From The Amazing Catwoman:
So, yeah. I took last year off from working security at the Great Faire, and it was worth it. I enjoyed doing not-much, but more importantly, the offer to work this year’s Faire came with considerably more remuneration than previous Faires! I guessed they missed me, eh? Either that or someone bet I wouldn’t get a full-on purple skin paint so I’d be at least partially in Faire colours for the duration of the festival…. Anyway. Fact is, I wanted to ease myself back in, so I picked assignments where I wouldn’t have to interact with too many fairegoers. And It paid off… mostly. About a week in, I found myself working the after-events shift in Fungalmir. Now, Fungalmire is where this year’s Literary Festival is running, so I expected a pretty mild landscape. Then again, I don’t know why I made that assumption. Tacey, Tacey, why do you make assumptions? Because you were here the year they had that ginormous troll overlooking the litfest: yeah, you know, the year they held events in a stone troll’s gaping maw? And then there was the Desert Year, where you couldn’t throw a rock and not hit a belly dancer (or worse, a camel!). So I don’t know what I was thinking, but let’s just say from the moment I entered Fungalmire, I felt a bit … unsettled.
I don’t know: it was like I kept imagining there were little things everywhere just waiting to come out of the ground and, you know. Get me. Get a grip, TAC; you’re better than this. Seriously, it’s not like I haven’t seen it all. Of course, not even Wulfrich does this gig, so maybe my nerves of steel are more than just a passing rumour (or my own hubris!).
This year’s Literary Festival centres on anthropomorphic fiction, and I can get my head around that. I did manage to listen in to Saffia Widdershins’ interview with this year’s Guest of Honour, Anne Louise Avery, and that was super interesting. She has done a retelling of Reynard the Fox (you can see the cover on the book table over there), and her micro fiction around a cast of animals and their human acquaintances is well worth a read: she’s @annelouiseavery on Twitter, if you care to dive in. I know I did, the minute I heard what she was writing about. I do have an affinity for our furred, feathered, and scaled siblings, and they’re in evidence at this year’s main Litfest meeting point, The Stump. What you’re looking at is a large, well, giant, hollowed-out stump, with a lovely stage and the book table. And lots of seating, of course.
Having the after-events shift means that I don’t have to interact with, you know…. people. Or Fae. Or large dragons. I’d never done this particular shift at the LitFest, so I took my time checking things in The Stump.
And by “checking things” I mean, dancing around like a mad teenager and meeting all the fur and feather kin there gathered. On the whole, they’re much nicer than the bipedal variety. Of course mini-Hugh, the official LitFest mascot, was there to put the fear of the gods into all the Littles (and some of the Bigs) who might be about. I couldn’t resist taunting him, of course.
One of the foxes was kind enough to take this snapshot of me dancing on Hugh’s book. Poor old troll. Poor old creepy troll….
Soon enough, I realised I’d better get moving if I were going to check the rest of Fungalmire before the end of my shift, and I had to make sure I had ticked all the boxes, so I meandered around to, I kid you not, The Bus Stop.
I have no idea why you’d put a bus stop in the middle of a Realm populated almost entirely by fungus and small woodland animals, but there you go. Pretty sure nothing is going to come and pick me up at this bus stop (Don’t even think it!); the only bus I know that runs through the Faire is that death-trap the Fallen Gods guy drives around like a maniac every year. You would think the Pawlice would put him in jail for sure at some point, but then again, as part of the Shadow Security Force, you know what I think of them. Apparently they’re busy handling some UFO-cult involving cats this year, which I guess at least keeps them out of my way.
As usual, not long before the end of my shift, stuff got a little weird.
Look, it’s Fungalmire. I expected fungi, lots of them. And of course I was not disappointed there, but… little mushroom people, the bunny suits aren’t fooling anybody. I’m pretty sure they’re up to something. I made some notes and moved on. But the rest of the Shadow Security force, we’re watching you, you little urchins….
And then, I saw them. I guess a shift couldn’t go past without something going wrong. I got on the phone immediately. ‘No, it’s TAC. I don’t know a “Lola”. Look, I need to talk to Ced right now. I have two unapproved giraffes in the Fungalmire lantern stage. No; I am not making this up. Fine, I’ll send you a picture’.
Pause. ‘Yes, told you I wasn’t making it up’! I sighed. ‘Seriously’? Another pause as the fellow went to get Ced.
I don’t speak giraffe, and they weren’t making a lot of noise anyway.
‘Ced? Yeah. I didn’t hear anything about any giraffes in Fungalmire. Don’t they have their own region’?
‘You want me to check with Widdershins’? I sighed. ‘She won’t be up for hours. Should I detain these two’? I was hoping he’d say “no”.
And, thank the gods, he did.
Well, fine. I curbed my outrage and left the giraffes to their own devices.
It was time, I figured, to spend some quiet time before I ended my shift in Fungalmire. I’d saved the Frog Pond for last.
The light in Fungalmire goes fast. I like that all the different Realms of the Fairelands have their own ecosystems, and that you can move from a place of endless day, to endless night, to a place like this, where light waxes and wanes so much more quickly than in my adopted home Realm of Awenia. And of course there are dancing frogs, frogs playing some odd card game (probably for money!), frogs doing yoga.
Well, there’s another shift in the Fairelands put to bed, and now it’s time for me to head back to the official Awenia digs in WooHoo! Bay and put this svart alfar to bed as well.
Pretty sure those giraffes are going to be in trouble tomorrow, though.
Notes & Credits:
Items featured or available at this year’s Fantasy Faire:
- Skin: EnLight, Six, G. Available at the EnLight Faire Store in Glimmering Meadows.
- Tunic: Senzafine, Anne Tunic Dress. Available at the Senzefine Faire Store in Sialdor.
- Leggings: Senzafine, Alaire Leggings. Available at the Senzefine Faire Store in Sialdor.
- Chest tattoo: Venge, Nocturnal. Available at the Venge Faire Store in Isles of Aquarius.
- Antlers: Petrichor, Kesehra Antlers. Available at the Petrichor Faire Store in Fungelmire.
- Bow: Broken Arc, Wildspurs Whisper. Available at the Broken Arc Faire Store in Frostweald.
- Rings: Badwolf, Ragnarok Rings. Available at the Badwolf Faire Store in Szystrum Synod.
Other Fancy Stuff:
- Boots: Senzafine, Telecontar Boots
- Eyes: Tville, Artemis Eyes
- Hair: Rama Salon, Joy Hair
- TAC is styled on a Maitreya mesh body and a Lelutka EvoX Raven head.
About the Region:
Fungalmire is one of 22 regions at the 2023 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, sponsored by Petrichor and designed by DaveOSaurus.
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