close on you like the fist of a baby or an anemone

POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:36 am

After the talk with Skoll, insomnia buzzed between Dreyma’s ears like television snow.

She didn’t think her golden paramour slept at all despite shut eyes. He reacted too little and too quietly when she stood, her four paws shuffling to avoid hurting him with her weight. His abdomen tensed when she accidentally stepped on it, but he didn’t move. She supposed he didn’t want to talk further – and she couldn’t blame him. Their words felt numbered, now.

Dreyma searched her heart for anger or regret, but diving deep she found only a cold pit of anxiety. Silently, she slipped off the bed and snuck out into the hall, and only then allowed herself to pant with stress.

Perhaps never more than now did the adopted Stormbringer wish desperately for her mother’s presence, her calm advice. She tried to take steady breaths, and though each caught painfully in her chest she did not cry. The time for crying was over, though now that she didn’t have to wear a mask for Skoll the tears threatened to cloud her eyes. Gods, she was scared – she was scared and it pissed her off.

Stop, breathe, think. Dreyma was strong. She was as strong as Shiloh.

But she needed to talk to someone. She glanced then padded down the mildewy corridors, suddenly feeling claustrophobic trapped between peeling wallpaper and endless doors. Like she was running a maze.

Shaking her head, she paused at a particular door then scratched lightly at it with a forepaw, speaking softly. “Abi?”

Though the eldest of all the siblings, Dreyma sought Abigail like she would her mother. Her sister was the only one of them with a family; she would have some insight, and she knew Skoll well enough to help with that aspect, too. While Dreyma alone did not have a twin to confide in, she was close with her sister, and she knew this was what she needed. She had told Skoll as much.

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Cour des Miracles
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POSTED: Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:03 am

Abigail’s children slept peacefully – at least, that was what it looked like to the Mother who watched over them. Their eyes were smoothed shut, not scrunched; their chests rose and fell gently. Yet every now and then a paw would twitch and a faint whine would sound and Abi would wonder what Cicely and Ajax dreamed of – whether their paws twitched because they were running towards their futures, or fleeing something terrible.

The Archiduchessa tried her level best to enjoy her son and daughter while they were still children. She had promised Kira that she would and Abigail Sadira wasn’t one to break a promise – especially a promise to the man she adored. Still it was a constant worry that the trials of the past would somehow, someday catch up to her children.

For now it was little more than a musing on whether they dreamed or experienced nightmares. Someday Abigail would have to know what they remembered of Mistral’s reign. She feared that day but it was inescapable; the future was even harder to avoid than the past.

The scratch of a paw at her door made the woman’s head turn away from the sleeping youths. Abigail quickly rubbed the fatigue from her eyes and rose from the edge of the bed to open the door.

“Come in,” she invited, tail stirring into a slow wag – an innate response to seeing any of her siblings. Her voice was soft but it held a note of concern. "I thought I was the only one not sleeping."
AbigailSadira

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misuse of imagination

POSTED: Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:55 pm

Her sister invited her in, and Dreyma craned her neck to look up at her as she stepped into the room with four soft paws. Though she was younger by a couple weeks, Abigail looked older than Dreyma somehow – perhaps it was the dark lines beneath her eyes, the note of concern in her voice that of a weary mother. She was no longer the light-colored pup who climbed the Jordheim hills with her dark sister; she was Archiduchessa of Cour des Miracles.

But at her heart she was still sister – wasn’t she?

“Are they doing okay?” the black wolf whispered, glancing at the slumbering puppies. She remembered when she and Abi were that small – and found herself wondering the same things. When Shiloh’s first trio were small, they too had been kidnapped: ripped from their mother’s arms to serve as hostages in a short-lived conflict. Dreyma remembered her nightmares – the fiery cast to their abductor’s tawny eyes, the blood around their uncle Saul’s mouth as he carried Alessan home, the desperate snarls of her mother above all.

She swayed on her paws, wondering about cycles and curses, then shut her bright eyes.

“I wanted to talk to you.” Dreyma sat down, curling her bushy tail close to her soft belly. “I mean – I wanted to talk to Shiloh, I still wish so badly that Mama were here, but…” She swallowed. “You have been pregnant before, so you might know if this is really…”

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