[M] Now I break up in pieces that fly about like clubs

POSTED: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:55 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.


She drew the name out of Katinka slowly, under the guise of concern, listening to the girl babble about her various worries while working on restitching a cut. Teeth snapped clean through sinew when Tink mentioned her: Dove, that white coyote bitch with the “pretty long hair” and a cold front that melted around the wolfdog girl. Khael had met her just once, but she remembered. It wasn’t hard.

A jealous mind lingered on many details: the softness of a voice, the flicker of an off-guard smile that retreated again, and all that the first time they’d all met.

“I know you’re worried about her,” Khael said, placing the bone needle down and looking severely at the blonde. “But she is the enemy now, do you understand? All you can hope is that she stays out of the fighting, like you.” She phrased this with such patient kindness that a spark of pride burned in her chest; it took all her control not to spit the words with venom, to bristle and snarl and throw a fit much as her father would have done. But Khael was a colder and more intelligent beast than Machidael; she could feign concern, feign empathy, place herself on her companion’s level.

Still, Tink protested. It was soft, a single syllable cut off by a flash of ember eyes.

“If you go out there, if you go looking for her, she or one of her clanmates might take advantage. Already some of our own are missing. You do not want to be another.”

Tink fell silent and sucked in her bottom lip. Khael stared at her a few moments more, then Samak pounced on the bone needle suddenly and sent it skittering with a yowl that made the jackal suddenly laugh.

“I intend to scout,” the dark hybrid said, as the ginger kitten scrambled into her arms, frightened by the chaos she’d caused. “I might hear word of her. I’ll pass it along if I can.” She smoothed down bristling orange fur and smiled again, an expression which soothed Katinka and allowed a grateful look to cross her features. Meanwhile, Khael reflected on how funny her stupid little cat was.

* * *


Assegai gripped out at her side, Khael tugged the knot of the horse’s reins and turned her in a circle, her orange eyes sweeping over a dark landscape. It was a cold evening, the stars providing some light but no warmth, but she wore a plain off-color kaftan and warmed herself with the activity of the horse. The mare huffed and swiveled her ears at night-sounds, slightly on edge, but obeyed well.

It was a good thing. Khael did not know how long she would be out here tonight, but she would not return home until she gathered something: information, perhaps, or a token should any Infernian wish to fight with her.

She knew what she wanted the most, though. Khael squinted at the horizon, but kept her wrists relaxed and face calm.

In the night, in the plains, a white coat would stand out terribly well.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
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Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:10 pm

Part of her wondered if the universe were so ironic, that River Lark might reappear in her life transformed but unscathed during the course of this new and wicked neighbors’ war. Infernians talked often about the Salsolans’ wicked ways, extremes formerly unknown to Dove, and she dwelled on concepts of slavery and deception not a stone’s pass away from her fire-clan home. Between those skull-tipped borders she had found refuge, but with neighbors like this, how long was her safety truly assured?

Dove had become accustomed to a life lived always on edge, and yet still she did not return to her Juniper Peace home. She was no longer the ignorant child she had been; death and blood was not weaved into her character, but the endurance of such shaped her like clay. Strangers were not to be trusted. Friends, true friends, people who just seemed right to be around—like Salvador, like Katinka—offered relationships she sought to maintain and protect.

When Dove found Khael in the night on horseback while scouting beyond their Infernian borders, she breathed a sigh of both relief and panic.

“Khael?” she called out, making herself known from what had been a hiding place. The arrow was taken from her bowstring and she stood up from the brambles. “It’s Dove, do you remember me? I don’t want to fight, I really don’t want to fight. Are you okay? Is Tink okay?”

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Lin
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POSTED: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:29 pm

Her name was called, and Khael stiffened before staring out at a clump of briars and brush where the little white coyote rose, bow in hand. Stupidly, the girl called out, emphasizing that she didn’t want to fight, and the concern in her voice when she spoke of Tink made Khael feel so—

In the dark, for a moment, lips wrinkled back to show dozens of sharp teeth.

Fluidly, the woman dismounted from the horse, one or another of the light-maned mares and one of the few horses Khael could find fit to ride. She left her assegai tied to the saddle, but there was something small sheathed on her hip.

“Dove,” she said, and her accented voice was hushed and heavy. She crossed over to the Infernian quickly, stopping just short of her. Her eyes were wide, and her mouth opened and shut a few times before she gripped at a sore forearm. “I remember you. T-Tink spoke so fondly of you—” Her jaw snapped shut with a click. She shook.

“I’m so… I’m sorry, Dove.”
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
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Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:39 pm

A wave of relief swept over Dove; it was only Khael, kind Khael, and she did not approach with weapons or threat. The Reverie had suspected Katinka and Khael to be of Salsolan claim when the war was waged against such close neighbors, but their home had been left unspoken beyond implications. She worried for them, knowing Katinka no warrior and much too kind for blood and war, perhaps even like herself. Khael, Dove thought, was just the same.

They did not have to be enemies. Good. The relief did not last, for Khael dismounted and approached quivering at mention of Katinka. At once, the Reverie’s ears turned, and her breaths came fast and short.

“Did someone hurt you? Is she okay?” She wrung the thickest part of her bow in her fingers. “What happened?”

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Lin
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POSTED: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:36 pm

“There was an ambush,” Khael said, and fingers fell away from the self-made stitches on her wound. Her Egyptian Arabic accent came through more strongly as her face twisted, as if she could no longer enunciate properly in her misery. “In the mountains.”

She took a steadying breath, and composed herself. She did so in bits and pieces, putting that mask back together—or perhaps letting it fall away. “Tink… is not a fighter,” she said, then flinched. Wasn’t a fighter.”

She folded her arms around herself tightly, claws digging into the heavy fabric of her dark kaftan. This region was cold. It was a cruel place, but not so cruel as the desert had been, as the places of shadow and sand that Khael walked through to strengthen herself for this journey west. To think that the conquest she focused so immensely on was one silly wolfdog girl—that would have made her fathers laugh and snarl with scorn, for doting on a woman and a non-jackal at that.

But Katinka belonged to her. The little coyote threatened this, and that offended her than the war on their doorstep.

Yellow eyes looked at her: big, round, scared. Khael hated her. She hated the pretty, pretty face as it crumpled, hated the little noise of hurt Dove couldn't hold back. Very quietly, the coyote began to weep, and Khael stepped smoothly closer.

She opened her strong arms to Dove, drew her in, and allowed her own body to shudder as tearful eyes pressed her shoulder. Her hand lifted to touch the back of the girl’s head. Then her fingers wormed into that beautiful long hair, and without warning fisted there to the scalp.

Khael jerked Dove’s head back and, in a simultaneous motion, reached down to unsheathe the obsidian dagger on her hip. She pressed its point above her sternum, and pressed her face in closer.

“Stupid slut,” she said, grinning.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
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Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:05 pm

She broke in a way she so rarely allowed, let alone exposed beyond herself. She and Katinka were no more than acquaintances at best, but in the wolfdog Tink had found a level of safety and sincerity that reminded her almost of Juniper Peace and River Lark. She’d looked forward to a reunion, to getting to know the young blonde better, to finding a friend or a confidante her own age. She’d looked forward to knowing someone normal.

Dove wept not out of great love or attachment to the girl, but for a hybrid of reasons. She wept for an innocent killed in a stupid war. She wept for Khael, who herself mourned silently within their embrace. Dove wept for the sheer sadness of it all, and for herself. Her tears were small and her breaths stifled, and she did not crumple. She wanted to ask for more details, but it was caught in a hiccup; when she readied to try again, but her hair was yanked suddenly and a cold point poked at the center of her chest.

A blade. Khael’s fist in her hair. Stiffened by fright the coyote’s yellow eyes searched Khael’s face for answers. She expected her own body to retaliate and know what to do. It didn’t. She couldn’t move.

For months she’d held strangers at arms’ length. This once, she’d let down her guard. This once.

“Don’t hurt me,” she whispered, appalled by the unrecognizable cowardice—the child—in her own voice. “Please don’t hurt me.”

300 years late, alas. Thanks for your patience. ♥

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Lin
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POSTED: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:21 am

“Oh,” responded Khael in her desert purr, “but why shouldn’t I?”

To emphasize the point, she worked her fingers tighter in the long white hair that Tink had called pretty until the other’s scalp burned. The dagger lifted from the hollow between collarbones to trace the neck with the flat side, until it bumped into the girl’s jawbone.

Concentrating on this, Khael abandoned the manic smile. Her expression was largely flat, though there were small flickers here and there—hot eyes, a tense mouth, a thoughtful lingering look—that suggested other things. Anger, disgust, curiosity, and the lazy consideration of a cat who’d caught a bird and wasn’t sure how long she wanted to play with it before she killed it.

“I could hurt you. I could kill you. It would be so easy. You’re so helpless.” The smile returned, a fake flash of teeth. She lifted the dagger and pressed its edge to the side of the girl’s muzzle, not quite yet hard enough to cut. “So stupid, it’s a wonder you’re not already dead. You think Tink would care about a skinny little coyote bitch?”

She made herself angry saying it. Brows pressed down with frustration and focus as she made the cut, then reached forward with her other hand in an attempt to clamp the girl’s bleeding muzzle shut, her body prepared to press into Dove to subdue her should she raise a shout or retaliate instinctually. She jerked her hair, hoping to elicit a cry of pain.

She wanted to hear sobs, wanted to hear them muffled between her fingers, wanted to hear Dove struggle to draw breath to scream. She wanted her to writhe.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
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Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:27 pm

She saw red on the blade before she felt it. A whine crawled from between lips clamped shut by the Salsolan’s hand; it pitched and bent as the blade descended slow and grueling. She jerked with the tug at her hair, limp until the blade reached its end at her jawline. The grounding stench of copper flooded her senses, and as if the situation became at once real, Dove erupted. While the Salsolan’s hands were occupied her own were not, and they found Khael’s face and eyes with all the blades unsheathed.

Khael had been ready, for she pressed hard into the coyote at the slightest reaction and burst the air from her lungs. She faltered, gasping, but the Infernian’s mind wiped and she thrashed with the ferocity of something mindless and feral (and admittedly, not very strong). Words were gone. Dove thrashed against the fistful of hair yanking her in place, and she slashed and kicked and screeched in an unceremonious display of survivalism, reaching for any and every angle of dark fur and betrayer she could find.

all the colors mix together to gray
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Lin
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smoke and mirrors
BAPTISM BY FIRE

POSTED: Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:28 pm

The coyote lurched under her hands, claws lashing out, then buckled at Khael’s quick strike. A smile crossed the dark jackal’s face at the reaction, and she jerked at her hair again, stepping back and hoping to drag Dove’s fumbling steps over the cold hard ground with her. All the while the Infernian thrashed, struggling to free herself, a stray swipe here and there catching charcoal fur and flesh. Drops of blood fell in the grass.

When she grew bored of the writhing, Khael cut her loose in a literal fashion. Her thin fingers eased out of the white hair, pulling its long ends, and the obsidian knife slashed through it. Khael hoisted this handful and let pale threads drift to the dirt.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Milite Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

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