In our Seventh Tale, Kit the Roocoon has to do a simple babysitting job.
Meanwhile at the Lair of Dr. Callyco
“All systems are green, the launch should go off without a hitch.” The kitten in a lab coat paced back and forth in the living room while looking down at a clipboard held in both paws.
“Um… What are you doing?” Dr. Cutie Pup asked from his spot on the couch.
“Preparing for the launch!” Dr. Callyco grinned. “We’re going to be the first six-year old’s on the moon! I was just checking our ship to make sure it was all good and ready. Everything is looking fine!”
“Our ship?” The wolf pup got up from the couch and look to what Callyco was examining. It was just a plain ordinary cardboard box. “That thing?”
“Yup!” Dr. Callyco beamed as his tail swished back and forth.
“Didn’t you say that was a race car last week?” Dr. Cutie Pup grinned. “And a pirate ship before that. And a five-star restaurant even earlier?”
“It’s a very versatile craft.” Callyco spoke without upmost confidence. “And we’ll be ready to launch any second!”
“Uh huh…” Dr. Cutie Pup snickered as he leaned against the box. Suddenly, the box began to rumble… And then it launched itself skyward, crashing through the ceiling and disappearing into the sky.
“Dang it Cutie Pup! That was our last ship!” Dr. Callyco threw up his hands. “Now how are we supposed to get to the moon!?”
“Okay but… Like seriously how?” Dr. Cutie Pup stared up through the hole.
“The power of imagination is truly a spectacle to behold.” Dr. Callyco spoke with reverence. “As tonight’s guest is going to be reminded. Kyle Roocoon, or as he’s better known to his friends, Kit. At thirteen and a half, the roocoon is getting older, and while learning about one type of magic in the world it’s often easy to overlook or even forget the others. But…. Every now and then, someone gives you a little reminder. I bring you our seventh tale. The Tale of Pretend Time.”
Thirteen Tales From Dr. Callyco
The Tale of Pretend Time
It was just a few minutes shy of 6:00 PM. Kit was surprised they hadn’t arrived yet. The brown furred roocoon sat idly on the couch, dressed in a loose hoodie and pair of cargo pants. He had taken a job for tonight. It was babysitting. Kit liked to think as much time as he spent with young children that he was pretty good with them. Of course, the fact that many of said young children were only that small because of him wasn’t important. What was the point of having magic if you didn’t get to practice with it? Either way, the experience still counted.
The clock struck 6 exactly and there was a loud knock at the door. Kit was startled from his spot. He hadn’t heard the car approach. Then again, there were a great many ways to travel, so it wasn’t that surprising. He got up and quickly opened the door expecting to see the parents that hired them. Instead, there was just the kid.
The kid was a rabbit, and even counting the ears he was only half as tall as Kit. The rabbit was after all, only four years old. His fur was an oddly vibrant color, a deep green, reminiscent of the forest. And for a brief moment Kit thought that the child’s eyes had actually sparkled. Unlike Kit, the kid wasn’t wearing clothes, and didn’t seem bothered by it. Since that wasn’t entirely uncommon among some anthro communities Kit didn’t think too much on it.
“So… I’m guessing you’re P.J.” Kit looked the rabbit up and down. He had not actually met the kid or his parents earlier. He had taken the job online. “But where are your parents?” He moved to the door to get a look outside There was no one else there. Either the kid had come alone, or his parents could vanish just as fast as they appeared.
“Oh I came here on my own!” P.J. squeaked, twitching one of his ears excitedly.
“Really?” Kit gave the kid a look of concern. Someone that young shouldn’t be wondering the streets on his own.
“It’s fine don’t worry about it.” The bunny rolled his eyes. “My parents made me give them my word I’d come straight here and nowhere else. Spoil sports.” His composure changed immediately as he flashed a big grin showing off his buckteeth. “But you’re gonna play with me tonight, right?”
“Sure.” Kit smiled and ruffled the rabbit’s head fluff. “It’s my job to keep you entertained for the night. I am at your service.” He gave a ridiculously over the top bow eliciting a giggle from the younger kid. “I’ve got a number of board games you might like, or maybe put on a movie… And if you’re good, I’ll let you in on something really amazing.” As Kit spoke he instinctually moved his hand to the pocket that held his magic wand.
“Uh huh, sure, that’s all fine but… How about…” In a swift motion, faster than anyone that age had any business being, the kid leaped up onto the coffee table. “THIS!”
“This?” Kit looked at P.J. quizzically not sure what he meant. “Also you really shouldn’t stand on the coffee table it-“
“What are you waiting for you gotta get up here!” P.J. shouted sounding suddenly alarmed. “Do you want to burn to death!?”
“… Okay I clearly missed a part of the script.” Kit did his best to stifle a chuckle.
“The floor is lava! It’ll burn you alive! Leave nothing but bones!” The bunny through his hands into the air. “Then those bones will also catch fire and burn! And they’ll be ash! And the ash will catch fire and burn and it’ll be um- Um! Whatever ash turns into!”
“So that’s what you’re playing?” Kit grinned. The kid was cute. “Sorry, don’t think I can do that one. I’m a bit too old to be jumping around on the furniture like that. Maybe you should come down so we can-“
Two things happened at once. The first, Kit barely noticed. He wasn’t even sure it had really happened. But he was certain he had seem some strange sparkle of light in the rabbit’s eyes again. The second though… The second he couldn’t have missed. It was something he had been through several times before. His clothes began to loosen on him.
“Hey, hang on a second!” Kit’s voice grew higher pitched as he spoke. His pants and underwear slipped off his now much smaller frame leaving him only in an oversized hoodie. His legs began to feel a little wobbly as his body became slightly chubbier, muscles that had fully developed suddenly vanishing. He was getting younger… And after a few seconds he was standing on the ground attempting to wear a hoodie that was now more like a giant blanket. Looking over himself, he was only a toddler now… Maybe three years old at the absolute most.
Making him at least a year younger than his current charge.
“Now you’re perfect so we can play!” The bunny looked quite pleased with himself.
“You know… In hindsight, as often as I’ve set people up for this exact scenario… You would think I would have seen it coming.” He struggled to gather up the hem of his hoodie in his hands so he could walk. “Like, I can’t even be mad. A bit… Surprised. What kind of magic was that? There was no wand or incantation, or anything.”
“The fun kind.” P.J. flashed the widest grin possible.
“You really shouldn’t just mess with people’s ages like that though!” Kit felt, that despite his now younger status he should still try to play the responsible babysitter.
“Oh… And you’ve never pulled a playful little prank to regress a friend?” P.J. leaped from the coffee table to the couch.
“Well um… The thing there is…” Kit was at a loss. Mostly, because not only did P.J. not only know about Kit’s magic… But apparently how he had used it himself. This was clearly not a normal kid. “I guess at this point, showing you some spells later wouldn’t be a big surprise. So… You obviously knew I was a mage from the start. And I’d wager your parents do too.”
“Yup!” P.J. bounced up in down. “You didn’t think they were going to leave a Seelie noble in the care of a mundane did you?”
Seelie? Kit recognized the word. It explained a lot. The Seelie were one of the faerie noble courts… Thankfully, the more benevolent one. There had been a unit in his Magical Creatures class on the faeries not too long ago. In terms of power they ranged from small creatures that could at most annoy you with razzle dazzle power to powerful reality warpers that made up the more important nobles in the faerie courts.
And it looked like Kit was taking care of one of them.
“So you’re a faerie then?” He snorted. “Would have been nice to be told in advance.”
“What would be the fun in that?” P.J. winked. Kit suspected if he ever met the kid’s parents they would likely give a similar answer. Faeries apparently had to do things in what they considered the most whimsical way possible. “Now come on! Let’s play already!”
“… I don’t know…” Kit thought to himself for a moment. He supposed the change in age was harmless enough. There were far worse things… And he had promised to keep the kid entertained for tonight… Even if it was weird to think of the now physically older rabbit as a kid. Regardless… this was something he hadn’t been able to do himself in awhile… It’s probably be fun. “Alright… But don’t knock anything over!” Kit clambered up onto the couch to join P.J, leaving his hoodie behind on the floor in progress. It wasn’t going to exactly stay on long jumping around the room.
“Okay! Good! Now remember! The floor is lava so can’t touch that!” P.J. nodded eagerly. “But… But… We gotta get across the room because um hmmm…” He began to tap his paw impatiently against the couch.
“To get the Lost Remote of TV!” Kit wagged his tail eagerly.
“The… remote?” P.J. seemed hesitant.
“Of course! He who controls the remote controls the world!” Kit pointed dramatically at the television as he spoke. “But the remote… is all the way over there on atop the bookshelf! You really think it’s safe?”
“We have no choice!” P.J. placed one paw atop the armrest as he pointed dramatically. “For the sake of the world! And also so I can watch cartoons later… We must pass above this sea of lava!” As he spoke there was a sparkle in his eyes again, this time Kit understood. It was a tell, that the kid was working a spell… And this time the room itself changed… Or at least the floor did.
The entire room lit up with a bright led right as pools of lava flooded throughout the entire room. The carpet, Kit’s clothes, anything on the ground was completely covered and absorbed into the lava.
“H-HEY!” Kit’s ears flattened. “You can’t just turn the floor into actual lava! Are you crazy!?”
“Relaaaax it’s fine!” To Kit’s horror P.J. bent down on the couch and stuck his hand in the lava. He then pulled it out unharmed. “See? It’s just a glamour.”
That made sense… If this had been real the couch would have already burnt up with them on it. Still… It looked so real. Kit bent down and nervously held out his own hand and let the very tip of his finger touch the lava. No pain or burning. No resistance either. If anything, the area the covered by the spell was slightly colder, as it would have been if it were shrouded in a light mist.
“Wow… You have got to be a handful on the playground.” Kit stood back up on the couch.
“Enough dallying! More adventure!” P.J. gave a shout and leaped from the couch back to the coffee table.
“Right! Right! I’m coming!” Being a year younger, Kit was slightly clumsier. He moved towards the edge of the couch, then nearly tumbled right off when he tries to jump. He made it too the coffee table… But he had less jumped and more flailed helplessly onto the table landing on his hands and knees.
“Be careful you almost fell in!” P.J. quickly grabbed at Kit’s arm and helped pull him up. “You’re really clumsy you know that?”
“And who’s fault might that be?” Kit stuck his tongue out at the older kid.
“Ah come on! Don’t be like that! Let’s keep going!” P.J. wasted no time jumping to the recliner next, putting him right next to the bookshelf.
Kit managed to be a little more graceful this time, and as he jumped he found himself very grateful for being part kangaroo when he landed safely. Otherwise, these leaps might have been impossible. Of course… Now with both of them on the recliner, small as they were it was still too crowded to move around much.
“It’s on top of the bookshelf, just gotta get up there!” Kit was starting to get more into the game. “So guess we gotta climb!”
“It’s so high we’ll never make it!” P.J. shouted in mock terror.
“We have no choice but to make it! The fate of the world depends on it!” Kit insisted. He stepped up onto an armrest and reached out grabbing at one shelf with his hand-paws. Then he slowly brought one foot-paw off the arm rest, shifting the weight to his arms and began to wobble. “Uh oh… Arms not as strong as legs!” Kit lost his grip and fell from the shelf towards the lava below.
“KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!” P.J. screamed and reached a hand for him. But it was too late, the roocoon had fallen into the lava. “Nooooo! He was taken from us so young! And such a horrific way to go.”
“Actually you know, it’s quite nice down here.” Kit had landed on his bottom and was sitting up. The glamour of the lava went above his head, hiding him from P.J.’s view. “It’s pleasantly cool.”
“I can still hear his voice when I think of him!” P.J. sobbed as he slammed a fist down on the recliner.
“That’s because I’m fine.” Kit giggled as and stood up so that his head and part of his chest poked above the lava.
“Wait… How is this possible!?” P.J. threw a hand up over his mouth. “Does… Does he yet live!?”
“It’s a miracle.” Through a great struggle, Kit managed to keep a completely straight face and monotone voice as he spoke.
“It is a miracle! I mean… There’s only one type of creature that could survive falling into lava like that! Could it be possible! It must be!” That same twinkle of light within his eyes formed.
“Here we go again.” At this point Kit knew better than to protest… In fact, he actually felt a mix of curiosity and excitement as to what was going to happen. This was genuinely pretty fun, and as long as the game wasn’t hurting anything he figured he could just go with the flow.
This time, the flow involved a pair of large bat-like wings sprouting out of his back and horns growing from his head.
“Oh I see where this is going.” Kit snickered as his brown fur began to give way to blue scales. His tail grew longer, more slender and flexible and sharp claws formed at the end of all four paws. The next part caught him slightly off guard, as he lost his sense of balance completely and landed on all fours. “Oh you’re making me go feral for th- rooooooawwwwr.” He wasn’t able to finish the sentence before his voice was lost to him. Where once stood a roocoon there was now a magnificent blue dragon.
“This is amazing! Like this we can get the remote with no problem! I could just ride on your back and have you fly me up there!” P.J. bounced up and down excitedly. “Come my dragon! Take to the skies!”
“ROOOOOOAWR!” Kit did his best to sound menacing. He had enough experience with wings at this point in his life to have the gist of it. Yet… Even if this wasn’t his first time he couldn’t help but feel a certain thrill. There was just something exhilarating about flying, especially under your own power. As he took off into the air he zoomed around the entire room twice just enjoying the sensation. Only then did he dive down towards the recliner and hover directly in front of P.J.
“Let us be onward and… And…” P.J. paused as one ear went crooked. “I think I maybe didn’t have the best foresight here right now.”
“Rawr.” Kit stuck his tongue out. Kit was a dragon now sure… But he was also still a toddler. This left him somewhere around the size of a big housecat now, maybe a little more than half P.J.’s size. The rabbit wasn’t exactly able to ride him.
“Ok look no plan is perfect!” P.J. shrugged.
“Rawr!” Kit retorted before bapping the rabbit’s nose with the tip of his tail.
“Gah! Everyone is a critic huh?” P.J. whined. “Ok… Let me think through this. You’re a dragon… But you’re too small to ride. Hmmmm and I could make myself smaller… But then you’d be bigger than me. If I made you bigger… Then I’d be smaller than you. So clearly both of those are out.”
“Raaaawr.” Kit landed on the armrest with a heavy sigh and waited for P.J. to realize the very obvious solution.
“But right now only you can fly…” P.J’s ears twitched erratically as he tried to think. “But I need to get up there to the remote… Too bad I can’t make the remote come to me. That’d be the perfect solu-“ Kit could practically see the lightbulb above P.J.’s head. “I got it! Just fly up there and get me the remote.
“Rawr!” Kit flew up to the top of the bookshelf and grabbed the remote in his front paws. Then he flew down towards P.J; And right past the rabbit.
“Hey!” P.J. protested as Kit landed on the other couch.
“Rawr!” Kit stuck his tongue out then began to fiddle with the remote himself as the TV came on.
“No fair! I want to pick out what we watch!” P.J. leaped to the coffee table and bounced off it onto the couch. He tackled the small dragon as they both began to roll around together. The match was on to determine who would pick out the show for the night.
The end results though, were inconclusive. When both P.J.’s and Kit’s own parents would eventually return, they would find the young dragon and rabbit, curled up together on the couch asleep. The TV was left on to some kid’s network… But come next morning neither one actually remembered who had picked it.