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[ P ] A Pep in Your Step

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Sister of Samhain
posted 08-04-2021, 01:40 PM - Word count:
#1

A

natural, poignant curiosity gnawed at her, coaxing Juniper from her shy comforts as she yet again ventured from the sights of her beloved sisters. She marveled at things great and small, from each fleck of powdered snow to the large drifts that somehow molded the branches of the trees. How strong they must be, she thought, to carry so much weight. Each snowflake felt like nothing on her lustrous pelt, but if she burrowed beneath a thick layer of snow, she felt like it bore down on her.

There was a pep in each stride of her legs, bright eyes that yearned for spring still curious about the winter tide that pulled at hems of the land. Juniper, fascinated by her pawprints, a desire to ensure that each one was perfectly printed in the snow, walked lightly. She would be able to follow these tracks back home to her sisters.

@Willow

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Willow Fritz
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posted 08-04-2021, 03:02 PM - Word count:
#2

W

illow had stumbled upon a new place in her explorations, and this time, she had found it all on her own, with no brother or sister or mom to help. It had been a grand adventure so far -- somehow, she had found the one area of exposed earth in the snow, where a magnificent mud puddle had been found. Her tri-color fur was now splashed with brown and muck, but Willow did not seem to mind, for she was there for a reason and the scenery was awe-inspiring -- massive trees with red bark, so big that she could not even see the tops of them! They were, without a doubt, the very biggest trees she had ever seen! Not even the oldest maple could compare to these behemoths, and Willow took in the sight of the new forest with wide eyes, murmuring to herself: ”Magical!”

The scent of a feminine stranger greeted her senses first, and spying the delicate pawprints in the snow only confirmed the girl’s suspicion that she was not alone in this mystical realm. Willow paused in her tracks, and her weight caused the child to sink into the snow up to her chest. With a dramatic gasp, the girl pretended her very life was in danger, that an avalanche (which she had heard about in cautionary tales from grown-ups) was suddenly taking her. With a mighty, determined, and adorable cry, Willow burst forth from the icy grip of the snow.

Once freed from what was certainly (in her young mind) a very dangerous situation, Willow was a bit more cautious in her steps as she followed the trail of the stranger. Ebony-tipped ears pricked forward for any hint of crunching snow beneath the paws of this unknown wolf. Willow was determined to find out who these tracks belonged to before returning to her mission.

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Sister of Samhain
posted 08-05-2021, 09:13 PM - Word count:
#3

S

ugarplums and winter faeries—that was what was on her mind as Juniper skipped along, each step like a flavored gumdrop that fell on the perfect canvas of snow. A thoughtful tongue lolled from the side of her mouth, pressed against her upper lip, stories that Rhiannon whispered in the night at the forefront of her mind.

Oh, she loved those stories. Her sisters were wonderful storytellers, all of them, able to weave tales of adventure and legend, myth and monsters—and even those horrors that lurked in the darkness seemed to dissipate, perhaps, because Juniper would imagine her own heroes.

She was not one of them; she was not yet brave enough, strong enough, but one day, she would be, she thought. She would keep growing and growing, and—

Juniper froze, another scent catching her senses as one might snap at a passing fly. She blinked, glancing back and forth. Someone was close by, and her heart beat rapidly in her chest. What if it was one of the goblins that caused mischief in these woods? An imp? A demons from the darkness?

The prospect was a stressful one, and Juniper ducked lower, tail between her legs, ears pressed back as she sank into the snow. She wanted to be as small as possible. Hopefully whatever it was wouldn’t notice her…

@Willow

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Willow Fritz
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posted 08-08-2021, 04:33 PM - Word count:
#4

S

he had not even found her new friend yet, and already, Willow’s impagination was creating a game of her search. She pretended that, after escaping a very dangerous avalanche situation, that the strange creatures that called this place home were likely now aware of her presence. The girl, also a lover of stories, couldn’t remember what exactly roamed these woods, but it was certain that something did.

There, just ahead of the tri-colored youth, crouching down in the snow in what appeared (at least to Willow) to be a playful stance, was a little wolfess whose coat looked so sunshiney and warm against the blankness of the glittering snow she stood upon. Without a second thought, Willow pounced closer with a playful sound, chest puffed out in such a way that she hoped looked tough, while the big grin on her muzzle suggested she was definitely not that tough.


She stopped before where the stranger stood, curious and smiling. The other;s bright green eyes were rather similar to Willow’s, she noted with interest, and they stood out in vibrant contrast among the deep red barked trees and their enormous canopies of rich scarlet and orange. They reminded her of the color of spring, when everything is new and vibrant and alive.


”Hey, Sunny, you should be careful out here all by yourself! There’s scaaaary critters out in a magical place like this, ya know!” Her own emerald orbs flitted about in pretend nervousness as she scooted closer to the unknown girl. ”Good thing I found ya when I did! Now we're both safe,” she announced with a firm nod.


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@Juniper

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Sister of Samhain
posted 08-09-2021, 09:42 PM - Word count:
#5

O

h, no! She should not have wandered so far from home! Juniper thought about her sisters, those whom made her feel the safest; she thought of Rhiannon, who offered her a home when she had none, the one who rescued her from a terrible death.

Juniper felt guilty. This was no way to thank her, by her foolish optimism as she searched for adventure that she could never overcome. She was far too weak, too silly, too hopeful, too scared. The list went on and on as the regrets chased her dreams away, and she pressed herself into the ground, wishing that her coat was not quite so vibrant in the snow—it had brought her nothing but dismay and misfortune.

As the stranger approached, she spotted her from the corners of her eyes, and she quickly placed her paws above her snout, absently shielding herself from whatever blows would come. Perhaps she would be grabbed by the nape of the neck, taken to some foreign place where she would never see her sisters again. Juniper thought about all the doom and gloom.

But, then, the stranger spoke, and Juniper recognized the youth in her voice. She was, dare she thought, being friendly? She lifted a paw from her eyes to look at the girl standing above her. “S-scary critters?” she repeated, her voice as small as the squeak of a frightened mouse. “I d-don’t know about th-those.”

As the girl scooted closer, Juniper felt the warmth. They were about the same size, and she held a cordial gleam in her eyes, nearly the same shade of verdant green that was her own. Somehow, Juniper felt… well, she felt okay. This girl was probably not the threat she originally thought. The assurance of safety was also welcome. “We’re s-safe?” she said. “Safe from what?”

@Willow

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Willow Fritz
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posted 08-11-2021, 04:58 PM - Word count:
#6

I

nstantly, and incorrectly, Willow assumed the youth was already playing along with her game, pretending to be scared and attempting to hide in a silly way. But Willow kept her giggles quiet for the sake of the game. “S-scary critters? I d-don’t know about th-those.” Willow bit back her entertainment. She had not expected to find a playmate. And this new girl was very good at playing make-believe!


“We’re s-safe? Safe from what?” Standing side by side by her new, still nameless friend (technically nameless, save for the nickname Willow had already ascribed to the sunny-coated she-wolf), she leaned closer to whisper: ”Oh, woods as magical as this have to be crawling with all sorts of spooky stuff. Like… goblins! Or mean witches!”


Finally, her laughter began to bubble through her serious facade, and she nudged the other young wolfess with her shoulder playfully. ”I’ve only heard stories, though, I’ve never really seen them,” she offered, smiling -- she was having fun, and Willow was not yet astute enough to notice that perhaps her so-called new friend was not.


@Juniper

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Sister of Samhain
posted 08-12-2021, 10:47 PM - Word count:
#7

W

ell, Juniper decided that this stranger did not behave like a stranger, and she was much younger than most other wolves she had met in her lifetime. There was nothing frightening about her. She smiled and the gaze in her eyes was a kind one, and, really, they were about the same size; she was perhaps just a little larger than Juniper.

However, the mention of goblins and mean witches was far more terrifying to Juniper. Of course, goblins were of one breed—they were feisty creatures who were nasty in personality and mischievous in nature. But mean witches?” the very thought confused her. She did not know any mean witches; she only knew her sisters, her family, and they were kind to her. She supposed there might have been times when Rhiannon was condescending toward outsiders and Nimue was standoffish, but they were rarely mean. They merely minded their own business.

Curiosity got the better of her, though, and she sat up, tilting her head at this new girl. She was laughing, even while describing the things that frightened Juniper. Was she really so brave? So strong? Either way, Juniper felt better with her around. It was far more preferable to being alone.

“Um…” She thought about what to say. “My name is Juniper,” she said, deciding that anyone with such a bright smile could not be so bad. “What’s yours? And what stories have you heard? Have you really heard about goblins and mean witches around here?”

@Willow

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Willow Fritz
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posted 08-13-2021, 05:44 PM - Word count:
#8

A

t the mention of the other’s moniker, the tri-color youth’s face lit up as if she had just been told terrific news. ”Ooh, Juniper! Like the tree!” Willow thought to herself: I’ll bet she grew out of a garden just like mine! No one had explained just yet that pups do not grow from the earth as plants do, and Willow knew only that she had been found in her own family’s garden. ”My name is Willow, also like the tree,” she shared with a silly smile.


”Have you really heard about goblins and mean witches around here?” ”Well, sorta. I’ve heard stories about woods where magical things can happen..and stuff like scary witches that like to eat little pups who are lost in the woods.” The girl paused her for dramatic effect. ”But, the way I see it, personally, is if there’s mean creepies and that bad things, that means that there’s probably lots of good stuff around here, too, ya know? Maybe elves, the kind that grant wishes, if only you’re fast enough to catch ‘em!”



But there was a greater danger than ghouls and haunted woods, as the snow had begun to fall again. It was just a little bit, like a sprinkling of fairy dust, and Willow sprung away from her new friend to prance around her in circles. ”It’s snowing, it’s snowing!


Except… a little bit of snow falling swiftly turned into a lot of snow cascading from the dark clouds. Oblivious to the precariousness of this situation, Willow crouched, attempting to pounce on Juniper. ”I’m a goblin, look out! I’m gonna… uh… steal all the little pads on all your little paws, ha ha!”


@Juniper


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Sister of Samhain
posted 08-14-2021, 09:00 PM - Word count:
#9

U

pon hearing this girl’s name, Juniper gave her a smile, her eyes lighting up with the familiarity of the word. “Like the tree,” she repeated. If their names were both from trees, that meant they had something in common, and if they had something in common, well, this newcomer couldn’t be so bad, right? At least, they both seemed to enjoy the forest and the wilderness laid out before them. “I like your name. It sounds pretty,” she said, remembering her lessons with Moro, who taught her the many uses of the willow tree.

“Magical things?” She sure liked the sound of that. It reminded her of fae and pixies, glowing lights and rainbows, though she wasn’t so sure about the goblins and imps—or even the mean witches that she was so uncertain about. Her sisters certainly would never steal pups away to eat them. “I-I think I’d like to find an elf…” That sounded like fun!

The snow came down, faster than before, covering the ground with its fine white powder, building layer upon layer. Juniper giggled at Willow’s exclamation, her tail finally giving a slight wag.

It seemed that Willow just wanted to play, and Juniper had missed much of frolicking she needed with children of her age due to having to leave her village behind. Her sisters played with her as much as they could, but it was nice having someone your own age. “Not my toes!” Juniper cried out as she dodged Willow’s pounce. “Well, I’m an imp, and I’ll… I’ll steal your tail!” she went after her newfound friend with a mock-snarl.

@Willow

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Willow Fritz
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posted 08-28-2021, 06:15 AM - Word count:
#10

"I

like your name. It sounds pretty." At this compliment, Willow's smile looked as if it could not possibly grow any bigger on her little face. "Thank you! I think my moms named me that 'cause they found me in a garden." Willow thought nothing about sharing this tidbit of information, like it was common knowledge that pups grew from the ground. Her tail was wagging with enthusiasm at the idea of finding an elf with her new best friend!


Willow sprinted away from Juniper, laughing like a maniac. It was so much fun to play with someone her age who wasn’t just her brother or sister! ”But you mustn’t! Mine is such a lovely tail!” She teased Juniper through the snow… but wait, where did her new best friend go?! One moment, the sunshiney-colored adolescent was there, but now all that Willow could see was whiteness all around her. The snow was falling with such ferocity now that even when the girl squinted her bright green eyes, all she could make out was the swirling of flakes -- if they could even be called flakes now, as the bits now cascading upon them were nearly as big as Willow’s dainty front paws.


The playful attitude and the smile swiftly vanished from Willow’s muzzle as she took a tentative step forward. ”Juniper? Juniper! Can you hear me?!” Her voice was rising as quickly as the panic within the almost-yearling as her head darted about. The panic soon gave way to outright fear that left Willow nearly in tears as she cried out for the other young she-wolf. ”Juniper! Juniper! Where are you?!”

@Juniper

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