[M] Krampus is coming

p. Calhoun

POSTED: Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:06 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.


no chains on my soul, it's a wild horse running free

Twelve was miserable, and more so than usual.

In addition to her normal insomnia-fueled foul mood, she was now cold; and damn if it wasn’t cold up here, even more so it seemed than it had been in New York. In that wretched city there were at least enough fires and bodies to keep warm, but here there was nothing separating her from the bitter chill of winter.

The skinny coyote woman had always been sickly, due to her lack of proper nutrition as a pup, and so instead of a winter coat coming in thick and warm, she instead looked like a half-molting bird. The only thing keeping her from freezing to death were the clothes she had procured for herself; a deer-pelt suit where the fur had been turned inward, and the leather portion out; it had a hood, which she was so thankful for it almost made her come back to Christ... almost.

She had also wrapped her hands and feet in rabbit fur-lined strips of leather, but it did little to keep her fingers from tingling. Some of this she had fashioned haphazardly for herself, and the rest she had managed to trade for; her personal stash of liquor was now depleted.

It was mid-day when she left the relative comfort of her shop to head to the lake for water, two buckets tied to Orville’s fur saddle. The troughs were freezing over, and so she had to make this trip twice a day to make sure the horses in the stockyard didn’t get dehydrated. The lake was still too large and warm that any serious ice had trouble finding a hold. Usually a couple kicks and fresh water was there for the taking.

The sky was pregnant with snow, but luckily none was falling yet. She and her mule hurried along, going at a brisk pace; the quicker they got this done with, the better.

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POSTED: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:40 pm

Independence was a marvelous thing.

That wasn't to say that the five-month-old puppy was truly independent, but Calhoun was trusted with wandering around most of the ganglands, at least. He had no intentions of pushing those boundaries, either. A scaredy-cat and too dumb to be anything but well-intentioned, he heeded his parents' warnings well.

Currently, the boy—in that awkward stage where he was equally gangly and fat, with paws still large enough to stumble over—loped toward the lakeside, dry tongue lolling as he sought to quench his thirst. He’d had a busy morning running around in play, chasing his sisters and coaxing Remy into chasing him, and now he felt utterly fatigued, his chubby flanks heaving and drool speckling his forepaws as he made his way to the water’s edge.

A sheen of ice covered the shallows, and Calhoun tiptoed around the pools in the pebbled beach. He’d been warned about how dangerous ice was, and so he kept as close to solid ground as he can, giving the hard surface a few bats with his paws, eventually giving up and lowering his head to slurp at the moisture that lay on top of the ice, or that melted slowly with his breath.

Hoof-falls stirred his oversized ears, and the tawny puppy lifted his head, spotting a skinny grey Luperci leading her mule to the water. She smelled like clan, though he hadn’t seen her before. Her visage might have frightened another child, but his parents’ faces were crisscrossed with a ruin of scars, and so there was no worry in him as he turned to wag his tail at her.

“Hello ma'am!” Calhoun yapped, his voice a high-pitched thing coming from his ungainly and chubby body. “Could ya help me break the ice? My mama said don’t go too far an’ I don’t wanna fall in but I’m awful thirsty.”

His green eyes stared, wide and round, up at her: hopeful and guileless.
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POSTED: Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:21 pm

no chains on my soul, it's a wild horse running free

Fuck this. Fuck that. Fuck you. Fuck me. It played like a mantra in her head as she trotted along. This was fucking awful, but ever the worker; ever the slave to one thing or another, Twelve would do her duties.

Of course, it was a thankless job; did the others even take a breath to think who might be watering the unclaimed horses? No, she doubted so; just so long as they were not falling dead to the frost, that was all that mattered. Twelve didn’t want any praise anyway, just made sense that she would at least try to save the animals from suffering, even if she could not save herself from it.

Dark thoughts were interrupted by the soft voice of someone she did not immediately recognize. A pudgy, gangly boy, naked as the day he was born and on all fours, coming up to greet her. At first she just stared, trying to place him into the patchwork of her reality, when she realized it was The Burnt Woman and Butter Face’s child, Calhoun. Her mind was immediately shot back in time, to a night shared with good drink and good company, she, Calhoun (the pup’s namesake) and Santiago. They had gotten drunk and tried (and failed) to steal a horse.

Then the memory of Calhoun’s head rolling through the sand.

Twelve realized she had been staring at the boy without saying anything, she probably looked right mad to him. With a grunt, she dismounted the mule, Don’t call me ma’am. I ain’t no ma’am, Butterball. she said as wrapped feet hit frozen ground, I’m busy. You’re big enough, break your own hole.

Twelve undid the buckets from Orville and went to the edge of the water. It was frozen pretty solid around the edges, something she wasn’t expecting; days were getting colder and colder, before long she wouldn’t be able to break a hole at all. Damn she sure did need a furnace.

With some effort, the skinny coyote slammed the heel of her paw into the ice until the surface splintered and split away. She was about to dip her bucket in when she sighed and turned to the pup, Come and get a drink. She commanded.

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POSTED: Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:44 pm

The scarred woman stared at him in silence, and Calhoun stared back with his big round eyes before they dropped submissively. He heard rather than saw her paws touch the earth when she dismounted from her pretty mule, and his ears twitched up when she corrected him. If she wasn’t a ma’am, maybe she was a mister? His tongue lolled around in his mouth, and he chewed on it thoughtfully.

Dismissing him with the insistence that he was big enough to break a hole on his own, the coydog hoisted the buckets and walked ot the shallows. As she began kicking at the ice, Calhoun grimaced down at his own puddle and attempted the same, pouncing on it like he might a mouse in the snow. Unfortunately, while it cracked under his direct attacks, it was all ice — no water to be found beneath the surface, even when he lapped at it hopefully. He picked up a chip of ice in his mouth and tried to crunch it before the woman called to him.

Dropping the frozen shard, Calhoun wagged his tail and padded over to the shallows. “Thank ya kindly,” he said; the polite phrase might have been charming with a baritone drawl and a tip of a cowboy hat, but it sounded ridiculous in his squeaky voice. “Uhh, I dunno what t’ call you if you ain’t no ma’am,” he added, and lowered his head to drink greedily from the shallows, shivering at the cold. “’S good.”
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