PARTHOLAIN, ROMA Aug 5, 2013 23:03:32 GMT -5
Post by ROMA|RED on Aug 5, 2013 23:03:32 GMT -5
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Roma comes from a rough country Texas family, and it shows. Born and raised to country music, cowboys, mud, and cattle – even her walk screams cowgirl. Her life changed dramatically in a single night of events that she cannot remember, but it is not uncommon for her memories to elude her.
Sister Wolf protected her.
Raised in a less than loving home, Roma's Shifting self has never seemed just her. Sister Wolf has always been there, always taking care of her and sharing her soul. It was Sister Wolf who saved them that night, and she would not let Roma be a part of it.
It is not easy living with Sister Wolf, for she cannot always control her and as a result, Roma does not always remember everything. Sister Wolf does not view things the same way Roma does, and at any time during day or night she gets Sister's opinion, mostly in emotion. She has always shielded Roma from traumas, and although Roma's body feels the effects - she rarely remembers more than a flash or two.
They disagree often, but are mostly amiable with one another. Sister Wolf's opinion is that there is Pack, and not Pack, and whether Roma loves someone or not does not dictate Sister's acceptance. Two people in her life have been Pack, and as far as Sister Wolf was concerned, no one else really mattered. That was before the Menagerie - as Sister insists there is no longer pack, Roma can guess nothing but the worst.
Sister Wolf is private, and will go at any lengths to keep anyone from knowing about her existence. Living in the Menagerie has taught her that Roma's life depends on their being able to fend for themselves, and with Sister Wolf's help ... they will not only survive - but kick some ass doing it.
She loved it, loved the speed. Every time she would get in the saddle, she and her horse Wheeler flew - she swore it. The leggy chestnut Quarter Horse was hand raised by Roma herself, and no one rode him but Roma. That year she was in the District Finals, and knew she and Wheeler had it. They won. They had worked for months for this moment. As she waved with a smile and took her turn on the victory gallop, she saw many faces and many smiles. But none that where familiar.
Roma grew up in the saddle. She was a born cowgirl, and no one could tell her 'nothing about two things: Men, and Horses. Papa stayed at the ranch working the cattle and with Momma being sick, she hadn't expected her family there. But one face was missing.
Autumn had finally come, and the sun was setting. The breeze was crisp, which prompted Roma to say her goodbyes and thank yous, and lead Wheeler back to the trailer. Her boyfriend RJ, was there with some beers and a smile.
"Told ya you'd be fine," he beamed and gave her a hug. Wheeler snotted on his arm from behind then moved to nip his sleeve.
"Ah! No you don't!" Roma said firmly with a pop the stud's broad chest. Wheeler had never particularly liked Roma's affections for others ... especially when it came to RJ. "And no you don't!" She said angrily to RJ with a poke to his chest as well. Again he’d disappeared while she performed - a habit which found him chasing skirts while her back was turned, and she was getting sick of it.
"What's the deal? Every time you come with me to one of these things you VANISH all day! What do you think I'm stupid?" She glared at him, daring him to answer. "Tina Messenger told me all about last year here, so I know who you were looking for."
It didn't matter what she said. She was stupid anyway. He would beg forgiveness, tell her he was sorry - make love to her and she'd forgive him ... again. She'd lost track of the times they had gone 'round this particular bush ... and she was really getting sick of it this time. Roma was going to give him the boot! Really, she was!
"Aw, she don't matter! Besides, it's not like I go looking for them. She cornered me! I'm telling you baby, you're the one I want to be with. I love you," he smiled that crooked smile. His mismatched eyes danced beneath brown eyebrows that waggled suggestively. "You know we can make it all better," he kissed her cheek sweetly and pushed back an auburn curl tenderly from her freckled face.
Roma's mouth was tight, her arms crossed and she rolled her eyes when he made his excuses. When he kissed her cheek she blushed, and she couldn't hide her smile.
"Fine, fine ... let's get Wheeler loaded," she said with irony. She had caved again. Oddly, every time it got easier to forgive him, and harder to be okay with it. RJ had brought his heavy bay mare Riada he roped off of as well, and after untacking, grooming them down, and getting them settled in the trailer they climbed in the cab of RJ's red pickup and headed home.
After an hour of driving, unloading the horses, some rolling around in an empty stall and guzzling a beer, Roma waved goodbye to RJ as he drove away. She sighed with a smile, and then turned to her house.
The cold washed over her, and the sinking feeling came back as it always did before she even reached the porch. She opened the screen, unlocked the door with her single key, and stepped in holding her breath.
"DAMNIT ROMA," came a deep voice from the back of the house. The TV was blaring and she winced involuntarily. She would have given anything to be anywhere, but here. It was no use running. She'd have to come back eventually and it would be worse then. Roma took a deep breath, then dragged herself unwillingly past the kitchen to the family room - her fathers "den".
"Where you been girl!?" her father yelled from his chair. He had a beer and the lights off. He stood up with effort, his sweaty carrot top hair matted to his head from a hat that left a sun tan line around his forehead. Said hat was in a half-eaten bowl of popcorn that she recalled had been there since yesterday. He smelled of sour sweat, dirty horses, and stale beer.
"Finals," she said simply her chin held high. Affording district finals was only possible because of her Uncle Derk (her mother's brother) - who was in the Real Estate Industry. He sponsored her and in return, her trailer had his smiling face and phone number displayed in bright green letters across the side.
"Yeah right you little tramp," he hissed. She was on the floor before she realized he had hit her. He never touched her face, no - that would show. But the blow to the stomach hurt, and she swallowed a sob before shakily standing up again. If her brown hues lightened a little in the darkness, he did not notice.
If she screamed, cried, whimpered, sobbed, squealed, pleaded, begged ... it made it worse. So she simply stood there and took the little he doled out, instead of the latter - which had been known to continue into the night.
He sat back down and flipped up the chair's foot rest. Dismissed, she hurried upstairs without a sound, clutching her belly, and stuck her head into mother Beth’s room. Brown eyes back to normal, she shook her head once to clear it.
"G’night mama," she whispered hoarsely. The form on the bed shifted, and murmured a reply. The next room was her sister Ashley's. She paused at the doorway, and heard light snoring. She cracked the door open to peek. The Barbie night light showed that all was well and Ashley, who was already half uncovered was fast asleep. It was a warm night, so she left her be.
"Good night," she repeated even more softly - then clicked the handle closed.
Roma tip-toed to her own room, and shut the door, bolted it, dead locked it, and chained it. With her back resting on the reassuring wood, she took inventory. He had hit her in the abs which had knocked the wind from her, but it was better than the ribs or pelvis, and it wouldn’t bruise. The moon was bright, and she looked around her small sanctuary with a sigh. She winced from the slight pain, and got ready for sleep.
She would not cry. If she let herself cry, she would start sobbing which would bring Papa upstairs in a heartbeat. Her father was a hardworking man and worked from dawn to dusk making ends meet for his family, and then drowned himself in beer to pass out on the couch and start over the next morning.
Roma wiggled out of her jeans, and froze when something fluttered to the floor. Realizing it dropped from her pocket, she leaned over and snatched it up. She wandered over to the window to catch the moon's light, and unfolded the piece of paper. She squinted, but dare not turn on her bedroom light.
"I love you beautiful," was all it said. Suddenly she remembered why she needed RJ so much.
There was a time when Roma was young, before her mother became ill. She often dreams of that summer, but never entirely remembers it. Secretly, she suspects Sister Wolf for that glitch - and Sister never denies it.
Roma remembers little of what happened. As a child she had succumbed to fever, and in desperation her mother, Beth, had taken her daughter to their people – the last of the Comanche Nation.
Hawk Wing was the soul Comanche member descended from White Eagle, the last known Comanche with true po-ha-cut or Personal Power. Roma recalled her mother’s bedtime stories about the ‘Great Power’, and how it had been taken to the Spirit World forever; but that when it returned it was called, a miracle.
They traveled into the plains, where once great herds of cuhtz roamed, and a bonfire was started. White sage was burned in the crackling night air.
“To ward off evil spirits,” her mother had whispered quietly as Hawk Wing chanted, and prayed to the Spirits. Visions plagued Roma as drums rumbled like thunder for what seemed hours and very suddenly … it was silent.
From the edge of the campsite a pair of golden eyes smoldered in the firelight. A small wolfess, the color of chestnuts and rust drifted near – becoming clearer as she shed the darkness of the night. It was not Roma that she came to, but her mother.
Beth did not rise, she remained on her knees and impassive as the wolf sniffed her face then backed a few steps. Roma’s mother looked the wolfess in the eye and began to speak the tongue of her ancestors. As she spoke, golden hues shifted to the girl-child in quiet regard. Roma could feel her heart hammering like the drums, and her labored breath quickened.
“Ekapitu tseena – it is a trade,” were the last words she heard, and everything went black.
(((Translations Cuhtz - buffalo, Ekapitu tseena – red wolf}}}
Danger … Roma felt more than heard. Danger … DANGER, her impatient presence was suddenly overwhelming and Roma startled awake with a gasp. Wide brown eyes looked around the room, but she saw nothing.
Listen, Sister Wolf impressed and she did. There – a crash and a thud from downstairs. Without thought Roma rose from her bed hurried to the door, turning the locks and loosening the chain as quickly and quietly as she could.
It was silent again. The cool air from the hallway made her bare legs and arms gooseflesh as she tip-toed to Ashley’s room. She was gone. Sometimes Ashley slipped into Mama’s bed when she had a nightmare. Down the hall to the next bedroom, Roma eased open her mother’s door. Two forms lay still in sleep - Roma relaxed a bit.
Strange, Sister insisted. Her remark was on who was downstairs. The apprehension in her mind caused the hairs of her neck to stand on end and she took a deep breath. Waking up to noises in the house (especially with an alcoholic father and rambunctious little sister) was not new, but Sister Wolf waking her was. Roma's eyes gilded in the darkness …
Without warning, something heavy tackled her from behind. Terror gripped Roma like a vice and before she hit the floor Sister had taken over. Sister Wolf had known who it was before Roma had, and in an instant encased Roma in the deepest parts of her mind protectively. Bad Man.
A red lupine now stood in the hallway. Sister Wolf’s hackles rose as her lips peeled from sharp teeth. Roma’s father was retreating as quickly as he could across the floor, babbling and yelling. Sister took a step forward, a snarl rising from her depths. Bad Man reached for the doorknob to the Pack room, and Sister lunged – drawing blood from his shoulder. MINE, her snarl spoke as she fixed him with an unnerving golden stare.
The commotion from downstairs grew and multiple two loggers in strange coats and stranger smells pointed cylinders at her. The red wolf was off down the hall with barely a glimpse.
It took several hours, but eventually they had tracked Sister Wolf down and apprehended her. Sister Wolf enveloped Roma’s mind defensively as then men took boots and harsh words to the little red wolf, until she could barely breathe.
Sister knew. She knew it had been Roma’s father that had turned them in, and half unconscious she licked her lips tasting the blood she had drawn from his flesh. Before her eyes closed she could see the Bad Man point to the house, where the Strangers when back in …
Roma was one of the few that had not remained in the Keepers hands long, even so when she had joined the Fulsi there was so much she and Sister had not understood (especially about themselves). It was not long before Roma was in trouble time and time again for not following orders.
She pleaded with Sister Wolf, tried her best to overcome her but no matter her efforts Sister insisted that they needed to roam. It was a lonely time then ... when Roma had withdrawn for far, and for so long Sister Wolf had simply scavenged and explored as Roma seemed almost inexistant, and it was a long time before Roma came back ...