excerpt of nano day 3: and, liminal space are a necessary thing
so, this is like 1200 words of today's nanowrimo word count that's just complete nattering about liminal space and how the denizens of the venery move between our world and theirs, and it's just freakin' complicated, yo.
the image is grey using a pocket-globe to find one of the venery gates.
eventually, there'll actually be story and characters? maybe?
goes back to being frank herbert
Now, one of the things that is imperative to know about the Venery is that the denizens of the Venery and actual physical intrusions of the Venery are basically everywhere in the Euigilans Somnium world. There are, in fact, many of Venery denizens that choose to live amongst the people of the Euigilans Somnium for their entire lives rather than living their lives in the shadows of the Venery Courts (lucky them).
Not that their lives still aren’t influenced and meddled with by the Venery Courts, but it’s all in a much more—removed sort of way.
And, a lot of the time, they can just outright ignore what the Venery says or wants or does. There’s hell to pay if they’re caught, but there are so few who are actually caught in non-compliance as to be negligible.
Because they’re smart enough to not get caught.
(It helps that the Venery is so implacably, unwieldingly immovable and molasses-slow that, those who have chosen to live amongst the Euigilans Somnium, are lightening-bunny-quick in their own machinations.
But, yeah, we’re kind of everywhere.
You know those people who seem like there’s something just a little bit off about them? Like they move through the world in a way that’s different, like it’s water or honey? Or, time doesn’t touch them? Or, even though you know that you must be imagining it or there must be some sort of rational explanation or something, their shadows are never where you expect them to be? There are flickers and flitterings of light and dark that make no sense around them and in their living spaces and businesses?
Or, their insight speaks of ages and wisdom and knowledge and Knowledge?
They are more than likely one of us.
We like and like-to-be teachers and keep bars and libraries and coffee shops and tea houses—ya know, those wonderfully cozy spaces with the excellent tea and mouse-running-across-it strength coffee with too much sugar and strange furnishings and amazing pastries where writers and poets and musicians like to hang out and write and compose and shows local art without ripping off the artists.
We even like to sneakily keep tiny, hole-in-the-wall galleries where that amazing, unknown artist shows their work while simultaneously working at the front desk in order to pay for studio space and wall space.
We like churches—well, once upon a time (because this is a fairytale after all), we liked sacred sites, but those sites have ceased to be springs and wells and “fairy” rings and the deep, dark places in the woods and the clear oases in the deserts of the night and, instead, become synagogues and temples and churches and mosques. Not that we don’t appreciate the art and architecture of it all, but we kind of miss the haphazardness of the natural world as holy site. But, that’s neither here nor there, not really.
We like to be where the Euigilans Somnium like to congregate for reasons that the Euigilans Somnium do not completely understand themselves: places of faith and creativity and possibility.
This tendency towards these specific sort of places might explain how we move through your world. How we get from the physicality of the Euigilans Somnium to the more nebulous spaces of the Venery.
We move through liminality.
(Is there a more liminal space than creativity? Than faith?)
But, of course, it’s not as simple as just going into one of these space and places that we are drawn too—oh, ho ho ho, no—because whomever cast the spell that acts as a gate into the Venery didn’t adequately define “liminal” in the spell—or, something.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone really understands what actually happened with this spell. Because, what you’d likely expect to be the liminal places, spaces, and times that we’d slip through—places, spaces, and times like any Target, churches in Texas, abandoned 7/11s, a bedroom at 5 am, hospitals at midnight, warehouses that smell like dust, lighthouses with lights that don’t work anymore, empty parking lots, Wal-Marts on humid night, ponds and lakes in suburban neighborhoods, rooftops in the early morning, inside a dark cabinet, playgrounds at night, rest stops on highways, deep in the mountains, early in the morning wherever it’s just snowed, trails by the highway just out of earshot of traffic, schools during breaks, those little beaches right next to ferry docks, bowling alleys, unfamiliar McDonalds on long road trips, a friend’s living room once everybody else has gone to sleep, laundromats at midnight, empty galleries in art museums, the lighting section of Home Depot, stairwells anywhere, hospital waiting rooms, airports from midnight to 7am, privies in small concert venues—aren’t where we slip through.
I mean, some of these places, spaces, and times end up being slippage points for the Venery Gate but not because they’re actually liminal but, rather, because the spell decided that they were adequately liminal at that moment.
Like, an airport Tuesday morning at 3:30am—which is the most ridiculous time—might be a Venery Gate, but the next day it won’t be, the next Tuesday it won’t be. It’s that the spell itself is deciding what “liminal” is based upon a completely different set of characteristics than the rest of everyone in the history of ever.
Skirting in and out of the Venery was always a job of work—and not just because we need a literal pocket-globe to find our ways through the Euigilans Somnium to the Venery Gates or that an energy-manipulator was a requirement to opening the Gates—but because these gates are always in ridiculously inconvenient spaces and places and times. And, not just, like, geographically inconvenient, just up and up inconvenient.
The cornershop’s walk-in beer cooler.
The privy at the local noodle place.
Someone’s actual garden shed.
And, let’s just sneak into these places all while trying not to be seen/caught in the act.
Geographically inconvenient would be a freakin’ blessing—especially since the Gates don’t even have the decency to stay in one place or space or time for very long.
Okay, it’s actually really ingenious if irritating as fuck.
Apparently—at least according to the records that I could find—the idea was that liminal places in liminal times—‘Tweens in ‘Tweens—were to be the access point to the Venery—and there are legitimate ‘Tween places that show up like truck stops and hotel rooms—but the caster—
The caster did—something.
It’s like they made the spell sentient, self-aware, knowing. And, in knowing, it’s developed a sense of humor and embraced the imp of the perverse in all the ways that it can.
(Which is actually why the pocket-globes were initially a necessity; now, just traversing the intricacies and labyrinthine largeness of the Euigilans Somnium requires a pocket-globe.)
These difficulties in traveling between the Venery and the Euigilans Somnium have caused the Venery to become even more of an isolationist state, which has caused the Venery to become more and more archaic in its—well, everything.
The peculiar thing is that it’s kind of ridiculously easy to get out of the Venery. All you have to do is purposely fall sideways out of the Venery—and, sometime, not purposely—which is something that we’re actually not supposed to know about. In truth, only maestro energy-manipulators are supposed to know this, but well—let’s just say—being an apprentice Archivist means that I have a lot of time to research things that I really shouldn’t be researching.
Which has come in handy on more than one occasion.
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