Intervention Time, Start to Finish

Chapter Twenty-two is history, complete, done.  I only managed about four hundred and fifty words last night, but this morning I felt inspired to complete the scene and end the chapter, and after a hour of writing I’ve accomplished that very thing.

Interestingly enough, Kerry’s final scene of this chapter had nearly the same word count as Annie’s final scene, though it was a few hundred words shorter.  Whereas Annie was all about bringing out the homicidal feelings, Kerry was fighting to stay alive.  One almost brought about death, the other was doing his best to avoid death.  A strange, neat little dichotomy, I believe.

Here it is:  Kerry’s run from death and the aftermath that brings a close to Chapter Twenty-two:

 

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

 

18:38 to 18:42

Kerry couldn’t get away from the creature chasing him.

Since running from The Diamond Kerry had tried everything possible to shake this thing on his tail. He’d zigged and zagged from east to west. He’d changed altitude rapidly. He’d making one high speed run from the south to the north and back several times.

Nothing worked. The creature kept on his tail, and was slowly closing the distance.

Kerry was tired and growing exhausted. It wasn’t the high speed runs from on end of the school to the other: it was the dips, the weaves, the turns at the north and south ends of the school, the ones that brought him closer and closer to the screens, which were becoming more difficult to see at hight speed in the growing darkness. The g forces were tremendous, like he’d expect in a race car. His head hurt, his back was sore, and his knee was on fire. He’s learned quickly to stay out of the area of the school north of the Observatory, because the area there was smaller compared to the rest of the grounds, and it was there he slipped up and not only all most slammed into the screens, but allowed this monster to gain a couple of meters on him.

And no one was responding to his cries for help.

He knew it was only a matter of time. Eventually he was going to miss a turn and go into the screens, or misjudge a weave and feel a tentacle wrap around his neck and rip him off his broom and drag him to the forest below. While he thought it was possible it might throw him to the ground and let him die on impact, a nagging fear in his mind told him it would pulled him screaming into the forest, alive, and it was there it would . . .

He turned back to the northwest, heading towards Sunset Tower and the West End portion of the Green Line. He couldn’t help but notice The Pentagram, glowing a soft blue in the darkness under the defense screens. Annie was in there, safe, maybe working, maybe wondering about him. He had no idea what the people inside the Blue Bubble knew, and even less what she’d know. The image of her face as they said goodbye in the Dining Hall this morning instantly came to mind, and he fought to control his emotions as he fought back the notion that the next time she saw him, it might be to identify his body—

 

Remember, parents:  the next time your kids complain that, two months into the school year, they’re bored with everything, tell them they could be flying for their lives trying to get away from some monster that probably wants to eat them.  They’ll likely remained bored, but at least you can lay some nightmare fuel on them.

But Nightwitch gets on the comm and gives him instructions to fly towards Selena’s Meadow, to come in close to the pavilion on the west side, and to break left when word is given.  It’s all quick and clear, and if there’s one thing Kerry’s shown throughout this ordeal, it’s that he knows how too follow orders.  With the word given he does exactly as told.

 

He reached the tree line north of Selena’s Meadow and pushed hard towards the ground, dropped almost seventy-five meters in a few seconds. He pulled out at just under three meters, and a couple of small adjustments set him at two meters as he stayed on the west side of the meadow and headed straight for Toft Pavilion. He didn’t look back; he didn’t glance over his shoulder; he didn’t bring up the rear view display. He didn’t want to know how close that thing was, if it was only a couple of meters away and was now reaching out to snatch him away—

Break left; break left.”

Kerry did exactly as instructed, throwing his broom into a sixty degree turn while speeding away from the pavilion as fast as possible. There were bright lights behind him, and Kerry didn’t need to look back to know someone was throwing some destructive magic at the creature.

For the first time since leaving The Diamond Kerry felt safe. He felt he could relax. Most of all, as he slowed he felt there was nothing more to do that find a place to stop and wait for orders, perhaps get taken to a place of safety—

He saw two people pop into existence up ahead on his right. It was hard to see given the night vision and distance, but it looked like two women, one supporting the other. A couple of seconds later another person, obviously a man, popped into view, standing behind the women. His right arm was drawn back slightly, and there was something blue and glowing in his hand. Kerry had seen this before—his exhausted mind recognized it from the time Annie showed him the spell. Kerry kept his eyes locked on the ball of cold fire in the man’s hand—

The broom shook hard; Kerry felt the force through his hand and up his arms as it threatened to wrench his shoulders from their sockets.  As he continued flying something warm and sticky splashed his face—

He sailed through the air, finally giving into the exhaustion that wanted to take him for the last five minutes. Kerry surrendered and went limp, waiting—

He barely registered smashing into the ground; he paid little attention to the violent tumble that followed. There was only one final thought:

Annie.

Darkness greeted him long before he came to a stop . . .

 

And there you have it:  Chapter Twenty-two coming to a stop, just like Kerry did.

I could end the novel right here, but that would probably drive a few people mad--myself included.

I could end the novel right here, but that would probably drive a few people mad–myself included.

Now we just have to wait for Chapter Twenty-three.

Won’t that be fun?

Aid Time, Angry Annie Aftermath

I’ve been rocking out on David Bowie this morning, writing to Station to Station, and now blogging to Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.  Both brilliant works, and standing up to what passes for music today.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in this time that I love the work so much, but the truth is I wasn’t a huge Bowie fan as a teen, and it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve been able to revisit his catalog and revel in his brilliance.

Why am I bringing up Bowie?  No reason.  Just into the music this morning as I grow closer to the end of Chapter Twenty-Two.  The penultimate scene is finished, and all that remains is the last scene, Intervention, then I can move on to the end of this long and dangerous day for my kids.  As for now, Annie’s part in this chapter is over, but Chapter Twenty-Three is almost all her observations of ongoing events inside the Great Hall as night falls.

Until then, she has to resolve these issues she is having–like whether or not to rip Emma’s lungs out and squeeze them . . .

 

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

Annie never let her emotions rule her; she never allowed them to driver her impulses. She’d told Kerry that she never cried, and it was also true that she was never angry in the ways that people understood anger. She wouldn’t scream or shout, but rather turn cold and keep her fury contained.

But now . . .

She’d never been in the position of having someone she loved put in a position of danger that could lead to injury or death. Kerry was out there, on the school grounds, perhaps with an Abomination after him—or maybe it had caught him and he was lying in the forest dead and . . .

Either way, alive or dead, whatever was happening to Kerry was due to this girl . . .

Annie pull Emma’s jacket tight around her throat. Her eyes never left those of the frightened and now-drugged girl, and Annie resisted the urge to shake and scream at her for being such a silly, stupid, ignorant girl, but she kept the words she wanted to yell at the top of her voice within her thoughts. How could you do this to Kerry? How could you not listen to him? How could you leave a safe place and lead him to his death

A hand tightened around the back of Annie’s neck and she was ripped away from Emma. She was pulled away from the triage area and towards the West Transept; a few seconds later Coraline spun her around and shook her roughly. “The hell is wrong with you?”

Annie quickly gathered her wits about her and realized what was happening. “I—”

“I said you could use that shit against the Deconstructors if they got in here.” She pointed back at the triage area a few meters away. “I didn’t mean you could use it on our patients.”

Annie’s vision followed Coraline’s outstretched arm. Emma was still in her examination chair; Nurse Gretchen hovered over the girl, swabbing away the rivets of blood emanating from Emma’s nose and tear ducts . . .

“Get her up to the ward: Bed Fourteen.” As soon as she received an acknowledgment from Gretchen, Coraline returned her attention to Annie. “You better have a damn good reason for what just happened, or I’m gonna lock you up in my office for the rest of this situation, Annie.” She folded her hands in front of her, trying not to come off as too domineering. “Well?”

 

The question came up yesterday, “Is Annie the only one who knows death spells?” and the answer to that is, out of all the A Levels, yes, she’s the only one who knows death spells–in particular, she knows one, Exsanguination, which is a D Level spell if one must know.  Both of Annie’s parents were pretty good with Sorcery, and while they didn’t go that route, they have books about the house, and little Annie found those books and read through them.  Ergo, that’s how she learn a death spell.

And what is Exsanguination?  Here is the definition:  “The action or process of draining or losing blood.”  In laymen’s terms it means you bleed a lot, and if you bleed enough, you’ll bleed to death.  Those rivets of blood coming from Emma’s nose and eyes?  Yep.  Annie was laying a little death spell on her, and if she’d actually put her mind to it, Emma would have had blood spurting from her nose faster than a teenage Japanese boy in a hentai animation.

That’s what she was being tasked to use on the “bad guys” if they got into the Great Hall.  Annie was gonna bleed them out–and not slowly.  Someone who knows what they’re doing, like Professor Lovecraft, could make a person bleed from every pore and opening in their body, which means you could put a person down in a mater of seconds.  Yes, it’s a messy way to go–but in my world it’s them or you, right?

There are other students who know how to do this sort of thing.  Do they used them against other students?  No.  Why?  For one, most students at the level where death spells are taught are also taught how to block them.  But also because if someone starts slinging that sort of magic, they’d vanish.  It’s that simple.  Kill a student while you’re a student and that’s it, you no longer exist.  Remember how Isis thought The Foundation might have to do something with Kerry and Emma’s parents if something happened to them?  They’d have basically made them vanish from existence, and anyone who’d come in contact with them would forget them–forever.  Same thing happens to wacky students going around trying to kill people:  they vanish.  Usually into Cloudland.  But that’s another story . . .

There was another question as well:  is that the only death spell?  Nope.  There’s no Avada Karvada in this world:  there are many ways to kick someone off this physical plain in a permanent fashion.  I know this because I have a list:

Spell List:  a work in progress you never leave home without.

Spell List: a work in progress you never leave home without.

Anything listed as “Sorcery (Morte)” is a spell designed to kill.  Yes, it can be used for other things:  Lovecraft used Electrify on Kerry the first day of Sorcery class because she wanted to see if she could get Annie to react, and her skill with the spell is such that she can shock you a little, or she could flat-out fry a person where they sat and they’d be dead before they knew they were dying.

Really, though:  any kind of magic could be used to off someone if you’re inventive enough.  During The Scouring–the other time The Deconstructors came and tried to destroy the school–Wednesday, while a student, killed a Deconstructor by creating a little tornado around his body and flaying him to death with dust and stone particles.  As she’s been known to say, Visualization, Energy, and Willpower:  if you can imagine it, you can make it happen.  If you can see how to do it, and you can channel that magical mojo into your Craft, all you need is the will to make it happen.

Annie’s had it drilled into her that using a death spell just to use it against someone is bad.  She had a slip-up, and . . . yeah, she explained to Coraline that she lose control for a moment because of what happened with Emma and Kerry, and it was her bad, don’t worry, it won’t happen again.  And Coraline, knowing how magic can go sideways when you’re upset, understands . . .

 

“Okay.” Coraline put a finger across Annie’s lips. “Don’t say that. Don’t think the worst.” She began slowly running her hands over Annie’s shoulders, trying to comfort her. “I’ll make this one up as a loss of control—” She leaned closer and eyed Annie hard. “But it’s not going to happen again—is it?”

“No.” Annie shook her head. “It won’t. I’m sorry, Nurse Coraline.”

“Yeah, well . . .” She looked back at the now-empty examination chair. “Emma’s the one you should apologize to, not me.” Coraline tapped Annie’s shoulders. “Let’s get back to work; I have a feeling more are coming.”

They’d taken no more than three steps when Coraline touched Annie’s arm and stopped her. “Hey. Kerry’s a smart boy.” She gave the worried girl a smile that she hoped would put her at ease, though she knew it likely wouldn’t. “If there’s anyone who can get away from an Abomination, it’s him.”

 

See?  All is forgiven–more or less.

As for that last statement, Coraline–

I may have something to say about that . . .

Though intervention usually means help is on the way . . .

Though intervention usually means help is on the way . . .

Aid Time, Emma and Annie’s Quiet Moment

Finally, a pretty good night of wirting, even if there were more than a few distractions happening.  But I’m used to that these days; it seems to be the way of a writer’s life.  You work your way through them, adjust, and keep moving.  As it was I managed about eight hundred words last night, but more importantly, I inched closer to the end of Chapter Twenty-Two.

This is the penultimate scene, and if you can’t tell by the title of the post, Emma and Annie meet.  How do they meet?  Like this:

 

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

18:32 to 1838

The warning alarm wasn’t loud, but the beep-beep-beepbeep-beeeeeeep was easily designed so as not to be mistaken as something other than an incoming teleport. The moment it started Coraline turned to the location about two-thirds of the way towards the center of the Rotunda and made her announcement. “We have incoming, people. Time to do our jobs.”

Annie got into position. Her instructions were simple: if anyone permitted to teleport through The Pentagram screen wasn’t who they were supposed to be, the Annie was to launch death spells on them without hesitation. She did so with the understanding that if any Deconstructors made it through the minute opening in the screens the Security Center allowed for emergency teleportation of the wounded, and they saw her standing off to one side watching everyone coming into the building, they might decide to launch a death spell her way first.

It was a calculated risk, and one she accepted ever since letting Coraline know that she could do the killing for them were it necessary. If you’re going to be a sorceress, you have to accept the life they lead. And it’s not always a safe one

An eerie silence filled the Rotunda right before the pop that came with the arrival of someone teleporting. Annie wasn’t certain who the person was, but Coraline rushed up to her, so she obviously knew the person. Addressing them by name helped as well . . .

“What do you have, Suhaila?” Coraline checked the person that Annie now saw this Suhaila cradled effortlessly in her arms. The Chief Medical Officer for the school motioned for the other woman to follow her to the triage area.

“Flier trying to get back in.” Suhaila didn’t have an issues with the person in their arms, which led Annie to believe she was an AP like all of Coraline’s staff. “Found her outside The Diamond; her wingmate and her reported in as soon as the comms were back on-line, and it was thought best to bring them in through there.” She laid the girl in on of the reclining chairs instead of on a stretcher. “She’s in shock: I think she was attacked by an Abomination.”

It was only when Coraline pulled the flier’s helmet off that Annie saw the cascading red hair that had been hidden there moments before she heard the question. “She got a name?”

Suhaila nodded. “Emma Neilson.”

 

Now we know who was supposed to go pick up the kids, and if there hadn’t been some Anime Wannabe hanging out and spoiling the night, Annie would be back with her Kerry.  Instead she gets the wingmate and some bad news . . .

 

Annie froze in mid-step as she listened to the conversation—

Coraline conjured the orange glow in her hand while looked at the monitor over the head of the chair. “Yeah, she’s in deep shock.” She nodded at Gretchen. “Okay, let’s bring her out.”

“Yes, Coraline.” She pulled a slap patch from her jacket and gently applied it to the right side of Emma’s neck. “That should do it.”

Coraline checked the monitor. “And three, two, one . . .” She placed her hands upon Emma’s shoulders as the near-catatonic girl gasped for air as she convulsed. The head nurse leaned in close to the girl’s head. “It’s okay, Emma; it’s okay. You’re in the hospital; you’re safe now.” As Emma stopped shaking and started to calm down Coraline turned to Suhaila. “You said you were out there to pick up two?”

“Yes.” She nodded slowly. “The other flier wasn’t there.”

“What’s their name?”

Annie shook her head slowly; she didn’t want to hear the name of Emma’s wingmate. Don’t say it; don’t say it. Please don’t say

“Kerry Malibey.”

 

No, not what Annie wants to hear.  Also, she didn’t want to hear an Abomination was there, so things aren’t looking up for her.  Even Coraline is a little worried–

 

Coraline shot a look in Annie’s direction, then quickly turned back to Suhaila. “Okay, we can take it from here. You need anything from us?”

“No.”

“Good, then.” She patted the security woman on the shoulder; as soon as she teleported out, Coraline turned back to the now fairly serene student in the examination chair. “Emma, I’m Nurse Coraline. You know me?”

Emma nodded slowly. “Yes.”

“Were you attacked outside The Diamond?”

Her eyes opened wide and she shook slightly. “I was. I—”

“It’s okay; you’re safe.” Coraline looked up at Gretchen. “There’s no injuries other than bruises and contusions.” She stepped away from the examination chair and led Gretchen away for consultation. “We can get her up to the ward—”

Annie wasn’t listening to their conversation: she had instead moved next to the examination chair and was now standing over Emma. She calmly looked over the girl before speaking. “Emma.”

Emma slowly looked up. “Oh, hi, Annie.”

 

I look at that last line and so want to write, “Oh hai!”–it’s so hard not to put that in.  Who’s the last person you expect to see after being attacked by a monster?  The girlfriend of your wingmate–I’m sorry, I mean, Soul Mate.  And, from the looks of it, a not so happy one . . .

 

She wasn’t in the mood for an “Oh, hi,” however. She wanted answers. “Where’s Kerry?”

Emma managed a weak smile. “He saved me.”

“What were you doing out in the open?” Annie moved so she was standing next to Emma’s raised torso. “Why weren’t you somewhere safe?”

“We couldn’t; we almost crashed.” Emma slowly licked her dry lips. “We were in the woods and Kerry got me to find a place to hide.” Her eyes rolled for a second. “It was nice, too.”

“What were you doing at The Diamond, then?” Annie’s voice remained steady and level, but a dangerous tone began creeping into her words. “Why weren’t you hiding?”

“I wanted to get underground.” Emma’s voice was growing distant as the medication she was given was removing all the effects of her shock. “I thought we’d be safer. Even Kerry thought the plan wasn’t bad.” She chuckled. “We were almost all the way there when Nightwitch told us to go there and we’d get picked up.” She nodded. “See? It was good.”

Annie leaned over Emma, the distance between their faces closing. “Emma, what happened to Kerry?”

Her voice was weak and far off. “He saved me.”

She grabbed Emma by the front of her flight jacket. “How did he save you?”

“He attacked the monster.”

Annie’s eyes turned cold as she calmly pulled Emma towards her. “He attacked an Abomination?”

Emma chuckled once more. “I heard him screaming at it, and then it screamed at him, and there was more screaming . . .” She gulped as her breathing turned ragged. “There was a lot of screaming.”

As her hands slipped up to the collar of Emma’s flight jacket, Annie fought to keep her anger under control. She was loath to show her feelings to others, but this very moment she felt as if she were about to go off on this stupid girl. “Mozhete glupavo malka kuchka . . .” She pulled the jacket tight around Emma’s neck. “What happened to Kerry? Where is he?”

“He flew off.” Emma continued speaking calmly, as though nothing out of the ordinary were happening. “He flew off and the monster went after him.”

Kerry’s out there with an Abomination after him—” Annie pulled Emma to within a few centimeters of her face.

Emma stared back at Annie as if dumbfounded. “He saved me—” She slowly blinked twice before chuckling. “You’re so lucky.”

 

Yeah, that little bit of Bulgarian there . . . Annie’s not happy.  And the “You’re so lucky” line . . .  Full disclosure here:  as I’ve stated a few times before, Annie and Kerry came out of a role play that me and another person did for most of a year.  This actual scene was more or less played out, with my friend playing Annie, and me playing Emma.  Some of what happened in this scene is as presented–I’ve had to change a few things, and our role playing scene was shorter–but what Annie does to Emma here is what my friend did with Annie.

And when I laid the “You’re so lucky” line on her, she lost it.  Annie literally went all murder time on the girl.  I was actually a bit shocked at how she went at Emma, but now I understand her motivation.  I understand that you don’t mess with her soul mate, and if you did something stupid that might have gotten him killed . . .

You’re gonna suffer, honey.

A couple of days ago I saw my friend who played Annie on-line, and I told her I was getting ready to write this scene, and after I said, “You’re so lucky”, she tells me–and here is the exact quote:  “And the lucky thing . . . honestly . . . If I could have gotten away with it, I would have pulled her lungs out of her body and squeezed them.”

No, she wasn’t bothered at all by what Emma did.

What does Annie do?

Well . . . I’ll write that up tonight.  Considering Annie’s the Dark Witch–what do you think?

And here Emma thought she left the horror outside . . .

And here Emma thought she left the horror outside . . .

That Which I Left Behind

If you come here looking for more of the novel today, nope, won’t find it.  There was some, but not a lot.  Why?

Sickness.  For the most part.

I did as I am want to do; blog in the morning and head for work, though sometimes those lines get blurred just a little.  But if you’ve been following me for the last few days you’ll know I’ve not been feeling one hundred percent, or even close to seventy or eighty.  It’s been like a low-level “blah” that had taken over, and it was messing me up something bad.  A few headaches, some dizziness, and a bit of nausea.

It was the last that really hit me yesterday morning, and I was unable to work through it as I have over the last couple of days.  So it was a quick walk to the bathroom to, um, purge, you might say, and then back to my desk.  I repeated that about ten minutes later, and once back at my desk I was about to pen an email to my manager telling him I was leaving for the day when he strolled in and I told him in person.

"I have to leave for the day; I don't feel well.  PS:  sorry about the bathroom."

“I have to leave for the day; I don’t feel well. PS: sorry about the bathroom.”

After a slow walk home I crashed and slept for about an hour, hour and a half.  I think it was more than an hour, but I’m not really certain because my head was kinda spinning a little by the time I made it through the door.

The thing is upon waking up I felt fine.  My head wasn’t spinning, my stomach had settled down, and I could actually wear my glasses without feeling like my head was spinning out of control.  In short, I seemed much better, and told my friends this amazing fact.  With this I changed my clothing and went out to pick up a few groceries, then decided much later to do an early dinner, with my computer, and get in some writing.

See?  Pretty much better.

See? Much better because I’m doing what I always do.

The writing wasn’t there, however.  I knew what I wanted to write, but I couldn’t get my head around it.  I’d written twelve hundred words the night before, and a lot of times when I do that I can’t find the focus to do the wording.  I manged just a little over four hundred, but when I realized more wasn’t coming without some teeth pulling, I shut it down, just as William Gibson suggested.

I realize today that I will be incredibly busy over the next week.  I have a novel for my book club to finish, a letter or two to write, and a few other things planed.  Next Friday I do my shot in the morning because I have labs in the afternoon, and the next shot after that I’m going to do a little video for.  I’m also planing on doing another video reading, probably within the next couple of weeks.

And the novel; don’t forget the novel.

This is all going somewhere.  I just wish I knew where.

 

Abomination Time, The Fight

This is what it’s come to, and you knew it was coming.  If they’re moving and contact, and the last thing you remember is someone getting dragged off by Octo-boy, then there’s gonna be a fight.  And here it is–

It’s not a good place for Kerry right now, and things are about to dive right down the toilet for the poor kid.  How bad is it going to get?

"My money's on the not-human."

“My money’s on the non-human.”

Your money’s no good here, Hastur.

Let’s look in and see for ourselves.

 

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

Kerry was frozen, held in place by surprise and terror. This was on of the creatures that made it through the screen breach: some octopus-like monstrosity that seemed to scurry along or spider or crab legs. He sat there on his PAV, Emma’s broom in his right hand, and listened to her scream as the creature kept her pinned against the wall of The Diamond—

It’s going to kill her.

Another voice in Kerry head responded. What are you going to do about that?

Do? I can’t do anything.

Yes, you can. You have the call sign of a hero, a woman who wasn’t afraid of anything, who would do anything to help her friends. You are a witch and a sorceress; you can do anything. Are you going to let your wingmate get eaten?

I

Are you going to let her die?

I—

Keep your wits about you

Kerry mumbled between clenched teeth. “—When everything is going to hell around you.” He raised the broom in his right hand and charged his broom forward, screaming as loud as possible.

 

When all else fails and you don’t know what to do, attack.  Scream.  Go at . . . things.  Even if you’re not sure you’re doing the right thing.  Because sometimes you score–

 

The sixth or seventh blow failed to attract the creature’s attention, and Kerry knew he had to do something fast or Emma was gone. He he couldn’t use an Air Hammer foci to chop at this thing—but there was nothing that said he couldn’t use the spell for stabbing. Kerry pulled back a couple of meters and fashioned the spell around the forward tip of Emma’s broom. He didn’t know how many shots he’d get with this, or even if it was going to be effective, but he had no choice: Emma’s screams were fading, and for all he knew she was already dying . . .

Kerry sailed into the creature again, this time using the Air Hammer foci for Emma’s broom to harpoon the monster. A blueish-green liquid jetted out of the puncture wound, splashing all over his jacket and gloves. He pulled it out with difficulty; this creature may look like an ambulatory octopus, but it wasn’t an invertebrate, making it far harder to damage—

He finally managed to get its attention, though—and piss it off at the same time.

 

And sometimes you piss off the wrong thing.  Not like that wasn’t going to happen, though, right?

 

The creature spun around and knocked the broom from Kerry’s hands. Three tentacles reach for him, but he was quick enough to back away some six or seven meters before they could latch on and drag him away. His breathing quickened; he fought to keep from shaking and loosing control of his senses and mind.

He had his first real look at the monster he faced.

He saw the thick spider-like legs, eight of them holding the creature off the ground. He couldn’t tell how many tentacles the thing had: there were at least six around the body, maybe eight, but there are more around the face, perhaps six, maybe more. The mouth was lip-less and wide, stretching nearly all the way across the three meter wide body. It was impossible to tell the color of the creature’s hide; everything in the low-light goggles was tinged green.

But the eyes . . . They weren’t human, or even like those of an octopus, but rather eight large saucers maybe twenty or twenty-five centimeters across, ringed around the mouth and up onto what passed for a forehead. It opened its mouth and showed a double row of pointed teeth, perfect for piercing and tearing.

It reared back and turned loose a low rumbling growl that made Kerry’s teeth vibrate. He knew what it was: ultra low frequency sound. It must be adapted to do this . . . It hurt his head and nearly made him throw up, but as Professor Lovecraft taught, he kept his wits about him. For the first time since the breach he was glad he had to ride a broom due to his damaged knee, because Kerry knew he couldn’t out maneuver this thing on foot.

He would have died the moment it turned on him.

 

In case you’re wondering, twenty to twenty-five centimeters is eight to ten inches, but those Foundation people:  they drill the metrics into you.  And those are big eyes–all eight of them staring back at you, sizing you up for dinner.

 

It moved slowly towards him, snarling, not with low frequency sounds, but as an animal would do before killing its prey. The tentacles around the mouth began writhing, and Kerry figured it was going for a quick kill: probably grab him with the larger tentacle’s, then pull him close to the mouth, have those tentacles latch on, and . . .

And he wasn’t about to make himself a late afternoon snack for some mutated Spawn of Cthulhu.

The creature leapt at him, screaming, it’s mouth wide open, the tentacles reaching—

He pulled hard to his left and dodge it, then turned to face it in time to dodge another leap. He wanted to check on Emma, but he couldn’t take his eyes off this thing, not for a moment. If he did—

Kerry couldn’t help himself, however; he had to know. He glanced to his left—

The monster charged forward.

 

Important lesson learned:  never take your eye off the Cthulhu creature.  Even if it’s driving you mad.  Fortunately, the kid has his wits about him . . .

 

Kerry threw up his hands and tossed out the biggest Air Hammer spell he could pulled together. The creature slammed into it and stopped dead in the air about two meters from the front of his broom. He didn’t damage it, but he did shield himself from the attack.

I can’t keep this up for long, though. Kerry figured someone would come soon, but he was worried that if he continued to fight this thing it would grow bored and go after Emma again—or, worse, attract the attention of identical creatures.

He couldn’t continue to wait.

He had to act.

He was frightened, breathing hard, fighting to hold himself together—

He held out his right arm and extended his middle finger at the monster intent on killing him. “Come on, bitch.” He spit at the thing. “Come ON.”

The creature hurled itself at Kerry.

There was only one thing to do . . .

Run.

He jerked upward on this control shaft as hard as possible and shot forty meters into the air. He was vaguely aware that the creature was off the ground and coming for him. He turned hard to his left and sailed over the roof of The Diamond, accelerating as he turned towards the north and The Pentagram. He cast a quick glance behind: the creature was there, maybe eight meters behind. It kept pace with him as he picked up speed and rocketed over the Flight School and Selena’s Meadow.

He was running; the only thing left to do was get on the comm and tell someone. “Nightwitch, this is Starbuck.” He looked out over the school before him, trying to put the things intent on devouring him out of his mind. “I’ve got something chasing me, and I need help. I need it now. Someone, HELP.”

 

There you go.  Emma left in an unknown state, and Kerry zooming through the darkening sky with Octo-squid monster after him.  And that’s where I’m going to leave her, because the next scene takes us back into the Great Hall–

Because I don't like leaving people helping people out of the action.

Because I don’t like leaving people helping people out of the action.

–Which is going to move the action forward just a little more.  Chapter Twenty-two is almost finished.

And it’s going out with something of a bang.

Abomination Time, Contact

A strange last twenty-four hours, mostly because I didn’t know I was going to make it to this point today.  Because yesterday, at work, I nearly passed out.

I’m breaking in these new glasses, which are not only bifocals–yes, I need those–but are larger lenses as well as high definition.  Which means everything is so bright and clear.  I also received a new computer monitor, which is also bigger and HD and bright and clear . . . and I was sitting way too close to it because my other glasses were kind of the suck.

The upshot of all this is I was getting some wicked vertigo while coming down with something at the same time.  I realized I was getting sick when I made it home and relaxed with my glasses off and my eyes closed for a bit, and felt the illness coming on.  That was when I slipped into my warm red flannel pajamas and slipped into my comfy Fuug boots (fake Uugs, if you’re wondering), and drank tea to get the warm fluids into my body.

If I'd had the blue cozy I'd probably been sitting at my computer in it as well.

If I’d had the blue cozy I’d probably been sitting at my computer in it as well.

Did I mention sitting at my computer?  Where else would I be?  I wrote nine hundred words towards that character I told you about on Sunday, and then . . . well, I have a novel I’m slowly building too, yeah?

The last time we saw my kids they were ripping along the south end of the school when they got word the comms were back on line.  Ergo, it only makes sense to let someone know they’re alive . . .

 

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

Though he wasn’t suppose to respond, Kerry felt he had no choice but to let the professor know Emma and he were still alive. “Nightwitch, this is Starbuck. Selene and I are still out here; we’re trying to get to safety. Please respond—over.”

Vicky was on the comm immediately. “Starbuck, Selene, where the hell are you? Over.”

Emma took this one. “Nightwitch, we’re on Gloucester Bend going flat-out towards The Diamond. We want to get underground. Over.”

There wasn’t any time wasted making a decision. “Okay, stay on the Green Line and head for The Diamond. Pop over Chicane and proceed to Exit Two. Everything’s sealed, but I’ll contact Fortress and see about getting them to drop it long enough to let you in. Acknowledge—over.”

Since that had been their plan all along, Kerry didn’t wait for Emma to give her okay. “Got it, Nightwitch. Over.”

“Copy on that. We don’t have the detection grid up yet, so radio in when you’re at the exit. Over.”

“Copy, Nightwitch. Over and out.”

Emma quickly looked back at her wingmate. “See?”

“Yeah, I see.” Kerry didn’t try hiding his smile. “Good call.”

“I told you.” They finally straightened out on their finally approach to Chicane. “They lost the detection gird, too?”

“Sounds like it.” Kerry slowed as Emma did, sliding into the sweeping left/right meant to slow racers before heading for the Start/Finish Line. “Don’t go too high—”

 

Yeah, don’t go too high because you never know who might shoot at you or see you.  But they get there okay–no one blasts them–and they make their way to the place they’re suppose to go . . .

 

Emma dropped to the ground and leapt off her broom some fifteen meters from the exit, allowing it to drop to the ground. She gave the status report as she ran for Exit Two. “Nightwitch, this is Selene. We’re at the exit. Over.”

Kerry settled slowly to the ground as Vicky responded. “Roger, Selene. Fortress is sending someone for pickup. Hold tight; they should be there momentarily. Over and out.”

Emma was standing next to the exit. It was not only physically sealed, but was covered with a screen that shimmered with a dark red. “Roger. Over and out.” She waved at Kerry. “Come on; hurry up. They’ll be here soon.”

Kerry dropped his broom as low to the ground as possible without scraping his bad knee and retried Emma’s broom. “Why you dropping your equipment like that?”

“Oh, please.” She stood with her weight planted on her right leg. “It’s not like—”

Something large dropped from above the exit, wrapped Emma up in two long, thick tentacles, and dragged her screaming form along the ground for nearly twelve meters before picking her up and slamming her against the side of the building.

 

. . . and everything goes straight to hell.  ‘Cause when something wraps their tentacles around you, it’s never a good thing.  Then again, this is Lovecraft Country–maybe this thing just wants to say “Hi.”

"Hey, tell her 'hi' for me, too!"

“Tell her ‘hi’ for me, too!”

Anyway, you wanted the Abomination–you got it.  I’ve got a thousand words even on the scene, and if I get into a good writing grove tonight, I’ll probably get closer to two thousand.

After all, Kerry just can’t stand by and watch Emma die–

Can he?

"And he watched the creature bite her head off, after which he just boogied on out of there."  Well, that would certainly be easier to write . . .

“And he watched the creature bite her head off, after which he just boogied the hell on out of there.” Well, that would certainly be easier to write . . .

Abomination Time, Moving

We’ve come to that point in the story where people may die.  Well, they already had, but this is getting more personal now, isn’t it?

But I didn’t have time for writing yesterday.  Not really.  I went over a few things about this character I’m creating–for one, her name is Lauren Rafferty, her month is Cecilia Rafferty, aka “Cici”, and her father was Jacob Rafferty.  Also, since I was on the road a lot–I was actually twelve hours away from home–I was pretty knackered by the time I rolled back though the door a little after six PM.  But I had fun:

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and kinda Ugg boots.  Total Basic White Girl stuff going on here.

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and kinda Ugg boots. Total Basic White Girl stuff going on here.

And I brought home some new friends . . .

All hail my new ponies!

All hail my new ponies!

As I said yesterday I’d written a few things, almost five hundred words, Saturday, and since I didn’t get to it last night, I’ll have to get to it tonight.  But since I already have something, it would be poor of me not to share it with you.  So let’s go!

 

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

18:26 to 18:30

Kerry followed Emma along the wall gap, flying south at a good rate. He fell in behind her because his knee was killing him and it made it difficult to things clearly, and with Emma relatively undamaged and clear of thought, having her pick their way at high speed along the Cove Path wall towards the Reservoir curve was a far better thing—

He was about doing this right, not letting his ego get in the way of who was best for this kind of flight. Emma was the best right now, that’s all there was: let her lead.

As for the rest . . .

Once Kerry had admitted that her plan made sense, it was difficult to convince her that they were better off staying and not moving. It was a bad thing to say it aloud, for once that was past his lips there was no taking it back. And there was no chance of Emma saying no. Not now.

The only thing to do was saddle up and make their way towards the wall.

Kerry had to admit that Emma’s plan was good. Using the night vision ability in their goggles they were able to take their time inching through the forest. Finding southwest wasn’t hard with the HUDs working, and they made their to the Cove Path in about five minutes. Then it was another few minutes of creeping through the forest before they reached the wall gap.

After that Emma led them south, reading the wall to know when it was safe to jump onto the Green Line, hop back over Cove Path—keeping close to the trees—and then winding up the speed on Gloucester Bend. Kerry kept his eyes tied to her back, because his mind was bouncing a little. He was trying to push the pain in his knee away, as well as reminding himself that leaving it wasn’t that bad an idea to leave their hidey-hole. Mostly, though, he kept remembering something he promised Annie, and he felt he’d broken some kind of bond by flying through the dark with Emma right now.

“It’s right here.” Emma pointed to her left and popped up and over the trees. Kerry followed and couple of seconds later found himself on the apex of Reservoir curve. He kept turning to the left, following Emma as she popped over Cove Path again, then dropped in behind her as they accelerated through Gloucester Bend and the southern most section of the Green Line.

He was just passing two hundred kilometers an hour when Kerry once again felt like someone was sitting directly behind him. He was about to say something when he heard Professor Soloman’s voice. “Attention all fliers. This is Nightwitch. Communications have been restored. Report to your rendezvous points if you are not already there. Do not respond to this transmission. Over and out.”

 

There you are:  Salem is back on the air.  And a couple of kids are racing like mad, in the dark, to get to safety.  What happens next?

I’ll write that tonight.

You better, girl, or the abomination is coming for you!

You better, girl, or the abomination is coming for you!