Prologue: The End
Stories had foretold it, but no one understood. Men shouted it on street corners, but unto deaf ears. It was said that there would come a time when the whole world would be enveloped by a grave force. The End had many names, Ragnarock, Armageddon, The Apocalypse, Judgment Day. None knew how The End would come, only that it inevitably would, and the world would forever be changed.
Some think that the magic had always been there, locked deep within the human soul, yet others thought that it had been traveling the Universe for eons, finally returning. The simpler folk didn’t question how magic returned to the world, because it was, well, magic. No matter what the cause was, the plain and simple fact was that the magic was back, and it was here for as long as it felt like lingering around the Earth.
He’d been watching TV that night, lying on his couch with a glass of water in front of him. He had the news turned up on high, portraying stories of grisly murders and death in the city near his house. He reached for his glass and stopped when he heard a low rumble. He sat up and looked out the window. The rumbling stopped. He turned his attention back to the news, desperate for an explanation. The anchor was conversing softly with a man with a camera. The rumble started again, louder this time, closer to his house. He stood up slowly and looked out the window. The rumbling had stopped again. The TV had gone white. The sound of crackling static echoed in the room. Another rumble, no, more like a pulse. Even louder now, like the very heart of the earth had once again started beating. Far off in the distance, he saw a blue glow. He breathed a sigh of relief, it hadn’t been a missile or a bomb. Those were his last thought before a wave of noise and light crashed through his neighborhood.
All he could see was blue, electricity crackled off and on around him, he could feel it. His legs were tingling. He was having a dream, he knew it. But the sound was so intense, like a chorus of thunder. He’d never experienced anything remotely like this. This was strange, this was un-earthly. His mind fell away from him, he lost consciousness. But that strange tingling feeling was still there. He didn’t like it.
He awoke soon after; he was lying on his side near the window. He sat up and took stock of the room. Everything was in place, the TV was nothing but static. The water in his glass was gone. He tried to stand and stopped when he saw his legs. They were furry. He had hooves. Not normal. He started to frantically check the rest of his body. He had two small horns, very strange, and a tail. He stood up slowly, cautiously. He ran into his room to look at his mirror. He looked normal, from the waist up, minus the horns. He took a step back to look at his full body.
“Damn,” he mused, “I got shorter.”
End of Chapter 1
Commentary: OH LORDY! My first take at this story I've been mulling about in my head for a while now. I don't want to give away too much, but what's happened to Matteus has happened to the world, albeit in different ways. Don't let the seriousness of this intro fool you, I don't plan for this to be in the vein of LOtR, I plan to explore the effect something like this has on the world. Let's hope it's interesting.