What’s this? Looks like writing. Where’s the video? Not here, that’s for sure. Because today I’m coming to you from the customer service center of Faulkner Honda in Harrisburg because my car was called in due to a couple of outstanding safety recalls that I ignored.
Bad girl, I know.
I’m also getting an oil change because in a month I return to Indiana for the first of two trips I need to make this year. The chances are good that this may be the last time I return to this hellhole as the reasons for me returning are becoming fewer and fewer as time advances. I’ll keep everyone informed.
Now, about those witches…
Yes, I wrote last night after I spent a couple of hours watching The Untouchables, which, for a movie written by David Mamet, has some of the most overwrought dialog in the history of cinema, I got to work on the superlab and had some fun with a certain ginger hair boy. The scene is nearly over and I’ll be moving on to a couple of scene showing Annie and Kerry hard at work at the same time, but in different environments.
But that’s the future and we’re still in the past. And here, in the last scene of Chapter Nine, we’re about to have a little music as we descend into Madness…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie entered the Dining Hall to the sound of Lorde’s Royals playing over the hum of multiple conversations. Normally any music played at the Midnight Madness was kept confined to the small circle of friends listening, but on special occasions the headmistress allowed someone, or multiple someone’s, to tie their laptops or tablets into the room’s sound system and play songs—and Annie believed that the first Midnight Madness of the new school year certainly ranked as a special occasion.
As they walked across the hall towards her usual seat, and he realized how relaxed and happy Kerry appeared. She had met him after his return from his morning flight and they both share the news about accepting positions with the school’s defensive groups. After lunch they set out to do something never done before: they hiked all the way to the Polar Portal. Though they had flown by the area many times, they never actually visited the northernmost entrance to the school, and Kerry thought it might be a good idea to walk there so they could get used for hiking about the school once more.
They arrived and climbed the stairs that led to the wall, then walked along the northern most wall looking out at the nearby homes and the sea beyond. They rested for a bit before flying off to Perquat’s Grove, where they rested for about an hour before walking back to the Pentagram. By the time they returned for dinner neither was that tired, though they were just slightly winded. Kerry remarked that after another week they be back in the same shape they had at the end of their B Levels.
First, a little walking tour of the school.
We don’t get up to the north side of the school that much, mostly because there’s little up there except for the Observatory. And that edifice is one of the main reasons why there aren’t more buildings in that area, because the school wants to keep the skies dark in the north. So even though this is the smallest area of the school grounds, it’s just as empty up here as it is in the south.
Most people are not aware that Polar Portal, the northeastern tower, is also one of the exits out of the school. A few of the wall towers have doors, though they are rarely used and a few are even permanently sealed. But you can not only get out from the school there, it’s possible to take the stairs up to the wall–which Annie and Kerry do before walking along the north wall.
If you look close you might see them–or not.
Polar Portal is over on the right, and those lines you see inside the walls are the various race courses. Polar Jump, Polar Turn, and Northwest Passage are not only part of the Green Line but the area where Kerry learned, for the first time, that Emma likes to block not long before she wrecked his ass; Observatory Bend is one of the high speed turns on the Blue Line; and that stay line climbing up and out of sight is the Red Line. In terms of the story the kids walked from Polar Portal left to about the middle of the north wall. And didn’t see one White Walker. Damn.
After that they flew off to Perquat’s Grove, which is where, a year and a half earlier, Annie professed to both Erywin and Kerry that she’d decided to marry the Ginger Hair Boy long before he ever said he loved her. They usually visit here at least once a year, because while it’s quiet and secluded, it’s also way the hell away from most everything. Which is one of the reasons if you visit here you’ll likely be alone most of the time.
Even from here it looks like a long walk.
When you are north of the Witch House you have a bit of a walk ahead of you. By now, however, the kids are used to walking and Kerry doesn’t huff and puff like he did as a starting A Level.
It’s likely you noticed that there was a bit of a musical entrance at the start because, when imagining this scene, I thought a musical intro would be the bomb. And this is where we discover something about Kerry’s taste in music…
Annie was a little surprised at Kerry’s reaction to the song. Though he still preferred to listen to the classical rock music performed from the 1960s to the 1990s, he was starting to develop an appreciation for current music because of her influence. She knew there was still a great number of things he didn’t enjoy—she noticed his boredom the weekend before when she was playing some Ariana Grande on his computer—but earlier this evening, while in the Mezzanine Commons, they were sitting with Penny, Alex, and Jario, and Annie put on Blurred Lines so she and the girls could dance. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Kerry smiling and bobbing his head in time to the rhythm, an indication that he was enjoying the song.
Before she knew it she might actually discover Kerry creating a YouTube playlist of nothing but her songs. She figured that with him anything was possible…
They reached their sofa on the east side of the hall, set the comforters and pillows to the sides, and sat. She did the same thing as Kerry the moment they were sitting: she gave a quick glance downward to make certain her enchanted medical monitor wasn’t showing. This time the year before she wore a cami top; now she wore her jade green silk pajamas which buttoned high enough that she wouldn’t have to worry about anything showing, yet would keep cool enough that she wouldn’t feel like she was overheating.
After she was sure the monitor remained invisible, Annie snuggled in against Kerry. “Oh, this is so nice.”
Kerry twisted around and gave her a quick kiss. “It certainly is, my Darling.” He stretched his legs while wrapping his left arm around Annie’s shoulders. “Though it was a good week.”
What is this? Kerry may like Blurred Lines? Are you shitting us? Like, OMG, Annie’s influence on her husband-of-mine is greater than we could have ever imagined! And this wouldn’t be surprising: Kerry knows he doesn’t like everything that Annie likes, as she doesn’t like everything he likes, but over their two years physically together they’ve come to enjoy things the other links, and that includes music. Like it or not, Kerry’s going to find music in the 21st Century isn’t always bad. And even when it is at times, it can still be entertaining.
Here is the version of Royals the kids heard as they walked into the Dinning Hall. This is the original version which played outside the U.S., about a minute longer and somewhat more stripped down. I can see this as a sort of slow-mo beauty pass as the kids walk through the Madness on their way to their sofa–and when this becomes a Netflix series I’ll make certain that’s exactly how it’s filmed.
But Kerry is getting off on Robin Thicke? Probably because he saw the video where he was dressed like Beetlejuice and figured he’d give the tune a spin. The most interesting thing about the scene where Kerry is grooving out is that the girls–Annie, Penny, and Alex–put on some music and decided to start dancing for the hell of it. Well, why not? The first week of school is over, tomorrow is a day off, and they’re young teenage girls. All the ingredients for an impromptu dance party is ready to mix, and this isn’t a bad song with which to get one’s dance on.
The kids are all right and getting ready to relax. That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to talk about school…