A Lion to Remember by foxgamer01 (critique requested)

Steve’s dark eyes looked over an eBay page as his nimble fingers typed in a couple of numbers and clicked a few links. A few seconds passed and his phone vibrated while it played out a little tune, the screen displaying a PayPal icon with some text. His eyes, ignoring the phone, looked above at the browser’s tabs and saw several other links, each one to a different site. The curser moved up to one of those tabs and clicked on it, visiting a gaming website, and his lips curled into a greedy grin. Of course, while it’s different from eBay in many ways, they do have one thing in common.

“Oh man, look at that price on Dark Castle for the Genesis,” Steve said as he looked over the screen, brushing back his longer than usual black hair, semi-curled. “And it comes with the CD-i version as well. And the price is around $50 too? That is so worth it!”

He clicked on the buy link and waited a second for a page to show up, where he typed in all the personal information required to deliver it to him. Soon enough, he clicked on another button to pay it with PayPal, where he grinned even wider before he leaned back, waiting for it to load to a PayPal page. He looked away for a second, looking at the golden lights glowing down to within his room between the blinds before he looked back and flinched.

The money within his account was about twenty dollars short.

“Ah, come on!” Steve said in a high-pitched voice. “That was an awesome sale, and I wanted it!” He shook his head before he looked at the information within the page. “And I need to wait a couple of days until the bank refills my account. Man, this suck!” He shook his head before canceling the sale. “Jeez, this is just bad timing. I want that as part of my collection. I hope that it’ll still be there when I get back.”

He frowned as he leaned forward and opened a couple of new tabs, clicking on a few links. Soon enough, he entered his email account on one such tab and looked over at the folder for his PayPal emails. He clicked on it, with the number next to the folder’s name at the double digits, and seeing loads of unopen emails within. All the emails were received today for the past couple hours, and all of them had something to do with buying on eBay or a retro gaming store.

“Hmm, even with the extra pay work has given to me, I’m spending loads of money. Maybe I should cut down on them,” Steve said as he looked at the other link, which leads to his PayPal account, and he hit the transfer funds from the bank link. He waited a couple of seconds before he typed in a few numbers and clicked a link, with it displaying some text that money will be sent to his account in a couple of days. “Nah. What’s the harm in that?”

He smiled to himself as he leaned back against the couch. “Hmm. I can’t do any more retro shopping for the next couple of days. What else can I do so I don’t suffer from boredom in this apartment?” He rubbed his shaved chin a few seconds before his eyes flashed up. “I know. I’ll talk to him!”

He grabbed a pair of headphones with a mic attached to it before he placed them around his neck for a moment. He then picked up the pair of jacks at the other end of the headphones and inserted them into his laptop. He smiled as he lifted the headphones up and over his ears, lowering the mic so that its level to mouth, and he clicked the Discord icon. Soon, the Discord app appeared front and center of the screen, and his eyes skimmed down the various icons and usernames on it. A second passed before he saw the icon and username of the one he wanted to talk to.

The icon displayed a drawing of a figure, abet a realistic one to a shocking degree. The model there was a green fox, though the guy would insist that he’s a kitsune, with golden hair on his head, the ears tipped with black, and black marks on his muzzle. All of it was done in such a realistic way that one could’ve claimed that it was the photo and, in fact, that guy did contend that it was. Still, despite his lack of ‘off-switch’ regarding RPs and such and only knowing him for a couple of weeks, Steve enjoyed talking with him.

The icon displayed a green circle as Steve gave out a wider grin, with him clicking on the phone icon. It rang for several seconds before his friend answered the Discord call. “Hey there, Glorfindel.”

“Hey there, buddy,” Glorfindel replied, the icon having a green halo around it when he spoke. “How are you doing this afternoon?”

“It’s evening over here,” Steve replied with a shrug. “But it’s all good. Been binged purchasing old video games. Need to wait until more money comes to my PayPal account since it’s low.”

“Um, you said that last week also,” Glorfindel said. “And you said that last month back then as well.”

“Hey, I can’t help that the games are such a steal to buy,” Steve said with a slightly mocking tone in his voice.

“Perhaps, though I think it’s better to think things through,” Glorfindel said. “I mean, my ‘acquaintance,’ to put the term nicely, never put much more thought to his spells than he felt he needed, despite wasting a lot of magic along the way. Honestly, if his ability to access his magic gets restricted in some way, he’ll be a helpless dragon. If only he thought about what he could-”

“Uh, right,” Steve said with a shrug. “You still need to cut down on that RP talk.”

“I wasn’t doing any such talk.”

“Of course,” Steve said with a slight strain grin on his face. “In any case, alright if I offer to play you a song? Just to bring you back to reality.”

“The ukulele again?” Glorfindel asked.

“Nah, this time with my guitar,” Steve answered as he reached over the side of his couch and pulled up a guitar. He then leaned forward to the coffee table, where his laptop sat on, and grabbed a guitar pick, thin and smooth to his fingers. “There’s this awesome song I found at the end of some silly video, and I’ve been practicing it when I can. Want to hear?”

“That would be wonderful. Thanks.”

Steve nodded, and his fingers held onto the pick as it strummed against the guitar’s strings, with sounds projecting from the hollow chamber. His other fingers fretted against the strings, making unique tones to the sounds. This continued for a few seconds, his hands working quick at playing the music before he opened his mouth and sang.

“They keep playing sad songs on the radio and I feel like I'm so alone on this fifteen-hour drive.”

A few minutes passed as Steve sang out the song, singing it soft so that his neighbors wouldn’t be disturbed. In the end, when he gave out a final strum, and he let the strings hummed out the final notes, he leaned back, sporting a giant grin on his face. He then placed the guitar to the side before he spoke to his strange friend.

“What do you think?”

“Hmm. I heard a couple of notes played out wrong, and your voice isn’t always in tune, but otherwise, good work,” Glorfindel answered. “In fact, that reminds me of something.”

“What’s that?” Steve asked as he tilted his head.

“Oh, I wouldn’t reveal everything just yet,” Glorfindel said, though there was a slight mischievous tone there. “Just know that I’ll be giving you a gift in my own creative way. Then you’ll see the magic of this kitsune mage.”

“Oh. OK,” Steve said as he shook his head.

“In any case, talk to you very soon,” Glorfindel said, and the call disconnected.

Steve blinked before he shrugged his shoulders and folded down his laptop. Welp, he thought as he looked around, that was something. He then blinked as he heard a loud growl, and he looked down at the source, his stomach. He then looked over at his watch and saw the numbers 7:54 PM displayed to him, with him blinking.

“It’s that late already?” Steve said as he looked out the window and saw the dying golden light out there. “Yeesh, it’s a bit late to make a complex dinner, and I’m not in the mood to get food delivered to me now. Even with the extra pay, I would rather spend it on more personal projects like upgrading my computer. Or getting a new picture commission and more retro games. Most likely the latter.” He then shook his head before he rubbed his chin, which already felt a bit of a stub. “I guess it’s time to use my emergency food for times like these. Cooking my leftover frozen pizza!”

Steve got up and was careful not to brush aside the table since it was filled with stuff like his laptop as he walked away. He walked over to his kitchen and leaned down before he opened a cabinet. He smiled to himself as he pulled out an aluminum pizza pan and placed it on the oven, with it making a sharp clank sound. Then, with quick fingers, he pressed various buttons on the stove, and it turned on.

The black-haired man then walked over to the refrigerator and opened the freezer half of it, exposing various frozen foods which included the pizza box. At the same time, he also opened the fridge half and pulled out a bag of multiple shredded cheeses with his other hand, and he turned around, placing them onto the countertop. He turned back to the refrigerator and closed the freezer half as he pulled out a few other pizza toppings for it. Then, after he placed them against the cheese bag, he ripped open the pizza box and pulled out the pizza box wrapped in plastic, cold to the touch and with the ice already melting from contact. He grabbed a pair of scissors and cut open the plastic covering, removing the plastic covering, and holding the pizza up. He grinned as he placed it on the pizza pan, and he grabbed the shredded cheese back, opening it up and grabbed them half-handful. While the frozen cheese and the other ingredients on it were fine, it would help it a lot by spicing it up with fresher versions as well. Then, with the pizza made, he opened the over and shoved the pan in, the heat within already hot.

Steve set up the timer for the meal before he walked away and came back to the living room. It would take around twenty minutes, he thought, before the pizza is done. But how to fill up the time? Then a light came to his mind, and his lips curled into an evil grin before he walked over to his TV, where an old gaming console lay beneath. This console, dark grey with a number screen next to the disk player and ejector, looked more like an old DVD player than a gaming console. Of course, it preceded the DVDs by a few years, and it wouldn’t be able to play them because of that, but he didn’t care about that. What he did care about is what he could play on it as he pulled out a disk box on top of it, opening it up.

“Let’s play the CD-i Zelda games!” Steve said as he popped open the console and inserted the game.

The evening sun faded from the sky, and the lights became dark for a bit before the lampposts turned on. Yet, as that happened, Steve played Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon on the Philip CD-i, laughing at the awkward controls, dumb cutscenes, and especially the hilariously bad voice acting. At that, he thought as he, for the fourth time, entered through a door without meaning to, is gold for all the wrong reasons.

Even as he played it, the smell of melted cheese along with the other ingredients flowed into the living room until he could smell nothing else. He gave out a goofy grin as he heard his stomach growled even louder, with him laying back against the couch.

Three knocks echoed in the room.

Steve jumped a bit when he heard them, his dark eyes looked around before he looked at the front door. His eyes, looking through his glasses, then looked over to the TV and laughed, his mind spinning like a whirlpool. That sound must have come from that game, he thought as he lay back again. Yeah, that must have been it. Although the screen showcasing a field would be an unusual place to play such a sound, even for a no-budget game.

The knocking sounds emitted through the room again, and his wide eyes darted at the door.

A figure then walked by the window, and the black-haired man jumped back on to his feet, his sneakers squeaking against the floor as his eyes observed this person. The lights don’t show much other than him being a guy with the lights reflecting a golden glow from his hair. The shadows neck down doesn’t offer much as well, though Steve thought he could’ve sworn he saw green on that shirt the figure was wearing. Yet, the oddest thing was that shadow that looked like a stick, as tall as him, with it ending in a circle.

Steve leaped over to the front door and turned the knob, opening it. His ears heard something tapped hard against the floor as he poked his head out and looked to the right. But there wasn’t anyone there as he felt his heart beat hard against his chest. His room was on the second floor of this apartment complex with a straight path for thirty feet, nowhere to hide without entering any of the rooms along the way. Even so, he didn’t see the figure ran and, even if he did, there would’ve been much more sounds than that tap.

Sweat formed on his head before he sighed and lowered his head, moving back. But his eyes then spotted a box before him, sitting in front of the door, and he paused. He opened the door wider and crouched down, looking at the white box. It wasn’t too large, at most two feet tall and half a foot wide, but there wasn’t any labeling or markings on it. His mind gave out several ideas on what it could be, whether if it’s a prank or even a gift, before he placed his hand on it and wiggled it. There weren’t any false bottoms, it wasn’t heavy, and it doesn’t make a sound outside of a shuffle of paper.

“Eh, what the heck,” Steve said before he grabbed it with another hand and picked it up. “Even if it’s a prank from some kind of perp, at least it’ll be interesting.”

He turned away from the door, closing it and locking it while his eyes looked over the box. He tilted his head before he blinked, wondering if he paused the game, and his eyes looked over to the TV. He saw a game over screen, and he groaned, with his playable character, Zelda, dying in-game, and he lost his chance of continuing. Welp, that’s one point against that perp, he thought as he walked away and entered the kitchen, with the pizza smell now overflowing.

He placed the box onto the counter, and he looked it over in the light. As he saw before, no sign of any markings. Heck, there wasn’t even a message from the one who sent it. He shook his head as he reached over to the scissors and exposed its sharp blades. The sharp edge sliced through the plastic tape just enough for him to put the scissors down and snap off what remains with his bare hands, with him thinking that he needed it after the ending of that playthrough. The box opened, wit his eyes seeing a bunch of crumpled up old newspapers, each one having a misleading headline, and he shook his head as he reached within the mess. Soon enough, his fingers felt something smooth with a few ridges within, and he grinned.

Steve then lifted the object up and saw a black figure, made of clay, and in the shape of a cat. This cat was molded and carved with unique skills, with every bit of it looking as realistic as possible. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the shine from the paint, the small kitten-like size, and the lack of fur, one could mistake it for a real cat. Its yellow eyes gazed outwards, meeting Steve's own dark eyes while it remained frozen in sitting position.

“Huh. That’s neat. This will look great sitting on this table,” Steve said as he carried the cat over to the table across from the counter and placed it at the center, with its black surfacing contrasting with the bright brown wood, yet somehow fits. “Thought so. Though I wonder why someone would give me something as well done as this figure.”

The black-hair man then stepped to the side, with his hips shifting towards the counter before he paused. He then blinked at the figure, noticing a slip of paper on its back. That’s strange, Steve thought while turning back towards it. Though he wasn’t touching the end that much when picking it up, he could’ve sworn that he didn’t felt a piece of paper on it. His nimble fingers then grabbed onto that card-sized paper, which disconnected from the figure with unusual ease for something that stuck itself on it. He looked over that paper and noticed some handwriting on it, almost spider-like.

It said: Make a Wish

“Really? That’s what stuck on you?” Steve said as he looked at the cat figure. “Yeesh, whoever this perp is must be a hilarious guy with a weird sense of humor. I mean, come on. A wish-granting cat figure? That’s ridiculous!”

Steve then placed the note in front of the cat before shrugging, soon hearing the beeping from the timer going off. “Still, what the heck. I wish for something exciting to happen to me. I don’t even care what.”

He then shifted towards the oven while laughing to himself, his spirits lightened from such an amusing joke. Yet, as he grabbed a pair of oven mittens hanging on the wall, the cat figure’s eyes glimmered, and the note burned. The flames on that note weren’t hot, nor did it emit any smoke; it wasn’t even reddish-orange at all. The green flames soon consumed the note as if it never existed.

Steve turned off the oven and opened it up, grabbing the metal pan as he continued to grin at himself. But as he lifted it up and out, his lower back cracked, and a massive amount of pain flow through him. His eyes widened, barely managing to lift it up and onto the oven top as the pain spreads, from up his back to down his hips. He then pressed his hands against the counter next to the oven, sweat forming on his head.

“W-what?” Steve said as he looked back, his eyes wide.

At that moment, he felt and heard a massive rip on his pants, and he blinked. His dark eyes saw a tail, short at first, but it grew longer by the second. It was covered in a short, sandy-color fur with the very tip being bushy and brown. Soon enough, it reached down to the heels of his feet and it wagged.

“The heck?!” Steve said before he gritted his teeth, feeling a similar pain on his hands. He looked down at them and opened his mouth as he saw several long and sharp claws pierced through the mittens. His hands, covered up by the mittens, expanded and shifted as well, with them ripping through those mittens. The fingers also shortened as his palm grew thicker into a paw pad, and a similar sandy-color fur grew on the back of his hands. His thumbs shrunk down and moved back away from the hands, which looked like huge paws. He slammed them down onto the counter, with his claws piercing through the wooden surfacing as if they were nothing. “Why is this happening!?”

At that moment, his feet cramped up and he looked over at them, with his eyes widening more than before. His shoes, once comfortable with room to spare for his feet, now felt as though they’re several sizes too small. Several sharp claws also pierced through the toes of his shoes before they got ripped in half from his widening feet. His toes, apart from the little ones, grew thicker in size as the sandy-color fur also grew on them. The tiny toes, in contrast, shrunk and fused with the one next to it. His feet bones cracked as he wiggled, trying to hang on to the counter and remained on his two legs. Yet, his feet morphed so he could only stand on the tips of his feet, which made balancing difficult.

Steve thought that he should call for help, that he should scream out and hope that someone would come. Yet, his nerves froze as he felt a mix of stress and fear throughout his body, making any desire to cry out futile. His heat slammed against his chest as he closed his eyes, his muscles spamming throughout. He opened his mouth, only to felt something down his throat that made making sounds challenging.

“I-I arrr! W-wh-rrrr! He-he-grrrr!” Steve’s jaws opened as wide as they could, only to somehow widened up even more. His mouth shifted forward as his lips blackened, his nose also moving forward and blackening. The nose shape-shifted so that it looked like an upside-down triangle as his fangs became larger and far longer than before. The rest of his teeth became sharper, but not as long or sharp as the fangs as a sandy-color fur grew around his face. “N-n-n-aaaaaa!”

His glasses, already struggling to remain on his face, bent outward from his growing head until they snapped off. The two pieces fell onto the counter as he opened his eyes, no longer dark but now a bright amber color. His ears moved up his head as hair turned into a brown color and growing longer and far bushier. His ears became rounder and covered in sandy-color fur as his brown hair grew around his neck and below his chin, just as bushy. His shirt shifted underneath, with the brown mane growing within, and the collar of his shirt ripped.

Steve’s eyes looked down as he felt a massive ache from his shoulders and feet. He gritted his sharp teeth, trying to stay standing on his two legs just a bit longer, but it was more futile by the second. His shoulders soon gave up and he fell, landing on his two front legs as his back legs moved forward, more comfortable than before.

“Grrr-arrr-aaaaga!”

His shirt and pants shifted underneath him as more fur grew underneath, and he felt a massive itch around them. Part of him wanted to take off his clothes, but he resisted that thought. Whatever is doing this to him was taking his humanity and he desired to cling onto it as long as he could. No matter how uncomfortable as his clothes get, even as his belt and button strained from the awkward posture and his shirt felt tight and hot, they were what remained of Steve the human. He couldn’t just get rid of them.

Yet, as those thoughts crossed his mind, Steve felt every bone and muscle shivered, and his eyes widened up. His torso grew longer and larger as his shirt ripped apart, with his muscles growing larger. His belt snapped off along with his pants’ button popping off, with the hole caused by his tail expanding. Soon enough, every bit of his clothes became nothing more than shreds. Indeed, if one could see the room at that moment, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Steve and a lion.

“Grrrr? Arrrr?” Steve tried to say words, but none came out. Yet, despite his transformation into a large lion, his mind retained the same human thoughts. He could remember what happened throughout his life, what he ate during the day, and so on. He wasn’t sure if this made things better or worse for him since he doubted he could be returned to his human self ever again. Still, as he closed his eyes, he tried to think of what could have caused this.

Then he remembered the clay cat figure and that message.

He opened his eyes before he walked over to that table, with him noticing just how natural it was for him to walk on all four even as he preferred to walk on two. He then extended his front left paw onto the table and lifted himself up, somewhat tilting the table forward to him, and he looked at the cat figure. The note there disappeared despite knowing that this is where he last place it, but that wasn’t the only thing grabbing his attention

The cat figure’s expression had changed from a neutral expression to a grinning one.

Steve gritted his teeth as he emitted a growl from his throat, feeling a strong desire to grab that figure and smash it to bits. Yet, the rational part of his head resisted that thought, and he lowered himself from the table, with the table straightening itself up. Of course, whoever or whatever this perp is must be a powerful one to cause such a magical change, he thought. Though it might be cathartic to destroy it, it would likely just trap him as a lion rather than undoing it, perhaps take all his memories away out of spite.

His ears then twitched as they heard the doorknob rattled. He gritted his teeth as he prowled over to the living room, his amber eyes glaring out at the locked door. They soon see the lock turned on its own while the lion blinked, and the door opened.

A familiar figure stepped into the room while Steve tilted his head, trying to remember. He soon did, and he growled, recognizing him as the one who came by and ‘delivered’ that package that caused this. His hair, golden-yellow and a little long, slowed by as his strange blue eyes looked directly at the amber eyes of the lion. His staff, which ended with a yin-yang symbol, tapped with every step he made as he had a look of bemusement on his face.

“I must say,” the stranger said as he looked at Steve, “of all the things I expected you to turn into, a non-anthro lion wouldn’t be among my top guesses.”

Steve extended his claws, which pierced through the floor.

“Now, now, my friend,” the stranger said as he held up another hand. “I meant no harm with that act. This was nothing more than a bit of fun.”

This guy’s idea of fun is warped, Steve thought before retracting his claws. Still, it’s best not to provoke this guy into changing him into anything worse.

“That’s better,” the stranger said, and he gave out an unusual foxy smile that somehow suited him. “I should introduce myself properly, Steve, but first, let me see my idol.”

Steve blinked as the cat figure flew over his head. The stranger caught it with ease. He turned around and saw no one else but the two of them. His eyes widened, now with serious proof that this guy is some kind of wizard, and he looked back at the stranger.

“Hmm. I see. So, he gave you a half-snide wish, and you granted it by giving him exactly what he asked for,” the wizard said, and he shook his head. “Of course. While I know he doesn’t think things through, you could’ve just given him a warning. Then again, given that you’re somewhat based on me, I may have done something similar.” He looked at the lion, who’s looking back with half-closed eyes. “Sorry. Apparently, my test creation still needed to learn something called tact in the face of snark. But I’m sorry, my friend. I should’ve told you who I am sooner.

“My name is Glorfindel,” the stranger said, and the lion’s eyes widened. “As you can tell, I am a mage. A kitsune mage, to be exact. I’ve been expanding out my knowledge among the arts of magic, though my specialty is metamorphosis and transformation. I also like to test out my magic with others and on myself.”

Steve looked over at the laptop and back at Glorfindel.

“Yes, I am the same Glorfindel,” He said before he laughed. “Did you honestly think that I just couldn’t turn off role-playing? I was honest the whole time.

“Still,” Glorfindel said as he walked over to the lion and petted his mane, “I can tell you aren’t entirely happy with this. If you want me to, I can change you back. Or I could give you an ability to shift forms between a human, feral lion, and anthro lion. Or I could turn you into an anthro lion. Or I could keep you like this but with a lion’s instincts. It’s your choice.”

Steve thought about it and nodded.

A Lion to Remember (critique requested)

foxgamer01

15 September 2020 at 07:02:26 MDT

Hey there, everyone. This commission is a little belated, particularly since this story wasn’t as long as the last story, but it’s done. This story is a commission request from Talcott Talcott, where he transforms into a, well, lion. A feral lion, to be exact. So, not my typical transformation story. In fact, the last story I ever wrote that has a feral transformation was with Lugia TF, which was back a decade ago. So, I went full circle here.


In any case, I hope you guys enjoy this story.

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