Let’s discuss stuff . . . and things. The last few days haven’t been all that bad, but I found myself in a strange position after dinner and libations last night. Strange as in, “Why do I do these things to myself,” you know? At least I survived the events of last night–and allow me to say right now that they weren’t that dangerous or bad, I was just in a bad mood that I had to fight to get past.
But that’s all beside the point: there was writing, just over seven hundred words, and they were good. Finally we get to see them in their shared space at a place we’re heard of before, but you have to go back to the first time that Kerry finally realized who Annie was to understand this part of the story–
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry called the place Napa Country, after the wine growing region near his old California home. He originally wanted to call the place Golden Country, but decided avoiding any links to 1984 dreams landscapes was a great idea. He figured the more he stayed away from dystopian hell-holes that had a chance of coming true, the better.
But Napa Country was far more than just a place that grew grapes. It was a pleasant countryside with roads winding through hilly, tree-line fields with no indication of encroach of civilization other than a directional sign here and there. Since it was a dreamscape one never grew tired walking or cycling, it was never too hot or cold, and the breeze over the hills was always refreshing.
And when it was time to take a break, there were many hills upon which one could sit and enjoy the countryside with the company of another—
I don’t mind saying that 1984 was an important book to me when I was younger, and much of it stuck with me and remains there today, forty years later. Now, I’ve never been to Napa region of California, mostly because I’ve never been to California, but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine the place. Kerry would know it for sure, because he didn’t live too far from there, and likely had a few chances to visit the place.
But how would Annie know of it? Well, she came to California in a way, didn’t she? In some recess of her memories she probably remembered one of their dreams from when Kerry stilled lived on the Left Coast, and when they first met in Cardiff Dreamin’, she pulled that memory out and made it dreamy real. And there’s a particular spot in that world where they like to go . . .
There was one hill in particular he enjoyed, and it was one Annie and he hadn’t visited in a while: the last occasion has been the evening of his eleventh birthday. So much had happened on his hill which sat about fifty meters back from the road and maybe fifteen meters higher, with a small grove of trees maybe ten meters behind them. It was here that they came that first dreamwalk after he moved to Cardiff and they learned each other’s true name; a year later Kerry professed his love for Annie, and she let him know she’d loved him for some time; a few months after that moment, the night of Annie’s tenth birthday, she confessed that she was a witch, and that she could do magic in the real world.
It didn’t matter what roads they took: like Rome, all roads eventually led here. Kerry understood that was how dreams worked, that while he might find himself in a factual layout of a town or building or house, there were times when things turned absolutely Escher-like and roads, halls, and paths would go places one never expected, or simply double back on themselves.
This time, after the landscaped formatted and the mountain bikes appeared, they rode past their hill—as with so many other places where important events occurred to them, he thought of the place as “theirs”—five times while traveling various highways. It was only while approaching their hill for the sixth time that they both received the message that perhaps there was a reason it wouldn’t vanish somewhere beyond the dream horizon.
After setting their bikes aside, they walked hand-and-hand up the side of their dream hill an sat for a few minutes before laying back so they could hold hands while staring up at the sky. It reminded Kerry of their second weekend at school, when they spent part of Saturday flying about the grounds before coming to rest on the north shore of Lake Lovecraft and spent a few hours laying in the grass. He understood now why that moment seemed so normal and nearly perfect: his memories of this dream place, locked away behind a mental barrier he’d created out of sadness, pain, and fear, were leaking into his mind, reminding him of this place he’d shared with the girl beside him.
They spoke for what seemed like an hour, though time was subjection in their shared dreams. He told Annie about the Christmas Eve argument with his mother and the aftermath that night; she told him of her request for a phone or computer and how her parents refused to consider the idea right now. Neither was happy to hear the news the other brought, but given their age and distance, there was little they could do to help improve either situation for the other.
“Do you think they’ll let you get a phone this summer?” Kerry gave Annie’s hand a gentle squeeze. “Or do you think they’re just gonna blow you off?”
“I haven’t any reason to believe they’ll ignore me.” Annie still wasn’t as skilled with English idiom and slang as was Kerry, so they didn’t attempt that often. “They know by now that I can become rather insistent when I becomes necessary.”
Kerry chuckled. “What Annie wants—”
“I usually get.” She chuckled with him. “But this time—”
“Their refusal felt different.”
You should know by now that I’m not getting to that “How so?” until tomorrow, because I need to write it tonight, yeah?
At least, at this point, they’ve discussed the things that have happened to them in the last few days, and Mommy Malibey should be careful who she’s slapping, because her future daughter-in-law isn’t an ojamajo doremi and would put a serious dent in her ass if she thinks it would help Kerry. That should be an interesting discussion for one day: “So . . . Louise. I’d like to speak about all the times you’ve been mean to my soul mate . . .” And since Annie literally can kill you with her brain, I somehow don’t believe she’ll have many of the same mother-in-law issues that some wives have.
For sure I’ll write tonight because I don’t anticipate much writing happening Saturday. But I’ll have more on that tomorrow.