Two hundred thousand words were reached last night–not a brag, just a straight up fact. Look, right here–
With Act Two nearly finished I finally hit the big two hundred, and at the rate things are going, I think this book has a good shot at about two hundred and seventy-five thousand. Now I ran my numbers and here’s what I discovered: I hit 175,000 on 1 November, and from then until last night, 10 December, is forty days. Doing a little division brings me to six hundred and twenty-five thousand words a day, which considering there’s probably a good seven days in that mix where I didn’t write anything, I’d say I did well.
With all this calculating, I say it’ll take another four to five months to finish B For Bewitching, which will put this novel at just over a year to complete. I managed a lot more during the writing of A For Advanced, but a lot of that had to do with cranking out about a hundred and fifteen thousand words during two NaNoWriMos, and that helped considerably. Take that out of the mix, and in the same amount of time I’d have likely ended up around three hundred and fifty thousand by the time I reached the “I’m done!” stage.
I said something up there but we’ll get to that at the end. Right now a few people want to know what happened to Kerry, though a few people have already guessed that he didn’t finish the race sitting on his broom. Ah, yup: you’d be right there . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
The instant the light struck Kerry’s eyes he knew his location. This wasn’t the first time he’d crashed and tumbled on a broom, so the feeling of numbness all over and the soft, indirect lighting reminded him he was back in the hospital—with the likelihood he was resting in Bed #2, Bay #1 quite high.
What he did find surprising was that he had more company that he expected.
On his left sat Annie, right where he expected her. To his right Penny and Alex sat on the #1 Bed, out of their racing gear and back into street clothes. Nadine sat at the foot of the bed, with Emma sitting to her right. All of them were looking at him as if they expected him to levitate from the bed.
Annie gave the fingers of his left hand a light squeeze. It was only then he realized there was a cast on his wrist. “Welcome back, my love.”
“Hey.” He wanted to return the squeeze, but his fingers didn’t want to respond to his thoughts. He let his gaze wander around the bad. “What’s up?”
“You are now.” Penny slid off the bed and stood next to his, with Alex joining her. “We were worried about you.”
“Huh?” He laughed once before wincing from the pain in his head. “Not the first time I’ve crashed.”
“It’s the first time in a while that the school did a full-course yellow.” Nadine leaned forward against the foot of the bed. “They froze the course and brought everyone straight in.”
“Wow.” Kerry knew Race Control—which was pretty Vicky and Isis—could do just that, and given that it was the last lap, and his crash happened on the last turn, it made sense to order a full-course yellow and set the final positions then and there. “Yeah, I can see that.”
“Also—” Emma stopped the moment she felt the other eyes in the room upon her.
After a few seconds of silence Kerry decided he wanted to know why people were so quiet. “You can tell me, Emma. I’d tell you.”
Let’s see, you’re in the hospital and feeling numb all over, your soul mate is at your left, two of your own team members are at your right, and two friends from an opposing race team are at the foot of your bed. It’s not a good way to start out. And one of them starts to say something that puts everyone on edge. And since Kerry wants to know, Emma is compelled to tell him.
She nodded. “We—” Emma motioned to Nadine. “—were in our ready room doing final prep, and we heard over the monitors that the warning enchantments went off in your suit, and in Anna’s as well. Vicky later told us that you both were turning blue when they got you here.”
“You both stopped breathing.” Annie slid closer to his head while still holding on to his hand. “Coraline said you started on your own once you were here, but they had to intubate Anna for about a minute to get her started.”
“I—” He closed his eyes and concentrated on his body, using some of the non-magical techniques Jessica taught him in Advanced Transformation. Though it wasn’t easy to pick out, he sensed the tightness in his neck and throat and imagined the damaged necessary to close off his airway. “I never thought something like that could happen.”
“You both were moving through The Sweep right around two-forty or so.” Alex sighed. “The safety enchantments absorbed most of your momentum when you crashed, but still—”
“Yeah, I know.” Kerry smiled weakly as he turned to Annie. “They’re there to keep us from dying, not from getting hurt.” He closed his eyes again because he knew it was necessary to ask the question. “What happened? I saw Anna lose it and crash into me—”
“Anna didn’t lose it.” Nadine choked up as she tried finishing her sentence. “Lisa fucking wrecked her and you.”
Leave it to Nadine to say what everyone is thinking, and not mince words because she has been known to drop the f-bombs now and then. And most people are probably pissed because Kerry–as well as Anna–wasn’t breathing when he came into the hospital. The two-forty mentioned there is two hundred and forty kilometers and hour, and that’s right around one hundred and forty-five miles and hour, which is a hell of a speed to wipe out at when you’re in a NASCAR stock car–that’s the straightaway speed at a lot of the mile and a half ovals–and even worse on a broom. Like Kerry said, the safety enchantments keep you from dying, and he didn’t die. Hurt? Now that’s another story.
And here we get most of the rest of the story . . .
Though he hadn’t known for certain, the moment where he saw a PAV head off towards the finish told him someone must have caused Anna to loose control—and before he went unconscious a single name flashed through his mind. He glanced at Alex. “Wasn’t she fighting with you?”
“She was—until we hit The Trench.” Alex slowly shook her head. “She came up and over me, just getting inside the elevation gate. She nearly smacked my helmet and put me down in the safety enchantment; by the time I got straightened out she was through Quarry Turn and gone. I didn’t see her again until I was coming up towards Observatory, and by that time she was nearly all the way through the turn.”
Penny snorted. “She was racin’ like someone lit a fire in her arse. She damn near lost it in Helter Skelter and was pretty much out of control from Van der Kroff to South Side Dive.”
“She was trying to catch you, Kerry.” Emma said what everyone in the bay knew. “She did it so she could wreck you.”
“I agree with Emma—” Annie released her breath slowly. “The only reason she raced like she did was so she could catch you and then wreck you in a way that it looked like an accident.” Her fingers glided over the back of his hand. “Which was the way she portrayed it—as an accident.”
When Annie is calmly agreeing with Emma, it’s pretty much the end of the world. But she’s doing it because it’s true: Lisa went nuts at the end and raced the last lap like one of those proverbial Åsgårdsreia demons just so she could set up Kerry for a slam. But what happened to Lisa? Well . . . I know, but I’ll tell you tomorrow.
And so you know, I did end up moving Part Seven to the front of Act Three, because the end of the next scene sets up a perfect cliffhanger for that Act. And because I’m in a good mood now–maybe not so much later because I’m fasting due to afternoon labs–you get the see the parts and chapters for the rest of the novel.