Shiny Mystery Egg Patreon reward for Nait. For Christmas he gets his deepest wish granted.
A Fluffy Christmas Miracle
Cris yawned when he woke up. It was a little bit after midnight. That meant it was officially Christmas. He blinked and stared around the room he was in. It was his childhood room he had grown up in. It was strange how little of it had changed. His parents had left most of his old posters up, his toys were still there though neatly packed into boxes and the closet, and it still had a twin size bed that was thankfully big enough for his adult body. He had always assumed after he moved out, they would have converted it to an office or something. But it was the same it always had been. At least it meant that he had a private room to sleep in whenever he came to visit rather than having to crash on the couch.
Cris let out a yawn and crawled out of bed. He was currently just wearing a baggy t-shirt and a pair of boxers since he had been in bed. He was still half asleep as he moved towards the door, which was good as meant it’d be easier to get back to sleep. Right now though, he needed to use the bathroom. He opened the bedroom door, went down the hall to the second-floor bathroom and took care of his business. And at that point he would have returned to bed, except he heard a strange noise. There was a loud thud that had come from downstairs, and then the sound of bells jingling. Were one of his parents awake and messing with the decorations? That thump… They hadn’t fallen down and hurt themselves had they?
Cris quickly rushed downstairs to investigate the noise. The sight he saw made him freeze. A round man with a fluffy white beard, a pair of spectacles, and wearing a red outfit and hat. Santa Clause. Santa currently had a sack sitting on the ground. It looked rather heavy, and Cris realized him dropping it must have been what made the first noise. Santa had been pulling gift wrapped boxes out of the sack and placing them under the tree when Cris arrived.
“Dad?” Cris asked. He couldn’t think of anyone else it could be. Obviously, his father had dressed up as Santa to hide the presents under the tree during the night, but he didn’t understand why. “I appreciate the thought but… I’m an adult now. I don’t actually believe in things like magic or Santa Clause.” He gave a sigh. “Though I’m glad you’re not hurt. I heard the thud when I was in the bathroom and thought someone might have fallen down.”
“Ho ho hooooo.” Santa gave a warm smile. “I’d say that’s not entirely true. I think a small part of you, maybe a part you forgot still believes in magic.”
“Okay, I’ll bite and see where this is going.” Cris explained.
“If you didn’t believe on some level you wouldn’t be able to see me.” Santa spoke in a strange voice. It was like just listening to him made the world feel calmer and more secure. “Deep down you must know there’s more to the world that what you see… But, you’re not supposed to see me at all even if you do believe. I’ve had to take back the gifts of multiple naughty children who tried to stay up to catch me.” Santa then winked. “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never actually taken back a single gift, I don’t have it in me. I just tell them that so they’ll run to their bedrooms and jump in bed real quick.”
“Um right, sure dad.” Cris shrugged. “I think I should go back to bed.”
“You should.” Santa stroked his beard. “Although… You came down and saw me because of concern for another. You’re on the nice list or I wouldn’t be here. And you can see me so part of you still believes. I think, just this once, I’ll give you a nicer present. Something you’ve wanted deep down but thought impossible. That should help satisfy the part of you that wants to believe.”
“And now you’ve completely lost me.” Cris replied. “Maybe this would make more sense if I was more awake.”
“Don’t worry, I believe you’ll be feeling more awake very soon.” Santa chuckled, reached out a gloved hand and poked Cris’ nose with the tip of his finger.
“Did you just boop me on the nose?” Cris asked then froze as something sprouted from his face. He went cross eyed trying to see, and saw that he now had long whiskers. He had only a moment to focus on this before his boxers suddenly fell down to the living room floor. This would have been embarrassing except that his shirt now was long enough to give him some modesty. Which was confusing in its own right. As he stared down at his legs that were covered by most of the shirt, he saw that there was golden hair growing in over his legs. Then his feet… He almost fell over as it happened. They stretched out so that he was standing on his toes, and as his nails became claws he realized that they were a set of animalistic paws. And the hair was getting thicker on his legs… It was fur!
“W-what’s happening?” Cris asked, half panicked, and half mesmerized. His voice sounded higher pitched than it should have. Like he was younger. He looked to Santa only to see the jolly fan man was gone. Instead, he saw a few pieces of soot fall into the fireplace, then heard the sound of bells jingling again as it sounded like something slid across the roof of the house.
Soon, the golden fur was all over Cris’ body not just his legs. And the back of his shirt was lifted up as a long slender tail with a brown tuft on the tip grew from the end of his spine. His face pushed out into a muzzle, his ears became larger, more round and slid to the top of his head. He looked at his hands, noticing they had paw pads and claws, though were still slightly human. He had thumbs and would be able to grip things.
Cris stood there in utter shock. What happened couldn’t have just happened. He was dreaming. Right now, he was a little kid again, somewhere around six years old, and a lion. He had fantasies about this before. Was that what Santa had been talking about? Except, obviously that was what this was. Just another fantasy. Cris pinched his arm trying to wake himself up. It hurt, a lot, especially with his new claws.
“O-ow!” Cris shouted and jumped to his feet. His adult shirt barely clung to his juvenile feline body. “I’m not asleep… But that means… This is real. Wait, is Santa Clause real?” Cris felt like his head was spinning trying to comprehend everything that was happening. Then one of the boxes Santa left started to shake. Before Cris had time to investigate though he ran into a new problem. His shirt was getting even bigger on him.
He wasn’t getting any younger or becoming more animalistic. Now he was just shrinking! The shirt fell over him as he shrunk downwards till the floor, disappearing beneath it. Frantically he squirmed around beneath his shirt looking for a way out. Finally, he found one, and as he squirmed out of a sleeve hole he froze overtaken by how large the world was. He didn’t have time to panic about that though, because the shaking box tipped over onto its side and its lid spilled open. And then they appeared.
Marching out of the box was a series of green army men, the kind he had played with as a kid. Except, these ones walked on their own as if they were alive, and were just as big as Cris! He was toy sized. The green army men marched straight up to Cris as he scrambled back atop his shirt not sure of their intention. Was he about to be attacked? Or what was going on?
No attack came. Instead, they all saluted.
“General!” One of the toy army men stepped forward. “It is our great honor to serve you today. We are sure under your command that we will meet our goal and achieve victory!”
“You work for me?” This new realization was enough to distract Cris from how tiny he was, and the fact he was now a lion cub. It was hard to stay in shock when one fantastical thing just happened after another.
“Right!” The army man said. “We have been told you may not have been told the full mission parameters yet, so with your permission sir I would like to brief you.”
“Um… Permission granted?” Cris replied.
“Our mission is a search and rescue.” The army man replied. “One of your toys by mistake was left at the top of the tree. We must scale the Christmas Tree and rescue the toy before sunrise.”
“Why before sunrise?” Cris asked.
“We are expected to encounter hostiles along the way.” The toy didn’t answer his question. “No doubt, our dreaded enemy, the tan soldiers will be waiting to ambush us as we climb. Luckily, one of your subjects has volunteered to give you a weapon of master craftsmanship.” As the army man spoke another box tipped over opened up. This time it was an action figure who stood out, he towered over Cris and the army men by about three times their size. He walked towards Cris, then gave a salute and kneeled before presenting a plastic weapon.
“Sir.” The action figure spoke. “My name is Disc Dasher Dan with real Disc throwing action. It would be my honor to part with my treasured Disc Shooter to aid in your mission.”
“Thanks?” Cris took the weapon. It was shaped like a pistol, and for Disc Dasher Dan could be wielded like one. Cris needed two hands.
“Alright general! We have limited time! We’ll follow your moves! We have to climb that tree!” The green army man spoke up.
“Um sure…” Cris was stating to play along. He was maybe even enjoying this. “So… Going straight up is way too hard. But… The lights! They circle the tree and go all the way up to the star on top! If we start at the surge protector where they’re plugged in, we can climb the lights all the way to the top without any difficulties.”
“You heard the general! Everyone let’s get moving!” The green army man shouted and everyone moved for the surge protector. One by one they grabbed onto the light string and began to climb it. Cris waited for a few moments before joining them, and then climbed himself. It was super easy. His body was light, and his feline form was a great climber. They progressed up the tree quickly. And soon, a small colorful box came into view among the tree branches. That must have been the toy they were here to rescue! This was easy! They were already here and-
“Hold!” The green army men who seemed to be the leader, or at least second in command under Cris held up a hand. “It’s too quiet. Something’s wrong.”
“I mean it’s night, so not that uncommon to be this quiet.” Cris pointed out.
“Where’s the enemy though?” The green army man asked.
“Are you sure there is one?” Cris glanced around trying to find any enemy that the toy might be referring to. He didn’t see much… Except… There was a weird tan colored reflection on one of the ornaments. “Hey… What’s that?”
“Men it’s an ambush!” The toy soldier shouted as he saw what Cris was pointing to. “They’re using the ornaments as cover!” No sooner had he said it then tan colored soldiers burst from behind various ornaments, standing on the tree branches with guns drawn. The green soldiers drew their guns and the battle began.
And Cris couldn’t help but giggle at the sight. All of them had their guns pointed and were ‘shooting’ at each other. But there were no bullets. Instead, all of the toy soldiers on both sides were just making there are sound effects.
“Tatatatatatatatataatata!” One soldier gave his impression of a machine gun as he ‘fired’ at the tan soldiers. To make it even sillier. Every now and then, one of the soldiers on either side would give out a cry about being hit then fall out of the tree.
“This looks bad general.” The talkative soldier spoke. “They have us surrounded and outnumbered.”
“Then we just have to break through!” Cris wasn’t afraid of some imaginary bullets. Not when he had real disc shooting action! He took careful aim with the weapon, pulled the trigger and send a small plastic stick flying out across the tree, striking a tan soldier and dislodging them and sending them plummeting to the ground.
“Great shot sir, but unless you have infinite discs I don’t see us shooting our way out.” The solder replied.
“There’s got to be a way…” Cris looked around trying to figure out what to do. The tan soldiers were all out standing on the limbs of the tree. And… Didn’t have anything to hold onto like the string of lights like Cris and his team did. He got an idea. He pointed the disc at one of the branches the enemy soldiers were on and fired. The branch jostled, and an entire platoon worth of toy soldiers were sent flying downward from the tree.
“Amazing work general! You’re as smart as the legends say!” The toy soldier spoke. “We might make it out of this alive after all.”
“Heh, thanks.” Cris was completely into it now. He pointed at another branch and fired. More soldiers were sent falling to their doom.
“It’s no good!” Someone from the tan soldiers shouted. “They’ve got the legendary general Cris, the Lion of the Battlefield on their side! All units retreat!” With that what tan soldiers who remained disappeared into the tree as they did their best to get as far away from Cris as possible.
“I didn’t think we’d made it out of that one. Amazing job sir.” The green soldier saluted. “I am honored to have had the chance to see you in action myself.”
“Right! Now let’s save that toy!” Cris replied. There was a chorus of ‘Yes sir’ from all the soldiers as they finished the climb. It took several soldiers to lift the box, but working together they were able to climb down the tree with it. The tan soldiers never reappeared, too terrified to take on the Lion of the Battlefield.
“Well sir.” The toy soldier saluted when they were at the bottom. “The box is marked as belonging to you. I believe that means you get to open it.”
“YES!” Cris hesitated no more than he would have when he was a child the first time on Christmas. He jumped onto the side of the box. It was bigger than him, but he had claws and used it to shred the wrapping paper apart. But opening the cardboard box was a problem. The flaps were much bigger than him.
“Allow us to assist general!” The toy soldiers lined up on either side of the box, forming a chain as one soldier grabbed onto each of the cardboard box. They pulled, and with the combined strength of the chain pulled the two flaps open. And the toy inside came running out.
Suddenly, Cris was on his back, as a much bigger lion had pounced and pinned him. This one was an adult, with a full-grown mane. It was also a plush toy, so Cris had not been hurt by the pounce.
“Thank you!” The plush lion nuzzled Cris with his muzzle. “You saved me! I could have been stuck up there forever without your help.”
“No problem. Heh.” Cris giggled. Then, with the situation resolved he suddenly remembered that he was now a very tiny lion kid. How were his parents going to react to that in the morning? How would they react to the living toys? As he tried to think about this, he suddenly felt extremely fatigued. It was after 1 AM now. Way past the bedtime of someone as young as him. He felt his vision grow blurry.
“I gotcha.” The lion plushie spoke and got off of Cris before sliding beneath him so that Cris could sleep on the soft lion’s back. He’d figure things out in the morning. He was just… So tired now.
“Cris… Cris wake up, it’s Christmas.” Cris’ mom’s voice spoke.
“Wha-“ Cris woke up. “I had the most amazing dream and…” He froze. The two parents towering over him were lion people, much like himself. Neither one actually wearing anything. Had they turned into shrunken lions too? Except… As Cris looked around the room was back to its normal size. Instead of laying on the lion plushie it was now clutched firmly in his arms. There were toy green and tan soldiers scattered along the ground, none of them moving.
“Mom! Dad!” Cris realized they were probably going to freak out about the lion thing. “I know this is going to sound unbelievable, but I met Santa Clause! And he turned me into a kid again! And also a lion! Then I shrunk, and the toys came to life, and I had to battle a bunch of army men but I had army men of my own! And then we rescued this lion plushie! And he talked and everything!” Cris held up the plush lion that very much was not talking at all.
“You have such a wild imagination.” Cris mom bent down and ruffled his head fur. “Or are you just making up an excuse to get out of trouble for opening your gift early?”
“What? No! It really happened! I mean… Don’t you wonder why you’re not human anymore?” Cris asked.
“What’s a human?” His dad asked.
“It’s…” Cris paused confused. If they didn’t know what humans were, did that mean that his family wasn’t the only one changed. Had the world changed, or had he been thrown into some new reality? He had no way to know which it was.
“I suppose since it’s Christmas, we’ll let you off the hook.” His mother picked him up and gave him a warm hug. It was especially reassuring with her soft fur. “Now, you already opened your gifts from Santa, but you still have some from me and your dad. And some friend your friends at school.”
“I do?” Cris processed the fact that apparently, he had friends from school. Whatever happened, as far as reality was concerned this was apparently what he had always been. And as he thought about it. He was fine with that. Santa Clause was right, this was a desire he had deep down, but never believed possible. Or… Maybe part of him wanted strong enough to believe it was possible and that was why he believed enough to see Santa?
He honestly didn’t understand. But, he didn’t have to. He was a kid. It was the adults’ job to figure out things about how the world worked. For now, he was just going to open his gifts have fun on Christmas. Just like a little kid his age should.