The Certainty of Rain

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Hottest summer anyone can remember.

This year has been something else. It’s been the longest, hottest summer anybody can remember. And here I was, thinking I was the luckiest Naiad alive: spend a summer studying folklore and literature in Paris, get to know the Nymphs of the Seine, practice my not-very-good French on a city full of every kind of being you can imagine. So I’m packed into a student flat on the top floor of what would be called a flophouse in any other country but here is called a “mansion” (it is to laugh). With four other Nymphie-types, one of whom is a fire elemental and is loving this weather.

I, however, am not. I spent evenings out on the open roof, and then sometimes I climb up a little higher if I need to spend time in what wind there is.

Rain had been in the forecast for days. I got home from class, hiked up the five flights of stairs, and immediately walked into the shower—fully clothed because I was really not feeling patient—then out onto the roof to get some air.

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Dark clouds fell across the sky.

Dark clouds fell across the sky. I looked up hopefully. Sometimes we Naiads have a sense that can tell us when rain is coming, and my fingers were tingling. This could be the night!

This is probably the last summer I can ever do anything like this. With Britain leaving the European Union (and whose stupid idea was that, anyway? I wasn’t even old enough to vote at the time) next March, there will be predictable problems with student visas, particularly if you’re classed Supernatural. There is even a party in the UK that wants to restrict the Supernatural population only to “indigenous British, Irish and Welsh species,” which makes absolutely no sense at all. So I’m having no fun because it’s too hot, I can’t get to the river enough because my course load is so heavy, and there’s no rain.

Finally, there was thunder, and then the rain started. Oh, yes!

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I climbed up onto one of the chimneys.

I climbed up onto one of the chimneys. Here, you can see the expanse of the city spread out below you, although at night it becomes Paris At Night, which is kind of dingy and dark, but it’s Paris, so people think that’s romantic.

Rain was falling in earnest now, and that made me feel alive and free and at home.

Right now it’s hard to feel at home anywhere. I mean, the Supernatural Ministry is arguing that water and tree spirits, Naiads and Dryads, have precedent because water and trees occur everywhere, but the Preserve Our Paranormal Party (the party of P) thinks we have our origin in Greece, so they want to deport us all to Greece. Greece? What would I do there? I’m a British citizen. I don’t speak Greek. And some of the Continental supernaturals are downright snobby. Kind of like the POPPs want us to be. Of course, because it’s a grey line with me, the other supernatural races who are under threat think it must be easy for us, so I don’t fit in with them either.

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Caught in the middle.

Caught in the middle, that’s me. I don’t belong in Greece. But if the POPPs have their way, I won’t have a home in England either. What happens to me? It’s easy to get into this vein where I feel sorry for myself and just want to dive into the Seine and never come out (thought that’d be a bad idea; it’s muddy down there).

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Eventually I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat.

Eventually, I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat, enjoying the water pooling under my body, the rain on my feet, the rain everywhere. It showed no signs of stopping.

“I’m going to close the window now, Gwen,” said Kari, the fire elemental. “This humidity is fucking with my mojo. You coming in?” She chuckled as she spoke, probably anticipating my response.

“I might really sleep out here,” I replied. “This is heaven for me, you know.”

“Suit yourself; I’ll leave it unlocked.” Kari shut the window.

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Dancing was the best solution

I made my way down to the upper roof and just decided dancing was the best solution. I have six months to worry about what to do in March. Maybe they’ll change the whole thing and make it OK for England to be my home as it always has been. Maybe I’ll have to take a crash course in Greek. I can’t do anything about it here, can’t do anything about it now, so why am I ruining this glorious rainstorm by dwelling on it? I didn’t even let my mind wander onto the environment and reason why this summer is so hot. It would only depress me further.

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Rain Dance

No, no use to dwell. Better to dance. Better to let the water take me over. I only have a few weeks left here, and then it’s back to cloudy Cambridge and the Lit department at Anglia Ruskin, where at least nobody stares at me like I ought to be deported.

Yet.

NB from HM Queen Gwyneth: I have no idea where this dream came from. It felt very much like the world I used to live in, only with supernatural elements disclosed and some unthinkable idea that the UK would ever leave the EU, which would be the dumbest thing ever, and nobody would ever allow that to happen. It was like living in some bizarre dystopian novel preface, where humans made every stupid decision they possible could and the author couldn’t pick the ones they liked best, so they decided to just throw them all in there. Climate change, Xenophobia, and this terror that World War III was on the horizon brimming in my mind. I obviously have more darkness and despair in my subconscious than I ever could imagine in waking life. Beginning to wonder if the dreams really are nothing more than just my mind doing what-if somersaults at night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Genus Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Juniper – Iriana (Available NOW at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Mesange, River Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Top: Decoy, Carmen Blouse
Jeans: Spirit, Undina Jeans
Shoes: Atelier Pepe, Maya
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Nimbus
Hair: Mina, Sandra
Makeup: Alaskametro, Babygoth
Eyelashes: CowTea, Doe-eyed Eyelashes
Skin Rain: Izzie’s, Wet Body and Face

Environment: Milk Motion, The Roofs of Paris
Poses:
Nantra, blame it on the rain
EvoLove, kiss the rain
Roquai Poses, Rain 1b (last photo)

Home for Christmas?

Well, at least back to blogging! November was a tough month, and thanks to everybody for your unwavering support. I appreciate it so much. My life has been such a maelstrom over the past few years, I’m truly grateful for everyone who supports me, no matter what part of my life you visit.

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Silvan Moon Designs, Brightwood Myst Gown for We Love Roleplay

Here’s a beautiful dress from Silvan Moon Designs, the Brightwood Myst Gown. You can find it at We Love Roleplay.

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These textures are gorgeous, aren’t they? 

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I particularly like the detailing on the bodice and sleeves.

The head Gwyneth is in in these shots is the new Vista Bento mesh head, which I am absolutely loving. Omega compatible out of the box and with 7 Deadly s{K}ins bases built in: what’s not to love? The sliders are super responsive, and, I don’t know. Even with settings closest to Gwyneth’s usual look, she just seems so much more regal and ageless now. The hair is Truth‘s Farryn, which you can still pick up at Uber through the end of this month. The lovely crown is from Abrasive; it was featured at the recent Snow White round of Enchantment, which I’m sorry I missed out on blogging before it closed at the end of November. It was a spectacular round, and I bought a lot of stuff there, even though for most of November I couldn’t bring myself to log in much.

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Yes. Yes, we are.

One of the weirdest things about depression and anxiety, at least for me, is that these photographs were taken almost two weeks ago. They were edited almost two weeks ago. So they’ve been ready for all that time and I haven’t been able to sit down and write this. Even now, I’m finding myself sort of longing to go to bed with a book, so I guess I’m not out of the woods yet.

This dress is a gorgeous piece from The Annex, also featured at December’s We Love RoleplayThe Aria Dress comes in an array of subtle colours, and the satin textures on the fabric are to die for. The hair in this photo is from Tableau Vivant, one of their amazing windblown styles, Whispers in the Wind. It was featured at November’s round of Collabor88. The roses on Gwyneth’s head are a group gift from The Muses, and again, she’s in that amazing Vista mesh head, which I don’t think I’ll be trading in anytime soon.

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Here’s a closer shot of the dress bodice, so you can see those lovely satin textures.

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And one where you get a view of the whole garment.

The hair is from Truth, an old favourite recently re-issued with his new textures. It’s Cinnamon. And the stockings are from Senzafine. They have the amusing name of Damasked Bandit, and they come in multiple colours to match her dress palette.

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Portrait junkie!

And because I couldn’t resist it, here’s a very close shot of Gwyneth in this head. I do really love just about everything about it, except for the fact that I can’t quite get that pookie-upturned-button-nose thing I like. I guess I’ll just have to keep on working at the sliders and see if I can figure it out eventually.

Thanks for reading. I know this isn’t my usual fare, but my fond wish is to get back to story blogging soon. I have a tale of a faerie tourist trap to tell you, I hope before the year is done. And there’s the daunting and wonderful task of decorating my new castle from Rivendale for Christmas, but I’ll just tease you with that one.

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Still true. 

Style Card:

Silvan Moon Designs Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Brightwood Myst Gown (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Hair: Truth, Farryn (Available at Uber!)
Crown: Abrasive, Jeweled Crown, Silver
Locations: Somewhere in Awenia
Poses: An Lar

The Annex Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: The Annex, The Aria Dress (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Hair:
Tableau Vivant, Whispers in the Wind
Truth, Cinnamon
Argrace, Kohaku
Headpiece, The Muses, Rose Crown and Diadem
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels
Poses: An Lar, Roquai
Location: Awenia, The Box

Catch A Falling Star…

As usual, when I have a moment where I feel that I must someday and soon be a Queen again, I seem to need a balance of irresponsibility.

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So of course I went and jumped off the lighthouse.

So of course I went and jumped off the lighthouse. I mean, that sounds like a perfectly reasonable response to the certainty of upcoming responsibility, doesn’t it? I knew you’d understand.

The kids say the lighthouse is haunted, and of course it is… but not many ghosts want to make trouble with a Royal Sidhe on an irresponsibility binge. And it’s not like I got drunk first. And I had my wings on.

And, oh dear gods and goddesses, I received a reply from my Mother. But I’ll tell you about that later.

Now, all I’m concerned about is the rush of air beneath my wings, the turn toward the forest, and the decision to just float down to the ground instead.

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Was that a float, or a fall?

Was that a float, or a fall? I’m not sure. But whatever it was, the ground of our Island feels good beneath my body, smelling as it does of ozone (it’ll rain later), grass, that sexy smell of dirt. Yes, dirt is sexy. Shut up.

I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge
The moon is low tonight
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
I’m not sure all these people understand
It’s not like years ago
The fear of getting caught
Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things, they go away
Replaced by everyday
Nightswimming….

That song is still going through my head. I’m not swimming. Not sure why it kept playing in my head as I floated down to the ground in front of the lighthouse, Yes, I can hear the quiet chatter of the ghosts inside, forever going over the past—much like that song. REM. I haven’t thought about REM in ages. Maybe living in a more modern Realm is beginning to play on my senses. Any minute now I’ll be rocking out to Nine Inch Nails and putting on my 90s togs.

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Playful.

Playful. That’s how I feel tonight. I can be serious and playful at the same time, can’t I? Can’t I?

RedMint always does something amazing for Hair Fair, and this one is my favourite so far!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: RedMint, Hair number 53’17 (Available NOW at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Tosca Eyes
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Marigold (Omega all-in-one applier) Marigold is the July Group Gift at 7 Deadly s{K}ins. Join the group and find it in the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!
Wings: BareRose, Lace B Wings (Bento!)
Clothes: Rust Republic, Kitten jeans and top
Stars: Persefona, Floating Stars (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)

Poses: All from Roquai, the Sparrow series.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never post vague dire omens about White Owl Island without it!

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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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