First off, where in the world am I posting from?
I’m in eastern Ohio on my way home for the holidays. And as such, I’m making my normal stops along the way.
Anyway, about four hours of driving down, and another, oh, six or so to go before I pull into my ancestral home in Northwest Indiana. Somewhere along the line I’m going to try and write–probably at my next stop–but I’ll consider it a victory if I can get a thousand words in today, because the last time I made this trip I couldn’t write at all once I arrived home. However, unlike last time I actually managed some sleep this time, so I’m not feeling as if I’m going to crash and burn before the next curve in the road.
The story left off yesterday with Annie admitting that she’d had a vision like Kerry’s–only it happened during their first moment at Memory’s End. They only speak of the matter for a few seconds before Kerry asks the really important questions.
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie looked to the sky as she swallowed a couple of times. “Back on Orientation Day. In Memory’s End.”
“Really?” He’d collected himself and his breathing. “When we had our visions?”
“Yes.” She sighed slowly. “Deanna put us both in a trance to see if we’d have visions. When I had mine—” She swallowed. “I saw you coming out of the bathroom towards the bed, towards me. You had your hand on the railing and you were looking down—”
“At the fire.” Kerry didn’t get close to Annie least they find themselves drawn into—something—as they were moments before. “And then you sat down next to me and . . .” She smiled softly as she looked towards the ground. “Well, if you saw what I saw, then you know what happened.”
“Yes.” He nodded as he kept his eyes on Annie. “Hey, wait—um . . .” He ran his hand over his chin. “I wasn’t, um—naked, was I?”
Annie looked up with a wide grin on her face. “Oh, yes.”
Kerry’s entire body clenched for a second. “Really?”
“Well, didn’t you see me naked?”
“Um . . . Yeah.”
“Then it’s only fair.” Annie finally moved closer to her soul mate. “You have nothing to worry about if the vision is any indication.”
He found he was able to chuckled. “Neither do you. Magic probably has something to do with that.”
“Transformation magic, probably. But . . .” She touched his arm gently. “I don’t think we were very old.”
Not old plus transformation magic equals pretty hot bods. One can assume that ’cause Annie’s grinning, and not much brings a smile to her face, right? They both figure out that their shared vision came on the wedding night before–as Kerry says–“things got serious”. And the thing is Annie doesn’t need to have all the answers, because someone’s been doing their reading . . .
Annie laughed. “You could put it in those terms.” Her seriousness returned. “You saw everything from your point of view?”
“Yes, I did.” He nodded slowly. “And you saw it from yours?”
“Yes. You know what that means?”
After months of pouring through the divination books he’d been giving at the beginning of the school year, Kerry had a very good idea. “If one person has a vision, the best they can hope for is a fifty-fifty chance it’ll come true—”
“Except under unusual circumstances.” Like an accomplished seer having one on a plane the day before it happens.
“More than one person can see a vision, but it’s usually from a third-person point of view—”
Annie nodded. “Which can greatly increase the chances the vision will occur—particularly if they all see it within a few days of each other.”
“But we didn’t see the same thing within a few days of each other.”
“No: it’s been six months.” Annie set her hands on here hips and took several deep breaths. “And we experienced the same thing from our own points of view—”
“As if we were there at the same time.” Kerry knew exactly what this meant. “I think Professor Arrakis would say the odds of us not actually having that vision come true are, like, in the billions.” He looked down and away for just a moment—
Wait, Kerry: why are you looking down and away? Is something on your mind? Something, yes: and on Annie’s mind as well . . .
Annie caught something she hadn’t thought Kerry would do—did he grin? She didn’t ask if he had; she thought it better to confirm his belief. “It still might not happen: there are things that could occur between us—”
“I don’t want to go there.” Kerry’s tone turned dark and serious. “It’s not a good idea.”
It hit Annie what Kerry was saying: one of the things that could happen is one of us could die. “You’re right. We shouldn’t talk about that. But . . .” She held Kerry’s hand in hers. “You’re remarkably calm about all of this—it doesn’t bother you?”
He shrugged. “Not really.”
“Nurse Coraline and Deanna said you were agitated when you came in last night.”
“I guess I was—” He pulled his arms in close to his side and seemed to shudder. “But it’s not what you think.”
“What is it, then?”
“I’m not sure myself.” He shook his head. “I just know something bothered me. As for the vision—everything I read said not to try and force or prevent a vision—” He gave Annie the grin that she thought she’d spotted before. “Yes?”
“Then I won’t.” He let a short laugh escape. “See? I did learn something reading all those books.”
“I can see that you did.” Annie found she wasn’t confused by the way Kerry was acting: she’d known he’d learn something reading the books she gave him. But there was something nagging her— Did I have him read those because I knew we’d talk about this vision one day? Did I know he’d have the same? Or is there another reason?
Annie did have a reason for wanting Kerry to read all those books, but now she’s wondering if her reasons were her own. A very timey-whimy situation here now, because did she want Kerry to read those books–or was there a suggestion? I’ll probably have an answer for you by the fourth novel.
The thing is, Kerry seems cool with it. He knows you don’t try to stop or force a vision, and as he indicated, one sure-fire way not to have it come true is for someone to die, and that’s a bit of an extreme way to stop it from happening.
And this leads to Kerry’s rune dream, which I also have written out. It was the last thing I did before getting ready for the road, and just as I did with Annie’s, here is Kerry’s dream, in its entirety.
I’m sitting at the base of my tree. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true. It’s a tree back in California, and I used to go there all the time. It was a nice place to hang out, because you couldn’t be seen there.
It’s a nice day but cool, like the ones I remember. I miss this sort of stuff a lot.
A voice makes me turn to my left. A girl’s there. She got on jeans and sneakers and a Torchwood tee shirt just like I have. Her hair is red, her eyes green, and there’s lots of freckles. I’ve never seen her before, but she grins when I look her way. “Who are you?”
“You know who I am.” She looked around as if she never heard my question. “You haven’t been here in a long time.”
It’s kinda weird that she knows about this place, but I just ignore that back. “Yeah. Not since leaving for Cardiff.” And stand up and shake myself off, and a book falls to the ground.
She picks it up and reads the cover. “A Fall of Moondust. I should have guessed.”
I take the book from her and hide it against my stomach. “Just leave that—“
“That’s what you read to her the first time, right?”
I don’t want to hear anything like that. I try to ignore the comment, but it’s ringing in my head. “What do you know about that?”
“I know you read it to her when you were about six; I know that you read to her twice more.” She folds her arms across of stomach. “I know you really liked reading to her.”
“You don’t know anything.”
“I know that.” She stands alongside of me. “I know a lot about you.”
“How do you know?”
“You know how.” She reaches for my left hand. “Come on; let’s go for a walk.”
I don’t think about saying no or pulling away from her: I just take her hand and we walk along van Winkle Drive. Nothing is moving; there aren’t any real sounds. And there’s no heat from the sun, though it’s not uncomfortable. “Where are we going?”
“Just around.” She started swinging my arm. “I wanna talk.”
“Her.” She looks at me out from the corner of her eye. “Your Chestnut Girl.”
I don’t want to hear this: I really don’t want to talk about her. “Can we not?”
“Why? Why don’t you want to talk about her?” This girl stops swinging our hands and lets me go, so we’re just walking side by side. “You knew her for a long time.”
“Knew.” I say it again, louder so she gets the point. “KNEW. She’s gone. She . . .” I start to choke on the word and say something else. “She went away.”
“No, she didn’t.” The girl grabs my arm and stops me, makes me face her. “She left you. That’s what you wanted to say.”
I’m getting upset. Not angry—I never get that way. Just lost and empty . . . “Yes, she left me. She went away, just like my grandparents did.”
“Did they really go away?”
“I never hear from them. They got a computer—I’ve written to them.” I turn away, because I’m remembering something else. “And forget about my parents; they don’t even want me.”
The girl shook her head. “You just think that—“
“My mother told me she didn’t want me.” I start crying, ‘cause I can’t ever help myself. “She told me she wanted a girl. She told me I wasn’t . . .” My breath starts hitching; I hate this conversation, because it makes me feel so horrible. “Why did she say that? What did I ever do to make her feel that way.” I turn away from this strange ginger girl and just let it come out, the thing I hate to say. “Why doesn’t anyone love me? I just want someone to say they do, just once, and mean it.” I keep shaking my head. “That’s all. Why can’t that happen?”
The girl takes my hand, and I feel the area around us change. We’re standing just inside the wall entrance from last night—Founder’s Gate. She leads me through the garden towards the bench where I sat with Annie. She sits me down and sits on my left, just like Annie did.
“Someone does love you, Kerry.” She pats the bench. “Someone who sat right here last night.”
I’ve stopped crying, but I still felt pretty sad. “I know.”
“She’s just like you in some ways; she wants love and affection, but from the right person.” She pokes me in the arm. “From you.”
I remember what happened when we were waiting to go off to our tower together. “She told me she loves me.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Just like I did last night, I twist around on the bench. “She told me she has for a long time.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“How could she? I never met her until a week ago.”
“And that didn’t stop you from going all over London and Amsterdam with her, did it?” The girl twisted towards me so we were speaking face-to-face. “How could she know you? Look around. Today you spoke with a sorceress and witches; you saw people flying on brooms; you had a vision . . .” She chuckled. “Annie’s a witch, and that means things aren’t what you’re used to seeing. You gotta stop thinking about things as they were and . . .” She shrugged. “Keep an open mind.”
“That’s what Annie told me today.”
“And see what you did?” Her outfit changed into a black dress with a witch’s hat. It was kind of unusual, because it look like a Halloween costume.
I almost laughed at her. “You look like you fit in.”
“Yeah, but you’re the witch.” She slid up next to me, closer than she’d ever been. “I know why you’re afraid.”
“What? Who says I’m afraid?”
“I do—‘cause I know you.”
“You don’t know me.”
She pointed at her head. “See the witch’s hat? I know more than you know.” Her voice got soft, like she was trying to set my mind to ease. “You’re afraid. You think you’re gonna open up to Annie, say things to her that will make her want to love you more—and then she’s gonna leave you. She’s gonna up and vanish like your Chestnut Girl.”
I didn’t want to say anything, but I had to. “What if she does?”
“You won’t know if you don’t try.” She looked up at something like she was thinking. “Why did you kiss Annie last night?”
I shrugged. “Because it felt like I should.”
“I’m betting because you remembered something, and it just came naturally.” She leaned over and placed her hand over my heart. “You know how to love; it’s still here. But before you can give Annie your heart, you gotta knock down that wall you’ve built around it.” She leaned back away from me and gave me a look that felt like it was full of pity. “It’s not gonna be easy, it’s gonna take time, and there will be moments when it’s gonna hurt horribly.” She sighed like she wanted to say more, but couldn’t. “And don’t think about your Chestnut Girl—at least not until it’s needed.”
I had no idea what she was talking about. “What’s that mean?”
“You’ll know when the time comes.” She stood in front of me and smoothed out her dress. “Ask Annie to fly with you. You’ll be surprised what happens.”
Now I laughed. “You think I can fly?”
“You’re a witch, aren’t you?” She giggled. “Witches fly brooms.”
“What if she says no?”
“What if she says yes?” She stepped closer and laid her hand over my heart again. “This . . . has nothing to lose if you ask. Go for it, Kerry.” She stepped back and smiled. “Remember: someone once asked you to go bike riding, and look how that turned out?”
Given when this happened there is some serious foreshadowing going on here, for we know Kerry asked Annie to fly with him, and a few months later he and Annie shared, in a strange way, their dream of him reading to her. Not only that, but one of the things he mentioned to Annie then pops up here as well.
But bike riding? What does that mean? It means that the next scene has Annie asking early on one of the most important questions she’s ever asked:
“Kerry, who’s the Chestnut Girl?”
NaNo Word Count, 11/21: 2,221
NaNo Total Word Count: 39,619