First off, a good Imbolc to all. It’s Saint Brigid’s Day and that means it’s time for a bonfire and lots of celebrating. You do know that all those little witches that have been writing about her getting ready for their celebration tonight, and it’s easy to remember that it was on this night in the first novel that Annie’s and Kerry’s life took a major change, for this was the day the Guardians came calling to ask about two special kids.
And just like this holiday, it’s been a party ever since. Well, maybe it’s a party if you like to hold them in the middle of the punk rock festival. Let’s not dwell on this matter–
After weeks of showing excerpts from the previous chapter, I finally get you all caught up and show you things that have been written in chapter I’m currently working in, Chapter Nine. Although, I’m not really showing you what I’m working on, as am slightly ahead of the curve…
At the moment I’m seven thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four words ahead of the start of this chapter, so once you see this excerpt I’ll still be seven thousand words ahead of you before I write more tonight. I imagine by the time I start showing excerpts in the second scene I could be ready to finish out the chapter. Either way, it’s good to be slightly ahead of what I’m showing versus what I’m writing. No pressure, as I said before.
As the chapter states this is Freaky Friday, and while it’s a bit of a different day there will not be anybody switching going on. At least I don’t think so. It is something we can do if we had homunculi, but then I gonna come into play today. It’s more freaky because of things getting started–plus, since everything in this chapter takes place on Friday, it seemed like a good title.
But what is it all about. In some ways it’s about new beginnings, in some ways it’s about reflections of the past. But before we can get to any of that, it’s necessary to set up the opening scene:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry exited the locker room and entered the nearly empty Ready Room. Three students were already here, all members the previous year’s Advanced Flight One. He was surprised to see that everyone who admitted last year’s advanced flight class had moved up to this year’s class, for he was certain there were at least a couple of people whose proficiencies weren’t good enough to move them forward.
He took his seat in the front of the room near the podium. He felt a small pang of sorrow when he realized that come the end of this school year, he would no longer sit here. For two full school years this was his seat for all flight briefings, and the only thing that changed was that Annie was no longer on his left and Emma would once again be on his right.
Come the end of May, 2014, he would no longer sit here except in those instances where it was necessary to bring all the race teams together for a meeting. Within that growing feeling of sorrow was the deeper understanding that when this class was over, half of his education at Salem was over as well.
As Nadine had told him once before, as soon as the first three years are over, it’s all a downhill slide to the end from there.
Since he wore his flight gear, it went without saying that it was likely they were going to fly today. The last time Kerry had been on the room was when Annie had come to see him week and a half before they left for Paris—and once more it was a week and half later and he was ready to take to the sky. Last weekend he had specifically told Annie that he wasn’t going to fly, because he wanted to spend time with her either on the school grounds or on trips into town. He had a sneaking suspicion that not only was he going to spend time flying around the New England countryside, but since he had a free afternoon, there was a possibility he may not even make it back for lunch…
It’s time for ruminating and Kerry has a lot of it going on. Two years of flying are behind him, and once this year is over he’ll have no further need to come to the Flight School. And as is indicated, once this class is over–indeed, once the school level is over–half of his education at Salem is done. He’s thinking this way because, let’s face it, even with all the trials and tribulations he’s seen, the last two years at Salem have been good to him. He found a girlfriend; he discovered he was a witch; he discovered he could do magic; he discovered that his girlfriend had been his girlfriend for a long time; he discovered his girlfriend would eventually have a girlfriend and that girlfriend would be him; and he became invested in the supersecret spy society known as the Guardians, who have the job of protecting The Foundation.
Oh, and he also learned how to fly and race.
So a lot of bitter sweetness going on in this moment, because Kerry likes the routine, he likes coming to this room, he likes sitting down and imagining that he’s some kind of World War II pilot getting ready to set off into the wild blue yonder.
And then his wingmate shows up…
Emma crossed in front of him and nearly threw herself into her customary seat to his right. Having had three classes with her this week, he had an opportunity to see how well she was handling her return to school since her summer growth spurt, and from what Kerry could see she wasn’t dealing well with the changes in her life. As she had expected she was nearly a head taller than all the other girls in their level, and there were now only a few boys who matched her, or surpassed her, in height. While nearly everyone seemed fairly nonchalant about what happened—everyone knew that similar things were going to happen to them either this year or next—Emma’s awkward self-awareness made her almost painful to watch.
Kerry watched how she did everything possible now not to make herself look tall. She wrapped her arms around her torso, slid down in her seat until her head was just slightly lower than Kerry’s, then stretched out her legs so her knees weren’t hyper-extended. From Kerry’s point of view, however, her actions did little except draw attention to the fact that she was trying not to draw attention to herself.
He leaned over so he was close enough to whisper without being overheard. “Can I make an astute observation?”
Emma glanced at him without turning her head. “You could just say you want to ask me something, Sherlock.”
Kerry didn’t let her snarkiness bothered him. “You look ridiculous. You do realize that the majority of your height is actually in your legs, so when somebody walks by here—” He waved at her extended legs. “You’re not hiding the fact you grew some over the summer.”
She let out a long, slow breath before sliding upward in her chair so that she was sitting normally. She slowly crossed her legs as she turned and looked at her wingmate. “Better?”
He crossed his legs as well. “A lot better, yeah.” Kerry began running his fingers up and down the teeth of his flight jacket. “You have a run at any of the courses yet?”
“Nadine and I took a run on the Green Line Wednesday morning while you guys were in sorcery. We did five laps before I did a couple more on the Blue Line.”
“How did feel?”
“Not too bad. The only thing is the bubble screen in the front has to be a bit larger to protect me, so I end up getting a bit more wind resistance.” Emma was referring to the enchantment which sat at the front of the PAV and preventive the pilots from taking the full brunt of an air blast that could exceed five hundred kilometers an hour. “Nadine said she’d show me a few tricks I could use so that I could streamline my body more so I wouldn’t have to fight all that resistance.”
Knowing that her new size and how it would affect her racing had been a prime concern of a mess when she returned to school, Kerry was happy to hear that it seem like the situation was mostly resolved. “See? It wasn’t really a problem. Now before you know it, you’ll be dusting us out on the courses.”
“Yeah, right. You’re just saying that—”
“Hey man, is that a kaiju?”
Kerry is probably the only person Emma knows who can point out to her that she looks stupid trying to hide her height and not get his head bit off. Of course, Kerry would probably tell her to get bent if she did bite his head off, as they’d sort of established that he is no longer taking her shit. But, you know, a weekend trip through frozen Canada can quickly because the Canuck Death Flight if the flight team is constantly bitching at each other, so it’s best to make nice now. At least Kerry figured how to pivot the conversation to something they both know, as height is something Kerry will deal with while racing one of these days.
And just when you think things are going well between the wingmates someone comes along and shits on this party.