Stone Circle push play, stop, rewind
All Welcome  June 11, 2019, 08:53 AM
Leta
Easthollow
Child
Leta was doing something she did not often do. 

She was always one to do what she was told, now that she understood it. Leta was a good girl, but she had an adventurous streak and an imagination to boot. It was why when a butterfly landed upon her snout and fluttered off, she decided she was immediately selected for some grandiose quest. Though typically she would call to any one of her brothers to joiin her, it flit away too swiftly for her to think to do so without losing it. 

Leta pranced after it, nipping at it (and missing); she was entirely unaware of her surroundings. This went on for some time, up until she came to a place that was unfamiliar to her[mash]not that she paid attention to that. The scents were quite strong here, and the prevalence of them, and the scent of mom and dad, were more of a comfort to her than cause for concern.
June 11, 2019, 09:02 AM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

for days they had scoped the vicinity, laying down the threadbare workings of their plan. by night caiaphas prowled the borders, her lamplight gaze cast inward through the gathering dusk.

at last their vigil was rewarded — a small child, unattended and delightfully playing in the thicket caught her gaze. caiaphas slid past @Vercingetorix and tentatively straddled the border, lying low to the ground and concealed by a broad palm of dogwood. she crooned ever so softly for the little child, shaking a branch to catch leta’s attention and lure her close.

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.
June 11, 2019, 09:08 AM
Leta
Easthollow
Child
A noise caught her attention in the midst of her playing, and Leta paused. Looking around her now, she realized she was not near where she should be, and her brow furrowed. The sound of the bushes rustling did its job, and given that was where the scent of mom and dad was strong, she prepared for a nip of reprimand. 

Sorry, she breathily murmured, cowing and slinking toward who she thought was her mother. See bufferfly???? She hoped to placate her mothers wrath with redirecting her attention to something far more cool than a nip to the rump.
June 11, 2019, 09:12 AM
Valette
Easthollow
Matriarch
Valette had to step up her game and even do things like chores she didn't like. This was border patrol for her. She just didn't think it was as exciting as hunting or traveling. However, all the scents mingling did give her a secure feeling. They had been here for many seasons so their scent had been truly like a wall of scent marks. What Valette didn't expect to find was her daughter Leta. The female trotted to her pup with clear alarm. "Leta!," Valette called to catch her attention. It was only seconds when the mother was next to her.

Valette gave her a soft nip as if the border stung if she would get too close. "You shouldn't be here," she warned strictly. That was when she noticed another scent. Valette watched with careful eyes and trying to see if there had been an intruder. But the Easthollow scent was quite strong here still there had been something. She kEkeD in alarm (@Greyback @Merrit @Indra @Steph @Vespera @Marten @Kove) for back up and snatched the pup by her scruff to lift her from this place. Valette growled, it sounded muffled because she was holding her child. Was someone here? She was not keen on letting Leta go so with the pup in her maw she took some distance from the border, keeping her eyes on the spot in case there was someone. Maybe it was the father of Laurel's pups Ira had warned her about!!

WHOOPS SHADOW POSTED. LOL kind of thought this would be a bonding thread but no. :'D I edited my post

June 11, 2019, 09:13 AM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

shadow posted, edited - valette being present changes everything LOL rip phas

caiaphas’ watched with a harpy’s sharp gaze as the child wandered closer, seemingly enthralled by the winged fluttering of a mindless insect. once leta’s attention turned, the matriarch rose from concealment and pointed a thin nose towards a bush not too far from where easthollow’s scent was thickest. a butterfly? it’s over there, darling.

her lambent eyes flashed as she eyed the back of the child’s nape; leta need only totter towards the bush, and caiaphas would lunge from the undergrowth and haul her unsuspecting quarry away. she was dreadfully patient as she waited for the right moment, seemingly disarming and yet, poised for action.

at that moment, valette appeared — caiaphas heard her before she saw her, and knew now that time was not a luxury she could afford to spend. with a lunge, caiaphas lurched for the child, attempting to seize leta by her rump and purloin her right from under her mother’s mouth (or from her mouth, if she managed to grab her daughter).

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.
June 11, 2019, 09:30 AM
Indra
Easthollow
Family
figure I can’t attack in the first post but HEEEEERES INDRAAA
valette had informed Indra of easthollow’s troublesome visitor - since then, she had made plans to interrogate @Ira for more details of this man, cursing the the fact that she had not been there alongside ira. her efforts of patrolling had been redoubled since laurel’s birth — more than once laurel had shown indra her teeth, no doubt because she had offered on more than one occasion to drown laurel’s bastard children.

sulking along the borders, Indra was nearby when she heard valette’s howl. ears perked, the redleaf surged towards the source with a snarl, assuming that laurel’s attacker was here and all too ready to shred him to pieces.

now the wren has gone to roost and the sky is turning gold,
and like the sky, my soul is also turning.
June 11, 2019, 09:30 AM
Leta
Easthollow
Child
Not her mother, then, maybe her father? Leta darted away from her mother as she often would when expecting a nip (though typically would acknowledge fault and accept what was coming) before she could be grabbed. Leta opened her mouth to explain, still looking quite sorry and apologetic, when other fangs found purchase on her rotund rear-end. A loud yelp came from her then; this was not the typical nip she got from mother... but then, mother had not moved.

Caiaphas grip was true, and Leta, not liking the pain (scruffing was painless, but this was certainly not) tried to run from it (though without success, given her hindquarters were securely in the grip of the sea witch... for now).

CAIAPHAS RUINED OUR MOMENT!!!!!!!! MOM/EH PLS GET HER
June 11, 2019, 09:35 AM
Merrit
Easthollow
Family
Feel free to decide how far away he is from them! Left that intentionally vague.

Whatever he'd been doing didn't matter anymore; the alarm in mother's shout broke his transfixtion, and with little thought other than the need to reach her, he found his paws devouring Easthollow like a hellion who ran with fire beneath his feet.

He covered the short distance between them, and when he broke upon the scene, he found his mother with child in grip, but his hardened eyes bent to the wraith plunging out to grasp what would never be hers. He hit the ground with a quicker run, and, with hackles bristling and gums drawn back, Merrit aimed himself toward the rogue, intent to intercept her with fangs and force - if he could reach her in time.

June 11, 2019, 10:09 AM
Valette
Easthollow
Matriarch
LINK TO ROLL THREAD. Please roll here if you are attacking to make it fair! :)
Total HP of Attack: 5

Valette felt Leta being tugged from her grip, as her eyes saw a flash of red coming towards her. The mother instantly flashed red for her eyes. Not her daughter, she would not be taken! The female instantly pounced forward towards the black-faced female and tried to grab her by her neck to pin her down into place. She didn't want to grab Leta as she did not want to end up playing tug-of-war with her own daughter. She had to be mindful of her daughter while pouncing on the female who was between the other's jaws. Valette was not a fighter. Still, she felt as if she had a decent grip on the female's neck as her teeth aimed true.

This was just like keeping hold of a deer after a kill. Valette was not going to have this bitch steal her daughter. In the heat of the moment, Valette noticed a black mass rushing towards her and was afraid that it was the black male that she had been warned about. Only a second later she realized it was her own son, a brief moment with a lack of concentration. She didn't need to communicate to the other wolves what was happening, someone was intending to steal Leta from them!! Valette's mind only screamed that she was going to murder this woman for even trying to take one of her children.

June 11, 2019, 10:11 AM
Steph
Easthollow
Family
Steph had not been far away, either. The call brought the Alpha's daughter quickly to the scene, just in time to see a stranger grab up her younger sibling. Steph growled and increased her pace, her eyes dead set on the pupnapper. She was at a full run, hackles raised, and it would be obvious she was going to attack. 

Her intent was to ram into the female's abdomen, jaws open in hopes of latching on to anything she could. Steph had learned life-saving maneuvers the hard way for the months she was out on her own. In her mind, she was fighting for the life of Leta, and she would give up her own for the younger to survive. Steph did not focus on any of the others, only the one she needed to defeat.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone ~Geothe
June 11, 2019, 10:24 AM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

OOC permission was given to PP Leta <3 editing with Steph’s roll in tabletop! 

in this moment of chaos, the siren queen was in her element. upheaval.. pain..  misery.. revenge.. it was all hers to control and exact.

she pounced upon the errant girl like some hellbent mongoose, seizing in her jaws with a rough and callous click.

she felt the breath of the mother upon her, but caiaphas was fleet of foot and a masterful warrior; she dragged the girl with a rough lunge to the side, just enough that valette’s teeth sank into the siren’s thin hide. like needles, they pierced through skin and staggered caiaphas’ trajectory — yet the force of her momentum kept her staggering forward, and she and her cargo broke free with a sickening rip of flesh that laid bare the already thin patchwork of caiaphas’ heavily scarred neck.

pain resonated through her, and adrenaline set to a high shrill pulse in her skull — but caiaphas knew she could not stray her course.

out of her periphery she saw that two other wolves approached; one a dark and unrelenting male, the other a thin bullet of red. caiaphas had not lived this long by luck alone — she knew if she waited much longer, she would be soon ripped to shreds.

with a forceful push of her hindquarters the siren launched into motion, her neck stiff and inverted with leta carried in her mouth. the wolves were hot on her heels, and caiaphas slowed only to execute a brutal shake of her jaws, executing the shake with such tremendous force that only one consequence was possible: the snap of leta’s vulnerable little spine.

she shook with terrific force until the girl’s body was limp, and then she flung aside her useless victim right into merrit’s trajectory —  hopefully confounding him and setting into motion her attempt to escape.

no sooner had she released the child did another wolf come unseen from the shrublands. she rammed into caiaphas with colossal force, a hit that sent caiaphas reeling and splayfooted for balance. her teeth sunk deep into the thin flesh of her rib cage, and a bloom of crimson bled from under the siren’s pale fur. wheezing and wounded, caiaphas continued to lurch away at a juggernaut pace, knowing now if she was to survive she better make her leave quickly. 

that was caiaphas’ vengeance: not abduction — but the untimely demise of a child so valette could personally feel the keen edge of grief, and know what she had sentenced caiaphas and her brood to suffer.

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.
June 11, 2019, 10:32 AM
Indra
Easthollow
Family
rolled a 6!

once upon the distressing scene, indra had little time to react or digest what was unfolding. all she saw was the matriarch at first; then there was a flash of movement and a dark, towheaded wraith surged from the underbrush, valette’s child in tow.

indra was no experienced fighter, but it did not matter as she set the siren queen in her sights. with her teeth bared she lunged for the woman, attempting to halt her progress by snagging any leg that she could.

her teeth clicked around a thin limb, withdrawing a fresh welt of blood that tinged her tongue. the hock was soon yanked from her jaws, but the mark it left down caiaphas’ retreating leg was no small injury: skin flapped and crimson trickled immediately downwards. it was then she saw the waspish woman fling the puppy from her mouth; she watched horrified as the limp form sailed through the air, but indra did not leave caiaphas’ form and continued to snap at anything within reach. she would chase the woman until she was collectively brought down and killed, or she was run out of easthollow all together.

now the wren has gone to roost and the sky is turning gold,
and like the sky, my soul is also turning.
June 11, 2019, 10:37 AM
Leta
Easthollow
Child
Everything happened so quickly! Face after familiar face came, though their expressions were foreign. Leta was carried away by the witch for too short a time, not toward home. She was able to get one final look at her mother, confusion clear on her bright, young face—what was happening? 

It was a blessing not to know. Caiaphas made quick work of the heavy cub, and the young girl was rattled heartily. The whole ordeal was dizzying, and her adrenaline was such that she could not feel a thing until she felt, and saw, nothing more at all. With a thud of finality to the briefest day of her lifes event, Leta lay motionlessly before her family and knew no pain at all.
June 11, 2019, 11:17 AM
Vercingetorix
Rusalka
Epsilon
Vercingetorix kept close as Caiaphas made her approach, waiting to lend his support as backup. Today was the day, and excitement simmered in his blood. He watched and waited, pacing, muscles bunched.

The howl rose up and he snapped to attention: had Blackhead been spotted already? Shit. He moved into a lope, headed toward the noise.

Only to come within sighting distance just as the sea witch flung the little ragdoll body of a broken pup from her jaws.

Oh what the fuck. What the FUCK.

Myriad emotions tumbled through him as he stood, petrified, rooted to the ground. His stomach churned. He'd seen a lot of horrifying things in battle and could deal with them all, but slaying children was where he drew a line. Not to mention, it brought to mind his own babies -- and the danger he could put them in, should he bring them to Rusalka.

Verx wheeled and took off, headed for the fox glade. If no one stopped him, he'd be sick, there, vomiting up an empty stomach. . .and then he'd return to the sea ASAP. Things must be done. He realized that now more than ever.

cameo unless intercepted

Common · Trigedasleng
June 11, 2019, 11:40 AM
Vespera
Easthollow
Family
The young female hadn't been doing much, she was sticking to herself since she was still a bit skittish around the pups. Vespera scolded herself for not trying but she didn't know what to do with herself. But the call to action had ran through her ears, it was the howl of Valette. With her ears perked, she wasted no time to rush to the Matriarchs side, her howl sounded desperate, and soon adrenaline rushed through her legs, she was desperate to get to Valette as soon as possible. Valette was like family to her, so if she was in danger, she would be there to protect her at any cost. Vespera's legs began to feel hot but she persisted. The young female had arrived at what was a bloody battle, there were East Hollow wolves with the intent to kill an outsider, especially Valette. Vespera halted in her tracks to see that the stranger had thrown one of Valette's pups as she attempted to escape the many jaws that were after her. The dark female instantly felt hatred towards her, her scent was unfamiliar and she was going to attempt to hurt one of Valette's young? Rage had flooded within her gaze, the act to rip out her throat was strong in Vespera, she desperately wanted to join the rest of the pack in tearing the female apart. However, something caught her eye, it was Leta. Vespera's furious gaze softened a little when she saw the young pup dazed and confused as she was thrown. There was no one guarding her. The dark female was torn, she didn't know Leta very well, but since she was of Valette's young, she was like family, and Vespera felt like a big sister. The East Hollow wolf cursed under her breath since she so badly wanted to get revenge for Valette, but her instincts told her to go over to Leta and make sure she was okay. Vespera hastily made her way over to the pup, she wasn't sure if Leta would be okay with her approaching her, but Vespera did her best to make sure she didn't appear to be a threat. They were after all in the same pack. Vespera's once full with rage gaze had turned into softness, her purple gaze was round and sparkled with wonder, her head tilted to the side as her tail wagged slightly. She looked stupid, but it needed to be done. The young female lowered her fluffy head as low as she could as she wanted to carefully inspect Leta. She seemed to be wounded, at this, Vespera tried to keep her anger in. The young female then carefully stepped over Leta, she placed herself above the young pup in a protective stance with her body square above her with her paws planted firmly in the ground. The female then proceeded to lower her head to shield the young pup from sight, so that the stranger doesn't dare see, and if she did, Vespera's tail was high in warning that anyone should back off. The young female wasn't sure what she was doing, but she occasionally checked in with Leta to make sure that she was okay with assuring glances. But she found it odd that the pup wasn't moving, Vespera leaped to her paws and spun to face the girl, she slowly approached her with her nose and gently nudged her. Nothing. Vespera's heart raced, she nudged a little harder. Nothing. The young girl gave a soft whine, no... No no, come on! I know you don't know me but you can give me some sign! But nothing. Vespera almost collapsed, the sheer weight of it, she felt like she should have been here a little faster, maybe she would have saved her. But the young female stood bu the young one's side until the battle was over.

A mistake is only an error, it becomes a mistake when you fail to correct it.-John Lennon
June 11, 2019, 12:58 PM
Greyback
Easthollow
Honored
The large man had heard the distant snaps and snarls that accompanied Vallete's alarm call, and without a minute to spare he turned from his course in the territory and sprinted towards it. He ran, and ran—dirt and grass were trampled in his wake as the massive wolf feverishly sought out his pack, his blood running cold with fear.

It was only when Greyback reached the top of the ridge that overlooked the border that his worst nightmares became reality. The small body of his young being tossed aside, his packmates digging into a female, and Valette standing right in the middle of it.

Something snapped within the Patriarch at the second, something dark and deep. It hit him like a wave, melting his cold blood and boiling it so it bubbled over. He didn't know what it was, and despite this, grasped tightly onto it with a choke hold as he let it consume him.

He let the instinct carry him towards the scene in a walk, his head bowed low and eyes glaring with a startling ferocity. Waves of rage emanated from his presence, but the man's expression was calm. He did not lift his lips to show his teeth, nor did he lift his tail. He only continued forward until he was beside Vespera, looking upon her with the same rage.

Whatever threads of pacifism that clung to the giant's heart were cut as he glanced upon the limp body of his whelp.

Like the wind, I am here. Calling to you in the dawn of day, whispering to your heart words of nurture.



June 12, 2019, 02:07 AM
Kove
Easthollow
Elder
By the time Kove arrived, everything was said and done.

He was slowing in his old age, each passing day reminded him of that, but today of all days was one time that he wished he could shave just a year off. As he entered the scene he picked up on the familiar, metallic scent of blood, which drifted off in the direction of a form he did not recognise—immediately, that is. Some time had passed since they’d last crossed paths, yet the retreating one became familiar to him all the same: the sea wolf, who he’d had the pleasure of conversing with but a few times in the past. Why was she here now? Did someone here owe a debt to her, just as Meldresi and her blood had?

It didn’t matter, not right now.

For now, he focused on the present: there was a wolf fleeing the scene, a child limp on the ground, and his daughter standing alone. Seeing that there were others already after the intrusive queen, Kove made his way towards Valette, gaze drifting between her and the previously flung child. He was silent the entire time, assessing and calculating the ordeal—but, most of all, there was nothing that he could think to say, nothing that may change what had happened. And while he knew that he should check on the child, see if she was merely stunned, he remained near to his daughter, offering her any support that he could provide.

Adopt an Apaata.
Threads are titled after lyrics from Adam Lambert's “Whataya Want from Me”
8 hours ago
Merrit
Easthollow
Family
He was close, but she was quicker. The wretch ran, and tore Leta away, and the flurry that followed blurred into a single moment of confusion and anger and fear at the enemy’s violent shake, and at the body of Leta, whipped and thrown aside like a plaything through the air.

His reaction came on instinct, and Merrit did what any other wolf would do when they came face to face with a projectile flung straight at their head: he lurched aside, yet remained dazed and transfixed upon his little sister as she sailed toward the ground her mouth fixed and silent, and her tiny body contorted entirely wrong.

And his eyes made contact with hers. They were so much like mother’s, but a cold dread ran the length of Merrit’s spine. He couldn’t see Leta anymore. In her place rose the flash of a long buried memory, when he had watched his sister Keen chew through the dark, dead eyes of the raccoon Mother had brought for them to eat, and the young man found himself filled with fear and tripping over his own paws, until he lost his footing and stumbled headlong into the grass.

The sky spun above him, and nausea swept through the contours of his jaw. Somewhere behind him his sister sank into the sun scorched earth, and somewhere beyond, the violent sounds of pursuit rang through his ears, too loud and everywhere. He had to get up, he had to try, and he did. But shock rendered him useless, and for all his efforts the world still reeled and he sunk to the ground again, and Merrit found he could do little more than shiver beneath the waves of shock as Leta’s face burned through his mind again and again, and as the taste of the enemy’s salty stench festered like poison through his mouth.

4 hours ago
Valette
Easthollow
Matriarch
Bare with me as I try to get everything in a post :'D

Valette felt a rage she never experienced before as the woman got free from her grip with Leta in her maw. She felt feral, ready to murder one of her own kind. Blood of another wolf coming from her mouth, together with a piece of fur. It was nothing compared to what her daughter must be going through. Valette spat out the fur. At that moment, it seemed almost at the same time, Steph and Merrit barreled onto the scene. Valette surged forward as the female tried to escape. Not with her daughter! Steph's attack was successful, Valette saw Indra attack and also draw blood. Valette was ready to go for the kill when she saw the wench fling her daughter to the side.

"LETA!!," she keened in shock. Merrit hit the breaks and Valette's step stuttered as she was torn between killing the female and checking on her daughter. "GET HER!," she barked. By the time she decided, Valette had been further away from her child. To kill or to tend. The urge to kill had almost been stronger. She turned on her heels towards her daughter. Her rage was clearly visible. As she rushed to the place she noticed her father approaching. As kind as his gesture was, the mother had other concerns, her child. Her ears were flattened and her face made it clear she was not keen on being approached.

In fact, she charged at Vespera and Greyback as she came to a stop with a loud snarl. No one was getting close to her Leta or they would have her bloody teeth to deal with. Her tail was up high and all the fur on her spine was standing upright. The mother snapped her teeth to anyone who she deemed too close as she stood over her daughter's body. She would even snap at Greyback in automatic reaction. She was not seeing, only feeling this intense pain and rage. All she knew was that no one was going to touch her daughter again. Only when she went to check on her daughter, the pure ferociousness of her behavior seemed to fade. The mother nosed over her and nudged her head with an intense delicacy that didn't seem possible a few moments ago.

"Leta" she whispered and nosed over her. Something was wrong. Her first thought was that she couldn't lose another pup. She felt her heart skip a beat at that thought. Valette would not allow it. She had to make sure her daughter lived. She licked over her daughter's face. "My baby," she whispered between licks. Her limbs were starting the shake. Her heart beating so fast in her chest with panic, eyes still dark, but the pure feral facial expression she had before was gone. Her tail was slowly dropping as she watched over her daughter. "M-Mama is here. Come now, my Leta," she whispered urgingly. Her legs shook badly with adrenaline and just collapsed. Valette hit the ground with her muzzle next to her daughter's body. That's when the violent and agonizing mourning wails of the mother started, filling the air with such intense pain, as her daughter was not responding.

3 hours ago
Steph
Easthollow
Family
The flying form of Leta distracted Steph for only a moment before her gaze went back to her intended target. She knew someone else would tend to her younger sister, and she was much too close to the attacker to let her go now. Steph growled and gained momentum, feeling a rush of adrenaline as her teeth sunk into the woman's hyde. Steph jerked away, and so did the woman, separating the pair. 

But, Steph was not finished. Blood dripping from her jaws, she continue her pursuit of Leta's attacker. She would run until they were out of the neighboring territory, and then she would stop and watch the woman's figure fade into the distance. Only when she was out of sight did Steph return to the borders of Easthollow. 

It was a chaos. Merrit was frozen, it seemed, and Valette was a protective mother, standing over Leta. Steph slowly circled her mother and her younger sister, going down to her belly out of reach of Valette, should she strike at Steph. The recently returned daughter did not moved to close the distance between her and Valette, being respectful of Valette's protectiveness. Her eyes were on Leta. She whined when she realized that her baby sister was not moving.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone ~Geothe
16 minutes ago
Caiaphas
Rusalka

i think it is my post but smack me if it is not! hope i got everyone in. this is caiaphas' second post running so unless anything major happens, it may be her last post?

a cruel delight blossomed across caiaphas' face as she watched the aftermath of the chaos she had sown. leta was flung aside like a discarded hide; expectantly, most of caiaphas' pursuers went for the child, who landed eerily still and all-together limp. the harsh sting of her wounds were no match for the flush of victory the siren queen felt; fuck them for denying her family safe harbor. she hoped valette would know now the unending grief of a mother who had lost her child; let her remember this horrific day and the way her daughter slumped lifelessly into the dirt until the day she died.

even then, it was only a small victory for the trauma caiaphas had experienced. she swore to come back again, and again -- the unsettled, demonic ghost that simply could not be put to bed.. not until she felt the last of her vengeance exacted.

the siren had no time to rest on her laurels; wolves were flying to the scene, and one in particular (vercingetorix) caught her gaze as he came and then just as abruptly fled. caiaphas' expression darkened; traitor scum, she vehemently thought, swearing then that he would be served the same cruel brand of vengeance valette had experienced. he was gone and he had left her to die; for that betrayal, there was no coming back.

most of the pack was hot on her heels, particularly two wolves (one red, one black) that swam in her vision with flashing fangs. they brought pain and desperation to caiaphas' steps --  she doggedly continued onward at a limping pell-mell pace, using any tussock or bush she could to her advantage as her pursuers relentlessly tracked her. running out in the open she was likely to be overtaken. she knew if she slowed down to attack one, that another wolf would be upon her in minutes -- her only hope of survival was escape, and caiaphas ran as she had never run before.

eventually her adrenaline would fade and her body would complain in full stock of its injuries; she had received an ugly gash along her neck that bled profusely and whetted her coat in bright crimson. her ribcage hurt, likely bruised -- and both her hips and hocks sported bright dashes of mahogany from steph and indra's teeth. even if she escaped easthollow, her survival was not guaranteed -- her wounds were substantial and the matriarch walked with a limp that dogged every motion of her right hind hock.

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.