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“Initial Survey of Quaisholm Cave Paintings, Origin Unknown, presumed Upper Mesolithic” by SakaraFox and Rob MacWolf (part 1 of 2)

Sana the shaman goes alone into the wilderness, seeking spirits. So who, then are the strangers he finds there? 

Today’s story is the first of two parts of “Initial Survey of Quaisholm Cave Paintings, Origin Unknown, presumed Upper Mesolithic” by SakaraFox and Rob MacWolf, who are testing how this podcast handles collaborative fiction, and you can find more of their stories on their respective SoFurry pages.

Read for you by Khaki, your faithful fireside companion.

thevoice.dog | Apple podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

If you have a story you think would be a good fit, you can check out the requirements, fill out the submission template and get in touch with Khaki on Twitter or Telegram!

Transcript
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you're listening to the voice of dog.

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I'm cocky.

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Your faithful FireSIGHT companion.

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And today's story is the first of two pots of initial survey of the

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Quezon cave paintings, origin, unknown presumed, upper, Maryland.

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Bye Sakara Fox and Rob MacWolf.

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We're testing how this podcast handles collaborative fiction, and you can find

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more of their stories on their respective.

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So ferry pages please enjoy initial survey of Quezon cave paintings, origin, unknown

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presumed upper Mesolithic by Sakara Fox and Rob MacWolf part one of two.

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The sunset lit the Hills behind him.

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The breeze lifted the trees over him and the path stretched out behind him.

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Others of his tribe maybe would have said there was no one else there.

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Sauna knew better.

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Not quite 12 days ago.

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One of the young lent of Augie who Nota that he, this little weasel who seen

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no more able to understand explanations when someone spoke them to him.

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Then when sauna tried to give them inside, I've spent an entire afternoon

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lying in a Blackberry patch, eating his fill, and then had left without

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setting aside anything for the spirits.

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the next morning, everyone who went out gathering had found

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all the berries fully tasteless.

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Santa, I hoped it would pass.

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But then as his teachers once told him, hoping was just

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another way to say doing nothing.

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So when the days went by and proved his teacher, right,

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he'd set out to do something.

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It wasn't long before the throng of the camp faded into the distance, the

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frantic rhythm of the drums and the proud voices telling tall tales became faint.

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Eventually it was all drowned out beneath chipper bird song

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and the subtle drone of the wind.

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As it rustled the fair trees, Sana drew a long breath, breathe out the

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tightness from his chest with it.

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He could almost have felt alone out here, the smell of forest, the only

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background to his own scent and scent as any lent of all, he would tell you

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was the soul, the peace rarely broken by the course croaking of a CRO or magpie.

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But that was simply untrue out here in the forest.

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There were all manner of unseen souls, their eyes, fixed upon the

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lone Sharman who walked among.

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Spirit of all kinds, those who dwelt in the Moss covered Oaks and who could

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whisper in the wind to each other or to those lucky or unlucky enough to be able

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to hear them the hair that hit in the Bracken and knew the secrets of which

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plants could heal, which sickness, if you could catch him alive and knew how to.

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And the unseen powers of life and death and the spaces in between.

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But right now there was something, even more something which was completely

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imperceptible to the untrained eye, like a rock underneath soft Bracken

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that you couldn't see, but you couldn't help, but feel once you sat on it,

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there was a powerful spirit here.

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One that wasn't usually pre.

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As the auto glanced about himself through the gaps in the, for trunks

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and beneath the boulders painted with his tribe's portraits, he felt a strong

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gusts rush over his sleek Altorfer sana shivered and pulled the reindeer

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skin cloak tighter around his body.

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His legs left, exposed to the gust by his short scrappy skirt.

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Perhaps it was a sign.

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The timing was certainly convenient and he had learned never to take a coincidence.

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As his teacher had said, one senses could only be honed so

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sharply, but they are useless without a sharp mind to wield them.

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The Otter grit, his teeth, looking around himself again and spying, nothing.

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He so badly wanted to raise his bulbous, autumn muzzle to

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the sky and bark show yourself.

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Of course, nothing was ever that easy when you lack the tongue to scream with,

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but the auto Sharman had his ways and if they failed, they will always rockstar.

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Hopefully it wouldn't come to that as raised his cup to balls, to his

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muzzle, staring up at the moon, as it hung in the fiery evening, sky blowing

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the alter pursed his lips, and began to whistle the sound weaving between

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his fingers and like magic filling the air with the lonely call of an owl.

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It was the best he could do.

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And the spirits would surely know that the shrill echoes of the

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whistle rang around the trees from.

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Then faded, no reply.

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Just the sunset, the wind stirred forest, the path as before, but rather

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than be reassured the lack of response increased rather than a swaging, the

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sense of presence hanging over the forest.

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Of course you feel like you're being looked at even harder.

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Santa would have mattered to himself.

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If he could.

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You just shouted at them.

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. He has a dated when he'd been young.

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Well, he was still young, especially for a Sharman, but when he'd been younger

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and learning, . He'd been ashamed of that one finger fear still laid on his heart.

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When he approached the spirits, it was reasonable to be sure it was

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understandable to fear the spirit world and the spirits that dwelt

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their spirits were unknowable and invisible and worked in ways.

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No one could understand, but it was his calling his work to know

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them, to see them to understand.

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But his teacher gone among the spirits himself now had taught him.

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No fear is a tool like any other, you can learn to use it.

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It shows you where the border lies between the ordinary world

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and the world of the spirits.

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It teaches you or, and the joy of all.

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And it teaches you then when there is, but one thing to be done, there is no

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point in complaining how hard that is.

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The only thing is to do.

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The fear had never really turned into all.

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Santa would have admitted if he could speak.

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So it was just as well that he couldn't, but it did mean he could be sure he wasn't

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alone out here in the lowering night.

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Well enough, he hadn't meant to be.

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He went to decent for a long past the point where he could no longer hear the

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camp, where he had felt the fear of the spirits brushed the back of his neck.

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And there he sat down and made himself comfortable up in the sky.

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Sana carefully observed the few stars that have begun to shine

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through the fading canvas of dark Amber, every passing moment.

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They seem to grow in intensity, joined by hundreds, more of their

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kin as the night settled upon.

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The auto shirt, the deer skin cloak from over his shoulder.

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And from over the strap of the rolled up pack, he placed it in his lap and

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began to rummage through its contents.

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First firewood, a bundle of brittle Birch branches tied together by a senior.

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Useless on the town.

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Sauna dropped it at his side and delve back into the small pack.

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Next, a pair of leather pouches in either Paul, he squeezed each one, respectively

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one was soft, its contents deformed like wet clay in his grasp, the other

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rustled, crunched and threatened to spear his thumb with a nasty splinter, tallow

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and kindling, respectively, whatever spirits were out there, they'd have to

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wait while Sarnai said to work building.

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Perhaps they watched him tip some of the dry grass from the

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Tinder pouch onto the Stony dirt.

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Then take the tallow pouch and pour a thin layer of the succulent

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smelling fat upon the kindling.

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Perhaps not.

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. It would have taken a Sharman to say for sure.

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And this one was busy with a stomach that grumbled as his tallow

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smeared, Paul passed beneath.

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He couldn't help, but look down at his pack and the supplies within the had to

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focus, build the fire, then use it to warm his night meal, picking up the pace.

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The auto then reached for his belt and retrieved a piece of Flint

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and rough piece of golden stone that twinkled in the Starlight.

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He positioned the strange golden stone over the kindling,

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grasping the Flint in his other.

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Slowly he lowered and raised his arm, taking a few practice swings

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to ensure he made the perfect strike, like any good hunter.

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Then he raised the Flint high above his head.

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If he could speak, he would have offered a quick incantation

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to summon forth the sparks.

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The odd NATA needed the spirits, or to be always with him in vocations

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were for hunters and riders.

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Those who had.

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It would still have made Santa feel better to be able to ask

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in the end it was not necessary.

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So I brought down the Flint lead it's pointed head scrape against the golden

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stone, tiny seeding sparks, spat into the fat soaked kindling, which caught light

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almost instantly sighing with relief.

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He dropped both the Flint and the golden stone stooping low and

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blowing gently upon the newborn fire with his arms wrapped around.

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He would give it his strength and let it grow so that it may protect him in return.

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As the smoldering orange light burst into flames, sinus scuttled backwards,

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reaching around to grab the Birch firewood and quickly assembling it in a pile

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around the burning heart, to his relief.

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The flames grew strong devouring, the Birch with happy crackles and hisses.

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A sense of pride grew with it in his gut to strike a fire.

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So skillfully took practice and a lot of.

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Sliced fingers, cracked knuckles and singed for perhaps two.

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It took an affinity for the spirit world.

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Fire was not a thing entirely of this world.

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After all it lived, breathed ate, grew old, just like any animal, but

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without a body on the soul and like any soul, it had its own sense.

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It was only as the flames began to rise toward the night sky that

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Santa realized just how dark it had gotten beyond the glowing aura

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of his campfire lay only darkness.

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The fir trees silhouetted in the Moonlight, the birds had stopped

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singing replaced by the hum and chirp of insect, hiding an old logs Knight made

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solitude and distance from the camp.

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Somehow even more peaceful.

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And the tension in this for dissipated.

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For a moment.

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He was contented to simply be hold reaching for a strip of venison from

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his pack, securing it on the end of his bone knife, holding it out

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toward the fire to cook that could wait as he gazed up into the sky.

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The site of the star scape so much vast and endless beauty that it looked as if

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he could fall into it, never ceased to make his eyes widened his lips tightened

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and his heart leap in his chest.

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That was probably what his teacher had meant for him to grow his fear into

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Santa thought shelter, the fear breathe gently on it, let it take the fuel.

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And it would blaze up to something like what he felt for the stars.

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Or maybe he couldn't and like speech.

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This was just another thing he'd have to learn to make.

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Do without hail a tired gray voice, interrupted his reverie,

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share your fire with a traveler sauna, felt his whole body tense.

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Then he forced himself to calm and looked up an old Wolverine, skinny

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and sinewy, broad hat and rough.

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Bowls strung across his back, quiver hung from his belt next to the long knife.

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He's still just at the limit of the circle of fire light, watching sauna

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at just the right angle that the fire glinted off the backs of his eyes, saunas

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mind raced the signs he would use with

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Well, a stranger might not recognize them.

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He would need to be sure the gestures he was about to use

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to say yes, please sit down.

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But I cannot.

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Couldn't be misinterpreted to mean something like I help the marrow

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of your bones will be delicious.

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I will swear the Wolverine said apparently mistaken.

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His paws for caution, that no hand of mine will strike you.

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That no weapon of mine will injure you that no theft of mine

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she'll touch anything of yours.

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Our gesture to the other side of the fire, then chopped his hand back and

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forth once sharply across as opening.

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Uh, shame.

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He didn't have any gestures for, I wasn't suspicious.

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I was just trying to think how to say the thing I just said, the Wolverine

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at least didn't seem offended.

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He nodded perceptively and settled onto a rock, a little dishonors.

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Right?

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So you cannot speak, but you can yet understand my words.

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Yes.

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Sauna nodded.

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I hadn't thought when I proposed meeting here that anyone

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else might be here already.

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The Wolverine pulls something from his pack.

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Please take as thanks for your hospitality.

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Fresh meat, saunas nose said grouse or ptarmigan killed only today.

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A much more succulent meal than the dried venison he'd brought there still

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a very powerful spirit, somewhere nearby sauna's intuition said, so

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don't get distracted by a friendly.

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Well, a little distraction couldn't hurt, right?

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Said saunas hunger.

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And it would have been rude to reject such a kind offer, especially as he could

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not politely decline with his words.

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Insistence was the only way he could get stuff across to some people.

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. So bowing his head slightly, the audit took the meat from this new found

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stranger, bringing it to his muzzle Sana.

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Bird without a doubt, plump and surely juicy.

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He was careful not to look too eager.

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As he sharpened the pine stick to mounted over the fire, perhaps it

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would help sharpen his senses though.

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The hunters would say it makes you sluggish.

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Glancing back up at the stranger up place.

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Two fingers on his forehead, then pointed first at the Wolverine, a

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gesture commonly reserved to say goodbye to the newly deceased, but

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Santa had come to use it to give thanks.

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Hopefully the Wolverine would understand the Sharman felt a

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weight lift from his shoulders.

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As the Wolverine offered a polite smile, waited in patient silence

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while it sizzled, and finally let his gaze fall to the ground.

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As they both tucked into their.

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If Sana could speak, he would have indulged in pleasantries

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and small talk like his fellow lender, or, Hey, what's your name?

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Where do you come from?

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And what's this meeting you speak.

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Perhaps it was better not knowing the little voice in the back of his head

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reminded him of the various cultists that appeared in the forest over the

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last few summers, though, if stories were to be believed, a cultist wouldn't

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have waited to make such an easy.

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Saunas, mind couldn't help, but recall the terrible fate of one chief.

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It was only last winter when they'd been found in a cave that

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body battered by a skilled butcher tortured slowly, deliberately.

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And for some information, nobody knew.

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Spirit rest his soul thought Santa, as he placed his two fingers on his forehead.

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Again, your empathy is strong for a Sharman.

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Commented.

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The Wolverine was glancing up from his meal with sharp knowing eyes.

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Isn't it.

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A hindrance at times.

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And why said a new voice warmer and younger, but even, and why said a new

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voice warmer and younger, but even deeper than the Wolverines, would empathy ever

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be a hindrance, a Wolf tall chest bear, dark leggings, and breech cloth blade

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wrapped in deer skin and tied with a rabbit gut thong, but from the Glint

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of the Haft, it was clearly obsidian, furrow, the color of ripe blackberries,

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so that he had to get very close and deed before Sana could make out the difference

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between him and the night behind him.

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He made to sit by the fire opposite sauna.

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The Wolverine stopped him with a short.

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Isn't my fire.

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He not at sideways at Sana.

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It is the Wolf blinked.

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His saffron colored eyes seemed to soak up the fire light to the

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point they almost glowed like the clouds around the setting sun.

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My apologies.

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Then he said to Santa, I did not realize we were your guests.

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He glanced slyly at the Wolverine, the you some, this one, there was none of mine.

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I someone, no one, the Wolverine sniffed, he was here by pure chance.

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Has if that means anything, the Wolf scoffed for what it's worth

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friend I'm entirely on your side.

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Where is a Sharman?

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Where is any man without his empathy?

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, well, sign bit his lip.

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He didn't think he had a side, but nonetheless he inclined

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his head toward the black Wolf.

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Touched two fingers to his forehead and extended a fist.

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Uh, do not understand.

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The Wolf purse, Dartford lips.

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He means thank you.

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Interjected the Wolverine.

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Oh, said the Wolf.

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I thought it was a gesture of farewell for the deceased.

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This was the first of two parts of initial survey of Quezon cave

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paintings, origin, unknown presumed upper Mesolithic by Sacra Fox.

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And Rob MacWolf read for you by cocky your faithful fireside companion tune.

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In next time to find out who these mysterious strangers

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are and what they want with.

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As always, you can find more stories on the web@thevoice.dog, or find the

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show wherever you get your podcasts.

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Thank you for listening to the voice of dog.

About the Podcast

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The Voice of Dog
Furry stories to warm the ol' cockles, read for you by Khaki, your faithful fireside companion. If you have a story that would suit the show, you can get in touch with @khakidoggy on Twitter and Telegram, and khakidoggy@me.com by e-mail.

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