“The Calling” Scene 19: “The Inquiry”

They were only a mile out of the trailside parking lot when Penny decided she wanted to eat before cleaning up. Leigh stopped at a local grill in Netarts so her daughter could get her hamburger, and when she had her fill they drove on to the small, local motel about a mile further down the road. Leigh was staying in one cabin by herself, while the girls shared one next door. They all said a quick good night and retired for the evening.

Kemena showered before going to the beach, so the bathroom belonged to Penny. She took a nice, long shower, cleaning up for nearly thirty minutes. Kemena could hear her singing to herself, though the song she had chosen were anywhere from seven to ten years out of date.  Once they were back home it was going to take some time to get her friend caught up on the newest artists.

Penny came out of the bathroom wearing a robe and running a comb through her thick hair, which now reached nearly to her waist. She started to slip out of her robe halfway to where her sleep shorts and cami lay on her bed, but caught herself at the last moment. She grabbed her night clothes and stood in the corner facing away from Kemena. She stepped into her shorts before dropping the robe to put on her cami:  it was then that Kemena saw a six inch scar running from the middle of Penny’s right shoulder blade down to her back.

Now dressed, Penny took a deep breath and came over to join her friend. “Oh, I feel so much better now.”

Kemena scooted over on her bed so Penny could sit next to her, which she did. “Refreshed?”

“I know it’s gonna seem a little strange, but even though I been living in water for seven years, I really miss taking a shower.” Penny ran the comb through her hair a few more times. “It makes you feel so much better once you’re done. And…” Her smile was wide and bright. I haven’t felt real hot water since I moved to the pod.”

There were dozens of questions about mermaid life in the pod that Kemena had asked Leigh during the years that Penny was away, and the answer was always the same: wait until Penny gets back and ask her. Now that her friend was finally sitting in front of her, the first question that came to mind was probably the dumbest. “So how do you keep clean?”

Penny chuckled. “Once a week we go scrub down with mud and sand, then find a swift current to swim through.” Finished combing her hair, she turned and toss the comb over on the dresser. “I guess you could say it’s a little like getting a mud bath. But, not really.” She folded her hands in her lap and shrugged. “My home under the sea definitely doesn’t have the same comforts as my home in Albuquerque.”

Kemena decided she couldn’t wait any longer: she had to know. “So, what was it like? I mean, who greeted you when you got there? Who was there from your family? Did you have a place to stay? Did you make any friends?”

Whoa, slow down.” Penny looked down as she shook her head slightly. “I kind of figured I could talk with you guys tomorrow about this, when we had back to Portland.”

“Come on, Penn.” Kemena gave her a “I Can’t Believe You’re Doing This to Me” look. “In case she didn’t notice, your mother was really reluctant to question you about anything between the time we picked you up in the time we get back here.” She leaned forward slightly with her head cocked to one side. “There’s no way I can go to bed now and not know what you’ve been up to for the last seven years. I’m never going to get to sleep, and you know it.” Her tone softened considerably. “Please? Can you tell me just a few things?”

Penny sensed the anxiety in Kemena’s voice and knew if she kept her friend waiting to hear the full story of her life in the ocean, Kemena would go to go to bed frustrated and unhappy. As it was, Penny was still on Pod Time and wouldn’t be ready for bed for several hours, so there was no worry that she would fall asleep anytime soon.

Penny reached out and took Kemena’s hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “You want to hear my grand story?”

Kemena return the squeeze and nodded. “I want to hear it all.”

Penny drew in a breath and squeezed her shoulders together before getting comfortable. “Okay, then—” She released Kemena’s hand and rested hers up on her thighs. “This is what happened…”

On Beyond the Curtain: The Other Face

Looking at my stats I see that after creating this post I will be ten posts away from post 2,500.  Which likely means I need to put together a special post for my bi-millennial and change post.  The thing is, I don’t know if I have anything interesting to say at this point, as it’s all been said for the most part.  Maybe I’ll huff paint on camera, which would be a bit crazy and somewhat entertaining.

I also got a critique on my mermaid story from the eleven year old daughter of a Facebook friend who, after reading the last scene which does a seven year time jump, says she wants what happened to my little mermaid while under the sea.  Needless to say there wasn’t a lot of singing and dancing.  Though I hadn’t considered it, I’m going to do some flashback scene to get that part of the story out there.  And…  it also looks like I’ll be doing scenes on this into June.

There was also over seven hundred words written into the current novel, and believe it or not, Kerry verbally smacked the shit out of someone.  It was an interesting conversation, but in the end Kerry finally told someone off and then did a Bye Felicia on them.  Will that be the end of it?  Well…

While you consider that, let’s continue with Phee doing her best to give my kids their own unhealthy coping mechanisms?

 

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

 

Kerry had been working hard to avoid The Phoenix’s gaze, but with this last statement is eyes locked with her as he threw back a nearly malevolent stare. “Why don’t you just leave me alone?”

The Phoenix squared off in front of Kerry, not looking away for a second. “You’re gonna be looking at this face in the mirror one day—”

“Yeah, no shit. You keep telling me so it’s hard to forget.”

“’Cause you need reminding that this is a part of your future, of your life. And you know it’s coming because you can feel it. All that unease and emotional vulnerability you’ve been feeling of late? You know your hormones are in flux, which means you know transition is coming sooner than later.” She stepped up closer to the half scared, half angry boy. “Did you ever mention to anyone your biggest fear of transitioning over the summer?”

 

It’s no big secret that The Phoenix started out this little adventure by attempting to trigger the hell out of Kerry by putting a future event on display for him to relish, and seeming to twist that “Hey, this is gonna be you one day” knife a little harder at every chance.  She knows he’s going through a bit of hormonal stress at the moment and seems to feel that The Big Change is sooner than later.

And what of this biggest fear?  Well–

 

Kerry’s frown deepened as he turned and stared off over the astral image of Selena’s Meadow. Nearly five seconds past by before he answered with a single word. “No.”

“I thought so.” The Phoenix took a single step toward him. “Because I hadn’t seen anything that tells me you are discussing this matter with anyone.”

He continued staring out across the meadow. “I didn’t want to talk about it.” There was no anger in his voice: his tone was soft and unemotional. “It’s something I have to deal with alone.”

Though she took another step closer to Kerry, The Phoenix seemed as if she was cognizant of not getting too close. “Are you sure?”

He was about to answer when Annie stepped up from behind him and wrapped her left arm around his shoulders as she took his right hand. “Are you sure?”

Kerry gazed at the floor as he shook his head. “I don’t know, Annie. I don’t know that you can do anything for me.”

“There’s only one way to know that for certain.” Annie stepped around and faced him, taking each of his hands in hers. “That’s for you to tell me. Or tell Deanna, or tell Coraline, or Jessica, or, Erywin. But we can’t ever begin to help you, none of us can, as you tell us what’s troubling you.” She kissed him gently on the cheek. “The Phoenix is right about one thing, my love: we’re wife and husband. And I hate to see my husband suffers.”

Kerry bowed his head for a few moments, his eyes closed as he mustered his thoughts. “You sure you’re not gonna think this is kind of stupid when I tell you?”

He has to be especially afraid of something to ask such a question. “I’m here to support you, my love, not make fun of you.”

 

Annie has been by Kerry’s side ever since his second Gift was unveiled and she’s still there.  And what does she have to support this time?

You can probably figure it out, but I’ll post just in case you can’t…