I may not howl at the moon or be stopped in my tracks by a line of salt, but the liminal is an inescapable part of my life. I’m a Sniffer, which means I can detect the earthy loam of a dryad or the formaldehyde tang of a vampire. It also gives me an edge in my mundane job: I can detect the “tar and roses” of Nebbiolo from across the room, and at closer ranges, separate the green apple and melon of Chardonnay versus Chenin Blanc – the wet wool of the latter is a dead giveaway. My two worlds cross a lot, because Old World liminus love their Old World wine … and if you had a magical affliction, wouldn’t you drink?
The Old World versus New World divide that runs through the wine realm – tradition versus innovation; subtlety versus the punch of fruit; pride of place versus showcasing fruit – has its parallels in the liminal world. Vampires with pedigree back to the Roman era often look down their noses at technomages and even Mayan alux, who pre-date a lot of European fairies. Most of the less traditional liminus don’t stand on or respect their ceremony, but sometimes they come into the shop like nouveau riche, insisting on a bottle of Chablis. I always feel like standing them in front of a map and asking them to pinpoint the region. (Closer to Champagne than its parent region of Burgundy, for the record.)
No, it's not the beginning of a new novel - it's much too "telly" for that, not to mention that nothing has actually happened in a little shy of 250 words. Instead, it's a loose narrative I'm using to help myself in my wine studies. By putting down facts in my own words and building a story around it, I'm hoping to enhance my memory. But the fact that I'm not trying to make something sale-worthy / viable means that I can jump around and focus on the topics that are giving me trouble.
All that said, there's still some worldbuilding implicit in the paragraphs above, because of course. I'm getting bored with everything in contemporary fantasy being "the supernatural," so I've used the term liminal here - essentially, "on the threshold," which is also used in magical context / spaces. So a magical being is a "liminus," and I spent a good twenty minutes flailing around the internet trying to determine if that was an appropriate cognate before I gave up and went with it.
This may end up sparking a short story or two, but that would be a bonus, not the goal.