The Stars Shine Down

Amazing thing, writing.  I go into another scene, a completely different scene than the one before but still talking on the same thing more or less, and come out with nearly identical word counts.  The one before was eleven hundred and seven, and this one was eleven hundred and twenty-seven.  It’s one of those amazing coincidences–

Or I just wanted the counts to be the same.

Or I just wanted the counts to be the same.

But the feel is so different.  Whereas Helena and Erywin confine their discussion behind the closed doors of an office, Annie and Kerry end up the very next night in the location that Erywin mentioned at the end of their scene.  Yeah, I do that sometimes–must be another coincidence . . .

 

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

Annie and Kerry brought their brooms to a hover eight meters from the viewing gallery around the top of the Observatory Tower and examined the interior of the open dome. As they expected there wasn’t anyone inside, for the interior was completely dark; not a single red night light was on. Annie turned to Kerry and nodded, and he began moving slowly towards the viewing gallery railing with her. A few seconds later they cleared the railing and gently settled to the surface without sound.

She entered the dome silently, the floor absorbing the sound of her footsteps. “It’s so different being here with no one else.”

“And no lights.” Kerry left his broom on the propped against the dome while he retrieved a wide viewing chair, pillows, and blankets. “Not that we really need them.”

“Seeing we were just here last night, I hope we can find our way around.” Annie stood under the telescope and scanned the area to the south that it was viewing. “What do you think they’re viewing?” She pointed up into the sky. “I see Mars . . .”

“I see it, too.” Kerry continued setting up the chair. “That would be my guess, unless the C Levels are getting special scans of Regulus.” He spread it arms wide over the chair. “Your seat awaits.”

 

What’s this?  Annie’s got her own broom now?  That gets mentioned, but after eight months of astronomy, it looks like the kids know their stars, and they can look up and spot celestial bodies without a problem.  Of course I checked the sky for the Salem area two and a half years ago, and . . . yep.  Mars is close to Regulus, just like Kerry said.

Now that their under that blankets . . .

 

“Thank you.” Annie set her broom next to his and slipped onto the chair and under the cover. Kerry joined her as soon as she was settled. “This is comfortable.”

“I’ve always found it so.” He snuggled up next to her. “I remember when we first started class, we used to do this a lot.”

“Now it’s all making observations and working on our own charts.” She chuckled. “I do this at home during the summer.”

“Just sit out?”

“Yes. I’ll go out on the deck of the lake house and lay back in one of the lounge chairs and gaze into the night sky. Sometimes I’ll fall sleep and have the most peaceful sleep . . .”

Kerry loved looking at the stars, but it was something he never actually enjoyed until coming to Salem. There’d been too much light pollution from San Francisco to see anything, and living within Cardiff city limits meant his chances of seeing the night sky were non-existent. “We don’t do this enough.”

“We never have the time. We’re in class on Tuesday nights, walking back to the tower on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and we never think about it all the other nights of the week.” She slid her right arm over Kerry’s chest and turned towards him. “Are you nervous about tomorrow?”

“A little.” He turned until he was facing her. “Are you?”

“Yes. That’s why I wanted to come up here.” She glanced out at the sky. “This relaxes me.”

“It was a good think Professor Salomon gave you a broom to use.” He nuzzled his cheek against Annie’s hair. “I wouldn’t have wanted to try flying you up here in the dark on mine.”

“I wouldn’t have minded.” She sighed. “It’s like like it’s any different than during the day.”

 

There’s where she got the broom:  Professor Salomon loaned her one.  And we know Annie loves to star gaze when she wants to relax.  I’m guessing, however, that since it’s after the Advanced Spells class, and it’s late, and tomorrow they head off on their mission, Annie and Kerry had something else in mind.

At least Kerry does–

 

“True.” Though the trip to Kansas City loomed large—particularly with the trip being moved up a week—he didn’t actually want to discuss what they were going to do. He’d had something else on his mind for a few days. “I was thinking . . .”

Annie smiled, for it was no secret that Kerry was always thinking. “Yes?”

“The visions we had of our wedding night—”

She didn’t let any expression show on her face, but hearing him say what he did made her smile inside. He’s calling it our wedding night; he’s not said that before like that . . . “I’m listening.”

“We shouldn’t discuss them that much.”

“Oh?”

“I mean, you know how visions work—”

“I certainly do.” Annie had been thinking the same thing, and had planed on bringing up the subject herself tomorrow night. “Talking about it all the time—”

“Makes it seem like we’re trying to make it happen.” Kerry gave a nearly imperceptible nod. “And the more you try to make them happen—”

“The more likely they won’t.” Annie nestled comfortable in the crook of Kerry’s right arm. “And you know how I feel about that vision.”

“You want it to happen.”

There was no uncertainly when he said that. “Yes, I do. I don’t fear telling you now, because you know my feelings.”

“And you know mine.” He looked up into the sky. “I would rather just let things happen.”

She chuckled. “That’s what Deanna always said: ‘Just let it happen’.”

“She’s right. And it won’t be that hard to let things happen—I mean, I know I’m not going anywhere—”

“Nor am I.”

 

Now Kerry’s calling it their “wedding night,” and Annie’s a bit surprised, but not shocked.  After reading all those books he’s a bit of a pedantic expert, but he’s right:  if one keeps talking about these visions, they end up working against you because you’re busy trying to make them happen.  And visions are a screwy thing here, because unless you’re an expert with them–like Deanna–you can make them go horribly wrong if you’re not careful.

It’s interesting to see that he knows Annie wants it, and he’s letting her know they’re on the same page.  One might say he’s resigned to the fate that awaits him, but he wouldn’t say that.  And Annie might bleed you out if you say that to her . . .

Annie then brings up the bad stuff:

 

“I know.” Annie grew quiet for a few seconds. “Kerry?”

“Yes?”

“Do you really think one of us might die?”

He turned his attention back to the girl laying next to him. “I’ve almost died once, and that was only a couple of months after we meet for real. How old do we have to be before we could marry?”

“Age of Maturity: eighteen.”

“That’s a ways away . . .” Kerry softened his tone. “And who knows what’s gonna happen to us in the next six years?”

Annie saw that Kerry had reached another important milestone in his life. “You understand that it’s a dangerous world for us.”

He nodded. “It’s not just Deconstructors, is it?”

“There are them and Berserkers—”

“I hear about them, but—”

“But we’ll talk about them later.” She ran her fingers through his hair. “There’s creatures that we hear about hiding in the shadows; there’s ghosts and spirits; there’s entities that we encounter—”

“Like the Phoenix?”

“Yes. It’s likely she’s one, thought no one has said much about it.” She touched his cheek. “There’s also Normals who would harm us if they were to find us.” Annie sighed. “Fanatics who fear witches and the supernatural—anything that’s different from them.” She moved onto here back and snuggled up next to Kerry. “But we can’t worry about them—”

Kerry rolled onto his back and lay shoulder-to-shoulder with his sweetie. “Why not?”

 

The world is hard, but it sounds like The Foundation world is even harder.  Probably not as hard as it would seen–everyone is staying low key, and these things they discuss don’t seem to be popping out from around behind every corner, but they are there, it seems.  The point about the Normals is true, too:  there probably are fanatic witch hunters out there who would kill them if they ever got wind.  And if the Deconstructors didn’t get their first.

So they end off with this little piece–

 

Kerry rolled onto his back and lay shoulder-to-shoulder with his sweetie. “Why not?”

“Because there is tomorrow.” Annie lightly pressed her head against Kerry’s while watching the sky. “Because we have something to do, and no matter how easy it might seem—”

Kerry rested his head against Annie’s shoulder. “It might not be that easy.”

“No, it might not.” She found his left hand and took it in her right. “But we’ll be together.”

He squeezed her hand back. “We will.” He said nothing more and relaxed in the darkness with Annie, watching—

Letting the stars shine for them.

 

–and all seems right in the world for them.  They’re a little nervous, they suspect it night not be as easy as the adults are letting on, but it doesn’t matter because they are at each other’s side, watching the other’s back.

Isn’t that what you do in a real relationship?