There’s another out of the way.
Last night I started on another scene, one which had been The Moon and the Tree, but that I’d renamed the same as this blog post, and which you’ll see why I renamed the scene in a few. It’s Kerry coming home, getting a little bit of advice from Ms. Rutherford along the way, and finally stepped through a door he’s exited nine months earlier.
He not comfortable being home, and he shouldn’t be there. I know this because I put him there. But he’d twelve: what else is he going to do? Live in a lake house in Bulgaria because a dark witch wants him there? Don’t answer that.
So here is Kerry, back home in Wales. He be rollin’, they see him frownin’.
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
It was only a short drive from the Cardiff Central railway station to his home in Timbers Square—three and a half kilometers—and Kerry watched the city outside the salon window. The sun set at twenty-one twenty-two, and there was still enough twilight to see everything clearly. Kerry hadn’t been in the city for the last nine months, but he wasn’t interested in the view and they turned off Fitzalan Place and headed east on Newport Road—
His mind was elsewhere. Part of it remained inside a walled school in Massachusetts, and the other part was nestled somewhere in the mountains of Bulgaria. He didn’t want to be here.
The time is 21:55 on 2 June, 2012, and I know what the sky looked like at the time, because I brought it up–
I also know the streets because I did a little Google Mapping as well.
So when I mention roads, distance, and time, I’ve got a good handle on things.
Ms. Rutherford is with him, too, and she has a few last things to say:
Ms. Rutherford felt differently, though, as there was something she needed to say. “The first summer back is always hard. You have to readjust to living in a world without magic, and you aren’t allowed to tell your parents about your true nature. The later may not be that difficult, but you’ll discover quickly how much you miss not having it around.
“As your case worker, my job it not only to get your from home to your departure point and back, but to help you out when you feel like you’re being overwhelmed. That’s why I gave you my contact information, so if things at home become too much, you can contact me.” She turned to Kerry. “If you need to talk about anything, don’t hesitate to call. We’ll have lunch or go for a walk or just find a nice quiet park and sit—but know you have someone who will come when you call. I’m here for you, Kerry.”
He recognized their location: they were well out of the downtown area now. “Thank you, Ms. Rutherford. If I gotta talk . . .” He sank back into the car’s seat and sighed. “Is the first summer really that hard?”
“It can be. Just relax Kerry—” The car bore left on to Albany Road and continued left through the roundabout. “The summer will go quicker than you think if don’t about how long you’ll have to wait before you see Annie again.”
Just chill, kid, and you’ll see your girlfriend again before you know it. And if you get really lonely, you can always Skype that girl in Bolder–
That’s just a joke. Really.
But the lack of daily magic will be a big deal after a while. After all, Kerry was getting to where he could open and close doors with a spell, and levitating things when he wants them was something he was doing six weeks earlier. If he only had a toy lightsaber, he could pretend he was Luke Skywalker! But now he can’t do any of that, because he’s not allowed to let his parents know he’s a witch, so keep that magic stuff under wraps. Particularly those things that you learned that would let you kill people.
And finally we’re here.
He nodded and returned to looking out the window. The car made a left onto Timbers Square and drove about twenty meters into the neighborhood before pulling up in front of the first house on the left-hand corner. Kerry stared at his home for about three seconds before chuckling. “Just like it was when I left. Everything’s still the same.”
Ms. Rutherford touched him lightly on the right arm. “Not everything, Kerry: not everything here is the same.”
He nodded and smiled. “I see what you mean.” He exited the car and retrieved his luggage from the boot, then walked with Ms. Rutherford to the front door.
Nope, not everything, kid, because if there’s one big thing that’s changed, it’s you. I changed the title of this scene because of a post I wrote almost a year ago, when I headed back to Indiana and stopped at a point on the Ohio Turnpike where I mentioned that everything in the place was the same . . . and then I put up a picture of myself as Cassidy and said, “Well, not everything.”
That’s Kerry as well. Not everything’s the same, my boy. You’re different–way different. But to your parents, you’re still the same strange kid . . .
The door opened seconds after he rang the bell, and his mother held the door open wide for her returning son. “Kerry, so good to have you back.”
“It’s good to be back.” He hoped he sounded at least a little enthusiastic about being home.
His father wandered in from the living room. “Hello, son. How was your trip?”
“Long.” He half sighed as he set his luggage aside. “Two flights, cars, trains: I had it all today.”
His mother lay a hand on his shoulder. “You must be tired.”
“Not really; I slept a lot on the flight over from Boston.”
“Speaking of flights . . .” Ms. Rutherford moved up next to Kerry so she could address everyone. “As I explained to Kerry he’s due back at school on 30 August, so expect his travel package to arrive two weeks before. I’ll be by to pick him up a few days before he departs, just like this last time. The package will arrive by courier—”
Kerry’s mother looked up from her son. “Your Foundation doesn’t take any chances, does it?”
“Not when it comes to someone as gifted as Kerry, no, they don’t.” She glanced from person to person in the foyer. “Well, then, I should leave you all to get reacquainted.” Ms. Rutherford turned to Kerry. “You have a fantastic holiday, and if you need anything—”
“Get in touch.” He smiled. “I will.”
“Take care, Kerry.”
“Take care, Ms. Rutherford.”
She gave a small wave. “Good night, everyone.” Ms. Rutherford turned and left the reunited family behind.
And there he is: all alone with the family. at least he didn’t lie about sleeping on the flight over: he was out for most of that trip.
Now that he’s home, and it’s about 10 PM, what does his family have planned for his return feast?
Kerry’s mother stood before her son as his father shut the front door. “Are you hungry?”
“We knew you’d return late, so . . .” She glanced towards the kitchen. “We picked up some take away.”
“It’s chicken tikka.” His father walked around his son and turned back as if he expected Kerry to follow. “One of your favorites.”
His mother noticed a strange look appear for a moment on her son’s face. “Is everything okay, Kerry?”
He wanted to say it wasn’t. If I were back at school I could have fresh chicken tikka, and fish and chips, and London broil, and lamb güveç that Annie shared . . . But he couldn’t say that. He couldn’t say that he missed his girlfriend and he wished he could dine with her, because it would raise too many questions. You’re home, so make the best of the situation—
“I’m just tired, Mom: that’s all.” He sighed and nodded at his father. “Let’s eat.”
You’re home. Eat and be merry.
For the end is near.