First off, let’s move this out of the way: after mentioning yesterday that I made a video for the first time, I had, shall we say, a few requests to see me speak. Oh sure, I’ve presented pictures of myself, but never have I gone and made a fool of myself before one of those talky camera things. So, today, I’ll upload the video to my YouTube account and present it here for you amusement. You Have Been Warned.
And I had a session with my therapist, the first since starting my hormone treatment. She was happy to see me, happy to see I appear happy, happy to hear how I’m moving forward in my life. She also pointed out a few things she noticed about me, and this is where I do a Law & Order trope and invoke doctor/patient privilege so that I don’t have to go into just what it was she noticed. While I’m open to a lot of things in my life, that isn’t one of them.
Which brings us to writing. It must have been a good night, because I ended up just short of twelve hundred words for the evening, setting up a new scene at the Samhain Dance. I also mentioned yesterday that I’d written six hundred and sixty-six words to finish the last scene, so imagine my surprised when I checked my word count this morning . . .
I believe I’ve moved into the Condo of the Beast.
I love seeing number like that: Ms. Rutherford would probably tell me that the Numerologists of the Foundation would find that an auspicious sign. Given what I know is coming next in the scene, and the following scene, and the following chapter, they’re probably correct.
Onward to the party!
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“Hope we’re not disturbing.”
Annie looked up along with Kerry and found Professors Sladen and Arrakis standing on the other side of the coffee table. Sladen’s costume was a simple affair: A rather plain halter top and matching brown wrap around skirt that feel to her knees, brown boots, and a braided gold and brown headband used to tie back her hair. She also carried a large fighting stick, maybe a jō, outfitted with leather bands to allow the user better control.
Professor Arrakis was far more elaborate and beautiful. She wore a bright green outfit that looked like a silk dress with a high collar and long sleeves, but Annie also saw what looked like the end of leggings just above her ankles. She also wore a helmet adorned with a feathered headband, and each wrist was covered with large gold wrist bands.
Annie shook her head. “No, Professor Sladen. We’re just sitting here enjoying the dance.” She was glad she didn’t need to raise her voice; there were enchantments in place to keep sound at a lower volume outside the dance floor, so people could enjoy the music and still carry on a conversation. “Please sit with us.”
“Thank you.” Erywin chose the chair to Annie’s left.
Deanna pointed to the empty spot on the soft to Annie’s left. “Would you mind if I sit next to you?”
She shook her head. “No, go right ahead, Professor.”
Kerry waited for both women to get comfortable before addressing Professor Sladen. “I recognize your costume—”
The right side of Erywin’s mouth curled up into a smile. “You do?”
“Yeah—where’s your Xena?” He looked around, grinning wildly.
Erywin laughed. “Either in the loo or preventing Armageddon from breaking out. She should be along shortly.”
“But your costume . . .” He looked around Annie at Professor Arrakis. “I have no idea.”
Deanna flashed Kerry a sweet smile. “You mean I’ve stumped you? I thought you knew everything.”
He shook his head. “Not everything. Not since coming here.”
“You have an honest boy there, Annie.” She smoothed down her skirt. “Razia Sultain, first female Muslim ruler in South Asia. She was the fifth Sultan of Delhi for four years, until 1240.”
See? I not only give you a costume party, but a little history lesson. And you discover that Kerry doesn’t know everything.
It’s not all fun an games at the dance, though. As you can see when, as Kerry calls her, Erywin’s “Warrior Princess”, shows up to the party.
Professor Lovecraft walked up, greeted everyone with a hello, then sat in the open chair to Kerry’s right without asking. She leaned back and loudly exhaled her last breath before looking across the coffee table at both instructors. “I’m about to round up all your shieldmaidens and Celtic warriors and dump their asses somewhere north of the Observatory so they can beat the hell out of each other until no one is left standing.”
“Are they getting a big anxious for their annual skirmish?” Each Samhain the girls from the Åsgårdsreia fight team challenged the girls of the Mórrígan fight team to an “Ancestral Battle” fought with mock swords and shields. This had gone on for almost two hundred and sixty years, but in the last five years the lead up to the battle had begun to turn a lot more acrimonious, and it wasn’t unusual for the students to use the “Safe Space” status of the dance—meaning no one could be “called out” to settle their grievance with a real challenge fight inside Gwydion Manor—to start throwing a few non-magical punches back and forth.
“Coraline’s already fixed one broken nose—” She pointed at Erywin. “—that one of your girls threw, Honey.”
Erywin didn’t seem that concerned. She turned to Deanna. “I’m sure it wasn’t that bad.”
Deanna nodded as she he’d heard her fellow coven leader, but didn’t quite believe her. “Perhaps you could discuss protocol once again with them before they are unable to participate in the evening’s encounter?”
Helena nodded then stood. “That might not be a bad idea. I’ll help.” She turned to Annie and Kerry as Erywin rose from her seat. “You look lovely Annie. You’re . . .” She smiled slyly. “Good too, Kerry.”
Kerry almost laughed. “Thanks . . . Xena.”
Helena snorted. “I’m from New Zealand: who the hell else am I gonna come as?”
He pointed at her legs. “Your skirt’s a little long, though.”
Erywin stopped next to Helena as the later gave the skirt, which ended just above her knees, a tug. “Forgive me: I’m modest.” She turned and both teachers made their way through the crowd.
Helena? Modest? As with everything here, there’s probably a reason for that . . .
Also, you see the semi-informal school event that I actually blogged about way back on January 13 of this year, something I said I was going to write. That post also included an excerpt from the first time Annie and Kerry attended Sorcery Class with Professor Lovecraft. And here she is again, seven and a half months later, breaking up fights between the two groups of energetic fighting witches. Just like Annie, I keep my promises.
Besides, these girls have been waiting months to kick each other’s butts.
“I’m gonna break a lot more than your nose.”
“You just screwed with the wrong sheildmaiden.”