Yesterday was a good writing day. I wrote almost twelve hundred words in the morning, came home and wrote eleven hundred word TV recap, then ended up writing another two hundred and sixty words later in the evening to include something I meant to include in the morning, but didn’t. Add all that up, and I wrote close to twenty-four hundred words, something I haven’t done in quite some time.
That doesn’t mean I’m back in the groove: it simply means yesterday was a good rating day. The trick to all this is doing something like that nearly every day, and not just on a Sunday in April. Most times I’ll be lucky to get five hundred words a day. But I have to say, yesterday felt good.
Since I’m on the way to ending Chapter Eleven, here’s the end of the test scene. And you knew this was coming; why wouldn’t you? But based upon what you’ve seen so far, this ending is a little unusual–
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Covered in blood and winded, they were both catching their breath when fifteen seconds later music stopped and silence fell upon the test surface.
Ramona waited until she was absolutely certain that Annie and Kerry were the only creatures moving on the other side of the safety enchantment before casting it away.
She waited a few seconds for her students to gather their bearings before speaking. “The test is concluded. Based upon the final results—”
Kerry turned toward Ramona and Helena and screamed at them, raising his arms and hands in the air. “What was that bullshit?”
Annie stepped around the bodies on the floor as she wiped blood from her face and eyes. She, too, was not happy, and the moment she was alongside Kerry she also yelled out her frustration. “Koĭ postavi tozi shiban test zaedno?”
Ramona quickly raised the safety enchantment, putting a barrier of silence between her angry students and the rest of the people in the hall. She turned to Helena and shrugged. “Apparently they have some questions.”
“They’re not the only ones.” Helena turned to her left as she sensed Isis walking away. “Where are you going?”
The kids usually stick by their mantra of “A good sorceress keeps their head about them while everything is going to hell around them.” But nothing is going to hell around them anymore: that’s already happened, things to them. And these kids get just as frustrated and confused as adults, who often vent her frustration once a momentous task has completed. Plus, when you add in the fact that both these kids are raging hormone factories, it’s easy to understand why they lost their cool and started screaming. At their instructor. In front of a room full of people, including the Head Sorceress.
Fortunately, Ramona is fairly even-tempered and she understands that emotions run high at times, particularly when you’ve been in a difficult match. Also, it’s likely fair to say that the kids aren’t known to start screaming and swearing at the same time while in the Advanced Self Defense class–and you know Annie swore, because Kerry is already mentioned that usually when she’s upset and says something in Bulgarian, it’s likely she’s cursing. You’ll find out in the following scene what she said.
So it’s probably a good idea to let the kids simmer down, or at least get rid of witnesses–
She held her tablet at her side as she addressed the Head Sorceress. “I’m finished with my side of this test, so there’s no need for me to stick around.” She tapped something on her tablet screen then looked up at Ramona. “My people will be by in the afternoon to collect the Spy Eyes. Shouldn’t take too long to get them out of here.”
Ramona nodded in acknowledgment. “That shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Cool. See you ladies later.” Isis juanted off.
With the Chief of Security gone Ramona now turned to the students who’d observed the test, with a few appearing to have not handled the bloody spectacle well. “This test is concluded. For those while visitors, you are free to leave. For those of you remaining for class, I will need about twenty minutes to clear the testing surface so that we may start. Feel free to mill about outside: I will call you when ready.”
Students filed out of the Manor and it was empty save for the two instructors and the two testes standing on the other side of the safety enchantment. Ramona took a deep breath. “I think we can continue our dialogue.”
Helena nodded toward the two students. “By all means, let’s.”
Testing is done, so Isis isn’t needed anymore. Or at least she seems to think so. This will get brought up in the next scene as well. Hell, a lot of things get brought up in the next scene…
Since Ramona and Helena are pretty easy-going in most situations, they’ve given Annie and Kerry time to cool off. That time is over: now it’s time to talk.
The Self Defense instructor removed the safety enchantment and addressed her students. “Have you had time to calm yourselves?”
They answered simultaneously. “Yes, Professor.”
Ramona approached and stopped two meters from them. “According to the rules of this engagement, you have successfully completed this test. Will see to it that the results are passed along to the appropriate authorities.” She gave them both a quick smile. “Go clean up and change, and once you have you’re both free to leave.”
Annie looked the most surprised of the two. “We don’t need to return for class?”
A soft chuckle escaped Ramona’s lips. “I think you’ve both proven that there isn’t any need for you to work on forms or spar today.”
“That’s for sure.” Helena moved up closer to Ramona, though she knew better than to stand next to her at this point. “Erywin, I, and a few others are heading into Boston about eleven to have lunch and do a little shopping. Why don’t you come out to the Instructors Residence when you done cleaning up? You can relax a bit before we leave.”
Both seemed happy to hear this news. Kerry reached out and gave Annie’s hand a squeeze before responding. “Thank you, Professor.”
Annie smiled as she returned to squeeze. “Yes, thank you, Helena.”
“All right, then.” Ramona straightened slightly. “Face me.” Annie and Kerry turned to face their instructor and bowed as she did. When they straighten Ramona wave them away. “Go on: go clean up.”
The instructors watched Annie and Kerry make their way through the carnage they left behind only to stop just past the last of the bodies so that they could share a short kiss. When they finished they both cast a glance back before heading off to the locker rooms and vanishing.
Helena rubbed her eyes as she chuckled. “Love among the zombies.”
Ramona only partially turned to head to look at the sorceress. “Didn’t you ever do that after test?”
“We didn’t have homunculus as nice as the ones you make.” She turned towards Ramona. “When I get back from Boston this afternoon, you and I are going to have a little discussion about what just happened here.”
Ramona crossed arms and gave her friend an unconcerned look. “Believe me, Helena; I want to talk about this.”
There you have it: the kids get to kill a bunch of zombies in front of the third of the student body, they then got this work their instructor, and then they were released from class for the rest of the day so they can go hang out in Boston with other instructors. All in all, not a bad day–or, I should say, a bad four minutes, as that’s all it really took for them to establish themselves as the Bad Ass Zombie Killers of Salem. And given what was seen, and the rumors that will come out of what was seen, one has to assume that anyone who calls these two out now is simply looking for a beating.
That doesn’t mean that neither of them won’t get called out–
And now that the fighting is done, it’s time for the instructors to ask a few questions…