Full Version: Take Flight [Harbinger]
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A place of consistency, the sloping sands, brushed by the winds, rolled into the ocean. Waters gently rose, brushing against the sands, taking some away, and returning few. Crashing softly against the bank, salt flinted across the air, densely coating any object within its reach. An invisible brushing, the layers were barely detectible to the eye. A slight surprise, the visual concealment proved to have the upper hand. It was the best asset, invisibility, giving the upper hand in various scenarios. A clever creation, the salt would only be detected to taste and smell- nothing could truly be invisible. Not even the most toxic drops could fully be hidden. There was always deceiving sign, faintly emerging at times, but it was present and needed to be acknowledged. Dripping toxins were absent from the beach, leaving purity to rest upon the sands. In the early morning light, the horizon still mimicked the stretching sun. Various tones rose from its arms, painting the sky in a temporary display of hues rarely seen. Despite the empty area which the wind could roam, there was only a slight breeze, barely enough to ruffle grass lining, yet alone disturb the creature’s nestled out of sight.
Departing from the grass skirts, an ebony figure wandered against the sun touched sands. Feathers kept close, brushing along the flank, protected from damage of the forests beyond, auds perked forward, awaiting to catch the faintest sound, she was alert in the calm morning. Nocturnal creatures were making their departure, vanishing into the shadows, making their slumber away from the sun only to awake with the rising moon. Unlike them, she had just awoken. Limbs still stiff from resting in an entanglement of branches, muscles demanded movement, but also resisted the idea of pacing along the ocean’s crest. A desire to return to her temporary nest prodded her, the veil of sleep resisting releasing her. Determined to continue, she urged on, grains ebbing into the tail trailing behind her, spring up to grasp at her paws. With each stride she sank slightly, a portion engulfed by the earth and mercifully released. There had been rumours of places where many did not return, deceiving looks were common, and to live, one would need company to save their necks. Attempting to find such a place, her paws stumbled upon the pure beach. Empty momentarily to her eye, the world was still awaking.
Light was climbing over the horizon, causing creatures of the night to take their leave and twittering birds to stir and sing their waking songs, only a few at first and then progressively more joined in the chorus and rose from their slumber. The noise coupled with the ubiquitous splash of waves created a soothing harmony. Animals of all sizes made their morning transitions, be it toward the darkness of slumber or the rising morning sun it was an interesting sight to observe. A lonely figure made its way long the sandy beach, leaving equally lonely pawmarks in their wake as they moved in an aimless manner of one without destination, possibly never having had one.

Nothing could be more wonderful to watch than the times of transition from day and night, and tired cyan eyes appreciated this with a weary gaze. Harbinger stretched her lanky limbs, paws flexing and searching for that release from the dull ache of having just woken from a restless sleep. For a moment she paused her march to open her massive wings and streched them out as far as they would go, appeasing the angry muscles which cried to be used if only momentarily before she let them drop, dragging in the sand on either side of her thin form. Lengthy, spiked tail trailed along further behind, leaving curious scores in otherwise hardly disturbed sand. Once the wolf felt fairly satisfied she had sufficiently stretched and taken stock of her appendages as she deemed necessary the walk proceeded, moving in haphazard patterns across the terrain with no true goal in mind.  For a moment she fixated upon a small darkly colored crustacean as it skittered along in its sideways moving motion. Had she ever seen such a thing? Perhaps not. Turning, Harbinger slowly made her way towards the beckoning surf and clambered up a fairly large boulder, standing with her head high, into the rough breeze that came off the water. It was indeed a lovely morning.
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Astray from familiar faces, solitude began to seep into the mind. Weaving itself securely, an individual’s thoughts roamed, developing into elaborate pictures. A list began to evolve, originating from one matter; it branched out like mist, engulfing unrelated situations. Minute details wove into a larger picture, one fabricated in the veil of sleep that would soon prove to display high inaccuracy. A list steadily began to appear, tasks arranging in an illusion of importance. There was much to do before the daylight faded once more, but it was too early yet to decide the route to act upon. For a creature driven by ambition, mornings were not a pleasant moment for her.  Boundless energy required trickling moments in order to replenish, only then would it rise like a wave, curling over to claim the hallow body. Eyelids steadily drew back, allowing light to strike against the pupil, and the world became sharper, as though blurs were wiped away in an instant. Colours bloomed, accenting against the bleak sands. Pebbles resting, granite surfaces gleaming under the ocean’s touch, slightest mismatched hues became apparent.
Afar, near the scattered rocks, one of the boulders differentiated in tones, and slithered along the surfaces in order to attain the peak. Figure partly hidden, its own wings were draped outwards, as though it had just awoken. An indication of the creatures relaxed state, Widow did not ponder over the encounter long before her paws’ course redirected toward the figure. Company was always welcome, some more than others, but it offered a good opportunity to branch out in networks. Assisting individuals were always welcome, so long as they brought beneficial aspects into light. Temporarily, it would only be a morning conversation the recently awoken wolf sought a light conversation, where her guard could easily fortify as she awoke, and perhaps gain a relatively pleasant conversation to awake her mind. “Does the view bring as much peace as soaring in the heavens?” The ebony figure asked, referring to the wings draping from the stranger’s bodice. She appeared frail, skin stretched across bones with minimal padding. Despite the dainty outward appearance, Widow placed reasonable distance between herself and the rock- looks often proved to be deceiving.
It was plain to those who had eyes for the natural beauty of their world that this was a nice morning, even if it was only barely beginning. Rarely did Harbinger pause to appreciate the little things such as this, and in this moment she felt as though she regretted that. Sleep was finally beginning to give up on reuniting with with the violet lady since she proved so determined to stretch away and have her waking thoughts and contemplations. While most would consider what to do this day and plan for their undertakings and priorities that was not what consumed her mind. Only the ever so slight furrow of her brow hinted at the inner struggle that went on and beckoned for a re-visitation of old and depressing memories. Maybe just this once she should let go, give over to despair, just this once. The splash of the waves and smell of the salty air, however did a fine job of keeping her self-pitying at bay. It wouldn't do to spoil this as she did other things. Today was too lovely.

At a meandering and reluctant pace the scent of some strange canine made it's way to her nose as they were nearly upon her, and she heard the pawsteps through the sand hardly a moment later. Please go away... The spindly creature pleaded silently to be left alone, to enjoy her quiet moment of peace alone. Alas, it was not to be. Unknown and filled with the recognizable sound of a recent escape from the clutches of sleep, the voice spoke a question to her that made Harbinger turn and look at the speaker. It was of such an extravagant appearance to her mind, with a crown of feathers and beautifully painted constructions meant to lift her skyward. The contrast of dark and light hues was interesting and held Harbinger's attention immediately, keeping her from recoiling at the sight of a new face as she most often did. Rather, she took a moment to study... Whoever this was. Ultimately she tore her gaze from their feathered appearance to consider the question that had been brought up. Deciding to avoid any cynical retorts she settled for a more polite-yet-matter-of-fact type of response, "I'm afraid I wouldn't know as much about such things as a fish should hope to know." Stretching one of her large ivory wings out to display their filthy appearance and obvious lack of use, she added, "Hm... I have roughly the same chance of experiencing flight. Though, the scenery is quite breathtaking, isn't it?"
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Events were astray in the morning air, nothing materializing into a formal plan, leaving her to desire company. Lost in the ever altering landscape of the land, her siblings were amongst the shadows, beyond her grasp. A creature of social nature, compulsion drove her toward other life forms. She would never forget a face she saw, brand tiny details in her mind for future reference. The more she knew the better. A wider web would ensure all opportunities needed, provide advantages which she herself could not summon from thin air. Hues of sunset, moments before the sun would be engulfed into the horizon, draped across the figure’s frame. Content with her placement, the stranger appeared pleased with the sight of the sun, or otherwise still in the clutches of sleep. From above she sat, a queen of a little segment of land, holding the vantage point over approaching unknowns. Yet, the almighty Queen’s gaze remained unwavering upon another standing of lower ground, the temporary mesmerisation amused Widow. It was the sight of awe, captivity by another, and upon closer analysis, Widow understood such fascination’s origin. The female before her was frail, bones barely fully dressed by fur, skin seemingly drawn tight over a feeble frame. Indeed as the strange individual unwove her wings, they lacked the sheer luxury coating feathers, and uniform lines fell astray. A useless appendage, the creature was lost to the heavens, struck down to the ground.
Widow was lost to words of comfort, a nightmare of hers bestowed upon another being. In her own mind she could not piece the unfortunate event together, or perhaps the individual lost interest and care in the angelic wings? “Indeed…My apologize, I meant not to stir up memories which you have burrowed,” the ebony creature replied, being quick to amend a potential error. Tucking her own wings tighter into her flanks, it was as though the misfortune of one was an airborne plague, seeking to rip into others. “Would it be rude of me to pry into the grave? I understand certain skeletons are better left untouched, if you would rather them to be.” Deciding to be direct, Widow almost hoped that the creature commit such cruelty to herself, and it was not the actions of another, for it would be a cruel fate to administer.  Frame fully shifted toward the individual, Widow indicated the stranger had her attention- temporarily at least. Occupying a bleak mind, she counted on the newfound persona to bless an interesting tale. If she hid the truth, desiring to keep the burial ground untouched, Widow would sneak within the night to find another way to access the tomb lying within the ground.
A creeping sense of this strangers desire to stir up the already swirling sediment of her past began to nag at the back of her mind. Who were they anyways? unease coursed through her veins and chilled her momentarily as the words of the unknown wolf played through her mind and raised uncomfortable questions for her that really were more convenient to ignore. Shifting her weight from paw to paw, Harbinger's awkward nature slowly began to take over. Even if nothing was exactly threatening her, talking about her past was a step too far out of her comfort zone considering she had no idea who this wolf was.

No. There was simply no way she could bring herself to put into words all that bothered her, even now when it seemed like that life was a million miles away. Maybe someday, but not today. Backpedaling slightly she pushed herself back on the rock a bit before mumbling, "Mh.... I'd rather not go into it. Some bodies must remain where they fall.."
The course edges of an abandoned throne left for the oceans touch to sculpt. Thin fingers slithered across the sands, brushing against the lower stones, but failing to make a full claim of the granite surfaces. Crimson tones eyed the approaching advisory, refusing to permit the icy touch to skim against her newly aligned pelt. The unnecessary weight, though a gentle awakening, would merely serve as a nuisance upon departure. A momentary distraction, orbs slid in their sockets, returning to the object captivating her interest; a frail creature, nothing but skin and bones. The shell embodying strength deteriorated, rotting away to display weaknesses, flaunting the location of every bone holding the creature intact. In silence, observation snagged the minute movements of the company’s figure. Paws concealed by the rim of the chosen placement, limbs indicated movements of swaying. Comfort sacrificed in order to coil within the shell, protect the vital organs. Each creature had it’s own manner of displaying their discontent manner; it would be a safe assumption to presume the female’s retreat originates from her dislike in the topics wandering.

Memories have impacted her for the rest of her breathing span, and it would be just to assume that the trauma was still lingering beneath the surface- easily prodded by a light statement. The stranger’s ability to carry on a metaphor oddly amused the lurking figure at the base of the rocks. Lips pulled back, coiling faintly to reveal the tips of the upper row’s incisors. An encouraging smile, the dense banner faintly flicked against the grains, mimicking a manner often portrayed. “Their placement bestows them peace,” Widow offered in a soft tone, musing over the shadows which the stranger sheltered from her grasp. “Certain graves are not meant to be stirred I suppose, the newer, the frailer.” Realizing the insanity within her rambling, she bit her tongue, forcing the matter to decay. “Perhaps this isn’t a early morning matter,” a joking tone arose within her words; a feeble attempt to ease the wounds invoked. Succumbing to better judgement, silence seized vocal chords, and she awaited for her company to respond.
Even from a supposedly safe perch, elevated significantly above both the ground and this feathered stranger who had disturbed her early morning musings, it was remarkable how she could continue to feel so threatened. Or, a more accurate term might be weak. How utterly fragile of her, and yet despite recognizing and being disgusted by herself she was unable to stop. Harbinger's body remained in recoil from the very mention of days gone by. As the seconds ticked away and the sun continued its upward journey she slowly stood to a more upright position, letting as much tension go as she could, though still some remained and was visible to the searching gaze of anyone who looked for it. It was decided that she would make an attempt at the very least to not let the act of conversing with a stranger completely overwhelm her. It was possible to still salvage some of her self-respect she supposed.

Blinking the sleep from her eyes, Harbinger finally decided to descend from her place and turned, paws gripping the rough stone as she clambered forward to the edge. Even though they remained without any real function, the wings that dragged along at her sides reflexively splayed out, attempting to catch the breeze even though they couldn't support her. When she jumped onto the sand the ivory appendages only slowed her descent to a hardly noticeable degree and were awkwardly tucked to her sides upon landing. The length of her spiked tail slowly swung from side to side as she listened to the last of the strangers words, gazing at them now that both parties were on equal footing. It was clear that Harbinger stood several inches taller, though the inky hued wolf was less thin and frail. Slight smile replaced her generally neutral expression before answering, "Hm, I suppose not. Would the search for something to eat be an appropriate change of topic?" Her own stomach was beginning to really feel the last day or so without so much as a snack. Though she couldn't be sure what actually was here that she'd want to eat, it wasn't really time for her to be picky. The faint lines of her ribs making their presence known upon her sides was more than enough to show she needed to get something in her belly. And if this metaphor-carrying wolf that stood nearby wanted to help she wouldn't complain. If not perhaps the conversation could be taken care of first.
Sands steadily rose, claiming the outer edges of obsidian paws. Dedicated to remaining motionless, only the dense banner trailing along the grains remained out of reach of the loose grounds. A sluggish morning, little action driving the requirement of movement forth left the tri-toned figure to linger within her placement. Perhaps many would call it uneventful, but Widow would prefer to dispute the statement with the slender, fragile, creature she found. It bore the signs of a female specimen, like herself, it mimicked the movements of such a being, and yet it consisted of skin and bone- in the literal sense. Any sharper and the stranger’s ribs may as well be carved into spikes, and freed from the thin layer of matted pelt refraining its escape. Unlike a pup, the stranger carried an air of irresponsibility- or the wounds, which she restrained from uttering, impacted her to transforming into a skeleton; the ghost of what a strength-filled female should have been. It would be a lie to say Widow was allowing the matter to rest between them, it would be the illusion she painted with words but never her true intention.

From her perch, the frail creature descended, each bone appearing to strike against the skin as pressure flowed through each limb. It amazed her that the creature did not buckle under the swift decent, that the wings would not carry the frail bodice from above to the level where Widow lurked. Giving up her advantage, the stranger gave up the security of her throne, lingering in the lower ranks. A faint tug of gums indicated the friendly nature of the creature, however, she remained rather distant. At the mention of sustaining sustenance, Widow’s orbs refrained from flickering over the thin frame. A taunting comment regarding it whispered in her mind, but clamped jaws restricted the syllables from taking shape.  “It would be a rather pleasant morning topic,” Widow mused her agreement. Lifting from their bindings, paws struck a path leading toward the brush, shadowing the gentle slope of the sands. “Would you prefer the thickets, or the slippery scales of the ocean’s offering?” She did not carry herself far before turning to glance over her shoulder toward the strange figure and await for the reply of the dainty being.