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Pudding and Pledges

I’m actually in a good place this morning, even though the last hour and a half saw me drifting in and out of sleep with a sore back.  And I almost didn’t get into writing last night, because I didn’t start until about eight-thirty, which meant I was dragging my feet to do some work.

I didn’t need worry, however, because once I started writing the scene came to me.  It also helped that I “talked it out” several times over the last couple of days, so I kinda knew what I wanted Annie and Kerry to say.  It can be a strange sort of way to do things, I know, but I’ve done this for years, going all the way back to 2012 when I used to do this driving back and forth to Indianapolis when I was working for the state of Indiana.  And I do it now walking to and from work.  So why stop a good thing?

It would seem Annie made it back to the Great Hall, and she gathered her things for a night stay in Bay #1 at the hospital, and there is this going on . . .

 

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

Kerry slowly strained the pudding inside his mouth and swallowed it little by little. When he was finished he shook his head before another spoonful headed his was. “You don’t have to feed me anymore.”

A wide grin spread across Annie’s face. “But there’s only like three more spoonfuls remaining.” She looked in the bowl sitting upon the adjustable table almost even with the propped up Kerry’s chest. “You haven’t had much to eat tonight; at least finish your desert.”

He knew there wasn’t much of a chance he was gonna talk Annie out of not giving him the rest of the chocolate pudding she requested. He’d been on an IV since being brought in, and all he’d managed earlier in the evening was a bowl of French onion soup—one which Annie fed to him because he was having trouble using his left hand due to his fractured wrist.

By the time the pudding arrived for a “late night snack,” Annie had changed into her blue flannel pajamas and matching bootie slippers, and left her robe across the foot of Bed #1, not needing it at the moment because the hospital was always kept at a comfortable temperature, and the bay curtain was closed and secured.

 

Annie:  Feeding her boyfriend pudding.  In some cultures that’s the same as being married, right?  I’m sure Trevor could find a citation . . .

And Kerry is enjoying the attention even if he is protesting lightly.  Just six months before he was hiding out in his room with his computer and having no contact with anyone, and now he’s on his fourth overnight stay after getting busted up or electrocuted–thanks, Mistress of All Things Dark!–and receiving all sorts of attention from a girl he met in a bookstore.  But Kerry wants to talk about something besides pudding, because he isn’t Carl Grimes.

 

“Maybe.” Kerry started to look away out of habit and stopped as he was still wearing a neck brace. Nurse Gretchen had come in about an hour before and exchanged the hard brace for a soft one, telling him he’d need to sleep with it on. This restricted his head moment, which prevented him from looking down or away, or nodding in agreement. “Professor Salomon came back to see me tonight.”

“When?” Annie was surprised to discover she’d returned after having spent most of the afternoon in the hospital while Kerry was being worked on.

“Not long after you guys left.” He took a deep breath as he stared straight ahead. “She wanted to know a few things.”

“Like?”

“Like if I was gonna retaliate against Lisa for what she did.” He tried to shake his head again and gave up. “I told her no; I said I was done with that.”

Annie nodded for him. “Good to hear.”

He paused for almost ten seconds. “She told me you got detention.”

“Why did she do that?” She’d planed to tell him before they turned in tonight, and Annie was slightly miffed that the professor had told Kerry.

“She told me you went after Lisa after you left the hospital—”

“She was saying mean things about you.”

“Yeah, the professor mentioned that.” He kept his eyes turned towards Annie. “She wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go after Lisa for that.”

I can see her wanting to know Kerry’s intentions. “What did you tell her?”

“That it was between Lisa and you, and it wasn’t my business.” He chuckled when he realized he was about to shake his head. “She let me know that it was a good idea to let it die.”

 

There’s Vicky trying to prevent an all-out war because Lisa and her German minion, and the Lovey Dovey Couple.  Probably because she knows the school can’t tolerate that kind of fighting, but more likely due to her knowing Annie and Kerry could kill those two, and since they aren’t that skilled yet, more than likely would.  And you can’t have that.  No, you can’t.

He has other questions, too:

 

“No problem.” Kerry did nothing but stare lovingly at Annie. “Is that why you got detention?”

“Partially.” Annie looked down at Kerry’s broken wrist. “I left class without permission when I came here.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Because I was worried about you.” She moved as close as she could to him without disturbing his injured body. “You took a hard hit; I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“Yeah, but . . .” Kerry tried his best to look concerned. “I didn’t want you to get in trouble.”

“It’s okay—it’s only two hours this Saturday. I’ll do it while you’re working on your Ostara performance.”

“Sounds good.”

Annie didn’t want the comment about detention to end without an explanation. “Lisa was saying mean things about you. I didn’t handle it well.” She shook her head as she lightly rubbed his left forearm. “I wasn’t a good sorceress; I didn’t keep my wits about me.”

Kerry chuckled. “I was thinking that right before . . .” He thought about how to say the next part. “Before Emma and I almost crashed. It popped into my head right before I yelled at her to land.”

“You kept your wits about you.” For which I’m thankful . . .

 

Both kids seem to have the whole “Being a good sorceress” thought on their minds, and Kerry comes out with a confession.

 

“I’d rather I didn’t. Talk about not keeping your wits about you.” He settled back into his pillow. “I worry about you.”

Annie twisted her mouth. “Do you now.”

“Yeah.”

“Why?” She untwisted her mouth into a smile. “I can take care of myself, in case you hadn’t noticed.”

“I have noticed.”

“Then?”

Kerry saw no point in avoiding the truth. “Because I love you. Because you’re important to me. Because, right now, you’re my life. Because you’re my soul mate.” He rested his left hand upon here knee. “I see you in the morning, I see you at night. I’m with you eating, I’m with you walking, I’m with you in class. I’m with you when we’re relaxing and when we’re flying.” He sighed long and low. “You’re more important to me, in a lot of ways, than my parents. I mean, I’ve only heard from them four times, and two of those were about Yule. And I haven’t heard from them since coming back—”

“I know.” It saddened Annie to know that Kerry’s parents didn’t seem invested in his education or in his personal life while he was away from home.

“And my mother would have never fed me pudding.”

“Silly.” Annie playfully slapped at his arm. “I enjoyed feeding you pudding.”

 

He’s got those feelings of worrying about his sweetie because, well, it comes with the territory as he says later.  And we see a bit more of his family interactions, which are to say none.  He also likes Annie feeding him pudding, but he’s probably gonna need to get really busted up again to enjoy that.

This gets Annie to admit that she worries about him, too, because she loves him, and that she knows she’s guilty of getting nutty when someone says or does something to Kerry.  And she brings up a line that Vicky dropped on her, while at the same time comes up with a solution . . .

 

“No, we can’t.” She slowly ran a finger down the side of Kerry’s chest. “Otherwise it’ll be a long next five years for us both.”

Kerry finally managed a small nod. “I don’t want that—there’s gonna be way too much to do, and I’d rather spend the time with you as drama-free as possible.”

“As would I.” She held out her right hand palm up. “Give me your hand.”

“Like this?” He set his hand in hers.

“Yes.” She’d debated doing this, but thought it might not be a bad thing for them to share. “I want to offer you my pledge—”

“Like a promise?”

“Yes, like that.” She gently tightened her hand around his. “I love you, Kerry. You are my soul mate and the most important person in my life. I do worry about you, about your health, your troubles, your injuries, and those people who may want to do you harm. From this point on I promise that I will always temper my worry for you, and where you are concerned I will always keep my wits about me.”

Kerry closed his fingers around Annie’s hand before she could release. “I love you, Annie. You are my soul mate and you are the most important person in my life. I worry about you, about your health, your troubles, your injuries, and those foolish people who may want to do you harm. From this point on I promise that I will always temper my worry for you, and where you are concerned I will always keep my wits about me.”

Annie didn’t let go of Kerry’s hand, and he held on to hers as well as they lowered them into his lap. “You know what we did—” She tilted her head forward. “Don’t you?”

“That was a Sorceress’ Bargain, right?” He tried not to press his cast against her arm.

She nodded. “Yes. Your first.”

“Yeah, and with you, too.” He grinned. “We didn’t set a punishment if we break it.”

“It doesn’t matter—” She kissed his cheek. “We won’t.”

“I know we won’t.” He chuckled. “My Dark Witch doesn’t break her word.”

“Nor does my Dark Witch—” She rested her head against his shoulder. “And you’re getting good at those things I’m showing you.”

“It just takes time.” Kerry wanted to lean his head into Annie’s hair, but the brace prevented that from happening. “I’ll get there.”

 

That line, “Yeah, and with you, too,” is the indication that Kerry isn’t all that unfamiliar with a Sorceress’ Bargain, since he did something similar to Emma before cutting out at Yule.  After all this time of hanging with Annie he’d know what one is–she would have told him about the one did made with Helena–and probably explained it to him as well.  The fact that he knows you’re suppose to set a punishment says he knows a bit about them–and given that he did set a punishment when he was holding Emma’s hand and telling her what he wanted, it’s even more of an indication that he’s somewhat versed in them.  And that Emma wasn’t.

Now it is time for bed, and Chapter Thirty ends this way:

 

Annie slid off the bed and walked around the foot to the other side. “Should I get Nurse Gretchen for anything? You need something to sleep?”

“Naw, I’m good.” He shifted his eyes to the IV bag that the night nurse had replaced an hour before. “That’s handling the pain.”

“And she’s changed your catheter bag—” She began lowering his bed back. “You need a bedpan?”

“It’s been all liquids tonight. I should be all right.” He waited until the bed angle was right. “Stop there. I like that.”

“Okay.’ She leaned over Kerry and gave him a long, loving kiss on the lips. “I’ll see you in the morning, my love.”

“See you in the morning, Sweetie.” He kept smiling as she pulled the comforter up to his shoulders. “Good night, Annie. I love you.”

She kissed him once more. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.” She hopped into her own bed and snuggled under the covers before ordering the lights off. Annie rolled onto her left side and slipped a second pillow between her arms as she stared into the darkness, listening to his breathing slow as he sunk into unconsciousness. She so wanted to crawl into his bed and lie next to him, but she’d promised to stay in her own bed, and she didn’t want to end up responsible if she rolled onto his wrist and it ended up broken again—

In time she drifted off into her own dreams, imagining the pillow she was hugging was far more important to her . . .

 

That chapter is over, and Thirty-One waits tonight.  It’s Ostara, Kerry gets to play, and I don’t expect this to be a long chapter, more a look at festivities and how some people handle them.  I imagine I’ll get through the first scene tonight, and maybe even start on the second as well.  Depending on what I have to say, I could even finished up the new chapter by tomorrow–

Not to mention I so want to get to Chapter Thirty-Two.

Because I so want to get to Chapter Thirty-Two.

Because that’s where the fun really starts.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/13:  2,134

NaNo Total Word Count:  26,519

5 thoughts on “Pudding and Pledges

  1. When I got to that part where the two made a Sorceress bargain, I immediately thought of the one Kerry made with Emma. But, both bargains didn’t mention any punishment, right ? With Emma, it didn’t make sense there was no punishment mentioned. But with A and K, I feel a punishment for breaking the promise of loving each other is somewhat not ideal.. One cannot force love if or when the time comes the other falls out of love. There will be resentment all over ….definitely not a happy life together.

    Anyway, this is a sweet chapter, a chapter full of promises. I’m a happy camper today.

    By the way, if no punishment is made, does the bargain become kind of ineffective, like a piece of official marriage document that one can always get out of ?

    I’m also surprised that the grown-ups allow these lovebirds to sleep in the same room.

    I’m thinking, at this moment, the vision Kerry saw during the Divination scene with Deanna. Kerry is with another girl, and Deanna tells him not to avoid an event happening just because it isn’t Annie who’s with him.

    • Actually, Kerry *DID* mention a punishment with Emma; he’d never speak to her again. Here’s the passage:

      “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?”

      So he laid it on her for sure.

      As Kerry said, he doesn’t believe Annie would break her word. I think their punishment would be knowing someone broke their word, and how they feel. That’s enough right there.

      The “room” is a curtained off hospital bay, and Coraline was probably telling Annie, “You break his wrist, I’ll break yours–stay out of his BED!” But you didn’t see that. And as she’s said, she know’s Annie will be up in the middle of the night “unable to sleep,” so why bother? And Annie is being good that night; she knows better.

      All I will say about that vision is that it does happen. But not for a while.

    • Making the Bargain like they did, it’s more a psychological effect if it’s broken. They would feel it, but there wouldn’t be a punishment other than a huge disappointment they’d feel. Which would be bad.

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