. She was meant to have been such a host.
She tore another piece out of the Psycho-Lord as she saw what it had intended. To crush what little bit of self she had and make her body it’s own.
“No. You cannot have me, and you cannot destroy me.” she says.
The knowledge I have consumed from the alien is surging through me. I understand language. I understand everything. The magic of the door, the purpose of the towel. I understand what has happened to me, what I used to be and what I have become.
I am more like my pack. I am happy.
The Psycho-Lord is still within me though and that makes me unhappy.
“If you destroy me, you shall die as well.” it screeches. It is desperate. It is lying. I understand lying. I understand why humans bare their teeth when they are happy.
I bare my teeth.
I imagine biting down on the center of the Psycho-Lord. I imagine tearing through the heart of its being. There is no mercy in my smile. It wanted to hurt my pack. My family.
I feel the Psycho-Lord perish. It screams and I spit out its destroyed center. I want no part of its heart within me.
“What..what are you?” a terrified child’s voice says from the stairs.
“Young Master!” I say, baring my teeth in my excitement. He is safe!
“AHHH!” he screams and run up the stairs.
I am confused by that. Humans bare their teeth at each other when they are happy. They do not have teeth like mine though.
And I smell and look nothing like what I used to! He did not know me!
I charge up the stairs after him. I feel the sense of hunting prey come on me and I push it aside. The Young Master is not prey, however much he may act like it. Master made that clear early on.
“Suzy run!” the Young Master shouts.
“Wait! Don’t run please!” I shout. I was faster than my humans. When I was used to my body. Maneuvering on two legs is too new for me to do it well though.
Young Master races ahead of me down the hall and into Young Mistresses bedroom. Before I can get there he slams the door.
I understand the “magic of doors”. My new hands are perfectly capable of opening the barrier before me, or smashing it down if it came to that.
I walk away.
My family doesn’t know me.
I go to the living room. To my cushion. I am too big for it now. That doesn’t matter. I curl up on it anyways.
If they don’t know me, I don’t want to be like this.
I try to stop thinking. I try to change back to the way I’d been.
I can’t. The rain had changed me too deeply. I can remember our routine. I can imagine what should have been happening. The bustle of the morning routine. The thought is both comforting and painful at the same time.
Being like my pack is hard. I can’t believe this is what they have carried inside themselves all this time I have known them.
I sniff myself again. So different, and yet, I can still find the traces of the me that I had been. The scent isn’t gone. There are just so many other scents layered on top of it now.
I need a bath. I hate baths, but I hate being so confused even more. Baths make me smell funny but afterwards I smell just like me. I want to smell like me again, but somehow I know that even the longest, smelliest bath won’t bring back my old scent.
I find water leaking from my eyes. It is salty.
Tears. I am crying. I know what it means, but I don’t know what to do about it.
A crash comes from the Young Mistress’ room, followed by a pair of screams.
I am down the hall and at the door just as they were opening it. They scream again seeing me, but I see the cause of their first scream behind them. A spider-human creature has smashed the window and is climbing into the room.
I leap over the children and claw at the spider-thing.
I wanted to lose my thoughts and in the fight my mind is quieter than it has been since the change.
My family runs into the living room which gives me room to fall back away from the spider’s grasp.
I do not think of how to fight it or observe the battle. We fight. We damage each other. I damage it more and it stops moving. I damage it further to ensure that will not change.
Then I sink to the floor. The wounds I took hurt, but less than I think they should. I can feel the spider’s venom burning in my veins, but even the burning is diminishing over time.
“I think it saved us.” Young Mistress says.
“She…she looks familiar.” Young Master says.
“Oh my god! Is that you Princess!?” Young Mistress screams.
Princess. That was the bark they made when they wanted my attention.
It is my name.
“Yes, Young Mistress.” I say. I watch as my wounds close shut on their own and feel the poison in my veins burn off. The Psycho-Lord had possessed the gift of healing. Now it was mine.
I hear another crash for the Young Mistresses room. Another creature has come through the broken window.
“There’s more! They’re coming to get us!” Young Master cries.
“They never will. Not while I am here.” I tell them.
I am with my family. I will fight for them. My mind is quiet.
I am happy.