He must have known that they would. Knock, I mean. He must have known that somebody would come to the door while he was off doing whatever it was he was doing, leaving me there to ignore the frantic knocks and the ringing doorbell. Somehow I was surprised that he had a  doorbell. I guess I didn't think he was, well, young enough.

"Mathew?" I called, going out into the hall. "Mathew, there's someone at the door." There was a loud thump from upstairs as though he'd just dropped something, and I heard him cursing. A box then, on his foot. Ouch.

"I know there is! But I told you not to open it - get back in the living room!" Obediently I followed his commands; I didn't think I wanted to know who it was at the door, if they were so dangerous. He seemed almost frightened, which in turn put me off rather. What if they meant me harm? What if they were bad?

They knocked again. Suddenly, I was filled with a reckless urge to open the door. Nothing Mathew had done so far made any sense, and I certainly didn't owe him anything. Why shouldn't I open it? I was some weird creature now, right? I probably had magic powers - I would be well able to defend myself. Besides, I used to do karate, in my old body. Even if these muscles weren't used to it, my mind knew what to do.

I opened the door. On the doorstep were two people, if that was the right word. They were short, about five foot, and had green skin - obviously, they were sprites. And they had wings, just like I had done a few minutes before. Their eyes, golden and fascinating, were staring at me in shock.

"You can't be," they said, as though that made sense.

"Can't be what?" I replied, stepping aside to let them in. Mathew hadn't appeared so there was no one to tell me not to. "I'm me. That's all."

"You can't be - she can't be - one of those?" They were looking at each other now, and I began to feel uncomfortable. They knew something, and I didn't know what it was. "Wait till the Master hears about this! Mathew's gone and got himself one of them, has he? Oh, he'll be in trouble for this, he really will..."

"What are you talking about?" I said, putting a hand on their shoulders and forcing them to look at me. "Mathew hasn't 'got himself' anything. I'm just me. I used to be a human. At least, I thought I was. And then he took the glamour off and I was a sprite, and then he took it off again and I was this, and we don't know what it is and he's gone to look it up or something and I just want everything to be normal again!"

At that point, perfectly understandably, I burst into tears.

The creatures were around me in seconds, patting my shoulders, wiping away the tear tracks on my face. They were comforting me. It was an odd thought. "Don't cry, little one, everything's okay. It is normal. This is how it's meant to be, if that's what you are!" I didn't think they were qualified to call me 'little one', since I was about eight inches taller than them, but I deigned not to comment.

"I don't want to be this anymore. I want to go home..."

At which moment Mathew, looking a little cross that I'd disobeyed him and more than a little scared when he saw our visitors, came down the stairs. 

The End

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