Samantha Lee’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: Out With the Old
Forget what anyone else might tell you; balls are not fun. Balls are in fact quite loathsome and tedious, like going to the doctor’s office or household chores. In short, they are a necessary evil. I’ll admit that balls have their functions. Balls provide a theatre for the drama and scandal of the upper classes and promote the exchange of knowledge and rumour alike. The etiquette and sensuality of the ball is a great distraction, not to mention the whole romantic factor. I mean, can you name a single Disney princess who didn’t find herself whisked about a dance floor sooner or later? Provided, of course, she actually live in a time and place where said whisking was actually possible.
The other side of this, of course, is that balls are a bloody pain in the arse. That tonight’s: an autumn themed masquerade held in celebration of, um, I think a lord’s vineyard purchase. Or maybe it’s some sort of mating anniversary – I can never keep track of these things.
I’m a sun elf of the Royal caste. This means I have a particular and distinctive colouring; deeply tanned skin, blood red hair with snow white bangs and sky-reflecting eyes. It makes assembling a complimentary outfit something of a challenge. Not a hardship, mind you, because I adore fashion, but a challenge nonetheless.
For this occasion, I opted for a chocolate brown strapless cocktail dress with a feathery detachable train. There are orange, red, and yellow silk leaves caught up in the train, matching the harvest themed hairpiece adorning my up-styled hairdo. Long, fingerless gloves, the same brown silk as my dress, are slipped over my forearms. A gold charm bracelet dangles from one wrist, chandelier earrings shaped like falling leaves hang from each of my lobes, and an amber encrusted bust of Bastet is held against the hollow of my throat by a brown ribbon encircling my neck. For my mask, I use makeup to paint charcoal hued elm leaves over my eyes.
It takes me just over two and half hours to get ready.
I then slip on my four inch stiletto heels and move to my parlour to wait for my entourage to join me. Yes, that’s right, I have an entourage. Two, technically. The first is my security detail; six Fae warriors who tag along with me wherever I go. The second is comprised of my companions and tends to be much more varied. Basically, it’s whoever among my friends and family I can coax into suffering alongside me. This night it happens to be my cousin, Donovan, my brother, Fiachra, my best friend, Lizzie, and their mates.
Once together, provided the ball is not being held at Court, we leave and travel by carriage to our destination. Depending on the where, why, what, and who of the event there are a whole slew of possible choices for my carriage and its beasts. My current one, for instance, was an elegant pumpkin-shaped mahogany carriage pulled by four giant grey mice.
When we arrive at the host’s estate I am helped from the carriage by Ryver, my Silver Knight and leader of my bodyguards. Normally my mate would assist me but he is, shall we say, temporarily unavailable. My entourage follows in my wake as I walk into the house and am guided by the steward of the house to the ballroom. What follows is several hours of conversation and dancing, both of which tend to lean heavily on the stiff and formal side of things, before the host finally breaks out his grand finale – usually, as in this case, a complex and stunning display of magic – and I can depart.
I have been restored to my throne for four months now – that’s roughly one hundred and twenty days - and in that time I have attended roughly a hundred or so balls. I have made the decision that it’s time to reform concept of a ball before my boredom and redundancy liquefies my brain and it slips right out of my head through my ears. I think it would be interesting to see what music the Fae have composed over the centuries – what bands and musicians and singers we have produced. I think it would be interesting if our dancing was less Pride and Prejudice and more Step Up, or perhaps, better yet, a blending of the two with a distinctly Fae twist thrown in. The world has moved out of Marie Antoinette’s era and I, for one, would love to join it.
That being said, if I see so much as a single disco ball I will make like the Hulk and smash.
You can read my blog - Calliope's Domain - over at calliopedomain.blogspot.ca