Without further ado, here is the second installment in The Cat Guardian. Enjoy!
Plumeria and Alika walked through the front door and her parents were sitting on the couch to the back of the room with anxious expressions on their faces. On either side of the couch were armchairs. Plumeria sat in the one closest to her mother, feeling safety with another female. Her father was a great man, but for some reason, she had a feeling she was going to want her mother after they told her whatever they needed to say.
Akamai, her father, was a highly intelligent person and she had no doubt he would work out the right thing to do, no matter what the problem was. Haukea, her mother was about as pure of a person as there was in this world. She had no doubt her mother wouldn’t let any evil ever come to her.
Akamai was tall with dark hair and slightly plump features. He was wearing a bright blue shirt, white shorts, and brown sandals. Haukea was shorter and her hair was beginning to grey already, even though she was only 46. She, too, had slightly plump features and dark hair. She was wearing a traditional Hawaiian dress in red and white with a large floral print on it. Her feet were bare. Haukea leaned forward and took both of Plumeria’s gloved hands into hers.
“My daughter, you are nearly 16. You should still have 5 years of growing up, but the witches have other plans for you. They say…they say….” Haukea couldn’t finish. Tears spilled down her brown cheeks. Tendrils of lose hair blew in the breeze from the fan and stuck to her face.
Akamai was a matter-of-fact type of father. Plumeria turned to him, looking to him for answers to what Haukea had been unable to say.
“You know you have powers, child, and that those powers are not to be used until you are 21,” he began.
“Yes, that’s why I wear these stupid gloves. Heaven knows we don’t want to unleash me on the world for another 5 years.” Plumeria gestured her frustration with having worn gloves the last 16 years.
“Ah, but my child, this year is a special year.”
Plumeria’s eyebrows arched and she let her hands fall on either side of her lap.
“What do you mean, father? Why is this year different, other than I can learn how to drive?”
“One thing at a time, child. A new moon falls on the spring equinox. According to the witches’ lore, the occasion is so rare that they almost missed it.” Akamai leaned back on the couch and crossed one ankle over his knee. He took a pipe from the end table and placed it between his teeth. He didn’t smoke–Haukea was against it. But it seemed to soothe him when he was nervous.
“What does that mean for me?” Plumeria asked, leaning further forward in her chair.
“The witches say you will turn this year, that you will be of age five years early,” her mother blurted. “I can’t lose my baby even one day before I am ready. It cannot be so. You will not turn into a witch..”
“Is this correct, Father? Am I really to turn into a full-fledged witch at 16?” Plumeria asked, hope filling her expression.
“I’m afraid so. But do not be too hasty in celebrating, Plumeria.” He said, leaning forward in all seriousness. “The witches will send you on a dangerous quest. This is why your mother fears for you. She only has one week to keep you as you are.”
Alika hopped up into Plumeria’s lap.
“Will Alika come of age, too?” Plumeria asked as she scratched the cat’s head and neck.
“Yes, familiars will come of age, too. You will finally know if Alika is meant to be your guardian,” Akamai answered. “You have a lot to think about in the next week, Plumeria. I know you want to be light, but you must prepare yourself in case you are dark. You must also prepare yourself for the fact that even though Alika was born in this house, that doesn’t mean he is your familiar. And finally, you must prepare for a dangerous quest, no matter where it takes you or what you have to do. It is a test to see if you can truly be a witch. Being born with the powers isn’t enough.”
“Does Ikaika know?”
“No,” Haukea answered. “We thought it best not to tell him until you leave for your quest. He might break your concentration..”
“Where is he now, and is he coming to the ceremony?” Plumeria whispered, looking around the room as if to find him there.
“He is with friends, and he will stay with friends during the ceremony. It is so devastating to him to not have powers, but we don’t want him to sabotage yours.” Haukea smiled for the first time in the conversation, squeezing Plumeria’s hands.
“Don’t forget to Dream,” Haukea reminded her. Plumeria thought of the time she bought those bracelets for her and Alika. Alika was just a kitten and it felt like eons ago even though it was just a few short months. Plumeria thought then that if she dreamed it, she could be a light witch. Then she learned that it was predetermined, but she still hoped her dreams came true.
Her hope and excitement became overshadowed by dread. She would have to leave her mother and father for the quest. They had always been there for her. Now she would have a coven, but she had only seen a couple of the witches a few times in her life. But this was not a time for lamenting. She grabbed Alika and stood. This was a time for preparing.
To be Continued….