A Familiar Dog

dog everton yamamoto flickr

Photo credit: Everton Yamamoto

Aouda linked her arm into the taen’s.  The two ladies strolled through the blooming spring garden, pretending not to notice the guards.

Taen Haelanea’s voice was light, inconsequential.  “Not much of a rescue attempt, I must say. You seem caught in here with me now.”

Aouda giggled as though the taen had joked.  “Perhaps.”

A dog appeared beyond the iron bars of the gate, disappearing before the  guard turned.

Aouda steered them toward a secluded bench.  Eventually, the dog approached. “Act like you know him,” Aouda murmured.

Haelanea nodded, petting the strange dog.

“Your highness, this is Panaik.  Panaik, meet Haelanea, the rightful taen.”

Panaik bowed.  The taen squinted in confusion.

Aouda unhooked something from the dog’s collar, tucking it into her palm.  “This is all we need. Let us proceed to the closest shadow and make our escape, shall we?”

Haelanea smiled. “A well-trained dog you have there.”

Aouda half-smiled.  “Hm.”

Are you sure she’s the rightful ruler, mistress?

Yes, my friend.  Please don’t bite her.  It would embarrass me.

Very well.  “Arf.”


Word count: 175.  Inspired by this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers photo challenge.  Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting the challenge, and to Yinglan for providing the prompt photo, below.  Click here to see the other stories.


Photo © Yinglan


31 thoughts on “A Familiar Dog

  1. Well done on this. I like that her and the dog an communicate with their minds. No wonder he’s such a good dog
    Let’s hope this woman is truly the rightful Taen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really like the way you’ve created the ‘character’ of the dog, Panaik, and the way he communicates with Aouda. I also like how you’ve fed into the scene some hints of what went on before. I get the feeling there’s a great relationship between Aouda and Panaik that could be explored in another story. An intriguing and clever little piece. :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie! I had fun thinking up the premise — wondering why the Taen is in trouble, and why and how Aouda is rescuing her from imprisonment. The relationship between Aouda and her dog is indeed very special. By adopting Panaik as her familiar, she gradually transfers her magic abilities and even a bit of her own nahja (magic/soul stuff) to him, and he becomes a magical beast and no longer a normal animal. They must have been together for quite some time (and she pretty advanced in her wizardry) for them to be able to talk telepathically. The downside to this strong connection is that if a familiar dies, it can do serious damage to the wizard or witch.

      I know you like history and legends, Millie, so this idea is based loosely on:


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