Short Story Roundup

From The Author: Lately, I’ve not been inspired to write a lot of longish stories and have been sticking to single photographs. So here is a bit of a roundup of the last week or so in photographs. These have, except for one, already appeared on my Flickr feed, so they might seem familiar.

The Moth, or “Capture” and “Escape”

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Moth Working Shot

I knew Ritual was going to release a green skin for the Trick or Treat Lane event, but I didn’t have the skin yet. Now, green is not my favourite colour, and I only very rarely (like only when I want to blog one) wear green skin, so I wanted to find a concept that worked for me with a green skin. Luckily, I’d just been to the Lootbox event, where Devious Minds had this gorgeous moth outfit gacha. So, here is the dry-run shot that I took and edited before the eventual photograph with the skin itself. I’m including it here because it was fun to shoot and also because the character changed a bit in my head between concept and finished photo.

Quick credits: moth set is from the Devious Mind “Falena” gacha, at Lootbox. Hair is Magika, “Irene”. Avatar styled on LAQ Noelle Bento Mesh Head and a Maitreya body, with SLink Pointe feet.

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Capture

With the addition of the new skin (Ritual, Elspeth in tone Rheia for Trick or Treat Lane ), plus some brighter eyes (Cerebrus Xing, Uni Eyes), and dark lipstick (Pink Fuel, Dazzle Me-Haunted), and a change in hair (Tram, 0314), this character became, for me, a dark fairy captured, perhaps because she committed some crime or perhaps because of who she was. This is possibly her mug shot, although it might be a self-reflection from wherever she is incarcerated.

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Escape

Here is how the final photograph with the darker skin turned out. Whether she is re-captured, I do not know, but the story is somewhere in there! Even though I’d saved camera angles and lighting settings, things weren’t exactly the same, as you can see, and in order to soften the shadows I added an overlay in Affinity Photo to soften them. The Flickr version is cropped differently and I think more effectively.

I’d mentioned to the lovely Wren of Visionaire that I have been unsatisfied with a lot of the bloggy photography lately and felt like I was sliding in to some old habits (over-lighting, boring subject focus, and also over-lighting). Funny how when you talk about something, it suddenly seems to come clear to you? A lot of these pictures are partly influenced by that conversation.

Credits: Same as for the test shot, with the additions noted above. This great pose is from Le Poppycock‘s new Fairy Winds set.

Dignigoff

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Dignigoff

I’m still crazy in love with HEXtraordinary‘s adorable Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton; isn’t everybody? I’d just finished the blog story about his visit to and planned takeover of Awenia, but I really wanted to put him in every photograph ever at the time, so here he is as Gwyneth’s travelling companion to some important Nu Jyorck function or other. This dress is 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s beautiful (and versatile!) Delirium Dress, which will officially debut at The Black Fair on the 5th of October, and the shoes are also from 1313 Mockingbird Lane. They’re the Luna Mary Janes, and you can get them at Trick or Treat Lane , where there are many other amazing things, as well!

Credits from the Flickr Post:
The Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Delirium (out soon at The Black Fair!)
The Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Luna Mary Janes (at Trick or Treat Lane !)
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in Tone 1 (at the Ritual Main Store)
The Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Zuna (Available at Lootbox)
The Bracelets: The Plastik, Phaen Cuffs (At Salem)
The Kitty: HEXtraordinary, Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton, Esq. (At The Engine Rom)
The Headpiece: Zibska, Sammy (At Shiny Shabby)
The Backdrop: FoxCity, Grand Entrance (At Kustom9)
The Pose: An Lar, The Candi Series, 5m
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme

Glamour Shot!

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Glamour Shot

This is an unapologetic fashion red carpet style photograph of 1313 Mockingbird Lane‘s Delirium Dress, which will be available at The Black Fair. It’s not often I like a dress so much I want to photograph it twice, but something about the fall of the skirt and the fact that there was a cherry print for it made me wonder what would happen if you put a Goth girl into a 1950’s sitcom. So here she is, probably ready to go out for blood burgers and zombie shakes with all her friends from school! I’d also been wanting to photograph these Marcelina shoes from Bliensen + Maitai for ages, so long I don’t even remember where I got them, though the properties tab says I acquired them on the 5th of May this year, which probably means the May round of We Love Roleplay. Regardless, they’re gorgeous little witchy pumps, made for SLink kitten feet. I wish more people would design for kitten and pointe feet, but I’m weird. I searched far and wide for this cherry-themed jewellery and finally found it on the SL MP from Petit Chat. Searching for anything with the word “cherry” in the description on MP is…. yeah. We suffer for art, y’all. We really do.

Quick Credits for everything not. above: Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1. Body: Maitreya. Head: Catwa Keme. Ears: Swallow Elf Ears HD. Stockings: Sweet Tea. Backdrop Wearh0ouse, Drapes

I Woke Up Like This

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I Woke Up Like This

I’ll be honest: I didn’t mean to take this photograph. I was testing hairstyles for the moth photograph, and I came across this one from Tram (H0414) and considered it as a possibility. Then, when I was cam zoomed in on the avatar face, it struck me that this would make a really nice portrait, so I adjusted her expression and shot it. It ended up showing Ritual‘s beautiful Elspeth applier really well, so I decided to share it. And, really, don’t we all love living in SL where we really can wake up like this?

Quick credits: Eyes: ProFect, Moon Eyes; Head: Catwa Keme; Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD; Brows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn soft arch; Hair: Tram H0414; Skin: Ritual, Elspeth in T1.

The News

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The News

Sometimes, a creation just inspires me on sight. That’s what happened with this evocative skin from Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles. I knew it had to go with clothes from the Belle Epoque Undimmed Eyes set; I didn’t even consider any other outfits to photograph this. I wore this outfit for like three days, I liked it so much, and trust me when I say my Second Life is mostly full of costume changes! Once I had the avatar dressed, the character that emerged was an investigative reporter for the Nu Jyorck Ganger, a big daily newspaper. This is her byline photo. As for the rest of the story, I don’t know it yet. Maybe I never will. Some characters are ephemeral.

Here’s the text from the Flickr post:

Look at this quirky, whimsical, downright glorious skin from Jeanette’s Joint! If you’re feeling significant (and, indeed, topical!) and you want to take this baby for a spin, you can pick it up for L$249 at the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event. And this isn’t the only super cool thing there! Not only is there great shopping, but this event also promises great parties, cool chances to find your One True Soulmate (and win a limited edition skin!), and the Zodiac Hunt.

  • The Amazing Skin: Jeanette’s Joint, Chronicles Skin. Comes with Catwa, Maitreya, and Omega appliers. At the Fallen Gods Twelfth Anniversary Zodiac event.
  • The Exactly Right Outfit: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (this was at a Lootbox event, I think, but it’s sure to be in the Belle Epoque Main Store now).
  • The Understated But Fetching Hair: Exile, Lily (I think I got this at Hair Fair, but my brain is catnipped at the moment; anyway, it’s in the Exile Main Store).
  • The Thoughtful, Yet Appealing Eyes: Heaux, Glaze Eyes (fatpack light), for Genus
  • The Ears Of Hopefulness And Newshounding: Lumae, Leevi Short Ears. (At the Lumae/Ritual Main Store)
  • The Fae-Means-Business Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn, High Arch. (At the SimpleBloom Main Store)
  • The Flirtatious Yet Forward Thinking Eyelashes: Michan, Cheryl Lashes (from the September 2019 Genus Project Powder Pack).

Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya mesh body and a Genus Project Baby Face Bento Mesh Head.

I would say she never reveals her sources, but that would, verifiably, be what we call irony.

So, I guess that’s the news from this week.

Surgical recovery is finally done, so I go back to work on Sunday, 6 October. I will do my best to keep up the bloggity blogs.

 

 

Into the Dark

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Gwyneth:

There is, in a Realm that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, a magic shop. It claims to be a “Magick Shoppe”, but that’s neither here or there. I discovered it by accident once when I was out looking for … oh, I don’t know. Something. Anyway, the fellow who runs the shoppe [sic] is a powerful wizard. Old-school wizard, the kind of guy who has a first floor (Americans: second floor) full of nothing but magical texts, which are not  for sale, and a ground floor full of herbs, potions, ingredients, and pre-prepared spells, which are for sale. I got talking to this guy once about the differences between Fae magic and what he calls ceremonial magic, which I guess is a fancy name for wizarding magic, and he mentioned having helped some Fae once.

And, you know. He does custom work.

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I hesitated at the door.

I hesitated at the door. It wasn’t yet mid-morning, and he’d said he preferred to work in the evenings. But then his unmistakable voice, deep like a euphonium and every bit as loud, came from inside the shop.

“Well, don’t just stand there dithering, Your Queeniness. I think you’d better come in.”

So I did. I told him what I wanted. He sent me out shopping on the high street of the town (And I did pick up some lovely things!), told me to come back in the afternoon and he’d have something for me.

It was a potion. “Best drink it here”, he said, “so I can gauge whether or not you’re going to have a bad reaction. We should know in an hour or two”.

It was vile. Not like Dyisi’s concoctions, which always end up tasting like Piña Coladas. I just about gagged. Had to stop halfway through.

“No, no”, he said. “You have to chug it like you’re at your first university party.”

I glared and finished the rest in one swig. When I could speak again (probably a full thirty seconds later), I said, “I never went to any university parties. I was too busy studying”.

“Well, that was your first mistake, Queenie.” He smirked.

That was the moment I first thought maybe I should have gone to Dyisi instead. But surely she’d tell Kern, and then he’d tell Clutie, and then all the Seelie Fae would be aghast at what I was doing and all the Unseelie Fae would turn up their noses… no. Best no-one knew.

Then the dizziness started. “It’ll pass”, he assured me. “Once you’re over it, you should get yourself home and to bed, though. You don’t want to go through this transition on the High Street.”

I thought back to my night with Mornoth. So many new thoughts and feelings swirling round inside my head. He’d promised to help me. I knew he’d help me more. But I needed something to bring out the darkness inside me, something that would make me not resist the winter I knew was inside my nature.

“Do you think we’ll have to repeat the process in the spring?” I asked.

“Unlikely, but my fee remains the same if we do”, he replied.

“Why not?”

“What I’ve given you is just a catalyst”, he explained. “There is a dark side to your nature; we are just helping it along a bit.”

Suddenly, my head felt a bit more clear. “Time to go?”

“Time to go.”

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I hesitated in the doorway.

I hesitated in the doorway. Had I forgotten something? My head began to buzz strangely.

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I just knew I’d forgotten something.

I just knew I’d forgotten something.

“Go now, Your Majesty!” He thumped his fist on the counter.

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I flung the door closed and staggered into the street.

I flung the door closed and staggered into the street. It’s a good thing I do so much Realm-hopping; the way home is easy for me.

And when I got there, I didn’t pause to say even a cursory hello to Bran, who was busy with something anyway. I had to use the handrail going up the stairs, and I’m afraid I just threw myself into bed.

I don’t know how long I slept.

I also don’t know how I came to be awake in the garden, up on the memorial dais. But there I was.

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I put a hand to my face, felt the etchings there.

I put a hand to my face, felt the etchings there. Noticed my hair had gone silver-white again. Could glamour to blonde quickly, but… a glance at my hand told me anything yellow would clash against my ashen skin. A crown that felt like silver wire. And. Oh, Lady of my Life, I felt the antlers on my head. I pulled at them, but they had clearly grown while I was sleeping, and come to think of it, I did have a bit of a headache.

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That was when the world shifted.

That was when the world shifted. Everything went dark, the darkest night I could imagine. That’s also when the wolf appeared. He snuffled around the hem of my dress and seemed OK with being petted when I reached down. A white wolf. I had some half-remembered folklore in my head about white wolves, but I couldn’t call it up, probably because I was still dizzy, and—you know, antlers are surprisingly light. I wasn’t all that thrilled when my hand came away sticky with spiderwebs. Great. Why can’t I have shiny, pretty antlers like the ones Aoibheann got? Or at least an antler candelabra like Gwythyr. Why spiderwebs?

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Then again, I thought, spiders aren’t all that bad.

Then again, I thought, spiders aren’t all that bad. It kind of made me giggle. The wolf snapped at something, which made me laugh even harder.

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We made our way down into the enchanted garden.

We made our way into the enchanted garden. I was pleased to see it was still the same, though my beautiful forest had turned orange and red and yellow with autumn leaves. I didn’t see another living creature, so I asked the wolf the question that was in my mind. “What do you think all this is about?”

“Initiation”, said the wolf in a growling voice.

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That’s when the feathers started falling.

That’s when the feathers started falling. I reached out for one, but they slipped through my fingers.

Glowing like a gaslamp, a will o’ the wisp appeared, then morphed into a tiny dark Faerie. A tiny dark Faerie, holding a raven twice his size in his hands. And a very sharp knife. He swiftly sliced through the raven’s flesh and cut out its still-beating heart. “For you, Your Majesty”, he said.

I stared.

“Hurry up now, or it’s no good: I’ll have to get another one.”

I couldn’t deny that it smelled good. He lifted the tiny heart toward my mouth. I didn’t swallow it whole. I savoured it. The bird twitched, and the Fae dropped it onto the ground, where the white wolf finished it off in a couple of bites. I wiped blood from my mouth.

Without another word, the Fae flitted off into the forest.

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I tried to follow it, but it disappeared.

I tried to follow it, but it disappeared. I felt wings sprout from my shoulders then, and I was giddy again, twirling and dancing in the autumn woods. Around me, raven feathers swirled and dipped.

They were beautiful.

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But what was it all for?

But what was it all for? I felt a chill in the air, and it sent a thrill through my body. I felt heavy with life and desire, as if the raven’s heart had somehow given me something more than the wizard’s potion could ever have done. Maybe I hadn’t needed the potion at all.

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And what to do now?

And what to do now? I wondered only for the barest slice of a second. I felt the call of the Underhill. And I knew just who could help me with all the excess energy I seemed to have collected. “You want to stay here?” I asked the wolf.

“Better hunting in the forest than in Mornoth’s bed”, he replied.

Psychic little fucker.

Style Cards:

Magick Shoppe Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Eyeshadow: Arte, Yuki Eyeshadow, Gems
Lipstick: The Skinnery, Matte Lip Potion
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD
Eyes: Mesange, Serndipity Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: No Match, No Sleep (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Thisbe, Purple (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Shoes: Death Row Designs, Frilly Shoes, Black
Magick Shoppe: Death Row Designs, Magick Shoppe (Now available at the Death Row Designs Main Store!)
Poses: All from Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me (Available at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Bower Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Feet: SLink, Pointe
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: La Petite Morte, Belle, Diamond (Catwa applier, Maitreya applier)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Marissa
Crown: The Forge, Autumn Crown, Gold/Silver (Available at The Seasons Story!)
Antlers: Cerebrus Xing, Spindle Antlers, Snow (Available at The Seasons Story!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Well of Souls (Available at the Fallen Gods 9th Anniversary Event!)
Raven Feathers: Persefona, Floating Raven Feathers
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes, Night
Memorial Structure: Kaelis Ember, Here Find Serenity
Wolf: Tender Loving Care, Standing Wolf White (Available at Cosmopolitan!)
Magic flowers: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Poses: All from Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me (Available at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make Gwyneth drink foul-tasting potions that may or may not turn her into a Proper Dark Faerie Queen without it!

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