The Cat Guardian Part 1

This story is turning out longer than I expected, so I will have to give it to you in installments. The prompt is the photo I found below. I will post the sections consecutively so you can read the entire story. I hope you enjoy it!

Public Domain Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Note: The character names in this story are Hawaiian and have been chosen for their meanings. Here is a key to the main names you will encounter:

Alika (Cat familiar)–Guardian

Puanani (aka Plumeria–protagonist)–Gorgeous flower

Haukea(Plumeria’s mother)–Snow white

Akamai (Plumeria’s father)–Intelligent

Ikaika (Plumeria’s brother)–Man of strength

Kahuna(Plumeria’s foe)–A secret

Ailani(Chief of Plumeria’s coven)–High chief

Alika walked past the umpteenth ABC Convenience store in Honolulu on his way to Waikiki Beach, his “Dream” tag glistening in the sun. It was the only accouterment to his sleek black fur other than the blue and tan plaid umbrella that hovered over his back. He never felt this umbrella matched his look, but he must live with it until such time as his mistress comes of age. He was a familiar, but not just any familiar. He had been born on the equinox of spring. Unlike other familiars, he would not know whether he was a dark familiar or a light one until he turned of age.

He glanced down at his “Dream” tag. It was meant to remind him that he could be whichever alignment he dreamed he would be, but he knew it was all a lie. His alignment was predetermined, just like Plumeria’s, but his mistress had given him that tag, so he wore it. She wore a matching one on her left wrist.

As he walked past the Ohana Maille Skycourt, he knew he was only about two blocks from the beach. He could smell the salt in the air. At least the umbrella kept him from getting too hot or too wet, not that it rained much on this side of the island. The buildings were all tall and the alleys were filled with vendors during the evening hours. Rushing past some tourists, Alika began to trot the rest of the way to the beach. As he stepped onto the sand, he looked to his left to see his favorite sight. In spite of the bright sun, he could make out the outline of Diamond Head.

Alika began searching the oiled, tanned bodies for Plumeria. Her name was Puanani which meant gorgeous flower, but her family and friends called her Plumeria because that was the flower in bloom when she was born. She hated both names, but had never picked a nickname for herself, so Plumeria stuck. He knew she was wearing her brightest pink bikini today. She liked pink.

Alika sighed as he searched the hundreds of beached bodies. He hated being the errand boy, also known as her guardian. Her parents had said this was of particular importance, but he couldn’t imagine what would be so important that he would have to postpone his afternoon nap to search her out on the beach at the height of the day when there were the most people to search through. Fortunately pink was a bright color. The only problem was that guessing Plumeria’s taste in swimwear, there wouldn’t be much of a suit to find.

Sometimes Alika was grateful for his umbrella. It was a protector, but it also got in the way. He could never dive into small spaces or hide himself due to the plaid “Here I Am” sign hanging over his head. He knew why he had it–it was meant to protect himself and others from his powers until he was mature enough to wield them. Still, he was pretty sure he would be glad to be rid of it.

While mumbling that he wasn’t anyone’s go to cat, that he wasn’t to be ordered about like some slave or servant, he spotted a patch of pink about 5 bodies down. He picked his way delicately around the feet and legs between him and the pink and approached her head. He confirmed that it was Plumeria and rubbed his head against hers, hoping to wake her up. Gradually she opened her eyes, saw him, and closed them again. A gloved hand scratched her oily nose.

Like Alika’s umbrella, Plumeria’s gloves were meant to protect her and others from her powers until she came of age and was old enough to wield them. Witches generally had to hide their powers and weren’t allowed to use them until they were 21. Plumeria was just shy of 16 and Alika was just shy of 1.

Alika butted his head against hers again. This time she didn’t open her eyes. He picked up his left paw, the one with the Dream tag on it and swiped her across her forehead, claws and all.

“Hey!” She sat up, rubbing her forehead and checking for blood. There was none. “What is the big idea?” Alika couldn’t speak yet. That was one of the powers he would accumulate when he came of age. Instead he started to walk toward town. “Do Mom and Dad need something?” Alika nodded and kept walking.

Plumeria sighed and picked up her blue and white sand-covered towel, shook out most of the white granules, and tossed it over her arm. She followed Alika to her parents’ apartment, wondering what kind of drama was unfolding now. It was probably nothing, or something about her brother, Ikaika. He had always been jealous that he wasn’t born with powers and tried to thwart her in every way imaginable.

To be continued….


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