Ouroboros Spine tukkuruk║
Moonglow
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#1
All Welcome 
rain washed the afternoon.

kukutux had spent it away from her ulaq. she carried a skin of late-picked berries, letting the water run across her pelt. 

voice sought @Kassuq; she meant to share words.
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#2
He was quiet, now.

A smart mouth turned to silence, with two sisters gone from his life. But, when a voice rose for him, he answered.

Kassuq, lanky and limber with approaching teendom, came with his head low, ears back, and his body language all speaking to the same sort of sadness.

Anaa He said, voice choked.
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#3
"my son," and though he had grown taller, kukutux put her arms about him as if he was only a small boy once more.

"let out your weeping. do not swallow this pain."
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#4
His mother wrapped him up in her arms, and his eyes welled with tears. Slowly, his arms came up to hold his mother too, though it was awkward, unsure. Kassuq had been holding himself away, focusing on finding Galana.

He was never going to find her, a part of him was sure, but the rest wanted to so desperately it hurt.

His shoulders shook, sharply, and he released a short sob.

I don’t know how to let it go. He practically whimpered, feeling like nothing more than a little boy again, barely able to stand, crying to his mother about anything that scared him.
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#5
"i will tell you what you must do."

she kissed his trembling face and drew a long breath. "it is time for you to make a journey away from moonglow and seek the spirits who speak to young hunters. you will fast. you will take a special tea which i will show to you. and you will shed blood in the place the spirits speak."

"the ancestors will be the faces who show you how to be free, kassuq."
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#6
Kassuq looked to his mother, her jade eyes, as she spoke to him. He trembled in place, knowing these words were meant to guide him.

Fasting was no great trial. He could hardly taste anything these days anyway. Kassuq hiccuped a few times, straining to catch every single word that left Kukutux’s mouth. Eventually, his breath came, fluttering, wheezing.

How far will I go? How long would he be sent away? How many miles would his paws cover before he shed his blood?
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#7
"listen inside. you will know how far to walk."

this was the shaping of boys to become men; this was the ordeal of each hunter. this time would determine the future path for her son.

and it would take him from this place of grief, so that his heart might breathe again.

it was her hope each son found their way to the taiga and the place of caribou, but she could instruct kassuq no more in this.
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#8
It was him.

He would decide, his mother said, it was him. Kassuq didn’t want that, his soul briefly cried, he wanted direction. He wanted someone to tell him exactly what to do, where to go, who to be.

But he wouldn’t get that.

He took a shaky breath.

Tell me when. Show me the tea. Even as he trembled down to his very bones.
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#9
the item for the drink was a piece of mushroom, glowing a sickly pale as kukutux carefully wrapped the fleshy portion in a square of fetal elkskin.

she gave it now to kassuq.

"travel until the spirits tell you to stop. eat this then, with water. do not forget the water, my hunter-son." she blinked, drawing a breath. "after this, you will dream."