You can imagine how pleased little Naomi was to hear this news.
At last, the weekend of the course came. Naomi packed her lucky calculator, put on her very best pin-stripes, and set off. When she got to the course there were lots of eager young number crunchers milling about and lots of lectures to go to.
"Sod this for a lark," thought little Naomi. "Where's the bloody bar?" And off she set to find some liquid engineering. After a long search through twisty turny passages she found a big dark room with lots of alcohol and chocolate and happy people. (Well, happy number crunchers pretending to be people). Naomi got out her Uzi (how else can a girl make her own opportunities for promotion) and quickly cleared a way to the bar.
Just as she was about to order a drink, a strange creature appeared. "I am Anne, the Red Wine Fairy," it shrieked1. "Mine's a pint of Rioja!" Naomi was about to tell the strange creature that she didn't care what it did in the privacy of its own home, she didn't buy drinks for mythical creatures in bars, when she realised that she had seen the fairy before. It was the strange number cruncher with the red hair and tartan miniskirt whom she had seen rushing round at the crunching company. So she bought the fairy a pint of Rioja or several and the fairy bought her several pints back.
And that was how little Naomi met Anne the Red Wine Fairy.
What Naomi did next...
After a while, the Red Wine Fairy admitted that she was a fan and went to science fiction conventions of her own free will. She tried to get little Naomi to go to a convention. Little Naomi's response was short and not really feasible even for the most flexible of fairies.
A few years later, the Red Wine Fairy suggested a weekend away in a nice hotel with lots of wine, food and shopping. "Now you're talking!" said little Naomi.
A strange smile played over the lips of the Red Wine Fairy.
-- Naomi Saunders