As a beginning writing weekend, it’s been pretty successful. I finished the scene I started in yesterday’s blog post, and wrote, and finished, the one that followed. I ended up writing a little over sixteen hundred words, and the novel is about five thousand words into the first chapter. One more scene and Chapter One is done and I move onto Chapter Two.
So I pick up where I left off, where Erywin asks . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
The chuckle returned. “A good witch never reveals her sources.” She cleared her throat as she took a step back. “Speaking of your better half, how is Annie?”
A moment passed as Kerry’s thoughts turned to his soul mate. “She’s good.”
“I take it that item you have to post is for her?”
“How often are you exchanging letters?” Erywin was aware from discussions before the end of the last school year that Annie didn’t have immediate access to a computer or phone.
“I’m writing two, three letters a week.”
“Writing.” He made a motion with his left hand, as if he were holding a pen and jotting something down. “Just like she asked.”
“That must be quite the task for someone who was used to doing everything on a computer.”
“At first it was, now . . .” He shrugged. “Not so bad.”
“Good to hear.” There was one question that Erywin had wanted to ask the moment she met Kerry, but could do so in front of his month. “Have you seen each other in your dreamspace since the holiday started?”
He nodded. “A little over a week after we got home we had dream time together. Annie said something about how she was trying to dreamwalk me—she’d read about it and wanted to try making it happen—”
“That sounds like something one of you would try.”
“She wasn’t certain if it was a dream walk, or if we were dreaming together like we did in Kansas City.” Kerry smiled. “It was—nice. Being with her is always nice.”
She didn’t need to ask how nice: Erywin saw the experience written all over Kerry’s mooning face. “Is that the only time it’s happened?”
Yeah, being in a dream with Annie is . . . nice. And Erywin asks if this is the only time if they meet in dreams, and Kerry confirms this. Is he doing something that’s keeping them apart, since they used to do this automatically all the time, and now–nada. Maybe their favorite Seer can help there.
But Kerry goes on a little further in his discussion of summer with Erywin, and that’s when he comes to this:
“I suppose.” There were times when Kerry didn’t know if he would make it, however. He wasn’t about to tell Erywin of the moments when he grew sad and depressed over Annie’s non-presence. “It’s just—”
“She was always there at the school. I saw her first thing in the morning, and she was the last thing I saw at night.” He let his gaze drop towards the ground once again. “The morning after I arrived home I came out of my room and half-expected here to be standing outside my door waiting to go to breakfast. It took a couple of more days before I realized I wasn’t going to see her again for three months.” He sighed. “The first Monday I cried for about ten minutes because I was eating lunch alone, and there was no one to talk to.” When he looked up and turned his face towards Erywin, his eyes were misting over with tears. “I miss her more than anything, Erywin. Even all the stuff I told you I miss? It’s nothing compared to her.”
“I’ve been there, Kerry.” She gave his shoulder another squeeze. “I was there for most of my school summers when I was dating Helena, and there were a few moments after we left school where I wondered when I would see her again.” She slipped her arm around her young friend and gave him a hug.
Kerry turned and hugged her back. “Does it ever get better?”
“No.” Erywin released him. “But you get better at dealing with the sadness. And who knows? By this time next year you both might be dreamwalkers.” The mobile in her purse beeped. “I think that’s my pretty girl.” She checked the display. “Yes. She’s finished up and ready for us.”
Make no mistakes: Kerry missing Annie terribly. Before Salem he took being alone in stride, and figured that he’d see Annie at some point in his dreams. Now he doesn’t even have the dreams, and he’s feeling the loneliness. He wants Annie by him, but he can’t have that. Ergo, this summer really sucks.
And then it comes time to leave–Helena sends a message saying she’d finished–and Kerry asks if they’re going to eat at nearby Mermaid Quey, which is pronounced “key”, which is how you say today’s titles, “The Key to the Square.” I’m sure some of your knew that, but now there is full disclosure.
Anyway, they jaunt off–
The moment they completed their teleportation Kerry suspected they weren’t in Cardiff. The weather felt the same, and the park where they appeared could have been any number of parks in and around his home city. Still, something felt off . . .
He looked down and immediately realized the difference. “It’s rained here.”
Erywin released his hand. “You are clever, you know that?”
“So I’ve been told.” He slowly dropped the light bending spell, allowing them to reappear as they stepped out of a small collection of trees. Erywin got her bearings. “This way.” She turned to her left and began walking; Kerry was alongside in seconds.
They emerged from the park and stepped out into a busy intersection. A prominent sign on the opposite side of the intersection told him their location. “We’re in London.” He pointed at the sign. “We’re close to an Underground station.” He turned around and saw the name of the park they’d just left. “Russell Square?”
They began crossing the street. “You know this place?”
“This is where Annie and I came for lunch when we had our free day before going to Amsterdam last year.” He smiled as he looked around. “We didn’t get down to this section, though, but—” He pointed to her right down Bernard Street as they crossed. “I believe the station is down that way.”
“Which is a coincidence—” Erywin turned right the moment she set foot upon the sidewalk. “That’s where we’re headed.”
They didn’t speak as they walked eastward down the street. As they approached the end of the block Kerry spotted another familiar figure: Salem’s Mistress of All Things Dark, Helena Lovecraft, the school’s Head Sorceress. Kerry was a little taken back, because of what Helena wore: a light blue tee shirt, jeans, and sneakers. If it wasn’t for the addition of her ever-present long leather jacket, Kerry might not have recognized the instructor.
He waved as they grew closer. “Hi, Helena.”
“Hello, Kerry; welcome back, Darling.” She took a moment to give her partner a kiss before stepping over to Kerry’s right side as they continued walking slowly. “Erywin been keeping you company?”
“Yeah, we been having a nice chat.” He looked down and across the street. “There’s the tube station.”
Erywin turned her head so she could see Helena. “Kerry informed me that he’s been to Russell Square before.”
Helena turned to Kerry. “Is that so?”
“Yeah. When Annie and I were doing our walking tour of London last year, we stopped here for lunch.”
“At a Pret a Manger.” Kerry stopped and took in the street, remembering that moment almost a year earlier when Annie and he were allowed to leave the hotel where they were staying, and she showed him around the city. “It was right across from the tube station, so if it’s there—” He turned to his left towards Helena. “—then the restaurant is right behind—”
Helena took a single step to her left, giving Kerry an unobstructed view of the Pret a Manger behind her—
Annie sat alone inside the restaurant at a table next to the window. As her eyes met Kerry’s, a smile etched across her face as she raised her right hand and waved.
Kerry froze, unable to react. He finally turned back towards the two women who were now standing side-by-side. Helena took Erywin’s hand. “As clueless as ever.”
Kerry finally found his voice. “You guys—”
“I told you mother I was taking you to lunch—” Erywin leaned into Helena. “I didn’t say you were dining with us.”
Kerry threw his arms around both women and hugged them. “Thank you.”
They hugged them back. “I got your number from Ms. Rutherford—” Helena stepped back as soon as they finished the hug. “I’ll message you when we’re ready to met up again. Until then, you’re both on your own.”
Helena nodded towards the restaurant—and the waiting girl—behind him. “You better get going; she’s been waiting almost five minutes.”
Kerry didn’t offer his goodbyes: he nodded, then turned and hurried into the Pret a Manger. The moment he was inside, Annie was out of her chair and standing with open arms next to the table. He rushed into her embrace and lost himself in her long, gentle, loving kiss.
As the scene was just over seven hundred words, I presented it all, because, well, it’s a nice scene. And I’ve had the image of Annie sitting alone, waiting for Kerry, for some time now.
When I wrote the line about Annie sitting and waiving at Kerry, I began getting weepy, because it’s a lovely image. I’ve missed something like that in my life for a long time, and, well, I wanted my kids to have this time together. They deserve their happiness.
As we all do.