Pseudonyms: Tasha D-Drake, Tasha Duncan
Natasha is a British author with Wittegen Press and has been publishing genre fiction since 2011. Her work includes everything from horror to young adult fantasy and she has never met a genre she didn’t like. A prolific producer of short stories and novels alike, Natasha currently has over twenty five titles in her back catalogue with further releases always imminent.
Natasha has been writing since she was a young girl ever since she read The Hobbit at Primary School. She is a big fan of science fiction, fantasy and horror in all their forms and is a big advocate of fanfiction as a great tool for writers to polish their skills in a welcoming and supportive community.
Before establishing Wittegen Press with her twin sister, Sophie Duncan, Natasha was a database and systems consultant. She combines these skills with her writing to create and manage her career in the bold new eBook market.
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Welcome to Day 26 of the AtoZChallenge and the letter Z. Every day in April (except Sundays) I will be making a post about shapeshifters of all kinds. Check back to see my choices and, from time to time some flash fiction too.
Z is for
She is a sorceress and the evil stepmother of Prince Kassim of Charak and wishes her own son Rafi to take the thrown instead of Kassim. To do this she transforms Kassim into a baboon. Luckily for him Sinbad is docked so he can ask for permission to marry Kassim's sister, Princess Farah, and so he comes to the rescue.
It is not just Prince Kassim's shape Zenobia can change, but her own as well. She uses a potion which allows her to shift into any form she wishes. At one point she changes into a bird to get to their ship and then makes herself small, but is captured. She is later left with a bird foot after she uses the bird form a second time, but most of her potion is spilled.
The film is one of Ray Harryhausen's and has many of his wonderful special effects.
A Zygon can use what they call a body-print of an individual to mimic voice and appearance. They create this print by placing the captive in a special receptical, keeping the person alive but unconscious. In this version of the technology, a new print was required every two hours.
Over time this ability became more advanced, leading to not necessarily needing the specemin in the special receptical and then also being able to maintain the shape of a deceased person, with the proviso of not needing anymore information from the individual.
This makes them a formidable enemy for the Doctor and his friends.
Werewolf of the Day
Richard Zeeman (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter)
He was engaged to Anita for a while, but broke it off after she slept with Jean-Claude. He is the third member of their triumvirate, which gives them all a great deal of power.
Anita calls him a "boy scout", in that he is polite and kind, but his wolf has a thing for violence and pain, which keeps him from accepting his other nature fully. He is a very powerful werewolf, able to control members of his pack and to protect them.
He is a junior high school teacher and, as such, keeps his status as a werewolf a secret. He did not choose to become one, but was turned by a bad batch of anti-lycanthrope vaccine. He is honey coloured, heading towards red as a wolf.
Richard is basically a bit of a bad ass when it comes to werewolf business and likes to think the best of people in all other situations.
- So would you rather be up against Zenobia or a Zygon?
- If you were a werewolf and found that your wolf form had urges completely at odds with your normal self, how do you think you would deal with it?
Welcome to Day 25 of the AtoZChallenge and the letter Y. Every day in April (except Sundays) I will be making a post about shapeshifters of all kinds. Check back to see my choices and, from time to time some flash fiction too.
Y is for
Werewolf of the Day
The note was short and it looked like Paul's handwriting, but Yani knew it wasn't real. Paul never would have left, not when they could both feel the mate bond humming at the back of their minds.
Mate bonds were something the elders of the pack told stories about to the children and what adolescents dreamed about, but the adults scoffed at as being silly legend. That hadn't stopped it from surging through Yani when he had accepted Paul's proposal to become Alpha-elect mate, but it was the reason they hadn't told anyone about it.
Now Paul had disappeared and everyone thought he had run away from his responsibilities, but Yani knew better. He also knew his father had to be behind it. He had seen the remains of the burned mistletoe in the kitchen bin. Attacking Paul outright would have damaged his father's pack bond, given Paul's position, but using magic could circumvent that.
His father had forbidden him from even mentioning Paul's name, but he was not paying any attention to what his father wanted. The ridiculous notion of a proper alpha his father had was utterly stupid and archaic. Which was why Yani had taken his father's car and was speeding down the M1.
He really didn't know what he was doing, but the mate bond was calling to him and he was following it.
"Sorry," he said, even though the Peugeot he cut up to make it to the Nottingham junction at the last second couldn't hear him.
It wasn't exactly like Sat nav, so he was having to be quick.
The feeling that was lancing from the base of his brain all through his body led him to the outskirts of the city and into a car park outside a wide low building. He was so focused on where he was going that it wasn't until he was out of the car he realised he was at a vet's.
"This can't be good," he muttered to himself.
The first thing that hit him as he walked in was the smell. Sickness and disinfectant and other even less pleasant scents assaulted his nose, but luckily he wasn't using it to find Paul. There was no one in reception when he walked in and he followed his instincts with no one to get in his way. The solitary woman and her dog in the waiting area both looked at him, but said nothing.
"Oh my god, Paul," he said as he barged into one of the rooms off the main corridor and saw his mate lying on the examination table with a strange woman standing over him.
Paul immediately sat up and the woman stepped back. Yani was so focused that it was only as he all but ran past her that he realised the woman wasn't a human at all.
"Hi," she said as he stared at her and the clippers and phone she was holding in her hands, "you must be Yani. Paul has just been telling me about you. I'm Nicky."
He looked to Paul then back at the newly introduced Nicky and he was totally confused. There was something about her that felt familiar, but he had no idea why. Then he saw what Nicky had been doing. A patch of fur the size of a postcard was missing from Paul's side and where it had been was a black sigil. Without knowing much about magic, Yani still recognised a curse mark when he saw it.
"Not right," he whispered, because it was the only thing the mate bond would let him think.
His mate was not in pain, but this was wrong, so very wrong and he had to do something about it. He reached out without thinking, placing his hand over the sigil, and just pushed. Heat rushed from his heart across his chest and down his arm like rivulets of fire. Paul yelped, but did not pull away as magic shifted in the room.
When Yani pulled his hand back the sigil was gone, not even a trace of it remained under the black palm print he had left behind. He felt faint and elated at the same time.
"Well I suppose that fixes that," Nicky commented, even as she steadied him.
Paul shuddered from head to toe and let out a low growl as the first sound of popping muscle and shifting bone erupted from his body. Hair retreated into skin, muscles rearranged themselves, his skeleton melted and reformed as Paul returned from wolf to man. Finally, as Yani watched, the leg that was missing boiled back into being, like wax being poured into a mould, until Paul was whole. There were small pink patches on his pale skin where wounds had healed and the leg had reformed, but that would fade in a few hours.
He couldn't help himself, he leapt forward and dragged Paul into his arms.
"I knew you hadn't abandoned me."
"Never," Paul promised.
Then the guilt hit Yani, because this was his fault.
"My father," he said pulling back.
"Nothing to do with you," Paul assured him. "Are you okay, that was a lot of magic?"
It was only then that his brain caught up with what he had just done.
"But I don't know magic," he said.
Paul was the one with the magical talent, that was why Paul was Alpha-elect.
"But magic knows you," Paul told him still looking him over carefully.
He would have complained at the fussing, but he was doing exactly the same thing to Paul.
"Okay ... wow, you're a big boy," Nicky said as she handed Paul what looked like a lab coat, "I think now would be a good time to take this elsewhere, before the rest of my staff get here and start asking awkward questions."
Yani might have taken offense at someone ogling his mate, especially an alpha potential female, but he was only getting friendly vibes from her. He'd met werewolves from other packs before and it had never felt so easy. Something was going on he didn't understand.
"Here are the keys to my Land Rover," Nicky said, handing a bunch to Paul. "It's out back so no one will see you. I just have to go and arrange cover and make up a fictitious emergency."
Paul nodded so Yani went along with it. Only once they had dashed down the hallway to a back door Nicky had pointed at and were safely in the back of her Discovery 3 did he ask his question: "What's going on?"
"They dumped me in the forest," Paul explained, "and the curse and the mate bond were fighting each other, it kept me a little bit sane, but not much. I wasn't thinking straight and I ran in front of a lorry. Someone brought me here and Nicky patched me up, but I bit her while she was doing it. She became a werewolf last night."
Yani couldn't believe it.
"But ... but you're not supposed to be able to do that."
"Wow, I think the elders really knew what they were doing when they picked you as Alpha-elect," was all he could think to say.
"Says the man who just channelled magic without ever having being taught," Paul replied with a smile.
He couldn't really argue with that. He had never shown any magical potential before, so he had never been one of the rare few who were taught the craft.
"You'll have to give me lessons," he said.
"It would be my pleasure," Paul said and kissed him ever so gently before pulling back. "But first we have to deal with Nicky and then your father. I'm going to have to call him out."
"Will you kill him?"
Xerxes was an archaic idiot, but he was still his father and it caused a pang as he thought of losing him.
"Not unless I have to," Paul told him, stroking the side of his face. "I won't be able to do anything about what Kurt decides though. He might have named me his successor, but he's still the Alpha."
Yani nodded, he knew that. Werewolves rarely killed each other these days, their society had evolved in the same way human society had, but Xerxes had committed a terrible crime. As head beta it was usually Xerxes job to see to pack law, that he had violated that trust so completely would go against him badly. It would be up to Kurt to decide his fate.
"Kurt is fair," he said, "my father will deserve whatever he gets."
Family was very important to werewolves, but it was not just the trust of the pack Xerxes has broken. Yani could only side with his mate in this.
Welcome to Day 24 of the AtoZChallenge and the letter X. Every day in April (except Sundays) I will be making a post about shapeshifters of all kinds. Check back to see my choices and, from time to time some flash fiction too.
X is for
XavinRunaways. They are a Super-Skrull in training and hence are a shapeshifter. They are also genderfluid and are seen as both male and female at different times.
Xavin is the child of the Skrull Prince De'zean and found it very hard to fit in with the Runaways when they first came to Earth because they were unfamiliar with Earth norms and the gender switching confused people. They are somewhat obtuse and have a warlike personality thanks to their Skrull nature. However, they often overcome this to help their team.
Xavin, when talking about their race, once state: "for us, just changing our gender is no different than changing our hair color". So it is believed that all Skrulls are genderfluid.