[WP] You’re home alone, and out of boredom you decide to play “Rock Paper Scissors” in the mirror. You lost.
I blinked. The mirror blinked back at me. I tilted my head.
He was still throwing paper, and I was still throwing rock. I opened my mouth. After a moment of delay, my reflection opened his mouth.
I narrowed my eyes. He narrowed his back, but too late. I leaned forward. “Wait a minute…”
He leaned back, laughing, inaudible, and then two long fox ears poked up from his head. They twitched once and then he reached forward. His finger tips dove through the mirrored surface and then reached out the other side.
For lack of anything else to do, and perhaps because I was tripping off my ass, obviously, I reached forward and shook the hand. It was warm, rough, and covered in callouses.
Then the fox man tugged me forward, and my fingertips pressed against the glass, pushing it aside like thick cold putty, and kept right on pulling. It went up my wrist, then up my arm and I thrashed on the other side, gripping the sink, but despite all of my strength, the fox on the other side of the mirror had far more of it, and tugged me, bodily, inch by inch, through the mirror.
It wasn’t until my head disappeared inside that I considered that I wasn’t actually tripping, because the cold on my face would’ve totally woken me up.
For a moment, it was all darkness and an all encompassing cold press keeping me in place, and then I landed on the other side.
“There we are!” The fox me said, happily. Behind him, a long fluffy tail twitched. I stared.
“What?” I asked.
“Well, you lost!” The fox yipped. “That means you have to take my place!”
“I don’t think we agreed on that.”
“That’s how it works!” He repeated, leaning forward. He was close enough that I could feel his breath on my neck, and close enough that I could see slightly differences between us. His face was a bit narrower, his eyes a hair darker, but in the poorly lit confines of my bathroom, it’d been an easy mistake to make.
“How what works?”
The ears twitched.
“Well, the work has to be done,” the fox gestured. “And I can only get out of doing it if someone else does it.”
“…Right,” I said. “I guess… What work?”
The fox straightened up, and he shimmered, his half modern clothes fading into more simpler fabrics. Magic.
I mean, it was pretty obvious it was magic I was dealing with, what with being pulled through a fucking mirror, but still.
“So… I lost at a game of-“
“Smother stones and stabs-“
“Rock, paper scissors,” I said. “And now I have a job?”
The fox nodded, his ears twitching. “Temporarily. I need someone to cover for me so I can go on vacation! I’ve been due for years! But you know, regulations are what they are.”
I paused. Thought back to the gas station I’d been working at, where I’d been robbed just the other day and my boss was a total bastard. “Sure! What’s the pay?”
“All the honey you can drink and all the beer you can taste!” The fox said, happily.
I gave him a brief look over. He was tanned in the sun, and well-
“Does it come with housing?”
“You bet!” The fox said. “You get your own cottage!”
Well, that was a hair bit better than the cramped apartment I had as well. Really, this was a lateral move. I didn’t have too terribly many of those left after dropping out of college, so-
“Well,” I said. “Just one problem here.”
“Oh?” The fox asked, ears twitching.
“I need an expert to train me,” I said. “Someone with charm, and experience, and enough time to make sure I know the ins and outs of everything I need to do.”
“Hmmm,” The fox said.
“Otherwise, someone might get in trouble for putting someone poorly qualified into the position,” I hedged my bets. “And that would be awful for someone looking for a vacation.”
He gasped. “Oh my, you’re right! You need on the job training.”
“Yes,” I said. “That is definitely what I need. From, say, the person whose job I’m taking.”
He leaned in, close enough that I could smell him (he smelled faintly like honey and the meadow, which was a very nice smell, if I were being honest) and squinted at me. “And if I do that, you’ll take it?”
“On my word as a loser as rock paper scissors,” I said.
“Stone smother stabbing?” He replied.
“Yeah sure that,” I said. “So like, what’s the pay, cost of living around here? Any cute guys? Girls? I’m not really picky. And what is the work anyway? What’re my coworkers like?”
“Really, you know, the handbook said this method of getting temps usually only got unwilling workers,” The fox said, blinking.
“Well! We have all of those things, I guess. Really depends on what you like, we’re all like, immortals and stuff so it doesn’t really matter. As for coworkers… well, avoid pissing off upper management, and you’ll be a-okay! They probably won’t even notice the switch!”
“Won’t even notice the- you know what, never mind. Am I immortal?”
The fox laughed, his tail twitching behind him. My fingers twitched. I was close enough to pet him. It took more self control than I needed to stop myself.
“No,” He said. “After all, you’ve got to go back to where you came from when I get back from vacation!”
“Right,” I said. “So it’s a deal?”
“Great!” The fox yipped. “I’m Nathanial by the way, but my friends, before I died, called me Nat.”
“Nat,” I said. “And what are we doing?”
“We’re measuring souls!” Nat yipped!
Then he grabbed me by the wrist, and I don’t need to mention how strong the damn fox man was by this point, right?