A small brown fox was walking slowly in the rain. Her fur looked horrible, as if she had not brushed it in weeks or had a shower. And she hadn’t. Her eyes had dark circles around them from lack of sleep. She was miserable.
“If only I had accepted that help.” She whispered to herself.
The fox had been offered a home by her cousins, but her pride had gotten in the way. She had said that she could make it by herself. But not now. She was homeless and gemless.
“I can help you.” The fox turned around quickly at the sound of the voice. To her surprise, there stood Greely, the wolf alpha.
“Greely,” She said, breathless. “What are you doing here? I thought you preferred the shadows.”
He looked at her for a minute before replying. “I heard you call for help.” He said.
She gasped. He wanted to help her? But she was only a fox. She did not say this, because she knew now that it was unwise to decline help again.
“Thank you, Greely!” She said happily, bouncing a little bit. Greely lifted a paw, a sign for her to stop and listen.
“I will help you on one condition. If you come back with me, I shall give you what you deserve.” Greely said bluntly. The fox smiled. She did deserve something happy in her life, so she agreed.
The fox was slightly nervous when she saw where they were going. It looked like a hybrid den of metal and rock. The inside was not much better. It looked a lot like a laboratory. Perhaps he wanted her to help him with Phantom experiments.
“So, you test on Phantoms?” She asked curiously. He thought for a minute, and then nodded.
“Yes. In fact, that’s the reason why you’re here. I need help with a test for the phantoms.” Greely replied, walking over to a table.
There were various vials and beakers of chemicals on it. He pointed to a black liquid that read “Shadow Disease.”
“What’s Shadow Disease?” The fox asked. She was scared of it. It sounded horrible.
“This is what I will be testing on a Phantom. I’m trying to see if it will actually infect an animal, the phantom. I have tried it on plants, but I must see it in real action.” He replied.
“So what do you want me to do, Greely?” She asked quietly. He turned to her, and suddenly knocked her to the floor. He grabbed the tiny fox in his huge jaws and carried her over to a table.
He was going to experiment on her.
“No!” She screeched as he locked her paws onto the table so that she could not move. Greely turned away and grabbed the vial of Shadow Disease.
“I’m just going to give you a little shot.” He said plainly. “You’ve gone to the doctor before, so you know it’ll be fine.” Greely filled up a needle with the liquid, and then stabbed it into her front leg. He then stepped back to watch.
At first, it seemed as if nothing had happened. The fox sighed with relief. It must not work on animals and phantoms, she thought. But only a second later, everything changed.
It was if she was being eaten alive. The liquid was slowly turning her paws black. Dead black. She let out a bloodcurdling scream. Greely watched pleasantly, taking some notes on a piece of paper. This was all simply amusing to him.
The shadow was crawling up her legs now, until they too were dead. The pain was growing worse, and she was yowling for her life. And then it reached her heart. It all stopped for a moment. I’m dead, she thought. It’s all over…
But she could not have been more wrong. It was only the beginning of her pain.
The shadow was crushing her organs from the inside. She saw that she had cuts on her sides. Black blood flowed from them.
It then reached her head, and then she was completely black. Her eyes bulged, turning disgusting red and black shades. They almost exploded from pressure.
“Greely!” She screeched, writhing in pain. “I did not deserve this!”
He looked disappointed. “Of course you do. I saw that you were in pain, so I decided to give you death. You deserved the simple quietness of death. I’ve actually done you a huge favor.”
The fox suddenly could not take it anymore, and let the shadow take her. The light in her eyes disappeared, and she felt limp.
Greely examined her for a minute, obviously satisfied with this result. This would teach the phantoms for sure, he thought, smiling.
“Liza! It has worked.” He shouted over his shoulder. Out of the shadows emerged the panda alpha. She too was smiling.
“Good.” She replied.