Between glances at the TV during Childhood’s End, I manage to finish up the second scene of Chapter Twenty-Three. It’s just a little longer than the first scene, but it still clocks in at just under fifteen hundred words, so I’m not burning up the keyboards as of yet getting the information out in this new act.
Now we left off with Deanna making fun of the headmistress for getting a letter from Mama Malibey being angry for setting her son right on the facts of life, and we start here with the headmistress having none of that shit . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Mathilde wasn’t interested in discussing her dealing with disgruntled Normal parents, particularly those incensed enough to send off letter that the headmistress was duty bound to read. “I hope you reminded Kerry to keep conversations like the one Annie and he had last year confidential from now on?”
The seer didn’t bother keeping her grin hidden. “He’s been reminded.”
“Good.” The headmistress tapped her fingers against the top of her desk. “Now, would you kindly tell me why you are here? Because my meeting time with Paris grows closer . . .”
Mimicking her headmistress Coraline tapped her nails against her tablet’s screen. “Given what happened last night with Kerry, we’d like to have Erywin help us.”
“So have her help you.” Mathilde tapped the monitor screen, her eyes scanning something she brought up. “It’s not like you haven’t before asked her to assist with a situation concerning Kiralova and/or Malibey.”
“Headmistress—” Denna’s tone turned somber as she set her weight against the right arm of her chair. “We’re asking for her official assistance.”
Mathilde continued staring at her monitor, but her mind wasn’t concerned with what was displayed before her. After a few seconds of silence she slowly slid around in her chair until she was facing her guest. She cleared her throat. “Are you saying there’s a LGBTAIQ issue with Kerry?”
And there you have it: the magic acronym gets uttered, and before you know it you can ask Erywin–the school’s official counselor for all matters LGBTAIQ–to come in and help out. There was a line I was thinking of including where the reader would discover that protocols are in place to prevent instructors from jumping to conclusion and dragging people into counselling where it’s not needed, and the reader would also discover that Mathilde and Erywin played a part in writing those protocols in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
As it’s been pointed out from time-to-time, The Foundation wasn’t always a bastion of social progressiveness, and some of that had to do with pulling in students from all over the world and letting them work out their differences in a Thunderdome sort of way. We already know there was racial intolerance–until said people beat up or killed a few students: I’m looking at you, Helena–and though it’s not been written yet, Erywin was beaten badly after coming out in 1980.
That’s the problem with these Victorian-era dudes buying up property from a bunch of lady witches who didn’t care who you were sleeping with, and it took a long time to get the school back to where if you couldn’t learn to be racially, religiously, and socially tolerance, you could keep that shit to yourself and try not to get outed as a bigot, or get the hell out.
But before Erywin can come in, Mathilde has to determine if she’s really needed–
“There may be; we’re unsure.” Coraline gave a weak shrug. “That’s why we are asking for Erywin’s help in the matter.”
Deanna nodded. “We wouldn’t ask if we didn’t believe an issue existed.”
“All right, then.” Mathilde pointed at the door to her office and set a locking spell in place. “Tell me what you have.”
Coraline motioned at Deanna, letting her take the lead in the conversation. “There are two main issues. First is this dream Kerry had last night; it’s one of latest of these recurring dreams he’s had with a girl who shows up and speaks with him. In the one last night there was an interesting symbolism that took place—”
Mathilde grew attentive. “Yes?”
“The girl waved at him—and I believe he waved back.”
“What is the importance?”
“If someone waves at you, it’s an indication they seek your advice, caring, and support. When you, in your dream, wave back, it’s an indication you seek recognition, acknowledgment, or attention from that same person.”
“I see.” Mathilde began lightly tugging on her right earlobe, an indication she was considering information and formulating an answer.
“I told all that to Annie and Kerry last night—” Deanna slowly crossed her legs. “There was one bit of information I didn’t tell them.”
“If you are waving to another person, the action can signify one’s need to develop closer friendship ties—” The seer rested her fist against her mouth for a moment before going on. “—or to become more like the person to whom you are waving.”
The headmistress looked to her right. “The girl.”
“There was one bit of information I didn’t tell them.” Thank you, Deanna. I know you did that because you probably didn’t want Kerry freaking out. And I know she kept it from him because when I was going off my notes for the same thing, I kept it from you!
Also: there in my notes you get to see what Deanna and Coraline were saying to each other. Some had already guessed that’s what was ask, and now we’re getting Coraline telling the headmistress you guys were right:
Coraline calm tone entered the conversation. “There’s something else as well—”
Mathilde’s sigh was loud as she turned back to ladies in her office. “What?”
“Deanna asked me to look at Kerry’s aura, then asked him if he absolutely did not know the identity of the girl in his dream—something he’s told us several time he doesn’t know.”
“Did he lie?”
“Yes, and no.”
A frown slowly formed upon Mathilde’s face. “And that means?”
“His aura went into flux. It seems to indicate that he was telling the truth about not knowing her identity—”
Deanna finished the doctor’s statement. “—While at the same time it also indicated that if he doesn’t know her exact identity, it’s possible he’s aware of what she represents.”
Mathilde went back to tugging on her ear lob as she stared off into the far right corner of her office. She considered the information given her, as well as her options, and arrived at her decision after twenty seconds. “All right, I’ll contact Erywin and let her know she should meet with you and that you’ll fill her in on the particulars.”
Coraline nodded. “Thank you, Headmistress.”
“Any particular time you’d like to meet?”
Coraline and Denna exchanged glances, with Deanna making the decision. “Nineteen, in the second floor library.”
“Very well.” As Mathilde tapped her monitor she began to chuckle in a low voice.
Deanna leaned forward. “Is there something the matter?”
“No, just—” Mathilde typed something out. “I know exactly what she’s going to say when you give her Kerry Malibey’s name—”
So there you go: people got suspensions, and they’re gonna ask Erywin for help. And giving the headmistress’ chuckling, I’m sure the meeting will be . . . interesting.
So . . . onward?
Where else am I gonna go?