Unprepared

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You know that feeling when you’re transported to another Realm in your dream, and you’re pretty sure it’s not an ordinary dream?

You know that feeling when you’re transported to another Realm in your dream, and you’re pretty sure it’s not an ordinary dream? As in, pretty sure you’ve been dream-napped b some super-important spirit or Elder Fae, or perhaps a deity, either to get told off or given something, which is mostly just cryptic advice?

No?

Well, anyway. I found myself in a dark realm. The floor looked like marbled clouds. And of course there was a voice from out of nowhere.

You are unprepared, said the voice.

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“Unprepared for what?” I asked.

“Unprepared for what?” I asked. I could not see anything beyond the circle of the light that shone pretty much directly into my eyes.

You will certainly find out when the time comes. The voice held a hint of laughter. Stupid self-important messengers of Fate (or whatever).

“That is not really helpful,” I replied. “How am I meant to know what I’m unprepared for if nobody tells me?”

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Maybe, said the voice, you’re just meant to be aware you’re unprepared.

Maybe, said the voice, you’re just meant to be aware you’re unprepared. 

I sighed audibly, and I think there was some noise from far away.

I can take you to a place where you might learn more, the voice said, relenting.

Then, there was a noise like insects, like maybe locusts…..

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And I found myself in a grove, deep in some forest, crackling with magical energy.

And I found myself in a grove, deep in some forest, a grove crackling with magical energy. “Well,” I said to myself, (but out loud so whatever generated the voice could hear me), “this is certainly different from the last drop point.”

As well it should be, hissed the voice. This is the primordial druid’s grove. See how time is stopped here. Only the magic itself, and magic within magic, can move or think. Or perhaps it is just that everything else moves and thinks with such slowness that even I cannot comprehend it. 

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Absolutely nothing looked familiar.

Absolutely nothing looked familiar, unless you count that trees and logs and structures themselves look familiar, at least to an extent.

I’ll leave you now, said the voice. And I wager you will find some answers here. Take care to stay inside the magic circle—but of course you know that rule already. Then there was a ripple of laughter on the wind, and that presence was gone.

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“Well, great. What do I do now?”

“Well, great,” I said. “What do I do now?”

“You could always try listening,” said a voice that could almost have been the wind, or maybe the wind through leaves.

I turned toward the dryad. “I didn’t think you could be frozen,” I said. “You’re made of magic, like the Sidhe.”

“We often appear frozen, to other beings,” replied the Dryad. “When we move at the pace of trees, well. We are simply slower than others.”

“So what should I be listening for?”

“I don’t know. But I would like to see you dance. Would you mind dancing for me?”

Oh, great, I thought. This is no ordinary dryad. She is some sort of elder spirit, and I won’t get anything until I give her exactly what she wants. So, I said, “Very well,” and imagined music in my head until I could find the feet to dance.

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I started slowly, as I always do.

 

I started slowly, as I always do, and oddly I could feel the candles flickering in rhythm with my movements.

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The dryad squealed with delight when I leapt into the air.

 

The dryad squealed with delight when I leapt into the air. “Oh, what a pair of legs!” she gushed. “Why, you might almost have propelled yourself outside of that protected circle, where I could really talk to you….”

“Not going to happen,” I replied flatly.

“I could give you a great gift,” she said slyly.

“And what might that be?”

“My embrace,” she replied. “Imagine, living forever, calm in the forest, with none of your petty little worries to bring you down. ”

“I’ve danced for you,” I said.

“So you have,” replied the dryad. “I suppose you think I owe you something now.” If I didn’t know better, I’d say the voice sounded sad.

“That’s the way these things usually work, isn’t it?”

“Very well.”

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And then, the wind rose….

 

And then the wind rose, so strongly I thought I might fall over. In front of me there seemed to be a wall of sand, or something fluctuating.

I could not look away.

And on that wall, I saw an image of a beautiful, playful, brown-spotted seal, swimming without a care. She flops up to sun on a rock and falls asleep. And then, a quiet boat cuts across the water from behind her; she only wakes up when the net is dragging her into the boat.

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And then, I was back int he druid’s grove.

 

And then, I was back in the druid’s grove.

“Did you see it? Did it help?” wondered the dryad.

“I did see it, and I’m not sure,” I replied. “But I honour your rank and age, and I will be honoured likewise if we should meet again, beautiful sister of the wood.”

“One day you will ask to embrace me,” said the dryad.

“Perhaps,” I replied.

And then I woke up to sunlight streaming through the curtains in the treehouse, and Bran coming in with fresh coffee and fruit. On the whole, I think I far prefer living in a tree to actually being one.

Style Card:

Dark World:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Dabour (Available on 10 August at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes (Available NOW at Lost and Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Full face and body Omega applier)
Dress: AdoreZ, Dream Dress (Available NOW at Fable!)
Shoes: SlackGirl, Bling Shoes (Available NOW at Fable!)
Necklace: The Little Bat, Goddess Necklace (Available NOW at Fable!)

Druid’s Grove:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Sintiklia, Bloom
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes (Available NOW at Lost and Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Full face and body Omega applier)
Clothes: Noble Creations, Ancient Persian (Bracers, Greaves, Pauldrons, Tiara, and Veil) (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Setting:
Daisy fields, tree tunnels, stump, three small trees, scrying pool, candles, and the Dryad Herself, all from Rivendale, the Druid’s Grove Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Large Tree & Grass Surround: Hayabusa, Elegant Tree Plane
Ruin: 22769 [bauwerk], Ruins
Deer: All from the Half Deer Fallow Deer set; pictured are Nostalgia, Leap, Watchful, Graze, and Walk
Wolves: Jian, Grey Wolf Set; pictured are Sleeping and Static Look L
Foxes: Kite, Foxy Pups; pictured are We’re Cute and Sleeping
Fairy: Boudoir, Enchanted Flying Fairy

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never give Gwyneth vague dream premonitions without it!

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Rage Quit?

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The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned.

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned. I wanted it that way, or that’s what I thought. I was surprised to see four tiny unicorns—well, three alicorns and one unicorn, but who’s counting? I had a lot to think about.

See, I think I mentioned I was planning on leaving the Wylds. And I know myself well enough to know that if I spend too much time dithering over something, I just won’t do it. So… I mean, it wasn’t even a plan. I had to show up at the Mallorn Tree in the Wylds to facilitate the transfer of power, even if it was weirdly from Winter Queen Gwyneth to Summer Queen Gwyneth.

But everything about being back there made my stomach hurt. Clutie was bugging the shit out of me. Bran was openly hostile that he couldn’t have his new Nintendo Switch with him: I made him leave it on White Owl because I’ve seen an iPhone disintegrate inside of a day in the Wylds, and I really didn’t want to deal with trying to replace that. Seriously, his Zelda addiction is becoming a bit of a problem. And Wulfrich? He was armed to the teeth and had half a dozen Knights stationed in strategic places around the edge of the Mallorn dais. It was like he expected someone to attack us.

I did tell them what I was going to do.

Well, I suggested I might decide to retire from Queening. I decided a clean, fast break would be the way to go, because frankly, I could see Mornoth becoming more and more dependent on me. And you know, the sex might be great, but I’d far rather have a quiet night on the couch with Nathaniel than some dramatic otherworldly encounter at this point in my life. Maybe it’ll change later, but to be honest, being Queen is a little piece of hell, especially in a world where it’s all drama, all day, all night. I mean, seriously. It’s like a Mexican soap opera up in here. I had no idea how long it was going to take, or whether I’d have to go through some crazy sex ritual with Mornoth (not that I’d complain about that) in order to cut myself loose. I just figured I’d declare him King and get the fuck out of Dodge before the Seelie Nobility decided to fry me in butter.

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I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours.

I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours. Confused. Some residual anger. But beneath it all, I feel free.

Residual anger, yes. Because nobody saw fit to tell me that my daughter Bronwyn was apparently imbued with the spirit of the former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn. Which of course would be why the former Unseelier King, Gwythyr, kept following her all over the fucking universe. What a disgusting pair, those two. I mean, of course it was impossible to dislike Faermorn, blah, blah, blah, so seductive, blah, blah, blah, forget about any male fae  (or mortal for that matter) attention when she was within a hundred mile radius, blah, blah, blah, so wise, blah, blah, blah, such a grand and lovely goddess, blah, blah, blah, couldn’t fucking stay dead.

So basically, I said to Mornoth, “Ah, my friend, my Unseelie Seneschal. I come not to command you, but to abdicate. Surely you all know how to bring spring to the land without my ineffectual leadership and assistance?” Once he let me in on the truth about Faermorn possessing my daughter, I just lost it. “The spirits of Gwythyr and Faermorn have never wished to know peace. Their marriage wasn’t cursed enough: they had to curse everybody else—including my daughter? If it weren’t for those two, I’d blame myself: after all, I created this Realm, at least half of it. But every single time I’ve tried to smooth the way, every single time I’ve reached for even a season of peace, it’s war this and mayhem that and curses this and bad magic that and mad demifae queens—and I’m sure the Undying Gwythyr must have had something to do with that, aren’t you?—and I. Am. Done.”

I clapped my hands and brought down power from the Mallorn tree, and I pronounced Mornoth King of Faerie, and I kissed the fuck out of him, and then I just disappeared.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m going to miss all that drama. Seriously, if, years from now, you hear the words, “I’m so bored and I wish I were back in the Wylds fighting yet another pointless war,” you (all of you, anybody who’s reading this) have my permission to burn me alive. That at least won’t be boring.

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Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

“Bran!” I shouted. “Why the fuck is there a feast laid out on my dining room table? Do not even tell me I am expecting visitors!”

There was no response.

“I am not kidding around here! I will put on a pair of stilettos just to put 1,500 psi onto that fucking Gameboy of yours!”

Oh, that got his attention. “It’s a Nintendo Switch, Your Majesty!” he called, presumably from the guest quarters. “I’m having a bit of a break in the hoovering and just trying to level up.”

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I gritted my teeth.

I gritted my teeth. “Why, Oh Seneschal Mine, do the guest room floors need hoovering?” Butter wouldn’t fucking melt, I promise.

Bran emitted a high-pitched squeal of glee; he must have got his level. Either that, or it was a shrewd ploy so he could put me off for a few more minutes.

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I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered.

I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered. “It’s not like this decision can in any way be changed or reversed, Bran!” I shouted back to him. “We are staying in White Owl where there are hot showers and microwaves and espresso machines and Nintendo Switches and the Internet!”

Just then, I hear the familiar chime that indicated someone was about to invade my space by appearing in the mirror that hangs over the feast table. Well, that was just great. Who the fuck could possibly be foolish enough to want to get in touch with me now?

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“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

Oh, this was shaping up to be a great night.

Style Card:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Blake (Available NOW at Uber!)
Eyes: Mesange, Manderley Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at Lost & Found!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Crown: Olive, The Joanna Crown (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Clothes: Pink Rayne, Esmerelda Skirt and Top (Available NOW at Inspiration SL!)
Belt: Sweet Poison, Alanna Belt
Shoes: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Scenes:
Portal/Throne Room:
Tiny Alicorns/Unicorn: Jian, My Lil’ Equine (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Grass: Garden of Dreams, Grass Type A
Bench: Elysium, Fridtjof fantasy bench
Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain

Lounge:
Feasting Table: Noble Creations, Antique Dining Table and Chairs (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candle Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance
Hearth: {e}lusive design, Fireplace
Knicknacks: O.M.E.N., Fairytale Villains
Tree Artwork: Lybra, Quasi-The Tree
Magic Mirror: Black Light Studios, Star Mirror
Photo of Nathaniel Ballard: Nathaniel Ballard, Portrait at Desk

Atrium: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never rage-quit (I mean abdicate!) without it!

elusive-logo lumae-logo    mesange-logo-noir    [NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO

Tranquility, Temporary

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Gwyneth:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Getting Ready

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Gwyneth:

I love decorating. Always have. What I don’t like is the idea that I’m decorating maybe for people other than myself. The Atrium has to be a place where I can receive beings of all races and creeds, and it needs to have an appealing and comfortable atmosphere. I also need to be able to host visitors in the Atrium, so I’ve designated two of the rooms there as guest rooms for visiting folks.

I guess one of the guest rooms should have a more mortal feel to it, and I’ll make the other decidedly Fae. I’m not going to redecorate every damn room just because, say, a vamp or a demon drops by.

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One half of the room was easy enough!

One half of the room was easy enough! That genius at Fallen Gods made this couch. He calls it “Justine”, but I’m not sure if mine actually has a name. Anyway, lots of people can sit on it at once, and it has the plus of coming with many matching pillows and accessories, so it easily fills half a room.

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And of course, I had to get the place ready for Yule as well.

And of course, I had to get the place ready for Yule as well. I found the most amazing tree, created by a designer I’m only just getting to know, Dema Fairport. It’s a tree made out of books! I giggle in anticipation of what Nathaniel will say when I show it to him. She also designed this hearth, which gave me a perfect space to put in all those Fairytale Villains collectibles I picked ups. couple of years ago. And yes, the big box on the floor by the tree is for Nathaniel. I put in a formal dining table because I suspected I’d need one; Bran will be pleased. And of course I had to put the espresso machine in a place of honour, if only so that Nathaniel will have nightmares.

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All that magic is tiring!

All that magic is tiring! Well, for a moment or so. When I am back in my little grove, my energy replenishes more quickly than I thought it would, this being sort of Faerie-Light. In any case, I felt ready to do at least one of the bedrooms.

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Of course, my guests have got to have somewhere comfortable to sit…

Of course, my guests have got to have somewhere comfortable to sit, so I chose this bench from Death Row Designs, because it’s mundane with a bit of a Fae flair to it with the curtain and the sparkly lights and all.

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Here’s the rest of the guest suite!

Here’s the rest of the guest suite! Luckily for me, Death Row Designs makes the most gorgeous stuff, so I just picked up the whole set from them and there you have it!

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Of course, I had to test the bed….

Of course, I had to test the bed. It’s fluffy, yet firm and comfortable. I think my guests will like it very much.

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Whew! Now just one thing left to do.

Whew! Now just one thing left to do….

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Happy Holidays from Gwen Enchanted!

And that’s send a happy Yule greeting to all of you! My beautiful tree, my beautiful hearth, the most important gift all wrapped up and others to follow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Hair: Emo-Tions, Avril (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Avenge, Arwen Elf Skin (Catwa Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone Ivory) (Available NOW at  Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Lilly, Winter Dreams (Available NOW at  Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms!)
Crown: Aisha, Holly Crown, Black and Gold (Available NOW at We❤ RP)
Jewellery: Empyrean Forge, Wassail Necklace (Available NOW at Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Heels

The Scene:
Couch: Fallen Gods, Justine
Fireplace: {e}lusive designs  (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Book Tree: {e}lusive designs, Book Tree (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Fairy Collectibles: Ohmai, Fairytale Villains Collection
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox
Skein: Jian, Christmas Cats, Grey Kitten
Urðr: Pixicat, Sphynx Cat Sitting
Guest Bedroom Furnishings: Death Row Designs, Bed and Breakfast Set, Bed and Breakfast Bench. (Bench Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!) (B&B Set Available at NOW at The Crossroads!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never decorate for Yule without it!

 

Putting it all together 

Gwyneth:

Today, I began working on my throne room for White Owl. I know: I’ll probably never get to use it, but it’s a good exercise in decorating, and I was bored.

Below is a photo of my new throne — the demifae are enjoying it, as you can see. I’ve also acquired two new kittens—not CaitSidhe, but honest-to-Goddess kittens! The one on my lap is called Skein, and the black one is Urðr. Of course, this means I’ll have to get two more kittens, since I can’t overlook the other principal Norns.

The throne itself is grown from a special spell provided by the Master Wizards at Hextraordinary. I found them at that most excellent shopping faire, We , and they delivered it for free! Of course, tree thrones are a bit hard and somewhat scratchy, and the Royal Bum cannot deal with that for long periods of time, so I added a bunch of throw pillows I picked up from a gypsy at a gacha Faire some years ago.


Of course, I had to call Nathaniel for his approval (he always approves, does my Beloved Consort), so I summoned a will o’ the wisp to get him there quickly. The will o’ the wisps seem to like me much better now; I can communicate with them easily. Then, I got sentimental and summoned Drysi as well—she’s the only one of my children who reliably comes when called—and she surprised me by showing up in a very fetching dress! Of course, she’ll be back to jeans and t-shirts as soon as she’s out of my presence, not that I mind her dressing up to please her Mother.


I thanked the will o’ the wisp when it returned, of course. And what a lovely feeling of oneness I had with it! I must investigate the Unseelie connection to wisps more carefully at some point.

I have more work to do here, of course, but what a joy it was to write this from my office, in another of my realms, and not have to appease the Luddite Goddess by hopping off to another Realm to access the internet!

Now, of course I have to decorate both the Residence and this official Receiving Area—I think we’ll call it The Atrium—for Yule. Which will keep me busy at least for a couple of hours. I do have the perfect tree in mind for Nathaniel. I hope he loves it.

Style Card:

Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Vanessa (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Atomic, Elf Gacha (Catwa Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone Porcelain) (Available NOW at the Arcade Gacha)
Clothes: Mimikri, Vega Tank Top and Shiny Leggings (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Jewellery: Emo-Tions, Aurora Necklace and Forehead (Available NOW at On9!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Heels

The Scene:
Throne: Hextraordinary, Elven Throne (Available NOW at We❤ RP
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Acorn Fairy Companion
Other Demifae: Ohmai, Bumblebee Fairy Companion, Ladybug Fairy Companion, and Horn Beetle Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox
Skein: Jian, Christmas Cats, Grey Kitten
Urðr: Pixicat, Sphynx Cat Sitting

Poses:
Throne Pose: PoseIt, Glam Sit
Will O’ The Wisp Poses: Nantra, Charmed, I’m Sure (Available NOW at Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create new throne rooms without it!

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How I learned to stop worrying and become a witch!

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Gwyneth:

The dreams aren’t stopping, but they are changing. I’m not always myself in them. Or I’m playing out incarnations that are so far away from my actual life that their outcomes seem irrelevant to me. Maybe that’s what it is to look at things through the dispassionate eye of the Unseelie. This one left me with a good feeling: even though the dream protagonist was definitely me, she wasn’t operating in some way that seemed to want to teach me some kind of lesson, for which I was grateful.

I woke up in the late morning with this dream completely alive in my mind, so the first thing I did was go someplace where I could write it down.

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It was gonna be the best Christmas ever.

It was gonna be the best Christmas, ever. But then Jamie said, ‘Did you talk to the fucking fairies, Gwen? Did you? Because they will fuck our shit up, and then where will we be?’

And I’m all, ‘No, Jamie, I didn’t talk to no fairies: the stuff just fucking appears, and I am thinking, “Gosh, we will have a really cool storybook Christmas, just this once”. I swear, I didn’t talk to none of them. I don’t know why they follow me around’.

And then Ella gets into it, and she’s all, ‘Oh, look, little miss princess priss; the tree I put up in the car ain’t good enough for you, so you gotta go kiss up to some fairy prince, let him put his nasty tongue in your mouth or something, all so you can have hot chocolate and candy apples?’

I start to cry. ‘No, no, no! It just fucking appeared! What do you guys want me to do, burn the shit? The grass is too dry for that. Might as well eat the goddamn candy apples.’

Jamie folds his hands. ‘Fucking long-haired witch’, he says, and his voice is all hissy.

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‘I ain’t no goddamn witch!’

‘I ain’t no goddamn witch!’ I reply, and I’m angry now, even though I’m still crying. ‘Y’all need to get off my fucking case. It’s a few cups of hot chocolate, some cookies, and a basket of apples. Jesus fucking Christ, you’d think the world just ended.’

‘You need to keep a grip on your language and stop talking about the Lord’, Emma says, speaking of prim and prissy. ‘And I seen you looking at the witch’s house’, she adds. ‘I know you been there’.

Jamie just stares at me.

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I can feel myself folding in.

I can feel myself folding in. I know this ain’t going nowhere. ‘I ain’t been to the witch’s house’, I repeat. ‘I ain’t’.

‘You and your long yella hair’, Emma teases. ‘Someday, somebody gonna push you into a river, and then you gonna become somebody’s fiddle’.

‘I ain’t nobody’s fiddle’, I said.  And then I just stomped into the car.

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Fucking fine. If that’s what they want from me, then fine.

Fucking fine. If that’s what they want from me, then fine. I find mum’s old scissors: they’re a bit rusty, but they’ll do, and I start chopping my hair off, crying buckets the whole time. I’m vaguely conscious of Emma and Jamie coming in and telling me they’re sorry, they didn’t mean it, they just didn’t want me to go eating fairy food and they were scared of the candy apple tree and the hot chocolate and the cookies, but I just keep on chopping.

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In the end, it’s uneven and I wrap this old Gryffindor scarf around my neck to hide the ends.

In the end, it’s uneven, and I wrap this old Gryffindor scarf around my neck to hide the ends.

‘It don’t look that bad’, Jamie says. ‘You don’t have to be wearing that scarf. It’ll grow back in just fine. I’m sorry, Gwyn’.

I just look at him.

Emma says she’s gonna test out the candy apples to see if they’re poisoned because she’s got a strong stomach. I just shake my head. ‘After all that, you’re gonna eat the goddamn apples’, I say.

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Well, fuck that.

Well, fuck that. I dry my tears, go outside to the candy apple tree, and I have two apples and a parfait before the other two can follow me out of the train car, yelling all the time. I smile. ‘That tasted good’, I say. ‘Real good’.

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‘And you know what?’ I add. ‘Fuck you both. I’m leaving’.

‘And you know what?’ I add. ‘Fuck you both. I’m leaving. You just try to survive round here without me cooking and cleaning for the two of you; just try not to get picked up by the dults from the village when I’m not here to keep you safe and look like I’m twenty when I’m only fifteen. You just fucking try’.

Emma’s in tears. ‘Gwyn, you can’t go!’ she cries. ‘You done got magicked by something was in those apples! You don’t know what you’re saying!’

Jamie stares at me with his arms folded. ‘I can look twenty’, he says.

‘Fuck you, Jamie; you’re only twelve, and you’re scrawny’, Emma retorts.

But I already have my back to them. Their squabbling fades like the horizon behind me.

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And that’s how I left my little brother and sister and became a witch’s apprentice.

And that’s how I left my little brother and sister and became a witch’s apprentice. I just walked into the wood, toward the twinkling lights of the witch’s house, and I knocked on the door.

I don’t even know what happened to those two brats. And you know what? I don’t care.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Enya, Powder NEW! (Omega face appliers, Maitreya body appliers) Body appliers available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!
Hair: Wasabi Pills — First four photos, Romy (Available at ULTRA!) Last four photos, Aspen (Available at The Forest!)
Jacket: DE Designs, Dana (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Jeans: Zhora Designs, High Waist Jeans Blue (Maitreya Applier)
Boots: Paper Moon, Huck Boots

Post-Apocalyptic Train Car: Death Row Designs, Post Apocalyptic Holiday Set, COMING SOON from Death Row Designs!
Tree Table, Tree Chairs, Hot Chocolate, and Cookies: Moonlight Shadow, Snack Tree Gacha (Available at Enchantment!)
Candy Apple Tree, Chair, Side Table, Candy Apple Cushion, Basket of Candy Apples, and Candy Apple Parfait: The Looking Glass, Candy Apple Tree Gacha (Available at Enchantment!)
Sparkly Grass: Happy Mood, Sweet Garden Grass
Three Ash Trees: Jian, Ash Tree (triple)
Green, Brown & Lavender Grasses: The Little Branch, Wild Grass
Twisty Tree: Rivendale, Faerie Tree
Surrounding Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods

Poses: An Lar, from Woodland, Chaos, and All That series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create post-apocalyptic worlds where it’s nicer to run away and be a witch than take care of your kid brother & sister without it!

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Midnight at the Fair Maiden

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Gwyneth:

I continue to be plagued by strange dreams, dreams in which I am someone else, in a completely different world, with a completely different life.

I remember as a child reading a series of books by Diana Wynne Jones, about a series (well, several series, actually) of worlds in which there were varying degrees of magic and tolerance for magic. In every world, there were different versions of oneself, the only exception being in the case of special nine-lived enchanters, who had no cognates in other worlds. This, apparently, was how they got these nine lives. Anyway, I became fascinated with the books at first because there was a character named Gwendolyn, a name close enough to Gwyneth to spark my imagination. As I continue to dream my way through to whatever lesson these experiences are going to give me, I suspect I am getting glimpses of my lives in other worlds. Or maybe I just read too much speculative fiction as a child.

This dream was memorable, mostly because it included Dyisi, and “I” had no idea who or what she was! And oh, the things I thought about her, about Fae, about the world! I can’t imagine being raised in such a society, where a difference like pointed ears or a pair of horns means you’d be treated differently by everyone. No, wait. I can imagine that. I was raised in such a place. Even my own history becomes mutable, what with all these alternatives to consider.

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She came in right at midnight.

She came in right at midnight. I was cleaning off the bar, just about ready to head home.

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“We’re closed”, I said, without looking up.

“We’re closed”, I said, without looking up.

“Ah, but I have come so far”, replied a heavily accented voice, and I didn’t recognise the accent.

When I looked up, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“I am just needing a few things”, she continued. Her glasses obscured her eyes, but there seemed to be a light glowing behind the lenses. And she had glowing horns. And a tail, and… yes, hooves. And for some absurd reason, there was a white crow perched on one of the horns.

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I took a step back. “You’re not allowed”, I said.

I took a step back. “You’re not allowed”, I said. I lowered my voice: someone could be listening. “You can’t be here, if you’re not human. You’re illegal”.

“Illegal, am I?” she asked. “Why’s that?”

“Because of the Betrayal”, I said.

She shook her head. “Never heard of him”, she replied. “I am called Dyisi”.

“Gwyneth”, I said. This prompted a sharp laugh from the horned woman. “The betrayal. You know. When the Faerie said she’d keep us safe, but she broke her promise and so was turned to stone?”

“Was she now”. The woman—Dyisi—didn’t seem very impressed. “I’m no Fae; I’m a Satyr”.

“Doesn’t matter; you’re still illegal”, I said.

“Ah, well”. She tilter her head up to me. “I wonder if you’re not illegal, too?”

I shushed her with a gesture. And I could feel her reaching out with some internal power, to get at me, disturb my glamour, take me down with her. “You need to go”. I’m afraid I used my overbearing barmaid voice, the one I have to use on the old men, every night at half eleven, to get them all out of the door before twelve, so I can clean the place and get home before night workers’ curfew, one o’clock in the morning.

“So be it”, she said. And then, I kid you not, she just became more and more transparent until finally she disappeared.

So I finished what I was doing and locked up. Couldn’t stop thinking of her, though.

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You have to bash the pub door with your hip. I give it an extra push with my elbow.

You have to bash the pub door with your hip to close it properly; I like to give it an extra push with my elbow, just to make sure it’s locked. It’s a good thing the village has a curfew: the prince is afraid we’ll all be eaten by vampires, because of the betrayal, so nobody is allowed out on the streets after pub closing. Nobody but the barmaids ever see the ridiculous dance we have to do to close the pub door. I think the curfew’s funny for two reasons: first of all, if he were really serious about the vampire thing, why not make it sundown? And second, why make the only people in the village who have permission to be out after pub closing the pub girls? Aren’t we the most vulnerable? Anyway.

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Who was this “Dyisi”?

Who and what was this “Dyisi”? She had no fear of walking as a … different sort of person. She seemed surprised that anybody would.

How is that even possible?

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I mean, people everywhere know of the Betrayal.

I mean, people everywhere know of the Betrayal. We just happen to be the lucky (and by lucky I mean not) village on the edge of nowhere where the legend actually happened. People don’t visit us much because they fear they’ll be tainted with the stink of the Betrayal. All my uncles and aunts moved away long ago, and none of them can understand why my mum and dad stayed here to raise me, being what we are. Mum and Dad say it’s so I have to stare at her every day and learn my place in the world, since our kind are given to hubris.

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And they’re right.

And they’re right: having to look at that, day in and day out, would give any Fae (I feel funny even to say it: I’m meant to say “girl” whenever I mean “fae”. Or “boy”) cause to worry. See how her back is turned on the village’s High Street? That signifies how she failed to protect us when the Dark Fae came to steal our children, a century ago now. She is the only place in the world where we see an actual depiction of a Fae. They (we) are prohibited in every city, every town, illegal in artwork, and of course the penalty for being one, or being any member of a race not human, is death. I look at her pointed ears and remember how mine sometimes used to show, back when I was young enough not to keep the glamour up in my sleep. I can still feel the bruises on my bottom: Dad takes glamour very seriously, even if we’re not meant to know other things can be done with magic.

I walked down the lamp-lit street, mindful of every dark corner: who knows what could be lurking there, Mum says; I don’t know why you work in that place, she says, when we have a perfectly good toy shop that any girl would love to work in. The money, Mum, I say. It’s the money. She can’t think why I need money, but I can: Soon as I can afford transport, I’m getting out of here. Somewhere far away.

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I was still thinking of Dyisi when I reached our house.

I was still thinking of Dyisi when I reached our house. It’s at the other end of the village, even though that means about a five-minute walk. Mum thinks it’s the end of the earth, and she’s always waiting up for me, and she’s scared because the pub is on the edge of the forest, “and you have no idea what horrific things take place in there,” she’ll say. One day I’m going to walk all the way past the forest to the ruined castle and see if it’s really haunted. When I’m twenty-eight. By that time, I’ll have saved all the money I need to get out of here, and I’ll carry it all with me when I walk to the castle, just in case, as the stories say, there are other, less human, ways of getting out of the village.

For a moment, I wondered what kind of creature Dyisi was, but I knew it would be pointless to ask: I’d be up against the court of Mum and Dad, and I’d have to wait ’til I’m thirty to get out of here, because they would make me quit my job at the pub tomorrow if they knew a creature with glowing horns had walked in, presumably out of the forest, and just fucking disappeared from inside a well-lit pub. Maybe that’s how Fae get around. Maybe they can just think themselves anywhere. Tomorrow I’ll try thinking myself into the  bathing chamber before Michaela. She thinks she’s so special, dating the son of the mayor. Wait til their wedding night, I think, and it makes me smile. I bet she loses her glamour when he puts it in her, and that’ll be the shortest marriage in the history of the village. Mum and Dad will say they didn’t know, she must be a changeling, and the whole village will go onto alert, and we’ll have martial law for a few months like the last changeling scare, but after she’s executed, everybody will forget.

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And so, into our house I went.

And so, into our house I finally went, after checking to make sure Dyisi wasn’t following me. Maybe she is some kind of evil spirit, and I only thought I saw her. Maybe she is some piece of me that I didn’t know existed because Mum and Dad don’t tell good little girls these things. Maybe Mum doesn’t have pointy ears beneath her glamour: maybe she has big glowy horns and a twitching tail!

I had to put my hand over my mouth to stop myself giggling when I came in and saw Mum.

“You’re home late,” she remarked.

“Nelson puked on the doorstep again,” I explained.

“That old arse. Well, he’ll die soon enough.”

So will we all, I guess. But I’m not going to die here.

Style Cards:
Dyisi (full style card will come eventually)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: No Match, No Lime (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Maren, Powder (Available at Mesh Body Addicts, open until 29 July!)
Hair: Barberyumyum, 78AHF  (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)
Clothes: Faida and Fallen Gods, Mythiara Rogue, Royale (Available at The Epiphany!)
Necklace: glYph, Miraculous Necklace, Purple
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Bernadette Boots, Grey (Available at We❤ RP!)
Poses: PosESion, from the 100 poses for $399 set currently on sale at their Main Store

Setting:
Sim: Private Sim
Buildings, pub, village, doors, streetlamps: Death Row Designs, Dangarnon, from the 2016 Fantasy Faire sim of the same name.
Statue: Death Row Designs, The Last Hope, a two-of-a-kind item offered for auction at the 2016 Fantasy Faire
Village Paths: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods

Pub Decor:
Bar: Fetch, Lyla Bar
Elk Head: Medieval Fantasy, Elk Trophy
Deer Head: Medieval Fantasy, Deer Hunting Trophy
Cider Bottles: Jian, Hillside Orchard
XXX Barrels: Jian, Hillside Orchard
Unicorn Head: Nomad, Unicorn Taxidermy
Shelves Behind Bar: Serenity Style, Five Minutes Shelf
Wine Bottles Atop Bar Shelves: Aphrodite, Wine bottle collection
Purple Bottle on Bar: Morgan Sim Designs, Stowaway Fae’s Shot o’ Rum Bottle
Artwork Behind Bar: Lilith’s Den: Yrdrasil Axis Mundi
Bar Torches: Death Row Designs, Dangarnon Torches

It is such a pity Dy and I didn’t play a longer scene in the pub, but it was bedtime for her! I’ve kept the pub intact up on the platform where I create such things, so you may see more of No-Fae-Allowed Village Gwyneth’s life in the future, if only so I can show you things like the amazing polar bear statue in one of the corners and the beautiful tables sourced from Noble Creations and Tia.

Yes, I am one of the two people who won the DRD Last Hope Auction at the 2016 Fantasy Faire, and every time I look at that statue, I think of the Fantasy Faire, my beloved husband (whom I lost to cancer in January), and my hope that one day little donations like mine will help to make a real change in the way we treat cancer, leading to a complete cure, for everyone. I am deeply in awe of the amazing DRD team, who created one of the most inspiring objects I’ve ever seen in Second Life or any other life, and one that I’m proud to say graces and will grace my every living space in SL, be it RP, creative office, or OOC hangout. Unlike its purpose in this work of fiction, in reality this statue represents hope, the hope we can give and the hope that goes on before us, hope’s everlastingness, its raw power, and sometimes, its sadness. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create entire villages on a 1/4 sim sky platform for, um, one photo shoot, without it….

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