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