Feature Writer: TalesofAlexandria


Published: 13.08.2023

Story Codes: Demonic

Synopsis: Stranger

Author’s Notes: This is a work of FICTION, made by and for adults 18+. The following chapter includes depictions of hypersexuality, shaming (misgendering, ignorance), crude language (fuck), and unintentional misgendering. Reader discretion is advised.

Pet For Lease 1 — Stranger

A light flurry passed through the canopy of the everblue woods–as it had for the last week. The air was frigid, though Vixen didn’t notice as she dredged through the snow. Not for the thin layer of brownish-orange light fur that covered her body nor her thick robe; but the burning in her stomach. Even the faint breeze across her tall ears did nothing to cool her.

“I,” Vixen panted, practically dazed as she followed what remained of the trail, “I can’t– keep going.” She dropped on all fours. ‘Vi said– “Find the path north of here, then go west, and you’ll reach Refuge within half a day…”‘

“That– was Three Days— ago!”

‘That’s the Last Time I trust a faerie with direction! Though, I don’t think it helped thinking of vir… as a she.’ Her messy hair fell into the snowfall as Vixen groaned, ‘I HATE MIND-READERS!!’

After mindlessly grumbling for a few more moments, her ears perked to the familiar sound of people talking. Her tail became alert before she jolted up.

“I smell food!”

She sniffed the air and realized, “It’s not far!” Vixen climbed to her feet and sped ahead. Within a few steps the fragrance became overpowering and she knew, “I’m almost there!!” Finally, the fog cleared and the thicket thinned.

When she emerged from the forest, Vixen stared in awe at the grand settlement. “What the,” she gaped at the exotic, towering buildings of wood, stone, and masonry. “How can you build something that big!” Her gaze dropped to the bustle in the street. “How– HOW CAN THERE BE SO MANY PEOPLE!!

Suddenly overwhelmed by the foreign forms, mixed aromas, and overlapping noises, she held her mouth and balked, “Oh no, I think I’m gonna be sick.”

‘How can they all stand being around so many smells and sounds?! I– I smell other beastkin too!! WOLVES!! How can they STAND the–!’ Her nose twitched, ‘Wait! Is that– a fox?!’ She reached for the talon draped around her neck. ‘He’s not from my father’s tribe, but… I’ve never found another fox before. Or… anyone but vir since…’

With a deep breath, Vixen braced herself. “Well, if they can stand being amongst all those people, then… I’m sure I can.” She gulped, ‘Hopefully?’

Vixen stepped closer; before she reached the town’s edge, another fragrance made her shiver. ‘Oh no,’ her thighs began to squirm. ‘This isn’t going to work…’ A loud gurgle made her reconsider, ‘But, there’s food somewhere in there, and I haven’t eaten anything since I found the trail.’ She reluctantly entered the crowd.

Unable to focus on a single thing, Vixen’s senses darted all around her until she was dizzy. Before she could walk past the first structure, she realized, ‘I– I can’t! There’s too much– Is– is that another fox?! And– Are wolves AND foxes really that common?! Oh–‘ she intently sniffed, ‘is that– VENI–‘


She yelped at an unheard scream. ‘What–?! Who–‘ Before she could think further, the voice continued.


‘HEY!!’ Another voice entered the fray; Vixen dropped to her knees as her head spun. ‘That’s enough! It was bad enough already with one person screaming! You don’t even hear the critters; the Birds ALONE were driving me nuts, so stop making a Bigger scene!! And You!’

Vixen snapped up. “Uh, me?!”

‘Yes, You, Country Girl! That’s not Wild Venison, you Bumpkin! It’s a Beastkin, like You! You better not think about taking a bite out of–!’

‘JUST,’ she pulled her ears down. Please just tell me where I can get something to eat.’

‘There’s a tavern right next to you–to your left.’

She glanced over and noticed a sign hanging over the door of a modest building. “The Drunken Fang?”

‘That’s an inn. You can get food, drink, and shelter there.’

‘Food and shelter,’ Vixen gulped. ‘I haven’t slept on bedding since I left my mother’s tribe.’

‘Just think normally; you’ll blend in and we can ignore you like everyone else. And mind what you say about mind-readers! My sibling and I could hear you all the way from the forest!’

Vixen’s head hung before she shuffled to The Drunken Fang. ‘I just wanted something to eat, somewhere to sleep, and someone–‘ Instead of finishing, Vixen held herself and approached the door.

The noise was somehow more intense as she entered but the luscious smell of meat drew Vixen in regardless–among other scents. Already overwhelmed by the warmth as the door closed, Vixen’s daze worsened as she looked around the busy room. Unsure of who to approach, she spotted a taller woman with a pale complexion, short black hair, and long, pointed ears standing behind a counter. ‘Well–‘ Vixen anxiously stepped towards her. “E-excuse me.”

The barmaid turned with a cordial smile; the slits in her green irises were disarming, however. “Welcome to The Drunken Fang!” As she sung, Vixen couldn’t help but notice that four of her fangs were acutely sharp. “Is there anything I can do for you, miss?”

“Uh–” Stunned, Vixen’s gaze fell to the beautiful green dress. ‘She’s– actually really–‘ she shivered in an attempt to ignore her other hunger. “C-can I have– something to eat? And– a place to sleep?”

“Of course! We still have a few rooms available. What do you have to trade?”

Vixen blankly stared. “Uh– trade?”

The barmaidʼs face became glum as she realized, “Oh– You’re not from around here, are you?”

“Uhm, no..?”

Well, when Refuge became the first city in the Outer Key, it adopted the Inner Keys’ barter system: it’s an exchange of goods and services. If you have something to offer, I can give you food, drink, or a room; but, if you don’t have anything, there’s not much I can give you.”

Vixen realized all she had besides her clothes was her father’s necklace. When she reached for it, the bartender admitted, “I could give you a little something for that, but I can feel how important it is to you. Please, it isn’t worth it, miss.”

As Vixen’s dismay became apparent, she apologized, “I’m really sorry, but– I need energy to create things, just like everyone else who can use magic. If the moon were up I could be much more lenient with food and drink. But that’s still over an hour away; I’ll likely be even busier. And I might run out of rooms by then.”

Well, stranger,” a woman’s lofty voice pulled her up, but it was her stunning gaze that gripped Vixen, “I suppose it’s fortunate I’m here now and in need of food and shelter as well.”


How is Vixen to survive in this magical world without magic? Who is this stranger offering her a kindness? A new adventure begins for this lonely beastkin in a strange new world. Vixen’s forlorn history is laid before her in Chapter 2: Generosity.


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