... and mermaid dancing which is a little different

A Long Conversation - The Dark Artifices

This is the (super super adorable) extra short story that’s included in the hardback/paperback first editions of Lady Midnight!  In case you got LM on ebook or audiobook and are missing out, here it is! (it catches up with the rest of the TMI characters up to the point where they arrive at the LA Institute.)

Clary looked around the Institute’s music room with a tired but gratified smile.  It was a hot New York summer night, the windows were flung open, and Magnus had magicked up icicles that sparkled down from the ceiling and cooled the space.  The room was filled with people Clary loved and cared about, and in her personal opinion it looked pretty good, considering she’d had to race to find somewhere in the Institute they could hold a party on about twenty-four hours’ notice.

There was really no reason not to smile.

Two days previously, Simon had showed up at the Institute, breathless and wild-eyed.  Jace and Clary had been in the training room, checking in on the new Institute tutor, Beatriz Mendoza, and some of the Conclave students.

“Simon!” Clay had exclaimed.  “I didn’t know you were in town.”

Simon was a graduate of Shadowhunter Academy, Clary’s parabatai, and a Recruiter, a job created by the Consul to help replenish the diminished ranks of Shadowhunters.  When likely candidates for Ascension were found, Simon would talk to them about what it meant to become a Shadowhunter after a mundane life.  It was a job that often took him away from New York, which was its downside; in the plus column, Simon seemed to truly enjoy helping scared mundanes with the Sight feel like they weren’t truly alone.

Not that Simon looked like a dependable voice of reassurance at the moment.  He looked like a tornado had hit him.

“I just proposed to Isabelle,” he announced.

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Sometimes I think about Raz discovering movies

He was raised in a circus and it doesn’t seem like his family were all that well off, I can’t imagine him being able to see many films previous to the events of Psychonauts. And suddenly he’s at Psychonauts HQ with access to all these movies that he could never have dreamed of before and he just starts binging on ‘em.

His favorite that he’s found so far is the original Superman movie from the 1970s, and he was genuinely wowed by the flying, even after Chloe explained that Christopher Reeves wasn’t really flying and pointed out all the inconsistencies regarding Kryptonian history and culture.

He tries to get Lili to dance with him in a thunderstorm after watching Singin’ in The Rain, and they have a great time until a giant thunderclap spooks them inside, shivering and laughing together. They also watch a lot of superhero movies together.

Bobby dared him to sit through a watch of Alien alone (Bobby himself can’t watch that movie without having Chloe next to him for reassurance), and Raz did it with ease. He’s pretty terrified of The Thing and Jaws, though.

Raz invites the male campers to a guys’ movie marathon at one point where they each pick a different movie to watch throughout the day. Raz picks The Rocketeer, Chops picks The Mighty Ducks, J.T. picks The Magnificent Seven, Vernon picks The Neverending Story, Quentin picks Spirited Away, Clem picks Cats Don’t Dance, Dogen picks The Little Mermaid, Elton picks Shark Tale (and everyone gets on his case for it), Bobby picks Rocky, Benny picks Phantom of The Opera, Maloof picks Goodfellas, Mikhail picks Fiddler on The Roof, and Nils picks Showgirls. Everyone walks out at the beginning of Showgirls, including Nils.

Dogen usually asks him to watch Disney movies like Bambi and Dumbo, which Raz finds kinda boring, but it makes him happy to see Dogen having such a good time watching them. He also likes the songs a lot, but won’t tell anyone out of embarrassment.

Raz tries to teach himself karate for two weeks after seeing The Karate Kid, until Sasha catches him trying to snap a big wooden board in half with his bare hand and decides to step in and get Raz into an actual class. Sasha explains that he had hurt himself years ago after watching the same film. When Raz expresses his astonishment that his mentor is familiar with the movie, Sasha replies, “Razputin, I was a scrawny, bullied immigrant teenager in the ‘80s. Of course I watched The Karate Kid.”

Ford tries to get Raz to watch some more classic fare along with his “modern junk”, like Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, and Casablanca. Raz tries to discreetly sleep through them but Ford is too good at catching him, yelling him awake and demanding he appreciate the groundbreaking cinematography/acting/etc.

Milla asks if he’d like to watch some of her favorite movies, too, and while Raz agrees to it, he goes into it fully expecting to be bored out of his mind by rom-coms. He is pleasantly surprised to find that Milla’s favorite movies are primarily cool sci-fi and action fare like Logan’s Run, TRON, and Ocean’s Eleven. He doesn’t even complain by the time they get to The Sound of Music.  

I just have to share a magical moment that happened in Fisherman’s Cove today.

My merwrangler Sean has a friend with a 3 year old daughter. This daughter has to deal with very serious illness. So serious she moved here just to get treatment at the IWK. I personally had a very difficult childhood due to circumstances around my birth and illness as well, but I wasn’t prepared for the story for wha…t this little one had to go through. This little one goes through painful procedures daily so she can live. It’s so amazing sometimes when you hear about kids going through this stuff and then seeing them still be kids.

She loves mermaids. Love love. And when she came today to see us she spent a good chunk of time. I watched her laugh and dance around, climb up with mermaids and ask us questions and talk, sing, tell us funny stories. Her reward for being so good during all these treatments was to meet the mermaids. And we made sure it was the best experience possible. She was a normal kid today. Which to her and her family, isn’t taken lightly.

The whole Tallahassee days was just like that. Everyone being in character and going out of their way to create this fun storyline and include visitors in it. I know it made a difference to that little mer-fan, and I know it made a difference to everyone who made it out. From pilgrims who lead games and stories, pirates running around causing shenanigans , and shop owners who went all our to contribute to the experience.

Thank you to everyone who was involved! Us mermaids are honoured to have been a part and recognize the hard work of so many that went into making it so great.