I bumped in Meinwen in town. She’s the self-confessed witch that runs the airy-fairy pagan shop opposite Felicia’s art gallery. I’ve been in there a couple of times and it’s your normal mish-mosh of joss sticks and tarot cards, all wrapped up with a bit of esoteric nonsense about getting in touch with your inner goddess and calling on the angels for help with everything from the explanation of your divine path to replacing a washer on the bathroom tap.
I don’t tell her any of this. She’s a friend of Felicia’s and things can get a bit dicey around the manor when it’s a werewolf’s turn to cook and she’s annoyed with you. Not that she’d try to kill me or anything, but if she ever invites you to dinner don’t eat the spaghetti when there’s an empty can of doggie chunks next to the bin.
Anyway, Meinwen. She’s all right for a mortal. She has a touch of the Fae inside her, although she doesn’t know it. There’s a spark of real ability in there. She can recognise it sometimes, gets a sense of the history of an object if it’s been somewhere close to true magic. Of course, that goes for most things in Laverstone, since it’s a well of magic. That’s not well as in throw-down-a-bucket-and-draw-some-up, by the way, but well as in ‘black hole.’
Imagine you’ve got a trampoline, only instead of the bouncy bit you’ve got a sheet of black latex. Or pink if you like, whatever rocks your boat. Now imagine that you drop a rock onto the middle of the sheet. The latex supports it but bends into an exponential curve with the rock at the bottom. Other rocks are going to roll right in there. That’s your well.
Now Meinwen. As I said, she’s got a bit of ability to sense the magical, which is quite rare in a mortal. If you imagine people as a forest, the magical person is the one single tree with a chainsaw and no arms.
Anyone but Meinwen in the possession of a little bit of magical power would think they were seeing things, hearing things, in need of therapy or drunk. Not her. She’s clever enough – with a university degree in economics – to realise that what she feels when she picks up an object is its place in the world.
She’s partly right.
What she actually feels is its palace in the Divine Plan. Don’t ask me what that is because I’ve absolutely no idea. I only know that there is one and that all things should know their purpose Not everything does, obviously, else the world would grind to a halt, everybody would be happy and I’d be out of a job. It does mean that Meinwen can tell when something is intrinsically wrong with the world.
It gives her a headache.
She had a headache this afternoon. I could tell it was a bad one because she was skulking at the back of the chemists. Usually she’s the one espousing the virtues of Chamomile tea and extract of willow bark. When she’s downing two tabs of paracetemol without water, it must be a humdinger.