The Real Lunchtime Secrets of Salem

Panera night last night, and almost twenty-one hundred words written, which is a pretty good haul, if I should say so myself.  I had a lot to say because . . . well, the kids had something to say to each other, and that took time.  So I took the time to give them the time.  See how that works?

Kerry ended up asking about Witches/Normals pairing, and he got the answer he was looking for–more or less.  But that brought up another question–

 

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

There was something that Kerry wanted to ask, but up until now thought it might be rude to ask. Now that he remembered how deep their relationship went, he knew he could ask without fear. “What’s it like to live with magic all the time?”

Annie focused her stare at the mall across the street as she considered his question. “It’s like that at home as well. All the power, all the heating and cooling, all our protection—it’s magic. It’s just there, like you have a computer. After a while you don’t think about it.

“I remember when I was about thee my mother showed me how to adjust the tint on the windows. We had curtains on all the windows, but you could also darken them if you wanted to be able to see outside and keep bright sunlight from coming through. I wasn’t actually doing magic—I was only working an existing enchantment. I didn’t learn until later that if I hadn’t been a witch I couldn’t have done that.

“My father flew around on his brooms, and my mother always cooked using magic.” She beamed as she thought about her mother preparing dinner. “She’d have pans and ingredients floating about the room, putting them together as needed. She uses cold fire in the oven to bake everything—it’s really the fastest way. I never thought anything about it when I was like four or five: after that—after she told me I was a witch and I’d learn how to cook like her one day—I thought of it even less, because for me it was, well, normal.”

Annie patted Kerry’s leg. “You’re seeing now, at the school, how it is living with magic. It’ll be that way in the future; you’ll use magic to cook, to clean, to run the house. Look how you’ve adjusted already—” She chuckled. “Half the time we take your broom to the classes far out from The Pentagram, only because it saves time and allows us to spend more time together.”

He knew all those things to be true: in just a few months time he’d grown accustomed to having his food teleported to him during meals and the Midnight Madness. He was used to his room being climate controlled, to never having to worry about his laundry piling up—and more importantly, how the injuries he’d suffered had been healed in a few days instead of weeks or even months. Like it or not, Kerry had grown accustomed to have magic as an everyday part of his life.

 

And it’s true:  the fact that Kerry isn’t even thinking about the magic that’s being used every day it proof that he’s falling into “the lifestyle” well.  It’s like, “If you don’t noticed the magic around you, then you’re probably a witch.”  And this leads to something else–

 

That still left one question . . . “After we discovered we were both, you know, real, you never knew that I was a witch, did you?”

Annie shook her head. “No. There was nothing in The Foundation searches that indicated they were looking at you.”

“So even a year ago, you thought I was Normal.”

“Yes.”

“And that never bothered you?” He smiled softly. “That you’d fallen for a normal kid?”

She felt it was time to tell Kerry about how she came to be with him at Salem. “While my parents wanted me to attend Salem, I almost didn’t come. After I stopped seeing you in my dreams, I didn’t want to stay in America and have a five hour time change between us, because I thought we’d start seeing each other again.

“I started looking at other schools, which upset my everyone, particularly my father. I didn’t go, though. They both knew why I wanted to stay in Europe, why I wasn’t willing to go to America. There was a school in Germany that catered almost exclusively to sorceresses, but I was also looking into attending Edinburgh—”

“Why did you want to go there?” Though Kerry knew Edinburgh was a good school, it wasn’t nearly as good as Salem, and wasn’t anywhere nearly as strong in sorcery as here.

Annie face softened as she gave her answer. “Because it was only a few hours by train from London, and Cardiff is only a couple of hours by train from there.” She squeezed his thigh. “I would have found a way to get off campus so I could come and visit you.”

For a moment Kerry was unable to form the words necessary to speak. “You were going to visit me?”

“Yes. I don’t know if it would have done any good, considering you didn’t recognize me in London—but I would have visited you anyway. And if you had remembered me, I would have visited you more than once.” She cuddled against him. “I have money; I could have come as many times as I’d have liked.”

 

The “discovered we were both real” is something that gets covered in the very next scene–in fact, you’ll see a few things from their past get covered in the very next scene.  But here you had Annie, willing to get their relationship a go by staying in Europe, even if it meant not getting the best schooling.  Maybe in an alternative timeline . . . naw, not going there.

So that now that a secret that Annie told Deanna months before is known to Kerry, that mean he’s gotta come up with one of his own as well–right?  I’m sure Kerry has one secret he can tell Annie . . .

 

Kerry closed his eyes as his mind wandered off to the place it always when he was overwhelmed by emotion. Annie felt him shake slightly; she assumed he was remembering something strong, perhaps traumatic, though she had no idea what he was feeling. She shook him gently. “Kerry?”

He answered through clenched teeth. “Yeah?”

“What’s wrong?”

He relaxed as he slowly exhaled. “Emma kissed me.”

 

Yeah, I’d say that qualifies as a secret.  Annie handles it about as well as you’d think she’d handle it–

 

Annie felt a chill run through here body. “She what?”

 

Nothing exploded, which is a good sign.  And as nothing in the immediate vicinity was burning, Kerry told her what happened.

 

Kerry opened his eyes and took a deep breath. “It was the Friday of Yule departures. You’d left for home about four hours before and I was sitting in the library by myself. She came in and said she wanted to talk—in private.” He shook his head. “I didn’t think anything of it, so I went with her over to the instructor’s offices in the East Transept.

“We’re alone and she starts thanking me for saving her life. I tell her that it’s okay, I would have done it for anyone, but, you know, she’s like—” He turned to Annie. “She wants to give me a hug and all this, so I let her ‘cause I’m figuring all she wants is a hug . . . and when she was done with that, she kissed me—hard.” He touched the corner of his mouth. “On the lips.”

Annie’s eyes darkened and narrowed. “She did.”

He held up his hand. “Hold on, please let me finish . . .”

She nodded slowly. “Go ahead, then.”

“After she did that she starts going on about how you’re all wrong for me and that she could be a better girlfriend—”

“And what did you do?” Annie wasn’t mad at Kerry, but her fury was growing in tiny increments for a certain ginger girl . . .

“I got pissed. I screamed at her that she didn’t know what she was talking about, that I couldn’t believe a friend was saying these things, and that she’d ever think she could do what she did and not get me upset. I stormed out of the hall and—well, I headed for the other, because I didn’t want anyone who might have been around to see me.

“I’m in the other instructor hallway: I’m upset and crying and feeling foolish, and she comes back. I started yelling at her again, and she tells me she’s sorry, that which she likes me, she doesn’t really know anything about boys and that she didn’t actually have any idea about what she was doing. I kind of let it good, but I let her know that I was pissed at her.” Kerry swallowed once before turning to Annie with a slight grin upon his face. “And then I cursed her.”

 

It’s probably a good thing that Kerry never knew that Annie was this close to bleeding out Emma because Kerry was almost eaten saving her life . . . and now, if Annie had known Emma was going to pay him back for saving her life this way–well, I don’t need to draw pictures.  Talk about a cleanup in triage . . .

But she really listens when Kerry mentions the cursing:

 

She blinked as she wondered if she’d heard correctly. “You did what?”

“Remember when you we showing me how to do Shadow Ribbons the first time, and I asked you about how you did your Sorceress’ Bargain with Lovecraft?”

“Yes.” A strange wonder crept into the tone of her voice. “I remember.”

“I remembered, too. Even though I forgave Emma for what she did, I didn’t want her to do it again, so I got her to hold my hand, and I did a Sorceress’ Bargain with her—” His grin grew wider. “Though she didn’t know what I was doing. I figured she wouldn’t either.”

 

And though I’ve hinted at it, this is the first time we not only get conformation that Kerry laid a Sorceress’ Bargain on Emma, but that Annie is teaching him things she’s picked up at the Witch House.  So rather than stay pissed off and fume and yell and beat himself up for what happened, he played Emma and did what came naturally:  he cursed her ass.

And how does Annie react?

 

“I had noticed that she’d been keeping her distance from us our first month back.” She shook here head. “You cursed her.”

“Yes, I did.”

“You handled yourself just like a true sorceress.”

“Well—” He tilted his head to the right as he looked across the street. “That’s what I am.”

Annie waited a few seconds before she threw her arms around him and hugged tightly. “No one’s ever cursed someone for me.” She sat back and considered him carefully. “Then again, no one had ever dedicated two songs to me in front of over a hundred people—”

Kerry shrugged. “What can I say?”

 

“Oh, darling:  no one’s ever cursed another student for me.  I love you.”  Really, knowing Annie, what did you think she’d say?  Two little sorceresses/witches running around during secret testing in the city of Salem, and your boyfriend tells you after some girl kissed him they cursed them–yep, she’s gonna be happy.  Though maybe not as happy as if he’d said, “I lit her up and left her smoking body in the hallway,” but that’s always a bit of a party downer . . .

I do wish I could draw, ’cause that would make such a cute scene of Annie hugging Kerry and her oh, so happy because he cursed Emma.  I can see the little anime-like smiley face in my mind.  Witches.  Gotta love ’em.

And the end result of all this?

 

He sighed. “I knew we were coming here, so I thought, with us being away from the school, I’d tell you, explain what happened and what I did to fix things.” He held her hand in both of his. “I dealt with it, and it won’t happen again. And there’s no way I’d ever go with anyone but you.” He leaned over and kissed her with cold lips. “I love you, Sweetie, and I don’t want anyone else.”

Annie kept her eyes locked upon Kerry’s the last few minutes, and she felt his emotions radiating outward from them. “I love you, too, and I believe you.” She flipped her hand around and squeezed his. “But I will keep an eye on her from now on.”

 

A reaffirmation of love, and a warning that Emma’s duplicitous butt is being watched by The Dark Witch.  This is how you do lunch in Salem on a cold day while your field handlers are running you around town for testing.

That means Chapter Thirty-Three is over, and Chapter Thirty-Four is next.

Here come at least another fifteen thousand words.

Here comes at least another fifteen thousand words.

And we’re starting off in a grove.  Nice change of pace, don’t you think?