A Familiar Experience: A Dark Realms Tale 01

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A Familiar Experience — A DarkRealms Story

Chapter One

Taylor Michaels sat in his room in Shrewsbury, England, reading one of his books. His very favorite author and personal hero was Dr. Angela Bernacci, a noted volcanologist. She had written several books on the subject, and Taylor was enjoying the newest as he pondered his future.

Taylor was a baby-faced, diminutive young man with short dark hair. He usually wore black denim jeans and black tee shirts - not to make a statement, but simply to save his time and effort. His theory was that if he should miss his laundry one day, since his clothes were all the same, he could skip a day’s laundry, so long as they weren’t too dirty.

He’d completed his A levels, and done quite well as usual. Taylor was a very good student, and he had several recommendations from his teachers and his headmaster. He’d hoped his parents would be proud of him, but the way they treated him made him feel like he’d done nothing but perform as expected, and there was no recognition of the dedication and effort he had put into his schooling. As usual, they weren’t impressed in the least.

He knew he shouldn’t have expected any real sort of praise from his parents, as they just rarely did anything more than acknowledging him. Only his teachers and his Nanny had ever commented on his excellence and genius. The boy was exceptionally talented and had impressed many in the educational community. It had been a struggle to stay ahead of the lad, and some of his teachers credited that struggle with improving their own skills.

The only place Taylor had ever done less than the top of the class was in his physical fitness classes. It wasn’t that he didn’t give it his best effort, but it hadn’t been until his final year that he’d topped a meter and a half, and he was just a hair over 8 stone (about 5’ and 115 lbs.). He was, officially, the smallest student in his class, but perhaps the most aggressive.

He would never balk or back down from a challenge, though he had frequently been unable to perform well. There had been a few minor injuries, especially on the pitch, but he never pulled out of a competition, and most of the students respected him for his stubborn determination. There had been a few bullies that didn’t know enough to avoid him, but most people at least knew better than to start anything. Taylor could be almost vicious at times.

Admittedly, he’d only had a few real friends in his life, thanks to his drive, determination and a stubbornness that put most people off. Nothing kept him down-if he couldn’t beat it, he did his best to somehow make it an asset. Taylor was intense, and the friends he did have were usually his exact opposites, like Jimmy King. Jimmy was very intelligent, but he didn’t have Taylor’s aggression. He preferred to make his point, and then let others argue it out until they saw that he’d been right all along.

Jimmy’s weakness was for mysteries and investigation. He’d read countless books, both fiction and factual. He could be almost as single minded as Taylor when he was in “detective” mode. His dogged refusal to fail had impressed Taylor, who idolized Jimmy and his relentless desire to succeed.

After school, Jimmy had chosen to join the military police. He wanted to be able to show some experience when he applied to join the local force. Likewise, the rest of the few friends Taylor’d had were all gone, off to find their own lives. Taylor knew that he had been procrastinating, not being sure where he truly belonged.

He’d had offers from several excellent universities which he’d been considering, but he was also looking for some adventure. The minute he’d read the article regarding Dr. Bernacci’s classes in Geology and Vulcanology at Ravencrest University in the United States, he had known what his choice would be.

He had presented his case to his parents. There had actually been a conversation, the longest he’d ever had with his parents, and they had finally agreed to provide for his financial needs while at the University.

It would be his first time living away from home. He carefully decided on those things he would need, and he chose his clothing carefully. He made sure to leave some leeway in his budget for incidental and necessary additions to his wardrobe. He knew the weather could reportedly be harsh at his new home, and he wanted to be prepared.

He looked forward to his classes with Dr. Bernacci. Her fascinating books had kept him enthralled for years. He’d desperately wanted to be accepted into her program, and was thrilled when he received his letter of acceptance.

Leaving his home behind for the first time had been easier than expected, but it was all the hassle and rigmarole involved with coming to the US that caused the most problems. The last leg of his trip, the bus ride into Ravencrest, had only been stressful due to his own anticipation, and he was very glad to be standing in front of the University, at last!

He soon met his roommate, Justin Locke, a pre-med student, and cousin of the Ravencrest Locke family. Justin was a very pleasant person whose family came from Camden, New Jersey. He was generally quiet, and easy to talk to. He was several inches taller than Taylor, but very thin, with a wild shock of light blonde hair. Taylor had been quite satisfied to have a serious student rather than a “party animal” as a roommate.

As school began, Taylor and Justin adjusted to their new way of life, and Taylor quite enjoyed it. They both did quite well in their classes, and they soon developed new habits which should carry them through the next few years of their school life.

The two young men seemed to be on the same page, in that they had both chosen to put their school work first and social life a distant second. Not that they couldn’t get dates, they simply chose not to. At least, that was what they told themselves. Both of them were trying to impress their families, in hopes of increased financial assistance.

The biggest challenge to any guy’s concentration is a pretty girl, and at Ravencrest they were some of the most beautiful young women anywhere. The DBZ girls in particular were all exceptionally gorgeous. Some guys seemed congenitally attracted to their almost unearthly beauty, and while Taylor enjoyed looking at them, he had already learned from experience that they wouldn’t be interested in someone like him, so he did his best to ignore them.

Taylor was pleased that Dr. Bernacci had been very impressed, both with his knowledge and his great drive to learn. He’d had to be careful not to seem like a “brown nose” in his enthusiasm, but it was all so interesting! He actually looked forward to his class days. He felt that the other courses that were required were simplistic, and he easily breezed right through them.

After the first grading period, he’d scored a perfect 4.0 grade, but his parents, as usual, seemed somehow unimpressed and very distant. They had congratulated him, but even the call to talk to them seemed like an imposition into their lives. He thought to himself that this time, it had almost seemed like they nearly praised him, something he had truly craved, but never really received.

Halloween had been a seriously crazy time at Ravencrest University, but Taylor noticed that the locals didn’t really get as excited as the students. Justin and Taylor had, as usual, skipped all of the parties, although Justin did spend the evening with his cousins at the mansion. Taylor had been on his computer, working on a project for Dr. Bernacci. Boring, perhaps, but apparently safer than the parties.

The big news after Halloween was the mysterious disappearances of a few young men. The disappearances were big news at first, but after a week or two it was old news, and it was assumed the missing young men, who had not been great students, had simply dropped out, which was not unusual.

Family obligations frequently drew Justin out of the “studycave,” as they called it. Taylor had been invited to see the mansion, but he’d “had to” refuse. He had become a regular volunteer, serving meals at a homeless shelter, and he was very involved with it. In truth, Taylor, like many others, found the huge Locke home more than intimidating. There was something about it that scared him silly.

There were a few other students from Ravencrest who also did volunteer work with him. He’d noticed a couple of pretty young ladies who often flirted a bit with some of the other volunteers. As usual, it didn’t seem as though they had even seen him, and as soon as his shift was over, he took a bus back to his dorm, and resumed working on his project.

By Monday the nearly completed assignment was shown to Dr. Bernacci. Taylor hoped that she might have some suggestions for him. The last part of the assignment involved anomalous geology and researching some of the unusual geology in the region, and he’d been having a difficult time finding source material.

“I have a friend in Finson who should be able to help you. Katherine is a great rock hound, and she’d be an excellent source of information, if you have the time.”

He had no classes for the next two days, so he called to set up a meeting with Katherine Magee, a pleasant sounding woman. They arranged a meeting for the next evening. Taylor left early the next morning and he expected to be in Finson late that afternoon. He would stay at a motel near the bus terminal, and be home Wednesday evening, with plenty of time to study for his class on Thursday, so it worked out well for him. He planned on turning in his project Thursday afternoon, nearly a month early. Katherine told him to call from the bus terminal, and she would pick him up.

As usual, the bus was fairly boring, but since the route from Ravencrest to Finson was not a busy one during the week, there was plenty of room. Taylor had planned ahead, and he had two mp3 players and a few textbooks to read on the way there and back, along with a canteen of water and some snacks.

When he got to Finson, Taylor called Katherine, and she picked him up as planned. She seemed to be quite eager to show him what she called a particularly interesting and very surprising specimen.

They went into her house, and he asked to use her restroom. She was happy to oblige him, and pointed him in the correct direction. As soon as he returned to her kitchen, his feet decided to stop moving, and things began to get strange.

Katherine was speaking using a language he was unfamiliar with. She was staring at Taylor intently, and he felt a strange, almost sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. It spread throughout his body, and he knew he was in very big trouble. He felt smaller, somehow, and she looked very pleased, almost giddy. Taylor tried his best to move, but his feet still didn’t seem to be cooperating. His shoes felt strangely large, and his clothes were oddly bulky. Worse, he was itchy and irritated all over his body.

He noticed that the hair on his arms was thick and black, but not long. His fingers hurt and they were hard to move, and they looked shorter. His feet felt strange as well, and much too small for his shoes.

He was definitely shrinking, and more things began to change. His bottom felt very strange, and his back was increasingly painful. It was getting quite difficult to stand, and soon he couldn’t do it at all. His gut felt as though someone had grabbed his insides and pulled them out. The pain in his legs and back was incredible, as if every bone was twisting out of shape. Taylor hurt so badly that he was sure he was going to die. It finally reached a point where it was more than he could handle, and he blessedly lost consciousness.

He woke feeling very different, but at least the sick feeling and the pain had stopped. He was covered up, and inside the covers. He absolutely could not stand up, and his body felt so strange. Even his vision seemed different. He began to understand when a giant hand reached in and grabbed him. He had shrunk so much that he was covered by his shirt! When the witch grabbed him by the back of the neck and pulled him out, she looked absolutely gigantic. Holding him in one hand, she reached into her purse with the other, as he struggled to escape.

“Relax, dear,” she laughed, as she lifted him up to her face. “It’s going to be all right, you are absolutely adorable, my darling. Here, take a look!”

She opened her compact, and let him see himself in the mirror. He was horrified to see that he was looking at a small black kitten with bright yellow eyes! She had changed him! He couldn’t believe it was possible. Witches were real!? No, there had to be another explanation. He just had to get away, to get back to Ravencrest and his dorm!

“You’re so cute!” She said, holding him tightly as she inspected him. She lifted his tail. “Just as I planned. I won’t have some randy tomcat, spraying everywhere. Laura is going to love her little girl!”

Girl? He was a female, now? No! She suddenly had visions of her future. Being mounted by a tom, bearing kittens?! He felt as though he would vomit, but there was nothing to bring up.

Katherine put her into a large canvas shopping bag. “Now you stay there and keep quiet, Taylor. We have to go see your new owner, and I can’t wait to see her face!”

Taylor did her best to escape. She tried to climb to the top of the bag, but something prevented her from getting out. She tried to call for help, but all that came out were cute little meows.

She heard voices. Katherine was speaking to someone on the phone as she prepared to leave.

“She’s just perfect, Angela!” Katherine said. “Yes, Laura is going to be ecstatic! I’ve never seen a black tortoiseshell before! Her colors are beautiful, and she’s so exotic!” Katherine said. “I’m hoping that she will be helpful to Laura. Yes, she’s a very talented young witch with a very bright future ahead of her, and her familiar should reflect her talent. Indeed Professor, as smart as this one is, they could be quite the pair!”

All right, hon, I will. I have to go, okay?” She laughed. “Yes, this should be fun! Bye, Angela, and thanks for all your help!” She ended the call and picked up Taylor’s bag and continued on her way.

Taylor was beyond despair. How could any of this be happening? He was clearly in some sort of a very lucid dream. All of this was completely impossible. He couldn’t be turned into a kitten. Just the difference in mass made the whole idea ludicrous.

As she carried him along, though, it certainly felt real. He tried poking himself with a tiny but extremely sharp claw, hoping to wake himself up, but all he had done was draw blood. Had Katherine drugged him for some odd reason? That would explain this extremely realistic dream. As he swung around in the bag, he started to wonder, what if this was real? What if Magic really existed?

Maybe she wasn’t crazy, and she was doomed to be a house pet, the plaything of a little girl, his whole life and all of his studies, nothing but a memory. It certainly didn’t feel like any dream he’d ever had.

The next thing Taylor saw was the huge face of a young girl with long red hair. She looked to be in her mid-teens and was quite attractive. Her pale skin was accented with several freckles which only seemed to make her more beautiful. Her brilliant green eyes sparkled with surprise when she saw Taylor.

“Aunt Katherine! She’s so beautiful!” The girl reached in to grab Taylor carefully in both hands. The moment that she touched Taylor, something odd happened, and Taylor’s world changed completely. Some kind of power sort of “flowed” into and through Taylor, and she relaxed quite happily. A strange feeling of completeness filled her, and she was so comfortable she began to purr for the first time.

As Laura lifted the kitten out of the bag, Taylor looked her in the eyes, and suddenly knew what the Laura was thinking! It wasn’t very strong or clear, more like she could feel the way Laura felt, but Taylor knew this was just the start. She also knew that she loved this girl with all of her heart, and that Laura felt the same. They were somehow “connected”, and that was fine with Taylor.

Laura looked at her Aunt. “It’s so strange, almost like I know what she’s thinking!”

“Really, dear? What is she thinking, ‘I’m hungry’, perhaps?” her Mother asked.

“No, Mom. More than anything else, I can feel that she loves me, as much as I love her!”
She held the happily purring kitten to her cheek. Her tears ran down her face. “Oh, she’s the most wonderful gift ever! Thank you, Aunt Katherine!”

“She’s your familiar, Laura.” Katherine said. “As you both develop together, you’ll grow to know one another so well that you’ll always know just how she feels. Some witches can even talk to their familiars. It takes a lot of luck for that to happen, though. If you love her enough, and you work together, she’ll be able to help you. She’s very intelligent, and she’ll develop useful abilities that could come in very handy. With her, you’ll always have a friend and confidant, and no matter what, someone you can love absolutely, and who will love you just as much in return. You probably felt a little strange when you first touched her, right?”

“Yes, like a small current going from one hand to the other, right through her.”

“That was the link I’ve crafted, forming for the first time. You are now linked forever and your lives are tied together. No one, not even your husband, will ever be as close to you as she is. It’s a very good sign that the two of you accept one another so quickly. I predict great things for you two, Laura.”

“I love you so much, Aunt Katherine!” She said as she gave her Aunt a one handed hug. “Mystic and I will have so much fun together!”

“Mystic, Laura? Is that her name?”

“It only fits, Mom. As soon as I looked into those eyes, it was magic!” She took her treasure into the living room so that they could play and get to know each other.

Meanwhile, at the kitchen table, Katherine discussed with Laura’s mother Debra about where the kitten had come from.

Debra was concerned about the affect the spell might have left on her sister’s soul. “Was it hard to contact a lost soul to create her?”

K0atherine blushed. “Well, I actually had some help from a friend of mine. She’s a teacher at Ravencrest University, and she owed me a major favor. She had a nice student, a young Englishman, very smart and very cute. She arranged to have him visit me, and I handled the rest.”

“What! Are you saying that you used forbidden black magic to entrap my daughter’s familiar? Katherine, dear, how could you?” Debra asked, angrily. She’d known that Kathy had no real sense of right or wrong, and many in the family had warned her that she was dangerous. Debra had argued that Kathy had never hurt anyone, to her apparent regret, it seemed. “What about his family? His friends? Dammit, Katherine, there are reasons that those spells are forbidden!”

“Well of course, I’m very well aware of that, Debra. One of those reasons is that, while a perfect link is very beneficial, an imperfect link can drive both the familiar and the witch insane, so it’s good news that they are well matched then, isn’t it?”

“How could you risk my daughter’s sanity?” Debra angrily whispered. She wanted to scream, but she didn’t want to disturb Laura. “What if something had gone wrong?”

“Well, it didn’t, and there’s nothing to be done about it now.” Katherine said calmly, ignoring her sister’s anger. “Sis, the reason some links were bad was that the two partners were not well matched. I’ve searched everywhere to get just the right one so that Laura’s familiar was as intelligent as she was.

Mystic is much more than a normal familiar. She’ll be a loving, lifelong and faithful companion for Laura, and she’ll help her to be a powerful witch. Do you understand what she said? They’ve already formed a telepathic link! That’s far beyond my greatest expectations.”

“Bugger it, Kathy, that’s not how a familiar is created! You can’t steal someone’s life, that’s just wrong!” God, how were they going to fix things this time? Debra knew that the coven would need to know about this, and fast, but she hated to be the one to tell them. She knew that this time Debra would be institutionalized, and possibly lobotomized to keep her away from her magic.

“What’s going to happen when the coven demands that you to restore Mystic to his original form? What will happen to Laura then?”

Katherine looked thoughtful. “I don’t honestly know if that’s even possible. Whatever happens, Laura will be linked with him or her for life. That bond can’t be broken, except by death, and possibly not even then.”

Laura sat on the floor, quietly stoking Mystic. She could hear their argument, and she smiled. Another disaster from Aunt Katherine, she thought as she held her kitten in the air. “So, little girl, you were a boy? Don’t you ever worry, my dear.” She whispered. “I’m sure that we could have a lot of fun with that, too. No matter what happens, I will always love you, baby.”

Taylor knew she was telling the truth, and her heart rejoiced. She had become confused, though. She absolutely loved Laura with every fiber of her being. Strangely, she found she was even beginning to enjoy her new body. Every time Laura stroked her fur, the feeling made her go weak with intense and indescribable pleasure.

She liked feeling cute, and she enjoyed making Laura laugh with her sometimes clumsy antics. It wasn’t so bad, being a cute and adorable kitten that was loved by someone like Laura. She still missed her old life, a little, and she was a bit concerned that her feelings might not be real, that perhaps a part of Katherine’s spell made her accept her new life?

As she scampered playfully around the room, she happened to see herself in a mirror for the first time. When she had seen herself in Katherine’s makeup mirror, she hadn’t noticed the colors on her back. Brown, tan, orange, and beige in an attractive tortoise-shell pattern. A black tortoiseshell? He’d never seen a cat like that before, but now she was one.

“What do you think, Mystic?” Laura asked, laughing as she watched her looking in the mirror. “Yes, you’re a very pretty girl. I’ve never seen a kitty like you, either.

Laura picked her up and held the kitten to her cheek. “You’re right sweetie, we’re both beautiful.”

They hadn’t fully made the connection that would really let them “talk” to each other, but the more time they spent together, the clearer it got. All of their emotions came through quite well, and Mystic understood what she was saying, of course, but her kitten mouth couldn’t make the sounds to speak.

This really wasn’t a bad life, she thought. My new job is to run, and play, and love Laura. As she cuddled in Laura’s lap, she decided that, for now, she was very happy with her new life. It was as though she had finally become who she was meant to be, and she was right where she belonged.

For now.

To Be Continued...

My Thanks to EnemyOfFun, Maggie Finson and Donjo for their suggestions!

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Uh oh.

Well into each life...

And all that.

Love the title, by the way.


*shakes her fist* Darn you

*shakes her fist* Darn you you stole my cuteness! Oh well, Great Story Wren, I can't wait to read more! And I'm not really upset you wrote a cuter story then Ring tailed bandit! I will just have to try harder to make it cute! *giggles*

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Have a mew of a day!

Very interesting...

You not only have my attention, but you also have the start to what promises to be a rather interesting story here. I look forward to seeing where this goes. :)

Peace be with you and Blessed be

This is an interesting and

This is an interesting and fun start to a potentially messed up tale. I am looking forward to where this is going to go.


We are the change that will save the world.

I can forsee

a lot of upcoming problems, and strange experiences, and lots of people causing and getting in trouble.

CUTE? This is CUTE?

But then Laura and the familiar are being subjected to that foul spell of her aunts.

IF and I say IF Laura really believes it is okay for a boy, damn it he was a young man, to be forcibly changed into a girl kitten, then she is a sick as her aunt.

Lobotomizing the aunt to remove her magic is wrong, The coven should FORCE her to change him back then she and that evil professor can both become familiars for someone. Who else has she done this to? Who else has the professor sold into slavery?

Damn the effrontery, the arrogance of these witches. The aunt almost makes Wisteria look sane and compassionate in comparision.

More proof that Grandmother, the head of the coven, is past her prime and desperately needs replacement. Goes too for much of the council. Look at all the shit going on.

And the other big mystery is what was with his parents?

Cute little kitten or not she and Laura are caught up in a nightmare.

Where will be any justice for the young man?

Or will the witches just sweep it under the carpet again?

Very good start.

John in Wauwatosa

John in Wauwatosa


If even a peep of this gets out to the wrong (non-normal) people, then I fear that this girl is going to spend the rest of her teenage years living in a home with a broken family or even foster care of some kind and seriously needing counseling. The counseling, of course, would only be needed if there was anything that could be done to rescue the young man without driving either him or the girl to insanity. Such is a fate I would not wish upon even my enemies, as the saying goes.

And you nailed the description of the Aunt, she is mentally sick, in more than one way. Thinking that black magic is okay to use in *any* situation... But even more so when it's your own FAMILY involved and being targeted by it. Directly or indirectly, it doesn't matter.

That isn't even taking into account what that young man would have to deal with mentally and emotionally if they somehow manage to bring him back.

Peace be with you and Blessed be

Yeah... the whole situation

Yeah... the whole situation is sick. I mean seriously, turning a guy into a kitten, because he's a lost soul (definition of lost soul please?!). That aunt is beyond insane. She's a sociopath.
I hope it'll somehow work out for Laura and the student.

Wren, thank you for writing this great, captivating story, I can't wait for the next chapter,


He wasnt even dead..and it seems he even lost his free will to be angry at that crazy bit of work Katherine...talk about a horror story...looking forward to the rest

Cartman: A fine day of plundering we had boys. What about yourselves? Here you are lads, plenty of booty to go around. A round of grog for me boys. A round of grog for everyone!

He's not a lost soul

He was just an easy target that fit her purposes. As I tried to show in the story, Katherine has problems and she's been in trouble before because of them. She has no real concept of right and wrong, she just does as she likes, and expects everyone to appreciate her efforts. I live with someone like this, and it's very frustrating. The real problem is that Katherine has powerful abilities.

Her sister (Laura's Mom} is in denial. People have tried to tell her that Katherine is dangerous, but she wouldn't accept that, and now she's being forced to understand what everyone has been telling her. What can she do? what can the Coven do to control Katherine? Worse, what WILL they do, now that Katherine has crossed the line?

She's also worried about Laura. Katherine has thoughtlessly tied Laura's life to Mystic. What will happen if they force Katherine to change her back to him? Will it harm Laura? Stay tuned!


“You’re so cute!”

Elsbeth's picture

Wow now that was some 'Black Magic' indeed, she just killed him assuredly if she stabbed him in the chest with a knife, horrifying. I can think of two people that would make better familiars. Interesting start :)


Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla clíste.

Broken Irish is better than clever English.

His Family

Enemyoffun's picture

They can't be Unseen. No Unseen can turn another Unseen into anything, i.e. a Vampire couldn't make a Were a Vampire. So her turning him into a Familiar would have to make him 100% Norm.

Ah, But!

There are several different kinds of Norms, too. Some people may not be the kind of people you think they are-ask yourself what you know about the characters in a story. People don't have to be Unseen to be scary, or to suprise you.


What about Kayla?

Did Keith not count as Unseen because his powers were latent?