“The Calling” Scene 15: “The Decision”

“Why do you want to live with the pod?”

Penny didn’t since anything malicious in her mother’s words: she was simply curious as to why she had made this request. “I want to learn about this other part of my life.”

Leigh set her arms on the table and leaned forward slightly. “I can teach you that?”

“Can you?” Penny glanced at Kemena then turned to her mother. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve been away from the pod for about thirty years.”

Leigh glanced around the room several times before taking a deep breath before answering. “You’re right; I have.”

“And if you’ve been away from the pod for that long, what you going to teach me about them now?” Penny slid her right leg up underneath her left. “I’m afraid if I don’t go and do this now I’m just going to keep thinking about it the next few years—”

“Which will make you want to go there even more.” Lee sat back and crossed her arms. “What’s your idea of living with the pod for a while?”

Knowing her answer wasn’t likely to be popular, Penny stared at the center of the table for a few seconds for speaking. “Maybe until I’m eighteen?”

Though her mother said nothing Kemena seemed almost ready to jump out of her chair. “Eighteen? Are you serious?”

Penny didn’t want to look and her friends direction. “Yes.”

“You want to go away for seven years?”

“Wouldn’t you want to go away as well, Kemena, if you discovered something new about your family? Something crazy?” She twisted around to her left so she could face her friend. “This isn’t just about getting to know my grandmothers and great-grandmothers, this is to learn about a completely different way of life.” Penny closed her eyes and shook her head.” The only way I can to do this is if I go live with them for a while.” When she looked up her eyes were misty with tears. “I know I’m going to be leaving you behind as a friend, but you have to to know, I’m not going to forget you.” She turned in her chair to face her mother. “And I’m not going away forever.”

Leigh took a sip of her drink as she considered her daughter’s words. “You want to stay until your eighteen, correct?”

“I figured that would be best. That way you can tell people I went away to a private school.” Penny shrugged. “It’s not a good excuse, but if you tell them I’m in a private school in like Oregon or Washington or somewhere like that, people will believe it. Also…” She gave her mother a weak smile. “You could probably afford it for real, so there’s that.”

“There is that.” Ever since revealing her daughter’s true nature to her, Leigh had feared this moment. She knew her daughter would be passing up a formative part of her life—though, she would also be learning about the formative part of her life to which no human could ever relate.

But she knew what was ultimately driving her daughter: the call of her true nature. There had been many times in her past Leigh wanted to return to the sea and be with her pod once again. But business and family responsibilities had subdued that call to nothing more than a faint whisper.

That wasn’t the case with Penny. Just as land had called to Leigh when she was a young mermaid, the ocean was calling to her daughter, telling her she needed to become one with her natural environment.

And when that call became too overwhelming, one was foolish to act as if it didn’t exist.

Leigh drummed the fingers of her right hand on the table for a few seconds before smiling. “So, when do you want to leave?”

On Beyond the Curtain: Disappointed in the Hype

You may have noticed something interesting yesterday–or not, it really depends.  Yesterday I created four posts:  two for my mermaid story and two that were recaps for shows I’m following.  Not one of them had anything to do with my current novel, and if my memory serves me right, this is the first time, while writing one of my novels in The Foundation/Salem Series that I’ve gone a full weekend without an excerpt.  Whole lotta posting going on, but not one had anything to do with my novel.

How much did I write yesterday?  5,321 words.  I have not written that much in one day since NaNoWriMo 2012, of that I’m sure.  But yeah:  it’s been almost five years since I had a five thousand word day.

That’s not all.  On Friday I finished Chapter Twelve with nearly a thousand words that brought that scene to 5,700 hundred words, making it one of the biggest scenes in the novel, and I laid out Chapter Thirteen.

It’s right here. See?

This is the last chapter before we get into the three that have to do with Samhain Race and Dance 2013 and this is gonna be a good one.  And I’m starting this tonight, so you should get the first excerpt from this next week–

–’cause I’m still in the middle of The Phoenix grilling my kids long and hard.  And it’s about to get harder for one of them…

 

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

 

“Am I?” The Phoenix move close enough to Annie that they could touch each other. “You’ve indicated that your parents had quite a few books on sorcery around the house. And Professor Lovecraft has mentioned that both your parents were good sorcery students.” Her eyes narrowed into a squint. “If they were so good at sorcery, why didn’t either of them go on to become sorceress?”

Annie’s jaw tightened as her stare intensified. The Phoenix didn’t give her a chance to answer, however; she turned to Kerry instead. “You know what Annie’s mother told her when she was about seven years old? She said Victor and her stepped away from sorcery. She said they did so because they were uncertain about how to deal with the responsibility that comes with being a sorceress.”

She turned back to a fuming Annie. “Of course, your seven-year-old self took that to mean they were scared of the power inherent in sorcery—didn’t you?” The right side of The Phoenix’s mouth curled upward into a smirk. “And later, when your mother told you about being a Protector, well, she pretty much threw a gauntlet at your feet, didn’t she?”

Kerry had never heard much about Annie’s mother wanting to become a Protector: beyond mentioning the fact, Annie never spoke of the matter. He felt, however, that The Phoenix was doing her best to force a conversation from her. “What does she mean?”

Annie looked down as she drew a deep breath. She exhaled slowly as she turned toward her soul mate. “After a couple of years of pharmaceutical research my mother considered becoming a Protector. She knew she wouldn’t need much training as she already had a great grasp of sorcery and hand-to-hand fighting—though sorcery isn’t all that important in terms of becoming a Protector.”

“So what kept her from becoming a Protector?”

Annie cast her gaze downward. “Me.”

 

Does Annie feel guilty that she was conceived and that keep her mother at home?  It may seem that way, but don’t go on first impressions–

 

Kerry took a step towards her, noticing all the changes occurring in her aura. “What do you mean?”

She looked up. “It wasn’t long after she took the test she discovered she was pregnant with me. She decided then that rather go through the training, she’d have a lab built near the house and continue with pharmaceutical research.” She gave a soft snort. “With the lab next to the house, she never had to worry about taking care of me: I was right there at work with, all the time.”

Kerry took both of their hands in his. “That one of the reasons why you wanted to become a Guardian? Because your mother didn’t become a Protector?”

Annie nodded. “It’s one.” She glanced over Kerry shoulder. “I’m certain I’m going to hear about others.”

The Phoenix touched herself lightly over where a human heart should be. “Me? Tell you more about why you did things you did? I’m merely pointing out that the failure of either of your parents to become Guardians, to embrace that sorcery they both knew, was one of the reasons why you did want to become a Guardian. This also falls towards that need you have for acknowledgment, so you could have your parents look at you and say, ‘Oh, Annie, we’re so proud of you’.” She stepped closer to them both positioned herself so she was nearly touching Kerry’s right arm as she stared at Annie. “But it’s not so much your mother driving you towards that decision as much as the other half of your family…”

Annie release Kerry’s hands and turned to face The Phoenix. When she spoke the stress in her voice was evident. “What about my father?”

 

Oh, yeah, what about Daddy?

Let’s just say we’re about to find out what sort of issue Annie has there…