The moon shone down under the umbrella at a table set up outside a quaint Chinese restaurant, The Asian Delight. The place was packed to the brim, as it was the Chinese New Year, so when Nic and Gabe arrived, they took a seat outside in the cool, quiet courtyard. A waitress came and took their order: two egg rolls, some orange chicken, crab rangoons, lo mein, rice, and two fortune cookies. The boys were rather hungry.
They chatted until their dinner was brought. They'd known each other since they were sixteen, and it had never been hard to spill their feelings out to each other. Nic and Gabe were like two birds of a feather, two peas in a pod, two... well, you get my point!
Anyway, as soon as the food arrived, all conversation ceased, taken over by the sight of two vicious predators attacking their food. Witnesses would say they heard growling coming from their direction, but what can you say? Teens of the male persuasion take their food seriously!
As the last bites of their meal dropped down their esophagi, they scrambled for fortune cookies. It was a rule between them that you had to struggle for the cookie you wanted, or else your fortune was sure to be bad luck. Gabe managed to nag the cookie a split second before Nic's hand groped the air where it had been, and he groaned, picking up the other cookie.
He let Gabe open his first, and Gabe read aloud his fortune. "You will have luck with that which you have been waiting for." His face lit up, and he started to get ready to leave, gathering up his belongings.
"Wait!" Nic said, "You need to at least hear my fortune before you run off!" He was shocked he needed to remind Gabe of the rules.
"Okay, but hurry! I need to run off! The fortune was a sign!" Gabe exclaimed.
Nic opened his fortune cookie slowly, dreading what sort of bad luck would be his. He shakily read what it said: "The smart thing is to prepare for the unexpected." He looked up at Gabe, confused as to what this meant. The one thing they'd learned was to never nderestimate the power of a fortune, but what could this mean? Just as puzzled, Gabe took his leave and dashed to his car.
Nic sat in deep thought, alone at the table, as the full moon shone down on him. It almost looked like he was shining. He played with his teeth, like he often does when nervous, he felt his canines had grown, and realized in horror what the fortune meant. He took a look at his hands, and saw claws were starting to form on the tips of his fingers as scales spread their way up from his hands.
Nic put two and two together. The unexpected combined with the Chinese New Year, and he knew what was happening. He was transforming, and into the new Zodiac Sign. As he thought this through, a pressure built up in the seat of his pants, and released itself from its confinement. The extension of his spine, a red-scaled tail, pushed itself out.
He saw a mirror on the wall, and noticed his ears were now long and pointed, and his nose and jaw had started to push out into a muzzle. Nic heard a tearing sound, and looked down to see the remains of his tennis shoes, at the same time seeing his shirt, suddenly too small, barely hanging on to his elongating form.
He was completely covered by scales now, and he noticed his arms and legs were getting shorter. on his head were growing two horns that looked similar to antlers. He tore off his shirt and pants and fell off his chair in the process. As he tried to stand back up, he realized it was impossible for him to do so anymore. He'd grown to about twenty feet long from head to tail, but he wasn't built for hominid movement.
He scuttled away from the scene, now understanding what he was. His clawed feet clicked against the pavement, reverberating in his over-sensitive ears. His only regret was that he didn't have wings. Dang Chinese dragons! Why do they have to be lacking the best feature of all dragons? Nic thought.
Nic stuck to the shadowy alleys on his way back to his room, hoping not to be seen. If only he'd gotten the other fortune cookie!