'Cause I'm broken

when I'm lonesome

POSTED: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:10 am

The patched coat was worn and thin, the once meticulously cleaned coat pocked with dirt long set into it, joined by fresher blood, both his own and someone else's. The man's body, once cared for and strong, was now thin, visible ribs proof of going with little for the time since he had last seen his homelands. Pride broken, he stumbled along in the lowliest form, no longer worthy of his heightened abilities. The cloth that had once covered his failing eye was tied as a bandana around his neck, but only because it was the one thing Asgeir had left. His golden eyes stared almost blankly ahead as he trudged through the snow, heading for home as though it were a magnet and he were a piece of metal.

He could not understand why she lied to him. His mate, to whom he had been faithful in the months since he had left, whose hair was still tied into a bit of fur beneath his ear though he had cropped that queue for ease of traveling, had, as far as he could tell, led him astray. He had gone per her request to retrieve Nomads from the Collective to come live under X'yrin in Sangi'lak.

The Exalted had followed her directions to the letter, had followed every landmark, but when he got to where the Nomad tribe should have been, there was no trace. He had struck out and gone several miles in all directions, but still found no sign of them. Unless they had moved to some other place X'yrin was unaware of, which Asgeir knew could be the case. But the doubt was still in his breast, in light of what had happened between them just before he left, and it had eaten at him.

He had turned back toward home, then, near the second week of November, upon Speck with Sunny and their foal trailing along at the end of ropes. He stopped only to eat, relieve himself, rest the horses and sleep, when it was needed, carrying the excess meat lashed to Sunny's back in the form of small prey - foxes with their tails carefully preserved, ptarmigan, rabbits, and once the haunches from a doe who had succumbed to some sickness.

One of those venison cuts he traded to a white wolf, encountered somewhere in Saskatchewan, who was desperate for some food and too sick to get it himself. The Lancer could smell the impending death on the man and for that reason felt no remorse for what the white one traded for the meat: a painted mare, similar to his Speck but with a different color beneath the white. She came along willingly with the rope about her neck.

Crossing through Maine, almost home, however, a series of events occurred. He had deviated from the path he took toward the west coast, and traveled too near the territory of a pack of Luperci known in the area to be hostile. The inhabitants of Heritage Retreat soon caught up to him, having decided they wanted to take what was his. Though Asgeir killed two, one with his spear and the other with his bare hands, he was dragged from Speck's back and beaten badly, then left for dead while the remaining two went after his horses, as they had bolted in the commotion.

Asgeir shifted painfully into Lupus form and dragged himself into the shelter of a cave, every movement hurting intensely. Though only a few days' ride from home, he was unable to travel for nearly a week. Little did he know how lucky he was, for one of the canines had carried a weapon and could have ended his life. Luckier still was he that he had pulled himself from view; two of the attackers had returned, leaving their packmate to round up the horses and bring them back or forget about them as he would, to gather their dead. When at last he could move without too much pain being inflicted upon him, Asgeir continued home, in possession of only his life.

He took great pains to avoid being seen, even traveling around the Mountain when he could have spent the night in Sangi'lak's old den. Finally, finally, he took the trail over the hills, expecting to see his pack waiting on the other side. But no one was there. The scent was dead, the caverns uninhabited, everything and everyone gone. A deep deep sadness overtook the elder, and he wept in the entrance to the caves. Truly, then, X'yrin had left him, sent him packing and then gone where he would not find her. Either the others had gone with her, or they had dispersed, scattered to the winds. Now it was only him.

He spent the night right there, curled against the wind in the very mouth of the cave. Clutched between his cheek and a forepaw was the foreshortened lock of X'yrin's hair.

Set the evening of 1/1/14. Private for Lyris. Lupus, Stellarton Mines. Mostly backstory; he's asleep at the mouth of the Mines.
Word Count :: 833
New Dawn
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POSTED: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:34 pm


Anger bubbled up her throat, and she wished she was strong enough to crush the stone in her hand. But she did the next best thing. Cocking her arm back, Lyris chucked it as far as her body would allow, a scream of pure disgust tearing from her fangs. Once it had flown over the trees and she could no longer see it, the woman sat, leaning against a tree, and shoved her fingers into the hair at her temples, and huffed, staring at the ground between her legs as though she could burn a hole into it.

What was wrong with this cursed species? Everything had been perfect when this virus was not in her veins. When she was clean, she’d ran and laughed with the other Stryders. She could have grown into a formidable wolf, seen her brother grown in their father’s footsteps to rule their pack. Then those bears came, and they ripped everything from her. Then she thought she had found and autumn angel, one that could heal her. But instead she poisoned her with this sickness, and now every creature she’d come across with the Luperci curse was sick and twisted. Nobody could hang around. Everybody had to just leave her. X’yrin had left her, she’d abandoned the entire pack for her own wishes. She couldn’t keep doing this. She couldn’t keep losing her purpose to survive and then go and find another one. There had to be something steady in her life. There was nothing besides the fact that the snow on the trees matched her fur. There was nothing.

She didn’t know how long she sat there. She sat until all she could see and feel was the dirt in front of her. The thing that broke the silence was a soft whinny and a cold nose against her upper arm. Lyris pulled her fingers out of her hair, though they were still curved into claws. Dark eyes found her’s and the white wolfess took a shaky breath. Using the tree as a guide to help her stand, Lyris moved around Kenyon’s flank and set a foot in the stirrup. With one leap she flew up and over his back, feeling comfortable leather against her thighs. And then she kicked, holding her stallion’s mane tight. The horse knew what she meant, and he broke into a full run, leaping over the river they had stopped to rest at. Lyris let everything fade into a blur of greens, browns, and blues, focusing on the white-dappled ears that flicked in front of her. The fluid motion of her body falling with the horse’s run helped to ebb the fury that twisted in her core, and she could feel her muscles loosening. Kenyon kept a steady sprint for what felt like hours, which was perfect. She couldn’t even feel the pain that usually cramped in her legs. Everything was numb besides the wind on her face, and she liked it. But apparently, her nose was working fine, and that’s when she smelled him.

Leather snapped as Lyris pulled on Kenyon’s reins. He rose onto two legs, kicking at the sudden halt. Then he fell and turned into a leap, galloping the other direction. Lyris finally pinpointed the scent, stopping the stallion again. This time he huffed and slowed until he was simply walking. The white Luperci narrowed her eyes to a curious rock formation. Wait. And Kenyon seemed to somehow hear her thoughts, because he stopped cold. Lyris swung her leg over the horse’s flank and dropped to the ground, slowly turning. God, she was so stupid. Kenyon had ran them straight into Sangi’lak’s packlands. What could she expect? It still felt like home, except that the scent was dead, and it was too quiet. Accept for someone’s breathing.

Leaving her horse, Lyris moved to the mouth of the mines. Running a hang across the familiar rocks, the girl turned to the dark caves, where she saw the earthy-hued male. “…Asgeir?”
Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
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Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?