When Amanda first opened the door to her, she thought Gwaiva was a punk. It was the ears that changed her mind. Head hugging, shapely and pointed ears under an electric aqua, mohawk-upsweep of hair. It was a measure of how far Amanda’s world had expanded that her next reaction was, “You’re an elf!”
“Yes, is that a problem?” Gwaiva raised one of her delicate blue eyebrows.
“No, not at all. You’re on the list.” Amanda stood aside and held the door open. “I’ve never seen an elf before and I never expected one to be so – striking or so modern.”
“I’m half ljos alfar and half ice elf,” Gwaiva said as if that explained everything while she came in through the door. “Tradition as a way to make a living was never going to cut it, not when my family can’t live among either group. Technology seemed the way to go.” She patted the laptop bag slung over one shoulder and took the time to shift the weight of her heavy-looking back pack a little. “I’m supposed to meet someone called Dennis?”
“I’m Dennis.” Their resident computer geek had emerged from his lair and was beaming at the new arrival like an enthusiastic, slightly pimpled and pedantic puppy. “You must be Gwaiva. I thought your icon must be a photo. Do you want to come into the computer room and get yourself set up?”
Gwaiva stepped forward and shook hands with him. “Yes please. You’ll organise passwords and access?”
“It’s really got very little to do with me.” Dennis was gabbling excitedly, “Come and see. The biometric interface is-.” At that point they went into the computer room and the door closed behind them.
Cheryl walked over to Amanda, broom in hand, and both of them gazed for a moment at the door behind which the elf in the schoolgirl-kilt with the electric blue stripes was doing computer things with Dennis.
“He’s been trying to show that stuff off to someone ever since it was installed,” commented Cheryl. “I never thought it would be someone so, well like her.”
“I know,” agreed Amanda. “I know.”