Sun Mote Copse Departure to destruction.
All Welcome  December 03, 2019, 02:05 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
It was only early afternoon, yet already the sunlight had turned sallow and clouds scuttled in to further darkle the skies. The air was cold, just about freezing, and Towhee knew the light mist that was just beginning would soon turn into freezing rain and, later, snow. The darkening weather suited her mood; in fact, it rather fit her life in general, as of late. She sighed at the thought, a plume of vapor bursting from her mouth.

It seemed that fate—or mother nature, more like—wasn't finished plucking members of Towhee's family from the tree and simply tossing them into the ether. Crow had disappeared some weeks back, now Sugar was missing too. And no matter how tirelessly she circled the borders to stay busy, stay useful, there were no threats Towhee could actually see, feel and challenge. And no more refugees appeared either.

Feeling absolutely resigned, Towhee let out another sigh and moved into the copse, making her way toward the place where @Elwood and @Finley kept house. Despite the world falling down around her ears and the fact that literally everyone else had left her (although she was desperately glad @Fennec had come back), some more than once, they were the one constant in her life.

It was officially sleeting now, ice forming a crust along the bladed tips of Towhee's multicolored pelt as she drew up near the Blackthorns' homestead and barked.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

December 04, 2019, 04:56 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Four nights had passed since Sugar had disappeared. Four long, dark, awful nights. There had been daytime somewhere in there, but to Finley, it was all just dark since her child had gone missing. Sugar was not the first child to have been lost to her and on some level, she knew that this was simply a fact of life--something that happened when you lived in the wild as they did. Experience had taught her that. That was why she raised her children to be smart, strong, and self-sufficient, because life was simply unpredictable, and they needed to be prepared. Still, it was never easy, and the mother mourned deeply every time.

The weather seemed to echo her mood. Fin stared silently out into it, though she paid it little mind. Since Sugar's disappearance, she had retreated helplessly to the den where she had whelped her last litter. She knew that there was little more she could do than to hope for the best--that Sugar would either find her way home or that wherever she ended up in the world, she would have a safe and happy life. It was all she could do for any of the children she'd lost over the years, including the ones who had said good bye first.

A call drew her from her miserable reverie, though she didn't move at first. Her eyes drifted across the terrain ahead of her until they clapped onto Towhee's dark form. She laid there for a moment, knowing she would need to physically retrieve her in order to be found, but struggling to get herself to move. She sighed after a little while and stood, braving the sleet to come near enough to touch her muzzle to Towhee's shoulder and gesture her to follow her back to the comfort and warmth of her den.
December 09, 2019, 01:06 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Her jaw began to tremble, her teeth officially starting to chatter, just when Finley materialized from the freezing flurries, a touch of warmth urging Towhee forward. She nodded silently and plodded after the Honoree until they were in the shelter of the Blackthorns' den. It wasn't warm in here, per se, but it was certainly warmer than outdoors. Towhee's mouth relaxed as the cold seeped from her bones.

Still feeling a little stiff with it—and now wet with the melting ice formerly clinging to her pelt—Towhee pressed against a wall and sank down with a long-suffering sigh. She then sought her godmother's gaze, reading the troubled expression and sad eyes with a pang of empathy. She reached across the space to offer a consoling nuzzle to Finley's hoary chin.

"Soon as this weather clears up a bit, I'm going to go out and look for her," Towhee murmured after a moment.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

December 20, 2019, 02:32 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Fin could hear her goddaughter following though she didn't spare the girl another glance. She slipped back into the den and resumed her melancholy vigil, dropping her head back into her paws with a huff. She closed her eyes at Towhee's touch and listened to her words. The kindness of the offer warmed her heart a little, but she was not much reassured. In her experience, when a child was lost, they never came back. No amount of searching had ever yielded her a thing.

So, Finley was silent for a few moments as her mind tied itself into knots. A flick of her ear was the only acknowledgement Towhee was given, for when she did part her lips to speak (or lift her paws to sign, I should say), it was to lead the conversation down a rather different path.

-I don't think I'll have anymore kids,- she commented silently. It was something she'd spent a great deal of time thinking about, but hadn't even discussed yet with Elwood. She felt guilty saying it aloud to anyone but him first. Signing wasn't speaking aloud, though, so it worked well enough for her conscience.
December 21, 2019, 11:01 AM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Her godmother's signing surprised her, in more than one way. Firstly, she wasn't expecting that particular admission. Secondly, she realized she hadn't been signing conversations much lately. Ever since the grove's fall, she'd stopped using ptero as much. It hadn't been a conscious decision and Towhee hadn't been aware of it until this very moment. There was a lot to unpack there, later though. Right now, she focused on Finley's words.

It made her think of their conversation about Towhee's own fertility, how Finley had chosen the optimistic angle. She drew in a breath and let it out slowly, parsing her godmother's words. Did she mean she, like Towhee, didn't think it was a possibility? Or was this a conscientious decision she was making? Maybe she felt too old; or like she'd had enough for one lifetime; or maybe Sugar's disappearance had pushed her over the edge.

"How come?" Towhee inquired, eyes soft. -Talk to me,- she added silently before placing one of her paws over one of Finley's in a gesture of comfort and solidarity.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

December 21, 2019, 07:43 PM
Finley
Approved Members

She hadn't expected it, the sudden emotion that rushed up upon her. Tears welled in her eyes, unbidden and unwelcome. They embarassed her. She had never liked to be emotional, never liked to be weak. Generally, only Elwood ever saw her this way, and she wasn't too big a fan of that either. She couldn't help herself, though. Everything she had lost in her long life was suddenly right there in front of her, making her remember, making her realize truths. There was no hiding from it.

-"Because,"- Fin said softly, her arms moving weakly as the words came, -"I can't go and find them when they're lost."-

Her head sagged as guilt, heartache and tears overwhelmed her. Finley had been a warrior all of her life. She had been reckless. She had sought danger and laughed in its face. She loved fiercely and always, always had been able to protect what was hers with a ferocious courage that was just downright alarming at times in its utter disregard of her own safety or mortality. To be like this now--weak, crippled, tired. Too old to do something as easy as travel around to neighboring territories was devastating to a wolf like Finley Blackthorn. There was nothing her younger self wouldn't have done to keep her family safe and happy. She had grown stronger recently, but still, here she was.

It wasn't enough. She would never be strong enough again. All she could do was sit around and watch her loved ones disappear one by one until it was her turn to go.
December 23, 2019, 07:34 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
She slipped her paw out of the way when Finley moved to sign again, watching avidly as her godmother tried to explain her reasoning. Towhee's head canted as she digested the words. She empathized with the sense of loss and knew that Finley was two or three times her age, so it stood to reason she'd experienced quite a bit more love and loss both. Here before her was evidence that it never became easier. No matter how old you grew, or how big your family became, or how many times you went through it, nobody was safe from the singular hell of losing a loved one.

Towhee swallowed thickly as she saw the tears swimming in her godmother's eyes. She struggled to find words of comfort. Even if Finley had been young and spry still, it didn't mean she could simply go out and locate her wayward children as easily as all that. But pointing that out to her didn't feel like it would be an empathetic thing to say. She imagined it was genuinely challenging to grow older, to suddenly have limitations where you didn't before, and how that kind of thing would certainly weigh into something as life-altering as having more children.

-"I wish I knew something profound and comforting to say,"- Towhee said after a moment, -"but all I can really say is I know where you're coming from, at least somewhat, and for whatever it's worth, I'm here. And if do you decide you're done—and that is a very personal decision that only you can make—you can still pat yourself on the back because you made made some pretty damn fine kids, if I do say so myself. You should be really proud."-

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

January 07, 2020, 01:06 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Towhee's words were kind and did offer some comfort, but they couldn't bring Sugar back, nor could they make her feel any better about being insufficient for the children she already had brought into the world. Not having more children was something she could probably make peace with, in spite of the fact that it was a decision driven by the limitations of her age, which was something more difficult to accept. Not being enough for those she already had, though, was the worst of all. She couldn't make her unborn children suffer, and being old and weak was her burden now to bear. But how it affected those she had left to her was just awful.

It took her a bit, but eventually she calmed enough to be able to carry a conversation again, though she didn't really have much to say. -"It just sucks to sit around and be able to do nothing,"- she said, knowing there wasn't anything Towhee could really do about it, but wanting to vent, -"If we did have more, I'd have to just pass them off to whoever wanted to raise them. I just don't have the energy or the strength anymore, much as I wish I did. Much as I try to. It's just... I dunno, I guess I've used it all up. I guess you only get so much of it in a lifetime, and I probably wasted mine fighting all those fucking bears."-
January 07, 2020, 01:20 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Had the mood not been so somber, Towhee might have joked about stepping in to raise the feeble Finley's kids. She'd done it before, with Camilla's, not unlike the way Finley had taken over when Fox had died. That's what family did. But she kept that thought to herself, allowing her godmother the safe space she needed to hash out her feelings on the matter.

-"Feeling useless is the worst,"- Towhee agreed, knowing exactly what it felt like but wanting to focus on and hopefully alleviate some of Finley's pain over it. -"You may not be able to do the heavy lifting yourself, though maybe you could delegate search parties? You're a scout, you can give those of us with the energy some pro tips."- She smiled gently, hoping none of that made her godmother feel even worse about the situation.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

January 07, 2020, 08:52 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Fin tried her best not to take her sour mood out on those around her, but she couldn't quite help but allow the negative skepticism to cloud her expression when she looked at Towhee. -"And how do you feel when you have to leave the heavy lifting to someone else? When you can't do what needs to be done and have to rely on others to do it for you?"- Fin asked, knowing the answer (or thinking she did) already as she turned away again.

-"There's no making this better,"- she continued with a sigh of defeat, -"This just... is what it is. All I want is to be enough for my children, to protect them and keep them safe. All I can do now is send other people to do those things for me while I sit back and wait, and it just sucks."- She paused for a moment as a lump rose up in her throat again and she added, -I want my little squirrel back.-
January 07, 2020, 10:20 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Towhee remained motionless and silent after that, knowing there were no words she could say (or sign) to ease Finley's troubles. She just hoped that her presence here, as well as her efforts to locate Sugar, would bring her godmother some comfort where platitudes couldn't. Actions spoke louder than words, a concept Towhee could understand even if volume didn't exist for her.

"It does suck," Towhee agreed aloud, her flat tone particularly fitting. "I'll keep looking. I'll do everything I can to bring her back to you," Towhee continued, rising to her feet. The weather was still awful but she would rather slog through it than prolong Finley's misery. She pressed her nose to her aunt's forehead, offering a nuzzle of comfort, then braced herself as she headed back out into the ice storm.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

January 11, 2020, 05:27 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Finley knew she'd been a little too harsh. She was being selfish and pathetic. She wasn't the only one with children and loved ones missing, nor was she the only one who'd ever had to swallow the bitter pill that was getting older. Her pain was too fresh, though. She didn't have it in her to be sensitive in that moment, so she hadn't been. And it didn't matter anyway--it was done, and Towhee was on her way.

Fin didn't say anything as she went, merely curled herself up into a tight ball and began the process of trying not to drown in the pool of sorrow and self-pity she'd been swimming in, and that she'd now stirred a few healthy gallons of guilt into.