Kophis Goes to the Mall
Kophis takes a day off to do some shopping, but every time they use magic they get more mall-bimboified. Explicit.
One of the most useful bits of magic Kophis knew was their ‘unremarkability’ spell. An androgynous fox in a loincloth-dress and ancient silver jewelry wandering around a mall circa 2005 would normally be worthy of note—but one flick of their fingers, and mortals’ eyes glazed over and anything out of the ordinary from the last few minutes would slip out of their minds.
“So I can say whatever I want right now,” Kophis explained, oblivious to the quiet desperation on the face of the cashier who was trying to check them out. “For instance, I came here on a magic island. I parked it in the food court and disguised it as a smoothie stand.”
“Wow,” the cashier said. “Are you—”
“I brought it here because it’s been running low on chaos magic, so I’m letting it charge up. You’re supposed to use ley lines for that, not malls, but malls generate so much raw chaos magic that it cuts the charging time from a few weeks to a few hours.”
The woman behind the counter nodded, hoping they would get tired of talking soon. “Nice. Do—”
Kophis continued onward, enjoying the opportunity to brag consequence-free. “It’s because of all the capitalism crammed into one building. And using chaos magic inside of mall is like trying to light a match in a room full of propane. Mall are just that messed up. Of course, it’s no problem for an expert tarassomancer like myself. So, since I’ve got time to spare, I’m doing some shopping.”
Fixing Kophis with an annoyed glare, the cashier finally just asked, “Cash or credit?”
Kophis said, “Credit,” and made a show of snapping their fingers to summon a credit card out of thin air. The swirl of their own magic around their hand sent ripples through the flow of ambient chaos-magic energy that permeated the mall. As those ripples rolled over Kophis, it felt as if they’d had seltzer water poured over their brain. For a few moments they just swayed in place, slack-jawed and staring into space.
The cashier snatched the credit card out of Kophis’s hand, swiped it through the register, and then briskly shoved the sheets and matching pillowcases into the bag and pushed it across the counter. “If you’re such a cool wizard, how come you don’t have a ‘summon bedsheets’ spell?”
Kophis, the quick-tongued trickster, was at a loss for words. Their snout wrinkled and their ears folded back as they struggled to think of a scathing repartee. “It’s…look, summoned objects have different rules. Say I wanted to make a sheet ghost costume. I couldn’t summon sheets and enchant them…” Damn it. Now that they’d said it out loud, it sounded kind of silly. They’d have to scratch the sheet-ghost scheme and come up with something else.
All the cashier said was, “Cool,” but it was so thick with sarcasm it felt like a slap across the cheek.
“Whatever, mortal,” Kophis grumbled. They grabbed their bag and flicked an unremarkability spell at her on their way out, then nearly stumbled into the door as the mall’s chaos magic reverberated around them.
Unfortunately, there was no such thing as an unembarrassability spell.
26 March, 2023
Kophis and the Bull of Heaven
Miffed by some hard-to-impress Minoans, Kophis takes matters into their own hands and turns theirself into a divine bull. Explicit.
Kophis sat on a hill that hadn’t been there yesterday with their chin propped against their hand and a scowl on their snout. Down below the chalky limestone outcropping where they sat, the settlement of Tira glimmered with firelight. The breeze that rolled in off the wine-dark sea carried the scent of food freshly cooked for the sake of some festival or another. It was all Linear A to Kophis; one festival was just as good as any other for their usual scam: show up claiming to be a deity, score some free festival food in the form of ‘offerings’, and spend the night transforming humans consequence-free.
Usually humans were easy to impress. Make a flashy entrance, show off with a spell or two, and they’d be tripping over their own sandals trying to ply Kophis’s favor with offerings. Sometimes just having the head of a fox did the trick. But the people of this backwater island clearly didn’t know a god when they saw one. Or when they saw a trickster pretending to be a god. Either way. One of them had even asked if they were a jackal, of all things.
With a dismissive snort Kophis rose from their seat and trudged back up the hill to the sanctuary at its peak, which, like the hill itself, also hadn’t been there yesterday. The ‘hill’ was less of a hill and more of a mobile island that could blend in with its surroundings wherever it was placed. Though it wasn’t exactly an island, and it wasn’t entirely not a hill either.
In any event, they could easily have picked their island-hill up, sanctuary and all, and moved it somewhere more receptive to their deception. But that wasn’t the point any more. The people of Tira had scoffed at their entrance, refused to believe their claims of godhood, and worst of all, they had called Kophis ‘petty’.
Now it was personal. The thought that they might overreact to some minor slight was preposterous. They’d show the people of Tira how un-’petty’ they were—and they had just the tool to do it, too.
5 July, 2022
Into the Weald
A hiker stumbles into a fantasy world and is transformed into a dryad deertaur version of herself. Explicit.
Skyler hadn’t planned on wandering into a fantasy world. She’d gone hiking up in the mountains plenty of times before and had never once slipped between worlds. She’d even hiked this very trail a couple months ago and had stayed well on Earth the entire time. Today that would change.
At the moment, she was still hoofing it up the side of a steep rise, which she remembered from last time because climbing it had made her break into a sweat last time, too. Just a little further and she’d come out on top of the ridge, with a great view of the reservoir that the trail encircled, framed by the foothills and distant peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Once she was there, she could find somewhere to sit for a minute and rest her legs, maybe have one of the granola bars she’d stuck in her bag on the way out. Already she could see more light coming in through the trees; she was coming up on it now.
But when she left the shade of the ponderosa pines, she found she was not standing atop a small, rocky outcropping. There were no familiar peaks poking above the tops of the trees, no reservoir, no scruffy alpine trees and scrub—not a single thing she recognized.
Instead, a lush meadow studded with flowers stretched out before her, nestled in the belly of a valley so thick with verdant foliage that it looked almost primeval. The towering peaks around her bore thick skirts of mist that shrouded their sharp purple cliffs, and slender waterfalls like silver strings that lost themselves in the clouds. Her gaze floated up into the sky above, where the ghost of a crescent moon hung, four times bigger than it should have been and bearing a broad ring around its equator.
Her eyes made several circuits of the album-cover-worthy view before Skyler found the words to say, under her breath, “What the hell.”
2 February, 2021
A business catgirl turns into an embarrassingly anime catgirl. In the middle of the office, no less! Explicit.
Tara’s big presentation for the board of directors had gone well, until her hair turned candy-apple red.
For instance, she’d gotten to the conference room with half an hour to spare, so that her laptop would be hooked up and ready to go. She’d even had enough time to duck into the bathroom for a couple minutes, to make sure that both her chin-length black hair and the feline ears poking out of it were brushed and tidy. And once she got started, she didn’t even have to check her notes. She was only a few slides away from the end when things went wrong.
One of the board members raised their hand and leaned forward. They didn’t even look up from the phone in their hand. Tara couldn’t remember their name but was immediately sure they had always been on the board and she shouldn’t question whether they had. Unable to guess whether she ought to call them sir or ma’am, she had to settle for asking, “Yes?”
They kept their eyes on their phone. “Question. Have you considered kawaii?”
Tara breathed in sharply and a small chill ran down her spine, all the way to the tip of her black tail. One of the board member’s jackal-ears twitched, as if they’d heard her gasp. Did they know? She’d worked hard to keep her whole thing a secret. Her laser pointer rolled anxiously between her sweating fingers. “I’m...not familiar, so no.”
“Really? I thought you’d be familiar with, y’know, nyan.” They curled their hand in a paw-like gesture.
As if a gust of wind struck her in the face her hair blew back from her face, then swung back down again, its color warmed to a bright, glossy red. With a flick of her ears and a swish of her tail, both of them had turned pastel pink.
For a moment she stood still, with the hair on the back of her neck prickling and her heart beating faster and faster. She didn’t know what to do or say. Everyone was staring at her, except for the one board member who had asked the question—they had settled back into their chair, once again occupied with their phone.
She gulped and then said, “S-sorry, Tara has to excuse herself.”
15 October, 2020
The Barmaid and the Barbarian
In the middle of her shift, a barmaid turns into a handsome wolf barbarian. Oh no! Explicit.
Rosemary never spilled a drop of ale if she could help it. She knew the tables of The Red Hart so well she could weave between them with her eyes closed, and had a hand so steady that she could have been an archer or a craftsman, if either had been acceptable jobs for a young woman. So the full flagon she had upended over the wolf-kin’s head was entirely on purpose.
“Oh, I’m sorry, milord,” she said, to make it clear she wasn’t sorry at all.
She tugged a gray cloth from her belt and tossed it over the wolf’s snout, then turned sharply and walked away, leaving him to mop the ale out of his dripping fur and braided beard.
She heard the other wolves cackling and growling in delight: “Haw, that maid’s got steel between her legs!” “More steel than Wulfric’s got, that’s sure.” “You bend over and lift your tail like that for all the humans, or just the pretty ones?”
Rosemary’s cheeks were tinged pink. In the back of her mind, she wondered if she might have been mistaken, whether she really had felt those claws digging into her chest, trying to sneak a handful while she was bent over the table. She knew enough not to listen to that voice, though.
As she stepped behind the bar, she set down the flagon rather loudly and said, “Molly.”
The other barmaid lifted her cheek from her hand and turned to look at her with a curious but blank expression, as if she had no clue what Rosemary might want with her.
“Stop making doe eyes at the beast-kin,” Rosemary said. “There’s other tables to serve.”
Molly sighed. “Isn’t it exciting though? A whole pack of barbarians, right here in our tavern.”
“If by barbarians you mean Northerners and by exciting you mean a lot of work, then yes,” Rosemary said. She fetched a couple of mugs from behind the counter, and set them pointedly next to Molly’s arm. “The table by the fireplace has been asking about their mead.”
The mugs clinked together as Molly picked them up, then leaned in close and lowered her voice. “What if one of them wants to take me back to his room and fuck me like an animal? And then he carries me off to his longhouse to dress me in furs and make me his bride...”
Rosemary said, “Well, until that happens you’re still on your shift, so get to it.”
16 September, 2020
An amorphous furry monster grows by turning hapless victims into new parts of its body. Explicit.
Tom opened the door onto a completely dark apartment. Usually at least one of his roommates would have been around at this hour, using the TV in the living room or cooking in the kitchen, but all the lights were out. It was quiet. Slipping off his pack, he set it down by the front table, then grasped for the switch on the lamp.
When it clicked on, he was confronted with a total mess. One of the floor lamps had been knocked to the ground, the living room table was on its side, and the couch cushions had been tossed in all directions. It looked like someone had ransacked the apartment, but everything valuable was left in place. Leaving the front door ajar in case he needed to run for it, he picked his way around the strewn cushions and called out, "Hello? Guys?"
As he rounded the back of the couch, a heavy thump brought his attention to the floor. He froze in place, staring down at a big, purple, furry...something. It was long and oblong and lumpy. His eyes couldn't make sense of what they saw. That mass looked a bit like shoulders, that protrusion could have been a thigh, but the whole thing was too big and too jumbled-up to be a body. All that was clear was that the entire thing was covered in thick, almost silky, magenta fur.
Then it moved. The fur flowed across its surface as two of the closest lumps lurched outward and swiped at his ankles.
Tom yelped and stumbled back. His feet caught the corner of a pillow; he kicked it, spinning, off into the living room. The huge furry mass lumbered towards him, bulging and rolling like a body writhing beneath tar. Tom turned to run for his bedroom. The thing swatted at his ankle, knocking his feet from under him, sending him tumbling toward the ground.
Then everything smelled like pain and went black.
Tom woke to find his cheek against the floor and his nose swollen and tender. His thoughts were sluggish and groggy. He pushed himself up on one arm, bent a leg underneath him, and felt a weight tugging the base of his spine back down. With a grunt, he slumped against the floor. He groped behind his back, and his hand met thick fur.