Party of Ruminations

Busy, busy, and yes, busy.  After chillin’ like a villain last night–as mentioned before, Touch of Evil was on, and that’s one of those movies I never miss, if for no other reason it’s a beautiful movie to watch to see how one can put a movie together–I started hitting the scene after trading some major Game of Thrones snark with a friend who reviews the episodes.

And hit it I did–hard.

As seems to be the norm for Saturday mornings, I wrote just shy of thirteen hundred words to complete the scene, bring it in at just about eighteen hundred and forty words, and finish the novel currently a few words short of thirty-five thousand words–like seven words short.  I know this because Scrivener tells me so, and it never tries to lie to me.  Almost never.

This is the scene where school hasn’t yet started, but the kids are laying out on the second floor, enjoying snacks and drinks from Valenzuela, and listening to music via Kerry’s tablet.  It’s late and they’re waiting for tomorrow to come as well as the new A Levels.  It looks like the B Levels are fitting right into the groove of being returning students.  Well, there are some differences . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

As the song changed to something slow and soft, Annie leaned back so she could look up into Kerry’s face. “It’s not like being home, is it?”

He brushed her hair. “What do you mean, Sweetie? This is home—remember?”

She kissed his cheek.  “I certainly do.”

Alex wiggled her eyebrows at Penny, who had given up trying to hide her smile. Earlier Annie overheard the girls warning Jairo earlier that their “Lovey Dovey” reputation was not only intact, it had grown since the end of the last school year. There was also mention of them having a “private dinner” during their stay in Berlin, and that they still looked “joined together”. Annie told Kerry that she took this as a complement, and believe if this was the worse their new friends thought of them, they wouldn’t have any problems through the coming school year.

 

Annie and Kerry:  Making Their Covenmates Uncomfortable with Public Displays of Affection Since 2011.  And if we’ve seen anything, it’s that these two are even more loving than they were in the last year.  Why shouldn’t they?  They are in full remembrance of their past, they suffered through a summer of limited contact save for their letters and one notable instance, and they are hooking up in their dreams again–though you can imagine the “Hey, we found ourselves in a dream bed in our birthday suits!” dream is gonna get back to the Seer of Dreams at this joint at some point–

As for the C Levels who don’t want to see this, the easiest way to get beyond this is to–talk about magic!

 

Alex’s gaze shifted from one floating cold fire sphere to another. “It’s amazing seeing those up there.” She turned to the cuddling B Levels. “Who taught you to do that, Annie?”

Annie saw no point for false modesty. “I taught myself—” She glanced up at Kerry. “Last year.”

Alex voice beheld her feelings. “What? You’re kidding.”

“No. I did it for a project Kerry and I worked on.”

Alex shook her head slowly. “Tse yak—nemozhlyvo.” She lay back, sipping down the last of her merengadas. “I would so love if you could show me how to do those spells.”

Annie didn’t want to commit to helping. “Cold fire is a C Level spell, so I’m sure you’ll get it this year.”

Penny chuckled. “She tried it at the end of last year and almost set herself on fire.”

Alex shot a glance at her dormmate. “Zamovkny.” She nodded at Annie. “I’ll let you know how I do.”

 

Annie already has one kid to teach–her one and only soul mate–so the last thing she wants to do is start offering pointers to the girl who is supposed to learn cold fire this year.  Oh, and once again, the Ukrainian girl is speaking . . . Ukrainian.  These kids and their mumbling in different languages, it makes for a far different environment, don’t you think?  First Alex says, “That’s like–impossible,” which we know isn’t true, since Annie made it possible, and the second time she says, “Shut up!” just like a normal teenage girl would say.  ‘Cause no matter how much magic these witches know, they’re still teenagers, and they’re gonna act like them.  So just like shut up, ‘kay?

Now that they are at school, it’s time to ask another question–

 

Penny had another subject she’d held on to since Tuesday in Berlin. “So, you going out for the race team, Kerry?”

Like his soul mate, Kerry didn’t see a reason for hiding his intentions. “Yes.”

“That’ll be great. We could use you.”

He chucked. “If I make the team.”

“You’ll make it.” Penny sat up and leaned over her crossed legs. “Right now we have two open slots on the A Team, and Alex and I heard rumors . . .” She lowered her voice slightly. “Risto may leave the team.”

“What?” Having followed the team last year, Kerry knew the tall Finnish boy by name. “Why?”

“Those two wrecks he had last year messed with his mind—”

Alex cut into the conversation. “And he had a bad one right at the end of the year before, too.”

Penny nodded. “Yeah. We heard yesterday that with him getting set to graduate this year, he doesn’t want to have the responsibility of being team captain and worrying about spending time in the hospital.” She pushed back into some pillows. “I can’t say I blame him.”

“But if he leaves—” Now Alex was sitting up. “That’ll mean the whole B Team moves up and we’ll need to fill those slots.”

Penny finished the thought. “We’ve got sixteen people in the coven, and with six of them on the teams that means there are only ten people who could fill those slots. If you went out, I’d guaranty you’d get one.”

There was something in Penny’s tone that made Kerry question the finality of her statement. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure—” She pointed back and forth between Alex and her. “We’re sure. We know how well you did in Basic Flight; you moved up to a 4500 the first weekend; you flew observation during Day of the Dead; you’ve already had kinda one flying accident—”

“And you handled yourself well during the Mile High Flight.” Alex chuckled while shooting a look at Annie. “Quite well.”

 

Someone must have wished she’d gotten a Mile High Kiss–

Now, I’ve named a name in the coven race team, and spoken about A and B Teams, but you have to know I’ve done a lot more than that.  Yeah, I have.  For example, I figured out who was on the team last year, and that means I currently know who’s on the team this year.  That looks something like this . . .

See, you do need a score card.

See, you do need a score card.

There you have former and current members, with five students in the A Team and three in the B, which is the reserves used when the members in the A Team are unable to fly.  Humm . . . looks like the Horned God demands some boys on this team–and this is going to come up much later in the story, trust me.  You also see the Levels of the students racing, and where they’re from.  As the oldest member of the current team, Risto should end up becoming captain, but . . . we’ll see, right?

Oh, and you know who’s trying out for the Mórrígan Coven Team.  Do I really need to say her name?

So out of ten student who can try out–and I’ll get to that in a moment–we know of one.  What about the other?

 

Penny chuckled. “I can tell you that just about everyone who did the Mile High Flight could get on a team if they try out.” She turned to the girl in his arms. “Annie, are you going out?”

She didn’t hesitate giving her answer. “No.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not a racer. I enjoy flying for fun—going out on long flights and watching the scenery go by while listening to music.” Her smile was bright in the dim blue light. “Kerry’s the competitive one.” She leaned back and gently caressed his right cheek. “And there should only be one racer in the family, don’t you think?”

Kerry cooed. “You’re right as always.”

And uncomfortable silence fell over the C Levels upon seeing and hearing the short moment of affection between their B Level companions. Annie noticed Jairo squirming uncomfortably, and she believed it was her statement which caused him acute embarrassment. They’ve never heard us speak like this to each other. Even while in Berlin I saved these terms of endearment for our private moments. She kept the laugh she felt coming on deep inside. If they want us to be a part of floor, they’ll need to get used to us.

 

I was asked a few days back when might we see Annie and Kerry calling each other “husband and wife,” even if it’s in a joking way, because kids going steady are like that some times.  Here’s Annie, for the first time, making a comment about “Only one racer in the family, right?” and Kerry’s going along with her–and it’s making the other kids on the floor really uncomfortable.  Why?  Could it be because they can hear their voices and see their faces and notice their body language, and realize right then and there that they’re not kidding around?  Umm, yep.  Pretty much.  And Annie’s thinking, “Time for you to get used to us, kids.”  Yeah, it’s going to be an interesting year.

Now, about those A Levels . . .

 

Right then Annie noticed five green lights appear above the door leading to the staircase: four were to her left, one to the right. Kerry noticed them as well, commenting immediately. “What are those lights for?”

Jairo caught them right away. “It’s to let us know the new A Levels are in their rooms.” He shook his head. “Damn—only five?”

Penny sighed. “I was hoping for more considering thirty-seven came in this year.”

“Yeah, every coven should have gotten at least seven people.” Alex muttered softly. “Damn Phoenix hates us. Durnyy dukh.”

Annie wasn’t going to comment on the fairness of getting only five new students, for it was impossible to fathom the reasons behind The Phoenix’s decisions. “Four new girls—”

Kerry finished her statement. “And a new boy.”

Jairo nodded. “You figured that out, huh?”

Kerry pointed to the light configuration. “Four on the side with the girl’s rooms, one on the boy’s side—” He smirked. “Pretty easy to figure out.”

 

First off, “Durnyy dukh” means “stupid spirit,” and they are damning their luck at only getting five new kids.  So now that the A Levels are here, what do the final counts look like?

Like, um, this.

Like, um, this.

And as you can see, Cernunnos is the loser once again, while every one else came out way ahead.  Now, I knew Cernunnos would get five, but how did I figure out the others?  Did I just pick and choose?  Nope.  I rolled some dice on my computer.

Really.  Back when I was gaming I used my computer for said role playing.  Gaming of this nature require dice, and let me tell you, while some gamers love carrying around like fifty dice in a bag–something I have done–I got tired of it pretty fast.  So I bought a dice program for my computer, and used that to first figure out how many students would go where.  Assigning a value to each remaining coven, I used a D8 to see who would get nine students, and then a D6 to determine who would get seven.  Once that was determined, the remaining two got eight students, and all was well at the School of Salem.

Really--never leave home without your dice.

Really–never leave home without your dice.

There’s only one last thing to do now–

 

There was a slight smile on Penny’s face, but her tone indicated something completely different. “Yeah, I guess.” She stood and stretched. “And with that, kids, I’m ready for bed.” She prodded Alex with her bare foot. “How about you, zhopka? Ready?”

Pfft. I am always ready, cyka.” Alex waved to everyone sitting. “Good night, and see you at breakfast.”

They all said their good nights, and as the girls were heading into their room Jairo stood. “I should do the same. Got a lot to do tomorrow.” He nodded at the still-seated couple. “Good night.”

Kerry waived with his right hand. “’Night, Jairo.”

Annie nodded back. “Good night, Jairo. See you tomorrow.”

“See you.”

As soon as they were alone Annie rolled off Kerry and settled to his right, facing him. “You should turn down the music.”

Kerry summoned the tablet from where it had remained stuck to the wall so he could lower the volume before setting it aside. “There. Far more intimate.”

“Yes—” Annie lay her right arm over her soul mate and kissed him. “It’s more comfortable like this.”

“Almost comfortable enough to fall asleep.”

But do they?  Ha!  Not telling.  And the last thing here, to show that Penny and Alex are good friends–Penny calls Alex “Little Butt” and Alex calls her “Bitch.”  Not quiet the same as “Love” and “Sweetie,” but then these two . . . well, you’ll find out about them.

We’ll see if I get the Headmistress on stage tonight.  She’s about due to put in an appearance . . .