Suffer a fool to live.

for Micah.

POSTED: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:52 am

Esmeralda inhaled, taking in the scent of her prey. Her shoulders arched forward and she slunk lower to the ground. Teal eyes searched for the visible sign of her intended kill as she inhaled again. It wasn't moving but she couldn't see it. The brush was cover both for her and for her meal, the young wolf thought with a flick of her tail. Leaning down even more - seeming more catlike than wolf - she slowly progressed along the forest floor. Pausing only when she saw the creature she sought. It was a young woodchuck, probably just passing its first summer and plump with the fat stores it hoped would carry it through winter safely. Her mouth began to water with the mere idea of eating it; she licked her lips quietly, hoping to keep the saliva in her mouth rather than dripping in thin threads down the sides of her jaws.

She had chosen the Lupus form for its sleek speed, though she was beginning to wonder if she could have gone Secui without too much trouble. The groundhog certainly seemed completely oblivious to her attention. Of course she had been quiet but something told her if she had thundered up there in a rush, it wouldn't have noticed either. Bunching up her muscles, she sprang toward the creature with a snarl. Close enough now not to be worried that the noise would startle it into safe flight away from her. Surprisingly, it didn't seem to react until it wiggled its nose and smelled her, turning to see her in horror. Then it began to run. How on earth had what she assumed was a deaf groundhog managed to survive this long?

The hunt was over rather quickly from there, as it hadn't reacted swiftly enough from her first thrust to run up a tree or otherwise evade her jaws. Esme did not relish its pain and she quickly broke its neck, hopefully killing it quickly. Then with her head raised high to keep her meal from scraping the ground, she headed back toward a more cleared area where she could lie down and eat. This area was too overgrown to make a suitable eating area.
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POSTED: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:48 am

He would need to visit Halifax soon, if only he remembered the way. There in the degenerating city was a stash of spraypaint great enough to last him a lifetime of murals — or at least there had been one there two years ago when he'd last ventured so far as a Cercatori member. He didn't recognize many faces in the pack now, and being the self-conscious mess he was, Micah made no rush to make their acquaintances. If his experience here would be a repeat of last time, every single one of them would happen upon him when he least expected it, and the buffoon would dissolve into some stammering, blabbering mess of a person and undeniably ruin any reputation he could have made for himself.

It always turned out that way. Always. And Micah hated himself for it.

He could ask a fellow member to show him the way to the city, but knew they would not want to. What a waste of an afternoon or two, escorting a sad excuse for a coyote like he, this waste of a rank! His stomach turned at the thought of it. If the Lykoi was fortunate, he would avoid his fellow members long enough to feel better about their inevitable conclusions for him.

He started for Halifax alone, then, hating to inconvenience someone, hoping he had actually picked the correct direction. What if he got lost on the way? Skye would think him a fool and a runaway, abandoning the pack again. His anxieties filled his head far too long, for just as he realized the scent of another did she fall in his sights. In an instant the coyote froze in place, paw still in the air, brown eyes on her wide as moons, fur standing on end. Mortified.

"Oh, um," he said, ears flipping as he hunted rapidly for an excuse to have interrupted her meal. "I-I must be g-g-going the wr-wrong way."

Without finishing the thought, his head ducked and he veered east rapidly, hoping to disappear as quickly as he came. Hoping perhaps she would think nothing of it.

image © Darwin Bell ; table by lin

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Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:20 pm

The blood coated her tongue and it was hard to just swallow it down without wanting to stop right there to eat ferociously. Much as she wanted to eat, though, she also wanted to be somewhere comfortable. Although instinctively it sounded appealing to eat right now and the area be damned, she knew better than that. She'd end up with sticks poking and prodding her as she chowed down; not at all fun, though her instincts made her want to think that it would be an amazing experience. Instant gratification wasn't something that she needed in this case.

Her mind was occupied by her kill, but her ears were swiveling constantly. Another instinct borne of the feral part of the wolf: was there anyone or anything around that might try to take her kill? She paused when she heard something that took her attention away from the delicious taste of groundhog in her mouth. Before she had to even consider the sound or react to it, someone else appeared almost right in front of her. A dark male with the lean lines of a coyote hybrid with dominant coyote genes, she thought, though perhaps there was no wolf at all. That was possible too. Certainly there were no blaring signs of lupine in him from first glance.

Dropping her kill and placing an automatically protective paw on it, she tilted her head to the side at his flustered actions. They reminded Esmeralda of Rei; fidgeting, always fidgeting. Then he started to dash off, which was a touch insulting. Her hackles bristled in affront, though he was already heading off and probably didn't even see it. "A 'hello' would have been nice! You're headed right into some heavy overgrowth, too, good luck finding your way from there." she called after his retreating form, her ears flat and a frown creasing her lips. Esme's stomach grumbled to remind her that she was hungry, but she ignored it for the moment.
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POSTED: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:46 pm

There were a solid few minutes spent in the forementioned overgrowth that Micah stood frozen in place, imprisoned by humiliation. Not only had he interrupted the woman, but he had furthered her annoyance by unwittingly offending her in his quick retreat. He hadn't meant to, he just thought— he just thought that she'd be more upset if he lingered— she was already glaring, and— her mouth was full, so if he'd said hello she would have been obligated to reply, and—

And she had been right: The direction he'd chosen was the inevitably wrong one. For the time being Micah could hide his embarrassment from her, perhaps long enough for her to even forget or think he had forged a way through, but eventually he would have to turn back and face her again. If he waited until she finished and left, the coyote would not have to face her again. Yes, that would work. He could wait.

A snake slithered past his toes.

"Y-Y-You were right," he said defeatedly, seconds later, spooked and out of breath as he burst back into the clearing. He had two options, one of which involved offending her a second time by turning tail, and so Micah avoided her eyes and hung his head as he sat as great a distance as he could.

"It's Micah— I-I-I mean, that's— that's my name. Micah. I-I didn't want to interrupt." Deep breaths. Don't shake. Deep breaths. Calm down. He closed his eyes a moment and tried to collect himself how the Junipers had mentored. To some small extent it worked. "I'm sorry," he added, this time without a stutter.

image © Darwin Bell ; table by lin

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Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:18 am

The girl snorted in an uncouth way and looked around. The area where she had paused was actually rather apt for a meal, she thought, reclining downward into a sphinx-like position to dive into her meal. When she ate, she was not ladylike in the slightest; blood splattered her chest, bits of groundhog probably stuck to her teeth, and her muzzle was thoroughly saturated in the juices from her meal that hadn't quite made their way to her mouth. The animal she had killed wasn't too large and with a wolfish appetite like hers, it was easy enough to devour it. Wolf it down, as it were. In fact, by the time Micah returned she had eaten all of the meat and was settling in to gnaw on a bone.

Esmeralda was unsurprised to see the other canine returning. Though he did come back in a rather dramatic way; huffing and puffing, running as if there was something about to run up behind him and eat him or something. That way really was rather difficult to navigate through and she certainly wouldn't have tried to do it herself. There were much better ways to get out of the pack and to anywhere else easily through a different part of Cercatori. Like a sated cat (or wolf, apparently) she didn't feel quite as grumpy now that she had eaten. Her tail flicked lightly as she looked at him, raising her head from grinding her teeth against the bone to get at the marrow within.

He was submissive, very submissive. Eyes downcast, head hanging like a child caught misbehaving. Of course she had scolded him the last time he was nearby, so it made some sense. Micah. A name to go along with his face. Good. She would want to remember that, as she did all of her packmates' names. His apology wasn't even stuttered. Well that was a bonus; it was harder to follow what he said and made her ears hurt a bit to hear an adult with a speech impediment. "Esmeralda Collins. Are you new here? I thought everyone knew not to go that way." she asked in return, standing up and stretching. Her teal eyes watched him. Hopefully he wouldn't dash off again.
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POSTED: Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:20 pm

He would not have stolen her food. Did he look like the type that would? Micah must have. It must have been the Lykoi nose, or the way he shook. He must have looked nervous, could have appeared to be plotting or feigning, or... or...

With her meal finished the Collins woman had eased away pretenses and settled upon Micah with looks of disenchantment. She did not seem particularly impressed with his display, but did it matter? Micah was more than grateful she did not tear him an earful. Not yet, anyway. It was coming. He was certain of it. He deserved it.

"I'm not new," he said, then stopped. "We-Well, I mean, I guess I am, but... s-s-sorry. I lived here a long time ago. I-I just got back. I have a bad me-memory, I guess, and... um..."

A deep breath and a slow realization. "W-Wait. Collins? Are you related to Skye?" The Lykoi held great respect for their leader, the woman who had once tried to show him how to defend himself. She'd probably given up on him. She probably hoped he would not ask again.

No! Stupid, stupid! Don't talk about someone else! Are you trying to be rude?! "I mean," he began again, "i-it's a pleasure to meet you, E-Esmeralda. Honest."


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Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:41 am

The female had no idea he was overthinking her protective hovering over her meal. It was the nature of the wolf; protect what was yours, be prepared to enforce dominance if necessary. Despite his overt nervousness and submissive gestures, it was necessary that she keep her food tucked near and protected from him. If he had advanced on her while eating, she probably would have snapped at his face whether he meant to invade her space or not. These were her feral instincts and she rode them when she was in Lupus form particularly.

Esmeralda's warm stomach and her generally good feelings after eating did temporarily set aside her ire from before. Though she was no so sated that she would not get angry again if she felt he was being ridiculous. When he said he wasn't new, her head tilted. Her next question if she had felt cruel would have been then are you stupid? but he was already rambling about what he had meant. He just got back. Well, one couldn't expect to know everything about the lay of the land forever. Her tongue flicked out to run across her paws where blood had splattered her coat. "You'll remember now, I bet." the girl said with a light shrug; if he didn't, then he would truly be a fool.

Then a dawning flood over his face of understanding: Collins, a name all wolves of Cercatori d'Arte knew because of her mother. It was not unusual to get a response like his and so she was a bit puzzled when he seemed almost horrified he had asked. As if her connection to the pack's leadership was not a matter of interest to many pack members. Mostly just as a curiosity, though, as her blood relation to Skye afforded her no particular luxuries except the ear of her mother. Though even that was more for her woes, her life, and her general feelings not for pack-related things so far. "I'm Skye's daughter. How long ago were you here? Perhaps we met when I was a cub." she remarked, though she wondered if that was possible. Surely he would have remembered her with her fur of red and cream. Then again, puppies were easier to forget than adults.
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POSTED: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:43 am

You'll remember now, I bet. The coyote's ears flattened further against his skull, absorbing every poison-dipped word, every bad vibe. She hated him, maybe. She thought he was a fool and a freak and a coward. Micah thought of himself the same, and in his mind accused it again and again and again. Would he never learn?

A voice somewhere in the underbrush spoke in his head: "You did nothing wrong." Ears swiveling, he glanced over his shoulder to the ghost, but she would not show herself. Storm Lily?

When he left Juniper Peace this final time Micah had sworn to himself he would no longer be like a doormat to step upon. He would fake confidence if he had to. He would do what it takes to be proud of his own name. Storm Lily reminded him then and left him on his own. Micah almost wished she hadn't. "Y-Yeah, I'll remember," he said in whispers, barely audible when he added, "I le-left two years ago."

Then the Lykoi sank into his shoulders, hung his head and put on his angriest face. It did not lift from the soil, however, because he knew it was so pathetic, and his stuttering became impossible to control over his trembling. He tried to be angry, not scared, that she had been so curt with him. "Y-Y-Y-Y-" he started, trying to explode, trying to sound offended, "-Y-You shouldn't te-te-tell s-s-so-so-someone to say he-hello and then b-be s-s-so ru-ru-ru-rude to th-them when th-th-they do!"

Chocolate eyes glued still to the ground, he added in a squeak sometime after, "I-I-I'm s-s-sorry..."

image © Darwin Bell ; table by lin

User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:31 pm

When he seemed to switch focus to behind him, she looked to where he was looking and saw nothing. Perhaps he was mad as a march hare, she thought, wondering if there was a reason he had been away for two years. Possibly catching up with his lost marbles, though it seemed a few had still been left rolling around somewhere else. Certainly she didn't find herself particularly impressed with this returnee, though she wasn't against him either. Merely unconvinced that he was a worthwhile member to her mother's pack. Then again she was a harsh critic, when it came down to it; she needed to learn to be kinder toward others. Or maybe not. It wasn't really in her nature to be sweet, except when it suited her or worked in her favor.

Oh, well, now. The little wounded soul had a backbone after all. Her body raised, ears flicking forward and fangs revealed in a warning as he put on a show of anger. His stuttered words were not exactly intimidating or forceful, their power broken by the way he said them. As with so many things, the most vitally important thing was the way something was said. Besides, his body language was still extremely deferential. Like a child trying to scold their parent for a perceived misstep. Her tail flicked and she stood up to her full height, her teal eyes staring forcefully at his head. After all, his own dark gaze was cast toward the ground. "You haven't even seen me rude yet, buddy." she growled, her tongue curling unpleasantly in her mouth. Actually her words hadn't been meant as barbed as he had taken them. "Also, have some damn conviction if you're going to have an opinion. How do you expect anyone to respect you if you rail at them, then apologize for it?" these words were unkind and she knew it, but she didn't really give a damn right then.
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POSTED: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:26 am

He should have known it would escalate. Micah should have said nothing, should have sat and nodded his head and agreed with everything she said until Esme dismissed him or it was appropriate to leave. He should have followed his instincts, should have ignored his sister. She was trying to help. She was only making things worse.

Now it was too late; Esmeralda hated him, and because she hated him Skye would hate him too, and his stomach hurt just to think about that. If the leader hated him then everyone else would hate him too and he would be without a home again. Micah couldn't fend for himself. He was a pathetic, bony, muscleless coyote and a waste of air. Razekiel should have killed him at infancy, not Storm Lily.

Micah should have backed down. He should have apologized for apologizing and been on his way. Maybe he would have fared better if he had, but now it was too late and the Lykoi had already dug himself the hole. What left was there to lose? With Skye's daughter baring her fangs in his face Micah glued his eyes the ground, sunk into his shoulders and tucked his ears, but he did not move. He did not flee. Truth was, terror froze him in place, but he would not let her know that.

"I-I-I-I-" he stammered, refusing to meet her eye. He had to try. "I-I-I'm not sc-sc-sc-scared of you."

image © Darwin Bell ; table by lin

User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

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