Seacree Reef

Seacree Reef LM pic

Seacree Reef  (click to visit in SL)

My new installation is finished. Without a story for now. The Seacrees and other creatures are waiting for you to come and visit them!

It is an under water world filled with unique creatures and 2D and 3D builds/objects. All textured with watercolour images.

 

 

If you have a mermaid/merman avatar, this is the place to come and use it! Enjoy a swim and find the poses and dances.

There is also a turtle ride rezzer, a diving helmet and snorkling gear available.

 

 

 

On arrival you will find yourself on a small island. Walk down the stairs to find and explore the reef!

 

links to reviews:

Echt Virtuell (Maddy Gynoid)

Million Happy Endings

Video:

Renamon exploration of Seacree Reef

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A poignant Second Life machinima for Christmas — Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Nikira Naimarc is a budding machinima maker who contacted me about her first film, Jenny’s Holy Night, asking me if I’d like to watch it. When most of us would consider entering machinima cautiously, perhaps with a piece of a few minutes duration to test the waters publicly, Nikira went for something far more ambitious. […]

via A poignant Second Life machinima for Christmas — Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

The Haze

The Haze in SL (taxi)

Links to reviews:

Echt Virtuell

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Million Happy Endings

(Elle’s Nightmare)

  1. Something Different

The little girl was tossing and turning in her sleep. Soft moans and murmurs could be heard from under the covers. She was dreaming, for certain. But something seemed different. There was sweat on the girl’s forehead and her face wasn’t peaceful as usual. What was she dreaming of?

Elle was standing on a rocky ground, staring at a scarecrow. The loosely hanging clothing was flapping from the harsh and cold wind that was blowing. She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, rubbing to get warm. The scarecrow looked very creepy, almost like a skeleton. With wavy, thin fingers that moved in the wind, it seemed to be waving, or pointing,  ahead. Curious as she was, she started walking into that direction, even though a shudder moved through her as she passed the scarecrow.

Snapshot_007-2

  1. Denied

A strange, dark and barren landscape opened up to her.  The howling wind deafened her.  Slowly she moved forward, walking towards what seemed to be a house. It was hard to see in the distance. There seemed to be a fog hanging over the land, even though the wind should have cleared the air.

The house was abandoned, some overturned furniture was left and nature had found its way inside. Not that the plants were lush and green and nice. They had a sickening colour to them. It made Ele sad to look at them. She moved further into the abandoned village and saw a figure at one of the ruined buildings. “Hello! I’m Elle, who are you?” she called out as she waved, happily moving towards it. “Go away!” A grumpy, growling voice greeted her.  She halted instantly and looked at the gnome, for that was what it was. Surprise showing on her face. “Excuse me?” she asked, confusion clearly showing.

Snapshot_008“Go away! Move along! Make yourself scarce! And be quick about it!” The gnome beckoned her forward. “But, I wanted to ask you…” she started before getting interrupted. “I don’t answer questions. Leave me alone. Don’t make me get my pitch fork!” The look on the gnome’s face changed from mere grumpy to menacing. Elle sighed, hung her head and nodded, biting her lip. “Alright.” She mumbled softly, walking past the gnome further into the strange landscape. She felt sad that the first sign of life had been such a disappointment.

Snapshot_010-2

She noticed a statue further away and walked up to have a closer look. It was a statue of a small, thin boy who seemed to be looking in the distance, waiting for something, or someone, to arrive. Elle sighed. So many questions! Who was the boy? What had happened to the people in the village? Why was the gnome so mean to her? She looked around hoping to find somebody who might help her, as they had always done in her dreams.

 

  1. Chased

She was running, heart beating heavily in her chest. Looking behind her she saw a winged creature, flapping as it flew after her and a ugly looking creature that looked like a strange dog barking and running below it. They were chasing her, screaming at her in a language that made no sense. She didn’t know why, just that the ruin behind them and these creatures scared her so much she was shivering.  And running for her life.  It seemed they were gaining up on her. She cried out for help and tried to run even faster.

 

  1. Battled

Suddenly she was somewhere else. The wind howled over a plain, sand danced over the ground. At first she thought she was looking at piles of rocks scattered around the plain, but with another shudder that chilled her to the bone she realized she was looking at dead creatures. They looked like figures from a movie she once sneaked a peek of, watching through a slightly opened door when her parents were watching tv and whenshe should have been asleep in bed. Trolls or demons, that kind of thing. They seemed to be made of stone.

Snapshot_011-2Snapshot_012-2

Someone was watching the plain, like her. She hid behind the pile of rock that seemed to be the only bump not made out of bodies and took a cautious peek. Carefully, afraid of being chased off again. The creature looked like a warrior. She couldn’t tell if he was alive or not. His features had a skeletal look on them and he didn’t seem to move. He had a strange looking weapon in his hand, bits of which were fluttering in the wind. So were his clothes. She clasped her hand in front of her mouth to stifle a scream when the head slowly moved to turn and look straight at her. She was frozen and couldn’t have moved had she wanted to! Panic took hold of her and her breathing got heavy, her heart beating out of her chest by now. Staring back at the warrior, unable to help herself she swallowed hard and waited. The creature seemed to be staring at her for ages. Then it slowly moved back and he was overlooking the plain once more. She thought she saw his shoulders move as if he had just sighed deeply, but she could have just imagined it.  After a while she felt confident to move again, the warrior being as still as before.

  1. Captured

She was on a ridge, trying to keep her balance, walking slowly to the other side of a large ravine. When she reached the other side she saw another ruined building. Still the curious child she decided to check it out. She climbed on top of the rubble until she reached the roof. She turned around to take a look at her surroundings when she felt something pushing at her back and before she knew it she fell down a hole. Scrambling to her feet, surprisingly not bleeding or feeling any pain from her tumble down, she started to climb up again, only to stop and stare as a creature came into sight, staring at her from the edge of the hole. Big eyes on sticks were looking at her. The creature reminded her of the watchers she encountered in her dreams once. They had been colourful and bright though, and helpful. This one looked like the creatures from her cousin’s space comics and there was nothing helpful or bright about it! “Gurgu!’ it screamed, hopping excitedly. “Gurgu!” then moved the eyes down to stare at her. The big Snapshot_014-2mouth snarling at her. “Gurgu tsa cha!”  It seemed to be a warning, a threat. It sat down, eyes on her. She was trapped. It was clear she’d get hurt if she tried to move past the creature. She moved back down again and shivered once more. It was pitch black and she couldn’t see anything at all. Who knew what was down there with her in the shadows? Fighting back the tears which she felt welling up, she sat down, as close to the light as she could, hugging her knees. She had never felt so afraid and alone before.

  1. Cursed

When she opened her eyes again, the chill hadn’t left her. Her environment had, however. She found herself wandering around in a dark forest. Strange creatures  were lurking among the trees and their screeches and growls made her teeth chitter.  She saw some flowers which looked pretty but when she got up close they were just as scary as everything else. Little skulls were staring at her. She felt eyes on her from just about every corner!   A creature with very thin legs walked towards her. Snarling menacingly. She backed away. Watching the creature carefully she kept backing away slowly. Something tugged on her hair. “Ouch!” she cried out, rubbing her head. Looking up she saw a huge rat, standing on its hind legs. It was like a creature she had seen in a cartoon movie once.  It held a doll in its hand and was wrapping the strands  of hair it pulled off of her head  around the doll. Then it looked up at her and opened its mouth wide, showing its sharp teeth. The screeching  sound that came out of it was similar to fingernails on a chalkboard. The rat was laughing as it took a pin and pushed it into the doll. Instantly she felt a very sharp sting in her arm. “Ouch!” rubbing her arm she stared around her, wondering what happened. The snarling creature was still there, but kept its distance from the rat. It took several more stings on several places of her body for her to realize it was the rat’s doing. She looked at the doll and then back at the rat. The grin was even scarier  than the pain she felt. “Go away! Leave me alone! What did I do to you! “she cried out, tears now streaming down her face. Suddenly she remembered the gnome she had met before, her own words sounding so familiar as he had said something similar. She started to move her ams, hitting the air around her, swatting at things that weren’t there. “Go away, go away!” She rushed away – away from the rat, away from the thin legged creature – away from the creepy flowers, out of the dark forest.

Snapshot_013-2

 

  1. Robed

She was on a narrow bridge, crossing another deep ravine. On the other side she climbed up a hill and saw another ruined building. Hoping she might be safe there, she stepped inside. Tripping over something in the dark, she stumbled further into the room. A flickering light seemed to be coming from upstairs. Thinking there might be a warm fire there, she slowly walked up, looking back every now and then just in case the creatures had followed her. When she got upstairs there was nothing that even remotely looked comfortable. Just a hole in the ground where the light seemed to be coming from. Peering over the edge she saw a figure, barely visible. A wavering figure of….yeah, of what? A robed person. Was it a priest? A monk? Or perhaps just a hermit? It was a ghost, that much she knew for sure. It looked up at her briefly, a soft smile on his face. Then he seemed to forget all about her again. Sighing softly, realizing she’d not get any conversation or friendliness from a ghost, she moved back down the stairs again.

When she came down again she saw people gathering. A group of robed men were moving down from the stairs of the roof, huddling before the pillars, curiously watching her. Even though there was a group, she didn’t get any of the menacing sensations she had experienced with all the other creatures she had encountered. Their demeanour was friendly. They bowed their heads reverently towards her.  Communicating amongst themselves through wordless conversation they seemed to reach a conclusion. One of the men had a robe draped over his arms. He walked up to her, head bowing, arms reaching out to hand her the robe. Not having been warm since she arrived, she didn’t even think of it and just accepted the robe, wrapping it around her as quick as she could. It fit her perfectly. Suddenly she remembered the ghost in the hole. Hoping these people were more helpful than the rest, she looked at the one who had handed her the robe. “I’m Elle, I think I am lost. Can you tell me where I am? And who is the man in the hole upstairs?” feeling a bit more comfortable as she was finally warming up a bit. Her questions seemed to agitate the friendly men and they gestured between themselves again. Most of them were shaking their heads vigorously. Then one of them, one who looked much older than the others, moved towards her and touched her arm gently. He pointed upstairs and shook his head again. Then he pointed outside. All the other men looked at the spot he was pointing at. It was a tower on top of a steep, high mountain. They all pointed towards it and the older man gently nudged her to move outside again. Elle wasn’t sure what they meant, but as they had been the friendliest so far, she figured the tower was her way out of here. She thanked them all, for the directions and the robe and forgot about her other questions, eager to get home.

 

  1. Lost

Snapshot_024She was walking around in a castle, continuously walking up and down stairs, through doorways, trying to find her way out. Each time she thought she had found it, and then there was a wall where a door should be, stairs going nowhere. It felt like a maze, a labyrinth she remembered from a movie. Frustrated she called out for help, but there was not a sound. Only the wind,  blowing through all the openings,  seemed to be howling at her. Out of one of the windows she saw the high mountain and the tower on top. “That’s where I need to go!” she called out in frustration. “I want to go home! Let me go home!” She banged on the walls of the castle, stormed up and down stairs again. Then, taking a moment to catch her breath in one of the rooms, she saw a crest hanging on the wall. She stared at it angrily. Thinking it was the crest of whomever had lived here. Blaming whoever they were she picked up a rock and aimed to hit the shield. “Stupid people!” she called out as she threw.

 

  1. Granted

And then she was at the foot of the high mountain. Desperately trying to find a way up.  There was no path, no ladders, nothing. And when she tried to climb up the rocks, she had to stop after a few metres. It was just too steep. She’d fall down. Feeling defeated she sat down and started crying. After all this time she found the mountain, and now she couldn’t get to the tower anyway. Would this nightmare never end??!

Swoosh, swoosh! Something was flying over her head. Heavy wings were moving air, she could feel it. She looked up with teary eyes, seeing some creature moving above her. She blinked a few times to clear her view and then clasped her hand in front of her mouth to stop another scream from escaping. There was a dragon flying there! She scrambled up and looked around for a  place to hide. The dragon looked at her as it circled above. Expecting it to torch her with fire breath she cringed, unable to find somewhere to shield herself.  She closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable. And waited, and waited. The sound of flapping wings had stopped. With her heart beating heavily, she slowly opened her eyes….and looked straight into the huge dragon’s face. It tilted its head as it looked at her curiously. Nostrils vibrating, tongue licking the air. It had huge, sharp teeth, but its eyes were friendly.  The dragon lowered its head and gently nudged her side. Hesitantly she reached out to touch its nose. It was warm and softer than she’d imagined. The dragon nudged her again. Then it lay down on the floor, looking at her and then turning its head around. Did it want her to climb on the back? Elle was unsure. As the dragon nodded at unspoken thoughts she gave it a thin smile and climbed on between the spiky pieces on its back, holding on to the one right in front of her. Legs tightly against the dragon’s sides. It was going to fly,wasn’t it. It was going to….ohhhh and they were off! The dragon flew off with heavy beating of wings and a growling sound that seemed to vibrate across the land. It took her for a ride all over the land she had roamed around in. She saw all the places she had gone to appearing in front of her. The forest with its creepy creatures,  the strange figures of monsters that had chased her, captured her. They all came to see the dragon, then cringed and scrambled as it roared again. The gnome tried to hit it with his pitchfork, the skeletal warrior merely glanced up for a moment. The robed men waved and bowed at them, the castle with its strange interior seemed to beckon her, but the dragon flew around it and then went higher and higher and higher. Until they reached the tower. It landed on a wall and made sure she’d slide down the right way. She fell on the ground and with shaky limbs held onto the wall, trying to get up again. “Hello, little girl.” She looked up in surprise. Someone was actually speaking to her, and nicely too! She saw a boy standing on the  wall, caressing a little dragon that was perched on his arm. The dragon who had taken her up roared once more and then flew higher up the tower and perched on a ledge, watching them and the lands all around.Snapshot_015-2

“H..h..hello”, she stammered, still in shock of the whole situation. “I’m Elle, who are you?” she asked. The boy smiled. “Why, I’m the Dragon Keeper, of course.  Pray tell me, how did you manage to get Peety  to fly you up here?” pointing at the dragon above. “She usually ignores all creatures unless they’re a threat.” Elle shrugged. “I don’t know, she found me trying to climb the mountain and took me on her back.” “Hm…” the Dragon Keeper pondered. “I suppose you could have found the Chalice then. Did you find and touch it?” tilting his head as he looked at her again.  Elle frowned as she thought hard. She didn’t remember touching any chalice. “I don’t know, I don’t think so?” The boy looked surprised. “Oh, that is strange then. Because touching the Chalice will make Peety come look for you straight away, and if she deems you dangerous, you’d have been ashes by now!” he laughed loudly at the shocked look on Elle’s face. “No worries, you are safe, little girl! Peety likes you.”  The dragon roared in agreement from above. Elle glanced up and then back at the boy. “What is this place, I don’t think I have seen it before.”  The Keeper grinned. “Oh, but you have! Last time you were here you couldn’t walk yet though, so you probably have forgotten.” He waved at the lands stretching out in front of them. “This is the Haze, little Elle. This is where you go to when your dreams are strange, scary and confusing.” Elle shivered. “It has been scary a lot. There are not many nice people here.” She stared down, not really seeing anything because the fog was still heavy. The Dragon Keeper laughed again. “Yes, well. They are not supposed to be nice. Though you would never really get hurt, not physically at least. He stroked the little dragon’s back again which growled softly at the touch, almost like a purring cat. Elle watched it for a moment before answering. “I don’t really like it here, even though you seem nice and your dragons too. The robed men gave me a warm robe for my comfort, they were nice as well.” Only then did she realize that she hadn’t been wearing that robe for quite some time. “oh..” . The Dragon Keeper nodded. “They are the keepers of the Chalice. If they helped you, you did find it. Not many people that come through here find the Chalice and are granted the right way passage out.” Elle’s face brightened and she  looked at him with hope in her eyes “Does this mean I get to go home now?!” He nodded. “Yes, once you are at the tower, you will find the way back home in fairly calm weather…” He looked down towards the  plains in the west. “Not everyone is that lucky.” Elle wondered what he meant, or whom he was talking about.  Then she remembered about the statue of the boy. “The statue, in the village, that boy. Is that you?” The Dragon Keeper looked surprised for a moment. “Oh, you mean Ralph? No, that is not me. That poor soul roamed these lands for ages before he found his way out.” He smiled reassuringly to her. “Alright, let’s get you back home, shall we?” And he reached out to touch her arm.

 

 

  1. Found

She was passing through a gate and then another one, and then there were colours. Such lovely colours everywhere. Such a relief after all the darkness and barren lands. She smelled the flowers, touched the trees and finally got a smile back on her face. Glancing behind her she could still see the Haze through the gates, but blurry and non-threatening. A memory in the making.

“Elle, Elle, wake up, sweetie.” Her mother was stroking her arm gently as she woke up, warm and safely tugged under her duvet. “Hi little one. Are you awake now? We woke up and heard you scream. Did you have a bad dream?” Elle sighed softly and nodded. “Yes, mommy, it was horrible.  There was….erm….and then I ….er…” she tried to think but it all became blurrier and blurrier with each second. “There were dragons!” she remembered. But all of the rest were now only memories of emotions and sensations. “I was scared, so scared. And alone, and cold.” She shivered a little and let her mum hug her tightly. So safe and warm and protected!  “Well, it’s all over now.” Her mother kissed her on the forehead. “Back to sleep now, darling. It’s the middle of the night, you know.” Elle nodded and hugged her duvet around her. She’d not go back to the Haze that night, but the fear she had experienced stayed with her at the back of her mind from then on. And before our little girl would be all grown up, she’d see more of the Haze than she would have cared for!

Story Tours in Voice

Virtually Yours, from the Dune Mouse

listen to the wind from the south and let it take you there

(The chieftains)

Sunday, May 21 at 11:00 AM SL time, step through the enchanted portal

The Morrigan

Master story teller and published author in real life, Caledonia Skytower from Seanchai Library takes us once again on Niamh’s Journey through Ceakay Ballyhoo’s enchanting storybook landscape.

If you missed it before here is your opportunity to immerse yourself in a quest and adventure based on an old Irish legend.

Some comments left on the sim:

The Spring

“what a beautiful enchanting story”- A Blackrose

“Love the sim and the beautiful story”-R. Moonshadow

“Such a beautiful concept- thank you”- S. Juliesse

“As the waters swirled around her the salmon appeared again. It was then that she realized what was weighing her down. It was her dreams. She had not noticed how heavy and onerous they had become and now she was drowning in…

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Poetry of the Planets

On LEA4 till the end of May, you can experience Caledonia Skytower’s Poetry of the Planets. And it is an experience!

Inspired by Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets”, an orchestral suite from 1918, seven planets (though Jupiter is still in the making at the moment of the writing of this blog) have been made for you to visit.

In each sphere you will find an immersive space, decorated in theme,  with a link to Holst’s piece of the corresponding planet.

As the environment wraps around you and you feel the urge to slow down and take your time, (at least that was the effect it had on me), you are invited to  write a poem.

You will find more information and background on the accompanying blog.

Poetry of the Planets - Mars

Mars – Bringer of War

Poetry of the Planets - Venus
Venus – Bringer of Peace

Caledonia is of course known for her Storytelling abilities with the Seanchai Library and it should not be a surprise that she found a way to incorporate so many storytelling aspects in this build. The environment, the music, the sounds, it all adds up to an amazing group of worlds to get lost in and be inspired.

The planets all have a very different feel to them, and so you will probably be attracted by one more than the others.  My mind was instantly drawn to Saturn, its simplicity beautiful and daunting.

Poetry of the Planets - Saturn2
Saturn – Bringer of Old Age
Poetry of the Planets - Saturn - Bringer of Old Age (poem)
Saturn – Poem

All in all, well worth a bit of your time, if not a lot. And expect to want to come back for seconds and thirds.

A friend of mine found the planets also very inspiring: Mars Will Send No More

Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

A new build is finished on Mistwood Isle!

Niamhs Journey Opening Poster

This time it has been a collaboration between CybeleMoon and myself. We took Cybele’s Tales of the Tuatha and turned it into a world.  Parts of her stories can be found in the storyboards on the sim, where you can follow in Niamh’s footsteps.

For the full tales, please look at: CybeleMoon’s Tales of the Tuatha.

Inspired by those tales and the pictures Cybele added for the atmosphere, I started painting and building. Working together, inspiring one another as we were building up the sim, we came to a finished project on Easter Sunday. And we are very proud of it!

Special thanks to Elwyn Lorefield for creating the fireflies.

Niamh's Journey - Firefly Forest

You can find the world of Niamh’s dreams here: Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

Make sure you wander and not cam from one point, cause there are multiple Windlight effects through the sim!

Cybele made a trailer/video for the sim! Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

More pictures and blogposts about Niamh’s Journey can be found here:

CKB Art Group on Flickr (feel free to post your pics of the sim here!)

Cale’s Storyteller’s Notebook

Inara Pey’s Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

Cybele’s Are you ready to follow Niamh?

Owl Dragonash’s Niamh’s Journey

Orca’s Niamh’s Journey of Dreams

Eddi & Ryce Photograph Second Life

Riverpearl’s Million Happy Endings

Niamh's Journey - Gate to Tir Na Nog 2
Gate to Tir Na Nog
Niamh's Journey - White Swan
White Swan
Niamhs Journey Profile Pic
Bird’s Eye View of the Sim

The Little Girl and The Forest Beyond

the-forest-beyond

 

1 The Painting

She was lying in bed, waiting for the Sandman to do his job and make her go to sleep. While her mind was going over all the things she had done today, her eyes moved around her room. It wasn’t fully dark as there was a street light near her window and with the little bit of light seeping through the curtains she could make out the things in her room. Her little desk with the books on it,  the teddy bear she got for her 4th birthday in the corner, the stack of toys behind the chair.  Then her eyes moved over the walls and stopped at the painting that hung on one of them.

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She didn’t know who painted it, but it had been a gift for Christmas. She smiled as she looked at the two  mushrooms standing in a field on a starry night.  Her imagination was triggered by  this painting. The mushrooms, the flowers, the trees in the distance. So intriguing! Wouldn’t it be nice to roam around amongst them? And then, of course, that hill. That mysterious light shining from its opening. What would be inside? Was it a pile of gems? A horde of fireflies? Or possibly…fairies?! She grinned. That would be wonderful. Of course, it could be a group of grumpy gnomes for all she knew, sitting around a fire.

As sleep started to fall upon her, her mind was seeing all kinds of creatures she might come across if she would be roaming around in the painting. And butterflies, she just loved butterflies…..   The little girl fell asleep.

 

 2 The Mushrooms

In her dream she opened her eyes again, then blinked a few times. She was staring at a huge mushroom. Two mushrooms! Oh!  Mushrooms from the painting! She jumped up and down excitedly.  “Hello, hello! So nice to meet you.” She called out to them. The large purple headed mushroom smiled at her. “Hello Elle, nice to finally meet you too.”

She chatted for a while with the Mushrooms, asking them about the world she was in now, but they said she’d better find out for herself. “I love adventures!” she had called out, clapping her hands excitedly. “We heard of you from Pinkie Papillion, the butterfly”, the red Mushroom said. She told us of your other adventures. If you look well enough, you should find her home, somewhere in this forest.”  Elle beamed happily. “It would be wonderful to see Pinkie again. I can’t wait, I’m going to explore these woods. See you when I get back!” With  an energetic wave she was off, on her way to new adventures. The Mushrooms smiled as they watched her go, glad the girl had finally made her way into their world.

 

3 Nosie The Pixie

Elle set out straight for the intriguing light that shone from the big hill. Happy that her curiosity about what would be inside would be satisfied at last! “Ouch!” she called out after something hit her head. She looked around, it was a pine cone. She looked up at the trees around her and then another cone hit her head. “Ouch, stop it!” she called out again, frowning angrily. She saw the tip of a red hat between the pines. “You! Come out, show yourself!”  trying to sound as stern as her mother when she called out to Elle when she was caught doing something bad.  Slowly the hat moved up and a face could be seen. A creature with a barky looking skin, a tiny pointed nose and purple pants, reluctantly emerged from the trees.

elle-and-the-pixie

He looked down at his big feet, one of them sweeping the floor before him. “Didn’t mean to get you all boooo” he said with a raspy, throaty voice.  “Was just playing with you.” Elle crossed her arms, imitating her mother still, and looked at him. “Well, you should ask me if I wanted to play first, shouldn’t you?!”  The creature bit his lip and nodded remorsefully. “ Are you the sleeping girl?” he asked softly. “You look like her.”  That was when Elle realized that as much as she had looked at the painting, the painting and everything in it had been looking at her as well! “Oh! Er…yes, I think I am. My name’s Elle, who are you?” Sensing she wasn’t really angry any more, the creature looked up at her and showed a big smile. “I’m the pixie they call Nosie.” Tapping his nose as he spoke. “It may be small, but I can smell better than any of them!” pointing to somewhere behind him. She glanced around him but saw only trees and the hill with the bright light. She pointed towards it. “What is that, Nosie?” He turned around to see what she was pointing at. “Oh, the hill! That’s where the fairies live.” He tilted his head looking at her. “You want to see? They won’t mind, they like visitors.” She nodded eagerly. “Oh, yes I would love to meet fairies!”  Nosie started to walk towards the hill. “Be careful when you enter, they don’t always watch where they’re going.”

 

4 The Fairy Hill

They walked to the hill, the light shining brighter with each step closer. Nosie nudged her forward. “In you go, sleepy.” She smiled and walked into the opening, the light so bright it blinded her for a moment. When she opened her eyes again she cried out in disbelief. “Oh, how beautiful!”  There were creatures flying everywhere, there were ant hill like houses with little windows in them, strange flowers and everything was glowing. The inside of the hill looked like a night sky, she felt like she was among the stars. The creatures flew right past her, some even went through her! They appeared and disappeared, making it hard for her to see them properly. “Hello!” she tried to say to a creature that was gone the next moment. “Excuse me, hello!” she tried again to another creature. The creatures made all kinds of sounds, but they didn’t acknowledge her at all.

the-hollow-hill

Nosie had followed her in and grinned. “Flighty creatures they are, haha!” He pointed at one of the bigger creatures.  “That’s Luna, she’s head of all fairies. But she seems to be too busy…” He tilted his head, took a deep breath, seemingly sniffing for something. Then he nodded. “Yes, something’s wrong.”  Elle looked at Nosie. “What do you mean?”  He pointed at the creatures. “They’re upset, that’s why they’re flying so fast and wild and why they won’t talk to you. “ He looked at them again, sniffing deeply, pointing his ears upwards. “It’s the Gardener!”  His face looked shocked. “The Gardener…he’s ill! Oh that is bad news, bad news!” Elle didn’t understand. “The gardener? Who’s the gardener?” Now it was Nosie’s turn to look surprised. “You don’t know?! The Gardener! He’s the one who keeps the forest alive! Every creature, every tree and flower. And he’s ill. He has to get better! Or our forest will die with him!” The pixie was crying now. “We have to help him, we have to!” Elle bit her lip and nodded. “Yes, we have to…but how?”  She didn’t know what was wrong with the Gardener.  Nosie gathered himself, wiped his face and started to walk outside. “We’ll ask the bird.”

 

5 The Owl

Elle followed him out of the hill, unto a path on the right. They walked among the trees until he stopped and pointed up. “This one knows all.” She looked up and saw an owl resting on a branch. “Hello owl!” she waved.the-owl

“Do you know how we can help the Gardener?” The owl looked at them both and shook its head. “Not me, no, but I know what you have to do.  Find the Bare Trees.”  Elle blinked. “Bear…trees?”  Nosie laughed. “No, he said Bare, as in …no leaves or needles. Like the one inside the hill, behind the hillhouses, The Spirit Tree.” He pointed to the hollow hill.  “ I know where another one is! The Old Man. It’s not far from here at all!” He waved at the owl and rushed off. Elle followed quickly, shouting a goodbye to the owl as she sped after the pixie.

 

6 The Old Man (Bare Tree)

And after just a few corners on the path they stood eye to eye with a huge tree, bare trunks, and an old man’s leafy face looking back at them.  “Hello Old Man. Have you heard of the Gardener?” Nosie asked him soon as he arrived at the tree. the-old-man

The tree seemed to shake its branches for a moment and a deep voice answered. “Nosie and Elle, you will be the keepers of the keeper? I think you will, mhm.” The tree bowed a little towards the path that was ahead.  “You’ll need to find the Bare Tree with the fruits. The fruits will heal the Gardener.” The kids nodded solemnly, though neither had ever heard of that particular tree.  “It is well hidden.” The Old Man said. “You’ll need all the help you can get. Look around for any of the creatures in the forest. Some are bound to know where to go.” The two thanked him and were on their way again. Walking along the path among the pines.

 

7 The Butterfly Tree (Bare Tree)

They walked further along the path until they reached a grove. “Oh look!” Elle clapped her hands happily. “Butterflies!”  They were everywhere, flying around them.  And then she saw the tree. Another Bare Tree, completely covered in butterflies. “We found another one!” she called out to Nosie.

the-butterfly-tree

And then she noticed the pink butterfly flying towards her.  “Pinkie!”  “Hello Elle! You are here! Pinkie is happy to see you here!” the butterfly chirped happily.  The girl smiled and nudged Nosie as he walked up to them. “I know her!” she said, pointing at the butterfly, which was now flying around their heads. The pixie sniffed and shrugged. “Pinkie Pester is how I call her…” grumbling softly. Elle raised her eyebrows. The butterfly laughed in her tiny highpitched voice. “Nosie is a little jealous of Pinkie. Pinkie knows more than he…” Nosie glared at the butterfly and swiped his hand towards her. Pinkie just flew a little higher. “Pinkie knows you are looking for the Bare Trees, trees like my home tree here.” She fluttered around the Butterfly Tree for a moment. “We butterflies know all, we just forget we do sometimes.” Another highpitched laugh. For a moment the butterflies which covered the tree were moving their wings all at once and a little faster than before. It made the tree look like it moved, swaying in the wind.  “Walk among the flowers, they say. Listen to Pinkie now, walk among the flowers!”

And with that cryptic message, the pink butterfly was off again, fluttering away on the wind. The butterflies on the tree seemed to calm down again and Nosie and Elle walked out of the grove, in search of flowers.

 

8 The Hedgehog

The path took them to a small hill. As they climbed on top they saw a meadow full with flowers in front of them. “Beautiful!” Elle exclaimed again. “Yes, but so big…and not a Bare Tree in sight!” Nosie grumbled. “How will we find that blasted tree now!!!” looking all over the meadow for a clue.  “Excuse me”, a tiny voice said below them. Elle and Nosie looked to their right and saw a hedgehog.

the-hedgehog

“Oh hello there” Elle smiled. “We are looking for a tree.” The hedgehog nodded.  “Many trees here, but you are looking for special one, right? You are going to help the Gardener?” its voice hopeful as it looked between them.  The girl and the pixie both nodded. “yes, we are. We are looking for the Bare Tree with fruit.” The hedgehog moved towards the flowers. “The Headfruit Tree, yes. You have to walk among the flowers.  Take the easiest path, where flowers grow low.” Its nose pointed towards a place where the flowers grew so low it looked like a carpet. “Thank you, hedgehog! We will go and find the tree!” she called happily. This time Nosie was the one rushing after her, after tipping his hat to the hedgehog.

 

9 The Headfruit Tree (Bare Tree)

And then as the path ended into another grove, she saw the Bare Tree. Elle couldn’t believe her eyes. When she got closer she saw actual heads growing on the tree. They looked a bit like strawberries, but they had faces! And ears too! She was gawking at them with her mouth wide open. Nosie bumped into her as he finally caught up with her. “Wow, I never saw this tree before! Look!” he walked up to one of the fruits to poke at it. “Watch it!” a low, angry voice shouted at him. “You want to lose your finger, hm?!”, making biting motions with its teethless mouth. Nosie quickly stepped away from the tree. “They speak!” He seemed to be as surprised as Elle was.  They started to talk at the same time. “How can we possibly…..” “We can’t just grab…”  They looked at each other and then back at the tree again, sighing deeply.  “How can we pick one of them and return to the Gardener… I don’t see how…”  Elle mumbled softly, sounding a little defeated.  She couldn’t possibly kill a creature, not even to save the lives of many. It was unfair. She sat on the ground, Nosie sat with her and they both stared at the tree, confused and feeling intense sadness washing over them.

the-headfruit-tree

“Oi! Just cause ye can’t poke at us, don’t mean we won’t help ye!” One of the other fruits shouted at them. “Ye speak of the Gardener, what of him?” Elle and Nosie looked up. Nosie started talking. “We were told to find the Bare Tree with fruit. We need to bring the fruit to the Gardener. He’s dying and only the fruit can save him.” He stared at his feet. “But we can’t pick you from the tree and let you die….we just can’t…”  going to Elle and wrapping his arms around her. Elle had started to sob softly. She didn’t know what to do and couldn’t stand for this world to end. But she couldn’t see how to help the Gardener without hurting the fruit creatures.  The fruits suddenly seemed to all talk at once, hushing voices, a murmur on the wind. They couldn’t hear what was being said. Then a soft cough to ask their attention was made and they both turned to look at the tree again. One of the fruits spoke. “We have heard of the Gardener’s sadness and pain. It is said the world is withering as he can’t keep up with all the work. So many things to look after, so many trees infected with diseases that need healing, so many creatures needing his attention… We are prepared to meet our fate if we can help save the Gardener and this world.  We will die for it.” A shiver went through the tree, as well as through the girl and the pixie. Nosie was grimacing, happy the fruits would make such a sacrifice, but still unhappy about having to be the one to pick the fruits off the tree.

Elle seemed to stare in front of her for a while. She didn’t say anything in response. Nosie frowned and nudged her. “Elle, you have to say something!” Elle shook out of her reverie and looked at him bright eyed. Then at the tree. “I may know how to do this.” she said with a hopeful voice. “You are called headfruit, is that only because of your shape?”  she asked the tree.  “Not only because of how we look”, said the same fruit who spoke before. “We have special powers, we are good with heads.” Nosie looked confused, not understanding what they meant, but Elle’s face starting to brighten and a smile appeared on her face. “I know what we need to do! We need to find the Gardener and bring him here! It’s his head that needs fixing!” She grabbed Nosie’s arm and tried to tug him with her. “Come on, let’s find the Gardener!” Nosie still didn’t understand but scrambled after her anyways, not sure they’d know where to find the Gardener at all.

 

10 The Gardener

The flowers gave way to grass again and shortly after they reached a stretch of water with a bridge over it. On the other side they saw a group of fireflies moving over a bare stretch of land. There were a few rocks and there was a bench. When they came closer they suddenly saw a man sitting on the bench. He had a rake in his hand. He had a sad , worn look on his face. Nosie nudged Elle in her side.  ‘That’s the Gardener”, he whispered to her.  Elle sat down on the bench, next to the Gardener. “Hello, my name’s Elle.” She said with soft voice. The Gardener looked at her with a gentle smile. His face had dark shades here and there. “Hello Elle. How nice of you to visit here.” He sighed deeply, looking back in front of him, staring at nothing. “You will have seen it at least once before….” His voice broke. He shook his head, deep sadness pulling his shoulders down. He seemed a defeated man.

elle-and-the-gardener

“I’m sorry to hear you are not feeling well.” Nosie said, moving forward, wanting to place a hand on the Gardener’s shoulder, but hesitating, unsure if he could approach or not. The Gardener was unaware, staring at the ground now. “It’s just…too much…I can’t work it all out anymore. So many dangers, from so many sides.  There’s sickness and disease spreading and I can’t stop it all.” Overwhelmed with emotion, his eyes starting to water. Elle bit her lip and then patted the Gardener’s knee. “We are here to help you. We are going to take you to the Headfruit Tree and if we are lucky, they’ll help you heal”, she told him with a face that showed worry.

The Gardener looked up in surprise. “The Headfruit Tree? The lovely little red fruits?”  He scratched between the few hairs on his head and leaned heavily on the rake to get up from the bench. He had been sitting there for quite some time. “I do not know what they can do, but it will be nice to see the little ones again. It has been a while.”  Elle and Nosie supported him on either side as they slowly made their way back to Bare Tree.

When they arrived the girl and the pixie directed the Gardener towards the tree, taking his rake away so he could touch it with both hands. Then they moved away a bit and sat down on the ground, staring hopefully at the scene before them.  Soon as the Gardener put his hands on the tree all the fruits started to murmur again. He rested his hand against the bark and a low murmer was heard in reply. This went on for quite a while.  During this time Elle and Nosie saw the Gardener straightening up a little, shoulders moving upwards, arms holding the tree tighter.

Then suddenly he let go and turned around, a big smile on his face. His eyes shining with hope and determination. “It will be alright! We will be saved!” He danced around the tree, happy and energetically. “I couldn’t see it because I was so wrapped up in seeing troubles ahead. But the solution is simple. I don’t have to do it alone. I need to work on getting everyone to help. Each little creature and each tree in this world can do something that will keep the diseases from spreading. Together we can save our forest!” Elle and Nosie jumped up and ran towards him, dancing around the tree as well, yelling loudly that all would be well.  The creatures of the forest started to gather around them, hearing the joyful shouting from afar. The butterflies, the fireflies, the critters, the fairies, the spirits. They all gathered at the grove and joined in with the happy dancing and shouting. After a long time and lots of plans made and tasks distributed, Nosie and Elle fell down to the ground, exhausted but oh so very happy.

The Gardener looked at them with a big smile on his face. “Thank you Elle and Nosie. You have been and always will be the true Keepers of the Forest. Now go back and get some sleep.” He picked up the rake from the ground and guided her back to the big mushrooms.  “There you are again, little girl!” The biggest mushroom smiled at her. “Time for you to go back to your room, isn’t it?” She nodded and  felt her eyes grow so heavy she couldn’t keep them open again. She knew what was happening and that she’d fall asleep and wake up in her bedroom, outside the painting again.  “I love the forest beyond.” She murmured as she drifted away  into the darkness again.

 

11 Your Story!!

 

Not all the creatures and trees or scenes have been included in the story of the Little Girl and the Forest Beyond. The ones that have are certain to have unmentioned stories to their lives yet!

If you like writing stories yourself, you are hereby invited to use the installation for inspiration!

Write a story, a poem, a song about any of the things in the Forest Beyond and send them to Ceakay Ballyhoo,

either by notecard or through mail (ceakayballyhoo@gmail.com)

 

The best story will be worth 500 Lindens!  Final date for submitting will be 12 February 2017

Spilling JueL Tones

suzen-juel-spilling_001

Fancy being embraced by warm colours? Would you like to wander around in someone’s mind? Then LEA4 is the sim to be! Until the end of February 2017 you will be able to roam in Suzen JueL’s world.  Inspired by her music she has designed this world where the environment fits perfectly with the  colourful paintings and little characters she has created. The experience was even more enhanced for me when she told me how one of her songs particularly inspired the build and I started listening to it while roaming around. (“Caravan“). Highly recommendable!

The bubble at the entry point is a wonderful way to float around, especially as builds and art are high up as well as on ground level.

Well worth spending a bit of your inworld time at this place. Or even to sit down at one of the many cosy spots around and just take it all in, relax and enjoy the warmth.

you-can-stay-in-my-caravan-spilling-juel-tones
Caravan

LM to LEA4-Spilling JueL Tones

Suzen JueL’s Marketplace (where you can buy the art of the installation)

Suzen JueL on FB

For a longer post about this installation, with an interview and lovely pictures by my talented Friend Owl Dragonash, click here: Through Owl’s Eyes

 Last Story Tour of the Little Girl on a Watercolour Wander.

Story Tour 28 December.png

Join us on Wednesday 28 December at 1 PM SLT for the third and last tour of the sim.

Caledonia Skytower, known from the Seanchai Library, will read ‘The Little Girl on a Watercolour Wander’ in voice while you walk the same path the girl is following in the story.

Feel free to share and invite others to the tour.

A Watercolour Wander (SLurl)

The Little Girl on A Watercolour Wander (Story)

If you have not seen the sim yet, but can’t make it to the tour, drop by any time you can.

The sim will close on the 31st of December.