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Passages Beyond the Curtain

Well, now, things went strangely sideways, didn’t they?

Yesterday I meet with my doctor, who told me I was “disgustingly healthy” except for my weight, which could stand to drop a bit.  But there was a bit of bad news:  the company that makes my hormones, liquid estradiol, actually, decided they were going to stop making it, and now I’m sort of scrambling to find someone to fulfill my prescription, since it required “blending” which is a fancy way of saying, “I have no idea what they’re doing.”  So far none of the chain pharmacies handle this stuff, and I’ve a few more places in Harrisburg to check before I start hitting the Internet and looking for an on-line supplier.

This is the sort of bullshit trans people put up with.  There’s something I need, but no one supplies it, and when they do a six month supply will likely run me three hundred dollars or more.  I will figure it out, though, because I’ve been reminded many times, bitches get shit done.

Speaking of getting stuff done, Deanna’s off on a walk, and we’re off

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The walls of Åsgårdsreia Tower appeared as dim outlines of gainsboro embossed with shining silver and glowing gold amide the bright orange, crimson, blues, yellows, and pinks that composed the astral plain. Despite the nearly two dozen times she’d performed an Astral Walk, Deanna never tried of the colorful beauty. On the last day of February, 2010, she’d accompanied Harpreet to Hyderabad, India, to celebrate Holi with a few of the instructors friend, and Deanna’s best memory of that time was being showered in colored powder for hours while dancing at one of the local resorts.

The astral plain was like Holi magnified a thousand fold, only without the powder. It wasn’t needed: here there were other things to make the world interesting.

Deanna checked her astral armor and confirmed it in place. She smiled as her memories took her back to the last Samhain dance and she wished Kerry could see her now, for he’d instantly recognize the lightly glowing outfit that seemed to replace her abaya and gave her the appearance of one of her coven’s fabled shield maidens. She felt her astral sword in it’s scabbard and confirmed she could raise her astral shield a just under a second. Satisfied of her own protection, she willed the walls and ceiling of the tower to before insubstantial, and walked from her office and through the walls of the tower.

Everything in the astral plain possessed the same firmness as its counterpart in the physical realm: it was one of the reasons why she wasn’t falling through the floor and into the tower’s lower levels. But someone who could manipulate the astral essence could turn a solid astral wall into mist and pass through it as if it weren’t there. Deanna did that now: she made her way out of the tower, walked through the wall door leading to the north garden, then propelled herself upward through the walkway roof before touching down lightly upon the roof peak.

Deanna’s path was simple: out of the tower, up onto the walkway cover, then a jump through the enormous windows of the school library’s north wall of glass, then through the library, across the first floor overlooking the Rotunda, and into the hospital. She started up at the shimmering blue and pink windows set against the dark silver of the Great Hall’s astral aspect. A moment of hesitation hit her before she pushed it aside and soared into the air towards the building. She passed gently through the windowed wall and landed without difficulty.

The library was a mass of luminous slits, each volume possessing the magical energy of their creator and the residual energy of every reader. She wanted to examine the volumes on divination that Kerry read during his A Levels just to see if there were anything different about there aspect, but that was something that could wait for later, for the astral realm wasn’t a place for casual observers. There were things in the realm, and Deanna had found it necessary to defend herself on a few occasions when exploring.

She wasn’t worried about being set upon by one of the various denizens of the astral realm, however, for the area within the walls of Salem were among the safest in the world. And that was because this area was jealously guarded—

“What are you doing here, Seer?”

 

First, gainsboro is a shade of gray, and you’re welcome that you now know that.  Then there’s the comment about Holi, which is a festival that usually runs somewhere from the end of February to the middle of March.  It’s the Hindu spring festival, but it’s also known as the festival of colours or the festival of Sharing love, and many non-Hindus partake in the celebration simply because it’s a hell of a lot of fun.  They’re running, there’s singing, there’s dancing, and, yeah, a lot of powder thrown around covering everything and everyone, covering people in a multitude of colors for the day.

Sort of like this.

Sort of like this.

Now imagine that it’s all glowing and looking misty like something out of a crazy fantasy, and you get the idea about what Deanna is seeing.  Oh, and you now know she loved being covered in many colored powder and dancing.  She does know how to cut loose now and then.

Where she’s at is right here:

Oh, look:  it's a covered walkway leading from a tower to the Great Hall.

Oh, look: it’s a covered walkway leading from a tower to the Great Hall.

Åsgårdsreia Tower is on the left, the Great Hall is on the right, and Deanna’s standing on top of the walkway looking up at windows that I just wasn’t good enough to install in my model when I first created it, but they are there.  So you know, most of that curving north wall of the Great Hall Library is nothing but windows, sitting above rows and rows of books.

When it comes to this astral armor she crafted–do you remember her Samhain costume?  The one that Kerry said made her look like Lady Sif from the Marvel comics and movies?

"Read your fortune?  Run you through?  Makes no different to me."

You know–this one?

That’s pretty much Deanna, only her armor is kinda glowing and her sword is in a sheath, and her shield is one of those that you just create in a moment because it’s, you know, magical.  Oh, and she’s wearing a kind of helmet, too.  This is why Deanna was smiling, because she knows Kerry would recognize it right away.

Naturally this behooves the question:  why does one need protection when they are walking about the Astral Plain?  Deanna said she didn’t need to worry about being attacked by one of the denizens of this world, because the area around Salem is safe.  Which is to say it’s clear.  Which is to say something is keeping it clear.

Which is to say there remains something keeping watch over the area.  And guess what?  It’s awake . . .

 

Shit. Deanna didn’t have to look around to see if there was another person in here, for there were two things that told her the identity of the speaker. First, the voice seemed to come from all around, and second, they spoke perfect Arabic, and except for a few students she was the only native speaker who was also an adult.  Besides, this speaker isn’t a person . . . She straightened her back and looked straight ahead as she replied in the same language. “I didn’t realize I’d wake you.”

“And why would you assume I was sleeping?” She could almost see the hidden smile in the chuckle that followed. “Even if I were to sleep, I’d know whenever a human enters my realm.” The mirth vanished as the tone turned cold. “What are you doing here, Deanna? This is well beyond the time of your rest.”

I wonder if Adric knows she keeps track of our sleep habits? She held up her chin. “I’m investigating.”

“Hum.” There was a low hum that Deanna would almost image was throat clearing. “And what are you investigating?”

Deanna decided she didn’t need to tell the school’s benefactor everything. “There’s something here I need to see.”

“Now what could that be? It’s not as if there’s anyone or anything of interest here tonight—” There was another chuckle. “Oh, wait: there is something here.”

“And that would be?”

“You’re looking for auras. Or perhaps just one?”

Deanna closed her eyes and sighed. “If you know something why don’t you tell me?”

“That’s now how I work, Deanna; you know that.”

“Maybe if you told us something about you once in a while, we wouldn’t have to guess at your motivations all the time.”

There was no denying the laugh this time. “Where’s the fun in that?”

 

Right there is what I needed because it was getting close to the time to relax, but I’ll get back to this tonight, because finishing this scene is something I need to do.

I mean, I left you and my seer hanging, and that wasn’t nice of me–

But like a certain naughty entity, I guess that’s the way I work.

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8 thoughts on “Passages Beyond the Curtain

  1. I can only imagine the reasons one would need protection in the Astral plain. There are things there which haunt one’s nightmares and this is probably where they feel most at home.

  2. My gut tells me that’s The Phoenix. Aldric ‘s name is mentioned, and I remember he’ researches on stuff, and knows where the Phoenix at certain points in time.

      • Hmmm,so that’s whare he/she dwells.

        For some reason, the US gov’t asking Apple to release to them some info on the communication activities of the 2 San Bernardino killers is similar to Deanna’s foray into astral plain to get some info on the innermost feelings, emotions, fears of each Salem student. I guess that’s how the Phoenix is able to assess each student.

        • We know the Phoenix “lives” around the school area, but “where”–well, you’ll sorta find that out one of these days. But she is one of those creatures that exists inside the astral realm. And when the Phoenix does and E&A, it’s believed she does some kind of merge with their minds within the realm. No one really knows because once you go inside a room with her, no one else can enter. Also, she can one than one student at the same time; she did that with Annie and Kerry during their E&As.

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