A Tangential Tale from the Fairelands
I thought I was free. But isn’t that always the way?
Truth is, I’d been searching for days to find a forest worth hiding in; in these modern and varied Fairelands, that’s sometimes not the easiest brief. So many towns with only snatches of forest in them.
When I discovered Living Echoes, I believed I had found a place where I could stay for a long time, or at least until the hunters caught up with me.
Why were you being hunted, you ask?
It’s a fair question.
It may be that there are some people who just hunt wood spirits. Dryads, of course, are mystical and magical creatures who can bestow wishes (or curses) if they’ve a mind to.
Perhaps I stole something. That’s what they’d tell you if you asked them, the hunters.
I could be the lost of love of some forest elfin king, where I rather wanted to be lost.
I don’t really think it matters. I was being pursued, against my will, by folk who did not wish me well.
Discovering Living Echoes was like coming home. Home to the triumph of the green, home to the memories of the forest, home to the remembrance of all that is good and missed in the world, and I wanted to stay forever.
There was so much life in the land here, so much beauty spilling over into the very air, I wanted to sink into it and find every little bit of it, and just be blissfully, dryadically, me.
I could always, if I truly wanted, melt into a tree, but that’s a time commitment, and you must find just exactly the right tree. You don’t melt into a tree for just one night. You choose to stay with a tree, over the long haul. You find a yearling sapling, and you nurture it and speak to it, and declare your love… come to think of it, when poets define that dryad/tree relationship as like marriage, we laugh at them. Little mortal marriages, they last five minutes or fifty years. You melt into a bristlecone pine, that’s your fate for thousands of years. It’s not for a hopeful traveller like myself.
But let’s face it: it’s just nicer to live in a forest.
Trees already are birdhouses. Why kill them so you can encourage birds to live in houses that more resemble mortal dwellings? I will never understand. Sometimes, when I see something like this, it makes me sad, but if I allowed that feeling to surface every time I saw such things, well. I’d never stop weeping, because mortal beings do this a lot.
It was shortly after this sad reflection that I heard the sounds of hunters’ horses resounding from the meadow. I ran fast into the nearest copse of trees, where I knew it would be harder for them to find me.
At that moment, I heard the pink flower tree call to me. He offered me safety and contentedness. How many dryads, I wondered, had been convinced to choose a tree under stress or duress? I could hear the hoofbeats. When I reached out, I could feel sweet sap warm to my touch. Oh, it would be all right. Here was a beautiful tree, in a beautiful place. I could learn to love him in time. I knew I could. And it is so easy, you know, for a dryad to become one with a tree. Not so easy to separate oneself: if you leave, he dies, if he dies, you die: it’s a struggle, but if the alternative is death, well. I caressed his bard with my fingertips.
Oh, but then, oh! Then! Then, I smiled, and knew I would be free for a while longer. Because, just as I closed my eyes to take that step and give myself to this beautiful pink flowered tree…
I felt a shift in the air.
I felt moisture on my lips.
I smelled ozone and magic.
That was a joyful drawing-away, because that was the moment the mists began to rise around the Fairelands, and I knew these hapless hunters would be sent back to their own Realms.
As for me, yes, I’ll go back to the realm of my mother-forest, for now. But I will live to travel another day, to see more worlds and wonders, and I will not fade into the mists as the Fairelands do. Somewhere, whether I’m visible to you or not, I’ll be searching for another place like Living Echoes. And maybe I’ll stay there for a long, long while.
Notes, Credits, & SLURLs
- Living Echoes is one of twenty regions that make up the 2022 Relay for Life of Second Life’s Fantasy Faire, to benefit the American Cancer Society. Aarkenfen is designed by by Kadaj Yoshikawa and Janire Coba and sponsored by Harshlands & Belle Epoque. Fantasy Faire opened on the 22nd of April at 12pm SLT (that’s US Pacific Time!). Visit before the 11th of May, when all the Fairelands will fade back into the mists, never to be seen again as they are this year. While official programming for this year’s Faire is now over, the mists do not rise until tomorrow, 11 May, so until that day, you can still wander through the Fairelands, find something beautiful to wear, or photograph, or remember, and embark upon or finish the Fairelands Quest.
- Seda’s Skin: Petrichor & Trap: Neriverus, Light (April Patreon gift for Petrichor fans).
- Seda’s Hair: Petrichor & Trap: Zinnia Hair
- Seda’s Eyes: Petrichor, WebMind Eyes
- Top & Skirt: AtaMe, Iris Armor & Skirt
- Other items not featured at Fantasy Faire or created by Fantasy Faire merchants: Body: Maitreya; Head: Lelutka: EvoX Gaia.