You probably don’t know me, but that’s okay. I like playing with strangers, even if it’s a little dangerous. Sometimes it bites me, like that time I decided to go tease the chromodon… let me tell you, they really know how to make your life miserable, and they can’t take a joke at *all*. It’s not like they stayed dead or anything. And what did they expect when they’re walking around with a spirit so bright and shiny, in bodies so soft and squishable?
I had to run a long way to get away from those stupid kitties, after they finally killed me, but eventually I noticed that they weren’t chasing me anymore, and headed for the nearest branch. I don’t really know where I am, though. Forests really look the same everywhere. I *hate* forests! But they’re one of the best places to find a new body, after your old one gets skewered, set on fire, disintegrated, yada yada. It’s got lots of cover, so everyone thinks they can hide, but I see the spirits shining right through the leaves and dirt.
I picked a fox this time, ‘cause they’re pretty. And because he was the first thing I saw sleeping deeply enough for me to sneak up on him. I can’t really take over people when they’re awake, they wiggle too much. Asleep, they think it’s a bad dream until I’ve already eaten most of their mind and their spirit goes screaming off into the void. Heehee! They fight back in the dream sometimes, but it doesn’t do any good since I’m not really there. If they come up with something *really clever*, sometimes I’ll let them go. There’s no danger of that when I’m eating animals of course.
Anyway, the fox was a little less cute once I’d squished it all into a proper body for me – the tail needed to be longer, with some spikes, and I could never get along without at least six legs! Plus better, sharper teeth and claws, and of *course* my wings. I don’t go anywhere without my wings.
The shreds of the fox’s mind told me how he normally got along in the forest, eating small animals and stuff. BORING. He knew where some herethroy hung out nearby, though, so I headed that way.
I was stealthy! Like a ghost! But there was snow everywhere on the ground, and that made it hard not to leave tracks, especially when you melt the snow for a foot or two around every time you stay too long in one place. So the herethroy found me first.
“What *is* it?” one of them stage-whispered. She probably thought she was actually whispering, I mean, she was a kid.
“Shh!” hissed the other one, even louder.
“Hi there!” I said, waving a paw to them, and turning around to get a look. They were both herethroy, from the emphasis of their magerium and the solid shape of their minds, although I could have told that much just from looking at them with my eyes – the giant bugs don’t look a lot like any other primes or many other monsters. Although, I had to ask, “Why are you all furry?”
“Why are *you* furry?” the second one asked, stepping out into the open to stand in front of her companion.
That was a really silly question. “I’m being a fox!” I said, bounding a few steps closer, and figuring out that they were wearing furs, probably to help against the cold. “That’s not fox fur, is it?”
“Foxes don’t talk that well,” she insisted, folding both pairs of arms and looming over me on her hind-legs. “Are you a monster?”
I was pretty sure I’d been speaking in common, though, and foxes do speak common. They don’t usually speak common to me, but that’s because they only see me in their dreams, when I’m eating them. I might have been speaking the local language I guess – picking up stuff like that is sort of automatic. So I stood there for a bit, trying to figure out if I’d given myself away, and then I remembered I had six legs and spikes on my long, slithery tail and fiery wings. She’d just been teasing me!
“No!” I said, “I’m an illusion. Here, try to touch my wings.” I spread them wide for her, and she did. She used a stick, of course, and the stick went right through the wing, of course. The wings aren’t *illusion* exactly, but they’re not solid. “Now try to pet me.”
She knelt down, and petted my fur. I purred happily, and nuzzled her arm, like I always saw the chromodon do when they were trying to be charming. She chittered and leaped back, tripping in the snow and landing on her abdomen. “You’re solid!”
“Nah, it’s just a really good illusion,” I said, “it does touch!” I advanced on her slowly, grinning a toothy grin. “Come on, pet me some more. -.-“
That, um, I guess in retrospect it kind of looks like a threat, which would explain why she screamed, and the two of them ran away. I really just wanted to be petted more, though. I don’t get people showing me affection much.
Since they were running I *had* to chase them, and it was the quiet one who got caught. You don’t have to outrun the monster, just your friends! At least, if I’m not feeling especially ironic, which I wasn’t. I mean, I’d just gotten to the branch, there’s no point trying to mix it up before people are used to the normal way things work. You’d just be getting ahead of yourself, and no one would get the joke.
Her name was Brighteyes. She was twelve years old, and had a natural talent for botany and foresting, as much as you can tell with a kid that young. Her parents were farmers, and the other kid who’d kept running after she screamed and fell to the ground (after I jumped on her back and tripped her with my tail) was her best friend, Raspberry. She wasn’t Raspberry ‘s best friend, though, if you know what I mean. Other than that she was pretty boring, at least as much as I could tell at a glance. I can read people pretty well when I can get a close look at their mind.
She tried to spont ‘hiding in nowhere’, which was actually kind of clever – I mean, she was a herethroy, so it wasn’t *impossible*, and I totally would have gotten bored and wandered off before her little pocket universe dissolved. She didn’t pull it off before she ran out of cley though.
I thought about letting her go, because she *had* done something clever, but I was really hungry after transforming a new body, and spending so long wandering around between branches. Maybe next time!