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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Fortune: Epilogue 
25th-Jul-2009 08:00 pm

Made for Blogathon auction with designer's permission, this shawl is handknitted and hand dyed by Andrea O'Sullivan of Natural Obsessions and is inspired by the stories about the dryad who wanted to be a mermaid.

This handknitted lace shawl is made out of hand-dyed 50/50 Merino Wool/Silk blend laceweight yarn with rootbeer brown colored beads. Finished shawl will measure approximately 82 inches wide and be blocked to open up the lace fully. This shawl should only be hand washed and laid flat to dry, but Andrea also offers lifetime blocking for the cost of postage only.

Click here to bid!


"Your fortune is told," she says. "But I can tell you one more thing. I can tell you what happens; I can tell you her future."

"Yes," you reply simply.

She gives her dented copper bowl a gentle shake; coins rattle within, and the faint rustle of paper money. "For a price."

The fortune-teller smiles as you place the money in her bowl. She looks fondly after the serpent-girl. “She never asked, you know,” she muses. “Most of them ask. She never did. I think she never quite believed she’d have a future to be told.

“This is what happens to Susan.

“They drive all the way across the country, her and the sphinx and the gryphon and the mermaid. Susan has a truck full of maps, and they take all the back ways. When she takes days off from driving, she paints the trailers - dark blue over garish reds and yellows. She uses the Ringmaster’s money sparingly, but well, buying cushions for her beloved beasts, small things to make their long journey easier. When she drives, she rolls the windows down; the wind tangles her hair, but it’s worth it for the feel of freedom. Melantha the sphinx tsks at her as she brushes out the knots, but she likes brushing Susan’s hair, and Susan knows it. It becomes a nightly ritual - the caravan stops, Galen hunts, and they eat around a campfire while Melantha brushes Susan’s hair out and tells her all of the stories the mermaid told her that day, which she has already told to a fascinated Galen.

“They reach the Everglades. The mermaid weeps for joy when she returns to her estuary, but also for sorrow; she still cannot speak to her sisters, the mangrove-nymphs. So Susan turns herself to the study of magic. She kept all of the Ringmaster’s books, you see, fearing what would happen if they fell into the wrong hands. So Susan studies as Melantha and Galen adapt the trailers, turning them into a sturdy and serviceable little house. Susan experiments, and soon she is able to turn the mermaid back into a mangrove-nymph - and from that, back to a mermaid, at will. She gives her back the language of the trees, and she gives her the language of humans, as well. And she gives her the ability to change herself. The mermaid spends her days in the deep ocean, her nights as a tree - her evenings, at Susan’s hearth-fire with her dear friends.

“Susan causes a stir the first time she arrives in town with a dead gator slung over her shoulders, but the townsfolk soon grow accustomed to her - this strange woman who wears trousers and long-sleeved shirts even in the heat of summer, toting around gators like they were nothing. She sells the meat to restaurants, sells the skins, and soon she has enough money for an airboat. She skims around the Everglades, skillful and wild, hunting down unusual plants for her experiments and bringing in gators for the bounty.

“One day, in town, she’s caught singing to herself. A talent scout hears her and makes her record a song. She acquiesces, and the song is a hit - but she won’t record any more, won’t leave the Everglades, won’t even give the man a last name and address. The song and the mystery of the singer become a folk-music legend.

“Susan lives and loves for decades more. She never stops dancing. She curls up every night with Melantha and the mermaid, cooks and serves up Galen’s kills for dinner, sings after. She is a friend to the mermaids, to the trees, and especially to the animals the gators had been eating.

“And, in this way, Susan grows old.

“The end comes suddenly; no painful lingering. Her body just up and gives out on her, at about the age of ninety. Melantha and Galen curl up, make a cradle of sorts, and that’s how she spends her last days and nights - resting between her sphinx and her gryphon, holding her mermaid’s hand. They hold her, her beloved immortals; they hold her until she slowly, finally, breathes her last, a small smile on her face.”

The fortune-teller spreads her hands. “And that is what becomes of her. A long and happy life, lived on her own terms. She has freed herself today, and free she shall remain, forever.

“The mermaid’s revenge upon the witch and prince? The future of the gryphon and the sphinx? Those are other stories. And I must be on my way.”

She gives you a slight bow, eyes sparkling. “I wish you good fortune.”



Yes, the epilogue is mostly about Susan the serpent-girl - but the shawl reminds me of the mermaid's new ability to shift from dryad to mermaid. To be both.

Team Venture is collecting cracked-out writing prompts in a ViolentBelle hat. And Elayna's fedora.

Also? Team Venture is quoting Shakespeare inappropriately.

zarhooie is posting pics from around my house. So if you ever wondered what my house was like, check that out. Kat says: "'Song's house is an adventure. Everywhere you look is something unexpected: a kitty, random little figurines and things on the shelves. I love just sitting in the living room and being surprised by $THING that I never noticed the previous 10 times I've been sitting in this exact spot, looking at the same bookshelves."

We are all full of chili, garlic smashed potatoes, and beer bread.

Kat: *sings "When I Am King"*
Me: *spins in swirly skirt*
Kat: "I can totally see your underwear."
Me: "I like my underwear."
Kat: "They are not bad. I just wanted to tell you you were showing them to the classroom. This is a classroom now."
Thia: "What are we learning?"

nevacaruso actually wrote TARDIS/suit fanfic for Kat.

Question answered!

When is it appropriate to say "victim" versus "survivor"?

I would default to "survivor"; people are rarely offended by that, but "victim" is... unfortunate language with a message I don't think you want to send.

Some people self-identify as "victim" rather than "survivor"; if that's how they choose to self-identify, I guess call them that? But I'd says use "survivor" first and continue unless corrected. Thoughts?
26th-Jul-2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Yayyyyy!!!! And Awwwwwww! *blither*
26th-Jul-2009 12:10 am (UTC)
I love it! And I so can never afford it. *laugh*
26th-Jul-2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Heh That seems to be an issue many people are dealing with. I never meant to torture anyone! Well ... not much.
26th-Jul-2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Susan was fortunate to have you as an Author. They all were, but her most.
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