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What if the humans were not humans? What if the animals were not simply animals?
Everyone in Tala Springs knows that there is something wrong with some of the inhabitants, with the animals living in the woods, because sometimes, they disappear. But the truth is far more surprising than what they think.
The Creek legend in Florida tells that some humans were able to turn into animals, but what if it was the other way around?
“I’m usually alone at night. I don’t mind, I just wish I didn’t feel so… Lonely.”
Neve doesn’t remember much from her childhood. Her father was a rather unfaithful and temperamental Key Buck. His status as a graced caused conflict with his deeply seated animal nature, for it gave him the conscience of his specific species own plight and he grew to resent humans. He rejected his grace and when his doe, Neve’s mother did not want to follow him, he disappeared, never to be heard of again. At times, Neve hopes she’ll catch a whiff of him in the wind, but knows she probably never will. Her mother raised her to the best of her ability as a single mother and a lone doe, having moved to Tala Springs, which was a long way from the habitat of most remaining Key deer. Still, an effort was being developed to reintroduce them in Egmont Key, which wasn’t too far from Tampa and figured that while they weren’t graced, they’d be less lonely. There weren’t many graced Key deer to begin with, and this way Neve could grow up with others her age and of her very special birth indeed. Eventually as Neve grew in to a teenager, her mother felt the very pressing and alarming need to find a mate and finally gave in to the urge when her daughter reached around sixteen years old in human age, moving back to Sugarloaf Key, insistent however that Neve stayed behind. That was the last the young girl ever saw her mother even though they have kept in touch. Nonetheless Neve is aware it is difficult what with her latest half-sibling and it gets lonely at times. Neve carries this chagrin towards her parents inside her heart, not to mention the general awareness she has of her species plight, both graced and not. That is not to say however, that she is the brooding type, to the contrary, her loneliness is both fuelled and a fuel to her gregariously inclined nature. Unlike her much larger white tail counterparts, she is mostly unafraid of humans, both in her animal and human form. She has a tendency to want to get quite close to the regular people around her, and has a strong desire to make friends with all whom she encounters. One could say she is too trusting, which is definitely not a good thing when you mix it with her innocent side and her stubborn desire to only see the good in people, going so far as to not thinking twice about frequenting (or trying to) predators. Her outward self is rather bright, which was the meaning behind her given name, a variation of Niamh (but with a far more sensible spelling). Her optimism is what keeps her going, acting as a constant balm over her inner wounds. Perhaps it is the instinct to mate, perhaps it is the loneliness, but she tends to crush very easily on people though girls particularly, moreso if they have a protective and nurturing way about them, a foil to her own child-like demeanour. Her advances are unfortunately usually rejected, and so with her need to be very affectionate, she’ll take up most boys on their offers to take her out, thinking her feelings towards them are genuine (and sometimes they are). Nevertheless her fickle nature means that, before long she casts her doe eyes on the next girl who smiles at her just kindly enough, and the pattern starts over. As such she’s never had a serious relationship and hasn’t gotten past second base with anyone as of yet, and isn’t conscious of what she wants or needs, following her instinctual cravings, both human and animal. Make no mistake however, she had a feisty side to her and can be passionate about what she believes in, her life goal to try and restore the Key deer population in all the Floridian Keys, studying wildlife conservation in school, working as a lifeguard to support herself. Keep in mind that while it is tempting to think otherwise, particularly because of her small height and innocent demeanour, she is not gullible or a pushover (she’d have to be more grounded for that). She cherishes all lifeforms.