I have to say, I love the summer. No school, and that meant all the time in the world to catch up on my backlog of games. All the time in the world to stay up and play them, and best of all, to get to sleep in just a couple extra hours. Mom gets it, so she doesn't bother me about staying up too late.
That said, I love summer, but the way the sun shines so brightly into whatever little cracks in my curtains it can? Not so lovely. Ugh. Can't Celestia hold off on raising the sun for just a little longer? Maybe just bring it up about halfway? Other people needed it, so I guess that's too much to ask for. I sighed to myself and decided that I wasn't gonna get back to sleep anytime soon so I should get up. Maybe Mom would still make me breakfast.
The first thing I noticed was that my front hoof touched the floor sooner than I thought it would. I almost fell over because I lost my balance. I thought I was still sleepy and my mind hadn't woken up yet. I looked down to make sure I hadn't stepped on something, when I saw something really weird.
Instead of my front hoof, there was...I don't know what it was, but it sure wasn't a hoof. I jumped, and the thing where my hoof was reacted, which told me that this definitely belonged to me. It almost looked like a griffon's talon: The claws were dull, and there were five of them, all different sizes, the one on the end shorter and stumpier than the others.
I wanted to scream, but this was so weird, I didn't know if screaming would do it justice. I looked at my left hoof, and sure enough, it was the same thing as my right, dull claws and all. As I stared at these...things, half-excited and half-scared-out-of-my-mind, the claws curled, making me jump again, until I realized that I was the one doing that without even thinking. It felt like I never had hooves before. I was able to make them move just by thinking about it. They gripped my pillowcase so easily, I was amazed. I decided I needed a better look at these things, so I moved to get off the bed so I could get a look in the mirror. Practicing how a griffon walked, I carefully placed the claws down on the floor and got myself out of bed.
The second thing I noticed was when I got off the bed. I clearly felt my knees touch the floor rather than my rear hooves. I looked back, and what I saw absolutely shocked me! My tail was gone! I didn't even think about it because it was always there, but now it wasn't! Not only was my tail gone, but I noticed that I didn't have my brown coat, either! I was totally hairless! I didn't have my cutie mark yet, but if I did, would I still have it? Too many things going on, I had to calm down and focus.
I looked down at my hind legs and noticed they had gotten much longer than my front legs. That explains why I was walking on my knees. At the end of my hind legs weren't talons, like my front. The claws were much, much shorter than my front claws. It felt more like a cat's paw, the part before the claws being just a little longer. I don't know what's happened to me, but I needed to find out more.
Walking as awkwardly as having to drag your hind legs will do, I approached the mirror in the corner of my room. I took a deep breath and braced myself for what I might see. 'Try not to freak out,' I told myself. 'Can't be as bad as we think.'
Staring back at me was a...face? It had to be a face: There were two eyes (same color), a nose (my snout was all small and rounded), and a mouth (but my muzzle was gone). My ears were at the side of my head, and my neck was much shorter now. My coat may be gone, but I still had my orange mane, thank Celestia. Felt the same too, though feeling my mane between my claws was just weird. Despite me being able to walk, this just didn't feel right walking on my knees. Whatever this creature I had become was, it didn't walk on all fours. My bed was behind me, so I thought I should try getting up on my hind legs, as weird as it was. I carefully put my front legs on the bed to prop myself up, and was surprised to see that my hind legs moved like they were supposed to. I didn't think about it too hard, and yet the hind claws...paws...whatever they were, planted themselves firmly on the floor. Soon enough, I managed to get myself up onto my hind legs, still holding on to the bed so I wouldn't fall over.
I felt tall standing on my hind legs. Really tall. The ceiling never looked closer. If I wasn't afraid of falling over, I'd try to touch it, though I probably still couldn't. I was afraid that if I looked down, I'd start getting that weird feeling when you're up at high places. I remembered then that I got up like this for a reason. Hugging the wall so I wouldn't fall over, I brought my hind legs to walk one in front of the other back to the mirror.
"Woah..." I said out loud as I looked at the creature staring back at me. Like a mishmash of different animals, but not in that "stitched together" sort of way. Everything seemed to fit together somehow, all in this peach color where my coat used to be. I felt my chest and arms with my talons. It felt really smooth, like nothing I had ever felt before. So this what it feels like to be hairless. I clung onto the wall so I could turn around. My back still seemed the same (just hairless, obviously), and it was really weird looking at my flank with no tail attached. Even still, save for my tail, everything else felt like it was still there, looking up and down my new body. I still had my head, my mane, my front legs, my hind legs, my belly button-
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!
"Button? It's 10:30! Are you up yet?"
Oh, pancakes! I totally forgot Mom! What would she think if she saw her son like this? I certainly didn't have a problem running back into bed and pulling the sheets over to cover myself. That might have been harder as a pony, but I didn't have time to think about it as I heard my door swing open. I bunched up my body as much as possible to look smaller.
"Still in bed?" I heard my mom say. "I know it's summer, Button, but you're gonna regret it if you end up sleeping the whole time..."
"Ah...sorry, Mom," I answered through the sheet. "I just don't feel that good right now." I did my best cough.
"I'll bet you were up all night and now you've gotten yourself sick," Mom said. "Barely a week into summer, and you're already practicing bad habits." I couldn't see her, but I knew she was just shaking her head.
"Yeah. Guilty as charged," I chuckled. "Guess I gotta stay in bed today."
I didn't hear anything from Mom for a few seconds, which made me extremely nervous. Finally, she said, "Alright. Real shame for you to get sick like this, but I should let you get your rest. I can get some soup up to you later, okay?"
"That sounds great. Thanks, Mom," I answered. I heard her hooves leave my bedside and out the door. After the I heard the door click shut, I threw the blanket off myself and allowed my body to uncoil. That was uncomfortable, in more ways than one, but at least she's out of my mane.
I turned onto my back and stared up at the ceiling. Just what happened to me to get a body like this? I wasn't messing around with any spell books. I was home all day yesterday. Maybe somepony went and cast a spell on me in my sleep. But why? What's the point of turning me into this? I hardly leave my room, and I don't have anything anypony would want. This isn't that much of a curse either. Once I get used to it, I'll probably be able to get around just fine. Speaking of which...
I got off my bed and tried standing on my hind legs again, this time without trying to prop myself up. It almost looked like my legs bent backwards, but I've seen other creatures that walk like this just fine. That little dragon that lives in the library walks on two legs. How hard can it be?
Okay, putting the whole of my hind paws (I'm calling them paws for now but I don't know what these are) seems to work just fine. How does this body even stay up on two legs? I tried not to think about it too hard and took my first step. Slowly, I raised my right hind leg and put it forward, then got it back on the ground. Easy. Now, if I can do that for the other one, the rest should be done just as easily. Raise it, bring it in front of you, put it down. It worked! Sure, I had to put my front legs up to keep myself balanced, but at least I'm walking. Now to do it again and again. Do something enough times and you get better at it. That's what Mom taught me through games.
It felt really weird, not walking on four legs. Whatever my front legs have become, it looks like they're meant to grab things now. The way these claws curl around objects like some kind of tentacle looks strange, but it helps a lot. Much better than using my mouth, since I don't have magic. I could get used to it.
Wait...what if I have to get used to it? What if I'm like this for the rest of my life?! I can't go to school like this! I can't even leave the house! How am I supposed to do anything if I look like something nopony's seen before?! What about...?
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Shoot! No time to panic! Back under the sheets I go. Panic later.
"Door's open!" I heard the door open and the sound of hooves walking towards the bed.
"Button, I made you some soup just in case you really are sick," I heard Mom say. "A little broth and potato should fix you right up."
"Oh, thank you," I said. "I can take it from here..."
A small silence followed. I hate when she does that. "Why don't you let me feed you? If you're so weak you can't get out of bed, at least let me feed you."
"I'm not so bad I can't feed myself, Mom..." I sounded pathetic, but the sooner I can get her out of the room, the better.
"Then at the very least, let me have a look at you, take your temperature, see if you need a doctor."
No! That would be the worst! "Ah...you don't need to do that...it's not that bad..."
"Still, let your mother have some peace of mind." I felt her mouth grip the sheet. "Why do you have this so high up, anyway?"
This body could grip the sheets just fine, but it meant nothing in the face of my mom. I tried to pull back, but it was no use. I was forced to sit up as she threw the blanket off of me. Once she saw me, she gasped and stepped back. I don't think I've ever seen Mom so scared.
"Wha...wha..!" She couldn't seem to get any words out. Maybe I could talk her down.
"Mom..." I said, my claws in front of me. "Please...don't panic..."
"Button?" She asked, regaining herself and approaching the bed again. "That is you, isn't it?"
"Yeah...it's me." I looked around and found my hat on my nightstand. I put it on my head and tried my best to smile, though it was hard with her looking at me while being afraid. "See?"
She took a hard look at me, her head tilting from side to side. Since this whole thing started, I don't think my heart's beat this fast. For your own mother to not recognize you would be the scariest thing. Finally, she looked like she calmed down. "It is you. But...what happened?"
"I have no idea," I replied. "I just...woke up this way..."
"What did you even turn into?" She looked up and down my new body with a look of confusion.
"I don't know that either..." I answered, looking at my claw open and close. "I'm like...some sort of chimera or something. I got these really short claws and these stubby paws on my hind legs. And I'm all hairless, too! Feel it!"
She came up close to me and nuzzled my cheek with her own. I started to feel better when she did that. It was one of the few things that felt familiar since I woke up like this. I could tell she was calming down herself.
"You're so soft," she commented after pulling her head back. "Do you feel sick at all? Are you in pain?"
"No. Not at all," I answered. "Other than the fact I don't have a tail, I feel perfectly fine! It's just...all these new parts I have to get used to." I curled my claws and paws in front of me over and over.
"Well, hopefully, this isn't permanent..." she said, looking worried again. "Maybe we should take you to a doctor, get you checked out."
"What are the chances the doctor's gonna know what to do?" A frightening thought crossed my mind. "What if I get taken in for experiments and I'm never seen by anypony ever again?"
"Don't be ridiculous. They wouldn't do that," Mom retorted. "But you're right. I doubt anypony's going to know what to do with you or even what you've turned into."
"Maybe some unicorn was casting a spell and it just went haywire, or there's something in the water that made me like this?" I said, to which Mom gave me a look that said, 'Are you serious?' "I'm just coming up with ideas here."
"I'm sorry," Mom sighed. "This whole thing has just...gotten me worried. Just me being a mother, you know?"
"I know," I replied and got off the bed. "We'll find something to do with this. I'm sure of it." I wanted her to feel better, so I gave her a big hug. Didn't seem all that different being this thing and being a pony.
"Bless your heart, Button," Mom said returning the hug. "It's good to see you so calm about this. You're such a little trooper." She rubbed my mane with her hoof.
"Mom!!" I groaned, but then I heard something else groan. My stomach.
Mom giggled. Even if it was at something I did, it was still good to hear it. "Why don't you have your soup, then we can talk some more about what to do?"
"Yeah. We can do that," I said, slightly embarrassed. I sat back on the bed and an idea came to mind. Since I was able to grab my hairbrush just fine with these claws, could I do the same with a spoon?
I curled each little talon on my right claw around the handle of the spoon, much like I did for my brush. Easy enough. I had to be incredibly careful getting a spoonful of soup out of the bowl so that it didn't spill. After a few seconds of getting it to stay still, I was able to get the spoon in my mouth. It felt like I hadn't eaten Mom's soup in forever, it was so good. Thank Celestia my tongue still works the same.
"That's amazing," Mom said, watching me eat. "It works perfectly with the spoon."
"I know. Weird, right?" I commented. "I tried the same with my brush, and it's like it was made to be held that way."
After a minute or two of watching me eat her soup, Mom pondered aloud, "I wonder if anypony else here had the same thing happen to them?"
"Who knows? If I were them, I'd probably stay home," I answered. "They're probably freaking out without the kind of practice and know-how I've learned from gaming so much." I put my claw to my chest proudly.
Mom laughed again. "Well, you get yourself comfortable. I'm going to go out and see if there's anypony who can help if this is caused by magic. Probably going to get a ton of questions why, but it'll be worth it. Please stay here if you can. I'll try to be back as soon as possible."
"You don't have to tell me twice. I ain't going anywhere looking like this," I told her.
"Good. I'll be on my way out, then." Mom gave me a kiss on the cheek. I usually hated when she did that, but she deserved to do whatever she wanted right now, given the situation.
By the time she left the house, my soup was finished. It felt much easier carrying the bowl to the kitchen not having to use my mouth. I had gotten so used to walking on two legs, I worried about what might happen when I changed back. I really hope this isn't a change for good. Missing school wouldn't be such a big deal (though Mom would have different ideas), but not being able to go to the arcade or the sweets shop or hang with my friends would just be terrible. Worst of all, I don't know how Sweetie Belle would react to seeing me like this. She might never want to see me again...
I shook the thought out of my mind before I could get too depressed about it. I gotta keep hope that there's some way to fix this. If not for my own sake, then for Mom. It's a really good thing she didn't freak out too much when she saw me. I should stop letting Scootaloo make me read those creepy stories. 'Build up your bravery,' my flank!
I should do something to keep my mind off this whole thing. I should play some games! I walked back to my room, sat down in front of the TV and put on a good old platformer. I noticed that the controller actually worked better with these claws. The buttons are supposed to be big enough to hit with your hooves, so they looked really big with my talons on them. Everything else came easy, though.
This body doesn't seem to have that many drawbacks. Maybe I can make this work. I just hope everypony else will accept me looking like this like Mom has. I hope she gets back soon with some answers...