I am not going to lie: I’m dragging this morning. I was out late last night–something I almost never do–and while there was food and talk, alcohol was involved, which means I was up early and it’s catching up to me this morning. Like I’ve been caught falling asleep at my computer, and when I get home after making the post I’m probably going to take a nap.
Needless to say, this affects my writing, because it’s hard to write about witchy things when your eyes are closing against your will. And while I wrote just over seven hundred words–so far–it’s been a struggle. Maybe there’s a way to fix this . . .
Ah, if only it were that easy.
Anyway, there’s always writing to do in the afternoon, and it was nice to break up the routine and do something besides sit around the apartment all day. And after this week, it was a good cap. I just need to get through this day.
And wouldn’t you know it: so do my kids. Now, they’re not tired, but there are things they need to do this day after the start of the Polar Express. But first, we start with someone else . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
It was rare that Helena Lovecraft came out to The Witch House early on Friday morning with the intention of conducting school business. If there were issues that required working out, she usually handled those throughout the week, and if it became necessary to deal with a in-school situation on the weekend—which almost meant Friday in her case—she dealt with that situation in her first floor office in the Great Hall’s East Transept.
Most of Helena’s interactions with her sorcery students was usually conducted from Monday to Thursday: there usually wasn’t any need for special sessions or counseling where her students were concerned because it often wasn’t required. Those who had learning difficulties often came to tell her they believed The Sorceress’ Life wasn’t theirs and they could leave at any time—and those who presented disciplinary problems were immediately sat down and told to change their attitude and get their shit together, or they were history.
There were, too, those students who found themselves slightly traumatized by events that occurred in class, and when that happened Helena turned them over to Coraline, Deanna, or Erywin, because seeing to the mental well-being of the students were also among their duties. There weren’t many times when she could actually sit someone down and explain to the student that what they considered disturbing she considered a normal part of here life, and even fewer were the times when she made them understand.
There was another type of business she conducted at the school, however, and while it wasn’t the sort of business related directly to the students or the staff, it happened—albeit with little fanfare. And it was the one business that always conducted at The Witch House no matter the day or time—
She heard footsteps in the hallway outside her office and expected to have visitors at any second, and the moment her guests appeared in the doorway she waved a greeting. “Come on in.” Helena waved the door close as soon as Annie and Kerry were inside. “Did I take you away from breakfast?”
Annie shook her head. “We were in the Dining Hall at eight, so we were finishing up when we were given your message.
“Didn’t take you long to get here—”
“We flew.” Annie didn’t wait to be offered a chair and sat. “How are you?”
“I’m fine.” Helena turned to her other guest. “How you doin’, Kerry?”
“I’m doin’ okay.” He sat next to Annie, on her right as always. “What’s up?”
It’s probably a good thing Helena doesn’t counsel students: I mean, could you see her dealing with students who were, oh, say given electrical shocks by their instructor during class? Oh, wait: we did see that. She’s probably pretty good with those students in The Sorceress’ Life, which we know Annie and Kerry have chosen–it didn’t choose them. Or maybe it did–that’s a question to ponder at a later date.
So, as Vicky would say, What’s the Story, Morning Glory?
“Oh, the same old same old.” She pulled out a document on her tablet that she’d already read three times since last night. “It seems our friends in San Francisco have decided they want to start the new year off right.”
Oh, isn’t that nice? The kids have friends out on the West Coast! Maybe it’s Kerry’s grandparents? Um . . . you already know who it is–
The children exchanged looks; there wasn’t any need to elaborate upon who had sent a message to Helena. Annie recovered first. “Are the Guardians sending us out on a field operation?”
“I thought they weren’t going to do that this year.” Kerry didn’t appear worried, though both kids seemed a touch concerned. “Right?”
“Right. And to answer your questions—” Helena pointed at Annie then Kerry. “No for you and yes for you. The Guardians aren’t sending out into the field, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things they can request that will further you, um, specialized education here.” She lightly drummed her desk top with her fingers. “I need you both to report to The Manor at thirteen-thirty today; given the Polar Express started last night, I know neither of you have anything going on today.”
When it became obvious Helena wasn’t going to elaborate, Annie spoke up. “What’s at The Manor?”
“Ramona for one; she’s gonna help us out on this one. She’s going to fit you for marionette rigs.”
While Annie didn’t appear too unaware, Kerry seemed perplexed. “What are those?”
The right corner of Helena’s mouth curled upward. “The Guardians, in their infinite wisdom, have decided they want to see if you can puppeteer.”
Annie actually appeared incredulous for a moment. “They want us to puppeteer?”
Kerry glanced from his girlfriend to the head sorceress. “What’s this puppeteer stuff?”
Yes, Helena: what is this puppeteer stuff? Well, The Mistress of All Things Dark isn’t able to just yet say what it is, ’cause she’s tired as hell right now and needs to head home and catch up on her beauty sleep. I assure you, however, you’ll gonna find out what this stuff is all about.
Because I’m sure my kids are eager to find out as well.