What Have I done?

It’s Faire Time. This year, I’ve sent a party ahead of me, just to scout around and see what there is to see. I’ll wait until the furore dies down and I don’t have to worry so much about handling huge crowds in the Fairelands. Of course, there will be crowds throughout, but the heaving throngs during the Faire’s first weekend, well. I don’t think I’m up for that this year. 

Of course, with Bran and my new little assistant Fridros off in the Fairelands already, and Nathaniel doing gods know what with the ongoing and apparently never to be completed business in Mysthaven, I have had… time to reflect.

Perhaps too much time.

Not for the first time, I tried to find out whatever happened in my birth realm to Gwyneth Evans, PhD student, LARPer, not very important person. She, well, she just doesn’t exist. I know I am not meant to look for her. It was one of the first things I was advised not to do, and even though the being who gave me that advice is dead to me now, it still echoes on those occasions when I do look for her.

This time, looking for her is like pushing through a veil. 

Tonight, I am scrying. It’s like pushing through a veil when I finally find some combination of mental attitude and force of will that seems to get me somewhere, and… oh.

There she is. It must be her. 

There she is: it must be her. Initially, I am pleased that we are wearing similar hairstyles. We are, in some sense, still the same person. But where is she? I expected to find her tombstone maybe, or her long-recovered from a half-remembered accident. But she is not in any place I recognise. 

When I probe further, I get the sense that she is fighting something.

She looks angry.

She looks angry, determined, and I know that even Gwyneth-from-back-then was a fighter. It’s how she survived to become me. It’s how anyone survives a Realm-slide. The displacement alone is enough to injure most beings, no matter what their mental state when they began whatever it was they were doing when they slid.

Yes, I think, she is winning this battle.

But then something changes

But something about the pull of the rift behind her changes, becomes stronger, and I see her slide backwards, attempt to block the force by running forward. Almost imperceptibly, her body begins to move backwards, toward the chasm. 

She closes her eyes, concentrating on something, then looks up. At me. Perhaps it’s an illusion of the Seeing, but she looks straight at me, and there’s recognition in her ice grey eyes.

She mouths the word “You”.

Finally, she crumples to the floor, tries to dig her nails in and swerve her body away from the chasm, but I know she is losing now. She is going to be pulled in, and I can only See, so there is nothing I can do for her.

But I can almost hear her as she looks up at me again, her lips forming the word You as she struggles against the pull of the chaos behind her. 

You, I imagine her saying. You did this to me. 

And then everything goes black.

What did I do?

Try as I might, I cannot get her back. The veil descends, golden and impossible, and I am left with the sure knowledge that somewhere, Gwyneth Evans who was me has been sucked into some kind of rift, and it is all my fault.

What did I do? What have I done? And how can it echo through all the long years up to today? I don’t even know if I am seeing current time or some strong memory or impression played over again and again from … from somewhere. 

I was so rattled I did something I almost never do: I rang Dyisi. I told her what happened. 

“That was foolish, child,” was her first response. 

I took a breath. Yeah, I knew that. 

“Could be a false seeing,” was her next thought. “You feel this guilt, so you see this thing that might not even have happened.”

I let go a sigh.

“You don’t have any words?” she wondered. “This breathing is not a communication.”

“What if I destroyed her life?” I asked. “What if she’s out there hating me?”

“You have other enemies,” Dyisi replied. “Do you worry about them all night and all day? Also, the only life you can destroy is your own, and I don’t think you have done that, even with your bad choices.”

“Not all my choices are bad,” I said.

“Nai, you still have the strength to defend yourself,” she said. “I think this girl you saw is a guilt fantasy, and you should go to a city where they have therapists.”

I swallowed. “I hate therapists.”

“And I’m not one,” she retorted. “See you at the Faire.”

Click.

Notes & Credits

Many of the items featured in these pictures are available at the 2021 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, which opened on Thursday, 22 April. Faire links should point to Store SLURLS in Fantasy Faire itself. 

Gwyneth (present)
Head: Lelutka Evo X Avalon
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Amesha in T2
Ear Tattoos: Kumiho, Circuit yellow (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Hair: KMH 163 (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Makeup: Zibska. Liva (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Not a Peep, Hoard Eyes (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Headpiece & Earrings: Bliensen & MaiTai, Fisk Headband and Earrings (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Nails: Venge Stiletto, Fantasy Faire Edition (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Tattoo: Nefekalum, Eostre Pink Edition (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Corset: Ricelli, Tanya Corset
Background: Titans, Roof shingles from Wandering Woods (You can see them at Fantasy Faire!)

Gwyneth (Seeing)
Head: Lelutka Evo X Avalon
Skin: ND/MD Lyn, Tone 0 (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Hair: KMH 163 (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Makeup: Arte (eyeshadow) and Gloom (lipstick)
Eyes: Arte, Blue Eyes
Outfit: Petrichor, Araleus Outfit (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Tattoo: Nefekalum, Avalon’s Gift 2021 Special Edition (Available at Fantasy Faire!)
Photo Box: Petrichor, Aralaea Backdrop (dark) (Available at Fantasy Faire!)

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