Time to Throw Down: Bringing People Together

Here it is, Memorial Day, and in The Burg it’s rainy as hell.  While people were likely still sleeping, or at Lee staying comfortable under the sheets, I headed out for breakfast, something I do on a regular basis whenever there’s a holiday.

 

Yes, we have a Denny’s in the area, and starting out the morning with steak and eggs and coffee is not a bad way to go.  After I’m done with this post I’ll start on my Sense8 recap, and when I’m finished with that I’ll head over and get some ribs over at the Artfest a few blocks away.  This was dinner yesterday:

When I return I get out the first of two mermaid excerpts I need to write, maybe watch a little Mr. Robot, then work on the novel before finishing off the evening with the last mermaid scene of the evening, which will get me all caught up on that story.

In other words, no big cookouts for me: it’s going to be another day of massive writing.

The scene I’m working on, the first part of which I’m excerpting today, has been going rather well. Last night it did well over eight hundred words, and when I have worked on this scene the fewest words I’ve written were right around seven hundred.  I don’t know that things are going easier, but it does appear that I’m making my way to the scene rather effortlessly.  As always, the biggest obstacle I have is simply getting started, but it seems that as of late I’ve been more eager to start writing, and get into writing, and get it done.

So maybe this is a turning point: maybe I’m getting back into the swing of things.  We’ll see, ’cause I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again–and just because instead doesn’t make it true.

In the meantime, it’s time to get Kerry and Franky on the mat.  But before that happens, there’s all the preliminary stuff:

 

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

 

As seem to be the case whenever word got out that either Annie, or Kerry, or both, were about to engage in combat at Gwydion Manor, a sizable number of students appeared so they could watch the action. By the time Annie and Kerry arrived, they estimated at least seventy students were present, which was nearly half the enrollment of Salem. Annie, however, did not see this is a good sign. “I can’t believe this many people are showing up to watch you go up against Franky.”

Kerry didn’t take Annie statement as a slight against his ability. On their walk to the Tesla Science Center for their Practical Super Science class, they continued to express disbelief that Franky believed he could go up against Kerry and win his judgment trial. “Not only that, but who is spreading around word that we’re going to do this?”

“That answer is easy.” She spied Franky and Lisa standing on the far side of the combat mat. “He tells Lisa, Lisa tells her friends, her friends spread the word to their friends. Before you know it half the school knows what’s going on.”

Kerry glanced about the room. “Literally.”

Annie turned to face Kerry, coming as close as necessary so as to not be heard by anyone else. “You need to be careful. There’s a lot about this I don’t like.”

He nodded. “Don’t worry; I’m good.”

She cast her eyes downward for just a second. “Do you need to take another dose?” Annie referred to the gel caps Coraline gave him after their visit to the hospital and his examination. She told him they would help with the raging flux of hormones with which he was currently dealing and to take two more in the evening, as well as tomorrow morning, if he continued feeling stressed out. She was quite aware that what Coraline had given Kerry was nothing more than a light dose of the same hormonal medication Coraline gave to girls suffering from PMS. As she didn’t know how Kerry would react to that news, Annie felt it best not to mention anything.

He shook his head. “No, I feel good.” He reached into his jacket pocket and gave her the tin with the six remaining pills. “I think it’s best if you hold on to this, though.”

Annie took the tin just as Professor Chai walked into the Manor. “It’s like you’re about to start.”

He removed his backpack and slipped out of his jacket. “Better get this over with.” He wrapped his left arm around Annie’s shoulders and gave her a warm, slow kiss. “Wish me luck.”

“You’re not going to need it.” She nodded toward the mat. “Go on.”

 

In case anyone was wondering you now know: Kerry is being given PMS medication to keep his hormones balanced.  Because why not?  One hopes Coraline tells him what she’s giving him after he becomes a she, because by then who will care if she freaks out?  Actually, she should be on medication so she probably won’t be able to freak out, so that’s good.  Though after she transitions back to Male Kerry, there will be that hint of understanding that he was getting PMS medication so he could chill.

Yeah, this kid is getting his mind messed with in a big way.

Since the festivities are about to begin that means the magic is about the fly.  Still thing Frankie’s up the something?

Maybe you’ll find out tomorrow.

“The Calling” Scene 27: “The Challenge”

Leigh, Penny, and Kemena were an hour into their two hour drive back to Portland International Airport and all was quiet. Penny had taken some Dramamine before leaving the hotel to help with motion sickness, which Leigh said she might encounter due to having not written in the car for seven years, but despite the precautions she felt fine. She was, however, happy that today was cloudy, and figured she was going to need some time acclimating to all the sunlight she’d encounter back home in Albuquerque.

As Oregon State Highway 6 crossed the Wilson River for the third time Penny slightly turned in her passenger seat so she could see both her mother driving and Kemena behind her. “When are you going to return to the pod?”

Leigh kept her eyes on the road. “I don’t know that I can, Honey.”

Penny shot a skeptical look at her mother. “Why’s that?”

“You know why. There is you—”

Penny held up her left arm and shook her hand back and forth to show off her Age of Attainment bracelet. “Remember this? I can take care of myself. Also, you should wear yours now.  There’s no need to hide it from me.”

Leigh shot a sideways glance at her daughter before turning back to the road. “I also have the business. It’s impossible for me to walk away from that.” She half turned this time to look at Penny. “It’s that business that keeps us fed and gives us a home.”

“Okay, I can see that.” Penny stretched her legs. “What would it take for you to hand over the business someone else?”

Hummph.” Leigh seemed almost aloof as she negotiated the turns of the winding highway. “And to whom in my supposed to hand my business and let them run it in my place?”

Penny softly cleared her throat. “Me.”

This time Leigh shot an unbelieving sideways glance at Penny. “You?”

“Well, Kemena and me. Before you say anything, hear me out.” This time she scooted around her seat, with her left leg folded under her right, so she can look at both her mom and Kemena without having to turn her head. “I know how to get fake school transcripts for the time I was supposed be away at private school: Swirling Maelstrom told me how it’s done. Once I get those, I’m going to take online courses so that I can get a degree. I haven’t decided what I’m going to get yet, but I will finish college.”

She nodded towards her friend in the back. “Kemena’s going to attend UNM starting in the fall and she’s going to major in business administration with an emphasis on accounting. So whatever I don’t pick up from my classes, should be able to help me later.”

Leigh’s voice was soft as if she knew where Penny was going. “Help you with what?”

“With running the business.” Penny wiggled her foot for a few moments as she looked at her mother. “Why I’m taking classes at night for college, let me go to work with you. Show me everything there is to know about running the business, and I mean everything. If you want me to lay out landscaping, I will. If you want me to work typing up manifest or cleaning up stuff, I will. But show me everything that you did to make the business successful.

“Then when Kemena gets out of school, let heard me start running things day-to-day. You can still be there, but let us take care of the business. If after a year we’ve proven were not going to bankrupt the place, you sign over the business to me, I’ll make Kemena a partner, and you—” She shrugged. “You can go back to the pod for a while.”
Leigh was uncertain as to what she should say. It wasn’t that she was uncertain of Penny’s ability to do what she wanted to do—she was uncertain as to her motives. “Honey, I—”

“Mom, people in the pod miss you.” Penny’s tone was soft and comforting, with a bit of sadness apparent as well. “Swirling Maelstrom and Breaking Waves miss you; your binding grandmothers miss you; your sisters miss you; your nieces want to see you. I left the picture of you and me with the pod, because your binding mothers have nothing else to remember you by.

“In five years you going to be sixty-one, almost sixty-two. You will have been away from the pod for over fifty years and there are so many people to whom you are either a memory or a tale. So many people wanted me to tell them of everything I knew of you ‘cause they had no recollections of their own of what you were like when you were a member of the pod.

“I’m not trying to do this to prove I can run things better than you, or because I’ve got an ego, or because I have to prove myself. Doing this for you, Mom.” Penny looked down inside. “I know you want to go back. I’m giving you the chance.”

Leigh watch the road unwind before her. She understood what Penny wanted to do and why she was doing this. And though Leigh wasn’t ready to admit that her daughter was right, she knew Penny would keypad her until she finally agreed to the terms of her challenge.

And she was certain she knew how this was going to affect Penny in the coming years.

The road was straight giving Leigh the opportunity to fully turn her head and look at her daughter. “Five years, huh?”

Penny looked up and nodded slowly. “Yeah, five years.”

‘Twin Peaks’: Here’s My Recap of The Hot Mess That Is Episodes 1-4

Rachel is watching Showtime’s “Twin Peaks”. And… let’s say she’s about to start singing the brilliance of “AHS: Roanoke” after this–

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

Showtime's 'Twin Peaks,' Season 3, Agent Cooper as Dougie Jones [Image via Showtime] Okay, before I even start with this recap, I need to let you all know that his is David Lynch and Twin Peaks we are talking about. I don’t think I can even recap each episode like I normally do without each one running up thousands of words. Instead, I will be giving my thoughts on this hot mess of a reboot as more of a general review for each episode. And, to honour David Lynch, there will be no relevant order to how these recaps happen. I will not start at the beginning and work my way through the middle before summing up the end of each episode. Oh, hell no! Strap on your helmets, this shit is about to go all over the place.

Another thing I will be doing is adding my thoughts as I watch each episode via The Snarking Dead’s Facebook page. These…

View original post 1,239 more words

And the Challenged Issued…

Well, the last couple of days have been interesting and busy.  Not necessarily happy ones, but that’s nothing new: I’ve been dealing with that for a long time now.  But that’s another story.

There were certain aspects of today’s excerpt that were given away in yesterday’s video, so because I was sort of Chatty Cathy, I figured it’s a good time to just do a massive data dump and get the rest of the first scene out for all to see and read.  Plus, I actually wrote one thousand, one hundred, and forty words per the scene I’m currently working on, some still staying nearly 3000 words ahead of you.  And I intend to write some more today, so that’ll help.

Most everyone who watched the video yesterday knows what’s coming, but before that happened, Annie and Kerry–mostly Annie–did their best to defuse the situation:

 

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

 

Annie hadn’t expected this outburst. She knew what was driving it: it was the same hormonal imbalance that had been driving his moodiness for the last month. And as much as he tried to tell her he was in control, everything she had just witnessed told her that he was far from in total control of his actions. The Kerry from a year ago would have never confronted Franky this way: he would’ve just waved at him and kept walking. Now he looks as if he’s ready to fight.

She tugged on his jacket sleeve. “As much as I know you’d like to continue this discussion, we need to get to Sorcery class.”

Kerry slowly let out a breath he’d been holding in for a few seconds and nodded. “Yeah—” He turned to Annie and gave her a slight smile. “You’re right.” He rolled his shoulders to adjust his backpack. “See you around, guys.”

As Kerry began walking away Frankie’s displeasure was evident upon his face. “Malibey.”

Kerry continued walking without looking back. “Will you idiots just leave me alone?”

MALIBEY.”

What?” He came to a stop as he half turned back towards the boys.

Franky drew himself up as he took a deep breath. “I’m calling you out.”

It took a few seconds for Kerry to understand what was happening. When he finally realized what Franky said, his first reaction was one of disbelief. “Are you serious?”

Franky stood with his friends, his fist clenched and an angry look on his face. “Yes, I am.”

Kerry glanced at Annie, who was just as surprised as he, then rolled his eyes for all to see. “Really? You want to do this?”

“You insulted Lisa. You insulted her and said derogatory things about her.”

“And it’s up to her to call me out, not you.” Kerry wanted to walk up to Franky and jabbed a finger in his face, but doing so could be seen as confrontational and would give Franky a reason to call him out legitimately. “You have no reason to do this.”

“I have every reason to do so. What you said about her was wrong so—” He gave a slight shrug. “I’m defending her honor.”

Kerry glanced at Annie as he muttered under his breath. “Oh, geez.”

Annie decided to step into this argument to make a few points. “Kerry’s right, Franky: if Lisa was insulted it’s up to her to call Kerry out. Which means you can go and tell her what Kerry said, but—”

“Kerry also called us idiots.” Franky motioned to the other boys. “All three of us; he called us idiots. So I can call him out for that.”

 

The “Will you idiots just leave me alone?” line was in the trailer, so you get a sneak peek at Kerry getting ready to be called out.  And frankly, it’s a bullshit reason.  Kerry sets Franky straight and tells them that if he said stuff about Lisa that he should in the stead, it’s Lisa’s place to call Kerry out.  But since we know Lisa’s a cowardly bag of pus, there’s no way in hell she’s ever going to approach Kerry and call him out for calling her shitty racer.  It’s just not her style.

Even so, Kerry is giving Franky a chance to walk away–though in the end it does no good…

 

All Kerry could do at this point we shake his head: he knew enough of his current condition that he was afraid of getting into a major argument if he was saying what was on his mind at the moment. “You really don’t want to do this.”

“I know what I’m doing, Kerry.” Franky turned to Fidele. “Go find an instructor so we can finalize this.”

“That won’t be necessary.” Professor Sladen reached the bottom of the stairs coming from the first floor of the East Transept and strode into the Rotunda. “I’ve been watching us for the last couple of minutes, so there’s no need to bring in of the witnesses.” She stopped about two meters from the arguing groups. “Franky, both Annie and Kerry are right: it’s not your place to call him out for something he said about Lisa. You can tell her what happened and it’s up to her if she wants to confront him.”

Franky shrugged. “Then I’m calling him out for calling us idiots. There was something said directly to us, and since we were speaking, I’m going to assume that when he said that he was referring to me.”

Erywin knew well that judgment trails could be used for transgression such as this, but it was considered a somewhat juvenile use of this power. “You may want to reconsider this.”

“I thought you might say that.” Franky shook his head. “Unless he’s going to get detention, I’m still calling him out.”

Kerry snorted loudly as he shook his head. “That’s not happening.”

Given that Franky wasn’t backing down, and she couldn’t see giving detention to Kerry for something as insignificant as calling someone an idiot when they were obviously acting that way, Erywin saw she had no choice with her course of action. “All right, then. I’ll notify Ramona that she needs to get the Manner ready for a judgment trial. When do you both want to do this?”

“Before lunch or before dinner.” Kerry looked completely disinterested. “I’m good with either one.”

Franky gave Annie and Kerry a disgusted look. “Before dinner is good.”

“Then seventeen-twenty it is.” Erywin waved Franky and the other two boys off. “All of you: it to wherever you’re supposed to be now.” As soon as the boys were far enough away to be out of earshot, Erywin move closer to her two friends and addressed the Ginger Hair Boy. “How are you feeling?”

 

Even Erywin knows that Frankie’s reasons for calling out Kerry are bullshit, but he’s not the first kid to go to the Manor because they’re butthurt.  And since she can’t get Franky to back down, and there’s no way in hell Kerry’s taking detention–though, you have to imagine if Kerry was given detention by Erywin, they’d probably spend most of the hours sitting around talking–she has no choice but to let Ramona know two kids are entering the school’s version of Thunderdome, and one will likely be leaving on a stretcher.

Of course, knowing what she knows about Kerry, it’s natural that when she shoes the other kids away she wants to see how he’s feeling.  Annnnnnnnnd… Kerry lets her know right away:

 

Kerry rolled his eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. “I’m fine.”

Annie rolled her eyes. “And that answer should tell you what you need to know.” She turned to Erywin. “He’s been like this all morning and refuses to go see Coraline.”

“Well, we’ll have to do something about that.” Erywin turned towards the boy. “Kerry, go to the hospital. Tell Coraline you need an examination because you’re feeling—a bit moody.”

Kerry caught himself before he almost gave another heavy sigh. “Do I really have to go? I’m sure—”

Erywin was not in the mood to be bamboozled by someone she knew was suffering. “I’m not telling you to go to the hospital as a friend: I’m ordering you there as senior coven leader of the school, young man.” She turned to Annie as she placed a hand on his shoulder. “Make certain you fill in the blanks in case he forgets a few details.”

Annie reach for Kerry’s hand. “I make certain of it, Professor.”

Erywin gave Kerry a soft smile. “Go with Annie. You’ll feel better when this is over.”

“Thanks, Professor.” Kerry walked away feeling slightly chagrined, because he knew deep down that both Annie and Erywin were doing what they knew was best for him. He leaned toward Annie as they approached the stairs. “Sorry for being a butt head.”

“It’s all right.” She gave his hand a tiny squeeze. “I know this hormonal flux is hard on you. Just remember, we’re all here trying to make your situation better.”

“Yeah.” As they began climbing the stairs Kerry shook his head. “I don’t get what’s up with Franky. He’s has to know I’m going to kick his butt this afternoon.”

Annie grunted. “That’s the problem.”

“What is?”

“That he has to know you’re going to kick his butt.” She stopped them when they were only a few stairs from the stop and turned to face him. “Don’t for a moment get complacent about this judgment trial. Since he’s doing this to defend Lisa, you have to assume that something else afoot here…”

 

So, first: it’s not often you see one of those who knows Kerry well to actually get Instructor Stern with him and tell him, in no uncertain terms, he has to do something.  As stated above, Erywin knows what’s going on with Kerry, but she also knows he can be quite obstinate at times.  So in that case, she needs a jump in his butt a little bit and remind him that when you get and order from the senior coven leader of Salem, it’s not meant to be taken lightly.

And in the aftermath of the calling out, it doesn’t take long for Annie and Kerry–again, mostly Annie–to wonder if something sketchy is going on.  Annie was already bamboozled by one half of this team, so there’s no reason to believe that Franky isn’t up to some kind chicanery of his own.  The question was asked and answered yesterday: yes, both Lisa and Franky saw Annie and Kerry do their little “Let’s Kill All the Zombies” test ordered by the Guardians, so Franky knows what he’s getting into the Monday squares off against Kerry.  Even Kerry is and oblivious to the fact that he knows he can kick Frankie’s butt without working up a sweat, and that Franky has to know it, too.

So the question remains: is there something up?

Hey, go ahead and speculate away until I get it published for you.

“The Calling” Scene 26: “The Difference”

“What did Curious Squid save you?” Kemena leaned in, a curious look upon her face. “Was it something bad?”

Penny shook her head. “It wasn’t bad.”

“Then what was it?”

When they had begun this conversation, Penny considered not bringing up this part of her life to Kemena. However, since Kemena wanted to know everything about her life below the waves, she felt she would be cheating her friend if she didn’t disclose what happened in the infirmary. “Curious Squid told me that she wanted me to be her first bonding partner.”

Kemena gave her friend a strange look. “What’s bonding?”

“Uh…” Penny looked down for second and she tried to think of the best way to explain the next part. “It’s like—getting together.” She stared in the Kemena’s eyes as her eyebrows arched. “You know, like, together?”

Kemena needed only a few seconds to put it together. “Do you mean like hooking up?”

Penny’s side came out sounding almost like a chuckle. “Yes and no. I mean, if you want to look at it as something physical going on, yes, that’s what it is. But it’s not the same thing. Mermaids are emotional, empathetic creatures, and we take any sort of intimate connections seriously. I mean, even Singing Nymph and I sleeping together like we did—while nothing ever happened, we both realized there was an emotional connection between us that made our time like that all the more enjoyable.”

Kemena searched her memory for her time together with Penny before the later left and found several examples that seem to confirm this fact. “I remember before you left for the pod and, like, it seems as if all your feelings were stronger than everyone else’s. Is it like that with all mermaids?”

Penny nodded. “Pretty much. When we get angry, we’re angry. When we get upset, we’re upset. And when we love—” A wistful smile appeared on Penny’s face. “We take it seriously.”

“Does that mean you fell in love with someone?”

“I loved everyone equally, but I felt far closer to both Singing Nymph and Curious Squid.”

Kemena gave several seconds of thought to her next question, for a while she wanted to ask it, she didn’t necessarily want to know the answer. “So, did you and Curious Squid—bond?”

Penny waited a few seconds before nodding. “About a year ago. And maybe like four times between that first moment and when I came back.” She looked around the room a few times as she worked through her memories. “The last time was two nights ago.”

Kemena let out a soft sigh. “I would’ve thought you to been with her last night.”

Penny shook her head. “No, I spent my last night with Singing Nymph.”

There was something in her friends tone that caught Kemena’s attention. “Do you mean that you—”

“Yeah.”

“Wait—” Kemena’s eyes went wide. “You did with your cousin?”

Penny shrugged. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

But she’s your cousin.”

“We don’t look at it that way.”

“But—”

You can’t judge us like that.” Though she wasn’t angry, Penny’s tone changed just enough to let Kemena know she was slightly upset. “Were not human: we don’t follow human laws.”

Nearly five seconds passed before Kemena broke out of her shotgun off to speak. “What you mean, you’re not human?”

Penny seemed somewhat uncomfortable as she spoke. “I’m not human. I mean, I look like you and I talk like you, this is not really my true form. You see my true form, and that’s how really how I’m supposed to look–how I looked for the last seven years.”

She slid closer to Kemena and softened her tone to help reassure and comfort her. “You’re Homo sapiens; I’m Homo aquatica. We can live together and do things that we used to do, but I’m never going to be human. In a way, were both kind of aliens to each other.”

She took Kemena’s hands and gave them a squeeze. “And you’re still my friend. That didn’t change while I was away and is not going to change now. We may come from two different species, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go back to what we had before I left. I want to continue our friendship and even strengthen it.” She gave the hands a small shake. “What do you think?”

Kemena refused to look at Penny for almost ten seconds: when she finally looked up there were tears in her eyes and on her cheeks. “I don’t care if you are different than me; I just want you to be my friend.”

Penny and Kemena hugged and for the first time in seven years Penny felt tears filling her eyes. When they broke Penny kissed Kemena’a cheek. “I’m not going anywhere, silly. You’re stuck with me as your friend.”

Kemena laugh. “And you’re stuck with me, too.”

“That’s good, because—” Penny’s expression turned serious. “I need to know something…”

“The Calling” Scene 25: “The Visit”

Easing in and out of slumber she says she was not alone in the infirmary. As the healer had checked up on her a little while before, she figured she was getting a visitor.

She opened her eyes and discovered Curious Squid smiling back at her. Her friend grinned and spoke in a low voice. “I wasn’t sure you’d be awake.”

Penny smiled back even though she was slightly out of it due to the relaxant she was given. “I don’t ever sleep, really. It’s more like I just the slip in and out of being conscious.” As she was lying on her left side she reached out with her right hand. “Thanks for coming by.”

Curious Squid took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “I figured you wouldn’t mind another visitor.”

Penny snorted. “You were here twice yesterday.”

“Which means I get to come back again later today.” Curious Squid slip to her side and stretched out so she was more or less facing Penny. “What did the healer tell you today?”

“She said I’m doing fine, that I’m healing just the way I should.” Penny gave a long, protracted sigh. “Eight days down, six days to go.”

Curious Squid reached out and rubbed her friend’s arm. “Poor Little Bubbles: stuck and unable to move for two weeks.”

“Uh, I hate this. It’s bad enough people bring me food, but then I need two or three people take me out to go to the bathroom.” Penny rolled her eyes. “I would give anything to be able to swim just a little ways.”

“I didn’t mind helping you the other day.” Curious Squid flashed a coy smile. “After all, one friend should be willing to do anything for her other friends.”

“Yeah, well, friend or not, I’d rather you not be there when I go to the bathroom.”

“What you mean? It’s not like we haven’t swam off together to the current before.”

There was a certain modicum of truth to what Curious Squid said, you just like everything else it was rare for one mermaid to go off to the current to relieve themselves; they often went in groups of two or three making it something of a social function, just like girls often did back on land. “I guess you’re right.” Penny’s eyes fluttered; it felt like she might have dozed off. “How long was I out?”

“Just a few seconds. I don’t think it was more than ten, really.” Curious Squid motioned with her head toward the door. “You want me to leave?”

At the moment that was the last thing Penny wanted. “Not really. It’s kind of boring just laying here with nothing to do. Nice to have someone here so I can talk and pass the time.”

Curious Squid cast her gaze aside for a moment as if she were thinking of something. Penny had noticed her doing this more over the last couple of months now and she wondered what exactly was on her friend’s mind. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Curious Squid snapped her attention back to Penny. “Not really.”

“What does ‘not really’ mean?” Penny was really confused now. It was quite obvious Curious Squid was thinking of something, but didn’t want to talk. “You know, if something is bothering you, you can tell me. Remember—friends?”

There was a silence that stretched between them for nearly ten seconds before Curious Squid nodded twice. There is something I would like to talk about.”

Penny worked up her best smile. “And that is?”