Jack woke to the sound of yapping wolves and the light thrum on paws hitting the earth below his ear; jumping up to his feet he spun around trying to catch everything at once, his tail tucked and his ears down. He could smell food and then he was facing the large white wolf again, they had a leg of something in their mouth and he could feel his stomach growling. He squeezed forward and stared up at them.
The white pack leader allowed the others to go ahead and go at the elk thigh with vigor, looking at the small fox as the rest of her pack devoured her stash of food. She approached him slowly and knelt down, picking him up by the scruff. “What is your name, prey?” She asked.
Jack can barely remember slightly stirring in his sleep, but, he seemed to trip in his subconscious. Those dreams where you suddenly felt like you missed a step on the stairs, only this trip was met with a sudden warmth and he would never complain about something such as that. Especially when the chill seemed to gust in and latch onto his bones, making him shiver but still only ever warm enough for it to be bearable.
Of course, then came the hazy dreams of being chased and twisted and curled inward, as if he was never fast enough to get out of an unknown grasp but also somewhat safe; it was disorienting. He twitched in his sleep, whimpering lightly.
Leaving the small, white fox cautiously amongst the rest of her pack, she crept off into the woods and brought back a small slab of saved-aside meat from a cold-preserved kill the day before, still fresh off the bone. Returning with the meat in her teeth, the wolf knelt back down, yapping at her clan to rise as the morning came, sun rising above the tree line. The pack yelped and howled at the large elk limb Aisling clenched in her jaws.
Jack curled tighter in on himself, testing his new claws again the soft pads of his feets, running his tongue over his new teeth, and appreciating the warm fur that surrounded him and kept the chill out. Though the wind still bit through the fur every so often. He tried to ignore how the wind stopped biting as he drifted off to sleep.
As the night passed on, Aisling was kept awake. Perhaps by the mere fact that sleeping was not something she often did, especially in a human’s territory, or perhaps it was just the inability to trust a cornered animal to not run away in fear for its life.
In either case, she planned to keep her word. She would return this fox to his human form once she was done teaching him a lesson. However, she realized that this would require protection. And to knock down two birds with one stone, she nipped at the fox’s scruff, pulling him towards her pelt. He slept on and she kept watch in peace through the night.
He seemed to startle at the words in his head, he tried to find the energy to send words back but the suddenness of it all had left him speechless; he could recognize that he was no longer human but the whole of it only seemed to snap into place just then. Before he knew it he plopped down on the ground and curled up into a tight ball, his new bushy tail cover his muzzle as he clenched his eyes shut.
She kept watch over the fox, eyeing her still-awake clan members and reminding them that they were here to teach a boy a lesson, not to mercilessly rip the fox to shreds. Flopping over onto her side, Aisling gave the small fox cover from the wind.
Once Jack felt the texture of the earth underneath his feet once again he pushed himself to his newly shorted legs and stumbled away from the towering figure of white fur and teeth. Though, the snarling wolves surrounding him kept him from straying to far. As he stared back at the White wolf he could feel his tail curl between his hind legs, his ears flatten down, and the overwhelming need to display his stomach. Instead he merely whimpered and flattened himself close to the ground.
She kneeled and lay down in the frosted over grass den, the larger, black and brown wolves doing the same. As she rested her head on her paws, the wolf slipped a few more words into the fox’s mind. “If you try to run, your own people will hunt you. If you ever want to be human again, prey, you will do as I advise you.”
In case anyone was wondering what the fox actually says
This made me melt oh my god
He couldn’t stop his body from freezing up when the teeth bit lightly into the back of his neck. It didn’t hurt and it brought up a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach, something warm that reminded him of his Mother.
The wolf ran, head staying motionless and keeping him from swaying back and forth, the other wolves in the pack growling hungrily at him the whole way to the forest clearing, where the black canines circled a flattened-down, snow-barren, grassy circle of a den, dense, dead tallgrass surrounding them as they huddled together, the white wolf in the center as she set the frightened fox down, glaring at it threateningly.
Jack grumbled under his breath before floating down from the tree, an awful lot like how a leaf falls. He had always been dramatic.
"Sure- if thats what you want to call it."
She furrowed a brow, “What’s wrong, then?”
Jack perched up in a tree, his back against the trunk and his legs hanging over the sides of a branch; his tail didn’t flick about like it usually did.
"What’s wrong, frisky fox?" the spirit giggles, "down in the dumps?"
"Quick- this is really important. Do you think fox kits get along with raccoons?" He breathed out a quickly laugh, his ears twitching about nervously.
"Why on Earth are you asking?"