But the kitsune chortled. “No, no. Not like that. If it were a question of taking over your body completely to do my own bidding, then I would do so without wasting my time on idle conversation. No, the type of host I refer to is… a more delicate sort of balance between us.”
“What?” Daniel asked. He couldn’t believe he was having this conversation, but, he couldn’t help but treat it more like a bizarre dream.
“My kind,” the kitsune said, “and those like us are limited in what we can truly do within your world.” She studied him for a moment. “To try and explain it in terms you’d best understand, we are… confined, you could say, to live on the outskirts of this realm. We can’t exactly show ourselves to the modern human, lest they turn their weapons upon us or seek to turn us into experiments. And yet, we long to live as you do. To be a part of this majestic society, to learn what humanity means, and so on.”
Daniel slowly started to understand, to some degree, anyways.
“Words alone can do little to describe to you what it’s like,” the kitsune continued, her tone turning oddly somber. “Imagine that you lived in a world with another race, a race whom you saw day in and day out being able to do things you couldn’t. To experience things, good and bad, on a regular basis, whereas you were stuck with the same mundane limitations.” She nodded as she said this. “That is what it feels to me, to my kin, to those like us.”
“There are more?” Daniel asked.
“Countless more,” the kitsune replied. “Many of your race’s myths and legends stem from truths or half-truths.” A glimmer flashed in her eyes. “But my point, dear boy, is that I wish very much to experience humanity. And to do so, we must do one thing: find a human host that is willing to serve as our vessel.”
“Vessel?” Daniel blinked, trying his best to remain calm in this strange, inhuman situation he suddenly found himself in. The word didn’t exactly fill him with a sense of ease, after all.
“Yes,” the kitsune said. “A vessel. To be a host to anything like me is a simple enough process: I would merge with you, my essence becoming a part of your essence. Think of it as an exchange; I gain the ability to do as you can, to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel all you do as though your body were mine, and in exchange, you gain some of my… benefits.” She smiled wide. “Your body remains yours. Your mind remains yours. I have no interest, nor power, to usurp anything from you, if you’re worried.”
Daniel stared at this massive fox, his mind twisting and turning with all this information. He couldn’t exactly believe what he was hearing - no, he was still struggling to wrap his head around it - but, after a moment, he couldn’t help but be… curious.
“Why me, though?” Daniel asked. “I mean… I’m not exactly the most interesting person around.” He paused. “And… I mean, I’m a guy, and…”
The kitsune giggled at this. “Precisely.”
“We have similar interests,” the kitsune said, a hint of mirth in her voice. “We prefer the female sex, for starters.” She winked. “But to answer the other part of your question? Your life is exactly what I want for myself, Daniel. I don’t want danger or excitement. I want something simple, something normal. And you just happened to be the one I felt drawn to.”
Daniel didn’t quite know how to take this. He still wasn’t entirely sure this wasn’t some elaborate dream, and while his mind was at war with him over this debacle, he started to relax and think a bit more clearly.
“How does this, er, host thing work?” Daniel asked.
The kitsune sat. “It’s not a painful or unpleasant process. You must allow me the privilege of becoming one with you, and in doing so, I shall. It’s not some fancy ritual like a fantasy movie, my dear. It’s more of a… physical contract. By giving me permission, you give me consent, and thus, I join you. However, if at any time you wish to reject or end our ‘partnership,’ we’ll call it, then I will be forced out of you. It’s an unspoken rule among those like me: we cannot force ourselves upon a human, nor can we force ourselves to remain within them.”
“I see,” Daniel said, a little surprised at this.
“If we did,” the kitsune continued, “then it would be dangerous and problematic. A human host who fights for their own mental freedom would cause a great deal of stress and strain upon us, and we would essentially weaken to the point where we’d likely perish or just get kicked out.” She shrugged. “At any rate… what do you say?”
Daniel hesitated. Despite his reservations and wariness, he was very curious about all this, more than a rational person probably should’ve been.
Written by Hollowpages on 10 September 2019