After The Opera

It’s All Here

I remember everything. From the first haunting strains, through the climax of Act I, and into the tears of Act II.

I Dream The Details

The details come to me in dreams: the places we went, the melodies we shared, the deep red of roses, the underpinning of music, and the love of music, and the longing for the end of that phrase, the reach for resolution, and the coda, and the bar line.

And now, the story.

But why tease you with these murmurs and adjectives? So what if it haunts me still? So what if they all suggested it mustn’t really have happened. No, no: I think it’s time.

Are you ready to hear my story?

To Be Continued….

Enchantment’s Phantom of the Opera Round opens Today, 15 November, 2020!

Featured Enchantment Items:
Hair: KMH, F149
Gown: Poet’s Heart, Prima Donna Gown
Jewellery: Kunglers, Emmy Necklace & Earrings
Mirror: Old Treasures, Phantom’s Mirror
Sofa: Old Treasures, Phantom’s Opera Lounger
Get all this and so much more at Enchantment, and start your story.

Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Evolution Fleur Unbound|
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: Wyrd, Edda
Eyes: Arte, Lolly Eyes
Eyeshadow: SlackGirl, 50
Lipstick: TheMars, Apple Crush
Moon & Stars: Landscapes Unlimited, Off Sim Starry Night


Spiderweb

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, she cast her wishes
Into the air like feathers from an owl.

Like feathers from an owl

Like feathers from an owl, they twirled and blew
And who knows why the sky accepted them
And who knows for what purpose wishes drop
The air itself turned thicker, that she felt
But nothing else revealed itself: not yet.

Down the path she walked

And so she made her slow and careful way
Past the teller’s house, and through the door
All made of books, the substance of her life.
Beyond that first door, something felt awry,
As different as her mind from yesterday.

Something felt awry

Something felt awry, yes, out of placement,
She’d have said, if she’d been thinking clearly,
But she wasn’t. Just echoes of wishes
Occupied her mind: they were pervasive.
It was enough to make her think, Turn back.

Turn back, she thought

Turn back, she thought, but only in her head.
And as the path grew darker, she could feel
A weight upon her back. It grew and grew
Until she was convinced she’d have a stoop
Forever; that’s how heavy this weight seemed.

The Tree Of Shadows

She reached the Tree of Shadows just in time
To feel a finger tapping on her cheek.
Another finger tapped her shoulder, then
A rhythmic pulsing clear upon her back.
And so of course she turned to find the cause.

What have I done?

“I take them back!” she said. “Yes, every wish.
“I take them all back: I will keep them all!”
And from her back, the golden spider laughed.
“It’s good for you that I am not a cheat,”
The spider said. “You get one chance at this,
“No more. Are we agreed?” The spider clicked,
Then spoke no more with words. The wind went low,
As if the wood itself listened in then.

A close escape!

A close escape! She knew she’d made a deal
And felt the oath fix tight into her heart.
No more idle wishes: she’d have to work
At that one, but she knew she’d make the rule,
And keep it, if she wanted to survive
In her own space and keep her sanity.

Spiderweb, Spiderweb

Notes & Credits:
The Golden Back Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embed, Gilded. Available at Necrotize!
The Night Blue Skin: Wyrd, Alva, in special fantasy tone Frozen. Available at Trick Or Treat Lane through the first of November!
The Stunning Spider-Dress: Oubliette, Arachne Dress, Onyx. Available at Trick Or Treat Lane through the first of November! (comes with the leg ribbons as part of the dress panty)
The Equally Stunning Spider-Necklace: Oubliette, Arachne Necklace. Available at Trick Or Treat Lane through the first of November!
The Ice Blue Crown: Eve, Valindra’s Crown, Black Ice
The Multicoloured Eyes: Petrichor, Jamus Eyes
The Spider-Shoes: Sheba, Willow Heels
The Neatly Coiffed Hair: Magika, Midnight
The Spider: Salt & Pepper, Web Crawler Spider Companion, Gold
Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Book Forest bits & Bobs:
Sign: 8f8, Storyteller’s Burrow, Sign
Background Books: Multiple creators; IM Gwen Enchanted in world if you want to know more!
Book Path, Una, Book Path
Creepy Tree with musical instruments: HarshLands, Cursed Tree
Instruments:
Violin: UnKindness, The Unveiling Violin
Cello & Harp, DRD, Victorian Music Room, Cello, Harp
Tuba: MadPea Cursed Collection, Tuba
Owl: MoonAmore+Cureless, Owlsome Owl
Spiderwebs: DDD, Dewdrop Cobwbs

I wanted to write something about the fickleness of wishes, and I remembered Joan Osborne’s song Spiderweb. It worked with a lot of great Halloween items, and the Nefekalum Tattoo gave our spider the perfect portal from which to emerge.

Spiderweb — Joan Osborne
I dreamed about Ray Charles last night
And he could see just fine
Dreamed about Ray Charles last night
And he could see just fine you know
I asked him for a lullaby
He said “Honey I don’t sing no more”
No more no more no more
Ray don’t sing no more
He said “Since I got my eyesight back
my voice has just deserted me.
No ‘Georgia On My Mind’ no more
I stay in bed with MTV.”
Then Ray took his glasses off
And I could look inside his head
Flashing like a thunderstorm
I saw a shining spider web
Spider web
Spider web
Spider web
In Ray Charles’ head
I dreamed about Ray Charles last night
He took me flying in the air
Showed my own spider webs
Said, “Honey, you had best take care.
The world is made of spider webs
The threads are stuck to me and you
Be careful what you’re wishing for
‘Cause when you gain you just might lose”
You just might lose your
Spider web
Spider web
Spider web
What Ray Charles said
When you’re feelin’ lonely
When you’re hidin’ in your bed
Don’t forget your string of pearls
Don’t forget your spider web
When I go to sleep tonight
Don’t let me dream of brother Ray
No, no, no, don’t
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he sees
Just like him best the other way
Spider web
Spider web
Spider web
What Ray Charles said
In Ray Charles head
All I got’s my spider web
Keepin’ me alive
c’mon Ray

https://youtu.be/Txu8tss7aJ4

Season of Celebration

The last three months of the mortal calendar year, beginning with the end of our spiritual year and ending with the beginning of the next mortal calendar year, are always a whirlwind for me.

It’s easy to let it overwhelm you.

If you start out sprinting, you’ll lose your stamina by the end of the season, and that does no good for anybody. That’s years, decades, even, of advice speaking.

But then The Looking Glass makes a gown like this!

But then, Sharni Azalea makes a gown like this, and you realise that Wyrd Witch could paint a skin so perfectly to go with it…and suddenly it doesn’t matter that you were trying to ease into the Party Quarter, such as it is, and you can’t resist trying on half a dozen different hairstyles, makeup changes, and the first party of the season becomes the same sort of goal that it would be if it were the only party of the season, all thanks to the amazing and talented designers you’re proud to know.

It’s enough to give a Faery Queen hope!

And hope, my loves, in hard times—hope is sometimes the only blessing we have. And really, even if you’re the Faery Queen in Awenia, who can resist trying on four different Exile hairstyles until you find exactly the one you want? I ask you: Who could resist that? It’s a rhetorical question of course, my darlings, because the answer is absolutely no-one, and you already knew that.

We are near halfway through October, and that means the first big parties are just around the corner. And so my loves, I advise you to do as I say, not as I do, and take it at an easy pace. Take it gently. Feel it as a quiet wonder, and not that brittle, excited wonder you feel right before the biggest disappointment of your life.

And if you can’t do that, well.

Dance.

Dance your feet off.

Shouldn’t everything be a dance?

Because, really—if you play it right—shouldn’t everything be a dance?

Be safe out there. Mind your manners. Don’t tell lies. And if you fancy dancing, head over to Trick Or Treat Lane to get your skin painted this glorious shade of leaf, and then make your way to the Archipelago, where you will find the Fallen Gods 13th Anniversary Celebration in full swing, and where you can yourself get The Temple Peacock Dress.

Notes and Credits:
Skin: Wyrd, Anya in Leaf, one of three special colours for this season, available exclusively at Trick Or Treat Lane.
Dress & Earrings: The Looking Glass, The Temple Peacock Dress, available at the Fallen Gods 13th Anniversary Celebration Market.

Head: Catwa, HDPro Soft
Feather Brows: DS’Elles, Feather Eyebrows for Catwa
Eyes: LeForme, Lili Eyes
Body: Maitreya
Nails: Venge, Stilletto, Tranquility
Hair: All from Exile—
1. Lesha
2. Versailles
3. Smolder
4. Jenna

PROM-PIT Spot, Take 1

Music swells, a romantic chord progression working up from the fifth to the one, and then, a calming….

VOICEOVER:

She’s always wanted this. Your little girl. Your princess. Your… angel.

Well, maybe not your angel….

But it’s her dream, to wear a beautiful gown, to have her hair done, to step out with all her friends….

Even if, for her own safety and the safety of others, you have had to have a pocket universe installed in your home and calling the entities with whom she associates friends is….

Musical riff

VO: well, it’s a bit of hyperbole really, isn’t it? But she wants this. She needs this.

So innocent and vulnerable!

She wants to feel like any other seventeen-year-old. Innocent, vulnerable, catching the eye of that cute…. um, well, being across a crowded room. It’s important to her development as a teenager—and as a demon.

That’s why we created PROM-PIT. It’s the best way for your demon child to experience that traditional coming-of-age celebration party, the high school prom, without making national news or feasting guiltily on the entrails of the junior class for weeks afterward.

Perfectly Recalled

PROM-PIT turns that pocket universe into a beautiful formal dance dreamscape. Popular themes include:

  • Come Sail Away
  • I Will Remember You
  • Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Born This Way
  • Frozen Frolic
  • Spring Fling
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Harvest Moon
  • Christmas Cotillion

First, we terraform and decorate! Don’t worry; we have safe holding spots in case your lovely one is a bit territorial!

Then, we’re there to document the occasion! Our photographers and videographers will take a few hours before the festivities begin so you and your loved ones will have a scrapbook to remember her the way she was on this beautiful night.

Candid Shots, Too!

We include candid shots of your precious spawn having genuine fun! Because every teenager deserves to have this much fun, at least on this one special night.

We’ll even take it to the limit!

We even know how to make sure we capture at least one photograph of her after she’s, well… broken a few rules and might be getting a bit too loud for the neighbours! Good thing those pocket universes are completely soundproof, isn’t it?

If your precious demon child is beginning to long for a “normal teenage experience,” whatever that is, why not give us a call? There’s no obligation, and our quotes are quick and reasonable.

These wonderful years are so fleeting, aren’t they? Our little darlings grow up so fast. They blood their first kills, mature, leave the nest (and maybe some survivors!), and move on into the world.

The most valuable thing in the world, in the universe, is a memory.

Make one this year, with PROM-PIT

When she’s on her own island, calling sailors to their dooms or luring the unwary in to her net of lust and lies, she’ll thank you for this beautiful scrapbook. You’ll each get a copy.

The Woman She Could Be

Call PROM-PIT today, and help her see the woman she could be. At least for a little while.

Notes and Credits:

  • The one-of-a kind demon skin: Wyrd, Anya, in special demon tone Blot (This will be at the Dark Style Fair, which opens on 9 October!)
  • The Stunning look-how-my-hooves-gleam-in-this-dress gown, Senzafine, Hecate Gown (You can get this right now at We Love Roleplay!)
  • Horns: Petrichor, Anathaema Bare Horns (Back at the Petrichor Main Store now!)
  • Gold Face Tattoo: Nefekalum, Guardian
  • Gold Body Tattoo: Nefekalum, Avalon’s Gift, Gold
  • Hair: Exile, Eri
  • Head: Catwa, HDPro Soft Mesh Head
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Wings, Tail & Hooves, Sweet Thing, Demon Wings, Demon Tail, Demon Hooves
  • Nails: Venge, Maitreya Stiletto Nails, “Flourish”
  • Eyes: Yoshi, Lee Eyes
  • Special thanks to Lucia Blackheart, Bu Lionheart, and Qyrsha, from the amazing and supportive Petrichor discord group, for help with finding just the right demon parts and being kind to me even though I’d never really put together a demon before. Thanks to all of you, she’s the perfect Demon Prom Queen!

An Extra Place at the Table

It is October in Awenia. And so we watch the world change, and sometimes we make the world change, as our magical year turns toward its ending. And yes, we believe that inside all endings there are also beginnings, and that is how we see the world on a wheel. Our Three Realms, Land, Sea, Sky, they all live in this wheel and on this cycle. As we near the turning point of the cycle, we mark where our old year passes into the new. In Awenia, because we are a Realm of inspiration, this marking goes on throughout the month of October.

To remember our departed, recently and ancient, every table gains an extra setting at this time.

An Extra Place

In some traditions, this practice is known as the Dumb Supper, and everything is prepared oppositely with everything usually on the right placed on the left, for example. Here, there is so thin a veil every day between worlds and realms, we do not bother with this ritual aspect.

Instead, we concentrate on beauty

Instead, we concentrate on making the space beautiful, welcoming, inviting, in the hopes that our honoured departed, be they recently gone from us or from many centuries ago, will find our tables to their liking.

For this year’s Sacred Meadow Table, I have found the most beautiful tableware, produced by master craftswoman Nodnol Jameson and her Kraftwork house. These arrived just as I was beginning to Turn Awenia to Autumn. They were part of a larger seasonal decorating package called a Decorate that I have enjoyed receiving for many years. This time of year, the contents are often focused on the more popular aspects of our Autumn holidays, the spooky fun, and the spooky creepy, and while we love those things in Awenia as well (Her Majesty will personally kiss you if you bring her candy corn!), we do take a more meditative view of these days.

Cats and Cups

So, this month, while you’re getting ready for your spooky fun and working on memorising your best ghost story or perfecting the perfect Hallowe’en costume, take a moment, if you can find one, and consider why we honour the dead. Why do we venerate our ancestors? For what reasons do we hold them in our memories and our hearts? How would the repast before us be possible, if we truly existed on our own, in some bubble, and had no ancestors, no giants on whose shoulders we could stand?

A Place at the Table

And, if the spirit moves you, set an extra place at your table, too. And have dinner with your father, your grandmother, your long-lost relative who gave some part of themselves so that you could be you.

Back, and Forward

Now, imagine—in a hundred years’ time, in five hundred years’ time, who will set a place at their table and hope to share a meal with you?

Notes and Credits:
The table setting: Kraftwork, Fall Dinnerware, for the 2020 Halloween DecoCrate
The Table, Chairs, & Benches: Raindale, Maplemoor
The Cats (both stone and sleeping) Maru-Kado
The Unicorn & Pony: Teegle
The Pond: Two Moon Gardens
The Statue: HarshLands, Spring Guardian
The Standing Stones: Studio Skye, Skye Standing Stones
The Castle In The Distance: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle
The Ground Cover: Happy Mood, Sweet Garden Grass 08
Prominent Trees: The Little Branch
Purple Bush: Cube Republic, Useful Bush
Environment: Landscapes Unlimited, Sweetwater Valley
Stars: Landscapes Unlimited, Starry Night

Look Back With Love; Look Forward With Hope

What We Become

They tell you when you start the road
They tell you that the road is long
They don’t tell you it never ends
They don’t tell you that it’s all hills

And I am tired

It’s beautiful, it’s beautiful
It’s long, it’s hard, and I am tired
And here among these picture books
Perhaps I’ll rest a little while

Not my quarter

They’re all well-kept, the picture books
Like someone reads them every day
Not overgrown, like my quarter,
With dead grass, and mushrooms, and moss.

It’s a stark difference

It’s a stark difference, isn’t it?
From picture-book to literature,
Look how they throw their things away
And paint the wood in shades of grey

What do they know?

For all that rhyme and whimsy lost
Another suited mannequin
Can take its place among the rest
And lurch through life without a song

But does the moon make up for it?

The thinning of the atmosphere,
I admit, makes the sky more clear
But does the moon make up for it?
I don’t think so. No; I do not.

Watch the pages fly

My anger turns into an orb
My wings release me from the flames
You don’t respect this treasure trove?
I’ll burn the whole place to the ground.

Weep for Alexandria

Now, find me in a gallery
Called Weep for Alexandria
Some artist painted tears on me
And said I must have felt despair.

Despair? You fool. No: that is hate.
At what I watched you do to them,
My books, my scrolls, my poetry
And all the people who loved them.

I give and give, and every time
You answer me ungratefully
No more chances, children of earth
This time the fires will never end.

Notes and Credits:
Burn It All Down Gown: Senzafine, Maerwynn (Get it at We Love Roleplay!)
Weary As My Soul Skin: Poema, Metis (This is at The Darkness Event. Poema does an amazing job with skins that look middle aged and older; you should really check out her work)
Crystal Earrings Of Hope Still Surviving Despite All This Stuff: Mini A Chuu & ~MF~, Ticha Crystallic Earrings
Above It All Wings: Deviance, Sidhe Wings, Unseelie
Done With This Hair: Sintiklia, Tumelo
Seeing Red Circlet: Deviance, Erulisse Circlet, The Priestess
Blood On My Hands Tattoo: Nefekalum, Gilded (roses)
Pointy Like Knives Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Body: Maitreya; Head: Lelutka, Lake
Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie, The Book Forest
Stunning Picture Books: Happy Mood, Pop Up Book, Your Story With Stuffed Animals
Moon & Stars: Landscapes Unlimited: Off Sim Starry Night
Tree With Green Sap: HarshLands, Magic Sap Tree
Winter Tree: The Looking Glass: Dead Wood, Large Tree
Burning Library: TRIIN, Ruined Castle

Early Passage

When the barley harvest ends our August
Even if the wind stays just where it is

Interior Axis

An interior axis tilts to north
And whether or not it is measurably there
Created crispness salts the air and mists
Our memories with bonfires and woodsmoke.

Early Passage

And so I’ll take the early passage
Even if the weather turns
Even if the summer holds
A moment more
A fortnight more
Bring down the boat
I’m going home

I’d rather take the early passage
Than stay behind and not belong
Even if the autumn waits
A moment more
A fortnight more
Bring down the boat
I’m going home

Looking back

I heard looking back was for fools
But I do it every year
I heard making these memories
Only brings tears
But I just don’t care

For now the whole world moves beneath my feet
The truth we do not feel when we’re on land
A life always in motion, follow on
From season down to sunset season on
Bring down the boat
I’m going home

Notes & Credits:
The Stunning Gown: Silvan Moon Designs: Abyssia Of Witchwood Gown in Magic (Available NOW at We Love Role-play!)
The Porcelain Skin: Wyrd, Edda, T1 (Available at the Wyrd Main Store!)
The Magical Nails: DP – Koffin Nails, Mystical Haze (Available NOW at Mystical Marketplace!)
The Whimsical, Yet Properly Princesslike Hair: Exile, Steph
The Pointy Ears Of Faeryness: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
The Necklace & Circlet: Adam n Eve, Priye Diadem & Pendant
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, May Origins Mesh Head
Photo Backdrop: K&S, Moonlight

Short Time

It’s been so long. Yes, as usual, I have spent all my time working. The practical side of faery is no less real than anything else you read, but it does not leave everyone’s favourite svart alfar very much leisure time. This is my last faery tour job before I take a short holiday, and it involves a bit of a journey, so I can tell you a bit about what’s been going on with me: I’m sure you’re all vitally interested.

Setting off in the morning

Awenia’s under re-construction this summer, so I signed up to work on fairytale tours. Fairytale tours are a racket and a half, but they keep me busy and you know how I hate to be bored. This was my last tour of the season, last assignment, even, and it was going to be a piece of piss; just spend a night at Merrywether Cottage while the Faery Aunties were gone to market so this particular fairy tale princess could enter the climax of whatever story the legend matrix picked for her. It’s a complicated spell system, and I’m not sure even the story wizards understand it, but basically my job was to keep her alive and on course long enough for the plot to create itself around her organically. What can I say: it’s not an exact science, and I’m only a stand-in, anyway.

I do really like this horse, though. Her name is Omega, and she has this amazing Aurora coat design. This year, Cinnamon won the contract bid to do all the animal art for the tales, so there have been the most beautiful horses everywhere you look. Obviously I’m biased, but I’ll miss Omega most of all when I have to go back to Awenia to get us ready for autumn tourist season opening.

Forced Perspective

I remember when I visited the Harry Potter studio park when it opened up in Watford Junction. It feels like a lifetime ago now, but it must only have been, what, eight, ten years? Anyway, everything was so close together, and docents explained how camera angles and forced perspective could make everything seem bigger than it was, closer or farther away, that sort of thing. Kevin was nodding away like he understood it all, and he probably did. I nodded too. When you’re immersed in it, it’s easier to realise how you can feel utterly separated from a castle that’s barely fifty yards away if you’re not meant to know it’s there.

This is a roundabout way of saying the ride to the cottage was short and I probably could have had a nice spar with some of the guys in the barracks before I headed out, but the story says it’s a day’s travel, so I took it at its word.

Evidently, the residents did as well, because nobody was home. Garden demifae explained the three fae aunties had gone out to the market early that morning and weren’t expected back and that “Little Fair One” marched out before lunch time with a picnic basket and said she’d be back eventually. Bless their little cotton socks, the fae aunties did not have any benches in their garden, so I liberated Omega from her tack and settled down in a nice forked tree to wait. Luckily, I had some contraband AirPods Pro and my equally if not more contraband iPhone with me, so there was at least some music (I have batteries. Don’t ask).

I fell asleep.

The Omega Full Moon Demifae Fan Club

When I woke up, there were three interesting things.

  1. No tourist.
  2. No fae aunties
  3. Omega was being fawned over by four demifae

I couldn’t really do anything about any of these things.

Well, I could laugh

I could laugh at one of them, so that’s what I chose to do in the moment. Because Omega was soaking it up like the Arabian princess she was. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss Awenia’s beautiful unicorns, especially my favourite dark chocolate unicorn of train station fame, but if I’m honest I’d just about swap my whole summer’s wages if they’d let me take this horse back home with me. I’m sure Gwyneth wouldn’t mind. We’ve got plenty of land for fae horses, and the tourists love them.

As the moon began to set, I started to worry, though. Surely the aunties should have been back by now. I didn’t want to take the demifae away from their new toy, and a few minutes more in a fairy tale wouldn’t hurt anyone, so I let it be.

“Don’t worry,” said a gravelly voice.

The Legend Matrix

“The fuck are you?” As an aside, when you jump half out of your skin, coming down hard onto the split trunk of the tree you’ve been dozing in for something like six hours hurts like fuhuhuhuhuck.

And then there was a gravelly laugh. “Well, you’re new, aren’t you? I’m the legend matrix. You didn’t wonder why there are so many dragons with polyhedral dice everywhere along the fairytale tour routes?

OK, I had actually noticed that.

I bit my lip. “Thought you were a fucking design feature,” I said.

“You are not entirely incorrect,” said the dragon. “I suppose you could say I am the central design feature.” He laughed again. It sounded a little bit like if a puppet made entirely out of paving stones had an asthma attack. I guess if you’re the central design feature, you get to laugh at your own jokes.

“So I shouldn’t worry?”

Worry

I was going to worry anyway.

“Nothing to worry about at all.”

“And why’s that?”

The glowing D20 slowed, stopped, and began to spin in the opposite direction. “She came to me and asked me to,” and then there was some static and a voice played back through what must have been a speaker somewhere in the dragon’s abdomen, “Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for!” Some static. “And so I did.”

I paused. “You didn’t send her home did you?” I could foresee that lawsuit.

“Of course not.” The D20 slowed again. “I am the central design feature of the legend matrix, not the all-powerful dragon god of the multiverse. That would require additional upgrades.”

Of course. “So what did you do?”

“I created her plot, of course. She seemed to want to spend her entire fairy tale tour in a castle, so I sent her to one.”

I frowned. “I mean, don’t they usually start off as peasant girls or get kidnapped or something?”

Another gravelly laugh. “When they’re the real protagonists, yes. But when they’re merely the prize to be won, sure, they can live in the castle. But rest assured, I have followed her form to the letter. She will live in a castle and have many servants. She will wear fine dresses and dance at many balls. And in the end, she will marry a prince. So what if she has to kiss a few frogs first? She didn’t specifically exclude it.”

And that’s why I bought a miniature copy of the official fairy tale tour guardian dragon statue in the gift shop before I took myself and my salary (codename Omega) through the realm portal back to Awenia.

Sometimes, even my crap summer jobs have happy endings.

Stay safe out there in the human hinterlands,
The Amazing Catwoman

Notes & Credits:
Enchantment closes today! It’s your last chance to see the beautiful build, enjoy the atmosphere, and grab some Sleeping Beauty souvenirs while they’re all in one place to take home to your own castle. Even if you’ve already been, you probably missed something: it’s an event full of wonderful stuff, beautifully and lovingly designed, and always full of wonder.

Enchantment items featured here:
Omega’s Skin: Cinnamon, Aurora Teeglepet skin (also comes in versions for Jinx Centaur and Waterhorse; matching wings are also available for your Teeglepet Pegasus)
TAC’s circlet: Air, Thorns Crown Gold
Demifae Fan Club: Titans, The Aurora Fae
Guardian Dragon: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Amazing Stuff:
TAC’s stunning new Drow Skin: Wyrd, Nightshade (This is at the Wyrd Main Store, and I cannot tell you how over the moon I am to have been the first person to test this amazing graphite/purple drow skin. It is perfect, and perfectly TAC)
Head: Lelutka Evolution, Nova
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Sintiklia, Connor
Ears: Andore, Hu-gu
Eyes: Yoshi, Alina (I’ve recently fallen madly in love with Yoshi eyes; expect to see lots of them here)
Clothes: Jangka, Hawkeyes outfit black, and Hawkeyes boots black
Castle: Harshlands, Devonshire Castle Keep
Omega Herself, Teeglepet, Arabian

Val, Chapter Two: Why Don’t You Ever Write Your Äiti?

Dear Mum,

I wanted to wait until at least two interesting things had happened so that I would not be writing you letters as short as text messages. That way you could not text me and say my letters were too short! Also, I wanted to have my flat as finished as possible before I wrote this first letter so you could have some pictures of where I am writing from. Then, in the next letter, I’ll send more pictures of the shop and pictures from around town. That way, you can get to know the town I’m living in.

The End!

So, I’ll kind of start from the end, because look! This is where I’m writing you from! I had the day off from the shop, and I’ve spent it putting this monstrosity together! Had to sweet-talk the landlord into opening the roof access panel so I could get the flatpack up here more easily: otherwise I’d have had to somehow hoist it out my window and up the ladder access. I mean, I could have done it obviously, but it would have been more difficult and I might have had to buy a stranger a pizza. Anyway, it all arrived yesterday, and after four hours of remembering enough school Swedish to curse IKEA in it, I have this very serviceable covered table. I added the string lights (and I’m slightly miffed they don’t call them fairy lights over here) myself.

Fun fact: Our elevation here in Myserie is 4,190 ft in weird American reckoning, which makes it 1,277 m. That is only 88 metres shorter than Ridnitšohkka! So you know what I had to do, right? I had to get a flat on what they call here the 7th floor because they don’t believe in the ground floor. I’ll measure it properly at some point, but if we assume that each living-space storey is roughly 3m and the commercial space storey is, say, 3.5m, I’m only 66.5m short of that summit when I’m in the flat, and up on the roof, you could subtract 3 more metres. No wonder I feel so dizzy all the time here: it’s not like I’m used to even hills where we live. I have more photographs from the roof, but I know what you want to see first, so I’ll show you the flat itself.

I will get better lights soon

I took this picture really early in the morning with my iPhone on a tripod using my Apple Watch. You can see that I used the flash: I hate doing that, but it was really dim in the room. I like being far enough up that I won’t need curtains, and it’s not like they have three months of round the clock daylight here, anyway, so I won’t need blackout blinds. I’ve only met one witch so far with a familiar who can fly, and he likes me: I taught him how to say Perkele.

Now you can see my little face

Look, I even moved the tripod closer so you can see my face: You always tell my can’t see my face in pictures. I promise I am getting enough to eat, even if mostly I am not cooking very much.

Now, here is my little kitchen!

I like my little kitchen: Thank you for the Moomin poster. He is keeping me company every morning when I make my first cup of coffee before I go to the shop for my second cup of coffee. And yes, that’s the Eiffel Tower stool from my bedroom at home. I took it apart and brought it with me because I wanted something to be familiar here. I’ve had it for my whole life, and it just makes a place feel like home, you know? I know there’s not enough art on the walls yet, but I like that picture of the Aurora, makes me think of the elevation here at least. And you can’t see it in this picture, but there’s also a photo looking onto Pirkkala from the water.

I have a bed!

You worried I would just sleep on a couch or something, but no, I got a proper bed and everything. It’s even on casters so I can turn it to face against the winter if I like. And a clock that doesn’t rely on scary technology, just electricity, see? I do listen, Äiti. I was going to put a rack on the wall to hang stuff, but somebody told me they charge you money if you put holes in the wall, so I didn’t do that and just went for those little containers there. I will get something bigger maybe in time. And look, there’s my Ukonvasara I made in uni. I’m glad we kept the print of it all this time. Maybe I will see about inking it differently and seeing about making some reproducible prints. There seem to be a lot of pagans here, though they are predictably mostly Wiccans. I wish First Nation culture had held on here a bit better, and maybe we will see it rise with some of the unmaskings lately made. I only hope that like so many other American risings it will not need to become contentious in order for sides to be heard and acknowledged and not erased.

So high up!

And now for the pictures you’re going to hate!

You know I have to do this part, mum! Like that time I went zip-lining in north Wales and sent you the video without telling you what I’d done? Yes, well—the best thing about living up here is that I can do this!

Now, don’t be afraid: you know we have excellent balance, mother.

Look, I’m smiling!

And here I’m even almost smiling! You always say I should smile more!

Hey—if you look down onto the street below me, you can see the coffee shop where I go for my second cup of the day. Too bad I didn’t catch the odd old guy who’s always wandering around there.

Of course I miss you.

Do I miss you? Of course I miss you. I miss everybody. I miss Tampere. I even mis Ula. I miss Iivo and the Kalevala shop and I will miss going to Lapland for Midwinter if I can’t make it back. And I will miss the ice castle and the winter market, too. My path, though. Remember? My path. It’ll lead me back to you one day, and I know that every time my path leads me back to you, there will be song and camaraderie and the sharing of all things good.

Love,
The youngest of yours,
Valoisa

Notes & Credits

Val is a role-play character created for Myserie City RP. While I started roleplaying in Second Life something like nine years ago, I haven’t been on a straight-up role-play sim in a few years, and I’m having a lovely time enjoying just immersing myself in role-play and working with a new and different character for the first time in a long time. All these photos were taken on-sim, and I’ll take more inside the city itself once Val gets her bearings and I have a few more regular places where she hangs out.

  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution: Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva in T1
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
  • Chin Dimple: Izzie’s, Chin Dimples
  • Ears: Lumae: Leevi Medium Ears
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Piercings: All From Lelutka, Fleur Facial Piercings, except
  • Septum: Venge, Kelpie Nosering; and
  • Forehead Crescent: Punch, Trine
  • Tank Top: Shovelheads, Women’s Viking Tank
  • Trousers: Neve, Minnie Pant
  • Boots: Eudora 3D, Thar Boots
  • Covered Table (on roof): Chez Moi, Applewood Picnic Table
  • Couch: Fourth Wall, Saga Sofa
  • Coffee Table: Fourth Wall, Hala Coffee Table
  • Kitchen: Merak: Happy Kitchen
  • Eiffel Tower Stool: BackBone, Breakfast In Paris Stool
  • Bed: Bazar: Stockholm Bed
  • Cabinet: Bazar, Stockholm Bedroom Cabinets
  • Lamp, Clock, Stool: Bazaar, Stockholm Bedroom

I will be talking to the manager.

I answered them all. All the questions. I was truthful. I was clear. I did not mince words or skip things or dance around subjects. And it seemed pretty straightforward. You apply to be in a fairy tale, and you tell them what kind of fairy tale you want to be in, and you pay the deposit, and then they put you in the fairy tale.

Does this look like a castle to you?

Does this look like a castle to you? No? That’s right! It’s not a castle. I was very very clear about that. I said I wanted to live in a castle. Not once did I use the word cottage. Not once did I use the word hovel.

And yet, here I am.

And yet, here I am. It’s been a week. My notes go unanswered, even though I put them in the post box as indicated. The three women who live here and take care of me insist that I call them my Aunties. They call me “Little Fair One” to my face, and “Little Smart Mouth” when they think I can’t hear them.

At least something about this place is smart, hm?

At least something about this place is smart, hm? I mean, obviously, Sleeping Beauty at least in a couple of versions, lived with three transformed fairies who took care of her until she pricked her finger anyway, but that is not what I signed up for; it’s not what I paid a deposit for, and no-one seems to be responding to my strongly-worded notes. I don’t know how these people expect to keep a fairytale tourism business running if they offer such poor service.

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home!

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home! And I do mean humble. Here is the entry foyer; as you can see, there are no footmen, no servants, not even a mouse to take my cape. There is a hall stand, a stairway, and that’s pretty much it.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen, which means I spend as little time here as possible. Would you believe they tried to get me to peel potatoes my first night? Potatoes? I explained to them that carbs are really bad for me. Auntie One (I have no idea what their names are) said, “Oh, well, I guess we can substitute with carrots.” Wow.

Their lounge is full of kitsch

Their lounge is full of kitsch and mementos from their pasts, maybe? Or maybe they’re just props. Pictures and silhouettes of former residents, Half a tonne of music boxes. I asked about some of them. “Oh, that was one of our favourite Little Fair Ones,” they said, about the blonde cherub on the wall there. “She went on to do great things.” Then One clucked at Three and Two gave them both a dark look and they all three shut up. At least there are books there, and at least they don’t bother me too much. Funny they haven’t even asked me about any balls or anything. I’ve been here a week. Maybe management has already contacted them about the mistake and they’re just waiting for the fix. Yesterday, a spinning wheel appeared by the lounge front window. I think they’re just torturing me now.

My little room might as well be for a servant!

And speaking of torture— my little room might as well be for a servant! It doesn’t even have a proper door. I mean, sure, it’s got some castle décor and there’s a pillow with a crown on it, but other than that, I’m experiencing the top of the wattle-and-daub line, here. And that’s not a compliment. I’m taking a lot of snapshots to make my eventual complaint more colourful when I finally make it back home.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands, don’t we. I’m going upstairs with a pair of scissors, I am. And I’m ripping that crown off the pillow. That’s what I’m going to do.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day. They were gone ’til nearly midnight last time, and they came back with hardly any shopping. The market must be a long way away and it must not have very much, is all I’m saying.

Out in the front garden, there’s a statue of a dragon guardian, and I’m sure he can help me out. Dragons always know what to do.

C’mon, help me out here!

C’mon, help me out here! I paid good money for this, and I know you must have a direct line to whomever’s in charge. Anybody with a big glowing orb is important; at least that’s what my GM always says. You don’t want to be named in my official complaint, do you? Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for.

Notes & Credits:

Enchantment’s Sleeping Beauty round closes on the 31st of August! That’s in just a few days. So you only have a few days to rush down there and fulfil all your fairytale needs! This is a great round, full of beautiful story-inspired items for your home, great clothes, beautiful hair, accessories, and some surprises that you didn’t know you needed until now.

Pictured items featured at Enchantment:

  • Hair & Crown: Love, Rose Hair
  • House: Hisa, Merrywether Cottage
  • Porch Dragons: Banana Peel: Dragons O De Moors
  • Princess Bedroom: StarSugar, Sleeping Beauty Gacha Items, including: Bed, Side Table, Crown Pillow, & Pink Rug
  • Dragon Statue: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Nifty Stuff
(Avatar):

  • Skin: Wyrd, Saga, T2
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Catwa, Blueberry
  • Eyes: Avi-Glam, Siren Eyes
  • Ears: Andore, Delfiya Ears
  • Necklace: Rise Design, Cap d’Agde Necklace
  • Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Buttercup Gown

Other Nifty Stuff
(Environment):

  • Hall Stand: Second Spaces, Coven Hall Stand
  • Hall Desk: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Desk
  • Hall Desk Knicknacks, 3rd Eye Twisted Fables, Fairy Gifts
  • Living Room
    • Light: Petrichor, Triin Celestial Lamp
    • Couch: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Couch
    • End Tables: Petrichor, Clarus Table (short)
    • Lamps: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Old Lamp
    • Table Under Window: Petrichor, Clarus Table (long, cloth)
    • Wand Stand: Petrichor, Rinik Wandholder
    • Book: The Plastik, Anthophilia Book
    • Hourglass: Ohmai, 100 Years Of Waiting Hourglass*
    • Spinning Wheel: HopScotch, 100 Years Of Sleep*
    • Book Stack: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Grimm Storys book 1
    • Bookshelf: Moonlight Shadow, Old Bookshelf A Iron
    • Music Boxes: Various, from The Looking Glass, 3rd Eye Perceptions, Aine Marie Flanagan (I collect SL music boxes; contact me for details)
  • Kitchen
    • All kitchen fixtures: Artisan Fantasy, fantasy kitchen
    • Table: Apple Fall, Pottery Dining Table
    • Chairs: Apple Fall, Steadfast Dining Chairs
    • Chandelier: Di’Cor, Jacqueline Chandelier
    • Wall Art: The Looking Glass, Live, Love, Laugh Succulents

All poses: An Lar
Photographic lighting: LumiPro & Nifty Windlights
Post Editing: Affinity Photo on a 16″ MacBook Pro

* Way back in the long-ago, there was another kind of Enchantment event. These two items are from the Sleeping Beauty round of that event. I was, no pun intended, enchanted to find that I still had a few things from that event in my inventory, and it was fun to use them in photos for this one.