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Doggie Foggy

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It was all pretty bizarre if you were to ask him.

 

Everything was relatively normal that day…

 

For him, anyways.

 

It was approaching midnight, and Franklin Nelson snuck out of his bed and through the window to go for a stroll around the neighborhood. He wasn't able to sleep in the unfamiliar place, and the night air had always helped when his comfort foods couldn't.

A lot has happened this year, and he idly wonders if he’ll get to make any friends when he eventually moves into The Hermitage. You think he'd be upset about losing his father, and he is... but the man has not been himself for over a year now; the illness taking his mind along with his body. They were able to stay under the radar for a while, but Child Services finally took him away when his dad flipped out and threw a vase at his head, forgetting who he was, and that he had a son. Well... that's not exactly right.

 

He might have gotten a black eye and some nasty bruises from trying to stupidly stop his dad's flailing (Eddie Nelson was a big guy, and Frankie was short and chubby). The vase had made a pretty nasty gash that he couldn't take care of with the first aid kit, and his father had started to seize...

 

That weekend Frankie got stitches, an ice pack, and a nurse with a member from Child Services telling him his father was dying, and that he can no longer take care of Franklin.

 

He thinks they expected him to cry, or maybe throw a tantrum. But honestly? Frankie has seen it coming, has known it was coming since Eddie Nelson was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago.

 

So he stayed with a nice lady until their neighbor, Señora Cardenas, showed up to take Franklin home and stuffed him with flan and coffee until he passed out. Now... it was another mess to convince them to let him stay the last few weeks of summer with his neighbor and his friends (ha. he had no friends... unless you count Brett Mahoney who is tolerant of Frankie at best). 

 

And that brings him here. Unable to sleep because in one week everything's going to change again. He'll be starting the school year at a new high school, losing the few 'friends' he did have, after moving into the orphanage, and... it's just his life right now - but honestly? He's kinda looking forward to not being alone. At The Hermitage, there will be other kids like him, and he'll be sharing a room with other boys and there'll be more opportunities to make friends or at least to not be lonely.

 

Anyways.

 

All of this is running through the blonde's mind when a chill gust of air billows through his jacked and he draws in a sharp breath, hissing at the sudden cold when it has been a luke-warm, summer night.

 

Then he hears a terrifying scream.

 

Personal problems forgotten, the fourteen-year-old dashes towards the source of the sound.

 

“No… stop… please… STOP!!!” The terrified female yells louder, and there are odd sounds and lights coming from up ahead, so Franklin picks up his pace and he tries not to wheeze when he can tell he’s close – his heartbeat feels like a drumstick against his ribcage when he approaches the alley ahead and stops.

 

What he sees is like a scene right out of some cheesy, fantasy-horror flick.

 

There’s a lady with blood smudges on her cheek and crinkled clothes who’s bracing herself against the filthy brick wall and in front of her can only be described as a creature. Its’ features were gruesome, and under the hood and ornamental pendant on its’ chest, reminded him of the crotchety old witch from Snow White.

 

He seemed to be unnoticed for the moment, so he looks to his side and sees a dented, aluminum baseball bat. Gingerly picking it up, he had planned on a sneak attack but the ugly witch looked to be able to conjure some sort of spell, so Foggy growls and shouts at the girl to run as he takes a careless swing at the spell-casting creature.

 

Franklin isn’t quite sure what happens next, but there’s light and screaming and then the ugly witch shouts at him – that she’ll have her revenge (or something) and then the air is still and poor little Frankie is at a loss.

 

He startles when a gentle hand rests on his shoulder and he is met with the face of the girl he had saved. She straightens up and he can see now the slight frown lines and the beginnings of crow’s feet by her unnaturally golden eyes (admittedly both awesome and terrifying) and then he sees she's not a girl but a woman. Probably about thirty-something.

 

“Thank you for saving me, young man. Though I’m afraid that will not be the last you see of her.”

 

Franklin frowns, and feels extremely dumbstruck. He probably looks it, too, because the lady smiles sadly.

 

“You are… uh… a witch too? Or something? Cuz your eyes are really glow-y…” he shakes his head, “But that doesn’t matter much. You are okay?”

 

The lady smiles and nods, but leans down to set a delicate hand on his shoulder (and it's... glowing?). He looks down at the appendage and, yea. It's glowing a light, purple-ish color. Then lithe fingers that feel like warm sunshine against his skin turn his chin up to force him to look her in the eyes.

 

“I am sorry. But this spell will protect you until my partner and I can capture the Kilagre – should she look for you before we get to her, she will not be able to recognize you.”

 

Fear pounds in his chest and dread settles heavily on his shoulders as his entire body tingles, and he feels sparks under his skin that are light at first but then as they increase they start to become incredibly painful.

 

“B-b-but! No! I'll be fine, promise! I'm really a nobody but –“

 

She shushes him and pain lances through his chest, causing him to fall to his knees.

 

He tries so hard not to scream as his wide, cornflower eyes start to water with pain and fear.

 

“Thank you for saving me, and I am so sorry – but this is the only way I can repay your kindness and bravery, by ensuring that you live.” Her voice starts to fade, and his vision is blurred with tears and nausea.

 

He squeezes his eyes shut and shivers.

 

“I will return to change you back as soon as I know you will be safe. This will not be for long, and you can explain to your loved ones so you will not be alone, but you will be safe from her and her partner's detection." Her voice is finite, and her brow is set in grim determination. Franklin tries to speak. To ask what she's doing to him that he'll have to explain himself. But his breath is gone and he can't seem to catch it back.

 

"I will not have a child die because of me. Though should I not return, this spell will–“

 

Franklin cannot hear anything more, because suddenly he has his breath back and nothing can be heard over his own screaming and howling.

 

The world starts to go black as he feels his skin stretch and bones shift.

 

Just when the sun rises, he finds himself covered in a silky fur coat and shakily rising to stand on four legs.