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The Rune Vision: The Red Queen’s Race

Wait?  What is this?  Is this an excerpt?

You bet your butt it is.  Allow me to explain.

Today I headed down to Little Amps for some coffee because I made a promise to myself that even if I’m not working, staying cooped up inside a studio apartment all the time isn’t good for me.  So it was down to the coffee shop to enjoy the cold weather and drink coffee–

See? Coffee.

Oh, and to write.

Yeah, it was the first time in three weeks that I actually put words into the novel.  It was time and I figured I need to catch up on the rune dream I’ve talked about and posted on prior to today.  And since it’s been so long since I last posted, I’m going to give you everything I’ve written so far, starting with the part that’s already been excerpted, followed by what’s new.

Hope you enjoy.

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The mirror forms in the air and you take a moment to examine your attire and features. Hair is a little longer than when you graduated, but your facial features haven’t changed much at all, which is why it’s necessary to add some aging to your face before going out—the curse of being an Aware who doesn’t age at the same rate as a Normal.

It’s easy to see the rest of your body as well, which is almost perfectly average. The black dress pants are perfectly tailored, as is your white dress shirt, because of a little transformation magic, and your half-brogues feel as broken in as a pair you’ve own for years even though you bought them this morning.

You’ve just finished fastening the cummerbund around your waist when Annie walks out of the bathroom in her bra and panties, having just made her hair and makeup as perfect as possible. She stand on the other side of the large bedroom from you and waves at the air before her, creating her own full-length mirror. She slides her feet into a pair of black pumps before turning around to face you. “Give me a hand with my dress?”

“Of course.” As Annie levitates the dress to a position directly behind her you hold it lightly by the shoulders and phase it through her body. She helps position it until it’s perfectly in place and the moment she nods to let you know she’s satisfied, you remove the spell and take a couple of steps back. “Black metallic looks great on you.”
Annie turns and smiles. “Why wouldn’t it, my love?”

You make a quick nod towards her right shoulder. “That new ink is peeking through; you gonna hide that?”

Annie checks the tiny portion of her new tattoo just visible beyond the hem of the sleeve and makes it vanish with the wave of her hand. “Good catch. I wouldn’t want to risk that someone’s seen that somewhere else.” She looks at you as you return to your mirror. “Are you wearing earrings tonight?”

“I was thinking of wearing my diamond studs, but I’m not sure which ones.” You shrug. “What do you think? Squares? Hexagons?”

“Did you bring the octagons?”

“Yeah.”

“Wear those. I like them.”

“Done.” You remove the earrings from a nearby jewelry box and deftly slip them into place.

Annie continues admiring you as she put on her own earrings and a tiny smile curls up the right corner of her mouth. “I wish you could wear the dangling pentagrams you wore the last time we were out.”

“I would love to wear them as well, but they’d look a little out of place on this form.” You snort as you tie your tie. “That’s the problem with going to these swanky parties as a guy: it’s all the standard white shirt/black tie bullshit.” You finish your tie and tug the ends as you face Annie. “The only good this is I get to wear a bow tie—”

Annie slowly walks towards you. “Because bow ties are cool.”

The moment Annie is close enough you put your arm around her waist and give her a kiss. “Exactly, Pond.” You kiss her lips once more before releasing her. “See, I knew that part of me would rub off on you.”

“Don’t congratulate yourself too much—” She checks her appearance again in your mirror. “That’s about all I remember after a decade of quotes.” After quickly touching her hair into place she glances towards you. “Do you think they’re going to give us any time together after tonight?”

You levitate your tuxedo jacket towards you. “Hard to say. I’m still surprised they let us drop what we were doing nine months ago to go to the wedding together.”

“In that instance someone above our handlers were calling the shots.” Annie picks up a pair of emerald stud earrings and begins putting them into place behind the first set of earrings. “It’s nice when you have friends in high places.”

“That is it.” You put on the jacket, rolling your shoulders to get it set. “Still, there are probably dozens of operatives who could go to this party, yet they need us. I don’t get it.”

Annie smiles as she finishes putting in her earrings. “You know how it is: such is the way—”

“—When you’re gray. I know.” You let out loud sign. “Whatever.”

“I’m not complaining.” Annie gives her hair a quick pat. “It’s been nine months since we’ve seen each other face-to-face in person so I, for one, so I’m thankful they did pull us out of the field for this party.” She looks about the room, unsure what she should do next. “I only hope we can get a week together before returning to our on-going operations. It would be nice.”

“I agree.” You turn and look out the window of your hotel room, gazing upon the opulent city beyond. “You think this guy’s gonna be there?”

“Intelligence says the likelihood is high.” She picks up a pair of sunglasses as if she’d considering wearing them to the party. “We know the buyer will be there because we’ve seen the guest list; our target has met with the buyer five times in the last month; and seeing how the buyer is bringing along five guests the probability is high whatever business they’ve planed to transact will occur tonight.” Annie sets the sunglasses aside and sits on the edge of the bed, crossing her legs. “I know you see it the same way: you’re just asking the question because it’s something you always do when you’re restless.”

You snort without turning around to face Annie. “Guilty as charged.” After pulling the sheers back into place you glance over at Annie. “Also, the fact that we haven’t received conformation about whether or not we’re suppose to snatch this asshole isn’t exactly instilling confidence The G know what’s going on.”

Just then Annie’s phone dings as a message appears. She points at it and levitates it towards her. “Speak of the devil.” It only takes a second to read the text. “We’re on. We’re to snatch our target and the buyer.” She sets the phone in her lap. “They must want to know if the buyer is acting as a go-between for someone else.”

“Which is probably likely.” You take a couple of steps towards Annie. “Are we authorized to go public, or do we have to keep this private?”

“They didn’t say: let me ask.” Annie speaks the question into the phone and sends the message; the response comes back some twenty seconds later. “We’re to keep it private: they don’t want to involve a media team on this operation.”

“Sounds good.” You pace across the room and back once. “I supposed this means I need to make sure my other disguise is suitable, too.”

Annie nods. “It does. Let’s see, then.”

 

That was what I published previously.  Now… on to the new stuff and–well, you’ll see, things are a bit strange when it comes to disguises with these two:

 

You stand before the mirror and concentrate on your other appearance. It doesn’t matter what you have on now: you’ve practice changing that into what you’ll wear when you are that other person everyone knows—

Your features morph quickly as they always, and since you’ve developed your skill at transforming your garments to the point where you’re an expert, your clothes change just a fast. Where a moment ago you were Annie’s hansom husband, you’re now her beautiful wife who still retains a bit of that endearing cuteness you developed years before at school. Your dress pants and white shirt transform into a long blue gown with a plunging V-neck, bare shoulders, and a slit running up the left side of the skirt. The bow tie becomes a shimming silver necklace fitted with diamonds and emeralds and your earrings drop downward, barely brushing your shoulders as they swing back and forth.

While you admire your appearance Annie moves up behind you. “You’re wearing pumps?”

You glance to your left. “Yeah. Why?”

“We spent all that time yesterday getting our nails done and you’re hiding your pedi?” A soft giggle slips from between her lips. “I mean, those purple toes—”

“Oh, all right.” You roll your eyes as you transform you black pumps into strappy silver metallic scandals. “Better?”

“Much better.” She touches your left side. “You need to bring the slit up higher.”

You release a small sigh as you once again forget this detail. “I always miss that.” You trace your finger from the top of the slit all the way to the middle of your hip, stopping it just below where you know the line of your thong sits. “There.”

“You’re a short woman: you want to present as much leg as possible to give the appearance of height.” Annie chuckles. “You should know this by now.”

“I do. I just—”

“Forget: I know.” Annie wags her right index finger. “I’m going to punish you the next time you ‘forget’.”

“Is that a threat?” You laugh as you brush your curly ginger hair back exposing your earrings. “Now I have the dangling earrings.”

“But not the pentagrams.”

“Do we really want to advertise what we are?” You smooth the dress against your body, making it fit perfectly. “So, Annie and Kerry go into the party—”

“And the White Queen and Red Queen come out with their packages for the Guardians.” Annie slides her arm around your shoulders and pulls you close before kissing your cheek. “You are so beautiful. I wish they’d let us go to the party as a couple.”

“I don’t know.” You shake your head. “I guess when you’re pretending to be nouveau riche it’s okay to have a lesbian mistress on the side—you just can’t bring her to the parties.”

“There’ll be at least one lesbian couple at the party.”

“Yeah, but they ain’t there to bag bad guys.” You turn and give Annie a look full of deep longing. “Don’t worry: the first chance we get we’ll go dancing—”

“And?”

“And it’ll be fantastic.”

“That’s all I want.” She steps away. “You better change back: the car should be here soon.”

 

So there you have it.  Kerry goes in with Annie, hobnobs a bit with some new rich kids, then changes over to Girl Kerry because who’s going to be looking for another pretty rich girl at a party?  Then the Annie and Kerry, Team Vagina, bag their targets and get the hell out of Dodge, though we have no idea how they’re doing that but you can be sure it’ll be quick.

And why do The Guardians have Kerry going in the door as one person and kicking ass as another?  Well… they have their reasons.  None of which we can go into ’cause not even my kids know, because they’re having a vision of the future and don’t know all the stuff their future versions know.  But one day, yes, one day, they will know.  I know why, but I can’t tell you.  Maybe I’ll tell you… in the future!

Also, since I forgot to show you the route I took on Friday here it is.  I started in the lower left where it says “0” and stopped where it says “6.28”.  Since the weather is going to be good this coming Friday I’m already thinking about the path I want to take.  In case you’re wondering, the distance covered is equivalent to me skating 183.7 laps on the WFTDA track.  Even I’m surprised.  Next time I do this I’ll actually keep track of how much time I spend skating so I can get an idea of my laps per minutes.

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