Slow and Steady

A sleepy young woman transforms into her spirit animal – a cute sloth girl.

Kind of a one off silly little thing :)

“-again,” John said, leaning close to his girlfriend.


“Mmmm?” Aliya asked without opening her eyes.


“I said you’ll be late again if you don’t get up,” her boyfriend repeated.


“‘sfine,” she mumbled, pulling the blanket over her head.


“You got yelled at last time,” he reminded her.


“Mnnnnnnn,” she whined, turning over beneath the blanket.  She kicked her legs to pull the blanket between her knees until she was curled into a ball beneath the blanket cocoon.


“Alright,” he said in resignation.  “I have to go.  Don’t take too long.  We need your job, you know?”


The blanket shifted slightly in response but she was already asleep before he left the room.



Aliya’s phone buzzed, rattling the nightstand.  She groaned at it, tossing and turning until her arm reached out from under the blankets to make it snooze.


“Ten more minutes,” she grumbled.


An angry, faint voice squawked in reply.  Something about the voice drove a spike through Aliya’s brain.  She pulled the blanket back, cracked an eye open and titled the phone to see that she’d answered a call rather than snoozed her already dismissed alarm.


“H- hello?” she asked sleepily.


“If you can’t get here in the next thirty minutes, you’re fired,” her line manager told her.  The man’s cold fury resonated over the small speaker.


“I’m already almost dressed,” Aliya answered, suddenly wide awake.


“Bull.  Shit,” the man said.  “Thirty minutes.”


“Crap, crap, crap,” the girl said, throwing back the blanket.  She hugged herself, cursing her past self mentally for going topless while she slept.  Her bare, tawny skin broke out in goosebumps as she quickly padded through the room, gathering her clothes.  


She danced around the room, her thick, chestnut hair bouncing as she pulled her skirt up over her slim hips.  Holding her bra in her hand, she weighed her options and then tossed it before grabbing a short-sleeved cotton blouse.  Her breasts were small enough not to bother most times and she liked the freedom of going without.


After she buttoned her shirt, she held her arms out, staring at the sleeves.  The sleeves normally ended just above her elbows but they seemed a couple inches shorter than normal this morning.  She shrugged, scratching at her forearm before hunting for a comfortable pair of shoes to match her outfit.


Once she slipped her shoes on, she stared at the mirror on the back of their front door.  She frowned at her reflection and wiped her fingers across her face.  A subtle line of black ran from the corner of her eyes to the side of her cheeks and, for a brief moment, she thought she imagined it until she leaned in closer.  She raised her hands methodically and brushed her skin but the color remained.


“Not enough sleep, I guess,” she said, hiding a yawn behind her hand.  She brushed her fingers through her thick hair.  As she glanced away to open the door, white hairs crept from her hairline over her brow.  Thin and wispy, they grew sparsely over her temples and forehead as she stepped out of her apartment.  


The young woman walked to the railing to raise her face to the sun.  She smiled widely, thinking back to her even warmer bed and the image almost pulled her back inside.  Instead, she lay her fingers against the rail as she walked.


Her well-manicured red nails scraped against the black, wrought-iron fence.  White showed at her nail beds incrementally as her fingernails grew out.  As they lengthened, they began to expand, expanding with each passing second until they were several inches long, white and as thick as her boyfriend’s fingers.  Her red nail polish tipped each of them with the exception of her thumbs.  


A gust of balmy wind riffled her hair as she strolled down the stairs.  Despite her boss’s threat, she took each step with languid ease.  She glanced around while descending, bringing her claws up to her throat to scratch at the gray hairs pushing through her skin.  Her thumbs clicked and then hung loose and useless as the bones within dissolved.


She paused on a step, smacking her lips while staring into the courtyard.  Her pink lips darkened and stretched as her jaw widened.  Her nails dug through the thickening fur of her neck and down to the lighter coat along her collarbones.  As she scratched herself, her floppy thumbs deflated and shrunk.  Skin melded with skin, pulling her sagging thumbs flat before they sunk into the palms.


“It’s warm,” she said to herself before sitting on a step. Aliya brought her knees to her chest and wrapped her long arms around them.  It felt right but she began to feel anxious.  She glanced over her shoulder and then stood, unfolding herself slowly.  “Should get into the car.”


The young girl moved cautiously, one step at a time while glancing around the courtyard.  Her sleeves pulled back as her arms lengthened.  She lay her long, curved claws against the railing and her elbows dipped below her.  


An itch formed between her shoulder blades.  She paused, lowering herself to sit on yet another step.  While looking slowly around the courtyard, she reached out to hug the nearby post. 


Maybe something scary nearby? she pondered.  She glanced at the stairs and then the forest just outside the apartment complex.  Her thick pelt covered her chest and she began to sweat from it as it marched inexorably down her body.  


“Hot,” she said, slipping her claws into the top of her shirt.  She pulled and buttons pinged away to clatter against the walls and stairs, leaving her shirt open and her chest bare.  Her nipples moved as thick gray hairs grew over her small, perky breasts.  The coarse hairs tickled the small, sensitive nubs and she smiled, smacking her lips and enjoying the feel of breeze against her bare body.  “Better.”


Dense claws clattered on metal as she slowly pulled herself to a standing position.  Pain lanced through her thigh bone and knees and she lowered herself back down.  


“Okay,” she intoned, hugging the pole again.  The cold metal soothed her warm body.  “I’ll wait.”


She closed her eyes as her bones shortened in her legs.  The white fur coating her brow multiplied to completely cover her forehead.  She rubbed her head back and forth against the pole as the fur sprouted down to her cheeks before slipping around her nose and further down to her cheeks.  Black hairs joined the white to follow the faint line she’d spied before leaving her apartment.


As the pain in her legs receded, she pulled herself upright, sliding one hand and then the other against the pole.  Her shirt hung loosely on her as she navigated down the stairs with her shorter, stocky legs.  She reached out to touch the opposite wall as she touched the ground.  Birds sang in the distance and she took a moment to look around for predators before shuffling to her car.


Her nails brushed the ground, bumping and sliding as she took one step after another.  Looking up, she squinted and sighed at how far away the car was.  The distance seemed impossible and her anxiety increased every time a bird’s shadow passed on the ground in front of her.  The woman’s eyes slid over to the treeline nearby.  


A huge oak stood back from the rest of the trees.  Her lips turned up into a gradual, wide smile.  The branches were thick and there were so many leaves.


“That sounds nice,” she murmured to herself, nodding her head gently as she turned towards the forest.


Cars passed in the distance, loud and huge.  She sidled away from them, hurrying as fast as she could to get off the ground.  Her lower back began to ache as her center of gravity pulled her heavy upper body forward.  Aliya leaned forward, touching her claws to the ground.  Her shaggy-furred arms moved haltingly and she kicked off her shoes to dig her toes into the ground for support.


She moved carefully, left arm and then right foot followed by her right arm and left foot.  Grass brushed her breasts through her fur coat and she raised herself higher.  The trees drew closer, inch-by-inch as she rushed toward them.


Only when she passed the tree line did she start to relax.  She reached an arm out and it trembled while she held it steady.  The young woman turned, back and forth, searching for the tree she’d seen earlier until she found it just to her left.  Her wide face broke into a simplistic smile and she set her arm down, pulling herself forward to her goal.  


Pain blossomed in Aliya’s face.


“Ouch,” she complained quietly.  


Tears leaked from the corners of her brown ears before immediately being absorbed by the dark fur surrounding them.  Her jaw felt white-hot as the bones elongated beneath her skin.  Teeth fell from her jaw as it narrowed into a gentle snout.  She sighed, licking her sore gums and then continued on her way.


“Tired,” she whined.  


Gray and brown fur crested down the girl’s back beneath her torn shirt.  She hated the way her skirt felt against her skin.  It agitated her, rubbing against flesh and fur when she knew her fur was enough.  She stared back at it, mid-step but then sighed and continued forward.  It was too much effort to deal with.


With another step, her trimmed toenails began to grow.  They dug into the soft earth and she kicked small amounts of dirt and leaves behind her as she moved.  She found herself having to pull her foot higher to free it as her long claws dug deep and the extra motion frustrated her.  


Distracted from the change, she surprised herself by bumping her snout into the trunk of the oak tree.


“Oh,” she said in surprise.


Aliya reached her arms and legs around the trunk and her claws bit into the bark.  She pulled herself upward slowly, muscles flexing beneath her fur coat as she began to climb.  Pieces of bark fell to the ground around her while she worked her way up.  The back of her skirt flexed outward and began to move back and forth.   As she pulled herself up again, her skirt caught on a broken branch and was pulled down to free her naked, stubby tail.  It wiggled lethargically as she climbed.


Finally, nearly fifteen feet off the ground, she found a massive branch that forked off into a slightly smaller branch.  


“Nice,” she smiled, nodding her head.  


She hauled herself up and slowly settled herself into the nook offered by the two branches.  She pulled her legs against her body, wrapped her arms around the trunk, settled her snout against the bark and closed her eyes.



Dusk settled on the forest as a sound woke Aliya from her nap.  She cocked her fur covered ears and listened curiously.


“Aliya!” a voice called loudly.


“Oh,” she said, unhooking her massive claws.  She knew the voice and muted memories tumbled through her tired brain.  It was a good voice.  Not as good as sleep, maybe.  Safe, though.  Just not as safe as a tall tree.  It did make her feel good.  Just not as good as a comfortable nap, perhaps.


The young woman nodded decisively to herself and swung an arm around to begin her descent.


“John,” she said finally, swinging her other arm around.


She couldn’t wait to show him the tree she found.

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