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The Sorceress’ Mantra

Between the early morning and the late evening, the first scene finished up, leaving me to move onto the next.    I’ve actually gotten into the habit of leaving myself a couple of hours to write before bedtime so I can move along quickly and not be bothered by distractions, and so far it seems to be working.  Also, I was tired when I finally crawled into bad, and this morning was the first time I remember the alarm waking me instead of getting up before it went off.

So . . . Kerry’s mom doesn’t have a problem smacking her son across the face.  I can still vaguely remember my mother doing the same thing to me for similar reasons Louise Malibey did it to Kerry, and it’s not a lot of fun.  I spanked my son a few times, and I’ve never raised my hand to my daughter, and they’re both doing okay.  I would have to say that being fearful of being hit again did something to me, and if I remember it happening almost fifty years after the last time it went down, then it made an impression upon me, and likely not for the right reasons.  Because the reason is to install fear of speaking out, instead of teaching appropriate ways of establishing a dialog.

Except in this case in the story, the dialog established was Kerry calling out his mom on her bullshit, and her not liking what was said.

 

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

Kerry touched the warm spot on his cheek and said nothing. It had been a long time since his mother had struck him: the last he could remember was back in California right after he turned seven, and just like this time he said something his mother didn’t like and she reacted much the same way. He remembered crying and running off to his room, and his father yelling, telling his mother to get her “Irish temper” under control. Later that afternoon she came to his room and apologized for striking him—

He was fairly certain she wasn’t about to apologize this time.

“You little shit.” His mother’s face was a dull share of red, slightly less luminous than her hair. “Is this what they’re teaching you at that school? To be a smartass towards your parent?”
“No, Mom.” He strained to keep his voice level. “They teach us to think for ourselves.”

“Then you have better think about this attitude you’re developing, because you’re becoming a tad insufferable, young man.” Louise’s tone soften slightly, but her emotions continued to shine through the words. “You started changing over the summer, Kerry—you began acting differently.”

“I don’t know how.” He stopped rubbing cheek. “I don’t think I changed.”

“That’s your problem: where you should be thinking, you’re not.” Louise snorted. “You don’t ever question what I think is best for you, do you understand?”

Kerry wanted to argue, wanted to tell his mother that he didn’t need her making decisions for him for everything, but he knew that was an argument he’d lose because his mother would keep at him until he made a mistake and gave her reason to yell at him again. I won’t let her get to me the way she did before I left; I’m not making that mistake again. “I got it, Mom.”

 

Kerry has never really called out his parents on anything.  Oh, sure, maybe a snide comment here and there, but never a full-out, “I know why you really did this,” statement like he did with his mother about her supposed outrage at this discussion he had with Nurse Coraline.  Kerry’s right:  his mother never got to say “no”, and one wonder if and when they were going to have “The Talk” with their son.  Maybe after Annie was pregnant?

 

“Good.” Her tone continued turning cold and distant. “Go to your room.”

He turned back towards the sink. “Let me put my—”

I said go to your room.” Her voice didn’t grow that much louder, but she laid out her anger in every word. “Do it now.”

Kerry left the kitchen, headed up the stairs, and hung a left at the top of the flight, and bolted straight into his room. He was already standing at the foot of his bed when he flipped his hand behind him and shut the door: he was fully aware he was doing magic before coming out as a witch to his parents, but as his mother didn’t follow him up the stairs, and he father was still at work, there wasn’t worried that he’d have to explain how the door closed on its own.

The room was quiet: no sounds penetrated from below, and his computer was on standby. He remained still, his hands at his side, while staring out the window over his bed’s headboard. He slowed his breathing and drew down his anger while running his favorite mantra through his mind: A good sorceress keeps their wits about them while everything goes to hell around them. Kerry finally took one long, deep breath, and exhaled the majority of his stress away—

He looked down body and saw the spheres of ball lightning hovering in the palm of in each hand.

 

This is something we’ve seen with Annie, when she was so pissed off at Emma that she let slip a Morte spell and started to bleed the little Bolder Ginger out.  Now we’re seeing it with Kerry:  Mommy pissed him off, he goes up to his room, shuts the door–magically, I might add, because he got away with it.  And because I may get asked:  yes, students are warned not to use magic before they come out as B Levels.  They’re also warned to keep the magic on the low after they do come out because they don’t want a literal witch hunt on their hands because some fifteen year old kid decided to get fancy and start cutting loose with spells in their hometown square.

And what happens to those who just won’t listen, who just say “The hell with it” and go nuts?  They usually get a memory wipe and kicked out of school, that’s what.  The way they look at it, if you can’t keep your shit together and not act like a witchy jag in public, then why do they want you?  They don’t.  So enjoy the old life you would have had if you weren’t a witch, ’cause for damn sure you aren’t getting a new one.

And there’s always Cloudland as a last resort . . .

 

Kerry shook his hands as he pulled the dark energy from the Lightening spell. He was a little surprised to see the spell just happen, but Annie told him during one of their lessons that under times of extreme stress, a knowledgeable witch could craft a spell without being aware they were doing so. This is what Helena means by keeping your wits about you. He checked his hands to make certain the spell was off: nothing remained. You can’t let Mom wind you up: if this had happened downstairs, Mom would be screaming and you’d probably be on the phone to Ms. Rutherford explaining what happened.

He fell upon his bed, rolling over on his back with his hands under his head. Kerry closed his eyes as he damned his situation, trying not to imagine how things were going to be in just over five months when he finished his B Levels and told his parents what he was really learning at school—

“Happy-freakin’-Christmas Eve.” He blurted out a rude sound as he inched his way up the bed so he could rest his head upon his pillow. “I’ll be Annie’s having a great time—” He closed his eyes and sighed, imagining her all dressed up and mingling with her family of witches . . .

 

And this is why Helena gave them that mantra back as A Levels:  she saw something special in them both, and she wasn’t about to see them waste it all by doing stupid stuff like, you know. Air Hammering another student into the hospital in front of their levelmates.  This is also one of the reasons she only teases about Morte spells early on, but doesn’t get into the actual teaching of them until a student’s C Levels.  If you’re gonna act all crazy and shit, the last thing the Mistress of All Things Dark wants to do is give you access to killing spells–she saves that for the people she knows can handle the deal.

And it’s likely the same reason she’s letting a couple of B Levels instruct each other on these things.    I mean, how easy might it be for Kerry to throw an electrical charge Mom’s way, then tell his father, “I don’t know; maybe something shorted out?”  Sure, The Foundation would figure it out, but probably not his family.  The fact he didn’t even go there is a good indication he’s one of the ones to trust–you might go so far as to say he’s one The Foundation could trust to be a Guardian . . .

Here we are, then–

Writing, always writing.  And more writing.

Writing, always writing. And more writing.

And since the next scene says “Pamporovo local”, you can bet we’re going to look in on Christmas afternoon with the Kirilovi Family–

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