The first chapter of the new novel, Chapter One, is a done deal. Almost seventy-eight hundred words in five days–
Which isn’t a bad start to things. It’s not a NaNo Start, but close enough. I only do NaNo Starts during NaNoWriMo, though getting through ten thousand worlds in the first few days isn’t that big of a deal for me–I’ve done it a couple of times before. Not this time.
So . . . Annie’s crying. Well, one tear’s worth of crying, but still, it’s a start. She doesn’t do more, but in the course of events we learn that, yeah, this isn’t the first time. What was?
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Do you know what was the hardest part of the day we returned from Salem? Going to dinner with my parents.” Annie’s eyes didn’t leave Kerry’s, and they seemed to reflect her emotions. “I sat there and was pleasant and answered questions and tried to keep a smile on my face through most of the evening, but the entire time we were together all that mattered was seeing your face as I left you in Amsterdam. I felt the pain of out separation with every step I took.”
“So did I.” Kerry pulled Annie in and held her close. “Ms. Rutherford had to clean me up before she could take me home.”
Annie brushed his cheek with her fingertips. “I’m so sorry that happened.”
“It’s not your fault, Sweetie.”
“No, but I don’t like to see you in pain.” She rested her head against him for a moment. “When we returned home that night, my mother wanted me to sleep in my room in the main hour, and I tried, but after an hour I gave up and went out to the lake house and started a fire—”
“Did you use cherry wood?” The scent of cherry wood burning in the lake house fire place as he experienced it in the vision of their wedding night remained strong within his memory.
“Yes, I did—” Her mood began to lighten a little. “I sat on the sofa and stared into the fire and thought of you at home looking up at the moon and imagining me looking back at you. I got up and went to the deck and sat and did the same; it wasn’t until I started to write that first letter to you that I realized my cheeks were wet.” Annie kissed him slowly, at first brushing his lips with hers before showing her full affection. “You’re the only one who’s ever done that to me. My parents haven’t made me cry since I was about five, but you—” She touched his chin, then ran her fingers across his chest. “I’m away from you for a few hours, and I’m crying.”
She signed and leaned into him. “Don’t tell anyone, particularly Helena. I don’t want them to know.”
“Your secret’s safe with me—” He touched his head to hers. “Forever.”
“I know.” She wrapped her arm around Kerry’s back. “I love you.”
He reached for her hand, found it, and gave it a squeeze. “I love you.” He kissed her cheek. “You know how much I’ve wanted to say that to you since we left America?”
Though she suspected the answer, she couldn’t ask because they suddenly found they were no longer alone. “There you are.”
Helena and Erywin: Romance Buzzkills Since 2011. That’s one of the problems with people being able to teleport in and out: they just show up and there they are. Just as long as the don’t know it at the lake house during “The Moment”, if you know what I mean.
We hear about cherry wood again, and that aroma seems to haunt Kerry a little, probably because he wants to smell it first hand. And now we know that seeing how you’ll be away from your soul mate for months will bring a tear to the eyes of a girl who hasn’t given her parents the satisfaction of seeing her cry in seven years. That Annie, she’s a tough one.
Still, there are still things ahead, and stuff to do . . .
Annie’s arm remained around Kerry as she turned to face the owner of that voice. “Hello, Helena.” She nodded to the women standing next to her. “Hello, Erywin.”
“Hello, Annie.” Erywin hung her right hand on her purse strap. “You been taking care of Kerry?”
She turned to him and smiled. “I’ve given him more attention in the last four hours than I’m certain he’s had in the last four weeks.”
Helena nodded. “I’m sure he’s not gone without” She pulled out her phone and checked the display. “I told your mother I’d have you back for dinner, and it’s almost eighteen.” She dropped the mobile in a jacket pocket. “We need to leave.”
“I know.” Annie began to step away from Kerry, then turned and hugged him passionately. “I wish I didn’t have to go.”
“I wish I could stay with you the rest of the summer.” Kerry didn’t want to release her: he wanted to go home with her, see her parents, visit her lake house, sit before the fire and gaze up at the loft where their vision said they would one day consummate their love . . . “It isn’t fair.”
“No, it isn’t.” She gazed into his eyes. “But I must.” Annie touched his lips. “Promise me you won’t cry.”
He nodded slowly. “I’ll have a smile on my face when you leave.”
“You better.” She walked slowly towards Helena, turning around two-thirds of the way there to address her soul mate as she walked backwards. “Seven weeks, yes?”
“Seven weeks.” He pulled one strap of his backpack—which he’d been carrying since leaving the bench—over his right shoulder. “Pogrizhete se, prekrasnata mi srodna dusha.”
Annie laughed as she took her place at Helena’s right side. “You’ve been working on your Bulgarian.”
Kerry shrugged. “What else am I gonna do this summer?” He forced a smile. “See? Smiling. Just like I promised.”
“Just as you promised.” She reached for Helena’s hand, but stopped short. She kissed the right index and middle finger of her right hand, then held them out in Kerry’s direction. “Obicham te, Kerry.”
He did the same with his left hand and fingers. “I love you, Annie.”
She smiled and managed a small wave before they jaunted out.
Those kids, laying the lips on each other right in front of the adults. Should be mentioned that they’re adults who’ve gotten them rooms at hotels/inns, but still . . . the kissing parts. You have to read them. And there has been a lot of kissing on this lunch date.
And kissing leads to–singing? Yep, because I said I was going to work a certain song into this scene, and damned if I didn’t. Behold!
A second after Annie departed Kerry’s smile vanished. He closed his eyes and started sobbing, fighting to stay on his feet. He felt as if he were back in Amsterdam, watching Annie follow her mother out of the airport. The afternoon was perfect—even the weather was unable to dampen their enthusiasm and love.
He felt a light touch on his shoulder, and Erywin was next to him, singing.
I turned around she was gone
All I had left was one little flower in my hand
But I knew
She had made me happy
Flowers in her hair
Even with tears streaming down his cheeks, he couldn’t prevent himself from smiling. He’d heard her once before, when she was under a spell that compelled her to sing, and while others in Sorcery class had laughed and joked, Kerry could only imagine her on stage during the Ostara Performance, back when she was a student, singing to the school the way she was singing to him—
I love the flower girl
Was she reality or just a dream to me?
I love the flower girl
Her love showed me the way to find a sunny day
And in case you were wondering:
That’s always how I do things, by keeping my notes close at hand for just the scene. One day I’ll need to move all my Bulgarian comments to a separate text file so I’ll have them for reference. Not to mention a few songs I’ve used here and there, though in the last novel I only did one song, and Kerry referred to it in the scene above. I’ve had my kids go to the Russell Square Pert a Manger in both novels, and Erywin has sung in both novels? What else can I set up as happening every year?
But it helps to have things around, and that’s one of the reasons I like that little strip over on the right of Scrivener: it gives me places to keep things. Such as that word count. I wrote in two different locations and I kept track of what my count was at each station. I also finished up this last section during the first thirty minutes of The Americans, mostly during ads and when no one was speaking Russian, because when that happens you gotta check the subtitles.
How’d you like that song, Red?
Kerry sniffed a couple of times between the chuckles. “What’s that? I’ve never heard that song.”
“It’s something my mother used to sing.” Erywin slipped her hands into her jacket and hugged here purse close to her body. “It was one of her favorite songs. Whenever she was feeling down she’d sing, and that was part of her repertoire.”
“Nice.” He wiped his face clean with his hand. “You have a lovely singing voice, by the way.”
“Did you ever do Ostara?”
There was a slight pause before she answered. “Yes.”
Why the pause, Erywin? I’m sure there’s a story there–well, I know there is, because I’m also Erywin. And a song Kerry didn’t know? Yep. Because his mom was an egg when that one was popular, and more than likely didn’t listen to it as a kid.
Now that he’s crying, Kerry wants to know–
He decided not to pursue any more questions there: he sensed it was something Erywin didn’t want to discuss. “Does it ever get better?”
Erywin shifted her weight from one leg to the other. “What?”
She shook her head. “No. You get better at managing it, but the actual pain never gets better.” Erywin looked off into the distance, concentrating on something. “If it’s any consolation, the pain doesn’t get worse. Usually.”
“Yeah.” He slipped the other strap of his backpack over his shoulder and adjusted it into place. “I’ll learn.”
“You will.” Erywin moved so she was standing in front of Kerry. “Do you like ice cream?”
He laughed. “I’m twelve; of course I like ice cream.”
“There’s a little shop in Brighton that has the most incredible confections.” She cocked her head to one side. “Care to give one a try?”
“And ruin my appetite for the wonderful take away we’ll probably have tonight?” Kerry wondered what sort of meal Annie was going to sit down to later in the evening . . .
“In that case, we can share a parfait.” Erywin gave Kerry’s arm a squeeze. “How’s that sound?”
“I’m glad.” She punched the location into her phone app before holding out her hand. “Let’s go.”
He stared at her hand. “Don’t we have to wait for Helena?”
“No. We discussed this before coming here, and she’ll meet us there.”
“We considered taking you both, but then thought—” She lowered her hand. “You would probably rather have the time alone.”
“Thanks.” He sighed loudly as he looked around the still-empty park. “This was the best four-and-a-half hours of the summer.”
She reached for him once more. “Don’t worry: we’ll take you both next time.”
Kerry took the outstretched hand. “Will there be a next time?”
Erywin winked. “You know it.”
Ice Cream! Everyone likes ice cream, especially twelve-year-old boys. I love that line, actually: was quite proud to think it up, and it seems the sort of smart ass thing Kerry would say to someone with whom he’s comfortable as a friend.
Where they matching making? Don’t need to do that with kids who’ve seen their wedding night. More like a couple of friends knew it was the mid-point of the summer, and it might be a good idea to let these two have some time together. But there is the promise of another outing, and while I might not happen this novel, it’s something that will happen with some regularity.
One chapter down, many to go.
It’s a good start.