Here we are again, and everything is far better than it was yesterday. I think I know the problem: though I didn’t mention it, yesterday was 5 December, and that was Flight 19 Day, which means my head was lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, and that made me just incoherent enough that there wasn’t a chance in hell I was gonna make sense, or understand what was happening.
However, today is different. I’ve written another six hundred words–this damn scene seems to be coming out in six hundred word chunks–and I managed to get a lot of sleep last night after a watching a wonderful end to this year’s season of Doctor Who. Oh, yeah, and something else happened:
Yes, yesterday I got my nose pierced, and it didn’t hurt a bit in case you’re wondering. I’ll let this set for a few weeks, then maybe right before Christmas I’ll get a birthstone bob–which, for me, would be an emerald–and have it screwed in and left there. Then I’ll have to wonder if I’m getting a third ear piercing next December, but I’m not gonna trouble my pretty little head with that today, because in about an hour or so I’m off to get my nails done–
And speaking of nails, that brings us to the excerpt for the day! You see what I did?
We’re back to magical fashion styling, and it sounds like this is a big hit with people, fictional and otherwise. And yesterday we had a question from the gallery to Kerry about doing something, but there was some concern about it being too weird for a boy. But this kid fought Cthulhu Junior, so if you believe he’s gonna get freaked out by this request . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry looked down for a moment as he shook his head. “Nah, Elisha, it’s okay—” He started pacing around the room as Annie had when she’d lectured. “Like Annie said, large-scale changes are easy, which is why changing things like your complexion and hair are simple. When you get down to the small stuff you want to change, it become more difficult because you’re fine tuning your crafting skills and localizing you imaging.”
He held up his hands for all to see. “Nails are easy to do because they are small and you can see them clearly without having to use mirrors or streaming video. You can actually get them right in your face and focus on them and nothing more, so right there you’re stepping up your ability to visualize . . .
“Annie said when she does an inanimate change she visualizes everything being over-bright, and she’s right: that does help you get the material change right. But changing yourself is more intimate, more detailed, because why you can have an imperfection in an object, people notice when there’s something wrong with you. So when I’m doing fine crafting of a small area, I see it like I’m looking at an HD video, all the detail right there in a little space.”
Kerry held out one hand so everyone could see while he looked down at his other hand. “Like I said, when you do this sort of crafting your nails are nice because not only can you watch—” The nails on both hands changed from their normal flesh-tone hue to a bright matte blue. “—and others can watch as well.”
And when he’s talking about “others”, you know he’s talking about Annie, because whom else has seen him do this? Something he confirms in his thoughts a few seconds later–
Elisha was almost chuckling with glee. “I love that. Can you make them, um—”
He knew where she was going because of the time he’d practiced this with Annie. “You want to know if they can be shiny?”
“Yeah, like there’s a top coat on them.”
Kerry concentrated and a few seconds later his nails began to glisten as if they were slightly wet. “Yeah, that’s actually easy to do. You just have to imagine them being a little like wet mirrors.”
“That is so cool.” Elisha nearly came out of her seat before she calmed. “Can you do other colors?”
“I can do better than that.” He walked over to her. “Is it okay if I hold one of your hands for a second?”
“Sure.” She held out her right hand. “What are you going to do?”
“You’ll see.” He held her hand between his. “What color would you like?”
Her head jerked slightly as she understood the question. “Really?” Kerry nodded. “Um, I’d loved a light pink.”
Up until now he’s only tried this little trick on two other people: Annie and Erywin. This is the first time he’s ever tried this with another student, but if he can change someone’s hair color under the imminent threat of death, doing another girl’s nails in a classroom should be a snap–
Kerry nodded down at her left hand. “Watch—” After five seconds Elisha’s nails changed to a light, almost sparkly pink. He released her hand. “How’s that?”
Elisha gasped as she examined Kerry’s work. “Aman bu harika.” She looked up at Kerry, who was still standing just beyond her work cubical walls. “Do you need to remove this?”
“Naw.” He waved at her. “I haven’t gotten to the point where I can self-sustain a spell for another person, so that enchantment will die in about a day. Nothing to worry about.”
She nodded slowly. “And you’re gonna show us how to do this?”
“Well, we’ll see—”
Months of flying together conditioned him to recognize his wingmate’s voice instantly. “Yeah, Emma?”
“Could you, um . . .” Her cheeks flashed bright red. “Can you do purple? I really like purple, and since we both have about the same skin tone—” Emma looked up for a second and squared her shoulders. “I think it’d be a nice color. Can you show me?”
I can hear it now: “Emma, just stop.” At least she didn’t ask for him to do it to her, probably because there’s a certain Chestnut Girl standing a few meters away. We also learn, for the first time, that the spell will “wear out” after about a day, which means if you can’t add a little extra to the spell to make it run on its own, it’s gonna drop after a fashion. And how would one do that? I’ll tell you later, or they will, I guess.
Now, am I gonna finish this scene tomorrow? We’ll see, ’cause I’ll have time this evening to add a few hundred more words to this story, and given that this scene has grown like Topsy, it might be a good time to close it out–
Though I’m really digging these magical lessons. I guess my kids were cut out to be minions . . .