In voice furred with frost, Ghost said to priest

POSTED: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:04 pm

[285] Rumor has it that the Haunted Forest is, well, haunted! Does your coyote believe in ghosts and get the creeps walking through the wood? Or is your trickster the type of friend to roll in snow and spook their buddy with a loud boo?

Stories by campfire. Crossroads dirt and salt and spice sprinkled around the den. Wards and luck charms dangling from white throats. The way he taught her to see, a child who believed in nothing but the cruelty of the living.

Memories always seemed to hurt Clover. If she could just live in the present, day by day, and not grieve for what she’d lost or fear for what she might lose in the future, she would be a happier person. But Inferni was founded on memories: ancestral instincts, years of tradition, generations of leaders and warriors. Even the lands they laid claim to were subject to powerful, terrible memories.

She saw them sometimes. It was usually only when she was meditating that she spotted them out of the corner of her eye. Most were simple spirits, deer and cats who flitted in and out of view, little wisps of translucence that vanished if you looked right at them. But once or twice she saw pale, lean, sorrowful figures in the wood. Sometimes she could even hear their voices, weak echoes of their last cries, because the love that let them live for so long was gone.

She had also noticed the puppy by the stump.

Clover walked forward, her head lowered and tail carefully wagging as she moved on all fours. She couldn’t get a strong glimpse of the puppy, but she could see that he was splotched — with the memory of soot, she realized, knowing that shadows would not touch the ghost like they did physical things.

The terrible realization hit her, and she stopped and sat down under the weight of this before she even thought to greet the tiny ghost.
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oderint dum metuant
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:10 pm

220 Words

Arsinoe padded over with a mouse hanging from her jaws. She dropped the small meal before the ghost puppy. You got to eat something Smoky. She insisted and nudged the rodent closer to his soot stained paws. He looked down at it and coughed quietly but made no move to accept it. This was a routine that they went through on an almost daily basis. Arsinoe was always pushing for the ghost to eat something and he never touched what she brought him.

She didn't see Smoky as a ghost but as a solid, living thing. He wasn't just an outline to her but something with mass. She saw him differently than the rest of the world did, and there was the fact that she did see him when most saw nothing at all. But she had always been able to see him, and all the other specters that roamed the forest. She had no idea that they were spirits rather than living beings.

If you don't eat it then I will give it to her. Arsinoe threatened and tossed her head in Clover's direction. Rather than give into the threat Smoky stepped away from the mouse so that it could be taken back. Come on Smoky. You know I didn't mean it. Arsinoe said when her bluff was called.

POSTED: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:35 am

[157]

She jumped, startled, when another coyote -- this one flesh-and-blood -- approached the stump with a mouse in her jaws. Seemingly ignoring Clover, almost like she was a ghost herself, the brown coyote dropped the meat at the puppy's sooty paws. Coughing, the dead child backed away from it.

Startled again when the other coyote finally acknowledged her, Clover frowned and looked between them. Did this female not realize...?

"Um, hi,"
she said. She spoke to both of them, her tail wagging uncertainly. "It doesn't look like he's... hungry," she added. And the living needed that meat, she couldn't deny it; she couldn't deny the way her stomach rumbled at the sight of even a tiny mouse, something that wouldn't sate her for more than a few hours. "I know puppies. They'll letcha know if they want dinner."

She wagged her tail again, her head low. "What are your names?"
Loners
Dog
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Raze
oderint dum metuant
unconditional loyalty

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