literature

makeshift snowmen

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Winter Eskpeditions | Environmental Art


Frankly, Beatrice was never too terribly fond of the snow. It was nice of course, and that first day of fresh snowfall was always amusing for her and her children. It was soft then still, able to crunch so nicely beneath their boots so she could watch them all run around like hooligans, ready to pick them up the moment they faceplanted into the snow and smothered themselves.


Honestly, she liked the snow more for their sake than her own. When she was young she had that same joy in her eyes for it, a warmth that never failed to flood her. At the ripe ol’ age of ten and below she’d fight to be able to rush out without her jackets, excited as ever to go play and see what she could make whilst the snow was still fresh. Half the time her uncle or someone else would have to come swooping in and hoist her under the arms just to make sure she didn’t freeze to death. And even when she’d kick and pout and bat her pale lashes, they never gave in.


Huh. Funny, her own kids did the same damn thing.

God she hopes she didn’t pass that down to them. She really hopes that’s just a kid thing.


But it is,,, kinda funny to think back on now, as she sits on her porch swing and watches with somewhat absent attention as folk run around in her front yard, playing in the fresh snow. Her doves chirp and coo nearby, cuddling in a makeshift nest of blankets that’s balancing so precariously on the railing of the porch. Bea can’t help but frankly be a bit concerned at the sight of it. But aside from them, Hayes sits nearby, ears back as little Lux continues to try and coerce him into joining her and her mice, and their absolute mess of trying to make snowmen and snow rolls and who knows what else. He’s decidedly uninterested, making it clear in how his voice rattles with low growls and his gaze is always turning away.


She can’t help but laugh a little, humming quietly as she looks on at the scene. There’s half made snowmen covering her yard, broken rolls and balls of snow that’re laid silent, forgotten, abandoned by Lux’s hyperactive mind. Twigs and branches are everywhere, the little mice clutching some in their paws so they can draw strange shapes in the alabaster blankets, even stealing floral adornments from everyone nearby so they can include them.


They add a worm at some point, she thinks.

What,,, strange little creatures.


‘Mama?’


Beatrice hums, looking over at the gentle voice who calls on her. Her eyes crinkle with a warm smile, face oh so smushed against the arm of her seat.


‘Alouette,’ she greets, tilting her head up slightly when her daughter draws closer, bumping their noses together. The once little feather messes with the flowers tangled in Beatrice’s fur, wings absently shaking to free themselves of snow layers. ‘Come now, settle. No need to preen me, sweetheart.’

‘Pardon me, mama,’ Alouette beckons, her own eyes crinkling with an amused smile. ‘Mom is making a mess and won’t let me fix it, so I couldn’t help myself when I saw the tangles.’


That earns a hearty laugh from Beatrice, her face pressing into the arm of the porch swing some more before she settles, snickering. ‘Is she now? And what on Earth has she gotten herself into this time.’

‘I’ll be honest?’ Alouette tilts her head, feathers flopping. ‘I couldn’t even begin to describe it, mama. I am,,, frankly, a little concerned. She’s outdone herself this time.’

‘Oh dear.’ Beatrice sighs, exasperated but nothing if not fond. ‘What are we going to do with her?’


‘Feed her to Aeolus,’ Hayes chimes in, eyes crinkled with something smug when he glances over, Beatrice squawking in offense on her behalf.


‘We are not feeding my wife to my uncle, you brat!’


That old dog snickers, head throwing back with a deep cackle that has the albino spirit shaking her head. So crude of him, that ancient fool.

No, she is not having to bite back laughter at the idea of Haru going pale when faced with her frail uncle. No, no she is not.


‘Beatrice! Bea Bee, Orchid! Orchid!


And speak of the devil.


Beatrice raises her head, squinting slightly as Haru rushes over, her eyes big and bright. She’s jumping over branches and little mice that scurry around, hell, she even manages to get past Lux and her unpredictable pathing as she draws in the snow. Bea’s almost impressed really, posture straightening a bit in preparation to chat with her, to compliment her at last on not tripping the moment snow settles on the ground. Or tripping in general, really.


… And then Haru’s feet smack together.

And she gives one hearty, dramatic yelp! before slamming face first into the snow.

She was so close too.


‘Haru,’ Beatrice sighs out, exhausted but fond as she slowly raises herself to a sit. Alouette stretches out a wing, carefully pressing it to the thick fur on her mother’s chest to help guide her upright. ‘What have I said about being careful?


The littler spirit bounces back quickly, faux siamese face unsurprisingly a stark white from the clinging snow. She squints, shaking her head hard and bounding forward with little concern, even when snow still sticks to her face like it’d be getting paid to stay on.

Bright blue eyes stare up at Beatrice, big and sparkly and ever so excited that it makes that tired girl melt. How could you ever be mad at such a foolish, adorable, and even more foolish face?


‘Haru-’

‘Before you say anything!’ The little spirit jumps up onto the porch swing, beaming up at her beloved and smacking her muzzle against Beatrice’s jaw, cheek, the side of her muzzle in faux kisses - each coupled with an overly dramatic mwah! mwah! sound. It leaves the albino soul feeling a little warm, snickering softly as she presses a paw against Haru’s chest to try and push her back. It fails, unsurprisingly, and the woman only hikes up on her back legs to keep pressing overly loud ‘kisses’ all along the thin fur of her lover’s face.

Haru oh my stars!’

‘What! I’m allowed to kiss my beautiful, sweet, gorgeous, delightful, absolutely perfect wife!’

‘Our daughter is right there-’

‘Perfect! She should know how much her mamas love each other!”


Beatrice casts a helpless look to Alouette, one that’s only met with crinkled eyes and a snicker, the delighted spirit looking away pointedly. Suddenly, the railing of the porch is incredibly interesting, isn’t it?


‘Haru- Haru by the stars would you settle--’ Beatrice finally, finally manages to push the faux siamese soul away, snickering and giggling to herself so heavily when she catches the smug, pleased expression her beloved cherry blossom wears. She concedes slightly, pressing a much softer ‘kiss’ to Haru’s forehead and watching how she fluffs up and beams even brighter, her tail going a mile a minute where it hangs off the porch swing. Beatrice takes a breath, shaking her head in amusement. Please tell me you didn’t just faceplant and run all the way here for this? To smother me in your mock affection?’


Mock?!’ Haru whines, head throwing back. ‘I’m offended! You wound me! Alouette, your mother is scorning me!’

‘Oh my god, would you pipe it!’ Bea snickers out, smacking her on the chest lightly. ‘Why’d you come galloping all this way honey, stop avoiding the question.’


‘Is it about the mess you were making?’ Alouette chimes in, tilting her head with an amused look. ‘You were spending a long time over there.’


‘I was not making a mess,Haru huffs, eyes crinkled with a grin regardless. ‘I was making art!’


At the very least, the question of said ‘art’ does set her off. Haru jumps down from the seat, chattering absently about the snow and weather, about how Alouette and Bea both should come out from hiding and have fun. She even chirps at Hayes, who gives her a mild glare that sends her skittering but! At least she tried.

Haru looks back at her lover and daughter, eyes crinkling. ‘C’mon! Didn’t work my butt off just for you to not see it!’

Beatrice can’t help but snicker for a moment, but regardless she doesn’t make her wait any longer. With a small grunt the pale soul jumps down from the swing, her daughter coming to support her once her legs give a small quiver. Snow and age truly didn’t mix it seems.


‘Careful,’ Alouette hums, wing folding out to cover Beatrice once they leave the safety of the porch itself, determined to not let too much snow fall onto the already frail creature.

Bea gives a kind look to the spirit, gently bumping her head against her. ‘Thank you, Louette.’


It doesn’t take very long to follow after that strange little soul that’s stolen Beatrice’s heart, her chatter nothing but an incoherent mess that makes her feel warm beneath the winter’s chill. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and even though she might not have an elemental knack for handling snow, Beatrice finds herself no less than excited to still see what she’s apparently made for them. Just how crude would it end up being? And regardless, it’d be cherished in her heart till the very end of this existence as they know it, even once the snow begins to melt and the world itself can’t hold the shape of such a creation any longer.


… It’s ugly.


Oh by the stars it’s ugly.


But it’s so painfully sweet that Beatrice can’t help but fawn over the god awful craftsmanship.


You made this?’ Bea asks, stepping forward and looking over the snow sculptures carefully. They’re messy, shapes a bit off and half hanging on certain areas, but who they are doesn’t slip her mind. It’s them. Bust shots, anyway, of Beatrice, Haru, and their dear little Alouette. It’s them. By the stars she made them--

‘It’s kinda hard to get your delicate spots,’ Haru chimes, glancing at Alouette's feathers and Bea’s thinner fur. ‘But! I think I did pretty good. A family portrait!’

‘You… You made us.’


It’s staring her in the eyes, yet she can’t help but feel so- so shocked. Her wife - her sweet, loving wife made them. She actually made them--


‘I can’t believe you,’ Beatrice huffs out, voice rough and filled with sniffles.


Haru pauses, faltering a bit as she pushes forward, eyes squinting with worry. She settles by Bea’s feet, a paw coming to rest over her own. ‘Hey- Hey, Orchid, you okay? I didn’t- I didn’t mean to--’


‘You damn sap.’


Beatrice pushes against Haru, making the little spirit yelp as she’s sent flying onto her back. She stares up, eyes so big and so confused until the albino spirit flops down on top of her, nuzzling into the thick fur of that false siamese’s neck, hums and sniffles and quiet little mumblings coming from her entire aura. She clings to her littler lover, nuzzling so deep against her she swears she might suffocate, even in this strange death.


Haru’s paws cling back to her, and she presses her own face into pure white fur and tangled flower petals.


‘I love you,’ Beatrice mumbles out. ‘I love you so much, Cherry. I love you so so much, you and your terrible sculpting skills.’

‘They aren’t that bad,’ Haru giggles out, light and airy. Beatrice can’t help but laugh in exchange.

‘They’re so bad, honey. God they’re unsightly. They’re half melted and look like nightmare fuel.’

‘So mean to me and my gifts.’

Beatrice snickers, leaning up some so she can look that little spirit in the eyes. She presses their muzzles together, making a soft whisper of a noise to mimic a kiss.

‘I love them, darling. I’ll cherish them till this life ends for me just as well, and even after that.’


Haru beams, body blisteringly warm against the cold snow that clings to them. She nuzzles against the bigger spirit, purring like a kitten as her tail tries desperately to wag and flick beneath them both.


‘Love you, Orchid.’

‘Love you too, Cherry.’


It’s sweet, it’s warm. And for once, Beatrice doesn’t even mind the cold that clings to her, can’t even be bothered to care about the frost eating away at her body and bones. Because she has something far better to focus on. Something so very warm, and so very sweet she might get sick from being near it for too long. And that, even with the chattering of spirits and falling snow, is far better than anything she could ever hope to care about.



Until, of course, things go wonderfully downhill.


‘Dad!’ Lux’s voice cries out, happy and bright. ‘Dad dad dad come look! Loooook! I made us!’

‘Did you now?’

‘Yeah! Yeah yeah yeah- Me and the mice made me, and you, and Miss B, and the birdy, and the mean teacher, and the fishy girl, and the puppy-’

‘I’m not a puppy.’

‘And! And they even made- made my friend Danse, and the weird hair thing! Dad, dad come look please come look--’

‘I’m coming, I’m coming, dear.’


Snow crunches nearby, and a distinct sound rings out. The clearing of someone’s throat, the ringing of chimes and chattering of mice.


Beatrice looks up, and pink eyes meet dark ones.


Aeolus tilts his head slightly, catching sight of Haru. He glances to Bea, to Haru, back to Bea again.


‘... Am I, ah…’ He clears his throat again, stepping back awkwardly. ‘Am I interrupting something?’


Beatrice doesn’t even have to look down to know Haru has gone worryingly pale. So very, very pale, in fact, that it should probably be of much bigger concern to her than it currently is.


‘Ha! Hey, look!’ Hayes snickers, looking on from a distance. ‘Aeolus is gonna eat Haru!’


Hayes!


Haru squeaks, eyes going wider. ‘Oh god he’s gonna eat me--’

No, honey, he’s not-’

‘Hide me, y’gotta hide me- Orchid- Orchid please--’


Beatrice sighs heavily, looking over at Hayes in unamusement as her little wife tries so very hard to crawl underneath her further.


‘I hate you.’


His eyes seem to sparkle, cheeky.


‘Love you too, Orchid.

jesus christ that's so many people



--scoring breakdowns

47(wc: 2395) 20(other) 60(interact) 5(event) 2(small swarm) 5(personal) 16(storytelling) || 155 AP -Beatrice 23.5( wc: 2395) 2(event) 1(small swarm) 12(storytelling) || 38.5 GP -Lux / Hayes 21.5( wc: 2182) 2(event) 1(small swarm [Lux only]) 12(storytelling) || 36.5 GP / 35.5 GP

-Alouette, Haru, owned by Dirty-Ramen 19.5( wc: 1961) 2(event) 12(storytelling) || 33.5 GP -Aeolus 2.5(wc: 260) 2(event) || 4.5 GP

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