Hello everyone. Hope all are having a lovely Sunday. I would like to share the next installment and feedback on any part is more than welcome. Part One/the original prompt Part Two Part Three: An Unfamiliar Familiar
“Lace! Are you in there? Is everything all right?” The wooden head of the staff knocked against the door, the noise increasing in tone and urgency. The wielder stepped back, worry written across her slim face. Long ears poked up through auburn hair, dark green irises peered out of almond shaped eyes with worry.
The woman stroked a heavy fur collar around her neck, slim fingers moving worriedly. “Where could she be?”
The collar stretched, legs and paws extending and lazy yellow eyes opening slowly. “I’m sure she’s fine,” the cat drawled. “You didn’t tell her we were coming. She might be napping or out in the woods.”
“Or she might be sick and hurt!” The woman’s tone heavy with fear and concern. “She shouldn’t live out here by herself. Come on Sable, hop up to the roof and go in through the crawlspace up there.”
“If you insist.” The cat clambered to its feet, bracing on the woman’s shoulders and leaping lightly onto the thatched roof. The feline flicked her tail back and forth, whiskers twitching delicately as she picked her way up the roof. “The things I do for you, and her. I better get a good dinner for this-“ she stopped speaking, tail straight and ears up.
“Sable? What’s-look out!” The woman cried in alarm as a red streak flew into the black cat. Sable leapt back from the blow but lost her balance and the cat tumbled off the roof to the side of the house. The woman ran to the side, her ears picking up the sounds of scratching and fighting.
She rounded the corner with staff upraised, a spell on her lips dying as she gazed with astonishment. Sable and a small red dragon, the smallest she’s ever seen, were rolling in the flower garden. The cat’s hisses and spitting mingled with the snarls of the dragon, and the she stood over him finally with paws on wings. “Stay still you little-!”
Sable cried in alarm as the dragon spat a gout of flame directly in the face of the cat. She jumped away, paws beating at smoldering whiskers and she stood her ground a few feet away, back arched and hair raised in rage. The little dragon rose to his four feet, wings spread wide and tail lashing. “There is more of that where it came from,” roared the little dragon. “I will teach you to break into my mistress’ home!”
“Vesper! It’s okay it’s okay!” A short woman came running out of the woods, puffing from exertion and black hair flying back. She panted from the run, nearly bowed from the rush. “They’re friends!”
The tall woman had scooped up the angry cat before she could launch herself at Vesper. Eyes flicked from the little dragon to the diminutive woman. “Lace! Thank goodness you’re okay. Does that, is that an actual dragon? I’ve never seen one so little, but oh thank goodness I thought something was wrong.” On hand held the growling cat and the other drew Lace into a hug, the two soon chuckling with relief.
Vesper sat back on his hind legs, the fire dying within his chest. A moment of confusion warred with his rushing blood, tail curled with uncertainty. The cat caught his eye and he growled back at curled lip, wings mantling before Lace looked down at him from the hug. “Now now, enough of that. Come here.” Vesper flew up to her and perched on her shoulder. “Vesper, these are friends. This is Melodia, we were fellow students together. That is Sable, her familiar.”
Vesper’s scales clicked with embarrassment. “Oh-oh, I am very sorry. I thought you were intruders, it is my duty to defend the cottage...”
Melodia laughed heartily much to Vesper’s relief and Sable’s displeasure. “Well I never. That’s okay, understandable. No one was really hurt. Come now Sable, kiss and make up. Just a misunderstanding.” Sable glared up at the elf and then back at Vesper, eyes closing defiantly.
“Oh we can’t have that,” Lace cooed scooping the cat from Melodia’s arm. “I’m sorry sweetie. Vesper was only doing his job. I know what will make you a happy kitty again, we caught some fish for supper and I grew some Highland Catnip for you, I know it’s your favorite...” she grinned as Sable purred, opening the door and ushering all inside.
Vesper flew to his accustomed spot, a shelf alongside the hearth. Two pillows sat on the shelf. A large grey one served as his bed and the other held his dearest treasure. His large coin sat on the red pillow, gleaming in the sunlight from the window. Beside it sat three smaller coins of copper and silver, no less bright or precious. He gazed at them fondly before looking back at Lace and Melodia. The two bustled about with water and kettle, sitting at the table and chatting eagerly. Sable leapt into Lace’s lap, casting a smug look that boiled the dragon’s blood.
The two witches talked, expressions merry and laughter easy as they sipped tea. After some time Lace looked over and smiled at Vesper watching them. “What’s so funny?”
The dragon bobbed his head. “I thought you were really big, I did not believe you when you said you were small. But you are smaller than Miss Melodia.” The human girl stood barely at the elf’s waist and sitting the difference was even more apparent.
Lace gave him a look of mock insult while Melodia laughed. “Oh she’s so tiny isn’t she? Smallest human I’ve ever met, I’ve seen dwarves taller! But she has heart bigger than anyone else.”
Lace blushed and rolled her eyes. “Well you’re a tall tree of an elf to begin with.” The two joked more and Vesper curled around his coins, eyes watching fondly.
The next day the two poured over bundles of herbs and plants, exchanging small things and rolls of parchment. Vesper flinched lightly when Sable landed next to him on the shelf, yellow eyes looking at the coins. “I...apologize for the misunderstanding,” Vesper said haltingly. “I hope I did not injure you.”
“You did not,” sniffed the black cat. “Nor could you.” Before Vesper could respond the cat continued. “It is good you are here. You are small but fighter enough. My mistress worries about the small one.” She flicked her head at the two witches. “She says she should not be here by herself, but the little one insists. It is good that she is not alone, even if a little wyrm is the only company.”
Vesper gazed solemnly at the cat, quiet for a moment. “I will watch over her. Us little ones have to help each other.” The cat didn’t reply, grooming itself quietly as the two sat watching the witches.