Dawnlark Plains hair of the dog
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Ooc — mixedhearts
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#1
All Welcome 
He'd been getting sick again, and that had caused the male to draw away from the den, where he might pass on his illness to the young cubs that lived there. It had started with lethargy and then the fever, and now all his joints were swollen and aching, and he had twin point of pain on the side of his neck, just under his jaw.

When he went to sleep the night before, it was with the errant thought that he might feel better in the morning with just a bit more rest. But when morning came, his body was all the more wracked with fever and illness. Luckily, he was not awake to feel it.

The male did not awake until a cool nose pressed against his shoulder, and he sprang up with a grace he thought he'd long since lost. The sun was bright all around him, and the snowy plains were so very white. The only thing that broke the monotony was the red girl that stood in front of him.

Grayday wet his lips. "Greeneyes?"

The girl laughed, and then she was wheeling away, kicking up clouds of snow behind her. Grayday was right at her heels, faster than he'd been in years, his joints unaffected by the old scar in his flank, or the fever that had attacked him only hours prior. All that was a thing of the past, nothing but a dull and distant memory. The only real things were right in front of him, chasing and being chased, jumping and ducking, throwing her head back and laughing again.

A million miles away, a silver-clad body began to grow cold and stiff.
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What's Mine is Ours
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But I know every rock and tree and creature
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Time without Grayday made her more despondent. Sure, she liked to think she took to motherhood like a duck to water - and while she fulfilled the necessary roles of her station it didn't quite feel natural all of the time. She just needed time, she felt, to really cement her place as more than just warm body and milk provider, especially now that she didn't have to provide the milk constantly. Her babies were getting older and more active by the day and Catori Corten could not imagine that they were almost two months old.

She chewed the corner of her lip before slipping past the puppy pile to check in on Grayday. Even if she wasn't a healer she needed to know he was alright, she spent her time on the fringes between two worlds it felt like with her mind split between all the members of her family and her mate too. She found Grayday still sleeping, tail wagging at the sight of him relaxing. It was past the time he'd usually be awake, fussing over a squabble or lulling his children into attention with a story, but this day was different. 

In many ways Catori felt she had barely started living, her age sweetly accented with a sort of inexperience that came with living on an island. In other ways, she felt otherworldly - her life was like no one else's really in the Morningside crew. With Grayday she had made a life entirely different with a mottled mixed family she loved dearly and added their own beautiful children to. Her milk-tea eyes traced his paws and up his legs, over the image of his face in the still quiet morning. It was almost too quiet. A sense of unease prickled along her body, hair beginning to stir and puff as parts of her logically recognized what the image before her truly relayed. Her heart was stammering as fast as a hummingbirds wings, and that sound was deafening, overpowering all else. Some sound left her maw but she didn't know if she'd screamed or howled or it came out as a weakend whisper of fury.

The cold enveloped her too, rooted to the spot, as her breath became gasps of desperation. 
i grew a human and unfortunately as a horrible side effect lost an organ - as such will be slow from time to time.
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Ooc — Miryam
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#3
Shale had spent much of his time hunting for his pregnant mate, so the signs of Grayday's sickness had whistled past his head. Even if he had noticed, he would have assumed it was just a redux of the illness that had swept through the pack this past winter. As it was, it had been a while since he had spoken to his brother, and it was only the still lump of gray in the distance that drew his attention. He thought it was a rock, at first--but rocks didn't have hair.

Dropping the badger in shocked reflex--he'd surprised it, coming out of its den--Shale rushed forward, taking stumbling steps closer and closer until reality began to sink in. He wish he could turn back time, could reverse everything, to erase this memory from his mind forever. Grief brought him to his knees, mournful whimpers trembling through his throat, his eyes clenched tightly shut in the utmost agony.

"Day, no," Shale moaned. "I thought we had more time. I never--I never got enough time with you. I never got to say all I meant to. Please, Day," he pleaded, nudging the stiff belly before him, in the hopes of feeling it stir. "Please, Day, wake up; I can't lose you."

There were more figures that came and gathered round the body, but they were mere blurs in his vision as he lost all ability to focus, to comprehend what had happened. It felt as if someone had ripped out his innards, his bones and drained him of blood, leaving him empty and as lifeless as his brother. He'd never thought about this; never prepared. He wasn't ready.

He wasn't ready.
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i want more berries, and that warm summer feeling
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it had been a beautiful, cloudless morning.

she toddled after her momma as she went to check up on daddy, eyes wide and glistening as she looked up, blue skies meeting baby blue eyes.  until today, she had still been too young to truly understand what death meant.  she understood that when she and river captured bugs near the den that they were gone, their bodies stiff and cold (and easily devoured).  in her young life, she had never even had to deal with the death of a packmate, let alone someone close to her.

and as the realization dawned on her, she understood that daddy would never see another sunset.  he would never go chasing bugs again.  he would never wake up at all.  why?

frozen, she began to shake, and her lip gave one tremulous quiver.  the commotion around grayday's body would soon cause kitten to shut down and remain silent, but this moment would define the young girl's life forever.
Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
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#5
At two months old, River could not have understood what the scene before him meant as he drew up sleepily alongside his sister. He knew only the grief he felt coming in waves from the older wolves around them— only the unnatural way his father's chest had gone still. The boy crept forward, slow at first.
He might have never approached. The young Corten could not fathom anything so terrible happening to his parent, but he knew from his mother's gasping breaths that this must be the case. It terrified him. The rawness in the air around him pushed the pale boy forward nonetheless, and he bolted past his mother and uncle to push himself desperately against his too-still father. The coldness immediately felt wrong— panic arced through his chest and he wailed, knowing this was not right. But he was rooted, unable to tear away; he turned imploring eyes first to the big grey wolf, then to his mother, bubbling, broken whines escaping him; help, he wanted to beg of them, but could not make himself speak. Why weren't they helping? Didn't they care about dad?
Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
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Ooc — mercury
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lately, he'd been spending a lot of time near the den, playing with the pups. he adored kitten's spunk, river's kindness, eventide's brawn. they were all so different and yet all his, all family. he had so enjoyed watching them grow over the past few weeks, and who knew what life had in store for them. the sky was the limit.

when he saw little kasatka and river follow their mother from the den, he, too, followed at a distance, curious. she had gone to check on grayday, who'd been under the weather and was sleeping nearby. aditya watched her stand over him, smiling. it was only when she made a dreadful sound did his smile fade, and he realized that something was wrong. feeling as if someone had taken the wind right out of him, adi padded over, steps growing faster until he came onto the scene. he wasn't the only one there.

shale was on the ground, voice desperate. catori was a statue, eyes wide with shock. kitten shook silently; river cried. and before them all, the lifeless body of grayday--the only father he'd ever known.

"paaji," aditya whispered, throat clenched tight in sorrow. he swallowed thickly, taking a deep, shuddering breath. his eyes were closed; he must have passed in his sleep. he looked at peace--he was no longer here, but--

he'd told grayday once that they were reborn again and again, into different lives and circumstances. perhaps they'd known each other in several existences before. and he'd theorized that upon death, you slipped into another life. from the grave to the womb. grayday as they knew him was dead, but his spirit was gone, ready to be born again. that, at least, gave him a small glimmer of joy among the sadness.

adi pressed his nose against catori's shoulder in a silent show of comfort, murmuring wordless endearments to her. not knowing what else to do, he lowered himself to the ground, posed like the sphinx. he ran his tongue along kitten's trembling ears, smoothing the downy hair on her head. "i'm here," he whispered to her. "river, i'm here," he said softly, stretching his muzzle out to encourage the boy to come closer. he knew what it was like to lose a parent as a child. he didn't want them to go it alone, as he had done.

and he owed it to grayday to look after his children. the man had done so much for him--had literally given him a new start in life. everything good in his life over the past several moons was because grayday had given him a home here. aditya would see to it, in any way possible, that he would never be forgotten.
___________________________________________________

"do you ever think that all this is meant to be? perhaps we're all on paths that lead to higher places. it's as though the writers of our lives got together and planned this. otherwise, how could we all find each other in such a big world?"

--grayday, december 9, 2017


thank you for all the beauty and legacy you gave to this website through Grayday, mixed. <3
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Ooc — Raven
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She had been resting in her den that morning. Something she had found herself doing more and more now with her pregnancy and enlarged belly. With her den so close to Day's and Cat's she would see numerous pack members moving to a specific area out of her sight. With the number of wolves gathering she thought it must be important and that she should see what the fuss was about.

It was only when she stood up and began moving towards where the others were gathering that she became worried. She could hear words and weeping from others. Then she saw him. Shale crouched beside his still body. Day was in the center of everyone, motionless, without even a faint breath. It made her gasp, it was the last thing she was expecting to find. Her heart sank and her chest felt hollow.

She had been distracted the past weeks with her condition that she hadn't noticed Day's. He hadn't said anything either, leading Pema to believe that everything was alright. But at that moment she couldn't help but to think if they could have done something differently.

A dear friend of hers had fallen, someone she had seen often as a sort of a father to her, to everyone. He was a caring and strong individual, one that she had hoped would look after and care for her own children as he had done for others. 

Slow tears streamed down her face, her breathing was slow and at times staggered. She was almost in a state of shock, not yet about to comprehend what all this meant. It was something he had spoken to her about before. She stepped forward to look at him. Though he lay still he seemed at peace, like he had gone away to a dream.

She turned to Shale and nudged her head against his shoulder hoping to provide him with some comfort during this sorrowful time.
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no one called, and yet she arrived. perhaps it was the concentration of grief and the helplessness of it, perhaps it was the gentle shift in the world; her world, that drew her near. and there was her father, dead and cold, and her packmates, grief twisting their features. her breath hitched, and frantically she shoved the rising panic deep and away, blinked the grief from her eyes even as something in her chest snapped. she could not be like Cat in her shock, her grief, could not let her tears flow like pema nor could she give word to her plumetting grief like shale. 

no, adi - she could do what he did, pack her own grief away in a tight little box to sort through later. of course, this worked better in theory than actuality, and her chest knit into tight breaths and her steps were stiff as she eased herself beside Catori, fighting to push back the burning in her chest as she offered her silent presence beside the grief-struck woman. she did not trust herself to speak, even though a final da burned at her lips; she knew that as soon as she let the syllable go, the burning grief would win. 

and so she stuck close to Cat as Aditya tended to the pups, watching him as he drew them close. she brought herself to look to her father's body, so small in death, so empty of what had made him the wolf he was. she longed to press her muzzle to the familiar fur a final time, and yet could only remain rooted to Cat, naught but a whisper of grief finally escaping her muzzle as she sought continually to wage silent war against the tumultuous emotions pushing against her heart, her lungs, her chest.
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#9
It was his absence at the hunt that made Sunny so worried originally. So he had tracked down his dad and found him truly asleep, sickly in smell and feverish. He had assumed that Pema had already tended him and not wanting to wake him up, let him be.

Then on his way back from a border patrol he spotted a crowd heading toward one location and curiously followed, curiosity turning to dread as he realised where everyone was going. Before he reached it himself he stopped walking and tried to gather his wits, to slow his heartbeat and still the aching in his chest. It didn't work but he pushed on anyway, pushing past Aditya and moving past Catori and Dawn, eyes wide and steps clumsy as if in a stupor.

His eyes focused on the still and cold form of his father, painfully empty of anything like he had been in life. He stood above the body and blinked, the truth slowly sinking in and filling him up, pushing out any positivity and instead leaving a heart heavy with grief. His eyes filled with tears but he blinked them away, shoving it down and audibly choking back a sob. He slowly lowered his nose down to touch the fur along the top of his dad's head and closed his eyes. "I'll see you again wherever you are Dad. I hope you're happy. I'll take care of Catori and the kids, Dawn will too I'm sure. I love you" once that was said he stood up and let a few tears slip free but kept himself surprisingly steady in front of his pack.

Aliac stood there with wide eyes, staring with tearss in her eyes and while he wanted to move to her, he went to Catori and Dawn instead. Looking down at Kasatka he lowered his muzzle and nuzzled her ever so gently, lifting it again and touching Cat's shoulder before turning to Dawn with pain filled eyes. He could see how hard she was trying to keep it together or maybe he felt it, because he too was crumbling inside but remaining strong outside. "Dawn...I..." he faltered and fell silent again, ears flattening before he stepped closer and pressed his forehead to her shoulder. 

Stepping back he was unsure what to say to the grieving pack, unsure how to grieve himself. "We'll bury him. Hold a ceremony." he turned to Pema since she was the remaining leader. "His friends have to know....Seelie, Valette. May I help lead the groups to bring the news?" he asked and then walked over, so only she could hear his next words. "Please...I need to go. I just got over Keoni, I will crumble if I'm not busy." he pleaded in a hushed voice which cracked with emotion.
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Ooc — Remedy
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#10
dauntless might have never stopped if he hadn't happened to be strolling by and noticed that quite a few scents were gathered and curiosity had him readjusting his course to see what was going on. it was like something in a movie ( if dauntless had known what a movie was ): his approach was slow and he caught the scents of catori's desperate gasps of air. at first his heart drops as his mind goes to one of the cubs. had something happened to one them? his lips part to speak but his tongue is thick and dry in his mouth and no sound comes out as he approaches the scene in what feels like extra slow motion. he catches a familiar glimpse of grey fur upon the grasses through the swarm of bodies that converge and feels a palpable relief for a fleeting moment before he sucks in a sharp, harsh breath as he realizes it's his father. he's hunted and killed enough prey to know a corpse when he sees one — tell-tale in the eerie stony and unnatural stillness. nothing moves: not a flutter of breath, not a twitch of a muscle.

"dad," he chokes, feeling like he might vomit up the word as his muscles pull taunt and his steps become stiff. reluctant. but catori is front and center, and his siblings are there with her. sunny begins to give a speech that dauntless only vaguely hears. he realizes that his older brother is saying words but they sound garbled as if dauntless is standing at the opposite end of a long tunnel. "mama." his voice trembles with unbidden and raw grief. he wants to push his way to her side but mirza knows that would be extremely rude of him and as it is she already has the others swarming about her. instead, he moves to the other side, taking in the familiar and yet foreign form of his father without the bodies of his packmates and family to block it. dauntless is glad, at least, that seeing grayday's corpse — while it effected him no less — is not like seeing burr's entrails strewn about in a lake of blood. though he does not know if it's true or not dauntless can easily soothe himself by saying his father passed peacefully.

his own grief could wait. he had a duty as a son and brother and he needed to be strong for them. he swallows thickly as he stares down at greyday's empty corpse, stiff and cold, his ears fluttering back to slick against his skull; his whiskers trembling as his heart feels heavy in his chest and another wave of grief swells within his breast and deigns to work it's way up his throat.
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Ooc — Mary Ellen
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#11
Aviana felt the shift in the air. She couldn't describe what it was, but something told her it was bad. She had been walking through the plains, trying to discern exactly what it was that changed. It was a while when she came upon the group. Her leader, her friend, was lying on the ground. Her ears folded softly on her head as she hung back, giving the family their space to mourn him. Aviana's eyes were focused on him, as if by shear will, maybe she could force him to move. 

Tears welled up in her eyes as the emotion overcame her, her empathy feeding off the emotions of the others as her own sadness began to overwhelm her. Grayday had given her more than any other single wolf had in this world. He had given her a home, kindness, hope, and the chance to become a mother. Aviana felt she had never truly repaid him for all that he had done, and now she would never be able to.
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