Archive for 'Astalianda'

 

Azure’s Search for Normal People

Never content with just one world, Azure had long ago mastered the skill of landwalking. The first shifting had been awkward, her new-shaped limbs as useless as a baby fish tail, shuddering on reflex instead of control. But she had learned since. She had learned well. She taught the craft now to the other curious mermaids, how to control two narrower, more angular tails, how to balance upright on them, how to survive in thin non-supporting air instead of the stronger embrace of water. How to transmute sea shells and coral into human body ornaments and wrappings. It was perhaps the biggest challenge of them all, to learn which parts of the body should be wrapped in decor and which not, but after the initial mistakes and a lot of landwalker observation, Azure was now confident she had it right. If she could just find landwalkers with a normal skin colour instead of this one endless tribe of sand tones, she’d be happy.  But no matter how far she had searched she could find no blues and the sand-skins kept raising strange structures wherever she had visited and burning small fires in them.Read the restmermaidtransformation1bs


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The Other Side

Mirrors are doorways. We all know this, deep down. We know there’s something on the other side, watching back at us.  Is it a duplicate universe, an alternate, or completely different? Do its residents mirror us truly, or is it the separating surface that causes the reflection? If they could cross over — if we could cross over — would we meet in peace? Learn from each other, perhaps visit, explore, enjoy? Or are they just the flicker in the corner of our eye, the fear of looking in the mirror at night, the unnerving certainty that the image would move when we don’t, the sight of the first crack on the surface forming…  Mirrors are doorways. We all know this, deep down, and so do they. The gown by lassitude & ennui and the accessories by aisling are available in the current round of The Secret Affair. I have to add a little yey-note on there now being ‘xs busty’ sizes in lassitude & ennui’s mesh. The sizes that differ from the five standards is always a squee moment for me and worth a celebration.… Read the restsnowqueen1bs

Within and Waiting

Did you really think we were gone? The phantasms of the night, the grim terrors from under your bed, the dancers in the dark, the seduction of the shadows? Did you think your rules and laws and denial of your own imagination locked us out? That all your burning mountains of books and censoring of the stories old as time removed us from existence? You cannot destroy us for there are always those flying on the wings of fantasy, delighting in visions and what-ifs, those who are mortal enemies of the Moral Climates of Realism. You cannot destroy us for we are within you. Silly human. We are within you and waiting. I was delighted to find Usher II in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Not only because of the goth opportunities it provided, although I admit enjoying classic Poe-induced drama within a scifi mindset, but mostly because of its message. Of humankind becoming an enemy of its own imagination and banning all the flights of fancy, all stories that are not strictly based on reality.… Read the restusher2cs

Upgraded

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Dropping the Masks

If we let our masks drop, Mr. K, and walk into the desert to watch the moons, to swim in the wine-filled canals, to speak to each other in soft melodies, would the fire flowers bloom for us again? If we abandoned the routines, the rituals, the appropriate behaviour, if all the masks of joviality, stern moments of disapproval, gold and silver and paint, if all of them dropped on the red Martian sand, would we be able to connect again? If we forgot assumptions and covers, if we opened our minds and bodies to touch once more, reached out toward each other and found ourselves in the telepathic sharing, would you hold me as tenderly as you do the ancient books that sing to you? If you did, I would not dream of strange metal crafts and white skinned men of Earth. If you did, the calling would be answered by someone else. If you did, our days would be a flight of flame birds across the sky: sparkling fireworks in the heavens. The second round of A Tattered Page has just started, and it’s focusing on The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.… Read the restmrandmrsk1bs

The Golden Dawn

It has arrived again, the change of number, the resolutions and promises, decisions and devotions. For a moment everything seems new and fresh, full of possibilities. The new golden dawn of unknown. There’s no knowing what it’ll be filled with, what it’ll entail, what joys or sorrows. No knowing, just plenty of wishes, hopes and plans. For this one moment everything seems possible. This year we’ll climb over all the obstacles to plant our flags on that One Achievement we all dream of: happiness. The decision makes us feel good, makes us stronger, the realization everything is possible, always, still possible. The one thing we miss in this grand scene is the simple truth that every dawn is a new one. Every day ready to be a font of happiness, rich of joy and fulfillment. Once we manage that, once the delight of decisions fills us every day, then our dawns will truly be golden and covered with genuine riches of the heart. Happy New Year, may it be full of fun, delight and happiness!… Read the restgoldendawn1cs

Joulunlaitto

It all started on December 3rd. Addler the Butler Otter promoted the Brothers Squirrel as his Majorly Mostly Assistant Decoration Wranglers. Mostly because they had paws that could reach and grab and twist and twine, and poor Addler himself had always been somewhat paw-challenged due to his round tummy that he was extremely proud of.
After the decorations came Addler’s favourite part: baking! Not that he could bake anything himself (see: paw-challenged), but the Hamster Baking Brigade was extremely professional and a joy to watch and sniff. One of the bunlings had taken the art of Learning Letters very seriously and could now read almost every other word from the Big Book of Noms. He told Addler every other word was ‘nom’, and who was Addler to question his learned ways. While the critters on the table plateau were focused on baking, a disaster struck on the lower level: suddenly everything except the rugs was lava! The Bunling learning the Art of Scribbling immediately made an alarm flag.Read the restjoulunlaitto1bs

Under the Tree

I shouldn’t really look yet. There’s still many days until 24th. Should be good and keep it all a mystery until then. No point in spoiling your own surprises, now is there? But I can smell the tree, I can see the shadows the lights cast on the wall, I can almost feel the candles as warmth, there’s so many of them… what was that? There’s sounds! Small shuffling sounds… a small woof! Shh, this never happened! I’ll re-pack the boxes and pretend to be surprised, yesyes. Or say it was just to save the presents from the rambunctious pup. Yes, perfect excuse! Shinies and small critters. The very best things under the tree. The dress by Senzafine, the jewelry by Eclectica, nails by Beautiful Freak and the Pandora gift boxes by Libertine are all available in Gothmas by Gaslight, you can find them in Cursed: straight booth slurls in the credits. The shoes are an upcoming release by House of Rain: this particular pair will be a part of the 21 Shoe’s exclusive deals on 21st of December.… Read the restunderthetree1cs

The Call of Winter

She was once a daughter of summer, a child of growth and warmth. Beautiful like a sunny day she caught the eye of Winter, who seduced her to step into the silence, into the realm of ice and snow. There were attempts to save her, of course, but not before she had tasted the berries, red as the blood in her veins. Not before she had bound herself to the realm of her captor. Did she know what she was doing when she took a bite? Did she know she’d be forever trapped to travel between the seasons? Did the cold light of winter tempt her to stay willingly? She will never tell. Never tell how it was a relief to drop her garments and duties, the busy sounds of life, the diverse excitement of all things growing and needing her attention. Never tell how the strength of the blinding light called to her with its single-minded focus. Called to her until she happily lost sight of everything else and stepped forward to meet it, to embrace it, to be caught in its arms. Seduced. With the outfit name like Persephone I simply had to do a more season-focused twist on her story.… Read the restpersephone1cs

Skadi Speaks

It is time. The time of darkness lit only by the snow and the wild foxfires across the sky. The time to raise your glass to King Winter and welcome him in. Let the winds blow and scathe, let the frost bite until all the humans see the wisdom of staying indoors and warming each other. Let the lights blind their eyes until they learn to love the soothing darkness. Let the frost embrace and cover the world, pulling silence after it like a cloak. Let the snowflakes dance in the air, let the sound of their falling be the only audible thing. Deep in the frozen silence, where no sound of life dares to emerge, Skadi speaks. Gothmas by Gaslight opened today and it is held on two sims: Cursed and Sium. The outfit by Pale Empress, pendant by House of Rain, makeup by Beautiful Freak and the two first poses by {NanTra} are all available in the event, the booth slurls in the credits. The hair by Tableau Vivant is from the current round of Collabor88. As for Skadi that the dress is named after: she’s a Norse goddess of winter, bow-hunting, skiing and mountains, sometimes theorized to be also connected to the darkness.… Read the restskadi1cs

Super Maya

Even superheroes have to live with the perceptions of others, with their opinions, with their words and views. All of these are always based on very little knowledge, on snippets of information, ideas, quick glances: often completely wrong. The opinions of others might feel like a box around you, telling you what you are, defining you. Your own ideas and wishes might begin to appear strange and a bit scary, a dream taking a shape of a nightmare.  Once you find the courage to ride the dream you will realize that the suffocating box of others views of you is just ignorant guesses telling more about them than you and that you can shrug it all off and ride out to gaze into your own horizon. It takes bravery to remember that no one knows you better than yourself and that everyone is their own life’s superhero, fighting the unseen battles. It helps to know everyone else has their own villains harassing them and that there are always others willing to join forces with you and to have your back. Read the restsupermaya1cs

The White Lady of Warm Whispers

The eldest of the Dream Guardians is the one we meet the most and never remember. She’s the Hazebringer, the Mist-Dweller, the Feather Fall in the Fog. She sends out her summons every eve, the call for the exhausted to come and join her in rest, to whisper their burdens, their worries, their secrets to her. We have all been there, with the White Lady of Warm Whispers. Been there and told her everything. That is why we feel better when we wake up, why the weight has lifted off our shoulders, why things feel clearer for a moment. She knows us all, she knows our secrets and she keeps them within her chamber of falling feathers, soft mist and silent echoes of our own whispers. I created a sister-entity for the Blue Lady of Gentle Waves to tie my characters better together, just to shape a more comprehensive lore of ideas and concepts. As for what the White Lady is wearing, a few notes: Senzafine’s Celestine gown is available in The Fantasy Collective and the shoes by lassitude & ennui in Geeks’N’Nerds.… Read the restwhispers1bs

Occasional Orpheus

The scythe was absolutely useless against mushrooms, they either regenerated stronger than my dots, or if killed with dd, exploded in dots of their own. I checked out the frost focus in case I could freeze the lava to cross over to the channeling spot, but nope. Lava stayed lava and my gear was getting rather broken from all the deaths it and the mushrooms caused. I had to switch to my Uber Elemental Garb of Fireproofness and Stompy Boots of Kindling out of desperation. So then I re-read the quest prompt, the whole poem about nature’s lullabies, and it hit me: the harp! All those hours multi-classing to bard finally paid off, the mushrooms changed colour and after the patch 5.3 I don’t look like I’m trying to bash someone’s head in with the harp when playing, which is a bonus. Hopping up the lowered mushrooms finally got me to the achievement channel spot: months of pre-quests and grinding coming to culmination in this single two-second animation.Read the restepicloot1cs

Resigned

“Justine shook her head mournfully. “I do not fear to die,” she said; “that pang is past. I leave a sad and bitter world; and if you remember me, and think of me as of one unjustly condemned, I am resigned to the fate awaiting me.” - Frankenstein, chapter 8 Did she feel it, the impending doom in the air? Justine, the maid so dear to the Frankenstein family that she was all but a family member. Perhaps not, perhaps she spent her last days in the contented happiness that the family had provided her, in doting over young William and taking care of the house of her benefactors. One could hardly blame her for feeling and expressing her gratitude so constantly, for it was the Frankenstein family — especially the late Caroline Frankenstein, Victor’s mother — who had convinced Justine’s mother to let her ignored daughter live at the Frankensteins from the age of twelve. So it was that Justine’s worry and concern for William, the youngest of the family, became the first step of her downfall.Read the restjustine1bs

Unlikely Eve

“If you consent, neither you nor any other human being shall ever see us again; I will go to the vast wilds of South America. My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment. My companion will be of the same nature as myself and will be content with the same fare. We shall make our bed of dried leaves; the sun will shine on us as on man and will ripen our food. The picture I present to you is peaceful and human, and you must feel that you could deny it only in the wantonness of power and cruelty.” – Frankenstein, chapter 17 The neverborn mate of the creature, the culmination of his plan to make peace with mankind, the symbol of hope and happiness that companionship brings to the lonely. What if she was not destroyed half-formed, what if Frankenstein kept his word and let his creature escape the civilization with his newborn mate into the warmer wilds than Europe can offer? She would know nothing of the humans except the horror stories her mate bestows upon her to warn her away.Read the restcreature1bs

They Wait

They wait. Between the worlds, in the space of silently slithering thoughts and ancient memories they bide their time. Their time never runs out, nor their patience. The realms shift, aeons pass, shadows slide in like the tide. They embrace the oldest of mysteries, the best-kept secrets: embrace and absorb before they retreat. The shadows breathe the secrets into the night air, into flickers at the corner of your eye, into the certainty of someone watching. They dance with every dark story you’ve ever heard, whisper so low that your ears cannot hear, so low that you feel it at the base of your spine: it is all true. They wait. The worlds turn, years vanish like blinks of an ancient eye. Enticed imaginations reach for them, feel them, fear them: feed them.   Every primal fear of the dark, every gasp of a frozen prey, every moment of fierce denial of the truth we feel curling around our throats like the slow dance of the python, every held breath of the child within hiding in a corner knows the truth older than our small world: it is true.Read the resttheywait1bs

Sparkle

Protect your spark, cherish it, nourish it. For all its strength it is frail and easily extinguished. It is not the organ pumping blood within your body, it is not the grey matter calculating along the list of to-dos, it is the inviting dance of the muse, the divine inspiration, the delight in creation, in life.  Defend it against the onslaught of musts, of urgent distractions, of practicalities and pragmatic thoughts. Give it time, give it space, give it peace and then simply breathe. Light the spark, feed it with indulgent care and joy, let it show you new sights with its radiance. Existing is never the same as living, cold halogens never the same as a warm flame. We know this and yet we try to make do, afraid to search for the source of light, telling ourselves that things are more efficient without having to tend to that flickering spark, ignoring that without it we are not really happy, not really complete. For perhaps we are the sparks of the universe that keeps on breathing to feed us, to see us blaze bright and brave.Read the restsunspark1ds

Departure

“I can smell the change in the air: not unlike autumn it’s a sudden crisp feel, a moment of clarity, the sharp realization before the haze of hibernation. The spin of the Spiral is reaching the last rounds before the transformation begins.”
“The trains are still awaiting for the last of the passengers and I should hurry, I do not want to get caught in that last twirl of no return. I used to, I think. Surely I did not leave the Spiral on my first shift? I wish I could remember the cycles before these last two, but that is the Spinner’s Nature: there is only the Spiral, and the Spiral is always Now.”

“I like traveling now, I like being able to remember beyond the immediate existence, I like being able to look forward further than the end of the current Dance. That said, I also like to be able to return home, for somewhere within the twists and turns and changes of the Spiral I came into being.”

“Sometimes I wonder if they are always the same, the people.Read the restdeparture1bs

The Spiral Dance

“Did I understand correctly that there’s some sort of special celebration taking place tonight, Miss Scapula?” “Absolutely. It’s the biggest, grandest, and dare I say… steamiest party of the season. Most awaited one.” “And it takes place in Club Gothika?” “In its Mobile Unit, let’s be clear about that. The one within the Spiral, underground beneath the Station. There’s stairs leading down, see?” “So I see. I understand the clubbing continues at even intervals during the Spiral’s turn. What makes this particular party so special?” “They do keep up the parties according to their schedule the whole time, but this… this is the party we have all been waiting for. The big Spiral Dance of steamy looks, grinding gears and delightful musical orchestrations by Miss Lokii.” “You keep returning to steamy…” “But of course.Read the restscapula2cs

The Detectors of the Station

“Miss Sight, I assume you’re busy at work, but perhaps I could have just a few words…?” “Friendly greeting, Visitor 9321. Your record shows no trespasses or misconduct, your current stay at the Spiral just reached nine days, one hour, forty-five minutes and counting.” “Yes, that is correct. Is that what you do, the Detectors of the Station? Keep records of the visitors?” “Record every arrival, record every departure, keep track of current status.” “…and if there is a …misconduct?” “Inform the Gaze. The Detectors are not equipped to deal with misdemeanors, we simply observe and record matters.” “Ah. …may I ask why… how… the Detectors are… trained, exactly?” “Specific radar implants, broadcast unit for communication and control. Organic blindness for enhanced vision. Nerve-integration to Broca’s.”  “…that seems very… complete, yes.Read the restsight1bs