In Dreams: Kerry’s Dream

First off, where in the world am I posting from?

I think you've seen this place before . . .

I think you’ve seen this place before . . .

Oh, yeah:  a deserted rest stop.

Oh, yeah: a deserted rest stop.

I’m in eastern Ohio on my way home for the holidays.  And as such, I’m making my normal stops along the way.

I even look much better than last time--

I even look much better than last time–

Though you need to excuse the crazy eyes.

Though you need to excuse the crazy eyes.

Anyway, about four hours of driving down, and another, oh, six or so to go before I pull into my ancestral home in Northwest Indiana.  Somewhere along the line I’m going to try and write–probably at my next stop–but I’ll consider it a victory if I can get a thousand words in today, because the last time I made this trip I couldn’t write at all once I arrived home.  However, unlike last time I actually managed some sleep this time, so I’m not feeling as if I’m going to crash and burn before the next curve in the road.

The story left off yesterday with Annie admitting that she’d had a vision like Kerry’s–only it happened during their first moment at Memory’s End.  They only speak of the matter for a few seconds before Kerry asks the really important questions.

 

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

Annie looked to the sky as she swallowed a couple of times. “Back on Orientation Day. In Memory’s End.”

“Really?” He’d collected himself and his breathing. “When we had our visions?”

“Yes.” She sighed slowly. “Deanna put us both in a trance to see if we’d have visions. When I had mine—” She swallowed. “I saw you coming out of the bathroom towards the bed, towards me. You had your hand on the railing and you were looking down—”

“At the fire.” Kerry didn’t get close to Annie least they find themselves drawn into—something—as they were moments before. “And then you sat down next to me and . . .” She smiled softly as she looked towards the ground. “Well, if you saw what I saw, then you know what happened.”

“Yes.” He nodded as he kept his eyes on Annie. “Hey, wait—um . . .” He ran his hand over his chin. “I wasn’t, um—naked, was I?”

Annie looked up with a wide grin on her face. “Oh, yes.”

Kerry’s entire body clenched for a second. “Really?”

“Well, didn’t you see me naked?”

“Um . . . Yeah.”

“Then it’s only fair.” Annie finally moved closer to her soul mate. “You have nothing to worry about if the vision is any indication.”

He found he was able to chuckled. “Neither do you. Magic probably has something to do with that.”

“Transformation magic, probably. But . . .” She touched his arm gently. “I don’t think we were very old.”

 

Not old plus transformation magic equals pretty hot bods.  One can assume that ’cause Annie’s grinning, and not much brings a smile to her face, right?  They both figure out that their shared vision came on the wedding night before–as Kerry says–”things got serious”.  And the thing is Annie doesn’t need to have all the answers, because someone’s been doing their reading . . .

 

Annie laughed. “You could put it in those terms.” Her seriousness returned. “You saw everything from your point of view?”

“Yes, I did.” He nodded slowly. “And you saw it from yours?”

“Yes. You know what that means?”

After months of pouring through the divination books he’d been giving at the beginning of the school year, Kerry had a very good idea. “If one person has a vision, the best they can hope for is a fifty-fifty chance it’ll come true—”

“Except under unusual circumstances.” Like an accomplished seer having one on a plane the day before it happens.

“More than one person can see a vision, but it’s usually from a third-person point of view—”

Annie nodded. “Which can greatly increase the chances the vision will occur—particularly if they all see it within a few days of each other.”

“But we didn’t see the same thing within a few days of each other.”

“No: it’s been six months.” Annie set her hands on here hips and took several deep breaths. “And we experienced the same thing from our own points of view—”

“As if we were there at the same time.” Kerry knew exactly what this meant. “I think Professor Arrakis would say the odds of us not actually having that vision come true are, like, in the billions.” He looked down and away for just a moment—

 

Wait, Kerry:  why are you looking down and away?  Is something on your mind?  Something, yes:  and on Annie’s mind as well . . .

 

Annie caught something she hadn’t thought Kerry would do—did he grin? She didn’t ask if he had; she thought it better to confirm his belief. “It still might not happen: there are things that could occur between us—”

“I don’t want to go there.” Kerry’s tone turned dark and serious. “It’s not a good idea.”

It hit Annie what Kerry was saying: one of the things that could happen is one of us could die. “You’re right. We shouldn’t talk about that. But . . .” She held Kerry’s hand in hers. “You’re remarkably calm about all of this—it doesn’t bother you?”

He shrugged. “Not really.”

“Nurse Coraline and Deanna said you were agitated when you came in last night.”

“I guess I was—” He pulled his arms in close to his side and seemed to shudder. “But it’s not what you think.”

“What is it, then?”

“I’m not sure myself.” He shook his head. “I just know something bothered me. As for the vision—everything I read said not to try and force or prevent a vision—” He gave Annie the grin that she thought she’d spotted before. “Yes?”

“Yes.”

“Then I won’t.” He let a short laugh escape. “See? I did learn something reading all those books.”

“I can see that you did.” Annie found she wasn’t confused by the way Kerry was acting: she’d known he’d learn something reading the books she gave him. But there was something nagging her— Did I have him read those because I knew we’d talk about this vision one day? Did I know he’d have the same? Or is there another reason?

 

Annie did have a reason for wanting Kerry to read all those books, but now she’s wondering if her reasons were her own.  A very timey-whimy situation here now, because did she want Kerry to read those books–or was there a suggestion?  I’ll probably have an answer for you by the fourth novel.

The thing is, Kerry seems cool with it.  He knows you don’t try to stop or force a vision, and as he indicated, one sure-fire way not to have it come true is for someone to die, and that’s a bit of an extreme way to stop it from happening.

And this leads to Kerry’s rune dream, which I also have written out.  It was the last thing I did before getting ready for the road, and just as I did with Annie’s, here is Kerry’s dream, in its entirety.

 

I’m sitting at the base of my tree.  I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true.  It’s a tree back in California, and I used to go there all the time.  It was a nice place to hang out, because you couldn’t be seen there.

It’s a nice day but cool, like the ones I remember.  I miss this sort of stuff a lot.

“Hi there.”

A voice makes me turn to my left.  A girl’s there.  She got on jeans and sneakers and a Torchwood tee shirt just like I have.  Her hair is red, her eyes green, and there’s lots of freckles.  I’ve never seen her before, but she grins when I look her way.  “Who are you?”

“You know who I am.”  She looked around as if she never heard my question.  “You haven’t been here in a long time.”

It’s kinda weird that she knows about this place, but I just ignore that back.  “Yeah.  Not since leaving for Cardiff.”  And stand up and shake myself off, and a book falls to the ground.

She picks it up and reads the cover.  “A Fall of Moondust.  I should have guessed.”

I take the book from her and hide it against my stomach.  “Just leave that—“

“That’s what you read to her the first time, right?”

I don’t want to hear anything like that.  I try to ignore the comment, but it’s ringing in my head.  “What do you know about that?”

“I know you read it to her when you were about six; I know that you read to her twice more.”  She folds her arms across of stomach.  “I know you really liked reading to her.”

“You don’t know anything.”

“I know that.”  She stands alongside of me.  “I know a lot about you.”

“How do you know?”

“You know how.”  She reaches for my left hand.  “Come on; let’s go for a walk.”

I don’t think about saying no or pulling away from her:  I just take her hand and we walk along van Winkle Drive.  Nothing is moving; there aren’t any real sounds.  And there’s no heat from the sun, though it’s not uncomfortable.  “Where are we going?”

“Just around.”  She started swinging my arm.  “I wanna talk.”

“About?”

“Her.”  She looks at me out from the corner of her eye.  “Your Chestnut Girl.”

I don’t want to hear this:  I really don’t want to talk about her.  “Can we not?”

“Why?  Why don’t you want to talk about her?”  This girl stops swinging our hands and lets me go, so we’re just walking side by side.  “You knew her for a long time.”

“Knew.”  I say it again, louder so she gets the point.  “KNEW.  She’s gone.  She . . .”  I start to choke on the word and say something else.  “She went away.”

“No, she didn’t.”  The girl grabs my arm and stops me, makes me face her.  “She left you.  That’s what you wanted to say.”

I’m getting upset.  Not angry—I never get that way.  Just lost and empty . . .  “Yes, she left me.  She went away, just like my grandparents did.”

“Did they really go away?”

“I never hear from them.  They got a computer—I’ve written to them.”  I turn away, because I’m remembering something else.  “And forget about my parents; they don’t even want me.”

The girl shook her head.  “You just think that—“

“My mother told me she didn’t want me.”  I start crying, ‘cause I can’t ever help myself.  “She told me she wanted a girl.  She told me I wasn’t . . .”  My breath starts hitching; I hate this conversation, because it makes me feel so horrible.  “Why did she say that?  What did I ever do to make her feel that way.”  I turn away from this strange ginger girl and just let it come out, the thing I hate to say.  “Why doesn’t anyone love me?  I just want someone to say they do, just once, and mean it.”  I keep shaking my head.  “That’s all.  Why can’t that happen?”

The girl takes my hand, and I feel the area around us change.  We’re standing just inside the wall entrance from last night—Founder’s Gate.  She leads me through the garden towards the bench where I sat with Annie.  She sits me down and sits on my left, just like Annie did.

“Someone does love you, Kerry.”  She pats the bench.  “Someone who sat right here last night.”

I’ve stopped crying, but I still felt pretty sad.  “I know.”

“She’s just like you in some ways; she wants love and affection, but from the right person.”  She pokes me in the arm.  “From you.”

I remember what happened when we were waiting to go off to our tower together.  “She told me she loves me.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Just like I did last night, I twist around on the bench.  “She told me she has for a long time.”

“Yes, that’s true.”

“How could she?  I never met her until a week ago.”

“And that didn’t stop you from going all over London and Amsterdam with her, did it?”  The girl twisted towards me so we were speaking face-to-face.  “How could she know you?  Look around.  Today you spoke with a sorceress and witches; you saw people flying on brooms; you had a vision . . .”  She chuckled.  “Annie’s a witch, and that means things aren’t what you’re used to seeing.  You gotta stop thinking about things as they were and . . .”  She shrugged.  “Keep an open mind.”

“That’s what Annie told me today.”

“And see what you did?”  Her outfit changed into a black dress with a witch’s hat.  It was kind of unusual, because it look like a Halloween costume.

I almost laughed at her.  “You look like you fit in.”

“Yeah, but you’re the witch.”  She slid up next to me, closer than she’d ever been.  “I know why you’re afraid.”

“What?  Who says I’m afraid?”

“I do—‘cause I know you.”

“You don’t know me.”

She pointed at her head.  “See the witch’s hat?  I know more than you know.”  Her voice got soft, like she was trying to set my mind to ease.  “You’re afraid.  You think you’re gonna open up to Annie, say things to her that will make her want to love you more—and then she’s gonna leave you.  She’s gonna up and vanish like your Chestnut Girl.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but I had to.  “What if she does?”

“You won’t know if you don’t try.”  She looked up at something like she was thinking.  “Why did you kiss Annie last night?”

I shrugged.  “Because it felt like I should.”

“I’m betting because you remembered something, and it just came naturally.”  She leaned over and placed her hand over my heart.  “You know how to love; it’s still here.  But before you can give Annie your heart, you gotta knock down that wall you’ve built around it.”  She leaned back away from me and gave me a look that felt like it was full of pity.  “It’s not gonna be easy, it’s gonna take time, and there will be moments when it’s gonna hurt horribly.”  She sighed like she wanted to say more, but couldn’t.  “And don’t think about your Chestnut Girl—at least not until it’s needed.”

I had no idea what she was talking about.  “What’s that mean?”

“You’ll know when the time comes.”  She stood in front of me and smoothed out her dress.  “Ask Annie to fly with you.  You’ll be surprised what happens.”

Now I laughed.  “You think I can fly?”

“You’re a witch, aren’t you?”  She giggled.  “Witches fly brooms.”

“What if she says no?”

“What if she says yes?”  She stepped closer and laid her hand over my heart again.  “This . . . has nothing to lose if you ask.  Go for it, Kerry.”  She stepped back and smiled.  “Remember:  someone once asked you to go bike riding, and look how that turned out?”

Given when this happened there is some serious foreshadowing going on here, for we know Kerry asked Annie to fly with him, and a few months later he and Annie shared, in a strange way, their dream of him reading to her.  Not only that, but one of the things he mentioned to Annie then pops up here as well.

But bike riding?  What does that mean?  It means that the next scene has Annie asking early on one of the most important questions she’s ever asked:

“Kerry, who’s the Chestnut Girl?”

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/21:  2,221

NaNo Total Word Count:  39,619

In Dreams: Annie’s Dream

Finally, after all the hand wringing and such yesterday, I locked myself down and got some writing done.  I will admit I wrote part of this over my break yesterday, but even so I managed eleven hundred words at home, late at night, just enough to get my NaNo count up and over the line.  I have ten days to go, I’m 12,600 words from the finish, and I need 1,261 words a day to hit the fifty thousand.

The odds do seem to be in my favor, but I’m gonna have to push it if I want that winner code this year.

And considering I’m going to lose a couple of days traveling–well, maybe I won’t lose them completely.  We’ll see.

This is what some people have waited for, and even wondered about:  what was Annie’s rune dream.  Well, I’ll tell ya:  I’ve know it for probably a couple of years now, so I’ve finally reached the point where you can see it, too.  Here it is, in its entirety:  Annie’s Dream.

 

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

I open my eyes and there is soft light all around.  It’s morning, but it feels different.  It is different, because I today I awake someone different—

There you are, in my line of sight.  Sleeping still, your hair tousled, your mouth slightly open, your freckles seeming to glow against your light skin.  You look peaceful in the morning light, safe and secure under the comforter.

I slide next to you and press myself into your body.  I’m not wearing anything, but then neither are you, and I feel warm and loved like this.  I lay my right arm over you and pull myself closer, then lightly kiss your lips and cheek while you sleep.  There isn’t a reaction at first, but half a minute you slowly open your eyes as a tiny grin plays upon her face.

I give your lips another soft kiss.  “Good morning, my love.”

“Good morning, Sweetie.”  You wrap your left arm over me, pull me tight against you, and kiss me in the way I’ve grown to love, and when we stop our faces remain against our pillows, centimeters from each other.  “I could get spoiled being woken up that way.”

“You can, can you?”  I kiss you again.  “We’ll have to see if you can find a way to spoil me, then.”

“Oh . . .”  Your grin is bright and amazing this morning.  “I can think of a few things—“

Before I can discover how you want to spoil me there is a buzzing.  I know what it is, as do you.  You roll onto you back with a tired look and slip your right hand out from under the covers.  You hold out your hand and summon your phone.  You read what’s on the screen floating above your face and chuckle.

I think of propping up my head, but rather like the softness of the pillow.  “Who’s texting this early?”

“My mom.”  You half turn your head towards me.  “She says your mother wants to know when we’re coming to the house for breakfast.”

“She’s a little early texting us:  we’re not supposed to be there until eight thirty.”

The phone twists so I can see the display.  “It’s eight thirty-five.”

I push against my pillow and laugh.  “Oops.”

“Yeah.”  You flip the phone back so you can see the display.  “Text mode . . .  Mom, Annie and I slept in; getting up and getting ready; see you in about an hour; go ahead and eat without us.  Bye.”  You tap the air and the phone slides away to rest on the end table.

I try to keep from laughing when I see the look on your face.  “I guess we shouldn’t start anything we can’t finish.”

“We could finish—“  I wrap my hand over your shoulder and kiss you.  “But we’d be even later.”

“And we wouldn’t want to do that to our waiting parents.”

“It’s not as if we won’t have time later.”

“Oh, yeah.”  You roll away to the edge of the bed, the comforter falling away.  I can see your bare back, smooth and soft, complemented by your shoulders.  A robe sails over from where it was resting on a chair and you slip it on before standing.

I wait until you are leaning against the railing and looking down into the living area before I climb out of bed.  I don’t bother with a robe, and join you at the railing as I slept.  I smile when you look at.  “You look as if you’ve never seen me naked.”

“Well, I haven’t for the first time today.”  You chuckle and scan the room below.  “I’ll use the shower downstairs.”

I reach for you hand.  “Bring up something for me to wear?”

“Sure.  What you want?”

I decide right away.  “My green sleeveless tunic, jeans, and my brown gladiators.”  I give your left hand a squeeze.  “It’s going to be a busy day; I want to be comfortable.”

You nod slowly, probably going over something in your head.  “Clean bra and panties?”

“Naturally.”  I lean my head against your shoulder.  “You remembered.”

“I’ve had some practice with that the last couple of years.”  You give my hand a light squeeze.  “You want some coffee?”

“Yes.  That would be lovely.”

“Consider it done.”  There’s a silence that stretches on for about fifteen seconds.  I’m almost about to ask what is wrong when you speak.  “Did you feel anything . . . different?”

“Yes.”  I release you hand and turn to face you.  “It was like my head cleared.”

“Same here.”  You face me.  “I guess that means they were right.”

“So it would seem.”  My right hand becomes entwined in your left as I draw closer.  “Now the question becomes, where do we go with this—“  I press against you and kiss you long and slow.  “Mr. Malibey?”

“The answer to that is simple:  anywhere and everywhere we want to go—“  You return the kiss, and when you step back, there is a gleam in your eye.  “Mrs. Malibey.”

 

And there it is:  signed, sealed delivered.

Naturally Kerry has something to say . . .

 

Annie stood, watched, and waited for Kerry’s reaction. He’d not said a word the whole time she’d related her dream, and when she reached the end, he started back as if he were seeing a person he’d never met before now. After about twenty seconds of silent she grew worried. “Kerry?”

He cleared his throat and spoke weakly “Yeah?”

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m . . .” He looked out over the lake to this right, then turned back to Annie. “Mrs. Malibey?”

She nodded. “Um, hum.”

“As in ‘Mr. and Mrs. Malibey’?”

“Yes.”

“As in—”

“Kerry, we were married.” Annie wasn’t exacerbated by any apparent reluctance he manifested, but she felt she had to tell him everything. “I know the time and place of the dream. The place is my lake out, the one on my parent’s property.”

“You’ve told me about that—” Kerry didn’t appear upset or overwhelmed, but now curious. “But I don’t know much about the place.”

“It’s something I had built just after I turned nine.” Annie relaxed, as Kerry didn’t seemed like he was going to fly in to a panic or bolt. “It all came about due to a dream I had—”

“Or vision?” Kerry was beginning to suspect that this rune dream wasn’t the only dream of Annie’s that showed her something from the future.

“I think it was a vision—it came after something that . . .” She looked down, shaking her head. “It’s not important. I saw it in a dream a few days later, and I was compelled to make my family have it built.

 

Now you know that Annie’s lake house was built on a vision:  it was something she saw and therefore, something she needed.  She also knows something else about that loft.

 

“There’s a small upstairs area on the north side—I told my parents it was meant to be a guest loft. There’s a bed, a small sitting area, and a walk-in closet which is also the entrance to a full bath. The south end of the loft is open so you can see everything in the living area below.

“It’s suppose to be for guest, but I’ve not had any guest, and no one has ever slept there because it’s meant for more than that.” She sighed as she took a step closer to Kerry, moving to where she was almost touching him. “That’s why I know when my dream happens, because the first person to sleep in the loft is me—on my wedding night . . .” She gazed into Kerry’s eyes. “With my husband.”

 

The lake house was built to be Annie’s honeymoon house, and she knows it, so if she’s sleeping in the bed in the loft with . . . “her husband” . . . and it’s morning, then her rune dreams if of the morning after and the honeymoon is over, and judging from smiled on their faces, it was a pretty good one.

Which means there had to be some kind of lead-in, and Kerry’s making connections so he mentioned the vision he had the night before.  He decides to say a few things about what he saw, and Annie is making the connection as well and coming out with her own truths . . .

 

Deanna’s words flew back into Annie’s memory: You must tell your dream first. That should get Kerry to open up about his vision. There were things she had to know now . . . “They told me you had a vision, but not what it was. Tell it, please. Tell me what you saw.”

He took a deep breath and described his vision. “I was in a room, but there was a railing and a lot of darkness on my right. There was only a little light in the bedroom area, but there was a light below in the darkness—”

“The fire in the fireplace—” Annie’s voice took on a dream-like quality. “Dying.”

“I think so, too. And there was this smell, like—”

“Cherry wood.” She smiled and moved closer to Kerry. “It’s my favorite. You were walking towards the bed—”

He nodded. “Yes, I was. And you were on it—”

“Kneeling; sitting back on my heels. And you came and sat on my—”

“Left side, because I’m left handed—”

“And I could use my right.” She reached for him, touching his arm. “And I touched you—”

“And I touched you—” Kerry lay his hand on a spot just above Annie’s heart.

“And I touched you . . .” Annie’s eyes grew wide and she quickly pulled her hands away, stepping back at the same time. “We shouldn’t be talking like this.”

Kerry leapt back as well and was now trying to control his breathing. “I know . . .” He bent slightly and caught his breath. “Did they tell you what I saw? ‘Cause I never mentioned that last—”

“They didn’t have to.” The redness that had crept into Annie’s face faded. “I had the same vision.”

What?” Kerry’s mouth dropped open upon hearing this news. “When?”

Annie looked to the sky as she swallowed a couple of times. “Back on Orientation Day. In Memory’s End.”

 

And now you know what Annie saw during her tea trance:  the same thing Kerry saw six months later.  Only, since that last line was the last thing I wrote last night, it won’t be until tonight you find out just how significant having a vision like that becomes.  Also, it’s evident that these two shouldn’t be alone when they talk about this vision, ’cause . . . just saying.

Also, there was mention in Annie’s dream of people being “right” and having cleared heads.  I know a few people will ask, “Wait, does that mean something, Cassie?” and all I’ll say is, yes, I do tell you what that means, only not in this novel, but the next one, if it gets written.  So you only gotta wait like, oh, another year or so and maybe two hundred thousand words to find out what it means.  That means I can’t tell you now, la, la, la, fingers in my ears, I can’t hear you . . .

As I’ve told a few others, I’ve not just plotted out this novel, but five others.  Yeah–five.  This is a long game, and there are events in this book that don’t get played all the way out until the second and third books, which have events that become major deals in later novels.  I have also mentioned something, in passing, in this book that doesn’t become a major deal until–here it comes–the fifth novel.  Yeah, I’m like that:  torturing you.  Just wait until I start killing off beloved characters, because George R. R. Martin shouldn’t get all the hate . . .

In the mean time, I need to finish the current scene and get to Kerry’s dream–

As you can see, it's coming.

As you can see, it’s coming.

And then I can get to the aftermath of what happens to these kids.

It’s fun, I tell you:  fun.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/20:  1,934

NaNo Total Word Count:  37,398

The Revise Side of Life

I know some of your are thinking you’re going to pop in here and discover a whole lot of stuff about these rune dreams I’ve been playing up the last couple of days, and that I’d have a whole lot of stuff word counted and ready to go for NaNo.

What I do have is a whole lot of almost nothing.

You see, it’s like this:  first, I had a hook up with some of my online friends.  They just happened to be in the area where my Panera is located (and should I be saying “my Panera”, but that makes me sounds like too much of a regular.  Well, the woman taking my order did have my ice tea glass ready to go . . .), and I couldn’t say no.  Right?  Right.

They even brought me a scarf.  Can't say no to that.

They even brought me a scarf. Can’t say no to that.

We were talking and talking and having a great time, and by the time they left for home I was there started to write–oh, and I had to post picture to the Internet.  I had to.  Don’t try to say no, Cassie, you didn’t have to, because you don’t know how the Internet works, do you?

So I make it home and someone I used to work with calls.  She needs someone to talk to because she’s suffering from depression and she’s looking for advice, looking for some comfort, looking for a hand to hold.  Given my life and my struggles, I’m not gonna say no, I gotta get to work on my novel.  I listened and we chatted and that was all there was there.  It’s an obligation one has to the human race that when you’ve received help from one person, you pay it back in kind for another.  That’s what I did, and I do hope I was able to help, and that the advice I gave put my friend’s mind at ease.

Now, I have been writing, but not a lot.  I mean, I hit five hundred words at Panera before I shut things down, but that’s not even NaNo Stylin’, if you know what I mean.  I’ve got maybe forty minutes to get my butt in gear and at least pop the word count over a thousand, perhaps get Annie’s rune dream written and get the kids talking about what it means.

Nope.  There’s a frantic PM waiting for me on Facebook . . .

Without going into any great detail again, a project for a group I’m part of went belly up due to someone’s sick computer.  Well . . . guess who was asked if they could step in and get the project going once more?  If you said, “Peter Capaldi”, because right now he’s got free time on his hands and would probably enjoy something like this, you’re wrong.  Oh, so wrong.

Tonight I have a lot ahead of me.  I need to start getting this new project together, which I can do while I’m waiting for dinner to cook.  Nothing fancy, just collect the data and getting into a Scrivener file.  Then, after I eat, jump on the novel and start getting the word count up.  I’ve less that fourteen thousand words to go to hit my fifty, I have ten days to get that done–and I’ll probably lose two of those days to travel to and from Indiana.  That means for the remaining days I need to get my two thousand words a day in, while also getting the new project edited–

Good thing I’ll not be doing much when I’m home.  Except seeing my therapist on Monday.  And visiting with a friend on Tuesday.  And Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I can do it.

And since you’re all so nice to me, here’s the opening scene for Annie and Kerry getting ready to rune.  Enjoy.

 

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

Kerry flew his Espinoza over the southeastern shore of Lake Lovecraft, quickly cleared the body of water, and brought his broom to a hover in the clearing forming the northern shoreline. Annie hopped off as soon as her toes made contact with the ground, with Kerry joining her a few seconds later.

As he was propping his PAV against a nearby tree, Annie considered how accurate Deanna’s instructions had turned out. Kerry had asked about what happened with her, and he grew quiet when she told him they’d speak on the way back to the Great Hall. He’s listed to Annie when she told him what she was told about discussion the rune dreams, and offered the suggestion that he fly them there rather than walk. Since Annie knew his Espinoza could carry two people, and that he was a good enough pilot to have her ride passenger, she agreed to his proposal. And given that it was unseasonably warm—even now, a little after seventeen hours, it was twenty-seven Celsius—there was no need for them to change out of their uniform into something warmer.

Annie still felt uneasy about discussing her dream, but the more she considered the news that Kerry had a vision—one that Deanna said would tie into her dream—the more she agreed with the seer that a dialog was needed. In six month Kerry and she had progressed greatly in their relationship, but something remained between them, and Annie knew it was her unanswered questions about what they’d had together for years before—well, whatever it was happened in June last summer.

She wanted Kerry back—all of him. She wanted him to remember everything. Though it was possible her dream and his visions might push him away, the possibility existed that it would bring him closer—

She’d know in a few minutes.

Kerry stood facing Annie, positioning himself so she would have been on his left were they side by side. Even Annie had come to do this without thinking, keeping Kerry to her right. She didn’t think it strange or unusual that they did this, though she was aware that it was another thing that others spoke of often . . .

“Well, here we are.” Kerry looked around as if he expected someone to pop out of the tree line. “All alone.”

“Yes, we are.” Annie knew they were alone, and only one person mattered to her. “I don’t see any reason to delay this—”

“I don’t either.” He reached into his pocket and withdrew his rune. “I guess I’m as ready as I can get.”

Annie pulled hers from the small purse where she’d kept it since their first weekend at school. “As am I.” She transferred it to her left hand and slowly held it out for Kerry. She watched him do the same, ready to drop it in her right hand. “Ready?”

“Yeah.” He opened his hand and let his rune fall into her hand as Annie’s did the same. There was a moment where nothing happened—then both children recoiled a step as the enchantment that had held their tongues in check for six months vanished.

Annie closed her eyes for three seconds and let a wave of vertigo pass, while Kerry shook his head several times. Annie feared there was more happening with Kerry than losing the enchantment. “Are you all right?”

“Yes. Just—” He held the back of his hand against his forehead. “That was pretty strange.”

“Yes, it was.” Annie waited until Kerry appeared to return to normal. “Do you—remember anything?”

He shook his head as he stared at his feet. “It’s like it just came to me. Like it’s always been there.”

“I feel that, too.” Annie swallowed hard. “I suppose we should . . . start.”

Kerry chuckled. “How do we do that?” He gazed off over the calm lake. “Who goes first?”

It was a point that Annie hadn’t brought up during their walk from the Witch House. “I was told to go first.”

Kerry noticed Annie wasn’t her normal assertive self. “You okay?”

Annie wanted to admit she wasn’t comfortable, but she knew that wouldn’t help the situation. “You’re going to keep an open mind?”

“I always have for you—” He tightened his grin. “Haven’t I?”

“You have.” She let out her breath slowly. “This is what I saw . . .”

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/19:  736

NaNo Total Word Count:  35,464

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