Author Topic: How YOU doing? [Laredo]  (Read 193 times)

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Offline VanGogh

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How YOU doing? [Laredo]
« on: May 30, 2017, 01:45:49 PM »

Sun hung low in the sky, against a blue sky so pale, making shadows stretch across the ground. A gentle breeze stirred the grass and made the couple trees rustle joyfully. An emerald leaf fell from the branch directly above, catching in the air and floating by before it came to rest in the water of a small creek. The water babbled gently, adding its voice to the afternoon symphony. A pair of bright red butterflies danced through the air, wings flapping as they  chased one another in and out of branches. A grey-brown squirrel darted into the tree, carefully gripping a walnut in its long teeth. It stopped halfway up the tree on a branch with a deep hole burrowed into the trunk above it. The squirrel began knocking it against the branch, spinning it and testing for weak spots.

The knocking reached the navy ears of the wolf lounging in the shadow of the same tree, lazily enjoying the beautiful day. A late lunch left his belly full and he was content to watch life pass by for a little while. The squirrel squeaked and tittered in the tree above. He lifted his head and turned bright blue eyes to the rodent, a broad toothy grin spreading across his face. Hello there, squirrel. That's a mighty fine tail you've got there! How about you wiggle on down here with that lunch of yours and make yourself comfortable here in the grass beside me? The creature paused chipping away at the shell of its treasure and turned tiny beady eyes on the predator. It regarded him for a moment, slowly calculating whether he was a threat, before resuming its task.

VanGogh chuckled and shook his head, rolling onto his back with a bark of pleasure. Legs dangled limp in the air as he watched a single puffy cloud drift by through the leafy cover. Squirrel, look at that cloud! It looks like you! This time, the rodent paid him no attention, the shell finally beginning to crack in its expert paws. Van rolled back over and grunted as he got to his feet to move closer to the creek. He dipped his head to take a sip and smirked before shoving his whole head under. He tossed his head up and water sprayed from his tri-color bangs. How do you like me now, squirrel? He cackled, tossing a look over his shoulder at the general area where the squirrel was now hidden by foliage.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 03:01:19 PM by VanGogh »

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Offline Laredo

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Re: How YOU doing? [Laredo]
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 09:21:03 PM »
Silent paws stalked through the thick growth along the creek that had branched off from the river he had been following earlier in the day. The young wolfdog kept low as he crept through the unknown area, he'd been shaken deeply by his previous encounter and his mind was awash with uncertainty. The wolves he was sure would welcome him had only effectively turned his whole belief system on its head. A large part of his childhood was spent idolizing the wolf side of his heritage, though, in truth, his firsthand knowledge of wolves was incredibly limited. He'd condemned his mother for keeping him from his father, a wolf, now he was a tangle of confusion, regret even. The anger at his mother, it seemed, was completely unwarranted and in reality, perhaps she was simply trying to protect him.

The yearling was pulled from his thoughts as his ears picked up a voice coming from somewhere up ahead. He sunk lower, unsure, he couldn't see anyone but he wanted to make sure he saw them before they saw him. Swiftly but silently he gave the voice a wide berth, swinging around behind the owner, who seemed to be moving toward the creek. A squirrel spotted him as he approached and took off into the trees above, he stalled, hoping his target wouldn't notice before moving on. Slinking through the underbrush Laredo locked his deep red eyes on a curious looking wolf only moments before the creature dove his head into the shallow creek and launching a swirl of water in his direction. Laredo froze, he was unsure as the wolf seemed to look directly at him.

He tilted his head at the strange looking wolf, it had seemed like the thing was flirting with a squirrel? That couldn't be right. Laredo slowly stalked forward, reaching the edge of the bushes that concealed him before pulling himself up to his full height and stepping out into the grassy area. He was easily a foot taller than Laredo and much heavier though his overall demeanor seemed less threatening than some others he'd met. Still, the yearling stood stiff and ready to run as he spoke.

Were... were you talking to a squirrel?


- Laredo played by Anky -

Offline VanGogh

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Re: How YOU doing? [Laredo]
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 02:57:53 PM »

The squirrel froze, ignoring him in favor of starring off. With a flick of it's bushy tail, it darted further up the tree, disappearing into the branches. Van gave a playful pout in it's direction before returning his attention to the creek. He preened a little, shaking his head again to fluff up his bangs. He certainly didn't hear the young wolfdog approaching until the timid voice actually spoke.

"Were... were you talking to a squirrel?"

He peeked over his shoulder before turning around, taking in the sight before him. A smaller male, and more naturally colored. A handsome little thing in shades of sandy brown. But that face was marred by a nervous expression that need not be there; Van was no threat to anyone! He gave the little man his best cheesy grin and planted his butt firmly on the ground. It would do no good to approach a nervous creature; he knew that from experience. That would likely only chase him away, and Van could certainly use the company. Instead, he would wait exactly where he was and let the male approach him as he felt comfortable.

"Hay there. Nice catch, why yes I was talking to a squirrel. Gotta stay in good company, ya know. Otherwise, you may just lose yourself out here!"

He let his over-dramatized smile slip a little, easing his face into a more genuine smile as he tilted his head. His nose twitched a little as he tried to pick up the scent of the male without being too obvious about it. With the space between them, it was hard to tell, but it seemed his new companion was not a full blood wolf. It didn't matter to Van, but might explain why the mutt was anxious. All too often, those halfbreed pups were raised in the dog world, where wolves were nothing but a wild menace. Van chuckled to himself; there was no one better than himself to alleviate a crazy notion like that. The wolf wouldn't hurt a bee even if it stung him square on the nose. "I'm VanGogh, but mah friends call me Van. You got a name, pal?"

« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 03:02:03 PM by VanGogh »

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Offline VanGogh

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Re: How YOU doing? [Laredo]
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 08:17:43 PM »
Switched to short-form
Laredo
Laredo looked at the curious wolf with the cheesy grin and gave him a quizical look. 'Uh huh...' He responded when the blue fellow admitted to talking with a squirrel... weirdo. L took a step back as to keep a little distance between them, his recent encounters had been, um, eye opening to say the least. Though the wolf before him seemed friendly enough, if not just a tad off in the head, L nodded and replied stoically 'Laredo'



VanGogh
Van didn't miss the odd look the mutt issued him. But he introduced himself, and Van couldn't help but grin. He could think the blue wolf was crazy if he liked, as long as he realized the wolf meant no harm. "Laredo, huh? Well it's nice to meetcha!" He gave a sweeping bow. "What brings you round these parts?"



Laredo
The wolfdog remained frozen, unsure if this guy was for real as the blue guy took a bow. L blinked back his disbelief before continuing with their introductions. 'Uh, yeah, you too.... ' he stammered 'I'm um, well, you could say I'm a bit lost' He finally admitted. In truth he was more mentally lost than physically and his emotional state was a bit of a wreck at the moment. He wasn't quite sure why he was speaking so candidly to a complete stranger but perhaps he just had not more fight in him. Ever since fleeing the man village with a single goal in mind, nothing had gone right for the yearling and he was just completely exhausted.



VanGogh
He tilted his head, a thoughtful expression on his face. Lost, you say? Where are you trying to get to? The wolfdog seemed so nervous, on edge as though ready to bolt. He stretched out slowly, not making any sudden moves, carefully standing straight a subtle distance closer to Laredo. He decided he'd fidget his way closer bit by bit until the wolfdog relaxed and realized the wolf was just being friendly.



Laredo
Van's comment resonated within him, 'where was he trying to get to?' the question burned. L's shoulders slumped as he sat back on his haunches, he eyed the blue wolf as his brain turned the question over like a magic eight ball, maybe if he flipped it over enough, it'd give him an answer. Realizing he had taken longer than normal to respond he finally sighed 'I don't think I know.' He cast his eyes to the ground, looking at his own feet, he was broken, that much was obvious even if he didn't say it. Insecurity was written all over his face, this was a lonely pup just looking for somewhere to belong.



VanGogh
The wolf dipped his head and scooted a litle closer, trying to catch the eyes of the brown mutt. Well, where are ya coming from? Can't know where you're going unless ya know where you've been. The poor young male seemed so very lost. Van's eyes softened from sparkling and playful to mild concern. The youth lacked any confidence. He inched a little bit closer. Where ya been, Laredo?



Laredo
L looked up and locked eyes with Van, it was clear he was on the verge of tears as he thought about the answer Van's question. L didn't know what had come over him, normally he was so sure of himself but a few weeks on his own, his whole belief system had been torn apart and his faith in his decisions had vanished. He opened his mouth to reply to Van but all that came out was a soft sob that triggered the tears which came like a waterfall, he buried his face in his paws and his whole body shook as he sobbed. The rejection that seemed to follow him everywhere hit him like a brick wall, he had deserted the only family he had, the only ones who cared about him. He had realized his mother was truly just trying to look out for him and he'd just left. The sobbing slowed >>
and L took a few deep breaths before he dared to look back at Van, opening his mouth, his words were hushed and pain smothered them like a bitter honey. 'Home, I came from home... or what used to be home, in a man village. They um, they didn't like us there so I left. I thought maybe a wolf pack would accept me but now... now I'm not so sure.'



VanGogh
Van took the moment of desperation, of weakness to move next to the wolf. He wrapped his tail around the young male and leaned his shoulder against Laredo's. He felt the male sob and break, applying a little comforting pressure. He waited for the youth to speak when he was ready, he didn't want to force anything. His patience paid off as sobbing slowed and the words began. He didn't miss the emphasis on man, and his new suspicions were confirmed with the very next sentence. Who wouldn't want you, Laredo? You seem swell. The pain was so clear, he couldn't imagine what could have happened to this young one to instill such pain in such a short time. He wanted to ask What happened to you but held his tongue; L would tell him if or when he was ready. He would simply be there to listen.



Laredo
L took comfort in the physical contact, he couldn't remember the last time he'd been comforted by anyone, though that was mostly his fault, he'd spent so much time keeping his mother away she hadn't been able to. He leaned into the older male and took a few deep breaths before trying to gather his thoughts, he steeled himself, anticipating Van's reaction of utter disgust at what he was about to day 'Well it's because of what I am... ' He stalled, taking another deep breath before lowering his head again and whispering, 'I'm part dog' A wave of anger washed over him with the word, it was obvious how much he hated that word.



VanGogh
He felt the youth lean back into him and knew it was exactly what he'd needed; a shoulder to cry on. Who didn't need that sometimes? He was glad he was there to provide it. And then he made his confession. Van wrinkled his nose. The disdain was so obvious. He never understood why lineage was so important. He nudged Laredo and smiled. A dog, you say? Well I don't think you are a dog. You aren't a wolf either. You are a smart, if confused, young man with a lot to offer a pack. You don't have to be a wolf to be somebody, and just because one of your parents is a dog doesn't mean you are less than anyone else. He pressed into the youth for a moment longer and then stood. You wanna be a wolf, be a wolf. Don't let anyone stop you. He motioned for Laredo to follow and moved over to look into the stream, his reflection shifting so slightly in the gentle motion of the water.



Laredo
'aren't a wolf either' The words stung  as they went down, L winced as if he'd been hit in the gut but as Van went on he realized that was not meant as an assult on his person. L took his words to heart even though they were contrary to everything he'd ever exprerienced. Was it possible that there were those in the world that would accept him for who he was, not the sins of his parents? The thought had never occured to him before, it had always been this OR that but the yearling was so desperate to find himself that he ate the words up as if he hadn't eaten in days. He followed Van silently to the stream, his eyes full of confusion as he looked into the gently moving water then back to Van.



VanGogh
Van waited a moment for Laredo to settle beside him and observe his reflection. When those bright red eyes found him again, he smiled softly. Tell me, Laredo, what do you see when you look at your reflection? He motioned to the shifting image. While his own reflection stretched longer than the youth's did, and his pelt colors made him almost seem one with the water, the general shape of their reflections was not all too different. He moved to stand behind him, so his reflection just barely framed L's in an attempt to make that clear to the young mutt. Am I greater than another because my pelt is spattered with stars? Or am I less because my reflection blends into the creek? You did not choose how you were born. But you do choose what to make of your life. Don't let anyone tell you that you are less for simply being you.



Laredo
L looked at his reflection and then to Van's, he turned at looked at Van, his words ringing in his ears. Accepting his words would mean he would have to own his previous actions. To accept that the way he treated his mother and sister were his own actions, not the result of the predjudice of others. That was a whole other can of worms but for now, in this moment, L felt slightly less hopeless. He looked at Van thankfully, not really trusting his voice, his eyes full of appreciation. Slowly L swallowed and spoke, his voice lowered, eyes cast downward, 'Thank you. I only saw things as black and white before, I never throught there was space in the world for someone like me but you're right.' He lifted his head and gave Van a small smile, 'I'm glad I ran into you' L said softly, aware that his emotional outburst had been sudden and violent, especially for a complete stranger so he added, 'I'm sorry' Feeling akward now that his emotions had ebbed from him.



VanGogh
Those big red eyes took in what the older male was laying out for him. He could see the point he was trying to make dawn on L's face, and the grateful expression that softened the youth's face. Van broke into a big grin and he winked at the youth. You seem like a good kid, Laredo. You have a bright future ahead of you, if you make the right choices. The key is not to follow in the steps of those who put this notion in your head to begin with. There will always be those who do judge you for the wrong reasons, but the majority of those you meet won't care. They will judge you for your actions, instead, so make sure that you are worthy of good judgement and your heritage won't matter a lick to them. To emphasize what he was saying, he gave the youth a friendly lick on the side of the muzzle. You don't need to apologize, little one. Everyone needs a friend sometimes.



Laredo
Laredo offered a soft smile to the blue fellow and nodded again, he turned to the stream and laid down along the edge, his front paws dipping into the cool water. 'Thank you Van' He looked up at his new friend, happy that he'd found him.

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