For What Ails You

Where there are no distractions, no television, no Facebook, that’s where you’ll find the writing plugging away.  That was me, last night, my only companions being my story, some stuff on the internet when I needed a quick look up, and two Pink Floyd albums:  The Wall and Animals.  It’s good to have friends, even if they are depressing and frightful.

But I wrote, and managed to knock out a complete scene:  sixteen hundred and seventy-two words in the amount of times it took for both albums to play, or about two hours.  It was a nice little turn, bringing the kids closer together though–well, lets start at the beginning:

 

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

Coraline was on the main floor of the ward checking on supplies when she main doors open and whisper shut, followed seconds later by low groans. To Coraline’s trained ear it didn’t sound like her new guests were extreme pain, but rather the sounds of over-exertion. As she headed towards the waiting room she surmised that one of the groans belonged to a girl, leaving the other to belong to a boy. She grinned before rounding the corner from the ward floor. I having a good feeling about this.

Annie and Kerry were waiting for the Coraline. Neither showed outward signs of trauma or bruising; rather, the both looked as if they’d just ran as fast as they could from Polar Portal to South Cove Entrance before returning to the Pentagram. She stopped and crossed her arms, trying on her best concerned appearance. “Well, now . . . what have we here?”

Kerry sighed but didn’t respond, which Annie slowly raised her head. “Hello, Nurse Coraline.”

“Hello to you.” She sat next to Kerry, who seemed as if he might pitch over at any moment, and spoke to Annie across his body. “What happened here? It doesn’t look like you’re been in a fight, so I have to assume, given this is Wednesday afternoon—” She raised an eyebrow. “A little too much botany?”

Annie nodded slowly. “We were preparing out planting beds, and . . .” She smiled at Kerry. “He thought it would be a good idea to work fast and leave early.”

Kerry sighed again before finding the strength to speak. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Coraline saw Annie roll her eyes as she shook her head. “Only to you; I thought it best to take our time.”

“Yeah, but you kept up with me the whole time—”

Coraline patted Kerry on the arm. “Let it go, Red. Annie was only keeping up with you to prove it could be done.” She winked at Annie before standing. “I think it best I give you guys a quick examine before turning you back to the general population.” She leaned closer to both students. “Can you stand okay, Annie?”

She stood, though slowly and with some discomfort. “I’m okay.”

“How about you, Kerry?” Coraline held out a hand. “Need some help?”

Kerry rocked himself forward and seemed ready to lift himself to his feet, then slowly leaned back in his chair before reaching for the outstretched hand. “Yeah.”

 

Kerry is one boy who isn’t afraid to ask for the help of women–particularly when he can’t stand on his own.  It’s an interesting thing with his character:  he’s landed in a fairly matriarchal society–as it’s been pointed out, nearly all the staff and instructors a Salem are women, and at the student level the girls outnumber the boys about four-to-one–but doesn’t seem to mind or care, as some of the new boys have.  Then again, he walked in the front gate with an unknown girlfriend who stopped being so unknown after they were evaluated and placed in their coven, so that could also have something to do with how he acts.

Or maybe he’s one of those eleven year old boys who likes and respects girls and women.  Maybe?  Perhaps?  Kinda looks that way.

So how did this end?  Pretty much like this:

 

Coraline removed Kerry’s glasses and set them next to the bottle before picking up the cups. “About thirty minutes.” She handed one to each of them. “Okay: bottoms up and then get relaxed.” They both raised their heads enough to drink the mixture, then laid back as Coraline collected the cups. “I’ll curtain this off so you won’t be disturbed; you’ll have the bay to yourself.” She pulled the curtain closing off the aisle almost completely closed and poked her head inside. “See you in thirty.” She ducked out and pulled the curtain the rest of the way shut.

There was silence in the slightly darkened bed bay. Kerry saw Annie as a fuzzy outline without his glasses, but it was still comforting to be next to her. “Hey, I just thought of something—”

Annie was already facing him before he spoke. “What?”

“We’re in a room together in bed.”

“Not in the same bed, though.” She managed a slight grin. “It’s not like our sofa in the Madness.”

“No. Nothing’s like that.” Kerry flexed his fingers. “They feel a little numb.”

“Mine, too.” Annie stretched out. “I like our time in the Madness—being able to sit on the sofa in our pajamas.” Her smile grew warm and comforting. “Or cuddling.”

“Or sle—” Kerry’s jaw locked tight as his whole body froze. He saw the blur that was Annie shaking upon her bed, her arms and legs positioned straight down along her body as if she were tied up. Guttural sounds emanated from their mouths—either muffled cries of pain or their last works caught in mid-breath.

There bodies were released from the seizure and they relaxed, completely limp and unable to move for different reasons. Annie spoke first. “She wasn’t lying about the warms waves entering your body—”

“Nah, not one bit.” Kerry’s head sunk into his pillow. “I love these beds; they’re so comfortable.”

“You would know.” Annie laughed. “This is the first time I’ve had something like this done.”

“I hope you don’t have to do it again.”

“I hope so too.” Annie eyes began to flutter. “What were you going to say about the sofa? After cuddling?”

Kerry was starting to fight to keep his eyes open. Though Coraline had told them to just drift off, he wanted to finish his last thought. “About sleeping on the sofa.”

Annie nodded. “You like that?”

“Yeah.”

“I do, too.” She stretched along her entire body. “I like having you fall asleep in my arms.”

“Um, hum.” Kerry felt he didn’t have much time left before he felt asleep in this bed. “I love falling asleep in your arms.”

Annie’s eyes were nearly closed. “You do?”

“Yeah, I . . .” That was all Kerry could managed, and he drifted off into a deep sleep.

Coraline spent the last couple of minutes standing just outside the curtain, listening to their conversation with a smile on her face the entire time. She didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but seeing and hearing them interact like this in the opening phases of their relationship—she sighed long and loud. It’s so enjoyable to see two kids falling into true love . . .

 

Wait–you’re sharing beds in the hospital ward bay?  And talking about loving falling asleep in each other’s arms?  What is this madness?

"Just wait until Chapter Twenty-Three!  Tee hee!"

“What’s wrong with sharing the same hospital bed?  They’re comfortable!  Tee hee!”

Quiet, you.

With the completion of the scene I find that I’m close to my first ten thousand new words completed.  It seems like I’ve only been doing this for a week–oh, wait:  I have.  All the new writing started last Friday night, and that means I’ll probably come close to finishing the chapter tonight–

If I have good music and I’m not distracted.

And I don't spend most of the next scene crying my eyes out.  Which is very likely.

And I don’t spend most of the next scene crying my eyes out. Which is very likely.