A Girl and Her Rune Dream

First off, just to prove to you that I do head out to Panera and write, I now have photographic proof, staged as it may be.

 

I believe Dire Straights wrote a song about me in the 70's.

I believe Dire Straits wrote a song about me in the 70’s.

That’s normally what I look like, save for the fact that I don’t have my ear buds in, but that’s due to having to reach over to the other table and get the camera.  You can also see the shiny keys from eight years of typing on this computer–that’s right, eight years.  One day I’ll have to get a new computer–as soon as I find a keyboard layout I like, or I invest in another portable keyboard.

We left off yesterday with Kerry getting the news that his “simple sex dream” was probably a lot more complex than that.  He was sent on his merry way–off to Sorcery, which is a laugh a minute, let me tell ya–and he sent Annie in to do battle with Coraline and Professor Arrakis.  Well, mostly Deanna, because these two do most of the talking . . .

 

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

Annie didn’t waste any time getting to the point. “What’s going on? What’s wrong with Kerry?”

Deanna wasn’t interested in wasting time, either. “Kerry came into the hospital last night—”

Coraline stepped in. “There wasn’t anything wrong with him, but he was agitated, a bit upset. He spent most of the night and left in the morning without incident.”

“Annie—” Deanna’s soft voice drew her attention. “Kerry had a dream vision.”

“He did?” Annie couldn’t keep the shock off her face. “And he remembered it?”

“Why wouldn’t he?” Deanna almost grinned.

Annie didn’t know what she should say: she wasn’t aware of Kerry having a dream vision before this. “What was it about?”

“I can’t say, because I told Kerry that I wouldn’t devulge details. I will say, however . . .” He cocked her right eyebrow. “It pertains to your rune dream.”

Annie sat and stared at the seer for a few seconds before she found her voice. “You didn’t tell him that, did you?”

“No, I didn’t. It’s not my place to divulge the contents of your rune dream.”

She looked down at the floor below her feet. “Thank you.”

“However . . .”

She expected she wasn’t going to like what Deanna was going to say next. “Yes?”

“Kerry wants to talk about what he saw—one can tell. He won’t on his own, however, not without some prompting.” Denna drew in a deep breath. “It’s time you both discussed your rune dreams.”

 

Hey, kid:  it’s time to start talking about you dreams.  Hope there wasn’t anything embarrassing in them . . .

 

Annie hadn’t thought of her rune dream in months, but the mere mention of it almost froze her where she sat. “Professor, you know what’s in my dream—”

“Yes, and Kerry’s, too.”

“There are a number of things I’d like to discuss with Kerry, but—” Annie shook her head. “That isn’t one of them.”

“Not even if it’s related to Kerry’s vision?” Deanna turned her head just a little to the right. “You have to talk about them.”

 

Well, then:  it seems Annie doesn’t want Kerry to know all her secrets.  She wants him to remember all their dreams together, but she’s rather he not know about this dream.  Does it involve Bulgarian pop singer?  Hum . . . hard to say.  Well, not really, but she doesn’t want to talk about it–

Sort of.

However, Deanna sort of drops a bomb on Annie–

 

“Yes, I know.” She turned back to Deanna. “Why should we talk about our dreams now?”

“Because I told you, long ago, that you would. I said that the time would come when it would be necessary to discuss what you both saw. Well—” She locked her gaze upon Annie. “That time is now.”

“We can’t wait?”

“No, Annie. Waiting could be detrimental to your relationship.”

Something dropped out of the bottom of Annie stomach. “How so?” Always cool and composed, she felt that composure beginning to slip away. “Are you saying—”

“Not discussing these dreams would be a mistake—particularly your dream. You tell it to Kerry, the chances are good he’ll talk about his vision.” Deanna’s demeanor turned serious. “And then you can compare his to yours.”

It took Annie a few seconds to realize what Deanna was saying. “My vision? The one I had in Memory’s End?”

“Yes.”

Annie couldn’t help letting her voice rise. “How do you know about what happened in that vision?”

Deanna remained as calm as she’d been throughout their discussion. “Because you told me.”

What?” Annie’s breathing slowed and her eyes grew narrow as she focused upon the seer. “I never spoke with you about that vision—”

“Yes, you did.”

“It didn’t take that long.”

“You were in a trance for almost eight minutes.”

The only sound at the table for about ten seconds was Annie’s breathing. “That’s impossible.”

“No: you were in a trace for almost eight minutes. As well as Kerry.” Deanna tossed her head to the side. “It was necessary.”

 

Knowing that Annie never really gets that excited, it’s sort of fun to imagine her voice rising in “agitation” as she realizes that someone has something on her that she doesn’t want known.  And that’s when she learns something else:

 

“What—?” Annie started at Deanna with dawning comprehension. “The tea cups.”

“Yes.”

“You enchanted them.”

“Yes. Stirring the tea would force you both into a trance.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Because the day before, on the flight from Amsterdam, while we were adjusting to Salem time, I had my own vision.” Deanna’s tone turned soft and confidential, such in the way when she’d spoke with Kerry. “Adjustment sleep is dreamless; you are out and you wake up some time later relaxed and refreshed. Only that day I had a vision . . .” She leaned towards the young girl. “Of two children—not returning students, but A Levels who’d come to Memory’s End searching, one said, for answers. The vision told me that while they were visiting they’d fall into a trance and it was possible they’d both experience visions that would change them.”

Deanna sat back against her chair. “When something like that comes over me, under conditions which shouldn’t bring about a vision, I listen to what I shown. Especially when I recognized those students as the same ones who found their way into our private air compartment. And since my vision showed that you’d fall into a trance—” She shrugged one shoulder as she smiled. “I took steps to ensure it’d happen.”

 

When Seers Get Visions . . . they listen.  And Deanna was listening.  So here we have events that popped up about, oh, two hundred thousand words back, coming home to roost more or less.  And when people ask, “So why do you spend so much time plotting out your stories,” this is why.  Because something simple like having tea on Orientation Day with the sweet Muslim Seer leads to–

 

“Did you make us have visions?” Annie found Deanna’s actions astounding—though she wasn’t certain yet if she should be angry or not.

“No one can make you have visions, Annie: there isn’t a seer in the world that can do that.” She shook her head. “No, I only set up the corrected conditions to make it possible, but I had no guaranty it would happen: all my vision show was it was possible my visitors would have a vision.” She held out her hands. “I merely set the table; Kerry and you created the courses.”

“And I—” Annie found the next part difficult to believe. “I told you about my vision?”

“As it was happening.”

WHAT?” She recoiled into her seat. “I told you what I was seeing?”

“Annie . . .” Deanna’s grin spread wide across her face. “You were doing more than seeing.”

 

Um . . . safe to say whatever Annie was seeing, there was a lot more happening.  And it’s something she’s a touch embarrassed about telling Kerry.  I’m guessing–bad cooking class.  Probably.

Annie needs to know something else about this vision Deanna had that led to their visions:

 

Knowing this face gave Annie a dozen different ideas about what Kerry could have seen—and raised another question. “Were the runes enchanted, too?”

“Yes and no. Runes are strong amplifiers, and if a person is inclined to dream visions, they tend to cause the person to reach deep and summon visions that are personally and often kept hidden. There wasn’t any guaranty either of you would have a vision—but if you did, it would be a powerful one.

“No, the enchantment was in place to prevent you from discussing them with each other. I gave you the warning that you were not to talk about them, and that help reinforced that you would.” Deanna set her elbow upon the table and rested her chin on the back of her hand. “As you can see, there was a reason for waiting.”

 

Yeah:  I had to wait for your boyfriend to have his sexy time vision–and it does make one wonder just how much Deanna does know about the kids.  If you’re thinking, “She’s probably had more than one vision about them,” I’m not going to give you an argument.  I’m just not going to confirm your theories.

We head into the wrap up–

 

“Yes.” She stared off into space for a second before getting back to the subject. “What now, Deanna?”

“Here is what you’ll do.” She pointed to Coraline, who was finishing writing something. “Coraline is giving you a tardy pass for Sorcery; we did the same thing for Kerry. Helena won’t question it, so no worry there.

“Once in class Kerry will probably ask you questions about our discussion. Tell him that you can’t talk in class, that you’ll tell him during the walk back.” Deanna smiled. “Which is probably a good thing to do, since Helena would object to your talking.”

“Yes, she would.”

“On the way back to The Pentagram you are to tell Kerry that we discussed the your rune dreams, and that is necessary for you to discuss them alone and in private. Don’t stop to eat: retrieve your runes and go somewhere away from The Pentagram where you’ll be alone and undisturbed.” The seer’s eyes flashed towards the ceiling. “The north shore of Lake Lovecraft has been a good place for you . . .

“Once they, you only need exchange your runes to break the enchantment. Once that’s done, you’ll find you’ll not only be free to discuss, but you’ll remember every detail as if you had them last night.”

 

That Deanna:  she thinks of everything.  So does Annie–

 

“Is there anything that will make discussing mine any easier?” Annie still felt a slight trepidation at the thought of explaining this dream to Kerry.

“Do you know the axiom ‘Be careful what you wish for, it may come true’? Well . . .” Deanna nearly smirked. “This is it made real.”

Annie didn’t want to dwell on her wishes— “Wait—”

“Yes?”

“I just realized something . . .”

Deanna sensed that Annie had already grasped the truth about these dreams. “And that is?”

“You said they were dream visions.” She closed her eyes slowly. “We both had visions—personal ones.”

“That is true, Annie—both about as personal as they get.”

“So what I saw—”

“Was a view of a possible future.” Deanna stretched, trying to work out the knots in her legs. “But after hearing your first vision, I knew that.” She looked down for a few seconds, then regained contract with Annie. “I think our business is finished. You should get on to class.”

 

Yep, you had some strange, personal visions, now it’s time to go to class and wait a few hours before you discuss it with your boyfriend.  But after Annie leaves comes the postscript:

 

After she was certain Annie had left the hospital Coraline stood and stretched. “I hate to say it—” She twisted at the waist a couple of time before facing the coven leader. “If I didn’t know you so well, I’d say you played the hell out of those kids.”

“Ah, but you do know me well, Coraline.” Deanna sat against the table edge. “And it would be wrong of me to ‘play’ them, as you put it.” She shook her head. “No, I prepared the stage, nothing more.” She looked over her shoulder at her friend. “Everything that happened after that was them, indirectly or directly.”

Coraline knew Deanna was telling the truth, and she wouldn’t have gone though the trouble to set up this long game unless there were a good reason—or she’d seen something. “So they’ll talk about these visions?”

Deanna nodded. “As much as Annie might not want to discuss these matters, she will. And so will Kerry.”

“Right.” Coraline cleared her throat. “And you know what happens after that?”

Deanna stared at the privacy enchantment for almost ten seconds, before giving the only answer she could. “Yes.”

 

Yeah, I wouldn’t tell that to either of the kids that you know what’s going on in their lives–or that you may have known about this for months and you’ve been sitting on it because, well, you just can’t tell people about the future, least they try to change it or force it to happen.

With this out of the way, we now get to the meat of the chapter:  the rune dreams.

Remember these?

Remember these?

And first up we’ll find out what Annie doesn’t want Kerry to know.

Probably has something to do with insides trading of Euro Zone stocks.

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/18:  1,890

NaNo Total Word Count:  34,728

A Couple and Their Concern

We’re almost thirty-three thousand words into NaNo, and I’m already feeling that forty thousand is right around the corner.  I’m also feeling the excitement that I’m into a part of the story that I’ve been waiting over a year to write, even though last night I felt pretty burned out.  A little tired, a little bit of depression, thinking about my drive home on Saturday–yes, this Saturday I’m on the road heading back to Red State Indiana, where I probably won’t get any writing done that day.  Okay, maybe a little.

Where am I now?  Well, I’m right at the morning after with Kerry.  He and Annie are in the Dining Hall having lunch and getting ready to head off to Sorcery class–it is, after all, Thursday–but they don’t quite get away from their table . . .

 

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

As they were getting up from their seat Zora came over. “Nurse Coraline would like to see you.”

Kerry’s head jerked up. “Who?”

“Both of you.”

Annie caught Kerry’s surprise and heard the stress in his voice. She decided to ignore it for the moment and addressed Zora. “She wants us both?”

“Yes.”

“Did she say why?”

Zora shook her head. “All she said was that she wanted you both to come to the hospital as soon as you were finished eating.” She eyed the plates on the table. “Which is now.”

Kerry frowned. “We’re gonna be late for class.”

“I would imagine they’ll take care of that for you.” Zora walked away; having delivered her message, there was no further need for her to remain.

Annie turned to Kerry. “Why does Coraline want to see us both?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged before grabbing his backpack. “I don’t know why she’d want to see either of us.” He slipped one strap over his right shoulder. “I just hope this won’t be long; Lovecraft won’t be happy if we walk in late.”

Of all the things that could happen in sorcery class, showing up late wasn’t a concern for Annie. She was more concerned that something was wrong with Kerry—and they needed her to know . . .

 

Yep, Annie’s feeling the strange vibe flowing off Kerry today, and when she feels that, she gets concerned.  It doesn’t help that this happens when they arrive:

 

They were entering the Waiting Room a couple of minutes later. Before they had a chance to check on Nurse Coraline’s location, she stepped out of her office. “Ah, there you are.” She headed straight for Annie, which didn’t put the already nervous girl at ease. “Annie, honey, I want you to wait in my office while I speak with Kerry in private.”

“Aren’t you going to speak with him in your office?” There were a number of places in the hospital where Annie knew Coraline could speak with Kerry in private, and her office was the most obvious selection as it was right here—but no, she wanted Annie to wait there.

“No, I’m gonna speak with Kerry in the commons area in the back.” She nodded down the ward aisle.

Annie saw the black privacy enchantment was up and active. She turned back to Coraline. “I see.”

“We won’t take long, I assure you.” Coraline didn’t even wait for Annie to enter her office: she immediately patted Kerry’s arm and began easing him towards the back. “Come on.”

He turned to Annie and smiled bravely. “I’ll be right back.”

“See that you are.” Annie was seriously not happy about how events were progressing.

This does nothing to help Annie’s mood, who is seriously not happy–yes, I wrote that, it’s a first draft, people, move on.

Pretty much how Annie would look if she were an animanted unicorn, both about Kerry and the totally cheesey line I gave her.

Pretty much how Annie would look if she were an animated unicorn, concerned about Kerry and the totally cheesy line I gave her.

At the far end of the ward the black privacy enchantment that has been used before is up, and Coraline and he go right on through, and if you said someone would be waiting on the other side, well, you wouldn’t be wrong . . .

 

“Okay.” Kerry passed through, feeling the momentary chill that always came from the magical black partition. The second he stepped through he saw that they weren’t alone. “I’m not surprised.”

Deanna Arrakis smiled back. “I would hope not; I’d think by know when it comes to matters like dream interpretation Coraline would consult me right away.” She indicated the seat directly in front of Kerry, in between Deanna on his left and Coraline on his right. “Please, sit.”

 

He does, and they get right to the matter of what’s at hand.  And Kerry–well, you know him . . .

 

The moment Kerry’s backpack was off and he was sitting comfortably, Deanna spoke. “Coraline explained your visit this morning, and related to me what you told her. She mentioned the detail in which you described everything, and explained your unease.” She sat back and set her hands in her lap. “You’re a smart boy, Kerry. Why did this dream bother you so much? Was it the—” Deanna didn’t want to come right out and state the obvious. “—way in which you were awaken?”

He shook his head. “Naw. I mean, what happened sucked, but it didn’t bother me that much.”

“Then?” Deanna already suspected the answer, but she wanted to see what connections Kerry had made.

He started at the table surface in front of him for a few seconds before slowly seeking the Seer’s gaze. “It wasn’t a dream.”

“Are you asking or telling, Kerry?” She leaned her left elbow on the table and lightly rested her lower lip on her index finger. “You’ve been reading books on divination since arriving. What did you imagine had occurred?”

“It was a dream vision.” He didn’t bother asking if he was right or not. “It was vivid, even for a lucid dream. There were too many things that felt like I was there for it to be a dream.”

“I’d agree with your feelings.”

He rubbed his hand against his forehead. “I know it was something special—it wasn’t just us, you know, hooking up.” Kerry’s breathing began growing rapid. “I mean, I did more than just sit next to her, you know? We were—” He closed his eyes and gulped. “We didn’t do that, but there were other things–”

Deanna gave him a concerned look. “Is that what bothered you so much last night? That you were seeing the future, and that you we both—doing those things?”

His gaze never left the Seer’s. “A possible future—right?”

“That’s correct. Nothing we see is set in stone. And it’s rare that we can affect a vision—any vision—to come out as we’d like.”

“Yeah.” He looked at the table surface and nodded. “I know.” He humped and looked once more to Deanna. “What do I tell Annie?”

“For the moment, nothing. The time will come for you to talk about this, but—” She shook her head. “Not right now. You’ll know when the time is right to tell her.”

He looked away as he shrugged. “Okay. I understand.”

“Do you?”

“Yes, Professor.”

 

Kerry’s agitation is being driven by the fact that he knows he had a vision, a vision of something special, and that–well, things happened . . . lots of stuff, it would seem.  It’s also telling that he mentioned that they didn’t do “that”, but he isn’t shy in letting Deanna know there was more than sitting going on.

And he’s out of there, on the way to class with a pass and instructors for someone waiting in an office . . .

 

He was three-quarters of the way down the ward corridor when Annie hurried out of Coraline’s office and met him. “What happened?”

“We just talked.” He looked over his shoulder at the black curtain. “They want to see you.”

Annie steeled herself. “They?”

“Nurse Coraline is there with Professor Arrakis. They want to see you—mostly Professor Arrakis, I’m guessing.”

She touched Kerry’s left arm. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” He nodded towards the back where the instructors waited. “You better go.”

“What’s wrong?” Annie felt Kerry was in far too much of a hurry to leave. “You should rest a bit before—”

“No.” He shook his head. “Deanna told me to go to class. She said not to wait for you.”

“Why would she say that?” Annie was not only confused, but she was starting to feel upset because Kerry was obviously upset.

“I don’t know. She just—” He looked at the floor, shaking his head. “They’ll explain something, I’m sure.” He looked towards the end of the aisle. “I gotta get going—” He slowly ran the fingers of his left hand down her arm. “See you there?”

“You most certainly will.” She kissed his check. “I’ll be along shortly.”

Annie had only taken a few steps when she heard Kerry hurry up behind her. She stopped and faced him. “Kerry?”

He threw his arms around her and hugged her tight. “I love you.” He pulled back just enough so he could kiss her on the lips. “I love you, Annie.”

She brushed his check. “I love you, Kerry.” She couldn’t help the smile that appeared. “I always will.”

He closed his eyes and nodded one. “I’ll see you in a bit.” He turned and hurried from the hospital.

 

Now the attention turns to Annie, and because I was tired and a little burned out last night I didn’t get into a marathon writing session.  I did, however, get Kerry’s act out of the way, and tonight I’ll finish this scene, have Deanna say what she needs to say to Annie, and then . . . move on.

And it’ll be there that more talk of dreams become a reality . . .

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/17:  1,735

NaNo Total Word Count:  32,828

A Boy and His Dreams

First off, let me preface this by saying everything was written after getting back from a three-and-a-half hour manicure and pedicure touch-up, and after eating.  It was a great time writing, probably because I’ve had this particular scene in my head for about, oh, three years.  Yeah, these things happen, and they’re strange, I’ll tell you.

Also, last night’s scene ended up being longer than all of Chapter Thirty-One.  Ah, but there was so much more to cover, and a lot more interesting things happened.  The same can be said for nearly every scene in this chapter, but this is the set up for something important–

And lastly, if you don’t want to read something that will, frankly, come across as somewhat adult, then you might wanna go read something else.  If you are interested in what’s going on, read on–but I warn you, there is the possibility you could be shocked.

That said, onward.

 

It’s a few days after Ostara, and Coraline is summon to the hospital close to midnight.  Why?  Well, I think this might offer a clue . . .

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

Coraline stepped into the doorway of her office just as Nurse Gretchen looked up, as she always did whenever Coraline was called out in the middle of the night and checked in with her staff first. The chief medical officer of the School at Salem always wondered if her night nurse picked here up on their magical sensors, or if she used her enhanced sense to determine the exact moment someone was going to darken this doorway.

In this case Coraline already knew why she was called out, so it was a simple matter to skip the preliminaries and go right to business. “Where is he?”

“Where else?” Gretchen got up and came around the desk. “Bay One, Bed Two.”

Coraline looked over her shoulder and chuckled. “The good ‘ol One-Two.” She lowered her voice in case their visitor was listening. “You pick up anything out of the ordinary on the prelim scan?”

“Only one thing—” Gretchen filled in a specific piece of missing information. “Other than that, everything seems fine.”

“Yeah.” Coraline nodded as she turned. “I kinda figured it might be that. Back in a bit.” She headed straight for Bay #1 and knocked on the curtain frame. “Kerry?” She slowly opened the curtain and peeked inside.

 

Gee, who spends all their time at this hospital in Bay #1, Bed #2?  He’s a little out of it, and he’s feeling down in the dumps, it seems . . .

 

“Hey, Red.” Coraline stepped in and locked the curtain behind her, activating the enchantment that would keep their conversation unheard outside the bay. “How you doin’?”

“I’m okay.” Kerry slowly sat up and dangled his legs over the side of the bed.

He’s not looking at me—so unlike him. “Nurse Gretchen said you came in all upset. You wanna talk about it?”

He glanced up for just a second. “Yeah.”

“You sure?” She positioned herself so she was right in front of the boy. “If you want you can just rest here for a while—”

“Naw.” He finally looked up with tired eyes. “We can talk.”

“Okay.” She pointed at Bed #1 behind her. “You want me to sit over here?” She motioned towards Kerry. “Or would you rather have some company?”

Kerry scooted a little to his left and patted the bed with his right. “You can sit here.”

Coraline remained silent for a few seconds before chuckling. “You’re gonna treat me like all the other girls . . .”

“What do you mean?”

She turned and gently set herself next to him. “You always have the girls sit or stand on your right if possible. The only one who’s ever on your left is Annie.”

 

This is really a habit of his:  Kerry always on the right, Annie on the left, and all the other girls get to sit or stand at his right.  It wasn’t spoken of in yesterday’s excerpt, but Natalie’s equipment was set up on Kerry’s right side . . .

So what’s going on here?  Let’s let him speak:

 

“Probably.” Coraline decided she needed to give the doctor-patent confidentiality speech: she was certain Kerry knew it, but she wanted to set his mind at easy. “You’re aware that as the chief medical officer here—as well as being a counselor—that anything you say to me stays with me. I’ll only speak to another doctor or counselor if you give me permission to do so—otherwise whatever we talk about stay with us.” She leaned forward so she could see his face. “Okay?”

He raised his head so he wasn’t looking at the floor, but he looked straight ahead; he avoided looking at Coraline. “Sure.”

She started using her “I’m Here For You” tone, the one that she knew worked well at getting troubled kids to open up. “So what brings you to us tonight? It’s not like you to come here in the middle of the night.” Coraline wanted to add Unlike your girlfriend but knew he wouldn’t find the comment at all funny, not in his present state.

Kerry continued starting at Bed #1 for about ten seconds before he allowed his head to drop slightly. “I had a dream.”

 

Yeah, a dream.  And he remembers.  That’s the scary part, that he’s admitting to Coraline that he remembers a dream–something he’s probably never mentioned to her, but that Annie knows.  So what happened in the dream.  Well, um . . .

 

Kerry cleared his throat. “It was about Annie.”

“Okay. Well, then: did something bad happened to her?”

He shook his head. “No.”

“Was it—” Coraline shrugged: even though she knew Kerry wouldn’t see it, she knew he’d feel the bed shake. “You know, was she in trouble? Was she having a problem and you couldn’t help her?”

This time there was no hesitation. “She was . . . sitting on a bed.”

“I see.” Coraline began picking her words carefully. “What was she doing?”

“Just sitting.” He shook his head. “Knelling, really. Sitting back on her heels.”

“Okay, I can imagine that. Was she, um—how was she dressed?” She leaned forward a little more, trying to get Kerry to look at her. “Was she in her uniform? Or like jeans and a pull over? Maybe her nightclothes?”

He shook his head. “She, um . . .” He coughed once. “She wasn’t wearing anything.”

 

Okay, then, as my daughter would say.  So where is this leading?  Well, some of your are like Kerry, and have figured it out–

 

Coraline saw no need to stretch things out any longer: it was time to help him understand. She softened her voice more, taking on the role not of the professional, but of the confidant. “Kerry, did something happen that brought you out of the dream rather quickly? Something unexpected?” She leaned far enough forward so she could see his face in three-quarter profile. “Something you couldn’t control?”

Finally Kerry turned his head and looked into Coraline’s face. “Yeah.” He shook his head twice, then turned back to his stare point.

She sat up and let a few seconds to pass so the moment and emotions could settle. Then she reached out towards the boy. “Hey, Kerry—” She wrapped her arm around him and pulled him into a side hug. “Come here. Come here.” She offered her comfort for about fifteen seconds before she released him. She continued speaking in her soft, relaxing tone. “You had what we in the medical business call a ‘nocturnal emission’.” She smiled softly. “You’re pretty smart, so it’s a pretty good bet you know it by another name.”

For the first time since Coralie came to speak with him Kerry chuckled. “Yeah, I’ve heard it called that.”

Of course he has. “Well, just to let you know, there’s nothing unusual about this: it’s all part of growing up and going through puberty.” She gave his right arm a gentle squeeze. “And you are definitely going through both right now. Just so you know, you’re not the first boy to show up here in the middle of the night that’s had this happened—” She tilted her head towards him. “Or the first girl, either.”

Kerry turned to her, his tone indicating he’d learn something new. “Really?”

“Yep. They may not talk about it much, but it happens.” Coraline leaned towards Kerry until their heads were nearly touching. “I can speak from experience on this one.” She winked before sitting up straight again.

His face lit up as a huge grin cracked across his face. “You?”

“Yeah. I wasn’t much older than Annie is now the first time it happened to me.” She tapped her fingers on her thigh. “That’s my point, Kerry: this can happen to anyone, and usually does at least one.” Her voice returned to a more professional tone. “Have your parents ever talked with you about this? Or, for that matter, any other stuff that has to do with this part of growing up?”

Kerry scoffed. “Are you kidding?”

 

Yeah, are you kidding?  Kerry’s parents have done the greatest job of not doing anything right in raising their near-genius witch son, so who really believes they’re gonna spend some time discussing puberty with him?  Coraline offered to speak with him, as a doctor, about these “issues”, and this exchange occurs:

 

His brow furrowed slightly. “I don’t need permission from my parents?”

“Kerry . . .” Coraline chuckle was almost a laugh. “You’re a witch and a sorceress; you flew a patrol that helped defend the school; you almost died a couple of times, broke a half-dozen bones, was unconscious for almost eight hours . . . and you saved someone’s life by fighting a monster.” She turned her head slightly to the side as she grinned. “Other than the first time you asked to come here, when have you needed to asked them to do anything else?

“You now know how The Foundation works: you control your destiny, and you are the one who says whether you want to have this talk—” She shrugged. “Or not. It’s up to you, Kerry, and you alone.”

 

No, Kerry:  any kid who fights a monster when they’re eleven doesn’t need permission from their parents for a sex talk.  Besides, it’s not like his parents are aware of anything else that’s happening to him at school–or appear to care.

But wait!  It’s not just this right of growing up that’s got Kerry bothered.  See, in the dream there was stuff going on–you know, things?  And that’s what actually has him in a bit of a lather . . .

 

Coraline considered telling Kerry that Gretchen and she figured out what happened because he hadn’t done as good a job cleaning up himself, but figured she’d leave that for their talk. “You know, given the relationship Annie and you have, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened earlier.”

Kerry turned away from Coraline and stared at Bed #1 for about fifteen seconds. She wondered if he was thinking about the times she’s lay there while he slept on this bed, but that changed when he spoke. “She was different.”

“Who was?”

“Annie. In the dream.” He turned back to Coraline. “She was different.”

Coraline was curious about his statement. “How so?”

“She was . . .” While he normally didn’t have issues stating what was on his mind, Kerry struggled to explain himself. He turned to Coraline. “She was like you—” He placed his hands in front of his chest as if he were holding something. “Curvy.”

Oh, yeah: curvy. Coraline fought to keep from chuckling, but she couldn’t hide her grin. “You mean she had developed.”

“Yeah.”

“So she was—older?”

“I think so.” He looked across to Bed #1 again. “It wasn’t hard to miss: everything in the dream was so vivid.”

Coraline wanted to know more. “Can you tell me?”

“Well . . . We were in a bedroom—”

“We? You were there?”

“I think so; it felt like I was seeing things from my point of view.”

 

And establishing that, he continues:

 

“The bedroom we were in didn’t have a wall on one side—on my right: just a railing. And it was all dark except for a glow I saw out of the corner of my eye. It was . . . I think it was a fireplace, ‘cause I could hear crackling.” Kerry sniffed the air as if he’d detected an oder. “Cherry wood. I could smell it. That’s what was burning.

“I was walking on a hardwood floor—I could feel it. And when I sat next to Annie I felt how soft and cool the comforter was . . .” He seemed embarrassed. “I don’t think I was dressed, either.”

“That’s okay. Can you tell me more?”

“There was Annie.” Kerry continued staring straight ahead while his voice took on a dreamy quality. “I could smell her hair. It was nice, like it always is ‘cause she uses this special shampoo from home . . . And she was wearing perfume; I could smell it on her neck and . . .” He touched himself over his heart. “There. It was . . .” He slowly closed his eyes and sighed. “Lovely. And her skin was so soft. I know what that sort of feels like, ‘cause I’ve feel her arms when we’re in the Midnight Madness, and her cheeks are soft, really soft, and her—”

 

Astute readers are gonna notice a clue right away, but for the rest of you–naw, not saying a word.  Needless to say, after a bit of back and forth, Coraline lays things out for him to see:

 

Coraline didn’t need to consider what she was going to say next, because she’d already made up her mind. “Kerry, you know how I said that I won’t talk about this conversation to anyone—unless there’s something I think needs to be discussed with another person?”

“Yeah?”

“I think . . .” Tell him, he’ll understand. “I’m not completely certain you had a dream, and I’d like to get a second opinion—if you’ll let me.”

A slow awareness began to dawn in Kerry’s eyes. “You think—?”

“This can be a strange place, Red, and not everything we think is normal is what is seems.” She looked to him and smiled. “Can I have your permission to speak with another counselor?”

Though the dream, and the aftermath, had disturbed him greatly, Kerry agreed with Coraline that not everything here was what it seemed. “Sure. Go ahead.”

 

Kerry ends up spending the night, and Coraline ends the scene by telling Gretchen she needs “to see a woman about a dream,” and that is that.

Or . . . is it?

It’s a strange world these kids are living in, and nothing–not even strange “My body is doing weird things!” events that happen while growing up are, um, normal.  And dreams aren’t always dreams.  Sometimes they’re more–

And when they’re being had by a kid who can’t remember his dreams, well, it’s time to sit up and notice.

There’s the opening salvo–

As you can see in the scene titles, nothing much out of the ordinary is gonna happen . . .

And as you can see in the scene titles, not much more out of the ordinary is gonna happen . . .

This is where I start to lay out most everything, and really show their relationship.  Where it may be going–

And where it’s been.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/16:  2,513

NaNo Total Word Count:  31,103

Enter, Stage Left

I’ve done something that’s pretty much a first for me:  I’ve written the shortest chapter of the current novel.  Really?  How short?  Two thousand, one hundred and seventeen words.  Or 2,117 if you prefer.  Yeah, that’s short.  Not the shortest I’ve ever written–in one story I have a chapter that’s just over seven hundred and fifty words–but for this monster, it’s short.

In this chapter and then next, I’ve eliminated three scenes, because on reflection they weren’t needed.  That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to Chapter Thirty-One and perhaps do a last scene, but for now, on the First Draft, I’m done, I’m through, I’m finished.

It’s really a little slice of what happens to Annie and Kerry, and while we’re known for some time that Kerry was going to perform, way way way back in the Keyboard Room–about two hundred thousand words back, I think–Annie mentioned something about drawing and artwork.  They’re walking around during this Saturday because Kerry is suffering a bout of nerves, and they head to the Atrium of the Auditorium and, well . . .

 

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

The atrium of the Auditorium was filled with artwork and sculptures, which were produced by students in art classes, and by those who had taken the time to create work on their own. They walked through the gallery area; Kerry found the work incredible. I was actually a bit jealous of those who could draw, because he had so many ideas that he wanted to see as something real, and being able to draw would allow that to happen . . .

He stopped before a large ink drawing of a scene in the mountains. Annie stood to one side and examined the drawing. “What do you think?”

“I love it.” He absorbed the stark lines and shadows. “I love the mountains, and this makes me want to be there.”

“I know how that feels . . .” She stepped to the side an Kerry saw a card with her name on it. “It’s the view from the back porch of my parent’s house.”

“Really?” Kerry took a closer look. “Can you see this from your bedroom?”

“No, but I can from my sitting room.”

Kerry slowly turned his head to the left. “You have a sitting room?”

Annie tossed her head to one side and smiled coyly. “A girl needs a place to entertain visitors.” She tugged on his sleeve. “Look here—”

 

Yes, Kerry, your soul mate has a sitting room–what girl doesn’t?  And one doesn’t need to go way out on a limb and say it was Annie’s idea to have a sitting room, because she wasn’t going to let just anyone into her bedroom, and she let her parents know this fact when, I’m guessing, she was pretty young.  It says a lot of that even her mother waited in Annie’s sitting room waiting for her daughter to get up, and didn’t burst into the bedroom with a smiling face and a “Good morning, Annie!” on her lips.  She’s have probably gotten hit with Cold Fire if she had.

Annie’s dragging Kerry around to the other side of the art wall, because . . .

 

Kerry was dragged to the other side of the partition upon which her inking hung. There, opposite the drawing, hung a large large painting done in oils. He didn’t need to ask who the subjects were. “That’s . . . us.”

The painting was of Annie and Kerry, both dressed in their flying leathers. Their helmets and gloves were off, but their jackets were zipped up with the collars down. Both were leaning into each other an arm around the other’s shoulders: Kerry’s right are was around Annie waste, holding her close, while her left hand rested against his chest. The background showed the Pentagram and the Great Hall in the background; Kerry recognized the point of view as being at the Observatory and facing south.

He wanted to reach out and touch the painting, but knew better. “How long did it take to make this?”

“I’ve been working on that since the middle of November.” Annie stepped up next to the name card. “I finished it about the time you were wrecked.” She pointed at the artist’s card. “Look here—”

Kerry leaned in and read the title: Baby Snakes at Laputa by Annie Kirilova.

He felt his breath catch in his throat. “This is lovely.” He saw something about his character. “My head is lowered and my eyes are closed.”

“I wanted you to be relaxed—peaceful.” Annie came around to his left and took his hand. “You know what this is, don’t you?”

He nodded. “It would have been us that day on patrol.” He glanced down for a moment. “During the Day of the Dead.”

“Sometimes I think I should have flown with you.” She clung to his arm. “I’d like to see where you hid one day.”

“I want to show it to you.” He kissed her on the forehead. “I wish you had flown with me; we’d have stated there.”

 

You wish Annie had been your wingmate that day, Kerry?  Feeling a little remorse, are we, and your other wingmate damn near got you killed?  And we know that Kerry talked about his stops at the observatory with Emma, therefore Annie had a good idea how the view would appear.  Also being immortalized in paint for everyone at the school to see is another of those cool things that they’ve done for each other.

Before Kerry heads backstage there is another exchange about Annie’s art:

 

Both turned and found Nadine standing behind them. Her eyes were locked upon the portrait. “Annie, did you paint this?”

“Yes, I did.” She and Kerry faced his musical partner.

“You did a great job. Where will you kept this?”

“I’m going to leave it in my room.” She glanced at Kerry. “I’ll leave it at the school and ask them to move it when I go to the next level.”

Kerry knew they were allowed to do that with certain personal items, but after seeing the painting he thought she would want to do something else with the painting. “You’re not taking it home?”

“I didn’t paint it so I’d only see it a few weeks out of each year.” Annie shook her head. “I want it where I’ll see it the most.”

“Makes sense.” Nadine turned to Kerry. “We’re gonna need to get set up.”

“Yeah, I know.” He nodded towards Annie. “Give me a second?”

“Sure.” Nadine headed off the backstage area.

Kerry faced Annie and took hold of her hands. “What are you going to do with the inking?”

“I was thinking about sending it home—” Her eyes twinkled. “Or giving it to you.”

His eyes lit up as well. “Really?”

“You want it?”

“Yes, please.” He closed and opened his eyes slowly. “I want to see what you see out the window of your sitting room.”

“Then it’s yours.”

“Thank you.” He pulled her close and kissed her on the lips. “I’ll keep it in my room—every year.”

 

And now Kerry’s getting an Annie original, while she’s keeping the painting.  Both will stay at the school–and what Annie isn’t saying is that leaving it in her dorm room is easier than perhaps having to explain who those Baby Snakes are, and why they look so cuddly.

Then we move out to the audience, during the performance, and there’s Annie, sitting alone, seeing the instructors, some with their significant others and even kids, and some of the parents of the students–yes, after a while you can invite them, and Annie could have asked hers because Legacies, but she wanted to avoid having to explain things . . . but that’s besides the point.  It’s time to find out what Kerry was working on for month with his tutor.

 

Professor Ellison walked off stage right as Kerry and Nadine entered from stage left. They headed straight for the equipment at the near center of the stage. As they powered up their instruments, Kerry looked out over the audience and attempted to smile. “Hi, everyone.” Annie caught the slight tremor in his voice, which carried perfectly using the same magic that the headmistress and Isis used to make school-wide announcements. “Nadine and I are gonna play Lovers in Japan by Coldplay.” He looked to his right as Nadine made her final adjustments and gave him a nod.

Before they could begin, a voice—Annie identified it as Lisa’s—rang out from somewhere from the back. “You’re gonna suck, Malibey.”

There was a slight mummer that passed through the crowd, and several of the instructors turned around with murder in their eyes. Annie worried this could rattle Kerry and ruin his performance—

He looked up from his keyboards and wrinkled his brow. “Yeah, I might. But at least we’re up here taking our shot.” He chuckled as Nadine and he slapped hand before he turned his attention back to the audience. He picked Annie out of the crowd and pointed in her direction. “This is for you, Sweetie. I hope you like it.”

As had happened at the Samhain dance, Annie felt light headed, and she gripped the armrests of her seat for support. He’d not only dedicated a song to her in front of the student body the last time, but here he was doing the same thing in front of students, staff, significant others, and parents. I can’t believe he did this again . . .

Nadine and Kerry played the first slow bars, setting the mood with their crescendoing electronic sounds, then launched into the up-tempo piano intro which Kerry played with vigor as Nadine activated the drum machines and began playing her part of the melody. He began singing, and while his voice wasn’t strong, he didn’t appear phased or embarrassed that his vocals weren’t close to perfect; if anything, he seemed to gain strength from the fact he wasn’t perfect.

Not that it mattered to Annie. It was her belief that he could spend the whole song singing off-key and playing out of tune—

It wouldn’t have mattered at all.

 

Annie’s gonna get spoiled with these song dedications:  pretty soon she’ll begin demanding one a month, and not just during special events.

So there you are:  Chapter Thirty-One Done–

Don't take my word for it:  trust what Scrivener says, too.

Don’t take my word for it: trust what Scrivener says, too.

–Which means today I get into Chapter Thirty-Two, and I answer the question someone asked, “Has Kerry ever really dreamed of Annie like she says he has?”

Yeah, you’re gonna find out.  Really.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/15:  1,796

NaNo Total Word Count:  28,590

This Sorrowful Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal–okay, maybe a month, but for me that’s a while.  Or long time.  Or longer than I’m used to, but that’s how things are in my life.  And I should point out that I’m liable to say some things below that may freak others out, so if you are the kind the freaks out easily, depart before you abandon all hope.

If not, let’s roll on in, kiddies . . .

I’m mentioned, off and on over the last few weeks, that I’ve found myself fighting depression.  It’s not a lot of fun, let me tell you, ’cause it wears you out.  I once described depression as treading water in the middle of the ocean:  you’re doing all the work to stay above water while the ocean does nothing–it just sits there and waits for you to tire and go under.  That’s why if you don’t find a way to get out of the water, you’ll drown and die.  And the ocean doesn’t care ’cause it’s a force of nature.  Just like depression:  a force of nature that gives zero shits about you as a person, or for your quality of life.

And November hasn’t helped the situation much.  I’ve got a lot more pressure at work of late, and there’s NaNo, and I’m getting ready to head home at the end of the month for the first time in almost six months . . . it’s a mess.  Really, the last few weeks have started to engulf me . . .

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

Last Friday, right around noon, because I remember it being after I ate lunch at work, I started to find myself getting in a bad way.  I actually cried a little at work, but not enough that it was noticed.  Actually, nothing I do at work is noticed, so it’s not in any way unusual that people would see me sitting in my office starting to lose it.

It wasn’t until I made it home that things came right off the rails.  The moment the door shut behind me I began crying.  I was still crying when the computer came up.  In fact, I cried off and on for the better part of an hour straight, and spent the rest of the night floating in and out of the feeling that there was far too much pain in my life.

Last Saturday was my shot day, and I thought that might help me break out of the funk, but the moment the psychological effects wore off I was right back to being a maudlin little bitch.  Going out and getting makeup didn’t help; being out in the sun did nothing.  I felt as if nothing I did was helping break the feeling that, no, things weren’t going to get better.

By about three PM I’d already made up my mind:  there wasn’t any point in going on, so I might as well shuck this moral coil as fast as I can.

I started preparing for my death.

It’s not easy for me to say that last line, because that’s a hard point in your life when you hit the tipping point and realized you’ve gone from “if” to “when”.  I didn’t care, however:  once you reach that point you just wanna kept going.  It didn’t matter if I was finding the energy to love myself, because I wasn’t feeling any love coming back, and that’s something that’s so difficult to put aside an ignore.

So I started getting ready.  I knew I was going to record some videos and post them for people to view.  I rehearsed what I was going to say, and when I was going to post them.  I knew the manner in which I wanted to check out, and weighed the pros and cons of survivability.  I was all ready to go–

Save for three things.

One, that day was the last episode of Doctor Who‘s most current season.  Okay, so I sound like a geek here, but I had to see how the season ended.  Two, I was into Act Three of my huge, Infinity Jest-like novel, and that meant I was not only getting towards the end, but I was also coming up on a good part that I’ve been sitting on for over a year.  I’d made promises to people that I’d finish this damn thing, and I knew I couldn’t leave people hanging about what happens–and if that doesn’t sound like a writer’s ego hard at work, nothing does.

And finally, there are two people on my “If you die you’ll hurt them” list, and if I died now, I’d be in violation of Jacqualyn’s Law, which I named for a friend.  It’s a variation of Wheaton’s Law, though this one is geared more for women.  It says, “Don’t be a twat,” and I’d have been a massive twat if I did what I was thinking of doing.

So I settled back to watch Doctor Who, and when that was over I headed into writing.  I still hurt, I still found it difficult to get through Sunday–which I helped smooth out by doing more writing–and I made it into Monday, then Tuesday, then . . .

Here.  Today.

Last night I felt the depression coming on again, and I was really not looking forward to dealing with this crap.  Then I noticed someone I’d just reconnected with on Facebook was trying to get my attention.  She’s a transwoman from Canada who transitioned decades ago, and we’ve shared some information over the months.

We started talking, and we talked, and we discussed why I was depressed, and why I felt suicidal, and were there things that I wanted to do that may have made me feel this way.  And there were answers to those questions, and a lot more–

And by the time we were finished, we’d chatted for about three hours, and I felt a whole lot better than I had when the evening had started.

As you can see, I'm actually smiling a little.

As you can see, I’m actually smiling a little.

Things aren’t “over”, but they’re better.  Much better.  I had some plans I want to discuss with my therapist when I see her the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I hope she agrees that it’s time I actually move on these things.  I’m not feeling the trepidation about going home that I have had for a while–it’s going to be the first time I’m going to be Cassie with them full-time since I’ve started transitioning, and while I’m certain my daughter will be cool with it–after all, we went out shopping together as daughter and, um, other mother–I can’t say the other person in the house is gonna dig things.  Maybe I’ll have to cook a couple of good dinners to break the ice . . .  And I’m going to start taking the first steps towards getting my name changed.

But mostly I’ve chilled on the death stuff.  I’m still in the ocean, but I feel like I’m closer to shore, and if you keep moving towards shore, eventually you get up onto dry land and you don’t have to wear yourself out treading water.  And if I can’t get onto dry land, maybe I can get somewhere shallow enough that I can rest once in a while.

This Sorrowful Life.  Sometimes you find yourself surround by bad people and zombies, and you have the choice of either giving in and joining one of the two hordes, or you fight back against the hell that waits outside your walls.  Neither is an easy choice, but you have to make one, because doing nothing is not an option.  You must make a choice.

I mentioned in one of my last videos that you have a choice with transition:  become who you are, or die.  I said I’m trying to get off the death track and be who I am, and last night I finally felt as if I was bucking that first track and leaving it behind.  I hope to make it so.

I really do.

Pudding and Pledges

I’m actually in a good place this morning, even though the last hour and a half saw me drifting in and out of sleep with a sore back.  And I almost didn’t get into writing last night, because I didn’t start until about eight-thirty, which meant I was dragging my feet to do some work.

I didn’t need worry, however, because once I started writing the scene came to me.  It also helped that I “talked it out” several times over the last couple of days, so I kinda knew what I wanted Annie and Kerry to say.  It can be a strange sort of way to do things, I know, but I’ve done this for years, going all the way back to 2012 when I used to do this driving back and forth to Indianapolis when I was working for the state of Indiana.  And I do it now walking to and from work.  So why stop a good thing?

It would seem Annie made it back to the Great Hall, and she gathered her things for a night stay in Bay #1 at the hospital, and there is this going on . . .

 

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

Kerry slowly strained the pudding inside his mouth and swallowed it little by little. When he was finished he shook his head before another spoonful headed his was. “You don’t have to feed me anymore.”

A wide grin spread across Annie’s face. “But there’s only like three more spoonfuls remaining.” She looked in the bowl sitting upon the adjustable table almost even with the propped up Kerry’s chest. “You haven’t had much to eat tonight; at least finish your desert.”

He knew there wasn’t much of a chance he was gonna talk Annie out of not giving him the rest of the chocolate pudding she requested. He’d been on an IV since being brought in, and all he’d managed earlier in the evening was a bowl of French onion soup—one which Annie fed to him because he was having trouble using his left hand due to his fractured wrist.

By the time the pudding arrived for a “late night snack,” Annie had changed into her blue flannel pajamas and matching bootie slippers, and left her robe across the foot of Bed #1, not needing it at the moment because the hospital was always kept at a comfortable temperature, and the bay curtain was closed and secured.

 

Annie:  Feeding her boyfriend pudding.  In some cultures that’s the same as being married, right?  I’m sure Trevor could find a citation . . .

And Kerry is enjoying the attention even if he is protesting lightly.  Just six months before he was hiding out in his room with his computer and having no contact with anyone, and now he’s on his fourth overnight stay after getting busted up or electrocuted–thanks, Mistress of All Things Dark!–and receiving all sorts of attention from a girl he met in a bookstore.  But Kerry wants to talk about something besides pudding, because he isn’t Carl Grimes.

 

“Maybe.” Kerry started to look away out of habit and stopped as he was still wearing a neck brace. Nurse Gretchen had come in about an hour before and exchanged the hard brace for a soft one, telling him he’d need to sleep with it on. This restricted his head moment, which prevented him from looking down or away, or nodding in agreement. “Professor Salomon came back to see me tonight.”

“When?” Annie was surprised to discover she’d returned after having spent most of the afternoon in the hospital while Kerry was being worked on.

“Not long after you guys left.” He took a deep breath as he stared straight ahead. “She wanted to know a few things.”

“Like?”

“Like if I was gonna retaliate against Lisa for what she did.” He tried to shake his head again and gave up. “I told her no; I said I was done with that.”

Annie nodded for him. “Good to hear.”

He paused for almost ten seconds. “She told me you got detention.”

“Why did she do that?” She’d planed to tell him before they turned in tonight, and Annie was slightly miffed that the professor had told Kerry.

“She told me you went after Lisa after you left the hospital—”

“She was saying mean things about you.”

“Yeah, the professor mentioned that.” He kept his eyes turned towards Annie. “She wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go after Lisa for that.”

I can see her wanting to know Kerry’s intentions. “What did you tell her?”

“That it was between Lisa and you, and it wasn’t my business.” He chuckled when he realized he was about to shake his head. “She let me know that it was a good idea to let it die.”

 

There’s Vicky trying to prevent an all-out war because Lisa and her German minion, and the Lovey Dovey Couple.  Probably because she knows the school can’t tolerate that kind of fighting, but more likely due to her knowing Annie and Kerry could kill those two, and since they aren’t that skilled yet, more than likely would.  And you can’t have that.  No, you can’t.

He has other questions, too:

 

“No problem.” Kerry did nothing but stare lovingly at Annie. “Is that why you got detention?”

“Partially.” Annie looked down at Kerry’s broken wrist. “I left class without permission when I came here.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Because I was worried about you.” She moved as close as she could to him without disturbing his injured body. “You took a hard hit; I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“Yeah, but . . .” Kerry tried his best to look concerned. “I didn’t want you to get in trouble.”

“It’s okay—it’s only two hours this Saturday. I’ll do it while you’re working on your Ostara performance.”

“Sounds good.”

Annie didn’t want the comment about detention to end without an explanation. “Lisa was saying mean things about you. I didn’t handle it well.” She shook her head as she lightly rubbed his left forearm. “I wasn’t a good sorceress; I didn’t keep my wits about me.”

Kerry chuckled. “I was thinking that right before . . .” He thought about how to say the next part. “Before Emma and I almost crashed. It popped into my head right before I yelled at her to land.”

“You kept your wits about you.” For which I’m thankful . . .

 

Both kids seem to have the whole “Being a good sorceress” thought on their minds, and Kerry comes out with a confession.

 

“I’d rather I didn’t. Talk about not keeping your wits about you.” He settled back into his pillow. “I worry about you.”

Annie twisted her mouth. “Do you now.”

“Yeah.”

“Why?” She untwisted her mouth into a smile. “I can take care of myself, in case you hadn’t noticed.”

“I have noticed.”

“Then?”

Kerry saw no point in avoiding the truth. “Because I love you. Because you’re important to me. Because, right now, you’re my life. Because you’re my soul mate.” He rested his left hand upon here knee. “I see you in the morning, I see you at night. I’m with you eating, I’m with you walking, I’m with you in class. I’m with you when we’re relaxing and when we’re flying.” He sighed long and low. “You’re more important to me, in a lot of ways, than my parents. I mean, I’ve only heard from them four times, and two of those were about Yule. And I haven’t heard from them since coming back—”

“I know.” It saddened Annie to know that Kerry’s parents didn’t seem invested in his education or in his personal life while he was away from home.

“And my mother would have never fed me pudding.”

“Silly.” Annie playfully slapped at his arm. “I enjoyed feeding you pudding.”

 

He’s got those feelings of worrying about his sweetie because, well, it comes with the territory as he says later.  And we see a bit more of his family interactions, which are to say none.  He also likes Annie feeding him pudding, but he’s probably gonna need to get really busted up again to enjoy that.

This gets Annie to admit that she worries about him, too, because she loves him, and that she knows she’s guilty of getting nutty when someone says or does something to Kerry.  And she brings up a line that Vicky dropped on her, while at the same time comes up with a solution . . .

 

“No, we can’t.” She slowly ran a finger down the side of Kerry’s chest. “Otherwise it’ll be a long next five years for us both.”

Kerry finally managed a small nod. “I don’t want that—there’s gonna be way too much to do, and I’d rather spend the time with you as drama-free as possible.”

“As would I.” She held out her right hand palm up. “Give me your hand.”

“Like this?” He set his hand in hers.

“Yes.” She’d debated doing this, but thought it might not be a bad thing for them to share. “I want to offer you my pledge—”

“Like a promise?”

“Yes, like that.” She gently tightened her hand around his. “I love you, Kerry. You are my soul mate and the most important person in my life. I do worry about you, about your health, your troubles, your injuries, and those people who may want to do you harm. From this point on I promise that I will always temper my worry for you, and where you are concerned I will always keep my wits about me.”

Kerry closed his fingers around Annie’s hand before she could release. “I love you, Annie. You are my soul mate and you are the most important person in my life. I worry about you, about your health, your troubles, your injuries, and those foolish people who may want to do you harm. From this point on I promise that I will always temper my worry for you, and where you are concerned I will always keep my wits about me.”

Annie didn’t let go of Kerry’s hand, and he held on to hers as well as they lowered them into his lap. “You know what we did—” She tilted her head forward. “Don’t you?”

“That was a Sorceress’ Bargain, right?” He tried not to press his cast against her arm.

She nodded. “Yes. Your first.”

“Yeah, and with you, too.” He grinned. “We didn’t set a punishment if we break it.”

“It doesn’t matter—” She kissed his cheek. “We won’t.”

“I know we won’t.” He chuckled. “My Dark Witch doesn’t break her word.”

“Nor does my Dark Witch—” She rested her head against his shoulder. “And you’re getting good at those things I’m showing you.”

“It just takes time.” Kerry wanted to lean his head into Annie’s hair, but the brace prevented that from happening. “I’ll get there.”

 

That line, “Yeah, and with you, too,” is the indication that Kerry isn’t all that unfamiliar with a Sorceress’ Bargain, since he did something similar to Emma before cutting out at Yule.  After all this time of hanging with Annie he’d know what one is–she would have told him about the one did made with Helena–and probably explained it to him as well.  The fact that he knows you’re suppose to set a punishment says he knows a bit about them–and given that he did set a punishment when he was holding Emma’s hand and telling her what he wanted, it’s even more of an indication that he’s somewhat versed in them.  And that Emma wasn’t.

Now it is time for bed, and Chapter Thirty ends this way:

 

Annie slid off the bed and walked around the foot to the other side. “Should I get Nurse Gretchen for anything? You need something to sleep?”

“Naw, I’m good.” He shifted his eyes to the IV bag that the night nurse had replaced an hour before. “That’s handling the pain.”

“And she’s changed your catheter bag—” She began lowering his bed back. “You need a bedpan?”

“It’s been all liquids tonight. I should be all right.” He waited until the bed angle was right. “Stop there. I like that.”

“Okay.’ She leaned over Kerry and gave him a long, loving kiss on the lips. “I’ll see you in the morning, my love.”

“See you in the morning, Sweetie.” He kept smiling as she pulled the comforter up to his shoulders. “Good night, Annie. I love you.”

She kissed him once more. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.” She hopped into her own bed and snuggled under the covers before ordering the lights off. Annie rolled onto her left side and slipped a second pillow between her arms as she stared into the darkness, listening to his breathing slow as he sunk into unconsciousness. She so wanted to crawl into his bed and lie next to him, but she’d promised to stay in her own bed, and she didn’t want to end up responsible if she rolled onto his wrist and it ended up broken again—

In time she drifted off into her own dreams, imagining the pillow she was hugging was far more important to her . . .

 

That chapter is over, and Thirty-One waits tonight.  It’s Ostara, Kerry gets to play, and I don’t expect this to be a long chapter, more a look at festivities and how some people handle them.  I imagine I’ll get through the first scene tonight, and maybe even start on the second as well.  Depending on what I have to say, I could even finished up the new chapter by tomorrow–

Not to mention I so want to get to Chapter Thirty-Two.

Because I so want to get to Chapter Thirty-Two.

Because that’s where the fun really starts.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/13:  2,134

NaNo Total Word Count:  26,519

Pavilion on the Meadow

While I managed to get a lot done yesterday, it wasn’t a whole lot, if you know what I mean.  The writing was there, but I seemed disconnected last night.  Probably due to the fact there were tons of people in Panera last night, and I couldn’t get YouTube to stream worth a damn for most of that time, so it was a bit distracting.  Also, even thought Wednesday is my Write Night, I wasn’t feeling the writing love.  Off night:  you know how it goes.

But I did manage to get Annie so upset that I had to find some choice words for her to say in her native language.  That’s always fun.

Always know what your swearing Bulgarian is saying.

Always know what your swearing Bulgarian is saying.

And how did that get applied?  Like this:

 

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

She’d barely taken a couple of steps out of the hospital when she heard someone yell her name. “Hey, it’s Annie—girlfriend to Kerry ‘Crashibey’.” There was only one place close by where someone could see her and they could be heard. Annie turned to her left—

She saw Lisa and Anna standing in the Rotunda, pointing at her and chuckling. Lisa chose the moment to yell out another question while several students stood nearby watching. “Did Kerry even know who you were?” She laughed aloud.

Annie leaned against the railing. “Shut up, Lisa. You don’t know what you’re saying.”

Lisa wasn’t going to let it go, however. “You gonna spend the night again and give him some special care?”

“Kuchka.” Annie threw her broom, helmet, and gloves to the follow and hurried towards the stairs, then bounded down them two at a time before stopping at the bottom. “You wrecked Kerry on purpose.”

“I did?” She laughed again. “If he were a better pilot, he wouldn’t have hit the wall.”

Annie’s mouth locked into a tight crease. “Vie kato pyana bolen kuchka.” She stormed towards the girl, oblivious to Anna standing just behind Lisa and the other students standing nearby. She unclenched her right hand and felt something dark and powerful growing in the palm. “Ti si tvŭrde glupav za da zhivee.”

Annie stumbled as she was jerked backwards. She was about the turn when the Rotunda blinked out of existence—

 

That’s how that scene ended:  blinking right out of the Great Hall.  And where did she go?

 

A second later Annie herself standing in a large field—her initial feeling was she’d been jaunted to Selena’s Meadow. Whomever had brought them here pushed Annie forward, and vanished with the pop of a teleport. Annie spun completely around waiting to see if whomever brought her here would return: ten seconds later Professor Salomon popped back into view carrying the gear that Annie had discarded.

Vicky dropped the equipment and jabbed a finger in Annie’s direction. “You need to collect your shit this instance, Annie; you need to calm down now.”

 

I would have given anything to hear Snape say, “You need to collect your shit this instance, Harry.”  Talk about the money shot.  And sure, you might debate the wisdom of instructors swearing in front of students–I know what Erywin would say about that–but if you were paying attention to the preceding words, you’ll see that Annie was about to do something bad.  Extremely bad.  Like “You’re too stupid to live!” bad.  And that’s when you jaunt a student out of harm’s way and tell her to collect her shit.

 

Though she’d never heard the professor speak this way to any of the students, she wasn’t about to be intimidated. “Did you hear what Lisa said?”

“I heard her taunting you, yeah. And I saw you let it get to you.” Vicky took a step closer to Annie and began jabbing her fingers to make her points. “And saw you go after her, in the Rotunda, with all those witnesses standing around.” She leaned towards Annie, coming almost nose-to-nose. “You were about to nail her with a spell, and I’ll bet it was something black—am I right?” Vicky shook her head as Annie looked at the floor. “Dammit, Annie—are you insane? If it wasn’t for me Lisa would be in the hospital and you’d be on your way to see the headmistress. Is that what you want? Huh?”

There were only a few times in her life where Annie felt bowed by the words of an adult—and this was one of those times. She found it almost impossible to respond to Professor Salomon because she knew she was correct. “I’m sorry, Professor. But—”

“But what? Lisa was being a bitch?”

Annie began fuming. “She deliberately wrecked Kerry.”

“I know she did; everyone on the track knew she did, too.” Vicky pointed off towards the north. “Probably because of what he did to her last October in Sorcery. It was payback for that.”

“And what you doing about it?” Annie finally put her anger behind her and returned to the cold, regarding girl that most people saw.

“She was parked for the day, had three proficiencies dropped for reckless racing, and she’s suspended from next week’s class, which will ding all here proficiencies.”

“That’s it?” Annie laughed. “I leave class and I get detention—”

“You want me to drop one of your proficiencies, too?”

 

Vicky’s always wining the hearts and minds of the kids.  She’s also a former racing, and she not only knows that, she knows her fellow instructors well . . .

 

“No, but . . .” She rolled her eyes and sighed. “It doesn’t seem fair.”

“What’s fair, Annie? You come from a racing family—don’t tell me you’ve never heard of this happening to your father.” Vicky stepped back and slowly crossed her arms. “Or that he hasn’t done it to anyone else.” Vicky wasn’t actually looking for an answer to that question, so she asked one for which she did. “What’s that thing that Helena always says? You know what I’m talking about . . .”

She half-turned away from the professor before answering. “A good sorceress keeps her wits about her while everything is going to hell around her.”

Vicky nodded. “Yeah, that’s it.” She finally softened her tone. “Do you think you were being a good sorceress back in the Rotunda? Or were you acting like a batshit crazy girlfriend?”

Annie chuckled as she considered the choices. “I wasn’t being a good sorceress, I know that.”

 

Vicky knows that Lisa is a button pusher, that she likes to get digs in at other students and push them over the edge.  Annie chooses that point to bring up a point about something that hasn’t been covered that much in the stories, but is sort of hanging around in the background:

 

“I know.” Annie closed her eyes as she considered the possibility of spending another five years at school with Lisa. “She won’t be able to do that next year; I’ll be able to call her out—”

“You could have called her out then.” Vicky sat up and fought to control not waving her hands around as she spoke. “You could have called her out and challenged her to a contact in the Manor, and since I was right there I would have come down and explained that she was being challenged.”

“But . . . we’re not suppose to call out anyone as A Levels.”

“You’re a Legacy; you’re supposed to know how some of the stuff here works. And it’s never been said an A Level can’t call out another A Level: Ramona said you couldn’t be called out by upper level students.”

In that moment Annie remembered the lesson in the Manor where Professor Chai went over the rules of Personal Grievances and how matters were resolved in magical matches in the Manor. The professor’s right: Professor Chai never said we couldn’t call out another A Level, only that we couldn’t be called out by anyone in a higher class level. “Jeez—I should have known better.”

Vicky wasn’t about to disagree. “Chances are good Lisa would have blown you off rather than meet you, and then I would have told her that refusing to meet was the same as a forfeit, and that she’d have to cease and desist or she’d get a whole lot of detention.” She shook her head. “Hate to say it, girl, but you blew it.”

 

Yep, Annie, you blew it.  And hard.  But don’t worry, because you achieved something else–

 

“Don’t worry: like you said, you can get her next year. And it’s just a feeling, but I think she’ll leave you alone now—”

“What do you say that?”

“Because she didn’t see what I did. When you stormed down the stairs, Lisa had this expression like, ‘Yeah, bring it, bitch,’ but the moment you cocked your hand and began to power up that spell—” Vicky laughed. “I don’t know what she saw, but she definitely didn’t want you to bring it after that.”

Focusing on the moment, Annie saw it clearly, saw Lisa’s expression as she began waking towards her. She wanted me to come after her—but she didn’t realize I might use sorcery. In her mind’s eye she the smug look change to one of panic as she saw the dark energy collecting in the palm of here hand. “I didn’t realize that until now.”

“That’s ‘cause you were too busy getting ready to light her up.” Vicky turned where she sat and leaned closer to her student so she could speak confidentially. “Just between you and me, what were you going to use?”

“I was going to try and Electrify her.”

Vicky scoffed. “Just like a sorceress.” She put her hand on Annie’s shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze. “You’re like a little Helena, you know that?”

“I don’t know that she’d like hearing that.”

“Are you kidding?” Vicky stood, not bothering to elaborate. “Look . . . I’m gonna have to add a half-hour to your detention—only ‘cause word of what happened is probably gonna get back the the headmistress, and she’ll want to know if I’m doing anything about it. So two hours this Saturday—okay?”

“Okay.’ Annie stood next to Vicky. “I’ll do better next time.”

 

Yes, you will, Annie.  And at the same time, in front of witnesses, you just established yourself as a bit of a hot head who might really light you up if you get on her bad side–just like a little Helena.  Whom Vicky thinks would be tickled to hear that Annie had been described to be like her.  “I’m so proud of your, Annie.  You were going to kill her, just like I would have.”  Can hear that conversation now.

(In case you were wondering, Helena did kill a student when she was an A Level.  It’s okay, though:  she brought her back to life.  And no one ever screwed with the Young Mistress of All Darkness again.  You’ll eventually hear about how that happened.)

One more scene, in the hospital with Annie and Kerry, and then it’s on to Ostara, and then Chapter Thirty-Two.  I’ve already deleted scene in each of the next two chapters, which I mark with a big “Delete” comment:

I'm keeping Thirty-Two under wraps.

I’m keeping Thirty-Two under wraps.

And then I go back and decide if I’ve going to use that text later in the story for something else, or if I just get rid of it.  I like to do things that way because it’s easier for me to track things–and you never know if I might want to put that scene back into that chapter, or as I mentioned, another.

Really, can’t wait to get to Thirty-Two.  It’s gonna be so much fun.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/12:  1,797

NaNo Total Word Count:  24,385