Something is amiss, I shouldn’t feel like this,
I should be small and nimble, maybe I used the wrong symbol?
I fall to the floor, my bones feeling like rubber. The spell is working, I am transforming, but into what? I should be smaller, I should be shrinking but I am not. My mind races as I feel my body changing. first my nails lengthen and become hooked then my skin sprouts a thick black fur, my head changes shape, becoming longer in the nose and mouth and more shallow in the skull, my ears stretch and become pointed, the lobe becoming convoluted. and instead of being at the side just above my jaw my ears are now at the top of my head to either side of my brows. My hips and shoulders change shape too, my pelvis is now at a smaller angle to my spine bringing my hips and thighs closer to my stomach, my shoulders and arms move around more to the front as my chest also changes shape. In my faint state I rest my head on my paws. I no longer have long fingers and delicate hands but my phalanges are shorter, the metacarpals longer, my thumb now rests at the side of my wrist and it is with great effort that I move it to see if I can grip. The shape is right but the size is wrong, instead of transforming into a house-cat I am the size of a panther.
Everything about me now screams hunter. My jaws are strong and designed for gripping throats and rending flesh, my paws and claws for tripping prey and slashing their skins. I twitch my tail, yes, even that is for hunting, it has a mind of its own at first but eventually I control it and discover how essential to balance it actually is. It was not the exact form I wanted, something went wrong. I prowl to the altar and rest my paws on it, looking through my notes I shake my head, it all looks like gibberish, weird symbols I do not understand. I focus and realise the transformation is full enough to even perceive writing in the way a beast would. I shake my head again which in turn travels the length of my body and ends with a twitch of my tail. The words are becoming less of a jumble. I can now make out the words I wrote and yet it still doesn’t make sense. I spot my error almost immediately, I have missed a line in my chant, I should have another line that reads “take this tim’rous child and make her fearsome and bold”. I see you sense my confusion, how does missing that line change my end shape to a panther instead of a house-cat? Surely the missing line would guarantee becoming a big cat not a little kitty happy to sit in someone’s lap. Well, I had imagined becoming a house-cat because I thought it more convenient. It would not be so easy now to return to my bed at the end of the witching hour via the now disused cat flap and a panther stalking the streets of a large Yorkshire town would not go unnoticed. But in a sense the panther shape was what I had wanted, I wanted to be fearsome and bold and that is what I had got: the gods see the heart of man and unless you word things flawlessly and focus your visualisations then they will give you what you need be it a lesson in hubris or a reward that will actually help, like a job at the bottom of the ladder and not your desired winning lottery ticket.
I was amazed at how quickly I understood the gods’ message that night. Power needs control. And I was the wrong shape in the wrong place and I needed to control myself impeccably or else I would be discovered and potentially lethally harmed or I might use this power to wrongfully take the life of an enemy. Right now I had serious problems. I was not sure if the spell would wear off in the desired time frame, I had planned to spend just a few hours in this shape but now one thing had gone wrong perhaps I would find other things had gone wrong too. I could be stuck like this and that thought both terrified and exhilarated me. I had to think.
I looked around me and realised that if I stayed here I would go undiscovered, my circle was intact, the Guardians still in place and that would remain so until I broke the circle. My workspace had undergone change too, with the lowering of the veil around me I was no longer in the real world so to speak. This little space in the woods would go unnoticed as anything coming to my altar would see nothing but the rough rectangular granite slab, my workspace was protected from the eyes of the world. At least that gave me some peace of mind. But it left me with the problem of breaking the spell. If I did not break the circle the spell might remain. Almost a catch 22 situation.