Macrame Me

Saturday Market 
Outfit! @Bones - Cameos welcome!

The day was crisp, the shifter exhaled puffs of air during her early morning walk and coffee run. Sure, there was coffee at the motel, but it tasted like dirt and burnt beans. No matter how often she tried to choke down the too hot liquid, she ended up gagging and promptly dumping it down the sink. No amount of doctoring it would help. Claire wanted to visit this Saturday Market thing she read about in the local newspaper. It looked delightful, relaxing, filled with independent businesses and good food accompanied by even better scents.

So when the sun melted the frost of the nearby apartment roofs, she threw on a turtleneck sweater, a loose pair of pants and flats I head out. Her hair was loose, curls brushing her shoulder as the top of her head was covered by a simple sun hat. Old clothes that she had packed from her original home. Old and comfortable, but still pleasing to look at. Claire hoped she didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Thankfully, she didn’t. She had been in the market for nearly forty-five minutes, longingly stopping at the macrame shop to look at the beautiful, handmade items within. There were so many she was drawn to, but seeing as her wallet was already bare, all she could do was stare and run her fingers across the beautiful creations. Claire imagined them hanging in a room or yoga studio she no longer had. She made her way around the shop, pausing to look at a unique piece fashioned to look like feathers on the outside of the shop near the make-shift walkway were the traffic was heavy.

 There was a sort of humility to the circumstances she had been thrust into that didn't sit well, even after so long. Even with the distance traveled, with the boon that was escaping with her life. All good things, all valuable - but not enough where her wants were concerned. A woefully light bank account, a bare bones apartment, a wardrobe that could be described as capsule in size. All things that wouldn't be associated with her in a different life that was only a few turned pages behind her.

 This chapter was, frankly, a let down so far. The location promising though the speed with which she was progressing left something to be desired - like fighting uphill against a powerful current. The market serving as a sort of hellish punishment of tables and containers, walls and racks of things that her budget could no longer accomodate. Yet, at least.

 If nothing else it was invigorating in the same way that an ice bath could be, prickly on her pride but motivational. So she went like clockwork most Saturdays when her schedule would accomodate it, walked the narrow maze of pathways in a serpentine zigzag before she'd head back home empty handed. She'd been about halfway through the routine when the scent danced on the edge - hardly registered and slowly unfurling to be the brunt of what she focused on.

 "It's very you." Perhaps a gamble, what with not having a clear look at the woman's face, stopping just behind her and to the left the slightest bit. But what she lacked in certainty her beast made up in powerful strides, welcoming the familiarity of something (rather, someone) marked by days gone by. "Are you buying it, Claire?"

Claire’s fingers reached out, brushing the soft fabric against her surprisingly rough fingertips. Light as a feather. Colorful as a peacock yet muted to fit in any room it was displayed in. It reminded her of a time when she felt completely herself. A time when she belonged to a group that was similar to her. Now she lived a rogue life. Desolate. Empty. Lonely. Claire could only stare and get lost in what once was instead of focusing on the present.

The restlessness within her, coming from her lioness, caused her to lower her fingers. At her side, she rubbed them at her side, remembering the feel of the fabric between. Something within her swelled, as if she were taking a turn to be uplifted instead of the negative emotional path she had been strolling down. Familiarity. Her lioness jumping around in a graceful, excited circle before greeting another. A shadow she could not yet see. And then.... her name on someone’s lips.


A small intake of air filled her lungs as she turned, eyes wide in disbelief. She looked over the younger woman as if she were nothing but a figment of her imagination. "I can afford very little these days. With floating from city to city....motel to motel..." she said, not ashamed of the fact that she was nothing more than a rogue looking for a home. "Is that really you?" she asked, her voice soft as she adjusted her body to turn toward the woman. She had never been extremely close to her, having been so quiet and agreeable that she faded away into the background.

"It’s been so long." Eyes searched Etain’s face, her body, looking to see if she was okay but unwilling to pull her into a welcoming embrace. Her beast was happy to do the opposite, reaching forward to greet the other with a cold nose to the neck. "Are you okay? Please tell me you’re okay.... and the others?" So many questions tumbled out of her mouth that one would think she was the adolescent in the equation.

 It was a sudden rush of feeling, the warm welcome of their beasts enjoying a startling reunion and the cascade of human questions that followed. She looked away from the wall hanging, took a moment to inspect Claire properly and shrugged. "I don't know what happened with everyone, some did make it out, thankfully." Others, lost in the shuffle. And while fortune had saw fit to knock them together once more, she wasn't so starry-eyed and optimistic as to think that would become the new standard.

People got lost, it was what it was - she tried to focus on that as a rule when it started to weigh on her.

 "As for me, I'm thinking about settling down - here, specifically. Although I can't say I'm doing that much better financially." She shrugged her shoulders and slid her hands into the pockets of her jacket. "If all the way across the country isn't far enough, than I would say we're in a very big amount of trouble."

Claire did not notice the lack of equal emotion coming from Etain. It wouldn’t have bothered her if the other lioness didn’t even know who she was. Their beasts recognized each other and that was good enough for the born shifter. Etain was from her pride. Etain was safe.

The older lioness loosed a breath she had been holding for some time now. It was Sharkey, but full of relief. Some made it out. Of course Claire wanted to know who all made it out and who had perished, but she wanted to focus on the good in what was said. For months, it felt like she had turned over every negative possibility with her being the only one left alive.

"That’s so good to hear," she said softly, with a small smile. Claire wasn’t shocked to hear that Etain would want to settled down though. Especially somewhere as far across the continent as she possibly could be. After a few pondering moments of silence, Claire nodded. "That’s good. If you want, we can pool our resources until we get more stable..." she offered. It was her way of wanting to group back together, of wanting to stick close to Etain.

Claire didn’t want her slipping through her fingers. Now that she knew at least one other was alive, she felt that spark light back up in her to remain loyal.

 She twisted at the soft throw, a measured pitch of an idea - took the time to really soak in Claire properly. From her clothes to the tone the concept was carried on, noting it and nodding after a pause that perhaps bordered on long. "I think I'd like that." Not a giddy set of arms roping around the other lioness to hug her excitedly, but something.

 It was pure stupidity to ignore the logic behind it, the benefit of partnership where lioness was concerned. Not to say they would replicate another life on the opposing coast, but - it was nice to have something or someone to anchor onto. "Are you staying close to here?"

Well that was something. Right? Claire let loose a breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding. This life was not something she was used to, having been more than fulfilled at their previous home and pride.

"Im on the outskirts of town on highway 55. There’s a small motel there... super cheap." she wouldn’t bring herself to feel embarrassed about such a thing. Not when she had spent all her cash traveling cross country anyway. This window shopping was just something to do. Something mundane that made her feel normal. "What about you?"

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