The Life Story of Anandi Willow (Ongoing)

All Hallow's Eve (October Imagination Event)

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Anandi thought to herself, not for the first time "I really do need to stop listening to Emeraldine whenever her sister said anything that ended with "Just trust me." Looking over at her cheerful sister, Anandi let out a yowl and hissed.

Emeraldine stopped humming to herself and looked down at Anandi. "Well, how was I supposed to know that scroll would backfire and polymorph you instead of me? I mean really! At least you now have the excuse you were looking for at getting out of your house chores." Emeraldine laughed at her last comment.

Anandi scowled, as best as she could as a house cat and growled again at her sister. Why she ever thought allowing Emeraldine to try out a scroll she found would be beyond her, but she was always letting Emeraldine do this sort of thing, hoping her younger sister's curiosity would wane after too many failed spells. Unfortunately, only too often the spells backfired to Anandi's detriment which only made Emeraldine even more determined to try them again.

Emeraldine sighed and looked down at her sister again and sent a telepathic message to her this time. "Honestly, just talk to me this way. You know my animal lore is terrible and will never be as good as yours. I cannot speak cat."

Anandi jumped onto a tree stump nearby and began preening herself smugly. "Well if you would apply yourself to taming and lore as much as you apply yourself to your magery; we wouldn't have to be standing in the middle of nowhere looking like you're some crazy cat lady having a staring contest with your cat."Anandi said telepathically to her sister. She began to purr, and was rather amused that even in a feline form she could demonstrate her pride in having achieved a higher level of something over her studious sister.

Emeraldine shivered as another brisk wind reached it's icy fingers out to her and her sister. "Ana, really. We need to get home. Father said there was a storm coming in tonight and with how cold it is, we shall be getting a snow storm for sure."

Anandi stretched and jumped onto her sister's shoulder, rubbing her head against the side of her sister's. As Emeraldine started off again snowflakes began to fall from the sky, Anandi sneezed and curled in closer to Emeraldine's neck, trying to burrow inside of her sister's cloak hood. She detested cold weather as a human, being 3 times smaller than her normal size wasn't making the cold any less detestable.

Unfortunately, it was also All Hallow's Eve, and there was a fair amount of tricksters on the road home. Emeraldine, always being the more sociable of the two sisters insisted on stopping to speak with anyone who came along her path. Even if it was to say hello. Which is why after the third trickster they had met, who swore they had what Emeraldine needed to change her sister back into a human but only summoned a dragon instead that the girl and her feline sister were standing next to a dead dragon, a shocked trickster when the skies opened up and the world was quickly being covered in very heavy, very wet snow.

"Oh for the love of Circe and Persephone! Stop talking to everyone and get us home! If this weather keeps up we won't be able to see the tip of our noses!" Anandi telepathically screamed at her sister. As Anandi finished this thought-message the trickster disappeared in a puff of smoke. Anandi growled at the space, the trickster had just occupied. Emeraldine sniffed indignantly, finished looting the dragon that she so proudly dispatched without an ounce of assistance from her sister and continued home.

A short time later, which Anandi was sure had been hours but Emeraldine reassured her had only been five minutes, Emeraldine stopped walking and looked around. "Anandi? Do you have any idea where we are?" she said aloud. Anandi peered out from the folds of Emeraldine's hood and shuddered. The entire landscape had a perfect blanket of white snow. Shimmying out from Emeraldine's cloak, Anandi hopped down to the ground and abruptly vanished into a foot or more of snow. Yowling loudly, she attempted to claw her way out but only managed to dig herself further and further into the soft white down of the freshly fallen snow. Emeraldine scooped her sister out of the drift and rubbed her dry with her own cloak and tucked her back into the folds of her hood.

"Oh dear, I never expected to get lost in our own town on our way home!" Emeraldine said out loud as she continued walking in the direction she thought their house was in. What seemed like even more hours later, which Emeraldine again pointed out to Anandi had in fact only been approximately 30 minutes later the girls began to hear their mother calling for them. A soft glow in the distance that hopefully meant lantern light, slowly danced toward them. Emeraldine trudged toward the eerily dancing light, shivering now sodden from the snow and covered in a light dusting of snow and ice. Anandi sent a silent prayer to Circe and Persephone that this wasn't another trickster, and was truly their mother calling for them.

As the girls got nearer to the light, that it was in fact their mother. Miranda ran the last twenty feet to Emeraldine, wrapping her in a warm embrace and began crying in relief. "Rolf! Bring the blankets. I've at least found Emeraldine. Anandi can't be too far behind." Miranda looked over her youngest daughter, ensuring she wasn't in immediate danger of frostbite or hypothermia and gave a sigh of relief to see that while Emeraldine seemed shaken, she was whole and hale. "Sweet Persephone. Where have you been dearheart? And where is your sister!?" As Rolf arrived and wrapped a warm dry blanket around his daughter, he jumped as he saw a small black cat crawl out meekly from under the folds of Emeraldine's hood. "Ha! Miranda, it looks like Emeraldine brought home another mouth to feed."

Miranda smiled softly at Emeraldine, reaching for the feline and wrapping it tightly in a smaller blanket before tucking into the basket she had on her arm, handing her daughter a flask of warm mulled cider. "Drink that, and then let's go find your sister."Emeraldine took a sip from the flask, and then looked sheepishly at her mother and father. "Uhm, actually. You've already found her." she said as she pointed at the now happily warm and purring black cat inside of Miranda's basket.

Rolf and Miranda looked down at the cat, now cleaning herself and looked back at Emeraldine with matching looks of confusion of their faces. Emeraldine coughed in embarrassment and began to explain,"Well, you see... I wanted to outdo Anandi for once at the All Hallow's Eve event. So I went in search of a good spell to turn me into something instead of just wearing a mask. I found a scroll that I was able to decipher and discovered it was a polymorph spell. When I tried to use it on myself, I must have mispronounced something because, well..." she trailed off looking down forlornly at Anandi. Her father laughed loudly and began to escort his family back to their home. "Let's get inside, and we will see if your mother can set this right. We are expecting much more snowfall this evening. You have been gone for nearly five hours now, and we have already accumulated 3 feet of snow.Anandi looked back at her sister with a glare, that even as a feline clearly said to Emeraldine; "I told you!".

Once inside of their home, Rolf put together a small meal for Emeraldine, including a bowl of beef stew from the cauldron over the fire. Looking down at his eldest daughter in her feline form he said "I know it's somewhat uncouth, but seeing as you're currently a cat..." as he set down a bowl of warm cream and stew broth on the hearth. Anandi sniffed indignantly, before giving into the growl in her abdomen and ravenously lapped up the cream and broth mixture purring loudly as she found a piece of beef. Miranda busily searched the bookshelves for a spell that would undo the backfired spell that currently left her eldest daughter a feline, albeit an adorable and much less fussy feline daughter. She smiled softly to herself as she noticed Emeraldine fast asleep next to a half eaten bowl of stew, and Anandi curled up purring happily and fast asleep in front of the fire.

The next morning, both girls woke up in their own beds and blessedly human. As Miranda plated hotcakes and honeyed porridge for her family, Rolf entered the house shaking a layer of snow from himself. He advised that it appeared that all told, they had gotten just under six feet of snow that morning and after breakfast he wanted the girls to join him and some other villagers in searching for anyone who may have gotten lost in the storm the night before. Blessedly everyone was found accounted for and safe. Returning home for the dinner meal, Miranda proclaimed that all chores that day had been cancelled. The girls rejoiced and happily settled down near the fireplace with their parents enjoying games and reading. Relishing in being home, warm and safe.
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