Swiftcurrent Creek fold out your hands; give me a sign [birth]
June 10, 2019, 09:32 PM
Whitebark Stream
she runs at the heels of the deer like an arrow loosed, swift and sure. the day is fading, but the light seems to tint everything pale orange, and the air smells of rain. there is nothing but the rhythmic pounding of her paws on the earth, again and again until she breaks and veers sideways. the deer falters beneath her and together they fall. there is blood on her fangs and joy in her veins, and the scent of it is thick and heady and overpowering. she tears at the deer, rents open its sides and tears at its stomach as it falls still, but it hurts and the smell of it all is so close. she falters, and in the moment of doubt, she wakes. 

inhale, sharply. blood. there's pain too, and she sees still vividly the deer and wonders why she's here, in a den, and her pelt is tawny and her paws hooves. wake up. she does, and staggers upright suddenly. inhale, sharply. the blood's still here, and it's hers. 

her nares flare and she staggers out of the den, knowing she must put distance between herself and here. her breath comes fast, heavy, but the blood's still here and she can taste it. 

she's on fire again. the flames are reaching up, and she feels only loss and fear. they burn the grass and bones and her and she's on fire, and the hunter screams her loss into the twilight and she's here again. something tells her to look, and behind her in the grass is something, something that can't possibly be hers but it. she can see its eyes, tightly sealed and barely visible through the membrane enveloping it, and there's bile on her tongue and on the ground. she staggers away, leaving the bundle where it lays. it is too small and would never have taken breath. she does not know that. 

she curls in on herself, turned away from the bundle in the grass, and her breath comes ragged.
June 11, 2019, 10:57 PM
Approved Members

something was wrong. aditya and dawn no longer shared the same den, but with her labor so imminent, he slept close, waiting for the time to come. most days passed without incident. but this evening, something was wrong. a rustling that wasn't there before; a disturbance in the air. the sound of panicked pawsteps. . .

adi stretched and stepped out of his den, like a cat from a nap, spying a hunched gray figure nearby. it was dark, but not so dark as to recognize—

dawn, he gasped, a strangled cry. he broke into a run toward her, but the fetus brought him short, skiddering to a halt. he stared at it for a long moment, eyes wide with horror. he'd seen dead(?) pups before, sure. . .but they had never, never been his own.

he felt the pang of loss for only a second before his worry for his mate—no, not any more. the mother of his children, but not his mate—anyway. his worry for dawn rose higher than all other concerns in this moment, and aditya stumbled toward her, stooping low, nosing softly at her temple.

dawn, he whispered, forcing himself to at least sound calm. usha. we should get you back to your den, so you can have these babies somewhere safe, somewhere peaceful. it was too dangerous out here. too much open space around them. he needed his pups to be—

with a hitched intake of breath, he rushed toward the little lump on the ground, the stillborn babe. as quickly but gently as he could, he ripped the membrane from the pup and began to lick it furiously, tears welling up as it did not stir. please, adi breathed, desperate. please. . .mere liye saans lo, mere bachche.

a single teardrop fell and blotted on the child's sleek, damp fur, before aditya returned to dawn's side for whatever came next.
June 12, 2019, 07:48 PM
Whitebark Stream
would she fail at this, too? 
she is so tired of her inadequacies. sounds is tearing its way up her throat and betwixt her fangs, but she doesn't register it as she curls tightly inward on herself, spasms racking her body. mind is beginning to awaken into sharp clarity, though she is convinced that if she were glance to her sides they would be wreathed in flame, and oh, how it burns. 

aditya's there, and she stiffens so that she may shake her head. "no. it's-" strangled cry cuts of the words, and the curls again in on herself. it's on fire, she wants to say, don't you see? it's cramped and tight and smells of blood, and at least here, under the skies and stars and moon she can breath - 

another. this one's bigger than the first, bigger than any pup should be. for half an hour, she will struggle. in the end, it is sheer luck that has the child born, for just as easily could her labour have stalled. it is almost perfect - save for its impatience, its too-early breaths that had it suffocate before it could exist even for a moment outside the womb. she peers at it and it is still, and foreign, and can't be her own. inky black, a darker sliver of night against the ground and then she tears her gaze away. "adi-" 

but she's not done, oh gods why is this not enough. she stands, half-crouched, takes a step and then two before easing onto the ground again. two, now - in quick succession. these ones she can't see clearly, they're too bloodied for that. panting, she can only stare for a long moment. but with the lulling of the spasms instinct leaks into the cracks they left, and she draws one close with her muzzle, tears away the membrane and tries not to swallow down the blood that is hers. the boy who will be @Stone stirs.
June 12, 2019, 09:32 PM
Approved Members

I have no idea what the heck this is, I might delete it and rewrite it.

It is warm in the summerland, always. So warm that even the river has a temperature to it. Drinking from it does not summon relief any more than the oppressive humidity in the air when one takes a breath; it is stifling, this pressure. As of late, it has only gotten worse. The pressure leads to discomfort and the boy who isn't yet a boy - this little seed lodged in the mud - feels sluggish and distant. The seed trembles and from the ventral edge it cracks, like an egg, to reveal a tiny tendril of green.

Overhead the sky rumbles with deep, unpleasant notes. There is a storm coming — and a part of him needs it, but he is afraid. Things are changing. The seedling reaches for the sky and unfurls a new leaf, and the first drop of rain falls, striking it - then the rest, as the clouds rip open and the storm surges in waves. Soon the soil is darkened by the rain and the dry clay turns in to a slick red — a saturation of carmine that feeds the seedling, but it tates wrong. Its metallic and dirty as opposed to crisp and clean and right — he is not ready, he needs time — the earth rumbles and as the quaking of the soil matches the rumbling of the sky.

The seedling isn't a seedling anymore; whatever conciousness he held has awakened to something more. He feels the earth slide, slick and red, like the river. It carries him deeper and he chokes with a mouth he didn't know he had — gasping, fighting, as his clayborne shape molds in to something more capable. Light flashes overhead, but this time it comes with a voice — and the voice is soothing despite his lack of understanding.

The boy is not ready but he cannot stop the process. He is transformed, and somehow the process brings him away from the summerland; he is transported through his conciousness to another world and as his body slips free of his mother's womb his thoughts of the summerland have begun to drift away -- he clings as best he can, unwilling to change, to give up the simple life that he was being granted — but as the boy's nubile body touches the earth he feels a calm. A sense of knowing, a trust, that this is where he is meant to be.

As Dawn cuts through the sack around him, little Stone feels that omnipresent pressure lift, and he gasps his first breath. He is reaching again, this time with his stubby paws, and lightly brushes his new toes across her cheek. Mother — he loves her, so, so much already.
June 16, 2019, 09:18 AM
Approved Members

Brook came into the world kicking and screaming. Well, it was more like muffled mewling, but she didn't know that. As soon as the birth sac was removed and she took that first breath of crisp air, Brook was destined for things. It's uncertain at this time whether those will be great things or terrible things, but boy howdy, she sure is destined.

Fortunately for both her parents (and her brother, though he couldn't hear her wailing), as soon as she was suckling her first meal, she shut her trap and went peacefully to sleep. It had been a really long, really tough journey, okay? Give the girl a break.
June 20, 2019, 09:38 PM
Approved Members

another dead one came, perfect but still. he was paralyzed with grief and fear as he sat beside her bleeding out upon the ground—it wasn't safe out here for her! for the children!—feeling wholly inadequate to handle any of this. he was about to erupt into panicked sobs when two pups slid out in quick succession, and they. . .oh! they were alive!

dawn, he croaked, bursting into tears anyway, although these were more tears of thanksgiving. he helped tear the sac from the pup he would know as his daughter, helped lick her clean, pushed her close to her mother. two, nursing. breathing. living.

mere bachchon, adi whispered, sniffling. he laid with his nose on his paws, outstretched in front of them, watching them suckle: weakly, at first, but growing in strength as the minutes went on. his eyes moved to dawn's face, suffused with so much exhaustion his heart broke for her. hamare bachchon, he clarified, a small, trembling smile curving his muzzle.
August 11, 2019, 03:25 AM
Whitebark Stream
the hurt of it all comes suddenly, white-hot and blinding. but it is, as all things are, temporary, and after a moment it clears and she gathers the strength to peer down at the two pups that nestle close to her, and despite herself, a small gasp escapes as she marvels in them.

her gaze moves to Adi's, dimly aware of his words, and for a moment her expression softens. "our children." she echoes, and for a moment it falls aware, the pain, physical and of grief, and she is allowed one moment of easy happiness. she wants to bask in this moment, but as the pain was temporary, so too is this. both will come in equal measure, though at times appearing to outweigh the other - but for this, it i worth it.