This morning it’s sort of an ugly day outside. It’s been raining, but it’s freezing rain, which means the walking to work and become the treacherous. My back is all sore because my bed is not the best in the world: when I wake up, I’m in a lot of pain for about two or three minutes after getting up. And I felt ill for most of the day yesterday because I think I had too much caffeine on an empty stomach.
Even with all that, I finished the second scene of Chapter Seven.
If you follow the wordage for those two chapters I’ve nine to ten days of excerpts where I could just kick back and not write anything and still have stuff to show. I won’t do that, because the next part is going to be interesting: the kids are stopping by Memory’s End for tea. And we know when they have tea they usually have something else: a vision. And this one is going to be good…
So here’s the excerpt that finishes off Chapter Six. There’s nearly a thousand words here, and while it seems as if there’s isn’t a lot happening here, there is. It’s all just kinda lurking about between words.
You’ll see what I mean.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie and Kerry shot quick sideways glances at each other. As far as they were aware they were the only students currently attending school who were allowed by The Phoenix to remember their sessions with her, and while their meetings weren’t violent, she pushed them both emotionally and psychologically. Annie drew in a breath before asking her question. “Is there anything you can do?”
“Not really. Adric jaunted right to the school as soon as the A Level flight began unloading and he’s down in The Cauldron right now trying to get her to talk, but I doubt he’ll have any luck.” Isis straightened and seemed to steel herself. “Only thing I can do is hope like hell she doesn’t screw with the last of the new kids.” She moved towards the door. “Okay, best get my game face on close out this show.”
Annie and Kerry set their luggage with the other bags as Wednesday spoke. “Get going. I’ll go keep your floor mates company for a few before I turn them loose.”
“Thank you, Wednesday.” Annie gave the instructor a bright smile before leaving the jaunt station. Kerry and she were through the doors of the West Entrance and on their way to the coven tower seconds later.
It was completely dark as Annie and Kerry made their way to Cernunnos Coven tower. All the temperatures were similar to those they experienced in Paris, the sky was completely overcast. Neither of them looked around as they walked: they had traveled this route hundreds of times in the last two years and were completely familiar with the path.
It was only once they approached the bench just inside the covered walkway that led the rest of the way to the tower that Annie stopped and turned to Kerry. “My love?” The moment Kerry turned her she threw her arms around his shoulder and pulled him close for a passionate kiss. “I wish we had more time to kiss but, unfortunately, we’re the ones in charge of the second floor this year.” She gave his arm a quick tug. “Let’s be off.”
The situation with The Phoenix isn’t actually resolved, but then it’s almost impossible to resolve. She’s a bit of a wild card at the school: can’t live with her and damn sure can’t live without her. Well, they probably could live without her, but no one knows what that entails. For all anyone knows, the moment she leaves school grounds the whole place collapses into the dirt. Serve on just puts up with her BS and hope she doesn’t kill someone–which she has totally done in the past. Don’t worry: that hasn’t happened for a long while.
And finally were here: Cernunnos Coven. It’s time to get upstairs and meet the new kids–
The Cernunnos Coven ground floor commons looked identical to last year: even the furniture seemed to be in the exact same location as it had been when they saw it for the last time at the end of May. The only difference Kerry noticed was that when they last departed the tower the fire place was not in use, while tonight there was a small fire going. Kerry stopped and looked around, a smile forming upon his face. “It is good to be home.”
Annie nodded. “It certainly is.” They began ascending the stairs to the first floor and a little more than a minute later they were stepping on to the second floor landing.
Finding their rooms wasn’t difficult: the C Level section was the closest to the stairwell and as they were the only C Levels theirs were the only rooms with nameplates next to the doors. For the first time since attending school the bathrooms did not separate their doorways: they were directly across the open second floor entry space from each other.
They were in the rooms only long enough to drop off the personal items they carried. A few seconds later they were alone on the second floor, standing before the bathroom entrances. Kerry glanced at Annie. “How long do you think it’s been?”
“I checked my phone as I pulled from my purse; we left the jaunt station four minutes ago.” She turned to Kerry. “They should be here in about five minutes.”
Kerry flexed his shoulders. “Is it wrong to say I’m a little nervous?”
Annie gave him a slightly concerned look. “If it helps I’m nervous as well.” She glanced toward the open stairwell. “For two years we been concerned with just ourselves and with whomever we’ve helped in a lab. Now we’re helping make our covenmates feel welcome.” She reached over and gave Kerry’s hand a squeeze. “You could say, like so many other things we’ve encountered, this is another test.”
He nodded. “You said it when we were in Paris: this is not going to be an easy year.”
The right corner of her mouth curled upward. “And as you said, we’ll find a way through this.”
They both heard voices in the stairwell. They turned toward the entrance and stood side-by-side wondering if the students they heard were upper-level mates; a moment later the questions were answered as five students stepped off the second floor landing and entered the main open space.
Annie quickly surveyed the new B Levels. Soroushi stood in the middle with two girls to her left and a girl and a boy to her right. The boy—Huwey Juanico—was from the island of Guadeloupe and the way he tried to hug the wall made Annie wonder if he was intimidated by their presence. The girl to his left—Nancy Piugattuk—was a First Nation native from Nunavut, Canada, and the student who was listed as coming from the farthest northern location.
The two girls to Soroushi’s left both came from southern hemisphere. The one directly to Soroushi’s left was Menan Torres, who came from a small city in Paraguay, while the one to her farthest left was Leonora Couture, a tall girl who hailed from the island of New Caledonia. Unlike Huwey, neither girl seemed intimidated: they both stood relaxed and with smiles on the faces.
Soroushi took two steps forward. “I hope you don’t mind, but I kinda told everyone you were going to meet us.”
Kerry hooked his thumbs in the pockets of his jeans. “No problem.”
Annie shook her head. “Not at all.” She gave one final examination of the new students, sweeping slowly from her left to her right. “Hello, everyone. Welcome to your new homes.”
There, everyone’s on the second floor. And we have kids from all over the world living here, with Africa being the only continent not represented. In the new kids come up and they find their being needed by the Congenial Sorceresses of Cernunnos Coven, were about to show these kids a nice time and fill them in a little bit of how the school works.
Which I should show tomorrow morning…