All the things I cannot say ~ 1.2

Unlike the Old Man, she seems much younger than how she behaves.  Much younger than me. Especially with how I’m feeling right now.  I settle on 25.  Okay, maybe 30.  But no more than that.

She’s crouched low, scanning the corridor of the warehouse we’re in, a warehouse that I’m fairly certain is deserted.  Still, we cling to the walls like rats in careful observance before giving in to each impulse to move forward.  We flick our ears in listening.  We twitch our noses in scenting.  Soon, I know she’ll shake a hand at me, signalling an “all clear.”  Soon, she’ll wave me toward her.  I pause and concentrate only on breathing.  Until her signal arrives, I decide to place the “hyper-alertness” burden squarely on her shoulders.

Because damn I really need a moment.

But who’s counting?  Not me.  By now, I’ve completely lost track of the hours, much less the days or the years.  Okay…maybe she’s 20.  

My thoughts are a tangled mess.  It seems an eternity since the grey-white haze nearly sucked all light out of existence.  Is that how the dinosaurs felt just at the precipice of extinction? And it seems just as long since I began to wonder how I even got there … wherever that even was.  Was it a meteor?  Did it hit the earth?  I have no clear idea how I arrived and no clear idea how I left.  And no clear idea even about right now, this very moment with this young girl and me and this big warehouse that we’re trying to get through. Except somehow — fairly recently possibly, in an eternity kind of way — somehow the Old Man and my body seemed to have traded places.  Or this young girl and the Old Man did, I can’t say for sure.  All that I know is that now he’s nowhere to be found, his long slender even elegant hand no longer holds mine – at least not that I can see.  And somehow my long since AWOL body decided to show up.

I slide my hands along my abdomen for good measure.  I feel the wall against my shoulder and back as I crouch at an angle behind her.  My knees ache just a tad.  My feet are cold and slightly wet in my sneakers. Yep, I note to myself. Reassured.  I am here.

Her small hand flicks in a fast circle at me.  Maybe 35?

And so is she.  Clear as can be, even in the long, dank shadows edging the walls of this very large warehouse and its series of closed doors that march out in staccato.  I scoot quietly forward, shuffling my feet one over the other, fingertips lightly tracing the cold, wet cement floor.  Suddenly, she stops and more abruptly than I can anticipate.  I nearly crash into right into her.

“Sorry,” I whisper.

“Shh,” she admonishes, as if emphasizing the need for stealth.  As in:  be quiet!  Stay quiet!  HIDE!   Hyper alertness bullying her shoulders.   I shake my head slightly, but given in anyway even though I’m pretty darn positive this building is deserted.  It’s old and parts of it have given up a long time ago.  Parts of it haven’t seen a living being in ages, ages, ages. Except for now this is true, because now for some reason we are here.  This young girl and I.  A young girl, young lady — maybe 28? — who I seem to know.  Problem is, I couldn’t tell you how or why I know her.

What a fucked up day, or moment, or year, or eternity, or whatever the hell it is.

“Listen.  Hear him?”  Her few words barge quietly, yet rather impolitely, into my thoughts.

“POSIT…” a booming voice begins before muffling itself down the long corridor.

“He’s looking for us still.  He’s not giving up.”

I nod and crouch even more deeply into the wall.  Ears twitching.  Ears filling up with white noise.  Completely shocked to hear that booming voice again.  No haze.  No grey-white wash.

White noise.  Now, only white noise.

I crouch even further down behind her.

 

 

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I am … Velocity

Change.

It means nothing.  It means nothing precisely because it happens constantly.  And more constantly than ever before, if that makes any sense.  Hear me out.  Change is so constant now, that it’s hardly novel.  It no longer shocks.  It no longer causes society – or even you, or even me, because what the hell is “society” anyway – to stop and look and wonder. 

Change no longer provokes.

Or compels.

Or makes one uncomfortable.

Because Change Is.

Change Just Is.

So tell me now…exactly…what is new, exactly?  Aside from “everything”…

Etch-a-Sketch Life

Day 11 ~Always Believe

How Fantasy Faire Counts:  So far, more than $5.9 million Lindens raised, otherwise known as more than $23,000 USD!

Fantasy Faire 2016 slurls and urls

A Look from the Fairelands (details of Fairelands items and slurls after the pictures)

Day-11-Always-Believe-stairs

Day-11-Always-Believe-above

Day-11-Always-Believe-afoot

Day-11-Always-Believe-in-Tinkers-Hollow

Fashion Details for items at the Fantasy Faire

  • dress (RFL item):  Sealady (in lilac) by Atiya Baar of Tiar in Breeze
  • pendant (RFL item):  Seraph long pendant (in silver) by Yabusaka Loon of Musa in The Golden Delta
  • headdress:  Faith Headpiece (in blue) by Janire Coba of Belle Epoque in Breeze
  • anklet (possibly RFL item, I can’t recall, apologies):  Dreki (in silver) by Plurabelle Laszlo of Bliensen + Maitai in Lucentia
  • SIM Location 1:  Twilight Illusion by Sweetgwendoline Bailey/Eldowyn Inshan.  SIM Sponsor Merchants of Dreams: United InshCon Eldowyn Inshan ~*Sweet Revolutions*~ Sweetgwendoline Bailey
  • SIM Location 2:  Tinkers Hollow by Mayah Parx.  SIM Sponsor:  Epic Toy Factory  Mayah Parx

 

 

Day 11 ~ Always Believe

Always Believe…….this we must always do…

 

Day 10 ~ Believe

How Fantasy Faire Counts:  So far, more than $5.5 million Lindens raised, which is more than $22,000 USD!!

Fantasy Faire 2016 slurls and urls

A Look from the Fairelands (details of Fairelands items and slurls after the pictures)

Day-10-bubbles

Day-10-back

Day-10-front

Day-10-earring

Fashion Details for items at the Fantasy Faire

  • eyeshadow (RFL item): Fei  Wisteria by Filomena Quinnell of Musa in The Golden Delta
  • earrings (RFL item): Seraph Earring in dark by Yabusaka Loon of Musa in The Golden Delta
  • hair (RFL item):  Thyra by MissAllSunday Lemon of Wasabi Pills in The Golden Delta
  • tattoo (RFL item, comes with appliers):  Dragon Silver by Eve Gaelyth of Even Tide in Echtra
  • dress:  Eretria :: Sunshine by Lolly Carlberg of LOULOU in Bright Haven
  • bracelet:   Hexa :: Sentier/Copper by Lolly Carlberg of LOULOU in Bright Haven
  • headdress: “Rose and Pearl” by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • wings:  dragonfly (static) by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • SIM Location:  Echtra by Loki Eliot.  SIM Sponsor:   The Lost Unicorn Gallery Natalie Montagne

 

Day 10 ~ Believe

They risked much by taking flight.  Sage’s glow shone like a beacon, making them easy prey to track for those with Evil intent.  

But Sage flew with much speed, so fast and with such chaotic precision that darkness fell away into a nosedive before it could catch her and her friends.  Far from relaxed, Sage continued to careen in all directions.  Then with sudden and disarming accuracy, she slowed their travels to nearly a pause so as to drift past the white and pink petals suddenly hanging still in the air around them.  Several petals began to float.  They traveled along some unseen breeze toward Bloom’n.  She slowly held her hand open and marveled as the petals tumbled along her fingers before landing in the belly of her hand where they stayed … as if by choice, she murmured with surprise, then looked up intending to remark on this happening but instead stopped her words fast when she saw that Sage floated now, quietly now…now in front of the magnificent Dryad Queen. 

Bloom’n watched the eyes of the Dryad study Sage.  After a brief moment, the statuesque Queen of the Trees lifted her arms slightly, as if to suggest a pathway, Bloom’n wondered.  Yet Sage must know, Bloom’n decided.  She saw Sage nod and bow with a great respectfulness before the Dryad Queen. Then just as gracefully and without warning Sage rushed yet again headlong into the winds, pulling all of her friends with her.

Higher they flew, with Sage keeping such a soaring pace that Bloom’n bubbled up great gulps of air.  And higher still until all at once appeared the pink purple light, bathing the company of friends in its loving aura as it pulsed softly against the sky.

“The Gem in the Lake,” the toaster whispered, and in its excitement involuntarily sent up a fireworks of breadcrumbs before adding, “At the very top of the highest mountain in all the lands!” 

“A beacon … sending out its light from the highest of all places to all living creatures in the worlds,” Sage murmured while staring at its beauty.  Yet an unease crept over her.  The had light quivered. Something sinister had begun to move.  

Sage surveyed the ground, frowning as a long darkness slunk its way in.    

“We are not the only ones to know the place and purpose of the Heart of All Things Beautiful,” she whispered sternly. 

As if unleashed, a snarling Doom uncoiled like a dragon and roared forth, spilling out onto the stars, blotting out their glow one by one.  If left unchallenged, it would soon devour all Light from all the worlds.  The madness of its darkness cast itself out far and wide.  The Were suddenly howled its presence by barking wildly into the Blackness.  Its glowing eyes and huge teeth and giant claws slicing the air, thrashing and snapping in all directions.  Then abruptly the Giant Barbarian hurled its Great Volcanic Fists against the Darkness, randomly pounding fury into the very ground, causing the mountain top to quake and sending the Lions and Bangles leaping into a confused frenzy where they attacked each other, setting their wide open jaws around each other’s necks.

Bloom’n, Sage, the little creatures — even the twinkle fae and fairies – slammed hard into the ground, frozen and shackled in the grips of fear.  The Gem Light quivered.  Its lake slapped waves everywhere.  Blackness flowed all around them trapping Bloom’n, Sage, and everyone on the mountain top onto their knees.  Stealing their Courage.  Confusing their Trust.  Darkening their Belief.  Ransacking their resolve.

Then something amazing happened.  And you may think it silly.  But sometimes the things that seem to be the smallest of them all can be the most powerful…more powerful than the most magnificent magic and light; more powerful than any amount of turmoil or evil darkness.

That little something involved a very small collection of small petals carried in the very heart of Bloom’n’s palm.  While she crawled in the darkness trying to break free of its chains of fear, those same petals of innocence tumbled out and fell into the tiny slots of a little excitable and sometimes nervous being who couldn’t help but explode their hopefulness up into the skies for all the worlds to see, making them into a magnificent fireworks of Love and Hope and Courage:  decimating the blackness of despair and confusion.  Sending the petals to cascade Love and Hope and Courage and Beautiful Life and Light permanently now above and around the Heart of All Things Beautiful, breaking free from despair Sage, Bloom’n, the little fae and fairies, the mice, the rabbits, the Were and company.  

Yet frozen in silence they remained.  This time frozen in listening, in truly feeling the lovely meaning of the beautiful sound they now heard.

“B e l i e v e,” a gentle voice sang from the Heart of All Things Beautiful, “Always, always…Believe…”

Day 9 ~ Rooted in Courage & Hope

How Fantasy Faire Counts:  So far, more than $4.4 million Lindens raised, which is more than $17,000 USD!!

Fantasy Faire 2016 slurls and urls

A Look from the Fairelands (details of Fairelands items and slurls after the pictures)

Day-9-Dryad-gates

Day-9-Dryad-and-jewelry

Day-9-Dryad-and-forest-crown

Day-9-dryad-forest

Fashion Details for items at the Fantasy Faire

  • earrings (RFL item): Seraph Earring in dark by Yabusaka Loon of Musa in The Golden Delta
  • pendant (RFL item): Seraph pendant in dark by Yabusaka Loon of Musa in The Golden Delta
  • tattoo (RFL item, comes with appliers):  Dragon Silver by Eve Gaelyth of Even Tide in Echtra
  • dress (RFL item):  Dryad Dress by Amanda Mir of AiShA in Lucentia
  • hair (RFL item):  Thyra by MissAllSunday Lemon of Wasabi Pills in The Golden Delta
  • pink petals:   from Sakura petal outfit by Taiko McCaw of Naminoke in Echtra
  • bracelets:   HEXA :: Sentier/Copper by Lolly Carlberg of LOULOU in Bright Haven
  • headdress: “Dawn Chorus” by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • SIM Location:   Dangarnon by Jaimy Hancroft/Eowyn Swords.  SIM Sponsor:  Death Row Designs Jaimy Hancroft.

Day 9 ~ Rooted in Courage & Hope

A blanket of somber clouds coiled themselves together before wrapping around the entire sky.  The brave company did not retreat, but instead climbed even further up the mountain, itself as tall and black as night.

“How far ahead?”  

The twinkle fae on Sage’s shoulder nodded her little head, seemingly understanding what Sage was after.  Within seconds, the fae flew up and hovered for not even a moment before flittering its wings and soaring ahead, sprinkling the gloomy side of the mountain with a trail of glistening particles.  

Spirits lightened briefly.  But only briefly.

So heavy was this part of the journey that even fairy light seemed to burn the eyes, burden the soul. Bloom’n peered into the fae glitter even so.  She shielded her brow and gained visual purchase of their climb.  It was impossible otherwise to know how far they had advanced, most assuredly the reason why Sage had sent the fae ahead in chase of their scouts:  the Were, the Giant, the kittens-now Lions and Bangles.  

A tall, hard and steel-like flank of the mountain had exposed itself in the fae’s light.  The side of the mountain rose unbendingly, soaring to an apex that never seemed to arrive.  

Bloom’n sighed, her heart weary.  Just as she began to trail her sight back down, she noticed — with no small amount of hope — a tiny bit of white and pink.  She leaned in and up more deeply into the sheer’s side.  She squinted hard and without realizing it, she began to breathe a bit anxiously too…until at last she found what she was seeking.

There!, she thought.  Up several many feet — there!  Another flower roots itself in this dismal place and somehow prevails!  

Bloom’n followed the sightline up again, further this time, nearly losing her balance in the process.  “There!” she gasped, and though she had barely uttered the word, her voice surprised everyone, even Sage.

“What do you see?”

“Hope,” Bloom’n answered.  “White and pink petals reaching…maybe even floating, I can’t be totally sure.  We must be near the top.  We must…”  

She stopped abruptly.  Something more, she thought.  There’s something else — there’s someone else? — there.  

She strained her mind, urging her eyes to pluck out the detail of the other being – she was certain a being – near the flower, yet even higher still.  At last her mind seized the full image:  a Dryad Queen, majestic against the steel backdrop of the mountain sheer, stood perched on a small outer ledge in the moutain.  It’s crown of vibrant green leaves floated along sturdy brown branches that grew from her hair and head.  She seemed to smile a waterfall of white and pink petals down from eyes to the roots of her dryad footbed and beyond.  

Bloom’n concentrated, tunnelling up to every atom of this magnificent being.  And then she heard.  The Dryad Queen seemed unmistakably to say without any language at all, be it words or body:  “BELIEVE!”

Bloom’n gasped.  And at that precise moment, the twinkle fae flurried back in its return from a very great height, sending a torrent of glittering particles down in her wake.  Sage nodded to the excited creature who then spoke rapidly in soft ancient fairy-speak.  When the fae finished her report, Sage’s face — yet ever graceful — set even more.

“Thank you, dear twinkle fae,” she whispered, and returned a hardened gaze back up, where Bloom’n’s excitement still pointed.

And then it happened.  

A pink-and purple glow appeared…outlining the pinnacle of all things, far far up in the sky at the top of this beastly mountain.   

“Our friends are deep in the heart of battle,” Sage said solemnly, her elegant Wizard face cast in a pink-purple hue.  “We must hurry.  We must give them aid.”  Her body outlined itself with glow.

“Fly Bloom’n.  Fly little fae and winged friends, alike.  Mr. Toaster, hold on tightly to me,” Sage directed, then with a whoosh, her glow blossomed and together they all rocketed up into the inky black night. 

In chase of Hope.

Day 8 ~The Climb

Fantasy Faire 2016 slurls and urls

A Look from the Fairelands (details of Fairelands items and slurls after the pictures)

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Day-8-color-front

Day-8-bright-back

Day-8-Otherworld

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Day-8-Otherworld-crystals

Day-8-Otherworld-Dragon

Fashion Details for items at the Fantasy Faire

  • squid (RFL item):  Chasm – Huntar by Vix Nirvana of Storybook in Dangarnon
  • ears (RFL item):  Elven Dragon ears by Drusilla Dethly of The Little Bat in Dangarnon
  • skin (RFL item):  Constella Skin:// Lunale by Aikea Rieko of The Plastik in Serenity
  • particles that I wear (RFL item):  Twinkle Faeries (purple) by ColeMarie Soleil of  Cole’s Corner in Lucentia
  • crown:  Midnight Lotus headdress by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • veil:  face net headband by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • beard of a wise woman (RFL item):  Prophecy by Kaleidos of OtherSkin in Blackmoor
  • SIM Locations (photos here were taken largely in Otherworld, but a couple where near the sim crossing to Echtra):

Day 8 ~ The Climb

Kneeling proved to be a blessing in disguise.    

Bloom’n bent a knee on the long dark path and quietly landed her kneecap before the single flower — a survivor, this spirit, who represented so very much.  Standing upright and tall, bright and hopeful in the midst of the surrounding heaviness.  In search of a Sun even though there was no Sun to be seen anywhere.  At least, not yet.  But Hope is always present, Bloom’n thought.  Even the flower seemed to know this.

She stole time for a moment and breathed softly, tasting the edges of encouragement along the plant’s sweet fragrance. Feathering each petal now with her fingertips, she opened her senses even wider, then plunged her spirit deeply into another space and another time.  It was then that she could have sworn she heard the flower speak.  Then, that the plant seemed to call forth whispers from that distant place and time, whispers that urged, “Climb!”

And then, that the present suddenly yanked Bloom’n rudely back to its reality.  The toaster shuddered noticeably, making fireworks of breadcrumbs.  

“…for our return…” the little metal creature explained without being asked, then continued to shudder as in the grips of hypothermia.

Sage smiled as always, but now a grimness tinged the corners of her mouth.  She turned from the little metal creature to survey a trail suddenly blazed by the Were, the Giant Barbarian, and the kittens now morphing into Fierce Lions and Bangle Tigers.  That battle-eager cohort raced forward with abandon, clearly On The Hunt.  Yards, nearly miles ahead it seemed for they travelled so fast, they called back to Sage and the others — the Were and the Giant Barbarian, the Lions with their roars, the Tigers with their snarls called back and urged with fierce instruction:  “Climb!”

“The battle is now,” Sage spoke rapidly.  

“The way out is Through,” she said and in one swift movement, lifted the toaster onto her shoulder, rallied the other small creatures into extreme readiness, then looked with sharp evaluation at her friend who still knelt…living perhaps a bit too long there.

“The way out is through…and Up,” the flower seemed to add, stretching itself imperceptibly but enough for eyes to see.  Bloom’n blinked.  Once, then twice, then three times.  As if to clear her ears to hear the beautiful plant all the way down through to its roots and back up again, a journey which she was now convinced extended to the Heavens and the Wisest of Eternals.   As if in search of Galaxies, she studied each innocent yet ancient white-pink petal.  Then feeling her friend’s determined energy, Bloom’n looked up and met Sage’s eyes.

“We climb,”  Sage resolutely said.  Her eyes sparkled now.  “We cast off the skeletons of fear, remnants long overdue to be left behind.”

She extended her hand and firmly took Bloom’n’s hand.  

“We climb together,” Sage breathed.  “We climb all of us as one.  We climb now.”

Day 7 ~ The only way out is Through

Fantasy Faire 2016 slurls and urls

A Look from the Fairelands (details of Fairelands items and slurls after the pictures)

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Day-7-closer

Day-7-Skin-close-and-horns

Day-7-malfience

 Fashion Details for items at the Fantasy Faire

  • coat (RFL item):   Arianne Lace Coat by EposHair Resident of Stitched & EPOS in Serenity
  • skin (RFL item):  Constella Skin:// Lunale by Aikea Rieko of The Plastik in Serenity
  • lingerie (RFL item):  Horny Devil (lilac) by Carrie Bridger of Carrie’s Lingerie in Serenity
  • leg wrap (RFL item):  Chasm – Huntar by Vix Nirvana of Storybook in Dangarnon
  • particles that I wear (RFL item):  Twinkle Faeries (purple) by ColeMarie Soleil of  Cole’s Corner in Lucentia
  • headpiece and horns:  dragon ling by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • veil:  face net headband by Krystali Rabeni of Love Roleplay & Fantasy Store in Tinkers Hollow
  • Location:   Malfience, the world for The Fairelands Quest – The Tale of Exiles

 

Day 7 ~ The only way out is Through

Forward…the only way through.

They moved swiftly.  Quietly.  Even the toaster managed to stop popping toast or whipping its electric tail in spite of an almost uncomfortably heightened awareness — so thick it wrapped itself around all living things.  

And even the unliving things around them… 

Bloom’n cringed, casting sharp eyes as dangerous as her sword.  She moved silently, even more than usual.  Much like the toaster and the entire fellowship.  They traveled hurriedly through an unnatural dark that grew in size and depth the further eastward they went.  Their destination:  the Lake.  The last fortress.  The Heart of all things Beautiful.

But from here to there was another world entirely.  Ghost-like images of struggled realities revealed themselves:  remnants of valleys and forges, strangled thickets, popup shanties, brown rivers, brooding hillsides.  And, then… a looming black mountain as high and as black as night itself.  Brooding and angry.  Unforgiving and unyielding.

The wind howled, as if coursing through their very bones.  She felt it and knew everyone in the party did as well.  She felt the universes there, the start and end of time, the naked essence of her soul.  She marveled at the feeling, despite the otherworldly darkness, the strange and unfamiliar path they all found themselves on.  Yet suddenly without a single word or a gesture, she finally admitted to herself the very truth that her very Old Original Soul residing deep deep in the universe of her bones already knew:  Bloom’n was afraid.  

A hand brushed softly along her arm.  Then a voice lingered in her ear.

“The only way forward…” Sage whispered, “is through.”

Bloom’n shuddered.  She thought she heard the Were snarl almost in agreement.  Definitely with resolve.  

Then she took a deep breath and continued forward.  Finding hope ever so briefly at the sight of a single flower, blooming white and pink almost like a beacon in the ink of the growing gloom.