On Maters of Time and Money

So many things done last night, so many issues selected and solved.  And it was a big NaNo night, because I finished off one scene and jumped into another and finished that, so now there is one final scene to write tonight, and I am through with Act Two.

I'm almost there--look!

I’m almost there–look!

And knowing the last scene isn’t going to be that long, if I wanna keep my NaNo word count going, I’ll need to start Act Three tonight as well.

I mean, I could slack off today and still be ahead . . .

I mean, I could slack off today and still be ahead . . .

But I will tell you know, Act Two ends on a big cliffhanger, and I can hear some people screaming right now that if I don’t show you what happens, then you’ll be a wreck until Sunday morning.  So I suppose when I update my author’s page with the milestone of “Act Two Complete” tonight, I can add “Begun This Act Three Has” and be happy that I’m finally into the last third of the book, and I’m coming to the conclusion.

What about this part, though?

We left off with the Paris People telling Kerry they really weren’t there to tell him about his ancestor, they were there for another reason–and now we’re getting to that reason, and it consist of part of the title of this post:

 

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

“Huh?” Kerry was getting up from his chair when he was given the news there was more. “Why are you here?”

Ms. Rutherford spoke for the first time since entering the room. “To give you your inheritance.”

“The children and descendents of Aisling Callaghan were not the only ones she watched; she was convinced that, in time, another witch would return to her family line. Some say she had a vision, while other say she was convinced it would happen.” Ms. Yalpat touched the screen of her tablet twice. “She wanted to make certain that when this person became Aware—and discovered that they were a descendant of hers—they would come into position of an inheritance . . .

“She set up a trust fund that they could access once they were in school, and that would become theirs fully once they attained adulthood. She started the fund with five thousand pounds and entrusted it to The Foundation to manage.” Ms. Yalpat tapped out a short rhythm on the table top with her index fingers. “That was why there was a security lock on her name, so we would receive notification that someone had finally went looking for her.” She wiped some invisible sweat from her brow. “It also gave people in Paris enough time to compare your DNA and see if it matched Aisling’s. If it hadn’t we wouldn’t be here.”

“How did you get my DNA?” Kerry was more concerned this matter than that he’d come into money.

Annie chuckled. “How many times have you been in the hospital, my love?”

He looked at Annie and blushed. “Oh. Yeah.”

“Not to mention you were asleep on the flight from Amsterdam.” Ms. Rutherford leaned over the table. “Samples are taken from all A Levels before they enter Founder’s Gate. That way we don’t have to ask you for one once you’re here.”

 

The Foundation:  Stealin’ Your DNA While You Sleep.  I can just see the hostesses going through the 747 on the way over the Atlantic Ocean, getting DNA samples from all the kids as they adjusted to the correct time zone of their destination.  No, nothing shady there, right?

But now we learn that Kerry’s gonna have some money to call his own.  We also find out that sometimes his parents pay him to use his computer skills . . .

 

He wasn’t going to have much to spend, but Kerry was happy that he was finally going to have access to money. He’d never received an allowance, and any time he needed money it was necessary for him to work for it, either by doing something around the house, or by putting his computer skills to use for his parents. “Nice. How much is in the trust?” He smiled at Annie, then turned back to Ms. Yalpat. “Like twenty, thirty thousand?”

“No, Kerry: much more than that.” She pulled up a screen on her display. “As of 1 January, 2012, the standing balance is four hundred thirty-seven thousand, two hundred and ninety-one pounds and fifteen pence.”

Kerry continued starting at Ms. Yalpat for almost five seconds at the numbers tumbled about in his head. He swallowed twice. “That’s like . . .” He nearly rolled his eyes. “When was this set up?”

“1897. The trust has been compounding four percent interest annually for one hundred and fourteen years.”

Ms. Rutherford covered her mouth as she chuckled. “She set this up before her first death, Kerry. From what I understand, she never anticipated the trust to go untouched for more than thirty or forty years.”

Ms. Yalpat nodded. “And it’s fortunate that you came along, because it’s nearly unheard of for a Aware line to go five generations between witches.”

 

One hundred and fourteen years is a good time to collect money.  He doesn’t have access to it now–not until he’s eighteen, but he can pull a little out every month without problems–but still:  almost a half a million pounds is a good sum with which to start off life.

I also realize in that last scene that I left something out–just a couple of lines, but it sets up something.  This is why we edit–so we can fix things.  Maybe I’ll get to that tonight.

First, however, on to the next scene, which happening in their tower commons, where they fell asleep together a month and a half before.  And it’s getting chilly outside . . .

 

Annie rested comfortably in Kerry’s arms as they sat on the Main Commons sofa before the warming fire. It was just after twenty-three hours, and the fire wouldn’t begin dying for another hour, so it did its job of keeping the -4 C temperature outside the tower at bay.

Kerry hadn’t said much about their morning meeting. He’d only said a few thing concerning what he’d learned about his Aisling and her witch daughter, but the matter of his trust remained a unspoken topic. It seemed that he didn’t want to talk about it anywhere that they might be overheard, and neither of them wanted to walk around outside in the below 0 C temperatures to be alone. The tunnels were out of the question as well: while there were a lot of places where one could be alone and not worry about the elements, they both found them too forbidding—save for The Chunnel, and that was a main gathering area for the “Tunnel Children” who wanted to get away and be alone.

This time of night, with no school tomorrow, most people were asleep or heading there. The school wasn’t enforcing a twenty-two hour “light’s out” policy, but they let it be known that come Sunday night students were expected to be in their rooms by twenty-one thirty in preparation for the return of classes Monday. Therefor most students were on their floors and in their rooms, and if they weren’t asleep, they were preparing for bed.

 

The school routine is getting back into shape, but these two–they wanna stay up late and have conversations.  Why aren’t they making out?  Kids . . . what’s wrong with them?

 

Annie found her opportunity to position herself so she was laying back against his chest, as they always did during the Midnight Madness. “There; much better.”

“Yeah.” He wrapped his arms around her. “You have a trust fund, don’t you?”

I knew he was going to ask. “Yes, I do.”

“I thought you might. That was how you bought the PAV, right?”

She tilted her head back enough that she could stare up at the high ceiling over the main floor. “I needed my mother’s help for that: she actually bought it, then transferred money from my trust to replace what she paid.”

“So . . . yeah, you bought it.”

“Yes.”

Kerry paused, and Annie figured he was trying to find a way to ask something without simply blurting out a question. “I figured your parents had money, what with your dad being a Formula 1 driver, but I wasn’t sure if they’d set up anything for you.” He buried his face in her hair for a moment. “You never talk about those things.”

“I don’t talk about it because it’s boring.” She turned her head so she was looking towards the fire, but also so Kerry could see her face in profile. “My father drives, like you say, and he also receives another salary from The Foundation for work unrelated to driving and racing. My mother is a pharmacologist, so she also receives a salary from The Foundation. We’re not tremendously wealthy, but my family has money.

“Being a Legacy makes people think I’m special already, and talking about money make it sound like I’m bragging about how much better I am.” She glanced up and stared into Kerry’s dark eyes. “And you know I’m not like that, love. I’m not impressed by wealth or fancy things. I want what comes from your heart.” She rubbed her cheek against his chest. “I can’t ever buy that.”

 

So now you know why Mama was out to the lake house to help Annie buy a broom.  And that Annie can’t buy love; she wants it given to her freely.  But when it comes to her trust fund . . .

 

Kerry lightly pressed his fingers through Annie’s hair. “Will you tell me how much you have?”

“Just this once, and then never again.” She giggled as he played with her hair. “And since you’ve been quite about your new trust, I take it we won’t talk of it again, either.”

“Naw: you already know what I have.” He nodded. “Go ahead.”

She decided not to keep him in suspense. “Four point one five million Euros.”

Kerry laughed hard once. “Really?”

“Yes.” She giggled as well. “It’s a nice amount for the future—as is yours.” She left him an opening for what she was certain was also on his mind . . .

 

And that figure isn’t something I made up.  She mentions it started out with a million euros–or two million lev, which was/is the currency of Bulgaria converted into euros–and then there was money put in every month while it collected five percent interest annually.  I know my maths.  But he’s got something else on his mind, too.  Something about the future . . .

 

I knew he would. “Yes?”

“Today when Ms. Yalpat mentioned how old Aisling was when she died, no one seemed surprised she was over a hundred and forty.”

She didn’t move from where she rested upon his chest. “No, they didn’t.”

“I also remembered something you told me when I gave you your birthday present.” He cleared his throat before lowing his voice. “You said a hundred years from now you’d remember that day. Not ‘If I live to be a hundred’—you were specific about how long.”

“I know; I was.” Annie nodded, deciding she wasn’t going to hide anything. “I did say that. And I will.”

Kerry lay in silence for almost twenty seconds before asking the question she knew was coming. “Annie, how long will you live?”

She rolled over so her stomach rested against his. Without digging her elbows into Kerry’s body, she lifted her enough enough so she could speak to Kerry face-to-face. “I’ll live to see my one hundred and twelfth birthday, I’m certain. I’ll probably live to be one hundred and fifty—and my mother says this generation may be the first to see two hundred without using a lot of life and transformation magic.” Annie watched Kerry’s eyes as he took in what she’d just told him. He feels more shocked than surprised.

“You could be two hundred years old?” His voice sounded small and far away.

“It’s possible. Kerry, the energy that allows me to Craft my Art also helps renew my body so I don’t age as quickly.” She chuckled. “Haven’t you noticed how young all the staff and instructors here appear? Professor Kishna, Lovecraft, Sladen, Salomon—they went to school here in the 1980’s, and they don’t look anywhere near their mid-forties.”

“Yeah.” He looked towards the fireplace. “They look like they may be in their early thirties, and Sladen sometimes looks like she’s in her late twenties.”

“And look at Wednesday, Isis, and Professors Chai and Arrakis. They were in school a little over ten years ago, and . . . Wednesday sometimes looks like she’s still in school, and both Ramona and Deanna looks like older teenagers at times.”

 

This is something that’s only been mentioned a few times, and usually with Wednesday, but all the members who work at Salem look younger than they are.  Kishna, Lovecraft, Sladen, Salomon, and the Headmistress, are all in the forties, and the rest are in their thirties, or as in the case of Wednesday, Isis, Ramona and Deanna, their twenties.  Ramona was actually hired right out of school, so she’s the oldest of this bunch, and I’d have to check, but Annie’s probably got her age wrong, as she’s probably thirty.  But then that’s what happens with kids . . .

Here, though, we have Annie admitting something to Kerry that isn’t known yet to the rest of the A Levels, and probably not to a lot of the upper level kids, either:  She’s gonna live a long time, and she knows it.  She’s telling Kerry she’ll walk this earth for over a hundred years, and she may live a couple of centuries.  And how many of us, at twelve, can look another kid in the eye and say, “Yeah, I’ll be around for over a hundred years, and I know it.”

Needless to say, it hits Kerry in a way that’s not good.

 

She watched his face closely as the realization dawn that he was with someone who could very well be around well into the next century, and with some luck could even live to see the first decades of the following century. But Kerry wasn’t feeling amazement or joy; instead she saw his face quiver and shrivel . . . “Kerry?”

His lower lip quivered as a few tears began to fall. “When you’re two hundred—”

“What’s wrong?”

His voice caught as his breath hitched. “Will you even remember me?” He closed his eyes. “I’ll be gone a long time by then.”

He thinks . . . “Oh, Kerry, no.” She gently touched his wet cheek. “No, my love. You don’t understand—”

He turned his head and sniffed. “Understand what?”

“It’s not just me that will live that long . . .” Annie placed her index finger upon the tip of his chin. “It’s all witches. And you are—” She removed her finger from his chin and began making slow circles upon his chest. “—a witch. And the same energies that flow through me flow through you.”

Now the realization dawned up him. “Really?”

“Yes, really. You didn’t know it at the time, but the moment you crafted your first spell, you started aging the same as me.” She kissed his chin. “And if you’re lucky, you’ll see two hundred as well. One hundred and fifty for sure.”

 

“It’s all witches . . .”  And Kerry finds out that he’s in that lottery.  And he’s got this girlfriend telling him that, hey, guess what?  You’ll be around a long time, too.  Long enough that you’ll see all your Normal friend die, but you’re a witch, so shake that crap off, ‘kay?

And this leads to a moment where Annie gets about as honest with her loved one as she ever has.  Maybe it was the two weeks away from him; maybe it’s something else.  But she opens up and lays this upon him . . .

 

His face softened. “I don’t even know what I’d do with all that time.”

Annie saw something she’d never seen before cross his face, and she took a chance that she was guessing on the emotion correctly. “Can I tell you something that’s extremely personal?”

“Sure . . .” His voice had grown even softer than when he was asking about her wealth. “Anything.”

“Do you know what I wish for this very moment?” She went ahead without waiting for him to respond. “That on my one hundred and twelfth birthday, while I’m remembering how a certain nervous, and perhaps frighted, Ginger Hair Boy gave me my first real present one hundred years before—that you be there with me, remembering when you gave me this locket.”

Annie stretched up and kissed Kerry’s lips. “What can you do with that time?” She slid back and lay her head so she could listen to his heart beat. “We can can spend it together. You can grow old with me—” She focused upon fire and stroked Kerry’s arm with her left hand. “—and we can do anything we want.” She nuzzled against his chest. “If that would make you happy, my love.”

Staring into the fire Annie waited for Kerry to say something—perhaps to rebuke her statement, to ask her what she meant. Or to say she was talking some foolishness, that maybe she was just a bit crazy with her idea of growing old together . . .

Kerry’s left arm draped over her body and held her tight, while never once saying a word about her wish.

Annie felt great contentment wash through her body. She wasn’t certain if Kerry was simply reacting to her words of endearment, or if he had fully comprehended her statement. Either way, she was pleased, because found the courage to tell him something that had resided within her for awhile, and that she’d wanted to tell him since the night of his racing accident . . .

He didn’t run away. She reached down and gave his right hand a squeeze. He didn’t tell me no. He’s heard the dreams of his soul mate.

He knows what’s in my heart.

 

When someone says to you, “Grow old with me,” they don’t mean, “At least until we’re fifteen.”  Annie is way mature for someone her age (and, yes, there are reasons for this which will appear in Act Three), but this is now going to another level.

And there are thing happening with Kerry as well.  The fact that he jumped to the conclusion that at some point he’d probably be dead for a hundred years of Annie’s life, and that she’d have forgotten that boy whom she told a century and a half ago that she loved, and the thought didn’t set well with him.  Now that he’s heard her wish–what really is happening inside his head?  And in his heart?  We’ll find that out as well.

Just as soon as I put Act Two to bed.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/7:  2,813

NaNo Total Word Count:  13,883