Today is not going to be a fun day. I have lab work this afternoon so I’m in the middle of a twenty-four hour fast which started about one PM yesterday. I did have a handful of nuts to eat about nine last night, but I don’t think that’s going there affect my results that much.
What will happen today, however, is that I’m going to end up going to the bathroom a lot because I’ll be drinking water pretty much non-stop. It’s either that or feel hungry all the time. And then when I’m done and I’m back home I’ll probably get something to eat, maybe a personal pizza which I can stop in my mouth in record time. Because of that I needed it.
I finished up the first scene of Chapter Nine and begin working on the next scene–
I wasn’t surprised that I finished the first scene so quickly. When I was done working the overnight I knew there wasn’t a whole lot more I needed to say, but my brain wasn’t functioning very well and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to say it that. It still wasn’t functioning all that well last night, but when I got through the hundred and seventy words I needed to finish the scene, it was fairly obvious that I had reached the end. So altogether almost 650 words last night: not bad for someone who was sucking down one glass of water after another so I didn’t have to think about how hungry I was.
Now we come to the part of the story that is really at the end of Chapter Eight where, when I was writing it, I had some difficulty with what was about to happen. What was about to happen, you ask?
It’s a good thing I can show you…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry patted Annie on the shoulder. “You better go, Mrs. Peel.”
Annie didn’t get the reference, but seeing how Helena smiled when she heard Kerry speak, she could only assume that it was another of his thousands of pop culture references. She headed over and stood next to Stella. “Yes, Professor?”
Helena indicated the new student. “I want you to shock Stella using Electrify.” Helena turned her smirk on the suddenly worried student. “But only a small one; just enough to let her know it works.”
“Certainly, Professor.” Annie raised her hand just enough so she could point at Stella. “Don’t move.”
“You don’t have—Ahhhhh.” Stella jumped as a slight crackle of static electricity was heard throughout the classroom. “You shocked me.”
Annie shrugged. “I was ordered to shock you: what did you think I was going to do?”
“I don’t…” Stella gave Helena an angry stare. “I didn’t think you were serious about that.” She then turned to Annie. “And do you always follow orders?”
This time Annie turned an unconcerned stare upon the agitated A Level. “I do when Professor Lovecraft gives them.”
“Bitch.” She turned back to the Helena. “Is this over?”
Helena twisted her mouth up into a frown. “You believe me now when I say Annie can control her crafting?”
Stella glanced to her right and then back to Helena. “You’d have her do that same thing to anyone else in this class, wouldn’t you?”
“Oh for god sake.” Helena had finally reached her limit with the bickering student. “Go sit your arse down and I’ll show you.” She waited until Stella was in her seat before turning to Annie. “That’s something I want you to do—”
Kerry gets off the first bit of geek humor here, because of the end of the last excerpt Helena said, “Annie, I need you.” Leave it to Kerry to know that Emma Peel was summoned by John Steele the same way when they work together on The Avengers. Yes, Kerry is young and shouldn’t know TV shows from the 1960s, but this thing with being a geek: your interest roam far and wide.
Annie becomes the first minion that we know of who gets to use a Morte spell on another student in class. She used Electrify in her judgment match, but that was different: here she gives a nattering little student a quick electrical burst, no pun intended. So we know Annie is good; we’ve always known Annie is good. Everyone knows and he is good except for this pitching student, which gets on Helena’s nerves, and when someone gets on Helena’s nerves she tends to get a little angry. Or a lot angry. And that sometimes leads to her doing things in class that might seem just a bit illogical…
While a few of the students in class recognized that Helena was angry, they didn’t know how unpredictable she could become the way Annie knew her. She knew something bad was about to happen and she steeled herself against what she felt was likely to be the worst possible request. “Yes?”
Helena pointed across the room. “I want you to give Kerry a damn good shock, one that’s going to shake him enough that everyone in the room can see.”
A knot formed in Annie’s abdomen, for this was the outcome she’d feared. “Professor, I—”
“Do you not follow orders when they’re given?”
Annie silently damned herself for having told the student this. “Yes, Professor.”
Helena nodded at the boy across the room. “Then do it.”
Annie turned around and found Kerry looking back at both Helena and her. He knew what she’d been ordered to do—they’d both spoken loud enough for everyone in the classroom to hear—and while he didn’t appear scared, there was a look of concern upon his face. She took a few deep breaths and began to pointed him before stopping and closing her eyes. When she reopened them, Helena was standing between her and the rest of the class, speaking in a whisper that only the two of them could hear. “What’s wrong?”
She glanced up at the sorceress. “I can’t do this.”
Helena kept her voice neutral and level. “Do what?”
This time Annie turned her head so she could look at Helena. “I can’t shock him: I can’t hurt him.” She swallowed as she tried to ignore her nervousness. “I swore I would never hurt Kerry and—”
“Shock him.” Helena leaned in close enough that she was nearly whispering in Annie’s ear. “Do it, or I’ll put him in the fucking hospital.”
So here we go: Helena wants Annie to prove that she can light up anyone in the room and not kill them, and the best person to do that to is the other minion in the class–Kerry. And this was something that I had to fight with for a couple of days, because I knew how much of an anathema of this would be to Annie. She has never wanted to hurt her soul mate: not physically, not emotionally, not even verbally. And now, in front of a classroom full of new students, she is being told to use her magic to physically harm the person she loves the most in the world.
She’s on the spot and if she doesn’t carry out orders, it’s going to lead to a huge loss of face. And if there’s a loss of face in this class to one of the minions, that means Helena has to step in, and Helena’s reaction to something like this usually involves an overreaction–
Ergo, her threat to put Kerry in the hospital. And when she means “put him in the hospital”, she means she is going to put him down hard.
Which means Annie only has one choice available to her–
Annie look straight across the room at Kerry has Helena straightened and stepped away so that the students had an unobstructed view. After about five seconds Kerry gave the tiniest of nods and gaze down at the floor as he clenched his fists—
She didn’t wait any longer than necessary: Annie pulled back her arm while crafting before whipping it forward while releasing the spell.
The air around Kerry crackled the instant the spell hit. He doubled over as he gripped himself around the stomach and let slip from his clench teeth a long moan. He didn’t fall to his knees, but nearly five seconds passed before he straightened, and even then he seemed as if he might not be able to stand on his own for long.
“I gotcha.” Helena scooped up Kerry and held him close to her so they wouldn’t fall to the ground she began maneuvering him across the front of the room but stopped halfway across to glare at Stella. “You want to know what it’s like to get shocked with a Morte spell? Because that’s what it’s like to get shocked with a Morte spell.” She shifted her gaze across the room and noticed that at least half the students were avoiding her. “Any of you other geniuses decide you want to whinge on about something, next time I’m going to use you as the example. And, Stella—” She once again turned her glare upon the girl. “Three of your proficiencies just took a whack: considering we haven’t actually started the class, you’ve certainly achieved some sort of record. Congratulations.”
Helena moved as quickly toward the door as she could while holding on to Kerry. She waved the door open but before they walked out she looked back at her remaining minion, standing transfixed at the front of the room. “Annie, I need you in the hallway.” She didn’t wait to see if if she was following them out.
Annie does the deed even though she is not the least bit happy about carrying out the orders. But it probably did what Helena intended for to do: it’s likely scared the shit out of all of the A Levels, and then whacking the proficiencies of the student who pitched the most about it is just a little icing on the cake. We also see that Helena has apparently picked up her own pop-culture geekness as well, because as she is ripping on her students she’s channeling Mallory Archer and will likely become memed all over school after this day.
Now we have Kerry hurt from getting another shock on the first day of A Level Sorcery–he’s probably the only student in the history of Salem to have this happen to them–and Annie is probably pissed as all hell that she was ordered to hurt her husband and father of their future children–
But you know Salem: if you’re a witch–and who here isn’t?–everything is a test. Or it’s at least made to look like a test…