Melissa, looking down at the elf before her, nods and smiles.
"Well, I guess I could see your point," the Twin of Doom sighs, picking at her dress. "I am kind of getting tired of the....odd stares I get when I walk the street. But I'll not get a full length ball gown if that's what is the fashion on this planet."
"Besides it's not exactly....practical clothing," E'eysha continued. "I mean, far be it from me to dictate what another lady wears, but you've got to admit what you have there is....."
"Besides the fact that by one calendar it's something like two decades out of date by my friends calendar or by the local calendar..." Melissa sighed."By the local calendar of the 16th century.....I'm just out and out....not with it. Besides, the clothing is getting a bit....well.....ragged from use."
"I....wasn't going to say that," E'eysha winces.
"Don't worry, I understand," the red headed human said magnanimously. "Nice outfit you're wearing by the way! You say that you got it after that mage turned you from a human into an elf?"
Astra smiles and waves her hands at her leaf green mid-calf length skirt and a blouse. This time, she's wearing the boots that she had been given by the other elves she'd met upon coming to this world. Somehow, the thigh high boots seemed to compliment the dress.
"Thank you for the compliment," the former human says. "And I did indeed get this dress upon my transformation."
"And the abilities and lifespan of an elf," a jolly sounding voice says from behind. "Ah, good. I was hoping to find you here. Grailing was wanting a bit of input on something with you on a pressing problem. He needed you and your husband to explain in more detail the....er.....human side of a treaty with Ethiopia."
Both human and elf turn and look into the teddy bear like face of the Frederigo D'Honaire, the manfox. The Pack Leader's muzzle is upturned in a cannine smile and his eyes are dancing in suppressed amusement.
Melissa suppresses a groan, knowing that the manimal's humorous nature is coming to the fore....again.
"Glad to," E'eysha smiled before excusing herself.
"Uh....we aren't going to have more jokes about that J.R.R. Tokeen novel, are we?" Melissa asks nervously.
"Well, I guess I've made a Hobbit of it," the manfox says with a twinkle in his eye. "But I just came out to find E'eysha so she could help Ke'lan."
A bit of silence pass. Melissa wonders what to say next. What DO you say to a person who decided that they preferred, in the final analysis, to remain a human fox instead of a human being?
Melissa could understand, to a certain extent, but still.....she preferred her human condition. Oh, when she had been younger she'd had this friend, Wendy Fletcher, who'd gotten her interested in elves. She'd had dreams of how fun it'd be to become something other than human....had even gone into acting initially at a young age to feed her fantasy. But that was long ago, and Melissa knew that while a visit into that country would be nice......she only wanted a visit...not live forever more as something that she hadn't been born.
But then again, that was her hang up.
"So....has Trilling recovered yet?" Melissa asks. "While we're at it, how is our new mage...the Doctor and the others? I understand spells like that take a lot out of a mage."
"I'm told that as a general rule that the more powerful the spell the more a mage pays in one way or another," the fox says. "Trilling hasn't recovered, but they say it'll be something like perhaps another hour or less we'll see if they'll have to make another go or something."
Fred smiles softly and then continues.
"You aren't really comfortable around me," he says softly.
Melissa silently swears to himself. She had forgotten that all manimals, including THIS Fred, had empathy.
That, and a body who's animal shape reflected their inner nature. Melissa had gathered that most, if not ALL of the Freds had been real practical jokers in their youth....but had grown to be rather more serious to reflect the station they had been born to. With this Fred's change, that suppress nature was closer to the surface.
Resulting in the occasional pun or a joke that made Melissa glad that the OTHER Freds were not manimals!
Still, her discomfort wasn't the fact that Fred was a nonhuman, who "spoke" in yips and yelps (as a fox would) without the green gem attached to a hand on his left arm. It was the facts that his body kept reminding her of.....
"It's.....just that before I came here I thought that the nearest I'd come to real magic would be playing a sorceress in a play," Melissa says softly. "I always dreamed of actually being able to cast a real magical spell, go out and fight evil dragons and such....play the heroine. Now, I'm actually going to actually LIVE my dream....and as sad as it sounds.....I'm taken aback by it all. And....you know I'm telling the truth here.....when I sometimes see a demifox or another ACTUAL product of what I'd call fantasy....it throws me for a loop. God, listen to me!"
Melissa shakes her head sadly.
"The change in environment must have been unsettling," Fred says understandingly. "I think I can understand after a fashion. While my transition from humanity to manimality was arguably more.....difficult, in the end it was VERY rewarding. I think that you'll adjust....and come to enjoy your calling as a magic user."
"Oh....I actually LOVE the whole idea," Melissa says. "But the thing is....it's still jarring. I guess you could say....that me going into acting was a poor second choice since there was supposedly no such thing as magic. I'd settle for the magic of the play and such for the real thing. Though....there had been rumors that there actually was such a thing as real magic.....I am from Addventure....a place supposedly renowned for the almost impossible....but up until meeting Betty 1....."
Melissa shakes her head in consternation and shrugs.
"Well, I guess I could walk you to the dressmaker," Fred says gallantly, wiggling his ears. "I couldn't help but overhear the last of that conversation."
Melissa, nodding in remembrance of how sensitive ears of manimals and elves were, smiles as the manimal escorts her down to the dressmaker. Both pause as they hear the dressmaker is talking with somebody....with a rather familiar but oddly high....voice.
Melissa staggers as she finds herself elsewhere.
She remembers her encounter with the biker and those other strange beings....and those images of two Earths (she had the strangest feeling that they weren't images).
She knew, somehow, that the Doctor was nearby! She couldn't explain it, but she knew. She also knew that another person, in need of advice, was coming.
And there she was!
"How am I supposed to make that dress for Astra 7 if I don't have any idea what her size will be?" Rinsa asks herself for the millionth time. "I mean, she says that she's only five months pregnant and doesn't care to hide that fact. But with triplets on the way and the fact that the wedding is going to be...ack....what am I going to do?"
"Try elastic," Melissa chirps happily, looking up at the dark skinned dressmaker.
Something about the fact that she's looking UP is bothering her, but then again, her size had been shifting ever since that heat shimmer whatever had hit her (and had made her scream out in fear).
Rinsa nearly jumps out of her skin as she looks down in surprise at her unexpected guest. The small size, along with the pointed ears told her what she was. However, it didn't answer two questions. The first question is just why this female elf was in her place of work, naked as the day she had been birthed? The second question was just why....she looked like one of the Twins of Doom?!
Those question are put on hold for one overriding question on her lips.
"Pardon?" Rinsa asks, startled.
"See these?" Melissa says happily, practically dancing over (and apparently oblivious to the fact that she was nude) to a pile of materials that the Golems (as many still called the Military). "See how they stretch?"
"Just like.....Astra 6's bodice stretch's....." Rinsa says, feeling foolish. "Why didn't I think of that?!"
Rinsa had prided herself on being creative and a bit more....inventive than non-Ethiopians. It was a gift that most of her nation had been blessed with since the era of rule of Prestor John. A gift from God, most felt.
Rinsa didn't feel very smart at the moment, though.
"Hey, you can't think of everything....just to quote an old phrase," Melissa smiles.
"Old phrase?" Rinsa says slowly. "Hmmm, must be old back in your elfin villager, my friend, but I've never heard it. By any chance did you hear it while gazing into the eather of the murky depths of your.....scrying devices?"
Didn't my brother say something about scryings of the future NOT working any more? the dressmaker thinks to herself.
The next look on Melissa's face was an eloquent question......
3/30/2000 3:25:53 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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