I lay on the makeshift fur bed I made myself last night, resting on my stomach lazily with a good size of the pelt over the top of me, hands crossed under my chin as I watch the early morning birds peck at the scraps I left on my cooking stone. Dancing around and merrily, eating what little I left behind. The fire has long smoldered out and everything around me is dewy with early morning moisture. Everything still, and peaceful, in the morning glow of a newly rising sun, and oddly still. I made it through another night, and I'm still here, waking with a better mood with every day this pans out.
I didn't find a cave or shelter last night, so curled up in the bear pelt, that took me a full four days to scrape and clean and dry out in the sun on the hottest rocks I could find. I'm no expert in tanning, or preserving pelts, but it works enough, even if it's a bit stiff and smelly, and it's worth lugging with me every day, despite the added bulk and weight. I sliced it into four manageable sizes for rolling and binding on my back, two for under me at night, spread out like a thin mattress with some comfort, one rolls up as a make shift pillow, be it a stiff one, and is currently off to one side, and the largest piece I flip fur down and lay over me as a weatherproof blanket, covering on top of the single blanket I carry with me. It keeps me dry anyway, because I don't need the warmth, but I do like the coziness it provides me, even in caves. It gives me a sense of security, and not feeling as exposed when caught in a black surround made of slightly rough fur.
I've been sleeping a little better since that battle. I don't know if it's because I learned something about my own strength, and it boosted my confidence, or if it was just having some slight comfort to use as bedding, and the knowledge I did this all by myself, that helps me sleep a little easier. My senses are not as unstable and panic wired lately, and I feel less on edge.
I mean, I still keep one eye open at all times and stay alert, but I'm not as nervy as I was, and I don't feel quite so bereft in terms of low mood. I feel capable, like I've gotten through the worst and I know I can do this. A newfound self-respect in my own capability, that's changing my whole outlook. Maybe skinning a bear and dealing with that disgustingness showed me I have way more stomach than I thought I did.
I'm learning to turn at will too, improving that ability and can almost turn in my sleep now without a second thought. Easy as breathing the more I do it, and I can sustain it for longer as my stamina builds. I can even turn singular parts, like my hand, without a full body turn, which means I'm gaining the control I needed. Like Colton, who uses his eyes to warn when he doesn't want to use his alpha gift, or turn fully … I'm learning how to do it. I can physically feel when I make my eyes change now.