Self-portrait! : P

So I’m in this kind of weird place where I’m becoming emotionally healthy enough to genuinely let go of some crap. Like, boring but really gross garbage from my life. You know, emotional experiences that are impactful without being particularly interesting to talk about.

If they aren’t interesting, why are you talking about them, Victor Poole?!

Because it’s my blog, dagnabbit! That’s why! Anyway, but I was thinking today about how relatively complicated it is to release old stuff and make room for new definitions of self. This is a big thing for actors who are moving from supporting characters to leading roles; they have to embrace all the huge, complex changes in responsibility and role development, and generally none of them are prepared for the shift, which is why a whole lot of people stay in the same kinds of roles forever.

Anyhoo.

Here’s a drawing of me. I drew it one morning and I’m rather proud of it:

A Drawing of Me!

alex 2 crop

Speaking of acting, here is some Winstance for your late-night (or whenever you read this) enjoyment:

Sample

(If you recall, our fairy rebel is hiding in the hollow branch of a tree and figuring out what to do next–because the fairy Queen, it turns out, is out to get her!)

Reconnoitering and a List

My first response after Moffer Bones stared up at the tree (and luckily didn’t see me, it seemed like) and then went back into his house was to double up on my hiding defenses. I put some more charms over my hollow branch—and I was back at my regular size of roughly three inches tall, so it wasn’t at all hard for me to fit. Um, so I layered in my defenses and then I started to figure out what I was going to do.

The first thing I did was make a list. Here is the list I made!

Winstance’s Things

  1. The Queen wants me out of the forest (I felt this was abundantly proven, both by what Moffer Bones had said and by the two old fairies showing up to look for me).
  2. I don’t know the extent of my powers (this still freaked me out, because honestly, I’m a pretty average fairy according to my experience in life so far) and both the Queen and Moffer Bones were kind of alarmed or surprised at me (which is weird).
  3. My wings are in danger.

Those were my three main points, and my highest priority, right at that moment, was to figure out how to protect my wings (which, like I’ve said a few times, are the source of my power). Next, I wanted to figure out what I could actually do, since it was looking like I had some kind of shiny, secret powers, and finally, I really wanted to find out more about why the Queen was so rabid about ousting me from the forest.

I mean, Moffer Bones had mentioned that she felt threatened by my power, but . . . what power, you know? So I needed more information about that aspect.

Once I had my list and had prioritized my intention to absolutely look after my wings, whatever that would take, I had a kind of formal meeting with myself where I basically laid out my goals, which turned out, to my intense relief (because I’d been a little afraid that my wants would have changed after my adventure so far), to be exactly the same as they’d been at the beginning: namely that I want to wear amazing clothes (exactly like the incredible things I had on right then) and that I want to experience all the stages of love and flirting with a huge variety of partners. (Because love, you know? I want to have everything about love!)

All this thinking and planning took me a really long time, because I was methodical about all of it, and finally, at the close of the third day, I felt ready, and I snuck down out of the tree and broke into Moffer Bones’ house. This next part is what happened when I did that!

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my latest novel, someone is having a define-the-relationship conversation (and it’s a doozy!). You can get my latest book (which is ever so charming and hilarious) here.

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A Bit of Winstance

My old laptop started making extremely ominous blanking-out screens at me, so to preserve my writing (because I HATE with a fiery passion losing work in progress), I spent the weekend transitioning to a new computer.

Yay, shiny new laptop whose screen does not mysteriously go black for indeterminate periods!

And now, Winstance:

Sample

(To catch you up: Winstance has discovered a mysterious plot to oust her from the forest and is now hiding in the rotten oak above the handsome Moffer Bones’ house; two old, pudgy male fairies have arrived and are pestering Moffer Bones for information on Winstance’s whereabouts. Enjoy!)

More Eavesdropping (and Plotting!)

So Moffer Bones was shouting from inside his house with the door shut to find out what the two fat old fairies wanted now, and Charlie, looking all calm and stoic, calls back through the front door and says, “If Winstance isn’t with you, why have you got the Queen’s tracking charm blaring from inside your house?”

Half a moment later, the front door slams open and Moffer Bones throws the birth control pamphlet—which I had not realized that I had dropped—out of the house and bangs the door shut again. Charlie and the other fairy, Linor, glanced at each other, and then Linor picked up the pamphlet and he and Charlie whispered to each other for a little while. I didn’t hear any of that part, and then Linor shouted through the door and asked Moffer Bones if I was inside the house.

Moffer came out looking pissed as all get-out, and he reamed out the two old fairies for about ten minutes, shouting about how he was fed up with random people hammering on his door and disturbing his peace and quiet, and why is it his fault if some fairy girl came and dropped a tracking pamphlet inside his house? And on and on. I mean, he really tore into them, and Linor and Charlie both looked pretty embarrassed and like they were feeling dumb for bothering Moffer Bones so much, and finally he slammed back into his house and they both flew away.

The birth control pamphlet being a tracker, that was new (and incredibly disturbing, ew).

Now, I was planning on getting back to my stewing and plotting, because I just wanted to lay everything out for myself really clearly before I made any decisions, especially now that I had the extra information that the Queen was definitely keeping track of me–or trying to–and wanted me gone. That was, as I said, disturbing, but it certainly backed up what Moffer Bones had already told me. I was glad to have confirmation that his words were true, but boy, my head was in a whirl and I was still trying to calm down about all this nonsense.

I mean, most of this whole situation felt like a bad joke to me, honestly. All I’d wanted was to wear some fun clothes (and I was very much enjoying my gorgeous new hoodie and jeans), and somehow out of that . . . I get targeted by the Queen Mother as a political threat? And it still just didn’t make sense to me, all this stuff about me being powerful and crap. I mean, I really figured I would know it if I was special that way. I’d have more magical ability than other fairies, you would think, and I really don’t.

Anyway, so I was in a whirl, mentally, like I said, and just trying to get myself to calm down long enough to get a coherent handle on all this new information, and then, about ten minutes after those two fairies had gone away, Moffer Bones came out of his house again, walked several feet out in front of the door, and stared up at the tree.

He didn’t look at where I was hiding directly, but he had kind of a funny look on his face, and I was pretty sure he was aware that I was up there, though I also got the impression he couldn’t pin down exactly where I was, which was a relief. After a couple of minutes, Moffer Bones (the glorious hottie) let out this cynical kind of snort and stomped back into his house, and then I really started to think.

I mean, clearly he was either super suspicious or downright positive that I was in his tree, so I felt like I had to speed up my plotting and come to some big decision before he did something rash to shake me out of hiding. Ugh! So much drama! (But all the drama was happening while I was in these exquisite soft jeans that smelled like Moffer Bones, so yay!)

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, old enemies are battling to understand each other in the grassy meadow (they are on a hunting journey together and must temporarily cooperate). You can get my latest book here.

Just Story This Time (and a sketch)

Sample

Some Plotting in a Tree

I stayed up in the tree for an embarrassingly long time. Days. Luckily I’m a fairy, so—you know. I don’t have to eat or tramp around looking for a shower. I have magic and can do a whole lot of convenient things to myself when it comes to day-to-day maintenance.

At first I was just thinking over my options and working out my plan of action, but then, on the second day, and before I had decided what to do, a couple of fat old fairies came flying up to Moffer Bones’ door. They didn’t see me. I guess I didn’t mention this yet, but I did a pretty good job concealing myself in the upper branches of the old oak tree. I mean, I was inside one of the top branches, which was rotten and hollow, but I also did a basic camouflage charm to make myself blend in, in case the Queen came looking for me.

I still hadn’t wrapped my mind around this whole ‘Winstance is notably powerful’ business, but these two old fairies who came out to Moffer Bones’ place certainly didn’t notice me up there. The two old guys knocked on Moffer’s door, and my super handsome half-fairy friend came out looking seriously pissed, and this is the conversation they had:

The first old fairy was a guy named Linor, and he opened up the discussion by saying, “Moffer Bones, where is the fugitive? We know she never left the woods.”

The other fairy was a tubby dude called Charlie, and he added in, “If you’re helping Winstance, the Queen has a message for you.”

Moffer Bones looked super cranky, and he said, “I’m not helping that little girl. She came around here bugging me for help and I dropped her off outside the woods. She’s not here anymore.”

The two fat old fairies kind of glanced at each other, and I bet they were both thinking that if Moffer Bones had taken me outside the boundary of the forest, then he would have seen the credit card charm take effect on me. The first one, Linor, he said, “How did Winstance take you dropping her off? Did she fight back?”

Moffer Bones scoffed and was like, “Heck, no (except he didn’t say ‘heck,’ he said the real word), she didn’t have time to talk back. I dropped her off and ran. I don’t want some snot-nosed fairy klutz whining at me. I don’t know how she took it. Now go away,” and Moffer Bones slammed the door.

Well, the second fairy, Charlie, he got this determined look on his face and started tap-tap-tapping on the door and looking like he was never, ever going to stop, and after a couple of minutes, Moffer Bones, like, roars from inside and says, “Whadd’ya want?!”, and he sounded really furious.

Here is a sketch, as promised:

hosrex

You’re reading (and looking at) Victor Poole, and in my current novel, someone just got a very exciting (to him) tattoo. You can get my latest story here.

A very late Sunday update (counts as a Monday, because it’s late!)

So I’ve been reevaluating my stance on morality.

Hm. I thought I had a whole spiel about that, but it turns out I don’t! I drew a picture that I’m not very proud of. My style is completely out of whack because I’m knocking apart and reforming my previously flawed approach to perspective. My abilities, on the whole, have not yet re-cohered from the emotional renovations, but here’s the study:

A Terrible (in my opinion) Picture

horse practice

And now, for the road, some jean-desiring fairy rebel:

(If you recall, we last saw our heroine speaking to Moffer Bones after he attempted to dump her outside the forest and block her return with magic. Outraged, our fairy rebel returned and demanded answers. She received some jeans, a hoodie, and a partial explanation. Enjoy.)

Sample

Dark Details About the Fairy Queen

Moffer Bones told me that the Queen Mother is really old, and has basically reincarnated several times by stealing power from different fairies throughout the years. He said it’s customary for the royal family to keep their position that way, and it’s a pretty accepted practice that no one gets too upset about. He said she doesn’t kill anyone, but when a powerful fairy pops up, she’ll put a charm on them and skim some of their power.

Well, you guys remember how I told you that, um—that the Queen Mother had put a charm on me to make sure that I couldn’t wear modern clothes? This was way back when she caught me wearing those boxer shorts a long time ago, and I said that she put magic on my skin to make non-regulation clothes disintegrate. Yeah, it turns out that was actually a power-seeping charm and she was stealing from me. Nasty old creep.

Also, it turns out that people won’t tell me things because I’m an anomaly and have a lot of power, and the Queen decided to send me out of the forest because I was getting too grown-up and showing a lot of potential, and she doesn’t want me to develop into a political rival.

This sounded pretty thin to me, because I’m really a backwards nobody who isn’t that great at things, honestly, but Moffer Bones laughed at me and said that the Queen Mother was in a tizzy because those trolls who visited a few weeks ago wanted me to come and be an ambassador in Europe, and the Queen was pissed off and scared because she knew (Moffer said) that if I got out of the forest and around other magical peoples, I’d figure out really quickly how special and gifted I was.

So, according to Moffer Bones, the whole credit card, human vacation thing was a trap to get me out of the forest, and once I crossed the border of the woods, the charm on the credit card would immediately start to destroy my wings—which I told you are the source of my power—and then—Oh, I didn’t say this, though.

So the credit card had a couple of different charms on it, and was a nasty piece of magic, Moffer said. The first effect was that:

  1. Once I crossed the border with the credit card in my hand, I would turn human-sized, and the second effect was that:
  2. My wings would start to burn up.
  3. Also, Moffer Bones told me that the Queen was probably aiming to make sure I couldn’t enter the woods again, but that since his spell to keep me out hadn’t worked, the Queen’s wouldn’t either.

Moffer Bones said that he’s a good bit more powerful than the Queen, and that unless she’d managed to discover some dark form of magic he’d never heard of, there wasn’t anything she could whip out that he couldn’t figure out or counteract.

So the end of the conversation was me going, “Yeah, but I’m not sure if I believe you about any of this.”

Moffer Bones was like, “Cool, Winstance. I have no horse in this race, but if you go back there, she’ll kill you.”

“I thought you said she didn’t kill people,” I countered.

“I said she usually doesn’t. You remember that one kid, Monacsta? Lost her wings and got turned into a statue?” Moffer Bones asked. (This Monacsta is the fairy I told you about from two hundred years ago who lost her wings for trying to assassinate the Queen.)

I said yes, I knew about Monacsta, and Moffer Bones told me, “Monacsta was powerful, not as strong as you seem to be, but gifted. The Queen was draining her and Monacsta came to me to get help in stopping it. I told her the same stuff I’m telling you, and Monacsta called me a liar and went to have a polite negotiation with the Queen about laying off with the stealing, and now she’s a statue with a reputation as an assassin. You want to be the next bit of statuary in the fairy court?”

When Moffer Bones said this, I was kind of taken aback. I asked him what his advice was, and what I ought to do, and he laughed and said, “I don’t know. Don’t go back. She’s a greedy old bat and you scare her.”

“If the Queen’s so bad, why do you live here in her forest?” I shot back. Moffer got this steely kind of glint in his eyes (ugh, super handsome eyes! Oh, and I had gotten the black hoodie on by now, over my clothes, and I started pulling my dumb old leaf gown apart and off underneath it. And. I. Felt. So. Good. Aaaah, fabric.)—sorry, I got kind of lost there.

Um, so I asked why he went on living in the forest, since he said the Queen was such a bad person, and Moffer got all grim and heroic looking, and he said, “This isn’t her forest, Winstance. This is my mother’s land.”

Then he refused to say anything more about it and told me to go away, and I could see he was pretty upset and raw, so I gathered up my scraps of used-to-be-a-dress and flew out of his window (I made some tidy holes in the back of the hoodie for my wings, in case you were wondering about that), and now, at this moment, I am sitting at the very top of the rotten oak under which Moffer Bones’ hut resides and am thinking like mad about my life.

Because gosh. I’m just not sure what to believe at the moment.

One thing is for sure: I do NOT want to be the next bit of fairy statue decorating the Queen’s flower court, so I have got a whole lot of thinking to do. I mean, right now I have my wings and all my powers. I’m not willing to risk them, and if the Queen is insane enough to steal magic or try to sabotage my standing as a fairy (which, if she was really planning to do that, what a complete meanie), then maybe the Queen also is crazy enough to spy around or try to keep tabs on me to make sure I leave the forest. I figure Moffer Bones’ is the safest spot to be for just now, because all the fairies avoid him and I think (and I’m pretty sure I’m right) that the Queen is a little afraid of him.

Part of me is like, great, I’ll go out of the forest and be a free-wheeling magic person pretending to be human, but—I don’t know. That seems pretty short-sighted. I have a lot more questions, and I really, very much want to find out what Moffer Bones meant when he said I was a ‘creature.’ Like, what kind of creature? He was acting like I wasn’t a hundred percent fairy, and he obviously knows a ton, so—right now I’m hanging out—okay, to be honest, I’m hiding.

I’m hiding inside a hollow branch at the very top of the old rotten oak, and I’m keeping an eye on the surrounding area through a small hole and reviewing my options, because jeepers, this is not how I thought my day would turn out.

And yes, I maybe, a little bit, might have an eensy-weensy crush (just a marginal one) on Moffer Bones. But it’s mostly just that I need answers and he has them. I mean, I’m not just lurking around to catch glimpses of him when he’s out and about. That would be weird!

Also, if I am perfectly, completely honest, I’m in a kind of hazy nirvana now that I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie, and I’m partly focused on soaking in the total perfections of this whole situation. My clothes feel so freaking good. Mmmm.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my latest novel, someone was just murdered (and the body is now being disposed of!). You can get my latest story here.

The cover for my new book, plus some musings

This is the cover to the new book I just finished/published.

New Cover!

 

Elliot v.2

 

So I started

writing this book as a lark, and, funny story–I originally projected it as a 3k word short story. Yeah. It turned into a novel. Like, a real one with chapters. The main character just had a lot to say, and all of it was vital to the main idea, so here we are. I wrote an awesome new book and now I’m telling you about it!

This is a link to my new book, which you can get right this very second if you click HERE.

So the book is called Elliot, and it is a retelling of Cinderella with a trans woman as the main character. Gosh, it’s adorable. I mean, yes, I wrote it, but it’s just plain cute. Also, there is a gay fairy godmother and a whole lot of romance. I’m super proud of it, and now I’m telling you about it so you can check it out if you like.

Now, I promised

you rambling. Oh, in other news, my keyboard is struggling and teetering back and forth on the brink of being useable. My ‘n’ key is mostly dead, but sometimes it revives briefly and ensnares me into thinking that everything’s all right. I can still type with the ‘n’ key, but it takes a lot of work and massaging around to hit the little pad thingie underneath.

Anyway, so I went to the store to check out their keyboards, and now I have a cheap big black keyboard that hooks in with a usb cord and a fancy bluetooth wireless keyboard that’s the size of my original laptop keyboard. So far I prefer the fancy bluetooth one, but in the back of my mind I keep envisioning myself going and getting a new laptop. I’m not quite there yet, and part of me rather enjoys typing on a replacement keyboard. The feel of the keys is very different.

Oh, right, musings.

Well, I’m still circling around the topic of changing my approach to myself (basically the idea is to boost myself up and approve of/give a stamp of approval to any authentic idea that bursts out of me) (and the issue then is discerning which ideas are authentic and which are metaphorical weeds planted in the garden of my soul by nefarious outsiders). Plus, I’m getting a bit more serious about changing my diet to reduce junk and practice healthier habits. Because muscle tone and body composition, etc.

And now, our fairy rebel . . .

If you recall, in our latest installment, Winstance admitted to not knowing who her mother was, and the handsome and mysterious Moffer Bones reacted with alarm and shock, transported Winstance outside the boundary of the forest, and went home in the blink of an eye. Winstance, being full to the seams with indignant ire, has returned to his house and started to pound on the door. Moffer Bones is surprised to see her; she asks if she can borrow some pants (specifically, jeans), and . . . roll scene:

Sample

Jeans and a Hoodie!!!

Well, Moffer Bones kind of stares at me for a moment, and then he’s like, “Shoot,” except he swore. He didn’t say shoot for real. Um, and he pulled the door open farther to let me in—yay!—and then he went back into that little room behind the main sitting room and came back with . . . wait for it . . . jeans! Yeah, they were men’s jeans and way too big for me (who am I kidding? I was three inches tall and he was a giant compared to me), but still! They were jeans!

Moffer Bones handed them over and I got to work right away doing some tricky clothing charms to get them to fit me, and he just stared at me and was like, “What are you doing?”

I said, “I want to wear pants. Do you have a shirt or a sweater? You don’t have a hoodie, do you? Please?”

I was getting pretty excited at this point, because now I had jeans that were nearly ready to put on, my gosh! It had been years and years since I’d first started longing for a good pair of jeans, and here were my very first pair. He stared at me some more and then threw his hands up in the air, like he was giving up, and went back to his bedroom.

Guys. Guys, he came back with this black hoodie. Like, gosh! I felt like I was going to die, and everything was kind of a blur for me after that, because all I was thinking was ‘Get these items of clothing on my body right away, yes! Yes!’, and it’s possible that I was muttering to myself or sounding a tiny bit crazed while I was adjusting the sizes and doing little tweaks to the seams.

I guess Moffer could see me getting seriously possessive over these clothes, and he’s like, “Look, why don’t you just keep them. I have other clothes.”

I nearly flew over to kiss him, guys. I mean, he was giving them to me! Aaaaah!

So this was now officially the best day of my life, and I guess I was being cute or something with how into the clothes I was, because Moffer Bones laughed at me and then he started to talk.

Finally I started to get answers! Here are some of the answers I got:

Moffer Bones’ Answers:

  1. He put a really strong spell on me just a few minutes before to keep me out of the woods, so the fact that I just flew directly in without any issue is a huge deal to Moffer Bones, and apparently I’m very powerful. (This is news to me.)
  2. Me not having a known mother means that I’m probably a sort of creature that *mutter mutter* . . . and Moffer Bones got really incoherent and dodgy at that part, so beyond me being a creature . . . I don’t know? And he rushed on to talk about other things before I could ask more about this.
  3. The Queen Mother had a charm on the credit card that was meant to start draining my power out of my wings as soon as I crossed the boundary of the woods.

Well, at this point I stopped Moffer Bones and was like, “She what, now?” Because this was shocking and also sounded gross and frightening. Also, I had gotten the jeans down to my size and tailored to fit my legs (I do NOT have the kind of muscled thighs Moffer Bones has, so I did a little work on the inseams), so I pulled them on under my leaf skirt and it was HEAVEN. Gosh.

Okay, but this is what Moffer Bones told me about the Queen, and brace yourself, because it’s dark and nasty! (Who knew?! She seems so nice!)

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, a group of humans and aliens are working out their team dynamic before embarking on a mission in the wilderness. Also, I feel super tired right now! : D

 

Looong Winstance, and I have a new book out (link at bottom)

So I’ve been thinking lately about how I treat myself, because my core specialty is working on actors and developing personality (to make people charming and alluring, etc.), and of course the question after doing it to other people is . . . when am I going to do this stuff to myself? Right?

And I was putting off the deep work because it was a big mess. My insides were, I mean, for lots of reasons that aren’t particularly interesting, but I wanted to get *things* so I started doing the project anyway (the project of shining up my insides so my outsides would be more glamor-sparkly).

Which leads me to the point of what I’m talking about right now, which is how I think of and speak about myself. See, when working an actor, I frame what they’re doing as creative and reaffirm the instincts they’re bringing to the table, and this makes the actor respond much quicker on stage and gives them a fluid confidence in taking direction and playing in innovative ways in scene work.

Point being, I have to start being nicer to myself. It’s kind of like a personal trainer walking around and doing some really bad habit and then facing the music and being like, ‘Gee, I have to give this up or my work is going to suffer along with my clientele.’

So I’m being nicer to myself now. It’s so hard, not because it’s actually difficult but because it’s very unfamiliar.

I had some mean-ass directors and professors who were hard-core proponents of their actors being thoroughly beaten down and depressed. Skanky poop-heads, I say, all of ’em. Anyway, so that’s what I’m working on right now in my personal life, is undoing some really bad personality management habits that mean people pushed on me.

Like if you went to one martial arts studio and were taught all the wrong ways to do things, and then you had to undo all that learning and practice and take up the proper approach later on. Except it’s all emotions and invisible things, plus energy dynamics and subtle body adjustments (posture, flow, etc.).

The last thing that happened in our rebel fairy story was Winstance following Moffer Bones into his surprisingly nice hunting shack, and now you get to find out what Moffer Bones said!

Sample

A Very Annoying Interaction

Moffer Bones goes into his house, and I follow him, and then he shuts the door and his arm brushes against me, right? And then he turns to me while I’m feeling all twitterpated and whatnot, and he says, “Give me that credit card. Let’s see what she’s put on it.”

I was very eager to get his take on what the Queen might be up to, so I handed over the enchanted card and he goes over to his table and sits down and starts tinkering with the magic that’s all around and on the credit card. He was quiet for a bit and looked like he was concentrating, so I waited and tried to be patient, and then Moffer Bones looks up at me and he’s like, “Go over there.” He gestured across the room, and I was like, “Why?”, and Moffer Bones does this sighing number and says, “Because I’m going to set off the magic and I don’t want it to get on you. This is toxic.”

Well, this was news to me, because why would the Queen Mother give me something toxic, and I didn’t even know what that meant, but I went over the room anyway and Moffer Bones did this explode-y thing and essentially made the card combust into a fiery inferno over the table.

“That would have been you,” he says.

Now this sounded a whole lot like he was saying the Queen was trying to kill me or something, right? And I felt like maybe Moffer Bones was playing a trick on me, and—you know, like maybe he was a powerful evil dude who was going to seduce me onto his side and then lead me into rebelling against the Queen, right? And he would start that whole process off by making it sound like he’d saved me from some horrible fate.

I really wasn’t sure what to do yet, given the fact that he was being mysterious, so I just bit my tongue and pretended to be a little scared.

“Oh, don’t do that. I can see you aren’t afraid of me,” Moffer Bones says, and then I kind of glared at him, because it’s really rude to call people out for pretending to have emotions when they’re just, um, trying to find out more about the situation. I felt like he was being super rude. Moffer Bones, when I started glaring, kind of chuckled, and he was like, “Yeah, that’s better. Authentic. So you’re Winstance. Winstance what? What’s your mother?”

I shot right back at him, and I was like, “What was on that credit card? What was the Queen going to do to me?”

He looked at me for a second like he was trying to decide how much he wanted to say, and then he shook his head—he was soo cute, guys, and part of me was just concentrating on not acting like an idiot and trying to flirt at him. I was also jealous of his clothes, because of course I was in my latest leaf frock and I felt ridiculous. You’ll remember that I’d magicked myself up to Moffer Bones’ size, so my leaf dress was bigger, too, and I felt like a dingy human wearing a super cutesy Halloween outfit, which I hated. I mean, he’s all over there in his soft cream sweater and gorgeous brown pants, and I know I would have felt a whole lot more at ease if I could have been wearing some jeans and a hoodie.

Like, then it would have been totally different for me. I could have been all chill and like, ‘Hey, Moffer Bones, wanna go on a moonlit stroll with me?’ Or something. As things were, with me and my oversized leaf gown, I felt like a bad joke out of a super low-budget film. Oh, I guess you’re maybe wondering why I know about things like films and whatnot, since I’m a fairy. Um, I kind of maybe steal people’s phones when they’re in the woods. I always put them back, okay! And I never get caught. I just, uh, stream movies and browse clothing online when campers are sleeping during the night. So . . . yeah.

Anyway. Um.

Oh, so I had asked what the Queen had been planning to do to me with the enchanted credit card, and Moffer Bones, after he’s looked at me for a long moment, shakes his head in this cynical sort of way and says, “I’m not getting into this again. You answer me first. What’s your mother?”

I asked him, “What do you mean, again? Has this happened before?”

Moffer Bones makes this face at me like it’s a dumb question, and he’s all, “You really think I can live on the edge of the forest for five hundred years and you’re the first bright-eyed little kid to wander over and ask me for help? What’s your mother?”

“How often do people come to ask you for stuff like this? And what happens to them in general?” I ask.

Moffer makes this scoffing noise and is all, “I’m not going to tell you anything. What’s your mother?”

This was turning into a stalemate sort of situation, which was frustrating, so I tried a new angle. I said, “Why do you care that I can make myself your size?”

He says, “Regular fairies can’t do that.”

I’m like, “Yes, they can. Everyone I know can do this.”

He gets this smirk on his face—a super hot smirk—and he says, “Yeah, right. How many times have you seen a fairy get larger than six inches?”

Bear in mind that Moffer Bones and I are both about a foot and a half tall just at this moment. I said, “Never, but they haven’t needed to get this big. They could if they wanted to.”

He says, “No, they couldn’t. Now I’ve said something useful. You tell me what your mother is.”

Where I come from is kind of a sore point for me, but he did render up a tiny bit of real participation, even though I was sure what he’d said about fairies not being able to magic themselves bigger was a lie, so I felt like I’d better give him something, too. So I said, “My mother didn’t want me and I was left in a flower. I don’t know who she was.”

Well, Moffer Bones looked even more startled when I said this, and before I could figure out if he looked mad or scared, he strode over the house to me, grabbed me by both arms, and then he did some tricky kind of magic that I didn’t recognize and I found myself outside the boundary of the woods, and Moffer Bones was glaring at me, and he let go of my arms and vanished.

I was really angry, right? Because that was abrupt and thoughtless, and you really shouldn’t magic people around without speaking to them first.

I made myself my regular size, because being so huge was kind of making me feel like this monstrous elephant or something, and I zoomed up into the air on my purple-with-gold-swirls wings and I just flew right back into the woods and made a direct line for Moffer Bones’ house, because boy, did I have some words for him!

And also, him grabbing my arms was very enjoyable, even though he was being mean while he was doing it. He didn’t hurt me or anything, it was just rude and, like I said, thoughtless. But still, he was awfully cute and his hands were warm. Plus, he smelled good.

He’d dropped me outside the boundary of the woods a little distance from his house, and so I just tore along until I came up to his front door, and then I hovered in front of the door and started pounding on it with one fist.

After a moment, Moffer Bones came and opened the door, and he looked completely shocked that I was there, which to me was like, dude, we weren’t even finished talking, you know? Why would I just be all, ‘Oh, Moffer Bones has put me outside the woods! I shall wander away and never demand answers!’ Yeah, no. I wanted to have it out with this guy, since he clearly knew things about the Queen, and I still didn’t have any answers about why she would give me permission to leave the woods for fifty years. I wanted answers!

Moffer Bones stares at me like I’m this miracle or something, and he’s like, “How did you do that?”

I said, “You’re being really rude to me, Moffer Bones. I don’t think I like you anymore. Can I come in? I want you to tell me why the Queen would give me an enchanted credit card, and I also want to know what would have happened to me when I crossed the boundary with it, and do you have any pants I can have?”

He stares at me some more and he’s like, “Pants? You want pants?”

I was feeling like here, maybe, was progress, so I—in my three-inch-tall state, and flying at his eye level—tilt up my chin and I’m like, “Yes! Jeans, preferably.”

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, some members of the group are being chastised for having terrible manners. I wrote a new story, it’s hilarious, and you can get it here.

Good Morning, World

Sample

Moffer Bones’ House

So the outside of the hunting shack looked exactly like I’d expected, with gray, weathered wood and decrepit old boards and scraps kind of hanging off here or there. It looked like the kind of shack someone put up with half a plan and whatever they had on hand, you know? Kind of skewampus and—well, messy, and there were rusted-out nails here and there over the whole thing, like the people making it really hadn’t been very good at hammering, or they’d driven too many nails into knots in the wood and then not known how to pull them out again, or just not been strong enough.

It was a clumsy shack on the outside, is what I’m saying, but it wasn’t full of holes or anything. I mean, all the spaces were closed up, just with layers, almost like a person started building the shack, discovered that it was full of holes, and hammered bits of wood or roofing shingle over all the gaps.

So it was kind of like a reptile shack, with little bits of mismatched scales put over the outsides, and the roof was uneven and had three different kinds of material on top, almost like someone had been raiding the dump or trying to salvage leftover materials from other projects. There was a little metal chimney, a round one, kind of like a thick exhaust pipe sticking right out of the left side of the roof. Overall it was a crazy, lopsided mess, and that was very much what I was expecting the whole thing to be like, so yay.

Well, I followed Moffer Bones into his shack, and wowza. Jeepers, it was nice. First, the inside was perfectly neat, and super well built. Like, it was exactly like Moffer Bones had taken the shack as-is, and left the outside completely alone, and then redone the entire inside, using the outside as a shell. So the inside was not huge, but it was beautifully constructed and super homey.

So there was one main room, and that took up most of the space, and it had a really nice sitting area and a wooden table, and a rug. There were pictures on the walls, too, paintings in frames, and they were really gorgeous. They seemed like the kind of paintings you would see in a fancy museum, and I didn’t get a chance to look very closely at them, but there were three of them and then a couple of small oval portraits over near the fireplace. Oh, there was a fireplace, a super cozy one made out of white stone.

It wasn’t the time of year to have a fire, but it was all swept up and neat, and had a bundle of wood all ready to be lit on fire. Um, so that was the main room—and he had a few shelves, too, with books and little tools on them, but I was kind of taking in the whole environment and feeling super nervous about being so close to this incredibly hot guy, so I didn’t really spend much time staring at his things. I didn’t want to be nosy, or look like I was just coming around to be a snoop.

Um, so there was that main room, which was the biggest area, and then there was a little step up into a tiny little kitchen area, and then a doorway to one side that I think must have gone into an equally small bedroom or maybe a washroom. Anyway, so that was the layout of Moffer Bones’ house, and he waited for me to come in and then shut the door behind me, right? And he had to reach past me to get the door, which meant that his arm brushed up against my side, and gosh, that was—uh, that was really something.

Now, I’ve told you a few times now that I was desperate for flirting and relationships, right? And what I haven’t told you yet is that I hadn’t ever, um, touched up against another person. Like, at all. (I guess if you’re wondering about my childhood, I’ll explain that in a bit, but I’m serious about the not-touching thing.) Fairies are very hands-off, and don’t do snuggles, which drives me nuts because I’m basically starving for contact all the time and can’t get any human-style cuddles, which I really, really want. I didn’t mention that because it seemed kind of like a personal, needy thing to say: ‘Hey there, I’m Winstance and I crave physical touch!’

Yeah, I didn’t want to lead with that, but I’m telling you right now because this was a huge, massive deal to me, that Moffer Bones brushed against me like this for a second while closing the door. And he acted like it was not even a big deal or anything. I was super pumped, as you can guess, because not only was I getting touched by a person for basically the first time ever, but the guy doing it was functionally the definition of hotness. Sigh.

So we went into the house, and I’m still holding onto the credit card and the pamphlet while riding the emotional high of my first almost-flirting experience ever, and this next part is what Moffer Bones said to me.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and I’m editing a manuscript. Also, in my latest book, the hunter is talking to Gareth. You can get my latest story here.