[P] New Dirt
p. Messiah - Dampwoods/Forest of Nod
#1
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000 words → hio! here goes Singe's first real IF thread; it's backdated slightly to a couple days after Ignition, exact date is whatever's convenient.

The powerful scent of smoke, ash, and flickering flames mixed distressingly with the heavy air of the Dampwoods. However, no plumes of smoke rose to mix with the forest's looming fog clouds - the source was merely Singe, newly initiated as an official Infernian. Most of his life had been spent near or even in the fires he created, and as a result, his vivid pelt carried the choking stench of a healthily-burning pyre with a stubborn permanence.


Even his trusty torches were extinguished, albeit with no small amount of reluctance. They hung unlit at his sides, marking his navy-blue pants with black streaks of ash as they swung with his movements. He held an intense dislike for doing anything without a fire burning near him, but a year's experience of playing with fire had taught him that carrying open fires around unknown territory always held a chance of starting an out-of-control blaze, even in moist conditions. Having torched his first home already, he wasn't about to take chances with the second.


Despite being in the bipedal form he favored for so many occasions, the stringy firestarter slinked low along the ground on all fours, rump in the air as he sniffed intently at the forest floor. Every now and then, he'd slink his way partway up the trunk of a tree, examining it closely, sampling bits of bark. He was eager to familiarize himself with his new home, and this included taking careful stock of what he could and couldn't burn. His methods of going about this might seem a bit outlandish to his newfound packmates, he decided, as he spat out a bit of bark he'd sampled, but after Myrika's and Lorelei's reaction to the bonfire he'd constructed days before, Singe was confident he could prove himself when the time came to do so.


Pointing his muzzle to the sky with a sound of elation, the wild-eyed pyro spotted a few dying branches caught up in the clutches of their greener brethren that would likely prove ideal for the campfire he'd be making soon to help keep his mania in check. Unsheathing an old hatchet from a loop on his belt, he clung to the base of the nearest tree, clambering his way up towards his fuel with precise, calculated movements.

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#2
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Thanks for starting! ♥ Would you mind making the font on your table larger, though? :3 It's hard for me to read.



Messiah was eager to explore every inch of the territory, and he spent much of his morning racing around the D'Neville Mansion. Old houses did not appeal to him as much as the caves, but it was interesting to peek around and see who lived there—even if an angry woman brandishing a spoon chased him out of the kitchen at one point. Another lady had called something to him in a foreign language, and a silver girl had come out to see what was wrong—but he'd hidden before she could lay her beautiful blue eyes on him, not quite ready to deal with someone like that yet.


He ran out into the woods afterward, smiling for the sheer joy of being here, when a smoky scent caught his attention. Large ears pricked and swiveled, and he followed the burnt odor curiously. He'd heard stories about how new Inferni had been forged in fire, and about wars where the land was born, and wondered what he might find now. Even a little cookfire would appeal to him, in truth—a chance to meet a clanmate who wasn't intimidatingly pretty or just intimidating.


When he reached the source of the scent, he saw a blaze of orange—but it was a reddish coyote up in a tree, not flame. The smaller gingery coyote peered up at him, ears tucked down uncertainly as the other shimmied up the tree. Hi, Messiah offered awkwardly.



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#3
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000 words → oops, forgot i normally size up the fonts in this table

Singe had just transferred his grip over to one of the timber's healthy, green branches when his cloth-obscured head snapped round to search for the source of the short noise that had reached his ears. Wild yellow eyes searched the forest floor beneath him before locating a fuzzy brown anomaly that hadn't been there earlier - from the way it was looking up at him, it must have been the source of the unsteady greeting. The pyro was momentarily confused by the small canine watching him climb, but his other senses quickly reassured him that what he was looking at was, in fact, another Infernian!


A short, raspy cackle left Singe's concealed snout, the stringy coyote suddenly eager to meet his new friend up close. Hatchet firmly in hand, he clutched the branch with one arm, using the other to bring his hand-axe in a wide, sweeping arc up into the very branch that suspended him above the ground. The wooden limb lowered with a snap, and another chop disconnected it entirely, sending Singe, the branch, and the dry brush atop it plummeting to the earth.


The nimble firestarter and his brittle loot didn't fall far, the fiery coyote landing on all fours on the leafy forest floor with the mess of branches crashing down just behind him. After taking a moment to recover from the drop, Singe's violent amber gaze found Messiah, whom the pyro bounded towards with tangible jubilance, once again preferring to stay on all fours despite his Optime form's bipedal bias.


"Singe offers his greetings, small one!" he greeted with a smoky cough, his tail a wagging blur of fiery orange. He wasn't used to the feeling of greeting new friends like this - life as a loner had been about as sociable as it sounds - but oh, what a brilliant feeling it was! It was nearly euphoric enough to make him forget about his quietly growing need to light something up...

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#4
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omg I love Singe xD



The coyote snapped his head round to peer down at Messiah, who caught a glimpse of cloth and began to link his hands together, rubbing his thumbs along the back of the opposite hand to occupy himself. He waited for acknowledgment, which came in a muffled, rough chuckle.


Then, suddenly, the hatchet came around. The reddish coyote freed himself from the tree and let gravity bring himself and the chopped branch down. Messiah yelped and scrambled backward, eyes wide enough to show the speckle of odd color in the left. He stared at the other, wondering if he was hurt, but the Infernian only landed and slinked forward—on all fours, like his brother.


The young coyote had to suppress a snort at that, wondering if this man was a frightened, stupid fool like Nephilim could be—but then the stranger greeted him and Messiah forgot his derision for his sibling.


Huh! the short, willowy coyote barked, putting hands on hips and straightening so that he stood a little taller. I'm not small with you crawling around like that, he pointed out, but his oversized and torn ears wilted. He didn't know if the other was ranked higher than him or not, and he didn't want to cause trouble.


What are you doing in that tree? Singe? Messiah guessed, not put off by odd speech patterns. My name is Messiah de le Poer. I'm new here, but my parents lived here and my father's parents and grandparents. He nodded, confidence rising as he described his proud lineage.



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#5
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000 words → muhaha, cool to hear

Singe nodded rapidly as his ears absorbed the darker-furred Infernian's words, eyes wide as a curious pup's, still sitting back on his haunches and looking up at the decidedly bipedal Messiah. He glanced quickly at his own posture compared to the youth's when the other commented on their height. Displacing a few leaves on the ground, the stringy pyro stood, and stood tall - a whole foot and a half taller than the de le Poer, and nearly as skinny. Singe bent down to meet Messiah at eye level. This readily displayed his lack of understanding of the concept of 'personal space,' as the movement left the firestarter's cloth-covered muzzle scant inches from the other Infernian's face, Singe's disturbingly thick, smoky scent strong enough to make one's throat close up.


"Singe is happy to meet you, small one!" he replied, tail a blur of fiery orange as it wagged fast enough to be audible. He tried his best to direct another smoky cough away from Messiah's face. "Singe is new, as well! Singe- er, burned, his old family's home." His exuberant aura of blithe happiness faltered here, tail slowing and ears folding as he reminded himself of the pain of being exiled - but only for a moment. "Bad accident. Bad, bad Singe. But Singe ran away, and he learned and burned and trained and learned, and now Singe is one with fire!" Just talking about fires brought a tinge of mania to his eyes, thoroughly enjoying the thought of starting one nearby.


He perked a bit at Messiah's inquiry of what exactly he was doing, punctuated with another wispy plume of smoke forcing itself from his muzzle. "He was exploring new family's home! Fire coyotes have much, much land! Land has much, much fuel!" The firestarter turned, pointing with his ragged hatchet towards the branches he'd felled. "Singe gathers fuel for his next fire. Many many many branches all around," he said, motioning towards the omnipresent trees with his hand axe. "But only some good to burn. Forest very damp and wet. Fire hates damp and wet! Need dry, brittle, dead branches. Fire likes them." He was all too happy to explain his actions to his new friend, just enjoying the sensation of being social! A year's exile had done no favors for his social skills, and perhaps that made itself apparent in his actions, but he sure didn't mind trying!

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#6
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Singe straightened tall, and bowed forward—and immediately Messiah shrank with shoulders hunching and ears all but disappearing into his mane as he cringed away, more for the lack of personal space than the scent, which intrigued as much as nauseated him. He waved a hand briefly in front of his face then awkwardly fisted it, pulling it to the back of his neck and scratching his nape awkwardly as the other exclaimed their similarities happily.


When he mentioned burning down his home in an accident, the willowy coyote grimaced then perked his ears up, the large satellite-like things bouncing to attention. You can control fire? he asked. It sucked that his home had burned down, but if he could set fire to a field of wolves—that'd be faster than killing them one by one, Messiah thought. Fire cleansed in the same way spilled blood did. His tail beat at a tempo almost rivalling Singe's.


The smoky coyote was enthused to explain the process of selecting fuel for the fire, explaining that dry and brittle was better-liked by the flames. Messiah imaged great jaws of red and yellow snapping at the twigs with crackles and pops like chewed bones, and he grinned. I'll help you! he volunteered. We're sure to find something here in the woods. It's a bit damp, but... He shrugged narrow shoulders and bent, plucking a twig from the felled branch and popping it between his teeth, cracking down on it and waiting for Singe to lead the way to find some kindling.



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#7
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000 words → i like that messiah's first thought about Singe's pyromania is basically "damn this could be really great for mass murder" lol

Singe nodded rapidly at Messiah's restating of the pyro's self-proclaimed affiliation with fire, panting audibly behind the dark cloth mask. He picked up on the enthusiasm the shorter Infernian appeared to share with him, beginning to bounce on his toes a little from the sheer happiness coursing through him - mixed with a small dose of pyromania-induced madness, of course. To that point, his mind was focused more on the sensations of blissful catharsis he'd feel as a result of watching all those fires spring to life, rather than the potential violence the searing inferno could cause.


The firestarter jumped for joy when Messiah offered to help him prepare his next blaze, lifting his stringy six-foot frame high off the ground with startling agility. "Hahah! Yes! Messiah and Singe will bring fire to the forest!" He gave another, smaller hop, twirling 360 before landing on one foot. He could hardly contain himself - he didn't just get to burn stuff, he got to burn stuff with a new friend who was equally interested in burning stuff! Eagerly, he turned and pointed to the sky. "Singe searches the trees!" His arm then snapped downwards, pointing down a faint path leading further into the dampwoods. "Messiah searches the floor! Find many, many branches, then find Singe! Then, we burn, burn, BURN!"


With a raspy cackle and a few smoky coughs, the pyro clung to the nearest tree, hatchet in hand as he lunged methodically up the trunk and disappeared into the canopy, rustling the branches noisily as he searched manically for more firewood caught amongst the tangles of tree limbs.

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#8
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YUP. 8D



The two reddish coyotes were like mirrors, if one smoke-stained—both eager, chortling, bouncing with excitement and life. It was not odd for Messiah to meet another so similar to him in enthusiasm. He grinned, recoiling at the other's happy leap, and continued to bite down on the twig in his mouth as one hand rotated the thing in his jaws.


Singe theatrically yapped instructions with great, exaggerated motions of his arm, and then leaped up a tree with his hatchet. Okay! Messiah exclaimed, the stick dropping from his mouth. He quickly plucked it back from the earth and popped it again between his teeth, busying his mouth as he watched Singe's fiery tail disappear among the leaves.


Spinning on his heel, the willowy little coyote jogged through the woods away from the tree, seeking kindling. He crouched often, throwing hands down onto the ground, pulling up twigs and sometimes mistakenly tugging roots. A lot of the twigs were wet and the bark crumbled away in his hand, so he tossed these aside and sought others—drier, sturdier, both to start the fire and as fodder for larger flames. When he had two little armfuls tucked against his sides, another twig cracking in his mouth, he wandered back in the direction of the other male.


Siiinge! he hollered, the broken twig landing at his feet. I got some stuff, I think it's good dry stuff. He blinked at a little branch falling from his arm and tried to grab it, only to drop more of the wood. With a nasty curse, he crouched and methodically scooped each of the sticks up again. Where are we gonna make the fire, anyway?



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#9
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000 words →

With a deafening cacophony of snapping branches and rustling leaves, Inferni's newest pyromaniac plummeted from the tangled network of the forest canopy in a shower of crooked, wooden debris. He landed before Messiah with considerable poise for a maniac, managing to avoid much injury from the falling tree parts, aside from one stray stick that bopped him on the muzzle and made him whine sharply.


Brushing off the pain, Singe turned to his newfound pal, tail lashing at the air as he gave a bright grin underneath his dark cloth mask. Bounding out of the circle of dead brush he'd amassed, he moved to briefly inspect the fuel Messiah had picked. "Mm... Ha-ha, ooh, yes! Singe is pleased with this!" Whirling back around, he scrambled to gather as many of the old, splintery twigs as his long, ropey arms could hold. "Singe finds space for fire!" he called back, still crouched low. "Small clearing, not very far! Messiah follows!"


And with that, the smoky orange coyote took off, string-thin tidbits of brush shaking out from his gatherings as they rustled and clattered noisily in his lean arms. He looked up frequently, doing his best to follow the path he'd taken during his time up in the canopy. After some missteps and a backtrack or two, Singe would lead his willowy buddy to an opening in the dense, cluttered forest, a few spots of debris-spotted dirt breaking up the carpet of green brush.


A rolling cackle spills from Singe's maw, broken up by some smoky, hacking coughs. Dropping his brittle cargo, he set about clearing a large spot on the ground, his movements made even more erratic by his encroaching mania. The growing need to set something ablaze was slowly making itself apparent - his mental state deteriorated with every passing thought of striking that flint, igniting that first spark. He began to mutter and laugh under his breath, pupils constricting and fingers trembling as he made way for their fire.

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#10
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Singe praised his collection, and Messiah puffed his thin chest out proudly. He fed off validation just as he sought to instill a need for it in others—easily prey to the same tactics he used against those weak souls like his brother. But Singe was a friend, he already decided. He was glad to have made his friend happy.


The small coyote had to scramble when the pyromaniac rushed off with his collection of dry brush. He hauled ass after the other, tongue lolling with excitement, and wavered as Singe sought the right place. He was not impatient, however, and only took the additional time to scoop as much of the dropped kindling as he could. More fell from his arms in his efforts than found their way nestled against them, but Messiah wasn't discouraged. Instead feeding off the other's excitement—and some of his anxieties, his needs—he chased Singe to the clearing and threw his collection down.


You make a lot of fires? Messiah asked, though he didn't linger long for an answer, instead rushing to the clearing's edge to pick up the loose bits. He tossed these near Singe rather than disrupt the pile, not certain how precise the set-up needed to be. How do you make it start?



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#11
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000 words →bluh, delay! Singe just doesn't come to me as easily as Decker does, yet :S i need to get better at just jumping at it and WRITING

Singe nodded rapidly, yet somehow also absently, as Messiah's first question nearly failed to register in his lightly-scorched ears. He was far too entranced by his own actions to reply properly - as much as he liked this fancy new "conversation" thing, all he could think about was the flames. He could already smell the smoldering wood deep at the back of his nose, his ears alternating between flattening and rotating as they scanned helplessly for the source of the crackling snaps emanating from a fire that had yet to be lit.


The partially-masked pyro constructed the base for his controlled blaze with a shaky, desperate sort of dexterity, setting the pieces together with conspicuous skill, while also looking to be on the ragged edge of letting his hand slip and knocking the whole thing back down. The second thing never happened, astoundingly enough to anyone who wasn't Singe - he'd grown accustomed to the shivers and the loud, shallow breathing, embracing them as an inevitable part of the process of creating these glorious blazes.


When the base of the fire was all set up - a decently-sized cone-like structure with the wide bit at the bottom, and the tinder massed neatly within it - it was time to answer Messiah's second question. Wild orange eyes never leaving his construction, one lanky arm swung to the makeshift holster on his hip, yanking one unlit torch free from his belt. His wiry fingers shakily uncovered the objects creating a small bulge in the cloth grip on the torch's handle - a scratched-up chunk of grayish flint, and a warped, slightly rusted bit of steel. Taking the stone in one hand and the metal in the other, he pressed both against each other, pressing them deeply into the bundle of dry, thin fibers at the campfire's base before striking them together. After numerous loud, clashing scrapes, small flashes began forming at the point of impact, and a few of those little sparks landing in just the right spots formed the first wisps of thin, gray smoke.


With his chest on the ground, Singe tugged his mask away from his muzzle for a moment, revealing the horrible burn marks cutting paths of raw, blackened flesh across the fiery fur along his snout. Carefully, he blew small wisps of air into the growing embers, gently nursing the warm glow until it became the beginning of a full-fledged campfire. Once it was strong enough to grow on its own, Singe leaned back up onto his knees, his distressed shakes beginning to melt away into serene stillness, the scorched flesh along his face warping into a satisfied smile.

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