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The Undisclosed Fears

The last sixteen hours have been interesting to say the least.  It’s not that there’s been a ton of shit happening to me:  on the contrary.  After the bad day I had Thursday I spent Friday in much better spirits.  For one I had this song, Foreigner’s That Was Yesterday on heavy rotation at work, listening to it for about three hours non-stop.  And since this was the European extended remix, you know it’s good:

Once I was home I decided it was time for a little movie time, so I got comfortable and watched Ex Machina and Advantageous, both unusual science fiction movies, both designed to get you thinking.  It was a nice way to decompress and gets thoughtful at the same time.

And as you can see, I'm comfy as all hell.

And as you can see, I’m comfy as all hell.

I wrote until about midnight, getting another four hundred and fifty words into the story before crashing out.  I woke up right around six and thought, “You know, I haven’t done an morning writing session at Panera in a while,” and got ready, got dressed, threw on as little makeup as possible, and head out the door.

Writing with a little coffee:  it's what I do.

Writing with a little coffee: it’s what I do.

And it was a good session because I wrote nine hundred and fifty words and finished the first scene of Chapter Two.

Proof, yo!

Proof, yo!

You probably won’t get the rest of this scene until Monday, but know that it’s in the word bank and that the novel is now hovering around eighteen thousand five hundred words.  Not quite back on track, but I’m getting there.

We are now pretty certain that Kerry’s mom has figured out her son’s relationship with The Girl Who Writes, and likely suspects she’s also The Girl Who Kisses.  Oh, if she only knew about all the PDAs she’d probably have a heart attack and likely blame that Bulgarian Hussy for corrupting her boy.  Yeah, sure.

What does happen, then?  This:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Berniece figured it was only a matter of time before Kerry began revealing more of his relationship with Annie to his family, but at the same time she noticed that he didn’t say what she meant to him. “Did you tell your mother she was your girlfriend?”

“I told her that Annie means a lot to me.” He turned away from the gorge so he was facing Berniece once more. “I wanted to see if she was going to ask if Annie was, and when she didn’t I let it drop.”

“Not a bad idea.”

“I figured she’s guessed.” He told Berniece of him watching his mother preparing to walk off with one of Annie’s letters and his suspicion that she was going to throw it away. “She wouldn’t have acted the way she did if she didn’t suspect, and after my trip to London I think she has to know.”

“Hum.” She cocked her head to one side for a moment as she regarded her charge. “So what did you want to talk about? I mean, you texted and asked me to meet you here: I figured you had something you wanted to discuss.”

 

I won’t keep you in suspense:  in one of the upcoming scenes Louise will ask Kerry about his relationship with Annie, and then his mother will have to deal with that whole “My son is dating and that girl simply isn’t good enough for him” stuff some parents go through.  Gee, I hope this doesn’t mean Louise is gonna cop an attitude when she meets her future daughter-in-law for the first time, ’cause that’s a battle she’ll never win…

Since Kerry called this party together there must be a reason.  And there is–only…

 

Kerry removed his glasses and scratched just above his right eyelid. “I just—I don’t know. I wanted to talk to you.” He slipped his glasses back. “Just to let you know I’m having a few problems but, you know, I’m managing.”

“I see.” Berniece turned towards the gorge as Kerry had done moments before. “You came here prepared to leave home, didn’t you?”

He didn’t answer the question: instead he replied with one of his own. “Why do you say that?”

“Because of the way your backpack it setting.” She half turned in his direction. “I’ve seen you at airports and jaunt stations enough to know it only sets like that when you have something of weight in there, and I’m guessing you have your computer with you.” Berniece slid her hand into her pockets. “You wouldn’t have your computer with you unless you were thinking of leaving home, would you?”

Kerry looked down at the ground. “No.”

“I know from your reports you can craft simply compression spells, so I’ll also bet you have a change or two of clothing in there as well.” She took as step towards him, her voice softening a little. “Am I right?”

Ohhhh.” He shaded his eyes with his left hand.

“But you don’t want to do that now, do you?”

Kerry barely shook his head. “No. Not now.”

“What made you change your mind?” Berniece didn’t have to ask that question because she knew he answer. He was here ten minutes before me and had a twenty minute flight: plenty of time to over think the problem and change his mind.

Kerry spent a second looking off to his right before turning his head to gaze out over the River Avon gorge. “It’s only been a month; I need more time.”

“Time for what?”

Kerry’s face twisted up into a expression of pain and unhappiness. “To prove I ain’t—” He threw his arms down out of frustration as he forced out the words. “I ain’t goddamn Voldemort. That there’s nothing wrong with me.”

 

When all else fails always compare yourself to The Dark Lord because how many other evil witches will your Normal parents know?  Saruman?  Too geeky for his folks.  Kerry is assuming the worst here, that his parents are afraid of him and he desperately wants to alleviate their fears.  It’s a noble idea, and Berniece will spend the rest of the scene discussing this matter.

What’s important is that Kerry showed up ready to leave.  Without saying so he confirmed that he has his computer and some clothes with him and he was going to tell Berniece he was ready to relocate.  And as Berniece told Annie, if he goes with his gut right away he’ll act on that impulse, but give him any time to think about the problem and the likelihood he’ll to it rapidly drops towards zero.  Kerry could have just as easily called his case worker and told her to come and get him, or better yet just hit the panic button, but he was also wracked with doubt about the decision.  He was ready to go, only he wasn’t completely sold on the idea, so he gave himself an out by asking to meet at a remote location.  It’s totally logical, and totally Kerry.

Don’t be too hard on the boy.  He’s faced monsters and bad guys, killed zombies, flown two miles into the sky, over the freezing ocean, and a mile in the air in a fifty below wind chill, and not only raced and won but crashed and burned and lived to race another day.  Even with all that he’s still a thirteen year old boy who can be an emotional mess at times, and that means under the right circumstances he’s gonna think and act like any other teenage boy.

Don’t be too hard on the kid.  When he squared off against the Abomination and the Deconstructors he didn’t really know them–but he knows his mother.

And she’s a lot scarier at times.

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15 thoughts on “The Undisclosed Fears

  1. This breaks my heart. I mean, even as a kid, I contemplated running away a time or two. The difference was I knew my reasoning wasn’t justified. I had a good home and a good family. Kerry certainly doesn’t have the worst family but he’s not in a good situation either, and it breaks my heart to hear him comparing himself to the Dark Lord because he isn’t a bad kid… He’s just got crappy parents who don’t know how to handle him…

    • When Penny and Kerry meet in a couple of scenes this gets discussed even more as to why Normal sometimes freak out when they discover they got witch kids.

      Of course the downside to the Dark Lord stuff is that Voldy only knew one way to kill someone: Kerry knows at least two… Yeah, wait until the parents hear this.

  2. Anyways, it must have been so awkward and uncomfortable at his parents’ that he actually thought of leaving the heck out of there. By the way, if he had decided to leave for real, where would he go ? Hotel or wherever The Foundation takes kids who are facing this kind of dilemma ?

      • Yes, they did, but I assume that’s not the way The Foundation will handle this situation. I’m sure they have a luxurious ” safehouse ” for the students who find themselves in this kind of situation, especially for those who don’t have Erywin and Helena as close friends.

        I’m thinking Kerry should stay put and be patient…. I don’t think it’s that bad yet between him and the parents. I suppose it will take a tsunami like crisis for Kerry to bolt out.

          • I don’t want Kerry to experience family trauma at this point in his life. I think he has suffered enough, although I have to admit his threshold for sufferings is waay high. Upside here is he can tough it out when the going gets bad. And to think he’s only 13. * shakes head * He’s maturing very fast.

          • That’s one of the concepts I keep returning to: the kids are maturing so quickly. They are both becoming adults before they are through being teens. I mean, did you start planing your wedding before you were eleven? 😉

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