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I’m A Runner
On the coast between oak Savannah and the islands/ dusk

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Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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Thistle was gone. If Nettle had come looking for her as they’d predicted, Witch hadn’t found him. Her siblings had been so close, if not in the valley then close to…. but theyd never felt so far away. It was one thing to not know where they were but hoping they were okay, and knowing they were close by but unable to find them. Anxiety plagued Witchhazels thoughts every moment of the day.

Shed broken a promise. Shed told Poet that if she ever felt the need to run, she would find him first. But run she had, not heeding her oath or the fact that shed had packmates to care for. We’re the Stormborn wolves okay without her? If they found her, would she be treated as a traitor? Would someone be looking for her?

Did anybody worry about her?

Of course, after scoping out the area around the valley, Witch had debated going back to the place shed been thinking of home. For some reason or another, however, shed put of the decision and wandered further. In a haze of anxiety the pale woman had wandered, until the salt in the air called to her and the waves pulled her closer. The beach had been her save haven for a few days now, avoiding every scent and sound of others in fear that Atlas has sent someone to drag her back. She couldn’t face any punishment that might come her way, not when she felt compelled to search for her littermates.

Perhaps Thistle had gone back to Nettle and they’d left her here, assuming she was happy on the range. That she wouldn’t go back with them.

Oh, how wrong they’d have been. Witch longed to be beside her siblings again, and if that had meant going back to the pack Rose had entrusted them to, then so be it. She would have lived a life beside her family without a second thought, but here she was, on the coast again, crying. Sprawled out in the sand with her head on her paws, the copper painted woman sniffled and stared out into the sea as if the waves would wash up her siblings, healthy and happy to see her.


Mar 24, 2018 11:29 AM

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200942
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Rowan Jill
 

Rowan wasn’t entirely sure why he’d come out to the beach. He lacked the self-awareness to define adolescent restlessness for what it was. What he did know was that he needed some time alone to dedicate to himself and his thoughts, much as the sight of his two siblings would have eased the crawling apprehension he felt.

If Ash found someplace safe for them in the mountains, then Rowan figured he ought to see what he could of the gorge and oaks and coast, before they left.

And that thought, too, made him anxious. Because he didn’t want to leave to go live someplace else. The oaks. Dentree. All of it was home.

He wished Bucky had never told them anything about their parents being bad wolves.

That Mum and Aunt Reg and Aunt Star had never left.

That he could live his entire life with his family—his whole family—and the Rangers, and never have to worry about anything.

Trudging with his head and tail hanging slack, he grimaced quietly to himself. He tried to convince himself the wetness in his eyes was from the ocean breeze, that the tingling in his nose was from the salt and not restrained tears.

Staring absently at the sand, he failed to notice the she-wolf he approached.


Mar 25, 2018 01:33 AM — Post #1

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200988
Name Player
Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts 250posts profile
 

So deeply lost in her thoughts and watching the last days of sun dye the horizon, Witch didn’t notice the approach of the young boy.

Perhaps Thistle had never meant to stay. Maybe the whole plan had been a “hey I’ll go find Witchy and let her think I’ll be staying and then we’ll go home”. Her sibling never had been the type to get nervous and run off; how could Witch think that was a possibility now? Why else would her sister have turned tail and abandoned ship?

Oh, how Witch wished Hodor was here. Mostly to help her make sense of things but also to pull her into a hug and tell her everything would work out in the end. To cuddle in the sand a while before they went traipsing around for a couple of crabs to take back to Tiny and the kids. How simple life had been on the beach.

Would life ever be so simple again?

The sound of shifting sand drew the witches attention, ears falling to the sides and tail curling close. Anxiety throbbed in her veins, but when her emerald eyes fell on the form of a boy, Witchhazel could only stare. Such a young child to be stricken.

Maybe it was her turn to be Hodor.

After pulling herself together with a sniffle, Witch called out to the stranger with the softest, sweetest voice she could muster, even if her words quaked and her own eyes glistened with her own anxiety. It didn’t matter how upset she was, or what her problems were. Somebody else needed her.

“Are you alright, young one?”


Mar 25, 2018 08:38 AM — Post #2

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201078
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Rowan Jill
 

Rowan winced at the sound of a foreign voice. Only belatedly did its kindness, sweetness, register in his thoughts. It was feminine, too, he realized a moment later—and those notions combined had him relaxing some.

As his breathing evened, he brought his eyes up to notice a she-wolf along the shore. The pale parts of her fur had his heart leaping in hope. It was a sensation that was dashed as soon as he realized her ivory pelt was tainted with russet helm and mantle.

Of course it wouldn’t be Mum. This lady’s eyes were wrong, too.

And they were wet, he noticed. That was weird. Adults didn’t get sad. They didn’t…cry. He felt a pang of irrational resentment, not wanting to come to terms with the fact that even grown wolves had problems. He just… wanted his Mum to be his Mum. Bucky to be a good leader. His aunts to be… good aunts.

Things shouldn’t be so complicated. But they were, and as Rowan looked upon the female, remembering he had yet to say anything to her, Bucky’s words echoed in his mind.

You can’t tell good wolves from the bad.

“Who’re you?” he asked after a sniffle, some of his blue eyes’ inherent kindness fading. He made no move to approach her further.


Mar 25, 2018 10:10 PM — Post #3

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201125
Name Player
Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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Witch didn’t bother getting up from where she lay in the sand, and once the boy noticed her, he too didn’t more to come closer. He seemed to study her; Witch didnt miss the spark of hope that was swiftly quenched, as if he’d been expecting someone else.

He didn’t answer Witch’s initial question, but that seemed fair considering he wanted to know her name. Couldn’t be talking to strangers, duh.

“My name is Witchhazel. You can call me Witch if you prefer something shorter.”

For a kid, he wasn’t exactly on the small side. Not quite as big as her, but similar in coat color, save for the copper tones her siblings were known to be marked with. That thought set her heart aching again, but with a soft sigh, she gave the boy a wide smile.

“Care to join me? Take a load off your shoulders, little one. If you want to talk, talk. If you want to lay on the warm sand, well, then lay on the warm sand. Promise I won’t bite.”

Whatever helped him cheer up a bit. Maybe in a little while shed take a dip and wrangle up a couple fish for dinner.


Mar 26, 2018 09:09 AM — Post #4

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201224
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Rowan Jill
 

The female was forthcoming with her name. Witchhazel, she was called—or Witch. Tension gradually leached away from Rowan’s face, replacing an absentminded scowl with something more neutral.

Maybe, even a touch of lightness returned to his otherwise stormy eyes, when she suggested he sit and relax with her.

Rowan acceded, planting his rump against the sand—though his eyes never left her. Suspicion still wiggled in his chest. Or maybe that was just the arrhythmic beating of his stressed heart.

He wasn’t sure, and wasn’t about to approach her to have either theory proven true.

“‘M Rowan. Or… Ro.” You know, if she, too, wanted something shorter to call him. His muzzle twitched with another sniffle. “Why… why were you crying.”


Mar 27, 2018 12:35 AM — Post #5

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201466
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Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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The boy didn’t come closer, but then again, shed never suggested such. At least he seemed a little calmer now; Witchhazels grin faded into a softer smile, and her bright tail swept across the sand behind her a few times.

Rowan. He wasted no time in asking why she was crying, and once again Witch felt the telltale thrum of her heartbeat as her anxiety spiked. Smile failing, Witch couldn’t hold back another sigh.

“I was separated from my brother and sister when we were even younger than you. My sister showed up for the first time since then just last season, but vanished again. She said our other littermate was somewhere closeby, and I’ve been looking for them ever since. No such luck.”

No need to give the kid the grisly details of her mother’s death, the murderous pack in which she was born or the father she never knew. To say they had been separated was good enough, unless the boy pried more. Witch wasn’t one to hold back details from the curious.

Of course, Witch was one such curious creature who loved said details. The pale woman couldn’t not ask.

“What about you? You look no happier than I.”


Mar 27, 2018 11:58 PM — Post #6

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201644
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
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Rowan Jill
 

Rowan wished he were more like Ash. Maybe then, he could have kept his expression stoic, unfeeling. Instead, as Witchhazel revealed she’d been separated from her siblings, his morphed into one of shock and horror. Heartache, too.

His brows knitted above his uncomprehending eyes. He found his breaths coming faster. Finding it too difficult to look into her green eyes any longer, lest he see something too familiar in them, his gaze fell to the sand. His throat bobbed in a thick swallow.

And then she wanted to know why he was sad. Rowan gave a powerful shake of his head. No. No, he couldn’t tell her his own problems. His Mum had gone, and Aunt Reg, and he’d been stupid enough to stay behind, because he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving a tree.

It was difficult enough, hearing her confirm what he’d feared. That even if his family had stuck together, everyone left in the end. Everyone. Mum, Aunt Reg, Aunt Star, even Witch’s siblings.

Maybe even Ash and Saya.

An unchecked whimper rose in his throat. He had to say something. Anything.

“Do… Do you think you’ll see them again?”


Mar 28, 2018 08:15 PM — Post #7

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202257
Name Player
Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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Witch could plainly see the way in which her revelation effected the boy, her own gaze flicking to the ocean while she swallowed down her own misery. He had wanted to know, after all.

Rowan wasn’t as willing to share, but that was fine by Witch. His whine made her heart throb with their shared hurt, but his question struck a sore spot she didn’t know she had. For a long minute, Witchhazel kept her eyes on the rolling waves of the sea, silent.

Eventually, she turned back with a very faint smile.

“A couple of months ago, I would have said they were likely living in a pack somewhere, happy to have forgotten the pup who was probably dead just like our parents. That I’d never see them again, and I might’ve been okay with that.”

Like Thistle had said Nettle believed she was dead. It was a fair assumption, one that could give a lovely surprise of her being alive rather than hoping and being hurt by a likely death.

“But my sister was here, in this valley. She believed I was alive somewhere, and she searched for me. She found me. That felt impossible to me…. So…. Yes. One day, no matter how long it takes, I believe fate will bring us together again. Ill see my littermates again.”


Mar 31, 2018 09:20 AM — Post #8

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[ Edited: Apr 03, 2018 02:48 PM by Witchhazel ]
202966
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
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Rowan Jill
 

Witch was quiet for a long time. Rowan had gotten used to it—the silent stretches that disrupted discussion. As a pup, he might have run to her and nuzzled her chin, hoping to stimulate a quicker response than the one she was undoubtedly mulling over.

Time had taught him that it was okay to consider thoughts before you spoke them. It seemed more important to him than ever, to tread conversations carefully. To analyze if what was said in the end was truth or not. To ensure that what he spoke was truth.

He waited patiently for her to speak, and didn’t remove his eyes from her when she was quiet, or when she replied at last.

She definitely seemed truthful.

His throat bobbed in another swallow, this one not as desperate and panicked as before. As he digested the information, he found the hurt in his heart lightening. Witch’s family had been separated. His had, too. But maybe… maybe he could hope, like her, to see them again.

“That’s… that’s good.” He blinked at her, the very tip of his tail stirring in thought. “So… are you alone now, though, Miss Witch?”


Apr 02, 2018 10:45 PM — Post #9

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203091
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Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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Rowan waited oh so patiently that Witch almost felt bad making him wait, but was sure he wanted a 100% correct answer. She meant what she said any believed it with all her heart; without that faith, she would have nothing.

The boy seemed content with that answer, going on to give her another question. This time, there was no pause before Witchhazel sighed another reply.

“Yes, dear Rowan. I came to visit the beach that reminds me so much of my old home, but I have nowhere and nobody to go back to.”

Not anymore. She couldn’t allow herself to think about the Rise, about the herbs shed so carefully gathered, dried and bundled into its own hole in the walls of her den; the feathers and stones that gave her personal spacea personal flare. About the highest tree on the highest part of the Rise, to waking up each morning to a sunrise over the edge of the world. About Poet, or Atlas, wondering where shed run off to. About Jingo, who very likely was disgusted with her for going back on her word to stay.  About the place that had so swiftly become her home since Hodor died.


Apr 03, 2018 02:56 PM — Post #10

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203192
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
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Rowan Jill
 

Dear Rowan was an affectionate term that did not weigh nicely upon his shoulders. Too much it reminded him of what he’d lost. Still, rather than grimacing like a child, the blue-eyed boy regarded Witch steadily, focusing on the latter half of her response.

Witch had lived on the beach before. He wondered if she was like Eve, and if she’d grown up around the ocean. Not knowing how funky it smelled like he did.

A bemusing thought, one that temporarily derailed the deep-seated ache in his heart. He embraced the opportunity to focus on something else, someone else.

It was exhausting, being so sad all the time.

“W-Well, there’s… there’s a pack nearby. The Rangers.”

His mouth remained parted as he considered whether or not to introduce himself as part of them. In the end, he decided against it. The peaks looming in the distance might very well be his home sooner than later.

He swallowed, looking to the rust-clad female earnestly. Wondering if she’d find herself curious about the offer he’d made, albeit roundabout in his naivete.


Apr 03, 2018 09:57 PM — Post #11

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204443
Name Player
Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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1year 2mos 6mos 100posts 250posts profile
 

A pack nearby? Witch’s ears perked forward, and at her flare of interest came the kick in the gut of guilt. Could she give up the search for her siblings and attempt once more to integrate into a pack? To, again, make new bonds and friendships? Could this be the place where she would settle down,  find someone, start a family?

Or would it be another place she fled from, plagued by anxiety? Would Nettle show up looking for Thistle? Would he be angry that shed known about their presence, yet turned away at the first prospective pack?

Rowan didn’t need to tell her he was a pack wolf or not, for the scent of others was layered in his pelt, recognizable as it was on the grasses of claimed land. Whether he was a part of the aforementioned Rangers, though, was his own secret for now.

Did her own pelt still hold stray scents of the Rise?

“Can you tell me about it?”

Mostly, the question was meant to buy her more time to silently brood, but she was careful not to lose attention in the boy; she didn’t forget that he, too, had come here upset, and wouldn’t allow divided attention to hurt his feelings on top of that.


Apr 09, 2018 09:07 PM — Post #12

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204474
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Rowan Jill
 

Witch’s ears turned toward him. Rowan recognized the gesture instantly. It was one of those little tells of Saya’s or Ash’s, one he so rarely saw but strove to cause, because it meant he’d said something they liked. And he was all about their attention.

He found himself brightening, even if only a little bit, beneath Witchhazel’s.

“I-It’s a little farther that way.” He turned to tip his nose across his shoulder to the south. He’d failed to inherit a decent sense of direction from his parents, and had to make do with simple pointing for now. “Um. Bucky’s our leader.”

And—dang. He hadn’t meant to say our. Too late now, though.

Sniffling back what residual tears clung to his cheeks, Rowan turned to look at Witch earnestly.

“I’m sure you could… stay for a bit? If you need someplace to. To stay?”


Apr 09, 2018 10:44 PM — Post #13

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204746
Name Player
Witchhazel Quinzel Raven Marie
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Bucky was their leader, and it wasn’t far from the shore; not much to make a decision off of, but he was still just a kid and there was every chance he hadn’t begun to learn about what they stood for.

Witch wilted into herself, paws tucking closer under her belly and ears falling to the sides. Even her gaze fell to the sand between them.

“Should I give up my search for my siblings for the hope of finding a place to have a family?”

Her words were no more than a whisper, only loud enough to carry to the boy before the tears began again. The pale woman lay her chin on the sand, eyes flickering again to the familiar, calming waves of the sea.

Rowan was someone she could make a true friend of, Witch was sure. She didn’t know what the other Rangers were like, but Witch tended to be open and friendly: she could make friends anywhere. But that always seemed to be the problem…. Poet, Maaike, Jingo, Atlas….. all wolves she’d considered friends,  now likely hating her for her abandonment.

Would Rowan be next on that list to hate her?

“I’ll need to think about it.”


Apr 11, 2018 09:11 AM — Post #14

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[ Edited: Apr 11, 2018 01:17 PM by Witchhazel ]
205317
Rowan is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Rowan Jill
 

To her question, Rowan could provide no decent response. She spoke as if finding her siblings and having a place to live with a family were two separate goals. For him, it was much simpler: they were one in the same.

They always would be. He would live wherever his family did. What remained of it, anyway. Of that, he was certain.

His brows angled in a hurt mature for his age, one he felt for her rather than himself, when he caught the glimmer of tears on her cheeks again. A heaviness settled into his stomach. He hoped he hadn’t… made her upset.

It didn’t seem like he had, if her admittance to think on his offer was any indication.

For a moment, he simply watched her. Wondering, in an arena of thought perhaps better suited to an older wolf, how similar they were. What circumstances they shared in their lives. If her story would be what his own future resembled, or if perhaps his present resembled her past.

“Okay,” he murmured quietly after a long time.

Settling onto his stomach, Rowan lay parallel to the she-wolf.

“Miss… Miss Witch?” Shyly, he turned to look at her. “I think… wherever your family is, that is where your home is, too.”


Apr 13, 2018 11:42 PM — Post #15

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