Beyond the Dreamstate

Here I am, finally on the web, but running late again due to . . . well, I woke up, didn’t like that I was running late again, and decided to change up my routine a little.  Yes, I’ve eaten and had my coffee, but I’m also finished with shopping and thinking about doing a little running around today.  But all is pretty much finished for the day that needs to be finished.  That means I have time for things . . .

I also didn’t believe I was gonna write as much yesterday as I did.  It was a blah, miserable day, rainy and cloudy and full of depression.  Between naps and just sitting around doing nothing I kept Scrivener up and the story ready, and when I felt like it I’d write something.  By the time I rolled off the computer about ten-thirty, I’d added fourteen hundred words to the scene–and it’s not finished, in case you were hoping for a quick resolution.  Nope.  I don’t roll that way.

I be writin', readers be waitin'

I be writin’, readers be waitin’

Yesterday we ended with Annie and Kerry discovering their real names, and Erywin seeing something strange happening between them.  Which means that’s as good a place to pick up this party as any–

 

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

“You were doing more than that—” Erywin leaned forward. “Tell me: where were you when you were telling me about your dream?”

They stared at each other puzzling over the question. Kerry smiled when he realized the answer. “We weren’t here.”

“No—” Annie smiled as well. “We were back on the hill.”

“How is that possible?”

“I don’t know, but—” She turned to Erywin. “Do you know what happened?”

“I think . . .” The instructor looked from one child to the next. “You were staring at each other, but you weren’t seeing each other. Your eyes were unfocused, and you were both speaking in a soft near-monotone. I think you were experiencing a waking dreamstate.”

Annie turned to face Erywin across the path. “It’s happened before. Once when we were recounting our rune dreams and Kerry remembered—” She glanced at him out of the corner of her eyes.

Kerry spoke right up. “I remembered the first time I said I loved her.”

“And there was another time when he remembered something else—” Annie didn’t wait for him ask a question. “It was the night after the Day of the Dead. You remembered the first time you read to me.”

“I did?”

“Yes.” She touched Kerry’s hand. “It was the first time I knew for certain that you must have remembered our dreams together.”

Kerry looked down for a moment, and when his gaze met Annie’s once again, there was a touch of sadness in his eyes. “That was months before I completely remembered them again.” He slowly leaned against the back of the bench. “I wish I could have known them then.”

Annie was unable to look at Kerry. “I wish it had been possible, too.” She turned to Erwyin. “I don’t know that it matters, though.”

 

Waking dreamstates–something new to ponder.  So now that they remember they sort of fall into this thing where they’re actually back in the dream.  Strangeness, yup.  It’s right there.

But it’s that last night that gets Erywin going–after all, she’s a couples counselor–I even went back and edited this part:

 

“Deanna felt that your reason for speaking was something of a—” Erywin glanced at Kerry for only a second. “Well, that you may have needed someone who understood long term relationships. And of us three full-time counselors, I’m the only one who’s been in a long term relationship. Coraline has a boyfriend and Deanna—well, we know someone’s sweet on her . . .” She winked at Annie. “But I’ve been with Helena for thirty years, and while not all of them the best, we’ve managed to make it work and we’re still together” Erywin rubbed her hands to warm them. “First time to the grove?”

And anyone who can spend thirty years with the Mistress of All Darkness and not have been killed at one point must be doing something right, so dealing with these kids should be a snap.

And that’s what she does–though she gets a little help with indecision:

 

Erywin quickly picked up on the moods across from her. Kerry was quickly becoming concerned, and Annie appeared worried about—well, it was impossible, but given the subject of most of the conversations with Annie that Deanna related to her, Erywin was fairly certain she could pin down the issues here. “Annie, would you like to sit next to me while you tell me what’s on your mind?”

Annie was about to say “No” when she felt a light touch on her right arm. “It’s okay.” Kerry nodded across the path. “Go ahead.”

She twisted around so she could look at him. “Are you sure?”

“I can hear you from over here.” He chuckled. “It’s okay.”

She started to stand, the stopped. “Kerry . . . I’m going to say things that—”

He shrugged. “If I’m being a butthead to you, I’d like to know.”

“It’s not that—”

“Then it’s okay.” He leaned over and lightly patted her thigh. “I promise I won’t get upset.”

Annie finally stood. “You promise?”

“You know it.”

Erywin welcomed Annie over and had her sit to her right. She spoke with Kerry first, however. “While I’m with Annie, you can listen, but I would politely ask that you not interject a lot of comments.” She flash a smile across the path. “I’ll be with you in no time at all.”

She turned to Annie. “Also, I want you to speak as if Kerry’s not there. You’ve both shared a great deal up to now—personally and emotionally—and since you wanted him here originally, don’t hold back. As I always say, we can only get to the heart of the problem if we open up the chest.” She smiled and then launched into her first question. “When you learned each other’s names, you didn’t actually know if Kerry was a real person, did you?”

 

You know Kerry isn’t your average guy if he’s just gonna sit there and say nothing!  But he does remain quiet while this exchange goes down . . .

 

Annie relaxed and kept her focus on Erywin as she answered. “At the time, no. I knew there was something unusual about how we’d meet in dreams, and I’d wondered why I wasn’t seeing him that often for almost three years, but I hadn’t actually made a connection that he was real, and I saw him that night because he was only two hours away.”

Erywin nodded slowly. “So when did you know Kerry for certain was real?”

“A few days later. I asked my mother to look him up.”

“She knew about him?”

“She knew about my Ginger Hair Boy.” Annie grin was full of happy innocence. “She was able to find him using Foundation search engines.”

“And there was no mention about The Foundation watching him.”

“None at all; that’s why I didn’t know he was a witch.”

“Doesn’t surprise me—” Erywin glanced at Kerry. “They’re usually very tight-lipped about who they are observing. And at that age—” She looked across the path. “How old were you?”

Kerry shifted on the bench. “I’d turned eight the month before.”

“See?” Erywin slid around on the bench and slipped her right leg under her left. “Only a few people would have known then that he was being watched. When did you finally learn he was a witch?”

 

So Kerry could be found in Foundation search engines, which doesn’t really mean anything other than you don’t get a lot of strange pop up ads when you’re looking for something.  Like Nadine mentioned when she was getting sheet music for Kerry’s and her’s performance, The Foundation is plugged into everything, so Welcome to the Pond, you can find just about anything if you like.  More than likely they found Kerry’s school records, and maybe even travel information, maybe even his birth records.  We also find out something else–

 

“When my mother told me at the beginning of August that he was attending Salem.” Annie didn’t mind answering that question as it was something she’d told Kerry two weeks ago. “Before that I always figured he was a Normal.”

“Deanna told me that you’d let him know on your tenth birthday that you were a witch.” Erywin had shown great surprise when Deanna had mentioned this fact, because it was such a soul baring expression. If The Foundation had known she’d said this, they’ve have probably grabbed them and give both a little memory adjustment. “Why did you do that?”

“Because I loved Kerry, and he’d told me he’d loved me a few months before.” She slowly shifted her head a little to the left and right as she thought about her statement. “Kerry already suspected that I could manipulate the dreams somewhat, so I figured he should know.”

“You could manipulate dreams?”

“Only a little. Like creating the bicycles and the landscape we rode through—small things like that.”

 

Annie broke a rule:  she admitted to a Normal that she was one of the Aware, and a witchy witch at that.  Then again, Annie has shown she’s not really good with rules, and if she feels like breaking them, she will.  Like, you know, crashing out in a hospital bed with your convalescing boyfriend–he needed help, so rules are for suckers!

And speaking of rules, Annie shows that she not only does what she wants, but this relationship with Kerry in the Dreams–she felt something . . .

 

Erywin didn’t think those things were that small, but Annie was advanced for a witch her age, and if Kerry and she were experiencing some kind of shared lucid dreaming, that kind of manipulation was entirely possible. “So a few months earlier—that was Kerry’s ninth birthday?”

“Yes.”

“That was when he professed his love.”

“Yes.”

Now ask her the real question. “When did you fall in love with him, Annie?”

She swallowed once as she closed her eyes. “I fell in love with him not long after I turned seven.”

Erywin cleared her throat and shifted a bit. “You knew you were falling in love with someone who might very well have not been real?”

“I was aware of that, but—” She once again closed her eyes as she shook her head. “I felt otherwise at times. I knew there was a good chance Kerry was just a dream creation, but . . . I could touch him, feel him, sense his emotions.” Annie shrugged. “Maybe it was because I was Aware, but I just knew, before I confirmed it, that Kerry was real.”

“And you never said anything.”

“I wasn’t seeing him that much while asleep—but I promised myself I would find out his name when I had the chance.”

“Like when you saw him the night he needed you?”

Yes.” A broad smile opened upon Annie’s face. “It’s funny, but I wanted to see him as well, and as I was going to bed I had the strangest feeling I would see him.”

“And you did.” Erywin gave Annie a relaxed, friendly smile. “You were going to ask him his name—and he beat you to it.”

“He did.” Annie returned the smile. “I was so happy that he told me—”

“Because now you could look him up and know for certain he was real?”

The smile vanished from Annie’s face as her demeanor changed, growing more serious. “There was . . . another reason.”

 

The night Kerry needed someone, Annie also needed someone, and one might think that the universe was conspiring to bring them together that night, because Kerry was in pain and needed comforting, and Annie was in love with someone she hadn’t seen in a while and she needed to be with him.  It was also a great leap of faith on here part to believe Kerry was real, but as she said, maybe being Aware did something to make her know he wasn’t just a boy in her dreams.

Stranger and stranger.

But Annie’s getting serious again, and that usually means trouble.  And since Erywin is there to help, she doesn’t waste time asking, “What’s up, Buttercup?”  The answer she gets isn’t the one she expected . . .

 

“I see.” All the while Erywin felt the conversation leading to this point. “And what was that reason?”

The was a pause, an extended one, as Annie looked down at the space between her and Erywin. She finally lifted her head, a far less serious expression stretched across her face. She answered the question with her own question. “Erywin, have you ever seen a girl’s wedding book?”

She nodded slowly. “I have. I knew a girl when I was growing up that had one, and a few of my students have had them.” She softened her tone, trying not to shake Annie. “When were you given yours?”

 

Wedding book?  Like that big book Annie brought with her from Pamporovo?  The one with writing inside and a certain chocolate wrapper kept pressed between the pages?  The one she’s never shown anyone?

The one she’s never mentioned to Kerry?

Ummm . . . Naw.  That couldn’t be the problem here.

Could it?