The shape-shifter.

Submitted for Contest #48 in response to: Write about someone who has a superpower.... view prompt

174 comments

She radiated light just like her name. Her beautiful skin glistened in the neon light coming from the paved court through the slits in the blind, her soot-black lashes matted, and her gray beady eyes mischievous more than ever. Her long jet black hair fell in loose waves past her shoulders, with a few black peekaboo strands. “Haya. . . .?” called her mother. She quickly hid her diary under her pillow and marched off to her mother, anxious to see what came next.


Dear diary,

Ma still doesn’t know of my shape-shifting. It has been three days since I last changed shape. I changed into Yusuf, my brother last time because he knows. How funny it was when I became a young boy, dressed loosely in a drab green T-shirt and baggy green trousers. I had a green army jacket tied around my waist and a green canvas bag slung over my shoulder. The only non-green thing about me was the pair of scruffy black walking boots on my feet. Do you know as to why did I change into him? It is because he was having a high degree of fever. Very high! And, he couldn’t attend his school’s function in such a condition. Could he?


“Ma, you called?” asked Haya.


“Yes. Could you please peel the potatoes and chop the onions.”


Oh, no. Not the chores again! She visualized of being a cat and . . . . Woah, her powers never disappointed her. Smiling, she meowed and left the scene.


“Haya. . . .? Where’d she go?”


Haya was strolling around on the newly paved street, as a cat of course when she saw him. There was her uncle. He wasn’t as slight as Haya first thought him to be: he wasn’t exactly muscular, but he wasn’t weedy-looking either…there was an air of hidden strength about him, a graceful strength that showed in his balance, the way he held himself, the way he walked. . . . Changing appearance, she approached him. 

“Hello!” 

“Hello,” he replied, his voice hoarse. But, without saying anything further, he vanished into thin air, leaving not even a trace behind him. So her powers were definitely genetic. 


Dear diary,

My powers are proving to be no good to me. Except for helping in avoiding the hectic house chores, of course. Oh, I hope I get to be Maryse Rills tomorrow. The center of attention in our class. Good night.”


Haya woke up to something really strange. She wasn’t feeling like herself at all. Her blond hair was suddenly a different color. She bounced off her bed and headed over to the mirror, anxious to see what the matter was. She gasped. Her wish had been heard. There, in front of her stood Maryse Rills. No wonder she was called the “star" – her amber eyes shone like orbs in the night. Her hair, deep hues of fierce crimson against her angelic face Haya smirked. Things were about to get spiced up!


At her school, things kept going on crazily in her favor. Maryse was on leave and so the people who once followed Maryse now followed her. Haya never thought that her dream would come true in such a way. The dance crew captain arrived. 

”Maryse? Will you be coming for the practice this afternoon?” 

“Of course, I will.”

“What happened to your voice?”

Instead of replying to the unexpected question, Haya quickly hurried away.


Back at her home, she changed back to her usual self. She kept on playing and then replaying her day’s highlights. She was smiling to herself when her mother arrived. 


“You always get away with the chores one way or the other. But, today. The chores have arrived for you themselves. Chop the onions! Quick. Quick. . .”


“Ma. . . I’m really tired. I promise I’ll do the chores once I wake after taking an afternoon nap.”


“No! You’re doing the chores, now!”


Defeated, she got busy with the work. Chop, chop, chop. . . Peel, peel, peel . . . Chop, chop, chop. . . Peel, peel, peel . . .


The sunlight poured into her room through the crevices of her room’s window. A brand new day meant a brand new appearance. . . . She had never tried to pull off an appearance in front of her Abba. She thought of Mina, the new neighbor, and her mum. Abba detested them for their never-ending talks. What if Haya changed into Mina this time? She giggled, Abba was about to get furious.


Abba arrived late that afternoon, around 7:05. But, Haya was already ‘in Mina’s shoes.’ She now had bright, dark eyes and satiny brown skin. She wore a pale blue hoodie with grey capri pants. Her eyes were Fremen blue, staring out of a soft, round face. 

“Hello. . .” she began, hoping Abba wouldn’t recognize her.

 “Hello. . . .young lady.” He smiled.

 Young lady? Was her secret out, already? Her heart started sinking. Nevertheless, she continued. 

“Uncle, I’m here to meet Haya. Is she at home?” 

“She is everywhere but home, young lady.”

Haya’s face turned pale. Everywhere but home? So, they all knew it. Yusuf must’ve given her away. She wanted to cry. 

“All good, young lady?” Abba wasn’t going to go easy.

“Yessir,” and she quickly left the house.

Once outside, she breathed heavily. How dare they play with her emotions? She wanted to shout at the top of her lungs at the sudden betrayal. But then again, why did she expect them to be fair with her when she, herself had been playing with their emotions. A wave of guilt passed over her like fog on a beach party.

Guilt-stricken, she headed home.


Who would Haya want to be now? There was a long queue of people for Haya to change appearance into. 

Yusuf – done.

Mina—done.

Maryse—done.

An animal—done.

Abba—nope.

Ma—nope.

Amena— . . . .? Oh, how had she forgotten Amena?


She was about to shape-shift into Amena when suddenly there was a. . . Whoosh. Haya was now drenched in ice-cold water. “Hello, hello? My daughter is dreaming of having a superpower again?” her Mom smirked. The bucket of cold water, still in her hand.


Dreaming . . . ? Had this been a dream all along? Oh, no! Not again.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

174 comments

Ken Coomes
18:29 Jun 29, 2020

Very nice throughout, with a pleasant surprise at the end. Well done. I've commented before, as have others, about the slight grammatical errors. Sometimes it helps to be specific, so I will share just one, in case that helps, Batool. When you wrote "My powers are proving to be no good to me. Except for helping in avoiding the hectic house chores, of course. I hope. " the use of "I hope" confused me. And a specific good thing, of course. I loved the phrase "her amber eyes shone like orbs in the night". Keep it up - I enjoy reading what you w...

Reply

Batool Hussain
04:29 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks for the detailed feedback, Ken!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Rhondalise Mitza
19:17 Jun 29, 2020

I love it! Very sweet and cute. 💕😁🌸

Reply

Batool Hussain
04:26 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you🌸

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Anja Z
18:38 Jun 29, 2020

Lovely story nice work I didn't expect the ending to be like that:D

Reply

Batool Hussain
04:27 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks, Anja🙃

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Kathleen March
18:32 Jun 29, 2020

Very intriguing idea. I did wonder about black eyelashes and blond hair, though. Also, Yusuf must have given her away (preposition). I would have stopped the story at "How had she forgotten Amena?" The dreaming and cold water break the spell.

Reply

Batool Hussain
04:27 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks for the feedback!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Laiba M
18:20 Jun 29, 2020

This was wonderful! I enjoyed reading this so, so much and finished under a minute, it was that good :) I loved the twist at the end, the only issue was small grammatical errors. Other than that it was such a great story! I loved reading about how you described each change :D

Reply

Batool Hussain
04:30 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you, Laiba! Could you specify some errors:)

Reply

Laiba M
13:51 Jun 30, 2020

It's mainly the ellipsis points. In some cases, you spaced them out (. . .), and in some cases, you wrote them conventionally (...). I also feel that the ellipsis points were overly used. You may not need to use them in every paragraph, it gives your writing a more neutral and slower feel. If you use other punctuation in some areas instead, your writing will feel more natural and strong. You don't need to do this, as you might prefer using ellipsis points for your style, but just a suggestion!! But really, this was an amazing story, definite...

Reply

Batool Hussain
13:55 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks, Laiba for taking out time and specifying the errors:) Also, thank you so very much for liking it!

Reply

Laiba M
19:30 Jun 30, 2020

Oh, no problem! The like was well deserved :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
11:33 Jun 30, 2020

This is a great story. The uncle disappeared immediately leaving Haya to wonder if the superpowers were genetic. Here's my question: Why did he disappear after meeting her? Was there no one on the street when Haya changed from a cat to herself to meet her uncle? Did he see her change? Why didn't he say something? I'm posing a lot of questions, I know but it's something I've been thinking about. That aside. I think you are very good at descriptions. Everything is great. I admire your writings.

Reply

Batool Hussain
11:41 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you so, so much for your feedback, Abigail. Such a comment coming from a writer like you is truly overwhelming. As for your questions: *Firstly, while writing the scene of Haya with her uncle, I didn't imagine no one in particular with them on the street. *The uncle did see her change. As I mentioned later on in the story, everyone in her family knew about her 'power' but they pretended as if they didn't. Thus, the uncle didn't ask any questions. Hope you got your answers:)

Reply

12:59 Jun 30, 2020

Marvelous!

Reply

Batool Hussain
13:14 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you once again! *_*

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
A.j. Eckardt
17:52 Jun 29, 2020

I was almost expecting something bad to happen to Haya towards the end, but I prefer this outcome. I like the light twist at the end!

Reply

Rose Bingely
18:01 Jun 29, 2020

Liked it! Good job!

Reply

Batool Hussain
04:38 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Batool Hussain
04:30 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you🌸

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies

Hi Batool, this story is AMAZING! I never expected the drastic end though....haha. 😀

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:09 Jul 04, 2020

Hehe ...Thanks

Reply

No problem :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

The ending was a real twist, and that's all I can say 😊

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:03 Jul 03, 2020

Thank you!

Reply

No problem Batool,

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Raven Quill
02:11 Jul 02, 2020

I really like the way this played out! I wasn't expecting the ending, it was very cute :). However, I would point out that your transitions from paragraph to paragraph or thought to thought were a little clunky. Maybe elaborating a little more could help. I also think the diaries entries would have made more sense if they were before what was actually happening, or maybe a more clear break between them and normal paragraphs. Great imagery though :)

Reply

Batool Hussain
05:11 Jul 02, 2020

Thanks for the feedback, Raven!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Daryl Gravesande
21:09 Jul 01, 2020

Heyyy, GREAT STORY!!! By the way, I'm back with a new one too, so SPREAD THE WORD!!! :)

Reply

Batool Hussain
05:09 Jul 02, 2020

Thank you. Sure!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Sayujyaraj Ghimire
14:30 Jul 01, 2020

The story is so well written about someone having a superpower. And to pull the readers back to reality, you put an exceptionally brilliant twist at the end. Loved it very much. Kudos to your writing and creativity!

Reply

Batool Hussain
15:14 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you so very much:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Stephanie Anne
03:55 Jul 01, 2020

Thanks for inviting me to read :) I feel like the grammatical errors I noticed have already been mentioned. And, personally, I find the "it was all a dream" trope has been a little overused and I think you could have given this story a stronger ending. But this was a fun read - good job!

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:52 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you for reading, Stephanie. I appreciate your feedback.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Arvi Krish
02:55 Jul 01, 2020

Wow! I really enjoyed reading this story. A little bit sad that it was a dream though :-) Well written!

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:55 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you*_*

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Reagan B.
23:11 Jun 30, 2020

I enjoyed this story very much. You described things very well and the twist was a nice addition to the plot. If there was one thing I would critique, it would be that your transitions could use some work! Overall though, fantastic job!

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:56 Jul 01, 2020

I really appreciate your feedback! Thank you for reading:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
James Offenha
20:52 Jun 30, 2020

Good story. Generally a bad idea to have a story end with the main character waking up. Please take that out. I liked the details of the character but wanted the details at the beginning to have some relevance later, which it didn’t. You described her eyelashes. It never came back. I also wanted to know who she was before she got her superpower and what gave her the ability to be someone else.

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:57 Jul 01, 2020

I appreciate your feedback! Thank you for taking out time and reading.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Julia Gibson
20:42 Jun 30, 2020

I love the rich descriptions in this story. Also, this was a clever ending. I did have a hard time figuring out who Abba was, grandmother, grandfather, uncle? But that didn't take away from the story itself. Good job!

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:58 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you for liking my story, Julia! Abba is the father:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Erin Rasnick
18:27 Jun 30, 2020

I really enjoyed reading your story. I loved the part where she changed into a cat to avoid her chores. I also liked the twist for the ending. Overall, a great story.

Reply

Batool Hussain
07:45 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you so much!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Cam Croz
16:00 Jun 30, 2020

Here at your request, intersting story! I like the Idea of the twist ending! With more work and continued writing, you could be amazing! Keep up the good work.

Reply

Batool Hussain
16:01 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
15:43 Jun 30, 2020

Hey, Batool! You asked me to give you feedback, so here I am! :) I really liked the moral of the dream. I really loved that it was all a dream and that it wasn't the first time; very cute! I can't wait to read more of your works! Keep writing and stay safe! :) -Brooke

Reply

Batool Hussain
15:45 Jun 30, 2020

Aww, thank you so very much, Brooke. Can't wait for more of you works either:)

Reply

15:51 Jun 30, 2020

You're welcome! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply