Yesterday was a bit of a strange day. I’ve been hyper-focused on work of late, so I’ve been zooming through my assignments like no one’s business–so much so that I’m now sitting around for hours waiting on specifications. This gives me a chance to look up things and think. One of the things I looked up was a possible adventure in Manila, The Philippines, for Annie and Kerry–because there is a Foundation facility there–and at the same time I discovered that a gigantic meth superlab was found in the foothills of Mt. Arayat, leading me to believe that Walter White didn’t die, he just moved to Asia.
Not a part of The Foundation, believe me. They keep their superlabs where kids can use them.
But this thinking has also brought me to consider a few changes in my life and I think I’ll discuss them in a video tomorrow. Nothing bad, mind you, but they are things I believe I need to do because–well, reasons as always.
But back to what’s going on in my fictional world–and that’s a discussion of stuff and things… Mama wants to know what you can do with transformation magic, Kerry, so maybe you should tell her?
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
He wondered how much he should tell his mother, then figured if she wanted to know what he could do, he should tell her everything. “I can change the color of my hair and change my complexion; I’ve gotten pretty dark—” He thought it best he didn’t tell his mother about his Mimic Gift. “And I can do it pretty fast, too.”
“You can change your hair?”
“Yeah. I’ve been black, brown, blond.” Kerry’s chuckle was so soft as to be almost unheard. “I can do that to others, too. I’ve practiced on a couple of instructors and I changed Annie’s hair color for our last Samhain dance.”
Louise’s head tilted slightly to the right. “Samhain?”
“You’d call it Halloween: we go by all the old names.” He began shifting his weight from foot to foot out of habit. “We have a costume dance. Some of the kids and instructors get pretty inventive.”
“I see.” Now that Louise had raised this particular question she had to know— “What color did you make her hair?”
“Aqua.” He rushed through his mother’s sudden eyebrow raise. “We went as characters from an anime. I made my hair blond.”
She was certain she wouldn’t understand anything about any characters Kerry and his little friend were imitating so Louise didn’t ask more there. “You had blond hair?”
“Sure. I could give you blond hair, too, if you ever wanted to see.”
“No, thank you.” Louise was concerned for only a second that she may have come off too strong. “I like my hair as it is. What else can you change besides your hair and skin color?”
“Kerry and his little friend.” Jeez, Louise, could you be a little more condescending even if it is in your own thoughts? The boy is thirteen: he doesn’t have little friends. And the one he does have could kill you in about ten seconds flat. For that matter, so could Kerry, but let’s not go there yet–
This is really the first time that Kerry has mentioned to either of his parents that Annie and he have done anything together other than have a sex talk, that is. And if a girl allows you to change the color of her hair–yeah, you can bet Louise filed that one away rather quickly. “Little friend” my ass: a whole bunch of letters over two summers, an angry retort about a girl’s name, and a sex talk at school = My Son’s Got Somethin’ Goin’ On. But she isn’t saying anything about that yet. Oh no, not yet. She has other things she wants to know–like what else can you change? And don’t you know Kerry really wants to talk…
Kerry gave a slight shrug. “Eye color, though that’s always tricky. I’m also getting good at…” He shook his head one time. “I’m to where I can change different—parts. This year I’m gonna work on things like size and weight alterations and anthropomorphic alterations—”
His mother’s puzzled look returned. “What’s that?”
Go on: tell her. “It’s taking on the aspects of other non-human creatures. You know: sonar like a bat, or wings, or…” He pushed past his fear of looking silly. “Annie and I figured it would also be possible to create gills and a dolphin tail. Like a mermaid—you know?”
If Louise was shocked by this she didn’t let it show. “A mermaid? Seriously?”
“I…” He nodded. “I’m sure I’ll have it figured out by my D Levels.”
“Well…” Louise broke into a slight smile. “You really mean you’d be a merman, don’t you?”
“Oh, yeah: that’s what I meant.” Kerry had decided a few seconds before there was no way he was going to explain his other Gift right now. “It’s just that everyone thinks of mermaids—”
“It’s popular, I know.” She slowly pressed her right fist against her mouth, something she did when she was thinking. “You said you take advanced classes—”
“All of them.”
Size and weight–or really mass, but laypeople don’t really understand that as much as weight–alterations are on the menu for the C Levels, and while they won’t allow you to become the Incredible Shrinking Man or the 50 Foot Woman, they go a long ways towards making people think you’re someone you’re not.
And animal stuff like wings? Yeah, that can happen and has. In fact, people who are really good with transformation magic can make themselves over into just about anything, and Jessica once used an animal form–a lioness–to maul another witch to death. Sure, she could have stopped their heart or pulled organs out of their body: nope, Jessica wanted to rip them to shreds and did. This is just another reason why you don’t mess with her.
But mermaids? Yeah, Annie and Kerry talked about that. You gotta figure it makes swimming underwater easier and once you get past the whole “I’ve got gills and I’m breathing water” thing, one could get used to being that way for a while. And since one can now get a job as a mermaid–really, look it up–it’s a good cover for something they could do while working undercover for the Guardians.
“It’s also a lot of fun. You’re in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!”
Now Mom and Kerry are on to the other advanced classes. Hum… I think things are about to get even more interesting–