Yesterday I promised that we’d get to see Kerry showing the parents what he could do witchy wise, and today that time has come. We know Kerry is trying to convince his folks that, yes, he’s really one of those people who do real magic and just don’t pretend, and given that they’re being such hard sells–well, sometimes drastic measure require drastic actions …
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry sat back slowly while keeping eyes locked on his mother. Before leaving Berlin he’d told Ms. Rutherford that his mother would have the hardest time with his coming out, and expected at least one outburst from her. “Okay, Mom.”
Louise turned on Ms. Rutherford. “Why are you having us listen to this bullshit? Why are we really here?”
“We’re here because it is necessary for Kerry to reveal the true nature of his studies.” Ms. Rutherford remained icy calm as she faced a hostile parent—something with which she’d had personal experience in the past. “Everything Kerry’s told you is true—”
“You expect us to believe he can actually do magic?” Louise scoffed loudly. “You made it sound as if you had something important to tell us—”
“It is important, Mrs. Malibey—”
“And you throw this—this goddamn nonsense at us.” Louise looked as if she were about to stand. “This is—”
“Kerry.” Ms. Rutherford put just enough volume and tone in her voice to shut down the conversation from the other side of the room. “Maybe now is the time to do what we discussed.”
He nodded. “Yeah.”
Louise immediately perked up. “Do what?”
Kerry’s eyes focused on nothing as he slipped into deep concentration. “Show a practical application.”
He looked up and at his mother. “This.” Kerry held his hands up and flicked out his index fingers—
Do we expect you to believe your son can do magic? No, Mrs. Malibey; we expect you to die! Oh, wait: wrong story. Anyway, Kerry’s about the lay the mojo down, and–well ….
Okay, then here goes:
All the window shades dropped simultaneously and what little outside light there was dimmed considerably. The door to the kitchen quickly closed and latched, and a black curtain seemed to fill the opening between the family and dining rooms. A moment later all the lights in the room went out, and the family room turned dark instantly.
A bright glowing sphere formed in front of Kerry and rose off his upwardly turned left hand until stopping a few centimeters short of the ceiling. It grew slightly brighter until the family room was filled with a soft white luminescence.
Kerry looked upward for a moment, then turned is gaze across the room to his parents. He crossed his arms. “That should do it.”
His parents sat looking about the room in surprised and confusion which Kerry had expected. Louise slowly turned to him. “Wha—what happened?”
“I used a variation of the levitation spell to drop the shades and shut the kitchen door.” Kerry sat back, looking somewhat pleased. “I threw a masking effect across the windows and did a kind of privacy curtain over the dining room entrance—” He looked to his left at his work. “It’s not that good, but I’ve only been working on something that big for about a month. And last I did a simple light spell and levitated it up towards the ceiling so we can see.” He shrugged. “Pretty simple.”
Davyn emerged from a semi-stupor brought about by Kerry’s crafting. “Simple?”
“Yeah, it really is, Dad—”
“What Kerry means is it’s simple for him.” Ms. Rutherford glanced over towards the boy on his left. “This is the reason he’s in all the advanced—”
Ms. Rutherford grew quiet and waited a few moment for Louise Malibey, who now seemed on the verge of being either confused or frightened, to gather herself together. “Is something the matter?”
Louise half-closed her eyes. “Stop this: just stop it.”
Ms. Rutherford nodded towards her left. “Kerry?”
“Sure.” He made the slightest of motions with his left hand: instantly the blinds rose to their proper open position, the door to the kitchen opened, the light ball near the ceiling vanished as the light came on once more, and the privacy effects on the windows and dining room entrance vanished. He leaned forward, rubbing his hands against his thighs. “There.”
Lousie stared hard at her son. “You did that.”
Kerry gave a slight nod. “Yeah, I did.”
“That wasn’t a trick.”
“No, it wasn’t.” He held back from chuckling. “No one from The Foundation came in while the house was empty and set this up so I could trick you.”
Dayvn seemed to relax though he appeared wary and apprehensive. “So you used—magic?”
This time Kerry nodded twice. “Yes: I used magic.”
Yeah, Mom, I used magic. So this cat’s out of the bag and is never getting back in–then again, what cat ever does? Boxes, however: all bets are off about when they’ll get out.
I wanted Kerry to do something that would show he’s really skilled with crafting the Art, as they say back at the school, but not do something that would literally scare the shit out of his parents. Fireballs and Cold Fire? They wouldn’t have dug it. Shadow Ribbons? Too sinister. Air hammer? Yeah, blowing out the windows in the family room would have made a statement.
And, yes, he could have done a little transformation magic like change the color of his hair or darken his complexion, but he’s probably aware by now that his parents would probably have freaked out even more if they knew their had their own little Mystique living under their roof, and that their child is a person who can literally become you if they want.
This, however, does lead to a few questions and a revelation–
Louise turned to Ms. Rutherford. “So all the students at school are witches?”
Ms. Rutherford remained calm. “Yes.”
“And the instructors?”
“They’re witches as well: it’s necessary.” She sat back just a bit. “And before you ask, yes: the staff at school are witches as well.”
Louise looked downward as she swallowed once. “That must mean—” She looked at the woman sitting across from her. “—you’re a witch, too.”
“I am.” Ms. Rutherford crossed her arms and gently rubbed her chin with her right hand. “I went to Salem, just like Kerry.”
Dayvn nodded slowly. “When did you go?”
“I started in 2001: I was among the first A Levels to begin the new century.”
“When did you graduate?”
Both of Louise’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “How old were you?”
“Seventeen.” Ms. Rutherford looked at Kerry with a certain pride. “The same age as Kerry will be when he graduates.”
“But—” Louise looked down and away as if she were having difficulty understanding something. “That was only six years ago.”
“Yes, it was.” Ms. Rutherford chuckled lightly. “In case you’re wondering, I’ll be twenty-three in about six weeks.”
“You don’t look anything like twenty-three.”
“I know. When we’re dealing with the parents of children from Normal backgrounds—non-witches, mind you—we try to make ourselves look more ‘age appropriate’. It allows the parents to feel more comfortable when dealing with us. But now that you know I’m a witch, there really isn’t any need to keep up the charade—”
Though she didn’t change in height or size, Ms. Rutherford’s features flowed from that of a woman who may have been in her mid-thirties to someone who appeared to be maybe three or four years older than Kerry. The transformation took place in less than three seconds, and when it was over she spoke to the visibly shocked adults. “This is how I really look. And how I’ll look from now on when I speak with Kerry and come for him.”
Now this little bit of writing required that I do something: mainly, figure out all the stuff with Berniece’s life. I knew a little about her, but it was only in this moment of writing that I locked her down to an age and attendance.
And it also shows that The Foundation is thinking ahead in that they like the people who have to deal with their student’s parents to look–let’s say “professional”. Which is to mean age appropriate, as she says.
And that makes things a bit more interesting when we realize that those moments in which Ms. Rutherford comforted Kerry when his moments of need, she’s really only ten years older than him and Annie. And that means she probably does relate to him better, because it wasn’t that long ago she may have went through the same things he’s going through now.
It’s also easy to see that here are at least three people at Salem that she may have known, though it’s doubtful she was ever friends with them. Even her covenmate Wednesday would have been an E Level once Berniece was out of The Fishbowl, and that’s a pretty big gap to jump in terms of friendship. Still, she would have likely known those three people, and she likely would have had Erywin, Jessica, Maddie, Ramona, and Mathias as instructors, and maybe even Helena, too; I’d have to check on that last. She’s a good person to have as your case worker if you need something done, because she knows people, yeah?
So now that the Malibey’s have seen transformation magic up close and personal, they’re okay with it–
Louise’s face froze into a tight mask. “You look like a teenager.”
“Well—” She glanced over to Kerry, who was examining his case worker’s true appearance. “I do look like I’m eighteen, but that comes with being a witch.” She turned back to Louise with a smile. “It comes with being what I am.”
“I see.” Louise folded her hands across her lap and stared unfocused into space. “I need you leave.”
“I beg your pardon?” Ms. Rutherford cocked her head to one side. “Is there a—”
“I need you to leave.” Louise straightened as her eyes turned cold. “I want you out of this house, and I want you out now.”
–Okay, maybe not. Then again, we knew Louise Malibey was going to be a hard sell, and we weren’t disappointed.
The question remains: where happens next?
I guess you’ll have to wait and see, won’t you?