First off, let me tell you, there’s nothing more frightening that having someone knock on your door at about eight-thirty at night–or twenty-thirty hours as my kids would say–and when you look out the peephole you can’t see anyone standing there. And then it goes on for about three or four minutes. Right off the bat let me tell you: I live alone, which can be scary enough for some women, but as a transwoman my chances of being murdered are about fifty percent greater than those of a csiwoman, so where there are mysterious knocks on my door at night and I can’t see who’s knocking, I don’t answer the door.
Come to find out it was the Harrisburg police, four of them, investigating a report from the hospital across the street that “someone” there saw “something” in one of the apartments. Four guys who were a lot bigger than me who instantly got paranoid when they couldn’t see my right hand. It was a real uncomfortable couple of minutes while they checked that yes, I did live alone, and that, yes, you couldn’t see into my apartment because I keep my blinds pretty much closed at night. I also got a couple of strange stares from a couple of the officers, who hurried away as soon as they got a call that they really needed to get to the floor below because that seemed to be the location of the action.
I guess the next time when I deal with the police I better get a lawyer in love.
I was told that yesterday’s post was a super cliffhanger. I guess that’s going to make this one a super-duper cliffhanger, ’cause right here, right now, we are deep in the dreamspace and things are about to unfold pretty much in the way I’ve mentioned in the title to this post. However, the point of view for this scene has become altered ever so slightly . . .
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
The moment Annie opened her eyes she noticed three things that weren’t normal. The first found her no longer facing a seated Headmistress Laventure, Professor Kishna, or Erywin, and the second saw here no longer seated. The reason for the first two problems were solved by the third: it was clear she was no longer in the library in the Instructor’s Residence. Though after a moment of gathering her wits she immediately recognized the location—
She spun to her right and discovered Deanna standing behind her just out of her peripheral vision. “What is—?”
Deanna put a finger to her lips. “Shhh. Keep your voice down, please.”
While she lowered her voice, her tone remained somewhat anxious. “This is Kerry’s house—it’s his dream.”
Deanna looked round the space in which she stood with her young friend. “True on both accounts, my dear.”
Annie knew the layout of Kerry’s house because she’d been there before in their dreams. Deanna and she stood on the first floor landing with a bedroom door behind her that Kerry had once told her led to an office his mother used when she wanted to work on something away from the office. To her left was the door leading to his parent’s bedroom, one with a large bay window overlooking the street. Directly in front of them were the bathroom doors: the one to the immediate right of the leading to the toilet, and the one facing Annie leading to the tub and the sink.
The layout of the first floor of Kerry’s house it accurate, and I’ve known it for years because, believe it or not, I found floor plans for the exact house his parents “own”, and I’ve had them for–well almost three years now.
However . . . I actually went to look at the image of the first floor as I had it loaded in the project, and–Damn! It wasn’t coming up! I never figured out why it wasn’t appearing in this novel, or in A For Advanced, so I had to hunt around on my computer for a bit to find and reload the image. That took me all of about twenty minutes, making it another of those, “Wasting time again, I see,” moments. That and cops at the door are good for killing more time than you can imagine.
Now that we have the floor mapped and out of the way, Annie has a question of her own that needs answering:
The most important door was the one on the left leading directly off the stairs: that was the door leading to Kerry’s bedroom. If what Kerry said about this dream were true—and she had no reason to doubt that he’d lie—he was in there now, waiting once more for the confrontation they were here to witness—
Deanna lay a hand on Annie’s shoulder and leaned closer to her head. “There’s something you need to know—”
Annie turned to her left to address the seer. “Such as how did I get here?”
“Oh, that. Well—” A slight grin came to Deanna’s face. “Coraline was aware that Kerry wasn’t the only one susceptible to being hypnotized, and by sitting between him and you it was a simple matter of crafting a spell that—” She shrugged. “As he was being put into a trance, so were you. It’s nothing that I haven’t done before.”
“But why?” She set her hands on her hips. “Why did you bring me here?”
“Because if this is what we think it is—” Deanna lay her right hand on Annie’s shoulder. “You need to see this. You need to know what’s happening.”
You know, when you can trance-out kids through a little bit of teacup magic, getting them both under at the same time is pretty much child’s play. It also means that Deanna must be a hell of a dreamwalker if she can find Kerry’s last dream and yank his girlfriend in as well so she can hang out and watch things unfold because she needs to see things. And Deanna’s being a big vague on the why of things–
Unfortunately she may not have to explain . . .
The answer wasn’t forthcoming for in that moment a sound filtered up from the ground floor. Annie recognized it only because she’d heard her it here once before. Someone’s opening the front door— “She’s coming.”
“She is.” Deanna moved behind Annie and kept her hands upon her upper arms. “From here on we need to be as unobtrusive as possible. We can speak, but only in hushed tones. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.”
Annie turned and looked back over her left shoulder. “Why?”
“Because it could be bad for us. By observing this dream we could alter what happens by accident, and it could turn on us if we’re not careful.”
“But Kerry knows we’re—well, you’re here.”
“His conscious self knows, but the unconscious part of his mind that’s already had one bad experience with this dream doesn’t care what his conscious mind want. You’ve already been thrown out of one dream by this girl: given Kerry’s agitation last night things could go far worse for us.” The sound of creaking wood came from the floor below. Deanna leaned close and whispered in Annie’s ear. “She’s here.”
Damn right she’s here, and that’s the part I work on tonight. We finally get to see what Carrot Girl said to Kerry that freaked him the hell out, and we find out Annie’s response to the aftermath of that conversation.
It’s almost over.
Except for maybe the screaming . . .