“Velvet Petalpaws Ravensbane,” Dark Lord Paw-ther said every time he left, “stay. Avoid all humans, demons, warlocks, and worms. Keep your nose to yourself, and all four paws–hands and feet–within range of the house. If you’re a good girl, I’ll bring you a treat.”
He was wearing his nice red coat, the one that smelled like faraway places and strange people, which meant he was going to be gone a long time.
“I’ll be a good girl,” I said. “Oh, yes I will!”
Velvet Petalpaws Ravensbane was always a good girl (when she wasn’t rolling in puddles or chewing on boots).
At first, it was fun to play in the garden and imagine I had littermates to play with…
I knew what I would talk to them about: smelly things, tasty things, and smelly, tasty things.
We’d chew on everything! And pee on everything we didn’t chew on! (Dark Lord Paw-ther didn’t like when I did that, but he was someplace far away.)
My littermate could teach me how to howl!
And so could my other one!
Dark Lord Paw-ther would tell us to shut our maws, if he was here.
I didn’t know why he left so much, or for so long. Didn’t he love Velvet Petalpaws Ravensbane? Where did he go? When was he coming back? What treat would he bring me?
And why couldn’t I come with him? I wouldn’t eat any demon hearts or unicorn horns again…
But now I had Dark Lady Maw-ther when he was gone! I wished she’d talk to me, even if it was just to yell at me for scratching her bark.
When I was alone, I could howl as loud as I wanted!
It’d be more fun with littermates, but I didn’t have any, so I stayed with Dark Lady Maw-ther as much as I could… Good girl, Velvet.
I had dreams of chasing sticks! Chase-chase-chase-chase-chase. And eating leaves! And sniffing moss!
Was that Dark Lord Paw-ther?
It wasn’t Dark Lord Paw-ther.
He said Velvet Petalpaws Ravensbane was a witch, and that meant she had powerful magicks that could take over the world. I didn’t want to take over the world, though–I just wanted a maw-ther and some littermates to play with when he was gone.
And he was gone forever and ever and ever…
“Dark Lady Maw-ther,” I said, after Dark Lord Paw-ther had been gone a hundred years, “can I cast a spell? Can I? Can I?”
“Good girl,” Dark Lady Maw-ther said by rustling her leaves. I had trouble imagining my maw-ther sleeping inside a tree, but I could see her as a dog outside of it…
I sniffed Dark Lady Maw-ther to “attune myself to her dark magicks,” oh yes I did.
And then Velvet Petalpaws Ravensbane cast a powerful spell! She was a true warlock’s dog-ter.
It worked-it worked-it worked-it worked!
“Velvet Petalpaws Ravensbane,” Dark Lord Paw-ther said, “what have you done?”
“You’re back!” I said. “You’re back-you’re back-you’re back!”
“Bad girl. What did I tell you about attempting spellcraft without your father present?”
“But Dark Lady Maw-ther said I could! Aren’t you glad I woke up Primrose Petalpaws? Aren’t you? Aren’t you?”
Now I had a maw-ther to play with, just like all the frogs and bugs I ate!