[P] Calling for Home
Mahigul, post-funeral thread
Her daughter had fled her own father’s funeral. Not that Azade could blame her. It had been quite the ordeal, after all. Kylychbek had spent the whole time crying, and it had only gotten worse once Mahigul had run off. Azade had barely even tried to stop her, dazed as she was by exhaustion and grief, and before she’d even realized what was happening it had been too late. It was very much unlike herself. Then again, she supposed it made sense that she didn’t feel much like herself when the world was crumbling around her.

Moving instead to comfort her son during the rest of the ceremony, Azade could only hope that Mahigul would return. She did not. Instead Azade had to hunt her down.

Displeased by this, her gaze was slightly sharp when she finally did find her. >”Good. I’m glad you didn’t run clear out of our territory. Stand up, daughter, let’s start walking back to the grave.”< Mahi did not look well. She began to cry again. Not for the first time Azade wished that it had been she who had died and Fernando who had been left to care for their puppies. He would have done a much better job of it, he always had done. Shifting her weight from one foot to another nervously, she tried to figure out some way to comfort her besides literally just scooping her up and putting her to bed, as she’d done Peony after she’d lost her litter.

>”Mahi, darling, I know this is hard. I know it feels like the world is ending. It’s okay to cry. That being said, I think you’ll regret it if you don’t speak to your father properly before he moves on. Come, let’s lay flowers on his grave and find a good skull for the gravesite, alright?”< She laid one giant hand on her shoulder, a silent and strong connection between the two of them, showing her daughter that she cared for her and that she was there.
(349) | NPCs: | Optime | >speech enclosed in here is Kyrgz< 


Taking place after this thread.

Home called to her, as a place of stability and comfort in a world that was spinning madly out of control, yet she found neither when she entered the Yurt. She shed her pretty funereal clothes, let them crumple to the floor, shifted down to her basest form and hid in the family's bedfurs, her breathing shaky. The sleeping place still smelled of her father, but whenever she inhaled deep to take that remnant in, that last trace of him still living, a fresher scent invaded her nostrils, that of decay and blood, telling the tale of a wife's diligent wake and a husband's last night spent at home. It caused her to hide her snout beneath her paws, feeling something hot and stinging build up behind her eyes, but she fought it and blinked it away. The child felt that if she succumbed to her want for release now, she might not stop until she cried her very heart out, and that would leave her empty and joyless for all eternity, for no tears could ever bring her father back, have him tussle her raven hair again or scoop her up in a warm hug.

It was all so, so awfully unfair.

Rolling onto her side, Mahigul felt something shapely beneath her, and removed herself to find she laid down onto a hat. It was her father's, a leather cowboy hat that likely accompanied him all the way from Texas, a land that might as well have been one of fantasy to the Canadian child. To make it real for her, her padre had offered to take her there someday. They would saddle up the horses, prepare the supplies and go on a long, long journey down South, see all kinds of sighs and meet all kinds of people, and Mahi might just get to meet her father's family the way she'd never get to meet her mother's.

And now, because the world was so unfair, that would never occur.

Her mother found her curled up on the bedfurs, the cowboy hat under her front leg. When the matriarch entered and addressed her, Mahigul did as little as look up at the woman, not moving her head. The girl looked away when it seemed she was done talking, head blissfully barren of thoughts, but of course her mother decided to try again, even reaching down to touch her. 

This time the girl decided to growl, bare her teeth and make it known that she did not wish to be comforted nor commanded now, but the aggression lasted scarcely a moment before she realised the sound coming out was hitched, wet, and that her mother's shape was a blur.

She felt them escape, the terrible heralds of a breakdown, fat tears rolled into the fur of her face. Mahigul snorted and turned her head away, sucking in her lips as she hopelessly tried to fight back the sobs, but still her whole body seemed to hitch with each attempted breath. 

Still, she struggled, shut her eyes tight and gathered the hat in her front legs, placing her head on the crown. Words tried to come out, first in Kyrgyz, then English, finally Spanish, but no earthly language seemed fit to describe her emotions, the awful black empty taking up her chest, her heart dangling over the bottomless chasm.

She opened her eyes with a gasp, and a desperate plea, a child's whine, got out of her. "Apa."

SORRY FOR THE WAIT. p.s: the hat she found is the one she has in her character art :3 // 586
[Image: Webp.net-resizeimage.png]
Oh no, she was crying. Azade had expected this, had fully anticipated many, many tears, including her own. Still, she wanted to help her. She didn’t know how. That was the problem. Her consoling words were stiff, based off of the speeches that others had given her when the people in her life had passed away. She didn't like them then and she didn't like them now.

Being one to value at least putting on the appearance of grace and confidence at all times (especially around her children), Azade had to keep herself from frowning at the snot dribbling from her sobbing daughter’s nose. Uncomfortable, she reached out and patted Mahigul’s shoulder awkwardly. Then, the unthinkable happened. Mahigul growled at her. Anger flared within Azade and for a moment she wished to strike her before her sanity returned and, so too, did Mahigul’s sobs.

Letting out a slow, steadying breath, Azade blinked and forced herself to forget about this lapse in her daughter’s judgement. It was clear that Mahigul was not thinking clearly. Still, she couldn’t let it go unmentioned. >”Never show me your teeth again or you’ll regret it.”< Her words were accentuated by a snarl of her own, foreboding eyes glaring down at Mahigul. Almost an adult and yet she would forget her place in the world like this. She was fortunate Azade was her mother.

Noticing Fernando’s hat beside her, she clenched her teeth tightly. >”Get up.”< She repeated, nudging her gently. >”Get up, we’re going.”<

Her daughter’s plea for her mother fell on deaf ears. Azade had already decided the best course of action. Mahigul needed to say goodbye to Nando, this was simply how it was. >”Now, Mahigul Feriqi.”< Her words left no room for argument. There was no disobeying her once her tone slipped into this dangerous territory. Cold eyes turned away from Mahigul and she strode outside of the Yurt, already knowing that Mahigul would be out in a moment.
(339) | NPCs: | Optime | 


The girl's heart was a convergence of emotions; of raw anger at the workings of fate, and of childish fear before the terrible new thing called grief. As tears wet the fur of her cheeks, as hitched sobs escaped her, she finally processed the reality she was so rudely thrust in. Her papa was gone. And that was so, so unfair.

In that moment, despite her small show of aggression, despite her initial want to be left alone, both borne of the tumultuous emotions toying with the little organ beating within her chest, the child wanted for nothing more than a parent's comfort, a warm hug and reassurance, the sweet, gentle lie that it'll be alright, it'll all be alright.

Her mother's snarl denied her that.

Mahi covered on instinct, unused to Azade Feriqi's formidable anger being directed at her offspring. A soft whine escaped the Spark, and she struggled to speak a single word of apology, explanation or defense. Finally, she called for her mom, in their shared tongue, but the elder Feriqi might as well have been deaf.

The coldness hurt.

After Azade left the Yurt - her last words, the use of her daughter's full name, making a statement that was not to be contested - Mahigul felt herself shiver. So many things were overwhelming her at once, it was as if her body couldn't decide which one to crumble under. She heaved herself up, moving on four trembling legs, and untangled herself from the family's sleeping place.

The shift to her bipedal form took so awfully long, or at least it felt so.

Her formal clothes, previously stripped off and discarded without a care, were put on and fastened by quivering fingers, the juvenile dog fighting back sobs. Somehow, by the time her sash was in place and her hair was thrown over her shoulders (unbraided, as the shift left it), the crying subsided to something manageable. Before the tent's entrance, Mahigul wiped her eyes and nose, held her breath a moment and steeled herself to face her mother.

Suddenly, something came to her. Quickly, the girl ran over to the bedfurs, picked up her father's hat and placed it atop her head. His scent engulfed her, and there was comfort in that. 

She exited the Yurt, hoping she looked more stable than she was. Her posture was submissive as she approached her mother, the hat's brim hiding her eyes. 

"I'm ready." Mahigul said in a low voice.

Within her, something stirred.

ohohohoho i love this direction :DD // 427
[Image: Webp.net-resizeimage.png]
The regret came quickly. Almost as soon as she’d stepped out of the tent and breathed fresh air—untainted by the faint stench of Fernando’s blood and decay—she began to realize what she’d done. Her nails dug into her paw pads as she clenched her fist tightly. That wasn’t how I’d wanted to do that. The thought drifted to the forefront of her mind as she waited for her daughter to get ready, and bitterly she thought of all the ways she could have better approached the situation.

Fernando would have done a better job, she knew. That knowledge felt like a knife to the gut. Like someone had stabbed her and twisted the dagger—once, twice, thrice for good measure. To inflict as much pain as possible. The knowledge that their children had been left with the parent least qualified to care for them. Once more she thought that perhaps it should have been her to die and Fernando to live. Surely her children would have been happier. She might have been happier—reincarnated as a tree or a fly instead of forced to suffer through another bout of grief and pain.

Stubbornly, she waited for Mahigul to come to her.

Azade was nothing if not prideful, after all. Even as Mahigul stepped out, eyes still red from sobbing and clothing dishevelled, the thought of apologizing made her clench her jaw in displeasure. In fact, anger at being put in this situation in the first place flared up, though she knew to stomp it back down. She’d already fucked it up once, no need to do so again.

>”Come. We’ll go to his grave and say goodbye.”< She offered her hand, and this time her voice was soft and steady. >”I’m sure he wants to hear from you.”< She wasn’t sure how spirits could hear from their past lives, but she was sure that there was a way, even if just standing over the grave wasn’t enough.
(339) | NPCs: | Optime | >Kyrgyz<


No apology came, and none was expected. Mahigul, unware, mimed her mother by balling her hands into fists, pale claws digging into pink pads. 

Unfair unfair unfair.

Azade's soft voice, the offered hand, made the child's lips tighten into a line, her brows furrow under the concealment of her father's wide-brimmed hat. These gestures felt fake, paling before the vicious snarl of minutes ago. 

Liar liar liar.

Still, she took it, and in a raspy voice replied: "Okay".


The walk to the graveyard took a surprisingly short while. At least, that was how it felt to the Ranger's daughter, who remained quiet and tense, and whose thoughts churned in a circle, coming to no conclusions. Her teeth ground against each other as the pair went, brim of the hat low over her face. 

An ugly side of her mother bared itself, revealed when the child needed the opposite from her parent. It was certain that she would hold it against her - because if she didn't fixate on this slight, she would be forced to think about worse things, things that had brought about that horrible, dark and gaping empty in her chest.

Alit with seething anger, she almost felt nothing when the belfry came into view, when the silhouettes of the ancient gravestones showed themselves.


Her breath hitched and a shiver went down her spine as she was guided to the freshest grave, still unmarked, still smelling of upturned earth, the canines that were around it and the subtle perfume of rot and death. Beneath her skirt, Mahigul's tail tucked. All of a sudden the anger passed, and the child was once again staring down into the well of Grief. The vertigo that had clutched her when she first came to stand over her father's grave returned, this time making the girl drop to her knees before it.

She shut her eyes and tried very hard to think of happy memories, good things, anything to lessen the pain of loss -

white fingers squishing pink pads of her puppy feet smell of good food his soft fur his odd face ruffling her hair curling up in the nook of his elbow kissing her scabs when she fell and hurt herself lessons in literacy lazy summer naps visits to town hearing him chat so casually hearing him laugh so warmly the blue-brown of his eyes so like her brother's the merle of his coat so like hers the promise to snowfight in the winter the promise to visit texas with her the promise to see him turn old and grey and still laugh so warm

- but all of that only made the unchangeable reality more jarring. When her eyes opened, tears flowed free.

"Adiós, papá." The farewell was whispered to the loose earth, a single drop freeing itself from the tips of her cheek fur, making a round stain on the soil. She pressed her hands into the earth, dug her fingers in and for a moment though she could feel her father's hands engulfing hers.

But no, it was just her fantasy.

The girl got up and dusted her knees. With a turn she faced her mother, but kept the cowboy hat's brim from revealing her eyes.

"I'm done." Was all she said, in a whisper so low and hoarse one would need to lean in to hear it.

573 // i suppose you can wrap this up?
[Image: Webp.net-resizeimage.png]
They walked in a dead silence and the air felt thick with their grief and their anger. 

Azade wallowed in her regret, though somehow her own pride kept her from doing anything about it. Kept her from soothing her daughter’s sadness and anger and fear. Suddenly, oh so suddenly, an invisible barrier had sprung up between them. Rather than do anything about it, however, Azade stood at its margins and waited for Mahigul to do something. Hoping that her daughter would do something, expecting her to do something. 

Come on! She screamed in her mind. Say something!

Mahigul said nothing. Azade said nothing.

Physical pain clutched her chest, holding her hostage, and for a moment she forgot to breathe. Would she lose her daughter as well as her husband? That future flashed before her eyes. It was the last thing she wanted. Mahigul and Kylychbek dying was the only worse possible future she could imagine. How could it be that her own daughter did not approach to soothe this rift between them? Why didn't she? Azade had done that a million times with her parents, had she not? 

Conveniently, Azade forgot how their fights had caused her to almost cut her parents from her life entirely, up until she had birthed her own puppies, which had soothed their relationship. Suddenly, she and her parents had had a common goal to focus on. When that terrible winter had come and they had starved and her puppies had died, they had somehow bonded and become closer in their combined grief, the explosive fights so common in Azade's youth forgotten as a thing of the past.

Nothing in her gaze showed her internal strife. Azade had been raised believing that puppies were not to see their elders struggling. Ever. Youth came to their elders for their wisdom and guidance. If they were to see weakness in their elders, who could they go to, then? Somewhere deep inside of her, Azade had built a wall. Perhaps it was the same wall as that invisible barrier that she had struggled with before. Somehow, Azade knew that she had this wall, but she believed that everyone had a wall like this. This wall was a normal thing to have.

Even though her daughter cried because of her and even though the wall was the reason that Azade could not and would not comfort her, Azade thought that this was normal.

It was normal.
(410) | NPCs: | Optime | 

Forum Jump: