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Posted 11-06-2017, 12:43 AM |
Earth ( Staff )
Earth Beta
Female, 3.50
33 in, 110 lbs
225 ep
© Intricate
Asceo padded through the Gaia, her steps heavy with regret and sadness. The storms from Haya's wrath had long since passed, but the pain that dragged at her heart had not. Briar's suicide replayed in her mind over and over. How could this have happened? Why hadn't she just seen the signs of his sickness? Her tail lashed in anguish. It wasn't fair. Angry, she briskly trotted through the forest, letting her paws guide her where they may. Asceo didn't care where she was going. Nothing seemed to matter anymore. Briar was dead.

She carried on, a storm cloud about her that seemed to dampen the air she breathed. Eventually, she recognized the greenery around her from her early days as a healer. She had come to this place to wait for Waernyss, the old Earth Healer, to train her. However, the she-wolf had not come. Furious, Asceo had stalked a fox and…

She shuddered. The behavior that possessed her was not who she was and yet she committed an atrocity that she had yet to fully repent for. Asceo pushed through the tall grassy fronds that gently swayed under the Gaia's trees. A few quick sniffs led her to the burial place. The mound of dirt no longer stood. Much of it had been flattened and reclaimed by the earth and rampant foliage in her territory. Entire seasons had passed since she was last here. Driven by a morbid curiosity, Asceo leaned backward and dug her paws into the packed dirt. She dug quickly, scooping out pawfuls of dirt. The hole deepened until something sharp poked her. With a hiss, she withdrew from digging and peered into the ground.

A white stick-like object protruded from the dirt. It took her a moment to recognize that it was a bone. Her lips were a grim line. She had found the remains of the fox that she had so viciously torn apart with her magic. Like an itch she couldn't scratch, she irritably began excavating what was left of it's corpse, being careful to keep it's skeleton in most of it's original position.

I disrupted your life. Of course, I'll have to disturb your sleep.

After painstakingly unearthing the fox's body, she finally reached its skull.

With a quiet smile, as if sharing a joke that only the fox would understand, she whispered into the skull where she imagined its ears used to be. "I told you that I would not forget you." She laughed as if it had spoken back to her, "You thought I wouldn't remember? Of course I did! I need you."

Asceo leaned down and gripped the fox's skull gingerly between her teeth. She gently lifted it away from its body and set it beside the pile of dirt she had left behind. Almost carelessly, she kicked the dirt back into the hole before picking up the skull and trotted off with it. She held her head high, proud of her prize as she wandered through the Gaia. It had been almost an entire season since she had run from her home. The ferns looked slightly out of place as if they had the audacity to move their places in her absence.

She knew by scent alone that her children were gone. Roscoe and Amelia, the two pups she had abandoned without a second thought. I was a terrible mother. With a jolt, she remembered Keston. The love she held for him blazed in her chest, a fire that she had not felt since Briar killed himself. He would be next on her list of wolves to catch up with. But for now, Asceo needed to cleanse the fox's skull in a pond or a stream. An unfamiliar scent, watery yet bristling with energy, wafted over her nose. Asceo followed it, intensely curious. After a brisk walk the trees gave way to a burned away clearing. No life occupied it, save for a single blackened tree cleaved in two in the center of a shallow pool. The gouge in its trunk was ashen as if it had been struck by lightning. The air around her buzzed with static making her fur stand on end.

Excited she bounded towards the pool only to stop at the water's edge. The skull still firmly grasped in her maw, she marveled at the immense amount of energy that permeated the air. It was like a storm was brewing overhead, and yet the sky was clear and sunny. This water would be better than perfect for cleaning her prize. She gently slipped her forepaw into the water and jumped back with a yelp, dropping the skull, as a surge of electricity stung her. Asceo frowned. Her skull had sunk to the bottom of the pool. She could retrieve it easily if she were willing to be bitten by the water once more. The healer cocked her head to the side, puzzled. She extended her other paw and gently tapped the water's surface. A fainter spark jumped up to meet her pads, though this time the zap did not hurt her. Cautiously she stepped into the shallows until all four legs were ankle deep in the water. All of her fur fluffed up, jazzed with static. Pleased that she seemed to be immune to the static shocks, Asceo plunged her muzzle into the pool to grasp the skull with a splash. Her skin tingled and tickled as she opened her jaws underwater. Keeping her head under the surface, she traced circles with the skull in her grip. Then she reversed the circles, humming to herself as she worked. Occasionally she came up for a few breaths of air.

Her fox skull would be perfectly clean. Just a few more passes should do the trick.

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