Ouroboros Spine atanik ⫏
Moonglow
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#1
All Welcome 
each day passed in exquisite pain.

the loss lurked in mother's mind. sleep fled. she forced herself to work once more, but there were no working-songs.

her mind reeled; it cried out for something more to see, more to see than the endless replayment of her child's body limp and bloodied in her arms.

at last, she dragged herself to the lake; at last she plunged herself beneath its sweetwater depths and resurfaced to scrub debris and grease from a pelt long neglected.

moonwoman combed tangles from her gleaming pelt and whispered the name-word for the number of days that had passed.  iñuiññaq. twenty. it had been twenty-and-three sunrises, but the hour of death had passed the twentieth day.

kukutux knew her mourning now must turn inside. her sons and daughters grieved. for them she must be strong.

and yet her eyes remained sober, vacant, as she trailed from the water's edge along the worn path which led back to the ulax.
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Moonglow
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#2
Half a year. She was half a year. And already her life had been riddled with great sadness. She wasn't quite sure what to do. And it didn't touch her, not really but she felt her dearest ones pain and hels it fast. Hoping to help in someway.

Her eyes caught a flash of white and she trotted forward with a smile.

Hello Moonwoman.
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#3
by stark contrast, chickadee could not stop grinning. sharing a den with @Kivaluk felt even more natural now, right; if she had ever wanted to seek a place of her own, that idea had gone out the window.
she was rarely far from him if she was not helping with the younger wolves; chickadee was positively moon-smitten, and it showed in every facet of her interaction with kivaluk.
still, kukutux needed to be told. chickadee had waited, for moonglow was still rife with pain. but when she saw the moonwolf coming up the track beaten smooth by generations of paws, the girl stood up straight.
"we should go talk to her now," she told him, watching little ajei approach their leader. she had no idea why she was so uneasy but the delta was even more nervous to wait, now that she'd found out there was a certain way these things were done in moonglow.
Moonglow
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#4
kivaluk is strangely nervous, and he tells himself it's just because kukutux is in mourning and though his courting of chickadee should be a happy occasion, he worries that is ill-timed.

still, he nods in agreement and follows after chickadee, thinking of what words he might use ... his steps falter a bit when one of the cubs crosses kukutux's path before they do but he continues on, letting out a low chuff to announce his and chickadee's presence.

he would not steal ajei's spotlight if the girl had something she needed to share with kukutux, as well.
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it was not long before ajei approached with her usual politeness. kukutux did not want to send the girl away in spite of her heart-ache; she lifted a foreleg to invite the girl into her embrace. "did anything important happen while i was not here?"

before there could be more words, chickadee arrived, and with her was kivaluk. the young woman fairly glowed with excitement, and sivullik was reserved, though her discerning mother's eye would attest that this delight was shared between them. "come to my ulaq," she told them fondly.

when they had come to the well-loved clearing; when kukutux had offered each raspberries and deer fat, she settled beside ajei and turned questioning jadestone eyes first upon the daughter of shikoba.
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#6
Ajei accepted the hug and squeezed back. seal and mister Njord brought fish from the spear. I fished for Starwoman. Massaraq grows melancholy.

The last part whispered softly. i am sorry for your sadness moonwoman.

She offered a sweet smile to both the older wilves. Hello Chickadee! Kivaluk!
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#7
massaraq was sad. chickadee momentarily wilted at the sight of so much familiar pain. but kivaluk at her side, she felt a little stronger.
"moon woman, i'm sorry," chickadee murmured, poking a bit at the offered food. "i — maybe i have some happy news. kivaluk and i, we —"
words failed; chickadee looked helplessly to him now!
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#8
hello ajei, kivaluk parrots to the young girl with a smile, as the three of them follow kukutux to her ulaq, smiling at ajei's enthusiasm as she recounts all she has done to help moonglow in kukutux's absence. it reminds him, kind of, of himself: that drive.

he eyes the deer fat and berries, but his stomach is in knots despite how the spread makes his mouth water!

he knows that, perhaps, he has not followed traditions to the 't' and that in her time of sadness his mom might not be entirely willing to share in their joy.

chickadee starts and tapers off, looking to him.

that is to say, a small clear of his throat given. i asked chickadee for permission to court her and she has agreed.
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#9
kukutux looked between the two young wolves, and then toward ajei.

slowly her still expression warmed to amusement, then something that did not quite reach delight. she was truly pleased, however, and something in her chest eased gently at the prospect of new life continuing in their village.

"i give my blessing for this. chickadee, as mother of this village, i will speak for your bride price."

"sivullik, go to aiolos. ask what is needed of you."

she herself would decide what kivaluk must bring, and would tell the young man soon.

for now, she touched them each with a smile. "you have lived together many hands of time. perhaps this was already decided long ago."
Moonglow
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#10
Some of these words were foreign to her. Bride price. This was something she didn't know. Oh she knew what a price was and a bride, but the two together. Rodyn had spoken of it one time when he motioned to furs in the ulaq near the sea saying it had been part of his bride price for samani.

Green eyes looked to all three and she smiled at their happiness even if she didn't quite understnd fully what it meant.
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#11
kukutux seemed elated, excited, and chickadee could not help the grin of anticipation which she cast now to her — intended? this definitely wasn't casual, and she pushed down any trepidation to face head-on her immersion in the culture kivaluk called his own.
ajei; she offered a hug to the girl. "i'm glad you're here today, to be with us when we announced it." now to the village matriarch she turned her focus. "uhum, is there — is there anything i should be doing?"
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#12
from kukutux, he is instructed to speak to the sunking about what is needed of him. it fills him with an nervousness that flirts carelessly with excitement.

to this, kivaluk gives a firm nod of his head.

i will speak to the sunking as soon as we are finished here.

for a while, he'd thought he wouldn't have the chance to be a husband and had given up hope on such things ... that was, until chickadee came into his life.
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#13
"you will stay with me, chickadee. i will teach you the things that are for wives to know."

a small smile. a look to them both. they were young, but not so young that spring would not overtake them. perhaps even in winter. she would encourage this.

"ajei, come with us. we will go and tell your mother this good news."
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#14
Ajei looked up to Kukutux and then to the two lovers to be and smiled kindly, softly. It was nice to know that the world would continue. That there was still happiness to attain. 

It saddened her greatly that a young life was lost, and love too. But these two. She would be glad for them and do all she could to help where she could. 

They deserved the happiness.
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#15
hazarding a last, amused glance at kivaluk, chickadee turned back to kukutux and ajei, following the two along the path.
inside herself, she was radiant with shy joy, and wondering for the future.