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literature by InorganicHeart5

Stories by Un-Artistic

Caity's World by phantom-inker by dominusexmachina


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October 12, 2007
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In the intervening days, Caitlyn was more confused than she’d remembered ever being.  She was, in the words of her boss, wandering around like a zombie.  Most days at work, she tried hard to maintain a human appearance, but twice already this week she’d transformed back into a centaur without realizing it, once nearly destroying a stall in the women’s lavatory in the process.

She wasn’t entirely sure why he had unnerved her so much.  He was cute, he was suave, he was smart, and for some reason, he seemed to actually like her, and that led to more consternation than she knew how to handle.  Was he a weirdo?  A psycho?  Chasing her on a dare?  Did he have ulterior motives?  She wasn’t a catch; she wasn’t some guy’s dream girl; she was sure of that — at least, she was trying to convince herself she was sure of that.

Her mind swirled with possibilities, and on Thursday, she very precisely, neatly, and obliviously slammed her head into the middle of the doorway of her apartment building when returning from work.  There was a loud thud.

“Yaaahhhh, dammit,” she cried, holding her head.  She ducked, wincing, and stumbled inside.  “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow...”

The concierge, a pleasant, clean-cut, dark-skinned man in his mid-twenties with a mild African accent, startled from his workday ennui.  “Are you okay?”

“No,” she said, doubling over and holding her head.

“Should I call an ambulance?” he asked, biting his lip.

“No,” she repeated.  She slowly stood back upright and lowered her hand.  “It’s not bleeding...  It just hurts like hell.”

“I am sorry to hear that, Miss Camberley.”

“How many times have I told you to call me Caitlyn?  I hate that name.”

“Often, Miss Camberley.”

“The only reason I haven’t changed it is because I can’t afford the paperwork, okay?  If I should have any name, it ought to be Stockwell, like Mom and Ellen.  So until then, call me Caitlyn.”

“Yes, Miss Camberley.”

She glared at him, but the look on his face was somewhere between apologetic and terrified, and she softened.

“Any mail for me, George?”

“No, Miss Camberley.”

“Thanks.”

She turned away and walked toward the elevators.  She hated the elevators.  But she hated the stairs more.  Of course, she’d been a centaur for the last three hours now, so that left her with options, however meager.  She winced.  This time, she was going to fit, and not have to apologize to anyone else.

She gritted her teeth, took a deep breath, and pulled.  Her body began to retract.  Her forelegs disappeared into her waist, and her midsection shrank.  In a few moments, there was only a normal human woman standing barefoot in the lobby wearing a miniskirt, blouse, and jacket.

She let out a sigh.  “I wish it didn’t hurt so much,” she said.

“Does it hurt when you change?” asked the concierge.

“No, my head.  It’s only a little uncomfortable to stay like this, like when you have to use a bathroom and can’t.  But I’ll be damned if I’m gonna use up an entire elevator myself again.”

“Ah,” he said.  “My brother William is a winged dragon man.  I did never seen him return to his human form after he changed.  I did wonder how it felt.”

“You’re best off staying human,” she said.  “Anyway, my elevator’s here.”

She walked inside the elevator, and the doors closed.

For some reason, they were playing a horrible elevator-music version of the Girl from Ipanema, which left her plenty of reason to drown in her own thoughts.  Ellen...  she hadn’t talked to her sister in nearly a month now.  Of course, what was she going to say?  She was just a lowly secretary at a large, faceless investment company, while Ellen was a hotshot lawyer down in Virginia.  Caitlyn was stuck as an ugly mutant horse, while her sex-bomb of a sister got to stay human.  Caitlyn’s art degree was only good for an endless supply of doodles, a depressing number of them on the backs and margins of her student-loan bills, while Ellen had nearly already earned her first million.  She felt like venting, and her cell phone nearly came out of her pocket, but there was no sense calling her mother; she knew how Caitlyn felt all too well.  Caitlyn decided to call tomorrow, after the “date” was over.  That would at least be news, a reason to call the woman besides the usual gripes.

The doors opened again on the seventh floor, and Caitlyn walked out into the hallway.  She passed Kat going the other way, cheetah-lion-man still in tow.  This had to be a record:  Nearly a week and Kat was still with him.

“Hi, Kat, how are you two doing?” she asked.

Kat giggled.  “Awesome,” she said, hugging his arm.  “How about you?”

“Another day, another dollar,” she said, shrugging.  “So you two really hit it off, huh?”

Kat looked up at him dreamily.  “He’s tall, he’s handsome, he’s rich, and he’s amazing in bed.  What’d you think I was gonna do, leave him?”

Caitlyn smiled.  Well, actually, yes.  Kat’s track record with guys was legendarily terrible — but it was good to see her happy.  Kat might be a ditz, but she deserved happiness as much as anybody else.

“Well, I’m glad you two are doing so well.”  She nodded politely, stifling a growing feeling in her lower body that she needed to change back.  Soon.

“We sure are.  We’re heading over to his place for a romantic — actually — Caity, you still have a key, right?  Can you watch Muffy for me this weekend?  He wanted me to come meet his family this weekend, but I wasn’t going to leave Muffy by herself.”

Caitlyn raised an eyebrow.  Since when were cats unable to spend a weekend alone?

“Alright, alright, yeah, yeah, I’ll watch Muffy.  You two have fun.”

“Thanks, Caity!” cried Kat, and bounced over to her with a giant hug.

“Okay, okay, let go.  You gotta get going, and I gotta change back soon.”

“Ohhh, okay,” said Kat.  “I don’t know why you change so often.”

Caitlyn shook her head.  “Neither do I,” she muttered under her breath.

She waved as Kat and her arm candy disappeared down the hall.  That girl was something else.

She sighed, walked toward her apartment, opened the door, and all at once remembered that tomorrow she had a “date” with Wils.  But — with Kat gone, now she didn’t need to meet him, did she?  But if she didn’t meet him, then what?  He didn’t seem all that bad.  And maybe she’d need him as an excuse on another weekend.  But this could actually turn into a date, couldn’t it?  She wasn’t ready for anybody.  No way.  Not until she was human again.  Which meant she couldn’t see him.  Or anybody else.  Not now.  But she had to meet up with him.  He seemed to like her.  And he was cu — useful.  Her mind reeled, boggling at the options.  Stay?  Go?  Go?  Stay?  There was no way she could —

And suddenly she realized that her concentration had slipped and she was changing back, her body mushrooming, growing —

And her head slammed into the top of the doorway.

When she came to about a half hour later, the concierge and two paramedics were standing over her.  “Hi,” she said weakly, “uh, I don’t suppose you guys could accidentally kill me so I don’t have to decide what to do tomorrow?”
Caity's World, Part 3.

Part 2 is here. Part 4 is here. The introduction and author's notes are here.

As before, if you like it, or have questions or comments or any opinions at all, please say something. It's the comments that keep me going.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconautoman217:
Automan217 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why would she want to change back? That's so awesome! ^^
Reply
:iconminecraftbob:
minecraftbob Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
hahaha! poor noggin. ive got the feeling tht this wint be the last time she slams her head into somethin.
Reply
:iconzapp506:
Zapp506 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
My favorite thing about this grammatically is that you double space when you end your sentences.
But I love the story, too~ I don't like how Caity hates being a centaur, but I also like that about her.
So, yeah. Can't wait to read more~ :D
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There's lots more to read. And who knows? You just might see a little character growth in there.

And yes, I double-space after terminating punctuation on sentences. It's a holdover from the typing class I took years ago back in high school, and I even put the double space in comments like this and even tweets and cell phone text messages. I care perhaps more than I ought about the grammar and style and even the appearance of the words on the page when I write.
Reply
:iconcatgoyle:
Catgoyle Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010
(laughs!) Loved the finish on this one. Accidentally killing her... to avoid a choice that shouldn't be that horrible.
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Caitlyn's a bit neurotic. But you've probably figured that much out by now.
Reply
:iconmadjackaldelta:
MadJackalDelta Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2009  Student Writer
I love that last line. Excellent work.
Reply
:icondahnza:
Dahnza Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad you wrote this so long ago so I can keep reading :P
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep! There's another thirty chapters or so waiting for you, and I'm glad you're enjoying it :)
Reply
:icondahnza:
Dahnza Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Haha I noticed that. I love coming into old things and not having to wait for updates :D
Reply
:iconmonkeysundles:
MonkeysUndles Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009  Student Writer
*laugh*
Reply
:iconehryn:
Ehryn Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You're a really good writer, this is a really interesting story :love:
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)
Reply
:iconuncle-ben:
Uncle-Ben Featured By Owner May 9, 2009
Good continuation. I like Caity. You have made her real.

Now I'm nervous for Kat, too. He's rich? Then what is he doing in a bar?
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner May 10, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Rich people can get bored and lonely too, y'know.
Reply
:iconuncle-ben:
Uncle-Ben Featured By Owner May 10, 2009
True. But would they go searching in a bar? With all the resources at their disposal, that's the option?
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner May 10, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*shrug* Paris Hilton's worth a gajillion dollars and she goes bar-hopping. Maybe he just was having a hard time meeting girls who like a guy with a cat's head?
Reply
:iconuncle-ben:
Uncle-Ben Featured By Owner May 11, 2009
I think there's something no quite right about that girl, Paris Hilton, I mean.

Maaaybeeee ... -is not convinced-
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner May 11, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You mean besides the fact that she's dumber than a bag of gerbils?
Reply
:iconuncle-ben:
Uncle-Ben Featured By Owner May 11, 2009
Yeah, that could be it ...
Reply
:icondoomboy911:
doomboy911 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2009  Student General Artist
Well I'm enjoying the show but I have to wonder is this like a kind of virus or what and the people that "change" are they able to control the change to some extent or what.
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Keep reading. All this and more will be explained in later chapters.
Reply
:iconmuddock:
Muddock Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
Whoa, nice man!
Hey, how would she use the bathroom in centaur form anyway?? Squat and spread her hind legs or somethin? Guess a toilet wouldnt fit...

Could she even wipe her butt?
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Um... how is this relevant?
Reply
:iconmuddock:
Muddock Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2008
Because she mentions using the bathroom....
Reply
:iconeldestmuse:
eldestmuse Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2008
The ending was definitely cute.
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For what it's worth, the story does continue, so if you're interested, feel free to keep reading it. By the time it's done, I expect it to be of a reasonable novel length: 30 chapters, maybe, and there are 22 posted already as of the time I write this message.
Reply
:iconeldestmuse:
eldestmuse Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2008
I intend to, once law school first year craziness calms down a little :) Thanks for letting me know, though.
Reply
:icondeadlyvampireunicorn:
DeadlyVampireUnicorn Featured By Owner May 26, 2008
LOVE the ending^^
Reply
:iconbramblefox:
bramblefox Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2008
'Girl from Ipenema', eh? *blues brothers deja vu*

This character is quite real, I compliment you for the ability to pull it off! Although if it were me I wouldn't mind being a centaur...just my personal preference I suppose...I've wanted to be a centaur for years. *grins stupidly* I'm going to stop rambling now...
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:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome... :D

*blinks*

Ohhkay, anyway, um, yeah, well, you keep on enjoyin' that fantasy, 'cuz there are far too few people out there who would be willing to be centaurs, and we really need to go from being weirdos to being more mainstream.
Reply
:iconbramblefox:
bramblefox Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2008
*agrees entirely*

Really? I would have thought more people would like being centaurs than they would let on. I'm a country girl so I would LOVE it. :D
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Believe me when I tell you it's pretty rare. There're plenty of girls who'd happily become mermaids, or furries, but centaurs? "You wanna glue a what to my butt?" There are a lot of people who don't really care for it, a lot of people who find it downright disturbing, and a lot of people who wouldn't hugely object but who wouldn't especially love it either. The number of girls I've met who'd really love being a centaur, girls for whom "centaur" would be their hands-down first choice if they could be anything, well, I can count 'em on two hands with fingers left over.
Reply
:iconbramblefox:
bramblefox Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2008
Oh. Gee they don't know what they'd be missing--okay, so maybe they would. But I'm a horse nut (own three in the backyard) and the idea just appeals to me. I'd FINALLY be able to beat my older brother in a foot race...:D
Reply
:iconcatprog:
Catprog Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007
Uni is now finished. So am reading the story now.

The concierge sounds like he is set on calling people by the title and last name
Reply
:iconkiyarasabel:
KiyaraSabel Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
You have done a fantastic job of writing this character. She comes off as very real, and very human. Considering you are a male writer, it's practically a miracle.
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, thanks. I swear I'm not gay (and my fiancée will back me up on that)! I guess I'm a little more sensitive than some guys normally would be, and I just find it easier to write female characters than male characters. Either that, or the female psyche is more interesting to write, because I'm thoroughly convinced that it's infinitely more complex than the male psyche: Like it or not, the lessons of What Women Want are very true.
Reply
:iconkiyarasabel:
KiyaraSabel Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I never said you were gay, actually most of the time the only reason men can write convincing women is if they are close to a real one and enough of a man to actually learn to understand her. Or at least try.
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nah, I never implied you did. It's just that a surprising number of people who knew me were placing bets on that for a while, so it wouldn't have been all that surprising if you had thought that.

I think even before I met my fiancée I was reasonably good at writing female characters. I observed a lot, and read a lot, and studied a lot, and while I won't discount that knowing my fiancée has helped, I still think I knew a lot of the basics of writing female characters before I knew her.
Reply
:iconkiyarasabel:
KiyaraSabel Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
But were these people placing bets male or female?
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mostly male, although there were a couple of females.
Reply
:iconkiyarasabel:
KiyaraSabel Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
There's always a couple. Granted I would have been one of them for the sole purpose of picking on you, but then, I have a bitchy side to me.
Reply
:iconartificer-urza:
Artificer-Urza Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2007
Hmmm... I wonder if there are those who took the transformation... less well than Caitlyn has and become dangerous.
Reply
:iconrogue7:
Rogue7 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2007
I'm enjoying this story immensely
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad you like it!
Reply
:iconauthornobilis:
AuthorNobilis Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2007
I'm enjoying these stories immensely. Thank you very much for posting them.
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad you like it! :)
Reply
:iconbetherfly:
betherfly Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol. It never occured to me that the height difference would lead to issues with doorways. *grins* I love her line at the end! I'm really curious what will happen with Wils, don't keep us hanging much longer! :)
Reply
:iconphantom-inker:
phantom-inker Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*chuckle* Yeah, it's all that little stuff that gets ya. Low ceilings, narrow hallways, cement sidewalks that are hard on your hooves... I've had this weird mind-fantasy for years about some centaur girl trying to walk through a doorway and her hindquarters get stuck, followed by her cursing loudly. You probably won't see that bit show up in Caity's World, though ;)

And yes, The Not-a-Date should be part 4, so you don't have long to wait :)
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