Turned to stone

Stoney’s Dude Ranch 
It was worse than the other nights. The yipping and chattering in his head, the pain. He'd screamed through it, and cried for his mother, but for all she'd murmured soothings to him she kept herself firmly to the other side of the door. Every bone breaking, his heart tripping into overdrive. It seemed to go on for so much longer tonight. Unrelenting. Please, he just wanted to pass out.

Eventually, he did.

The fox was no less blind than he had been to start with, and the little thing stumbled over his paws. Still, he had a better sense of the layout, and how to move. He used his whiskers, his own breath hitting surfaces before him.

There was the sound of the woman he heard sometimes, the sniffling and whimpering tones she used. Usually there was food here for him, and it sometimes smelled a little like her, but tonight there was nothing, and he was hungrier than he'd ever been. Testily, he followed her scent, nearing the door and crouching to feel the pass of air beneath the crack.

His nose quivered, and he gave a small scratching at the door, catching his toes a few times in the crack he could feel and whining a high pitch for it. There was a sharp intake of breath he could hear. One of his gigantic ears flicked.

He gave a frantic sort of yip. Someone was there, so please. Help.

But there would be no help for a few hours, and that was not helpful for him. He was in full control, unable to recede to the prior body, and starving for it. And yet, what to do? He could follow far away sounds to the opposite end of the room, but there were metal bars blocking his way out. He'd smashed his skull into them several times. They were unkind aches.

What he was afforded, however, was a strange train of luck. He'd fallen silent except for the roaring of his stomach, having nothing left to do and no way out. Until, suddenly, there was a sound at the doorknob above him. His head lifted, which was fortunate, because the door would have opened and that would have knocked him in the nose had he not moved out of the way. He stood, feeling the air flutter softly through his fur. And there was, suddenly, an "Oh, shit!"

Not that he could understand it.

But he was faster out the door before she could whip it closed fast enough, slipping out like a, well, fox. Right about until he crashed right into a wall with a shrieking yelp. But wait! There's more! The fox stumbled back to his feet clumsily, dashing into unreal speeds along the floor until — another yelp, and a crash of something breaking, shattering, that he nicked his paw on. So much pain, so very much for something that felt much bigger than it undoubtedly really was, but he was a desperately caged animal, hearing her chasing after him hopelessly. He scrambled once more to his feet, following all of his remaining senses to what was cool air and in reality an open backyard door. And it was open, it was! There was just a screen door in the way. Which. He promptly managed to blast clear off the track before he could even fully feel the pain it left on his nose.

His poor, poor nose.

Outside, immediately, there was the relief of grass. But she was still coming after him, and it was all he could do to keep running. Thankfully for the little thing, they'd never put up a fence to block off their patch of grass from the wooded area the backyard became. Unfortunately, there were a lot more things to run into out here. Trees. So many trees. Rocks. Little creeks and mudpuddles.

The fox wandered in endlessly lost circles, but at least out here he had things to eat. Inedible, disgusting things that mostly made him hurk it back up, mostly. But at some point his nose led him to bones, and he gave those testy chews for a time and found a taste for it. It satisfied him for a time, at least until some noise in the night inspired him to skedaddle. And bump into more things.

Eventually, he found his way to uncharted territory. His nicked paw hadn't fully healed, but it felt a lot better than it had for a while there. He'd earned more nicks and cuts to make up for it. Overall, a bedraggled looking thing, but still carrying the prized bone he'd been gnawing. The air was thick with the smell of... well, he didn't know what.

But for everyone at home, it was manure.

species ref, just imagine a general LACK OF EYES


It started with the fingers. Specifically, the sudden, searing burn of the skin beneath the rings around his knuckles. It was incredibly painful, and even for an impassive person like Asher, the cry of agony was impossible to bottle away. His fingers released the can of paint he'd been holding steady, and it dropped the to concrete of his workshop with a loud clang. Asher doubled over in his seat, his fingers tensed as he ripped away his gloves to reveal the skin there. What the fuck was happening. It fucking hurt. It fucking. Burned.

Asher gasped shakily as his trembling fingers moved to pry at the silver rings. Touching them with the tips of his fingers even singed as if they'd been placed in a forge. His mind raced, scrambling to make sense of what was happening. Nothing came to mind as he shoved the rings away. One, two, three. Each dinged harmlessly onto the concrete at his feet. There was relief, but his skin bubbled red and angry where the metal had been as he moved to pull the others off. When the two joined the ones at his feet, he gasped and splayed his hands before him. Burns. Literal burns, like he'd touched a hot curling iron.

He didn't have much more time to think about it before a pain he'd never experienced rocketed through him. It was like someone was driving an axe between his shoulder blades. For a few seconds that clear thought was something plausible, Asher was almost sure that thats what was happening. His hands were burning, and there was someone standing behind him hacking at his back. He was dying. Except, there was another snap of bone, this time from his leg. Asher yelped through the mask secured over his mouth as he slumped forward with the jolt. He tucked and landed on his shoulder, slamming his back into the canvas he'd been working on. It wobbled, and he gasped as his body jerked another way, agony lighting up in hundreds of areas as every joint in his body twisted and snapped in preparation to be reset.

There was no sense, no thought aside from agony. His mind was white hot, his vision blurry. He cried as he curled in on himself, pulling his knees toward his chest and pressing backward into the wet paint of the canvas. At some point, his vision cut completely, and his consciousness followed suit. The next few minutes consisted of the body of a man constricting inward. Breaking and shrinking, and setting itself again. Grey fur bloomed from skin, a tail sprouted as the forming body writhed beneath a heavy leather jacket and wriggled from a pair of tattered jeans.

Eventually, silence filled the garage-turned-studio. From beneath the pile of clothing, an overgrown raccoon rose. It's heart hammered as it blinked red eyes blearily. The smell of paint stung his nostrils, and as he placed a wary paw down, he squeaked at the pain. His little black fingers throbbed with pain he could not understand the source of. Small chitters flowed through his nostrils as the creature sat back onto haunches and craned his head around for the source of what was striking so much fear into his small body. There was... nothing. What he did spy was an open door and a starry sky that stretched above nearby rooftops. There was little cognitive thought from such a simple being, but what was there told him that being outside was what he wanted.

And so, despite the pained stinging of his front paws, he made a dash toward the wide opening of the garage door. Out into the yard, across and onto the street. Down, down past the houses that populated the rural neighborhood. Under a wire fence across an open road. The field stretched on and on and eventually gave way to a scrubby forest. The beast only slowed when he was certain he was alone. It was only then that his heart stopped fluttering. His nostrils flared and eyes scanned the tree line. Crickets chirped, an owl hooted nearby. And faintly... just faintly, there was the sound of crunching bones.

Curious and hungry, the ring tailed creature slunk forward into the brush, nostrils pulling in the smell of... something. There was a noise ahead, skittering paws and scraping claws and the sound of impacts. And then, bumbling from a nearby thicket, a tiny, tiny creature. Brow and big eared. The raccoon chattered noisily as it pushed itself to its hind legs and scooted backward a few paces. Eyes wide and trained on the little thing, his lips peeled back. Don't come close. He couldn't have known, for now, that the creature could not see the warning.

He didn't see the warning, nor could he hear something silent. What he did manage was the smell. His body froze, nose lifting in the air, smelling a scent very unlike himself.

He also managed the sound of breathing, the sound of a heartbeat, and the feeling of something... like him.

In a world that had proved so far to be very, very big and threatening, it was difficult to judge if he was coming across something he might have been able to handle. His head dropped some, large ears flattening to his head and excessively long tail moving to curl somewhat beneath him. A soft whine of appeal through his hold of the bone, and he took an uncertain step back.

A few moments passed, and the raccoon watched the tiny think sniff inquisitively. When it’s ears went back and it’s tail tucked, the ring-tailed beast cocked its ears to the sides of his head. The whine had his nose wiggling, and he straightened up to peer closer at the cowering creature. Something was different. Red eyes blinked as he stared cautiously from his spot down at the little thing. It was a hard thing to realize the weakness there, but it came eventually. A distinct lack of eyes. At first glance, it looked like the creature was squeezing them shut from fear. But no, there was nothing there to shield.

A weakness, then. But not prey. Not a threat, either. There was the idea to just leave, finding nothing to gain or lose from the interaction. But something kept him here. A feeling a simple minded beast could not begin to ponder. Whatever it was, it drew him closer with a few cautious steps. A low trill of a chatter found its way from the masked creature’s twitching nose. What are you?

Still entrenched in fearful self-protectiveness, and he could feel whatever it was was still... here.

One ear flicked forward at the chattering noise, finding it different from his own familiar one. He gave a small grunt, testing, curious despite his cowardice.

Lowering to the ground with the bone still in his mouth, he heard the sounds of approach and just.

Waited. It was coming closer. Maybe it wouldn't attack him.

It grunted and flatted, and the raccoon eyed the bone in his mouth. Maybe he could take it. It didn't seem hard. With careful steps, the grey ball of fat waddled toward the skinny thing. His head dipped to sniff carefully at its face and missing eyes. The bone stuck out a way from the beast's little jaw. Maybe he could just... he meekly reached toward it with one little hand, eyes still on the lame creature.


It was coming closer, but one thing he hadn't consented to was it coming... that close. Close enough that he could feel the heat of its nearness. Moreso, felt a little twitch of his whiskers.

In a flash, he dropped the bone to snap viciously, guarding his measly prize with all the ferocity he could manage. He hadn't meant to miss, but thankfully he did.

Violence. It was a natural, and the ring tailed creature was quick to square his stance and peel his lip back with a vicious snarl. The teeth missed, and he lunged to sink his teeth into the side of the smaller creature's face. His teeth caught, and he jerked his head in a flurried shake.



miss! :D

That was so unfair, thought the creature that once could see and now could not. He let out a shrieking cry of pain, and his entire body thrashed to get away, back up, and continued to snap literally blindly.

Nothing, nothing.

The fox pulled away, and the raccoon let his jaws loosen. More snapping, teeth catching air as the blind little thing struggled to defend itself. The raccoon, recognizing opportunity, made a lunge to grab for the bone in his teeth.


He could hear it coming in, and amidst his searing pain he snarled and snapped again, his teeth only meeting air.

Still, he guarded the spot where the bone had been, growling with his teeth bared over his grand prize of nothing.

His teeth found bone, and the raccoon grunted with satisfaction as he shoved himself backward. His nimble paws carried him back, and the in a wide arch around the growling creature. He wondered how long it would stay there, defending it's stolen prize. He wasn't going to stick around to find out. The masked thief tore away through the underbrush, quite pleased with himself.



It was leaving.

He sniffed at the ground, and realized the bone was gone.

The blind fox would attempt to follow for less than an hour before the sound of some other threatening animal had him running back again. Or, away from the barks, at least. He tried to double back on his trail, back towards the forest.

Moving slowly, hungry, he would there lose his way amongst threads of his own faded scent, until he slipped on wet rock and felt the blinding of his nail being snapped at the nail bed for it.

No one who would have cared heard the shrieking.

In the end, he did not make it home, but he'd come close enough that, the next morning when his mother had daylight on her side, she found him sprawled amidst the trees.

A second full moon "survived," and he still didn't know what he was.

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