Daniel didn’t know quite how to respond. But, he decided to throw caution to the wind and… well, try it out.
He started small, testing his newfound form by moving slowly. It was strange how, now that he had four legs rather than two, moving seemed rather simple and not difficult at all. He took a few steps, moving one front paw, then a back paw, then the other, and while his legs were shaky, he didn’t fall or wobble too much.
“Walking isn’t hard, silly,” the kitsune said. “It’s like how you move when a human. Don’t think of yourself as having four legs or two legs: just think of moving, and then move.”
Daniel sucked in a quiet breath. “Okay.”
He tried to keep this in mind and began to move again, doing his best not to think about how he was on four legs instead of two. It took a bit of getting used to, but, again, the feeling wasn’t foreign or weird. In no time, he was moving around in circles freely, and quickly, too.
“Wow,” Daniel said under his breath. “This is… kind of fun.”
“Try moving faster,” the kitsune said in his mind.
Daniel did so - he picked up his speed and started to run in a straight line, and he immediately felt the wind on his whole body. His heart raced, his limbs exerted themselves, and he felt… free. Freer than he’d ever felt before, and all he was doing was running on all fours.
He raced down the street, bypassing houses and parked cars, even passing a few people driving at this hour. Not one person noticed him or looked his way, even when he ran a little too fast that he wound up running in front of a small group of people walking on the sidewalk. Not a soul saw him or reacted.
“Speed isn’t the only gift, my dear,” the kitsune said. “See what else your new body can do, hmm?”
Daniel kept on going, pushing himself before he decided to be a little gutsy. Even if - by some miracle - this was a dream, this was amazing, and insanely more fun than he ever could’ve imagined possible. He found a nearby house and, without thinking, ran up to it and jumped. His hunch was correct: he leapt upward, high enough to where he landed on the roof.
He stopped, skidding to a halt due to his own astonishment at making it like this, and for a split second, he almost felt like he might fall off the roof.
The kitsune laughed in his mind. “I told you, you can’t get hurt. Not from something like falling off a roof. It might not be pleasant, but pain is often a thing we don’t experience.”
“Sorry,” Daniel said. He steadied himself and glanced down at the ground.
“Don’t apologize,” the kitsune said. “Just feel.”
Daniel pushed himself off the roof by leaping down. He landed lithely on all fours, and though he felt the pressure of landing on the grass, there was no pain. He was surprised - even after the kitsune’s words - but also excited.
“This is… this is something else entirely,” Daniel murmured. “I still can’t believe I’m not asleep and dreaming this up.”
“I’d pinch you if it helped,” the kitsune said with a snort. “But, no. You’re very much awake and this is all true. Now then, why don’t… ooh.”
Daniel blinked. “What?”
“It seems you’ll be getting another experience sooner than I thought,” the kitsune said. “Smell the air.”
Written by Hollowpages on 15 September 2019