a short story by Dan Standing

And…she was falling.

She could have kicked herself for allowing the distraction to give that woman the upper-hand in the fight. She’d watched the brunette bitch look out of the window with mixed horror and satisfaction as she started her plummet.

Her stomach ached from where she’d been kicked, but her other bruises and bashes from the fight were more noticeable. The pain was slightly relieved by the wind that was blowing across her form. It billowed her blond hair. She looked at the ruffles her torn dress made as she moved through the air…the tears revealed the black lacy push-up bra she’d worn. The near gravity-less effects of her situation caused her already billowed breasts to bob with little restriction.

She wasn’t even going to die in a proper outfit.

She decided to turn and face the ground.

Damn, the Burj Khalifa was tall. She no longer recalled what floor she’d been pushed out of, but it had been high. Easily above the 130th. She figured she’d hit one of the building’s many levels and outcroppings before striking any actual ground, and wondered how long it would take before her travel down the side of the world’s tallest building ended with a sudden stop.

It was then that the black ring on her left hand started to burn. She only had just enough time to look down at her finger when sparks burst from the small piece of jewelry, and the glowing, incorporeal figure of a woman took shape beside her.

“Greetings!” the strange being exclaimed, actually speaking in the falling woman’s native French, “I am Squirla, Imp of Impending Doom. The curse of the ring you wear has summoned me to assist you in surviving your fall.”

The blond just stared for a moment. This creature was an exaggeration of femininity; petite feet that led into long toned legs, which flowed into wide hips. The hips tapered to a waist that was overshadowed by breasts the size of cantaloupes. Squirla’s neck was thin and swan-like, and her face full of fine features. Her ears were long and pointed, and the cloud of substantial light that made up her hair barely flowed in the wind, framing her shoulders and bust. In fact, the strange woman didn’t seem effected by the fall at all, and sat cross-legged in empty space, moving along with her.

Her descent also seemed to have slowed, somehow. But she was definitely still falling.

“The what?”

“That ring you wear, it is enchanted with a curse to summon me should the wearer’s death be immanent. I am here to ensure you survive.”

“Doesn’t sound like a curse!” she exclaimed, hope starting to warm her. She had never thought twice about the ring, or even remembered where she’d gotten it. It had been in amongst her jewelry and it matched her dress…that was the only reason for her wearing it to the exchange, which was long finished and far above her.

“Well, the curse part is this,” Squirla explained, “Only those who are entirely without sin are saved as they are. Depending on their level of corruption, others survive but not as they started.”

The blond gulped at this.

“I take it you are not without sin…” Squirla replied, waving her hands in the air in front of her. A small duplicate of the falling woman appeared in the air. She blushed, as Squirla’s miniature recreation of her was nude, her small breasts and the lightly trimmed blond bush between her thighs visible to them both. The imp continued, “…most have some minor sins. If that is the case you’ll simply be saved as such…”

Squirla waved her hand and the woman watched as the tiny model of her shifted, seemingly able to react and feel what was happening. Two large bird wings erupted from her shoulder blades, and the tiny model stretched and flexed them. It seemed to be a pleasant experience.

“Giant wings?!”

“Yes, surprisingly easy to conceal under a large enough coat. You can usually get along with them after some lifestyle adjustment. Now, I have to ask, you haven’t killed anyone, have you?”

The falling woman just looked at Squirla.

“And if I have…?”

“Oh dear, well, if it was just once, and in self-defense…”

Squirla waved her hands again and the tiny model grimaced. Her body twisted as if in pain, as the feathers of her wings began to burn away. Soon she was left with two large bat wings twice the size of the bird wings.

“…these are much bigger, sort of twitch on their own, and are far harder to hide.”

“And…if it was more than once…maybe in a more pro-active definition of self-defense?”


“Let’s say, if they new what I was doing they would have killed me…first.” She gave Squirla and awkward look. She’d never thought twice about her business before, but now that it was so closely tied to her fate she couldn’t help but think heavily on what she’d done.

“Uh, well, after one murder you lose your humanity…” her tiny model suddenly silently screamed, as her body fully contorted. The wings grew back their feathers and began to merge with her arms. Her legs started to tuck up, the skin becoming gnarled looking and yellowed. Her body streamlined itself and her skin sprouted feathers. Her faced stretched, becoming yellow. Soon she was looking at an eagle, which still maintained her pleading eyes. She stared at the image, and Squirla sighed.

“It’s more than one, isn’t it?”


“Two?” the eagle briefly morphed back to a very relieved looking tiny human, before she was again warped. This was a similar transformation as before, but the feathers were grey, and the sad eyes stared out from a pigeon.


Again, she watch the feathers dissolve as her exhausted miniature model regained her humanity, then quietly cried out as her body was again racked with alteration. The changes were as before, except her neck stretched as the beak overtook her face, and she looked upon a Canadian Goose. She still couldn’t instruct Squirla to stop.

“Four? Really?”

The model went back to humanity, looking as if she was pleading for the actions to cease, before being molded into a vulture.


This time she at least remained a mammal. No feathers sprung across her tiny self’s whimpering face as her ears and nose pushed up, skin spread out and stretched from her elongated fingers down to her abbreviated legs, and she shared a panicked stare with a fruit bat.

“Okay, this is ridiculous, how many people have you killed?” Squirla exclaimed, smacking the bat with one hand and ending the image’s existence in a puff of broken light.

“I’m an assassin,” the blond replied, “…and I’ve lost count.”

“Oh dear…” Squirla sighed, shaking her head, “I guess I should ask these questions first. Very well, I know what to do with you. Be careful in your new life, young woman!”

With that Squirla shattered into her own burst of light, which zipped back to the black ring.

The change came quickly, before she could even examine the ring. Her fingers began to shrink, causing the ring to slip off and float out of her reach. Her skin started to harden, forming a rough surface over her flesh. Her fingers merged together into small talons.

She brought them up to her face in shock, intending to scream, but her visage was already changing and her mouth could no longer form such sounds. Her human features were lost in the growth of carapace, and her eyes started to split and bulging, forming compound spheres. Her hair was released from its roots and flew off in a cloud of blond.

Her clothes went loose and blew off of her as she began to shrink. For a brief moment the delicate nipples atop her breasts stiffened in the passing air, but her womanly details were lost as the stiff layers grew over them. The exoskeleton pushed over her naval, stomach, and sealed her slit as her legs pulled up and resembled the spindles that her arms formed. She could feel her ass grow long and thin behind her as the carapace stretched away from her.

As her new rear finished she tried to groan in pain as two more changes occurred…her arms split as a new pair formed, and her back cracked to allow a pair of long iridescent wings to grow in. Instinct told her to flutter them, and her long descent halted.

Instinct also told her that she had been transformed into a dragonfly.

She had only a moment to reflect on her past, and her lost humanity. She’d sulk about it later, and panic over how eat as a dragongfly at a later time. For now she could see a sandstorm encroaching, and she needed shelter.

Fortunately, she knew of a room above her that had a window pane missing.