Because today is something of a big day for me, I promised I would get the last scene out of the way and finish up what’s going on in Chapter Twenty. And guess what?
Oh, and also: I came within four hundred and seventy-five words of one hundred and eighty thousand words. Woot! Another month and I’ll crack two hundred thousand . . . didn’t I say this novel would finish up around two hundred and twenty-five thousand words? Yeah . . . about that–
Forget about that for now: at the moment Coraline’s sitting with Deanna in her school apartment, and the question “What does it mean?” has been asked. Where does that take us? Here:
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Deanna wished she had tea at this moment, as the simple act of holding the steaming cup brought her comfort. “If we were talking about another boy in another relationship, I’d venture that the girl is a subconscious desire to warn the boy that his relationship is wanting or doomed.” She rubbed her fingertips together. “But we are talking about Annie and Kerry—”
“Yeah.” Coraline glanced at her slippers and chuckled. “There’s no way those two are in danger of breaking up.”
Seers and doctors alike agree: these two lurv each other. No breaking up stuff for them! Onward:
“So we’re back to the question of ‘What does it mean?’ again.”
Deanna knew that wasn’t exactly true. “There are two other possibilities. One is that someone is dreamwalking him; the other is that he’s having a vision.” She switched arms and now rested her chin against her left hand. “Both have their merits and problems.”
“A vision can’t kick you out of a dream.” Coraline leaned forward, her hands on her thighs. “That’s something a dreamwalker would do.”
“There is a lot of truth there—and it would be difficult to dreamwalk a real vision. But a dream vision?” Deanna shook her head. “There are schools of thought on the matter that a skilled dreamwalker could enter a dream vision—”
“Do you believe that?”
“I do. I’ve never tried it, but then, one would never know if they were inside a dream vision or a normal dream unless they knew what they were seeing.” Deanna slowly ran her right index nail up and down the middle of her upper lip. “What did you think of the school uniform the girl was wearing?”
“A Cernunnos B Level?” Coraline remembered the look they’d exchanged when Kerry mentioned that detail. “That can’t be coincidental, either.”
Deanna shook her head. “Annie didn’t think so, either.”
“She did her damnedest not to react when she heard that one.” Coraline chuckled darkly. “It’s a good thing there isn’t a student like that here now—”
The detail of the school uniform that Carrot Girl–a favorite name from one of the readers that I have adopted, because we’re all about our veggies here–was not mentioned in the scene where Kerry discussed his dreams; one of the ideas with this scene is that far more was discussed after I ended the prior scene. Now we know: she was a Cernunnos B Level. Which is why the following comes up:
Coraline saw the meaning behind the word. “You think it’s a vision?”
“It could very well be. Perhaps next year, or the year after—”
“Or the year after that.”
“—We’ll see a girl like the one Kerry’s described walk through Founder’s Gate and get placed by The Phoenix in Cernunnos—”
“Where she’ll run into something when she’s a B Level that will require Kerry saving her life?”
Coraline’s only asking that because Kerry’s already proven that he’ll jump in and do stupid things to save the lives of ginger hair girls. Well, not stupid: I’m sure nearly everyone at school who knows of him saving Emma from the Abomination thinks his actions were brave. Unless their name is Annie. Then they likely think he was stupid. Though they’ll never say that in public. Well, maybe once. Or twice. We’ll see.
This gets Deanna to pointing out that the idea of Kerry saving someone he’s never seen before isn’t all that strange for this joint . . .
Deanna shrugged. “Stranger things have happened here, haven’t they?” She sat the tip of her nose against the top of her left index finger and looked away from the woman across from her. “Did you ever imagine when school started in 2011 that one of the first things you’d do is tell a boy from Cardiff that a Bulgarian girl was in love with him?”
“No, I didn’t.” Coraline replayed that particular memory that moment, remembering how concerned Annie appeared when she asked Coraline to examine the boy who helped her to the hospital; how Kerry stared when Coraline began using the scanner; the way he seemed talking about wandering Amsterdam with Kerry before coming to school; and the look upon his face when she told him that Annie was madly in love with him. “I do remember, however, that when I was telling you guys what happened the next day you didn’t seem all that surprised.”
“Well, you did tell us at the end of Orientation Day and I’d already met them, so . . .” She left the question hanging. “Maybe I already suspected something about their relationship?”
“Sure.” Coraline flashed a slight smile as she got to her feet. “Anyway, what’s next?”
“Just as we advised—” Deanna rose and escorted Coraline to the door. “Kerry keeps track of his dreams, and when this girl appears again—which I’m certain she’ll do—he’s to write down what happened, then come and see us.” She hesitated before waving the door open. “Perhaps more information will make it easier for us to determine what’s happening.”
“You really don’t know what’s happening—” Coraline turned to face the seer. “Do you?”
Deanna shook her head slowly. “Not a clue.”
Coraline pursed her lips. “It must suck not knowing.”
“Actually, no, it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s nice not knowing.”
“Sure.” Deanna waved her hand and the door opened slowly and quietly. “I do like to be surprised from time-to-time, you know.”
Deanna likes surprises. That’s one bit of good news. And this thing with Kerry is . . . surprising her. Um, yay? Is she really surprised, or is she just telling Deanna that? Hum . . . well, I know, but I’m not saying.
Chapter Twenty-One is next, and it looks like it’s full of Express Farewells, puppets, and death. You know what? That sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.
I better get to writing that tonight.