We Are All The Story

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Alone in the woods…

Alone in the woods, I am looking for something. I don’t know what I am looking for, but that’s not unusual.

I hear a noise, not far away, and I turn to see

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Another version of me, telling stories to animals.

Another version of me, telling stories to animals. Her/my voice rises and falls, and they are rapt. Dragons flutter round the edges, bunnies cavort; even the squirrels have her/my attention.

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So why am I here?

So why am I here, when I am also there? And what does she have that I don’t have? The forest grows dark around me, and I fear I will be lost.

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“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,”

“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,” says the storyteller/me. And suddenly I realise, not what she has the I haven’t, but what I have that she hasn’t.

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She is telling a story about me.

She is telling a story about me. I am the writer and I am also the protagonist. I am the captive and the captivator. I am the creatrix and the created.

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“We are all the story,” she says.

“We are all the story,” she says. “We are all the beginning and the end of drama, quest, beginnings, middles, and ends. We are all of it.

I am all of it.

You are all of it.

Build your story. Star in it. Create yourself as you create something else. What more magic can there be?

Style Cards:
Gwyneth in the woods
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Gaia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, “Glimmer” Eyebrows
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: The Annex, Antonia Gown, Warm (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair and Garland: Tableau Vivant, Silvana (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Photo Background: Serenity Style, ChoiBoi Mystic Forest Backdrop

Gwyneth with the animals
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Neve
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: SCS Fresh Eyebrows, Blonde
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Ariana Gown, Blue (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Mina, Carmen
Wings: Muse, Miss TWA 2015 Wings
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Springleaf Necklace and Earrings
Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Rapunzel Crown
Photo Background: Kraftwork, The Book of Dreams
Animals:
Bunnies: anc, Cotton Bunny Cappuccino
Puppy Dogs: anc, Flottante Puppy Cream
Raccoon: Jian, Raccoon Static
Winged Cat: Half Deer, Winged Cat, Contemplate
Black and White Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 11- Sitting
Sitting Dragon, Alchemy, Dragonette, Air (rare)
Marble Foxes: Jian, Marble Fox
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 5
Squirrel: HEXtraordinary, Fat White Squirrel
Tabby Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12, Curious
Flying Dragons: Half Deer Solstice Dragons Leafwing, Infinite Light, and PermaFrost
Unicorn: Culprit, UniQrn, SnowLeopard Baby

SaveSave

Modern (Royal Fae) Living!

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I first saw it from the Treehouse.

I first saw it from the treehouse. The morning sun split one tower away from the others. I guess Nathaniel had been out doing something at Mysthaven, because he wasn’t with me. There were so many things going on in Awenia, in my Faerie, just then: I was busy adding some things in to the book forest and making enough spaces for the Fae who would one day call Awenia home to live. I suppose I hadn’t thought of the need for a castle… until I saw this one.

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As soon as I was reasonably put together, I ventured out to explore.

As soon as I was reasonably put together, I ventured out to explore. By that time, there were already flowers and trees springing up around the edges of the castle lands.

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And what better way to explore a newly arrived, majestic, obviously empty castle than on stag back?

And what better way to explore a newly arrived, majestic, obviously empty castle than on stag-back? I couldn’t think of one, so that’s the way I chose to do it.

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There followed some serious rumination on my part.

There followed some serious rumination on my part: namely a quick trot round the perimeter and a text message to Nathaniel: We’re Moving. Obviously Yule Decorations Will Come First. Because I knew Nathaniel would be fine with that. I mean, it’s not like I gave him no warning at all. I think last time I decided we were moving, I probably just — no, wait. Last time I decided we were moving, it was because somebody blew our house up. Right. But I think there was at least one time where he walked up to me on the street and said, “Love, where’s our house gone?” That’s probably just what he gets for marrying me. I should come with a Caveat Emptor clause.

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Nevertheless, he showed up that evening just as I was putting the candles in the reception.

Nevertheless, he showed up that evening just as I was putting the candles in the reception. He looked kind of uncomfortable. “Should a Queen—I mean, former Queen—really do her own decorating and furniture moving, even if it’s with magic?” he wondered.

“One. I am not a former anything. I am still a Queen: I abdicated Wylds, not Queendom altogether,” I said. Perhaps I was a bit snappish, but he keeps on pretending I’m no longer a Queen at all. Seriously, who does that? “And two: Bran has been helping with the furniture, and magic is more fun and more cost effective than minions.”

“Clearly,” was his reply. He still looked uncomfortable.

“These candles are pretty tall,” I said.

“I remember when I used to call you ‘shorty’,” he replied. Oh, boy. It was going to be one of those nights.

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“Look! Holiday treats for our guests!”

“Look! Holiday treats for our guests!” I said.

“We don’t have any guests,” Nathaniel replied. “Therefore, they are for us. Nice gingerbread.”

I sighed and moved the gingerbread men around so it wouldn’t look like My Beloved Consort had taken one. “Clutie made these, you know,” I said.

Nathaniel might have choked. Or it could have been a cough.

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“What do you think of our tree?” I asked.

“What do you think of our tree?” I asked. “I found it at one of those holiday markets. It’s from The Looking Glass.”

“So, Clutie didn’t make it.”

“No, Clutie didn’t make it.”

“What’s Bran doing?”

“Eterior decorations. He says he has never decorated a place with electricity before.”

“That should be interesting,” Nathaniel said.

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“Hey, is that mistletoe?” he asked.

“Hey, is that mistletoe?” he asked.

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“Of course it’s mistletoe,” I replied.

“Of course it’s mistletoe,” I replied. “You don’t really think I’d put up Yule decorations without mistletoe somewhere, do you?”

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He didn’t answer, but then it didn’t really matter. I do still love him so.

He didn’t answer, but then it didn’t really matter. I do still love him so. I know our relationship probably looks a little weird, but it’s still the best relationship a Fae Queen could hope for.

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“Do you think our relationship looks kind of weird?” I asked.

“Do you think our relationship looks kind of weird?” I asked.

“Don’t be silly: we’re perfectly normal, darling,” Nathaniel said.

Just then a shout came up from outside. “Your Majesty! Come and see the outdoor lights!” Bran sounded as excited as I’d ever heard him.

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“Gosh, Bran—that’s a lot of lights,” I said.

“Gosh, Bran—that’s a lot of lights,” I said.

“I know! Aren’t they amazing?”

I winced. “They are breathtaking,” I replied.

Nathaniel winked and kissed me on the cheek. “I’ve got to get back to Mysthaven, but only for a few hours, love. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done to the place by morning.”

And then he was gone. And I, well. I let myself think, as I wandered around the still mostly empty castle, how it should look. I added a few pieces here and there.

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I wondered if one day I’d be “that crazy old fae lady in the castle who lives all alone and feeds the birds.”

I wondered if one day I’d be “that crazy old fae lady in the castle who lives all alone and feeds the birds.” I could see it.

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I could see myself walking the battlements, alone.

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Alone up close, alone from afar.

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Ever-hopeful at the front entrance….

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And ever-disappointed.

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By the time the sun was high in the sky the next day, I’d done our bedroom (in Early Modern Noble Creations, of course!)

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And I’d added some outdoor seating.

And I’d added some outdoor seating. There is an entire roof terrace and balcony that’s just for our private apartments, so I can make it as comfortable and modern as I like.

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A more casual and quiet family eating space.

A more casual and quiet family eating space is up here as well, with room for Wren and Drysi should they care to visit, or maybe even more intimate friends, though I can’t think of whom I’d put in that place except Dyisi, at least for now.

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I’ll miss the treehouse. But you can see it from here.

I’ll miss the treehouse. But you can see it from here. We’ll turn it into a community centre, as Bran and Clutie expressed strong opposition to its disappearing altogether.

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And who can say what tomorrow will bring?

Style Cards:

Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle. What a gorgeous and adaptable build this is! It’s a castle that feels like a home and not a fortress or a box, and I can’t wait to finish decorating it. How fortunate I am to know such genius and amazing creators. Riven, thank you so much for making such a wonderful and perfect castle. 

Gwyneth:
Blue Outfit:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Clothes:
Sweatshirt: Emery, Contemplation Sweatshirt
Trousers: The Muses, Anane Legging Pant
Scarf and Leggings: The Annex, Knitted Scarf, Blue Legwarmers (Available NOW at the Pay It Forward Event!)
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots, Blue
Hair: Truth, Apple
Headpiece, Krystal, Celt Circlet
Poses: An Lar
Location: Awenia, Faerie

Red Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: The Annex, Olivia Gown (Available NOW at Genre!)
Hair: Sintiklia, Sheba (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Headpiece, Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Necklace and Ring: The Plastik, Anais Jewelery Set
Poses: An Lar
Location: Awenia, Faerie

Nathaniel:
Hair: Argrace Shirogane Reds hair
Eyes: Ikon Sunrise Eyes, Verdigris
Body: Slink Physique Male
Head: Labyrinth Head Shape D
Clothing:
Jacket A&D Clothing Paolo Blazer
Pants – AB Deacon Jeans
Shoes – YMCA boots from Ducknipple

Decor:

Castle Exterior
Garland over front door: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Wreath: CJ, Winter Wreath Helleborus
Column Trees: Tarte, Twinkle Trees
Crystal Trees: Hayabusa
Ground Cover:
The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Flower Fields, Dream Fields
{anc} Sugar Rose Fields
Christmas Tree: Swallow, Christmas Tree
Bare trees with Crystals: {anc}, Tears Tree
Wildflowers:
Foxgloves, Heart
Secret Garden Flowers, keke
Forest patch: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Birds:
{anc} Forget Swallow, No Limits Flock of Flying Doves
String Lights: Vespertine, Twinkle Fairylight Curtains

Castle Interior:

Lounge/Living Room:
Couch and assorted decor: Libertine, Justine
Tapestries: Prema, Laurin DeVinna
Sweets Table: Noble Creations, Christmas Table (Available NOW at Genre!)

Library:
Christmas Decorations: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candelabrae: Spyralle, Cathedral Candelabra
Books: StormWood, Literati Book Set

Tower Bedroom:
Bed: Noble Creations, Adult Reflections Bed (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Vanity: Noble Creations, Vanity Set
Curtains: Noble Creations, Classic Curtains
Unicorn Tapestry: MeadowWorks
Rug: Atelier Visconti, Helena Carpet

Tower Exterior Terrace:
Living Furniture: Artisan Fantasy, Gazebo Gacha (Available NOW at The Imaginarium!)
Dining Arch: Noble Creations, Magical Arch (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Dining Table: Indulge, Home Dining

 

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!

mesange-logo-noir   lumae-logo   wasabi_logo_2012_512x512

Wrong Turn

Sometimes, Realm-Hopping isn’t as straightforward as I pretend it is for those who can’t do it. You’ll never find two beings who travel between Realms and do it the same way unless one of them taught the other, and even then, the student’s method will evolve into something more personal, which they might teach to someone else, and so on.

Once upon a time I had an amulet given to me by a goddess, who then turned out to be a false goddess, interested only in her own power and gratification. Once I tore myself away from her, I had to kluge together my own methods. It often felt like I was stepping forward into the dark. I know Dyisi would have scolded me if she’d known how many risks I was taking, and rightly so. As I scolded Fenella—or Tacey, or whatever she’s calling herself these days—when she rocked reality and fell naked upon my altar up in the old Faerie bower.

That’s another thing I need to come clean about: I’m going to leave the Wylds. It’s too much. There is too much drama, too many dark machinations. I hope I will still be able to keep my promise to Mornoth, because Mornoth, bless him, is a very good creature who’s been thrust into a very bad situation…. and I’m rambling again.

The other day, I took a wrong turn.

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The other day, I took a wrong turn.

Honestly, I don’t know how it happened. One minute, I was set on travelling to a Realm where there’s a special faire on for people who love the moon, and then I started thinking about my Mother (my bio one) and how she was imprisoned for so long. I know, rookie mistake. But I landed in one of the weirdest little created universes I’ve ever seen.

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This pocket universe was obviously created by someone who loves the moon.

This pocket universe was obviously created by someone who loves the moon. Everything in it, with the exception of the homage to Scottish artist Nathan Coley’s outdoor artwork, is representative of or associated with the moon. I couldn’t resist photographing myself with this copy of the installation, as I never got a chance to see the real one. I wish Nathaniel knew more about modern art: he and I could discuss why the kerning isn’t right on this copy for hours on end, most likely.

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There were even versions of the moon for sitting and sleeping.

There were even depictions of the moon for sitting and sleeping. This one was up a nonsensical spiral staircase that just kind of ends at a window. And why the moon globe is just standing here is anybody’s guess—maybe the creator isn’t finished with his or her refuge.

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For a moment, I let myself wonder why anybody would even create such a thing.

For a moment, I let myself wonder why anybody would even create such a thing. But then, why do I create the things I create? My little empty (so far) town, my book forest, my tower by the water. And what was with this weird wind? It seemed calculated to blow my skirt up at just the wrong angle. Then I giggled and decided the creator of this little hideaway was obviously some kind of a perv with a fantasy on for women in short skirts exposing their knickers or more. Some sort of magical shag shack. Ugh. Then I felt a bit dirty, but really, how different is a place like this to, er, anywhere in Faerie on Beltane?

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But, musings aside, I had some shopping to get to.

But, musings aside, I had some shopping to get to. I’ve got my eye on some new hairstyles for spring, and I’m thinking lavender is exactly the right colour for me this year. Well, for this minute anyway. Who knows what’ll happen when I get to the next Faire?

Faires….Oh, that puts me in mind of the great multi-Realm Fantasy Faire. That’s only a couple of months away! My favourite Faire of the year. Because it’s all for a charity I can care about, I am becoming more involved this year and will be helping with some of the literary events that happen across the Faire. Apparently my background in mortal English literature isn’t as useless as people make it out to be!

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I took one last look back at the Shag Shack….

I took one last look back at the Shag Shack…. and wouldn’t you know it, that fucking wind caught my skirt again. It’s a good thing I was alone: I don’t fancy showing half my arse to just anybody, you know.

Credits:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Mesh Bento Head
Hair: Sintiklia, Scarlet (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Ella (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Makeup: Arte, Astrid Eyeshadow and Catya Glossy Lipstick
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Dior Ears (Available NOW at Fetish Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Nails: Astralia, Moon Shine Nails for Bento Hands (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Dress: Dead Dollz: Shy Breeze, Purple (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Violetility, Luna Heels

Scene:
Stairs: {anc} No Limits, Stairs to Moonlight
Crescent on Landing: {anc} Moonlight Lounge, Moon Boat
Moon globe on landing: Hideki, Steampunk Moon
Crescent behind stairs: PoseIt, Crescent Moon for Moonbeam Flapper Poses
Suspended Full Moon: BellEquipe, Moon Light
Suspended Crescent Moon: Ariskea, Fae Dreams, Moon of Us, Purple
Huge Full Moon, Medieval Fantasy, Giant Full Moon
Portal: Spell, Portals to other Dimensions
Gate behind stairs: CubeRepublic, Moon Gate
Lamp suspended from Stair Landing: Happy Mood, Globe Lamp M (moon)
Crescent Moon mounted to Stair Landing: Mori, Moonlight Silver
Moon with Blankets below Stairs: Pixel Mode, Lover’s Midsummer Night Moon
Small Standing Crescent Moon: Naminoke, The High Priestess Crescent
Lamp suspended from Sign: Happy Mood, Globe Lamp S (moon)
Full moon suspended from Sign: Keke, The Sky is the Limit, Moon
Moon mounted on branches/antlers: E.V.E, Snow on Branches Winter Bush White
Portal Behind Sign: Jinx, Gweles Stones, Magical
Standing Crescent Moon behind Sign: Air, Lost Moon standing, gold
There Will Be No Miracles Here sign: Fetch, No Miracles Sign

Photographed in Phototools No Light Windlight; all lighting in the scene comes from the LumiPro and created projectors.

Special thanks are due to Brez Lander, who, when I asked what you call a place where a guy brings women for the express purpose of seducing them, came up with “shag shack”. Thanks, Brez!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never light a model in complete darkness, in a set that took hours to build and which I will completely rip out within 24 hours, without it!

h021017   lumae-logo

Long-Term Contract

Owen didn’t come. He sent some minion of his. I stood out in the fucking rain. On the fucking roof. He sent a minion, some half-grown boy.

“We’ve got a job for you,” says this boy.

“Do we,” I responded.

“Owen needs you to come to his place, as a human, tomorrow evening. Here’s the address.” He handed me a card. Luckily, it was laminated, so it didn’t get nearly as wet as I was.

“And if I don’t want to come?” It was a half-hearted challenge: frankly, I needed the work.

“He says tell you you’ll be mentoring a young svart alfar in a Realm where we must hide ourselves.”

I sighed. Owen still knows me, I guess. “Fine.”

Then, the kid just walked off the edge of the roof and disappeared, and I took myself back to the B&B, took a shower, and sat up half the night figuring what kind of human I wanted to glamour myself into.

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Owen was exactly as I remembered him.

Owen was exactly as I remembered him. Well, aside from some fashion updates. “You’ve gone hipster,” I said once I’d shaken off the cold. His London is very cold this time of year.

“Nah, not really,” he replied. “No shaggy beard. I just can’t handle that level of hair upkeep.”

We both laughed. Even though it was smalltalk, it felt OK to talk to him again.

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“So I’ve got you a flat near the school where you’ll be teaching.”

“So I’ve got you a flat near the school where you’ll be teaching,” Owen said, as if this were the most normal thing in the world.

What?” I balled my hands into fists. “That kid didn’t say anything about teaching.”

Owen scratched his head; his hair flopped into his eyes again. “I figured you’d get that when I said you’d be mentoring,” he said.

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“No,” I replied evenly.

“No,” I replied evenly. “No, I did not.” I really needed the work, though. “What kind of teaching?”

“I’ve got you set up a teacher in the comprehensive this kid is about to start attending.”

“A teacher.”

Owen nodded.

“In a comprehensive.”

Owen nodded again.

I turned to walk out. “Look; I can get jobs in elf-safe areas where I know what I’m doing, even if the risk of my getting killed is pretty high.

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“Tacey! Don’t!”

“Tacey; don’t!” Owen struck a pose that reminded me vaguely of Saturday Night Fever. “You’re the only one who can do this job! The only one!”

“Oh, ffs, Owen,” I said, pronouncing the letters instead of the words. “You know I’m going to hear you out, but a teacher? Seriously, stop being so dramatic. Pull yourself together and let’s talk about this. I am no teacher. I don’t have the credentials, which I know you can fake, but I also don’t have the knowledge, which I know you can’t. What’s your solution?”

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Owen visibly relaxed.

Owen visibly relaxed. And he smiled a little smile. “Yes, credentials we can fake, and knowledge we can’t, but—” and here he spread out his arms wide as if he had the solution to everything. “You’re going to be an art teacher.”

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I exploded again.

I exploded again, and Owen drew back before I even finished my breath. “An art teacher! Owen Gentry! I do not know the first thing about art!”

“Neither do most secondary school art teachers,” Owen said grandly. “That’s why you’ll be perfect for this.”

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“You’re kidding me,” I said.

“You’re kidding me,” I said. “Secondary school art teachers don’t know much? That’s your spin? That’s your selling point?”

“Tacey. Take a breath.” Owen always thought that saying that name — a name my family never even used — would calm me down. It rarely did. “Tacey. Look. You know how to impersonate almost anybody. You can give yourself a crash course in art and art history, get a couple of little projects started, that kind of thing, over the remainder of this week and the weekend, and you’ll be just fine on Monday. First week of school is mostly reception, anyway.”

I frowned. “What kind of a Realm starts the school year in the middle of January?” I asked.

“The kind that has a Saturnalia festival up to the ninth and gives people two weeks to recover,” Owen replied smoothly.

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“OK, that’s different.”

“OK, that’s different.” I tapped the toe of my shoe against the floor. “I feel weird in dresses. Am I allowed to wear trousers in this position?”

“You are,” Owen said. He relaxed yet more, put his relieved smile on. “Can I ask, why’d you make your human glamour like that? You could have looked like anybody, but you chose a short, tiny woman who’ll just blend in to a — ah, ok. Yeah; I get it.”

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I winked.

I winked. “See? That’s the difference between you and me, Owen; I don’t always have to be a pretty boy.”

Owen looked thoughtful. “You may be right,” he said. “You may be right. Let me take you out to the flat?”

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“How far out is this place?” I asked as I turned toward the door.

“How far out is this place?” I asked as I turned toward the door.

“Just south of the river. Deptford. You know it?”

I gaped. “I grew up on Telegraph Hill, in New Cross.”

“OK, then, you’ll be familiar with some of the surroundings.”

I wasn’t so sure: going back to “my” part of London and seeing it the same but different, as all close realms keep many of the same attributes, always gave me the willies.

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“Yeah, OK,” I said.

“Yeah; OK,” I said. “Take me to the flat.

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Yowza.

Yowza; Owen sure knows how to make a girl feel like an artist, I thought as I entered the converted warehouse space. “You’ve got that fox picture on your wall as well,” I observed.

“Yeah; I own all these places; put a few things I like in each of them,” Owen replied. “Same kitchen, too.”

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“I kind of like this kitchen,” I said.

“I kind of like this kitchen,” I said. “Hang on— I had the same one when I went to that Mabon festival in — oh, I don’t remember the name of the town now.”

“Yeah; those belong to me as well,” Owen said. He put his hand in his pocket; I knew he was itching for a smoke, or a vape, or whatever he did in this Realm.

“So you…”

“Your usual fixer works for me,” he said. “Listen; I gotta go, but text me if you need anything? I hate voice calls.”

And then he was out the door, just like that. Fucker. Drop a bombshell like that on me? How long have I actually been working for Owen, anyway?

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Then, again… fuck it.

Then, again… fuck it. The prospect of spending the next six months in a posh art studio in southeast London, even if it would be a little creepy and require way too much research on my part… not so bad. And, you know. Helping a poor little svart not go through what I went through. OK, OK, I’ll take it. I texted Owen to say I had decided to take the job.

“Knew u would! Nite

Great. He even texts in textspeak, I thought.

Style Cards:

TAC:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Head
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Fajen, in tone Sand (Available NOW at the OMG Gacha Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, London (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Dress, stockings, shoes: Mignon, Mia, Black
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

OWEN (portrayed by Ben Ballard):
Skin – 7 Deadly S{k}ins – Jager, Cotton V2
Eyes – IKON “Sunrise” eyes, Light Steel Blue
Hair – no.match – NO_OFFENCE Blonds (Macchiato)
Outfit – hoorenbeek Mesh Outfit – Kimmel

TAC’s flat:
Skybox: Vespertine, Reykjavik Loft
Couches, tables, light easel, and curtains: CLAVv, Light Studio (Available NOW at The Epiphany!)
Brown art table, bench, bowl, and tea towel: Apple Fall, Artists Collection
Large easel, stained art table, stools, rolling shelf with canvases: Artisan Fantasy, Art Studio
Kitchenette: Trompe Loeil, Finley Kitchenette
Kitchen Lighting: {e}lusive, Shapes Pendant Lights (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Mirror: {anc}, Looking-Glass, Magic Mirror, Heaven

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never put TAC in yet another crazy situation without it!

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Air and Darkness

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I braved the sea.

I braved the sea today. Out on the edge of the Realm, where the water flows (always) round the now-frozen landscape, there is a fragment of an old temple, lovingly preserved by the demifae. And a lighthouse. There is little else in this corner of the Realm, save the lighthousekeeper’s house, which is just far enough from the lighthouse to make it an uncomfortable walk at this time of year.

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How quickly it gets dark!

How quickly it gets dark! Even though I know to expect it, darkness catches me sometimes, catches my breath and my spirit, and takes them on flights, farther away than I could go even with wings and my ability to move between Realms so easily.

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I thought, as the moon rose, about darkness.

I thought, as the moon rose, about darkness. And as the winds blew up and I could sense a storm coming, I thought also about air. If I am the Queen of Winter now, I am also Queen of Air and Darkness, or so the legends and songs say.

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If I am Queen of Air and Darkness, I shall not rush to meet Spring.

If I am Queen of Air and Darkness, I shall not rush to meet spring. I shall stand, and say to the Air, “blow through me”, and I shall say to the Darkness, “be one with me”. And I shall call the cold in, and befriend it, though I shall not scorn the sun.

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On the beach, it was harder to let the Air blow through me.

On the frozen beach, it was harder to let the Air blow through me: it threatened to blow me over. And so I bent, and let it come, and I remembered a song I learned back in my days of folk-club hopping:

I shall bow and be simple
I shall bow and be free
I shall bow and be humble
Yea, bend like the willow tree

I shall bow; this is the token
I shall wear the easy yoke
I shall bow and be broken
Yea, I’ll fall upon the rock

I’ve always heard this described as a Shaker hymn, although the only explicit references to the Christian teachings I can see there are the phrases, “I shall wear the easy yoke”, which comes from the Gospel of Matthew (“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”), and “I’ll fall upon the rock [and be broken]”, also from the Gospel of Matthew. But I digress into academic explication, a habit that’s mostly worthless to me now.

Bending my body and letting the wind take me, however, was not worthless to me.

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I found strength in bending.

I found strength in bending. And then, it was as if the wind blew through my body effortlessly, and I became an instrument of the wind.

And, as darkness fell, I also became an instrument of the darkness. What kind of instrument I will be, well. That remains to be seen.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Phoenix,  Kiara (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: The Plastik, Taryn in Creme (Available NOW at The Plastik Main Store!)
Makeup: Arte, Frost Mask (blue)
Ears: Swallow, High Definition Elf Ears
Wings: Material Squirrel, Thethys Wings (light coloured)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Nails: The Plastik, Veez (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Necklaces: both from The Plastik; short: The Skein Necklace; long: The Hallow necklace
Gown: Junbug, Ice Maiden (in Ice) (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Crown: E.V.E, Valindra’s Crown
Shoes (even though you can’t see ’em!): Violatility, Fairy Heels, in Bubble

Scene:
Stairs: {anc}, Stairs for Moonlight
Lighthouse: Hideki, Lighthouse
Poses: An Lar, all from the Marta Series (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make Gwyneth wander frozen shores and contemplate her existence without it!

 

Tranquility, Temporary

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Gwyneth:

I don’t think there’s a word that really means “the calm after a storm”. Someone suggested “lull” to me, but that sounds like a quiet bit inside a storm to me, not the calm that comes after it.

Anyway, I am enjoying that temporary tranquility today. I just threw on some jeans and a jumper (sweater, Americans!) and headed for a Realm where I knew it was all right to be me, and I brought a book.

I brought a book because even after all this time in Faerie, I still like to read. Stop laughing. Besides, it’s just past midwinter, which means I have to re-read Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising and I have to talk about to anybody who will listen. It’s a tradition.

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I was greeted by the Queen of the Field Mice, who invited me to read to her friends.

I was greeted by the Queen of the Field Mice, who invited me to read to her friends. They’re a lively bunch, and they are good about not chiming in with questions until I’ve got to a point where I’m taking a breath at least. Though some of them were not very happy about Susan Cooper’s treatment of foxes in the texts (these would mostly be the foxes themselves; nobody else seemed all that bothered).

Aside from a bunch of cats who mostly just seemed to want to sleep, everyone seemed interested in the story.

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They’ve asked me to come back and read again tomorrow.

They’ve asked me to come back again and read tomorrow, which I gather is quite an honour, or so Her Majesty told me.

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‘You know, I think I will come back tomorrow’, I said to the Queen.

‘You know, I think I will come back tomorrow’, I said to the Queen. ‘I think I would enjoy that very much.’

She replied that I was always welcome in her Realm, that they didn’t get too many two-legged visitors these days and that particularly someone who would read to them is always in demand.

It was a great way to spend a quiet few hours, winding down from the fever-pitch of Midwinter and all the responsibilities that fall to me during that time. For the first time in months, I felt truly calm.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head (NEW at the Catwa Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills,  Nyssa (Available NOW at Uber!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Iclyn (Omega head and body appliers) (NEW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Jumper (Sweater, Americans!): Fame Femme, Amelli Sweater, Dark Rose (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Jeans: Zhora Designs, High Waist Jeans
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Noelle Necklace (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Wings: FATEplay, Bento Wings. Wing Appliers by Blush
Boots: Zenith, Leather Boots with Lace Socks

Scene:
Setting: Apt B, Forgotten Corner, Setup (Rare)
Lights: Art Named Capering {a.n.c.} Limited, In the Rain Drop Lamps
Bench: Rivendale, Bench (Atrium Gacha)
Book: Rivendale, Mystic Woods Book

Animals: (clockwise)
White Dogs: Art Named Capering {a.n.c.} Limited, Flotantte Puppy, Milk
Goat: Jian, Chester the Goat
White-Tailed Deer and Fawn: Jian, White-Tailed Deer Family
Fennec Foxes: Half Deer, Fennec Foxes
Red Foxes: Jian, Red Fox Family
Raccoons: Jian, Raccoon Collection
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorns, Chill
Bunnies: Art Named Capering {a.n.c.} Limited, Cotton Bunny Cappuccino
Book on wall: Random Matter,  Book of Sorrows

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never have Gwyneth read Susan Cooper to animals without it!

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