My poor, poor boy. Bored out of his mind and looking for things to do. That’s the way things are at Salem right now: people have cleared out and there isn’t much to do but sit around or sleep. At least my kid isn’t all sad and emo about his girlfriend heading back home for the holidays. Or if he is, he’s not showing it. Much. He’s only drowning his sorrows in a different way . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry had the library to himself, save for one of Mr. Parkman’s staff occupying his office and keeping an official eye on whatever happened in the cavernous space. He’d been half-reading a book on personal transformation magic, and was surprised by how simple it all seemed. But I’ve been doing transformation magic for four months now, and it’s no long something I thought never existed outside of books and movies. I can do this stuff now.
He had a lot of time to kill. It was only a little after fourteen, and the last notice he’d see said he wouldn’t leave until almost twenty-two. Sure, he’d take his adjustment mixture and sleep for two or three hours, but that left four or five hours where he was gonna need to find something to do—
He looked up and discovered Emma standing about a meter away on the other side of the reading table. He hadn’t heard her enter, but that wasn’t surprising since the size of the room made it difficult to hear things in other areas, and there were silence enchantment throughout the library. Kerry always wanted to ask Mr. Parkman if the Vashta Nerada helped keep things quiet, too. “Hey. How you doing?”
You have to ask yourself: is Kerry the one making a Silence in the Library joke, or me? Doesn’t get much more meta than that. I’m gonna say it’s me, ’cause Kerry is just someone I made up, so even if you wanted to say he existed, it’s still me. Anyway . . .
This is where we see a little of the fakery that goes on with The Foundation and some of the kids. This is because A and B Levels aren’t “out” to their parents yet, and
“Yeah, no kidding.” Most of the C Levels and above who had remained up until lunch soon vanished after they ate. The only people currently on the school grounds were a few instructors, Nurse Coraline and Director Mossman, and the A and B Level students from North and South America. “You don’t know how huge this place is until there’s no one here.” She turned to Kerry. “What time are you leaving?”
“About twenty-two. I’m supposed to be on a United flight getting into San Fransisco about seven PM local. What about you?”
“I’m out of here about eight PM: the flight I’m supposed to take is due to land in Denver right around six.”
Kerry noticed Emma had easily switched back to using standard time instead of universal time. “I see you’re not gonna freak your parents out by saying, ‘When are we having dinner? Seventeen?’”
Emma laughed. “Yeah, it wasn’t that hard. What about you, though? You’re still using universal.”
“I live in Wales, remember?” He shrugged. “We use both times there, but all our clocks are on universal—same with my phone and computer.” He finally closed the book in front of him and set it aside. “No one will get confused if I start using universal. Even after he’d been in the country a while Dad still used it before we moved.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Emma chuckled. “I forget that even though you were born here, you live in England.”
“Wales. My dad would be screaming at you right now if he’d heard you say we lived in England.”
“The UK, then?”
“That always works.” He leaned back and stretched his arms and shoulders.
Emma’s a bit geographically challenged, it would seem, so she better work on that before someone screams at her. You might also ask, “Hey, Cassie, how do you know they would get into their respective cities at that time?” Well, that’s ’cause I looked up real flights to check on times–
Oh, and you might notice I’ve got seat locations down. That’s because I went into the Seat Guru website and plugged in the flight numbers . . .
And it’s just a coincidence that he and Emma have the same seat assignments. Sure. Coincidence. By the way, Emma’s on a better fake plane. Just sayin’.
Now, is there a reason for Emma hunting down Kerry. I know some of you are screaming, “Yes!”, and you’d be right.
Neither said a word for nearly twenty seconds. Finally Emma began looking a bit uncomfortable as she shifted in the chair. “Um, can I talk to you?”
He nodded. “Yeah, sure.”
“I mean in private.”
Kerry looked around the empty library. “It doesn’t get much more private than this.”
“I mean . . .” She looked up one floor towards Mr. Parkman’s office. “Where there’s no one around.”
Kerry had no idea what was on Emma’s mind, but now that she was making a big deal about getting away from everyone, he was curious to know what she wanted to say. “Sure. Whatcha got in mind?”
Emma motioned with a nod towards the doors. “Come with me.”
“Come with me.” Hummm . . . and a talk in private. It probably isn’t anything–and just a coincidence that she waited until Annie was 7399.153 kilometers–or 4597.62 miles, I looked it up–away from Salem before she wanted to speak with Kerry in private.