[P] Wild and Free
Fall still had some warmth to give before winter would take over and leave the earth bare. Armani had been taking the pups out for days now but today her mother had offered to keep an ear out as the band of four took on the fort. That allowed Armani the chance to go out and take some time to breath.

Free from burden she took the chance to shed any stress by shifting into Secui and heading for the forest. The feeling she felt while wild and free was just magical. She was headed for knights peak wanting to overlook her favorite spot in the pack.

She wondered why she always felt a pull to her more natural side, the side her mother seemed to dislike so much. For her there was something grand about the run, the hunt, the howl. She stood atop the peak, her head turned to the sky as her song filled the air. What was so wrong with being free?

In this state, there weren’t senses in the normal, physical way that the living experienced. Instead, scent was replaced by sense, sight was replaced by insight, hearing was replaced by the heart, touch was replaced by memory. It was an inherently uncomfortable and frustrating existence, and Veyra only wanted to return.

But there was a reason she was here in this place again, a place she remembered but only wished to forget. What had made her return? She should not be here, among the living, her time here had long since passed.

How was it that she had left in the first place? Flowers, wind, the ocean. Some place high. She wished to return and so she sought that place. But she was confused, the world was upside down; she could not make heads or tails of it. Trails once known now lead to dead ends; she was angry, she did not want to be here.

At least, she had found a place high. Her claws dug into the earth of the precipice, and anger quickly turned to fear. It was an echo of her last moments among the living.

A call rang out, and her heart heard it. She turned; there was a soul there, singing as the songs of old were sung. For a moment, that fear left her, the anger left her; she raised her head and sang as well. But it was not true sound that emanated from her, but instead of the tone of the cosmos.

Armani stood atop the cliffs her head tilted to the mother moon. She would never go as far to say she was deeply spiritual but she could appreciate the bond she felt to the moon. She used to listen to the witch woman Evangeline while she stayed in Casa after the end of Anathema. Her howl allowed her soul to lift and allowed her to feel free.

What she never expected as she let her song fill the air the way it did. It wasn’t until her mind truly heard the sound that seemed to join her melody that her fur stood on end. It didn’t sound as though it came from her or those around her but from somewhere deeper in the earth? Her head turned as glistening green pools caught the in earthly glow.

A wolf, a beautiful wolf, had sung with her but what she saw gave her pause. She didn’t move as she stared at the figure before her. “Hello” she nearly whispered. Her mind reeled for a moment still trying to figure out who stood before her.

For several moments their songs weaved into a beautiful symphony, an offering to the stars above. Her green eyes lifted to see those lights, starting to twinkle into existence. She could feel herself coalesce, to materialize; her body became more solid, she began to sense again like she had when she was alive.

The song had finished, and Veyra turned to meet the verdant gaze of the woman she had joined. There was no familiarity there, other than the one shared between two wild spirits. The Damaichu woman took the female’s image in; she appreciate her strength and grooming, not in the least marred by the scars she bore. The woman seemed shocked, or perhaps frightened to see her, but was polite enough to whisper a hello.

Tail wagging behind her, Veyra moved forward to greet the woman properly, bringing them nose to nose, "Hello." she responded, though her voice sounded almost as if it were far away. She was still trying desperately to hold herself together; it was like trying to trap the wind.

The Dawn Princess walked around the woman, rubbing lengths with her, sniffing, then once they came face to face again, "What gave you those scars?"

Armani struggled to remember who it was that stood before her. The struggle made her head hurt as she watched the figure fill out, no maybe that wasn’t right. She couldn’t explain what she was seeing, it was something she had never seen before.

It wasn’t until they were nose to nose that the youth realized who was before her. Her body stiffened for a moment as she tried desperately to find a scent on the woman before her but all she could smell was the land around her. “Auntie Veyra?” Armani spoke her tail wag slightly as she tried to feel the woman as she rubbed against her. Her fur ruffled slightly like Veyras touch was like the wind to her.

“Fights, I went to Portland for a bit and trained. Learned I’m not as good as I thought. My teacher sealed the wounds they scarred, looks terrible I know.” She spoke as she tried to lean into the woman. “I don’t like being in this form, they stand out, but I feel so free when I’m like this.” She spoke.

Veyra saw the familiarity spark in the woman’s eyes, and she called her aunt, but Veyra did not recognize her. She strained to remember, but the memory of her life here, of the before, was as difficult to grasp as it was to keep hold of this form.

Aunt… did that mean this was one of her brother’s children? She had the red Damaichu fur, perhaps a daughter of Bertolt? Or perhaps she belonged to Callum’s line; it was difficult to tell, but the spirit took the living’s word for it. She nodded in acceptance.

The woman’s explanation of the origin of her scars made sense; this wolf was a warrior and the scars were badges of honor. She nodded again, "We should not be ashamed of our pasts, but it is a shame they have marred your skin." In life, Veyra would have never have allowed herself to get into a situation where there would be the chance to spoil her visage; even her corpse had remained pristine as it was taken by the watery abyss.

She knew, she had been there when it had happened, she had seen.

A breeze picked up and drifted up from the valley below, she could nearly feel its chill, yet her body remained ephemeral. She shook herself, looked around, then looked at the woman again, "Where… am I? Who are you?" she could feel herself slipping away.

Then, the anger again, "Why am I here?!"


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