The Final Solo: Hangar Checkout

There’s a bit of butt dragging today, as I was very tired last night and fell into a deep sleep the moment I hit the pillow.  This was brought on by a long day at work, a run out for food, and then writing up a two thousand word recap that required a thousand words of note the night before.  *sigh*  I know:  I should be working on my stuff, right?  Well, recaps are my stuff, so boo!

Oh, and I had to pay my taxes.  Yeah . . . that’s another story.

I did start the next scene, all three hundred words of it, but that’s three hundred words closer to the end than I was the night before, yeah?  Damn right.

 

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

Annie walked out of the locker room adjusting her balaclava and comm helmet. She stopped for a moment to make certain the helmet strap was tight enough without cutting into her chin before checking that her gloves were she left them in her arctic parka, stuffed in each pocket. Satisfied that her clothing was in proper condition, she made her way to the spiral staircase and headed downstairs to the Hangar.

She stopped at the bottom of the stairs and gave the Band on her wrist one last examination. By now she’d worn it enough that it had become a part of her, and she’d sometimes taken to wearing it through the day just as she did her locket and charm bracelet. A few people asked her about it, and now that people were aware of her Flight Gift they were curious anything they could associate with her ability. Discussing her Band was simple: since it wasn’t any different from the HUD on a broom, it was possible to explain everything in less than three minutes.

Besides, her flying was never about the equipment: it was about being free.

Satisfied there wouldn’t be any issues with her Band, Annie clipped her gloves the sleeves of her parka and headed towards the Hangar entrance. She didn’t wait for Kerry: they’d already spoken and decided to wait for each other at the entrance. Whomever arrived first would wait for the other, and since she immediately noticed that Kerry wasn’t already in place, that meant he was finishing changing into his cold weather gear and should appear shortly. Given that he was such a stickler for starting on time, Annie wasn’t concerned that he would keep them from leaving on her final solo flight on time.

 

Tonight Annie will take to the sky and head out on her longest and hardest solo, with her dutiful chase pilot right behind.  I know I’ll get to the writing tonight, you can rest assured of that, even if I do feel like I’m about to fall asleep.  Maybe I’ll get a nap first, but at the moment I feel fine.

Now for a quick change up . . . today is the Transgender Day of Visibility, when we show support to the transgender community and recognize their accomplishments.  It’s a day of empowerment, and today I feel it because yesterday was two years I’ve been out as me.  Why, it only seems like last year I was getting a picture in Valparaiso, IN:

Valparaiso, IN, 30 March, 2015.

I believe it was this one.

And since I was running a little ragged I popped off a quick one once I returned home, taken a year after the one above.

Harrisburg, PA, 03/31/2016

Harrisburg, PA, 03/31/2016

I look tired, the makeup isn’t as good, and there’s still a bit of scaring from the electrolysis, but I’m me.

Also, I snapped a picture last year when I was out for lunch at my favorite cafe back in Indiana:

Out and About as myself since 2014.

Again, looking like I’m relaxed and comfortable in a state which, at that time, wanted business to discriminate against me.

And given that I like having photos of myself as I move forward on my journey, I snapped a few on my walk into work.  A couple in front of the Pennsylvania capitol building:

 

Really working on the RBF here.

Really working on the RBF here.

And a couple more in the plaza next to the state history museum and the state archive:

Transgender Day of Visibility 03312016 004

Smiling much more here.

Smiling much more here.

Thank you for all the support, and trust me:  I am getting my books finished.  I am.

After all, if I was joking I’d tell you that tomorrow.

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 16: “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie”

How about a little sugar, zombie? Time for my newest recap.

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

iZombie S2 E16 Liv at the Club

Here I am once again, recaping the last three episodes of Season 2 of iZombie. And today I’m catching up on Episode 16:

  • Blane (David Anders) is sleeping off the cure and he’s so out of it his minions thought he was dead. Keep an eye on Blane; this is gonna be something that keeps popping up.
  • Liv (Rose McIver) is doing her morning bathroom routine, and while she’s getting set to shower someone is letting themselves into the house. It’s Gilda (Leanne Lapp), but she’s not quite herself. She’s looking just a touch pale and there’s a nice white zombie streak in her hair, so either she was infected in last week’s Fight to the Death with the Undead, or she’s working on her cosplay for the Emerald City Comicon. She’s there raiding Liv’s freezer for brains, and while she’s getting ready to chow down there’s someone standing behind…

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Cutting Into History

Scene one of Chapter Thirty is in the bag, and it went a lot differently than I thought.  Or maybe it didn’t.  Either way things came to an end, and in the process a little bit of history was told as well.  Without a lot of preamble, it’s time to get into the story:

 

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

Kerry held Annie’s chair, pushing it in as soon as she was seated and making herself comfortable. She looked over her meal as Kerry joined her. “This looks delicious.”

“Oh, they are. Two top sirloins—two hundred twenty-five grams for you, and five hundred grams for Kerry—prepared just as you both requested.” Isis hovered over Annie. “Garlic butter for you, and grilled onions for your other half.”

Kerry glanced to his left. “What else did you get?”

“Pan fried potatoes and tomato juice.” She examined Kerry’s plate. “And you?”

“Corned beef hash and tomato juice as well.” He glanced up at Isis. “Can we start?”

Vicky was sitting down at the table against the wall, where two new plates had appeared. “Go ahead—” She sat at the same time as Isis, who took the chair on the flight instructor’s right. “Dig in.”

 

I should point out here that two hundred twenty-five grams is an eight ounce steak, and five hundred grams is a little over a pound.  It would seem Kerry needs more meat.  Or maybe he just eats a lot.  I’m looking at the later.

And garlic butter and onions?  Man, it’s a good thing these kids are kissing anyone but each other:

"Let me finish my breakfast, love, and then I'll knock you down with my breath."

“Let me finish my breakfast, love, and then I’ll knock you down with my breath.”

Let’s get to eating, shall we?

 

Annie cut into her steak and began savoring the aroma. She was aware of how good a well-prepared cut of meat smelled and tasted as her mother prepared steak at least once a week when her father was home. She always had a small cut when home, much like the one before her. She sliced off a small piece and popped it into her mouth. “Mmmmm.” She chewed slowly, relishing the flavor. “This is delicious.”

“The kitchen always does steaks perfectly.” Isis cut into her steak. “Haven’t you had them before.”

Kerry nodded. “I had one for my birthday last year—”

“And I had a filet mignon for mine this year.” Annie finished another piece and cut into her eggs before mixing her potatoes with the spreading yolk. “Why didn’t the email say we were having steak for breakfast instead of a ‘beef dish’?” She sipped her tomato juice. “I thought it might be steak, I just wasn’t sure.” She cast a playfully evil glance to her right. “And why were you being so mysterious last night?”

He began smiling as he chewed, speaking as soon as he swallowed. “Having steak and eggs is traditional for pilots heading out on important missions, though most people know about this because it’s what they used to feed astronauts back in the 60s and 70s before they left on a mission.”

Vicky nodded to herself as she glanced at Isis. “I told you he’d know.” She faced Kerry, who was seated directly in front of her. “You know what day it is today?”

He nodded. “Yep.”

Annie held her fork still as she glanced from Kerry to the adults and back. “Is there something important about today?”

 

Now we’re learning why they’re having this breakfast:  it’s due to the historical significance of pilots and astronauts having this before heading off into the Wild Blue and Black Yonder.

 

He waited until he received a nod of approval from Vicky. “It’s Cosmonautics Day. Today’s the day Yuri Gagarin took off in Vostok 1 for the first maned space flight.” He made a circular motion with his right hand. “Once around and down, but that was enough to make him the first human in space.” He eyed the adults across from him. “That I know about.”

Vicky was suddenly interested in her breakfast. “Space flight is covered in D Level history.”

“Right . . .” He had a bit of juice before continuing. “Twenty years later the shuttle Columbia went up on the same day, and that was kind of an important flight ‘cause it was the first known reusable space ship—” Once more he noticed Vicky and Isis avoiding his gaze. “Anyway, today is like a big dead for space flight, and a lot of places around the world have what they call Yuri’s Night, which is used to keep people aware of how important space flight is to us.”

He tasted some of his hash with eggs before turning to Annie. “You’re doing your last solo flight on the same day that history was made twice in Normal space programs, so, you know, having the traditional breakfast that astronauts had before they flew kinda gives you a connection to those events.”

Annie sat in silence for a few moments pondering Kerry’s last statement. She’d never once connected her ability to fly to anything important, just as she never thought of being able to do magic as anything special due to her being around it all her life. Now she discovered, through her association through Kerry, that others could find important connections to events that, until now, she didn’t know existed. “I come to school to learn about advanced forms of magic, and I discover so much more.”

“Well, we knew about this, which is why we scheduled the flight for today.” Vicky poked her steak a couple of times, looking as if she were deciding to have a bite first. “If you’re gonna make a little history, then do it on a historical day.”

“I like that.” Annie patted Kerry’s left wrist. “And you’re going to make it with me.”

He shook his head, chuckling. “No I’m not—” Kerry set down his fork so he could take Annie’s hand. “You’re the one making history: I’m just there to be your witness.”

 

Now, for a bit of history.  Everything Kerry said is true:  12 April is considered Cosmonautics Day, or as some say in the US Astronauts Day, or as the UN proclaimed in 2011, International Human Space Flight Day.  12 April, 1961, was the day Yuri Gagarin blasted off for a one orbit flight around the Earth making him the first human to do so.

He looks pretty chill for a guy who's about to ride a rocket that had a tendency to fail fifty percent of the time.

He looks pretty chill for a guy who’s about to ride a rocket that had a tendency to fail fifty percent of the time.

Then, twenty years later, 12 April, 1981, the space shuttle Columbia, mission number STS-1, took off from Cape Canaveral and spent a couple of days in orbit before landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.  A few months later it took off again, becoming the first reusable spacecraft.  That we know about.

Riding the rocket is always more fun when you bring your own engines.

Riding the rocket is always more fun when you bring your own engines.

There was also mention of Yuri’s Night, which is an annual celebration held on 12 April since 2001 that’s meant to heighten awareness of space flight and all that it’s done for mankind.  Maybe after Annie finishes her flight she can get Kerry to explain these things to her.  Between onion and garlic kisses, of course.

Now, the one thing that Kerry didn’t do, and probably for good reason ’cause as I was writing this scene I was also thinking, “Nah, doing that would be bad“–what he didn’t do is mention what happened to Gagarin and Columbia.  For Yuri things didn’t go well after his flight.  Though he was made a Hero of the Soviet Union, his life became more restricted as he was turned into an overnight celebrity by this country, and there were reports that his drinking took a turn for the worst.  He was kept from further space flights, and at one point the Soviet Union tried to keep him out of the cockpit.

Eventually he became the backup pilot for Soyuz 1, which was going to be piloted by his best friend Vladimir Komarov, with whom Yuri had a bromance that, had it occurred a hundred years earlier, would have been the subject of Russian poets.

And today would be a movie staring Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum.

And today would be a movie staring Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum.

However, this is Russia we’re talking about, and so you know this relationship is doomed.  It turned out that the Soyuz spacecraft was a death trap, but being this was early 1967 in the old Soviet Union, no one gave a letayushchiy yebat if they were about to rocket someone into space in a death trap, and Yuri decided the only way he could save his friend was, on the day of launch, to arrive at the pad early, suit up, and take Komarov’s place.  However, Vladimir Mikhaylovich knew his best friend Yuri Alekseyevich would pull just that sort of shit, and he arrived even earlier than Gagarin and was already on the way to the pad when Yuri arrived.

So the Soyuz death trap went up with Komarov instead of Gagarin–and things turned out pretty much as you’ve probably come to expect:

In old Soviet Union, spacecraft crash you!

In old Soviet Union, spacecraft crash you!

The mission went to hell, the Soyuz reentered spinning hard because it had lost the ability to maintain it’s attitude, and when the parachute popped the lines tangled and the chute never filled.  Komarov hit the ground doing about two hundred and fifty miles an hour, and Gagarin was, by all accounts, devastated.  About a year later Gagarin himself was dead, kill when he lost control of an aircraft he was piloting and spun it into ground.

As for Columbia

Yeah . . . let's not go there.

Yeah . . . let’s not go there.

It broke up on reentry, killing all seven astronauts aboard, and that pretty much started the end of the shuttle era, which means that when we want to go into space today, we have to ask for a ride from the Russians, who are still flying the Soyuz capsule, which isn’t nearly the death trap it was in the beginning.

Yeah, you can see why Kerry didn’t want to bring any of this up–

When your sweetie is about to head out on an important flight of her own, you damn sure don’t want to jinx things.

The New Tradition

Chapter Thirty is a go, and more of a go than I’d imagined.  That’s due, in part, to a lot of re-figuring of this section that I’ll actually discuss more once I get to the end of this excerpt.  For now, let’s get into the morning, which isn’t going to be as long as the last we just visited–

 

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

The overcast to the east was slightly lighter than the rest of the sky as Annie reached the Flight School only moments after the alarm on Kerry’s phone sounded, indicating the time as five-thirty. At a time when most students were sleeping in or just starting their Friday morning, Annie and her always-present chase pilot were getting ready for her biggest solo flight—

But first they needed to get through the pre-flight ritual.

Annie found it unusual to find an after-dinner email from Vicky indicating the time she needed to report to the Flight School, but more importantly how she wanted her breakfast prepared. She asked Kerry about this when they met a few minutes later before heading out for a relaxing evening in their tunnel hideout, but all he’d tell her was that he’d received an email as well, and that Vicky asked him not to say anything about what was going to happen in the morning. Try as she could short of quickly brewing a Draught of Submission, there wasn’t a thing Annie could do to make Kerry give up this secret.

Upon entering the Hanger Annie headed to the spiral staircase and proceeded to the second floor, as the email had instructed. She headed down the long corridor to the Flight Deck, but instead of entering that room she stopped before the last door on the right and knocked.

Vicky answered the knock, half-opening the door. “Ah, right on time.”

“Yes.” Annie put on her best smile. “Can we come in now?”

“Certainly.” Vicky stood aside allowing unobstructed access. “Nikh’nas.”

 

That last part is “Enter” in Hebrew, because Vicky being Jewish and all, and this is the first time we’ve actually heard her say anything in that language.  She’s proficient enough that she could hold a conversation with a native speaker, but that likely doesn’t happen much.

Also:  doesn’t Annie have feminine wiles she can use on Kerry to get him to tell her things?  After all, they did spend the evening in their “tunnel hideout”, as Annie calls it, and that means they were alone and Annie–well, she could have asked or cajoled or whatever, right?  She must be losing it.

So what is this ritual Annie must perform that is so important Kerry is willing to take the secret to his grave?

 

The moment she was inside Annie quickly scanned the room. There wasn’t much to see: a few chairs along the side walls, two projection screens on the far wall, a long table with two chairs facing them in front of the screens, a podium in the right-hand corner.

What drew her attention, however, was a second table in the middle of the room situated five meters from the other table, with two chairs set facing the far wall. Before each chair were two plates of food, a tall glass containing a beverage, silverware, and a napkin. While each of the smaller plates and the glasses were different, both of the larger plates contained the same thing: a steak and two eggs prepared sunny-side up, though the steak in the left-hand plate was much smaller than the one on the right.

Isis, wearing jeans and a sweater, stood on the other side of the middle table. The moment Vicky closed the door the security director motioned the couple forward. “Good morning.”

Annie stood behind the chair on the left, holding the back lightly in both hands. “Good morning.” She examined the plates of food. “I take it this is why we’re here so early?”

“It is indeed.” Isis spread here arms wide. “The traditional final solo breakfast of steak and eggs.” She chuckled. “Though you two are only the second to partake in this particular tradition.”

Kerry stood behind his chair examining the plate before him. “Oh?”

“Yes. I’ve only done this for one other student. It’s been a tradition elsewhere for fliers elsewhere, and I thought, what the hell? May as well do the same here.” She nodded towards the kids. “We know how you guys normally sit, so everything is laid out as expected.”

 

Steak and Eggs is the title of this scene, and I’d decided a long time ago–even before I began plotting this novel–that Annie was going to get this breakfast before heading out on her final solo flight.  There’s reasons for this, and they’re going to get brought up in the next scene, but for now–yeah, she’s getting steak for breakfast.

Now, about the changes:  I’ve said before that while I do a lot of plotting nothing is actually written in stone.  I mapped out all three of Annie’s solo flights, but after getting the first two out of the way, once I began re-examining the final one, I saw that it left me wanting.  So I set about changing it, and in doing so I had to change the time lines and a few other things–one of which was using a specialized web tool so I could figure out compass headings.

You can't see any of that stuff yet, but just wait.

You can’t see any of that stuff yet, but just wait.

Most of all, though, I changed the date.  Originally Annie’s solo flight was Saturday morning, 13 April, 2013, but as I wrote this scene, and as I remembered why this scene was developed in the first place, I realized that I was missing something incredibly important.  So the date was moved up to Friday, 12 April, and the reason for this is going to become painfully clear–

Though right now it’s probably clear only to me.

The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 15: “East”

Let’s head “East” and catch up on the penultimate episode of Season 6 of “The Walking Dead”.

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 15 "East" Rick and Morgan at the ute [Image via AMC] Episode 15 (titled “East”) of AMC’s The Walking Dead is basically the set up for the season 6 finale. While there was plenty of scary moments, it was really just a means to an end. Here’s what happened:

  • Other than being a bridging episode to get the characters in place for Negan’s big arrival, this episode is basically about the fallout as a result of Carol’s (Melissa McBride) faltering belief in herself and Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) guilt over Denise’s death.
  • Another thing to note in episode 15 of The Walking Dead, is the amount of flesh on offer. Between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), and Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), there is a LOT of near nudity. And it worries me, especially the time spent lingering on Glenn and Maggie, because, well… Negan and the whole thing that just might go…

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Forever In the Bay

Chapter Twenty-nine and Part Eight are complete, done, finito, baby.  Just as Chapter Twenty-seven started out with short, eight hundred and fifty-one word intro, Chapter Twenty-nine ended with an even shorter, seven hundred and thirty-five word exit.  Chapter Twenty-nine is one of the shortest in a long time, as it came in at just under nine thousand words.  Like I always say, a scene takes as many words as it takes to finish.

The dream is over so there remains only one thing to do:  talk about it.  And that happens here in the middle of the night, and in its entirety.

 

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

The scene before Annie’s now open eyes was one she knew well: the darkness of Bay #1. The lights were as they’d set them when they crawled into bed, the soft glow of the overhead monitors—but most of all, the warmth of the person beside her

Kerry moved slight, and the sound he made was enough to tell her he was awake. She rolled over and gazed into the face resting up the same pillow as hers. “How are you feeling?”

He took a slow breath as he adjusted his head. “I feel okay.” He glanced upward and smiled. “Better than I have in the last few months.”

She ran her right hand over his left. “I’m glad.”

“Yeah.” He turned his gaze back to her. “She’s a part of me now.”

“She always was, my love.” Annie kissed his cheek. “And she’s not only a part of you, but she’s a part of me as well.” She wrapped her fingers around his. “Lifeline to lifeline, remember?”

“How could I not?” He closed his eyes for a few seconds. “How are you feeling?”

“Good.” She gave her head a tiny shake. “I don’t have to worry any more.”

“About?”

“You. I know everything you know. I know what’s coming, and I know what to expect.”

“Which is—” He searched for the word. “Comforting.” Kerry glanced up at the clock. “Zero twelve.”

Annie rolled over to see for herself. “Just after midnight.” She rolled back so to face Kerry. “Almost a full day since you woke me from this dream.”

“No need to wake you again.” He chuckled. “Though Coraline is gonna wake us up in about three hours—”

“Which means we should go back to sleep.” She caressed his check. “Are you going to have trouble?”

“No.” He took her hand and kissed her fingers. “No, I’m good.”

Annie watched him for a few seconds. She felt the smile coming despite her effort to keep a straight face. “You’re not closing your eyes.”

“I just realized—” He touched his chest. “The countdown has started.”

“Not just for you—” She took his hand and placed it against her chest. “It’s started for me as well, my love. And no matter where you are when this transition occurs, I’ll be there with you right to the end of however long it takes before you can transition back.” She kissed him again, only this time it was on the lips and she held the kiss for nearly five comforting seconds. “I’ll always be here.”

He closed his eyes and sighed. “I’m too lucky to have you in my life.”

“As you tell me, I’m the lucky one.” This time she kissed his nose. “We need to get back to sleep.”

“You’re right.” He waited for her to spin around so she could cuddle back into him before laying his arm over her torso. “Maybe Coraline will let us sleep in today.”

“Perhaps.” Annie wanted to stop their conversation now, for she was certain if she didn’t Kerry would end up talking for another thirty or forty minutes. “Leka nosht, moya skŭpotsenna lyubov.”

Kerry nuzzled his face against her hair. “Leka nosht, moya malŭk sarmi.”

Annie lay still trying to give the impression she was dozing off to sleep. Within a few minutes she heard Kerry’s breathing slow and felt his arm grow limp, and she knew he was drifting off to sleep, or was almost there. It didn’t matter: either way he’d not wake again until Coraline came in to find out if he’d had the dream.

He was asleep until then.

She closed her eyes and relaxed under he weight of his arm. Annie cleared her mind and put the events of this day behind her, just as she’d done nearly a year and a half earlier in this same bed.

She reflected how that long day in November had changed not only Kerry’s life but hers as well—and life was repeating itself once more, as they learned tonight how much their lives were changing forever . . .

Annie gently took Kerry’s hand and lightly kissed his fingers before she settled in for a few hours of rest. A moment before sleep took her one last thought entered her mind: How many more months are going to pass before we’re back in this bed finding our lives changed forever again?

She would wait to discover that answer.

 

How many more moments until there’s another day that will change you’re lives? Oh–

Probably just a few months until you wake up next to this, Annie.

Probably just a few months until you wake up next to this, Annie.

So we see a pattern developing from the first book.  First, a quoting of a line from The Princess Bride (“I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.”), then Annie’s birthday, and now a single day that really changes their lives considerable.  And since I’ve got this damn long game of a story plotted out at least until they’re out of school, every Level sees an event that goes down in the course of a day–or at least twenty-four hours–and said event is going to lay some major changes on their lives.  Which means all of these things that have happened in this and the last book will happen in the next novel, so get to figuring what kind of present Annie’s getting and what sort of “crazy day” these kids are gonna have next year.

And because I was asked . . . since a request has been made for “hints” to the next story, I’m going to give them at some point, but in my own way.  Just like I cut a “movie trailer” for the first novel, I’ll do the same for this novel and cut another for the third.  I’m already going over things in my head for what will be in the third trailer, as I don’t want to give away the story, so what you’ll end up reading is going to get presented without proper context behind what you “see”, so it’ll either end up confusing the hell out of people, or scare the hell out of them.

Either way, it’ll be fun.

Now, what remains?  Three Parts, Six Chapters.  That’s it.  Each of the remaining Parts has two Chapters, and there’s a good bet this Third Act is gonna top out at somewhere around one hundred thousand words.  “Just”.  You gotta love that part.  Anyway, what do I have planed?

Well, one chapter is behind, but another is ahead, that's for sure.

Well, one chapter is behind, but another is ahead, that’s for sure.

Part Nine is all about flying, and Chapter Thirty is all about Annie.  I may be wrong, but I believe she has a solo flight coming up–

And it’s gonna be a good one.

Fear The Walking Dead Season 2 Predictions

Right now the East Coast Zombies are ruling, but in a couple of weeks the West Coast comes back in an undead way!

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

FTWD Season 2 Madison and Alicia Fear of the Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 01 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC

Here we are, two weeks to go before Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead comes back to AMC, and as we’ve done with The Walking Dead, it’s time for Rachel and I to come up with some predictions about what we might see, and what we hope to see.

#1: Are the survivors from Season 1 going to learn to become monsters right away?

CF: The theme of the first trailer, No Safe Harbor, appears to set the mood for what’s to come, particularly with Kim Dickens’ (Madison Clark) voice-over of a variation Nietzsche’s famous “Gaze into the Abyss” quote: “To kill the monster, you become the monster. You stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back. It is alive… It is hungry… And it devours.” Just like zombies—I mean, The Infected:

No…

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Acceptance Into a Dream: Separates Together

To get all the personal stuff out of the way immediately, yesterday’s spa day was a lot of fun.  I needed to sit and get some pampering in, and to be with a friend who doesn’t mind talking about any and everything, and just be ourselves.  There was a lot of laughing going on, and when I arrived back home ten hours after I left, the first thought that popped into my head was, “It was a good day.”

Smiling long before I get my feet encased in melted wax.

Smiling long before I get my feet encased in melted wax.

In only two days nearly thirteen hundred words are written, and the penultimate scene is complete.  Not only did I put this scene to bed, but I passed two hundred and eighty thousand words in the process.  Only one short scene remains and this chapter and part are complete–

And I can most away from Kerry being tortured by Girls From the Id.

And I can then move away from Kerry being tortured by Girls From the Id.

Yesterday morning was the set up of the final dream, and as I mentioned there I needed to bring one other person to bring into this mix to make the scene complete.  And I don’t disappoint:

 

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

Annie took his hand and gave it a squeeze. “I’m right here, my love. I’ll not say anything, but remember I support you.”

He turned and smiled. “I know.” He returned the squeeze. “Not like we’re going anywhere, are we, Darling?”

“Not at all, my love.”

Kerry straightened slightly and stared at the door. “Here we go.” He walked to his computer station and stood facing the entrance to his room. “Come on in.”

Annie saw the door open but didn’t see the girl as she continued standing in the hallway. Annie did, however, hear her soft, lilting voice. “I’m surprised you’re greeting me.”

“It’s not like I don’t know you’re coming.” He motioned his other dream self forward. “Don’t stand in the hall.”

 

And just like, the final player appears:

 

The girl entered the room and Annie immediately noticed that she was dressed for sleeping though her attire was slightly different than Kerry’s, as she wore leggings and a cami top. Annie pursed her lips as her mind as she began imagining see this scene while awake. I wonder if Kerry will wear something like this to bed one night soon . . .

The girl gasped the moment she spotted Annie and Kerry rushed between the two girls to forestall any problems. “It’s okay: she was brought in here. You have to know that happens sometimes.”

The girl nodded. “Yes. I remember you both share dreams. I guess that’s why this one feels strange—”

“We must be in our shared dreamspace.” Annie held her hands in front of her. “We both think I’m supposed to be here.”

“Because you’re linked.”

“You know that?”

The girl nodded towards Kerry. “I know what he knows.”

Annie chuckled. “And a few things he didn’t.”

The girl’s cheeks blushed bright red, made even more obvious by the cascading ginger locks framing her face. “I was affected a bit by his block, but I did remember you. Only—” She sighed. “I couldn’t say everything ‘cause—”

“It’s okay: it all worked out eventually.” Annie looked the girl up and down. “What should I call you?”

“I know this will sound strange, but—” The girl’s vision shifted slightly to the left. “Kerry. I mean, that’s the name I was given when I was born, though no one knew that.”

“Because no one knew you.”

Kerry cleared his throat. “That’s gonna sound strange later on when this, um, you know—” He pointed between him and he girl self. “When people finally see you for real.”

Girl Kerry nodded. “I see how it could confuse people.” She glanced down for a moment. “So you are going to let me live.”

 

The thing Kerry’s been told from the start is that he holds this person’s life in his hands.  We now know what she meant with that simple phrase, and her it comes one last time:  “You are going to let me live.”

I should also point out something that may not be obvious:  Kerry’s given name is, as stated a few times, Kerrigan, and that is a gender-neutral name that is used by both girls and boys.  Is there a reason I’m bringing this up now?  No, not really . . .

Now that all the introductions are out of the way, only one thing remains for these two kids–

 

Kerry tossed his head to one side. “The way I understand things I don’t think I can stop you. But I’m not as scared now: I was told what this means and what to expect.” He reached out to Annie. “And I have support.”

Annie took his hand. “Always, my love.”

Girl Kerry smiled at Annie. “And will I have your support as well?”

She nodded back. “No matter how either of you look, you’ll be the same person—the one I love.”

“Well—” Girl Kerry chuckled. “I hope I don’t screw things up.”

“You won’t.”

Kerry released Annie’s hand and took a step towards his female half. “I, um, guess we should do this.”

Girl Kerry nodded. “We should.”

Annie moved back closer to the bed. “What are you going to do?”

Kerry had the technical answer. “We have to integrate our auras, so—”

Girl Kerry finished the thought. “We hug.”

Annie glanced between the two. “That’s all?”

Kerry spoke first. “There’s really more than that going on—”

And Girl Kerry completed the sentence once more. “But that’s how it’ll look here.”

He nodded. “You ready?”

She nodded back. “I am.”

“Well, then—” He spread his arms wide. “Come here.”

Annie watched silently as the two came together and embraced each other slowly, with Kerry’s smaller female version of himself enveloped by the taller male version. For a few moments all seemed the same, then she felt a lightness about her body, as if gravity were slipping away. The light in the room changed, growing dimmer and most defused, and Annie realized it was because gray astral mist was slipping into their space and filling in around the hugging couple.

While both halves of Kerry became obscured by the mist Annie felt herself being slowly pulled backwards and away from the room, and her last sight of her soul mate was a sudden flash of violet-purple light from within the cocoon of astral mist—

 

And there you go.  All that remains now is for–well, something–and then I can get to the business of closing out the school year–

Three parts, six chapters, and probably a couple of dozen scenes.  That’s all that remains.

We Are A Chickensh-t Nation

I’m sending this out because it’s true: fear has turned us into a bunch of chickenshits.

Mike the Mad Biologist

In a very interesting article by Philip Bump arguing that the Clinton-Sanders race is very close, this graphic was interesting:

imrs.php

If we assume that roughly 30 percent are either Democrats or Republicans, with independents comprising the remaining forty percent of the U.S. population, we notice something very disturbing: almost twenty percent of respondents are “very concerned” about “you or a family member being a terror victim.” Over forty percent would be either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned.”

This is fucking stupid. At this point, one is supposed to don his Wise Pundit Thinkin’ Cap, talk about lizard brains, and note how awful we are at assessing threats.

Well, I’m not going to do that. The Republic is being hamstrung by a bunch of idiot chickenshit cowards who believe ISIS is going capture Ottumwa, Iowa. Or something.

If they were mentally ill, I would urge patience and decency. But…

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Acceptance Into a Dream: Waking and Wondering

Here I am, Day 2 of Still Having WordPress issues, though I believe it’s narrowed down to some crap my internet provider is doing and not me or WordPress.  But since I’m going to be out most of the day with a friend, this is something I’ll deal with tonight or, better yet, tomorrow when I log on at another facility and discover that I can get into the WP.

And just like that . . . here come WordPress working in all its glory.  Someone must have seen this and knew I was pissed.

Given that I’m gonna be away from home most of the day, I’ve gotten the next five hundred words out and I’m presenting them to you with little preamble.  There’s no need to go into a lot of detail, because with the kids asleep it’s only natural as to what’s coming next:  Kerry’s dream.  Only logical, right?  And as some have guessed, it’s only natural that he not be alone:

 

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

Opening her eyes Annie felt how different everything was. The light in the room was different—not quick full light, but they’d went to bed in near pitch-darkness and now she could see—and she couldn’t see the monitors that should be right overhead. And lastly, she was alone in bed: Kerry wasn’t at her side. It was true that he could have gotten up and headed to the bathroom, but Annie was certain that wasn’t the case.

Beside, there was something else about her surroundings that didn’t fit. There was a wall to her right and Bed #1 was gone. There was a wardrobe to her left. And the ceiling wasn’t high enough for it to be the hospital bay.

It was then that all the strangeness and difference came into focus and she realized where she was. This is a dream— She sat up slowly and confirmed her suspicions. This is Kerry’s dream—the dream.

Sitting upon Kerry’s bed she saw the rest of the room before her. There wasn’t much to see: the doorway to the hall was on her left, there was pretty much a blank wall before her, and Kerry’s computer station was to her right. Kerry, still wearing the pajamas he’d worn to bed, sat before his computer, but he remained still and unmoving, staring straight ahead and seemingly unaware that Annie was present.

Annie thought back to the last time she was in this dream and she applied what she’d seen there to what was before her now. That’s not him, not actually. Kerry’s actually in the girl’s body walking up the stairs right now; this is just a placeholder his mind has created.

His head gave a twitch, then another. The fingers of his right hand began to tentatively flex, as if he were slowly establishing control of a form with which he wasn’t familiar. Annie grinned, as his action reminded her of when they did their marionettes training and how they acted when they began taking control of their puppet. He wasn’t moving like he would normally, but she was certain he was back in his body, or at least starting to return. “Kerry?” Annie stood but made no move to approach her soul mate. “Are you there?”

An awareness began returning to his eyes, though when he spoke it seemed as if he were still not fully returned to his normal form. “Annie?”

She took a step towards him. “I’m here.”

“You’re here?”

“I am.”

He was finally able to swivel his chair towards her. “How?”

Annie couldn’t help but chuckle quietly. “I think you wanted me here.” She took a deep breath as she looked about. “Deep down we both wanted me here.”

Kerry was finally able to stand. “Yeah.” He took a step towards her. “Given everything we’ve been thought today, it wouldn’t seem right for you not to see what’s going to happen.”

She glanced towards the door. “You were in her, weren’t you?”

“Yeah.” Kerry half-turned towards in the direction of the entrance to his bedroom. “I left her out on the landing. She should be knocking on the door any moment now.”

 

There we are.  The dream is about to go down and all the players are on the stage.

Well, not all of them.  There’s one more person I have to invite to this party–

Trouble On the Site of Word

Well . . . if anyone can help me out I could use it.  It seems that I am unable to get into any of my blog posts without going through the straight up wordpress.com crazy little blue and green admin area.  I can access the post there and edit them, but I can’t view anything.  And not just my own posts, but anything attached to workpress.com.

Of course I can’t access the forums to even see if there’s a fix, so I’m sore of in a screwed position.  I can continue to post, but not much beyond that.

I’ve cleared cookies and cache and still nothing.  It’s also the same way on all my browsers, which leads me to believe I may have an issue with my internet provider, which I will check with tomorrow or Sunday.

So . . . if things seem a little slow the next few days, you know why.

B For Bewitching What To Write

“Why, wordpress?  Why do you vex me so?”

Prelude to Dreamland: The Moments Prior

First off, I want to thank WordPress for not feeding their hamsters last night, ’cause it’s only been recently that I’ve been able to log in today.  You gotta keep those critters fed, or they just lay down on the job and tell you to go screw yourself.  Free up the sunflower seeds, will ya?

The scene is finished.  It took just over a thousand words, and pumped the scene up to over thirty-six hundred words, but it’s over and done.

It's all so done, believe me.

It’s all so done, believe me.

Everything’s in place and the kids are in bed–both of those statements are literal in every sense.  And we get a peek at some twinsy stuff–

 

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

Annie sat up in bed with her feet folded under her in the lotus position. She wore her pajama top but they were unbuttoned to mid-way down her torso, and she held them open with her hands pressed against her breasts so Kerry could see her own glowing monitor. “See? Just like you.”

“Nice.” Kerry chuckled. “We totally have an Iron Man thing going on. I could be Tony Stark, and you could be Pepper Potts.”

Annie began buttoning her top. “Who’s that?”

“Pepper started as Tony’s assistant, then sort of took over running the company. She even got her own powered armor suit at one point, too.”

Coraline softly chuckled as she wait for Annie to finish. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. All Knowing Geek Boy, but wasn’t Pepper a ginger?”

Kerry blushed furiously as Annie examined his face. “Given how red his cheeks are—” She gave him a wild, friendly smile as she slid off the hospital bed. “That must be true.”

“Um, hum.” Coraline stuffed her hands in the pockets of her jacket and stared at the floor. “Maybe a new nickname is in order.”

“Huh?” Kerry’s eyes widened in shock. “No. No way.”

“Well, it’s only for when—” She glanced his way as she touched her long ginger locks. “You know:  you and I have a similar style.”

“You are not calling me Pepper.” He shook his hands to emphasize the point. “No way that’s happening.”

 

But, Kerry:  there’s quite a few women in comics and various geek lore that are gingers.  You know at that moment he was probably running down a list of characters from comics, TV, and movies, who are gingers and fit in with his geek creed.  I know there would be at least two that would spring to mind instantly . . .

He did get to see Annie’s medical monitor, and now they are glowing together.  This is another time I’d love to be able to draw, cause a picture of them together, with Kerry maybe wearing a tank top and Annie in a cami, showing the tops of their monitors peeking out of their clothing, would be a cute picture.

Since Coraline isn’t a truly mean person as well as being the school’s doctor, she knows how to handle the possibility of a Kerry meltdown:

 

“Come here.” Coraline wrapped an arm around the boy and gave him a hug. “I’m just messin’ with you, Kerry. I’d never actually do that.” She patted his shoulder as she released him. “I promise: no nicknames like that unless you’re cool with the idea.”

He allowed himself a moment to calm down and think clearly. “Okay. No problem.” He turned to Annie and then to Coraline. “It’s just—I mean—”

“It’s all going to be new.” Annie slipped her arms around his shoulders and gave him a warm hug. “I know it’ll take time before you’ll get used to being—” She stopped short of saying the last two words.

“A girl?” He sighed. “At least I have time to get ready for that.”

“And speaking of time, it’s twenty-two thirty-five.” She nodded towards the lift. “I need to get you down to the bay so you can get to bed. Gretchen’s gonna start flashin’ the light on us in a bit if we don’t.”

They returned to the first floor and walked to Bay #1 in silence. She set the privacy curtain in place before speaking. “I’ve left out a couple of mixtures that you’ve used before. They won’t knock you out, but they will help clear your mind and let you drift off to sleep. It won’t interfere with your REM functions, so you shouldn’t have problems dream, Kerry.”

He nodded slowly. “You think I’m gonna have that dream tonight?”

“What do you think?”

“Yeah.” His sign was inaudible. “It’s gonna happen.”

“And just let it happen.” Coraline patted his shoulder once more. “You know what to expect.” She turned to Annie. “You have any questions?”

“No.” She stood next to Kerry, taking his hand. “I’ll contact Nurse Gretchen if there’s a problem.”

“Good girl.” Coraline turned before opening the curtain. “Don’t be surprised if I wake you up at three-thirty to see if everything went as planed: we’re jaunting off to Paris at four for the meeting, and they may want to know if you made it through the last phase.”

Kerry scratched the back of his left hand. “Okay.”

A moment of silence passed between everyone before Coraline opened the curtain. “Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” She stepped into the corridor and smiled back at the couple. “Good night, and sweet dreams.” She waved the curtain shut, sealing the bay off from rest of the hospital.

 

So, meltdowns averted, medication supplied, and kids left to get to bed.  All that’s left are a few words and some serious dreaming.

 

Annie to Kerry, her eyes soft and not looking a little sleepy. “I think it would do well for us both to get to sleep.”

“That’s a good idea.” He appeared unsure about something, however. “I’m still a little worried about what could happen if I change at home. What if it happens right before I get up and I head out of the room before that thirty minute alarm goes off?”

“You need to do self-examination before you get out of bed. I saw how you’ll look after you transition—” Annie held up Kerry’s hands. “Her fingers are long and slender, so look here before leaving your room. Also—” She touched his head. “She has long, curly hair: you don’t. Feel your hair and if it’s touching the sides of your face—” She touched his cheeks. “—the you’ll know you transitioned. Then all you have to do is stay in your room until Coraline comes for you.”

“I’ll start doing that.” His shoulders slumped as he tried pushing aside the memories of this long day. “I’m ready to get to sleep.”

“I am, too.” Annie pointed to the small cups with the relaxation mixtures. “Do you want one?”

“Yes, please.” He took the cup from Annie. “I’m wound up just enough that I’d probably toss and turn for a while.”

“And we don’t want that.” She touched her cup to her soul mate’s. “Sweet dreams?”

“Why not?” He drank his mixture at the same time as Annie and set his cup on the nightstand next to hers. Kerry pulled back the comforter and walked to the right side of the bed as Annie crawled under covers. He joined her seconds later, getting comfortable under the blankets before rolling over on his right side to face his sweetie. “You’re gonna be here when I wake up, right?”

“I’m not going anywhere.” She leaned in and kissed him. “Now or later.”

“Thanks.” He kissed her back. “I love you, Annie.”

“I love you, too, Kerry.” She glanced up at the ceiling. “Lights off.” Annie rolled around and pressed back into him as he draped his left arm over her torso. “I’ll be dreaming of you.”

He chuckled in her ear as he slowly drifted off. “I’ll be looking for you.”

 

And there they go, just like a married couple, Annie snuggled back into Kerry while he lays an arm over her like he won’t ever let her go.  And the most important dream of Kerry’s life is about to happen.

I wonder if we’re gonna see what will happen there?

As Coraline would ask, “What do you think?”