Dabble 34: Fan Club
“I think I made a wrong turn at the bakery at Albuquerque,” Zenny said to himself. The small kit walked into a village while reading over a map two sizes too big for him. As he walked, he swayed side to side, dodging residents, signs, barrels, even going under horses as they neighed and stomped around. “Maybe I should get that GPS device in one of the major cities and…”
“Head’s up!” Shouted a kid as a ball flew and smacked Zenny right upside the head. Zenny blinked and fell backwards with the map covering his face, twitching. Some kids ran away while some went over. “Oh no, oh no, you, okay?” A tiger cub picked up the map, exposing Zenny’s face, swirling eyes with bouncing balls floating in a circle around his head.
“I flinched, when I should’ve scurried… bleh,” his eyes showed X marks and his tongue hung out. A few minutes later, Zenny groaned as he woke up with some bandages wrapped around his head, laying on a bed. “Oof… what happened?”
“Hey look, he’s awake!” One of the kids said.
“Hey, mister, you, okay?” Another asked.
When Zenny’s vision cleared up, he saw a group of kids, a tiger, two lions, a bear, a raccoon, a fox, and a snow leopard surrounded his bed. Their eyes showed fascination and some of them wide smiles.
“Sorry about the ball, I kicked it a little too hard,” said the tiger, looking to be a bit older than the rest but around the same age as the snow leopard.
Zenny sat up and rubbed his head, flicking his ears. “I’m okay, nothing a tune up can’t fix later… Say… don’t I know you all from somewhere.”
“Yeah! You saved rebuilt our orphanage! You’re amazing!” Said the lion cubs, unable to hide their excitement.
Zenny thought for a moment before a physical lightbulb appeared over his head. “Oh yeah!”
The kids gasped and awed at that. “How’d you do that?” The snow leopard asked as the fox reached up and grabbed it. His tail wagged with excitement as he could feel it.
“This is so awesome!” The fox said.
The kids started bombarding Zenny with question after question until the owner cleared her throat, tapping her foot on the ground. This caused the kids to quiet down quickly. “Children, please allow our guest to rest,” she said firmly.
“Yes Ms. Trueson,” the kids said all together, slowly making their way out, the fox happily taking the lightbulb with Zenny’s permission.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you and your brother did for our home. It means so much to us all,” she said.
Zenny gave a wide smile. “No problem at all! I’m glad we were able to help.” While she talked, Zenny glanced over at the kids peeping through the door frame and standing on each other’s head to see through the window. Zenny gave them a wink and his tail wagged.
The kids dispersed once Ms. Trueson walked out of the room to let Zenny rest. Zenny laid in bed, only feeling a light bump on his noggin but was told not to get up from his spot. The kids waited patiently for a solid 30 seconds before their muzzles slowly rose to the glass door too see him again. Zenny placed a finger to his lips in a shush manner then gestured for them to come inside. The group of kids slowly opened the door and gently pressed it closed once they were all inside. They still mostly stared in awe at the fox which made Zenny faintly blush, like having fans up close and personal.
“What’s up?” Zenny asked to break the silence.
“How did you do those things you did when you were here?” Ask the youngest of two lions.
“No fair, I was gonna ask him something first!” Said the bear.
Zenny once again placed a hand to his lips with a loud shush, making the bear cover his mouth.
“I did what I did cause I’m a magician!” Zenny declared proudly, flicking his sleeveless wrist to reveal an animated business card, handing it to the tiger.
The tiger took it and the other kids gathered around, wide eyed and amazed having never seen magic done like that before. The card showed Zenny in his white suit, top hat, twirling cane, and him clicking his heels in the air. The words ‘Kaycen Phox, little magician at your service for all events big or small’. Behind it, showed his contact information and for general information, to speak to his manager Zenith.
“You can keep it if you want, I have plenty of copies,” Zenny smiled.
“I want one!” Said the raccoon enthusiastically, followed by everyone else asking the same.
Zenny sat up and rubbed his palms together, summoning another card for the snow leopard. He reached behind the eldest lion’s ear to pull out another card. He took out another card from the youngest lion’s short chest fluff, took out another from the bear’s arm, another from the young fox’s tail, and another from the raccoon’s mouth, which utterly flabbergasted him and made him open and close his maw a few times to see if there were more inside.
“These are really cool,” the snow leopard said. Each of the kids patted themselves and each other down, seeing if there were anymore surprises. Only the tiger and snow leopard kept talking.
“So, you all know my name, what about yours?” Zenny questioned.
“Well, none of us really remember our real names. I’m Tig, the bear is Berry, the Raccoon is Raco, the eldest lion is Kevin, the youngest lion is Calvin, the snow leopard is Leo, and the fox is Todd,” Tig introduced.
“Can you teach us how to do that type of magic too?!” Todd asked eagerly. Zenny gulped, seeing so many sparkling, hopeful, and pleading eyes surround him all at once.
“Woah, woah, woah, I can’t just take up students like that out of the blue, all of a sudden, and with no plan put into it… Well, I mean, I could and that’d actually be kinda fun and awesome at the same time plus show me brother I can do it… But, we just met!” Zenny responded back.
“Come on, what’ve you got to lose?” Tig smiled eagerly.
“I wanna learn how to do fire,” Kevin said.
“I want to do win,” Calvin said, climbing on top of his older brother’s shoulders for emphasis.
“It’d be kinda cool to learn telekinesis,” Raco said. “We can get so many cookies from the kitchen without Ms. Trueson knowing.”
“Yeah, then you’d have to pay the hush fee so you don’t get told on,” Leo responded with a smirk as his long tail swayed back and forth.
“Can you at least show us some more tricks,” Todd asked, the young fox giving puppy eyes.
Zenny eeped and smiled nervously, until all of them joined in with the same guilt tripping eyes. He tried to hide his face under the pillow until Tig tugged it up enough for Zenny to witness their persistence. Then Zenny tried to hide under the blankets, only for Leo to toss them off. Lastly, Zenny closed his eyes. “Must… resist… Temptation…” The boys surrounded and poked him in all different places. Under his chin, his sides, and his feetpaws. Zenny’s lips quivered into a frown, then a smirk, then he started fidgeting before he started flailing and chuckling a little.
“Nnghh… Alright, alright, I’ll show you some stuff just put those weapons away!” Zenny cracked under the pressure. The boys cheered loudly, prompting Ms. Trueson to deliver a death glare from the hallway into the room through the window. The boys immediately flattened their ears as she walked in.
“Boys, I understand you’re excited to meet Mr. Phox, but he still took a ball to the head and you need to let him recover first. So, wait outside and when he’s ready, and if he wants, you all can play. Understand?” She asked.
With a begrudgingly head nod and grumbled ‘yes’, the large group of boys walked out as Ms. Trueson closed the door and approached Zenny. “I apologize again. They were so amazed last time that they didn’t think they’d see you again. You have quite the little fan club.”
“Ahh shucks,” Zenny said, his cheeks turning red which made Ms. Trueson chuckle as she could actually see it. She walked over and sat in a chair, removing the bandages from Zenny’s head. Atop his head, where the ball hit, was a sizeable bump that formed from the swelling.
“I’m going to put something on that, hold still,” she replied, reaching into her medical kit.
“It’s fine, I’m fine. This little bump is nothing, here, I’ll show you,” he reached up to press the bump back into his head, but she stopped him by grabbing his hand.
“Don’t touch it or you’ll make it grow bigger, hold on,” she insisted, moreso out of her motherly nature for kids than doubting Zenny’s magic. She applied some cold alcohol to the bump, which sent a shiver down Zenny’s face to his tail. Then she carefully placed a new bandage on it. “There we go. That wasn’t so hard, was it?” She presented him with a red lollipop.
Zenny squee and noms the lollipop, slurping it gently. With a gentle pet on the head, Zenny’s tail wagged, and he momentarily saw Nora smiling down at him, before Ms. Trueson took her place.