Shakti travels as Vivian.
… She first heard them arguing as she was washing the breakfast dishes.
I tell you, said one little voice, these biggies give me the heebie-jeebies.
She doesn´t even have wings! giggled a second little voice.
Oh she is strange, oodles of strange…said a third little voice.
Vivian went out onto the platform.
Three tiny women with translucent wings, clothed in gossamer clothes, were flickering around the treehouse bannister, twittering like birds.
Who are you? said Vivian.
The green one flew over to Vivian, and saucily flapped her wings in her face.
No-no-no, the real question is: who are you? These woods belong to us. Umph.
I´m the Lady Vivian, I´m a Traveller from the Guild Halls.
A-ha, said the purple one, an artist, eh?
An artist, an artist? Let me through! cried out the third. She moved around Vivian´s head like a miniature helicopter around the Statue of Liberty.
Are you really an artist? she asked inquisitively.
I am, said Vivian. I´m an auth-or.
Hee hee, tittered the green one gleefully, she thinks she is a writer!
Oooooh but what presumption! What impertinent boldness! exclaimed the purple one.
Stop it! Vivian asserted firmly. Stop it this minute! You are in my imagination, and as auth-or, I have the right to ask what you are doing there! I didn´t give you permission!
Hee-hee-hee, trilled the green one shrilly.
Hehehe, the purple one exclaimed.
Hum o-hum…the yellow one rasped.
Stop it! Who are you? snapped Vivian.
I´m Tootee, said the green one.
I´m Flurry, said the purple one.
And I´m Rosee, fluted the yellow one, doing a little dance on top of the bannister..
And then they added in a chaos of little voices, We are fairies, we are, at least that´s what the biggies call us. Fairies, fairies, fairies we are! She doesn’t even know that! Hew….ah…oh…
Vivian closed her eyes. Be patient, very patient, she told herself.
She took a deep breath.
I´m not…she started.
Yes, yes, yes, you are not a fairy, we know that! You don´t believe in fairies! You are an ignorant ar-tisss-t! Tootee spat the “t” like a loose tooth.
Vivian was getting hot. Beware, ladies, if you do not behave… I´m going to get my anti-fairies spray!
Ooooh, the three of them recoiled, looking shocked. She means it!
How barbarous can you get? said Rosee.
How gross, how totally un-edew-kated! … said Tootee.
Oh that´s not a good start, thought Vivian.
Let´s see, she said. Let´s begin again. May I invite you in for tea? Or maybe for a thimble of brandy?
Teehee, a thimblefull of brandy will get us very high! said Flurry jumping off the bannister and doing a figure eight in the air.
A thimblefull of brandy will kill us, you mean! Assassin! spat Tootee into Vivian´s face.
Now let´s calm down. How about some nice blackberry wine, or even some pineapple juice? Don´t you like pineapple juice?
Do you have…mmm…English tea? asked Flurry, perching herself on the bannister again.
English tea with a shade of milk and half a cube of cane sugar? asked Vivian. Sure. Whatever. Maybe we could talk about…about…
…What do you talk about with beings that you do not believe are really there? thought Vivian.
…The new fairy fashion from Gay Paris? whispered Flurry with a naughty expression.
Oh let´s. Tootee, please oh please, let´s, cried Rosee. The biggie has got a communication center, we could ,we could…see the world!
Well, yes, agreed Tootee reluctantly. Let´s. Ohum.
May I show you in? said Vivian.
Oh no, no-no-no, we know how to do that, don´t we, Tootee? We can come in through the roof, as a matter of fact, we have been observing you, said Rosee. You and that other ugly human…
Oh, said Vivian, you mean Corwin?
Yes, that human…Corwin, said Rosee with a sudden gleam in her tiny eyes and a knowing smile.
Well, ladies, do what you want, OK? I´ll be going in now, and preparing tea, and juices, and whatever else I can magic around, how about almond cakes, coconut waffles maybe, hot scones with cream and strawberry jam?
Or…or…chocolate? said Flurry with a dreamy expression. Oh, yes. Chocolate would definitely make my day…
Vivian went in, thinking all the while, My oh my, there are some weird things in these woods!…