Did I not promise another excerpt today? Of course I did! And I delivered. But first–derby!
Yesterday was my first team bout since April and I was–well, I was nervous. Which means I needed to take an anti-anxiety med about ninety minutes before leaving. I also brought along my computer so I could listen to music over my Bluetooth earphones, and that helped me focus a lot on just getting things down on video.
In case you wonder what I looked like when I’m filming, here’s a few pictures.
Yes, I’m up on a podium and I have my GoPro on a selfie stick in my left hand, my video camera is on my right and my digital camera is on my left. What you don’t see is my mobile phone, which is taking this picture. But wait! You can see it here:
I took this with my GoPro using a voice command to trigger the camera. You can see my computer sitting in my chair and behind that is my third tripod with my mobile phone adapter. Yes, they make these for phones, which means I can set the timer and get a great picture every time.
And another of me:
Again with the selfie stick, this is how I look throughout most of the bout, with my eyes stuck to the viewfinder as I follow the teams around the track. If you look closely, you’ll see my blue earbuds are in place and I do believe I had the music streaming from one of my YouTube playlists as I took this photo.
And how did HARD do? Well…
We Won! The second consecutive win, which makes us 2-1 for the season so far. I managed that photo above with my mobile phone, so I was able to post the picture right away to the Facebook, because I’m all about social media.
Now with that out of the way…
Yep, back to the Astral Realm, where a certain school spirit asked a question of a certain girl from Bulgaria. Do you want to know what she said? Sure you do.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie found her heart softening towards the ancient created. She’s probably seen this part of the world evolve over many millennium—and yet, she found Kerry’s transition fascinating. That says quite a lot about her. “No, I can’t hold it against you. It’s just—” She looked down as she chuckled. “You can be quite annoying at times; you know that, don’t you?”
“But if I wasn’t annoying I wouldn’t be charming.” The Phoenix laughed. “Enough about me: what are your plans here, Ms. Kirilova?”
“I haven’t actually given it much thought.” Annie spun around in mid-air, noticing that her lifeline twisted around her form before sliding through her waist so it was once more sticking straight out of her lower back. “I figured I’d look around.”
The Phoenix rolled her eyes. “Well, if you’re gonna look around—” She reached out and took Annie’s hand. “Why not let someone who knows her way around show you the sights.”
Before Annie could say anything The Phoenix took off a high speed towards the east wall, pulling her along. Even though Annie knew there wasn’t any physical connection between them, she knew she’d never free herself from the spirit’s grasp, as the elemental knew so much more about the rules of the realm. Annie could struggle all she’d like to free herself and it would be of avail.
They came to a stop just a couple of meters short of the wall and about twenty meters sound of Polar Portal, the northeastern most wall tower and the only exit through the wall in the north. Few students ever left the school on foot through Polar Portal these days as it was a little over a kilometer to the ocean and few people wanted to walk that distance, particularly when they might have to go through the yards of local residents.
Annie had traversed the portal once with Kerry, in mid-October during their B Levels, the weekend before he was moved up to the Coven’s racing A Team. They flew up to the portal on Kerry’s broom and then walked about a hundred and fifty meters to an old, seldom-used dirt road that traversed the north end of Cape Ann. They walked west toward Bay State Quarry and the outskirts of Lanesville before slipping back into the woods and flying back into the confines of the school walls. Though they weren’t gone long, Annie remembered the walk because so little was said—it was her love and her walking hand-in-hand, enjoying each other within the silence.
She peered through the shifting curtain of the defense screens, seeing the world outside the walls was much the same as inside, though it didn’t seem as bright. “Does everything appear slightly duller because we’re looking through the screens, or—?”
“No. It’s the way of what you call the Normal World.” The Phoenix stared at the screen for a moment and a large section, twelve by twelve meters, grew in lightness, making the outside view clearer. “While everything has a presence in the Astral Realm, little of it is imbued with the same energy as that which has been touched by what you call the Aware. You’re attached far more naturally to this realm, which is why you can do magic. It only follows that all that you touch, all that you build, is also touched by the same energies. That’s why—” She turned slightly to her right and motioned towards the main school to the south. “Everything inside these walls appears so much brighter.”
Annie looked lower, focusing on the outer walls. “Then why are they so dark?”
The Phoenix paused for a moment before speaking. “Think about what you’d need to keep out all that wants to hurt you.”
“Of course.” Annie turned to her right. “Dark Energy. They were likely constructed using as much as witches could channel.”
If one were to look at things in a certain fashion–and I am one of those people–one could say that The Phoenix is trying to teach something to Annie. Of course I’m not going to say if that’s really the case, but every time either of these kids run into ol’ Phee, it’s like she’s trying to impart some kind of lesson upon them. That lesson could be, “Never trust a fucking thing I tell you,” but so far that hasn’t happened.
Is there more tomorrow?
Why not? This is becoming a habit, you know…