The Farthingdale Landing

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The Gypsy Davey:

The lads had already set up the fortunetelling tent and card stand, and of course my vardo, before I arrived. I’ve been travelling, you see, which is a large part of what I do… well, that and wooing women, of course. We are all of us bound by our stories, and in many ways, although I am a bit of a legend, I am the same as the next guy.

You may think me arrogant. Feel free. Over the past years, and for centuries before that, I have whistled and sung, taken care of the lads and the family, and so now, at least for a little while, I’m content to let them take care of the logistics. I’d lingered too long in a lush forest land with another in a string of beautiful mortal women. Sometimes I think I find them as irresistible as they find me. But when the message came through that we were setting up for the Farthindale Mabon festival, I felt called back onto the road. Our last kiss was something to remember.

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The portal was what I’d expected.

The portal was what I’d expected: they never put these things in the middle of town. It was nice that there was a pub right nearby, though at first I questioned the lads’ decision to place the vardo right next door to it. When I saw the lay of the land, I realised they had chosen the only place that was suitable: outside Farthingdale, there’s nothing but forest and huts and some ruined castle about a quarter mile down a narrow track through thick forest.

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I took a few minutes to inspect the premises.

I took a few minutes to inspect the premises. Good, good— the lads will have to put a rug in that tent, though: don’t want the town ladies to get their dresses all mucky while they’re talking with the fortuneteller or the Aged Sage (that would be me, in a turban).

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The vardo was decently appointed.

The vardo was decently appointed: I like a spartan setup inside, just a bed and a couple of places to sit, perhaps a bookshelf, something to spend time with when I’m not working or supervising. This event goes on for a full fortnight, so it’ll be important to me to have some kind of refuge. Once again, I wished there were a place farther outside of town, but the proximity to the business could only be a good thing.

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I might be too old for this shit. And I’m certainly not dressed for it.

I might be too old for this shit, and I’m certainly not dressed for it, I thought, as I surveyed my tiny kingdom. I’d been to Farthindale before, for this festival, but it’s been years. And sometimes the grind of it all gets to me. I felt my feet itching already. While this was certainly going to be a lucrative job for us, I fancy a trip to the mountains, perhaps, someplace wild and cold. When we pack up here, we’ll look for mountains.

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Then, I realised I was being watched.

Then, I realised I was being watched. Or possibly that there was something for me to watch; these things are never clear to me, even after all these years. Across the green from me, at the sole table outside the pub, sat a woman cradling a mug of what smelled like very grotty coffee. Well. Of course I had to go over, introduce myself, that sort of thing. She wasn’t a looker, but she had the kind of hair that I wanted to put my fists into right away. Best save that for after the introductions, though.

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I always keep my distance, at first, particularly with one who looks so wary.

I always keep my distance, at first, particularly with one who looks so wary. Or possibly weary. Or possibly both. Of course I introduced myself with a smile, though I didn’t do that thing I do. Time for that later, assuming things got off to a good start.

Her name, it seems, is Diane. Or Katrina. I was confused on that detail.

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She looked tired, and cranky.

She looked tired, and cranky. She complained about the coffee. She had the jaded air of someone who’d seen a few tragedies. Still, she looked me over speculatively. She explained she was between jobs, looking for work. I countered that while we only hire family, there would be plenty of market stallholders looking for help in the days to come, and I knew there was an herbalist in town who was looking for pre-festival help, mixing poultices and such.

Her reply was that she didn’t know much about plants and she seemed far more interested in drinking than working, to be honest. I speculated (to myself, of course) that what she really wanted was some sort of position where she would have to do very little and could spend most of her time sleeping, fucking, and drinking. I say fucking only because she continued to appraise me. Her air was almost predatory, and I did wonder a bit what sorts of things she got up to when she was less sleepy.

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It finally occurred to me (I am such a genius) to ask her what she did for a living.

It finally occurred to me (I am such a genius) to ask her what she did for a living.

“I’m a fairy godmother,” she replied.

Well, that was a first. A coffee-addicted, cranky, not-a-morning-person, fairy godmother.

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She obliged me by showing off her wand a bit.

She obliged me by showing off her wand a bit. No pun intended, and if she’s got that kind of wand, we’ll have to renegotiate our budding relationship. It was impressive. She told me she could make it rain as well, and I asked her nicely not to.

I whipped the grey silk scarf out of my coat and twisted it into my fortuneteller’s turban. Women love a guy in a turban. “Why don’t we go and read your fortune?” I suggested. It wasn’t just an excuse to get her into the dark tent: I was actually curious.

She said sure, but advised me to skip the bit about the tall, dark stranger.

“Madam,” I said, “am the tall, dark stranger.” I made her laugh.

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Of course, I cannot reveal what took place at the fortunetelling table.

Of course, I cannot reveal what took place at the fortunetelling table; that would break client confidentiality. But we did speak of her future, hazy though it might be, and of her next fairy godmothering placement.

I asked her to meet me for a drink later, in the possibly misnamed “Fair Maid” pub.

Her reply was teasing. “If the drink is better than this so-called coffee,” she said, “Perhaps I might.”

I laughed, because from the smell of that coffee, it would be hard to find anything worse. I think she will meet me for a drink. Perhaps I’ll enjoy being so near the pub just outside of town. I think the pub just outside of town is where all the good stuff happens. More accurately, for the next fortnight it’ll be the pub where the Gypsy Davey makes all the good stuff happen.

Style Cards:

The Gypsy Davey:
Body: Slink
Head: Catwa, Justin
Hair: No Match, Yes!
Ears: Mandala: Steking Ears, Season 5
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Judas, Smoked (Omega and Slink appliers, all available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Clothes: LUXE Paris, Leather Jacket, Shirt, Tie & Pant (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Shoes: FATEstep, Anthony Boots v2

Diane/Katrina:
Hair: Analog Dog, Tantrum
Skin: Body & Soul, Lady Farah
Eyes: IKON, Sunrise Eyes
Shape: Atea, Marla Middle Aged Female Avatar (modded)
Dress: Floor Candy, Ava
Character Concept, Story & Dialogue: Nathaniel Ballard

Environment:
Town: Death Row Designs, Andolys—Belle’s Town
Stone Wall: Stormwood, Cobblestone Wall Kit
Tree Gate: Sweet Revolutions, Sylvan Tree Gate
Fortunetelling Tent: Ison, Fortune Tent (Purple)
Curtain: Maxi Gossamer, Shimmer Bead Curtain
Fortunetelling Sign: Sways, Fortunetelling Display Board
Fortunetelling Table: Magic Happens by Monavie, Magick Reading Table (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Vardo: Trompe Loeill, Tiena Caravan, Sylvan
Tarot Stand and Fortunetelling Machine: Kei’s, Rustic Tarot Stand; Kei’s, Fortune Teller Machine
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Pub: Death Row Designs, Dangarnan Tavern 1
Pub Sign: Lost Junction, Port Town Signs, The Fair Maid

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Gypsy Davey never takes a two-week gig in the middle of nowhere for a raucous Mabon Festival without it!

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My New Life as a Wedding Model?

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

The boys and I have spent the last three weeks working in an apple orchard in one of the Enchanted realms. Sure, we’re probably working for the Wicked Witch, but the pay is good and we get to take apples back to camp, where some of the men are making cider and all of the women are making pies and tarts. Apple season is a wondrous time. And as we’re heading in to the dark half of the year, many of us on the Old Paths are about to celebrate the year’s turning. At this time of the year, everyone seems to want a little Romany spice in their wine, if you know what I mean, so I haven’t been surprised at the number of invitations that have been coming to the early autumn campfires. We throw many of them away, as they seem to be thinly-veiled attempts to lure our virgins away for this or that nefarious purpose. And of course we Gypsies don’t really have a lot of ignorant women in our midst: these requests make us laugh.

But one came through a few days ago that intrigued me:

Wanted: Male Model for Wedding Suits. Must be Medium Sized and Irresistible To Women.

There was some laughter when the boy handed me that one. They knew I wouldn’t be able to, well, resist that invitation.

It was signed, Opelia DeRouen, Clothier, Armand Road

Well. I had the boy prepare a response to tell her I’d be round the following morning. Who could resist an invitation like that?

The house looked like it had been plucked out of a Louisiana town.

The house looked like it had been plucked out of a Louisiana town.

The house looked like it had been plucked out of a Louisiana town, though its forested grounds reminded me more of New England.

The sign on the door read,

The sign on the door read, “Clothier”, so I guessed I’d come to the right place.

The sign on the door read Clothier, so I guessed I’d come to the right place.

Mais, don’t linger in doorways, cher,” Ophelia opened the door before I knocked. “Folks’ll think you a vampire.” She was a tiny little woman, dressed conservatively, all smiles. “Let me get you some tea, oui? And you try on that suit on the blue dress form, the black one, while I’m out.”

OK, no pleasantries, just the offer of a cup of tea and a request to get started. Clearly, I passed muster. I smiled to myself as I tried on the first suit. It felt as if it fitted perfectly.

“What do you think, cher?” she called from the kitchen.

“What do you think, cher?” she called from the kitchen.

“I like it!” I called back. I adjusted my celtic cross so it fitted over the shirt. People are always giving me celtic crosses; I’m not sure why. I looked around at the other suits: one was a deep purple, so deep it was almost black, and there was a shocking pink one on a rack.

“What are all these for?”

“What are all these for?” I asked.

“Goth wedding,” she replied. “Bride’s worried the men won’t come in proper attire, so she wants a bunch of these made up in standard sizes for guests to change in to when they arrive.” She laughed from the kitchen; I could hear the old-fashioned stovetop kettle begin to boil, but she was back in the parlour, measuring my inseam and that, before the tea could have been poured up. “Ah, there we go. Just a couple of alterations and it should be perfect.” She eyed me from top to bottom. “I knew I’d find the right size man down the gypsy camp. Now you try on this next one and I’ll get back to that tea.”

“Do you need several different styles?” I wondered.

“Do you need several different styles?” I wondered. “I like the tails on this one!”

“I do love me a good tail coat,” she called back from the kitchen. “Lady ain’t sure which one she’s going to pick; I think money will be a consideration here, of course; she wants five each in five different sizes, so these are the models. This one is most versatile: boys could choose cummerbund and tie colours as they pleased. Do take that beautiful hair down, cher.”

I smiled to myself.

I pulled my hair down out of what the boys laughingly call my

I pulled my hair down out of what the boys laughingly call my “man bun”.

I pulled my hair down out of what the boys laughingly call my “man bun”. So she wanted to see the Gypsy with his hair unbound. Perhaps there was more to this little meet and greet than a quick modelling session, after all.

“What’s the pink one for?” I wondered as I shook my hair out and combed it with my fingers.

“Oh, now I don’t think this one needs any alteration at all,” she said as she returned to the parlour with two cups of what smelled like good black tea. She set them both down on the one uncluttered surface in the room, the old-fashioned treadle sewing machine. “I know, I know, cher,” she said when she caught me looking at it. “It’s old, but nothing sews as straight or as pretty a seam, and tailoring’s loving work: everything’s got to look perfect, at least to me it does.”

I nodded. The tea was still too hot to drink. “Have you got milk?”

Oui, cher;” she said. “Just let me pin this quick: now don’t move or you’ll stick yourself.”

I stayed still. “What’s the pink suit for?” I asked again, but she was already off to the kitchen again.

“You want sugar, cher?”

“You want sugar, cher?”

“Sure!” I called back. I shifted carefully and took a long look at the pink suit. “No but really, what’s the pink suit for?”

She laughed. “You done asked me three times, so I’ll tell you,” she replied.

Ah, the Enchanted Lands. Everything goes by the Rule of Three here.

“It’s a commission, for the King of the Bean. He’s won his throne at Lughnasadh, you know, and he reigns until Samhain, when we dress him up and bring in the Winter King for the season.”

I nodded. “That’s some suit.”

She laughed. “Why don’t you try it on? I think it’ll fit you,” she called from the kitchen. “I’m just digging around for the sugar.”

So I put it on, complete with a set of pink boots. Everything fit perfectly.

So I put it on, complete with a set of pink boots. Everything fit perfectly.

So I put it on, complete with a set of pink boots. Everything fit perfectly.

“Fits like a glove!” I exclaimed.

She returned from the kitchen, eyed me critically. “You sure do look good with your hair unbound, cher,” she said.

“No, really; it fits perfectly,” I said. “Is your Bean King the same size as me?”

“Nope; he’s quite a bit taller than you, and somewhat more towheaded,” she said with a laugh. “Suit’s magic.”

Of course. I turned toward Ophelia. “You have a remarkable talent,” I said.

Her brown eyes sparked up at me. “How much sugar you want in that tea, cher?”

“Two spoonfuls,”I replied. “And a splash of milk.”

“Just a splash?” She was flirting with me, of course. “Let’s give you a sploosh instead.”

I laughed. “Whatever you say, my lady,” I said. “You have the most remarkable eyes, Ophelia.”

“Call me Ophie,” she replied. “All my friends do.”

Despite the loveliness of the other suits, I couldn't get over the fit of the pink one.

Despite the loveliness of the other suits, I couldn’t get over the fit of the pink one.

Despite the loveliness of the other suits, I couldn’t get over the fit of the pink one.

“I don’t know why I like this so much,” I said with a little laugh. “I never imagined myself wearing so much pink at one time before.”

She smiled up at me. “That’s the magic in the suit, cher.” She winked. “You like it now, but you learn to love it later.”

Definitely flirting. I chuckled. “Oh!” I looked across the room. “Do you do cakes as well?”

"Oh, no; the cakes are just there for the bride to look over," she said.

“Oh, no; the cakes are just there for the bride to look over,” she said.

“Oh, no; the cakes are just there for the bride to look over,” she said. “My fried Page does them. Gorgeous, aren’t they?”

I couldn’t take my eyes off the captured raven. “How do you do that?”

“She does it,” she reminded me. “Magic. The rose too.” She patted the seat beside her on the single couch in the parlour. “Why don’t you sit down next to me and enjoy that tea?”

“Don’t you want me to take the suit off first?” I asked.

Her smile broadened. “Oh, no, cher,” she said. “I like you so much in that suit. We’ll take it off together later.”

I could get to like modelling wedding clothes for seamstresses.

Style Cards:

First Suit:
Body: 
SLink
Head: My own
Ears: Mandala Steking Ears Season 5
Hair: Argrace, Takeshi
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Limited Skin (Available now at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Appliers for SLink Male body also NOW AVAILABLE!
Suit and Shoes: Beyond Persuasion Designs, Midnight Gardens Principality Suit (Available now at Everlasting Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Affair!)
Necklace: Glint, Celtic Cross Necklace (a Glint MegaHunt Gift!)

Second Suit:
Body: 
SLink
Head: 
My own
Ears: 
Mandala Steking Ears Season 5
Hair: 
Argrace, Takeshi
Hair
(down): Calico, Caden
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Limited Skin (Available now at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Appliers for SLink Male body also NOW AVAILABLE!
Suit and Shoes: 
Avatar Bizarre, Dante Tux & Crowley Boots (Available now at Everlasting Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Affair!)
Necklace: 
Glint, Celtic Cross Necklace (a Glint MegaHunt Gift!)

Third Suit (Yes, the pink one!):
Body: SLink
Head: 
My own
Ears: 
Mandala Steking Ears Season 5
Hair (down): Calico, Caden
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Limited Skin (Available now at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!) Appliers for SLink Male body also NOW AVAILABLE!
Suit: 
Brocade Tiger, Flamingo Tux (A Femboy Hunt Gift!)
Shoes: FateStep, Anthony Boots
Necklace: 
Glint, Celtic Cross Necklace (a Glint MegaHunt Gift!)

Cakes: Page Creations, (L-R), Captured Raven Fantasy Cake, Black and White Lotus Cake, Captured Rose Fantasy Cake (Available now at Everlasting Love of the Night: A Gothic Wedding Affair!)

House: DustBunny, WildRose Manor (Available at Collabor88!)

Autumn Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Forest

Sign: Lost Junction, Port Town Signs, Clothier (from a past Fantasy Gacha Carnival)

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

Special thanks to Deva Westland, who lent me a vital prop for this scene!

Also thank you to FabFree blogger WHC Riler, who blogged about the Brocade Tiger suit and had me entranced from sentence number 1!

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