Three Twisted Knots

Tales of the Fae Lands

Her Majesty’s Chief Curator… Not at your service.

From Lira:

Living in the Library

Look, you don’t know me. You’ve never even heard of me. That’s normally how I like it. I am not a people faery. I am not really even much of a faery faery. I am—or I guess I was, or something—Her Majesty’s Chief Curator & Librarian. I did not apply for this job. I woke up doing it, and it’s all I’ve ever done. I am a spontaneously formed chimerical librarian, and I prefer quiet in the stacks.

The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do outside of the Awenian Library is visit the Great Faire, but spontaneously formed chimerical librarians aren’t usually taken along with the Queen’s entourage to such a momentous event.

That is, until this year. My assistant Ari (also a spontaneously formed chimerical librarian) came running in to my office to let me know that the Queen had opened up three spaces in the Throng to service positions. So I applied. And miracle of miracles, I was chosen! The Queen’s invitation said it was a reward for exemplary service and the library rebuild. Ari insisted on taking photos of me in the Library before we left, because ‘You’ll come back a changed faery’! I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but anyway.

Think about how happy you are to be going!

‘Your smile doesn’t look like a real smile’, Ari complained when she shot this photograph. ‘You’re supposed to be thinking about how happy you are to be going to the Faire’!

I said, ‘It’s not like I have a lot of practice, you know. Mostly I tell people be quiet and get out of my restricted room’. The truth is I had to teach myself how to smile from looking at other faeries, and I’m not sure they all do it very well, either.

‘Oh, fine then’, she said as she moved me to yet another place in the upper stacks. ‘This time, think about everything that could possibly go wrong’.

Much better!

‘Oh, you’re much better at that, Li’! Ari was so excited she shortened my name.

‘You shortened my name‘, I said. ‘There’s a knife in my pocket, you know’.

‘There’s always a knife in your pocket’, she replied. ‘And anyway, friends do that. They call each other pet names and shorten each other’s names to show how much they love each other. I could have called you “Lirrie”, you know’.

‘It’s a good thing you took a step back’, I said. How was I ever going to deal with all the people, fae, mer, giant, various animals, and who knows what else, at the Faire if I couldn’t even take a joke from my assistant whom I’ve known as long as, well, as long as I’ve known?

I did go to the Faire. And I did manage not to attack anyone. I managed by mostly attending literary events, including a smashing reading of Beowulf in Old English, a talk about Scooby Doo as folklore (I had to ask someone what Scooby Doo even was!), and a reading by a Guest of some stories about animals, which was very nice. I went to some writing workshops, too, and I kept my mobile phone turned off for the whole event and didn’t take a single photograph. I figured that would upset Ari, but she’d have all my stories, I guessed, to get an idea of what it’s like to visit the Faire.

Soon enough, it was time to get the portal home. I was… relieved. I was looking forward to getting back to my library.

Last Portal Home

Of course, the Queen goes first in these situations; that’s just how it is. And then everyone else, in order of rank.

That meant I was the absolute last Awenian to enter the portal. The attendant was brusque; they told me I wasn’t standing right, didn’t look right, ‘And don’t let your mind wander, missy; no telling where you’ll end up’. He made me angry. ‘Just think of wherever you love to be most’, he said; he relented a little bit there toward the end. ‘You’ll be fine’.

But I wasn’t fine. My feet hurt. And my travel clothes are itchy. And my bag was heavy because I’d bought some books and maybe a new dress or two. And I was angry and frustrated from waiting. I was just tired.

So all I could think of, when I finally stepped in to the portal was, ‘Anywhere but here’.

That was a mistake.

Wherever I landed, it was dim, and it smelled like — well, like something I’d never smelled before, and it was not pleasant. And something bit me. A little flying bug of some kind. And it was noisy.

So I ran. I ran until it was quiet, pretty much not even bothering to look where I was going; there had to be some landmark I’d recognise sooner or later: after all the portal was attuned to Awenia.

When it was finally quiet, I stopped to breathe.

This was my greeting.

Well, it was dark, and blessedly quiet. And there was a big KEEP OUT sign stuck into the rock side of what looked to be the entrance to, what, a cave? I’ve read about caves at least.

Yeah. I’m not gonna ‘keep out’.

I think you know me well enough after even these few paragraphs to know that, well, I was not going to “keep out”. All I wanted to do was find my way back to Awenia, back to my library, back to a nice hot cup of tea and too many texts from Brán and scolding the Queen’s Consort for sleeping in the Special Collections.

But, yeah. It’s dark. And I’m not sure this is where I was meant to go.

Notes & Credits:

Items featured at Enchantment’s Dark Academia:

  • Clothes: Web Dew, Thora Pants & Sweater
  • Hair: No Match, No Shadow
  • Bag: Mosquito’s Way, Peyton, Shoulder Bag
  • Shoes: Sass, Academia Loafers
  • Glasses: Sass, Academia Glasses

Other Fancy Stuff:

  • Skin: Moth & Moon, Edie, T3 (Available at the Moth & Moon Main Store)
  • Ears: Andore, L.E.X. Pixie Ears
  • Eyes: Musa, Nyx Eyes Brown
  • Lira is styled on a Maitreya mesh body and a Lelutka EvoX Prim Head.

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About Me

Narrators Gwyneth, The Amazing Catwoman, Friðrós, Davi, and whoever else springs out of The Author’s head, live in the parallel universe of Second Life. You can read their stories here, or just scroll down to see what Gwyneth was wearing when she wrote it.

Gwen Enchanted is a story blogger, a fantasy fashion blogger, and a thoughtful in-world photographer.

Caution: contains poetry.

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