'She sensed it. For all her fighting against it with every breath of her being, it had apparently been futile. It had crept up on her silently, one-minute unsuspecting, in the next, sudden realisation that it was there, under her skin. And she knew her life was now changed completely. Forever.
She had been fighting against it for as long as she could remember. If she concentrated really hard she was able to recall when her life was simple, before everything changed. It was so long ago though, and she was so young, the memories that flashed in her head were broken. Clips of films that had no beginnings and no ends, but moments of pure delight. Splashing in the waves on the beach. Sitting on the swing laughing while her Mum pushed her. Running alongside her brothers and sisters in the garden with their Dad chasing them. She could feel the warmth of love that had surrounded her. She had known a happy life. A perfect life.
Sometimes she wondered if it would be so much easier if she didn’t have those images, so that she could just give up her body and soul and accept the change. Mostly she thought it was a good thing that she could remember a world before the change. Her younger brothers and sisters though didn’t have any defences. The interloper had taken over their vulnerable little bodies quickly, their fragile defences not being able to ward off the attack that had crept upon them so stealthily. Her Mum had been weak and unable to fight the battle taking place inside her, confining her to her bed and ravaging her. There was no more splashing at the beach, playing on the swings and going on outings as a family. Instead there had been quiet voices, hospital trips and a lot of tears shed when the grown-ups thought she wasn’t listening. And then her Mum died. On bad days she blamed her Mum for the start of the world collapsing around her. Deep down she knew that wasn’t true or fair, that her thoughts were cruel, but those feelings made her feel angry. And she understood that the fury burning inside her helped keep the change away.
Her Mum dying was bad, but her father changing was worse. And then her siblings. She had tried to protect them, but they welcomed the change. Everyone said it made them feel better. The woman kept saying she would never try to replace her Mum, but she had seen her with the rest of her family and knew better. She had kept her defences up so well, refusing to allow this woman into her life. And then last night happened. The never-ending flowing tears because her first true love had jilted her. The woman just hugged her until she stopped fighting and fell asleep sobbing in her arms. When she woke up she sensed the change. Under her skin. And it was actually okay.'