For the first of the Write Shit Wednesdays I have hosted here on my blog.
The Aravar family is a laughingstock among the four because of the size of our familiars, though we managed to maintain our holdings. Not sporting to pick on the little guy, I suppose.
That’s not to say our familiars aren’t fearsome. It’s just the largest in our family history is a bear. Same size as any old bear.
We, my father and I, walked down the row of monuments to familiars past. My great-great-great-great grandfather and his bear. My one-less-great grandfather with his lion. The lion followed by a large eagle, then a boar, and finally a snake. After that was an empty space where, when the time came, a statue of my father and his miniature wolf would reside.
My father spoke the whole time but I was lost in the world of “what if”.
What if my familiar was huge? Like the size of a house. I kept my imagination from going too far. A house was still modest compared to the other families.
What if it was smaller? Like the size of a mouse. Each generation of my family had seen a lessening in our familiar’s stature. I’d love it anyways but what would it mean for my family? Likely, not much. We would still be one of only four families that could summon.
But what if I didn’t bring forth a familiar at all? The way things were going, I wouldn’t be surprised. What this would mean for my family was clear. The four would become the three.
“Do you hear me, Dart?”
He shook his head. “No matter what happens tomorrow, you are still my son.”
“I’m trying to have a moment here.”
“Should… should I leave you alone for that?”
“Brilliant-ass would be closer to the mark.”
“Go on. I’m sure Ayn is waiting for you.”
“Alright.” I turned and ran down the hall before stopping and calling back. “Uh… thanks.”
“You’re late. I was just thinking of heading home.” She smiled at me. The last of Sun’s rays danced on her golden hair.
She sat on the hilltop where she had said she would be. The sun set and tonight’s unfamiliar host of stars shined prominently in a cloudless sky.
I sat on the grass next to her. Her arm immediately wrapped around mine. “Sorry. Father was giving me the tour like he does every year. I feel like an ass though. I think it meant more to him this year.”
“No shit? He’s stepping down after all. Tomorrow you become the head of your family. For better or for worse.”
“What if I don’t summon?”
“Are you serious? Then you’ll have to find a new girl, of course.” She crossed her arms and turned up her nose.
“Hilarious. Really though.”
“You know what I think? Yours will be the biggest anyone has ever seen.” Her hands returned to me, trailing south.
“Of course that’s what you’d be thinking about.”
“No. Ya know what I’m really thinking about?” Her hands flew from me up into the air.
“How fucking unfair it is that women don’t have familiars. We get passed around the families like horses all on who summons what!”
“Well, I’d better summon up something good then. You’re a first pick.”
“You’d better.” She collapsed into me. “Horse-fucker.”
The three families stood around me, eagerly waiting to get their laughs at the joke I would conjure. No doubt they had made wagers among themselves.
The Osorm family tortoise sat next to our castle, the crest of his shell just higher than the peak of our castle’s tallest tower.
The Mosril’s praying mantis wandered through the forest, hunting I suppose. The bulk of it’s body was visible over the treetops, as though it waded through weeds.
The Anmosi’s pangolin slept, curled in a ball amongst the dirt, easily noticed because, “Hey, that mountain wasn’t there this morning!”
I was focused intently on my lifelong-practiced incantations, not allowing my awe of the surrounding beings to distract me from the most important thing I would ever do.
Ignoring the pressure I felt was harder. With success, I would lead my family. With success, I would have Ayn. With failure, I would lose them both.
I finished my incanting and looked around eagerly. Nothing was happening.
Patience. A brief wait was to be expected. But the moments passed and still nothing happened. The only sound that came from the gathered families was a single cough.
I fought the urge to scour the ground, in hopes that I had conjured up a flea or some such creature.
No. The worst had really happened. I had failed to summon. Their silence was worse than the laughter I had prepared myself for. Their laughter would mean I had succeeded in bringing forth something, no matter how insignificant.
Their silence, however? They pitied me. I lacked the significance to be the butt of their jokes.
The sky began to darken. The wait had seemed an eternity but nightfall was still hours away. I looked about, confused. The other families did the same.
There it was, materialized behind us. Its wings blocked out the sun as well as the bulk of the sky. A great gold dragon. It looked down on all of us, the three great familiars included. Its voice boomed in my mind, presumably in the minds of others as well. “You called?”
The families kneeled. Out of respect? Fear? It didn’t matter to me. I responded with a simple, awed, “yes.”
Things were about to change around here.
I looked up at the great dragon. I had told him his would be the biggest. It’s good to feed a man’s ego sometimes. It doesn’t hurt, so long as it doesn’t go to their heads. And if it does?
I summoned his toy, I can take it away.
So, I could have gone grand with this one. But Crowbar already went epic with hers so I figured I’d do something out of the ordinary. Lighthearted? No one died? Huh? I could have gone horror… I might later. But this is it.
It is not yet established as canon in the world of Nyth but I like it enough that it’s going to find a place.