The story is partially based on the story challenge on Forward Motion. “Nearly all of us have, or have had, pets in our lives. What about your fictional characters? What kinds of animals are their companions on far worlds or in fantasy lands? Does your tough-guy contemporary romance hero secretly feed squirrels? Does your horror villain have a house full of parakeets?
Tell the tale from either your character's POV or from the pet's view of the world.
For this month's challenge, write a scene in which a fictional character deals with a pet of some sort.”
There are also some elements of idea stirred by a song called Familiar’s Promise.
1. Chapter 1 by WyldKat
A Dog's Eye View:
Flash raised his head and looked across the room. His human was holding the talking box. Her voice sounded calm and reassuring, but her body indicated disappointment. She set the box down and noticed him watching her. She twitched her lips in the odd snarl humans used when they were amused and started talking to him. He recognized the sound symbol for her sibling, suggesting that her sibling was the voice on the talking box. She came over and sat down on the couch, then picked up the book she’d been reading, disappointment radiating in every move.
After a few seconds Flash hopped up beside her and laid his head on her lap. It took several page turns and a couple of nudges of his nose against her hand, but she finally made that rumbling noise she gave when she was enjoying something. She laid the book aside, rubbed his ears and started talking to him. “out”? she asked.
Flash hopped down and trotted to the door, enjoying the sound of her soft rumbling. She caught up with him at the door, picking up the leather harness she insisted he wear any time he left their home.
His harness in place, her jacket on, they went down to the river for a good run. On an open, grassy, area she stopped to pull a disk from her bag. Flash spotted the disk, yipped in pleasure and gave her a “let’s play” bow. She let the disk fly, hugging her jacket close as he pivoted and raced down the riverbank to catch it. He returned the disk and begged her to throw it again.
They played on the banks of the river for a long time.
Flash brought the disk back again as a group of young humans came over. She stiffened up, indicating she did not welcome their presence but they insisted on trying to talk to her. He dropped the disk at her feet and rumbled a warning at the other humans. These humans were not part of their pack, or of their social group; he lowered his head and moved a step forward, baring his teeth and staring at the apparent leader, indicating that they were not welcome. His human laid a hand on his shoulder and she made soothing noises, a couple of seconds later they other humans left.
Flash found he was no longer interested in playing so he dropped to the ground, watching the other humans. His human sat down next to him and started rubbing his ears. They sat there; watching the river flow by, letting the wind blow through their hair untill the sun vanished behind the clouds: a storm was moving up fast. She patted him the shoulder and stood up, picking up the disk as she rose.
They beat the storm home by a few seconds.
His human picked up the cloth she kept by the door and rubbed him down, wiping off the mud that was splattered over his coat. Once she was done, she pulled off her jacket, grabbed up his brush, and walked across the room. She made the patting motion on her leg, inviting him to follow. Ears up and tail wagging, he trotted across the room and hopped up on to the couch.
Once she had a fire going in the metal enclosure, the human settled on the couch next to him and started brushing him from head to tail. By the time the grooming was over the storm was in full force outside, wind howling past the windows and rattling the metal flap above the fire.
Flash settled his head on the human’s leg while she reclaimed her book, neither of them paying any more attention to the storm.
The human only sighed when the power went out a while later and changed positions a bit so the fire cast some light on her book. Flash raised his head and looked around, roused from his half doze by the change. She laid a hand on his head and started rubbing his ears while he settled back down and went back to his light nap.
Flash roused again sometime later, the fire had died down and the human had dozed off herself. The wind had died down outside, leaving the apartment dark and quiet. He nudged against his person, waking her up. If she slept on the couch too long, she would be uncomfortable. It took several attempts, but she finally roused enough to get up, put out the rest of the fire and slowly walk to her bedroom.
Flash waited until she was gone before hopping down and starting to walk around the apartment. He paused at the feed station to eat a few pieces of dry food and lap a bit of water then resumed walking around, sniffing at the door and windows, even going into the extra room that his person’s sibling used when he was over. Only after he had checked the entire apartment did he go into the bedroom. His human was in bed; her level breathing indicated that she was going to sleep. He jumped lightly up onto the bed and settled down, laying his muzzle on the extra pillow. Half asleep, the human rolled closer, sharing his body heat. Flash sighed in contentment and snuggled his shoulder and hip up close.
A soft sound on the landing outside the door woke the dog in the middle of the night.
Ears pricked up, Flash raised his head and looked around. The human was still asleep. A second sound at the door motivated him to jump from the bed. The door opened as he walked into the front room. He did not recognize the scent of the person standing there holding a lighted tube. The person waved the tube around and started to walk across the room. A strange person was moving around his home. Flash gave a low warning rumble and slowly moved towards the stranger.
The light tube waved around and a patch of light fell across Flash’s face. The stranger let out a yelp when he saw the dog standing there and swung the tube at Flash.
Flash ducked and made a bluff charge at the human. The human shrieked and tried to run to the door. The movement triggered Flash’s herding instinct; he moved to redirect the human, snapping at the legs. The stranger stopped, terrified, as Flash picked up the scent of his human and a gun. Her voice, heavily flavored in anger, cut across the room and the stranger raised his hands.
“Flash. Watch.” The familiar voice directed. He backed up a few paces and sat down, eyes fixed on the stranger, while she went to the talking box.
A while later the apartment was full of strangers, all of them carrying guns. His human calmly directed him to move back, placing herself between him and the new strangers. Finally, the last of the strangers left, leaving them alone. His human knelt down, wrapped her arms around Flash and started talking to him. “Good boy. Good job.” The rest was the usual incomprehensible sounds humans always make. Eventually they went back to bed, after both of them checked the door and windows. Flash waited until she was settled then jumped up onto the bed and settled down next to her.
Some time just before dawn, the power returned, a soft click from the furnace drew an ear twitch from Flash as he shifted beneath his person’s arm, sighed and drifted back to sleep.