Here we are, Happy Thanksgiving for all my American friends; can’t wish it for my Canadian friends because theirs was back at the start of the month. Try not to eat too much, and as for me, I’ll be out on the road in the few hours heading south to a friend’s house.
But off in my fictional world it’s not Thanksgiving, one of the holidays they don’t celebrate–probably because when you only have a few Americans and Canadians at your school, why make a big deal of something only a few might enjoy. After all, it’s not like the kitchen won’t fix turkey for you, right?
What today in world of my kids is, however, pretty damn important. What are they up to? What they are up to is way over your heads . . .,
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Approaching the Danvers River Kerry closely watched for Annie’s hand signals. He’d followed Annie as she made her way along the rail line from Beverly to Salem, and given that their next landmark lay ahead, he knew they were expected to stop and check-in, after which Annie would receive additional instructions.
They reached the river and proceeded onward, jinxing slightly to the right as they flew over the swing-section of rail bridge. They didn’t follow the line exactly: they overflew the North River, keeping close to the shore, and eventually flew over the track and drifted towards the apartment complex parking lot next to Salem Station.
Annie held up her right hand and waved it back and forth, the signal to stop, as she pulled up. Kerry came to a stop about two meters away as she called in. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Solo. We’ve reached the Salem train station and are holding steady at seven hundred meters.” She slowly spun around and faced Kerry. He couldn’t tell if she was smiling under her balaclava, but the twinkle in her eyes was impossible to hide. “What would you like us to do next? Over.”
Kerry had a pretty good idea as to their coming instructions, and Vicky didn’t disappoint. “Time for you guys to take a rest. Hold your current position and altitude; we’ll notify you in ten minute as to whether you should continue to your next landmarks, or if there is a modification to your flight plan. Over.”
“Understood, Flight Deck. We’ll wait for your instructions. Over and out.” Annie slipped her goggles up onto her hood-covered head and rolled her balaclava up until her entire face was visible. “Looks like we’re gonna be here for a bit.” She tugged the fur-lined collar of her hood close around her face and checked out their surroundings. “The city looks a great deal different from up here.”
“Yeah.” Kerry raised his goggles and balaclava as well and glanced to his left and right. “You can certainly see a lot more up here than you can walking down on Essex Street.” He leaned forward over his PAV. “I don’t think I’ve never stopped and looked at Salem from up here.”
“I know I haven’t—” Annie eased a meter closer. “At least not floating like this.”
Yes, flying time is here. The kids mentioned that Annie’s solo flights were coming up, and today, the 25th of January, 2013–as pointed out in the scene the last Friday of this particular January–Annie is flying solo, with her faithful chase Kerry not far behind. And at the moment, they are in a hover over the Salem train station, a local both kids know well, and wouldn’t you know it, I have a little screen shot of the area–
Yep, Beverly is on the other side of the river in the middle of the picture, and directly out of sight below this pic is the station. I’ve a few more shots, but I’m not wasting them here. Nope, not yet.
But this is not the whole flight: oh, no. Not in the least.
This first solo flight was easy: leave the school and headed directly for Wingaersheek Point, then turn and head for the intersection of Martin and Main in Essex. From there head southwest, overfly Gordon College on the way to the Beverly Station, then turn south and go to the Salem Station. After the last station they make a slightly southward turn towards the House of the Seven Gables—a location close to where they stayed at the Sea Sprite Inn—then turn to the northwest, head to the Old Hospital Point and going out over the Darvers River on their way to Plum Cove. At the cove they would make their way back to the school, stopping at the Manchester Station and the Blackburn Circle rotary just outside Gloucester before flying back into the confines of the Salem School and touching down outside the Flight School.
Since I’m pointing out all these spots that Annie has to hit on her tour of Lovecraft Country, you would probably think, “I’ll bet Cassie has a map.” And . . .
I actually made this map about a year ago–probably more than a year ago, but that’s date quibbling. Whenever I have my kids out doing stuff like this I map it, because if you wanna know the distance and points of interest, you gotta have a map. And for Annie flying around on her own, I for sure know where she’s going and where she’s been.
I should point out at this time they are all up in their cold weather gear like what Kerry wore on his overnight flight. And we have a good reason for that–
On their way out of the Flight School Kerry saw Annie’s excitement. She wasn’t the least bit nervous: her confidence was good, she knew the surrounding territories, and she held no doubts she could remain airborne the whole time and find each of the objectives. Most importantly this was her first trip flying outside the school walls without supervision from Isis, and they were both aware her solo flight schedules were being advanced nearly a month because both Isis and Vicky were confident she could perform the light without difficulty.
As they lifted off from Selena’s Meadow the sky was clear and the sun bright. Kerry set up a few meters behind Annie and let her lead the way, as this was her flight, her mission to complete. As they approached Annisquam thy both noticed the cold, and Kerry remarked it was something they were going to have to deal with all day. The screen temperature at the Flight School was -9 C, but the thirty kilometer wind drove the chill down to -18 C. Now they were flying along at right around a hundred kilometers an hour, and that meant having a constant wind child of around -35 C—and when they weren’t flying they’d be at rest in the air, and the slightly stronger winds at altitude would keep the wind chill around a constant -20 Celsius.
That was Annie’s next question. “How are you handling the cold?” Her grin stretched wide. “You should be used to this by now.”
Just so you know, -9 C is 15 F, -18 C is -1 F, -20 C is -4 F, and -35 C is -30 F. In other words it’s damn cold, but given Annie’s demeanor she seems in good spirits. I mean, she’s free-flying for her first time on her own–the girl’s first mission, so to speak–and her only companion is her soul mate. It really doesn’t get much better for her, though maybe she’s even happier making zombie heads explode around Lisa. We’ll see on that.
Don’t know how much writing I’ll do today, but I’m sure I can do a little writing tomorrow and get it out to you. After all, it’s not like I’m going shopping or anything . . .