[P] Once upon a time...
#1
There's a chain reaction - In your heart - Muscle memory - Remembering who you are

For Lyubov! - 641 words

Being a brother was something Borya had never had to consider before. In his youth he'd only focused on being a son; having a father that loved him just like his mother. Borya figured that would be it, that the dynamic between himself and his parents would be all his life would give him. And yet when his mother told Borya that she was having pups, Borya didn't realise just how much little siblings would mean. For Borya to be a big brother meant the young man could show just how much he loved his family without having to make it seem like he was repaying them for something. He could treat his younger siblings like they were princes or princesses of the world and give them no reason to think otherwise. Borya could go all out. 

And so Borya did, to the complaints of his left hand which was left feeling painful and swollen after so long holding onto charcoal and paints. But the results made Borya far too excited to sit and rest. From the permenant dent he'd left on the seat in the lounge, Borya got up and tucked his work into his sling and set off home. He didn't catch either of his sisters on the way there, though near the den he saw Tlama heading around with firewood under her arm. Before the woman could speak, Borya had grabbed her arm and pulled her inside their family den, which was thankfully empty. Tlama was along for the ride, especially since there was no way Borya was actually strong enough to move his giant lady anywhere without her volunteering. 

"I've finished it." Borya announced with his voice low, pulling the book out from his sling to show Tlama. She grinned, taking the book from his hands with gentle care. The hard cover of the book was made from two pieces of thin wood, rimmed with soft leather and kept tied together with rope, just like the pages within the book. On the front was Borya's best attempt at art. The young man was incredibly critical of himself, so in reality his 'attempt' was a lovely display of colours forming a picture of a little white puppy in a forest. Tlama's gaze over the book was warm and impressed, but for some reason Borya's stomach was still in a knot. "Is it alright? Does it look stupid? It looks stupid doesn't it?" He asked in a quick pace, though was shut down when Tlama chuckled and replaced the book into Borya's sling, kissing his forehead whilst she was near. 

"Anything from the master scholar is incredible, but this might be his best work." Tlama replied. Borya smiled back, blushing a little bit. 

"B-but you didn't even read it." He mumbled back. Tlama shrugged and grinned. 

"I didn't need to, besides I think the one it was made for should have the honour of reading it first." Tlama explained. "I haven't seen Zasha, but Lyu is down near the lower dens playing, if you want to catch her now." Spending time with Tlama was nice, but with the woman's guidance Borya nodded his thanks. He had to stand on the tip of his toes to kiss her cheek, something that Tlama never seemed to help him with because she probably found it hilarious, but it was worth the short struggle. With that, Borya left his love to go find his little sister, burying his fears under Tlama's encouragements.

Lyubov was fairly easy to spot around the white snow, and Borya was quick to call to her. "Lyu! I've got something to show you!" The big brother explained, hopping down the final steps to sit and wait for his sister to come over.

BORYA HUSHHOWL


In certain light I can plainly see,
A reflection of magnificence,
Hidden in you,
Maybe, even in me.
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#2
Lavender, lavender, lavender. She had love the little sprig that was given to her,  her mind thought back to the lovely color. It was lighter than her eyes, she had compared them in a reflection she found in a tub of liquid she knew as water. Her eyes held a bright shade of purple where this was softer, its scent so calming that she wondered if that was natural. She had to speak with this woman again, the lady called Fiora vin Vahn. She could tell her more about the soothing flower branch and maybe more!

For now she had to be content with playing in the snow, her sister off somewhere else once more. Her pupils had dilated again and she began to spin in circles, trying to catch the black tipped thing attached to her bum. It wagged without permission dropped without thought and it gave her away, how dare it! She spun once more only to find that she no longer needed to twirl when the world was doing that for her, oh my, that needed to stop. She staggered the a drunk luperci, stumbling before falling to her side. Oh how much had she had to drink, eh?

Finally the world ceased its spinning and she could stand again, the tail had one round 3 as well. The darn thing, if only it would behave!

Her name came, masculine and familar and what was that? He needed to show her something? Quickly the tail game now forgotten she raced to his seated form, her tail being a traitor again by wagging happily. She looked at him, tilting her head tot the side in question before looking at his shoulder. She wanted to climb him like she always did, to be at his height and have a more intimate family bond.
 [304] //  bit bro time.
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#3
There's a chain reaction - In your heart - Muscle memory - Remembering who you are

I'm very tempted to draw out the book >.> - 000 words

Borya certainly struggled a lot with his siblings. He couldn't shift to be closer to their level and play, and in his current state he couldn't even be active for long before getting tired. His lungs had never fully repaired after what happened a year ago, but Borya had made his peace with the fact that he would never be an active man anyway just as he'd embraced his lack of a right arm. And Borya was truly grateful that despite how young they were, neither Lyu or Zasha had jumped on his arm yet, which was especially good for Lyubov who loved to climb. It made the big brother truly thankful that his sisters didn't need to learn just how delicate he was the hard way, Borya would hate to upset them like that. 

Lyu came over all wriggles and excitment, making Borya chuckle as she came over to sit down by his side. Her eyes asked the question, glancing to the usual spot where she climbed but Borya gave her one better and moved his arm to let Lyu clamber over his lap should she wish. Once positioned, Borya wrapped around his sister to reach at the book tucked into his sling. "Alright, I made something for you." Borya announced, flipping the book so the front cover was shown, all of it's bright colours and the cute but simple design on display. "It's a story that I wrote. If you'd like I can read it out to you?" Borya suggested. 

He wasn't by any means trying to entice his younger siblings towards books just so he had someone to share his love of literature with; although it would be amazing if that happened. Borya did just want to make a fun story for his siblings to remember, a cute book of an adventure that might fill their hearts with childish wonder. That's all Borya really wanted out of his books, to share them with others and let his words translate into gifts. 

BORYA HUSHHOWL


In certain light I can plainly see,
A reflection of magnificence,
Hidden in you,
Maybe, even in me.
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#4
Her traitorous tail was an ally for the time being, as the emotions she was feeling were welcome to show on every inch of her body. She was incredibly happy to be around her brother, no matter that he seemed to never really move his right arm or hand. She always found it curious that he was the one Hushhowl that never seemed to shift into a four legged form but she never pressed the issue. Instead she avoided the right side of him. always climbing up the stronger side, the side that was never wrapped in linen and in a sling. She had looked at his shoulder now, curious if it was alright to climb on him today but he gave her a better option. He moved his good arm and gave her access to his lap, with another childish wiggle she moved to the new designated location for her to be.

After she had found herself comfortable and embraced by her brother's arms, he seemed to take a hard thing from the cloth that hung from his shoulder. She knew this to be called a book as her mother and father had read some to them when they were even younger than they were now, they were always filled with paper that had scribblings on them. These scribbles were called words and could tell as story or teach you about things that were lost long ago! She found that she wanted to learn to read these things called books and so when she gazed on the drawing of a little wolf in the forest she itched for the cover to open and for the pages to start turning. She also liked the way a book smelled, opening them up gave them all a unique signature of ink, paper, and musk.

She wiggled in his lap as she nodded, nose his hand to open the book. If that did not work she would bring a black encased paw to the book and paw at it gently, very gentle as she did not want to hurt the book or the beautiful drawing on the front.
[356] // i want to see this book >.<
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#5
There's a chain reaction - In your heart - Muscle memory - Remembering who you are

So I wrote the whole book, it's around 10 parts long, so I'll spread it out into a few posts. - 650 words

Borya was certainly a cuddler. Tlama liked to tease him about it when each night he wrapped himself around her and would spend all of his sleep latching on, or whenever he wasn't working on books he'd be leaning on her or whoever was close. When it came to his sisters, Borya relished in them being small enough for him to hold with his one arm, hoisting them onto his lap or shoulder so he could squeeze them. He enjoyed the comfort of having family so close, and would never be ashamed to admit it. The brother giggled as Lyu stared at the front page, relief flowing through him that his drawing wasn't too terrible to not draw the attention of the puppy. His sister might be silent, but Borya could feel her interest pique as she pawed gently at the hard cover, desperate to know what it was all about. The brother hoped he wouldn't disappoint, and with his good hand he opened to the first page. 

The story was called 'Maya's Flowers', with the character 'Maya' being the little white pup that Borya had painted into each page. The first page of the book had the little Maya standing and looking up to two larger wolves, painted in slightly darker colours to create a contrast. In ink, Borya had carefully written the first sentence of the book at the bottom, below the drawing. He cleared his throat to collect his best reading voice. 

Maya was a little happy puppy from a big happy family,
She loved her mama and papa so much that she wanted to give them a gift,
But what kind of a gift could the little puppy find?

Letting the words sink in, Borya watched his sister as she looked over the art and page before eventually turning to the next one. This page had no Maya, but did have a collection of flowers that Borya had painted all across the page, all in various colours from pinks to blues and reds and purples. He'd even gone so far as to take some dried lavender when painting this page and pressed it against the book to make the page hopefully smell even closer to the colourful plants. 
Flowers! She thought to herself,
So colorful and pretty, Maya knew mama and papa would love them,
And off she went to go find the flowers.

Turning again, the next page had the little Maya return, wading through some green trees. Borya put only a bit of detail into the browns and greens of the trees, focusing more on the little Maya and her details instead.

Into the forest Maya went,
Her little nose sniffing around for the sweet smell of flowers,
It was bright and sunny but there were no flowers anywhere!

It was a shorter page, so Borya turned it fairly quickly. On the next page was a painting of Maya, sat in the forest and looking up above. In one of the green trees, Borya had drawn a little squirrel, with fur painted a dull reddish-brown. As he then read the page, Borya tried putting on a squeaky voice for the squrriel:

A red squirrel perched on a branch called down to the puppy,
“What are you sniffin’ for, tiny wolf?” The squirrel asked.
“Flowers for my mama and papa.” Maya replied.
“I can tell you where they are if you help me find my pine cone!” The squirrel suggested.
The red squirrel told Maya where to go,
And off she went to go find the flowers and the pine cone.

He paused again, not letting his nerves drag down the performance of his reading over worrying if Lyu liked the story so far. There was more to come, hopefully a fun little lesson to learn, so for now Borya tried to focus just on finishing the book.

BORYA HUSHHOWL


In certain light I can plainly see,
A reflection of magnificence,
Hidden in you,
Maybe, even in me.
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#6
The youngest Hushhowl was certainly a cuddler, at night she tired to always be between her sister and one if her parents. This type of closeness made her feel safe against the world, made her feel warm against the winter chill, made her swell with love and joy. How could someone not want to be touched or popped in closer to those they cared about? A soft wiggle of her body and she snuggled in closer to her brother's chest, hoping to make it easier for him to turn the pages with his one good hand.

When the cover opened she beamed, nosing the little white puppy on the page and then the two that were her parents. She could relate to the story, she wanted to gift her mama and daddy things and flowers were the thing she wanted to give but winter was harsh and had little use for the delicate and pretty flora. As her brother read she use her paw to hold the page for him, so he did jot have to work hard to use one hand.

The page if flowers was beautiful, she looked up at Hushhowl male with a brilliant smile. This was her favorite page so far, so perfect. If this was all the book contained she would have been overjoyed but it continued so she shifted her attention back to the story. Maya too could bot find flowers but not because it was winter but maybe because she was too small? A squirrel appeared and offered a trade, the location of some flowers for a pinecone.  What was a pinecone? She looked up again in confusion, speaking one word softly. She did not want to ruin the air the story made around them. "Pinecone?" what was that? And why did a squirrel want one? She had seen a squirrel before, chased one only for it to make sounds back at her once it was safely up a tree.. but a pinecone, that she had never seen.
 [336] // this is the best book ever,  I want 20 copies! 
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#7
Bodies fashioned out of dirt and dust - For a moment we get to be glorious

733 words

Borya had a strange relationship with books. Many picked up the pages and read for information's sake, to learn something knew or just get used to the idea of absorbing words. For Borya, it was far more than just learning, but an expression of himself. Started when the boy realised that his best way of communicating was through charcoal or ink and paper, like when he'd written a book about Naya's life just for her. Words seemed to be Borya's strength, because his body sisn't allow for much else from him. Which a year ago would have been terrifying for the boy, assuming he would only be useful in Casa if he could fight, but now Borya realised there was much more to the academia side of things than he thought. Where others trained to use their body, Borya trained to use his mind. The young man was beginning to feel more confident in his intellect, and the one thing that might help tip Borya over the edge and consider himself skilled is by sharing his gifts. For Lyu and Zasha, this little story book might hopefully be the first stepping stone towards something, maybe even help them figure out themselves. 

The brother listened to Lyu's question during a pause between pages and hummed. "Pine cones, they're like really big seeds that come from trees, little critters like squrriels like to eat them." Borya explained, making note of Lyubov's question so that he might be able to find her such a cone at some point. With that bit covered, Borya moved to the next page, getting a new voice ready as well as preparing to explain a bit more: 

On the way, a white rabbit hopped out from a hole and looked at Maya.
“What are you running for, baby wolf?” The rabbit asked.
“I need flowers for my mama and papa,” Maya replied.
“I know where they are, but can you get my snowberries for me?” The rabbit politely asked.
The rabbit told Maya where to go,
And off she went to go find the flowers, the pine cone and the snowberries.

The page was similar to the last, with the fiction pup finding another creature to guide her and another favour to fulfill. The page itself was drawn to be a soft green field with some parts of brown for dirt, with both Maya and the rabbit being stark white and clear against the background. "So snowberries are little white berries that you can find on bushes. We can't eat them, but other creatures might find them tasty." Borya explained, knowing just about enough on snowberries to explain them. He'd seen a bush of the snow-shaped fruits a few times, making note that some looked partially eaten. Borya wasn't confident on how edible they were for anything other than a herbivore, so he wasn't about to imply that a canine could snack on one. The next page, another new character, this time a brown-painted deer who took up most of the image.

Running through fields, Maya meets a very big deer.
“What are you looking for, young wolf?” The deer asked.
“I want flowers for my mama and papa.” Maya replied.
“I have seen lots of flowers, I can tell you where they are if you get my acorns for me?” Asked the deer.
The deer told Maya where to go,
And off she went to go find the flowers, the pine cone, the snowberries and the acorns.

Although he was confident Lyu would know what acorns were since they scattered all around the forest, he still commented. "Acorns are those little round green and brown seeds we find in forests, aren't they?" Borya asked, wanting to give his little sister a bit of freedom to stretch her memory skills. The next page after the deer had images of all three of the requested things, which Borya then pointed out to his sister as he read it:

With the help of the squirrel, the rabbit and the deer, Maya knew where to go.
On the way, she found the pine cone!
Maya grabbed the pine cone and kept going.
Later on, she spotted the snowberry bush!
Maya pulled off a branch of berries and kept going.
Finally, the girl saw the acorns and collected them too.

BORYA HUSHHOWL


In certain light I can plainly see,
A reflection of magnificence,
Hidden in you,
Maybe, even in me.
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#8
Oh, pinecones were big seeds that squirrels like to eat. Interesting, she wondered what they looked like. Do they taste good, would she try one? The questions spiraled and spiraled, and each time they seemed to multiply but she did not pry and ask all these questions like a normal child would do. No, she nodded her little head and looked back at the book he was reading
.
A rabbit, now she knew what that was too. The little painting of a rabbit with a baby white wolf was rather cute and she would not want to eat this one. Plus it was being helpful, it would help just like the squirrel but this time payment was an snowberry. She looked to ask what a snowberry was but he had already started the explanation, she liked how she did not have to use words. That he knew her question before she could spiral off and ask for the explanation.  They grew on bushes and are the color of snow, they were not allowed to eat them but smaller animals like a bunny could. She nodded again and looked back to the book, remembering a time they had come across white berries on a bush.

The puppy, Maya, continued her journey and met a deer. He also knew where the flowers are but would only do this for another deal, flowers for acorns.  So now she had to get a pinecone, some snowberries, and a pawful of acorns. She looked back at her brother and tilted her head, he knew her question on the last passage. A smile came when he explained what an acorn was, she had seen those too. They were always on the ground, squirrels liked them too!
The next paged showed what everything looked like and she beamed, her nose touching each as she said them outloud.  "Pinecone... snowberries... acorns..." Maya found them too, she had all the things requested so now she could get flowers for her mama and papa like Lyubov wanted to do!
 [339] // this is the best book ever 
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#9
Bodies fashioned out of dirt and dust - For a moment we get to be glorious

575 words

Glee fluttered like butterflies in Borya's stomach as he witnessed Lyu enjoying and engaging with the book. Borya had spent so long thinking of a story that his sisters would find simple but fun to read, something that reflected their own hobbies or motives, and he was glad to see that least Lyubov was relating so well to the book. Between the paintings Borya spent hours making sure were both colourful and easy to distinguish, and the flow of the story about the little white puppy, all of it was made with the love of a big brother who wanted to share a piece of his own imagination with his beloved sisters. He giggled when Lyu repeated the words of the book, her eyes completely focused on the images of the three items that Maya had now collected. There were only a few pages left now, with the final part coming next with what Borya helped was a nice 'lesson' to the story. The next page had poor Maya looking worried, as they began the section of the book with the necessary 'struggle' to overcome. 

But Maya struggled to hold all the things,
She had to balance the acorns on her nose,
And hold the pine cone and snowberry branch in her mouth,
How would she carry the flowers?
When Maya found the flowers, she could only pick one,
It was getting late so the puppy had to go back.

A sad moment for Maya; in helping all the other animals, she hardly had the time or means to get what she wanted. Sort of how things worked around a pack or family; sometimes in helping others, you had to sacrifice what you yourself want to do. However, there would be a silver lining, as Borya turned to the next page where little Maya returned to the animals.

Feeling glum, Maya returned to all the animals.
She gave them the pine cone, snowberries and acorns,
They saw Maya looking sad and asked “Why are you sad, little child?”
“I could only pick one flower for my mama and papa.” Maya explained.
The animals all smiled, leaving Maya alone for a moment.
When they came back, they were all holding a different flower.

There it was, the rewards from an act of kindness. Not always the case, but at least when it came to Casa and all the Cavaliers, Borya knew that kind deeds and help was always returned tenfold. It was what made their pack feel like such a big family; whilst there would be times of hardship, in the end everyone came together to share with one another. Onto the final page, with a large painting of little Maya now holding her four brightly coloured flowers, moving away from the three animals who had shared their gifts with her and towards her smiling parents.

“That’s okay, you can have three of ours.” The animals offered.
Maya smiled and took the flowers,
And off she went to give the flowers to her mama and papa.

It was the end of the book, so Borya let the last page remain open for a little while whilst awaiting his sister's reaction. Would she understand the meaning of the story, or would she ask a question to prompt Borya to explain a bit about what it all meant. The big brother hoped for a reaction, a good reaction, of some kind with a held breath.

BORYA HUSHHOWL


In certain light I can plainly see,
A reflection of magnificence,
Hidden in you,
Maybe, even in me.
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#10
She had touched each drawing of the thinks Maya had to find and hoped that her wet little nose did not damage the illustrations that her brother had drawn for her. She had silently wondered how big they were, maybe she was smaller than this puppy named Maya, so maybe they were bigger to her? Or was she larger, older than the fictitious white puppy?  Would these object be smaller in comparison, that was only logocal.. right?

The author continued to read his creation and Maya was plagued with the problem Lyubov had to deal with, no ability to shift and have the utilization of hands! How cruel that she did not have such helpful appendages but the little white puppy figured a way to carry them all but she could only carry ONE flower. The littlest Hushhowl felt sad, her ears drooping as she felt the fictitious puppy's pain and sorrow to be face with such beauty and only able take back one essence,  one bloom to share. Helping others seemed to not help her at all but she did make a deal, so she had to only have room for probably the prettiest flower.

She returned to her newly made friends with the items of their deal, though the soot marked child could not help but think if she would have just made a deal with only one of the other creatures she could have carried more flowers back with her for her mama and papa but that waa probably not the point of the story. It was rewarding to help others, she loved the smile her mama and daddy would give her when she tried to help them with a task. Just the smile Maya would get for one flower would be enough, the Hushhowl child decided. It would be alright!

Maya gave the pinecone to the squirrel,  the acorns to the deer, and snow berries to the rabbit but they noticed her distress. It waa obvious in the drawing,  they asked and got the answer expected. She had only one flower for her parents even though she had started this journey to gather flowers, plural,  for her mama and papa but she was a good girl and helped others along the way. Lyubov could not say she would have done differently, as before mentioned, she liked helping others. Sure enough the deer, rabbit, and squirrel had left the child along for a while and came back. Each bore a different flower for the child that had helped them, like when Fiora gave Lyubov the sprig of lavender! They all offered their flowers to be added to Maya's one.

The last page had the three animals giving their flowers to the white pup and those drooped ears of Lyubov's sprang up as her tail, traitorous no longer, wagged in happiness. Bright lavender  eyes looked at her brother, the author, and smiled. It was a joyous smile, one that really only children that had not seen the harshness of the world could do. Filled with love and purity.  It was clear she understood that it was meant to teach her that even if it's hard, helping others is more rewarding than if Maya were to ignore the squirrel, bunny, and deer. She may have never found the flowers and she would never had made such nice friends.

At the time she thought of the chocolate and ebony woman, Fiora vin Vahn, curious if she could help her and learn from her in return but for now she would been at her brother and wiggle in happiness that he had created this for her!
 [609] // this is such an adorable story!  
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