Mind & Body

POSTED: Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:12 pm

OOC: written to <a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1gGuXlVu48&feature=relmfu' target='_blank'>this track</a>

IC:

The day was overcast, thick clouds blotting out the sun and giving the landscape a muted and sullen appearance. The sea, reflecting the steel grey of the sky, pounded against the cliffs, sending up great plumes of white spray hundreds of metres into the air. Atop the cliffs, feeling the roiling anger of the ocean through the land, was Einarr. The hulking grizzled male had been drawn here once again, drawn to this spot where time’s grip was shunned and one could lose themselves in the endless struggle between the land and the sea. It was not often that the day found Einarr in his Optime form, but this was one of those days. His frame was heavily muscled and his scars were bathed in the salt spray. His teardrop main was flecked with the white and grey of pre-mature age. The effect was startling, giving the appearance of an older wolf, even though his muscles had still not turned to fat. In his hand he held a staff, a huge branched, carved from one of the fallen trees, which he had shaped. The smooth staff felt good beneath his calloused hand. His mane blew about him in the strong wind, but he remained unmoving. This would be the place, no it was not within the lands of his new pack, but this would be the place in which he would allow himself to centre. In this place he would allow the memories to mix and blend, allow all his strong emotions to rise to the surface, and once they had done so, once they filled his chest, he would expel them into the sea, adding to its wrath, letting the great mass absorb it. Ensuring that he was alone, Einarr raised the staff and began the forms, taught to him by a friend forgotten to all but him. His body flowed easily from one stance to the next, and as it did so his mind drifted, his body knowing what it must do by instinct. Einarr had been a storyteller in another life, now he was a warrior, perhaps it had been inevitable that he had discovered the poetry in movement. The staff swept in an arc about him, his legs bent and his feet turned him. The seven foot optime moved slowly, deliberately and gracefully while all around him the battle between the earth and sea raged.

POSTED: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:22 am

OOC: Speech in italics = the dead ancestor.

Everly Skyfall's dark paws scuffed against the rough texture of the rocks she was traversing. The feeling wasn't unpleasant, but the woman, currently in Secui form, showed to no pleasure in her features. It had taken just over two days to complete this journey, miles and miles from AniWaya, but she didn't need to wonder what had brought her so far from her new home; she was fairly sure she could still feel the presence of her deceased relative, who seemed to be more of an annoyance than a guide. Everly was reluctant to block out the messages being conveyed entirely, but she was still faintly suspicious that she might have embarked on a wild goose chase – except those on wild goose chases generally had a specific goal in mind. All Everly had to go on was the sharp scent of seawater and a faded melody of waves colliding with rocks, heard for a second or two as the neutral-toned wolf had balanced on a branch, eyeing up a fat squirrel.

“Girl, you can't ignore me forever and you know it,” the gruff voice had chastised. “You're here for a reason. Healing's all fine and dandy, girl, but you know the real reason you're here.” “I know I'm being harassed by a dead relative who talks about reasons but doesn't seem to give any clues,” Ev had responded irritably, made more irritable by the fact that she'd responded at all. “Think for yourself, girl,” the spirit breathed, and the tang of sea air rushed towards the reluctant seer, deep in AniWayan territory with no salt water anywhere near her. “You'll find what you're looking for.” The faintest picture of another relative from what felt like another life, a brother, cherished but long lost: laughing, happy, full of life. Everly's hackles rose. But eventually so did the rest of her.

Two days later and Everly was high above a rolling ocean, breathing in the exact scent which had assailed her back in AniWaya. This was the place, she felt, or thought she felt, but it wasn't until another scent met her nostrils that the lines in her brow smoothed out, her ears pricking in curiousity. She couldn't place the scent – and when the mottled figure came into view she couldn't place his appearance either. Ev hesitated; this wolf looked handy with a staff, potentially deadly, and Everly had no weapons, no line of defense except her nimble paws and speed. Her legs were tensed as she watched the flowing movements, but she didn't allow herself to get lost in the dance. “An old man?” she muttered to the spirit, but the voice seemed to have decided now was a good time to clam up.

Everly took a step forward without meaning to, calling over the rush of the waves against the cliffs below. “I don't know you.” It was a ridiculous thing to say and to prevent further idiocy Everly's mouth closed into a firm line. She hadn't even known she'd had any expectations until that moment, but she distinctly felt the emptiness which meant they'd been dashed.

(517 words)

POSTED: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:13 pm

OOC: Written to <a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFLMLHPVhaw' target='_blank'>Last Samurai - A Way of Life</a>

Einarr released his breath, allowing the anger to depart with it. The thrum of the sea and the feel of the spray became his world. Muscles moved, limbs glided and each form flowed like river water over its bed. He was at peace, there was no thoughts of past or future, just the feel of the wood and the pleasant ache of well worked muscle.

”I don’t know you.”

So focused was the grizzled optime that he thought the voice was merely a memory escaping, but seeing the form from the corner of his eye, he spun and came to rest facing the intruder, the staff held defensively between the two of them. Seamlessly adjusting his stance, he assessed the stranger, and the calm shell around him shattered….

The snow fell heavily, more heavily than he could ever remember, or perhaps he was just more aware of it today. The air was so cold it made him sneeze, which jarred with the image of a rugged warrior. What fighter kept sneezing? He heard her laugh then and he turned to face the wolf that would dare mock him.

”With such a ferocious killer in our ranks how can we lose?”

He smiled, his grin broad and genuine, his eyes lighting up, even now, at times like these, Everly could make him smile.

”Mum told me to give you this…to help with the sneezing. If you keep it up you’ll give us all away.”

Everly held a cloak, it smelt like family, spices and home. He took the proffered garment, and as he placed it over his shoulders, he saw the bow she wore, and the reality of their situation came crashing down on him again. He bent and picked up the spear from where he had dropped it. The weapon looked awkward in the mottled grey figure’s grasp, and he looked uncomfortable holding it. He took a step towards his sister, the movement was graceful, the cloak snapping in the wind.

”Since it’s going to be a hectic day, I’m going to be sentimental, and I’m allowed to be over dramatic, storyteller remember?”

He stepped forward again and hugged her, drinking in her scent, feeling the warmth of his littermate.

”I love you, a little trite but true, and whatever happens today, if…well if anything happens I just wanted you to know that. The thought of you, mum or dad getting hurt, scares me more than anything else.

There was a brief pause before his sister replied.

”"Easy on the soppiness, tough guy.”

She didn’t pull away from the embrace.

”But I love you too.”

He nodded silently before continuing, apology in his eyes.

”I’m really sorry.”

Without another word he smacked her across the side of the head with the spear shaft, her body went limp, but he did not allow her to fall. He lifted her into his arms and walked to a tree. Leaning the unconscious form of his sister against the trunk, he cut her bowstring and squeezed her hand, then standing he unfastened the cloak and placed it over her.

”We know we’ve lost, you’re, and I’m going to take care of you the only way I that’s left to me.”

With that he turned and walked into the snow.


Einarr lowered the staff and leaned upon it, only half feigning the need for its support. His breathing was fast and shallow and his grip tightened around the wood, no punch had ever floored him so completely. Questions and exclamations sprang into his mind, all of them to insistent and becoming jumbled in his throat. His heart felt as though it would explode, joy, relief and a terrible shame gripped him all at once. Before him stood the one wolf he thought to never see again, he burned to reach out and touch her, to see if she was truly real, but years of training alone, stopped him. His scent was mostly masked by spray, and his body was a great deal different from the last time they had spoken, indeed so was his spirit and mind. If she recognised him would she be ashamed? She had lost her brother and standing before her was a shell, a wolf who had committed uncounted atrocities. The silence had lasted too long, he made his decision. Doing his best to hold back his heaving chest and maintain the even speech, he allowed his appearance of utter reliance on the staff not to waver, he must have looked so wretched, an old wolf who clung desperately to vitality with physical practise his body could barely cope with, or at least that’s the image he tried to project.

”I…am sorry….You startled me…I am Einarr….”

He lowered his head, so that she could not gaze into his eyes, and as he spoke the next words his throat almost closed.

”Who are you?”

His voice was deep, the words carefully chosen, but the tone was flat, with no accent or hint at his thoughts or feelings, it had never been so hard to maintain as now.

POSTED: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:28 pm

OOC: Lol Ev's just going to be a total cow now. Pooooor Einy D:

IC:
There was the faintest taste of familiarity, as fine and as difficult to grasp as the spray leaping from the waves, in the movement of the staff around the tall male's scarred body. The movement was enough to make the Skyfall woman bite her lip but not enough for her to know why. The distant memory of her brother's spear whipping towards her was buried beneath the lemon eyed wolf's deflation and didn't come to mind.

Everly's eyebrows knitted together as the warrior's dance came to an abrupt stop. She saw no recognition there, perhaps because she wasn't really looking for anything. Nobody had made Everly any promises regarding this folly of a journey, nor could she actually identify what it was she'd been hoping to find. She just knew this wasn't it.

Enough of the younger Skyfall girl remained for her to be relatively respectful to the wolf she believed to be her elder, with a downcast gaze and a mild “I'm sorry. I'm Everly, of AniWaya, further south. You won't know me.” She had to bite her lip a second time a moment later, a feeble attempt at shooing away the irritable sarasm which was trying to come out. Sarcasm won.

“Is exercising on a cliff such a good idea if you didn't spot me coming? I'm not the stealthiest wolf around.”

POSTED: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:11 pm

Everly, it was Everly. For the first time in what seemed like an eternity his heart awakened, freed from its stony tomb, and it hurt. The pain and joy of seeing her were worse than any physical wound. Part of him, the part governed by his heart wanted to throw himself forward and embrace her, to hold her tight and make sure she would never be able to let go. Here was his family, his true family and the last remaining vestige of a time when he had been utterly and totally happy. The other part of him though, the stronger part did not wish Everly to recognise him, it only wanted her to remember a brother who loved her dearly and who had been lost, not one prematurely aged by conflict and hardened by blood and battle. His curiosity ached to ask after the rest of their pack, their siblings, their parents, but once again this was kept in check. The grizzled male reached a hand slowly to his chest as another gust of sea breeze whipped his grey and white mane around him. He remained on the ground, but adjusted his position so that he sat more comfortably, to reveal his true height may give away more clues than he cared to. So he leaned upon his staff and examined her familiar form. His ears twitched as she spoke, and he looked over to the cliff’s edge and then back again.

”Did your parents not teach you to respect your elders?”

He said, his tone emotionless, giving no hint of his thoughts or feelings away, but perhaps if he could steer the conversation to parents, then he might find out more without revealing himself. He flexed his free hand, as though exorcising arthritis, he hated to lie, but he dared not tell the truth, he was a coward after all.

”This place is beautiful, calming.”

He shrugged, Everly could not know that he’d not revealed so much of his thoughts to anyone else in a long time.

”I choose to practise here, should someone wish to sneak up and take my life, then it is not a terrible place to die.”

He huffed, flashing a quick look at those lemon eyes.

”Well Everly of AniWaya, what can I do for you? Or did you merely come to startle me out of my training and point out the stupidity of practising upon a cliff’s edge?”

POSTED: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:37 pm

It was peculiar how the very same elements – wind and water – could produce such different effects. Back in the haven of AniWaya the hurricane had been merciful to Everly but ruthless to others in the tribe. Every thunder crack had been the gnashing of some colossal beast's teeth; every gust of wind had been aiming to knock someone off their feet. Up on the cliff the breeze was more mischeivous than spiteful and the sea spray could barely touch. The waves were playing some sort of game with the rocks, the salty breeze was trying to lure Everly's hair into a dance, but Everly herself didn't join in.

The woman's arms crossed defensively, hopefully covering a twinge of guilt as well as her chest. “I've found that the wisdom of family can't always be counted on – but yes, they did.” While the large male's voice was almost without tone, Everly's seemed to be steadily infused with more emotion. “They also taught me how to watch them die, so I think it's quite unlikely that they'll be telling me off.” Her head gave a quick bob. “Even so, I apologise for startling you and forgetting my manners.”

The cliff top was cool but a shot of unfathomable warmth rushed through Everly when she looked past the greying mane and muzzle to the man's eyes, like polished gold. Her shoulders stiffened as she remembered how she'd ended up so far from her new home, stood above the water with a stranger who didn't seem quite as strange as a true stranger should. She shrugged it off – literally – and chose to divulge only part of her story. “I was sent here. I was supposed to find something.” If only Everly could work out what that thing was.

(303 words)

POSTED: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:30 pm

Their gaze had only been brief, but Einarr knew he had stopped breathing while their eyes locked. Doing his best not to look away, and reveal how her lemon coloured eyes had unnerved him, he looked down. He could not stay here, she had not recognised him yet, but she was no fool, and it was only fortune, good or ill, that had stopped her from recognising him so far. It had been such a long time though, and he had spent so many nights dreaming about his family, but what could he offer her now, there was no love left in him, just blood and darkness, and how he must look. Shame filled him again, and he hated himself, and for a moment her, for making him feel like such a fool. So many years of training to deal with the flood of emotions, and it threatened to all be for naught if he lingered here. His arm came up, and for a horrifying moment he thought he might touch her, but instead he banged the staff upon the ground, pretending to haul himself upright.

”We all die.”

He said somewhat unsympathetically.

”A teacher of mine told me once, we are born alone and we die the same way.”

He moved to get passed her, it brought them tantalisingly close, and a part of him begged him to throw his arms around her and never to let her go, but he was far too disciplined for such an egregious show of love.

”There is no need to apologise, I should not have been so focused, and I hope that you find what you are searching for.”

With those words he was passed her and standing on her other side, his escape route clear.

”I must return to my pack, it was a pleasure meeting you.”

The tone was neutral and even, the words carefully chosen, she would never know how much of a painful pleasure it had been.

POSTED: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:28 am

Everly couldn't help the flinch which ran through her as the staff collided with the ground. Whether the scarred male had wanted to start a small earthquake or simply pay her back for startling him before, the healer didn't know – but for a moment she felt like a girl again. A small and meek child receiving a scolding from an older relative. Had Everly been able to see through that child's eyes, she might have seen more than she'd bargained for.

Her arms dropped to her sides, the feather bracelet around her right wrist fluttering for a second. Ev's slim body turned to let the taller – much taller, actually – wolf pass, although there was no need in a place as open as this one. Her mouth dropped open, prepared to respond to Einarr's parting words, but a second later her gaze dropped too. The warrior's tone was more neutral than harsh but it still made Everly feel a pang of guilt for her words and actions. She hadn't been a very good representative of her pack or her family – even if they were all dead or would die in time.

The sea breeze blew the scent towards her only after the grey streaked wolf had passed by. Everly whipped round, nostrils flared – or she thought she did. In fact, she'd been stood stock still for at least a minute or two, and when her kestrel like eyes searched for the dark figure she couldn't find him.

It wasn't until Everly was walking back to lower ground that the voice piped up. “Didn't do a very good job of that, girl. Try looking with more than your eyes next time.” Everly's lip curled defiantly, a sour voice emerging. “Thanks for the advice.”

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