First off, Happy Solstice, for it is now summer and the longest day of the year and from here on out the night get longer and full of terror–sorry, for a moment I thought I was a red witch. Which isn’t the same as a ginger witch, so get that out of your mind.
Another scene went down last night, and that’s twenty-six hundred more words down and in the past. And while a lot of things were revised, no words were added or removed from the mix, which is quite an accomplishment and that sort of impresses me in a way. This is the train trip from London to Amsterdam scene, and this is really the only time you get a good look at Collin and Alicia, bu the thing that’s really important is the stuff going on between Annie and Kerry. This is pre-“Joined At the Hip” soul mates, and Kerry’s the clueless kid we know and love while Annie–well, she’s being a teasing, sorta flirting girl the way an eleven year old girl might act. Nowadays she’s still at Kerry’s left and the gods have mercy on the person who tries to prevent that, but here she’s sitting somewhere else–and enjoying the view:
The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
She was quite, almost never speaking. She sat with hands folded in her lap and ankles crossed. Every so often she’d glance out the window or down the aisle, but for nearly the whole time since leaving St. Pancras she’d sat looking straight ahead.
He didn’t have proof, but he knew she was looking right at him.
It didn’t make him nervous, but it did make him wonder why. She was friendly, that much was true: since their meeting in the book store she’d been extremely nice and always sat next to him on his left during meals. The fact she’s asked him to join here on her walked tour proved she not only trusted him, but thought of him as something of a friend.
Still, though—what was she doing? Why was she staring at him? Was there something she wanted to talk about, but didn’t know how to ask?
He finally turned away from the window and looked at her. “Annie?”
Her expression didn’t change. “Yes?”
“Is there something you wanna talk about?”
The right side of her mouth twisted up for a moment. “No.”
Kerry nodded slowly. “Okay.” He returned to looking out the window. He cast a couple of quick glances out of the corner of his eye and— He quickly turned his head, catching her as she shifted her gaze towards her hands. “What?”
She seemed surprised “Yes?”
“What are you doing?”
Annie tilted her head to one side. “Nothing.” The word came out as a soft coo encased by her accent. “Is something wrong?”
“I don’t know: you keep looking at me.”
What is going on? Kerry was confused by her actions. Why is she acting so strange? She wasn’t like this yesterday. He shook his head. “You use a lot of questions to answer questions.”
“Do I?” Annie chuckled while here face remained as impassive as ever. The only thing that seemed to change was the glint in her eye—
She’s trying to get Kerry to notice her without sitting next to him and holding his hand, which would probably just freak him right the fuck out if she did that right now. This is also one of those times when you get to see Annie being cute, and we know she does have her moments here, because deep down she is a tweener who does enjoy herself when she’s not being Little Miss Dark Witch.
But now, if we want to see the depths to which Kerry’s Cluelessness plunge, we only need go through the following passage, where we discover the aforementioned hand holding did go on, and that it did stuff and things to him. And not only that, but . . .
While walking through St. James Park, as Annie was telling him about Buckingham Palace, there were a few moments when Annie tentatively reached over and—well, first she touched his arm, then after a minute or so she sort of leaned on him for a few seconds, and then, maybe a couple of minutes after that, while she was pointing out something, she took his left hand, gave it a small squeeze while walking towards the palace. It took him nearly a minute, but he finally found the nerve to wrap his fingers around her hand and continued walking like nothing important was happening.
But he wasn’t like that on the inside. He was worried he was going to get too excited and crush Annie’s hand, because Kerry had felt his heart race and a sweat break out on his forehead, and there were a few moments when it imagined he might lose it all, snatch his hand away, and run off. But he maintained his cool—all through the park, and later when she did the same thing on the Tower Bridge, and then again while walking through Queen Mary’s Park after they returned to the Baker Street Station.
Annie did that, and I have no idea why. He shifted his gaze away from his hands; as he didn’t want to look at Annie just yet, he looked down the aisle towards Ms. Rutherford. Maybe it was her first time being out with a boy, and she—I don’t know—she wanted to feel like today was even more special and she thought I wouldn’t mind.
Ms. Rutherford turned and gave Kerry a tiny smile before going back to whatever it was she was reading. He stared at the back of her head for a few seconds before flashing back on last night’s dinner—
Kerry took his seat and watched, out of the corner of his eye, as Annie sat on his left, just as she always seemed to do. Collin was to his right, and Alica and Ms. Rutherford were almost directly across from him at the circular table.
Ms. Rutherford first spoke to Alica and Collin, who both grumbled about having nothing to do. She then looked at Kerry, gave him a cheerful smile, saying he certainly looked happy, then turned to Annie before addressing them both. “So, you two: how was your date?”
Annie gave Kerry a quick side glance before answering. “Oh, it was incredible, Ms. Rutherford.” Then she turned to Kerry, her eyes bright and face aglow. “Wasn’t it perfect, Kerry?”
Just like that moment in the restaurant, Annie filled Kerry’s vision, and just like last night her hazel eyes were bright and locked upon his—
Ms. Rutherford asked about our date.
He shuddered as if in shock. “Oh, oh.”
Yes, Kerry: your future case worker ask if you enjoyed your date. Because, like it or not, that’s exactly what it was, and while you might not have felt that way, a certain Chestnut Girl sure as hell did. Annie always has her eyes on the prize, and at the moment it’s sitting across from her–
You have no idea, kid.
Only one short scene left to revise in this chapter, but there’s something that puts in an appearance there, and is going to remain a looming, unspoken presence for quite some time . . .