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Fairy Lessons for Christmas

The queen is going to give me fairy lessons. Well, she said she would talk to me about being a fairy, but she’s a mother and I think she will take pity on me.

I was sitting out in the park this afternoon, thinking about Christmas. I’m not a religious person, but I still like going to my granny’s house for Christmas. Aberystwyth is quieter at Christmas, because the university shuts down, so you can actually walk down the high street without running into mobs of people. My granny’s house is really small, and she and my mum don’t get on, so my mum and dad stay at a hotel, and my sister and I get to stay at hers, in this tiny little guest room. Then on Christmas Day, everybody piles into her kitchen’ or we drive to Machynlleth to Auntie Gwen who I’m named for’s house, and we eat until nobody can eat any more. It’s Wales, so then there’s church and singing. Sometimes we stay at Auntie Gwen’s the whole time, but I like it better when we stay at granny’s.

I wonder what they did, this year. I’m sure Christmas has come and gone, though I have no idea of the date.

Everything got weird later this afternoon. I went over to the bakery to see about some pastry dough, but they didn’t have it ready for me. When I got back to the pub, Aiobh was there with Brigitte. N had told me a little bit about her, but it was ages ago. I mentioned the kind of technology I was missing, and she had something like that, according to him.

When Aoibh went back to make some tea, Brigitte pulled out a tablet, like an iPad but it wasn’t an iPad. She said she ran her business from Jasper Cove and could even go back for board meetings if she scheduled them on a full moon. When I asked her if she could get Facebook, she said that was very 2013 of me but that she probably could.

I didn’t ask her to look. Maybe she comes from a different world than me. I mean, N’s London has cafés where you can buy blood; I don’t know what I would find. Maybe I’d find a world in which I died in October of 2012 in a terrible car crash. Maybe my page would be some kind of memorial. Maybe I just went missing and all my friends would have little links to a group called Find Gwyneth Evans or something. Only since 2013 is a long time ago for Brigitte, they’d all be really old and my friends will have given up on ever finding me.

Or worse. Maybe my existence has just been neatly wiped out, like I was never there at all. Or maybe I am there, but a different me and they don’t notice the difference. That fairy dictionary I got from the bookshop had a chapter on changelings. What if I’m a changeling, and the fairies just sort of slipped the real Gwyn Evans back when the accident happened and I disappeared? Because if I’m a changeling, there is a real Gwyn Evans out there, and she’s been stuck all this time in fairyland, not fitting in and not having any magic and being treated as inferior. She’d look different from me, but it wouldn’t matter, because she’s the real one. And she’d be just like me, only shed fit in, and get along with mum. Maybe the only one who’d notice would be dad. And maybe granny or auntie G. Over Christmas dinner, they’d exchange a long glance with my dad when they figured out the other girl wasn’t me. And later, maybe they’d have a conversation it of mum’s earshot, where they talked about missing me but knowing they could only have me for so long. And then they’d forget me: they’d have to. Because nobody else would know. Mum would just think I’d grown up, and Jane would finally have the sister she’s always wanted. The new Gwyn would ditch all my friends and hang out with normal people.

Sigh. Now I’m depressing myself and getting all worked up. That’s why I am afraid to look at Facebook.

It is so good to have Aoibh back. The world feels a little more right when she’s in the tavern. Maybe I can talk to the king about getting a laptop. Maybe I could continue my PhD long distance. I wish I felt like I could hug Aoibh.

I’m sleepy.

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