One nice think about NaNoWriMo is that it does get you to pecking out those words, and the more you peck out, the faster your novel finishes. For example, yesterday was more pecking by scenes, with a couple of short interludes to eat and go out shopping for a little while. The weekend before I may have done two thousand words or so: I’d have to check. This last weekend, the first of NaNo, I wrote almost forty-six hundred words, completed Chapter Twenty-Seven, and finished the first scene of Chapter Twenty-Eight.
That’s right: I’m on the last chapter of Act Two, and now there are only–well, how many scenes are left?
Five scenes, and at least two of those are short–three if you count the one I just finished. There is a real possibility that I could finish Act Two by this coming weekend. Who’d have thought, huh?
What was written was the rest of the late night Christmas Eve discussion between Annie and her mother. It was . . . shall we say, interesting? Because it starts out with Annie being told that she’s not serious about whatever it is she needed help from her mother. And then talk turns to a certain boy . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“I am serous.” Annie didn’t find her mother’s reaction to her request all that humorous. “Why do you think this is funny?”
“Because you remind me of something I once heard.” Pavlina moved away from the sofa, slowly making her way towards the fireplace. “Girls who have problem with their fathers end up dating boys just like their fathers.”
“Kerry is nothing like Papa.”
“Do you know what I’ve found the most interesting?” Pavlina stopped about a meter from the fire and warmed her hands. “Watching you tell your father about school without telling him too much.” She spoke in a slight falsetto, trying to imitate her daughter. “’Papa, I’m doing well in Flight School. And Kerry does well, too. He’s learned how to handle a broom well.’ Exactly what sort of broom is he handing these days?”
“Why do you ask, Mama?” A cold feeling started gnawing away at Annie’s stomach. She isn’t expecting an answer—because her question was rhetorical.
Pavlina turned away from the fire. “Because Kerry wouldn’t fly observational patrol on a Covington. What’s he flying?”
“How do you know—?”
“What’s Kerry flying, Annie?”
There wasn’t a point trying to answer a question—she’s going to keep asking until I answer. “An Espinoza 4500.”
“That’s rather nice. When was he allowed to fly that?”
Annie’s voice dropped slightly. “The weekend after we arrived.”
“Well, now . . .” Pavlina rubbed her hand together slowly. “For someone doing well he’s moved up quickly.” She nodded towards Annie. “I know you’re not on a Covingtons; what are you flying?”
“Just like the model locked up in your father’s office. Do you go flying with Kerry?”
Annie felt her face growing flush. It wasn’t so much her mother’s questions, but rather how pointed they were. “Yes, Mama. Almost every weekend.”
Mama Kirilova does seem to know more than she’s ever let on–and she lets that bomb drop next:
“I’ll bet he didn’t even have to ask twice.” Pavlina chuckled. “I did the same thing with your father. I wasn’t that interested in flying, but the first time he asked me, I couldn’t wait to get on a broom.” She moved two steps closer to her daughter. “Why didn’t you tell your father you received a commendation from The Foundation for helping during the November attack?”
Annie was aware that her mother knew about the Day of the Dead attack—she was told that week that The Foundation had notified her parents—but was surprised that she knew about her award. “I didn’t tell anyone; it wasn’t important.”
“Is that the reason you didn’t mention Kerry’s commendation for flying patrol?” Pavlina slipped her hands into the pockets of her housecoat. “Or that The Foundation gave him the Medal of Conspicuous Bravery last week?” She turned her head slightly to one side. “Pretty good for someone who handles a broom ‘well’.”
She kept her face passive, but Annie’s tone told her mother everything about what emotions were coursing through her daughter at the moment. “How do you know that? Are you spying on Kerry?”
Pavlina wasn’t nearly as controlled as her daughter, and didn’t mind letting her voice rise. “I learned through my contacts in The Foundation; did you think after hearing about the attack on the school I wasn’t going to do my own investigating?” Her face grew dark. “And I have a right to know about the boy my daughter loves. If you won’t tell me anything about him, I’ll get my own information.”
“What else do you know about him?” Annie fought not to clench her fists.
“I know he saved three lives. I know he was almost killed by an Abomination. I know he was injured and ended up spending two nights in the hospital.” Pvalina let her anger pass and lowered her voice. “I also know from my medical contacts that both nights he was on the floor a ‘care specialist’ watched him—an ‘A. Kirilova’.” She sighed soft and long. “Quite a step up from helping with triage.”
Annie stared at the floor for almost ten seconds. There wasn’t much she could say that might not result in yelling and arguing, and that was something she didn’t want on Christmas Eve. She was concerned with one thing, however . . . “Are you going to spy on me all the time while I’m at school?” She looked up at her mother, her voice choking with emotion. “Are you going to know about everything that happens between Kerry and me?”
Finally we find out what it was that Emma was gushing over Kerry about concerning some “ceremony”, which was The Foundation and the school honoring those who helped in the Day of the Dead attacks. So, yeah: saving the lives of three people and almost getting eaten by a monster will get you a medal–
And you also get the notice of Mama, who comes right out and says she has “a right to know about the boy my daughter loves.” No pussyfooting around there: Pavlina has heard Annie chat off and on about Kerry–aka Ginger Hair Boy–for years, and knows it’s not just some passing phase for Annie: she knows that just like everything her daughter does, if she’s interested in it, she gets serious.
It’s good news that these two don’t come to blows: in fact, they calm down and have a discussion about school, being adults, and life in general. But there is this mention . . .
Pavlina leaned over the arm of the chair and reached out towards Annie, who extended her left arm. She took Annie’s hand and held it. “You’re in a relationship: already you’ve discovered that things aren’t always as you expected—and they’ll never remain that way.
“You have issues with your father: I understand that. I understand why there are things you won’t do or say, like fly with him or tell him about your flying at school; you know how it would make him feel.” She gave Annie’s hand a final squeeze. “One day you’re going to have to do these things, because you won’t be able to hide things from him any longer. And then there’s Kerry—”
Annie’s brow furrowed. “What about Kerry?”
“There are things about your relationship you’ve not told him.” Pavlina straightened her housecoat over her legs. “Have you ever said anything about your book?”
Annie’s gaze dropped towards the floor. “No, Mama. But you told me most boys never learn of that book until—”
“Yes, I said that. And your father didn’t learn of my book until after you were born. But . . .” Her smile was soft and knowing. “I’d known your father a while before I wrote down his name.”
“I knew Kerry for a while—” Annie looked up and breathed out hard. “—before I wrote down his name.”
“You told me you wrote down his name almost as soon as he told you.” Pavlina raised an eyebrow. “That’s quite a difference than what I did with your father.”
Book? What is this book of Annie’s–one that her mother had as well? Maybe it’s a witches thing . . .
Chapter Twenty-Eight starts, and Kerry’s zipped back to early morning Salem, almost one in the morning local time.
The Cernunnos Commons was as dimly lit as he remembered it, and it brought a smile to his face. Christmas morning he awoke with the feeling that he’d dreamt of the commons, but as with all of his dreams for nearly the last year, he couldn’t remember any of it clearly—he wasn’t even certain if he’d had a dream. All that remained was the feeling that he he’d been sitting in front of a fire, and that maybe he’d had someone cuddling next to him—someone who always sat on his left.
He climbed the stairs to the first floor, the floor he shared with Annie. Everything here was as he’d left it: the lighting, the shadows, the silence. Instead of going directly to his room, Kerry walked to the girl’s side of the tower and walked to Annie’s door. He stood outside for almost a minute, imagining her sleeping on the other side. I wonder if she told me she loved me before she went to bed again tonight? He’d promised her that he would wish her a good night and say that he loved her before he fell asleep, and he’d kept that promise: he was certain Annie had done the same . . .
Whether she’d said it or not wasn’t a concern—what came to Kerry was that he’d see her in the morning. He lay his hand against her door before resting his head on the back. “I’ll see you soon, Sweetie.” Kerry closed his eyes and sent his love to the sleeping girl in the room beyond the door, then headed for his.
Since Kerry is sleeping after Annie sleeps, and it’s been established that he does dream, was he really dreaming about the coven tower commons? Or was he dreaming about being with a girl he knows as she sat before her fireplace thinking about being with a boy she knows, and her feelings eventually found their way to him? Curious, isn’t it? Maybe they weren’t so separated after all.
Tonight will be interesting, because it’s not the weekend, it’s the first night of NaNo after I work a full day, and if I’m gonna keep up, I need to hit at least seventeen hundred words. Can I do it?
Tune in tomorrow.
NaNo Word Count, 11/2: 2,370
NaNo Total Word Count: 4,587