Though I was sort of expecting it to happen, I reached another milestone last night: I finished Part One. Yes, it’s already an official novel on its own, though there isn’t a satisfying end. Or is there.
Doesn’t matter. There’s more to come.
I actually find it a bit surprising that three of the scenes were right around three thousand words each and one went to fifty-three hundred, because I did expect a bit more diversity in the word counts. Oh, well. Stuff does happen.
As to what was said after Kerry mentioned he needed to prove he wasn’t dangerous–yeah, you’re getting it now. All of it…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie was about to say she didn’t understand Kerry’s statement when Alex’s works came back to her: Parents don’t get how we are as tweens and teens, so how are we to expect them to get us now? And given that Kerry’s parents didn’t understand him before he became a student at Salem, she was starting to see a little of his intention. “That shouldn’t be difficult.”
“You should have seen my mother’s face when I told he I knew Morte spells.” He gave a half-snort, half-chuckle. “I’ve seen her mad and concerned, but this was the first time I saw her…” He sat back and sighed. “She was afraid.”
Her face scrunched up. “I don’t know why they are afraid of you—”
“Because my parents aren’t witches.” Kerry’s hand tightened around Annie’s. “They don’t get magic, they don’t get witches.” He leaned closer to Annie. “They don’t get me. And that’s what I gotta chance. I need to get them to realized there’s nothing wrong with me, that I’m still the same person I was before I found out I was a witch. And because of the Morte spells—”
“You need to prove you’re not dangerous.” Annie slowly nodded. “I see now.”
“Somewhat.” She rested against his shoulder the best she could. “When we had lunch Alex told me that it might be difficult for me to grasp what you’re going through because I’ve never had to worry about my magic not being accepted.”
“I didn’t want to say anything—”
“Because you didn’t want to hurt my feelings.”
“Yeah.” He gave he hand a squeeze. “You’ve never had to be among them like me, so you don’t have quite the same grasp on Normals. I mean—” Kerry made a slight wave with his right hand. “Half the people here would freak if they knew what we could do—” He pointed at a family of three maybe ten meters away sitting on blankets half covered in shade. “See those people there?”
Annie sat up, her arms wrapped around his. “Yes.”
“How do you think they’d act if they knew that either one of us could kill all of them from here and that it would only take about twenty seconds?” Kerry raised an eyebrow. “Do you think they’d handle it well?”
She saw where his questioning was going but felt the premise was faulty. “We would never do that.”
“I know we wouldn’t and so does The Foundation—otherwise they’d never let us lean this stuff so early—but they don’t know that. All they know is that we’re a couple of teenagers sitting on a bench in a park in London. They don’t know that we’re witches, or that we flew here from the other side of the isle, or that in a couple of weeks we’ll be on our way back to school.
“They also don’t know that we could get up from this bench and walk back into the tree line behind us, turn invisible, and launch off Exsanguination spells in like five seconds. And before they bleed out completely we’d be airborne and on out way out of here and in another part of the city kilometers away about five minutes after we killed them.
“The Foundation might figure out it was us, but here—” He snorted. “They’d never know a couple of thirteen year old kids did this.” Kerry leaned towards Annie. “Have you ever seen Men in Black?”
This is the thing that Kerry has quickly come to understand: while Annie and he don’t give much of a thought to the sort of things they can do–which are rather considerable even among their own kind–Normal folks wouldn’t handle a couple of thirteen year old kids who could just look in your direction and make you bleed out right where you stand in about a quarter of a minute all that well.
Kerry wasn’t getting this at first because why would he? Hey, I can do magic and I’ve been given permission to learn bad-ass magic: this is cool. And Annie? Her parents were aware she was learning how to kill people at the age of nine, and Mama and Papa were probably going, “Isn’t is wonderful that our Nini is learning how to be a good sorceress?” Of course Mama told her not to do her magic in front of Normals, but Annie was told that when she was like six and that covered all magic, not just the stuff that makes one die.
And this takes us into a movie moment that leads to a bit of learning–
Though she suspected the question was rhetorical, Annie knew she must answer. “No.”
“We’ll have to watch it when we’re back at school. Anyway… there’s a scene: Tommy Lee Jones is trying to recruit Will Smith into the MiB to help control aliens and he’s telling him what they do and how they do it and how everything has to be kept secret. Will isn’t digging the whole secrecy thing, so he’s like, ‘Why don’t you just go public with this? People will get this because they’re smart’. Tommy comes back with, ‘A person is smart: people are dumb, panicky animals and you know it’.”
Kerry looked around for a second while he tightened his hold on his soul mate. “But he’s wrong. A person ain’t always smart: they can be just as dumb and panicky on their own as they can a group.
“That’s what I saw the other day.” He stared down at their hands. “There wasn’t any outward fear, but I could see something in my mom’s eyes and in my dad’s the next day. It’s like—” He shrugged. “It’s like they’ve discovered I’m some kind of crazy serial killed. They don’t know that I’m not, but the moment you hear death spells—” Kerry glanced at Annie and there was a touch of sadness in his eyes. “It’s like, all of a sudden, I’m not human.”
Annie wanted to say that he wasn’t like that at all, but once again Alex’s words returned and she held that question for she realized that this was one of those Normal things that she might not ever understand completely. It also helped her understand Kerry’s current reasoning for not leaving home. “You want to show they’re wrong.”
“I have to.” He hung his head as she sighed. “I know they’ve never seem to think much of me, that I’m just the… weird-ass kid that lives with them.” Kerry twisted around on the bench so he faced Annie. “I know I’m not that; I know I’m nothing like whatever they think I am. But if I leave now, it’ll just reinforce the feeling that I’m different from them. I can’t do that.” He gave Annie’s hand a squeeze. “I won’t let them prove to me that they’re right.”
Annie leaned forward and kissed her soul mate; when she broke the kiss she kept her forehead pressed against his. “I will support you, my love. I don’t completely agree with this, but it’s your decision and you have my love and backing as always.”
He nodded slowly twice before sitting up. “Let’s not talk about this anymore.” He stood, slipped his backpack over one shoulder, and helped Annie to her feet. “What time do you have to be home?”
“Mama wanted me at the airport no later than nineteen-forty and asked I call about ten minutes before leaving London.”
“So, we need to be at Heathrow by seventeen-thirty.”
She nodded. “I believe so.”
It’s all about showing people who’ve always thought of him as a strange kid that he’s really no different that he was before the two years he spent in America learning how to Craft the Art. And this novel is gonna show it’s not an easy task. Oh, no: not easy at all.
With that out of the way what is it Kerry wants to do?
He checked his phone. “It’s almost fourteen now, so we got a good three hours left.” Kerry gave Annie’s arm a slight tug. “Come on: I wanna do something.”
She bounced towards him. “What do you want to do, my love?”
He turned his eyes towards the sky. “You’re gonna think this is strange—”
“Don’t you think I’m used to that by now?” Annie giggled. “Tell me what you have in mind.”
There was a moment of bright red in his cheeks before he explained. “I want to walk to the center of Waterloo Bridge and hug you while I play Waterloo Sunset on the computer.”
Rather than think it strange Annie found the idea quite charming. “What you want to play—is that a song?”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
“It’s from the 1960s: one critic said it was the most beautiful song in the English language.” They began walking eastward through the Embankment Garden. “It’s the story of two lovers who meet everyday in the middle of the bridge.”
Annie smile beamed. “That’s so romantic.”
“After that I’d like to do the Eye again.”
“I’d like that as well.” She was ready to recommend that before they left their bench. “And after that?”
“After that—” Kerry held his backpack strap with his right hand while slowly swinging Annie’s and his arms. “Why don’t we see where the day takes us, Darling?”
“That sounds fabulous.”
Kerry stopped and pulled Annie closer so they could kiss. He hugged her for several second before releasing her. “Then let’s do this.”
Annie gave him a quick peck on the cheek and led him down the path. “Let’s.”
I’ve gotten the Princess Bride comment out of the way, and now I’ve gotten the “Let’s do this”/”Let’s” comment out of the way as well. And now I’m crying ’cause those word come into play in an emotional scene… Yeah, I’m always thinking ahead and that’s not always a good thing.
The song that Kerry mentions is a favorite of mine, leading back to my youth in the 1960s. Written by Ray Davies and performed by The Kinks, the song was released two days after I turned ten, so special present for me, yeah? It was their first song available in stereo–yeah, we were dinosaurs back then–and remains one of the most acclaimed songs The Kinks ever recorded.
Kerry’s quote is accurate: music journalist Robert Christgau was the one who called the song “the most beautiful song in the English language”, and AllMusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine worte that it was “possibly the most beautiful song of the rock and roll era”. High praise for a three minute song, but that’s how we wrote them in the 60s.
You can imagine how it looks with Annie and Kerry standing in the middle of the Waterloo Bridge holding each other while the song plays on his computer. Like it nor not he’s a romantic at heart, and Annie likes it. A whole lot.
And you can bet she’ll like it a lot more when they meet in Paris.