((For something of a mood music I did while writing this
The dead wolf could still appreciate the beauty of the sea. It was a remote thing, listening to the waves, like he was remembering the sea as it was when he was alive, rather than experiencing it in the here and now. The waves crashed against the sandy beach, crabs scuttling and bickering for bits and pieces that washed up on the shore. His paws gouged into the sand, as he approached the water. Frost, always a bit of frost, formed from the waves, miniature ice flows appearing in the sea foam as it washed over his boots.
Slowly, reverently, he removed a soot stained ring from around his neck, burnished nearly black, though there were still hints of gold around the holy symbol. The dead skin sizzled slightly as the holy symbol of love and promise burned the tips of his clawed hand. The pain barely registered as a twitch in the Worgen��_��__s ears, as he watched the waves.
��_��__A new year.��_��__ His voice was rough, hollow, and near toneless, like all of his kind, but thickened further with emotion and pain. ��_��__We used to do this every new year, right after Winter��_��__s Veil. I hated the sand, and the cold, but��_��__��_��__
��_��__It was your tradition. Your families tradition. To greet the new year with the tides, in with the new, out with the old.��_��__ Glacierfur shook his head, snow falling slightly.
��_��__And you accepted me. I did not deserve you, or how your family accepted me. I know I said it, but I was never certain how much you knew I appreciated it. Words weren��_��__t my strong suit, as your father said.��_��__
With his free hand, he removed a beautiful red mageroyal flower from a small pack, gingerly grasping the stem. The mageroyal was still as red and alive as it had been when it was given to him. He stared at the flower, and a memory stirred.
A bundle of similar flowers, in his hands, much less beautiful than the flower he now held.
A raven haired woman, pretty, light brown skin, light brown eyes, staring over at him. An offering. Words he still can��_��__t remember. And a smile brighter than the dawning sun appearing on her face, a sparkle and warmth in her eyes that even now, years gone, tugged at something in his chest. The memory faded, grief and pain thickening his voice even further.
��_��__I have��_��__ tried to honor what you would do. What you would want me to do. To be the man you loved, and would continue to love. I think I’ve found… people that might help me do that.”
There was a long, quiet pause, as he listened once more to the rolling waves.
“I miss you so much.��_��__
He clenched the ring tightly in his hands, and closed his eyes. His chest heaved, even though he did not need to breathe. His pain, his torment, was that he remembered everything. But he would not trade this pain for anything. It was his pain.
For a moment, while his eyes were closed, spectral hands caressed his cheek, the matted fur ruffling as if from a breeze.. He leaned his head into the ghostly touch, then opened his eyes��_��__ and there was nothing there. The worgen shook his head, and threaded the simple chain through the ring once more, replacing it around his neck, the ring hanging low enough to be near his heart. He took the mageroyal flower, and tossed it gently into the sea, the tide carrying it slowly out.
��_��__A new year. New beginnings.��_��__ The dead wolf��_��__s voice was stronger, determined once more. ��_��__I will see you again, I swear.��_��__
The worgen nodded once, then turned away from the sea, paws digging through the sand once again.
Behind him, ghostly fingers brushed the petals of the flower as it rocked back and forth in the waves. A transparent young woman appeared, salt water rolling through her feet as she picked up the mageroyal. She smiled after the retreating worgen, before fading just as abruptly as she appeared.