The honest-to-God conclusion of a Daria fanfic by Rey T. Fox (email@example.com)
CHAPTER 9: Gut Feelings
"Watch out for that lone lovely lady by the side of the road, she may take your
literally! The infamous fox-women of China, NEXT on Sick Sad World!"
"Boy, they're really reaching today," said Jane as she muted the TV.
"Yeah..." said Trent weakly from his bed. Jane had brought the TV into his
mindless entertainment is the best cure for what ails you. Jane wasn't quite ready to call
doctor about Trent's condition yet, especially since Mom and Dad were gone, as usual.
Just then, the phone rang. Jane picked it up, and handed it to Trent, upon finding out
Rachel was on the line.
"Hello?...Hey...Yeah, feelin' kinda down...that would be
cool...thanks...bye." Trent hung up
and turned to Jane. "Rachel's comin' over here. It will be a while since her car is
the shop, so she'll walk."
"I dunno, Trent, it's getting dark out there."
"Don't worry, there are street lights. Besides, this is Lawndale, I don't think
much to worry about."
"Whatever you say, Trent." Of course, Jane couldn't drive, so it was a moot
Rachel stepped out of the phone booth and walked through the apartment complex, still
counting her lucky stars that she had been able to go out with Trent for so long without
really pressing to go to her place. "Her place" was Hargrove's Woods, insofar as
she had slept
there for the last few days. She would get a bit dirty doing that, but she liked it fine,
changing clothes was a pretty small bit of magic compared to changing her entire form.
took work. But still, it was the means to an end, and an end that she intended to bring
She had gotten about a block down the road when she noticed a figure step out from the
street. It was that gloomy girl, Daria. Hmm, she thought, what's she doing out tonight?
Daria had gotten to the street leading back to her neighborhood before she really
think about how ridiculous this was. First off, she didn't know Rachel's apartment number
really lived in one). And even if she did, it was no guarantee that she would be home. And
if she was home, then what would happen? Hi, Rachel, she thought, I'm Daria, and I was
curious about something. I was wondering, are you were really a fox-being out to drain the
from Trent? I've got five bucks on it, you see. Then, out of the blue, she heard Rachel's
"Uh, hi, Rachel!" Rachel jogged across the street to meet her, with a
trotting gait. Daria remembered what Andrea had said about her gut feelings. Well, she
the butterflies are really going in there, but that's just because you got me all worked
"What are you doing here?"
"Uh...I'm just...taking a walk. How about you?"
"I'm going to visit Trent," she said, and smiled. There's that smile again,
And those EYES. The pupils were glowing green with the reflection from the harsh
Daria gave in to paranoia.
"Uh, are you sure you should be out alone right now? It's getting dark."
"Well, come on, I see that isn't stopping YOU. Besides, this is a quiet town, and
taken self-defense courses."
"Well, either way, I don't think you can visit Trent."
"Why not?" Rachel sounded hurt.
"He's in a delicate condition."
"I know, he's sick, that's why I'm visiting him."
"Aren't you worried about contracting it?"
"Who are you, his nurse? He's just feeling a bit under the weather!"
"I'm afraid that he's being kept in a sterile environment."
"In his house?"
Rachel was rapidly losing patience. "Look, I just got off the phone with Trent,
expecting me to visit him, not that it's really any of your damn business." With
stormed past Daria.
"Actually it IS my business if you're going to go over there and ignore medical
"Daria, I'm his girl, all right? You seem to be having trouble accepting that. How
you go home and play with yourself for a while? Then it won't seem so bad."
That crossed the line. Daria snarled at her back, "You don't really love
Rachel froze. She turned around slowly. "WHAT did you say?"
"I said, you don't love him. And I know what you want from him."
"Oh really? Well, tell me, Miss Know-It-All!"
"I'd rather hear it from YOU, Kitsune."
Daria had only a split second to marvel at what had just come out of her mouth before
grabbed her by the shirt, and shoved her up against a streetlight pole. The back of
connected with the cold metal, making black flowers bloom in front of her eyes. She
through a haze of pain to see Rachel's face directly in front of hers. Her pupils were
faintly from the next street light, and as she spit out her words, Daria noticed that her
teeth were now full fangs that glistened in the cold halogen light.
"All right," she hissed at Daria, her voice now gravelly and bestial, "I
don't know how you
found that out, but I DO know that you will NOT stop me from getting what I want! Do you
stand? Answer me, BITCH!"
As she was saying this, Daria was slowly raising her right foot. Suddenly, she kicked
hard in the shin with her steel-toed Doc Marten boot. Rachel shrieked with pain, and Daria
her other shin. Once free, she bolted down the street, leaving Rachel in a heap beneath
"Go ahead, Daria, run! Flee to Trent's house! See if he believes you!" Rachel
after her. Daria ducked into the forest, hoping that Rachel wasn't waking the whole
She was on a trail that she knew ended up in someone's backyard not far from Jane's house.
hurried down the beaten path with her hands out in front of her for navigation. Once
backyard and out onto the street, she allowed herself to catch her breath. Her head still
from the impact with the streetlight. So much for the direct approach, she thought. She
refocused on the matter at hand. She tried to calm herself down, and think fast at the
but it didn't work. Time to play the hero, thought Daria. We're all doomed.
CHAPTER 10: End Game
"Could you help me up? I wanna meet Rachel at the door."
"In your condition?"
"I think I can make it. She'd be happy to see me up and at 'em."
"Boy, Trent, you really ARE smitten."
A short time later, Rachel turned the corner onto Howard Street, and faced the Lane
Every step was a pain from Daria's self-defense measures. Luckily for Rachel, Daria was
to be seen. Should have played it cool, she thought, rather than flipping out like that.
that Daria just had a way with pushing her buttons. Hopefully I put a good scare in her,
She was just about to the Lane property line when she heard a noise off in the distance
froze her to the spot. Then she saw its source, and was petrified instanly. About 100 feet
front of her was a group of five dogs. Not just dogs, but hounds, most likely trained
hounds. They had gotten her scent and were now coming closer, growling angrily. The fact
they were all on a leash did little to comfort her. The lone person holding the leashes
vaguely familiar red-haired youth. He shone his flashlight ahead, and eventually trained
"Hello there," said Upchuck enthusiastically, "What's a gorgeous babe
like you doing out
alone on a night like this?"
"Stay away from me," Rachel choked, already feeling herself give in to her
"No need to be afraid, lady, these puppies wouldn't hurt a fly, unless they had
then addressed the dogs, who were still slowly pulling him forward despite his attempt to
his ground. "Hey, stoppit, what's wrong with you?" By then, they had gotten
within ten feet of
the terrifed girl.
Just then, Jane and Trent appeared at the door to see what was going on. Jane took one
at Upchuck, and ran out into the lawn.
"Dammit, Upchuck, get these mutts out of here! What are you trying to do, give
heart attack?!" Jane yelled over the fury of the hounds.
Upchuck didn't answer. He was too busy gaping at what was happening in front of him.
was there, shrinking away from the hounds. Literally. Jane turned her head and watched in
stunned fascination as Rachel went down on her back, and became ever smaller, her clothes
disappearing under a thick carpet of scarlet fur. Rachel's mouth and nose stretched
her ears were growing and migrating up her head. As this was happening, a figure stepped
from the darkness behind Upchuck. Rachel recognized her immediately.
"YOU BITCH!" the woman/fox screeched just before it lost the capacity of
"It's over, Kitsune," Daria said defiantly, and folded her arms on her chest.
it had started, the transformation was now complete, and where Rachel had stood before was
fox, average in every respect except that it had three tails. In the blink of an eye, it
itself, and tore off down the street in the direction of Hargrove's Woods. The hounds,
also been somewhat stunned by what was going on, suddenly snapped out of it and bolted
fox, with sufficient force to pull Upchuck off his feet.
Jane, however, was rooted to the spot. Trent was still standing by the door, but he
semi-conscious at best. Jane looked over at Daria, and tried to form a complete sentence,
got stuck on "Daria, wha...huh?"
"Stay here and look after Trent, I'll be right back," said Daria, and with
that, she took off
down the street after Upchuck, cursing her fickle conscience for acting up again.
Upchuck ran along at full speed behind the hounds, trying every command he knew to get
to stop. When that proved futile, he started fiddling with the leash that he had looped
his wrist. Finally, he broke free, and stumbled to a halt, as the hounds disappeared into
grove's Woods, still binded to each other by the leashes that Upchuck had tied together.
his heavy pantings, he heard jogging footsteps behind him.
Daria was relieved to see that Upchuck had had the sense to let go of the leash, and
ued to jog toward him. I ought to be excused from P.E. for a week after this, thought
Upchuck stood pitifully on the sidewalk, his clothes rumpled and his wrist red.
"Daria, what the HELL just happened?" he asked.
"It's a long story. Either way, I would...just like to thank you for what you have
"What, escorting you home, or scaring off that...whatever it was?"
"Well, I didn't really want or need an escort, I just told you that so that I
could get you,
and more importantly, those dogs in the right place to do the latter job."
"Well, happy to be of service," said Upchuck sarcastically.
"I'm glad. Whether you know it or not, you just saved a friend's life. Again,
Now I gotta go."
Upchuck watched her walk away for a second, then piped up again. "Waaaait a
Daria froze, but didn't turn. "Yessss?"
"I just saved your friend's life, got dragged down the street by a gang of crazed
and most likely lost the biggest dog-walking paycheck in this whole town! I'd say you owe
"Being a hero isn't enough for you?"
"I was thinking more along the lines of...Chez Pierre. Friday night. You and me.
"I would start by saying you're crazy."
"Come ON, Daria, are you going to go out with me, or will I have to make your life
"Is there a difference?"
Daria mulled this one over. That Upchuck is a devious little weasel, she thought,
no telling how annoying he could be when he put his mind to it.
"Okay, (gulp) I'll do it. But only this once. And you had BETTER keep your filthy
Upchuck raised his fist in the air and shouted, "SCORE ONE FOR CHUCKY! Now if
excuse me, I gotta go catch up with Mr. Oatley's hounds." He jogged off into
Would have been better off with the kitsune, thought Daria.
CHAPTER 11: Drained
Meanwhile, back at the Lane house, Jane had escorted Trent back up to his room,
immediately fell into a deep sleep. Daria came back and went over the details of the
four days leading up to the events of that night, skipping lightly over the deal she just
"Well, it sounds pretty far-fetched, but I can't deny what I just saw," said
"Well, it's all true, I swear on my sister's grave," said Daria.
"The bit with Andrea, too?"
"Yep, even that. If it weren't for her, I would have never figured Rachel out. Of
I'll need to have a word or two with her later."
"Well, that's all well and good, but what about Trent? If what you said is true,
not saying it isn't, then you may have saved him now, but what about later? Look at him.
there any cure for his condition?"
"All I can think of would be plenty of fluids and the like, and see if he comes
out of it."
"That's REAL comforting."
"I know. I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault. I'm going to get a glass of water and come back."
Jane left the room and Daria looked over at Trent. He slept a lot, sure, but never
like this. His face was pale, and his chest rose only very slowly. Daria was somewhat
to find that her eyes were filling with tears.
"Trent? I don't know if you can hear me or not, but I need to say a few things.
what you just saw was real. That girl was not human, nor was she really attracted to you,
way you thought she was. I'm sorry if this didn't turn out like you wanted it to, but when
wake up, and I know you will, don't let it get you down. It wasn't your fault. You are a
person, and you deserve MUCH better than her. And I know that there are plenty of girls
who would appreciate and love you for who you are and nothing else." She took Trent's
hand in hers
and added, "Some of them are closer than you think."
Daria dropped Trent's hand and whirled around. Jane was standing in the doorway with a
"Sorry if I scared you," she said, "Uh, would you like some water,
"Huh? Oh, yeah, sure."
"I'll be right back," she said and walked away. Then she turned back and
said, "And Daria?
Trent looks pretty out of it, but still, I hope he heard all that stuff you said."
Daria stared at her for a moment. "Jane, prepare to die."
CHAPTER 12: All's Well That Ends Well
By that Friday afternoon, Trent had built up enough strength to go to the pizza parlor
Jane and Daria. Trent was talking about Rachel.
"Well, that's the last time I ever fall for a pretty face. Should have known she
good to last. Still, she could have at least called me before she moved."
"Her neighbors said she already had her stuff in a U-Haul last week," said
"And then, pfft, gone, with no forwarding address," Trent completed,
"She was probably
planning to move all along, and she was just using me for a cheap screw or something
left. World's full of girls like that."
"Well, you know what they say," said Daria, "Beautiful people rarely
"I feel like an idiot."
"Come on, Trent, it could happen to any of us," said Jane.
"Yeah, but you know what? I really should have figured it out sooner."
"That's not true, Trent."
"No, it IS true. I haven't told you yet, but I had the weirdest dream on Tuesday
I was sick the worst. I dreamed that I was standing outside of the house, and Rachel was
but she looked at me, and then, she started SHRINKING."
"Yeah. That's not all, though, she was also like growing fur. A second later, she
changed into a FOX right in front of me!"
"That is WEIRD."
"It goes on. Next, I'm in the woods, watching her run away. I tried to chase her,
know how when you're dreaming, you can never move? Then I look over to the left, and
"Huh?" said Daria as she turned bright red.
"Yeah, it was you. You took me by the hand and said, 'It's okay, Trent, she didn't
love you. You're a special person, and you deserve much better.' And then you led me away
"And THEN what?" asked Jane, arching her right eyebrow like Spock.
"Then I met Frank Zappa and we jammed for a while. Like I said, it was a WEIRD
"Yeah, Freud would be up all night with that one."
For once, Daria was completely speechless. An awkward silence fell over the table, and
interrupted even more awkwardly by Kevin peeking over the top of the booth behind Daria.
"Hey Daria, I was thinking about what you said a few days ago."
"You were THINKING?"
"Yeah, dude. If Coca-Cola comes from cocoa beans, and chocolate comes from mines,
"Uh, they get that from...goats."
"Really? What part?"
"The intestinal juices."
Kevin stared into space for a moment before saying, "Dude, that's SICK," and
into his booth.
Daria turned back toward the table. "I suppose this is where I make a wisecrack,
laugh, and the camera does a freeze-frame on us while the credits start rolling."
"It suuuure is!" said Jane. She and Trent laughed. Daria just smiled.
"Who were you talking to, Kevin?"
"Just some girls I know from school. I don't hang out with them usually. What did
your name was again?"
"You have beautiful red hair, Rachel."
la la LA la la...
The folklore of the Far East makes several mentions of mischievous fox-spirits, which
sometimes good, and sometimes bad. The kitsune in this story is more closely based on
mythology. I orginally got the idea for this story from the Sierra Club book, "The
World of the
Fox," by Rebecca L. Grambo, which is a very good book about foxes with a small
section on the
fox's relationship with humans that covers some basic fox mythology. Mention of fox-women
drain the vitality from men can be found in "The Fox Maiden Lien-shiang", which
is one of the
Liao Chai stories written by P'u Sung-Ling in the seventeenth century, A.D. The Liao Chai
stories are based on traditional Chinese folklore, and are generally considered to be
answer to the Arabian Nights tales.
The word "kitsune," (kit-SOON-ee) however, as mentioned in Part 2, is a
Japanese word, and I used
it for this story because it's relatively well-known and used among people interested in
mythology, and also because I couldn't find the Chinese word for "fox." I also
just like the
sound of the word, and I figured it was obscure enough as to not give away the premise of
story to too many people. If you already knew what a kitsune was, then I hope you liked
the story unfolded anyway.
As for what a Chinese mythological being is doing in Lawndale, she stowed away on a
with the sole purpose of being in my fanfic. That's all I can say about that.
For the purposes of this fanfic, Hargrove's Woods, the 9-To-5 Mart, the county library,
Rachel's apartment complex are located off the left side of the map in "The Daria
Hargrove's Woods, specifically, should be considered an extension of the large wooded area
the left of Cranberry Commons.
Please send all questions, comments, constructive criticism, glowing praise, naughty
souffle recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank
you, and good night.