Thirty days hath September and all that jazz, right. We’re about to kiss the ninth month goodbye and head into The Witching Month, which is a good thing ’cause my witches are about to get down to some serious business.
But there are a few more things to get out of the way before the kids leave for Salem. Trust me, though: they’ll get there before the end of October. Maybe.
So… Kerry has a girlfriend and Mom now knows. And we know that some mothers forget they were young girlfriends at some point and think all the girls their sons are dating are evil little witches. Though in Annie’s case that argument could be made that she’s not an evil little witch but a cute little Dark Witch, which is just how Kerry likes her.
Being the sort of person Louise is she instantly jumps to certain conclusions and begins the slow, spiraling decent towards becoming the subject of a Pink Floyd song and decides she’s going to go there—
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
After several seconds of hard staring Louise shifted her mood and questions. “Are you doing something with this girl?”
Kerry returned a puzzled look. “What do you mean?”
She began tapping her fingertips together. “Are you doing things with Annie?”
It came to him what she was asking a moment later. “Are you asking if we’re having sex?”
“Yes.” Louise looked down as she swallowed. “Are you?”
“No, Mom. Why would you even think that?” Kerry was certain he knew why his mother was asking this—
And he wasn’t disappointed. “You had that talk your first year at school; you said you and Annie were called in and had it together.” Louise seemed to lean forward a bit towards Kerry. “Are you fooling around with her?”
He shook his head. “No.”
“Are you sleeping with her?”
Yes, The Talk has come back to haunt Kerry, but he’s had a year to deal with what happened then and doesn’t freak out and start shouting out stuff because his buttons have been pushed hard. He’s grown a bit due to the ton of shit he’s had thrown at him during his B Levels and gives his mother an answer she likely wasn’t at all expecting…
Kerry glanced off to the side as he sighed. “Every Friday and Saturday night we have something called the Midnight Madness. It’s like this big pajama party for all the students and staff. We go to the Dining Hall in our pajamas—that’s a rule, by the way—and sit around and have snacks and talk and generally relax after a whole week of hard classes.
“Annie and I have a place we always sit. There’s a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a couple of end table. Sometimes our friends will come over and chat with us; sometimes the instructors do. Most of the time we sit and drink hot chocolate or apple cider and eat banitsas and kozunak—”
“Bulgarian pastries that are really good. Anyway, we start at twenty-one hours and Annie and I go like that until about twenty-three, then we sort of sit and cuddle.” He ignored his mother’s body language and continued onward. “Sometimes—most of the time—we lay back and pulled the comforter up over us and fall asleep like that.”
Louise wasn’t enjoying this news. “You’re allowed to do that?”
“Mom, there’s like a hundred and seventy people in the hall: it’s not like we’re doing anything. Besides—” A slight smile formed at the corner of his mouth. “Some of the instructor have told us they think it’s romantic. Even cute.”
“Cute.” The way Louise spit out the word showed she didn’t share the same opinion as Kerry’s instructors.
He ignored her. “Anyway, about half-past midnight someone comes and wakes us up and we head back to the coven tower—”
“You live in a tower?”
“Yes, I do. We get back to the tower and head up to our floor. I give Annie a kiss goodnight before she goes—” Kerry once again put his mother’s discomfort out of mind. “And we head to our rooms and go to sleep.
“Every day I see her in the morning, we have breakfast, we go to class or whatever is planed for that day, we do lunch, do more class and things, then have dinner. Some nights we have class, some we don’t, and there’s the Midnight Madness. Every night I kiss Annie goodnight.” He looked down as the memory of those moments came rushing to him. “We’re not sleeping together, Mom: we’re not having sex. We can’t have intercourse: we both know it wouldn’t be right.” He wisely left off the magical reason why for this decision, but as the decision not to have intercourse came before they learned about their Astral Binding, Kerry knew he wasn’t lying. “So there’s nothing to worry about.”
Louise wasn’t about to let the matter go, not yet. “Why, then, did you have… that talk?”
“Well—” Kerry kept his voice steady. “I did tell you why we were there last year—”
“You told me why you were there. What about Annie?”
Kerry stared up at the ceiling for a moment as he sighed. “If you must know—” He stared directly at his mother. “Annie admitted to a counselor that she masturbated while thinking about me. That’s why we were talked to together: they thought they would help us understand our budding sexuality.” He rested his finger under his nose for only moment before dropping his arms in semi-exasperation. “Now you know. Happy?”
Louise’s eyes narrowed moments after Kerry’s curt retort. “Your father and I are going to discuss this.”
This is about as touching and heartfelt a statement about Annie that Kerry has ever made to another person, possibly because where it comes to their friends they don’t have to say anything: they already know. The Kerry of a year ago wouldn’t have ever been able to admit to his mother that he kisses Annie every night before they go to bed, and he certainly wouldn’t have given Mom the dig at the end by telling a truth that he knew his mother both wanted and didn’t want to hear.
A lot of this is due to the change in Annie and Kerry’s relationship. Kerry fought to remember how they’d known each other before meeting, then they dealt with their wedding night vision, and now, knowing that they are meant for none others but each other, he’s accepted fully that she’s gone from Witchy Poo to Witchy Wifey Poo and now it’s a matter of waiting to get old enough to make it all legal. And since Mommy was pushing hard, he pushed back with a hell of a lot of truth bombs.
Only a few hundred more words before this scene finishes–and it should be noted that I’m within a few hundred words of hitting forty thousand. Maybe I’ll save that for the start of Witching Month.
Because that’s a good way to start.