[P] pentecostal fire in the dark time of the year
#1
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Made a bunch of assumptions, let me know if you need changes.
The leather satchel swung wildly from her shoulder, bouncing against her thigh, against the other woman, against the grass that was too wet, too weak, to rustle. Here and there she thought that the remnants of winter flooding could still be seen; she also knew that she only saw because she knew to look for the signs at all.

Unwilling to disturb the quiet that had settled between them in the aftermath of the blonde woman’s plea for assistance, Adina settled for looking at her out of the corner of one eye when able. Concern ebbed and flowed within her; the jubilant girl—a woman grown in her own right, she reminded herself—seemed to have escaped unscathed. Pressing questions were not what was needed right now, but they would come later.

Cresting over the peak of a low hill at a respectable clip, the coyote saw him (bruised, blooded, brash) before she smelled him. His age was what concerned her; no longer as young as he’d once been, his wounds would take longer to heal… if he let them heal, which was a separate issue. Men in particular, she’d found, were significantly less likely to allow themselves the time they needed to mend. She thought it made them feel tougher, stronger; it didn’t occur to her that it was necessary.

She knew a little something about that, continuing on to survive.

The coyote complained in Spanish. “you’ve done it now.”

Without affording him the same gentle understanding she had Indis, Adina wasted little time: as liberally as possible, she poured water from a skin she’d brought, sloughing the blood from his wounds.

To Galilee, she handed a small bowl with a few inches of water from a flask; it smelled spicy and a little tepid, but it was serviceable.

“Can you soak this?” She asked, handing her an oft-used linen rag.
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#2
His arrival at the Troupe’s figurative doorstep had been far from dignified, though he’d tried to make it so. Limping gallantly from the northern reaches, his Secui frame granting him the regality of an bloodied lion, he approached with head high and voice strong as he called for his kin to aid him. He soaked in all of Galilee’s fawning concern, smiling in reassurance.

When she asked him what happened, well, then he’d gotten cagey. And then when he admitted to worsening his condition by traveling like this, she’d swatted him hard enough to make him yelp like a cub. After that, Skoll was resigned to hanging his head as Lee berated him.

“Stubborn—

“Reckless—

“Frankly, racist—

“Shit-stirring salaud!”


“Are you done?” Skoll had asked, and Galilee mocked him with an up-pitched ”Are you done?” before scoffing at him and marching off with promise of finding a medic. Rolling his eye, the Secui male dropped his head on his forepaws and tried to pretend he wasn’t dizzy.

He might have dozed off, because the coyote’s yap caught him unguarded and sluggish to respond. He glanced up, raising his brows at the dusty grey woman who accompanied his daughter, and snorted at her remark. He had the grace to remain still and compliant as she cleaned the worst of the blood and debris from his wounds, many of which had been stretched back open from his clumsy travel back through the mountains. (He didn’t want to think of that; he might not have managed to get away from Salsola a second time.)

Galilee worked in the background, soaking the rag as instructed. She refused to meet her father’s gaze, but her eyes remained drawn by curiosity to the healer’s methods.

Wincing as the bonesetter prodded none-too-gently, Skoll cracked his eye open to glimpse the wooden pendant hanging from her throat, and chuckled low and throaty. “A sister in faith, huh?” He dropped his head on his paws again. “Do you know a woman named Crucifix?”

Lee made a noise in her throat that suggested displeasure, but he ignored her but for a flick of his notched ear.
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#3
He looked like Antioch.

It was an unavoidable comparison; their coloring was dramatically different, their composition disparate, but she saw something in his bulk, his protective nature that reminded her of her own father.

Her new cross was worse for wear, being a faithful but poorly executed attempt at filling the void where her rosary and cross had hung; it was lost now, gone in the thunderstorm, stolen by the devil. When the leonine man mentioned it, though, she grasped the lashed twigs, then nodded.

“She was my aunt,” Adina confirmed; she’d had a lot of aunts and uncles growing up. “a healer, too.”

Her pause grew into silence, her amber eyes assessing him. Never could he ever pass for a coyote, and their relations with wolves and wolfdogs had always been tenuous at best. Not without reason, she thought, considering recent events. Well-intended or no, Indis had dispatched more than one assailant with an axe.

“I was a year old when she was murdered.” Taking the bowl of cinnamon-bark-water from Galilee—something for her to do, something to keep her hands and mind busy—she wrung out the rag and pressed it to Skoll’s wounds, wiping gently but insistently. Some used the ground bark as a spice, which she considered wasteful, but steeping it in hot water allowed her a flexibility that chewing, crushing, and mixing poultices and salves did not.

That wasn’t to say she didn’t believe in them or keep them on her person. Pulling a wax-sealed jar from her satchel, she peeled back the top. It stank of ginger and, beneath that, smelled pleasantly of feverfew.

“This will help with the pain; the cinnamon bark was to avoid infection and mortification.”
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#4
“Ah,” Skoll said, smiling.

He couldn’t remember if he’d known that the diminuitive coyote had been a healer. He wasn’t surprised to learn that the girl was related to her; coyotes bred large families, which had led to some of Inferni’s infamy. He thought idly about this before the woman (Adina, Lee’d called her) continued.

“Ah,” he said again, falling solemnly silent. He rested his chin on his foreleg, averting his gaze and lowering his rose-hued ears. He thought privately that the little thing would have made an easy target. “Did a wolf do it?”

Galilee made another sound of disapproval, her green glare scorching before it flickered with apology to Adina’s fiery one. She offered the bowl and soaked rag, which Adina used to wipe at the wounds. Her touch was not overly harsh, but it still stung. He was sure the herbs he smelled as she peeled back the wax would sting, too, until it numbed the pain.

“I’m already mortified,” Skoll joked. He swung his big head toward Galilee, but she was faced away from him, so he couldn’t tell her reaction. He huffed, dropping his muzzle down again. “Thank you for doing this,” he said. “I know I’m not part of your little group.”
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#5
When he asked if a wolf had killed Crucifix her gaze swung up from her work and her eyes hardened all in the same instance. It was look that somehow managed to be both accusatory and confused; what did he know about coyote persecution anyway? He was a wolf (albeit a very doggish one) and had no business saying such things.

Galilee seemed apologetic on her father’s behalf, having realized he had perhaps spoken out of turn; in any case, she frowned a little afterward.

“No,” Adina confirmed, her lip curling. It was worse somehow when they died from coyote-on-coyote violence. “an ex-Infernian did it.”

The distinction was clearly important to her.

It had involved complicated topics not suitable for a child or a young woman; her knowledge did not extend past the very basics of what had happened. These were subjects she knew intimately now, but the terror her aunt must have felt in the days and weeks leading up to her murder was unique to her. They experienced these things differently, and there was no single ‘right way’ to react to trauma.

When he said he was already mortified she almost knocked over the water infusion with a jerk of laughter before sobering; her eyes were still crinkled around the edges though.

“As you should be,” She tried to catch Galilee’s gaze now, thinking she might feel similarly. She was trying not to look at her father though, and so she focused her attention elsewhere for the moment. “I don’t just tend to the group.”

Maybe she should have, but it was not the Christian thing to do.

“What kind of curadora would I be if I turned someone away, hm?” She tossed her short hair. “If I do and they die, I am just as responsible because I could have helped. No está bien.”
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