“Beyond the Wave and Foam”, Part 24

Part 24

 

“In a way it was sort of cool, being down there in the dark, working on that hull.” Calista leaned back on the patio lounger and stretched out enough that her fully-developed tail flukes hung over the end. She flapped them up and down as she chatted between sips of her hard cider. “It was not an easy task, but at the same time it helped me build up the confidence I need for harder jobs that are gonna come.” She set down her bottle and look to her right. “You know?”

Izzy nodded slowly. “I can imagine.” She really couldn’t imagined what working nearly a mile underwater was like, but rather than spoil Calista’s good mood, she went along. “I’m glad you passed all the tests.”

Calista shrugged. “Harmony said she didn’t expect me to not pass, so that helped.” She ran her finger around the opening of the cider bottle. “Though she didn’t tell me that until we were on the flight back home.”

“I can understand that.” Izzy put her bare feet up on the little table she’d moved in front of her chair. “What’s next?”

“More tests tomorrow.” Calista put her hands behind her head and gazed up into the gathering night sky. “I’m supposed to spend nearly the whole morning in the lab.”

“For what?”

“The last of my physical performance tests.” She rolled over on her side and looked at Izzy. “After this, I get to do all my tests in open water. Harmony said I should expect to do a twenty-kilometer swim for speed early next week.”

“Sounds ass busting.” Izzy stood, twisting her empty bottle. “Need another?”

Calista shook her head. “No. Maybe later.”

Izzy headed into the kitchen where she dumped one bottle before retrieving another. She considered downing the cider right there then returning with a full one, but knocked that thought back as petty and just a bit childish.

She didn’t leave the kitchen immediately, however, her thoughts lingering on Calista’s return. Though Izzy tried to think otherwise, there was a definite change in Calista’s attitude since her return from Kwajalein Atoll. The way she acted, the way she now carried herself: her time at the atoll certainly improved her confidence and gave her the skills she needed to work under the waves.

Which meant she wasn’t too far away from getting to where she was living under the waves…

The private conversation she’d had with Harmony three weeks ago came back in that instant. Though the mermaid’s time table had slipped a bit, Izzy figured from her conversations with Calista since returning earlier in the afternoon that it wouldn’t be long before Calista packed up and headed off to live in Down Below Town.

And leave Izzy high and dry with nowhere to go but back to Jacksonville.

You knew this moment was coming. Izzy leaned back against a counter and looked down at her bare feet. Your best friend is out on the patio and she’s not human any more, she’s a full-blown mermaid, and it won’t be long before she dives off the patio one day and she doesn’t come back

Izzy quickly brushed away the few tears at the corners of her eyes. Calista might be gone in a week, but dammit, Izzy was going to enjoy every minute of that week.

And that meant not showing the tears.

She took a deep break, straightened herself, and walked back out to the patio. “Sorry I took so long.” Izzy sat down and smiled. “So, tell me again about how they gave you massages…”

Projections of the Astral Kind: Seeing All That’s Not Seen

Believe it or not it’s another excerpt.  How is this?  Well, it’s like this:

I went back and finished something I hadn’t worked on in the novel since… February.

Back on 13 February I posted this excerpt, which was something I was working on–struggling to write is really closer to the truth, but cut me some slack here, ‘kay?  At the time I wasn’t feeling the writing–I wasn’t feeling much of anything but depression.  In looking back at the posts I made back around 13 February, I was surprised to discover getting a couple of gifts that, I swear, I though I’d gotta around the end or March or the beginning of April.

That’s how much depression was messing with my mind: time was just running all the shit together and I couldn’t keep it straight.  Which is the only thing in my life that’s straight, but that’s another story…

So, last night, after finishing a chapter and writing another scene in my mermaid story, I decides to revisit the scene I’d started oh, so long ago and finish it off–

Why, look: I didn’t lie.

 

In fact, I finished that scene right about fifteen minutes ’till midnight, which means I actually wrote about 2,300 words yesterday, something I almost never do anymore.  Why all the energy?  Music.  Lot’s of music.

In  case you didn’t go back and re-read the excerpt at the link I posted, never fear, ’cause you get all the scene right here.  I’ll even break and let you know where the new stuff starts.

Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

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

 

The moment Annie’s eyes opened she felt disappointment. The ceiling to the room looked the same and upon sitting up she say the rest of the room was just as she’d left it prior to trying to project. She let out a big sign and folded one arm under her breasts so she could rest her other arm against it as she pressed a fist against her mouth. It didn’t work. She shook her head. It should have worked. I know I was in a trance

It was in that second after her last through that she began to reevaluate her disappointment as she quickly noticed two things: one, she wasn’t wearing any clothes—and two, Deanna was sitting up in the middle of her reclining body.

The seer smiled as she took in her student’s discomfort. “I see you made it.”

Annie examined her surroundings slowly. “This is the Astral Realm?”

“Of course it is.” Deanna stood and everything from her thighs down vanished inside her body and the recliner. “Though I’m going to guess that what you’re seeing is really nothing more than the room as you left it before projecting.”

She nodded. “Yes. Everything looks the same—” Annie looked down at herself and spoke with a tone of disgust in her voice. “Why am I naked?”

“Let me answer those questions in order.” Deanna stepped away from the chair and stood in the open. Now that Annie could see her whole body, she noticed the slight glow surrounding her. “First, the reason everything looks the same is because you are now seeing the Astral Realm with a completely new set of senses—”

“It didn’t look like this when we walked physically into the Realm.”

Deanna projected a warm smile. “That’s because you were seeing things with your physical eyes. Now you’re not: you’re seeing things with your astral eyes, which are nothing but projections of your real eyes. In order to see the Astral Realm properly while projecting, you have to learn to project everything around you back to your eyes.”

After a few seconds of considering the matter, Annie felt she understood what Deanna was saying. “I have to use Astral Sight, don’t I?”

“Why do you think I was teaching that before Astral Projection?” She motioned towards her student. “Go on: try that.”

Annie began crafting as if she were really in her body and not a conscious mind linked to her astral form—as she now remembered Deanna explaining weeks before, there wasn’t a difference—and five seconds later the Astral Realm flashed into existence…

 

Everything above this point was written on 13 February, while everything below this point was written last night, 23 May.  Other than my twenty-years-to-finish novel Transporting, that’s the longest I’ve ever gone between starting a scene and bringing it to an end.  And now that we remember what happened to get Annie to this point, let’s see where it leads:

 

The room around her wasn’t anything like when Annie had when she last viewed Memory’s End from the Astral Realm. At that time it was all ghostly and mist-like—but, as Annie now realized, that was because she was seeing the physical world through The Curtain with physical eyes.

Now, using Astral Sight, she saw the world as it was meant to be seen from this side of The Curtain. The walls of the room appeared as flowing gold, moving slowly from the ceiling to the floor and back. The floor glowed in brilliant hues of steel gray and midnight black, while the ceiling was the color of translucent amber. And the pillows scattered about the room were the color of ripe pomegranates ready to eat.

But laying upon the pillows… Annie gazed down upon her physical body, which looked remarkably how she would see herself in the Physical Realm. She found this a bit puzzling until she looked at Kerry, saw how his body glowed brightly with Astral energy, and realized the reason her body wasn’t glowing—

“My aura’s no longer there.” She turned to Deanna, who seemed to glow a bright yellow now. “That’s it, isn’t it? I look plain because my aura has left my body. That’s what astral projection is, isn’t it?”

Deanna nodded. “Quite so. If you notice Kerry—”

“I have.” She chuckled. “He hasn’t begun to project so his aura is still attached to his body.” Annie glanced down at her body. And, it would seem, so am I

She saw her lifeline extending from somewhere behind—she figured it was likely the small of her back—and extend down to the back of her sleeping body. At the same time, there was a second lifeline extending from her back to Kerry’s back. Just as I’m joined to him while I’m in the Physical Realm, I’m still attached to him here.

Annie make a bit of a face as she looked at Deanna again. “This isn’t going to cause a problem, is it?” She held the lifeline going to Kerry and gave it a shake.

Deanna shrugged. “It’s hard to say. There’s little on witches with an Astral Binding and even less on those same witches performing Astral Projection.”

“In other words, there isn’t any information at all.”

“Correct.”

“Fantastic.” Annie looked to her right as she sighed. “We get to break new ground—again.”

“Speaking of breaking new ground—” Deanna pointed at the wall behind her, which if Annie remembered was due east. “I think it’s about time you move beyond these walls and do a bit of exploring.”

“Like this?” Annie motioned at her naked body.

Once again Deanna shrugged, though this time with a smile. “Who’s going to see you?”

“True.” Annie chuckled as she realized there was only one person who could see her, and they had. Then again— She looked upward at the ceiling as if she expected something to appear. There is something else out there

“No point being afraid.” She nodded as she stared at the wall behind Deanna. “We do just as we did when we flew while Astral Walking, correct?”

Deanna nodded this time. “Exactly. Only you’re going to find the action a little easier this time.”

“Well then, I should be off.”

The seer turned and motioned towards the east wall. “You know how to get back.”

Annie stood on her toes and pushed off just as if she were leaping from a diving board. Her astral body rushed forward and passed through the wall in the blink of an eye—

 

There you have it: our little girl is off flying about the Astral Realm by herself.  And as she points out, there is something out there on the school grounds that may want to speak with her.  Who am I kidding?  You know The Benefactor and Protector of Salem’s gonna show her face.  Though it’s probably not her face we’ll see…

And one other thing: today I was officially cleared to return to practice, having served my 30 day suspension from my derby league.  I was told it was really up to me if I thought I was “well enough” to come back, but honestly, I’ve been ready to get back to practice for two weeks, so hell yeah I’m well the fuck enough.  By the time I go back next Tuesday it will have been about six weeks since I’ve attended practice, with only a couple of occasions to get out and skate at night.  I’m actually thinking of heading out about six-thirty to skate around the HACC parking lot, ’cause I do need to get back to that regime–

Good things are popping up.

Let’s hope they keep coming.