Familiar

Xavier Nelson

United States

Message to Readers

Pilot chapter for the book I've wanted to write for a long time. Thank you all for reading c:

Feline Academy - One

March 5, 2019

FREE WRITING

6
Patient: Fai

Time of Day: 11:36 pm

Extra Notes: This is Fai's first night in the facility. I expect him to be tired and not talk much.


This place really makes me miss home. Tai’la, that’s where I’m from. You know… That little farming village across the Xen mountains? About fifty miles from Middai? No? Well, it’s beautiful. The village almost appears to glow if you look at it from the train window. That’s the work of all the grain we harvest. We contribute most of the bushels that are on the market right now., you know. Most of the corn you eat is from Tai’la.

You probably don’t care about my home though. You want to know about what happened at Feline Academy that sent me here, but… stories never have one beginning. A story that’s simply linear will dig itself so far into a hole that it fails to return from. Just stuck down there, unable to move on. It’s kinda tragic.

Oh, um, Feline Academy! Yes, I first learned of it through mama. A fantasy high school harboring the best and brightest felines from around the world. And that’s the way it’s been for years. Well, it was until a couple of years ago when they started admitting different species into the school. It was news throughout the entire village! How “others” would make up at least 5% of the rising Freshman class.

Mama wanted me to go. She wanted me to study hard and, one day, make it somewhere in this world. Most people in the village don’t leave. When people do, it’s only to sell our crop to different stores and such. I think people were scared to leave. Or maybe they weren’t allowed to.

You have to know a bit of history about Tai’la to understand why we might be scared of leaving. It might not come as a surprise, because many other places had the same thing happen to them, but felines used to live with us. I wouldn’t call it coexisting, it was more of a rule: tyranny. They adopted many strict laws that prohibited our rights as mice to exist. It was awful. I wasn’t born at the time, but I can only imagine. It was only twenty years ago when they left! Mama lived through that…

Really, the only way for people to make it through was religion. Just believing in some higher power that was looking after you. It really makes a mouse feel good.

It didn’t make me feel good though. Actually, it was quite awful. My father was a heathen according to the village council. I never knew him; he was long dead before I was born. But since he was a heathen, the other mice were more careful around me. I suspect that parents told their children to look out for me, while they ignored mama and I. It was just us. Just me and Mama. That’s why she wanted me to leave. To achieve something better than just the village.

So I studied my ass off. Entire days were dedicated to learning times tables, world history, and biology. All just to pass some stupid test to get into Feline Academy. Other mice realized real quick what I was doing and tried to stop me. It was the only time I was actually paid attention to.

Mice burned our crops, which almost resulted in our house going up in flames as well, and forced me to visit the council regularly where they debated over lovely matters such as “Should I be expelled for betraying the village?” Which, when you think about it, doesn’t make much sense because I was going to leave anyway. I think they meant well. They just didn’t want the same thing to happen to the village again. Everyone just had this one huge fear of felines.

But my studying paid off and I passed the test. Mama and I celebrated by eating a bit of extra rice than usual. She also gave me this gift! This was a necklace my dad wore all the time apparently. See this? It has a silver chain and sapphire amulet. I was actually named after this amulet! In Tai’la, sapphire is extremely rare and often thought to be a good luck charm that wards off the demons of our past. So we call it Fai, or Future.

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