This post is all for Skye Hegyes, whose comment yesterday had me smiling because I knew what was coming and apparently, so did she. I figured she guessed, but how did I know? I write this mess, remember?
Yes, after being cooped up on the third floor of the hospital all day, Coraline had a dinner plan that she was certain would make Kerry feel better. As Annie pointed out, it was something sure to make her feel better. And how would that be accomplished?
Maybe by getting some fresh air first?
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie rounded the corner at New Liberty Street and looked westward down the Essex Street pedestrian mall. There were scattered clouds over Salem reflecting the glow of the setting sun. Though not completely dark, the lights were on everywhere due to the heavy shadows casts by the buildings, and in maybe another twenty minutes it would be dark enough for it to be considered night. Though the wind had finally dropped to 16 kilometers per hours, the 10 C temps keep it cool enough this close to the ocean that it was impossible to walk around comfortably without wearing a jacket over a sweater or sweatshirt.
She took a step on to Essex and realized she was semi-alone. Annie turned to her right and held out her hand. “Come on: there’s nothing to worry about.”
Kerry stepped from around the corner of the large manor house at the intersection of the two streets and looked down Essex. “No chance we’ll run into anyone at all—right?”
Annie shook her head. “Not at all. Everyone’s back from wherever they went today and sitting down to dinner. We have almost forty-five minutes before we meet everyone for our own dinner.” She held out her hand. “We’ll be okay. I can guaranty won’t run into anyone we know.”
“Okay.” Kerry drew in a breath and let it out slowly. “Okay, then. Let’s do this.”
Annie took her hand. “Let’s.”
Back on the third floor, the moment Annie told Kerry that Coraline had received approval for them to leave the ground and go into Salem to eat, she jumped at the opportunity. Coraline arrived with something for Kerry to wear a few minutes later and within ten minutes they were taking the lift to the lower level to meet Isis, who took them to the secure jaunt station in the sub-levels that was used to transport those guilty of malfeasances to Foundation correctional centers. From their they jaunted to the station located in the Church Street parking structure and told to meet Coraline, Deanna, Erywin, Jessica, and Mathilde at Turner’s in forty-five minutes.
Annie loved the ensemble Coraline put together for Kerry. Jeans, warm blue socks, and plum sneakers for her lower half, while a burgundy sweater and blue fleece jacket covered her torso. Coraline hadn’t forgotten Kerry’s extremities, either: she wore a wool cap the color of her sweater and her hands were encased in gray fingerless gloves. She was pleased that Kerry seemed so at ease wearing this in public. While nothing she wore appeared too overtly feminine, the cut of the jeans, the plum-colored shoes, and the matching jacket, seemed far better tailored for a girl.
Annie gave Kerry’s hand a squeeze before letting it go. “Are you cold?”
“Naw.” Kerry flashed her a smile. “No. The hat’s keeping my head warm; same with the sweater and jacket..” She looked down at her hands. “Getting used to these gloves is another thing, you know?”
“Are you fingers cold?”
“No, they’re not. It’s just that I’ve never had gloves where my fingertips are exposed.”
“In weather like this they’re not bad.” Annie leaned closer to Kerry. “I like to feel things when I’m touching them. But don’t worry: for colder weather I wear mittens.” She gave a quick nod. “You’ll get used to them.”
“Like I am everything else in the body.” Kerry lifted her face a bit towards the sky. “That feels different, though.”
There you have it: the next step in this long day of change is to get Kerry off the grounds and out into the public. And have her walk around awhile and enjoy Salem at night.
As least now the chill is coming from the night air…