Mystery of the Myth

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by redwolf, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. Astor wandered through the forest, the warmth of the sun beating down on his coppery hair. The forest was quiet that day, a fact he was quite happy about. He entered a clearing he was very familiar with. It was a place he had come to often as a child and remained to that day one of his favorite locations. A small creek ran by one side of the clearing, and large ancient oaks surrounded the place with smaller bushes dotting the tree's feet. The clearing itself was covered in lush grass and tiny vibrant purple flowers. He plopped down right in the center of the clearing, intertwined his fingers behind his head, and let himself doze off to the music of the forest. He could hear a dozen different birds chirping and flying about, the rustle of large and small animals through bush and grass, the soft murmur of the creek behind him, and as much as he could hear and see the forest around him, he could feel it. The energy stored within this ancient forest. I flowed in and out of him, both sustaining each other. He could feel the warmth of the energy, the life, warming his every pore.
  2. The sun beating down was a relief to the girl, but not so much to the plants she was seeking. Flutter wasn't necessarily a stranger to the forest, but she was certainly not accustomed to it either. As she made her way around, trying to avoid getting cut by brush that stuck out into the paths at points, she was surprised to see a clearing up ahead. You should never go too far into the woods. The reminder rang through her head aimlessly, without leaving a trace of concern to her. The stories of shapeshifters were clearly just a myth. Due to that, she was unaffected by the alarm bell in her mind, and continued onward, until she saw someone, or something, lying in the grass of the clearing.

    Trying to keep quiet not to wake them, she tried to go around the clearing, only to step on a twig that made quite a loud crackle under her light but firmly stepping feet. She winced lightly, struggling to keep her basket in her hand from her surprise. The basket, filled with berries and leaves from the outer parts of the forest, swung slightly. Had she woken the stranger? She winced at the thought. It would be bad if she had to get in trouble, after all.
  3. Astor jerked up, the snapping of the twig too out of place to be just anything. A predator would never make so much noise while stalking their prey, and the prey knew better than to attract that much attention to themselves. He peered around the clearing. It didnt take him long to spot something behind a couple of trees. He focused his mind on the image he wanted: a small silver fox. He felt his body begin the change. Salt and peppery fur began to sprout all along his shrinking body. His nails grew into claws, and his ears changed into those of a fox, closely followed by a fluffy tail sprouting out behind him. Within mere seconds, he no longer looked human, instead, he was a fox. He darted into the bushes to one side of the strange disturbance and quickly got behind the thing. He hid in a bush and crept forward until he could see what it was. Surprisingly, it was a human. A young woman at that. He tried to remember where the nearest human village was, but the closest one he could think of was quite far away. He made it a point to stay far away from humans. They were dangerous, and cruel. He clawed his way up into a tree and settled on a branch well out of reach and changed back to his human form. He crouched cat-like on the branch and peered down at the human. "Who are you and what do you want? You dont look like a hunter... more like a mouse that ran away from home. So, what are you doing out here? Dont you know its dangerous?" He asked cautiously. His voice was rich and thick with an exotic accent.
  4. She had seen the change from human to fox, and then back from fox to human. However, Flutter was of a logical mind, and deemed it a mirage at that time. Thus, she returned to believing it was a human male she'd woken, but alas was still struck with anxiety by his tone, thus cowering against the closest tree, shivering slightly from fear of the scolding and from a slight chill.

    "I got lost," She mused lightly. Her hair was abnormally long even for a girl, draping down to past her upper legs, colored a dark hue of what seemed like blue, but likely seemed like a mirage for that reason. "I'm not...used to this part of the woods. I got lost collecting herbs and fruit." She held up her basket, still mostly filled, besides a few leaves having fallen from her bad ability to balance it prior. "I make herbal remedies. This forest has the best herbs and berries around town, so I come here to collect once in a while. Not enough to know the area well like a map, but..." She trailed off, staring at the ground. Her voice was small and tender, showing no sign of intent to harm anyone, but rather a fear of being harmed.

    "I know they say its dangerous, but I needed to get one more plant that grows further in...But I can't find it."
  5. Astor continued to glare at her for a few more moments, before he found his glare fading. This human was odd. She reminded him more of a young pup than of a human. They were supposed to be more... aggressive than this, werent they? He leaped down from the tree and landed on his feet easily. He looked completely human, except for his cat-like eyes that resembled the starry night sky. He was tall and lithe, his muscles well toned from a life in the wild. His coppery hair fell down just past his shoulders and seemed to shine in the sunlight. He tensed, going into a crouch instinctively, ready for if she was going to attack suddenly.

    "A human healer? Interesting." He peered at her basket, noting all the things in there could indeed be used for healing purposes, or just eaten in a normal diet. If she was just looking for one more herb, he could probably find it easily. Once she had that, she could go home and he would once again be left alone. "Which are you looking for?"
  6. She was surprised by his instinctive position- it wasn't one humans usually took for battle, but at the same time, she had a feeling she could recognize it from somewhere. Though the fox mirage came to mind, she quickly let the thought leave as fast as it had come, and instead listened to his speech. "I need wolfsbane. Ah- you shouldn't touch it with your bare hands since it's poisonous though. But if you handle it properly- with gloves, mind you- it can also be used for certain tonics, I've found. It takes a lot of work, but...It's a good herb, really. People who hear it get scared, but it's not as scary as they think!" She smiled lightly. Talking of work always calmed Flutter down, and she was definitely a plant advocate. It's rare and hard to find, but I had once heard there was some here, so I figured fresh was better than bought, since I could work it more in depth..."
  7. Wolfsbane? He pondered it a moment. He didnt use it much, but he was familiar with it. He tried to think of the last place he'd seen some. It had been quite recent, he knew that much, but where? Then he remembered. He had briefly spotted some on a hill he had traveled over just that morning. It was a few hours walk from their location, but there was still enough daylight left to go there and back again.

    He straightened up and fixed a raptor stare at her. "I know of it. ... I will guide you there, then you will leave, understand?" He didnt bother waiting for a reply. Instead, he focused his mind, this time on a wolf. She'd be able to see him better as a wolf than as a fox, and the endurance was better as well. He felt the change once again. Thick black fur grew all over his body as he shrunk down to about the size of what would be considered a large wolf. Within moments, the change was complete. Come, He said to her telepathically before running off through the clearing and into the trees on the other side towards a hill in the distance.
  8. She would have been faster to follow if she hadn't just gotten a hit to the head by her logical mind having issues processing what she'd just seen. I-Is this a dream? I'm dreaming? But I was sure he was real...But no one can turn into a wolf like that, right? Shaking it off, she pinched her arm with her basket hand, only to wince in pain. It hurts...So this isn't a dream?

    She pushed it off. If she was going to understand, she'd have to follow him to confront him afterward. The voice in her head sounded familiar enough to make her decide to do what it said, following him carefully towards the other side of the hill. However, her mind continued to wander. It's almost like those old myths...About the shapeshifters...‚Äč
  9. Astor had to stop and wait for her to catch up multiple times, but eventually they made it to the hill. The sun was past its peak by now and was beginning to cast long shadows across the ground. He could smell the wolfsbane close by. He followed the scent to one side of the hill. There the flowers grew in clumps around a reed bed. He changed back into his human form and stepped aside to let her pass. "This is what you were looking for, yes?"
  10. Flutter followed him cautiously, still deep in thought about the stories as she did so. Seeing the wolfsbane nearby, when he had stopped and changed once again, she smiled lightly. It was impossible for him to be a shapeshifter even if he was so similar, she'd decided finally. He was too nice to be like monsters she'd heard in the myths.

    "That's it," She mused gently, before putting her basket down to put on her gardening gloves. Carefully, she drew near the plants and knelt down next to them, being careful as she plied them out of the ground and into a small plastic bag, never letting them touch her skin. Once sealed, she moved the bag into the basket and took the gloves off again, returning the basket into her arms and smiling to him gently, slightly nervous, yet with the determination on her face still clear.

    "Thank you for helping me." It was a very abrupt, and simple statement, but soon led to another. "I don't know who or what you are, but I am more than thankful to you. You really helped me a lot."
  11. He watched her meticulously remove the plants and store them. By the time she stood up, he had moved a little further away until he was well out of arms reach. He may have helped her, but it didnt mean he would begin trusting her that easily, she was human after all. "Dont thank me. Just go home and dont venture out so far. Not everything out here is kind to humans." He swung up into the branches of the nearby tree. "I trust you can find your way home from here?" He didnt want to have to accompany her home as well. It was bad enough just letting her see his powers. Getting so much as a mile close to a human settlement was dangerous.
  12. "I'm not completely certain," She mused, pointing in a direction she deemed proper. "I basically just continue that way, correct? I think that's the way to the clearing we met, and from before that, I had basically just continued in a mostly straight, though slightly zigzagged, line. I do believe well in the saying, 'the shortest path is always the straight one'." She smiled gently again, watching him move further back, into a tree soon after. "Well, whatever you are, you're quite lithe, I'll say that. I'm a bit jealous. I have little energy most of the time, let alone such athletic ability. My brother got all that before he died." She laughed nervously, watching him still. "You can say not to thank you, but I'm still thankful. No matter your reason, you helped me, didn't you? Thus thanking is the proper action. It's also most logical this way."
  13. He looked in the direction she was pointing and had to sigh. She was close, but he could easily see her getting lost. He pushed the thought aside. It was none of his business. "Well then I suppose I should say you're welcome." He responded. He changed himself into the form of a small, blue songbird and took off. He dissappeared quickly into the trees. He tried to push the thought of her getting lost in the forest out of his mind. He landed on a high branch quite a ways from where he'd left her and thought over his options.
  14. Waving a gentle, slightly awkward goodbye, she began down the route she had proclaimed to be correct, trying to find her way home. Unfortunately, there were markings on some trees that caught her attention and also generally pushed her in the wrong direction, even if only slightly. Over time, she'd grown weary and took a seat next to a tree, her head leaning on its trunk. "I never got his name," She mused to herself, sighing softly again. "He seemed so much like those myths, but...He wasn't scary. As I thought, myths really are a fabrication." Her eyes drifted shut for a moment, but she let them jolt open just as quickly. "I can't sleep here. I must be close to home by now. When the forest reaches its opening near the oaks, I'm home free." She stood, shaking the fatigue out of her weak, bony legs. However, a thought caught her attention. "...I forgot which way I was going. This is bad..." A deep breath escaped her, as she looked for a sign of a trodden path again.
  15. Astor took to the skies again, his decision made up. He circled among the trees a few times before he found her standing and looking around as if she were lost. I knew it, he thought to himself, flying around her hear a few times. Then he veered towards the direction of her village. He landed on one of the lower branches and stared at her for a moment, then flew off towards the village again. He hoped she got the message and followed him. He didnt really know why he was helping her home, but it was a bit late now. He continued flying until he got to the line of trees bordering the village and landed on one of the branches. He turned to see if she had kept up with him or not.
  16. While lost, she was surprised to see what seemed like a slightly familiar bird. When she recalled seeing him change to a bird before their separation, she couldn't help but wonder if he had perhaps come back to guide her, but thought that silly. However, her mind played a trick on her- despite making her believe it wasn't Astor, Flutter's feet almost unconsciously moved to follow the bird that had stared at her so intently, she had almost gotten goosebumps. Once at the edge of the forest where the trees bordered, she saw her house just a few yards away- yes, Flutter's house was indeed close to the forest, so close in fact that it was actually further from the village than the woods! Without a word, she smiled happily, digging through her pocket for a sweet bun she had left, opening it and breaking off a piece. Holding out some, she smiled a bit further.

    "I don't have much to give you, Mister Bird, so here's some sweet bread as consolation for your leading me to my house. I really appreciate it!" A small giggle escaped her as she let the childish grin plaster itself onto her face. Though her arm shook from being too outstretched, she neither paid heed nor cared anyway. She was finally home, meaning she could get to work and get some rest. That itself was a relief.
  17. Astor flew down and landed on her outstretched arm, grabbing the food as he did. He swallowed it in a few big bites. It was surprisingly delicious. He fluffed up his feathers and let out a pleased chirp. He had tasted some of the human's strange food before, but that was by far the best one he'd had. He found himself craving more of it, and looked ate her other hand, trying to find the rest of it. He was just about to fly to her other hand to get some more when he heard the distinctive sound of human footsteps getting closer. His feathers fluffed up even more, and this time not from happiness. He let out a thrill of an alarm and took off like a rocket towards the trees, dissappearing almost instantly.

    He could feel his little heart trying to burst out of his chest, but he kept flying until it calmed down. He landed on a branch high in a tree and stamped his little birdie foot on the branch, making it wobble wildly. He cursed himself for getting so comfortable around her, and so close to a human settlement at that.
  18. The footsteps came from a local villager, one who often came to Flutter for remedies because they often hurt themselves during their work. She was surprised to see them, but more so to see the bird leave. Smiling lightly, she ran to her house, allowing the other person inside before making some tea and getting some vials of poultice from a nearby cabinet.

    "You're covered in dirt," She was reminded. "You went into the forest for ingredients?"

    They talked only briefly while she was treating the villager, then waved as they left. Looking around, she smiled at her basket and left it on the counter, returning to the edge of the forest and leaving the rest of the earlier treat on a piece of cloth. She wasn't sure if the bird, whom she assumed the man from earlier on by now, would get it. However, she felt oddly safe with him, and thus decided to trust him at least more than other people did, to the point of feeding him if she could. Leaving the food, she smiled slightly again to herself.

    "I don't know him, but I know he's kind. He is willing to lead a stranger the way, and he was willing to return me home as well...There's always fabrication in myths. I think I'm starting to see it for myself now." Shaking it off, she returned to her house, leaving a window partially open to let in some sunlight for plants on that window's sill. She looked at a nearby picture of herself and her late brother, smiling. "Big brother, you were always the type to ignore stereotypes....But you loved myths. Is it possible you knew all along they weren't as scary as the big bad wolves they were made to be?"
  19. Astor changed into a chipmunk and scurried down the tree. There was a wonderful acorn tree not too far away that would occupy his time magnificently for quite a while. He hurried over to the acorn tree and began searching for acorns. He found a nice safe place under a root and dug a deep hole. Slowly, over the course of the day, he filled the hole with acorns. In his human form they wouldnt fill him up very much at all, but that didnt mean it wasnt a good idea to stock food up. It was a habit he had developed as a young boy, watching his mother do the same. He had many such holes hidden away around the forest, ready and waiting for whenever he needed them, usually as a last resort.

    The sun was going down by the time his stomach started rumbling again. His stock was full and expertly hidden. He cleaned his fur for a while, thinking about what he wanted for dinner. The image of a deer popped into his head, bringing a grin to his face. He changed into a wolf and began following the scent of the nearest deer herd. He stalked up as close to the herd as he possibly could, his sights already set on a young doe. When he was sure he was close enough to catch it, he sprung from his cover of bushes and bee-lined for the young doe. She took off in the opposite direction the herd went, terror clouding her animal judgement. He finally caught up to her a while later and pounced, landing half on her side. He scrambled to get on top of her, to bring her down. She kicked and bucked and finally threw him off. He growled, springing back at her. She kicked at him, one of her hooves hitting her shoulder. He yelped and fell away from her. By the time he got back on his feet, she was dissappearing around some bushes. He scolded himself, taking a look at his wound. It was bleeding lightly and hurt to move on. He licked it a few times, trying to clear the blood off, but it didnt help much. He sniffed the air for the smell of running water, but smelled nothing. If only he could find a stream close by he could clean it a lot easier. He started limping in a random direction. Not long later, he smelled something familiar close by, something sweet. He followed it, finding the remainder of that sweet bun the human girl had given him earlier. Only after he had scarfed it down did he notice the little house sitting there. When had he gotten so close to the humans? He turned to limp back into the forest when he spotted some water close to the house. He hesitated a moment, then limped over to that instead, greedily lapping up the water.
  20. Since the sun was starting to go down, and much of her work was complete, Flutter decided to check and see if the sweet bun had yet been consumed. She was careful to head to the same spot without being too loud, seeing that it had indeed been eaten, much to her relief. However, as she picked up the cloth, she noticed something that looked like a small trail. It was from an animal, she assumed, and she also could tell it was an injured one by the way the feet had been placed. It was limping! Kneeling down, she noticed a small drop of blood. Had it been left there by the animal? That meant it was likely the man, in her eyes- that, or another animal had eaten the bun she left for him, but somehow that seemed unlikely. Curiously, she ended up following the tracks she could see, hiding behind a bush near the water source when she saw him at it.

    It was clear as day that he was thirsty, but she could also see the wound left from whatever had hit his shoulder. Concern filled her, along with a sense of regret and insecurity. She wanted to help, but she didn't know why. She felt she owed him, but she had told herself earlier that the food was meant for that. So why was she so inclined to rip her sleeve over his shoulder? Perhaps it was her nature as a medicine maker, but by the time she'd come to her senses to think again, her left sleeve was already ripped at the hem, and a bottle of medicinal poultice was taken out of her breast pocket.

    She dabbed the medicine onto the ripped cloth, looking at the animal to make sure it was still there. "I'm sure it's you," She mused. "I'll tend the wound, so come here briefly. I promise, it's no more than an antibacterial poultice. It'll keep the wound clean and keep you from getting an infection." He had no reason to trust her, she reminded her self. However, she also reminded herself there was no point in hiding herself when he'd likely heard her ripping her sleeve to begin with, and running wasn't a likely option.
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