Warning: This story contains furry micro vore. Bear in mind you have the freedom to not read this, so if you're not into this, then please move along and refrain from being rude to the readers or me.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Little town on a large island's edge; overtaken by undead. Humans with any aptitude for magic at all were requested to sign up and take back the town.
Plenty of Xeeok- animal people, you could call them, though they prefer you don't -signed up, but the advantage humans have is the control over matter and elements that many demonstrate.
Which means exploding fireballs. Lots of exploding fireballs. Perfect thing for parting a crowd of oncoming undead.
And so you signed up; promised a cut of the pay like everyone else. You probably wouldn't have to cast a single spell, if all went well.
It didn't. Though right about now, that's apparent.
Snow and ash covers the area, with more of each cascading down gently, partially-obscuring the massive slaughter taking place. Your side is losing.
A number of undead still lurks about the ruined village, and the rest of your squad is dead. There may or may not be other survivors; it's hard to tell.
Normally, you'd need military training to do something like this. But a world like Paliputra makes exceptions. Anyone who understands that a surgically-augmented zombie with a demon soul is in most cases rekillable is a valid fighter and can usually earn some quick cash in authorized extermination trips such as this.
Provided you don't die, that is.
But that's the way it's looking about now.
Your aura has hit a rather low point, and would take at least a day to regenerate fully, and so you don't have a lot of spells left to cast.
You jump, startled, as you hear a sudden scream from across the village, which ends abruptly. Well, up until four seconds ago, there was at least one other survivor, so that would have been good to know if anything could have been done about it.
You knew what you were signing up for, but nobody expected these things to be so stealthy. In the first three minutes 26 people were dead; over half of the team.
A spiderlike creature covered in rusted plate metal leaps out from around the corner; without hesitating, you bring your hand forward, draining a bit more of your aura to launch a bolt of plasma through your attacker and causing it to collapse. Had you not reacted sooner, it may have been what ended you; the springs in its legs gave it some extra agility, but it was still poorly crafted as far as these things go, so thankfully it only took a single shot to terminate.
The snow is coming down hard now; even with the thick black coat you're wearing, the cold is numbing. The odds of outrunning anything like the long-legged barbed nightmare that lead the sneak attack in the beginning aren't looking too high, so hopefully you won't have to deal with anything fast.
You conjure flames in your hands for warmth as you go along, as well as for a prepared projectile. It's dead silent around you now. You're not sure wether to be comforted or concerned by that.
You hurry along, with intentions to get as far away from this place as possible. The ship that brought you here is inoperable now, so all you can do is run for the other side of the island and do your best to survive.
Looking down at the flames cradled in your hands, you feel a wave of despair come over you. In the event of an attack, this wouldn't do a thing, and it's not even very warm. This is one of your last spells for the day, and quite possibly for your life. Your aura is worn thin and if you were to battle another spellcaster a single bolt of darkness could take you to the brink of death, if not all the way.
Survival seems hopeless right about now, but you're motivated to not slump over from exhaustion just yet by the fact that if you do, you could very well be modified into one of the same creatures you spent the morning shooting flame and plasma bolts at.
Time passes as you walk further out into the snowy expanse; you haven't been followed by the looks of it. The sun is in the west, though you can't see it through the thick cloud cover.
This world is cold, desolate, and grim. But it does have its benefits if you know how to exploit them. And provided said exploitation does not go the way this one did.
These monsters- Aberrations, they're called -are sometimes loaded with top-quality metal and expensive machinery. Managing to take down one of the more finely-crafted ones almost always results in profit.
Of course, you feel pity for those who have been harvested and made into these, but you can't do anything for them aside from release their bodies from the grim work they've been reprogrammed for.
You're shivering now; the flames are still going but it's not enough anymore.
Fatigue is setting in, and you can feel the first stages of frostbite coming on as well.
All around you is nothing but whiteness; a thick veil of snow prevents you from seeing too far, but judging by how far you've walked without obstruction, it's safe to guess that it's just more flat, snow covered land as far as the eye can see.
As your strength begins to fail the fire goes out. You stare down at your hands, trying to will it back to life, but it's no use.
You fold your arms, and press on for what seems a great distance, but you know it's probably a lot less than it seems, thanks to the eight inches of snow making each footstep difficult.
The air seems thinner now, and you drop to your knees. You struggle to stand again, but you just fall.
You want to deny that any of this is happening, but that isn't going to help at all. Your vision begins to blur as both warmth and consciousness escape you.
Your eyes open sometime later, and you find yourself in pitch-
Are you dead, you wonder?
No. Death is a thing you had always imagined would be a lot colder than this, but it's very warm, wherever you are.
You begin to move, but you find your surroundings make that difficult; the walls are soft and easy to sink into, to an extent. There's not a lot of space to move, as it is.
"So you're alive," a male voice says. "You had me worried, there."
You can't quite place where the voice is coming from; it seems to be all around you. In the silence following, you're able to register the sound of a sigh of relief, as well as the unmistakable sound of a heartbeat, though it seems mechanical, somehow.
You begin to feel more than a bit of dread as you get an idea as to where you might be.
"Well?" the voice says again. "You can say something, if you like."
"Where am I?" is the first thing to come from your mouth. That's the only thing that your mind is focused on right now.
There's a bit of hesitation before your conversational partner responds. "Well, how do I put this... It's sort of..."
"A stomach," he says, his voice growing a bit meek. "You're in my stomach."
It's just like all those horror stories you've heard of people being swallowed alive. And it's happened to you, now.
You place your hand against your predator's stomach lining; it squishes a little as you put pressure against it. You're trying to stay calm, though it's a little difficult to do so in your current situation. "I'm giving you one minute to get me out of here, or I'll burn you." It's a bluff, of course; your aura is still very near-depleted and you doubt the heat you could output could do much right now. He's probably got aura-draining tattoos in his stomach lining that you can't see, anyway.
"Heyheyheyheyhey. Hey. Just calm down. I'm not trying to hurt you, and I would really, really appreciate it if you would not hurt me either."
"Not trying to hurt me?" you scoff. "I'm pretty sure that's what they all say."
"Speaking from experience, I can say that the majority are actually pretty open that they'll be killing you. But you're safe."
"Until I'm digested, anyway."
"Implying I'm going to digest you."
"That's what I'm implying, yes."
"You've been in there for almost an hour now. Given the potency of a Xeeok's stomach acid, I would estimate you'd be pretty much gone by now if I wanted to digest you," your predator responds. "Now just sit tight; we're almost there and I'll let you out then."
"Where's 'there'?" you ask.
"I'm really not sure, but I've found it to be safe. It's shelter, anyway."
"You've got less than twenty seconds left."
"Just hang on! I know this must be weird and all, but I really don't want to put you back out into this weather while you're all damp and whatnot."
"Just hurry up..." you say, curling up. Your predator has started to run, but now his stomach is making contractions and it's a little unsettling.
You hear a door creak open, and then slam shut.
The confines of the stomach become much tighter as it contracts around you, moving you back up. The first thing you see as light returns is the inside of a mouth with a upturned palm waiting outside to catch you.
You slide off of your predator's tongue and into his hand, and he sets you down on a nearby table before running back to the door and locking it.
Now that you have a chance to look at him, the first thing you notice are his tails. Lots of tails. Nine, to be exact.
He is clothed in a black-and blue hooded coat, and brown-gray pants; his pawed feet are exposed to the elements however, and part of some sort of bronzey-metal apparatus is visible at his ankles. Black markings are present on his brownish-gold fur, and as he turns, you notice a white numeral 9 on his forehead. He appears to be a canine of some sort, although he has a sleeker build than most dogs.
He sits down in the chair by the table; it's the only other piece of furniture in this place; an abandoned home out in the middle of nowhere. There are outlets and pipes in places, but their supply has long been cut off.
"Sorry about the confusion earlier," he says. He doesn't make eye contact, but it's clear he's addressing you.
"I guess it's fine..." you say, quite lost by now. At least you know he doesn't mean to kill you. "But why did you eat me in the first place?"
"When I tripped over you, you were covered in snow. I needed some way to thaw you out, so I reduced your size and swallowed you. By the looks of it, it worked, so that's good at least."
"Yeah... I never thought I'd say this but... thanks for swallowing me, I guess?" You really do feel grateful, but you're still a little shaken by everything that's happened.
"I never thought I'd hear that, but no problem."
"If it's not too much trouble, can I be full-size again? It just feels weird to be small like this..."
"Well, there's that..." the canine says. He's playing with his thumbs now, and still doesn't make eye contact. "See, I escaped that village a while back, but it took almost all my capacity for spellcasting. Now, when I went back to check for anyone who might have followed and direct them to this place, I found you. I used the last of my aura to disable my digestion, shrink you, and store away the matter you shed off when you shrank. But now I can't really access that storage space, so you're stuck like this at least until tomorrow..."
You groan a bit. "You didn't really think this through, did you?"
"No, no. I thought it through, but it played out a lot better in my head."
"Yeah... I know the feeling," you say, remembering the events of earlier. "At least you got your plan to work..."
Silence fell between the two of you, going on for long enough to be deemed "awkward".
The Xeeok broke it with a cough. "So, good to meet you and all that," he said, just trying to keep the conversation going.
You nod in return, but you aren't much for words right now. Having a near-death experience and then being swallowed while blacked-out by somebody like this is a bit taxing on the mind. At the very least, you feel like you should say something, though.
"So, what do I call you?"
"Kane," is the response.
You nod, but don't say anything else.
Kane doesn't say anything either, sensing that you don't want to talk at the moment.
After sitting in silence for a while longer, he stands, picking up his chair and moving over by the window, staring out into the blizzard outside.
You stand, removing your coat and using the dry inner lining of it to dry the rest of yourself off. Now isn't the best time to be covered in saliva.
You turn and observe Kane as he continues staring outside. It's a bit strange to think that not very long ago you were inside of him. He didn't seem like the predators you had always been warned about. Really, he seemed even more nervous than you were.
"So..." you begin. "Must be nice having all that fur." You feel like saying something about his tails as well, but it might be a sensitive topic so you resist.
"Yeah," Kane says, not taking his eyes away from the window. "Makes it a bit easier to stand this kind of weather. Never liked hot days, though, but at least they're rare here. Of course, days like this are none too pleasant..."
"No kidding. I can barely feel my fingertips anymore; it's even cold in here..."
Kane does glance at you briefly, but then looks away again; giving a nervous shudder. It's not hard to tell what he was thinking, but he seems to be trying to dismiss any predatory thoughts right now. He coughs, but says nothing.
"So... you do seem okay, for a predator," you remark, just trying to keep the silence away.
"I guess so," Kane sighs.
"What does it feel like, anyway?"
"It's a little difficult to describe. It's sort of relaxing, but at the same time, it's invigorating. I could fall asleep to it if I wanted, but the sensation is just... I can feel every little movement my prey makes, and it just feels really good... well, not like that, but... it's hard to describe."
"I see. Sort of."
Kane laughs a bit. "Well, I tried. Actually, how about this; you know how when you give a dog a belly rub, if it's a really, really good belly rub, the dog enters a state of bliss, sort of?"
"This is a lot like that, except a few hundred times better and from the inside."
"I see; makes more sense than what you were getting at before."
Not wanting to end the conversation there, he continues with a question. "So. This was your first time being swallowed?"
"Yep," you respond. "I guess it wasn't the nightmare people make it out to be, since I'm still here."
"And... did you like it at all?..."
"I guess I didn't really take the time to appreciate it," you reply. "I was a bit more focused on getting out, since I didn't know what was happening."
Kane nods. "Understandable. I was the same way my first couple of times."
You chuckle a little. "I guess even predators like yourself have to worry about being eaten."
"Oh, everybody does. I've adopted sort of a trust-nobody attitude on the worlds, but I suppose there are a few people here and there I can open up to. I've gotten on positive terms with a few people, but I haven't been with them in a while."
"We were forcefully separated. I've been trying to find them again, but there's an entire multiverse out there, and they could be anywhere, you know? I'm pretty sure they'd still be on Paliputra, but still..."
"You'll find them again," you say, trying to encourage him. "I know you will."
"I hope so..."
By now it's getting dark outside, casting shadows and silence.
Eventually, Kane stands, and heads for the back of the one-room house, unzipping his coat and removing it; underneath is a plain white shirt. He takes his scarf off as well, folding it up, placing it in the hood and folding it over, and sets the coat on the floor.
Turning, he walks back to the table and extends a hand to you.
"Might be about time to retire; it'll be completely dark in a few minutes and we want to be awake early tomorrow."
"Guess so," you say. You look at his hand dubiously; he seems to be inviting you to step onto it, but you're really not sure about this.
"Well? Unless you'd rather sleep on the table."
Pausing a moment, you finally let out a sigh, and then walk onto his hand. He lifts you gently, and walks back to the back of the room, lying down on his makeshift bed, and setting you down on his belly.
It's a bit strange, resting on him like this, but you can't deny it's pretty comfortable.
"You alright?" Kane asks, noticing your air of uncertainty.
"It's just... are you sure this is alright?"
"Yeah. Why wouldn't it be?"
"Sorry. This is just taking some time for me to get used to."
"No, I get it. Xeeok tend to be a bit more cuddly, I guess the term is, than most humans would be used to. Having been raised in a human community, it took me quite some time to adapt, but this is what I'm used to now. If you like, you can use my folded scarf as a mattress if that's better."
You hesitate before answering, but eventually do lie down entirely. "Actually, I guess this really is okay."
Kane gives you a smile. "Alright then."
You roll over, and as you do so, Kane's stomach growls a bit.
He breaks eye contact again, lying back on his hood pillow. "Yeah, even though my digestion is suspended, it'll still make noise..."
"Hm..." you emanate. Warmth radiates from Kane, but the air is still rather chilly since the house has no heating. You curl up a bit, trying to stay warm.
Kane glances back down to you, feeling you shiver a little.
"Cold?" he asks.
"A bit," you reply.
He looks away again. "I could do something for that, but..."
"I think I get what you're saying."
"Yeah..." he trails. His stomach makes noise again, and he's probably blushing under his fur.
"So, the whole eating each other thing," you say. "I guess that's a big part of being a Xeeok."
"Naturally. Once you start, you can't stop without going crazy. You have to keep consuming, wether it's donated blood, volunteers, or those unlucky enough to find you in a bad mood..."
"That's not what I was talking about though. I meant without harming the prey. It's not an uncommon practice, is it?"
"Ah, right. No, it really is a thing, with us."
"But you need to feed for nourishment, so why did this become a practice? Just since it feels good?"
"It's more than a thing of simple pleasure. I guess the main allure that it has is the closeness it brings. Giving shelter and warmth to someone by taking them inside of yourself, or receiving that same shelter and warmth from someone else by allowing them to take you inside. The prey completely submits themselves to the predator, who in turn will ensure their safety. It's something that takes a lot of trust, and trust isn't something I've always given out freely. But this can bring a sense of trust to both predator and prey, and make it last. At least, that's how I see it. Xeeok minds are a little odd and even we know it, but we're not entirely twisted up inside."
"I guess that makes sense," you say. "There's a whole philosophy to it, isn't there?"
"To me, at least. I know there are other people who think like I do, but as for the majority, maybe their thoughts are different. I dunno. We're all pretty attached to our stomachs though, that's for sure."
"It's a lot more than just eating to you, though."
"Definitely. To me, there's something about it that I find irresistable." After a pause, he continues, and looks to you again. "So... do you wanna try it? Now that you're awake for it this time and all."
There's a little hesitation on your part, naturally, but in the end, you smile a little and say, "I suppose so. It might actually be nice."
"Maybe so. I'll do my best to have it lean in that direction," Kane says. "So, are you ready?"
You get up, and you nod a bit. "Ready as I'll ever be."
"I suppose that's all I can ask of you."
Kane picks you up by placing a finger and thumb on either side of your torso. Due to your current size, he can lift you with ease.
Your heart races as the jackal opens his maw, but you try to convince yourself that it'll be alright. If he really wanted to harm you, he probably would have already.
His tongue is positioned so that you won't be scraped on his lower teeth as he slides you in, feet first. Already you're much warmer, but it doesn't end here and you know that.
The jaws close around you, sealing you in. You're already pretty damp by the time Kane turns you over with his tongue, and then does it again. Just to help you go down.
The jackal sits up, keeping his head tilted back, and you slide to the back of his throat. You're nervous of course, but a part of you really is curious and you don't resist.
The throat contracts around your midsection, and gently but quickly, you're sucked down the passage leading to Kane's belly.
Warm, soft walls surround you as you slide deeper; it's honestly a nice sensation, if a bit wet. Kane lies back down gradually, and you continue sliding as internal muscles guide you along.
It isn't long before you're brought out into a larger chamber; Kane's stomach. You slip into a more comfortable position, assisted by the undulation of your surroundings. The walls are somewhat snug around you still, just like when you woke up, but it's actually sort of nice, now.
Acid doesn't seem to be present, and while the surprisingly-odorless air is extremely humid, at least it's air.
That strange, vibrating heartbeat resonates in the chamber, but it's sort of relaxing. Kane lets out a sound between a sigh, a moan, a purr, and a happy shudder as you shift around.
"Enjoying yourself?" you ask.
"Oh yeah..." he replies. He's clearly lost in this feeling. "Aren't you?"
"It takes some getting used to," you respond, "but it's nice, I have to admit."
Kane's satisfied murring dies down eventually, but his breathing is relaxed and you can tell he's still really enjoying this.
"You really do like this a lot, don't you?" you continue.
"Very much so," is the reply. "It would be hard not to."
The walls of Kane's stomach contract around you gently, in an unconventional embrace. It's a little weird at first, but it soon becomes rather enjoyable.
You reach out, running a hand along the soft, slick surface of Kane's stomach lining. He seems to feel it, and lets out another murr. Evidently, he wasn't kidding about being able to feel every little movement.
"Well," he says, "we should consider getting some rest. Will you be able to sleep in there alright?"
"I think so," you reply.
"Alright then. Good night; we'll be setting out again as soon as the storm lets up. If it's alright with you, I'd kinda like to keep you in there for a bit tomorrow, too."
Rather than respond with words, you resume stroking the stomach walls, a little tiredly. The sounds of Kane's body carrying on around you are surprisingly relaxing, and you find that they're beginning to lull you to sleep rather easily.
It's not long before you fall asleep, and Kane soon follows suit, his hands folded on his stomach; your bed for the night.
It's not at all like all those horror stories of people being swallowed alive.
It's so much different than that, and so much better.