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    version 22: awakening


    GHAUL -- Year 209


    "(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby

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    that's all there is; ALL
    She had waited, mulled over Castile’s advice, and watched him afar. Partly still from shocked, hurt reticence to interact with one who had forced her into violence to protect her home, and partly because she’s been…busy. Over the course of the winter Noah had pooled all of her resources into a single task – pregnancy. She’d had little care for the strange little stallion except that he didn’t make any more power moves, and she was able to exist quietly in her dreamlike flower world. Because there are flowers here even at the deepest days of winter – her flowers, when natural ones do not grow. The little red mare had grown cumbersomely large and despaired of ever having the ordeal over with; she’d heard of the joys of pregnancy but in her opinion it’s awful and she doesn’t ever want to do it again. She also curses herself for choosing a sire for her child quite a bit taller than herself: Noah is sure that is why she is so fat.

    Winter had passed, though, and spring is here, and finally she was able to actually give birth to the little creature growing inside of her, and it’s totally different. Pregnancy was simply the worst, but she can see the joy of parenthood: already she adores the filly tagging along on wobbly legs at her heels, bright eyes taking in everything. She’s a different shade than her mother, a chestnut that promises to be true copper when she loses the baby coat, with brilliant gold and white to frame it. She’s also already got flowers blooming in her fluffy mane and tail, bright wildflowers to match the fields already bursting into bloom around them. The pegasus mare takes a couple days to savor her daughter on her own, introducing herself to everything about their lands, before she finally resigns herself to introducing the girl to the others who reside here.

    A huge part of that reluctance is the fear that Aodhan will be the only one. Not because she wants the Pampas full of strangers (she doesn’t) but because she dreads the awkward conversation she’s been avoiding and will be forced to have if they are the only residents. Already, Noah sees his face in her nightmares. Dreams where the mob murders her father in Pangea and he features prominently, even though she knows his is not one of the original faces she had memorized. Still, she finds a shady place under a long-branched tree in the middle of the biggest field, and she politely calls to them – to any of them who may be here. And if a part of her hopes he isn’t, well, under the circumstances she thinks most would forgive her.

    “Momma, what are we doing?” the right voice of the filly is louder than Noah’s, for she has known no fear. Noah was raised in fear, the real and imagined fears of her father, and her childhood capped off by an experience that she will never quite recover from. She moves gracefully and speaks in whispers because it is safer than way, a life in hiding. Noah has already resolved her daughter will not live that life. So: “We’re going to meet some friends,” she says quietly, hoping her daughter will not hear the doubt in her voice. “The people we live with.”

    little fire
    All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost
    Time passed, and they all tried to move on with their lives. Noah didn’t come to visit him as he’d hoped and feared, and the spotted baroque is not sure whether that is something he likes or dislikes about her. Norof himself, truth be told. Whether it is for the best not to meet, or if that only made it worse, he couldn’t tell anyone either.

    He’s met, and seen pass by, several visitors in the meantime, but none seemed willing to stay for good and it plagues him. His cousin didn’t seem interested in settling at all and he didn’t blame her, and the mare in the field that he met hadn’t given a very definite answer as of yet. As such, he only knows for certain that he sort-of lives here, though perhaps illegally, and that Noah is probably around and not talking to him, much like she did before. Only this time there is a valid, awkward reason.

    So it looks to him that everything he’d done in the meantime was pretty useless. He’d drawn her out with a violent act, and then they’d gone back to the way things were on a bad note.

    He spent half or more of his time away from what was supposed to be home. Ischia being the closest land he could set hoof on without getting some sort of disapproving look (Castile thought even worse of him than Noah, he is quite certain), he spent most time on the beaches there. It was also Eva’s homeland, which perhaps had drawn him there even more. Meeting Aquaria certainly had been interesting as well, though in a different way, obviously.

    Lately some other mare was appointed to lead there now though. Again, it feels like the place he picked for his home is changing, and he’s pretty sure he doesn’t like that idea. It’s much like when the quiet Taiga became a pawn in some political pony’s hoofs - he’s not staying there.

    That means that he is still here, in the Pampas, trying not to think about life and mistakes. It’s probably best to look forward; he can’t change the past. And probably shouldn’t if he could.

    He could have been a regular snow owl if the colour of his spots hadn’t given him away - or the fact that he was up at daylight.

    The bird of prey lands a few paces away from the mother and child, blinking once at the roan and then closes his eyes, knowing that if she wanted to talk to him specifically, she would have called his name. But at least she’d know he was around now and then, he figures.

    Noah Whoah I am so late. Oh well
    She wants very little to do with politics, and he wants nothing to do with them. Perhaps this is the one thing they have in common. The quiet susurration of wings draws her attention to the owl as it approaches and the little pegasus lifts her head, tracking his progress across the sky and into their bubble of isolation. For a moment, it means nothing to her except a vague discomfort at seeing an owl our during the day – not unheard of, but unusual enough to be disquieting. But she blinks once, realizes the owl is gold-and-white instead of black-and-white, and understands.

    Noah is too slow to understand, because her filly has already darted forward, tiny ears pricked on top of her head and eyes bright with enthusiasm. “Hello!” she announces to the bird, completely unbothered by the fact that it isn’t a horse. “I’m Noma!” Still before the slightly shocked Noah can interfere, the filly has already lowered her muzzle to whuffle noisily into Aodhan-the-owl’s feathers. “What’s your name?”

    Her frozen muscles finally unlock and the little mare leaps forward, brushing her daughter back from the bird rapidly but as gentle as she can manage, huffing out an exasperated breath. Who knew parenting would go like this? ”Noma, that’s rude,” she chides, trying to put some space between her overexuberant offspring and their only compatriot. But maybe this is what childhood is supposed to be? Noah wouldn’t know, really. “I’m sorry,” she offers somewhat sheepishly to Aodhan-the-owl.

    Aodhan hi I exist #oops

    little fire
    All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost
    The roan mare doesn’t immediately pay attention, which the owl doesn’t mind. Yet as he almost dozes off, the girl noticed the difference and ruffles his feathers. His wide emerald eyes snap open immediately upon contact, wings flaring as the owl tries to keep his balance on the low branch he’d picked. However, he finds it quickly enough by taking a few steps with his clawed feet on the bark, and uses a wing to tap the filly on her nose. ”Aodhán. I’m happy to meet you Noma, but I would like to not fall over if you please.” he tells her.

    Noah joins them by correcting her daughter as well, and the bird takes the time to rearrange his upset belly - and wingfeathers with his beak.

    He turns his owl head at the mare, but shakes his head a little as she apologizes. ”There’s no harm done.”

    He debates changing his body to something larger, but instead only flies up to the next branch to be more at eye level with the roan pegasus. A change might be too much for the girl, at least right away. ”How are you doing?” Aside from birthing a daughter, that is, he wonders if anything else notable happened in the meantime.

    Her father would have drawn her away from Aodhan immediately, ushering her away in the name of safety. But he also didn’t ever settle – after his terrible questing experience, he’d kept them isolated – to keep them ‘safe’. Noah didn’t have childhood friends, with the exception of one strange encounter with one of Rhonen’s childhood friends who he’d allowed to get near them. After what felt like a lifetime of paranoia and fear, Noah has settled into the Pampas and her life, and her one goal for motherhood is that her daughter gets to be a child.

    So though she’s a little embarrassed by the way Noma rushed Aodhan, and still uncertain of him herself, Noah doesn’t usher her much further away than just keeping her from tripping into the tree he’s now perched in. The daughter deserves to talk to owls, if she wants, and be friends with the residents of their home, even if Noah doesn’t want to be.

    (It’s not even that she doesn’t want to be, simply that trust doesn’t come easy for her even now).

    “Um, sorry,” the little pinto filly tells the owl, with a glance at her mother. Noah smiles back with gentle humor and turns back to Aodhan-the-owl. “I’m fine,” she murmurs, “and you?” As the words leave her mouth she realizes she’s honestly interested in the answer, and blinks to herself in surprise as she awaits his answer. Beside her, the girl fidgets and fidgets, clearly trying to keep something inside.


    little fire
    All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost
    Noah is as skittish as he expects her to be; she is a walking contradiction in many ways, but he supposes that makes her interesting and unique as well. He isn’t quite certain how much she really wants to run away with Noma and hide from him and the world, but that the wish is there is no question to he who lives near her - they’re like neighbours in apartment buildings, knowing exactly when they’re home through the thin walls but never really speaking or meeting either, except in passing in the hallway - so he supposes she takes a big leap of trust for letting her daughter meet him at all, as far as he’s concerned.

    Noma catches his attention with an apology, and he shrugs his owl-wings with a near-soundless rustle. ”You know now, so that’s okay.” he tells the girl. He’d smile if he could, but his beak doesn’t lend itself for subtle changes in the corner of his mouth; his emerald orbs, the only consistent thing about his body, shine at her with visible amusement however: no offense taken.

    The red roan mare then, returns his question, making him turn his head straight towards her, blink once, twice, surprised by the question as much as she herself. Nevertheless he isn’t one to hide much, especially not feelings. ”A little uncertain about my home at times. I’ve visited a bunch of friends in other lands as well.” But nothing else really fits, no possible new home is out there that he can find. So he stays, the Pampas his best fit despite the tensions from a year or two, three ago. His content, lazy smile stays hidden in bird form, yet the air he gives off might indicate about as much. He’s relaxed around the mare, for the first time in perhaps forever.


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