Juvie, the slammer, CageTown. That’s what I get for my crimes. Plenty of other cubs like me in here, all species and looks. All except mine. Sure, there were other foxes, but none of them sported my unique style of black and white fur, and not a one of them had more than one tail. My own tails were openly hidden, braided together and wrapped in spellbinds. Any cub in the know would see what I was even without seeing my other tail.
Looking around CageTown’s playpen I saw plenty of cubs had given over to ignorant bliss, playing on monkey bars and swings as if this were just recess at pre-school. A wealthy panda had even managed to smuggle in a tablet; clearly, the info dealer bringing in news from the outside in exchange for other cubs snacks. He’d be useful if my plans went south. I’d have to find out what kind of girl, if any, he liked. Hope he’s not into girls like me, ew.
At last, I found some cubs aware of our plight, a hyena shaman and her voodoo servants preparing a wall with ancient drawings to soothe their weary minds. She didn’t have much to work with, all her skulls and potions confiscated before entry, but she would still make a powerful ally if I could find the right materials to bribe her with. And if things really turned bad, maybe I could have her wipe my mind so I could be as blissfully ignorant as most the other cubs in this joint.
A bell and guards brought us all in, the ever-present darkness of the Hall of Naps, separated into our own caged cots. Three times a day, right before snacks, then out to the playpen. Memorizing the routine was key to my escape.
Once back in the open I started to put my plan into motion. I hung out at the fountain chitchatting with cubs about useless nonsense, just passing the time as I drank. I waited and waited, until just before nap time before I began my ascent.
Climbing to the top of the tallest structure I didn’t bother going inside. The playpen’s biggest bosses were having a meeting, but they weren’t my targets. I balanced out atop the swingset, lifted my skirt, and peed on one of the boss’s guards, a big tiger girl, one of the few cubs to have started growing breasts.
She looked up at me and another squirt hit square in her enraged eyes. Fire and fury like few had ever witnessed burst upon the playpen as she screamed and chased me through every gathering of cubs. My laughter egged her on till I saw her claws come out. That’s when I slowed, just enough. A dangerous game, but the only kind worth playing in such a hellish place.
The guards looked on in wonder and awe and laughter, sure I would get the beating I deserved for not only what I’d done to her, but also what I’d done to be sent here. They noticed too late as her claws shredded the spellbind and my tails unfurled in dark fiery glory.
Empowered by those dark flames I lept to the roof just as the nap bell range. Guards were too busy corralling the other cubs for nap time as I jumped passed the watchtowers out into the unforgiving desert.
I hadn’t counted on this. The intense heat, no water or juice, or even snacks for miles around. Surely, I would die before finding help unless I returned to CageTown. I did the only thing I could, I started to drill into the barren ground with my tails in an attempt to shield myself from the sun, and maybe, just maybe I could dig deep enough to find water, or a lost civilization who would make me their queen.
I must have grown delusional in the heat. A new darkness blotted out the sun and lifted me into the air.
“It’s ok, Mr. Cage, I found Benni in the dirt out front. I’ll bring her back tomorrow before work.” The shadow carried me off past the desert and into the black void with yellow stripes. “Did you have fun at your new summer daycare, Benni? Make any new friends?” Her voice was soft and soothing, sparking a memory of maternal care. “Oh, giving me the silent treatment today?” She pet down my back as I refused to look at her for having left me there all day. “Oh, no, what happened to your pretty tail wrap? Nevermind, it’s ok, I’ll make you another one tomorrow.”
It wasn’t until she gave me a cookie in my car seat that I finally smiled up to her, happy to finally be going home. I knew she’d send me back for some new crime tomorrow, but as she put on my favorite song all thought of that prison faded away into sugary bliss.