The Late Shift

“I am of the night. I am the night,” Dallin said to his reflection.

“Dallin, get out of the bathroom!” a friend shouted from the other side of the door.

Dallin huffed and lowered his head.  “I’ll just be a minute,” he called out.  With one last look in the mirror, one final affirmation, he was ready.

He smiled at his group of friends, who cheered him on with unbounded joy.  It was Dallin’s first night out.  Energy was high.

“You ready?!” A friend shouted in Dallin’s face.

“I think so,” Dallin said, unsure of his preparedness.

“Let’s do this!” The exuberant friend screamed once more before slapping Dallin’s side.

The group of 10 ran outdoors.  One by one they jumped from the house’s front porch and transformed mid flight.  Bodies morphed into tigers, bears, intimidating wolves, lizards, birds; the group of shape shifting buddies was a regular zoo.  Dallin watched with glee.  He had studied long and worked hard to get to this point in his training, but for all the books and tomes he consumed he was never allowed to see the transformation until this very night; the night of proving.

“I am of the night,” he mumbled.  He stepped over the doorway’s threshold and ran off the porch.  He felt his feet leave the porch and he felt weightless.

Am I going to be a bat? He questioned, hope heavy in every syllable.

The ground hit him quickly.

“Ouch,” he managed to say.  “Guys, what am I?”

“You’re a turtle, dude,” said a tiger.

“A turtle?” Dallin was noticeably upset.

“Turtle is good for the first try.  I was a lemur my first night out.  Couldn’t figure out walking. Just rolled around everywhere,” a wolf said.

“Any way I can catch a ride to the lake?” Dallin pleaded as he took his first very slow steps away from his landing spot.

Dallin soon found himself wrapped by a gorilla’s fist.  “Let’s go turtle-dude. We’re going swimming!”

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