“The Calling” Scene 9: “The Present”

The drive back to Albuquerque happened only after Penny swam for almost another three hours with her mother. During that time she mastered complete control over her ability to function as a mermaid and to transform from mermaid to human and back. Penny discovered that in order to transform her legs to a tail and back to legs it was necessary for her to be in contact with large amount of water, such as an ocean, lake, or swimming pool. Leigh told her that the smallest body of water in which she could transform was bathtub, and she would need to fill it up about two thirds of the way full.

While going home Penny discovered two new things. One, she discovered her mother’s age: she was forty-seven. Penny had always thought her mother looked far younger than that, maybe late 20s, maybe early 30s—but never someone nearly fifty years old. Lee said it was because mermaids aged slowly and that it was possible for both of them to live to be almost two hundred years old.

The other thing she discovered was that her mother was installing a pool in the backyard. Now that Penny had come into her own as a mermaid, Leigh saw no reason to keep her from the environment in which her mother and grown up. It may not be like swimming in the ocean, her mother told her, but it Lee should be able to spend half the summer being her other self without having to leave her own backyard.

There was one stipulation, however. While Penny could have her friends over to swim, she could never reveal to them what she really was: she could never tell them she wasn’t truly human.

“Over the years I thought several times of telling a few of my friends what I was, maybe even showing them.” Leigh gripped the steering well and looked straight ahead down the interstate. “And every time I got closer to wanting to reveal myself, I’d get overcome with fear that something bad was going to happen. Whenever I thought I wanted tell my closest friends that I was really a creature they thought of as mythical, eventually I’d realize I couldn’t.”

Leigh reached over and patted her daughter’s hand. “My biggest fear is that some lab, some agency, would take me and put me in an aquarium to study. To that end up spending the rest of my life there until I died—or until they killed me.” She glanced once at Penny then back to the road. “And I fear they could do the same to you. They probably want to know everything about how you worked, especially if they discovered your father was human. I can’t have anyone hurting you Penny: it would kill me if something happened to you because you told people what we were.”

Penny shook her head. “That won’t happen, Mama.” She glanced out the passenger window at the desert beyond. “I’ll keep our secret; you can trust me.”

“iZombie” Renewed For Season 4

Break out the Brains! It’s time to party!

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via The CW] Rob Thomas must have munched on some good brains and had a vision of the future, ’cause his prediction that the show would be renewed–one that made him confident enough to change the Season 3 finale–came true.  About 7 PM EDT The CW announced that iZombie was given the green light to start production on Season 4.  This after The CW yesterday canceled Frequency and No Tomorrow, both of which matched iZombie in ratings.

The rating bubble was the only thing that made Season 4 iffy.  Since Episode 2 the series has averaged 860,000 total viewers and carried a 0.3 rating.  This is down somewhat sharply from Season 2, but still better than a few shows that The CW also renewed.  Whatever the reason, by this time next year we’ll be neck-deep in brains and maybe we’ll get Major on ice skates for real.

Season 3…

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On Beyond the Curtain: The Seven Sisters

It would seem I’m behind on writing and I should catch up tonight, but…  I’m gonna be out after work getting my nails done, which means I’m gonna be jamming the writing tonight.  Talk about a busy week.

Really, it’s gonna be like this for the rest of the summer.

Where were we?  Oh yeah:  sever sisters.  Not to be confused with seven wonders which, in a way, it also witch related, but only a music video sort of way.  Just wait a few years, though, and Kerry may have a surprise for everyone.

But Annie brought up the question and it’s for The Phoenix to answer.  And what does she say?


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


“My, you’re a lot smarter than I gave you credit.” She motioned for Annie and Kerry take seats on she leaned against the railing. “Yes, I am.”

Annie glanced at Kerry. “Did you ever read about the Seven Sisters?”

“I know that term gets used a lot: the Pleiades, mountains and waterfalls in Norway, skyscrapers in Moscow built during the Stalinist era, original movie studios in Hollywood, oil companies, women’s colleges—” He nodded toward The Phoenix. “I’m afraid this is the first time I’ve heard that expression used concerning someone like her.”

The Phoenix smiled at Annie. “Since you know, why don’t you tell him?”

“As you wish.” She turned towards her soul mate. “The Seven Sisters is the name given to a group of seven spirits that are known to be both powerful and old. I believe the foundation refers to you as a Primordial Elemental.”

“Yeah—” The Phoenix gave a quick nod. “That’s what they call me.”


First off, everything Kerry mentions is true:  when it comes to calling something the Seven Sisters, you do have the Pleiadesmountains and waterfalls in Norway, Stalinist skyscrapers in Moscowmovie studios in Hollywood, oil companies, and women’s colleges in the US–they are all known by that name at least once in their existence.

But when it comes to spirits around the world, this he doesn’t know, which likely means Annie’s gonna have him reading again.  And there’s a good reason Kerry probably doesn’t know about this spirit stuff, and that’s because this is something they normally don’t begin studying until their D Levels.  Annie knows about it ’cause of the astral stuff, thought, and she now knows for sure what The Phoenix is:  a spirit so old and powerful that it’s recommended one doesn’t mess with them.  And she’s not the only one–


“There’s supposed to be one of you on every continent, though Asia seems to have two and there isn’t one on Antarctica.” She glanced at The Phoenix. “Or is there?”

“There isn’t a need for one there all the time.” The Phoenix rock slightly as she crossed her feet or ankles. “Whenever there is trouble Copacati heads down there and deals with the situation. Seems like every hundred years or so something down there needs her attention, so she should be due for another visit soon.”

Kerry process this information. He wasn’t that surprised that The Phoenix used the name of an Incan goddess as a label for spirit like her: it made sense that if Normals were aware of the existence of creatures like The Phoenix, they might interpret their presence like that of a god or goddess. What he did find surprising was that a creature like her would need to to visit a place like Antarctica. “Why does anything like you need to go down there?”

The Phoenix winked at him. “I’m sure you’ve heard of the Mountains of Madness.”

Kerry gave the spirit a questioning stare. “Those aren’t real.”

“Are you sure?” The Phoenix cocked her head to one side. “Hum?”

He shook his head twice. “If there was anything like the Mountains of Madness in Antarctica for real, we would have seen—”

“Seen them like you saw this school on Google Maps before you arrived?” The Phoenix’s chuckle was low but seemed full of mirth. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Kerry, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. You should know better.”

He didn’t argue the spirit’s point: The Foundation was able to hide the school and its surrounding grounds from people living right next door, so logic dictated that there were structures all around the world that were also hiding in plain sight. But an entire mountain range? He wanted to say it was impossible, but he knew he’d be proven wrong. “So they’re down there.”

The Phoenix nodded. “Oh yeah, they’re down there. Who knows? Maybe one day Annie and you’ll get sent down for a look-see.” She arched one eyebrow as she shrugged. “Won’t be the first time some Guardians have snooped around that area looking for trouble.” She cleared her throat. “And found it.”


I have to admit I have a fondness for The Mountains of Madness, which come from the H. P. Lovecraft story, At the Mountains of Madness.  It’s a story that’s stuck with me since I figure read it at about the age of nine, and I don’t have a problem saying that something like them could exist in Antarctica today.  As Phee points out, it’s possible to hide the school, so why not mountains?

Which would then raise the question, why?  There must be something bad The Foundation is hiding…

No, nothing down there to hide. Nothing at all.

As Phee also points out, whenever something “pops up” down there, her sister Copacati–who is named after a South American goddess who kinda looked like a dragon–shoots down there and does…  stuff.  And things.  What sort of things we’ll likely never know–unless we get the story, Annie and Kerry At The Mountains of Madness.  Which could happen.  You never know.

And now that we have the name of one sister, are there others?  You betcha!


While this new information was interesting, Annie was more interested in The Phoenix’s sisters than hidden geological formations. “So Copacati is one of your sisters. Who are the others?”

The Phoenix ran a finger along her lower lip. “The two you know the best are Baba Yaga and Kali. They share Asia, though Baba sometimes strolls over to the west side of the Urals.”

“And the others?”

The Phoenix wagged her finger at the girl. “Un huh. I don’t give up the names of my sisters that easily.” She flashed a deadly smile and Annie’s direction. “And just so you know: yes, I do have a real name and, no, I won’t tell you.”

Annie wasn’t about to argue with The Phoenix over his secretiveness. Now that this segment of their conversation was close, other questions awaited. “Since I’m certain you didn’t bring us here to discuss your lineage, why are we here?”


We’ve heard Baba Yaga’s named before, and now we learn Kali is real and related to The Phoenix, which should keep people up at night if you think about it.  We also learn that The Phoenix isn’t a real name, but you’re not gonna get the real name, niener, niener, niener.  Maybe in another novel, but not this one.

Has Phee more to say?  What do you think?