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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,” she would explain as she rested on the step with Taliana, drawing together the final threads.  “It becomes a day when our home is not ours, but simply a root — an anchor for the worlds.  This thread,”  she would tap a light purple thread that wove through the house, “Is what binds us, it helps us stay rooted in our world.  And this one,” a deep maroon thread gets a moment of attention, “this is what opens all bounds, allows for anything to take form.”  Every year she explained the threads, each color and thickness holding meaning, the patterns serving different purposes.

As she got older Taliana began to learn the weaving herself, how to draw out the threads and work them together, until she finally was undertaking the task alone, her mother simply supervising.  This year she was left to manage them completely alone.

Her father had undertaken a similar training, lending some thought and aid to the design this year, but largely leaving it to Taliana to decide.   The party was her responsibility now.  One of the final steps in her officially claiming responsibility as the Keeper of the Threads.  This, the annual symbol of renewal, a time to ensure that the worlds remained in balance, to allow them moments to mingle and strengthen, was one of the most vital tasks she held.

Her parents had gone away for the party, knowing that they had to give her the time to do this herself.  Their notes to her included two simple pieces of information:  They were enjoying their vacation, and they knew that she would do just wonderfully tonight.  Kind reassurances, but Taliana still felt the nerves coursing through her.

With a deep breath Taliana pushed herself up from the step, soothing her skirts and stepping towards the door.  She paused just a moment to weave together the final pattern before pushing open the great doors.

The Masque had begun.


You are cordially invited to attend the Masquerade Ball!  
To participate simply include a link back to this post (not my general page, but this post in particular), and Taliana will be sure to pay a visit soon!
Or contact me with what you would like to include and it will be included!

Continuing the Story:

The First Door.

The Second Door.

Webber’s “Masquerade” & the Masks We All Wear

eclecticalli:

Taliana briefly wondered how many mysterious people there were to chase tonight, before realizing what a thoroughly ridiculous question that was. Back in the familiar hallway of her own home she attended to a few tangled threads bunched near the door. No doubt she would be seeing more of the Author and her characters; her mother had warned her about writers worlda. Taliana knew she’d have to keep an eye on the threads around that one. Now, her own phantom…. There was no sign of the green cloaked man, but she was fairly convinced that she could pick out the thread he was adding to the pattern. His thread (deep green, appropriately enough) led now to a door elaborately carved with religious symbols. Opening the door Taliana stepped into a room full of familiar music and people talking about the very topic of masks.

Originally posted on The Artistic Christian:

Mask

“Every day is Halloween. Putting on our masks is a regular part of our morning ritual, just like brushing our teeth and eating breakfast. The masquerade, however, is anything but festive.  Underneath the masks are people who are terrified that there will be an unveiling.”

Dr. Edward Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small

 

 

Masquerading Through Life

Whether or not you choose to don a mask on Halloween night, you most likely put on an invisible mask the moment you woke up this morning, or perhaps the instant you stepped into the office. Didn’t we all? Sadly, this is part of the human experience… putting on a false face and hiding from the world.

Few stories capture this phenomenon as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, which explores the many masks we choose to wear. Take these lyrics, from the number entitled…

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To the Ball!

eclecticalli:

Taliana began to lose track of the guests as they filled the rooms.  When she was a child she would wander aimlessly from room to room, basking in the delightful differences.  Walking through worlds, every room a universe of its own.  Tonight she had a duty, though, and she spent much of the early part of the evening watching the lines and managing the magic.  Keeping the rooms grounded and open took more effort than she had remembered from the previous year.  Perhaps, she reasoned, it was mostly just the pressure, the sense that she had to set the tone of how the worlds could be woven together in years to come, to show she was up to the task.

A knot had formed in one corner, where two individuals, apparently costumed as a goat and a ghoul, had gotten into an argument about time travel.  The details were lost on her, Taliana had paid little attention to the argument until it began to pull and knot at the threads.  Such things happened, she had learned, when the realities of different worlds began to collide.  In this case, the ghoul existed in a world where time-travel was a relatively common occurrence, where as the goat’s world saw it as a theoretical concept full of potential complications.  The realities colided and clashed until a spectacular knot had formed.  And now, now it was her duty to unravel it.

As the pattern slowly returned to its proper state under her ministrations,  a flash of color drew her attention away from the work.  A shade of green that reminded her of a mossy tree after a rainy day.  The rooms were a swirl of colors, but that green caught her attention.   She knew she should explore the rooms anyhow, keep an eye on the threads as they wove through the worlds.  If she investigated this cloaked figure that had caught her eye in the process, well, that would be a way of giving direction.

She followed the cloaked figure down the hall, to a set of heavy doors that closed quickly behind him.  Taliana felt a shock of energy as she rested her hands on the handles and braced herself.  She remembered what her mother had told her about the different rooms, each had its own feel, it’s own rules, and it’s own version of the threads.  Taking a breath she opened the door, allowing herself to accept the falling sensation, the sense of weightlessness. Focusing on the purple thread she allowed herself to enter the room, finding herself standing outside of a large home and watching someone else’s journey unfold.

Originally posted on Raevenly Writes:

At last! The Masquerade begins! This is where things get messy. :)

Our host, EclecticAlli, will be collecting the various adventures of her guests as she encounters them. This will undoubtedly be devoid of anything resembling chronological order for the evening, so I hope all your TARDISes are charged, cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. I myself will be posting several pieces of my ridiculously long tale, along with my favorite co-author, Caitlin, and anyone else who happens to drop by. I’ll do my best to keep the authorship and timelines straight on here, but I can’t promise what you’ll find if you follow the #EclecticMasque tag….

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Celebrate the Little Things

This week.. oh my goodness this week.

It was kind of insane, with lots of “fun” unexpected challenges at work (technological and otherwise).

And today was no different… craziness.

So I celebrate, quickly!

I am celebrating the fun that I’ve had in getting ready for my party!  The Masquerade Ball is going to be so fun, and I’m loving how my most awesome friend Raevenly is helping to fuel my enthusiasm and is getting into it herself!  It’s fun to have a co-host :)

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Thanks to her we have a hashtag to use too #EclecticMasquerade #EclecticMasque (yeah…uhm.. I can’t remember my own hashtag apparently..yup)!  So I’m celebrating the fact that, despite a week of crazy, I’ve got something exciting to pull me through the next week.
Starts tonight!!  My opening post will go up sometime later this evening (Pacific Time)
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A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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