The Secret Witch’s Gathering

The last couple of nights have been slow going.  It’s been a little difficult to get motivated this week, but according to the NaNoWriMo site I’m three thousand, three hundred and seventy words from fifty thousand, which means by tomorrow or Friday I’ll pass that mark and be ready to verify my word count.  This will, by the way, be the lowest word count I’ve ever managed in four years of doing NaNo, but in a way it’s helped considerable due to that fifty thousand getting wracked up fast, instead of being doled out in small number throughout all of December.

My progress last night wasn’t helped by Internet issues.  I was trying to look up a few things to refresh my notes, and the bandwidth wasn’t there.  Which is why I was up at six AM getting things nailed down for my current scene.

I need real stuff, even when I'm faking it.  That's how I roll.

I need real stuff, even when I’m faking it. That’s how I roll.

As you can see by my notes, we know where this Guardian operation is taking place.  Does that mean–?

 

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

Kerry said nothing right away, and Helena hadn’t expected him to speak first. She looked at Annie, who stared right back with no sign that she was giving the matter much thought. Annie nodded slowly. “I want to do this.”

“Are you certain?” Helena kept her voice as neutral as possible since she wasn’t supposed to sway the child’s feelings either way on the matter.

“I am.” She crossed her hands across her lap.

“I see that.” Helena turned to Kerry, knowing good and well he was going to say—

“I’ll do it.”

She arched a brow at him. “You’re certain about this?”

He turned and looked at Annie for about five seconds, then went back to Helena. “I’m sure.”

Helena turned around and nodded at Erywin, who stood and handed two tablets to the students. “I want you to read these before you do anything—” Helena leaned towards the two children. “I mean read them. Don’t just skim the document and then tell me you’re ready to sign. Take your time reading them, then let me know when you’re done.”

 

Now that they’re both in, where is “in” taking them?

 

A city scape appeared in the display. “The field operation will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, and we’ll stay in that part of the city. We’ll set up a base of operation in the Sheraton Kansas City in the Crown Center.” She pointed out the locations on the view. “We’re expect to check in to the hotel on 26 April, though there is a chance the operation could be moved up. Still waiting on that bit of information.”

Annie examined the display. “Why would they move up the operation?”

“There’s always a buffer built into these operations to deal with anything that could be construed as unexpected.” Helena didn’t look concerned. “It’s one of the reasons they wanted to get you involved now, so we could test you out and familiarize you with the equipment we’ll use.” She wanted to put Annie—as well as Kerry, who hadn’t said a word yet—at east. I wouldn’t imagine the operation getting moved up more than two week if they do move it. That would have us leaving here for Kansas City on 12 April.” She shook her head a couple of times. “Plenty of time to get you checked out and tested.”

 

Welcome to KC:  I guess this makes them the Sunshine Band?  Over Helena’s dead body–which would probably be someone else’s, come to think of it.

There is a question that Kerry has, and it’s answered so there aren’t any questions about the witches in the room . . .

 

Kerry finally spoke up. “Is everyone in this room going to KC?”

“Yes: all four of us. In fact, that’s going to be our cover.” She pointed to her second. “Erywin and I will be traveling as a same-sex couple from England—a big stretch for us, I know—who are here on a combination business and pleasure holiday. We have our documentation for the company we represent, and we have an itinerary made out of places visited and places to see that will pass the tightest scrutiny.

“You’ll have a cover as well.” She pointed at Kerry. “You’ll be Erywin’s naturally born son. You’ll have a history you’ll need to remember, such as the name of your father, when he and your mother separated, when we met . . .”

“You’ll also have to remember—” Erywin chuckled. “—to call me ‘Mummy’.”

Kerry laughed right back. “That’s gonna be fun.”

“Yes.” Helena jumped back into the conversation. “But necessary. You’ll need to work on the accent as well. And—” She pointed at the top of Kerry’s head. “The hair, too. It’s one of the reasons you were picked: you skill in transformational magic.”

Erywin nodded. “And you have started to show some skill in minor self transformation—at least according to Jessica.” She stood and walked towards Kerry. “We’ll have to work on getting your hair closer to my color—”

Kerry focused on Erywin for about two seconds before the color of his hair changed from his normal ginger to something very much like the professor’s dirty blond color. He smiled as the instructor stopped when she saw the change. “How that—Mummy?”

Erywin glanced at Helena. “I’d say that’s pretty close.”

 

Not much has been said about what they’re picking up, though Mr. Gabriel did mention that Kerry was getting a real hang of transformation magic–and that little demonstration shows that.  Now, what he did was an A Level spell, but the quickness and completeness surprised Erywin–stopped her in her tracks, you might say–which shows Kerry’s pretty much mastered that spell.

Annie has her own question, and this leads to a quick wake up of something potentially troubling for Kerry and her . . .

 

Annie had her own concern, however. “If Kerry is pretending to be Professor Sla—”

“No titles, please.” Helena held up her hand. “When we are meeting like this, it’s first name basis at all times. In pubic it’s one thing, here it’s another.”

Annie fell right into step, since she was already used to this. “Then if Kerry is pretending to be Erywin’s son, what am I?”

“You’ll be my adopted daughter—from Bulgaria, of all places.” She smiled back at the suddenly unsmiling girl. “It was believed that would be the easiest way to pass you off—that I’ve never been married and that I adopted a girl from Bulgaria—which would explain the accent and language, and why you don’t look like me.”

“That would mean—” Annie turned slowly towards Kerry. “He’s suppose to be my brother.”

It hit Kerry in that moment what she meant. “Wait . . . that means that we can’t like—”

Annie nodded slowly. “Be close in pubic—which means . . .”

Erywin finished the statement. “No public hand holding or snogging.”

Kerry shot Helena a worried look. “How long are we gonna be in Kansas City doing . . . this?”

“We leave here on the 26th, and should be there for most of Friday and Saturday. If necessary we’ll return here on Sunday.”

He turned to Annie and sighed. “The whole weekend.”

She nodded. “We’ll miss the Madness.”

Helena appeared gravely concerned. “The things one must do for their Foundation.” She chuckled and pointed at the display. “Let’s see why we’re going there in the first place—”

 

Suddenly the idea of being Undercover Witches doesn’t seem like a lot of fun, not if it means you can’t hold hands with your pretend brother.  And missing the Madness?  Heavens forbid!  The world has suddenly turned into a mass of suck.  They just come out of a traumatic situation regarding their relationship, and they’ve being told they gotta be siblings.  I guess we can now joke, “Do you kiss your brother with that mouth, Annie?”

I promise this scene will finish up tonight.  You’ll get some history, you’ll get the reasons why these two have been picked–you may even get part of the next scene.  Really, I’m so close to the end I’m almost feeling like ripping off three thousand words and getting the story to where it’s all tucked in and ready for bed.

It’s possible, you know.

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/25:  1,170

NaNo Total Word Count:  46,630