Charles reached the door and shut it trapping the cat, and the two magi, inside. “It’s more anecdotal than anything else. I don’t think a caster has been hit with the spell in over a thousand years. Long before my time. I’m just pretty sure I was warned about that when I enchanted my own familiar, but I haven’t had one in ages.” As he spoke Charles was looking around. “There’s the cat!”
Charles ran toward the table where the cat was now licking itself. His path brought him closer to the wraith than Kyle currently was. It rotated again and a protrusion stretched off of it as though it had raised a hand to point at the older mage. Again, Kyle thought he caught a flash of body language from the form, it seemed to be getting angry. It floated a little higher and moved a little faster in its new direction.
Kyle stopped, and crouched slightly resting his hands on his knees and breathing heavily in the night air. He hadn’t been moving all that fast, but the idea of losing his mind had gotten his heart rate up. As such, he was stationary and watching when Charles reached the table where the cat was sitting. Charles tried to stop quickly, but didn’t manage it. His foot slipped out from under him leaving a trail of something brown, Kyle thought he might have stepped in the cat food, and he fell over backwards. The foot that had slipped kicked up catching the small patio table and sending it flying. His head hit the flagstones.
That was more than enough to startle the cat. It shot out from its hiding spot like a small grey missile passing fairly close to the wraith in the process of its flight. The wraith made what could only be called a sharp lunge to the side as the cat passed it. That was its fastest move yet, but it wasn’t quite quick enough to catch the cat.
Instead of turning to chase the cat, which would have been futile, the wraith continued on towards Charles. “It’s still on you,” Kyle called.
Charles groaned and started to roll over, but he was moving slowly and weakly. Kyle thought about running toward the wraith and trying to distract it again. Unfortunately, he was no longer certain that would work. Instead he looked over to the wall behind him. The cat had stopped there only a couple of feet from Kyle. It was washing its foot. It also seemed to have run through the cat food.
Moving quickly he stepped back, reached down, scooped it up, and then he threw it back across the courtyard at the wraith. He tried to be gentle about it, and it was no more than 10 feet. The cat wasn’t going to be hurt by its brief time as a projectile.
Of course, the cat didn’t seem to agree with that assessment. It twisted as it came off Kyle’s hand and its claws gouged bloody furrows in his skin. Then it twisted in the air, throwing its feet out in the direction of its motion and spreading the skin between its body and thighs to aerobrake. It made a rather poor substitute for a baseball.
The cat landed 2 feet behind the wraith. The wraith was only about a foot from Charles. Charles was almost to his feet, but Kyle could tell he wasn’t going to make it in time. Kyle cringed, thinking he’d just managed to drive his teacher insane- and rather more literally than most students managed.
Then the cat saved the day on its own. Apparently deciding Kyle was the biggest threat, it darted away from him, toward Charles, and directly through the wraith. Only as it hit the wraith the luminous form of the spirit collapsed in on itself looking like smoke for an instant. The smoke swirled into the cat’s mouth, there was a flash of light, and the spell was complete.
The now, presumably, much smarter cat stopped, looked around rapidly, and darted off in a different direction seeking a dark corner. Kyle could see how running might be a good plan at any level of intelligence. He hurried over to Charles and helped him to his feet. “Are you OK?”
Charles sighed. “Both my behind and my pride are bruised. That went poorly. I suppose I will live.”
Kyle was trying to come up with a reply to that when the door at the end of the courtyard opened again. Looking over, he saw it was Jessie. She looked tired but otherwise good.
She spoke before he could, “Hey guys! I just got back. I was going to turn in, but I saw you through the window. Were you casting some sort of spell?”