not yesterday I learned to know

POSTED: Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:01 pm

(255)

Pieces of the sky were falling.

Calhoun stared suspiciously at the white flakes, drifting past in a misty sleet, from a safe vantage point on the threshold. The clouds above the old mill were a dim, scattered grey – like he expected rainclouds to be, in his limited experience. Except what fell now wasn't rain, or at least it wasn't all rain, but the ground looked wet and the flakes that landed melted quickly away. His fur fluffed up with the chill, increasingly ill-suited for the weather, but he made no move to go inside.

Mama, he called back thoughtfully over his shoulder. Is there trees in the sky?

The gears in his little head creaked and spun, ideas snagged in the teeth. Like any child, he had formed categories for things he knew, and somewhere was the category of Things That Fall. Raindrops fell, but raindrops weren't so big. Bugs fell sometimes, but they made noise and buzzed their little wings around. That left only one thing he could think of that fell with any regularity in his limited experience on this earth, and that was leaves.

Rafa, he added, hissing for his sister's attention. You see this? He gestured with his nose, then with the whole of his body when he didn't think she was paying attention, and then his tubby body pitched forward and tumbled out the doorway.

One of the white sky-leaves fluttered down and kissed his wet black nose, and he shrieked in surprise.

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POSTED: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:52 pm

Seated in the relative warmth of their home, her thin body bundled in layers of cloth and fur to keep the rest of the chill at bay, Evelyn poured carefully over her records. She had gone through the communal stores and had taken stock of what lie within, jotting down items and numbers without giving any of it much thought.

Now, though.

She shifted a bandaged finger to the next line. Wool: two bundles, horsehair: one bundle; unworked hide: six sheets, charco– Her brow knitted subtly. "Mmhm," she grunted affirmatively back at her son, her mind still took entrenched in the depths of what her records meant to grasp the meaning of what was being asked. Adjusting her body, Evelyn moved down to the next line and allowed her attention to fade away once more from all that was happening around her.

For Rafaela's part, a dying spider had caught her attention wholly and its sluggish, erratic movements kept it firmly in place. She cocked her head as it limped, dragging a quarter of its thread-like limbs across the warped floorboards. As it neared one of her oversized paws, she caught a burst of excitement and pushed her dark, wet nose forward to poke it. When it didn't move again, she began to grow bored.

She heard her name hissed between her brother's lips, but Rafaela was still hopeful of the spider's reanimation and ignored him. When the spider remained stationary, however, and the sound of Calhoun's tiny shriek erupted, the young coyote's attention was instantly diverted. Quickly, she scampered to her brother's side.

Lifting her head from her bookkeeping, Evelyn watched her kids carefully. "Rafa," she growled, assuming her daughter had done something to startle Calhoun. "You play nice, now. You hear?"

"But I didn–" But her mother's deepening glower quieted her. "Yes, Mama." And then she turned angrily at Calhoun. "What's th' matter wi–"

But specks of crystalline white, floating in earnest from a pearly grey sky, drew away her attention and Rafaela realized precisely what was the matter with Calhoun. The sky was falling.

[WC — 357]


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Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely
don't look back.
don't blink.
don't die.

POSTED: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:13 am

His mother's admonishment sounded from the doorway, and Rafaela turned her angry almost-green gaze on her brother. Calhoun dipped his head with a submissive swipe of his tongue over his cold-stung nose, about to explain before his sister looked skyward in astonishment.

“It’s cold!” the puppy exclaimed. His tawny ears, oversized even for his pudgy body, twitched erratically under the onslaught of gentle flakes. Falling on less sensitive flesh, the pieces of sky frightened him less, and he noticed that they clung for a second on his fur. Experimentally, he whirled and clicked his teeth in an attempt to catch the snowflakes like he would a buzzing fly, though they melted to water on his tongue.

An enormous giggle built in his belly and tumbled out of him, and perhaps stirred by the chill, or just sheer excitement and delight in this new experience, Calhoun became possessed by an age-old phenomenon: zoomies.

He galumphed more than galloped, but soon Calhoun was racing around the yard outside the old mill, occasionally leaping to catch snow in his mouth.

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POSTED: Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:19 pm

Maw parted and eyes skyward, Rafaela was instantly mesmerized by the falling flakes. And as they floated down from the heavens, landing on earth and melting against her nose, she found that her brother was right: it was cold! But what was perhaps even more perplexing was the way that they vanished.

Encouraged by Calhoun's antics, Rafaela snapped her teeny-tiny teeth at the open sky and tried to catch the crystalline snowflakes as they fell. But every time she caught one, she felt a sizzle of cold and then nothing. Contrast to her brother's delight, frustration built up inside her and she released a sharp yip upwards at the falling sky.

The sounds of her children drew Evelyn back out from the depths of her bookkeeping and she took her eyes from the letters that she had scrawled on the ledger to find that both Calhoun and Rafaela had vanished from her sight. But their tiny voices – Calhoun's giggles and Rafa's yips – told her that they hadn't to gone far.

Setting her ledger aside, Evelyn rose and tugged her shawl around her shoulders tightly to brace herself against the promise of winter. A light snow was falling, and she lifted her hood up over her head with her scarred fingers before she crossed her arms tightly across her chest and tucked them protectively beneath her armpits.

And then she watched.

Rafaela was chasing her brother and yapping shrilly the whole while as Calhoun raced and leapt and skittered through the falling flurries. They were two fuzzy and plump bundles of pure, unadulterated innocence, and Evelyn found herself wishing that she could freeze this moment in time and keep them forever safe from losing that.

But she knew better than to believe in impossible things.

So instead she watched and, in a rare moment of visible joy, she smiled.

[WC — 314]


Del Cenere Gang
El Elegido
User avatar
Mandi
Moderator Mate to Santiago Maestro Cervecero Settler's Spirit
Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely
don't look back.
don't blink.
don't die.

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