You'll halt the clock that syncopates our love

POSTED: Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:30 pm

He left the meeting before it had concluded, before the echoes of dissent had died away. He left when Thyri said small mercies because that was the only gentle thought beating in his angry mind.

She didn't know. Small mercies.

The rest of him shook with a terrible anger, and it was all he could do to place his paws without ripping out his claws on the stone trail.

He walked the familiar path to Shiloh's room and squeezed into the door, which swung open to illuminate a place that seemed now so horribly empty. There he paused, collecting himself, catching his breath, before he found the open drawer where she placed her dresses. He strode over and jumped into it, curling up on top of the soft fabric and pressing his face into its folds, breathing in the last vestiges of her scent left in this world.

He did not know how long he remained there. He might have fallen asleep; it might have been minutes or hours. But heavy feet creaked the floorboards, and Wilson lifted his head and fixed his slit pupils on the tall, tired man in the doorway.

Silvano, the cat said. His voice dripped hatred.


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POSTED: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:22 pm

We’re the only ones who know

The cat was likely the one most eager to hate him with all his heart. There was no fear of the domesticated animal, for even in his progressively weakening state. Whether it was from a broken heart, broken spirit, or fraying mental condition, he could not say. He was perhaps the most at peace with his imminent and permanent reminder of mortality at that moment, when he felt as though there was no reason left to stay.

Silvano stepped into the space he had shared with Shiloh, and found the smell of cat thick and fresh. He felt the bridge of his nose furrow in annoyance. He did not want a lecture, he did not want to feel those sharp little cat teeth on him. He just wanted to sleep, just wanted to rest.

But it was only fair. The voice in his head was obstinate and firm, but gentle. It reminded him a little of Shiloh and his mother’s mixed together. It tugged at that guilty, shameful heart of his. But he did not want to hear it from Wilson, who had never been a fan of his, even when he had been faithful.

”Whatever you have to say, Wilson, I have heard or thought already, so spare me,” he said coldly, but it was a very tired sort of chill. It was like that last winter storm before spring, as though the season was struggling to accept its end. He knew it was futile; Wilson would speak as he saw fit. ”Comfort my children instead of berating me.” They needed the love more than Silvano needed the vitriol.

SILVANO SADIRA
Now, I've learned it's better living in the moment. Enjoy youth, cause it doesn't last.

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POSTED: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:07 pm

Comfort your children? Wilson echoed. His ears slanted back and he spilled out of the dresser drawer to square his shoulders and lift his chin. I've done more than my fair share of comforting your children.

The wooden pendant was a heavy weight around his neck, knocking into his chest. It grounded him with all the memories of years' past and reminded him, too, of all the terrible tragedies he'd seen. Its bloodstained grain was just another symbol.

I comforted your firstborns when they'd yet to open their eyes, he said. I comforted Abigail when she felt so distraught about her broken little family. I nurtured your second litter when they were sick, helped bury your dead daughter with my own paws. I helped Myrkr through countless panic attacks. I even helped Pascal, the poor sod, because he always felt like you expected so little of him.

His tail danced like a serpent. He spoke in a gruff, wolfish growl.

I have been there for your children and your wife more than you ever have, you pathetic excuse for a man.


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POSTED: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:13 pm

We’re the only ones who know

His request was not headed, ignored. Silvano turned away from the ivory feline, making his hands busy with the shelf in the room. He fiddled with books that were his own personal frequent reads, touching the dogeared pages and the worn spine. They were a comfort to him through the angry barrage of words that Wilson spat at him.

For the first time in a while, the former King felt a sliver of actual emotion. He was angry. He asked the cat to leave him alone, to do something more productive than berating him. He had asked. He had asked. Instead, he got accusations and vile vitriol that sent the hair rising on the grey man's neck.

"I told you to go comfort my children, not yell at me," he said dangerously low, spinning and tossing a book, a beloved companion, at the cat with all the intent to miss the creature. He wanted to see the way Wilson would arch his spine and hiss at him, claws

"And where were you when she decided to confront Mistral? Where were you when she decided to take matters into her own hands?" he threw out angrily, hand waving wildly as he snapped back to the cat. The cat that never liked him, the cat that was never on his side. "What good have you ever done, you pound of flesh? With your sarcastic quips and your judgmental eyes. When have you done us any good?" Silvano was yelling, showing more energy than he had in the past handful of weeks.

SILVANO SADIRA
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POSTED: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:26 pm

A book flew at him. Wilson leaped out of the way (though it would have missed regardless). He puffed and hissed and spat like Silvano wanted him to -- a thing of bones and anger. Older even than the greying King, he too looked suddenly more alive and alert in his rage.

The words might have cut him deep if his heart wasn't already dulled to the pain. Many nights this winter he had lain awake and wondered the same thing: when had he ever done anyone any good? But he thought of the children, the days and nights in Vinátta: bedtime stories, pouncing games outside, the patient but bitter smile when the children scattered because look, their papa was visiting, and wasn't that a novelty. Spoken by another, the words might have made him flinch or wail, but he only growled and puffed larger.

Where was I? Where were you? You were the one who had the crown, you were the one who refused to fight! His voice was louder now, a strangled howl. Shiloh took matters into her own hands because you wouldn't. And she died, and -- He started to cough, then dug his claws into the floor and took a breath.

It should have been you, Wilson said, lower. It should have been you.


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POSTED: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:33 pm

We’re the only ones who know

A growl rumbled from his throat as the former King glared angry daggers at the feline. His throat rumbled, threatening to transfer to his teeth, to jaws that demanded they be snapped shut on the back of a white cat. Wilson was a painful reminder of all that had been done wrong by the wolf, by the man who could not make his own whims obey.

"You have no idea what you are talking about. You're a cat that Shiloh relied on to babysit." Their children all loved Wilson, though. It was hard to deny that the cat was as integral to their childhoods as any of the parents had been. He had likely been more, considering how infrequently the man had visited in his prime. But Wilson ought to have understood.

"I lost a hand to make sure that my grandchildren did not die. What have you done besides watching and complaining?" He had gone to war for his son. He would have gone to war again if the need had arisen. When had Wilson ever fought? When had he put himself into danger.

"Yes, it should have been me. It should have been me that died a hundred times over. I would give anything to have Shiloh back, even if it were my own life. But you, you could have stopped her, you could have warned someone, you goddamn - " A loud, angry cat hissed into the room, skidding on the wooded floors. His mouth clamped down as he peered at the tabby cat that hissed at both the white cat and greying wolf.

"Enough, both of you! Everyone can hear you!" hissed Myra. The normally sweet, gentle, and calm cat was beside herself, the hair on her back rising. "You disgrace a lovely woman's memory with this shouting match." Her eyes glared at her own father and the former King.

SILVANO SADIRA
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POSTED: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:51 pm

I know more than you, Wilson growled through bared teeth, too. Measure the days you've been there against mine. The hunting lessons, the bedtime stories, the nights awake when they've had bad dreams or gotten ill. I've been more of a father to them than you ever have. And you know that, don't you? Drives you mad. His teeth glinted. So did his claws.

But to Silvano's continued tirade, he had no suitable answers. Who had sacrificed more? In the past, when he was younger, Wilson knew he had sacrificed so much -- for another wolf that he loved, not Shiloh. In this, Silvano's loss was obvious as was Wilson's inaction. Wilson was steadfast and loyal, far more loyal than Silvano, but he did not fight. He could not.

He glared up at the man, and pain was finally dark in his eyes. I would too, my own life, a hundred times over.

Then Myra burst into the room, hissing, and to see his gentle daughter in a fit was enough to shut Wilson up too. He only glared at her, though, rather than be shamed into compliance -- a worse parent to his biological children than to the wolf family he loved so much. It was a challenging stare though one devoid of any real heat, a stern glance that told Myra that this was not her place.

But he did not shout again. He looked past her to Silvano.

Shiloh was better than either of us, Wilson murmured. A sentiment with which both King and cat could agree. She deserves to be here more than either of us.


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