i like to pretend i'm burning bright

POSTED: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:07 pm

sswm 603

Skoll Haskel was a whole third of a year old, and that fact made him feel invincible.

Definitely, the puppy was a puppy—still undersized compared to most adults even if he was biggish for his age, and his getting-lanky body was disproportionate to his clumsy paws and golden head. But after admiring his reflection earlier in a polished bronze mirror he had found in the temple, he had decided that he was a big boy and could do more fun stuff than when he’d been a little furball. His complete lack of experience with anything huge and scary only embellished his image of princely immortality.

And so the first order of business would be to break the rules for once.

Unlike other children, he was not rebellious by nature, and this covert act was not part of some teenage revolution. However, his curious and brazen nature destroyed the obedience his caretakers had cultivated in him. So far he had only been rewarded for venturing just past the borders—he’d met quite a few interesting characters there, and that only meant there were more new friends to meet in the rest of Nova Scotia!

The forest border was the most interesting to the young Haskel; his wolf blood sang for the scent of musty wood and leaf-litter and strong elk that patrolled through the oaks and ashes. His pupils dilated even before he had properly entered the dark woodlands of Ethereal Eclipse, shadowed by thick branches even though it was brighter without the canopy of leaves.

Practically pushing his nose against the snow and soil, the golden puppy wandered past the territory boundaries. The sense of good and bad lingered in the back of his mind, and with one last glance over his shoulder at his home, he decided that he would not go too far. He did not want to get lost; that was an experience he had no wish to explore.

However, any thoughts of staying in sight of Cour des Miracles land faded from his distracted mind as his nose bumped a weird-smelling patch of snow. His ears and tail came up, and with an excited whine, he pawed aside the pile to see that a deer leg had been stuffed underneath. His stomach rejoiced, and he stuck his face into the mostly eaten carcass, oblivious to the fact that this kill was too fresh to have been properly abandoned.

Tugging strips of cold meat from the bone, the young wolfdog was completely invested in his rescued meal—and so when the thin bobcat launched itself out of the foliage and took a swipe at his haunches, he cried out in surprise. Blood welled from the small but stinging cuts on his rump as he whirled around, fur fluffed up and eyes wide as his chest heaved.

The feline growled quietly, spotted legs moving as it placed a little distance between itself and the canine. Tufted ears flattened as it lifted a clawed paw, hissing crossly when Skoll stupidly stepped toward it. Another rake of its claws opened his nose and made him whimper, hopping backward. Shock was stronger than pain in this case though, and he was too confused to move away from the deer carcass. He had seen smaller, domesticated cats around the Court territory, but this one was about as big as he was—perhaps weighing even less than him. Its temperament betrayed its experience in warding off unruly wolf cubs, however, and when it darted toward him, he could only yelp and skitter away before reclaiming his ground.

What was he supposed to do about this?

POSTED: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:25 pm

(595) Maybe Anatole can come visit CdM after this; he's gonna be a bit scratched up lololol

Despite his words with Claudius, Anatole felt the air within AniWaya shifting. He was unhappy and on-edge, and felt as if he was unwelcome around the village. There was a true difference between him and the rest of the Tribe; he did not value things as they did, did not live as he did. While he was never chided for such things, he felt that there was something wrong about him not conforming. It was an instinctive desire, something he could not deny. The pack was what mattered, and to have something wrong within it filled him with the desire to expunge such a thing.

In this case, it was a person. The coyote, Matteo. Of all the people…Anatole growled deep in his throat. There was something wrong with the coyote, something that made him sick and made him behave in such a way. He had to go. This was not something he could do without risking his own expulsion; he wanted to rip him asunder. Yet the law of the pack said he could not, and so he had been left with pent-up aggression burning in his heart.

So he traveled, moving outside of the borders of AniWaya on four legs. He traveled with the wolfish trot, his arctic blood apparent despite the dark color of his fur. Anatole was made for this weather and this landscape, and he had thrived in it the season before. An animal made to survive, he could have done such a thing without a pack—it was instinct that drove him to find others. Even when he had abandoned his mother’s pack to find his own place, he had found other bachelors and they had made a small band themselves.

He did not know how far he had gone when the fresh scent of bobcat crossed his nose. Anatole was near a pack; he could smell this on the wind. The bobcat was young, and a male. He had killed one not long ago. As was his instinct to find other wolves, the instinct to eliminate other predators was a strong one indeed. Dark as he was, the snow did not provide much to hide him; the thick forests did, however. Through the blackened trees he slipped to and fro, trailing the cat’s obvious scent and less-obvious trail. Cats did not leave very noticeable tracks, even in snow.

All of his stealth was forgotten when a high puppy yelp broke through the trees. Asphalt colored ears rose to a high peak, the fur along his spine bristling. Instinct, again, demanded he protect the young. The wolf rushed forward, paws tearing up the snow and frozen earth, his head low and tail even with his spine. A snarl rippled across his face, green eyes blazing with savage, terrible fire.

He found the spotted cat and a golden puppy, engaged in the first steps of true combat. If the cat managed to grab the pup it would kill him; Anatole had heard such stories from first-year mothers and known this was not unheard of. The cat spotted him first and wheeled, puffing up its fur. Against an adult wolf, it would have been wiser to run. As it stood, hunger made the young thing mad—he had no intention of abandoning his kill, even outnumbered. Anatole snapped as the cat launched itself forward, batting wildly at his face. Claws ripped across his muzzle, narrowly missed his eye, and he felt his teeth close around the loose fur of the cat. He shook his head, snarling, and the cat darted away.

POSTED: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:34 pm

Blah I took a while to get to this. xD I probably misunderstood but I'm just assuming the cat ran off for the sake of this thread moving on so Skoll doesn't sit like a terrified derp. /sswm 409

The instincts of an adult wolf were buried too deeply behind the bewilderment and curiosity and pain that overtook all of the prince’s thoughts. He had stumbled into things and scraped his chin and bruised parts of his body before, but no one had ever hurt him before. The claw marks on his rump stung but were nothing compared to the burst of pain in his nose, unprotected as it was by a fluffy malamute coat. He wanted to fall back on his rump and cry, but the blazing eyes of the bobcat now hissing cruelly at him kept him pinned to the spot. As it was, a confused sort of whimper bubbled up from his pale throat, and he stumbled backwards again when it lashed out with a forepaw.

The snarl that burst from the surrounding vegetation made the boy swing around, which would have been a golden opportunity for the cat if the distraction hadn’t come charging at the both of them. Despite his playacting and fierce wrestling, Skoll had never seen a wolf bristling and growling with such anger and aggression before. He was afraid, and he shrank back against a tree trunk with horrified green eyes.

The pair of combatants rushed at each other as the child watched. The feline swiped wildly and landed a blow, but the wolf chomped down, head thrashing back and forth. The puppy remembered shaking his head ferociously with a toy in his mouth, but this was a matter of more precious losses than entertainment. Freeing itself, some of its fur lost and floating in the cold air, the bobcat managed to flee.

Once the creature disappeared, Skoll turned slowly toward his rescuer, his small chest heaving. His tongue shot out to wipe away some of the blood welling from his nose, and then he winced at the resulting pain. On a whim, he pressed his nose into a pocket of snow to numb it before snorting and backpedaling almost into his rescuer.

The male wolf was large, even in a simple four-legged shape, thick fur mixed with asphalt and ash. Even though he looked big and scary, the puppy was astounded by his fighting prowess. H-hi, he squeaked rather stupidly, his princely voice pitched high with remnants of terror. He swallowed then stared at the gash on the male’s face, caused no doubt by the feline’s claws; it looked much worse than the cub’s superficial injuries. A-a-are you okay?

POSTED: Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:45 pm

That works! And exnay on the previous idea, he's just gonna be dumb and get an infection. OvO

His muzzle and face was aflame. Anatole growled savagely and shook his head, reminded of a careless incident with a wasp when he was a child. With no mud to dull the wound, he licked at the wounds until the pain had dulled to an ache. Adrenaline was aiding with this, but he was ignorant to the dangers of the cat’s claws. Already the remnants of soil and droppings were burning through his blood and seeking to destroy his immune system with a common disease.

Anatole did not know this, however, and his attention was drawn to the golden puppy that was almost at his feet now. Green eyes looked down at him curiously, for he had never seen a true wolf with such a pelt. Halfbreed, his nose told him quickly. Dogs were common in the north, remnants of their use as pack animals for men. Most were feral long before the humans died out, suggesting their breeding made for hardier stuff. Racism, as far as it applied to some of those he had met, did not settle in Anatole; he had never considered himself “better” because he was a true wolf, only because he was a wolf who still knew the proper way to live.

“I’ll be fine,” he said flatly, accented voice still carrying a hint of the growl. It was not directed towards the boy, evident by Anatole’s sharp look in the direction the cat had fled. “He didn’t get you too bad, did he?” The wolf looked back, seeing the red mark on the boy’s nose even as the blood began to clot.

POSTED: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Poor 'tole. :o

Already, as the excitement and terror was beginning to wear away, the sun prince found himself amazed by the incident he had just survived. His green eyes darted to the buried deer leg that had been the catalyst for this battle, and he shook his head. He couldn’t wait to tell his littermates about this! Well—if he could trust them, that is. Probably he could make Hati keep his mouth shut, but Lottie would probably blabber about this to his caretakers anyway.

The threat of punishment worried him more than the actual bobcat, and the bewildered but cocky smile that had started to form on his face faded immediately. He would have to be quiet about this—as if no one in the Court would ask questions about his wounds and smell the stench of aggressive feline on him.

He turned his head again to find the similarly-colored eyes settled on him, and his tail waved once. The other’s facial wound looked really nasty, but he didn’t know quite the extent of pain—his nose stung real bad, and his fur-cushioned rear was not far from behind, but it wasn’t agony. His tongue swept up over his own muzzle in an act of sympathy before he shrugged.

Not too bad, Skoll said, his expression casual though his voice still carried a tremor. He grinned then, breathless, all of the excitement rushing back through him after this total three seconds of solemnity. You were big’n’brave! Like a knight. You beat that mean ol’ cat real good. His curled tail waggled behind him, and he began to prance in place until the exhaustion reclaimed him.

Whatcha name, sir?

POSTED: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:02 pm

Anatole did not know what it was to brag; he had been raised alone and had no competition, and thus accounted for his skills only in knowing he had done right. Pride was one thing, but to speak of it was another. Thus he did not consider saving the boy truly heroic, but something done out of instinct and necessity. Far be it for him to abandon a child, let alone one who would likely have seen the foul end of that fight. Cats were savage things, and he did not tempt them as some fools would try.

The throbbing near his eye was not as painful as he thought, but it was yet early for the wound to show its true caliber. A bemused smile crossed his face at the boy’s high-pitched attempt at stoic behavior, finding it at odds the next minute as the story went on. Anatole shifted his weight in the snow and let out a heavy breath, finally feeling his body return to normal.

“Anatole,” he answered, and sat down with a huff. “You shouldn’t pick fights with cats, kid. They eat puppies, you know.” This was the truth as he knew it, though he was certain a good-natured argument over the validity of his claim (and said puppies age) was likely forthcoming.

POSTED: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:42 am

Tension faded at last from the male’s sable shape, and he introduced himself as Anatole as he took a seat in the snow. Mirroring his savior’s movements, the boy sat down as well and continued to look up at the male. Now that the scent of aggression and blood had faded somewhat and grown normal to the child’s nose, he could detect a somewhat familiar scent intermingled with Anatole’s—that of the Tribe, if he remembered correctly. Lady ’Lohi had smelled the same, anyway, as did curly-haired Frodo in the hills. The fact perplexed him slightly, but it was only another argument in favor of AniWaya’s goodness. Just because there was a bad guy for the leader, they’d done mean things to the Court and Crimson Dreams, but everything was good now.

The warning made Skoll scoff, but it was evident from the way his small body shuddered at the thought that he took the instruction seriously. It wasn’t very big, he mumbled, but it was really mean. He had been surprised by its ferocity, truly, especially compared to the docile cats that some of the luperci owned. He would never make the same mistake again, however, and he vowed so aloud: I won’t get eated.

He licked his sore nose again, the taste of dry blood metallic on his tongue, and then he tilted his head at the older male. You sure you’re gonna be okay, Mister Anatole? My big brother Liam’s a healer, he can stitch your face all up good. It was a really nasty claw mark, anyway. He hoped his own scratches didn’t need stitches; the sight of the needles and thread through the dummy bodies made him shudder.

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