Taliana spun around the room, enjoying the way that her skirt fanned out around her. She felt like a child again, spinning and laughing as the shimmering fabric sent sparkles of light all around her. It was a minor illusion, bits of light shooting through the closest threads, but her father had been so excited to figure out how to make it happen.
“I’m glad you like the dress, dear,” her mother called from a corner of the ballroom, “but perhaps you could stop twirling a moment to give me a hand?”
Laughing, Taliana hurried over to help with the threads — even though this was a relatively simple celebration there was still the possibility of multiple worlds, so the threads needed to be secure. It did not hold the same importance of the last party she had thrown, but, after the encounter at the Masque the wards had earned extra attention for even the most simple gathering. Her mother had kindly taken the full responsibility of managing them off of her shoulders for the event, but there were some things that the official Keeper of the Threads needed to handle.
Meanwhile, her father had happily reclaimed his role as decorator. He’d really only given her that job for the Masque because of tradition, and now he wanted to handle all the decoration work himself. He had spent the weeks leading up to the party coming up with themes and suggestions, excited at the thought of who might come, what all might occur, and which food they should serve. Sometimes Taliana wondered if he was more excited about the party than she was.
This years birthday party ended up with a “mad-tea-party” theme, combined with a “winter pallet.” Taliana only understood about half of what her father had explained, apparently he drew the idea from a book he had read. She was please with the results though; once again the beauty of the outside seemed to flow into the house (though, thankfully, not the piercing cold). Everything shimmered as though it were ice and snow in the moonlight and a few of the rooms (including the entry) had the feeling of grand elegance.
The further into the house the guests went, though, the more that wintry elegance gave way to oddities, color, light and the unexpected. By the time they reached the rooms furthest from the entry, Taliana was pretty sure her father was simply giving in to every crazy whimsy he could think of. She was surprised he had only altered the threads in one or two rooms to allow people to move through the air as though they were swimming. What an argument that had been….
“This should hold well enough,” Taliana declared, smiling at her Mother as they finished the ward, “do you think you can handle it the rest of the night?”
“I think I can manage,” she laughed, glancing over the wards one last time before reaching to give her daughter a hug. “You focus on having fun tonight, I’ll keep things in order.”
Taliana left her mother to tend to the wards and made her way to the entry hall. Her father waved to her from one of the rooms as she passed, he was giving some final directions to the staff about the way the food should be presented.
Positioning herself near the front door, Taliana prepared to greet the guests, there was sure to be a nice mix of new and old faces tonight and she was eager to enjoy whatever festivities the night might bring.