maybe it's all unraveling according to plan

POSTED: Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:14 am

He watched the storm clouds roll across the sky, sprawled out in the field on his back. It had looked like rain, and smelled like rain, but it had been dry throughout the day. Lotan only half minded this, and felt a secret disappointment in what was simply common weather compared to his fantastical thoughts about great thunderclaps and bursts of lightning. There had only been the clouds which, while interesting in their own way, had begun breaking up as the evening drew closer.

This frustrated him in itself, for he now saw that this seemed to be the process of all things – to fall asunder and never be the same way twice.

Lotan sighed and pulled his arms out from under his head.

He was not yet fully grown, though from a distance he might have passed for such. Too much of him was spindly and thin, like a young tree, oversized in some places and too small in others. His fur masked most of this, already thickening and growing in for the winter he sensed approaching in his bones.

Each day, the sun moved a little further towards the horizon. He watched this at first simply because it had been there, and then because he had noticed this change.

His nose twitched against the wind and he sat up. A great mop of sea-foam colored hair fell around his face and pricked ears. For a few moments he remained still, and then rose to his full height and jogged towards the strange source – he was still a boy and did not walk anywhere if it could be helped – and as he knew every secret trail and path in the land it did not take him long to ramble his way towards the borders.

What he found there unleashed a bark of surprise, followed shortly thereafter by a second, louder summons.


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Mel
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:52 pm

you never recognize me appraising you
000

She couldn't help but think of Tiamat in the way that the day defied any expectations she had for it, seemingly for the sole purpose of being contrary. Clouds gathered in the likeness of storms, and she had gone ahead and pulled her fishing gear when the fluffy things decided to part ways.

The transitional seasons were always the hardest to predict. She would have been better off helping Gavin at the woodworking shed than trying anything that was dependent on the weather, but where was the fun in that?

She went out on the canoe again, this time armed with only a pole and a pail, and had even made it to the middle of the river when sure enough, the voice of her son came rolling through the trees. It was to the other shore then, and she shed her gear for the second time before she began padding toward the sound of her son. When his ever growing figure came into view (how, sometimes, she saw Nikita in him and made her heart catch, just a little), she let a soft woof to alert him to her proximity.

The summons hadn't been an urgent one, but there was always a material worry about Semini when it came to her children. It wasn't enough just to see Lotan, but as she came to him, she reached instinctively out to touch his arm. Their father had disappeared easily enough, and though storm clouds appeared and never broke at all, sometimes she felt like the thunder was close. ¿Cuál es el problema mi cariño? she said, glancing up at him and smiling before turning her attention to the woods.

When at last she saw the lightly colored man, like an omen of winter, her breathing ceased.

Her eyes began to scan the woods around them, like there might be someone else there. They then finally came to rest on Pazuzu and she knew he was alone.

There was a surprise in her expression that she couldn't easily mask. She didn't think she would ever see the jackal again. Surely Lotan wouldn't remember the man that had come to look them over when they were just small things, her little beating hearts. Without thinking, she touched at her hair, grown so long now that it fell like a waterfall down the length of her back, and she wondered if the frequent bathing, the oils and salts were enough to disguise the scents of Oromocto. Not that the jackal had anything to do with that, but his companion once did, and she felt self conscious about it just the same.

A quick glance to her son gave her the jolt of affirmation that she had needed, and she spoke to the man with a real cautiousness in her voice. It's been a long time. What brings you back to Krokar?

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San
Luperci Angler, Carpenter, Striker Tusk Stubborn Love bbleeearrrrghhhhhh
THE CURE FOR ANYTHING IS
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TEARS, SWEAT OR THE SEA

POSTED: Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:29 pm

It was a peculiar sight – a little gray coyote (because Lotan had never seen a true-blooded jackal) wearing a poncho, leading little white horse and a great fat red one. Lotan thought that the man might have been a trader, for the look of him.

So when his mother arrived, Lotan did not entirely know what to make of her reaction. She knew this stranger, with his long hair and moon-colored fur, and looked at him in a way the boy did not fully understand. He stiffened, hesitantly, and for a heartbeat anticipated violence. The outside world was full of strange people, and while not all of them were bad, reading into what others said and did allowed him to glean truths from them.

Lotan trusted his mother's instincts and reactions without doubt. This was the way puppies survived, after all.

He didn't look very much like a puppy these days, and for that half-second where his eyes narrowed something primeval and very old flickered through his thoughts and changed the surface of his face.

This horse, Pazuzu told the woman, jerking his hand towards the red mare. She flared her nostrils skittishly at the motion. I've been left with her, you see. Maybe if she wasn't in this condition... he trailed off, than huffed loudly. In any matter, I don't believe in making animals suffer – I couldn't trade her off to some— Pazuzu said a word here in his father's language, one which made his whiskers curl and turned his pointed face a little foxish.

Unsure if the strange noise was a language, Lotan's ears pricked up. He looked between the man and his mother, then folded his skinny arms over his chest and tried to look very serious.


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Mel
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:55 pm

you never recognize me appraising you
000 amg lotan so cute

Her shoulders tensed and relaxed as he spoke, and it seemed she couldn't quite settle on either feeling. She didn't trust him, although not on the virtue of his species, but because of his association with the coyote. He seemed to have parted ways with Marlowe, but that could mean everything or nothing. She didn't want to find out.

Whatever the situation was now, his request was innocuous enough. A spare horse could be good at times, and at other times, a burden.

Her eyes flickered over the skittish mare, and she quickly calculated through their current supplies and the expected income for winter. There were a lot more mouths to feed with the births of the livestock, though some of the animals were set to be traded away to other packs. Even if the mare turned out to be a sickly creature, she didn't see a good reason for turning something away that could be used for meat and material.

No, there's no need for anyone to suffer here. We can take her. She agreed after a moment.

She breathed quickly through her nose, scenting the area once more. All she caught was the dampness off the river, the wilderness and of course, horse.

We can offer you food and drink for your journey, and some feed for your horse. It wasn't much as far as trades for trained horses went, but Krokar was seeing an influx of animals lately, and she didn't feel particularly pressed to close the deal by offering more. She believed it would be better to satisfy his more practical concerns as a traveler, mostly because she didn't want to offer him shelter and security in the packlands again.

When she looked back over to Lotan, she realized that her expression had been hard if only because it softened at the sight of her son. Lotan, can you help him with the mare?

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Luperci Angler, Carpenter, Striker Tusk Stubborn Love bbleeearrrrghhhhhh
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POSTED: Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:42 pm

The jackal's expression changed ever so slightly – his mouth split into a smile that hardly seemed friendly to Lotan.

He breathed in and steadied himself. Dealing with traders and travelers was an important job, and though he was young and inexperienced, the burden of expectation was already upon him. Lotan did not feel this with any great demand, though he was aware of it the way he was the changing of seasons or the position of the stars. It would always be there, in some form or another.

As he approached the strange man, Lotan became further aware of his own height in comparison. It made him feel self-conscious, though the way the jackal's yellow eyes were staring at him did not help with this either.

Lotan reached for the horse and had the reins practically thrust into his hand.

You've gotten big, the stranger said.

What?

The last time I saw you, he explained. You were still very small.

I don't remember that.

Of course not, you were little.

Did you used to live here?

No. I visited, that was all.

Oh. What's your name?

It's Pazuzu. You're Lotan, the pale man went on, and could not help but return the smile which spread with delight across the dark boy's face. Your mother was very kind to me before. Kind people would be good for this horse, he added, though said this quickly and stepped forward as he did so.

The little white mare followed him, and the red one trailed after Lotan. It was only then that he noticed her swaying belly – something which piqued the young man's attention. A fat horse was one thing, but one whose spine and hips were obvious was another.

Are you a trader? Lotan asked.

No. I am a healer.

Ohh. Is that why you have two horses?

It was the slightest twitch of muscle, and the slightest change in expression, but Pazuzu no longer seemed as pleased to be engaged in such conversation.

No. Now I have one horse, and you have one horse, he waved his hand through the air and made an odd gesture with it.

Misunderstanding (perhaps intentionally) an idea formed in Lotan's thoughts. He allowed it to simmer, but began touching the mare – gently, cautiously, as if aware of his size and the way in which the red horse turned her ears back and tossed her head nervously.

Thank you, Pazuzu told Semini as the distance between them closed. His eyes narrowed slightly, and though he lowered his voice Lotan heard him say very clearly: He's not with me.


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Mel
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:11 pm

you never recognize me appraising you
000 and the most adorbs son award goes to

She didn't know when her gaze had drifted away from her son and the healer to the mare. It might have been a woman's intuition, or the time she'd spent with her mother's horses, but slowly she began to think the horse wasn't just a sickly thing.

Her hand passed across her stomach in thought, and then fell away when the healer had come before her. She looked at him and realized that she was afraid, still. His words were a bitter comfort.

Her mouth felt dry. She swallowed quickly, and brushed away the tingling at her eyes. I thought as much. She said and then lowered her gaze to her belt. The rabbit's foot charm had been missing for some months now, but she hadn't gone looking for it. Semini liked to think that the important things in life would find their way back when the time was right.

Sometimes she caught just the slightest whiff of that woodsmoke smell, and she remembered dark hair in her hands. She had wondered all the ways that a man could be and him, untouchable. A man like Marlowe, he'd always be fire to her.

When she looked up, she didn't quite see Lotan there. Pazuzu, she spoke quietly, and then for a moment didn't speak, her hand at her mouth. He's not... She glanced back to her son, to the mare, and then to the jackal again. She sighed heavily. Why don't you stay with us?

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Luperci Angler, Carpenter, Striker Tusk Stubborn Love bbleeearrrrghhhhhh
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POSTED: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:01 am

Pazuzu opened his mouth to speak, but another voice cut him off.

Who are you talking about?

It was a direct question, and sounded very grown-up (in his opinion). Taller than the little man and creeping ever closer to becoming eye-to-eye with his mother, Lotan had turned to face the two adults. His squared shoulders suggested at his ever-growing size, though his voice was still high.

He saw something strange cross the gray jackal's face, but did not see the expression clearly enough to recognize it. Then Pazuzu's pointed muzzle broke into a sad-looking smile, even though his eyes did not look this way at all – they looked hard and full of strange fires, the way the strange witch-woman or that spotted cat from the great (no, he corrected himself, the First) desert sometimes looked.

The other man I was traveling with, the jackal said.

But not now?

Not now. We were separated after – he said something again in his foreign language, though seemed to realize this and repeated: – the red star fell.

That was a long time ago.

They were the sort of pointed observations of a child, but Lotan spoke them with adult conviction and curiosity. Perhaps recognizing this, the jackal waved one of his hands through the air. He had very girlish looking hands, with very long fingers. When he raised his arm high enough, Lotan could see the hilt of his knife under the poncho, and where it hung from the jackal's belt.

I looked for him, at first – but you see, her condition does not make for good travel. Besides, I do not intend to chase a ghost.

Pazuzu sighed and pushed his long hair from his face. He looked from Lotan, who seemed unsatisfied by these answers, to the woman who seemed far changed in the time between their last meeting.

Some time to rest would be good. I don't intend to freeload, of course, he scoffed. So should my talents be required, I would gladly be of assistance to your home.


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Mel
Luperci

POSTED: Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:16 pm

you never recognize me appraising you
000 sorry for poo and slow, we can wrap up?

Lotan was quicker to speak than the jackal, and like a spell had been broken, Semini released the coyote from her thoughts.

For a brief moment she was a bystander to a strange happening, the unburdened inquiries of a child and the answers of a man that shouldered more than she could fathom, and the protective twitch at her lips was gradually soothed into a calm, bemused expression. Were Pazuzu to treat her boy in any demeaning manner, she would have rescinded her offer, but instead she found herself quietly endeared.

She nodded, and her face was soft now in the places it had been hard and distrusting. We would be grateful for your skills. She said, although Krokar was currently stable without his help. She calculated through these things the way she did the supplies for the winter, and though she saw that Pepper was invaluable to their lives, she was but one woman and very old. More importantly, and privately, Semini saw an opportunity that hadn't previously existed in her thoughts, and it was a path for her son to follow and the positive influence of a male.

We can take the horses to Aster's, and Lotan, if you're not busy this afternoon, she looked to her son, Would you like to help Pazuzu settle in?

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San
Luperci Angler, Carpenter, Striker Tusk Stubborn Love bbleeearrrrghhhhhh
THE CURE FOR ANYTHING IS
salt water
TEARS, SWEAT OR THE SEA

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