Balancing is Just The Start

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POSTED: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:33 pm

Although Bramble had not experienced any, he knew that summers weren’t long in these lands and he was determined to make the most of them. He had a day of chores ahead of him, he knew that, but before any of them happened, he was taking a moment to train and remember the techniques that Chetan had taught him and Betsy had reinforced. The breeze was cool and the sun was only just breaking the horizon as he stood outside of his home in the village. Bramble had set up a tree stump which was perfectly level. Above the tree stump were strings on which he’d placed assorted metal objects from. Bramble wasn’t sure, but he was pretty sure the metal objects had been Betsy idea. Not that he wanted to do Betsy a disservice, it was the sort of thing she might do. The strange set up was to test his balance and reactions in combat.

Bramble started by getting a good footing on the stump, feeling the grain of the wood beneath his pads, sensing the weight distribution. Closing his eyes, Bramble took a deep breath, listening to the noises his body made and the sound of his heart. As he stood, his heart slowed a little, and he could feel all of the world drop away. Once he was satisfied he raised one of his feet, keeping very still and maintaining the balance. He slowly raised his leg until his body had to move and he touched one of the hanging metal objects. He was sure that his parents might be thinking that they were going crazy as their few metal objects were disappearing from their home.
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POSTED: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:56 pm

There were few metal items in the Cormier-Parhelion household. Metals were difficult to come by and, with a caribou herd to offer up antler and a forest close by, Eliza found herself favouring bone or wooden tools. Metals had their place but they had to be tamed, shaped – they required a skill set even Eliza wouldn’t pretend to have. Only Ilse, out of everyone in Krokar, seemed to know how to bend metals to her will.

With so few metallic trinkets hanging around the house, it was difficult for Eliza not to notice that they’d been going missing. It wasn’t as if someone had sneaked in to rob the place – they hadn’t all vanished in one go. It had been one here and one there.

The Cormier matriarch had wondered if perhaps Bramble or Logan was attempting to strike a deal with Ilse – a weapon in exchange for metal scraps, maybe. That thought had worried her a little but the idea of her little boy coming up with such a gambit had made her proud as well.

When approached, Ilse had flatly denied any knowledge of either male attempting to barter or otherwise trade with her.

“Are ya sure?” the dog had pressed with a deep frown. “If me boys are plannin’ on learnin’ a weapon I wanna know ‘bout it.”

Ilse had gone so far as to take her by the arm and walk the nosey Navigator away from her workshop – a liberty Eliza only put up with because some part of her still thought the boys might be planning something without her knowledge.

“I promise you,” Ilse said, “I am not making weapons for your sons.”

“That’s what you’d say if ya was, though, innit?”

Ilse applied a little more pressure to the Cormier woman’s arm and Eliza snorted.

“Alrigh’, I’m goin’!”

Stomping back through the woods, Liz caught Bramble’s scent. For a moment, still annoyed that her boy would keep something (something entirely imagined) from her, she crossed her arms and huffed.

But Liz could never stay annoyed for long and soon she was making a beeline for where the young man was… standing one-legged on a tree stump. With a collection of shiny objects strung up around him.

“Er,” was all Eliza could manage.

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POSTED: Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:49 pm

A part of Bramble’s mind new his mum had arrived, could picture Eliza in great detail, but his heart knew she was no threat and his focus didn’t waver. A breeze blew up from the south, bringing with it the smell of wet earth and distant grasses. Slowly Bramble inhaled and was grateful to Chetan for the training that allowed him to leave what stressed him behind. Finally he felt ready, and began his Kata. Never moving from the stump, the young Parhelion confidently flowed from form to form, his eyes closed, his muscle and body moving with the graze bourn of practice. All the while his breathing was controlled and even. After several minutes of the smooth flowing forms, Bramble returned t standing on the stump, his eyes still closed. After another moment he lifted his leg again, this time it continued up though, and his upper body leaned back, his foot extending up and touching one of the metal objects, so that his shape resembled a capital Y. With explosive sped, and one that might seem impossible from such a motionless start, Bramble used his grounded leg to push up, twist around and kick the string holding the metal object up. The utensil fell to the ground, the string snapped. Bramble continued and he landed on the foot that had previously been in the air, still with one foot off of the ground, raised high in the air. In that position he opened his eyes and looked directly at his mum. His voice was calm, almost relaxed as a smile flickered on his lips.

”What ya think ma?”
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POSTED: Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:26 am

Whatever Eliza had stumbled upon – and she couldn’t even begin to guess – she watched with softly gleaming eyes. It was difficult for the Cormier woman to look at Bramble, this spry and powerful young man who seemed to flow from shape to shape, and not see the pup who had nearly given her a heart attack by emerging from the womb soundless, without breath.

Bramble breathed easily now, a picture of calm focus, but his Ma still jumped when the metal object came clattering to the ground. She had been looking at the little boy who had been afraid to leave the Cormier-Parhelion house in the Winter; at the pup who had been caught up in a stampede of caribou hooves. Not the man who balanced so effortlessly on the tree stump.

Without thinking, Eliza moved forward and bent to retrieve the scrap of metal from the ground, straightening and turning it in her speckled hands. When Bramble pressed her for a reaction her lips pursed and she felt a catch in her throat which needed to be forced back.

“I think it’s unacceptable how grown up y’are, Bram.” Her features softened like a block of ice warmed by the sun. “But tha’ was beautiful - ‘n’ impressive.”
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