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Minioning the Dark Way: Viewing the Fishbowl

Okay, so little update on personal side first.  I’ve pretty much gotten over whatever was affected me yesterday.  My throat is still kind of raw and I still feel a little weak, but all of the cold and flu symptoms have vanished.  So unless I come down with a relapse of something today, my trip to DC tomorrow is guaranteed.  I will be up at four AM; I will be on the bus at six; I will be in Washington by nine.  They need to pick up a few things tonight and lay out my attire for tomorrow, but that’s it.  All remains now is to get through the next twenty-four hours healthy.

Needless to say I went to days straight without writing.  I believe I’ve only done that once before in the last three and a half years, though this time it didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it.  Most of what I did yesterday was lay in my recliner and listen to music, because I didn’t have the energy to do much of anything else.  I’ll probably do a little writing tonight, because if I don’t I won’t get to it until Sunday, and I’ve never went four days in a row without writing.  Though this likely be a few hundred words, but that’s better than nothing.

Where does that put us now?  Well, it brings us to the last scene of Chapter Eight, but since this scene was seven thousand words in length, and some farm over a thousand words in the next scene, I’m still a thousand words ahead of you.  So I’m not sweating that you catching up to me to fast, as to go through this next scene will likely take the better part of six or seven days.

We’re going out to the Witch House, and it’s time for Annie and Kerry to do the minioning job they were told they were going to have to do from time to time.  Annie and Kerry are skilled students, but they’re also teenagers.  And as such they are not completely immune to the follies of being a teenager…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

So much changed in the last few days. Monday had been hot and muggy, but now it was Thursday and nine degrees Celsius cooler and most of the morning had been taken up with a light rain in the grounds being covered in mist. After spending nearly two years living at near sea level Annie had come to understand that the weather near the ocean changed as often and as unpredictably as it did in the mountains.

What she felt was even more unpredictable, though, was the intention of Professor Lovecraft.

After three days of classes Kerry and she had looked forward to taking Thursday off. As it was the first week of school, they both figured that they wouldn’t be needed for minion work in either B or A Level Sorcery. And they were nearly right: neither had received a message asking him to show for B Level Sorcery, upon which they assumed they would soon receive a similar message telling them not to show up for the afternoon class.

They were both incorrect, however. Upon sitting down for lunch Zora Gronowski approached them and let them know that a message had been left by Helena indicating they were to appear for the afternoon sorcery class—and they were to appear in uniform. Neither care to hear this last-minute news as they had been relaxing in street clothes all morning, and now it became necessary for them to return to the coven tower after they ate, change into their school uniform, and make their way to the Witch House.

It wasn’t really that big of a deal to change into her school uniform, but Annie knew they’d have few days like this throughout the school year and they both hope to take advantage of the ones they did have. After they had changed and they were heading down the stairs to the coven ground floor commons, Kerry remarked that he felt bad getting pissy because he thought he been acting like a privileged upper-level school kid. Annie agreed and they put the minor aggravation behind them as they flew from The Pentagram to the Witch House.

 

It’s not at all unusual to feel upset that your plans went awry.  And given that Annie and Kerry are going to have little precious free time this year, they felt the sting of having to actually “work” at them a little harder.  And being teenagers they get socks with those crazy hormones little harder than adults, which causes them to act even more rationally at times.  Yes, Kerry was right to feel bad that they were acting like they were a little too privileged, but this is something that’s going to hit them every so often–and it’s going to hit them quite a few times during their C Levels.

Now that we know they’re going to be out doing the minion thing for A Level Sorcery, it’s time to get a view of what’s going on there:

 

They found instructions in Helena’s office that they were to go into the classroom and wait for her, so they did as told. Annie scanned the faces of the new students as they walked through the door and to the front of the classroom, noticing the touch of confusion that most of the students had upon the face and a touch of fear on the faces of at least three. In retrospect, it wasn’t much different than the first time she entered this room on their level’s first day in this class.

They stood off in one corner and scan the room, saying nothing and trying not to appear too obtrusive. Seeing all the single stars on the right lapel of each jacket brought a smile to Annie’s face, causing her to glance over at Kerry’s jacket and admire the upright triangle of green stars that he now wore as a C Level. She glanced down at her right lapel not only saw the same triangle, but the adornment that was directly below her level markings: a pair of pilot’s wings to signify the accomplishment of gaining full control of her Flight Gift and showing competency with both visual flight and instrument flight rules. She was the only one in the school whose jacket was adorned this way, and it wasn’t difficult to notice the few stairs directed in her direction by students would spotted this difference.

Since all of these students were in The Fishbowl—the official term everyone use for the forced segregation of the new students so that they could get use to the school—the only people Annie knew for certain with the six new students from her coven. She recognized Isaac Gaborone sitting with another student she didn’t know from Ceridwen coven, both chatting away and looking a bit nervous. The boy from Syria, Yaman Ezon, sat at his desk and spoke to no one, which Annie didn’t find surprising: she already heard from a couple of people that he seemed to be having some difficulty adjusting to the rather free climate around Salem.

As far as the Cernunnos girls were concerned, their attitudes were completely different. Rajani Siddiqui from India and Rajani Siddiqui from Egypt sat with Jayanti Su, an Åsgårdsreia girl who was also from India. Kerry and she had seen the three walking together on the way back from class and he wondered if the girls were building a friendship. Annie thought that this gathering made the case that they were.

Juliette Moreau, a dark skinned girl from the south of France, sat with Misha Houtkooper, a Mórrígan boy from The Netherlands. There they didn’t seem as friendly as the trio of girls sitting nearby, Annie wondered if Juliette had selected to sit with Misha because of their geographical proximity. And lastly, Hayley Turner from Australia sat with Nicole Bautista, a short girl also from the Philippines who was also from Mórrígan. Annie heard a rumor that Nicole’s family spent time in Australia and that she had a relative living there, which might explain why she would become familiar with the only Australian A Level.

There was one A Level from another coven, however, that had come to Annie’s attention…

 

The kids have to look completely different standing up in front of the class with her triangle of green stars to signify they are C Levels, while all these other kids are sitting there with their single star.  And for the first time we get to see Annie with her Flight wings in place on her school jacket, of which he is the only student who has them.  We also get the meet the six new Cernunnos A Levels, though we really don’t get a chance to interact with them.  We can see, however, that the students already starting to find people with whom they can chat and relate.  Which Annie and Kerry would have done if they had been able to take their eyes off each other once in a while.

But who has come to Annie’s attention?  Well…  you’ll just have to wait.

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