University admythion

by Tym Greene

It’s 1958, and a new university student is getting ready for his first day of classes…too bad he read that old spellbook his father gave him…

Added: Nov 2021 11,365 words 3,500 views 4.7 stars (3 votes)

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The rain pattering against the window began to fade, and an early errant sunbeam flashed across his page. Jason Leander squinted at the sudden light, which caught a golden thread running through the illuminated border of the manuscript. Like a signpost, the gilded line pointed out certain phrases which, strung together, formed what might almost be considered a spell or invocation. A grunt and rustling of pages broke his concentration as he glanced up at his roommate.

Priam was handsome enough, Jason thought, If you like the athletic type. Sour grapes aside, he was more annoyed at the other man’s apparent disregard for the fact that they shared a very small space. This was Monday, and the dormitories had only opened on Saturday for students to begin moving in, yet Priam already had a week’s worth of socks and shirts strewn about. But instead of picking them up or doing laundry, he just stayed where he was, flopped in the bottom bunk and thumbing through the August issue of Sports Illustrated. Jason caught a glimpse of the cover—a gaggle of golfers strolling through a lush forest—as Priam riffled the pages, his dark fingers contrasting with the white paper interior.

Jason himself had barely unpacked, pinning his used train ticket to the small bulletin board that had been mounted to the cinderblock walls: his only piece of decor.

Perhaps I can find a print of the Education of Achilles, whether by Delacroix or from Pompeii, or something like it. He sighed heavily and tried to turn his attention back to his book.

The school was a fine one, but when he’d signed up for his courses he found that they were missing a specific area of study. Neither in Anthropology nor English nor History were there any classes touching on mythology, Jason’s favored subject. He’d have to write a letter to his father, asking him to send up the well-thumbed copy of Bulfinch that had been the source of many childhood bedtime stories.

The book he currently held was new, new to him at least. A thick leather-bound tome, its illustrated pages showed the sensibility of the Baroque and Mannerist periods. Figures with elongated necks twined and posed like maidens on the covers of the pulp magazines his peers favored, and the knight-rabbits riding snail-steeds one saw in more-medieval margins were here depicted with a botanist’s studied eye. The Latin words were clearly lettered, and without the confusing elisions and abbreviations one found in older texts. In short, it had been an ideal choice.

It had also been a gift, a going-away present selected by his father from the assortment of especially-antique books locked away in the glass cabinet at the back of the family’s antique book store. The book itself had been surprise enough, but his father’s whispered injunction to “Study it carefully, read every page” seemed practically out of character for the stolid elder Leander.

Which is why Jason was trying so hard to focus. That, and the words he was reading seemed to indicate something far beyond the scope of the usual book of hours. The traditional form and format hid a more esoteric content than which prayers to say on which days; unless his translation was sorely awry, it spoke of magic.

Muttering the words aloud, as he always did, he let his eyes roam over the page, pronouncing the syllables of the tidy script, with hard “c”s and soft “v”s, as he’d been taught. There were some words he didn’t recognize from his own studies… but one stood out: the optative subjunctive word “utinam.”

“I wish,” he translated in a whisper, and suddenly he was filled with a deep-seated impulse, a need to speak his profoundest desire aloud. He tried to turn his attention back to the book, but the page seemed blurred, as though a Vaseline-smeared lens. I wish I could read the page again, he thought, not at all satisfying the need. “I wish I could—”

A rhythmic noise interrupted him, breaking his train of thought. Priam was still on the lower bunk, still reading his magazine and now tapping his foot against the wall above the headboard.

“I wish my roommate was—” Jason grumbled, then thought better of it. A quick glance showed that Priam hadn’t heard, and in the interest of the coming year’s cohabitation, it would not be a good idea to start things off with antagonism. We’ve only been living together for three days, less than that. There’s time for each of us to change to suit the other a little better. “I wish this school had more myth—” he was going to say “mythology classes,” but a knock at the door broke his concentration once again.

“Yeah?” Priam shouted without stirring from his spot upside-down on his bunk. He’d told Jason the day before that he preferred to leave the door unlocked—unless they were both out or naked or something (and there had been a definite leer as he’d said that)—so his friends could come in whenever. Apparently he had enough former classmates who’d decided to come to the same university, and would be looking in on their pal at all hours of the day.

The door opened, revealing not one of Priam’s friends but rather the floor’s Resident Advisor, Tripp. “Hey bros, you two all settled?”

“Yeah,” grunted Priam. “Yessir,” replied Jason.

“Cool! Holler if ya need help finding classes or whatever.” The shaggy blond head withdrew, and Jason could hear a similar knock on the next door.

Must be making his rounds, Jason thought, and tried to turn his attention once again to the book. Now not only could he not read the current page, but it was as though the rest of the pages had been glued together. He couldn’t leaf forward, he couldn’t turn back. It was as though the book needed him to complete the wish he’d begun several times already. And, to tell the truth, he still felt that need too, like having a song playing over and over in his mind, disturbing all other thoughts. “I wish I could make friends like Priam.” In his haste to scratch the mental itch, the words tumbled out without him paying much attention.

Suddenly, the foot-tapping became a loud clunk. Jason looked up just in time to see the bare toes of Priam’s other foot melt together into a matching hoof. An ominous creak underscored further changes, as his lean torso thickened, lengthened, sprouted little hoof-tipped appendages like an equine T. Rex. In a flurry of motion, the limbs grew, as did the round belly between them, and at the same time the bunk bed gave way.

A crash seemed to shudder the whole building, and shortly afterwards there was another knock on their door. “Hey, dudes, you all right in there?” Tripp’s worried face nosed around the edge of the door, his nose looking oddly smudged, like he’d been snuffling in a tin of shoe polish.

“Oh, that was just the thunder, outside,” Jason said with a cough. The rain had already dwindled to a faint patter against the windowpane, and was fading even as the other two nodded, accepting his weak excuse as though it were the truth.

Jason noticed a third head was nodding: at first glance it seemed as though Tripp had a twin brother, poking his shaggy head through the doorway… a shaggy head with the same shoe polish sniffing habit and the same floppy ears. Identical to the next head—apart from the slobbery tennis ball it held clamped in its jaws.

Three jostling heads were too much for a discreet door gap, and the wooden plank swung inwards, bumped by the RA’s broadened shoulders. Jason could only stare at the figure framed in the doorway. The fur-covered body and oversized paws—not to mention the growing snouts on each head—reminded him of the Labrador retriever the Leander family had had when Jason was young, and he found himself taking a shine to Tripp, despite not knowing him for longer than he’d known anyone else at school.

Despite looking identical, it was clear that the three heads each had a different character. The left one, with the tennis ball, had the unfocused gaze and active tongue of a dumb-but-sweet dog. Just like old Argus, Jason thought, looking at how blissfully that head was champing on his fuzzy green toy.

The middle head seemed just as happy, but he had no ball. Instead, he was nuzzling up against his neighbors, first one side, then the other. It’s a good thing he’s in the middle. Even as he watched, the RA’s left hand reached up and scratched behind the middle head’s ears, making the shared tail flag back and forth behind them. And in front of them, the sheath and balls—the only dark spot on the creature, apart from their noses—waggled a counterpoint.

The third inhabitant of the broad muscular shoulders seemed to be the one in control. Neither blissed-out with companionship nor engrossed in toy-chewing, this one was still looking around the dorm room, ears lifted and nose twitching as though questing for the source of the crash. Priam, lounging in what was now a floor-level nest, had returned to his magazine, resting flat-out on his back as only a centaur can. “You fellas sure you’re alri—what is that smell?” the head asked earnestly, suddenly distracted. Soon the other two noses were sniffing hungrily at the air.

Jason did notice a certain horseyness to the room; it wasn’t unpleasant, just reminiscent of a jogger who’d neglected to shower after a few too many workouts, a masculine aroma with undertones of earth and oats, the smell of a summer hayride. It was obvious that Priam’s new body was the source, that thick barrel of a belly, those sturdy legs and muscular chest, dark hide blending seamlessly with dark skin. His face, too, had begun to stretch out, as though his body wanted to be equine from ears to tail.

Tripp stepped into the room, his naked body leanly muscular beneath its golden fur as he stooped to snuffle in the dirty laundry strewn about the room, which seemed to be mostly shirts and horse blankets now. But Jason ignored the fluffy eye-candy, turning his attention instead to his book. The page was still blurry, the other pages still somehow cemented together. I already read the spell,—for what else could explain the changes? Maybe it can only be used once… but then why can’t I turn to the rest of the book? It must be because it’s still working.

As though to reinforce his supposition, the centaur on the bed seemed to still be changing. Every part of him was covered in brown hide so dark it was almost black, and tall ears bracketing a long and untidy mane. His lower half had the slight proportions of a Cretan pony, albeit with an athlete’s muscles, and his upper torso was similarly built. Hands with only three fingers and thumb showed thick hoofy fingernails as he set aside his magazine to watch the RA sniffing at his clothes.

Tripp rose to his feet (Or are they footpaws? Jason wondered abstractedly as he stashed the book in his half of the small closet) and began to investigate the mattress on the top bunk. His eyes drifted closed, as though wanting to focus his whole attention on the one sense. I wonder how much he can smell, from just two nights’ worth of sleeping… he seems to be enjoying it, anyways.

The canine had finished his inspection of the top bunk, and was stooping to snuffle at the centaur’s nest, close enough for Priam to scratch behind the ears of the head that still clasped its tennis ball. “Oh I just love the excitement of a new semester,” proclaimed the right-most head, while the middle head licked its nose and continued to sniff with single-minded intensity. “New smells, new tastes, and so many new friends!” Tail wagging, Tripp leaned close and gave Priam a slobbery kiss, which stretched his face out into fully equine muzzle. From where he stood by the closet, Jason could distinctly see a pink tip emerging from the RA’s sheath, sliding out like lipstick emerging from its tube, an unlikely match for the long cylinder unfurling along Priam’s underbelly.

Jason could also see the clock that had been mounted on the cinderblock wall. If he left immediately, he should have just enough time to get to his first class. If this is all an hallucination, or if it all goes back to normal tomorrow… or even if it is real, I can’t afford to start missing classes, he thought, biting his lip.

The midnight-colored equitaur and the sunlight-colored cerberus were drawing nearer, and while he heard words—normal words one might expect from a conversation between a resident advisor and a dormitory inhabitant—they were both naked and both visibly aroused. Jason was reminded of nothing so much as the summer he spent working on Uncle Ellis’s farm. He’d gotten to see plenty of animalistic courtship while mucking stalls and filling troughs at Elysian Fields, and there was no doubt that he was seeing a version of it here, in his own dorm room.

The third head dropped the ball in his excitement, which bounced and rolled damply next to Jason’s army surplus satchel. He picked up both and tossed the ball back to the waiting maw of the cerberus. “You two have fun,” he found himself saying as he checked that his new Latin textbook was indeed in the pack and turned to leave.

“Did you need a ride?” the horsey student asked, looking up from his kiss. “A… ride?”

“Yeah, I thought we’d agreed last night: you help me groom my coat, pick stones out of my hooves, that sort of thing, and in exchange I’ll give you rides; it’s a big campus, after all. Or were you making up that stuff about your uncle’s farm?”

“No no, that’s all true, and I’d love to groom you—” I really would, he thought with surprise, and not a little arousal, imagining how it would feel to run his hands over the rump, to heft a leg in both hands…among other things. “It’s just I want to walk around today, get a feel for where things are, you know?”

The explanation seemed to mollify Priam, and Jason left the room. As soon as he shut the door, he heard the bunk bed creak, as though someone were using it as a prop to lower themselves down. There were loud slurping noises too. He found that he had to adjust himself to keep from presenting too lewd a bulge at the mental image of his roommate and RA indulging in a little half-beastly passion. They sure didn’t waste any time, he thought wryly, nearly turning around then and there.

But as tempting as they were, his classes were the whole reason for coming to college in the first place, and he had to at least make the effort to be a diligent student.

Studeo, studes, studet, studemus, studetis, student, he mentally ran through the various declensions and tenses he remembered from high school and his own studies.

He was so engrossed in subjunctives and pluperfects that he almost didn’t see the small television set in the corner of the dormitory’s common room. It was practically an antique, easily ten years old, the pre-war kind that was more a piece of furniture than an appliance, and the wood cabinet was scuffed and scratched; in short, exactly the sort of thing you’d expect to see donated by a parent or former student and treated as no-one’s property ever since.

What was odd was that a muscular stone gargoyle was crouched barely fifteen inches in front of it. The horned head was lowered, and the sculpted eyes and pointy ears seemed focused on the minuscule screen. When did that get put in, he wondered. Probably some art student’s installation piece, a commentary on the detriments of television, yadda yadda. Jason chuckled and turned back to the exit. As he walked by, however, the corner of his eye caught a stealthy movement.

Without shifting his head, he watched as the gargoyle’s arm reached out and switched the channel knob with an audible click, then returned to its original pose as swiftly as a shadow. The gargoyle stared intently as Polka Go-Round’s opening theme played. As Jason reluctantly left the room, he saw another surreptitious motion, almost as though the gargoyle had slipped that clawed hand between the up-thrust knees of his crouch. A gargoyle… who gets his rocks off on polka? He couldn’t help but wonder who the gargoyle had been before his book’s magic had taken effect. I suppose I’ll just have to sit down and watch some TV later, get to know him better.

Thinking about making new friends, Jason Leander stepped outside. The rain had stopped and the paths were slick and clean, the air fresh with autumnal crispness. He was so engrossed in his own thoughts—especially memories of the past few minutes—that he didn’t notice the car approaching until it was almost too late.

The gleaming flank of a new Studebaker rolled by as he stood with one foot hovering over the crosswalk. He’d forgotten that there were a few actual streets crossing the campus, to allow professors and deliveries alike to reach the inner-most buildings. I need to focus, he chided himself, knowing full well how distracted he’d become. So distracted that he didn’t realize that the car’s tailfins seemed more winglike, and there was a definite feather texture to the paint. The muscular haunches passed without him taking note, and Jason continued to his first class.

There were a few other gargoyles, perched on benches, or lurking in shadows, handsome for all their beastliness, and looking as though they’d only just been moving, but froze as soon as someone’s gaze drew near. He was about to try talking to one when he heard the clip-clop of hooves on flagstones approaching from behind. Thinking Priam had followed him, he turned: the sound was not coming from the four sturdy legs of the centaur.

Instead, a satyr bounded along beside a gryphon, chatting about the latest episode of Gunsmoke. The bird-cat’s paws and talons were predatorily silent on the flags, and his wings were tucked tight to keep out of the way of his more-ebullient companion. “Festus Haggin’s my favorite,” the gryphon opined, then shifted his voice to more of a lazy drawl, “on account’a tha way he tohlks.”

Evidently the impression was spot-on, because the satyr doubled over, holding his bare belly as he chortled. Once he’d reined himself in, the gryphon continued. “You know, I’d love to be a cowboy.”

“Yeah, it’d be so much fun! Wait, if you wanna be a cowboy, why’re you going to college?”

The gryphon shrugged emphatically, with even the bends of his folded wings lifting up to add to the gesture. “Dad wants me to be a dentist,” he replied, clicking his beak with mild annoyance.

By this point the two had passed Jason and continued towards what the map printed on the back of his class schedule said was the Medical Arts building—if the oversized chrome Rod of Asclepius above the entrance weren’t clue enough. Jason smiled with satisfaction as he followed a branching of the path towards the main lecture halls: at least they got that right and didn’t use a caduceus.

The building he entered was built like a movie theatre, if a movie theatre could have conjoined siblings. He was reminded of the old Believe it or Not! comic strip he’d found tucked between the pages of one of his father’s acquisitions, showing the twin theaters of Moncton, New Brunswick. Instead of two, there were—according to the brass numbers positioned beneath arrows in the main entry hall—twenty rooms, with entrances at the ground level and on the second floor. Good way to sneak in the back if you’re late, he filed away for future reference. Not that he ever intended on being late, but you never knew.

This day, instead, he took the ground floor entrance for his assigned hall, striding past the wall-filling chalkboards and black-topped work table with its chrome sink and gas tap to find a seat in the front row. It had been his habit all through high school, to ensure that he didn’t miss a word of the lecture, but now he was getting an added bonus: he was able to watch as every single student filed in. At least the ones not using the second floor entrance. He twisted to glance back at the dim and lofty recesses of the rear of the lecture hall, but apart from a few lurking gargoyles there didn’t seem to be anyone back there.

He turned back just in time to watch as a satyr—this one with ram’s horns and a long and twisted beard—and a cyclops entered the class. The satyr clopped off to find a seat, but the cyclops paused, scanning the room, giving Jason plenty of opportunity to examine the imposing figure. He stood head and shoulders taller than the other students, but his blocky features and the slabs of muscle straining his A-shirt were belied by the gentle warmth of his single eye. It was, Jason noticed, a soft grey.

Two more students—a blue oni and a brownish-green orc—entered the class, laughing. Jason chuckled too: the cerulean demon had forgotten to duck as he came through the door, and his horns had caught on the frame, nearly knocking him back on his thick rump. As the orc bent to steady his friend, Jason noticed they were both wearing T-shirts marked with the college’s seal and the word “WEIGHTLIFTING” in bold block letters.

Hearing the noise, the cyclops’s blocky features lit up. He threw out his arms at the sight of the other two, and strode forward to embrace them. “Hey buddies,” he rumbled, “I thought you were never gonna get here.”

“What can I say,” grunted the orc, pressing his bald forehead to the cyclops’ in some form of ritual greeting. “Hiroto forgets he’s tall.”

The oni blushed violet and gave the orc a gentle sock on the shoulder. “Hey! I had a growth spurt… this morning.”

Reunited, the trio clomped up the stairs to take seats in the row behind Jason. After a moment’s thought, he realized that the growth spurt was actually his doing. So they’re aware of the changes, a little, but not the big change. How interesting. He could feel the warmth of their presence, hear their whispered jibes to one another, and couldn’t help but feel like they’d be good friends to have. He was just about to twist in his seat and strike up a conversation when a commotion drew his attention firmly back to the front of the room.

A different trio was standing behind the table, their sweeping gestures threatening to knock against the gas tap. The three men were obviously professors—one with a leonine mane of blond hair shot through with grey, one with a twisting goatee, and the third slender and bald—and seemed to be arguing about a scheduling conflict.

“Look, it says it right here,” roared the leonine professor, waving a sheet of typewritten paper: “Frederick B.—Latin. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, nine to noon. Room 102,” he declaimed.

Bleating with scornful laughter, the second professor tugged his beard with one hand and held up his schedule with the other. “Mine too: Frederick B.—English. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, nine to noon. Room 102. We can’t all be right!”

The third professor also displayed his copy of the schedule, hissing with distaste at the obvious secretarial gaff: “Frederick B.—Chemistry. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, nine to noon. Room 102. Perhaps we got the buildings mixed up?” There was a momentary pause as all three placed their papers on the tabletop, comparing them, hopeful of any difference.

Seeing those hopes dashed, the first professor pounced on a scapegoat. “If only they would use our last names. Honestly, how many ‘Frederick B’ can there be?”

“Well, at least three,” proffered the third professor, whose eyes seemed to be a preternaturally vibrant shade of green.

“Yes, but only one Frederick Basel—unless either of you two hold degrees in Latin that I don’t know about?”

The second professor scratched at one of the lumps forming on either side of his high forehead and bleated derisively. “As though you could teach Shakespeare and Wordsworth the way Professor Frederick Buckley could.” He jabbed his chest with his thumb for emphasis, like a soliloquizing prince or merchant. “What say you, Bhujang? Care to try your hand at literature?”

“No thanks,” replied the bald professor, shaking his head in a way that made his neck seem longer. “It may be an introductory course, but I’m far more at home with moles and bonds.”

“Moles and bonds? Are you a gardener or a stockbroker?” Professor F. Basel seemed to consider himself a wit on par with Juvenal, and laughed heartily, showing his pointed teeth and thick slab of a tongue.

The joke, poor though it was, seemed to have broken the tension and the three men stood in contemplative silence for a moment, shoulder-to-shoulder, looking down at the schedule sheets on the table. With a swift motion like a striking viper, Professor Frederick Bjuhang whipped out a pencil and began crossing things out on each of the sheets.

Buckley leaned close and read what was left: “Latin… Monday. English… Wednesday. Chemistry… Friday.” Throwing his arms around his fellow teachers, he grinned. “You know what, I think that might work. We each only have to teach one day a week, but we still get credit for all three? A brilliant solution, Bhujang, if I do say so myself.” There was a sound of tearing fabric as his hug seemed to be bringing his compatriots closer together.

Shirts and sweaters and slacks fluttered to the ground, unable to sustain themselves with massive rents in their sides. Not even the neck openings were spared as the bodies they contained swelled with the combined mass of three scholars. Jason watched the first professor’s head complete its change, the metaphorical mane becoming a real one as his face pushed forward into a lion snout. Beside him, Professor Buckley’s horns grew in, his beard now more appropriate on a billy-goat or a ram. And bald Bhujang wasn’t left out either, his green eyes flashing from within a viper’s face.

Given their current nudity, it was easy to see the transition of their bodies as well. On the conjoined creature’s right side was all sleek fur, with glossy scales on the left, and a thick strip of fluffy wool in between like some sort of overwrought treasure trail. They stepped out from behind the table to begin writing on the chalkboard, making Jason all the more thankful he’d chosen the seat he had. It looked like each head had claim of the arm on his side, with ram-headed Buckley’s portion trailing straight down to the legs. This also meant that the chimera’s tackle was in his domain as well: a fat and fluffy sheath heavy lemon-shaped balls swayed with each clopping step, the tuft of leonine brown running down their middle only made their cottony whiteness the more striking. Their shared tail was long and thick, covered in green scales but with a ribbon of lion fur down the crest that exploded into a shaggy tuft at the tip.

But now the creature was speaking, and Jason forced himself to turn his mind from lewd thoughts about how handsome the trio looked together, how burly the conjoined body had become, with a solid paunch and thick thighs to support the extra-wide shoulders. It was time to studeo, studui, studebo.

The hand on the serpent side had finished its writing, spelling out the salient points of what the lion head was declaiming: “We are Professor Frederick, you may address us as such. I am Basel, this is Buckley—” the ram’s head nodded, making the other two edge away to avoid the curled horns.

“We really need to get you some tennis balls or rubber tips for those things,” hissed the serpent in the resigned tones of someone who’d made the same suggestion a dozen times before.

“And this,” the lion continued, borrowing the green-scaled hand to gesture at the matching head, “is Bhujang. We will teach, respectively, Latin on Mondays, English on Wednesdays, and Chemistry on Fridays, and our office hours will be Tuesdays in… oh, we hadn’t really decided.”

“I vote we use Bhujang’s,” offered Buckley. “Everyone knows the science department’s got the biggest offices.”

“Well, why would we use any other? It’s not like we could have three offices, right?” “Too true,” agreed Basel. “Well, now that that’s settled, let’s get down to basics.”

The Latin lecture began—as most lectures do—with a quick overview of the syllabus, the texts, the tests, and in general a laying-out of expectations. While Jason found the Professor’s roaring voice to be a bit too loud, his pronunciation was precise and his explanation of the various tenses and forms of the words made the complex rules almost simple.

The other heads had stopped paying attention, something Jason suspected would rotate as the week’s lecture schedule progressed. Buckley was borrowing the left arm, green-scaled muscles bulging as he scribbled notes on a pad, mouthing words to himself and gnawing on his pencil’s eraser as he tried out synonyms in a particularly thorny passage. Bhujang, meanwhile, had decided that a nap would be the best use of his time, and his long neck was coiled up into a pillow beneath his narrow cream- colored chin. It was almost hypnotizing, watching the blue forked tongue flicker out with each breath.

Shaking his head, Jason was able to return his focus to amo, amare. The rest of the three hours passed quickly, leaving him with the feeling that he’d instead had three days’ worth of information crammed into his head. Even with his previous studies he felt like a novitiate; the ancient words sounded alive, coming from the lion’s mouth.

Buckley was gently nudging Bhujang out of his nap as the students filed out of the cavernous lecture hall. Jason was about to leave, maybe to catch up with the trio of wrestlers, when he felt a heavy paw on his shoulder. The claws, he noticed, were fully sheathed, leaving the whole appendage as a soft, heavy pillow—comforting and warm, like a stuffed animal’s. The golden eyes that met his were similarly warm. They all have the same color eyes, he realized when he noticed that the other two heads were also looking at him. It was somehow reassuring, as though a reminder that for all their differences the three were now part of the same being.

A being whose sheath was beginning to plump up.

Nostrils flaring, Basel licked his lips and grinned sheepishly. “I was hoping you might stop by our office later.”

“Well, sir—sirs, I am scheduled with all three of your classes. And I do make it a point to get to know my teachers.”

“Wonderful!” roared Basel as the other two heads nodded their agreement.

“It’s so good to see a student who’s willing to really apply himself to his studies,” Buckley said, looking more predatory than an ovine should.

“Yes, we’re all so thankful this university has done away with those puritanical ‘anti- fraternization’ rules. We’re all adults here, after all, so why not… fraternize a little?” Bhujang added, his tongue tasting the air in Jason’s general direction.

Jason blushed, feeling the warmth of so much avuncular attention flooding his cheeks. “I suppose I’ll see you… three… at your office hours tomorrow.”

“Excellent. Of course, suffice it to say that your grades will be based upon your scholarly efforts, entirely unrelated to anything… else.”

The hand on his shoulder had begun to slide down his back, and he relished the pressure of those pads as they pressed against his shirt, pulling him closer. He was only half surprised, therefore, when Basel’s face drew near. The scent of pipe tobacco lingered on his breath as he leaned in close, split upper lip pursed, nose twitching, eyes drooping closed, then stopped, letting Jason make the decision to close the gap.

He’d never kissed a lion before, let alone an older man, so he began tentatively. Lips drawn up to match the professor’s, eyes half-closed, one hand pressed against the naked furry back. Soon their mouths opened, tongues meeting in a bashful allemande. He felt the fangs, the ridges vaulting the roof, the rubbery black lips, the hot breath. Beginning to pant himself, he blinked as the professor pulled back, moaning.

This give Buckley and Bhujang the opening they sought: like a changing of the guard, the middlemost head took up station at Jason’s recently-vacated lips, while the serpent used his long neck to nibble delicately at the human’s neck.

“Gratias ago… osculum,” the lion muttered in shared pleasure as the other two heads took their turn.

Soon other students began to file in: it was nearly time for the next class, and Jason reluctantly broke the kiss, slipping out of the caressing arms (even the tail had joined in the fun, coiling around his leg like a low hug) and promising the threefold Professor Frederick that he would see them at their office the next day. He could taste the cut-lawn flavor of Buckley’s wheatgrass breakfast, but didn’t mind.

I wonder if they eat three times as much, he mused as he navigated the current of students flowing into the lecture halls—dodging wings and tails as often as rucksacks and bookstraps. Professor Frederick’s bulk would certainly require a higher caloric intake. Or perhaps they take it in turns. The image of Basel munching a steak while Buckley nibbled at vegetables and Bhujang sucked up water like a living straw made Jason giggle, and then he stopped, realizing that he’d placed himself at the other side of the table in that mental image. Dating one’s teacher…teachers…now that was something that bore more thought.


Having plenty of time before his next class—and plenty to think about—Jason Leander meandered across the campus. He noticed a satyr with a guitar serenading a gargoyle beneath a tree (which also seemed to be listening). He distinctly heard “Whoopi-ty-aye-oh, rockin’ to and fro” as he passed by, and couldn’t help but think that Gene Autry was odd choice for romantic songs. Still, it made him smile.

As he wended his way towards the dining commons, a flicker of motion drew his eye upwards. He watched as a blue thread sidewindered its way across the sky, growing larger, resolving into the elongated torso of an eastern dragon, his t-shirt and shorts flapping in the wind as much as his mane and the tufts of hair on his elbows, knees, and tail tip. The dragon began his descent, allowing Jason a closer look at the smooth scales of his long belly, the muscles of the powerful limbs. The fountain burbling in the courtyard rose up to meet the clawed feet, then formed watery steps to allow him to trot down to the concrete and wiggle his way to lunch.

The come-hither flick of the tail was nearly enough enticement for Jason to follow him, maybe strike up a conversation over grilled cheese sandwiches, but there was still the other half of the campus to explore. Assuming everything doesn’t just change back tomorrow, I’ve still got time, he thought, rapping his knuckles on the trunk of a tree as he passed, just in case.

A babble of chatter made him pause beneath the venerable yew, leaning against the columns of its trunk as he spied on the new batch of students. The Industrial Arts building loomed large on the other side of the path, already ringing with the sound of occasional hammers, the whirr of machinery, and the burnt-metal smell of oxy- acetylene torches. And leaving the big double doors was a gaggle of greasers. Handsome, lean, with short sleeved undershirts and slick pompadours, they also seemed to have ropy tails tied to the back of their black jeans.

Judging by their direction—and the rectangular forms tucked into rolled-up sleeves—they were heading to the school’s football field, to lounge and smoke on the bleachers. On a whim, Jason decided to follow them. He could hear the shouts and grunts of a practicing team coming from the field, and it made a good-enough excuse to show up and sit for a spell.

By the time he emerged from the under-seat tunnel, the pack of greasers had already staked their territory on one side of the long benches, spread out far enough to suit their sense of independence, but close enough that lighters and cigarettes and gossip could easily be passed from one to the next. Some lounged across the length of a seat, others leaned back as though the staggered rows were the pads of a barcalounger, and some sat hunched over, tight little balls of smoldering masculinity. They eyed Jason as he took a seat a few feet away from the nearest one, but—like haughty cats—they begrudgingly allowed him a portion of their space.

Pointedly not looking at the pack, he turned his attention to the field. Judging by the lack of padding on the players and the pile of obviously not-football ovoid balls on the sideline, it was clear that the football field was being used for rugby practice. The nets staked out in the endzones of either side, to give the field the proper longer- than-a-football-field length, confirmed his suspicion.

The morning’s rain had obviously soaked the field as much as the rest of campus, because the double line of players alternately squatting and running back and forth were spattered in mud. They seemed to have their drills already well in-mind, because the coach was silent, not even calling out encouragement or correction; Jason remembered a mention of the sport when he was first applying, something about the pre-season starting well in advance of the school year, and that interested students would need to arrive early. Not being particularly athletic, he’d ignored the note at the time.

Jason watched as the coach watched his team, pacing back and forth and making notes on his clipboard. He was wearing an old rugby jersey: banded in alternating brown and cream stripes, it had the word “Aihiko” spelled out in block letters over a large number twelve. Jason suspected it was the coach’s own uniform, from when he was younger and a player himself—to judge by the way the stiff fabric stretched around his rotund form, he’d somewhat gone to seed in the intervening years.

“Okay, team, halt!” Coach Aihiko shouted, his voice clear and strong. “Good job on those drills. Now pair off, we’re going to practice sparring.”

A flicker of movement caught the corner of Jason’s eye, and he looked over at the greasers: one of them had yawned, opening his mouth wider than should have been possible and flashing rather prominent canines—that white flash had been what had drawn his attention in the first place. Otherwise the pack lounged, languid as senators’ sons in the baths of ancient Baiae. Occasionally an ear would twitch—an odd trick, that, he thought—or a tongue would flop out to dampen its owner’s nose, a hand nimbly flick a comb through a pompadour, or a clump of ash drop from a cigarette to fall between the boards of the bleachers.

But something seemed to have caught their attention: as one, they leaned forward, ears canted, with the tawny tails lashing behind them the only movement. Noses, he noticed, had pushed forward into leonine muzzles, and sneakers had split to reveal fluffy paws not unlike Professor Basel’s. Following their line of sight, Jason looked back to the field.

He had missed the beginnings of the team’s change, but now that he was watching it seemed to be progressing faster. In the process of practicing their grapples and holds in the sodden field, the team had gotten muddy, their practice jerseys—striped in the team colors but lacking player numbers—were torn and stained, clinging wetly to the players’ solid forms. Small wonder the pack of lions had taken notice, given the way the thick muscles and darkening skin were alternatively shown and hidden by the remaining shreds of fabric.

And, after a moment of watching himself, Jason was sure that the team’s skin was darkening…apart from a few instances where it looked to be bleaching white. The remnants of their uniforms seemed to be re-knitting themselves, re-covering the bodies, shifting from rugby togs to wrestling singlets. Coach Aihiko paced along the line of paired players, his banded raccoon-style tail swishing behind him as he adjusted a hold or praised a form. Rugby had become Greco-Roman wrestling, and the pack of lions were now thoroughly entranced.

The new wrestling team was clearly no longer human, their blocky heads and thick necks covered in hides of varying colors: mostly brown, a few were white, and one was even spotted like a Holstein. For that’s what they were becoming: bull-men.

Like they’d wandered out of a Cretan maze, the wrestlers were now minotaurs of varying breeds, hairy human bodies beneath shaggy bull heads, horns either polled or tipped with tennis balls, broad snouts huffing as they struggled mightily with one another.

Coach Aihiko had grown a snout, too, only his was petite by comparison, practically vulpine. He had also lost some stature, standing maybe five feet tall now; or perhaps it just looked that way because his team had gotten so much bigger, Jason couldn’t be sure. The decreased height had also served to accentuate the swell of gut and butt, a butt which was bare. What had at first appeared to be a pair of dark khaki pants turned out to be his naked lower half, covered in a soft-looking pelt that seemed particularly fluffy up front.

The coach was using a long walking stick to tap his wrestlers on the hand or foot, like a fencing instructor adjusting the stance of his pupil, but didn’t seem to notice that they were still changing: with each grapple, the hide crept further down their bodies, which themselves seemed to be packing on pounds by the minute, while the mud-spattered feet and hands grew hard and hoofy. Growing bulls’ butts strained singlets until—overcome by pressure and shifted by wrestling holds—they wedgied down into loincloths. Sumo loincloths, Jason thought, judging by the way the bulls’ bodies had become rotund masses of solid muscle and fat.

A whistle and a ragged chorus of cheers drew his attention from the field, and back to the now fully-leonine greasers. They were actively rooting for one or another of the wrestlers, calling them by name and shouting encouragement. Cigarettes and pocket combs forgotten, they leapt from the bleachers to be closer to the action.

Jason noticed that their hair—manes now—had gone curly, reminding him of the komainu guardian lions he’d seen in a book of Japanese art. Unwilling to be left out of the fun, he found himself following jogging across the field behind them, ignoring the splash of sodden turf.

By the time he caught up with the more-athletic pack, the practice was already over. He threw his arm across the shoulders of the rear-most lion while he fought to catch his breath; the lion’s arm sliding along his back and holding his side came as a welcome surprise. “Hey, I’m Lenny,” the lion purred softly, whiskers tickling his ear.

Despite no longer needing the physical support, Jason found himself leaning against the greaser’s strong body, appreciating the warmth when a chill autumn breeze blew past wrestlers and spectators alike. So, standing close together, they watched as the remaining lions paired off with the wrestlers, congratulating them on a good practice, but getting closer to the huffing, sweating beasts than would be expected from school-spirited fans. Indeed, the leonine hands that brushed sweat from bovine hide, the tender golden eyes that gazed into soft brown ones, the lips close enough to kiss, all spoke of a more intimate relationship.

Toying absentmindedly with his oversized balls, the now fully-tanuki Coach Aihiko added his congratulations to the convivium, then goaded his charges to the stables. Momentarily surprised that they’d treat these athletes like the animals they so strongly resembled, he remembered reading that sumo wrestlers were traditionally housed in “team stables” so their diets and exercise habits could be all the more closely monitored. And with the lions to guard over and care for them, it didn’t sound like much of a hardship at all.

Watching the thick rumps as they departed, he momentarily envied them—team and caretakers both—but then Lenny’s arm shifted position, reminding Jason of the lion in the hand, so to speak.

“See you in Metalwork tomorrow,” Lenny called to his pridemates as they left the field, as though this were all perfectly normal. “Dang,” he added, mostly to himself, “I got mud all over my new shoes.”

Jason looked down: indeed, both men were spackled with mud nearly up to their knees, and Jason’s shoes were soaked; Lenny, however, had left the torn remnants of his shoes on the bleachers where they had by now likely vanished. “Don’t you mean paws?” he prompted, giving the lion a moment’s pause. The brief exchange gave Jason something to think about too. I wonder if it’s because the spell is so old, maybe it’s a little rusty here and there, and takes time for reality to update…does that mean that Lenny has always been a lion, now? Does he have a feline heritage going back to Nemea or Babylon? It would be odd for there to be just this pack of lionmen here, and nowhere else in all of human history…wouldn’t it? That sure is a lot of reality to be updated.

Lenny shrugged, breaking Jason’s train of thought. “Yeah, that’s what I said, muddy paws.” He lifted an offending appendage and flexed his toes, the sheathed claws just poking out of the wet fur. “Maybe you could help me find a spigot so I can hose down before my last class.”

In the process of helping one another tidy up at a faucet they found beneath the bleachers, it came about that they both had the same class, their last for the day: Geology. As they walked to the Sciences building, Lenny found opportunities to drape an arm across Jason’s shoulder or brush his legs with his tail, leaning close to whisper raunchy things in the human’s ear, spicy comments and double entendres as they chatted about otherwise normal things.

And Jason, for his part, loved it. Once or twice he had to fake a stumble so as to readjust himself and not present a lewd picture to passersby, but otherwise the contact, the closeness, the companionship was nothing but good. He left it to the lion to do most of the sweet talking—a skill that Lenny possessed in spades—but did at one point remark that they could easily have skipped this class, and joined the rest of his pride and the sumo team in the stables.

“True, and they’d welcome a fresh face, but I’m actually here to learn. Get my paws on some real good schist, you know? That would be really gneiss!” He laughed heartily at his own puns, showing off his wicked-looking teeth, brushed to pristine whiteness. “I dunno, geology has always been an interest to me. I’ve had a rock collection since I was a cub.” He rattled on with the enthusiasm of one whose passion momentarily blinds them to the interest (or lack thereof) of others. But Jason listened, enjoying the lion’s ardor.

They’re still real people, he realized, recalling too the gryphon with an interest in dentistry. Even though they’re not human any more, they’re still people with interests and dreams, realistic or not. In his secret heart he’d begun to feel a little guilty for casting the spell in the first place, even though it had been accidental; upending lives and altering the fabric of reality had not been his intent—he just wanted to earn his degree and get a job, maybe take over his father’s antique bookshop, the small goals of someone content to be a background character.

Of course, with further study he might be able to find a counterspell in the old book, something mentioning dissolvo or dissuo, in all probability, something that would restore the world to the way it had been only that morning. That’s if there is one, and if I can find it, and if I don’t botch things up worse somehow. He would have to think long and hard about if it were even worth the effort, especially when he remembered how happy everyone seemed. Professor Frederick’s three heads had gotten along so much better as parts of one entity than as three competing teachers, being a prime example of the improvement rendered by the spell. And when I go to their office hours tomorrow, I can see the improvement up close, he thought, his flagging erection reawakening. Anyways, there’s time, and I’ll need to really think about it.

By this point, they had reached the building devoted to the study of the natural world, and Lenny gallantly held the door open for his classmate. Other students were filing in by dribs and drabs, and Jason found himself unsurprised to note that he was now among the distinct minority, humans being far outnumbered by the other “races.” There was even a sunken pool in place of the first row of seats, to better allow the swim team and other aquatic students a comfortable learning environment. And as he looked over the idly chatting mermen with their fishy faces, the glossy black and white skin of the muscular akhlut, the elegant seaweed manes of the kelpies, he wondered how he even knew they were on the school’s swim team.

Apart from the akhlut. he’s in water polo. Jason blinked, surprised by his own thought.

It doesn’t make sense… unless I’m being updated by the spell too! he glanced down at himself, but saw the same human hands, the same sneakered feet, the same nose when he crossed his eyes; no tail split the back of his pants, and no horns weighed down his head. He didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed, though having a little innate information about this brave new world couldn’t hurt, he decided. Further thought, however, showed that it wasn’t as though he held two books in his head, one with facts from the old reality, and one with facts from the new; instead, it was as though they had been shredded and reassembled into a single tome. He could not, for example, remember what his equitaur roommate Priam had looked like as a human, nor what sport the sumo team had been playing before they changed.

Then Lenny nudged him with an elbow: they’d taken their seats in the second row, and had a prime view of the orca-wolf’s webbed hand reaching over under the water’s surface to fondle the shaft of the waterhorse sitting next to him. This lewd display was interrupted by the entrance of a few lions, slinking in among the last students, their bellies suspiciously distended. Seeing Lenny and Jason, they sat on either side of the couple, licking their lips and burping gently, like cats after too much cream. Only, Jason thought, sniffing suspiciously at the salty aroma of the eructations, bulls don’t give cream…

The skreep-click of chalk on the board drew everyone’s attention to the front of the room, and the students watched as Professor Halvard wrote his name and the class title on the lower half of the board. He was a short man, with a neat Vandyke the only sharpness on his otherwise soft features, but a rumbling low voice reminiscent of a Prospero or Figaro easily caught and held his student’s ears as he began declaiming the basics of the study of geology.

As he talked, the teacher seemed to get even shorter, until he had to drag himself over a wide set of steps from the side of the hall just to reach the chalkboard. Had those been there before? Jason wondered, unable to remember seeing them, or not seeing them for that matter. The professor’s beard also grew longer, joining with a bushier mustache until the whole hairy ensemble was long enough to tuck partly under his belt, an elaborately-repoussaged affair of silver, gold, and electrum.

Jason was so busy watching the man shrink down to a Tolkein-esque dwarf that he hadn’t been paying due attention to the lecture itself, so that the other students’ raising their hands caught him by surprise. Professor Halvard had apparently asked for a volunteer to assist him—as he now had trouble reaching the top of the table—and he called on one of the few remaining humans.

“Really need to have them add a second step,” he grumbled as the gangly youth skittered to the front of the hall, “can’t keep moving this one back and forth.” The grumpy dwarf turned his attention from the furniture to the student. “What’s your name, lad?”

“Winston, sir, Rochester,” he gulped and looked about to faint, as though he’d volunteered without realizing that he’d be spending the rest of the lecture at the front of the hall, with everyone else staring at him.

“Well, Mr. Rochester, do you know the three types of stone?”

“That…that’s a trick question, sir. There are four: sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic… and, um, man-made.”

The dwarf beamed, tugging on his beard with the surprise of having an informed student. “Bravo, Winston! Now, help me demonstrate a few of the differences between them.” He proceeded to instruct his aid in the use of the equipment on the table, but each time the device failed. The hydraulic press refused to move more than a centimeter, and the gas to the Bunsen burners seemed to have been cut off, so he had Winston press a chunk of limestone between his hands.

Rather than balk at the idea of manually squashing a rock, the student obeyed, the muscles of his arms swelling and bursting the broadcloth of his shirt, the buttons sent ricocheting across the room by the explosive growth of his chest. Soon Winston Rochester stood nude before the class with the body a rippling Hercules, easily three times the height of the stocky professor standing beside him. Unfazed by the pendulous shaft that swayed at eye level, he lectured on, speaking of the immense pressures below the surface of the Earth. “Ah, but there is heat as well, isn’t there? Come, Winston, let’s see what a little temperature increase can do to that rock.”

Puffing up his chest and cheeks, the student inhaled a breath that would have shamed a whale. He seemed to be growing redder, and—like Tom after being fed hot sauce by Jerry—the crimson coloring started at the toes of his bare feet, which extended into long talons even as the hue rose up his calves. A thick tail speared out from above his rump, tipped with a spade that threatened to swipe the faulty equipment from the worktable, and a pair of bat wings fanned the air, carrying with them the scent of brimstone and dragonsweat. The rising color finally reached Winston’s face, which pushed forward—puffed cheeks and all—into a long reptilian snout.

Covered in red scales from head to tail, the newly draconic student finally released the superheated air he’d been holding in. A bright blue flame poured out of his pursed lips, aimed precisely at the rock clamped in his scale-protected hands. “Wow, now that would be a handy skill to have in my Metalwork class,” Lenny whispered to Jason without taking his eyes off the impressive display.

Professor Halvard was watching too, his experienced gaze seemingly calculating temperature and pressure as accurately as any laboratory tool, and after a few moments more, he tapped the dragon’s hip. The flame’s roar ceased, and Winston handed the smoking rock down to his professor. After tossing it from hand to hand, the dwarf dusted the soot from the surface and held it up. “As you can see, this common limestone has been changed into a very fine specimen of marble, which means that marble is what kind of rock?”

“Metamorphic,” chimed in most of the students, including Jason. The teacher beamed at his class, then glanced up at the clock. “For next class, I want you to read over the first chapter of our text, and bring any questions you may have from it.”

Waiting while the others filed out, Jason turned his attention back to Lenny. “I’m done with classes for the day, maybe you’d like to hang out with me back at my room?” The audacious invitation surprised him, and he was half tempted to add the facetious “to look at my etchings” enticement to make it all more of an off-handed joke.

But the lion had taken the proposition in all seriousness, if his hand on Jason’s knee were any indication.

Winston and Professor Halvard seemed to be getting cozy too. The dragon had sprawled on the floor, his tail wrapping around the table as the dwarf fed him a spare chunk of limestone, dusting the crumbs from his muzzle with the end of his beard. Then, surprising Jason but not drawing any attention from the other students, dwarf and dragon kissed, the professor’s rough hands stroking along the scales of his student’s serpentine neck, and stirring the mighty member that lay flopped across a meaty thigh.

“Give you ideas?” Lenny whispered, sliding his own hand up Jason’s leg.

“I’ll say,” Jason replied, his voice louder than he’d intended, making the two at the front of the lecture hall glance their way. But it was only a momentary distraction, and Professor Halvard went back to feeding his draconic student chunks of stone as though they were chocolates from a heart-shaped box. Without another word, human and lion slipped out of the room and made their way back to the dormitories.

If he had had a mind to look, Jason would have noticed other students, teachers, even the gardening staff engaged in various romantic endeavors, but the feeling of Lenny’s paw pads brushing against his palm as they held hands, shifting slightly with each step, was all he could focus on. Lenny, too, seemed single-mindedly intent on reaching their destination.

When they reached Jason’s room, however, they found it to be not uninhabited. The oaty smell of horse lather wafted from where Priam lounged on his bunk-nest, sweaty from track and field practice. Introductions were made, and Jason, in a flash of clarity, made the suggestion that they all should repair to the dorm’s showers.

They found it to be a large room, just an empty expanse of tiles interspersed with a forest of columns, with shower heads serving in place of fruit and flowers, space enough for even the largest inhuman student to hose down. Priam’s hooves beat a syncopated beat as he trotted in first, letting Lenny and Jason undress in the little vestibule.

The white noise hiss of running water drowned out the sounds of the dormitory around them, and Jason found himself standing motionless, pants half-unbuckled, staring into the golden eyes beneath the precisely coiffured mane. The lion stared back, predatory as any gazelle, waiting for the human to take the first move. There was a rustle and clink and Jason was nude from the waist down, his all-too-normal cock pointing straight out as he stepped forward and helped Lenny to undo his own pants. He found a fluffy sheath and balls, the fur cream colored and soft. The sheath had already begun disgorging a tapered pink shaft, and Jason placed his palm against it, feeling the pulse of blood beneath the fingertips on the sheath, pressing the growing member against the lion’s lean belly.

He leaned forward, and Lenny’s split upper lip met his, his rough tongue exotic and insistent. They stood for a moment, kissing, sharing breath, rubbing bare legs together, until Priam’s snorting nicker drew their attention. “Hey, you two. Are you coming or should I just use up all the hot water myself?” Hurriedly, they finished undressing and joined the equitaur in the showers proper, leaving their clothes piled where they fell.

The steamy air gave the showers an almost tropical exoticness, as did the lingering scent of the cleaning staff’s citrus sprays. The dark bulk of Priam’s ass loomed large from the mists, his tail flagging wetly as he shifted position. Jason could see his ears cant back at the sound of their approach, and the shuffling hooves stilled themselves so as not to tromp on unsuspecting and unprotected toes. He hadn’t thought his roommate to be so conscientious, not in the two days he’d known him as a human, for what little Jason actually remembered of that previous reality. Must be the horse in him, sturdy, dependable… sexy…

He’d never thought of it before, but there was indeed something attractive in the unbridled masculinity of the rump, the heavy balls, the full sheath, the strong chest. His hand found wet horsehide, slid with the grain down past the tail, along the velvety softness of the cleft to the plump donut of muscle. The touch sent shivers through both of them.

Lenny, meanwhile, had approached the other end of the equitaur, and kissed Priam the way he’d been kissing Jason. I should be jealous, the human thought, watching as they threw their arms around one another, making out beneath the showers’ spray, but it’s just too hot. He found himself acting on instinct, stepping squarely behind his roommate. The equine lower half was scaled so as to be in proportion with the human upper half, rather than the other way around, which meant that Priam’s hips were on level with Jason’s.

As though from long habit, the tail flipped to one side, giving Jason full view of his target, dripping with water and quivering from need. He heard a wet slapping sound and—to judge by the way the heavy balls swayed and jerked—suspected that his roommate was masturbating, using powerful groin muscles to slap the member against his belly, just like any other horse. One of his hands, meanwhile, had strayed to Lenny’s chest, dark hoof-tipped fingers tracing delicately around each of the four nipples. The other had dropped to the lion’s sheath, coaxing the shaft out further.

The sight of his roommate and boyfriend—Boyfriend? But I only just met him a few hours ago…didn’t I? No, it had to have been longer, I know him too well for that…—thusly engaged was almost too much for Jason. Unwilling to waste the opportunity, he patted the flank before him, as though to say, “You ready?”

In answer, Priam shifted, spreading his hindlegs and bracing his front, keeping his tail firmly canted to the side: he was indeed ready. A probing finger found a slickness on the hole, and Jason noticed a tub of Vaseline sitting on one of the little shelves that ringed each shower column. Then again, it’s not like this is an unusual occurrence, he thought, memory filling with other encounters, watching as the equitaur bent nearly double to be able to reach his hind end, knowing just how to slide in and make his roommate whinny in pleasure.

Which is just what he did, pressing his head against the donut and pushing almost painfully slow until it closed around the corona with a comforting grip. Despite the warning pat, Priam was still caught by surprise, and was unable to break the kiss before the moaning whinny burst from him, filling Lenny’s lungs with its vibration. Jason took the chance to slide all the way in, hilting himself in the horse’s ass and feeling the balls—so much bigger than his own—bounce against his thighs.

Hand and belly and hole continued the tripartite ritual of pleasure, while other students came in and showered and left, occasionally adding a caress or a kiss of their own. One of the gargoyles took up station in a back corner, his stony skin darkened by the spray, his hand moving on his own shaft only when he was sure no one was watching. In short, a perfectly normal afternoon.

Priam came first, the cock within him and the one in his hand and the lion tongue dancing with his own—not to mention the self-inflicted belly-slapping—were simply too much to bear for so long, and the mighty member unloaded across his forelegs, dousing Lenny’s shins and paws, and even reaching across the room to spangle the gargoyle, who added his own cum to the puddled tiles. Lenny’s eyes opened languidly, and he looked at Jason, pistoning away behind the horse. Their gaze met and Jason found himself filled with warmth.

He came, grunting as he gripped Priam’s ass with both hands and stood on tiptoe to press his cock as deeply as he could, feeling the bands of muscle gripping and milking and coaxing out every last drop like any skilled broodstud. Lenny roared his pleasure at seeing his beloved spend himself, and his own ejaculation painted the equitaur’s chin white.

Panting and loopy, the trio disengaged long enough to properly shower themselves clean, then decided to take advantage of the lingering warmth of the early fall day. They left the showers and strode out to the dormitory’s courtyard, naked as ancient Olympians, letting the sun dry them as it had the morning’s rain. In a bit they would head to the dining commons for the evening meal, but for now there was nothing better than warm sun above them, fresh grass beneath them, and the feeling that this was to be a good year indeed, with many new friends to make.

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