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The Calm Before the Spells

No phone banking last night:  I needed some downtime as I was tired as hell and was in need of recharging.  So it was a little pizza, a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad, a quick doze-off in the recliner, and by the time seven-thirty–or nineteen-thirty for my kids and most of the rest of the world–rolled around I was feeling much better.

Tonight is going to be interesting as I have a shoe shipment hitting the apartment tonight and I’ll be picking up a designer dress at Lane Bryant on Saturday.  I’m also going to try a new styling group–Dia&Co–just to see how they are and if they have some interesting ideas about how to dress me.  Total fashion chick, I am.

Now, what about writing?  What about Annie and Deanna?  What about lunch and Annie speaking Bulgarian?  Well…

 

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

 

“After a few months at school I sometimes forget as well—blagodarya.” She waited as the server poured a glass for them before walking away. “Just so you know the food here is halal so everything should be permissible.” Annie tapped her fingers against her glass. “I know you’ve said that you don’t practice your faith as strongly as you once did, but didn’t know if you had any dietary restrictions so…” She tossed her head to one side as she raised her eyebrows with a slight grin. “I thought it best to be safe.”

“Well, thank you.” Deanna took a sip of water, realizing in that moment she was rather thirsty. “That’s one of the things I like about you: you’re considerate.” She fidgeted with her rolled-up napkin. “Actually I still eat halal out of habit more than anything else, but I do enjoy doing that. I’ll also eat kosher if necessary and if I don’t have any choices I’ll eat what’s available.” She did the same head tilt as Annie. “It’s permitted.”

“I understand.”

“Have you eaten here?”

Annie nodded. “Yes. My parents come here at least twice a year; I was here with them in June.” She leaned over the table. “You must try the kebabs. They’re delicious.”

The server took that moment to ask for their drink order. Annie ordered tea and Deanna decided on Turkish coffee. As soon as he was gone Deanna continued with Annie’s thought. “As it is I’m partial to kebabs, so I think I’ll give it a try.” She pushed aside the menu and folded her hands across her lap. “So, how goes your summer holiday?”

 

When developing Deanna I had to consider various aspects of her Muslim faith and how much of each still applied to her.  I mean, she’s a witch and her family seems good with that, and while she doesn’t wear a hajib any longer she does tend to keep her style of dress rather modest.  (I didn’t point it out but should put a line in there about how she’s in jeans, a tee, and sneakers, which is something you don’t see her wearing much at school.)  I figured I’d keep her dietary requirements in place as it seemed like something she’d stick with no matter what and Annie figured the same, which is why she picked a Turkish restaurant that serves halal food.  And yes:  I did my research and the one I picked out does have halal food, so neener neener.

And now we get to the most loaded question of all:

"You want to know about my summer holiday?  Can't we just enjoy the food?"

“You want to know about my summer holiday? Can’t we just enjoy the food?”

No, Annie:  we have to know all your feels.  And so…

 

This was the first question Annie expected to be asked so she was ready with a reply. “It’s been good for me. I’d relaxed; I’ve met with friends; I’ve gotten out with Mama.” She flashed her smile across the table. “It’s better than last summer, I’m sure.”

Deanna was about to say something then thought better of it. She looked towards the street as she whispered out of the corner of her mouth. “Foundation?”

Annie knew what Deanna wanted to know. There were several restaurants around the world that were much like the Sea Sprite Inn: they were owned by people associated with

The Foundation, which meant their establishments had sections covered by enchantments that allowed The Aware to speak freely without fear of being overheard by Normals. She shook her head. “No.”

“Good.” As Deanna turned away from the window she ran her right hand upwards through her long dark hair, finishing the move with a relaxed wave. As she reached for her water she settled back. “There.”

“What did you do?”

“Put up a light privacy barrier.” She took a quick sip. “It won’t muffle our words, but anyone sitting nearby would think we’re having a quiet conversation: everything will sound soft and difficult to discern.” Deanna glanced at the empty tables next to them. “We don’t have to worry about that right now.”

 

Since there are a lot more Normal run businesses out there than there are those with connections to The Foundation, it’s not always a guaranty that witchy types can just chat up the latest news about magic and Deconstructors and pain in the ass students at the local witch school.  And that’s when you have to know how to throw up a privacy screen that isn’t pitch black like the ones in the hospital, ’cause that would sort of give away the game, you know?

Why can’t Annie do this?  What makes you think she can’t?

 

Annie examined the air to her left trying to make out the effects of the spell. “I don’t see anything.”

“You won’t—and that’s the idea. Wouldn’t do for Normals to see a change in the air.” Deanna grinned. “You don’t have to worry: the server won’t notice a thing when he walks through the effect.”

“Nice. I wonder why we haven’t learned this yet.”

“Wednesday started teaching you privacy screens last year, yes?”

“Right right the end of the last level.”

“She’ll probably start showing you how to refine this art this level. Heads up—” The server returned with their drinks and took their lunch order. The moment he was out of the area Deann returned to her prior question. “Have you worked on any spells?”

 

So now we discover that Annie does know how to throw up a privacy curtain but it’s probably one of those black ones, and if Annie knows this then so does Kerry, which means he’s probably got one over his door and walls so he can blast music and jam out.

And speaking of loaded questions:  “Have you worked on any spells?”  Hahahahaha!  Oh, you’re funny, Deanna.  Really, what do you think she’s going to say?

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7 thoughts on “The Calm Before the Spells

  1. ‘I’m wondering why the school ( or maybe The Foundation ) sends teachers to ” socialize” with students during their summer vacation….. is this normal , or is this specially true only for Annie and Kerry. Do the rest of students get to have dinner with teachers , as well ? And why is Deanna interested if Annie ( and Kerry,too,I assume ) has been practicing her spells ? I speculate the kids are going to get a special mission again. I mean, it’s vacation, definitely not the time to practice magic . I don’t know…. just a suspicion.

    • Emma said in the B Level novel that Wednesday and Isis visited her in Bolder because they were in the area. Other teachers will drop in on students if they are in the area, mostly in those cases where they are friendly with the students.

      And in Annie’s case everyone knows she knew magic before coming to school–she was teaching herself a death spell. She taught herself how to dreamwalk without prodding, as well as Shadow Ribbons. It’s not a wild leap of the imagination for Deanna to figure that Annie–who works hard to be the best–is probably still working on magic over the summer.

        • At this point Deanna is making conversation. And since she knows any is one of those students that works hard at being the best, she’s probably doing spells over the summer. It’s Not Unusual to assume that Amy is trying to learn new stuff in the off time she has, instead of sitting around and watching television and listening to music and doing your nails and all that stuff. I mean, she still can do all that stuff, but she will also work on Magic.

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