Home is Where the Dreamspace Lay

Sometimes last night Chapter Thirty-Five was finished, tidied up and put to bed.  The last of the four scenes was completed, and I’m happy with them–

I wasn’t happy with how I felt, but that’s another story.  Maybe a change of pace going out tonight will liven things up just a bit.  I don’t know:  of late I’ve been in a massive funk and it’s affecting my work and my writing, and I’m not sure how to stop it.  Maybe some plotting and time lining tonight will fix things up a bit and get my mind off in a different direction.

I did catch a minor flaw in my writing, last night–at goof, if you will.  After a conversation I had yesterday about Annie and her statements concerning her attending Salem, I went back and checked out the parts of the story where she mentioned this fact.  It happened with Deanna way back at the start of the school year, and I happened with Kerry twice:  once on 1 April in Salem, and then three weeks later in Kansas City.  There was one point where Annie remembers something about the time different without realizing it has something to do with something she did her in “Last Dream”, so I left it in because, yes, these kids both have slip-ups in memory, and that’s something relating to her dream.  (And I can also have her remember that when she’s in KC, I love how to work that . . .)

But the mistake I made came about three hundred thousand words apart.  When Annie is speaking to Deanna she mentions when she discovered Kerry’s real name and wrote it down.  She also mentions that later to Erywin.  We know she told Erywin it was after Kerry moved to Cardiff, which happened after he turned eight and the summer before she turned nine.  But she tells Deanna it happens before she turns eight.  Oops.  This is where I have to make sure I get some keywords in place in Scrivener so I can keep facts like this straight, because I know stuff I wrote in November, 2013, is probably just a little off from things I wrote a year later.

But you don’t want to hear about that.  You want to know what happens next, right?

Well, Annie’s standing in the middle of a road . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie squinted as diffused light stuck her eyes. The scenery began coming into view, and she glanced right and left, taking in her surroundings. She was standing in a tree-lined street with houses on either side, though there wasn’t any traffic, nor were there any cars. Sound was absent: wind, animals, music, people being outside—there was nothing was dead silence.

She gazed down her body towards her feet. She was still dressed in her blue silk pajamas and her feet were bare. She touched the pavement with here toes: it felt like she was walking on the bed’s comforter and not something hard and unyielding.

She was aware shouldn’t be here, because she was in bed asleep.

Annie remembered getting under the covers and turning out the lights. She remembered Kerry telling her good night and that he loved her, and she doing the same. She remembered rolling onto her right side and feeling Kerry cuddle her and kiss the back of her neck before spooning up against her back and sliding his left arm over her tummy.

She remembered feeling content and happy and loved before closing here eyes—

 

Oh, Annie, you lovely girl.  Talking about falling asleep in bed with your soul mate.  But now she’s standing in the middle of a street in her pajamas.  And . . .

 

“Annie?”

She turned to her right and there he stood, slightly behind her and maybe five meters away. He was also dressed in his pajamas, but he wasn’t wearing his glasses. He always wears his glasses. She took two steps in his direction as he began walking towards her. The only time I’ve ever see him without them is when . . .

The moment he was within arm’s length Kerry took Annie’s hands. “Is this what I think it is?”

Annie looked up. “Does everything feel a bit strange to you?”

“Just a little.” He reached up and touched his face. “I’m not wearing my glasses.”

“No, you’re not.” She looked down the street past Kerry, then back to him. “This is—” A huge grin broke out on her face. “We’re dreaming.”

“This is our dreamspace.” He laughed aloud. “We’re dreaming again.”

 

Finally they are back.  This is what it’s like for them:  everything looks real, but there’s just enough off to make it seem not real.  And there’s a little test, just to see if it is real–

 

She wasn’t certain how they were doing this, but Annie was ecstatic to see them back in a space they’d shared so many times in the past. “Wait—see if you can change your clothes.”

Kerry closed his eyes and appeared to concentrate. A few seconds later his pajamas vanished and he was wearing the same outfit he’d worn from Salem. He looked down at himself. “Wow. I can do this.”

“Of course you can—” Annie’s own clothing changed, though instead of wearing the outfit she’d worn from school, she was wearing a tank top, jeans, and sandals. “You’re a witch, just like me. And if I can change, so can you.” She laughed and leapt against him. “I can’t believe we’re here.”

Kerry had never seen Annie so happy before—but then, this was their private world; this was a place they’d shared so many times in the past, and now, it seemed, it was open once more . . . “When we were talking about this tonight, something must have unlocked that allowed us to get back here.”

“It must have.” Annie continued hugging Kerry tight. “We were together last night—”

“But we didn’t figure out our last dream.” Kerry spun Annie around, laughing. “Oh, man. This is fantastic.”

“It is.” Annie kept her arms draped around his shoulders as she checked their surroundings. “Do you know this place? I don’t recognize it.”

 

We’ve seen Annie singing and showing off here nail polish, and now she’s leaping for joy.  Pretty soon she’ll want to go shopping, and she’ll end up dragging Kerry into every store she can find.  But that’s for a later date and a latter time.  Right now questions are asked, and Kerry does have an answer . . .

 

He nodded. “I know it.” Kerry pointed to the house behind her. “That’s my old house on Van Winkle Drive. This is Sleepy Hollow.”

Annie stared at the house. “I’ve never seen it from out here.”

“No. The only time you ever saw it in our dreams was out on the back patio and in my bedroom.”

She remembered something that he’d mentioned after returning from Yule holiday. “You didn’t go by here when you were visiting your grandparents, did you?”

He shook his head. “No.” He looked to his left, staring down the road. “My parents did, but I didn’t want to.”

Annie slowly untangled herself. “Why not?”

“I just—” He cleared his throat and looked away from the structure. “I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.”

 

Abandonment and separation play a big part in Kerry’s psychology, and both seem to go together.  It seems as if his life in California wasn’t much better than his current one in Cardiff, but he seems to have an answer of why he misses this place so much . . .

 

There were many things that Annie remembered from their last eight months together, but the thing that stuck out this very moment was one of the first things he said to her after she’d told him she loved him. “’This is a new chapter for me’.”

He shook himself. “What?”

“You said that our first night in the garden after you told me that no girl had ever said they loved you or called you their soul made.” She gently placed his left hand between hers. “You were talking about your E&A; it was the only thing you could remember.”

He allowed his mind to wander back to that moment. “I remember I was told not to dwell on the past.” He looked at the dream house and slipped his hands into his pant pockets. “And I haven’t been dwelling—”

“So why didn’t you go by and say goodbye?”

Kerry looked down and shook his head. “I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.”

Annie touched his chin and slowly raised his head. “My love . . .”

He blinked twice. “Yes?”

“Why can’t you say goodbye?”

“Because . . .” He swallowed and motioned towards the building. “I didn’t want to say goodbye without you.” He lowered his arms to his side. “I didn’t know why at the time I didn’t want to see this place; I kept thinking it had to do with what I remembered from the E&A, that I have to write new chapters and move forward.  But I know now:  this is where we met, were we played, where we learned about each other.  That’s why I couldn’t go . . .” Kerry stared deeply into Annie’s eyes. “You should be there when I say goodbye to my home.”

 

It’s not so much the memories he shared there with family and friends, but he now knows this is the place where he first met Annie, and he wants to be with her when he finally waves this place off.

However, Annie has some words of wisdom for him–

 

She turned and pointed towards the house. “That’s not your home, darling.”

“I know: it’s just a dream.”

“No, I mean . . . it’s not your home; it never was. It was a place that you lived until you were eight, and then you moved to Cardiff.” She took his hands. “Until you find a place where you can live with someone you love, and who loves you, and you both fill that place with your love, you won’t really have a home.”

She stood to his left and hugged him as they faced the front yard. “We shared many memories there, and many more in Cardiff, but those don’t mean nearly as much to me as bike riding in our dream countryside, or the place in the mountains where we picnicked—or your tree where you read to me.” She wrapped her arms around him and closed her eyes. “That place means more to me than either of these places you’ve lived.”

Kerry sniffed once and lightly pressed his head against hers. “I never thought of it that way.”

She nodded. “I know. You think of this place as where we first met, but really—” She pulled slightly away and looked around. “This place, our dreamspace, is where we first met, where we played, where we learned about each other. This is why I’ve missed out dreams: because this was our first home.”

He chuckled. “It is, isn’t it?” Kerry turned to Annie and kissed her lightly. “It’s our home.”

“And our home is filled with our love.” Annie nodded towards the house. “One day we’ll say goodbye to this place in person, but—” She stepped back and tugged lightly on his arm. “Show it to me so we can say goodbye now.”

 

When I wrote the above passage last night I was only concerned with getting it right, with writing it in Annie’s voice–which I do hear when I’m writing her dialog–and it didn’t affect me then, but just rereading it now . . . I teared up big time.  Yeah, I know:  I’m like Kerry.  Big surprise there.

But in those words you find the one reason out of many why Annie wanted Kerry to remember his dream, and why she wanted to return to sharing them with him:  because this is their home.  And you realize–and it’s something that gets brought up in another scene–that even Annie wants and needs a home.

Probably with here husband-to-be, but we know how goes, right?

And there’s on last thing:

 

“There were.” He laughed softly. “You really want to go inside?”

“Yes.” She kissed his cheek. “And then I want to see our tree again, and rest in its shade.”

He faced the house, holding Annie’s right hand in his left. “You ready?”

She stood alongside and faced the house as well. “I am.”

“Okay, then.” Kerry nodded sharply once. “Let’s do this.”

Annie nodded once. “Let’s.”

 

Those last four lines will get used at least once a novel, assuming I ever get around to writing them.  I also know something special about those words, too–I just can’t tell you, not just yet.

So, out with the old and in with the new . . .

Just like all my other plans so far, it's coming together--more or less.

Just like all my other plans so far, it’s coming together–more or less.

And as you can see I’ve already started some house cleaning.  I’ll finalize this layout tonight, and probably do a little writing an a little time lining, and in no time we’ll be through the Kansas operation–

Safe and sound, I hope.

The Deconstruction of the Wall of Dreams

There comes a moment when you have to pull out the last of the secrets and show them.  At least in this book, that is, because while I’ve presented a lot of secrets about my kids over the course of nearly fourteen months, there are a few that will carry over into other stories.

Right now, however, we’re dealing with secrets in the here and now.

Kerry is saying he’s figured out their final dream together, the one that both have had difficulty seeing, even with his memory block of their dreams removed.  It’s a big moment because it really defines why he lost touch with Annie, why he couldn’t remember all their dream moments together.

And how does he start?

 

 All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie almost slipped away from Kerry’s embrace so she could turn and face him. “Really?”

He nodded. “I think so.”

“When did this happen?”

He looked down at his lap, avoiding Annie’s sideway glance. “After we fell asleep last night at the Observatory, I had a dream, and . . .” Now he met her gaze. “I saw something.”

His last three words had Annie wondering: did he have a dream, or was it a vision? She knew her rune dream was actually a vision, and while Kerry’s seemed to be more of a dream, one could also debate that something was telling him of a possible future, and reminding him of the steps he needed to take to get there.

Annie waved her hand at two of the lights and extinguished them; she felt there was too much light in the room, and she wanted things a bit more intimate. “What did you see?” No matter if it were a dream or vision, Annie had to know something about that last moment they shared in dreamspace.

His voice remained low as spoke. “It was short. I saw us in a fog, talking—well, not really talking, but—” His face twisted into a grimace. “I was upset, standing there with my hands over my ears, and I could hear you saying you had to go away . . .” He gulped softly. “That was really all I saw, but it was enough to get me thinking when we were flying back to the tower.

 

Something triggered him up at the tower.  Maybe it was falling asleep together and being in close proximity to Annie, and having things just chipping away inside his head.  He goes on:

 

“I didn’t go back to sleep right away when we got back to our rooms. I stayed up and thought about what happened, starting at the beginning, and then read through the books, trying to find answers to what I was thinking.” He pressed his face into Annie’s hair. “I remember, I had a bad day that day; my mom was yelling at me about something—I don’t remember what, but I remember I went to bed upset and wanting to see you—”

“I remember I had a bad day as well.” Annie’s voice grew soft and tender. “My father and she were going on about my attending Salem and how it was going to be great for the family to have another Kililovi there—” She slowly shook here head. “By the time my mother was finished I didn’t want to hear about Salem anymore, I just . . .” She held onto Kerry’s comforting hand. “I wanted to see you.”

“We were both like that.” Kerry slid down on the bed a little so he was cheek-to-cheek with his soul mate. “In bad mood and wanting to see each other. Only . . .”

“Yes?”

“When I saw you I knew something was wrong, and I felt it hit me. You asked me how I was doing, and I asked you. Then . . .” He swallowed before speaking softly and slowly. “You said, ‘I have something to tell you; I’m going away’.”

Now Annie did sit up and turn her head. “Wait, I don’t remember saying it that way. I told you that I had news, that I . . .” The realization hit Annie that the moment she’d had so much trouble remembering returned to her as if it had happened just yesterday. “That I have something to tell you; I’m going away.” The shock she felt flowed into her face. “I did say that.”

Kerry nodded while keeping his eyes downcast. “I know you said that you were going away to school in America, but that came after. By that time—” He closed his eyes. “I was already starting to lose it.”

The scene rushed back into Annie’s memory: Kerry looking sad when he greeted her; her telling him she was going away; the look of anguish that took hold as he couldn’t believe what he’d heard; she telling him in a dejected tone that she was going to America in a few months, that their sleep schedule would get changed, that she didn’t know how it was going to affect their dreams—

And the crying, the moaning, the hacking sobs as Kerry . . .

Annie’s breath quickened. She tightened her grip around his hand. “You thought I was abandoning you.”

He opened his eyes and a few tears dribbled from his eyes. “Yeah.”

 

Finally, just by getting that first little part out of the way, Kerry is able to remember what he saw, and so is Annie.  It’s one of those, “Oh, really?” moments when it happens–and because strange things happen here all the time, it’s not that unusual for it to come together suddenly.

But Annie remembering she came on a little brash?  Well, we are talking about Annie here.  And that leads here to what she remembers prior to this night . . .

 

Don’t leave, please. They all leave. Everyone leaves me. That was what he told her in the middle of his delirium during their night on the ward. Annie also remembered what he told her at the end of the first Saturday Madness: My best friend . . . and the only one who loves me. She understood the meanings of these statements: He feels I’m the only one who loves him—and that he was afraid I was going to leave him. She closed her eyes an saw Kerry in that last dream, almost screaming out his sorrow. Just as his Chestnut Girl left him . . .

Annie returned to the hollow between his arm and his warm body and wrapped his arm around her. “I’m sorry I hurt you, Kerry. I didn’t realize I was saying those things. Only—”

He continued to speak in a low, calming tone resting on the edge of sadness. “Only why did I forget?”

“Yes.”

 

Which is the reason that Annie’s been looking at for almost a year.  And because she’s so close to the subject, right on top of the matter, so to speak, she misses the most important part . . .

 

He pulled Annie tight against him, as if he were trying to merge with her body. “It finally came to me because of our meeting with Erywin in the glen. The whole things about being able to affect a person’s subconscious while in a dreamspace—

“We determined one person can’t affect another that way.” Annie rested her head against his chest. “So I couldn’t have done anything to you.”

“You didn’t have to.” He sighed. “I did it. I affected my own subconscious. Because . . .”

Annie didn’t wait for him to answer, because she knew the answer. “Because we didn’t know you were a witch.”

“Right. Neither of us knew. The only people who did were The Foundation, and they weren’t telling you, so . . .” He slowly ran his fingers across Annie’s silk-covered tummy. “I changed the dreamspace without anyone knowing. And in doing so, I changed my own mind.

“Remember in my rune dream the girl who was talking to me . . .” He reached over and lay his hand over Annie’s heart. “She said before I could give you my heart, I had to break down the walls around it. That’s what I was reading about this morning—”

Dream walls.” Annie didn’t mean to sound excited but the answer was so obvious. “You walled off all your memories of me and our dreams.” She turned her head just enough that she could see his pouting face out of the side of her eye. “That’s why you suffered déjà vu—”

“But why I’d remember things every so often—usually when I was really upset.”

“You were getting upset—”

“—Because I was remembering. Not just the dream, but why I walled them off.” He turned his head as Annie did, and they were almost chin-to-chin as his spoke. “That’s why I didn’t remember anything: because I didn’t want to remember. I thought you were abandoning me, but before you could talk me down, before you could reassure me that things would be okay, I used magic before you knew what I was doing. I put everything behind a dream wall and sealed it off.” Kerry bowed his head. “I did that because I didn’t want to live without you in my life—so I removed you from my life.”

 

What happens when you have a secret witch getting all out of their mind over something?  They run the risk of doing magic and screwing things up.  Just as on this operation they’re doing they’re worried Tanith will do something in public that will hurt others, Kerry did something that hurt him–well, it messed up his ability to remember something that was important to him.  All because he’s quick to lose it emotionally, and he didn’t know he know magic.

And now Annie knows this:

 

She heard the pain in his voice: he’s still blaming himself for what happened. “Kerry, it’s not your fault for what happened. We were both in bad moods, I approached you wrong, and . . .” She shook her head. “I would have made it better if I’d been able.”

He nodded. “I know.”

“I never wanted to hurt you; I never want you hurt.” She kissed his nose before lightly caressing his lips. “I think I know why I forgot what happened, too.”

“Because you realized, at some level, that you’d set me off.” He turned his head and sighed so he wouldn’t exhale into Annie’s face. “And in doing so, you’d somehow pushed me away.”

“That sounds right. I could remember you—”

“And you remembered that you wanted me back.” For the first time he smiled. “I got that part.”

“I did: more than anything.”

He pulled her close and kissed her. “Why did you want me to remember everything? Even after I feel in love with you again?”

“Because I wanted all of you.” Annie settled back into his arms. “I wanted you to return to every moment we ever shared, because all of those moment were the best of my life.” She grinned. “And you should know by now, when I want something—”

“You get it.” He hugged her tight. “I know.”

 

All better now–right?  It would seem that things are right in the world again.  And it’s a simple reason why Annie wanted him to remember:  because she wanted him back.  All of him.  Because she’s a selfish girl, and no way in hell was she going to leave him not knowing everything they did.

There is, however, a final revelation . . .

 

Annie closed her eyes and found herself drifting. “It’s funny, but now I can remember it all.”

“So can I.” He used simple levitation to adjust the pillow behind his back. “I think I broke down the last bit of the wall around my heart, and that probably affect whatever block you had.”

The implication of such a thing washed over Annie. “Does that mean we’ll share dreamspace again?”

“It might. One of the books indicated that lucid dreaming is easier when there are no barriers in your subconscious to hinder your progress.” He shrugged. “We’ll have to see.”

Oh, I hope it’s so . . . Annie drew in a deep breath and released it slowly, feeling cleansed after. “I’m so glad I had you read all those books.”

Kerry said nothing for almost five seconds, then quietly cleared his throat. “I wonder if it was you who had me read those books?”

“You know—” She barely turned her head as she gazed to here left. “What are you thinking?”

“It was our first day at school, I knew nothing about magic, we go visit the school seer—who we won’t have class with for three years—and a while later you’ve got me reading all sorts of books on divination and visions and dreams . . . With all the magic I could have studied, why that?” He almost whispered the question. “Didn’t you say Deanna had us in a trance?”

Deanna’s words in the hospital a few weeks came tripping back into Annie’s memory—You were in a trance for almost eight minutes: it was necessary—and it made her wonder what else the Seer saw in her vision on the flight over the day before. Did she see herself giving me an hypnotic suggestion to put Kerry on that path because she knew it would bring us to this point? “If you don’t mind, I’d rather not think about that because—” She half turned in his arms. “—I don’t want to imagine what else Deanna may know about us.”

Talk about secrets.  Is Deanna responsible for getting them to this point?  Breaking down Kerry’s walls and returning him to Annie?  Did she know this all along, even that first time when Annie came to see her?  Hummmm . . . I could tell you, but I won’t.

I will, however, leave you with my kids getting into something else here.

 

Annie threw her right arm over Kerry’s body and hugged him. “But we’re here, love. We’re together, we’re alone—and we’re back to where we were a year ago.” She glanced upwards at his face. “At least I hope we are.”

“We’ll find out.” He touched the towel. “How’s the hair?”

“Dry by now.” She untangled herself from Kerry’s arms. “I just need to brush it out and we can go to bed.”

She was about to slide off the bed when Kerry lightly touched her arm. “Can I ask something?”

Annie turned back toward him. “Sure.”

“Could I . . .” A red glow filled his face. “Brush it?”

She whipped the towel off here head and let her hair cascade over her shoulders. “You want to brush my hair?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Because—” He looked down at his feet. “I never have, and now I can.”

“Well . . .” Annie’s hand slid over and took Kerry’s. “If you do this, I might get used to it.”

“But can’t do it unless we’re alone, so I wouldn’t be able to do it at school.”

“Then maybe—” Her eyes sparkled. “That will come after we graduate.” She slid off the bed and pulled him towards her. “Come along, my love: I’ll show you how it’s done.”

 

Uh, oh, Kerry.  You better not do that!  First it’s brushing her hair, then it’s fixing the cabinets in the kitchen.  Just you wait . . .

Last night was two thousand and eight words of fun.  Really, it was.  I thought I would be upset writing, because I was suffering some major depression, but writing about it pulled me out.  And now–

There's only one last thing for them to do before they gotta get to work.

There’s only one last thing for them to do before they gotta get to work.

By the time they get back to school they’re going to be completely different kids . . .

Decisions Done Dark

It’s been a strange night and morning, let me tell you.  This morning my computer has been slow to come up and do anything, to the point where I’ve already rebooted once to get it going again.  That tends to happen any time the anti-virus program decides to update, which is pretty much every other day, it seems.  But here I am, typing away at six-oh-eight in the morning–and I’ve been messing with this computer just short of an hour, so that should give you an idea of when I got up.

And getting up . . . the vivid dreams are back, people.  The last couple of nights I have had some amazingly interactive dreams, so vivid that at one point I felt someone pushing at my back so hard that it woke me up.  Seriously.  I could feel a person there.  The thing is, in my dream I was laying down, so that would mean someone was pretty against my back in bad.  If only . . .

But before that there was writing, and it was good.  One scene, short–if you want to call eleven hundred words short, so be it–and it’s setting up all the stuff that’s happened and confirming whether or not my little kids are ready for the spying witch thing . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

“Which brings up the next point . . .” Helena had been dreading this part of the conversation, because she knew Erywin wasn’t a fan of what they were doing. “Are they ready for this operation?”

Erywin rubbed her hands together for a few seconds. She had to give an answer—and an honest one that Helena wouldn’t see though. “From a professional standpoint, they’re ready. We already know they have the skills, and they’ve shown that in their test runs here and in the city. They’ve been able to conduct themselves as excellent witch out in Normal public, and have taken great care to blend in with the rest of the population. Given Kerry’s background, and with Annie being in the semi-public eye for a part of her life, I didn’t expect this to be a problem. They both know there are lots of eyes watching them.

“As for their emotional maturity—they can handle this. They haven’t complained when we’ve given them little to do other than follow people around, and that’s going to be a huge plus for them once we’re in Kansas City. They understand this isn’t going to be a glamorous operation: it’s more sneaking and peaking, and they’re expected to blend into the surroundings like any other pair of tweens.” She rolled her shoulders and sighed. “All my personal opinions aside, they can do this.”

 

Erywin was the key in this, really:  she knows people well, and if she said Annie and Kerry weren’t ready for this thing, Helena would have pulled the plug.  But she also knew she had to be honest with Helena, who after thirty years would know if her partner was giving her a line.  Who else can you trust if not someone whose life you’ve shared for that long?

And we find out why Helena hasn’t tried harder to stop this . . .

 

Helena nodded slowly. “And just so we’re still on the same page, I still share many of your personal opinions.”

“Yes, but you’re not doing anything to put a stop to this.”

“And you know the reason why.” Helena pushed back into her chair and stretched. “We let them go now, with us handling them in the field, and there’s less of a chance for everything to go tits up and for them to come back in worse shape than they left. Otherwise . . .”

Erywin wasn’t about to leave the comment hanging. “Would they really turn this into a training operation just to get them in the field?”

“They could. It would be completely legal, and were that to happen they couldn’t use their Right of Refusal to turn it down. All they’d need to do is bring them to a facility, do a workup on them, and then turn them loose in a city—who the hell knows what might happen?” Helena pulled her mobile from her jacket and laid it upon her desk. “And they could also do this during the summer, when there’s limited visibility on our side. No: this is the best course of action. We can keep them in our sights and come home if shit gets too deep.”

 

See?  I have little Catch-22s everywhere.  Just label it a different way and there you are:  you’ve got a couple of twelve year olds spending the summer perhaps running for their lives.  See, it’s not a “Field Operation”, it’s a “Monitored Test”.  Just like it’s not torture, it’s “enhanced interrogation”–and a monitored test could end up being just about the same thing.

But did you think things we’re going to happen with a bit of a twist?  Guess again!

 

“And it’s all on us now.” Erywin stood up and started slowly pacing the room. “I worry about myself.”

“You’ll do fine.” Helena meant it, too. She didn’t see this as a dangerous operation, and was aware that her partner could take care of herself in any situation. “If you could fly Air Patrol during the Day of the Dead, you can handle this. I wouldn’t have asked you along if I didn’t think you were capable.”

“I know. Still, I have by doubts—”

Helena’s mobile buzzed. She snatched it off the desk and checked the message. “Son of a bitch.”

Erywin didn’t like the tone of her lovely girl’s voice. “What?”

Helena typed in something quickly and sent off a message before tossing the phone down. “They moved the operation up a week—” She sat back, smoothing out her hair. “We leave this Thursday.”

“You did say we could expect this.”

“I know. But for the reply to come back so fast . . .” She shook her head. “They must have known they were going to move it up a few days ago. Which is why they asked for a decision by tonight.” She chuckled. “Bastards.”

Erywin leaned on the back of one of the chairs. “You could still kill this operation.”

“I could, but I’m going to let it go.” Helena shrugged. “Like you say, we knew it could happen, and I was half expecting this. No, we go on. Like it or not, this isn’t a huge deal breaker.”

 

So it’s the Tuesday night follow the Sunday meeting in the Grove, and now it looks like our Fearsome Foursome is going to leave sometime Thursday afternoon or evening.  And the next scene is a late night one with the kids, and it’ll serve to clear a few things up, as well as push Act Three over the fifty thousand word mark, and maybe even three hundred and sixty thousand words.

Half way out of this chapter and one step closer to the next part.

Half way out of this chapter and one step closer to the next part.

If there aren’t a lot of distractions at Panera tonight, I could finish the scene, and that would mean I’ve been ready to start on the next part, Kansas City, by Friday or Saturday.  I already know there are things in the first chapter of that part I want to add, so I’ll likely start layout out those scenes as soon as I can.

Oh, and you’ll see some surprising things in Chapter Thirty-Five.

Trust me.

The Persistence of Visions and Love

It only took me about three hours–and staying up past my normal bedtime–to churn out just a word over fifteen hundred to finish the scene, put finish it I did.  It’s gonna need a good polish, because it’s not my best first draft, but it’s right where I want it, and that’s the idea behind a first draft.

Also, it does sort of have a rambling quality to the discussion.  I mean, we are talking about a twelve year old girl–twelve-and-a-half now, if you consider Annie’s birthday was in September–and Kerry just a few weeks short of his twelfth birthday, so it’s not unusual for them to be a bit inarticulate when it comes to pour out their hearts to an adult.  Although I should say Annie’s doing all the pouring right now, while Kerry has been sitting quietly.

So lets see what Annie has to say.  Do you remember she wrote something in that center part of her book?  She does:

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Before Erywin could question further Annie continued, her voice growing dream-like. “I’ve updated the portraits over the years. In the middle of August I did the first one of us together, and wrote next to it, ‘I’m off to Salem to see my love, my future husband’.” She turned a faint smile towards the professor. “Rather presumptuous of me, don’t you think?”

“We all do things like that when we’re in love, Annie.” She patted the young girl’s hand. “You feel in love with someone, and you wanted to share your life with him. I know that feeling, believe me: I’ve done the same.”

“Did you plan your life with Helena without telling her first?” Annie sighed and seemed to wilt. “I did. I went and decided I was going to marry, decided how it was going to be, how I was going to look—and when I found someone I loved, I went ahead and made them my fiance. Because that’s how I am: selfish.” She looked at the ground and snorted. “What Annie wants, Annie gets. Just ask my mother.”

 

And this has been a running theme with her:  Annie is a selfish girl.  She’s brought it up, Deanna brought it up, and her mother believes it all too well.  Annie’s beating herself up over it and getting right down to the core of the matter:

 

For the first time she turned to Kerry, who had sat quietly through her conversation with a face that showed almost no emotion. “I never gave you a choice, my love. I decided everything for us, and in the years we were together in our dreams—even before you know I was real, before I knew you loved me, even before you knew I was witch—I never asked what you wanted. I never thought that you might want the same thing I wanted. What if you wanted something else?”

She turned back to Erywin. “What if he decided to stay with me because he felt obligated? What if he did and then hated me for what happened? What if he was miserable because I never asked him what he wanted because I knew what I wanted.”

“And there’s the problem—” She sighed. “All these things I wanted, I desired, they were there every time we visited in our dreams. What if they influenced my visions? I had my lake house vision after I knew Kerry was real—what if I only saw him in that vision because I wanted him there? What if what I wanted directed Kerry’s visions? What if—”

“That’s impossible.”

 

Annie has a lot of “What If?” going on, and she finally comes out and asks Kerry, “What if you’re not happy?  What if this isn’t want you want?  What if you stay with me and you’re miserable?  What if you’re pretty, what if you’re rich, here’s what they said–”  Sorry:  Annie almost broke into song there.  It’s all interesting questions, until someone–probably the boy who’s been listening to this for a while–lays just a bit of a smackdown on her.

But Annie’s so convinced she’s right, she’s gonna give him an argument–

 

Annie’s turned towards Kerry, who was now staring back with a look plastered across his face that didn’t hide his feelings. “But when we were in our dreamspace I could manipulate parts of the dream—”

“Because your magic allowed it; it was a form of lucid dreaming.” Kerry bowed his head for a moment. “You couldn’t have affected my subconscious with your own subconscious desire; it doesn’t work that way in dreamspace.”

“But what I wanted could have ended up in your mind—”

“I doesn’t matter what you wanted: you would have had to actively implanted a notion, and then erased my memory of the event.”

Annie wasn’t going to accept Kerry’s retorts. “What I saw in my visions—”

“Has nothing to do with what I saw in my visions.” He stood, shaking his head. “Annie, I know you want to think that you made me have those visions, but you couldn’t. Deanna said something the other night: you can’t make someone have visions. I know that, too, because I read it in those books you had me study. That’s how I also knew that . . . thing that happened to me was really a vision.”

 

This is the problem when you give your boyfriend a lot of books to read:  he reads them, then has the answers you don’t want to hear.  And he’s right:  Deanna already told Annie that she couldn’t make them have visions.  Annie’s position is that she influenced him with her subconscious, but Kerry’s got that one down:  no, you couldn’t.  Doesn’t work that way.  I know ’cause I read about it.

And now that he’s on his feet, it’s time for him to get something off his chest.

 

He approached Erywin as he addressed her. “I know Coraline said I was bothered when she saw me that night, and I was—but not because of what I saw, but more because . . .” He grimaced a little as he looked for the right words.

Erywin stepped in to help. “Unexpected and messy?”

“Yeah.” Kerry rolled his eyes. “But by the time we made it to lunch, I knew I’d had a vision—I knew it because of all the stuff I’d been reading about divination and visions and dreams for months. I also knew from reading that the best odds you could get have for a vision being true or not were fifty-fifty.” He turned towards Annie, who was now listening silently. “This was before I knew you had your vision, and that it was the same thing I’d had—”

“But you had yours months later.” Annie appeared to want to jump out of her seat. “Yours could have occurred—”

“You couldn’t make me have a vision. It’s impossible. If Professor Arrakis couldn’t do it, you couldn’t.” He turned back to Erywin. “Coraline and Deanna probably mentioned that I was upset, that I was agitated, but it’s not for what you think—”

 

And that is probably the only time Kerry has ever talked back to Annie like that, because he has to cool her down, and the only way to do it is by telling here in no uncertain terms that she can’t be right.  Sort of like a good sorceress keeping their head about them . . .

Which is what he does as he continues on why he was “agitated”–

 

He stood in front of Annie. “I wasn’t upset that I saw us together on our wedding night; I was upset that there was a chance that what I saw wouldn’t happen.” He slumped as all the energy seemed to leave him. “If it didn’t happen, it’s because we split and weren’t together any more. Or . . .” He looked down, whimpering once. “Something bad happened to one of us. Something—”

Annie jump out of her seat and took Kerry’s hands. “My love, nothing is going to happen to us, not like that.”

 

There it is:  he made the connection that if it doesn’t happen, it means they are no longer together.  Either they broke up, or–in a point he’s made before–one or both of them are dead.  And there’s more coming–which means, if you know Kerry, you know what else is coming . . .

 

When he looked up Annie saw that Kerry was fighting to keep his emotions in check, but it was clear he was under tremendous stress. “The morning after we told each other our names I came downstairs in the morning, and my mother was like, ‘What’s wrong with you? Why are you so happy?’ I didn’t know it, but I was smiling: my mom said it was the first time in four months I’d smiled. You know what I told her? I said, ‘I’ve been bike riding with my Chestnut Girl’. She thought I was nuts; she even said so. But I didn’t care, because I knew it was true. It was the best time I’d had in a long time—and it was even better because I shared it with you.

“You’ve been in my life as long as I can remember, and I can’t think of what I’d do without you, Annie.” His shoulders started to heave as he started to lose the fight with his emotions. “I’m not good with expressing myself—I know that. My family isn’t like you’re: there’s no romance and little in the way of affection. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how I feel about you.” The tears started stream down his cheeks. “I don’t want anything to happen to you—to happen to us. I don’t want us apart; I don’t want you . . .”

Annie wrapped her arms around Kerry and comforted him as he released the pent up fear mingled with his love. “It’s okay, it’s okay. I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”

Kerry buried his head into her shoulder. “You said you never gave me a choice, that you decided everything for us.” He wrapped his arms around Annie’s waist and held her tight. “You been giving me a choice for the last ten minutes—” He pressed his cheek against hers. “I’m still here. I didn’t go. I couldn’t go. I don’t want to go.” Kerry kissed her cheek. “I don’t ever want to go.”

 

Annie told her mother about her Ginger Hair Boy, and we finally discover that, at one time, Kerry told his mother about his Chestnut Girl, and he was happy about it.  Mister Mope was actually happy after month of being sad and depressed, all because a girl in his dreams took him bike riding.  And yes, he cries, because Kerry hasn’t learned how to keep a rein on his emotions.  He’ll learn one of these days.

First scene out of the way, and it was a long one:  longer than all of Part Nine.

Funny how that works out.

Funny how that works out.

But the other three scenes should go quickly, because I don’t anticipate them being very long.  And I should point out that I’m about twenty-five hundred words away from fifty thousand for this act, which means Act Three is shaping up to be rather short compared to the first two.

Then again, I haven’t gotten to Part Twelve yet.

Beyond the Dreamstate

Here I am, finally on the web, but running late again due to . . . well, I woke up, didn’t like that I was running late again, and decided to change up my routine a little.  Yes, I’ve eaten and had my coffee, but I’m also finished with shopping and thinking about doing a little running around today.  But all is pretty much finished for the day that needs to be finished.  That means I have time for things . . .

I also didn’t believe I was gonna write as much yesterday as I did.  It was a blah, miserable day, rainy and cloudy and full of depression.  Between naps and just sitting around doing nothing I kept Scrivener up and the story ready, and when I felt like it I’d write something.  By the time I rolled off the computer about ten-thirty, I’d added fourteen hundred words to the scene–and it’s not finished, in case you were hoping for a quick resolution.  Nope.  I don’t roll that way.

I be writin', readers be waitin'

I be writin’, readers be waitin’

Yesterday we ended with Annie and Kerry discovering their real names, and Erywin seeing something strange happening between them.  Which means that’s as good a place to pick up this party as any–

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

“You were doing more than that—” Erywin leaned forward. “Tell me: where were you when you were telling me about your dream?”

They stared at each other puzzling over the question. Kerry smiled when he realized the answer. “We weren’t here.”

“No—” Annie smiled as well. “We were back on the hill.”

“How is that possible?”

“I don’t know, but—” She turned to Erywin. “Do you know what happened?”

“I think . . .” The instructor looked from one child to the next. “You were staring at each other, but you weren’t seeing each other. Your eyes were unfocused, and you were both speaking in a soft near-monotone. I think you were experiencing a waking dreamstate.”

Annie turned to face Erywin across the path. “It’s happened before. Once when we were recounting our rune dreams and Kerry remembered—” She glanced at him out of the corner of her eyes.

Kerry spoke right up. “I remembered the first time I said I loved her.”

“And there was another time when he remembered something else—” Annie didn’t wait for him ask a question. “It was the night after the Day of the Dead. You remembered the first time you read to me.”

“I did?”

“Yes.” She touched Kerry’s hand. “It was the first time I knew for certain that you must have remembered our dreams together.”

Kerry looked down for a moment, and when his gaze met Annie’s once again, there was a touch of sadness in his eyes. “That was months before I completely remembered them again.” He slowly leaned against the back of the bench. “I wish I could have known them then.”

Annie was unable to look at Kerry. “I wish it had been possible, too.” She turned to Erwyin. “I don’t know that it matters, though.”

 

Waking dreamstates–something new to ponder.  So now that they remember they sort of fall into this thing where they’re actually back in the dream.  Strangeness, yup.  It’s right there.

But it’s that last night that gets Erywin going–after all, she’s a couples counselor–I even went back and edited this part:

 

“Deanna felt that your reason for speaking was something of a—” Erywin glanced at Kerry for only a second. “Well, that you may have needed someone who understood long term relationships. And of us three full-time counselors, I’m the only one who’s been in a long term relationship. Coraline has a boyfriend and Deanna—well, we know someone’s sweet on her . . .” She winked at Annie. “But I’ve been with Helena for thirty years, and while not all of them the best, we’ve managed to make it work and we’re still together” Erywin rubbed her hands to warm them. “First time to the grove?”

And anyone who can spend thirty years with the Mistress of All Darkness and not have been killed at one point must be doing something right, so dealing with these kids should be a snap.

And that’s what she does–though she gets a little help with indecision:

 

Erywin quickly picked up on the moods across from her. Kerry was quickly becoming concerned, and Annie appeared worried about—well, it was impossible, but given the subject of most of the conversations with Annie that Deanna related to her, Erywin was fairly certain she could pin down the issues here. “Annie, would you like to sit next to me while you tell me what’s on your mind?”

Annie was about to say “No” when she felt a light touch on her right arm. “It’s okay.” Kerry nodded across the path. “Go ahead.”

She twisted around so she could look at him. “Are you sure?”

“I can hear you from over here.” He chuckled. “It’s okay.”

She started to stand, the stopped. “Kerry . . . I’m going to say things that—”

He shrugged. “If I’m being a butthead to you, I’d like to know.”

“It’s not that—”

“Then it’s okay.” He leaned over and lightly patted her thigh. “I promise I won’t get upset.”

Annie finally stood. “You promise?”

“You know it.”

Erywin welcomed Annie over and had her sit to her right. She spoke with Kerry first, however. “While I’m with Annie, you can listen, but I would politely ask that you not interject a lot of comments.” She flash a smile across the path. “I’ll be with you in no time at all.”

She turned to Annie. “Also, I want you to speak as if Kerry’s not there. You’ve both shared a great deal up to now—personally and emotionally—and since you wanted him here originally, don’t hold back. As I always say, we can only get to the heart of the problem if we open up the chest.” She smiled and then launched into her first question. “When you learned each other’s names, you didn’t actually know if Kerry was a real person, did you?”

 

You know Kerry isn’t your average guy if he’s just gonna sit there and say nothing!  But he does remain quiet while this exchange goes down . . .

 

Annie relaxed and kept her focus on Erywin as she answered. “At the time, no. I knew there was something unusual about how we’d meet in dreams, and I’d wondered why I wasn’t seeing him that often for almost three years, but I hadn’t actually made a connection that he was real, and I saw him that night because he was only two hours away.”

Erywin nodded slowly. “So when did you know Kerry for certain was real?”

“A few days later. I asked my mother to look him up.”

“She knew about him?”

“She knew about my Ginger Hair Boy.” Annie grin was full of happy innocence. “She was able to find him using Foundation search engines.”

“And there was no mention about The Foundation watching him.”

“None at all; that’s why I didn’t know he was a witch.”

“Doesn’t surprise me—” Erywin glanced at Kerry. “They’re usually very tight-lipped about who they are observing. And at that age—” She looked across the path. “How old were you?”

Kerry shifted on the bench. “I’d turned eight the month before.”

“See?” Erywin slid around on the bench and slipped her right leg under her left. “Only a few people would have known then that he was being watched. When did you finally learn he was a witch?”

 

So Kerry could be found in Foundation search engines, which doesn’t really mean anything other than you don’t get a lot of strange pop up ads when you’re looking for something.  Like Nadine mentioned when she was getting sheet music for Kerry’s and her’s performance, The Foundation is plugged into everything, so Welcome to the Pond, you can find just about anything if you like.  More than likely they found Kerry’s school records, and maybe even travel information, maybe even his birth records.  We also find out something else–

 

“When my mother told me at the beginning of August that he was attending Salem.” Annie didn’t mind answering that question as it was something she’d told Kerry two weeks ago. “Before that I always figured he was a Normal.”

“Deanna told me that you’d let him know on your tenth birthday that you were a witch.” Erywin had shown great surprise when Deanna had mentioned this fact, because it was such a soul baring expression. If The Foundation had known she’d said this, they’ve have probably grabbed them and give both a little memory adjustment. “Why did you do that?”

“Because I loved Kerry, and he’d told me he’d loved me a few months before.” She slowly shifted her head a little to the left and right as she thought about her statement. “Kerry already suspected that I could manipulate the dreams somewhat, so I figured he should know.”

“You could manipulate dreams?”

“Only a little. Like creating the bicycles and the landscape we rode through—small things like that.”

 

Annie broke a rule:  she admitted to a Normal that she was one of the Aware, and a witchy witch at that.  Then again, Annie has shown she’s not really good with rules, and if she feels like breaking them, she will.  Like, you know, crashing out in a hospital bed with your convalescing boyfriend–he needed help, so rules are for suckers!

And speaking of rules, Annie shows that she not only does what she wants, but this relationship with Kerry in the Dreams–she felt something . . .

 

Erywin didn’t think those things were that small, but Annie was advanced for a witch her age, and if Kerry and she were experiencing some kind of shared lucid dreaming, that kind of manipulation was entirely possible. “So a few months earlier—that was Kerry’s ninth birthday?”

“Yes.”

“That was when he professed his love.”

“Yes.”

Now ask her the real question. “When did you fall in love with him, Annie?”

She swallowed once as she closed her eyes. “I fell in love with him not long after I turned seven.”

Erywin cleared her throat and shifted a bit. “You knew you were falling in love with someone who might very well have not been real?”

“I was aware of that, but—” She once again closed her eyes as she shook her head. “I felt otherwise at times. I knew there was a good chance Kerry was just a dream creation, but . . . I could touch him, feel him, sense his emotions.” Annie shrugged. “Maybe it was because I was Aware, but I just knew, before I confirmed it, that Kerry was real.”

“And you never said anything.”

“I wasn’t seeing him that much while asleep—but I promised myself I would find out his name when I had the chance.”

“Like when you saw him the night he needed you?”

Yes.” A broad smile opened upon Annie’s face. “It’s funny, but I wanted to see him as well, and as I was going to bed I had the strangest feeling I would see him.”

“And you did.” Erywin gave Annie a relaxed, friendly smile. “You were going to ask him his name—and he beat you to it.”

“He did.” Annie returned the smile. “I was so happy that he told me—”

“Because now you could look him up and know for certain he was real?”

The smile vanished from Annie’s face as her demeanor changed, growing more serious. “There was . . . another reason.”

 

The night Kerry needed someone, Annie also needed someone, and one might think that the universe was conspiring to bring them together that night, because Kerry was in pain and needed comforting, and Annie was in love with someone she hadn’t seen in a while and she needed to be with him.  It was also a great leap of faith on here part to believe Kerry was real, but as she said, maybe being Aware did something to make her know he wasn’t just a boy in her dreams.

Stranger and stranger.

But Annie’s getting serious again, and that usually means trouble.  And since Erywin is there to help, she doesn’t waste time asking, “What’s up, Buttercup?”  The answer she gets isn’t the one she expected . . .

 

“I see.” All the while Erywin felt the conversation leading to this point. “And what was that reason?”

The was a pause, an extended one, as Annie looked down at the space between her and Erywin. She finally lifted her head, a far less serious expression stretched across her face. She answered the question with her own question. “Erywin, have you ever seen a girl’s wedding book?”

She nodded slowly. “I have. I knew a girl when I was growing up that had one, and a few of my students have had them.” She softened her tone, trying not to shake Annie. “When were you given yours?”

 

Wedding book?  Like that big book Annie brought with her from Pamporovo?  The one with writing inside and a certain chocolate wrapper kept pressed between the pages?  The one she’s never shown anyone?

The one she’s never mentioned to Kerry?

Ummm . . . Naw.  That couldn’t be the problem here.

Could it?

In Dreams There Shall be Time

I know what you’re thinking:  there should be sex ed talk here.  Right?  Wrong.  Finished my drive Back to The Burg last night, and a good middle chunk of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was a parking lot.  We had three lanes of traffic on a winding two lane highway, and it didn’t make for great driving conditions.  In fact, in a couple of spots I just came to a stop and stayed there.

What all that means is I’ll have to write the remainder of the scene tonight, which I can do after I go shopping.  In fact, I may just stop at Panera and have something to eat, because I miss them.  Or not.  Stick to the schedule, right?

Anyway, I did think of something last night.  Actually, I thought about it Saturday night when I was chatting with a friend, and we were discussing Annie and Kerry, specifically their shared dreams.  And during the chat I said, “You know, now that I’ve mentioned the dreams, I should work up a time line for them.”  The comment I received back was, “You haven’t already?”  Yeah, I have friends who know me well, and whom are smartasses.

But there is a certain truth to that.  See, I’ve got time lines for just about everything.  I mean, this is one of the first I made:

Sure, it's lonely up there on the top left, but look way down at the bottom at all the pretty colored dots.

Sure, it’s lonely up there on the top left, but look way down at the bottom at all the pretty colored dots.

This is the main time line for the novel–I should say “novels”, because I have information here pertaining to Annie and Kerry throughout their entire time at school.  If you look at the point just to the right of “2011”, you’ll see a lot of different colored dots, and those are the events of which I speak.  All my information in meta form is there, and I’m certain more than a few of you would love to peak at that display.

I also have this one:

Now you can send everyone a birthday card!

Now you can send everyone a birthday card!

A while back I make up lines for most everyone, which include when they were born and when they die.  Yes, even for Annie and Kerry:  I know the dates of their deaths and how they actually happen.  Don’t worry, it isn’t anytime soon.

But you can see I don’t have anything for their dreams.  There’s all sorts of stuff that is there, but what about their dreams?  We know there are some key points:  when they met as toddlers; when Kerry read to Annie for the first time, and what he read; the bike ride after Kerry moved to Cardiff, which is when they first learned each other’s real names; the time Annie told Kerry she was real; when she told him he was a witch; and when he told her he loved her.  I have approximate points and even dates in a few instances, but the rest of it is all over the place.

And I don’t like things all over the place.

Some, sometime this week, I’ll have to fit in getting this together.  Maybe this weekend when I have nothing to do between working on my novel and working on another writing project.  Because I do what to point to one of these views and say, “Yeah, right there is when they did this.”

Oh, and I know when the June bad dream happened.  It’s perfect.

The Coming of the Chestnut Girl

First off, I am coming to you from the Real Home, the ancestral estate in Northwest Indiana.  I made it in one piece and actually pulled into the garage exactly twelve hours after pulling out of the garage in The Burg to start my trip home.  And I only nearly fell asleep at the wheel once, about ninety minutes out from my destination.  That woke me up enough that I was able to get home in one piece.

And here I am this morning, no makeup, my library behind me featuring to the right of my head my three Pat Cadigan novel.

And here I am this morning, no makeup, part of my library behind me featuring to the right of my head my three Pat Cadigan novels.

The other news concerns the current scene.  The last time I made the six hundred and thirty-five mile journey between where I work and where I live, I was so tired that I couldn’t write a word.  Yesterday, however . . . I started out the scene during my second rest stop and managed three hundred and twenty-two words.  Last night, though it took me about three hours, I managed just over twenty-four hundred words, finished off the scene, and brought this part of the story to a conclusion.  Then I headed off to bed and slept straight through for close to eight hours of sleep.

What happened?  What did Annie and Kerry talk about?  I did considering posting recipes  for wild duck, but I know I’d get killed if I did that.  That said, let’s get into the scene.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

As he spoke the last word of his tale Kerry winced and touched the side of his forehead. Both actions bothered Annie, for she assumed the worse: his déjà vu was back, and would likely affect him more than it had ever before. His description of his dream showed that some part of him remembered her and the first time he read to her under his tree in their shared dream—but there was something else mentioned, something that almost made Annie gasp.

She was worried that if Kerry was that close to the memories of his dreams, the déjà vu would not only try and prevent him from speaking, but could cause him actual harm. She eyed his broom; she thought it might be necessary to fly it to the hospital so she could summon a nurse—

Kerry shook his head and mumbled just under his breath. “Moyata polovinka.”

Annie had kept her distance while Kerry related his story, but the moment he spoke she was alongside him. “Are you all right?” She touched his head. “What’s wrong?”

“Just my head—” He shook it slowly. “I don’t know; must be the weather playing with my sinuses.”

Annie saw his eyes, saw they weren’t glazed, saw he was in control of himself. This hadn’t happened before, and when she considered what he’d said—he’d literally summoned his mate as a form of willpower—she believed Kerry was doing something he’d never tried before:

He’s fighting the déjà vu. The rune dream triggered something and he’s fighting . . . She almost gasped again. Is he trying to remember?

She ran her fingers through his hair. “With the weather changing so fast, it’s possible.” She ran her fingers down his cheek and then to his arm. Given all that he’d said, given what was happening at the moment—and given what may lay ahead, Annie knew there was only one question she could ask:

“Kerry, who’s the Chestnut Girl?”

 

Yeah, Kerry:  enough of the teasing.  Who’s this Chestnut Girl?  We want to know before a John Gault-style campaign starts at the school.

 

“When I was younger—I mean like three or four—I used to have these dreams of a girl who’d come and visit.” Kerry remained conversational and didn’t appear to suffer any sudden twitches or pains. “I don’t mean like she’d visit me at home: she’d show up in stuff that I was dreaming about and we’d do stuff—play mostly, but I can remember talking as well.

“We never went by names, though there was something she used to call me—” Annie whispered under her breath as Kerry spoke the words aloud. “The Ginger Hair Boy. Since I didn’t know her name, after a while I started calling her The Chestnut Girl, because that’s how her hair looked to me.”

“A chestnut color?” Annie brushed her hazel hair back off her shoulders, wondering if Kerry would notice.

“Yes. I mean, I was probably five when I started calling her that, what did I know?” He shrugged, then turned his head as if something had poked him.

 

Now we know:  she was a girl in his dreams.  Not only there, but Annie wants to know about something else:

 

“What was this tree of yours?” Annie found it a little difficult not to ask these questions before being led.

“There was this tree—couple of trees, really, but this one in particular—where I used to go and sit and read, because I was tired of sitting in the house alone.” A puzzled look appeared on his face as he explained. “My parents used to leave me alone the summer after I turned six so they could both work. My grandparents didn’t live that far away, so if I needed something I’d called them and they’d show up.”

“Why didn’t they just watch you?”

“Don’t know; never figured that one out. Anyway, after a while I got tired of being in the house by myself, so since I knew the code to open the garage door I’d walk to this tree with a book and sit there and read.

“There was one time when I feel asleep—at least I think I was asleep, though it didn’t feel that way—”

Annie felt him rambling, trying to move into this memory. “I know exactly what you mean; the dream is so lucid it feels real.”

“Yeah. That’s how this was. I was sitting there and she shows up and wants me to read to her. I mean, it was kind of weird, but at the same time—”

Something in his tone caught Annie’s attention. “Yes? What was it?”

He looked at the ground for a second. “It was kinda romantic. I was sitting there, she was cuddled against my left shoulder, and she held the book and turned the pages while I read. It was . . .” A bright blush spread across his face. “Sweet.”

Annie nodded in agreement, but inside she was barely containing her excitement. In the hospital I was on his right shoulder—but he remember how it happened in the dream. He’s remembering. “I does sound sweet.” She stepped up and took his hand. “And romantic.”

“It was.”

 

And, yes:  if you’re wondering, I deliberately busted up Kerry’s left side so when that same scene played out in the aftermath of the Day of the Dead, things would set up differently.  That way, when Kerry began to talk about this moment in his life, he’d get the scene right as he remembered, and this is the clue to Annie that he is remembering.  Plotting:  strange things happen.  And you’ve seen nothing yet, really, because there are more questions, and Kerry has more answers . . .

 

“It’s okay, love. There’s still plenty of time . . .” She lightly rubbed his right arm. “Did you ever see her after those readings?”

“That’s funny; she started showing up again after I moved to Cardiff.” He kept from looking at Annie, and it wasn’t long before she caught the telltale sniff of his tears. “I hated moving; I hated Cardiff. Mostly I hated leaving things behind, things that meant a lot to me. I was a mess that first week in Wales; I didn’t want to do anything. I stayed in my room all the time and didn’t care if I got over jet lag—not that my parents cared. All they’d say is I’d ‘get over it’.

“The first time I got used to sleeping on the normal time she showed up—my Chestnut Girl—”

“Yours?”

“I know.” He finally raised his head, showing Annie his tear-stained cheeks. “I got to where I thought of her as, you know . . .” He looked away for a second. “Being with me.”

Annie chuckled, knowing how close to the truth he was. “The girl of your dreams.”

“I know, it’s silly.” His face began drawing long. “You probably think I’m horrible, going on about this dream girl.”

“No, I’m not.” She held Kerry’s hand. “What happened that time in Cardiff with her?”

He perked up a little as he told the story. “She shows up, and it’s pretty obvious I’m upset—even in a dream she knows this. She asked what was bothering me, and I told her about the move and having to leave things behind, especially my bike, and how I’m hatting being in Cardiff. And she looks at me and says—”

Still holding his hand, Annie gazed into the tree line as she spoke the words that Kerry was going to say. “Would you like to do something? Would you like to go somewhere with me?”

Kerry smile and broke into a slight laugh. “Yeah, that’s what she said.” He squeezed Annie’s hand. “I remember you said something like that in London.”

 

And that last line of Annie’s brings me to this–

Note to self:  make sure you use this quote a year from now.

Note to self: make sure you use this quote six months from now.

The bottom part was first drafted during last year’s NaNoWriMo, and then edited in April of 2014, and during the edit I made sure I left a note reminding me to use that quote again.  That’s how I roll, people:  keep thinking ahead, ’cause you know the scene you’re on now will get written, and this is a good connection.  Also, I did my edit based around what I would write, so wibbly wobbly timey whimmy for real.

And what happened after he met up with her feeling all sad and depressed?

 

Rather than correct him Annie urged him on. “What happened after she asked you?”

“I said yes, and like—” He chuckled again. “Magic, there were a couple of mountain bikes next to use, and the landscape around us was—it reminded me of the Napa area in California, all hills and long stretches of fields. She asked me if I wanted to go bike riding, and we went off and road for what seemed like days.”

Annie held her breathing in check as she remembered the moment, remembered the things that happened, the words that were spoken—and what was said at the end before the dream ended. A moment that changed my life . . . “Now I know what that girl said at the end when she mentioned a bike ride.”

The smile on Kerry’s face was by far one of the brightest he’d ever sported. “It was perfect. Never got tired, never got sweaty, never too hot—just riding and talking and enjoying each other’s company. My mother told me in the morning I looked the happiest I’d been in almost a year.”

 

It made Kerry happy, and it did something to Annie as well.  (And you can ask what, but la la la, I have my fingers in my ears, I can’t hear your pleas . . .)

There is a question that goes back to the very end of Kerry’s dream, and Annie isn’t about to let it go.

 

Annie decided the moment was now: she had to follow up the rune girl’s statement and see if he remembered everything. “What did the girl in your rune dream mean when she said, ‘Look how that turned out’.”

For the first time in a stretch Kerry closed his eyes and winced, and as he did his hand clamped around Annie’s. She didn’t yelp from the quick pain: instead she sought to pull him back to his recollections. “It’s okay if you tell me, Kerry. I don’t mind, really. I mean . . .” She swallowed and hoped Kerry didn’t see the lie appear upon her face. “You’re talking about a dream girl, right?”

He kept his eyes closed as he spoke through clenched teeth. “Right—” He placed the back of his left hand upon his forehead and grunted as he did before—

Annie thought he was going to lose his connection to the memories, to his dreams—to their dreams. She pulled him close so she could whisper. “Please tell me, Kerry. I know it hurts, but you were told it would hurt. You were told it would—” Then she remembered what Deanna told her on the sofa during the Samhain dance: If you try to force these issues, they’ll never turn out satisfactorily, and you don’t want that. And she couldn’t have that . . .

“Kerry.” She continued whispering, but changed her tone from one of desperation to compassion. “Tell the story if you can. If not I’ll understand. I’ll always understand—” She kissed his tortured forehead. “I’ll always love you no matter what.”

 

For the first time there’s something Annie wants, and . . . she lets it go.  She decides if it’s gonna hurt Kerry to the point where something extremely bad could happen, she doesn’t want it.  She decides that not knowing is better than harming her soul mate.

And for that, something wonderful happens . . .

 

The pain continued for several more seconds before Kerry slowly dropped to his knees, then sat back—but he didn’t appear to be in pain any longer. “My ninth birthday—” He turned himself so he was facing Lake Lovecraft in the slowly vanishing light. “It was almost a full year that I’d been in Cardiff—and it seemed like once a week, sometimes twice a week, she’d be there in my dreams.”

Annie sat down on his left. “Your Chestnut Girl.”

“Yep. And that night I knew she’d show up. I just knew it.” Kerry stared off into the distance as he spoke. “She did. As soon as I fell into my dream, she was there, looking . . .” He slowly shook his head. “Beautiful as always.”

“What happened?” Annie slid closer, but resisted taking his hand.

“She asked me what I wanted to do—I’d told her some times before when my birthday was—and I told her I wanted to go bike riding. And we did, just like that first time I was able to sleep in Cardiff. And when we were ready to take a break—” Kerry motioned to the area around them. “We went up on this small hill, maybe like twelve or fifteen meters above one road, and sat there about two-thirds of the way up.”

He drew up his knees and hugged them as if he needed something to comfort. “We’d been talking through most of the dream, and it wasn’t like some of the things we’d talked about before: we’d started getting more personal as time went on—”

Annie hugged her knees, too. “Almost like a real person.”

“She—” He didn’t look anywhere but straight ahead. “Was. She was real. A real person with real emotions. I felt them, ‘cause she was always nice to me.” He buried his chin into his knees. “I wasn’t to her.”

 

Leave it to Kerry to beat himself up over what he thought was a dream–and then finally admit, he may have know that his Chestnut Girl was real.  And Annie helps him remember the one thing he’s kept hidden for so long . . .

 

It was in that moment Annie knew what to do, because she remembered this moment, and remembered where it led. She lay her hand lightly upon his left arm. “What’s on your mind, Kerry? You’ve been quiet since we climbed up here.”

“Just—things.” He looked down over his knees at his feet.

In that second Annie felt the way she had that night of the Day of the Dead, when she and Kerry were reliving their first dream at his tree. They were still on the north shore of Lake Lovecraft, but at the same time she could see the hillside around them, the countryside around them, the road below, their bikes propped against a low tree . . . We’re here. He’s remembering. He knows this.

She rubbed his arm. “What sort of things?” She pulled away at that moment as she didn’t want to scare him by being too personal.

“Just, you know—” He turned his head and smiled at her.

Annie smiled back as coyly as she could. “No, I don’t know. Tell me.”

“Well . . .”

“It’s okay if you tell me.” She slapped at him playfully. “Please tell me.”

“Okay.” He half-turned his head away so he wouldn’t have to look at him. “I’ve been thinking about the time we spend together, and . . .” He rested his head against his arm.

She chuckled. “Come on; it’s not fair you having secrets.”

He went back to not looking in her direction. “I think you’re a nice person.”

“Oh?” She slide perhaps two centimeters closer. “I’m really that nice?”

“Well, you’re better than that.” He sighed. “I like you.”

Annie raised her right eyebrow. “You do?”

“Yeah.”

“You like me a little?”

“Not really; I mean—” Kerry stumbled over his words. “I like you more than a little.”

“How much?” Annie didn’t bother hiding her smile. “What’s more than a little?”

Kerry raised his head off his arm and returned to looking straight ahead. “What I mean—” His voice was ragged with emotion. “I like you a lot more than I probably should.”

As she did that night, Annie reached across his body and touched Kerry’s left hand. “What do you mean?”

A pause, two seconds, five passed—then Kerry turn his body so he was able to look at Annie without turning just his head. His face was the most expressive she’d ever seen. “Annie, I love you. I’ve loved you for a long time—”

In that moment the dream spell dropped, and both were back on the shore, both sitting in the growing twilight, but Kerry was still turned towards the smiling Annie, finishing his statement. “—and I don’t know that I could ever be without you.”

A dawning awareness overtook him concerning what had just happened, but Annie wasn’t about to let the moment end that way—for she had her own part to play. “That’s okay, Kerry—” Her smile was as warm as it had been when she finally admitted her love to Kerry in the same dream. “I’ve loved you for a long time now, too.”

 

What has Annie wanted from Kerry all this time?  She wanted him to remember that, for almost three years now, that Kerry knew she was real, that they’d known each other most of their lives, and that he’d loved her for a couple of years before they met up at school.  It may not seem like much to you, but to Annie–oh, it meant the world.

And even brought this moment of comfort:

 

He reached out and grabbed her hand. “Annie?”

“Kerry?”

He tried to speak, but gasped once, twice, then almost fell into her. “It’s you.”

“Yes, it is.”

“It’s really you.” Tears began streaming down his face.

Annie pulled him closer to him. “Kerry, what’s wrong?”

“How could I not know?” He wrapped his arms around her. “How? Why didn’t I know it was you?” He hugged her, sobbing. “Why didn’t I know you were my Chestnut Girl?”

She held him in her arms, patted his back, rubbed his head, anything she could think of to console him. “It doesn’t matter, Kerry.” Annie buried her face into the shoulder of her sobbing soul mate. “It doesn’t matter, because you know. You know now.” She hugged him tight and never wanted to let go. “You know now.”

Seventy-six hundred words just to get through a bunch of dreams and hear, "You know now."

Seventy-six hundred words just to get through a bunch of dreams and hear, “You know now.”

There you are:  all the dreams told and the secrets more or less exposed.  Yes, there is something else following, and it should wrap this up nicely.  In fact, I may be able to write the next scene and the last one today.  I might actually finish them tonight.

Which is good, because the sooner I do, the quicker I can go back to torturing my kids some more.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/22:  2,741

NaNo Total Word Count:  42,360