Dear readers, tonight with me is a young shape-shifter, still attending high-school.

He’s here to tell us about life in Shifterville, and the social awkwardness that boys feel around girls – shapeshifting aside.

He’d also like to set the record straight regarding his antlers. It’s not his fault!

Tell us about the shifter town you live in. What’s it like there?

I live in Shifterville. I’m sure you’ve heard of us by now. Yes, we’re that town – the one that invited a human to move there. Well, two humans really. I think that probably tells you everything you need to know about my town. We’re run by a bunch of crazy shifters who actually thought we could keep two humans from discovering the truth about the town they live in. Personally, I think it’s probably a good idea for the shifter world to brace itself. Unless the humans are utterly stupid, I just don’t see how our secret’s going to remain one for much longer.

What do you do in Shifterville?

I go to school, study a lot and play sports like Fangs & Claws and Hoofball. It’s not so bad. Except when the girls are playing. Then it’s a nightmare. You know. Trying to run on two feet with six- foot antlers pulling me off balance. Gravity is not my friend.

Wait. What’s this about your antlers?

They’re a problem – a pain in the rump really. I can’t control them, okay? I don’t know why, but every time I see a girl, smell a girl, whatever, out pop my antlers. It’s not like I completely shift or anything. No, that would make too much sense. Instead, it’s just my antlers making an appearance. Which makes my life awfully complicated because now I have to avoid Amelia. She’s the new human at Shifter High. Up to now, my antlers haven’t been that big of an issue. Well, I guess they have been, but they weren’t a life and death issue. But now that there’s a human girl wandering around the school, they’re a real problem. What if she sees them? I’ll be the shifter responsible for outing us to the human world!

Have your antlers always been like this? What was your reaction when they first came in?

Well, at first, I was happy. I mean what moose doesn’t want to have a giant rack? I was thrilled. My antlers had finally come in! I strutted around in my moose form for days, showing off those magnificent antlers. But then school started and I had to be human for classes and that was the end of my joy.


They’re the bane of my existence now.

What’s the scariest part of being unable to control your antlers?

The teachers. You have no idea how scary a saber tooth English teacher can be. I swear, if my antlers come out one more time in Mrs. Saber’s class, I’m kitty food. For real.

What’s the worst thing about being a shifter?

You mean besides having a completely unruly rack? Because other than that, being a shifter’s pretty shiftastic.

So what’s the best thing about being a shifter?

Shifting, of course. Becoming a moose. Having any kind of animal at all. I don’t know how humans survive without one. Must be pretty lonely.

How do your friends feel about your antler situation?

Well, it kind of depends. Some of them think it’s funny. Some get pretty annoyed about it, especially if my antlers come out around their girlfriends or sisters or something. My best friend, Paulie Porcupine’s really great about it. He’s been trying to help me figure out how to control my rack better. So far we’re totally failing, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. Bothers me, but he just says we need to keep trying.

So no romantic involvements then?

No, not really. Well, I like Amelia, but I’m not supposed to – you know, because of my antler issue. So I have to stay away from her, just in case. Although that isn’t really easy in a small town like Shifterville.

What does the future look like for you?

Well, Paulie’s recruited me to help find his acorns. I don’t know why, but he’s convinced the bunnies are stealing his stash, so I guess we’re tracking them down next. Do bunnies even eat acorns? I don’t know and I can’t ask Paulie because he seems to think that everyone loves and covets his acorns, including the humans. Anyway, that’s about it. An acorn hunt and probably, the eventual outing of all shifters everywhere because Amelia is super suspicious. I’m shocked we’ve managed to keep the truth from her for as long as we have.

A.J. Culey is a teacher, world traveler and writer. She is a fan of books, bunnies and cats. If wrangling cats and bunnies were a sporting event, she’d be an Olympic gold medalist.  Sadly, it is not.

Readers can connect with A.J. at and or with Rex on Twitter @Tyrabbisaurus. (Disclaimer: A.J. takes no responsibility for the rabbit’s ridiculous tweets.)

You can find Melvin on the pages of The Trouble with Antlers.

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