The Re-invention of Saga Silverman

It started last Saturday. My father had another of those never-ending receptions, and in the absence of my mother, I got to be the one parading around the mirrored hall, greeting guests and keeping a smile plastered on to my face.

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Of course, the dress was stunning.

Of course, the dress was stunning, a Senzafine. I’m sure someone on Father’s staff knew who my favourite designers were and took care of it properly. And I knew I looked lovely, like a mediaeval princess in a modern palace. At least, that was the impression I was trying to give.

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Someone Else in the Mirror

But the truth was, every time I caught a glimpse of my face in the tall mirror at the end of the hall, I saw myself more as a prisoner than as myself, if that makes any sense. It was like watching a stranger’s face, like seeing someone I didn’t recognise.

That’s when I decided that I, desperate rebel against my father by day, dutiful daughter by night, was going to make a change. I couldn’t do this any more.

I did make it to the end of the night.

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The last time….

But, once all the guests were gone, as I made my way back to the dressing room where Father’s PA waited to help me out of the dress, I knew this would be the last time. And as I walked out of the mirrored hall, I did not look back.

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Staring at the city

Once I got home and into my pyjamas and slippers, I stood for a while at the window, just staring out onto the city. I instructed the autophone to connect me to my mentor—let’s just call him Sampa. Of course that’s not his real name, but it sounds good next to Saga, which is my real name.

“You’ve got to get me out of here,” I said.

“What do I look like, the relocation squad?” He laughed at his own joke.

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I was serious.

“I’m serious, Sampa,” I replied. “I can’t do another one of Father’s functions. I’m starting to think I’ll lose it. Brandon von Oslo was almost attractive to me.”

“That does sound like an emergency.” Sampa didn’t sound as if he understood the urgency of the situation.

“Did you know that if you look out on the city in exactly the right way, it’s like a forest of will o’ the wisps?” I asked. I was squinting and looking out the window. “But I can’t see them at my father’s house. I get headaches there. Something heavy is on my head when I am there.”

“Ohhh,” said Sampa. “OK, let’s think about this. Do you have enough to live for a month or two without income?”

“Oh, I don’t worry about that,” I said. “You can always get work as a tattoo artist, pretty much anywhere you go. Do you know any tattooists who are really far away from New York? You have to: you know everyone, don’t you?”

Sampa cleared his throat. I heard pages turning in his obsolete little book of names and numbers and compromising information. “I have… hm. Four or five friends here in New York, even one upstate, but that’s not far enough away for you, is it?”

“Not remotely,” I said. “Ooh, a shooting star! I’m going to make a wish right now!”

Sampa chuckled. “Let me get back to you,” he said. “I may have a friend of a friend, but I’m not sure where he’s located these days.”

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I started taking pictures off the wall.

I started taking pictures off the wall. Really, I wouldn’t need to pack much. And I should remove the “odd” body paint, as Father had called it when he looked at me earlier that evening. And get my hair bleached and dyed. The apartment is one of Father’s: I would just leave all my shit, except the art stuff and the pictures and clothes that would work with the New Me… who would she be? I thought of kittens and unicorns.

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I liked thinking of kittens and unicorns.

I liked thinking of kittens and unicorns. I’d barely sunk onto the couch when the autophone rang again. “Answer,” I said sharply.

“Saga, I’ve got something for you, but it’s a little weird.” It was Sampa.

“Since when is anything we’ve done together not been weird?”

“Point. Anyway, yes; I do have a friend of a friend, but he’s,” Sampa coughed. “He’s in Alexandria, of all places.”

“Alexandria as in Egypt?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Well, that’s definitely far enough away.” I considered it for a few seconds. “Maybe I can visit the pyramids and meet some ancient gods and learn all about mummies?”

“Or maybe you could work part time in this tattoo shop until clients see what you can do and your business starts to explode.”

“Also a plan,” I said. “I’m pretty sure people like me.”

“They won’t like you down at Dragon in the morning,” Sampa warned. “Shop has got an opening, but my friend can only hold it for you for one week. I suggest you get your affairs in order.”

I laughed outright at this. “Order?” I laughed again.” Order is the enemy, Sampa.”

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That didn’t make it any better.

That laughter didn’t make it any better or any more fun to close the security gate at Dragon for the last time, just a couple of days later. They’d begged me to stay just a few more days, but I said I had to run off and play with the fairies for a while. They laughed at that. I really don’t think I’m all that funny. I really did mean I had to run off and play with the fairies for a while.

I got my hair bleached and pastel rainbowed, packed two bags and a bulging carry-on loaded with my laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. I locked the door of my apartment and shoved the single key underneath. Father—or one of his assistants—could find it when they came around looking.

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And that’s how I found myself on a plane to Alexandria.

And that’s how I found myself on a plane to Alexandria. Once the in-air wifi kicked in, I sent goodbye notes to all my social networking accounts and then locked myself out of them.

Everything is going to be different now. I have pink suitcases full of frilly clothes for fun and work clothes for work. I have holographic body paint. I have my portfolio. I have my own delicate needlework on my thighs, of course, and other people’s in other places. Every picture is a story, every window is a picture, and there are little sprites that come out when the stewards dim the lights on the plane so all these people can sleep.

Style Card:
In all photos:
Body: Belleza, Isis
Head: Genus Project:
Eyes: Go&See, Anona Eyes
Choker: Spell, Branch Choker
Poses: all from An Lar

In the mirrored hall:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Gown: Senzafine, Varhendis (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Necklace: Kunglers, Adele Necklace
Hair, Magika, Love
Environment:
Photo Box: D.U.S.T., Mirrored Hall Photobox, 3D

In Saga’s Apartment:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Hair, Magika, Love
Dress: Les Sucreries de Fairy, Kimberly Long Dress
Slippers: The Dark Fairy, Unicorn Dreams
Environment:
Apartment: Focus Poses, Hello New York
Chair: Ison, Wooden Chair
Couch and Chair: Dreamscapes Decor, Fairy Tale Couch, Fairy Tale Chair
Coffee Table: Bazar, Toronto Coffee Table
Blue Tapestry: Consignment, Stardust
Other tapestries: DRD, Vagabond

At the Tattoo Shop:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Hair: Magika, No Tears
Jeans: Semller, 25 Point Jeans
Top: Goth1c0, Kath Loose Dress
Boots: DRD, Dirty Combats
Environment:
Shop: Focus Poses, Guetto Background
Tattoo Sign: Daniel Fettuccio, Neon Dragon Tattoo Sign

On the Plane:
Skin: The Plastik, Draziele, Alabarus
Hair: Magika, Solace
Clothes: Giz Seorn, Montana Outfit
Lipstick: Cazimi, Tinted Lipgloss, Natural
Environment:
Plane: FoxCity, Flight Club (Day Travel)

Be Like a Bird

Be like a bird, who halting in her flight
On a limb too slight, feels it give way beneath her
Yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings
Yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings

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Be like a bird

Be like a bird

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Halting in her flight

Who, halting in her flight

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A limb too slight

On a limb too slight,

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It gives way beneath her

Feels it give way beneath her,

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Yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings

Yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings

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Yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings

Yet sings, sings, knowing she has wings

Let there be rejoicing! The wonderful Lumiya Rae has a new skin, and it’ll be available shortly! This is the Elentari fantasy skin, here shown on a Genus Project head with the Juniper face. There are different faces for different mesh heads, of course. Lumae are aiming for a release at noon SLT tomorrow at the Lumae Main Store

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project
Skin: Lumae, Fantasy Elentari, Juniper (Available TOMORROW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hair: All by Tableau Vivant. In order from photo 1-6, they are:
1 Tempest
2 Laying
3, 6 Front Blow
4, 5 Demon Huntress
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes
Dress, leg wraps, and shoes: JR Wolf Creations (Available on 15 September at the Spoonful of Sugar Festival!)
Choker: Bauhaus Movement, Eternal Choker

Environment:
Photo box: FoxCity, Love Succs, Pastel
Poses: UZME Poses, FlyJump #1

 

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)

Mermaid’s Daughter

You have to understand. My mother and I, we’re not close. It all started when she moved us away from the city, onto the edge of an island where the only other beings to play with were seals (and the occasional and rare selkie), birds, and sometimes a drifting fisherman might bring his children along with him on a trip. The kids at the traveller camp (mum said not to call them “gypsies”, even though everybody else at school did) didn’t want to have anything to do with me because I’d not got the right blood. School was a boat ride away, and I had to ride with the traveller kids on their boat, and if I missed it, Mum would have to swim over or take one of our little boats to pick me up, and it wasn’t like I had a mobile phone like all the other kids at school; I couldn’t be texted, What’sApped, Snapchatted, or whatever the devil else they were always talking about. They said I talked funny, I looked funny, and I dressed funny. And maybe I did.

And now I’m drifting, off topic and into the past, right off the line. Isn’t that just like you, she’d say. Has said. Did say. Would have said.

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Moon Tide House

Moon Tide House. Coming back to this house carries with it all the bottled up angst of a lonely adolescence, all the resentment I had for her, for that life. And here I am letting the Author ramble through me: you don’t even know who I am, and maybe it doesn’t matter.

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I am nervous.

I am nervous. I smile falsely for the suit who insisted on accompanying me to the house. The boat house. The house boat. Moon Tide House. I don’t know why he wants a photograph. Maybe it’s to prove to his boss that he did escort me all the way out here, even though I said don’t bother; I have a key. Maybe it’s because I’m so forgettable he needs a reminder, since we’ll be working together to handle… yeah.

“You’re sure you’ll be all right, Miss Moontide?” he asks. Solicitors are so solicitous.

“Maha, please,” I reply, with all the control I can muster. “And I go by Tide, not Moontide.”

“Of course. Maha.” He straightens up the suit. Must be uncomfortable out here on the dripping hot coast. I feel no sympathy. “Well, if you’re sure you don’t need me to walk you into the house, there’s only this.” With a quick flip of his fingers, he extracts a large manila envelope from his briefcase. “This contains your mother’s estate details, last will and testament, the deed to this house — it’s yours, by the way — that kind of thing.” He shifts uncomfortably as I brush his fingers by accident when I take the envelope. “Your mobile getting a signal?”

“I nod. “Yeah; it’s not like it used to be out here.”

“You’ll really see that in the morning. Beach is growing up. Locals have been at your mother to sell this house for decades. You’ll get a nice price when you do.”

I arch a brow. “No decisions yet,” I say firmly. And then I walk away without making any traditional farewell noises. He makes several of them before uncertainly hopping back into the motorboat we hired on the town side.

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Thoughts everywhere.

The motorboat speeds away, leaving me on the porch of Moon Tide House. I remember being even a little excited when Mum got the moon tide lamps for the outside of the house. Maybe this will make people know we’re cool, I thought. But no; it just made them think we were weird.

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This is where I spent my adolescence.

So. This is where I spent my adolescence. Mum’s spartan décor, her need to have almost everything in the house moon themed, “So we are at one with the tide,” she’d say with a wink. I sit on the couch for a long time, just staring at that mirror. Mum said she used it to communicate with our family back in Faerie, but I never saw that happen. In fact, I never met any of our “family back in Faerie.” There were times when I thought they weren’t real, but I’ll meet them on Saturday. Or some of them anyway. The law firm has been taking care of RSVPs for Mum’s wake, and it looks like many of them will be coming to pay their respects. Relatives I’ve never even met: ha.

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This house was Mum’s pride and joy.

This house was Mum’s pride and joy. She loved it, loved that it was right on the water for obvious reasons, and all around the house there are little faerie doors, which she said brought good luck and would give us an escape route if we ever needed to flee back to Faerie. I never once opened one of those doors and found anything but a blank wall behind it. And believe me, I tried.

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This dress is the last thing Mum gave to me.

This dress is the last thing Mum gave to me before I left home and we… well, like I said, we are not exactly close. Were not exactly close. Behind me you can see one of the faerie doors: it’s in the tree stump. And the captured fairy lights were Mum’s idea of a joke: we got them at a solstice festival when I was about fifteen. The dress came from the same festival, only a few years later. It’s still the most beautiful dress I own, and it should be: the designer is well known for her innovative creations and fantastic colour schemes. If you haven’t heard of Senzafine, you should really check them out. Not that I should be rambling about dresses right now, but there’s a reason I wore this here tonight and a reason I will also wear it to Mum’s wake on Saturday. It represents most of the good memories I have of her.

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Memories of my mother

Memories of my mother do not usually make me smile. She was — is — was — a difficult woman to live with. Regimented. Aloof. Manipulative. Underneath all that, I do believe she loved me: it was just hard to see from the distance I placed between us, the distance she did not resist. She couldn’t tell me she loved me when I decided to leave. So she bought me a beautiful dress.

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What is she looking at? you might wonder.

And now, if you saw me through one of the tall windows, standing here in the almost-empty house with just a coolpak of Diet Coke and cheese to get me through the next twelve hours, you’d wonder, maybe, What is she looking at?

Everything. I’m looking at everything. How the ten years since I left home seem to encapsulate themselves and be nothing next to this house, a house that looks almost exactly as it did the day I left. This house. This sea. This lost woman, nearly middle-aged, still trying to find herself, still adrift, and remembering that you need sea legs in this house as the tide begins to come in, rocking the pontoons.

And then there is a crack of thunder, a light on the moon side, and I turn at the light, at the movement.

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The vision of her is so real.

The vision of her is so real: I walk to the window (this one really is a door, “so we can hop in a boat and escape quickly if we ever need to,” she said.). And there she is, larger than light, her tail reflecting moonlight. But she’s not solid. She’s not there. Her eyes say that she regrets our strained relationship, our parting, the fact we’ve barely spoken in ten years. Sadness for the fact that we can never speak again, now.

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I am alone in the world now.

And then it comes to me: I am alone in the world now. I am her only child, this disappointment of a daughter who didn’t develop gills at adolescence and would never swim the ocean and comb her hair on rocks, or whatever it is mermaids get up to when they’re not swindling poor sailors out of their hard earned gods know what.

And suddenly, I’m just weary. I finish the rest of the nearly-empty Diet Coke and bin the bottle, and then I climb the ladder up to the loft. My room. Mum said there was only a bedroom in the house because of me. When she slept inside, she was happy to be on the couch, she said.

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My Room

My room. The bedsheets clean and different from what I remember, but everything else is the same. The writing desk. The ridiculous plush unicorn I didn’t even want. Three faerie doors, one in the shape of a mushroom. I should tack those lights back up. I should — no, I will never repaint the ceiling, the moon mural she created for me when I was thirteen and hated her and wanted to move back to Nu Jyorck and be with all my friends. Friends whom I couldn’t even email because there was no Internet, no mobile service, no telephone. I’d stare up at that ceiling and wish I could fly. Wish I could swim as fast as my mother. Know in my heart that whoever my father was, he was no merman and I had only a small chance of inheriting the sea.

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It cannot be too much for one person to bear.

It cannot be too much for one person to bear. Because I am one person, me alone, and I will bear it. I must bear it.

I did not like my mother. But now, lying in this bed I cried in for seven years, I understand that I did love her. No more now: tears are coming.

Many thanks to LRRiven of Rivendale and Synjari of Senzafine, whose gorgeous designs for the Midsummer Enchantment event sparked this story and gave me some of the tools with which to write it. I am always, always indebted to the stunning minds behind the creators who make all these toys I love to play with!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Bento Mesh Head (beta) V1
Skin: Lumae, Juniper Genus Project Applier (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!) This applier is 50% off until June 25!
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Senzafine, Jaelle (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Hair: Sn@tch, Luna (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails, Evening Enchantress (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar
Necklace: The Plastik, Hallows Choker
House: Rivendale, Weathered Houseboat (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)

Midsummer Enchantment 2018 - Square