The Certainty of Rain

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Hottest summer anyone can remember.

This year has been something else. It’s been the longest, hottest summer anybody can remember. And here I was, thinking I was the luckiest Naiad alive: spend a summer studying folklore and literature in Paris, get to know the Nymphs of the Seine, practice my not-very-good French on a city full of every kind of being you can imagine. So I’m packed into a student flat on the top floor of what would be called a flophouse in any other country but here is called a “mansion” (it is to laugh). With four other Nymphie-types, one of whom is a fire elemental and is loving this weather.

I, however, am not. I spent evenings out on the open roof, and then sometimes I climb up a little higher if I need to spend time in what wind there is.

Rain had been in the forecast for days. I got home from class, hiked up the five flights of stairs, and immediately walked into the shower—fully clothed because I was really not feeling patient—then out onto the roof to get some air.

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Dark clouds fell across the sky.

Dark clouds fell across the sky. I looked up hopefully. Sometimes we Naiads have a sense that can tell us when rain is coming, and my fingers were tingling. This could be the night!

This is probably the last summer I can ever do anything like this. With Britain leaving the European Union (and whose stupid idea was that, anyway? I wasn’t even old enough to vote at the time) next March, there will be predictable problems with student visas, particularly if you’re classed Supernatural. There is even a party in the UK that wants to restrict the Supernatural population only to “indigenous British, Irish and Welsh species,” which makes absolutely no sense at all. So I’m having no fun because it’s too hot, I can’t get to the river enough because my course load is so heavy, and there’s no rain.

Finally, there was thunder, and then the rain started. Oh, yes!

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I climbed up onto one of the chimneys.

I climbed up onto one of the chimneys. Here, you can see the expanse of the city spread out below you, although at night it becomes Paris At Night, which is kind of dingy and dark, but it’s Paris, so people think that’s romantic.

Rain was falling in earnest now, and that made me feel alive and free and at home.

Right now it’s hard to feel at home anywhere. I mean, the Supernatural Ministry is arguing that water and tree spirits, Naiads and Dryads, have precedent because water and trees occur everywhere, but the Preserve Our Paranormal Party (the party of P) thinks we have our origin in Greece, so they want to deport us all to Greece. Greece? What would I do there? I’m a British citizen. I don’t speak Greek. And some of the Continental supernaturals are downright snobby. Kind of like the POPPs want us to be. Of course, because it’s a grey line with me, the other supernatural races who are under threat think it must be easy for us, so I don’t fit in with them either.

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Caught in the middle.

Caught in the middle, that’s me. I don’t belong in Greece. But if the POPPs have their way, I won’t have a home in England either. What happens to me? It’s easy to get into this vein where I feel sorry for myself and just want to dive into the Seine and never come out (thought that’d be a bad idea; it’s muddy down there).

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Eventually I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat.

Eventually, I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat, enjoying the water pooling under my body, the rain on my feet, the rain everywhere. It showed no signs of stopping.

“I’m going to close the window now, Gwen,” said Kari, the fire elemental. “This humidity is fucking with my mojo. You coming in?” She chuckled as she spoke, probably anticipating my response.

“I might really sleep out here,” I replied. “This is heaven for me, you know.”

“Suit yourself; I’ll leave it unlocked.” Kari shut the window.

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Dancing was the best solution

I made my way down to the upper roof and just decided dancing was the best solution. I have six months to worry about what to do in March. Maybe they’ll change the whole thing and make it OK for England to be my home as it always has been. Maybe I’ll have to take a crash course in Greek. I can’t do anything about it here, can’t do anything about it now, so why am I ruining this glorious rainstorm by dwelling on it? I didn’t even let my mind wander onto the environment and reason why this summer is so hot. It would only depress me further.

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Rain Dance

No, no use to dwell. Better to dance. Better to let the water take me over. I only have a few weeks left here, and then it’s back to cloudy Cambridge and the Lit department at Anglia Ruskin, where at least nobody stares at me like I ought to be deported.

Yet.

NB from HM Queen Gwyneth: I have no idea where this dream came from. It felt very much like the world I used to live in, only with supernatural elements disclosed and some unthinkable idea that the UK would ever leave the EU, which would be the dumbest thing ever, and nobody would ever allow that to happen. It was like living in some bizarre dystopian novel preface, where humans made every stupid decision they possible could and the author couldn’t pick the ones they liked best, so they decided to just throw them all in there. Climate change, Xenophobia, and this terror that World War III was on the horizon brimming in my mind. I obviously have more darkness and despair in my subconscious than I ever could imagine in waking life. Beginning to wonder if the dreams really are nothing more than just my mind doing what-if somersaults at night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Genus Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Juniper – Iriana (Available NOW at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Mesange, River Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Top: Decoy, Carmen Blouse
Jeans: Spirit, Undina Jeans
Shoes: Atelier Pepe, Maya
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Nimbus
Hair: Mina, Sandra
Makeup: Alaskametro, Babygoth
Eyelashes: CowTea, Doe-eyed Eyelashes
Skin Rain: Izzie’s, Wet Body and Face

Environment: Milk Motion, The Roofs of Paris
Poses:
Nantra, blame it on the rain
EvoLove, kiss the rain
Roquai Poses, Rain 1b (last photo)

The Back Forty

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The Amazing Catwoman:

So, yeah. I said my mobile was working in that strange forest I landed in. About two hours after I discovered the crag above the water, right after I’d put together a makeshift campsite and managed to gig a couple of frogs for dinner, I got a call from my fixer. Security gig, small town, infested with demons, probably last a week or so, basic demon cleaning, no biggie, nice payoff at the end, accommodation provided by the town in question.

Sounded like a sweet job, so sure, I took it.

You know, nothing is ever the way they pitch it to you. Nothing.

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What. The Actual. Fuck.

At first, I thought I might have travelled to the wrong Realm by accident; that’s been known to happen. But no; I was shortly met by Zeke, my contact. Seriously? There are actually people named Zeke? Who the fuck even knew that? And what were his parents even thinking? Jesus. Or Whomever. Zeke took me through the nearly deserted town, explaining that most of the population had deserted the place, “On account of this demon infestation, see?”

“No offence,” I said, and I winced inwardly at that: I think people who say “no offence” usually mean to give quite a lot, but I didn’t, really I didn’t, “but it looks like the population has been gone for quite some time.”

“Week or two, tops,” he insisted. “And why’d they send a demon to take care of a demon infestation, anyway? No offence.”

“Would you like to know how many knives I’ve got stashed in these boots, Zeke?” I asked. “I’m no demon; I’m a svart alfar, and I’m not seeing any evidence of demons around here, so you’d better produce one or I’ll be heading back to my fixer without doing jack shit for you, and you’ll still pay my fee, or you’ll meet some real demons. A lot of very interesting people work for my boss.”

Zeve raised both hands, backed up a couple of steps. “Whoa there, little lady. Nobody needs to be siccing demons on anybody, not with the problem I’ve got.” All this time he’d been leading me down an overgrown street. “Here we go,” he said finally. “Village Garage.”

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Yep: it was a garage, all right.

Yep: It was a garage, all right. And holy mother of fuck, there was an old Dodge with the engine on pumping out black smoke like it was in the middle of a full-on engine failure.

“What’s up with the Dodge?”

“That’s the demon.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“I would not shit you about the demon Dodge,” Zeke intoned.

“Right.” I covered my nose with my hand. “Yeah, OK; I can smell the sulphur. You got one of those face masks you use when you’re working with something smelly that might give you some kind of lung disease if you inhale too much of it?” I asked.

“Got a bandana,” he said.

“Great.” Great. Zeke handed me an oily bandana, which I duly tied around my nose. “You know I get a bonus if I clear up your problem in short time,” I said.

“Go for it,” Zeke replied. “I’ll leave you to it.” And he was off down the street. Coughing a bit.

“All right, you little fucker,” I said. “Come out where I can see you.”

“No.”

“Don’t make me fill this car up with chlorine,” I said.

“You wouldn’t. There’d be an explosion.”

“I would. Whole town’s deserted because of you and your little friends,” I said. “And I am not a very patient demon cleaner.”

“It’s just me.” The demon actually managed to sound petulant. “The others got bored.”

“Bored.”

“Yeah: too easy. Once we trashed the church, whole population, vamos.” I think it snapped its fingers.

“Except Zeke.”

“Yeah, except him. I’m working on him.”

“What do you want a shitty little town in the middle of nowhere for?” I asked.

“I dunno. Something about a vortex of evil to take over the whole universe,” the demon replied. “It’s the same shit every job. We’re always going to take over the universe, and we never do, and then there I am, barely a fortnight later, stuck in the belly of a car that still takes leaded petrol, because that is my lot.”

“So you don’t believe there’s actually a vortex here that’ll help your masters take over the universe.”

“Fuck no. This is just make-work. All the big boys are busy with politics at the moment. They have to keep us out of trouble.” A black shape began to manifest out of the smoke the Dodge was coughing up. I could swear it shrugged. “I used to think one day they’d put me on politics, but that was a fucking pipe dream,” it continued.

“So quit.”

“What?”

“You heard me: quit.”

“Can’t. Got debts.”

I rolled my eyes. “You demons have such a fucking caste system.”

The black smoke took a vaguely humanoid shape. It managed to manifest a pair of red eyes. “Very impressive,” I said.

“You don’t sound impressed.”

“I’m not, actually. Seriously: there are whole cities out there with huge demon populations. You could corrupt a couple of kids, pay off your debt in no time.”

“Seriously?”

“Sure. Plenty of work for lesser demons: your boss just isn’t very imaginative.” I scoffed. “The whole ‘vortex of evil’ plot; so overdone. Somebody’s been watching too much Buffy.”

“I loved that show.”

“Me too, but it’s not the same as real life.” The Dodge stopped coughing up smoke and the engine stilled. “Seriously, I’ll pop you off into a Realm where you can just walk into a bar, meet some loser, start stripping souls, make yourself a tidy retirement fund.”

“Yeah?”

“Sure. Here.” I opened up the bag I carry for this kind of work. “Pocket dimension. Pop in there and I’ll transport you to the right place, once I check in with Zeke and let him know the job’s done.”

The amorphous head tilted. “You’re not having me on?”

“Nope. You got kids out there thinking sex with demons would be pretty rad. You can take two, three souls a night that way, and nobody’ll even miss them.”

Shadowy fingers worked as the demon did some internal calculations. “Could pay off my debt in a year that way.”

“You owe six hundred souls?”

“Nine hundred, actually. Married a human and had four kids with her.”

I whistled. “That’ll do it. Yeah; into the bag with you.”

And that was that. It went willingly into the pocket dimension, and I closed the bag with the drawstring. Five day job? Five minute job.

Of course, once I checked in with Zeke I had to wait until sunset to catch the portal out: it was one of those old fashioned ones that only works at dawn or twilight.

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So I wandered around a little.

So I wandered around a little. Discovered what is probably the only intelligent life in this town. Checked in with the fixer, made sure Zeke paid him, made sure the funds plus my bonus were in my account. Swapped the bag with one of the demon relocation team. Then, I got myself back to that forest as quick as I could manipulate the Realm stream, because another couple of frogs would not be a bad way to end the evening.

And here’s some more fashion bloggy stuff!

Once again, I’m featuring one of the great hairstyles available at the 2016  Hair Fair! Hair Fair is open until 31 July, and a percentage of the proceeds of all sales go to benefit Wigs For Kids. Hair Fair is the best place to stock up on the latest and greatest hairstyles available on the Grid!

With that in mind, and because there is going to be no way to write a separate story around all the hair I picked up at Hair Fair (I bought a lot of hair…. no one who knows me will be surprised by this!), here are some editorials of other styles I can’t wait to put on TAC for role-play and blog stories in the near future:

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41’16, from Red Mint!

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69HF, from Barberyumyum!

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Blowdry, from Atelier Pepe!

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Cross, from Little Bones!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Soul Uni Ears, Blix
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: The Plastik, Draziele, Aeshma
Hair: Mina, Odyle (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is NOW OPEN!)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Nimue Outfit (Available at We❤ RP!)
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Montana Boots (Available at We❤ RP!)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, The Dreamer, Fortuity Vibrant
Poses: PosESion, from the 100 poses for $399 set currently on sale at their Main Store
Setting: The Village and Bar Deco, which is a gorgeous sim with so many photo opportunities! (Another great discovery thanks to Ziki Questi’s fantastic blog)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Amazing Catwoman never talks lesser demons into shady pocket dimension transfer deals without it!

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