A Spoonful of Yarrow
Bird song rang over the treetops as light danced through the leafless branches of the forest. Fall was a beautiful time of year, despite not knowing what it looked like, a blind she-wolf walked along familiar terrain. The area was right outside of Chandor territory, and was familiar for Jaci, despite being blind of course, she traveled here many times. Her herb grew around this area, but things were starting to die off the closer winter came, Jaci was very protective of what was left of her stash.
Her dead eyes, blank like a cloudy day, stared motionless into the distance. Many shivered when looking into the Shaman's eyes; as though she could see right through you.
The pale she-wolf sniffed loudly, catching the scent of what she was sure was basil, a remedy for inflammations. As she neared the area of her basil stash, Jaci suddenly realized that the sun was falling near the mountains, she could tell by the temperature drop in the air and the lack of warmth on her back.
I should head back to the den soon, not that the dark is any different than right now anyway.
Finding her basil plant, Jaci gave it a few sniffs, ensuring it was getting enough sunlight and water to last until winter. The herb was healthy, and with luck it would stay that way. Jaci yawned, stretching, deciding to take a short break from her travel. After a few minutes of rest, the fluffy blind she-wolf stood from her spot and began to walk in the direction she came, when the wind shifted and carried the scent of another wolf. Something seemed familiar about it, as though she had smelt this scent before.
Blood dripped from his fur, the iron smell filled his lungs almost making him gasp for air. He was foolish staying in an area with a mother bear and her cub, the attack was quick and unseen. Sloan ran tail tucked and adrenaline pumping. The rush wore off too quickly, he wasn’t even close to her. ”Jaci.” his voice was strained and clumsy, he called out not knowing if the she-wolf was in this exact location. With each step he became weaker, tripping over his own legs he tumbled. Sloan blended in with the blanket of disturbed earth, he struggled to his feet ago—knowing staying awake was keen to his survival. Tired from the walk and blood loss Sloan took to leaning on the trees as he passed, the blood stained trees made the areas look like a blood bathe. Stumbling from the brush he had found who he was looking for, Jaci stood taking care of her plants, Sloan knew he could trust her and her abilities. ”Hey. How have you been.” he tried to play down his pain as to not worry her.
As Jaci stood, sniffing the air, she nearly jumped out of her skin when a familar voice called out to her.
The call seemed distant, and Jaci tilted her head, confused.
jaci shook her head. She must had been mistaken. She began to walk again when suddenly the voice came again, but this time, it was before her. ”Hey. How have you been.”
The voice and scent, it all came together like a puzzle now. The blind wolf had met this loner long ago, it was pure luck that the male ran into her like this.
"S-Sloan?!" Jaci was startled that the loner was there. Why was he looking for her? She was a little flustered that he even remembered her. Suddenly the near choking scent of blood filled Jaci's nostrils. The iron scent flipped her stomach, but she didn't let it scare her. She was used to this after all.
"What the- Sloan! What happened?" Jaci demanded racing over to the male, sniffing him about, careful not to touch him. She could scent where the blood was slipping, and the sound of it hitting the ground made her worry. Hes bleeding too much... I have to stop the bleeding.
Jaci cleared her throat. "Here lay down, I need to stop your bleeding." Jaci choked, sniffing the male more. He reeked of bear. Jaci waited until the male laid himself on the earth and pressed her nose against Sloan. He felt warm, but wet with blood. His body quivered from exhaustion, he would be unconscious soon if he didn't stop bleeding.
Despite being blind, Jaci had been trained since she was very young to treat this exact sort of situation. The pale she-wolf quickly began to put pressure on the wound. It was a large gash in Sloan's side, near his pelvis. Luckily, the bear didn't hit any important organs or arteries, Jaci would hopefully be able to stop the bleeding before it was too late.
"I can't believe you found me out here." Jaci smirked slightly, shaking her head. Didn't this guy get tired of being out by himself? Jaci could feel the sun over head fading. Once she got the bleeding to stop, she knew she would need to find Sloan some cover.
His breathing was heavy and he had no complaints about being told what to do. Wincing he rolled to the floor roughly, this was no time for grace. The urgency in her voice told Sloan the wound had been terrible, she acted quickly putting pressure on him. Sloan hollered in pain trying to use his forelegs to push her off him. The pain and scent were too much he was getting dizzy. ”Ha. I know imagine if I didn’t.” He joked but it wasn’t very funny he knew full well what would’ve happened if she wasn’t there in time.
He let her work but he wasn’t the best patient, he’s usually able to care for himself, but this was beyond the small things he picked up here and there. ”Let me see what you’re doing. Wait don’t use that, I heard there was better stuff.” Sloan was too inclusive in his own care getting in the way mostly. Even in this situation he wanted to learn.
At least he still had his humor.
At the pressure, Sloan squirmed and whined, his back legs franically kicking in pain. Jaci frowned, and snorted in warning, "Hold still- you big baby." Of course, she figured this was extremely painful, but she had pups with broken limbs acting betting than this.
It took a few minutes, but the bleeding slowed from a gushing to a slow slip from the wound. This gave Jaci some time to get this guy some herbs. She told Sloan she would be back and raced off into the forest, hoping he would be alright on his own for a few minutes. Being blind wasn't as bad as many figured it was. After all, Jaci's hearing and scent could surpass any blood hound's, and with age, she had learned to maneuver quickly and with ease through wooded forest without mistake.
Yarrow, yarrow- where is my yarrow?
AH! Jaci wagged her tail in pleasure as she found her yarrow stash. Picking a few bundles of the yellow flower and root in her jaws, she carefully and quickly raced back to Sloan's aid.
Hes still okay, thank goodness.
Jaci began to chew the yarrow in her jaws. When applied to wounds, yarrow was the perfect herb to stop bleeding, prevent infection and even slow swelling.
Sloan began to argue and she let out a low sigh, "Sloan, I know what I am doing. I've done this for a very long time." At least he was talking, the more he talked, the more Jaci felt that he was alive and further from slipping away.
How did this happen?" she asked, as she began to lick the yarrow onto Sloan's wounds, cementing it to the gash.
Sloan watched Jaci run around gathering supplies, she had stashes of herbs hidden all over. He tried to steady his movements, the bleeding had almost stopped and he didn’t want to upset her work. She was right, she didn’t need any help from him and she worked quickly. Cleaning and covering the wound faster than he ever could, Sloan admired her tenacity. He smirked watching her work, ”Sorry you’re right you don’t need my help.” his tail wagged a little and the wound was slowly starting to hurt less.
She asked about the event that caused this, he wasn’t all too sure himself. ” I found the perfect den for myself, and before I could make it mine a mother bear came barging towards me I managed to scare her off once, but I guess she got me this time.” he sighed looking at the wound, with Jaci help it wouldn’t leave any permanent damage which he was grateful for. ”I’ll be out of your fur soon no worries, I just really needed some help and you’re the only one I knew that could help.”
After a while, Sloan began to stop his pestering, which gave Jaci a bit of a boost to be honest. She found her blindness problematic and was ruining the dull she-wolf's life. It was a live saver to discover herbs and healing, it gave Jaci a purpose and reason to keep going. It was an even better coincidence that she was any good at it.
"You got in a fight with a bear? You are a idiot Sloan. You need to be more careful!" she whined, her voice in a growl at the thought of a bear. "Loners, I swear all of you are so egotistical. Next time are you going to try and fly?" she joked smiling. Although she didn't know what she looked like when she smiled, it was a natural reaction to certain feelings for her. She hoped that others did the same.
Finally the bleeding yielded and Sloan was no longer in danger of bleeding to death, but great goodness he reeked of blood and flesh. Jaci frowned slightly and nudged the male. "Sloan... I've gotten the bleeding to stop... I don't want to move you very far, but I think there should be cover around here for the night." Jaci sniffed about the area, her whiskers and ears perking to the sounds bouncing off of objects as night began to swallow the sun. For Sloan, the forest was growing dark and yet he was still out in the open. The blind she-wolf finally caught scent of a badger, very stale, but the rock den was large enough for at least one wolf, not to mention at least it would serve as a place to sleep for the night.
Racing over to her'friend', Jaci nudged the male more, "Come on' I found a place for you to stay." She helped prob the male up, leading him towards the fallen boulders.
It seemed to take forever just to get the injured male into the den. Jaci wasted no time checking Sloan's wounds, touching them up before she ran off to gather moss to soak in a puddle for Sloan to drink from. Gosh, she was exhausted, Jaci was panting by the time she finally finished gathering things for Sloan for the night. "That should be enough to get you through the night." The pale she-wolf plopped down at the entrance of the den, panting from her running. "H-how do you feel?" she asked, scooching over to the male, prodding him with her nose, sniffing him all about.
Sloan finally had time to relax though Jaci was still on her toes, dancing around trying to make him more comfortable. He giggled at her worrisome face, but also admired the fact she didn’t let the fact she couldn’t see stop her from doing her job. She wasn’t helpless and didn’t let anyone see weakness in himself. Her smile soothed him and made him forget about the pain. ” It wasn’t like that, I would never fight a bear.” He felt slightly insulted. Jaci kept herself going peppy herself up and getting to the next job right after the other. After she found a den she helped Sloan once again, still fussing over his wellbeing, he leaned on her for support, but also felt he was just a burden.
The den she found looked small, but he was grateful she found it, being out at night with the thick smell of blood on his pelt was sure to bring predators to his location. ”Thank you I’m alright but you should be resting. I’ll be fine for the night how about you head back now, I don’t want your pack come looking for you and see all this blood they might get the wrong idea.” he reassured her.
Exhaustion was taking over, Jaci almost didn't want to leave the male on his own, afraid the scent of blood would attract predators, not that she could fight, but at least most animals were smart enough to stay away from a wolf.
"B-But!" she began to stammer, but Sloan was right, she would have to return to her pack. She frowned. "Alright... I'll go home, but I want you cleaned up first. I can't leave you out here smelling like freshly killed prey." with that, she wasted no time grooming the loner. Jaci was so used to being physical with other wolves, especially with Chandor and her previous pack, it never occurred to her that wolves didn't care to be cleaned by her. The blind she-wolf gently cleaned the wound once again, and lapped at the dried blood coated on Sloan's fur. Despite his awful stench of blood, Sloan smelled of pine and fresh earth. It would actually be a very touching moment if Jaci wasn't so concentrated on ensuring Sloan would survive the night.
It took a few minutes, maybe even a half hour to get the male done and clean, and Jaci could feel Sloan's gaze on her pelt, digging daggers into her. "You should be alright until morning. Please be safe, and get rest. I will return as soon as day breaks." Jaci told Sloan and she sight and turned to leave. "And Sloan, don't get into any bear fights while I'm gone." she smirked and slipped out of the den.
She started her way home, guilt and anxiety for the loner growing in her belly. Usually she wouldn't be so concerned over anyone's condition at that point, but he was a loner, out there in the dark by himself... didn't he grown lonely? Jaci thought of turning back, knowing Chandor would understand if she disappeared for the night, but would Tamarack and Artemis be alright knowing she didn't return? Jaci sighed, very frustrated now. Hes fine! Don't be such a worry wart! Jaci could smell Sloan on her fur, making her smile a little as she finally reached Chandor Pack den area. She made her way to her den, her nest soft and cool, but the smell of Sloan had followed her here.
I wonder why he chooses to be alone... Jaci closed her eyes, her thoughts lost to sleep.
It would take a few trips, but after that night, Jaci visited Sloan often, ensuring his wound was healing correctly. It took a week, maybe more for Sloan to get back to hunting, but Jaci always came to his den with small game from Chandor, of course her ration but she wanted him to eat. Sloan was quick to heal and return to his previous routine, but at least this time, the two were closer as friends.
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