The Fae Ball (draft)

draft about a nonbinary Cinderella-character aiming to bolster its prospects―and a greeter aiming to keep his own.

vod link.

alright, everybody, we are live! i wish i’d gotten to stream more this month, but my work schedule was extra weird this month due to many things. we’re down a chef, and one of our cafe workers can’t work longer than 4 hours at the moment, so we’re all scrambling to fill in those holes. but i’m happy to be streaming today!

we have a super exciting battle going on right now. 4000 words! our largest word count monster yet! we’ve got 16 hours and change to defeat it, but we will definitely be done before then.

and if we finish it with energy to spare, we’ll move on to some smaller battles, including a couple creatures we need to fight for 4theWords’ rive festival! they just released the river fest today, so that’ll be fun. if you’d like to try out 4theWords for yourself, it’s a writing game where you write words to obtain RPG-style loot, including cosmetics.  I’ve got a referral code in my twitch about section (SMWGE07249 for those reading the stream doc).

i’ve also received a preview copy? thing of a game i backed on kickstarter a while back: Token! it’s a two player game where one person plays a seeker and another person plays a monster. it’s inspired by fairy tales. it captured my adoration immediately. sadly, it doesn’t seem to be available for pre-orders, but i can at least link to the game creator’s twitter account. maybe there’s pre-ordering options there.

in particular, one of its pre-generated scenarios, The Ball, written by Mags Maenad has provided oodles of ideas.  So that’s what i intend to work on this evening!

so the basic idea of The Ball is a cinderella-inspired seeker called the Debutante has “accepted” an invitation to the titular ball, hoping to hook up with someone who can help them escape poverty and their abusive family.

oh! so Maenad has listed content warnings for this scenario to be: prejudice, romantic/sexual relationships, power/class imbalance. so i will list those here for y’all. we’re definitely gonna touch on power / class imbalances. idk about the rest of those yet.

i always feel bad that i can’t really provide super detailed content warnings going into a steam. especially for new projects. cuz i don’t want people walking in on anything that would upset them (in a way they don’t consent to being upset. obviously, i know that not every story is a happy story). unfortunately, even i don’t know necessarily how a story will end up developing on stream. i do my best to avoid very obvious triggers though + to add triggers to stream docs afterwards.

{ignore the very abrupt cut back to the scenario haha.}

and the monster of The Ball is the Dilettante.  Someone who is trying to lure humans into service / victimhood / etc (gotta reread the scenario real quick). okay so they lure humans to the fae in order to maintain their youth. tale as old as time!

additionally, Maenad provided various skills and powers for both the deb and dil, and additional threats and features for the ball itself!

(just sending the stream promo tweet to interested parties.)

alright, i am back. thank you for bearing with me.

so i’ve done some note-taking beforehand.

i’ve decided to name the debutant Thrilling Deboron. and the dilettante Derek Thomas.

there’s also gonna be another character, a fae, who lures socialites into eating enchanted food. that’s how they ensnare people for the fae. and one of this character’s ways of doing that is promising that it won’t ruin their diets, and that their parents won’t be able to tell that they’ve eaten anything.

(all these characters will be adults, but parents don’t stop controlling you after you turn 18.)

the idea is that those characters are starved by their parents in order to prevent them from becoming fat.

so there’s going to be fatphobia, diet culture, food insecurity, and likely eating disorders in this story as well.

i’ve been reading a lot of threads on fatphobia and resultant parental abuse lately. and one of the location attributes Maenad provides for the ball happens to be a fairy feast, and this was the first thing that came to mind.

and one of the things the debutante has to contend with is that “everyone else here is hungry because they’re on a diet. thrilling is hungry because their parents refuse to give them food.” as part of the class differences. i’m sure there are lower class parents who also make their children diet, but from what i’ve seen being a lower-middle class person myself, diet culture is generally a mid-middle / upper-middle / upper class thing. cuz these diets often are expensive, and they’re not designed to feed families. you need money to be able to be picky about your food. it’s one of the subjects that food security advocates bring up. the expense of healthy food versus junk food. and food deserts may not have healthy food available even if you do have the money. and a trip to wherever you’re buying food from is a very different set of costs than moving away from food deserts. and really, moving away shouldn’t have to be the solution. the solution should be to make better food available to these places.

if you want people to make healthy choices, you need to make healthy choices available to them.

and just so we’re clear, fat does not equal unhealthy. and even if it did, that’s not of your business.

thin does not equal healthy.

all bodies are built differently. and everybody should be allowed control over their body, what goes into it, what goes on it, and what’s attached to it.

alrighty i believe we are ready to get writing!

[post stream add in: just in case i wasn’t clear on stream, poor people can absolutely be fatphobic. It’s just that the starving-your-children manifestation of fatphobia usually is found more often in middle and upper class parents. especially mothers, specifically; at least from what i’ve seen.]

At the last minute, Thrilling plucked a brooch from its sister’s vanity.  It tarried only for as long as it took to fit the brooch firmly in place by its shoulder.  Thrilling hoped the last minute accessory would help it get noticed.

Thrilling fluffed out its hair until it seemed stylishly unkempt rather than unintentionally so.  It was about to rush off to the ball.

1) fluff out hair.

2) belt in place.

3) roll in sleeves? not wearing clothes made for it.

4) pick up brooch at the last minute.

Thrilling rolled up the cuffs of its pants.  None of the clothes in this house were inteded for it.  The sleeves would pass as intentional, flaring mittens; but leaving the pants as is would give it away for sure.  Thrilling hoped it wouldn’t be as obvious with the quick adjustments.

Thrilling wondered whether to tighten its belt or not.  Would a twinkish figure strike the ballgoers’ more or a straight one?

It decided to tighten the belt.

Once Thrilling was satisfied with its clothes, it ran its sister’s brush through its hair for a final [few more times] set.  Thrilling didn’t dare throw any product in it.  Its family would be there, and they would recognize the scent immediately.  Thankfully, Thrilling’s hair was short enough to stay out of its eyes where it belonged.

It was about to rush out the door when something glinting caught its eye.  A silver crescent moon protecting a golden star.

Its grandparent’s brooch!

Thrilling was burnt out from previous betrayals.  Of course, its family had lied about it being lost.

Thrilling tucked it by its shoulder, where it felt it’d be safest.  It didn’t want to lose the brooch again.  It was worth the risk of being recognized.

The clock struck nine.  Nine tolls of gloom.

Thrilling rushed out the door.

[Derek Thomas was in no rush.  Socialites never arrived on time.]  Derek Thomas triple-checked his guyliner and lipstick: both black.  Not out of meticulousness, but out of any excuse to delay going downstairs.  It was his turn to play greeter tonight, and he was in no rush to get to it.

His guyliner gave his eyes a foxy curl, and his lipstick subtly glittered.  The more entertaining he was by his mere appearance, the less he had to entertain through his actions.

[i left for one minute to help my family order dinner, and my computer decided to turn off!]

[“my computer’s not that bad!” three hours later. “oh that’s right, my computer’s a piece of shit!”]

[also, i would greatly appreciate extra hydrates today. it is hot tonight, and i will definitely forget.]

[just pouring myself another drink.]

To further dally here, Derek watched the light ballet across the gems of his hands and wrists.  They were raised all throughout his fae body.  Sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and onyx.  He donned his human form without a breath of strain.  He left the gems out on gloves that extended up to his shoulders.  His vest groped his body.  A sleeveless slip of a thing that would appear liable to release his muscles at any moment.  [It held a cosmic tie that would lead excitable guests to more of his exciting features.]

[As for lower coverings, he went i want a word like capris but fancy.]

[As for lower coverings, it was eight o’clock, yet the sun refused to leave.  So he went with pants that suctioned to his leg mid-calf.]

[fuck it we’re going with a skirt!]

As for lower coverings, it was nearly nine o’clock, yet the sun was only just now beginning to leave.  [It was a guest almost as unwelcome as the socialites.  It was liable to be hot for hours more.  If anybody went out into the gardens, Derek would burst into flames.]  Derek hating working summer balls.  He tried more traditional ballroom styles, harem pants and capris; the latter fancied up with fine fabrics and tailoring.  He tried so many styles and colors that finally, he said “fuck it” and went with a long skirt.  He gave it a summery shimmer and bold, billowing flowers.  Finally, he gave himself good shoes for dancing and prowling, and if it came to that, hunting.

A whole outfit imagines, reimagined, crafted, and fitted in the space of ten minutes.

“Contract work” did have its benefits, he supposed.

“Ready, Derek?” called a jovial voice that only left bitterness on Derek’s tongue.

“Yes, yes, I’m coming,” he replied.  He groaned at the time, pursed his lips to [give his makeup a final check] inspect his lipstick, and departed the relative sanctuary of his dressing room.

[we have less than 2000 more words to go, everybody! i’m excited!]

[oh jesus christ it took us two hours to write the other 2000. 4thewords has a “time spent on file” function, but it doesn’t work very well, so it’s always a surprise when i see the stream time on twitch or melon.]

[and like i said, it’s also hot, so i’m sure my computer’s not happy with that. but frankly, it should be unhappy. suffer, you asshole! XD.]

[and obviously, if i’m suffering, my characters need to suffer too.]

[shit i don’t have the next step.]

[also i never identified the voice. i figured it could be the feast entrapment character. i guess it doesn’t really matter. or rather, i can decide if it matters later.]

[actually, while we’re here…]

“Mister Thomas, you’ve eight minutes to move yourself into position,” the voice of one of his bosses rang loud and clear beyond the door.  Born Fae were timely for a reason.  The magic of the ball, which included their disguises, only lasted so long.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” he replied, perfectly plaintive and placating. “I’m simply checking my makeup.”  He pursed his lips to make a show of inspecting his lipstick.  [Closed doors didn’t mean nobody was watching.]  An impatient superior could easily shatter the relative sanctuary of his dressing room on a whim.  [And closed doors didn’t mean he was alone.]  And closed doors didn’t mean he wasn’t being watched.  A Made Fae didn’t have access to their Fae senses in their disguises.

“Your face goop is fine. Go.” As if the dread in Derek’s heart manifested the very thing he’d been dreading, the coats on the rack behind him flew off their hangers and swept him out the door.

The Born Fae pointedly “allowed” Derek to lead the way.  Derek felt more like how the guests ought to feel.

[brb. the fae have absconded with a set of car keys, and they may be trying to pin it on me.]

[they were trying to blame me! those bastards!]

[alright less than 1500 words to go! this is definitely less than the phoenix and unicorns we were fighting last time. total anyway. not individually.]

[the time before that, apparently.]

[i still got nothing for directly after this scene.]

[it’s like the going through a door effect, but for writing. if you’re not aware, you can forget what you’re doing when you walk out / through a door because your mind has compartmentalized whatever you’re trying to remember in that other room.  that’s why you can go to another room and completely forget why you went there.]

[i guess we should skip ahead to the fairy feast??? since that’s what i got already. we’ve already warned for it, might as well do it.]

“So your parents are starving you too!”

Thrilling turned around.  A hunk was leering at it from behind a table.  She was smartly dressed, yet doing nothing to hide her trophy muscles.  One of the staff then.

“You poor thing. Prisons make no one beautiful,” she said. “My food is magical, you see.  It won’t affect your weight or anything else about your body, it only satisfies your needs.  It won’t even alter your breath!  Your mother will never find out!” She gestured at the shrimp, stuffed little peppers, kabobs, bacon-wrapped scallops, deviled eggs, and buns slathered in some sort of fruity glaze.  It was more food than Thrilling had been allowed to even look at all week.

And it was all free!

“I’m afraid Mx Deboron and I have already made more private dining arrangements,” said the guy from the door.  Eric or something?  Thrilling didn’t care.  It was about to rip off his head and eat that for denying it food that was right there!  But Merrick or whatever had already sucked it up into his embrace, and it’d spotted Kimmy out the corner of its eye.  It was too risky to cause a scene here.

So Thrilling went along, boiling behind a smile.

And, as Thrilling watched the hunk appraise it like a slab of meat, it decided that maybe hanging around the table attendant wasn’t such a good idea after all.

“Ah, you’re tonight’s guest of honor, I see,” the hunk grinned. “Well, a happy night to you then. And to the host!  If you tire of your entertainment, do come back.  My table never runs out of room.”

“I’m sure it won’t,” Derick said.  Thrilling had no idea if he was referring to itself or the table.

[that’s an intentional mispelling by the way. i’m sure derek will be a gentleman and reintroduce himself.]

[less than 800 words!! whoo! the end is near!]

[Be our guest, be our guest!]

[Put our service to the test!]

[Let the Fae sweep you away, my dear, to your eternal rest!]

[i should write my own beauty and the beast some time. that sounds great! getting a kind, willing-to-learn-and-grow person out of hell town and into a sanctuary of books and magic. fuck yeah! and a giant, hunky, fluffy friend to protect you from your asshole stalker! whoo! that’s the dream, baby!]

[every last inch of me’s covered in gay!!!!!!!!]

[4000 words is too damn long. almost got it! almost there!]


[apparently there’s a video of book recs for fans of spongebob squarepants. fuck yeah, i’m gonna watch that after this! or sometime… eventually XD.]

[alright fuck it, PT scary game squad. let’s go!]

[i am astounded that youtube added a clip feature. because corporations never steal from each other all the time. never ever! has anyone made clips on youtube?]

[i need to make more clips for my stuff. i always mean to, but time passes. energy doesn’t happen. and then suddenly the video is no longer around. at least on twitch.]

[i swear this witch is mocking me.]

[can you imagine how chaotic it would be to do a word count battle and an endurance battle at the same time? that would suck XD. or it’d be really fun. or torture! but mostly torture.]

[less than 500 words to go!!! ahhhhhhhhh we’re so close!]

[i don’t wanna take a break now cuz once this witch is done, we’re done. i am not even pretending to be interested in writing more tonight.]

[scary game videos are so much more fun when i’m not watching them. i was freaking out when someone was just chasing miktastic the other night. i forget what term ze and divinevulpes used, but basically, this particular killer focused on one person at a time. they were on miktastic’s ass again and again!]

[and here i was worried this story would become a novel if i wasn’t careful.]

[nothing against novelists of course. my best friends are novelists, you know! i just don’t support their lifestyle. XD. novelists shouldn’t push themselves in my face! and they definitely shouldn’t be allowed around children.  we can’t teach children about novelists, they might become novelists themselves!]

[you’re a poet? so are you a writer or a normal person! you can’t be both!]

[so that metaphor broke down. like i have. but that’s okay cuz writing is writing. even when it’s bad writing. or just very Done With This Shit writing.]

[less than 250 words left. i got this!!!!]

[oh my fucking god i have over 200 words left.]

[and we absolutely can’t let novelists use public restrooms!!!]

[alright so that was a joke, but i definitely wouldn’t trust That Writer Who Reacts Poorly To Trans People Saying Things About Her in the same bathroom as me.  hell, don’t even let her in a different bathroom than me. i used to say i would only use the men’s restroom if i became undeniably manly-looking because men’s bathrooms smell like shit, but actually the men’s bathroom at my workplace is actually kinda rad. the flush lever thing works. it smells nice. like how yankee candle thinks its linen and laundry candles smell (laundry-scented candles suck!) well, it’s not so much that it smells nice that it’s easier to breathe in there?]

[so whoever the fuck makes it so you can smell other mens’ bathrooms from across the hallway, if y’all could stop doing that by the time i start T, i would greatly appreciate it.  And start doing it to women’s restrooms.  cuz That Writer Who Reacts Poorly To Trans People Saying Things About Her would absolutely hate that!]

[oh my fucking god we’re done! hooray! we’re gonna raid someone! thanks for being here, everybody! i will get the stream doc up shortly!]


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