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[ Backlog ] Learning to Cope | Mama & Lazarus

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Thalion

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Conservative Seeker

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:59 pm

Lazarus:
He didn't know how to cope with the death of his brother. Most cubs his age would have had a healthy few days of crying, isolation, and eventually they would go off in search of another source of comfort. He wasn't the only orphan in the world, nor in the pride for that matter, but Lazarus had lost so much so fast that he felt completely isolated. There were whispers among the pride about the fate of his brother and the suspicious events that surrounded his untimely death. Laz didn't want to hear any of it. Not a word. He wanted no pity, no offers of condolences, no company, and no gifts. He just wanted everyone to let him be.


The cub had walked through the pride with a detached look in his eye and a listless weight in his step. He didn’t make eye contact with anyone and he’d refused all meals. Eventually his mindless wandering had led him to a secluded spot just on the edge of the pride’s territory. There was a tree that had fallen over some years ago, creating a nice little entry way into a thicket of deep brush for him to curl up into. It was there and there alone that he wept for his brother and his parents. Sadly, even that was short lived. Takis had once told him that the only reason anyone cried was because they were hurt, they were suffering, or they were feeling sorry for themselves.

He wasn’t any of that. So he’d stopped crying.

The sun was slowly sinking on the horizon line, drawing the mist out from the dampening grass. The spirits walked among the mists…perhaps his family walked among them. It was a comforting thought, and one that had been the safety blanket that had rocked him to sleep over the last few days.


Mama Simbi:
It had been a painfully long day. Out of all the responsabilities and weights that had tied Simbi down during her early days of being the Mama of the pride, the recent tragedy was pressing her most.

Takis... Eyes narrowed where she stood, her mind was everywhere else but on the concerns a Mambo was bringing to her that very moment.

Why didn't you ever stop to think of that Little One? Her gaze drifted to the warm horizon. Clouds of mist had begun their routine commune through the lands. The presence of Loa were very strong. What once had made her pensive in her spirituality had now caused her to become pensive in her sadness.

Didn't you know better than anyone else what it was like to be left alone? ...Why? The Mambo speaking with her was getting no attention, but Simbi was too caught up in her own thoughts to realize her own inattentiveness. She politely excused herself after a moment with the excuse that she was unwell. As she walked away, her pace gradually quickened. It had suddenly ocurred to her that Lazarus was no where nearby, as he should've been, and she had to find him and make sure he was all right. The sunset brought nightfall, and nightfall brought danger to those who found themselves unprotected.

She moved quickly until her paws brought her to a place on the edge of the pride that was as far from the others as possible. She paused before a fallen tree, not wanting to frighten the youth with a sudden voice. So she stood in silence instead.


Lazarus:
A pair of eyes stared listlessly up at her as she made her slow approach. There was no suprise in them, no greeting or welcome, just a numbed sadness and a faint touch of gratitude. Somehow, she always seemed to know where to find him. He was getting quite good at keeping silent and moving into the shadows, vanishing when he felt he needed to.

Startlement, as well, had left him. Nothing came as a suprise anymore. He'd heard the rustle of leaves and the gentle brush of strong paws against the blades of dew licked grass. Someone had either come looking for him or a predator was lurking nearby. Either way, it wouldn't help to hide any more than he was and so he waited.

The youth didn't say a word, which was typical of him now. The most Mama Simbi got in greeting was a faint flick of the youth's tail.


Mama Simbi:
Upon seeing the boy's staring eyes and tail flick, Simbi smiled warmly. He wasn't easy to read, but he was still practically a cub. Young and alone, but lucky to be in a pride that would keep him sheltered. But somehow she knew that wasn't enough for him. It would never be enough. She knew that, as well. No one could ever replace true family...

But she would try.

"So, this is where you were?" she asked, stepping closer to the fallen tree. The tree seemed old and full of memories. The spirits walked close to it. It was disheartening to see something like that fallen and dead. Strange that Lazarus had picked that tree as his hiding spot...it fit somehow. And it was sad.

"Are you thinking of setting up a new den for yourself here? It's awfully far from where I sleep," she pondered, moving around the tree as if to inspect its quality. "I'd have to walk for a little while to see you every day, huh?"
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:22 pm
Lazarus:
The youth inched out of his den, ears and fur already damp with dew. He was cold but he refused to shiver in front of the mama. She ahd enough to deal with in managing the pride and looking after the members here. Not to mention all the rituals she had to oversee and tributes she paid.

He pressed himself against her front leg and let his eyes fall shut. She'd been the harbringer of bad news but in the same light, she had opened up her paws to him. Of the entire pride, she was the only one he felt he could confide in. He'd not hear of the dark rumors surrounding his brother's death or the words of pity muttered at his back.

"It's quiet." He answered simply. And quiet she could appreciate. The spirits spoke in whispers, not loud voices, and here he could hope to hear them. It was preferable over the nonsense of the living.


Mama Simbi:
The touch of the young one's small body against her legs caused her vision to blur and she closed her eyes, joining in his solace for a moment. She blinked them open, emotions in check once more, and sat down. She placed her paw at his back--a gesture that was becoming a regular ocurrence between the two of them.

He had always lived farther from the pride members than normal just because of Takis. Takis was anti-social by nature, and perhaps Lazarus had taken after--no, she didn't want to compare them. She would never do that. That would be too cruel to Lazarus. No...perhaps now, she decided...perhaps now, at this moment, she would never mention him again.

Looking down at the boy, she smiled and nodded, eyes flickering over the fallen tree. "Yes, very quiet," she agreed, but part of her was not satisfied. Being away from all the others so young...being away from her while he was so young...to place himself alone in a fallen tree...how could she allow it?

"You know, I live in the same spot as the Mama before me, and the Mama before her, and the Mama before her. Do you know why they picked that spot?" she asked, but she didn't wait for an answer. "Because it's quiet over there. You remember the teachings about the Loa, right, Lazarus? Sometimes we need to go away to someplace quiet in order to hear them. That's why the Mamas always stayed in the same place. That way they could live amongst the pride without resentment--because they only had to leave that quiet place when they wanted to."

Perhaps she couldn't convince him this way...or any way. Maybe his mind was already made up? If it was, how could she refuse him? But at least, if he did choose this place...if she could make him understand that he could at least return to where she stayed whenever he wished, that would be enough. She wanted him to understand that he wasn't truly alone. He never would be.


Lazarus:
The paw on his back earned a short shiver from his thin frame. It was a welcome comfort despite his reluctance to seek it out on hiw own. It was warm and safe, comforting and understanding. Best of all- it wasn't a loud gesture either. Simple, meaningful, and quiet.

He cracked his eyes open and stared ahead, his ears slowly drooping down. She didn't want him out here... Perhaps it frightened her to think that he might be found in the same way his brother had... perhaps she was lonely too. There was no one else that shared her den and, as far as he knew, there hadn't been ever. She was right about one thing though, it was quiet.

"Just inside... there's flowers." He said a little quietly, almost as if just mentioning them would cause them to uproot and run off. They were lovely things, a deep purple he'd never seen in a shape forgien to him. He liked them..somehow. They were soft, lonely, but beautiful. "But... I can visit them. They've managed without me."
 

Thalion

Thalion's avatar

Conservative Seeker


Thalion

Thalion's avatar

Conservative Seeker

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:00 am
Mama Simbi:
Simbi blinked in surprised, pointing her stare down to the cub once more. The minds of the Little Ones always held much more insight than most lions ever gave them credit for, but Lazarus was one of the truly astounding ones. Maybe he understood her concerns?

Those who spoke little were often the ones to hear most, the late Mama would say.

"Ahh, yes..." Simbi agreed, looking in at the flowers. Purple was a color greatly connected to the spirit world. Peculiar, too, that Lazarus felt so drawn to them...

"We're very blessed to be surrounded by nature. These flowers are alive just like we are. They remind us to enjoy living. They wouldn't be so pretty if that wasn't true, right?" she asked gently, smiling. "Visiting them often sounds like a very good idea, Lazarus," she said, sounding almost proud.


Lazarus:
He glanced back into his thicket, a damp cheek resting against Mama Simbi's leg. The flowers, four of them growing in a small cluster, were barely visible. They'd have been hidden if not for a small break in the brush that kept them hidden from the rest of the world. In the day it allowed them just enough sunlight, and at night they drank in the dew that budded on the grass around them.

They were so fragile... so rare and lovely that he quietly feared for them. Anything could happen- birds, other lions, mice, or a simple trampling.

"They're our secret." He drew his eyes away and looked up to her, for once something broke through his eyes. Pleading perhaps? "Someone might pick them."


Mama Simbi:
That cold cheek against her fur made her wonder a thousand different thoughts. What Lazarus's future held, how he would overcome his situation and his loneliness...would he ever find the happiness he deserved? She didn't know. No one could know. But she promised a silent oath that she would watch over him and make sure that if he couldn't be truly happy, he would at least never be miserable.

Simbi bent down and pushed damp hair from the cub's eyes with her nose, eyes moving back to the place the flowers rested.

"Well, then we'd better leave quickly before someone sees us," she said quietly, meeting his pleading eyes with confident ones. She would never tell another soul, and it showed. She was his confidant. She always would be.

Rising to her paws, the lioness stretched briefly before heading back to her home with the cub. She glanced back and gave the cub her full attention for a moment, asking, "Are you okay to walk that far? Would you like me to carry you?"


Lazarus:
At first his eyes went wide and he sank into his shoulders. He'd not been nuzzled or groomed by anyone since his mother had perrished. Takis had been kind, and loving enough, but he wasn't the type to express too much outward effection. He certainly hadn't been the type to groom cubs either. The touch, gentle and motherly, brought a boulder against the dam of emotions he'd hidden behind.

Eyes softened and glazed over. He'd not say it, but the simple gesture had returned his mind, if briefly, to a time of better days.

As she rose, he pressed in close. It was puzzling, even to him, but some quiet part of him wanted that tenderness, wanted that warmth and safety.

"I can walk, mama."
 
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