Ouroboros Spine nagligigaa
Moonglow

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“We are all eaters of souls.”


Dan Simmons, 'The Terror'

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#1
Limit Two 
Teeth, he remembers. Claws too. Pressure against his back and being turned head-over-hind. The animal shouts and snarls filled Kigipigak's mind and then never left.

When he wakes, he is far from the dark and muddy crevice within which he hid himself. The pain is still there - the blood not so much, having been carefully cleaned from most of his wounds. It cakes in to his fur otherwise.

The young man grunts, sucks in a strained breath that is too much for his bruised ribs. He coughs, feeling weakness clinging shadow-like to everything.
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Moonglow

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#2
what's a timeline

she had found another place to build an ulaq in sight of her own. but it was not yet finished. here she bid him laid all the same, beneath interwoven branches.

when kukutux had risen, the feeling was greater in her.

pine-sap on her tongue; she arched over kigipigak as he stirred, coughed. "you will live, hunter," kukutux breathed through the amber globules, which now she set upon the edges of the first tearing, falling to silence.
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

PPC

“We are all eaters of souls.”


Dan Simmons, 'The Terror'

458 Posts
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#3
Kigipigak had been injured before. He held the mark of his various dalliances upon his skin - eager to show off his Tartok-bred abilities - but this was different.

In this moment as he burned with fresh consuming pain, he saw in himself a weakness. He was not some prized warrior here; he had been prey, he had nearly been gutted. Had he paid out as much damage as he received? Kigipigak could not remember that - only the blur of the initial collision, now fading in his memory.

Ku...? he tries to speak, to say her name. He cannot take in enough air for it. Kigipigak looks pained and confused, what little voice he carries lilts with a questioning sound.
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#4
"a great cat has done this. larger than lynx. i found you on the mountain beside the place of ice. i have brought you to moonglow." she spoke singing-song, pausing only to cleanse more crimson from his fur or look solemnly upon the cutting end of a wound.

"much blood came from your body, kigipigak." a sacrifice to the gods, perhaps, for them had allowed the duck to save him, to bring him here.
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

PPC

“We are all eaters of souls.”


Dan Simmons, 'The Terror'

458 Posts
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#5
A cat? he affirmed, as best he could.

Taking shallow breaths was best. Speaking hurt more than breathing, but Kigipigak was a talkative creature even in the worst of pain. It singed his spirit that he could not convey what he wanted.

Felt like... crushing, rolling. The creature had made a concentrated effort to pull him down and then reach for his belly. In the way a house cat might dive towards a ribbon with its forelimbs and then kick, kick, kick, to kill it.

He was all ribbons, now.

Kigipigak wanted to be strong, especially when cornered here by the woman. He wanted to refuse the pain that inhabited his skin, but he could not. His eyes were shining with a build-up of pitiful emotion - the kind which was not welcome by a real man, but perhaps a boy not yet grown in to his furs.
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#6
she studied him. rolling. kicking. his lacerations looked as though he had been held by thick brambles. kukutux could not imagine the sort of beast that might leave such injuries. she had smelled them, once, with arcturus. and she had seen the way that grandfather bear could steal life from any creature.

but this was a different thing. 

moonwoman looked at him, and saw that despite his age, he was a boy, and a boy's disappointed pain filled his copperhue eyes. she could not speak to feeling he must have in his heart, to have lost his battle and be here under a woman's care. she would treat him with the respect she gave to any hunter. "now when you walk, they will say, look. he is a man who has fought the great thorns. he must be respected." hoping to buoy him for a moment, before the healer turned away to grasp wet moss and cold dirt from just outside the denmouth.
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

PPC

“We are all eaters of souls.”


Dan Simmons, 'The Terror'

458 Posts
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#7
Great thorns? That was an apt description, so far as he could tell. The ridge where he'd been snared would be red with his blood by now; black, maybe, as it dried and took to the mud.

The more Kukutux tried to ease his hurt with her words, the more Kigipigak wanted to trust in her and believe her, yet he found it too hard. Any true warrior of Tartok would have known the beast was there; they would have abandoned the hunt before being targeted, he knew this. Running from danger was not weakness — falling prey to it, as he had, was weakness, and stupidity, and deserving to those who did not know better.

Kigipigak thought himself a man. He was better than that; he should not have tread upon those hills or let himself be lost to the heat. There was no use in lamenting his choices now. He could not help but mourn himself, to cry silently while Kukutux gathered her things.

He said nothing more — unable to draw enough breath to refuse what she claimed of him. He hurt too much, too deeply, and in places Kigipigak had never before thought possible. This was more than a wounding to his body but to his warrior spirit. He did not deserve his name.
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#8
he did not speak.

kukutux slid into the deference of woman; she resided close as the silence grew thick and gravid. there were no words she could offer a wounded hunter, and she would not try. he would have company in the man iḷitqusiq. there was no shame that she was able to see.

slowly the duck straightened in the way of a wife brushing leaves from her lap. "i will bring you meat." she would wait to hear his voice if it came, and then she kept her body low and respectful of his bleeding spirit, as she moved from the ulaq into the waiting light out of doors.
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

PPC

“We are all eaters of souls.”


Dan Simmons, 'The Terror'

458 Posts
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#9
The only sign of his acknowledgement came in the twist of an ear. Kigipigak heard the statement and yet felt no inclination to speak, still. It would be too hard. He breathed and he wept in near silence and took some comfort in the warmth of the ulaq and the promise of food.

As Kukutux dispersed Kigipigak wallowed. He was slow to think of anything outside of the pain. He slowly remembered why he had been roaming in the first place and the thought of Sakhmet and the plateau caused him to startle, tensing and eagerly trying to get to his feet, which was an impossibility.

A whine broke through his gritted teeth as he lay flat on his belly again, wheezing breaths.
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#10
when kukutux returned, it was not with dried meat, but fresh fat and berries. she set them down in his sleeping-place, disappeared once more, and returned with a carefully chewed paste of birchmark. "eat it for pain," the duck said softly, not expecting an answer from the heavily silent man, nor truly wanting one.

"fat, first," her only instruction. kukutux meant to go into the light again; in her mind a list of tasks. she bent closer to him, touching the roundness of his shoulder if the hunter allowed, waiting with him there until he had found his strength once more.

she wet her lips. "kiggavik." a small wan smile. "it is good to see your face again, even if it is in this way."
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

PPC

“We are all eaters of souls.”


Dan Simmons, 'The Terror'

458 Posts
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#11
She returned to him. The paste she offered was met with a grim look from Kigipigak, far from his usually boisterous self, and while he took it, he was silent. Only cringing slightly to the taste, which itself fled from him quickly.

The fat would take some time to stomach. The smell of it was too close to the smell of his exposed tissue. Kigipigak knew the value of eating even if he wasn't hungry, even if he couldn't handle the texture of the soft dose of fat that was offered to him; he knew it best to comply even if he really did not want to, and soon the fat was gone.

Kukutux' comment was met with a softer look, but he lacked the ability to smile for now. Instead Kigipigak closed his eyes and feigned sleep, until she left him.
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kukutux returned to her roots and to her furs. today she scraped leather again, marring its progress to lengthen the softening. it had no hair-side, this strip of otter-skin; the duck smoothed it and smoothed it. it would be a toy for a child. her child. more of them as the mothers saw fit.

a small, secret smile tugging at her mouth as the duck glanced sideways and saw the dull russet sheen of the foxfur that raimo had granted her. suddenly, a flush of hope that he had found his sea-woman. for she had discovered her sun man had come from the same ocean.

a light song outside the door of the ulaq, where it might rest upon kigipigak's ears.

a woman's song;

we are the makers of leather

it is us who makes fine the furs

say to your father, you would have no bride-price without my work

you are simply brave to think it.

on and on, into the widening day.
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