Disclaimer: I don’t own Aladdin however Kona and Mia are mine. I place this story between the episodes “Black Sand” and “Two to Tangle”
Chapter One- A Shocking Surprise
Mozenrath tilted his head up as the full moon shined down upon him. This new spell was perfect. It would bring a creature of the night to him who would serve him and obey without question. He had already cast the spell and was waiting for the full moon to finish the job and bring his new servant.
As the moon continued to shine, Mozenrath doubled over as a stabbing pain was felt in his abdomen. He fell to his knees while still in a doubled over position. The sorcerer was confused at why he was feeling pain. Was this part of the spell? Was he being linked to his new servant and this pain was part of it? A new rush of pain was felt in his right arm as well as his fingers. He managed to remove his gauntlet and was shocked at what he saw. His right arm’s flesh had been restored, but fur was growing in as well. The fur was the color of desert sand and spots like black rosettes was spreading up his arm and he had no doubt that the same thing was happening to his other arm. His eyes traveled down to his hand and saw that his fingernails had lengthened and become sharp claws.
He felt an itchy sensation on his throat and he raised a clawed hand up to feel a furry throat. The itchy feeling spread up to his chin and over his face before racing down his body and into his feet. His toes felt the same pain his had felt in his fingers and just knew that his toenails had become claws as well. But why? Mozenrath wondered. Why is this happening? Is it possible I cast the wrong spell? If so, what is happening to me?
His body suddenly felt hot and in his desperation to cool down, he used his claws to shred his clothes and shoes apart. His body was covered in the same fur as his arms and was getter larger and more muscular every moment. A long furry tail grew from his posterior as his knees reversed direction bringing his feet to be firmly planted on the ground. Mozenrath couldn’t remain balanced on his knees anymore and fell forward onto his hands. He looked down to see his hands conforming into paws and he craned his neck to see the same thing happening to his feet.
Suddenly his nose and jaws pushed out into a muzzle complete with whiskers while his ears moved to the top of his head and were shaped like half-moons that were white on the inside and black on the outside. His black eyes turned gold before he threw back his head and let out a loud cat scream that carried across his kingdom and out into the desert beyond. He shook himself out and turned in a circle in an effort to see himself. He took in the fur’s coloration and deduced that he had become an Arabian leopard. He had accidentally turned himself into a werecat.
Perhaps, this isn’t a bad thing, he reasoned. I mean, right now I am faster and stronger than I was before. I could definitely turn this to my advantage. I’m also feeling a primal urge to hunt and find a mate. Hmm, perhaps I will indulge in these feelings. I’ll store my gauntlet in my chambers before I go hunting. With this in mind, he took the gauntlet in his mouth and padded inside to store it. Once this was done, Mozenrath journeyed into the desert to hunt for food and learn how to move in his new body.
Mozenrath returned to the Citadel hours later, disappointed in his hunt. He hadn’t found any prey and he was starving for food. Perhaps once he was human again, he would use his magic to conjure up some food so he wouldn’t go hungry tomorrow night. He stalked inside his home and was heading down the corridor to his chambers when his pet eel, Xerxes came flying into view. Xerxes froze at the sight of the cat, not knowing it was his master. Mozenrath coiled back before leaping into the air and tackling the eel, pinning it to the floor.
“Master! Master, help!” the eel cried.
“Silence!” Mozenrath snapped. He blinked in surprise- he could still talk.
Xerxes started at Mozenrath with wide eyes. “M-Master?” he stuttered.
“Yes, it’s me. I turned myself into a werecat and I’m hungry.”
“No, Master! No eat Xerxes!”
“And why not? I’m a cat and you’re a fish and besides I have no need of you anymore.” Mozenrath lunged forward and bit down hard on the eel’s neck which killed him instantly before he could say anything more. Mozenrath laid down in the corridor and proceeded to devour his former minion. Once he was finished, he licked his paws and his mouth before pushing the bones to one side and continuing to his chambers. He felt no guilt over killing and eating his pet. It was as he said: He was a powerful werecat and had no need for a sidekick.
Chapter Two- Conflicting Views
Mozenrath awoke the next morning in his bed naked, but was unconcerned about his state of undress since there was no one around. Suddenly, he felt a cold empty feeling inside him as well as a sense of, for lack of a better word, despair. I cannot believe I cursed myself. There has to be a way to reverse it. Yes, I was strong and powerful, but I can’t perform magic in that form and I feel vulnerable without magic. Also, I feel a need to find a companion which is no doubt a result of the curse. I must find a counter spell and I will start right now.
Mozenrath stood in his chambers hours later, fuming for he had scoured his books and scrolls and could not find a way to reverse the spell. He now turned to the spell he had cast the day before and read it over carefully. A lead weight fell in his stomach at what he read; the spell was irreversible once cast. He was stuck as a werecat for the rest of his life; he would continue to transform during each full moon.
I may not be able to reverse the spell, but maybe I can resist it. If I resist transforming tonight, perhaps the spell will break. I better prepare for tonight. I’ll conjure some food and I’ll remove my clothes and gauntlet before the moon rises. I want to break the spell, but I must prepare in the event that I fail. Should I fail tonight, I will simply try again tomorrow night. I must break it by tomorrow night because after that, the curse will have a month to permanently fuse with my human self and leave me as a leopard every full moon.
The sorcerer stood outside the Citadel’s front doors without his clothes and with bowls of food and water nearby as the sky grew dark with the night. He stood calmly in place, his eyes closed and his mind concentrating firmly on his intentions. I am a human, not a cat. I will not turn into a cat. I am in control of my body, not the full moon. He sensed the moon rising behind him, but kept his mental control going. It felt like it was working. He wasn’t sure how long he had to keep in this state; he would stay like this all night if he had to for the end result would be-
Suddenly, pain went through his body like a bolt and he crumpled to the ground. He felt like his muscles were on fire and knew that they were slowly starting to enlarge. He fought against the change and felt the muscles starting to shrink back to normal before a wave of greater pain washed over him and his force of will completely dissolved and the change raced over him and he was a leopard again in almost no time. He snarled in frustration. He failed to hold off the transformation and would have to try again tomorrow or resign himself to being a leopard every full moon.
I will not fail tomorrow, he vowed as he walked over to the bowls of food and water to eat and drink. I will strengthen my mental defenses by meditating all day tomorrow and that should help me resist the change and break the spell.
He licked his muzzle clean before turning and heading out into the desert. He paid attention to his body as he walked. He noticed how elegantly his muscles rippled as he moved and how he could hear sounds that he wouldn’t have heard in his human form. He marveled at how silently he moved, despite his ears hearing the crunch of sand beneath his paws. He extended his claws to knead the sand and the crunching sound diminished. He could now move in complete silence. His eyes allowed him to see with total clarity aided by the light of the moon overhead. He suspected that he would have been able to see just fine without the moonlight as well.
He lifted his head up and inhaled deeply. He could not believe how strong the smells were! It felt invigorating and his hunting instincts came to life for he smelled something that made him run his tongue across his mouth. He sniffed again and somehow he knew it as the scent of a hare. He followed the scent of the hare, keeping his body low to the ground as to avoid detection. He kept his claws exposed to prevent the sand from crunching and alerting his prey. His ears soon picked up the sound of the hare hopping just behind a dune in front of him. He stopped and crouched down, the muscles in his hindquarters bunching up, ready to pounce as soon as his prey was in sight.
The hare soon hopped into view, but it froze when it saw Mozenrath. Mozenrath growled at it, which caused it take off across the sand and damn, if it wasn’t fast! He quickly took off after it and was amazed at how quickly he was moving. Clearly, his long limbs were adapted for speed and it was helping him catch up with the hare. He caught sight of his prey up ahead and leaped into the air to close the gap. He landed feet away from the hare before launching into a pounce that placed his forepaws squarely on the hare’s back. He lunged forward and bit down hard on its neck, just as he had done with Xerxes. The furry body went limp and Mozenrath laid down to enjoy his catch.
Hmm, this tastes delicious, despite the fact that it’s raw. My feline instincts don’t mind at all and it makes sense. Cats can’t exactly make a fire to cook their meat. I can adapt to eating like this; chances are by the time I get home with any kills I make, it’ll be daylight and I’ll end up using magic to make food. My catches will end up spoiling and that would be a waste of perfectly good meat. My feelings from last night were correct: It’s actually fortunate that I cast the wrong spell. I like being a werecat, but I still feel that empty feeling that could only be filled with a mate. I will deal with that problem after tomorrow night. I need to spend the next night focusing more on how my body moves,
Chapter Three- Acceptance and Preparations
Mozenrath ended up sleeping most of the following day and when he awoke, he was surprised to find that he had only four hours left before nightfall. He did feel energized from his long sleep and looked forward to the night’s purpose; he was determined to master each and every movement of his body before turning his mind to other matters. He sat in bed for about fifteen minutes thinking about the coming night before getting up to attend to nature and getting some food that he would end up burning when he transformed. He was naked when he changed at sunrise and he didn’t bother getting dressed; why put on clothes when he would have to remove them soon after?
He was soon outside, watching the sun go down. He ran the plan through his mind again as he waited. His surroundings soon grew dark and he turned around to see the moon peeking over the horizon. He smiled slightly before closing his eyes and waiting to feel the sense of power and strength flow through him. His wait was not long; he felt a pleasant tingle go through him and he promptly dropped his hands and knees as he changed into leopard form. He opened his eyes to take in the area around him. His vision was excellent; he could see further now than when he was human. He practiced by standing in the moonlight and then moving into the darkness by stepping into his home. Light and shadows had no distinction for he could see perfectly in both situations.
He stepped back outside where he closed his eyes and focused on his hearing. Again, his sense of sound was better as a leopard than as a human. He could hear tiny movements that he wouldn’t ordinarily hear. He inhaled deeply and the myriad of smells he picked up was nearly overwhelming. He let his instincts take over in order to filter out the scents and that allowed him to marvel over how he could pick out which ones were prey and which ones weren’t. He opened his eyes and followed his nose out into the desert where the prey he smelled were wandering around, just waiting to become his dinner.
He again noticed his body’s movements. They were smooth and sleek and when his claws automatically kneaded the sand under his paws, he chalked it up to hunting instinct. He turned his head in one direction and then another. There was delectable prey in both directions, but which one did he want? He sniffed the air to his left: The scent of another hare came to him. He sniffed the right and found something new and instinct told him it was a small group of mice. He weighed his choices and decided to go after the hare since he knew that the chase would give him more movement for him to reflect on while he dined.
He silently padded off to the left, the scent of the hare growing stronger with each step. He paused at the foot of a small dune and knew his prey was on the other side. He crouched down before springing up and over the dune with the intention of pinning down the rabbit. All did not go to plan: The rabbit saw the leopard looming over him and sprinted out of the way and into the desert. Mozenrath did not hesitate; he took off after the animal, his long limbs giving him added speed and closing the distance between the two of them. He was soon at the rabbit’s heels and lunged forward, planting his forepaws on the back and biting down on the neck. The hare went limp in his mouth and he settled down to eat.
It’s amazing how instinct just takes over once the prey has been scented and the chase begins. I think back on it and I can’t believe how fast I was moving. Every one of my senses are enhanced and the world is brighter, clearer, and sharper. I might even be able to conquer my non-magical enemies in this form. Mozenrath was delighted with these revelations and knew that if he wanted, he could definitely act on these feelings. However, as he ate he felt something besides conquest fill his thoughts: He wanted a mate and, in that moment, he knew exactly who he wanted.
I will need to plan it out carefully. If I want a mate, she will need to be a werecat like me. In order for that to happen, I must wait until the full moon next month. I will read over the scroll carefully in the morning to find out how I can infect a human. I also want to know if my senses will still be enhanced while I’m human. He licked his paws and mouth clean before heading home to get some rest so that he could start his preparations in the morning.
The morning soon arrived and Mozenrath quickly dressed and ate some food before heading for his lab and unrolling the scroll. He read it over carefully and soon found the section he was looking for: How to infect a human. He smiled as he read it over; it was so easy to turn someone. All he had to do was scratch or bite the person during the full moon. Turning my target will be simple; getting into her home will not be so simple. However, I will be a leopard so getting in may not be as hard as I originally thought. Now that I know how to turn my future mate, I will focus on my senses.
He sat on his throne and closed his eyes; he wanted to focus on his hearing first and follow it up with his nose. At first, he heard only the sounds in the room he was in, but soon sounds from other rooms filtered in and he was certain he wouldn’t have heard them before he cast the spell that changed him. He opened his eyes after determining that outside would be better for testing his sense of smell and could hardly believe it; he could see further than he did a few minutes ago! He headed for the front door eagerly and became aware of how swiftly and silently he was moving toward his destination. He stepped outside, closed his eyes again, and inhaled deeply. The same myriad of scents flooded his nose, but this time no instincts were present to filter them out. He didn’t allow this to surprise him; he calmly started figuring out how to sort out the smells. This proved to be harder than he thought, but he was able to sort out a couple of scents before resolving to practice every day for the next month.
He strode back inside and headed for the lab again. He looked around the room and his eyes landed on what he called his Conquest Wheel. He stepped up to it, grabbed it with one hand, and lifted it clear of the floor and held it up over his head. It seems I am also stronger in human form as well, but then again this wheel is not that heavy. I must finding something a little heavier and work my way up until I find the limits of my strength. Mozenrath spent the rest of the day, finding objects to lift. By the time, he stopped for the day, he could lift almost anything. His throne took both hands, but little extra effort to lift. His bed was another matter; he used both hands and could lift one side up but could do no more than that. This put an end to his strength tests at least for the day and he laid in bed and drifted off to sleep, pleased with his progress.
Mozenrath ate at least one meal a day over the next few weeks as he needed the energy to test his abilities. He continued to test his strength by seeing if chains or ropes could bind him for long. The rope only lasted a few seconds, maybe a minute at most while the chains took a few minutes; the point was binding him wouldn’t last long whether human or leopard. Another strength test was finding out what he could bend or break. He found breaking wood to be easy and bending metal was almost as easy. He found that iron, gold, and silver would not bend at least not unless he put a lot of effort into it.
He practiced his sense of smell every day as he had resolved to do and he was slowly learning to filter them out and identify each scent as he focused on it. He discovered that he could even smell certain emotions. He learned this fact when he roamed his city and he came near a group of his undead guards. They feared his wrath and the retribution that came to any of them that displeased him. He looked at them and they trembled at his gaze. His eyes widened as a scent he was unfamiliar with wafted up to him. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. What is that I’m detecting? I’ve never come across it before…or have I? I can feel my hunting instincts becoming aroused and excited. Could it be that I smell the fear that my guards are feeling? If so, that is interesting.
His wanderings through his kingdom was him practicing his movements. Yes, he found he could swiftly and silently the first day after the full moon ended, but he wanted to see how quickly he could move. He found he could run so fast that the sand beneath seemed to blur and when he stopped, he wasn’t even breathing hard. He looked around and up at the rooftops of the buildings around him. If I am to get to my victim, I need to learn how high I can jump.
He chose the side of a building that had five window ledges, bent his legs, leaped up, and successfully landed on the first ledge. He nodded at his first attempt before increasing the challenge. He leaped again and made it the last ledge before climbing over the roof’s edge. He surveyed his kingdom from his vantage point while he thought about his latest test. That was good. My mate’s home is taller, but I can clear a considerable distance in one leap. But how about jumping from one building to another? He gauged the distance between the rooftop he was on and the next one before running full tilt toward the edge and jumping across. The drop yawned below him, but he easily cleared the gap and landed safely on the other side. He continued to test his leg strength as he headed back to his home.
Chapter Four- Claiming a Mate
The morning of his attack arrived and Mozenrath looked forward to when he take his leopard form again and claim his mate. He strolled over a water bowl and towel on his vanity and as he raised his left hand to scoop up some water, he saw that his fingernails were longer than before and they seemed to resemble sharp claws! He stared at them in surprise. Nails do not grow that fast and they certainly don’t form sharp points on their own. This was clearly the result of being a were-leopard. He looked into the mirror on the vanity and was shocked to discover that his pupils had already become cat-like. I never noticed that before, but then again I was so focused on my abilities that I never gave my reflection much more than a passing glance. Either my nails and eyes have always been this way since the spell or it only occurs when the full moon is coming. Hmm, it must be the latter. Either way, it doesn’t matter, I have an attack tonight that I need to plan out.
How best to claim my mate? He sat on his throne as he contemplated this question. There were only two options: Bite or scratch? If I bite, there’s a chance that I may bite too hard or my hunting instincts might suddenly surface and I end up killing her. No, I can’t risk biting her and besides, biting is so vulgar and other creatures of myth and legend turn humans through biting. So, I will claim my mate by scratching. Now, with that settled, I believe I will station myself outside the kingdom gates, send my clothes and gauntlet back home, and wait for the sun to set. Once I’ve changed, I will silently enter the city and head for the palace. I won’t enter from the front, I’ll go to the back where I know the balcony to Jasmine’s room is located. I only hope that I don’t have to contend with that tiger of hers. His lips curled into a smirk. Although it would be interesting to see if the tiger would confront me in a fight or sense that I am superior to him and he sulks off from a fight he can’t win. Ultimately, I will gain entry to the princess’s room and I will make my move.
Step one of Mozenrath’s plan went off without a hitch. He was up against one of Agrabah’s city gates and had just sent his clothes back to the Citadel. His catlike eyes watched the sun sink below the horizon and he flexed his clawed hands in anticipation of the change. His senses had been growing stronger throughout the day, but nowhere near as strong as they would be once night had fallen. The sun’s final rays faded away and the sky was black with the night while a full moon started to rise in the east.
The sorcerer immediately got down on all fours as the tingle of power and strength swept over him. He embraced the sensation of his hands and feet conforming into paws, his fur coat spreading all over him, his tail sprouting, and his head and face shaping into a leopard. He growled softly and then a little louder as the change completed itself. He shook himself out before creeping silently into the city, sticking to the shadows to avoid detection.
The palace was lit up, yet Mozenrath remained in the shadows as he approached the building. An outer wall separated the city from the inner walls that protected the palace. Mozenrath crouched and leaped right up to the top of the outer wall before leaping across to the top of the inner wall and down into the garden, landing behind a bush. He looked up to see the balcony and paused to plan out his next move. He needed the full moon to rise a bit more so that its light spilled into Jasmine’s room. He could afford to wait since gaining entry into her room presented an obstacle. The walls were smooth and he wasn’t sure he would be able to climb up the walls with his claws. But there had to be a way into the room, there had to be…
And then he saw it: The water fountain. He crept over to it and gazed up at its top point. Yes, water was still coming out of the top and as a cat, he didn’t like to get wet. However, he was also human and his mating instincts had just awoken and demanded to be sated. He crouched down, jumped onto the top rim of the fountain and from there, he soared toward the balcony, landing on the railing before descending to the floor. He inwardly smiled; he was in! He took two steps, before another four-legged figure appeared: It was Jasmine’s tiger. So, my curiosity about his actions will be answered.
The two cats stared at one another. Mozenrath saw wariness in the tiger’s eyes and he stood still, exuding confidence that he hoped the tiger would pick up. He sensed light behind him and knew that the moon had risen high enough to reach the balcony. They continued to stare at one another before the tiger emitted a low rumble and sulked off to the far side of the balcony. Mozenrath’s confidence grew: The tiger was no threat. He sensed the leopard was superior to him and would allow him to do as he saw fit. He silently padded inside the bedroom to find it empty, but he wasn’t concerned. He hid himself behind the curtains that were behind the vanity and waited for his mate to return.
His wait wasn’t long as he heard the doors open and then close about ten minutes later. He strained his ears and inhaled deeply to determine Jasmine’s location; he needn’t have bothered for she was seated at her vanity. He chanced a peek to see her brushing her hair and pulling it back to tie it again. The sight of her brought his mating instincts to full bloom and he knew he had to act soon. As she turned in the direction of the balcony, Mozenrath seized his chance. He stepped through the gap in the curtains which made a sound as they rubbed against his fur and one another. Jasmine turned at the sound and gasped at the leopard slowly approaching her in a position that like a hunter stalking its prey.
Mozenrath growled as he stalked toward the princess who seemed to be frozen with fear. The fear excited him and the mating instincts he felt were overwhelming. He knew he could bite or scratch this woman and make her a werecat as well as his mate. Since he was evil, his bite or scratch would make her evil as well. The two of them would make a lovely couple and produce a litter of evil werecats as well.
Mozenrath coiled back and then sprang forward, knocking Jasmine onto her back. He unsheathed his left claws and quickly swiped them down Jasmine’s right forearm, leaving three scratches in her skin. She cried out in pain and the sound sent Mozenrath into a fit of ecstasy. However, he knew he would have to wait until tomorrow night for Jasmine to transform before he could try to consummate and produce cubs.
The doors to Jasmine’s room burst open and the guards rushed in, but froze at the sight of the large cat. Mozenrath gave a triumphant roar before running and leaping over the balcony into the back garden and then over the wall before leaving Agrabah.
“Princess, you’re hurt!” Razoul exclaimed when he saw her injury.
Jasmine glanced down at the arm she was cradling. The scratches were deep and yet they weren’t bleeding. How strange, she thought. Out loud she said, “I’m fine, Razoul. They actually don’t hurt anymore.”
Mozenrath raced through the street that ran straight from the palace to the gates of the city, adrenaline pumping through his body as well as the knowledge of what he had just accomplished: He had claimed a mate. Jasmine would become a leopard just like him the next night and together they would have a family of were-leopards. As he padded across the desert toward his home, he felt his claiming instincts fade as well as his desire to have sex with Jasmine as soon as she transformed.
I suppose the desire to conceive was connected to the claiming process. Now that I’ve scratched the princess, the desire has faded. That’s just as well. I need to plan on how to greet Jasmine tomorrow. It’s likely my scent will attract her once she’s changed and she’ll follow it straight to me. I won’t talk to her right away, I’ll let my actions speak for me, particularly if my actions make it clear that I want her as my mate. I’ll stay close to Agrabah, but farther enough away so that no one will see me and think I’m attacking. He nodded to himself as he ran the plan through his mind. He raced home and fell into bed, dreams of his beautiful mate lulling him to sleep.
Chapter Five- Transformation
Mozenrath stood on a dune close to Agrabah, watching the sun go down over the horizon. Once the sun had fully set, he would transform again and await the arrival of his mate. Jasmine’s transformation would not occur until the moon had risen. He wondered where she was at this moment. I hope it is somewhere where the palace’s residents will witness her change, he thought as he waved his gauntlet to send it and his clothes back to the Citadel just as the sun disappeared. He dropped to all fours and welcomed the change that came over him. He recalled that the second night he had changed, he fought against it, but by the third night, he accepted his cat side and truly enjoyed his new form. I hope the princess comes to enjoy it as quickly as I did.
Jasmine restlessly tapped her fingers against her thigh as she stood beside her father’s throne and listened to her friends relate their recent adventure that they had just returned from that morning. She didn’t know why she was feeling so restless. She was also concerned over her state of mind; she was feeling an urge to run through the streets and horror of horrors, murder the citizens. Why am I feeling this way? What is happening to me?
“Hmm?” She looked up to see Aladdin with eyes full of concern.
“Are you all right? You don’t look too well,” he commented.
“I don’t know,” she answered truthfully. “I’m feeling a bit restless and I’m not sure why.”
“Perhaps, you need some rest,” Sultan suggested.
“Perhaps, I do. Goodnight, everyone.” Jasmine proceeded to the double doors, but froze when she stepped into a patch of moonlight. A throbbing headache hit her, causing her to grab her head and moan. She sank to her knees and wrapped her arms around herself as she bowed her head and gave a pained gasp.
She suddenly placed her hands on the floor and the group saw her fingernails now resembled claws and her fingers were shrinking and shaping into large paws. Her shoes ripped apart as her feet changed into back paws, claws visible before retracting. Her limbs and body sprouted sand-colored fur with black rosettes dotting it while her muscles bulged and grew larger, ripping her clothes apart. A long furry tail grew out behind her as the fur traveled up her head. Her hair changed to fur that matched the fur that had already sprouted, her nose and jaws pushed out into a muzzle complete with whiskers, her ears moved to the top of her head as half-moons with white insides and black outsides, and her eyes changed from brown to goldish-green. She gave a soft growl as she finished changing into a leopard.
Aladdin stared in shock at the leopard that had been his girlfriend minutes ago. He started to slowly approach, when the leopard turned her head and gave a threatening growl. The hero stopped and backed up. “Jasmine?” he asked cautiously. She didn’t answer; instead she turned her attention to the doors and padded toward them.
“Dearest, where are you going?” Sultan called after her. Again, she didn’t answer and proceeded to the doors. She succeeded in hooking a paw into one handle and pulling the door open before easing out of the room.
“How did this happen and why isn’t she answering?” Sultan moaned, the full impact of what they saw finally hitting him.
“I don’t know, but I’m going to bring her back and find a way to break the spell,” Aladdin declared. He had no doubt that some kind of spell had been cast on her that caused her to transform into a cat and that the one who cast it was nearby which was why Jasmine moved as if in a trance.
Jasmine moved through the deserted city streets, the gates firmly in her sights. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt as if someone was waiting for her. She sensed it when she was in the palace and she wasn’t going to let anyone stop her from meeting this person. If someone did, she would rip their throat out for trying to delay her. She paused in her tracks at the thought that flitted through her mind. My God, where did that come from? I would never kill someone. I’m a princess, not a murderer.
Her nose twitched as a scent floated up to her and it sent her into motion again. That scent belonged to the one waiting for her and she realized that he or she was a leopard just like her. Her paws increased their speed and soon she was speeding past the gates and into the desert. The scent grew stronger and told her that the leopard was male and the knowledge excited her. A male leopard and hopefully one that didn’t have a mate.
But, I already have a boyfriend: Aladdin. However, we can’t be together anymore. He’s a human and I’m a cat. I’m sorry, Aladdin but we’re through. There’s a male leopard calling to me and hopefully he’ll take me for a mate.
She raced across a dune and saw him standing atop another dune. She ran up to him and he greeted her by rubbing her cheek with his own. This gesture told her that he had no one and wanted her for his mate. She responded by rubbing his cheek before licking it. She saw his eyes light up with joy before he turned and start to walk away. He went a few paces before pausing and looking back at her. He jerked his head and resumed walking. His actions were clear: He wanted her to follow him back to his den. She happily complied and had soon drawn alongside him. It wasn’t until Agrabah was well out of sight before he finally spoke to her.
“It is good to see you again, princess. The leopard look suits you well.”
Jasmine froze in place and stared at him. “Mozenrath?” she gasped. He nodded and anger sparked in her eyes. “You did this to me?” she growled.
“Guilty. I suppose you want to know how this happened to me and what plan I’m concocting, right? Well, it started last month. I cast a spell that I thought would bring a new servant to me. Instead, it turned me into a werecat. An Arabian leopard to be precise. I spent those three nights learning what I can do and feeling an urge to find a mate, which is where you come in, my dear princess.”
“So, I’m a werecat, not just an ordinary leopard?”
“Exactly. Now, tell me truthfully. You do still find me attractive, even though you now know you’re a werecat and could go home.”
Jasmine looked down to gather her thoughts. I could lie to him and go home. I would tell Aladdin everything I learned and he would no doubt find a way to break the spell. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.
She looked up and to her surprise, heard herself say, “I do find you attractive. In fact, I think I’ve fallen in love with you and I want to commit evil acts.”
Mozenrath tilted his head. “Do you now?” he asked, putting an inquisitive tone in his voice, even though he knew this would happen.
Jasmine had felt horrified when she first said these words, but the horror was replaced by confidence that she had meant what she had said. She was in love with the sorcerer and she wanted to be an evil werecat just like him. “Yes, I do,” she answered. “I love you and I want to learn to be evil like you.”
“And so you shall,” he said. “Let’s go back to my kingdom where we can rest and I will teach you all you need to be evil.”
Aladdin, on Carpet, hovered over the two cats as they walked into the desert. He didn’t hear what they had said, but that didn’t concern him at the moment. He was more interested in following them so he could find out who was behind the spell that had befallen his girlfriend. Clearly, whoever it was, he had control over the other cat and had sent it to receive Jasmine when she had finished transforming. He continued to follow them until they entered the city gates of Mozenrath’s kingdom. I should have known, he thought. Mozenrath must have cast a spell on some poor human to test it out before using it on Jasmine. I can’t confront Mozenrath right now; it’s possible that Jasmine and her companion would attack and kill me since they are likely under Mozenrath’s control. I’ll come back in the morning with my friends and we will rescue Jasmine and her friend and then we will break Mozenrath’s control over them as well as the spell.
Chapter Six- Lessons in Evil
Mozenrath awoke the next morning in his bed, naked and alone. He had felt it best if he and Jasmine slept in separate rooms even though they were attracted to one another. He quickly got dressed and used his magic to conjure a set of clothes for Jasmine before teleporting them into her room. He left his room and went into the dining area to put together some breakfast; it would be best to have a full stomach before giving evil lessons and making plans for their future together. Mozenrath waved his gauntlet to set up a protective screen around his kingdom as thoughts of their future went through his mind. He had no doubt that Aladdin would think to invade his land to search for his princess, though she was his princess now. He would lower the screen shortly before sunset and would raise it after sunrise and it’ll stay up until the next full moon.
An hour later, the two of them were in his throne room where he had created a second throne next to his before sitting down in his with Jasmine following suite. “Now then,” Mozenrath said. “Being evil is actually easy, but getting to that point is not. You have to commit evil acts which is difficult, not that I can speak from experience.”
Jasmine nodded. She knew what he was saying. I was taught that crimes like stealing, lying, conquest, and murder are evil and not acceptable. In order to be evil, I would have to actually commit one or more of these acts and not feel guilty about doing so. Hmm. That will be difficult to do, but I want to be evil, so I’ll do whatever Mozenrath suggests and also let my new cat instincts guide me.
“What do you suggest I do?”
“You need to start small and I believe hunting for food tonight will be a good start.”
“Hunt?” Jasmine repeated dubiously. She had never needed to hunt due to her being a princess. How would she do it?
“Not to worry, princess. When we transform tonight, our instincts will guide us in how to hunt. I never hunted before, but I succeeded in my first kill on my first night as a leopard.”
“Your first night? That’s impressive.”
“Yes, it is and I have no doubt that you will succeed too, especially since you have me as a teacher.”
Jasmine deeply inhaled the desert air, but could detect no scent of prey. The only scent she could detect was her mate who was searching in the opposite direction. She was determined to find some food on her own, but accepted that Mozenrath may find it first and if he did, he had promised that she could have the pleasure of running it down and killing it. She was still doubtful that she would be capable of killing something. She just couldn’t picture herself committing such an act.
The sound of running paws reached her ears and she turned to see Mozenrath coming up to her. “I smell meat nearby. Come on.” He led her in the direction he had been searching and she lifted her head to sniff the air. The scent of meat hit her and somehow she knew it was a desert gazelle.
Her stomach rumbled slightly and she slunk low to the ground as she followed the scent. Her instincts were indeed guiding her and the excitement of the hunt flooded through her body. Her claws extended and kneaded the sand under her paws as she continued to follow the scent. She paused when she heard the sound of hooves on sand: The gazelle was nearby. She crouched down, her hindquarters wiggling in anticipation of a leap. The gazelle came into view, but was oblivious to the presence of a cat. It was oblivious no more when the cat landed on its back. It reared up and attempted to dislodge its attacker, but the cat was having none of it and latched her jaws onto the neck and bit down as hard as she could. The gazelle stiffened before collapsing to the ground, dead. Jasmine landed on the sand clumsily, startled by how quickly the gazelle collapsed.
Mozenrath strolled up to her. “Well done, Jasmine. You successfully made your first kill. How did that feel?”
Jasmine blinked and focused on the dead animal. “It was…amazing,” she said in awe. “I somehow knew what to do and I didn’t hesitate for an instant. The hunt was exciting and I loved every minute of it and I still do.”
“Your instincts guided you. That’s how you knew what to do. I felt the same way on my second hunt.”
“You said you killed successfully on your first night.”
“And so I did. What I didn’t tell you was my first kill was Xerxes.”
“You killed your pet?”
“I did. I was hungry and since I was a powerful cat, I had no need for a sidekick. I soon found that I desired a mate.”
“And I’m glad that you chose me for your mate.” Jasmine rubbed her cheek on his cheek.
“I’m glad I did too.” Mozenrath returned the gesture. “Now, what do you say we eat?’
“I say let’s do it. I’m hungry.” Jasmine laid down beside the gazelle and started ripping the skin away and her mate soon joined her.
He kept glancing sideways at his mate as he ate. She’s glad I chose her as my mate and she found hunting and killing exciting. She is well on her way to becoming evil. I need to come up with a few more acts for her to commit with each one more evil than the one before it. Killing for food is one thing but murder, the ultimate evil, is an entirely different matter, so that one will be saved for last. Perhaps I should ask Jasmine for ideas.
Licking his mouth, he said, “Jasmine, what crimes were you taught were unacceptable?”
Jasmine blinked a moment at the sudden question, but replying, “Oh, well lying, stealing, conquest, and murder to name a few. Are you thinking about testing me on those?”
“Perhaps and maybe some others.”
“Well, I did lie and steal once.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t feel good about it.”
“Hmm. That sounds like a good place to start.”
“How should I do it? I mean, this is the last full moon for a month. I have to learn these lessons in human form.”
“Well, you could steal from me and then lie about it when I least expect it or you could try stealing from your kingdom and not get caught.”
“What about both? Start with stealing from you and then move on to Agrabah?”
Mozenrath’s eyes lit up. “I like that idea. That’s what we’ll do.”
Jasmine smiled to herself as she eased herself in Mozenrath’s chambers shortly before sunrise. She was sure Mozenrath wouldn’t be expecting her to start stealing so soon. She quietly padded over to a chair where the sorcerer’s clothes and gauntlet lie and grabbed the glove in her mouth before silently leaving the room and closing the door as quietly as she could before returning to her room. Once there, she stowed it in a secure hiding spot and paused as she felt herself changing back to human form. She pulled on her clothes, smoothed down her hair, and left the room to find other items to steal and hide.
Mozenrath awoke and sat up stretching and yawning. The activities of yesterday and last night had been pleasant and left him pretty tired. He had no idea that teaching would be hard. I guess when you’re trying to teach a good person to be evil, the effort can be draining. He grinned as he pulled on his clothes. He could afford to be tired in teaching Jasmine for the end result would be worth it: He will have an evil were-leopard as a mate and they would, in turn, have a litter of evil were-leopards to raise. He reached for where he left his gauntlet, intending to raise the protective screen, and grasped at empty air. He turned to see that it was gone and it had not simply fallen off the chair.
Where’s my gauntlet!? Where did it go!? He thought in a panic. He distinctly remembered placing it on the chair. He opened the door and started toward the front door with the intention of seeing if an intruder’s footprints were still in the sand. He opened the front doors and was disappointed to see only his foot and paw prints and those of his mate. He lifted his gaze and gasped in surprise. His magical intruder crystals were gone as well!
He dashed into the Citadel and into his lab to see that his magical books were missing too. By the time, he entered the dining room to where Jasmine was calmly eating, he was scowling darkly. Jasmine looked up to smile at him, but the smile faded at the expression on his face. “Mozenrath? What’s wrong? And where’s your gauntlet?” The tone of her voice was a mix of puzzlement and alarm.
“Apparently, we’ve been robbed and it would seem it occurred while we slept.”
“Robbed!? Who would dare? What else was taken?”
“My magical crystals and my magical books were also taken.”
“Perhaps, Aladdin took them. He knows without your magic, you’re vulnerable.”
Mozenrath growled. “That street rat will pay for his theft.”
Jasmine ducked her head to hide the triumphant grin on her face. She successfully stole from her mate and got him to believe that Aladdin was responsible! She wiped the grin off her face as she looked up. “Mozenrath, before you go after Aladdin, I have something to tell you.”
Jasmine grinned. “I stole all that stuff. They’re in my room.”
“You. You stole my gauntlet, crystals, and books?”
“Guilty and it felt good doing so. I didn’t think I could move so quietly, but clearly I did.”
Mozenrath smiled and laughed briefly. “Your lying was great. It had me going there; I actually believed Aladdin did steal all those items. Your acting really helped my buying into it. I didn’t expect you to steal and lie so soon.”
Jasmine beamed at his praise. She successfully lie and stole and felt great about committing those acts. I think I’m ready to try stealing from my own kingdom. I only wish I could do it as a leopard. I rather enjoy being a cat and wouldn’t mind spending more time as one instead of being human.
Chapter Seven- Feline Impulses
“Mozenrath, I have a confession to make,” Jasmine stated later that day.
“And what is that, Jasmine?”
“I like being a leopard and would rather spend more time as a leopard than just the full moon.”
“How interesting. I’ve been feeling the same way myself. I suggest we study the scroll the spell is on and see how we might accomplish this as well as what kind of abilities we may possess.”
“I like that idea.”
The two were-leopards retired to the lab where they proceeded to pore over the scroll. Jasmine was delighted with what she read. “It says that after the first night as a leopard, one can change whenever they want. This is great. You’ve already gone through six nights and I just went through two nights. We could change right now if we wanted.”
“Yes and since we choose to, new abilities are available to us. One of them is the ability to concentrate on how we want our bite or scratch to affect a victim.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, an example is how I infected you. I already liked being a leopard and wanted you as a mate when I scratched you and thus, you became a leopard who wanted to be my mate.”
“Oh. So, if we wanted a slave, we just have to concentrate on that desire when we bite or scratch.”
“A slave? What are you thinking?”
“Well, I know that Aladdin won’t rest until I am fully human and safe at home. So, what if I scratch him and make him into an obedient leopard servant?”
“I love it!” Mozenrath exclaimed. “My longtime enemy becoming our slave! How soon should we do it?”
“I say we wait for a couple of weeks. We need to perfect our transformations and perhaps practice some of our abilities before we act.”
“Oh, it probably won’t take long for us to successfully change outside the full moon. Let us go outside right now and start practicing.”
Jasmine, slightly startled by the thought of transforming in daylight, nevertheless agreed and followed her mate outside. The pair stood a few feet apart to allow room before closing their eyes and picturing their leopard forms in their minds. She very much desired to be a leopard; she wanted to feel that power and strength again and was willing to give up being human to keep the power and strength she craved. She felt a tingling run down from her head down to her toes. She opened her eyes and looked down.
She saw her body was covered in leopard fur; her clothes had also melted into fur. She grinned at the sight and her tongue ran across her teeth and found that they had all turned sharp. She sensed movement on her face and narrowed her eyes to see a set of whiskers had sprouted on both sides of her nose which was pushing away from her face as were her jaws. Her muzzle was soon fully formed and looked a little strange on her still human head.
She looked down and saw her fingernails grow long and hooking into sharp claws while her fingers were shrinking to form paws. She sensed that her knees were going to change directions and she quickly crouched so that she was soon standing on four paws. She felt her tail growing out behind her and her head completing its changes. She gave a loud roar as she completed her transformation into a leopard. She heard another roar and looked over to see that Mozenrath had become a leopard too.
The sorcerer smiled at her as he padded over to her. “I knew it wouldn’t take long. Our desire was strong enough to invoke the change on the first try.”
Jasmine pawed the sand beneath her and delighted in the feeling of it moving aside. “You were right, my love. I feel totally comfortable in this form. Is it possible to give up our human forms?”
“No. We will have to be human at some point. You will need to be human if you plan to infect Aladdin.”
Jasmine sighed softly. “Right again.”
“But for now, let’s explore our leopard forms in daylight.” Mozenrath lead the way into the desert and smiled to himself. He was thrilled that both of them had succeeded in transforming right away. He also had to admit that he too felt comfortable in leopard form. He felt the same way that Jasmine felt: He would rather stay in leopard form all the time even though he knew that he would eventually return to human form whether he wanted to or not. His thoughts turned to the protective screen again and realized that he would have to lower and raise it every day now, but considering that they could change whenever they wanted, it was a price he was willing to pay.
Jasmine padded along behind her mate and teacher. She reveled in the strength and sleek movements of her muscles and legs. Her eyes could see a great distance thanks to her being a cat and the sun shining overhead, which was warming her coat and made her think that a nap in the sun would be pleasant. Her nose took in the myriad of scents that was carried to her on the wind that ruffled her fur. Her stomach started to growl slightly and she realized that she hadn’t eaten since breakfast and she likely had burned a lot of fuel transforming and now she needed to replenish that fuel.
She tilted her head back and inhaled deeply to pick up the scent of prey. Hmm. I smell a hare and some mice nearby. I think I’ll go after the mice. Yes, that’ll do. She turned in the direction she smelled the mice and took off, causing Mozenrath to slide to halt.
Where is she going? he wondered before sprinting after her. I hope she’s not resisting the evil tendencies I implanted into her. He continued to race after her, but Jasmine did get a decent head start by her abrupt change in direction. However, he had her scent and had no trouble following her. His ears soon heard the terrified squeaks of mice and a satisfied purr that he immediately recognized. He rounded a dune to see Jasmine lying on the sand with her forepaws cupped together. She craned her neck to look at him with a smile that looked almost savage.
“Jasmine, why did you take off like that? You surprised me when you did that.”
“Oh, Mozenrath,” Jasmine purred. “I was feeling hungry and decided to get a little snack.” She nodded at her paws. “I’ve got some tasty mice right here. I’m willing to share since you probably burned up a lot energy from transforming and chasing me.”
Mozenrath’s stomach gave a grumble and he chuckled slightly as he lay down as well. “You’re right. Let’s take a snack break. By the way, how was the hunting in daytime?”
“A little harder because of the sun. I think I prefer hunting at night because it makes it harder for our prey to see us.” Jasmine carefully slide some of the mice over to her mate, seeing as they were still alive.
Mozenrath accepted his share and proceeded to use his claws to kill them before eating them. He had to admit, he had never hunted or eaten mice, yet they were pretty good to his cat side. He felt his energy returning from this small food source and said, “Perhaps mice can serve as snack food for times like this. It’s true that transforming can burn a lot of energy and we should try to refuel as soon as possible.”
“Agreed,” Jasmine replied. She thought about her stealing and lying from this morning as she ate and knew that she could move on to her own kingdom now that she had succeeded in changing to a leopard anytime she wanted. Hmm, I think I’ll do that tonight. But, I won’t strike the royal treasure room. I need to start small and robbing from houses or businesses sounds like a good place to start.
Jasmine stalked through the darkened streets, her eyes darting around in search of something to steal. Anything will do, she thought. It also doesn’t matter if I steal from the rich or the poor; all are worthy of being robbed.
A glimmer caught her eye and she looked to see that the glimmer came from a jewel peeking out from under a tarp. She crept closer to inspect it: It was a ring that had a large and beautiful stone set into it. She unconsciously licked her lips. This ring was beautiful and her thought was to present it to Mozenrath as a thank-you for turning her into a leopard and making her his mate. As she lifted the edge of the tarp with her head, a beam of light hit her from behind and a voice exclaiming, “What the-,”
Jasmine whirled around and growled at the merchant who visibly trembled at her reaction. She slowly stalked toward him, still growling. The merchant screamed and started running away. Jasmine took off after him; she didn’t want him to get away and possibly finding guards to protect him. As if some mere human guards could stop a leopard like me, she scoffed. She sped up and soon closed the gap between her victim and her. She leaped forward and tackled the man who had turned to see if he had escaped. She growled in his face and he screamed again before the she-cat’s claws slashed across his throat. She grabbed at the jugular with her teeth and pulled it away from the body. She felt an urge to scream in triumph but resisted the impulse; instead she left the body behind, returned to the booth, hooked the ring onto a claw, and took off for the desert and her new home.
Mozenrath looked up as the throne room doors opened and Jasmine padded inside. He looked at her, slightly concerned. There was blood on her mouth and her right claws. His sense of smell told him that the blood wasn’t hers, so what had happened?
“Jasmine, where have you been? I was worried and what’s with the blood?”
“I wanted to steal from my kingdom and I found a gift for you. I had to kill the merchant when he came by to investigate.”
“I did. I didn’t want him to get away and get help.”
She successfully murdered someone and doesn’t feel one bit guilty about doing so. I think she has completely turned evil. Excellent.
“Now,” he said. “You said you found a gift?”
“Right. It’s a thank-you for turning me and choosing me as your mate.” Jasmine held out her left paw and unsheathed her claws to reveal the ring.
Mozenrath slipped it off her claw and held it up for a moment before his mouth fell open in shock, which concerned Jasmine. “Mozenrath? Is there something wrong with it?”
The sorcerer laughed. “Wrong? Absolutely not. This stone is a Philosopher’s Stone!”
“I take it that’s good?” Jasmine asked as she shifted back to human and used a bowl of water nearby to wash off the blood.
“It’s not good, it’s great! With this stone, I can be an even more powerful sorcerer than I am now.” He slipped the ring onto his left ring finger and admired it.
Jasmine spun to face him and a big smile came to her face. “That’s wonderful. I can hardly believe I found such a rare item. That merchant probably didn’t know what he had.”
“It’s likely he didn’t. Most people wouldn’t know a Philosopher Stone when they see one. Only those trained in magic would be able to recognize it.
“And now, I would like to give you a little…treat,” Mozenrath continued.
Jasmine tilted her head slightly. “Oh?’
Mozenrath stood, walked over to Jasmine, and then quickly swept her up and carried her off to his chambers where he closed the door with his foot before putting Jasmine on the bed and started to remove his clothes and the ring. Jasmine’s eyes lit up with excitement as her mate climbed on top of her and slowly started to undress her. Once she was naked, Mozenrath gave a soft growl and started to change into a leopard. Jasmine’s excitement grew; Mozenrath wanted to have sex with her as a leopard! She also gave a soft growl before shifting forms as well.
“I’ve always wondered what sex as a leopard was like ever since I turned you,” Mozenrath said softly as he licked her cheeks.
“I find myself wondering the same thing right now,” Jasmine said, planting her forelegs on the back of his neck. “So, let’s not wonder any longer.”
Chapter Eight- The Servant
Jasmine awoke the next morning still a leopard and lying next to Mozenrath who was also still a leopard and was waking too. They locked eyes on one another before Jasmine stretched forward and rubbed her forehead on Mozenrath’s forehead. He growled softly before licking her cheek lovingly. She gave a soft purr before saying, “We must do this again. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“As did I. We will do this again. Shall we change and begin making preparations for acquiring our slave?”
“Absolutely.” Both leopards shifted back to human form and got dressed before entering the room containing the Conquest Wheel. There, they sat down at a table and started to making plans. Jasmine pointed out that it was best to wait the two weeks they had originally planned.
“Why wait? We can change perfectly at will and our ability to infect a human won’t fail since we have accepted our dual natures.”
“True. However, there is likely panic in the city now. No doubt, the merchant I killed last night has been discovered. If I am to succeed, it is best that it be done when security is not as tight as it will be once the body is discovered.”
Mozenrath nodded. “I see. Yes, we wait two weeks.”
Aladdin frowned at the late afternoon sky as he brooded in his hovel. He had failed to rescue Jasmine and her friend these last two weeks. Every time he went to Mozenrath’s kingdom, he would find a protective screen keeping him out. He couldn’t have Genie try to take it down with his own magic because of the fact that mixing magics is dangerous. He wasn’t about to try to a rescue attempt at night because for all he knew Mozenrath had an ambush waiting for him to try a night rescue.
Another concern was apparently there was a wild animal that was attacking the city at night, which was strange considering they never had an animal attack before. A merchant had been found two weeks ago with his throat torn out. The sultan had been horrified to hear about the attack and insisted that everyone complete their business before nightfall. Only Aladdin and the guards were allowed to be out at night as they were charged with finding the animal responsible for the murder and putting it down. It was because of this animal that Aladdin insisted that Genie and Carpet take Abu and Iago somewhere safe until the danger had passed. Indeed, he had even persuaded Genie to take his lamp with him. So far, no wild animal was found.
Aladdin heard rapid footsteps coming up the stairs and he immediately leaped to his feet, poised to attack if it was an enemy. His poise slackened when he saw that his visitor was Razoul. “Street Rat,” he said. “Princess Jasmine has returned and wishes to see you in her room.”
A huge grin spread on Aladdin’s face. Jasmine had escaped! Perhaps, she had found a cure and wanted him along to help her. “Thanks, Razoul,” he told the guard as he headed past him and down the stairs before sprinting up the street to the palace’s front doors. He hurried inside and headed right up to Jasmine’s chambers and threw open the doors before shutting them behind him and there, on the bed, was Jasmine who rose from the bed and said softly and lovingly. “Oh, Aladdin.”
Jasmine smiled sweetly at Aladdin, who embraced her with a sense of relief. “Jasmine, I’m so glad you’re back.”
“Oh, Aladdin, you have no idea what I went through,” she said. “My friend and I weren’t in control of our own bodies and couldn’t resist Mozenrath’s commands. We finally found a counter to break his control over us, but we are still what we call were-leopards.”
“I see.” Aladdin’s tone was soft. “There must be some way to reverse it.”
“There isn’t,” Jasmine stated firmly. “While we looked for a way to break Mozenrath’s control, we also looked for a way to be fully human. We didn’t find one; not even the Tree of Renewal can fix it.”
“Okay, you win. But this doesn’t change how I feel about you. Perhaps, you can make me a leopard once the full moon comes back.”
“Perhaps.” Jasmine smirked at her victim before slashing at his arm with her sharp claw-like nails.
Aladdin gasped at the pain and grasped at the injury, shock registering on his face. “Jasmine! Why-?”
“You said you wanted me to make you a leopard. Well, I just did. I can’t believe how easy that was. You see, the friend I spoke of was actually Mozenrath and he’s taken me for his mate. We’ve learned to transform outside of the full moon and soon you will become our leopard servant and will do whatever we command.”
Anger surged through Aladdin. Mozenrath had turned Jasmine evil. Now she was an enemy as well. “I will never serve you!”
“You will soon find out that you won’t be able to resist. Mozenrath and I studied our abilities well over the last two weeks.” Jasmine turned her eyes to the blood red sky and watched as the sun dipped below the horizon.
Aladdin gasped as he fell to his knees while Jasmine remained standing; she chose to remain in human form in order to ensure that Aladdin would be an obedient servant. She watched as he sprouted the fur, paws, ears, teeth, and tail of an Arabian leopard. His now green eyes closed and he shook his head, growling softly. Jasmine sensed he was trying to fight the obedience that had been planted into him through her scratch. If he breaks the spell and tries to attack me, I’ll transform and kill him. It’ll be a pity, but Mozenrath and I knew that that’s a possibility. But, if we can enslave Aladdin, a brave strong hero, then we can enslave anyone we choose. However, one servant will be enough.
Aladdin opened his eyes and focused on Jasmine. He padded forward and sank into a submissive bow, which told Jasmine that Aladdin had succumbed to the spell and was under her and her mate’s complete control. Jasmine smirked as she climbed onto Aladdin’s back and said, “Now, to The Land of the Black Sand. Let’s go.” Aladdin responded as he leaped over her bedroom balcony, into the garden, onto the wall, and into the streets before speeding out into the desert toward his ordered destination.
Mozenrath looked up as the doors of the Throne Room opened and Jasmine walked in with a leopard right behind her. The princess strode up to her mate and kissed his cheek. “Mission accomplished. Aladdin is our obedient servant.” She gestured at the cat, who kneeled before them.
Mozenrath grinned with delight. “Wonderful! What do you say we celebrate by sending our servant to hunt some food for us?”
“I like that idea, however I would like to go with him to keep an eye on him.”
“I see. You want to make sure his obedience is total.”
“Very well, my dear. Aladdin, I want you to hunt down and bring some food for my mate and me. Go.” Mozenrath pointed at the doors and Aladdin obeyed. Jasmine transformed into a leopard and followed her slave out the door.
Aladdin wandered deep into the desert before going into hunt mode. Jasmine made sure to stay back and let him work. If he’s going to hunt, it’s best to let him learn on his own. Once he’s made his first kill, he’ll find that being a leopard is a wonderful thing; I know I did. She watched as the male lifted his head and sniff the air before breaking into a sprint with her right behind him, hoping he had found prey instead of him breaking the obedience spell and running away from her.
She came to halt when she saw Aladdin leap over a dune and heard the sound of camel cry that was quickly truncated. She crept to the top of the dune and peered down to see a camel lying on its side with Aladdin’s jaws firmly locked on its neck. He released his hold, looked up at Jasmine, and sank into a bow before saying, “Your meal, my master.”
“Excellent,” Jasmine commented. “Grab it and follow me.” She turned around and started home, her ears picking up the sound of a body being dragged. Her servant soon appeared beside her, walking backwards as he dragged his kill. They eventually reached the Citadel’s front doors where the princess instructed him to release the carcass. He did so and then sat down to await further instructions.
“I am impressed with your hunting skills. Tell me, did you enjoy it?” Jasmine asked.
“Yes, I did. It was so easy probably because of my being a leopard. It was so cool.”
“I’m pleased that you like being a leopard. I will go and fetch my mate and you will guard our food so that no one steals it.”
Jasmine padded inside the Citadel and as soon as she was gone, Aladdin blinked and shook his head. Uh, what happened? I remember Jasmine scratching me and then pain as I was changing into a leopard. Everything after that is just a blur. I know I was moving and I saw Mozenrath and Jasmine. I even heard myself saying things, but I’m not sure what.
The clicking of claws drew his attention and he looked up as Mozenrath and Jasmine appeared, both in leopard form. Aladdin felt a haze trying to invade his mind, but he struggled against it, determined to remember the following events clearly.
“Ah, camel. Nice work, Aladdin,” Mozenrath commented.
Aladdin felt himself sinking into a bow and his voice saying, “Thank you, master.” He felt horrified at his words. He had called Mozenrath his master! Then, it was true that Jasmine had implanted an obedience spell into him when she turned him. His will belonged to the others and he had no choice but to obey. This realization made his heart sink. No! He will not let himself be controlled by evil! There had to be a way to break it!
His eyes focused on the feasting leopards. Perhaps their control will break if I kill them. Wait a minute! What am I thinking!? I can’t kill them. My freedom is not worth killing, even if they are my enemies. I could never kill, at least not willingly. The dead camel before him told him that he had killed under Mozenrath’s orders. He vowed that he would break the spell and the best way to do that was to find the scroll with the spell on it and read it carefully. He nodded slightly to himself; he would do that in the morning.
Aladdin desperately scoured the lab. He had to find that were-leopard scroll. There had to be a way to break the spells that changed him last night and made him follow Mozenrath and Jasmine’s commands.
“Aladdin! What are you doing in here?” came Mozenrath’s voice from the doorway.
Aladdin turned around and found he could not lie to the sorcerer. “I’m looking for the were-leopard scroll.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“I want to break the spells that made me a leopard and make me obey you and Jasmine.”
Mozenrath smirked at Aladdin’s response. I won’t punish him for his answer. Answering his questions would be much better. The answers will crush his hopes and his spirit.
“You don’t need to find that scroll for I have memorized every word of it. The spell that makes you obey was implanted when Jasmine scratched you; therefore it cannot be broken. As for the leopard spell, once one has been marked, there is no way to reverse it. Normally, the change would only occur with the full moon, but since Jasmine and I don’t need it to transform, anyone we infect will change into a leopard every night whether they want to or not.”
Aladdin’s eyes widened at Mozenrath’s explanation and he stood there in shock as Mozenrath swept from the room. He was stuck as a leopard and would change every night and since obedience had been implanted in the scratch, he would obey his enemies day or night. I believe I am fighting their control. I couldn’t last night because they wanted me as an obedient leopard servant. If I can resist their commands during the day, I can effect an escape and hopefully find a way to be free of being their slave. I’m not going to try to cure Jasmine; she’s too far gone. She’s an evil leopard and she absolutely loves being one.
Chapter Nine- Escape
Aladdin spent the next two weeks changing between leopard and human and always in the presence of one or both of his masters. He was always aware of his words and actions even though he couldn’t stop himself from what he was saying or doing. He was ordered to hunt almost every night and of course at least one of his masters accompanied him. He hated having to kill something for food, but he had no choice. Once he had caught some prey, dragged it back, and waited for his master to bring the other outside, Aladdin would reflect on the hunt, or rather the chase. He did like being a leopard despite the fact that it had been forced on him. The speed, the grace, and the strength; it was all incredible and his sharper senses weren’t so bad either. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have to obey Mozenrath and Jasmine, I might actually love being a leopard.
Mozenrath glanced around and saw no one but Jasmine who sat on the throne beside his own, her head tilted quizzically. “Is something wrong, my love?” she asked.
“No, not wrong. I’m just wondering where our servant went.”
“Oh, he said he was tired and asked if he could go to sleep for the night. I gave him permission.”
“Ah. Well, in that case, how about we celebrate our success? I wanted to wait until I was sure Aladdin was under our control before deciding we succeeded.”
“Sure. What did you have in mind?”
“Follow me back to our chambers and I’ll show you,” Mozenrath smiled in a seductive way and Jasmine returned the smile as she followed him out of the room. They entered the bed chambers and Jasmine closed the door, yet left it open slightly before removing her clothes as Mozenrath did the same. Jasmine lay on the bed on her back while Mozenrath climbed on top of her. Jasmine saw the fire in her mate’s eyes and looked forward to an exciting night. This would be the first time they would have sex as humans. Their previous couplings had always been done as leopards which had been incredible each time. She closed her eyes and allowed her other senses to guide her through the experience. She felt Mozenrath’s hands run over her body and stroke her hair. She reached up and grabbed the back of his head before pulling it down and bringing her lips to his own.
Aladdin silently crept up beside the slightly ajar door and listened intently. He heard the unmistakable sounds of moaning that indicated that his masters were engaged in sex. This was excellent. They would end up wearing each other out and once they were deep asleep, he would escape and head for home. Once he met up with his friends, they would work together to free Aladdin from both the obedience spell and the were-leopard spell. Surely, the Tree of Renewal can return to him his normal human self and his free will. He refused to believe that Mozenrath was telling the truth about the spells being permanent. The dark sorcerer would lie if it suited his purposes and Aladdin believed this was one of those times. He laid down beside the bedroom door and pretended to be sleeping while he listened for his chance. He heard the sounds of deep breathing after hearing moans and screams of ecstasy for almost two hours. He peeked inside and saw both of them, human and fast asleep.
Now’s my chance! He turned and moved as quickly as he could without his claws clicking on the floor. Once he reached the front doors, he broke into a run through the city, and out into the desert. He continued to run until the sun peeked over the horizon. He paused to resume his human form and then continued to run. He soon came across an oasis and decided to stop to drink some water and rest a bit.
I wonder if Mozenrath and Jasmine are awake yet. They must be. I wonder when they’ll realize that I escaped. I won’t head for Agrabah just yet. That’s what they’ll be expecting me to do. I’ll stay here for a little while. I have water here and I can hunt for food once night falls. Aladdin leaned against a palm tree, closed his eyes, and soon fast asleep.
He awoke hours later due to someone shaking his shoulder. He kept his eyes closed, not wanting to see Mozenrath and Jasmine’s disapproving scowls. However, a familiar voice calling, “Al! Al, wake up!” prompted him to open his eyes and look up to see Genie’s friendly face with Carpet, Abu, and Iago hovering behind him.
“Oh, am I glad to see you guys!” Aladdin exclaimed as Abu leaped into his arms.
“And we’re glad to see you! Where have you been?” Genie asked.
“I’ve been at the Citadel,” Aladdin replied as he boarded Carpet.
“What!?” squawked Iago. “What were you doing there?”
“It was not by choice. See when Jasmine returned home, it was a trick. Apparently, the leopard she met up the night she left was actually Mozenrath.”
“Wizard boy was the leopard? Why would he use a spell on himself?”
“I don’t know, Genie, but somehow he managed to turn Jasmine against us and she came back to get me. She and Mozenrath found a way to change to leopards without the full moon and could infect anyone through bite or scratch and that person would change every sunset whether or not they want to.”
“Wait, wait,” Iago said. “Let me get this straight. Mozenrath and the princess can change into cats whenever they want and they can infect someone to change every night.”
Iago stared at Aladdin with wide eyes. “Oh, boy. They got you, didn’t they? You’re a leopard too.”
Aladdin nodded. “And that’s not all. When Jasmine scratched me, she also implanted an obedience spell into me. I’m forced to obey both of them, day or night.”
“But, you escaped,” Genie stated.
Aladdin nodded again. “I waited until they fell asleep last night and I ran. I paused at sunrise and then continuing running until I got to the oasis.”
“So, they don’t know you’re gone?”
“Oh, they probably found out hours ago. Even as humans, they have the same sense of smell they do at night.”
“Aladdin! Where are you!?” Mozenrath’s voice rang throughout the entire Citadel, but their servant did not appear.
“Mozenrath, it seems Aladdin has escaped,” Jasmine reported. “I caught his scent by the front doors and it leads out into the desert.”
Mozenrath swore. “We must find him. It’s not just about him being our slave, it’s for his safety as well as the safety of others.”
Mozenrath shifted to leopard and Jasmine followed suite. As they exited the Citadel, Jasmine asked, “What do you mean for his safety and the safety of others?”
Mozenrath sighed. “If we do not find him before sundown, his obedience to us will turn feral and he’ll attack anyone or anything he comes across.”
“Are you saying, he’ll turn into a feral leopard permanently?”
“He’ll be a feral leopard only at night. It can be prevented as long as we find him before sunrise. If we find him tomorrow night, it will be too late.”
Jasmine was horrified by what she heard. Despite her love for Mozenrath, she still cared for Aladdin. They needed to find Aladdin before sunset the following day or he would be a feral leopard at night for the rest of his life and be useless as a nighttime servant.
“We’ll find him,” she said confidently. “His scent is strong and we do know where he is headed so we should be able to head him off before he reaches the gates.”
“What makes you say that?”
Jasmine laughed. “He was my boyfriend. I know how he thinks. He knows that we’ll be expecting him to go straight home, so he’ll look for a place to hide until he believes we’ve given up looking for him.”
“Of course. That sounds like Aladdin.”
“He probably found a spot to rest for a little bit, but he’s most likely on the move now. We need to hurry.” The two leopards broke into sprints as they raced into the desert and made a beeline for Agrabah’s front gates.
Aladdin was relieved that his friends were willing to help him return to normal. He had been worried that they would dump him off Carpet once he told them that he was a leopard and Mozenrath’s servant. Instead, they were taking him home where Genie would stand guard while he slept to insure that Mozenrath and Jasmine didn’t show up to take him back. In the morning, the group would head for the Tree of Renewal to see if it could break the spells.
As he gazed at the slowly sinking sun, Genie asked, “Everything okay, Al?”
Aladdin blinked and looked at his friend. “Sure. I am going to be hungry once I change, though. I burn through a lot of energy changing every day.”
“Not to worry, Al. I’ll have food ready once you’re done. In fact, let’s have a picnic. Let’s land, Rugman.”
“I like that idea, Genie,” Aladdin said as the group landed; he wasn’t keen on the idea of transforming on a flying carpet.
Aladdin watched the sun while Genie zapped up a picnic spread, complete with lanterns to see by. Everyone settled on the blanket watching their friend as the sun disappeared over the horizon. Aladdin gasped and fell to his knees. The transformation always hurt, yet Mozenrath and Jasmine’s changes were painless. Was it because they had embraced their leopard sides while he fought his? It seemed to make sense, seeing as he was their slave and he hated being in their control especially at night.
His breathing came fast and hard as he watched his nails become claws and his hands shrinking into paws before fur started to grow and spread upward. He felt his clothes melding with the fur as it spread down his body. His face became feline as a tail grew out behind him, and his feet became paws. A soft growl came out as his change completed itself.
“Al, come on over and get some food,” Genie called.
Aladdin didn’t move. Genie’s words didn’t register as anything more than sound. Aladdin’s eyes had clouded over and his humanity had been suppressed by the primal instincts of a cat. He was hungry and he smelled live prey behind him. He whirled around lightning fast and growled loudly at the prey that appealed to him: Abu and Iago. His actions startled Iago who took flight, but before he could gain altitude, Aladdin soared through the air, grabbed Iago by the neck, and bit down hard as he landed. The parrot gave a startled squawk before he died.
Abu screamed at his friend’s sudden brutality which drew the cat’s attention to him. The monkey jumped onto Genie’s shoulder and then onto Carpet who was already in the air. The trio took off across the desert with the feral Aladdin in hot pursuit.
Jasmine sped slightly ahead of Mozenrath, Aladdin’s scent filling her nose. They were closing in on him; the scent was almost as strong as it would be if Aladdin had been standing in front of her. Suddenly, another scent hit her and she almost tripped over her paws. There was blood up ahead as well as the smell of a bird. She increased her speed and soon came upon a terrible scene. It was Iago and it was clear that he was dead. She just knew that Aladdin had done this. She looked ahead and could see a speck on the ground that looked like their servant.
Mozenrath caught up with her and gave the dead bird a simple glance before saying, “We need to hurry.” He took the lead this time and Jasmine followed a few seconds later. The sorcerer didn’t really care if Aladdin’s friends died, but Jasmine did and for her sake he would try to save them from being killed.
Chapter Ten- Punishment
Genie flew higher as Aladdin’s claws swiped through his tail. He didn’t know why his friend was attacking them. His brutal attack on Iago had been shocking; it was almost as if his cat side had taken control of him. He looked down to see empty sand below him. Did Aladdin tire out? Whew, that’s a lucky break, he thought.
Suddenly, Aladdin sprang upward from in front of them, grabbed Abu in his mouth, and jumped gracefully off Carpet. Genie heard Abu yelping and he looked back to see Aladdin bite down silencing Abu in mid-yelp. The magical duo flew back to Aladdin who turned around and growled at them as they landed.
“Al, what’s wrong with you? You just killed two of our friends.” Aladdin didn’t answer; merely growled threateningly. “A-Al? Can you hear me? It’s Genie, your friend.”
Aladdin stalked toward the blue genie, claws and teeth bared and ready to be used. Genie backed up as Aladdin advanced. The leopard crouched down, about to pounce when a voice full of authority called, “Aladdin, stop!” The leopard stopped and turned to face the two leopards that came running up to him.
Jasmine stared in horror at the dead monkey lying a few feet away. They were too late: Both of her animal friends were dead. She bowed her head as tears fell and dripped onto the sand. She turned her tear-filled eyes to Genie and Carpet. “I’m so sorry,” she cried. “I didn’t want this to happen.”
“Sorry?” Genie repeated angrily. “Just what did happen?”
“The obedience spell had a dangerous twist to it,” Mozenrath replied. “As long as he stayed with us, he would listen to every order we gave. If he were to escape then at the next sunset, his obedience would cause him to turn feral and impossible to control.”
“He’s feral now?”
“No. We caught up to him. If we didn’t find him by tomorrow night, then he would have become a feral leopard at night for the rest of his life.”
Aladdin, who had come back to himself by Mozenrath’s voice, sank to the ground. The realization of what he had done was vivid in his mind and buried his face in his paws. He had no choice but to live at the Citadel and stay close to either one of his masters or he would lose control of himself at night.
Or I could kill myself, he thought. I’ve already killed my best friend and Iago. How can I live with myself with that knowledge inside me?
He lifted his tearstained face up to see Jasmine looking down at him. “Jasmine, please kill me.”
“I can’t live with what I’ve done.”
“We’re not going to kill you,” Mozenrath stated as he came up to them. “The fault is ours. We should have told you what would happen if you escaped from us.”
Aladdin nodded. Mozenrath was right; if he had known the danger of escaping, he would never have attempted it. “I swear I will never escape again.”
“Al, no!” Genie exclaimed.
“I have to go with them, Genie. If they hadn’t shown up when they did, I probably would have killed you, too.”
“But, genies are eternal.”
“I know, but if I don’t go back, I’ll turn feral and will kill anything I come across. I don’t want that to happen.”
Genie sighed. “All right, Al. You win. Go on back to your new home.”
Aladdin padded after his masters as they headed back to The Land of the Black Sand. He still believed he should be punished for escaping if he wasn’t going to be killed for murdering his friends. Tears leaked out of his eyes and spattered onto the sand as he walked. Perhaps his punishment was the unending grief he would experience for the rest of his life. He looked at the two leopards in front of him. He had thought of killing them not too long ago, but now he knew that he couldn’t because that would leave him as a feral leopard at night forever and he didn’t want to live like that. He most likely would kill himself the morning after his first feral night.
Jasmine walked close to Mozenrath and said softly, “So, we’re not going to punish him?”
“I had considered letting it slide. It is our fault for not warning him. You feel differently?”
“Possibly. I was toying with the idea of finding a way to, say, remove his humanity for a little while? It may help reinforce who’s in charge and it would be in his best interest to obey.”
“Keep him in leopard form day and night? Interesting. How long would that last?”
“A few days, maybe a week at most.”
“I think a week sounds good and I can invoke the punishment with a spell that I can now use thanks to the ring you gave me. I will use the spell in the morning after breakfast.”
Mozenrath watched Aladdin from across the table at breakfast the following morning. It looked as if Aladdin hadn’t slept at all last night; he had dark circles under his eyes and there was an expression of misery on his face. He’s clearly grieving and still regretting what he did. I think his spirit is completely broken. His promise not to escape again certainly points in that direction.
Jasmine got up from the table and stifled a yawn before saying, “I think I’ll go take a nap. For some reason, I’m tired and I feel like eating mice for a snack afterwards.”
Mozenrath smiled at her. “Go ahead, Jasmine. Aladdin, come with me to the Throne Room.”
Aladdin didn’t reply as he stood up and followed the sorcerer out of the dining room. He stood before the throne as Mozenrath put on a ring and then sat down to face his servant.
“Aladdin, I had considered not punishing you, but Jasmine gave me a suggestion last night on our walk home.” Mozenrath raised his gauntlet and swirled it in a circle. “I, your master, punish you by removing your humanity from you for one week.” He fired at his servant, who did not try to dodge the magic coming at him.
Aladdin felt his humanity being pulled from him, but he didn’t care. He felt relief that he was being punished. He watched as his body shifted into his leopard form and fully understood Mozenrath’s words; with his humanity gone, he would be a leopard day and night until his humanity was returned to him.
“Aladdin.” The leopard snapped to attention at Mozenrath’s voice. “I should tell you that the risk for turning feral has increased now that you’re a leopard all the time. Furthermore, you won’t be able to talk except for cat sounds. I trust you won’t go wandering off without either Jasmine or me, yes?”
Aladdin sank into a bow and nodded his head.
“Good.” Mozenrath put his ring onto a stand next to his throne and shifted to leopard form. “Now, let us go hunt. Jasmine has claimed that she desires some mice for a morning snack. I think it’s a sign that she’s pregnant.” Aladdin looked at him, surprise written on his face, which made the were-leopard smirk. “Oh, yes, Aladdin. You see, I read the entire scroll when I was trying to break the spell and then again when I wanted to claim a mate and have a family. A small list of signs was included in that section. Your other master is mostly likely expecting a litter of cubs. I suspect she may end up staying a leopard when she is close to delivering. Of course, she’ll retain the ability to change back to human. But for now, let’s go get those mice.”
Jasmine had retired to Mozenrath’s and her chambers for a nap after breakfast after claiming a desire for a mouse snack to her mate. She wasn’t sure why she wanted mice to eat and chalked it up to her cat nature. As soon as her head hit the pillow, she was fast asleep and didn’t awaken for at least an hour. When she came around, she felt refreshed and hungry. I hope Mozenrath found some mice, she thought. She yawned and stretched before opening her eyes.
She saw her forelegs stretched out before her and she craned her neck to see her leopard body. She was surprised; she had gone to sleep as a human, but she woke up as a leopard. What was going on? She leaped out of bed and padded down to the throne room to see her mate sitting on the throne reading a scroll while Aladdin lay beside it in leopard form. Clearly, Mozenrath had punished him, as he said he would.
Mozenrath looked up and smiled at her. “Ah, you’re awake. Your snack is waiting in a cage in the dining room.”
Jasmine nodded. “That’s good, but something strange happened. I was human when I went to sleep, but when I woke up, I was like this. This has never happened before.”
“It’s another sign.”
“Yes. The desire for mice and you shifting into leopard form are signs that you’re pregnant.”
“I-I am?” The shock on her face gave way to a look of pure joy. “This is great! We will soon have a litter of cubs to raise! Am I going to have to stay a leopard until they’re born?”
“I don’t believe so. You may want to be a leopard when delivery is close, but you can still change. Your unconscious shifting was just a sign of pregnancy.”
Jasmine changed back to human before leaving for the dining room to have her snack. The mice were still alive and she used her claw-like nails to kill each one before devouring them. She was aware that her actions were very cat-like, but she didn’t care. She was a were-leopard after all and a pregnant one at that. It’s possible that I’m going to want fresh meat more than usual now, which means Aladdin will be hunting a lot more.
Chapter Eleven- Parenthood Fears
Aladdin was indeed hunting more as Jasmine expressed a desire for fresh meat. She did eat other food, but her diet was largely meat and water. The two masters were excited about becoming parents and soon their excitement infected their servant too. Aladdin got his humanity back after his week-long punishment was over, however Mozenrath had plans for the hero one week later.
Aladdin once more stood in the Throne Room, but this time both Mozenrath and Jasmine were on their thrones. Jasmine was absently stroking her still flat stomach while she looked at her mate, wondering why he called Aladdin here and feeling a desire for a fat juicy hare. Mozenrath, however, had his gaze focused on their servant. “Aladdin,” he said. “I know you are also excited about Jasmine’s pregnancy, but you do know that her cravings are not going to be limited to nighttime, yes?”
The dark-haired hero had been conditioned long and hard during his week as a full leopard and therefore said, “Yes, master. I do know.”
“Good. Then, I order you to take your leopard form right now.”
Aladdin bowed. “Yes, master.” He closed his eyes to focus on shifting to leopard. He didn’t want to change to leopard during the day, but Mozenrath had drilled complete obedience into him during his punishment and the spell inside him had strengthened from this drilling. Now, he couldn’t resist any order given to him. His will completely belonged to his masters. He wanted to fight the order, but his resistance was weak and he’d rather please his masters than anger them and be punished. He felt his hands and feet conform into paws and he dropped to them as his fur spread from his head and down his body. He felt his ears, nose, and jaws move up and out and his tail growing out behind him. The soft growl that came out told him that he had successfully changed as was Mozenrath’s laugh.
He opened his eyes to see Mozenrath’s grin and a sense of pride welled up inside him because he knew that he was the cause of that grin. “Well done, Aladdin,” he commented as he stood and shifted to leopard as well. “And this couldn’t be better because Jasmine desires a hare and we’re going to look for one. Come.” He padded out of the room with Aladdin right behind him.
Jasmine watched the pair of them go and a low satisfied purr emerged. I’ve been so occupied with my pregnancy that I hadn’t noticed how submissive Aladdin’s become until now. He responded as a slave should and he obeyed Mozenrath instantly. Perhaps, he was conditioned in that week he spent as a full leopard. If so, this is perfect. He will never run away again and he will never refuse an order. His will is ours to command.
Aladdin eventually learned that by shifting in daylight for the first time that he could remain human at night. He enjoyed his time as a human because when Mozenrath wanted him to hunt, he had to change forms and follow the wizard into the desert. After doing so for a month, Aladdin found he enjoyed being a leopard more than he did when he only changed at night. His hunting skills were now flawless and he could run down any prey Jasmine desired. He missed Genie and Carpet, but had his hunting to keep his mind off it.
A month and a half had passed since learning she was pregnant and Jasmine was finding that new instincts were awakening: Motherly instincts. She spent time listening to them and trying to determine what they were telling her. She finally determined that one of them was telling her to shift to leopard and stay that way until after birth. She decided to do so since it was to insure that her cubs would survive. So when she awoke the morning after discovering this instinct, she immediately shifted forms before leaving the chamber to greet her mate and slave. She found them both in the dining hall and her presence was noticed by both. Aladdin seemed curious about her being a leopard while Mozenrath simply smiled.
“Well, my dear. You decided to stay in leopard form now. I suspected that you would at some point.”
“My new instincts were telling me that now would be a good time to choose one form to remain in for the upcoming delivery. Obviously since these are were-leopards I’m carrying, it made sense to be a leopard.”
Two weeks after Jasmine’s decision to stay a leopard, the two males were out hunting. Her desire for fresh meat was daily now, but that didn’t bother either of them. It was a clear sign that her pregnancy was progressing nicely and they were determined to make sure that the cubs were healthy when they arrived. Aladdin had his nose to the ground and then lifted it to smell the air. The scent of a gazelle wafted up to him and he sprinted after it. He soon determined that the prey he sought was over the next dune. He ran up the pile of sand and launched himself over the top to land squarely on the gazelle’s back. The gazelle gave a mighty buck and actually dislodged the leopard, sending him sliding across the sand on his side. Aladdin growled in frustration. That never happened before! His hunting was flawless! That gazelle was going to be killed in a more painful way than usual! He turned back to his prey and paused. The gazelle was blue instead of the usual colors. Was its color the reason it was stronger than the rest of its kind? A puff of blue smoke engulfed the animal and when it cleared, Genie was in its place.
“Whoa, Al!” Genie exclaimed, waving his arms frantically in front of him. “Don’t tell me you’ve gone feral again.”
“I haven’t, Genie,” Aladdin assured him as he walked up to his friend. “It’s good to see you. I missed you and Carpet, too.”
“Well, Rugman’s back home and I thought I’d come to see how you were doing. I thought I could get you alone by posing as prey. Obviously, it worked.”
“I’m not exactly alone. Master is not that far away.”
“Master? You mean Mozenrath?”
“Yes. He punished me the morning after we returned by removing my humanity for a week and during that week he drilled complete obedience into me. I must obey him and Jasmine, I have no choice.”
“Oh, Al. I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s all right. I actually like being a leopard, especially since Master ordered me to change during the day.”
“Is that why the two of you are hunting? Because you like living like leopards?”
“Oh, that’s right. I didn’t tell you: Jasmine is pregnant and she desires fresh meat every day now.”
“That’s right. She’ll be giving birth in about a month or so. She’s definitely showing and we’re all excited about the birth.”
“Well, I guess I should head home and let you get on with your hunt. I’ll see you again later, Al.”
“Bye, Genie.” Aladdin turned and padded away, searching for prey.
Genie flew toward home, his mind whirling over the conversation he just had. I can’t believe that was my friend talking just now. He sounded like a slave would and he seems to enjoy being a slave as well as a leopard. That twisted wizard really did a good job on Al. I guess I have to accept that he’s going to live like this the rest of his life.
One month passed and Jasmine sensed that she was very close to delivering. She spent time pacing around the bed chambers or lying in the fancy new bed that Mozenrath conjured on the floor since she was having trouble jumping into bed due to her slightly swollen belly. She was currently lying in this bed when Mozenrath padded into the room. He had decided two days ago that he and Aladdin should also be in leopard form until after birth so that they could see to Jasmine’s comfort and cravings at a moment’s notice. He rubbed her head and then her belly as he said, “Are you doing fine, dear?”
“I’m fine, just a bit restless and nervous too.”
“I think we’re all a little nervous.”
Jasmine flexed her paws a little. “I can hardly believe that I’ve been in leopard form for about a month and a half. This is the longest time I’ve been like this. I kind of like it. It’ll be hard to learn how to walk on two legs again.”
“I imagine so. You may want to wait a little longer after birth before resuming human form. I’ve been doing some reading and learned that newborn cubs are blind until they are ten days old and they won’t start transforming until they are three or four months old.”
“I think I’ll be human again after they can see. I will change when they’re hungry, of course.”
“How long is the pregnancy? I sense I’m close to term, but how long has it been?”
“About three months. My reading says that mothers give birth ninety-eight to a hundred days after conception.”
Jasmine’s mouth parted slightly. “I’m very close. In another eight to ten days, they’ll be here.”
“It could be just one cub or as many as four, there’s no way of knowing.”
“Well, I can tell you, it’s more than one. Whenever there’s movement, it feels like more than one.”
Mozenrath nodded as he left the room. So, in less than two weeks he would be a father and the knowledge was making him nervous and a little scared. He didn’t know anything about raising a family! What if he messed up? What if the children hated him? He had been brought up by Destane and look at how he had turned out! Yes, he was a powerful, intelligent, and resourceful young man, yet he was power-hungry and cruel. It was the cruelty he possessed that scared him. He did not want to be cruel to his children.
I wish I could talk to someone about this, but who? The only one who knows about Jasmine’s pregnancy and the two of us being leopards is…Aladdin! Of course!
He walked into the Throne Room and was surprised to see Aladdin lying on the pillow beside his throne. He climbed into his throne and curled up in it with his head on the armrest and was about to close his eyes when he saw Aladdin looking up at him, concern in his green eyes.
“Are you okay, Master? You seem…worried.”
“I am worried. I’m about to do something unusual. I need to talk to someone about my troubles, but I don’t want to discuss them with Jasmine. So, I going to talk to you.
“Jasmine is eight to ten days away from giving birth and she has stated that it will be more than one cub. However, now I am nervous and a little…scared. You know that Destane raised me to become the young man I am now. I know nothing about raising a family and I fear that I’ll be cruel to the children and that they’ll hate me. I also fear I’ll mess up in raising them.”
Aladdin stared at the sorcerer, hardly believing his ears. This was not the man he defeated on several occasions, who had turned Jasmine, or ordered him around. This was a man who was afraid of being a bad father. He wanted to console or offer advice, but he wasn’t sure Mozenrath was asking for either and he sure wasn’t going to ask.
“Aladdin, I want your thoughts on this.”
And there’s the invitation to speak, he thought. “I believe it’s natural to be nervous or scared,” he said slowly. “I had no one to raise me, so I don’t know anything about families. However, I think once the cubs are here, some kind of natural instinct will kick in. You’ll love your children and I suggest discipline in terms of gentle scolding.”
“You really think that’ll work?”
“Possibly. You’ll also have Jasmine to watch them and she was raised by a father.”
“Yes. Yes, she was. I think I will speak with her tomorrow and she could provide some insight into parenthood.”
Aladdin nodded before laying his head down and drifting off to sleep. He felt as if Mozenrath had just shown something akin to friendship. Their conversation had not been one of master and servant, but one between friends. Perhaps, he would be kinder once he was a father.
Jasmine growled loudly as another stab of pain hit her. She gasped and panted as she pushed to get her first cub out. It seemed that animals suffered from labor pains too…or was she feeling pain because she was a were-leopard? Either way, it hurt giving birth. She growled again and actually felt something sliding into the birth canal. It was coming. Everything’s fine, she told herself. It’s just fine. My first cub is making its way out and I’ll be pushing to get the others in line to follow the first. My instincts are a real help in this process. She knew that Mozenrath and Aladdin were in the hall, waiting for her permission to enter. She could imagine Mozenrath pacing up and down the hall while Aladdin stood against the wall opposite her door. She was pulled from her thoughts by another labor pain, felt further sliding in the birth canal, and then heard soft mewing.
She smiled; her first cub was here! She looked over to see the first one trying to crawl over her back feet to reach her nipples. She leaned over, gently grabbed it by the scruff, and gently deposited near her stomach. She hissed at another stab and felt more movement in her belly. The next one was coming and this one seemed more interested in coming out than the first one. She grunted and pushed as hard as she could and felt the cub slide easily out of the canal, most likely because its sibling had already pushed its way out. Another mewing announced its arrival and Jasmine brought it over to her side as well. While they fed, she cleaned them, checked for their gender, and once she was comfortable and knew that delivery was done, she called, “You can come in now.”
Mozenrath paced up and down the hall, his eyes focused on the floor and his tail swishing in agitation. Aladdin stood against the wall opposite the door, his head going back and forth as his master paced. Jasmine had insisted that both wait in the hall during delivery and both had complied. Mozenrath understood the request: Female leopards do not require assistance in delivery; Jasmine would automatically know what to do, yet he couldn’t help feeling anxious and agitated. He kept glancing at the door or Aladdin as he turned in his pacing. The other male looked calm and composed, but his twitching tail betrayed his own anxious state.
The barely audible sound of mewing caught their attention and Mozenrath moved to stand in front of the door. His heart pounded and he unconsciously licked his mouth. That had to be his firstborn: He was officially a father! The grunts, growls, and hisses he had heard while pacing had resumed, but this time he stood still as he absorbed the fact that he now had a family. He completely missed the sound of another mewing cub, but he didn’t miss Jasmine calling, “You can come in now.”
He pushed down on the handle and pushed open the door to see Jasmine in her bed with two small furry balls against her side, obviously feeding. He swiftly moved across the room while Aladdin stood in the doorway. Mozenrath rubbed Jasmine’s head before looking at his children; they had the same sand-colored fur and black rosettes of their parents, but their ears were flat against their heads and their tiny eyes were closed. “Oh, Jasmine. They’re beautiful,” he said softly.
“We have one boy and one girl,” Jasmine said in soft, exhausted voice.
Mozenrath nuzzled her head. “You’re tired, my dear. Please get some rest. I’ll watch over you and the cubs and later on, we’ll name them.”
“I’ve had some in mind for a while now. I was thinking Kona and…Mia,” she managed to say before falling asleep.
“Kona and Mia. Sounds perfect.” He gazed at the cubs. They were his children and in that moment, he realized that Aladdin had been right: He loved his children and he would do everything in his power to insure that they grew up healthy and happy.