Here we are, the last almost nine hundred words of the final scene of the penultimate chapter of the longest day of the school. Really: the first scene of Chapter Nineteen, was finished on 8/02/2014, and this was finished last night, 10/07/2014. Two months to get through one day. Not bad when I’ve written 46,777 words for Part Seven, this part, so far. As I’ve said before, it’s about twenty thousand words a month, give or take a thousand here and there. Now I can think about Chapter Twenty-four and bringing the final section of the penultimate part of Act Two to an end.
Annie remembered a dream she’d shared with Kerry, one that he seemed to remember as well. Annie was seeing things that had happened a few years in the past, and Kerry–well, it’s hard to say what he’s seeing. But he seemed to know what’s going on based upon their conversation . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
There wasn’t a need to prompt Kerry: he immediately knew who was asking the question, and where it was being asked. Still staring up into Annie’s face, his eyes unfocused as he answered in much-younger boy’s voice. “Um, reading.”
“Uh, huh.” Annie felt a childish amusement come over her, just as it had that moment five summer ago. She imagined herself as she was that day, standing in her pajamas—she hadn’t learned how to create different clothes around her in a dream yet—her hands behind her as she swayed back and forth with a slight grin on her face. “What are you reading?”
A sheepish tone crept into Kerry’s voice. “Science fiction?”
“Science fiction.” She chuckled. “I don’t know much about that.” She nodded towards Kerry as if she were nodding towards the book in his hands all that time ago. “What is it called?”
“A Fall of Moondust—” He paused a couple of seconds. “By Arthur C. Clarke.”
“Sounds interesting.” Annie twisted around and sat cross-legged on the bed, facing Kerry. His hand remained in hers. “What’s it about?”
“About a boat on the moon that sinks.”
“Really? Can they do that?”
“Well . . .” Kerry tried to shrugged but winced instead. “I don’t know. It’s an old book. But it’s good; I like it.”
I’ve said that one of the first two adult novels I read was A Fall of Moondust, and I was a little more than seven at the time, so Kerry’s got me beat in the reading department. I love that novel, even though we know–as Kerry hinted–that the scenario laid out in the novel couldn’t possibly exist, it was a great, fantastic book when it came to opening up one’s imagination.
Now Annie is a cheeky girl, and probably more so back when she was approaching her seventh birthday. She’s even more cheeky now, and she’s not only got her boyfriend calmed down, but she’s reliving a special moment with him, one that she remembers clearly.
“I see.” Annie scooted a few centimeters forward. “Would you like to read to me?”
“You want me to read to you?” Kerry looked surprised, just as he had the first time.
“Yes. I’d love that.” She remembered that was the first time she’d used that word with Kerry.
He didn’t seem to know what to say next, then a smile slowly grew across his face. “You’re the Chestnut Girl; I remember you from other times.”
“Uh, huh.” She nodded. “And your my Ginger Hair Boy.” She giggled. “Remember?”
“Yeah, I remember.” His smile softened as his eyes shifted to the left. “You can sit on the log there and I’ll read.”
“I have a better idea.” In their dream she’d done everything from his left side, but that was broken and immobilize. She’d have to work with his right side, and she wondered if it would cause a problem with his memory of this event and bring on another bout of déjà vu.
Annie slid off the bed, then pulled the covers back and slid back on. She nestled herself between Kerry’s torso and his right arm, nestling her head in the crook of his shoulder. She figured that the dislocation and the broken rib on his right side was completely healed by now: when he didn’t wince or twitch she knew she was correct. She reached for the covers and pulled them back into place, covering them both. “There.” She sighed and snuggled closer. “Much better.”
Kerry didn’t move, didn’t complain, didn’t even ask what she was doing. His question was one that a six year old boy who was asked to read to a girl would ask. “How am I suppose to read to you? I don’t think I can hold the book.”
Just as he asked the first time. Annie looked up from her place next to him so she could see his face. “I’ll tell you what: I’ll hold the book and turn the pages when you say so. That way all you have to do is read.” She rubbed her head against him. “Okay.”
“That sounds okay . . .” His voice took on a sleepy tone, as if he was finally winding down from the sorrow that had gripped him moments before. “I can . . .”
Lay there in a hospital gown with your girlfriend snuggled against you? Cheeky girl. But she’s also calmed him down and put him back in the mood to sleep, so . . . she did here job. She was a friendly face that talked him down. It’s also the first indication that Kerry does know Annie is his Chestnut Girl–he seems to know a lot more now.
It also looks as if Annie’s in for the long haul in Bed #2 . . .
Annie saw Kerry’s eyes flutter, and in that moment she wasn’t an almost seven year old girl sitting in the crook of the arm of a six year old boy with whom she was sharing a dream—she was back in Bay #1, cuddled up next to her soul mate. “Kerry?”
“I’m tired, Annie.” He turned his head enough that he could see her lying snuggled next to him. “I feel so tired.”
“Then you need to sleep.” She laid her hand part-way across his chest and circled it over his heart. “I won’t go anyway. You’ll be safe.”
“Okay.” He rubbed his check against the top of her head. “Good night, Annie—”
She was about to tell him the same when Kerry finished his thought:
“I love you.”
And there you have it: he finally says the magic words. It could be argued that he may not know what he’s saying, but someone else could argue that he’s pulling those words from his subconscious, and it’s something he’s wanted to say for a while–and with the filters off, he’s saying them.
It doesn’t matter to Annie: she heard them. And she reacts the way you might expect her to act.
Annie gasped in a near-silent voice. “Good night, Kerry. I love you.”
He chuckled as he fought to keep his eyes open. “You’d say it in Bulgarian.”
She chuckled as well. He would know that. “Yes, I would . . .” She leaned up and kissed his cheek. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.”
“Um, hum.” His eyes closed and his breathing slowed as she sunk back into sleep.
Annie made herself comfortable against Kerry’s torso. She only now realized that his right arm was draped over her torso, making sure she was secure against him. “That’s it, my love.” She stopped rubbing his chest and left her hand there. “Sleep and dream. And remember it so you can tell me in the morning.”
Sleep began to take her as she wished her soul mate into dreamland. “Dream of your tree in California.” Her eyelids fluttered. “Dream of reading to your Chestnut Girl.”
Her eyes closed as she sunk into the same sleep that was claiming Kerry. There was only one thought left that needed saying before she joined him in unconscious bliss . . .
“Dream of us.”
They are off to a different dream land this time, and as the next scene is Waking with Coraline, one could guess that, well, they’re going to wake up with Coraline. What is that going to look like.
I’ll write it tonight and show you tomorrow.