Val, Chapter Two: Why Don’t You Ever Write Your Äiti?

Dear Mum,

I wanted to wait until at least two interesting things had happened so that I would not be writing you letters as short as text messages. That way you could not text me and say my letters were too short! Also, I wanted to have my flat as finished as possible before I wrote this first letter so you could have some pictures of where I am writing from. Then, in the next letter, I’ll send more pictures of the shop and pictures from around town. That way, you can get to know the town I’m living in.

The End!

So, I’ll kind of start from the end, because look! This is where I’m writing you from! I had the day off from the shop, and I’ve spent it putting this monstrosity together! Had to sweet-talk the landlord into opening the roof access panel so I could get the flatpack up here more easily: otherwise I’d have had to somehow hoist it out my window and up the ladder access. I mean, I could have done it obviously, but it would have been more difficult and I might have had to buy a stranger a pizza. Anyway, it all arrived yesterday, and after four hours of remembering enough school Swedish to curse IKEA in it, I have this very serviceable covered table. I added the string lights (and I’m slightly miffed they don’t call them fairy lights over here) myself.

Fun fact: Our elevation here in Myserie is 4,190 ft in weird American reckoning, which makes it 1,277 m. That is only 88 metres shorter than Ridnitšohkka! So you know what I had to do, right? I had to get a flat on what they call here the 7th floor because they don’t believe in the ground floor. I’ll measure it properly at some point, but if we assume that each living-space storey is roughly 3m and the commercial space storey is, say, 3.5m, I’m only 66.5m short of that summit when I’m in the flat, and up on the roof, you could subtract 3 more metres. No wonder I feel so dizzy all the time here: it’s not like I’m used to even hills where we live. I have more photographs from the roof, but I know what you want to see first, so I’ll show you the flat itself.

I will get better lights soon

I took this picture really early in the morning with my iPhone on a tripod using my Apple Watch. You can see that I used the flash: I hate doing that, but it was really dim in the room. I like being far enough up that I won’t need curtains, and it’s not like they have three months of round the clock daylight here, anyway, so I won’t need blackout blinds. I’ve only met one witch so far with a familiar who can fly, and he likes me: I taught him how to say Perkele.

Now you can see my little face

Look, I even moved the tripod closer so you can see my face: You always tell my can’t see my face in pictures. I promise I am getting enough to eat, even if mostly I am not cooking very much.

Now, here is my little kitchen!

I like my little kitchen: Thank you for the Moomin poster. He is keeping me company every morning when I make my first cup of coffee before I go to the shop for my second cup of coffee. And yes, that’s the Eiffel Tower stool from my bedroom at home. I took it apart and brought it with me because I wanted something to be familiar here. I’ve had it for my whole life, and it just makes a place feel like home, you know? I know there’s not enough art on the walls yet, but I like that picture of the Aurora, makes me think of the elevation here at least. And you can’t see it in this picture, but there’s also a photo looking onto Pirkkala from the water.

I have a bed!

You worried I would just sleep on a couch or something, but no, I got a proper bed and everything. It’s even on casters so I can turn it to face against the winter if I like. And a clock that doesn’t rely on scary technology, just electricity, see? I do listen, Äiti. I was going to put a rack on the wall to hang stuff, but somebody told me they charge you money if you put holes in the wall, so I didn’t do that and just went for those little containers there. I will get something bigger maybe in time. And look, there’s my Ukonvasara I made in uni. I’m glad we kept the print of it all this time. Maybe I will see about inking it differently and seeing about making some reproducible prints. There seem to be a lot of pagans here, though they are predictably mostly Wiccans. I wish First Nation culture had held on here a bit better, and maybe we will see it rise with some of the unmaskings lately made. I only hope that like so many other American risings it will not need to become contentious in order for sides to be heard and acknowledged and not erased.

So high up!

And now for the pictures you’re going to hate!

You know I have to do this part, mum! Like that time I went zip-lining in north Wales and sent you the video without telling you what I’d done? Yes, well—the best thing about living up here is that I can do this!

Now, don’t be afraid: you know we have excellent balance, mother.

Look, I’m smiling!

And here I’m even almost smiling! You always say I should smile more!

Hey—if you look down onto the street below me, you can see the coffee shop where I go for my second cup of the day. Too bad I didn’t catch the odd old guy who’s always wandering around there.

Of course I miss you.

Do I miss you? Of course I miss you. I miss everybody. I miss Tampere. I even mis Ula. I miss Iivo and the Kalevala shop and I will miss going to Lapland for Midwinter if I can’t make it back. And I will miss the ice castle and the winter market, too. My path, though. Remember? My path. It’ll lead me back to you one day, and I know that every time my path leads me back to you, there will be song and camaraderie and the sharing of all things good.

Love,
The youngest of yours,
Valoisa

Notes & Credits

Val is a role-play character created for Myserie City RP. While I started roleplaying in Second Life something like nine years ago, I haven’t been on a straight-up role-play sim in a few years, and I’m having a lovely time enjoying just immersing myself in role-play and working with a new and different character for the first time in a long time. All these photos were taken on-sim, and I’ll take more inside the city itself once Val gets her bearings and I have a few more regular places where she hangs out.

  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution: Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva in T1
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
  • Chin Dimple: Izzie’s, Chin Dimples
  • Ears: Lumae: Leevi Medium Ears
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Piercings: All From Lelutka, Fleur Facial Piercings, except
  • Septum: Venge, Kelpie Nosering; and
  • Forehead Crescent: Punch, Trine
  • Tank Top: Shovelheads, Women’s Viking Tank
  • Trousers: Neve, Minnie Pant
  • Boots: Eudora 3D, Thar Boots
  • Covered Table (on roof): Chez Moi, Applewood Picnic Table
  • Couch: Fourth Wall, Saga Sofa
  • Coffee Table: Fourth Wall, Hala Coffee Table
  • Kitchen: Merak: Happy Kitchen
  • Eiffel Tower Stool: BackBone, Breakfast In Paris Stool
  • Bed: Bazar: Stockholm Bed
  • Cabinet: Bazar, Stockholm Bedroom Cabinets
  • Lamp, Clock, Stool: Bazaar, Stockholm Bedroom

Val, Chapter 1

I don’t really know what chapter this is, so we’ll start with one since that’s where everybody else starts and I might as well fit in in some way.

I am Valoisa Saga. I am from Tampere, in Finland. I am ninety, very young for an Elf, but you didn’t hear me say that. It is more fashionable on the Internet to say otherkin, but then that also translates to nerd, so I guess I can say that too.

But really, call me Val. It’s easier, and I guess it’s true that not even Finns all speak good Finnish.

Yesterday was my first day working at Immortal Ink in Myserie, Oregon. I’m glad I got a job in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the USA seems a little too crazy. I mean, everybody back in Tampere thinks I’m crazy for wanting to come back here at all, but weed’s legal, and The Netherlands is a shithole. Just sayin’. OK, probably not all of The Netherlands. But definitely Amsterdam. Amster, Amster, dam, dam, dam, dam.

There’s plenty to hate about Immortal Ink, but I’ll improve it over time, and Old Jimbo (OK, he’s actually called Deadeye, but I’ve already named him Jimbo) is only an arse on days ending in ‘y’. Fact is, it’s nice to be the best artist in the shop. OK, the only artist in the shop. I’m laughing. But enough snark. Still laughing. There is never enough snark. History time!

My last day in Tampere

So, this was my last day in Tampere. Iivo said he was sorry to see me go, but he also was sorry he didn’t have a place for me at the studio; since the old owner was packing up most of the operation and moving to Spain, he expected business to go down a bit. I like Iivo, but he’s a bit limp when it comes to taking chances. Then again, he’s got a full house for tattooists and I’m only just certified in body mod. I guess, given the area, it’s a buyer’s market.

Goodbye, Iivo. Goodbye, Kalevala, Goodbye, drunk Finnish boys who want bears inked on your arses.

My last day, and it was August, so it stood to reason: sataa kuin Esterin perseestä. That’s vulgar, so I’ll just say it was raining cats and dogs. I don’t mind the rain: I’m not a stupid film witch, and I never met any real ones who melt anyway.

Mum planned to take me, even though Iivo said he would if I wanted him to. Nearest portal is Kangasala; Tampere is a magical wasteland, which I guess is probably why so many fae businesses do well there. Half the coffee shops are run by us elves, and of course being Finland elves are the majority of the Fae population, with a pretty good divide between Lios and Svart, not that we make much of a distinction these days. It’s the stupid western colonials who continue with their uppity pomp and circumstance and Victorian made-up stories about Seelie and Unseelie courts. We laugh about this, you know. Brits, Americans, they all had so much great mythology to draw from, and they picked Scottish words from the North of Scotland, which OK, are at least derived from Scandinavia where we like to think the first elves came from (yeah; that’s probably cultural superiority; people think Santa Claus comes from here, too), but give me a break. Seelie and Unseelie. Just because I am prohibited by blood from outright lying to you doesn’t mean I won’t outright fuck you up if you give me reason to. Why not fucking you up for sport makes me part of some special and different clan, I have no idea. My older sister Ula will fuck you up for sport: does that make her Unseelie? No fucking clue.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about on the drive to Kangasala, because Mum had to give me a lecture reminding me that American Fae have this antiquated system, and I’m all, ‘Mum, I picked a place that doesn’t do that, I looked it up, they don’t do the stupid winter and summer court thing, there’s no Queen Of Air And Darkness,’ And I totally did the funny voice. The look she gave me!

There’s no Queen of Air And Darkness

I should have let Iivo take me. At least there would have been beer. Mum wasn’t even going to let me vape in the car.

“You call me the minute you get there,” she said.

“Mum,” I said. “It’s a portal. It takes seconds.”

“You still call me.” She started to tear up.

“Mum,” I said. “You can come visit.”

Her mouth opened, then closed. “I am not made for America,” she said. She walked round the back of the car and grabbed the big suitcase and a smaller bag. Oh paska, Mum, you did not. “Here. You’re taking it.”

“Mum.”

“You’re taking it.”

“Fuck’s sake, Mum.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “And you’re kissing me goodbye.”

You know what? My mum is sixteen hundred years old. I am her youngest child, her baby. She averages one child every other century or so. It occurred to me it was not wise to say no to her at this time. I opened my arms, palms out in the universal gesture of surrender. I put my arms around my mother and felt her arms around me. I kissed her goodbye.

And I took the suitcase, and the goddamn kantele, and I walked through the sithen gate, knowing she’d follow, knowing she’d watch, knowing she’d cry before and after, but not during, that all-important, “Yeah, mum, I made it,” phone call.

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere. And, I guess, the start of the new chapter.

Notes and Credits:

  • Val is a role-play character for Myserie, a Second Life roleplaying region. You can learn more about Myserie on the Myserie Role-play Site.
  • Val’s tank top has artwork designed by me, The Author, (Gwen Enchanted) and made into a lovely tank top by the amazing Mystie (Mystical Edenflower) who is MishMash Fusion. This tank top and some other tank tops inspired by Val’s journeys may be for sale soon. All artwork is original and designed by me. The translation of the Finnish text is, “My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels”. I kid you not.
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution, Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva, in T1
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Neutral (tinted)
  • Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
  • Eyes: Arte: Skjoldmøy Eyes
  • Eyelashes: Cazimi, Tidy Lashes
  • Hair: Stealthic, Rebellion
  • Facial Piercings: All Lelutka piercings for Fleur head, except;
  • Septum piercing: Venge, Kelpie Nosering
  • Jeans: LaPointe & Bastchild, Swear Daisy Jeans
  • Boots: Eudora3D, Morgan Boots