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there is still a light that shines on me — Paradise Falls 
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Played by Cade who has 875 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
Afternoon, scattered clouds, 39F 3.9C - the air is much cleaner today. All welcome.

The temperature was dropping, bringing cooler winds which cleared the smog rather than only bringing in more and more billows of smoke. Fire could still be smelled within the air, but no worse than a typical summer day from before all of these disasters. The danger might have actually passed, without them losing a single soul to it.

Chan was hesitant to feel it, but the inkling of hope was there all the same as he stretched out in the cleared space outside of the pack's den. Dappled sunlight made its way through canopy and rocky walls both to warm his coat, and he hadn't coughed since waking. Each breath seemed to come slightly easier than the one before, and he even had some energy. He inhaled deeply, and let out a genuinely-relaxed sigh for the first time in a very long while.
(This post was last modified: Oct 04, 2023, 11:07 PM by Chan.)
Played by PuppyThief who has 20 posts.
Paradise Falls XVI. Yearling
Micaden Smoke-Athesila
 

The boy was growing fast, too fast for his own body to keep up with at times, it seemed. The puppy pudge was all gone, replaced by a frame that seemed all legs, still not as tall as his parents, but getting closer every day. The silver streaks in his dark pelt had expanded into larger patches, covering most of his legs and crown in pale platinum fuzz – and his eyes had matured into a striking silver and gold.

 

But it wasn’t just his body that was changing, so was his world. The colors were brighter somehow, and he could see much further, everything seemed much more wonderous than it had just a few weeks ago; But most marvelous of all, it no longer hurt to breathe. It would take him a while to build up the lung capacity that was normal for pups his age – in truth, he would probably always have weakened lungs from breathing so much smoke during early development – but all the boy knew was that running no longer made him instantly cough and struggle, and he was taking full advantage of this development, travelling a little further and exploring a little more every day.

 

When eventually he did get tired of his adventures, he would return to the den site, usually finding at least one member of his family there. Today it was his dad, resting in the afternoon sun, seeing him bringing an instant smile to Micaden’s lips. With a happy wag of his tail, the pup pranced over to his father’s side, plopping his own haunches down in the sun spot and chirping softly: “Hi Da!”

Thoughts ”Speech”

Played by Cade who has 875 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
Chan lifted his head to the sound of steps being taken, the welcomed sight of his youngest son swiftly bringing a broad smile to his face. His own tail thumped against the hard earth as it too wagged in happy greeting. His heart had never been more full of love than when he saw either of his youngest. More often than not, that in itself made him feel guilty about his bond not being the same with his eldest. Chan did his best not to allow any of his rainclouds shed a drop on his children, though. Still so young, blessedly untouched by loss, the world full only of promise. And too. Stinkin'. Cute.

He sat up, and lifted a paw to ruffle at his boy's ears and crown.

"Hey buddy," he replied affectionately.

"How's it goin'?"
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by PuppyThief who has 20 posts.
Paradise Falls XVI. Yearling
Micaden Smoke-Athesila
 

Mica’s grin grew wide and goofy as he leaned into his father’s caress, tongue slipping out one side of his mouth to pant happily. As much as he enjoyed his independent explorations, the youngster’s favorite moments of the day were spent with his family; playing, cuddling, talking, or simply being around one another.

He was especially keen to hang out with his father, having noted the distinct shift in Chan’s mood whenever he was with his kids, as opposed to when he thought he was alone. An observant nature, Micaden would notice the dark, distant look glazing his father’s face every so often, when he thought no one was looking.

But now, he was smiling, his tail wagging in time with Mica’s own, and all was right with the world. “Good,” the boy answered in a happy breath; “I found’a porcupine’s-burrow!” His voice remained quiet, but the way the words almost tumbled over one another made it clear how excited he was about the discovery. Eyes glowing, he looked to his father for approval, hoping to see his enthusiasm returned.

Thoughts ”Speech”

Played by Cade who has 875 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
Good. Chan was pleased as punch to hear the word, the remainder of his tail picking up speed. He wanted this to be their life forever, sharing simple, good things.

"A porcupine's?!" he asked with widened eyes, exuding awe with only a hint of trepidation. His son was clearly unscathed from the little adventure, so there was no worry, but he still liked to tease a little. Anyways, it wasn't like he and their mother had taught them nothing since their birth. They were intelligent, thoughtful, healthy. The best of kids. Now, if he'd mentioned a cat or something poisonous...

"And you didn't get poked?!" he lifted a pale paw and tapped Micaden's cheek with a single, blunt claw as he grinned.

"Very impressive."
(This post was last modified: Nov 27, 2023, 01:04 AM by Chan.)
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by PuppyThief who has 20 posts.
Paradise Falls XVI. Yearling
Micaden Smoke-Athesila

A wide, toothy grin split his muzzle at Chan’s reaction, tail thumping the ground loudly. Even the smallest praise from his dad was worth any bit of risk – although this had not been a particularly brave endeavor, and he had to admit that; “’T wasn’t home.” His voice was slightly calmer now, head tilting as he leaned closer to his father, conspiratorially; “I wanted t’ bring you some quills, but the were too sharp.” Oversized ears sagged in disappointment, but it was superficial, the experience itself enough to satisfy him.

Eagerly bouncing on to the net topic, Mica smiled up at his dad, voice full of love as he asked; “What’d you do today?” Everyone was always asking him that question, wanting to know what he was up to and how he was feeling – it was the purest sign of love he knew – and he was just as keen to know the same about the wolves he cared about; his dad especially.

Thoughts ”Speech”

Played by Cade who has 875 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
"Even better," he answered reflexively to his son's attempting burglary while his victim was not home to defend its property, a touch of humor in his voice. That was being smart, after all, which was a much more efficient quality than brazen in his opinion.

'I wanted t’ bring you some quills,' Mica went on, and again Chan's response was immediate.

"Awww," he beamed, mismatched eyes becoming curved slivers of color as his cheeks lifted along with his smile. Just being thought of was of course heartwarming in itself. It brought a special kind of joy though to be so loved by a child, his child.

"Hmm, let's see," Chan shifted his weight to get a touch more comfortable, now looking up as he recalled his recent activities.

"Your sisters and I tried finding critters in the creek, but we didn't get anything. Took a walk with your Ma."

It struck him again just how lucky he was to have Flair and his children, and how irrecoverably lost he would be without them. They were doing so much to make sure he wasn't alone with his thoughts for too long, to try and distract him from all of the anxieties eating him alive. He tried not to get teary eyed, his tail wagging against the ground again.

"I've got the best family in the whole world."
(This post was last modified: May 27, 2024, 02:08 AM by Eros.)
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by PuppyThief who has 20 posts.
Paradise Falls XVI. Yearling
Micaden Smoke-Athesila
 

Dark tail tapped the ground excitedly as he watched his father closely, taking in every word with devoted interest. His treasure-hued eyes sparkled with joy, returning the warm emptions radiating off the tawny man. While both his parents were loving, Chan tended to be more vocal, showering his children with affection in every word – and Mica would bask happily in it all, soaking up every drop of love like a sponge.

 

He listened actively, mouth shifting between his easy grin and an intrigued ‘o’ while he vividly imagined the activities, feeling like he was taking part in a way, through the retelling. He thought of what he might have caught in the water, if he would have been more successful than his sisters, head tilting a little in his concentration. In the end, if Mari hadn’t found anything, he wouldn’t either, he decided, nodding a little to himself.

 

Then he was grinning again, rubbing the silver crown of his head against his father’s shoulder. “And we’ve got th’ best Da!” He answered readily, because it was true, at least as far as he knew. Who else would do all that with them? And have time to listen to him too? “Maybe we can try th’ creek again t’morrow? I wanna catch somethin’ fer Ma!”

Thoughts ”Speech”

Played by Cade who has 875 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
As sure as Micaden clearly was of his proclamation, his father knew it to be untrue. Of course, he would never express as much to his son and certainly wouldn't strive to invalidate the way he felt. It was deeply touching to be held in such esteem, but there was a subtle stab of pain that came with it as well. As much as he wished his children could forever see and experience the world through rose-tinted glasses, one day they would grow up and become intimately familiar with reality.

One day, they could even be estranged altogether, as he likely was with @Nash now.

As dark as the thoughts behind his eyes grew, Chan outwardly maintained his sunny composure. His halved tail thumped and his head bobbed.

"Of course! That's a wonderful idea, Mica," he commended with genuine appreciation. His son was always so thoughtful, constantly making his father proud.

"You know what..." Chan stretched out his limbs, and regarded the shafts of light shifting through the forest as the window moved the canopy here and there. Still there was something off about it, but the haze was gone. Fifteen minutes wouldn't kill him, right?

"Let's go for a quick walk, hm?"
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]