Midnight. They always came at midnight. The chimes from the old grandfather clock in the den jolted Daniel out of his restless dreams. It wasn't the chimes that woke him so much as the knowledge that They were coming. It was the same horrifying ritual, every single night.
The room was illuminated by an eerie pale green glow. Three figures in haz-mat suits stood around his bed. One of them held a large briefcase, another held a gun, and the third--the apparent leader, from the way he acted--was making entries into a large handheld computer. Daniel tried to escape, to run, to even move, but some unseen force held him in place, as immobile as the bed itself. The leader looked up from his computer and signaled to the one holding the briefcase, who set the case down and began to open it. Daniel strained to see its contents, but couldn't from his position. If only he could move...
The leader reached forward, grabbed the bedcovers and--
The shrill blast of Daniel's alarm clock filled the room. He'd had that dream again, the same one he'd been having every night for nearly a month. Except that it didn't feel like a normal dream. It felt more like a memory, but one that had been partially forgotten. Anyway, Dan had more important things to worry about, so he pushed whatever it was aside for the moment. Today was the last day of school, finally. All he had to do was survive his last few final exams, and he'd be home free. He wasn't about to let a creepy dream get him down.
Dr. DiCaoz glanced over his biology classroom. "Is anybody still working on the final?" he asked tiredly. He paused for a moment, then said, "If everybody is finished, you may talk quietly amongst yourselves for the remainder of the period." As the class erupted in chatter, he went back to nursing his hangover.
Daniel loved his biology class. It wasn't just that he was good at it, or that it was the last class of the day. By some bit of luck or fate, he happened to be in the same class as his four closest friends, Gassan, David, Pammy, and Jake. Gassan, David, and Pammy had become absurdly popular since coming to high school. Gassan was Lebanese and therefore "exotic," David was a star swimmer, and Pammy was a cheerleader. In retrospect, popularity was an inevitability. To the other popular kids, Jake an avid follower of the Furry subculture (he called it a craze, but nobody else did) and Daniel, the introspective writer, were social liabilities. Still, Gassan, David, and Pam never let their newfound "friends" keep them away from Jake and Dan. Privately, Daniel was grateful that he had managed to befriend the four people who appeared to be immune to high school drama.
"So, what'd you guys think?" Pammy whispered.
"I'm pretty sure Dr. Di is a nutcase," Gassan answered quickly. He was met with a chorus of approval from his companions.
"Anyway," Pam continued, "are we having our annual Thank-God-The-Schoolyear's-Over party tonight?"
"I can't go," Jake said, "I've got a convention."
"I can't go either," said David, "My dad's taking me camping. He's on a back-to-nature kick."
"I'm visiting my grandma," Gassan said. Pammy rolled her eyes.
"Alright," she sighed, "when do you guys get back?"
"Sunday, but it'll be late."
"So," Pammy continued, "is Monday night alright with everyone?"
The days passed quickly. By the time Monday arrived, he had gone an entire weekend without his mysterious dreams. He was mostly relieved, but part of him wished the visitors would come back so he could find out what they were up to.
The streets were charged with an eerie calm. A summer storm was coming. As Daniel reached Pam's door, he couldn't help but feel a strange foreboding. Something was decidedly wrong. He rang the bell.
"Come in," called Pammy. Dan opened the door and found friend sitting on the floor in a tidy circle. They were all staring at him, an unsettling hunger in their eyes. "We are playing Truth or Dare," Pammy intoned mechanically. "Please, join us. Truth or Dare?"
"Please choose Dare," Gassan said, in the same unearthly voice.
"The Truth is never any fun," agreed David, still in the same tone. Throughout the exchange, none of the four took their eyes off of Daniel.
"Is everything alright?" he asked. "You all seem...different."
Pammy answered in the same monotone as before: "We are collectively unnerved at a series of recurring dreams we have been having. Perhaps you too are experiencing these visions?"
"Yeah," Dan said, "but I'm not acting that weird about it."
"Perhaps," Pammy said, "All will be made more clear if you answer this simple question: Truth...or Dare?"
Written by Zodiac on 31 May 2008
Rain began to fall, thunder echoed above, lightning weaved itself through the thick storm clouds. But it wasn't the rain that had woken the young man up, no. It was something else, another strange sound. Daniel had blinked his eyes a few times, he was trying to get adjusted to the darkness around him.
His room lit up with lightning, a silver flare followed by a roar of thunder. The wind racked a branch against the window, it caused him to startle a bit. He groaned softly and got himself up from his bed, removing bed sheets. The flat surface of his feet met cold floorboards, which creaked loudly upon impact.
He looked around the room, wondering what was going on. That strange feeling was still about, he couldn't shake it off. Was he possibly dreaming maybe? Something felt weird, the atmosphere and all. "Who's there?" Daniel would call out. He had to find out who was stalking him, who was there with him.
Suddenly two golden orbs peered through the darkest part of the room. The young man went tense. He scratched his head a bit and gulped. "If you don't show yourself, I'll be forced to call the police!" He warned. The figure in the darkness didn't move. Expect those eyes, they blinked slightly.
Written by Dalkr Moonfire Wolf on 05 December 2017
Daniel continued to gawk at the sight of the golden eyes peering back at him in dead silence. The only noises he could hear were the pattering of rain rapidly falling upon the roof of his house, the wind outside, and his own racing heartbeat. He wasn’t sure if this was some sort of dream or not, yet the coldness of the floor and the fact he was fully awake by this point told him, no, it wasn’t a dream.
“Who are you?” Daniel asked, his voice quaking.
He tried to make out the figure that the eyes belonged to, yet all he saw was pitch black. It was almost like the eyes were floating there, attached to the darkness in his room, a darkness not even a flash of lightning outside seemed to illuminate.
Daniel’s heart was pounding at the inner walls of his chest. He tried to keep calm, to not freak out, but it was growing difficult because the eyes just kept gazing at him, blinking every moment or so. If there was something in his room, something alive, with eyes like that, it meant he would likely not be alive himself for very long. And there was nowhere to run or to hide.
Daniel balled his hands into fists and stood as straight as he could. He wasn’t a fighter. In fact, he wasn’t exactly the tallest or fittest person, but, like hell was he not going to go down without a fight. He wouldn’t stand there helplessly and be murdered by whatever the hell this thing was.
“I don’t know who you are, but I’m warning you…”
They eyes shifted to the side a little, as if the black mass staring Daniel down was turning its head. There was an eerie, human look of amusement in them, or at least that’s how it looked to Daniel, though he was panicking and chocked it off to him being too full of fear to think otherwise. A deep, almost guttural, noise filled the room - but it sounded like laughter, or something close to laughter.
A shiver rippled up Daniel’s spine. He nearly fell from the surprise at the noise, but somehow managed to steady himself.
“What the hell…”
“You can relax, my friend.” A voice came from the shadow, from the golden, gleaming eyes, a very low, raspy voice that sounded distinctly feminine despite the growl beneath the tone. “If you were in danger, you wouldn’t be standing right now. Take a breath, and calm yourself.”
Daniel gawked. He was stunned, first by the voice and the fact it was coming from the darkness, and then, by the fact this wasn’t a dream. Was he going insane? He was starting to worry he might be, and that didn’t sit well in his stomach.
“Who are you?” Daniel asked. “WHAT are you? And what do you want?”
Written by Hollowpages on 14 April 2019
The figure chuckled, again an almost guttural noise. “Humans. How fascinating it is that some of you can be so terrified, while others are easily intrigued. I[‘ve seen many who freaked out even worse than you have, while others still have been the opposite. Nevertheless… let me try and ease your fears.” The figure slowly started to move from the shadows, and thus, began to take shape.
Daniel’s eyes widened. “What…”
Darkness became a physical form, a body moving on four legs. It had a long face, pointed ears, and what became quickly apparent was that it possessed not one, but nine tails flowing behind it, almost like a billowing gown. Then, color drenched the figure’s body, and within minutes, Daniel found himself gaping at the sight of a large fox, which eyed him with humanlike eyes.
“Does this form suit you more?” the creature asked, its voice softer now, silkier… and still obviously feminine. “As I said, you needn’t be afraid. Were you to be killed or eaten or what have you, again, we would not be speaking.”
Daniel needed a moment to gather himself. Several, in fact, to pick his jaw off the floor - first - and then to realize what the hell was going on. He was speaking to…
Daniel’s mind raced. “You’re… a kitsune?”
The fox cocked her head to the side, a look of amusement mixed in with a tint of surprise coloring her human eyes. “Ah, how curious. It isn’t often those I visit know of what I am. Yes. I am a kitsune, as you say.”
He knew. He knew because, in part, he’d grown up being a fan of Japanese anime, and he’d seen quite a number of shows that involved the kitsune, the legendary - and often deadly - nine-tailed fox creature that was either a monster or a spirit, sometimes even both. This fondness for anime had led to him growing to enjoy Japanese culture. That, however, was neither here nor there.
“But… but you’re…” Daniel couldn’t make himself finish as he pushed this aside and tried to grab onto reality.
“Not real?” She laughed again. “I assure you, dear boy, I’m very much real. My kind are real, in fact. We simply don’t reveal ourselves to humans unless we wish to, like now, for example.” She eyed him with a strangely thoughtful expression for a large, nine-tailed fox. “I’ve been watching you, Daniel. Watching, listening, learning. I feel you may be a good fit for me.”
Daniel frowned. “A good… fit? For what?”
“For a human host, of course,” the kitsune replied.
Daniel tried to steady his nerves. “Human host?” Immediately, his mind went to horror movies and all manner of stories about possessions. “Oh, God…”
Written by Hollowpages on 08 September 2019
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
“Um.” He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sure, I guess.”
The kitsune grinned wide. “Perfect.”
Without a word, the kitsune’s entire body was engulfed in a strange white flame. Daniel gasped and nearly fell backwards, only for the mass of flame to spring up and fly straight at him. He yelped. There was a flash of white that blinded him, and at once, he collapsed, losing consciousness.
When Daniel came to, he found himself on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. His room was no different, there was no shadow, no glowing eyes. He groaned and slowly sat upright; his head felt fuzzy, and he needed a good minute to regain the sensation of… well, everything.
He ran a hand through his hair. His room was quiet.
“Was that just a dream…?” Daniel wondered.
There was a laugh, but it came from inside his own head. “No, silly boy. It was no dream. I am very much real, and now, very much a part of you.”
Daniel gasped, startled by the voice inside his own head.
“I told you,” the kitsune said.
Daniel put a hand on his chest to calm himself. “I just… I…” He shook his head and slowly sat upright. “So… y-you’re inside of me?” He glanced down at his body, then shuddered. “Wow.”
“It’s quite comfortable in here, actually,” the kitsune said. “Warm. Snuggly, even.”
Daniel had no clue how to respond to that.
“Ah, but, let’s get to the fun part for you, hmm?” the kitsune said.
Daniel frowned. “Fun part?”
“I did tell you that you’d gain some of my gifts, did I not?” the kitsune said. “You’ll find many of them out in due time, but, since the night is young, why don’t I reveal to you the largest of my boons? Do me a favor, Daniel. Go outside, would you?”
Daniel’s lips twitched. He pushed himself onto his feet and, very slowly, started to move toward his closet.
“No, no,” the kitsune said. “You needn’t worry about exiting your pajamas, I promise.”
Daniel stared at his closet for a couple seconds before starting toward the door. It didn’t take long for him to be outside, the cool night air brushing against his skin. He felt weird standing out there in his pajamas, though he was at least covered and not shirtless or something weird like that.
“Now what?” Daniel asked, quietly.
“Relax your body,” the kitsune said. “Relax your mind. Then, close your eyes.”
Written by Hollowpages on 12 September 2019
Daniel struggled to do this, but, he took in a deep breath. His whole body started to feel… warm. A comforting warmth, in fact, that spread from his navel to the rest of him over a manner of seconds. Then, he felt himself start to vibrate; his body shook, yet the tremors weren’t painful or unpleasant. Then, the warmth grew, like it was enveloping him. And within a short burst, everything swirled around Daniel and everything… changed.
Daniel suddenly found himself shrinking down, going from standing on two legs to dropping onto all fours. His body shifted, all in what seemed like an instant. By the time Daniel realized it - he’d opened his eyes, of course - he was now lower to the ground and standing on all fours.
He was no longer a human.
“Wh-what the…” Daniel couldn’t even begin to form a complete sentence.
The kitsune within him snickered. “You are now blessed with the power to assume my form, or a form like mine, I suppose would be more accurate.”
Daniel stood there, almost frozen in place, staring forward while he started to adjust to this. The first thing he noticed - besides the whole standing on all fours and being lower to the ground part - was that his senses were… sharper.
He could hear better, for starters, well enough that he could hear cars in the distance and plenty of other nighttime noises as if they were right in front of him. His vision was keen, sharp enough to see yards away without too much trouble, and of course, his sense of smell was much stronger, for the scents of all things around him practically invaded his nose.
It was overwhelming, almost to a maddening degree, yet right when Daniel started to feel that sensation of these things being too much, they seemed to weaken drastically in an instant.
“Sorry about that,” the kitsune said. “I forget how different it is for humans. You aren’t used to having the same senses I am. You will adjust in time, I promise.”
Daniel shuddered. “What… how did…”
“I did,” the kitsune said. “I weakened your senses, to help you learn to better adjust gradually rather than at once.”
“My ability to suppress things is limited,” the kitsune said, her voice calm and reassuring. “I cannot force you to do anything, I’ll say that again. Just know I can offer help where possible when you have assumed this form. Ah, and another thing to be aware of: you are now invisible to humans. Your body is physical, and yet, you are also on a separate plane of existence. Meaning, before you ask, that you can see and hear and experience the world around you, but none will see you, none will hear you, and nothing can harm you.”
Daniel breathed in deep and let this reality wash over him. It was a lot to take in at once.
“The only beings who can see and communicate directly with you are those like me, or those like you,” the kitsune said.
“Other people with kitsune inside them?” Daniel asked.
“Yes, or another being similar,” the kitsune replied. “Come now, Daniel. The best way to experience this is to live it. Don’t dawdle around; go. Move, run through the city, see what it means to be gifted by a kitsune. I’ll be here.”
Written by Hollowpages on 14 September 2019
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
Daniel frowned, but did so. He breathed in, sniffing at the wind. A scent stood above the smells of the grass and the trees around him; a scent he couldn’t put words to, but, it stuck out and it invaded his nose. It was sweet, almost like perfume. Floral perfume at that, he noted. Either way, it was strong, and very, very pleasant.
“What is that?” Daniel asked.
“That, my dear, is one like you: a human who has chosen to allow themselves to become the host to a fellow kitsune,” the kitsune said. “And I do believe they’re using their scent to call to you, since they’ve likely discovered your presence before you could theirs. Go on. Follow it and meet them. I’m sure it’s one who has more experience and could help you out, if not offer more.”
Daniel paused. “A-are you sure?”
“Positive,” the kitsune replied. “Trust me. Or, if not me, trust your instincts. If you feel there’s danger, then it would be dangerous. Your sixth sense is one you will come to rely on heavily, Daniel; it’s one of the gifts you now have gained thanks to me.”
Daniel thought for a few heartbeats, pondering this. He didn’t feel any sort of threat or sense of danger from the scent, and yet, he wasn’t entirely sure how he’d know these things anyways. But, his curiosity again won out in the end and he followed the scent, which indeed felt like it was calling to him. He only hoped what he found wasn’t something dangerous.
Written by Hollowpages on 16 September 2019
As Daniel raced onwards, he felt something within his mind… shift. Like there was movement in his head. He slowed his run and paused to wonder what it was, only to hear a sigh in his head.
“Um. You okay?” Daniel asked. He didn’t even know her name, he realized now…
“Oh, I’m quite fine,” the kitsune replied. “I just realized there’s something I forgot to inform you. Two things, actually.” She chortled. “My name, as you have yet to learn, is Kura. And the second thing is… a detail I ought to have informed you beforehand, so for what it’s worth, I do apologize.”
Daniel frowned and came to a stop, despite the tantalizing scent calling to him. “Okay… What? What’s wrong?”
“Well, Daniel, you probably didn’t notice it, but… your current form…” Kura sounded a little sheepish as she continued. “As I am female, despite the fact your human body and mind are male, it means the form you’re in is also female.”
Daniel gaped. “Oh…”
“Meaning, you are a vixen,” Kura continued. “You’re smaller, slimmer, and… Well, in this state, you’re lacking the same packaging you have otherwise.”
Daniel paused and attempted to look behind himself, but, couldn’t.
Kura chuckled dryly. “You didn’t notice it, or even feel it, when you realized what you were, did you? That’s because you wouldn’t; this state is like a second nature to you. It’s one of the benefits of this form whenever a kitsune merges with a human host. It’s like a second skin, one you’ve basically known your entire existence beyond some initial awkwardness.”
Daniel’s mind was racing with this information. “So you’re saying I’m a guy trapped in the body of a vixen? For as long as I’m in this form?”
“Essentially,” Kura replied. “Again, it won’t intrude on things too much. I just wanted you to be mindful.”
“Would’ve been nice to know before all this,” Daniel muttered.
He sighed, since it seemed - and felt - a little moot at this point, and so he picked up speed once more and began to follow the scent. It led him away from the city, into a wooded area further away. He trekked into the woods, weaving between trees, until the smell became incredibly powerful.
Daniel stopped and looked around. He realized now that he… didn’t know what to do. In fact, he was completely lost, because he’d gone and listened to the kitsune he’d merged with - on a whim - and now…
Kura chuckled once more in his head. “You need to stop worrying so much about such things. I will take care of you, Daniel. We are one now, and as my host, you are dear to me for many reasons. Fear not. I will let you know when things are dire or in need of something beyond experience.”
“Okay,” Daniel murmured. “So then where…”
Written by Hollowpages on 17 September 2019
He stopped when he heard movement. He turned to the right, then looked up, as another kitsune appeared. And this kitsune was utterly gorgeous; Daniel was stricken by the silvery color of the fur, with grew darker toward the tails, with the tips of the tails all black; the same for the kitsune’s legs and ears, with all four paws colored black and the tips of the ears the same.
The kitsune was standing on a small ledge above Daniel, but leapt down nimbly, landing lithely a few inches away. It was then Daniel saw this kitsune was… bigger than him. Much bigger, and thicker, too, he noted.
A male kitsune?
This kitsune had pale blue eyes, which stared at him quizzically. Then, it spoke, “I don’t recognize you. But I take it you’re new to this body, aren’t you?”
Daniel was confused. Despite having a more masculine physique, the voice was female.
“Quite possible it’s the reverse of our dynamic,” Kura said in his head. He swore he could feel her almost shrug.
The kitsune continued. “You smell interesting, though.” It cocked its head to the side, then smiled. “Your body smells like a boy, but there’s a woman’s fragrance interwoven in it. How curious. I don’t think I’ve met one like you in a long time.”
Silence fell. Daniel just watched.
“You can speak, you know,” the kitsune said. “I won’t hurt you.”
“Right, sorry,” Daniel said. “I’m still… adjusting to this.”
“I was right!” the other kitsune said, giggling. “You’re a boy. Well, man.” She shrugged. “At any rate, welcome to life of a kitsune, cub.” She grinned - was it a she, Daniel wondered? - which bared all her teeth. “Since this is all new for you, I’ll try and make this as… pleasant as I can. I’m Aria.”
“Daniel,” Daniel said.
“Nice to meet you, Daniel,” Aria said.
Aria suddenly closed the gap between them and brushed her nose against Daniel’s cheek, startling him. She breathed in deep, then let out a sigh, one of her tails moving out to stroke the other cheek. She eyed Daniel with a look he had never seen before, along with genuinely appraising him.
“You smell nice, Daniel,” she said, her voice lower, huskier now.
Daniel about choked on his own saliva. In his head, he head Kura snickering. His face was suddenly warmer, a heat of embarrassment that spread to the rest of his body rather abruptly.
Written by Hollowpages on 18 September 2019
Aria giggled. “I don’t know what it is, but the fact you’re a man who smells so… deliciously feminine… It’s quite appealing.” She eyed him for a moment before using the same tail she’d touched his cheek with to point. “Come with me, Daniel. I can show you more about this new power, and you can tell me how you came to get it. I’ll do the same.”
“Sure,” Daniel said, trying his best to fight the blush off.
Aria turned away from him and began moving, and Daniel followed, feeling incredibly curious about this woman, and about this whole kitsune ordeal.
“So, tell me, Daniel,” Aria said. “When did you gain this gift?”
“Um, tonight,” Daniel admitted.
Aria stopped dead in her tracks and turned to stare at him. “Tonight? Really, now?”
“Yeah,” Daniel said. “I woke up and saw this pair of glowing eyes in my room, which turned out to be a kitsune. And she told me about… well, she didn’t tell me much other than saying she wanted to merge with me.” He shrugged. “I don’t really know why, still. I’m not that interesting. And I think part of me is still convinced this is all just a crazy dream.”
Kura snorted in his head. “Keep telling yourself that, Daniel. It won’t make it any truer, but if it helps your sanity…”
Aria stared at him with an oddly bemused expression. “Huh.”
Daniel shifted somewhat. He’d rub his neck, if he could. “What about you?”
“I gained this gift two years ago,” Aria said. Her shock seemed to wear off then and she smiled at him. “I’ve been reveling in the life of a kitsune-blessed person since then.” She started to move again, using one tail to gesture Daniel to follow once more. “I must admit, I’m fascinated. It isn’t often I come across a male kitsune, but it’s even rarer to come across a man who has bonded with a female kitsune. What made you choose that?”
“No reason, really,” Daniel said. “I didn’t… think about it that way.”
Aria peered at him over her shoulder. “You’re a curious one, Daniel.”
Daniel didn’t really know how to respond to that.
“Why did you become a kitsune?” Daniel asked.
Aria started to increase her speed to a casual trot, and Daniel sped up to better match her speed. He didn’t fail to notice how she truly appeared to glide across the ground when he paid attention to her legs, her feet, and her movement. The way she moved was so nimble, and almost… majestic, he supposed.
Written by Hollowpages on 19 September 2019
“Because I was bored with my life,” Aria replied. “I wasn’t doing anything worth my time, and while I tried my best to better myself, I just wasn’t happy.” Her voice was softer now. “Then Shina came along. She appeared to me in a dream one night, speaking to me. She started to appear regularly in my dreams for about two months before she manifested in my room for real.”
Daniel blinked. Dream? Was that a power kitsune had?
Kura shifted somewhat in his mind. “Well, yes. Technically, yes. I, er… I could’ve done that with you, but, I have always preferred the direct approach.”
“Thanks,” Daniel muttered. Scare him half to death, then make him choose all of this with no time to think it over.
“I-I would’ve given you time!” Kura said, her tone a bit defensive. Then, more sheepishly. “I’m sorry, Daniel. I didn’t think about how putting you on the spot might effect your ability to decide.”
Daniel didn’t answer.
“Speaking to your partner, yes?” Aria asked. She chuckled. “A word of advice: you can speak to her in your mind. You don’t need to say the words out loud to answer or ask; best you learn to do that sooner rather than later. Trust me, it’s easy to forget that people aren’t aware there’s another being inside of you.”
“Oh.” Daniel felt a bit embarrassed. “Yeah, uh. Good point. You were saying?”
“Once Shina offered me a chance at something bigger, I accepted,” Aria said. “After the initial ‘holy shit, there’s a kitsune and it’s talking to me’ moment was over, of course.” She snickered. “And I haven’t looked back since.”
“Have you been a kitsune since then?” Daniel asked. “Like, only in this body?”
“Oh, no,” Aria said. “I spent a few weeks as purely a kitsune, yes, but I shifted back to my human form, and still do. Shina was insistent I do this,” her tone was sarcastic, “in part because she wanted to experience all the normal, boring things of my human life. But, I admit, having her in me, in my head… it made things… better.”
Silence fell. Daniel pondered her words. “How so?”
Written by Hollowpages on 20 September 2019
“Everyday tasks took on a different meaning,” Aria replied, her tone growing lighter now, gentler. “It was like I was reborn almost; one part of me recognized things like going for a walk, going to the mall, and so on, but Shina saw them through my eyes and just… enhanced it. I learned to appreciate my life thanks in part to her. She gave me inspiration, she gave me humility. And now, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”
Daniel was fascinated. To hear this, he began to wonder if choosing to allow Kura to merge into him was a better choice. Perhaps it had more benefits than being able to turn into a cool - if apparently female-bodied - magic fox creature.
Kura scoffed. “I’m no ‘magic’ anything, you. I’m a spirit. It’s different.”
Daniel was about to respond outwardly, but, checked himself and instead thought. ‘You didn’t exactly tell me what you were, Kura. You were super vague.’
“Er.” Kura shifted somewhat again. “Fair. I didn’t know what scope your knowledge was of the supernatural world. There’s no word in your language to exactly describe what I am, and while the term ‘yokai’ is common in Japanese culture, it isn’t quite… appropriate, I suppose. Spirit is the closest thing I can come up with.”
Daniel made a mental note of this.
“But to answer your thought, yes, this will have such benefits,” Kura said, her tone warmer. “I am genuinely excited to experience the various things you go through. No matter how simple or mundane, it will be new to me, and it will likely continue to be new to me every single day for the rest of our lives. That’s one of the benefits of being a kitsune; you don’t FORGET your experiences, we just… derive pleasure from them much, much more strongly.”
‘Wow…’ Daniel thought. He didn’t know what else to think, but, he was honestly kind of eager to see what this would be like.
“Having a deep conversation, are we?” Aria asked, amused.
Daniel blinked. “Oh, right. Yes.” He forgot that she was still there and that she couldn’t hear his thoughts to Kura. “So, uh, how often do you… do you become a kitsune, I guess?”
“Whenever I wish,” Aria replied. “Obviously if I have some kind of engagement, I don’t turn into a kitsune and vanish, but when I have nights to myself, or a day to myself…” She sighed. “It’s so incredibly freeing to live in this form.”
She started to run, pausing only briefly to wink at him, and Daniel found himself picking up his speed to a run as well. The two ran through the woods, rushing past trees left and right, Daniel doing his best to keep up with Aria while also trying to avoid running into anything.
“Don’t be so afraid, Daniel!” Aria shouted. “Your body and your partner will keep you from crashing! Run and live free!”
“She’s right,” Kura said. “Let your inhibitions go.”
Written by Hollowpages on 21 September 2019
Daniel sucked in a deep breath, and started to ignore his impulse to not crash. Instead, he focused only on running, and soon, he was able to forget entirely about the potential hazard of the trees or anything else. His body moved both in sync with him, yet also without worry; it was like it was being guided by him and something else at the same time, yet never did the two act differently.
Daniel found himself smiling as he rushed down the forest, eventually matching up with Aria in speed. His heart was pounding fast, adrenaline pulsing through his body.
This lasted for about ten or so minutes before Aria slowed her pace down, and Daniel wound up doing the same. They came to a complete stop in a clearing, with a large pond, and a hill top overlooking the area. The sky was clear and filled with hundreds of stars thanks to the lack of city lights in the area, and the moon hovered overhead, bright and luminous. Daniel couldn’t help gazing up and around at the sheer beauty of the scenery.
“I’ve never been here before,” Daniel mused to himself.
Daniel thought he’d need to catch his breath, but, found he didn’t. His lungs felt fine, and his chest was breathing normally despite his heart’s speed; yet that slowed rather smoothly, and Daniel was soon relaxing without any problem.
“Another boon of yours now,” Kura said. “More energy to do things. It’s not infinite, by any means, but you’ll have a lot more oomph to act through your daily life than you would as a normal human. You’re welcome.”
Aria strode up to Daniel, at once getting close. She brushed her nose against his cheek, again startling him, yet she moved slowly and almost gingerly.
“You smell REALLY good,” Aria said.
Daniel’s cheeks felt hot. “Thanks.”
She eyed him with a rather… odd look. “I don’t think I’ve ever smelled anything as pleasant before. And I’ve never felt such a… yearning in my stomach.” She cocked her head to the side, appraising him. “I wonder…”
She stood there, silent, and Daniel watched, feeling a rush of something he couldn’t quite put words to. It was a tingling sensation in his chest, one that melded in with a strong fluttering that filled his stomach and spread throughout him.
Written by Hollowpages on 23 September 2019
‘Um, Kura?’ Daniel thought.
“I do believe she’s attracted to you,” Kura replied, a mixture of amusement and interest coloring her tone. “How exciting! To not only be gifted with me, but also to find a potential mate in the same night! Hoo boy, you must be thrilled.”
Daniel was a little slackjawed at this. ‘Um. But… we literally just met…’
“Yes, yes, I know,” Kura said. “But we kitsune mate differently than humans. Also, when I say ‘mate,’ I mean it’s likely she wishes to start a relationship with you, or however you want to word it. Though, do be advised, there’s a good chance she may… try to dominate you.”
“When we kitsune are interested in someone, the one who is more… alpha, you could say, will often seek to ensure the one they’re interested in becomes theirs,” Kura replied. “Don’t be too afraid; if she wishes to go down this path, she’ll ask your permission. Basically, what it would entail is she would make you submit to her, then bite you. Not a painful bite, mind, just a bite to leave a special mark. This mark will only be visible by other kitsune and other spirits like us, and it will signify you are hers.”
A rush of emotions ran through Daniel’s body.
This was a lot to take in at once, a lot to think about, to be sure. He’d never been lucky enough to have a girlfriend, but, to suddenly be in a predicament where that might no longer be the case, even if he didn’t quite understand all the things behind it…
He didn’t quite understand all of it, of course. He felt a little lost, and very, very overwhelmed, even though Aria was just standing there, not doing anything.
“She’s probably speaking to her inner kitsune,” Kura offered. “Look, I know this is a lot. It’s overwhelming, as you thought. But again, I ask for your trust, and for you to relax and take it in stride. Nothing will happen to you if you choose for it not to happen. We kitsune are essentially bound to honor the concept of consent in all things. So if she deigns you interesting and wants to see what a relationship with you may entail…”
Written by Hollowpages on 25 September 2019