[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »


After an embarrassing performance against the attentions of Steals Kisses, Wayward Son had realized that his lack of experience in those affairs would cause him to be less than perfect for her. Though this was a great blow to his ego, he acknowledges that the only way to cure this deficiency would be to interact with more does and gain more experience. He would have to swallow his pride and leave her presence momentarily so that he could be better for her. It would pain him to do so, but he knew that this was necessary. He would not be embarassed again--at least, not by someone who could tell her of his inadequacy.

-------

Stealthing through the underbrush and the shadows of the trees, he finds this Kimeti doe that speaks to the air, seemingly lost in her own thoughts, and occasionally speaking with a raven that would fly to her. She seems innocuous and harmless--simple prey for his purposes. But just in case, he would lurk in the cover around her for longer to see if, like Steals Kisses, she had some special way to discern his presence.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »


Whispers had worried for nothing, motherhood has come to her again as naturally as it had the first time, and her babes with the mysterious Shank had flourished. They didn't need her hovering like they once had, brave, fearless little foals that enjoyed wandering, and she, for her part, gave them the space they needed to continue to grow.

Today she was on her own, foraging for herbs and other edible plants, helped along on her task by Omen. She'd found the skull of some small animal half buried at the base of a berry bush, and she eyed it keenly, her head tilting thoughtfully and ears pricked to listen. "You hear it, Omen? That soft chitter?" The bird cawed a response, perching on one of Whisper's horns. Less curious about what the animal was, and more about if there was any nasty morsels left to pick off the bones.

Then its head turned in the direction the buck was lurking, black eyes peering into the shadows as of it had heard, or even sensed something. Whispers, for the moment, remained unaware.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

It did not seem to him that she had any inkling of his presence, even during those times where she would come so near to his cover. But there was more than one opportunity that her little crow companion locked eyes with him--he was sure that it knew he was lurking in the shadows. Whether or not the crow could notify its master, he did not know, but she continued to look oblivious to his gaze.

Regardless, he decided to take his time observing her from his hiding spots. He wanted to know her habits, her patterns, her interests. One thing he noted was that she stopped and pondered at the sight of bones and rot--dead things that are naturally set aside or unceremoniously dumped in places where kin could forget about them. It looked to him that she had a fascination with regard to such things. He himself had no issues with dead things--the monsters in the dark that raised him never gave thought to his reactions when they tore larger predators apart to feed on them, sometimes including other kin. He was inured to the gore and the morbid. With his, he thought maybe a gift would be a good approach, something they could relate to each other over?

-----

It was a few days before he would be back hiding in the shadows around her. He went back to his childhood den to obtain a gift, but at the same time, he had been delaying this meeting. He refused to unpack and analyze why he would sabotage himself so and resolved to put his best foot forward now that he was here. He put on a smile--at least the best one that he could manage beyond his resting scowl--and walked out of the rustling bush into her presence, dragging behind him a bulky object wrapped in a large leaf.

"Hello. I have been watching seen you from afar and have become curious. I am Wayward Son. If it isn't too much trouble, I would like to know your name."

With even less explanation, he tugged on the leaf he was dragging behind him and lets the contents of it spill out on the ground in front of her. Rolling out of the leaf was the bleached skull of a totoma, fine cracks radiating out from the center of its brow.

"I have also brought you a gift. I thought it would intrigue you."
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »

The harsh cry of her crow sounded almost in tandem with the telltale rustle of of someone approaching, and Whispers looked first up at Omen, expression questioning, before turning to watching the dark buck make his purposeful way towards her.

Today she'd found herself a nice little clearing, sun dappled through the leaves and there were wild flowers here that reached for that warmth. She was laying in the thick grass, but she pushed herself up to dark hooves as she noticed he was dragging something with him.

The greeting was forward, in it's way. She had more experience with kin of a shyer or quieter nature. This was neither of those things, and it caught her a little off guard, piqued the doe's curiousity. It seemed shed attracted unexpected attention. "Hello. I'm Whispers of Death." He could have her name, she wasn't protective of it.

Glowing eyes (one gold one silver) dipped to the leaf as he pulled it forward, and she took an intrigued step forward as he pulled it aside to reveal the skull beneath. Totoma, very definitely dead, and for what seemed like quite some time. Her head tilted as she regarded it, an ear twitching up as if listening. Then she lifted her head again to regard the doe thoughtfully. "It's quite the generous gift for someone you don't yet know," she pointed out softly, curiously.

But it wasn't a bad gift. She had questions. So many questions.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

The brightness of the clearing did not sit well with him. Someone that was raised in the shadows learned to loathe the sun. But he dismissed this as simply part of the efforts he must exert to better himself. If she wished to bask in daylight's warmth, then he would adapt. Suffering is part of experience, and experience is the best teacher.

"Whispers of Death." He said her name out loud slowly, relishing in the sounds of it as it came out of his mouth. It was a name fitting for a doe like her. He was glad she was such an embodiment of her name. That made her predictable. And predictable was excellent for his purposes.

His smile widened as she looked over the totoma skull, leaving her curiosity unconcealed. "Other kin would call such an object morbid instead of a generous gift. Just another part of you that has intrigued me. I grew up around death. Bones of kin are a common sight where I come from. I would like to know why such things interest you though. If you'll indulge me?"
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »

What better to bleach old bones than the sun?

"Other kin lack appreciation for the darker facets of existence," she answered back easily, nudging the skull with the tip of her hoof to tip it up on one side. She was looking for any sign of what might have caused this poor fellow's end. If not age or something similarly natural. "These is no life, if not for death. Our end nurtures the swamp, and in turn the swamp nurtures us."

Her head dipped in a sage little nod, and she let the skull settle in the thick grass once more. "That is reason enough to be interested, but..." she paused, humming a soft note as bi-colored eyes lingered on the empty sockets of the skull, ears perked and listening. "Do you hear them?" She asked in breathy whisper. "So quiet, they're easily missed, but I hear them. They share their stories, you just have to listen."
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

Hollow laughter

He shook his head.

"I don't think I've ever heard the whispered voices. The ones in my head are too...loud. They don't tell me stories, they only tell me what needs to be done... to survive. But sometimes when I listen to them--when I do as they say--it makes me feel less like everyone else. More like them."

He approached the bleached skull and turned it over again, pointing out with his front hoof the fine cracks radiating out from the center of its brow.

"This one was stomped on the top of its head. It likely only took one impact to render it unconscious, but when you lose consciousness in their presence, it's usually all over for you."

He didn't completely understand why he was opening himself up to Whispers of Death. Perhaps, in her interest of death, he found some sort of kinship; some sort connection that he had failed to establish, something he craved to have with someone.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »

Whispers listened keenly as he shared, her head tilted gently, thoughtfully. "That must be overwhelming," she thought aloud, mind wandering back to times when those that whispered were restless, clamoring for attention. When she'd stumbled, unwittingly, into shared places of rest. Even whispers could be deafening when they were insistent and numerous.

Glowing eyes dipped to the branching crackles that traced across the skull's brow, following one set of lines from the central origin until it disappeared around the side of the skull. Then she looked up again, expression hard to read, but gauging. "By whose hoof," she wondered. "Do you know?" Was it you?

The skull was silent, for the moment. Keeping their secrets safe, but from who, she couldn't say. If Wayward Son had a hoof in their end, she supposed she couldn't blame them for their wariness.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

A flash of memory.

He was but a foal, unfortunate enough to be born in the darkness. His parents long devoured by the monsters that lurked in the dark. Yet, for some reason, the monsters left him alive. He could not see them for the most part--they did not abide by the light, and they definitely hated the sun. His innocent questions and mistakes were met by their terrifying laughter. They were entertained by him. They taught him to eat even if he could not see what he was eating. To traverse the depths without needing sight. To kill or destroy whatever was in his way; to take what he wanted; to eat whatever he killed.

Just below the surface, a moderate glow allowing him to actually see what was happening in a rare instance of sight. The monsters as enormous and terrible as he formed them in his imagination. Under their massive weight, they held down the large Totoma. In his head he heard them tell him to make the finishing blow. That kin were just prey waiting to be devoured. That he was not the same as them. That he would never be the same as them.

He took a step forward, the Totoma looking up at him, begging for mercy. But he had no mercy to give. If he didn't do this, he feared what the monsters would do to him instead. The loud crack of bone echoed in the tunnels, and he swore he heard a whimper come from his own mouth for one moment, only to be smothered by the loud echoing laughter of monsters.

Here, now.

"If I told you it was by my own, but under fear of great consequence, would you no longer be interested in speaking with me?"

He looked her in her glowing eyes, trying to discern if this was the right way to go about keeping her interested.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »

She expected him to deny it, to deflect or feign ignorance concerning the fate of the totoma. That he didn't surprised her. "If I were to learn you had lied to me about it, that would disinterest me from speaking with you." It made little sense to her that he'd imply fault in this instance when no fault existed. It stood to reason, then, that he had caused this totoma's demise. Under duress, by the sounds of it.

"What were the consequences?" Whispers lowered herself gracefully to settle in the grass, tail flicking around to rest against her hip.

For the moment he feels her interest. There were those along them that would not bat a lash at the notion of taking another life, and there's were those that considered life sacred. She wanted to know where he fell in that mix.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

Seeing that she did not leave in disgust, not even really flinch at his admission of fault in the totoma's demise, he made the decision to be truthful to Whispers--at least when the topic came to the nature of his upbringing and how he turned out because of it.

He took a spot on the grass in front of her, a little too close to just be friendly as he still needed to gauge his chances after all. So as to not put her off however, he immediately answered her question by explaining that he was abandoned or lost in the subterranean tunnels outside of the swamp when he was very young and that he was inexplicably raised by the predators that lurked there. He told her of their insidious influence on him and that, although they taught him how to survive, he always feared for his life around them. He knew that if he disobeyed them, they would cease to see them as one of their own and would treat him just as they did their prey.

"You could say I didn't have a choice in the matter then. I was young and powerless. But I've done it over and over since then, in the name of survival."
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »

Dark ears angled attentively as she listened, and though she had many questions, she kept them to herself until he had finished, not wishing to interrupt something that sounded so very vulnerably personal.

She had not missed how close he'd settled to her, either. Something Omen seemed more bothered by than the doe herself. The crow had let out a loud caw, dropped from the branch he'd been perched in to settle on one of her horns. Dark eyes watching Wayward keenly. Whisper seemed to pay them no mind aside from holding her head still as to not disturb him.

"Predators in tunnels," she remarked after he'd quieted. "You aren't referring to Zikwa." It wasn't fully a question, though there was a gentle lit to her voice. If not other kin, what else could these predators be, she wondered.

Another kin might have been bothered by his admittance of killing others, and she supposed in certain context she would also have found it reprehensible, but for survival? "We do what we must to survive. It is not always pretty, or right." One, pushed to their limits, was capable of so very many things they wouldn't dream of doing otherwise.
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

He smiled at her attempt to understand further. He wasn't surprised that she would use the subterranean kin to clarify that he wasn't talking about anything even close to kin.

"No, the monsters in the tunnels aren't kin. Not even close. They don't really have a definite shape or form. From some of them I've glimpsed undulating tendrils; others have made me feel massive claws as they raked them against my hide; and even more with skin that felt like it was made of bark or rock. So no, not the Zikwa.

The monsters actually, for the most part, leave the Zikwa alone since they see them as a self-propagating food source in the tunnels. Much like the fungi that naturally occurs there, they leave the Zikwa to carve out their own little territory, seeing as the monsters live much deeper than where the Zikwa prefer to stay. Then in the cold season, when the monster opt to keep to the tunnel even in the night, they pluck those Zikwa at the fringes, never to be seen again. Perhaps, to their fellow Zikwa, just a victim to the dangers of the tunnels. But to the monsters, a meal for a day or two."


He grew tired of talking about his circumstances, and he hoped that that last bit of information he shared with her was enough to momentarily satisfy her curiosity regarding his history.

He tried his luck and subtly sidled up closer to her, enough for them to feel the heat coming off of each other.

"Is this not depressing to hear about? Would you rather not tell me about yourself and what you like to do?"
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by Beejoux »

Depressing? No, she found it all very fascinating. Likely she would have been content to continue asking more about his life and the monsters that seem to have raised him.

And why not monsters? It wasn't so hard to believe. Had someone not stolen the sun? Did they not have the ability to step through the obelisk and be almost instantly elsewhere? Their world was mysterious one, and Whispers of Death was only too aware of the peculiar possibilities. She'd heard so very many stories from the departed. So so very many.

"Death comes for us all, it is the counterpoint to life. One cannot exist without the other." She smiled, unperturbed as he moved in a little closer. "So no, I don't find your stories depressing, but if you would rather talk about me, that is alright. Though I don't think anything I have to share would be quite so interesting." Omen gave a pointed squawk, then fell quiet again, still watching Wayward Son.

"I like..." She started, drawing the word out thoughtfully. "I like stories, and I like the stars. Finding new places, new plants, new animals. I like when I stumble upon the forgotten bones of some kin, and trying to find out what might have happened to them. Sometimes they share their stories with me, sometimes they don't."
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[PRP] Quiet Prospects (Wayward Son x Whispers of Death)

Post by doomsayer »

He initially saw her as prey. Someone who would make perfect fodder for his purposes. But her demeanor and her outlook had caught him by surprise. She was a kin with a values and principles-- a whole life of experience that was different from his. And the longer he spent talking to her, the more his his ulterior motives slipped his mind and the more his desire to actually get to know more about her increased.

"I for one think that your ability to listen to the dead is fascinating. I think you're one of the most interesting does I've met in a very long time."

She wasn't her--no one could compare to her--but perhaps he could get to know Whispers of Death more to see if she could measure up.

"How would you like to travel with me to where I can show you a place where you'll find piles of bones of the dead? You can tell me what they say and maybe we'll find out together what caused their demise. Perhaps, if we're fortunate, I can even give you a glimpse of the monsters from a safe distance."
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