16 year-old Johnny was at his desk in his final period class, the bell five minutes from ringing. He was the spitting image of a popular tenth-grade teen: Cool, bored with life, stuck up. He looked to his right and saw Mary, a girl whom he had a crush on. She was absorbed in a drawing in her lap, paying absolutely no attention to the teacher. Johnny decided to take a peek, and he was horrified at what he saw: She was drawing a dragon. It was beautiful; really, the dramatic vantage point, the exquisite shading, the details picture perfect, but Johnny HATED all lizards with a vengeance, especially dragons. He was afraid of the way lizards walked, their beady little slit pupils, their disgusting, forked tongues, everything. "W-what is that?" he asked Mary.
"It's a dragon," She said, tilting it in his direction so he could cringe at it in high-def horror. "You like it?" She asked with a smile.
"It's disgusting, get it away!" He said, averting his eyes. Even pictures of lizards frightened him. She just shrugged and continued drawing.
In a few minutes, the bell rang. Johnny walked outside, and Mary began to follow him. About a block away, he finally caught notice and asked, "What is it?"
"Nothing, it's just that my house is this way," She answered, and they remained silent. In another two blocks of walking, she picked up her pace and got alongside Johnny. "Why are you so afraid of lizards?" She asked. "It's just a drawing, it's not gonna jump off my binder and bite you," She asked.
"I don't know, I just hate them," He answered, and she scoffed.
"If you met a dragon and didn't run off screaming upon first sight, if you told him that, he'd probably think you're racist," She said.
"Good thing they don't exist," Johnny responded with a scowl. Mary scoffed again.
"A thousand years ago, people thought atoms didn't exist," She shot back.
"Well, at least atoms make sense," He said, not even glancing back. She just shook her head and mumbled to herself,
"If only you knew
"Oh, nothing, nothing
" She soon came up to her street. She waved goodbye and walked away. "Good riddance," Johnny said to himself as he watched her enter her house.
Johnny walked along until he was less than a block from his house. Then, he suddenly heard, "Hey, she's got a point, you know," Johnny froze in his tracks and looked around, but no one was there. "Most dragons would think you're racist." He looked down and saw a big, red lizard. It must've been a foot long at least. "AGH!" He screamed and fell to the ground.
"No, really, if you said that to half the guys I know, they'd beat the crap outta you," The lizard said, advancing. Johnny scooted away on his bottom, and then his back hit the fence. He was breathing in and out heavily, gasping in terror at the talking lizard in front of him. "Well, you will see, you will see," The lizard said, now smiling an evil, toothy grin.
"W-what?" Johnny asked in fear.
"Tell me- do you hate yourself?" Johnny was too paralyzed in fear to answer. "Well, if you don't change your opinion of dragons pretty soon, then your self-respect will plummet, I guarantee it," And with that, the lizard bit Johnny on the ankle. He screamed in pain and grabbed his leg. "Have fun, former human," The lizard said and calmly walked back into the shrubs, laughing evilly all the while. Johnny sprang up and began running for home, the only thing going through his mind being 'poison'. He reached his door and swung it open. He limped into his living room where his mom and older sister were, and then he doubled over in pain. He looked down at the wound, and screamed at what he had seen: His leg had become longer and digitgrade, like a dog's hind leg, and red scales covered the entire thing. His shoe was torn up, and three big, stubby toes complete with black claws were left remaining where his old ones were. Speechlessly, he wiggled them around, and they responded perfectly to his command. "Oh my God, what's happening to me?!?" He screamed in terror, and his family rushed to his aid, although not able to do anything to stop his horrifying transformation. The scales advanced up his leg and hit his midsection. A red and orange tail shot out of his tailbone, tearing a large hole in the seat of his pants whilst doing so. "AAAAAAAUUUGGHHHHHHHHH!!!" He screamed as he finally realized what was happening. He was transforming into the demonic, hellish beast of his nightmares: A dragon. "MAKE IT STOP!!!" Johnny screamed in terror. "OH GOD, MAKE IT STOP!!! DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME!!!" He screamed in horror. Despite his pleas, the transformation continued on unfazed. His entire lower body was now draconic, and his family could only watch helplessly as he lost his humanity, bit by bit. He felt in terror as scutes proceeded up his belly. He clutched his scaled stomach, feeling in horror the ceramic-like platescales cover his chest. He opened his mouth to scream again, but instead let a stream of fire from his mouth up into the air. "AGH!" He screamed and flipped over. Two red and orange, leathery wings sprung from his shoulder blades, tearing two large holes in the back of his shirt. Obsidian black, 1/2 inch claws sprung from his fingers. "NOOO!!! I DON'T WANT TO BE A DRAGON!!!" He pleaded in terror as it proceeded up his neck. His face began pushing out, and Johnny thrust his hands up to his new snout, desperately trying to push it back, but his jaws simply grew on. He was crying helplessly now, sobbing at the humanity he was losing. Two double-curved, S-shaped horns sprung from the back of his head and his human teeth fell out, replaced by draconic fangs and molars. His hairline receded, all of it falling to the ground, and his ears became long and pointed, and could move around freely, like cow's ears. There was not one patch of human skin left remaining on his body; all was covered by dragon scales. The only thing left undisturbed was his eyes, but even they didn't last long. His eyes began to burn, and he sobbed, "No, not my eyes, just let me keep my eyes!!!" He opened them again, and they were indeed vertically slit. It was over. It was finally over. He looked down at his hands, and they were covered in scales. "D-dragon
" Tears began to well up in his new eyes. He collapsed on the ground, crying, with his mom and sister trying to make heads or tails of what just happened to poor Johnny, but all they could do was comfort him as he cried, helplessly, heartbroken.
During the following months, Johnny faced the challenge of adapting to his new body. He lost every single one of his friends, and his school rank dropped from 'ultra-cool popular all-around awesome dude' to 'school freak show'. He also gained a very good friend, Mary. If it wasn't for Mary, It would've taken three years for him to smile again instead of three weeks. Mary practically became his girlfriend, helping him cheer up when he was down, and even convincing him not to kill himself in a suicide attempt. His family helped him a lot, too, and if anyone would refer to Johnny as anything that was even hinting at calling him sub-human, his mother would deck them right then and there, and she did, several times. Other, original dragons came out of hiding, all they needed was an example that said, "Humans won't shoot you upon first sight", and Johnny reluctantly became a major draconic rights advocate.
And the lizard? He was never to be found again, but sometimes, when people walk by that very same bush, they hear laughing, as if the lizard was in hysterics at his own handiwork.
Why wouldn't he?