A hasty Decision Picture

A Hasty Decision

“The sundown gives birth to another night
as the moon comes crawling across the sky
My soul feels cold and my heart is tired
I’m burning inside, can’t stop the flames, the fire!”

Marco’s weak voice yelled out in conjunction with Morten Veland’s growling vocals blasting from his headphones, Here Marco lost and exploded into a fit of head banging. Thinking nobody heard either.

Home on spring break he went out alone after sundown like he used before he went off to college. He had been warned by his mother not to go out tonight, strongly infact. Especially after the rash of weird happenings in the area, nut jobs as Marco referred to them as, were claiming that people were disappearing, a griffon or some other random mythological creature was seen flying yesterday with a mate, a stone gargoyle that was in different places on a church tower, it was altogether a stupid hoax or something to get kids to obey their mothers.

Marco wasn’t going to believe it, or listen to his mother, he could never tell when she was serious or not anymore. She knew he wouldn’t anyway, and was probably preparing a practical joke to nail him with tomorrow before he went back to college. He turned on his Ipod and went for a walk. He noticed that when he left for college in the fall the sign that read “costumes” wasn’t in that window. From the outside there were no tacky indications that one could purchase costumes that all stores had these days. Advertisement was everywhere.

Thinking nothing of it, besides the fact that it was a severely out of season department store, he entered the store. He used to wear costumes as a kid, but when he got to into in his middle school years and pretended to be what ever he was wearing the costume of his mother panicked and threw them all out. Well he could one up her now eh?

Pulling out his earphones and shutting off his mp3 player, he strolled about looking at the wares. He ran his fingers over the costumes some feeling rubber and uncomfortable, others felt or silk and smooth. It was one of the felt ones that drew his attention. He pulled the costume out, and it was a lizard costume he could tell by them mask and claws. The costume was partially brown scaled and it had a sort of creamy brownish green hue for “under scales”. An orange acted as intermediary between the two colors and they broken up by red and black spots that ran down the backs, arms and tail. The mask, hands and feet were all solid dark brown. He held it across his chest to see if it was his size, and surprisingly it was.

“This is fricken sweet. I gotta buy this.” Marco said getting ahead of himself. He looked around for a sales clerk but he couldn’t find any. How weird, he thought, somebody with wares like these just leaving the shop wide open to be prayed upon by any common thief. Even though Marco never listened to a word his mother said to him, he did not steal things. Disappointed in the absence of a sales person, he put the suit back and walked to the door. But, as he touched the door handle, a voice called to him.

“Young man, where are you going?” Marco froze. He turned around to see an elderly man holding his costume; he must have been in the back room.
“I was going to go home, I didn’t think anybody was here.” Marcos said.

“Then why did you leave this?” He held up the costume.

“I can’t pay for a costume if nobody’s here to take my money. I didn’t think you were in the back.”

“It’s good to see another young man in the city who has some moral fiber. But you never called out for me or anything, Marco.”

“I didn‘t know your- did you just call me by name?” Marco asked astonished.

“My name is Drethan, don’t laugh Marco isn’t the best name in the world either. So Mr. Headbanger, you like this costume I see. ” There was some kind of power in this man’s voice, like as if he was used to giving orders or had some kind of indescribable power.

“Yes I do, I would like to pay for it if it is still for sale.”
“It is, and you can. ” Drethan pointed to the cash register.
The transaction went easy from there, and the costume was purchased without further incident.

Marco shouted his thanks and walked out of the store. 50 bucks for a costume, normally he would have called it a rip, but the extraordinary detail, was worth it. He pushed open the door and put his Ipod on again. Drethan smiled as he left, but at the same time could shake a weird feeling about him and that costume. He had a feeling he would be seeing them both again.

Running home with the costume under his arm, he excitedly planned out his next course of action like a kindergartner with a pot of dirt and a bunch of worms. He was going to run into the basement and put it on and act like a dork for a couple hours, maybe sleep in it and scare his mom tomorrow.

Marco unlocked the door, let himself in and shut and locked the door behind him. He crept across the threshold and down the archaic stairs to the basement. He turned on a light and took it he costume out of the bag. He folded it over the stairwell and ran off to use the facilities really quick.

But, while he was gone, the suit’s mask unfurled it self. It too was excited about being put on soon. Finally it could live. The costume put it’s head back down as it heard Marco draw near and pick the suit up.

“Well here goes.” Marco put his right arm through the sleeve the right hand sleeve, but as he did it felt warm… way too warm, it was actually searing his arm. The temperature difference was so extreme that he dropped the costume, on the ground. “Maybe it’s too late for this now. I’ll wait till tomorrow.” He picked up the costume, still warm and set it upon the vine-trellised railing, or at least he tried to. The burning sensation of the costume had returned this time it was the costume’s right arm, wrapping itself around his arm!

“What the-” He tried to pull it off with his other arm, but to no avail, the costume shot up his arm delivering more searing pain and began to settle itself over his muscular contours. Still trying to brush it off, he thought he saw the mask move. No he wasn’t imagining things, the mask was raising itself to be at eye level with him!

“Get off of me now!!!” He yelled at the mask’s hollow eyes… well they were hollow, now red reptilian eyes stared back at him.

“I thought you wanted a cool costume?” the costume had slowed it’s take over of his arm, but where the multicolored almost liquidized costume touched his shirt it disintegrated.

“You can talk???” He asked it dumfounded, looking around for something, anything to help him… and after a few painful seconds, he found it… sitting on his shelf.

“Yes I can do a whole lot more. But you seem so angry about wanting to wear me, isn’t that why you bought me, to wear me?” The mask asked him.

“But not like this, GET OFF”. With his free left hand he began to reach for something on his shelf next to him, a small knife. The costume didn’t seem to notice as it never took its eyes off of him.

It responded, “How could you possibl-” Before the thing could finish it’s sentence, the Marco pulled the knife off of the table and straight the fabric, and the mask bounded free on to his stairs. To Marco’s surprise and relief, the costume relinquished its hold on him and the mask shut up.

“That was close.” Dripping from his knife was a strange green liquid. He touched it out of curiosity and smelt it… it smelled like acid he used in chem lab last week. More of the green sanguine substance oozed from the mask on the stairs into a puddle that collected at the base of the staircase, and probably melting his stairs.

“Closer then you think” A horrid wet coughing noise followed. The costume mask was still alive! “I don’t blame you for that at all, per haps I went about it wrong and I should have told you what I was preparing to do before actually doing it. But you have to understand your situation is much worse now then before.” The costume finished.

“That would have been nice.” Marco added, “what do you mean much worse?”. As in an answer, the costume now headless set itself upon Marco again, this time much faster. In a matter of seconds the burning sensation signified his entire right arm up to his should had been covered, it latched on to his side and spread down his leg, it’s seemingly caustic exterior ate away at his clothing and shred s fell down all over his basement floor.

The costume coughed loudly again and spoke wheezing, it was obviously in its death throes. “If you had not just decapitated me, I could have allowed you take me off whenever you wanted and you could have borrowed my form whenever you wished, and I wouldn’t have made any other demands on you. Without me, the costume is just bent on conquering you, it believes that it must become a part of you, but without me controlling it in conjunction with you, it will over whelm you. You will not be able to change back. Ever. When it covers you completely you will be lost in that form forever.

A cold shiver went down his spine, but the searing pain of the costume reversed it as it crawled up his back, destroying his shirt. The costume had reached his foot now, and then the real pain began. As the costume completely covered his fingers, his middle and ring finger snapped together, claws drew them selves from his nails and costume fabric the costumed at first had only covered his body to the muscles, but now it went deeper, growing his muscles, o his arms and legs. The feet of the costume now his own, arched up, elongating and splitting up the front into three digits each ending there, in three new claws. It was more then just an outer façade, he could feel his body had been changed, reptilian foot reported a cold floor now, and his arms felt normal, not surrounded by a hot smooth costume.

The sound of fabric shredding and a weird feeling in his posterior meant something he was afraid to admit, a tail it had grown out his own body! It wasn’t part of the costume, it actually grew from him His heart pounded and he knew the costume mask was right he was doomed. He gulped loudly; this was only going to get worse. The fabric continued up from his shoulders and back where it meant on his neck it covered the whole thing and fused to it, and marched on his face.

For a second he stopped breathing and was blind, the costume surged around his head, absorbing his ears reducing them to a small hole. It covered his eyes, and in that time it grew his eyeballs, irises took more white-eye territory and the pupils became slitted. The costume ran over his nose, seeping in through his sin and altering the bone structures pulling it out into a muzzle. Slowly the as the costume rushed in to form his mouth and teeth he could breath again, his teeth where all sharpened and his mouth was most of his face. A line of red membrane connected his head top jaw and upper jaw taking the place of his cheeks. His hair never fell out. It remained up on top of his head.

He opened his mouth and yelled in agony, as the changed in his mouth slowly finished, not so much a human yell as some kind of primeval roar. That roar seemed to draw spikes from his elbows and a frill form his head to his neck. His body grew slightly in muscular mass, and the costume rushed across his chest, his reptilian and human arms sized and tried to halt its advance. It was no use. Easily the fabric over powered him and reattached itself, continuing it’s hell-bent purpose.

“Ack... I told you it would be worse. Hey, your face looks a lot like mine now.” The costume slowly marched down his leg and the last sleeve oozed its way on to his. In several moments of agony Marco was finally finished. He was a lizard thing from head to toe. He looked like the costume on the rack, and his skin was now scales, he had tail that could probably knock someone off of their feet. His clothing lay shredded in various piles around him some still smoldering. And then a strange feeling came from within him, like a great flame struggling to get out. He coughed and spat and a fireball exploded from his mouth crashing into the stair trellis. The trellis melted and collapsed.

Feeling defeated, and having a sense that he reached the point of no return, the lizardman that was Marco collapse don this rear end began to weep. The worse part of it all is it was his fault. Things could have ended so much differently, paradise seemed to have dissipated, and he was lost.

“Well, I think you could go ask Drethan what to do. At least he might be able to put my essence in another costume. Somewhere else.” The lizard mask told him.

“Can you help me? I know I screwed up, is there anything I can do?” He asked, his voice had changed it had a deeper almost volcanic sense to it. But despite his forked tongue he didn’t the stereotypical hiss after every “s” noise.

“I don’t know. If you had worn em you would have been quadrupedal, would have your eye or your hair color. I think Drethan could help you though.”

“Fine I’ll... go to him…” Marco had a good reason to fear the old man now he had destroyed one of his creations, and was about to ask him to help him. He grabbed a towel to give him some modesty and a large brown tarp to cover himself. He put the head in the bag he bough the costume, and walked dup his stairs. His talons clicked don each step and ran out into the night.

* * *
“No. It was your mistake I can’t help you out if. Personally I know of none who has ever done that to one of my costumes.” Drethan took the head from him. “This is going to take hours to fix. Do you see the grievance you’ve caused me now? I don’t have underpaid workers out in some random country flying under the wing of the UN to do my work, they are all custom and hand made by me you know!”

“I’m sorry. I’ll pay you again for the costume if that can help…” He reached for his wallet when he remembered, that he didn’t even have pants anymore, and his reach cause his towel to fall off. Embarrassed he covered himself and turned red in the face, really weird for a lizard to do if you’ve ever seen one.

“That won’t be necessary, and here, take this.” He took one of the ‘real’ ancient Egyptian linen wraps’ and threw it at his face. “Put something on for all our sakes.” And he took the bag and went behind the counter.

Marco darted for the dressing room and slipped it on. It felt… some how right, and it was about the only thing that did right now. He looked at himself I the mirror. He looked like he belonged in some book or on a trading card somewhere, not staring back at him in the mirror. This morning all he did was go out side and listen to music. He should have listened to his mother or the newscaster, but his arrogance and then his ignorance had gotten the better of him. He exited the room to find Drethan sitting on a stool holding the mask, now lifeless.

“It’s shame, the two of you could have been a lot better. Tell me though I am curious. Does that form fit you? Being a Fire lizard and all.” “The Egyptian cloth doesn’t look half bad, it actually completes you, far better then running around in your birthday suit.” Drethan said trying to sound sympathetic, or at least create the illusion of it.

“I like it… but I wish I could still be me.” Marco admitted pitifully.

“Well you have your hair, and your eye color. You can still walk like a man. Your personality isn’t going to change, and you don’t have any voices in your head, as far as I know. You are you just in a new body.”

“But how am I supposed to live here? I can’t go out during the daytime or at night really somebody will stop me and then it will only get bad from there.”

“Two griffins live in a cave out in the valley, What about there Mr. Headbanger?”

“I can’t live in someone else’s land. That would be like me going to your house and living there.”

“What about another world?” Drethan asked, no eager to rid himself of this person.

“Can you tell me more?” Marco asked finally intrigued.


This is for
I wanted to break the cycle with something a little unhappier. Inmost of Transryu’s costume tf collective the costume and the transformee have gotten along or agreed that they could share the body and form, but I didn’t carry that through. Marco messed up thinking he was saving himself and made it worse. You most likely will be seeing him again, but most likely not as an earthling. Hope ya like it.

Drethan is © to

The song "Sundown" and lyrics are © Morten Veland of Sirenia.
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