How to Survive as a Shapeshifter [September Contest]
How to Survive as a Shapeshifter [September Contest] stories
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I am one of the last few shapeshifters alive. My kind had gone into hiding about 30 years ago, after we realized that it was becoming harder and harder to kill people to take their identities. As shapeshifters, we are constantly hunted and are most vulnerable when we are between identities. In order to survive, we all follow certain rules.
By recludus https://www.reddit.com/r/...

How to Survive as a Shapeshifter [September Contest]

by recludus

I am one of the last few shapeshifters alive. My kind had gone into hiding about 30 years ago, after we realized that it was becoming harder and harder to kill people to take their identities.

As shapeshifters, we are constantly hunted and are most vulnerable when we are between identities. In order to survive, we all follow certain rules.

Since the process of removing and putting on a skin requires that we take it from a body that has been dead for less than three days,

we often plan for months in order create a chance to isolate our target, to make sure no one else catches us in the act.

But getting caught in the act isn’t our only concern. Any time we take a skin, the skin stops aging, meaning we can never stay in one place for long.

Many of us get caught by hunters who trail roamers for years on end to catch them in the act.

Furthermore, the process tends to create defects in the skin, often making us look different from the original person we stole the identity from.

We usually are able to explain away these changes for the subject’s friends and family and avoid suspicion, but there have been many shapeshifters caught because of these flaws.

There are so few of us left, but each of us have found our own ways to manage.

My brother Nix, for instance, managed to escape the hunters for years by taking skins from bodies that were lined up for cremation.

He moved around from city to city, always working as an assistant funeral director. Unfortunately, one family decided last minute to switch from cremation to an open casket burial.

They stood shocked as they opened the coffin to see their loved one naked to his entirety, devoid of skin from head to toe. The hunters came shortly after and no one ever saw Nix again.

But just recently, I think I’ve hit the jackpot. I have found the way to hide from the hunters completely.

First, I tail the targets for months on end, watching their every move, copying their habits, following them everywhere as they go home, to work, or to the clinic.

I watch as they decide on their life changing procedure, and I wait to ambush them shortly after they leave the clinic.

My newest victim has been a particularly successful find. Most shapeshifters have to hide from the spotlight, to prevent people from seeing the changes to their skin. I show mine off proudly.

Most shapeshifters that get caught are deemed monsters for taking someone else’s skin. I get called a hero for the same crime.

I also get one perk that most shapeshifters never get to enjoy. In order to use the identity and credentials of their skins, most shapeshifters end up taking their skins’ names.

I got to pick my own.

And this time, I chose the name Caitlyn. Caitlyn Jenner. I like the sound of it.

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