The Garden Party

Garden Party Master

Her parent’s had taken care of nearly all the arrangements.

“It’s been quite the year for you,” her mother has simply said as she set a framework of threads for the event.  Taliana would have to do the detail work, particularly in this case.  Since she had spent the past few months studying and researching just what needed to be done, and because she was the Keeper of the Threads, it fell to her.

Her father had winked at her while he directed the decorating of the garden, “Hopefully you can have fun, relax and enjoy a little.”

Relax a little.

That was easy enough for him to say — he wasn’t undertaking the transition of an entire world, for the first time in generations. Birthing a world, someone had called it.  Of course, they had only been speaking in the theoretical… as far as her research had shown there had only been one person who had actually done such a thing.  Why did she have to be the next?

Taliana shook the grumbles from her head.  This was supposed to be a party and it would be a lovely party.  She wouldn’t pretend that it would all go smoothly — the year had shown her that such things were highly unlikely, but perhaps at least they wouldn’t go too… un-smoothly?

At least this time she knew what she was doing, or had a better idea of what she was doing at least.  There had been time to plan and organize, to research what she could — though Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather Taelred’s journals had been spectacularly vague when it came to what he had actually done the last time a world transitioned from being between the pages of books to existing in the web of threads.

The day of the garden party was perfect, of course.  Warm without being hot, a gentle breeze stirring the air from time to time, the sky a shimmering blue with light fluffy clouds floating by – they couldn’t have created a better day if they tried. And Taliana wouldn’t have put it past her parents to try. Retirement had settled well on them both, but they seemed to bore easily with the “relaxing” life.

Taliana paused on the deck of the house, looking over the celebrations happening closest to the house.  Unlike her previous parties, this one included children and they ran through the crowd shouting and laughing while the adults mingled about.  With a deep breath Taliana started down the steps, she could see the Thread of Evegran winding it’s way through, playing and dancing among her friends.  Today she needed to just watch it.  Follow it, and hope that no major snags and threads began to pull at it.

For a while she was able to relax into the party. Her friends, apparently now used to her being in a distracted state, brought her into conversations easily, not expecting much from her in return.  Everything seemed to be going fine and Taliana began to settle. Maybe it would work as planned, maybe Evegran would find its place among the threads without aid. Maybe…

It started as a slight glow that looked unusual. She tried to ignore it at first, the world had to find it’s own connections after all. But as she stood laughing with Mariska and Tyler she could see it pulling strangely. Then it did what she had never seen before, darting through the air, narrowly missing Lord Milsworth (who was completely unaware that the threads that tied the world’s together nearly impaired him).

“Excuse me,” Taliana barely remembered her manners as she hurried from the conversation. The thread continued its mad dash across the garden as she tried to catch up with it.  A few guests made faces of confusion — some of disdain — as she passed.  A few got out of her way, and there was a close encounter with one.  But she ignored it all, hurrying after the thread as it careened its way down one of the many garden paths.

“Oh!” Taliana had her sights so focused on the racing thread that she  didn’t see James until she literally ran into him.

“Are you okay?” He helped steady her, “Is everything alright?”

“The threads just….” She stopped, blinking a few times at him.  He looked more self-assured than the kid she remembered from the masque.  The masque, when he’d followed her as she chased after that strange man who was bent on destroying the book….

“The threads just…?” he prompted gently.

“The thread I was following this spring… it is racing down the paths. I need to follow it.” There was more than a little apology in her voice.  She had meant to talk to him after the spring adventure, after he’d helped her so much but she hadn’t taken the time to speak to much anyone since that journey.  “I’m sorry I haven’t explained anything to you, since spring. Just-“

“You’ve been busy,” he smiled at her and then seemed to glance to the thread, “and if it is racing down the paths I am thinking you should probably be following it.”

“You can see it?”  Without her help?

He nodded, “I’ve been able to see… well… I wanted to talk to you about that.  Since spring.” He ran his hand through his curly hair, “That isn’t important, not just now.   This party isn’t just another party, is it?”

“They never are,” Taliana frowned.

“I thought not.  You need to focus on what you need to focus on and maybe… maybe we can talk later. After this party is done?”

“I’d like that.” To have someone to actually explain this all to would be wonderful.

“Well then.”  He grinned, “it seems like you’d best hurry.”  He nodded to the thread that was shaking and quivering like an excited puppy.

“After the party we’ll talk.  I promise.  Call on me tomorrow?”

“I will,” James called after her as she started off the garden path once more.

 The Thread of Evegran twisted through the maze taking Taliana on a wild chase through the elaborate hedge-maze her father so loved.  Many guests had become hopelessly lost in the maze through the years, to the point that Taliana’s mother had insisted that they place flags strategically throughout for guests to raise in order to call for help.  But Taliana had grown up wandering the maze and knew it well, so the moment that she turned a corner and was suddenly in a different world was very clear.  The maze looked the same, but she could feel it was different so was not surprised when the turns suddenly were not the ones that she expected.

The thread stopped it’s excited shaking which worried her, where it had been so enthusiastic before, like a little kid on a race through a candy-store, but it had slowed in these new twists and turns and Taliana wasn’t quite sure what to expect with each curve of the path.

The new maze twisted around in one long path until it let out into a place completely new.

[Want to contribute to Taliana’s adventure?  Comment below or contact me with what she encounters and I will add to the story!]

Taliana stumbled into a room that, finally, appeared to have people in it. Or… creatures at least. Was that a megaphone-wielding-hamster running at her?
The Thread of Evegran swerved around the garden and then twisted itself around her wrist, physically pulling her from the garden before the hamster could reach her.

The thread pulled her urgently forward. She had often unknotted threads, but one had never pulled at her like this. She found herself practically flying through the twisting garden paths, flitting through what appeared to be a wide variety of different kinds of worlds. Finally the thread pulled her to familiar ground.
Taliana was able to detatch herself from the thread moments before it would have tried to take her through the (closed) library window.
The thread moved through the window and Taliana peered through after it. The Book of Evegran was safely stores on a shelf and the thread wrapped around it, lifting it from the shelf.
Quickly Taliana pushed the window open, thankful that it hadn’t been locked. The thread pulled the book from the room, pulling it quickly back into the maze. She was supposed to be helping this world come into being, at least, according to all she’d been able to figure out.
Shouldn’t helping a world be born should involve more than opening a window?
She raced after the thread, around a corner just in time to find herself faced with an explosion. A burst of light and sound flooded her, wrapping around her and pulling her into it.

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