Familiar

girl and cat

– PrettyScary @ Deviantart

Christina rubbed her soft, feline fur against Gwendolyn’s face as the ten-year-old girl looked into the distance at nothing and everything.

“Yes, I can see it now, too, dearest.” The child was entranced at the interplay between energies from four of the ten dimensions.

“Silly little one, Christina chided. I detected the intermix ages ago.” In mid-sentence, the white cat’s tone changed from one of annoyance to affection, for she dearly loved the girl, and she always would.

“That’s because you are wise.” To anyone looking at the scene, the fifth grader was lying on her bed on a lazy Wednesday afternoon after school, contemplating gray clouds which threatened rain later in the evening. Yet gazing into her eyes, it would have been easy to tell that they might as well have been blind, at least to anything in the so-called “real world.”

“It’s best not to get too lost in the vision, my sweet, lest you lose your way and be forever swept into other spaces.”

Gwendolyn didn’t respond, and Christina could feel the rhythm of the rising and lowering of her chest change as her breathing slowed.

“I said it’s time to come back now.” The cat whispered in her ear and then nipped just a tiny bit at the lobe.

“Ouch.” The girl suddenly came to herself and sitting up, pressed finger and thumb to the minor injury. “You drew blood.”

“Only a little. Very tasty.”

“You know you should take better care of me,” she scolded.

“Mind your manners, little missy. I was taking care of you. Your abilities are nascent, and this is a dangerous time for you. Now your mother is about to call you to supper, and I suggest you be prompt. Tonight, this being All Hallows Eve, I have a surprise for you.”

The child clapped her hands together in delight. “Oh, what is it? Please tell me.”

“It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if I did, but tonight, I will teach the witch’s apprentice a new trick to go along with all the treats that will be roaming about in costume.”

“The other children?”

“Oh, we won’t do anything permanent. Certainly nothing bizarre, well, not too bizarre. However, it’s time to remind a few people around here, surreptitiously of course, that this night is not just the world’s largest organized costume party.”

“Gwenny. Dinner time.” Momma’s voice echoed up the stairs and through the little girl’s bedroom door.

“I’ll be right down, Mom,” she cried out loud enough to make herself heard in the kitchen. Then giggling, she turned to her master. “I can’t wait.”

Christina sat majestically on the thick quilt and with a regal expression, declared, “Naturally you will wait as befits the witch’s familiar.”

The child hopped out of bed, ran across the room and threw open her door. She turned back, grinning broadly at the stoic cat, and then shot down the hallway leading to the stairs. “I’m coming, Mom.”

I wrote this for Photo Challenge #236 hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a poem, short story, or some other creative work.

The girl’s face is captivating, but her expression is one of enchantment, soft passion, or being awestruck. The cat obviously finds pleasure in the girl’s company, but couldn’t care less about what was enthralling the child. Tomorrow evening being Halloween, and leveraging the concepts of witchcraft and familiars, I wrote this story. Oh, and according to superstring theory, there are Ten timespace dimensions.

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