There is one mirror in my house. Our kind, never give much importance to our human refection. This is because when the time comes for our first shift it changes everything the way we look, walk, talk and sense, both in animal and human form. It’s a myth spread by humans that we are born with the ability to shift. The truth is it’s not our blood but our soul that decides our fate. It’s common that human parents have child with shifting abilities. Our kind easily manages these kinds of cases. The elders can easily detect those who can shift because our souls are born with a different kind of beauty. The child who is born in a shifters family is first taken to the elders. When a elder conforms that the child will shift then only the parents are allowed to reveal our shifters existence and if the child doesn’t have the ability then the elders for the sake of safety for both child and the shifters finds a ‘perfect’ foster home or parents for the child in the human world. I always felt it as cruelty but sometimes the truth and reality is bitter and we have to accept it.
I sat on the stool and my mother stands behind me with the scissors, trimming. The dark golden brown strands fall on the floor. When she finishes she pulls my hair away from my face and twist it into a knot. It was easy this way, my hair is long and it reached till my hips. My mom never allowed me to cut it short she only just trimmed my hair a little, so that it remains healthy. I note how calm and focused she always is. I can’t say the same for myself because there are times when I thought I’m losing my sanity.
I take a look at my reflection out of curiosity. I see a square face, almond eyes, straight-edged nose, high cheekbones and plump lips, nothing changed till now, yesterday I turned seventeen and it was a big day but not that big because my countdown is starting from today. I know how the ritual works we get our first tattoo after the birthday on our first full moon night.
Factually today happens to be the day when my destiny would reveal itself.
Mom’s eyes catch mine in the mirror, she smiles at our reflection. I frown a little.
“So today is the day.” She says
“Yes,” I reply
“Are you nervous?”
I stare into my own eyes for a moment. My life will change and I will have to adapt to new changes.
Am I ready to face my fate? I have to be, shouldn’t I?
The tattoo’s that we get, is not made by some electrically powered tattoo machines it’s something we call magic. As we don’t know how we get it. All we know is that it’s painful, powerful and beautiful. Normally a shifter gets one tattoo but some of them get two this happens in every two or three year. There would be thirteen full moons in that year so in one month it will have two full moons. But the important aspect is that each tattoo we receive has its own meaning and somehow the tattoo will be connected to our mates.
.“No, I am fine. Just little nervous but I think I’ll be able to manage” I say.
She smiles and says “May this day become a special one for you. Now let’s go and eat breakfast.”
“Thank you. For everything you did for me.” My eyes filled with tears as I hugged her.
She holds me in at arm’s length and examines me.”I’ll be always there for you whenever you need me.”
She kisses my forehead and leads the way. My mother has always been beautiful and graceful in both human and animal form. Her body is build beneath her black satin nightgown. She has high cheekbones, long eyelashes, blue eyes and light pink-red hair which hang in waves over her shoulder blade. When she takes animal form she turns into exotic white snow leopard. Our kind fully ensures that it is totally hid from the human society therefore we stay with low profile and manage not to provoke any suspension against us. We live a happy life in Nepal as both my parents are white snow leopards and prefer mountain regions. When my dad got mated with my mom in late winters they used to live in China and when I joined inn with them they moved to Nepal as it’s less populated and safer for me. Time and then we have gatherings or special occasions when we get together with other Therian community people in Shafter, California. Our first shift is considered as the biggest occasion so the ceremony takes place in front of the elders who live in Shafter as for them the place has a huge history of ours hidden and it has also been selected as a gathering place for all. So for my first shift me and family have come to Shafter and are living in our aunt’s house as she is currently travelling the world for taking superb landscape photographs. My aunt turns into a domestic dog so habitat becomes no barrier for travelling as they can adjust and mould themselves to a new habitat.
I walk into the kitchen. As usual in the morning my dad makes breakfast, and my mom hums as she clears the table-it is on these mornings that I feel most anxious about leaving them. As it’s not our blood that decides our fate, so there is always a chance that one may turn into some other form of animal. This would lead a person to leave their family and join a new group with whom they would now belong to.
My dad sits down and looks up at me. He has a square face shape with strong jaw line, Roman nose, green sparkling eyes and cute dimpled cheeks and with strange but handsome platinum hair. His expression is placid as I sit down in the chair. It pains to look into my dad’s eyes because his love, support, pain and dread for me are clearly visible. I have always been my daddy’s girl and it hurts when I think about leaving him.
“How you doin’ till now?” he asks me.
“Dreading on what kind of tattoo I am gone receive.” I answer him back with a little smile.
“Don’t worry so much, it will be great, I know.” He says.
I just nod and concentrate on my food.
“Sweetie, we both think that you should take rest before you go for the ceremony.” Mom says.
I look up from my food and see concern blue and green eyes on me, holding hands and waiting for an answer. I didn’t want to argue with them today. So, I nod and quickly finish up with my food. I slowly and swiftly do my chore of washing dishes as it was my turn today. Then I head back to my room to take some rest. When I entre my room the feel of fullness and freeness envelops me. As coming back in my own territory makes feel me more comfortable and free. The walls are painted blue, the room is made well ventilated and gets well lit by sunshine and moonlight, and everything is kept in a properly organized and clean manner. I lie down in my made bed and take out my iPod from the drawer put on the earplugs and hit the play button. The song that plays first is “Love Story by Taylor Swift.” I feel the beats pound in my brain and try to match it with my heart beat as the song ends and the next one starts “Thousand Years by Christina Perri.” I just love this one, the beats and lines are so beautiful. The music is so soft that I slowly drift off to sleep, hearing in between lines.