Time to Throw Down: The Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal

As this is the last day of May, sometime tonight I’ll finish the last scene of my little mermaid story for #MerMay, which means I’ll have something to say about that tomorrow.

In the meantime…  You know how I say I never seem to have enough time to do everything?  Well, just to prove I’m a liar I added something else.  Like–

Yeah, that’s me in all kinds of padding with a helmet and skates on, trying to get fit to be a derby queen.  And last night was killer:  I had to actually lay down three times ’cause I was on the verge of passing out.  Out of freakin’ shape, I am, but if I stick with this I’ll get back into shape by the end of summer.  And maybe even get my old skating form back.

Now, speaking of form–or lack thereof–it’s time to get back to the mat and see what’s up in the Kerry-Franky Throw Down.  Needless to say, go time is here:

 

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

She ended the same way she ended the last judgment trial Kerry attended. “Remember to always respect your fellow combatant during the trial; the greatest honor we show our opponents is when we treat them as individuals and not objects in need of defeat.” She eyed Franky hard as she spoke this last line. “The moment you remove respect for your opponent, you lose respect for yourself. You never want that to happen.”

Ramona walked backwards slowly to her position at the top of the mat. Given the differences in skill twenty-two combatants, Ramona did not expect this match to last long. As soon as Franky removed his jacket and set it aside she straightened and addressed the crowd. “All spectators will remain behind the red lines to keep you protected from whatever happens within this ring.” She raised her arms the protective enchantments into place. “Watch, and learn, from this lesson.”

She looked to her right and left. “I wish you well in this trial.” She slowly raised her arms until they were chest high—

 

So we have Kid Cardiff squaring off against the Newfoundland Kid.  I wanna see a clean fight–

 

Kerry cleared his mind, keeping his eyes focused on the boy on the other side of the mat. For his part, Franky didn’t appear to concerned about what was to happen next. Though Annie and Kerry discuss the possibility that Franky was going to do something nefarious, right now Kerry couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, though he did wonder why Franky slowly slipped his right hand into his trouser pocket—

Ramona set her defensive spells in place and checked the auras of her combatants to make certain they weren’t powering up spells. “And—STOP.”

Kerry never had an opportunity to comply with Professor Chai’s instructions as the year before him exploded in a massive fire rushing in his direction. Though we wasn’t supposed to use magic, his overriding sense of self-preservation forced him to throw up the shield he was already visualizing. Some of the heat and flames made their way through before the quick-cash shield stopped the effect, but a second later he was struck by an Air Hammer that knocked him off his feet and threw him a meter or two backwards hard into the floor.

Ramona dropped the safety enchantments: the moment they were down Nurse Bianca Gaillard, who was over from the hospital to lend medical assistance should be needed, rushed to Kerry’s side as did Annie. She turned to Franky, who was still in his start position. There was a shocked expression on his face and his hand was still in his pocket—the reason she halted the trial before it began. “What do you have in your pocket? Show me now.”

 

Naw, brah, that shit ain’t about to happen.

Come on:  you knew this was coming.  You knew Franky was going to try something sneaky and do something to Kerry, and in the trailer for this novel you see Kerry getting blasted back during an event at school, so it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to know what happened in the trailer happened here.

Franky is a little shit who doesn’t always play nice.  And he just did–what’s that thing you say, Wash?

Yeah, that thing.

Yeah, that’s it.  Franky did something to get in that quick sucker punch and Kerry caught it.  Not all of it, but enough that it’s gonna hurt.  But, did Franky break any rules?  Well…

I’m not gonna say–at least not today.

“Fear the Walking Dead” Showrunner Says Daniel Salazar Returning for Season 3

Is this real, or has the AMC hype machine kicked into high gear?

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via AMC] With the latest trailer dropping two weeks ago, there came the speculation–in some part from me–that the trailer reviled that the character of Daniel Salazar (played by Rubén Blades) might somehow put in an appearance, which would be a neat trick given the last time we saw him he was in the basement of Casa Abigail with the joint burning down around him.

In the June 2/9 issue of Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Dave Erickson hints that Daniel made it out of the fire and that we’ll see him turn up at some point in Season 3:

We’ve said publicly that he didn’t die in the fire. And I think what was always important is that the characters, specifically Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), thought they had lost him. I think his return is long overdue, and I can promise that Daniel Salazar will rise again over the…

View original post 109 more words

“The Calling” Scene 30: “The Vows”

The Ariel left her slip Portland’s Tomahawk Bay Marina at 9 AM sharp and began her three hour journey down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. There were two occupants aboard, both women, one of whom had taken lessons for the last six months to learn how to pilot a sixty-four foot long yacht. They stopped at Astoria to pick up one passenger, a woman, then headed out of the Columbia River into the ocean before turning due south.

Little was said during the trip. Penny sat on the flying bridge and pretty much allowed the boat to pilot itself, while Kemena busied herself with chores, preparing the main cabin for their expected guests. Her problem was she had ninety minutes work to do over the course of four hours, which meant by the time they reached the Pacific Ocean she was antsy and ready to begin entertaining.

Penny wasn’t worried she’d find the location for which she was aiming: a few weeks before she’d been out in the stretch of ocean with a GPS locater placed inside a waterproof, pressure proof case, and marked the location with incredible precision. It also built during this time that she extended invitations to the guest were arriving for the special event.

Technically, Penny and Kemena had married two weeks earlier in Albuquerque, with Kemena’s mother and relatives in attendance, and they were on their honeymoon–but both women knew that the real vows were going to take place today. For it was one thing to take your vows in front of human parents of one bride: it was something else to take them in front of the family and friends of the other.

And these vows would be quite unlike the others…

As soon as the Ariel was within a few hundred feet of their intended destination Penny cut the engines and sent out a ping on the sonar. She hurried down to the main cabin and out to the fantail, for she knew it wouldn’t be long before the guests would arrive. Penny had already placed all the robes on the stern deck in anticipation for those coming.

As Penny expected, a number of heads broke the surface around the boat and made her way to the fantail. Penny, Kemena, and the third woman—a mermaid named Gloria who’d been living on the West Coast now for eighteen years—helped everyone aboard, giving them time to transform their tails into legs before helping them into robes and leading them to the main cabin.

Leigh—who was now sporting a small sunburst tattoo on her right shoulder—took it upon herself to introduce Kemena to the other women in the cabin. After all these years of hearing there names, she was finally able to eat meat Singing Nymph, Curious Squid, Penny’s binding grandmothers Swirling Maelstrom and Breaking Waves, Leigh’s two binding sisters, and four cousins who’d decided to come along. Kemena felt a bit overwhelmed as she realized she was the only human on the boat—the very soon she would be considered part of this family.

After the introductions the champagne came out in a couple of toasts were made to the happiness of the new brides. Only two bottles were brought: Penny indicated that her family wouldn’t drink much, so the other bottle was for them after they arrived back in Portland. Until then they would keep it nice and chilled.

Finally the time came for Penny and Kemena to change. The wedding dresses and worn in Albuquerque were in bags back home, and they had sprung for simple white dresses to wear here on board. There was no need for makeup, hair styling, or shoes, as their vows were going to be taken in a rather special way. There was one thing, however, that Kemena needed to where before the vows could be taken…

In the years since Penny and Kemena had decided to marry, and Penny explained how they would take their vows in front of her family, they had worked to have instructed a special piece of equipment: a nearly sixty pound articulated tail worn by “professional mermaids”. It it actually been Kemena’s idea, for she remembered the year before Penny left for the pod and the two of them swam about in Penny’s swimming pool, both of them sporting their tales.

Kemena decided if she was going to marry a mermaid, and she was going to marry her in the water, she was going to do it in style.

After she was fitted into the tail the members of the wedding party carried her out through the main cabin and on to the fantail. Nearly all the wedding party jumped in the water and transitioned while Curious Squid, Singing Nymph, and Penny helped Kemena into the water when she was comfortable floating about in certain that she wasn’t going to sink to the bottom, the last three mermaids dove into the water—Penny wearing her dress just as Kemena was—and traded their legs for tales.

Twenty feet from the stern of the boat they all tread water. Penny and Kemena were side-by-side and holding hands with the other surrounding them, while Gloria spoke of how to childhood friends were now embarking on a Grand Adventure, and they would forever be of two worlds. Kemena actually felt as if she were a member of the pod while she swished her tail front and back maintaining position next to the woman who decided to stay on land to be with her.

And at the end, Penny and Kemena sunk ten feet underwater and exchange their kiss while the others watched. Never for a moment did Kemena think of the fact that she was marrying a woman who was an aquatic being while they were five hundred feet above her family’s home.

After about twenty minutes in the water they all made their way back on to the fantail, with Penny and several others helping Kemena out of the water and onto the deck so she could get out of her tail. The other stayed for about another hour and then, one by one, said their farewells and began returning to the pod. Gloria, too, also left, telling Penny and Kemena she she had close in a car on shore and she’d make her way home from there.

The last to leave was Leigh, who not only gave her new daughter-in-law one last hug, but removed a bracelet from her left wrist and placed it upon Kemena’s, telling her she was now officially a part of the pod.

After everyone was gone Penny went up on the flying bridge, started the engines, and brought the Ariel about so they could begin the four hour trip back to Portland. Kemena and she stood on the bridge letting the wind whipped through their wet hair as he stared towards the horizon—

Both knew that their Grand Adventure was off to an auspicious start.

Time to Throw Down: The Comfortable Setup

Looking over my blogging from yesterday and Sunday, I see that I published a total of eight articles in two days–and two articles each on Friday and Saturday as well, for a total of twelve articles published in four days.  Not a bad amount of writing, and I even managed to get out and do stuff once in a while.  Especially yesterday: it seemed like I did get out and do things, but at the same time it seemed like I spent a lot of time sitting down behind the computer.  Which I did.  No getting away from that.

This is going to be a weird week. I could go out and do something tonight; I’m getting my nails done tomorrow; I have to write a TV recap Thursday night, which will likely take up most of that evening; and Friday night I’m having dinner with someone.  But it goes without saying that since I’m returning to Indiana this coming weekend, is highly unlikely I will get any writing done on Saturday after having driven a thousand kilometers.  But we’ll see.  I sometimes full of surprises.

Now that I have Kerry and Franky inside Gwydion Manor, it’s time to get them ready to rumble.  Though, if you remember back to the first time we went through this situation, there is a little bit of tradition each kid needs to go through–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry stepped out of the crowd instead his backpack and jacket down just inside the protective redline, then removed his shoes before walking over to the mat. Though all his items would be inside the protective field shielding the combatants and Professor Chai from the combat, he knew an additional protective shielding would fall over his personal items so they couldn’t be accidentally destroyed. He stepped to the edge of the mat but didn’t step in to the yellow box that indicated where he was supposed to start; as he had seen with Annie’s judgment trial, there was a certain protocol to follow and he didn’t want to come across as some sort of know it all ignoring tradition.

As she did during Annie’s Judgment Trial the year before, Professor Chai stepped into the middle of the mat and held out her arms as a way of quieting everyone. “I welcome all students to this trail and ask that for the duration of the procedures that you remain behind the red line surrounding the mat, which is there for your own safety.

“We are gathered because we have two students who are unable to resolve their differences amicably and the aggrieved party has requested a judgment by trial, which is the right of any student attending Salem. This trial will proceed obeying the rules set down by the Mistresses of Judgment, from the first days of the school until today.” Ramona scanned the students in the room. “And woe be unto those individuals who believe they are above those rules, for they will quickly discover they are not.” She glanced from left to right. “Now, who is the aggrieved party? Step forward and be recognized.”

 

Just like a good programmer reuses code they find in another program, I basically took some of the lines from the B Level novel involving Annie’s Judgment Trial, modified him a bit, and laid them down here in this excerpt.  That was probably one of the reasons why I was able to get through this section rather quickly, though it still required me going through the other novel, cherry picking what I needed, and then making the necessary changes.

Though you’ll see below, I cut out a significant portion of Ramona going over the rules as was done in the last novel:

 

Franky stepped up on to the mat, his shoes off but still wearing his jacket. “That’s me, Professor.”

“Come to the center of the mat, please.” She continued as soon as Franky joined her. “State your name, coven, and class level.”

“Franky Smith, Ceridwen Coven, C Level.” He almost seemed uncomfortable standing in front of everyone giving this information.

“Welcome, Franky.” Ramona glanced to her right where Kerry stood. “Is the a grieving party here? If so, step forward and be recognized.”

Kerry stepped onto the mat and walked directly to the center, after bowing to Ramona—and receiving a bow in return—he gave his identifying information without being prompted. “Kerry Malibey, Cernunnos Coven, C Level.”

Ramona glanced at each boy. “Welcome to Gwydion Manor. Before we continue, I must ask: can this disagreement be resolved without combat? Franky, as you are the aggrieving party, you must decide on this matter before we can continue.”

Franky shook his head. “He called me an idiot and made disparaging remarks about my girlfriend. I’m not gonna let that go.”

“I understand.” Ramona turned to Kerry. “As the aggrieved party you have to right to walk away and ask for administrative punishment. There is no shame in reconsidering your decision and leaving the matter to the instructors, whom I am sure would come to a quick decision.”

Even though Ramona was letting Kerry know that if he were to walk away it was unlikely he’d receive any detention, Kerry was aware that if he backed away from Franky, he’d become a source of ridicule. “It was just a heated discussion, Professor, not one really worth getting called out over. That said—” He looked at Franky and smiled. “I’m not walking away from this one.”

“As I would imagine.” Ramon approached the two boys and stopped when she was about half a meter away. “Then we will proceed with the Trial—” She began going through the instructions for what would happen during the trial and the overall outcome depending upon whom would win. When she asked if there were any questions, none were asked, so she proceeded on to what they could and could not do during the match, as well as detailing the penalty system. “Do either of you have questions?”

Franky shrugged. “No, Professor.”

Kerry faced his martial arts instructor when he spoke. “No, Professor.”

Ramona raised her hands. “Face each other and bow—” As soon as they finished she pointed to the white rectangles at opposite ends of the circle. “Go to your respective start positions.”

 

There you have it: the combatants are in place and the spells are ready to fly.

So who’s going to get off the first blow?  You probably have to wait until tomorrow to find out…

“The Calling” Scene 29: “The Calling”

Kemena hadn’t been too worried about Penny silence on the trip back to the hotel–nor was she that surprised when Penny suggested they pack and leave for Portland. She wasn’t suggesting they fly back to Albuquerque that night, but rather they get a hotel room and spend the evening in the city, then take a 6 AM flight out of Portland International which would take them home with a one hour layover in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kemena didn’t see this is a problem, and she thought that having an evening together in the city, with good restaurants in a nice, large hotel room, would be a good way of lifting Penny’s spirits. Since they hadn’t unpacked much since arriving at Tillamook, they were loaded up and back on the road to Portland less than half an hour after returning from Cape Lookout.

They settled on staying at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, which gave them access to the riverfront and a number of restaurants. From the hotel they were only twenty minutes from the airport, so Penny left a 4 AM wake up so they could clean up, gather the things, and leave to catch the flight.

As Kemena hoped, by the end of the day Penny seemed almost back to her normal self. She knew her friend would be upset about her mother going away, but she reminded her that her mother and went to the same sort of sadness when she left twelve years ago.

When they returned to the hotel about 8 PM Kemena was told to use the bathtub first, and she knew why. After she cleaned up and dressed in her robe, she was drying her hair when Penny walked in, ran the tub full of hot water, and slipped out of her robe and into the tub without saying a word. Moments later she gave a satisfactory sigh and Kemena turned around to see Penny’s tail rise up out of the water, unfurl, and lay down on the end of the tub. Kemena went back to wrapping her hair in a towel. “I figured that’s why you wanted me to bathed first.”

“Yeah, I needed a Daryl Hannah moment.” Penny chuckled as she referred to the scene in the movie Splash where Daryl Hannah reverted back to her mermaid form and relaxed while taking a bath. “I’ve gotten to where I don’t even like taking showers anymore; I’d much rather just lay here, soak, and then clean off.”

“I can’t blame you.” Since the bathroom is large enough to have a chair were one could sit while changing, Kemena pulled up next to the tub so she could sit while speaking to her friend. “So, how long do you think your mom’s going to be gone?”

Kemena splashed a few bubbles on her tail before looking up at Kemena. “We’re not going to see her for a while.”

“You think she’ll be down for five or six years before she comes back, like you did?”

“Kemena—” Penny let out a soft sigh. “Mama’s not coming back. Maybe she’ll come back for a few weeks every so often, but she’s never coming back to stay.”

Though she wanted to ask if Penny was serious, Kemena could tell by the girls expression she was. “She’s gone back for good?”

“She’s wanted to go back for some time.” Penny lay back stared up at the ceiling. “She’s been hearing The Calling for years.”

This was an expression Kemena had never heard. “The Calling? What’s that?”

“It’s an urge one feels to return to the ocean.” Penny kept a slight smile on her face as she looked at Kemena, but there was little humor in her voice. “Mermaids are creatures of the sea and though we can come on land for extended periods of time, eventually there’s a feeling telling the mermaid she should head back to the ocean and returned to her pod.

“There are things mermaids can do to anchor themselves to land, and Mama’s been doing it most of her life. First she started the business and worked hard to build it up, and then—” Penny shrugged. “She had me. These things kept her anchored to land—and she did that because she liked living here.

But she told me that a few years after I went to the pod she started feeling The Calling again and she said if it hadn’t been for you, she’d have been tempted to join me.” The right corner of Penny’s mouth curled upwards. “You remember last few years I was away, mama seem to want to spend more time with you so she could talk about me?”

Kemena nodded slowly. “I figured she was doing it because she was lonely.”

She did it because she needed an anchor. Otherwise she’d been tempted to sell the business and take off. And another reason she didn’t do that was she wanted me to be able to come home—and if she was in the pod, I’d never be able to do that.

“Mama and I knew a couple years ago that when she went back to the pod that was pretty much it; she might return home once in a while for a few weeks here and there, but she was going to spend the rest of her life under the waves.” Penny closed her eyes as a few tears trickled out. “I told her this morning at come back next summer and visit the pod for about a month. I figured you could let me get away for that much time.”

“I don’t see that being a problem.” A fear clutched at Kemena’s heart, one that made her hesitant to ask the next question. “What about mermaids born on land? Do they hear this Calling, too?”

Penny spent nearly five seconds looking everywhere except at Kemena, but she finally locked her gaze with her. “I don’t hear it now, but I figure and about twenty years—yeah, I’ll probably hear it. And it likely won’t be long after that go back to the pod.”

“What—” Penny’s voice caught in her throat. “What about the business? What about what were trying to do for us?”

Penny snorted and shook her head. “I didn’t make you my partner to do this for us: I did all this for you. I figured when it was time to go back I’d sign over the business so you’d have something after I’m gone.”

Kemena was almost shaking on her chair. “No.”

“I’m not worried about myself. I can get money: there is an underground on land of mermaids dealing in precious gems. If I wanted to—”

“No.”

“—I could get access to a couple of million in no time. I—”

NO.” Kemena jumped to her feet, knocking the chair back. “No, you can’t.”

“I can’t what?” Penny was somewhat puzzled by Kemena’s actions, she figured she’d be somewhat upset, but not like this.

“You can’t just leave like that.” Kemena stomped around the bathroom for close to thirty seconds, looking down as she paced the same figure-eight over and over. She finally stopped and turned toward the tub, thrusting and accusing finger at Penny. “I didn’t join you because I wanted something I wanted something from this business. I joined because I wanted something for us, together.”

Penny set up slightly. “Kemena, what do you mean?”

Kemena shook her head as she stared up at the ceiling, mumbling in her voice just loud enough to be heard. “I thought when you said your pod was a matriartical society that—” When she turned to Penny there wasn’t anger in her eyes: there was sadness. “Don’t you understand? Do I have to spell it out for you, you stupid mermaid?”

And in that second Penny did get what her friend was trying to tell her—while at the same time she realized that it’d been ridiculous for her to conceal some of the things that she should have said during the last five years.

She patted the side of the tub. “Kemena, please sit by me.” Reluctantly her friend did his asked, sitting crosslegged on the floor. “There is an anchor that mermaid speak of, almost with reverence. It’s called the Grand Adventure.”

Kemena’s words stammered out between her tears. “And what’s that?”

“That’s when one mermaid falls in love with another and the love between them is so powerful that neither of them want to be with anyone else. No other binding partners, no other binding partners with whom they want to make a child: they stay together for life.

“It’s considered mythical because mermaids aren’t exactly monogamous creatures: I think I’ve made that pretty clear.” She chuckled at her own lame joke. “It not only happens with one mermaid to another, but it also happens with one mermaid to human, and that kind of pairing is even more mythical, because the mermaid is essentially renouncing the sea’s hold over her.”

Penny drew a deep breath before reaching over the tub edge and taking Kemena’s hand. “There’s a lot of things I should have told you in the last five years. I should have told you about The Calling, but there’s something else I should have told you as well—something I was afraid to tell because I didn’t know how you’d react.”

Kemena’s face brightened as a soft smile formed through the tears. “What are you trying to tell me?”

“Do I have to spell it out for you, you stupid human?” Penny chuckled as she brought Kemena’s hand to her lips and kissed it. “Do you want to go on a Grand Adventure with me?”

“The Calling” Scene 28: “The Goodbye”

It was just after 9 AM when Penny, Kemena, and Leigh finally reached the beach at the south end of Cape Lookout. The surf was still a bit rough from the storm that had come through last night, guaranteeing that there would be few people in the trail head parking lot above and even fewer who might be slightly interested in whatever they were doing.

The reason for starting out early was simple: Penny wanted to leave a cash of items for her mother—which included clothes, cell phone and battery, and money—about two thirds of the way down the trail. She also wanted to find a good location on the beach itself where they could hide her mother’s clothing so that when she returned she wouldn’t have to spend too much time walking around naked. Finding places and setting them up took about forty-five minutes, but once they were finished they were convinced that someone simply passing by would not find the items.

Once they were finished there was little else to do except to prepare for Leigh’s departure–and there was little that needed to be prepared. The trio had already spent two days in the Portland area and had spent the night before in a hotel in Tillamook. All the things that Penny and her mother were going to say have been said during the last month, and during their last night together as a trio they discovered there was nothing left to say—

Except goodbye.

Leigh scanned the surf while Penny and Kemena flanked her. Penny waved out toward the onrushing waves. “You gonna have any trouble getting through that?”

“No.” Leigh shrugged before smiling at her daughter. “I’ll transition here in shallows and pushed through at no time. At worst I might catch a hard downwash and scrape along the bottom a little. Not a big deal for me.”

“We could have picked a better day for you to leave.” Kemena looked up at the sky which still seems somewhat threatening. “At least the sun could have been shining for you.”

“The sun is shining for me, Kemena.” She turned and faced both girls. “I’m proud of you both. You said you’re going to take over the business in five years and you did. I have nothing to worry about while I’m gone.”

Penny took her mother’s hand. “Not a thing, Mama. It’ll still be here when you come back.”

“Yeah, well…” Leigh sighed and grabbed the bottom of her long sleeved tunic. “No point in dragging this out.” It took her less than a minute to strip completely out of her clothes and hand them over to Penny and Kemena, who proceeded to stuff them in a large, waterproof bag that they would hide in the cash at beach level. She swung her arms a couple of times against the chill of the beach air. “I better get moving before I catch cold.”

Kemena felt tears welling up in her eyes. “Goodbye, Leigh. I hope you have fun in the pod.”

Leigh wrapped her arms around the lovely Mexican girl. “I’m going to miss you, girl.” She pulled back and there was tiny streams of tears running down her cheeks. “You take care of Penny, now. See to it nothing happens to her.”

It was all Kemena could do to speak. “I will: don’t worry.”

Penny took her mother’s hand. “I’ll walk you down to the surf.” She looked back at Kemena. “I’ll be right back.”

Kemena saw Penny and her mother walked down to the very edge of the surf and even stand in it so that water was lapping up to their ankles and lower thighs. They stood close for about a minute not saying much, just touching and keeping their heads bowed. Finally they embraced and after a long hug they kissed each other on the cheek. Kemena took three steps back up on to the beach as Leigh turned and ran into the surf. She dove into a wave stayed submerged for about fifteen seconds; when she popped up she gave the girls a wave before turning and flipping her tail high in the air. She vanished from sight but a minute later she leapt high into the air and flipped over in a somersault, much as Penny had done twelve years earlier.

And then she was gone.

Penny walked back up the beach and joined Kemena. She stood by her side for about twenty seconds before she began sobbing. Kemena took her in her arms and held her for close to a minute, letting her best friend cried herself out.

When she was done Penny gave Kemena a hug and then motioned with her head for the trail. “Let’s go.” Without another word the two girls left the wave crashed beach behind.

“Sense8”, Season 2, Episode 7, “I Have No Room In My Heart For Hate”

So many secrets, a few answers, and one big surprise…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via Netflix] We’re finally getting closer to the end of Sense8 and In several things that have been set in motion in the earlier episodes are starting to come to fruition. Is this going to be good or bad for our sensates? Only one way to find out…

I Have No Room In My Heart For Hate

Written by Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by James McTeigue

Transition Moment, plane to Chicago:

Riley (Tuppence Middleton) is somewhere in the air on her way to Chicago and Will (Brian J. Smith) is freaking the fuck out. He’s pacing in London; he’s pacing up and down the aisle of the plane; and he’s pacing at the cabin in Northern California where Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Amanita) are trying to comfort the sensate couple. Nomi tells Will to chill, the ID she fabricated for Riley was good enough for…

View original post 2,758 more words

Time to Throw Down: Bringing People Together

Here it is, Memorial Day, and in The Burg it’s rainy as hell.  While people were likely still sleeping, or at Lee staying comfortable under the sheets, I headed out for breakfast, something I do on a regular basis whenever there’s a holiday.

 

Yes, we have a Denny’s in the area, and starting out the morning with steak and eggs and coffee is not a bad way to go.  After I’m done with this post I’ll start on my Sense8 recap, and when I’m finished with that I’ll head over and get some ribs over at the Artfest a few blocks away.  This was dinner yesterday:

When I return I get out the first of two mermaid excerpts I need to write, maybe watch a little Mr. Robot, then work on the novel before finishing off the evening with the last mermaid scene of the evening, which will get me all caught up on that story.

In other words, no big cookouts for me: it’s going to be another day of massive writing.

The scene I’m working on, the first part of which I’m excerpting today, has been going rather well. Last night it did well over eight hundred words, and when I have worked on this scene the fewest words I’ve written were right around seven hundred.  I don’t know that things are going easier, but it does appear that I’m making my way to the scene rather effortlessly.  As always, the biggest obstacle I have is simply getting started, but it seems that as of late I’ve been more eager to start writing, and get into writing, and get it done.

So maybe this is a turning point: maybe I’m getting back into the swing of things.  We’ll see, ’cause I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again–and just because instead doesn’t make it true.

In the meantime, it’s time to get Kerry and Franky on the mat.  But before that happens, there’s all the preliminary stuff:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

As seem to be the case whenever word got out that either Annie, or Kerry, or both, were about to engage in combat at Gwydion Manor, a sizable number of students appeared so they could watch the action. By the time Annie and Kerry arrived, they estimated at least seventy students were present, which was nearly half the enrollment of Salem. Annie, however, did not see this is a good sign. “I can’t believe this many people are showing up to watch you go up against Franky.”

Kerry didn’t take Annie statement as a slight against his ability. On their walk to the Tesla Science Center for their Practical Super Science class, they continued to express disbelief that Franky believed he could go up against Kerry and win his judgment trial. “Not only that, but who is spreading around word that we’re going to do this?”

“That answer is easy.” She spied Franky and Lisa standing on the far side of the combat mat. “He tells Lisa, Lisa tells her friends, her friends spread the word to their friends. Before you know it half the school knows what’s going on.”

Kerry glanced about the room. “Literally.”

Annie turned to face Kerry, coming as close as necessary so as to not be heard by anyone else. “You need to be careful. There’s a lot about this I don’t like.”

He nodded. “Don’t worry; I’m good.”

She cast her eyes downward for just a second. “Do you need to take another dose?” Annie referred to the gel caps Coraline gave him after their visit to the hospital and his examination. She told him they would help with the raging flux of hormones with which he was currently dealing and to take two more in the evening, as well as tomorrow morning, if he continued feeling stressed out. She was quite aware that what Coraline had given Kerry was nothing more than a light dose of the same hormonal medication Coraline gave to girls suffering from PMS. As she didn’t know how Kerry would react to that news, Annie felt it best not to mention anything.

He shook his head. “No, I feel good.” He reached into his jacket pocket and gave her the tin with the six remaining pills. “I think it’s best if you hold on to this, though.”

Annie took the tin just as Professor Chai walked into the Manor. “It’s like you’re about to start.”

He removed his backpack and slipped out of his jacket. “Better get this over with.” He wrapped his left arm around Annie’s shoulders and gave her a warm, slow kiss. “Wish me luck.”

“You’re not going to need it.” She nodded toward the mat. “Go on.”

 

In case anyone was wondering you now know: Kerry is being given PMS medication to keep his hormones balanced.  Because why not?  One hopes Coraline tells him what she’s giving him after he becomes a she, because by then who will care if she freaks out?  Actually, she should be on medication so she probably won’t be able to freak out, so that’s good.  Though after she transitions back to Male Kerry, there will be that hint of understanding that he was getting PMS medication so he could chill.

Yeah, this kid is getting his mind messed with in a big way.

Since the festivities are about to begin that means the magic is about the fly.  Still thing Frankie’s up the something?

Maybe you’ll find out tomorrow.

“The Calling” Scene 27: “The Challenge”

Leigh, Penny, and Kemena were an hour into their two hour drive back to Portland International Airport and all was quiet. Penny had taken some Dramamine before leaving the hotel to help with motion sickness, which Leigh said she might encounter due to having not written in the car for seven years, but despite the precautions she felt fine. She was, however, happy that today was cloudy, and figured she was going to need some time acclimating to all the sunlight she’d encounter back home in Albuquerque.

As Oregon State Highway 6 crossed the Wilson River for the third time Penny slightly turned in her passenger seat so she could see both her mother driving and Kemena behind her. “When are you going to return to the pod?”

Leigh kept her eyes on the road. “I don’t know that I can, Honey.”

Penny shot a skeptical look at her mother. “Why’s that?”

“You know why. There is you—”

Penny held up her left arm and shook her hand back and forth to show off her Age of Attainment bracelet. “Remember this? I can take care of myself. Also, you should wear yours now.  There’s no need to hide it from me.”

Leigh shot a sideways glance at her daughter before turning back to the road. “I also have the business. It’s impossible for me to walk away from that.” She half turned this time to look at Penny. “It’s that business that keeps us fed and gives us a home.”

“Okay, I can see that.” Penny stretched her legs. “What would it take for you to hand over the business someone else?”

Hummph.” Leigh seemed almost aloof as she negotiated the turns of the winding highway. “And to whom in my supposed to hand my business and let them run it in my place?”

Penny softly cleared her throat. “Me.”

This time Leigh shot an unbelieving sideways glance at Penny. “You?”

“Well, Kemena and me. Before you say anything, hear me out.” This time she scooted around her seat, with her left leg folded under her right, so she can look at both her mom and Kemena without having to turn her head. “I know how to get fake school transcripts for the time I was supposed be away at private school: Swirling Maelstrom told me how it’s done. Once I get those, I’m going to take online courses so that I can get a degree. I haven’t decided what I’m going to get yet, but I will finish college.”

She nodded towards her friend in the back. “Kemena’s going to attend UNM starting in the fall and she’s going to major in business administration with an emphasis on accounting. So whatever I don’t pick up from my classes, should be able to help me later.”

Leigh’s voice was soft as if she knew where Penny was going. “Help you with what?”

“With running the business.” Penny wiggled her foot for a few moments as she looked at her mother. “Why I’m taking classes at night for college, let me go to work with you. Show me everything there is to know about running the business, and I mean everything. If you want me to lay out landscaping, I will. If you want me to work typing up manifest or cleaning up stuff, I will. But show me everything that you did to make the business successful.

“Then when Kemena gets out of school, let heard me start running things day-to-day. You can still be there, but let us take care of the business. If after a year we’ve proven were not going to bankrupt the place, you sign over the business to me, I’ll make Kemena a partner, and you—” She shrugged. “You can go back to the pod for a while.”
Leigh was uncertain as to what she should say. It wasn’t that she was uncertain of Penny’s ability to do what she wanted to do—she was uncertain as to her motives. “Honey, I—”

“Mom, people in the pod miss you.” Penny’s tone was soft and comforting, with a bit of sadness apparent as well. “Swirling Maelstrom and Breaking Waves miss you; your binding grandmothers miss you; your sisters miss you; your nieces want to see you. I left the picture of you and me with the pod, because your binding mothers have nothing else to remember you by.

“In five years you going to be sixty-one, almost sixty-two. You will have been away from the pod for over fifty years and there are so many people to whom you are either a memory or a tale. So many people wanted me to tell them of everything I knew of you ‘cause they had no recollections of their own of what you were like when you were a member of the pod.

“I’m not trying to do this to prove I can run things better than you, or because I’ve got an ego, or because I have to prove myself. Doing this for you, Mom.” Penny looked down inside. “I know you want to go back. I’m giving you the chance.”

Leigh watch the road unwind before her. She understood what Penny wanted to do and why she was doing this. And though Leigh wasn’t ready to admit that her daughter was right, she knew Penny would keypad her until she finally agreed to the terms of her challenge.

And she was certain she knew how this was going to affect Penny in the coming years.

The road was straight giving Leigh the opportunity to fully turn her head and look at her daughter. “Five years, huh?”

Penny looked up and nodded slowly. “Yeah, five years.”

‘Twin Peaks’: Here’s My Recap of The Hot Mess That Is Episodes 1-4

Rachel is watching Showtime’s “Twin Peaks”. And… let’s say she’s about to start singing the brilliance of “AHS: Roanoke” after this–

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

Showtime's 'Twin Peaks,' Season 3, Agent Cooper as Dougie Jones [Image via Showtime] Okay, before I even start with this recap, I need to let you all know that his is David Lynch and Twin Peaks we are talking about. I don’t think I can even recap each episode like I normally do without each one running up thousands of words. Instead, I will be giving my thoughts on this hot mess of a reboot as more of a general review for each episode. And, to honour David Lynch, there will be no relevant order to how these recaps happen. I will not start at the beginning and work my way through the middle before summing up the end of each episode. Oh, hell no! Strap on your helmets, this shit is about to go all over the place.

Another thing I will be doing is adding my thoughts as I watch each episode via The Snarking Dead’s Facebook page. These…

View original post 1,239 more words

And the Challenged Issued…

Well, the last couple of days have been interesting and busy.  Not necessarily happy ones, but that’s nothing new: I’ve been dealing with that for a long time now.  But that’s another story.

There were certain aspects of today’s excerpt that were given away in yesterday’s video, so because I was sort of Chatty Cathy, I figured it’s a good time to just do a massive data dump and get the rest of the first scene out for all to see and read.  Plus, I actually wrote one thousand, one hundred, and forty words per the scene I’m currently working on, some still staying nearly 3000 words ahead of you.  And I intend to write some more today, so that’ll help.

Most everyone who watched the video yesterday knows what’s coming, but before that happened, Annie and Kerry–mostly Annie–did their best to defuse the situation:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie hadn’t expected this outburst. She knew what was driving it: it was the same hormonal imbalance that had been driving his moodiness for the last month. And as much as he tried to tell her he was in control, everything she had just witnessed told her that he was far from in total control of his actions. The Kerry from a year ago would have never confronted Franky this way: he would’ve just waved at him and kept walking. Now he looks as if he’s ready to fight.

She tugged on his jacket sleeve. “As much as I know you’d like to continue this discussion, we need to get to Sorcery class.”

Kerry slowly let out a breath he’d been holding in for a few seconds and nodded. “Yeah—” He turned to Annie and gave her a slight smile. “You’re right.” He rolled his shoulders to adjust his backpack. “See you around, guys.”

As Kerry began walking away Frankie’s displeasure was evident upon his face. “Malibey.”

Kerry continued walking without looking back. “Will you idiots just leave me alone?”

MALIBEY.”

What?” He came to a stop as he half turned back towards the boys.

Franky drew himself up as he took a deep breath. “I’m calling you out.”

It took a few seconds for Kerry to understand what was happening. When he finally realized what Franky said, his first reaction was one of disbelief. “Are you serious?”

Franky stood with his friends, his fist clenched and an angry look on his face. “Yes, I am.”

Kerry glanced at Annie, who was just as surprised as he, then rolled his eyes for all to see. “Really? You want to do this?”

“You insulted Lisa. You insulted her and said derogatory things about her.”

“And it’s up to her to call me out, not you.” Kerry wanted to walk up to Franky and jabbed a finger in his face, but doing so could be seen as confrontational and would give Franky a reason to call him out legitimately. “You have no reason to do this.”

“I have every reason to do so. What you said about her was wrong so—” He gave a slight shrug. “I’m defending her honor.”

Kerry glanced at Annie as he muttered under his breath. “Oh, geez.”

Annie decided to step into this argument to make a few points. “Kerry’s right, Franky: if Lisa was insulted it’s up to her to call Kerry out. Which means you can go and tell her what Kerry said, but—”

“Kerry also called us idiots.” Franky motioned to the other boys. “All three of us; he called us idiots. So I can call him out for that.”

 

The “Will you idiots just leave me alone?” line was in the trailer, so you get a sneak peek at Kerry getting ready to be called out.  And frankly, it’s a bullshit reason.  Kerry sets Franky straight and tells them that if he said stuff about Lisa that he should in the stead, it’s Lisa’s place to call Kerry out.  But since we know Lisa’s a cowardly bag of pus, there’s no way in hell she’s ever going to approach Kerry and call him out for calling her shitty racer.  It’s just not her style.

Even so, Kerry is giving Franky a chance to walk away–though in the end it does no good…

 

All Kerry could do at this point we shake his head: he knew enough of his current condition that he was afraid of getting into a major argument if he was saying what was on his mind at the moment. “You really don’t want to do this.”

“I know what I’m doing, Kerry.” Franky turned to Fidele. “Go find an instructor so we can finalize this.”

“That won’t be necessary.” Professor Sladen reached the bottom of the stairs coming from the first floor of the East Transept and strode into the Rotunda. “I’ve been watching us for the last couple of minutes, so there’s no need to bring in of the witnesses.” She stopped about two meters from the arguing groups. “Franky, both Annie and Kerry are right: it’s not your place to call him out for something he said about Lisa. You can tell her what happened and it’s up to her if she wants to confront him.”

Franky shrugged. “Then I’m calling him out for calling us idiots. There was something said directly to us, and since we were speaking, I’m going to assume that when he said that he was referring to me.”

Erywin knew well that judgment trails could be used for transgression such as this, but it was considered a somewhat juvenile use of this power. “You may want to reconsider this.”

“I thought you might say that.” Franky shook his head. “Unless he’s going to get detention, I’m still calling him out.”

Kerry snorted loudly as he shook his head. “That’s not happening.”

Given that Franky wasn’t backing down, and she couldn’t see giving detention to Kerry for something as insignificant as calling someone an idiot when they were obviously acting that way, Erywin saw she had no choice with her course of action. “All right, then. I’ll notify Ramona that she needs to get the Manner ready for a judgment trial. When do you both want to do this?”

“Before lunch or before dinner.” Kerry looked completely disinterested. “I’m good with either one.”

Franky gave Annie and Kerry a disgusted look. “Before dinner is good.”

“Then seventeen-twenty it is.” Erywin waved Franky and the other two boys off. “All of you: it to wherever you’re supposed to be now.” As soon as the boys were far enough away to be out of earshot, Erywin move closer to her two friends and addressed the Ginger Hair Boy. “How are you feeling?”

 

Even Erywin knows that Frankie’s reasons for calling out Kerry are bullshit, but he’s not the first kid to go to the Manor because they’re butthurt.  And since she can’t get Franky to back down, and there’s no way in hell Kerry’s taking detention–though, you have to imagine if Kerry was given detention by Erywin, they’d probably spend most of the hours sitting around talking–she has no choice but to let Ramona know two kids are entering the school’s version of Thunderdome, and one will likely be leaving on a stretcher.

Of course, knowing what she knows about Kerry, it’s natural that when she shoes the other kids away she wants to see how he’s feeling.  Annnnnnnnnd… Kerry lets her know right away:

 

Kerry rolled his eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. “I’m fine.”

Annie rolled her eyes. “And that answer should tell you what you need to know.” She turned to Erywin. “He’s been like this all morning and refuses to go see Coraline.”

“Well, we’ll have to do something about that.” Erywin turned towards the boy. “Kerry, go to the hospital. Tell Coraline you need an examination because you’re feeling—a bit moody.”

Kerry caught himself before he almost gave another heavy sigh. “Do I really have to go? I’m sure—”

Erywin was not in the mood to be bamboozled by someone she knew was suffering. “I’m not telling you to go to the hospital as a friend: I’m ordering you there as senior coven leader of the school, young man.” She turned to Annie as she placed a hand on his shoulder. “Make certain you fill in the blanks in case he forgets a few details.”

Annie reach for Kerry’s hand. “I make certain of it, Professor.”

Erywin gave Kerry a soft smile. “Go with Annie. You’ll feel better when this is over.”

“Thanks, Professor.” Kerry walked away feeling slightly chagrined, because he knew deep down that both Annie and Erywin were doing what they knew was best for him. He leaned toward Annie as they approached the stairs. “Sorry for being a butt head.”

“It’s all right.” She gave his hand a tiny squeeze. “I know this hormonal flux is hard on you. Just remember, we’re all here trying to make your situation better.”

“Yeah.” As they began climbing the stairs Kerry shook his head. “I don’t get what’s up with Franky. He’s has to know I’m going to kick his butt this afternoon.”

Annie grunted. “That’s the problem.”

“What is?”

“That he has to know you’re going to kick his butt.” She stopped them when they were only a few stairs from the stop and turned to face him. “Don’t for a moment get complacent about this judgment trial. Since he’s doing this to defend Lisa, you have to assume that something else afoot here…”

 

So, first: it’s not often you see one of those who knows Kerry well to actually get Instructor Stern with him and tell him, in no uncertain terms, he has to do something.  As stated above, Erywin knows what’s going on with Kerry, but she also knows he can be quite obstinate at times.  So in that case, she needs a jump in his butt a little bit and remind him that when you get and order from the senior coven leader of Salem, it’s not meant to be taken lightly.

And in the aftermath of the calling out, it doesn’t take long for Annie and Kerry–again, mostly Annie–to wonder if something sketchy is going on.  Annie was already bamboozled by one half of this team, so there’s no reason to believe that Franky isn’t up to some kind chicanery of his own.  The question was asked and answered yesterday: yes, both Lisa and Franky saw Annie and Kerry do their little “Let’s Kill All the Zombies” test ordered by the Guardians, so Franky knows what he’s getting into the Monday squares off against Kerry.  Even Kerry is and oblivious to the fact that he knows he can kick Frankie’s butt without working up a sweat, and that Franky has to know it, too.

So the question remains: is there something up?

Hey, go ahead and speculate away until I get it published for you.

“The Calling” Scene 26: “The Difference”

“What did Curious Squid save you?” Kemena leaned in, a curious look upon her face. “Was it something bad?”

Penny shook her head. “It wasn’t bad.”

“Then what was it?”

When they had begun this conversation, Penny considered not bringing up this part of her life to Kemena. However, since Kemena wanted to know everything about her life below the waves, she felt she would be cheating her friend if she didn’t disclose what happened in the infirmary. “Curious Squid told me that she wanted me to be her first bonding partner.”

Kemena gave her friend a strange look. “What’s bonding?”

“Uh…” Penny looked down for second and she tried to think of the best way to explain the next part. “It’s like—getting together.” She stared in the Kemena’s eyes as her eyebrows arched. “You know, like, together?”

Kemena needed only a few seconds to put it together. “Do you mean like hooking up?”

Penny’s side came out sounding almost like a chuckle. “Yes and no. I mean, if you want to look at it as something physical going on, yes, that’s what it is. But it’s not the same thing. Mermaids are emotional, empathetic creatures, and we take any sort of intimate connections seriously. I mean, even Singing Nymph and I sleeping together like we did—while nothing ever happened, we both realized there was an emotional connection between us that made our time like that all the more enjoyable.”

Kemena searched her memory for her time together with Penny before the later left and found several examples that seem to confirm this fact. “I remember before you left for the pod and, like, it seems as if all your feelings were stronger than everyone else’s. Is it like that with all mermaids?”

Penny nodded. “Pretty much. When we get angry, we’re angry. When we get upset, we’re upset. And when we love—” A wistful smile appeared on Penny’s face. “We take it seriously.”

“Does that mean you fell in love with someone?”

“I loved everyone equally, but I felt far closer to both Singing Nymph and Curious Squid.”

Kemena gave several seconds of thought to her next question, for a while she wanted to ask it, she didn’t necessarily want to know the answer. “So, did you and Curious Squid—bond?”

Penny waited a few seconds before nodding. “About a year ago. And maybe like four times between that first moment and when I came back.” She looked around the room a few times as she worked through her memories. “The last time was two nights ago.”

Kemena let out a soft sigh. “I would’ve thought you to been with her last night.”

Penny shook her head. “No, I spent my last night with Singing Nymph.”

There was something in her friends tone that caught Kemena’s attention. “Do you mean that you—”

“Yeah.”

“Wait—” Kemena’s eyes went wide. “You did with your cousin?”

Penny shrugged. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

But she’s your cousin.”

“We don’t look at it that way.”

“But—”

You can’t judge us like that.” Though she wasn’t angry, Penny’s tone changed just enough to let Kemena know she was slightly upset. “Were not human: we don’t follow human laws.”

Nearly five seconds passed before Kemena broke out of her shotgun off to speak. “What you mean, you’re not human?”

Penny seemed somewhat uncomfortable as she spoke. “I’m not human. I mean, I look like you and I talk like you, this is not really my true form. You see my true form, and that’s how really how I’m supposed to look–how I looked for the last seven years.”

She slid closer to Kemena and softened her tone to help reassure and comfort her. “You’re Homo sapiens; I’m Homo aquatica. We can live together and do things that we used to do, but I’m never going to be human. In a way, were both kind of aliens to each other.”

She took Kemena’s hands and gave them a squeeze. “And you’re still my friend. That didn’t change while I was away and is not going to change now. We may come from two different species, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go back to what we had before I left. I want to continue our friendship and even strengthen it.” She gave the hands a small shake. “What do you think?”

Kemena refused to look at Penny for almost ten seconds: when she finally looked up there were tears in her eyes and on her cheeks. “I don’t care if you are different than me; I just want you to be my friend.”

Penny and Kemena hugged and for the first time in seven years Penny felt tears filling her eyes. When they broke Penny kissed Kemena’a cheek. “I’m not going anywhere, silly. You’re stuck with me as your friend.”

Kemena laugh. “And you’re stuck with me, too.”

“That’s good, because—” Penny’s expression turned serious. “I need to know something…”