Distractions

AW! Anyone want to come eat with Aspen?

POSTED: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:28 pm

ooc: whee! [408]

With the wounds on her wrists, Aspen hadn’t been able to do much hunting for herself. She felt guilty asking Cody to do so, and she also felt bad taking from the Vinatta stock, even though she knew this was what it was here for, and she had made donations to it in the past. She had her own stock of dried fish, which she was going through fairly quickly, but she still didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

Her cat, Major, seemed to understand her plight, largely self-inflicted as it was, and had brought her a rabbit earlier in the morning. She was surprised by his action, but he stuck to his character by dropping it at her feet and promptly stalking off without even waiting for so much as a thank you scratch behind the ears. Aspen was glad he was a large enough cat to be able to catch prey of that size on occasion. It was the first time she had seen him take a rabbit, though. He usually stuck to mice and the occasional bird, none of which would have left her feeling full.

After skinning the rabbit, Aspen decided she would do something she hadn’t done in a while: cook it. She hoped doing something familiar would help her relax. Carrying the large cast iron frying pan felt odd now; the skin around the fresh scars on her wrists pulled, and even the new one on her chest did from the effort it took to carry the heavy pan. Aspen tried to push those thoughts away and ignore the discomfort.

Aspen’s fire pit had always seemed so close to her house, and now it felt far away from the safety the structure offered. She sat huddled for a moment, resisting the urge to flee back inside and tried to busy herself with starting the fire and putting the spices on the meat while at the same time trying not to look at the scars on her wrists due to the shame and memories associated with them. It worked, somewhat. Every noise had her ducking her head, and her ears were tucked back the whole time. Still, she forced herself to carry on, turning the meat over to add spices to the other side as well. When the pan was over the fire, she realized how silly she must look, cowering near her cooking fire, but she just couldn’t help it.

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Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
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POSTED: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:18 pm

(332) Shiloh was NPC'd whenever Aspen got hurt, but I assumed that news of that nature would travel around the pack a bit? Since she is supposed to be a guardian, I mean. Lemme know if any of these assumptions should be changed. ^^;

Shiloh largely blamed herself for the string of traumas that befell her pack mates. She made up half the force of Araedi, after all, and she'd not been able to patrol and look after her friend as she'd wanted to. True, it was partially due to her own illness -- but that hadn't lasted the duration of these events, which she couldn't believe were unconnected. She disliked thinking that it was so dangerous outside Vinátta, already recognizing her protective nature over her quickly-growing children. She knew that she couldn't keep them from leaving the territory forever -- or the house, even, since they'd been kidnapped on Vinátta soil all those months ago.

She felt guilty, and she wanted to make it up for the others the best she could. She'd offered quiet help to the parents of the youths, and for her part treated them normally if gently after their ordeals, but Aspen was less familiar to her, despite the meal they'd shared.

It was a bit silly, in that sense, that the delicious smell of cooking drew them together again. She walked Jordheim at an easy pace, more enjoying the scenery of winter than needing to get anywhere in particular, and stopped at the scent of herbs and spices. The smoke and light of the fire drew her closer, and she paused to watch Aspen for a few moments. The girl's body language was defeated, wary, and that brought a stab of pain to Shiloh's heart. She took a moment to compose herself, and then she called out from a distance.

Hey, Aspen! Shiloh kept her tone friendly, normal, though not too loud. She'd probably startle Aspen anyway unless the female had actively noticed her approach, but it was better to warn her sooner. The Dawnbringer woman walked forward, offering her a smile before closing her eyes and drinking in the scent of the roasting rabbit. That smells delicious.

Last edited by Shiloh Dawnbringer on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:05 pm

ooc: yay, thanks for joining! And that all sounds fine! Also this is my 200th Aspen post![448]

While the rabbit was cooking, Aspen watched it and tried to stop looking up with every sound. Instead she tried to concentrate on the sizzling and smells of the meat, but it did not work as well as she had hoped. Instead, her ears swiveled with all of the other sounds she heard, and sometimes flattened against her skull when she was startled. While she used to sit back with her legs pulled up to her chest, she now remained crouched with her feet under her so she could jump up and run if the need arose. Of course, she reminded herself for what seemed like the millionth time since her return, she would not need to do that. She was safe in the pack lands. Her captor had gotten her outside, and he would not get her here. He probably did not even know where she was from, unless he had recognized her necklace. Aspen had never seen one before she joined Vinatta.

Due to her ordeal, she was back to the point of nearly always being aware of her surroundings, like she had tried to be before joining Vinatta and allowing herself to relax. Maybe she would get to that point again, but it would be a while. Aspen looked up when someone approached and her shoulders curved forward in her discomfort before she saw who it was.

Shiloh. Aspen lifted her head slightly and her ears perked. Females were not unnerving like males were, and she remembered how nice this one had been the last time she had spoken with her. Since then, Aspen didn't see her around Vinatta too much, which made her sad, and also a bit worried. Had something happened to her as well? Since she did not know many pack members well, Aspen did not always hear news like that. She did know that what happened to her was fairly well-known throughout the pack, which she guessed was due in part to the rescue effort Palaydrian and Cody had led.

"H-hi, Shiloh," Aspen said and tried to offer her a shy smile. She was not sure if she succeeded, but smiles were not too common on her face lately. "Oh, um, thanks," her eyes dropped back to the meal she was cooking. "I think, um, s-some of the spices are the same as... as when I brought you the rabbit before." She looked at Shiloh again and hesitated for a moment before offering, "Would you like some? It, um, it shouldn't take too long to cook." She was not sure if Shiloh was busy, or heading anywhere in particular, so she would understand if she did not have time to stay.

Image courtesy of Dawnthieves, Template by Aso

Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
believe in what i am
because it's all i have today
and tomorrow,
who knows where we'll be

POSTED: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:31 pm

(276) Congrats! :D

Acting normal, Shiloh hoped, would bring everything to normalcy. She was gentle and nurturing as befit any mother, but she was more afraid of hurting her pack mate's self-esteem by cooing over her like a frightened child than scaring her by speaking in the friendly tones she usually did. She didn't want Aspen to think that she would be thought of as lesser for her predicament, which could have happened to anybody under the right circumstances. She would treat the female as normal until she obviously needed a gentler form of comfort -- and she'd read the other's reactions the best she could. She was, after all, charged with being diplomatic.

Her approach did not seem to bother the shaggy grey female overmuch, though Aspen answered in a stammer. Shiloh returned her smile brilliantly, and glanced at the rabbit. The fire below sizzled as a bit of fat dropped on it, and Shiloh sighed in pleasure. Something about the smell of a roast in this wintry weather sat right with her. I can recognize some of the scents of those spices, she said, nodding at Aspen's remark.

The offer beckoned another smile to Shiloh's face, and she gave a small nod. If you would like to spare some, she answered, I'd be delighted. Thank you. She stepped closer to the crouched Luperci and settled down, careful to gather her dress around her so it wouldn't be wrinkled. She pushed her hair out of her face and waved her tail in the grass behind her. Where did you learn to cook? I don't think I've ever asked.

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POSTED: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:18 pm

ooc: [401]

Although she would have understood if Shiloh had somewhere to be, Aspen was glad that she stayed. She knew she needed to get back to talking to her packmates, and this was a good way to do it; at least there was the cooking rabbit to distract herself with as well. Shiloh was nice, and most importantly, she was female, which allowed Aspen to feel safer from having another packmate around.

“Y-you’re welcome,” she said quietly. Aspen tried not to tense as the Araedi took a seat, and mostly managed to stay as relaxed as she had been so far, which was still tense, but could have been much worse.

“Um, well,” Aspen reached forward to lift one side of the rabbit with a stick to check the underside and make sure it was not burning. It did not smell burnt yet, but she did not want to take the chance. “I mostly learned by um, by experimenting. Sometimes it does not turn out very well, but other times, it’s okay.” She glanced at Shiloh with a shy smile. “I have had some that was really bad.” Those combinations, she made sure never to try again since they were so bad. Aspen always ate them anyway since she did not want to waste the meat; she simply did not offer to share them with anyone else.

The rabbit continued to sizzle nicely and Aspen moved the pan over the fire, re-centering it to make sure it was heating evenly. She looked at it for a moment, and then reached over next to her for one of the jars of spices, which she opened and used to sprinkle a little more of the spice over the meat.

“Do um, do you cook at all?” Aspen did not know of many Vinatta members who did, other than Fiora who had a really neat stove. Maybe they did cook, just not outside over a fire like she did. She guessed that there used to be a stove of some kind in her own house, but it was no longer there. Maybe someday she could have one inside, but she was not sure how she could get the smoke back outside if she did, and having it all in the house definitely would not be good. It would be nice to find other members who cooked so that she could try some of their ideas.

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Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
believe in what i am
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and tomorrow,
who knows where we'll be

POSTED: Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:31 pm

(398) Apologies for the wait! I don't really have the time to post on school days. @_@

The other was clearly uneasy -- even in Jordheim of all places, constantly patrolled and guarded and full of pack mates that would never harm a hair on her head. It disturbed Shiloh that someone could be broken down to this level, even if Aspen might not have been the most outgoing personality in the first place. She tried to stomach any overly upset reaction, pretending that she hadn't noticed the other's discomfort. She hoped, eventually, the girl would heal.

Aspen glanced at the cooking rabbit and explained that her learning came from experimentation. Shiloh's nose crinkled as she tried to imagine failed experiments -- overcooked and charred meals, meals with too much of one spice, or the wrong one. I wouldn't have known you could make anything bad, she commented, and laughed. Me -- that'd be me every time. I cook a little bit, but it's usually just roasting something over a fire for a little while -- nothing fancy. She smiled and shrugged, watching Aspen handle the spice jar. She preferred the texture of cooked food, especially rabbit and how it tore apart, but she ate raw meat most of the time just because it took less time. Cooking something was additional effort, and while she could afford that on special occasions, she didn't like to waste too much time.

How is being a Starfa? Shiloh asked, realizing that she hadn't really talked to Aspen about the animals before. She sometimes wondered if she should have chosen the merchant side of things in that field, but she wanted to protect her pack more than she wanted to make pretty things; it came down to priority rather than skill. She supposed she could have been a Vald just as easily, though Vinátta needed its guardians.

I don't visit the animals as much as I should, she admitted. While most of the animals were communal or belonged to other wolves, she knew that she should help out occasionally -- and see Baldr more. She was sure that the dingos were taking care of him where she couldn't afford to ride him as often, though he was getting a bit chubby. A little less so because of the winter, but something that she'd have to address once the weather was fine enough to ride him without worrying about the ice and snow.

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POSTED: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:58 pm

ooc: that's okay![426]

When she made something bad, Aspen usually just took it into her house to eat it; it was rare that she burned anything so badly that the smell was very strong. It was more often caused by a bad or strange combination of spices. She was glad she was not burning things too much because then it would have been very obvious when she messed up something she made. Sometimes the meat was a little overdone but not too bad.

With what she decided was enough spices on the meat, Aspen re-sealed the jar and set it back down again. Now all there was to do really was to make sure it did not burn and flip it over at some point.

“Th-that’s okay, um, that’s why we’re here to care for them,” Aspen said. Of course, she liked when the other residents visited their animals, but she was willing to give them plenty of attention when they were busy with their other pack duties. Maybe some time, she would learn to ride a horse and then she could help exercise them. At the moment, though, she was too afraid of heights and the only ride she had done was while sitting behind Cody on the way to and from the Outpost. It had been terrifying and they had not even gone very fast.

After a moment, Aspen lifted part of the rabbit meat again and decided she could flip it over. She picked up another stick, which had branched off a little bit and fiddled with getting it under the rabbit. In a quick motion, she flipped the meat over and then the sizzling noise grew louder once more. Sometime, she would go to the outpost and trade for some of the cooking supplies, but she did not want to leave the pack for a while, and she certainly would not be going by herself. Unfortunately, that meant bothering one of her packmates when they probably had something better to do.

“But I um, I like being a Starfa,” she replied, allowing her gaze to flick up towards Shiloh for a second. It was relaxing to be able to fall back into the routine, even if she did not necessarily like being outside her house. “I like watching the sheep and taking care of the other animals.” That the job even existed was part of what drew her to the pack in the first place. Lochlan had told her so long ago that there were sheep, and it had made her consider joining more seriously.

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Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
believe in what i am
because it's all i have today
and tomorrow,
who knows where we'll be

POSTED: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:42 pm

(230)

Shiloh smiled at the other's reply, though her ears twitched back a little, disturbing her golden hair. She was still a little guilty, but... It's good to know they have Luperci like you to take care of them, she murmured. She wasn't bonded as closely with her horse as others were, but she still wouldn't trust many outside of Vinátta to take care of them. She smiled at the other female then glanced at the rabbit as it was deftly flipped by use of another stick. There were some little pops as fat dripped down into the fire, and Shiloh had to swallow to keep her salivation under control.

She grinned at the thought of the woolly sheep. How easy is it to keep track of all them? she asked. Though I guess it helps with the dingo twins watching out, too. Do you get along with them? She knew the pair were always helpful and polite to her, even if she didn't know them very well. She guessed Aspen might know them better since they were fellow Starfa, but perhaps not. She didn't know if her timid nature would interfere with that. The only animals I'm good at taking care of seem to be cats, she added with a grin. Besides sheep, Vinátta was most run over with the felines.

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POSTED: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:41 pm

ooc: [000]

Although she was used to the smells of cooking, it still made Aspen's stomach growl and she wished the rabbit would cook faster. Although eating it undercooked wouldn't harm them of course, it did strange things to the texture of the meat, and she didn't like that. It either had to be cooked well, or not at all. Even knowing that, the wolfdog just wanted to eat.

"Y-yes, they're nice," Aspen nodded. After first arriving, she had a little bit of a crush on Joon, although it soon went away and they were fairly good friends now, or at least Aspen thought so. "They um, t-taught me how to care for the other animals. I had only really taken care of sheep before." There were so many here that she had heard of but not had contact before. The goats were easy enough, although one made a habit of escaping when she could. Horses had been a big change, mostly because they were completely different from sheep and very large.

Aspen smiled when Shiloh mentioned her cats. "Well, my cat doesn't let me take care of him, so at least yours do." It was meant as a joke; Aspen didn't mind how independent Major was. He was her first animal companion that was not communal, and she had been nervous about being able to provide for him when she found him after a coyote attack. His willingness to be cared for ended when his injuries were healed.

After not too long, Aspen decided the rabbit was fully cooked and pulled the pan off the fire and set it on the rocks next to it instead. She lifted one side of it just to be sure and then nodded while setting the stick aside so she could pick up a knife instead. The meat was still very hot as she sliced it.

"We might um, want to let it cool a little, but otherwise it's ready," she gestured to the pan, intending to let Shiloh start eating first.

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Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
believe in what i am
because it's all i have today
and tomorrow,
who knows where we'll be

POSTED: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:12 am

(--) Wanna wrap this up? :O Or we can have them talk about something else, too! I just didn't have any ideas.

Shiloh listened politely as Aspen stammered out her answers, nodding as the girl explained she'd mostly taken care of sheep before. They seem a little easier to care for -- though there are a lot of them. Don't have to ride them, but do have to shear them. I guess it's a trade-off. She smiled. She'd once fancied taking in one of the little lambs as a pet, but she barely took care of Baldr and knew that the sheep's care would just fall to the dingoes, too. She was best off with just her crowd of cats -- though small enough, now, with Aysun usually off trailing after Dreyma rather than bothering Shi and her parents.

She laughed at mention of Aspen's cat. Mine mostly take care of themselves, honestly, she said. They aren't needy creatures, most of them. But yeah. Wilson takes care of me more than I take care of him, but he speaks our language and lived with wolves all his life. She shook her head. I don't know if I've met your kitty, though. I'm sure you take care of him fine.

Aspen leaned forward to inspect the meat, announcing it done, if a little hot still. Shiloh nodded her thanks and waited, watching the knife cut into the meat. She didn't want to burn her fingers when she grabbed it, so she took a strip very carefully between her claws, waiting until it felt cool enough before she popped into her mouth. Her eyes closed as she hummed contentment. Just as good as last time, she announced. Thanks, Aspen.

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