When all I want is to be numb, the medication's all gone

P. Pascal

POSTED: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:06 pm

Hunger pangs often led to bad choices for her. Sometimes, they were worse than others, her choices. And then, sometimes, they were wrong but not to the point that she felt bad for doing them.

Being deaf, she couldn't understand everyone she came across. For the most part, she could read lips well enough that she understood exactly what a benefactor wanted in turn for food or payment, other times... some dialects and languages were weird and led her in the wrong direction. She could recall several times when she had been run out of shops for simply doing the wrong thing, chased off with a stick like she was some mongrel that wasn't worth feeding.

Granted, most of those times she had been in four legged form when the job had required the daintiness of two hands and the maneuverability of two legs but there were a few times when she had found herself lost in thought, when she hadn't done anything at all to deserve the punishment doled upon her by others who thought her inferior to them simply because she could not hear what they said or ordered. What led her to this side of Halifax this morning had been the stench of cooked meat and the promise of a meal.

Dressed in the finest clothes she had, a blue dress that fell to her knees leaving her shoulders bare of cloth, her wrists clinging to a pair of gray, red and blue bangles, she looked the part of someone here to trade, well, would have if it had not been for the fact that she did not perk her ears at the sounds of people around her. For the fact that she did not hear people as they asked her politely to step to the side so they could get through which inevitably led to them shoving passed her anyway.

Her eyes had settled on the stall at the end of the broken paved street, a stall that had a heavy chunk of roasted pig spooled at the edge of their small enclosure for the paying customers outside. Eager, she drifted in that direction, half turning her head before she stepped across the road to avoid a cart that came from the other way. Of course, she did not see the coyote looking canine with the horse that had come from the opposite direction at the same time till they were almost upon her.
Julia



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Luperci

POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:57 pm

Halifax had long been an abandoned city – though the outcasts and vagabonds took up residence in old hovels and broken cars. It was no port, no great trading hub, but the streets did occasionally host gatherings of strangers exchanging goods or partying on black streets under dead lanterns and bright starlight. A savvy pack wolf knew how to take advantage of the trade and gossip.

Years ago Pascal would not have called himself “savvy,” and while still rough in his interactions with strangers, his time spent at the outpost had given him newfound confidence. He came to one of the temporary marketplaces with a satchel on his hip and a scruffy lurcher in tow.

Percival chatted up a tattooed dog at one stall, his voice long since settled into an easygoing tenor as he asked about things like ink and set pemmican and salted fish out on the table for her. He’d grown into himself too, Pascal noticed – and had taken a liking to the librarian, which Pascal hadn’t. Perhaps it was because Pas was the only one who respected his wish: his name wasn’t Percy.

They had agreed to come here together to see what they might find, though Percival returned to Pascal’s side with rumors rather than ink.

“Massive flowers in the south, she said,” Percy was laughing. “Tall as trees! Can you believe it?”

“I can believe it.
” Pascal’s expression was flat as he scanned the street. “Jungles have all kinds of flora we couldn’t imagine. Giant broadleaf trees, flowers that eat animals, vines you can swing from.”

“Okay, but these magically grew here? Yeah right.”


The brown wolf shrugged, then started to step out onto the street when a cart bounced down the narrow path. He ducked back, but Percy was still peering curiously – and he spotted the doggish woman standing in the center of the road, ignorant of the impending horse and cart.

“Hey! Miss!” the terrier barked, his voice pitching high, and when she didn’t respond he rushed forward to drag her out of the way with all his skinny might.

Pascal watched, his tail bristling and ears pricked.
the saddest song all caught in the briars

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Luperci Chandler, Librarian
tale as old as time
misfit prince

POSTED: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:10 pm

The smell of meat was all the more appetizing as the wolf-dog carried herself onward through the center of the street, passed the horse that had been approaching from the other direction. It coached by her without incident. She could feel the vibrations on the street, though, the slight pound of hooves as 'they' passed her on either side. She hadn't seen the other one, not till she almost stepped in its path, only to catch its shadow out of the corner of her eye, a motion that made her spook and move a few steps in the other direction. Not enough..

She couldn't hear the shout of warning for obvious reasons and the next thing she knew, she had yelped loudly as the back of her shoulder flared in pain that ran like the blue flames of a fire too hot, coursing through it and down to the small of her back at the sudden jerk of something hard and heavy ramming into her. She felt hands grab at her, though the force of the cart wheeling her body around was still too much.

It knocked her to the ground, thankfully, due to the stranger's help, not beneath the wheels of the cart and left her sitting there in her blue dress, dazed and confused for a moment with her free arm still caught in the stranger's grasp. It was hard to imagine that things could have turned out any better, though her arm and shoulder did not feel broken.. It did not hurt enough to even feel dislocated, though she could only tell so much without getting someone to check it.

The good thing was that she couldn't feel any blood. That didn't mean there wasn't any. Sudden realization that she was still on the ground of the narrow pathway made her struggle to her feet, the sharp pain of her shoulder worsening with the motion but not so much that she couldn't bare it or look around at the canines who were staring at her, at the stranger who had helped her. It was hard to sign with the injured arm only but she did her best. Thank you. Can you let me go? It didn't cross her mind that he might not know how to sign, what her sign even meant. Hopefully they were understandable enough to get the point across.
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Luperci

POSTED: Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:29 pm

Percival grabbed the girl’s arm and pulled her, but the cart hit her in the arm as its driver cursed and the horse, spooked by the collision, trotted quicker down the pockmarked road with a rattle of wheels. The girl sprawled onto the asphalt, pulling Percy down with her, but though dazed the boy shouted after the cart-driver. “Watch where yer goin’, asswipe!”

The two or three Luperci who attended the stalls whispered and leaned to look, and Pascal strode forward stiffly to make sure his packmate wasn’t hurt too. Though a knee was grazed by the fall, the terrier looked okay – but he still clung worriedly to the girl’s arm even as she stood.

The hound made some motions with her hands and indicated her captive limb, which Percival released with a small giggle and nervous twitch of his moustache.

“I’m sorry. Are you okay?” Percival asked, not connecting the dots between the signs and her silence. They were simple enough gestures to understand, or at least “let go” was. His light eyes roamed worriedly over her face.

Pascal stood in the middle of the road. Carts were rare enough, and it was strange to see even two in the same place in the city; he knew the danger of getting run over was statistically past. He grunted and rubbed his mouth as he tried to think of what to say, but Percy more or less had it covered. Pas was no healer, no caretaker – not even a hero.

He hadn’t moved an inch when he saw her, anyway.
the saddest song all caught in the briars

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Raze
Luperci Chandler, Librarian
tale as old as time
misfit prince

POSTED: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:28 pm

She probably would have been amused by the stranger's shout if she'd seen it but that moment had passed and for now, well, she only really wanted to get out of the middle of the road and lessen the chances that she might be hit again unawares. While the chances that another cart might go through were slim, far and few in between, one never really knew. She certainly wasn't willing to gamble on it, considering the pain in her shoulder.

She could smell blood and, worriedly, her eyes darted once more to Percival and over him as if trying to find the source before moving to catch his face so she wouldn't miss anything he said. She hadn't meant to hurt him. Even if she had, well, she wouldn't have admitted it. After all, she didn't know him and she didn't really know he had grabbed her till the last moment and that instant after where she wanted her arm back.

There was some nervous amusement that flared across the stranger's eyes when she motioned for her arm back. When he didn't reply with sign, she felt her cheeks blossom with momentary embarrassment and shifted uneasily on both feet before replying to his question. It was a good thing she had something of a talent when it came to reading both the situation and lips in general.

I'm okay. Thank you, she signed and mouthed before lightly rubbing at her shoulder with her now freed hand, hoping that at least in the case that he didn't understand one method of communication, the attempt at the other could be. Both were relatively simple gestures, easily understood. Are you? she questioned, eyes darting to his knees before her eyes averted from Percival to Pascal who was still standing in the street, looking their way. She nervously gave him a once over before turning her attention back to Percival. She definitely wasn't a big fan of being watched and hadn't put two and two together regarding the idea that they had come together.

The next bit was probably a bit more complex but based on the situation at hand already, the signs were there.

I can't hear, she motioned to her ears and then to her mouth, shortly after, pushing hair from her face. At that moment, she caught scent of the food again and her head half-turned in its direction.
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Luperci

POSTED: Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:15 am

Pink eyes lifted to Percival’s face, and the lurcher twitched his mustached snout with a high prick of his ears. Heat flushed through him, too – something more properly called “bashful” than “embarrassed.” He hadn’t seen a hound in a long time, and she and her floppy ears and big eyes were quite cute. His tail began to stir, cautiously, until she began to speak.

Though when she did, it was with gesture and soundless movements of her lips, which caught the attention of Pascal immediately.

While Percy puzzled over this, understanding the simple gestures but not why she didn’t speak, the Sadira man approached. Percy was nodding to show that he was okay when Pascal got to them, though the wolf only stopped again well outside of their personal space or reach. He glanced at Percy.

“She’s deaf,” Pascal said, as the girl gestured at her ears.

“Huh? Oh,” Percy said, glancing at his own feet. “Great, I’m an idiot.” He watched the thin girl’s attention shift, and turned to look at the wolf. “Well, what’s she doing out here then, she’s gonna get hurt again!”

Pascal grunted. “Don’t tell me that. She may not hear you, but don’t speak as if she isn’t there, and don’t treat her like an invalid.” He was all too used to that. Even now, people still treated him like a child – handled him like delicate china or a bomb about to go off. He resented it more than anything else.

Percy waggled his hand lightly to get the girl’s attention, then dropped it and laced his fingers together uncertainly, glancing at Pascal. He wasn’t sure how to continue.

With deliberate motions, Pascal smiled – a big fake expression, but what he could muster – and pointed between himself and Percival to indicate they were together. Then he gestured in the direction of the roast the girl was smelling, and dropped his hand to rub at his stomach questioningly. <Are you hungry?>
the saddest song all caught in the briars

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Luperci Chandler, Librarian
tale as old as time
misfit prince

POSTED: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:54 am

Somethings were easier to understand than others. Usually a canine with this sort of disability would have had a companion, someone who kept them out of harm's reach, someone who could negotiate for food when meat was scarce, someone who could provide a home, room and board. In her case, she had no one but herself and she did what she could.

The other stranger approached after she made her brief gestures and said something but her attention was momentarily lost from her focus on the mouth watering meat in the short distance between them and the stall that the meat was perched upon.

Her gaze shifted an instant later only to focus back on the more wolvish of the two before flitting between them instead. From the way his lips moved and the way the friendly dog beside her reacted, she easily made an educated guess that he had just been given the news to her condition. His head fell, his eyes darting to the ground and she found herself unable to read his lips, though she could tell by the way his jowls moved that he was still talking.

The lack of understanding made her head croon to the side in an unresolved effort and attempt to register some equivalent of understanding though she found none.

Giving up, she turned her attention to the other stranger and his words, she could read for the most part and her diminutive shoulders visibly slumped as she folded her arms under her chest, clasping her hand's fingers with the others'. He had said something regarding her, huh? That was the only explanation she could find before she caught Percival's waggling fingers and her gaze shifted between the two.

From the look on Percival's face, she could see some awkwardness in the way he communicated with her but the other found none of the same and the surprise of his motioning hands brought a look of startled surprise to her eyes before she quickly nodded an affirmative, her thin tail whipping in a frenzy of excitement.

They hadn't necessarily offered but she found it extremely challenging to took it as if they hadn't and nimbly, she moved in that direction, stopping in front of the stall where her eyes closed and she took a big whiff of the smell of food before turning her head in their direction to ensure that they were tagging along.
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Luperci

POSTED: Wed May 09, 2018 1:09 pm

The hound’s eyes widened slightly, though Pascal did not recognize this for the sign of surprise that it was. He personally did not think much of it; Pas was not great at reading expressions or tone, but he could pick up on smaller details that others didn’t in body language. A unique way of perceiving the world granted him some advantage in communicating with the woman, though his signs were rudimentary – more like crude, pantomimed guesses than language.

The woman nodded and wagged her tail eagerly at the thought of food, then pranced over to one of the stalls. Exchanging a glance with Percy, Pascal followed and opened up his satchel, haggling in flat, blunt tones with the cook. He had none of the charisma of a trader, but he learned his wares. Dry remarks as to the meat’s worth and the ratio of water in the stew shamed the cook into giving them a fairer price than they originally asked for.

Food in hand, Pascal led the dogs away from the street. They turned down another road and found the stoop of an apartment building, where Pascal sat down after picking up a chip of concrete or rock he found lying in the weeds. He toyed with this as the woman began to eat.

Only after she had paused in devouring the food did he glance at her. He fake-smiled again and pointed at himself, then used the concrete chip to scratch at the cement they sat on. A faint lighter line spelled out his name, which he repeated once he lifted his muzzle so she could read his lips: “Pas-cal.”

Percival wagged his tail and grabbed the chip, writing: P-E-R-S-Y. He hesitated, added: V-U-L, then scratched it out, grimacing.

Snorting, Pascal mouthed this to her too (and resolved to help Percival with his spelling later).

Then he started to gesture at her, using innate canine posturing with only a few waves of his hand to supplement his question. <Are you alone?> was what he hoped to ask.
the saddest song all caught in the briars

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Raze
Luperci Chandler, Librarian
tale as old as time
misfit prince

POSTED: Wed May 09, 2018 1:35 pm

She would have eaten right there at the stall but the one who seemed to understand her took it upon himself to talk with the stall's owner. Haggling had never been her strong suit and she didn't really pay much attention to what they were saying. Her attention, for the most part, was locked upon the meat and the stew and it only took a moment longer for the oddly colored wolf to take hold of the food itself and then lead the trio in the direction of a place where they could eat in relative peace away from the watchful eye of the straggling patrons of the corner she had been on when they had saved her.

After finding a seat on an old ledge that had once been used for the base of an apartment building, she was handed her food and after a brief glance between the food and the other two canines, hunger got the best of her and she anxiously carved into her food, devouring it one mouthful after the last. She wasn't sure if the food was made any differently than it was any other day but today, the food was incredibly sweet in her mouth. It was hard to say whether she sucked it all down or if she even tasted it but sometime between bringing the bowl to her lips and putting it down, the one who knew how to communicate with her through sign had grabbed hold of a stone, probably an old piece of concrete, she supposed, and carved visible letters into the harder stone of the cement they were sat upon.

She looked it over, glancing between the strange lettering and then him, waiting for some understanding to take root. When he had mouthed the meaning to her and pointed at himself, the meaning struck her and she mouthed a small 'O', her gaze shifting from Pascal to Percival a moment later as the dog took hold of the chip and jotted his own name down.

"Pas.." she spoke, looking at the lettering. Her voice felt odd in her throat. It was probably because she'd never actually heard sound before, left the words sounding odd, perhaps, even to the strangers. This had been part of her lessons, not really one she'd ever paid that close attention to. "Cal. Pascal?" looking to him for affirmation. She did the same with Percival, stopping short on his though since it was certainly a longer name. "Pursefull?"

Excitedly, she reached for the stone next, pointing her free hand at herself before sliding her bowl to the side so she could mark her name down on the cement too. It didn't take long before she had it there, the lettering odd and misshapen but legible nonetheless, 'J-U-L-I-A.' She stopped then, hesitant on answering their last question. Was she alone? She had to be. Her father wasn't around anymore.

In the end, she offered a small nod before mouthing the word alone.
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Luperci

POSTED: Thu May 24, 2018 9:37 pm

The hound attempted their names, her voice like cotton. She managed Pascal’s name well enough but slightly flubbed Percival’s – who shyly flipped his ears back and covered the last syllable with his hand, shrugging slightly. “You can just call me Percy,” he said, in case she might be able to partially read his lips and body language.

Pascal exhaled at him, amused, but then the girl grabbed the concrete chip and wrote her own name down: Julia. Both males nodded, smiled: Pas fake and awkward, Percy eager and charmed.

When Julia said she was alone, Pascal grabbed the chip again.

“We are in a pack,” he said, mouthing it for her and gesturing to encompass their togetherness. He wrote PACK on the concrete, then gestured to her, motioning between themselves. “If you don’t want to be alone anymore, you are welcome to join us.”

He wrote COURT on the pavement, then drew an arrow to it from JULIA, added a question mark.

Percival wagged his tail. “Oh, you should!”
the saddest song all caught in the briars

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Raze
Luperci Chandler, Librarian
tale as old as time
misfit prince

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