Good News Day

Monday–yesterday–was another of my long, “I’m on the road and can’t really get anything done” days.  I had to visit my HRT doctor, and it’s a nearly two-and-a-half hour drive to her office–I’m in The Burg and she’s off in the Swamps of Jersey–so there’s a bit of driving.  A lot of driving, actually, and it’s pretty much heavy traffic the whole way there and back, not including the rain I was in last night.  Needless to say, by the time I returned to my hovel at seven-thirty PM, it was hard to get worked up for anything in the way of writing.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good day yesterday . . .

See, my visit was to go over my labs, which I’d taken a couple of weeks before.  Lab work is important, because you don’t want to worry that what you’re doing to your body is killing you.  And it can . . . Bit of full disclosure here:  back in April and May of 2014, this year, I was on a DIY hormone regiment for about six weeks.  I did it because I wanted to get on them, and as I always do, I dug into my research and figured out just how much I could handle without hurting myself.

Wrong thing to do.  I stopped taking the hormones right before I started my lab work, and didn’t get back on them until I started my injections.  One of the thing my lab work discovered was my iron and some of my liver functions were way the hell off.  The liver function was due to taking oral hormones (after you’re fifty they break down in your system differently and are metabolized by your liver as well), and the iron came from mistakenly taking a women’s vitamin, which are full of iron that I don’t need.

The moral of that story is don’t do meds on your own.  The other moral of the story is that in April I was pretty much an emotional basket case because of lady hormones taking over my body, and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun.  It also makes me understand far better the sort of hell women go through from time-to-time, and makes me want to slap guys with large, smelly tunas every time I hear them say, “Wow, you’re moody today.”  Hey, try this stuff for three months, dude, and tell me how you feel.

But the news yesterday was good.  Hormone levels are where they should be; liver function is good save for a slightly elevated bilirubin, which may or may not be genetic and/or affected by my lack of a gall bladder, my weight is continuing to drop, and even my blood pressure was down a bit–and while still high, it wasn’t up in the hypertension range.  It was all great news.

That's why I look so happy here--glowing even, as some people say.  I'll take that.

That’s why I look so happy here–glowing even, as some people told me yesterday. I’ll take that.

It’s back to the writing tonight.  Today I’ll ponder over some of the comments I’ve received concerning Annie’s and Kerry’s relationship.  It seems as if there are a few people who thing something bad is going to happen to them.  Since I already know everything that’s going to happen to them, I’m sort of sitting here smiling and thinking, “How are they gonna feel when I get to this scene?”

But really:  nothing bad happens.

Well . . . nothing too bad.

Admissions in the Garden

This scene in the novel . . . this is one I’ve had in my mind for a long time.  Though, originally, it appeared way differently:  locations, reasons, appearances, things said–they’ve all be altered, because that’s what you do with a story as you go along.  Particularly if you’re had months to think about a scene before you get around to writing said part.

I also approached this scene with a little trepidation because–you’ll see.  You’ll see in a bit.

Annie and Kerry are outside now; Annie for the first time in over twenty-four hours, as she tells Kerry.  It’s a cool and crisp morning–

Because I always check my historical weather data.  I'm funny that way.

Because I always check my historical weather data. I’m funny that way.

With this in mind, with Kerry in his hoodie and Annie in her thick sweater from home, designed for that mountain climate she lives in, they decide to stay outside . . .

 

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

“No. I want to enjoy being outside.” She pointed down the path they were walking. “We could sit and get out of the wind.”

“Sit at our bench?”

Now it was Annie’s turn to chuckle. “You think of it as our bench, too?”

“Why not?” Kerry picked up the pace just a little, but not so much that Annie would think he was over-exerting himself. “It is sort of out bench now.”

“Not sort of—” Annie pulled Kerry along. “It is.”

Kerry nodded. It was sort of funny to think of it that way, but when he gave the matter any consideration, he couldn’t remember anyone else ever sitting there. It’s just like our sofa in the Midnight Madness; no one else ever seems to sit there . . .

 

Of course, Kerry sits there in silence, because a lot of times when they’ve come to this particular bench he’s thinking about something.  When Annie asks him, he remembers something she told him last night about Protectors being on the grounds.  He takes in the info and then goes back to being quiet, because it’s Kerry:  he’s like that.  We know how Annie is, however–

 

“Um, hum.” He stared straight ahead while keeping a firm grip on Annie’s hand.

“Kerry . . .” Annie wanted to move forward carefully, least she say something that might being on déjà vu. “You seemed surprised to see me this morning.”

He nodded. “I was a little.” He half turned his head in her direction. “I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating.”

Does he remember our dream? “What do you remember?”

“I remember waking up and I was crying.” Kerry closed his eyes for a few seconds; Annie though he might start crying again, but he didn’t. “I remember talking to you, and then . . .” He screwed up his face as if he was remembering something unpleasant. “Then drifting off to sleep.” He squeezed Annie’s hand. “With you next to me.”

“What about the things in . . . the middle?” Please let him remember. Please.

Kerry shook his head. “I don’t remember anything. It’s all so fuzzy, just flashes I can’t . . .” He shrugged. “It’s all disjointed; I can’t remember it clearly.”

 

Annie and her, “If I could only get him to remember our dreams,” thoughts and wishes.  There’s more on her mind, however, because she remembers a number of things that were said the night before.

 

Annie was a little crestfallen that Kerry couldn’t now remember the events of their shared dream. It wasn’t everything, however. “Do you remember what you wanted to talk about?”

Kerry returned to looking straight ahead and away from Annie. “Yeah.”

She didn’t like the quiet, down tone he was using. “Kerry—”

He slowly turned back around to face her. “You deserve better.”

Annie almost felt her heart skip a beat. “What are you saying?”

He cleared his throat. “You’re a kind, loving girl, and I’m not like that.”

“Yes, you are.” She moved slightly closer, holding his hand tight, the same as she’d done last night. “You heard what Coraline said about the little things we do—”

“I know; I do those.” He shrugged again as if it didn’t matter. “But you’re always telling me you love me, and I just . . .” He lowered his head and started at his feet. “I never say anything.”

What is he trying to say? “Kerry, that’s not—”

“It is true, Annie.” He pulled his hand out of hers and laid it in his lap alongside his right. “You’ve expressed yourself perfectly—and I act like like I’m still trying to figure this out.”

Don’t say this—don’t. Annie felt as if the bottom was dropping out of her world. Only last night Kerry whispered he loved her before falling off to sleep, and now it seemed like he was berating himself up for not being affectionate and telling her she deserved better. “Everything takes time, my love.” She could almost see Professor Arrakis saying the same thing. “You shouldn’t—”

“No.” Kerry slowly rose to his feet. “You need more than just me taking my time to get to where you are.” He took three slow, measured steps towards the other side of the covered walkway leading to their tower. He didn’t see Annie’s face, now a mask of confusion and fear that Kerry was going to tell her something upsetting—

 

There’s that saying about, “If you don’t like the answers, maybe you shouldn’t have asked the questions,” and right now Annie is wishing she hadn’t asked that question.  And that seems to be the road Kerry is headed down–and it’s making Annie worried.

 

He turned towards her. His face radiated fear, which was doing little to put Annie’s emotions at ease. He took a step towards her. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say.” He closed the distance between them and stood silently, looking down at her. He took his time reaching down so he could take her hands in his—

Annie was shivering, but not from the cold, not this time. Her heart and mind were racing, one hoping against the worst, the other expecting the worst. He’s going to tell me he doesn’t want me. She looked up into his eyes, fighting to keep her face impassive. He’s going to say he hasn’t any real feelings for me, that he doesn’t know why we are together

 

Well, you did ask for it, Annie.  You may as well hear what he has to say.  Which is . . .

 

“Anelie Victoreva Kirilova, I love you.”

She blinked three time fast. Her face unfroze, and for the second time in less than twelve hours she expressed shock over something Kerry said. Only this time it wasn’t the shock that came with him saying something that she knew was untrue: it was the shock that came from hearing something completely unexpected. “Kerry—”

“You’re the most important thing in my life, Annie. I don’t want you there: I need you there. I need you to be with me.” A tear slipped from his left eye. “I want to feel you with me. I want to—” He choked up for a few seconds. “I want to feel your love.”

 

And there it is:  he finally expressed the words she’s wanted to hear for a couple of month now.

 

Annie wanted to stand up and throw her arms around her Ginger Hair Boy, but she knew if she did she might pass out before she could raise her arms. “When did you realize?”

“The night I was in the hospital after my accident. I knew you were mad at me, but then you came back and told me about your family, and you said—” A few more tears escaped. “When you told me that I needed someone to tell me that every day, that you’d tell me that every day of my life—but most of all, that I was worthy of love . . .” He sniffed back her onrushing emotions. “After you left I knew I hadn’t shown you the same thing, and I knew I was wrong to not show you my affections. I woke up in the middle of the night, and after about five minutes of thinking about it, I knew I was in love.” He squeezed her hands. “With you.”

“Why didn’t you say something?” Annie shook her head slowly, trying to erase the disbelief from her face. “Why?”

“Because I was scared.” Kerry looked down and a way for a moment, trying to keep from crying while gathering his thoughts. “I used to tell my parents I loved them all the time—until I was like six or so. They almost never responded; they never showed any open affection. After a few years of that I just gave up: I didn’t say or do anything.

“And my grandparents . . . As much as I love them, as soon as we moved to Cardiff, they stopped writing to me. I didn’t hear from them at all. Not even email.” He closed his eyes but never let Annie’s hands go.

“I was going to tell you at the dance. That’s why I did the song dedication. I was going to dance, and then we were going to go somewhere—”

“Our bench?” Annie finally found the strength to chuckle.

Kerry joined her. “Yeah, something like that . . . And I was going to get you here and tell you.”

“Oh, Kerry . . .” Annie felt a little of what she was feeling just a few night ago course through her. “I would have melted. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because . . .” This time he did look away as the tears began to flow.

Annie slowly made her way to her feet. She stood face-to-face with Kerry, her hands still within his. “Because you were frightened. Because you were afraid.”

He nodded. “I started over-analyzing everything. I started wondering if it was just the event that would have made you happy, or if I wanted to say I loved you because of how the dance made me feel. And then I got scared, and starting thinking—”

“You thought once you gave your love to me I would abandon you.” She pulled her right hand from his and brought it to his cheek. “Like your parents did. Like your grandparents did. Like . . .” She stopped, because she couldn’t repeat what she’d heard last night, least she ruin the moment. “Like you thought I might.”

He wiped his face on his newly freed sleeve. “Yeah.”

 

Fear is a powerful motivator.  I know, because I was there all the time as a child.  My life seemed driven by fear, so it’s not unusual that Kerry has fallen into that same trap, becoming an alienated young lad who just wants affection.  And what is more scary than a first love?  And wondering if she’ll remain with you after you express your love to her?  It’s different when you’re an adult, because you come to accept that not all relationship last.  But when it’s your first time, and you experience that breakup–it’s a killer.

And Kerry would rather hide the rest of his life than feel that pain of abandonment.

Fortunately, he has Annie . . .

 

Annie re-took Kerry’s free hand and held them both close to her. “Kerrigan Rodney Malibey, I love you. You are the most important thing in my life. I don’t want you in my life: I need you in my life.” She pulled herself up against his torso. “I want to feel you with me, and I want to feel your love.” She glided her lips across his right cheek. “And I want to hear you tell me, every day of my life, that you love me.”

Kerry half-closed his eyes and relaxed his breathing. “I will.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”

“Then—” Annie kissed him lightly on the lips. “You’ll never be afraid again. I will always be here. I will never abandon you.”

 

Kerry goes through four difficult night, and the night after the attack, the one where he shared a dream he can’t remember with Annie, was his third.  And the aftermath of that night led to him opening himself up to Annie in a way that was absolutely necessary.

It only took about 275,000 words, but Kerry finally spoke the Big Three Words.  Congratulations, kid.

It only took about 275,000 words, but Kerry finally spoke the Big Three Words. Congratulations, kid.

Now maybe I can stop torturing these kids for a while–

Yeah, right.

Releases of Future Past

This morning I’d like to thank everyone who checked out yesterday’s post.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, which lightens my heart considerably.  The post also led to several people coming out to me yesterday about various LBGT issues, which is more even more heartening, because it means people want to know, they want to understand and learn.  Thank you all.

I should point out that yesterday, 10/11/2014, was Coming Out Day, which is when, if you’re still hiding your real self, you’re suppose to make that first tentative step to announce yourself to the world.  10/11/2012 was the day Cassidy came out, first to a few of my friends, and then on profiles around the Internet.  This blog was the first to change, and my Facebook account was the second.  That was a huge, scary step for me, but I’m still here, so it much have been the right action to take.  Kind of interesting, even for me, to see where I’m at two years later.

Now, lets get back to the boring business of writing . . .

"Great.  What insane crap is she gonna talk about now?"

“Great. What insane crap is she gonna talk about now?”

Only the best, I assure you.

Kerry’s getting checked out of the hospital.  He’s already been giving the normal “Don’t do this or that” speech, but there’s something else he needs to hear as well . . .

 

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

“Another thing—” Coraline rubbed her hands together before speaking. “You are not to get anywhere near a broom for the next few days. Just like last time, you’re grounded due to the concussion, only this time I’m not going to give you a clearance check-up until Sunday morning.” She laid her hands in her lap. “Even if I do clear you I might tell Vicky to keep you on light flight duty for that week.”

“Was it really that bad?” Kerry knew concussions were bad, but he felt like he’d bounced back from the last one quickly, and this one didn’t feel any different.

“About as bad as it could get without causing a traumatic brain injury.” Coraline held her thumb and forefinger about a centimeter apart. “You were this close to a TBI: the only thing that saved you was you tumbled after you crashed. Otherwise you’d probably still be out while I let my magical nanoids fix the damage.

 

Remember, kids:  it’s better to slide along the ground for a few hundred feet instead of coming to a quick stop, especially if you’re moving along at speed.  Just keep tumbling, kids, and I don’t mean that stuff you do on the Internet.

Also–

 

“I’m not going to give you any pain killers because if you really need to take something for the pain of just being up and around, I want you back here resting.” Coraline set her hands on either side of her and stretched. “The only other thing I have is that I want you back here at sixteen-thirty for a checkup, and . . .” She flicked her gaze from Kerry to Annie and back. “I don’t want you trying to make your way up to your room in the tower, so I’m going to have you sleep here tonight.”

Annie covered her mouth with the back of her hand. “Ah, hum.”

“And, yes—someone else will sleep here as well.” Coraline dropped the tone of her voice into a lower register. “And I don’t want to come in tomorrow and find the same scene I found this morning.”

“We’ll be good.” Annie turned to Kerry and hugged him tight. “Promise.”

 

You know you can trust Annie, Coraline.  You won’t catch her sleeping with Kerry again–catch being the operative word here.

With that out of the way Coraline puts up one more question–and what she gets back was probably something she wasn’t expecting . . .

 

“I’ll hold you to that, Annie. Since classes are canceled for the remainder of the week, if you wanna stay up late, you call.” Coraline turned her attention to Kerry. “That’s all I have to say. Any questions?”

There was only one on Kerry’s mind: it had been there a while and had nothing to do with his condition. “How many people . . . died? No one will tell me.”

Coraline didn’t hesitate giving him that information, because she felt he had a right to know. “Ten: nine students and an instructor. Six of the students were fliers; the other three were in the ground assault teams.”

“Who was the instructor?”

“Shuthelah Kady. He taught Engineering and Magic, so you didn’t have a chance to get to know him.” Coraline turned away for a moment. “Nice guy.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“He jumped in a rescued a group that was ambushed by nine Abominations: they killed two of the three students on the group. Shuthelah took out most of them before he died.” There wasn’t a trace of humor in Coraline’s chuckle.  “He went down fighting; that’s how he was.”

“Still—” Kerry stared at the floor. “That’s a lot.”

“We lost forty-four students the night of The Scouring. Isis, Wednesday, Ramona, Vicky—they did a great job making sure that didn’t happen again.” She nodded towards Kerry. “And your quick thinking keep four more people off the list.”

It took Kerry a moment to realize that “the list” Coraline mentioned were those killed—and that one of the additional four was him. “Um, yeah.”

 

Always nice to know that you may be congratulated for not dying–and realizing that through not dying, you likely kept three move people alive as well.  And of that death count from the Scouring, was was left off were the six to eight instructors and staff who died in the process–like the Librarian, Chief Medical Officer, and Headmaster.  The last one was torn apart by Jessica Kishna, and it wasn’t like he didn’t have it coming.  Add those people into the mix, and you’re over fifty dead that night.  And since Isis and Wednesday played a big part in making sure more people didn’t die that night, they knew what to do to make certain that didn’t happen again.

But there’s something else afoot here–

 

Coraline followed them out of the bay and towards her office, watching them stroll hand-in-hand through the waiting room and out the open doors. Once they were out of sight she turned towards her office, where the blinds, which were up when she’d finished discussing Kerry’s condition with Annie, were now drawn. This can only mean one thing . . .

She entered her office and closed the door. She didn’t address her guest until she was seated behind her desk. “I’m guessing you drew the blinds so certain students wouldn’t see you.”

 

Could this be that “She” that Coraline mentioned the scene before?  Yep.  And who is this person?  Let’s see.  Or should I say, “Seer”?

 

“I thought it best they didn’t see me.” Deanna Arrakis twisted the bracelet on her left wrist to the left and right. “After all, you’re the one with the questions—yes?”

Coraline shook her head. “So what exactly did you see yesterday?” She sat back as she pulled her coat around her. “I mean, you told me to let Annie spend the night hours before you told me I’d find them sharing the same bed.”

“I saw them sleeping together not long after Isis gave the all clear.” Deanna checked the door as if she expected someone to walk through at any moment. “Though I didn’t see quite what you saw . . .”

“Meaning?”

“You weren’t alone. That’s why I told you to come here early today.”

Coraline chuckled. “Yeah, I told them about what might have happened if the Headmistress had found them. But that isn’t why you told me to let her spend the night—” She set her right index finger against the corner of her mouth. “Unless you wanted them to be found like that.”

Deanna slowly tossed her head from side to side as she gazed up at the ceiling before explaining further. “I felt something else just before I contacted you. It wasn’t a true vision, but more an . . . premonition.”

Coraline leaned forward and rested her elbow against her desk. “About?”

“That something important was about to transpire between them.”

“And that happened last night?”

Deanna shook her head. “In a way.” She glanced towards the door once more. “I believe the rest is coming soon . . .”

 

That’s the problem with these seers:  you never know what’s going on with them, even after they tell you what’s going on.  As Coraline hints, could Deanna have manipulated things so the event Coraline discovered was made to happen instead of maybe happening?  Hummm.

I guess you’d have to be able to see the future to know that one.

 

 

Welcome to My Trans World

I’m doing things a little different today, mostly because I promised some people that I was going to answer some questions for them, and this is how I handle that particular request.

As everyone–or just about everyone knows–I’m a transwoman.  I’ve been out online and with friends for about two years now, and in March of this year I began living publicly as a woman.  I started on hormone treatment back in July, and I’ve just passed three months on hormone replacement therapy.

You can imagine that mot many people know the ins and outs of what I’m going through.  It’s rare that people other than close friends know anyone trans, and until recently trans people in media were either played for laughs or we were psychos who usually committed the murder in whatever drama was bring presented.  In other words, the majority of people who we might encounter in real life don’t know much about us.

This all came about a few weeks ago because there were people in one of my Facebook groups asking me about the stuff I do concerning my hormone injections.  I was getting other questions asked as well, and it made me realize that, yes, people are curious, and not in a morbid way:  they really want to know about these things that are happening in my life.

Since yesterday was my shot day I decided to put together a few videos that show the steps I go through for my injections, and also answer a few questions that have come up from time-to-time.  So, if you’ll step this way . . .

 

This is a video going over the stuff I need for my injections, and I actually take you thought the process.  You never see the injection, and I give you fair warning it’s happening in case you want to look away.  As I say you don’t see anything, so safe all around.

The next two videos answer questions about hormones and injections, and–particularly with the second video–I get into the good and bad parts of going through hormone treatments.  I give warning in the second video that discussions may get a little graphic, but only because I’m talking about naughty bits.

Okay, now we get to the one video that’s probably Not Save For Work or Kids.  I get into a rather frank explanation of physical sexual responses, and how mine are changing.  It’s pretty interesting, but as I said, it’s frank, so let me warn you once more:  Sexy Talk Ahead!  That’s even the name of the video.  Click at your own risk.

And last but not least, a video that answers a question that I’ve been asked more than a few time:  why are you doing this?  For me, the answer isn’t surprising.

There it is:  a part of my world as it currently exists.  I hope it’s informative, and that it leads to more questions in the future that I can take time to answer.  Because, believe me, the more people know about the sort of things that led up to my decision, and the aftermath of said decision, the more the stereotypes can be cast aside.

Like I say in one of the videos, once you get to know me I’m really a nice person–

No different than you.

Pre-Release

If I’m gonna do NaNo I have to get my writing Mojo down and stop waiting until after nine PM to get to wording.  That’s been a problem of late, brought on by other problems I’ve went through this week which have really put a strain on the story.

But that’s beside the point, because when haven’t I been dealing with one problem or another?

Anyway, the boy is about to get kicked, and his girlfriend is following the Head Nurse around.  It’s that time when you are ready to leave the hospital and you gotta hear how you gotta take it easy.

 

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

Coraline exited her office with Annie right behind her and headed straight for Bay #1. The curtain was three-quarters drawn: Coraline waved her right hand and it retracted all the way, revealing Kerry in his regular clothes sitting calmly on the edge of Bed #2. He looked up as they walked into the space. “Hey.”

“Hey, back.” Coraline sat on Bed #1 while Annie took a seat to Kerry’s left. She waved the curtain to close, sealing off the bay so they’d have privacy. “I’m releasing you, if you haven’t already guessed. Before I turn you loose on the student population I need to set down some rules for you to follow.” She tilted her head to one said and grinned. “It’s all for your own good: you do get that, right?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Yeah, I do.”

 

Of course it’s for your own good, Kerry.  Because we know kids:  they just wanna run around and have fun.  Except, in this case, you may pass out.  No fun there.

 

“Good.” She crossed her legs and tapped her foot up and down as she spoke. “First off: you are mended, but you are not healed. All your breaks and your knee are repaired; your dislocations are fine; your concussion has subsided. In terms of mending, you’re back to where you were this time yesterday.

“That doesn’t mean you’re healed. You experienced a lot of trauma in that accident; if you were in a Normal hospital, you wouldn’t be out of bed for another month, and might not be able to leave the hospital for a couple of months after that. But even with magic and technology on your side, it takes a few days to get you back to where you were . . .

“You’re not back to a hundred percent: seventy-five percent is more like it. You’ll be near one hundred by Saturday, but for now you’re going to be anything like you were when you woke up yesterday morning.” Coraline nodded towards the curtain. “Bianca took you down to the bathroom, so you know how different you feel.”

 

That was something I thought about when I put the story together.  I’ve only broken one thing–my ankle–but I’ve had two surgeries, and I know about that crazy recovery time where you have to recover from having people cut into your body.  Kerry didn’t have that, but given that, at one point, he wouldn’t have been able to use any of his limbs, he was hurt bad.  Not to mention that a broken leg on top of a knee injury would have made it difficult, if not impossible, for him to move around for some time.  Yay, magic and technology!

 

Coraline didn’t wait for an acknowledgment—she saw he understood. “What this means is that for the next few days you take it easy. You can walk, but don’t over do it. Don’t think you’re going to head off to The Witch House and get there if you just walk slow; that’s overdoing it. You might make it to Lake Lovecraft, but you better rest up for an hour before trying to walk back.

“Don’t run, don’t hop, don’t skip, don’t jump. Take your time going up and down stairs, and use the handrail when you do. If you feel tired or dizzy, sit down and get your head down. If there isn’t a chair around, sit on the floor and do the same, no matter where you are. If you still feel tired or dizzy after a couple of minutes, you lay down and close your eyes.

“If you don’t feel better after five minutes of that, you tell Annie.” She chuckled as she nodded in her direction. “She’s graciously agreed to stay by your side today—”

“Like I would be anywhere else.” Annie wrapped her arm through Kerry’s.

“Like you would.” Coraline’s eyes twinkled before continuing. “She’s got a panic button—”

Kerry looked at Annie, then back to Coraline. “What’s that?”

“An enchanted device that teleports you to a predetermined location. All you have to do is activate the enchantment, and since you both can do that, I know she’ll get you here.” She uncrossed her legs and hooked them at the ankles. “In this case ‘here’ is a spot back by the lift. Annie knows how to position you both before jaunting: after you arrive she can get someone and we can get you into a bed.

“I know what to do.” Annie hugged Kerry’s arm. “Don’t worry.”

He shook his head. “I don’t.”

 

That’s right:  your sweetie will be right there by your side to get you to the hospital if the need should arise–

"Come along, Ginger Boy.  It looks like it's time to tuck you into a hospital bed so I can play Nurse Annie."

“Come along, Ginger Boy. It looks you need to get tucked into a hospital bed so I can play Nurse Annie.”

Maybe not this time, Sweetie.

This is also the first time I’ve ever mentioned a Panic Button.  You won’t hear much about them in this story, but in future stories they play an important role, particularly for Kerry.  For now, however, they’re just another piece of fluff that shows up–and is only showing up because the advanced kids know how to use the advanced spells that the panic button require.  Otherwise Coraline would probably do something like keep Kerry close to The Pentagram.

Which, I believe, will likely happen anyway . . .

The Loving Lecture

Wednesdays are good writing nights for me, because even in a couple of hours I get a lot done.  Last night was no exception:  I needed to finish a scene, and I stopped four words short of twelve hundred to get it done.  Now there are three more scenes left and I can move on to the last part.

Three more doesn't seem like a lot, but it's probably more than I think it is.

Three more doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s probably more than I think it is.

Yesterday Coraline was finding herself either having to wake Annie up or learn Bulgarian in a hurry.  Since the later was out of the question without time spells, Nurse Coraline opted for the first.  And with enough shaking, one can wake even the most difficult girl . . .

 

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

 

Annie finally began to move slowly, raising her heard slightly and blinking as she adjusted to being awake. The realization that she wasn’t alone hit her, and she slowly twisting her head to the right until the new visitor came in view. The realization of who it was snapped Annie awake. “Nurse Coraline.”

“Morning, Sleepyhead.” She pursed her lips as she affixed Annie with a peculiar stare. “I’m sure you have an explanation . . .”

“Um . . .” Annie started to sit up before discovering that Kerry’s arm was locked tightly around her torso. She was content to twist herself about so she could better face Coraline. “Kerry woke up last night; he was having a bad dream—”

“And you came over here to comfort him?” The right corner of Coraline’s mouth twitched upwards into a wicked smile. “Wake up Sleeping Beauty, and do it quick.”

“Okay.” Annie rolled onto her tummy and positioned her face a few centimeters from Kerry’s. She lightly shoot his chest as she whispered in a soft coo. “Kerry; Kerry. You need to wake up. Are you awake?” She touched his cheek, her fingers gliding over his skin. “Come on, wake up . . .”

For a moment it didn’t appear that Kerry was going to wake and that Coraline would have to bring him to full consciousness. His eyes fluttered and slowly opened as he yawned. The first thing he did was focus on the girl before him. “Hey . . . Sweetie.” His free hand played with her hair. “You’re here.”

“Yes, I am.” She turned her head just a touch to the left and began nodding at their guest. “Someone’s here.”

He followed Annie’s eyes until he found Nurse Coraline hovering in the background. “Oh . . . Hi, Nurse Coraline.”

“What?” She expressed mock outrage. “I don’t get a Sweetie, too?” She spoke before Kerry could respond. “Okay, you two: we need to talk. Annie, would you elevate his bed so he isn’t straining himself trying to see me.” Coraline made herself comfortable on Bed #1 while Annie raised the head of Kerry’s bed.

 

That Coraline:  she’s such a kidder.  She’s also a bit of a smartass in the right situations.

 

Annie sat up and looked as if she wanted to sit somewhere else. “Do you want me to stay here?”

“Sure, why not?” Coraline grinned. “You look comfortable; I wouldn’t want to spoil that.”

The young girl looked down at the floor, her cheeks growing a little red. “Nurse Coraline, I want to assure you that nothing happened last night.”

“Well, no kidding, Annie.” Coraline rolled her eyes wildly. “Kerry had a concussion and was on pain meds, his whole left side is immobilized, and he’s wearing a catheter.” She barked out a short, loud laugh. “What would you have done if you were planing on doing something?”

 

Of course the answer to that question is, “Don’t answer that,” because kids being kids, if they wanna fool around, like dinosaurs being born at Jurassic Park, they’ll find a way.  Coraline knows better, and she tells them what she sees . . .

 

“It’s not like I haven’t seen you both sack out together—it’s how you usually end the Midnight Madness. Nearly every instructor has dragged those comforters back, found you out cold, hugging each other, and told you it was time to head back to your tower.

“Most of them think it’s cute—I don’t.” Coraline wrinkled her nose while shaking her head. “I think it’s romantic. And you can trust me on that ‘cause I’m a sucker for romance . . .

“I’ve told Annie, and I’m telling you, Kerry: you have a relationship that goes well beyond the normal crap that passes for love around here. In no way do you guys act like a couple that’s been together for a couple of months: you act as if you’ve been at this for years. I’ve see you together, not just at the Madness, but during meals and free time on the weekends. You do these little things: a touch, a look, a tiny kiss. It isn’t about groping and making out—it’s real intimacy.” She smile as she lowered her gaze. “It’s the sort of stuff I wished I had when I was here.

“I know Annie didn’t climb into bed with you, Kerry, just so you guys could fool around: if she says she was comforting you, I know she was.” Coraline shifted her gaze towards the bay curtain. “However, if someone else had found you you together this morning . . .”

 

That “someone else” probably being a certain French woman who runs the joint–

 

The head nurse’s tone turned more serious. “I was tipped off the Headmistress was going to address the students this morning—” She looked at Kerry as she gave him the latest news. “Last night she canceled classed for today, and the rumor is she’s going to cancel them for the rest of the week.” She returned to addressing them both. “What I’m trying to say is, while the Headmistress doesn’t mind if you both crash out on the sofa during the Madness, because you’re not the first and only ones to do that, but I can guaranty you if she’s walked in this bay and saw you together, it’s pretty likely you’re be off to her office for a meeting this afternoon.

“You need to consider what you’re doing and where it’s happening. ‘Cause one day you may find yourself in a similar situation like this one, and whoever finds you ain’t gonna be a softy like me.” She cocked her head slightly to the right and gave them both a whimsical smile. “Got it?”

 

Needless to say the Headmistress does show up and asks how everyone is doing, and it’s all smiles and happy faces, and she’s none the wiser to the fact that she just missed finding them sacked out together.  I guess she’ll just have  to wait until the next Midnight Madness to catch them at it . . .

Mornings in the Bay with Coraline

Let’s move on, in Storytime, to November 2, 2011, which some people will realize is the last of the Day of the Dead celebrations.  Things are trying to get back to normal, but all of that will come out slowly.  Right now the order of the day is getting into a routine–though, in some cases, that routine is being pushed by unseen forces . . .

 

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

It was just after six when Coraline entered the hospital. She headed directly for her office, where she found Gretchen sitting behind the desk. The night nurse looked up as she cleared the door frame. “Surprised to see you in this early.”

Coraline sighed as she leaned against the frame. “Was told late last night the Headmistress wanted to address the students this morning at breakfast.” She brushed some hair from her face. “I heard she was going to check up on our patients so she could give everyone an update.” She looked up at the ceiling. “How’s Maddie?”

“Doing well.” Gretchen got up and came around the desk. “Here vitals remained stable through the night; about three they began coming up slowly. When I left her twenty minutes ago she was stable and still rising.”

“She wake up at any point?”

“No. She’s been out all right, and I have her on a monitor to alert me if she woke up.” Gretchen shook her head. “Nothing.”

“Still good.” Coraline pointed towards the door leading outside. “Any word from the Dining Hall?”

“Bianca came in about two to get something, but that was it. I don’t think they had a problem—” She shrugged. “If they did they kept it self-contained.”

 

Most of the patients look good:  Maddie’s getting better, and there doesn’t seem to have been too many freakouts among the kids sleeping in the Dining Hall.  That leaves . . .

 

“Okay.” She nodded back over her right shoulder. “And those two?”

“Never heard a sound out of them.” Gretchen moved a step or two closer and lowered her voice. The enchantment prevented sound from emanating from the bay, but one could hear people in the corridor—or, as close as it was, Coraline’s office. “Annie didn’t call up for assistance, and I didn’t check up on them as per your orders.”

Coraline nodded then stepped backwards out of her office; Gretchen followed. “Why don’t you head up and start getting Maddy ready for when the Headmistress gets here.” She turned and headed into the main ward, stopping before Bay #1. “I’ll check up on Kerry, then I’ll bring Mathilde up when she’s done speaking with him.”

“Okay, Coraline. I’ll see you in a bit.”

The chief medical officer watched her night nurse walk the length of the ward and vanish into the lift. Only once she was certain Gretchen wasn’t around did Coraline unseal the enchantment locking the bay curtain in place. “Well, now . . .” She raised her left hand. “Shall we see what’s behind the curtain?” She waved it away, stepped inside, and waved it closed.

 

Yeah, what’s behind that curtain.  I’m sure that what happened in the last scene has self-corrected itself, right?

 

Since the bay was against the east wall of the hospital, it didn’t receive light from the outside. “Lights, dim.” The illumination level went from a few pinpoint lights here and there to enough illumination that Coraline was able to make out the figures in their beds—

Correction: make it their bed.

Kerry was still in the same position Coraline had left him nine hours before. Annie was sleeping next to him, pressed against his right side, under the covers and curled up with her hand on his chest and her head resting against his arm and shoulder. Both were sound asleep and showed no reactions when the lights came up.

She shook her head a couple of times and muttered softly. “Son of a bitch. How does she know these things?” As the Headmistress would probably arrive in the next ten or fifteen minutes, the last thing she needed to see was two of her A Levels sleeping soundly in the same hospital bed . . .

 

Wait a minute:  who is “she”?  Coraline isn’t talking about Annie, because Annie probably, never, more than likely said anything about hopping into the sack with Kerry; it’s not like she’d know they were going to share an old dream together.  Don’t worry:  next scene you’ll find out who “she” is, because she’ll appear.

Meanwhile . . .

 

She moved next to the bed and began to gently shake Annie. “Hey, Annie—” She kept her voice soft and low. “Come on, wake up. Come on . . .”

Annie groaned and didn’t open her eyes. She did, however, mumble while still seemingly half asleep. “Vŭrvi si. Ostavi me.”

Coraline rolled her eyes. Of course she’s going to respond in Bulgarian; why would you expect English? “Wake up, sleepy head.” This time she gave Annie a slightly harder shake.

It didn’t phase the girl. She rolled her right shoulder so as to shake off Coraline’s hand and spoke in the same half-asleep voice, only much louder. “Az ne iskam da stavam. Iskam da ostana s moya dzhindzhifil kosa momche.”

“Uh.” Coraline’s sigh same out as a long, low hiss. “I don’t have time for this bullshit.” She grabbed onto Annie’s shoulder and gave her a couple of hard shakes. “Come on, Annie; wake up. Come on—come on . . .”

 

To paraphrase Vic Mackie:  “The Bulgarian girl speaks . . . Bulgarian.”  So much so that it’s getting our Head Nurse into cursing.  If only she had my notes:

And I don't even use magic to translate what she's saying.  For shame, Coraline!

And I don’t even use magic to translate what she’s saying. For shame, Coraline!

Chances are Annie’s going to wait up–well, it’s a given, considering the title of the scene.  As tonight is “Dine and Write Evening” I’ll for sure get to that, and probably finish this scene.  Which sets up Kerry’s release and a visit from “she”, and then a trip to the garden and . . . well, the final scene in the penultimate chapter.  And a trip into the last part of Act Two.

Where it looks like I'm on track to tie the word count for Act One.

Where it looks like I’m on track to tie the word count for Act One.

It does seem likely that I may just have Part Eight to work on for NaNo and that I can finish it up by the end of November.

Hey, two-thirds of a novel completed in one year, that ain’t bad–is it?