Stone Circle the blood on my hands scares me to death
All Welcome  November 20, 2020, 10:39 AM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

maybe @Merrit or @West Tyree or someone else she doesn't know well? :-)

Laurel had lived a very withdrawn life, but she wanted to make a change. Looking back at the last years, they hadn't treated her right. Laurel had no belief that the future would treat her right, either. She'd always been selfish, but now she realised it too and though part of her felt bad, she knew that it was the only way to live. What had other wolves ever done for her? Okay, Valette had taken her in, but that was it. Other than that, her life had been harsh and Indra, the only one that had ever cared for her, ripped away from her violently by her own nephew.

Revenge would be nice, but not necessarily something that the woman expected to get. Instead, she focused on her plan A: Start a family next year. That way, she could make up for all of the pain she had caused her other children, and most importantly: Work on resurrecting Indra. She was already working on wrapping Xan around her finger for this — although a part of her did want to give their romance another chance, too, but she was not quite willing to admit that to herself yet — but what if he fell through? His track record wasn't the best.

Laurel spent her days just surviving and waiting, biding her time, knowing that spring would bring happier times if it would bring her children.

Meanwhile, following her heart to heart with Valette, Laurel was feeling a little more comfortable. Greyback still scared her and she feared getting kicked out, but it hadn't happened all of this time, so maybe it wouldn't happen at all, then. She decided to make a genuine effort at getting to know her pack mates rather than stick to herself. It hadn't escaped her that their ranks had thinned, so she hoped that they would find some new blood soon (or old blood returning). Laurel trailed around the territory until she reached the stone circle, and made her way up there to look out over the bizon herds on the plains.
November 20, 2020, 12:50 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

West had made a promise to himself, a promise to not run no matter how much his heart screamed. It had been weeks since his confrontation, and a lot had been said, most of which still circled his brain. Merrit was home now so he wasn't Valette's only son around, but he was close with his mom. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her by running away. Polaris was right, he should know what kind of reaction she would have, he had already seen it two times before.

Avoiding the borders of the hollow, West had climbed to the stones early in the morning. He always found comfort watching the herds graze and live peacefully, but he only paid them half a mind today. Instead of gazing out into the distance, his forest gaze locked to the towering stones, specifically one where fresh dirt had been torn up and resettled with the passing weeks. It was where his brother would now lay for the rest of time.

He wasn't sure how to feel about it, that he was really gone. There had been a lot of denial at first, and self-blame he still believed to be true, but it didn't matter now. Now he just felt...numb. Supposedly the stones were a place to come to speak with his ancestors but...could Clay really hear him? If he could would he even want to? He sighed, gaze shifting back to the lumbering forms in the plains when his eye caught sight of a woman approaching.

West had never really spoken with her, but he knew her, Laurel. She was close with his mom, or at least he thought so. It wasn't until she settled, gaze out into the plains that he actually spoke up, Do you watch the herds too? Funny how he thought only his mom and himself watched the creatures they co-existed with. It of course wasn't true, but every memory he had with them brought an image of his mother. The woodland boy had never really shared his love for them with anyone else.
November 23, 2020, 04:04 AM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

Laurel didn't notice him at first, but she caught scent of another wolf nearby and glanced around when she reached the stone circle. Laurel hesitated then if she wanted to stay or if she should leave, but in the end she did sit down by the circle, close to where Indra's body lay buried. She looked out over the bison herd, something that she hadn't done much until Indra had died. They had never intended to stay for long; the only reason they stayed here in the first place was because Valette was the only one who would allow her children to be born, when Lost Creek Hollow had turned them away. Now, though, she felt that she was bound to these lands in some ways. Yet on other days she thought that maybe if she would leave, she could finally let the grief of her sister go.

The other wolf nearby spoke up then, and she glanced to the side briefly. He was young, handsome — though his dark face sent an involuntary shiver down her spine — and one of Valette and Greyback's children from last year. His name eluded her for now, but maybe it would come back to her eventually.

Laurel remained tense though, as she always was near men; his dark face certainly didn't help, as it reminded her of... me, dearest, I know. She shook her head after the involuntary intrusion and nodded. Yeah, she said as she looked back out over the bison fields. ... And to be with my sister. It sounded so utterly ridiculous when she said it out loud like that. Laurel added swiftly: That sounded idiotic. I mean — Ugh, I don't even know. Laurel decided to just give up and she bitterly looked out over the fields, her face hardening as she hid her embarrassment behind a veil of cold, harsh stoicism.
November 25, 2020, 10:07 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

Compared to most of the wolves who resided in the hollow, Laurel was not openly welcoming of his presence. She seemed tense, though if you asked him for his best guess as to why he would simply draw a blank. Maybe it was just who she was, reclusive. After all, she had lived here a while right? Yet he never really saw her around, nor spoke with her until now. Clay had been the same in many ways, quiet, tense, angry... He had run off as a pup to be alone almost daily until one day he just...never came back.

West missed as the other shook her head, too lost in his own thoughts to really question the action. What she said though, brought him back. To be with her sister. Her sister...? Laurel quickly continued in an attempt to hide whatever feelings she clung too, though West was all too familiar, haunted by the same ghosts. His eyes roamed back to the pillars. Clay wasn't the only one buried here, generations laid beneath the dirt like his aunt and grandmother. Maybe her sister. I get it...I came to be with my brother. His usual light tone felt heavy now, burdened, distraught...

Who was your sister? Few had died since the woodland boy's birth, chances were he did not know her at some point, but maybe he knew of her. Most of the stones had been named after someone, each a story he knew well since he was young thanks to Newt and his mother. The stones were supposed to bring comfort, a place for mourning and guidance, but most of all strength. West's gaze fell back to the herds, avoiding the other's eyes. If she ended up crying he didn't want to see it, for privacy sure, but more so for what it might draw out of himself. Almost daily he thought of the scene he had made at the river. It was embarrassing, even if some comfort came out of it, but there was no way he was repeating that.
December 02, 2020, 10:19 AM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

Even when he said it, it sounded so dumb, and Laurel wondered if he only used her own phrasing so that she wouldn't feel as stupid about it. Instead, it did the opposite, as it reminded her of how stupid it sounded when someone said it like that. She contemplated whether she should say something about it. Maybe try out a light-hearted joke, something like that, but in the end there was this lump in her throat that she didn't manage to stave off until he spoke himself.

The question was completely unexpected, both because no one but Valette had ever even really shown interest in or mentioned Indra in any way, and because it was a harsh confrontation with truth. Even after all this time, Laurel wasn't really ready for it.

Her gaze hardened as she stared out over the bison and she said, Indra. Her voice sounded hard and loveless, as if she referenced her arch-enemy rather than the most beloved wolf in her entire life. Without Indra, life seemed so futile. Perhaps Laurel was angry in some way, resentful that Indra should leave her here. She of all wolves knew how nothing ever came easy in her life. To leave her sister in this shitty pack that didn't care about her with the shitty wolves around her still stung. The least Indra could've done was made sure Laurel returned to the dirt at the same, time. Even if Merrick had murdered them both, Laurel would rather've died alongside Indra. In a way, she felt that she had died on the day that Indra died. She was the only one that ever loved me. There was emotion shining in her hardened gaze as she stared out to the bison, not looking at him once. She didn't want his hollow pity; something that would make him feel good about himself for caring for a woman who had fought the world and lost, while he would forget about her the very next day.

He must be one of Valette's children, Laurel thought. Valette had lost so many of her children, too, much alike Laurel in a way; some turned to mud, some turned their back to her, some got lost. He didn't look young, though. Perhaps it was the pain of loss that made him seem older and more mature, though.
December 09, 2020, 02:06 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

"Indra."

It was a name he didn't really recognize. In all honesty, he might have heard it a few times throughout his life, but she was mostly unknown to him. She was buried with the stones though, so for that, he knew she must mean something. She seemed cold when she spoke her name, emotionless maybe? No...hardened. Maybe she was bitter. Did she blame herself too? He couldn't say he felt the same about Clay, not yet at least, but there wasn't a moment that he didn't wonder if things might be different had he followed him.

"She was the only one that ever loved me."

It was those words that caused him to tear his gaze away from the herd, brows furrowed with confusion. What do you mean? Surely there had to be more...her parents? His mother? Didn't she have kids? Well...Charles and Riley had left some time ago, but so did Leta and his other siblings. Just because they left didn't mean they didn't love her right? Rather Laurel responded or not he'd stay quiet until another thought prodded at his mind, She was buried here right? Which stone? His glance moved to the pillars beside them, each towering to the heavens.

My Mom says we bury loved ones here. Our family. If she's here and you're her family, then you're my family too... You can be loved too. Though the words didn't quite make it. Maybe though, just maybe she would catch on to what he really meant.
December 09, 2020, 03:43 PM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

There was little to be misinterpreted in her words, Laurel felt, and yet she felt his prodding gaze on her. It caused a shiver to run down her spine and she heard Iliksis laugh in her ear. She looked away, seemingly flustered and shy at his look, while she searched for the words to explain. Before she got there he spoke again and asked which stone Indra was buried at. Laurel got up and she looked directly at the stone that Valette had buried Indra by. She remembered it like it was yesterday. The sister stone, Laurel said with a touch of pain to her voice. What I meant was that everybody takes from you in this world. Indra was the only one who never thought about what I could give her, she just... She was just there.

Tears sprang to her eyes as she said the words and Laurel looked away again, feeling embarrassed. He said that she was his family too, that they were all family. Laurel forced herself to look at him at last then while she asked, her voice fragile and afraid, What does that mean? What did family mean? Moreover, what did it mean to him, now, here?
December 09, 2020, 05:09 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

The Sister Stone...well that seemed fitting. He should probably brush up on his knowledge of the stones, it's been a while, and admittedly, as a kid, his attention span wasn't the best. Even now his thoughts often wandered off... that being said, he was sure to pay attention to Laurel, though she seemed to avoid his stare long enough that he felt bad for looking. She almost seemed uncomfortable, so instead, he just looked at his feet, the stones, or the bison.

West wasn't sure if he entirely agreed with Laurel's view of the world, but her description of Indra...well...that sounded a lot like what a family should be in his opinion. He could hear her voice break, something he tried not to wince at. He hadn't meant to make her cry, or so he assumed at least. He still kept his gaze off her. I...can't really offer much either. Nothing that would probably help at least, but...I can be here? That's what family does. They're there for each other, no matter what. Maybe that was why he had stayed. Even though he messed up and brought hell's fangs to Easthollow...his family was still here, and they weren't just here, they were here for him. 

They hadn't stopped loving him.

I don't think anyone is perfect, but accepting that. Loving someone anyway despite those flaws. Being there when they need you and expecting nothing in return. That's family. I like to think that's Easthollow too.
December 15, 2020, 08:35 AM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

He couldn't offer much. Of course not. Nobody could, not really. Everybody wanted to help, but only if it would cost them zero. If it cost them anything at all, then it was too much to ask already. Laurel knew that, and she wasn't sure why she kept trying to reach out to others. She hadn't in a long time, not until now. He could be here. What did that mean? I was there. Laurel felt uncomfortable as she heard Iliksis' voice whisper his poisonous truths. Do you think he'll be there for you in the same way? She swallowed dryly while West continued to explain that family's there for each other, no matter what.

He'll be there for you, no matter what.

What had she done? Why had she reached out to someone like that? He would — he was going to — No, worse, she had given him the green light to.

Laurel froze as he continued to say that nobody is perfect but that family and Easthollow meant loving someone despite their flaws. I loved you, dearest. I still do. Despite all of your flaws. Laurel wanted to snap back that he didn't love her, that he had never loved her and that — but she wasn't alone. She looked at West and smiled, forced and frightened. Please don't hurt me, her own voice broke through her mind, broke through all of the whispers of the man who still held her hostage, even after all this time.

What.. What is love? asked Laurel, her voice trembling. He had just explained it, but she had to do something, ask something, keep the conversation going because when friendly conversation ended... She knew what happened then. If nobody knows you, how can they love you? Is it — does it matter? Whether we know each other? And how does one get to know each other, how does one get to the point of knowing whether one can love others despite their flaws, despite what they've done? What kind of... What love do you speak of? The last question was posed in a fragile manner. Laurel wasn't even sure what she was doing or saying anymore at this point. She didn't know what to say or do really, she just wanted him to say something, anything, to make her feel less afraid. For the impending doom to steer away from her. Because if silence fell between them, he would say all sorts of things, such as —

You want him, don't you? And she couldn't scream no in the middle of this conversation, so she could only sit there and hear his poison whispered into her mind for every second that West or she wasn't talking.
December 15, 2020, 01:42 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

Her voice trembled akin to a leaf in the breeze. It felt as if she was asking all the hard questions of the universe, ones he wasn't sure he was even qualified to answer. What was love? Hell, he was still figuring that out himself. Uh, well... I'm still working on that if I'm honest. An almost nervous chuckle came easily as he scratched at the back of his ear. It's...a good feeling though I think. It's warm and when I think of loved ones it makes me happy. Then again it wasn't always pleasant, there was longing and pain when you were separated. I guess it can hurt too though...I miss my siblings. Most of them left and well...my brother, Clay, he's here. With Indra... It can feel like a void when you're away from those you love. Like...you're incomplete?

As for the rest well, it seemed like Laurel was just rambling now. Her questions were confusing and he wasn't entirely sure where she was going with this. Had something happened? Did she blame herself too...? It was different, but, it reminded him of his own thoughts, of when he had broken down by the river. West tore his eyes away from the bison, his greens finding Laurel's own. She looked...scared? She smiled at him, but it didn't quite feel genuine, it made him feel uneasy, as he leaned away from her ever so slightly. I...I don't know? I think it might just be something you have to trust. Questioning it just prevents you from opening up and accepting love...or...something like that.
December 17, 2020, 04:47 AM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

He answered even though her questions had been a garble of all sorts of things. He was working on some of it and he tried to explain some other of it. Said he missed his siblings. Clay. He was here. Laurel knew so little about this pack. She didn't even remember who exactly Clay was, and it embarrassed her. Luckily, she was too engulfed in her grief and fear to notice, really. Why did he still captivate her so much when it had been so incredibly long since it had happened? That's what love does, dearest.

Incomplete. I feel the same about Indra, she said; it was a good description.

West then said that questioning love prevents one from opening up and accepting it. Are you saying it's my own fault? Laurel asked defensively, her voice suddenly sharper, as she looked at him. Her voice still trembled a little, but somehow getting a little angry and defensive at him made her feel less afraid (or rather, hid her fear).
January 10, 2021, 07:01 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

Honestly, for talking out of his ass he thought he was doing pretty good so far...er, well he was. Soon his words turned against him as he struck a nerve, the earthen woman turning a hard stare onto him as he visibly flinched wide-eyed, What— no no no, I mean— I don't really know you or your relationships but that's not at all what I meant— Oh Gods who let him talk for that long, he was mostly rambling trying to make sense of his own thoughts.

I'm not really sure of how else to word it I guess— just— I dunno... A short pause was given unless the other spoke up, but eventually, the woodland boy would find his words again, Do you think it's your fault? There were a lot of things he blamed himself for, things he knew realistically maybe he shouldn't or there was no way to truly fault himself...but that didn't make the feeling go away.
January 13, 2021, 04:08 AM
Laurel
Lone Wolves

He started to backpedal after she asked him if it was her own fault, which should have proved that he wasn't saying that at all, but it was still hard to get out of this feeling for Laurel. She narrowed her eyes. Why did she always do that? Push him away because she was afraid of him, get comfortable and push him away because she thought he was insulting her. Or maybe these were just her own innermost thoughts.

These thoughts were quickly pushed away, but they easily returned when West asked her, Do you think it's your fault? What? No! Laurel snapped, her irritation growing. She shook her head and got up. You know, I — never mind, I'm sorry. I have to go. A meeting that had started out so hopeful, like a flower growing in the middle of a busy polluted city, had soon withered and Laurel flashed a pained grimace at him before she started to walk away, back to a life on her own.
January 21, 2021, 03:01 PM
West Tyree
Approved Members

From bad to worse the woman only seemed to get more agitated before snapping at him. Instinctively, his ears fell back against his skull, a slightly bewildered and shocked look on his face as he looked away. She stood then to take a leave, Wait— though his words caught in his throat as he tried to find something else to say knowing he had royally fucked things over. In the end he just sighed and watched her go, Sorry...

He gave a glance back towards the stones, his thoughts momentarily drifting back to clay. Maybe he was laughing at him now. In a lot of ways this conversation went the same way his did with his brother. West would linger a bit longer, watching the herd quietly until he knew he needed to do something a little more productive and took his own leave.