Autumn Dance

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Isn’t there just something about autumn?

Isn’t there just something about autumn that makes you want to dance?

Whether it’s the crisp air, the scent of woodsmoke, the glorious colours of leaves as they prepare for their flight to earth, autumn always makes me feel that little, measurable bit more awake and alive.

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And nothing moves better than a great Flexi skirt when you’re dancing.

And nothing moves better than a great Flexi skirt when you’re dancing. If you’ve been in Second Life more than five minutes, you know it’s mesh for modelling, Flexi for dancing. So when I saw the GSC Linear Confusion Gown by G Sloane, I knew I had to photograph it in motion. And the texturing! If anybody had told me, “Gwen, one day you will fall in love with a dress that is pink and orange,” I would have laughed and laughed. But then I saw this dress.

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It had to have special hair, a special skin, and a special place.

It had to have special hair, a special skin, and a special place. So I went back in my Lumae folder and found the freckled version of the Ruby Catwa applier, in a light tone that worked perfectly for the redhead I knew I’d have to be to pull off this dress. And for hair, well, I didn’t have to look very far, because Queue Marlowe made this amazing updo for Hairology, UlnaThere was also a colourway that incorporated just the right shades of red and pink, and off we went! Add to that glorious green eyes from Mesange, perfect nail colour from Cazimi and Persefona‘s beautiful Floating Leaves accessories, and you have a great outfit. All it was missing were wings! Luckily for me, Lassitude & Ennui made a great set of Bento fairy wings, and the red was the perfect colour for the outfit.

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So imagine, if you will, the perfect autumn day.

So imagine, if you will, the perfect autumn day. For me, it would be windy but not freezing, and I’d be in a place with glorious autumn trees, like the Fairy Garden on Awenia. Somewhere, you’d hear music, and it wouldn’t matter that you were alone with the trees: the wind itself would dance with you.

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The ground would glow with anticipation.

The ground would glow with anticipation. And you’d step once, twice, three times, and be unable to stop.

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You’d twirl with the leaves, let the wind lead you.

You’d twirl with the leaves, let the wind lead you.

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You’d bless the dusky day, bless the wood, bless the autumn.

You’d bless the dusky day, bless the wood, bless the autumn. And when you stopped…

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Oh, when you stopped, you’d bless the very air.

Oh, when you stopped, you’d bless the very air.

And then you’d turn, leaves still wheeling around you, and seek the stability of the nearest oak.

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And there you’d find a prize much greater than a little golden apple.

And there you’d find a prize much greater than a little golden apple.

You’d find serenity. Peace, The good kind of tired.

And maybe, tomorrow, when the wind picks up again, you’d think, I’ll come and do this again.

And maybe, maybe you would.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Ruby in T1, Milk
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Ulna (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Gown: G Sloane, GSC Linear Confusion Gown (Available on November 1 at Fashion Dazzle!)
Floating leaves: Persefona, Floating Leaves
Nails: Cazimi, Whimsy
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Bento Fairy Wings Silver/Red
Golden Apple: EVE
Oak Tree: Cube Republic, Pan’s Oak
Glowing Flowers: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Poses: All from Abraminations Ballet Dances

Setting: Awenia, the Fae Village

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The Story of Returning

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Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it?

Memory’s a funny thing, isn’t it? I remember being in university, long ago now it seems, and suddenly noticing a tree one morning. Richard and I were walking to class, and I swear, I tugged him by the sleeve and wanted to know when that tree had appeared.

“Gwyneth,” he replied, “It’s been here all along. You just never saw it before.”

How peculiar, I thought. What force of mind, memory, or nature could make me just not notice a tree? And it wasn’t a small tree, either. It was massive. People were having their lunch in its shade, sunbathing in the shadows of its branches.

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Like a place I’ve been, so many times.

Like a place I’ve been, so many times, this street should hold no mystery for me. It’s a place I go from time to time. There are shops here I like to visit, a good Turkish restaurant. Just down there, there’s a boutique that sells glorious faux fur stoles.

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I pause, sometimes, near this street corner.

I pause, sometimes, near this street corner. Sometimes, I pause to look back, wonder if I’ve missed something, shrug, move on. Sometimes, I stand here for several minutes, watching the people, the buses. It isn’t as if I have any great mysteries of life to contemplate, but I feel the need to contemplate, anyway. It might be about the dress I find myself in today, a glorious and gorgeous gown from Silvan Moon Designs. I came across a marvellous Vintage Fair, and then, softly, I found myself feeling the echoes of a different era.

I’m just starting my life on White Owl Island, and a new beginning always makes me ponder the “what ifs” of my life. It’s an exercise, I know, that leads only to dissatisfaction.

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But what have I, really, to be dissatisfied about?

But what have I, really, to be dissatisfied about? I have made my change. I have left the Wylds, and war, and mad demifae queens, and the judging eyes of the Unseelie Court.

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The future. The future is … uncertain.

The future. The future is … uncertain. But it is something I can create. Something I am creating.

And at this moment, I’m taken, as I used to be, by visions. Two visions. One is terrible: screaming people, fires, smoke. Refugees. The other….

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The other is sweet.

The other is sweet.

Style Card:
Gwyneth—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Dream (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Thaisa Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Farrah, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Wings: (Photos 1-5) Lassitude & Ennui, Seraphim Wings
Wings: (Photo 6) Evolved Creatures, Fae Bento Wings
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Vintage in Vogue (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Shoes: The Plastik, Filivina Heels

Gentleman in Photo 6; Nyza Stillwater

 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create a fantasy street for a single photoshoot 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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What I Did After My Summer Holiday, by The Amazing Catwoman

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Well, first of all, those fuckers in New Brighton fired me after one night on the job without so much as a “fuck you very much, TAC.” Fucking vamps. I mean, at least you’d think a crowd like that would be up to date on whether or not women could be badasses, but no; I was too small, not intimidating enough, why on earth would anybody hire a little girl like me as a bouncer, blah, blah, blah, she’ll be somebody’s ghoul by tomorrow midnight, blah-ti-blah. Fuck you, vampires of New Brighton.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem.

So they sent me to Ironwood Hills, because there was apparently a ghost problem. I mean, seriously. Ghosts? Fine, fine, fine. I loaded up with anti-ghost herbs and took the notes from the fixer. It was a weird realm jump: I materialised outside a fucking cemetery over a sewer drain, and the steam was godawful. Well, fine. I’m not one to be a complete idiot, as I’m sure you know by now, so instead of heading immediately into the cemetery, I got suited up, then made my way into town to find out what was going on from the locals.

Town, wouldn't you know it, was deserted.

Town, wouldn’t you know it, was deserted.

Town, wouldn’t you know it, was deserted. It was a ghost town. (See what I did there?) So I sat on the steps with an abandoned teddy bear and planned my next move.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters.

As it turned out, most of the houses were boarded up: this one even had the word HAUNTED on it in big letters. Of course, everything was fine until I actually did hear a loud moaning sound coming from…. well, from everywhere, really.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

I took off at a run to see what there was to see in the rest of the town.

These things always have a source. That moaning continued, though, from just fucking everywhere. It was unnerving. It would stop, then start again, like a crazy sentient wind. Once I got further into town, I noticed signs for a carnival. Oh, great. Carnivals are hotbeds for weirdness, so I figured it’d be worth checking out as a possible source of the trouble.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked.

When I got to the carnival site, I was gobsmacked. It was half full of water, there were crows everyfuckingwhere, all this stuff looked like it had been dilapidated for decades, as did the rest of the town, really, and you don’t even want to know about the creepy dolls: those little things are seriously unnerving.

Then, a freaky thing happened: a rift opened in the sky, I kid you not. And I fucking froze. My heart rate went up, there was a pounding in my head and my ears rang and all my nerves started to tingle, and I knew, just knew, that I had to get away from there, and fast. Fuck my fee, fuck the job: there was no saving Ironwood Hills. As a realm, it is a goner, there is nobody here except creepy dolls and a strange brigade of little children playing in the refuse, and just forget the whole thing, I was running. Out of there. Fast.

Then, everything went dark.

Then, everything went dark.

Then, everything went dark. Only I was still frozen in place. Fucking paralysed. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before; what the fucking fuck. I know, I know, I’m cursing too much. Blame her: She made me a potty mouth.

Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, and then blackness.

And I woke up on a fucking beach.

And I woke up on a fucking beach.

And I woke up on a fucking beach. On a beautiful day. With my heart still pounding. I wasn’t wearing my same clothes, and something had gone crazy with my hair, and there was one of those floaty planes—what are those things called, anyway—over the sea.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again.

When I looked in the other direction, sharks. I started to get dizzy again. Great. This was just fucking great.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow.

Then I remembered an old trick the Gypsy Davey taught me, and I reached for my shadow. Take me, take me, out of this place. Take me away, lady goddess.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle.

Then, with dizziness and bonus nausea, not to mention a feeling of constriction everywhere, I found myself in some kind of mediaeval castle. There were lutes playing. Servants quietly scurried around with their eyes on the floor. Nobody remarked on my sudden appearance: they just all said, “My Lady” whenever I passed them. “My Lady” would like a fucking dirty martini with extra olive juice, thank you very much.

I did not much like this world.

I did not much like this world.

I did not much like this world. It seemed to me that if this was some alternate life for me, I would be a very bored “Lady”. And half a dozen people explained to me that the purple of my dress complimented the red of my hair, which had been bound up in some admittedly impressive braid thing. The one thing I’d have loved to take away from this existence, which frankly reminded me all too much of her, was the necklace I found around my neck when I materialised. Such a beautiful thing. Perhaps I’ll see if… no. I am not taking any more favours from her than I have to. And why was I here, anyway? What possible impulse could have lead my shadow to bring me to such a place, unless it was just looking for something as far away as possible from a beach? I did note, when I looked out this window, that we were absurdly high, on some impossible peak. The castle seemed accessible only by a bridge that it would have been impossible to cross even on horseback. I did not waste much time wondering how supplies got in: enough of the servants were sporting pointy ears for me to imagine this must be some sort of an elfin or faerie kingdom. Still, it was terrifying to be on a beach one minute and then trussed up in a corseted dress the next. Ugh. I reached for my shadow again.

OMG, that day was so horrible.

OMG, that day was so horrible.

OMG, this day is so horrible. Late night / early morning mist, and my dad shouting from the doorway and my mum looking out the kitchen window and crying, but fuck them. Rusty and I are going to Cornwall to surf and live a life like God intended people to live, free and not tied down to stupid parents.

And my dad yelling,

And my dad yelling, “I knew that little arse was trouble from the first time he came driving up here in that hippie van!”

And my dad yelling, “I knew that little arse was trouble from the first time he came driving up here in that hippie van!” And the fight going on and on and the mist burning off and Rusty just lying down to sleep in the back of the VW because he didn’t want to deal with my parents, and me fighting my way into the house again to grab a few things: I mean, how is a girl meant to survive without an iPhone, anyway?

And my dad stormed out of the house to work, and my mum just stood there crying, and all of a sudden all I could think of was being a little girl again.

And my dad stormed out of the house to work, and my mum just stood there crying, and all of a sudden all I could think of was being a little girl again.

And my dad storms out of the house to work, and my mum just stands there crying, and all of a sudden all I can think of is being a little girl again.

And I’m overwhelmed by this sense of loss, and Rusty finally gets fed up with waiting and starts the engine, and so I turn to get in…

And everything starts spinning.

And everything starts spinning.

And everything starts spinning, and nothing makes sense, and I see stars and have to grab for the van’s open window so I won’t fall over….

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me.

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me.

And then I find myself jerked abruptly away, and that life spins in tatters away from me. I land with a thump on her fucking altar, in the middle of the Great Seelie Forest, surrounded by giggling demifae and gossipy little will o’ the wisps, and it’s late morning and I’m stark fucking naked, not that it matters here, but what the fuck just happened to me?

I stretch and try to stand.

I stretch and try to stand.

I stretch and try to stand. “Don’t do that, Tacey,” says Clutie—you’d guess she’d be around, it being her domain and all. “You’ve had quite a shock. We’ll get a healer to you soon as we can: we think you’ve had a panic attack and spun yourself round several realms on your way back home.”

“This is not my home,” I snap, and it’s “Tac, not Tacey.” I fucking hate that name. “Tacey” means “quiet”. I mean, seriously. I am not Tacey. I am The Amazing Catwoman. Tac.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards.

I try to stand up anyway and end up losing my balance and falling backwards. “Whose crap is this on the altar, anyway?” I mutter as I fall. But when you’re in the Magnificent Fae Queen’s back garden, there are always demifae ready to catch you when you fall over, even if they pull the shit out of your hair.

“Fine,” Clutie says, and there’s a hiss in her breath. “Tac, then, and it might not be home but we think you ought to stay for a little while, just until you get your realm-walking feet back. We’ll take you to see Dyisi if you want, though our healers can repair most of the damage.” Her voice softens as they settle me back down onto the altar. “It’s leftovers, by the way, from the Queen’s handfasting. It was just last week.”

“Oh, great,” I groan. “All this and I have to put up with her married bliss on top of everything else?”

“Oh, do calm down, Tacey—Tac,” she corrects herself before I can correct her. “So you don’t like Faerie. Well, you’re going to stay here for a little while, so shut your gob and get used to it.” Wow, she’s as bad as my dad back in…. what was the name of that town again?

“I was somebody else,” I say quietly.

“Probably several somebodies,” Clutie replies as if I’ve done the universe some great harm. “Now settle yourself, ground and centre, and let us help you.”

What happened to me?

What happened to me?

What happened to me? I rise up on my toes, breathe in the (admittedly) sweet air of Faerie, and let my feet feel the altar, the altar to the Earth, the earth to the Water, the water to the Sky, the sky to the sun, the sun to the great initiator, Fire. The sun of Faerie is like nowhere else, and I bathe in it, breathe it in, let myself go calm. I was a savage on a beach. I was a queen in a castle. I was a teenage girl running away from home. And for just a moment, goddess knows how long it’ll last, this does feel like home. I just hope I don’t have to deal too much with her.H

Style Cards

Hair Fair is opening as I write this, and the sensational Queue Marlow has outdone herself with this year’s offerings from Analog DogThe Amazing Catwoman is wearing all the new Hair Fair styles, plus one style that’s new in the Analog Dog Main Store, in this post. There’s also some great stuff from The Season’s Story and Oh My Gacha as well: check out the detail style cards below for lists and links!

Ironwood Hills, first photo:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Theresa (New at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Clothes: Faida, Jeanne, Brown
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Hellebore Boots, Brown
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Ironwood Hills, Subsequent Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Theresa (New at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black
Clothes: Fashionably Dead Designs, Cirilla (blouse, boots, corset, and pants)

Timeless Memories (beach) Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Sassafras (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene, Black
Clothes: 
Fashionably Dead Designs, Cheeky Ranger (Tunic, Boots)
Tights: Izzie’s Cozy Tights
Tattoo: White Widow, Tombstone (At AnyBody)

Castle Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Molly (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Salvation (At Fair Play!)
Dress: Les Encantades, Grace (At the Medieval Faire!)

Suburban England Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Psylocibin (New at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: IKON, Destiny Eyes, Moor
Skirt: Wimey, Dark Denim Skirt RARE (At The Season’s Story!)
Tops: Wimey, Summer of Fandom Gacha commons (At The Season’s Story!)
Minivan: Bad Unicorn Clothing, “Prop” Summah Minivan RARE (At The Season’s Story!)
House: Breno, The Smith House (At The Fantasy Collective!)

Great Seelie Forest Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Tavia v1 Natural RARE (Available at Oh My Gacha!)
Hair: 
Analog Dog (natch!) Sassafras (New at Hair Fair!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre, Cheshire Cat Gold
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene, Black
Stone Circle: Artisan Fantasy, Maiden Tor Stone Circle
Trumpet Mushrooms: Cerridwen’s Cauldron
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Locations:
Ironwood Hills, a beautifully creepy sim with open rez-rights, is a fantastic location for photography and just to explore. There’s loads to see, so go back often, and pass a few Lindens their way: it costs money to keep a sim open of course, and making it available to the public like this is such a beautiful gift.
Timeless Memories, fairly recently redesigned with a Mediterranean flair, is a gorgeous place both to visit and to photograph. I’m sure I’ll be back and grab more than just a few beach photos to scare TAC with sharks!
Skye Neist Point, part of the Studio Skye sims, is one of my favourite places to go when I need gorgeous landscapes and beautiful buildings. Studio Skye will also make you long to design your own forests and gardens with their meticulously and elegantly designed landscapes.

Other Locations: The suburban street was built in a sandbox, because I couldn’t find anything out in the Wide Second World that met my needs for this part of The Amazing Catwoman’s journey, and of course the Great Seelie Forest is part of Wicked Wylds, a private, invite-only roleplaying sim that invites good writers who want to create great characters.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!