It’s that time to take a few minutes in the morning while I’m having my coffee and pound away on the keys for a bit. Though the day I managed, yes I did, and into the evening I worked on the writing. It’s strange that the first paragraph below, the one that begins “Annie entered the library–” took me almost thirty minutes to write, with the exception of the last sentence, which I wrote about two minutes after writing this line. I write like that at times, and you wouldn’t believe how I sometimes change things as I’m putting these excerpts together. Usually while I’m listening to music, which I’m doing right now. And the current song is And You and I. No, really: it is.
Oh, man, the stress I feel. I’m just like my kids. For some reason I have it in bunches these days. I really need more of a stress-free life, I do. Maybe I’m feeling it because it’s what Kerry’s going through right now, and it’s all rubbing off on me. Whatever. Let’s get to things, shall we? And I believe that starts with the headmistress–
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie entered the library first with Kerry right behind her. Deanna noticed immediately that they both appeared relaxed and rested: since they’d slept until almost fourteen-twenty and were excepted from classes for the rest of the day, there wasn’t any reason they shouldn’t. She noticed the strain in their eyes, however, and even disappearing to their hiding spot that was rumored to be off one of the tunnels in the southwestern section of the school hadn’t alleviated the feeling. Annie’s worried, that much is obvious, but Kerry—he skirting the edge between uncertain and frightened. I hope what we have planed doesn’t worsen his mood. She expected that being told as they returned for dinner that they were expected at the Instructor’s Residence at twenty hours likely accounted for some of the apparent stress—
“I believe you know everyone here.” The headmistress indicated the other four women sitting in a row to the left of an empty chair before motioning to the love seat opposite them. “—and I believe you know where to sit. After all, you’ve been here before, have you not?” Mathilde sat in the unoccupied chair as Annie and Kerry took their place facing her and the others. “Before we begin I wish to make a few comments—
“First, I am here in an observational role only. I have nothing to add to the conversation or findings: rather, I am here to ensure that you are served properly, and that no irregularities occur during this discovery session—”
Kerry turned his gaze from whatever point he had it locked upon to the headmistress. “You figured out something?”
“That’s my next point.” She motioned to her left and mentioned each of the women in their sitting order. “Coraline and Deanna have worked with you on this issue since the beginning of the year. Erywin was brought in about a month ago to offer another prospective on the matter—” Mathilde didn’t pause to go into detail on the exact reason for the instructor’s participation. “—and Jessica was invited by Erywin and the others because of her exceptional problem solving skills.” The headmistress hurried on again least it become necessary for her to explain what exact problem solving skills the Mistress of Transformation offered to this group.
“Now that I’ve had my say, I’ll sit here and watch while the experts take it from here.” Mathilde leaned forward and looked down the line. “Deanna?”
Mathilde is pretty much setting the scene and letting Annie and Kerry know nothing bad is going to happen. We also know the time of the meeting: twenty hours, or eight PM for those not on universal time. Here we see that Deanna has heard “rumors” of the kids having a little hiding place off in the tunnels, and once they were awake they–what? When out there to blow off steam? Probably sit silently and try not to think about what happened just over twelve hours before. It’s even more interesting that if these “rumors” are reaching the instructor’s ears, why is it they aren’t seeing if they’re true? Hum . . .
Now Deanna’s in charge of the room, and she starts with a little mood setting–
The seer inhaled slowly before standing. “Thank you, Headmistress.” She tapped her palms against her thighs. “How are feeling Kerry?”
He mustered a slight smile. “Better.”
“Did you sleep well?”
“Good.” She looked to the girl on his left. “And how are you, Annie?”
She seemed surprised that she was asked about her current mood. “I’m better as well, Deanna.”
“Did you enjoy a relaxing afternoon?”
A slight blush crept into the cheeks of both children before the half-turned to each other and smiled. Annie nodded twice. “Yes, we did. Given what’s happened in the last few days, it was nice to have time to ourselves.”
“That sort of time is always good.” Deanna arched her eyebrows for just a moment. “But now we need to discuss some of those events: specifically, the one that occurred early this morning.”
Kerry returned to the question he asked a minute before. “Did you guys find something?”
“We may have.” Deanna offered a slight, comforting smile. “The four of us spent the afternoon going over some new material that may hold the answer to your problem.”
Jessica crossed her legs. “We canceled our normal function to work on this, Kerry, and the fact that I’m here and not in Advanced Transformations should tell you that we believe we’ve found something.”
“However—” Deanna stood and took a step towards the young couple facing her on the love seat. “Before we can proceed, I have to ask you both for what is probably the most important favor you were ever asked before now.”
Annie and Kerry once more exchanged glances. Kerry found the nerve to speak first. “What is it?”
Deanna’s asking the most important favor ever asked of these two before? Ever? That’s a bold statement. And what is that favor?
Deanna rested her head to one side as her smile broadened. “May I sit between you?”
The serious expression both children carried into the room vanished as they looked at each other while holding each others hand tightly. Annie spoke without taking her eyes from her soul mate. “Are you doing this to help Kerry?”
The seer held her hands folded across the front of her body. “I am.”
They held eye contact for a second more before each gave a slow nod and let released their grip on the other. Annie slid to her left and Kerry slid to his right. He motioned for the seer to join them. “Come on, Deanna.”
“Thank you.” She sat down a took a moment to relax. “Thank you—both of you.”
Annie looked up and smiled. “You’re welcome.”
“Now Kerry—” Deanna turned just enough to her right so she could seen to boy to her right without difficulty. “I need to ask you another question, and it’s imperative that you answer me truthfully.”
He turned a little towards the instructor. “I will, I promise. What it is?”
“Do you trust me?”
The most important favor you could ever ask these two is to allow you to sit between them, and this is the first time another person of the female persuasion has purposely sat on Kerry’s left since the Chestnut Girl and he got together. This must be some serious stuff–
And why is Deanna sitting there? Well . . . I suppose you’ll find out tonight.
I’ll get you there, don’t worry.