The Short of the Short of It

Well, I finally did it . . .

If you thought I'd won Powerball, I'm here to disapoint you.

If you thought I’d won Powerball, I’m here to disappoint you.

Chapter Nineteen is finished.  I’d have to go back and look, but I’m guessing that this is the shortest chapter in my novel.  I have many single scenes that run more than thirty-six hundred words, and the last scene in the chapter is one of the shortest stand alone scenes I’ve ever done.

It’s simple and too the point.  Let’s start with Kerry, sitting in his room, wondering about a few things–

 

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

Usually he’d think about something to do, somewhere to visit—but today he seemed frozen, unable to even get up from the bed and turn off the music streaming from his computer. At the moment the Wind & Wuthering album was playing, and the song Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers had just ended and In That Quiet Earth was starting. Kerry liked the album, liked the songs, particularly these last two and the one that followed, Afterglow. Tonight he planed on bringing the computer to Astronomy class, along with his ear buds, and he’d play it for Annie, let her hear it for the first time since he knew she’d never listened to it before.

He felt it was necessary, because . . .

He’d felt strange since the dance. Not strange in a bad way, but strange in a way he’d never imagined. Actually, the feeling had started from before the dance; it had started the morning after getting released from the hospital. As with everything he analyzed everything, and as he got off the bed and slowly walked towards the window, he realized that the dance had colored a lot of her perception, that the night had been too magical, and—

He looked out the window and nearly gasped. The entire sky was a dull crimson.

He looked for clouds and saw them, more or less the same color of the sky, but with a different contrast because clouds were white and the sky was usually blue. The sun was behind a group of clouds, but the brightness appeared different from both the clouds and sky—

 

Well . . . that’s unusual to say the least.  Not everyday you wake up and the sky’s turned red.  Then again, there’s very little around this Salem joint that should be surprising by now.

The kids meet and run outside–

 

They hurried out of the tower and down the covered walkway as quickly as possible, running almost as fast as possible. They held on to the posts of the canopy while looking up at the red sky. Kerry was gasping as he spoke. “Look at that.”

Annie examined the sky from the south of The Pentagram to the north. “It’s incredible.”

“Do you know what it is?”

“No.” Though I have my suspicions . . . “I’ve never heard my parents mention this.” She leaned against Kerry. “I’m suppose you have a few ideas.”

Kerry blew out his last breath, then waited a few seconds before speaking. “It’s something that’s over the school, probably starting in the walls, because it doesn’t change the look of anything in here.” He finally stood away from the walkway posts. “I think it’s some kind of defensive magic probably tied to something in the walls.”

We’re thinking the same thing— “Why do you believe that?”

“I don’t know for sure, but . . .” He wrapped an arm around Annie. “It’s the only thing that makes sense. It doesn’t seem like something the school would do just to do.”

Annie nodded slowly. “I agree.”

 

We already know there are “screens” around the school, and Isis told the Headmistress that when she powered the defense screens up all the way, it was going to be necessary to explain things to the students.  Now we know why.  People on the inside can see it in place.

And that leads to the last bit of ominous . . .

 

His chuckle was without mirth. “Red skies at morning; sailors take warning.”

“What’s that?”

“Old rhyme that sailors here used to say. ‘Red skies at night; sailor’s delight’—that meant the ocean would stay calm and they didn’t have to worry about a storm blowing up at night. ‘Red skies at morning; sailors take warning’—just the opposite. They could expect inclement weather during the day.”

Annie wasn’t surprised in the least that Kerry knew this. “But we’re not on the ocean.”

“We’re right outside Gloucester, and that’s one of the most famous fishing ports in America. So we’re . . . a little connected. What I’m wondering . . .” Kerry released Annie and faced her. “If it’s defensive magic, what are they defending against?”

It wasn’t fair to keep more secrets from her soul mate—and Annie knew she could tell him anything by now and it was unlikely he’d find it shocking. “Kerry . . . you need to hear about the Deconstructors.”

 

Hey, great way to start the day, kids!  Sky’s all red, and now your girlfriend is gonna tell you about something with a scary name.  Good Morning!

No one ever said your Samhain was gonna be boring.