09 12 / 2013
Dillon and her Red-Jeweled Consort stand beside the laden tables, sipping foaming drinks. Rosuinne has a Sapphire-Jeweled escort and an Opal-Jeweled Healer on her arm. Ilantrielle shows up late, Maleficent style, but Lux still hasn’t made an appearance, so she doesn’t make the splash she wants. District Queens mingle, Jewels flashing, snowflakes caught in hair and on eyelashes.
It’s Lux’s castle where we wait, ornate gardens snowed in, white walls. Her banquet hall stands open, stained glass casting colored patterns on the snowbanks. Large stone doors are propped open so that light spills across the snow outside.
Violins inside, and flutes, a full band, dances stepping together and away, glacial colors of the lights, cool green rich blue lavender ice. White and silver, everywhere. Each dance is meticulous, steps in and out, closer and farther away. Lux enters in a white and silver gown, flawless against her creamy skin and vivid hair; her First Escort wears Purple Dusk. Behind them, Niamh paces, the Hourglass pendant gleaming against her simple white sundress. A statement of power, here: the cold does not touch her, and her white hair is streaked with the colors of her mother’s windows. Her acid green eyes are the closest things to spring.
Bless his heart, my selkie sticks close by my side, and Sadi Coerleone claims every dance no one else steps up to request. Tallisea planned to ask Niamh to dance, pair us off neatly. He forgot that the Winter Queen’s Black Widow daughter would hardly be standing on the sidelines all lonesome like. Banshees, trolls, redcaps, various and sundry individuals I can’t identify — there are more people seeking Niamh’s hand than mine. And I’m okay with this. Tallisea goes to fetch me a drink; Sadi runs off to dance when he gets back.
It’s hard to recap all of it when I didn’t experience it linearly. Drinks — champagne, the nectar of honeysuckle distilled to liquor potent as vodka, joie — music, cool marble, snow that burns against my hand but doesn’t make me freezing. Niamh’s green eyes. Tallisea’s dark hair and eyes shifting from quicksilver to deep aqua. Lux’s full skirt embroidered silver at the hem. Dillon’s white skin like new cream against Arrickon’s tan. Ilantrielle’s gown flapping in a tiny, localized wind; the baying of the hounds in the sky; her wicked smile. Rosuinne’s lips cool against my cheek.
I want to ride with the Wild Hunt. Gwyn ap Nudd on my left and Herne Hawk-Eyed on my right. Saezherii and Crowe hold a Hel’lenian bred horse for me, silky grey like mist embodied, bred with one of the ceffyl dwr to produce a mount I can ride in any realm, over any territory. Mounted, I feel like the Lady of Dreams and Nightmares, finally fitting into my titles.