On Beyond the Curtain: A Visitor Calls

Happy Not Mexican Independence Day, where a whole lot of Americans will use this as an excuse to get drunk.  Which they really don’t need—the excuse, that is–but you can write off the guilt a lot easier if you say you got hammered on Don Julio because it was Cinco de Mayo.

Now we come to an interesting point in my novel.  I’ve been teasing for a while the appearance of a certain–character.  Well, it’s about time to stop the teasing.  And before that happens, we need a set up–

 

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

 

After passing through the library wall with Deanna’s help, Annie and Kerry floated down from the first floor to the main floor of the Rotunda. Just as they had seen in the library, the physical presence of students walked by and spectral fashion, their auras bright in the strangely pink and maroon hues that outlined the familiar locale. Annie watched one student heading from the North Passage towards the Dining Hall walk by close enough that she could’ve touched her back in the Physical Realm. “What would happen if one of the students walked into us?”

Deanna needed a moment to clear her throat before speaking. “You wouldn’t feel a thing: you can’t physically interact with an individual in the Physical Realm unless you’re exceptionally proficient with certain magics. On the other hand, if a person in the Physical Realm encounters an individual in the Astral Realm, to feel a momentary discomfort; momentary chill will pass to their bodies—”

Kerry picked up on this right away. “Is that like the feeling you get when you’re told someone’s walked on your grave?”

Deanna nodded. “That’s exactly the feeling.”

“I’ve felt that a couple of times.”

Annie affixed him with a stare. “So have I.”

Before Deanna could answer the sibilant voice seemed to come from all around them. “Haven’t you ever wondered how your Foundation has managed to observe you before you came to school?” There was an all encompassing low chuckle. “Seer, I thought you would’ve told them by now.”

Annie glanced at her instructor. “Is that who I think it is?”

 

Yes, it’s exactly who you think it is.  Who else could it be?

Now, coming up it something that took me some time to work out, as there is this conversation between Deanna and The Phoenix, and since we saw them speaking in Arabic in the last novel, guess how they converse in this one?  In the novel I probably wouldn’t translate what they’re saying–or maybe I would and/or should–but here I’m gonna cut you some slack and show you what they’re saying.

That said, it’s time for a little human-on-spirit conversation…

 

A towering orange flame three meters in height appeared at Kerry’s right a few meters away. There was another chuckle before the voice began speaking in an unfamiliar language. “’Araa ‘annak qad qarrarat ‘an takhudh al’atfal lilnnazhat.”  (I see you’ve decided to take the children for a walk.)

Deanna faced the flame while seeming a bit nervous. “Not that it’s any of your concern.”

The voice continued speaking in the unknown language. “Kl ma yahduth huna hu qalbi.”  (Everything that happens here is my concern.)

“Okay, I’ll give you that. Could you at least speak to us in English?”

This time the chuckle was more of a laugh. “Wayunkur lak alqudrat ealaa alttahadduth ‘iilaa shakhs yaerif lghtk?”  (And deny you the ability to speak to someone who knows your language?)

Deanna turned to her students with an exasperated sigh. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to take care of this.” She turned back to the flame and began speaking in the same language. “Baldbt ma tarid?”  (What exactly do you want?)

The flame’s tone seemed to soften. “’Ana gharibat limadha qarrarat ‘ann tajlub lahum fi alana. hal ymkn ‘an antazarata, kama taelamuna.”  (I’m curious as to why you decided to bring them in now. You could’ve waited, you know.)

Deanna tossed her head back toward her students. “Hal haqa? Kunt taerif min hum hadhin?”  (Really? You do know who these two are?)

“’Ana mudrik tamamaan min hum, Albasirat.”  (I’m well aware of who they are, Seer.)  (Note:  In Arabic the word “Seer”, as I’m using it, doesn’t really have meaning, so The Phoenix is actually saying “Visionary”.)

“Thumm taelamun alaintizar mae hdhyn lays khiara.” (Then you know waiting with these two is not an option.)  She snorted. “La takun munfatihatan jidda.”  (Don’t be so obtuse.)

The flame grew in intensity, leaping up maybe another meter as it seemed to lean towards Deanna in a threatening move. “Sawf tafeal jayidaan lilhifaz ealaa alllisan almadani fi fmk, Albasir. lla yanbaghi li ‘an ‘adhkurkum min jmye alnnas ‘an hadhaan hu baladi alealam wa’ant kl dyf. ‘Iidha ‘aradtt dhlk—”  (You would do well to keep a civil tongue in your mouth, Seer. I shouldn’t have to remind you of all people that this is my world and you are all guest. If I so desired—)

“’Ant ln tafeal shiyaa.” (You would do nothing.)  Deanna tone turned belligerent and she grew more animated as her hands began moving about. “’Ana mudrik jayidaan lilssultat alty tahammuluha huna, walakunni ‘aydaan ‘adrak jayidaan ‘annah ‘iidha kunt satafeal shayyanaan balnsbt lana, kan yumkin ‘an yahduth hatta alana. Waqf mae hadhih alttahdidat alssakhifat walttakhawif. ‘Annaha la taemal ealaa li, wa’annaha ln taemal ealaa hdhyn li’annaha la ymkn ‘an nafham kalimatan laenatan nuqul.”   (I’m well aware of the power you hold here, but I am also well aware that if you were going to do something to us, it would have happened by now. Stop with these ridiculous threats and intimidation. It doesn’t work on me and it isn’t going to work on these two since they can’t understand a damn word we’re saying)  She straightened herself and stared up at where one would imagine one would find the face. “Sawf tafeal jayidaan ‘an nafham ‘ann kl ma ‘aquluh hu alhaqiqat.”  (You would do well to understand that everything I am saying is the truth.)

There was a considerable pause as the flames seem to back away from Deanna and turned its attention toward Annie and Kerry. Finally there was a sound similar to that of a chuckle, though it was low and guttural. “You’re right, Seer. So instead of doing nothing, perhaps I should do something…”

 

It’s not often we get to see another instructor speak in their native language, but this will pop up from time-to-time with other instructors as well.  It’s just a matter of finding the right time to bring it on stage.

And now we have all the players here.

All that remains is to see where they go.

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