Racconti di Volpe
Short stories set in the world of "Ragazza Volpe Magica ~A Fox by any other name isn't as rhythmical~"
These are more character focused and happen during downtimes during the story.
The Diva's Battleground
That night bothered me more than I cared to admit.
I thought myself tougher than I was. I was born on the streets, raised by them. The rule of lawlessness we were taught was to take care of our own kind. Race, Element, Attribute – none of the struggles of class warfare mattered when you were discarded by society, left to fight for the crumbs that dropped from above.
I swore to get out of this life. To have a warm home and a tasty meal. To have a maestro who cared about me. To have a family. To love.
Call me greedy, but can you blame me? I never had anything. None of us did. We were just shoved under the rug like dust to be discarded.
My luck changed one day – I was scouted by a producer who overheard me singing. He saw talent, he thought me a diamond in the rough.
It all happened so quickly I didn’t know how to handle it. All my wildest dreams came true in what could only be described as an instant. I had food, a warm home, even a maestro.
Though, I never wanted to forget my roots – the people who cared for me before anyone else did. I wouldn’t let anyone besmirch their names, who they were, what they were; the sacrifices they made for me.
Maybe I was too big for my britches. Or I wasn’t big enough yet.
My life was almost ruined before it really had a chance to start. I wonder sometimes, what would have happened if that night had gone differently.
“And now! Another exciting clip!” A female announcer on a TV show declared, presenting the screen to the audience. She was young, probably sixteen or so. Her wavy hair was a lilac color, flowing freely behind her. She wore several hidden hairclips to keep her hair uniform. She wore an earpiece with a mic. Excited eyes scanned the crowd and cameras, unwavering pep. Her outfit was very elaborate, a white top with a puffed-up collar around it, sleeveless. A blue pin in the middle. She wore white stockings and a blue skirt with ribbons and bows on the side. Perched atop her head were a pair of fox ears to match the lilac fox tail that swayed with her as she danced about the stage. Her bright yellow eyes gazed out into the live audience, and she earned a thunderous applause as she gave them one last wink before the clip began to play.
The girl quickly ran off the stage as the clip played. “Great going Mandy.” A stagehand said handing a bottle of water to the fox girl. She wiped some sweat off her brow. The hand looked down to their clipboard “Next up we have-”
“I-Isaac?!” Mandy suddenly exclaimed. “What?” The stagehand was confused at the random name. He looked over at where Mandy was staring. A man stood nearby, short blond hair with sunglasses on. He wore a blue sports vest with a black shirt underneath, and gray shorts. He had a bag on his shoulder. Immediately the stagehand took exception to this new presence. “Hey! This is a-”
“It’s okay, he’s a friend!” Mandy shoved her stagehand out of the way. “Isaac!” She rushed over and gave the man a hug, who quickly returned it. He broke the hug after a moment. “What are you doing here? It’s been so long-” The vixen was cut off by Isaac grabbing her hands. “Isaac?”
The man forced a note into her hands. “Shh. Take this, I can't explain. Don't open it. Keep it with you, read it when you’re alone. I gotta go.”
“Wait, what’s this? Isaac what's up with you?” Mandy questioned; her brows turned up with concern. “I can’t say anymore, just stay safe.” Without any other elaboration, the man turned and ran. “Wait! Isaac! I don't understand!” Mandy shouted.
Poor Mandalynn wouldn’t have any time to process the odd situation, as the show had to go on: “Mandy, we need you back on stage.” The stagehand began to force the girl away. With no further time to dwell on the strange behavior of her good friend, she pocketed the note and continued on with her show.
After the show
“AAAH! They noticed!? How!?” Mandy screeched. She was in notably more casual attire. She wore a yellow hoodie with navy blue jean shorts. She was in her dressing room with her maestro/manager.
“Yes. It's all over the tabloids now.” The older man spoke. "D-darn it! Who saw me Sven!?" The lightning fox shouted at her maestro, whilst pacing back and forth. “Sven! Who saw me!?” Mandy barked, her tail whipping back and forth over this. “Mandy, I understand you’re concerned about your image but-”
The resonator stopped to slam her hands on the table between her and her maestro. “MY image?! Who gives a FUCK about my IMAGE?!” She growled. “They got PICTURES of Isaac! Think about how much shit HE’S going to go through!” She continued to let loose, failing to censor her own language.
“Paparazzi have their ways and love gossip like this.” Sven informed his resonator.
“I don’t care if they talk smack about me, but don’t drag my friends into it!” Mandy argued.
“Damn it!” She barked. “Damn it…” She slumped over the table.
The woman rose once more. She folded her ears back and brought her hood up. “I’m going out for a bit.” She decided. “Are you sure that’s a good idea Mandalynn?”
“I’ll be fine.” She insisted, walking out the door. Sven frowned; he didn’t like the idea of Mandalynn going out on her own this late at night. “Sergio.” The man called. The door opened and a second man stepped in.
He was tall, well built. He wore a bluish grey uniform with white highlights, black boots and fingerless gloves. He had long yellowish-blond hair, barely kept in a ponytail. “Yes sir?” He asked.
The manager pulled out a yellow tuner and held it out for Sergio. “Mandalynn just stepped out.” He stated. “I saw.” Sergio replied. “Keep an eye on her please. She might think she can defend herself, but where there’s a will there’s a way.” Sven told the bodyguard.
Sergio stared at the device. Chasing after a little diva at nearly midnight wasn’t his idea of a good time, especially during the heat of the summer. Then again, he had been just standing around all day with nothing better to do, so a chance to actually leave the premises and perhaps get to do something would be a nice change of pace. “Yes sir, I’ll see to it.” Sergio finally accepted the fox-girl’s tuner and carefully tucked it into his jacket pocket. The bodyguard turned for the door.
“She can stay out, just make sure she doesn’t get into too much trouble.” Sven spoke up. Sergio glared at the doorknob. He debated if the possibility of overtime pay was worth it. “Yes sir.” Money spoke to him.
Mandalynn trudged through town. Even in her own thoughts she was still vigilant. Any noise or strange movement earned careful observation. Such awareness of her surroundings was something she learned as a child and was ingrained into her no matter how far removed from the streets she was now.
She was still a blossoming idol after all, one good look at her face and it was very possible someone would recognize her and she didn’t need that kind of trouble right now. Eventually she made it to a local park. One of the perks of her current line of work was she was able to travel the world and see places she never would have dreamed of years ago.
Yes, she had a blessed life, though perhaps her current blessings were simply the universe attempting to right the wrongs of her childhood. She was a true rags to riches story and she wanted to be someone that showed it was possible to become something big even starting out with less than nothing.
And for that she never forsake any of her friends.
Reaching into her hoodie pocket, she pulled out the note she got from Isaac earlier. However, she wouldn’t get the chance to open it at that exact moment, as something else caught her attention.
Before whatever presence out in the darkness of the park made itself known, the fox-girl hopped to her feet and rushed at a nearby streetlamp. She ran up it as if she was ignoring gravity and pivoted around, standing on the top of it. Sparks of purple electricity arced around her shins and feet, almost as if tying her down to the surface of the metal pole.
“Come on out.” She demanded from her perch atop the pole.
A man in bluish-grey attire stepped out. Immediately he looked familiar to Mandalynn. “You’re uhhh… Sergio right? The new bodyguard?” She asked the man. “I am. Your manager sent me to keep an eye on you.” He flashed Mandalynn’s yellow tuner. “Hrmph.” Mandalynn slid down the side of the pole, sparks continuing to pop and crack as she did so. Landing back on terra firma again, the electricity from her legs ceased.
“I can take care of myself.” She insisted. Sergio ignored the bravado from the fox girl, looking up and down the length of the pole she had just effortlessly climbed and descended as if it was a gentle incline. “Cute trick.” He noted.
Mandalynn raised a brow, not sure what he meant until she caught him looking at the pole behind her. “Ah, that’s my class skill, Pali di Scambio. I can change my magnetic polarity to let me stick to metal surfaces and stuff.” She replied.
“Hrm…” Sergio grunted. “I thought you Lightnings did the computer thing.” He grumbled. Mandalynn shrugged. “Mine is rare, supposedly.”
What followed was what could only be described as the most awkward of silences.
After a moment of standing there, Mandalynn finally braved speaking up. “Can you like stand over there?” She asked, pointing a small distance away.
“Why’s that?” Sergio raised a brow at the sudden request. “I just want a moment of privacy, is that too much to ask for?” She quipped back. Sergio grunted, glaring at the small resonator. “Fine. But it’s still my job to watch over you, for now.” He told her. “That’s fine. Do your job over there.” She pointed a small distance away, still within eyesight.
Without another word, the blond-haired man walked away, fading into the darkness of the park. Mandalynn sighed in relief, today kinda sucked all things considered.
Plopping back down onto the bench, she pulled out the note once again. Unfolding it, she wasn’t sure what to expect, the situation with Isaac was so strange. Steeling her heart, she took a deep breath before exhaling and undoing the final fold of the paper.
“Go into hiding – there’s a plot against your life.”
Mandalynn just stared at the nine words written on the paper. “What?” She breathed out. It was hastily written, scrawled on the small paper with no other detail on it. “A plot?” She questioned the note as if it would provide an answer. Turning the paper over revealed no further information. “What the heck?” She muttered. Her mind raced with possibilities. She was used to fighting for her life, yes; but this was something different. If this note was to be believed, there was someone actively trying to kill her.
“You alright there, Miss Diva?”
The source of the voice was Sergio, who had wandered back over. “I-I thought I told you to go wait over there!” Mandalynn barked. “You looked bothered so I came back over to check on you.” The man replied.
The electric fox looked down to the paper crumbled in her fist. She hesitated – she did trust Isaac; but something felt off about this whole situation. She raised her head. “Y-you’re a bodyguard right?” Her voice cracked slightly as she hesitated about her next course of action.
“Yeah, that’s what they pay me to do.” Sergio raised a brow. “If someone were threatening my life, you’d look into it?” She questioned.
Perplexation crept up onto Sergio’s face. “Depends on if you’re still paying me.” He decided after a moment. His eyes fell to the paper in the diva’s hands and how tightly she was gripping it. “You made yourself some enemies?” He questioned.
“I dunno.” She replied quietly.
“Well, if you’ve got a hit out on you, being out in an open park is an invitation for a free kill. We should head back.” The bodyguard advised. Mandalynn nodded quickly. “R-right. Take me back.” She rose to her feet. “I should sleep on this.” The fox girl decided.
The walk back was quiet. Almost too quiet. They were in a big city, one would think there’d be some night owls around, either figuratively or literally. Sergio narrowed his eyes, but kept a vigilant watch around them. Something just wasn’t sitting right with him. From his side he pulled out a fire-arm. Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out a pair of crystals and slid them into the bottom of the handle of the weapon, securing them inside the weapon with a sliding mechanism.
The barrel of the weapon lit up with a tri-colored glow of yellow, red, and blue. “What’s wrong?” Mandalynn asked, taking notice of the loading of the firearm. “Something doesn’t feel right.” Sergio mumbled, still focusing more on their surroundings than anything else. “Stay close behind me.” He muttered. Not knowing what was going on, Mandalynn nodded and drew closer to her bodyguard.
They moved slowly through the venue Mandalynn had performed at mere hours ago. Slowly they crept through the darkened halls, the staff having left for the night. Finally coming back to the corridor leading to Mandalynn’s dressing room. A certain scent hit them immediately, one they both unfortunately recognized. Sergio motioned for Mandalynn to stop. He drew her tuner out. Glancing through the spell list for a moment, he came to a decision.
“Corrente Elettrica, Piano Staccato.” The man muttered. Mandalynn jumped a bit, feeling a link of rhythm established with her. She could tell from just that simple act that Sergio was no slouch – he was quite strong from a rhythm standpoint. Returning the yellow bodied tuner to his vest he silently motioned for the lightning resonator to follow him. The pair slowly moved towards Mandalynn’s dressing room. The light was still on.
“Hear anything?” He spoke on but a breath.
“No. Nothing.” She replied, much louder than Sergio, but still whispering.
“Watch my six.” He told her - Mandalynn wasn’t sure what he meant by this, but decided to just keep a lookout.
Raising his pistol, he held it out and quickly entered the room. Mandalynn rushed in after, but she wasn’t prepared for the scene that awaited her. Her face went pale and she was instantly nauseous, practically to the point of vomiting.
There were several bodies, of which all of them had shuffled their mortal coil – violently so. The previous white, clean dressing room had been practically painted red. Mandalynn wanted to faint on the spot but-
“Stay alert!” Sergio hissed. The fox girl snapped to. “Do you hear anything? I need you to focus!” He barked, albeit quietly.
Mandalynn did her best to focus, but it was incredibly difficult, her eyes kept drifting towards the piles of meat on the floor. “S-sven-?” She squeaked. It all went dark, but not because Mandalynn lost consciousness; no, Sergio’s free hand snapped over her eyes. “I need your ears not your eyes – FOCUS.”
“R-right.” Her heart and mind were racing, but Sergio was so calm. So calm… It was infectious.
She gave up trying to see and diverted those mental resources entirely to her excellent sense of hearing. “Down the hall, someone is leaving.”
“Follow me!” Sergio rushed out of the room. Mandalynn put her feelings to the side and followed suit.
Sure enough, as soon as the mystery figure realized Sergio and Mandalynn were on their tail they began to run. Without missing a beat Sergio raised his weapon and fired twice. The first shot missed, but the second hit their target in the leg.
Sergio popped the bottom of his weapon open, the two crystals falling out and clattering to the ground, he immediately popped a new pair into the gun and sealed the ammunition inside.
Cautiously the duo approached their quarry. Mandalynn gasped, covering her mouth. “Wh-why…?” She fell to her knees. “Why is it YOU?!”
Laying before them was Isaac. “You don’t belong here…” He moaned.
That night made me realize no matter how much I tried to escape that difficult part of my life it would always come back to haunt me.
Maybe haunt isn’t the right word. No, it isn’t. That would be to deny something that’s a part of who I am.
I may live in the light now, but I’ll never forget the dark times. And for that…
“My name is Eclipse and I’m going to shine a light on this dark world!”
This was originally supposed to be longer, but I just wanted to focus on this one night