Here I am, down to the coffee shop on a rainy and gray Beltane, writing my butt off and feeling better than I did yesterday, which was probably one of the suckiest days I’ve had to push through. But push I did, and I even managed to get in three hundred words last night, though I had zero motivation to do any writing.
However, Chapter Thirty-two is finished, and a little checking shows that this is the shortest chapter of the novel, shorter than Chapter Nineteen, which was just over fifty-one hundred words. Hey, I’m still over three hundred thousand words total, so it’s all good.
I should point out that last night’s and today’s writing has happened for the most part while Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue plays in the earbuds. As a personal note, this has always been one of my favorites pieces, one that I discovered when I was in seventh grade, and one which I’ve loved dearly ever since. In other words, I knew this before a certain airline made it famous in their TV ads.
Now that my kids are on “their” bench, where is their conversation leading? Well, let’s listen in–
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry sat down next to Annie and wrapped his robe around her to further protect her from the cold as well as to better allow her to huddle next to him. “What happens with Coraline’s boyfriend—”
Annie was quick to correct. “Fiancé.”
“Fiancé, then. Does he know she’s a witch?”
“Mostly likely not. Though we’ve never had to deal with this situation in my family, it’s considered tradition to not inform the Normal member of a relationship involving a witch to discuss that they are Aware until after a commitment is made.”
Kerry didn’t say anything about the last part of Annie’s statement, because they both knew she’d more-or-less violated whatever rules The Foundation had in place when she told him, on the night of her tenth birthday, that she was a witch. And since she told me while we were in a dream, it was unlikely anyone besides us would know it happened. “What happens now?”
“He’ll probably end up coming to the school soon—maybe at the end of the year—and Coraline and maybe the Headmistress and a few others will sit him down and explain that Coraline’s—”
“—Not like the other girls?”
Annie playfully slapped him on the thigh. “Silly. Of course we’re not like the Normal girls.” She moved slightly, looking for the most comfortable spot against him. “They will need to have The Talk, though, and holding it here at the school would make the most sense.” She glanced up at him. “We would have done the same thing at some point had it turned out you weren’t a witch, too.” Annie twisted around so she could rest her chin on his shoulder. “Speaking of magical, you should be rather pleased with the present your parents sent.”
For you writers out there–and I know I have a few reading this–fiancé is the correct term for Coraline’s husband-to-be. For her it’s fiancée, and in case you were wondering, they’re both pronounced the same. And an easy way to remember which is used where: fiancé is used for males, and both have one “e”, and fiancée is used for female, and both have two “e”s. You’re welcome.
So one day Greg–can I call you Greg? Fantastic. One day he’s gonna get invited to the school–probably in a couple of weeks time–and he’ll sit down with a few of the women who are Coraline’s friends, and maybe Holoč and Trevor will be there as well so he doesn’t feel like he’s being overwhelmed by estrogen, and the chances are good that he’s gonna get a special magic show. Maybe Coraline will even do her orange glowy-hand thing for him just to show it’s not all BS. Maybe Erywin will be there so she can mention that marrying Coraline is like getting hitched to a unicorn–it’s magical! Oh, and if you ever give your wife reason to be pissed, she can kill you with a glance. Or maybe that only works with Helena and Annie . . .
Either way, it’s going to be an interesting conversation, and you’ll learn how it all turns out. Moving on–
Apparently Kerry did get a present from his parents–and it sounds like it’s something nice. Well, if you’re Kerry, yes, it is:
“Yeah, that was completely unexpected.” It wasn’t until he returned to his room that he discovered the message from his parents in his email, and the reason for the delay was understandable. It was a video taken recently from the set of Doctor Who, where they were finishing the filming of the fiftieth anniversary special, and Kerry received a greeting delivered by both the main actors, Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman, who wished him the best of birthdays—moments before Tom Baker stepped in and wished him the same. Because of Mr. Baker’s presence his parents told him not to show the video to anyone, or discuss his present in detail. And while he wouldn’t show the video to his fellow levelmates, there was one person he had to show—
“They at least wanted your thirteenth birthday to be memorable.” After hearing he hadn’t received birthday greetings from his parent Annie feared they had forgotten the day, or worse, simply didn’t care. “I don’t understand, however, why they don’t want you to mention the man at the end.”
Like with most things geekish, he knew the answer. “He played The Doctor back in the 70s and that is his first time being on the show since he left. That’s gonna be a big cameo.”
“At least they trust you.”
Kerry pretended to zip his mouth closed. “For sure I’m the keeper of secrets.”
Annie slid back into the crook of his arm and pulled his arm and robe tighter around her. “I’m happy they gave you a special gift.”
“Yes, but—” He kissed the top of her head. “It’s not the most special gift I got today.”
I did my research and confirmed that, yes, Kerry’s parents could have gotten someone to get birthday greetings from the cast of Doctor Who, as at the time of Kerry’s birthday in 2013 they were finishing up filming on The Day of the Doctor, the 50th Anniversary episode that aired in November of that same year, and in reality liming completed the day after his birthday, on 4 May. And they would indeed not want him to mention that Tom Baker–who played the Fourth Doctor for seven year in the 1970s–was doing a cameo, as that was a totally hush-hush surprise moment for fans. For once his parents got him something he probably cherishes–however . . . it doesn’t compete with a present given to him by a certain Chestnut Girl from Bulgaria. Oh, and one other thing:
Though she wanted to tell him he was wrong, his words sent a lovely, comforting feeling through her body. “Thank you, my love. I know you’re not saying that just to make me feel good.”
“I’m not, no: I never would.” Under the robe he found her right hand and held it tight. “I’m glad you didn’t decide to give me that other present was discussed this morning.”
She was somewhat surprised to hear her soul mate say this. “Oh?” Annie glanced upward. “Why is that?”
“I know birthday presents are supposed to be special and from the heart, but—” Kerry buried his cheek against Annie’s hair. “That will always be special for us. Having sex as a present—”
“Lessens the meaning, yes?”
Annie gave a soft grunt of approval. “I agree. I don’t ever want to feel like we’re making love just to reward each other for growing a year older.” Silence enveloped them as they regarded the silent school while keeping each other warm and comfortable, though she didn’t remain quiet for more than a couple of minutes. “It’s almost midnight.”
He didn’t need to have his phone with him to know that was true: they’d left the Dining Hall about fifteen minutes before the midnight, and that was at least ten minutes earlier. “I imagine you’re right.”
She extricated herself from under his robe and stood before him. “Come here—” Pulling Kerry to his feet Annie pressed herself against him and peered long into his green eyes. “I felt a bit jealous last night that I might not be the first to wish you happy birthday today, though it turned out I was.” The kiss she placed upon his lips as light and touching. “But I am the last to wish you such on this day, and next year—” She gripped the lapels of his robe. “I get to wish it to you as the day starts and ends.”
Kerry chuckled. “And just so you know—” He returned as tender and touching a kiss as received. “Since your birthday’s on a Friday, I get to do the same to you.”
“I can’t wait. Happy birthday, my love.” This time their kiss seem to go on for a long time, and Annie only broke once she was certain they’d passed midnight and had begun the next day. “And I can’t wait for next year.”
There you go: no Sexy Time and trying to pass that off as a present. It’s something special between them, and while it might happen during future birthdays, never call it a gift. And you can bet Annie will remember this moment just in case Kerry tries pulling the old “Hey, where’s my present?” stuff in about twenty years. Yeah, Red: Annie’ll have a present for you . . .
The birthdays are over and both my kids are teenagers now. There’s only three chapters left, and the last two set up their leaving school behind for another year, and the actual return home.
But what about the next chapter? Just when you thought there weren’t any more surprises–
I surprise you.