No mean witches today, though last night I was certainly ready to cut a bitch. The night didn’t start that way: I was out for a good dinner and a few drinks–I won’t show the picture I took of me holding up a pint of stout because you’ll get the wrong ideas–and then I walked the mile through the city back to my apartment, warm and comfortable in my new winter coat and mukluks.
No, it was around eleven PM, about the time I was getting ready for bed, when some moron set off the fire alarm, and the entire building was filled with the sound of Wee-ho, wee-ho, for about twenty-five minutes. Whenever this happens the elevators lock down and the fire trucks come running, and every single time its discovered that someone was cooking and filled up their apartment with so much smoke that it drifted out into the hallway. I’m not saying this is due to the moron in question being a little high, but . . . yeah. They’re always found to be a little high. Or a lot high.
Needless to say I didn’t get to bed until about midnight, and because this cold is being a pain in the butt, I was tossing and turning most of the evening. I was so out of it that I didn’t even head out to Panera this morning, choosing to stay home and have coffee and write nearly seven hundred words while going through a selection of tunes–one of which will be the song Annie is going to use as her Samhain dance dedication during her D Levels. All I will say is that I worked out the scene last night, and it is the damnedest thing I’ve developed for these two. It’ll also show that my Bulgarian Pop Prince has a real playful sense of humor . . .
Back to the story, already in progress–
Erywin said she was gonna speak with Jessica, and that’s what this scene is all about. And it takes place a few days after the meeting between the three counselors:
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
With morning classes over, all that remained for Jessica was to sweep up her tablet and jaunt over to her office in Ceridwen Cover tower for lunch and to conduct a bit of coven business. While they were always available for problems, it was common for all the coven leaders to take the time during midday to handle any issues that had come up with their students, or with members from other covens.
Jessica didn’t mind this time alone. Instructors were a busy lot, and with today being Tuesday, Jessica had Advanced Transformations after dinner, and that meant being in class until twenty-two tonight. She shrugged it off: it was the life she chose, and after nearly twenty years of instructing at Salem, it was a little too late to complain of her lot in life.
A knock on the door turned her away from her desk. She grinned the moment she saw her visitor. “Well hello, stranger.”
Erywin slid into the Mistress of Transformation’s office. “I know, right? Here I am, just across the courtyard, and I may as well be on the other side of The Pentagram from you.”
“Which you normally are this time of day.” Jessica waved the door closed the moment Erywin was inside. “What brings you to my end of the magical world? Business or pleasure?”
“Oh, a little of both.” Erywin calmly glanced about the room. “You heading over to Ceridwen?”
“Was about to, yeah.”
Erywin held out a hand. “Mind if I tag along?”
Jessica took her hand. “I don’t mind at all.” She jaunted them both to the coven office a second later. The office wasn’t in complete darkness; enchantments checked the room at eleven and if the room was found empty, the lighting was adjusted to a low level to prepare for entry. Jessica released Erywin’s hand, brought the lights to full illumination, and moved towards her desk.
Erywin looked about the room, which was nearly a duplicate of her own office in Mórrígan Coven: about fifty percent larger than her office in Chemistry Hall done up in several shades of dark crimson, which Jessica said suited her far better than yellow, the official coven color. Normally there was a storage room across from the entrance, but Jessica had hers removed years before, leaving her with additional open space with a slight curving wall that she filled with a sofa, a coffee table, and two chairs.
Now here comes something I’ve never presented here before . . . I’ve mentioned, many times, that this story originated out of a role play, and part of that play required creating the world that eventually became this witching little worlds behind fifteen meter high walls.
One of the things I needed to create were the layouts for the coven towers, just as I’d created the layouts for so much more. Which means that way back in the summer of 2011 I worked on a design for the five towers that would make up the points of The Pentagram, and be where all my little witches would live while leaning the magical trade. That means when I describe the coven layout, I know that it’s accurate because I more or less locked it down years before.
So here you go: the floor plan for the coven tower’s ground floor.
Pay no attention to that “Stairs to Dungeon” description, because this was developed back in the day when Salem was just a tad different than today’s incarnation. Needless to say, if this were Cernunnos Coven, the kids enter and leave by the door on the left if they’re going to the Great Hall, and by the door on the right if they’re headed out for Formulistic Magic or Transformation classes. And were they to take the door at the bottom, that would let them wall down the inside of the Pentagram Wall towards Åsgårdsreia Coven.
Now you know what the ground floor commons looks like, and you know where that sofa is that Annie and Kerry just happen to sack out on when they’re too tired to walk up the stairs to their dorm rooms. Yeah, that’s it: they’re too tired. I’m going with that.
Erywin’s there for business, and it doesn’t take her long to get to it–
Erywin smirked as she pointed at the ensemble. “Anyone getting detention?”
Jessica sat in the high back leather chair behind her mahogany desk. “No. But the weekend’s coming up and there’s a couple of students inching their way on to my shit list.” It was a well-known fact around the school that the Mistress of Transformation’s idea of detention involved turning students into inanimate objects like chairs, sofas, and statues, and leaving them in her coven office for the weekend. “I might have to swap out the chairs Friday afternoon.” She set her tablet upon her desk and got comfortable. “What’s up?”
Erywin got right into matters. “Advanced Transformation: are you teaching the gender swap spells at the normal time?”
Jessica nodded. “Yes, Tuesday before Ostara, as always. Spend the prior two Tuesday nights working on the spell, then doing the spell that night. Ostara is a time of change and transformation, so those spells are perfect for them.” She turned her head slightly to the right. “Why do you want to know?”
“I was requested to perform due diligence on a student who may have GID.” Erywin slowly sank back into the entirely too comfortable chair. “The student in question is in Advanced Transformation, and those particular spells, well—” A grin slowly appeared. “They could act as a trigger for someone with GID, no?”
“I see how that could happen.” She lightly tossed her head to the left. “Anything you want me to do prior to that particular class?”
Erywin kept her tone light. “No, just conduct things as you always do.”
“So you don’t want me keeping an eye on Kerry?”
And BOOM! Just as Erywin called it: she’s figured out just who the mystery student is. Of course I haven’t written that part yet, but I will this afternoon, which means you’ll see the rest of this scene tomorrow morning. I promise.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my nose pierced again . . .