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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–

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2 thoughts on “Finally On the Road Again

  1. Good thing he finally ” wakes up”. His parents have done worse…. not responding to his texts is no biggie. Letting him to fend for himself is even worse in my opinion. First, it’s dangerous to allow a minor be alone in the house. I’m sure you already know this….. I can’t get over the fact his parents have neglected him, and yet , he turns out to be a well- behaved , kindly boy.

    • Because deep down inside Kerry’s a good and smart kid and knows right and wrong. He had some help from his grandparents, but he knows it enough himself.

      And it’s not a matter of it being worse: his parents have played right into his deepest fears and this is why he’s freaking out.

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