Today I’m off at another location–a local coffee house about a ten minute walk from my apartment–while trying to fight off the cold that hit me yesterday afternoon. Yeah, here I thought I’d get through the winter without getting struck by illness, but the stuffy nose and scratchy throat hit and is just lingering enough to make me just a little bit miserable.
But more important, I’ve been here since eight this morning, sitting at my window seat where I can watch the traffic pass by on Second Street, and I’ve finished Chapter Twenty-Two. There isn’t a lot, but eight hundred and fifty words pretty much sums up what’s going on at this point, and as I’ve always said, you write what is necessary to tell the story and no more.
Which means I’m gonna give it all to you, because why the hell not? After all, you don’t come here to hear about how I’m sick; you come for the story.
And story is what I got . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Coraline jaunted into the empty space between her office and Bay #2 and immediately heard the nearby commotion. It wasn’t often Gretchen called her into the ward near two in the morning, but her night nurse never got her out of bed unless there was something ongoing that she felt she might not be able to handle.
She hurried to Bay #1 and took in the scene. Gretchen stood between the beds checking monitors while Annie stood across from the night nurse trying to comfort her patient and appearing concerned. The person between them was the reason Coraline was here: Kerry lay with his eyes tightly shut, moaning and twitching where his body wasn’t held in place by immobilization spells. Annie held his head to keep it still; Gretchen mentioned in the call in that he was jerking his head back and forth, and given that his concussion likely wasn’t healed, Annie was attempting to prevent further damage.
“I’m here.” Coraline stepped around Gretchen and took her place at the head of the bed. “Give me the rundown.”
Gretchen gave her boss a synopsis of the situation. “Five minutes ago Annie called for help, indicating that Kerry was convulsing; he’s been like this since. Initially I gave him a small patch of Cognate to wake him up, but his condition remains unchanged.”
“Yeah . . .” Coraline opened his right eye and snapped her fingers: light shone down illuminating the inside. “He’s still unconscious.” She rechecked the monitor. “He’s still in R.E.M. sleep.” She shook her head. “Son of a bitch—Gretchen, check his catheter bag.”
She looked down at the food of the bed. “Almost nothing in it.”
“Good. Get me a medium patch of Disatage.”
In the lull after Gretchen left to get medication from the supply closet Annie finally spoke. “What’s wrong with him?”
Though Annie was doing a good job of keeping her true feeling off her face, Coraline heard the strain in the girl’s voice. “Kerry’s having a bad dream and I think his pain medication is preventing him from waking.” Gretchen returned and handed a medication patch to Coraline. “Disatage will flush the meds out of his system and sent it right through his kidneys—” She rested the patch against Kerry’s neck and pressed it into place. “Now lets give this about ten seconds . . .”
Kerry’s convulsions began dissipating while the moaning continued through clenched teeth, and while the other two women kept an eye on Kerry, Gretchen monitored the catheter bag. “It’s filling.”
Coraline kept an eye on the monitors. “Good. Let me know when it stops.”
As soon as her night nurse informed her that the urination was finished Coraline leaned over Kerry and began to speak softly. “Kerry, it’s okay; you can wake up now. Nothing’s going to happen to you.”
“My love, please—” Annie rubbed his cheek with the lightest of pressure. “Come back to me. I’m here; you needn’t worry—”
Kerry’s eyes snapped open as he drew in a labored breath. Within a few seconds he began hyperventilating as he tried focusing on his surroundings. Coraline picked up on his emotional state right way: He’s completely terrified. She touched the side of his jaw as she spoke in a soft, comforting tone. “Hey, Red, it’s okay. It’s okay. You’re with friends; you’re safe.”
Annie touched the side of his head. “Do you think—?”
“I don’t know what to think.” Coraline kept her tone light and encouraging. “Let’s wait until he’s out of this.” She nodded at the boy in the bed. “Talk to him; he’ll probably respond to you much better.”
“Kerry—my love, it’s okay.” Annie stroked the side of his head. “It’s okay, I’ll protect you. You needn’t fear anything not.”
Kerry’s breathing slowed and his eyes finally began to see his surroundings. His eyes slowly swept from his left to the right before he looked straight up at the ceiling. “I— I—”
Coraline lay her hand against his forehead. “Welcome back, Kerry. It’s okay: you’re among friends.”
Kerry didn’t seem to hear Coraline, however. Keeping his head still he turned his gaze to Annie. “She found me.”
Annie leaned closer to soul mate. “Who found you?”
“She did. She found me.”
Annie looked across the bed at Coraline, who had the same thought as Annie: We know who “she” is. Annie nodded slowly. “What happened.”
Kerry gulped several time as he spoke in a breathless voice. “She was at my house in Cardiff: I saw her in the back yard.” His breathing slowly picked up. “She just stood there, looking up at my bedroom. I saw her; she just stood there—”
“It’s okay, my darling.” Annie wanted to give him a hug and reassure him all was well, but she didn’t want to physically hurt him at the same time. “Nothing can happen to you—”
He didn’t seem to hear or even understand. “There’s nothing I can do.”
Annie’s voice dropped to a whisper. “What do you mean, my love?”
“I can’t get away from her—” He closed his eyes and gulped. “She’s coming for me.”
End of Act Two
Yeah, that’s right: End of Act Two. Because with the finishing of the chapter comes the finishing of the part, and mean we have the finishing of the act.
It’s only taken two hundred and two thousand, six hundred words to get to this point, and should the next part take about eighty or ninety thousand words to get to the end, then this novel ends up about three hundred thousand words, which is about seventy-five thousand more than I thought it might take. Don’t ever have me estimate your work, ’cause I seem to suck at it pretty well. It has taken me 247 days to get to this point–right around 820 words a day written–and I’ve spent 160 days on Act Two alone, which means I averaged about 750 words a day here. Given that I spent 87 days write Act One, I’ve obviously slowed up just a bit, and this could mean Act Three might take anywhere from 100 to 150 days to finish.
Either way, it looks like I’ll put a “The End” down on this beast somewhere around April, and the best case scenario is that I finish right around 11 April, so that I will have spent one year writing this novel.
That should really be my goal: to finish around or on the start date of this novel, so I can say, yeah, I took a year writing another novel. But enough with bragging right–first I have to start with this:
And trust me when I say this next act is gonna take a lot of me and my characters . . .
I just seem to love putting everyone through hell, don’t I?