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!
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.
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.