Re: Coming of Age

POSTED: Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:35 pm

(392)

We’ll keep going, then - np :)

Bit by bit, Calan’s surroundings came back to him, sound returning as his heartbeat slowed in his ears. The sun felt all of a sudden too hot under his thick white coat, and he squinted at its intensity. The rush of adrenaline left him feeling giddy and exposed. He let his eyes slide shut as he breathed in, smelling dry grass, evergreen, and something else - something he didn’t want to think about too much.

He felt, then saw, the hand that came to rest on his shoulder, the evergreen scent growing stronger. ”Well done.” Calan couldn’t help the heat of pride that bloomed through his chest at the other’s support, but could only mutely nod in response. Words didn’t feel appropriate quite yet. Deep down inside, Calan was proud of himself; proud for following orders, for doing something to survive another day. Proud that he’d caught and killed. But that pride mingled, cloying, with the keen disgust for what he had done in robbing the world of this life. Even if it was humane, it still felt confusing.

Shamus wasted no time in collecting the deer corpse, setting to work on preparing it for whatever came next. Calan, eyes taking in the bloodied grass, followed suit. He watched as Shamus made quick work of stringing the deer up, hoisting it so that it was suspended from the tree, hind legs securely tied. It was weird; seeing the deer‘s body hanging like this was... easier, in a way. It reminded him of a butcher shop. Clean, sterile, utilitarian. Nourishing. The familiarity of it helped to ease his stomach further.

It was only when Shamus asked for the knife that Calan realized he was still holding it, his knuckles clenched. ”S-sorry.” He offered the knife handle first, just as Shamus had done, after a little hesitation, wishing he had something to wipe off the bloody blade. His hands were starting to feel sticky. The blond chose not to dwell on this, and instead turned his attention to the task at hand. “How did you learn to do all of this?” he asked, looking back towards the deer. The growing question in his mind was “When did this all start to feel normal?”, but even he hadn’t realized this was what he wanted to ask.

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Nocturne

POSTED: Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:53 pm

WARNING: This post contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It contains graphic depictions of blood and gore. Reader discretion is advised.

Smiling softly as he grabbed the knife, the male murmured "Thanks." Turning back the carcass, Shamus started gutting the animal by making small, quick cuts around the anus then down between the legs to start freeing its intestines. Sighing softly as he pulled away, he calmly knelt down next to it and turned his attention to its chest. Pulling a small section of hide up, he made a small cut, then slipped his knife inside, between the hide and the flesh. Slicing down and out, the hybrid carefully cut open the hide to expose the stomach cavity all the way down to his previous cuts around the groin, careful not to penetrate the guts along the way.

Turning back to Calan at his question, he smiled. "Where I'm from, everyone is taught how to hunt as soon as they can shift." Cutting down into the pelvis, he used the hilt of the blade to crack apart the pelvis, discarding the chunk of bone that had once covered the groin. Moving back down, he started opening the sternum with a series of loud cracks as he continued. "Once you know how to catch prey, it's simple enough to learn how to butcher the kill." Forcing apart the sternum with a series of loud cracks, he cut the diaphragm away from the ribs with a few quick movements.

Setting the knife aside, he began reaching down into the chest cavity to pull out the guts. Quickly, a pile of offal formed below the carcass. "Alright, that's the fun part over with. Now it's time to actually get some meat off this thing." Wiping most of the blood off of his hands on the grass, Shamus picked the knife back up and carefully cut rings around each of the hind legs, just under the hocks. Sliding the blade under the skin, he sliced down and out until the cut joined back up with the groin.

Dropping the blade back to the ground, he slipped his hands under the hide and began pulling it away from the flesh. There was surprisingly little blood as he pulled the skin away from the leg and down along the side. A few short minutes later, the hide had been removed from all the legs and dragged down around the head. Stepping back, Shamus sighed softly and said, "Now for the hard part."

ooc text [395]

Shamus Lochlan
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Rio

POSTED: Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:26 pm

(392)

Cleaned up. I say we do a couple rounds and then close it up for now? :) Though I love their dynamic for the future!

“Huh. Wish my parents had thought to teach me something like that.” Calan wrinkled his nose at the rank, heady smell of the deer’s intestines as they plopped onto the grass, wet and warm. He caught the bile rising up his esophagus and swallowed, his mouth tacky. The blond tried once, then twice, to clear his throat, but only succeeded in increasing the worry that he was about to choke. Or worse, throw up in the bushes. In that moment, Calan was grateful that Shamus hadn’t asked him to lend a hand just yet, leaving him to watch the proceedings from a respectable distance. It was one thing to appear unfamiliar with something, but yet another thing to appear weak.

Besides, stabbing a still-living creature and watching it die in his hands had been enough gruesome excitement for one day, thank you very much.

While Calan watched, his thoughts vacillating, Shamus made quick and skilled work of the bones and intestines. With a clean cut here and a broken rib there the dark wolfdog worked, breaking and cleaving with deft precision to get at the best cuts inside. Little by little, the deer became less of an animal and more of a prepared meat product, ready for eating. Even if it was all rather impressive - Shamus’s knife skills were beyond anything he could possibly attempt - Calan‘s lingering squeamishness felt like it was getting the best of him once more. Adopting an air of indifference befitting of his manner, the blond turned his head, seemingly taking in the view of the horizon. In reality, his thoughts were elsewhere, racing, as he kept his eyes clear of the messy forest floor. The smell of hot blood still lingered in the air.

After one resonant snap of bones, Calan spoke up, his voice remarkably calm. ”How’d someone like you end up alone? Aren’t you worried about the winter?” Calan may not have been the most well-seasoned of travelers, but even he knew that this late summer heat would soon burn out. The fall season was soon to be upon them, and winter would be on her heels faster than you could say ‘leaf-fall’. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, you’ve got your shit together, but even you’ve gotta find it tough. All the starving and freezing your ass off and all. I know I’m looking for somewhere to go - what’s your sitch? ” He turned his head just slightly, looking back at the scene from the corner of the eye, but tried to keep his gaze fixed on the hybrid busy at work. A pang of guilt flared up in Calan’s chest as he realized just how useless he was being at that moment. Sure, he’d killed the damned thing - but only after Shamus had literally instructed him on how to do so. Now, he was just standing there, waiting for food to appear from thin air, while another did all the grunt work. He liked being pampered, but even he had to admit that this was taking it too far. ”...Anything I can do to help?”

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Nocturne

POSTED: Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:00 pm

WARNING: This post contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It contains graphic depictions of blood and gore. Reader discretion is advised.

Picking his trusty blade back up, Shamus carefully separated the hide from the carcass completely, beginning right where Calan had stabbed it. Gathering the deceptively light hide up in his arms, the male carried it a few paces away, opposite the gut pile. He carefully spread the pelt across the ground, fur side down, to let it begin to dry out. Eventually it would probably be the beginnings of a blanket for his mare, but for now, it was most useful as a makeshift bag for the meat.

Finally ready to begin butchering the young doe in earnest, the male began by reaching into the chest cavity and pulling out the best meat on the thing. Called the tenderloin, the long strips of muscle rested on either side of the spine and were exquisitely tender. They would serve as a good meal for himself and his somewhat inexperienced companion tonight. The meat was tossed absently onto the hide as he turned back to the carcass.

With a sigh, the dark luperci grabbed a front leg and pulled it away from the rest of the animal, exposing what might be called the armpit. Beginning there a series of cuts through tough muscle and tendon separated the shoulder blade from the chest, allowing him to set the entire leg onto the hide. Calan’s question drew his attention for a moment, but he continued with the other forelimb as he answered. “I left my pack to find new opportunities, a new life somewhere else.” He liked the other male, but they had just met and somethings were too private to be shared so soon. He tossed the second leg over to join the first before he responded to his questions about the winter and how he planned to survive it.

Taking a moment to think about how best to answer, Shamus stepped around the dangling deer and began to cut the ribs, and their attached meat, away from the spine, snapping them free with loud pops along the way. “Hunting is easier in the winter, anything worth killing comes down out of the mountains and the snow makes tracking a lot simpler, so I worry more about the cold.” Setting the first rack of ribs on the hide, he moved to the other side as the continued, “Don't get me wrong, it’s not going to be easy by any means. I’d like to join a pack eventually, but…” pausing to set the second rack aside, he turned to face Calan. “I want to have something to offer when I do, not just another mouth to feed, ya know?”

Pushing back a strand of hair that had escaped his braid, Shamus didn’t notice the streak of blood left behind across his forehead in his worry. He hadn’t meant to imply Calan would be a charity case to a new pack, blatantly or otherwise. The pale male might not be much of a hunter, but he had to have some skills to offer to have made it this far. Gladly taking the opportunity his offer to help presented to ignore his slip of the tongue, the hybrid gestured to the carcass and asked, “Could you hold the spine still while I cut off the back legs? I don’t want it to spin all over the place.”

I'm so sorry this took so long! Hopefully an extra long reply makes up for it [551]

Shamus Lochlan
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Rio

POSTED: Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:02 pm

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Totally ok - glad you’re back! :)

It was strangely rhapsodic to watch Shamus work, piercing tendon and muscle with his sharp knife. Calan stood mutely impressed as the wolfdog turned the deer into cuts - albeit larger - that he recognized; rib, leg, haunch. Though he doubted that he could ever replicate what Shamus was doing if asked, he still felt like that he was learning something. It felt good, he mused.

However, at the other’s suggestion of not being ‘just another mouth to feed’, Calan felt himself shutter. “...You’re right,” Calan nodded, swallowing. “Though, if it were up to me, I think you’d be a good fit somewhere.“ He managed a small smile in Shamus’s direction before glancing down at his feet, thoughts distant. The smell of blood seemed to grow stronger, somehow, and Calan fought the urge to throw up or run away. Or both.

Shamus’s question snapped him out of his reverie, and he looked up to see a now ribless carcass swinging from the tree. He nodded in assent at the request for help and came forward, his hands reaching for the deer’s spine. He wasn’t sure just how tightly he was supposed to hold on, but the warmth of it put him on edge, and he kept his grip light. The two of them settled into some kind of working silence, Calan inevitably having to re-adjust his grip when it became evident he’d need to give a little more backbone (pun intended).

It took Calan a little while to rally himself to speak again. When he did, he felt as if the words were being said by someone else, far away. His ears felt like they had been stuffed with cotton. “I’m not looking for someone to counsel me. I know pretty well myself that I’m useless, but I’m not a child.“ Calan kept his eyes fixed somewhere off of Shamus’s shoulder.

The words had little heat behind him, but even he knew how petulant they were. He didn’t feel any better having said them aloud. Instead, he just felt dirty. He again contemplated running away. I need a drink.

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