Last night was a good time to turn off most of the Internet, turn on the music, and get to writing. Because there was so much to say, and I needed to get it all said last night, because there isn’t a fourth novel in The Millenium Trilogy, and I could only wring out one more The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo reference before I would run out of snappy titles. There you go: I write based upon how witty my blog post titles are.
Really, though, I needed to pull this one together, and trust me, these last seventeen hundred words weren’t easy ones to write, because I changed how this scene was going to play out maybe five times before writing what I did last night. I needed to, because every time I’d go down one road I’d think, “Okay, now would Kerry say or do that at this point in his life?” And the answer to most of those paths were “no”, because the kid still has a bit of growing up ahead of him.
Needless to say, Emma’s “Don’t you mean soul mate?” shot was just the opening–
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
There was something about Emma’s tone that Kerry wasn’t enjoying at all. “What do you mean by that?”
“Oh, please. You told me you knew Annie for a week before you walked through Founder’s Gate, and she’s your soul mate?” She rolled her eyes. “What’s wrong with you, Kerry?”
Kerry’s voice began rising as it always did when he became upset. “What do you mean what’s wrong? Nothing’s wrong.” He jabbed a finger at Emma. “What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m trying to make you see that you’re not in love with her, you’re just infatuated.” Emma started waving her arms about. “You know what it is? It’s those big brown eyes and that long brown hair—”
“Her eyes are hazel and her hair is chestnut.”
“Whatever. She starts playing with her hair and looks at you with those big eyes, and then she turns on that accent . . .” Emma began curling her hair around a finger and stared at the ceiling while speaking in a poor, exaggerated imitation of Annie’s voice. “Karri, my loov, wold yoo liik tu hoold my hund?” She batted her eyelids several times. “Puulsse?”
Kerry wasn’t amused in the least. “She doesn’t talk like that.”
Emma didn’t appear to hear the comment. “And she’s not all that nice, either. She’s cold to everyone—”
“She’s not like that to me.”
“Oh, no? What about in the hospital after we wrecked? She seemed pretty pissed off at you to me.”
His breathing became ragged. “What do you care?”
“I care because you’re my friend.”
“You’re not acting like my friend.” Kerry’s voice was growing louder as a feeling he’d not had much experience with began rising as well.
Emma took a single step forward, and she spoke in a softer tone. “Kerry, she’s not right for you. She not really your soul mate; she’s just some girl whose got you wrapped around her finger, and you aren’t smart enough to see—”
Kerry didn’t need to hear anymore; he’d had enough. Any hope Emma had for a private conversation vanished as his bellowing voice echoed down the narrow corridor and into the East Transept. “You know nothing about Annie. Everything you’re saying is wrong, and you need to shut up now. Shut up. Just SHUT UP.” He spun around and ran out of the corridor.
And there, in that fifth sentence, is proof that Kerry actually doesn’t remember his dreams–at least not the important ones that Annie talks about. Otherwise, as astute readers might have noticed, he’d remember someone he claimed he lost . . .
Kerry runs out of there and runs not into the main part of the Great Hall, but up to his left and the other corridor leading to the teachers offices. He runs in there, hunkers downs, and starts crying. Why? He feels betrayed, so much so that he did something he’s never done before: he lost his temper and yelled. Emma’s the first person he ever completely loses it on, and since he’s not the sort of person who starts punching walls–he’s more the sit in his room and brood and, if it gets to that point, cry–he does the later.
Of course, this doesn’t mean he does it alone . . .
His head snapped up: Emma was standing three meters away, half hidden in shadow. “Go away.”
“GO AWAY.” He looked down as he fought to keep from hyperventilating. “What is wrong with you? Why did you say those things about Annie? Why? I thought you were my friend.”
Emma slid closer to him. “I am your friend.”
“Friends don’t make up lies about people they love.” He wasn’t shouting like before, but Kerry wasn’t making an effort to keep his voice down. “I’m hurting, Emma. I love her and I miss her so much right now . . . and then you come and start talking crap about her; you make fun of her; you make up lies about her.” His voice rose to a shout. “I love Annie. She’s my soul mate. You’re not going to change that, ever.”
Kerry has never discussed his relationship with Annie to anyone. Every time something has changed between them, it’s happened in private. The closest to a public declaration he’s made about his feelings was the dedication he made to her at the Samhain dance–and one other time to Emma, which I’ll get to. He pours out his feelings and kindly told Emma to piss off as well. How does she take it?
Emma stood silently looking as if she was in shock. She wiped something away from her right cheek before kneeling on the floor about two meters from Kerry. “I didn’t know.”
He sniffed back snot and tears. “Know what?”
“A lot of people talk about you two.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that.”
She hung her head. “Most of the people think you guys are just, I don’t know, pretending that you’re all lovey dovey and romantic—”
“Why do they think that?”
“Because you’re eleven years old.” She looked up, and in the dim light Kerry saw the tears streaming down her cheeks. “Because you’re just kids, and what do kids know about real love, right?”
And that’s another thing that’s been mentioned, as Kerry pointed out. Other kids do talk about them, and most think they’re nuts or full of it. Sure, Annie’s really twelve and all grown up, but still: to the other eleven and twelve year olds, the way they act looks like an act. And that’s one of the reasons that a few of the adults feel what’s going on between them, because they’ve had time to mature and develop their feelings–and this sense that this is the real deal with these two.
And now Emma’s sensing it, too . . .
He slowly shook his head as he choked out his word. “It’s not like that with Annie and me. I told you up at the Observatory, there’s times it feels like I’ve known her a long time—”
“I know; I remember.” She chuckled. “I was asking all those questions about you guys because I was trying to figure out what was going on—”
“And ‘cause you like me.”
“Yeah . . .” She snorted and cleared her throat. “’Cause I like you. And ‘cause I was like everyone else believing that you guys are just infatuated with each other.” She slid a little closer. “Now I know.”
“What do you know, Emma?”
She closed with him until she was only an arm’s length away. “Remember when I asked if Annie was really your girlfriend?”
“Yeah, I remember.”
“You told me something in Bulgarian—”
“Moyata polovinka.” Kerry swallowed hard, clearing his throat. “It means soul mate.”
“I know; I remember that, too.” Emma wiped her eyes again. “You remember I walked away after you told me that?”
“Yeah. You had a strange look on your face—”
“That’s because I saw something in your eyes I’d never seen before.” She exhaled hard twice. “I saw it again.” She lightly touched Kerry’s cheek, getting him to look at her. “Tell me you love her.”
Kerry stared directly into Emma’s eyes. “I love Annie.”
“She’s my soul mate.”
Emma nodded slowly. “Yeah, there is it.”
“I see it in your eyes, Kerry.” She gently touched his face just outside his right eye. “The truth.” She pushed back off her knees and sat on the floor, stretching out her legs. “I screwed up.”
Thank you for admitting that, Ginger Girl from Colorado.
Kerry couldn’t look at her. He was angry at what she’d said, but at the same time hearing her say those last three words felt like something twisting in his gut. “If you thought you were going to get me to like you by talking crap about Annie, yeah, you did.”
She winced. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I know nothing about how to get someone to like me.”
Kerry chuckled. “Hey, join the club. If Annie hadn’t spoken to me first, I wouldn’t have said a word to her. I just . . .” He looked up at Emma with sad eyes. “Until Annie I never talked to girls.”
“Same with me with boys.” She turned to Kerry. “I’m sorry I kissed you like that. I kinda threw myself at you.”
“Yeah, you did.”
Emma looked down at her left hand as she made circles on the floor. “You going to tell Annie?”
“No, not anytime soon.”
“You afraid of what she’ll say?”
“I’m afraid of what she’ll do.” He wiped his face dry. “Remember she was gonna Air Hammer Lisa for hitting me in the back of the head with a bottle?”
The memory flew back into Emma’s mind. “Oh jeez, yeah. You both were gonna do that.”
“Yeah. And in front of Lovecraft and Sladen.” He drew in a long, deep breath. “We got reamed for that move.”
Kerry doesn’t know what Annie almost laid on Emma, or what she did to Lisa: he’s going off of what he’s picking up from her in the last few weeks from her little forays to The Black Vault. That, and he knows she knows a death spell. Deep down he knows Annie could be a dangerous girl, and as controlled as she acts most of the time, she’s also a twelve year old girl, and that in of itself can be a little scary. He’s also lying about getting reamed, but I’ll forgive him for that.
But that leaves one question unanswered:
Emma stared at a spot on the wall across from her, keeping her face turned away from Kerry. “Can we still be friends?”
He was wondering the same thing. “You said some pretty nasty things—”
“Even if you didn’t think we were serious about each other, you were wrong to throw those at me.”
“I know.” She sniffed once, fighting to keep from crying.
“Thing is, if I stop talking to you, Annie will ask why, and I’ll have to tell her what happened, and I’d rather avoid all that . . .” He scooted to his right, getting closer to the weeping girl, and extended his arm. “Take my hand.”
Emma finally looked towards Kerry. “What?”
“Take my hand.” She tentative reached out and loosely held his hand. “You’re my wingmate and my friend. You screwed up, and you admitted you screwed up. So . . . I forgive you, Emma.”
She looked down and nodded. “Thank you, Kerry.”
The tone of his voice changed slightly, growing more serious and stern. “But I want you to know that if you ever talk about Annie again like you did—to me, or to anyone else—I won’t just be pissed: I won’t be your friend anymore, I won’t forgive you, and I won’t speak to you ever again.” He gave her hand a squeeze. “That’s a promise, Emma—understand?”
“Yes, I do.” She slowly pulled her hand away. “You sounded like when you were questioning Lisa when we were doing Drought of Submission in Sorcery class.”
“Well . . .” He shrugged. “A sorceress has gotta do what a sorceress has gotta do.” He raised an eyebrow. “Right?”
And when I wrote that last night, I asked myself, “Does Kerry know what he did with that last move?”, holding hands and swearing all that is right and wrong by Emma. The answer is, “Yep,” and he did a sort of half-assed version of a Sorceress’ Bargain, letting her know without letting her know–because they haven’t gotten that far in Sorcery class–that if she screwed up again, that’s it: game over. She probably sensed something, because of the comment she made about him sounding as he did when he more or less put the boots to Lisa and had her writhing on the floor in pain during the Drought of Submission test. That would be a class that Emma would remember, mostly because she had to square off against Annie, and she wasn’t digging that at all.
Did he actually do that with her? Hum . . . probably not. Probably.
Three out of four scenes complete. Only one remaining, and I know exactly what’s going to happen there . . .
And those three scenes put me closer to finishing Act Two. Not to mention there’s something coming up here real soon.
Watch this space.
And don’t say bad things about Annie.