Cody a fox of technology and magic runs into the werekitten Zeelo. Trying to understand Zeelo’s mysterious ‘Kitten Magic’ leads to a surprising amount of fun.
Kitten Magic Fox Magic
Cody found himself in the middle forest. Being only four feet tall, and not wearing any clothing, some might not realize it at first. But he was a species of fox very closely related to technology. Aside from that, there were some visual differences between him and a normal fox. He had much bigger ears. Big bright green expressive eyes. He was also, exceptionally fluffy, outrageously fluffy, up to the point that his tail took up almost as much space as the rest of his body combined thanks to the sheer fluff.
As for what he was doing in the forest. He was looking for a missing drone. He had built it himself. As a bit of a challenge, limited himself to items he could find around the household. Perhaps it was cheating a bit that it was his household, given what he owned. Either way, he had just finished it last night and now today he was testing it. The plan was to use it to explore a nearby forest he had never been in. For some reason, people stayed away from it, possibly because the vegetation was so thick it made it difficult to get very far in without a hatchet. Cody himself hadn’t planned to enter the forest today, but he hadn’t been given much choice.
It would seem that when constructing the drone he had maybe built a larger power source than it needed. In hindsight, considering the thing weighed less than five pounds and was just meant to just stream camera footage back to the tablet he controlled it with… A 100 volt battery was… Probably a tad too much. The power source had overloaded and the drone had crashed somewhere in the woods. Cody had the tablet, which at least that still had power, but he had no feed from the drone anymore. The only thing he had was its last location on GPS before it had crashed.
And so, he had climbed over enormous mazes of tree roots, forced his way through bushes, and occasionally used a tree branch to swing over a thorny bush as he worked his way into the forest. Strangely enough, as he got further into the forest the vegetation actually thinned out a bit. It was almost as if the overly thick wall of trees and bushes were literally just a wall to keep people out. Now deep into the forest, he could easily make out game trails that wild animals used and there was plenty of space to move around. But… A new problem presented itself.
His tablet was going berserk. It kept changing what language information was displayed in. Then the screen would show static. Then it just displayed a giant red face with x’s for eyes sticking its tongue out. None of these should have been possible. Cody hadn’t bothered programming more than one language into the thing, it was a tablet not some antenna TV from the 80s, and there was definitely no error code that took the form of a red sad face.
“What… The heck?” Cody looked around. Something about the forest felt strange… It was more vibrant and alive than the rest of the world if that made any sense. There was some kind of strange energy in the air. Cody couldn’t identify it, but he could feel it. Maybe… The battery hadn’t overloaded at all. Whatever phenomenon he was experiencing right now, it might have interfered with his technology causing both the drone to crash and his tablet to act up. If it was interference from some other kind of technology Cody would have identified it by now. That left another culprit. Magic.
Cody looked behind him, noticing that the path back looked different from what he had taken. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened them, he was sure the layout of the forest around him was completely different from before he shut his eyes. The game trail was gone, but there was a much larger trail, almost like it was made for hiking. Then there was an enormous oak tree that had not been there presently. So, the forest was magical. The vegetation being so thick on the outside must have been a barrier meant to deter intruders. Now that he was inside it was hard to tell if he was being teleported around within the forest, or if the forest itself was moving. Whatever changes it did, it only changed where he wasn’t looking. And since he couldn’t see in all directions at once, that meant that there was always going to be a large portion of the forest that could be anything next time he looked.
Hopefully at least, whatever shape the forest took it wouldn’t decide to drop him in front of a large predator.
“ROAAAAAAAAAAAWR!” A high-pitched roar shouted, and suddenly a figure leaped from the branches of the oak tree and tackled Cody to the ground. He put up his hands ready to fight off whatever monster thought him prey. But… Before he could make an attempt at a fight, the monster gently booped his nose with a paw. “Boop.” A child’s voice giggled.
“Huh?” Cody blinked. It wasn’t a monster. It was just a small brown kitten, even shorter than him, also not wearing clothes.
“You’re not who I thought you were….” The kitten sounded embarrassed. “I mean I saw you were a lot bigger, but couldn’t be sure I wasn’t just a lot smaller.” The kitten slowly slid off of Cody.
“Uh, what?” Cody stared blankly, not quite sure what anything the kitten said actually meant.
“Oh I just meet up with a friend around here a lot!” The brown kitten nimbly leaped up into a tree branch and sat there with his legs dangling over the side. “You’re new though. I’m Zeelo. Who are you mister?”
“I-I’m Cody.” The fox replied quickly. “And uh, there’s no need to call me mister, heh.”
“Oh!” Zeelo’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Does that mean you’re young at heart too? But if so, why are you walking around so big?”
“Big?” It took Cody a moment what Zeelo meant. “Wait do you mean an adult? Compared to you I’m older I guess, but I don’t really have a choice in that matter.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Zeelo waved a paw dismissively. “You’re only big cause you choose to be.”
“That’s… Not how it works.” Cody put a paw to his head.
“Sure, it does!” Zeelo threw his hands up. “Especially when kitten magic is involved! All you gotta do is want it!”
“Is that so?” Cody crossed his arms and stuck his tongue out. He had his doubts that the child knew anything about real magic. But he would entertain him. “Alright, let’s say I want it. How do we do it?”
“Well!” Zeelo jumped down from the tree branch. “First things first… We need a magic wand. A really good sturdy one.” He ran around on all fours checking on the forest floor. Finally he stopped and held up a twig with two leaves from it. “Perfect! I can really feel the magic coming from this one!”
“Heh, so you say.” Cody resisted the urge to laugh. The idea that a random twig would be a magic wand. But he didn’t want to hurt the kitten’s feelings. There was nothing wrong with playing along a little longer.
“Alright here we go!” Zeelo held the twig up in the air. “Just say the magic works! Hocus! Pocus! Meow! Roawr!” He waved the twig around excitedly.
“Heh.” Cody snickered and quickly covered his mouth. “Interesting incantation and-“ Cody froze. His voice sounded higher pitched as he spoke. And… Was Zeelo getting taller? No, the entire forest was getting bigger. It couldn’t be… There was no way. It was just a kid with a twig! And yet… He looked down at himself. His body became less muscular, and gained more of a round younger shape. His fur was getting softer. His paws felt bigger compared to his body. And he was definitely getting shorter. It only lasted a few seconds, but there was no doubt about it. He was ‘little’ now. When it was over, he was only a head taller than Zeelo. “W… what? How!?” His voice was that of a six year old’s. Which matched Zeelo’s age. Not that he knew. It was only the difference in species that left him slightly bigger.
“There! Just as promised!” Zeelo grinned. “Like I said, no one has to be big. Some people just choose to be. A really silly choice if you ask me. Now, instead of doing some boring adult thing… You could say… Play with me!”
“But how…” Cody wasn’t upset. He had given Zeelo permission to cast the spell after all. He was just in a mild state of shock. He didn’t think it would actually work. After a few seconds he recovered his composure. He was a fox kit now. He had his own magic, so it’s not like this was outside the realm of possibility. But he didn’t understand how Zeelo had done it. As far as he could tell the kitten had just waved a stick and said some words at random. There was no proper ‘spell’ anywhere in the mix. Curiosity began to rise in him. As well as something else. Ah, energy. Suddenly finding himself a kid again meant he suddenly had a lot more energy running through him than his adult body was used to handling. He felt like he could run for days without a break. But before he found an outlet for that. He had to know. “How… Did you do that? I’ve never seen magic like that. I didn’t even see the spell. It was like it just worked!”
“What are you talking about didn’t see it? I casted it right in front of you!” Zeelo beamed.
“But… How?” Cody asked. “How does that spell work?”
“I unno.” Zeelo shrugged. “It’s Kitten Magic. Kitten Magic just is. You don’t have to worry about the how or why, just what you want to do.”
“Kitten Magic?” Cody was fairly certain there was no such school of magic. There were either two possibilities. One of them was that Zeelo had been taught some form of magic that he knew how to use, but didn’t actually understand the nature of. The other was that he was standing before an incredibly powerful magical beast. Something on the levels of a faerie lord. But… Zeelo was just a friendly kid… So that seemed unlikely.
“I mean, you should know all about stuff like that since you got fox magic.” Zeelo nodded. “I’m kind of jealous. I need a stick or something to make Kitten Magic work. But Fox Magic you just use your own tail, or tails. Though… You only have one?” The kitten tilted his head. “Does that mean you don’t know a lot of magic?”
“What? No.” Cody shook his head. “I mean yes! I mean!” He paused. “I’m quite proficient in my own area of magic. But, it’s a bit more complicated than what you just did. I work well with technology and-“
“That doesn’t sound right! Just use your tail and go poof!” Zeelo replied.
“Poof?” Cody tilted his head. “But that’s not how it works.”
“Sure, it is!” Zeelo nodded. “I’ve it lots of times when I was a fox!” He twitched his own kitten tail as if to demonstrate. But no magical spells got cast from that.
“Oh!” Cody’s eyes widened. “I get it, you’re thinking of multi-tailed kitsune… But that’s not how I…” He started.
“Here watch! I’ll do it!” Zeelo interrupted. He had the combined attention spans of a child and a kitten. Which was to say that it didn’t last long. He swung around the wand in the air again. “Okay here we go! Kitten! Foxes! Magic! Tailsies!”
“Tailsies!” This time Cody burst out laughing. Perhaps being a kid physically had lowered his maturity level. But just hearing that as a word in a magical incantation he couldn’t help himself.
This time Zeelo was the one to change. His muzzle grew longer, his tail much fluffier. His ears became narrower and more pointed, as his retractable claws became normal claws. Then his tail split into three tails.
“Well… That confirms that you were thinking about a different kind of magical fox.” Cody had to admit he was in awe of the kitten, or fox kit now. He would love the chance to try to study this ‘Kitten Magic’ and figure out how it worked.
“Yeah! Now I can cast spells just like you!” Zeelo dropped to the stick and ran up to Cody wagging all three tails eagerly.
“Not like me, heh.” Cody shook his head. “I’m not that kind of fox.”
“Then why do you have three tails?” Zeelo asked.
“W-what!?” Cody looked over his shoulder. He had been watching Zeelo so intently he hadn’t even noticed. His own white and silver tail and split into three tails. “Wait, when… How?”
“I guess the spell must have caught you up in it somehow.” Zeelo shrugged. “I think… Calex explained this to me once…”
“Who’s Calex? Is he your teacher?” Cody asked.
“Nah! He’s a friend who also uses Kitten Magic! Butterfly is my teacher! But she’s not home right now.” He giggled. “Anyway… He said something like… Kitten Magic clings to people who want it. Something about… It being benevolent and wanting to make people happy.”
“But that doesn’t explain why I have three tails!” Cody paused. Then it hit him. He wanted to analyze this ‘Kitten Magic.’ Had the spell latched onto him to give him magical abilities like Zeelo’s? But… Zeelo said this was ‘Fox Magic’ now. Yet… Cody had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn’t work like he had seen any multi-tailed kitsune cast a spell in his life. This ‘Fox Magic’ would probably be strangely whimsical and suddenly like ‘Kitten Magic.’ In fact… As he looked at Zeelo it occurred to him that the two were the same size now that they were the same species. He kind of liked Zeelo being a head shorter. But how to use the spell?
Before he even knew what he was doing, his tails spread out and there was a silver glow around them. Then, there was a silver glow around Zeelo and he immediately began to shrink. Cody let out a hoop of joy when he saw it actually worked! He got so into it he forgot to stop when Zeelo was only a head shorter. Instead, the brown kitten-fox was only waist high compared to Cody by the time he remembered what he was doing and stopped shrinking him.
“Gah!?” Zeelo took a few steps back. “No fair! You caught me off guard by pretending you didn’t know about Fox Magic! I didn’t know we were playing yet!”
“I wasn’t playing! I didn’t really- I was just…” Cody paused. He had all that energy inside him. If he didn’t do something to wear some of it out he was going to explode. “Playing what?”
“Magic shrink tag it looks like.” Zeelo stuck his tongue out. “But don’t get cocky! I’m used to being smaller than people! I’ll tag you back and hit you with my own shrinking spell before you know what’s what!”
“You know what!” Cody wasn’t sure if his childish nature was overwriting his normal instincts. If his curiosity just wanted to use more of this magic to figure out. Or if he was just enjoying Zeelo’s company and wanted to play with him. It was probably a combination of all three. “You’re on! I’ll even give you a five second head start!”
“Uh you know I’m it, right?” Zeelo’s tails glowed brown. He stood up on the tips of his paws and booped Cody on the nose. “You’re supposed to say things like that when you’re the one chasing.” As Zeelo spoke he seems to grow up to the same size as Cody. But, it was evident by the rest of the world growing that Cody had shrunken down to the same half sized fox as Zeelo. “Like now. Since you’re it!” With that Zeelo spun in place and took off running. A moment later he dropped down to all fours and kept running.
“H-hey get back here! You can’t just boop my nose and run away like that!” Cody cried and started chasing after him.
“Whatcha gonna do about it?” Zeelo shouted back. “You’re not catching anyone running on two legs like a lame human!”
“Not all of us are built to run on-“ Cody didn’t finish the sentence. His age had been changed. He had three tails that could just do magic effortlessly. Who was to say he wasn’t built like that now? He kept running and slowly lowered his hand-paws to the ground. His body instinctually adopted a new posture for his quadrupedal stance. And then the speed at which he ran increased greatly. “HA! I’m gonna get you so fast you won’t even know you were got!” The analytical part of Cody’s brain that wanted to study the magic was still on somewhere in the background. But, Cody hadn’t had fun like this well… Since he was actually a child. It was impossible not to give in to the moment. Besides, with how easy this ‘Kitten Magic’ or ‘Fox Magic’ worked he could probably be made an adult and go back to his proper one tailed form at any time. Why waste this opportunity just to have fun and enjoy life?
“Heh! Figured it out huh! But I’m still an expert! You’re never gonna catch me!” Zeelo stuck his tongue out and kept running.
“That’s what you think!” Cody continued at full throttle. The two were at the same age and size. The were relatively of the same capability. In a game of tag where the two opponents were equal it favored the chaser. Anytime Zeelo turned or veered Cody could do so early, cutting the corner and gaining on him. “RAAAWWWR!” He pounced upon Zeelo as his tails glowed silver.
It would seem he had gotten a bit too excited though. The silver aura appeared over both foxes instead of just Zeelo. They both shrunk down even smaller. Now closer to the size of squirrels than foxes.
“Playing by those rules huh?” Zeelo didn’t understand it was a mistake. “Fine with me! I’ve played this game down to the subatomic scale!”
“Aheh heh? Seriously?” Cody asked. “Not sure I’m ready to go that far… But this is fun and…”
“Boop!” Zeelo had booped Cody on the nose while he was stationary and talking again. Both foxes shrunk a little bit more as Zeelo took off.
“Eep! Again with the boops! Heh, I am so gonna get you!” Cody took chase after Zeelo once again.
The forest echoed with the sounds of the two fox children having fun. Though, as they got smaller the echoes got harder to hear. The rate of shrinking had slowed considerably. The spell had picked up on the sense Cody was uncomfortable with getting too small, and so had slowed down so the game could continue longer without either player getting uncomfortable. Had Cody still been analyzing Zeelo’s magic at all he would have made a note. But right now, research and stuff like that didn’t matter. He was just a kid having fun with his friend. He could figure that kind of stuff out later whenever he was an adult again.
After about an hour both of them were starting to wear out. They were each about an inch tall. Also, the tag game had occasionally turned into a wrestling match making things hard to keep track of.
“Whose It?” Zeelo asked.
“I have no idea…” Cody panted. Both of them stood up on two legs.
“But we gotta know whose it! How are we going to know who won? Someone has to do like the final coup de grace of tagging!” Zeelo protested. “We can’t let the tag game end like this! Trust me, done that, and you will disagree with your best friend for months on who actually won the game and then break into a new game to settle it and while that would be fun I’m getting tired and need a nap before we start a new game.”
“A coup de grace of tag huh?” Cody considered. Zeelo had a point. As things stood, neither of them could declare themselves the winner. Which meant neither one would ever admit defeat. Something was needed to end the match. But Cody was about at the smallest he was comfortable being, and regardless of what Zeelo had said earlier he wasn’t about to try to shrink his friend to the subatomic scale and then declare himself the winner. No, there had to be some other way for a grand finale.
And then he figured it out.
“AHA!” Cody grinned. “I know how to determine the winner.” Before Zeelo could even respond Cody reached forward and booped Zeelo on the nose. “Boop!”
“Gah!” Zeelo fell down onto his bottom. “You did the thing! You know that’s a kitten thing right? Are you secretly part kitten?”
“Pretty sure I’m not, but…” Cody’s tails were glowing silver again. “Since you helped me be not so big, I think it’s only fair to return the favor.” Of course, he wasn’t referring to physical size when he said big this time. Just like Zeelo early he was referencing age.
Zeelo didn’t get to stand up. He started to get even younger. He looked at himself in surprise as he realized what was happening, then at Cody who was responsible for the spell. Then, Zeelo laughed as he grew younger and younger.
“That was a good play!” Those were the last words Zeelo said before he became too young to speak. “Yip! Yip!” He soon shrunk down to a mere six months old. He still had three tails somehow. In fact, his tails probably accounted for about 70% of his body mass now.
Zeelo didn’t seem to mind or be concerned about his state. He hugged his tails around himself enjoying their softness. Then he began to make grabby hand motions as he reached up at Cody.
“Yip! Yip!” Zeelo shouted.
“Want to be picked up huh?” Cody asked as he picked up Zeelo. “I gotta admit, you have a very unique way of playing tag. But I had fun. And… I won.” He stuck his tongue out. “And you can’t say a thing to the contrary.”
“Yip!” Zeelo rolled his eyes before sticking his own tongue out. This was but one game. There would be many to have in the future now that he had a new friend. He would reclaim the title of Tag Champion, even if it was a title he had just made up now and so could not have previously retained. But for now, he accepted his loss, and that he was just going to be an infant for a while.
“Soooo now what…” Cody bounced Zeelo in his arms gently as he looked around. The world was massive. Blades of grass rose up like trees around him. And individual pebbles were giant boulders that were chest high. He wasn’t even sure what direction he had come in from in the forest. Though, he could probably find his giant pawprints if he wanted to follow them back. “Are we… Safe like this? We got Kitten and Fox magic right?” He looked down at Zeelo.
“Yip!” Zeelo nodded confidently. Well, considering Zeelo was also shrunk, and also a helpless infant. (As far as Cody knew) Then they were probably true. Regardless of if it was Kitten or Fox Magic, this was potent and fun stuff.
Cody felt he should take advantage of the situation while he could. He could make a leaf boat to sail down the river. Or use a leaf for a glider. Built a fort out of twigs. Maybe climb a giant tree and find a hollow to sleep in for the night. He was sure his new ‘Fox Magic’ that he had acquired could help him do it. He gave Zeelo a pat on the head as he walked through the giant forest without fear. There was definitely fun to be had like this. He’d probably go back to being normal sized and an adult at some point. Eventually. Maybe. But for now, he was going to have an adventure. And hey, with Zeelo at his age he was kind of like a younger brother. Something Cody had never had. So that could be a fun experience too.
“Let’s see what we can find.” Cody moved Zeelo up to sit on his shoulders as he walked afraid among giant leaves and grass.
Meanwhile, the various spells that had changed the two hung in the air. They should have worn off by now. But, Cody and Zeelo’s sense of fun kept the spells clinging to them. The spells seemed to literally draw power from positive emotions and so Cody and Zeelo would be stuck like this for as long as it continued to be fun.
And then who knew what they’d wind up stuck as what. With the possibility of ‘Kitten Magic’ opened up in Cody’s world, he doubted he was definitely going to stay in touch. After all, the knowledge he could become a kid again and play at a later date was one of the only reasons he’d have the willpower to change back.