masq posts1

The Masque Begins!

Taliana was very pleased with how it had all turned out.  The staff had followed her specifications perfectly and the Grand Hall looked amazing. Wall sconces and chandelier sparkled brilliantly with candlelight.  The air carried a faint scent of pumpkin, apples, and spice, her idle speculations of “wouldn’t it be nice…” turned into a reality.  Everything fit the theme of “autumn,” with the festive reds and oranges mimicking the foliage along the driveway — being quite obliging by holding  onto their leaves for this event, and being at the peak of their color just in time for guests to arrive.

Running her fingers over the carefully arranged masks that were laid out on a table by the door Taliana took a deep breath.  She could do this.  She had to remind herself of it constantly, but she knew that she could do this.  Moving to the grand stairway Taliana rested for a few moments on the familiar perch of the lower steps.  This one moment of familiar action went a long way to help calm her.  So much rested on this day.

Every year, as long as she could remember, she had sat on these steps in her fancy dress watching as her parents prepared for the annual Masque.  Some of the preparations were different from year to year — her father often saw to those changes making sure the color-scheme, theme, decorations, food and music were just perfect, and unique.

But the other details, those would remain the same.  Her mother would carefully cast wards around the entries, drawing together threads of energy to form careful patterns that stretched to cover the entire ceiling.

“Tonight is a night when anything can happen,” Continue reading

Short Story: Solstice Night


The man’s threads twisted and turned, suddenly moving back to the party and then out again. What was he after? Taliana felt pressure around her, some of the threads were vibrating strangely, twisting far from their roots. She had a feeling that she had some serious work ahead of her…. Hopefully James was managing to play co-host — she owed him big time for that! Pausing on one of the balcony’s that lined one of the ballrooms she looked over the crowd. It was a good crowd…so many people had turned out.

Originally posted on Things Matter:

This story takes place in one of the rooms of Eclectic Alli’s Masquerade Ball. It’s based on an idea I had for a holiday in one of my fantasy universes. I’m still messing with the setting, trying out new versions and iterations of the ideas I have inside it… Eventually I’d like to spin the very-short-story you’re about to read into more of a novella with a lot of other characters involved, so consider this a sneak peek. Enjoy!

1,500 words.

Sesen went to the masquerade alone, determined to enjoy it, but of course he was miserable. Why did Leae have to make such a fuss whenever he wanted to do something? It was just a party. She could’ve just not said anything and come anyway.

He wasn’t being fair, but he didn’t really care yet. He’d just wanted to have a nice night, and she had to…

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Masquerade II


Taliana was sure she was getting closer to the cloaked man, but it made no sense. He seemed to be moving further and further from the party…was he causing the threads she saw weaving around, drawing together darkness and danger.
She would not let her first solo party end in disaster. If this man was contributing to that in some way she would put a stop to it.

Originally posted on Thoughts by Mello-Elo:

I hated the cold more than the witch we was chasing. Dark, nasty forest filled with ethereal beings were not my cuppa. Nor was Brogan, but he’d sooner slit me throat than let me go. Damn roots and cold moss, whisperin’ trees and the witch floating through ‘em. The sooner we catch her and gut her, the sooner I get back t’ my hole in the wall in Pauper Street, of course after we raid tha’ Masquerade Ball.

‘er body jerked as Brogan grabbed it and threw ‘er across the forest. No sound she made. The crack from ‘er skull musta shut her up good. Eh! Brogan slapped me for gigglin’ and told me to shut my pie hole. It’s okay. I’ll have me fun with her later. He slowly removes the amulet from her neck, a wee thing it is. So fragile ‘n I could snap it in…

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masq posts - 16

The Ball Continues: Disappearances


As Taliana leaves James behind to continue her chase of the cloaked man….

Originally posted on Raevenly Writes:

If you’re just now tuning in, you’ve got a little catching up to do! For a proper introduction to EclecticMasque, check out Ali’s home post. For the first entry in my adventures with the Masquerade, start here.  Otherwise, come join us on the landing…

 First: An Invitation Arrives             Previous: Masque Unmasked

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masq posts - 15

Getting some help for the Masque

See,”  Taliana remembered the first time she’d seen the threads, how overwhelming it was, and yet, so amazing.”complicated.”

She looked back to the ceiling, the green was stretching, where was he going? James looked so concerned, it was sweet.  Had anyone else even noticed that she had spent so little time actually interacting with the guests.  Had anyone else seen her pulled through the doors?

Taliana shook her head and smiled at James, holding out her hand, “I can take those back, this knot isn’t as bad as it looks… when you know what you’re doing.”  He held out his hand, still looking more than a little bewildered and Taliana took it from him.  It untangled relatively easily and she returned it all to its proper place.

“This is what you’ve been doing?”

Taliana nodded her head, “It’s more complicated than that… but I haven’t the time to explain just now.”  She looked back down the hall, towards the party, “I appreciate your concern, I really do, but I’ll be all right,” she hoped that she was being able to hide her own uncertainty and fears, “this is my job.”

“Untangling magic knots?” A blush rose to his cheeks and Taliana gave a small laugh, it sounded so simple when he said it.

“Well, yes.  There’s more to it but…”  She sighed, the last time she had seen James they had been quite young, he was a few years younger than her but had always been up for an adventure when they were little — before their father’s falling out.  She found herself wanting to explain it to him but… there really wasn’t time.  However…

“I’ll make you a deal,”  She shook her head, “I sound like we’re children again, but I promise you this deal shouldn’t end with any injuries.”

James smiled at this, “What can I do to help?”

“I will explain everything I can to you, after the party at some point.  But, to be honest, it’s kind of overwhelming to do this all on my own.  I can’t have you un-knot the threads, not without training, but…”  Taliana leaned against the wall for a moment, glancing up to the threads again, the green was stretching further away.  “Mother’s job used to be dealing with these threads — now it’s my turn.  I’ve been managing them okay, but… I’ve been neglecting the guests terribly.”

“Unknotting messes like that, and managing such a huge party, that does seem like an awful lot for one person.”

“It is.  Father usually managed the guests, leaving mother free to manage the threads.  I thought I could handle it all myself but…” Taliana felt her face grow warm, it wasn’t like her to admit she had taken on more than she could handle, “I’ll explain everything to you if you would help me manage the guests?  Will you play co-host for me?  Circulate the ballrooms, make sure the guests are having a good time, introduce people?”

“I don’t know people to introduce,” James admitted, frowning.

“Well,” Taliana laughed at this, “you simply introduce yourself to a few people, then you will have people to introduce to others. Can you do that for me?  I’d be forever grateful.”

James hesitate for a moment, but nodded.

“Oh!  Thank you!” Taliana impulsively gave him a hug, “I have to keep…” she motioned to the ceiling, the threads, “Thank you!”

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.


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