Phoenix Maplewood i marvel at the stars / and feel my heart overflow
All Welcome  April 08, 2018, 09:11 AM
Larkspur
Lone Wolves

She didn't spend much time in the grove. After finally finding a bite to eat, she proceeded north. Once more, she crossed an open stretch of grassland only to find herself approaching a third forest, the largest so far. Larkspur stopped at its fringe, then looked to her left. She saw an uninviting swamp. To her right, there was a great stone face. Her eyes drifted forward again and she began to walk into the wood.

She hadn't slept since her arrival in the hollow, so Spur scouted out a safe spot to sleep and curled into a ball. She dreamed of finding a pet snail. She loved it very, very much but they—her parents and herself—were about to move on elsewhere and they urged her to leave the snail behind in his natural home. It broke Spur's heart to leave him. As the three wolves disembarked, she looked back to see a bunch of predators had gathered at the place where she'd released the snail...

Larkspur woke naturally, the dream fading into the ether. She tried to blink the gloom from her eyes but quickly discovered that the forest was dark. It was the middle of the night. And it was cold. She stood and took a few moments to stretch, her head tipped back to peer at the starry sky visible through the sparse treetops.
April 08, 2018, 03:31 PM
Aditya
Morningside
Comrade I
he slept fitfully that evening, the cold keeping him from entering any sort of true slumber. tossing and turning, the burly male finally heaved himself upright with a sigh, blinking groggily. no dreams had graced his mind tonight, merely flashes of things that could be, and he felt completely and utterly alone. dawn was out doing her own thing; he'd been sleeping solo for some days now.

with a long stretch, aditya exited the den and began to pace around, stiffening when he heard the soft rhythm of pawsteps nearby. he drew in a deep breath, not finding anything familiar in the scent that reached his nostrils, and trotted warily toward the source of the noise.

he soon came upon a young woman, looking at the sky, the stars reflected in her bright blue eyes. blinking, he made his presence known with a gentle bark and strode in that direction, coming to a halt in front of her. she didn't look at all like a threat--she was around indra's age, he reckoned--but his body remained tense, golden gaze leveled in inquisition.

"who are you?" adi asked, voice hoarse with fatigue. "you're standing on claimed land. what's your business here?"
April 08, 2018, 04:37 PM
Larkspur
Lone Wolves

She could see her own breath, a vapor that trailed skyward and dissipated. Spur watched it a moment, though her head whipped around when she heard footfalls coming this way through the forest. She instinctively crouched and tensed, ears splaying as a burly wolf materialized from the darkness and began barking questions at her.

It reminded her of her encounter in the hollow, though this stranger appeared to have justifiable cause for his irritation. Larkspur's blue eyes widened. "Claimed land...?" she echoed in genuine surprise, wondering how she could have missed something so crucial. "I didn't realize. I'm sorry. I have no business here. I'll leave."
April 08, 2018, 05:06 PM
Aditya
Morningside
Comrade I
she was quick to submit, something that shouldn't have surprised him but did. he had been thrown so many wild cards these last few moons that he didn't know what to really expect from the teekon wilds. this woman could have been a bloodthirsty intruder, for all he knew. hell, she could still be one, wrapped in the skin of innocence.

his soft heart, ever his downfall, thudded in his chest as he spoke again. "hey, hold on," he said softly, voice kind but firm. "don't go quite yet. what's your name? what brings you to these woods?"

this seemed to be a high-traffic area, possibly because of the refuge the maplewood offered in the midst of so much open, exposed ground. the thought of keeping its borders secure was something that kept him up many nights. luckily for them, they'd had only benign intruders. . .but what if something more sinister was to slip through the trees, one night?
April 08, 2018, 06:36 PM
Larkspur
Lone Wolves

Just like Tuathal, the brawny stranger quickly changed his tune, both his expression and voice softening. When he told her to hold on, she froze, ears sweeping tentatively forward. Her gaze soon followed, though she kept it slightly averted so it was even clearer that she wasn't a threat.

When prompted for information, Spur offered it up readily enough: "Larkspur Ostrega. I'm just passing through. I genuinely didn't realize this place was claimed. I can be on my way." But she remained still, sensing that he might not find her answers particularly satisfactory.
April 10, 2018, 12:30 PM
Aditya
Morningside
Comrade I
he appreciated both her candor and submission, and dipped his head in greeting, eyes soft as he looked at her. the surname she offered wasn't familiar at all to him, so any benefit she may have reaped elsewhere was lost in this situation. nevertheless, he didn't mind--he'd only recently acquired a family name, and they'd never had much importance to him, anyway.

"nice to meet you, larkspur ostrega," he replied, tongue dancing delicately over the unfamiliar syllables. "my name is aditya. my family has only recently taken this land--our claim is not so strong yet." he gave her a level look, face set in gentle appraisal. "passing through? where are you headed, if i may ask?"

perhaps she could be persuaded to stay, if only for a little while. it would be nice to have someone else in the woods, besides himself.
April 12, 2018, 11:50 AM
Larkspur
Lone Wolves

Just as she suspected, he wanted to pursue a conversation now. Although Spur hated small talk, she managed patience. Now that she needn't hasten out of his way, there was no particular reason to hurry, nor was there anyplace she needed to be.

She said as much: "I'm not headed anywhere. I've just returned here after more than a year. I was born in the area," Larkspur explained. "I've been living the life of a nomad a while and wanted to revisit my birthplace: Lost Creek Hollow." As she mentioned the name, Spur glanced off toward the south to indicate the direction.
April 12, 2018, 10:35 PM
Aditya
Morningside
Comrade I
"can't say i'm familiar with the place," aditya said, giving the girl a rueful smile. "i'm still getting used to the new surroundings."  he followed her gaze--to the south, toward where he understood easthollow to be. he'd need to explore there, and soon. remembering his manners in time, he dipped his muzzle and added, "welcome back."

he regarded the ostrega for a short moment, the two of them standing in silence, the hoot of an owl in the trees and the rustle of wind through the branches the soundtrack to this starry night. finally, he said, "i was a nomad for a while. most of my life, actually. are you thinking of settling down, soon?"

aditya felt an instant connection toward larkspur, simply by virtue of her lifestyle. to move from place to place, never settling anywhere for more than a short time--that had been his existence for so long, and it was easy to imagine getting sucked into it once more. indeed, he sometimes wished he could embark on that journey himself. . .but he was anchored here, now.
April 13, 2018, 10:20 AM
Larkspur
Lone Wolves

He confessed to a lack of familiarity with her birthplace, then welcomed her back, a cordiality that caused Spur's eyes to skirt over his face in slight surprise. A word or two of gratitude sprang to her tongue, though she slowly closed her teeth and let Aditya finish. He was a kindred spirit, though somewhere along the way, he'd decided to settle down and establish some roots. He wondered if she planned to do the same?

After a moment's pause, Larkspur shook her head. "No, I don't." The solitary, roaming life suited her, even if it was hard to subsist without the support of a pack. As she didn't deign to find a mate or start a family, there was no compelling reason to stop her wandering paws. "I like wandering. I was actually a homebody back in the day, so I'm making up for lost time," she quipped with a soft smile.

Curiosity drove her to query—over a second quiet hoot"What made you decide to stop and settle down?"
April 15, 2018, 02:56 PM
Aditya
Morningside
Comrade I
he couldn't blame her in the least, for wanting to continue her nomadic lifestyle. wouldn't he have done the same, had he not been tossed into the sea? the life he had led had worked for him for seasons; he'd still be in the south, like a leaf on the wind, floating from place to place with nothing to be said for what he'd done.

then again, that seemed dreadful. his time with morningside had been so happy, for the most part, and fulfilling. he had a mate, a family, a home. in the end, it outweighed the pleasures of being a wanderer, and that helped him answer larkspur's question.

"i didn't really have a choice," he explained. "i was injured, and needed a place to stay. my pack took me in. i thought maybe i'd only stay through the winter. . .but i got attached. so here i am." he didn't really want to spill his life story to a girl he barely knew, so he left it at that, golden eyes glowing in the dim light as he stared at her.
April 16, 2018, 08:44 AM
Larkspur
Lone Wolves

She could relate, of course, having spent many months in the care of her mother's pack as she recovered from her own injuries. Larkspur had loved them, just as she loved her parents and brothers, and she might have even stayed put until the end of time. But then the second litter had come along... Spur sighed inwardly at the recollection. But it had been for the best. The arrival of her parents' newest children had given her the push she needed to finally find her own wings. When she'd leaped from the nest that time, she'd soared, and had been doing so ever since.

"Well, Aditya, it sounds like you've found a good life here," Larkspur acknowledged with a small smile, "and I'll let you get back to it it. I'll be on my way now." She bowed her head, still grateful that he hadn't torn out her throat or done any other damage upon discovering her trespassing, and for his hospitality thereafter. "Take care." With one last bob of her head, the sandy she-wolf turned and began loping back toward the edge of the dark woods.
April 16, 2018, 09:29 PM
Aditya
Morningside
Comrade I
well, that certainly was anti-climactic. still, he'd had worse interactions. "take care, larkspur," he murmured to her, then watched her walk away, a silent sentry in the woods. when he was sure the girl was completely gone, he turned back to where he'd been sleeping, stifling a yawn as he did so.

he curled up and tried to sleep, but soon found that slumber evaded him, thoughts of his own adventures whirling merrily through his mind. with a sigh, he stood again, beginning to circle the perimeter of the maplewood. perhaps as his paws grew weary, his brain would, too.

his silent musings were occupied by the girl, so young and carefree, alone in this world. he felt a moment's pity for her--but it died almost as soon as it bloomed. after all, to be alone didn't necessarily mean to be lonely.

still, aditya would have liked another recruit for morningside. alas.