A Familiar’s Tale, Prologue

If you’ve been reading the Ogre’s Assistant series, you know that Amy is a witch with a familiar. Below is a recent conversation between them as recounted by Amy:

Fudge's current incarnation

“You tell me you’re older than Yoda. You must’ve seen some interesting stuff, huh?” I said.

My familiar, a chocolate-brown cat named Fudge, interrupted his never-ending bath and looked at me.

“It depends upon what you consider interesting. I have seen a lot in my time, yes.”

“I’m not doing anything at the moment. Care to tell me about it?”

“You want me to relate my life story? Why? Is not the fact that I have a lot of experience working with humans enough?”

[Fudge had spent enough time in my head to know that I always want to know about people. Not only am I a nosy person in general, I put people I meet in my stories. They’ve made my secret life as a paranormal romance author easy at times.]

“Why not? Your story might give me some insight into the way you think and maybe then, I’d understand a little more about your role in my life.”

[Did I forget to mention? I’m a thirty-something single woman who just found out she’s a witch. I’m what they call a late-bloomer. It’s inconvenient. And I just found out that the cat I thought was a pet is actually a familiar and that he’s been rootling around in my head since he came to live with me. He knew about me. Turnabout is fair play, wouldn’t you say?]

“You are not going to put me in one of your stories, are you?”

“I’ll be honest, I don’t know. Maybe. But no one would recognize you anyway so what are you worried about?”

My cat heaved a sigh. “I know you well enough to know you will not stop asking. Refill my water dish and I will tell you something of my life.”

I grinned. As I performed the duty asked of me, I said, “Start at the beginning. First, how old are you, anyway?”

“I am not as old as some familiars but quite a bit older than many. In the way you humans count years, I am two thousand, two hundred fifty-three years old and have been a familiar to eight magical beings before you.

“To understand my story, you need to have a basic understanding of familiars. Someone should have told you all this already but …

“We are essentially present to help boost our human’s power, although we also act as guardian and a repository for information. Familiar magic includes the ability to retain youthfulness in the body so we are able to stay with our human throughout their lifetime. There are exceptions, of course. A fatal blow such as a direct strike to the heart, lopping off the head, and the like will terminate the body. Should a witch or wizard allow that to happen, we do not return to them. They are charged with our safety, just as we are charged with theirs.

“When the witch or wizard dies, whether of natural causes or not, so does our corporeal body. Our spirit is then assigned to a different body by our ruling council. We always incarnate in a species appropriate as a companion for the magical person we are assigned to.”

“How is a familiar made?” I interjected.

“We have not yet discovered the answer to that question. The Universe, in its infinite wisdom, decides when a spirit will be a familiar and when it will not. The oldest of our kind and head of our council instinctively knows when a new spirit comes into being and adds it to the rolls kept by the Familiar Council.

“I will try to use terminology you are familiar with but stop me if you do not understand something. I would prefer not to repeat myself.”

“Before you continue, I have another question. I assume you didn’t always live in the United States, so how many languages do you speak?”

“Languages? Those are human terms. I know you think I am mind-speaking English but that is just how your brain interprets my thoughts. If a species is capable of mind-speech, we exchange thoughts. It is as simple as that. May I continue?”

I poured myself a glass of wine, curled up in my chair and gave Fudge my full attention.

“I was born in the country you call Egypt in your year 252 BCE. My human was male. We were together for approximately two hundred fifty of your years. I then was assigned…”

I interrupted. “You sound like my college marketing professor and he put me to sleep. I don’t want a five-minute rote recitation of your life. I want to know about your humans, what you experienced with them, maybe even what really happened during some momentous times. Tell me a story!”

My cat sighed. “Very well…”


To be continued…