Wayward Seasons

Description:

Winter

    Summer-sky to Blood Opal
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    2 Posts    104 marks
Wayward Seasons
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:25:56 AM »

"I don't like it." An often felt but rarely voiced complaint. Winter circled the small room. Crowded with furniture and brik-a-brak. Mother finding the excess throws and baubles a sign of wealth and importance. Winter thought it just made things messy and dangerous when you wore a tail. He never, ever, said that, though. That complaint he held inside always, afraid to wound her feelings.

Mother said nothing, just smiled patiently. Serene as always. The only mother in all the world who did not wail and gnash her teeth at the disappearance of a child. Winter rubbed the back of his neck, head falling back to he could regard the ceiling with all the despair and confusion he did not show his mother. She probably knew anyway. Could see the twisted knot that pulled on all of him at the pit of his stomach.

"Autumn cannot stay home?" Mother shook her head, making him sag in defeat. Chin falling from the sky to his chest and shoulders slumping like an exhausted man. A thirsty man caught out in the desert. Winter had never seen a desert. Teeth clacking together as he worked his jaw around words and emotions, Winter gave up the fight. "South?" Mother nodded.

She had told him much of it already. Spring was far below them. So far the map did not extent to the place she had traveled. They could not travel to the place she had gone without help. It was the form of that help that made Winter cringe and whine. If it had just been himself he would have gone silently. But taking another sister into harm's way made his belly ache. "But why?" He pleaded in agony, only to be met with a sympathetic shrug.

At the corners of her eyes was a worry, when he looked hard. This meant all but one child would travel away. Far away from the pack. A mother's worry. South. South, his heart whispered. He had always wanted to go south but the pack had never traveled that way, so neither had Winter. Best to stay near the Askavi border where their golden eyes and slow growth was easily explained away without needing to speak.

Looking up, Winter saw Autumn in the doorway. At least he would not be lonely for the trip. Just worried. His sigh filled the room. "Fastest way it to take this Coach, and then travel down the coast as wolves. Most of the sheep will be in barns for the winter so we won't have to worry about shepherds and dogs." His finger traced the path on the map their mother had spread out on the table. Corners held down by mismatched tea cups.

"Then we just have to look for the town with the red tower and wait, I guess. To be kidnapped and hopefully not murdered." Or worse. Glance pensive as he cast it over his sister. Surely mother would not send her daughter to suffer in such a way. Or Winter to bear helpless witness to it. Straightening, he scratched behind his ear. They had a sister to rescue. Somehow. His worries would have to wait until he could do something about them. "All packed?" He asked Autumn while pocketing the marks mother handed over. Coaches weren't cheap.

Autumn

    Summer-sky to Opal
  • Black Widow
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Poisoner
    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    2 Posts    55 marks
Re: Wayward Seasons
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 11:03:19 PM »
Boot noise muffled by the carpet, Autumn paced the hall. Too riled to sit pretty in that room, boxed in by her mother's knick knacks, smothered under the weight of them. Worse would be her mother's face, beatific smile, unshaken conviction in their paths. She always felt like her anger had to be louder, harder, brighter, when her mother stood by and looked on, enigmatic. Something would end up broken, and Winter would look both apologetic and and disappointed and sad, and Mama would just look, like she always did, while Autumn's rage would build into screams before she dropped into her fur and made more of a mess of it.

At least she was aware of that much, as bitter a thought as it was.

Half an ear to the conversation, the rest of her mind whirled over what they knew, what they'd seen. South, and a cloud of menace that hadn't, for once, been Autumn's own emotions bleeding across her webs. Beyond their maps and their reach, meaning they'd have to be cautious while following a path lain by someone else, blind and bound. Stuck in one skin, too, and that made her teeth ache in her jaw.

But Spring was missing, taken from babe and pack, and something that blurred the line of wolf and sister had resolved to find her, no matter what. The desire in her was so strong it ached, and every moment they spent delaying was a moment Autumn felt her fur brushed the wrong way. She turned away from the whys of it, only focusing on the when, the how.

She spun at last, taking the last few steps that put her in the doorway. Mama, in her chair, eyes that same infuriating, placid warmth, and Autumn couldn't imagine any of her words coming out without teeth to follow. Attention instead to Winter, and the map as she drew in, gaze flickering over the coast.

"There's no way to get closer in the Coach?" Eating as a wolf would be preferable, and save marks, but still difficult as the prey animals took their dens and the lingering predators grew more desperate. "We could waste time in our fur, or be trapped hunting as people." And miss their chance at getting closer to their sister. So much went into the timing of the thing, and Autumn wanted to be there already, staking out a place, making sure she didn't have anything she didn't absolutely need in her cabinet. Anything but standing staring at a picture of a landscape they'd have to be trekking across. Better to be doing it.

One eyebrow up in dissatisfaction, Autumn snipped. "We aren't going to get murdered. If we were, we wouldn't even bother leaving." She flipped her hair in aggravation, jostling the long braid she'd spent minutes weaving and reweaving, caught chasing the tail of her own thoughts. "Of course I'm packed. I've been packed. We should be going," it would never sit right with her that their mother wouldn't be joining them, but maybe that was Autumn's own doing. Maybe three would be too many, and with their mother gone Autumn might tangle their attempts at tracking via webs if she stayed behind. Still, her lip curled at the thought. So much caught up in her mother's webs, and no matter where she turned a strand to pull against her.

Winter

    Summer-sky to Blood Opal
  • Warlord
  • Played By: dergon

    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    2 Posts    104 marks
Re: Wayward Seasons
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 08:14:04 AM »

Her anger should  have been familiar, like the path the knuckle of his thumb took. Line drawn across his navel, traveling along the invisible thread that pulled and tugged, twisting his guts up into pain. Like the twine the butcher wrapped meat in. Familiar as it should have been, Autumn's bite always came as a surprise. A sharp jolt that widened the edges of his eyes and drew Winter's attention into a pinprick.

Here. Now. What had he done?

"It's the farthest settlement with a landing web. I know no town with a red tower, and asking might seem suspicious." He explained guiltily. They all had their worries, and if Autumn was to go like the weavings said, she deserved to have hers heard. His nail cut into the paper, along a sliver of ink. "It's not just emptiness. We should be able to travel quick, and finding lodging if we need it."

There were dozens of trade routes. The landen so often moved about, and the Blood with them. Migrations patterns shifting with the changes in the Winds over the last century. He tried for a hopeful smile of reassurance, but it felt like his mouth was begging. Don't bite, don't bite.

Winter sighed. "If we knew." Winter had a lot of faith in webs, how could he not, surround as he was by their spinners? But losing Spring had been a surprise, unless someone had been keeping secrets. Surprises were dangerous. Shuffling under Autumn's reprimand, Winter nodded. She wasn't wrong, really.

"If we're sure of the route." These sorts of things were important when you were hunting. Or being hunted. Winter supposed they were about to be doing a little of both.

Mother set aside the tea cups, and Winter rolled the map back up, tucking the corners carefully and making sure it was straight. A pinch of tacky craft kept it sealed while he vanished it into his cabinet. Winter was packed too, with everything he thought they might need to keep them from being murdered.

It just seemed to unlikely when they were about to set off and get captured. On purpose.

"Lets go then. There is a Coach leaving on the hour." Mother Night his stomach ached.

Autumn

    Summer-sky to Opal
  • Black Widow
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Poisoner
    Little Terreille Kaeleer
    2 Posts    55 marks
Re: Wayward Seasons
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 10:02:12 PM »
The logic of it grated. It meant waiting, and trusting in something besides their own two hands. She didn't like the not knowing, the undetermined space between them and the tower. How many farmsteads missed on the map because they were too small? How many roads changed by weather? And her frustration only mounted with the realization that the more she argued the more time they wasted, the longer Spring was parted from them.

Chewing the inside of her cheek, Autumn pulled back the snarl that wanted to change her mouth. Winter was missing a sister too. Mama, a daughter. She could manage her anger in this, until the grass was beneath her four feet and she could snap up prey to sate her fury. First, they had to leave the house, and there was no better feeling than releasing herself of her mother's cluttered trappings.

"The only way to know now is to go." And, at last, be moving. She shifted, agitated, as he vanished the map, and suffered with only a curled lip and averted eyes the attention of their mother as they departed, anxious energy prickling between her shoulders. Every minute felt an ache, and Autumn longed to be wherever Spring was, to enact swift, bloody justice, and then be immediately free of it all and home.

"Do we know how much time we have, to find the tower?" She asked as they made their way toward the landing. It felt good to be outside, free if not from her mother's sight then at least from her home. The sky, the free air, it sooth the edge of the itch inside. At last, at last. First steps taken, at last. Maybe it would be fast, their dash from carriage to town. Maybe nothing would trip them up, and, Darkness be merciful, they'd find Spring before the season changed. A sharp, thorny thought snagged her dreams, and Autumn frowned out at the land around them. "Did our mother tell you? I mean, anything else?" Anything she wouldn't tell me?

 

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