So, yeah: post is late again, mostly because I was busy today. As in a lot of busy. But here it is. And let’s get into what this place is–
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
“If you don’t mind—” Coraline’s voice boomed out throughout the room. “Let’s get ready for the events ahead. Breakfast is on the way up and I’m sure Annie and Kerry would like to start the day on a full stomach.”
Annie nodded. “That sounds like a fantastic idea.” She was concerned that too many questions would make Kerry moody and unreceptive to anything that would follow. She gave Kerry’s arm a slight tug. “Come, love. Let’s sit.”
“Yes, Sweetie.” As Kerry took her seat she looked to Coraline on her right. “What is this place?”
Coraline tried to play coy. “The third floor.”
“Yeah, but what is it here for.” She tried to slide herself forward. “Damn.”
Annie quickly glanced over. “What is it?”
“My feet: I can’t hardly touch the floor.” After a few seconds of trying to manually slide the chair closer to the table, Kerry used a bit of levitation to accomplish the feat. She returned to Coraline. “The question still remains.”
Given that we’re seen a bit of the third floor before this, it’s interesting to see the original intention of the place. And that intention was..?
Knowing she couldn’t avoid the question, Coraline sat and decided to give Kerry a history lesson. “The third floor was designed to be the isolation area for the hospital and school. The original intent was to use this as a place to put students who’d contracted infectious diseases and illnesses and allow them to heal without subjecting others to their presence. However—”
Annie jumped into the pause. “That wasn’t the only intent.”
“No, it wasn’t. This was also meant to be used as the mental health ward as well, so we could isolate students and instructors who we felt had become a danger to themselves and to others.” Coraline signed. “It’s no coincidence that it was constructed almost exactly seventy years after the disappearance and death of Astria Blomqvist.”
After over two full years at school, Annie and Kerry were intimately aware of the history of, Astria Blomqvist, the school’s first Mistress of the Sky Arts and the founder of Cernunnos Coven. Not only did their know of her life, but they also knew about how she slowly withdrew from the students and instructors of Salem and ended up becoming a hermit in the first Astronomy Tower, Astria Portal, and eventually jaunted off to a remote family cabin in Sweden to finish the task of starving herself to death.
While in her time one would say she was “touched”, today everyone recognized Astria suffered from mental health issues and that allowed her mind to deteriorate to the point where she no longer cared if she lived or died. Over the long history of the school Astria’s mental health issues weren’t the only ones: Annie was aware of the suicides of a few Divination instructors, and both students were aware of enchantments in place around the current Astronomy and Clock Towers to prevent students from leaping to their deaths.
Kerry signed and looked around. “So this is where you were brought if you were deemed ‘unstable’.”
Coraline nodded. “Yeah. At least they did until about sixty years ago. These days if someone is suffering from depression or bi-polar disorder we try to get them into counseling ASAP, and if they don’t go right away we keep an eye on them in case they—try something.” She glanced towards the the lift area. “Anyone who attempts suicide is kept in the ICU these days—ah, here’s breakfast.”
Not much has been discussed about Astria Blomqvi, Annie’s and Kerry’s coven founder, but there has been a few discussions about how she sealed herself up in Astria Portal for many years before vanishing from the school. Now you know: she jaunted back to Sweden and starved herself to death, all due to her deteriorating mental health. So a mental health ward was created, though at the time it was called the “isolation ward” and probably more often “The Insane Asylum”.
Now it’s a place just used for testing.
And sometimes eating breakfast…