looking over my shoulder

POSTED: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:39 am

Just one other person please. :o

He really wasn't sure why he had waited so long. He had set out days ago, had started early in the morning and had traveled rather diligently for hours, even with a sore leg full of bruises. He had come close too, met the white wolf girl that had smelt like the pack and who had offered to accompany him the rest of the way. Part of him didn't want to hear Rachias restate her reasons for having decided to come here and abandon Inferni and another part of him was afraid he would just never leave if she managed to be convincing enough. Arkham loved his clan and the beach and the smell and sound of the ocean -- even where he was now where he could hear the rush of the Yawrah, it wasn't the same and he missed the sea.

The fog was creepy because he had never seen anything like it before; it crawled across the snow like... he didn't even know to describe it, but it crept over his head and suddenly he felt like he was lost in a cloud. A very cold and lonely cloud. Everything smelt like his father; it was obvious even though he hadn't caught sight of the mysterious man for weeks already. He seemed to have stopped coming by the beach as soon as his mother had left and even before, the hybrid had never lingered long in sight of his children. Arkham sat in the snow a short distance into the territories tired and feeling vaguely uncomfortable. This wasn't neutral lands anymore and even though Gabriel had told him that his father led this pack, if Laruku didn't care about his own kids enough to visit now and again, then why should anyone else in the pack care? He had yet to meet an unfriendly wolf, but he didn't want this to be the first time.

POSTED: Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:43 pm

indentThree days ago, he had been hunting in the moaning wood. The hide he had gathered from his process had suffered a few difficulties, but he had wound up with a small amount of leather—not enough to be used for much else then bags or small items. For that, he needed sinew and needles. It had taken him two days to find those objects in the city, and the male was making his way back home when that peculiar salty-sea smell caught his attention. It was Inferni (of this he had no doubt) but it was not his son, or the girl he had run into not all that long ago. Turning his trail, the red-eyed male went looking for the source.
indent Soon enough, he found the culprit. A small gray coyote, sitting in the cold. Moving through the snow, Ahren called out. “You looking for someone, kid?” While he was no longer involved in the politics of this place, he understood how things worked—and how one child was in more danger then he or she might even begin to guess.

POSTED: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:43 pm

Arkham had heard the approaching footsteps, soft and muffled as they were in the snow. It had been eeriely silent otherwise, as if the fog had the ability to not only mask the world around him, but also the sounds of birds in the trees and the rustling of smaller animals in the underbrush. He wasn't used to lots of forest in the first place, but even he knew there should have been more noise than that. Or maybe he was just so paranoid at someone jumping out at him that everything just seemed so much quieter to him. A side effect of being half-blinded probably, and the white mist only seemed to be thickening. He had tensed and stayed where he was, part of him hoped that maybe whoever it was would just pass by without noticing him, but when whoever it was finally came into view, he relaxed somewhat.

The voice was not threatening, but further, the man fit the description that his brother had given him as a safety net. You're Ahren, he said without preamble. The grey pup wagged his tail once, I'm looking for my sister Rachias. Pause. And maybe my dad. If he wasn't in a grinning mood.

POSTED: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:10 pm

indent The boy, with his red-bleeding-into-blue eyes, knew his name. A faint smile crossed over his face. Of course—Gabriel didn’t trust Laruku and had given him up as protection. It was smart of him, that clever boy. Even Ahren did not trust his red-eyed friend, not when he was showing his teeth and laughing through his eyes. The snow had compressed under his feet, leaving a trail behind him, masking the fact his once white fur had become dusty gray-brown with time. “I haven’t seen either today,” he said, one hand trailing to his pouch. “Though if you want we can look for them.” Putting the cigarette to his mouth, the wolf shrugged, striking flame.

POSTED: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:24 am

So you've met her? Is she doing okay? his voice came out a lot more anxious than he thought it would, but this brother's father clearly knew who he was talking about and so he must have seen her around before. How long had Rachias been gone already? Faolin and Gabriel had both said that she was probably alright and that their father probably wouldn't do anything to harm her, but both of them were back in Inferni and had not visited as far as he knew, so as assuring as all of their words were, it wasn't the same. Do you know my dad too? It would be another day full of questions it seemed; Arkham was always eager for answers, but most of the time he preferred finding out for himself. Sometimes, it was just so easy to ask though.

POSTED: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:42 am

indent Ahren laughed lightly, amused by the boy’s outburst. Clearly, Gabriel had gone to lengths to warn the children of their father. It was right that way, they should be aware of the grinning reaper that was as much a part of Laruku as the demon that lived in Ahren was. Brothers, lovers, sister, mother, father. They were all the same, even if the bodiless, amorphous creatures chose to inhabit these temporary and often malleable forms. “Your sister is fine,” the red eyed man said, that thin, odd smile on his face. “Whatever else your dad may be, I doubt he’ll hurt his own daughter.” If he did, Ahren would kill him where he stood. That was one crime he could not forgive. “He’s as well as he can be,” Ahren continued, tongue ring flashing in the gray light. “I’ve known him for years. He’s never been completely okay, but he’s not as bad as he has been.” He had been doing better, it seemed. Suicidal, depressed, dreaming of the end of days…but still trying, even though he didn’t know why. They all were, really.

POSTED: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:40 am

He sighed a little at the other's confirmation; it comforted him to hear it from Ahren more than it probably would coming from Rachias herself because she was prone to not understanding just how dangerous some things were sometimes. But while he was happy that his sister was fine and that a third person agreed that their father wasn't likely to harm his own child regardless of the "issues" he had going on, part of the grey pup almost wished that there was some more obvious danger that would convince Rachias to come home. Just enough to scare her back though because he really didn't want anything to happen to her.

How bad was he? he wondered, still staring up at his brother's father (what did that make the man to him? if anything?). And how come? All anyone had to offer were vague descriptions and blanks for reasons. He was dangerous. He had issues. He was sad. People didn't start out that way though, right? Why had he never been okay? Arkham knew that whatever explanation anyone could offer him would be secondhand information and only accurate to the degree they understood, but none of them were questions he actually wanted to ask his father, even if it was the "normal" version of the man. He was probably afraid.

POSTED: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:10 am

indent He hesitated. To fully explain what he knew about his friend would risk the terribly fine line of knowledge and ignorance, the truth that could break a relationship. Ahren did not want to set a boy against his father, not without reason. That compromised the truth of free will he believed in—and a social border that the red-eyed wolf did not want to cross. So he took his time, breathing in smoke, feeling the weight of it in his lungs, and watching the trail it left in the air. When he exhaled, his breath was mixed with that cancerous substance and his own soul.
indent Breathe in.
indent “He’s had problems. It happens to everyone,” he offered with a faint and unhappy smile. “He distances himself from people and shuts down. He’ll come around, though.” Eventually and I hope were kept from his tongue, caught on the cold metal that reminded him constantly of his own mistakes. Shrugging, the wolf regarded the boy curiously. “So what’s your name?”

POSTED: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:51 am

No one had ever told him that life would be easy, but knowing that it would be hard and unfair didn't make any less hard or unfair. And he found himself feeling a bit sorry for everyone, just because it seemed inevitable that something awful happen. He wondered what had happened to his father to make him dangerous and whether he'd really "come around." There were no absolutes in the world, no guaruntees, and even he who had yet to face any real hardships or tragedies already knew that. Ahren did not sound uncertain, but Arkham understood more than even he himself realized. And he wondered if either he or his sister or anyone else could help their father from whatever it was that haunted him. He wanted to.

Arkham Lykoi, he answered quietly, a little distracted now. Part of him wanted to find his father more than ever, but the other half was even more afraid. Then he looked up again, Hey, if you know my dad; does that mean you know my mom too? It seemed like a long shot, but his mother was already fading quickly in his memory and he didn't like that. And with so much on his mind right then, the obvious facts escapted him -- of course Ahren knew Kaena; how else could he have had children with her also? Arkham was perceptive, but he was still a kid.

POSTED: Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:51 pm

indent “Yes,” he said quietly, aware that he no longer felt anything. Kaena Lykoi was gone; she was not his lover, not his mate, not anything. They had inevitably left one another, as though realizing it was not meant to be. She was too much set in her ways and her hate; and he, being a wolf, did not support those ideals. It had been on friendly terms, and they had spoken after—once, when he had found his way back on a fluke, before everything had gone to hell.
indent The boy would have his father’s eyes. Ahren wasn’t sure if the world needed another man with eyes that color. “I’m sorry she left,” he offered, taking another drag on the cigarette. He had known that would come too. Ahren, too wise for his years, still able to sense and see things he could not explain, knew that. He had known all along.

POSTED: Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:14 am

He knew it wasn't right. Mothers weren't supposed to abandon their children so young and leave them for their older siblings and other family members to take care of, just as fathers weren't supposed to live miles away from them, isolated and labeled dangerous half the time. Everyone around him already accepted it as normal, but even though no one had ever told him so, he knew it wasn't right and no matter how frequent an occurance it came to be, it would never be right. I jes' wish I knew why, Arkham admitted and the words came out a lot easier than they might have a few weeks ago, Gabriel says she's left before n' come back, but that this time it's for good. I jes' wanna know why. Was it them? Was that a logical conclusion or was he just a little bit self-centered thinking that they were the reason for everything? But really, sometimes it really felt like no one wanted them.

Why did you leave? His eldest brother had also mentioned that his father had left and returned and it seemed like Arkham was collecting reasons from everyone. Faolin had been looking for her family, had been afraid of something; Rachias just wanted to find their father. And he knew too, that Gabriel had left for a reason, but he had never ventured to ask that one. He had a feeling it wasn't something he would understand just yet anyway. And maybe that was the nature of Ahren's reason as well, but it was too late to take it back now. Lots of people seem to leave, huh?

POSTED: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:47 am

indent Dysfunction was a way of life. They lived barbarically and had no time or patience for attempting to maintain a healthy family. Stretched thin, disconnected, they had always lived in those ways. He had known his father briefly, only until the moment they had become enemies. His mother was dead; forgotten long after her final stand against the evils of the world. Perhaps it was better that way. Ahren smiled sadly at the boy’s soft speech, though his eyes darkened momentarily at the question directed at himself.
indent Breathe out. “I left for my own reasons,” he said shortly, flicking one ear. His tone indicated he did not wish to pursue that path. “But yes, a lot of people leave. Sometimes they aren’t happy where they are, or they feel they have to. It happens,” he shrugged.

POSTED: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:25 am

Reasons. Everyone seemed to have their own, but none were willing to share. They were private things, he understood, but insight was hard to get and he felt better if he at least tried. But perhaps it was as that one-eyed grey wolf had said on the beach -- everyone left to discover themselves or something. And he would understand when it came to that. And yet, even now, the coyote pup had begun to question his own identity as a person, as a member of his own family, of Inferni, of this strange and curious society. Where was his place and how would he find it? Was it here with his sister and "issue"-ridden father or was it back near the ocean with the rest of his family that had either not wandered off to find themselves or who had done so and actually returned? Was he a big enough person to really choose? Was there a right or wrong answer?

Arkham sighed a little child's sigh. I guess so, he conceeded and stood up again to take a few steps forward. Do'ye know where my dad lives 'round here?

POSTED: Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:20 pm

indent It happened when you got older. Everything slowly began to fall into place and the answers would appear. That was something that Ahren knew, even though he had been blind to most of the answers in front of his face. But things like that happened too. Everything had a reason and everything could be explained. That didn’t happen most of the time, though. He knew that too. “You can find him that way,” he gestured as he spoke, taking his eyes off the boy very briefly before they returned. “And if you ever need to find me, I live over there.”
indent Security. That was what he had promised Gabriel.

POSTED: Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:10 am

Shifting blue-red eyes stared down in the direction the blonde man directed, imagining a dark cave where a monster resided. Shaking it away, he nodded, more to himself than anyone else. Okay, he said, then looked back up to the man once more, Thank you. And then he hobbled off without looking back, feeling a little better knowing there was backup near by in case he met the bad wolf in the foggy forest.

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