((i downloaded Medibang Paint and gave it a try. [i’ve been using FireAlpaca this entire time, btw.] of/c i used Skorge as my test subject.
i like it! the brushes are a bit weird, but i think i can get used to it. it’s like FireAlpaca but with a cloud feature that seems really interesting, and it appears more geared to comic/manga creators. you can also get it on mobile devices.))
On their way back home, carrying more than one hare hanging from Kråkevenns saddle, Myllik and Skorg noticed that the sky was preparing for another blizzard. The morning had passed so quietly, leaving nothing but the sunbeams shimmering in the snow. As if the ground spoke of peace. In the horizon, snow covered the mountains like meringue. Myllik had been staring at them for a while, remembering and missing the cream of carrotcakes.
myllik: you know, if I had got the chance one day, I would bake a cake!
She smiled in the background, leading Kråkevenn with careful movements in her hands. Skorg looked back at her for a second, leaving his eyes at her lips as she spoke. He smiled back, slowly nodding in thoughs of that her statement would make a good conversation.
skorg: yeah, I would give anything for a soft blackberry pie, or an omelette with leek and slices of potatoes! And milk!
Skorg let his mind fly in dreams of big meals and childhood-suppers. Only to be reminded of how close he once was to become a chef himself. His dream of opening his own resturant, named after his mother, and earn money for his family to come. For Idun Qrvar. He felt a sudden need to sit down, not only because of his thoughtful soul, but because his working leg and neck had started to hurt.
myllik: nah, what we need is a real landvaik-carrotcake with cream and spices! Or waffles!
skorg: no, nothing beats blackberry pie and omelettes! But for that matter, pancakes baked with goatmilk would indeed be just as good..
Myllik rised an eyebrow as she realized that Skorg had a sharp tounge and opinions when it came to food. She brushed it away by nodding and muttering that she agreed with him, even though she had never tasted any of the meals he’d mentioned.
skorg: I would love to cook real treats again, Myllik! Spiced lamb, potatobread with salts.., and you would surely like my chilisoup!
He was lost in clouds of memories and tastes.
myllik: you’ve cooked before?
skorg: not only did I cook. I was about to become a professional chef!
Myllik broke out into laughter, joyful over Skorgs behaviour. She had not seen or heard him like this before, being so passionate and happy about something. It touched her, like the snowflakes melted on their hair. Disappearing into the top of her head, to be remembered and taken care of by her love for happiness and golden braids.
The cold had found its way into the abandoned cafè and sewingroom, the current home of Java, Tufte, Skorg and Myllik. The white brickwalls were struggling to hold on to the dust that once had filled the rooms. It had frozen, and Java felt trapped in time as she walked around inside. Stepping on wooden tiles, staring outside the windows in the second floor, and sighing in disappointment over not being able to finish one of the old books that filled the entrance of the building. From the old classics of Heimer, like “Dromunden”, to factabooks about flowers, she had closed her eyes from the pain of realization. The realization of that she held on to something that would leave her behind either way.
The days had been passing by slowly, forcing Skorg and Myllik to spend the days hunting for animals. From wild dogs and wolves that had been hiding in the ruins of the quarantine zone, to birds and hare from the forests further away from the roads. They seemed to disappear, keeping more distance to the city as each day passed. This had led to Skorg and Myllik spending days and nights away from their home. With Java wanting to take shifts on who left for hunting, and Tufte being worried about them not returning, it had been hard to make decisions. But food had to be brought back, and Skorg refused to arrive back with nothing at all. He had not agreed with Java about letting her take responsibility of hunting, as she was getting weaker. The illness had turned into a well known disease, slowly eating her hope, power and personality.
java: I look like mom..
Java twisted her upper body as she looked down at the long skirt she was wearing. Its texture was rough and grey, of thick woolen material. From the sight of her, it almost looked like she was dancing lightly across the floor. That was what Tufte saw. Her older sister, dreamingly dancing in the feeling of wearing a skirt. Smiling while remaining distant and unrecognizable. She had lost the uptight movement of her shoulders, seemingly falling apart. Her face looked pale, not glowing from the shine of her skintone anymore, but from sweat and tears. Lips that once had seemed so soft and drawn, had melted into a dry, cracked mess. Tufte had always envied her sister’s beautiful lips, but by the time of the weeks, she did not even remember them anymore.
tufte: you always did.
She tried to smile, tears hiding in the corners of her eyes. She then looked down at the floor, listened to Javas steps as she approached her. Her breath sounded so silent, even though she had been coughing for weeks. Tufte kept her hands under the table, as she sank down in her chair. Java did look like their mom, now more than ever. Tufte had only known her mother for ten years, and had only memories of her being a tall woman, hidden in layers of clothing and illness. She’d had a face similar to Javas, but it had remained dull and anxious. As if her eyebrows was forced down, and her eyes looking foggy.
Java kneeled in front of Tuftes chair, not knowing what else to say. Tufte sniffled, and leant forward.
java: I’m here. I am here with you..
tufte: you won’t be for long!
Tufte looked up in tears. Her face being torn up. Java brushed strings of her hair away from her face, and looked Tufte straight in the eyes. She started speaking:
java: look, things are going to change. They already have.
She then sighed, and proceeded: You’re right. I won’t be here for long. We all know it and there is nothing we can do about it. There is no cure, there is no way around it. But as long as I’m alive I want you to know something. You are strong, Tufte. You are so strong! And there is nothing in this world that is going to break you down. You’re going to hold on, and you’re going to live a life better than what it is now! This is not what’s going to break you. This is not life. You know what I’m sure of? I’m sure of that one day you are going to be a mother, and you are going to be one amongst many people! And you will have a solid place to live, and people will look at you with joy in their faces! Because you made it. You made life possible.