Title: O Brother Where Art Thou?
Description: Leaves Nobody but the Baby...
Ashen - March 7, 2005 11:44 PM (GMT)
Rik road easily upon the broad head of the mottled-gray wolf as he pounded his way over earth and sod. The mottled brown-and-white ermine kept her balance with her black-tipped tail wrapped around one of his thickly furred ears and both hand-like forepaws dug firmly into the fur of his crown. She hunked down lower, trying to absorb heat from his body as the chilly autumnal air rushed over her.
It was just as well she was so accustomed to riding in this manner, for the frenzied brute wasn't about to stop for anything. His nostrils flared as his lungs pumped and the air blew from him like bellows. Torcian. Even after so many seasons, he could not forget that familiar scent. Many leagues already had he thundered, oblivious to thirst or fatigue and only muttered fragments of words escaping his foamed jaws. His tongue bobbed up and down with each stride as he panted, and the whites of his eyes were beginning to show as the mania gripped him.
Rik clung to him for a few strides longer and then decided to take matters into her own paws. Writhing her sinewous body around on his head, she bit deeply into the ear by which her tail gripped him. The pain from an unexpected quarter came so suddenly that Ashen yipped and threw both powerful forepaws straight out before him in a skidding stop. Clods of dirt flew before him and the unprepared weasle tumbled off his head to land with a thunk and an irate 'dook' upon the unforgiving ground.
As Ashen hung in head and tried to get his wind back, the ermine chattered and dooked as she wardanced furiously around him, her tail bristling in her annoyance.
"Churra-dook! Waddya mean, big-beast, runnin' like the billy-oh without a by-your-leave? Ye coulda killed me, you great lummux!"
"Aww, Rik, whydya hafta bite my ear?" Ashen asked as he ruefully tried to scratch at it with a hind paw. "That hurt."
"Norra as much as I would've hurt if you had thrown me off and trampled me. I dida what I hafta!" She froze as Ashen threw up his nose and took on the queer pose that always alerted her to possible prey, or danger. Like greased lightening she was back on his shoulder, peering over the top of her head and speaking in a quiet whisper, "Whaisit?"
"Torcian!" Ashen yelled aloud just before he took off again. Rik barely had time to get her footing before he tore off over the flat lands, driven almost mindless by the search for his brother. It did not even enter his mind to stop and howl as any wolf would do. Only to keep running... and to find him.
Keriki - March 8, 2005 04:47 AM (GMT)
Keriki sat with his chin rested on his small, brown paws. He was bored; certainly, it was shown in the way his coffee brown eyes swung from side to side as he watched the branch scrap against the ground. Yes, the branch had once again become tangled in his fur, but more firmly in his tail. This meaning he could raise and lower it with his tail. A good prop for a story he was ready to the wolves sometime that night. But for now, as he sat, running his mind over the memory of that happened. He had laughed joyously that night, for then, even in the circus, Keriki was good. But now, Keriki was a shade of what he had been since he first came to Timber Woods.
Then again, as Keriki blew a long piece of tangled hair from his face, stress hadn't been plastered upon his back. Now with Katsew on the loose, Keriki was worried. His walks had taken him some distance. And he always got lost on the way back. And yet he could always remember the turns he made from the starting point;
forward, right, forward, right, right, forward, right, sharp right, sharp right, left, forward, left, left, forward, left, and after that, Keriki was lost. Yet he did not know he was oblivious to the fact he was only four feet away from his starting point. He'd tried to map out what he did, but it made no sense. An arch is all he got, and he could not figure why.
But Keriki was pulled roughly from his thoughts as a shout rung out from far away. It called Torcian's name, but Keriki could not define whether it was threatening or a joyous shout. And so, Keriki took to his small feet, his long, knotted, toffee brown pelt swaying about him. It was his duty to save the Alpha, and with that thought, Keriki pushed out his wasted chest. At this moment, Keriki would've taken to his long legs and basically hovered about the ground until he reached Torcian, but then again, Keriki had no strength. His legs were thin; you could trace every bone in his hind legs, and some of the veins.
So Keriki simply walked. It wouldn't take long for a wolf to reach the borderline of Timber Woods and do what they wanted to Torcian and leave before Keriki arrived, but Keriki simply had no energy. He could not hunt, leaving him nothing but grass and water for his food. And most of the time he forgot to eat. With his branch tracing the steps of his wanderings, Keriki lead a wonky trail to the border. It felt like years, a small tree could pass by in a minute and every time Keriki raised his sinker of a head to see the path ahead, the journey lengthened. With grime covered paws dragging through the blackish brown dirt, Keriki toiled, everything about him seemed heavy and it was near impossible to keep his eyes open.
But finally, the excruciating walk was over. He had arrived at the border. Yet his job was only just started. Dragging his body, it seemed, Keriki rolled his head about his shoulders to try and ease the pain that flew through his body. ‘Who goes there?’ Keriki asked, his voice cracked as his tongue was dry, ‘I am Keriki, Sub Alpha of these lands! What do you want of my Alpha?’ he called, his strength slowly failing. Hurry up Torcian Keriki thought as he finally fell to the ground.
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Torcian - March 8, 2005 06:51 PM (GMT)
Sniffing the air idly Torcian sighed, agast. Normally his whelp would be by his side, trudging along at his feet nipping them occasionally until Torcian would hoist him onto his back happily, giving him a affectionate lick while doing so. But, young Kuri was not to be seen, growing greatly he was, now a fine wolf at the age of 7 months, soon to be 8. Dipping his crania sadly he rested himself down on his haunches, who had he left to talk to know on his now, lonely trips aronud the borders? Shrugging it off he directed his thoughts to happy ones, remebering his youthful days as a child, tagging along with his father on the border outings. A bad move some would say, how could he forget, his Ash, his brother. Sighing sorrowfully he swiped a paw across the grass gently, boredly, feeling the small blades sweep under his alabaster paw.
Life was grand, then, but it had seemed to change. His little Kuri, his apprentice, his mimic. His playful and proud Terran, and last but not least Keela, no more words for her than Torcian's little princess. A sister too two brothers, who both treated and cared for her well. He had no doubt that Terran and Kuri would do their best to help her in times of need. Raising himself proudly he refused to neglect his border duites. Raising his nose to the skies he sniffed the warm air, not a scent in sight, although he was quite a walk away.
Bringing his pad down onto the grass noisly he started to trek towards the wooded border, a merry tune in his steps. Ah t'was a fine day and he was not about to ruin it. Stopping abruptley as a mubled howl hit his auds he reclined his crania curiously, he didnt recognise the sound but the tone, the power or something. What, no who was it? Another pack member from the old T.W? Shaking his crown he dissagreed, it cant be, he would of recognsied it more, as well as the fact they would of came by now. Shrugging it of he decided the settle it on his hearing, he must of picked up the wrong note or something...yeah thats it.
Still as he walked on further some thoughts whirled his head, Dad?....No, hes dead, well at least I was told. Mother?....I saw her die, its immpossible... then it hit him, a family member, there was one left and that one, he was unsure of his death. Ashen! his mnid cried out. Of course! Bounding forward he lunged to make his steps more quicker, desperately, thundering paws as the striked the earth. Not a falter in his ever powerful steps, one of his most important strides. Thrusting his nose to the skies he inhaled deeply, a grin reprimised on his jowls, it was....it was Ashen!
Flinging his crown up he called out back to him, the howl she should of recognised properly. His brother, returned. As soon as he saw the looming object of Keriki he shook his crown happily, skiding to a hault. Although his orbs only had one wolf in them, Ashen. "Greetings brother....Long time no see." he grinend happily at him. Shaking his crown as if tellnig himself off he laughed before bounding forward, jumping up and down on his front paws joyfully. "Where have you been Ashen?....Its been so long!" He called out happily, his voice a meer whisper over his continous laughing. He didnt notice the little ermine perched upon his back.
Ashen - March 8, 2005 07:16 PM (GMT)
Surprised by the voice of another wolven in the desolate high grasses of the borderlands, Ashen's first impulse was that of aggression. The last time he had heard the voice of another wolf was over two thirds of his life ago- Torcian yelling at him to run and his mother screaming out her last, blood gargling her voice as their uncle tore her throat out.
He came to another of his screeching halts, the earth tearing itself up in the wake of the enormous brute. Head dropping and lips curling up in a snarl, he planted both forelegs broadly before him. Rik tunneled backwards as the fur on his hackles bristkled, and clung to his broad back, as far away from harm as she could be.
He hadn't heard the whole of Keriki's speech over the thrumming of his feet and the blowing from his lungs- but even if he had it was doubtful the full meaning of it would have filtered in through the veil of madness and forgetfullness the mottled-gray male had allowed fall around himself. He had heard only the challenge in the worlds, and had known only that they came from another varg- and was therefore dangerous.
He picked his way foreward, first a few feet- then a few feet more- his throat vibrating with the growl in his chest and his posture positively menacing. Finally he actually spotted Keriki's body partially laid out in the grass from his collapse. He pulled up once more, shock once again bringing the somewhat mad wolf to a standstill. Cautiously, he nosed Keriki, his posture having at once returned to normal- concerned and inquisitive. Sensing the threat had passed, Rik slid from his back and danced around Keriki, her shining black eyes examining the thin frame of the stranger.
A memory sparked in the back of her mind, and she recalled the winter in which Ashen had been sick and she had managed to nurse him, inspite of her diminutive size. She sad back on her hind limbs and touched Ashen's face with one of her forepaws. "Doncha worry, Messa gonna go get rabbit like I did for you, BigBeast. I be backa, yiss?" Before Ashen could object, she had wriggled through the underbrush, nearly invisible in her camoflauged coat.
Ashen lowered his large face to Keriki, saying softly and in broken Lupine, "You...be... good?" It was hard fort he brute to suddenly shift from the strange combination of mustilade and lupine he had been speaking with Rik since the two of them paired up.
He then heard the howl of Torcian as it flew across the plains. Ears whipping up and eyes wild, he immediately howled back, instinct winnnig over his forgetfullness. Flinging himself towards Torcian as he saw the black brute approaching, he threw his body against him and rapped his tail brisky in the lupine equivalent of a back-slapping reunion.
"Torcian. You are safe!" His sentences were still simple, but already the fluency in speech of his younger days was returning. "How did you get 'way? Where did you go?"
Reminding himself of Keriki, he turned to look over his shoulder. "Your friend sick." he said, akwardly. "Rik, my friend, go get prey."
Torcian - March 9, 2005 08:13 PM (GMT)
Grinning and snorting with happy laughter as he felt Ashen, few brutes that could match his size, fling his weight against him. Toppling over his feet a little to the right he steadied himself to feel the grey brujo's tail tappnig against him. Budging his brother back with his own weight, acting a little like a cub again, he took a friendly tug at his ear. Shaking his crown misbelieving as he gazed fondly over his mottled brother he snorted with happiness again before turning himself around to face him. Dropping his almond coloured orbs on the brujo he smiled contently, it would be nice having Ashen around again, but was he gonig to stay? Pushing it to the back of his mind he decided he would ask of it later, first he had to welcome his brother.
As he heard him speak he grinned, noding. "Aye, I am Ashen, and grow well have I. You see these lands? I own them all, just I spit them to sections and allowed a wolf to rule over. More to the point...How did you make it out?" He questioned curiously, shuddering slightly as he relived the brutal memories of his youth. The panic, the destruction; the pain. All down to Bane, his so called Uncle. Resting himself down on his haunches he listened to his long lost brother speak, a lot had to be said and questioned. "I travelled as a kerl for many seasons, a year to be exact. At 3, Luna and Storm blessed me with this. Northern Boundaries, I have resided here since....But aye, enough of that Ashen. I must welcome you; welcome you to your new home if you care to accept it." Torcian grinned, although anticipation was in his voice, what if he didnt say, would he lose him again?
As he waited for his response he thought of what he had to show Ashen, his family. How glad would Kuri, Terran and Keela be, they had a uncle now. "Ash, I have something important to tell you...and show at that." he grinned excitedly. "Since we departed I have found a mate, Maya. Also, you are a Uncle Ashen, an uncle!" He boomed happily, taking a friendly swipe as the grey male. "Not jsut an Uncle to one though...3! Kuri, Terran and Keela." he grinned contently, sighing as he thought of their first meeting. Scanning his orbs excitedly over his brothers face he waited for an emotion, although unsure whether it would be a good one.
When Ashen spoke of Keriki he turned his gaze down to him, of course he ahd forgotten. Widening his eyes startled he watched the brujo laying on the floor. "What happened Ash?..." he questioned, walking over to Keriki. Nudging him with his nsoe he waited for a response, a gurgle anything. Then the rest of Ashen's words kicked in, "Rix?....Whos Rix?" Torcian questioned, was this wolf, well he presumed it was, a friend of his or a mate? Turning his gaze on Ashen he raising his nose to the skies he scented for another wolf, I cant smell one...maybe the wolf is at a distance. He shruged turning down to Keriki.
Keriki - March 10, 2005 04:37 AM (GMT)
'Nothing's wrong,' Keriki lied, wagging his tail slightly to show. But the weight of his branch stopped him for doing this for as long as intended. 'I'm fine, I just came here to check out the wolf.. And well yes, I seemed to have fallen,' he continued, hoisting his small brown body up with some difficulty. 'I was just seeing how he'd react to a fallen comrade.. I see he reacted well' Keriki rasped on, his voice hoarse. Dropping to his haunches with a relieved sight, Keriki watched the two wolves at play. Brothers, Keriki had always wished he had a brother. Maybe a sister. Something. But the closest Keriki had been to a brother was Kitsaw, and Torcian considered him as a brother.
The weight upon Keriki's wasted legs was almost unbearable and the world seemed to spin. Dark lips closing firmly, coffee brown eyes dilating, Keriki felt as if he were sick. Turning slowly, he watched the wolves, trying to calm his desire to gag. This of course, made it worse. The fast actions of Torcian and his brother, Ashen were blurs against Keriki's sore eyes and he could feel his mind reeling. With some courage, Keriki opened his mouth to speak. His mouth opened and closed several times but all Keriki managed to do was gasp. For to his mouth was a bad taste.
Cheeks bulging, Keriki fled as fast as his sore legs could carry him, and ran to a nearby bush. With a heave, Keriki managed to bring up nothing, only the feeling of being sick stuck with him and he continued to heave. There was nothing to bring up though, he had not eaten for a while, and whatever remained of it was deposited a while before this time. Though still Keriki gagged, the burning feeling of vile coming up his throat, making him gag more than ever. The yellow substance rushed for freedom, and Keriki was more sick at the sight of it.
o0c||Can't be bothered doing statistics at the moment. All I know is that it is short! Anyway, sorry if I got a bit descriptive with the last paragraph, I needed something to write||
Ashen - March 11, 2005 05:14 AM (GMT)
The word 'Uncle' caught Ashen off-guard. Despite the joyful tidings his brother had given him, the grey brute had a difficult time disentangling the word from the image of hatred and cruelty it brought with it. For a moment, a shadow passed over his eyes, and a haunted expression eclipsed his face.
In the next instant he had shaken it off. It had been so long since he had used proper lupine speech, that sometime the broader meaning of words took some time to seperate themselves from his associations. Slowly, like a sunrise breaking over the hills, Ashen grinned.
"Of course I will stay, Torcian. I will try to be a far, far better Uncle than... than we remember." Now that the initial excitement was over, he was speaking more slowly and with great care. It may have been his addled wits that saved him from despair in the bleak days, but he naturally wanted to appear alert in his long-lost brother's eyes. "I can not wait to meet your pups, and your mate! I have not seen another wolf since that day, Torcian." He looked aside, bashful somehow about admitting his life as being half-lived at best. No mate, no friends, no pack, no land, nothing to tell. It was all a blur- at least until he had found Rik. "You were the last one I saw, and the first I see again."
He looked to Keriki, and then glanced in the distance, looking for tell-tale signs of his traveling companion on her return. Ermine are actually more efficient hunters than wolves, if you consider the kill/fail ratio. Of course the prey was smaller- but when that determined little weasle put her mind to something, she usually managed to get her way in short order.
Ashen was relieved when he saw Keriki attempt to rise, and heard him speak. Even the eccentric loner didn't believe the sub-alpha's story, however, so it was with even greater satisfaction that he finally saw ripples in the grass that showed the progress of Rik on her way back. She had found the den of a fat doe and her buck not far away, and had actually gone down the hole in search of her quarry. She preferred to take her prey in the open, with a surprise bite to the back of the neck- but desperate times call for desperate measures.
She bunched her long body around her kill, and then shot backwards, using the momentum to drag the fat rabbit towards the wolves. Over and over she repeated the maneuver, making the odd ripples in the long grass as she did so. She finally hit open ground and dragged the kill the last few feet to Keriki's nose in full view of Torcian and Ashen. Dropping it at least one of her own length's away from the famished wolf, she zipped hastily back onto Ashen's back. She did not fear Ashen, but the young ermine was unsure of so many other large preditors.
"Torcian," said Ashen, after an akward pause. "This is my friend, Rik." For the first time, Ashen felt shy. What sort of wolf took companionship of a weasle?
"Youssa eat now, Strange-Wolf. Youssabout as skinny as Rik." The little ermine said in a half comanding, half convincing tone from her safe-zone on Ashen's broad back. The wolf smiled, amused by her words. A weasle she was, but one couldn't help admiring her spirit.
Torcian - March 13, 2005 06:54 PM (GMT)
As he watched his brother with curious intrest he waited politely for his response, although inside he was leaping about with hyperness. As he saw a grin appear on his grey muzzle he dropped his crown to Ashen's nose and nudged it happily, a grin now planted upon his muzzle. "Im sure you will Ashen...Well lets face it, its not hard to be a better uncle now is it?" He nodded, not allowing his 'uncle' Bane to dappen the mood. He has had reports that Bane is alive but he wouldnt trouble Ashen with it, not yet. Nodding excitedly at Ashen, "I cant wait till you meet them either! Kuri is going to be extatic! Im sure Maya will love to meet you also." He grinned, sniffing the air for them, although he didnt know why.
"Aye, me aswell when I was a kerl. Then I found this land.....Then I am blessed with you Ashen." He grinned, nudging his brothers shoulder with his own. He was so glad to see him again, after all that time, he thought he was dead. "So, what about this Rix? Who is she?" He asked, completely unaware of the circumstances and suspecting it was a wolf. Dipping his nose to the ground he again sniffed for a wolven scent, none other was recognisable to him. Maybe she hasnt come to the borders with him, maybe she stayed as a kerl. Shrugging eh turned to Keriki, who was know running off behind a tree.
Turning back to Ashen as he heard him speak he gazed around, "Ah Rix....Nice to see yo -" He was cut short when he couldnt actually see any wolf. Turning to Ashen curiously he gazed at him weirdly, was he just imagining it. As the scent of a prey reached his nares he gazed down, a ermine? Licking his lips and preparing himself for a short pounce he withdrawed confused as he saw the female weazel jump on Ashens back. It was only then that it hit him, "Is that Rix?" He questioned confused.
Maya - March 13, 2005 07:36 PM (GMT)
ooc: you can delete that other one...and I'm posting with Keela because I don't feel like switching acconts.
ic: Bored, bored, bored, bored. That was all that she could think about. She didn't know where her brothers were, or where her parents were. Kuri had been wandering around, but she didn't know exactly where. Terran had been with her and her parents and the sub alpha femme when they'd been hunting. Keela had just decided to snatch the rabbit she'd watched her mother catch and be off with it. It was very good and she liked it a lot. But...the fur wasn't so hot and it got stuck in her teeth. It had taken her forever to get it out. And then she'd run into a tree, which had seriously injured her nose. How did one run into a tree some might wonder. But she had, and seriously, she didn’t know how she walked into a tree.
Keela hadn't been back to the Borders since Mazrim had shown them his pups. Then she'd gotten into the fight with the female, whatever her name was, and she didn't really want to remember that. That fight was one of the reasons she'd decided to become part of the rogues. That wasn’t the best idea in world and she was incredibly glad that she was back home with her mother and father and everyone else. This was also the place where she grew up, even if she hadn’t wanted to. The rogues didn’t expect her to stay loyal, they just expected her to stay there. But the stupid rogues hadn’t fed her either. When she came home she was insanely skinny and anemic.
She definitely wasn’t now. She was nicely rounded and smooth. She was having fun and being cool. Turning around another tree, making sure not to bump into this one, she spotted her father. And some...gray...brujo. Who was that? I’ve never heard Papa speak of family...But I know I have a great uncle...Maybe this is him...But wouldn’t he be older? the young white-wolf’s mind ran but she wasn’t quite sure why. Shrugging, she proceeded to walk out of the foliage and walk over to her father. “Hi Papa...” she rubbed up against his side with her head and looked at male. “Hi! I’m Keela!” She looked at the white thing on the wolf’s back and her chocolate eyes grew wide. “What’s that?”