[m] tired of the white fists of old letters

POSTED: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:46 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.


Clover avoided the city for some time even after the dogs were driven out. It was full of too many memories for the woman: some recent and fresh enough in her mind that she could smell the blood, the booze; others so old they were lost to all but her subconscious, waking her at night with terrible dreams she knew were really real.

But now she wandered the streets, not really knowing why. Perhaps she just wanted to make sure that the dogs were truly gone, since not all of them were dead. If asked, that was what she’d say anyway.

Clover walked until she found something: an old overturned van, with the fading stench of mongrel and urine and alcohol hovering around it like a curse. She glanced down into the vehicle and frowned. She’d been small enough to fit behind those pedals once; now she realized she would be hard pressed to fit into the driver’s seat comfortably.

Her eyes narrowed as she spotted the glint of an old bottle. Her hand reached down; she seized the neck of it and lifted it to the sun, watching it glow through the amber liquid. It was half full of the stuff.

Coldly, she turned and smashed the bottle against the side of the van, shattering it and spilling the alcohol everywhere.
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POSTED: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:32 am

The Concrete Jungle was a curiosity to Vesper, but of the kind that led one to glance over a magazine rather than the sort that killed cats. She thought back to days of her youth spent exploring Halifax, clambering through windows and sleeping in old cars, picking fights with other loners who looked at her funny. It had all been such a novelty to a non-Luperci from the backwater Mer Bleue, though nothing that interested her as much as it did her humanized friends.

She looked at the place like she did any other landscape. Barren earth, blocky formations, dens in the form of old Dumpsters and sedans.

Vesper hobbled along the street, sniffing after what she thought was a rat, when the sound of glass shattering made her jump. Her heart pulsed a frightened rhythm in her throat, but in spite of that she limped hurriedly toward the noise.

The sun glinted on the dirty shards, and the spiced scent of booze permeated the air. Clover stood glaring out into space, her hackles stiff, her fists trembling, until she became aware of the coywolf and whirled around. Chestnut eyes opened wide at her former mentor, and she looked at once supremely uncomfortable.

Vesper ignored it. What's wrong, Clover? she asked.



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POSTED: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:35 pm

Nothing, sprang from her lips in answer, but Vesper merely lifted her scarred brow.

She glanced away again, ashamed, frustrated, adrenaline rushing through her body. She wanted to pick up the shards and smash them again; she wanted to rush out into the city with bloody paws. If she hurt something else enough, maybe she wouldn't hurt as much. If she could push the thoughts away long enough maybe they would go dormant again.

Helpless, she clenched her fists and stared at the pavement. She began to breathe faster, sharp intakes. She wasn't aware that she'd started whimpering too until Vesper's voice cut into the sound, soft and intent and concerned, and the maternal note there broke down her barrier entirely.

My muh-mom, Clover sobbed. In an instant Vesper was there, and for want of physical comfort Clover kneeled on the hard asphalt and wrapped her arms around the bony old coywolf, pulling her in closer. Ves licked her. I suh-saw her here. This is wuh-where Jehan found me when I was luh-little. She squeezed her eyes shut, hiccoughed. A-and he's nuh-not here to tell me eh-everything's okay. It was all bullshit anyway. He was a bronze-tongued liar but she'd warmed up to believing him, because if nothing else she wasn't in this bad place anymore, but now --

He's gone and I'm buh-back in this shithole.

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POSTED: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:22 pm

Fin.

Slowly at first, pulling the words out with considerable pain through a tightened throat -- and then faster and faster, with great hiccoughing breaths and trembling of fists in Vesper's coat, Clover spoke.

She described a tiny puppy in the junkyard, scrabbling through and surviving on detritus when she wasn't suckling at the dirty teat of an addict. Her voice shaking and swearing, she spoke of a mother: a mother who never had a name, just as she never named her child. She called her "baby." So did the men.

I'm here I'm here I'm here, Vesper murmured rapidly when Clover's sobs broke harsher, her voice raw with the pain.

It was not physical. Her mother did not beat her. The men did not touch in ways that would hurt. But hunger was an agony of its own, and when she cried out of loneliness or fear the addict was in a ditch, or tied with a john. No one came to her aid -- until someone did, a man one-armed and scrawny from his own neglect.

When Jehan had opened up to her for the first time, when they were certain they were somewhere safe, Clover had not believed him. His story mirrored hers so much that she was certain he'd fabricated it like he fabricated his very persona. But the scar was real, and the blackened skull she found hidden away in his bag was real, too.

And so was the matted bitch who fought near the old churchyard. She looked at me buh-but she didn't ruh-recognize me. She had already wasted away under the influence of nameless things and abuses that the age in her face didn't matter. Clover cursed, saying she doubted the woman looked for her when Jehan whisked her away, or she might have thought her doppleganger was her baby.

She didn't love me, Clover said, murmuring tiredly now. I don't think Jehan loved me. Not enough to stay. And yet she was still terrified that he would go the same way, that he would die of illness in the wild, a broken heart and a busted liver. That fear frustrated her and she could barely articulate it but for her cussing. Huh-he should have fucking left me there.

But he didn't. Vesper lifted her chin from where she'd rested it in Clover's lap. Her blue eyes were calm. He brought you here. He did one good thing -- gave you a chance you never would have had. And maybe that's the only good thing he did for you, when it's all said and done -- and Clover sniffled, face screwed up -- but he did it and you're here. She licked the girl's hand.

The dog bent and wrapped her arms around Vesper's neck. She cried the last of her tears, and in the quiet whispered, I love you, Vesper.

The old coywolf nuzzled her former student tenderly. I'm very proud of you, she said. And I love you too.



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