Bearclaw Valley and when we burst, start over, oh darling
Private  June 28, 2018, 08:01 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
@Tadec welcome too! <3

        she had settled with little reservation into the day-to-day of bearclaw valley. much to her delight, indra joined motherhood with her sister, and mona was delighted. two of her favorite creatures joined in the form of one small boy. she wanted to spend time with laurel and her brood, and hunt, and patrol — there was so much to do. 
        the girl found renewed purpose in fulfilling tasks around the valley, and today was no exception. in her muzzle, the firebird proudly carried a duck she had killed outside the borders; she made a red-legged beeline for indra's den. nathaniel remained a brand in her heart; she had not seen him since departing tindome last. true to form, the girl attempted not to think much of it.
        "@Indra?" the young mayfair murmured, after halting a polite distance away and dropping the duck to the ground. "i brought you uh, lunch." assuming, of course, the russet she-wolf even wanted food — mona was for the moment woefully unaware of how becoming the tap for a clusterfeeding newborn increased one's appetite to fevered levels.

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June 29, 2018, 12:20 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
bearing life was, ironically, a grim affair. everyone thinks of the joy, the love, the devotion a mother feels when they look upon the life they had made; but what of the pain? how can one look at the tiny thing that caused them so much grief, trouble, and agony, and look upon that face and love, unconditionally?

indra wrestled; the babe that sucked at her breasts had hurt her in ways she could not give breath nor words to. it had come and split her clean in half; it had blackened her womb and darkened her thoughts and leeched the life from its siblings. and yet, it suckled on -- singular and uncaring and selfishly tucked alone into the crook of her hips.

and then after, came the self-loathing, creeping insidiously after her like some choking vine that grew day by day. how could she hate something so innocent, that had not asked to be born? what was wrong with her that she could not look upon her own child with love, but looked to nunataq and marten and laurel's trio with undying devotion. what malign and dark god kept her that could give her such a callous detachment from a being that was, presently, unconditionally reliant on her to survive?

mona was a welcome distraction -- her quiet intrusion an eagerly needed respite for the tormented redleaf. indra had swept to her feet the moment she had heard footsteps outside, and tiredly she squinted into the brightness and saw a pair of autumnally red limbs. wriggling out from the tiny den (and leaving poor merrick alone) indra rose to meet her friend, a heavy depth of gratitude in her sunken gaze. "lunch sounds amazing, thank you.." she gushed, though in truth the redleaf woman had such little appetite these days which showed in the loose manner the skin hung off of her hips and the pallor that crept about her tired eyes.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 01, 2018, 02:11 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
        mona attempted not to stare at indra, pushing the kill to her companion with a small red paw and settling some small distance away. and yet her worry was palpable; her friend did not seem well, and nor did the scent of stale and tired nights reassure mona. however, she did not think that bearclaw was equipped with any well-versed in medical knowledge. 
        "y-you know, indra," the girl began, shifting her forefeet against the earth with her usual bevy of nervousness,  "i-i ... i mean, i could watch him for you? sometime. so you could ... get out? go hunting?" with no true idea of what it was to be so tethered to a small being, the mayfair was nevertheless resolute in her offer of help. indra's appearance spoke to her misery, and she had been kind to mona, therefore the little firebird wished to return the affability.
        and yet her ears cupped forward in apprehension; she was not sure how it felt to be so protective over young — or so she assumed — and so mona waited, a bit on edge, for how indra might take such a notion.

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July 03, 2018, 06:52 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
indra tried a smile in mona's direction, but the assembly of her visage seemed to fall flat - the worry that the red mayfair emanated was inescapable, and she felt a twinge of guilt for being in a sorry enough state to have evinced it. trying her best to smooth her composure, she gently took the offered bird. she thought herself beyond lucky to have bearclaw -- to have all of them -- and it caused a new pang of guilt to crawl into her heart and consume her.

mona was so gracious in her offer, and indra only looked at the ground and mumbled something incomprehensible. she hated herself, but she didn't hate merrick -- how could she explain that she wanted to run away and never leave at the same time? these clashing ideologies thrilled and executed her will at the same time; like a ship left rudderless, indra was sinking.

"that's really kind of you," she fumbled, looking at the dirt as she spoke -- because she couldn't bring herself to meet mona's kind gaze. "i don't think he's ready yet. i don't know. i don't know anything about this." it was a bald exclamation that, upon realizing she had made herself vulnerable, indra quickly supplanted: "i mean.. it'll get better. are you settling into bearclaw okay?"

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 06, 2018, 02:08 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
        unfurling with relief when indra took the bird, mona nevertheless swept her ruddy auds forward at the sussuration of the other. indra's emotions were tangible; the mayfair tasted them upon each of the new mother's soft tones. and, while the girl was aware she herself knew even less when it came to nurturing the young, mona smiled gently all the same.
        "i think you're doing a wonderful job, indra. please... please tell me if there is anything i can do," the mayfair purled, and then rolled her shoulders with contentment spreading across her features. "i ... i really like it here," the druid-child murmured shyly, and here her countenance adopted an expression of gratitude; it had been indra to suggest the valley, after all.

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July 07, 2018, 01:02 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
mona's gentle reassurance was enough to briefly stymie indra's daily demons; at least for now they were kept at an arm's length bay, where they snarled and paced visible in her mind's eye, but came no closer. it ate at indra's core that merrick had been the only surviving -- but he was alive now, and mona's offer to help grounded indra in a much-needed way. "thank you,"

happy that the conversation had shifted from her, to mona, indra settled. the flicker of appreciation in mona's gaze was not missed and the russet wolf smiled thinly - mona's presence in bearclaw was not something she took for granted, and she was a boon to the small pack in a way indra was not unaware of. with the two most long-standing wolves laid up by their children, the caches had dwindled - it was a good thing, she surmised, that they had mona and tadec to pick up their slack.

"i'm glad. it's been quiet, i think.. but it's better now. i think i like it this way, with only a few of us. it seems safer, somehow. do you miss tindome? have you met any of the others?"

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 24, 2018, 10:24 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
        mona had no true way of knowing how indra felt, but she suspected her friend might often be hungry and tired. unsure of how to cease the latter, the mayfair nevertheless took up this moment as one in which she decided she would fill the closer caches. tadec could relieve indra, and mona would bring her food. it was perfection, this plan she had created and then proceeded to cast off into the void.
        "no one yet," she rejoined, "but i think i'm going to go meet all the puppies next. maybe i could ... play with them. or hunt a little." a smile. "i like it better here than i did at tindome. everyone knowing one another — that's how i was raised."

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July 27, 2018, 03:17 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
it was good indra had mona's company then; it prevented her mind from drifting, and she settled her careful gaze on the delicate mayfair. like mona, indra liked bearclaw as it was, close, inclusive -- indra longed for the structure of a family she never had. perhaps this would be the closest thing to it, and she did not dislike it.

she realized there was much of mona she still did not know, and having the opportunity to explore this, quietly spoke up after nodding in agreement to the girl's affirmation. "it's family." the word was firm on her tongue, and the value of it heavily weighed. "will you tell me more -- about tindome, of what happened, and of your own family?"

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 31, 2018, 09:53 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
        her brow furrowed; mona sat with indra's inquiry for a moment, her gaze gathering a faraway look that soon gave way to a hardening around the edges of her lips; some firm tremble that lit her eyes with the barest tint of anger. "i ran away from my parents. they told me that my father was not my father, he was my older brother. and that my father was dead. my mother said he was a great witch, a true soul. i ran away and joined tindome."
        her words, up until now rote with a stilted melancholy, erupted into a bevy of sniffling. "i met nathaniel there. the, the uh man who i — he was older. i still don't know how i feel about that but i was happy to be ... uh, to be his."
        clearing the cobwebbing of tears from her voice, mona paused to dab at the wretched wet beneath her eyes with a crooked ankle. "and then i got this ... i was ... there was a big silver bird in the sky. and it ... i don't know how, but it bit me." her eyes beseeched indra to understand, to not immediately set aside the lunacy of what was being said. "when i woke up, i had a thing around my neck. it was there for a month; i saw the bird again, fell asleep, and the damn circle or whatever was gone." 
        a sigh eluded the grasping of mona's mannerly compunction. "tindome moved, nathaniel and i grew apart. i wanted to wander. i wanted always to travel. and then one day i did not go home. i came to you; i'd already left tindome long before i arrived in bearclaw." her features overlay briefly with a crone's harrowed expression; the girl dropped her gaze. "my brother, constantine, is here, the twin of the man who raised me, casmir. my mother's name is rowan mayfair. my fath — lasher. three older sisters; eilidh, and then the younger two, emaleth and deirdre." down she had fallen again into monochrome tonality; presently she blinked and worried her lip between the tips of her teeth. "i have a littlemate, cortland. i ... i don't know where he's gone. he's here, i mean, i just —"
        mona let out her breath in a long exhale. "well that's about ... it. i — i guess i'm just sort of pathetic, indra."

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August 20, 2018, 09:44 AM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
mona needn't have beseeched indra to listen without judgment, although at certain points of the mayfair's narrative her gaze swept up in knots of confusion, or she blinked and processed words that meant something significant to the auburn she-wolf, and very little to indra. she felt her stomach stir as the girl held back stifled tears; it did not sit well with the redleaf to see mona so distressed.

the collar - indra had not thought of it, admittedly, in months - nor had she thought of the packmate who also donned such an unfortunate circlet about her neck like a sinister torc.

at mona's lasts words indra glanced sharply upwards, her eyes narrowed in a defiant scowl. "you're not pathetic." she insisted, her ears swept back and a sigh hanging on her lips. "life is just hard. i do not know any of these names - other than the one you mentioned before, nathaniel. but i will hold them close in case i ever run across them, for you. do you have plans to find them?"

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
August 23, 2018, 04:01 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
        mona could have fair wept at indra's continued kindness to her. here wa a true friend, and one she was lucky to have. with a start, the young mayfair realized the russet leader was perhaps the first real companion of which she had ever been posessed. mona was thus resolute to make good on the gentle regard indra had given her. 
        "i was thinking perhaps you and i might take a trip. when merrick is older," she added. "it's been a while since i travelled, and i don't really want to go alone." the swampwater gaze lifted earnestly to indra — she knew it was a far-off plan, but that was why she had spoken now. it would be some time before they could depart, and with autumn soon to arrive, mona wondered if it was even prudent. however, she desired to extend the invitation anyway, with a gentle, shy smile.

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August 23, 2018, 08:41 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
the redleaf was still scowling, mostly to herself (at the mention of 'pathetic', a word she reserved for far lesser beings than mona, and even then used only in the scantest regard) -- yet her expression lifted at the change of subject. an earnest gleam seemed to have overtaken her autumnfire comrade, and indra studied her carefully (though not without unhidden interest herself).

it seemed she weighed her answer a while; it was not a reluctance that gave her pause, for the redleaf would have immensely enjoyed the feel of cool trails on her paws, or the experience of discovering a new previously unknown realm. it was a sense of duty that stayed her hand, but it did not extinguish the flicker of interest in her eyes. "i don't want you to go alone either; not that you are not capable, but because travels should always be done with good company." she looked upon mona with a slow blink, hardly able to conceal the smile that crept there: "so, where are we going?"

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
August 28, 2018, 09:42 PM
Mona
Bearclaw Valley
γ
        mona could not keep the pleasure from her countenance when indra's own brightened with a smile. "silver creek, where i was born." turning, the firebrand gestured vaguely to the sunspire mountains. "beyond that range is another land, and beyond that, more mountains. and over them is the hinterlands where the creek lies."
        it would be a long journey, perhaps even a fortnight even with two spry young wolves. but indra was willing and mona was excited to share something with her currently denbound companion. she would need a break from the little boy, but tadec was here, and so was the rest of bearclaw. more than likely, however, it would wait until the following spring or summer. 
        a curiosity came to her. "where were you born, indra?" for the mayfair could not recall if the redleaf had given the specifics of her own lineage.

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September 14, 2018, 05:21 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
silver creek, where i was born. a startled current seemed to ripple through indra, its electric path ending in the creased furrow of her brow. she could hardly hold herself from a soft exclaim: "i know where that is -- " for she had spent a great deal of time there, as a cub.

it brought memories back to her, of her family -- memories she had buried deep. with a scowl she dismissed them, though mona's inquiry brought their faces to the surface of her mind once more. "phoenix maplewood. not so far from here. not as far as the creek, anyway."

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."