Authors: Michelle L. Levigne
Tags: #Romance, #Fantasy Romance, #Fantasy & Magic
Uncial Press Aloha, Oregon
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and events described herein are products
of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any
resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely
ISBN 13: 978-1-60174-120-2
ISBN 10: 1-60174-120-0
She Blinded me with Science
Copyright © 2011 by Michelle
Cover art and design by Victoria Conrad
Copyright © 2011
The original three ALL'S FAE IN LOVE AND CHOCOLATE short stories--
Knight, Smoke and Mirrors
She Blinded Me with Science
electronically, separately, between 2005 and 2006, by New Concepts Publishing. An anthology
of all three stories was made available in paper in 2006.
All rights reserved. Except for use in review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in
whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or
hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the author or publisher.
Published by Uncial Press,
an imprint of GCT, Inc.
Visit us at http://www.uncialpress.com
"To sum up my thesis in one sentence: Magic, or the perceived existence of magic, is
psychosomatic." Sophie Hunter focused on her doctoral advisor, Dr. Hermann, and blocked out
the reactions of the other six professors sitting at the long table before her.
She also tried to ignore Jennifer Montcrief--called Mount Grief by three-quarters of their
classmates--who had finagled permission to listen to Sophie's presentation. The last time Sophie
looked, these presentations were private. Onlookers were neither wanted nor permitted.
Unfortunately, what Jennifer Montcrief wanted, she got. And those who stood in her way usually
suffered. Grousing over Jennifer's unusual talent for success at the expense of others led Sophie
to her thesis topic. She couldn't decide if it would insult or compliment Jennifer to use her as an
Here there be dragons,
simply because the peasants wanted to believe in
someone stronger than their overlords?" Dr. VanderHuey said. He actually looked impressed,
and it took a lot to get more than a scowl from him at the best of times.
Sophie believed in her thesis topic and had psyched herself to believe the panel would
not only allow her to pursue her research, but would also throw a sizable grant her way. If she
got her go-ahead, she would have already proved her thesis. At least, in her mind.
"Among other things, sir." Sophie nodded when she wanted to jump up and down.
"Impossible things happened, not because our ancestors were ignorant of the laws of nature, but
because they believed they were possible. They affected the outcome with their belief, just like
the act of observing an event in some small way affects the outcome of the event."
"Now you're getting into quantum physics, Hunter," Dr. Hermann said. Despite the flat
line of his mouth, his eyes sparkled with humor.
"In some ways, sir, I think quantum physics and psychology intersect. There's the theory
of parallel universes, where every decision that is made creates a branching in realities... Do you
want me to go into that?" That earned a few chuckles from the professors. Sophie took a deep
breath and refused to react to that sign of progress.
Progress, nothing. She was doing incredibly well.
"Next you'll be saying little green men are real just because the loonies who claimed
they were abducted believed they would be," Jennifer remarked in saccharine tones from behind
"Miss Montcrief, you are here only on the good graces of your advisor, because he
believes you still don't understand the presentation process," Dr. Hermann growled. If looks
could kill, his disapproving glare would have put Jennifer six feet under, with three feet of that
being solid cement reinforced with iron rebar.
There were times Sophie really needed magic to be real, and this was one of them.
"She does have a point," Dr. Putney said in his usual weary tone of voice.
Common consensus said he hadn't always been so exhausted. At least, not before he got
assigned as advisor to Jennifer.
"What is magic, sir," Sophie said quickly, "except technology that is too advanced for
the observer to understand? Quantum physics says strength of belief opens doorways to parallel
versions of reality. Two hundred years ago, the same 'little green men' would have been seen as
demons, leprechauns, faeries, or other magical creatures, depending on the local culture."
"You have an answer for everything, don't you, Hunter?" Dr. Crooz snapped. She
shoved her cats-eye glasses higher up on the bridge of her nose and sniffed disdainfully.
"No, ma'am. That's why I need to do research. Hopefully, I'll come away with some
answers that will be useful to others."
"Hopefully," Jennifer muttered, just soft enough that no one but Sophie heard.
* * * *
"Clever girl." Dr. Hermann said an hour later, in the privacy of his office. He nodded,
and smiled through his bushy gray beard. "I hope you have some science fiction conventions on
your list of research. Back when I was in your position, I would have been laughed off campus if
I suggested even visiting such an event on a lark. Now, you're considered up-to-date and
progressive to include them as a valid sub-culture. I envy you."
Sophie believed that back in Dr. Hermann's student days, science fiction conventions
didn't even exist. She was too smart to say so, however. All that mattered was that she had
approval for her project, grant money, and a full academic year to do her research.
"You know what they've been saying about you, in the ivory towers?" he continued.
"The betting pool had it on good authority that you would propose elves are real." He
snorted when Sophie involuntarily reached up to tug her hat lower on her head.
She couldn't remember a time when her pointed ears hadn't gotten her into trouble. Sure,
the quirky family trait had been a big help at Halloween and when she belonged to that
club, but she never liked being a Vulcan for costume parties or role-playing games, so
what fun was that? Sophie wore hats and colorful scarves or just pulled her hair over her ears
whenever possible. She never dreamed that they would stop the academic world from taking her
Maybe when she proved magic was psychosomatic and therefore real in a logical, usable
form, people would finally take her seriously.
Or maybe she should just use some of that grant money for plastic surgery?
* * * *
Kevyn wanted that starring role in the new SyFy flick so badly, he could taste it. He
suspected he had been offered the part because the casting director was sick to death of being
hounded by wannabes and egocentric actors who claimed they were SF buffs and couldn't keep
the characters and their universes straight. Big liars were desperate for work. Desperation for
work was a sign that maybe the actor was neither good nor reliable, or a royal pain to work
with--or a combination of all three.
It hurt to turn down the role, but Kevyn
to work in the background. He
was quite happy to sit around eight out of nine hours every day, getting fed by Craft Services and
catching up on his reading. He loved Human books, especially their totally ridiculous ideas on
magic. He loved acting in science fiction or fantasy movies, wearing outlandish makeup and
costumes. He preferred not to memorize lines or pretend to be infatuated by a leading lady with
garlic on her breath, who was in need of hormone therapy or major electrolysis work.
So he turned down the role he hadn't auditioned for, and used a little magic on his agent
to keep the poor woman from threatening to shoot him again or jump out the window. He had the
spell memorized. He had to use it four times this year so far, and it was only May.
Maybe it was immature to want to stay out in the Human world and work in motion
pictures, instead of settling down to learn the family business. Just how many times could the
Ethics of Magic Code and all the other Fae laws governing interaction with the Human world be
rewritten? His family had produced a long and illustrious line of Fae Advocates. Why couldn't
his parents be happy with his six brothers following in their ancestors' footsteps? Why did the
lucky seventh son have to be an Advocate, too?
To avoid being dragged home to boredom and respectability before he hit his two
hundredth birthday, Kevyn had to stay out of headlines, movie posters and commercials. That
meant no starring roles.
"Believe me, kiddo, one of these days you're going to regret passing up your chance,"
Corry Kimball said as he turned to leave her office. But she said it with a smile and reached for
the phone to call the casting director and explain why her client wouldn't be right for the
Kevyn sighed in relief and used a little more magic to keep the five other clients in the
waiting room from seeing him leave. Whenever someone heard he had turned down a plum role,
they wanted to pound him. If there was some sort of glamour or magic spell that made him so
desirable, he could understand, because his success would literally rub off on them. As far as
Kevyn could see, casting directors refusing to leave him in the background was luck of the worst
He stopped at the mall on his way home and picked up a bag of new books, so fresh off
the presses he could smell the ink, and a bag of apple fritters. His favorite sport was lying on the
futon in his tiny apartment, reading and pigging out. Keeping himself in books and junk food
was the only reason to go to work lately. Oh, yeah, the donuts provided by Craft Services were
pretty good, too.
Two blocks from his apartment, the beads in the charm band on his left wrist buzzed. He
had a two-fold burglar alarm system in his tiny apartment. The first layer of defenses tested the
intruders for the presence of magic. If no magic, the second layer set to work playing on the
would-be-thieves' fears. And if that didn't work, books and kitchen utensils flew around the
apartment until they left, shrieking, bleeding and bruised.
If the intruders had magic--these did, according to the glow emanating from the gold
and green beads--then all magical elements in his apartment shut down and went into sleeper
mode. He had learned useful things from Human computer systems, and despite the disdain some
relatives had for anything Human-originating, he appreciated all the cleverness of Humans'
version of magic-without-magic.
Well, he was safe from detection by his relatives and whatever bounty hunters they had
sent after him now. The downside to this was that he couldn't go back to his apartment for at
least three weeks. Maybe more. He didn't keep important documents in his apartment, just
clothes, food and books, so the hunter couldn't trace him. He could just hole up in a hotel for the
next month and read, keep in contact with his agent by cell phone, and buy whatever jeans,
T-shirts and underwear he needed. No problem.
Except that this little game was getting tiresome. When were they going to learn that he
wanted to be a minor actor, not an Advocate? When were they going to admit he was a big boy
and he knew what he wanted out of life?
He grumbled one of the multiple variations of that question that evening, when he met
his best friend in the industry in their favorite corner bar. A little sympathy would have been
welcome, but his buddy only found amusement in it.
"So your folks are after you again." Dougie Jones chortled and saluted Kevyn with his
fourth bottle of beer for the night. "Man, I wish I had that kind of problem."
"No, you don't." Kevyn had had enough beer. He wanted to get smashed, and that
required diet cherry cola. Another brilliant invention of Humans, and he wasn't ashamed to admit
it. "I'm a grown man and they still think they can order me around like I'm under my nanny's
"Becoming a lawyer ain't my idea of a fine life. Too much work. You and me, day
actors, we got it made. Working in the movies, seeing the world, paid to stand around and talk to
pretty girls, wearing cool costumes. What more could studs like us want?" He plunked his bottle
down on the sticky counter. "This is the only bar I want to study." He nodded, frowning as a
thought visibly crept from the hibernating recesses of his mind. "Hey, got a great idea. I just
signed up for a gig with a street theater team. They travel around to science fiction conventions,
do what they call interactive drama that the fans can play along with. It's a blast."
"Does it pay good?" Kevyn pretended to be skeptical, when something inside him
leaped for joy. A chance to get out of town for a while!