Another of the magical pet shop collaboration with Terri the Dragon. This time, Kami, a former anthro wolf finds himself suddenly in the streets.
Magical Petshop: Kami
Story By CalexTheNeko
Art By Terri the Dragon
Character Owned By CWolfCW
What the heck had just happened?
One moment, Kami had been looking at a job posting in a pet shop, the next he was trapped inside kind of clay prison. He could vaguely remember feeling sleepy for a moment… And then next thing he knew he was surrounded by darkness. The walls around him were made out of some kind of hard clay… And everything about him felt wrong. He had some kind of strange sense of vertigo, as if the world… or maybe his body was the wrong size… But trapped in complete darkness it was impossible to figure out exactly why.
Kami pushed against the side of the wall and found his entire prison moved. Apparently whatever he was inside wasn’t very sturdy. That meant he could probably break out of here… Before that though he realized he should probably make sure there wasn’t just a door or some other exit he couldn’t see. It’d be rather embarrassing if he had just passed out and been taken to some dark room to rest then destroyed the place upon waking up. Some dark room… with clay walls. Yeah, there probably wasn’t a benevolent explanation for the situation, but he was still reluctant to resort right away to breaking things.
He felt around the area with his paws. Something about how his body moved was wrong. Once he got to where he could see he’d figure that out… For now his only concern was escape. The walls were round shaped around him… No possible exit… But the ceiling was made of wood. Some kind of door maybe? Kami pushed against it but could barely budge it. He pawed at edges of it, finding the cracks between the clay and the wood. This was definitely the exit… But it was so heavy! Kami was a wolf… And considered himself reasonably strong. Whatever was holding the wooden panel or door to the top of his prison must have been really heavy. That seemed to imply someone had trapped him in here on purpose.
And with that revelation… All reservation about breaking out of here vanished instantly. It was replaced with a new concern… About being crushed by whatever was currently above him… Kami would have to be quick and careful. He leaned against the side of his prison and heard a rattling noise as it shifted slightly. Perhaps… If this really was clay, he could break through the wall? He wanted to form a fist… But his hand was unwilling to cooperate… It wouldn’t bend right, he really wished he could see himself right now. Everything felt wrong. Instead he slapped his paw against the wall as hard as he could. The wall didn’t crack… But his paw hurt like heck from the impact. Kami let out a growl… This thing was tougher than it looked. He didn’t have much room to move inside… But he threw his entire body against the wall. His prison rattled and he felt it move slightly. He hadn’t escaped… But progress! He continued to throw himself against the wall over and over again… The entire prison starting to rattle more and more with each shove. Suddenly… His entire world began to shift perspective as he felt himself falling into the wall! Wait… Was this thing on some kind of edge? He hadn’t just tipped himself over a cliff or something yet? He let out an alarmed squeak, a noise he shouldn’t have been able to make in the first place, and tried to throw himself at the other wall, but it was too late. Whatever it was he was in, it was now falling, and for a few brief seconds he felt weightless as he fell with it.
Light filled Kami’s world as the walls of his prison shattered and cracked. He didn’t have time to relish his freedom or the fact he was still living. Now able to see, he found himself sitting in the sand surrounded by pieces of broken clay. Above him he could see giant urns and pots falling downward towards him. Kami let out a yelp and tried to scramble out of the way on all fours as pieces of pottery smashed into the Earth all around him. Each pot was bigger than he was! Was that what he had been inside!?
There was a large wooden table nearby, the surface of it much higher than Kami could see. It made the perfect cover, he quickly dove underneath it to get out of range of the falling debris. Now safe, he had time to piece things together… So… He had been stuck inside a pot? That explained the clay walls… And from the look of it, they each had circular wooden lids… It looked like the pots had been stacked on top of each other… Kami must have tipped his pot right off the edge of the table… And taken all the other ones that were stacked on top with him! Still… To think they would be so big for him to actually fit inside… Or that a table would be large enough for him to hide under… Kami let out a groan as he realized the likely explanation. The pots weren’t gigantic… And as he looked around the area and saw the legs of giants walking around beyond the table it pretty much confirmed his hypothesis.
He was small.
And his body felt wrong.
Kami tried to stand up and straight and get a look at himself… But this proved to be fruitless process. He couldn’t stand up properly on two legs no matter what he tried. He’d wobble for a little bit… Then fall down onto all fours. Looking down at his hands it became obvious why. For starters… They weren’t hands… Just normal paws with no thumbs… Then despite how much smaller he was his body felt too long. Kami rolled onto his back to look down at himself. He definitely wasn’t a wolf anymore.
Some features of himself were still there. His fur was still a dark black over most of his body. His stomach and chest were still white. His body was much longer and thinner though, and with a shorter and less fluffy tail. His claws were shorter, and as went cross-eyed he saw he had a much shorter snout. He felt around his face and head with his forepaws… His ears were shorter and more round… He still had a tuft of hair atop his head… But it was shorter as well. His bangs were no longer long enough to cover his eyes… And then…. Something else…. His muscles were less defined… But not just from being a different species. Despite being longer and thinner overall… His body was a little more round… Like he was… a cub.
He was a cub… Specifically from the looks of it… A ferret cub.
“DOOOOOK!” Kami tried to talk but couldn’t speak in a proper voice. He was nothing more than a feral animal at this point instead of a proper civilized animal. How had this happened? Something clearly happened to him at the pet shop… But the actual details on what or how were all fuzzy to Kami. As he looked around now, the table he was under appeared to be in some kind of bazaar. The ground, though paved was covered in sand, and several buildings appeared to be made of bleached stone.
“MY POTTERY!” Kami didn’t have time to take in his sights long before a loud scream broke through the market. A moment later there was a tall bearded man dressed in blue silks glaring down at him. “You! You rodent! What did you do! You ruined it all!”
“DOOOOOK!” Kami objected to being called a rodent. He was a wolf! Or perhaps a mustelid now! But not a rodent! And it wasn’t like he had asked to be shoved inside one of the pots.
“You… Little beast!” the shopkeeper grabbed a knife from his belt and held it aloft. Kami’s eyes widened as he realized he might be in trouble. “Don’t know what makes you think you can come into MY stand and do this… but maybe a fur scarf will help offset the loss of profits!” The man lunged for Kami with the knife.
Luckily for Kami, his new ferret body was quite agile. He sprinted forward, heading straight through the shop keeper’s legs. However… Out from under the table the bazaar was crowded. Tons of people towered over Kami, not even noticing the small ferret and it became a challenge of dodging their giant footsteps while attempting to put distance between him and the very angry shopkeeper. It was strange… What did the shopkeeper expect to happen trapping an animal in a pot like that? Unless… Had someone else done it? Maybe the pet shop owners? There was no time to think about it he had to move.
“SOMEONE STOP THAT RODENT!” The shopkeeper attempted to push his way through the crowd and come after Kami. This was enough to catch the attention of most people and make others notice the small ferret. Some people let out screams and squeaks, jumping backwards away from Kami which at least made it easier to dodge their footsteps… Others though.
“I got him!” Someone dressed in some kind of chainmail, maybe a town guard dove straight for Kami. The ferret quickly leaped onto their nose, running over their head and down the back.
“Is every town guard incompetent!?” The shopkeeper demanded. “I’ll get him myself!” He didn’t even bother to go around the town guard, stepping onto his back as he chased after Kami.
Kami ran as fast as he could. He was agile, but his legs were small, and he didn’t know the place. This area was a mess of crowded streets, filled with people branching into different alleyways. He had no idea which ones might lead to safety, and which to a dead end. But with the shopkeeper gaining, he quickly darted down one of the most crowded ones, hoping the mass of people would slow the shopkeeper.
“STOP HIM! STOP HIM AT ONCE!” The shopkeeper shouted, but sounded from farther away now. Kami quickly climbed up onto a table to spare a look back. The man was shoving his way through people, but it was slow now. He was also looking around wildly, not focused on where Kami was perched. It was clear he had lost sight in the crowd… Which was exactly what Kami wanted. He leaped down from the table and quickly moved into a shaded alley, backing himself against the wall. Then… Suddenly… Two small hands closed around him.
“DOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!” Kami shouted in defiance and began to squirm.
“H… hey quiet down! Do you want to get caught?” A young voice hissed and kept a firm grip on him… The owner of the voice shifted their hands to only be holding Kami with one hand, then the ferret felt himself pulled upward into the sky… Whoever held him used wooden posts sticking out of the side of the building to climb up onto the roof. Was on the roof Kami was released from the hand.
“DOOK!” Kami was indigent as he quickly leaped to the ground.
“Shhhhh!” Kami’s would be captor held up a finger to silence him. It was just a kid! They couldn’t be older than ten! The black haired boy was dressed tattered rags held together in some semblance of pants and no shirt or shoes. The boy threw himself flat against the roof of the building, then pressed a hand down on Kami to push him against the roof as well. Kami would have objected more except…
“WHERE ARE YOU HIDING!?” The shopkeeper’s voice was right below the building. That made Kami freeze up. The boy meanwhile slowly crawled to the edge of the roof and sneaked a peak over. When eh released Kami from his hand the ferret did the same. The shopkeeper was down there… He was stopping at every alleyway and glaring down it for any sign of the ferret. After a few minutes he passed directly between the two before moving on.
“Okay… I think we’re safe…” The kid moved back closer to the center of the roof then sat up. “Man, what’d you do to make him so angry?”
“Dooooook!” Kami couldn’t quite talk… But he hadn’t done anything! If anything, he was the one who had a right to be upset right now! Where even was he?
“It’s okay, you don’t have to explain to me… I know, the world isn’t really kind to people like us…” The kid smiled. “But you helped me out, so only seemed fair to return the favor.”
“Dook?” Kami tilted his head at this.
“Oh?” The kid’s grin widened into a smirk. “Well… With you and that crazy man running around making so much noise, no one was paying attention to little old me and…” The kid reached into his rags he called clothes and pulled out two apples. “And so I get to eat tonight.”
“Doooooook.” Kami’s eyes grew wide as he saw the apples. His own stomach began to rumble and he realized that he was starving. Who knew how much time had passed since he blacked out and woke up as a ferret… It could have been days since his last meal.
“… You want one too?” The boy sneered. “Well… I’m not sure… I mean, I worked hard to get this… And I feel like I already repaid you by saving your life.”
“Doooooooook…” Kami’s ears flattened. He must have looked absolutely pitiful at the moment.
“Oh come on! That’s no fair! I was just teasing!” The kid rolled one of the apples across the floor. Kami pounced on it in an instant, tearing at the fruit gluttonously. “Oh wow, you really like apples huh?”
“DOOK!” Apples were Kami’s favorite… Though he suspected right now he would have eaten anything.
“So…. What’s your name then?” The kid asked as he bit into his own apple.
“Dook.” Kami just gave him a look. If he was capable of talking to answer that question… Didn’t the kid think he would have done so by now?
“Dook huh?” He realized the kid was having a laugh at him. “Well, it’s not what I would have named myself… But then again I didn’t get to name myself either. I’m Balaak, or at least that’s what people scream when they catch me in the streets.”
“Dook?” It wasn’t hard for Kami to put two and two together. The kid was a thief. And judging by his current attire, he probably didn’t have much choice in the matter. Kami doubted anyone was taking care of him… Meaning the kid likely only got to eat what he stole… And if that was the case… Kami supposed stealing apples was more excusable than gems or coin.
“So… You live around here or something?” The kid asked.
“Dook!” Kami shook his head.
“You… You understand me!” Balaak’s eyes widened. “That was… Huh…” Up till now the kid had just been talking to the ferret for the sake of it… To feel less alone. He had just now caught on the small animal was understanding every word he said. “How… How smart are you?”
“Dooooook.” Kami gave the kid a somewhat annoyed look. He could maybe answer yes or no questions with body language… But it should be obvious he couldn’t talk.
“I see…” The kid finished up his apple then began to rock back and forth on the ground. It was clear he was thinking about something. “So… you can understand me?”
“Dook!” Kami nodded.
“Heh heh, you’re a really smart ferret huh?” The kid shifted positions so that he was sitting on his knees and could lean forward. “You know… I bet… Someone as small and quick as you… You could easily move between the market stalls without getting seen.”
“Doooook?” Kami did his best to give the boy a disapproving glare. He wasn’t really suggesting that Kami become a common thief too was he?”
“Come on… I mean you have to eat too, right?” The boy pleaded. “I’m just saying… If you’re really smart enough to understand what’s going on around you… We could work well together.”
“Doooooook…” The kid had a point… Kami didn’t like the idea of becoming a thief, but starving to death wouldn’t accomplish anything… And right now, he was in a land he knew nothing about and was in a body that didn’t feel like this. So far, this kid was the first friendly face he had seen… And who knew… Maybe if the opportunity arose he could push the kid onto a better path.
“We can go get some more apples.” The kid tried as he held out a hand.
“Dooooook.” Kami sighed before standing up on his hind legs to grasp the kid’s hand with his paw. After falling back down, he quickly ran up the kid’s arm and came to a rest on his shoulders.
“Heh heh! I knew you’d come around Dook!” The kid stood up with a smile. Kami just groaned. At some point, he’d have to tell the kid his name wasn’t ‘Dook.’ Maybe if he could find something to write with he could do a message? Well… It was an idea… For now, he realized his stomach was still grumbling. Despite his small size, one apple had not been enough to fill him up.
“Dook!” Kami voiced his discomfort, and then make a smacking noise with his mouth to indicate he wanted food.
“Okay, okay, I get it you’re hungry… We’ll head back down to the stalls… I’ll make a distraction, and you see what you can snag okay?” Balaak instructed as he moved to the edge of the roof.
“Dook!” Kami nodded.
“Good and um…” The kid smiled sheepishly. “If you can… Try to steal some meat or something! A kid can’t survive on apples alone you know!” With that the kid leaped down from the building, grabbing the wooden post and sliding back to the floor.
This was to be the start of a long partnership.