“The Calling” Scene 16: “The Departure”

There was only one nonstop flight: a Southwest Airlines flight that left Albuquerque just before two in the afternoon and arrived at Portland, Oregon not long after three-thirty local time. They picked up the rental car right outside terminal and spent the next two hours driving to their hotel in Tillamook, where Leigh, Penny, and Kemena planned on spending the night. They cleaned up, changed her clothes, had a quiet dinner, and then turned in for the evening.

With the departure point only a thirty minute drive away, there was no need to hurry the next morning. During breakfast, however, Leigh could tell that Penny was eager to begin what was going to be the biggest adventure she’d ever undertaken. She couldn’t blame her daughter: she remembered the day she left for land she wanted to start swimming the moment she woke up, and it was only the insistence of her mothers that she stay and have breakfast they got her to stay.

Now it was her turn to keep her daughter from darting away from her old life too quickly.

Eventually Leigh and Kemena ran out of reasons for Penny to stay and everyone piled into the car so they could drive to Cape Lookout. There was quiet in the car the entire way, with Penny spending much of the time once they reached the coast looking out the passenger side windows at the ocean beyond. They eventually reached the parking area for the Cape Lookout Trail and parked.

The hardest part of the trip was making their way down from Cape Lookout to the south beach below. When she’d first arrived Lee found an old trail that allowed her to climb to the parking area above, and though it was steep and not well-kept, it was still negotiable forty years later.

After a twenty minute walk Leigh and the girls found themselves standing on the beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Nearly a minute of silence passed before Penny sighed. “Well, I guess this is it.”

“Yes it is, Honey.” Leigh turned to her daughter. “You know what to do?”

Penny pointed in an West-Southwest direction. “Swim in that direction at a normal speed for about an hour and a half. Pod’s about ten miles out.”

Leigh raised her right eyebrow. “Are you forgetting something?”

“Follow the curve of the ocean floor downward.” She smiled. “How deep did you say the pod is?”

“Eighty fathoms—or four hundred and eighty feet. Take your pick.”

Kemena whistled softly. “You’re going to be down so deep.”

Leigh glanced over at her daughter’s friend. “She’ll be able to handle it: in her natural environment we can go down a lot deeper than that.”

Penny could feel the awkward sadness coming over the group. The longer she stayed, the harder it was going to be for everyone to say goodbye—even her. As much as she wanted to go, she knew this meant leaving her mother and from behind for what would be most of her teenage years. She knew Kemena was sad, and though her mother did her best to hide her feelings, Penny was certain it would be a while before she put this departure behind her.

“I gotta go, Mom.” She turned to her mother and wrapped her arms around her. “I love you; I’m gonna miss you.”

Leigh closed her eyes as she hugged her daughter tight. “I love you, too, Honey. And I am so going to miss you.” She bent down and kissed her daughter on the cheek. “You remember how I told you to pronounce our names?”

Penny smiled. “Yes, Mama.”

“And there’s nothing else for me to tell you except make sure you do our family proud.”

“I will.” She turned to Kemena, who wasn’t bothering to hide the tears streaming from her eyes. “Sorry to do this to you. I am so going to miss you through high school.” She embraced her friend and held her tight. “I’m never going to forget you.”

“I won’t forget you, either.” Sniffing back tears Kemena handed Penny the nylon cinch sack that contained a few waterproofed items, including a laminated picture of them together. “You are coming back on your eighteenth birthday, yeah?”

“I promise.” Penny looked down as she smiled. “One hour before the sun begins to set, I’ll be here.”

“How are you going to know the time for sure?”

“She’ll be here: we mermaids feel the time well when we’re underwater.” Leigh took the cinch sack. “You need to get ready.”

“Okay.” Penny kicked off her tennis shoes and socks, then slipped out of her jeans and tee shirt. She took a deep breath and removed her panties and bra, handing them to her mother as she had her other clothes. They decided days ago that wearing a swimsuit top into the ocean would be ridiculous, as it would begin to deteriorate in a few months. As Leigh explained, there were no clam shell bras below: all mermaid swim topless.

Penny slipped the cinch sack over her shoulders and shook her arms to set it in place while staring out over the water. She looked back over her right shoulder so no one would see her full nakedness and, with a smile she, waved once before running as hard as she could into the oncoming waves. After three steps she broke through the last wave and dove into the ocean.

Neither Leigh or Kemena saw Penny for the next thirty seconds. She suddenly popped up out of the water about a hundred feet from shore, waving and smiling. As they smiled while waving back, Penny spun around and slipped under the surface only to break out about five seconds later, leaping five feet into the air to crash back down into the water.

There was a single flip of her tail, then nothing else. Penny was on her way to the pod.

Kemena couldn’t stop crying. As much as she wanted her from to be happy, not being able to see her for seven years was going to be hard. She felt Leigh’s arm wrapped around her shoulders and comfort her, and when she looked up she found Leigh crying just as hard. “Are you going to be okay, Mrs. Coffey?”

Leigh nodded slowly. “I’ll be all right, Kemena. In time.” She turned them so they were both looking off in the direction that Penny had departed. “My little mermaid: she’s all grown up.”

On Beyond the Curtain: Remembering That Day in September

The next chapter is underway and it’s starting out well–or as well as most of my chapter begin.  It took me a while to set the scene, but after about ninety minutes I had close to eight hundred words written, which leaves me with a warm and fuzzy.  Does that mean I’m going to get some writing in tonight?  Maybe.  I have to start on my next Sense8 recap, and given that those generally turn into three thousand word monsters, I may just get half-way through it, watch the next episode of Better Call Saul, put in a mermaid/MerMay scene, and then call it a night.

It all depends on how that recap goes.  Always.

Anyhow, it’s time to get back to my kids being psychologically abused by an old spirit, with particular emphases on a non-female member of Annie’s household:


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


“Are you really going to make me spell it out, Annie?” The Phoenix cocked her head to one side, much as she had done when she first met Kerry. “Do I really have to talk about the daddy issues you have?” She turned to a slightly shocked Kerry. “Don’t tell me you’ve never thought about them?”

Kerry glanced over at Annie before turning back to The Phoenix. “We don’t talk about her father that much. I mean, I know not everything is perfect between them—”

“Perfect between them doesn’t even begin to cover the sort of shit that has happened.” The Phoenix looked up towards the sky as she laughed. “Damn, dude. You really have no clue about your one and only’s real relationship with Daddy Dearest, do you?”

While there had been much discussion about Kerry’s situation at home, little was ever said of Annie’s relationship with her parents. He knew Annie got along well with her mother—and her mother had always been nice to him—but the same could not be said about her father. He remembered feeling unnerved by him the first time they met, but as Ms. Rutherford had explained that was likely due to her father sizing him up, determining if he was worthy enough to date his daughter.

But as often as she talked about her relationship with her mother, Kerry realized almost nothing was discussed concerning her relationship with her father. Except, Kerry suddenly remembered, there was one thing…


The term “daddy issues” hasn’t come up because we haven’t actually seen much interaction between Annie and her father, except for those moments when Kerry and she have meet them at a jaunt station.  And there have only been hints about this–like when Annie recounted how she almost died trying to fly on her broom by herself because Papa was too busy to help her.  And now Kerry is remembering a moment from their past…


The Saturday after their first full week at school was when Annie went to visit Deanna for the first time at Memory’s End and he was with Vicki checking out on the Espinoza 4500. That was the day they were both given free rein to fly around the school grounds unmonitored, he on his 4500 and Annie on and Espinoza 3500.

Near mid-afternoon, after they’d eaten lunch and flown a couple more hours, they set down on the northern shore of Lake Lovecraft and rested, laying side-by-side in the grass as they stared up into the sky. It was during that time that Annie made the most unusual request: she said to Kerry that no matter what happened, she would like it if he never mentioned what they had done to her father.

At the time Kerry didn’t think the request was all that unusual—then again, at the time, Kerry didn’t remember that he had known Annie nearly his entire life. In the two years since that incident occurred he’d never given the moment any thought—until now.

With The Phoenix insinuating that all was not perfect between Annie and her family, that particular moment on the shore of Lake Lovecraft stood out sharp and Kerry’s memories. And seeing the displeasure on Annie’s face had him realizing that there was far more to that innocent comment than he’d ever imagined.


Remember that little nugget?  Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  For those who don’t–the majority, I’m assuming–let’s hop in the TARDIS and head back a little more than two years, novel time, and relive most of those moments:


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)


At no time in her life did Annie believe she’d share a moment like this with anyone. Her mother told her more than a few times that her Papa was the flier in the family, that she’d done what was necessary to get through A Level Basic Flight, and that they rarely flew together except during class, though that changed a bit after they graduated and married. Annie was aware she wasn’t much of a flier, either, and after her disastrous first flight, her interest had become less than zero.

But when Kerry asked her to fly with him, she couldn’t say no. His desire to see her fly, and his confidence at her unseen abilities, drove her to show him, her love, that she could meet his expectations. And his confident spilled into her being, for she’d never expected to sit upon an Espinoza and have it perform as expected.

Today, she’d piloted her broom as if she’d piloted one for years.

They flew another thirty minutes after lunch before setting down on the northern shore of Lake Lovecraft, unzipping their flight jackets and laying down next to each other upon the grass. Everything seemed so perfect to Annie—or as perfect as anything she’d felt since meeting Kerry two weeks ago. The weather, the company, being together on another adventure: given how the day has begun, she couldn’t ask for a finer interlude.

Yet something nagged her, and she soon understood that there was something she had to tell Kerry…

She stared into the sky while moving closer to him. “Can I ask you to do something for me?”

Kerry was lost in his own thoughts, but he heard Annie’s voice clearly. “Sure.”

“If you should ever meet my father—” She reached for Kerry’s left hand, holding it tightly against her stomach. “Please don’t tell him about this day.”

He knew the chances were slim that he’d meet Annie’s parents any time soon, but he respected her wish enough not to ask why. “Sure, Sweetie.”

“Thank you, my love.” She held on to his hand, as if she expected to float away without an anchor. “Thank you for everything.”


Yeah, don’t tell my father that I had a good time flying with someone who isn’t my daddy, and getting on a broom and flying around the school was no big deal

Now, you may ask, “Well, if Annie has a need to get recognition for her achievements, why wouldn’t she say something?”  Annie did talk about her classes at school and there were mentions of picking up her flight skills rather quickly and even doing the Mile High Flight.  It’s just that when it came to this particular flight–well, it was one she was asked to take, and she was asked to take it by the one person in the world who means more to her than members of her family–

That’s the sort of flight you don’t want people to know happened.

If it sounds like I’m spending a lot of time picking on Annie, don’t worry:

Kerry’s just about to get placed in the Phoenix’s spotlight…

Trump’s Narcissism Just Damaged Our National Security

This is what happens when you let a child run something important–

Mike the Mad Biologist

And it’s only going to get worse. We’ll get to that in a minute. Il Trumpe just did this (boldface mine):

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage…

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