Crystal Springs   0847.01.29*  
Written By: Razzle C.
On his Very Long Walk, Dusk is introduced to some of the dangers of Holt territory...
Posted: 06/21/13      [7 Comments]

Barely eight and four turns, and Dusk is ready
To start a journey towards growing up

His father, Toss, will guide his walk
Parent and child have a chance to grow closer
And perhaps, closer to one day being peers

Dusk is eager to become a hunter
Did not want to wait for easy weather
So father and son strike out in the snow

The mighty bears slumber, many trees do as well
As icy wind blows through bare branches
Dusk and Toss draw their hoods closer 'bout red cheeks

"Come, son," Toss advises, hugging his son's shivering shoulders
"We're almost someplace warm -- beautiful, too! You'll soon see."
Their wolves smell it first, and run on ahead

Then the scent of steam hits the elves noses, too
With a grin, Toss beckons his son forward
Soon they see the Crystal Springs, bubbling up hot in winter

Dusk's eyes light up as he takes in the scene
He has always wanted to travel afar in Holt territory
But cubs must stay close to the safety of Dentrees

Now his young mind is filled with sights, scents and sounds
Of every beauty and majesty their forest provides
"Mind your footing," Toss murmurs gently, not to dispel the boy's wonder

Steam rising from crystalline waters melts surrounding snows
The cold winter weather freezes the ground again
And everything near the springs is slicked with wet ice

The wolves have found a small herd of rocksheep to tease
Grazing for tough winter plants near the warm springs
Excitedly, Dusk moves closer, picking his way 'cross the ice-sheeted rock

Dusk and his wolf, side by side, creep right up to the herd
A young ram looks up, he has had quite enough teasing
With a sudden charge he butts his head into the wolf's shoulder

With a cry of surprise, Dusk leaps back out of the ram's way
"No, Dusk -- be careful!" Toss shouts, his warning too late
Dusk's booted feet slide out from beneath him, he falls back

Head and ice both crack at the impact
Blood seeps from the wound, running pale on wet ground
Before even the beat that Toss's heart missed, and his cub is dead

"Nar! My little Nar!" But his son will never even know his own soul name
**My cub! My cub is dead!** His grief-filled send rends the air
Too far to touch the minds of his tribe at the Holt

Miraculously, though, a reply from the scout Smoke:
**Stay where you are, my friend! I am near and I'm coming.**
And a send-image of the scout riding her wolf at a flat run

Numbly, Toss does as he's told, clutching his cub's body protectively close
'Poor Meadowlark!' he realizes through his own blinding pain
How will he manage to tell the boy's mother their son is now gone?

Smoke is soon by her friend's side, she leaps from Fartrotter's back
Gently, she helps Toss lift his poor dead cub onto wolfback for the trip home
Though Dusk's wolf is now limping, he insists on carrying his friend one last time

Barely eight and four turns, and Dusk was too young to die
But then, sometimes that is The Way

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