'Souls RPG

Full Version: free as these birds, light as whispers
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
There were very few times that Nathan found himself hot in the North. Even though the sun rose alarmingly early here and disappeared later than he could have imagined, Nathan still felt a shiver run throug hhis bones at night. He'd therefore kept his jacket near him at almost all times, though this made little sense in the usual height of day. He'd find himself panting under the warm summer sun, desperate to sink into some cool pool somewhere. At the beginning of summer, this had been easy enough -- now, though, there were a few days of baking heat and it didn't seem like it would break anytime soon. The heat in the Bayou were more oppressive, but at least it rained each day when the sun was a little bit more than halfway through its daily curve through the sky. 

The past few weeks had been dry and hot. Nathan hated it. He missed the crack of a thunderstorm, the sweet smell of earth before a torrential downpour. He missed running from the shift in the weather, knowing he had only seconds before the weather turned dangerous. But mostly he missed how the earth turned soft and supple under the unforgiving deluges. Nazir and he were often the first out after these storms, scampering down to the beach even when the rain was still moderately heavy to gather as many crawfish as they could. 

Today, though, Nathan had knelt on the beach and scraped a relatively few paltry shellfish from their beds. He hadn't even brought his jacket, electing instead to leave it in the relatively safety of his traveling companions. So they'd become. 

By the time Nathan was done gathering, he was panting heavily and fully exhausted. But Nathan, fickle as he was, did not bow away from hard physical labor. Instead, he gathered a fire and tipped a few spices out of the satchel he'd kept slung over his back. The past few months taught him that this was a relatively busy crossroads for travelers, and so he assumed that a traveler or two might come through here. Nathan, with this in mind, tossed all the oysters onto the fire. Hopefully someone would come and offer a few paltry items for a good dinner and conversation. 
[x] //
She knew better than to wander towards the telltale signs of others: months of living alone had prepared her to always expect the worst. Yet there was some tantalizing draw, some forbidden fruit she often chastised herself for pining after.

Conversation. Companionship. When had these things become so taboo?

It was self-imposed, she knew. A survival tactic. For the past few months, she did not break her unspoken vow — stay out of sight and out of mind — but the heat of the summer drove her out of her solitude. It was easier to hide from everyone in the loneliness of winter, but summer chased her out of her foxholes and into the light.

In the growing heat, she found herself drawn back to the sea. Evie had always lived near it, was formed by it; her homelands lay on the other side of it, somewhere, yet by now, the ports of her motherland seemed like a hazy memory, a vignette awash in sepia tones. Still, the ocean had some romantic air about it, made all the more sweeter by the smell of crackling food on the fire.

The decision to approach was one she toiled over for far too long. By the time she eventually willed her feet onward, she kept her posture cautiously open, her muzzle slightly downturned, and she was once again dolefully aware of her nakedness and lack of any civility at all. She was one of the wildlings now, the only possession upon her being the dull dagger strapped at her thigh.

After a deep breath, Evie gave a low woof, alerting him to her presence, and she waited for whatever reaction the fates had in store for her.

[+2]
hope you don't mind me! :3c
He'd been so eager for a taste of the smoky spices of home that Nathan forgot a cardinal sin of roasing oysters over a fire -- never do it when the sun was up. His choice didn't make much sense, in retrospect. The fire and smoke billowed up and choked him, and it was hard (that is, imposisble) to get cool; his tongue lolled desperately from between his teeth as he panted over his work. 

It had been a nearly half a year since he left the South, and Nathan still hadn't adjusted to life without Nazir at his side. Even now, he found himself turning his head a bit, as if his brother were right behind him and could go fill up a leaf with water. But those leaves didn't exist here, and neither - it seemed - did Nazir. Nathan had to bite down the existential pani, just as he did whenever thoughts of his brother's whereabouts (where is he, where is he, he should be here by now, I need to go back) crept to the forefront. 

What was he doing? Just sitting here with his silly litle stick and silly little oysters, eating around his silly little fire? He wasn't even doing anything. This existential crisis, it seemed, was popping up with increasing regularity. A few weeks ago it manifested in his harassing a trader and getting treed with a strange woman. Now it looked like getting worked up over some -- 

Shit. The oysters. Nathan nudged them a bit with his stick. If he wanted to get anything good for these - though good was a relative term here, they were really just some seafood that anyone could drag up from the sea - he needed to nudge them around a bit, lest they char unpleasantly and become too tough and chewy. 

Through the smoke and spices, though, Nathan's nose twitched; there was someone nearby, perhaps drawn in by the crackling fire and fiery spices. He glanced up, still fussing absent mindedly over the flame, until a gray woman appeared, nose down and nude. This didn't bother Nathan -- he rarely bothered with clothes unless he absolutely had to, and so it was all back at camp. She wuffed a greeting and Nathan chuffed back, his whip-like tail naturally wagging in response. "'Ay girl," he called. "Lookin' fer somethin'?" 

He'd found it easier, in these parts, to greet with friendliness. But Nathan, charasmatic as he was, had not yet learned to trust. And so his smile was wide, it was still tight; though his eyes were bright, they remained guarded. She had a knife strapped to her thigh, after all, and teeth; Nathan learned long ago that teeth and claws hurt more than any unnatural thing. 
[x] //
Anytime she took the plunge, engaging with the unknown, Evie held her breath to the point where she thought she was going to pass out. These lands were unpredictable. People were unpredictable. She thought she owed her continued existence up until this point from being as unnoticeable as possible by those that saw to do her harm, more luck than any actual skill on her part, and saddling up to this stranger and his oysters was, decidedly, not in her best interest.

The man, a dog, flashed her a winning grin. His two-toned eyes were sharp and cautious all the same. As they should have been, she supposed.

"Everyone is always looking for something," she answered cheekily, a non-answer, as she managed a dry smile of her own.

Hazarding a step closer, Evie still kept her stance carefully open, tail low, though she did not seek to make herself look submissive. Wary, yes, but never weak.

"If I promise not to steal your — Mussels? Clams? — Your meal, would you share your fire?"

A foot in the door was better than it being slammed in her face, after all.

"I am Evie," she added, so she was less of a nameless drifter and more of an equal.

[+2]
The girl -- Evie -- was sassy, and Nathan laughed at her response, loud and untamed. His eyes softened a bit with his laughter, and it made him look even younger than he was. Nathan was mischevious, and perhaps more naive in the ways of the world than he cared to admit, but he was never as boyish as perhaps he should have been. Save, of course, for moments like these -- when he laughed, deeply and from his belly. 

"You right, Evie," he chuckled, stretching backwards a bit and twisting his arms over his head. Nathan's shoulders popped, creaky from being hunched over the fire; it was a relief he liked to indulge in, even if Mawmaw Sabi once told him it would make him grey 'round the muzzle before his time. Ah, well. 

Nathan patted the ground next to him, hoping the invitation was clear as he nodded towards her. "Can' blame me fer askin', you strapped to da fuckin teeth wit dem knives." He glanced up at her again, a teasing twinkle in his eye, before retrieving the stick he'd cast to the side to push the oysters around the fire one last time. They were almost done; without much spice or accoutrement, there was only so much the smoke could do to enhance the flavor. Really, he should have just eaten them raw. 

"Nathan O'Dimm," he added, almost as an afterthought, as he began to pull the shellfish towards him from the fire. It wasn't a graceful thing - he'd really just jerryrigged a stone over the flame to act as a cooking vessel, and he'd need to let them cool off for a fewm oments so not to burn his sensitive pawpads. He already had enough scars from his lack of patience. "If ya got anythin' interestin', I'd be willin' to give ya a few oysters for it. Bes' ones you'll get up here, swear it." The merry, mischievious twinkle in his eyes had reappeared as Nathan appraised her. She didn't look to be carrying much besides the knives - he hated to know where it might be, whatever else it could be - but Nathan would be happy to trade for a good story, or perhaps a song. 
[x] // so sorry for the delay! COVID + job hunting really took me out the past few weeks.