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Mar 26, 2019 4:09 AM
Dusk in Fabulous
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There are books; in this section they are in leather pockets that hang from the pews in front of them. One is called Thaumaturgical Wisdom and one is called Songbook of the Church of Thaumatology.

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Thaumaturgical Wisdom sounds more like the kind of book you read; she looks through it.

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It has a sort of prose-poem style:

What are the principles of beauty?
Balance; harmony; tension; delicacy.
Why then can we make balanced, delicate things, tense and harmonious, which are not beautiful?


Why does God choose only some?
Ask instead: why do only some choose God?


Perhaps at any time those who lose themselves in the beauty of God's design could choose to return
yet are too ecstatic to leave it for even a moment,
but perhaps they have lost themselves in something less lovely,
and God's design is in restraint, and elegance without abandon.
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...well, that's religion.

The third one is a little concerning - lose themselves? - and she makes note of where it is in the book, in case an opportunity comes up to ask about it.

She pages through it a little more and then goes out to check out the area around the building, keeping a particular eye out for hiding places.

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The church is freestanding, but not by very much; there's a path, a row of forsythia bushes, and a fence between it and the grounds of an apartment building on one side, and it's comparably adjacent (though with gingko trees and rosebushes on that side) to a garden store on the other side. Behind the church there's a koi pond with a bench and a Japanese maple. She could fit under the Japanese maple but it's not really opaque.

Inside the church there are a couple of closets, which are not diligently kept beautiful like the rest of the church; she could theoretically climb to the rafters of the sanctuary if she wanted to make some climbing-oriented body-mods or swap her wings for ones that can fly; there is a cellar, reachable by trap door in the entryway, which contains more religious literature, some bottles of wine, seasonal decorations in cardboard boxes, some dusty cat-related equipment also in cardboard boxes, an antique globe, and a broken chair.

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She'll have to check sometime whether that trick from cartoons about breathing through a reed works. Not here, though, not enough privacy.

She looks through the religious literature to see if there's anything more interesting to read.

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She will have to turn on the cellar light (a bulb with a ribbon to pull) to read down here; even with adjusted eyes the streetlights don't spill sufficiently into this space.There are tracts with pretty illustrations in them, and there are earlier drafts of the songbook and the Wisdom, and there are a lot of copies of something titled On the Church of Thaumatology, which appears to be a very dry history in small print.

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She looks through some tracts, and then starts on the history - she doesn't get far into it before she gives up, but she might learn something anyway.

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Apparently the Church of Thaumatology was founded in 1797 by Abigail Lydia Claremont who later died a martyr, and has since split into five major denominations, mostly amicably, principally over differences in their approach to non-magical worshipers, adoption practices, theology of cryptids, and church spending ratios. The tracts indicate that the particular church she is in subscribes to the First Reform sect.

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It's a little amazing how this book manages to make an interesting topic hard to read about.

She puts it away and heads back to her room - she can probably get a nap in now, and it's a good idea to if they're going to wake her up in the morning.

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Her room is just how she last saw it, deep rug and cozy plaid bedding and a suncatcher in the window waiting for morning.

Flora is indeed up and audibly about at six but doesn't attempt to wake "Janet" at that time.

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She's asleep by then; not deeply, but she's used to sleeping through some noise. She won't wake until Flora wakes her.

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Flora knocks softly at around ten a.m.

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She's disoriented for a moment, but appears at the door - back, or still, in the same outfit from last night - fairly promptly, to give a sleepy greeting.

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"Good morning, Janet. If you need more sleep don't let me stop you, you've certainly had a time of it to wind up here in the middle of the night, but I'd like to know if I'm making lunch for an extra person. It's just rice and beans and cheese, nothing exciting."

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Yes please.

Maybe not those - she's clumsy with her hands, and a little messy with utensils sometimes. But she doesn't mind trying.

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"I could thin out the beans into a soup you could drink with a little rice and cheese in there to round it out? You might want to play with rearranging your hands, see if something else comes more naturally," comments Flora. "But don't go overboard, of course, not while you've already got wings and antennae."

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She can drink soup. She's not sure what Flora means exactly but she can try changing her hands around; she appreciates the advice.

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"Oh, I just mean if you wound up with squid arms that might be enough to push you over into the mysteries," says Flora.

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Mysteries?

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"You'll probably have heard of it in terms of 'cryptids'?"

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Where she was was really not a good place for learning things.

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"- oh no, that's terribly dangerous information to omit. You have to change some things about your shape for God to grant you magic, you've already done enough with your wings and antennae - they're beautiful. But if you keep going, past what you need, till you're no longer quite a human under all the changes, then your mind isn't human any more either. People don't come back from that. There are times when people might choose it but it's no something you want to happen by accident or at all at your age."

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Okay.

Is there anything else like that, that she needs to know and might not?

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"Do you know about swarms?"

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