From dailyprompt and Stranded World.
It had the feel of an optical illusion, this party. People moved around in that way that they do, chatting, sliding from grouping to grouping, finger foods to drinks to bathroom to the best jokes. They moved as if everything was normal.
Autumn, in the center of the party through no volition of her own, tried to mimic their movements, tried to ignore the niggling feeling that she didn’t belong here. Of all her siblings, why did it have to be her? Summer was an actress; she could fake this better. Spring, Spring loved being in the middle of the hoity-toity, the rich, the well-bred. And Winter was implacable. But here she was, Autumn, the gypsy artist, the vagabond with the wind-blown hair, trying to pretend she belonged.
She’d been invited, of course, or she probably wouldn’t have made it through the front door. Her younger sisters had consulted on her outfit, and she looked as if her dress, at least belonged. Since the dress looked like it belonged to her, the illusion seemed to pass: this dress passes muster, thus its wearer must as well. And she’d kept the ink to a bare minimum for the occasion.
All of that, and she’d still expected to be awkward, unhappy, and uncomfortable. She hadn’t expected, quite, to be invisible, but that was how she found herself, passed over by dozens of people who, it seemed, all knew each other. It galled a bit, enough that she took a quick five minutes in the bathroom to scrub off the nothing strange to see here she’d drawn over her heart.
That didn’t seem to do it – and, as she circled the room again, Autumn realized there was something else going on, something beyond her own class-conscious insecurities. The guests weren’t just ignoring her. They were milling, walking around the room like everything was normal, but there was something in the center of the room that they were just ignoring. She, she realized, was ignoring it as well; no matter how hard she peered, she couldn’t quite see it. It was like the old saw about addiction being an elephant in the middle of the living room: Everyone moved around it, but nobody mentioned it.
But it didn’t seem like anyone could even see the elephant (or maybe they could, and she was just not a part enough of their crowd).
prompt: “can you not see the elephant?”
Not really done, but a fun intro
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/47745.html. You can comment here or there.
Yes, a fun intro! I now really want description of the elephant, possibly more than one to compare… I really like this setting.
Now I’ll have to figure out what it is 😀
*grins* And I think it was very realistic for Autumn to be thrown by the social situation so as to miss what was going on. I assume her particular talents are needed here.
Yeah, that hit close to home.
*nods* So you should totally write her triumphing over it!
Ooh, brilliant idea!
Yay, brainstorming! *cough*I’mgoodatthat*cough* Kynthul coughs too! Icon squee!
You haz icon!!
I do! It is Kynthul coughing, and looking a bit sad.
Why is zie coughing?
Kynthul is the 1100 year old dragon who occasionally has coughing fits, but also coughs when she wants to make a point, or make other dragons do as she says because she is old and has seniority, or when she wants a chance to think. She’s clever like that, and does not suffer fools gladly. She was sort of in charge of the interview…
Ah, that one! Sorry, bad with names!
It’s OK, you haven’t read it in a while. Kynthul rocks. She manipulates other dragons, and is a force to be reckoned with at a Board meeting.
In my free time, I need to re-read the whole thing.
Well, if your free time piles up in the fall, I should be done with the rough draft, have taken a month or two away from it, and hopefully then taken time to edit. Which means you could read all of it at once.
Autumn into winter is slowest, Giant Blanket of Doom nonwithstanding. (and nano)
Hrm, given that I have said I will try NaNo myself, this may take longer. A ready-for-others-to-read second draft may arrive at your inbox around Christmas… Happy Holidays?