if every building F A L L S [Ethan] Mar 2, 2012 22:46:24 GMT -5
Post by Charm on Mar 2, 2012 22:46:24 GMT -5
- - CHARMEIA
When the sun finally managed to break through the heavy clouds, her spirits lifted measurably. The overcast skies had made for a dull, dreary day, but the sunshine brought new life and color to everything. By mid afternoon, it felt like a proper early-autumn day, bright and clear and pleasantly crisp, though the sun was warm. Charm tossed her head as the heat soaked into her dark coat, and leapt forward into a canter. The plains stretched before her, the fringes of the forest a hundred yards to her right. The rolling grasslands posed no hazards, and the footing was dry and firm, so she delighted in the freedom to run.
She slowed only when her sides heaved for breath, letting her form slide back to human as she dropped to a walk. Winded but pleased, she wandered on, two panting forms falling in beside her. With a grin, she rubbed Bandit’s ears, prompting him to look up at her, tongue lolling and tail wagging furiously. Both dogs were in good shape from keeping up with her, so she didn’t worry about losing them. Even if they fell behind a bit, they always caught up soon after.
They continued in such a lazy manner for a few minutes, following the tree line as their breathing slowly faded back to silence, until Balios abruptly lifted his head, spine stiffening. Charm paused, and the dogs stopped as well. Bandit had joined his brother in the alert stance, gazes fixed in the same direction, noses quivering. A strand of small trees swept out onto the plains a short distance - they had been making to circle around it, but it would appear someone was on the other side. Instead, Charm pulled the bow from her shoulder and set an arrow to the string, and cut in toward the trees. She stepped carefully on silent feet, and flashed the hand signals for “quiet” and “heel” at the dogs.
In such a manner, she padded to the strand, sliding carefully between the slender trunks. Balios was alert but calm; Bandit was simply alert, but too well trained to leave her side. She eyed his tail, wagging in excitement, but decided it was a matter to address at another time. It was cool and damp in the shade of the trees, but she ignored the chill, and crept cautiously to the far edge of the little copse, to peer out from behind tangle of branches.
A couple dozen yards ahead, a flattened area of grass indicated a recent struggle. And indeed, a doe lay dead in the grass, its throat crushed. Poised over it, fangs bared and hackles raised, was a large leopard. It was attempting to fend off a bull caribou, who was advancing with its massive antlers lowered, head swinging back and forth, trying to knock the cat away. Apparently a shifter trying to steal the kill, because as far as she knew, actual caribou were herbivores. The leopard kept ducking and swerving, slashing at the creature’s sensitive nose, but was being pressed back, step by reluctant step, ears flattened against his head.
Charm might have waited to observe the outcome, had she not recognized the cat. She’d never spoken to him, but she recalled a clear image of the spotted predator lounging on a table at some point. He was from her ring.
Straightening, she slung the bow back over her shoulder and returned the arrow to its quiver. It might have been smarter to act from a distance, but she didn’t feel that the caribou was a major threat, and she was in the mood to throw her weight around. Gathering herself, she sprang forward, shifting as she did so and landing in a gallop. The pair, so focused on each other, didn’t seem to notice her until she was basically upon them. The caribou was just lifting his head when she slammed into him with the force of a small wrecking ball. He staggered back, and would have fallen had she not pulled her charge somewhat. She didn’t really want to knock him over, just wanted him to run away.
To that effect, she reared back with a furious neigh, boxing with her hooves. He swept his antlers at her and she dodged back, just as Balios and Bandit swept past her. Their ears were pricked with excitement, and they darted in to nip at the bull’s flanks and legs, barking delightedly. Charm lunged at the stranger with a squeal, ears flat and teeth bared, and he decided he’d had enough. Wheeling, he bounded away. She straightened with a satisfied snort, ears swiveling forward, only to have her expression change to alarm as the dogs took off after the fleeing caribou. She forced herself through the shift in a rapid instant, ignoring the flash of pain that accompanied the abrupt change, staggering slightly as she found her balance.
“NO!” The firm shout stopped the dogs in their tracks. “Éla! Éla edó!” Balios raced back towards her, head lowered. The gray hesitated, looking after his fleeing prey. “Bandit! Now.” He bolted back to her. She sighed with relief and knelt to greet them with praise and affection. “Yes, you’re good dogs! Kaló skylí! Goo- Bandit, no!” She lunged to grab the young dog by his collar before he could frolic over to say hello to the leopard. She knew who the cat was, but she didn’t know him, or trust him not to claw the pup’s nose.
ooc; THERE WILL BE MORE ACTION, I PROMISE. D8 MR. ROGUEPANTS WILL GET HIS FRANDS AND RETURN. u.u