I will be talking to the manager.

I answered them all. All the questions. I was truthful. I was clear. I did not mince words or skip things or dance around subjects. And it seemed pretty straightforward. You apply to be in a fairy tale, and you tell them what kind of fairy tale you want to be in, and you pay the deposit, and then they put you in the fairy tale.

Does this look like a castle to you?

Does this look like a castle to you? No? That’s right! It’s not a castle. I was very very clear about that. I said I wanted to live in a castle. Not once did I use the word cottage. Not once did I use the word hovel.

And yet, here I am.

And yet, here I am. It’s been a week. My notes go unanswered, even though I put them in the post box as indicated. The three women who live here and take care of me insist that I call them my Aunties. They call me “Little Fair One” to my face, and “Little Smart Mouth” when they think I can’t hear them.

At least something about this place is smart, hm?

At least something about this place is smart, hm? I mean, obviously, Sleeping Beauty at least in a couple of versions, lived with three transformed fairies who took care of her until she pricked her finger anyway, but that is not what I signed up for; it’s not what I paid a deposit for, and no-one seems to be responding to my strongly-worded notes. I don’t know how these people expect to keep a fairytale tourism business running if they offer such poor service.

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home!

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home! And I do mean humble. Here is the entry foyer; as you can see, there are no footmen, no servants, not even a mouse to take my cape. There is a hall stand, a stairway, and that’s pretty much it.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen, which means I spend as little time here as possible. Would you believe they tried to get me to peel potatoes my first night? Potatoes? I explained to them that carbs are really bad for me. Auntie One (I have no idea what their names are) said, “Oh, well, I guess we can substitute with carrots.” Wow.

Their lounge is full of kitsch

Their lounge is full of kitsch and mementos from their pasts, maybe? Or maybe they’re just props. Pictures and silhouettes of former residents, Half a tonne of music boxes. I asked about some of them. “Oh, that was one of our favourite Little Fair Ones,” they said, about the blonde cherub on the wall there. “She went on to do great things.” Then One clucked at Three and Two gave them both a dark look and they all three shut up. At least there are books there, and at least they don’t bother me too much. Funny they haven’t even asked me about any balls or anything. I’ve been here a week. Maybe management has already contacted them about the mistake and they’re just waiting for the fix. Yesterday, a spinning wheel appeared by the lounge front window. I think they’re just torturing me now.

My little room might as well be for a servant!

And speaking of torture— my little room might as well be for a servant! It doesn’t even have a proper door. I mean, sure, it’s got some castle décor and there’s a pillow with a crown on it, but other than that, I’m experiencing the top of the wattle-and-daub line, here. And that’s not a compliment. I’m taking a lot of snapshots to make my eventual complaint more colourful when I finally make it back home.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands, don’t we. I’m going upstairs with a pair of scissors, I am. And I’m ripping that crown off the pillow. That’s what I’m going to do.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day. They were gone ’til nearly midnight last time, and they came back with hardly any shopping. The market must be a long way away and it must not have very much, is all I’m saying.

Out in the front garden, there’s a statue of a dragon guardian, and I’m sure he can help me out. Dragons always know what to do.

C’mon, help me out here!

C’mon, help me out here! I paid good money for this, and I know you must have a direct line to whomever’s in charge. Anybody with a big glowing orb is important; at least that’s what my GM always says. You don’t want to be named in my official complaint, do you? Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for.

Notes & Credits:

Enchantment’s Sleeping Beauty round closes on the 31st of August! That’s in just a few days. So you only have a few days to rush down there and fulfil all your fairytale needs! This is a great round, full of beautiful story-inspired items for your home, great clothes, beautiful hair, accessories, and some surprises that you didn’t know you needed until now.

Pictured items featured at Enchantment:

  • Hair & Crown: Love, Rose Hair
  • House: Hisa, Merrywether Cottage
  • Porch Dragons: Banana Peel: Dragons O De Moors
  • Princess Bedroom: StarSugar, Sleeping Beauty Gacha Items, including: Bed, Side Table, Crown Pillow, & Pink Rug
  • Dragon Statue: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Nifty Stuff
(Avatar):

  • Skin: Wyrd, Saga, T2
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Catwa, Blueberry
  • Eyes: Avi-Glam, Siren Eyes
  • Ears: Andore, Delfiya Ears
  • Necklace: Rise Design, Cap d’Agde Necklace
  • Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Buttercup Gown

Other Nifty Stuff
(Environment):

  • Hall Stand: Second Spaces, Coven Hall Stand
  • Hall Desk: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Desk
  • Hall Desk Knicknacks, 3rd Eye Twisted Fables, Fairy Gifts
  • Living Room
    • Light: Petrichor, Triin Celestial Lamp
    • Couch: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Couch
    • End Tables: Petrichor, Clarus Table (short)
    • Lamps: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Old Lamp
    • Table Under Window: Petrichor, Clarus Table (long, cloth)
    • Wand Stand: Petrichor, Rinik Wandholder
    • Book: The Plastik, Anthophilia Book
    • Hourglass: Ohmai, 100 Years Of Waiting Hourglass*
    • Spinning Wheel: HopScotch, 100 Years Of Sleep*
    • Book Stack: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Grimm Storys book 1
    • Bookshelf: Moonlight Shadow, Old Bookshelf A Iron
    • Music Boxes: Various, from The Looking Glass, 3rd Eye Perceptions, Aine Marie Flanagan (I collect SL music boxes; contact me for details)
  • Kitchen
    • All kitchen fixtures: Artisan Fantasy, fantasy kitchen
    • Table: Apple Fall, Pottery Dining Table
    • Chairs: Apple Fall, Steadfast Dining Chairs
    • Chandelier: Di’Cor, Jacqueline Chandelier
    • Wall Art: The Looking Glass, Live, Love, Laugh Succulents

All poses: An Lar
Photographic lighting: LumiPro & Nifty Windlights
Post Editing: Affinity Photo on a 16″ MacBook Pro

* Way back in the long-ago, there was another kind of Enchantment event. These two items are from the Sleeping Beauty round of that event. I was, no pun intended, enchanted to find that I still had a few things from that event in my inventory, and it was fun to use them in photos for this one.

The Known Alone

Dear Gwyneth,

I’ve begun this letter many times. Sometimes I even finish it. The first time, maybe even the first ten times, I wrote it, it started, continued, and ended with apologies. I think I’m past that now, which is one reason I hope that once I finish this letter, I may hit “send” and not regret it too much.

It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom. —Wallace Stevens

Well, we are more than three months into a pandemic lockdown as I write this, and I am in the known alone, because venturing into the unknown isn’t practical right now.

Snapshot_005 BLOG

So, I Googled you.

So, I Googled you. Of course I’ve done this many times over the years. I don’t know how long ago it was when I discovered you had a blog, but I’ve been reading it off and on, in between teaching terms and workshops. I don’t know if you’ve Googled me. All that software that says it’ll tell you stuff like that costs money and looks a bit dodgy if you ask me.

You remember that big old house my parents inherited from my granddad? You can see it out the window in the photograph above. Yeah; it’s mine now, for about ten years. They’re rolling over in their Tory graves every time they think of me now, because about ten people are living there at the moment. Usually I live there too, but the whole pandemic thing scared me when it first started, so I locked myself down in the garden house.

Snapshot_002 BLOG

I’m lucky.

I’m lucky. But then I think I was predisposed to be lucky. Now I just try to be grateful for it while not being an arsehole because of it.

I don’t think I ever took you and Fen and the others to the garden house; my mum lived here most of the time because she and my dad couldn’t stand one another. The garden is full of her things, and it’s a good place to remember her.

Snapshot_001 BLOG

I garden.

You’d laugh: I garden. Well, I keep the garden from dying. Most of these are wildflowers my mum loved, hollyhocks and Queen Anne’s lace and some campion, lots of clover. Oak, birch, and cherry trees, and I’m uncomfortable this year in the midst of all this growth.

Most of the kids in the big house are students of mine who either pay some rent or need a place to crash when their lives fall apart. They are respectful kids—I say kids; they’re older than you and I were when I last saw you. Anyway, they take pretty good care of the place and I have only had to go up there once since March when the country locked down.

Snapshot_009 BLOG

Time and time

Time and time. It’s funny: all that time we knew each other, all through uni, or mostly through uni, anyway, I knew you were special. I never would have guessed you were one of the Fae, though. I’ve wondered, often, why you hid it. Your parents seemed perfectly human, no Court allegiance sigils on the door, and you, I mean, I would almost have said that you were not at all concerned with the magical world. I guess a lot of us humans try not to be; it’s easy to have an inferiority complex if you consider that someone you know could be holding phenomenal cosmic powers, to quote Aladdin because I don’t know what else to quote here and my life revolves around other people’s words, except when it revolves around my own.

Snapshot_006 BLOG

And yes; I’m bored.

And yes, I’m bored. Don’t get me wrong: I live a lot of my life online, and so some things haven’t changed all that much. Classes go on, virtually. Workshop pieces trickle in via email. The publication date for my next book is still the same, though we’re concentrating less on physical book sales than ever before.

I would have said, at the beginning of all this, that my life wasn’t going to change at all, that I’d just move out to the garden house and treat it as a writing holiday, and for the most part that’s been true. It’s not as if I have a family, a wife, even a girlfriend.

But I’m restless now. My friend Des, you won’t know him, tells me it’s impossible to be restless if you never go anywhere in the first place.

But that’s really why I’m writing.

When all this is over, I want to visit Faeryland. The most recent craze to “go with the fairies” has died down a bit, and I know your Realm is a tourist spot. I’m not asking for special treatment, or a place to stay: I’ll arrange it all through DreamTime travel; they’ve got a pretty good reputation and I have a little spare cash lying about.

Snapshot_010 BLOG

This is Covie

This is Covie— he used to be called just The Book Dragon, but now he’s Covie The Book Dragon, because aside from the cats (they’re not around right now) and the birds, he’s the only creature I see on a daily basis. Every day I ask him if he has some new books for me. He never answers, because he is a plush dragon guarding a small pile of books. I promise I’ve not gone mad here.

Anyway, I’ve got this far without apologising or trying to promise you anything except for that bit about not being mad above, so it’s looking promising.

When all this is over, I’d like to plan a holiday to Awenia, spend a few weeks there, and maybe we could see one another? It’s been thirty years; I think that’s maybe long enough to rebuild.

Snapshot_004 BLOG

I’m still short.

I’m still short. I still like some of the same music, but I stopped dyeing my hair black and I binned the eyeliner collection years ago. I mean, I could probably still rock it if I put my mind to it, but I’d mostly rather put my feet up and enjoy my middle age at this point, you know?

You don’t have to answer this email. But I’m putting all my contact information at the bottom here, so you can get in touch if you want to. If you would rather I didn’t visit Awenia, that’s OK; just please let me know. Otherwise, I’m thinking this will all be over probably in the autumn, and I’ll plan to visit for a couple of weeks maybe in early October so I don’t run into your Samhain high season.

I think I’m going to press “send” this time.

Love (not that kind; the kind old friends share),
Richard Caper

Notes & Credits
Plot:
Gwyneth, the primary narrator of Three Twisted Knots, is a character I’ve been roleplaying and writing stories about for almost eight years, and she is why there’s a blog here at all. Richard Caper is a blast from the past, one of the people who was with her in the automobile accident that set her on the path she now walks. He has featured prominently twice in the blog, and here are those links if you would like to read more of his story. 
The keeping of journals
“The past is never where you think you left it.” –Katherine Anne Porter

Richard Caper Avatar:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Evolution Skylar
Skin: Poema, Zeus (Get it at Vintage Fair!)
Eyebrows: Arte, Fiore brows
Hair: Dura, Game 4
Facial Hair: Volkestone, Zek
Clothes: Cold Ash, Chelsea Boots, Larkham Jeans, Montana Tee
Eyes: Euphoric, Natha
Earring: Kunst, Eden
Necklace: EarthStones, Hoot Owl

Environment:
Location: Awenia (not currently open to the public)
Exterior—
Garden House: Trompe Loeil, Soleil Garden House
Big Trees (oak, birch, cherry), all from Heart
Flowers & Underbrush, all from Heart, except
Rose Field: {anc} Sugar Rose Field; and
Grass Clumps: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Grass Clumps
Outdoor Table: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Tea Time Table & Chairs
Rockery & Birdhouse Tree: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Birdhouse Tree & Rockery
Gate and Fence: Pandemonium, Tall Pointed fence & gate
Fox Fountain: Foxwood, Fox Fountain
The Big House: Compulsion, Tudor Manor
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Interior—
Desk & Clutter: Nutmeg, Familiar Mess Desk, Chair, Cabinet
Bed: Nutmeg, Disarray Bed Dark
Lounge Furniture: Nutmeg, Dreamy Pastels Armchair, Coffee Table, Floor Pillows, Sofa
Dining Nook Table and Chairs: Apple Fall, Pottery Dining Table and Chairs
Breakfast Food: Apple Fall, Elvira Plate with Egg, Avocado, & Toast, Plate with Sliced Grapefruit, Rose Tea
Tea Pot: The Secret Store, Folk Teapot – Olive
Napkins and Towels: Second Spaces, Kitchen Colletion, Napkiins & Towels
Covie The Book Dragon was portrayed by the 2016 Lucentia Dwagi, a treasured memento of Fantasy Faire from 2016.

Another Visit to the Rainbow House

It felt good to be back. I mean, I know it’s not my house, but I think if I had a house like this, I would want it to look exactly so.

WH3 BLOG - 1

A smile and a sigh of relief

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when I went back to the Rainbow House. Once more insulated from the beautiful but cold landscape outside, I just let myself sink into its comforting atmosphere.

WH3 BLOG - 3

Home is where the hearth is

The kitchen was clearly a kitchen to cook and live in: no faffy china cabinets or drawers full of “good” silver that’s never used. It was dominated by a working hearth with multiple cooking surfaces and a sturdy oven. The touches of beauty and decoration were simple: flowers on the baking counter and farm table, wreaths of leaves on the walls, a couple of printed tapestries with trees. Nearly everything else had an obvious, practical use.

WH3 BLOG - 4

Beautiful flowers—and cocoa!

I love how attuned to nature and the workings of plants so many of our Fae Folk are. Here it was the middle of a cold winter, yet on two kitchen surfaces there were beautiful flowers that looked as if they’d been plucked from a summer garden and just brought in that morning.

And, yes, as Clutie had already realised, there was a hot cocoa bar set up on the sidebar near the kitchen’s single circular window. I had just a little taste, more so I could taunt her with the fact I hadn’t brought her back with me (she was busy readying the castle for New Year’s) when I returned home.

Then, I noticed that on the kitchen table, there were two cups set out for tea, some toast, and a teapot. A quick check proved one cup of tea was still quite hot and the other hadn’t been poured yet. I suspected I’d interrupted the shy inhabitants at their breakfast.

“I’m so sorry if I’ve interrupted your breakfast,” I said, quietly but clearly. “Your home is so beautiful, and I love exploring new places. Please, if you ever get the chance to visit Awenia Faerie proper, pop round to the castle and I’ll give you a full tour of my house. I’m going to head back there now, and leave you all in peace.”

WH3 BLOG - 2

A long, last look

And that’s what I did, but not before taking one long, last look at the Rainbow House. There’s no way to know if it’ll still be here next time I come looking: these little Realms have a way of shifting and sometimes even closing in on themselves. But I’m sure I’ll keep a lookout: you never know when (or where!) magical places will appear again.

Style Card:
Items Featured at the Winter’s Hollow Event:
Rainbow House: Dragon Magick Wares, Elemental A Frame
Gwyneth’s tunic: [QE] Designs, Daphne Sweater Dress, Winter Magic
Gwyneth’s boots: [QE] Designs, Silvan Boots, Winter Magic
Homey Hearth: Candle & Cauldron, Kitchen Witch Hearth
Beautiful flowers on the baking counter: Circa Living, Versailles Floral Vase Stand

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1 (All current skin lines are on sale for 100L at the Lumae Main Store)
Eyebrows: alaskametro, Glitter Eyebrows
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Ahji (a recent release at the Analog Dog Main Store)
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Baking Table: O.M.E.N., Messy Baking Table
Wall Tapestries: DRD, Vagabond
Kitchen Table, Chairs, & Clutter: All from Apple Fall
Hot Cocoa Bar: Peaches, A Raven’s Feast
Poses: All from An Lar

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.

tacs-new-job-blog-1

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.

tacs-new-job-blog-2

“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.

tacs-new-job-blog-3

“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.

tacs-new-job-blog-4

“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?”

tacs-new-job-blog-5

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.”

tacs-new-job-blog-6

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.”

tacs-new-job-blog-7

“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.

tacs-new-job-blog-8

“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.”

tacs-new-job-blog-9

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?”

tacs-new-job-blog-10

“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.

tacs-new-job-blog-11

“Yeah, OK,” I said.

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

tacs-new-job-blog-14

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.”

tacs-new-job-blog-12

“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?

tacs-new-job-blog-13

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!

skinlogodiap   wasabi_logo_2012_512x512

Back to the Magic Shoppe

New Blog Headers - 9

Gwyneth:

It might not have been such a good idea. But I couldn’t help myself. How many times have I said that over the years? Yeah; you do the maths. Anyway. After I found myself in my bower garden, eating the heart of a probably-still-alive raven and then running off to Mornoth for what I can only describe as “mind blowing Unseelie sex”, I got to thinking. How much of my transformation was due to the natural way of things, and how much really had been sparked by the wizard’s potion?

So, yeah. You know what I did. I figured I might as well go back and talk to the guy. Find out a little more than I’d learned that day.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-1

To be honest, I was more than a little anxious.

To be honest, I was more than a little anxious about going back to that little village. I mean, it seems strange, doesn’t it, to have a village with only one shop (or should I say “shoppe”?), a park, a grand house, a gate house, and an inn without a pub? The pub is outside the village gates. I mean, what kind of village doesn’t have a pub? I began to think that maybe the whole place was invented, somehow, that it all rose from around the shop, and the wizard, whatever his name was, was responsible for the whole thing.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-2

The park was nice, though.

The park was nice, though. I wasted quite a bit of time there, to tell you the truth. Mostly, I paced. I also made up scenarios in my head where the wizard (whatever his name was) was responsible for Every Single Thing That Had Ever Gone Wrong In My Life, Ever, from the moment I was separated from my birth mother right on down to the possibly wrong choice I was making right now to confront—well, discuss details—with this guy. If he was even a guy.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-3

I mean, what if he were actually some kind of demon?

I mean, what if he were actually some kind of demon? Oh, for fuck’s sake, Gwyneth. You are a Winter Queen. An Unseelie Queen. At least for the nonce. Unseelie Queens don’t go around worrying and fretting whether the guy they’re about to talk to is a fucking demon. Suck it up, buttercup.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-4

I left the bright, autumn-y park, and a fog fell over the village.

I left the bright, autumn-y park, and a fog fell over the village. Well, that was certainly a good omen. Through the shop (shoppe) window I could see him, buzzing round behind the counter, as if he had important stuff to do. Probably planning to corrupt some nice kids from Chelsea or something.”

back-to-magic-shop-blog-5

‘Back again?’ He looked none too pleased to see me.

‘Back again?’ He looked none too pleased to see me. ‘Looks like the potion did its job, Your Majesty.’

‘I just wanted to get a little clarification’, I said. ‘That stuff laid me low for hours.’

‘I did warn you’, he replied.

‘You did’, I said. ‘But I have some questions.’

back-to-magic-shop-blog-6

He looked toward the rear wall of the shop. ‘Questions.’

He looked toward the rear wall of the shop. ‘Questions’, he said. ‘Has the potion had lasting ill effects? Are you missing any limbs?’

I covered my mouth to hide my reflexive laughter at that. ‘No, nothing like that’, I said.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-7

‘Well then’, he said, marrying his hands together, ‘What are these questions?’

‘Well then’, he said, marrying his hands together, ‘What are these questions?’

I thought for a few seconds.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-8

‘I want to know how much of my transformation was due to your potion’, I replied.

‘I want to know how much of my transformation was due to your potion’, I replied, ‘and how much was due to other factors’.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-9

‘Other factors?’ he asked. ‘What sort of other factors?’

‘Other factors?’ he asked. ‘What sort of other factors? Did you seek out help from other magicians?’

‘No, no; nothing like that’, I replied. ‘There’s the magic of the land I live in, of course. And the magic of the Unseelie forces that naturally take over when the year begins to fade. I’ve wondered, to be honest’, I continued, ‘if the change wouldn’t have come about without your potion.’

He hmmed. ‘I can’t say, of course’, he said. ‘I suspect the answer is, “eventually”, but let’s go through the ingredients and the formulation method, and we’ll see what we think then.’

He moved over toward a case of shelves stuffed with every kind of reagent I could imagine and motioned me to come with him.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-10

There followed a technical explanation of the potion he’d concocted.

There followed a technical explanation of the potion he’d concocted. Obviously, it was boring. I did my best to appear interested. Why had I asked this question again? And why wasn’t I in Nu Jyorck shopping? Why was I even interested? Was I even interested?

back-to-magic-shop-blog-11

During a particularly dry speech about why he’d used juniper berries instead of gin, which might have been just as effective but would have had more ill-effects, he paused.

During a particularly dry speech about why he’d used juniper berries instead of gin, which might have been just as effective but would have had more ill-effects, he paused.

I of course paused too. I mirrored his expression.

‘Well, of course’, he continued, ‘by more ill-effects, I mean that you’d have felt a bit drunk when you woke up.’

I laughed. ‘In what way would that be considered an ill-effect?’

He laughed, too. Well, at least I’d said the right thing.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-12

‘So what you’re telling me basically’, I said, ‘is that you’ve got no idea’.

‘So what you’re telling me basically’, I said, ‘is that you’ve got no idea’.

‘Certainly not!’ he replied. ‘I think that given your unique circumstances, the change certainly would have occurred regardless.’ And he smiled. ‘Just not as fast. Or as completely. I think my potion certainly helped; it most definitely was not a placebo.’

back-to-magic-shop-blog-13

‘Well, I never suggested that’, I said.

‘Well, I never suggested that’, I said. ‘I’ve just been curious about the whole experience, the whole process.’

‘Have you, now’, he said. ‘I rather thought you were bored by my long-winded explanation.’

 

back-to-magic-shop-blog-14

Well, I couldn’t help but laugh at that. And he laughed with me.

Well, I couldn’t help but laugh at that. And he laughed with me. Maybe he wasn’t an old fool after all.

‘Why did you really come here, Queen Gwyneth?’ he asked.

I shook my head. ‘I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to see if I felt different, being here in my new skin, so to speak.’

He smiled. ‘Why don’t you take a room at the inn for the night? Get a feel for the space. Maybe you’ll know more about how you feel in the morning. A good night’s sleep will shed some more light on what’s happened to you.’

I was surprised to find that the day had drifted away while we’d been talking. ‘I think I’ll do that’, I said. We said our goodbyes, and I headed next door to the inn.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-15

I woke up early the next morning. 

I woke up early the next morning. Of course, the “inn” didn’t serve breakfast, and knowing already that the wizard (whatever his name was) wasn’t a morning person, I figured I’d just hop back to my own Realm and that would be that.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-16

So I turned to walk down past the magic shop, toward the village gate.

So I turned to walk down past the magic shop, toward the village gate. Autumn leaves were scattered on the flagstones. The air was chill. I shivered, but not with cold.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-17

It was with anticipation.

It was with anticipation.

back-to-magic-shop-blog-18

The morning brightened as I passed the magic shop on my way out of the village.

The morning brightened as I passed the magic shop on my way out of the village. Of course I glanced up into the window, but there was no wizard. No doubt he was sleeping in, or possibly up in the upstairs library of the shop.

I chuckled to myself. ‘A good night’s sleep will shed more light on what’s happened to you’, he’d said.

‘Fuck light’, I said to myself as I turned the corner with a skip in my gait. ‘There’s work to be done.’

Style Cards:

Autumn Garden and Magic Shop Photos:

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Alies, Drow (Omega face appliers, Maitreya body appliers) (Available NOW at the Bloody Horror Fair!)
Hair: Analog Dog, Ella (Available at Hairology!)
Crown: Junbug, Crown of the Tuatha De
Necklace: Swallow, Key of Love
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Tears of Liliana, blue (Available at We❤ RP!)
Shoes: Roped Passions, Leaf Lullabye, Silver Hudded

The Wizard:
Avatar: Tricksie Anderton, Avatar 50+
Clothing: Silvan Moon Designs, Earl of Regent Doublet Set, Midnight
Hair: No match, No Hunt

Autumn Garden: Two Moon Gardens, Overgrown Glory—Autumn
Magick Shoppe: Death Row Designs, Magick Shoppe (Now available at the Death Row Designs Main Store!)

Morning After Photographs:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Alies, Drow (Omega face appliers, Maitreya body appliers) (Available NOW at the Bloody Horror Fair!)
Hair: Vanity Hair, Bye Bae (Available at Hairology!)
Crown: Junbug, Sabrina Circlet
Necklace, Bracelet: Bauhaus Movement, Inkie, Purple
Dress: Maro, Anna (Available at the Seasons Story!)
Shoes: Paper Moon, Kajah Mountain Sandals

Inn: Breno, The Smith House
Magick Shoppe: Death Row Designs, Magick Shoppe (Now available at the Death Row Designs Main Store!)

Autumn Forests: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Gate House: Apple Fall, Gatekeeper’s Lodge
Big House: Apple Fall, Hardwick Manor

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never take Gwyneth back to the scene of the crime without it!