Huff Huff Smoky swirls of breath plumed like miniature mushroom clouds in the dark air of the winter night. The air outside of the Dilophosaurus stables which was technically a repurposed commercial chicken house was frigid in the truest sense of the word. Why even a raptor of Ashakns size would be out in the snow at such a late, lonely hour was an enigma. Yet out in the freshly fallen snow he sat, a light dusting of the pale frozen crystals blanketing his dark figure.
It had been a big day for the quiet raptor his last day before retiring to be precise. Ashakn had stepped into the ring with his regal head held high that morning and had trotted out in the same manner, every battle a victory for him to carry proudly. Indeed, unlike his birth-home, here on the new farm he had been trained and conditioned for the fighting ring. Though he had come into this late in life and in spite of his submissive demeanor, he had taken to the change of pace quite readily. No, he wasnt as ruthless as Dark Heart, the dilo who had been bought with him from his last farm, but nonetheless, he was a sturdy, reliable specimen.
Yes, it had been a very good time for him recently. Thats not to say it was terrible before. He had loved his old home. There he had been loved and well taken care of but it was different here. Here he had a purpose, and an owner who adored him Owl, that ridiculous, midget of a redhead.
The coarse, but distinctly female voice came seemingly out of nowhere, causing the considerably sized dino to flinch. Darn all that snow! It muffled footsteps like nothing else!
Somewhat hesitantly, Ashakn turned his head, his red eyes following his coat-clad owner as she hurried across the fenced-in enclosure to him. She must have come to check on things one more time before bed. Nervous, he ducked his head as she neared him; he was intelligent enough to know that sneaking out of the stables at night was likely to get him in trouble, particularly with it being so cold. A small whine left his large lungs.
When she finally plowed through the snow over to him she flung her arms right around his neck with no hesitation a feat she attempted with very few of her precious dinosaurs, lest they bite off something valuable like her face. What are you doing out in the cold, sweetie?? She asked breathlessly. Whats wrong?
Ashakn had never been the most vocal of dinosaurs, so he didnt make much sound in response to her questions, especially since he could only comprehend half of what she was saying. After a moment, she sighed and hugged him again.
Come on, lets get you back inside, She cooed softly. With a quick pat to his head, she turned and started to head off. Obediently, the dilo rolled onto back feet and pushed himself up into a standing position, grumbling against the ache of his old joints, soreness roused by the cold. After a quick shake to dislodge as much powder as possible, he plodded off after her, back towards the dilo structure.
Much to his surprise, however, just as they were getting close, Owl changed directions. What on earth was going on? He belonged in the stable with the others, surely she knew that! Confused, but still keen to follow, he pushed into longer strides to better catch up to the shorter two-legged creature.
His confusion cleared up none at all as she actually walked right up to the gate, unlocked it and pulled both halves open. They werent allowed to go through the gates unless they were leaving for battles! Uneasy, he took a half step back. This deviation from the norm was a bit unsettling to the old boy.
Its alright, Ash, Owl assured him with a smile. Come on now.
Uneasy as he was, he still did trust his owner. Therefore, he followed her guiding hand, albeit hesitantly. In no time at all, the gate was closed behind them and the duo were on their way back up towards the house..?
That couldnt be right either. The house was for Owl and her pink-fleshed, two-legged friends and those furry dog things.
As they approached, however, they took another turn, heading around the side to a different building. Owl opened the door and coaxed him through, watching as he passed through the threshold, sniffing the air and the hay around his feet cautiously. It was so warm and soft so inviting and homey and no raptors but him!
Welcome to your retirement home, boy, Owl closed the door behind them and came over to stroke his side. Youve earned it.
Though he couldnt completely understand the situation, Ash knew he liked it. The oversized dino dipped his head and gave her a gentle nuzzle and a lick on the cheek, earning him one of those keening, laugh-like sounds she made so well.
For some time following he found great interest in sniffing around and checked everything out that he possibly could, curious even in his old age.
By the time he was ready to wind down again Owl had already settled in among the hay, her back against the wall. Desiring affection and contact, as always, he shuffled over and flopped down heavily beside her, gingerly filling the whole of her lap with his head.
The redhead smiled softly and allowed the action without an argument, stroking along his neck quietly.
Both knew what was to come with Ashs aging, but neither wanted to think about the approaching time of his true retirement. That thought was best left to the backs of their minds for the time being.
For now there were no worries in the world for Ashakn. There was just this warm, wonderful-smelling place and the memories of the best Christmas Eve of his long life.
By Owl (#4363).
Posted: 04/01/2011 @ 1:21 pm