Angel and Red

“Are you sure you don’t want some company?” Jorge Alaniz asked his daughter. They stood in the driveway loading her car with camping gear. “The Wilson’s son summoned a minotaur that he had trouble controlling at first,” he shrugged. “It might help if you had some back-up,” he smiled and nodded at his own familiar. A giant grizzly bear, larger than her car, slept under the shade of a large oak tree. Lydia shook her head and shut the trunk. The bear stirred, but he rolled over again.

“I’ll be fine, dad.” She leaned upward and kissed his cheek. “I gotta go if I want to be set up before my birthminute.” After a quick hug, she hopped in the car then headed out of town. The summoning happened at exactly 18 years down to the minute. Whether the person was conscious or not. Lydia reached her favorite campsite within a couple of hours and got to work. After another hour she sat in front of a warm fire watching the sunset. Then, she noticed a small black dot hovering in the air before her. She stared at it with curiosity and it started to grow. She stood from her camping chair in confusion.

Everyone warned her that the summoning hurt. Everyone’s summon happened in different ways, but it always hurt. She felt no pain even though the black hole stood over a foot taller than her 5’6″ height. She began to doubt it was her summoning and reached for her phone to check the time. Before she managed that a tall, thin man stepped out of the hole. He wore black slacks with an off-white guayabera shirt, but no shoes or socks. He smiled at
Lydia with perfect white teeth.

“Hello, beautiful,” he said with a smooth, low voice. Lydia stepped back with wide eyes. She’d never heard of a human familiar before.

“What are you?” She asked while keeping distance between them. He shrugged.

“#46 El Sol,” he bowed. “Angel -“

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!” Lydia screamed. She doubled over in pain holding her stomach and toppled to the ground. Angel ran to kneel next to her.

“Are you okay?” She nodded through gritted teeth. Angel looked around the camp and saw her sleeping bag lying nearby. He lifted Lydia and carried her to the bedding with no visible effort. “You don’t look okay,” he said after he placed her down. Lydia kept both hands on her stomach. The pressure helped ease the pain enough to talk.

“I’m okay. It’s…,” she grunted. “…supposed to hurt.”

“What is?”

“Summoning you,” she grinned. “My familiar.” Angel laughed and shook his head.

“You didn’t summon me, I’m just passing through,” he said, then shrugged. “I guess you’re still summoning whatever you’re going to summon.”

“Passing, oww,” she closed her eyes for a second. ” Passing through how?” she completed the question. She moved one hand off her stomach and squeezed Angel’s.

“Passing through this universe. I like to check out new places when I can. Never been to this Earth before.” Angel squeezed Lydia’s hand, then she felt him squeeze it again. “What’s that?” he asked. He lifted her hand up and noticed it covered with a tacky, deep red liquid.

“Hey, what color is your blood on this Earth?” he asked.

“Red, why?” Angel showed Lydia her own red palm.

“What?!” She looked down and lifted her other hand from her stomach. A large, moist, red puddle soaked through her yellow t-shirt. She pulled the hem of the shirt upward expecting to see a wound. She found none, only her tan stomach with no traces of red.

“Hey, where’d the blood go?” Angel asked. Lydia shrugged and pulled her shirt down. It was dry and yellow with no signs of the red stain. She checked her hands and they were clean also.

“What the hell?” Lydia stood up from the ground. “Hey. It doesn’t hurt anymore.” Angel chuckled.

“That’s good,” he nodded.

“So you’re not my familiar?” she asked. Angel shook his head.

“I’m your familiar!” a tiny squeak said. Angel and Lydia looked around the camp but did not see anyone. “Down here!” Lydia suddenly felt like she stepped in mud. Something cold and slimy enveloped her foot and she looked down. “Hello!”

A wobbling, smiling ball of translucent red slime stared up at her. Once it had her attention it began to climb, almost roll, up her body until it sat on her shoulder. It felt like she was being licked. Everything the slime touched felt moist, but it left nothing behind.  The red slime was almost the same size as her head and weighed as much as a filled water-balloon. Angel looked at the young woman with a smiling red ball of slime on her shoulder.

“Your Earth is weird. This’ll be fun,” he grinned.

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