Yesterday was not what I would call a good day. Though, in a way, it was a good day–perhaps it was really not that good of a night. I had a lot to do during the day, and believe it or not, I got it done. Even I was surprised. But then I started thinking about something… And that set off the triggers, and for a significant part of the evening I was nothing but a slimy, blubbering mess.
Also, I discovered I need to buy a corkscrew. Bummer.
What this means is that I’m no longer had of the curve. The end of this excerpt is about twelve hundred words ahead of where I’m at right now in the story, so unless I get my butt into writing, pretty soon I’m going to hit one of those points where I’m going to be writing just get the excerpt out. And I don’t want that ’cause that’s even more stressful.
Ah, how did I ever get in a situation?
Now the test is over the recriminations began. Well, maybe not so much recriminations as a postmortem as to what “that test” was about. And just as it was at the beginning of this chapter with the first scene, this scene returns the same players, with Annie and Kerry mentioned but not seen. And it doesn’t take long to get right into the discussion:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
It wasn’t long after half past sixteen that Ramona received word that the instructors who spent the afternoon in Boston had returned that she heard the clacking of heavy boot heels in the hallway outside her door. She opened it some forty-five minutes earlier, for she had anticipated a visitor—
And now that visitor was here.
Helena stopped in the open doorway and let out alongside. “Well.” She stepped inside the office and waved the door closed behind her, waiting until it latched before continuing.
“To paraphrase Kerry, what was that bullshit we saw this morning?”
“Quite the spectacle, wasn’t it? I was just going over the video from the test.” Ramona looked down as she chuckled in a low voice. “I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen either of them flustered after a test—or ever, for that matter.”
The right corner of Helena’s mouth curved upward in the smirk. “I think they were caught up in the moment. I know I’ve trained them not to act that way, at least during a stressful situation.”
“They were finished with the test, so I think I can allow them a little slack.”
My kids have expressed frustration in the past, but it’s almost always been in the private sector: they rarely shown that frustration publicly. In the last book Annie get frustrated with Kerry, who was getting frustrated learning Exsanguination, and both experienced some frustration both with family and, um, “frustration”, if you know what I mean. The closest there’s been a public frustration moment was the first night at Advanced Spells when Annie had trouble doing levitation and we discovered that while she always wanted to be a bad ass sorceress, she hadn’t always kept up on the real simple spells.
But to get so frustrated in the aftermath of a devilishly hard test that you turn and start screaming at your instructor? Yeah, the kids need to work on that. Oh, and about what Annie said–
Silently Helena admitted that she agreed with Ramona; publicly she’d say nothing. “While we were out I wanted to ask Annie what she said while we were out, but I was afraid she take it the wrong way.”
“She said ‘Who put this fucking test together?’.” This time Ramona’s chuckle was much louder. “I had Sabrina translate the comment.”
Helena raised an eyebrow as a smile slowly formed on her face. “That girl is getting quite a mouth on her.”
“Can’t imagine where she getting that from.”
“Yeah, and you can fuck right off with that shit.” Helena crossed her arms as she looked away for a moment. “Though her question about the test remains valid.”
“I’m wondering about that same thing as well.” Ramona motioned Helena to a chair. “Not only was I surprised by the orders I received, but discovering that Isis had additional orders that she didn’t past either of us wasn’t something I expected.” She shook her head. “It’s not often I have to work with the Guardians, but they’re usually straightforward in their dealings—and when they are being sneaky, you can usually tell.”
The matter of having three different people involved in today’s test, and not seeing information passed from one person to the next, had bothered Helena through most of the afternoon. She had to agree with Ramona’s assessment: it wasn’t unusual for the Guardians to be sneaky, but one could usually tell when that was happening. “I don’t know what the hell this was. I mean, why it wasn’t such a big deal to add on six additional homunculus and then not have you tell me?” She sat back and crossed her legs. “I don’t get it.”
First off, we get Annie dropping a F Bomb once more, and this time in Bulgarian. Being that this is the third novel, she gets one more opportunity to say that particular word again–which means Kerry has a three F Bomb limit as well. Hey, Patrick O’Brian did something similar, and that means I can as well. And as far as Ramona’s question about where Annie may be picking that up–yeah, we know Helena’s a good influence for that as well.
Speaking of frustration we start seeing it both with Ramona and Helena. Neither of them can understand where the Guardians are coming from, particularly Helena, who knows how they operate. And tomorrow will get into their frustration a little bit more…