On to the next five hundred entries, right? Sure, why not?
I ground out the last scene yesterday, writing more in that once day–much of what did take a day–than I’d written on any three other days. Fifteen hundred and ninety-one words is a pretty good way to finish out the Mistress of All Things Dark getting ready to kick some student ass. Since today is a travel day for me–I’m going out somewhere to kinda celebrate Month Eleven on HRT–I’m just gonna give you what I did last night, and interject comments here and there, ’cause this girl’s got some traveling ahead of her.
When we last saw yesterday, Annie was going to Shadow Ribbon her one and only, and she’d been warned not to cut anything off this time. How does she do?
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
She faced her soul mate, who stood with his hands handing loose at his side and a grin peeking out between his lips. She glanced at the ribbons then looked at Kerry. “Just stand still—”
He turned his head slightly to the left. “I’m not going anyway.”
“Good.” She began moving ribbons towards Kerry, bringing them closer to his wrists. Annie hand never tried this before, but she had no doubt she would succeed. All it required was a fine touch and concentration . . .
With a flick of her fingers Annie drew the ribbons between Kerry’s wrists and body. She lightly pressed them against his arms before lifting them slightly out and away, then wrapped each shadow twice around his wrists. Once Annie felt they were securely in place, and they weren’t hurting Kerry, she pulled his wrists together and wrapped the ends of each ribbon around the other.
With Kerry’s wrists firmly secured, Annie levitated him about twenty centimeters off the floor and brought him towards her. He started chuckling after floating a meter, and by half-way Annie was giggling as well. When he was an arm’s length away Annie left him in a hover while she checked his wrists to see that they were secured tight, and that it was impossible for him to use his hand. She brushed her fingers against his chin. “I have you.”
Kerry’s grin transformed into a smile. “You always have.”
Helena allowed them a final chuckle before retaking control. “All right, Annie: you can let him go.” As soon as Kerry was free of his shadows and standing, Helena moved alongside. “Good work. Now—” She touched him on the shoulder and pointed toward where he’d stood moments before. “Your turn. Secure Annie so she can’t use her hands, and made sure—” She touched the girl’s right hand. “—you don’t cut this off.”
Yeah, Kerry, don’t cut off the hand you hold all the time, ’cause Annie wouldn’t like that. And Helena letting them get away with a sort of public display of affection–is the old sorceress getting soft in her, um–well, given she can live to be one hundred and fifty, forty-five isn’t that old. But still, she had Kerry all tied up and floating where she could do anything . . .
It’s not Kerry’s turn, and he knows he’s not as good, but that’s not gonna hold him back–
“You got it, Professor.” He walked back to his side of the room, thinking about what was needed. He’d made shadow ribbons last year while Annie watched, but he’d yet to learn the same sort of control Annie had developed. But while he didn’t think he could fasten them around her wrists the same way she’d done to him, there was more than one way to secure someone’s hands . . .
He drew out two ribbons almost identical to Annie’s, except his were a little over a meter long. Instead of bringing them in line with his soul mate’s wrists, he positioned the ribbons so they were directly over Annie: one in front of her and one behind. Slowly they dropped until the front ribbon was even with her chest and the back ribbon was close to her waist, then pulled them around her body, pinning her arms—and hands—to her sides. Once she was firmly secured, he levitated the giggling Annie and, as she’d done with him, floated her to his side of the room until she was close enough to touch. “Well—” Kerry’s fingers glided over her right cheek. “Now you’re mine.”
She grinned sweetly. “And will be all our lives.” She gave his fingers a quick kiss.
Helena saw a few of the students rolling their eyes, and figured she had better break up these two before they got too carried away. “Okay, Kerry: release that dangerous girl.” After he dissolved the spell and set Annie back on here feet, Helena pointed, not to their desks, but to a spot to her right. “Stand over there for a minute, will you?”
And if you wanna know why the other students think these kids are strange, there’s a prime example. PDA, baby, even in the Witch House. But hey: they’re home. So why not be affectionate. It’s also not like they haven’t forged a bond with Helena and sort of know just how far they can push something.
Okay, warning time here: Helena is gonna get a little . . . rough. You’ll see what I mean in a moment, but needless to say, there’s been a method to her madness, and she had a reason to show off her new minions–
With them in place, she turned to the rest of the students. “I’d say that was rather informative.” Helena turned her attention to the middle of the room. “I don’t start teaching the Shadow Ribbon spell until near the end of C Levels, and we don’t actually begin working them until the D Levels. It usually takes a good part of that year to get them right, too—assuming you ever get them. As I once told Annie, there are a lot of good sorceresses who never get a feel for shadow ribbons . . .”
Helena singled out the boy from Poland who started the questioning. “Mesha, would you say these two—” She motioned towards the children on her right. “—were able to demonstrate that spell to your satisfaction?”
Mesha started at the surface of his desk. “Yes, Professor.”
“Thank you.” She turned to the second of her doubters. “What about you, Jeon? Do you feel confident that Annie and Kerry have the ability to help you with any B Level spells you’ll require assistance learning?”
Like Mesha, Jeon was looking anywhere except at his instructor. “Yes, Professor.”
Helena turned to the last person in this little triumvirate. “What about you, Lisa? Would you say that you witnessed a practical demonstration of a spell that you might not start figuring out for another two fucking YEARS?” She took a step towards the front row, seeing the students there and in the row behind, recoiling from her outburst. Nearly everyone in the classroom was looking away: Lisa, however, stared back with unmasked contempt for being the focus of Helena’s anger. “Assuming you ever do figure it out, which is highly unlikely, you smarmy little bitch.”
It’s also been stated that these instructor are afraid to lose it in front of their class and start swearing, and here is a perfect example. Helena could have lit up Lisa with a little Electrify, like she did with Kerry the year before, though given her present state of mind she might kill her, and even though she’d get brought back to life, the paper work Helena would need to fill out is a pain. Better to drop an f-bomb and call Lisa a bitch.
And that brings around the real reason for this demonstration:
Helena looked about the classroom. “The one thing none of you get is the opportunity to question my actions. What I do in this class, for this class, is my choice, and it doesn’t matter if you like it or hate it, you do not get a say in the matter.” The stern, dark witch who’d appeared many times during the A Levels came out once again. “What you get is to keep your mouths shut and your simple, shite opinions to yourself.
“Everything I do has a reason, and if you don’t like that—” She flicked a finger at the classroom entrance. “—there’s the door, get up and leave. Once you’ve done that you can walk your arse down to the Pentagram and head up to the Headmistress’ office and tell her your tale of woe, about how mean ol’ Professor Lovecraft is being a bitch—again.” Her snort was heard throughout the entire room. “Mathilde’s a nice woman; as you talk she’ll probably nod politely and smile, maybe even agree with you a few times. And when you’re done she’ll take what you’ve told her and put it down in a file, and . . .” Helena flipped his right hand back as if she were tossing something over her shoulder. “That’ll be that. Because you won’t have been the first students to run off and complain about me—and you damn sure won’t be the last.
“In case you’ve forgotten, the headmistress gives all the instructors a great deal of lassitude when it comes to their classes, which means I can pretty much do as I please when it comes to my instruction, short of killing a student. And if you do want to talk to me about something that has happened in class, there’s a proper way to do it that doesn’t involve public bitching—” She half-turned to her right. “Annie, when I put Kerry in the hospital a year ago around this time, did you complain in class?”
If it sounds like Helena’s being a bitch, it’s because she is. But what is it she’s looking for? She wants sorceresses: kids who can handle a good deal of rather dangerous magic and not go completely nuts with the power. Bitching about her choice of minions isn’t a great way to show that you’re mature enough to handle death spells when the time comes–and that time is coming rather sooner than you imagine.
But back to that last question–how did Annie react? Well, it might be foggy to some people, but not to a certain Chestnut Girl–
Annie’s lips tightened for a second as the memory of Kerry being repeatedly shocked by the Head Sorceress returned; she pushed it aside and returned to the present question. “No, Professor. I asked you to stop—”
“Which is not the same as complaining. That evening, when we were in the hospital, did you complain in front of Nurse Coraline and Kerry?”
“When we met in private later, did you tell me what you thought?”
Annie’s smirked turned grim. “Yes, I did, Professor.”
“And I apologized, didn’t I?”
“Among other things, yes.”
Helena didn’t want to get into “other things,” though she was certain that most of the students in the room were aware of Annie’s access to the Black Vault in the Witch House’s lower level. She turned to the boy to Annie’s right. “Kerry, I know you didn’t have much of a chance to say anything here that day, but later, in the hospital, did you tell me how you felt?”
“I’m pretty sure I did.” Even now his recollections of that time in the hospital was sketchy, given the shock and drugs he was on at the time. “Yeah.”
“Did I apologize to you?”
That much he did remember. “Yes, you did.”
“Thank you, both.” Helena decided to put this matter to rest, and in a way that would leave no doubt where she stood. “Any of you have a bitch, you come and seem me and we’ll talk in private. The moment you start talkin’ shit about me in public, however, I won’t care how sorry you are, I’ll give no shits whatsoever about further discussions or your apologies.” She half turned to her left, then snapped back to the class. “And if you think I’m being a bitch, go ahead and do this in another instructor’s class.” She locked eyes with the still-fuming Lisa. “You got Transformation class next, honey: try telling Jessica she’s kissing certain students asses, and I guaranty you’ll spend the weekend in her office as a fucking chair.”
Helena finally turned away from the class and strode to her desk. She brought the lights back up to full and flipped open her instructor’s text while she was still three meters away. “Open your books to the first chapter—” She spun around and coldly surmised the now-attentive children. “Time to get this party started.”
And that last is about as true as it gets: when Jessica hands out detention, she usually transforms a student into an inanimate yet still living object and leaves them around for people to use. Most of the time they end up as a chair in one of her two offices–in the Transformation Center or over in the coven tower–and there are few people who ever forget the time they had to support a student’s smelly butt in their, um, lap. Having a student write “I will not be a bad witch” five hundred times is for amateurs, kids.
One chapter left in Part Two, then it’s on to the last two chapters of Part Three and Act One.
And I’m looking forward to the next scene, because you can probably guess where I’m going flying without a net.