Well, things are coming out slowly this morning. Not because it’s a holiday–there’s no such thing in my vernacular, unfortunately, as I don’t have anything exciting to do today save for laundry–but because I’ve been writing this morning. A lot of writing. Fourteen hundred words of writing, to be exact.
I was tired last night and facing more distractions than a cat trying to nab the Evil Red Light, but I still managed close to seven hundred words before crashing out. When I crawled out of bed, got ready, and headed to Panera for breakfast, I’d decided that I was going to complete the one part of this current scene, because it needed completing. That’s what I’ve been doing: fleshing out the scene involving the practical application of the mixture of submission the students had prepared.
In particular, looking at the mixtures of my favorite two students.
Annie was up first, getting her black magic on as she went to work on Emma . . .
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“Thank you, Professor.” Annie slowly her breathing, her eyes burning holes into Emma. “Tell me your full first and last name.”
“Emmalynne Nielson.” She blurted her name out quickly, then froze upon realizing what she’d done.
Annie rested her arms at her side. “Tell me where you live.”
“Do you have siblings?”
Emma nodded. “A younger sister.”
“Do you hope she becomes a witch like you?”
“I . . .” Emma choked a little and shook it off. “I . . .”
Annie waved at her dismissively. “Don’t answer that.” She took two steps to her right, examining the girl before her. “Let’s try something a bit more difficult . . . tell me your biggest fear in life.”
Something caught in Emma’s throat once more, and she shook her head. “No, I don’t—” She wrapped her arms around her stomach as she bent slightly forward.
A light grin formed in one corner of Annie’s mouth. “Yes, you can tell me, Emma. What is your greatest fear?”
She quickly lifted her head and almost screamed out her words. “I’m going to die a virgin.” She wiped a few tears from her right eye. “I don’t . . . I mean . . .” She looked at the class, then bowed her face towards the floor, her face a bright red.
Annie slumped where she stood, then slowly turned to Helena. “Really? That’s it?” She turned her glare back upon Emma. “You don’t want to die a virgin?”
Helena meandered towards the furious girl. “Sorry, Annie, but not everyone wants to be tortured for their secrets.” She motioned Emma over, gave her the antidote, then pointed towards her station. “You can sit.” She leaned close to Annie and whispered. “Better luck next time.” With that she sent the still-fuming girl back to her seat with a quick pat on the shoulder.
Poor Annie: here she was all ready to torture the hell out of Emma, and the girl folds like a house of cards in a hurricane. And with a really lame fear, too. Then again, that’s how Emma rolls, and she can’t help if if there aren’t more important fears in her life. Just give her a little time at school . . .
So who’s up next? Who do you think? And look who he gets paired with . . .
Helena knew who she wanted up next: she only needed to give his partner a few seconds to voice her exasperation before she called upon him. “Okay, Kerry. Get up here and lets see if any of your partner’s expertize rubbed off on you.”
As Kerry stepped up to the center of the test area, Helena pointed at a student near the back. “Lisa. You’re up.”
The girl looked towards Helena as if she’d not hear her. “Me, Professor?”
“Is there another Lisa in this room? Yes, you.”
Her eyes shifted towards Kerry, who was standing next to Helena. “I’m with him?”
Helena was growing exacerbated. “Only if you don’t stop questioning me. Now get your arse up here.”
Lisa stood with a smile. “With pleasure, Professor.” She slowly made her way to the front, and stood across from Kerry, the sweet smiled changed into something far more unpleasant.
Helena handed Kerry Lisa’s vial, giving him a wink only he could see. “Girls go first, right?”
“Sure.” He shrugged before sipping it down and handing it back. “Why not?”
Helena nodded. “Have at him, Lisa.”
Lisa spent a few moments looking Kerry over, as if she’d see something that would give her an opening. “Your name is Kerry?”
He nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
“Where were you born?”
“San Rafael, California.”
“But you don’t live there now.”
Kerry stared at something over Lisa’s shoulder. “Is that a question?”
She huffed out her last breath. “Where do you live now?”
She raised an eyebrow as if she’d discovered something important. “Why do you live there?”
He shrugged. “Because my parents got a job with the BBC.”
This line of questioning appeared to bore Lisa, so she took the time to look over Kerry’s shoulder. “You seem to spend all your time with Annie.”
This time Kerry chuckled. “How about a question, Alex.”
Lisa mouth grew pinched, matching her dark, hooded eyes. “Do you spend all your time with Annie?”
“How long have you known her?”
“Since about a week before we came to school.”
“Uh, huh.” The smirk returned. “Do you think about her when you’re going to bed?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
“Do you think about how you were holding hands and hugging her and, you know, doing all those kisses and stuff?”
Kerry paused just a beat before answering in a quiet voice. “Yes.”
Lisa’s eyes lit up. “Do you fantasize about her and then masturbate?”
Kerry shook around the shoulders, his eyes growing a bit wide. He held back from speaking for five seconds before breaking into a smile. He turned to Helena, shaking his head. “Okay, that’s enough of that. I’m not answering that question.” He glared at Lisa. “At least not for you.”
Oooh, bad move, Lisa. Guess all the Jeopardy quips weren’t enough of a clue that your mixture was Teh Fail. And you just had to go there with the masturbation question, didn’t you? Don’t worry, it’s Kerry’s turn, and I’m sure he won’t be too hard on you . . .
Kerry stared at the floor, rubbing his chin. When he finally looked up at Lisa, his first question caught everyone in the room by surprise. “Tell me, do you like being in Åsgårdsreia Coven?”
Lisa looked somewhat confused by the question. “Yeah.”
“Do you like the people on the floor with you?”
“Most of them.”
He nodded slowly. “Tell me, do you like Professor Arrakis as your coven leader?”
Lisa’s head twitched three times as she tried not to answer. “I, um . . .”
Kerry flexed his fingers. “Tell me, Lisa. Do you like her?”
She jerked her head to one side hard. “No.”
Kerry turned to Annie, who was now grinning. “Really?” He turned back to the obviously struggling Lisa. “Annie and I have spoken with her a couple of times since the first day of school, and we like her. I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t like her.” He turned his head slight to one side. “Tell me why you don’t like her.”
Lisa began shaking all over as she struggled to keep from answering. “I can’t . . .” She coughed hard twice before moaning. “I don’t wanna—”
“Yeah, you do, Lisa.” Kerry advanced one step towards her, his stare never leaving her face. “Tell me why you don’t like her.”
Lisa grabbed her stomach as she bent to her right. “Kerry, I . . .” She gasped for breath. “You can’t . . . make . . .”
Kerry waved his hand in her direction. “You don’t have to answer that question.” He watched Lisa relax as the force causing her pain stopped upon his command. “I think I can figure out the why.”
Well, at least she didn’t get outed as a bigot. So I’m sure Kerry’s gonna go easy from here on–
Lisa caught her breath as she glared at Kerry. She turned to Helena, her features softening in a ploy for sympathy. “Professor, I don’t wanna do this now. Can I—”
“Look at me.”
Lisa whipped her head around to face Kerry, who was now glaring at her with great determination and self control. “You don’t ask the questions, I do.” He slowly shifted his gaze towards Helena. “Can I go on, Professor?”
Helena shrugged. “Oh, I wouldn’t dream of interrupting. Please, continue.”
“Thank you.” He turned back to Lisa. “Since you were so interested in my relationship with Annie, let’s see how things are with you . . .” He slowly advanced towards her. “Tell me, is there anyone you think about when you’re going to bed at night?”
Oops. Anytime an easy going kid gets his Joker on, chances are good you’re about to see a train wreck go down . . .
Lisa began shaking once again. “Ye—yes.”
“Someone here at school?”
“Someone in your coven?”
Her head bobbed up and down. “Yeee . . . yes.”
Kerry stood directly in front of Lisa, his face centimeters from hers. “I’m not going to embarrass you in front of the whole class, so here—” He tilted one side of his head towards her face. “Whisper his name in my ear.”
Lisa stopped shaking and quickly returned to calm. Kerry noticed this and the look of panic that appeared on the girl’s face. He stepped away from her, his face clam as his eyes burned. Well, then—come over here and tell me her name.”
But he’s gonna go easy on her now, right?
Lisa jerked around as if she’d been stuck by something large and unseen. “No . . .” She doubled over, whimpering.
Kerry was unmoved by her discomfort. “Yes, Lisa. You can come over here and whisper the name to me.” He stood along side her writhing, moaning form. “You can tell me; I promise I’ll never tell anyone, not the Professor, not even Annie.”
“You . . .” Lisa dropped to one knee, clutching her stomach. “I’m tellin’ you nothing.”
Kerry shook his head. “Then you’re going to suffer.” He stood over her as she dropped to the floor and roll onto her left side, curling into the fetal position. “You’re going to tell me her name.”
“I’m no—” Lisa screamed in pain, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Please, let me go.”
“Just as soon as you tell me this girl’s name.” Kerry’s face was impassive, his eyes cold. He looked down on Lisa feeling not the least bit of empathy for her plight. “Tell me her name.”
“Tell me her name.”
“Not—” She convulsed hard and flopped onto her back. “Stop it. You’re hurting me.”
Kerry’s voice was low and merciless. “You’re the one causing the pain, Lisa.” He took a long, slow breath. “Tell me the name and the pain goes away. Tell it to me.” He slowly leaned over her. “Tell me now.”
He straightened as he turned towards Helena. “Professor?”
She nodded at Lisa. “That’s enough.”
“Okay.” He turn back to the girl on the floor, backing away as he spoke in a normal tone of voice. “I rescind my question: you don’t have to answer it. You don’t have to answer any of them.”
Two things are obvious: Kerry pays attention in class, ’cause he knows the right way to bring the anguish–and never ask him about his nighttime habits. And you can bet Annie’s paying attention to this as well–ah, who am I kidding?
With that out of the way Lisa’s probably ready to let bygones be bygones. I’m sure of it: she doesn’t seem like the sort of person who’d hold a grudge–
Lisa stopped shaking and twitching. She sobbed while laying on the floor, with one arm stretched across her face. Erywin gave her the antidote and slowly helped her to her feet as Helena moved towards Kerry, who’d moved back to where he’d stood when the exercise began. “I would say we just witnessed a—”
Lisa jerked out of Erywin’s arms and launched herself at Kerry. She was on him in a second, pummeling him with her fists. “You stupid dick. Rotten bastard.” She punched him in the shoulders and chest while Kerry held his arms up, warding off her blows. “Smug prick, I’m going to get you. I’m going to—let me go.” Helena grabbed Lisa from behind and pulled the struggling girl away from Kerry. “I’ll get you, bitch. I’m gonna make you sorry.” She tried jerking out of Helena’s grasp with little successes. “I’m gonna to mess you up. I’m gonna to hurt You.” Lisa spit at Kerry. “I’m gonna bash in your head with a Fucking POT.”
Helena handed the struggling girl to Erywin. “Get her into the office and give her something.” As Lisa was pulled away, Helena motioned to Kerry. “You can sit down.”
Cursing eleven and twelve year olds? Yeah, because last year when I was thinking up this scene–no, you mean you find it surprising I’ve been thinking about this that long?–I asked my at-the-time thirteen year old daughter if this was close to real, and got a big affirmative. In fact, Lisa’s last line is taken from something I’d actually seen my daughter write in a story, so Daughter Dearest is getting a bit immortalized–probably not in the way she wanted, though.
But wait! We’re not through going straight to hell–
“Thank you.” He headed back to his seat, back towards the proudly smiling Annie, trying his best to ignore the screaming and cursing Lisa—
Something hard stuck him in the back of the head, liquid splashing all over him. He turned and saw Lisa once again out of Erywin’s arms, standing next to the work bench where the various mixtures sat. “Fuckin’ prick.” She picked up another vial and hurdled it towards him to crash against the wall. “I’ll fix you and your fuckin’ slut.” She threw another and struck him in the forehead before he could duck. “Motherfucker.”
Helena saw everything happening in slow motion, as she often did when a situation demanded action. She saw Erywin get her arms around Lisa before the girl could throw another vial. That’s at least better. She turned towards Kerry—and the situation was not better. Kerry was pulling back his left arm, and there was a shimmering in his hand. Annie was out of her seat and coming around the work table; she was pulling back her right arm and there was a similar shimmering in her right hand—
Shit. They’re going to Air Hammer her ass. Helena threw up a shield between Lisa, Erywin, and her so quickly that the air cracked. She pointed at Kerry. “Kerry, no—” Then at Annie. “Annie, stop.” After seeing both students back away from their actions she hurried over to somewhat subdued Lisa and touched her jaw: she jerked hard as Helena gave her a slight electrical shock to put an end to her struggles.
Convinced everything was now under control she dropped the shield. She turned to Erywin and pointed at the semi-limp girl in her arms. “Get her the hell to the office and called Coraline for pickup.” As they vanished through the doorway Helena turned towards her other problem. She pointed at both Annie and Kerry. “You two—” She whipped her right hand around and pointed at the still-open door. “With me.”
And there you have it: never a boring day in The Witch House. At least not when the students are working on their Art. At least we know Lisa’s got a good arm. Maybe she can get a spot pitching on the school softball team.
There you have it; sorcery done in a way that most people probably wouldn’t see as right, but when you’re dealing with things that Normal Humans were never met to know, hey: things can get a little spinny from time-to-time.
At least no one was killed–