1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga - PT Three Strands (OCs; one-shot; OTP Fairy Tale Challenge, belated; various original pairings)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Three Strands
    Era: Saga—PT; somewhere in 10–15 BBY; mix of Canon and Legends elements
    Characters: OCs, with one or two oblique EC mentions
    Type: Short
    Genre: A slightly experimental commentary on a fairy tale, set in the GFFA.
    Summary: A Naboo wigmaker, now living and working on an Outer Rim world, sees the heroine of her favorite childhood tale in every woman who comes to her shop.

    This story was inspired by the prompt I received in the Fairy Tale… in Space! OTP Challenge: the story of Rapunzel. I did not finish it in time for it to be part of the challenge proper, but I did want to use the prompt and to acknowledge the challenge.

    I am taking a somewhat experimental approach in this story. It is structured as a braid of sorts, with three main textual strands, each of which is distinguished by a different typeface (regular, bold, italic). Note that even though the story begins with a passage in bold, the “main” strand of the story (or the closest thing to it) is in regular text.

    Many thanks to @Ewok Poet and @Raissa Baiard for support and beta-reading. @};-

    * * *​

    14412.5 Well, there is no doubt about it: I am stuck here on the strange, dingy little world they call Svivren until further notice. It has been a little over a week since that horrid officer’s shuttle landed me here; my first move, of course, was to deposit his repulsive, unconscious bulk in some faraway dark alley where he could not find me again. (Did he really think he could subdue me? We are not wispy and fragile like Human women, who are likely to snap in half as soon a gentle breeze blows…)

    It is odd to be so far away from the homeworld. Odd, and wrong. And yet: would it not be odd and wrong to be there again, now that those plasteel savages have ravaged it beyond recognition? Now that there is nothing and no one there? (Now that you, my dearest G., are forever gone…?)

    Somehow I have managed to find a room to rent: small, drafty, but comfortable, and reasonably quiet. It is in one of the quieter commercial streets, above a row of shops: a stationer, a wigmaker, a greengrocer, a seamstress. All well and good—though by now I have run through almost all the funds on the credit stick from the ruffian officer’s pocket. And if I keep it too long, it will certainly be traced to me… I will need to find some kind of gainful work, and that right soon.

    But one of the shops downstairs has given me an idea that I wish it had not. (Forgive me, my absent love!)

    * * *​

    Trishé Didita loved hair.

    She was a wigmaker in the main commercial district of Wrils, capital of the Outer Rim outpost of Svivren, precisely because she loved hair, precisely so she could be surrounded by it all the time.

    Her own hair—long, wavy, and golden, usually done up in some kind of pretty twists or buns or braids—had always been her favorite part of herself, and hair was her favorite part of other beings. She loved all colors of hair, from the staggering variety of earthen tones characteristic of Humans and near-Humans to the vibrant pinks, blues, and purples of the Theelins and Zeltrons. She loved all textures of hair: smooth, wavy, curly, thick, thin, and all lengths, long and short—though long was her favorite, of course. She felt sorry for species that didn’t have hair: “Those Twi’leks and Togrutas and Gungans don’t know what they’re missing!” she often would say to herself, either as she brushed out her own hair in the morning or arranged the wigs in her shop on their mannequins.

    Trishé was Naboo by birth, and her favorite story from her childhood was the traditional Naboo tale of the Lovely-Haired Raavané, whose astoundingly long braids formed a bridge across which her lover went every day to visit her on her secluded lake island.

    * * *​

    Many thousand years ago there lived a husband and wife. They had one young daughter, named Raavané, who had the most beautiful long, golden hair ever to shine in the light of the sun. It was almost as long as the Solleu River itself, and she wore it in two long, lovely braids. But the family was poor and barely able to feed themselves, and eventually they were forced to sell Raavané into indentured servitude to an old neighbor woman of theirs, named Gothé.

    As Raavané grew, she grew in beauty, and her hair grew. At last the old and wizened Gothé could barely contain herself for jealousy. One day she sent Raavané to a tiny island in the middle of Lake Nemdotta to gather kajaka root. But Gothé had secretly set the autopilot of the boat to return to the mainland after being idle for a quarter of an hour—and it did, stranding Raavané alone on the island. She could not swim back, for the lake was populated by predatory opees.

    The island became Raavané’s home, and each day, when Gothé came to check on her, she would stand at the edge of the lake and call “Raavané, Raavané, throw me over your golden hair!” And Raavané would throw her long, lovely braids across to the edge of the lake, and Gothé would walk across them to her.

    * * *​

    Trishé had learned her trade from the best: her great aunt by marriage on her father’s side had been assistant head wigmaker first to Queen Neeyutnee and then to Queen Apailana. After going into business on her own at the age of twenty, Trishé had opened a boutique in the central district of Keren, just down from Club Deeja. She worked there for many years, and her wares had been popular with the society ladies from Keren’s sizable Alderaanian community.

    Of course, that was before the Empire—COMPNOR, specifically—had decided to shut her down. For the silliest of reasons, too: for stocking “unnaturally” colored wigs that resembled the hair of “inferior” species. That saddened Trishé, because she really and truly did like hair of all colors, and just sticking with Human and near-Human earth tones seemed… well, boring to her. So just last year, after some consideration and a few searches of HoloNet commercial real estate sites, she had found some eligible shop space in Wrils—an Outer Rim city she’d never heard of before, but it looked all right and would probably do—and had moved there to set up shop. No one there minded hair in colors like pink and blue and orange. (Indeed, those were the colors most requested by the dancers from the cantina down the street, who were some of her best customers.)

    Indeed, Trishé wasn’t quite sure exactly what the Empire had gotten its microgarments in a twist about to begin with. It was not as though most of the hair she worked with was actually made from the hair of those species. Yes, occasionally someone would come by with a braid or a handful of equustails or something to sell her, but that was happening less and less often as finer and more lifelike synthetic materials became available. Technology had sure come a long way since Great Aunt Rahatta first started in the business!

    So Trishé now plied her trade happily in Wrils, and each woman who stopped into her shop (and they usually were women) was a Raavané to her.

    * * *​

    One day, Raavané was singing to herself as she twined her hair into its long, lovely braids in the morning. Now it happened that just at this time a young nobleman named Sond was riding along the shores of Lake Nemdotta on his faithful gualama. He heard the sounds of sweet singing wafting toward him from the tiny island and was immediately entranced, and he desired with all his heart to get across to the source of those lovely sounds. But he had no boat or other vehicle with him—only his steed. So he decided to wait and see what opportunity might present itself.

    Now just at that moment, Gothé came to the lake’s edge for her daily visit to Raavané. “Raavané, Raavané, throw me over your golden hair!” she called out. Immediately the maiden threw her long, lovely braids across the blue expanse of the lake so that one of the loops caught on a tree branch, and Gothé walked across them to the island. Then Raavané gently but firmly pulled her braids free of the tree and swooped them back toward her, just as the shaak herders throw their silken lassos.

    “Aha!” Sond thought to himself as he watched. “So this is how to gain the island of the beautiful singing!” So later that day, at eventide, he came riding back to the edge of Lake Nemdotta, tied his gualama to a tree, and called out over the water: “Raavané, Raavané, throw me over your golden hair!” And just as before, the golden braids came swooping over the water, and Sond walked across them to the island where Raavané dwelt.

    Now Raavané had never seen a man before, so she was quite startled to see Sond and not Gothé jump down from the bridge of braids. But the young nobleman spoke to her gently and assuaged her fears; and as they spoke the gleam of joy returned to her eyes, for she was lonely on her tiny island.

    And every day, at the same time, Sond would ride back to the lakeshore and call out: “Raavané, Raavané, throw me over your golden hair!” And every day, she would throw her lovely, long hair across to him, and he would come and join her.

    And each time, their words blossomed into kisses, their kisses into embraces, their embraces into love.

    * * *​

    14413.7 I found a nice, sharp pair of shears in one of the kitchen drawers. They should do the trick. May the Ashla guide my hands! G., my hotheaded love, would you be angry with me for what I am about to do?

    * * *​

    One day a woman entered Trishé’s shop.

    At least she thought it was a woman; the being’s figure was disguised by long, draped cloaks and robes. She was so heavily hooded that nothing could be seen of her face except for the glint of two emerald eyes. And she was very tall, towering over the petite wigmaker by at least half a meter.

    “Greetings! May I help you?” Trishé asked the newcomer in her best saleslady voice.

    “Yes. Are you able to take these?”

    She laid two braids on the counter. They were long, thick, glossy, and a strange sort of purplish black color that Trishé had seen only rarely before. Definitely not Human, Theelin, Zeltron, or any of the usual species…

    As she turned over the braids in her hands, giving them the usual check for body, gloss, and overall health, Trishé caught a glimpse of the woman’s hand. It was light grayish-purple in color and had four strangely shaped fingers with small claws.

    Was there anything of Raavané in this strange newcomer? Trishé was not sure.

    * * *​

    Now, unbeknownst to the wicked Gothé, Raavané and Sond had come up with a plan to free Raavané from her island so that she could return with Sond and become his wife. On each of his evening visits, Sond would bring Raavané a small plank of wood, and Raavané would fasten them together into a raft. When Gothé came to visit her, she would hide the raft under the straw pallet that she used for a bed.

    One day Gothé made one of her usual visits to Raavané and asked her how she fared. “Not well, Mother Gothé,” she said. “I have been feeling ill in the mornings, and I think my dress is getting tighter.” Gothé was alarmed at these words, and when she examined Raavané more closely, her suspicions were confirmed. “Oho!” she exclaimed. “Why, you loose, wicked girl! What base trickery is this?!” And in her anger she took Raavané’s beautiful braids in one hand, a sharp shears in the other, and cut them off—snip, snap!

    And with a magical blast, she cast Raavané far away into the cold heights of the Gallo Mountains to fend for herself.

    * * *​

    “Sure,” Trishé said at last. “I can use these. I can give you…” She punched some numbers into her old-fashioned cash register. “…4500 credits.”

    “That is fine. Thank you very much.”

    Trishé pressed another control on the cash register. A credit stick rolled out into its till. She handed it to the hooded, emerald-eyed stranger, who nodded in thanks and left the shop.

    Smiling to herself, Trishé took the two purple-black braids to her temperature-controlled storeroom at the back of the shop, tagged them, logged them, and hung them up. She already had a few ideas about what she would do with these interesting and unusual specimens. There was enough in them for at least two wigs, possibly three: perhaps one with a vintage Naboo updo, another as Dathomiri ceremonial braids? And then maybe Hapan ringlets with the leftovers?

    The possibilities were endless.

    * * *​

    That evening, when Sond came to the lakeshore to visit Raavané, the wicked Gothé had tied Raavané’s braids to one of the trees on the island, and when he called out “Raavané, Raavané, throw me over your golden hair!” she threw them across to him, and he walked over them as usual. But when he reached the other side, whom should he find but the wrinkled old Gothé there instead of his pretty young Raavané! “Aha!” shouted the witch. “I’ve caught you now, you villain! You’ll never see your pretty lady again!”

    In despair Sond threw himself into the lake, and thrashed and flailed in the water. The opees snapped at his eyes until they were scratched and clouded, and he could see no more. At last, waterlogged and weary, he dragged himself back to the shore, and spent his days roaming aimlessly through the forests, eating roots and leaves and wild berries.

    * * *​

    That evening, after closing up shop, Trishé headed to the Arts District on Wrils’s south side to meet her boyfriend for dinner and a show. His name was Darvin, also originally from Naboo; he had studied xenobiology at the University of Sanbra and was now working as a lab technician at the biotech company just outside town. Tonight they would dine at their favorite Coreworld-fusion bistro, then head to Vintage Holo Night at the Ialtro to see Filaments: The Corellian Tribal Love-Pronk Musical.

    Trishé considered it a match made by the Celestials, for Darvin loved hair too. Though mostly clean-shaven, he had dark brown hair a little over shoulder-length, which he often wore in a small bun. The xenobiologist in him was always fascinated to hear about the variety of hair colors and textures to be found his girlfriend’s shop and about the many different races and species who came to her, and she couldn’t wait to tell him all about her latest Raavané.

    “…and it was, like, super glossy and really, really dark purple!” Trishé was saying to Darvin as they sat waiting for their appetizers. “And I saw her hand, and it was, like, purple! And I thought to myself, maybe she’s like a really, really tall Omwati?… Yeah, so anyway, I wasn’t sure.”

    Darvin sipped thoughtfully at the amber-colored cocktail in his glass. “Did you see her feet?”

    “No, of course I didn’t see her feet! Why would I be looking at her feet?!

    “Mmm...” Darvin paused in thought for a moment, then shrugged. “Just wondered. Anyway, how many wigs do you think these’ll make?”

    “Like maybe… three?”

    “Okay, so you know, Leeza at work?”

    “The one who’s dating that supply master fellow at the Imperial garrison?”

    “Yep, her. She said the garrison is having its Fête Week masquerade ball next month. If you can get those wigs done in time…”

    Trishé gasped and jumped, causing a little of her own pink-colored cocktail to slosh out of the glass. “OHMISTARS, REALLY?! Oh, Darvin! If they go for these… then maybe we can finally afford that Vagran vacation!”

    “I like the way you think,” Darvin winked, raising his glass. Trishé winked back, and they touched glasses.

    At that moment the waiter droid brought the appetizers, and the two of them paused to nibble on small, green meat-stuffed dumplings.

    * * *​

    After some years, Sond’s blind wanderings brought him to the part of the Gallo Mountains where Raavané dwelt in misery with the twin children she had borne, a boy and a girl. One evening he heard from afar the sound of her singing them to sleep. It sounded familiar, just like what he had heard so many years ago from that island in the middle of Lake Nemdotta.

    He ran as quickly as he could over the rocky crags toward the sound. Raavané saw him and ran toward him, and threw her arms around him, weeping with joy to see him again.

    And her tears fell into his eyes and washed away the scratches and the shards of the opees’ teeth, and he could see again.

    * * *​

    Trishé did indeed finish the three purple-black wigs in time for the Imperial garrison’s Fête Week masquerade ball. They were just as she had planned: one in a vintage Naboo style, one featuring Dathomiri ceremonial braids, and one full of lushly cascading ringlets in the Hapan style.

    The garrison commander’s wife bought the Naboo-style wig for 15,000, and the very fashionable moff of a nearby sector, visiting for a routine inspection, paid 18,500 for the Hapan ringlets. (“It’ll be just the thing with my green Deyor gown!” she exclaimed.)

    * * *​

    And Sond led Raavané and their children back to his villa in the Lake Country, where they all lived in happiness and tranquility ever after.

    * * *​

    14416.2 It’s done. My head feels strangely light now. And I have 4500 more credits than I did before. That is something, at least, until the agency decides to come through with something (but I am not holding my breath about that). I have a credit stick of my own now; the old one lies in tiny shreds at the bottom of this city’s trash compaction system. Should I feel relieved, contented, at peace?

    I ask because I do not.

    I still hear the snick of the shears carrying out their inexorable duty. Not just my hair has been cut: have not the blades of the Ashla sliced me loose from all I have ever loved and lived for? Without homeworld and kin, aren’t I too nothing but a dead bundle of filaments and wisps, to be bought and sold and perhaps remade? Ai rrhu’karabast’aka, what has become of me, what will become of me?!

    But even now, on the floor of my cold room, your worn, dog-eared holoimage lies before me: you, my warrior, in all your military glory, hefting the ancient weapon of honor. And my tears fall, hot and caustic, on the image of your eyes.

    the end

    Trishé Didita: There is a hair salon/studio near me called Trish Did It, hence this name.

    The tale of the Lovely-Haired Raavané is of course based closely on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale of Rapunzel, and its association with Naboo is of course fanon. The name Raavané is based on the Spanish word rábano and the Italian word ravanello, which both mean “radish,” just as the name Rapunzel is from the German word for a rampion. Gothé is of course the equivalent of the character Dame Gothel in the original Rapunzel story.

    Lake Nemdotta is fanon. It is naturally located in Naboo’s famous Lake Country, and its name is based on that of my nearby Lake Mendota.

    Great Aunt Rahatta: In biblical Hebrew, the word rahat (pl. rehatim) can mean either a water trough or a ringlet of hair. The word appears in Song of Songs 7:6, “the king is held captive in its tresses” (melekh asur ba-rhatim).

    Filaments: The Corellian Tribal Love-Pronk Musical is of course a takeoff on Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.

    Vagran vacation: A nod to the beautiful, idyllic Vagran of Ewok Poet’s stories. See her fanon post on Vagran and the Vagran System.

    sector moff, green Deyor gown: This person may be vaguely familiar to those of you who have read my “Between the Porch and the Altar”—see the final scene of that story. Again, Deyor is one of the fashion houses from Chyntuck’s fanon post on GFFA fashion houses, luxury products, and cosmetics.

    The speaker of the bolded portions is an OC—a relatively new OC at the moment of going to press—and she is most definitely not an Omwati. :p If you have an idea about who it is, you might also have an idea about what series this story might belong to. ;)

    Wookieepedia links:
    Queen Apailana:
    Club Deeja:
    Gallo Mountains:
    kajaka root: (as per the radish or rampion of the original story)
    Keren: (it is indeed established that there is an Alderaanian community there)
    Queen Neeyutnee:
    Solleu River:
    University of Sanbra: (renowned, of course, for their Guide to Intelligent Life)
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb interweaving of the three stories. =D= I love the fairy tale and how it relates strongly to Trishe's fascination with hair but especially with the OC who is mourning loss of home and lover...Oh, SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I think I had a light-bulb moment as to who that is
    the wonderful and endearing Shulma
    ? [:D] !!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  3. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Very good story, flowed naturally, a lot of imagination and creativity went into this.

    Different parts of the world have different versions of the same fairy tale, so for me, there is more of you in this, than the Rapunzel story.

    Good use of braids as water crossers. The woman on the island has future as an Olympic shot putter, if life in the mountains does not work out.

    I liked the shuttle passenger's musings about her species' femmes versus the wind blown humans that the officer might be used to; as well as her conflicted regrets over being away from her homeworld, and reflecting that there was nothing left.

    Very well done.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, this is such a beautiful, haunting story! You’ve done a marvelous job of weaving these three stories into a beautiful whole; like a braid, each strand is lovely on its own, but twined together, they make something even even better, a lovely pattern that repeats.

    I’ll take this one strand at a time. :) First of all, the fairy tale— you’ve done a marvelous job of transposing the story of Rapunzel to the GFFA. Naboo makes a perfect setting, because it has that “old world” feel and dreamlike charm to it. It’s easy to imagine magic occurring there. You know I’m a sucker for a good name, so I loved your notes on the origins of Ravanné and the parallel to Rapunzel; I am glad however that Ravanne ‘s parents didn’t sell her for a mouthful of greens, like Rapunzel’s did! The story is fundamentally the same but touches like the Lake Country island and the opee sea killers’ teeth instead of the tower and the thorns at its base reflect its new setting and make it feel like part of Naboo lore. This section has such a lyrical tone to its prose that it really does sound like it belongs in a book of fairytales.

    Next, there’s Trishé. (And I love the explanation of her name, too. It’s always fun when you can work in little bits of RL like that!) She’s an interesting character, with her love of hair of all sorts, kinds, and colors. She’s so sincere and innocent—almost childlike—in this love; it’s really kind of charming. And in keeping with that childlike quality, she sees the fairytale Ravanné in all her clients. Despite this naïveté, Trishé is an artist, with hair as her medium. Her comment about only using Human earth-tone hair is a lot like one Sabine made about only painting with gray. How typical that the meddling Empire even gets its fingers into what kind of hair can be used for wigs (gasp, must not contaminate the heads of good New Order citizens with the hair of inferior species!). And it’s interesting, too, that whatever resentment Trishé feels about having her choice of hair restricted, she obviously doesn’t hate the Empire. Her date with Darvin the xeno-biologist (Darwin? ;) ) is so cute, love theat they go see Filaments [face_laugh] How perfect! Hearing Trishé speak in her own voice here, I was struck by the fact that she’s a little vapid with her “likes”, “y’knows“ and OMISTARS! She’s quite a contrast to the unnamed narrator of the third strand. Trishé has no more worries than whether she’ll be able to afford that vacation, while the stalwart narrator is struggling to survive after the untold horrors of what happened to her homeworld and species (and I notice Darvin has a clue what that is...)

    And the last strand, our unnamed heroine, she of the emerald eyes and purple hands! Oh, my heart goes out to her! Her first journal entry only allude to what she’s been through; her references to the officer’s “repulsive bulk” and the fact that he tried to subdue her hints that he had nefarious purposes in mind in abducting her. He obviously underestimated her, though. She is resolute, and without any other options, sacrifices the one thing left to her—her glorious purple-black hair.
    This is so sad, and yet so beautiful, the way you’ve captured the image of Ravanné’s tears as she weeps over the image of her lost love. I shed a tear for them as well. I can hope that the narrator will continue to be like Ravanné and reunite with her love. And in that moment, her tears will be like Ravanné’s and wash away the pain and wounds he’s suffered... May they find their happily ever after.

    Another, beautiful, lyrical story and a fantastic use of the fairytale prompt in the GFFA. Bravo =D=
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    This is gorgeous. I love the way you've plaited the three interconnected stories together here! And the tripling continues: In the fairy tale

    and in the story of Trishé
    Then we have the three women: the stranger who shears her own hair, the artist who uses the hair to create beautiful wigs, and the fairy-tale girl. There are the three men: the absent warrior lover; Darvin, who is Trishé's lover; and Sond, the prince lover of the fairy tale. Each is a piece of the braid, twisting and folding around each other.

    Trishé seems like a very likable person.She is proud of her Naboo heritage, just as the stranger is proud of her own heritage. (Ashla -- purple/black hair ...I wonder now
    could she be Lasat? That would make sense.
    The retelling of Rapunzel (not the Disney version) is lovely and fits so nicely into a Naboo setting!

    PS - loved the description of the Imperials "getting their micro garments into a twist.."[face_laugh]

    Another tripling. Each woman is removed from her real home. Good grief woman, the detail of this story is amazing. It’s like examining a painting!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. @};-

    Thanks so much for those compliments! I'm so glad the tripartite format came off well; it was a bit of an experiment. As to the spoiler...
    ...yes, you guessed right! That is indeed who it is, and I hope to write more at some point about this part of her story. @};-

    Thank you so much! It definitely was my intention here to try to make the Rapunzel fairy tale story "my own" in some way, and I am glad you feel it worked well.

    Hah! [face_laugh] I suppose she does, and I guess on a little bitty island like that with not much room for running (as well as predatory fish in the surrounding water, which puts swimming right out), it's a good way to get a little physical fitness in. :D

    That character's reflections are kind of meant to form a contrast with the happy-go-lucky day-to-day existence of the wigmaker, and of course their paths cross in that one moment. Trishé buys from her what to her is just more raw material for future wigs—but to the character selling her hair, it's a symbol of the way she's been cut loose from her home, how she has nothing now (even though she's getting some much-needed cash from the transaction: that's part of the irony, I guess).

    Thank you so much for these wonderful compliments, and again, I am very glad this little experiment came off well! @};-

    Thanks so much! Naboo came immediately to mind as a setting for that reason: definitely one of the GFFA's most beautiful, magical places. And yes, I did want to make the stories just different enough, so I'm glad that worked; along the way I was afraid I was just aping too much. (And in a way that was part of the point of the story, though.)

    Glad you liked her! She was fun to write—a little different from my usual fare in some ways—and even more fun to name. :D Plus I got to do some interesting internet research on wigmaking (YKY...!). I hope her sort of two-pronged attitude to the Empire isn't too inconsistent; yes, they're annoying when they put restrictions on her art and her business, but if they buy her stuff for their parties, well, I guess their money is as good as anyone else's... well, then. Given that the protagonists of the other two story "strands" are paired, I paired her up too (and I hadn't been thinking specifically about Darwin when I named Darvin, but it does fit), and I just couldn't resist Filaments was a touch I just couldn't resist, given the overarching motif of this story. Her carefree world comes together with the third woman's tragic one just for that one moment; I can't of course fault either of them for not knowing about the other's story, but I felt it would be a very compelling sort of encounter for those of us who are party to both stories. (While Trishé is, of course, mentally weaving in the story of Raavané all the while.)

    My heart really went out to her a lot too as I wrote this; I kept worrying that I was not doing a good job of portraying the full depth and breadth of what someone in her position would have suffered. Your guesses about the officers are, alas, probably right, but she fortunately was able to defend herself (something he hadn't counted on). The hair sacrifice was actually...

    ...something I'd planned on for this character even before receiving the Rapunzel story prompt, following in the footsteps of Jo March in Little Women, the wife in "Gift of the Magi," and of course Latara in @Ewok Poet 's Snowed In. The Rapunzel prompt just gave me the impetus to actually start writing about it.

    Aw, thank you so much. The image of the tears washing away the prince's thorns was so compelling, I just had to try to translate it into this scene in some form: of course, at this moment, unlike in the story, the tears have no effect on the absent beloved at all, since it's just an image of him—but I love what you say about their eventually washing away all his pain and wounds (I shouldn't wonder if he too would shed tears under those circumstances). @};- Thanks once again for reading and commenting, and for such lovely comments, and of course for giving feedback pre-posting. <3

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, and for those wonderful insights! The three couples were indeed planned (and I guess there's a bonus one with "Leeza from work" who's dating the supply master), but some of these triplings you point out are ones that must have come from my subconscious, so very cool on you for noticing them! ('Tis why I adore my readers! :D )

    Trishé is indeed meant to be likeable on the whole, even if she's got a little bit of that vapid streak; she's serious about her art and her love of hair, as well as her love of her Naboo culture and this story that comes out of it. And yes, the stranger is proud of her heritage too, though her pride takes a very different form given the circumstances: she has to grapple with the feeling of being exiled and cut loose from that heritage that she loves, whereas Trishé can still hold on to hers, in some way.

    As to your spoiler tag...

    ....yes, she is a Lasat, an OC of mine who is one of the main figures in the the Lasan Series on which I'm collaborating with @Raissa Baiard. It was never meant to be a huge mystery or anything. :p

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch, I say! :D

    Now, that is one that I didn't (consciously) plan, but now that you mention it, that's absolutely right! :eek: An important commonality they have despite their considerable differences—and one that they may not realize (or ever get the chance to realize). But we readers can. Great catch, ma'am, and thanks again for your wonderfully insightful comments. @};-

    Thank you all once again! So glad to have such an appreciative, understanding, and thoughtful bunch of readers. <3
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Dang, I almost missed this beautiful story here, which consists of 3 stories "tangled" into one another. ;)


    What I also like is your reference list. It helps to see how other fan fic authors find their resource material.
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    A diary.

    A third-person story.

    A fairy-tale, a legend.


    Oddly enough, it's all about hair. It's funny sometimes, how a completely unexpected subject could lead to something so beautiful and becomes a symbol in more ways than one. In Shulma's story, it's about letting go. In Trishé's story, it's what puts food on the table. In Raavané's, it's a way to get to her beloved one and have her happily ever after.

    When it forms into a braid of its own, there is a joint leitmotif - everybody was displaced, in a way. In all three cases, the hair is an instrument, a tool to save oneself, what is necessary to start life anew and pick up the pieces and...well, braid them together! And these stories are entangled, interspersed. At the end of the day, each of these three protagonists needs the other two things as well. A clever, clever idea.

    As expected from her, Shulma is a bit lost in her own world, even her own inner dialogue is as ornate as it used to be back during those happy days on Lasan, with Zeb. It's a way for her not to forget where she's coming from, the way she keeps in touch with who she is and the way she will remember that for good, even when the symbol of her beauty and what related her to the physical aspect of herself and love is gone.

    Trishé's own world is more practical, yet she suffered from the Empire in a different way. She lost her business, because she did not want to give up her work ethics. She could not accept the straight and narrow colours of the Empire, much like she could not expect their almost monochrome insignia. In a different world, where the one below that cloak has not shown his true face just yet, she can be herself. Her work is her sanctuary, her diary of a kind.

    Raavané's world is the smallest of the three and her only way to be in touch with herself is her hair. I don't like Fraud, but if Shulma is the superego and Trishé is the ego, Ravané is a mere id. Her world, though located in the most beautiful of the places, is small and deprived of so many things that the other two women have. This is not to say that her loneliness does not matter any more. Of course that it does. And the way she meets her beloved is a leap of faith, as much as Shulma and Trishé's are.

    Aww, Shulma, your hot-headed love loves you either way. He might be out of touch with his former self at the moment, but deep inside, though he would not admit it, he knows that you're still out there, among the stars, much like he is.

    Yes, Trishé, there is a Raavané in the newcomer, as much as there isn't. This Raavané's hair was once a way to attract her love, much like the original fairy-tale's one was. And right now, letting go of her hair might, just might enable her to find her love again. Her hairs are her breadcrumbs, but it goes in an unexpected way. And she was affected by the Empire even more than you - otherwise you would have been able to identify her species!

    Gothé is such a wicked witch...but I had to laugh at the idea of Gallo Mountains. Important, that particular brave Gungan had always been! And wow, BLINDNESS. A favourite motif right here.

    ;) I see what you did there!

    And another match, another clue, two strands already tangled up. Another solution, right there. Trishé gets more than she ever hoped for!

    You will always hear the voice of your beloved, regardless of how blind you are. Sure, you will wander and wander. Some find them in easier ways, some find them after a long search. And then they realise that nobody was ever blind, nobody is ever gone and nobody will ever be lost. And in a life like this, each being is blind in a different way, much like the establishment repressing them is blind to their needs.

    Here they are, those who see every single thing as an ornament, as a way to climb the ladder, much like their leader did. Yuck!

    Love the Hapan ringlets, btw!

    "Change my name, I'll remain the same."

    Don't worry, Shulma. You are not Samson and Trishé was not Deliah. Nobody cut you off from who you are and nobody ever will. Your warrior is where he should be - in your heart.
  9. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    There are so many layers to this that there is something new to find with every reading. A new thing that stood out to me this time is the way that the "three strands" of this tale show that everyone has a story that is at least a little unknown to everyone but themselves, and yet everyone is also a little bit a part of the same stories.

    Trishé and her customer both carry an echo of Raavané's tale. Trishé's runs close to the surface, with her love of hair and related fairy tales. Of the three women, she has it relatively easy and is leading a mostly happy and fulfilling life. But she has nevertheless been driven to leave her home -- and all because of hair and someone's craving for power. The other woman's connection to Raavané is deeper and more heartbreaking, close to the core of the original legend -- and yet that story is entirely unknown to her. She knows what it is to have everything and everyone familiar taken from her, just as Raavané did, and she is now living in a kind of wilderness. She was fortunate enough to be able to defeat the Imperial who had imprisoned her (and that sounds like it must have been scary, even for a capable fighter like her), but she is now lost in a dangerous galaxy. There are people all around her, but for her own safety none of these strangers can know who she is or what she's been through.

    The GFFA details in Raavané’s story are wonderful, and I love that there are even technologically advanced boats in this Naboo tale. Space travel and such go way back in the Star Wars universe, but that doesn't change the need for stories.

    No kidding. Couldn't possibly have any non-monochrome (or nearer to, anyway) hair around. What a bunch of party poopers. :rolleyes: But then, what to Trishé is a serious but ultimately manageable inconvenience (after all, some members of that very same Empire then come to her for those "unnatural" colors) is much more devastating to others.

    I love this detail of her character, and how she tries but does not know how to recognize Raavané in her new customer. Unseen, she is still there.

    Really liked that imagery, it makes her hair-wrangling skills very cinematic. :)

    Aww. :( I can only imagine G. being thrilled to know that she is alive and taking steps to make her escape successful. One thing the unnamed woman has on her side that Raavané did not is that she has been lucky and resourceful enough to engineer her own rescue. So hopefully she may be able to find a way to be not entirely miserable until she can find her own hotheaded prince again. But it's hard for her to let go of the memories her hair represents, of course it is, and it can be easy to feel that the past will resent the present somehow even when there is no reason.

    There is tragic irony in the fact that Trishé can see the beauty in this newcomer's vibrantly colored hair but has no idea of its true value to the person it came from nor of the events that led to this exchange. Not that she seems like a bad person for that, but just blissfully ignorant. That lack of knowledge highlights how isolated her customer is in this strange moment in her life.

    Seconding everyone who said that Darvin definitely know something... which makes me wonder how he knows that. [face_thinking] But I guess he could have just run across the information during his studies somehow.

    The end of Raavané's story brings a little hope to this story, hinting that maybe all is not lost forever. The connection between Raavané's tears and this woman's, and their two lost loves, makes it seem just possible that this will turn out okay in the end. Not without pain and hardship, but eventually there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. @};-
    Well, everyone already guessed. But yes, I recognized her as well. ;)
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Once again, thank you all so much for your comments, observations and insights on this story! @};-

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Azure, I appreciate it very much! :) The reference list is something I learned from the lovely @Kahara, whose stories featured wonderfully, thorough lists of notes and links (especially for the GFFA wildlife she very often brought in). I have a background in humanities academia, so that approach was well suited to my own drive to annotate and document things. I'm glad to know it's helpful to my readers, too! :D

    Why thank you so much! What a compliment from someone known and celebrated on these boards for originality. :cool: The three-in-one appraoch was a bit of an experiment for me, so I'm glad to know it came off well.

    Thanks, and yes, all right on as regards what I was going for, plus some—again, I love the way my readers make these observations, because it adds so much to the story that wasn't there before. :) All three of these very different women have some kind of connection to hair that "braids" their stories together for just a brief moment—and yes, as you and @divapilot both noted, that takes on an added dimension given that they're all, in some way, displaced or exiled.

    And very cool of you to take the three-strand approach in commenting on the various sections of this story—that too is a clever, clever idea, and you really pull it off! :D I think what I'll do below is respond to each of your groups of three (or so), and see if I can pull that off.

    I can only second all of these observations and interpretations. Each of them is expressing her loss and suffering in a different way, each in a way suited to her character. By necessity Raavané is definitely the most restricted in doing so, given the tiny living space she's being confined to, but the other two have also experienced deprivation or confinement too, and the plight of all of them does indeed matter.

    Again, bang on. :) It's true that hair functions as a means of attracting and/or finding and/or regaining love for all three of these women—even for Trishé, in a way, whose xenobiologist beau always loves hearing stories about her clients and their hair. I figured you would dig the blindness motif—which of course is borrowed directly from the original Rapunzel story! It also, of course, relates to the way none of the three women ever really get to learn each other's full story (as you observe further down).

    :D Once again, the similarity was only half-planned, if that—but I figured I'd keep it and run with it. :p

    Oh yes, she hit the jackpot both artistically and financially with this newest Raavané of hers. In a way, Shulma's sacrifice is leading to good things for Trishé—it affords the wigmaker a chance to exercise her talents and creativity to their fullest, and of course it will help pay the rent and put food on the table. No small thing when one has struck out on one's own on a planet far from one's own. And even if the amount Trishé is able to pay Shulma for her hair is relatively paltry compared to what she is able to sell the wigs for, it's still an immense help to her at this desperate point in her life.

    "The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills!" (A Song of Songs quote for you. :p ) Voices are so magical that way—they can penetrate right to the recognition sometimes even more deeply than faces can. And of course coupled with blindness they have the power to do that even more; I was always amazed by the way blind friends in college could pick out friends' voices from the other side of a crowded room! (It's of course because they have to.)

    Glad you like the Hapan ringlets; that was one I kind of just pulled out of my ear, but it seemed to fit, given the very refined courtly culture associated with Hapes. Yep, the legacy of the Emperor filters down to all his various underlings in various little tiny ways, doesn't it? It's an open question, of course, whether the partygoers or the fashionable moff actually have any inklings about the fact that the hair comes from a species the Empire has conquered, which of course would bring it into the realm of a trophy of sorts. I was going for a parallel to the way Telfien's sash in "Between the Porch and the Altar" was confiscated by the stormtroopers for said fashionable moff—and yes, in my mind, this is meant to be the same fashionable moff.

    Well said, well said. <3 She doesn't know this yet, of course, but it's absolutely true, and with the help of good friends and her own inner strength, she'll come to realize it. @};- As always, thanks so much for your close reading of the story, your kind words, and your insightful comments! =D=

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and insights! So glad you enjoyed this little experiment on my part—and yes, that is a large part of this story’s point: everyone is kind of both isolated from and connected to each other at the same time.

    Yep, for all her gushing and “ohmistarsing,” she has experienced her share of hardship too. Having to leave home and set up anew somewhere else is no small thing; it says a lot for her that she was able to do so and still keep her cheerful spirits. I like to think that it helped her, in a way, tohave Raavané’s tale always before her; stories and tales can be such an inspiration that way!

    This, absolutely. She more than almost anyone is a living exemplar of that old tale that Trishé knows and loves so well, and at the same time she’s so different from most of Trishé’s other clientele that Trishé doens’t know how to make sense of her and integrate her into that story. And if Trishé had the means to do so, it would mean danger for the other woman. Kind of a double bind (continuing the notion of binging strands of hair, sort of).

    Certainly doesn’t, I absolutely agree! :D

    Oh, I can imagine the servants of such a hypocritical regime eating stuff like that RIGHT UP when it suits their purposes! It is, as you point out, the tip of a much bigger and more serious iceberg. The woman who comes to her shop knows just how deep that iceberg runs; if she and Trishé knew each others’ stories I’m sure they would be very sympathetic and supportive of each other—but, again, there’s the isolation factor, and you’re absolutely right that the woman who sells her hair has to remain isolated at this point for her very safety.

    This is, in a way, Trishé’s way of trying to bring everyone “into the same stories.” Again, this woman is different from almost any she’s ever seen in her shop, and at the same time turns out to be closest to the story she adores.

    Thanks! Like I-5 said, she just may have a future in Olympic shot-putting. :p

    He certainly would! We know that, but she has no way of knowing that; for all she knows, her beloved is dead and gone. :( And she certainly has it in her to find her way in this big, unknown, dangerous Galaxy—but even as she does she can never fully get rid of her memories (nor, I think, would she completely want to). It’s a double bind, indeed, and a very bittersweet one.

    Exactly. Trishé can’t be faulted for not knowing all that; heck, if she did find out, she would probably be nothing but sympathetic, seeing as she had her own share of trouble with Imperial authorities. And again, it’s probably safer for the unknown woman if others don’t know at this point. (Especially given that some of Trishé’s customers are indeed Imperials; imagine if Trishé had blabbed to the garrison commander’s wife or the fashionable moff about the source of the wigs they bought! :eek: )

    Yes, that latter is pretty much all it is; he's just someone who knows a lot about alien species by way of his training. (And at this point, given... things, it's pretty much only those specialist sorts who would know anything much. :( )

    Yes, absolutely. @};- That’s another part of the value of old stories like that one: their happy endings can give us hope and inspire us to act on that hope. The unknown woman is feeling pretty hopeless right now, and understandably so. But this stage of her story is just beginning, and any manner of things might still happen along the way.

    I figured you would. ;) Again, it was never meant to be a huge mystery—all the clues are there. :D

    Many thanks to you all once again for reading and commenting and taking a chance on this little experiment of mine! I truly [face_love] my readers. @};-
  11. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Read this, but didn't have a chance to comment. And of course, everything I would say has already been said. Although I'm a little dim...I was sure you were referencing something with "Filaments," but never having seen "Hair", it completely went past me!

    I loved how the three storylines were intertwined, and the look at poor, mourning Shulma (she may yet get her happy ending!) was wonderful. I also really, really like Trishé. She's just an average person, trying to get by and make a living under the Empire. Just so down to earth, and her plans on what to do with the money are...a vacation! Why not?

    Every time you decide to experiment, good stuff happens. Hm... Lovely challenge entry, o talented friend!!!
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    I realized I never properly responded to this wonderful comment:

    Well, thank you so much for being here, reading, and commenting—I know it's taken me long enough to respond, but I really and truly did appreciate it, and I'm glad you enjoyed this. @};- Yep, I couldn't resist yet another reference to "hair" of some sort, given the theme of the story. (Here's a secret, though; I haven't actually seen the musical Hair myself, I just happen to know of it... though another one I was considering was Hairspray, which I have seen. Though with that one I couldn't have done the "Corellian love-pronk" business! :D )

    Thanks so much! I am glad this little experiment worked well for you; it's always a fun exercise to explore similarities and differences between characters, even very different ones. I'm glad you like Trishé, and that description of her is right on: she's an everyday person, getting by one day at a time, and I don't hold her vacation plans against her at all. How could I or anyone? She couldn't know all of what's behind the hair she just sold; it was just one of those "ships that cross in the night" things. As for how things will go for Shulma... well, that is a big [face_whistling] for now, of course. ;)

    Aw, you're so sweet! :D I enjoy trying a little experiment now and then; shakes things up a bit, and it's one of the many fun parts of this fanfic hobby of ours. Once again, thank you so much for being here and reading—it's always a daymaker to see you! @};-
    Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  13. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    So, came to read this story after finding the link in your DDC.
    I love this story, I really like little slice-of-life stories like this. There are billions and billions of beings in the GFFA, each with their own stories. Sometimes the stories touch stories and characters the world's seen before (like Sennah's, or Shulma's [OMG, I just had a desire for the two of them to meet...brain starting to tickle...]), sometimes they're completely removed, like this wigmaker.

    I really appreciate stories like this, just enough familiar references so we understand it, but not so many that it takes us out of the GFFA. It's a delicate balance (that I struggled with while writing "A Little Bit of You", I may have made that band a little too "our world").

    Overall, awesome work, very well done.
  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, thank you so much, TheRynJedi! :) I really appreciate your reading and commenting, and I am so glad you enjoyed this. I too love "slice of life" stories about the everyday folks in the GFFA—shopkeepers, service employees, regular people on the street—it's such a big galaxy, and there's so much fascinating room for those everyday stories and folks to brush up momentarily against the bigger, more epic stories and folks in just the way you describe. I agree it can be a delicate balance to get things just familiar enough but not too Earth-ish, and I still struggle with that balance myself—though I think you did a great job achieving that balance with the band (and its hangers-on) in "A Little Bit of You"! =D=

    And yes, I definitely am all for a meeting between Sennah and Shulma, as mentioned in our PMs and emails—I am working on where to place that in one of the later entries of "Shaman, Traveler, Oracle," and I am glad to talk further about those plans at any time.

    Thanks so much once again! :)
  15. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Oct 12, 2018
    Wow. I really enjoyed the fairy tale interspliced within the overarcing story of Trishe and the hair. =D=

    I had some comments written out, but then my computer hiccuped and I lost it all. :( But they were snarky comments, so I reckon you can live without them. :p Because the point is, I enjoyed this story very much. :)

    And I like how it tied into Shulma's journal.