Thomas turned towards his familiar with a proud grin on his face. “I figured out how to get us home before sunset, Pallo! An entire ocean crossed in less than half a candle, and all we’d need to do is use a little more magic.”
<Must we? I‘m quite comfortable with walking.> Pallo’s head lowered with reluctance. <It feels like stepping in puddle covered mud. Nice, solid, puddle covered mud. Not open air, or slippery wood that keeps moving.> Her eyes instinctively tracked a passing fish. <The movement beneath the water is mildly unnerving, but it is still preferable to the alternatives.>
“Don’t worry, Pallo. You’ll still be walking.” Thomas’s grin settled down slightly. “I’m going to ride you in true-form.”
<Oh. That actually sounds fun.> Pallo began to wag lightly as blue flickered through her eyes. <Don’t fall off this time.>
“I’ll try not to.” Thomas watched as Pallo’s fur turned white and her size grew, waiting until she was just large enough to support his weight. He dashed forward, leaping onto her back – propelled by a spiral of wind and water. “Alright, I’m ready.”
Pallo took off with a leaping stride, wind rushing over her back as she sprinted with the sort of speed only a giant wolf could achieve. The sheer force of the air pushing against Thomas’s face nearly knocked him back, but he persevered – clinging tightly to the rugged fur of his trusted familiar. It was a wondrous experience, which most would use the metaphor of flight to describe. Thomas, however, found riding his familiar to be a fundamentally different experience. It may not have had same freedom as flight, but the trust and warmth that emanated from the soft underfur contrasted perfectly with the chaotic wind rushing above him.
More importantly, though, Pallo was open to conversation. Unlike Wind, who was perfectly content to let Thomas stew in an awkward silence.
A note from the
Is it weird that after writing this chapter, I really want a pet giant wolf that I can ride?