Can I really offer to him to live with me?
Stella would never stop asking me questions and assume way too many things if I just showed up with this guy asking if he could crash at her place.
This is all my fault!
She already has a lot to put up with, I already feel bad enough about not having my own place. There really isn’t any room for a third person to live there. There’s only two bedrooms and the couch is too small.
Well, him staying there won’t be long. If I can get rid of my own curse and figure how I exactly cursed him I shouldn’t have to worry about long-term accommodations. I can’t let her know about this, she would probably become terrified of me. I still really have no idea how I even cursed him. Telling Stella would just endanger her and for all we know, the necromancer could be watching us. If they find the police stationed at our house, they may attack us or just take us out for good.
“Where do you work, ma’am?” the officer asks me.
“Wally’s during the week and Slate Ski Resort on weekends. My job at the ski resort will be over this coming weekend though since the season will end,” I ramble.
He nods his head, he must be thinking about how working will be. We should be fine since Wally’s is next to the police station.
There’s no way he’ll make it to work though when I go to the hayride, they are too far from each other.
“Okay, I think I know what we can do. I’m renting a room at my friend’s townhouse. She can’t know about you though, you’ll have to,” I begin to say unsure of how he’ll take it and unable to process what I’m saying, I freeze mid-sentence.
“Have to what?” the officer asks me stepping closer to me.
“Have to pretend to be my pet,” I choke out.
For a moment he’s quiet, but then something passes over his face and he smiles.
“I suppose I don’t get much of a choice in the matter. Will ya buy me a nice big heated snake terrarium too? You can’t forget I’ll get cold easy, being cold-blooded and all,” he says jokingly.
“Yes! That’s the least I can do...oh this is so awful. I feel horrible, I won’t ask you to forgive me. I promise to find a way to fix this,” I reply weakly, swallowing my own guilt with fabricated confidence.
When I fully accept and realize the doom I’ve put on him, I lose my composure and begin to cry big crocodile tears knowing what I say is a lie. Every witch knows familiars are forever. Then again, none of them made a familiar with black magic. Maybe there is hope, but it’s bleak for sure.
“Don’t waste tears on me. This is only temporary, right?” the officer asks me in a serious voice.
I nod my head numbly.
It took me and officer Nick a long time to find our way back down the mountain. As if it wasn’t possible, I felt even more ashamed for not having learned a tracing spell to make our journey back down faster. I could have located the Ski Resort and followed my glowing magic to lead us there. Since I don’t know the spell yet though, we had to pretty much walk around blindly and somehow we ended up behind a guardrail next to the highway leading into downtown Wixton.
I called Stella and told her I was taking a cab home because I drank too much. Which isn’t an entire lie. I did drink too much and we are taking a cab, I just left out the part where I accidentally turned a state trooper into my own familiar and of all creatures, a snake.
I made the cab driver stop at a Pet Smart and quickly picked out a temporary snake terrarium for the policeman to stay in for the night in the meantime. Great, while he’s at work I’m going to have to hope Stella stays out of my room because his tank will be empty. How is he going to eat, will I have to feed him our food too?
There’s no way I’m feeding him the mice the clerk told me were on discount.
“We’re here. Have a good night y’all,” the cab driver tells us and the policeman and I step out. I carry his heated tank and head up the steps. Then I hand Nick my keys and he opens the door.
“Not too shabby,” he chuckles as we walk up the stairs. It’s strange, being alone here with him when Stella is usually the one always here with me.
He scans my room like a cop would a crime scene and nervously, I set his terrarium down in the corner of my room feeling his eyes on my back.
When I hear the front door open downstairs my eyes bulge. Stella must have sensed something was wrong and left the party early! What if Nick has trouble shifting back into a snake?
“Um officer, can you...you know...” I whisper awkwardly, staring at the floor.
How can I ask him to shift into the vile animal I turned him into? I don’t want him to hate me for this any more than I’m sure he already does.
Being his ‘owner’, I could always just do it myself. I couldn’t force him to do that though.
He looks towards the door and then turns his bright blue eyes on me, he nods his head then and before I can blink, shifts into the same big black snake. In a rush, I kick his clothes into my closet when I hear Stella walk up the stairs hollering my name.
Nick is already slithering up over the glass walls of his terrarium and gracefully as a snake can, lands into his tank. I hurry over to it and plug it in, watching the orange heat lamp inside glow to life.
The tank is pretty big, but his tail wraps around the edge and I can tell it probably feels small to him. Not bothering to close the lid on top, I turn to face Stella who probably is blown away seeing my new pet.
“Should I even ask?” she says with a raised eyebrow.
“I don’t know, he was on...discount. I got a little tired and decided to leave the party early, Pet Smart was having a sale. Maybe I was a little drunk...” I lie through my teeth and she barks out in laughter, the half-empty beer cup in her hand spilling onto the hardwood floor.
“As long as you can take care of that thing. Jeez, just don’t make this place into a zoo!” she cackles while walking passed me and crashing into her own room for the night.
“Goodnight!” I shoot back, before shutting my door and sighing in relief.
Nick moves around in his tank a little and I catch sight of his red underbelly. How could I do this to him?
“You don’t have to stay in there,” I say uneasily.
“It’s okay,” his snake mouth moves when he talks and it really weirds me out, but I don’t tell him though. He rests his head on his body facing away from me.
I’m keeping my accidental familiar in a reptile tank that cost me half my paycheck, if I make rent this month it will be a miracle.
Sluggishly, I move over to my bed and pull the covers over me. I lay on my side facing Nick and watch his black shiny snake body slowly move against the glass wall. Even if he’s a snake now, he could change back into a man if he wanted. He may be a police officer, a state trooper at that, but I don’t really know him.
I didn’t tell him yet about the other half of being a familiar. Not only physically are his actions restricted, but mentally now too. Inherently, familiars are made to protect their witch and seek to please them. No witch that I’ve ever heard of made a human their familiar before, so I’m not sure what to expect.
If he bit me in my sleep for revenge, I can’t say I would really care though. I don’t make a good witch and I certainly don’t make a good friend either, I just lied to my best friend’s face after all.
I’m too tired and worn out to think any further. Staring off into the faint orange glow of his heat lamp, I drift off to sleep.