What are we up to today, kids? And I mean you kids, not my kids, which is something completely different as they exist only in my imagination and you don’t. Then again, if you’ve ever watched The Twilight Zone, maybe you do exist in my imagination–dreams, actually–and when I wake up you’ll all vanish. Stranger things can happen.
The other thing to celebrate is going over a thousand words on this new scene and finally coming to within nine hundred words of twenty-five thousand total. By the end of the week I’ll be over twenty-five thousand–I’m shooting for 1 September for that–and I should be close to thirty-five thousand words by the time Month Two of his new novel starts. Which means by the time Month Three begins I should be into Part Two, Chapter Four, and that’ll put the kids somewhere in Paris.
Today we get into Kerry’s luncheon date with Penny, but really, it’s far more than just lunch:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
The sun was bright, the sky clear, and the weather warm as Kerry walked alongside Penny Rigman though the quite woods. They’d covered nearly twelve hundred meters by now and they were about a hundred meters away from the first objective on their hike—
Despite a hectic beginning to the day Kerry was enjoying himself…
He met Penny in Ipswich at close to nine that morning after making a mad, nearly five hundred kilometer an hour dash across England from Cardiff. He’d expected to leave at least thirty minutes earlier, but for some reason his parent had taken their time leaving for work. Kerry half-expected that maybe they suspected he was going to leave the house after they left, but at this point he didn’t care if they asked him about it or not: after his mother catching him returning from London he’d begun to care little if they were upset with this comings and goings.
After landing in the courtyard of the St. Mary-le-Tower Church he walked a short distance to the Costa coffee shop at the corner of Carr and Upper Brooks Streets. Penny stood the moment he entered the shop and greeted him with open arms and a large hug before they ordered breakfast. They both had something to eat—Penny a porridge and Kerry a bacon roll—and had both had a cappuccino with their food. This was the second time Kerry drank coffee: he’d had his first with Annie during their second London lunch and he was found the experience a little strange.
Kerry was also developing a taste for the hot, caffeinated beverage because Perry and Alex told him that he’d have coffee rations with him on the Polar Express—both for the warmth of the hot liquid and the caffeine rush needed for flying—and they’d both said that it was better to get used to the drink and understand your tolerance now, than drink it for the first time in the wilds of wintertime Canada and get sick from too much on his first day. As Alex had said, he didn’t want to find himself on his hands and knees on the frozen ground throwing up due to a caffeine overdose, after which he’d spent the rest of the day feeling miserable while flying.
He certainly didn’t want that, either, so he worked on developing his tolerance. It was the smart thing to do.
Kerry got out of the house early so he could go hang with his covenmate, who, by the way, didn’t fly nearly as far as he did. It would also seem that his folks are of a mind that their boy seemed like he was ready to go somewhere, so they decided to be dicks and just hang out a little long at the home front. Why? Maybe they wanted to see if any witches showed up on their front doorstep. And then do what? Ask to see their witch IDs–which, you know, they do have.
Now when I say it was a short walk through Ispwich–and I should point out, this is the English city that shares a name with the town close to the Salem school back in America–I know it’s a short walk because–
I also decided they’d meet and chill out for breakfast at Costa, which is the second largest coffee house chain in the world with locations in thirty countries, though the U.S. isn’t one of them. They’ve actually been in business since 1971 and are quiet the fixture around the UK.
That is actually the Google Streetview of the location where Penny and Kerry meet, so if any of you are ever in Ipswich, you can stop in and have the same thing they’re having–
Which brings up an interesting point: Penny and Kerry are drinking coffee, and you can thank The Polar Express for this. See, the people in charge figure that given the cold and the hostile conditions, plus the fact that the kids are gonna have to consume food high in calories, a little caffeine might do wonders in keeping them awake. That means some of the items in their arctic kit are a small kettle for heating water–they also get a water ration as well, though they should be able to melt snow, too–and a few packets full of ground coffee. They’ll also have some of the school’s famous hot chocolate, but the coffee is going to help get them kick started in the morning–or, if they aren’t careful, make them shaky as hell and prone to getting sick to their stomach if the aren’t careful.
Kerry has a couple of friends who’ve already done the Express and know a few tricks. And that’s why Penny and Kerry are enjoying a cappuccino over breakfast, so he can get used to the taste and the jolt that come from drinking a caffeinated beverage that ain’t Mountain Dew or Red Bull, or worst of all 5-Hour Energy, which is completely insane shit to consume.
If I’m gonna get the kids buzzed, I’m gonna keep it natural.