We Are All The Story

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Alone in the woods…

Alone in the woods, I am looking for something. I don’t know what I am looking for, but that’s not unusual.

I hear a noise, not far away, and I turn to see

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Another version of me, telling stories to animals.

Another version of me, telling stories to animals. Her/my voice rises and falls, and they are rapt. Dragons flutter round the edges, bunnies cavort; even the squirrels have her/my attention.

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So why am I here?

So why am I here, when I am also there? And what does she have that I don’t have? The forest grows dark around me, and I fear I will be lost.

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“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,”

“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,” says the storyteller/me. And suddenly I realise, not what she has the I haven’t, but what I have that she hasn’t.

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She is telling a story about me.

She is telling a story about me. I am the writer and I am also the protagonist. I am the captive and the captivator. I am the creatrix and the created.

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“We are all the story,” she says.

“We are all the story,” she says. “We are all the beginning and the end of drama, quest, beginnings, middles, and ends. We are all of it.

I am all of it.

You are all of it.

Build your story. Star in it. Create yourself as you create something else. What more magic can there be?

Style Cards:
Gwyneth in the woods
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Gaia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, “Glimmer” Eyebrows
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: The Annex, Antonia Gown, Warm (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair and Garland: Tableau Vivant, Silvana (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Photo Background: Serenity Style, ChoiBoi Mystic Forest Backdrop

Gwyneth with the animals
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Neve
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: SCS Fresh Eyebrows, Blonde
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Ariana Gown, Blue (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Mina, Carmen
Wings: Muse, Miss TWA 2015 Wings
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Springleaf Necklace and Earrings
Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Rapunzel Crown
Photo Background: Kraftwork, The Book of Dreams
Animals:
Bunnies: anc, Cotton Bunny Cappuccino
Puppy Dogs: anc, Flottante Puppy Cream
Raccoon: Jian, Raccoon Static
Winged Cat: Half Deer, Winged Cat, Contemplate
Black and White Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 11- Sitting
Sitting Dragon, Alchemy, Dragonette, Air (rare)
Marble Foxes: Jian, Marble Fox
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 5
Squirrel: HEXtraordinary, Fat White Squirrel
Tabby Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12, Curious
Flying Dragons: Half Deer Solstice Dragons Leafwing, Infinite Light, and PermaFrost
Unicorn: Culprit, UniQrn, SnowLeopard Baby

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A Month Of Hair With Gwen! Or: Why my SL Partner hates the word “fatpack”

It may have come to the attention of some people that I am into SL hair. OK, it may have come to the attention to some people that I might well one day find myself on a virtual street corner with a sign reading Will Work For Hair. I mean, it’s not like, an addiction or anything. I can quit any time! I mean, it’s not like I spent all my money at the annual Truth sale (mostly because I already had everything I could ever want up to that point) and I really don’t mind if Queue Marlowe sends more than one reminder that she has new styles at the Analog Dog Main Store, because it’s a super good thing when I can just go there the minute I log in and not be spending the next X hours wondering when I’ll be free of Y obligation so I can go and shop! And so what if I can tell many brands of SL hair from a distance, just because I know the textures/style/whathaveyou.

So, yeah. I am, in the vernacular, a hair ho. I blog Hair Fair. I blog Hairology. I blog for Analog Dog even when I buy the hair myself. I blog a lot of hair I buy myself, to be honest. I won’t list hair creators I love in any kind of order, because there’s always something new, and hair creators like everybody else go through different style phases: what I like one month might not be the same as what I like the next month either, so I don’t let it worry me too much.

So, because I just got back from Germany and I’m way backed up on a lot of things, here is a run-down of all the hair I acquired in the last 30 days or so….

First, a trio of hair you can get for yourself at Hairology, which opens on the 10th of October!

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Kokolores, “Toril”

Here’s a quick updo from KokoloresToril, which I imagine is one of those hairstyles we’re all familiar with. You have to go out, you’re in a hurry, and there’s nothing more pleasing than a little messy bun action!

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Tukinowaguma, “Kist”

Tukinowaguma has for Hairology this fun ponytail, Kist. Because everybody needs a ponytail. Or five. Or a dozen… yeah, you know how that goes.

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No Match, “No Return”

Finally, No Match has this great long style that looks almost wet, No Return. I’m always impressed by their textures, but this is one of those styles I predict Gwyneth will be wearing a lot over the next couple of months: it’s dressy enough to look a little glamours and casual enough not to have caused those poor little demifae servants of hers too much trouble.

Obviously, there’s a lot more hair coming to Hairology this month: I will be showing you some of it in the weeks to come!

Second on the list: there’s no way you can write a hair roundup without mentioning TruthTruth Hawks has been making SL hair for mumble years, and when it comes to sheer variety of style and number of releases that still look good, nobody does it better.

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Truth ,”Apple”

This is Apple, which you can still pick up at Uber until the 23rd of October. As often of late, this style includes a Hairstyle HUD that lets you show the long hair in the front or back, changes the fringe (bangs, Americans!), or get rid of the long hair altogether and just make it into a neat bun.

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Truth, Pollila

Polilla isn’t a new Truth hair; you can buy it at the Truth Main Store, and the moths are optional and colour-change with a HUD. I like this style on Gwyneth, because it’s both fairly dressy and (with the moths) shows a bit of her whimsical side as well.

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Truth, Ophelia

Ophelia. Wow. I love this hair. It comes in a windblown and plain version, changeable with the hairstyle HUD, and you can also have it fall completely to the back, to either side, or with both sides in front. Because it is an October release for the Salem event, you can turn each side of the hair a different colour, which is kinda fun if you’re into all that Gothy witchy supernatural stuff. 😉

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Truth, Athena

Finally, here’s Athena, which was the Truth VIP Group gift for October. If you love hair and you’re not a member of the Truth VIP Group, you really ought to be. Yes, there is a L$300 charge to join the group. But you get a new fatpack of hair every month, which you might pay just a little more than L$300 for if you bought it in the store, and you also get to interact with a great group of people if you enjoy meeting tons of strangers who are great conversationalists and probably just as addicted to hair as you are. Athena can be worn with or without the wavy wisps in front (yes, I know Truth spells it “whisp”, but I just can’t), changeable via the hairstyle HUD.

Third, you also can’t have a SL hair roundup post without spending generous amounts of time (and money) on Analog Dog. Well, or I couldn’t. Queue Marlowe is a genius with curls, and she knows just how to add a bit of Flexi to mesh hair to make it look real and wonderful and alive. My first proto-fashion-blog post was made in something like 2009 or 2010, on my old LiveJournal, about Analog Dog Hair, and it was entitled, “Hairgasm”. Need I say more?

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Analog Dog, “Kaye”

Kaye is an easy ponytail with that characteristic Analog Dog Flexi swing. It’s not over the top (though Queue would certainly argue that there is nothing wrong with over the top if you know how to do it!), and although it’s a simple style, the ease of the front makes it look so classy. It’s new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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Analog Dog, “Radius”

Also new at the Analog Dog Main Store is Radius, a straight-chopped wavy style that, while it’s blunt on the ends, has a lot of wavy-curly swing to it. It’s just long enough to warm your shoulders without getting caught underneath your coat collar!

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Analog Dog, “Ulna”

 

Ulna is self described by Queue as a messy bun, and that’s exactly what you get here. It’s lovely and high, so you can wear it with a variety of different styles. Also new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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Analog Dog, “Sigma”

Now, not everybody is a genius with braids, but Queue Marlowe definitely is. This is Sigma, created for the Lootbox event, and it’s a gacha. This style is actually one of the commons, and it’s perfect for Faerie Queens whose demifae helpers love to braid their hair and cause all sorts of crown-like havoc on top of their heads. The Lootbox event is open until the 20th of October, so you still have eleven days to go and play for this hair (L$75/pull).

The rest of this post is hair I’ve picked up at various events or bought at main stores over the last 30 days. I did buy more hair than this, but the rest of it was for The Amazing Catwoman, and she refuses to be part of a hair roundup because she is independent and fierce and stuff.

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Limerance, “Mermaid”

Limerance‘s Mermaid is so long you can see my shoes! I love super long hairs, and I’m so glad they seem to be coming back into style: I’ve seen a number of them around the grid lately and it makes me so happy! This is once again a gacha hair from Lootboxit’s $L75/pull, and you can play for it until the 20th of October. This is the common style; the rare has a pulled-back front.

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Foxy, “Bella”

Foxy‘s Bella hair was at Kustom9 last month, but I suspect it’ll be up in their main store soon. This is another super-long hair, and it has a hairstyle HUD so you can put bits of it to the front, also. You can’t ever have too many long, straight styles. Can you?

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Monso, “Daenarys”

A few years ago, there were a million Game of Thrones hairs out there, but this one from Monso is one of my favourites: Daenarys does a good job with both the front and the back (I should have photographed the back!), and the front wisps add quite a lot to the look. It was released for the October round of FaMeshed, so you can still get it easily.

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Exile, “Just Another Night”

Exile‘s Just Another Night is again not a new hairstyle. But I wanted it in their great greyscale colours because we are heading into winter now and Gwyneth will need to silver herself up at some point. You can get it at the Exile Main Store, which has recently had the first store refurbishment I can remember, and this is a Bento hair: it come in both a gently waving Bento version and a plain (non-moving) one.

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Mina, “Harper”

Also available at the October round of FaMeshed is Mina‘s Harper, a long, loose braid with a lot of wispy extra hair poking out around it. It’s a great style for Gwyneth, and I imagine she’ll be in it a lot this autumn.

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Moon, “Solstice”

Oh gods yes! Another super-long, this one from MoonSolstice was also at last month’s Kustom9, but should be available in their main store soon. Solstice is so cool, I was in it for days! It even has extra strands you can hold in your hand, with an embedded pose that does not (and I can state this firmly) interfere with dancing!

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Nani, “Cora Crow”

Nani‘s Cora Crow, also available at the Salem event, is a whimsical little number that you can wear with or without the crow’s nest on top. He’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but there is a crow in the nest!

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Ayashi, “Janko”

This is Janko, by Ayashi. It’s not a new hair, but I picked it up at The Secret Hideout a couple of days ago. I love the fringe (bangs, Americans!) and the long curls. 🙂

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Phoenix, “Cassandra”

And finally (thank you for getting this far!), Cassandra, by Phoenix. Wow, there is a lot of great hair at the Salem event! Another very long straight style, Cassandra comes in the usual huge number of Phoenix colours, and don’t forget that if you’re part of their in-world group, there’s a special VIP HUD you can access when the group is active that gives you loads of rainbow colours!

Whew! That’s a lot of hair, Gwen! And just think, I have so much more to show you as the month goes on! Look for some more amazing Hairology styles, to name just a little bit, and I might have a surprise in store for you before the end of the month, but I can’t tell you what it is because then it wouldn’t be a surprise!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Byzsntium Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Rood
Sweater: Riot, Sansa Sweater (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Leggings: Riot, Sophie Leggings (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Boots: Baiastice, Haan Shoes (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries, Celtic Filligree Amythest + Aelean Ruby

Hair: 20 different hairs; see individual photos above.

Backdrop: D.U.S.T., Dreams caught in bubble

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Rebuilding

Well, I’m sure everyone knows what happened on White Owl Island at Lughnasadh. I’m surprised that Gelato woman hasn’t spread her tabloid photographs all over the state of Washington and Realms Beyond at this point.

If you don’t know, some terrorist, and we suspect Saoirse, blew up my house. That’s right. She blew up my house. We were right in the middle of a romantic dance, Nathaniel and I, and the night couldn’t have been nicer. The crowd was small but friendly, and then up on the hill, an explosion, and our home was nothing more than rubble.

I just can’t even think about it or talk about it now, so I am spending a lot of time decorating the treehouse, since Nathaniel and I will now be making that our primary home.

I’d already done the salon, and our bedroom is in progress, so I went Realm-hopping again and found some beautiful things at a shopping faire called Fable to decorate our ground floor guest suite with.

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Now, an empty room just bothers me.

Now, an empty room just bothers me, so I got Bran in to help me with the wallpaper right away. Sometimes his glamouring skill is better than mine, mostly because I don’t do a lot of that at the moment and he has been busy getting this and the Queen’s Garden ready.

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I do love this lilac colour he chose, and the sleeping bench looks great here on this wall.

I do love this lilac colour he chose, and the sleeping bench looks great here on this wall. I found some great furniture and so many more wonderful things at the Fable shopping faire, and I’m sure more of it will feature. We’re furnishing this room in furniture and décor from Adorably Strange Wares, a name that makes me giggle, because they are adorable and yet a little strange as well. Bran was lovely; he never once asked me if the room wasn’t stately enough.

And, oh! I should mention: I received the loveliest package from those talented people at Silvan Moon Designs. They wanted to let me know that the Fantasy Gacha Carnival is coming up, and they sent me a sample of this beautiful Psalm of Soraya gown. It comes in many colours, all mix and match, and the fit is perfect.

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This beautiful bed is what sold me on the décor.

This beautiful bed is what sold me on the décor. I love the banners and bunting. I’ve still got a little work to do in here, but for the most part I’m satisfied. I suspect Nathaniel will worry about practical matters like wardrobes and water closets, but I just can’t be bothered right now. Bran did argue that the silhouettes might make it look too much like a children’s room, but I’m sure everyone likes silhouettes. Don’t they? I mean, I do.

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It will be all right.

It will be all right. We will find out whether Saoirse was working alone, or I guess even if she did it at all: Arahaelon made it very clear that he wanted Nathaniel and me as far from the explosion site as possible and that he would be conducting the investigation himself. I am glad we have the place in Faerie, even if Nathaniel wants to be more involved with the folk “on the ground” as he says. Arahaelon and I have put a simple portal in that leads from the green in Faerie to the White Owl Island village park, which will make commuting easier for him.

Clutie is furious about the Faewatch article: she always lets Cherish get to her. Me, I figure it’s just one of the repercussions of being a bit of a celebrity, not that I really like the attention. I’ll probably scan it and pop it onto the blog just to keep a record, though I do think the photo of the house actually blowing up was in very poor taste.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Mina, Indy
Eyes: Mesange, Borealis Eyes (Available NOW at Genre!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Olivia (Full face and body Omega applier, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Psalm of Soraya Gown (Available SOON at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Circlet: Supernatural, Hymn (Silver)

Bed, Bench, Silhouettes, and Banners: Adorably Strange Wares, The Briar Rose Set. Sold separately in light and dark versions. (Available NOW at Fable!)

Poses: All from An LarThe Crest Series, except “Now, an empty room just bothers me”, which is Where is the Pool Bar, from Gem Poses, and available at Fable.

House: LAQ Decor: Serene Tree & Windmill Home.

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never redecorate the Tree House Yet Again without it!

7ds FABLE2  MESANGE LOGO 2017    silvan-moon-designs-logo-full

The Stolen Child

 

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Where dips the rocky highland….

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuthwood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our fairy vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.

 

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Come away, O Human child!

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Where the wave of moonlight glosses

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;

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To and fro we leap

To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.

Come away, O human child!

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To the waters and the wild

To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Where the wandering water gushes

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild

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With a faery, hand in hand,

With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

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Away with us he’s going, The solemn-eyed:

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breath
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.

For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,

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For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Poem, of course, is “The Stolen Child” by the immortal WB Yeats, a native of Sligo, where my late husband’s family were from and where many of them still reside.

All thanks go to Noah, who agreed on fairly short notice to find some schoolboy clothes and come be my Stolen Child for an evening. Noah’s player is among my favourite people in SL, and their portrayal of children as real kids taught me not to be completely dismissive of child avatars when I was new to SL roleplaying several years ago and we ended up on a sim together. Noah is an amazing kid, and is that not the most adorable child you have ever seen? Here, he is seven years old, and I thought he brought me the perfect Stolen Child.

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The amazing and adorable Noah!

When Astralia came up with the stunning Ivy Elf Set for The Gacha Garden, I knew I had to do something special with it. Once I dressed Gwyneth in the outfit, I could only think of the wild faeries of Irish folklore, and of course Yeats’ poem came to mind as something accessible, and short, that I could use as a springboard. With very little preparation, I decided to use the beautiful forest Dyisi Oppewall created on my sim, Awenia, as a setting. Raindale‘s beautiful boat, Meriel, provided the simple stage we used to take these photographs. I am grateful to Lumiya Rae, who created this lovely skin, Aurora, which is coming soon to The Coven: it got me to streamline my Lelutka Simone Bento head-shape to give Gwyneth this stern and otherworldly face. ColeMarie Soleil, the creative force behind Cole’s Creations, created the glimmering bits of gold that are sometimes visible around Gwyneth’s body and head and also the beautiful moonbeams that illuminate her Faery form as she appears to Noah. This photoshoot took nearly three hours, possibly a bit longer, and I could not have done it as well or efficiently without my experience in the Visionaire class or our masterclass with Senna Coronet on lighting. Nearly all the moonbeams on the water are made with projectors I created, and the projector on Noah dimmed out the lamp on the boat, so I had to create projectors to simulate that, as well. This was shot in various Phototools Moonlight wind lights, with the exception of the last photograph, which I shot in Phototools No Light so that I could bring all focus to Noah’s adorable and pinchable little face! (Noah is going to barf when he reads this!)

Style Cards:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Mesh Head
Hair: Mina, Ava Lin (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega eye appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Aurora, Hexed (COMING SOON to The Coven!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Clothes (bra, headdress, body leaves, neck leaves, necklace, leaf tattoo, leggings, armbands, corset, and necklace): Astralia, Ivy Elf Set (Available NOW at The Gacha Garden!)
Wings: Zyn, Woodland Tree Wings
Moonbeams and Gold Sparkles: Cole’s Corner, Fairy Gold Dust and Illuminated Lightbeams (Moonbeam Aura)

Noah:
Hair: *ARGRACE* GAKU
Socks: EB Atelier – Mesh_Socks Grey
Necklace: MeshMerized – Pan
Sweater: Loki Mesh – V4 Timerascal – Top
Shorts: Loki Mesh – V4 Timerascal Shorts
Boots: Loki Mesh – V4 Workboots – Brown
Mesh Body: #SMB Mesh Body 2.2
Skin: [Lee] Yang Skin Child Version
Eyes: [Icy Winter EYE] by Lubellia

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never re-enact a Yeats poem in SL without it!

lumae-logo   raindale-logo

Morning After

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Gwyneth:

So, yeah. I was talking about Clutie in my last post, and about how she just annoys me to pieces these days.

As it happens, the morning after my little excursion into the Wylds, I was just sitting on the couch, playing with one of those winged cats I like so much—I don’t know why; they just fascinate me. I was thinking about what I’d do in the Bower for the Winter Solstice, and whether or not I would need to get some demifae in to do a bit of heavy lifting (it always amuses me that I get creatures no longer than the length of my hand to do my heavy lifting), when I felt a familiar buzzing in my head.

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See? I really was just minding my own business.

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And the next thing I knew, I was arguing with Clutie.

And the next thing I knew, I was arguing with Clutie.

‘No’, I said. ‘I have no interest in trying on winter gowns today. As you can see, I’m very comfortable on this large sofa with this fascinating cat, and I intend to keep on doing this until noon at the very earliest.’

‘But Your Majesty’, Clutie reminded me, ‘I am still your handmaiden, no matter’ (and here she sniffed, perhaps judgmentally) ‘what kind of journey your soul is taking in to night at this moment. And being your handmaiden means that I must prepare you for events to come. And whether you like it or not, it is December, and that means Year Turn parties and Winter Solstice gatherings, and halls filled with light and music’. She sniffed again. ‘I will not have my Queen in a hall full of light and music wearing…’ she wrinkled her nose. ‘What exactly are you wearing, Your Majesty?’

‘Pink footie pyjamas’, I answered, with as much grace and dignity as a grown woman could have, saying the words “pink footie pyjamas”, while actually wearing pink footie pyjamas. Granted, that’s not a lot of grace and dignity.

Danae coughed to hide her laughter; it didn’t work completely, because Clutie turned and gave her the most potent eat shit look I think I’ve seen since that time I suggested to Maric that he dress up as Santa Claus for all the children of the village. Serious lead balloon, that was.

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Not three minutes later, I was fuming as Clutie, Danae, and their cohort (whose name I didn’t catch) fitted me in to what was, granted, a gorgeous dress.

Not three minutes later, I was fuming as Clutie, Danae, and their cohort (whose name I didn’t catch) fitted me in to what was, granted, a gorgeous dress.

Clutie, who was ignoring my crankiness completely, flitted back and sighed with dramatic happiness. ‘Oh! I knew you would look marvellous in this one: I had it sent in specially for you. It’s made by Junbug.’

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I was still bored when they posed me in front of a rose curtain and started messing with my hair again.

I was still bored when they posed me in front of a rose curtain and started messing with my hair again.

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Honestly, I felt like a mannequin with the gift of speech when Clutie finally told me to smile and had her cohort (Sorcha! That’s her name!) snap a photo of me with that Polaroid camera I bought her in Nu Jyorck.

Honestly, I felt like a mannequin with the gift of speech when Clutie finally told me to smile and had her cohort (Sorcha! That’s her name!) snap a photo of me with that polaroid camera I bought her in Nu Jyorck.

‘You look like a goddess, Your Majesty’, she said.

I made a noncommittal noise, although in fact, I did like the dress. The shoes had little butterflies for heels, and I liked those too.

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‘Don’t you think this one’s too formal?’ I asked Clutie after they’d all stopped pinning me in to it.

‘Don’t you think this one’s too formal?’ I asked Clutie after they’d all stopped pinning me in to it.

‘Can you ever really be too formal?’ was Clutie’s response. ‘Besides, you love this designer. It’s Silvan Moon Designs. You have this dress already in a sort of ice white colour, but I thought you might appreciate wearing blue and gold again, you know’.

I sighed. ‘Maybe in the summer’, I said, ‘we’ll go back to the Summer Court colours then.’

Clutie pouted. ‘You’d never wear this gown in summer’, she asserted.

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‘This is true’, I replied. ‘Fine; I’ll think about it’.

‘This is true’, I replied. ‘Fine; I’ll think about it’.

Then she had Sorcha photograph me again, and we went on to the next dress.

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At least this one was red, though it seems she has a thing for trains this year.

At least this one was red, though it seems she has a thing for trains this year.

‘This one’s also from Junbug‘, Clutie informed me as she did something with the crown she insisted on fitting on me “just to see how it looks”. Never mind that I’ve worn this crown dozens of times before and it always looks good: it’s one of Evangeline Miles’ designs, so it’s practically perfect in every way.

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‘I do rather like the fit of this one’, I finally admitted.

‘I do rather like the fit of this one’, I finally admitted.

Danae and Sorcha made my nails and lips the same colour as the dress, and of course they glamoured the shoes to match as well. Proper little artists, they are.

‘How many more?’ I murmured wearily to Clutie.

‘Just one more’, she promised. ‘And I saved the best one for last, of course’.

‘Why do we play this game, if you always know the one I’m going to pick as my favourite before I do?’

‘Because it amuses me to know you well, Your Majesty’, she replied. I just about swatted her, but, you know. My nails were still wet.

‘Better colour those black’, she instructed to Danae and Sorcha. Sorcha blinked once, twice, and I’d swear steam came out of her ears.

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‘Oh!’ I twirled! I giggled. ‘This is gorgeous, and you don’t even have to tell me who designed it.’

‘Oh!’ I twirled! I giggled! ‘This is gorgeous, and you don’t even have to tell me who designed it. I can tell by the colour alone. Why didn’t you tell me there was an Evangeline Miles design to try on? I never would have snapped at you, not even a little bit.’

Clutie sniffed again.

I rolled my eyes. ‘Are you coming down with a cold, Clutie dear, or are you just so fucking superior you can’t hold it in?’

Clutie huffed. ‘Your Majesty! I never! Your attitude is unbecoming of a Queen sometimes.’

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At that, I laughed out loud.

At that, I laughed out loud. ‘Well, at least some things never change,’ I said. I spread my arms out. ‘Now, this dress makes me want to dance. Is there a Solstice Ball this year?’

Clutie clapped her hands. ‘Of course! Nothing could keep us from celebrating the Return of Light, My Queen.’

‘Good’, I replied. ‘This is for that, then. And wherever did you find this gorgeous jewellery?’

‘Oh, now, this is from Vae at The Plastik. She sent it over on approval, with compliments. Shall I send her some faerie gold?’ Clutie’s little helpers tittered at this.

‘No; I shall send her some real gold’, I replied. ‘No reason to make her grumpy. Besides, I think she may be a demon, and I’d rather not piss her off. Hard to tell, really, with some people. And I’ll visit Evie myself to tell her how gorgeous this dress is. And the crown of candles! You’ve outdone yourself, Clutie.’

Clutie puffed with pride. ‘Actually, Danae found this while we were touring round that faire you like to go to, the one about Roleplay. It’s from Paper Moon.’

‘Well, it’s perfect’, I declared. ‘Makes me feel creative. You know, I think we should put a carpet of grass in this atrium, give the tree something to feel under her feet, and us as well. What do you think of that?’

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‘A marvellous idea, Your Majesty’, Clutie replied.

‘A marvellous idea, Your Majesty’, Clutie replied. ‘Sorcha, do take another photo, would you?’

Sorcha grumbled that she never got to be in any of the photographs. ‘Oh, do stop moaning’, Danae said, and she levitated the camera to photograph us all together as I struck another dancing pose. ‘There, now’.

‘I could have thought of that’,  Sorcha said, sullen.

‘But you didn’t’, Danae said.

Just then there was a crash from somewhere behind me, and musical cursing.

‘What the fuck?’ I turned, but Clutie obscured the arched doorway with a wall of mist.

‘Sorry, Your Majesty; they’re not ready for you yet’, she said.

‘Who is this “they”?’ I peered into the room, squinting, then raised my hand to clear the mist.

‘Oh, please don’t, My Queen’, Clutie said. ‘Kern’s so excited about this, and I don’t want to ruin his fun. Let’s just say there’s a surprise waiting for you when we’re done here’.

I raised a brow. ‘Oh, fine’, I said, ‘but it had better be good’.

Style Cards:

Pyjama Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Madelyn (Catwa Head Appliers, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Celtic)
Hair: Pink Hustler 8160
Pyjamas: Cracked Mirror, Footie Pajamas, Pink

The Cat: Half-Deer, Winged Cats
The Couch: Fallen Gods, Justine
The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: !bang

White Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Madelyn (Catwa Head Appliers, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Celtic)
Makeup: Izzies, Catwa Silver Glitter Makeup (Available at the United and Kind event!)
Hair: Sinkitlia, Giselle
Gown: Junbug, Elia in Mist (Available at Uber!)
Crown & Bracers: G-Spot, Dyonysus’ Bride
Necklace: The Forge, Ember in Bronze (Available at the United and Kind event!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Shoes

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Wardrobes: Scarlet Creative, Nerites Wardrobe, Venice Wardrobe (both from past Arcades)
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Blue Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair: Truth, Xia
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth: Xia
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Victoria Faun Gown (COMING SOON to Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms, opening December 9!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Red Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair and Hair Jewellery: Mina & Empyrean Forge, Harmony (Available NOW at FaMESHed!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Gown: Junbug, Odette (Available NOW at FaMESHed!)!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels
Crown and Collar: Evie’s Closet, Alateriel

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Ombre Grey Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair: Spellbound, Lionhearted
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Gown: Evie’s Closet, Amalthea (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels
Necklace and Earrings: The Plastik, Serra Chain and Earrings (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Crown: Paper Moon, St. Lucia Wreath, Fir, Midnight (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject poor, poor Gwyneth to yet more fancy dress fittings without it!

Ban Síde

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Gwyneth:

Oh, do not fear the winter night
The broken branches dull with snow
And do not fear the death of light
Or any fright that dreams bestow

And neither fear the fox’s cry
Nor fear a tapping at your door
Or worry over some old lie
That doesn’t matter any more

But when the thread is wearing thin
And time fragments to feathery
Then, as you fear the fear within
You may be frightened now of me

 

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Cold, cold, always cold.

Cold, cold, always cold. It is the first feeling when I rise and the last before I fall. And now another Realm, another town, another street to walk down. Another song, another rhyme, another soul run out of time.

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I am called.

I am called. I am cold. I am hungry. Is this the house? No; not this one. Carry on; carry on.

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Closer now.

Closer now. I smell it clearly. From this window, or the next. No, not this one. Next year, maybe. Carry on; carry on.

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Oh, here.

Oh, here. Now here. This door; this light. Now I breathe and start the keening, carry on into the night. And sing until the widow’s weeping on the floor her hands as cold as the hands she still is holding. Always cold; always cold. Wail from sundown, wail to midnight, wail all night and let them cry. Now the gasping, now the weeping; tears are always the reply. Only when the widow’s broken, only when the bond is cut, then the others of us sweep the soul away, elf-struck.

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Finally.

Finally, when songs are over, I can walk away. Forget syllabic, rhyming sing-song, I say to myself, but echoes always follow me. The wailing. The keening. The grief of a hundred loves, all weighing on whatever thing—I don’t even remember now—whatever thing I did to deserve this burden.

And then I see a statue of a Fae harper.

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It’s easy: I rise with the clouds until I’m there.

It’s easy: I rise with the clouds until I’m there, perched on her knee, hand to her hand, and something stirs inside the bronze casting, something that is still alive, trapped for a century or more.

—Lady, who bound you?

—Bound me? This is where I live.

—But once you had a body.

—Of course. That was long ago.

—But don’t you long to escape?

And as if an echo comes her reply:

—But don’t you long to escape?

—Escape? I cannot escape.

—But once you had another calling.

—Of course. That was long ago.

Her laughter is like harp strings, tings of brass.

—I’ll not move until they melt me down and sell me. But you could go, give it up, let the others carry the keening.

—They’d find me.

—Not if you know how to run.

And now I look into the green-cast eyes and think, is there hope? Might there be hope?

—I know how to run.

She laughs again.

—But where? Do you know where to run?

—I confess I do not.

—But I do.

—Tell me.

—So simple it is, you’ll think you thought of it yourself, and you’ll think no more of me. I need a promise.

—Anything.

—Promise you’ll remember me.

—If your words save me, I could never forget you.

—Then promise, and be bound.

—I promise. I will never forget you.

—Now run, run as fast and as far as you can, and think of oceans and deep water, and when you think you cannot run any more, you must fly into the air and fall and ask for haven. You will meet water, and then you will be free.

—It seems too simple.

—All things are. Now run, before they call you for another keening.

I leave a kiss on the cast fingers, find the ground, and flee. I run until I think I cannot run any more, and there before me is a cliff, above an ocean, so I dive. I cry for haven.

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So I dive.

So I dive, and falling seems to take forever, and in an instant I see the beach and the rocks and the waves and the houses and the trees and in each house a sleeping soul or more, and then the water breaks my fall and I am cold and colder still again, and then it’s dark.

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Ugh!

Ugh! I woke up from a dream of drowning. I was thinking how much I hate dreams about drowning, when I realised I was actually in a rather large body of water. Fuck me: I’ve never dreamed myself physically into another place before. And what was all that about being a Bean Sí? I coughed water and treaded water and turned around and found an accessible shore: the other side seemed to be a sheer cliff.

It took a while, but I did manage to swim to the beach. And I don’t know why I didn’t just lift and fly: I don’t think I remembered I could fly until I was already on the sand. I guess that’s what happens when your thoughts are addled by dreams and drowning, one after the other.

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I stepped up on to a boardwalk.

I stepped up on to a boardwalk. The day was fine, which was good, because the water was cold and the sun was a welcome friend.

And then I looked ahead.

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This was a very long boardwalk.

This was a very long boardwalk, with an inexplicable bend in the middle, as if someone thought it’d just be fun to make the journey half again as long as it would have been—or maybe there’s some rule against straight boardwalks. Is there a rule against straight boardwalks? Next time I’m in a Realm with an Internet connection, I shall have to check.

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Onward.

And so, having no idea where I was, no immediate notion of how to get back to Faerie, and no plans for the day, I continued up the hill and on to the next adventure, whatever that would be.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Dyana
Ears: BentBox Sylvan Ears
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae Bare, T1 (The Eirtae Bare skin has been updated and is available at the Lumae Main Store now!)
Hair: Mina, Neah (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs (A collaboration between The White Armory and Blue Moon Enterprises), Aquella Marina Dress in Grey (Available at the Fantasy Cream event!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Leg Wraps: Empire, Forsythia (Available at We❤ RP!)
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes for SLink Pointe Feet
Location: Private Sim (for now!)
Poses (In order):
1. “Cold, Cold, Always Cold” an lar Daydreamer Series — Fantasy
2. “I Am Called” an lar Beauty Series — Allure
3. “Closer Now” Bauhaus Movement — A Night of Madness
4. “Oh, here” Bauhaus Movement — Again
5. “Finally” Bauhaus Movement — Cherry
6. “I Rise With the Clouds Until I’m There” Bauhaus Movement — Annia 2
7. “So I Dive” Roquai Poses — Dive
8. “Ugh!” Roquai Poses — Surface
9. “I Stepped Up On To A Boardwalk” Imeka — Lucy 1
10. “This Was A Very Long Boardwalk” Imeka — Lucy 2
11. “Onward” Imeka — Lucy 2

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never suggest that my primary rp character is actually a Ban(shee) On The Run (sorry!) without it!

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The Back Forty

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The Amazing Catwoman:

So, yeah. I said my mobile was working in that strange forest I landed in. About two hours after I discovered the crag above the water, right after I’d put together a makeshift campsite and managed to gig a couple of frogs for dinner, I got a call from my fixer. Security gig, small town, infested with demons, probably last a week or so, basic demon cleaning, no biggie, nice payoff at the end, accommodation provided by the town in question.

Sounded like a sweet job, so sure, I took it.

You know, nothing is ever the way they pitch it to you. Nothing.

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What. The Actual. Fuck.

At first, I thought I might have travelled to the wrong Realm by accident; that’s been known to happen. But no; I was shortly met by Zeke, my contact. Seriously? There are actually people named Zeke? Who the fuck even knew that? And what were his parents even thinking? Jesus. Or Whomever. Zeke took me through the nearly deserted town, explaining that most of the population had deserted the place, “On account of this demon infestation, see?”

“No offence,” I said, and I winced inwardly at that: I think people who say “no offence” usually mean to give quite a lot, but I didn’t, really I didn’t, “but it looks like the population has been gone for quite some time.”

“Week or two, tops,” he insisted. “And why’d they send a demon to take care of a demon infestation, anyway? No offence.”

“Would you like to know how many knives I’ve got stashed in these boots, Zeke?” I asked. “I’m no demon; I’m a svart alfar, and I’m not seeing any evidence of demons around here, so you’d better produce one or I’ll be heading back to my fixer without doing jack shit for you, and you’ll still pay my fee, or you’ll meet some real demons. A lot of very interesting people work for my boss.”

Zeve raised both hands, backed up a couple of steps. “Whoa there, little lady. Nobody needs to be siccing demons on anybody, not with the problem I’ve got.” All this time he’d been leading me down an overgrown street. “Here we go,” he said finally. “Village Garage.”

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Yep: it was a garage, all right.

Yep: It was a garage, all right. And holy mother of fuck, there was an old Dodge with the engine on pumping out black smoke like it was in the middle of a full-on engine failure.

“What’s up with the Dodge?”

“That’s the demon.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“I would not shit you about the demon Dodge,” Zeke intoned.

“Right.” I covered my nose with my hand. “Yeah, OK; I can smell the sulphur. You got one of those face masks you use when you’re working with something smelly that might give you some kind of lung disease if you inhale too much of it?” I asked.

“Got a bandana,” he said.

“Great.” Great. Zeke handed me an oily bandana, which I duly tied around my nose. “You know I get a bonus if I clear up your problem in short time,” I said.

“Go for it,” Zeke replied. “I’ll leave you to it.” And he was off down the street. Coughing a bit.

“All right, you little fucker,” I said. “Come out where I can see you.”

“No.”

“Don’t make me fill this car up with chlorine,” I said.

“You wouldn’t. There’d be an explosion.”

“I would. Whole town’s deserted because of you and your little friends,” I said. “And I am not a very patient demon cleaner.”

“It’s just me.” The demon actually managed to sound petulant. “The others got bored.”

“Bored.”

“Yeah: too easy. Once we trashed the church, whole population, vamos.” I think it snapped its fingers.

“Except Zeke.”

“Yeah, except him. I’m working on him.”

“What do you want a shitty little town in the middle of nowhere for?” I asked.

“I dunno. Something about a vortex of evil to take over the whole universe,” the demon replied. “It’s the same shit every job. We’re always going to take over the universe, and we never do, and then there I am, barely a fortnight later, stuck in the belly of a car that still takes leaded petrol, because that is my lot.”

“So you don’t believe there’s actually a vortex here that’ll help your masters take over the universe.”

“Fuck no. This is just make-work. All the big boys are busy with politics at the moment. They have to keep us out of trouble.” A black shape began to manifest out of the smoke the Dodge was coughing up. I could swear it shrugged. “I used to think one day they’d put me on politics, but that was a fucking pipe dream,” it continued.

“So quit.”

“What?”

“You heard me: quit.”

“Can’t. Got debts.”

I rolled my eyes. “You demons have such a fucking caste system.”

The black smoke took a vaguely humanoid shape. It managed to manifest a pair of red eyes. “Very impressive,” I said.

“You don’t sound impressed.”

“I’m not, actually. Seriously: there are whole cities out there with huge demon populations. You could corrupt a couple of kids, pay off your debt in no time.”

“Seriously?”

“Sure. Plenty of work for lesser demons: your boss just isn’t very imaginative.” I scoffed. “The whole ‘vortex of evil’ plot; so overdone. Somebody’s been watching too much Buffy.”

“I loved that show.”

“Me too, but it’s not the same as real life.” The Dodge stopped coughing up smoke and the engine stilled. “Seriously, I’ll pop you off into a Realm where you can just walk into a bar, meet some loser, start stripping souls, make yourself a tidy retirement fund.”

“Yeah?”

“Sure. Here.” I opened up the bag I carry for this kind of work. “Pocket dimension. Pop in there and I’ll transport you to the right place, once I check in with Zeke and let him know the job’s done.”

The amorphous head tilted. “You’re not having me on?”

“Nope. You got kids out there thinking sex with demons would be pretty rad. You can take two, three souls a night that way, and nobody’ll even miss them.”

Shadowy fingers worked as the demon did some internal calculations. “Could pay off my debt in a year that way.”

“You owe six hundred souls?”

“Nine hundred, actually. Married a human and had four kids with her.”

I whistled. “That’ll do it. Yeah; into the bag with you.”

And that was that. It went willingly into the pocket dimension, and I closed the bag with the drawstring. Five day job? Five minute job.

Of course, once I checked in with Zeke I had to wait until sunset to catch the portal out: it was one of those old fashioned ones that only works at dawn or twilight.

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So I wandered around a little.

So I wandered around a little. Discovered what is probably the only intelligent life in this town. Checked in with the fixer, made sure Zeke paid him, made sure the funds plus my bonus were in my account. Swapped the bag with one of the demon relocation team. Then, I got myself back to that forest as quick as I could manipulate the Realm stream, because another couple of frogs would not be a bad way to end the evening.

And here’s some more fashion bloggy stuff!

Once again, I’m featuring one of the great hairstyles available at the 2016  Hair Fair! Hair Fair is open until 31 July, and a percentage of the proceeds of all sales go to benefit Wigs For Kids. Hair Fair is the best place to stock up on the latest and greatest hairstyles available on the Grid!

With that in mind, and because there is going to be no way to write a separate story around all the hair I picked up at Hair Fair (I bought a lot of hair…. no one who knows me will be surprised by this!), here are some editorials of other styles I can’t wait to put on TAC for role-play and blog stories in the near future:

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41’16, from Red Mint!

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69HF, from Barberyumyum!

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Blowdry, from Atelier Pepe!

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Cross, from Little Bones!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Soul Uni Ears, Blix
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: The Plastik, Draziele, Aeshma
Hair: Mina, Odyle (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is NOW OPEN!)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Nimue Outfit (Available at We❤ RP!)
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Montana Boots (Available at We❤ RP!)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, The Dreamer, Fortuity Vibrant
Poses: PosESion, from the 100 poses for $399 set currently on sale at their Main Store
Setting: The Village and Bar Deco, which is a gorgeous sim with so many photo opportunities! (Another great discovery thanks to Ziki Questi’s fantastic blog)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Amazing Catwoman never talks lesser demons into shady pocket dimension transfer deals without it!

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