literature

Sunrise

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Literature Text

Somehow overnight the world had collapsed.

The four deer resting in the meadow grazed under the soft autumn sun. A sky-and-grass doe, round as an acorn, perked her single ear. She had caught a scent across the way, someone or something was following them. She raised her head and her tail quivered.

"What's wrong, Maji?"

Rowan lowered her ear; the voice of her son had broken the tense moment. "I heard...maybe the wind," she responded. Her mouth hung open in a vague stare at the treeline. Something had been there, some old, dead scent from years past. The doe, stricken with curiosity, plodded  away from the other three and picked her way across the field towards the treeline.

"Where are you going?" This voice was deeper, gruffer, and more agitated. Ever since they had left the Forest, Darcy was on-edge with worry. He stared after his mate as she advanced towards the treeline. The doe he addressed, Rowan, did not catch his inquiry. Her only ear pointed at the trees; the stump of the other caught little to no sounds. She was vulnerable in every way, to her mate. His scarred face crumpled with what he considered annoyance. The other two deer watched him side-wise, knowing that emotion in his face was worry, not anger.

"Maji!" Rajan called, in an attempt to help his foster father get Rowan's attention. She did not look back.

"You know she doesn't hear well," spoke the final deer softly. Her pelt of blue-and-white, scuffed by scars, ambled with purpose across the way. She, the only other female of the traveling deer, had a sense that Rowan was experiencing a flashback. The little sky-and-grass doe often had those, they all knew well, from her twisted past. Ravenflight caught up quickly, for the pregnant doe she pursued was slow. Rowan's white eyes were glued to the line of trees. She suddenly shied away from Ravenflight with a look of surprise.

"Raven! You startled me."

"Sorry...where are you going?"

"I smell something, something - do you smell it? - I can't put my nose on it, but there's something there, something...um, something there, up there, do you smell it?"

Ravenflight had grown used to the odd ways of the other doe. Rowan stood much shorter at the shoulder than the beautiful navy doe. Ravenflight needed to look down upon the older, smaller doe to get a good look into her face. Sometimes when her speech made no sense, one could read what she meant from her muzzle, or vice versa. Ravenflight raised her lip to flehmen, inhaling deeply and tasting the air.

"Sorry, Rowan, I don't smell anything. Maybe you caught some ancient scent." Something had to be useful on the small doe, why not her nose? Below, Rajan moved closer to Darcy. He dipped his antlers and pressed his ears forward. Rajan was the largest and most well-equipped of the group, but Darcy had fighting experience streaking his face. Together they made a strange team. For a long moment, silence hung between them. Darcy's nose quivered, and he lowered his head. The two stag's antlers clashed with accidental softness.

"She's all right," Darcy began, awkwardly, "She doesn't have that lost, scared look she gets when she starts to remember things."

Rajan nodded. His black pupils floated against gravity in his young white eyes. Rajan focused on Ravenflight, for she had a past, too. But something made the navy doe strong, and whatever is was that made her strong coursed in Darcy's veins as well. Together the three looked after the "mother" of the group, in her lost moments.

"You called her Maji," Darcy said quietly.

"Can I call you Pitaji, for father?" Rajan looked as if he were holding back a breath.

"No," Darcy said suddenly. The silence grew longer, and then the two suddenly laughed heartily together. Their quiet joking was instantaneously cut off by bleats of surprise from the does across the way. The stags looked up simultaneously to Ravenflight rearing and pawing, and Rowan with her mouth ajar and legs apart. Something four-legged and furred, short but with sharp teeth was held at bay in front of them by Ravenflight's lashing.

The stags galloped up the hill, antlers down and eyes blazing. The wolf, emaciated and weak, cried out and fled before the two even arrived. He would have to find easier prey. The bonds of this makeshift family were strong, although strange.

"Maji, Raven, are you okay?" Rajan let his adrenaline parade him around the does one last time before he stopped and stared at his mother and possible partner.

"Yeah," Raven quipped, allowed the shock of the moment to drain away.

"It came from the bushes like bees from a hive," Rowan added, prancing slightly. Darcy watched her. That look was there, embedded in her face. He pressed his cheek to the back of her neck in comfort, letting the last breaths of adrenaline be absorbed into the clear soft blue skies above.

"Let's move," Darcy said softly. All four deer were nearby, and it would not her entirely too long before a fifth deer walked with them.

"Where to?" Ravenflight shoved Rajan gently with her muzzle, instigating play. The tenseness of the moment bled down into play as they tumbled off down the slope, beginning what Rowan and Darcy had begun years ago.

"Where to?" Rowan repeated the inquiry, watched them below in amusement.

"Who knows?" Darcy held the sun between his antler tines.
Uh...I was bored...
If you don't want your characters in it I'll remove it.

Ravenflight (c) Kate
Rowan (c) Myself
Darcy (c) Shiori
Rajan (c) Lea
© 2010 - 2024 RabiesRai
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