Every day is a story here in the Wylds, and today, a day on the verge of the Autumnal Equinox, which we call Mabon, was no different. I’m accustomed to strange things happening in the treehouse, strange things happening in the Bower, and the Land itself makes changes when it wills.
And oh, my darlings, Autumn is coming.
I awoke in the ballroom, on the still-warm ground. The soft blanket of leaves that covered me brushed away when I turned and half-rose to consider my surroundings. I’d gone to bed in my cosy room in the Treehouse, with a warm fire burning and my magical tree lantern burning slow and low above my bed. But now, the trees were dressed for Autumn, and, it seemed, so was I. Leaf wings, a leafy dress, leaves twining round my arms and legs, and the funny pinpricks of new ink on my arms and legs, my hands and feet. Even my body felt different, my face. And the cluster of autumn moths that swirled and lighted on my cheek and surrounded my eye did not faze or annoy me. It couldn’t be just another day.
And oh! Look, my loves, at the path from the ballroom. Dressed in yellow and orange, the sky a twilight purple. I felt part of the landscape as I walked, barefoot, down the path an into the Bower proper. On my left, there was a large stone structure, which seemed to be at the centre of it all, but I turned in the opposite direction to see what else might be waiting for me, what the Land had done during the night.
When I turned right, I discovered a little greenhouse at the end of the path.
I couldn’t stop myself from going inside. And I found — a room full of clocks. No less than nine clocks on the walls, on the floor, all set to the same time, pendulums out of sync with one another. The ticking alone might drive a woman mad, but when they chimed the hour — and it was seven o’clock in the morning, my loves, a time I think of as “Kitty Cat Breakfast Time,” since that was the time I used to get up and feed the cats back home in Southeast London. I am rarely up at this time here in the Wylds: night revels keep me busy and sleeping til noon is the custom here, of course. Unless you’re Nathaniel, who has to get up and deal with his morning meeting in Mysthaven each day, poor darling.
There was also a strange mask on the wall, some kind of glowing orb, unbelievable stacks of books, and somebody’s untidy and finished up of tea. Who knew what that was about. I’d come back and investigate later; for now, I wanted to take the third path, opposite the ballroom, and see what awaited me there.
Whimsical signs adorned the walkways. This one says, Once upon a time…, and the one just to my right says, Some Place Else…. I was fascinated by the signs and their little messages, so much so that I almost missed the treehouse (not the Treehouse: there was no sign of my beautiful Treehouse!) just behind me in my quest to get to the little stone house I could see peeking from behind the trees.
But first, there was a field of magical flowers to run through. Don’t tell Bronwyn, but I love running through those shimmering flowers as much as she does. Soon enough though, I turned to the red door.
The sign reads, Storyteller’s Burrow, and the bell outside rang clear and bright when I pulled the cord. I could only guess what I might find inside.
Inside, it was dark and cosy. Every surface seemed to have at least one book, and more likely ten or twelve: the fireplace behind me is filled with books. I perched on the edge of this sofa to adjust to the dim light and get my bearings.
Morning light filtered in through the windows. A window seat filled with books. A broken clock, also filled with books. Books and more books, everywhere I looked.
Shelves and shelves of them. The back door leading out into the flower field was propped open with a stack of books, and there were books lining the stairway up to an alcove where there was a bed, and a desk—once again, piled high with books. Nathaniel will love this place, was all I could think.
I wandered through the flower field and back to the path… where I found the large stone structure I’d seen before from afar. it looks for all the world like some kind of ancient temple, with arches for doorways and very few actual doors. Wulfrich will not be pleased at the lack of security here, but it will give the guards and Knights something to do when they’re not out fighting goblins or trying to contain those animals affected by the plague spreading through the Realm. But I don’t wish to think on those things.
The temple itself was almost completely bare of furniture, save for tea-room on the bottom level and a half-finished looking feasting hall in the large room on the higher level. Looks like I have a job to do, decorating such a place. But there are bedrooms for all the children, though I suspect Wren might spend much of her time in the little treehouse: she seems to like treehouses.
I walked through all the arches and courtyards to find one closed door. And I knew the Land had given me a fine and private place.
Inside, my familiar old couch—we call her “Justine”.
And a simple table for private meals.
I sank down onto the rich, red rug, and knew I was home. The bed behind me seems made of trees, and I admit I retired to it, shortly after checking that my dressing and communication mirror was in place. I had Bran bring me a cup of chamomile tea (and thank the goddess the tea parlour was set up: there’s even an espresso machine there!), and then I retired to that lovely great bed for a much needed mid-morning nap.
I’m pleased to have so many spaces for people to stay: it looks like we will have refugees from Mysthaven staying here until we take care of that little problem with His Unseelie Majesty back at Mysthaven Castle. My hope is that Galyanna can take care of it on her own and my beloved won’t have to get involved, but there’s no telling what can happen when he is involved with things. I still get shivers when I think of Gwythyr Gwynn, and unlike the others, I say his name. Because while a name has power, speaking it gives me power. And I cannot show fear of him. I cannot.
And now, now that my morning nap’s done and I’ve been at this crappy old PC in an Internet Café, in a city that looks not unlike photographs I’ve seen of Seattle, and where there are no obvious Fae (I’m glamoured to the gills as I write this), I must get back. There is so much to do if I’m to have the place ready for the Samhain Ball, barely more than a month away now. So much to do.
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Skin: Lumae, Nisha Bare (New at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: No Match, No Angel
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous, Mesh Eye (Borealis)
Makeup and Moths: SlackGirl, Flies (Available at Apply Me!)
Dress, Arm and Leg Vines: Jinx, Amelia Autumn (Available at The Color Me Project!)
Wings: Faeline Fairy, Akemi, Fire
Necklace: Miamai, Rise In The Sun
Arm and Leg Tattoos: Things, Agneis & Airell Tattoo (Available at The Secret Affair!)
The Bower in Autumn:
Ballroom: The Looking Glass, Enchanted Ballroom
Moon and Stars Net: Refined Wild, Nightly Netting
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Forest
Pathways: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Signs, Stone Houses, Bookcases, Couches: 8f8, Storyteller’s Burrow (Available at The Arcade Gacha!)
Clocks: Remarkable Oblivion (Available at The Arcade Gacha!)
Large Stone Structure: Cariad, Priory of Elandriel
Gwyneth’s Bedroom/House: Cariad, Highlander Cottage
Couch: Libertine, Justine
Table and Chairs: SonToria, Farmstead Table and Chairs
Bed: On A Lark, Twig Bed
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!