Mondays, and the living is easy. Sort of. Anyway you look at it we’re beginning a new week and we gotta get on the ground running.
The writing for yesterday went up over a thousand after the spurt I did last night. I won’t say I’m back on track to do a thousand a night, but I’m learning to deal with distractions better and now that I have Dragon trained to do as I like it’s getting easier to write. At least if I’m not fuzzy in the head, ’cause I still gotta talk out the whole story and when there’s nothing but cobwebs in the brain it’s not always easy.
I’m getting better, though. And this week I only go out once after work. So I got that going for me.
Now let us go to a Tuesday night in the middle of September. It’s a few weeks into school and our C Levels are off doing things without each other. The scene I’m working on now has Kerry in Advanced Transformation Magic, while this scene has Annie doing what she does when she’s not auditing Advanced Transformation Magic: she’s hangin’ with Helena out at the scariest house on the grounds…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Despite the amount of time Annie spent in the Witch House, there was so much of it she’d never visited. Over the last two years they spent the majority of class time into rooms on the ground floor—the same as they were doing this year—and, of course, there was the work she did in the Black Vault and the two training rooms next to it.
There were also Helena’s two offices, the public one on the ground floor and secure one in the lower-level, but she didn’t view those in the same way she viewed the places where she attended class or studied. Any time spent in Helena’s offices usually revolve around Guardian business these days, and even during her A Levels the few times Kerry and she needed to speak with her in her office, it seemed to always be related to the Guardians.
Until now, however, Annie had never been up the stairs to the first floor. The first floor of the Witch House was a complete mystery: there was actually a blackout shield half way up the steps that prevented anyone from going further and effectively sealed off the floor completely. If anyone asked Helena about the first floor–something that happened a few times during their first year–she would simply stared the student for a few seconds before telling them in a dark, serious voice, that there were things students were not meant to know…
Tonight, however, things were different. Annie was about to discover things that other students were not meant to know—
Helena left a message telling her to report to the first floor of the Witch House.
Now, we’ve been out to the Witch House quite a few times, but we’ve never really been there. Sort of like Memory’s End before Annie was taken up into the relaxation rooms on the first floor, right? It’s a simple fact that nearly every building in the school is a lot bigger than they need to be, mostly due to expectations that by the 21st Century there’s be a lot more witches to school that reality has allowed.
Now, pay close attention, kids, ’cause within the next block of paragraphs the author needed to scramble her butt off–
As was normal after dinner, the Witch House was silent and mostly dark. It wasn’t simply due to the sun having set just before nineteen hour: the building was always dark. Annie suspected that there were a number of enchantments in place designed to make the building appears spooky as possible both inside and out, though given her level of magical sensitivity these days she assumed she would begin feeling the placement of those enchantments, but she didn’t. Then again, she never felt the effects of enchantments anywhere within The Pentagram, and she knew the coven towers and the Great Hall were filled with active enchantments, so she suspected this meant that with a greater ability to craft, one could produce enchantments that were nearly undetectable.
She figured that was the reason why no one could see the first floor of the Witch House, at least from the outside. For all of her A Levels Annie never question the fact that whenever she’d head into the lower levels that staircase was directly below one heading upwards, and yet there was never any appearance of a first floor when one stood outside the building. Yet, from the start of their B Levels and until today, Kerry and she could always sense the hidden first floor as they approach the Witch House and she suspected it had something to do with them spending the night in the Sea Sprite Inn, which also had a floor hidden from the Normal world.
They still couldn’t see this floor, but Annie surmised that being exposed to a hidden floor somehow triggered an awareness that allowed him to sense when one was present. It would also explain why none of the other sorcery students seem to mention anything about the “hidden floor” except in reference to the staircase: their awareness of the floor was nonexistent.
The last thing that disturbed Annie was not knowing how she would gain access to the first floor. She realized that Helena was inviting her up and her access was guaranteed, but Annie also understood that Helena wouldn’t leave the way to the first floor completely open as that would then allow any student who happened to wander into the Witch House at this time unfettered access. And if there was one thing Helena didn’t want, it was students wandering around the Witch House looking to get into things. As Annie understood it, it wasn’t that Helena was worried they would cause trouble, but more that she was worried they would stumble across something that could kill them.
Okay, facts on the table: two of those paragraphs did not exist before six AM this morning. Which ones? The ones in the middle. And here’s why:
As you know–or should know since I’ve spoken of it a few times–I modeled out the school and the buildings on the grounds so when I wrote about this place, I’d know how big buildings were, where they were located, and how far one was from the other. This means I have a model of the Witch House that I can look at and get the layout and determine where classes are and how far down the lower levels are and the tunnels that enter there, as well as knowing how many floors there are above ground–
And where I run into a problem.
Looking at my model of the Witch House I realize the ground floor is nine feet and a few inches high–in other words, there’s but one floor and another which is really an attic. So if Annie is being summoned to the first floor–
As a writer you have to come up with ways of fixing these things–usually called “mistakes” but in this case it’s a bit of a plot hole–and it came to me as I started reading this over and looking at the picture: I’ve already dealt with this issue when I had the kids stay on the “Foundation floor” at the Sea Sprite Inn. And doing that seems to have made them aware–no pun intended–of a similar floor at the Witch House.
Now that we’ve established there is a first floor and Annie knows it’s there–
What happens next?