No, the title of this post is not my attempt at making it look like I’m clearing my literary throat. That’s Welsh, aka Cymraeg, and it just sounds that way. (Really, it sounds a lot like “Kemm-iag”, which should make it easier.) The title is Say Goodbye to Cardiff, and that’s what Kerry is doing right now: heading through the city on his way to Berlin.
There’s some unfinished business to catch up on while they make their way through the city
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
It was only after the salon made the turn onto Newport Road and began heading into city did Kerry speak. “Are you really going to give that letter to someone?”
“I fully intend to hand this letter over to the right people.” The right side of Ms. Rutherford’s face turned upward into a slight grin. “They’ll even see to it that it’s read and documented. And, as promised, in four to six weeks your parents will receive a letter from Salem—it will even have Headmistress Laventure’s signature affixed.” She pulled out her mobile phone and spent about thirty seconds sending a message before returning it to her purse. “Nothing will change in school policy, though, so no need to worry. I would, however, suggest that whatever you said to your parents—”
“Don’t say it to them again.” Kerry nodded. “I know. It was a dumb move on my part.”
“Mom sort of beat up on me in her own special way—” He felt there wasn’t any need to go into details of the conversation from two weeks earlier. “I blurted out something hoping it would get her to stop, and it only made things worse.”
There’s a bit of an in-joke at the start of that last line, one I didn’t realize until after I’d written it and I could look back and say, “Hey, I made a funny.” Your Own Special Way is a Genesis song found on the album Wind and Wuthering, and it was written by . . . Mike Rutherford, Ms. Berenice Rutherford’s namesake. Yeah, in joke . . . moving along now–
“Am I correctly in thinking it had something to do with the—” She twisted her right hand in the from the right to left and back. “—aftermath of the vision you had in March?”
Kerry shot a sideways glance at his traveling companion. “You know about that?”
“I know about almost everything that happened to you last school year. I have to: I’m your case worker.” Ms. Rutherford pushed herself into the corner of the seat and crossed her legs. “Don’t worry, Kerry: I’m good at keeping secrets.”
“You really want to know?”
He shrugged. “Only if you can tell me.”
“I don’t know all the details of your life. I know the details of your actions during the Day of the Dead attack; I know about your progress throughout your classes; I know about the awards and citations you’ve received—” Her mobile beeped and she took a moment to check the message before continuing. “I know that in April Annie and you left the school late on a Thursday afternoon and you both returned the following Saturday afternoon with injuries that made it necessary for you both to spend the night in the hospital.
“The information I have is that you were on a Guardian training operation, but I’m smart enough to fill in the blanks to realize Annie and you were out on something a little more detailed than training.” She glanced over the driver’s shoulder at the road ahead. “Like I said, I know almost everything—” She chuckled as she turned back. “Just enough to be there with a helping hand when you need one.”
“Good to know.” Kerry had wondered how much of his Aware life was know to Ms. Rutherford, and her quick explanation told him everything. Not that I was worried about her knowing all the details of Kansas City, but at least I know what I can discuss with her—when that time comes. “And you’re right: it was because of the . . .” He grinned despite his best effort to keep a straight face. “Aftermath.”
Ms. Rutherford nodded once as they turned onto Glossop Road. “Do me a favor?”
Kerry knew the answer to the forthcoming question. “Don’t do that again?”
We finally get conformation as to how much Ms. Rutherford knows. It’s a lot–not as much as Helena and Erywin know, but probably on par with what the Headmistress and Isis and even Deanna and Coraline know. Otherwise how is she gonna be his best bud when he needs her the most. It also helps not having to explain “aftermaths” that you shouldn’t have to explain anyway. Then again, the whole of the B Level has the “I Gotta Come Out As a Witch” line hanging over him all year, so, you know, explanations are gonna be needed at some point . . .
That’s not for another one hundred and fifty thousand words, at least, so let’s talk about the real travel plan:
“Don’t worry. I won’t.” He tapped a rhythm on his thighs for a few seconds as the salon turned right on to Moira Terrace. “What’s the real travel plan?”
“We arrive at the train station and then jaunt straight to Berlin Tegel. You’ll get checked into The Foundation system there, and then we’ll take a car from the airport to the hotel.” Ms. Rutherford watched the walls of Cardiff Prison go by as the car merged with Adam Street. “That should only take about twenty minutes, maybe twenty-five.”
“Are you staying with us in Berlin?”
“No. Once I get you to the hotel you’re on your own and I’m on my way back to London.”
Kerry checked the road ahead. “Got it. Anything else I should know? There weren’t any details in my travel package.”
“It’s all simple: ask for the manager when you arrive at the check-in counter, tell them you’re with the SIGEL and show your ID. They’ll get you checked in without a problem.”
No problamo: just walk in and flash your ID. It’s what all the cool twelve year old kids from SIGEL are doing this year. Oh, and one last thing–
“Okay.” There was another thing that wasn’t in his travel package. “Do you know what room Annie’s staying in?”
Ms. Rutherford smiled. “That information will be waiting for you in your room.”
He frowned. “You can’t tell me?”
“Kerry . . .” The car hung a left on Stryd Bute, now only a few hundred meters from the station. “Don’t you want a surprise now and then?”
Cardiff is behind Kerry and me for a while, at least until I write about Yule.
Onward to Berlin!