The Open Book

As much as I wanted to crank out about fifteen hundred words last night, it was impossible to do that.  Not only was I fighting off fits of depression yesterday–I thought I was done with that, but I was wrong–I started suffering back spasms throughout the day, and it was difficult to sit at the computer for very long and type without feeling the needs to go lay down for about twenty minutes after sitting at the computer for about the same amount of time.  It feels better now, but then I’ve been laying down for the last six hours.

We’ll see what tonight brings.

As such, I only managed about six hundred and seventy words–but as I’ve said in the past, they were good words.  This is a point where Annie is talking about her book, her wedding book.  Erywin asked how it came to be in her possession, and in these six hundred and seventy words she tells you a little about what she’s done with it.  Not a lot, but . . . we learn a few things about what’s inside the book . . .

 

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

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?”

“On my fifth birthday. My mother gave it to me in private, after my father had departed to return to his work. She explained what it was for, what I was suppose to place upon the pages. I wasn’t certain what she meant: I was five, and while I knew about my parents being married, I didn’t know what I would do with my own book.

“A few weeks later I was staring at all the blank pages in the book, and I began having ideas. I’d started sketching about that time—I wasn’t very good because I was starting to learn—but I loved to draw.” Her eyes focused on something beyond Erywin as she thought about her first drawing. “It was my wedding dress. I’ve made much better sketches of it since that time, but the first one is still there.”

“I’m going to take a guess and say your wedding dress is pretty simple.” Erywin lay her hands on her thigh. “I can’t see you wearing something grandiose, Annie.”

She nodded slowly. “Yes, it’s something simply: no long train or massive amount of embroidery, just a simple white dress and matching dress sandals.” She continued staring off at something off I the distance. “I drew how the ceremony would look behind my parent’s home, in the field—that’s why I’ll wear sandals: it’s summer.”

“Sounds wonderful.” Erywin didn’t try to make eye contact with Annie, who seeing her memories. “And the reception?”

“There’s a small hall in Pamporovo that I want for that. I don’t anticipate a lot of people attending the wedding—just family on . . .” Annie paused and met Erywin’s gaze. “Both sides.”

“I see.” Erywin didn’t want to ask the obvious question, so she took the round about method. “What else do you have drawn in there?”

“My bridesmaid’s gowns—though I don’t expect to have a lot of them. I don’t even know if I’ll have them . . . The sketches of my lake house are there: all of them. Everything I wanted it to be, I drew there first.”

“That makes sense. According to Deanna, that’s where you’re going to spend your wedding night.” Erywin tip topped carefully into the next question. “Was that a vision as well?”

“Yes, it was. I saw it while I was standing by the short of the lake—it’s just over four hundred meters from my parent’s home—and I turned around and I saw the house . . .” Annie’s eyes rolled up just a touch. “And someone else.”

Erywin figured she didn’t need to make more than one guess. “Someone who’ll spend the night there with you?”

Annie didn’t try to obfuscate her answer. “Yes. My husband.” She barely made a sound as she cleared her throat. “The center of the book is where you’re support to write your name, and across from your name you write the name of the boy you’ll marry. When I attended private school before coming to Salem, a couple of the girls who had books talked about how they already had two or three names across from theirs.” She snorted. “Stupid girls.”

“And how many names do you have in your book?” This was another question Erywin didn’t have to ask, but knew it was necessary.

“Just one.”

“And when did you write that down?”

Annie sighed and closed her eyes: it wasn’t that she didn’t want to see Erywin, but she didn’t want there to be any chance she’d notice the expression of the third person present. “The night he told it to me.” She opened her eyes slowly. “I should say, the morning after he told me. The moment I woke up, I went to my book and wrote in Kerry’s full name. Later that day I did a rough sketch of him and, over time, managed to capture his likeness as he was then.” She leaned towards Erywin. “My name is across from his, and my portrait sits below my name, staring at Kerry’s.” She grew silent as her eyes turned towards the sky.

 

I suppose there’s a meme here where someone says to Annie, “You only had one name in your book!  One NAME!” and then if it’s the Worried Annie she give them the worried look, and if it’s the Not Worried Annie, she probably sets them on fire.  I just joke about that:  Annie hasn’t set anyone on fire–

Yet.

But now we know some of what’s in the middle of that book.  We know there are names and sketches, and it’s been mentioned in the story–back when they were in their last night in Amsterdam–that Annie had the chocolate wrapper Kerry gave her on the Chunnel ride there, and there’s something else written that we’ve yet to hear about.

But you know we will.

And we’ll probably hear from Kerry as well–who has been awfully quiet during all this.  Hard to say what he’s going through–well, I know, but you don’t.  You’ll have to find out.

The upshot of all this is that Act Three is just a few tens of words past forty-six thousand words.  It’s also a couple of thousand past three hundred and fifty thousand, so I upped the counter once more–to four hundred thousand words.

One more bump is all I can take.

There’s been a whole lot of upping of late.

With three parts remaining, I expect the counter to get upped one more time, and then that’s it:  no more upping.  There won’t be any need to up it beyond that–

You can’t go too far beyond “The End”, you know.