Cut scene from Heart Secret
Jerking to sit, Artemisia followed the sound...and her mouth opened in surprise as she watched a Familiar companion opening swish back and forth in the bedroom door. Her FamRacoon, Randa, waddled toward her, and she let out a sigh. She had a Fam, another blessing.
Randa hooked her claws on the long comforter that draped over the elevated bedsponge and climbed up. *Greetyou, Famwoman.* The raccoon's muzzle lifted and her mouth stretched in a smile, showing little pointy teeth. She hurried over to Artemisia, stopped to sit and clasp her paws together as she stared at Artemisia's body under the covers.
Artemisia patted her lap. "Come on."
Randa ran up the angle of her body and snuffled under Artemisia's chin, leaving a slight wet smear. *Love you, FamWoman!*
"I love you, too."
"Today we make my room and my place and my toys and all my stuff?"
"Residence, have we ever had a raccoon Fam?" Artemisia asked, not quite sure what Randa would need, but petting her Fam was nice, though when she moved her feet, Randa got distracted and attacked her toes. Laughing, she played with the young raccoon. It didn't matter that claws were shredding her old comforter, though she slyly spellshielded her pillows...
A horrible, long crreeeaaakk interrupted them and Randa ran up into Artemisia's arms and they both watched paper stretch, then crack as an old door in the far bedroom wall opened. A door to a room that Artemisia didn't even know was there. But she was the only one inhabiting the third floor and only used three rooms.
And they both sneezed as a cascade of dust rushed into the room. Artemisia hopped from the bed, snapping, "Third level housekeeping spell."
Suction pulled at her hair and her nightshirt, rattled and spun her knick-knacks. Randa cheeped and buried her long nose against Artemisia's neck.
When all the dust vanished and everything gleamed, Artemisia walked across the thick but faded Chinju rug to the dim open hole.
*Smells good. I think it will feel good on my pads!* Randa said, scrabbling and ripping Artemisia's thin cotton shirt. She'd have to get sturdier sleepwear. She put the raccoon on her paws and Randa shot into the dark room and chittered at her. *It is nice and dark even when your room is light and makes me sleepy, and it has a little window just for me and a wonderful tree branch outside the window and my own tree!*
"Wow," Artemisia said, examining the tall and narrow tree dubiously.
"We have never had a raccoon Fam," the Residence finally said. "But I have housed cats and I have data from the starship Nuada's Sword about raccoons on ancient Earth. I have also accessed and added to my ResidenceLibrary all information recarding the animals that the Public Library contains."
"Wonderful," Artemisia murmured, stepping into the small room. I was more like a narrow closet than anything.
"Our new Fam will need toys–"
"And indoor climbing trees like cat Fams prefer–"
"And we can move a no-time food storage unit and Fam dispenser into this room, along with a mattress and bedding."
*I will mostly sleep with my person,* Randa said, then added, *though it will be good to have my own bedsponge.*
"Raccoons can also use litter boxes."
*I will go outside.*
"Even when winter comes?"
*Yes.* The young Fam stopped and sat on her haunches, looked over at Artemisia. *This room is perfect!*
"Thank you, Residence," Artemisia said.
*Thank you, Residence!* Randa repeated.
The window opened and Randa sniffed hard. *My tree smells good and my room smells good and my FamWoman smells good. I am a lucky coon.*