It’s not often that I take a week to write a scene, but that’s what happened here. After getting back from having my nails done–non-magically, unfortunately–I picked up some groceries, returned home and ate dinner, and began the slow task of finishing up the scene. By the time ten-thirty rolled around, I’d added another six hundred and seventy-nine words, and pushed the novel closer to the end of Act Two–
One of the things I’m debating now is moving the last part of Act Two–Part Seven–and making it the first part of Act Three. I’m thinking this because the end of this chapter would make a great cliffhanger, and Act Two is already around 115,000 words. (Act One finished up around 80,000 words.) The next part is gonna be hefty, so I’m thinking . . . yeah, I’ll likely move it tonight.
But the question right now is, “How does Kerry react to the Color Purple?” Maybe not how you’d expect–
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry’s face froze into a mask of bewilderment as he started into the space between Emma’s and Linh’s work cubicles. He didn’t reply to Emma’s questions, nor did he notice Annie slowly moving up to his left until she whispered his name. “Kerry?”
He snapped out of his stupor and answered Emma. “Yeah, I can do that.” He enacted the color change quick and presented it to Emma with a smile. “See? Doesn’t look bad.”
“No, it doesn’t.” She sat down, her eyes shifting between Kerry and Annie. “And you’re right: it looks good.” She glanced over to her covenmate Linh. “I can’t wait to learn that.”
“Like I said, it’s really just a matter of visualization.” Kerry removed the spell from his nails and they changed back to their normal color. “That’s really the hardest part, and it’s what you’ll probably go over in lab.” He slowly turned to his left, catching Annie standing just a step behind him—
“I wonder what else he visualizes with his girlfriend?”
There was no mistaking Gavino D’Addario’s Italian accent; nor did Kerry need to turn around to see the next person speaking in a loud whisper, as he recognized Lisa’s American southern accent. “They probably sit around in their private lab and compare nails when they’re not, you know—” There were a few chuckles from a couple of students in the room, and while Kerry didn’t know what Lisa did, Annie’s angry, slowly narrowing eyes told him everything.
Leave it to Lisa: she could get her own TV show with that title. And any time the instructors are giving Annie and Kerry a shot at teaching the other students something they taught themselves, you know a few of others are gonna belittle–
Although it doesn’t quite work out as well this time . . .
“Watch it, Lisa.” Franky Smith chuckled softly. “A certain sorceress is gonna get angry.”
“Did I mention any names?” Lisa raised her voice just a touch. “I didn’t even mention her loser half—”
“Why don’t you just suck it, Lisa?”
The classroom went silent as Kerry—who’d spun around to glare at the Åsgårdsreia girl—clenched his fists and growled out his next words. “You have a big mouth and you push buttons. And that’s all you do; you just mouth off all the time and piss people off.”
Lisa calmly stared back. “And what are you gonna do about it, Kerry”
“Today? Nothing.” He snorted as he relaxed his shoulders. “Thursday night I’m leaving on an overnight training flight, so I don’t have time to call you out—” Kerry glanced to his left as he smirked. “Which means I don’t have time to kick the butt of the champion you send after me ‘cause you’re way too scared to fight me yourself.”
Darkness drew down over Lisa’s face as she stared at Kerry with unabashed hate. “You suck, Malibey.”
“You and your friends, Lisa—” Kerry drew in a slow breath. “You’re all cowards.”
And that’s about as big a throw down as you’re going to get. “Yeah, I’d call you out, but then I’d have to kick someone’s ass because you’re too chickenshit to face me.” And then lumping all of her little clique in with her as cowards–it’s a ballsy move. Some might say, “Annie should have done that,” but remember: Annie’s really the analytical one while Kerry’s the emotional one, and it’s more in his demeanor to say this than Annie. Annie just lets it build until she decides it’s time to act, and while Kerry has also let it build, right before things get nasty he just lays out some smack and cuts everyone down. He knows he may pay for that–he pretty much called out three people at once, and could end up in over his head–but he got it out there for all to hear.
And that includes the instructor–
Lisa was on her feet in an instant. “You mother—”
“That’s quite enough.” Jessica finally stepped up next to her minions as she addressed the room. “We’re here to learn, not call out each other.” She laid a hand on Kerry’s shoulder. “Are we good?”
He looked straight ahead as he nodded. “Yes.” He looked up at her and managed a weak smile now that his anger was dissipated. “I’m sorry, Professor.”
“I understand, Kerry.” She gave him one last comforting pat. “We can discuss this tonight during Advanced Transformation.” Jessica didn’t immediately look upon the rest of the class as she addressed the one student who hadn’t realized their short confrontation was finished. “You need to sit, Lisa.” She finally gave the angry, defiant girl a stern look. “And you need to reconsider speaking because what will come out of your mouth will likely earn you a weekend’s detention.” She slowly raised her right eyebrow and continued staring until Lisa retook her chair.
“With that—” Jessica half-folded her arms just under here chests. “—I believe a break is in order. Fifteen minute to use the bathroom and whatever else, then we’re back in here in three groups to start lab.” She glanced at Annie and Kerry for just a second before turning back to the rest of the room with a slight smile on her face. “And anyone who isn’t comfortable accepting instructions from my minions will simply have to make do with me . . .”
As stated much earlier, a weekend detention with Jessica usually means getting turned into a sofa or chair or statue or something like that: the woman is the Mistress of Transformation, and she can do that stuff with her eyes closed. It’s not fun, and maybe because Lisa’s already been through that detention, she’s not ready for it again.
The “We can discuss this tonight during Advanced Transformation” is also kind of a subtle jab at the detractors. Sure, she could give Kerry some form of punishment, but instead, she lets everyone know they’ll have a “discussion” that evening, because when you’re an advanced student you are treated differently from the rest of the rabble. And while Kerry might get some kind of punishment, it’ll probably be something minor–like having to pinkie swear he won’t disrupt a class again by trying to make someone to call him out. Which was exactly what he was trying to do.
Next scene is a Kerry scene as well–in fact, the next three pretty much are.
I wonder if anything bad is going to happen?