The Lady dances alone in the grove, a sad little waltz with a thick sheaf of papers held out in lieu of a proper partner. Her lips smile gently, but her eyes are sad. A few pages fall, and you can just glimpse that they are public letters, signed “Doctor Darien Mason, in exile”, before they blow away.
She sits down on the grass, the dark skirts of her nightdress billowing around her, produces quill and inkpot from nowhere, and begins to write rather ramblingly on the back of the partner-pages:
I dreamt of waltzing with Darien and with Bloodwing… dreamt we were at the party yesterday bidding goodbye to the Caledon Regency Hospital that the good Doctor created, sharing secret smiles that they’d been allowed back into SLife. Dreamt that Qlippothic was there dancing too, flirtingly steam-scalding some dapper gentleman. In truth, none of us could attend: I because I was required elsewhere, and they because they’ve been banished from this world.
Darien and Bloodwing and Qlippothic inspired me with fun and kindness, years ago, when I was so low in spirit, waiting for Death to just come and take me. In thanks to their loving attention, I found new life and even found the courage to walk in the light of the sun. A metaphorical injection of reanimation serum, passed through friends’ hands, and smiles, and kind words. And now they’re gone. I wish so much I’d made more time to spend time with them when they were still inworld. Now it’s too late, and I find myself actually missing the stinks of reanimation fluid and engine oil and sulfur.
I can still smile for them, at hope for their happiness in other worlds, at the opportunity to read of their adventures… but at this moment, it’s not quite enough, not the same as seeing the smile in my friends’ eyes.
The Lady makes a gesture towards what must be the phonographe… and the music shifts from a mournful waltz to a passionate tekno paeon. She starts dancing hard, furiously tearing up the grass and moss beneath her feet. She screams along with the music, and you can see why they also call her The Banshee. You wisely back away.