We’re almost thirty-three thousand words into NaNo, and I’m already feeling that forty thousand is right around the corner. I’m also feeling the excitement that I’m into a part of the story that I’ve been waiting over a year to write, even though last night I felt pretty burned out. A little tired, a little bit of depression, thinking about my drive home on Saturday–yes, this Saturday I’m on the road heading back to Red State Indiana, where I probably won’t get any writing done that day. Okay, maybe a little.
Where am I now? Well, I’m right at the morning after with Kerry. He and Annie are in the Dining Hall having lunch and getting ready to head off to Sorcery class–it is, after all, Thursday–but they don’t quite get away from their table . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
As they were getting up from their seat Zora came over. “Nurse Coraline would like to see you.”
Kerry’s head jerked up. “Who?”
“Both of you.”
Annie caught Kerry’s surprise and heard the stress in his voice. She decided to ignore it for the moment and addressed Zora. “She wants us both?”
“Did she say why?”
Zora shook her head. “All she said was that she wanted you both to come to the hospital as soon as you were finished eating.” She eyed the plates on the table. “Which is now.”
Kerry frowned. “We’re gonna be late for class.”
“I would imagine they’ll take care of that for you.” Zora walked away; having delivered her message, there was no further need for her to remain.
Annie turned to Kerry. “Why does Coraline want to see us both?”
“I don’t know.” He shrugged before grabbing his backpack. “I don’t know why she’d want to see either of us.” He slipped one strap over his right shoulder. “I just hope this won’t be long; Lovecraft won’t be happy if we walk in late.”
Of all the things that could happen in sorcery class, showing up late wasn’t a concern for Annie. She was more concerned that something was wrong with Kerry—and they needed her to know . . .
Yep, Annie’s feeling the strange vibe flowing off Kerry today, and when she feels that, she gets concerned. It doesn’t help that this happens when they arrive:
They were entering the Waiting Room a couple of minutes later. Before they had a chance to check on Nurse Coraline’s location, she stepped out of her office. “Ah, there you are.” She headed straight for Annie, which didn’t put the already nervous girl at ease. “Annie, honey, I want you to wait in my office while I speak with Kerry in private.”
“Aren’t you going to speak with him in your office?” There were a number of places in the hospital where Annie knew Coraline could speak with Kerry in private, and her office was the most obvious selection as it was right here—but no, she wanted Annie to wait there.
“No, I’m gonna speak with Kerry in the commons area in the back.” She nodded down the ward aisle.
Annie saw the black privacy enchantment was up and active. She turned back to Coraline. “I see.”
“We won’t take long, I assure you.” Coraline didn’t even wait for Annie to enter her office: she immediately patted Kerry’s arm and began easing him towards the back. “Come on.”
He turned to Annie and smiled bravely. “I’ll be right back.”
“See that you are.” Annie was seriously not happy about how events were progressing.
This does nothing to help Annie’s mood, who is seriously not happy–yes, I wrote that, it’s a first draft, people, move on.
At the far end of the ward the black privacy enchantment that has been used before is up, and Coraline and he go right on through, and if you said someone would be waiting on the other side, well, you wouldn’t be wrong . . .
“Okay.” Kerry passed through, feeling the momentary chill that always came from the magical black partition. The second he stepped through he saw that they weren’t alone. “I’m not surprised.”
Deanna Arrakis smiled back. “I would hope not; I’d think by know when it comes to matters like dream interpretation Coraline would consult me right away.” She indicated the seat directly in front of Kerry, in between Deanna on his left and Coraline on his right. “Please, sit.”
He does, and they get right to the matter of what’s at hand. And Kerry–well, you know him . . .
The moment Kerry’s backpack was off and he was sitting comfortably, Deanna spoke. “Coraline explained your visit this morning, and related to me what you told her. She mentioned the detail in which you described everything, and explained your unease.” She sat back and set her hands in her lap. “You’re a smart boy, Kerry. Why did this dream bother you so much? Was it the—” Deanna didn’t want to come right out and state the obvious. “—way in which you were awaken?”
He shook his head. “Naw. I mean, what happened sucked, but it didn’t bother me that much.”
“Then?” Deanna already suspected the answer, but she wanted to see what connections Kerry had made.
He started at the table surface in front of him for a few seconds before slowly seeking the Seer’s gaze. “It wasn’t a dream.”
“Are you asking or telling, Kerry?” She leaned her left elbow on the table and lightly rested her lower lip on her index finger. “You’ve been reading books on divination since arriving. What did you imagine had occurred?”
“It was a dream vision.” He didn’t bother asking if he was right or not. “It was vivid, even for a lucid dream. There were too many things that felt like I was there for it to be a dream.”
“I’d agree with your feelings.”
He rubbed his hand against his forehead. “I know it was something special—it wasn’t just us, you know, hooking up.” Kerry’s breathing began growing rapid. “I mean, I did more than just sit next to her, you know? We were—” He closed his eyes and gulped. “We didn’t do that, but there were other things–”
Deanna gave him a concerned look. “Is that what bothered you so much last night? That you were seeing the future, and that you we both—doing those things?”
His gaze never left the Seer’s. “A possible future—right?”
“That’s correct. Nothing we see is set in stone. And it’s rare that we can affect a vision—any vision—to come out as we’d like.”
“Yeah.” He looked at the table surface and nodded. “I know.” He humped and looked once more to Deanna. “What do I tell Annie?”
“For the moment, nothing. The time will come for you to talk about this, but—” She shook her head. “Not right now. You’ll know when the time is right to tell her.”
He looked away as he shrugged. “Okay. I understand.”
Kerry’s agitation is being driven by the fact that he knows he had a vision, a vision of something special, and that–well, things happened . . . lots of stuff, it would seem. It’s also telling that he mentioned that they didn’t do “that”, but he isn’t shy in letting Deanna know there was more than sitting going on.
And he’s out of there, on the way to class with a pass and instructors for someone waiting in an office . . .
He was three-quarters of the way down the ward corridor when Annie hurried out of Coraline’s office and met him. “What happened?”
“We just talked.” He looked over his shoulder at the black curtain. “They want to see you.”
Annie steeled herself. “They?”
“Nurse Coraline is there with Professor Arrakis. They want to see you—mostly Professor Arrakis, I’m guessing.”
She touched Kerry’s left arm. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” He nodded towards the back where the instructors waited. “You better go.”
“What’s wrong?” Annie felt Kerry was in far too much of a hurry to leave. “You should rest a bit before—”
“No.” He shook his head. “Deanna told me to go to class. She said not to wait for you.”
“Why would she say that?” Annie was not only confused, but she was starting to feel upset because Kerry was obviously upset.
“I don’t know. She just—” He looked at the floor, shaking his head. “They’ll explain something, I’m sure.” He looked towards the end of the aisle. “I gotta get going—” He slowly ran the fingers of his left hand down her arm. “See you there?”
“You most certainly will.” She kissed his check. “I’ll be along shortly.”
Annie had only taken a few steps when she heard Kerry hurry up behind her. She stopped and faced him. “Kerry?”
He threw his arms around her and hugged her tight. “I love you.” He pulled back just enough so he could kiss her on the lips. “I love you, Annie.”
She brushed his check. “I love you, Kerry.” She couldn’t help the smile that appeared. “I always will.”
He closed his eyes and nodded one. “I’ll see you in a bit.” He turned and hurried from the hospital.
Now the attention turns to Annie, and because I was tired and a little burned out last night I didn’t get into a marathon writing session. I did, however, get Kerry’s act out of the way, and tonight I’ll finish this scene, have Deanna say what she needs to say to Annie, and then . . . move on.
And it’ll be there that more talk of dreams become a reality . . .
NaNo Word Count, 11/17: 1,735
NaNo Total Word Count: 32,828