Stone Circle Cry Me A River
All Welcome  November 19, 2016, 01:14 AM
Approved Members

Amber didn't know how she knew to stay close to their den in the birch forest that morning, but even when she went to take her morning pee, she only squatted awkwardly a couple yards away to release one of her many hormone-laced marks around the whelping den. The mouth of said den was always in sight, and though she paced an uncertain, confusing, irratic gaited path all around the area, the Ciel stayed close. Hell, she didn't even want to leave in search of a cache to feed herself from -- she was easy to wake her silver-furred mate in soft, strained demand of a meal at the rumblings of her stomach. He trotted groggily off to help his fairly confused mate -- likely lost himself at her odd behavior and early rising, as Amber was one to sleep in -- and Amber continued to pace about her whelping site, whining softly every few minutes out of the pure energy that coursed her veins. When he'd returned, the ebony girl thanked him with a soft, uncharacteristly pathetic whine and a bump of muzzles as she took it, slinking yards away before she ripped into the belly and frantically ate where she stood.

After the carcass was stripped -- honestly, she didn't know what it had been or what it'd tasted like, only somehow that she would need the nourishment for the day ahead -- the Ciel again paced. The faintest of contractions were started now, and any attempts of touch from her mate and anything else were warded of with a show of fangs and a viscious growl. It was abundantly clear what was going on right now, hopefully to those around her too, but it wasn't until an hour or two of her erratic behavior later that Amber slipped into the den.

Sprawling in the furthest corner of the den, Amber panted -- she stayed like that, straining and pushing and whining for a very long time. Part of her wanted to beg Day to her side, to press into his warmth and pretend that she wasn't in emmence pain. Was this all right? This was supposed to happen? By now she'd realized that the pups were coming, of course, but the first time mother suddenly very much wished @Spring was here to offer her wisdom. Should she call Belle and ask, perhaps request herbs to make this easier? A particularly violent contraction shut that idea down, as if lashing out for even consitering such a thing. Her younger sister, she'd have asked this of, but the strange woman she didn't like? Never. She might have been teaching Amber about herbs and healing, but it hadn't changed the fact that she didn't want the newcomer so much as in sight of her bundles of love and dreams. It was this other part of her that refused contact, refused words from even her mate. The raven-feather colored Ciel was a feral being this day, struggling and bleeding and willing to die for the most base instinct she had: reproduction. Even if she didn't already love the beings shed grown within her with every bit of her soul, her wiring as a wolf told her that this was what had to happen. 

Two hours had passed before the first lump finally fell free of her bleeding, stretched, and what Amber would call abused rump. A moan of both relief and pain echoed through the den, but Amber was swift to lean down and snatch the ivory blob gently, sending her wild sapphire eyes around the den for the millionth time that minute to ensure they were alone. Joy overtook her as the boy's face was revealed, but when he didn't cry worry set in. It wasn't until the chubby boy was between her paws and licked completely free of the filmy sac -- which the new mother instinctually swallowed for nutrients and cleanliness -- that she realized the warmth her body had provided was fading, and his chest did not rise and fall with life. Though large, he had been dead even before birth. A sob caught in her chest as she stared wistfully down at him, and for a numb moment the boy just lay there.

It was a contraction that finally drove Amber to push the snow-coated boy away from her almost another hour later, keeping him away from her but still within reach as she strained some more. This one didn't take nearly as long, maybe half an hour, but this time Amber paused to touch the bundle with her nose before even looking at the color.... This one was breathing! Whimpering softly in hope, she grabbed the little brown girl and cleaned her feverishly, working her gentle tongue against the fur to warm her up further, stimulate her -- but as much as she worked, this little one didn't cry either. Even ignoring contractions a half an hour later to nudge and bump the newborn into action, risking the safety of another pup, Amber ever so softly begged the little girl to move. Eventually, she had to make the decision to leave the girl be -- this one was nudged to a teat in hopes of survival, but Amber didn't get her wishes too high nor did the babe latch.

The next one slipped free effortlessly despite his size -- dully, Amber reached over and grabbed the dark boy. She cleaned him with less fervor than her first two, already fearing the worse, but when his face was free of the sac and a strong howl came from @Sunny Dagfinn Ansbjørn-Ciel, her heart soared. His breaths were strong, and he wiggled fiercely unlike his siblings. Cleaning him with gentle, passionate strokes, she nudged her eldest son to her belly to nurse. If all else failed, she had a beautiful baby boy.

In a longer hour of rest for the birthing mother, the brown female stopped breathing altogether -- she'd never latched on to nurse, barely moved, and didn't make a noise, but Amber felt the feeble breath leave her daughter and moved her to be next to her unnamed and also dead brother.

Reaching out to the snowy boy, Amber quickly -- with her sapphire eyes shut and chest tighening with grief -- stripped him of meat. Bones and all went down her throat without barely chewing. The only thing left of him in the next couple minutes was a skull she refused to look at until it no longer looked like her firstborn. Even then, she nudged it carefully behind her -- what she would do with it in the future, she didn't know, but any survivors would need every but of food she could give them. Each second that ticked by, Amber waited for her only strong pup to give up.

Before she could grab the cooling brown girl, more contractions gripped her. Too weak and tired to fight them at all, Amber pushed hard a few times before two final pups plopped out behind her -- identical smoke-furred twins. Two more girls. Gulping, she pulled them closer and set to cleaning them at the same time. Only one had a heartbeat, and once she realized the other didn't Amber set to cleaning the wiggling, squeaking potato that was Dawn Spring Ansbjørn-Ciel. After moving her daughter to suckle next to Sunny, Amber ate the remaining two stillborns. As with their brother, she made all but the skulls feed her living children, and even those had been stripped down to, well, the bone. Stretching out a single paw to dig at the earth in front of her, she stashed the three skulls in a safe place until a purpose could be found, covering them back over with the dirt and packing it down -- she would tell Day how many there had been, but not what she'd done with the dead.... He could think of that on his own, she was sure. She didn't really want to talk about it, but if pushed she'd never hide another thing from her mate.

Laying there panting for a good hour or two, Amber kept her sapphire gaze on Sunny and Dawn. Her two beautiful, perfect, wonderful gifts. Forgetting momentarily about the ones buried beside her (or in her), the new mother chuffed softly, eventually, to @Grayday, calling him into the den he was no doubt stalking and protecting. Like her, he likely ran on instinct right now. Her voice was soft as she called out, strained and cracked with sorrow but brimming with pride and happiness.

                                         "Day.... Come meet Sunny and Dawn. Our two wonderful, perfect children."
Slight PP of the pups, lemme know if anything isn't okay -- I did ask for permission to use Grayday how I did! This stretches from early morning (Of November 20th) into probably a little past noon, for reference of time and surroundings (and the fact that both parents are basically void from all other parts of the territory for the day). To Day: Feel free to notice the freshly-turned earth by her elbow and call her out on being a little bit of a freak ;)

No post order, since I assume it will only be the four of us, but anyone is welcome to try their luck and congratulate the new parents as well!
November 19, 2016, 01:14 PM
Approved Members

He was not a nervous wolf; most of the pack could attest to this. Perhaps the newer members would have trouble believing it, as he'd been nothing short of neuroitc since returning from the Hinterlands with Amber in tow, but it was nothing but a sickness that'd affected him in a very deep way. At his core, he was a level-headed man. He knew what needed to be done and he knew how to do it - the rest was in the claws and hooves of the Cat and Calf, and Day had no business worrying about it.

But he was worried, now. Day knew it was wrong, but somehow, he just couldn't bring himself to pray; couldn't get it out of his head that Althaia might've prayed to Him, too, and what'd that gotten her? Dead. Althaia was dead, and there was a good chance Amber and the kids could be going the same way. She'd pushed so hard on the trip here, and Day was terrified of what that could mean for his family. What it would do to him.

He was, indeed, pacing the mouth of the den, murmuring curses and endearments in equal force. He wanted to be there for Amber, but for the most part, he was there for himself. Cagey, he might've been described right then. Wild-eyed. A wreck.

And when Amber called for him, he almost just pretended he hadn't heard her. Had almost walked the other way. There was a vice around his heart and another on his lungs, and it felt like dying to hear those words. Like nothing he'd ever felt before. And then joy so fierce and true that it was almost sorrow ripped through his body, and sigh after shuddering sigh, Day regained his breath, his sanity.

"Okay," he said in a low voice, turning his head toward the den, but not his body. There was a part of him that was still very afraid to take this step. It'd started snowing, today - the first of the year - and the Alaskan couldn't help but take it as an omen. Winter had come, and now he had kids - or he would, if he walked into that den. "Okay."

Stronger, this time, and Day turned and ambled over, head down and ears back as he crawled into the mouth of the den. The thick, heavy smell of blood and birth assulted his nose, and he paused for a moment to lock eyes with the dark shadow that laid within. The glow of blue seemed to strengthen him, and eventually, he tore his eyes from hers and looked down at his cubs. One was lighter and one was darker, but both were unmistakeably his. Maybe it didn't even have to do with the color of their pelts - maybe it was something that Day just knew. Something he'd always know, even if he had gone away, only to run into them when they were grown.

"What - which one?" he asked, his voice rough. "Which one's which?"
November 19, 2016, 01:53 PM
Approved Members

Sunny and Dawn can jump in whenever! :D Welcome to the world babies!

Time was null and void in Amber's mind right now: Day might've stayed out there a heartbeat or an hour after she'd called, but the mother was too busy staring down with glossed eyes at her two. The memory of her other three burned in the back of her mind, and later it would take everything in her being to not break down and sob at what she'd done. Right now, however, the entire world and everything that made it up was focused on her beautiful dark blobs. She hadn't even noticed the first snow of the year until now, but this she took much different than Day. The Ciel took it as a blessing, an omen that beautiful things were coming with the change. 

Her sapphire eyes fell to Day as he crawled in and their eyes met for a long numb, almost fearful moment. Her face fell in the slighest from the faint smile she'd adopted, wondering if he knew -- could he know what she'd done? Should he? Would he be mad? -- and what he thought. When his voice sounded, hoarse and thick, Amber expected accusations, questions of why it had taken so long to birth just two, but he only asked which was which. A slight, baarely audible breath of relief flooded her, but in the moment she started to speak she'd decided to tell him, subtly, about the others. It wasn't fair to keep it from him, even if he did blame her for their deaths. She sure did: Spring was right, she shouldn't have gone. Or, rather, she should have gone earlier. She should have listened when told to go the short way, not to visit the shore. This was her fault.... 

                               "Sunny Dagfinn Ansborn-Ciel, the eldest.... survivor, is the darker, bigger boy with the light paws. Dawn Spring Ansborn-Ciel is the youngest little girl."

Her voice choked then, eyes flickering back to her knight in shining armor. Her ears slicked back, tail curling close to her flank and head lowering, somehow, underneath his. Light sobs shook her, but she made a strong effort not to move the babes too much.
                                                                   "D-Day, I'm sorry. N-Not all of them.... Lived.... Two w-were already gone, and th-the other, Dawn's twin, s-she just couldn't hold on... I-I'm so sorry. I couldn't.... I couldn't save them. I'm sorry, Grayday. I'm so, so sorry."
November 19, 2016, 07:16 PM

For the longest time be had been warm and surrounded by a fuzzy haze of peace. Then he was moving and tumbling, ripped from his safe haven and into the world. He plopped onto the ground, and squirmed as he struggled to free himself from the coldness of the outside and find that warmth again. Something gasped against his face and he let loose a very high pitched shriek of annoyance, lifting his blind face to the air. It was then that he was nosed against something soft and warm and he quieted down some his tiny nose poking around in the odd fuzzy thing. 

Suddenly he found something that smelled exquisitely good and made his belly burn with need. He latched his mouth onto it and tugged at it curiously, suckling gently and uttering a pleased squeak when he was rewarded with a sweet warm liquid that soothed his aching belly. He suckled eagerly, paws kneading the fur next to the teat as he ate.

Another presence was put next to him and he grunted softly pushing At the small body that was intruding on his meal time. He gave an aggravated sigh and went back to suckling for a while. When he was done he burped and pressed against the solid warmth of Amber. He lifted his head as he felt the vibration from ambers voice, and the feeling pleased him for some reason and he squirmed in response, squeaking and gurgling with delight.
November 26, 2016, 04:59 PM
Leader I
This particularly tender body, the smallest and weakest of the brood born half dead, had been the main source of strife throughout Amber's pregnancy. Nearly every sharp pain she had felt, every nudge of discomfort, and every sweep of sickness that had caused her to uncontrollably vomit behind the scenes, had been the fault of the youngest Ansbjørn-Ciel. She was a kicker, a thrasher; all squirmy and hateful towards anything that sought to suppress her. It wouldn't even be that big of a surprise to learn that she had kicked her own twin to death in-utero because she felt crowded -- though the true likeliness of this event was highly debatable.

There was a second of relief, when all those other bodies had exited the womb, leaving her with the space her body felt it deserved. But all such joy was wiped away with a severe pressure and then the brilliantly violent sensation of being born. The air was the most unpleasant thing about it, and as soon as her lungs adjusted to the cold strangle of using them for the first time, she squealed in displeasure and struggled to come to terms with what was happening.

She was the most still she had even been in this moment, shocked into stillness as a warmth began to bathe away all the unpleasantness clinging to her tiny body. She cried, her limbs stiff, paralyzed by the newness, realizing that she preferred the crowded womb to this strange and lonely activity that she overcoming her now. Soon she was shoveled in beside her brother, comforted finally by something she thought she knew, and she squirmed into his side, while her mouth began puckering instinctively for the milk-gorged teat looming somewhere around her scrunched face.

I only intended to write one goddamn paragraph >> wtf!
November 27, 2016, 01:26 AM
Approved Members

She lives!
He missed it at first - survivor. All Day heard was their names, with a lot of fancy stuff he didn't really care for, but names that sounded like his own family at the front. Sunny. Dawn. A pretty little girl and a good old boy - he loved them already. Loved their mother, too. There wasn't anyone Day didn't love right then.

And then Amber spoke again, and the world came crashing down around him. Three gone. Three dead. Another daughter and two unknowns - Day cast his gaze around as if they would suddenly appear, but he knew already what most mothers did with stillborns. He didn't ask.

"Were they boys or girls?" he asked, voice trembling. "What - what'd they look like?"

It didn't matter, he knew. They were gone, and nothing would ever bring them back. In his family they were rarely spoken of beyond the night they were born, but Day knew that his parents had named the ones they lost, and had mourned them in their own time, away from the rest of the pack. He'd hear them talk about it late into the night when they thought he and his siblings were asleep, and he'd never understood it until now.
November 27, 2016, 02:21 AM

Sunny had finished drinking the warm sweet life giving fluid and now found the suckling of his sister to be annoying. The milk was his, why was she drinking it? Though he was too young to put a title to this feeling he was already showing signs of jealousy and territorial behavior. He lightly headbutted her, squeaking in protest. Just as quickly as the annoyance came, it went and he was squirming toward the back of the cave, even though what he really meant to do was move closer to the warm furry wall that was next to him. 

Finding himself lost even though he had crawled a mere few inches he wailed loudly, crying out for the warm wall, and the sweet milk and the warmth of the squiggling body of his sister. Why had they disappeared? They left him! The feeling of loneliness (that again he couldnt name) caused his wails to rise in pitch and volume,