I hadn't been in the yard five minutes when it burst into flame. Near as I can tell, from my perspective a day later, everything went up. Trains, rail cars, tracks, signposts, outbuildings--everything radiating a bright phosphorescent glow.
Color Me Chaos is closing. On January 23rd, they close their doors forever.
(The skin, alas, is not part of the Spring Jester outfit, it is from Sin Skins' Etheria line, the skin called Epimelia in green & orange. But everything else is, save for the hair, which is Curio's Hera in Dark Green. I'm honestly not sure if either of these offerings are still on offer.)
I can't say I saw this coming. I had no reason to see this coming. I radioed the main dispatchers on duty and asked, even, and there was no conceivable reason the recent changes to the yard would cause spontaneous combustion.
There's a variety of reasons why--lack of inspiration is chief, but also, the changes on the grid and the death, for many of us who create, of XStreet off the grid. In two days, Miss Ona Stenvaag and Mr. Haydn Bellic will close their doors, indefinitely.
(The Autumn Jester; skin from FallnAngel Designs and hair from Launa Fauna.)
I admit to being more than slightly taken aback. Partially because I thought I was done and past done talking about the train wreck, and partially because I thought I'd long since managed to resolve all those pesky issues that led to the napalm, rinse, repeat.
This was somewhat startling to me, I have to say.
She doesn't know if she's coming back. She doesn't know if she has the heart for it. I know she is having a grand deal of fun going through her inventory and finding things she'd forgotten she made to toss out on the cluttered floor.
I also know that at this point, everything is at least half the price it was, some things more. She's made skins, tattoos, outfits, hunt skins (clothing layers, hair, all in one, for avatars who come in at one slim and beautiful ARC), holiday outfits, steampunk outfits, furniture, and poses--and maybe more that I don't know besides. I know she has one build, the Dreambox, available outside her main store; there was a teleport I saw that mentioned buildings, plural, so she may have more.
(The hair is from FallnAngel Designs, the Lemanuel in Blood; the skin is Sin Skin's Cursed Ruby Glow in Whisp.)
For rather longer than I should have, I just stood on the overlook above the yard, watching. I watched as metal slagged and twisted, repair rivets popped, water flashed to steam in instants and merry fire danced, white-hot, everywhere I looked. It was akin to slicing a sharp-as-thought blade across my finger, and having that moment of pause, watching the blood well, before my body even thinks to hurt over the wounding.
She did make all five of the Jester outfits--the monochrome Winter and the sunshine Summer, that I don't own, and the Spring, Autumn and Royal versions that I do, depicted in this entry--with resizing scripts. I tend to loathe resizing scripts these days but, because all my humanoid shapes are close with certain parameters, I am able to fit both sections of the boots and the skirt with no real issues. And there is a handy "delete" button in the drop-down menu that then fixes the items in place; no fuss, no muss, no further lag.
(The Lorelei outfit--what you don't notice here is that hair and skirt use animated textures. There are two varieties of hair--on the small pic is the secondary hair she created, the larger pic has the "non-wild" version. They're both intriguing, though I'm more wild about the fact that skin and eyes come with, and that the gloves included are comprised of dark aged blood spots along the arms and hands.)
Shock, surprise, confusion--I had them all, watching. And that moment of further reflection, as with all my reflections now: because I know the yard and the railcars, the tracks and the engines, they're all metaphors. My way of coming to terms with what I feel and how, with how I feel for who, with stating without stating names and places and exact locations. Of being seen without being seen.
I know this. I know the truth of this. And still, I watched as my heart burned, with nary a thought of self-preservation...at first.
She has casual outfits, Victorian outfits, and three levels that she and her partner have populated with frenetic oddity. I've been charmed by her store for many months now, but alas, she's just not making enough these days to justify the expense of the place. More's the pity; she and her love had a genuinely unique flair.
(Inside the Dreambox.)
Several hours later, hands of hours of conversation, of discussion methods and repercussions on all sides, and I was no closer to understanding much of anything but--one sole thing: I will not be pushed. That one would rather I reconsider a decision; well, I'd rather the whole yard burn and I rebuild from scratch than reconsider that one thing.
Because that one thing is too much. That one thing I will not budge on. That one thing I will let the landscape burn rather than retreat and replay.
I actually argued with myself on buying this one, while I was wandering her store today. Do I really need yet another skybox? But this is just a charming bit of magic in prim form. I adore the shading on the inside, I adore the yellow-green patterns on the bricks that make up the outside, and it even has a scripted door! It's small, but perfect for a meditation cushion, or a small lounge, just a simple getaway spot to soothe the jangled nerves.
So of course I had to do the entire photo shoot for this entry in the thing; because I had to show it off, too.
Because that one thing would change everything else. That one thing would bring back all the halting, painful progress, point to agonizing point; the metal buckled, the engine on fire, on all of its journeying. That one thing would bring back the barbed wire around the broken heart, the walls around the cages, and I will not return to those days. I fought through several hells to get here; and I will not leave, having tasted sweet water and breathed air free of ash.
I will not. I will not. I. Will. Not.
Do drop by if you can, before the 23rd is over? Creativity should be encouraged, and who knows? With enough encouragement, when she has time to rest and reflect, she could return!
Even if she doesn't, stop in and appreciate what they did, while they were here. Tip the hat and move on; find something if you care to. One more thing vanishing, of originality and grace; the least we can do is recognize that it exists before it's gone.