2.0.2 the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
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Open the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]

Offline alaric g.

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the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:40:20 AM »
     Tiny, bloodied paws pressed themselves more firmly to even an bloodier wound. Chests heaved in irregular, heavy patterns, a tempo mimicked by the accelerated heartbeats of both creatures. Tears formed in the kit's eyes as he compressed his paws even further onto the wounds of the larger feline below him. His efforts proved futile; the kitten was too small, too weak, and the cat's wounds were too large for the tyke to be able to do anything of substance that would allow him to save the cat's life. The feline's crimson remains of life continued to spill onto the ground in a viscous scarlet waterfall.

     "Please, please, no!" came the kitten's high pitched yowl. "Y-you—Dad, please! You can't go!" he shouted, the tears rolling from his blue oculars. The kitten's father, dying rapidly, could only smile at his three-month old son and weakly attempt to push him away with a paw. The sorrow in the older male's own eyes was readily apparent to any onlookers. The kit was too busy trying to stop the bleeding to notice.

     A faint laugh, followed closely by his father's voice. "Stop, Alaric," spoke the young tabby's father. With renewed force, he pushed his only son away from his wounds. "There's nothing you can do for me." A young Alaric opened his mouth to protest, but his father spoke before he could produce a single utterance. "Come here—I want to see your face." The tabby reluctantly neglected his father's wounds in favor of moving to face him.

     Upon seeing his son's despair, the larger tabby spoke again. "Do not cry for me, son." These words merely angered Alaric.

     "But you-you're dying! How am I supposed to stop?!" retaliated Alaric, instantly regretting it. His father was, in fact, dying, and he'd spent a few of those precious last seconds yelling at his father. He sniffled weakly. Furthermore, this situation was his fault; if he hadn't thrown a tantrum and stormed off, his father wouldn't have had to hunt him down and get attacked by a feral dog just as soon as they found each other. Thankfully, his dad had been able to fight the hound off, but not without sustaining an injury that would undoubtedly become his demise.

     His father's smile only grew larger in response, a kind of half-hearted grin that pinned itself to the corners of his mouth. "Alaric, you have to be strong for me. Please. I want you to go home, and when your mother gets back, tell her what happened." Alaric nodded in response, sniffling again. It was a miracle that his father could talk so assuredly when he was rapidly bleeding out. "She will be sad, but you have to be strong for her, okay? Promise me that." Alaric's tiny head bobbed in response, although the action was clearly pained.

     The feline's situation suddenly drew more dire. Somehow, he could feel that his time was near; he was going to die soon. "I'm gonna go soon. I love you, Alaric—more than you know. Go ahead and go home." Alaric nodded once more. With great sadness he shuffled over to his father and nuzzled him one last time before turning to go.

     Alaric went home, not once daring to look backwards.

     That was the last time he felt anything.

———

     The tabby woke with a start. Another nightmare, and once more about his father's death. It was as if his sleeping mind was a broken record, stopping and starting time and time again. Nevertheless, he rose from his bed, exhausted even after a full night's sleep. Once more unto the breach, he supposed.

     For the sake of maintaining his own brevity, he decided to immediately exit his home, hoping that doing so would pull his thoughts away from that particular time in his life. Between his jaws was a basket of sorts, one that he had delicately woven for himself. To him, it was a lovely piece of of his own handiwork; to anyone else, it was a crude construction with an appearance that suggested that it was thrown-together in a matter of minutes.

     Upon leaving his home, he took note of the sun's position in the sky. He had not gotten a full night of sleep as he had thought. He guessed, judging by where the sun was, that it was very early in the morning, probably around 6 A.M. Fuck it, thought the tabby, heading for the marsh with his basket situated firmly in his jaw.

     He trekked through the swamp for a while, eventually coming upon a thicket of herbs. It was not his job to be gathering herbs in any capacity, as he was not officially a healer, but he was thoroughly fascinated with medicine anyway, especially given the number of medical journals and such that lied about his home, including a book about herbs and where to find them.

     Setting his basket down, he began to gather the herbs from the bush; tearing leaves here, plucking berries there, and placing each in the basket by his side. His actions conveyed a certain sadness, though—one he had not allowed himself to feel in a very long time, and, simultaneously, one that he was unaware that he was feeling.
don't do love, don't do friends
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 01:01:55 AM by alaric g. »
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Offline aurum.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 09:45:46 PM »
HUNG PICTURES OF PATRON SAINTS UP ON MY WALL TO REMIND ME THAT I AM A FOOL. TELL ME WHERE I CAME FROM, WHAT I WILL ALWAYS BE: JUST A SPOILED LITTLE KID WHO WENT TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Aurum's relationship with his father had been a complicated one, to say the very least of it. On one hand, the male had respected his father greatly and cherished every piece of advice the older lion had given him when it came to his future of being king. For a while, Aethelwulf had made Aurum feel like, perhaps, he had at least one parent who actually gave a shit about him. On the other hand, however, Aurum also resented Aethelwulf, for never doing anything to help with or stop the horrible abuses of his mother Judith. Aethelwulf had never made a move when Judith had reprimanded him or hurt him, and he hadn't even spoken when Aurum had found out he would not, in fact, be the future king of his pride. The angel had been so angry then, lashing out and roaring and challenging his father to make sense of things for him. After all that time spent training him and reprimanding him harshly whenever he did anything unkingly, his father was seriously just going to give up? Back down and let Judith do as she pleased? That had irreparably damaged his and his father's relationship, leading to Aurum being underwhelmed at his father's passing, despite the pain that he had held hidden, deep within his heart.

At the very least, Aurum had never been forced to witness his father's death himself. He had never had to sit with him and watch as he bled out. He could just remember a patrol running in one day, their eyes panicked and full of sorrow as they announced that Aethelwulf was dead, killed by their rival hyena tribe. It had been a dark day, yes, but it had not inflicted the trauma that Alaric had to deal with. Nowadays, Aurum thought little of his father, only occasionally thinking back to time with the man whenever he thought of his coming cubs, and how he would care for them. He would be a better father than Aethelwulf. A better mother than Judith. That he was sure of. He wouldn't abandon his children, or leave them to suffer at the hands of another. He would be a parent to think fondly of, even if it just ended up killing him in the end, as it had ended up killing Alaric's father.

The proxy knew that the day of his children's birth was fast approaching. All the telltale signs were there, from the swelling of his stomach to the way he felt heavy and lethargic, his body stockpiling energy for when he would really need it. Despite this, he intended to enjoy every moment he had before the actual birthing happened, which was why he was out so early in the day. He had been patrolling, nosing his way through the thick growth of the swamp and stepping over logs in an effort to head for the border, a soft hum leaving his throat as he moved carefully. He paused when the scent of Alaric hit him, surprised by the presence of anyone else at this time of the day. Raising his head, the tigon turned and slipped through the thickly clustered bushes to where the tabby was, simply watching for a moment as the other male plucked herbs and berries, with a certain heaviness to his movements. Aurum frowned when he saw it, sensing a dark cloud over the other's head. Clearing his throat, the angel said simply after a moment, "Hello, Alaric. I'm surprised to see you out so early, and gathering herbs as well... are you feeling alright?" Perhaps that was a bit direct, but Aurum had been losing patience for subtly as of late.

AURUM
#psychosocial.
HEY! TEACHER! LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE
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Offline CAUSTIC.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 11:26:28 PM »
Alexander's family had been good to him, overall. His mother identified his body at the labs, and that was the greatest favor he could ever ask of her. He didn't think about his family much, as he lost contact with them a decade ago, and he occasionally searched their names on the Holonet.
His father died in that decade, and he was unable to attend the funeral.
Caustic's circadian rhythm was slowly taking to new times. He couldn't figure if it was the wolf's brain messing with his mind or his work doing so. He was waking up earlier to use as much daylight as possible. So, he was out here now, paws held down with force on a raccoon's neck. The prey would be too big to put in his bag, and it weighed more than a rabbit, so the doses would have to be increased. His mind is already boggling with the potentials as the raccoon chitters and screams are music to his ears.
He tilts his head up, the Tigon's scent hitting his nose, and Caustic quickly reacts, snapping his jaws down on the raccoon's neck, letting bones crunch between his teeth. Gas seeps through and into its body, venom striking true as it quickly goes limp.
Another time, then. He couldn't have Aurum getting onto him. Caustic pulls his face away now, lips and teeth covered in blood. It's a conflicting feeling, really. Caustic was no stranger to blood, but the mood wasn't right and it wasn't... yeah. The idea of eating the raccoon in the next few hours makes his stomach turn, as he picks it up again, approaching the scent of the tigon and the member from the other day. Caustic's front is spattered by blood, gas seeping out as he looked to the tabby and their basket of herbs. He hums, setting the limp body down, briefly nudging it, then returning his gaze to the pair.
"What's everyone doing out this early?" He doesn't note the disturbed look from Alaric, and doesn't care, really.
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« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 11:12:13 AM by CAUSTIC. »
In the end, one's life is measured by those we've changed.

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Offline alaric g.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2020, 10:10:26 PM »
     Gathering herbs quickly became a mundane task for the tabby. As he plucked berries and pulled leaves here and there, his thoughts continually drifted back to the memory of that day. Each time, he forced himself to focus back on the task at hand, but his attention span worsened rapidly, to the point where he could not remove the memory from the forefront of his mind. With one final effort, he pushed the thoughts away as best he could and moved onto a different assortment of herbs growing not far from the bush he had been foraging from.

    The pregnant tigon's words caused Alaric to jump, snapping him completely out of his daze. He must have been downwind, as his normally strong sense of smell had not picked up even a whiff of the angel as he approached. The tabby did not remove his attention from his undertaking as Aurum spoke, preferring instead to work while he spoke. Aurum's lack of subtlety did not go unmissed, but Alaric appreciated the proxy's to-the-point speech. Not having to navigate around social cues certainly made his life easier.

     "'Morning," was his curt response to Aurum's greeting. It was the second part of the proxy's speech that struck a nerve in the tabby—"Are you feeling alright?" Until this point, Alaric had not noticed how his actions were demonstrating plainly the way he felt. Almost immediately, he transitioned back into a normal persona; his actions no longer conveyed the same heaviness that they did before. The transition was almost jarring, really.

     He considered the tigon's words for a moment. There was no one else around, so he could tell the truth, but Alaric did not exactly trust the angel quite yet. "Yes, I'm alright. Thank you," he lied. It would have been an impressive lie, too, and quite convincing if Aurum had not already crept up on him and been witness to how he had been acting mere moments earlier.

     The next to join the conversation happened to be Caustic, whose normally bad scent was marred with the metallic smell of blood. He issued a glance over his shoulder, noting the dead raccoon over his feet. Alaric wondered what it meant for a bit before coming to the conclusion that he did not care and even if he did it was none of his business. The wolf asked of the two what they were doing out so early, and Alaric, despite his foul mood, could not miss the opportunity for a sarcastic remark.

     "I'm skinning a deer, Dr. Caustic. Obviously." Hopefully the wolf would be able to sense the humor in his sarcasm. Some found it offensive, for whatever reason.
don't do love, don't do friends
THIS IS THE REAL YOU
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Offline aurum.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 11:30:20 PM »
HUNG PICTURES OF PATRON SAINTS UP ON MY WALL TO REMIND ME THAT I AM A FOOL. TELL ME WHERE I CAME FROM, WHAT I WILL ALWAYS BE: JUST A SPOILED LITTLE KID WHO WENT TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL
It was somewhat disappointing, although not entirely unsurprising, to hear Alaric brush off his concerns curtly, stating firmly that he was alright. The tigon could certainly understand being withdrawn and not wanting to spew all of your emotions out, especially when you had only been in the group briefly. After all, when he had first joined Tanglewood, he had been extraordinarily closed off, too concerned with himself and the wellbeing of his brother to care much about others. Despite this, the proxy had grown a great deal since those days many months ago, so he couldn't help but feel a sense of frustration at Alaric's response, wishing that he could somehow help the other with whatever was ailing him. Aurum wasn't sure if it was the maternal instincts from his pregnancy, or the base very paternal instincts he had possessed for many months now since adopting Roy, but he still just felt the need to reach out. He didn't want to scare Alaric off, however, so he instead just wrapped his tail around his own broad paws, offering the other a crooked smile before he spoke again, "I'm glad to hear that, Alaric. I was worried you were suffering a case of the early morning blues." That very much was not what he had been worried about, but heavier things could come later, when the sun had actually woken fully from its slumber.

Aurum's attention was then stolen away by the arrival of Caustic, the wolf approaching in his slow, lumbering way before he set the limp body of a raccoon at his own feet. The angel tried not to be too disgusted, especially considering he had hunted quite a few raccoons in his time. However, when it came to Caustic, things always just seemed... off. Off in a way that made Aurum's ears want to pin back and his body wanted to recoil away. He remained rooted firmly in place, however, not wanting to offend the canine when he could just be a good clanmate. Besides, he knew that he was probably going to offend Caustic more with the fact that he refused to refer to the other as "Dr. Caustic." Chuckling a bit at Alaric's little sardonic comment from beside him, Aurum flicked an ear before he responded to the scientist, "Hello, Caustic. I decided to come out early and patrol... I've only got so long before the cubs arrive, so I've been trying to make the most of my time before then." His explanation was simple, but also probably more innocent than whatever Caustic had been out and intending to do with the dead raccoon at his paws.

AURUM
#psychosocial.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 11:52:41 PM by aurum. »
HEY! TEACHER! LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE
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Offline CAUSTIC.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 03:55:51 PM »
A chuckle leaves Caustic at the deer comment, followed by a muffled cough. His shoulders move slightly at the movement, curling his toes into the ground for stability then re-balancing. "Charming." He wheezes, turning to Aurum as the tigon speaks again. "Dr. Caustic." It's an immediate correction, and would continue to be one. Aurum was not his friend, and therefore could not drop the title from his name. He knows her can't do anything about it, except to correct the other every time. Caustic slaved over his dissertations for months, he earned that title and he would show it with pride. Other than that, he takes a heavy sigh, "I'm sure they will be joys." The comment isn't meant with any malice, just obligatory congratulation. Children were many a things, and Caustic had been a father himself. He was reasonably soft with them, but interacting with the animal children felt... weird. Merely because it wasn't normal.
He moves, hovering over Alaric's shoulders to inspect the herbs as he plunked them, trying to match their identification to pictures in his head. They weren't like the flora back in his own time, so most of them were alien to him in that regard.
"How many of these can you name?"
TAGSPLAYLIST • PENNED BY OWLIE
THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY OUT
In the end, one's life is measured by those we've changed.

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Online Ivan

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 09:40:52 PM »

pixel by tricky

He kept fancying that Ivan was absorbed in something — something inward and important — that he was striving toward some goal, perhaps very hard to attain.
— Бра́тья Карама́зовы

"Oh dear, who will protect us when Aurum is holed up in his house with cubs!" Ivan's blunt remark cut sharply into the early air. He was not so much an early riser, but the bird had been pecking him restlessly all night, to the point where Ivan got no sleep and was forced to pad around for a while into the territory. Perhaps if he tired himself out, he could get in a good nap in the evening. It would cut down time for his reading lessons, but he did have to take care of himself.

He had been cautiously drawn to the scent of blood and Caustic. Still persistent in being Caustic's moral little watchdog, he decided to follow after and saw that the gathering was not at all very important, just some small talk. And the raccoon was dead, so Ivan left it alone for now. The boy's large ears inclined toward Alaric, someone he definitely recognized, but only remembered the last syllable of his name. It was evading him and he was embarrassed about it. So he focused his attention on a different tactic. "My mother and father have many plants. You could have asked, if you wanted some. I mean, I know some good spots ...! but I don't go there often." He quickly added. Despite the fact his parents were medics, Ivan had little to none interest in the field. He even struggled during their attempts to make all their children medically knowledgeable. He just didn't like plants.
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Offline alaric g.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 11:44:39 PM »
     Ah, so Tanglers had senses of humor! Huzzah! Alaric's sense of humor happened to be particularly dry, so he mostly relied on facetious quips to get across a joke. It made him more lively, he supposed, although he couldn't exactly say that he cared whether or not people found him to be a pleasant figure. That was not what he was in Tanglewood to do. Not that he had anything to do, really; his reasons for joining were purely based on wanting to live with anyone but his own mind, although he had told himself and continues to tell himself otherwise.

     The tabby would nod upon hearing Aurum's voiced approval. Alaric could not see the look of frustration that Aurum had adopted in that moment, and perhaps it was best that he had not seen it. "Of course. You don't have to worry about me." His statement, though spoken normally, came off as both a command and a warning, as if in telling the proxy not to concern himself with Alaric's affairs he was trying to make the tigon mind his own business.

     Caustic's speech came next. Alaric snorted quietly upon hearing the wolf correct Aurum's dropping of Caustic's title. It was almost like Aurum had little to no respect or trust in Caustic, which was plain for all to see in Alaric's opinion. It was amusing, really, to hear them attempt to converse formally with one another with the incredibly obvious tension that persisted between the two. The tabby cracked a sort of smirk while they spoke to one another, but Alaric himself ended up tensing instinctively as Caustic approached. Alaric despised having other beings in his personal space; coincidentally, one of the few things he detested more was being touched. Alaric opened his mouth to not-so-politely ask him to kindly step away, but before he could Caustic was already producing speech of his own.

     How many of these can I name? thought the tabby, fighting the urge to issue an envenomed glance towards the doctor. He found the question itself to be mildly infuriating. Why would he be picking the herbs unless he knew what they were? After taking a second to compose himself, the tabby responded. "All of them," he began, "Otherwise I would not be collecting them."

     The next to join the congregation was the same kit that had stopped him at the border. He allowed himself to laugh at the child's snide comment about Aurum's cubs, finding its bluntness to be highly amusing. The child, whose name he still was unaware of, next commented on the fact that Alaric had been gathering herbs. It came to him then that the tyke must be the spawn of Moth and Selby, Tanglewood's resident healers. Alaric shot a glance over his shoulder at the large-eared black kitten. "That is precisely why I did not ask. They're healers; they need their plants and herbs much more than I need them. I'm content with finding my own."
don't do love, don't do friends
THIS IS THE REAL YOU
AND THIS IS THE REAL ME
———— @windy & tanglewood & info

Offline CAUSTIC.

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Re: the hole inside of you [ o, herb gathering ]
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2020, 11:38:08 PM »
Caustic feels stupid at his own question, but refuses to acknowledge it. Oops. Despite this, the wolf hums, inspecting each plant with his eyes as Alaric picks them, making mental notes of them. He should look for a book on them later, or ask Alaric about them in private. Caustic hungered for knowledge that was useful to him, or interested him, and this was no different. Some of these herbs could help with his congestion, but he doubted its power.
He notices Alaric's tenseness and has the kindness, in this moment, to step away. Give him a little breathing room. Caustic observes in mostly silence- he prefers it- as gas rolls from his face in small puffs with each exhale. His head turns and brows pull as Ivan approaches. The wolf's tail gives the slightest of wags, as his ears perk. He feels pressured to carry conversation, to appear normal in this way, and speak again. "Ivan, do you have any interest in herbs?" Oh, he's trying.
TAGSPLAYLIST • PENNED BY OWLIE
THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY OUT
In the end, one's life is measured by those we've changed.

CAUSTIC / TANGLEWOOD
bio / art from py-bun
Pixel & Sig by tricky.

 

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