Author’s Note: This is a collection of stories that I’ve worked on before and are in various states of completeness. I like them and I might still finish them, but I don’t know when I will, if ever. As a note, while most of these are recent, some are a bit older and so might reflect a different writing style.
A girl flees a pursuing witch. May 19th, 2022
Investigating a doll colony. [Ascension Universe] May 9th, 2022
Continuation of Pinnacle 1 and 2, navigating a pocket-corrupted world. [Ascension Universe] May 2nd, 2022
A werewolf spirits her partner away. August 17th, 2021
A girl becomes a familiar to her witch. February 16th, 2021
By now, she couldn’t remember when she wasn’t running away. Maybe it had only been a few weeks, maybe it had been a few years. The days where never the same but always the same, ducking from one place to another, never staying put for more than a few hours. Walking down highways, gripping to the sides of trains, making small talk with strangers in trucks. She had to stay moving, nothing was more important. If she stayed still too long, slept in a moment too long…
Her chilled hands trembled in the rain, the whispers in the back of her head starting to become louder once more. The witch was nearby. She’d stayed in this town too long. She had to leave, now.
Did she? She needed to eat. She could stay for one more meal.
She jerked back, gritting her teeth as she shoved her hands into her pockets, starting down the road again. With any luck there’d be a trucker coming in not too long, and she could put a hundred miles between them. She just had to keep walking. Keep walking, and never stop. If she stopped, if she even slowed down…
A car pulled up, the window rolling down to reveal a young woman looking concerned. “Miss? The town’s back that way.”
“I need to get away,” she replied curtly. “I need to get to the next town over.”
“Oh, I’m heading that way! Get in out of that rain.”
She slipped into the car, her hands jittery as she sat quietly, night taking the cloudy sky quickly as the car made its way down the back country roads. The driver tried to make small talk as best as either of them could, but she couldn’t think clearly enough for it. She should have been feeling better, the further away they got, and instead…
She needed to slip deeper. To give into it. To release herself and embrace the simplicity of it.
She winced, rubbing the bridge of her nose as she rain started to come down harder. She couldn’t feel as much in her fingers anymore… touch felt further and further away, like a bad phone connection. It should be getting better…
“The other town shouldn’t be far, now,” the driver smiled at her, before peering back into the darkness. “Feeling okay? You’re shivering a lot over there, didn’t catch a cold out in the rain did you?”
“Just a… little shaken…” She looked down at her hand, blinking. Had her fingers always been so slender and smooth?
“I imagine. There’s a good diner outside of town, let me get you some food, it’ll make you feel a world better.”
“T-thanks.” That’d be good. She could eat, relax, be at peace for a moment more. She needed to take care of herself, after all. It wouldn’t do for one of Miss’ things to starve itself-
The rummaging of wildlife in the forest was interrupted as a silent red hot streak made its way across the sky… followed seconds later by a thunderous sonic boom. A ceramic reentry pod was burning through the atmosphere, air brakes deploying in sequence as it neared its target destination. Once it achieved subsonic speeds, massive drag chutes deployed, a sequence of illusory hexagons forming on its nose as the pod pivoted to crash into a hillside clearing. A blueish flash of light and earthshaking boom accompanied the impact, but the vessel was in one piece, insignias having somehow survived the incredible heat of reentry.
The hatch popped open, two armored figures pulling themselves out and looking at the environment. A few forest critters looked at the newcomers for a moment before scampering off, and the sky above was the brilliant blue of an Earth-typical atmosphere.
“This would make for a great vacation spot,” Freya remarked with an approving look underneath her visor. “I’ve been meaning to take David somewhere nice. He loves little spots like this.”
“Yeah?” Her companion, Selene, was already busy looking at readouts on her tablet. “How much leave are you going accrue to make that happen?”
“Just gotta save for a year, I’m sure I can make it happen.” Freya reached back into the pod, pulling out a shotgun and a bandolier of shells to go with it. “Not like we ever do anything exciting when I’m planet-side. I’ll just tell him to come see me on shore leave.”
“I couldn’t do it.” Selene retrieved her own weapon, hoisting the massive coilgun from its mount and strapping it to an anchor point on her armor. “Looks like we landed two kilometers from the target. Got a nice little stroll ahead of us.”
The two drop marines took off, taking their time up the hillside and back into the thicket of trees surrounding their pod. They chatted back and forth for the hour it took them to navigate the terrain, taking in the sights as they did. The environment matched what the expeditionary logs indicated; a primordial world, unsettled and untouched, with thriving xenofauna. It was a prime candidate for colonization, and no doubt would one day, but its location off the main Pocket corridors had made it a secondary choice during the initial run on habitable worlds. A perfect place for someone, or something, to hide.
Sure enough, as they crested a final hill, the two found their objective: a small campus was in the valley below, buildings made out of wood and brick. They both went prone, Selene pulling out a pair of binoculars and scoping in to observe the mingling shapes below. Dozens of dolls in various conditions, seemingly with just as many models amongst them. It wasn’t completely unexpected, but it was far more than intelligence in this sector expected.
“I’m counting at least fifteen combat models,” Selene muttered, jotting notes down on a field journal. “The rest are a mix of service and technician models. Extremely outdated, though… second century, if I had to guess.”
“Why would a bunch of relics be out here?” Freya, meanwhile, was busy surveying the layout of the buildings. “They wouldn’t have seen use for generations.”
“Someone’s collecting them.”
“I’m no collector, marine.” The two startled at the sudden voice, both reaching for their sidearms before the ends of bayonets put a stop to that. Turning slowly, Selena looked up to see a Doll standing over them, along with half a dozen others surrounding them, rifles pointed directly down at them. The closest Doll was a tall make, crimson hair clearly having grown out from its years on this planet, a partially obscured plant stamp on its neck showing it to be of far more modern production than its companions. “Have you contacted your command yet?”
“My name is Warrant Officer Selene Jennings, 14th Expeditionary Force of the Terran Admiralty. I’m giving all dolls present a lawful order to immediately stand down and submit to inspection.”
“The Admiralty didn’t exist when they were manufactured, marine.” The Doll had an extremely unimpressed look on its face. “They wouldn’t recognize your order even if their command modules were still operational. As for myself… well, you’re clearly no Witch, and you’re not my Witch.”
Selene was stunned for a moment, glancing over at Freya, then back at the Doll. This certainly wasn’t what they were expecting, and there was still the matter of how this many antiques managed to sneak up on them so effectively. Dolls could be stealthy, but certainly not these ones. With this many surrounding them, escape was going be rather difficult.
“I can read you, Doll.” Freya spoke up, her eyes taking on an ever darker tint of red as she stood up, ignoring the bayonet tips around her. Her voice grew to a different octave, sounding simultaneously more distant yet more commanding. “You don’t want to kill us. We mean you no harm. You want to give us safe passage-“
The Doll stepped forward, raising the butt of its rifle in a motion nearly undetectable to the human eye and slamming it into the marine’s face. Selene yelled, reaching again for her side arm, but in a motion just as quick, the Doll slammed her into unconsciousness as well.
Freya awoke to a splitting pain in her head, wincing as she moved a hand to her head to feel the now-swollen impression of a rifle stock. She blinked, steadying herself as she felt her mind slip back into place. Being knocked out while channeled through was certainly never recommended, though it was far from the first time she’d had the misfortune.
Can you hear my child? The voice finally returned, worried.
Through a headache. I won’t be able to maintain a conduit until I get some pain meds in me.
Take care child. Should reinforcements be requested?
Not yet. Give us more time. She shifted out of the makeshift cot she’d been placed in, surprised to see no restraints in place. Selene was bundled up on an opposing cot, breathing slowly, but still breathing.
Not a moment after her boots hit the ground, though, the doors open to reveal two Dolls. One was a lightly armored combat model, a face full of harsh synth lines and battle damage, while the other was a far more human-looking service model, dressed in what Freya guessed was nursing garb from centuries prior.
“How’s miss Freya’s head feeling?” The nurse doll chirped happily, coming over to inspect her head. “Do you need any medication?”
“That’d be great, actually.” Freya accepted a cup of water with two pills dropped in it, swigging it immediately. Ordinarily taking medicine from unknown Dolls would be a bad idea, but if they wanted her dead, they wouldn’t have dragged her and Selene back here. “What’s your designation?”
“FO035-A6060. This one’s friends refer to it as FO. You may refer to it as FO for brevity.” The doll pulled a rolling tray over, taking Freya’s old bandages off and changing them out. “This one has been given the responsibility of seeing to your care and miss Selene’s care, and accompanying the two of you through the village. Please be aware that while this model is weak compared to a Terran drop marine, guards and patrols are frequent. Its disabling will also raise an immediate alarm.”
“…right.” Certainly a chatty Doll. Freya looked over to to Selene again, who was starting to come to with the noise of conversation. “Are we free to leave?”
“After the Adjutant speaks with you,” the doll smiled, moving to look at Selene. “Hello! This one was just talking to-“
Selene’s arm shot up, grabbing the doll by its throat and twisting off the bed, pulling the doll close and putting it between her and the now-alert combat doll.
“Selene!” Freya rushed over, pulling the two of them apart as the combat doll activated a stun baton, growing in an inhumanly mechanical way. “They’re not killing us! …probably, anyways.”
Selene gave a look between Freya and the combat doll, before finally giving an exasperated sigh and pushing the nurse doll off her. “What do they want?”
“Pretty sure the Doll who gave you that black eye wants to talk to us again.” Freya glanced back at the nurse doll, who was collecting itself but otherwise seemed completely nonplussed. “We should probably go see this Adjutant soon, then?”
“Of course!” The nurse doll gave a smile to the combat doll, who grimaced and pulled back from its ready stance. “This way misses!”
“Don’t you dare die on me!”
Pearl gritted her teeth, her arms covered in swirling spirals and runes as she pushed on the marine’s chest, desperate to keep her heart beating. Her own body was in tatters, muscles sewn together more with magical lattice than fiber and tissue at this point; the marine was in worse shape. Consciousness clung to the body by a thread, the pool of blood beneath them a mix of the marine and Witch’s. There were mere seconds to react, mere seconds to think of a solution, before the marine would be beyond anyone’s help.
There is one thing. Her thoughts were loud, piercing. You’ve seen the ritual. You know the initial enchantments. You know what to do to save her.
Doubt, hesitation, had no place in her mind right now. Pearl had to save her. She couldn’t let her die. She wasn’t in a proper facility for this, but she could make due. Whispers came from wordless lips, hands pouring over every inch of the marine’s body, foreboding light illuminating every laceration. The sky above them darkened, and then brightened, alien hues illuminating the smoldering battlefield. Her words slipped away from Terran tongue and to something… else. Something far older, far more powerful.
Skin lost its softness, taking on the sheen of polished and painted titanium. The marine’s breathing began again, a twisted gasp as her back arched and was forced back down to the dirt. The incantation suddenly stopped, Pearl dropping out of his trance first in fear, then determination. This would do. This would keep them alive until they could escape.
“Oh my God,” a man’s voice came from behind her, dripping in disbelief. “How did the Inquisitors not skewer you both the moment you got out of this mess? Your Doll’s fueled by the fucking Pocket!”
She looked up, confused. Her Doll was in her arms, unconscious, the visceral emotions of the scene beginning to fade from her mind. “What… what’s happening?”
“Time and space are broken.” Daniel swore under his breath. “We’re in the Pocket, or a pocket of the Pocket. I guess, anyways; I’ve always done my best to avoid getting swallowed whole by a fucking contamination event.”
“There’s- there’s protocols for this. We have to get out-“
“There is no out, now.” He looked around at the smoke-filled sky, trying to feel for the link to his Doll. “The ship you came in could be two feet from us or two light years, if distance even matters at all. We’re reliving one of your memories! Nothing here makes sense. Where the fuck is my Doll!”
At Daniel’s shout, the world began to crack, light basking the group again as Pearl realized too late what was happening. “You have to calm dow-!”
She woke up to the sun trickling down through the snowcapped trees, a flake of it melting on the tip of her nose as she roused. The ground was covered in a thick white blanket, but she was completely warm… and she soon realized why. She was bundled up in her winter coat, and coiled around her was the biggest direwolf she had ever seen. The creature was at least twice her size, easily encapsulating her in a warm, soft embrace. Her stirring didn’t go unnoticed, though, the wolf’s eyes blinking open and looking at her curiously. She knew those eyes… and with that, her memories began to return. The fighting, the screaming, that inhuman roar…
The direwolf uncoiled itself from her, giving her face a concerned lick, then sat back, head turned down as a process that she’d become all to use to started. A few seconds later, where the massive wolf had been sitting before, a woman was standing, draped in a fur coat and little else. She knelt down, draping the excess of her coat over her, and spoke just barely above a whisper.
“How’re holding up Em?”
Em didn’t respond. She knew her name: Aurora. A shy village girl, or so she thought when they first met. Even now, the woman’s eyes still shown a bright amber, a distinctly inhuman color for an otherwise regular looking girl. Her clothes underneath the coat were in tatters, and the blood stains were still very apparent on them. The woman had seen and done unspeakable things last night, and the memories were still coming back to her.
“We have to start moving again,” Aurora murmured, stroking her hair. “I know you’re still taking it in, but… we have to meet up with my pack Em. It isn’t safe for us out here.”
“Why did they do it?” She whispered back. “Why did they have to do it?”
“Because of their superstitions or their church or whatever else they can use to justify it.” Aurora pulled her to her feet, giving her the thick fur coat and grimacing a bit. Her leg had a soft trickle of blood going down it, a gash in her side having reopened. “We’ll make better time if you ride on me.”
Em meekly nodded, watching her partner shift once again, climbing the massive direwolf’s side to hang onto her fur as the two started plodding along the forest floor. She could do little but think back to last night, to the chaos that had ensued when her and Aurora were caught together. The town priest had suspected it, and her parents had sold her out, leading the mob straight to them. Aurora and her fought as best they could, but finally Aurora had to turn to keep her safe. It was a miracle either of them got out alive.
She drifted through her thoughts for the rest of the journey, watching the sky lighten and darken in the short winter day. They traveled for hours, over increasingly rough terrain, until finally they seemed to arrive at their destination: stones and rocks piled in ceremonial ways, paint adorning them with depictions of dozens of fights and rites. A blood sigil marked the pathway up the last of the jagged hills, the pair reaching a plateau at the top. She slipped off, falling lightly to the ground on her feet as she looked around nervously, while Aurora sniffed the air.
Within seconds, they were surrounded. Direwolves, some smaller than Aurora and others much, much, larger, encircled the duo, growling and howling as more of them came. By the time all had assembled, there were maybe three dozen present, all watching them intently, some sitting, others on their front legs continuing to growl. Aurora circled around her as the ring closed in around them, biting the air at a few who came too close.
Finally, one of the wolves stepped forward, shifting to a tall woman adorned in ritualistic paint and nothing else. Aurora shifted in turn, the two staring at each other as Em became distinctly aware of the smell of fresh blood amongst the pack.
“You brought your fucking toy back here?” The speaker hissed at Aurora.
“She’s my partner, and yes, I did.”
“When the pack told you to fucking leave her!” She blew back, slapping Aurora across the face and eliciting a gruttal growl from the woman. “We follow each other, Aurora. We discuss, we fight, we damn near kill each other, but when we decide on something, we follow the pack’s decision!”
“If you were going remove me for doing it, I wouldn’t have made it up this mountain,” Aurora growled back, pushing herself closer to the speaker’s face. “She is mine. She risked herself for me. We spilled blood together escaping to here.”
“And yet here she is, still human,” a voice came from the pack, some of the wolves having begun to shift. “Are you getting soft, Aurora?”
“I will rip your fucking throat out if I hear another word from it Star,” she spat back, some laughter and jeers coming back in response from the pack. “She is mine to do with what I want, and she is mine to keep.”
“You’ve been with the humans too long Aurora.” The speaker’s words dripped with poison. “You know the rules of the pack as well as the rest of us, and you know what we think of human partners.”
“Enough!” The largest of the direwolves had shifted, the imposing beast revealing a man very clearly in his later years, though still remarkably healthy and fit. The other shifters parted around him to let him forward, the man beckoning the speaker out of the way and locking eyes with Aurora. The two stared at each other for what seemed an eternity, amber eyes peering into one another until finally, Aurora let out a whimper, dropping her gaze. “…hm. You certainly seem determined.”
“Please, sir,” she pushed the words through gritted teeth. “She’s… my world…”
“The blood on you says that much, pup.” He sighed, shaking his head. “The speaker has said what you already know, Aurora. If you choose to strike out on your own, we will not stop you. Some may even follow with you. Our pack has grown… quite large. But if you are to stay, you must abide by the rules the pack has set forth. We cannot suffer humans amongst us.”
“Aurora.” His tone was firm, demanding her silence. “I am the same as you. We were both turned. So were half a dozen others here. I was turned before your grandfather was even born. You are not the first to chafe against this rule, and you will not be the last. It exists for a reason.”
Her voice cut across the group, seeming to surprise everyone present. “If I was turned… could she stay?”
“Em!” Aurora yelled, only to have the speaker stare her down while the elder cocked his head, stepping past her to stand in front of the small woman.
“You’d accept that fate, for her?” He asked quietly, Em now able to see the cracks forming in his eyes. “To never see your family again?”
“I’ll never see them again,” she whispered back. “I love her, and they couldn’t accept that.”
“And so you’d give up your humanity, willingly, so you can be with her?” He chuckled. “Do you understand what that means? We are trapped to this world. There is no heaven that waits for us. We live, we hunt, and when we die, we live and we hunt once again. Forever. It is a malicious pact our forebearers made millennia ago, a false immortality.”
“Then I’ll spend it with her. Forever.”
The pack grew still, a look of defeat in Aurora’s eyes as the elder nodded, stepping back to whisper something to the speaker. The woman seemed displeased, but nodded back, grabbing Em’s arm and lifting it high. “Our eldest has put this to a vote! Do we accept this human’s words, and allow her entrance to our pack upon her turning?”
“I object!” The shifter that Aurora had called Star spoke up. “Our pack has no need for the turned! We have survived well enough keeping to ourselves, exchanging with other packs when necessary. She knows nothing of our ways! Our values!”
Some murmurs of concurrence rippled through the pack, with another voice ringing out. “Let Aurora turn her! I want to see if she can keep up with us, or if Aurora will have to drag her by the nape.” Some laughs and nods were solicited from that.
“I have no interest in discussing this,” the elder rebutted. “I put this to a vote, as is my right as eldest. Now, we vote.”
The speaker looked out across the pack, counting the votes for a minute while Aurora moved to Em’s side, putting an arm around her protectively and growling in her ear, “what do you think you’re doing?”
“Staying with you,” she murmured.
“You don’t know what you’re asking for,” she kept growling. “You don’t know what happens.”
“Is it worse than being separated from you?”
Aurora was about to snip a reply back when the speaker turned to the two of them, looking annoyed but nodding. “The pack is in agreement; you may stay, Aurora, as may your mate, but she must be turned.”
Aurora’s face went pale, as howls began to take up the air, the pack dispersing until only the elder was left with the two, looking solemnly up at the night sky and the moonless sky.
“You ought to consider yourself… lucky, girl.” He gave a weak laugh. “Rare that one of us turns on a new moon… some of the younger of us would consider it bad luck. Those from my time know better. It’s a mother’s moon. A sign of good fortunes for you and your pack.”
“Why did you make her do this?!” Aurora snapped back, though couldn’t meet the glare that came back her way. “She doesn’t deserve this! She deserves better!”
“Aurora… you could have stayed here. You could have found a mate in the migratory packs. You knew, from the moment you went to that village, from the moment you started talking so giddily about the girl you had met, that this was what would happen.” He stepped forward, pushing a hand against Aurora’s still weeping wound and making her gasp. “I smell six different scents on you. Six different scents of blood. How many did you kill before you came here? Do you think it could end any other way, after that?”
He turned and left without another word, leaving Aurora and Em to their silence. In time, the two would walk down a side path, occasionally past peering yellow eyes in the darkness, finding a little makeshift home of rocks, panels, and fabrics. Aurora let her inside, lighting a gas lamp and sitting down, staring into it as Em sat beside the shifter.
“Can we talk?” She asked quietly, watching as the woman’s face broke from her frustration to tears. It wasn’t long before before they were in each other’s arms, Em comforting her partner until she could finally speak again.
“I didn’t want it to go this way…” She murmured. “I just wanted to live with you, out there…”
“You wanted to leave your pack for me?”
“I just… thought I could still visit, from time to time… but stay with you. Make a life with you.” She looked down at Em, distress still in her eyes. “I didn’t want to bring this on you…”
“Aurora, I love you, but you’re not very smart sometimes.” Em gave the girl a pet, nuzzling into her. “We’re going to be together. I love you. Anything, anything, is an acceptable price for that.”
“I… Em, this isn’t… this isn’t just fun. It isn’t just… a different life.” Aurora shuddered. “When I first turned I was… rabid for a while. I couldn’t control myself. The pack took me in, taught me how to change back and forth on command, taught me how to control my instincts.”
“Couldn’t you do that for me?” She asked, curiously.
“I… I don’t want to hurt you…”
“You won’t, then.” Em cuddled closer into her partner. “I trust you, Aurora. With everything.”
In the wider world, there are few things stronger than the bond between witch and familiar. Given the extended lifetimes of witchfolk, it’s rather uncommon to find a witch who goes to her grave without a familiar at her side. A rite of passage for any aspiring apprentice is to go out into the world, travel, and find herself gravitated to the familiar that she’ll bond to for the rest of her years. Some find them quickly, others take years, decades even, but unless fate has been meddled with, they all find a familiar in the end.
Ambrosia had found herself in the service of her witch some five years ago. Once a quiet waitress from a far off coastal town, not frequented by much more than tourists and the stray adventurer, she had met Ida one fateful night. The two of them struck up a conversation, and Ida paid her a visit at her studio apartment after the shift was over. It was an exciting night, the sexual tension immediately boiling over and leaving the two exhausted until well past the morning.
They talked more that afternoon over hastily prepared lunch, and that was when Ambrosia found out about Ida’s secret: she was a witch, belonging to the School of the Luminous Void. It was a newer school of witchcraft, its practitioners specializing particularly in leylines created by living things. She had been sent out by her coven mothers to complete the training she’d been receiving since she was a young girl, to become a full witch and earn her place in the coven.
They’d talk for the rest of the day, until it came time for Ambrosia’s shift, but Ida stayed in town. She had to collect various relics in the sleepy settlement, apparently belonging to civilizations and things far older than any human encampment on the shores. The two promised to met up again, and so they did: every night, Ambrosia would come home, waiting eagerly for Ida to arrive as well. The two would work off their passions, waking up in the morning to talk to each other more and learn about each other. Prior to this, Ida had seen little of the world, the people and the cities that filled it. Covens were protective of their own, she explained, and the thought of losing a coven daughter before her maturity was unbearable to the mothers.
Two weeks after Ida had first bought that drink, the two were laying outside, ocean not far in the distance while the moon shone brilliantly. Not much pollution reached the town, allowing the stars to be seen in their full glory, while the moon sat at its fullest. It had seemed like months for the both of them, finding out about their lives, their feelings, their wants and their needs. Ida had even shown Ambrosia some of her magic, manifesting their favorite foods from thin air. It was an absolutely miraculous time.
“Ambrosia…” Ida whispered, looking over at the radiant girl beside her. “Do you remember what I told you, about witch’s quests?”
The waitress nodded. “What about them?”
“Do you remember why we’re sent on them?”
“I think so… it’s to give fate an opportunity, right? You do something, occupy yourself, and give the universe a chance to provide you with a familiar?”
“Yeah.” She smiled slightly. “Something like that.”
Ambrosia blinked, wondering if this conversation was going where she thought it was. She knew Ida would have to leave, one day, but she’d convinced herself it wouldn’t come, that these moments could just keep lasting a little while longer. “Have… have you found your familiar?”
“I think I have.” The witch looked back up at the moon, holding a hand out and letting strands of mana flow out of her fingertips and weave their way down to the ground underneath them. “I was always told that I’d just… know when I had found the right familiar, and now I finally know what the sisters were always talking about.”
“…it’s a cat, isn’t it.”
“You definitely got a cat.” Ambrosia was doing her best not to focus on the prospect of her new love leaving so soon, but she still had her wit to her. “If I’ve learned anything about you, you definitely went with the cliche.”
Ida stared at her, her eyes filled with a mix of confusion and affection. She blinked, smiling. “No, no I didn’t get a cat.”
“Well… what then?”
“You know that a witch’s familiar can be, well, anything living, right? Cats, mice, owls, some forest witches even take trees as familiars.”
“…did you take a jellyfish as a familiar?”
“I-no. No I didn’t take a jellyfish as a familiar.” Ida laughed a little. “I… haven’t taken a familiar at all yet. I need her permission, first.”
“Oh, okay-wait, her?”
Ida rolled over on top of Ambrosia, sitting over her legs with the moon behind her face. The witch seemed to almost buzz with magical energy, invigorated by the full moon. “Ambrosia… I can’t explain the feeling. I don’t think I ever could. But I know that my mothers and sisters told me I’d feel this, one day, about someone, something. And… I feel it about you. You’re the one. I know it. I feel it. You are… amazing. I can feel your emotions and I can feel how satisfied you are, how happy you are. I can feel that this is… something special.”
The waitress laid back in partial shock, trying to take in what she was being told. “You… want me to be your familiar?”
“Yes. I want you to be by my side. I want to walk the worlds with you. I want to spend every night with you, advancing the craft, loving each other, knowing each other. I want to take the rites with you, I want you to be there with me when my day comes and the coven mothers accept me as one of their own.”
“But… aren’t familiars… helpers? I don’t know anything about magic, or spells, or sorcery…”
“All familiars have to learn, whether they’re human or animals or plants.” The witch’s eyes were burning with a soft, ethereal light. “If you need time to decide I understand, but-“
“Yes.” The confusion was replaced with sudden certainty. Well, maybe not certainty, but definitely… an unlikely confidence. A voice in Ambrosia’s head, telling her to take the chance, to reach out a hand and to let it be grabbed. “Yes, I’ll be your familiar.”
Ida blinked, slightly shocked by the woman’s assertiveness. “…are you sure?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Ambrosia waves her hands either way. “A boring beach town, a dead end job, family that I can barely talk to… and the woman of my dreams offers me a way out of that all? A life of adventure and excitement? Why not?”
Ida blinked again, laying herself down on top of her prospective familiar and squeezing her tightly. “I… wasn’t sure if you were actually going say yes.”
“Of course I would,” she whispered back. “Just show me where to sign.”