[p] the golden apple to the swift girl

POSTED: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:02 am

Just lemme know if any details aren't clear! I was mostly rambling trying to get back into Lev's head, haha, so this is pretty poor quality.

Levent is by Sie!

He'd missed this, the smells of the market and the press of bodies and the unceasing chatter of merchants bartering. Smoke rose from roasting deer and boar, and more rose from the mouths of Luperci shuffling past the hastily-erected stalls. Even the odor of horse sweat and dung was precious to him after what seemed like months of lone suffering, and Levent closed his eyes, sagging briefly against the sooty buckskin gelding he tended to now. His fingers curled in the beast’s hair, at least until a sharp jab from the end of a club made him open his eyes again.

Get workin', the ugly coyote ordered sharply. Just 'cos th' Butcha's fooled by you ain't mean I'm stupid. He spat at the ground then shoved onward, probably to bully another one of the underfed horses penned tight near the dog butcher's temporary housing.

The Turkish wolf smiled, rubbing his cheek against the horse's shoulder as it shuffled nervously. You hear him, Umut? he murmured, and pulled away to resume brushing the dirt from its thick winter coat. It all worked out in Levent's favor, though. Lenny saw through him and his charms, but the Butcher was more sensible -- seeing that a man with a skill in animal tongues might be useful when it came to working with the stolen horses. In name, Levent was a slave, but he had his own strings to pull in this world, and he'd nothing to lose anymore. His children were gone, Wilson was gone, and at least this way he had a chance to see his homeland again, in or out of chains.

He finished brushing down Umut, murmuring affectionately to the horse in its own speech, and reached up to adjust his trademark headband. The butcher had let him keep that and his clothing, at least, even after he'd pilfered all his other possessions, all valuable in one way or another. Levent only hoped he got a good deal off them in this market, and that perhaps some of them would find their way back to Amy Sunders. He'd dreamed of her rescuing him once, and laughed at the irony, and sent a prayer that such a thing might be possible. He was practically her slave anyway, even now that these men had hold of him.

Smiling almost normally, looking the part of any slightly underfed laborer, Levent grabbed the long wooden tools and began to rake the dung from the straw-strewn snow, his dark ears turned toward the sounds of the market that let him think everything was normal.

sürüden ayrýlan koyunu kurt kapar

POSTED: Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:57 am

I enjoyed reading that. Thank you.. :) And oh boy, I should have actually started roleplaying before I complained about long posts.. I'm super happy with the way this one turned out! Also, I hope you had a happy Christmas!

For romantic souls in a strange land, anything can be credibly glimpsed from the corner of one eye. The gods and goddesses - so far removed from the everyday, the familiar paths worn to bluntness by the steady rhythm of routine - spontaneously appear in doorways, around the corners and bends of an exotic locale. They are smelt in strange air like a memory is smelt.

Freetown air was far colder and more colourful to Atalanta of Athens. Its scent was rough and active, fire and animals, so much less civilised than the place of her childhood, and so much more interesting than the blank sea air she had spent the last three months inhaling. Hera must have been bitter over the breakaway from mother and household, for sure: Atalanta had gotten over seasickness the -hard- way.

Atalanta gnawed at her last dried fish from the voyage, and reveled in not feeling nauseous. Although - it had certainly been an unwelcome surprise to discover that her drachmas were of no use to buy her food here. She growled under her breath. How could the scholars back home call this place a society, nay, how could they even call it a town, if it had no currency?!

She couldn't stay here long, then, she'd have to move on to where she could live self-sufficiently, off the land. There seemed to be two ways here. You could live slyly, like Levent her father, by bringing in or buying goods from somewhere else. Or you could serve, like that poor Luperci a few pawsteps away, mostly obscured by a gelding's rear end as he brushed it.

The labourer moved to grab a rake, and now Atalanta saw him rather than the shadow of the back of his torso, and who she saw was Zeus himself. The father of the gods, who, like the rake he was, obscured himself in so many forms, never revealing his true face, but in his true essence always remaining recognisable.. In mother's tales, Father was a brown Luperci with a cloth around his ears - "Levent, from the Agora?"

avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:32 am

Ah, I super duper suck. ;; I meant to get to this right away. But yes—I hope you had a good Christmas too! I also loved your post and how you play Ata in general. <333 I am lucky you’re adopting her.

Levent is by Sie!

Slave work suited Levent, in a strange way. He had been a man unused to hardships, dealing in sneakiness and charm to weasel his way out of bad situations. He’d always found food easily, and was used to the more luxurious and advanced cities of Europe where deer was just as common roasted and spiced on a plate as it was bloody and cold in the wild. There were no such luxuries here—or none that he could get to, with the Butcher watching over him—and he’d been forced to do menial tasks a well-traveled merchant would never dream of. His bone structure meant he was still short and small, but his scrawny muscles had filled out some, given him a strange strength.

He knew not to complain as he worked, preferring to defer to his captors as he’d deferred to many authority figures before. To live submissively, under-the-radar, meant he could plot and plan and not be discovered. He had only an inkling of such a plan in his mind, but he could be rather patient if he wanted to be.

Levent straightened and adjusted his cloth, only to hear a voice address him, with a Greek word that struck him hard in the lungs. He whirled around, his eyes widening. Agape? he asked, nearly sputtered, in the shock of seeing the gorgeous Luperci with her dappled doggish fur. Tanrım bana yardım et, he started to mutter, but he looked again and it wasn’t her, just her cheekbones, her hair, the freckles around her muzzle.

But her eyes—pale blue. His.

How do you know me? Levent asked, but he thought he knew the answer, and he didn’t know whether to weep or curse at the irony that he might lose two children and gain one he never knew he had.

sürüden ayrýlan koyunu kurt kapar

POSTED: Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:44 pm

No worries. ^_^ Thank you..

Now that his eyes were on her, Atalanta's racing heart stumbled. It felt alien: he was a stranger, making a first impression of her. Hera's jealous, doubting voice began speaking to her again, because of course she would be unknown to him, whether he was Levent or not. He seemed so tense; perhaps afraid of the master's displeasure if he was seen wasting time around a female? And perhaps Atalanta was chasing a rainbow? What would Levent be doing here anyway, of all places? There were countless Luperci in the world, and most of them common as muck..

Then he spoke her mother's name in a tone spiced with complex emotion, uttered something in another language that was obviously addressed to a deity, and Atalanta could now understand his shock and confusion as if it was a dear friend's. She knew that she had caught him.

He asked her how she knew him, and her body shook with joy. "Levent Kartal - I know you from my mother's stories." Her tail bristled. Then she moved, oblivious to Umut, and oblivious to the surrounding Luperci, who, in the fraction of a second they had to do it, flicked ears and widened eyes at the sight of a young, strong dog, rushing towards a servant wolf and attempting to embrace him tight.

avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:46 am


Levent is by me!

He had been open to the thought of running into familiar faces on his travels, but not one so dearly familiar yet new as this girl's. The realization that it would never become as familiar as he wanted was accepted, but pushed beside for now; it was not important, in these first few precious moments. All he could do was stare at the Greek woman, and wonder why he'd not anticipated this. Cutting ties from Agape, being half forced from her home after his infidelity, had been difficult enough already -- that he'd left behind children was something he'd not considered in the moment.

Pure emotion overcame the wolfdog's body at his question, and Levent smiled wearily as she confirmed what they both had already suspected. He bobbed his muzzle in a slight nod, but suddenly she was running toward him, and it was all the Turkish man could do to open his arms and bring them around his daughter's body as she embraced his scruffy form. There was a moment of surprise, but then he pressed his cheek against hers, staring out into empty space over her shoulder.

Years ago, perhaps even months ago, Levent probably would have turned away from the woman, pretended not to know her, pushed aside responsibility and declining to accept any child in his life. But he'd learned already what it was like to lose a beautiful daughter, a precious daughter -- and this girl was not Aysun, but he reached up to touch the back of her head gently and whispered, What did she name you, sevgili kızım, what did she name you?

sürüden ayrýlan koyunu kurt kapar

POSTED: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:12 am

Congrats on Community Soul

Atalanta did not acknowledge the possibility that perhaps Levent did not want to be touched. She had to hug him as a hungry and thirsty creature has to eat and drink. To nod or shake hands was like a crumb or a sip - she needed to verify his reality.

But she did not meet with the bristle of claws and reflexive snap of hard teeth that she had encountered when she had attempted to surprise her brother this way as a pup. Her father's muted surprise gave way to apparent understanding, and she felt herself, for the first time, clasped in arms that weren't smaller and less thickly furred than her own, as Agape's were. It was familiar - a feeling of family - yet new.

"Atalanta. And I think, maybe, only because she thought me abandoned by my father.. But I kept the name - so that someday I might see him again."
She felt his cheek against her own and closed her eyes on unrelated Freetown. "Thank you for giving me life. You know Agape would never have had or wanted a child otherwise."

In her rare moments of deep reflection, it had struck her that different environments must feed or stifle different emotions inside the heart. She felt this now: the cold approaching dusk buoyed her, and the crunch of snow beneath her paws, but she wished to be apart from the calls and shouts and hooves and cooking meat.

"Forgive my hubris, father.. But what ill fortune sees you working here?"

avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:06 am

550 Thanks! And sorry for the wordspit; you were my winning post for SoSuWriMo. <3

Levent is by Sie!

Swift girl, boar-hunter, Levent murmured when she told him her name, and grinned, pressing his muzzle against her cheek that she may feel his smile. Distracted by shiny fruit, he said, and hoped she would not take offense at his jesting. Atalanta was a perfect name for this girl, and though he’d never put such stock in names before, he supposed she was just as skilled and headstrong as the mythical women raised by a she-bear and some hunters.

Agape had not really appreciated it when he joked about the mythology—or at least, she’d tried her damnedest to smile as Levent, then innocent about Greek myth, burst into laughter at Hera’s jealousy, and Zeus’ tendency to love in different forms (the swan came to mind), and of course the time Io got turned into a cow. He’d laughed, but he’d loved those tales so much, loved the Greek dog so much. His faith was his own, and he did not worship the deities Agape did, seeing such a polytheistic religion as below him and his true god. But he’d loved the tales more than anything, and had spread them far and wide even when he’d committed a betrayal worthy of Zeus. The stories were rich with life, and he knew he’d always cherish them, even if the memories came back like bile.

Cream fingers lifted up to touch her hair again, and he nodded wordlessly at her thanks. He hadn’t wanted to give anyone life then, either—it must be her mother’s gods had planned something, or perhaps his lonely god too. He didn’t know if this was a sign that things would be okay, as they had not been okay since baby Aysun had died in his arms by the pond—or if it was just a harsh reminder that he did not belong here, and that his life would be cruelly torn from hers just as he found her.

Her question made him believe it was the latter. He sighed and pulled away, looking at her eyes—washed-out and pale as his, but with a dog’s coolness to them, too. He felt a warm flank behind him and leaned against the sooty buckskin, which was making quiet noises. A hand reached up to pet Umut on the neck and still him, and then Levent smiled, and did what came naturally to him.

He would spin a lie.

What ill fortune befalls your merchant father is simple, Levent said, and grinned, opening his arms up to the sounds of the marketplace. Bartering for passage on a ship is harder than it used to be, and this wild land has not given me much in the way of goods. Tanrı forgive his lie. East of here are wilder folks, many packs in a region known as Nova Scotia. They’re as different in character as the gods themselves, and just as rich in color and life, but even the most well-off of them would look rather uncivilized compared to your Athens.

He grinned at her, and ached inside. In short, love, I’ve found myself broke. But I’ve also found work here, caring for these horses that are to be traded soon. It’s hard, but worth it: I’ll go on the ship with them and return to my homeland once again.

sürüden ayrýlan koyunu kurt kapar

POSTED: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:15 pm

Congrats! And no problem, it's always nice to read.

I'm staying with my grandma right now while my family is looking for a house to rent..


Atalanta was more often one to talk (and risk inciting argument) rather than listen and agree, but she trusted the easy confidence of her father unquestioningly. When Levent alluded, in friendly jest, to the race with Hippomenes, Atalanta felt only a warm jolt of surprise in hearing something so personal being discussed by a special stranger - besides, she had been teased about it by peers often enough!

Something in the way Levent stroked the shifting horse made her attentive and unhesitating, as he began to speak of his troubles and travels. When Levent mentioned Nova Scotia, her eyes flashed, and she drank in the words until it was her turn to speak:

"Novia Scotia is spoken of back home! Most of the scholars talk about it like a joke, but a few.. You know the ones who detest the families who rule the Agora?" Atalanta cocked her head to one side. "To them it's an unspoilt land.. where different Luperci, you know, wild Luperci, who aren't easily bound by laws and drachmas, can thrive. And I don't know how anyone could renounce Athens, but I've heard of no other such place in the world! So I'm here because I thought that surely - if you weren't here - you'd be there."

As he mentioned his acquisition of work in Freetown, her eyes wandered like a curious bird, evaluating the stalls, the implements, nearby Luperci, Umut. It did not occur to her that Levent's honesty might be the only missing element. The thought was alien to her own open, perhaps naive, nature. There was certainly something.. detached.. in his communication, but she assumed it was a religious difference: he did not worship her gods, and this explained the separation in their consciousness. She had not yet initiated herself into the private worlds of mystery and intrigue, deception and self-deception. Subtle manipulation was a thing existing in only politics and stories.

"You can't be 'broke', you are a wild animal, after all, meant to thrive outside of society. I hate feeling like a tame animal!"
She dipped her head and puffed out warm breath through her nose like a bull. "But I'm sure being out in this wide world will unravel me soon.."

"And.. a ship? Oh.. I've had enough of ships for two lifetimes.. but please - " she moved to try and touch Levent's wrists, a warm gesture of request " - let me come with you!"

avatar by marinatedmermaid