Familiars

The first chapter of my story. I'll explain things as it progresses but for now I'd just appreciate any feedback you can give.
Fantasy is my favourite genre and this is a step towards being a "writer".

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1. Effort

Pearse gazed out onto the darkening sky and the elongating shadows of the rooftops. The sky was blood-red, dotted with wisps of pink clouds and the treetops rustled in the gentle summer’s breeze. He longed to be outside with his friends instead of having to train his Familiar, Light, a cat-like companion who had been by his side from birth virtually. Lately their relationship had been somewhat strained and Light, no longer obeying his master’s wishes, needed retraining if Pearse had any hope of convincing his parents that he was responsible enough to attend university next summer.

Tearing his attention away from the attractive diorama on the other side of his window, Pearse set to the task of building a rapport with his Familiar once more. Light, perched atop of the wardrobe, was examining the patterns created by the refraction light through a crystal figurine stationed on the shelf opposite him.

“Come on down Light. We need to train some more.”

“Do we indeed? Well I don’t feel like it today...Pearse.” He replied lazily with a hint of venom at the mention of his master’s name.

Sighing, Pearse reached for his Familiar on tip-toes and successfully grabbed Light, thwarting any attempt at escape. The pair wrestled for a moment, falling onto the bed in a mess of sheets and limbs. Otherwise occupied, the two did not notice a figure enter the bedroom and advance toward the chaos.

“This is what you call training?” It said with a tone of exasperation as it untangle them from the sheets.

“Mother!” exclaimed Pearse breathlessly, “I tried training the thing but it just won’t listen.”

“Well then you shall just have to try harder. Honestly, I never had this much trouble with Clara.” She condescended, gesturing towards the majestic looking dog following ever faithfully at her heels. Clara peeked around her owner’s legs and winked at Pearse who smiled warmly back.

“Come now Aurora, we’ve had our fair share of disputes and after all they’re a completely different breed from us, worlds apart.” Clara spoke in a composed manner, contrasting with his mother’s flustered disposition and appealing to her rational side as usual.

“That may be but he’s seventeen years old and still exerts no control over his Familiar. You’re little sister has a better relationship with Mercy than you do with Light; Catherine and her are as thick as thieves.” She turned to exit, “Oh, and don’t call Light ‘thing’. It is very disrespectful!” With that she left followed by Clara who gave a reassuring glance before disappearing through the doorway.

Pearse remained lying on his bed, embarrassed and frustrated about his lack of progress in his instruction of Light. He would never be taken seriously by anyone unless he took control over his other half; it was unheard of for a young man of his age not to be on good terms with his familiar. He knew his whole family saw him as somewhat of a black sheep, not one of them had any bother in gaining the loyalty of their own Familiars; in fact they told him it would be effortless. How they lied he thought to himself, nothing was easy when it came to Light. The cat, as he referred to Light, would rarely listen to Pearse and actively disobey him most of the time.

Of course it hadn’t always been like this. There was a time when they used to enjoy one another’s company but that all changed after Pearse had transferred schools the previous year and had, according to Light, transformed into a different human being. They no longer understood one another and would frequently be separated for extended periods of time, much to his family’s dismay. Pearse began keeping secrets from Light, locking off his mind from the creature whose soul was intrinsically tied to his own. Presently their relationship was icy at best.

They spent the next hour in a tedious training session; Pearse giving an order, Light feigning disinterest or carrying out the exact opposite action. Eventually, tired of each other and of the lesson, they descended from their room for dinner. It was now dark outside with any remaining daylight fading fast. They entered the dining room where the rest of the family were already settling down to eat. They took their place at the table which was richly decorated and with expensive silver cutlery to boot. Catherine was playing catch with Mercy, a small hawk-like Familiar who whizzed above the heads of everyone in an attempt to seize her owner’s wayward tosses before they struck someone.

“Any improvements to report Pearse?” inquired his father as Pearse began to gather food onto his plate.

“Not much father. Light refuses to take any heed of me; in fact I’m not sure whether he actually understands human speech.” At this Light took offense.

“Maybe if my human was worthy of one such as myself I would do as requested, however the specimen in front of me can hardly decide what to do for himself never mind his Familiar.” Light began nibbling on the plate of food presented to him while Catherine giggled from across the table. Mercy sat herself down on the table and was stroked affectionately by Catherine before starting into her own food.

“Humph...he has a point Pearse.” grumbled Kral. Kral resembled a mountain lion and was too large to be seated at the table with his master, Pearse’s father; as a result he lounged on the floor with his own small table to dine from. “Maybe if you spent less time sulking by yourself and more time sharing and bonding with Light you would be more connected with him. He even tells me that he cannot interpret your thoughts anymore.” Pearse paused in his acquisition of food and looked around the table awkwardly. His father continued eating while his mother and Catherine stared at him in awe.

“Is this true?” His mother asked in astonishment, “How long has this been the case?”

“I don’t know...a while.” Light had ceased eating and was relishing in his master’s predicament.

“This is more serious than I thought.” mused his mother, “We’re going to need outside help for this Pearse. I’m going to make a few phone calls tonight and see if I can get you an interview with the Instructor. I can’t believe you are deaf to one another.” She bowed her head in anger and went back to her meal. Pearse finished piling his plate and began eating while Catherine stifled more laughing.

“What?” He growled as she looked up at him.

“Even I can hear Mercy, and I’m seven.” She snickered, sticking out her tongue.

“Shut up...” He feebly retorted and suddenly became absorbed in his food, not lifting his head for the rest of the meal. He left the table as soon as he could and returned to his room with Light leisurely sauntering behind him. They resumed their earlier training session but quickly gave up as neither of them could be bothered with the effort. Pearse lay on his bed and read a book while Light retook his position atop of the wardrobe, occasionally gazing down at his master with distain and hurt.

Clara came up to inform them that a meeting with the Instructor had been booked later that night, “The appointment is at ten in the morning so rest up you two.” She bade them both goodnight and left. Pearse prepared for bed and wished his companion a stilted goodnight which was not reciprocated. He closed his eyes and welcomed sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.

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