[P] Or maybe the end is just the start of us, two stars in a cosmic burst.
Territory Bingo: Irving. 
Wc – 380 
Ooc here 

Morrigan stepped out of her house, swinging the rotting door shut and tying it shut with a cord. The ancient handle had broken off recently, and the young Witch had no idea how to fix it.  There were definitely parts of the wooden cabin that were in dire need of repair, and she supposed help would be needed from someone who knew things about wood. Sean, perhaps?  Morrigan seemed to recall the Portland native working on some sort of boat all winter, so surely he knew how to procure wood and seal it against the weather. Eyeing the crumbling wood in some places, she hoped his skills – however rudimentary they might be, would be enough to keep the chill and wet from the inside.

Luckily, the spring stretched into early summer and it was warm. So warm in fact, she could put off repairs until midsummer and focus on gathering and foraging different ingredients. With so many different hobbies and jobs she had thrown herself headfirst into, it was starting to feel like there wasn’t enough hours in the day to get all that she needed done. Mentally she went over a checklist while skipping down the path leading away from her house and further into Irving. Early spring and summer were the seasons for lots of foraging, mainly things you could make tea out of or poultices. Late summer and fall was better suited for harvesting roots and bark, and then with the harvest came wine making – which would continue over the winter and carry her into spring.

With a sigh, Morrigan shook her wild curls and rubber her face before yawning. It was too early to think about her never ending to-do list, so she might as well tackle only what she had planned for day. Rounding a bend in the trail, the Irving Greenhouse came into view and The Priestess smiled happily. It was beginning to look more.. put together, as it were. The sections were tilled, the weeds pulled, and some plants had already been transplanted. Swinging open the gate on the fence that bordered the greenhouse, she let herself inside and began to wander around – going first to the patch of Opium that had been planted in early April to check on the seedlings progress.

[Image: 7HdY84l.png]

From my ROTTING BODY, flowers shall G R O W, and I am THEM & that is E T E R N I T Y.

It was getting hot out – and, as much as she brushed out her coat in the privacy of the old mill, she could only pull out so many clumps of winter coat before it started to cramp her hands and become fruitless, and she could only stand the humiliating itching so much before she feared it drew her sibling’s attention. And so, she stepped out into the world, bare as the day she was born, blonde hair pulled up to keep it out of her business as she set to exploring.

Santiago’s old hand-me-downs were sorely missed, but it was nice to feel some of the crisper air on her hide, and, better yet, the winter shed didn’t chafe nearly as bad and the breeze helped pluck it from her undercoat.

Lovely as Charmingtown was, there was something… Refreshing, about Irving – crisp and bursting with green now that early summer was creeping in. Weeds had cracked through old asphalt and concrete, gravel roads long-since gone and overrun with creeping grasses. Vines crept upwards over the skeletons of older buildings, and over the rusted, arching metal that remained, ribcages for the carcasses of greenhouses past, long since-bared of their shells.

And, amidst the tilled soil, sprouts and seedlings were taking root. With what Morrigan had already scarcely shown her, a few weeds were creeping in here, too – and, she took a moment to stoop and pluck a few sprigs of the unwelcome plants free, before gold eyes glimpsed up to the Priestess herself, and she waved enthusiastically her way.

”Planting anything new today?”

Wc – 415 

Morrigan knelt down gently, making sure not to trod on any sprouts that were trying to shoot through the dark earth while she examined the green plants rising in height and thickening in stature. Her bushy, plush tail wagged behind her as she hummed – checking each one for damage and the soil for moisture. It was likely to be a day everything needed to be well watered – the summer was approaching fast and bringing with it warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. All great for plant growth – but easy to fry seedlings in that kind of heat she was finding out.

It was a learning experience, all around. Some of the transplants of more delicate nature had died and she was still figuring out what worked and what didn’t – but the seeds were doing well. Transplanting was a lot more difficult and experimental – and Morrigan had begun keeping notes on the subject. Once she found a source to teach her to bind a book, it might be wise to contribute such a volume for others to learn from. Musing on what she might be able to use to make paper herself, the Witch was pulled by her thoughts by a familiar voice.

Glancing over her shoulder, her multi-colored gaze landed on a thin figure, free from her normal burden of oversized hand-me-downs. She seemed a little bit patchy, winter coat still coming out and Morrigan rose to her feet with a smile, brushing the dirt from her knees. Shifting against the pieces of her basket that poked into her shoulders, she stepped out of the opium patch and lowered it off her back. “ I was thinking so Esperanza, “ Morrigan began, turning to point in the general direction of where she was planning on going today. “ I could use an extra pair of hands, do you have yours free today? Or have they fallen off? “ She said with a wink to punctuate the end of her very lame joke.

Reaching into her basket, she withdrew a few woven satchels with seeds in them. The list she had been given of the contents had carefully been scribed into small bits of parchment stuffed into the bags and she withdrew one and squinted at it. “ So, I heard you went with Peo on a trading trip. “ She looked down at the girl and smiled again, ears and eyes focused on the Chispa. “ How did you like it? Was it fun? “

[Image: 7HdY84l.png]

From my ROTTING BODY, flowers shall G R O W, and I am THEM & that is E T E R N I T Y.
OOC: --|| WC: --

A few of the seedlings looked crisp, browned and withered, and while waiting for Morrigan’s response, Esperanza pulled those up as well. With a lack of foresight, she tossed the little plants aside – after all, she had known nothing of gardening, of composting, how the soil could be nurtured to spring back life double-new. She watched the crisp, sun-baked leaves flutter a moment, catching air on the way down before turning back over and landing with a sad little plop onto grey cement.

”Oh! I got those!” she stated, exuberant, before flinging up her hands, flecked with dark dirt, to show the Priestess, her smile broad and, unfortunately, matching her father’s for the time being as the last of her new, adult teeth pushed through her gums, evidently a little late to drop as she was to bloom. Now, she looked… Bedraggled. It did not stop her in the last, nor damper her spirit, still foolishly young and in no hurry to rush into adulthood.

She smoothed her dirty palms onto her pale belly, expecting cloth to collect the mess before frowning however subtly as she alarmed herself with her own touch, and she cleared her throat. ”It was loads of fun – but I’m a little tired now. Kind of saddle sore after riding around all that time – I think Bruni’s grateful for the break, too. Anywho—What are we planting?”

Wc – 480 

Morrigan hid another small smile behind a dark hand, finding the young Chispa to be very endearing. Were all younglings as cute as her? Esperanza was like a little dot of sunshine peaking through a day heavy with overcast – shining with innocence and wonder as if her young life hadn’t already been riddled with emotional hardship. All children seemed to be so infallible and indestructible before they matured, it was something to be admired.

“ I can imagine so, my first long trip my butt hurt for a half a fortnight. No El paso today? “ She questioned, finally making out her scrawl. The letters had smudged on the animal hide and were more difficult to discern. “ Hmm, let’s see. I’ve got Chicory, bayberry, lavender and Indian tobacco. I’d say we can start with the lavender and chicory, I already know where we can place them that would work well. “ Morrigan would like to talk to Boone before trying to plant the tobacco seeds – he would know the details surely. Bayberry might be something she placed outside of the gardens, since it was more shrub like and could be used to strengthen the woven fencing.

Her gaze raked over the fencing critically as another note was added to her to-do list. The spring storm winds sometimes loosened the boughs they had precariously woven together and there were likely sections that could use fixing up. Closing her eyes for a moment, Morrigan forced herself to delegate that to someone else. There were many willing hands, including those of the Chispa in front of her. “ Follow me please, all we need is your fingers for right now. “

Walking over to the edge of the woven fencing , Morrigan stuffed the seeds into the pocket of her belt, and swiftly picked up a hoe she had left out the evening before. “ I’m going to hoe this to upturn the dirt, and I’d like you to follow me and plant some lavender seeds a little bit apart. Hopefully if they grow, they will line the inside of the fence. It will smell lovely. “ With some effort, the coyote hybrid cleared a trench of dirt, then tossed the hoe to the ground. Kneeling down, she beckoned the Chispa to come closer. Separating the dirt from the uppermost shell of grass, Morrigan crumbled the dirt back into the trench so it was loosely packed. Then, she poked a hole with her finger down to the second knuckle, and reached into her belt to retrieve the satchel of lavender seeds. Popping one into the hole, Morr scooped the dirt back to fill it and gently patted it down, before making a similar hole a few inches away.

“ You see, like this? One about that far apart, all the way down this trench I’ll work on. Does that sound alright? “

[Image: 7HdY84l.png]

From my ROTTING BODY, flowers shall G R O W, and I am THEM & that is E T E R N I T Y.
OOC: --|| WC: --

”Nah, daddy says El Paso should hang around the house today,” she answered earnestly, though she was convinced he just didn’t want her to misplace the lead. Some of his slurred speech was certainly unpleasant, a mish-mosh of chewed sound before he had shooed her out the door. Peeking over at the list, she attempted to read the smudged scrawl, before Morrigan helpfully supplied her without any effort required on her part.

”Chicory, bayberry, lavender, tobacco –“ she mirrored, planting her hands on the gaunt juts of her hips. ”Are we gonna trade these? How long do they take to grow?”

She had been adapting quickly over the past few weeks – between Peony’s trade trip, and her own mother’s savvy, there was an understanding the value of commerce, the cultivation of livestock and crops alike. She drank up the sight of Morrigan’s fingers, pressing divots into the soil. Sitting this close to the Priestess felt conspiratorial, somehow secretive, the knowledge of soil and its bounty being gifted to her exclusively in this moment.

It felt special.

At the question, she nodded, features determined.

”I can do that,” she confirmed, poking a hole through the loosened soil, before eyeballing the space, and poking a second one. ”Like this?”

wc - 380

Morrigan glanced up at Esper, smiling a toothy grin at the pose she struck and the questions asked. It was nice when they asked questions, it meant someone was actually listening to the Witch. Sean in particular seemed to have selective hearing, the mutts attention often caught by other things and her instructions quickly forgotten – in one ear and out the other.

“ I hope so, but some of these plants can also be used here in the Gang. Lavender for example, can be quite calming if taken in a tea. Instead of traipsing all over our territory to find it, it’d be nice to just take a stroll and pick some when it’s needed. “ Morrigan began, sifting through the uses of each plant dog eared within her mind like a personal encyclopedia available at a whim. “ Chicory is used to give one a little extra umph, to work harder for longer by way of steeping the roots, there’s not much use in the petals themselves but it’s a pretty flower to have around regardless. “

Standing up after explaining, she passed the satchel of Lavender to Esperanza and turned around to pick up the hoe once more, beginning the work to dig trenches anew. “ Tobacco is what I want to trade, as well as many other things. I don’t know how to grow that though, so I’ve got to talk to Boone and get his input. As for how long this will take to grow, it depends. “ Morrigan huffed as she hacked at the ground, pausing to glance around the garden and what she envisioned for it. “ Some sprout greens quickly, but the useful parts don’t come until later in the summer or fall, like berries and apples. I think most of what we are choosing to plant here will take some time to establish and it’ll be a learning process in what ends up living and what fails. “

Leaning on the hoe, she gazed thoughtfully at the skinny, tomboyish chispa in front of her, determinedly poking holes in the ground one by one. “ I want to make a book, to record everything. Growing conditions, what works, what doesn’t. It’s a lot of work though, so that might have to wait. “

[Image: 7HdY84l.png]

From my ROTTING BODY, flowers shall G R O W, and I am THEM & that is E T E R N I T Y.
OOC: --|| WC: --

There was something therapeutic in the repetition of motions, a sachet of seeds placed into her hands and directions setting her to work. Esperanza was no leader – much like her father, in this sense – and was under no foolish notions otherwise, content with the order and dictation of law given to her by those more qualified. Who was she to question the norm? Who was she to go against the grain?

After all – it opened her up to all manner of mistakes, and, worst of all, the scrutiny that came with it. Learning was best done in the shadow of example than to face the fear of confrontation and first-hand failure.

”That makes sense,” she wondered aloud, wetting her lips a moment before she knit her brow slightly. Per Morrigan’s instruction, these should return, but without guarantee, how could she truly know? Fingers pinched seeds of lavender and deposited them into the holes she’d dug out, before she shut the little pouch again, and continued down the line, shuffling along on knees to press more divots into the dirt.

”Mama always looks for new things to put in her moonshine, to leech out flavor, but I think it all smells the same,” she confided softly. ”Maybe ‘round fall I can borrow you to come find apples? She might like those.”

wc- 223
Ooc here.

Morrigan watched the young girl scoot along the dirt in those oversized, baggy clothes. Her brow creased slightly at the soft tone of her request, and found herself fervently nodding along before Esperanza had even finished speaking. “ Of course, Esper. I wonder, has she tried combining fruit and the ‘shine once it’s finished? I heard something like cherrys, put into a container for a few weeks with it to infuse tastes quite amazing. “ Winking at the smaller female, she leaned forward on the hoe again.

“ Well, we could collect the apples for her. On the side, we could experiment with that ourselves. Maybe she’d like a surprise? “ The Priestess offered, thinking back to her own experience in wine making. They were different alcohols, but the concept was the same. Raising the hoe, Morr continued to hack the grassy crust away from the packed dirt, panting slightly with the effort.

Once she reached the end of the line, the hybrid walked back to where Esperanza had started and leaned over slightly, checking each placed divot to make sure it all looked firmly packed.  “ Good job, Esperanza. “ The witch murmured, jewel-toned gaze lifting to the skies above them. “ I’m excited to see this when it all comes in. “ She chirped, brushing a sweaty curl from her neck.

[Image: 7HdY84l.png]

From my ROTTING BODY, flowers shall G R O W, and I am THEM & that is E T E R N I T Y.

Forum Jump: