I discovered that yesterday was my seventh anniversary with Word Press, that this blog has been registered with them for that long. Sure, I’ve only been writing on it for almost five, but still–back when blogging was a big deal, here I was. Always nice to know.
The evening was a nightmare, however. It was hard to crank out the close to six hundred words I did eventually write, because I was coughing up a storm. The cold is still lingering, though it seems to have lessened this morning, but last night I couldn’t go five minutes without coughing. It was like there was fluid in my chest, only it wouldn’t come out. Got so bad at one point I started gagging, and that’s never fun.
However . . . I did seem to get a good night’s sleep, so that helps. But writing was miserable.
And I was emotional as hell, too. I cried a lot during the afternoon at work, and once home I was watching Pacific Rim (yes, I know, I’ve seen it enough, right?) and every time Mako Mori came n I started crying. Every. Damn. Time. Even when she does her total Anime Girl “For My Family!” attack, which is probably my favorite scene, I was crying. I couldn’t win last night, I’m telling you.
But! I did get the conversation between Kerry and Helena going, and it’s starting to turn interesting . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
“I can understand that.” She shut off her monitor and pushed it aside. “It’s a common feeling for those who’ve entered the Guardian fold: we deal in dead and it’s natural that we want to know how we are affect by death.” She cocked her head to the left. “Am I correct?”
“Kinda . . .” Kerry continued looking down and away from the sorcery instructor. “I just didn’t know if I should ask. I was, you know—” He shrugged.
Given that Helena was well versed in the various fears reported by the one closest to him, she found him easy to read. “You were worried I might think less of you.”
He nodded. “Yes.”
“I don’t, and there’s a reason: as well as being intelligent, you’re also curious as hell about everything. People like that—people like us—” Helena pointed back and forth across her desk. “—we want answers to everything. And we keep looking until we get them.”
“I was worried that you might think—” Kerry finally raised his head and began looking directly at Helena. “—that I was scared or something.”
She moved to calm him. “I know you’re not scared, Kerry. You faced death three times before you were twelve, and you came back for more.” Helena chuckled while shaking her head. “I’m not the only one who thinks that. You know I get all my information second hand . . .”
Kerry smirked as he squirmed in his chair. “I sort of figured that.” His left brow shot upward. “She tells you stuff like I’m not afraid of death?”
“Not exactly in those terms, but . . .” It was Helena’s turn to smirk. “You know if she thought you weren’t cut out to do Guardian work, she’d have told you before telling me.”
If there’s one thing we know about Annie, it’s that she’s honest. And if she ever thought Kerry wasn’t cutting it, she’d let him know. She probably wouldn’t be all nice about it, too. It would probably be like, “You need to stop this,” and they’d move on from there. Because of their agreement to teach others–because Guarding training ideas, yo–Kerry has to be the same way with Annie, and you can bet she’s probably told him a few times, “You need to be tougher with me.” Yes, Annie would tell him that if a fear of death was getting in the way of him being a good Dark Witch, he should get the hell out of the business. And he would, because if he screws up, the person that might end up dying due to his screw up could be Annie, and he’d never forgive himself for that.
He didn’t require Helena to elaborate: when it came to her training him in the ways of sorcery, when he didn’t meet her standards Annie was quick to tell him what he was doing wrong, just as he did with her regarding transformation magic. And just as he did when he reported Annie’s progress to Jessica, Annie was required to report his progress to Helena, and he knew ahead of time if she was going to pass along something that was critical of his performance. As she was always quick to point out, a failure to do something correctly while in the field could mean never getting another chance to do it right.
For the first time since walking into the room Kerry felt at ease. “I’m glad you don’t think I’m here because I’m scared of, you know . . .” He spent a moment staring off to his left before looking at Helena to say the last word of his statement. “Dying.”
“Speaking of that—” Helena wanted to get the conversation away from Kerry’s insecurities and back on the path they’d begun originally. “You wanted to know about my dying, yeah?”
“Well, you don’t have to.” He was back to being embarrassed by his reason for coming. “It can’t be something that you feel comfortable discussing.”
“I don’t talk about this with everyone—but I don’t mind talking about this with certain people.” She set a smile on her face so that he couldn’t guess at her current thoughts. I’m not about to tell him that I had this same conversation with Annie months ago—
Now, then, two things. One, Helena has talked about dying before, and that someone was Annie. Not a bit surprised there: she probably asked. Why? Because Annie is also curious. And two, Annie never told Kerry about this conversation. Not surprising there, either: you can imagine there are plenty of conversations Annie has with Helena that ever get back to Kerry. He knows those two have Girl’s Talk, and he doesn’t ask about the conversations. Now he’s having one of his own.
I guess we’re going to find out how Helena died . . .