I'm a Fox!

I'm a Fox!

A Story by Michelle Raye
"

A story of how this teenage girl became an animal.

"

Wake up in a cold bed with a spring in your back. Get ready by taking an ice cold shower because the water heater is on the fritz again. Get dressed in clothes that are tattered and torn with holes in plain view. Go to school on foot. Literally because you don't have any shoes to keep your feet warm. But continue to smile and say everything is okay at home to the adults who keep looking down at you in worry.

Students won't sit next to you. You showered but you have no soap to use. So the smell drives people away. You carry all five of your thick, hard-cover books around because you have no backpack to help you carry them. Students tease you daily because your parents are dead and you won't let anyone help you in life anymore. And no one even knows your name anymore.

Imagine this is your life. You know it isn't. But for a while, just act like this is your life. What you're imagining is my life. Or at least, it used to be. The life that was given to me by my mother and father after they died in a car accident. Before that accident, I had the perfect life. Warm mattress not made with springs, warm showers with the sweetest smelling soap on the markets, the sharpest and most comfortable clothes you could ever find, and shoes that always got you where you needed to go without getting a single blister.

But after the accident, I grew accostumed to this life. I looked at what I didn't have and became thankful for what I did have. My life. Being able to live every day. Because, you see, I was in that car accident too.

I'm alive today because of what caused it. As weird as that may sound, it's true. I remember that night clearly.

My parents were driving me home after a long camping trip. At the time, I was 11 years old and was as happy as can be.

"Did you have fun?" My mother asked.

"Mom, those animals were so cool! We have to go again sometime!" I yelled happily.

"We will. Next year." My father said.

"Okay! What were those animals called again? The red and white ones that had the bushy tails. I can never remember their names." I asked.

"Those were foxes, dear." Mother replied.

"They were pretty. And we saw a whole family of them! A momma and her babies!" I used to not be able to remember their names, as simple as they were.

My parents laughed and then the car became quiet. I started to drift off to sleep in the back seat. My eyelids began to grow heavy...

And then suddenly, the car began to swerve. Father shouted loudly as he gripped the wheel tightly. He turned the wheel and our little blue car smashed right into a tree. And a loose branch fell on the windshield, shattering the already cracked glass. The glass is what killed mom and dad. And with the glass and the car no wrecked, the cool night air began to sneak into the back seat. And it just got colder. I tried to unclick my seatbelt. But it was stuck. I was crying because I couldn't do anything. I may have been young but I understood death. I knew my parents couldn't help me no matter how hard I screamed.

I bit at the strap and pulled until it finally let me go. And I threw myself against the dented door to open it. The air got even colder outside. It was this cold air that made us decide to go home early from this camping trip. Because the news said there was a frost wave heading in our direction (opposite of a heat wave). And that everything would be covered in icy frost by the morning.

In my pink t-shirt, I began to shiver. I stepped into the middle of the dirt road and looked for any signs of light. But I saw nothing. I remembered a flashlight in the car that was used on a trip, and used that to look around. It wasn't until then, that I saw the cause of my dad's driving. I saw fresh tracks in the dirt. Animal tracks. Paw prints. I looked around. Had it gotten hit too?

But no body was found. Not a dead one anyway. After searching the trees I found the killer. It's fur sticking up, it's eyes glowing in my light, it's teeth bearing. A small red fox, glaring at me, had ran across the road. Right in our path.

I continued to shiver, tears rolling off my lips. "You.... You got them h-hurt.... N-Now I'm all alone... And s-so cold...." I gritted my teeth.

It made a noise to threaten me.

"I-I'm not going anywhere...." I said, my teeth now chattering. "Y-You... Y-You owe m-me..."

It made another noise. Now it was growling.

"I-I'm cold.... And y-you won't h-help me? Y-You suck..." Was all I could think to say.

Another fox leaped from the trees and stepped next to it to help it in it's stare-down.

"G-Great... Another one... Then y-you can help me..." I looked at it. "L-Look what he's d-done... And I'm getting the evil eye..."

One stepped forward. They were trying to scare me away, no doubt. But I was always called a stubborn child by my parents. I refused to budge.

Then, they became silent and still.

"They think you're going to hurt them. That's why they're so defensive." I heard a voice behind me say. I turned around and saw another fox. This one was bigger and much more mature in her movements. She walked past me and stepped in between the two smaller foxes. I then realized that these were the same animals we saw on the campground. A momma and her babies.

But that didn't shock me as much as the fact that something talked behind me. And then this fox appeared. I may had been young but I could put two and two together. My eyes were wide. "Y-you can t-talk?" I gasped.

"Yes I can." The fox replied. She had the voice of a human woman.

"B-But that's not possible! Animals c-can't talk!" I started feeling my head. Maybe I hit it on impact. Maybe I'm not really here. Maybe the ambulence is taking me to the hospital right now.

She tilted her head to the side. "You can talk, can't you? And you're nothing but an animal when it comes right down to it." She sat down in between the children and they ran behind her bushy tail.

I continued to shake. She did have a point. But it seemed insane that an animal would be able to talk! I hugged myself tightly, still keeping the flashlight aimed at her. "W-Well.... I-I'm cold.... Your son killed my parents... So technically you owe me..." I snapped back. Maybe she could wake me up from this awful nightmare. Soon, I'll wake up in a hospital bed. My parents will be fine, and I'll have had no more then a concussion.

"It's not our fault for your mistakes." She replied. I glared. "Your human parents should have been thinking. Whoever was at the wheel must have had a brain to use."

"What do you mean by that?" I asked as the wind got colder and colder.

"They should've thought of what's more important. The life of an innocent fox. Or the lives of their precious family. In all honesty, I'd choose the family." She stood back up and smiled, her pointed nose stuck up in the air slightly.

"He didn't have t-time to think! Your s-son came out of n-nowhere!" I grew angry and upset. But once again, the fox mother had a good point. I could only wonder what dad had been thinking when that little furry creature ran in our path.

"We animals have as much right to the roads as you do. They do cut through our home." Her tone was very serious when she talked with me.  "No matter what we have done, we owe humans nothing. They owe us." My mouth hung open in shock.

I became even more upset. "S-So what.... I-I'm just going to be left here to die..? I'm freezing.... I-I don't know where the city is... My parents are dead... And y-you can't help me..?" I groaned. "You g-guys are starting to suck even m-more...."

Her eyes became saddened as she looked into my watery eyes. I just wanted to wake up. Wake up... I had to wake up...

"You're very lucky, human. You're lucky you found a mother fox. Come with me. I'll give take you somewhere safe." She turned on her paws and moved gracefully further into the forest. I followed after her. I had to move like her in order to keep up. She dodged tree branches, leaped over thin rivers, and side-stepped every bush that was in her path. I still felt cold, even though I had to really work to move with her.

"If you can't keep up with me, you aren't worth saving." She called back to me.

That made me work even a little harder. I pressed on. She was laughing now as the night air flowed in between us. In this chill, it probably wasn't best to go against the wind. But she had fur. She didn't notice. I did. But the beat of my heart as it paced faster and faster sent warmth through my body. A cold sweat dripped off of my forehead.

"You don't make it easy to keep up with you, miss..." I muttered back.

"Actually I am making it easy on you. Normally, I take the quick way." She laughed again. Her laugh was so real and she sounded very alive for someone who shouldn't have a laugh at all.

After dodging more branches and leaping over more bushes, we finally arrived back to the city roads. The night had settled over hours ago. The chill was settling in. I stepped next to her, hugging my arms still. "Thank you..." I said.

She sat next to me. "Somebody in those houses should be able to help you find a hospitol. Do you remember the way back? Your parents can't just lay dead out there." She asked.

I nodded to her. "I remember, miss. ...Thank you..." I said again.

She smiled, her teeth showing. And she turned her tail to me. "You move pretty fast, kid. Not bad for a human. If you weren't so young, you'd no doubt make an excellent fox." Then she leaped off back into the darkness of the woods.

I called out thank you again, but knew that at her pace she was probably long gone. I turned towards the city streets and went to find anyone who could help me.

 

It was years before I even thought of them again. Although, they were always in my prayers. I had to thank them somehow. She had saved my life. But then I thought of the way she looked at the situation. And I looked at it too. Though they saved my life, they also destroyed it. So in a way... I owed them nothing.

Just like they owed us humans nothing.

I decided, that when I became 15, I would go talk to her again. And when I finally became of that age, I left my old, filthy, broken down apartment and head to the peaceful forest I went to a lot as a child.

And I reached the point where my dad crashed the car, and sat underneath the tree that killed them. I noticed branches broken above. A true hazard to anyone who went near it. But then, hugging my knees to my chest, I didn't care.

"You may be older, but I doubt you can still move like us." I heard a voice say behind me. I turned and came face to face with a fox. I turned my attention back to the road. "I figured you'd be here." She stated.

"A lot has changed since I last saw you. But I can probably go faster than you now." She laughed at my statement. "You don't believe me? I've had to spend my life running from other humans who can't leave anything they don't understand alone. I think I can handle out running you."

She laughed even more. She fell to the ground on her back laughing at me. She sat up and tried to regain composure. "Out run a fox? Not possible. It shouldn't be done."

"Shouldn't be. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be." I grinned.

"I'm warning you, kid. It shouldn't be done." She said hopping on all fours, crouching down into position. I stood up and smiled.

"I told you before. A lot has changed, miss." I said.

She smield softly, but the energy was still flowing through the woods between us. I was getting excited to race against the cause of my life's worst turn. She was right though. You shouldn't out run a fox in a race. "You can stop calling me 'miss' if you beat me, kid."

"Then what should I call you?" I asked.

"If you beat me, if you beat me, then you can call me mom." She said.

"And if I lose?" I questioned.

"I can forever call you a human orphan. And you go back to the harsh life you got." A little harsh but I agreed to her terms. And then, we set off into the woods.

As we ran, we moved in unison. Side by side. I was just a little ahead of her. I could feel something change as I moved.

"You're right. You've gotten much faster." the fox said. Now the tables had turned and she was trying to keep up with me.

I stepped ahead of her once more and she laughed as I felt even more in me change. I began to glow. I dropped onto my hands and ran on all fours like her. Leaping when she did, ducking when she did. It was absolutely perfect. Almost as if it were rehersed. It felt natural to move on all fours. My once long, slender legs began to grow smaller and a little furrier. My feet turned to paws, my nails turned to claws.

The race continued on. Our panting was the only noise moving through the woods.

"Are you going to give up yet, kid? You shouldn't beat a fox!" She shouted to me. "And you were right. You can beat me now."

I just stood silent as I continued to light our path. I was no more than an inch ahead of her. But ahead of her I was. She gasped. I grinned, my teeth growing sharp. My blue eyes stayed the same, but my vision grew much more advanced. So did my sense of smell. And I immediately recognized her scent. Mom's scent. A lot was on the line in this race.

I grew fur all over my body, bright orange fur. White patterns moved up my body and over part of my face. My clothes began to fade away into nothing. Soon, I looked a lot like her. A long, fluffy, orange tail with a white tip. Pointed ears and a pointed nose.

And before I knew it, we had both reached the end of the race. The place she had taken me to before. I had won. And my prize, was what they owed me. A family.

"Not bad for a human, eh, mom?" I grinned sitting on my back legs and scratching behind my ear with my back paw.

She laughed. "You're not a human anymore, child." She patted me with her paw.

So there we stood laughing. And we finally headed back home. No more sharp metal springs, no more icy showers, no more mean kids. I finally had a family again. No more being alone. Of course, I still miss my mom and dad but I know for a fact that they'd be glad to see me finally happy again. I looked at my new brothers and ran with them and played with them. I learned the ways of foxes through my new mother.

I knew, as soon as the feeling rushed through me of why you should never out run a fox in a race. Because then you become one. And there is no way to turn back after the race has been won.

But I haven't lost all of my human senses. I haven't completely lost my way.

I still look both ways before crossing the street.


© 2010 Michelle Raye



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Reviews

That was a fun read! I loved the clarity of it all and though I feel like you stretched the ending a hair too long, the zinger in the end was totally worth it :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


Very cute story.
I loved the picture.


Posted 7 Years Ago


a wonderful short story!!! it would have been amazing if it had been longer. Setting aside a few typos here and there, the story was amazing, definantly worth reading. great job!!! i enjoyed it!

Posted 7 Years Ago


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What a neat little story and from one so young! I can't help but be impressed by the pure imagination at work here and the wonderful ability of this writer at being able to capture the hope in life when writing about something so tragic. It shows great depth of character to be able to see things this way and my favourite line that expresses this sentiment is......
'I was getting excited to race against the cause of my lifes worst turn'. Simply brilliantly put! The positive and the negative working together and this results in a wonderful positive.

A gold star for this one, young lady!!

Posted 7 Years Ago


yes nice and strange,i liked the sudden twist in the story..
at first i felt sorry for the girl ,how her life changed to worse..cold showers and tattered clothes,and running to school barefoot
i thought this is like some good lesson to get out of life..but you were hiding another story and you did it so right..
how she could talk to them animals ,make them feel sorry for what they did and the life the caused her to live
so after many years its like they felt an obligation to give her a family back..and the fantasy starts
really loved how you did it how she changed to a wolf during the race..i really dont like very wild fantasies
but you made it almost logical and so believable..really loved reading this ,kept me excited to the end
lovely write..

Posted 7 Years Ago


this is excellent! strange, but excellent. my boyfriend and i just read through it (he started reading over my shoulder halfway through, so we had to go back and read it again) i love the idea that the narrator lost her family, but the foxes welcome her into theirs. it's a heart-warming tale with a twist. one thing to keep in mind: make sure you proofread! there were a few small grammar/spelling errors i noticed. HOWEVER, content-wise, i thought it was perfect. i wouldn't change a thing :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


I found this very interesting. Foxes and wolves are my favorite animals! I like how the mother fox argued her point. Although, even if the father had thought of his family first and hit the fox, that still would have endangered the family. When driving, even an animal can flip a car. Of course, if the girl was young enough, she wouldn't have understood that. Great story! I can't wait to read more!

Posted 7 Years Ago


You are a very good author,
keep up the good work.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Awesome so far, very intriguing! I can't wait to read the rest!

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on November 30, 2009
Last Updated on January 20, 2010

Author

Michelle Raye
Michelle Raye

Riverview, MI



About
Salut! Je m'appelle Michelle! Je suis 17 ans. (Hello! My name is Michelle! I have 17 years!) Part-time daughter of a single parent, Part-time girlfriend to loving guy, and a full-time pain towards.. more..

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Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Michelle Raye



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