Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower

P. Aspen | Jordheim

POSTED: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:21 am

OOC: Ï'm unsure when to date this. Ideas? Inara is wide open. Also, I took a bit of liberty with the evening Inara met the pups to let me know if anything needs to be changed :) I figured Aspen could take Inara's offering and then they could go off somewhere else to chat :P

IC:

Autumn was upon them and with it came harvest season. Foraging was proving particularly fruitful and while most of what Inara found was secured in the communal storage, the coydog kept some things for herself. Not to consume on her own, of course, but with the goal of making a meal to share with her friends and their young pups.

It wasn't too long ago that Inara had met Aspen in the gardens and the pair had learned the basics of gardening together. Later that day, after cooking up a batch of hearty rabbit stew, Inara trod carefully through the packed trails of Jordheim to the small family's home. After Ascher's disappearance, the little Hollr wanted to do what she could for Aspen, who had become a single mother to two youngsters essentially overnight. So Inara made a meal for the three of them and had the distinct pleasure of meeting little Ode and Shore, as well as the pair of cats and their kittens. The evening had been the most fun the coydog had had in as long as she could remember, filled with play, stories, and laughter. Remembering that night filled Inara with joy, even in the evenings when the silence threatened to suffocate her and the loneliness made her heart swollen with sadness.

Neither Aspen nor Ascher had been expecting her today, and Inara hoped she wouldn't be imposing on anything, but the little coydog felt that she'd be long overdue in welcoming Ascher back home and wanted the opportunity to see Aspen and the pups again. So, with her newly foraged produce, Inara roasted up some root vegetables and a partridge she'd caught earlier that morning and stood at Aspen's doorway timidly.

This was the part Inara disliked the most: standing, uninvited, in front of a packmate's door and hoping they weren't annoyed by her presence. The coydog lifted a fist and rapped on the couple's door then stood patiently, waiting for someone to answer and hoping she was interrupting anything.

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Mandi
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POSTED: Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:14 pm

After a relatively quiet day so far, the puppies were starting to get more energetic. Aspen sat on the floor at the table of the front room working on her latest arrowhead as the pair darted back and forth into their bedroom and back out. She simply let them run around, figuring she could maybe take them for a walk later if they still had a lot of energy before bedtime. Right now, she was content to let them burn as much of it as possible.

Over their excited yaps was the sound of Aspen's tools clicking against the flint arrowhead. It was about halfway done, and she hoped to trade them at the outpost sometime, possibly for some cooking supplies. She was hoping to get a second pan or some sort of container to carry food in when she took it to someone else. She often used two plates now, but since she was taking food to ever growing families, like Drin's, it meant she might need something larger.

A knock at the door brought both puppies skidding to a halt and Aspen's ears tucked back. She wasn't expecting anyone and Major was ahead of her as she stood. The puppies bounced excitedly to the door and Major's eyes narrowed as Aspen started to turn the handle. The feline was in front of her as the door opened, and when Aspen saw who it was she relaxed and a smile formed on her face.

"H-hi, Inara," Aspen's quiet tone was nearly drowned out by a pair of excited childish voices.

"Ms. Inara! Ms. Inara! Come inside!" Shore, ever the bossier daughter told her and Aspen opened the door wider so that she could get by. Major moved back into the house, satisfied by their guest's identity.

"Shore," Aspen warned, then looked back to Inara. "Yes, please come in."
Aspen


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Myst
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 Nov 01, 2014 9:02 pm

The greeting she received was almost overwhelming, with Aspen's reassuring face, Major's investigative glower, and little Shore's excited little voice, but Inara smiled warmly and stepped inside at her packmate's invitation.
"Hi Aspen. I brought you a little something." She said, raising the wooden platter slightly as a gesture. "I was out foraging today and there was a partridge in one of my snares, so I thought I'd whip up a little meal and bring it over. I have plenty other stuff at home." She explained as she set the platter down on a free table, away from curious puppy noses.

After that was done, Inara turned to the pups and knelt down to them. She smiled broadly, all her loneliness and worries vanishing. "Hi Ode, hi Shore. What are you little ladies up to today? Are you minding your mother?" Inara looked up at Aspen, her smile still dancing on her dark lips. The little Hollr knew little about puppies besides what she remembered from taking care of her sister. Granted, they were the same age, at least biologically. But Lottie's mind developed so much slower than any normal pup's so it even though they were roughly the same size, it was almost like taking care of a younger pup. She hoped that Ode and Shore would develop as close a relationship as she and Lottie had had, without all the drama and sadness of course.

Inara rose to a stand after a while and turned to Aspen, "I hope I'm not disrupting anything. Please tell me if I am. I just wanted to drop that dish off and make sure you're all doing well. I can't believe how big your girls are getting!"

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Mandi
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POSTED: Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:02 am

OOC: woops I completely forgot to answer your ooc message before. xD Sorry! Dates are open for Aspen as well, so we could just have it dated for the 17th when you posted it.

IC:
Once Inara was inside, Major looked at her once more and then retreated to one of the bedrooms, slinking against the walls before disappearing. It was his usual behaviour since Inara was approved but not considered family by him. He was still deciding if he even liked Ascher anymore, so it seemed like his trust was difficult to earn.

“Oh, thank you,” Aspen said with a smile and watched as Inara set the food down on the table. The girls followed the scent of the food and stood on their hind legs, paws bracing on the table to try to see what it looked like. Then they were distracted by Inara speaking to them and Shore turned to walk over to her.

“Yes!” “Of course!” They answered her question at the same time, and it was mostly the truth. They were puppies, so a bit of disobedience was to be expected since they didn’t have the ability to reason.

“We were playing tag,” Ode informed her smartly with her chest puffed up until her sister chimed in.

“And I was winning!” Shore announced, and Aspen just smiled and shook her head at their antics, then looked back to Inara.

“Oh no, not at all. I was um, just making an arrowhead and hoping they’d tire themselves out.” Aspen smiled. There weren’t many canines that she would genuinely be happy to see, although that number was growing, and Inara was included in it. “They are, um, soon they’re going to be as big as me,” Aspen said with a laugh. It wasn’t exactly the case, although they were definitely growing quickly. “I bet they’re both going to be somewhere between my height and Ascher’s. Um, so how are you doing?” She asked as the puppies bounced around at their feet trying to get their attention.

“We can um, talk on the porch if you want,” Aspen suggested. “Major can watch these two while we’re outside.” The grumpy feline was certainly listening from the bedroom and he was always willing to keep an eye on them.
Aspen


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Myst
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 Nov 23, 2014 7:46 pm

OOC: Sounds perfect! I hope you don't mind the change in direction of this thread. I'll be dropping Inara soon but I'd really like to wrap up my current threads and this would allow for a perfect opportunity to introduce Ina's depression and restlessness and, dare I say it? Homesickness :O

IC:

Inara grinned at the pups, giggling softly to herself at their enthusiastic honesty. This was how children were meant to grow up, she thought. Playing games with one another, enjoying youth.
"Is that so?" She asked jovially. "I bet you're getting out all kinds of energy, huh? As long as you're staying out of trouble..." She eyed the girls seriously before cracking another smile and glancing up at Aspen before rising. "They're so adorable, Aspen." Inara said and laughed when she commented about their size. She shrugged at Aspen's suggestion. "If you'd like the break, I wouldn't mind. Either way is all right with me."

For the time, the little coydog set aside Aspen's question. How was she doing? Inara tried not to think about it. The less she thought about the insidious sadness that had begun to settle in her heart, the better off she was. Or so she desperately hoped, but she knew that this - whatever it was - was continuing to infest her very mind. Every day she felt a little more numb. A little more apathetic. A little more lethargic. It terrified the Hollr, who had once considered herself active and compassionate.

Inara smiled hollowly at Aspen and sighed. "Not well." She admitted, looking away. The coydog never could tell a lie. "I don't know... Sad. Tired. Lonely. I... Well, it sort of comes and goes. I felt good this morning, yesterday was harder, but..." She looked up, mismatched eyes glassy with the threat of tears. "It never goes away, not completely. Maybe because of my sister... Maybe I'm still grieving..." This said with contempt, annoyance. Inara sighed and rubbed her face, drying the tears before they could fall from her eyes. "I'm sorry, Aspen... I didn't mean to put such a damper on your day. This isn't fair of me." She forced a small smile on her lips. "I hope you and Ascher are doing well."

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Mandi
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POSTED: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:18 am

“Duh!” Shore grinned, tail wagging. It was soon clear that the adults were going to be talking about something boring and Shore turned to tackle Ode, and the game was on again as the pair darted off into the other room where Major had gone to. There was soon a low rumbling warning growl, although Aspen wasn’t worried.

“A break is fine,” Aspen nodded and stepped back out the door, which she closed once Inara was out as well. The puppies would scratch at it if they needed something since she would be nearby. She then sat down on her porch and looked over at Inara. Something seemed a bit off about her, and it was familiar to Aspen.

Aspen’s ears tucked back as she heard the contempt in Inara’s voice. She saw nothing wrong with grieving; it was a natural process and while everyone handled it differently, Aspen saw no shame in it.

“We are, but um, I know what you mean,” Aspen replied. “When I came here, I was by myself and um, I joined out of necessity more than anything else.” She had been attacked, had some of her things stolen, and joined while injured. It was how she got the parallel claw marks that went from her shoulder to her sternum.

“I um, I had a hard time meeting anyone, and I felt really alone until I found Major.” She pulled her legs up as she spoke, unused to both talking so much and talking about herself. “My pack before this one wasn’t nice, but... I do still miss my parents.” She did not miss the chaos and upheaval, but her parents... that part had gotten easier over time, probably because she had formed a family here, starting with the cat that probably rescued her nearly as much as she rescued him by fighting off a coyote for him.

"It um, it can be really hard."
Aspen


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Myst
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: Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:38 pm

OOC: Totally cool if you wanna sneak in one more reply, otherwise I'm happy to end this here :) Thank you, dear!

IC:

Mismatched eyes turned downward, studying the furry details of her feet, while Aspen shared her story. Tall ears wilted slightly in sympathy of the Starfa Ríkr's past and suddenly her old tribe didn't seem so unwelcome. Selmaski had its quirks and oddities but the majority of its people were helpful, welcoming, and warm. Her parents, on the other hand, were another story. Perhaps her reluctance to return home had rested less with the pack as a whole and more with her parents.

Inara nodded her head a little to indicate she was listening. She had thought adding a cat to her life would help combat the loneliness - and maybe it would - but the thought of taking care of another living being when she was now just barely getting through her daily chores and responsibilities made her feel less sure. She glanced at Aspen, "You've been really helpful, Aspen. I'm glad you're doing better since you made it here; Vinatta definitely wouldn't be the same without you."[b] She said, a little smile tugging at her lips. She looked downwards again. [b]"I didn't think it would be this hard, but... You're right, it is. And I... I guess I just... don't know where to go from here.."

The little coydog sighed and straightened up, making herself smile as she turned back to Aspen. Inara was determined not to let her sour mood get her friend down, "Thank you, Aspen. Really. I'll keep working on... well, whatever this is. I'll be okay." She said, her smile broadening positively. "One day at a time, right?"

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