Mornings with good coffee seem to do the trick for me, because today I’ve had good coffee, a good muffin, and good music, and in two hours time I’ve written almost twelve hundred words even with breaks for conversation and research. And with the three hundred words I wrote last last night, there almost fourteen hundred and fifty words to post today. That’s a whole lotta writing, let me tell you.
The flight moves on, and by now my kids are well down into the city of Boston–or Bastaan, if you prefer. This scene leads off with a bit of recollecting as my Solo Flier and her Chase arrive at the next stop of their whirlwind tour of the Night Skies of New England . . .
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
The universities were behind them. They flew past Tuffs University on their way from the Salem Street Interchange to Porter Square Shopping Center. They flew over the Harvard Law Library and the Cambridge Public Library. They stopped and admired the Barker Engineering Library at MIT despite the creeping cold. They follow the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge over Charles River and then make their way the few blocks to the I-90 Massachusetts Turnpike.
Her Annie floated next to Kerry as she stared into a large encircled space filled with darkness. According to her flight computer this was her next objective. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Night Solo.” She didn’t bother telling Vicky who she was: it was obvious who was speaking. “We’re outside Fenway Park. Over.”
“Roger, Salem Night Solo. We see you in position.” Vicky’s voice was as it’d been throughout the night: calm and cool. “Proceed to the interior of the park. You can descend once inside, but do not get any closer than ten meters to the field surface. Over.”
“Roger, Flight Deck. Heading inside now. Over.” She turned to the chase pilot on her right. “Are your ready?”
“Always.” Kerry motioned to the park ahead and below. “Lead on.”
At the start of the scene Annie and Kerry have covered the following ground since the last scene:
And when Annie radios in, they are pretty much, well . . . here.
Now that they are here, time for pictures and what not, right?
Annie nodded, then began moving slowly and cautiously toward the park ahead. As they were at an altitude of two hundred meters, they were dropping towards the field almost as quickly as they were approaching the structure. Given that they were only a few hundred meters away, they were over the outer walls and moving into the park proper after only twenty seconds. After passing over a large wall and bleachers she stopped about twenty-five meters above a large grassy area. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Night Solo.” She looked about the structure, slowly spinning in place. “We’re inside. Over.”
“Roger, Night Solo.” Vicky’s tone soften and even grew a bit quiet as if she were speaking to them privately and in person. “Isis and I are gonna get coffee and relax a bit, so you may as well rest, too. Stay inside your current location, but as stated don’t get any closer to the ground than ten meters. We’re gonna turn the comms off, too, so hang tight and enjoy the me time.” The flight instructor chuckled. “Catch you in twenty. Over and out.”
The constant white noise that always seemed to be in her ears vanished, and Annie understood that Kerry and she were truly alone since leaving the school—or as alone as any two people can be while surrounded by a million people. “Well, then.” She glanced over to Kerry. “Fancy anywhere in particular?”
Kerry pointed straight ahead. “How about there by home plate?” He indicated the stands to their right. “The wind’s out of the northwest, and if we get down to ten, eleven meters, they should block most of it.” He turned to Annie. “At least we won’t have to deal with wind chill that way.”
“I like that. Get us into position.” She followed Kerry until they were nearly out of the field area entirely, almost over the seating but not quite. They both spun around so the stands were behind them and to each side, while they faced the expansive open space. Now that they were at rest Annie could better see the large, dark, quiet area. “What is this place? It’s obviously a stadium, but it’s far too small for football.”
“Isis and I are gonna get coffee and relax a bit–” Sure you are. The instructors at Salem are such horrible bullshitters, am I right? It’s not like they can’t get as much coffee as they like when their waiting for the kids to get from one destination to another, and they certainly wouldn’t need to shut off the comms while drink: that’s what the mute button’s for. No, this is just ploy by the Vicky and Isis to allow the kids a few moments alone, floating around in the darkness while out on their own. Plus, they’ve heard enough lovey dovey crap, so it’s not as if they need to hear more.
Before that happens, though, Annie’s about to get a mini-lesson in American sporting venues. She’s seeing something that she’s likely never seen before in her whole life . . .
“Fenway Park is a baseball stadium.” Kerry slipped over until he was only a half a meter away from his floating Annie. “I don’t know much about baseball, but I know a bit about this place ‘cause it’s really famous.”
“I know it turned a hundred years old last year; there’s like one other baseball park in the country that’s that old. There’s a few others that were built in like the 1960s and 70s, and then all the other parks are like twenty years old or less.” He pointed to his left at the large green wall at the far end of the field. “That’s called the Green Monster. I think it’s twelve meters high.” He chuckled. “Which is why we can’t see over it.”
Annie curled her legs just a little under her. “It’s so quaint.”
“They always used to build these inside city neighborhoods, so if you wanted to see a game you just walked or took a cab or train. I think a few are still like that; I flew over one in New York when I went to the World’s Fair site, and it was sorta in a neighborhood.” He stretched his legs as he leaned back a little. “That’s about all my baseball knowledge.”
Annie pulled her balaclava down exposing her face. “Don’t forget to get a picture.”
And it turns out Kerry doesn’t know much about the place, either; it would appear he’s not much on baseball. He is right, however: the year before the park did turn 100, and he’s pretty much correct about the other ball parks around the country–that’s some of what I was researching. He’s also correct about the Green Monster, which is thirty-seven feet two inches high, or 11.33 meters. As they are hovering at ten meters, that does put them below the top of the tallest wall in any US baseball stadium.
So here they are, inside a totally dark and silent edifice–
And they are out of the wind and sorta cozy.
Now that I got them all situated and the comms are quiet, they can finally start talking.
“Right.” Kerry snapped a photo with his tablet and set it back into position on his broom. “You cold?”
“Just a little.” Annie wrapped her hands around her torso. “But we’re out of the wind. It’s not that bad.”
Kerry exposed his face as well. “We could always set a fire and warm up. It won’t take much to set it floating.”
“I’m afraid we if did someone would see the glow and report a fire.” She shook her head. “I’m fine, my love. Besides, it’s not as if we didn’t know it was going to be cold. It was cold during our last solo flight.” She waved her hands at the structure around them. “And that time we didn’t have an old stadium in which to rest.”
“True that, my Darling.” He lightly tapped the top edge of his tablet. “What about music? There aren’t a lot of people walking by tonight, and even if they hear it, they’ll think it’s coming from somewhere else.”
Annie began beaming. “That would be great, my love.”
Within a few seconds music began playing, only unlike the upbeat tunes Kerry played while they were airborne, this one had a slower tempo and was much more melancholy. “What’s song is this?”
“Drive, by The Cars. They were from Boston—” He rested his hands in his lap as he leaned forward. “Kinda seems appropriate now, given our location.”
“Um. I see your point.” Annie brushed Kerry’s arm. “Let’s not have the songs get too depressing, though.”
He laughed. “As you wish.” The moment the song ended he tapped up another, one that started with a solo piano into before launching into a far happier tempo. “Year of the Cat should be better.”
Annie nodded her approval after a few seconds. “Yes, I like this one much better.”
“Anything to keep my little soloist happy.” He stared straight ahead for several moment, seeming lost in thought. “I spoke with Helena last Friday while Isis and you got ready for this flight.”
First off, Kerry’s got the tunes rolling once more, and you can almost imagine them echoing about the confines of the park. They are right: the bright glow of a warming fire might get noticed and cause someone too call the fire department, which would be awkward to say the least. First you get the depressing tune–and trust me, even though I love this song it is depressing.
And once it’s over he pulls up something a little more upbeat, because the last thing he wants to do is bring Annie down.
Once he gets that song going, Kerry fesses up that he spoke with Helena. Because he did tell Annie, you know that this means she wants to know what was said–
“Really?” Annie didn’t appear surprised. “What did you discuss?”
“Oh, life and death. You know—” His chuckle came off with just a hint of darkness. “The usual for us Guardian types.” He sighed softly. “I asked her about the comment she made when we first tried puppeteering, about how dying was easy, and what she meant. She told me about the times she died, about the Astral Realm, about the Curtain and the Veil—” He turned slowly to his soul mate. “About the Void and the Multiverses and reincarnating. All that stuff.”
Annie floated around so she was now facing Kerry. “What do you think?”
“About all that stuff?”
“Yes, my love.”
Kerry shrugged. “It’s nice to know what’s really going to happen to us after we die. The way Helena talked it seems like people have done some exploring—”
“They have. It’s my understanding that witches have explored the Astral Realm and the Void for long before The Foundation became involved in magic.” Annie’s face softened. “My mother told me about this years ago; she felt it was something I needed to know.”
“That was good of her.” Kerry stared off into the darkness to his right. “Helena told you on Tuesday night, didn’t she?”
Annie slid closer. “You know she did.”
“Yeah.” He turned back with a smile upon his face. “It’s to be expected. I mean, I know in the future there are gonna be Guardian secrets we gotta keep from each other, but stuff like this—” He shook his head. “We need to know.”
“Yes, we do. And I knew it was only a matter of time before you told me.” She paused for only a moment before saying more. “You told her there were strange things going on in your life.”
He nodded slowly. “I did, Sweetie.”
“Have they come back?”
Kerry’s no dummy: he knows that Helena told Annie the first time they were alone. He knows there are some secrets they’ll have to keep, but there are others that it’s necessary to know. If he’d gone to Helena and said something like, “I’m not sure I’m cut out for the Guardian stuff,” you damn well know the Dark Mistress of All would tell a certain soul mate all about that conversation. And Kerry knows she’d tell. Though the chances are good that Kerry would speak to Annie about something like that before going to Helena, but you never know. Either way, Annie would hear, and she’d have a conversation with a certain Ginger Hair Boy about that.
But what’s this about the dreams? Are they back? Are they? Ha ha! I’m not telling, not yet.
Actually I can’t tell you until I write that part. Which I’m going to do. Probably tonight. After doing my nails.
Just wait for it. My kids won’t disappoint.