In the colourful cartoon world on the big TV, a spotted skunk admired the pretty maille necklace around his neck, which shone with a white glow. He was big, and friendly, and untidily fluffy; black fur, white splotches and lines and spots with a grey nose and a gentle smile. Warm, passionate and playful. It seemed as though he'd be at home on four legs or two, though just then he was stood up with a slight blush to his round face.
"Aww, Fern, you really didn't have to..."
"I wanted to," said Fern, the colourful magpie. Rather than black and white, she had feathers in dark and pale green over most of her wings and body. Her crest was a mix of colours, her belly blue and white, and her arms entirely winged; no hands. Calm, careful, thoughtful. "It's nice of you to invite me over, Cookie. Thought you might appreciate that it's full of magic."
"Yeah! It's really eye-opening," said Cookie the skunk, holding the shiny in his big toony fingers, before gazing out towards where an audience might have been; catching the eyes of whoever was tuned in at the time. "Actually, speaking of which, I think we're being watched..."
In a less colourful world, two humans were indeed sat back on a couch, watching the cartoon play out on the TV. One was Ash, with fair straw-coloured hair and a small low beard; the other Hughsie, dark-haired with a slight moustache. At that point they were confused and uncertain because, up until a few moments ago, they hadn't been watching a cartoon at all. Suddenly they were seeing Cookie and Fern's conversation, the channel wouldn't change, and neither of them really understood why.
"How can you stand it out there? It's really drab and dull. Tell you what, why don't you come join us? I'm having lots of friends over, there's snacks and drinks and afternoon tea, It'll be great, promise!"
Neither Ash nor Hughsie got to answer before colour flooded from the TV like a waterfall of paint, pooling on the carpet before changing the floor underneath the pair to soft green grass. In place of a sofa, two toadstools were suddenly there; still soft and comfy. The paint didn't stick to the two guys, but it didn't spare any part of the sitting room they were in. Walls? Not any more, just the edge of a forest; a gravel path, a few isolated houses, and Cookie's brick and wood house with a big mailbox with his name stenciled on it. No TV either, as suddenly the pair were right there in the cartoon; so bright and colourful it took a few moments to get used to it. No words from the guys yet, just vague mutters and umms and errs; this had gotten quite strange, everything was happening so quickly.
"Woah, that is some strong magic," said Cookie, rubbing around his eyes and grinning widely. "Look, I caught a pair of humans! Aren't they great?" His long furry tail flicked about excitedly, swaying, curling and stretching. As a result the air started to mist up, smelling thick and sweet and pleasant. The skunk got very close and cuddly to Ash, wrapping arms around the smaller man and nipping his ears, making him blush by acting very familiar indeed.
"Hi there! I'm Cookie, what's your name?"
"Umm, I'm Ash- what's going on? What did you do?"
Fern rolled her eyes a little, but she smiled and put her wings around Hughsie, who was closest to her. "Tell you what. I'll take this one, um-"
"Ahh, Hughsie! Your wings are really soft."
"-aww, thank you! Yes, I'll take Hughsie to see inside and you- well, you do you."
Cookie was already distracted, so Fern led Hughsie towards the open door, their chatter getting quieter as they left. "So I guess this might all be a bit surprising, huh?..."
"I'm enjoying it here, it's all really cute, but um, what did you mean with Cookie? What's he going to do?"
The conversation went out of earshot as two went inside, leaving Cookie out in front of his house with Ash.
"So you should know there's something I really really like doing," said the spotted skunk. "I love meeting people! Warm-hearted folks like you. And I love filling their nose with scent, and their senses with hugs, and then getting them all wrapped up snug in my tail…"
Cookie narrated himself doing those very things, as the scent put Ash more at ease. That big fluffy tail stretched and wrapped around the man, who began to struggle. Any thoughts he had of objecting were muffled by fluff and his slow thoughts, buffered by bushy skunk fur that seemed to surround him entirely. So quick, so much, so warm and cosy; Ash took a deep breath and sank into fur, briefly floating in the dim nothingness, pushing through a little dizziness and vertigo before he realised he wasn't wrapped up tight any more. Instead he was somewhere impossible, seemingly caught up in that impressive skunk tail. The cartoon blue sky was high overhead, and down here there was low light and patches of black and white, and he was edging forwards and making slow progress though the fur like he was caught in a dense forest. Thick, snug, relaxing, a living blanket world. Not just small, but tiny. Microscopic, if his eyes were to be believed.
"It's a different world in my tail," said Cookie's sweet whisper in his ear, which nearly made Ash jump. "It's my world. Sometimes things happen."
Before he could ask what that was supposed to mean, the tall stands of fur started to stick to him, and as he pulled away little patches of shiny black ooze were left over his hands and arms and clothes. The fuzzy floor underneath started to feel less solid, his shoes sinking into it, down and down until he was wading up to his knees. Sticky, slimy, each step more difficult, grabbing onto fur to haul himself along. At one point he tripped, getting a face full of the stuff, but he pulled himself up and coughed a few times. Mucky hands rubbed at a messy face, so he wasn't getting any cleaner.
"I see my colours are rubbing off on you, maybe soon you'll just be a little ball of goop," said the quiet voice. As if the growing coat of cartoon ink wasn't enough, here against Cookie's tail his nose was full of deep scent that made it hard to think. Ash was floaty and sleepy, finding the ordeal more and more like a dream. Thicker layers of paint, or goo, or ooze; whatever it was hid his actual shape very well. Feeling so warm, moving so oddly, he was getting suspicious if he was still himself any more.
"Oh, have I caught you at a good time?" said Cookie, as Ash felt himself lifted out of the fuzzy quagmire, feet slowly dripping. "Gosh, I can't tell what you are under there any more. How about I settle that for you?"
It felt unbelievable, being kneaded and stretched like a ball of putty, like his whole body had been plunged into treacle. Jumbled and smooshed until it was hard to know which way was up. At some point he felt himself lifted up and tipped out of Cookie's paws onto the ground, getting a brief glimpse of the skunk's big giddy smile before he was again distracted by movement and feeling, spinning and stretching, entirely out of control.
A good long tug made his body, and delicate skunk claws formed big toes and fingers. His new tail was drawn out, slim and plump; ears tugged out along with a small rounded ferrety muzzle and a grey mask and a dangling tongue. Covered in black with patches of grey, shiny head to toe, his eyes rolling around dizzily as the world started to come back into focus.
"Good morning, Russet," said the skunk, petting the smaller scruffy critter between the ears. "That's a good polecat name, so it's just right for you."
Although the mustelid stood on two legs, he was about as feral as Cookie was, a giant toony feral polecat with a nose full of sweet scent and thoughts full of confusion, and surprise, giving way to mischief. Russet, eh? He'd be a Russet, sure thing. Doubt replaced by certainly, helpfulness, a soft little fondness for his new skunk friend.
"I- yeah! I'm Russet, aren't I?"
"Of course you are. So glad you could visit today, I was hoping you'd be a darling and help me out with drinks?"
Russet was full of energy, hopping on both his hind-paws and nodding happily. "Can do! So long as I can get around and meet people as well."
"Definitely!" said the spotted skunk, nudging the mischievous polecat along and leading him towards the door of his house on all fours.
Cookie fingered the necklace he wore, feeling very happy with his new gift. Weaving Russet into the day had been even easier than he expected! Truthfully, the skunk really enjoyed having fun with humans, and some fun transformation was the right way to start the day. Yet even after that, he still felt very giddy and excitable; already having his next idea, and finding it hard to stop those hypnotic scents coming from his tail. In fact, they were getting stronger, with a slight mist following him around. Not that he wanted to stop just yet; after all, there was still one human to help settle in…
Fern had been showing Hughsie around Cookie's house, which had a lot of black and white used for furniture, chairs and tables, cutlery and fixtures and paintings. Not entirely those colours, but they were prevalent, with pictures of various skunks on the wall who seemed to be his family. Just then he was on his own, having left the magpie in the sitting room to use the bathroom, and now he had wandered back into the kitchen to get himself a drink.
It was pretty exciting being here in a cartoon, with everything so bright and shiny and easy to see. The kitchen had a dining table in dark and light wood, with striped curtains and a rug, and smooth surfaces, and simple tumblers with various animals on each side. In the fridge was a number of drinks, and Hughsie went for some juice, finishing most of it and turning to head back out of the door.
Bumping into the skunk tail was a surprise; he hadn't heard Cookie come in, but the spotted skunk was there in the doorway along with someone new - a short black ferrety creature who gave him a little wave and then began emptying the fridge, counting cartons and cans and bottles, taking some glasses out of the cupboard.
"Oh, you're Hughsie, aren't you?" said Cookie, cheerfully giving the human a pat on the head.
"Yeah… um, where's Ash?" he wondered, looking back out towards the front door, though there was nobody else there.
"He's fine! Better than fine, I'd say," added the skunk, cuddling the human to his furry chest with a happy sigh. The air was foggy, thick with a flowery smell that made Hughsie feel quite strange all over his body, a little shivery against the warm fuzz.
"Ah! Do you want a cookie?!" he asked, suddenly, tilting the man's head so their eyes met. Did he? Hughsie wasn't feeling that hungry until he was asked the question, but no sooner was it asked than his stomach rumbled, and his tongue ached; oh wow, yes, he wanted a cookie.
It seemed natural that Cookie really enjoyed cookies, given his name, and some of that joy was definitely rubbing off on Hughsie. Together they looked up at the big cookie jar on top of the cupboard, and the skunk reached up to bring it down, popping off the lid to fill the kitchen with baked scent. Wrapping his tail all around the jar for just a moment seemed to make it hot and steamy, and the cookies inside were suddenly warm and freshly baked, dough and chocolate and something else.
"Hazelnut," smiled Cookie, shiny-eyed, bringing the treat out for the human to enjoy. "Here you go!"
The cookie felt soft in his fingers, large enough that he needed both hands. It wasn't exactly round, there seemed to be a shape to it - but from Cookie's scents and the warm enticing cookie smell, Hughsie bit into it before getting a good look at it. A shudder went down his back, and a sudden pressure made him squeak and gasp before the seat of his trousers exploded in fur and cotton, making way for a long fluffy squirrel tail. Distracted from his eager snacking, he looked back at the flickery brown tail, and then down at the squirrel-shaped cookie with its tail bitten off.
"Oh dear, silly me, I must have forgotten these were the magical squirrel cookies," teased the skunk, brushing up against Hughsie's brand new tail. At that moment he was torn between marvelling at the change, and continuing to enjoy his treat; the latter won him over, as the fresh scent compelled him to eat more. Shoes popped off to reveal huge feet-paws, as he nibbled away at the cookie; legs too short for trousers, wider fluffier body, gloved hands with only four fingers. Finally, as Hughsie finished his cookie, his new rodent nose pushed outwards and little ears sprouted from the top of his head. Squirrel! From head to toe, tail to feet, every bit a cartoon squirrel with brown fur and a light brown face and belly. Feeling oh so strange, and a little bit silly, looking up at Cookie.
"They're good, aren't they? I mean, you came all the way to visit me, I thought I'd do something nice for you. And you are a cute squirrel," observed the skunk, quite happily. Two transformations would normally have him quite satisfied and a little sleepy, but Cookie was as energetic as ever. The squirrel wasn't finished though, as the air was still full of the sweet mist and the scent of baked cookies; Hughsie reached into the jar and pulled out two more cookies, which he proceeded to eat. The first took some bites, and the second took just two, because the new toon squirrel seemed to be growing.
"Oh no, whatever shall I do," said Cookie sarcastically, doing nothing to stop him. First the jeans split at the waist, sliding down around his ankles. His shirt had been too big, but soon it was much too small, and another cookie soon got rid of that, wrenching buttons until they went flying about, and the skunk giggled and hid behind his own tail; one of the glasses being prepared by Russet was knocked off the counter, oops! Soon the squirrel was as big as Cookie, and then he was larger. Enough so that he could pick up the jar and pour any remaining scraps into his mouth, licking around in there until he was done.
With one tantalising scent gone Hughsie had a moment of lucidity, stretching and growing as his tail bumped the table along the floor with a sharp screech. Toppling onto his rear, he grew and grew until he filled much of the little dining room, tail bunched up under him as he had to squat to avoid bumping head on the ceiling. Each foot was as big as the spotted skunk, who was uncurling the squirrel's gigantic tail with only a hint of jealousy.
"Help! Cookie, what do I do? I'm a squirrel and I'm too big now," he lamented.
The skunk looked up, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath; the air became even mistier and warmer. Sweet and floaty, flowery and sugary, the scent flooded Hughsie's senses. He went quiet, eyes blankly open as Cookie wandered over and lifted up to rub behind an ear. Russet was nearby, his work again interrupted as he slumped against the counter, dozy and giggly.
"I think it's better to enjoy it," he said, petting that big squirrel head. "You're Chayton the huge toony squirrel, that's you; looks like you've stopped growing. Though, I think you're stuck in my kitchen until we can fix this, do you think you'd be able to prepare the food for us?"
It was a few more moments before Chayton showed signs of life, blinking and sitting up on the floor, being careful of the ceiling lights overhead. What had he been doing again? Oh yeah, that's right- he was visiting his friend Cookie!
"Hi! It's me, Chayton! Sorry about the kitchen, um- yeah, I'll make some food. Given I just ate all your cookies, haha, um, oops… guess I got hungry, didn't I?"
Feeling better, and in a helpful mood, Chayton started gently looking through cupboards to see what food had been bought in. Cookie grinned, and gently shuffled past the huge squirrel on his way back towards the door. Today was going to be really special! Admittedly, in order to calm the squirrel his cloud of sweet hypnotic mist had become even thicker, but that'd be fine, wouldn't it? He seemed to think so, anyway. Surely his own scents couldn't affect him. Could they…?
Fern sat back in a big stripey chair in Cookie's sitting room, with her feet up on a stool and her wings crossed on her chest. It had been more than a few minutes and the human hadn't come back yet, which made her suspect the skunk had found him first. Ah, what a strange day this was turning out to be! Still, the magpie was nicely settled in, and the room had about the right number of shiny objects; silver trophies, metal picture frames. In Cookie's current eager mood she wasn't feeling inclined to improve her own nest, no doubt she'd end up some fitting replacement for whatever she tried to pocket. Although, embarrassingly, the concept of being a shiny felt like it might satisfy her hoarding instincts. Best not indulge too much.
It pleased her to be here, because Cookie's antics were adorable and silly, and this cartoon was much more fun than her semi-realistic home. It made a welcome break from being a side character in someone else's long epic. Not that her part was unsatisfying, no; either through useful magic carefully placed, or mood-lightening potion mishaps, it all felt fine. Yet it was exciting to guide others through this uncertain land where anything could happen.
Like a brown and white stoat appearing out of thin air, looking quite confused before falling with a squeak into the seat next to hers. Oof! A little dazed, he fidgeted around before sitting up, sniffing the air, looking around. A bit taller than the magpie, slim body and tail, big green eyes and black nose, wondering if he was alone in here until he caught sight of Fern.
"Oh! Is this Cookie's house?"
"Yeah. What happened? You just appeared."
"Running late! Thought I'd just pop in cause I thought it'd be pretty busy- but, I guess not?"
"Well, more drinks for you then," said a black and grey polecat, wandering through from the kitchen with a tray with half a dozen fizzy tumblers.
"Oh? I guess that's just lemonade? Given the sort of cartoon this is…" began Fern, with a wry grin.
"It's not the 90s," replied Russet. "These are gin and tonic. And my new friend Chayton has just finished making little sausage rolls."
A couple of giant fingers peeked through the kitchen door, balancing a bowl of snacks which Thar hopped up to grab. Fern grinned; alright, fine, she didn't have to ask.
"Say, Thar, how'd you meet Cookie anyway?" asked Fern, now onto a second drink and sitting on the skunk's spotted sofa with Thar in a similar state of relaxation.
"We swapped places a few months back. Only for like a few days. Sometimes I still see all that fluff in the mirror, but it's just in my head. How about you?"
"Some big crossover years ago," she said. "Someone thought we'd be good to see together, me fairly sensible with a few wild moments and him the silliest skunk in ink. We turned a whole town into little horses! And met some folks from space, yeah… all a bit weird now I think about it."
"I don't mind a bit of weird," said the stoat, happily. "Though it's nice to meet someone sensible and down-to-earth as well."
Fern felt happy at that, as it seemed they both had that in common. Wouldn't be bad spending the afternoon here talking, she thought. Certainly the two no-longer-humans could afford to spend some time away from their tasks, but Cookie's hypnosis was still convincing them to be helpful. Ah well. Being waited on was fun.
"Oooh, what's this? Two of my favourite folks meeting up! Gosh, I love it," said Cookie, heading on in and closing the door behind him. Thar sniffed the air, which already had a fresh misty sweetness to it, and the skunk's eyes had their own swirly glow which was a pretty big giveaway that something was amiss.
"Hey Cookie, maybe you should take off the shiny for now, I don't think you need that much magic all the time," said the magpie.
"Aw, always looking out for me! It's really fine though," said the skunk, grinning widely and sliding in cheerfully between the two, arms around them with his tail out in front. "I feel pretty great. Good to see you though, Thar."
"Hope it's okay I didn't send a reply, I just didn't know I was free until I was," said the stoat, settling in and getting cosy against the spotted skunky fur.
"Hmm, I don't know, now I worry I might not have enough supplies for everyone," wondered Cookie, counting on his fingers.
Chayton's voice boomed out of the kitchen. "No way, you've got plenty! Unless you're expecting thirty people."
Russet looked up from his seat. "Same for drinks, I mean, I'm sure it'll be fine."
But Cookie didn't hear and was already deep into an idea, sitting up and wrapping his thick tail around both Fern and Thar, once, twice, more. Magpie and stoat slid together, her wings naturally around him, both their noses full of the thick, persistent scent. He wanted to say something, but the words wouldn't leave his tongue and his eyes wouldn't stay open; she had a bit more sense left in her, looking up at the skunk with a lazy chirp.
"Umm, what are you doing, I really don't think this is a good idea-"
"Oh, I think you'll like it! I know it's just your thing," he cooed, believably. Fern flustered, they'd known each other long enough that he could certainly conjure up something interesting. Being warm in fur was nice, cuddling the mustelid was nice, and soon she felt herself starting to drift like Thar had. Peering into Cookie's eyes, swirly eyes, feeling her own grow heavy. Hard to concentrate, for both of them. The heady scent in the air, Fern and Thar's breathing, the hug of wings and tail. Calm, quiet, cosy, tense.
The big skunk tail was so soft and fluffy, and then grew firmer and tighter as it kept looping around them, stretchy and wide and unnaturally long. Fur surrounded them entirely; low light, muffled sounds, oddly safe and terribly warm. Thar started to overheat first, doubly wrapped as he was; a strange and sticky feeling as he felt himself sinking and melting onto magpie feathers like he was treacle. It didn't take long for the change to take hold of Fern too, as the pair of them bubbled and sank into one another; browns and greens and whites and other patches beginning to blur, melting and mixing as though they were fresh paint. Together they lost shape, just a gooey blend of colour and feeling. Cookie held tight until he was happy with how melted and bubbly they were, before digging his paws into his tail fur and flooding the pair with magic.
Thar felt so good without shape, massaged deeply with the skunk's tail and paws and energies working him, keeping him soft and supple and relaxed, flowing free and easy. He became aware of another presence, edging so close to his own Iike bubbles forced together until, with a gentle pop, they were the same. Fern was here, the two of them trading surprise and concern, a moment of awkward embarrassment as their thoughts and memories were shared. Not just bodies merged, but minds too; distinctly aware of who they were, but finding the way they were to be a strange blend of both their experiences. They could still feel Cookie's touch over them, very much the one body, and blended together well so only deep inside did they really have a sense of themselves being two. Sleepy, starting to come round, they were keen to see how well they'd do once they'd passed through this sudden skunk magic.
Cookie murmured happily as Russet and Chayton peered through from the kitchen, curious but not getting involved. The skunk reached into his tail, uncurling it to reveal a much smaller mix of toony goo in his paws. Claws and digits gently formed the critter's features: each little digit of each little stoat paw, four of them fluffy and brown with curved claws. Like toony plasticine he stretched and shaped a long slim body, white along the belly, weasely but with little nubs at the shoulders which became long wing arms. An array of feathers formed at his touch, green and grey and white magpie wings spread wide before he tucked them back in. Next came a little tail with a circle of feathers, and then finally the head; short muzzle, seeming very stoaty with the swept-back little ears until a beak slid in to complete the cute jumbled-up look. Cookie had merged them together, and such a little stoat-magpie gryphon they were!
"Oops! That was really fun so I got very carried away and now you're all feral too. Aw, but you know, it's been so long since I had a pet around here," he said. Their eyes flicked open; little silvery bird eyes with a hint of blue, looking up and down and then way up at Cookie with a little disorientation. Confusion, quickly giving way to understanding. Toony beaks could grin, theirs did.
"So you thought you might be low on food and, rather than getting more, you merged us together? Really? That's what you're going with?" They didn't sound much like either Thar or Fern, the reaction was a mixture of firm and playful.
"I- yeah! It seemed like a good idea! And you were getting along so well. Don't you like it?" Surprised, even worried! Had he gone too far?
"Mm, now we didn't say that," they said, lifting a paw and spreading the little fingers, before wriggling out of his grasp and scampering up to curl around the skunk's shoulders. "You're such a goof, Cookie. Of course we'll be your pet, it's delightful you're offering to serve our every need, and we didn't even need to date or anything. Call us Terra."
The skunk wanted to reply, but they got in first, their feathers bobbing as they hopped from shoulder to shoulder. "So hey, we expecting any more guests soon? Oh, can we go look around the house while we wait, we're trying to decide which room will be ours…"
Cookie was enjoying this, grinning from ear to ear and gently playing with the magic necklace he still wore. He'd been a sassy companion animal before, so together they'd be unstoppable! Terra seemed chirpy, barely bigger than both his fluffy paws and with a great deal of energy, they'd be the life of the party! Although now the day was moving on and he was starting to wonder about those left to arrive, hopefully they were doing okay...
With a little shake to her tail, the vixen gently hurried along down the path towards the skunk's house, her bag rustling on her back. Her alarm hadn't sounded, the bus had been late, and as lovely as her friend Cookie was he didn't live in a particularly accessible place. Still, here at the edge of the forest, time was much more forgiving. Vulpine had planned to be here for a few days anyway, enjoying a little break from the city, so a few hours wouldn't be so bad in the grand scheme of things. Simply but cutely dressed, a purple top and skirt, square glasses; just a dash of combing her hair, and she was all set. Eee! Exciting times. Wandering up the little stone path towards Cookie's door.
Someone was ahead of her. She saw his paw hesitate in front of the doorbell, then pull away. Vulpine could see the back of a pink housecat, peering through a little window, then looking into thin air; his tail flicking anxiously.
"Oh! Are you also here for Cookie's party?" she asked, which made him jump and spin around; uh oh, caught!
"Um, maybe, I mean- he did invite me but I'm not sure, I don't think I'm likely to know anyone else who's here…" he began, sounding rather shy. The vixen wasn't having any of that, heading over the distance and giving him a hug, pointing him back at the door, smiling warmly.
"I'm Vulpine. And you?"
"Sweet, nice to meet you. So now you know me, that's okay, isn't it?" And she pushed the bell button, making it ring. "At least say hi to Cookie and see if you want to hang around, hm? You did come all the way here."
True: if Milo was really set on not coming, he could have done so much more easily. Vulpine seemed friendly though, and the front door opened to reveal Cookie the skunk, ever so cheerful in his necklace.
"Ah! There you are, was starting to wonder. Pleased I could convince you here, silly kitty! And Vulpine, it's been so long! Come in, come in."
They did, stepping on past Cookie and into the wave of sweet scent that by now was filling much of the house. Milo felt his anxiety disappear, blinking with some surprise; that was so quick he could feel it draining away. Huh, so weird! The pink housecat knew Cookie was a bit magical, but he hadn't expected that.
"Ooh, kitty if you head through to the sitting room I'll show Vulpine her room and then we'll be back down. Won't be long!"
By now, faint music was playing as Milo let himself into the lounge, while the vixen and her bag followed the large feral skunk upstairs.
"That's a nice necklace. And it smells so sweet in here today. Have you been transforming people again?" she asked, as he led her to his guest room; a freshly made bed in black and white, with mirrors on the walls and a rare dash of colour from the green and silver curtains.
"Me? I can't think what you would be referring to," said Cookie, whose sly little smile definitely gave him away. He gave a big yawn, eyes a little dozy as Vulpine set her bag down.
"Well, don't exhaust yourself with all that magic. I'm late, but there's still plenty of time left in the day. I could get you some coffee?"
Cookie didn't respond for a moment, then shook his head as if to wiggle himself awake. "Nah, not for me. But thank you!"
The vixen got up closer to the skunk, rubbing behind one of his ears and giving him a look-over. There was still a touch of hypnotic swirl in his eyes, and as Vulpine distracted him a whoosh of mist surrounded her, making her feel giggly and giddy.
"Let's get downstairs, open some windows, I'll get you something good to drink and we can see who else is around. Sound good?"
Cookie was already drifting off to sleep, though, slipping backwards onto the guest bed. He was larger than her, his paws bringing her along as though she was a plushie. It was quite cute, she had to admit, if a little unhelpful. He shuffled, curled up into a ball, and then cuddled Vulpine in his paws and belly and tail.
That tail, though. She knew about Cookie's tail, feeling it rub against her fur and work its mischief. It was big, and then it was huge, and soon she was sliding gently into it, through layers and layers of black and white fur, paws out and a light breeze all around her. Falling. Or moving through thick bushes, only made of fuzz. There might not have been anything solid underneath, she could move any way she liked through the fur; soon it was like she was floating. A dim light came from all directions, so she didn't even know where up was. The skunk had a lot of control of anyone caught in his tail, but what would that mean if he was asleep?
Vulpine felt warm all over. She watched the red and cream of her fur form into bubbles that drifted away, leaving her monochrome; light grey and white, black ear tips, dark hair. Giggly, a little uncertain, she waved at the bubbles as they popped, one by one. Bye bye! Once she was out of colour, black and white bubbles started up as well, some shaped like little foxes swimming through the air. Yip yip! It was cute, but in turn she was shrinking, becoming less substantial, surrounded by bubbles and hypnotic scent as the fur grew bigger and she fell deeper, eep where was she going, something changed around her-
A dream. That's what she was, she knew that without question. She was adrift in Cookie's mind, and she was his dream.
She saw him, out in the garden of his house, giving it a tidy. She saw him in a much larger house, just a little skunk pacing about the kitchen trying to reach the cookie jar high on a shelf. She saw him relaxing by the lake with a little picnic, enjoying the breeze.
She was a tiny vixen plushie, with puffy paws and a silly grin, as huge Cookie paws rubbed and squeezed at her. Under his touch, she grew bigger and fuzzier. Her muzzle shortened, cute and snuffly, as a line of white drew from her nose over her head and down her back. She was a stripey skunk. Of course she was! How could she have forgotten? It felt so good when those fellow skunk paws brought her back, padded mitts and a big fluffy tail. She wanted to see Cookie, peek into his eyes and give him a big hug.
But first she was there in his garden with him, raking leaves as he cut grass. She knew their house well. And she was a little skunk in a big world, as Cookie gave her a lift up to the next shelf and she helped him up too. The cookies were tasty, even if she wasn't quite as mad about them as he was, but she knew the various cartoon adventures they'd been on.
She appeared by the lake too, a blue tuft in her hair and a cup in her hand, enjoying a relaxing end to another busy day. Just sharing food and talking about any old thing.
The skunk plush grew bigger, more toony and hence more real. Mittens became big feral digits. Comfortable on all fours or on two legs, a larger feral skunk like Cookie, except where he was spotted and patterned she had the more traditional stripy look with a patch of blue on her head. She was his dream, so he was dreaming her up; soft plush became fuzzier and more mobile. Still good to hug, as he proved and as her paws cuddled back for the first time.
Jennifer, that was the name he gave, when their noses touched and their eyes met. A fine name for a skunk, which is what she was.
There was a quiet voice nearby. It was easy to ignore at first, but as it got louder Cookie started to get distracted and the dream started to wrap up. Jenny was adrift again, but then she felt a rapid current throw her sharply upwards. It was like being shot upwards while underwater, and she took to that metaphor, swimming upwards and keen to resurface.
Terra had headed upstairs to see what was going on, the little gryphon speaking into Cookie's ear and trying to wake him. They hadn't expected a skunk to burst out of his tail, gasping as if she'd been drowning, and then slowly tumble out of his tail and sink into a dramatic pile of fluff on the floor. A bit of play-acting, but that was part of Cookie cartoons.
Back out of Cookie's tail, she was indeed Jennifer, a striped skunk looking not too dissimilar to the spotted who was waking up on the bed. Terra didn't know who she was, but this room they were in was no longer the guest bedroom; it had more colour and a wall of photos, a few plushies, an alarm clock. She was Jennifer the skunk, and she lived here.
"Ooh, you got a cute new pet!"
"Yeah," said Terra, looking the new skunk up and down. "Looks like we did."
"Haha, I think I'll like you. Cookie- hey, no, you can't go back to sleep, there's literally a party going on," she said, standing up and giving the dozy spotty a good shake. Cookie gurgled and his tongue dangled out, and then with a few more wiggles he was awake.
"Huh- wuh… hey, Vulpine, I just had a nap for a moment," he grinned. Until he realised he wasn't looking at a vixen but an oddly familiar skunk. In an oddly unfamiliar room. Seemed his necklace had been busy, even while he was asleep. It was enough to remind him of his dream, which made him cover his mouth and go all red in the cheeks.
"I… no way. Jenny?"
"What's up? You're acting weird. Has he been like this all day?" she asked Terra.
"Yes, he's been a skunk all day," said the little creature, trying to decide which of the two giant skunks they wanted to sit on. Eventually it was Cookie, draping around his shoulders since he now seemed rather flustered and in need of a hug. "Pretty sure everyone else has turned into something by now. Oh, no, there was that other new guest, the pink kitty. Think you can both go downstairs and enjoy the party without transforming him?"
"Hey! It isn't like I feel the urge to change everyone all the time," said Cookie, feeling strange as he realised that no, that's exactly what he'd felt a lot today.
Jenny smiled, sitting up and nudging the spotty skunk with the tip of her tail. Cookie gave it a little tug with his mouth, and she gently led him off the bed. Both of them stood up on fours, with Terra flapping their wings and getting cosy in the thick fur down Cookie's back.
"Oh!" he said with his mouth full of fur, letting go. The spotted skunk suddenly ran his paws along Jenny's stripe tail, which made her squeak and turn around.
"Hey Cookie, now's not the time for-"
"N-no, I mean… your tail is magic like mine? I can tell."
Jennifer stopped and gave him a look. "I wonder if that necklace is getting to your head, you're acting strange and forgetful. You sure you're okay?"
Cookie gave a resigned little giggle, and shook his head. "Umm. Yes and no. I'll tell you everything over a drink. But before that, ah… this is weird and super rude on him but I'll sure he'll forgive me. Can we go turn Milo into something? Together?"
Jenny smiled. Although she wasn't nearly as much of a cookie fiend, transformation was a subject close to them both. "Aww, look at you blush! Of course I'd be glad to. Can't just have all the fun without me."
Cookie was feeling pretty good as they headed downstairs. Didn't quite understand what had happened, but the air was clearer and he didn't feel quite as overcome as before. It probably took a ton of magic to make a dream real, and he was flagging and definitely set to sleep well tonight. Still, he was very relaxed, and his tail itched with anticipation. Together they'd change his last guest, and Terra was right; everyone was different now except him.
Best party. Assuming there were still cookies left. In between the necklace and playing host, he hadn't had any! Wow, he'd have to fix that soon…
Milo hung out on one of the couches, chatting with Russet who by now was happy with the drinks that were ready. Chayton was also done, with bowls of chips and snacks and sweet treats on the table and in the lounge. However, in his new size the squirrel couldn't leave the kitchen, no doubt Cookie would be able to sort something out. Polecat and housecat had shuffled up to be nearer the kitchen, while the huge Chayton was just laying down on the floor with his head through the door; it would do for now.
Cookie flopped down in the seat next to Milo, head leaning against. On the other side, Jenny did the same. Housecat looked from one skunk to the other, feeling particularly small sandwiched between them both, pink and blushy against their fur.
"Ah, Cookie, um and here's someone new?"
"Sort of! I'm Jenny," said the girl skunk, grinning. "I met you when you got here. You almost headed home before you got here!"
Kitty was surprised for a moment. "Wait, but wasn't that…"
"Magical shenanigans," added Terra, now nearby and being cosy and cute on the rug. "That's pretty normal."
"I want to hear more about your shyness, Milo… you should have said!" Cookie grinned. "I'm sure we can help with that."
"Sounds good to me," said Jennifer, and the soft scent left in the air wasn't enough to stop the kitty from meowing in surprise.
"But, but- nah, it's okay, I just want to chill out," said the kitty, looking between the skunks as their tails started to wrap around him, making a fine forest of fluff.
"It's fine," cooed Cookie. "Relax. We'll sort you out."
Milo grew so warm, so quickly. With two magical tails helping him along, there wasn't much he could do about it; his whole body surrounded in skunk fur, shivery and tense until something finally clicked and he started to relax again. Drifting wherever they'd put him, one moment he'd been sat on the couch but now he was somewhere else, hot and soft and a little silly. A big skunk paw pressed down on his head and the housecat felt himself shrink, too distracted and dozy to shout out, his only action to wiggle as he lost height. Down and down he went, his toony style changing drastically to end up very short legs and small paws, big ears and a silly stubby tail. Tiny kitty! Simply drawn, pink and with not much furry texture at all.
When Cookie lifted him out of their tails, Milo quickly discovered why; he didn't have fur any more. No, all of him was smooth soft pink with a slight shine, and the male skunk found him very easy to stretch and pull about. Stretchy arms, legs and tail; even his snout. Not like elastic though, much softer to the touch and slower to slip back into shape. Bubblegum! Ooh, the kitty's blush was very visible as he realised what had happened, paws rubbing together as Cookie set him down. Jenny gave him a nudge with her paw, which left a little dimple in his side that slowly pushed back into shape.
"I- I- n-no, stop that, I don't-" Milo couldn't finish what he was saying as Cookie dipped in, giving him a kiss, cuddling firmly as he breathed out deeply. Once, twice, then again; over and over until the bubblegum cat's belly grew plump. Kitty wasn't going anywhere, feet and paws wiggling as he grew bigger and more broad, that sensual rush of air filling him up deep inside. Arms and legs and tail started to stretch before they were absorbed into his growing bubblegum body, only little paws left wiggling their toes until they too were swallowed up. Soon Milo was just a silly pink bubble, as Cookie kept filling him with air, not really thinking about what might happen if he kept this up.
Kitty knew though, feeling himself grow more tense. Jenny had an idea where this was going, but in her curiosity she wanted to see it firsthand. Russet and Terra were taking cover behind Chayton's large tail. The bubblegum kitty wasn't very tall when he was rescued from the pair of skunk tails, maybe a couple of feet high, but now he was more than that in bubble all the way round. Growing bigger, more tense and stretched with each breath, hide getting thinner, shivery and muffled and squeaky against the skunk, eee, stop, stop-
Pop! Bubblegum over the rug and the floor, the kitchen door and the wall, and especially over Cookie and Jenny who tumbled over, silly and giggly at the sudden noise and their fur being so heavily covered in goo, already starting to try and get themselves less stuck. Paws worked slowly down fur. Cookie finally took off his necklace, which was very sticky by now. A much smaller Milo kitty had landed in spotted skunk fur with a soft floomph, eyes swirling as he was encouraged down to the floor, a bit too overwhelmed to say very much.
"Oh! That was predictable, wasn't it? Ooh well, silly kitty looks happy, I think he enjoyed that," said Jenny.
"Eee, I hope so… wow, I've been a very busy skunk today," said Cookie, more self-conscious without the magical necklace urging him on.
"Yeah, that necklace is a mischief and a nuisance. Let's keep it!" Jenny responded, with a grin. "Might have to see who you change next. For now, I think we need to get ourselves and this room cleaned up! Time skip?"
"I really like being a cartoon," said Cookie, after time had passed and everything was clean. A little magic had made the kitchen door bigger, so Chayton the giant squirrel was now mostly in the lounge, and everyone was settling down for a nice evening of gin and tonic, soft drinks and hot and baked snacks. Russet the polecat had found a toy mouse and was busily teasing Terra gryphon with it, despite their insistence that they weren't that kind of pet. Jennifer skunk was cuddled up in Cookie skunk's tail, and feeling quite sleepy after telling various silly stories. Little Milo the bubblegum kitty was perched on a cushion listening, slurping lemonade from a glass not much smaller than he was.
"I'm rather enjoying it too," said the polecat, grinning. "And me!" added Chayton, quietly, as his normal voice had been too loud in this room which was rather small for him.
"I don't really know about this bubblegum thing…" began Milo, bashfully. "Ah, but I think I'd like to try it for a while longer."
"Mmhmm," said Terra, their beak clinging onto the toy mouse with a squeak. "You sure you're not hopelessly hooked on the idea of being a tiny bubblegum kitty?"
Milo hmphed, but he was flustered and didn't have an answer. Meanwhile, Jenny wrapped up just a bit closer into Cookie's tail, both of the giant skunks draped over a couch.
"Careful, you wouldn't want to get lost in there again," said Cookie.
Jenny smiled. "Wouldn't I?"
Cookie stuck out his tongue. Aw, she was a silly skunk. They both were! Oh, maybe now he'd have to clear out a few other rooms for everyone else to stay in, if Russet and Chayton were going to be here in the cartoon world for a while. Terra could find somewhere in the house to call their own, though they seemed to act like they owned the place already. Milo too, though a cushion by the fire seemed as good a place as any.
The skunk's new necklace was up on the mantelpiece, as another trophy from a successful day full of magic and mischief. What a great party! Warm and surrounded by chatter and the warm snoozy Jenny, it was easy for Cookie to drift off as well, full of sleepy thoughts about planning for his next party. More fun, more nibbles and drinks, even more guests! Such big ideas, perhaps before that he'd need to look into an even bigger house…
Cookie the spotted skunk is having a party at his house. There's lots to do, and folks are already arriving. No problem, with the help of a little magic, the pocket dimension in his tail and his sweet hypnotic scent, everything will come out just right... especially his guests!