If spring comes before I’m found

just throw my bones in a hole in the ground

POSTED: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:24 am

Thread prompt: Not all of our coyotes are northern-born; those of desert subspecies will be feeling the bite of winter more harshly than the rest! Take some measures to warm up: build a fire, fashion booties for those icy paws, or cuddle with a thick-furred friend!

[358]

"Why the fuck is it so cold?" Noel cursed under his breath with a tone that almost bit as harsh as the wind. The chill did not relent at his words and he huffed as he pulled his clothing tighter around his body. They were threadbare and plain -- the cloak was something he plucked from the communal stores and infested with fleas (or at least Noel was convinced it was, the material scratching at him and giving him the heebie-jeebies). It was not like he had a whole lot of options. Most of his, and the clan's, possessions were burned in the fire.

Ugh.

At least they had hot springs in the old territory. Now they had tiny puddles that would probably kill him if he drank from them, if he was lucky. At least they had a mansion with walls and a fireplace and blankets and a kitchen. Now they had some dank caves to sleep in, recently dubbed "Hellfire Hollow." Not cringey at all. Totally not reminiscent how their last home, their better home, kicked the bucket. Great, he thought with an annoyed groan.

There was no one to witness his whining, sans Mīyā. The scraggly raven was perched on his shoulder as he sat underneath the dead tree near the hollow. Her feathers were more ruffled than usual and she did not seem as cold as her coyjackal companion but she nestled close to him. It was as if the thing cared for him for as much trouble she gave and he begrudgingly allowed her to stay there. She didn't do much in the way of warmth but at least he wasn't talking to himself.

"Snow," Mīyā explained brightly as if Noel didn't notice the expanse of white many inches high. The male gave his surroundings a deadpan look before fussing with his clothes again. "Thanks for the observation," he said bluntly. Snow had lost its wonder soon after the first time he saw it last season and now it was another thing he dreaded.

A noise of pain jumped from his lips as the raven bit his ear, not taking his attitude kindly.

POSTED: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:56 am

That day Virue had been hell-bent on doing some sprints. It wasn’t exactly a spring day out in the new territory. The snow was layered thick across the ground, and the only real escape seemed to be the cave systems dampened by snowmelt. The weather seemed to be more erratic than not, and it seemed just as likely to be sunny as it was to flurry. But regardless of weather, it was typical for most to find a path to their passions. Virue had found himself running in a vast circle, following his own footsteps round and round as if he were chasing a ghost or his own tail. The circle was big enough so that there were straightaways, which kept him from getting dizzy, and before long he had tamped down a pathway. The trodden-down path wasn’t nearly as familiar as his favourite field in the moors back in the old territory, but it would do well in a pinch. It was his very own track on which he could spend his energy and ponder new designs for the skulls of Inferni’s borders, or strategize on the content of his next poem. He’d always found refuge in exercise, even as a child. It had always been the best thing to calm him down, to lessen the flood of information so that he could think more clearly.

When Virue finally did grow tired of running around that makeshift track, he paced out into the middle of his massive oval and laid down—belly up. If he hadn’t been completely plastered with snow, he was now. He remained there for what felt like a half hour, just breathing out into the cold sky, watching as his clouds drifted away. He got up, and decided that he wanted to lay down outside the caverns for a while to cool off. Virue padded off in a direction, stopped and turned, realizing he was going the wrong way, and redirected course. On his way to the hollow he saw Noel beneath a dead tree. The Sciens was about to walk past when he saw Noel’s face. He did not look happy. Virue slowly approached him, giving his raven a glance of acknowledgement before focusing on the fellow Infernian. “Y-you...okay?” The boy asked, sounding unsure. His bright eyes almost seemed to bleed their blue hue in the harsh winter light.
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395 Hopefully Virue is fluffy enough loool
gotta gotta be down because I want it all
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POSTED: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:45 am

[302] hi Daniel! thanks for joining! sorry for grumpy here D: he'll get better!

Mīyā stayed on Noel's shoulder as he nursed his ear -- they both knew it didn't hurt as much as he was acting. Quiet frustration that had lingered beneath the surface the last couple of months, the effects of war and lost, was starting to rear its ugly head in the face of cold and hunger. So he lashed out at what he could: the wind, the snow, the decision, fate. They were all things that cared not for his words, however.

The coyjackal's ear twitched as he heard the approach of another before they spoke. He recognized the voice before he shifted his dark eyes to rest on Virue, but the frown did not melt away from his face at the sight of the familiar. Noel was always like this; he knew everyone in the clan, at the very least knew their faces, but he didn't seem to enjoy seeing them.

He made a point to avoid everyone in the old territory. That had not changed despite everything.

"No," Noel answered plainly. He sounded perturbed as if Virue had interrupted something important. Of course he was doing nothing aside from cursing and freezing to death -- but at least he was doing it in peace. He didn't need an audience, he thought.

Mīyā, however, was more receptive of their new company. She was pleased when Virue gave her an acknowledging glance and she alighted from Noel's shoulder to land near the Sciens' leg. "Snow!" she echoed again in her rough tongue, eyeing the clumps that clung to the other with curiosity. "No cold fur?"

Noel frowned at the bird's words, he himself finding them incomprehensible. Mīyā did not wait for Virue's response before jumping onto Noel's knee and gesturing between them with her beak. "Give no cold fur! No snow cold!"

POSTED: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:57 pm

Virue wasn’t exactly sure what he’d done to make Noel so snippy, and although he felt a little put back by his demeanor, he would try his best to comfort the coyjackal in any way possible. “Wh-what’s the uh...pr-problem?” The boy asked. It was a straightforward enough question, to which he hoped there was a straightforward answer. For Noel to not be okay, there must be something wrong. Unless of course he was like Rialu, then it wasn’t just one thing wrong. Then everything was wrong, all the time. Rialu was right in thinking through such a dark lens with all the things that have happened to her, but Virue knew her view of the world brought the expectation for hurt, hurt that could be avoided with a little faith. Virue had tried so hard for so long to bring her that faith, but still it seemed something held her down and refused to let go.

Blue eyes flickered to the raven, and Virue’s face went studious before being mixed with confusion. He was still learning low speech, and so he was not familiar with too many words, though he did recognize ‘snow’ and ‘cold’. Simple enough to know, but he couldn’t quite decide what the bird was going on about when he took into account the gestures it was making. It felt as though there were blank spaces with the correct words just out of reach, and this frustrated him. This sensation reminded Virue of when he spoke to Fidge, Rialu’s hunting bird. Sometimes he understood the kestrel, and sometimes he did not. The scout stood there puzzled, tail swaying, his eyes squinted. His mouth opened to mutter a few words of low speech into the winter air, dispeling a few clouds, trying his best to decipher or decide what that string of words meant. In the end, Virue couldn’t figure it out, so he looked to Noel with a frown. The tan scout was still tired from running for as long as he did, so he decided it was best to lie down under the minuscule shade of those few scraggly branches overhead. His ribs rose and fell with the cold air, warming as it was pulled in, turning into clouds as it was pushed out and up. He considering laying on his side in the snow, but he thought that might be rude. Virue didn’t want to look directly at Noel anymore, as that was too unnerving, so he looked past the Tirones to watch the snow fall instead. Eyes wafting this way and that, chasing flakes. “Wh-what’s it going on a-about? The sn-snow isn’t cold? I always th-thought it was,” he said with a short laugh. “It’s certainly an i-interesting t-time of year..” And that was putting it lightly. The shortages of food kept everyone on edge at all times, clinging for light, clawing for reasons to be joyful or hopeful. Especially this winter, in the wake of the war. Rialu was dragging in her weight in game every day, frantically trying to keep everyone fed. Despite everything she was on the surface, that’s the kind of person she was. Virue had even gone on several hunting expeditions with her despite his shoddy hunting skills, and bad memories involving his father. Sadly, Virue knew even she could not do it all. She was so serious and angry at the world all the time, as if the very howling of the wind was the voice of her long-time enemy, and she was the one who needed to bring it all crashing down around her. So intense and focused. It was no wonder she was so talented when it came to archery, why her eyes always seem to burn.

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621+ No problem, Virue is used to Rialu lol
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POSTED: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:10 am

(309) mi is trying her best (link)

"Nothing." The curtness in his voice was contrary to his answer but he did not say anything more for the other's question. He punctuated his speech with a tug of clothes and settled lower against the tree. He'd rather die than admit that he was bothered, that he was weakened -- that's how he saw it, being cold, even as basic of an experience it was that everyone shared.

When Virue started mumbling in low speech, seemingly to no one, Noel gave him a deadpan stare. So this was how his day was going to go: freezing his tail off while two creatures squawked nonsense. He had half the sense to chase both of them off but he withheld his irritability, for now. He may have been unfriendly but he was not needlessly hostile towards his clanmates for all the annoyances that came with them. It at least gave him something to occupy his thoughts other than the cold.

Noel shrugged as the boy laid next to him, scooting over as if to give him room when he simply did not want to make contact. "I don't know what she's saying, I don't speak bird." This was a lie -- he understood her speech. Even then, Mīyā didn't make any sense to him. But he didn't want to admit that his comprehension wasn't up to snuff. The raven ruffled more (if that was even possible) at his words with unreadable expression before moving to Virue's side. She started to attempt to nose into his back fur to pluck loose hair.

Ignoring the bird, the coywolf huffed. "If by interesting you mean we're probably all gonna die, then yeah, it's been an interesting freaking year altogether." Noel stared off ahead of him and gripped at his arms tighter. "We didn't have to move. We shouldn't have moved. This is stupid."

POSTED: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:30 am

“I n-need to keep l-learning,” he replied. If he could understand low-speech, maybe he could use that understanding to help the clan. He could place as many painted skulls at the borders as he wanted, but he was well aware of the fearlessness of some. How some would step over their borders without a glance at his artificial flames, because they could never really burn or flicker like the real thing.

Miya came to his side, and when he felt an odd sensation at his side he turned to look at where the avian had begun to remove tan tufts of fur. It wasn’t really bothering him, so long as no rooted strands were removed forcefully, so he remained there comfortably. That was until Noel began talking with the heavy pessimism that always served as an affront to Virue’s positivity. He stood up, glanced to the Tirones, then put his eyes aloft. He frowned as his sights wound through naked branches, and his ears showed a flicker of life at the distant sound of wildlife. What Noel had said...it reminded him of Rialu, though she had said very little about the move. Maybe even she had put her frustrations aside to agree with the decision to pack up and leave in the end. An emptiness began to blossom inside as Virue remembered kneeling down and letting his hands run through the ash and charred remnants of their once-beloved mansion. The coyote sanctuary of De’Neville. He still saw Goliath’s ash-smeared face, the stillness of his chest, and how Briarblack had sobbed into it for so long. Then the words spilled across an empty field, ‘we’re probably all gonna die’. Dark clouds rumbling in his chest. “E-everyone…” but then he’d paused, as if trying to insure that what he was about to say was worth saying, “everyone dies. B-but none of u-us are going anywhere r-right now.” A part of Virue sought the whole picture of death to frame in a catalog of things he knew, but natural fear told him to wait until he was ready. When that was could be at any time, and all anyone ever did was patiently wait for the end, but the threat mattered little to Virue because as far as he was concerned, he was on borrowed time from a long time running. “I...miss home t-too, Noel.” The blue-eyed scout shook his head. “B-but I think it w-was risk no food, or risk losing m-more clan m-members.” The boy sighed, looked down at his feet. “I’d rather s-starve than watch s-someone else die…” This almost made him lose it, but he kept it together because he’d cried far too much for one lifetime already. “Everything w-will be okay, th-that’s what I say, right u-up until I can’t s-say anything a-anymmore,” he said, smiling at his company.
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300+ Give Virue some incentive to give Noel a cuddle (for the thread prompt lol)
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