The Re-invention of Saga Silverman

It started last Saturday. My father had another of those never-ending receptions, and in the absence of my mother, I got to be the one parading around the mirrored hall, greeting guests and keeping a smile plastered on to my face.

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Of course, the dress was stunning.

Of course, the dress was stunning, a Senzafine. I’m sure someone on Father’s staff knew who my favourite designers were and took care of it properly. And I knew I looked lovely, like a mediaeval princess in a modern palace. At least, that was the impression I was trying to give.

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Someone Else in the Mirror

But the truth was, every time I caught a glimpse of my face in the tall mirror at the end of the hall, I saw myself more as a prisoner than as myself, if that makes any sense. It was like watching a stranger’s face, like seeing someone I didn’t recognise.

That’s when I decided that I, desperate rebel against my father by day, dutiful daughter by night, was going to make a change. I couldn’t do this any more.

I did make it to the end of the night.

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The last time….

But, once all the guests were gone, as I made my way back to the dressing room where Father’s PA waited to help me out of the dress, I knew this would be the last time. And as I walked out of the mirrored hall, I did not look back.

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Staring at the city

Once I got home and into my pyjamas and slippers, I stood for a while at the window, just staring out onto the city. I instructed the autophone to connect me to my mentor—let’s just call him Sampa. Of course that’s not his real name, but it sounds good next to Saga, which is my real name.

“You’ve got to get me out of here,” I said.

“What do I look like, the relocation squad?” He laughed at his own joke.

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I was serious.

“I’m serious, Sampa,” I replied. “I can’t do another one of Father’s functions. I’m starting to think I’ll lose it. Brandon von Oslo was almost attractive to me.”

“That does sound like an emergency.” Sampa didn’t sound as if he understood the urgency of the situation.

“Did you know that if you look out on the city in exactly the right way, it’s like a forest of will o’ the wisps?” I asked. I was squinting and looking out the window. “But I can’t see them at my father’s house. I get headaches there. Something heavy is on my head when I am there.”

“Ohhh,” said Sampa. “OK, let’s think about this. Do you have enough to live for a month or two without income?”

“Oh, I don’t worry about that,” I said. “You can always get work as a tattoo artist, pretty much anywhere you go. Do you know any tattooists who are really far away from New York? You have to: you know everyone, don’t you?”

Sampa cleared his throat. I heard pages turning in his obsolete little book of names and numbers and compromising information. “I have… hm. Four or five friends here in New York, even one upstate, but that’s not far enough away for you, is it?”

“Not remotely,” I said. “Ooh, a shooting star! I’m going to make a wish right now!”

Sampa chuckled. “Let me get back to you,” he said. “I may have a friend of a friend, but I’m not sure where he’s located these days.”

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I started taking pictures off the wall.

I started taking pictures off the wall. Really, I wouldn’t need to pack much. And I should remove the “odd” body paint, as Father had called it when he looked at me earlier that evening. And get my hair bleached and dyed. The apartment is one of Father’s: I would just leave all my shit, except the art stuff and the pictures and clothes that would work with the New Me… who would she be? I thought of kittens and unicorns.

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I liked thinking of kittens and unicorns.

I liked thinking of kittens and unicorns. I’d barely sunk onto the couch when the autophone rang again. “Answer,” I said sharply.

“Saga, I’ve got something for you, but it’s a little weird.” It was Sampa.

“Since when is anything we’ve done together not been weird?”

“Point. Anyway, yes; I do have a friend of a friend, but he’s,” Sampa coughed. “He’s in Alexandria, of all places.”

“Alexandria as in Egypt?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Well, that’s definitely far enough away.” I considered it for a few seconds. “Maybe I can visit the pyramids and meet some ancient gods and learn all about mummies?”

“Or maybe you could work part time in this tattoo shop until clients see what you can do and your business starts to explode.”

“Also a plan,” I said. “I’m pretty sure people like me.”

“They won’t like you down at Dragon in the morning,” Sampa warned. “Shop has got an opening, but my friend can only hold it for you for one week. I suggest you get your affairs in order.”

I laughed outright at this. “Order?” I laughed again.” Order is the enemy, Sampa.”

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That didn’t make it any better.

That laughter didn’t make it any better or any more fun to close the security gate at Dragon for the last time, just a couple of days later. They’d begged me to stay just a few more days, but I said I had to run off and play with the fairies for a while. They laughed at that. I really don’t think I’m all that funny. I really did mean I had to run off and play with the fairies for a while.

I got my hair bleached and pastel rainbowed, packed two bags and a bulging carry-on loaded with my laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. I locked the door of my apartment and shoved the single key underneath. Father—or one of his assistants—could find it when they came around looking.

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And that’s how I found myself on a plane to Alexandria.

And that’s how I found myself on a plane to Alexandria. Once the in-air wifi kicked in, I sent goodbye notes to all my social networking accounts and then locked myself out of them.

Everything is going to be different now. I have pink suitcases full of frilly clothes for fun and work clothes for work. I have holographic body paint. I have my portfolio. I have my own delicate needlework on my thighs, of course, and other people’s in other places. Every picture is a story, every window is a picture, and there are little sprites that come out when the stewards dim the lights on the plane so all these people can sleep.

Style Card:
In all photos:
Body: Belleza, Isis
Head: Genus Project:
Eyes: Go&See, Anona Eyes
Choker: Spell, Branch Choker
Poses: all from An Lar

In the mirrored hall:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Gown: Senzafine, Varhendis (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Necklace: Kunglers, Adele Necklace
Hair, Magika, Love
Environment:
Photo Box: D.U.S.T., Mirrored Hall Photobox, 3D

In Saga’s Apartment:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Hair, Magika, Love
Dress: Les Sucreries de Fairy, Kimberly Long Dress
Slippers: The Dark Fairy, Unicorn Dreams
Environment:
Apartment: Focus Poses, Hello New York
Chair: Ison, Wooden Chair
Couch and Chair: Dreamscapes Decor, Fairy Tale Couch, Fairy Tale Chair
Coffee Table: Bazar, Toronto Coffee Table
Blue Tapestry: Consignment, Stardust
Other tapestries: DRD, Vagabond

At the Tattoo Shop:
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Ahriman
Hair: Magika, No Tears
Jeans: Semller, 25 Point Jeans
Top: Goth1c0, Kath Loose Dress
Boots: DRD, Dirty Combats
Environment:
Shop: Focus Poses, Guetto Background
Tattoo Sign: Daniel Fettuccio, Neon Dragon Tattoo Sign

On the Plane:
Skin: The Plastik, Draziele, Alabarus
Hair: Magika, Solace
Clothes: Giz Seorn, Montana Outfit
Lipstick: Cazimi, Tinted Lipgloss, Natural
Environment:
Plane: FoxCity, Flight Club (Day Travel)

Autumn Reminiscence

I miss my Gran. Of all the people in my (adoptive) English/Welsh family, it’s her I’d really like to talk to. Because she’s the one who knows how it all happened, I’m sure of it. She handled the deal with the Sidhe, she arranged the “private” adoption for my London parents. And that means she might know who my father is, or at least be able to tell me a good story.

But I’ve followed that advice given to me by the Ferryman years ago. I’ve never tried to find my old family, and that includes Gran. At first, it was hard, but living in Realms without technology created some distance. Now that I do have access to technology again, I’ve too much to do to waste even a few hours on what I suspect would be either fruitless—or painful.

She had the best house in mid-Wales, set back, and in October I’d visit her, from about mid-October through the first week of November. Going to the University school had its perks, and one of them was being able to take holiday without them getting all uptight about it.

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Now I can see it only in memories

Now, I can see it only in memories. And when I remember it or dream of it, I’m always some funny amalgamation of who I am now and who I was then. Here I’m in one of my Elf-Clan outfits (though when I look more closely, it really looks like the work of Senzafine, and I’d know that stuff anywhere). I remember that tree being the tallest tree in the world, and the little lighted garden shed my grandmother tended plants in all year round.

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Two perspectives

In my memory, I can look at it both with the sense of wonder I always felt going there, and from a more calculated, adult perspective. While we visited at other times of the year, my Autumn trip was always just me, alone. My parents, unlike me, couldn’t get away from their lecture halls for three weeks in October and November. No; for that time, she wanted me there by myself. She wanted me for Samhain.

I used to think Hallowe’en was pretty naff, and Gran used to make jokes about it, too. But, she said, it was also the old New Year, and she wanted her granddaughter there with her, to celebrate that time.

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What do I remember?

I don’t remember us doing anything particularly special or anything that in my child mind felt strange or weird around that time. We had a nice dinner, sometimes with my Great-Aunts from Aberystwyth when they could be bothered to come. Gran always set an extra place at the table: she said it was for Granddad, whom I never met. Eventually, I read about dumb suppers, probably in secondary school, and I recall asking her about it.

“Clever clogs,” she said. And there the discussion ended.

We never went to the village Bonfire Night celebration. Instead, Gran got my uncle Huw around to build a huge bonfire in the back garden, which was once Granddad’s barley and vegetable patch, she always said. Now I think of it, it was a bit too big for the usual back garden, but mid-Wales is much more spread out than London, so I never questioned it. I’d watch from the window of the big house: you could just see the garden area if you looked just-so through the trees. He spent hours building a tower of logs while Gran and I made the Guy out of straw. She’d invite all her friends and a few children I knew from the village, and we’d have our own fire, far from the crowds and the fireworks.

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October

I’m sure I’m thinking about this now because it’s just turned October, and though Faerie doesn’t change with the seasons as profoundly as other places, we still celebrate them and consider the cyclical nature of the world and the Realms around us. Lately, I’ve been thinking: if I could relive any event from my childhood, it wouldn’t be Mum’s lavish birthday parties, or getting my PhD, or even that first kiss from Richard. It would be staring, transfixed, at a fire that seemed ten times as tall as I was, sparklers in my hands. But I wouldn’t go back to one of the ones with loads of people. I’d go back to the last one, the year I was twenty-one, the one where it was just Gran and me. She got village boys to build the pyre, and we made the Guy same as always. The boys scampered off to the village celebration, so it was just us, staring up at the fire, silently watching the effigy burn. Uncle Huw had died just a few months earlier, so it felt like a sombre occasion. Gran had tears in her eyes for part of that fire, and I thought at the time she was grieving for her son.

Now I wonder if she wasn’t also bracing herself against the knowledge that I too would disappear from her life before the next Bonfire Night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Tahari
Skin: Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Tunic: Senzafine, Velista Tunic (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Leggings: Senzafine, Alaire Applier Leggings
Boots: Senzafine, Telcontar Boots
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Homecoming

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box (platform)
Autumn scene, including large tree, garden shed, couch, lights, bridge, pumpkin, swing, and boulder: Trompe Loeil, Ceres Outdoor Scene
Poses: All from An Lar

 

 

The Big Tea

Well, it finally happened. Her Majesty, Queen Gwyneth, Mistress of All She Surveys, had one of her people invite me for a morning tea in the Remembrance Garden.

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Welcome, she said.

“Welcome,” she said, as if it were the most natural thing to be meeting up like this, after all this time. “I know I have promised you a face to face meeting for some time. In that time, I’ve had a lot of things to contend with, and that’s one of the reasons why I simply had you released from the Faery Realm in the Wylds. It had been too long.”

“I’ll say,” I muttered. “I hope you will forgive me for not using all the honourifics and proper forms of address, Gwyneth.”

“Under the circumstances,” she replied, “I think that’s quite understandable. Fenella. Fen.”

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Oh, I did not trust this woman.

I could feel my lips tightening. “How can you even call me that, after what you did to me?” Oh, I did not trust this woman. “You kept me a prisoner. That fucked with my livelihood. A livelihood I had to take up when I was catapulted from our home Realm into  whatever this is.”

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I know it must feel strange

“I know it must feel strange, for this to have waited so long,” Gwyneth said, “but in that time I’ve been busy building a new Realm after having had to abdicate the old one, putting together Awenia, so to speak. And I haven’t left other things out. I’ve searched, now that I have the Internet again, for Richard. For Emma.

“And what about Kevin?”

“Fen, I don’t think he made it,” Gwyneth said. “There was so much blood.”

“I don’t think any of us made it,” I said flatly. “I think we all died and were somehow transported. How else would you explain any of this?”

“Come and sit,” she said. “Let’s have some tea and discuss all of this— or as much as we can possibly get through in a couple of hours, OK? And then, then— I have a proposal for you.”

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Fine, I said.

“Fine,” I said. I came here for tea: might as well have some tea.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Gwyneth said, probably anticipating another angry question from me. “That’s why I’ve waited so long. I didn’t have anything to offer you, any information, any idea of what happened. I had nothing to give you that you’d have valued.”

“And you do now?” I drummed my fingertips on the table.

“What my adoptive Father said to me was that I could never have gotten to the Realm we were in, this series of Realms, without already having Faerie blood in me. I think that has to be the same for you; otherwise you’d have perished.”

Perished?” I snickered. “Who even says that?”

“Hello? PhD in English?”

Then we both laughed, and for a few seconds, it felt like it always did; like we were the best friends in the world and this was just another morning-after tea. And then, there was an awkward silence.

I broke it, finally. “So, you think Richard, Emma, and Kevin might not have had any Fae blood in them.”

“I don’t know what to think,” Gwyneth said. “I remember, not long after I first crossed into Jasper Cove, starting to receive some odd photographs; one was of Richard and me kissing.”

“But that had just happened, before we left the LARP,” I said. “How could you have a print out of something like that?”

“I don’t know,” Gwyneth replied. It felt heavy in the air.

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She’d heard nothing from the others.

“I’ve heard nothing from the others,” she admitted. “Not even a peep, not the slightest indication that they were out there. So, when I finally realised who you were—do you remember that awful radio show?—I had to keep you. I told myself I’d explain it to you, that if two of us were together, we might draw the other two—three.” She hastily corrected herself.

“You really think Kevin didn’t survive.” I looked down at my left hand, the one with Kevin’s ring on it.

Gwyneth leaned forward. “I don’t know,” she said. “I just don’t know.”

I considered.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that like attracts like.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that like attracts like,” I said. “Somehow, no matter where I end up, other svart alfar find me. And for whatever reason, when I was so confused and upset and everything was going wrong, I ended up on your altar. What’s to say the others won’t, eventually, as well?”

“It’s been years,” Gwyneth said. “Then again, it had been years for you as well.” She rested her elbows on the table, put her chin in her hands. Such a Gwyneth-like gesture. I almost liked her for a minute there. “OK,” she continued. “I have a proposal for you.”

“Should I be scared?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” she replied. “Awenia will open to the public soon—well, soon is a relative term—and I’d like you to stay here and help Wulfrich with security.”

“Captain Wulfrich?” I responded. “From the Wylds?”

“Yes. He’s a loyal sort,” Gwyneth said. “If what you say is true, like attracting like and all, let’s stick together. Let’s make our story public. Maybe we’ll get some bites if we put out a line with bait.”

“Public?” I said. “I know something happened and the Veils have fallen, but really?”

“Oh, good,” Gwyneth said. “You know about that.”

“Wasn’t hard to deduce,” I replied. “One day I’m operating under cover of secrecy, every Realm a potential landmine, and the next day government agencies are fine with hiring me and I’m allowed to be me, at least some of the time.”

Gwyneth shook her head. “I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you.”

“No, you can’t.” My right hand clenched reflexively into a fist.

Svart will always be welcome here,” Gwyneth said. “I don’t have any illusions about anybody being more evil than anybody else, except in some isolated incidents where a being is more selfish and justifies horrible things more easily than most others. We are all the same, and the public must learn to see us as such.”

“So you put me in a position of some authority, and people will think you’re amazing and open-minded,” I retorted.

“So you stay here, you and I do some magick on the side, and maybe we scry Emma or Richard. Or Kevin.”

“Will you stop talking about Kevin as if he’s dead!” I couldn’t take it any more. “I’ve never taken this ring off, you know.”

“I suspected,” Gwyneth said. “So, do we have a deal?”

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I stood up.

I stood up. “Reservedly,” I said, “we have a deal.” Then I whistled for Harris (yes, I call the dark unicorn Harris), and I just rode away while Her Smug Majesty stood there agape.

I turned away as Fen, or TAC, or whatever I am to call her, rode away on a unicorn of all things. As if life couldn’t get any weirder. Then, I climbed the stairs of the Serenity monument.

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Halfway up, I stopped to think.

Halfway up, I stopped to think. What if she was right about all this? Could we find Richard, Emma and maybe even Kevin? I shook my head. Probably too much to ask for.

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Hope.

But, if there’s any one thing that’s gotta me this far in my unbelievable and fantastical life, it’s Hope. I shall hope.

Style Cards:

The Amazing Catwoman
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: The Plastik: Elvenne Skin, Charcus
Ears: Illusions, Sylph Ears
Hair: Truth, VIP Gaea
Clothes: Noble Creations, Mama Erzule (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!) (includes hat!)
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes, Autumn (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Lezato
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Gwyneth
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Monday (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes, Druid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Gown: Senzafine, Elswyth (Available NOW at We Love Role-play!)
Hair: Truth, VIP Gwen
Head and Chest adornments: Bauhaus Movement, Susanne Set

Environment
The Serenity Monument: Kaelis Ember, Find Here Amenity
Tea Set: Trine Epiphany, Artisan Tea Set, Summer
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Daisies (Available NOW at Swank!)
Tea Table and Chairs: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Tea Time (Available NOW at Swank!)
Bounding Trees (with birdhouses): Harmony Garden Birdhouse Trees (Available NOW at Swank!)
All Poses from The Black Tulip
Facial Expressions Created with Lelutka AXIS

 

 

 

The Forest Meets the Trees (or, Corporate Art)

Everybody who knows me, if asked the question, “Is Her Majesty a Forest Person, or a Tree Person?” would answer that I am a forest person. I appreciate that details make up the things we see around us, and I appreciate details, but I am far more interested in the complete picture than individual pieces of it.

So when I got the invitation from Arahaelon for a lost weekend in Helgen Francis, I pictured long walks in the parks, the view of the Gyldenport bridge, evenings in the city. The address he gave me was for what sounded like a very posh hotel, just on the outskirts of the city, and he told me not to worry about anything; he’d have it all set up for me.

Don’t worry about clothes, shoes, your hair, anything. I’ll meet you at 8:00 in the hotel lobby. -A

Well, that sounded promising. I pictured those romance novels where Hero always knows exactly what size Heroine is, right down to the unmentionables, and every dress fits perfectly. Still, I brought along an overnight bag, just in case he got it wrong.

Hotel Snobette was indeed a very posh hotel! The porter who greeted me at the door gave a bow, seemed to know exactly who I was, and told me we could bypass check-in. Then he took me up to a large suite on the second floor, took my bag, unpacked it for me, and refused the tip I offered, stating he was paid enough for his services and enjoyed his job.

The room opened into a hallway, to the left of which was the bedroom and bath suite. The front was a foyer. I investigated the bedroom first, and found that Arahaelon had indeed gotten all the details right as I shimmied into the dress. Ooh, a Senzafine! Deliciously strapless, matched perfectly with the shoes he’d chosen, and with a lovely line. I got dressed, spent an hour with the hairdresser who arrived a few minutes later, and then made my way into the foyer to pass the time until 8:00.

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I opened the French doors

The first thing I did was open the French doors to the balcony. Oh, what a beautiful breeze! The hairstylist, someone from Emo*Tions, had done my hair in what she said was a popular Helgen Francis style this summer, Vindblåst. Their version of it is called Chrystal. 

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Oh, that breeze!

Oh, that breeze! I half-closed my eyes for the joy of it. I’d taken the precaution of having my skin painted properly before I arrived in Helgen Francis, because the ladies at 7 Deadly s{K}ins always know just what to do.

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I stepped out on the balcony

I stepped out on the balcony to get a different look at the room and the inner courtyard of the hotel a few doors below. When I turned around, something caught my eye.

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I couldn’t stop staring

It caught my eye, and held it. I couldn’t stop staring. While at first I’d taken in the whole of the room, I now realised the art on the walls was, well… dreadful. There was no other word for it. On second thought, I could come up with several: hideous; horrendous; monstrous; abominable; nasty. More came to mind, but why belabour the point?

I caught the hairdresser as she was leaving and asked her to take a photo of me with other examples of this fine *cough* artwork.

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Save me!

I texted this photo to Arahaelon with the simple message, Save me! Now, Arahaelon isn’t omnipresent in my life, but he is reliable when he is there, so I wasn’t surprised when he showed up half an hour early.

He kissed me on the cheek and complimented my appearance first of course; that’s only proper. But then he looked at the walls. “You weren’t kidding,” he said. “At least I got here before you took out that sickle you carry and slashed it to bits.”

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Me? I would never!

“Me?” I asked, affecting innocence. “I would never, ever, ever do such a thing!”

“Sure you wouldn’t.” Arahaelon tapped a message. “Valet will be downstairs with the car in about thirty seconds. Let’s go before you cause actual damage.”

I just laughed.

Of course, hours later when I returned, I found the artwork had been changed to line drawings of trees.

Much better.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Texas (Available NOW at  eBento!)
Nails: Cazimi, BotM, Dan’s Metallics & Glitters (You can pick this up at the  Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Magic Pixie Ears
Eyes: AviGlam, Doll’s Eyes
Gown: Senzafine, Maris Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Shoes: Reign, Jolie Heels
Hair: Emo*Tions, Chrystal (Available FOR JUST TWO MORE DAYS at Cosmopolitan!)
Necklace: Swallow, Magic Necklace (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

Environment: FoxCity Photo Booth, The Neighborhood
Furniture, LAQ Decor, Sofa Set
Corporate Art: I feel I shouldn’t name the artist here, because Gwyneth panned so badly. If you’re curious, feel free to IM me in world, and I’ll send you to the artist’s web page, although you may be surprised at how much it will cost you to have one of these pictures in real life!

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 3

After Bran suggested home, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Of course, Awenia is a small Realm, so it’s not difficult to fly from town to the castle, particularly when there’s a great swath of empty land beneath you. I wonder what I’ll put there. Hm.

Once I’d changed clothes, Bran had one of the footmen bring me a chair and a table, with the promise of tea to come. The Senzafine dress was a little bare on the arms and the front, so I took my hair down and added some new gloves I found at Fameshed.

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“It’s hard to see anything from here!”

“It’s hard to see anything from here!” I called out. Could Bran even hear me from the kitchen? Where was he, anyway?

“Yes, Your Majesty,” came the reply from just a little ways away on the balcony below. How clever! Bran had set up a little temporary food and drink preparation area there. Given that the kitchens are actually about three floors below, I suppose that makes sense. “It’s because of the mists. We are so close to the mountains and so much higher than the landscape you are viewing that the mists stay here almost all the time.”

Great. Bran, my majordomo, is Elfsplaining atmospheric conditions to me. “I never had this problem in the treehouse,” I grumbled.

“Similar elevation, farther from the mountains,” Bran offered.

I looked across to the treehouse. I missed it a little bit. “No; I think it’s actually higher,” I said, thoughtful. In my head, I suddenly heard Valene‘s voice in my head. ‘You want to be where it’s the highest. That’s where the top CaitSidhe usually are.‘ I sniffed the misty but surprisingly not moist air. “Bran? Do you think we should move back to the treehouse?”

CLATTER

“What, Your Majesty? Dweezil, could you clean that up, please? Few more moments on the tea!”

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Comfy Chair

“Ooh, this is a comfortable chair, Bran.” I decided to ignore his obvious negative reaction to moving back to the treehouse. “Wherever did we get it?”

“You picked it out at Noble Creations,” Your Majesty, Bran replied without a hitch. “It’s only just arrived.”

“Well, I love it,” I said. I leaned forward to gaze into Awenia Town. I picked up small changes occurring: some brickwork added here, a new sparkle bush there…. “I wonder what I’ll put in between here and the town: right now it’s just an open field. The nursery and the farmhouse are all gone.”

“You’d mentioned expanding the Book Forest,” Bran said.

“Oh, yeah; I did,” I replied. “How’s that tea coming?”

“Slowly, I’m afraid, Your Majesty. You know magical prepared tea is not as good, and I didn’t think to bring the electric kettle up here.”

I sighed. “No matter; I’m thinking on… ooh, what is that?”

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Well, well, well….

Well, well, well. If it wasn’t my old best friend Fenella, also known as The Amazing Catwoman, for reasons I never could discern. Running about in a leather dress with a raven on her shoulder.

“Bran, looks like we have a TAC sighting!” I said. “See if you can send someone down and get her an audience with me, finally? We really do need to talk.”

“Is this the right time, Your Majesty?”

“We always ask that and it never is, which means that now is the best time for it,” I replied. “I’m tired of saying, ‘I’ll get to that when I’m less busy,’ and then having her disappear for another year.”

Bran sniffed. “Shall I send Clutie?”

“Gods no,” I replied. “She and TAC will hate each other. Send that new footman, the one from the restaurant. No; he’s a snob. Um, Send Dweezil and a couple of pixies. That ought to get her worked up.”

“Good as done, Your Majesty,” Bran replied. His voice came closer. “And look, here’s your tea!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega) (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Dress: Senzafine, Arabian (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Exile, Long Beach (Available NOW at Summerfest!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Nude Matte (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Foot Jewellery: Curb! Laina Footjewelery
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Chair, Table, and Rug: Noble Creations, Noble Sitting Place (Available NOW on the NEW midnight madness board at the Noble Creations Main Store!)

Castle: Dreamy Castle, by Rivendale, designed by LRRiven. This continues to be one of my favourite castles ever, as it was built with living in mind! It’s so huge I haven’t decorated it all yet, but that gives me great opportunities to, I don’t know, buy more furniture….! 🙂

 

Summer Solstice

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Solstice Blessing

A Blessing Be On You, from Her Majesty Gwyneth of Awenia, for a Joyful Longest Day, a Merry and Peaceful Summertime, and May You All have Exactly What You Need as the Year begins to Turn, once again, Toward Darkness.

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Our Wish To You

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Bento Mesh Head, Lona
Skin: Lumae, Cinnamon Catwa Applier (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Senzafine, Jaelle (AGAIN! I love this dress!) (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Hair: Sintiklia, Nox (Night Queen RARE Lootbox) (Available NOW at Lootbox!)
Halo: Zyn, Morningsong Halo, Sunrise
Dark Passions, Koffin Nails, Evening Enchantress (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Sun Stone & Spell Circle: Lore, Sun Stone and Spell Circle (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Altar: Half Moon Market, Summer Solstice Altar (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Poses: Poseidon, Priestess Series

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Mermaid’s Daughter

You have to understand. My mother and I, we’re not close. It all started when she moved us away from the city, onto the edge of an island where the only other beings to play with were seals (and the occasional and rare selkie), birds, and sometimes a drifting fisherman might bring his children along with him on a trip. The kids at the traveller camp (mum said not to call them “gypsies”, even though everybody else at school did) didn’t want to have anything to do with me because I’d not got the right blood. School was a boat ride away, and I had to ride with the traveller kids on their boat, and if I missed it, Mum would have to swim over or take one of our little boats to pick me up, and it wasn’t like I had a mobile phone like all the other kids at school; I couldn’t be texted, What’sApped, Snapchatted, or whatever the devil else they were always talking about. They said I talked funny, I looked funny, and I dressed funny. And maybe I did.

And now I’m drifting, off topic and into the past, right off the line. Isn’t that just like you, she’d say. Has said. Did say. Would have said.

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Moon Tide House

Moon Tide House. Coming back to this house carries with it all the bottled up angst of a lonely adolescence, all the resentment I had for her, for that life. And here I am letting the Author ramble through me: you don’t even know who I am, and maybe it doesn’t matter.

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I am nervous.

I am nervous. I smile falsely for the suit who insisted on accompanying me to the house. The boat house. The house boat. Moon Tide House. I don’t know why he wants a photograph. Maybe it’s to prove to his boss that he did escort me all the way out here, even though I said don’t bother; I have a key. Maybe it’s because I’m so forgettable he needs a reminder, since we’ll be working together to handle… yeah.

“You’re sure you’ll be all right, Miss Moontide?” he asks. Solicitors are so solicitous.

“Maha, please,” I reply, with all the control I can muster. “And I go by Tide, not Moontide.”

“Of course. Maha.” He straightens up the suit. Must be uncomfortable out here on the dripping hot coast. I feel no sympathy. “Well, if you’re sure you don’t need me to walk you into the house, there’s only this.” With a quick flip of his fingers, he extracts a large manila envelope from his briefcase. “This contains your mother’s estate details, last will and testament, the deed to this house — it’s yours, by the way — that kind of thing.” He shifts uncomfortably as I brush his fingers by accident when I take the envelope. “Your mobile getting a signal?”

“I nod. “Yeah; it’s not like it used to be out here.”

“You’ll really see that in the morning. Beach is growing up. Locals have been at your mother to sell this house for decades. You’ll get a nice price when you do.”

I arch a brow. “No decisions yet,” I say firmly. And then I walk away without making any traditional farewell noises. He makes several of them before uncertainly hopping back into the motorboat we hired on the town side.

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Thoughts everywhere.

The motorboat speeds away, leaving me on the porch of Moon Tide House. I remember being even a little excited when Mum got the moon tide lamps for the outside of the house. Maybe this will make people know we’re cool, I thought. But no; it just made them think we were weird.

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This is where I spent my adolescence.

So. This is where I spent my adolescence. Mum’s spartan décor, her need to have almost everything in the house moon themed, “So we are at one with the tide,” she’d say with a wink. I sit on the couch for a long time, just staring at that mirror. Mum said she used it to communicate with our family back in Faerie, but I never saw that happen. In fact, I never met any of our “family back in Faerie.” There were times when I thought they weren’t real, but I’ll meet them on Saturday. Or some of them anyway. The law firm has been taking care of RSVPs for Mum’s wake, and it looks like many of them will be coming to pay their respects. Relatives I’ve never even met: ha.

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This house was Mum’s pride and joy.

This house was Mum’s pride and joy. She loved it, loved that it was right on the water for obvious reasons, and all around the house there are little faerie doors, which she said brought good luck and would give us an escape route if we ever needed to flee back to Faerie. I never once opened one of those doors and found anything but a blank wall behind it. And believe me, I tried.

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This dress is the last thing Mum gave to me.

This dress is the last thing Mum gave to me before I left home and we… well, like I said, we are not exactly close. Were not exactly close. Behind me you can see one of the faerie doors: it’s in the tree stump. And the captured fairy lights were Mum’s idea of a joke: we got them at a solstice festival when I was about fifteen. The dress came from the same festival, only a few years later. It’s still the most beautiful dress I own, and it should be: the designer is well known for her innovative creations and fantastic colour schemes. If you haven’t heard of Senzafine, you should really check them out. Not that I should be rambling about dresses right now, but there’s a reason I wore this here tonight and a reason I will also wear it to Mum’s wake on Saturday. It represents most of the good memories I have of her.

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Memories of my mother

Memories of my mother do not usually make me smile. She was — is — was — a difficult woman to live with. Regimented. Aloof. Manipulative. Underneath all that, I do believe she loved me: it was just hard to see from the distance I placed between us, the distance she did not resist. She couldn’t tell me she loved me when I decided to leave. So she bought me a beautiful dress.

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What is she looking at? you might wonder.

And now, if you saw me through one of the tall windows, standing here in the almost-empty house with just a coolpak of Diet Coke and cheese to get me through the next twelve hours, you’d wonder, maybe, What is she looking at?

Everything. I’m looking at everything. How the ten years since I left home seem to encapsulate themselves and be nothing next to this house, a house that looks almost exactly as it did the day I left. This house. This sea. This lost woman, nearly middle-aged, still trying to find herself, still adrift, and remembering that you need sea legs in this house as the tide begins to come in, rocking the pontoons.

And then there is a crack of thunder, a light on the moon side, and I turn at the light, at the movement.

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The vision of her is so real.

The vision of her is so real: I walk to the window (this one really is a door, “so we can hop in a boat and escape quickly if we ever need to,” she said.). And there she is, larger than light, her tail reflecting moonlight. But she’s not solid. She’s not there. Her eyes say that she regrets our strained relationship, our parting, the fact we’ve barely spoken in ten years. Sadness for the fact that we can never speak again, now.

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I am alone in the world now.

And then it comes to me: I am alone in the world now. I am her only child, this disappointment of a daughter who didn’t develop gills at adolescence and would never swim the ocean and comb her hair on rocks, or whatever it is mermaids get up to when they’re not swindling poor sailors out of their hard earned gods know what.

And suddenly, I’m just weary. I finish the rest of the nearly-empty Diet Coke and bin the bottle, and then I climb the ladder up to the loft. My room. Mum said there was only a bedroom in the house because of me. When she slept inside, she was happy to be on the couch, she said.

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My Room

My room. The bedsheets clean and different from what I remember, but everything else is the same. The writing desk. The ridiculous plush unicorn I didn’t even want. Three faerie doors, one in the shape of a mushroom. I should tack those lights back up. I should — no, I will never repaint the ceiling, the moon mural she created for me when I was thirteen and hated her and wanted to move back to Nu Jyorck and be with all my friends. Friends whom I couldn’t even email because there was no Internet, no mobile service, no telephone. I’d stare up at that ceiling and wish I could fly. Wish I could swim as fast as my mother. Know in my heart that whoever my father was, he was no merman and I had only a small chance of inheriting the sea.

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It cannot be too much for one person to bear.

It cannot be too much for one person to bear. Because I am one person, me alone, and I will bear it. I must bear it.

I did not like my mother. But now, lying in this bed I cried in for seven years, I understand that I did love her. No more now: tears are coming.

Many thanks to LRRiven of Rivendale and Synjari of Senzafine, whose gorgeous designs for the Midsummer Enchantment event sparked this story and gave me some of the tools with which to write it. I am always, always indebted to the stunning minds behind the creators who make all these toys I love to play with!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Bento Mesh Head (beta) V1
Skin: Lumae, Juniper Genus Project Applier (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!) This applier is 50% off until June 25!
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Senzafine, Jaelle (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Hair: Sn@tch, Luna (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails, Evening Enchantress (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar
Necklace: The Plastik, Hallows Choker
House: Rivendale, Weathered Houseboat (Available NOW at Midsummer Enchantment!)

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