A Conversation with a Vixen
You weight the options for a beat, and your eyes continue flicking to and from the fox – said fox doesn’t move or do much beyond swish its tail about every now and then, yet you still get the sense it’s almost silently beckoning you toward it. It’s a strange thing to feel, and, you frankly don’t know if it’s truly a wise idea or not. But you end up telling yourself (and reminding yourself) that you’re a literal griffin now, so at the very least…
I should be fine, you think. And so, you make your decision, because your curiosity is getting the better of you – thus, you turn and slowly walk toward the large fox, the grass feeling soft and warm under your bare, furry feet with each step you take. You half-wonder if the fox will attack or run away, yet it does neither by the time you reach it.
All it does is watch you still, and it looks relaxed and at ease.
Once you’re close to it, you spot its eyes, and you’re stunned – its eyes are human-like, a bright, bright blue coloration swirling about in them. The fox’s eyes are indeed watching you, and within the blue color, you can see a great deal of intelligence, and even more; it has a thoughtful, knowing glimmer in its eyes as it studies you, and it’s definitely smiling due to the curve of its mouth and the fact it’s teeth are visible.
And yet, even though the smile and the knowing human eyes are unsettling to you, you do admit that it doesn’t seem malicious or cunning or unkind; that’s not the aura you get from its expression, nor do you feel as though the fox is feigning anything. It seems to be rather friendly, oddly enough, and you eventually surmise that it isn’t dangerous.
“Having fun in your new form, are we?” the fox asks, speaking perfect and clear English.
You gawk, as you hadn’t expected it to speak. “Wh… what?”
“Come now, you heard me,” the fox says, and it giggles. It speaks with an obvious female voice, which makes you think it may technically be a vixen. “No, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. Yes, I am a vixen, and yes, I am speaking to you.” Its tail swishes to and fro, and it cocks its head to the side as it studies you. “You aren’t dreaming, or imagining things, or going insane, although you likely figured that much out, yes?”
You stare at the talking vixen for a steady moment as you process this. “Um…”
“Well, I suppose I can confirm the fact it isn’t a dream or imagination,” the vixen adds after a pause, and she snickers. “I can’t confirm or deny what your sanity is like, eh?”
You’re kind of at a loss for how to react, even though you recognize it shouldn’t be this astonishing given the fact you’ve become a griffin – and yet, you can’t shake your shock off as you watch this large, wolf-sized vixen continue to study you with thoughtful eyes.
“You have questions, yes?” the vixen asks. “They always do in these scenarios, not that I blame them, given the circumstances.” She flicks her tail a few times, and yawns, then tilts her head to the side once more. “You aren’t the first human to end up here, like this,” it lifts a paw to point at you, “nor will you be the last, because folk like you always find themselves entering those doors to see what lies on the other side. It’s constant.”
You finally snap out of your shock upon hearing these words. “Wait… you know I’m…?”
“Human?” the vixen replies. She smiles wider. “Of course I do, silly. You smell like a human, rather strongly, in fact. But more importantly, it’s not like wild animals have the capacity to open doors and put on costumes to transform themselves, don’t you think?”
Your eyes grow wide. You look from the vixen toward the floating room far above you.
“Curiosity is a conundrum sometimes, isn’t it?” the vixen asks.
“Who… who are you?” you ask once your gaze falls back onto the vixen.
The vixen giggles again. “It’s not so much ‘who,’ but a ‘what,’ my dear friend. And I know that answer isn’t the most useful for someone like you, yes.” She pauses for a moment, before her smile lowers into a placid, if still amused expression. “I suppose to give you a helpful response, it would benefit you to hear that I am… mm… different.”
No kidding, you think – a talking vixen the size of a wolf isn’t exactly a normal thing.
“Think of me as a guide of sorts,” the vixen says. She smiles yet again, and her expression seems knowing, as if she is aware of where your thoughts are. “A trickster guide, perhaps, but an earnest trickster guide nonetheless. I am one tasked with offering advice and aid to humans like you that come through a door and end up in this realm, gifted with animal features and abilities, yet befuddled by how everything works.”
“A guide?” you ask.
“One of many, yes,” the vixen replies, and she finally moves by sitting upright. “You could have easily encountered someone else had you gone through a different door, or had you chosen to fly around.” She winks. “There’s a number of choices depending on the direction you go, but you’ve chosen to speak to me, and I’ve chosen to aid you.”
“Oh,” you say. “Okay then.”
She swishes a paw around. “Don’t fret over it, my friend, you will understand in time. Or perhaps you won’t understand, but you may well choose not to dwell on such things.” She gives an earnest shrug. “Now, speak your questions, as I’m sure you have more.”
You take a moment to think, but, she’s not wrong. “What is this place?” You gesture around with your arms. “And why am I…” You gesture to yourself. “…like this now?”
The vixen studies you, moving her head around as she does for a moment.
“To answer the simpler question first,” the vixen remarks eventually, a sly smile creeping across her face, “you are the way you are because you chose that room, dear. You then chose the costume, and when you put it on, you became the creature. You read the rules, did you not? Then you must recognize that you’ll be in this form for a while now, provided you don’t get caught up in anything unpleasant or dangerous.”
You think back to the ‘rules’ she’s referring to. “Oh. So, then, I…”
“You’ll be a griffin until the time period expires,” the vixen replies. “When it does, you will be able to choose something else, should you desire to. But, as for your first inquiry…”
Silence falls for a moment, and the vixen hums to herself. You can’t be entirely sure, but you get the sense she’s thinking on how to word whatever response she’ll give you. You remain standing where you are, waiting patiently, since you wish to hear what she’ll say.
“This place is detached from the mundane world you come from,” the vixen says. “It’s almost a fantasy world, in a way, a land of endless opportunities and discoveries. You could even describe it as a dream land or a fairytale.” She giggled once more. “But, no matter how you choose to define it, you shouldn’t fear for your life or safety. There are many ways out, and many ways in – it’s not a prison or a trap, dear. You will never be here longer than you wish to be deep down. Keep that in mind going forward, yes?”
“You mean I can leave?” you ask.
“Yes,” she replies, only to grin broadly, “but not right now, mind you. After all, leaving now would render the entire experience pointless for you, since you wouldn’t have gone through that door and put a costume on had you wanted to leave. Besides, it wouldn’t be the best choice for you, in a griffin’s body, to exit this realm, now would it? Imagine how your fellow humans would react upon seeing you looking like that. Not wise, eh?”
You glance down at your body and feel your wings. “True.”
“Think of it as a binding contract of sorts,” the vixen says. “The instant you put the costume on, you signed said contract, and when you have met the stipulations, then you may choose to do more. For now, you are bound in the form you selected, so it’s up to you to reap the benefits you’ve been gifted. Otherwise, why bother with it, yes?”
You nod slowly.
“Do you wish to ask more?” the vixen inquires. “Or are you satisfied for now?”
You pause to consider this – do you want to ask her more?
Written by Hollowpage on 08 June 2021