Quiet Twilight, Unquite Night

Yesterday wasn’t my best day ever.  It happens.  Sometimes you simply aren’t on your game and everything feels like it’s falling apart, and about all you can do is hang on and ride everything out.  Sort of like whale riding, only without the whale.

But You still get through.  I took a nap–something I never do these days–then chatted with a few people.  I didn’t get to writing until about eight-thirty, which is late for me, and only wrote for about an hour.  The feeling wasn’t there, but I could sense what I wanted to write, so I took my time an worked it down to the paper.

As a treat, here is everything I wrote last night, all six hundred and fifty-five words without an edit.  Enjoy.

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Dinner was an early affair for Annie and Kerry. After Basic Spell Casting came Basic Science, running from thirteen to fifteen, taught by Polly Grünbach, a young woman from Lithuania with a long braid of black hair cascading down her back. When the class was over they had the afternoon off, so they returned to the tower to relax and nap before eating.

They napped because there was an evening class: Astronomy, starting at twenty-one thirty and running until half-past midnight. The classes were held at the Observatory, which sat in the middle of the far-northern area of the campus, far away from all the other building. As it was placed so far from The Pentagram, it made for the longest hike to any classroom: a kilometer and a half straight line, which translated to almost seventeen hundred meters overland or through the tunnel system. That meant walking a mile there and back, and not getting into bed until nearly one in the morning—something neither Annie or Kerry were thrilled to do, but saw no other way out of the predicament.

It was early, however: class wouldn’t start for another ninety minutes. Kerry could have used the time resting, but Annie wanted to go out and explore. They’d covered most of the southern part of the campus, and also walked along the walls, but they’d not ventured north of the Witch House yet. The buildings here weren’t clustered together: there was plenty of wooded land between each classroom, and one was expected to cover six or seven hundred meters to get from one location to another.

They walked the main tunnel from the Arts and History Building towards Memory’s End. Kerry found a surface entrance—more of a sunken tower encasing a spiral staircase—that brought them out a few dozen meters from Memroy’s End. From there they began following the path to the Witch House, then after ten meters turned left onto a not-well defined path that wasn’t in any way marked.

Kerry asked Annie why she wanted to go this way, but her only reply was that she wanted to “see something.” He could have checked the map on his tablet—he found he could get excellent wifi everywhere, even in the tunnels—but every time he hauled out his computer while they were walking, Annie would give him . . . It wasn’t a dirty look but more like a slight irritation, as if she couldn’t believe he was going to hop on-line to look up something while they were out together. He’d quickly learned over the weekend there were times he could bring out the computer, and times he should leave it in his backpack.

This was one of the later times.

It was getting dusky, and the sky over head and to the east was a deep purple. It was just a little after nineteen, and actual sunset would happen in about ten minutes. Kerry had read yesterday that the pathways were illuminated in “unobtrusive fashion,” which he took to mean the lighting was probably just enough to keep someone from wandering off a path and getting lost in the woods. Neither of them had been out past the Pentagram after dark, so wandering to the Observatory along a dark path was going to be an unusual experience.

Annie said nothing for most of the walk: she held Kerry’s hand and sauntered along the path, absorbed in the gathering gloom. She’d been in a good mood after Basic Spells, feeling better about having performed magic, and having seen Lisa get her comeuppance. She’d also expressed pleasure that Kerry had managed the same, which he still found amazing. He told her after Science that he’d felt something tickling the back of his neck, just the way Professor Douglas described it might feel. When that happened he just though of the power going into his image and—pow. Magic.

Every writer has moments when they think they suck.  George R. R. Martin has said he’ll look at what he’s written and thing, “How the hell did you ever become a writer?  This is crap!”  He probably thinks that after he kills off a dozen characters in a tragic orgy held in a dragon’s nest, but that’s another story.

I’ve become used to having ups and downs when I write.  There are many times when I think I should just give up and call it a day, because nothing is happening with what I’m doing.  Then I read what I’ve posted above and think, “Yeah . . . it’s not that bad,” and I keep going.  There are even moments when I think I’ve written some great stuff.

Oh, and my dreams last night–screwed up.  One of them had me on a train with a woman I know, going off to rescue someone.  I think her kids.  I’m not sure.  All I know is there were a lot of nervous people around, and I was like, “Yeah, sweat it out, I got this covered.”

Now to be that cool in real life.

The Winter of Discontent

Yesterday something popped up on my blog–not my blog, actually, but more a message from WordPress.  It was, “Congratulations!  You registered with us five years ago today.”

I had to think about that, because I was damned if I could remember just when I’d signed up and established my presence here.  I remember when I started blogging–those first, abortive attempts in April of 2011 that I didn’t take very seriously, like damn near everything else in my life back that.  But I hadn’t remembered when I signed up for this space, I had to think . . .

Yeah, that would be right before Christmas 2008, not long after being laid off from a job I’d held for thirteen years.  A job that had been going downhill fast at the point, but because the economy was free falling faster than Gypsy Danger from fifty thousand feet, there weren’t a lot of options when it came to better employment.  So when the end came I took my severance with a smile and more or less told them I was happy to be leaving their shit stain of a job behind.

Sure, I wouldn’t work again for a little over three years, but you have to take the bad with the good.

Why did I sign up?  I don’t remember the exact reasons.  I believed, most likely, that I had something to say, and that I was going to try this fangled thing the kids called “blogging”, ’cause I can write and people are gonna want to hear what I have to say.  Yeah, December 2008.  I had me a blogging area.  I wouldn’t start writing until about . . . let me see . . . yeah, about two and a half years later.

That was probably a good thing, because everything coming out of my mouth back then was filled with remorse.  I was still in therapy, and would remain so through 2009–that was when my insurance ran out and I couldn’t afford to not only see my counselor any more, but I couldn’t afford the medication I was taking.  I will tell you right now, in case anyone is wondering:  mental health coverage is a wonderful thing.  Sometimes the only thing preventing you from jumping off a building is a twenty dollar co-pay on your meds, and if you have that in your life, you should consider yourself lucky.

Why all the gloomy talk?  For one, I had another strange dream–yeah, that’s been happening for some reasons.  I can’t quite put my finger on what happened, but think of it as Glee with time travel.  Like I said, strange.  I have no idea what it meant, but it was there.  The one thing I do remember is that I was told, quite a lot actually, that I needed to get better.  And I spent a large part of the dream alone.

I’ve also thought, for a few weeks now, that my depression has come back.  I’d distracted a lot these days.  I look for things to break up the monotony, and it’s not always there.  When I’m writing, at times it feels like I yank the words out onto the page, that I have trouble typing them, like I don’t want to see them, even though I do.

When I’m not at work I spend all my time alone.  It’s one of the reasons I try to eat out on the weekends, because I do get a bit of peace from being out among the people–even if the majority of them look like scary-ass crackers, like the people I saw yesterday.  You pay your money and you take the ride, right?

Five years registered, half of that writing.

Where am I going to be in five years?

Maybe a time traveling Glee knows.

 

The Magic Box

I came out of a bad dream this morning.  I was back at my last job, which started about a year ago at this time, I could hear the person I reported to at that position talking to another programmer about how a certain process wasn’t mapped out, and “they”–as in the company “they”–needed to get on this right away, because time is money, you know?  My dream self knew this was bullshit,  because I’d mapped said process out and I had the note to prove it.  So I spent a considerable amount of time tracking this fool down to show him that I had already done the work, and the program with whom he’d conferred was telling him lies if he said there wasn’t anything down on paper.

The comeback from this conversation is that while I’d done this, true, it wasn’t what he wanted, which didn’t seem surprising, because this asshole was the sort of person who’d tell you what he wanted, then change what he wanted based upon–I don’t know, maybe the wind had changed direction.  When I woke up I was pissed, because this dream summed up my time at that last position:  people would tell me what they wanted, they’d wait for me to do it, then tell me that wasn’t what they wanted, this was what they wanted and why couldn’t I see that?

The only good thing to come out of that dream was when I went through my notes I discovered a ton of outlines I’d made for stories.  I felt rather proud about that part.  The rest, though, I could have taken a flame thrower to and laughed the entire time.

Working there was like being in a box, and no one likes being inside a box, except maybe a cat:  they love boxes.  Creative people want out of boxes:  they want to move, to grow, to expand their horizons.  They become unhappy if they are kept confined and unable to express themselves.  And most of all, they want a certain modicum of success.  What is the point of doing all this if there isn’t some kind of payoff in the end?  If nothing else, give us a “Well done” pat on the back when it’s all over.

You know who else is kind of in a box?  The kids in my story!  See how I did that?  Smooth, huh?

It’s magical lab time, and all the students in my spells class have a sealed box before them with an object inside.  I’ll let Miss Wednesday explain:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Once everyone was inside and seated Wednesday began speaking. “What we are going to do today is a simply exercise that will allow you to work your will. You’ll see that each of you has a small box with a object inside. The boxes are locked onto the table surface so they can’t move, and they can’t be opened. The tables have also been calibrated so they are level. The object inside cannot roll on its own, so there is no fear that it’ll move on its own.

“What you have to do is simple: you will use magic to move it from one end of the box to the other. You will visualize the object moving, you will pull out energy to power you spell, and you will combine the two with your will to complete the task.” Wednesday giggled. “Yeah, I know: I make it sound easy. So let me break it down for you.

“The visualization part is easy. I can bet that every one of you can imagine the thing inside your box moving from one side to the other. You can imagine that over and over. Simple, yeah?

“Pulling the energy in from mysticspace—that’s a little trickier. We know you can do it, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Some of you have done something that made The Foundation believe you have it in you to be a will worker. The thing is, you likely have no idea what it is you did, so you’re completely unaware of how to do it again.

“Mysticspace . . .” Wednesday spread here arms wide and slowly turn. “It’s all around us. It’s everywhere. You don’t know it, but you’re accessing it right now, because it partially powers your aura. But that’s something even Normals do, so it’s not really magic; real magic would be controlling your aura.

“To pull in that energy—you can feel yourself doing it.” She paused for a moment, thinking about when she performed her first spells. “It’s like you’re reaching into a dark space where you can’t see what you’re looking for, but you can feel everything. Getting a grip on mysticspace makes your fingertips tingle and the hair on the back of your neck stand up for a bit. You’ll actually know you have it, because it’ll feel solid, it’ll feel like a tangible object.

“Then come the combining of your visions with the energy you’ve tapped—that is the tricky part. You’re basically trying to bring together the right amount of power with the correct visualization—which is sort of like trying to make a cake for the first time without knowing how much of each ingredient you should us. Sometimes you’ll use too little energy and nothing happens, other times you’ll use too much and blow everything to hell.” Wednesday allowed the mummer to die down before going on. “And then there’s time times when you just don’t quite have a good image in your mind . . .

“And then there’s the cases where you’re just not able to use your willpower to bend ol’ reality the way you’d like. Some people have the ability to visualize and tap into the power, but they lack the will necessary to slap reality around—instead, it’s the one doing the slapping. When you get Blowback, you’ll know: it hurts. Trust me—” She nodded with extreme seriousness. “I know.”

Wednesday waved her right hand in the air and all three video monitors came on. “I’m tracking each student, and the boxes are monitors to see how well you do. Right now you’re all in the red because your object hasn’t moved. The boxes are thirty centimeters long—that’s about a foot for you Americans still not hip to metric—” Lisa huffed as this was something that didn’t bother her in the least, while Emmalynne appeared embarrassed. “—and the monitoring is divided into thirds, or ten centimeters each.

“If you find it impossible to move your object out of the first third of the box, the monitor under your name up here remains red. If you move it more than ten centimeters but fewer then twenty, then your monitor turns yellow. And should you get it into the final third of the box, you get a green. And should you smack the object against the far end—” Wednesday pointed at one of the monitors and a random name began to flash. “Then we see your name in lights and you can sit out the rest of the class in the library while enjoying punch and cake—”

Kerry’s eyes lit up. “Really?”

“Yes, Kerry—” Wednesday winked at him. “The cake is not a lie.” She clapped her hands together. “Okay, lets everyone get relaxed and in the proper frame of mind. Limber up, settle down, and start getting your mojo workin’.” She looked about the room with a smile on her face. “You can start any time from . . . Now.”

Yes, I made a bad Portal joke.  GLaDOS can come after me if she wants.

Almost fifteen hundred words were added to the story, and I’ve up the target goal to ninety thousand words.  When I hit that, it’ll be the largest novel I’ve written since the first I started all those years ago.  I see this scene finishing in another thousand words, and maybe the next will end up about that much as well.  Then a little astronomy and then to the next day, and Formulistic Magic, and a meeting with one half of the most cantankerous couple on the campus.  Really, though, she’s a pussy cat.

Sure, she’s killed a few people, but her partner’s killed a lot more.

Portals to the Lab

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.

Wandless Moments

Here it is, a little after six AM, and already I feel tired.  Getting up around four-thirty does that to you.  Don’t ask why I got up that early–my body decided it was time to awake, and so I did.  Considering how tired I was last night, I had hoped to sleep until the alarm went off, but no.  I’m here, up and writing.

Because I was tired last night I had little motivation.  Because I had little motivation, I didn’t write much:  maybe half of what I’ve written the last few night.  Also, my mind was on something else as well, but really:  motivation was a huge factor in not getting things done last night.

However, I did write this:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

A student raised her hand, appearing concerned. “Excuse me, Professor?”

Wednesday checked her tablet to find the name of this particular student. The software they used picked up encoded information from the star on their jacket and sent that to each instructor’s tablet while in class. She saw this was Elisha Tasköprülüzâde, the girl from Turkey “Yes, Elisha?”

Elisha didn’t know how the teacher knew who she was, but that wasn’t important at the moment. “I know this may sound a little strange, but don’t we . . .” She felt a bit embarrassed, but she needed to know. “Why aren’t we using wands?”

Ah, here it comes . . . “Do you think we should use wands?”

“I don’t know.” Elisha was like most everyone here: she knew nothing of magic, and growing up where she did learning about things like magic wasn’t always easy. But everything she’d seen told her one particular thing— “All the stories I’ve seen say witches should have wands. Don’t we get wands?”

Lisa’s friend Anna spoke up for the first time that anyone could remember. “You used a wand, did you not, Professor?” Her eyes were now alive and quizzical, not flat and dead as they had been since arriving last Thursday. “You do have a wand, no?”

“Why, yes, I do. Now where did I put it?” Wednesday crossed her arms and tapped her right foot. “Oh, right. Here—” She snapped her fingers and a wand appeared in her right hand. “This is my wand. You liked it?” She held it up for the whole class to see. “I bought it online three years ago—don’t remember the name of the site, but they had a lot of wands for sale.”

She turned around and set her wand upon her desk. “Wands are foci: they are employed to assist a witch with channeling energy from mysticspace so they can power a spell or enchantment. You’ll see witches use them, but they’ll have trained at other teaching facilities, not here at Salem.” Wednesday almost snorted. “And none of them will have graduated from my class.

“I’ve never used a wand. While they have their place in the magical world, they have no place in this world. I won’t show you how they work, I won’t show you how to do magic with one. As long as you are in this class—or any of my classes—you’ll never hold one, save maybe for a picture, or when you go into Salem on a weekend day pass and you want to fool around with the sightseers. Beyond that, however—” The wand levitated about a quarter of a meter above Wednesday’s desk: she snapped her fingers and it vanished. “No wands. Ever.”

 

Oh, Wends, you dream crushing little bitch.  You just know some kid was sitting in that class imagining that one day they were going to face off against someone, point their wand at them, and scream, “Expelliarmus!”  And here you’re telling them, like a larger version of Edna Mode, “No wands!”  Naturally some kid smarts off about this, and . . . well, tonight he gets shown what you can do without a wand.  Yeah, it’ll be great.

In writing about six hundred and fifty words, I managed to get the word count over eighty thousand.  Only two of my works have ever made it this far, and this story will move beyond number two on the list.  Maybe that will happen this weekend:  we’ll see, as I have a lot of things I need to take care of this next week, and I may actually miss a day of writing.

But one of those things won’t be getting a wand.

‘Cause Wednesday won’t let me.

Will O’ the Witches

Before I get started, I would be remiss not to remind people to pop over and visit Zen Pencils.  I’ve posted a couple of Gavin Aung Than’s strips before, but this week was his tribute to the passing of Nelson Mandela, and I thought it necessary to post something inspirational this morning, because who doesn’t need it from time to time?  And last week’s post, a quote from Professor Brené Brown, is another worth giving a read.  In fact, the whole site is worth marking and reading every week.

Last night, however–ah, it was back to school night.  Well, my school, anyway.  It’s a new day down on Cape Ann, and the sun is shinning, the wind has died down, and the rain is over.  Time for my little witch to get on stage:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Tuesday morning was bright and sunny. Yesterday’s storm lasted until about seventeen, then blew itself out leaving behind fallen tree branches and lots of muddy puddles of water. The grounds crew was out cleaning the branches, and the water would dry up in a couple of days.

From Wednesday Douglas’ point of view, the sunny day reflected her feeling that today would become something to remember.

As the students filed into the Number One Lecture Room, she looked over the students, watching their body language, seeing which of them looked in her direction—and which of those gaze turned strange when they realized she was the instructor. By now, the beginning of her sixth year as the Mistress of Magic, Wednesday was used to that look. It was understandable: when she was a student, none of her instructors looked like her.

Wednesday had celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday this last June, and of the three staff members under thirty—Isis Mossman, Deanna Arrakis, and her—she was the youngest. She’d missed becoming the first teenage instructor since 1847 by less than three months, and spent her first three years instructing students who’s started at the school year she’d graduated.

It wasn’t unusual for students to confuse her for a covenmate and not an instructor. Wednesday was short—one hundred and fifty-seven centimeters, or five foot, two inches—and petite. Since instructors were allowed to dress as they liked, she often showed up to teach class much as she had when she attended. Today she wore a comfortable top and a short skirt with black leggings that perfectly matched her black ankle boots. Her long, wavy hair was pinned back to show her large hoop earrings, and her silver Celtic knot necklace matched the cuff bracelets on each wrist.

Wednesday didn’t care if there were people in The Foundation educational council who felt she was too young to be an instructor. If she wasn’t good, she wouldn’t be here. It was that simple.

Though sometimes she found it necessary to remind these people how she’d earned her right to teach at Salem . . .

 

How did she earn that right?  You’ll have to wait until I publish the prequel to this story.  Here’s a tip:  never leave this woman alone in a dusty room.

Little Wednesday is going to play important in my story, and in the lives of my two main characters.  That’s coming up in the second episode of the first book–yes, I know.  It’s like a movie, isn’t it?  Anyway, she does something that sets the kids on a new path, and she’s an all around nice person.  She’s already begun talking about magic as an extension of willpower, and she’ll give her views on wands and show you what happens when you say disparaging things about her during her lecture.  And she has a test laid out for the kids–really, not the sort of thing you’d expect kids to do for their first spell casting.

I never had an instructor like her.

Then again, neither have my kids.

Between the Holographic Pylons

There were are:  Chapter Six is in the books.  It wasn’t easy at all, let me tell you.  Oh, the writing wasn’t that bad.  It was actually pretty enjoyable.  But I was a mess.  Really, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

Yesterday was one of those days where I didn’t know if I was going to fly or cry.  Lots of strange things rolling about in my head, and it’s hard enough for me to keep track of this stuff on a normal day, so you might have some inkling of what was happening.

By the time I was home I was pissed off at myself.  There are things I need to see to, things that need to be done–but that’s not for you to hear.  Just to know that I have them and they are being considered.

So it sort of went like write, listen to good music, have a drink, write, go out and have a cry, write, listen to more music, and finally, finish the chapter.  Yay!

They flew.  They went out into a terrible storm and got pelted with rain and wind, and they flew.  Some didn’t do so well.  Some flew into the forest around their meadow, some crashed into the mud.  But they headed around a big meadow, Selena’s Meadow, turning between holographic pylons in the air, all the while set up in a special configuration:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Professor Salomon picked four students to fly alone at the front and back of both groups; two pilots would act as leaders, and two would keep an eye on the formation and notify the professor of people who’d crash, and those who were falling back. The first student was the Japanese girl, Sutou Takara, who’d been given the call sign “Mothra”. The second student was an American, Emmalynne Neilson, a red haired girl who’d flown right after Kerry, and who’d been given the call sign “Selene”.

Annie almost gasped when the last two students picked were Kerry and her. She was even more shocked when Takara and she were picked to be, respectively, Group One and Group Two leaders, while Kerry would be the spotter for Group One, and Emmalynne the spotter for Group Two.

They moved into position and were given their instructors about speed and spacing before the professor switched over to a private channel and told the four of them not to worry, take it nice and easy, just keep your eyes open and remain aware.

After that they were legs up and underway with the professor in the lead.

 

Yeah, I gave a Japanese girl the call sign for a gigantic moth.  So?

No “Lay your broom on the ground and say ‘Up'” crap here.  They got their basic check out in the hanger, they flew nice and slow in formation three meters off the ground, and they had leaders and spotters to keep people in line and report when someone failed.  That’s how I like my flight schools, nice and ordered.  Just wait until they start racing.

Tonight it’s Wednesday.  No, not the day:  the instructor.  My littlest witch, Wednesday, is gonna show my student how to will work.

It’s going to be fantastic.