Solo Run Chicken, Run

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Run Chicken, Run

Postby Merevaika on August 6th, 2017, 10:00 pm

10th Summer 517

Merevaika crouched behind the ferns, keeping a firm gaze on the chickens as she tried to formulate something of a plan. Her bow had been left behind at her tent, knowing it would be completely useless for the task. She was still hunting, that was true, but this time around, she needed her catch to be alive and well, rather than with an arrow through it. Unfortunately, it changed everything she knew about hunting, because distance was no longer useful. Being hidden could no longer happen. And plans – well, let’s just say they were out of the window for someone who had no clue about what she was trying to do.

Rubbing her hands together in preparation, she decided to just go for it. She didn’t know what she was doing, so she had no shame in doing something stupid and ineffective, even if it was just to try. Well, there was plenty of shame. It was just that there was no one around to see the stupid things that she did try.

Namely, jumping out from the bushes, stooped over with her hands almost running along the floor, charging towards the nearest hen.

It gave a large bucking noise and wings went crazy. The whole group of chickens – what was that called, a flock? - threw up their feathers and darted, all in different directions, like crazy. No wonder – some crazy woman had just jumped at them. Merevaika gritted her teeth and chose one at random, enjoying the strip of red against the feathers coming from her chest as she spiralled after it. Her feet thundered along the floor, darting left and right in a desperate attempt to follow the thing. A root appeared in her path, the knobbly thing threatening to trip her over, and the woman hopped as best as she could, before sliding under a nearby branch as the chicken changed direction suddenly. It flapped past her feet, clucking as it went, and Merevaika kicked up dirt and dust as she scrambled back to an upright position. Jumping forward, her foot caught another pesky root, and she fell, flinging herself at the creature, arms outstretched.

Feathers brushed against her open hands and she landed sharply on her chin, feeling her teeth cut through her tongue. A warm liquid pooled in her mouth, and she spat it out sharply, watching her prey literally slip out of her fingers and disappear in the greenery.

So just chasing the chicken wouldn’t work. That was obvious from the beginning. But she had to give it a go, didn’t she?

There had to be a better way.

The biggest problem was that Merevaika couldn’t seem to think of anything. Chasing the chickens had been her one and only shot at it. And, seeing the lack of success and knowing deep inside her it was a hopeless endeavour anyway, she wasn’t planning on trying again.

Perhaps a trap would be a better method? If she could build some sort of cage, she could put some food inside, set up the door to shut as the creature entered. With a little bit of bait, she’d have as many chickens as she wanted within her grasp.

A little bit of bait, and a little bit of crafting. Not only could Merevaika really not be bothered to spend another day and bit working hard using her fingers on something so meaningless and slow, but she wasn’t sure that she would know how to make it. The idea was about the same as the structure she had made before, and she was certain a smaller version could easily be weaved out of bamboo. Only, she had no idea how to add a door to that. Nor set it up so the door would close once a chicken had wandered inside.

She was a hunter, not a crafter. And that simple bamboo structure had taken the most out of her.

No, a trap that complex could wait until she had exhausted all other possibilities.

How about... something along the same lines, but a lot, lot simpler.

If Merevaika was the cage, in some sense, and she had the bait... Cogs turned her head, ready to be used.

Which left one, rather important, question.

What on Mizahar did chickens like to eat?

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Run Chicken, Run

Postby Merevaika on August 6th, 2017, 10:01 pm

Insects, she had decided. Insects and seeds. Both things Merevaika didn’t exactly have with her, handy. And, as much as she was certain that there were plenty of creatures around that she could simply pick up off the ground, she didn’t feel like she would get enough for her attempt to be worth it. Besides, the woman didn’t fancy crawling along the ground looking for bugs any more than she fancied making a complicated cage trap thing.

No, it was back to civilisation for her. There were plenty of grains at that shop place, she knew that well enough. All she needed was a handful of wheat or something similar, and it would serve as good enough bait – at least, she hoped it would work like that.

Trudging through the jungle, she was glad that she knew this part well. The amount of times she had walked in just this tiny section seemed unbelievable, especially considering the fact that it was so massive, and unexplored. The path was well worn from her not so careful ways with the rainforest plants, and she traced it back quickly, pushing through onto the beach.

The woman stumbled a little more forward, escaping all the harder dirt and reaching where the sand was wet from the water. Using this slightly flatter land as a pathway, she began her brisk walk, darting in and out in a failed attempt to keep her boots at least slightly dry.

Eventually, she gave up with walking on the wet sand, the outer foot almost completely soaked through, and moved towards where it was drier, albeit harder to walk.

The Mercantile appeared in the distance, and her pace quickened, not wanting to waste much time on this useless task when she had chickens to catch.

It was an odd building, just like pretty much every building in the Drykas’ eyes. Instead of good old canvas and supports, it was built from wood, lots of it, so much that it balanced a wooden base against a tree. Up there, camouflaged with all that wood, and the thatched roof, it looked like almost part of the jungle, as if the trees had grown to form a building just like that. It looked unstable as it perched there, not from bad craftsmanship, but Merevaika’s general mistrust.

The only thing she did like about it was how open it was, the woman decided as she scaled the wooden planks for steps along the side. No sturdy four walls out of stone like in Riverfall. This was open in all four directions, giving a nice view of the surrounding ocean, beach and jungle. And a breeze, that flicked through Merevaika’s growing hair as it blew. It was getting longer, considering how long ago it was that she had forsaken all her wraps.

She kept trimming it, for some reason. But, as she thought about it, her hair needed to grow. And, as her finger traced through the strands that clung together in their knots, it needed a new addition.

Perhaps her old wraps were gone. But he needed one.

Before she could think about that too much, she distracted herself with the shop. A friendly greeting came from a woman tending some of the goods. Merevaika paid her little attention, apart from taking in the wave tattoo on her neck that almost seemed to be moving, and the fact that she was dripping wet, soaked hair clinging to her skin.

Moving under the roof area, Merevaika searched for where the food was being stored. At the opposite corner to the woman. Good – it would make it easier to take it. After all, the thief wasn’t planning on paying if she could help it.

Pretending to be browsing, she took a good look at everything laid out before her. Her feet bumped into a small sack, almost knocking it over with her lack of attention towards it. She was glad she didn’t. Ducking down into a squat position, she opened it up, revealing a huge pile of wheat.

Exactly what she was looking for.

With a quick glance to check the shop owner was busy with doing whatever it was she was actually doing, Merevaika grabbed a handful and shoved it in her pocket, aware of how the grain ran through her fingers and how little she actually managed to transfer. Most scattered onto the floor, where it would be lost forever, treaded into boots or slipped between the gaps on the floor and fallen to rest with the sand. She tried another handful, this time smaller so she’d lose less.

Wow. Her pocket was already full. Deciding to go with one last handful – she could carry it in her cupped hand – she filled it up, stepping back and admiring the mess she had made.

She wasn’t the only one who had noticed it. The wet woman had moved over, waiting patiently behind her with a slight look of irritation at all the wasted wheat.

Merevaika turned sharply in a hope to slip out before she got stopped, and was met with her.

“Can I help you?” the shopkeeper asked, gesturing towards the open sack and the wheat, both in Merevaika’s hand and all around where she stood.

Well, it was probably a bit too late to run off with it now. But maybe she could get away with claiming all she had taken was what was in her hand – maybe she had missed the way she had been filling up her pockets.

“How much for this?” she asked, nodding towards what was in her cupped hand. Not much. The shopkeeper could clearly see this, and raised an eyebrow with curiosity. Why did she only need a handful? Deciding not to ask, she tried to figure out a price.

She came up short of a copper miza, and decided it wasn’t quite worth the bother. “Free of charge, as long as you come back and by the rest of it – which’ll be two copper. Alright?” She looked down suspiciously at the way Merevaika covered her bulging pocket with her free hand.

It didn’t really matter if there was more. Merevaika had to come buy the rest of the sack, because there was no chance of avoiding it. Besides, she’d need it eventually. Two copper mizas wasn’t a large price to pay for some chicken feed.

But at least now the shopkeeper had pegged Merevaika as someone to be kept an eye on, especially when she walked into the Mercantile like that.

Merevaika forced out a nod. Then she was off, moving as quickly as she could away from that place, away from the traces of civilisation that touched the beach, and back into the jungle. Back towards the chickens – this time, she was going to get somewhere with trying to catch them.

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