It’s a good first day of the winter solstice, though I’ve found my favorite recording of Genesis live from 1976 is missing from YouTube, probably taken down by the Copyright Villains for some reason. I have found the recording for sale on CD, and I might just have to snag that sucker so I can have something to listen to the next time I’m blasting through a tunnel. Damn these people for screwing with my enjoyment. Damn them.
Last night was another light writing night. I didn’t sleep well the night before, and the day was long and boring. But I did write, and I finished the scene. Quite clearly, I showed what happens when you piss off a little witch who exceptionally good at what she does:
(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
That was when someone commented about how if she’s was so good that she didn’t need a wand, why was she teaching? She located the source—a blond boy whose accent placed him somewhere in Eastern Europe—who had put the question to a brown haired lad on his right. Before she could respond to this inquiry, the other boy—Gavino D’Addario, formerly of Italy and now a member of her old coven, Bloeddewedd—replied sarcastically with the most standard of rejoinders. “You know, those who can do; those who can’t teach.”
Wednesday’s expression never changed, making it difficult to tell if the comment upset her. Seconds later D’Addario’s desk was hanging suspended half way between the floor and ceiling. After a moment of confusion he tried to leap from his chair, but was unable to do so as he was held in place by an invisible force.
Never moving or making gestures, Wednesday looked upon D’Addario’s plight with some amusement. “Lets see if I can make this more interesting . . .” An opening appeared in the floor directly under the boy’s desk: at the same time one appeared directly above him. Whatever kept him suspended released him, and he began falling. He entered the opening below and reappeared, still falling, from the one in the ceiling. He gathered speed as he reentered the opening in the floor and shot out of the one in the ceiling. Again and again he flew by, picking up speed.
Though it seemed longer, D’Addario came to an abrupt halt after a few seconds. Only then did Wednesday approach his desk. “That was a thirty meter fall: it’s amazing how fast you get going when you’re in free-fall. Are you okay?”
The openings above and below him disappeared and his desk settled to the floor in the same position as it had been moments before. “Yes, I’m . . .” He shook his head, dizzy from his sudden sojourn.
Wednesday stepped behind him and placed her fingertips on the back of his head. Moments later she removed her hands and moved to the front of his desk so he could see her. “Now are you better?”
He nodded. “Yes. Thank you, Professor.”
“You’re welcome.” She moved closer to the body and leaned against his desk. “Tomorrow you have Formalistic Magic and Biology and Life Science; that means you’ll meet Erywin and Holoč. Thursday you’ll have Transformation and Sorcery; that means you’ll meet Jessica and Helena.” For the first time since the lecture began her face turned dark and humorless. “And should you say to them what you just said in front of me, then I hope whatever gods you worship are watching over you, ‘cause you’ll need their protection.” Wednesday pushed herself off his desk. “Not that it’ll do you any good . . .”
She looked around the class. Some of the students seemed puzzled; some seemed uncertain. A few even appeared frightened by the demonstration they’d witnessed. Wednesday knew now was the time to set everyone straight before someone with a far more volatile temperament decided to make an example of a student. “Do not believe that I, or any other instructor, is here because we’re unable to make our mark in the real world. We’re here because we’re the best at what we do—the best in our individual fields. We teach with the fervent hope that you’ll not only take our lessons to heart, but that you may end up even better than us.”
She turned slowly, her eyes darting from student to student. “Never make the assumption that any of us are incapable of working on the outside—or, worse yet, that we’re incompetent.” She shook her head. “That would be a grave mistake.”
The smiled returned to her face as quickly as it had vanished. “Okay, enough of the seriousness.” She began walking towards the open door at the back of the room. “Lets hit the lab, kiddies. Time to make some magic.”
Yeah, Wednesday, she’s a pisser. Of course, if that kid knew anything of her history as a student–which I have happened to write–then he’d know Wends was Chelling before Chell was running around looking for cake. There’s no need for detention when you can put a misbehaving students into perpetual free-fall for an hour and never need worry if they’re going to go splat against the ground. Now think about pissing off the Mistresses of Transformation and Sorcery and you’ll probably imagine a well-behaved student population–
Or not. After all, they are kids.
The lab scene I have figured out, then it’s a trek to the far north of the campus and some late night viewing, the unveiling of star charts, and the first appearance of Salem’s famous hot chocolate: it’s so good it’s almost magical.
I only need to get them there.