Mother’s Little Annoyance: Dark and Stormy Spells

Given that I didn’t do a lot of writing yesterday I figured today would be a good day for a data dump.  I’m out this cool morning wearing my fall attire:

J. J. Abrams snuck in behind me when I wasn't looking.

J. J. Abrams snuck in behind me when I wasn’t looking.

And I’ve had my first hot cider of the year.

Hot cider and writing.

A photo posted by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

So I’m ready for fall.

Kerry, however:  he’s ready for school.  Travel package in hand–more or less–he’s eager to get on that jet for a few months of learning at his home by the sea.  Now his mother is finally asking questions about his time with the witches and she seems genuinely interested, so much so that Kerry is starting to relax.  And when Kerry gets relaxed he doesn’t mind talking…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Regular spells, Formulistic Magic, Transformation—” Kerry wrapped his arms around his body as if he were cold. “Advanced Flight Two and Advanced Self Defense. Flight is pretty much what is it, though this year we’re learning about various way of tricking out our brooms for additional performance and how to spend time out in the wilderness.”

“Why that?”

“Well, a Class 1 PAV—that’s the official designation for our brooms—is great for flying out into the middle of nowhere. I was on a few overnight camping trips last level and I’ll do a few more this year.”

Though she didn’t want to admit it, Louise found this all a bit interesting. “And this self defense class?”

Kerry stepped behind the chair and leaned against the back. “We’re all being taught different disciplines. A few are learning kung fu and tai chi; a few taekwondo; a couple judo. One student has been learning silat for a couple of years.” He picked up on his mother’s “What’s that?” look in a matter of seconds. “That’s a martial art out of Indonesia. It’s pretty effective.”

“I’ll take your word for it. And what are you studying?”

He looked down for a brief moment. “I’m studying Kali?”

This time Louise didn’t bother hiding her shock. “Kali?”

“It’s from the Philippines. It’s better known as Arnis or Eskrima: it’s a combination of using your hands and feet as well as weapons, just like with silat.” He straightened as he spoke with obvious pride. “Annie and I are the only ones learning Kali.”

Louise went back to showing little emotion. “Just you two.”

“Yeah. Our instructor, Professor Chai, says that we’re suited to the art. She said she’s never seen anyone pick it up as fast as us.”

As much as Louise wanted to hear about Kerry’s work with this Bulgarian girl, she was interested in something else. “Ms. Rutherford mentioned that you were a sorceress.”

 

This is the first we hear that Annie and Kerry are the only ones getting all that great training in Kali with a side of Silat thrown in.  At least he’s not telling his mother, “Oh, and we use batons made of magical energy so it looks like we’re giving you a beat down with light sabers.”  Louise isn’t ready for that one yet.

Also, he’s doing it with that “Bulgarian girl” and Louise isn’t missing the fact that her name keeps coming up in the conversation–as in, “Annie and I are doing blah blah blah.”  You can be sure that Kerry isn’t being absent-minded about this:  by now he’s probably ready to spill the beans on their relationship.  I mean, if Mommy and Daddy aren’t hip with his being a witch, why care if they know for sure he’s got a witch girlfriend?  Watch this space and see where this goes.

However the S Word has come up and Kerry knows to tip toe around this subject–

 

He paused for a few seconds before answering. “Yes, I am.”

“Is that one of your advanced classes?”

Kerry wiggled his right hand back and forth. “Yes and no. There are no actual advanced classes for sorcery: everyone takes it during their A and B Levels. But in order to take the C Level class you have to be invited and not everyone got an invite. Maybe half the B Levels moved up.”

“I take it you did?”

“Yeah. Annie and I knew months before we were going to C Level Sorcery.”

Louise made note of the face this was the third time Kerry made mention of this Bulgarian girl when speaking about himself. “Was it like that with your other advanced classes?”

“Getting an early invite?”

“Yes.”

“Not really. We knew we were moving on without being reminded.”

“You and Annie.”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

Louise figured to move on to something else. “What happens in this Formulisic Magic?”

 

“The Bulgarian Girl.  Coming to a theater this fall!”  Louise really has a problem with The Pamporovo Princess’ name:  it’s like Annie is the Heisenberg of Magic.  “You know who I am, Louise.”  “No, I don’t.”  Sure you do.  Go on:  Say My Name.”  She is gonna have so much fun with her future mother-in-law.

At least Kerry managed to get out of that trap and moved smoothly on to another subject–

 

Kerry chuckled. “That’s just a fancy name for Magical Chemistry.” He sipped his juice a couple of times and remained standing in one place without shifting his feet. “We take different formulas and come up with the various mixtures. Sometimes we keep them in liquid form, sometimes power or solid, like a hard tablet. A few times we’ve had to create gel caps out of the stuff we’ve made.” He glanced off to his left and sighed. “This year we get to use the superlab—”

Once again one of Louise’s eyebrows angled upward. “That sounds a bit intimidating.”

“It is a little. We’ll be working in mixture batches that can be anywhere from fifty to three hundred liters in volume before final processing. This will be more about quality control and creating mixtures according to established protocol. We’ll even have to write up out own for mixtures we need to do without existing procedures.” He shrugged. “It’s the first step in learning how to do this professionally.”

“They certainly cover everything.” Louise had to admit that what Kerry was doing went far beyond anything she imagined of his life at school. There was one final question about that world she needed to know— “So, do you know spells that will hurt people?”

 

Okay, so maybe he’s not out of the trap yet.  Louise can be just as tenacious as her boy when she wants something and rarely lets up until she gets it.  Maybe she won’t make the connection…

 

The sudden shift in questioning caught Kerry off-guard. Up until now the conversation was pleasant and he’d hoped this was an indication of a thaw in the tenseness that had existed between them all summer. Suddenly, however, he felt himself being forced to scramble for the answers to the questions he expected were coming. “Mom…”

“Do you?” Louise finally placed a hand on the chair to left as if to steady herself. “Does magic like that exist?”

He glanced about the dining room for a few seconds “Any magic can hurt you if a witch puts their mind to it. I mean, transformation magic for sure; formulas can do damage as well if you know what you’re making. Even some simple common spells and put a person in the hospital if used with that intent—”

“What about sorcery?” Louise’s stare bored into her son. “I did some reading on this the last couple of weeks—”

“You can’t trust the writings of people who aren’t real witches.”

“It’s that something like dark magic?”

Kerry sighed. “We don’t call it that.” He knew better than to tell his mother what they called the power they used to power these particular spells…

His mother turned her head a little to the right. “What do you call it?”

“We call it sorcery. Not dark magic; not black magic; and for sure not the dark arts.”

Louise drew in a breath and straightened her back. “Is there a death spell?” The way he looked down with a pain expression more or less told her everything she needed. “Is there?”

 

Annnnnnd she does.  This is what happens when The English Patient is running around Avada Kedavraing everyone in sight:  you begin assuming your witchy son who is also a sorceress can do the same.

For his part Kerry doesn’t lose it cool, but he’s not gonna try taking a trip down Bullshit Lane.  He knows exactly how to proceed:

 

Kerry turned his eyes to the ceiling knowing he wasn’t getting out of this easily. “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes.”

“No, there isn’t.”

“Well that’s—”

“There’s close to a dozen.” He didn’t wait for his mother’s shocked expression to fade before continuing. “We have a subset of spells in sorcery known as Morte; those are designed specifically for gravely injuring or killing someone.” He shrugged as if he found the conversation uninteresting. “You wanted to know—now you do.”

“Yes, I do.” She regarded her son coldly. “Do you know anything like that?”

He closed his eyes for a moment. “Yes.”

 

One gets the feeling that Kerry’s done playing with his parents, particularly his mother.  Once bringing up this question he knows she won’t let it go, so he sees no reason to tell her lies that she can use against him later should she discover the truth.  It’s not like the people at school, students and instructors alike, don’t know his abilities, so since Mom is being a pain in the ass about trying to learn things about her son, the dear boy sees no reason not to fill her in.  Good or bad, he’s not in the mood to keep dancing to her tune, so he’s taken over the band and he’s calling out the steps.

The question that remains is how this will be taken  I’m so sure Louise will take this news as she’s taken everything else concerning Kerry–

More “Humans” than Human For Season 2

Don’t attempt to fix your synth yourself because it could… void your warranty.

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

In the last month we’ve finally confirmed that Season 2 of Humans is in production in the UK.  Season 1 of this science fiction show–based on Äkta människor (Real Humans), a Swedish series which aired in 2012 and 2014–started as a joint venture between AMC in the US and Chanel 4 in the UK.  A friend confirmed that BBC America ran promos for Season 2 last night, which had me checking on several sources to get information:

Start filming this tomorrow 🎥 #Humans2 #episode3

A photo posted by Gemma Chan (@gemma_chan) on

As you can see I didn’t check Gemma Chan’s Instragram or I’d have known they were filming months ago.  :)

What we know about the upcoming season is sketchy.  It starts a few months after the Synth Squad (as we are calling them) finally became self aware and went their own ways.  While most stayed together, Niska (Emily Berrington)…

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The Kettering Incident, Season 1, Episode 7, “Madness”

No, Muse is not in the house, but some bad oysters are…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

Showcase's The Kettering Incident Season 1 Episode 7 Madness Quarantine area Showcase’s ‘The Kettering Incident,’ Season 1, Episode 7, Madness, Quarantine area [Image via Showcase] Welcome to my recap of Showcase’s The Kettering Incident. Here’s what went down in Episode 7 (entitled “Madness”).

Kettering has been quarantined thanks to the stinky oysters turning up in Episode 6 of The Kettering Incident. The authorities move and guess where the main water catchment area is? That’s right, up at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge. So much shit going on up there. Which means Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) and Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) are freaking out knowing pretty soon their little “secret” buried up at the ridge is going to be found out. In between shitting his pants about the authorities finding the toxic waste he buried at the Ridge, Max is telling his employees the mill is closing, saving his wife from overdosing and discovering a moss-covered Travis that he and Craig have to dispose of.

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President Trump’s First Term Is Nightmare Fuel

As I’ve said, putting Trump in the WH is the same as burning down your house because your burger wasn’t cooked the way you wanted.

Mike the Mad Biologist

I know there are lots of people who are really unhappy with Clinton, but a Trump administration would be a complete nightmare (boldface mine):

But signing executive orders starts the process, and Trump’s advisers are weighing several options for the First Day Project: He can renounce the Paris Agreement on greenhouse-gas emissions, much as George W. Bush, in 2002, “unsigned” American support for the International Criminal Court. He can re-start exploration of the Keystone pipeline, suspend the Syrian refugee program, and direct the Commerce Department to bring trade cases against China. Or, to loosen restrictions on gun purchases, he can relax background checks.

It gets worse:

Trump would have the opportunity to alter the Supreme Court, with one vacancy to fill immediately and others likely to follow. Three sitting Justices are in their late seventies or early eighties…

A President has the unilateral authority to renegotiate a…

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Mother’s Little Annoyance: All Those Changes

Yesterday was a bit of a strange day.  I’ve been hyper-focused on work of late, so I’ve been zooming through my assignments like no one’s business–so much so that I’m now sitting around for hours waiting on specifications.  This gives me a chance to look up things and think.  One of the things I looked up was a possible adventure in Manila, The Philippines, for Annie and Kerry–because there is a Foundation facility there–and at the same time I discovered that a gigantic meth superlab was found in the foothills of Mt. Arayat, leading me to believe that Walter White didn’t die, he just moved to Asia.

Not a part of The Foundation, believe me.

Not a part of The Foundation, believe me.  They keep their superlabs where kids can use them.

But this thinking has also brought me to consider a few changes in my life and I think I’ll discuss them in a video tomorrow.  Nothing bad, mind you, but they are things I believe I need to do because–well, reasons as always.

But back to what’s going on in my fictional world–and that’s a discussion of stuff and things…  Mama wants to know what you can do with transformation magic, Kerry, so maybe you should tell her?

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

He wondered how much he should tell his mother, then figured if she wanted to know what he could do, he should tell her everything. “I can change the color of my hair and change my complexion; I’ve gotten pretty dark—” He thought it best he didn’t tell his mother about his Mimic Gift. “And I can do it pretty fast, too.”

“You can change your hair?”

“Yeah. I’ve been black, brown, blond.” Kerry’s chuckle was so soft as to be almost unheard. “I can do that to others, too. I’ve practiced on a couple of instructors and I changed Annie’s hair color for our last Samhain dance.”

Louise’s head tilted slightly to the right. “Samhain?”

“You’d call it Halloween: we go by all the old names.” He began shifting his weight from foot to foot out of habit. “We have a costume dance. Some of the kids and instructors get pretty inventive.”

“I see.” Now that Louise had raised this particular question she had to know— “What color did you make her hair?”

“Aqua.” He rushed through his mother’s sudden eyebrow raise. “We went as characters from an anime. I made my hair blond.”

She was certain she wouldn’t understand anything about any characters Kerry and his little friend were imitating so Louise didn’t ask more there. “You had blond hair?”

“Sure. I could give you blond hair, too, if you ever wanted to see.”

“No, thank you.” Louise was concerned for only a second that she may have come off too strong. “I like my hair as it is. What else can you change besides your hair and skin color?”

 

“Kerry and his little friend.”  Jeez, Louise, could you be a little more condescending even if it is in your own thoughts?  The boy is thirteen:  he doesn’t have little friends.  And the one he does have could kill you in about ten seconds flat.  For that matter, so could Kerry, but let’s not go there yet–

This is really the first time that Kerry has mentioned to either of his parents that Annie and he have done anything together other than have a sex talk, that is.  And if a girl allows you to change the color of her hair–yeah, you can bet Louise filed that one away rather quickly.  “Little friend” my ass:  a whole bunch of letters over two summers, an angry retort about a girl’s name, and a sex talk at school = My Son’s Got Somethin’ Goin’ On.  But she isn’t saying anything about that yet.  Oh no, not yet.  She has other things she wants to know–like what else can you change?  And don’t you know Kerry really wants to talk…

 

Kerry gave a slight shrug. “Eye color, though that’s always tricky. I’m also getting good at…” He shook his head one time. “I’m to where I can change different—parts. This year I’m gonna work on things like size and weight alterations and anthropomorphic alterations—”

His mother’s puzzled look returned. “What’s that?”

Go on: tell her. “It’s taking on the aspects of other non-human creatures. You know: sonar like a bat, or wings, or…” He pushed past his fear of looking silly. “Annie and I figured it would also be possible to create gills and a dolphin tail. Like a mermaid—you know?”

If Louise was shocked by this she didn’t let it show. “A mermaid? Seriously?”

“I…” He nodded. “I’m sure I’ll have it figured out by my D Levels.”

“Well…” Louise broke into a slight smile. “You really mean you’d be a merman, don’t you?”

“Oh, yeah: that’s what I meant.” Kerry had decided a few seconds before there was no way he was going to explain his other Gift right now. “It’s just that everyone thinks of mermaids—”

“It’s popular, I know.” She slowly pressed her right fist against her mouth, something she did when she was thinking. “You said you take advanced classes—”

“All of them.”

“In what?”

 

Size and weight–or really mass, but laypeople don’t really understand that as much as weight–alterations are on the menu for the C Levels, and while they won’t allow you to become the Incredible Shrinking Man or the 50 Foot Woman, they go a long ways towards making people think you’re someone you’re not.

And animal stuff like wings?  Yeah, that can happen and has.  In fact, people who are  really good with transformation magic can make themselves over into just about anything, and Jessica once used an animal form–a lioness–to maul another witch to death.  Sure, she could have stopped their heart or pulled organs out of their body:  nope, Jessica wanted to rip them to shreds and did.  This is just another reason why you don’t mess with her.

But mermaids?  Yeah, Annie and Kerry talked about that.  You gotta figure it makes swimming underwater easier and once you get past the whole “I’ve got gills and I’m breathing water” thing, one could get used to being that way for a while.  And since one can now get a job as a mermaid–really, look it up–it’s a good cover for something they could do while working undercover for the Guardians.

"It's a lot of fun.  You're in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!"

“It’s also a lot of fun. You’re in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!”

Now Mom and Kerry are on to the other advanced classes.  Hum…  I think things are about to get even more interesting–

American Horror Story: Roanoke, Chapter 2 Recap

Yeah, some people shouldn’t be allowed to leave the west coast and live in haunted houses…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

FX's 'American Horror Story Roanoke,' Season 6, Chapter 2 Re-enactment Shelby is scared FX’s ‘American Horror Story Roanoke,’ Season 6, Chapter 2 Re-enactment Shelby is screaming — which is basically how I watched this episode [Image via FX] Without further ado, here’s my recap of Chapter 2 of American Horror Story: Roanoke.

Chapter 2 of stupid shit people do in horror moviesAmerican Horror Story: Roanoke starts with Shelby (Lily Rabe/Sarah Paulson) still in the woods back in the 1790’s. A human sacrifice is going on and Kathy Bates is taking a leaf out her Misery character days by turning the lowlife thief into the pig man before burning him alive. Lady Gaga looks on like she is ready to devour that bacon boy once he is crisp enough.

FX's 'American Horror Story Roanoke,' Season 6, Chapter 2 Lady Gaga likes bacon FX’s ‘American Horror Story Roanoke,’ Season 6, Chapter 2 Lady Gaga likes bacon [Image via FX] But then Shelby is running away and nearly gets run over by her own husband. They take her to…

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