Will I like the surprise?

POSTED: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:31 pm

753 words. PP approved, but Rat and Mandi, lemme know if I need to make fixes. Music selection for your enjoyment. ;D

“Yeah, the caribou are great,” Willow exclaimed, trotting alongside her younger brother and waving her tail animatedly in lieu of gesturing hands. “’n’ Alasie, she’s so sweet, y’ gotta meet ’er too.”

The freckled boy, eager to spend the day with his big sister, grinned and nodded and bounded around her energetically. “I can’t wait!”

Logan was getting bigger, much bigger, though he still very much resembled an adolescent pup. Willow was startled to see his eyes were turning gold, too, when they fixed on her from their brown patches. Logan’s (and Bramble’s) growth was very much not an overnight transformation, but it still seemed so abrupt to Willow, who wondered where all that time had gone.

Had her parents felt this way when she grew up, became a Greenhorn and then an Outrigger? Sometimes she caught her own reflection and was surprised to see how much like a woman she looked these days, like she was never going to grow another inch. And yet Willow Cormier still felt like a child sometimes.

It was a thought that niggled at the back of her mind most nights when she lay down, dreaming about her tomorrow. Beginning to work on the territory map with Lucille and obtaining Alasie and Bernie made her think—really think—about what she wanted to do. There was no more waiting period before she “grew up;” she was a grown up, a year old and ranked in her pack, and she would start needing to take things seriously.

But not too seriously, of course. She winked at Logan. “I’ll race ya!” she woofed, and he snickered and chased after her when she shot off, elegant and fast. She had to make time for fun with family, right?

Aster’s Fields was not too far from Fiskebyn, and it was a short race. They slowed and loped around the paddocks, Willow peering over Logan’s shoulder into the livestock yard to see whether Myrkr was there with his sheep. No one else seemed to be around, though, unless someone was in the barn messing with gear.

Logan paced along the fence and peered in at the browsing animals, his tail wagging. He’d visited the fields and the caribou under the careful watch of their parents before, but Willow didn’t know if he’d ever been here alone. There was certainly something to be said about being accompanied by a sister rather than a parent; it might have given him more sense of freedom.

“Come on,” Willow woofed, and slipped into the paddock. Some of the caribou raised their heads to look at them, but they were used to her and canines in general, and most resumed nibbling for food, some of the females locking antlers in playful tests of strength. Alasie was not among these, and Willow scanned the herd in search of her, walking among the animals confidently, Logan in tow.

“Oh, there she is. C’mere, ‘n’ be careful,” Willow warned, but waved her tail encouragingly. “I dunno how she is with four-leggers yet.”

“Reckon I ain’t gonna be one for long,”
Logan said smugly.

“Don’t remind me,” she shot back, laughing.

The small, shy caribou seemed to be moving deeper into the herd, which moved around the two wolfdogs like parting waters. They snuffled as the canines passed, shifting their cloven feet, knocking antlers as they turned. The clacking made Logan hunch his head, stepping closer to his sister.

They stood in the midst of the herd, Willow’s brow furrowing as she turned in search of the young cow.

There was a beat. She made a small sound of frustration, a low growl in her throat. Logan was here and she’d wanted to introduce him to Alasie, her pride and joy; the yearling had been doing so well.

Hooves shifted in grass. Antlers clacked. One stepped closer to the wolfdogs, and Logan backed up. He no longer looked as intrigued.

“Hold on, she’s gotta be—”

Something happened. Looking back, Willow didn’t know what it was; maybe a movement, a sound, just a spot of chance. A stumble, pushing one caribou into another, a youngster, and Logan yelped suddenly and bounced into her, holding up a forepaw. She jumped back.

And then the caribou ran.

“Willow!” Logan yawped, but the girl had thrown herself back out of the fray. She spun and looked on with horror.

The pup disappeared into the herd. Willow screamed.

I took the time to breathe
Among the rootbuds and the weeds
But the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Piscator I, Priest I druid the wilds where the caribou call They stole my dirty socks... :(

POSTED: Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:46 pm

Hidden away within the barn, out of sight to the caribou (and entirely ignorant to the goings on outside the drafty, weathered walls of the wooden structure), Milos tapped his lips thoughtfully. The barn was a patchwork of aged and new wood, repaired and reinforced in places that needed it by the pack's Carpenters. As the Quartermaster, it was his responsibility to ensure the quality and integrity of not only the inventory stored within the structures of Kokar, but also the structures themselves. A leaking roof or an unstable fence could cause loss of revenue due to partial — or, if particularly devastating, total — destruction of all the various grains, fodder, and fruit that had been harvested throughout the warm summer and autumn months or escape of valuable caribou, horses, and other livestock.

"Well?" Milos blinked the pensive frown from his face and swiveled his head to the voice. A pair of mismatched eyes stared back at him, speckled head tilted inquisitively. There was a grin on her face that softened the tone in her voice. "You gonna keep your thoughts to yourself or what?" The Quartermaster chuckled. "Sorry, Zyndy," he offered the Amarok'Kido sheepishly, scratching at the back of his neck. "Seems m' thoughts ran away with me."

The woman gave him a measured look, caught somewhere between amusement and curiosity, before offering him a dismissive shrug. she said playfully. Milos curled his lips in a broader grin before sweeping bright eyes over the inside of the barn. "Thinkin' we outta organize this mess a bit better," he said and gestured above them. "Maybe have Gavin'r Sem fix up some o' these rafters'n bins." Zyndea followed the movements of his hand and eyes, nodding approvingly. She glanced at him. "D'ya think?"

Milos pursed his lips in a thoughtful twist and opened his mouth to give his opinion on the matter of mice when a yelp in the fields stopped him short. Both canines swung their heads in the direction of the sound, ears perked. Was that Logan?" Zyndea asked as the Quatermaster started for the yawning mouth of the barn.

And then there was a scream.

Moving as though possessed, Milos and Zyndea gravitated towards the terrible sound and stared in horror at the stampeding caribou. "Will'a!" he howled, running faster than he'd ever thought himself remotely capable of. He swung himself over the fence. "Will'a?" And, for one fleeting, glorious moment of relief, Milos believed everything was okay.

But the look on her face suggested otherwise.

OOC: It's to die for...

[WC — 425]


User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Mate to Eliza but you'd become my candle in the dark
the sun still rises
even through the rain

POSTED: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:08 am

OOC: It took all my restraint not to turn Sidonia into Zazu.

IC:
Though Taseko was by far the more experienced and knowledgeable Herdsman in Krokar, and although he could certainly be trusted to ensure the herd was in good shape, it was rare for a day to go by where Eliza didn’t pay a visit to the herd first thing. She liked the sound of their hooves against the frosty ground; the silvery mist which unfurled into the cold air with every breath their soft muzzles released. She liked to be the first one there to check in with Anyu and Noatak, offering them gentle words and perhaps a handful of extra grains.

Eliza loved her caribou herd well, and she felt a niggle when visiting them hadn’t been the first thing she’d done that day. Instead she had taken Sidonia out to fly over the fields. The golden eagle had flown well and secured some small critters to add to the pack stores, but Eliza was still itching to see to the caribou. She thought that she would check in with Logan and Bram quickly at home, and then head out to Aster’s Fields to commune with the beasts.

With Sidonia perched on one gloved arm, Liz drew in a breath and released it in a sigh which indicated her appreciation for the day. She shot the eagle a grin and Sidonia turned her head away as she often did. Liz didn’t take it as a slight; their relationship was one of trust, but not necessarily of mutual admiration.

They were making their way back from the overgrown fields of Briar Patch with Liz talking animatedly about nothing in particular when the bird’s head turned so suddenly Eliza was surprised it wasn’t accompanied by a click. Talons dug into the glove which stretched over her forearm and Sidonia took off towards Aster’s Fields. For a moment the dog looked after her, frowning.

A scream pierced the air – a scream Liz could have lasted her whole life without hearing.

In the moment that followed she picked up on the insistent pounding of hooves, and it was joined by the pounding of her own feet against the ground. She ran as fast as her legs would allow, throwing up clods of dirtied snow behind her. A lump of it landed in her hair but Eliza didn’t stop. She didn’t slow. She simply willed her legs to carry her there with more speed, before something terrible could happen.

She didn’t look up into the sky for the golden eagle. Her eyes were drawn only to the scene within the fence: Willow on the outskirts of the fray; Milos flanked by Zyndea, swinging over the fence and calling out to her.

“Willow!” she managed to cry out as she scrambled under the fence, intent on wrapping her daughter in her arms and whisking her away from the chaos in the field. It was in that scramble, low to the ground, that her eyes connected, for a heartbeat, with Logan’s. And then they were gone, obscured by stampeding legs and hooves.

“No! Logan!”

Eliza struggled to her feet and stared in horror at the wall of death which had swallowed her son.

[526]

User avatar
Rat
Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:43 pm

378 words. Powerplay of them yelling at her because yeah. 8D

Dread sank into Willow like poisoned snowmelt, dripping as toxic slush down into her belly and freezing her chest until she couldn’t breathe. Her scream died away, but she was wracked with horror still. Her brother had looked at her, when he stood there, just a second ago, a bruised paw tucked to his chest and his eyes so wide and uncertain—because she was his big sister, and she should’ve been able to protect him from the unfolding chaos—

But instead she’d hopped away, instincts overcoming love. Never had Willow thought it possible for that to happen. She’d always thought love was the most important and powerful force in the world.

Yet, a coward, she stared in shock and whimpered meekly.

Then there were twin shouts, and the dark figure of her stepfather leaped over the fence and rushed toward her, and her mother was there too. They called her name, and then they realized what had really happened—their son was gone, had vanished into the fray, and Willow was paralyzed.

A great sob rose up from her dappled chest, and she surged forward. Her parents’ shouts echoed again, calling for her to stop, but their voices were drowned out at once by the storm of hooves.

Willow’s ears were pinned to her skull, her lips drawn back in a fearful grimace and frantic pant, and each wiry hair stood on end as she flew into the midst of the herd. A young caribou bumped her shoulder and sent her stumbling, tweaking a paw, but she managed to keep her feet thanks to sheer adrenaline and luck. She ran with them, her body urging her to snap at flanks and keep them from pressing in, but she didn’t want to make them more afraid.

She needed to find Logan, she needed to fix this—

There he was—!

Her brother was on the ground.

Bile rose up into her mouth and she shouted, and threw herself down near him, but yelped as a hoof clipped her back. She fell down but crouched over him, able to feel him shaking before he flailed to life and struggled against her.

Trembling, she pressed down harder, trying to make herself as small as possible.

I took the time to breathe
Among the rootbuds and the weeds
But the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Piscator I, Priest I druid the wilds where the caribou call They stole my dirty socks... :(

POSTED: Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:52 pm

It was on her face, the horror and the shock. His mouth went dry and he wasn't aware of his mate's arrival until her voice rose above the din of thundering hooves and Willow's weak whimpers. His legs suddenly felt like rubber. "Logan," he echoed in a soft and distant voice. It felt like one of his dreams— no, one of his nightmares. The kind that jolted him from a restless sleep and had him crying out into the darkness. As though agonizingly too slow, Milos snapped his head around and watched helplessly as the caribou stampeded. This was no nightmare. He could not follow the invisible threads back through his unconsciousness and break through the surface back into reality.

This was reality.

Zyndea, too, realized what was happening and started for the wall of tawny pelts and sharp antlers and wide hooves but Milos caught her wrist, passing her a look that told her he would go. Logan was his son, his and Eliza's. This was his — their — sacrifice to make, not hers. The heartbreaking sound of a great sob managed to slip unbidden into his ears and before he could decipher where it had come from, Liz or Willow, his stepdaughter was out of his lurched sharply towards the caribou and out of his reach. He reacted a moment too late, his fingers finding nothing but empty air. "No!" he cried, stumbling forward. "Will'a, stop!"

But she was gone and the only response he received was that of a lowing caribou.

He didn't know how to stop the stampede. He didn't know if it was even possible. Helplessly, ran as closely to the herd as he could and paced, glancing wide-eyed back upon his mate. "Liz," he said weakly. "Dunno what to do." Once again, as he so often was in his past life, Milos Parhelion was powerless to stop what was happening to them. So he stood, his very heart hollowed out to be filled to overflowing with dread, and waited for the herd to thin enough for them to pass through.

OOC: AHHHHHHHHHH D:

[WC — 353]


User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Mate to Eliza but you'd become my candle in the dark
the sun still rises
even through the rain

POSTED: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:54 am

OOC: DDDDDDD:

IC:
If someone had offered Eliza a thousand reasons for her children to end up injured, she would never have plumped for her beloved caribou herd being one of them. Of course, she didn’t want to entertain the idea of any of her brood being injured at all – Willow, Logan, Bramble, all were the most precious creatures to their Ma. She couldn’t possibly separate them in her mind or her heart, so when she saw Willow dive back into the running hooves and antlers she let out another cry.

“Willow, no!”

It was a desperate sound which rang out even against the insistent tattoo of hooves against cold ground.

Eliza was clutching at her mate, but she was unable to look away from her daughter. That wiry, wavy head of hair was still visible above the thick, shaggy bodies of the caribou – until it wasn’t. Liz wasn’t sure her heart could sink any further, but it seemed that it was possible. She was certain it would soon be thumping in her toes.

There was no time to do anything but hope – and hope seemed a horribly tenuous thing on which to hang her children’s lives. Liz stopped clutching ineffectually at Milos and tried to remember every ounce of knowledge she possessed – how the caribou thought, how they reacted to certain things. She tried to remember it all at once, and it fought in her head for mastery. All her thoughts wanted to do was scream at her that she wasn’t being quick enough.

“Gotta turn ‘em!” she screeched. “Turn ‘em into each other ‘n’ they’ll stop!” She didn’t know if that was right – her mind had grasped at the half forgotten information as if grabbing at a lifeline. All she knew was that they couldn’t afford to let the herd run themselves out. Hell, at the moment, with her children’s lives hanging in the balance, Liz would have run the herd off a cliff if it made them stop. She couldn’t blame her beloved caribou, for they were simply obeying instinct, but she knew that the means to stop them might not be the kindest.

[354]

User avatar
Rat
Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:51 am

Willow is in Lupus form, aaaand this is short just to move it along haha. (Idk how you wanted Logan injured but to be MEAN Willow basically laying on him can be making it worse???)

Her world swam around her in a panicked blur of fur, hooves, fear-scent, earth. Her spine ached where the hoof had clipped her, and she felt something warm trickle down her sides. Sucking in air that was warmer than it should have been, this cold and pleasant day, Willow thought to cry out again, but she didn't want to stir the caribou into more panic. Would they run themselves out? Would it be too late once they exhausted themselves and realized that nothing would hurt them?

Logan sobbed under her, and jerked occasionally as if trying to fend her off, but she was only half aware of this. If another caribou trampled them, she reasoned, they would hit her and not him. She'd let herself be tread into a rug before they hurt her little brother more than they already had.


I took the time to breathe
Among the rootbuds and the weeds
But the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Piscator I, Priest I druid the wilds where the caribou call They stole my dirty socks... :(

POSTED: Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:40 pm

Never in his life had Milos ever considered he would lose a child. The thought was too terrible to entertain and, even now with the possibility playing out before his terrified eyes, the Quartermaster couldn't — wouldn't — believe it could happen. Not to them. Not to Willow or Logan. Not to Liz. Bramble. Not to him.

He felt cold, but not because of the weather. His very core felt frozen and numb and empty. He scarcely felt Liz's warmth next to him and her voice sounded as though it were very far away. Mechanically, Milos turned his head away from the sea of caribou again and looked at her. His mouth was a desert, his heart a stone encased in ice. It wasn't until Zyndea bumped against him to help Liz turn the herd that he shook himself out of his daze and lurched forwards.

Turning the herd and getting them to stop stampeding was not easy but slowly, so painfully slowly, the caribou began to cease and turn and, eventually, stop. As they slowed, Milos could pick out Willow's shape more clearly through the legs and bodies of the caribou. His heart lodged itself in his throat when he realized that Willow was on the ground and that Logan was nowhere in sight. The moment that he could, Milos plowed between the solid bodies of the herd and dropped to his knees at Willow's side. "Liz!" he cried out to his mate, swinging his head to find her before he hovered over his stepdaughter. "Will'a! Will'a, please!"

"Papa? Mama?" Logan's voice was a beacon of light in the darkness. He struggled beneath his sister's weight, whimpering and whining and occasionally crying out in pain. "'Gun! We're here, you're okay," Milos cried. But still he smelled blood and fear and urine and oh goddess, he pleaded as he moved to shake his stepdaughter, please let her be okay.

[WC — 329]


User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Mate to Eliza but you'd become my candle in the dark
the sun still rises
even through the rain

POSTED: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:01 am

OOC: ;___;

IC:
With the herd running, they seemed far more numerous. There could have been a hundred shaggy caribou bodies blocking Eliza from her children; four hundred hooves which could clip or trample the vulnerable bodies of the younger Luperci. The herd had never been a source of fear for Liz – not until now, and for a moment she froze, wondering where all those extra caribou had sprouted from. The earth itself? She remembered reassuring Ailie that the herd were safe, that their bodies weren’t inhabited by malicious or mischievous spirits, and she wondered if she had been wrong about that. These stampeding creatures weren’t the gentle herd Liz knew so well.

Slowly, painfully slowly, the herd were turned. Their hoofbeats slowed from a pelting tattoo and Liz could see the form of Willow huddled on the ground. The scent of blood was in the air, and despite casting a panicked gaze around Liz couldn’t see Logan anywhere. Had he been trampled into the earth those dozens of extra caribou had sprouted from? Her heart lurched and she scrambled between the legs, the thick bodies, the rolling eyes and the scent of sweat and fear, scrambled forward until her hands hovered over her daughter’s back. She was afraid to touch her, but she needed to ensure that she was alright – or as alright as she could be.

“Willow,” she sobbed as the caribou continued to slow. Within a few moments they had come to a standstill, leaving the small family huddled in their midst – waiting to see what damage had been done by fear and panic. For once no velveteen caribou muzzle pushed at Liz’s hands or shoulders, and she would have run them off if they had. As much as she adored the herd, Eliza would always treasure her family above all else.

Logan’s voice was muffled, but Liz’s ears latched onto it so strongly and with such relief that they might have ceased to hang and stood up straight on her head. “Log’n, baby,” she cooed through shuddering sobs. “It’s alrigh’, it’s over, it’s over.” She reached a shaky hand forward to graze Willow’s shoulder. “Willow.”

The herd had stopped running, but they wouldn’t be out of the woods until it was proven that both children were alright. A whine pierced the air – Logan’s whine- and Eliza’s fingers settled over her daughter’s shoulder a little more roughly than she had intended.

“Willow, c’mon. It’s over – it’s time t’get up.”

[409]

User avatar
Rat
Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:43 pm

OOC: I CRI ERRYTIEM

IC:
The wild tattoo of the frightened animals slowed, but Willow was not aware of this. The rattling of the earth had been replaced by her own violent trembling, and the rush of noise by the beat of blood in her ears. It wasn’t until her stepfather’s voice broke through the deafened fog—so much like the water sounded—that she realized that the stampede had stopped.

She swallowed and panted, a dry tongue tracing quivering lips, but was reluctant to get up even though logic told her that it was safe now. Logan struggled beneath her, but while he was (as he was so fond of telling her) no longer a small puppy, especially in comparison to her current four-legged shape, his injured body was no match for her nearly dead weight.

Hands reached for her, shook her, then pressed into her shoulder. She yelped at once and shrank away, four paws moving sluggishly backward. Her parents knelt there, and her shocked eyes latched onto their familiar faces, saw their fear even as it was smoothed by a desperate relief. They both cried. Logan cried.

Willow sank to her haunches and shook. Blood continued to run down her back.

I took the time to breathe
Among the rootbuds and the weeds
But the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
New Caledonia
Distinguished
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Piscator I, Priest I druid the wilds where the caribou call They stole my dirty socks... :(

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