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 Grab Bag September 2015

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Kindredsoul

Kindredsoul

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Join date : 2012-06-24

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PostSubject: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyTue Sep 01, 2015 12:43 pm

The 5 elements for September are:

Blue
A bee
A healing (subject to interpretation)
A surprising bond
A nut


Have fun everyone!

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Grab Bag September 2015 Santa_10Grab Bag September 2015 Downlo23Grab Bag September 2015 Av_cut10Grab Bag September 2015 2020_k13
Compliments go to Embala for bringing a British cat and an American dog together via Photoshop!
chibi cutter compliments of katcombs!
Cutter egg 2018 from Embala
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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

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Location : O'er Der.....

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyWed Sep 02, 2015 12:11 am

Oh, I am!

(update)

Well, I seem to have gotten carried away.  The story is too long to post here. I'll open a thread and link it here in a moment....

and HERE it is....
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Redhead Ember

Redhead Ember

Aries Dragon
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptySun Sep 06, 2015 8:03 am

Love

Slowly you realise;
“This is real.”
No ‘swept off your feet’
no sudden ignition.
Just a steady flame that ever grows stronger,
when friendship turns into something much more.

This was not what you thought this bond would be like,
still you know in your heart:
“This time it’s true.”
Slowly but surely your broken heart heals.

Together you wander,
like messenger-bees;
bringing tidings you feel are sweeter than honey.
Yet not all feels that way.

Skull cracked open like a nut,
all too soon your love is taken away.

Yet you know you have to keep going;
spreading your dream,
in which he believed.
Under a blue sky, you’re finding new hope;
for though he is gone,
he’s never forgotten.

___________________________________________________
"When you do what you love best, you shine where you love."

Come play the Who Am I game! Twisted Evil
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Embala

Embala

Capricorn Pig
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyThu Sep 10, 2015 4:21 pm

I've guessed you'll come up with something about Bee ... or Shuna - most likely both! Wink
You have forged a wide bridge, Redhead. From Shuna's abusive youth and first marriage to true love and self-fulfillment to shock and sorrow and back to comfort and going on. Your use of "nut" is drastic but very fitting!
I love how you find the right words to sum up EQ events "in a box". Wink And for those who don't know EQ your poems work on their own right.


Took me a bit to figure out a fitting background illustration ...

Grab Bag September 2015 Love10

... the length of the poem was slightly challenging, too.

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Grab Bag September 2015 Lifebr10
Indem du etwas tust, das dir oder jemand anderem gefällt, erschaffst du bereits einen Wert.


Last edited by Embala on Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Redhead Ember

Redhead Ember

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyThu Sep 10, 2015 5:15 pm

Thanks. Cutter Smile
Love your illustration.

Why do you think a picked (a) bee as an element? I knew I wanted to make something about Shuna's and Bee's relationship ever since August.
Of course then it turned out to be one of the elements I had the hardest time with, wasn't sure if I was allowed to simply leave the 'bee' implied in the poem. That... and the nut, sorry by the rather... disturbing... image btw.

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"When you do what you love best, you shine where you love."

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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyThu Sep 10, 2015 6:39 pm

*chuckles* I've figured! I thought about using Shuna/Bee for my banner contribution as well ...

And don't worry about the cracked nut ... not more disturbing than what happened in Prologue!

Elements follow their own rules at times. ^^ I think it was great that you have looked for another use of "bee" instead of the obvious ones. I think it would have been possible to simply "imply" Ikopek for being "Bee". I remember a fabulous grab-bag contribution that did not use the elements literally  - none of them - but paraphrased them or counted on reader's knowledge that they are implied. It IS possible. Smile

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Grab Bag September 2015 Lifebr10
Indem du etwas tust, das dir oder jemand anderem gefällt, erschaffst du bereits einen Wert.


Last edited by Embala on Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptySun Sep 13, 2015 3:57 pm

... but I wanted not another variation of Red's poem for the banner. Only one other with "visible" bees that came to mind - the tale about the strangest recognition ever. Wink

Grab Bag September 2015 Gb_20116

The elements "blue", "bee" and "surprising bond" are self explaining. The rest needs a bit of a stretch ...
Mantricker was chief at this time and the little boy's flute playing was able to calm rage - a kind of "healing" (subject to interpretation).
And the "nut" - come on, look at Hummer! She's a nut ... yup, I've decided to imply an element. Wink
Pike told the tale but there is one more reason for him at the bonfire. When Buckthorn challenged Hummer to that staring contest he was convinced that she could not sit still that long without "popping like a chestnut tossed in the howlfire".

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Grab Bag September 2015 Lifebr10
Indem du etwas tust, das dir oder jemand anderem gefällt, erschaffst du bereits einen Wert.


Last edited by Embala on Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyMon Sep 14, 2015 5:03 pm

I don't see how a contribution - ANY contribution! - could "clutter" the designated grab bag thread, Hammer! Thanks for including at least the link to you crossover tale.

"Healer Who?" by TrollHammer

In case you'll somewhen write a sequal it's good to have a thread of its own but last time I've checked we don't mind double posting. Wink


I love the intro when you describe how the dreamberries work in general - and how they affect a storyteller. Lively descriptions, beautifully pictured with words.

The unlikely encounter ... I know just enough about this other fandom to know what's going on. And I say you tell an awesome tale!

It was perfect to have Pike for "first contact". He's curious, a little carefree and catching him in the dreamberry fields helped to defuse the situation for sure. Pike Stunned Cutter totally acts as chief and all the other characters arre well put - especially Skywise's "scientific" interest.

This "clash of cultures" lead to a most unexpected accident, dramatic for the Wolfriders and the visitor. Not at all one of the "usual suspects" and very well chosen for the WoTMs! *clap*
The solution is most likely taken from the other AU ... and I don't fully understand what's going in. Don't worry - I get the essence! In my opinion it's nicely balanced this way.

What I like best tho is the epilog - your view on dreamberries, howlkeepers and time. Now I wish this would be canon and Pike stands on par with Aurek, having a secret magic of his own.

Long comment short: Please... please be get carried away with your stories more often!

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyTue Sep 15, 2015 3:36 am

Once again, Redhead, you have a wonderful way of weaving poems... almost should call you Redhead Pike! I had read your poem a while back, but keep getting pulled away by various thing before I could respond. Thanks for pouring your word art for us month after month!

And of course Embala has done a masterful job framing that poem. The image that jumped out at me, though, was the colorful "G.R.A.B" image... it is young and vibrant, cheerful and bright! I love it!

Thanks for the kind words, Embala. I wasnt sure what to do with it and was doubting myself. There is plenty of theme left for a second part (actually taken from an entry in Morbid Quest), but in part it is too planned at the moment for me to be able to write it, and Im a bit busy at the moment, Im sure Ill get to the second half in a month or two.

The big thing was that I wanted to see if I even could write semi-canon Wolfrider stories. I hadnt ever done it before (indeed, the only Elf stories I can remember writing were Hail and one about Blue Mountain... and the christmas one, but that doesnt count). It was a lot of fun, though.
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Redhead Ember

Redhead Ember

Aries Dragon
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyTue Sep 15, 2015 4:11 am

Thanks, TrollHammer. I think I'll stick to the Ember monicer, though. Ember

Haven't gotten around to reading your story yet, but I will soon; when I'm on a bigger computer and not technically supposed to be studying.
Looks cross-overy to me.

___________________________________________________
"When you do what you love best, you shine where you love."

Come play the Who Am I game! Twisted Evil
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Embala

Embala

Capricorn Pig
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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyTue Sep 15, 2015 3:50 pm

Thank you, Hammer! Happy I've chosen this varient theme. Very Happy

Take all the time you need for you and your family. I'm looking forward to see you back when you are ready.

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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyThu Sep 17, 2015 3:44 am

Blue
A bee
A healing (subject to interpretation)
A surprising bond
A nut


This month’s story was brought to you by “May It Be” from the LORD OF THE RINGS soundtrack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7MLT4MmAK8
And the scene with Stream trying to heal the human child is brought to you by The Foo Fighters and their song “Home
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA4Mmk1nfPg
As well as Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxPj3GAYYZ0

May it be the shadow's call
Will fly away
May it be you journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun.

___________________________________________________

Shadow looked at Foxhair, then to his cub, then back to Foxhair. “The human… he was… taking care of our cub.”

After a moment he looked at her, “How? How are you here so quickly?”

“My mother,” Foxhair replied. “I had a dream about her – a memory.” Just then Stream came into the cave and placed her hand on the human boy’s chest.

“I brought her with me,” Foxhair answered Shadow’s unspoken question. Shadow dropped his sword and picked up his cub.

He turned to Stream. “You have to save the human.”

“I’m trying,” Stream screamed at Shadow.

Foxhair stood up and embraced Shadow and Snowspring. “What have I done,” Shadow repeated over and over. “What have I done…”

Shadow handed his cub to Foxhair and began pacing back and forth. “You must save the human, Stream.”

Beads of sweat raced down Stream’s forehead; her hair drenched as she used her magic to reach outward, to heal a familiar, yet strange body. She was used to healing elves; their bodies were naturally receptive to the touch of magical healing; human bodies were not. She could feel the young child’s body fighting her healing, believing it an invasive infection of some kind. “Get… him… out…” she finally growled through clenched teeth.

“Come my love,” Foxhair urged Shadow out of the cave. Shadow followed, shaking his head.

“I was blind by rage,” he said. “I’m sorry.” He looked up at Foxhair, who simply smiled back at him.

“You were forgiven long before you ever needed to ask,” Foxhair smiled. She followed Shadow’s gaze, which was focused on the mouth of the cave. “I am sure Stream will do everything she can to save the young human.”

“I know she will,” Shadow whispered. He looked down at the bundle of joy in Foxhair’s arms. “Our peanut is alive… our cub is alive… alive… I cannot believe it.”

“She’s a fighter,” Foxhair could feel the tears brimming in her eyes, then race down her rounded, blushing cheeks and landing on her cub, who seemed to coo and giggle at the feeling of the warm, salty moisture landing on her face. “She takes after you, my love,” Foxhair sobbed.

“She will make a fine chieftess one day,” Shadow smiled, brushing back the black hair of their cub. “A chieftess who owes her life to that human boy. A chieftess I hope, who does what I have done – made attempts to understand the humans. I hope she can grow up to do more. To one day make peace with them. To be able to live side by side.”

“No one has ever thought as you do, my love,” Foxhair smiled. “All the more reason, it is so easy to love you.”

Inside the cave…

Stream’s fingers burned. Dizziness swept through her mind, pounding aggressively in her skull, encouraging her to stop, to lay down, to rest, and let the human child die.

After all, she heard some distant voice of doubt whisper, what have they done but brought death and destruction, time and time again? Save this child, and he will spawn more children, bred with the boiling hatred to see the “demons” killed.

“No!” she screamed aloud, to no one in particular.

She looked down at the young boy, watching his hands clenching repeatedly, biting his bottom lip, and drawing blood, as Stream’s magic attempted to mend not just the flesh wound; but to repair the organs within his body that Shadow’s blade had pierced.

“You need to let me heal you, child,” Stream whispered. “You need to let me heal you, please.” Now tears mixed with the beads of sweat that drenched her face, making it impossible to tell the difference between the two.

“I need you to live, child,” Stream repeated. “I need you to do it for my chief. He needs you to live. For the first time since your people attacked, for a very brief moment – I saw it in his eyes – the hope when he saw his child still alive. I saw him the way he was before your people came and murdered our tribe. I saw the Shadow that was alive and strong. Not the broken chief he has been since your people came. I need you to live, because if you do not, even with his child, he will live with the guilt that he has killed the one human who saved his child.”

“Please don’t die,” Stream pleaded, feeling her strength sapping away rapidly. “Please live… for my chief…”

Suddenly Buren’s eyes opened wide, and his sea blue eyes dilated as he took in a deep breath. “High Ones,” Stream uttered, before collapsing on top of Buren’s healed wound.


Stream slowly came to consciousness. Her head was still pounding. Intense, sea blue eyes stared back at her. “Bales daran furel.”

She blinked, uncertain if it was because of the headache that was screaming between her ears, or if she really couldn’t understand and comprehend what was happening.

“You did it,” said a more familiar voice.

She turned her head and saw Shadow crouched down beside her. “He says, ‘You saved my life.’”

Stream began to weep madly. “No,” she wiped the tears away, “He saved our lives by saving your cub, my chief. I was so worried for you. My healing can not heal the soul – and your soul was broken by what his kin had done. But in the moment you saw your cub – I saw it – I saw hope in your eyes again. I needed the boy to live. I needed the boy to live. Because I needed you to live.”

Shadow wrapped his arms around Stream and held her tightly for a very long, silent moment, broken only by the weeping each of them shared.

The human moved his furs and showed Stream the small scar that remained. “Boalar ta dien.”

Shadow pulled back and smiled, wiping his tears away, “He says it looks like a bee’s sting, nothing more.”

As the others arrived to the cave, all sharing in their joy, Stream remained leaning against the floor of the cave; both because she was exhausted, but also for another reason. She stared at her hands. It was gone. She could feel it. Her magic to heal had burned itself out trying to save this human child.

And yet, she would have it no other way.

She listened to everyone’s joy and laughter.

She would give up her powers.

She would even give up her life.

To hear the joy and laughter she heard in the cave.

TO BE CONTINUED…

REGULAR SURVIVING STONE HOWL:

Shadow (Male Soul Name: Tyru) – Black Hair, Tanned, Green Eyes (Elder brother to Purespring, Chief)
Foxhair (Female Soul Name: Loun) – Red Hair, Green Eyes (Hunter)
Snowspring (Female, Soul Name: Tylo – Black Hair, Green Eyes) - Infant. Daughter of Shadow and Foxhair.
Spearclaw (Male, Soul name: Lren) – Brown Hair, Green Eyes (Scout)
Vineweaver (Male Soul Name: Reyk) – Auburn Hair, Blue Eyes (Tree shaper, Soul Mate of Stillbreeze,
Plant Shaper)
Stillbreeze (Female Soul Name: Hewl) – Brown Hair, Brown Eyes (Soul Mate of Vineweaver, Tanner)
Echo (Male Soul Name: Ayav) – Brown Hair, Green Eyes (Cub of Stillbreeze & Vineweaver, Magic)
Windfetcher (Female Soul Name: Burm) – Auburn Hair, Brown Eyes (Cub of Stillbreeze & Vineweaver,
Next Potential Chief… If She Has Her Way!)
Stream (Female Soul Name: Vree) – Red Hair, Green Eyes (Healer)
Snowcloud (Female, Soul Name: Mill) – White Hair, Green Eyes (based off white lions)

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Signature image by Embala. <3
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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyWed Sep 30, 2015 8:06 pm

@Embala wrote:

Took me a bit to figure out a fitting background illustration ...
Grab Bag September 2015 Love_relief
... the length of the poem was slightly challenging, too.

I don't know how you do it every time, and do it so well.

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Tymber

Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptyWed Sep 30, 2015 8:26 pm

@Embala wrote:
I don't see how a contribution - ANY contribution! - could "clutter" the designated grab bag thread, Hammer! Thanks for including at least the link to you crossover tale.
"Healer Who?" by TrollHammer
In case you'll somewhen write a sequal it's good to have a thread of its own but last time I've checked we don't mind double posting. Wink

I know zilch about Doctor Who (even though my wife deals with it all the time, with her work)... and, despite that, I know about the Tardis and what not, and the general idea - and that was an unusual tale.

As crazy, and long as it was, I guess that made it easy to fit the elements. An Admin should just merge that post into this thread, since you used the elements! Make it an official portion of this thread!

@TrollHammer wrote:

A dreamberry was a wondrous thing.

Pike set back against a tree, tossing them into his mouth one after another with the methodical ease of one who had munched on the things for centuries, watching the clouds drift by. For some, dreamberries could pull one farther into the ‘Now’ of wolf-thought, helping to block out the things that bothered them. For others, it might make them feel like flying, or laughing, or any number of other delightful sensations.

A dreamberry could also release a Wolfrider from the Now of Wolfthought, and allow them to remember things in a sort of lucid vision. Pike had been munching the fruit since the sun went down, and with the full moons out to light up the sky, his visions interpreted the movement of the clouds as a backdrop for the recounted tales he recalled.

I like how you cover what a dreamberry can do; for anyone unfamiliar with ElfQuest, this covers it perfectly! A job well done!

@TrollHammer wrote:

The sound had started ever so subtle, surging louder and louder, causing the rest of the forest to hush. Pike had been half asleep in a different berry patch, face and fingers stained with juice. The sound was almost pleasant, reminding him then of… what? At the time, he had not experienced anything quite like it, yet it was hauntingly familiar.

I have no idea why I sort of envision the Beavis & Butthead drug freak out scene here...

@TrollHammer wrote:

A five-fingered… well, human as far as Pike could tell, stumbled through the opening, chuckling while he spoke.
“…and I’ll have to warn you, just don’t mention the tremendous mole under his right eye, he’s a little… well… self conscious about it, but for now just enjoy the courtyard of…” As the human took as step out of the thing, he looked around confused, his voice trailed off. “…Leeds Castle…”

A human female followed the male.

The good Doctor and his Companion. (Gods, I may know more than I care to...)

@TrollHammer wrote:

Pike noted the strange coverings the two wore were unlike anything he could relate to. Somehow, even though these were five-fingered humans, he didn’t feel the visceral fear that even a scenting usually evoked. It might be the dreamberries keeping him calm, but, he realized, the dreamberries could be causing this vision as well. This must be something caused by one too many dreamberries… they were speaking in his own language!

Does the Doctor have a translator in the show? (See, something I don't know!)

@TrollHammer wrote:

“Two full moons! How cool, …I’m guessing NOT the courtyard of Leeds Castle?” the male’s companion commented, smiling as though this wasn’t all that unusual.

That's pretty funny!

@TrollHammer wrote:

He decided to try and talk his way out. For now, they were only asking questions, it seemed, however strange that was. He cleared his sticky throat. “The large dreamberry patch, a day’s walk towards ‘sun goes down’ from the… human camp…?” He found it odd to have to refer to the human camp to tell humans where they were.

Heh, because of the context of the story, I can see why Pike wouldn't be freaked out by the Human's Magic. Smile
@TrollHammer wrote:

Pike was almost a leap away from the underbrush of the forest that surrounded this clearing. A step or two more and he would decide if he’d leave them far behind or stay and try to puzzle out why the strange couple were here or what they were trying to do. “You’re humans. That’s enough to be scared of.” The look on their faces was almost enough to make Pike regret being so gruff with them. Almost. He had been having a good evening before they showed up.

The fact that this centers so much on Pike makes me very happy, as he's one of my favorites of the Wolfriders. Smile

@TrollHammer wrote:

Pike piped up, though. “Cutter, may I go with The Healer? To watch what he’s doing?” He had already snuck a few berries as they had walked by a bush, and Cutter half wondered if it was an excuse to eat them out of sight of the others.

Seems like Skywise would be the one more interested in tagging along. Smile
But more than happy to see Pike remain the focus!

@TrollHammer wrote:

The daughter moon’s image was broken by tree branches, and in a way it looked like that caged light atop the TARDIS. Old Pike smiled once more, and popped another berry into his mouth and laughed a little. If only that Healer knew the rest of the story. he thought. If only he knew….

As crazy as this was - it was extremely well written! (Who is surprised by that? NO ONE!)

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Outlier

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PostSubject: Re: Grab Bag September 2015   Grab Bag September 2015 EmptySun May 15, 2016 10:13 am

If you are interested in reading the sections in the story leading up to this one, I have collected them here.

Sept 2015 Grab bag

Blue
A bee
A healing
A surprising bond
A nut


Something had woken him. He was dimly aware of a sensation - something had hit him in the head. Or was it part of his dream? His half-opened eyes closed again and he sank back into cool forest, running. Sunflower in front of him, laughing, golden curls streaming, urging him on. He reached out toward her.

And was struck in the arm.

Struggling toward consciousness his eyes slowly opened and tried to make out dream from reality. A slight red mark and still fading sting proved that the last had not been his imagination. Just beyond his hand a small nut rested in the folds of his pants. He held it in puzzlement, only to have another bounce off his shoulder and roll down his lap to plop on the ground below.

Chi-chi-chi-chi!

Against the harsh light of the darkening blue sky, Lastlight could just make out the silhouette of the chastising squirrell raining its displeasure on him from above.

“Tcha!” He hissed, hurling the nut to bounce off the branch hastily abandoned by the annoying rodent. “Lucky I don’t eat you for breakfast.”

High in the tree now and sure of its safety, the squirrell turned to give one last chirp of admonishment before disappearing altogether.

Lastlight stretched, not too worse for wear for having spent the day in the crook of the tree. He swung down and slowly approached the cave where he had last seen his recently discovered father holed up. It was still quiet and a quick sniff told Lastlight that it was now empty. The scent trail lead to the stream. Down past the range of where Lastlight would have heard him there were impressions in the streamside where the other elf had knelt to drink. A mound of fish bones and entrails a little way off showed that at least his father had had better luck with breakfast than he had.

“Someone’s been a busy bee this evening.” Lastlight chuckled to himself.

After a drink himself he followed the trail of the other elf through the trees. He hadn’t been walking long when he was stopped by the rumble of a low growl answered by a louder angry roar. Lastlight ran toward the sudden explosion of snarls and cracking twigs, slowing as the scent of bear filled his nostrils. He eased forward to find the bear, fangs dripping and snarling, crouched over an injured doe.

Standing just a few feet away, also snarling and posturing and looking not much less ferocious for being much smaller in size, was Lastlight’s sire. Incredulous, Lastlight watched as his sire flung himself into the monster’s paws, arms and teeth fastening around the thick ruff trying to establish a choke hold. Lastlight was casting about for some weapon he could use to break them up without hurting himself when the rustling of branches heralded another combatant into the fray. A single wolf that began to harry the bear, ducking in to nip at arms or heels, preventing it from getting a good strike at the assailant around its neck.

“Snapjaw!” It was Lastlight’s wolf bond, come to look for his friend that had fallen so far away from the rest of the pack. And his timing couldn’t have been better.

It was a small bear, and while it could have easily dealt with either elf or wolf, the two together was more than it was willing to put up with for this meal. As it began to back away, Lastlight’s father loosened his grip and fell into place beside Snapjaw, the two snapping and growling as the bear retreated into the forest.

Lastlight exhaled in relief. What kind of crazy cur challenged a bear for its kill?

With the bear gone, its abandoned prey was now the focus of attention. It was one of the small deer they had seen before in this part of the forest, not much bigger than a wolf cub. This one was swollen with a fawn. No wonder it would be an easy and tempting target for the bear. Lastlight could make out glistening red slashes from the bear’s claws along the deer’s side. It’s glazed eyes and panting breath told him it was in shock. It probably wouldn’t last much longer. Despite the insanity of challenging the bear for even this succulent morsel, Lastlight was grateful now as the other elf stepped forward, expecting that his father would make a quick and clean kill of it.

But instead of the quick snap or bite of the neck that Lastlight was expecting, the other elf carefully placed his hand gingerly on the animal, making low soothing noises as he did so. Lastlight was astounded to see sparks of light rippling over the deer’s body like smalls storms of skyfire. The gashes began to vanish. The panting slowed. Finally, the other elf moved a few steps back. The deer got to its feet, and after a moment’s hesitation, bounded off into the forest.

The eyes that turned to Lastlight were haunted, the voice raspy with disuse. “Never the mothers.”

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