POSTED: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:27 pm

Dampwoods. Back-Dated to the 15th. Neela is in Optime form, while it isn’t mentioned her equipment and guitar are resting against the dirt wall mentioned..

Word Count → 465

Neela lay listlessly in the sand, one hand trailing in the small river that ran past the sandy hollow she was currently occupying, the sand was soft and warm and the sounds of the river comforting to one with such a strong affinity for water as her, yet Neela's mind was procellous, troubled enough that she was ignoring the brilliant orange of the sun as it just began to set on the horizon, something that she would typically take the time to admire.

Building the pier for the Meria lea had been hard work and so Neela had decided to head south into the Dampwoods area for some sightseeing and relaxing. Along the way it had struck Neela as rather ironic that she felt the need to leave her new home in order to relax, which was actually the cause of her troubles.

Despite being a member of the pack for nearly a month now Neela still didn’t feel as though she belonged in the pack, much of the time she felt like a stranger; impugning on the packs hospitality and waiting for the day when she was asked to leave. A lot of this stemmed from her past, so violent compared to the packs ideals and style of life.

Talking might have helped, but it was also the last thing she wanted to do. With her current insecurity she found the thought that one of her new pack-mates would actually accept her if they knew her past laughable. It seemed more likely to her that opening up to one of the Ichika would result in rejection, both personally and from the pack once the secret of her past became common knowledge.

Which left her here, out in the dampwoods on what was supposed to be a relaxing trip before she got to work exploring Westville for a suitable residence, yet had turned into a miserable trip after the lack of things to do caused her to actually think about her situation. Neela was suddenly dragged out of her thoughts by a tug on her trailing hand. Sharply the tugged the hand up and out of the water, feeling a satisfying pull as the now visible fishing line wrapped around a piece of leather on her finger went taunt. A quick reel inwards revealed a small, silvery fish attatched to the fine.

Neela busied herself for a few moments removing the hook and hanging the fish up above a fire she had set nearby in a small hole where the sandy bank met a sheer wall of dirt a few feet high, before flicking the line back out into the river and returning to her earlier position and thoughts, her eyes lazily watching the float of her line as it bobbed in the stream.

POSTED: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:58 pm

but our hearts will need us to be steady and strong
so we can stand and face the fire
burning higher and higher

Word Count → 507 :: Bahhh this post sucks. xD Thanks for starting this, by the way.

Four paws rather than four hooves struck the ground in a rhythmic pace, and the cowboy hat normally perched atop the square head was clamped between white teeth along with a small woven basket. The forest rose up around the running canine, barren trees intermixed with evergreens as he wandered farther north. It had been a long time since he had gone this way, but the need to get away from his own pack had increased more and more—and perhaps part of him hoped to run across a certain small woman who’d run off on him.

Thoughts of Dixie paraded through his mind once more, and Wayne had to stop and huff loudly. “Quit feelin’ sorry for yourself, beef-headed yack,” he growled through clenched teeth. “She ain’t betrayed you or nothin’. She just ran off alone ’cause she’s a grown woman. She don’t need you followin’ her around like a lost puppy all the time.” He shook his head once more and loped back into the woods, trying to think about anything else.

His best friend’s absence had caused him plenty of problems, though it also brought those problems to light. After he’d woken to hear that she’d gone off to visit the other packs, he’d had half a mind to chase after her and drag her kicking and screaming back home—but no. This was supposed to be his chance to make friends in his new pack and learn how to adapt. The only problem was that his only friends remained her and the horses, and the pack was too small and, besides the leaders and Jazper’s brood, full of too many former loners to make socialization easy. He’d grown too used to constant company, and he missed it fiercely.

The Labrador mix slowed his pace when he could hear a river ahead, and he let out a sigh. As cold as it was, dunking himself in freezing water might wake him up and bring him to reality. He dropped his things long enough to shift, placing his cowboy hat back on his head and grabbing the basket in his hand, trying to ignore the painful stretch of the scar cutting across his abdomen. Perhaps he could catch some fist while he was out here, now that he didn’t have anything other than his hat and the fur on his back to be stolen.

As he sauntered toward the river, however, the young man found that someone else was already fishing there—an older woman, a collie dog mix with reddish and white fur. He was familiar with such herders from the south; his family had often given them a hand while running across them on the road. The familiar breed put him at ease a bit, and while the smile he wore was small as he approached her, it was at least friendly.

“Howdy,” Wayne greeted, tipping his hat politely. She smelled of Ichika, the pack that Saul belonged to; he wondered if she would know anything about Gypsy and how she was doing.

Wayne McCoy

POSTED: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:33 pm

That table is amazing, kept distracting me with its prettiness when I was trying to write =3

Word Count → 360

Neela's ears perked up at the sound of somebody calling from behind her but otherwise she let off little indication that she had noticed the stranger's presence; she just plain wasn't in a very sociable mood at the moment. Unfortunately for her a few seconds after the stranger had called out there was another tug on the line. Once again Neela's hand shot out to match the movement, but now with a fish on the line Neela was going to have to turn around, so there was little point pretending further ignorance.

With a small heave of her free arm she pushed herself up into a cross-legged sitting position, looking over at the approaching male while her hands absent-mindedly reeled in her catch, wrapping the fishing line around her leather clad finger."Hey there," her voice, much like her mood, was listless as she looked over the pale yellow canine, noting the basket in his arms and the odd hat on his head, which he was tipping as some sort of greeting.

Figuring that if she was going to talk to the stranger she might as well try and be at least a little sociable Neela forced herself to smile at the wolfdog, and while her voice was closer to her usual tones when she spoke next both it and her smile were still noticeably forced, "The name's Neela, i'm from Ichika no Hoen up north." Grynn had gone hunting and wouldn’t return for some time most likely so Neela didn’t bother to introduce the falcon like she normally did, especially since her attention was caught by the fish she had caught finally being lifted out of the water.

Neela kept her eyes on the stranger as she worked with the fish, quickly removing the hook she took a moment to examine the fish, which was a silvery colour and a lot smaller than what she could expect to catch while at sea, before it joined its fellow above the fire and her hand flicked sideways, returning the hook and float to the river. Neela didn’t speak anymore, instead she just sat with her head cocked, wondering what the stranger wanted.

POSTED: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:52 pm

but our hearts will need us to be steady and strong
so we can stand and face the fire
burning higher and higher

Word Count → 342 :: Thank youuuu. ^^

The woman ahead of him didn’t respond to his call, and for a moment Wayne was prepared to simply turn and find another place to do his fishing. However, a moment later her paw moved to reel in a fish, and he supposed that she’d just been too intent on what she was doing to say hello. As she wound the line around a finger, she finally offered a greeting in return, and while she didn’t sound altogether enthusiastic, it was enough of an invitation for Wayne.

He approached slowly, his presence far from bold though he was obviously comfortable with the way he walked. He wasn’t being submissive, but he didn’t want to be bullying his way over to sit with her like some jerks might. He didn’t see joining her as a right but a privilege.

Her smile came oddly, but the Labrador mix only matched it with a smaller one as he nodded. “Wayne, from Casa di Cavalieri,” he said, returning the introduction. “A new pack that sprout up after the war,” he added for clarification, knowing that some might still not know who they were, especially this far up north. He was sure that the other pack members were spreading the news the best they could, though, and it was his duty to provide information, too. His quiet nature was at odds with babbling every detail about the pack, however, and he had a feeling it would only annoy the woman, so he fell silent after that.

Brown eyes glanced over at the fish until he realized that Neela was looking curiously at him. He supposed his approach might have been seen as random, and he took a seat on the riverbank with the basket set down beside him. “Still tryin’ to figure out how to fish with this thing,” he said, glancing at the water. “Can be used like a trap, if I can figure out some way to trigger or retrieve it without the fish knowin’.” He forced a chuckle. “Lassoin’ would be so much easier.”

Wayne McCoy

POSTED: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:10 pm


Word Count → 318

Neela nodded at Wayne's explanation of his pack, she explained, shaking her fur lightly as she did so to try and dislodge some of the sand that had worked its way into it while she had been lay down.

Neela's ears parked up slightly as the subject of fishing came up and her tone as she spoke was much more lively and close to her usual mood, "A basket? Don’t think I've ever seen one of those used for fishing before. Prefer a trawl net on my boat or a float and hook myself." Neela peered at the basket, trying to divine how it might be used to catch fish, "Maybe if it was a bit bigger you could dip it in a fast river like a net or something? Though I don’t think a lasso would do much good either" Neela voice lifted slightly at that last sentence and a splash of humour evidenced itself in her tone, accompanied by a slight grin that crept up one side of her muzzle.

Tilting her head to the side Neela looked at Wayne, considering him for a moment before sighing, "Sorry bout ignoring ya at the start, been having a crappy day so far." Her apology said Neela decided to move back along happier lines of conversation.

"You ever tried hook fishing? I've got a load of extra hooks and lien if you want to give it a go." Neela offered, hoping to make up for her earlier rudeness. Plus she was telling the truth about having extra hooks and line; evidently there hadn’t been that much interest in fishing among the Ichikan's as Neela had found an almost untouched fishing store while exploring and taken the opportunity to ferret away some surplus fishing equipment.

POSTED: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:45 am

but our hearts will need us to be steady and strong
so we can stand and face the fire
burning higher and higher

Word Count → 362

The young man smirked somewhat sheepishly as she scrutinized the basket. He had been clumsy in his attempts to fish at it last time, but then again, he hadn’t really intended on doing anything with it other than gathering some grasses for the horses or carrying other things today. It had worked somewhat okay the last time he used a rather unconventional method, though, dropping the basket into the water then using a rope to jerk it quickly out, trapping the fish inside. He was sure that was just luck, however, luck that soon turned sour when that girl stole his knife.

“I’ve heard tell of baskets like this fashioned into traps for small animals,” Wayne explained with a somewhat dubious glance at the woven thing. “Good to use as a scoop for fish, but the issue is trickin’ them into it and bein’ fast enough to haul it out before they escape.” He shook his head and smirked again as she teased lightly about the lasso.

There was a thoughtful pause on the part of the collie female, and he nodded once at her apology. “Don’t blame ya,” he replied softly. “Some days talkin’ to someone ’bout your problems helps, but some days ya just want to be left alone, or punch the fool who shows up to bug you about ’em.” His amused smile was somewhat forced but warm nonetheless as he forgave her for her less than friendly behavior. Perhaps someone else would have been offended, but being somewhat unsociable and grumpy himself at times, Wayne understood where the older woman was coming from.

Neela mentioned hook fishing, and his ears perked with interest. “Used to when I was a pup,” he said. “Salvaged some old human poles for it.” He didn’t think that holding the line by hand would be much different, though, and the extra dexterity might help. He turned his head in search of the extra hooks and line she’d mentioned. “Perhaps we can cook whatever we catch?” he ventured to ask, though he didn’t press this request. “Sit and have lunch? Unless you were hopin’ to keep some of the food for your pack mates.”

Wayne McCoy

POSTED: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:23 pm

Word Count → 455

Neela found herself with a small smile on her face as Wayne responded, though this time a genuine one. Neela had long known that her mood was directly linked to how busy she kept herself and in terms of cheering herself up a friendly conversation, especially about a subject that she enjoyed like fishing, was almost as good as dancing.

Neela didn’t audibly respond to Wayne's statement, instead just giving him a smile, growing ever wider, and a grateful nod at his graceful acceptance of her apology before she started fishing about in her largest belt pouch, speaking as she did so. "A bit of lunch sounds good to me, don’t think my pa- HAH! Didn't get my finger that time did ya, ya little bastard?" Neela had interrupted herself to gloat at the fishhook she had pulled out of her pouch. Neela's fingers were filled with small scars and calluses from constantly pricking and impaling her fingers on those hooks in her pouch.

With a cough Neela remembered she was talking to somebody and quickly coughed, setting the hook down on her knee before continuing, "Ahem. Anyway with the amount of stuff I'll be catching once I start trawling with my boat I doubt the pack will starve for a few fish we manage to catch," Neela's ear flicked to the side and her free hand darted out, deftly hooking one of the cooking fish from the fire and throwing it over to Wayne. "There, a little taste to get ya motivated. And you can be my test dummy in case it turns out they taste horrible or something" Neela finished the last sentence with a wink and a grin, feeling much better compared to her earlier state for the small conversation.

After a few more seconds Neela's hand emerged from the pouch again, this time holding a leather finger guard similar to hers and roll of line. The guard was built for a bigger finger than hers, it had been Julian's and was marked so by a small J inked onto it. The sight brought a small jolt of sorrow to Neela but she quickly brushed it away, the emotion only visible in her eyes for a split second as she stared at the guard before handing it, along with the line and hook, over to Wayne. "You hook the line here," She gestured to a small groove in the guard, "And then just flick it in. Got some bait here if you want it, though these fish seem pretty stupid." She was referring to the fact that her last fish had been caught with no bait; she had simply been throwing the hook into the river idly, not expecting to catch anything.

POSTED: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:16 pm

but our hearts will need us to be steady and strong
so we can stand and face the fire
burning higher and higher

SSWM Word Count → 612

The rough collie rummaged through a pouch, and Wayne glanced serenely at the river as his hand played over the weave of the basket. Her sudden outburst, however, made him jump and glance over at her before he broke out into laughter as she triumphantly snatched up the fishhook. He could relate to suffering a multitude of minor injuries from equipment, including smashing his thumb with a hammer and getting splinters and rope burns on a day to day basis. When she coughed awkwardly, he only shot a wink her way then listened with interest as she went on.

“You have a boat?” the southern man asked, half-flopped ears pricked. He realized sheepishly that she had mentioned trawling for fish on the boat before, but he’d been distracted from asking the question like he’d wanted to. He adjusted his posture on the bank, bringing one knee up and resting his arm across it as he stared curiously at her. “Did you build it yourself, or find an old human one?”

The cowboy hadn’t been around boats other than the few occasions as a whelp, but he believed he knew what she was talking about when she mentioned fishing with it. Then again, maybe it was because “trawling” sounded like “trolling,” which some of the fishermen he’d spoken to back then had done. With the right kind of fish, one could troll even in a slow boat.

The woman moved suddenly, and sheer luck landed the fish she had thrown at him into his broad hands. He smirked at her then took an experimental bite. Pretending to choke crossed his mind, though there was no danger of him actually doing something like that; he wasn’t outgoing enough for pranks. Besides, he betrayed himself immediately with closed eyes and a sigh of contentment as the flavor of the fish reached his tongue.

“If I can taste somethin’ that again, I’m motivated,” Wayne said, teasing slightly—though even if it hadn’t been cooked nicely his hunger would have made it taste like heaven. “Been a good while since I’ve had fish.”

Once again, Neela dug into the pouch, this time pausing for a moment to look at what she had pulled out before handing it to him. He ran a thumb pad over the leather guard and wondered why she would have more than one before abandoning the inquisitive train of thought. It was probably just more practical to have more than one in case the other was lost or damaged.

He did his best to follow her instructions, hooking the line into the guard. His fingers weren’t very dexterous, but after a couple of attempts he figured it out and was able to flick his hand to let the line fly—careful not to send the hook into Neela after her recent brush with it.

“I ain’t gonna take chances,” the Labrador mix said, reaching for the bait and sliding it onto the hook. Even if the fish were okay with chasing after something pointy and shiny, he didn’t think he would have the same skill to hook them.

He flicked the line into the water, watched the current pull it, and waited for when he felt a bite. As he did so, even if his eyes were on the water, he addressed his fishing companion. “Have ya lived in Nova Scotia long?” Small talk could be seen as nothing more than idle chatter, and it was odd for the soft-spoken cowboy to be the one to start a conversation, but he liked talking to the older woman so far and supposed he might be able to learn another thing or two from her.

Wayne McCoy

POSTED: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:50 pm

Sorry for the shitness but i'm in a bit of a block recently.

Word Count → 301

A wide, proud smile spread onto Neela's face as the subject of her boat was brought up, her pride plainly evident from her body language, "Yeah, the Meria Lea I call her. Designed her myself and oversaw the building, had a team of us working to get it done. Took nearly two years but it was worth it in the end." Here Neela gave a sly smile, her eyes sliding shiftily to the side in an overexaggerated play, "Technically she's the Meria Lea III but well, the less said about the first two the better." Neela grimaced and made a breaking apart motion with her free hand.

So, it seemed that the fish here did taste nice, for all her joking Neela had actually been using Wayne as a taste tester. While she generally liked fish she had learned that not everything from the sea tasted nice; Neela still shuddered when she thought of the time she had been coerced into trying octopus.

Neela gave an idle nod when Wayne reached for the bait but didn't say anything, concentrating on hooking some bait onto her own hook and recasting it, though she did answer his next question. "Not particularly long, maybe a month or so. I was sailing up north and kinda drifted into Ichika by accident. I didn’t have anywhere in particular to be and no family that still care for my presence so I stayed." Neela successfully kept her voice nonchalant through her speech, successfully stifling the emotions associated with the tale by keeping her words as vague as possible.

The hook flew through the air, landing back in the river with a barely audible splash. Her concentration now free Neela shifted her eyes back over to Wayne, "So, what about you? You been around these parts for long?"

POSTED: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:49 pm

but our hearts will need us to be steady and strong
so we can stand and face the fire
burning higher and higher

Word Count → 305 :: Yay end of post assuming they fish and chat and shizz. :3

Pride blossomed in the collie woman, an emotion that the male wholeheartedly recognized. He brightened up the same way when someone spoke about his horses. Smiling faintly, he listened to her explanation about the ship, amazed that luperci had managed to design and build something like that from scratch—didn’t sound like a lil’ old fishin’ boat. He chuckled at her amendment and gestures, holding up his own hand as if to swear he wouldn’t bring up the Meria Lea III’s predecessors.

Drawing up one of his knees and resting his fishing hand across it, Wayne looked over at the older Ichikan as she tossed her own line out and answered his question. There were few details for him to mull over, so he only nodded politely, his brown eyes flicking out across the river and the snow-dusted trees beyond. Had he been a more talkative canine, he might have pried more, but the reticent cowboy wasn’t one for pushing a conversation further than it needed to go.

“My friend and I came in August,” the Labrador mix said, but his voice softened then dropped into silence at thought of Dixie, which had prompted him to leave Casa di Cavalieri territory in the first place. “We came from down south—’round Texas. Only recently settled in the pack though.” He frowned, knowing that delving into any more details would bring up his storm of emotions for the petite woman.

Luckily, a distraction came in the form of a tug on his finger, and Wayne yelped before jerking his wrist. Too off-guard and clumsy to reel it in properly, he crawled forward to grab the flopping creature that he managed to haul in close. The fur of his arm dripping, he glanced at the fish in surprise then chuckled, hoisting it up to show to Neela.

Wayne McCoy

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