they say that things just cannot grow

POSTED: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:30 pm

table © Erin
ooc: birthing thread, situated in the Arbres de la Falaise subterritory. BACKDATED to Feb 6th. 10+

She had been preparing for this moment since that night, two months prior, in Inferni.

She had been preparing for this moment since the moment she had felt the touch of the de le Poer man, and had given herself to him.

And yet, a weak part of her had never expected it to come. This moment, this moment of terror and pain and absolute instinctual euphoria.

For the past two weeks, Alaine had been making herself scarce about the Cour des Miracles pack. Her disappearance had been gradual, as had the notable swelling of her abdomen. She had been stealing away in peaceful moments, and keen eyes might have noted that she always left early burdened with such quantities of vague items that her pregnant body could carry, and that she always returned late and empty-handed. Keen minds might have noticed an absence of blankets in the woman's room, or perhaps an absence of the direct and severe dutiful fidelity she had towards her rank of the pack Apothecary. It would appear that Alaine's priorities were shifting, as were the small budding lives that were cushioned within her swelling womb.

On the day of her final trip, a clear morning three days prior to this night of pain and joy, Alaine had packed her leather healer's satchel full of salted and preserved food, string for snares, a flask of water and a gold necklace, set with a single but magnificent emerald.

Not knowing how to write, she had been unable to leave a note explaining her absence. Not wanting to speak in person, so it was that she stole away in secrecy, leaving the bustling world of the pack as quickly as she had come into it. It was an instinct that had driven her to act as she did - An ancient instinct, one surfaced by the culmination of events that had chiseled Alaine into the peculiar creature she was. On this clear morning, she had left the homely comfort of the Chien Hotel, and headed to the worn and wild abandonment of Arbres de la Falaise; the ocean cliffs.

The walk was not an easy one, but by now she had a clear path in mind, and though Alaine had to stop for frequent rests, she reached her destination before nightfall. Up high, where the air was cool and crisp and the sweet scent of ocean filled one's lungs like ozone, the Winters woman had chosen her nest - Her place of solace. The place where, Dea-willing, she would give birth to Gabriel de le Poer's children.

A day passed. The weather turned bitter, and she was grateful of the sturdy stone cliffs, and the enclosed safety of the sea-facing cave she had chosen. The dried meat sustained her, and freshly fallen snow was easily melted to replace the water in her flask. The inside of her cave was sparse, but made warm by an eclectic gathering of woolen blankets. She had no need for a fire, for even though the winter wind was bitter as it howled about the cliffs, she was protected by the weathered stone, and warmed by the pelts and threaded blankets she had amassed.

This morning had been the worst yet. It was clear, by now, that the relentless weather was building in the heavens, steadying itself for a brutal onslaught. Unknowing to the woman who dwelled in the ocean cliffs, he pack had sustained many damages; the Chien Hotel ravaged by wind, the infamous dwelling of Firefly travestied by the storm. In her cocoon, up high above the thrashing waves, Alaine was cut off - Safe. Her snares had caught a lean hare, of which there was abundance, and she ate well. The snow fell heavier, and to keep the more persistent moans of wind out of her cave, Alaine spent the remainder of her time piling up a snow door.

It was dark, then, inside the womb of the cliff. She lit three of the four candles she had brought, and by the dancing flamelight, traced the small images she had found etched into the walls. They looked faded and unbearably old, and unmistakeably humanmade, but the expectant mother was not threatened by their presence. She felt almost as if the strange fourlegged beasts and spear-holding two-legs were watching over her.

The contractions came early, and this was to be the lasting pain, herald of the euphoria. The wind had waned, but the roar of the ocean snatched away her twisted moans of pain. The blankets lay in disarray as she moved in a constant effort to get comfortable, craving desperately her four-legged form but knowing such a thing to be fatal. The storm returned in full, and the cold bit horribly through the stone. Sometimes she cried in the darkness, and felt more scared than she had ever been, but the strange drawings remained silent and sentinel, and she drew strength from their presence.

The first child was born just after midnight, as his mother loosed unearthly sounds of pain. He would never hear them, as he and the girl that came next were born cold and still. Their little eyes would never open, and a horrible despair fell over Alaine. She pushed the two small bodies into a far corner of the cave, desperate to be as far away from them as possible.

The next came, and she was warm and alive and strong. Alaine cradled her to her own silky warmth, for this was the moment that she had craved for so long. The girlchild's pelt seemed to have the same warm hues as her father, but it was difficult to tell in the darkness. Her life fueled Alaine with hope, and she named the little girl Elvira, Elvira of the cold wind and the dark night. Next came a boychild, and although small, his form was just as warm as his sister's. Elijah of the ocean, the roaring waves and the intoxicating air. The final child was small and dark, and although her feeble heart beat desperately, Alaine knew that this child would not survive the night. Unable to refuse the still creature, the woman named her Elenore, the name of her own mother. Elenore the beautiful, the cold and the quiet.

The final girlchild died before dawn, and Alaine was too exhausted to weep. Her life now revolved around the two living creatures, each so precious and perfect that their very life could absolve the Winters woman of all her pain and heartache. Elvira and Elijah.

She would remain on the cliffs until the storm had died, leaving the cave only to bury the three small bodies that had been cursed by her broken womb.

POSTED: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:21 am

table © Erin
ooc: syn = alaine finds a small puppy on the mountains. dated FEB 9. 8+

The icy fist of the storm had loosened its grip on Nova Scotia, revealing a land ravaged by the forces of nature. However, in her isolate cave in the cliffs by the ocean, Alaine was not phased by this strange and awesome occurrence.

She knew, within, that the pack probably required her right now. As the lead, and only, healer of the eclectic Cour des Miracles luperci, her duty had always been first and foremost to them. But now, there were others that required her most intimate and unwavering attention - Others, whose lives were so fragile and precious yet that not even the most driven of servants would return to her old dwelling, down in the center of the packlands.

Alaine's children were in the world, and they were the world. She slept in small snatches, unwilling to save eyes unless when they next opened, it would be on the realisation that the two warm, fuzzy bodies curled up against her were only the figmented tortures of a past dream. Having shifted into her primal, fourlegged form, the collie spent most of her time caring for the two wriggling forms that were so desperately dependant on her, for all things. She did not leave them, not even to the recesses of sleep, for the entirety of a day after their birth, nor even the day after that. However, on the third day, hunger pains gnawed at the woman's insides, and her milk grew less and less.

Knowing that she would have to leave them, if only to check her snares and make a quick feast of whatever unwilling prey had stumbled to their fate in the primitive but adaptable traps, the woman rose early on the morning of the second waning moon, February 9th.

The day was crisp, and cool. She procrastinated well into the afternoon, fussing over the small blind figures that mewed pathetically to each nudge of her cold pink nose. Finally, satisfied that the blankets she had arranged into a nest and buried the small pups under would keep them sufficiently warm until her speedy return, Alaine left the small cave and stepped out into the bleary sunshine.

The instant that the cave was behind her, the female experienced an anxious need to return. Knowing it only to be her utter loathing at leaving her children, if only for minutes, she resolved to move swiftly. A cream blur amongst the flurries of melting white snow, the collie darted from rock to tree, seeking out the first of her snares, which held only the remnants of some small marsupial who had evidently been scavenged. It was at her next trap-site that this most quiet of days became something more extraordinary.

There was a small figure in the snare. It was not moving, but even from a distance, Alaine knew that the thing was alive - Occasionally, a trembling breath would shiver through small ribcage, and the long chain that slithered across the frosted ground like an iron snake would rattle ominously.

It was a whelp, and the chain that bound her throat and dragged alongside had become tangled in the snare. Beside the pup were the remnants of a mouse; clearly, she had been drawn by the small creature trapped in the wire, and appeared to have gummed it to death, whilst becoming trapped herself. Unwilling to change into her slower, twolegged form, Alaine instinctively pulled at the wire with her much larger, sharper ivory teeth, finally succeeding in mauling the feeble trap to pieces and freeing the body of the little girl.

She was unconscious. Alaine thought of Elenore, the little girl she had recently lost, and in the mother's grieving mind a sickly transformation occurred - This child was now her child. She claimed it, against the wild weather and the harsh land which sought to take this little life from her. This child was HERS. She barked her defiance loudly to the cold and quiet world, and on receiving no challenge, scooped to grasp the fluffy ruff in her maw.

Carrying the little treasure carefully in that manner, Alaine stopped only to check her third snare and to wolf down the stringy hare that had been trapped there. Her body needed the sustenance, especially if it was required to provide milk for three pups.

She returned to the cave before sunset, and set about snuggling the strange pup in with her own two jelly-bean children. With much careful gnawing, she managed to remove the chain from the little girl's neck, and with it the strange little chip that had been attached. On the chip, bizarre runes that Alaine recognised as human writing but could not read spelt out a single name: Odette.

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