The Job that Wasn’t There

I’m not the one who ends up in situations like this. Usually, I hear such stories from The Amazing Catwoman. Her scrapes and follies with insane handlers and crazy situations are great campfire tales, but I would not want to live through them. Of course, she handles these situations with rage, whereas I have always tried to look at the ups and downs of my life with humour—and often it doesn’t matter whether I am laughing at myself, someone else, or the universe as a whole.

Not long ago, I got my chance to experience this level of frustration for myself.

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The dock was in poor repair.

The dock was in poor repair. That was the first clue. Even stepping carefully and slowly, some boards had to be avoided altogether.

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My senses told me something was awry.

I had been asked to come and tell stories about the stars from the Rom at a planetarium celebration. Now, of course we have many stories about the stars, and I was looking forward to the chance to tell them to an audience not well versed in the affairs of the travelling folk. It was the planetarium’s 25th anniversary, according to the island curator who approached me, and so they wanted not just any Romani, but a “famous” Romani. They told me to come in armour, because the island was largely uninhabited and just below the planetarium, there had been an unfortunate incident where some eccentric’s menagerie had got a bit out of hand. Well, all right, I replied, though armour isn’t really the traditional dress of my people. Don’t worry, they said. You’ll only need it for the walk from the dock to the planetarium; then you can change into something you like better.

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I walked through an arch and arrived in a deserted town.

I walked through an arch, as instructed, and arrived in a town that appeared wholly deserted. Of course, there was nothing in the information the curator sent that had even hinted at a completely deserted town.

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Deserted for some time?

I surmised that this part of the island, at least, had been deserted for some time: I mean, how often have you seen a town with a pay phone booth that didn’t offer free wifi or credit payments lately?

Still, I shook my head and walked on. There was always the possibility that only this part of the island was deserted. My instructions told me to proceed up a hilly path, then turn right to take the steps up to the planetarium on the island’s highest point. The warning about the menagerie-gone-terribly wrong scenario suggested this was a place of danger and the reason they had insisted I arrive in armour.

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I wore armour for this?

By the time I reached the top of the hill, my body was complaining about the dense armour and heavy cloak. I ditched the cloak but kept the armour on, just in case, and soon found myself in the company of two massive stone elephants. I scanned the overgrown, thorn bush-laden area and saw the tops of other stone figures on the train above.

I could not help it: I sat down on a half-broken stone wall and laughed my arse off. I wore armour for this?

A walk up the further steps confirmed it: there were stone zebras, stone antelope, stone tigers, stone lions. It was easy to conjecture a history where someone’s menagerie did indeed go wrong—and then some event changed things and turned all the animals to stone. It could have been That Event We Don’t Talk About, but that was months ago. It is a pity that Dyisi has faded into the mists: she might have some insights about other connected events, possible repercussions, and all those other things I prefer to understand only on a subconscious level.

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Sure enough, the planetarium was deserted.

Sure enough, the planetarium was deserted. And not just deserted: it was also falling apart. Inside, the orrery-style mechanism continued to operate, and that gave me pause. Had this event, whatever it was, happened very recently? And if so, how could it be that the disrepair of the planetarium looked to be months if not years old?

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Only one thing left to do

In my mind, there was only one thing left to do. I dragged my mostly-new drone out of my backpack and took a selfie in front of the broken-down planetarium to send to the guy who had hired me. Yes, I channeled TAC’s rage and used it for myself.

Then, I just walked back down to the pier, got in the little motorboat, made my way back to the mainland, and got the first transport back to Awenia. I wonder if I’ll hear from that guy.

Something tells me… not.

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Andrea
Skin: The Plastik,
Skin: The Plastik, Drazaren Skin (Homme), Alloas
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Lucent Eyes
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Dairon Ears
Hair: No Match, No Bills
Clothes: Noble Creations, Glory Armor (includes boots!) (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)

Location: Erebus Harbor, a beautiful region created by the folks at Dirty.Pretty

Coming Home to the Forest

I know I said something about spending a little time in Awenia Faerie, but the truth is the forest is close enough to touch from there, and the Romani camp is inviting. You hear all these rumours about how there’s never anybody there, but that’s a load of bull. They’re always there: you just don’t see them. That is, unless the vardos have left for other pastures for a little while. But the Awenia Forest Romani are the most settled bunch of travellers I know, and it’s all because the hunting is good and there’s plenty of room, and it being such a magical place, they feel comfortable and at home there.

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So, I decided I should put in an appearance.

So, I decided I should put in an appearance. What could it hurt, right? So there I was, walking down the path to the encampment, thinking about mostly nothing, when all of a sudden the smell of a roasting hedgehog came through the trees to me.

Well, that made me want to hurry. After all, getting the best of a roast hedgehog is often down to who’s there first. Hedgehogs aren’t all that big.

So there I go, speeding into the encampment, and as the path widens out into the vardo ring, there are Lash and Timbo, smirking at me.

“Well, look who’s here!” said Lash.

“I don’t see nobody,” replied Timbo.

I rolled my eyes. “Step aside, boys; I smell hedgehog!”

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Step aside, boys! I smell hedgehog!

And then Shelta Margaret pipes up from her bench next to the dugout for the clay ovens. “You stop plaguing Davey, boys. He’s late enough as it is.”

Late? “I just got here,” I said. “How can I be late?” Questioning Shelta Margaret is never a good idea, but I just couldn’t help myself.

“Word came down you were in Awenia, what, a moon course ago?” Shelta Margaret narrowed her eyes at me. “This is the twenty-seventh hedgehog I’ve put into the clay oven for you. Boys are about to mutiny, especially since we’re coming up on deer season. ‘Oh, no, Shelta Margaret! Don’t you make us eat no more hedgehog!’ And I just say, ‘I gotta, boys: never know when Davey’s coming through the forest.” And now here you are, clear as morning. Welcome home.”

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A whole hedgehog

The boys went fishing. And me? I got a whole hedgehog, all to myself.

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Andrea Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Drazaren Skin (Homme), Alloas
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Lucent Eyes
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Dairon Ears
Hair: No Match, No Risk
Jumper (Sweater, Americans!): Boyberry, Cable Knit Jumper, Charcoal
Shorts: Chuck’s, Kaike Shorts, black
Trainers: Gabriel, Leather Sneakers, black

Environment
Location: Awenia Forest
Poses: All from Wrong: Bento Static Male Poses – 46

The Gypsy Davey’s First Awenian Tour

That makes it sound as if I am going on tour in Awenia. The Author is a bit florid with language today, methinks. (Really? I would never say ‘methinks’.)

No; the fact is, I’d heard through the grapevine about what Queen Gwyneth is doing with Awenia, and despite the fact that we are no longer… well, you know… I still like to check up on her.

She’s made the entry point for Awenia’s faerie in the big dancing square—at least, I hope that’s what it is—and although parts of it remain unfinished, I think she’s done a really passable job so far.

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Her Majesty has done a passable job so far.

I was pleasantly surprised, really. I guess in the standard stereotypical view of Queens, Her Majesty isn’t exactly a ‘detail’ person. So the fact that she’s concentrated on getting the big picture worked out first and is obviously waiting to concentrate on the little bits and bobs—or perhaps getting her many minions (not the yellow kind) to do that for her—makes a kind of sense.

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View from the Dancing Square

Here is the view from the Dancing Square. Now, I notice all kinds of little things, but as you can see, the big trees are all in, and the landscaping has been done. Of course, she’ll eventually add some ground cover and possibly some smaller trees, but structurally it looks passable to me. And yes, ‘passable’ is a compliment as far as I’m concerned.

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I’m glad she kept the music shop.

I’m glad she kept the music shop: it seems to be one of the only features of the previous faerie incarnation that has held on. Now there’s even a little stage propped up on a green near the shop; presumably she will sponsor some performances there—or the music shop will, I guess. I recall there also being a small stage setup inside the shop itself; I wonder if there’ll be differences between the kinds of acts that get booked for one or the other. Something to think about.

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Of course, they’d never book me there.

Of course, they’d never book me there. The stampede of women would be unmanageable, given the relatively small size of the green and of Awenia Town itself.

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So… where to next?

So… where to next? I ambled down the High Street, passing by a couple of shops and a couple of residential buildings, until I got to the end, where one can turn a corner and find themselves in such unsavoury places as the offices of FaeWatch (how could she allow that rag to have an office in her Realm?), a psychic (obviously not a proper Gypsy psychic), a craft store (seriously?) and a pub, which is more like it. But it was the scene across the wide farm-facing street that caught my eye.

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Now this? This is a kissing tree.

Now this? This is a kissing tree if ever I saw one. It’s too bad the Faerie Realm is almost deserted at the moment: I can imagine just standing here and, you know, whistling or singing. I could collect dozens, maybe hundreds of kisses in the span of an hour. Perhaps I shall suggest a Gypsy Davey Kissing Station for a village féte or something.

This little park was truly lovely. It has everything one needs for a good park: beautiful flowers, trees, an ancient structure to bound it from the nearby light forestland, and of course restful benches.

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Restful Benches

I can imagine myself, having taken off my coat and letting my shirttails go where they will, reclining, just enjoying the breeze. Hm… I probably need a book here to look more legit, but let’s be honest—I don’t think I even own a book. I’m a lover, not an intellectual.

Ahh… I ended my reverie, as another detail caught my eye, this one completely silly.

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The Line Forms Here, Ladies!

Why of course my castle is “This Way”! Ignore all those other signs.

The line forms here, Ladies!

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Catwa, Skell Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brent (Brent is this month’s group gift for men at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Ears Dairon
Eyes: AviGlam, Dramatic Eyes
Clothes: Noble Creations, Prince Lawrence Outfit (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Avatar Bizarre, Crowley Boots
Hair: No Match, No Offence
Hairbase: Unorthodox, Good V2 Hairbase

Location: Awenia Faerie
Kissing Tree: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Thisway Thatway Tree: Titans, Thisway Thatway Tree
Bench: Raindale, Heathergate Bench

Why I Relay

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I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction.

I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction for our special time together at the Great Faire. I wanted to show her how beautiful the memories of all the Fairelanders were when placed into a special cove. The air was alight with candles, and the roots of the trees went deep, down into the river, symbolising the depth of caring Fairelanders have for their loved ones who are suffering and memorialising those who have gone before.

This year, I have not been as present at the Faire as I have in previous years. The boys are taking over most of the merchanting duties for me now, and I admit I’ve settled nicely in the Faerie Haven at White Owl Island. It feels good to sit back and let work be done by others. But I knew I’d have to visit the Faire at least once this year, to connect with my long-time friend Dyisi and to marvel at the way the Realms shine when they are chosen to be part of the Faire.

I thought Dyisi would love this memorial spot, but instead she grew melancholy.

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“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.

“I guess I probably should,” she said, and she followed it up with some of those Greek terms of endearment she uses. I persist in thinking they are complimentary.

I said, “See how quiet it is here, but for the water, the birds. Let there be peace. You know you can tell me anything.”

“What about,” Dyisi said, “If we just break the fourth wall for a moment?”

I lifted a brow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know how you’re a character from Gwen Enchanted’s imagination?”

I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not something I usually think about.”

“Yeah, I know,” Dyisi replied. “She gets Queen Gwyneth to be her mouthpiece most of the time.”

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She put her arm around me.

She put her arm around me. “Well…” and here she paused to look up in to my eyes, above her glasses. Briefly, I glimpsed the galaxies within before she looked down again. “I, too, am a character from someone’s imagination.”

I blinked. “Not Gwen Enchanted’s imagination, I hope; that’d be… well, slightly creepy and incestuous.”

“Oh, like your desperate love for Her Majesty isn’t creepy?” Dyisi allowed herself a little laugh. “No, no; I am a character from someone else’s imagination, and she is a very good friend to Gwen Enchanted.

I rubbed my chin, shook my head. “Confusing.”

“That it is, Davey,” said Dyisi, with a sigh. “This place makes me think of the imagination from which I spring, and I’d like to tell you a story from her perspective.”

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“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

A few words from the mind behind the satyr..

First off, let me thank Gwen.. who has been an amazingly dear friend to me for years now.. for allowing me to say a few words.  Her blog has been a great source of entertainment and touching stories that is more than just a labor of love.  But an outlet for her beautiful and talented soul.  So I thank her from the bottom of my heart to be apart of not just her stories, but her life.  As well as her dear husband Joe, who also touched my life in a very remarkable way.  He is missed deeply.

There is also another woman who has been an influential part of my life, as well as having been my rock.  My mother.  She passed in June of 2013 after a short battle with lung cancer. Her diagnosis was in March of that same year.  So we did not have a lot of time in the end, and even though I am told not to have regrets, I do.  It’s hard not to, especially when her life ended so quickly.  Things I wish I could have said, wishing I could have been there at her side when she finally passed.  While I still hold to these regrets, I also look back at the life we lived.  She was an amazing woman, strength in the face of all adversities..  Be it her time spent in the Marines during Vietnam, or the life our family lived.  Her sense of humor never wavered and in that taught me to laugh when things feel hopeless.  For that, I will forever be thankful.  She also did her best to try and protect me from death, even though it’s inevitable.  This does include her own death as she insisted I stay home… three thousand miles away.  Despite my better judgement, I listened to her, because she is my mother..

Cancer is not new to my family, as it has claimed so many on my mother’s side.  Her father passing from leukemia, while lung cancer claimed her mother, aunt, and a year after mom died, one of her sisters.  Even my cousin’s little girl fought leukemia, which I can happily say she is in full remission.  At the beginning of this year, a close childhood friend had lost her battle with cervical cancer.   This monster is all too familiar to me, and so this is why Fantasy Faire has become important to me ever since I discovered it. I thank the creators and participants.. vendors and supporters..   for all that they do for the American Cancer Society.  Helping those who work tirelessly to defeat this monster so that no one else.. no more of our loved ones and own selves..  will fall into it’s clutches.

Thank you.

I’d never seen tears from Dyisi before, but now I did. And I confess I buried my face in her hair to staunch my own.

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I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together.

I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together; I shall only say that the unlikely friendship between Gypsy and Satyr—and the unlikely friendship between American expat and Seattle dilettante—continues to be a force for good in the world.

Let all your stories out. Let all your tears flow. Recognise that together, we are stronger than cancer, stronger than the losses we have sustained because of it, strong enough to go on. Those candles burn for every beloved person who has passed to the other side of the Veil, for every beloved person who wakes up to fight another day, for all of us who contribute, with our time and our money and the love in our hearts (which knows no end). 

2015.RFL.Gwen Enchanted

Catalina Staheli’s “Why Do You Relay” photo of The Amazing Catwoman, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire.

Catalina Staheli took this photograph of The Amazing Catwoman at the beginning of the 2015 Fantasy Faire, my (Gwen Enchanted’s) first year as a Fantasy Faire blogger as part of her “Why Do You Relay” series. That was the year my husband, Joe Raftery, was moved from curative to palliative care. My heart was on my sleeve then, and it is now, as well. Eight months after this photograph was taken, I became a widow. Fairelanders, one of my SL tribes, supported me through his illness. My roleplaying tribe, which includes Dyisi, whose beautiful words are above, were with me constantly. My real life family stayed by my side and have never left me. I am rich, rich in friends and rich in family. I am also rich in memories. Why do I relay? I relay because, at fifty-one years of age, I am still too young to be a widow. 

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Style Cards:
The Gypsy Davey:
Head: Catwa, Justin
Body: Signature
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bo (Guys Group Gift for April, Available NOW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Outfit: Silvan Moon Designs, The Fairelands Traveler Tunic Set (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5

Dyisi:
Body- Maitreya Laura
Hair – little bones. Chel
Ears – [][]Trap[][] Gelf Ears
Eyes – Plastik Galaxie Eyes, Arc
Hooves – Gauze
Tail – Leo Tail v5
Skin – Plastik Briane Freckled
Horns – Plastik Swyrl Horns, Ray
Top – !gO! Spring lace top 1 (Now at this month’s round of Shiny Shabby)
Shorts – L&B Swear Denim Shorts
Lip ring – .:ellabella:. Blowing Bubbles
Belly chain – .Charm. Moon
Necklace – .Eldritch. Bog Cailleach Vial
Necklace – Plastik Twiggled Necklace, silver
Arm chains – Zaara Rasksha
Thigh chains -Zaara Rasksha
Septum Ring – Zaara [Goa Party]: Baga nosering
Bracelets – Zaara [Goa Party]: Friendship bracelets
Glasses – Zaara [Goa Party]: Retro sunglasses
Bindi – ~Soedara~ Pearl Berjuang Tari

Location: Fairelands Junction, Sponsored by Ruins of Xenark Roleplay Community and designed by Saiyge Lotus.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!

Dancing on The Hill

Oh, The Hill. Colours just seem brighter there. Light seems to come from all directions. Animals and tiny creature frolic. It made me want to frolic, too. And then, of course, there is the music. At the Great Faire, music comes from all directions. Sometimes it’s contemplative and thoughtful, but last night, there was dance music. As I walked into The Hill to prepare for the Great Fae Parade, I could not contain the desire to dance.

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I felt saturated with colour and sound!

I felt saturated with colour and sound! And suddenly, I forgot all the things that made me unhappy. I forgot about leaving the Wylds. I forgot about everything but my body, the rhythm, the desire to move.

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It felt so good to be completely aware of my body.

It felt so good to be completely aware of my body. Too often, I think, I live in my head; it’s probably my academic background, my distance from my own emotions (I think that’s the Sidhe influence).

This year, I have been having fun at the Faire. I know every year I have fun shopping, but I’ve spent a lot of time finding myself at these Faires. I remember experiencing my development from my mortal shell into the Sidhe I was born to be, four years ago at my first Faire. And then there was the process of becoming a Queen during that Faire as well. My second Faire was fraught with relationship difficulties, hiding from the Gypsy Davey, avoiding The Amazing Catwoman. I still need to discuss our share history with her. It’s so hard to believe that she was once my best friend. Now, we seem to circle one another with distrust. I think she is afraid I will hate her. Or maybe she just doesn’t care any more. I wonder if she is at this Faire. She has been a guard at the Faire for events; it may be that she has found work here again.

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It was even fun to lose my balance!

It was even fun to lose my balance! I fell, laughing, to the grass, then danced my way to another of the rooftops, closer to the sea. The sky was impossibly blue. The grass was impossibly green. My skin, covered with bright festival paint, seemed to glow in the sunlight. And suddenly, I felt a sharp knife of desire in my belly.

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For just a moment, I was lonely, sharply, horribly, lonely.

For just a moment, I was lonely. Sharply, horribly, lonely. It isn’t that my love for Nathaniel has dimmed. It’s just that my Sidhe self, my sensual body, has the touch hunger, all the time, and I, I push it down because my mortal background says love is more important than sensuality and sex. But there I was, in the happy sunshine of The Hill, desiring nothing more than a lover, a beautiful Sidhe lover. A faery man with the ability to engage my body and my emotions and my mind at the same time. A soft and beautiful interlude. A woman with soft lips. Skin on skin. The smell of sweat and hair, long hair, falling around my face in a curtain.

Nathaniel, of course, knows that I have had other lovers. These have often been matters of the Land; they’ve often felt like obligations. Every time I gave myself to Maric, I knew that deep down, we did not really even like each other, that when it was all over, the night, the festival, the need to recreate the magic of the land, all that would remain—but between Maric and me, there was nothing. He was impenetrable as a soul, impossible for me to understand. I was shocked when I mourned him, shocked when his loss was the catalyst that made me just not want to be Queen any more.

I could have loved Mornoth, but he entered my life when I was already halfway gone from the Wylds. The war drained me, drained us all, and I didn’t want to live in a world of war.

That’s why the Faire, The Hill, is so wonderful. The spirit of love and camaraderie fills me with joy and desire. Joy and desire. That’s what’s been missing, missing from my life. Joy and desire.

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And as I stood on The Hill, waiting for my fellow Faire Fae, I made a decision.

And as I stood on The Hill, waiting for my fellow Faire Fae, I made a decision.

This year, this year. This year I’ll be open to love.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: The Plastik, Koie, Catwa, Maitreya, and SLink appliers, in the RFL Hope shade (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress: Paper Moon, Honeysuckle Fairy  (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Feet: SLink, Pointe Feet
Shoes: Candy Crunchers, Dreamer Wraps

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, The Hill, Sponsored Solarium/Titans.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!

Thoughts Are Things

So I took a walk down to the other side of my small Realm, because I had this idea in my head that perhaps the Gypsy Davey had listened to the boys and the other Rom who live here and decided to take up residence in the special (and it is pretty amazing) vardo they have set up especially for him. I haven’t asked them what they’ll do if he says no, though I think I might talk Dyisi into moving up here if I let her live in that.

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The mist was just about to burn off when I got near the vardo site.

The mist was just about to burn off when I got near the vardo site. And there, sitting next to the amazing Rom Castle, which is what some of the neighbours are calling the place, was a vardo I’ve seen him travel in before. So. I could walk up and just knock on the door, I guessed….

Or I could notice that suddenly, a greenhouse with a flower shop has appeared not too far from there, across from the red cottage; just the kind of flowers I like, and a greenhouse filled with roses. I remember once as a young woman I wrote a series of stories for a guy I loved more than I thought I could ever love anyone, about a house where things only had to be wished to be brought into reality. I haven’t thought about those stories in so long. But now, it got me thinking. Thinking about the way things spring in to being. I wonder if I wasn’t somehow foreshadowing my life now, all those years ago. All those years ago. It wasn’t all that long ago. And if I think of that guy, I still miss him. And I wish he could see all this. But then, flowers.

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I just sat there and thought, for a long time.

I just sat there and thought, for a long time. About how things manifest. About why there was an Oxford Circus tube station sign on the front of this greenhouse. I thought a lot.

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I thought about getting up and marching over to that vardo.

I thought about getting up and marching over to that vardo and just knocking until somebody came to the door, and if it was him, great, and if it was some little Rom girl, also great, and welcoming them to the Realm, and maybe offering to treat them to dinner down the pub or at one of the little cafés on the green. I thought about that a lot. And the roses smelled wonderful, and the sunlight shifted and shifted.

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And then, do you know what I did?

And then, do you know what I did?

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I turned right the fuck around and skipped all the way home.

I turned right the fuck around and skipped all the way home. Davey, and whatever (and whoever!) he’s doing—can wait for another day.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Danielle (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Eyes: Mesange, Tikal Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Top: The Muses, Blackwork Top, Ivory (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Jeans, Spirit, Paola Jeans, Light Blue
Shoes: Ingenue, Gretchen Flats, Noir (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Scene:
Fresh Flowers Gate: Hive, Fresh Flowers Gate, Light
Sunflowers: Botanical
Birches: The Little Branch, Mystic Birch Cluster
Flowers Behind Gate: Heart: Wild Flowers, Campion, pink, white, blue, lilac
Boxes on Greenhouse: BlackJack, Neighborhood Gacha, Wall Flower Boxes
Geeky Direction Sign: HopScotch, Which Way?
Greenhouse: Keke, Old Garden Greenhouse (part of the March 2017 DecoCrate)
Davey’s Vardo: Trompe Loeil, Tiena Caravan, Sylvan
Tall Pink Tree: Hayabusa Design, Sakura Tsyu Kosade
Fairytale Sign: Hive, Her Own Fairytale Sign
This Way Sign: {anc} This Way Sign
Nope Sign: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Signs (gift available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Oxford Circus Sign: Boudoir, Oxford Circus Sign
Wheelbarrow Flower Display: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Decor, Wheelbarrow Display (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Steps Flower Display: Death Row Designs, Rustic Garden Decor, Step Display (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Roses Inside Greenhouse: LovedWarrior Quan, Mesh Rose Bush Planter (various colours)
Background House with Bay Window: Scarlet Creative, Mockingbird Nook

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never have Gwyneth be typically Gwyneth without it!

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Vagabond: Or,The Coming of the King

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Enticing the Gypsy Davey to set up a residence in Faerie again won’t be easy.

Enticing the Gypsy Davey to set up a residence in Faerie again wouldn’t be easy. You’d need a special place, for an erstwhile Rom Baro. You’d need a place like Vagabond.

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I hesitated at the door.

I hesitated at the door. The boys had spent the last couple of days putting together what they promised would be a vardo fit for a baro, but you can never be too sure. Still, as I contemplated the exterior art, and the general placement of the caravan (as far away from Her Perniciousnes as possible), it seemed like something The Davey might like. It’s not like I’ve ever met him or anything. I think he’s my step great-uncle or something, but I wouldn’t want to presume.

I’m An. That’s short for Annwn, which is a Welsh word that means the land of the dead. It’s an unlucky name, but my granny thought my green eyes could withstand the force of the land of the dead, so that’s what she named me. My mum isn’t fond of the name; she always wanted me to go by Ann when I went to school that time, but I thought it was silly to have two ‘n’s when it’d be pronounced the same with only one; plus, easier to write. Job done.

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Speaking of jobs, my job that day was to clean and decorate the baro’s vardo.

Speaking of jobs, my job that way was to clean and decorate the baro’s vardo. Quite a lot of his chete got sent on ahead; I never saw so much stuff belonging to a travelling Rom. Must take a dozen boys to heft his cases, and I’ll bet his travel vardo is just filled to the brim with boxes. That’s what comes of not having a wife, my mum would say.

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But of course, the Gypsy Davey is more than just an errant Gypsy Baro.

But of course, the Gypsy Davey is more than just an errant Gypsy Baro. That’s what I was thinking as I carefully directed the boys to put the stencilled hutch in just so and made sure the lamps gave the dark corners a good wash. The boys had placed the vardo so that the back windows caught water off the lake, so there would be lots of daylight. But, you know, we are not just a daylight people. I grabbed a box of tiles I’d been collecting for some purpose or other and grouted them together after carefully spacing them in a pattern haphazard enough to look as if it was thrown together, just to give the back wall a bit more colour.

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I hung beads and lace and a couple of printed hangings in the back corner.

I hung beads and lace and a couple of printed hangings in the back corner. That’s also where I placed the candlatch, because I thought it would be a good spot for meditating on an evening, looking over the water like that. You could almost get jealous of such a place, if you didn’t know the kind of bullshit anybody chosen “baro” would have to go through with us lot. Especially living as we do in Faerie, slipping in and out of the mists and that. Not a lot of Fae Rom around these days; most Romany are human, but we’re brothers and sisters to the human Rom even as we are to one another, and sometimes we intermarry, but if your family is in Faerie, hm. Not so much. You want to preserve the Fae magic, you know? Not that it gets diluted when a girl beds a mortal Rom, but there’s a lessening. Yeah, OK; it gets diluted, but that sounds dirty and racist and I’m no racist even though I’d never marry a Gaje boy.

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My eyes mean I don’t have many prospects among the Rom.

My eyes mean I don’t have many prospects among the Rom. My granny thought of themas a good omen. “Fae eyes,” she called them. “You have the Seelie eyes, girl.” Over and over again when I was a kid. Other people have not been so kind, and the eyes, coupled with the unlucky name, well. I’ve heard myself referred to as “that demon girl” on more than one occasion, and once I even got in a fistfight about it.

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I took a break once the sun shifted and I’d got the bulk of the living space done.

I took a break once the sun shifted and I’d got the bulk of the living space done. Grabbed a beer out of the cooler and drank it furtively, since I don’t want to sully what reputation I’ve got drinking during daylight. Even in February the boys chose to go off for a rabbit hunt once they’d got all the big stuff in place; they left the fiddly bits for me.

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And then, there was only one little bit to go.

And then, there was only one little bit to go. I hummed as I carefully arranged silk flowers, along with some real ones, mostly to test if what they say about Davey’s virility is true. (If it is, when I come back in a month, those real flowers will still be blooming bright along with the silk ones, filling the whole vardo with the scent of springtime and sex and other things a good Romany girl pretends she doesn’t know about.

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There was a certain mischievous (bordering on naughty) rush to relaxing on The Davey’s own bed.

That said, there was a certain mischievous (bordering on naughty) rush to relaxing on The Davey’s own bed. I wriggled my hips into the duvet and made sure my boots were clean before I lay down there, “just to test the mattress, see if it’s fit,” I whispered to myself. It’s OK if you tell a lie, if you know it’s a lie. It’s the lies people tell when they don’t know they’re lies; those are the bad ones. Anyway, it wouldn’t matter in a few days: Davey would come back, or he wouldn’t come back; I’d meet him, or I wouldn’t; he’d see something more than a demoness in my eyes—or he wouldn’t. I swung my legs off the bed and monkey-swung down to the living area (there’s a ladder, but who needs it when it’s so easy to fall).

And then, you know, I went back to my mum and dad’s vardo, not so far away but without such a view of the water, and I did not think of the scents that lingered on the clothes I unpacked into the hutch, the drifting mist of him everywhere through his possessions. An, you’re a dreamer, I said to myself. The land of the dead does not unite with the spark of life. But then, you know. The wind came through the window, and it smelt of the sea and I thought I could smell his sheets, sheets I’d lain upon. And, I confess, I sinned.

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An is wearing a set of beautiful pigtails from Pink Hustler; the style is called PH 8169. Her tunic is from the February Treasure Box; it’s Rogue from Unrepentant, and it comes in a beautiful variety of colours. Those amazing eyes are Omega eye appliers from Out of Orbit, and they really are called Seelie Eyes. Her skin is the new Cashew tone from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, which will be released at the upcoming Skin Fair. The stunning vardo in these photographs is Death Row Designs’ beautiful Vagabond collection, which is coming soon to The Arcade GachaThe Arcade opens on the first of March, so prepare your pocketbooks, because this is a huge gacha collection, and ever little piece of it is beautiful. The gacha key is available on the Arcade Shopping Guide, but it’s also below for your viewing pleasure.

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DRD Vagabond Gacha Key

Style Card:

Setting: Awenia
Vardo: Death Row Designs, Vagabond RARE Trailer
All the decorations in the vardo are from the Death Row Designs Vagabond gacha.

Annwn:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Mesh Bento Head
Hair: Pink Hustler, PH 8169 (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Out of Orbit, Seelie Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Cashew (New colour COMING SOON to the Skin Fair!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Nepthune Ears (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at Fetish Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Tunic and belt: Unrepentant: Rogue, (Part of the February Treasure Chest!)
Leggings: Lassitude & Ennui, Handstitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya appliers)
Boots: Paper Moon, Huck Boots

Special thanks are due to Nathaniel Ballard (BenBold Resident), who created my new watermark for Enchanted Photography. Thanks, Nate!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create a new Romany character just to decorate the Gypsy Davey’s new vardo without it!

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