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g o n e f e r a l
by Feral, aka Follower of the Clawed Albino
Outside the lecture, in the woods...
His kind do not exactly have a name as, say, the elves or humans have for themselves. His kind are not a people of words; they gave up the speech long ago, and their speech is much as the speech of animals. If he had words, or if another were to see the mental-images and emotional associations and were able to put them to words, you might say his mental name for his people are "the ones who went wild and became something different because the wild changed us and we survived".
He watches the students and teacher disembark...and is all at once envious of them that they can speak of something like that and sad...sad becaue he worries for them. Sometimes he likes to watch them, even rarer he's tried to talk with them...for some reason he's taken to the two-legs in general.
His world is not of the two-legs, not even the two-legs who walk on two-legs but are animal-people. He tries to watch and learn, and ever more so he despairs of ever getting their ways which are often confusing to him.
His people had been human once, he knew. Almost all of his kind, they either heard or Dreamed the story on how the first of their kind came to being. In a way the story was representative of all of them...nearly all of their kind had either been thrown away or had left the world of the two-legs in disgust, and been taken in by the wild as if she were their new mother, and they had Changed as a result. Changed to be, in a way, the teeth and claws of the Mother; the ones who went wild and Changed and survived knew all too well that the world was not always a pretty place, and it is even in their very blood, their reason to be, that the wild is protected.
The humans were mostly afraid of his kind, he knows. The humans, and maybe some of these other two-legs too, see him as a monster...so he thinks. He knows they get scared when he tries the mindspeak or when he keens, and he does not know if it is because the senses are too more for the words they make or if it is him--whether it is the thought or the messenger or both which brings fear.
He wouldn't be shocked if it was both. His kind are not meant to be gentle. If anything, his kind were crafted by the very wild to be the perfect warrior--the very teeth and claws of the Mother.
And it is, in part, this why he is very worried for the people.
He barely remembers when he was human. He changed a long time ago, and possibly too young; most were older when they Changed. Even the one he adopted was older...he remembers being locked up among some humans for a time, when he tried to go as one to see how they lived.
He spent many years after that, being called monster and worse. He had shit thrown upon him; children taunted him; he was often beaten and caged, burned...for a long time his mind was locked away within himself. When he first found a crack in the cage when bored and pacing, he realised he could escape, and he started to remember who he was again...
The more he remembered, the more afraid he would get. He had Dreams, which were (he knows now) true Dreams, of somewhere else where the humans who smelled the same way as these do were in a terrible war which ended up killng an entire Mother...and hearing the screams of that Mother, he always woke up screaming himself. He also had nightmares--which maybe weren't nightmares--of some other humans, who smelled different, putting him in a cage but stating he wasn't a monster and they would teach him so they could teach others that his kind weren't monsters.
He realised more and more that the humans who had caged him and abused him smelled just like the ones in his dreams--the ones who later brought the Bad Thing across that killed the Mother, and turned into strange monsters that smelled even more like the Bad Thing (and he was also realising these people smelled like the Bad Thing itself).
One day, he was able to break out. He has heard since then that not all humans are like that--many are nice people. He's actually run into one or two. He is very afraid of humans now, though, and even more afraid of the humans who smelled like the Bad Thing in his dreams. In a way, he is scared that someday they might bring a Bad Thing across too, and his Mother might be killed...and he does not know if this is a valid fear or if he is going insane at times. It doesn't help that the elves mention in their talks of others that had Dreams of other places where people got to terrible wars and the Bad Thing got brought across and their Mothers got hurt or killed...
He doesn't understand what drives them to fight, the two-leggeds. He's seen the animal-people do it, and the elves, and the humans...and in his dream the dragons did it too. He doesn't understand why they go in groups and get to fighting so much they won't even speak to each other. It's always over something different...
Sometimes he tries to make them stop fighting. It works for a little while. Then something else happens...and it starts again. And he gets scared because in his dreams he had it always started with a fight that went to a war...and one side or the other ended up bringing the Bad Thing across.
Even when it isn't that bad, he still doesn't understand it at all. His kind are a solitary and self-reliant folk to a fault; except for mating-times and lifemates, and the adopted and children, his kind do not go into groups. If one goes into the territory of another there is usually a fight and so they respect the territory of each other. The strange fighting games--which he's heard the word "politics" used--just make his head hurt and his stomach sick, and makes him wonder if his kind are suited to understand the world of two-leggeds at all. He's always thought the system wolves had made more sense if you had to go into groups, and he doesn't understand why they can't just use pissmarks and clawmarkings instead of trying to beat hell out of each other and making loud shouting.
He worries tht they will be so busy shouting at each other they won't see when someone else tries to hurt them both or bring something bad across...
He looks back for a second, and sees his youngling. She, too--like all of the people who went wild and Changed and survived--she did not have an easy time of it, and she too has known the hard side of the world of the two-leggeds. She spoke to animals and they understood her; her people got very scared and called her evil, and left her to the woods. He found her and cared for her, and one day she Changed too.
He hopes that she will never have to have the fears he has--of people who smell like the Bad Thing, or of people trying to hurt each other just because they are different kinds of people (this, too, he's noticed smells somewhat like that Bad Thing in his dreams). That maybe peoples, the two-leggeds and fourleggeds and flying ones, can all get along. He knows this would be best.
He also has dreams sometimes of the wild waking up and setting things to where there is a lot more wild because it hurts...of Mother asking the sky for help and the sky answering. He knows some get scared when he talks of it...to him, it's actually a kind of hopeful message. Maybe things would get set to rights. He also notices this is usually when people call him a monster. :P
He wonders why this is. Maybe none of the other two-leggeds as a rule can feel the wild and in a way are the wild like his people are, he thinks sometimes. Maybe it's because they can't hear the wild and the trees scream when they're cut, or they don't see the bad side of things so much...maybe they can't hear the trees scream or remember when there was so much more forest or see all the four-leggeds and flying ones who die or have to move away. He even knows some people can't find food anymore or mates, and they may die as a people. He wonders if they see plants and fourleggeds as people too; some speak like they think of two-leggeds as being more important than the plant-people and fourleggeds and flying ones.
This makes no sense to him either.
This is also why he feels bad on the discussion...in a way he feels like he started the whole mess. He talked in mindspeak to some of the dream he had of the mother talking to the sky, and of how some humans got very scared when the sky started to work with the wild as one thing to turn things to rights and heal stuff because many people Changed to some other kind of people. He thinks it got some other people afraid, because they saw it too and they'd been hurt, and some had dreamed of this too...and people started talking and it led up to the awful mess.
He feels to blame for it, and despairs if he has a place at all among othe two-leggeds or if he should just stick to four-leggeds...even though all of the two-legged peoples fascinate him.
He also heard from a dragon once that the two-leggeds that called themselves elves were supposed to be more sensible. He wonders if this is true of if he's just fucked things up accidentially.
He doesn't know half of what they're talking about in the lecture or sometimes even in the talks. All he knows is that he is one of those who went wild and Changed and survived, and so much does not make sense to him. It makes his head hurt, and it makes him scared, and it makes him want to go into the woods and never have anything to do with two-leggeds again unless it's hunting one of the bad two-leggeds who hurt the wild.
He knows he can't, but he also doesn't know how to talk to them without scaring them. He thinks if they can learn to work together then maybe the good world he hopes for will come about where his daughter won't have to worry about things that smell like the Bad Thing or people thinking other people are monsters.
And yet sometimes he wonders if he really isn't a monster himself...or if he's just been told that so much he's started to believe it a little...
...and this makes him sad, and sick, and confused, and so he sits there at the edge...confused, and worried for them, and wondering if he worries too much, and wanting to speak (for he has not too many to speak to who are two-leggeds, and outside of that just the four-leggeds and the flying ones and the trees) but scared he's going to frighten them off or that they will come after him to cage him again...and he tries very hard to persuade himself maybe he shouldn't be caged, and part of him still wonders ifhe is just a monster.
And so he sits, afraid and hopeful and sick of all the angry noises and wishing he knew how to set things to rights without fucking it up in the process. He doesn't know all that much on how the different two-leggeds are different; all he knows is what he is. He doesn't even have what most of his kind have of remembering when they were human, so even humans re a mystery.
He wonders if he is in fact too wild inside to ever deal with the world of ANY kind of two-leggeds at all. He hopes he still can, though, and that he can find a way to talk to them where they won't be so afraid.
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