This is going to be a busy week. Tonight I have notes to take for a show recap I’m going to write tomorrow, and maybe after I write that recap I’ll run out after that and pick up a few groceries to get me through the next few days, then come back and write some more in the novel, then sit down Thursday and create a couple of documents this week as “wish lists” for what I hope to see come out of the next couple of months of show’s I’m gong to recap.
That’s going to be me from the middle of April until the middle of June. On top of all the other stuff I deal with, like work and my other writings.
Speaking of this other writing I do, the next step in the next scene has gone down to the tune of a little over seven hundred and fifty words. It’s likely I would have done more, but crazy me, I decided to get involved in a pissing contest last night and that dragged me into some drama that derailed my train of thought. Yeah, I know: bad me. I shouldn’t allow that to happen. But it did, and I do. Live and learn.
Anyway, what’s up with the kids? Well, the next floor, it seems . . .
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
They followed Coraline to the lift and rode it in silence up to the next floor. As they walked through the waiting area Kerry saw how different the bays here were compared to the ones just below on the first floor. The beds seemed a bit smaller but more plush. The lighting was more subdued but the floor didn’t appear enveloped in shadow, as if the light came from indirect locations and not from point sources. The bays were nearly twice the size of the ones on the first floor, and each one possessed a lot more equipment: some were easily identifiable as monitors, there were a few things he couldn’t place.
Annie glanced to her left and right and didn’t bother trying to make guesses. “What this area?”
“Intensive Care Unit.” Coraline indicated open bay on either side of the ward corridor. “Six bays, twelve beds, and—” She half-turned and pointed down the corridor to a glassed-in room at the end of the ward. “The operating theater, just in case I gotta open someone up and fix things that way.”
Kerry almost whistled. “You do that?”
“When necessary. I haven’t had the need in a while, but there have been a few instances where I’ve had to get inside someone and poke around.” She took a slow, deep breath as she tapped her hips. “There is where you come when you’ve got most of both feet on the other side of The Curtain and are about to push through The Veil.” She lowered her voice, more out of habit than fear they were going to be overheard. “It’s where I bring our occasional suicide attempt so we can give them an opportunity to chill and get help before heading back out with the rest of the student body.”
“Does that happen often?” Kerry felt a sudden unease over the possibility that someone he knew may have been here for a day or more because the pressures of class.
Coraline nodded towards the bay on the children’s right. “Bay Five, please. You guys can sit on Bed Two.” She sat on the bed on the left—#1, numbered the same as below—while Annie and Kerry sat on the edge of the bed across from here. “Let me fill you in on what we discussed, Kerry. First of all, we’re certain you’re going to have the same dream tonight.”
He stared at the floor while nodding. “I think so, too.”
It was stated prior to this that the ICU existed in the space between the main ward on the first floor and the third floor private holding area. This is where you come when you’re in really bad shape: like dying-time-is-here shape. And Coraline can even operate on you if the need arises, ’cause sometimes you gotta get in there and see what you’re using magic to fix.
She also brings up another point: every so often there’s a suicide attempt because you’re not just dealing with witches, you’re dealing with teen witches, and that means you get to deal with all the dramatic bullshit that goes with being a teen. It’s not unusual that some kids get way bent out of shape due to the pressure, and when they feel like they can’t take it any more, they may head off looking for a way out. The thing with this school, however, is that one doesn’t have to be a cutter, or OD on pills, to kill yourself at Salem: there are lots of ways to end one’s life, and most of them–if you know what you’re doing–take but a few seconds. Think about it: any one doubt that what Annie can do to others she could also do to herself? And we won’t even get into what one can do with transformation magic . . .
Now that I have that happy info out of the way, it’s time for Coraline to get down to brass tacks:
“Since you know what’s coming, and what to expect, no one thinks you’ll have a problem. Now, since no one has ever recorded what happens to someone when this secondary aura integrates with the primary one, so I’m gonna have all the monitors running on you tonight. Not only that, but Isis is setting up six Spyeyes in Bay One right now, so I’ll get recordings of both your physical and astral forms.” Coraline nodded towards Annie. “And, yes: I know you’ll be sleeping next to him. Trust me, no one will care.
“Tomorrow, the Headmistress, Erywin, and me are meeting with officials in Paris. We’re going to tell them what we know, what is happening with you, and what is going to happen—”
Annie took Kerry’s hand. “Have you figured out how to keep The Foundation from intruding too much into Kerry’s life?”
Coraline’s face lit up. “Erywin figured it out. She’s going to report that as Kerry is csimale, whenever he transitions over to his female form he is essentially considered a transmale, and therefore he is afforded any and all LGBTAIQ protections. That means if certain people in The Foundation start getting too inquisitive, Erywin will step in and tell them to back off.”
Kerry knew that as much as these actions would help him maintain his privacy, but he was smart enough to know there would be some kind of trade off. “Am I gonna have to do something in return?”
“Yes, but it’s not going to be a lot.” Coraline crossed her legs at the ankles. “We’ll propose biannual physicals that we’ll conduct here, at the school, so there isn’t any unnecessary prying: I’m suggesting that I conduct them in October and April, and that all data collected from those examinations be stored here as well.
“There’s also—” She spent a moment clearing her throat. “Not only are you the first person who we’re having the opportunity to examine before this aural merging, but you’re the first one The Foundation has had the chance to monitor in the period of time prior to the involuntary transition.” Coraline reached inside her jacket and removed a round metal container about eight centimeters across. She popped it over and removed a thin parchment maybe five centimeters in diameter. “That’s where this comes into play.”
So, Erywin has a plan to keep the nosy people at bay, and Coraline’s going to set up a program to ensure The Foundation gets medical data from Kerry, but that she controls how it’s handled.
But what’s this last thing she literally pulls out of her pocket? Well . . . you know the routine by now, don’t you?