Familiar Trouble (excerpts)

Familiar Trouble (excerpts)

A Story by Stephanie Weippert

This is the start and wedding reception chapters from my latest project. I'm looking for honest opinions on plotline, and believability. Not grammar at this time. Thanks!


The announcement caused tongues to wag all over the small town of Moramn.  The wizard Andrew had found a wife!  No one had heard of a wizard marrying in all of their lives, their parent’s lives or their grandparents’ lives.   The gossips said she was an Irish beauty he had met on one of his frequent travels.  She was coming to town that week and the nuptials were to happen three days later.  The townsfolk could talk of nothing else.

On the day of her arrival, Andrew stood outside the Fox Trail Inn to greet her.  Andrew was a youngish male, not too tall, nor too short.  He had on his good woolen blue robes, and his matching blue wizard’s cap over his chestnut hair.  He held Dali, his cat familiar, in his arms.  Well, he did for a while, until tired of being jostled by her master’s nervousness; she jumped down and sat next to his feet.  Dali was a beautiful long haired calico with sharp eyes who possessed such a commanding attitude that even the local dogs would obey her commands, no matter how much larger than Dali the dog was.

Andrew came early to meet his love.  They had communicated just that morning and Aine told him she wouldn’t reach Moramn until noon.  But no matter, Andrew had found his true love and wanted nothing else but to wait for her arrival.

When she finally arrived, the townspeople were in awe at her.  She wasn’t as great a beauty as the gossips said.  Her brown-blonde hair was tied back into a simple ponytail and her traveling clothes were well used.  But her presence!  Each felt it land upon them as a large weight, causing each person, male and female, old and young, to make a short bow as she passed on her horse.  When she arrived before Andrew, her face lit with the light of true love and her beauty increased a hundredfold. 

Andrew’s face also shone with deep love.  The two walked into the Inn, so engrossed in each other, that Dali did a mental sigh and leaped up to the saddle to great Aine’s familiar properly. 

“Greetings Belladonna” Dali said formally to the gray-haired female tabby sitting in a padded box attached to the rear of the saddle.

“Greetings Dali” replied the cat, following the social norms of familiar cats. 

“Was your travel pleasant?”  Dali sniffed the newcomer.  “We have been most eager for your arrival.”

Belladonna sniffed back, as was polite in these situations, then asked with amusement. “It was quite pleasant, all things considered.  Shall we follow our people into the building? I do not want to stay on this horse any longer.”

They gracefully jumped down and together pushed open the door to find their masters.  




The next day dawned clear and beautiful.  It was a perfect day for a wedding, everyone agreed.  Andrew walked over to the church first and Aine rode over in the carriage that the servants had covered with flowers.  The cats rode with her and stayed there while the wizards exchanged vows.

     It went off without a hitch.  Andrew and Aine exchanged vows before Pastor Jacopo with the mayor and his wife as the witnesses. 

     Andrew and Aine walked out of the church and found many cheering townsfolk.  They entered the carriage and the throng followed them to the Counsel House.

     “Well, how long had they been out here?”  Andrew asked Dali.

     “Oh, since you two went into the church.” Dali yawned, repositioned herself then went back to her catnap. 

“Since everybody knew you were getting married today, they knew why the carriage was here.  They just waited for you to come out.” Bella added from Aine’s lap.

They arrived to more cheering townsfolk.  Dali rode on Andrew’s shoulder and Aine carried Bella as the entered the Counsel House.  They made a lovely couple as they entered and everybody surrounded them.  Bella and Dali didn’t like the push of the crowd so jumped down, walked between the legs of the people, and went to the table where the food was set. 

It went on for a very long time.  When the wizards were finally allowed to sit, the toasts started.  The mayor toasted the couple first, and he talked until his wife nudged his arm.  Next the three members of the tri-counsel went up together but kept it blessedly short.  Then Pastor Jacopo had to have his turn of course.  The cats became bored. 

Dali curled up for a nap.  Bella started exploring under the tables.  Despite the noise from all the people in that room, she heard a rat’s rustle.  Going into hunt mode, Bella crept toward the sound.  She saw a crack in the joint between wall and floor that had been chewed open.  She crouched down next to the hole, as silent as a tomb. 

The speeches continued above.  The merchants were each taking a turn now.  Aine was grateful she was sitting at the head table.  She looked at the food and wished they would finish up already.

A small nose cautiously came through the hole.  Bella’s color was a great advantage as her gray fur blended into the half-light under the table.  The smells of food must’ve been too much for the rat, or maybe it didn’t smell her, but it left the hole and Bella pounced.

Andrew was about to ask that they be allowed to begin eating, when a terrible sound was heard from under the food table. 

Bella missed the rat; it was fast!  But she chased after it.  Dali heard the rat squeal and Bella’s hiss and she bounded under the table and the chase was on.

Everyone was in shock when the rat, chased by two cats, climbed like lightening up the table skirt and ran between the platters of food.  The rat missed most everything on the table, but the cats were larger and couldn’t fit so easily between.  The artful pyramids of fruit came rolling down to the floor; the stacks of rolls fell over; the platter of meat toppled.  

Aine and Andrew were closest and the first to run over and try to save some of the food.  Aine tried to save a second platter of meat, but didn’t get there fast enough, and it fell down the front of her dress. Andrew ran to the desserts but didn’t have any more luck.  The tarts ended up flying when Dali struck the bottom of the plate he was holding and they landed on the people behind him. 

By this time the rat and cats had jumped off the table and were running through the crowd.  Women screamed.  Men cursed and tried to hit the rat or maybe one of the cats.  The mayor and both pastors were at the table now, trying to save some of the food, with marginal success. 

The rat however, who had come out specifically because of the food, and being a rat, had a one-track mind. It continued around the room back to the table, and not seeing the cats, shimmied back up the table skirt after the food.  It squeaked again when the cats jumped back onto the table and took off running down the table a second time.

This time each human tried to lift something out of the path of the beasts. Aine managed to rescue a platter of meat this time.  Andrew picked the three-tier wedding cake but it was heavier than he thought.  It wobbled when he lifted it and he didn’t get it high enough for Bella to run under.  She struck the metal plate hard, knocking herself senseless and tipping it, causing Andrew and cake to fall to the floor.  Aine was standing next to him and he took her down with him.  The platter of meat she was holding landed upside down on her lap. Seeing Bella out cold, Dali stopped to see to her and the rat scampered away. 

Aine looked ready to murder one or both of the cats, regardless of whether they were useful familiars or not.

Andrew however started laughing.  “Aine my love?”  He gasped.  She glared at him and he continued.  “We had to expect this.  Since we are now a family we were bound to have familiar troubles.”  He was almost choking with laughter now.

Aine was nonplussed, but her anger soon faded into giggles, and she threw meat at his face for the terrible pun.


© 2008 Stephanie Weippert

Author's Note

Stephanie Weippert
I'm intersted in plot and believability right now, not grammer or spelling. Thanks!

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the plotline and believability are fine - after all, you are writing about wizards and such so there is an opening there for whatever you wish. I wasnt sure if you were looking for any editing at all - there are some small grammar things throughout. I loved the wedding scene - made me laugh - even the bad pun made me laugh!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on March 3, 2008
Last Updated on March 12, 2008


Stephanie Weippert
Stephanie Weippert

Tacoma, WA

I write because my muse tells me to. She's such a demanding little *&$%*! LOL Below is my writing contest. Go ahead and take a look! Geek LoveDec 27, 2007 - Mar 28, 2008 more..