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Now and What Comes After

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Swift Wind was restless. She couldn't sleep, and she defiantly was not going to just lay here. She untangled herself from her lovemate/chief, Edgewalker. He grumbled in his sleep, never opening his silver eyes as she slid out of the den and climbed down to the forest floor.


She tucked her red brown hair back in a head band and rubbed her stormy blue eyes. It was irritating. Why did this keep happening to her? Was it her different blood? In her time spent with Edgewalker's tribe she had still to find a wolf friend. Did she even have any wolf blood in her? Was she some different kind of elf? That must be it. Or that there is so little that it matters not. She mused as she began the climb into her secret spot, she mentally prepared herself to break the barrier to her past. This time, this time I will succeed.


After the sun had long reached its high time and had started falling, she came out of her trance-like state.

“PUCKERNUTS!! PUCKERNUTS TWICE!”


Why could she not break it! It was so frustrating not knowing who she was, really know who she was. The only thing that came past the barrier was her soul name. And even then it had a taken almost a full turn of the seasons for that to pop up. Her adoptive mother, Slimarrow once described a soul name as everything that you are and ever will be. An exchange of soul names told the other elf all there was to know about you.


“So why is it when I say my soul name or think it I get nothing!” She cried out to the trees. I know nothing about myself! Not even my age. She grimaced.


Then as her mind was want to do after one of her past finding sessions, she thought back on her thirty years with Edgwalker’s tribe. She remembered the split from ten years ago; she really had no fondness for any of the tribe that left. Most were not sure what to think of her. The trail of thought always brought to mind an overheard conversation between Wild Berry and Birdsong that had taken place a mere days after her appearance.


“Imagine an elf with no memory!” Birdsong had told Wild Berry with mock horror in her voice. “There has not been an elf so plagued in the memory of elves!” She had giggled “Or maybe there has but they had forgotten!”


Wild Berry had given the black haired busybody a long look. “I think it is very interesting. Most especially since it has never happened that we know of.”
Birdsong snorted. “I doubt it. I think she is too ashamed to tell us where she came from.”


They had walked off after that and Swift Wind had not heard the rest of the conversation. It had troubled her greatly for quite some time. She had planned to talk to Wild Berry but had never found the time. Then the tribe had split and now she knew she never would unless she went looking for Rainwalker’s half of the tribe.


This led her to thinking of Edgewalkers half of the tribe. Her chief and lovemate came floating quietly into her mind. He was not a consistent lovemate, she knew were his heart really laid. After all how many lovemates had he had since Joyheart left? Too many to count and all of them vastly different then the last, and none managing to fill the void of the gold haired elf. Swift Wing gave a small laugh. Fireflower had certainly lived up to her name when there illustrious chief had decided to change furs from her to Swift Wind. I thought she might burn the forest down with her anger she mused with a smile. The flamed haired basket weaver was still not happy with the arrangement, but her anger had mellowed somewhat after her recognition to Daggermark. His calming influence had soothed the hurt of rejection. Though it hadn’t been until after Spear was born that they had lifemated. It hadn’t really bothered Swift Wind that the red haired basket weaver still didn’t like her.


This lead to elders of the tribe. They had been kind when she had appeared that night during a howl. Half Moons had almost been her adopted mother, but her son Lioneyes had not been keen on the idea of someone replacing his sister, Joyheart, in his mother’s heart. Not that I would have been able to accomplish such a task. Swift Wind thought. It had been Greenstone’s idea. He had though having another she-cub to care for would help her heart heal a little. Lioneyes had snuck off on many occasions searching for his sister over the past 50 years, much to Edgewalker’s displeasure. Though many figured he secretly encouraged the outings.


Lightshade had always been nice. Slimarrow had unburied some memories but only ones that dealt with hunting. Because of her she had remembered how to use a bow, and how to track, quickly making herself out as the best in the tribe. She had been excited for the memories to surface. But nothing else had crossed the barrier since.


Swift Wind looked out on the forest around her as her thought turned to her age mates (or at least she thought they were all around the same age.) Dreamseeker was the closest to her age, along with Fireflower. The grey haired healer had spent much of his time learning herbs and plants from Half Moons. Toedancer was the first youngster after her. He had enjoyed playing many tricks on her when she had first shown up. At only 18, he had a long history of troublemaking and pranks. It was thanks to him that her first (kind-of) memory had surfaced. He had been antagonizing her while she was sharpening a knife that Greenstone had given her. When the ‘fun’ had went too far, she tried to leave the clearing, but he had followed her and then when he hadn’t stopped and she could take no more; Swift Wind had whirled with such speed and threw her knife into the ground at his feet, shaving a patch off of his boot. He had jumped all over the place in fright. All I could do was look at my hand, wondering where that had come from. He had looked so funny and indignant. The tribe however had mixed reactions to the incident. Some had been horrified that she had thrown the knife at another elf. Others had felt he had gotten his due, and a smaller group had been excited that she had remembered something.


The sun was falling below the tree tops when she heard the wolves howling near the holt. There was to be a hunt tonight. With a sigh Swift Wind climbed out of her secret hallow and took off at a fast lope towards the holt. When she got to the edge of the holt clearing she paused watching as her tribemates busied themselves for the hunt. For better or worse, this is my family now. I just wish I knew my parents and original family. She sighed.


“Swift Wind! Come join the hunt and run with us tonight!” Slimarrow called as she passed her son Pouncer to Rainfall to watch.


Swift Wind smiled as she walked into the clearing to stand by Edgewalker. “Which way are we going my chief?”


Edgwalker pointed toward sun-goes-up, “Come and ride with me Tracker.” He replied with a wry grin. Fireflower glowered at her as he pulled her up behind him on his wolf friend.


The tribe rode out to hunt just as they did other nights. Some stayed behind to watch the young or just because they were not in the mood to hunt tonight. That was just the way it was. That was the way it is done in the now.