So a long time ago, I was a kid in school, right? And I ended up moving to a different school and so of course didn’t know anyone for the first couple of weeks, because, you see, I was the new kid in school, right? Right? Yeah, so!
Funny thing happened to me in the new school.
Oh, I should preface this by saying that my established reputation at my previous school was as a kind of squeaky-clean smart-ass teacher’s pet who never got into trouble or did anything wrong.
This reputation was *ahem* based in reality, for the whole teacher’s pet, staying out of trouble bit.
Okay, so I’m in the new school right?
Within three days, based on zero provocation on my end (aside from, I suppose, the fact that I was New Meat and kind of younger-looking than everyone else–cause I do look younger than I am, and have since I was about, oh, six) . . .Okay, starting that sentence over.
Within three days, without any provocation or incitement towards trouble-making or deserved reputation besmearing on my part, one older boy had declared me his secretly conquered object and one older girl had started very, very determined rumors about how I was the skankiest skank to ever come into an innocent schoolyard and skank my skankiness around!
It was kind of funny, because, um, nothing like this had ever, ever happened to me before in my life. I mean, you get to know me for about five seconds total, in person, and you’re kind of like, “Victor Poole is sort of a vestal pigeon of innocence and pure-minded helpless whatever.”
I mean, I don’t give off any kind of . . . ah, sophisticated something-or-other? You know, a eu-de profligate? Or whatever.
Anyway, so there I was on, like, my third day at this new school, and the older girl in question, seeking further juiciness for her rabid rumor-mongering, cornered me after gym class and interrogated me about my sex life.
I kind of just stared at her with my head tilted a little to one side, as if to say, ‘Fair maid, are you feeling quite well?’, and after about two minutes of fruitless questioning she got really frustrated and I walked away, victorious and unmolested, to my next class.
And if you’re wondering about what happened next, as far as my being shoved into a box labeled ‘Skanky new kid!’, um, I won. You know, because you can’t ask all your teachers for all the backup homework and then proceed to furiously catch up to everyone else without looking, you know, like a diligent student. And a completely dead end for gossip.
Plus I never gave anyone the slightest hint of fodder towards skankiness and spent all my free time drawing pictures that all the other kids liked, so . . . that helped, too.
Anyway, I told you that saga from my youth ’cause I wanted to. No other reason. And now! Winstance!
(If you remember, we last left our rebellious fairy in the midst of telling us all about the unexpected meeting she had with the Queen Mother. Also, remember that so far in this tale, our fairy has been handed a credit card and a pamphlet on birth control. Enjoy!)
The Terms of a ‘Human Vacation’
So what the Queen said is that I get to have fifty years of a normal human life, and that as soon as I fly out to the boundary of the forest and cross over, I’ll transform into a human (she said there was an enchantment on the credit card), and then I’ll have fifty years from that moment to live as a regular human woman and get all my wild oats sowed.
So, just—gosh, I cannot believe this lady. I mean, I’m ninety-eight freakin’ years old, and I’ve been trying to live differently since I was a wee little fairy tween, and now, NOW the Queen Mother wakes up and smells the peonies, and is like ‘Let us not crush Winstance’s fiery and most sincere spirit! Here, have this perfect, strings-free gift out of the wonderful generosity of my heart!’
Yeah, I am so suspicious right now. I mean—I mean, what if it’s just a prank? I don’t know what she’d get out of that, but I just cannot believe this is real. Here, I’ll lay out the terms she gave me in a little list, to be sure I’ve covered all the details:
My ‘Vacation’ Terms:
- I must not get pregnant or pick up one of those scuzzy human diseases, and that’s all on me. I have to watch out for that myself. The Queen’s not going to help if I mess that up.
- I have fifty years to go wear clothes and be a—in the Queen Mother’s words—free-spirited yuppy kid in the human world.
- At the end of the fifty years, I’d better show up on time and ready to be a staid, responsible, and normal fairy for the rest of ever.
- The credit card is full of enchanted money, but don’t make spurious purchases or the spell will start to decay—meaning, I had better get a job if I want fifteen million pairs of designer shoes. I don’t know what counts as ‘spurious,’ but knowing the Queen, it means anything aside from rent and groceries. Sheesh.
- I must only use my magic to protect my identity and keep from entangling myself in human affairs. (?)
- “Please never have sex with anyone, but I won’t ask you anything about it, so . . . whatever!” (her words exactly). And this means I can do anything I like–as long as I don’t pick up a disease or get knocked up.
Yeah, that’s about it. I’m just—I’m completely stunned.
I have no clue where this is coming from, on her end. Like, as far as I know, this kind of situation has never cropped up in the whole history of fairies, of a monarch just—just packing off a slightly off-the-wall troublemaker with some cash and a wink. What the crap is she up to? Because she’s got to be up to something.
You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current book, somebody is about to run off to find the young prince (whom everyone in the kingdom, previous to this, thought was illegitimate). You can get my latest book here.