The Molding Grove

First off, to set the record straight, I only managed about eight hundred and fifty words last night.  Of late–the last couple of weeks–I’ve been returning home tired as all hell, and I usually end up taking a quick nap around seven or so, which means I’m not getting into the writing until about nine.  I’m also feeling a bit of a brain freeze of late, what with my head feeling a bit like a brick that late at night.

However . . . I did reach a milestone of sorts just cranking out those words.  It was just as I expected.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Four Hundred Thousand, One Hundred Seventy-One.  The Four Hundred K Mark has been exceeded, and it’s downhill from here.  How much more downhill I don’t know, but the next milestone is one hundred thousand words for Act Three, which is going to happen, and now looks as if I’ll probably reach one twenty-five by the end of Chapter Forty-Three.  And I am getting there.  I don’t believe I’ll finish this novel by the end of January, but February is looking more and more possible.  Maybe by Valentine’s Day.  Because that would be a time that Annie and Kerry would enjoy.

Speaking of those two . . .

Annie wanted to go somewhere for Kerry’s birthday.  They went after Sorcery class and dinner, and they’ll be back in time for birthday cake . . .

"Kerry gets cake; would I lie?"

“Kerry gets cake; would I lie?”

No, you’re very honest for a psychopathic AI.

Where did they go?  Why, right here–

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015, by Cassidy Frazee)

The sun was setting, but there was far more light than there was the last time Kerry approached this spot on the school ground. That time he’d lipped through a darkening forest until he was shown this location: this time he slowly floated down out the sky, following the pop-up in the corner of his broom’s HUD showing the exact location, choosing to come here right after dinner because Annie asked about visiting the site.

He set down next to the secluded area and dismounted the moment this feet were firmly upon the ground. Out of the corner of his eye he watched Annie doing the same, having set down direction behind him. She removed her helmet and stuff it and her goggles into one pocket of her flight jacket. “This is it?”

“According to the data Vicky gave us, yes.” They’d flown in from the Flight School and circled around from the west, so the small clearing was now to Kerry’s right instead of his left as it had been when Emma had found it while searching in the dark and chilly weather. “It’s right there.”

Annie pushed foliage aside and looked through to the area beyond. “Looks cozy.” She grabbed her broom and stood ready to push slid into the tiny clearing. “Are you coming?”

 

Figured out where they are now?  This might help–

 

“Yep.” He snatched his broom and followed her through the small openings in the foliage and joined Annie on the other side. He took in his surroundings. “I’ve never really seen it like this before. Then again, I never stood up in here.”

It’s far different, isn’t it?” Annie was already sitting, here legs pulled up close to her body and her broom setting on the ground to her left.

“It is.” Kerry carefully sat next to Annie. He was acutely aware that he was sitting in the same spot where Emma sat, and that Annie was where he’d sat and eventually sleep asleep for a while. “At least I can see this time.” He leaned forward slightly as he turned towards Annie. “Why did you want to see this?”

“Because I never have.” She looked upward slowly. “Because as Coraline pointed out, the Day of the Dead changed us, matured us, and that process likely began right here.” She turned back to Kerry wearing a faint smile upon her face. “Your actions from here brought you to where you are now. If you hadn’t come here, you never would have went to Kansas City.”

 

Yep.  Back to Emma and Kerry’s hiding spot.  And after all those months, Annie had no idea where it was, or what it looked like.  I’m sure it’s a bit different now, what with the change in the trees between November and May. but it’s pretty much as it was when The Two Wingmates dropped out of the sky and went to ground.  And now . . . Annie’s brought Kerry back to the scene of the crime, more or less, where he admits that if he hadn’t pumped up their drained brooms they wouldn’t have left this spot, they simply would have waiting out the attack until they were rescued.

 

This time Kerry laughed slowly. “Yeah . . . Neither of us were making good decisions that day. I should have listened to the voice in my head.”

Annie’s smile was much brighter now. “What voice was that?”

“The one that kept reminding me that I shouldn’t let Emma talk me into anything.”

“That’s true.” Annie remembered getting the promise out of Kerry before he left the Dining Hall, and how he was on the verge of tears that night in the hospital when he admitted he’d broken that promise. She hadn’t been upset when he’d told her, and she’d never this slight mistake bother her. “But look at what would have happened had you not left: Professor Palmesscoff would have died, as well as Professor Kishna. You wouldn’t have been there to save them.”

“And I would have ended up in the hospital with only my knee messed up.” He reached for her hand. “Coraline wouldn’t have let you stay the night with me—”

“Which means I wouldn’t have known you were reconnecting with your dreams—”

“And I wouldn’t have told you I loved you.”

“No.” Annie squeezed his hand. “At least you wouldn’t have told me that night as we slept together—the first real time.” She looked down at their hands entwined. “I’m glad it wasn’t the last.”

 

Well, now:  Annie really enjoys that special time asleep with Kerry, it seems.  Annie’s mature for her age, and she loves the comfort of having her loved one–or has that moved on to “Husband to Be”?–next to her as she dreams.  But she’s not the only one . . .

 

Kerry was as well. Given their ages they shouldn’t have been allowed to sleep together, but neither the staff or instructors had said anything to them since the second Midnight Madness when Helena and Erywin discovered them under the comforter sound asleep. And after being allowed to share a room in Kansas City, he wondered if anyone really cared that much.

He so enjoyed sleeping next to Annie; every time they did he felt their love, and the connection their love brought, grow. He loved snuggling next to her and waking up with either him kissing her awake or her doing that to him. He loved inhaling the scent of her hair as he drifted off. He love hearing her say in Bulgarian good night and that she loved him, and he loved whispering the same thing back.

If he hadn’t been hurt so bad after leaving here, it was likely none of that would have ever happened.

 

And now we see that these two are bonding in a way that usually happens with older kids, or even people in their early twenties.  Kerry’s really taken with the smell of Annie’s hair, too:  he seems to bring that up a lot when he talks about her . . .

But why did Annie bring him out here?  Does she have a reason?

This is Annie.

Of course she has a reason.