From late in the July 2, 1992, chapter
Angelina introduced her companion, “This is Amanda, my half sister. She came along because she wanted to meet you.”
My face must have shown how puzzled I felt, because Angelina said, “we are both Leo’s daughters, so we know a little about you already. Amanda is very excited about you having a wedding ceremony here.” She smiled gently.
“Yes I am!” said Amanda, practically bubbling with energy. She turned to Kristy, “Will you have a big beautiful dress?”
Kristy blinked a few times, then said, “Why, I don’t think so. I don’t need anything fancy. I just want the ritual of it, not the trappings.”
Amanda looked crushed. “But I thought human women dressed up like princesses to get married!”
Kristy appealed to me with her eyes, but I had no idea what to say.
“Don’t they?” Amanda persisted, “Like this?” She shimmered and her dress changed. She had been wearing – at least apparently – a gown somewhat similar to Angelina’s, but the color of yellow summer grass in the sunshine. It seemed to go thematically with her eyes – a dusty green color that brought to mind the leaves of the live oak particularly – and her peculiar hair. Her hair didn’t shine. Any human hair that dull would break, crumble into dust, really. But hers was obviously healthy, just not shiny. A dull brown with wild writhing locks that seemed to want to move on their own.
Now she seemed to be wearing a dress much like Princess Di wore to marry Prince Charles. She wasn’t holding the glamor well. My eyes slid off of it and the image seemed to be warring in my memory with something else, but my mind refused to tell me what is was. The contradictions started to give me a headache.
“Okay, we get it!” I said, wincing.
Amanda looked startled, then flickered back into her previous appearance. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I’m not very good at that.”
“Uh,” I replied intelligently, “That’s okay, I guess. It just hurts my head.”
“That’s actually a good sign, Joe,” Angelina put in. “It suggests some native talent for perceiving and possibly even working with fairy magic.”
Amanda interrupted, “But Kristy! You must want a pretty princess dress!”
Kristy laughed helplessly, “Why? And even if I did, it would be too much of a hassle to get one so quickly. I want to do this this weekend; there just wouldn’t be time!”
Reason wasn’t apparently the right approach with Amanda. “Oh, please let me dress you up!” she begged.
“What?” Kristy said, now totally confused.
“I can sew, I made this dress, see?” Amanda twirled around for us to admire her dress. Now that I examined it – and knew that it was real – I was actually fairly impressed. It had a tremendous amount of fine detail, all of which fed into the image of the sunburned summer grass that went so well with her unique coloring. “Please let me make a princess dress for you for your wedding! Please!”
“Well,” said Kristy unsure if she dared deny the request, “I guess you can make me a dress. But maybe something more like what you’re wearing than like the dress you showed us with your glamor.”
Amanda looked disappointed, then shyly said, “Maybe something in between?”
Kristy capitulated. The dress negotiations would be interesting to watch. It was obvious that Amanda wanted “fancy” with all her heart, but Kristy could be very stubborn. I was very curious how this was going to turn out.
“Yay!” Amanda squealed. “I’ll come back later with some measuring tools and cloth, and we can make some plans.” She smiled happily, turned around then waved over her shoulder as she skipped away.
I have to admit I hadn’t imagined elves as the skipping types.
“Is she related to Ming at all?” I asked. It just popped out, I didn’t mean to say it out loud.
Angelina laughed suddenly. “Yes, as a matter of fact, that’s his mother.”
Again before I could stop my mouth I said, “Ming is Leo’s grandson?” and this set Angelina laughing again.
“You have no idea how often people say that just that way,” she said. “Particularly if they’ve met me first,” she added unselfconsciously.