At only 11 years of age, young Tommy knew he didn't have a lot of time left. Was he dying? No. Well I suppose you can't really say that. HE wasn't dying...but his humanity was.
Tommy's story technically began a month ago. After coming home from school, Tommy's parents noticed something odd about their son: Even though he was sick, it was only his arm that had an off color to it. As days passed, Tommy didn't get any better. In fact, his condition was actually getting worse. His parents took him to his doctor, whom confirmed that he had obtained a disease called "The Dragon Virus". As a recently discovered disease, the Dragon Virus had no known cure. In fact, Tommy was one of the first people who had accuired the disease. Since there was no cure, Tommy's parents knew it was only a matter of time before the Tommy they knew was gone.
Tommy sat in the lobby at the doctor's office. He scratched at his right hand, which was covered by a glove, as was his left hand. The reason for the gloves was that Tommy's hands had changed due to his disease. His hands were missing both pinkies and both thumbs. The fingers that hadn't dissappeared grew claws. First his nails grew. Then eventually enveloped themselves around the tips of his fingers, moving down his fingers and covering them in his nails. Which eventually hardened into dragon claws. Blue scales also popped up and covered his hands too.
"Tommy, dear, stop scratching at it. You'll just make it worse." His mom said.
"These gloves are making my hands itch though." Tommy whined.
"You can take them off when the doctor calls for us." Tommy's mom said.
Tommy tried to keep himself from scratching his scales. He grabbed his hat and pulled it down. Under his hat, were developing dragon horns. Since he was diagnosed with the Dragon Virus, Tommy had to wear his hat and gloves everytime he went out in public. He hated it but his parents told him it was for the best.
"Mr. and Mrs. Feeble?" The nurse called.
Tommy and his parents got up and headed into the doctor's office. After the nurse took Tommy's temperature and blood pressure, she asked Tommy why he was in today.
Tommy was very nervous about telling her.
"It's okay, Tommy. Go ahead." Tommy's dad said.
"He doesn't want to say." His mom said. She wrapped her arms around her son and hugged him tight.
"I'll tell her. Will that be okay?" She asked Tommy.
Tommy nodded, his eyes focused on the ground. His mom sighed then looked at the nurse.
"It's his Dragon Virus. It's not going away."
"I'm not surprised." The nurse said. "This virus was just discovered. Very few people have the Dragon Virus."
The nurse typed down everything, then headed out.
"The doctor will be with you shortly." She said.
Tommy took off his gloves, his scales now less irritated. He looked at his hands. They were exactly like a dragon's in every way. The look of them, the claws, the scales, Tommy's hands were now no longer his. They were a dragon's.
The door opened and the doctor walked in.
"Back again, huh, Tommy?" The doctor said.
"Hi, Dr. Feirstein." Tommy greeted, in a melancholy voice.
"So what can I do for you today?" He asked, trying to lighten the mood a little.
"It's Tommy's Dragon Virus. It's getting worse." Tommy's dad explained.
The doctor fixed his glasses. "I see..."
"I didn't want to tell either of you during your last visit since I thought we might still be able to prevent this..."
"Yes?" The family asked at the same time.
"But the Dragon Virus so far has no cure for it." The doctor said in a serious tone.
Tommy's parents felt their heart sink. Tommy himself, after hearing this, was on the verge of tears.
"Will have finished changing by the end of the week." The doctor explained.
"What'll happen to me then?" Tommy asked, his voice strained from trying to hold in his tears.
The doctor stood up.
"Can I talk to you two outside?" He asked Tommy's parents.
"Mom? Dad?" Tommy asked.
"We'll be right back, sweety." His mom said.
After they exited the room, Tommy began to feel pain in his ears. He tried to keep himself from screaming from the pain as they grew pointed, eventually turning into fins. Tommy felt his ears, surprised that, just like his hands, his ears now looked more like they belonged on a dragon instead of an eleven year old boy.
Tommy plopped one of his new ears against the door and listened outside. He heard the doctor tell his parents what would happen after his transformation.
"Then..." Tommy's parents said, almost about to cry.
"I'm sorry. When Tommy's transformation is over, he won't remember anything. Not his family, not his friends, not even who he used to be." The doctor explained.
Tommy went back to the chair and sat down. His mom and dad walked over to their son, both teary eyed, and gave him a huge hug. Tommy himself could no longer fight back his tears as he began to sob uncontrolably.
Tommy's parents dried their tears and headed out. Tommy however, couldn't stop crying. It was his fear of losing everything, memories and humanity included, that made him cry like that. He grabbed his hat and pulled it over his ears, his budding horns starting to poke out. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't hide his sadness.
Tommy and his parents made their way home. Tommy got out of the car, his paws still pulling his hat over his ears, which just caused the horns to rip through the hat even more.
As the family made their way into their home, Tommy took his hat off his head and threw it on the ground. He ran into his bedroom and sobbed into his pillow. His parents walked in and sat on his bed.
"Tommy..." They said.
They were at a loss for words. They knew they couldn't tell him it would be alright. They couldn't tell him everything would be better. In fact, it would probably just make Tommy feel worse.
Tommy's dad put his hand on his only son's head and rubbed his head, smiling. It was a compassionate smile, showing his son love and understanding.
"Be strong, champ." His dad said.
His parents left the room to let Tommy be by himself for a while. All through the last few hours of the day, Tommy continued to cry, eventually he cried himself to sleep.
The next day, it was 10:30. Tommy woke up and stretched. He felt something laying against his leg. He turned his head to see what it was. It was a tail! Tommy had sprouted a tail during the night! He grabbed his tail and held onto it. It was a beautiful tail, the top covered in rich blue scales, while red scales made up the lower half. A ridge of spines grew from his tail, starting at the tip of his tail and finishing at where the tail attached to him.
He got up and looked behind himself. He tried to wag his tail. It moved just like he thought of it moving. Tommy had to admit, even though he still hated the fact that he wouldn't be a human much longer, having a tail really intrigued him.
He walked into the kitchen, his parents already up.
"Hi, mom. Hi, Dad." Tommy greeted, but not like he used to greet them."
"Hi, Tommy." They said, smiling. At the time, it may not have seemed like the right thing to do but they didn't want to make Tommy any sadder. They figured he might be happy if they are.
"Hmm?" Tommy's dad walked over to his son, noticing his new tail.
"Is this your tail?" Tommy's dad asked.
Tommy flashed an (obviously) fake smile. "Yep. It's my tail." He said, trying to hide his real feelings.
Neither Tommy nor his parents could hide their real feelings. A feel of sadness loomed over the kitchen.
"Tommy, what d'you say we go do some stuff? As a family?" Tommy's mom asked.
"Like what?" Tommy asked.
"See a movie, go mini golfing, have a picnic, anything." Tommy's dad said.
"Maybe a movie?" Tommy said.
"Okay. Then we'll get going in a few hours. Go get cleaned up, Tommy."
So for the next three days, Tommy and his parents went out and did stuff together, as a family. Tommy knew he would soon be finished transforming, but the time he spent with his family were probably the happiest moments of his life. However, after Tommy's posture was changed to a quadruped stance, the family's happy activities were called to an abrupt end. Up to this point, the family was able to hide most of Tommy's transformation(Tommy himself had to wear an XL winter cap in order to hide his finned ears and horns)
Another three days passed. This time, the scales had completely overtaken Tommy's body. His feet were bigger and looked like his hands. His big toes and little toes retreated into his body, leaving him with only three toes on each foot.
November 23rd, Tommy's final day as a human.
Like the doctor had said. A whole week passed and Tommy's transformation was near its conclusion. All that was left was for his wings and snout to grow.
Tommy lay down, on his bed while his parents sat on the side of his bed. They watched as the final changes began to take place. Tommy's shoulder blades moved and reformed. Two incredibly thin arms grew form his back, becoming leathery wings. His face pushed out, growing longer, becoming a dragon's snout. Tommy felt his eyes begin to ache. He figured it wasn't over yet. He shut his eyes, hoping the final changes wouldn't be so bad.
"Tommy. No matter what you become, we'll always love you." He heard his parents say. Soon after, he passed out from the pain. The last words he heard were, "Please, never forget us."
A short time later, the child dragon woke up. It looked around its room. Or, the room it had in its human life. It got up and walked into the kitchen. It saw two adult humans, sitting at a table, crying.
"Mom, dad, what's wrong?" The dragon asked.
Tommy's parents gasped. The doctor said when Tommy's transformation had ended, he wouldn't remember anything from his past life. So...how...
"Tommy? You remember us?" His mom asked.
Why wouldn't I?" He asked.
"Well, Son. You're finished changing. " His dad explained.
Tommy's mom got on her kness and hugged her son. Neither of them knew how Tommy was able to keep his memories intact. Were the symptoms wrong? Was it the love of his parents that saved his memory? Neither of them cared. All that mattered to them was that Tommy was still Tommy, even in the body of a little dragon.
Tommy's mom let her dragon son go. He walked back to his room.
"Good night, mom. Good night, dad." He said.
Tommy got into his bedroom and hopped into bed. He got under the sheets and quickly drifted into sleep. All the while he slept, a warm, draconic smile was apparent on his muzzle. Even if he was a different species now, it didn't matter to him anymore. He was happy to still have his memories.