Preparing the Due

Before we get into talk of things and stuff and all that goes with that, let’s discuss the personal things.  First off, the cold actually seems to be going.  I pretty much slept throughout the whole night, waking up perhaps once but not for long.  This morning my nose is clearing, and while I still have a bit of a cough, it’s a dry one, and I half expect it to vanish soon.  That’s one good thing, then.

Finished up Childhood’s End last night, which is the primary reason I haven’t written a whole lot over the last three days.  I want to say that while I didn’t hate it, it wasn’t the story I remembered, either, and some of the changes kinda ran against me in a strange and almost bad way.  As some might say, “It’s not the dramatization we deserved, it’s the dramatization we got,” and the fact we got it after sixty years is going to have to going to have to do.

There were a couple of moments, though, that left me crying hard, though probably not for reasons that had anything to do with the movie.  I always hate when that happens.

All the personal stuff is out of the way, so on to the important things . . .

The time has come for more meetings.  I think this is the first chapter, probably in both books, where every scene to this point has involved a meeting, and nearly all of the focus has been on the adults.  Now the three counselors are together, and it’s time for them to talk about what the reader already knows–

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Erywin was quite aware of the reason for this meeting, because any time she received an email from Mathilde telling her another instructor or counselor wanted to meet, there was only one reason for the meeting. Given that the people she was meeting was Coraline and Deanna—the school’s other counselors—she was certain of the reason.

She didn’t bother with a tap on the door and a command to enter: she opened the door and strode in like she belonged there—which, since she was invited, she did. “Hello, ladies.” She activated the enchantment that would turn the door frame red—and indication that the room was in use and that the people inside were not to be disturbed—before waving the door shut. Erywin headed towards the first open chair and sat. “Hope I haven’t kept you.”

“Not at all.” Deanna set her water glass upon the table between Coraline and her and faced Erywin who sat across from them. “We arrived about ten minutes ago just to make certain no one else tried appropriating our space.”

“Good.” Erywin popped her tablet out of hammerspace and set it to floating to her left. “Given that the headmistress asked that I show for this meeting, am I to assume we have a LGBTAIQ issue that requires due diligence?”

Coraline nodded. “That’s correct.”

Erywin tapped her tablet screen. “I’m recording; let’s begin. What’s the situation?”

Coraline ran down the particulars of the case, telling Erywin much the same things as Deanna and she had told the headmistress almost twelve hours earlier. They related what they’d discerned from the actions in the dreams, what they saw in the aura, and the suppositions they took from their viewing.

Through it all Erywin sat and listened. She was like this when she was hearing about a student suffering from depressed, who appeared to be uncomfortable around others, who suddenly became moody and withdrawn . . . because she was being asked to see if there was something about the student that they had yet to admit to others, perhaps even to themselves, and with which they might need a comforting hand to hold and a sympathetic shoulder upon which to lean.

She finally sighed and sat back in her chair. “It sounds interesting. Is the student in question a boy or a girl?”

 

This is a lot different Erywin than we’ve seen before:  she’s serious and attentive, almost business-like in how she approaches the matter.  She knows her stuff, and she also knows how someone at these ages might feel if they suddenly begin having feelings that have either been there and they’d denied, or they find them blossoming, much as what happened with Erywin at the end of her A Levels.  While there’s a zero-tolerance policy against bullying at the school, that doesn’t mean coming out is any easier for a student.

Now that she has the basics, she start getting into the detail–and this is where it gets interesting . . .

 

Deanna took a moment to sip her drink. “Boy.”

“Then based upon what you’ve told me, is it safe to say that you believe the student may have Gender Identity Disorder?”

“That’s our belief at the moment.” This time Deanna held the glass and rested it against the chair arm. “But we don’t know—”

“We’re not fully trained in these matters—” Coraline ran fingers through her hair and smoothed out her jeans, trying to rid herself of nervous energy. “Not like you. That’s why you’re here.”

“I hope I can help.” Erywin tilted her tablet so she could see the display. “All right, then: who’s the student?”

Coraline and Deanna exchanged glances and said nothing for almost five seconds. Finally Coraline cleared her throat. “Well, um—”

Erywin didn’t understand their hesitancy at naming the student. “Is there a problem?”

Deanna shook her head. “No.”

“Okay, then, who’s the student?”

Coraline looked towards the door. “You know him.”

“Oh, fabulous.” Erywin scratched at the side of her face. “That narrows it down to about forty students.” She raked her nails over the leather chair arm. “Does this student have a name?”

Coraline nodded. “Yes.”

“May I have it?”

Coraline glanced to her left at the seer and shrugged; Deanna returned a soft grin and turned toward Erywin, ready with the answer. “Kerry Malibey.”

Now it was Erywin’s turn to stare and say nothing. She sat with her legs crossed for almost ten seconds before continuing the conversation. “Kerry Malibey?”

Deanna held her hands against her stomach. “Yes.”

“Well . . .” Both of Erywin’s eyebrows slowly rose until they were half way to her hairline. “I hate to sound unprofessional, but—” Her face twisted into an unbelieving frown. “Are you fucking serious?”

 

Yeah, that is a big unprofessional, Erywin, but given the amount of time she’s spent around Kerry, it’s quite likely she would find the name surprising.  She’s also counseled Annie and Kerry together for “couple’s matters”, but then, so have Coraline and Deanna–just ask Kerry’s mom.  Though the later case had to do with their shared vision and Erywin actually spoke with them when Annie began suffering guilt over her notion that she was railroading Kerry towards the altar.

So tonight, if I don’t have too many adult beverages or something, will write the rest of this scene.  It shouldn’t be contentious . . .

Though I'm preparing to find a few of my readings looking at me like this . . .

Though I’m prepared to find a few of my readers looking at me this way . . .