'That night... That accident... What happened that night? What was that thing? I only saw it for a second, a black blur in the night, then the next thing I knew I was on the hospital bed with Joseph by my side, a huge wound on the side of my body. I was stuck in the hospital for two weeks, but now I'm fine... but what was with that thing? The thought of what did that to me...it scares me. What in the world could've done that?'
PHASE 0: THE DAY BEFORE
Kevin ran these words through his head, looking down at the ground, idly sipping on his can of coke. The voice of his best friend and next door neighbour, Joseph, droning on about this one girl he just met during his run to the nearby convenience store, was blocked out by the repeating sounds of his screaming that night. He couldn't stop thinking about what had happened.
"You think I should call her yet?" Joseph asked. He punched Kevin's arm when he wasn't getting an answer. "Hello? Kev? You listening?"
"Huh?" Kevin shook his head as he snapped back into reality and looked at Joe. His friend was staring at him, clearly expecting an answer and wondering what was up with Kevin. Kevin looked into his chocolate brown eyes and noticed just now that his short light brown hair was styled up slightly. Joseph was the tall and good-looking ladies' man. Kevin always wondered how a guy like Joseph ended up with a nerd like himself. Kevin rubbed the spot Joseph punched him. He just felt a slight sting against it now. "Ouch, you don't have to be so violent."
"Heh. Sorry there, Kev." Joseph smiled as he leaned back on the couch and put his arms behind his head. "I always forget how weak you are."
"Hey, it's not my fault I got my dad's skinny body, where as you got your dad's huge muscles!" Kevin jabbed his finger at Joseph's chest. "And my build is pretty decent for a 16-year-old like myself!"
"Calm down there, tiger. I didn't mean it like that." Joseph gently pulled away Kevin's hand and rubbed the spot on his chest. "And no, it's not." It was true, though. Kevin got the skinny side, where as Joseph got from his dad. He had muscles, but was still technically slim. He was defined and such, with a six pack and all, but they weren't rippling out of his shirt. You could still see them in his tight grey shirt he was wearing under his open brown jacket, though. "Anyways, don't you agree?"
"Oh, sorry 'bout that, Joe." Kevin looked down at his green tee and brown shorts. He never looked as good as Joseph did. His brown hair was falling down with him and blocking his view quite a bit and hitting his thick-rimmed squared glasses. "Anyways, I wasn't really listening. Sorry. I was thinking about what happened."
"Oh, you mean that? It was just an accident. You know, maybe a bear liked our s'mores and wanted to try some of yours. You're fine now, aren't you?"
"Uh...yeah." Kevin pulled up his shirt slightly and looked at the scar that was left on his body. "But...it's just weird."
"Yeah." Joseph was looking away, like he was in deep thought, but Kevin knew not to bother him much during a time like this. Joseph was a down-to-earth kind of guy who always knew what was right, he rarely had to go into these serious thinking phases. "You know, why'd your folks decide to go to Florida right after you got out of the hospital? And it's not like they visited you much there, anyways."
"I dunno..." Kevin looked away, his face full of pain. Joseph was right. It's like his parents didn't even care about him. It was all about his older brother and sister who got into great universities and had everything right. They visited him about twice in his two weeks at the hospital, and one of them was to yell at him about how careless he was being.
"Oh, sorry, man." Joseph moved in closer and put patted Kevin's back. He was only thinking out loud, he didn't mean to hurt Kevin.
"Nah, don't worry about it, Joe. I'm all good." Kevin shook off Joe's arm and forced a smile.
He didn't buy it, but Joseph noticed the time on his watch and got up. "Ah, well I should get going. Shift starts soon."
"'Kay, see ya tomorrow."
"Yeah." Joseph nodded and made his way out the door.
PHASE 1: THE FIRST DAY
Kevin woke up peacefully. It was nice to wake up without your mom nagging about the fact that the next school year started soon and forcing him to get up.
He rolled around and glanced at the time. It was only seven. But he was awake already. He might as well get up soon, since he should be getting used to the daily schedule of waking up at six. He rolled around and moaned for a bit before deciding to get up.
He yawned and jumped out of bed, lazily dragging himself to the washroom, wearing only a pair of boxers. It was kinda nice being the only one in the house, just so you could just walk around like this in the morning. Joseph joked around that Kevin could just walk around completely nude, but then Kevin just ignored the odd thought. Especially since Joseph had come over almost every day since his parents left.
Kevin splashed some water onto his face, waking him up from his half-consciousness. When he rubbed his eyes and stared into the mirror, he screamed at what he saw.
His scrawny body wasn't flat and thin anymore. He had muscles. Actual muscles. His body looked more like Joseph's than his own now, he was built with perfectly sized muscles covering him. He kept stepping closer and further away from the mirror, then he rubbed his eyes as if to check if it was just his mind playing tricks on him. Kevin slowly ran his hand up and down his six pack first, as if to tell if it was real. When he felt the muscles hold up against his fist, he screamed.
What was going on? How did this happen? One night he was the thin nerdy kid, and then now he...he was built. Not built like a wrestler or anything, but a nice muscular slim shape that gave him perfect-looking muscles. He laid his hands over his rock-hard pecs for a bit before flexing his arms. He was happy with what he saw. It's something he always wanted, but no matter how hard he tried, he could never get muscles like this.
Finally accepting that his muscles were reality, he dashed to his room and jumped at his blackberry. He sent a text to Joseph saying: 'There's something I gotta show you. Come over quick!'
As he sent the text, he suddenly realized something: he wasn't wearing his glasses. But...everything was sharp, it all looked perfect. He looked around his room and could clearly read everything, the titles of his books, the games scattered around. His eyesight was...good again. 'But that's impossible!' he screamed in his head. But it didn't look impossible the way he was seeing things now. Just yesterday, not having glasses would make everything a blurry mess, but instead his room was as clear as glass, sharp and perfect definition.
"This is getting creepy..." he whispered to himself, striding around the room and reading everything he could see. He made a full circle around his room and finished just as the doorbell rang. "Wow, that was fast." He quickly slid on a pair of shorts he found on the ground. It was probably clean. Probably.
He raced downstairs and let Joseph into the house, he looked like he just woke up and threw on his clothes from yesterday messily.
"Hey," Joseph stepped in and yawned. "Came here as fast as I could. Still kinda tired. What's up?"
"This is up." Kevin smiled as he flexed his right arm in front of his friend's face.
"What the...?" Joseph looked at Kevin's arm, examining the muscles that appeared overnight, his jaw dropped and his face twisted of shock and curiosity. Joseph looked up and down Kevin's new body. "You're...you've got...but...how'd you do it?"
"I dunno, really." Kevin smiled and stared at his arm as he flexed and unflexed repeatedly.
Joseph put his hand on Kevin's arm in a slow and nervous way, pulling back before he could touch it, until he finally felt Kevin's muscles, which were as hard as his own.
Then, Joseph looked at Kevin's torso. His pecs and abs were defined very similarly to his own. He looked them up and down, his face twisted in curiosity. He places his hand on Kevin's chest and ran his hand up and down his friend's muscles for a bit to feel if they were real, too, then realized how creepy he must have seemed and started blushing. Joseph was still confused, but he knew for sure that they were real. "This is amazing, man! This is so cool! You're built! I don't know how you did it"
"I told you, I don't"
"But that's amazing! C'mon, let's go to the beach! Show of your new bod!" Joseph smiled and hit Kevin. It didn't hurt him this time.
"Uh...show off my body?" Kevin scratched his head. It's certainly something he never imagined that he'd be doing. "Uh...sure. Let's go. The beach is only a few minutes away, anyways"
"Alright, I'll go change up for the beach, meet me outside."Joseph scrunched his nose as he left. "You should change, too, those clothes stink."
Kevin quickly changed, putting on a new white sleeveless shirt and trying to force on his trunks. It was hard since his legs grew, too, but he was eventually able to pull them on, though they felt pretty tight... he quickly threw a few extra clothes into a string bag and slung it around his shoulder, and he slid on his shoes on his way out, sandals in his bag.
He locked up and met Joseph outside with his skateboard, Joseph was wearing a fitted blue shirt that left his muscles slightly visible, and a pair of black and green trunks, it was a mystery to Kevin how he fixed up in such a short time, his hair was perfect and Kevin noticed that he shaved his goatee slightly, and styled it so that it formed a sort of thin square around his mouth.
"Mm, that's a lot better." Joseph sighed in relief, sniffing the air and glad that he couldn't smell Kevin's old clothes. "Let's get goin'. It's a beautiful day."
"It is." Kevin looked up at the sky as they kicked off. Seven thirty A.M. and the sun was already bright in the sky, and a nice feeling of the sun and cool breeze at the same time made the day feel great as they rode down the sidewalk, wind blowing past them.
Joseph waved to a bunch of people and said a kind "good morning" to some of the older folks on the way. He was a really friendly and popular guy, where as Kevin was basically a nobody. But it really surprised Kevin when a beautiful girl his age sent a smile at him. Maybe today wouldn't be so bad.
They paid up and headed into the beach. Even on a nice day at the beach, there weren't that many people. It was mostly people from their school, since the beach was so close in the neighbourhood, and some families and old couples reading books or what-not here and there. They kicked through the sand and met up with a few of their friends.
"Hey." Joseph waved at a group of eight guys passing around a football. Most of them were at least decently built, with the exception of the chubbier Asian in the crowd. They were all pretty good looking, too, with one standing out, his spiky black hair blowing in the wind as he turned to smile at Joe. He wore a thick stubble, but it matched him perfectly and it embraced his perfect tanned skin.
"'Sup Joe, hey Kev." The boy pulled away from the crowd to greet them. He had already taken his shirt off and was displaying a great array of muscles. "Good thing you came, we can start a five-on-five." Just as he said that, as if on cue, a football rocketed at him and he dove into the sand for it.
"Five on five." Joe nudged Kevin and started whispering. "C'mon, this is a great way to see if those new babies are just for show."
"So, you in?" The boy shook off some sand from his bright red trunks and stepped back in front of them.
"'Course we are, Eric." Joseph said as he started to pull off his shirt and quickly tuck it into his bag.
"Great, c'mon. Hurry up." He ran back to the group and rejoined their warm-up tosses.
"Seriously, Joe?" Kevin groaned as he also pulled off his shirt and kicked off his shoes into sandals. "You know I suck at football, and then we're playing with Eric!"
"It can't be that hard anymore, can it? Just give it a shot." Joseph started towards Eric and the rest of the guys.
"Fine. Let's hope they work." Kevin mumbled as he followed his friend.
"Okay, teams!" Eric yelled out to the other nine guys. "Me and Joseph are team captains, since we're pretty much the best. Everyone's cool with that, right?" Everyone nodded. "Okay, whaddaya want, man?" He looked at Joseph. "First pick, or first ball?"
"I'll take the ball." Joseph smiled as he took the ball from Eric, who seemed rather surprised. He had expected Joseph to take first pick and choose Malik, the speedy and very well built boy with blonde hair and a goatee. Everyone wanted him first.
"Alright, I get Malik." The boy just grunted.
"Kevin." It didn't surprise him. Joseph always picked Kevin first. Best friends were best friends, after all.
"Neku." The boy with messy orange hair smiled as he walked to Eric's side, holding his headphones and moving to the music. He always had headphones on, even playing football. Nobody knows why, but some people say it's to block others out because he wants everyone to mind their own business. Everyone could tell he was happy to be on Eric's team.
"Toph." Joseph pointed to the boy with short brown hair casually standing in the back. He was slightly less built than Joseph, and his face bared a huge smile. His real name was Jonathan, but they called him 'Toph', because it sounds like 'Tough'. He was a kind and gentle person, but could turn into a deadly beast when he was really into something. Football was an example.
They took turns calling on the rest of the group, all of them were built and good-looking popular white guys. Graeme Atkinson, the tall, good looking guy with spiky, brown, rock star hair joined Kevin's team. He was fast and muscular, but he always was better at basketball than football. They also got Hope Estheim, too. He was kind and all, but he wasn't very athletic or courageous. He was one of the worst players, but he was a good sport and a great guy, so people didn't mind having him.
They set up markers in the sand by throwing their bags down. Once everything was lined up, they started up the game.
Kevin's team started, and Joseph tried to dash through and avoid being tackled. Unfortunately, Eric was faster and quickly dove at Joseph, sending him crashing to the ground.
"C'mon, Joe. I know you're better than that." Eric reached his hand out to Joseph.
"I'm just getting warmed up." Joseph picked up the ball again and readied himself, smiling.
They were downed before they could get a touchdown, with Eric's team raining down upon them before they could get near the touchdown line. The team still avoided passing to Kevin because he was known to fumble...a lot.
When it was Eric's turn on offensive, things were starting to go chaotic. Joe didn't look it, but he had crazy running speed. Luckily Toph was able to take him down once, but Eric did score a touchdown.
When they got onto the offensive again, Joseph gave the ball to Kevin to run. To everyone's surprise, even Kevin's, he made it past everyone. He was running faster than he ever had, and he even beat Eric, who tried to catch him, but just missed. He quickly made the final rush and scored his first touchdown. Instead of a cheer or anything, everyone froze in dead silence. They never imagined that Kevin, of all people, would be doing that. After a long pause, Joseph broke the silence, and everyone started cheering Kevin on.
The game continued on, and everyone was amazed at how great Kevin was all of a sudden. They finally finished up the game at around 9:15, when everyone was finally tired of jumping on top of each other and seeing who could take the other person to the ground. Kevin's team probably won thanks to him, but no one was really sure since they stopped keeping count when everyone's goal was to jump on the nearest person instead of score a touchdown.
"Hey, great job, Kev!" A boy with short, messy, golden brown hair and a British accent placed his hand on Kevin's shoulder after the game. "That was amazing!"
"Nice job, there, Kevin!" Eric came up and nodded at him, smiling. "Who ever thought someone like you could do that?" He looked up and down Kevin's body. "You've gained a lot of muscle since the last time I saw you. You been working out?"
"Well...I-I-I...I-umm..." Kevin stuttered, but was luckily saved with Joseph sliding in just in time.
"Yeah. We've been working out together, and now look where it's gotten him!" Joseph ruffled Kevin's hair a bit, something like an older brother would do. In a way, Joseph was Kevin's older brother. He looked out for him all the time, and drove away bullies. He also got Kevin to hang out with Eric and the rest of the guys instead of sitting out like a loser.
"Yeah, you're right." Eric gave them a nod and turned away. After he was a few meters away, he turned and called out, "We're taking a swim! C'mon!" His gaze stuck on Kevin a little longer before breaking into a run.
"Let's go!" Kevin quickly dashed forwards, even catching up to Eric, who already had a big lead, without even trying.
"Hey! Wait up!" Joseph followed behind his friend, almost tripping on the sand below.
They hung around in the water with a bunch of people from their school. Guys and girls splashed around, played games, and chatted at the beach. Kevin noticed a lot of people staring at his body. He was only used to people looking at him to notice the nerd passing by, not to check out his muscles.
Kevin saw Io Nitta in the water, too. A beautiful long, brown haired girl his age who was smart and modest, and just a year older than him, too.. She was kind and gentle a lot of guys wanted her, but she would never go with the jerks. Before he knew it, she was standing right in front of him.
"Hey there, I don't believe I've caught your name." She smiled. "I'm Io. Io Nitta."
"I-I-I-I'm...I'm Kevin." He spat out and started to turn red.
"Hmm? Is something wrong?"
"Not at all, Io!" Kevin threw his hands up into the air, accidentally splashing her and dampening her perfect hair. "Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!"
She simply laughed. "Haha, don't worry about it! Because..." She sent a small wave of water at him with her hands while he was panicking. He just got a new reputation; he didn't wanna lose it so quickly. "I'll get you back!"
"Haha! You got me there!" Kevin wiped the water out of his eyes. "I thought you would be like other girls and freak."
"No, why would I freak? It's just water!"
"You're a nice guy..." She looked away for a second, as if thinking whether or not to say something.
"Is something wrong?"
"You should call me." She hesitantly put out.
"C-c-c-call you?!" Kevin's face turned pink. He didn't expect that. "O...okay. Okay! Sure! Yeah! I'll...I'll call you!"
"Heehee, I like you. You're no jerk. Like that Eric kid. Well, I'll see ya around, Kevin." She winked at him before meeting up with some of her other friends.
Right when she left, Joseph came up to Kevin, clapping slowly. "Very good. How did you get Nitta to like you so much? She normally hates guys."
"I dunno..." Kevin smiled. "But she told me to call her."
"She what?!" Joseph's jaw dropped down instantly. "Even I couldn't get friendly with her! What did...how did you do that?"
Kevin just smiled. He knew that it would be a good day.
After staying in the water for an hour and a half, Kevin and Joseph finally decided they would be leaving. They said their goodbyes to everyone and jumped out of the water. The sun was now high in the sky and quickly heating up the beach. The sand was already really hot as they kicked through it.
"Hey! Joe! Kev!" A voice called out from behind them. They turned around and saw Eric running up towards them, completely soaked. "You guys leavin'?"
"Yeah. It's getting hot and we have places to be." Joseph answered.
"Oh, well, that's too bad."
"Yeah." Kevin answered before whispering to Joseph: "We have places to be?"
Joseph ignored the question and said, "Yeah, sorry. See ya."
"Okay. Uh...I'll just go out with it." Eric said, mostly to himself. "Kevin, ya wanna go...uh...out to...dinner? With me?"
Joseph's face flooded with surprise. "What the fu"
Kevin's face copied Joseph's, his mouth hanging open and his face turning pink. "Are you...asking me out?" Kevin asked.
"Well, uh...yeah I guess." Eric scratched the back of his head, he was turning pink, too. The cool brave Eric, blushing. And because of Kevin.
"Eric, look, I'm sorry but I'm..." Kevin was choosing his words very carefully, trying not to hurt Eric.
"Wait a sec." Eric interrupted. "You're not...gay?"
"Oh. Wow, uh that's embarrassing." He forced a smile. "I just thought because, you know, a lot of people kinda think..."
"People think I'm gay?!" Kevin screamed, but just quiet enough for only the three of them to hear.
"Yeah...kinda." Eric's face turned serious. "Okay, look. You do not tell anyone about this, okay? It's something I'm trying to keep a secret, okay? Let's pretend this never happened, sorry to bother ya, buddy."
"Yeah, you've got our word." Kevin nodded.
Joseph was still frozen.
"His, too. Now we should be heading off. See ya."
Kevin dragged Joseph off the beach, after a few slaps, he finally unfroze. "Eric's GAY?! I did not expect that!"
"Haha, well, that doesn't matter. So where are we supposed to go?"
"Well, I can already tell those trunks are really tight on you."
"You were trying to adjust the net countless times, Kev." Joseph pointed out, causing Kevin to blush a bit. "Anyways, so let's go to the mall. We could get you some new clothes. We've got nothing to do today anyways."
"Sure, why not." Kevin shrugged. He liked the idea of going to the mall and buying some new clothes. And maybe with Joseph's help, they would look good.
"Anyways, let's change out of these, first."
Kevin changed into a red collared shirt and light brown shorts, and Joseph quickly changed into a blue plaid short-sleeve button down shirt and darker brown shorts.
They met outside the changing rooms, slipped their shoes back on, and started to skateboard to the mall. When they arrived at the huge building, they picked up their boards and headed inside.
"Okay, so where to?" Kevin looked at the directory. He didn't go here much, mostly just for games.
"C'mon, just follow me." Joseph dragged Kevin into a store, and quickly got him to try on some clothes.
Joseph dragged Kevin around the mall, looking for new clothes for him, and getting him to try on all sorts of clothes. Joseph knew the styles, so Kevin just did whatever he told him to. They covered about half of the stores they planned to go to, already carrying a bunch of bags, before Kevin realized he was feeling a little queasy. He decided to just put it off and go to the washroom.
"Okay, fine. There's a washroom over there." Joseph pointed to the washroom on the floor below them and took the bags out of Kevin's hands. "I'll take these, just hurry up oh, never mind. It's only twelve. Oh, just hurry up anyways."
"'kay, thanks Joe!" Kevin quickly raced down the escalator and stormed past the shoppers, charging through the washroom door, luckily the washroom was empty. Now that he was here he noticed he didn't have to vomit, but his stomach was still churning wildly and he was getting hot. He was burning.
He didn't wanna take his shirt off in case someone came, so he hastily turned the tap and splashed water onto his face. When he looked down, he noticed his fingernails were extending outwards slowly, transforming into sharp, murderous claws.
"What the hell?!" He screamed, but then a searing pain launched up his mouth. He screamed as he felt a piercing feeling in his teeth. He watched the mirror and saw that his canines were growing out of their sockets and becoming longer and sharper, like his claws.
He started trembling as he felt something coming up, and cried out in pain as he fell to the ground on his side, letting out a horrible shriek. He slowly rolled over onto all fours, panting. Whatever was going on was already killing him, and he felt an odd feeling in his feet.
He wiggled his toes, trying to get the sharp, painful numbness away, but it wouldn't work. He clenched his teeth almost biting his lips with his new fangs - as he heard rubber ripping. He turned around and saw that his shoes and socks had completely been torn apart by his growing feet and their new weapons.
Before he could even think "gross" to the fact he was down on the floor of a public washroom, he screamed as he felt a sharp piercing at his feet. He turned around and watched as claws grew out of his toes, too, similar to the way they did with his hands. The toenails stretched outwards into sharp claws which slowly turned black in time with his hands.
He scrunched up his nose as he could feel his senses changing. Suddenly, Kevin could smell all the disgusting smells of a public washroom but heightened and ten times worse. It made him wanna barf, but he was stopped as he felt a roaring pain as his ears started to shift, the cartilage in his ears morphing into a slightly pointed form similar to that of a wolf's. His hearing improved just like his sense of smell, he could hear his heart pounding against his chest and his heavy breathing as he tried to clue into what was happening.
He had just a second of relief before he felt his muscles start to ache. Kevin could feel his muscles tighten and start to grow even larger, and his body started to heat up even more. He rose up onto his knees and puffed his chest outwards, not really meaning to but was forced to do so by the morphing of his body. He could feel his torso's muscles start to morph even more, and the next thing he knew, his arms were bubbling and growing more, too. The circulation in his arms started to get cut off as they were pushing against his sleeves, now way too tight for his arms.
Kevin closed his eyes. He couldn't watch this anymore, he was just trying to hold on and to brace the extreme pain, and watching his arms balloon up and pull against his sleeves didn't help. The next thing he knew, there was a loud ripping sound and his arms regained blood. He opened his eyes again to see what had happened, and he saw his shirt was now a pile of red shreds on the ground. He almost got the chance to look at his body when he felt a large pounding at his abs.
He clutched it and fell to the ground just as the washroom door opened and a kid about nine years old walked into the washroom and noticed Kevin on the ground.
"Hello, Mister." He said innocently.
Kevin couldn't control himself, he just let his instincts take control and roared at the kid. "Go away you little brat!" The kid jumped up, frightened and ran out of the washroom as fast as he could, crying.
Kevin couldn't even think straight about what he had done because the pounding was getting worse and worse. He looked down to see what was going on and he noticed when he saw that another pair of abs were pressing up against his skin, and the other six which arrived this morning were growing, too. They were pushing against his skin in unison, making him scream each time.
When his muscles were all settled down, Kevin lay down on his back and caught his breath. What was going on with him? Why is he enduring this extreme pain? Is it a curse? A punishment? But what did he do wrong?
He was so lost in thought that he didn't expect it when he felt his back arch upwards and a piercing feeling at the bottom of his spine. He gasped as he felt his spine stretch and something start poking out from the bottom, ripping a hole in the back of Kevin's shorts. He rolled onto his front and turned to see a short, bare tail was wiggling slightly. And now a tail to go with it, he thought. What was wrong with his body?
Something inside him told him that he could rest for a while. Like the machine causing all these changes finally decided to rest. He sat there for a minute or two, resting as his new senses took in his surroundings in an even sharper form something he did not like.
Suddenly he felt an irritating prickling on his arms. He tried to ignore them, because it was probably his imagination, but they continued. His arms were soon covered in a pinching feeling so that he couldn't help but try to scratch it off. When his hand touched his skin, he found that it was rougher than normal. He rose his arm up to be met with his once-hairless arm which now had a not-too-thick layer of hair on it.
He watched as more hairs grew up on the side of his arms - and now his legs, too - and was amazed at how quickly it was growing and how painless it was. Painless but irritating, though. His skin was itching like crazy, but he knew scratching it wouldn't help one bit. He just closed his eyes and tried to endure the torture. He tried to ignore the odd feeling of his new hair against his shorts and the washroom ground, but it sure was hard. And, to Kevin's dismay, after the feeling on his arms finally died down, the same feeling erupted onto his chest. He let out a scream of annoyance as he clawed at his chest, trying to cure himself but failing as hair grew in patched along his newer, stronger, pectorals.
When it died down, Kevin's chest had a layer of hair similar to his arms. He looked at it and ran is fingers through it, checking to see if the newly grown bush was actually real and to make sure he just didn't drink too much saltwater. As he felt the same growing feeling at his hair, he screamed as the itching came back and he felt his hair grow into a thick, layered mess on his head along with long sideburns going down his face. He also groaned as he felt his eyebrows grow in the same way, too.
He screamed again and his back arced so high even he couldn't believe it. His bare chest pushed upwards to try and cancel out the pain from his back, but it didn't work. His spine was pushing downwards even more, and his tail grew out even longer. He also felt it start to get covered in fur, too. It finally died down and his back hit the ground with a thud.
He sat there with his eyes closed for a while, bracing himself for whatever ordeal he would have to suffer through next, but it never game. He lay still as his breath steadied and his body finally relaxed.