The Baby Snakes

Can’t say this morning hasn’t been productive, because it sort of has.  I’ve just spent the last twenty minutes or so doing a read-through of one of my parts, and as much as I hate to say it, reading the scene out loud had me catching parts of the story that didn’t seem right.  So I made a few changes here and there and . . . hey, if you’re not writing, you’re doing something that’s about writing, right?

"I'm always amazed . . . that I actually wrote this crap."

“I’m always amazed . . . that I actually wrote this crap.”

But there was writing last night.  A lot of writing:  one thousand, one hundred and forty-nine words by the time I called it beddy-bye.  A nice run not spoiled by loading up with carbs and being tired throughout the day, which is something I’m going to try today as well, because I want to crank out another thousand if I can tonight

So what do witches do once their advanced class is over and they need to chill?  Wednesday knows . . .

 

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

“Same here.” Pang stared at the table in the middle as if expecting something to appear at any moment. He looked up at Wednesday. “It usually doesn’t take this long—”

Eight plates with grilled cheese sandwiches popped into existence, with eight slight steaming mugs of apple cider next of them. Wednesday giggled. “You were saying?”

Nadine grabbed a half of her sandwich off her plate immediately. “They had to make two more servings, dude.” She nodded across the table. “Ain’t you paying attention?”

Kerry hesitated before reach for the plate in front of him. He felt Annie stiffen for a moment, making him wonder if she didn’t like being singled out for attention. He tried to lighten the mood. “Grilled cheese?”

“Perfect for an after class snack.” Wednesday reached for her cider. “There’s a chemical released when making grilled cheese that has been shown to reduce stress, and hot cider helps make you drowsy. An hour from now you’ll crawl into bed and drift right off to sleep.” She took a short but loud sip. “Given you’re likely still a bit hyped up over class, you’ll both need this.”

Annie cleared her throat. “You’re probably right, Pro—I mean, Wednesday.” She looked around as she chuckled. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Pang was almost finished devouring half his sandwich. “I just started this level and I’m still catching myself calling her ‘Professor’.”

Hasumati spoke for the first time since leaving class. “This is my third year and it took me a year and a half to get out of that habit.”

Kerry turned to Annie, who was looking also looking at him. “We’ll do our best not to slip up.”

 

Yes, don’t call the Little Witch “Professor” too many times, or she might turn you into a newt.  Actually, that’s Jessica who does that–and has.  Check her terrarium the next time you’re in class . . .

It’s one of the nice perks of being “advanced” that you get to sorta break the rules.  It’s late at night and everyone’s suppose to be in bed, save for a few people up to the Observatory getting in some ‘scope time.  But those people are probably advanced kids as well, and they’re in what’s considered class time anyway.  No, this is, “Hey, lets go have a quick bite and bullshit for a while before heading off to bed, ’cause we can!” time, and it’s something that the Kids in the Fishbowl haven’t seen.  Until now.

Though when they do see it, they find out they have a couple of cool nicknames.  Yeah, who doesn’t want those . . .

 

Pang reached for his cider. “You guys sure did great tonight.”

Annie shook her head, her eyes focusing on the table. “I didn’t think were were that great.”

“Are you kidding? You both levitated on your fourth try.” Pang leaned back, carefully crossing his legs. “The first two classes I couldn’t do anything: every spell I tried was a fizzle.”

“I was the same way.” Rivânia pulled hair from the corner of her mouth. “The first month I was in class I managed only one spell.”

“Yeah, but you guys don’t know who you’re dealing with here . . .” Nadine smiled as she leaned forward, her elbows against her knees and the mug of cider between her hands. “These are The Baby Snakes, guys—” She pointed at Annie, then Kerry, both whom appeared confused. “Athena and Starbuck. I was telling you about them, Riv.”

Rivânia paused for just a moment to let the information sink in, then . . . “Oh. These are the two? The ones checked out on Espinozas?”

“Yeah: them and Emma in my coven. The other girl off the Trainers is on a Witchy Poo.” She smiled across the table at the now-blushing A Levels. “I forgot to mention—I’m one of Vicky’s minions. You probably never noticed me ‘cause I keep my hair tucked up under my helmet.”

Kerry knew the question to ask. “What’s your call sign?”

Nadine beamed. “I’m Scarlet Witch.”

“But of course you are.” Kerry tore into half his sandwich in three bites. “You race?”

“Yeah; I’m a Blackbird.” Nadine pointed to Rivânia. “Riv’s a Hunter.” She examined Kerry and Annie. “You both going out for racing next year?”

Annie was quick to answer. “I probably won’t, no.” She glanced at Kerry, who didn’t register any emotion. “I wouldn’t make a good racer.”

“I didn’t say anything, Sweetie.” He reached over and rubbed her hand. “It’s cool.”

“Wait . . .” Serafena stated into her mug, her eyes unfocused. “Sweetie?  Oh . . . You’re the Lovey Dovey Couple.”

Annie and Kerry winced. They’d heard the expression many times among their own level, but this was the first time to hear it used by students from upper levels. Annie placed her left hand against her head. “Who told you this?”

“From A Levels in my coven.” Serafena looked up from her mug and shifted her gaze between the two students. “There is a boy, he was the first I heard speaking to the other in your level—”

Kerry cocked his head forward. “Is he from the Philippines?”

“Yes, I think so.”

His eyes narrowed as he turned to Annie. “It’s Fidele, just like we thought.”

“Yes.” Annie brushed her hair away from her face as she slowly shook her head. “Why did he do that?”

“Who knows?” Kerry couldn’t fathom why people would start saying like that; it wasn’t like Annie and he were bothering anyone, and it wasn’t really any of their business. “Eh, nothing we can do about it now.”

Wednesday—who’d sat quietly while this conversation went on—finally let her view be known. “If nothing else, you’ve developed a reputation—and to do that in your first month here is something of an accomplishment.”

“Yeah—” Nadine spoke between the final bites of her grilled cheese. “Would you rather be known as a couple of mopey losers without a clue?”

 

No, but it’s a toss-up between Lovey Dovey Couple and The Baby Snakes.  Though The Baby Snakes does have a charm to it, and can come off as being pretty bad ass . . .

"I in no way resemble a Frank Zappa song!"

“I in no way resemble a Frank Zappa song!”

One of the things that does come up from that is Annie’s reluctance to fly and race.  There are reasons for it, and they will pop out real soon–in like another two chapters.  Actually, coming up in the next part, but only after some sorcery comes down the pike and our Baby Snakes sort of get tossed in the black magic pit and show their stuff.  It’s going to be . . . well, I was thinking about it on the way to work, and . . .

Won't be long before we finally get to see what happens in The Witch House.

Won’t be long before we finally get to see what happens inside The Witch House.

You’re just going to have to wait.