Lost Creek Hollow Once I Get a Grip
Kvarsheim
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All Welcome 

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The participants have indicated the following reason(s) for this warning: Grumpy potty mouth!
A little over five days had passed, and apart from piss breaks that needed humiliating help, he'd hardly gotten out of the den. His wounds were slowly beginning to scab over; though, only so much. Any bit of strain would tear open his skin and leave them bleeding again. Even now, he was positive he'd eaten enough painkillers and had been numbed over so much that he couldn't believe he could feel his face, or that he was even awake. There he'd been, alone, breathing heavily, staring at the ceiling and feeling his chest grow heavier on his lungs. Then lighter.

Then his legs snapped forward, his neck wriggling and his head trying to throw itself up in order to roll off of the stone. While he hadn't managed to roll himself off, he continued squirming and moving. Sliding his leg underneath him, he went from his side to slipping over onto his stomach, putting pressure on his elbows to try and stand himself up. His focus was REAL deep. REAL damn deep as he found his brows furrowing while beginning to shake in order to stand himself up. A quarter of an inch off of his stomach, half an inch, a full inch, and he was pretty sure he was in a plank at some point, because full-body trembles made his stomach smack the ground again. "OW! FUCKIN' HELL!" Grumbling again, he tried to lift himself up with tense brows that were exhausting their own muscles from how hard he kept them pinched. This time, he lasted half, if not less of the amount of time trying to get up from putting pressures on his elbows, only to hit the ground again.
Riverclan
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Curiosity overcame Shadowpup’s shyness and fear when she heard the roughhewn voice of a stranger cursing loudly from inside one of the dens. As a young child, Shadowpup was relatively oblivious to any drama or politics happening between Riverclan and its neighbors.

Bonario would have been able to spy her bat-eared head poke around the mouth of the den, backlit except for the glow of her yellow eyes.

“Are you okay, mister?” she asked with a voice so quiet that it could have rivaled a mouse’s.
Kvarsheim
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He kept muttering foul things to himself, pinching his nose bridge with his wobbly paws and aggressively rubbing forward. His head rang again, and as he slowly shook his head to wipe the sound clean from his mind, a whisper shivered his spine. Tossing his head around, he looked left, right, only to do a double take to a little creature of shadows. Ghostly golden eyes, and a voice of a little mouse. His expression immediately dropped. Hints of bewilderment touched his face. Oh, gods, he didn't need to be around pups again. Was this a setup?

But she appeared to be alone, and gentle.

He felt a nasty pull to be gentle too. "Uh." He looked stupid, didn't he?

He knew he looked stupid.

The Swiftcurrent monster stared. He'd told no one of the event. No one. He'd hardly been awake to do so, and without being asked, he would not speak of it. Rearing his head slightly up, he came to a quick nod. "Yeah. I'm fine. I was. Uh." He squinted, fumbling around his words. "Trying to-" he shook his head gently, "get up. Should you be in here?" he asked, looking over her shoulder and then letting his gaze softly hit hers again. She had big old ears.
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It was evident, by the man’s expression and hitch in his words, that Shadowpup had caught him unawares. She didn’t think he looked stupid, so much as odd. Had he hurt his head, too? Shadowpup wondered naively.

And he challenged - did she have permission to be here?

“Uhm, no I don’t think so,”
she responded frankly. Yet, clearly, Shadowpup had no respect for boundaries.

She entered the den to get a closer look. “Where are you from? What’re you doing here? How’d you get hurt?” she prattled innocently.
Kvarsheim
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She entered, and his bones crawled. Oh gods, was this a good thing? A bad thing? He was sure this was a very, very bad thing. Whose kid was this, anyways? He wasn't all too familiar with everyone here. She was cute, yes, but cute babies resulted in him getting mauled and he wasn't so sure about that anymore.

"Ahhhhhh-" he thought out loud, pressing himself a little farther back against the stone and wall until he couldn't anymore. He was trapped.

With a child.

He blinked. "AhHhhh-.. Sss'come from Kvarsheim. Pack not too far over," he motioned outwards in some random way, upturning his jaw to do so. "Your Doc's been working on me." And doing a damn good job, he wouldn't admit. "Got into a fight," he informed her gently next, believing children were easy to hold over and weren't at all questioning. 
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Oblivious, Shadowpup continued to ebb closer and closer even as Bonario retreated into the back wall of the den. Then, she made herself comfortable by taking a seat.

But the man’s presumptions had been spot on. Curt answers satisfied Shadowpup’s curiosity enough to keep the conversation going. Without missing a beat she added her own anecdote.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been in fights too,”
the girl commiserated. “One time. I got into a fight with my sister over a bone.”

Then, she gasped as an idea dawned on her.

“I know! You should ask Starclan for help! Maybe they’d…. idunno… help you get back at whoever beat you up!”
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At some point, he found himself questioning whether or not she was going to bite his face off. How was he supposed to do know what puppies did? Maybe she'd use her big ears to shoot the suns laser beams at him. He laid in awkward positioning, staring dumbfounded.

Then, he scoffed. "Psht." Or rather, gave a light tease of disbelief. He flicked an ear. "Yeah? You've been in fights?" he prompted. Well, then she had spunk! Oh-- a bone! She fought over a bone!.........

"Did you win?"

His eyes crossed between her forehead and chin when she gasped, searching for answers she'd quickly given. She seemed excited.

His lip twitched, words trying to form that weren't there. A blink, and an empty, unsure stare. Confused. Starclan? Then, his lip twitched more as he tried to speak. With a hushed whisper. "Starclan?" his gaze averted. "I-I-I don't think they'd want anything to do with me, kid." If only she knew his sins and woes. He did not feel worthy to even speak to gods or spirits, if there were any. Why would they wish to see him?

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Shadowpup’s big ears fell back. “No… my mom took the bone away and told us that fighting wasn’t proper for a Riverclan wolf…” She kicked a pebble with her paw. “But how am I gonna be a good apprentice if I don’t learn to fight?” she complained to the stranger without any context, unaware her sapling-shaped body looked unsuited for anything physical.

With a small, exasperated huff Shadowpup turned her focus back to Bonario’s problems. “What?” she said with another gasp as her yellow eyes grew big. “Does that mean… you’ll end up at The Place With No Stars? The,” her voice lowered to a whisper,Dark Forest.” Suddenly afraid, Shadowpup took a step back with a suspicious gaze. “Are you a bad man?” she asked.
Kvarsheim
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"I fully agree. I'd have been a much better fighter had I gotten that experience."
Then, he saw fear crinkle into every crevice of her mouth. Her eyes. Her cheeks. Her ears.

His ears fell tense to his skull, all the way until his bitter muscles couldn't hold it any longer. And her question she asked, direct and cut, cut into his throat for an answer he didn't think he had. Only a tired frown upon his features resided now, his eyelids suddenly being weighed down by armies.

With averted eyes, he thought until his voice came out meek. "I don't know."
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I don’t know…

That sounded… ominous.

Shadowpup uncomfortably shifted her weight back and forth as she assessed the man who now appeared as if he had been cut off at the legs. Maybe a mention of the Dark Forest had resonated with him. Good, Shadowpup thought to herself. The Dark Forest was a no-good, very bad place.

Her fear transformed back into curiosity with a spoonful of empathy. “Well, if you are sorry about it then you can’t be too bad,” she decided. “Maybe…” her voice trailed as she processed a thought. Her paw tapped at her lip. “If you try and do something good then Starclan will send you a sign. They can do that, you know.”
Kvarsheim
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"You think?"
He didn't know if he was sorry.
He also didn't think any being larger than himself would look upon his stance, but she did not know that.

He felt an empty pit in his gut. He did not know what good he could do, or offer, where he stood in no position to do for any. Hunt? He did that. He held no other skillset nor helpful knowledge. No good use, outside of it. No one to do something good for.
Is what he thought now.

"If you had to do something for Starclan--, what would you do?"
He watched her, and what he saw as fear, change to curiosity and a thinking brain. She thought big things- a lot of things.

But perhaps there would be a future pull that overcame him larger than he could ever have imagined.

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“What would I do…” Shadowpup echoed as a paw tapped her chin pensively.

“Well, first you should know that Starclan’s pack members are our ancestors. They look down upon us from the starry skies and watch,” Shadowpup recited and gestured to the roof of the den. “Sometimes, they can help us, guide us, or speak to us. But, most importantly, they decide if our spirit can join their clan when we die. If you followed the clan code.”

Shadowpup had done a swell job of learning the basics. “My mama says its important to be selfless. That means do something for others.” She liked being a know-it-all and spoke as if the man didn’t know up from down.

“So if it were me, and I had done something bad… I would, um… pick one wolf I knew and….um…” The gears turned in Shadowpup’s head. “I would hunt a rabbit for them!”

The answer was superficial. A child could not know how deep emotions could go.

"Rabbits are so fast and soft and hard to catch. They'll definitely know you're trying to do a good thing."
Kvarsheim
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; O ;
Tell him a different story.

He could do nothing but listen.
What else could he do?

Through the humiliation of it- of being reminded of every foul decision he'd made, and how he did not believe he would fit in a place so destined for good as she spoke of, he withstood through it. She could not know. Even worse, she did not know how when she spoke, he felt a stab through his chest that twisted and turned, marking his arteries. In moments, he'd felt a burden of an out of body experience, as if he were not there, and she were not there, and as if every word she spoke was on a screen he couldn't touch. A rabbit.

A rabbit.

If he did not believe in the gods, perhaps he'd questioned a flicker of faith if they'd been mocking him. A disbelief click of his throat could be heard, his head coming to a lift as he examined her unknowing features. Even now, it came back to him. Why? Why was this one action berating him? Why out of his faults, out of everything he'd done, out of the filthy behaviors he'd exhibited in his youth towards the notion of life itself, was it all leading back to her?
A woman with more than he would ever have.
If there were Gods, he did not understand what they wanted from him but to smite him.

He came back in mind. With a crawling turn of his head, soft, curious, unsure, unsettled eyes placed on Shadowpup.
The world would ensure he did this, wouldn't it?
Relentlessly.
"Sure, kid."

Why did it burn?

"Yeah." He nodded. "Yeah, I'll do that. Maybe, ah. Starclan will like that." Or something.
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Last from me! Thanks for the fun thread!

Her answer seemed to land, for reasons unknown to Shadowpup, and so a wide smile sat smugly on her satisfied visage.

“Oh, good,” she replied. “I know Starclan will like it a lot.”

Sensing her message had been delivered, Shadowpup stood and turned to leave. “Well, I hope you heal up soon, Mister. Good luck with that rabbit,” she imparted before disappearing into the wilderness beyond.