have shoes to fill but I'm walking barefoot

POSTED: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:38 am

For the first time, Dove struggled with whether to pity herself, or to pity Ask.

Ask, not Gossamer. Little Ask, torn away from his family no sooner than he could speak. Family members he would certainly remember in some capacity and one day inquire about. Ask, fed by the breast of a foreign woman, raised momentarily along her foreign children. Ask, rescued by a confused man who then handed him away to someone else. Ask, who found himself in yet a third home within only a few months’ span, surrounded by more strangers whose eyes and faces he didn’t know.

The latest consistency in his tumultuous life was Myrtle, whom Dove had befriended quickly and easily if only because the Courtier dog had latched onto the coyote’s namesake. She did not provide the brutal truth and push Dove needed that Salvador had, but she provided at least something of a confidante role for the time being, and that was enough. Ask did not mind her—she was gentle and soft-spoken, with many of the traits and hobbies where he found comfort with Dove, but without some of the Reverie’s sharper quirks.

Young as he was, even Ask sobered when Myrtle talked of Sarasri, and drew correlations between then and Mistral’s usurpation and rule now. Dove wondered how much he would remember—what he would hold onto. What would shape him into an adult.

She pitied him because what kind of adult he would become, nobody could predict.

After a tousle with Treska and some of her birds, Myrtle had made herself scarce, and conversation between Dove and Ask dwindled to nothing. He was not old enough for proper conversation, and how much he understood of Mistral and the goings-on of their pack, Dove couldn’t confirm. She tried to explain it, but only turned frustrated when the child seemed either not to understand, or not to care.

She took him with her to scout and monitor what she could of the mercenaries (what else could she do? She was barely a Courtier herself), and they paused for a break on the bridge near the temple, inside which Dove had never dared. They watched the frozen pond and stood together in silence, listening to the wind and the twist of snowdrifts.

The boy asked what the temple was for. “I don’t know, I don’t really get it,” she replied, and watched without argument as he wandered inside to see for himself.

Dove looked at the water. She wasn't cut out for this.

For Gaia, by the temple. Ask has a PLAYER NOW AAAA so maybe Chesh will jump in later??

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