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haunt me, haunt me, haunt me
full summer / night / 53°F / heavy rain

11829
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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The springs were not a safe place. They hadn’t been since what had happened with Jarius—and, for that fact, Morwen had avoided them. With the addition of summer’s full heat, she had little reason to brave the chamber for any reason besides her companions, and even they seemed to prefer the open air as of late.

But it had been raining that night; hard enough to warrant shelter, and she would find none from her little haunt in the pass’s eastern side, what with the Covenant looming large there. Friendly as Relic had been, she found no comfort sleeping in the shadows of packs, and had since abandoned the overhang.

Now, though, she could think of no other place to take solace. No other place she felt brave enough to pioneer; no other place she knew well enough.

In spite of the dread that pervaded the place, she had chosen the springs earlier that night.

With a gasp, Morwen flung her body to the side, head careening to stand her neck upright. A breath stayed bated in her throat as her eyes darted through the darkness. What thoughts roamed reckless and free in her sleeping mind began to bleed from it, and permeate the world around her. Her ears rang faintly. Shadows turned to shapes. Panic clutched at her.

Where am I.

Erratically, the umber wolf looked to either side of herself, taking in the jet that swallowed each of her flanks. The only thing she could see was the undulating bodies of steam, just ahead of her, so faint and impressionable. In her alcove of black, she stayed, petrified, lungs pumping quick as a dying hare’s.

Help me.

Her throat constricted, and closed.

Help.


Feb 01, 2018 08:44 PM

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192926
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
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None yet!
 

He rarely spent the night within the maw of the springs. Any motivation he had to spend any reasonable amount of time there had vanished with the onset of summer and the heat that choked the mountain air. During the day, he could suffer through standing in the cave; but when it came to finding a place to rest, he had a tendency to pick the nook impressed along one of the pathways leading toward the springs instead. A shaded, open gap where he could monitor who was passing through.

That night, he had noticed Morwen taking refuge there. And while he often defaulted to standing back, to giving her her personal space unless permitted to linger, he couldn’t deny his curiosity for the oddity. Especially given how she had never really spent much time at the springs since the discovery of the body. Why was she here now?

He relocated himself slightly closer to the caves, to the lip of the gaping maw where steam rolled into the cool summer air in waves. Wordlessly, he kept guard for as long as he could, until dreams began to pull him in and out of sleep. He was a fighter, though; when he felt himself drifting, he would jerk himself awake again, keen on protecting the springs well that night.

Until sleep finally won him over, and he faded.

He’d woken later for no particular reason he could determine at first. Blinking into the darkness, Tunglið raised his head and yawned, licking his lips, seeking water - and in his dozy half-consciousness, wondered if he should chance drinking from the scalding spring. An irresistible scoff at the thought followed soon after. It was but a sleep thought.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement. Tunglið narrowed his eyes and honed in on it, only to find Morwen’s silhouette cutting against the moonlit steam. Was she awake? She was turning her head. Looking for something? Did she know he was there?

A soft whine emerged from his throat as he lowered his head, tail thumping once on the ground, cautious to be quiet enough not to wake her if she was still asleep. He didn’t even need her to look his way, if she wasn’t. Just as long as she knew.


Feb 01, 2018 09:11 PM — Post #1

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[ Edited: Feb 01, 2018 09:14 PM by Tunglid ]
192933
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts anniversary1 artist profile
 

A faint sound swelled from under the chamber’s faint, whispering drafts, and the drippings that fell from above. Morwen strained her ears to hear it again, but it didn’t come again. Her eyes grew into burnished saucers.

Someone must be there.

Who.

She swallowed, a paltry attempt at forcing her throat to work as it should. Her legs had gone stiff, stuck crooked in awkward angles that she was far too afraid to fix. Through the sulfur, she could barely make out another scent. For a second, she thought she had detected Gareth’s, and knew then that either her senses were unreliable, or he was there, watching her while she slept.

Morwen pleaded silently that it was only the former.

Body rigid as stone, she stared onward, ears upright. Waiting.

She knew not what for.


Feb 01, 2018 09:35 PM — Post #2

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192936
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

He waited for some kind of acknowledgment, though he didn’t know why. Perhaps that was what he was hoping for, rather than for her to be asleep, or for her to ignore him. He knew what hoping did to a silent guardian, though. Hoping for things was a weakness. And for that, Tunglið nearly convinced himself to close his eyes again, assured that Morwen was safe, most likely just reacting to the doldrums of her slumber.

She was staring his way, though. He realized it after a moment. And she didn’t move still, but the closer he looked, he could see she was upright and attentive. Just barely. The haze of the downpour smothered any glow that might have illuminated her at all.

Tunglið didn’t want to chalk it up to imagination, that she was looking at him. He resisted it, even. Decisively he lifted to his feet, escaping the residual cold from the wall of rain just outside the cave’s entrance in slow, tempered strides. A few paces in he stopped, searching for her gaze for a sign that she was truly awake. At the same time, his head bobbed in an instinctive bid for her judgment, a request for permission to come closer.

He didn’t know the name of the impulse that drove him to her, but it felt close enough to the militaristic loyalty burned into him that he allowed himself to foster it.


Feb 01, 2018 09:50 PM — Post #3

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192961
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts anniversary1 artist profile
 

Slowly, almost subserviently, the dark figure began to close in on her. Morwen felt a growl begin welling in the depths of her throat, her guard hairs bristling along with it.

Reflexes. It took a great deal of effort for her to tighten the line on them in a world that so resembled the one in her dreams: dark, manipulative. Smothering.

She swallowed again, taking only the growl down. She’d like to think that her companions wouldn’t let a murderer waltz into the springs if she were sleeping there. If any of them were sleeping there, frankly.

Gareth was a threat to all of them, and she’d like to think their promises were not hollow.

Still, suspicion pervaded.

“Tunglið,” Morwen chanced, inquiry sounding much more like a statement by the way it croaked out of her. She kept her attention trained on him, a disembodied shadow suspended oddly in the steam, waiting. She mimed his silence, imploring confirmation.

With the sheer petrification dissipating, Morwen was able to tuck her limbs closer to her body. As she did, though, she noticed that they’d begun to tremble uncontrollably. She was thankful that neither of them could see it.


Feb 02, 2018 12:05 AM — Post #4

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192962
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

The guard had only a few seconds to wait before she recited his name. The cadence of it on her voice still felt unfamiliar, and exhilarating, somehow rewarding; he was acknowledged. Tunglið drew a few steps closer, inhaling for any telling scents; blood, fear, a discrepancy in her condition that might suggest an excuse for him to stagnate there. She slowly settled back into herself, and Tunglið aligned himself next to her, parallel to her body and a couple feet away. He leaned onto his haunches then slid to his stomach, his forepaws sitting neatly side by side, head aloft.

Like there was no hint of his fatigue at all. Like sleep had never existed in his tightly wound posture, like he was made only to stand guard and watch. An eternal vigil.

“Are you sleeping well?” he dared to ask, unsure if she would permit him to glimpse into her wellbeing. Typically she didn’t. But he wasn’t blind; he knew what he was seeing, out of the corners of his eyes.


Feb 02, 2018 12:21 AM — Post #5

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193096
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts anniversary1 artist profile
 

At the sound of the name, he came closer, and laid at her side. Morwen found herself struggling not to shy away, to shrink deeper into the dark, despite knowing, by all probabilities, that it was Tunglid.

She wouldn’t ease up again until he spoke.

“Are you sleeping well?”

That was the first that he had inquired on her condition so directly. It was the first either of her companions had since what had happened. She knew they cared—they certainly seemed to—but touching on it hadn’t been done out of anything except necessity.

As the seconds passed, Morwen found the gesture cutting deeper.

“No,” she admitted, the syllable especially brisk in delivery to hide the quivering her throat was doing. She swallowed again, futilely, head held over her shoulders, gaze averting what of his she could make out through the night.


Feb 02, 2018 08:24 PM — Post #6

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193438
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

She did not deny him his curiosity. The answer was simple: sleep had escaped her, as he presumed it did given the exhaustion that wore on her. It worried him. He had been falling short in his promise. There must have been something that he could do to remedy this.

“Do you wish to discuss what ails you?” he asked, inadvertently impersonal in his delivery, however hard he tried to express his investment in her burdens. It did not come easily. He was guilty of placing walls between himself and others that could not be dismantled by mere notions. But he cared. As much as he failed to understand it, or make sense of it, he cared.

With a short inhale, he willed himself to soften the tone of his voice into that of sincerity. “I am concerned for you,” he confessed.

Concerned was an understatement. He’d be lying if he said Morwen wasn’t the predominant force that governed his actions.


Feb 04, 2018 08:15 PM — Post #7

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[ Edited: Feb 04, 2018 09:34 PM by Tunglid ]
194001
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts anniversary1 artist profile
 

“Do you wish to discuss what ails you?”

Morwen’s muzzle turned down towards her forelegs in a way that looked especially like a crumbling youth. In spite of her age, the posture was not unbecoming of her. It wasn’t long before Tunglid continued against her silence.

“I am concerned for you,” he said, bidding his voice to take on a tone she’d never heard it in before. Warmth welled behind her eyes, and, stubbornly, she blinked it back.

I’m concerned for me, too. I haven’t stopped walking in days. Every shadow looks like the man who’s taken everything from me. My mind keeps playing tricks. My home isn’t safe. My feet hurt. My heart hurts. My head hurts. Everything inside of me hurts. I hate it. I hate this and I hate him and I hate what he has done and I hate what I am and I hate what I’ve done and I hate that I left and I hate that I’ll never be like Soleil and I hate that I’ll never be wanted and I hate that I’m so disgusted with myself and I hate that I can’t even speak.

Water had long since beaded in the corners of her eyes. She hadn’t realized until it had formed rivulets down her cheeks, and clung to the contours of her jaw. Morwen grit her teeth, determined not to make a sound.

Why?

Audibly, she swallowed. Her throat felt hoarse.

Why?

She couldn’t get it out.


Feb 08, 2018 03:45 PM — Post #8

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194011
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
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None yet!
 

(wow, that post really struck a chord with me :’( i feel you morwen :’’’( erm… sorry for the novel,,)

In the stillness between them, he left his mind clean of expectations. Of course, there were assumptions as to why she might be feeling the way she looked: perhaps it was the heat, perhaps it was the murderer. Perhaps it was Lorenzo’s absence. His devotion to Morwen may have been consistent, but it was not infallible, and it was not flawless. He failed to know her well enough to determine what the problem was without needing to ask. And so, in that way, his devotion remained insufficient.

It was the bow of her head, the idle stare in a direction that was not his that only drove that point home. The answer he sought would not come. How easy an answer it would have been. He was too accustomed to his wards with their easy needs; such needs had never been founded in the paralyzing emotional turmoil that gripped her now.

For that reason, he was tempted to cite his devotional inadequacy as his folly. That it was merely the outcome of an incorrect approach. That if he had just planned better, he would know what to do. But someone told him, once, the heart was not founded in cunning schemes. The heart was so blatant in its desires that overlooking their simplicity would be his undoing. Needless complications would drive him mad.

Someone told him that. Ecaron told him that.

For that long stretch of silence, he struggled in trying to identify his shortcomings. Why he couldn’t prevent her from being miserable. But there was no easy fix. Simplicity was the answer in and to itself. And simply put: she was damaged. Emotionally.

There came the next hurdle.

“Morwen,” he attempted, hesitant to venture into tender grounds for his inexperience alone. He didn’t know how to approach rawness like this. His gaze shifted away, to the swirling, silver mist, to the curtain of rain outside. “I wish to help you, but I fear… I do not know how to. I know nothing. Of you. Of Lorenzo. Of these springs, this valley. I am but a stranger. As I have always been.”

To everyone.

“But I have pledged myself to you, Morwen. To be your stranger. Or your friend. Or your guard. Whatever you need me to be, I will be it. If it will help you. Even if it is just… silence.”

He sighed quietly. She didn’t need to tell him anything, if she didn’t want to. He would allow whatever it took to mend that damaged heart.


Feb 08, 2018 04:59 PM — Post #9

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194013
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts anniversary1 artist profile
 

“Morwen.”

She swallowed again, in lieu of choking on whatever tried to bleed through her teeth, be it words or a breath or a sob. Even though he spoke, her gaze stayed away from his, locked somewhere else; somewhere it shouldn’t have been when beckoned by one who only wished to help, despite not knowing how.

Something inside her sank. But of course he wouldn’t know how to help. Neither did she, nor did Grey, or Koyak, or Soleil, or Lorenzo. No one knew how to help this. Perhaps that meant this was how things were supposed to be.

If Gareth had killed her, she wouldn’t have to suffer like this.

So why keep running?

“But I have pledged myself to you, Morwen… Whatever you need me to be, I will be it.”

Involuntarily, her lips began to part, black leathers laced with the thick saliva of a dry mouth. She licked it away with her parched tongue, taking it all down to her belly. A second wouldn’t pass until the pain bubbled into her throat again.

“He—...” Morwen began faintly, closing her mouth in hesitance. She canted her head just slightly towards Tunglid, lip quivering.

She owed him this much.

“He… He took everything.” Her voice shook like an aspen, rasping out in shallow breaths from the tears she was now clearly shedding. “H-he took my mom, m-my only friend—” Again, things hitched. Her body felt swollen with what time and isolation was pressing her to say.

”... And he tried to take me,” Morwen managed finally, evading the details. While part of her hoped he would understand, another hoped he wouldn’t, for fear of how tarnished she may look in his eyes.

“And now, he… H-he’s trying to take this, too.”

She had come so far to get away from him.

Why did he spite her so?

“I never even asked to be born,” she sobbed, head sinking. “I don’t—... I don’t understand…” Her muzzle sank lower, chin tucked against her chest. Slowly, she cocooned inward.

“Why.”


Feb 08, 2018 05:35 PM — Post #10

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[ Edited: Feb 08, 2018 05:39 PM by Morwen ]
194019
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

Inevitably, his gaze passed over her and he watched as she processed his delivery. Every time he looked at her was another reminder of how worse for wear she had become. How ragged, how much in need she was, and how he had been failing her. He sensed the dryness in her mouth from her stiffened tongue and imagined a way he could bring her the freshest waters; he heard the croak in her voice and wished he could speak those words for her. He couldn’t stand to be a failure for her any longer.

When finally she looked his way, perhaps not directly at him but enough that he could see her eyes, he poured all of himself into deciphering her answer.

She spoke of Gareth, and he tried to imagine the wolf that had done so much wrong to her. He didn’t know what he looked like, only his smell, and the memory ignited a burn in his stomach. One wolf had taken so much away from her. One wolf had been allowed to live after such selfish, heinous crimes. One wolf, out there, who was capable of doing so much more still. He knew what it was like to hate one wolf.

Despair flushed through her words as she at long last bent into herself. The murderer had robbed her of everything she was. Had he ever met Morwen, when she was more than this - or was she always this shell? He didn’t know, but it didn’t matter. Like an archeologist unearthing a precious treasure, he could only marvel at how long she had withstood the cruelty of time, and do everything he could to preserve her as she was.

“The circumstances of our fates do not always make sense,” he said finally, tentatively and gingerly, hanging on to the last of her impoverished sorrows. “And even rarer are they ever fair. I know that you do not deserve what has happened to you.”

How would he know, that she didn’t deserve it? No one did. No one deserved to be stripped of everything they had.

“There is so much we are powerless against. You are not alone in that.”

She must have known she wasn’t alone. She had him, and Lorenzo. But logic did not always cut so cleanly through intangible haze. No one could give her the answer she sought: why was she born, why did Gareth do this to her? All he could do was provide comfort until the pain of that question subsided.

“But he is not here now. You are safe. I promise you this.”

Tunglid craned his neck, watching the space he found himself drawn toward, the tufts of brown and black behind her head. He was afraid, too. But sometimes, one had to take risks, and Tunglid would not shirk even a risk of this kind if it meant he might soothe her. So slowly he lowered his chin onto her nape that he realized eventually he was only hovering, waiting to know if she would recoil or let him stay.


Feb 08, 2018 06:31 PM — Post #11

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[ Edited: Feb 08, 2018 06:37 PM by Tunglid ]
194022
Name Player
Morwen maiyev
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Tunglid’s voice came in soft cadences once more, gentle lilts there to soothe her nerves. In all honesty, it didn’t help her much; hers was an old wound, never given what it needed to heal properly. She was still split open, and the agony would persist even as he tried to staunch the bleeding. Morwen thought she always would be.

He was trying, though. He was trying.

She kept her head ducked as he spoke, the sobs that racked her shoulders slowly subsiding into rigid tremors. Her breaths, while still trembling, eased back into her control. He was coaxing her back to the cavern, from whatever depths she’d been cast into.

She never would have thought Tunglid, a glacier from his eyes to his demeanor, was capable of such a thing.

“But he is not here now. You are safe. I promise you this.”

Weakly, Morwen nodded, heeding him.

He wouldn’t allow Gareth to come here again, nor would Lorenzo. She had to trust them if she were to stay sane.

As she began to lift her head, something brushed the tips of her fur, and her neck met with his before she could realize what he had done. The umber wolf turned her head towards him again, just enough to spot the swathe of gray that covered his chest. For a moment, she was stunned.

Was this what she needed?

Tentatively, she began to shift her weight. Morwen sidled closer to Tunglid with timidness, coming to lay her throat carefully across his forelegs so he may lay his over her neck. She blinked her puffy eyes, willing them to simply stay shut, and to let the world fade away when things were at least alright.

She hoped that, maybe, he needed this, too.


Feb 08, 2018 07:14 PM — Post #12

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194053
Name Player
Tunglid frá Norðri Madison
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The rest of his body was suspended, too. He didn’t realize she had turned into him until suddenly her neck was against his, the contact he vied for offered all too easily. He wasn’t sure how to receive it. He was bad at making assumptions like this, that it was okay, that it was even permissible. But she didn’t pull away.

Tunglið wondered if she could feel him tense beneath his fur, the tendons in his neck tightening, his lungs solidifying as if the air within had hardened straight to ice. And yet, it was fire, too. Heat, the rapid pace of his heart paired with that exuding from her contact. His toes flexed in the dirt as she began to readjust and he half thought she might lift herself away and dismiss his presence entirely. It wouldn’t be the first time he had missed the mark. He would chalk it up to another mistake. Just another opportunity to improve. He was sure he’d drive himself mad one way or another.

She was still there. He was acutely aware of every movement she made. His neck bent over hers as she migrated closer, careful to leave her enough room to settle into her new position. Or maybe afraid of touching her, still. That it would scare her away. He didn’t move again until she had fallen still, with her weight on his legs - it wasn’t light, but he was glad it wasn’t. He would shoulder her burdens as long as she needed him to. Then he lowered his chin back onto her nape.

Soft. The smell, woodsy. It wasn’t reassuring. If anything, it was sending him into a flurry. But it was nice. She was close, and it was nice.

He closed his eyes and thought of what else he could say, but ultimately, the words never formed in his throat. He didn’t know what to think of the silence that insistently sealed his lips, whether it was natural or just another shortcoming. He didn’t want to think of it. Tunglið just wanted to be grateful. It had been far too long since he had reason to be grateful for anything.


Feb 08, 2018 10:30 PM — Post #13

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