[P] Mind and Soul
Elkin - The Shattered Coast
Vannin had done all he could to hide his struggles from his loving and amazing brother, but every day it had become harder and harder.  The nightmares had grown more frequent and meant Vannin woke unrested.  Food was scarce, but the Luperci with the mismatched eyes had little interest in it anyway.  Their home was gone, and the spirits would either not speak to him, or he could no longer hear them.  They only thing left in Vannin’s life, of any worth, was his brother  Elkin shone like a beacon of light in the oppressive darkness of the world.  Being with his brother brought colour into the world, and when Elkin left, it drained just as quickly. 

Vannin had never thought of himself as morose or serious, and while he’d sometimes been struck by melancholy.  There was always wrestling, joking and hunting to be done.  Vannin was not like those serious blowhards they’d left behind, and yet he struggled to find a reason to smile of late.  What he couldn’t explain to Elkin, wouldn’t have even been able to, was that it seemed to Vannin as though he was fading.  As though he were a leaking bucket and his soul, his sense of self, was slowly leaking away.  Elkin helped to fill that bucket, but the whole just got bigger.

Finally, Elkin had woken him up early one morning and told Vannin to follow him.  The Luperci with the mismatched eyes had protested, but the leader, which Elkin did not acknowledge, would brook no arguments, and they’d set off.  They didn’t travel quickly, taking their time.  They spoke easily, Elkin’s friendly and open nature, a balm to Vannin as always, and the Luperci with the mismatched eyes walked as close as he could manage to his brother.  The one question Elkin wouldn’t answer was to tell Vannin where they were going, not that it mattered, as Vannin would follow him anywhere. 

As the day began to turn to dusk, Vannin could smell the salt of sea spray on the wind.

”We’re going to the sea?” The Luperci with the mismatched eyes asked his brother.
[Image: wolfmoon.gif] Ad hoc Word of the Day - 20 May 22 adjective | concerned with a particular end or purpose

Location: Shattered Coast || NPCs: -- || Form: Lupus

What Vannin felt inside of him Elkin could see with his own two eyes: his brother was fading. Although they had been long from their homeland now and were being looked after well by Harley, his brother's blessed eyes had lost their luster and his pelt hung dull and tight around his frame. Rather than a physical ailment, Vannin's affliction was assuredly a soul-sickness and Elkin as determined to find a cure. Like Masra's delicate light returning night after night in Sova's restful absence, the darker youth was dedicated to see the same for Vannin.

But first they had to go on this ad hoc journey, and travel just a little farther, to where the earth fell eternally into the sea.

Overhead, Masra, illuminated in a waxing gibbous that would soon be full, watched the brothers silently as she hung in the inky, star-pocked sky. The sea smelled of salt and wind and perpetuity. Elkin drew it in deeply and released it again through a panting mouth, his tongue rolling out one side. Although still cool, the nights were warm enough now to feel the effects of exertion more acutely. As he drew in the brisk evening breath cast at him from the sea, he tasted the piquant and mysterious notes of the big water beyond.

"No," Elkin replied, then closed his mouth with a click for a thoughtful beat. "Well yeah, but it's more than that, Vannin, just look!"

Ahead of them, the ocean lapped the shattered, stony shore with persistent tenderness. And beyond? Only the endless sea and Masra's brilliant reflection dancing on the waves. It was the end of everything and the beginning of nothing. Or could it be the other way around? On the Goddesses could say.

"There's nothing else, Van," Elkin pointed out unnecessarily, turning to give his brother's muzzle a tender lick. "This is the end of the earth. And I think... Maybe it's where the spirits are."

[WC -- 335]
Vannin listened quietly to his brother, his mismatched eyes taking in the dramatic scene laid out before them.  The sky was clear and scattered with the light of countless stars, souls which watched over those yet to join them.  Vannin’s lips twitched into a wistful smile as Elkin nuzzled him affectionately.

”Perhaps you’ve missed your calling Elkin.  Maybe it’s you the spirit talkers should have drilled and bothered.”

Vannin’s smile faded though, his expression growing distant as he looked out over the water.  The sea shimmered with Masra’s light.

”You know…” Vannin began, his voice soft and a little distracted. ”I remember a story from back home.  I was told that one night every year Masra shines her light upon the big water so brightly that those lost or disconnected can walk upon that light and find their way to her, and join their family once again.”

Again the wistful smile flicked across his face, and for a moment he closed his eyes, before turning to look at Elkin.

”Just a tale for pups of course, but I always remember it.”

Once more Vannin’s gaze was drawn to the shimmering path in the ocean and then up to the waxing moon.

”Masra.” Vannin whispered, almost plaintively. 

For a moment his deep blue eye appeared to gleam unnaturally bright in the reflected glory of Masra’s presence.  Almost immediately though, the shine left and Vannin closed his eyes.

”I’m sorry Elkin, I can hear nothing.”

Opening his eyes, Vannin looked to his brother and was surprised to see the other had disappeared.  Vannin rose from his haunches and looked around.  Strangely the young Luperci felt no panic just a sense of wellbeing and fulfilled contentment which had been absent for so long. 


Came the voice, and though Vannin could not see them, he knew it was the silvery lupus again.  Following the clear instruction, Vannin closed his eyes and let the sounds of the end of the earth flow into him.  He basked beneath the light of Masra.  He felt the pounding of the surf against the cliff and as he listened that sound morphed into a heartbeat.  This place was alive, the world around him was alive.  Finally, like a drowning animal Vannin clung to that sound and let it sweep up.  He let it show him all the other sounds he’d been so deaf to.  As he opened his eyes, tears spilled from them, blurring the sight as he looked into the sky.  Souls flew across the night’s sky, dancing around Masra.  They where there, the spirits had always been there.  Vannin had not wronged them, they had not abandoned him, they had been with him all this time, but he’d cut himself off from them, the sadness of their exile making his soul curl away from everything beyond him.  Vannin could not stop the tears, did not even attempt to.  As his sobs grew so did the blurriness of his vision and as he tried to blink it clear…

Vannin saw dark fur and felt a wet nose.  For a moment the young Luperci was confused.  His mind slowly gathered the pieces though.  Vannin’s head was slumped against his brother’s warm frame.  The two still sat at the edge of the world and tears flowed down Vannin’s face.  For one horrible instant he thought it might have been nothing but a dream, a fainting fit brought on by the lack of food, but beneath the crashing of the waves Vannin heard the thrum, the heartbeat and he knew it had been no dream.

”I..” He began, choking back sobs ”I…can…hear them.”

His body shook silently as Vannin cried with the joy of it.  Not just for the returning of a part of himself, but so grateful to have been blessed by a brother who worked so hard to find a solution or cure for Vannin.

”Thank you…Elkin.” Vannin closed his eyes again, luxuriating in the world now filled with music and sounds he’d thought lost forever.  More than though, he relished this moment, with Elkin, his face half buried in his brother’s pelt, staining it with tears, while the other could open and see the streak of stars in the night sky.

”Thank you.” Vannin said again, his voice no more than a whisper this time.

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