‘Vikings’ Season 4 Part 2: Episode 11 Recap, “The Outsider”

Our favorite looters and pillagers are back!

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

History's 'Viking,' Season 4B, Episode 11, Lagertha [Image via History] Have you ever had that moment when you realised you burned your bridges way too soon? Yeah, that’s how Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is feeling in the Season 2 return of History’s Vikings.

Now, Episode 11 is a slow one and I still think History should have showed the time jump here at the start of the Season 4 return rather than in the mid-season finale. Episode 11 of Vikings is a slow one, but bear with it, because Episode 12 and 13 are much better!

Kattegat

We open with Ragnar still bellowing at his kids, asking them who wants to be king. What we discover is that while they may talk about killing their father behind his back, they will not actually do it when asked. So, what is Ragnar to do now he is still alive and still king of Kattegat?

History's 'Viking,' Season 4B, Episode 11, Ragnar and Ubbe [Image via History] Well, for…

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Preparation to Destination: The Arrival

Today has been a bitch of a day and I’m ready to start drinking early.  For now I’m stuffing my face with soup and mashed potatoes, which isn’t a good combo but it’s filling.

In the meantime…  the scene I’m starting today was finished last night, and since I’d mentioned that I wanted to do three days in a row where I wrote a thousand words a day, I started on the next scene, the penultimate one of the chapter.

Right here, right now.

Right here, right now.

Sure, I was sixteen words over a thousand, but that counts.  And this new scene I started–yeah, there’s something in there I thought I’d never write, but it came out and you’ll see it eventually.  Let’s just say Annie is becoming a big girl…

In the meantime–airport!  Let’s go!

 

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

 

Compared to the facilities at Amsterdam, Berlin, and Boston, Paris’ de Gaulle Airport was like a small city in of itself. Getting around the other three airports was relatively simple: drive up to arrivals, enter the terminal, enter the gate. At de Gaulle they drove past the most obvious departure point, Terminal 1, then passed two more terminals and a train station before arriving at their final destination, Terminal 2E.

Even then they had to reach their final final destination. After passing quickly through security—they were “pre-boarded and security checked” before arriving at the airport—they headed down to the station where their awaited the people mover that would take everyone to the next terminal where their airplane awaited.

 

De Gaulle is a monster that covers a whole lot of space:

Doesn't look like a lot from here, but it is.

Doesn’t look like a lot from here, but it is.

So the kids come in from the highway in the bottom left and drive up to where that pip says “Terminal 2”–and they still have to take a little people mover to their actual terminal, which is the area just above Terminal 2.  Like stated, this airport is a little more all over the place than the last few international airports they’ve visited.

And when they get there they discover they’re gonna lose a few people–

 

It was only while waiting for the people mover but they discovered not everyone was flying back to Salem. About a half-dozen students were met by a Foundation escort who would take them to the Paris jaunt station, and among those students were Penny and Alex. When Annie asked them why they were electing to jaunt back rather than fly, Penny told Kerry and her that their boyfriends would either be waiting for them or already there when they arrived at the school and after adjustment they would have a a few more hours together then they would otherwise. And as Alex pointed out, Annie and Kerry were already together: when they woke up their significant other would be in the seat next to them.

It made complete sense to Annie and Kerry that their friends would want to do this and didn’t begrudge them their departure. There were goodbye hugs and well wishes, and just as the people mover was pulling in Kerry handed Penny a list and asked if she give this to the kitchen when she arrived at school. Both Annie and Kerry waved to their friends as the people mover departed and headed toward their final destination: Hall L of Terminal 2E. None of the remaining students understood why they needed to come to this somewhat remote section of the airport to reach their chartered flight back to America.

As soon as they reached the departure gate and saw the aircraft outside, some of them—Annie and Kerry included—understood.

The aircraft they were taking back to the United States was a brand-new Airbus A380, a two level plane with twice the seating capacity of a 747. Kerry had seen pictures of these on the ground and at least one video of them in flight, but this was the first time he’d ever seen one of them up close. After staring at it for nearly five seconds he turned to Annie, who was staring back at him. “That’s impressive.”

 

It makes sense that Penny and Alex wanna get back to the school now because of their boyfriends.  Penny’s relationship is a year older and Alex is creeping up on nine months, so time to rekindle those suckers.  And as they point out Annie and Kerry are together, so there’s reason for them to fly home and get all adjusted in the coven.  It likely won’t be long before these two do the same.

Finally, they are riding in style on the biggest passenger aircraft built, the A380.  There’ll be more on that tomorrow, but for now just know–

It's big.  It's really big.

It’s big. It’s really big.

If you’re going home, this is the way to go.

Finally On the Road Again

Though I finish up the old scene today, the new scene is progressing nicely.  Last night was another thousand word evening, and I believe that’s the first time in a while I’ve done over a thousand words on two consecutive nights.  Since I’ve done that two nights in a row, tonight I’ll try for three because why not?

That said, since I’m twenty-three hundred words up on that scene, it’s time to finish off the last.  You’re gonna learn some new info about the school and there’s gonna be a bit of goofiness at the end, because my kids are kids and that shit happens some times.

 

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

 

Unlike last year this departure seemed far more subdued. The time of their Berlin departure—late in the evening with the near midnight take off—played a big part in the happiness surrounding that right; here they were leaving for the airport in late afternoon and would be departing the city around the start of the evening.

Annie was surprised by the number of students. Not counting Kerry and herself there were twenty-nine other students finding seats aboard the bus, with the majority of them coming from Åsgårdsreia coven. Annie was quick to notice Anna sitting next that Elisha, and while that didn’t mean anything—after all, there were a number of girls, like Penny and Alex, were sitting together—she hoped this was a hopeful sign of an impending relationship.

The one person Annie didn’t see was their friend Serafena Macrinus, with whom Kerry and she attended Advanced Spells. After a few moments she remembered that Serafina was a F Level this year. She had paid much attention last year, but she remembered hearing that the F Levels had left the night before because I had to return to the school a day early for an “exit interview”. Annie suspected that if there was an exit interview being conducted of all graduating students, no one human was conducting those interviews…

 

The sun is still up as everyone leaves for the airport and it’s only as they are about to take off that it’s about ready to set.  Because they are headed westward the sun will be up for pretty much the whole flight, though probably low on the horizon before it sets when they get into Boston.  Such are the joys of international travel.

Now, for this “exit interview”.  Yes, you have another “interview” at the start of your final regular year at Salem and if you haven’t guessed by now, it’s just as Annie suspects:  the same one interviewing you on the way out is the same one who interviewed you on the way in, which is to say you have another meeting with The Phoenix.  I guess after mentally torturing the shit out of you at eleven she feels she needs to do it again before you turn seventeen.  Who know?  She certainly isn’t telling anyone.

So the kids have something to look forward to in a few years.  Won’t that be fun?  When she gets to Kerry I wonder who she’ll want to see?  “Come on, Kerry.  Sure, I almost drove you insane, but that’s in the past.  Be a sport:  let me see how you look in this dress–”  Yeah, can’t wait for this.

they’re on the bus but things just ain’t the same–

 

After fifteen minutes everyone was aboard the luggage was loaded. Deanna and Erywin were the last to enter and sat opposite each other at the front of the bus. Within ten seconds of the instructors taking their seats, the bus began its journey toward de Gaulle airport.After a few minutes it became obvious that Kerry wasn’t enjoying the bus ride.  Though he didn’t appear sullen and they sat together holding hands, Annie sensed that he wasn’t himself.

She rested her head against his shoulder. “We’re going home, my love.”

He turned and gently kissed her forehead. “Yes, we are.”

His answer seemed so mechanical that Annie couldn’t go without speaking any longer. “My love, you have to let this go. Maybe they’ll respond next couple of days, but if they don’t—” She kissed his hand. “You have me. You will always have me.”

He seemed almost ready to give Annie a reply when Penny’s voice came from a few rows behind them. “Hey, mate, how ‘bout some to tunes?”

Alex chimed in. “You had the whole bus going last year. We could use some traveling music.”

It was then that Elisha spun around and knelt on her seat. “I really liked that too, Kerry. That was the first time I was ever in a situation like that.”

Anna turned and glanced back at Kerry. “What everyone else said. Let’s have some fun.”

He stared straight ahead for a few seconds before slowly turning to Annie, who said nothing but slightly raised her eyebrows in acknowledgment of what everyone else was saying.

 

Yeah, Kerry!  How’s about some music, oh Keeper of the Computer?  He got everyone in the mood the year before in Berlin, but if there’s someone who needs to be in the mood this year, it’s a certain Ginger Hair Boy.

It’s time to make a choice and he does…

 

Annie’s action was all he needed. He reached in his backpack and brought his tablet computer out of sleep mode. He punched up a few things on the display and within fifteen seconds a rhythmic drumbeat began filling the passenger compartment. He stood and adhered the tablet to spot directly above Annie’s window before stepping into the aisle. He waited until a second rhythm overlaid the drumbeat before he stepped back into the aisle between the seats. “Okay, everyone.” He looked from front to back then turned and smiled at Annie. “Let’s get this freakin’ party started.”

He pointed at the computer and flipped his hand upward as if tossing something into the air causing the music volume to double. He walked two thirds of the way to the front where a smiling Erywin and Deanna looked back. “You might want to put up a privacy screen: it’s gonna get loud.”

Deanna seemed unconcerned. “It’s not bothering me.” She looked across the aisle. “How about you?”

“I grew up with loud music.” She shook her head. “Play away.”

Annie watched Kerry spin on his heel and face everyone else in the bus. She expected him to rejoin her as he had when they were making the nighttime trip to the Berlin airport, but instead as soon as the song’s vocals began, Kerry began singing along. She didn’t recognize the song first, but she knew it by the second verse of lyrics: He’s singing Take Me Home. He’s celebrating our return.

By the time the first course began everyone on the bus for singing along as best they could. Unlike when he performed at Ostara, Kerry’s voice didn’t benefit from autotune, but he didn’t seem to mind the moments when his voice appeared to waver and even turned slightly off-key. He say with tremendous gusto and when he got to the lyric about being a prisoner his entire life, Annie heard his voice crack likely due to the emotions churning within.

As that song ended and the drum intro to Sara Bareilles’ Brave began he plopped down in his seat next to Annie. He rested his right fingers against her cheek as he turned her toward him so they could share a long, passionate kiss. It was only when he broke the kiss that he finally wrapped his arm around Annie and pulled her close to snuggle. “You were right.”

She glanced up and over her shoulder. “About?”

“About me putting this behind me.” He rubbed his cheek against her hair. “We’re going home and that’s all that’s important.”

She settled back against him. “I thought you’d realize something by now.”

“What?”

She looked out the window at the passing Parisian scenery and smiled. “That I’m always right.”

 

So, Kerry has his Disney moment.  Somewhere on a bus leaving Paris he decides to tell all that’s been happening to him to fuck off, cranks up the tunes, and then sings along with the music while getting everyone else to join in.  Were this a Netflix series–and that’s how I see this now, because there’s way too much to tell in a three-hour movie, I need about ten to twelve–this would be a pretty grand moment, just as when they were leaving Berlin under the cover of night and the music of Arcade Fire.  And then he drops down next to Annie, snuggles with her, and is reminded that she is always right.  Always.  Never argue with Annie ’cause you will lose.

Which, by the way, is how things are with the Real Annie.  Those last three lines?  Yeah…  I’ve had that conversation, with me being the one saying, “What?”  Both the Annies Are Always Right.  Believe it.

"I thought you were only right when you were a fictional character?" "You have a lot to learn, Bringer of Kerry."

“I thought you were only right when you were a fictional character?”
“You have a lot to learn, Writer of Witches.”

 

And so you can have a little traveling music, here are the selection.  First one by Phil:

 

And the second one by Sara:

 

And with that we finally get to the airport and say out goodbyes–

‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 7, Episode 6: “Swear”

Well, it is called “Swear”, so… fuck this episode.

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 7, Episode 6, Oceanside Cabin Motor Court [Image via Gene Page/AMC] Here’s what I thought of Episode  (entitled “Swear”) of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Season 7.

Surprise! A new community is added to the long list of Walking Dead groups that just seem to be pouring out of the woodwork of late. Remember those days where Rick’s group just wandered about without bumping into any survivors at all? Yeah, this is not how it is going down in Season 7 of The Walking Dead.

CF:  You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a survivor’s group these days.  There’s gotta be plenty more out there, so don’t stop now, AMC!

So, Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Heath (Corey Hawkins) are two weeks on the road and have absolutely no idea at how much the Saviors have fucked things up back at Alexandria. They haven’t found much by the way of supplies either. Tara wants to…

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Back to the Departing Grind

The long holiday is over this time to get back to work.  This feels so strange for me right now because everything went so quickly and I don’t know why.  I think it’s due to actually doing some stuff this holiday, rather than sitting around the apartment doing nothing like I’ve done past.  It’s just that it doesn’t feel like I have done anything.

Also, I woke up this morning feeling like I normally do when I’ve been drinking.  The but yesterday I didn’t drink.  I think it’s my body trying to tell me something–

One thing I did do was add one thousand, two hundred, and seventy words to the next scene which is a new scene.  It took longer than I thought it would but still: almost thirteen hundred words in about two and a half hours.  And in doing so I passed the seventy thousand word mark.

Here it is in all it's glory.

Here it is in all it’s glory.

If I stick to the rate at which I’m writing now, it’s entirely possible that I’ll hit ninety thousand words before the end of the year.  That wouldn’t be bad: nearly a hundred thousand words in six months time.  At that rate, I’ll finish this novel up at the end of next year.  Hey, at least it’s a goal.

But I’m not ready to show you the new scene yet.  Sure, you get to see a little of the above, but were not quite there at the moment.  All I’m going to say about the new scene is you are going to be extremely surprised at how Annie and Kerry traveled to Boston.

In the meantime, let’s get back to thinking about the psychological issues this boy is undergoing:

Continue reading

HBO’s ‘Westworld,’ Season 1, Episode 9, “The Well-Tempered Clavier” Recap

Penultimate Time!

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 9, Maeve [Image via John P. Johnson/HBO] Welcome to my recap of HBO’s latest offering, Westworld. Here’s what I thought of Episode 9 (entitled “The Well-Tempered Clavier”) of Season 1.

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is bringing Maeve (Thandie Newton) back online to discuss what went on in Episode 8. But Maeve is onto it and reminds Bernard they have been here before. And so begins the quest for Bernard to find out who he really is because Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) has wiped his memory and Maeve has to remind him that he is a host. She then instructs Bernard to put her back on the Westworld floor.

Once Bernard does this, Maeve hunts down Hector. She opens the safe for him and shatters his world because he has been chasing this safe forever and all for nothing. Because that is exactly what is inside the safe: nothing. This means she has…

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The Unspoken Problem

The Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is almost over and I’m wondering where it went, for this year it seemed like I was out doing something every day.  I haven’t done anything today, but I need to mail out a package and then do laundry ’cause I’m out of clean knickers.  And a girl can’t have that.

Oh, and yesterday I had my nails redo because the mani/pedi I’d had the week before sucked.  The one I have now is much better and even though the place I went to was a bit pricey–though probably not more than what I’d paid the week before–I loved the staff and the treatment, and they even squeezed in time for a brow waxing.

Oh, and they had wine.  You should always have wine when you're getting your nails done.

Oh, and they had wine. You should always have wine when you’re getting your nails done.

Also, last night, I finished the first scene of Chapter Six.  All it took was 1,159 words, which was a lot more than I expected to write, but write it I did.

It's all here, for reals.

It’s all here, for reals.

I’m also within a few hundred words of seventy thousand words, which means I’ll likely hit that mark today.  I hit sixty thousand on 9 November, so I wrote ten thousand words in nineteen days for an average of 3,685 words a week.  It’s still a bit below my old average of about five thousand words every week, but between 9 November and yesterday there were five days where I didn’t write towards the novel.  Knock that down to fourteen days and my average comes up to–why, exactly five thousand words a week.  Booyah.

Getting back to the excerpts and the kid’s departure from their Hotel in Paris, who came up and greeted Annie?  Well, let’s find out:

 

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

 

She turned and found Erywin standing behind her slipping her mobile into her purse. “How are you, Professor?”

Erywin gave Annie a slight smile; it was necessary when they were around other students to be addressed by her title, least they believe Annie was getting some sort of preferential treatment. “Doing well, thank you. I just received a text from the Headmistress—”

“Where is she?”

“She’s out of the airport meeting with a few caseworkers and receiving numbers from the flights on the way into Boston. Turns out we have thirty-nine A Levels coming in.”

A slight smile emerged upon Annie’s face. “That’s more than we had last year.”

“And quite a bit more than we had your year.” Erywin glanced around the hotel lobby at the students waiting for the bus to the airport. “We also have two students coming in from China: from one from Macau and one from Shanghai. It’s a rare thing when we get one student from China; now we have two.”

“Why don’t we have more students from China?” Annie had always found it a bit surprising that the country with the largest population in the world appeared to have so few Aware children.

Erywin shook her head. “We can discuss this when we get back to the school.” She looked about once more. “Where’s Kerry?”

 

I’ve known for some time why there aren’t a lot of Aware kids winging in from the People’s Republic of China and that issue will get addressed at some point in this novel.  Needless to say it’s likely going to be a bit surprising, though probably not when you think about it.

I already have my new kids set in their covens and my attendance totals updated, because that’s something I’ve spent a couple of days working upon.  And Phee may–well, you never know what she’s gonna do.  Okay, I do, but you don’t.  I’m funny that way.

Now, where is Kerry?

 

Annie looked past Erywin towards the hall leading to the staircase. “He’s coming down in the lift with the luggage.”

Erywin stayed focused on young girl for her. “I’d of thought you would come down together.” It was only when Annie didn’t answer that she pressed ahead. “What’s wrong?”

Annie moved closer so she could speak in a lower, softer tone. “While we were at dinner Kerry sent the text to his parents last night. They didn’t respond by the time we returned, so he text again this morning—and they didn’t respond.” She looked away for a moment as she drew in a breath. “He sent out another text while we were at lunch—”

Erywin didn’t need to hear more. “And they haven’t responded.”

There was the barest of nods from Annie. “Yes.”

A look of disgust formed upon Erywin’s face. “Son of a bitch.” She shook her head out of frustration. “Do these wankers have any idea what they’re doing to this boy?”

Annie did her best keep her emotions from showing, but her eyes betrayed her anger. “Since they’ve ignored three of this texts, I believe the answer is yes.”

Erywin leaned slightly forward: while she didn’t want to give the appearance that she was having a serious discussion with Annie, she didn’t want the other students to overhear the conversation. “Is he really bringing down the luggage?”

“He is, but…” Annie close her eyes and sighed. “He asked me to come down ahead because he didn’t want me to see him upset.”

 

Kerry is still trying to connect with the parental units and they are still blowing him the fuck off.  Annie knows he’s upset, but right now she figures he needs a moment alone because he’s been on an emotional roller coaster for three days and likely needs to get it all out of his system.  Sure, Annie could let him cry upon her shoulder, but sometimes you gotta give that significant other a little personal space even if their are your OTP and soul mate forever.

We know Erywin isn’t happy with what’s happening either and she has something to say–

 

Erywin padded Annie on the shoulder twice. “Sounds like he needed a moment alone. He knows if you had stayed, you’d have done everything possible to cheer him up and he probably wasn’t ready for that.”

Annie swallowed hard as she glanced away. “Ever since arriving blaming himself for his parents not saying goodbye.” She looked at Erywin, her eyes cold and angry. “I’ve done everything I can to convince him is not at fault—”

“Still he feels guilty, as if there was something he could’ve done to prevent that from happening.” Erywin scratched her forehead. “It’s a common response among students who have suffered—” She hesitated for a few seconds before finally saying the words. “Among children whom are suffering from mental and emotional abuse.”

A moment of silence passed before Annie was able to speak. “So you do believe he’s being abused.”

“At the moment it’s only an opinion.” Erywin glanced around to see if anyone was listening. “If Kerry were to allow me to counsel him, I could make a case for parental abuse.” She exhaled a soft sigh. “It’s getting him to agree to counseling that’s difficult.”

 

Finally, a professional says it:  Kerry is being abused both mentally and emotionally.  The whole “We’re just going to leave you go to school and not say a thing” is nothing but a dick move designed to work his feelings, and it’s working wonders.  Also, Erywin recognizes that he appears to blame himself for their dickish actions, which is something an abused person often does because they internalize that they are the cause of the dickishness being fostered upon them.

It’s not a secret that Kerry isn’t at fault for anything.  He came out as a witch and his parents had a silent shit fit for most of the summer that eventually escalated into a massive crap attack once his mom discovered that Kerry could do real life changing things.  But rather than sit down like adults and discuss the matter with him, they figure they can work his last nerve until he breaks down and asks for some kind of forgiveness.

It’s like they discovered he’s gay and they can’t handle the gayness–though it’s far more likely they’d handle that far better than the whole witch thing.  At least there wouldn’t be a hidden fear that one day–

Yeah, that.

Yeah, that.

Hey, I said I was gonna make these kids suffer and I ain’t lying.  And what doesn’t kill you tends to fuck you up and give you unhealthy coping skills, but we’ve a ways before we get to that mess.

It’s just a matter of when–

The Snarking Dead Gets An ‘Honorable Mentions’ Section For All The Shows We’d Love To Recap But Don’t Have The Time To Do So

We can’t snark all the time…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

Remote controller By espensorvik (Flickr: Remote Control, Television – TV-controller) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Okay, so here at The Snarking Dead Recaps we like to talk about our favourite television shows. Which means most weeks we have a least one recap on the go. Sometimes we can have as many as four or five recaps a week, depending on what is scheduled on TV as well as Cassidy or I having the time to recap. Besides recapping, Cassidy has a full time job and I have a part time job as well as the pair of us being published authors. So, some weeks it is a struggle for us to get our views on our favorite TV shows published here for everyone to read.

This means that some of our favourite shows slip through the cracks.

So, to fix this problem, we have created an ‘Honorable Mention

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Behold the Black Friday

The title makes it seem like I may have been out shopping, it could be further from the truth.  I’ve been out on one Black Friday expedition once in my life and I will never do it again.  Black Friday is nothing if not insane shit and I refuse to be a part of insanity over which I have no control, for I already have enough of that in my life.

What I didn’t do, however, is going to work from seven-thirty until noon and then head out to brunch–

Where my resting bitch face was going strong.

Where my resting bitch face was going strong.

I been doing a lot of running today and a lot of snoozing and actually implementing a phone call in about a half hour point where I’m writing.  Tomorrow my morning will be busy and it’s likely that I’ll have a full afternoon as well.

Who said this is a holiday?

No writing is taken place yet, but the night is young and I intend to get some more in before I call it a day.  I’m almost a thousand words into the first scene of Chapter Six and is going a little slower than I anticipated, though that might have something to do with all the site work I’ve been doing the last couple of nights.  All of that stuff is done for now, though tomorrow I might actually add names to the new A Levels–

In the meantime, we catch up with someone who is soon to be Annie’s and Kerry’s neighbor…

 

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

 

Annie stood in the waiting area of the Hotel du Nord and gaze out the window to the street beyond. There was a lot of activity around her: it was half past sixteen hours in the bus to the airport was expected at any moment.

It was nearly time to go home.

The only thing on Annie’s mind were the events of the last thirty-six hours—

They spent Wednesday morning getting to know the only B level from their company in Paris, Soroushi Yazdi from Zanjan, Iran. They had seen her around Paris on a few occasions with a couple of B Levels from other covens, but they took the effort to invite her to breakfast so they could discuss the upcoming year on the second floor of the coven. She was a pleasant girl who liked modern music and showed an interest in popular comics, a subject that Kerry and she discussed for about a third of the morning. She wore a pink hajib with a matching T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, and stuck to fruit and yogurt because of her dietary restrictions. Soroushi was pleasantly surprised to discover that both Annie and Kerry enjoyed drinking ayran as well, and that Annie was aware of the way Iranians usually enjoyed the drink.

They discussed how they wanted to make the B Levels feel it home now that they were out of The Fishbowl and on the second floor of the coven tower. Soroushi not only showed interest, but seemed grateful that upper-level mates were taking an interest in making the semi-new students feel at home. Annie let the Iranian girl know that as they were treated nicely by the C Levels when they moved the second floor, it was their intention to make the new B Levels feel the same way.

After breakfast Annie and Kerry took a nap, enjoyed a quick lunch at a nearby café, then took the subway Montmartre, where they spent the rest of the afternoon sightseeing.

They visited the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, walked the steps of the Rue Foyatier, wandered through the cemetery, and visited the Moulin Rouge—where they had several photos of each other taken before they were able to get a tourist to step a couple of photos of them together—before returning to the Place du Tertre for dinner.

It was there that the current trouble began—

“Hello, Annie.”

 

Are finally getting a peek at the B Levels of Cernunnos Coven.  First there’s a very simple reason were only meeting Soroushi in Paris:

One could say location, location, location.

One could say location, location, location.

It’s quite simple: the boy is from an island in North America, and the other three girls are from South America, far northern North America, and Oceania.  Soroushi is the only one of the new B Levels who would meet up in Paris, as students from far Western Asia tend to travel with the European and African students.  You can bet, however, that Annie and Kerry asked a lot of questions about the other four members will be joining them on the second floor.

I should point out that the girl from Arviat, Nunavut, Nancy Piugattuk, is an Inuit from a town of twenty-three hundred on the shores of the Hudson Bay, and comes from about as far north a locale as those of the students from Iceland, Norway, Finland, and northern Russia.  Not going to have to figure out which the students comes from the farthest north, and which come from the farthest south.  Because this is the way I am.

Today you will learn more about the “current trouble” that Kerry is experiencing.  But you probably got a good idea about what’s going on–

At least I hope so.

And for the Rest of the Tower–

Sure it’s late, but at least I’m getting the post out.

That’s because it’s Thanksgiving here in the United States and there’s been a lot going on. I had to make phone calls and I had to get ready to go do things–though “do things” really involve little more than going out and drinking a lot of beer around noon today.

And hanging out with a woman in a turkey costume.

And hanging out with a woman in a turkey costume.

I took that picture at Zeroday Brewery, where I enjoyed for great classes of craft beer and a cold, fresh pressed apple cider.  It was a good time and some good conversation, and when I walked home I was feeling the effects of the beer, though not as bad as I felt with others.

I actually don't look too bad here.

I actually don’t look too bad here.

Anyway, I just came back from eating at Denny’s–steak and eggs for my Thanksgiving feast–and I’ve changed into the comfy pajamas I’m ready to write.  Or ready to Dragon speak, whichever is more realistic.  Either way there are things to say and posts to make, and fortunately for you I still have plenty of both.

One of the things I’m going to give you is an excerpt, but another thing I’m going to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming.  Yes, I’m giving you spoilers.  Probably not as much as you would expect, but they’re here.  I’m going to give it to you after the excerpt–

Speaking of which, here’s the end of the last chapter.

 

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

 

Annie followed the direction of his arm down the gallery to his right. At the far end she could make out Anna and Elisha facing each other as they spoke. Anna was the more animated of the two: she shuffled about on her feet, her hands moved, her head twisted from left to right and down several times. Given the way Elisha stood there listening Annie didn’t need to hear the conversation between the two coven mates: it was obvious that Anna had finally found the courage to tell Elisha her thoughts and her feelings.

After a minute of saying what was on her mind Anna seemed to deflate slightly, as if she were waiting for her coven mate to unleash a furious rebuttal upon her. Elisha seemed slightly confused but didn’t appear angry. After maybe ten seconds she took a step forward, reached out, and took Anna’s hands in hers. As she spoke Anna’s head began to rise and she no longer seemed prepared for the worst.

After another minute of Elisha talking she wrapped her arms around Anna and gave her a long, comforting hug. When they were finished they separated and looked at each other or maybe another ten seconds before Anna took the initiative to step closer and give Elisha a short, tender kiss upon the lips.

 

I did a little checking this morning before heading out and discovered an interesting thing.  There was a line near the end of B For Bewitching, when Annie and Kerry and Penny and Alex and their boyfriends all went out to lunch on Graduation Day, where Jario gave Penny a quick kiss, that became the first time any other students other than Annie and Kerry were seen kissing.  We’ve seen Erywin and Helena kiss and we’ve seen Wednesday give Isis a quick peck, but those are adults and they don’t really count.

But Anna and Elisha are the closest we’ve come to seeing anyone kissing much the same way as Annie and Kerry kiss.  It’s also the first time we’ve seen what looks like a same-sex student couple.  We understand they do exists, but up until now we haven’t actually seen one.  And before someone says, “Damn, Cassidy, you got way too many lesbians in this story,” Penny and Alex are in heteronormative relationships, Mathilde and Vicki both have husbands, Holoč Semplen has a wife, Coraline is getting married to a guy, and Deanna and Trevor seem to have something going on.  So, you know, don’t start whingeing at me ’cause I’ll just look the other way and laugh.

Also, Annie and Kerry are healthy heterosexuals–for now.  By the end of this novel who knows what’s going to happen?  Well, I do, but I’m not talking…

Speaking of Annie and Kerry, what are they up to?

 

“That’s what I’m talking about. Looks like someone got their wishes answered.” Kerry turned towards Annie, her face illuminated by the lights of the city around them. “I know this level is going to be tough. We’ve got new classes; rather be doing a lot of minion work; bring to be doing a lot of work on our own; and were going to have special studies on top of all that.” He looked down and away for a moment and chuckled. “And who knows if the Guardians are going to have some for us to do this level?

“We’ll deal with all that when it happens. But what I want most of all is everything between us to stay as good, happy, and hopeful as possible.” He reached out and wipe the single tear from his left cheek, then touched it to Annie’s cheek. “There. Now now you feel my sadness—” He managed a slight smile and touched his fingers to his lips before touching them against Annie’s lips. “And now you feel my hope.”

Annie felt a familiar sensation wash over her: the lightheaded feeling that came over her when she felt she was about to swoon. So many times I’ve heard people say Kerry is too emotional, that at times he can be a crybaby. But they never see these moments where he opens his heart completely and tells me all. She rested against him and lay her head upon his shoulder. Even if I wasn’t bonded to him for life, I would never love another boy as I love my soul mate.

She waited until the sensation passed before she stood. Kerry picked up on her action immediately. “You’re not going to pass out, are you?”

Annie shook her head. “No, my love. I’m fine.” She pressed against his body and kissed him. “I was wondering if it’s possible I could love you more—then you do something as you did a moment ago and I know the answer.”

She turned so that they once were standing side by side. “I like your idea of our school year being happy and hopeful.”

Kerry spent a moment studying her profile bathed in the light of the Paris night. “I like it, too.” He rested his head against hers. “Let’s do this.”

Somewhere a belt tolled and Annie knew that midnight had come. “Let’s.”

He kissed her hand and let it drop to her side so he could wrap his arm around her body. “Okay then.”

They stood in silence as they welcomed the new day.

 

Deep down inside Kerry is a romantic dude.  His comments in the second paragraph above relate back to something Annie told him in the bedroom after she found out about the way his parents treated him: when he hurts, she hurts.  Passing his tear to her shows that he understands her feeling his pain, but passing his kiss to her as he did–he wants her to know that there is hope that he won’t suffer long.  The chances are good, however, that Kerry is going to have problems with this parents all through this novel, and that means it might take a while before the suffering stops.  How long will that take?  Hmmm, I could tell you, but then I had to do something bad to you so you didn’t tell anyone else.

Now, spoilers!

One of the things I did last night was figure out where all the new A Levels are coming from.  It’s actually something that Erywen’s going to talk about in the scene I’m working on now, so keeping it hidden for too much longer makes no sense. Not only that, but as readers you’re never going to see all the new students are coming in unless I show them to you.  So let me walk you through what I have so far and give you an idea of how the new year is shaping up.

First up for the shield maidens of Åsgårdsreia:

c-for-continuing-asgardsreia-a-levels-2013

You’re going to see a couple of countries in this list that might make you think I’d make the names up, but I haven’t: every country in these list of the real deal.  Åsgårdsreia gets nine new students, which is a bundle, and seven of them are girls.  All of Åsgårdsreia’s students come from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and North and South America: I believe they are the only coven that did not receive a student from Europe.

Now comes the owls of Blodeuwedd:

c-for-continuing-blodeuwedd-a-levels-2013

These guys also got seven girls and nearly ran the board without any boys.  Also, we add a major ginger to the school with a girl from Ireland, and we see they have a girl from Cuba as well.  They are one of two covens that did not receive a student from South America.  It should also be pointed out that six of their students come from island nations.

Up next are the Warthogs of Ceridwen:

c-for-continuing-ceridwen-a-levels-2013

Ceridwen had the most gender equal of all the covenants, with three boys and four girls.  All the boys come from relatively small countries, while the girls cover a wide range of locales.  Ceridwen is one of two covens that did not receive a student from Oceania.  Should also be pointed out that for the second time three years witches have arrived from the Philippines.  But this means something?  No, not really.

Now, let’s check out that favored coven of mine, the Stags of Cernunnos:

c-for-continuing-cernunnos-a-levels-2013

Cernunnos did well this year: two boys and four girls, Of one student from last year and two hundred percent better than two years earlier.  Cernunnos is strange in that it didn’t receive a single student from either North or South America, the only coven to do this.  They are also the only coven to receive two Muslim students: the boy from Syria and the girl from India.  I’ll bet you thought I was gonna say Egypt–you bet wrong.  Cernunnos is also the coven that did the best in terms of numbers: they lost the fewest students–three–and gained six, whereas nearly all the other covens made back what they lost through graduation and attrition.

And lastly, we look at the blackbirds of Mórrígan:

c-for-continuing-morrigan-a-levels-2013

Mórrígan also received nine students like Åsgårdsreia, but their attrition was greater than all of the other covens: they lost eleven students through graduation and attrition, which made them one of two covens–the other being Ceridwen–to suffer a net loss.  Mórrígan did not receive a student from North America, but they did receive a student from the People’s Republic of China, which is something that rarely happens.  Why is that?  You’ll find out what time.  Yes, Åsgårdsreia did receive a student from Macau, but Salem has received students from Macau and Hong Kong in the past and getting a student from there is not seen as being as big a deal as getting one from one of the major cities in China.

With one of the boys being from Belize, or the chances Kerry is going to make jokes about visiting there?  Now I got to look up when a certain show ended…

So there you go: more writing without writing.  Only this not writing was really needed, because you know at some point in the future these new students may be needed.

Now I have to figure out for what.