Bramblepoint (M) Old wounds leave big scars
Private  February 26, 2021, 02:59 PM
Rye
Delta
I had to get this up for timelines sake, feel free to get to this whenever you like! @Towhee
Time - 7:45聽Am | Weather - cloudy聽


Light peaked out from the clouds, lining them with
gold as the sun rose.聽God rays brought light to the聽
dark, dreary forest with angelic purpose. To shine
on a young tree,聽smaller than all its brethren聽
surrounding it.聽Its roots no deeper than a foot into
the ground. Offspring of the Cottonwoods it was
protected聽from the harshest weather so it may grow
unhindered聽by the worst Teekon had to offer. Its yield
of cotton聽yet to be developed for the birds,聽squirrels
and mice聽that depended on it for warmth in聽the winter
months. Everything fit into a cycle, life, death and
birth.聽A tightly threaded ecosystem, each forest the
same but聽never in the ways it survived.聽
.
Bramble bushes and thorns peppered the forest floor
in large patches, leaving any oblivious traveler聽
with bloody, sore paws. Rye was that oblivious
traveler. His paws already poked and prodded by聽
natures finest thorny warriors. Most measured聽
no bigger than a claw but that did not deter聽
the thorns from inflicting the most possible聽
damage for something its size. Rye would be
impressed if it wasn't his feet getting attacked.
Eventually, after enough painful mistakes, Rye
learned to spot their ambushes well before it was聽
too late. Dodging and weaving through each with聽
relative ease.聽
.
There was no particular direction he was headed,
all he could
do was wonder the lands. No purpose
and no personal direction he felt whimsical and聽
useless. There was more to life than aimless
walking, more to it than living for the sake of聽
living. What was his reason for purpose? What was聽
his purpose in the grander scale of his simple
life? He was left to the whims of mother nature.
Was he in her favor or her scourge?
He didn't know.聽聽

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 26, 2021, 03:10 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She still felt pretty wretched in a lot of ways, though waking up a married woman put an unexpected spring in Towhee's step. She wanted to wake @Reyes to walk with her, but he looked entirely too peaceful. She gently nudged his cheek, then padded out of the cave into a cold, partly cloudy morning. She stood just outside the mouth for a few moments to soak up what sunshine she could, then proceeded slowly toward the caldera's rim, then down to its borders.

The Sovereign considered a patrol, though when she touched down on the northern boundary line, she found herself staring at Moonspear in the distance. Her heart pinched for all the lives lost. Towhee couldn't really fathom a world without Hydra, queen of the mountain. The meteor had snuffed out an entire legacy. She stood there a while and simply thought of her sister-in-arms, mourning the end of one of her very longest friendships.

But life went on, as a sudden lick of pain in her swollen sides reminded her. Sensing that motion might help, Towhee began to walk toward Bramblepoint. She didn't think she'd go any farther, especially not in in her condition. But the fresh air would be good for her, as well as the chance to stretch her legs. Although she didn't mind hiding away in the cave with her mate, Towhee was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 26, 2021, 03:40 PM
Rye
Delta

Perhaps his eyes were not as sharp as they used to be, he still managed to step into thorn traps,
perhaps his聽age was聽catching up to him despite being only four.聽However the past month
had him feeling聽otherwise, barely managing to eat and sleep had him nursing聽old wounds
longer than it normally would have taken. Oh the troubles of being self reliant.聽Rye took a
quick breather to pick聽the smaller thorns聽from the聽fur between his paws and to rest his
shoulder. As he picked the final thorn from his paw a shadowy figured appeared in his聽
peripheral vison. He froze, nothing聽moved but his eyes as he tracked the mysterious聽
figure through the trees. Eventually he moved with it discovering it to be a wolf but not
just any wolf. They had familiar markings an orange stripe going down their chest. The
realization knocked him back a few steps, he couldn't believe his eyes.聽

His tail thumped against the ground and his heart pounded in his chest, he couldn't help but聽
laugh. His joy nearly overwhelming him, Rye stood and called out to his old friend.聽
"Towhee!" He shouted, his voice wavering聽and flat out cracking. "My god its really you!"
By now he was visible from where she stood, he kept his distance but made sure he聽
wasn't hidden in the slightest. He wouldn't blame her if she did not immediately recognize
him, he was rugged. Even he had to admit he looked like hell rolled over. Skinny, with聽matted fur聽
and聽still trying to heal but did any of that truly matter? Not to him, all that mattered was聽he found her.

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 26, 2021, 03:48 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Walking did help, it seemed. The mild cramp eased and Towhee could better focus on the way it felt to move around with a bigger belly. It wasn't unlike eating a huge meal, although there was less sloshing. It shifted her center of gravity a bit. She couldn't imagine how much rounder she might become by the time she delivered. Certainly she was carrying more than a single pup this time, since she was already showing.

She had become so preoccupied, she'd almost forgotten her sadness. And she didn't notice she had company until he stepped into her line of sight, startling Towhee slightly. She froze and went rigid, lip curling back from her teeth as she regarded the stranger in the middle distance. Only, he wasn't a stranger. He looked thinner and scragglier than the last time she'd seen him well over a year ago, though Towhee would recognize him anywhere.

"Fucking Rye?" she blurted into the morning air. "That really you?"

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 26, 2021, 04:31 PM
Rye
Delta

There wasn't an ounce of fear seeing her lip curl, he understood
there was going to be that chance she didn't instantly recognize
him. A year of strife and struggles etched their memories into
his fur, skin and whole body, visibly聽telling their unique
stories. Rye was nothing but thrilled to know she did recognize
him when it could've have ended with his ass聽becoming grass.聽"You're聽
damn聽right it's me."He dipped his chest down in a聽playful gesture,聽
ignoring his shoulder as it protested his聽movements.
.
Rye trotted a few paces聽closer, his steps high and聽exaggerated
witha wild smile聽never leaving his lips."I can't believe it's聽really you.聽
I've missed the hell out of you, I though you died聽or something."Memories of the聽
attack聽drifted into the forefront聽of his mind, an array of concerns聽
and聽questions聽battered his mind聽but he only wanted to聽bask in the聽
triumph of finding an old friend. She was a sight for sore eyes,聽
easing the pain of his shoulder and mind with聽comforts of a friend.
Something he grievously missed since Effies' disappearance.聽

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 27, 2021, 10:47 AM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
There was familiarity and warmth there, despite his bedraggled appearance, and Towhee found a disbelieving smile crawling across her face. What were the odds that Rue and Rye would reappear within weeks of one another, after more than a year had past since the quakes? But she wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. With all the tragedy lately, her old pack mates were a sight for sore eyes.

"I've missed you too," Towhee said as he came nearer. She stepped forward to close the gap, ignoring a twinge of pain in her pelvis. She wanted to make a joke about her death, though she couldn't bring herself to do it, not with all the losses lately. Instead, she added, "Where have you been? You look all..." She made a couple gestures and then laughed dryly before adding, "You should come back with me to the caldera. That's where we're living now."

Towhee turned to point at it behind her, mention something like, "The gang's all there." But when she twisted, a searing pain ripped through her belly, dropping her to the ground with a gasp.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 27, 2021, 04:10 PM
Rye
Delta

Rye couldn't help but laugh along with her聽at his
appearance, he felt like聽unruly child unwilling to聽
bathe. It wasn't a far off comparison as he was shy聽
of bathing in fear of pain, the sharp twists and turns
would have caused havoc on his shoulder as he tried to
reach the difficult places on his body. Forget rolling聽
in water mid winter either. Then almost like clock work,
good things聽came to an end.
.
Towhees' fall was unexpected, it was jarring and left him聽
with adrenaline running through his system. He didn't waste
time gawking at the seemingly injured female, his body lowered
to her level. If allowed, he would do his best to support her.聽
His neck sliding under hers in hopes of providing any relief,聽
even if only an ounce. He wanted to do more, he wanted to fix
everything but he was so damn powerless. Helplessness twisted聽
his gut like knots on wind swept vines, that were laden聽with
spines. "Towhee, what's going on? What's wrong? Do you need聽
me to call for help?"
He spoke fast with panic dripping
from his words.聽

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 27, 2021, 04:38 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
"It's just gas," Towhee hissed between clenched teeth as Rye dropped down beside her, instinctively providing support. "No," she added in reply to his question, even as another pain seared through her. It was worse than last time, though short-lived. It left her panting and shaky. She honestly didn't know how she would bear it if this kept happening the rest of of her pregnancy. There was more than a month left to her due date.

Grasping desperately for a distraction, she leaned slightly against Rye's comforting warmth and said, "Will you? Come back to the caldera? Phox is there. Rue鈥" Her voice cut off sharply with another gasp. It felt sharper somehow, like a knife in her gut, agony radiating from just past her navel backward toward her groin.

She breathed shakily through it, her heart freezing in her chest when she smelled blood. Juddering against Rye, Towhee bent her head and spread her legs to look between them. There was blood matted there, not much but enough that her heart began to pound and a small scream accompanied a fourth wave of pain.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 27, 2021, 05:16 PM
Rye
Delta
Anyone from the Caldera is allowed to join in!

'Its just gas.'聽


Well it wasn't what he expected but it was most certainly聽
better than what he feared. Rye did not move, feeling her
shake and pant. He wanted to call for help, he was no medic
and if something happened to her right then and there he
would never forgive himself. He held his neck聽closer, trying聽
his best to keep her from falling over completely and as
she聽leaned in so did he, moving his body close to hers.
As the smell of blood engulfed his nose he knew he couldn't
wait for permission, he had to call for help.聽

His howl was loud, panicked and long. He called for @Phox,
@Ruenna, anybody!
"Please God," He yelled, "Anybody please."
His shouting no doubt did any good to catch anyone attention,
but it was all he could do聽to keep his own composure. He
couldn't look, he didn't want to, he had no desire to see
how dire thing could have be. "Towhee, bite me if you must
but don't move.聽 Please." He begged.

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 27, 2021, 06:48 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She didn't hear his cry for help, though she certainly felt it. Towhee paid him no attention, still staring at the red stains on her inner legs even as the blood in her body ran cold. This wasn't just gas. Something was really wrong. She whined under her breath, orange eyes raising just in time to catch Rye's imploring.

"I'm not going to bite you," she panted, "and I'm not moving either. But I'm okay. I mean, this is not okay..." Towhee grimaced down at her nethers again. She didn't think she was in any danger but what about the pups? "I'm just worried about them," she breathed through another excruciating cramp.

As soon as she could speak through her clenched teeth, she said, "I don't know who you called. But please call for Eljay." Maybe she should've had him call for her mate too, or her Regents. Yet there was only one wolf she knew who could truly help in this situation.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 28, 2021, 04:18 PM
Rye
Delta
She was carrying. Her life was not the only one in danger anymore,聽
a surly terrifying thought for Towhee. Rye certainly had his fair聽
share of fear for her, now doubled, tripled, quadrupled or however聽
many was in there. He did not waste time congratulating her, instead
he lifted his muzzle once more and called for @Eljay. A wolf unknown
to Rye, at least in memory, perhaps he had met them before. Either聽
way, the male was eager for Eljay to arrive, the sooner the better.
.
"You'll be alright,"聽He glanced back towards Towhee, his words anything but聽
meaningless,聽it was聽a promise.聽No matter what he would聽find her help,
even if that meant carrying her聽to the Caldera himself.

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 28, 2021, 04:34 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
He did as she asked and Towhee flashed him a quick, tight smile. She then promptly broke her promise not to move, compelled by some instinct that urged her onto all fours again. When she stood, she remained very still, anticipating another flux of pain. Nothing happened. She would've been relieved, if not for the blood drying, sticky, to the insides of her legs.

"Okay," she said after a moment, "I'm going to try walking back toward the caldera now. Hopefully he'll meet us in the middle." To hedge off any arguments Rye might raise, Towhee added, "I'm going to take it slow, be very careful. But this feels urgent, I can't just sit here and wait. We don't even know if he heard us. C'mon, walk beside me."

That same restlessness compelled her to take a step, then another, without really giving Rye a chance to react. When it didn't hurt, Towhee was tempted to break her word again and speed up to hasten the trip back home. But she squared her jaw and made herself walk slowly, reminding herself that even if she wasn't in danger or pain, it didn't mean the pups weren't.

They hadn't gone far when another urge made her stop. This one was as familiar as it was pressing. "I have to p鈥" Towhee began, readying to pop a squat right there in front of Rye when her body beat her to it. She felt a warm gush of urine flood down her hind legs, only it wasn't yellow. It was bright red.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 28, 2021, 07:49 PM
Rye
Delta
Holy cow lotta drama in Caldera right now, if聽this needs to be back dated lmk. I've got extra days where Rye is doing nothing, I'd hate to add to all that chaos


Rye kept his tongue bit, he wanted to force Towhee to stay
still but he knew there was no making her do anything she
didn't want to. He did as requested聽and kept聽close,聽his body聽
against hers ready to bear her weight if needed.
"You shouldn't
be walking, you shouldn't even be here. Where on mothers green
land is your mate? I've got half a mind to talk to this idiot for
letting you wonder in this state."
Rye had zero clue whether or not
she had a mate聽(his impression was she liked one night stands) nor
if this was a known condition聽or not. In truth he was just vexed
she was out here聽talking to his scraggily self and not resting.
.
"Towhee鈥" Just like that she was peeing blood, the red
sickeningly聽staining聽snow with its foul smell and pigment. Rye
had seen enough,聽he could not let her walk anymore.聽
"Alright,聽聽I've seen enough to know you should not be walking. I gotta聽
carry you or something."
He looked at Towhee, his eyes pleading
to let him help her. He didn't care if blood or urine stained his聽
fur,聽he wanted her back at the Caldera, safe and sound.

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 28, 2021, 08:48 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
No worries, the timing works! I'm going to slap a warning label on this now...

Mature Content Warning


This thread has been marked as mature. By reading and/or participating in this thread, you acknowledge that you are of age or have permission from your parents to do so.

The participants have indicated the following reason(s) for this warning: miscarriage.

She didn't respond to Rye, mostly because she didn't hear a word he said. Towhee dropped gingerly onto her haunches, then leaned her weight on her right hip to peer between her legs again. She detected the unmistakable odor of urine, mixed with the metallic scent of blood. She didn't know what that meant, though she figured it was better than straight blood pouring out of her.

Towhee raised her eyes to see Rye peering at her, expression brimming with concern. "It's not blood. I mean, it's not just blood. It's bloody urine," she informed him, hopeful that this meant something. "I don鈥" Her voice cut off with a sharp wail as another cramp seared through her. It was a good thing she was already sitting, or she would've hit the ground. She doubled over with a gasp and a groan.

If asked, the Sovereign would not be able to describe the physical sensations she experienced in the following moments. She felt an irresistible urge to push, even as she lost control of her bladder again. More bright red urine trickled out as her pelvic muscles suddenly spasmed uncontrollably. She grunted, unsure what to do with all these mixed signals other than try to breathe through them.

"Call for Eljay again," Towhee managed to grit out between groans of discomfort, shuddering as her entire posterior end seemed to ripple painfully. Now she was sure she was going to shit herself on top of everything else, a thought that triggered a flashback to the night she'd birthed Meerkat.

No sooner had that thought hit her than she met with another overpowering compulsion to bear down. No! Towhee screamed, maybe only in her head, as her body nonetheless obeyed. And just like that night a year ago, she unwittingly brought a pup into this world. This one didn't have a face; it barely had a form. It was impossibly tiny and very, very dead.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

February 28, 2021, 10:23 PM
Rye
Delta

The anxiety was ripping him apart, piece by piece, shred by shred, he
was left in a state of panic. Albeit quiet panic now, for his sake more
than Towhees'. It was all so agonizingly slow, watching his friend in aguish
was a hard sight to see, incapable to help in anyway that truly mattered.
His belly churned, twisting and writhing as he sat there, useless, worthless
and birdbrained. He did as Towhee asked, his lungs gulping in the air by the
gallon and expelling it with all the strength his body could muster. His head聽
pounded with dizziness, wrecking his vison and balance by the end of his howl,
only dissipating聽after catching his breath; but since when did life have a happy
ending? Since when did help ever arrive in the nick of time?聽
.
Stillborn. Its life whisked away with the wind and snow. Unfair and merciless,
nature left no stone un-thrown. It was unafraid to cast pain unto those who least
deserved it, twisting its knife without remorse. All the frustration left the males
body, replaced by grief. It may have not been his but a life lost, especially of this聽
kind, was never easy to witness. "Towhee," He whispered in a dreary voice.聽Rye wasn't sure
what to expect from the female but he knew he needed to be there for her.聽

"I'm sorry"聽聽

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
February 28, 2021, 10:42 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Towhee stared uncomprehendingly for several breathless moments, forgetting that Rye was there, suffering through this horror show alongside her. The puppy was grotesquely underdeveloped and significantly smaller than her paw. It was partially obscured by an amniotic sac, though there was no placenta. No sooner had she made this detached observation than another cramp鈥攖his was some horrible iteration of labor, she now realized鈥攖ore through her, bringing with it a second fetus and a gush of fluids.

Her body reflexively relaxed after that, some instinct telling her, It's over, it's all over. Towhee sank weakly to the ground, her orange eyes fixed on the two tiny bodies. They only barely resembled wolf pups, yet she knew they were two of her babies. And they were dead. Her body had expelled them likely for this very reason, though Towhee was having a lot of difficulty processing.

Eventually, she did remember that Rye was there. Her head jerked toward him, her face echoing the stricken expression on his. Soon, her focus returned to the little corpses. Through their birth sacs, she could see that they were both black, one with brownish orange streaks just like hers. It was impossible to discern any other details and Towhee was afraid to touch them to find out more. Should she clean them? Bury them? Eat them?

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

March 01, 2021, 12:48 AM
Rye
Delta

His heart went out to her, he could see her indecisiveness and pain. At first聽he聽
was just as clueless as her but then he knew聽their burial placement聽and names should be chosen. Although they would never get to hear聽
their names, it would still bring dignity to their spirits. If allowed,聽
Rye would聽lean聽down and lay聽his neck over Towhees' shoulders, gently
pulling her closer to him but not away from her pups. It was his only
offer of聽condolences, words would never be enough, nor聽excuse the tragedy.
.
'What could I have done better? I should have done more, I should've
been more useful聽instead of聽doing fucking nothing!聽I'm an idiot. A damn fool!'

Quiet anger roared in聽his mind, thundering and clashing with his inner
self.聽
.
His eyes averted from the pups and shut tight, sealed off from sight and聽
light.聽Refusing to accept the what聽laid聽before him. Yet it was already burned
into his vision, no amount of blinking or staring at the cloudy sky removed
it. Instead of sulking, Rye took a deep breath and spoke. Moving his head in
order for Towhee to see.聽
"Talk to me, it may聽聽hurt like hell but I'm here to walk through it with you."
聽His was kept聽voice soft, even if she could not hear it.聽He wanted her to cry,聽
scream or get聽angry,聽anything that would kickstart the long road to healing.聽

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
March 01, 2021, 09:41 AM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Her instincts urged her to reclaim the lost nutrients, though Towhee recoiled at the thought of consuming her own offspring. That left her to bury them. Should she do that right here, in some random part of Bramblepoint, or carry them home to the caldera? Her insides clenched when she realized she should ask Reyes what he wanted to do with them. They were his children too, after all...

Towhee didn't move, not even when Rye pressed against her with sympathetic words. She just kept staring at the two pups, wondering now if they were the only ones. Were there others inside her? Were they dead too? Was it possible to miscarry part of a litter and carry the rest to term? Eljay would know. Why hadn't he come?

She felt sore, sticky and a little weak, though she managed to slowly climb back to her feet again. "I need," Towhee began to say to Rye when she stopped abruptly. She bent down her head to sniff at her dead young, then began to clean them, after all. They were so, so small, it didn't take long to dry them. For a few beats, she stared again.

Eventually, she lifted her head to look at Rye. "Sorry," she said awkwardly, not really sure what she was apologizing for. Ruining their reunion by miscarrying right in front of him? She shook her head. "I need to find Eljay. Come with me." It was neither a command nor a question. Maybe it was a plea.

It felt very strange to do, yet Towhee gently nipped her premature babies into her mouth, evidently channeling her inner crocodilian as she carefully closed it around them. She exchanged a look with her companion, then began moving steadily toward the caldera.

I'm going to tag you in a followup thread if you're interested!

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera 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!

March 01, 2021, 01:27 PM
Rye
Delta
Thank you for this wonderful yet sad thread! I'll archive in a bit聽



Rye stood by the female with the silence of an owl, no聽
matter her decision he would be there for support.
As she stood to walk to the Caldera, he was right there
at her shoulder ready if things were to take another turn
for the worst.聽

"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."