[m] some mean old mama’s got your head all in a horrible way

POSTED: Mon May 27, 2019 11:28 am

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.

"I want t' go with you," Dolores said stubbornly.

Her hair was mussed from sleep, her arms folded tentatively across her chest, because she was covered in scratches and each accidental brush of skin hurt. Most were scabs, rust-red and irritated marks on tender raised flesh, while a deeper bite was wrapped, the cloth already bled through. Her expression was stern.

Less stern than Donnie's glare as she shouldered her quiver, glancing back. "Yer hurt. You should rest, Dolores, or yer gonna reopen those cuts."

"This is nothin' I'm not used to," the ex-soldier replied.

Robin's-egg eyes roamed over her with a flicker of emotion: understanding, hurt. Dolores confided in her friend early on about the trials of Boreas, and the injuries inflicted on her that were not always by just the enemies' hand. She'd been a weak girl.

She felt stronger now, bolstered by anger. She lifted her chin.

Belladonna gave in immediately.

* * *

Their patrol took them on foot through brambled paths, though Donnie did her best to break branches and blaze a trail that would spare Dolores some pain. They visited snares placed around the perimeter of their campsite, finding some untouched, others successfully escaped (with hair and blood caught on the wire), and on one occasion a rabbit that they stopped to share. Food was eaten quickly, and ears remained turned toward the thin woods around them, wary of ambush.

Dusk began to settle in when it was time to return home, and insects and small frogs began to chirp in the grass and the creek they followed. Footsore but content with their catches—a couple more rabbits slung proudly over Donnie's shoulder—they splashed through the creek where it was shallow, cooling their pads.

"Got one more trap ahead, a bigger 'un," Donnie said, pointing into the thicker bushes the creek zigzagged through. "If somethin' wants t' drink from the crick, they've gotta stick their neck in there."

Something scuffled in the foliage ahead. Belladonna pricked her ears then handed her catch off to Dolores, pulling out a knife instead: stone-made, good for skinning. "I'll be quick," she promised, and pushed through the vegetation to where her snare was set. On the other side, her tail flagged and she laughed in disbelief.

"Good Lord, ain't you in a predicament?"

A skinny old coyote, neck twisted up in rope, stared at her knife in terror.

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Luperci

POSTED: Thu May 30, 2019 6:46 pm

It was a return to suffering.

Scarcity in the burned east drove the pair of loners west across the mountains and through the woods, eking out a pathetic living in the abandoned moorlands. Clover hunted day-in and day-out, and went hungry some days to ensure her mentor was fed, and things were okay for a time.

The last frost brought illness. Clover recovered, but she was still too weak. They began living off spoiled carcasses and other carrion, nibbling on berries for calories throughout the day, following the ravens on staggering paws. Larger, healthier loners drove them off kills and bullied their way into the caverns, and so the ex-Infernians were forced to abandon their home yet again. West—maybe there was salvation west.

Clover had yet to see it.

She sprawled in the dirt now, nibbling at a bug bite on her foreleg, ignoring the thousand other places that itched. Her ears flapped, heavy with matting, when she shook her head; flies droned around her.

One of the ravens alighted on a stump beside her. The dog glanced at it with brief suspicion; despite Vesper's connection to the birds, she sometimes wondered whether the winged scavengers were waiting for their chance to eat the loners.

"Ves would welcome that shit," Clover told the bird. It tilted its head. "Where is Vesper?" she asked after a moment of licking the sore on her ankle, and dutifully the bird croaked and flew into the woods. Clover got up with a grunt, briefly dizzied by the motion, and followed, her tail drooping.

A creek ran through the spruces and cranberry bushes. The coywolf was probably just slaking her thirst; perhaps, if she was lucky, there were crayfish to be found.

A second raven joined the first; they whirled around each other, cawing, and darted off in one direction. Clover barely pricked her ears.

She plodded on, indifferent, eyes glazed, until a terrible keening shriek snapped them fully open—a strangled sound of pain and fear. Energy driven by terrible anger surged through Clover, and this adrenaline pushed her forward, stumbling through the water, cheeks raked by briars, a growl rumbling in her chest.

Ahead, the ravens screamed too.

I can feel the thunder that's breaking in your heart
I can see through the scars inside you
Mistfell Vale
Crowstooth
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oderint dum metuant You have to love yourself a fire
cave canem
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Thu May 30, 2019 8:59 pm

When the shrieking and rustling erupted from the underbrush, Dolores shoved branches aside and growled in alarm, the rabbits forgotten on the streambank.

"Donnie!"

Her friend spat curses, her claws digging into the scruff of a skinny coyote, which struggled and spat and snarled. Its yellow teeth snapped, clicking on open air, and its body thrashed, serving only to tangle it further in the rope snare. Belladonna couldn't quite get a grip on its neck, and it shrieked louder when the knife threatened, the whites of its eyes gleaming sickly. Something in Dolores' belly curdled.

"Hold still, you filthy vermin," Donnie hissed, and yelped when the old coyote bit down on her hand. She dropped it, and it thrashed on the ground, one near-useless hind leg kicking at the dirt. Its breaths rasped, and its hackles rose in a stiff spine, pale eyes fixated on the trapper and her skinning-knife. "Dolores, help me."

It was an order. Reflexes kicked in, and Dolores obeyed. She marched toward the snarling creature and grabbed the snare, jerking it up by its throat. It shook.

Revulsion and pity were remarkably similar things. Dolores' teal-blue eyes stared down at the fleabitten 'yote, and her face twisted up in a grimace. "I reckon we're doin' you a favor," she murmured lowly, genuinely, as Belladonna shook the blood from her hand and flexed her fingers on the knife's grip. "God have mercy on you."

"Fuck your god up the ass," the coyote choked out, and Hell broke loose.

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POSTED: Thu May 30, 2019 9:43 pm

The ravens flew from the shadows, their wings buffeting the air, and in their wake the big grey dog leaped out.

She jumped at the woman strangling Vesper, jaws clamping down on her arm, and used her weight to bring her crashing down into the stream—but her underfed frame was not substantial enough to keep her pinned there. The wolf smashed her in the muzzle with an arm and shoved her off when her jaw slackened.

Clover scrambled to her feet and backed up, bracing herself over Vesper, who was drooling steadily; spittle pink with blood foamed and spattered from her jaws as she tried to get her breath back. She glanced up at the dog, who squared her shoulders resolutely and snarled—her voice loud and raw.

"If you motherfuckers lay another hand on her—!"

The wolves—one tall and cedar-furred, the other slender and silver-blue—exchanged a glance before the former's face contorted with a familiar cruelty. She inched closer, the sharpened stone knife dark in her bloodied hand.

"Then what, dog?"

Clover narrowed her eyes and licked her lips, baring her fangs.

"Find out, cunt."

I can feel the thunder that's breaking in your heart
I can see through the scars inside you
Mistfell Vale
Crowstooth
User avatar
Raze
oderint dum metuant You have to love yourself a fire
cave canem
unconditional loyalty

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