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Lift Thine Eyes


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#1
Berenice

Berenice
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We have no Olifant resounding,
nor fortunes here to carry home.
{{OCC: Private: Shou}}
No epic tale becoming legend,
only choices right and wrong.


It was a windy day and the treetops swayed back and forth, their rustling leaves creating sweet music for the wild animals. Hardly did any of them care as they went on with their everyday lives, trying desperately to find sustenance or avoiding the fate of becoming a tasty morsel for one of the many predators that lurked amongst the mountains. Berenice did not care for the wind that ruffled her shiny feathers; perhaps she even appreciated its cooling effect, though her alert, blinking eyes offered no clues as to her emotions. While scanning the environment carefully she also listened for any sounds that might reveal the position of a mouse or smaller bird, but aside from the singing of the forest itself, there was nothing to be heard. Berenice turned her head to look out over the trees dotting the ridge of the mountains, her piercing gaze focusing on a faraway point, before she rose from her perch with a mighty flap of her wings and was carried away by a current of wind. As she soared high above the woods she lifted her gaze slightly, glancing at the sun which was partly hidden behind a cloud; the day was still young, despite the murkiness, and she would find her dinner yet.

Berenice scanned the miniature landscape below for movements. Her eyes caught sight of a small lake glittering invitingly in one of the glades, and had it not been for a slight movement in the nearby bushes she would have surely moved on - after all, she was not very thirsty, and she usually preferred to end her meals with a drink - but the second her brain registered the sign of life amongst all of the green, she dove. The bird fell rapidly, almost as if she had been shot mid-flight, before she flapped her wings again and slowly descended towards the rim of the lake. Berenice surveyed the area to see that no dangers were nearby before tucking her wings back to resting position. With a few, long steps she approached the lake and took a sip. "You can come forth from your hiding place, Black Scavenger," her voice rang out, not too loud, but loud enough for anyone in the vicinity to hear. "If my intention was to eat you, you would have already have been laying dismembered before me." Berenice turned her head towards the bushes where she had seen a black figure shuffling around - could it just have been a trick of the eye? If so, then she would simply fly away, and no embarrassment was to be had if no one had been present; even if there was someone there to see the falcon speak to herself, what did it matter? Berenice was a prideful being, but would not let such petty matters bother her. However, her eyesight was without fault, and she was certain she was not the sole inhabitant of the glade.


Word Count: 604
Table Picture © FurLined
For GG - Made by Klomonx


"The hawk is God's gunslinger."
Avatar © sombraala

#2
Shou

Shou
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{{OCC:---}}


The wind was always a bad sign; dragons came out to hunt when the wind was good. One learned to look for the sky when one was a chick; Shou might have laughed in the face of a dog, and probably even in the face of an enemy – but the Falcons? He had seen them murder right before his eyes, and had occasionally, made too many wise cracks for their temper and barely escaped with his life. It helped that he was smarter than most of the (young) Falcons that targeted him. Larger Falcons hardly went after crows, at least not adult crows, and Shou was proud to say he still knew the life of a bachelor and had yet to meet a Mistress Shou, as it were. However it was not always safe, not even for him. Hawks were enough to cause him nightmares, and eagles were the Grim Reaper to a crow; but a Peregrine Falcon was like a shadow. You simply...never knew.

So he looked up at the sky as he carefully took a drink, tilting his head to make sure one eye was fixated on the sky. The Falcons were nearly soundless, unless they screeched. He had to hope that the dragons would falter and he would be able to hide today. He wouldn't go so far as to say he envied the dogs and their sense of smell, but he certainly wished he were a bit larger. He puffed himself up, pressing his beak against his chest as he fluttered into the air and into a bush as the wind picked up. He was crouched low, hoping he had chosen a thorn bush that had neglected to attack him, and waited. He hated, hated, hated, traveling by ground. It was dangerous, if he were in the air, why, that would be different. He could out maneuver a Falcon, even though he was not faster nor stronger than them, and his brain was much better developed. Still, his eyes widened with fear as he lay with his puffed up feathers. The raptor landed, it was like a gunshot to the crow's heart. Could he..possibly make a dash? Maybe...he turned his head toward the water, but winced when he heard the Falcoln's voice. Dammit; a female. Always a female when he least wanted one, the whores.

"You can come forth from your hiding place, Black Scavenger, If my intention was to eat you, you would have already have been laying dismembered before me.”

”Kuso.” The crow swore, crouching lower and holding his wings at his sides, hoping he could..perhaps come out with claws and beak at the ready. Waddling like a vulture or a gunslinger, the crow slithered out of his hiding place and stared at the Falcon. “We do plenty more than Scavenge, Akumabito.” It was hard to break old habits, even those that told the one who could kill you that they were a 'demon', a 'devil', what have you. Perhaps this irony is what Shou meant, however. He knew he was no match for her, but it didn't mean he was going to let up on his words. He still lived life with the simple purpose of living it to the fullest; and if this was the end? He would go down laughing, even if he had tears in his eyes. “All you do is eat, gobble gobble.” Shou made a very good impersonation of a turkey; although they were not native to Japan, it was still a sound Shou had heard the humans say, and he had seen pictures. It wasn't as if he were a stupid bird..except for his mocking of the very thing that could eat him.


Word Count: 695
Table Picture © Andy.V


Let's live how we please.
For we strive neither for power, nor for money.
We want to live here, in freedom and happiness.
And we'll not take a single step back!

Avatar © Anemoneprojectors


#3
Berenice

Berenice
  • Outsider
  • 4 posts


We have no Olifant resounding,
nor fortunes here to carry home.
{{OCC: }}
No epic tale becoming legend,
only choices right and wrong.


Like all predators, Berenice was very well aware of how her smooth silhouette - even her shadow gliding slowly across the ground - put fear into the minds of smaller animals. It was a fact she took for granted, but she had met her share of brave, or foolish, creatures who insisted on putting up a fight, or to throw a few curses into her face before she ripped them apart. There were other birds of prey that easily beat the Peregrine falcon when it came to size and height, but their smaller kin had one feature in their favour; the four, sharp notches on either side of their beaks which easily severed the spinal cords of their victims. Berenice was a dragon in her own right, though her breath was not made of fire and her jaw lacked the fearsome rows of teeth of the giant lizard, she was imposing to those who had not been blessed with her size.

”Kuso. We do plenty more than Scavenge, Akumabito. All you do is eat, gobble gobble.”

Not only did Berenice have the excellent sight of her kin, but her hearing, too, was great, and so she heard the swearing of the corvid; such language! But she was hardly surprised. Often would one see a flock of dark-feathered hooligans, flying about with their hoarse voices arguing and screaming, laughing and mocking. No doubt were they an intelligent race of birds, but intelligence did not always warrant a nice personality. The roughness of this male was nothing surprising to Berenice, indeed, she nearly snorted at his uncouth ways as she turned her head in his direction, slowly rotating her body a few seconds later. "Oh, indeed you do," she replied with a false apologetic tone, "you thieve and harass, just like all bandits do, and ruin the honest work of others." Berenice lifted her one talon in order to carefully preen it, in case any remains of an old meal be remaining, or any dead cells needed to be removed. "And not to forget the remains of your meals, which you squeeze out afterwards."

Berenice was not overly humorous, but the crow's claim was indeed comedic. She lowered her great talon and took a step forward with her long leg, which almost looked comedic if it wasn't for the claws at the end of it. "And what do you do, you shadow of humans? You beggar of sweet food? I have seen your kind flying away from the humans with bright yellow worms shining in your beaks, which you then feed to your chicks. No surprise it is then that you all grow up to be such fat, easy catches." When it came to prey, Berenice was not fond of the taste of crow, but it would do in a pinch. They were so different from the raptors, with their cruel, calculating natures and stern attitudes, so it was no wonder that when one from each side met, it turned into a hostile conversation which, at its worst, would end in bloodshed and death. However, Berenice was not planning on making this little imp her meal, unless she had to. Perhaps she did not know why exactly she engaged the other bird in a conversation, but there was a curiosity there; why was the crow all alone? It was not unusual to see them strutting along on their own, but another one was usually nearby, yet the little glade was all empty save for the two of them, unless the crow's friends were extraordinarily good at hiding. But Berenice knew this could not be, for her eyes detected no movements save for the occasional rustling of leaves as the wind travelled through the trees, nor was there any unusual sounds that gave away the presence of another creature.


Word Count: 748
Table Picture © FurLined
For GG - Made by Klomonx


"The hawk is God's gunslinger."
Avatar © sombraala

#4
Shou

Shou
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  • 14 posts


{{OCC:---}}


"Oh, indeed you do, you thieve and harass, just like all bandits do, and ruin the honest work of others. And not to forget the remains of your meals, which you squeeze out afterwards."

Although even brave birds would falter at the appearance of a falcon's talons, the crow, whose mischievous personality welcomed challenge, hardly stuttered. He could only imagine just how sharp that talon was, bu did this cleaning also mean the falcon had eaten? If that were the case she would be full, and just a tad heavier than usual. Maybe, if worse came to worst, Shou could outfly her. "There is honour among us!" Shou stated proudly, but his tone revealed he was not at all insulted. "We work hard. Have you ever read the mind of a human?" Shou shuttered, "ge ge geeee" he made a sort of coughing sound, which was greatly exaggerated. He called the humans' minds gross, it was as simple as that. When she ended her lecture, the crow's sounds became more of a caw of laughter. "Your presents are much worse." He shivered, "now I kimochi waruiiiiiiii." He moaned, feigning his feeling of sickness, but quickly recovered. "And I could hardly call assassination honest, fair demon." If his beak would have allowed him to smirk, he would have. Instead, he tilted his head slightly and used one of his legs to scratch at his beak, providing an equally snarky and taunting effect.

"And what do you do, you shadow of humans? You beggar of sweet food? I have seen your kind flying away from the humans with bright yellow worms shining in your beaks, which you then feed to your chicks. No surprise it is then that you all grow up to be such fat, easy catches."

At her step forward, it seemed Shou's good humour almost fell. His foot fell immediately to the ground to steady himself, no doubt he knew to fear the falcon's talons, but he meant no real harm. He was smarter than her, he knew, and if she became angry he could outwit her. Or so he hoped; crows were occasionally on the dinner plan for other birds, although from what he knew, they were only targets after a human had hit them with their car. Crows were not as strong as a falcon, but they were relentless if enraged. A crow was he bringer of death, not the falcon, according to heraldry. "Speak for yourself! You catch us out of the sky, killing our chicks while yours grow fat on our souls!" Shou flapped his wings, jumping into the air for a moment. "And I will have you know those worms only hurt my stomach, demon. Humans call them fries. Any smart bird knows to avoid them, but I guess the same cannot be said for demons that feed on the innocent. Eventually you will gorge yourself and become like the gobbler you are." He again went into his voice of mocking a turkey, and although he was very much on the defensive he couldn't help but poke fun. Oh, he knew very well that a falcon had to kill to live, kill to eat, but he was allowed to poke fun at her. If she got too close, however, he wouldn't hesitate to poke out her eyes; he heard from older crows who had feasted upon the dead that eyes were quite nutritious as long as one did not mind their texture.


Word Count: 651

Table Picture © Andy.V


Let's live how we please.
For we strive neither for power, nor for money.
We want to live here, in freedom and happiness.
And we'll not take a single step back!

Avatar © Anemoneprojectors


#5
Berenice

Berenice
  • Outsider
  • 4 posts


We have no Olifant resounding,
nor fortunes here to carry home.
{{OCC: }}
No epic tale becoming legend,
only choices right and wrong.


"There is honour among us! We work hard. Have you ever read the mind of a human? ge ge geeee Your presents are much worse. now I kimochi waruiiiiiiii. And I could hardly call assassination honest, fair demon."

The cold demeanour of the falcon often made it seem like she was devoid of all humour; whether it be schadenfreude or otherwise. However, as the black bandit before her continued speaking, his sentences riddled with slang and all kinds of uncouth wordings, she could feel a kind of mocking mirth rise within her. With a short laughter, almost like a screech, Berenice looked at the smaller bird who was so desperate to show himself tough. "Honour amongst thieves! Why would I want to read the mind of a human? Unlike you, I do not thrive off of them; I'm not an extension of their corruption, and I would rather see myself dead before I became a part of your black plague. Occasionally I may catch one of their animals, if times are dire. Your kind not only eat the spoils of humans, you mimic their foul words as well," Berenice did not much care for the crow's clown-like antics, and as Shou "smiled", she, too, tilted her head slightly to the side, gazing at the other bird with one of her big, dark eyes. "Perhaps so, for my presents often contain your remains. What does a vagrant know of honesty? At least I kill with my own beak and claws, instead of snatching meals from others'."

"Speak for yourself! You catch us out of the sky, killing our chicks while yours grow fat on our souls! And I will have you know those worms only hurt my stomach, demon. Humans call them fries. Any smart bird knows to avoid them, but I guess the same cannot be said for demons that feed on the innocent. Eventually you will gorge yourself and become like the gobbler you are."

Berenice did not let her amusement show as Shou seemed to stagger, if only for a moment. Indeed, she had no real desire to eat the crow; to kill him, though? Perhaps. He would become food for the other animals of the forest, so his parts would not go to waste. However, the Peregrine Falcon was not without her morals, and killing simply for the sake of killing went against her belief; indeed, she knew of the relationship between her kind and humans, and how her kin had been used to aid them in their hunts. There were honour in that profession, even though Berenice had a strained relationship to humans, mainly due to their penchant for murdering her relatives, there was nevertheless good qualities to be had in the strange two-legged animals. Wingless birds, she had heard an old falcon call them once, claiming that they used falcons in order to extend their reach, for they all wished to fly ever since their wings were stolen from them in their infancy; old and senile this falcon had been, and most regarded his tales as crazy rambling, but Berenice had found this tale fascinating, and did not much care whether it was real or not. "I was not aware that imps had souls."

As for ugly names, Berenice had certainly been called her fair share in her lifetime, many of them worse than the ones Shou was currently using. Perhaps it was true that crows were bringers of death, but one must not forget that Berenice had the blood of many a skilled hunters coursing through her veins; in a way, she was allied with death, relying on it to help her bring a warm meal onto her plate at the end of the day. "I grow tired of your empty insults," she said, clicking her beak, "any smart bird knows how to pick his or her fights. You can claim many things, Black Bandit, but that your kind is innocent you can not." As Shou flapped his wings, making a little jump into the air, Berenice simply stared at him in silence. Suddenly, she raised her body, flapping her wings violently, making some of the dirt and dust whirl around the two birds' talons. Jumping into the air, she propelled herself upwards as she let out her blood-curdling screech; a challenge, or simply a premonition of death? Shou would not know until he accepted, in which case it didn't matter.


Word Count: 851
Table Picture © FurLined
For GG - Made by Klomonx


"The hawk is God's gunslinger."
Avatar © sombraala

#6
Shou

Shou
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  • 14 posts


{{OCC:---}}


"Honour amongst thieves! Why would I want to read the mind of a human? Unlike you, I do not thrive off of them; I'm not an extension of their corruption, and I would rather see myself dead before I became a part of your black plague. Occasionally I may catch one of their animals, if times are dire. Your kind not only eat the spoils of humans, you mimic their foul words as well. Perhaps so, for my presents often contain your remains. What does a vagrant know of honesty? At least I kill with my own beak and claws, instead of snatching meals from others'."

"If you continue to talk like that, the humans will certainly make that happen. Your ego makes you a sitting target, my predatory comrade." Shou mocked, his wings flapping and readjusting themselves at his side. "If you cannot read how they think, then they will end you! Why any fledgling knows never to attack a human's dog. To do so is very amai and very aho." At his words, he enunciated them slowly, making their meaning clear. The former was gullible, and the latter was stupid - it didn't take much to see that he found her pride and her arrogance to be amusing, even though he knew all too well that it was a mistake to tick off a falcon. Perhaps Berenice was not the only stupid one, though Shou was much to bemused to care. However at her remark that he was dishonest and that her droppings were the remains of his kin, he was hurt - for a moment his eyes flicked a bit to a bit of pained sadness, his pupils extending in fear only for them to be blinked back to normal, not a feather out of place. "What does a murderer know of jesting? I know plenty of honesty, I have seen it demonstrated and simply choose to ignore it. You are less honest than I, at least I do no harm! Do you know how many of my kind your kind has left to die? We are worth more than dying in a puddle of our own blood, we are the noble bird of death and intelligence and wit! What are you? The bird of nightmares, the bird of power, and the bird of hubris. You bouryokush." His words were dark, but there was some sort of dark comedy about them. He could not let his good humour die, and thinking of death was not his nature.

"I was not aware that imps had souls."

He cawed with laughter, his old humour back, recovering itself amongst his beguiling demeanor. "Of course not! No murderer has a conscience, or else we would all be herbivores." Birds of prey, with their beaks were like horrible thugs in Shou's mind. All crows knew to rely on their flock, and the word of the sentry, who circled, was a lifesaver. Humans were talked about as simply play things that had many dangerous qualities that could be manipulated, but the word for Falcon in a crow's language was an equivalent of Death. Different birds of prey had variances of the word, but the sentry never minced words - pure death was the falcon, like that of a weapon or car of a humans' they all meant death for a crow, and the warnings were to be trusted.

"I grow tired of your empty insults, any smart bird knows how to pick his or her fights. You can claim many things, Black Bandit, but that your kind is innocent you can not."

Covering his face to shield him from the dirt and dust that the gluttonous falcon kicked up, Shou only laughed under his breath - hadn't she stayed this long to begin with? She had, after all, advanced upon him, not the other way around. With Berenice in the air and away from him, Shou contemplated following. She was obviously enraged at his comments, and this only pleased him, even if she didn't want to admit it. Maybe if he could best her, he could become a hero of Crow kind, although it was not likely. Shou blinked, pondering wearily if he should take up her challenge - perhaps she would learn to better treat the honest thieves that his kind were known for! Perhaps laughing at his own thoughts and up for any sort of challenge this falcon had, he ascended in a lot less dramatic fashion. Instead of flying into the air like a rocket, he drifted like a bleak omen, approaching the falcon. "Leaving so soon? I was only getting started."


Word Count: 850

Table Picture © Andy.V


Let's live how we please.
For we strive neither for power, nor for money.
We want to live here, in freedom and happiness.
And we'll not take a single step back!

Avatar © Anemoneprojectors





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