Happy Boxing Day 🥰 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas ❤️
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
Phin was grinning to himself as he ran back to the campervan. He was beset by such an excess of elation he felt as if his heels might sprout wings and whoosh him up the moors on the wind. That sounded daft, but why not, if he now inhabited a world where very foxy friends morphed into Foxy’s afore his very eyes?
The self-same Foxy he’d befriended on the moor, which was p’raps why they were heading there now. Back to where it all began, before…oh. A bitalot belatedly, the Kypton Factor pieces fell into place. Jack must have ‘found’ Phin at his happy place, the night of the snaffled robe. Not after he’d fallen: Foxy had been there when Phin slipped on the rocks. That had been his own fault, he’d been too distracted by the whimper to do remembering to concentrate, then lost his footing as a consequence. Typical.
Had Jack fibbed about the bet to explain how he ‘lost’ his clothes? If he’d been Foxy when he happened across Phin, then he wouldn’t have had a stitch to wear when he…changed back into his human self. That sounded dafter still, even though Phin had seen the evidence for himself, except in reverse, o’course. Jack’s t-shirt and jeans had exploded into fluttery scraps, sooo...he must have wound up naked after turning back into his two-legged self. Dang…how Phin wished he could do remembering their stroll back to the van. He couldn’t even recall walking at all, let alone with Jake. Naked. Mmm…swishing and swinging in the wind. Bummer.
Phin couldn’t do thinking of a single reason why he shouldn’t meet Foxy at his happy place. He’d felt safe even before he knew Jake existed, let alone where. He must still be present, surely? Just wearing his furry outfit? Unless…Foxy was a sort of visitor who ousted Jake from his own home, as ’twere?
No, that didn’t feel right. He couldn’t explain why he believed they shared the same…spirit? Soul? Albeit ‘dressed’ differently, but he was still certain of it. Phin never knew why he thought stuff. His instincts told him, and that was that. If forced to rustle up a reason, he would plump for those bewitching blues. The eyes are the windows to the soul…after all. The view Phin saw through those windows was identical. This was just as true from Jake’s side; the gaze of both foxy friends felt the same. It was steeped in a similar…warmth. Acceptance; exactly as Phin was. Unconditional. Aside from his mum and sister, no one had ever made him feel that way.
It was as exceptional as say…a pink elephant. Instantly recognisable in a sea of grey faces. Not least when Phin could pick out the precise shade of things he hadn’t seen for decades. Match it, with one glance. He didn’t need to dither about doing ‘deciding’. It wasn’t a skill; he just could. Despite the fact he couldn’t do lots more stuff that was supposed to be bog-standard. Phin was buttermilk Andrex, with no loo.
Colour played the pivotal role in his perception; with all five senses. It did determining his reactions. Five hues that had to harmonize before things felt right. The essence shining from both sets of blues was singular. A metaphorical DNA match. So, why the bejeezus had Jake deemed himself ‘dangerous’ to Phin? Who was not as doolally as he looked; he knew damn well that he would be dead already, if he’d been a rabbit. In snackeroo terms? Phin felt about as imperilled as a teapot.
He wasn’t scared for the simple reason he knew that Foxy meant him no harm. Phin might get hurt as a consequence, but that was true when he crossed the road. He would rather get run over than potter around in a crash helmet and bicycle clips to be ‘on the safe side’. He didn’t want to live his life in a suit of armour. For a start, he was much more comfy naked than suffering stuff that made him scratchy.
Feelings were lethal, full stop. They made you vulnerable. Phin suspected that falling in love meant you’d never feel safe again. None o’this would have ever crossed his mind if Jack hadn’t kept coshing him with constant frets for his welfare. It was a lot like having a wasp buzzing about his head, stopping him from eating his sandwich in peace. Phin spent the rest of the drive rustling up the perfect sarnie to describe Jack. Something spicy with a bit of bite…oozing relish.
Anticipation was fizzing through his veins when he parked the van, his heart aflutter like hummingbird wings. That was daft. He was meeting Foxy, and yet he felt just as he had when he’d walked into The Albion, which was more than a mite unseemly. Phin would do trying almost anything once and admit to many a kinky quirk, but his fondness for animals was the ‘exception that proved the rule’…and thus, not a jot excessive.
Foxy’s tail was swishing with much the aplomb of Jake’s bum when he bounded over to greet Phin, even his brief wuff of welcome sounded pleased to see him. A snuffabout seemed to satisfy Foxy that all was well, then he shot off across the stubbly grass, leaving Phin to follow in his wake. To the place he’d believed too perfect to improve in any way, whatsoever. In a lifetime littered with wrongness? Phin really had excessed himself.
Foxy was waiting atop their grassy mound when Phin arrived, his face raised skywards as if he were moonbathing. He looked serene. Proud. Cloaked in ancient majesty as he sat amidst the ruins. Phin paused beside a tumbledown wall and gazed up at him, mesmerized. Too enchanted to shatter the silence, for fear he might spoil something too magical to exist beyond it. Too flawless to belong in Phin’s future.
He was struck by the strangest realization as he crossed those last few feet to Foxy’s side; Phin could scarce wait to reach him and yet, he wasn’t beset by the fretful hyperneed to rushrushrush and stifle some fear he’d never been able to name.
He just felt…right. Phin never felt right. The closest he’d ever known was not feeling wrong. That only happened when he was alone. But here, now, walking towards the two-for-one friend he’d never had, all was right in Phin’s world. Something had slotted into place. The piece he hadn’t known was missing. As if his whole life had led to this moment. A thought as demented as everything else he’d rustled up since Jake’s clothes exploded. Ooh, if only that came fully loaded with the symbolism it promised…
Foxy? Somehow looked content to sit and wait until dawn stole the dark away. He was serenity itself. As regal as a statue of Anubis (the Sphinx had a human head—Foxy thankfully, did not—that might have been a bit freaky).
“Hello Foxy…” Phin’s kept his voice soft, unwilling to shatter the spell hovering over them as surely as the blanket of stars. After sitting down beside his foxy friend, legs stretched before him, Phin was content to do waiting for Foxy to take the lead. As ‘twere. For a timeless moment they simply sat, facing forwards. If Foxy wanted to do so for the rest of the night, it was fine by Phin. He wanted Phin here, full stop; that was more than enough.
Foxy turned his head towards Phin, who echoed the movement and found himself staring into eyes that no longer glowed the way they had back at the Albion. While they still glistened Starlite bright, they weren’t luminous; agleam from within. They didn’t look supernatural. Despite being far from ordinary. They could never be that. Simply because they were Jack’s eyes. Not a jot of doubt remained in Phin’s mind.
“You’re beautiful…” Words barely above a whisper, made all the more reverent for that. Foxy did dipping his head…in negation of Phin’s words? Or, had they made him go all bashful? “You are. Either way.”
His head shot straight back up to spear Phin with cerulean; Jake’s eyes, wide with shock.
“You can’t be surprised I did working it out, so you must be shocked to be thought beautiful either way. You’re a daftie. I loved Foxy first, why would that change because he’s more than I thought? That doesn’t do making sense. It’s like ice-cream.” Foxy tilted his head, eyes aboggle. “It is! With a flake. Ice-cream is scrumptious, as are flakes. I sure wouldn’t be miffed if I was served a 99, after assuming I would get a cone. That’d be bonkers. They both taste better if you scoff them together.”
Foxy’s tongue did lolling, his breath huffing out in cloudy snuffs. “You’re doing laughing at me, y’scoundrel. Humph. I would rather have a 99 than a sandwich with a wasp, that’s for sure. So there.” Foxy rolled both eyeballs inwards, going cross-eyed at Phin. How rude. “I suppose you think it’s more akin to ice-cream with ketchup. Y’might like them well and good separately, but not together. Pfft to that. I’d be prepared to give it a bash before I did grumbling about it. Are you hungry? I am, it’s all this food chattering. Tell you what, let’s go back to the van and you can scoff the bacon. I might even throw in a sausage, if you’re a good boy.” Phin told him, reaching out to ruffle Foxy’s ears. It was irresistible; it made him go all daft.
“Jack, I’m not sure if you can do choosing to change, or if you can’t…control that. If you can, then I hope you’ll stay Foxy for a while. You’re welcome either way, but I’d hate you to think that’s not true. P’raps that’s why you brought me here, rather than my van, perhaps not…but it’s easy ’nuff to prove. You might not want to come with me whatever you’re wearing o’course…and that’s okay too. I could always scoff some ketchup ‘n’ ice-cream if you prefer…” Phin shrugged, casual as y’please, as if his heart wasn’t hyperfluttering with hope as he clambered to his feet. Foxy thumped his tail a few times, but its rhythm was a smidge stuttery. Hesitant.
“I don’t want you to feel obliged, but I’d love you to come visiting…” Phin added an ear ruffle, because he was monstrous and had no shame whatsoever. He didn’t mention that bit. It might be his joker card and Phin was not as loopy as he looked.
He couldn’t have been more chuffed when Foxy stood up and did swiping Phin’s hand a lick. “Feel free to have a runabout, if you wish, I know I’d want to…” Phin admitted when Foxy fell into step beside him to pick their way through the rocky rubble.
There it was again, that glimmer Phin was trying not to do wondering about, but it kept flitting through his head when he wasn’t doing concentrating. That, would be a very Bad thing to ask…Phin had a sneaky suspicion Jake might do demanding the gun again. There were a trillion other questions less likely to make him miffy though; all the hows ‘n’ whys ‘n’ wherefores. Mere…curiosities, compared the part that mattered too much more: what all this meant for...them.
First and foremostest; Phin must prove that Foxy could do trusting him. Then, maybe-one-day-over-the-rainbow, Jake would allow himself to trust…his selves.
Phin was famished. He couldn’t help but do hoping he might get to scoff that sandwich, before he starved t’death.