Today I’ve been writing my little fingers off and, for the first time in a while, managed over a thousand words in a single sitting. We got Annie and Phee still in the Astral Realm, talking about walls and buildings and stuff, and we finally learn a bit about how magical stuff in the Physical Realm is built, because–well, you’ll see.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Exactly.” The Phoenix appeared pleased by the answer. “It’s the one thing that a witch could strengthen Natural material and make it nearly impervious to others of their kind.” She grinned as she along the length of the wall before them. “It took your Foundation a while to get that message and construct them correctly.”
While Annie was currently learning a little of the history of Salem, she suspected The Phoenix had a tale that wouldn’t be found in their history books. “What happened?”
“The former tenants of this school told the new Foundation reps that unless the walls were constructed a certain way, all manors of magical folk and supernatural denizens would find their way on to the grounds. So when this northern section was under construction—” She spread her arms wide to signify the construction before them. “—the witches would wait until a segment between towers was completed and use magic to blast holes through segment.” She shrugged. “After a few weeks of having to repair damaged segments of wall, The Foundation got the message and began putting up the walls they way they were constructed in the past.”
Annie laughed. “I can’t believe they were so ignorant.”
“Well, keep in mind this was around the time The Foundation was just getting into all things magical and everything was a new experience for them. Also, at the point in time ninety percent of The Foundation membership was male, while nearly all the known witches of the time were female. Let’s just say when The Foundation was in charge of putting up these walls, there was a whole lot of the Ninetieth Century version of mansplaining going on.” She chuckled again, something low and almost sinister emanating from what would have been her throat were she human. “You should have seen their reaction when they were told I was part of the deal when it came to buying the school. Not. Happy. At. All.”
At least we know The Phoenix is up on all the new slang, but given that she watches humans rather closely, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. This is the first time we’ve seen that the male-run Foundation wasn’t always having the best of time with all the female witches, and we’ll learn, over time, that this lead to a lot of bad feelings–lots of them.
And we also learn–more or less–that while The Foundation wanted the School of Salem, they didn’t want to self-professed Benefactor and Protector of the school staying around. It would be interesting to find out if they tried something stupid like, oh, I don’t know, tried to get rid of her–and how fucking disastrous their efforts were. I’m certain the truth will come out in time.
Now that Annie knows how the walls were built, she’ll want to move on to the next obvious question:
Such were the Phoenix’s infliction that Annie heard the periods behind every word. She wanted to ask her what exactly happened that forced The Foundation to accept her as the “person” that decides who came to Salem and into which coven they’d live, but she was fairly certain she wouldn’t get an answer should she ask.
She elected to ask something different. “So, what is out beyond the walls? I know there are…” Annie wasn’t certain what word to use next and went with the simplest one. “…things out there—”
The Phoenix’s right eyebrow arched in a rather perfect imitation of Kerry doing the same thing. “Things like me?”
“I suppose I should have said, ‘Creatures like you’.”
“It’s all right. It’s not like you can hurt my feelings. Besides, your concept of what you think I am as opposed to what I really am—well, it’s quite amusing.” She twirled her left index finger. “But please: do go on.”
Annie drew a deep breath out of habit, as she was aware she wasn’t breathing. “What lives in the Astral Realm that could harm us?”
The Phoenix said nothing for five second then pointed to the northeast, in the direction of where Halibut Point State Park existed in the Physical Realm. “There. Just to the right of the tower. Try and magnify your vision if possible.” She half turned her head. “Act like you’re
It took Annie a few seconds to get her eyes to actually act like a telephoto lens, something she’d learned from Kerry just a few weeks before, but she figured it out quickly and located the object The Phoenix wanted her to see. A gaunt humanoid-like entity with a wide set of antlers and perhaps half the height of the eighteen meter tall observation tower moved slowly towards the southeast, in the direction Andrews Point and the northern-most section of Pigeon Cove. Every few seconds it would turn its head and look in their direction; Annie sensed it not only knew of their existence, but knew better than to approach. “What is it?”
It can be a little nerve wracking to be standing next to an entity that can kill you just by looking at you, and one may think calling it a “thing” is the sort of stuff that’ll get you whacked. Fortunately for her Phee cuts some humans a little slack and doesn’t take offence. But know you, she isn’t the only thing out here and she’s gonna tell Annie about one of those things–
“That is a wendigo.” The Phoenix cleared her throat. “It’s an accumulation of astral energy that’s achieved a form of sentience. It’s also a nasty piece of work, as the astral energy its accumulated often comes from sources that are—shall we say corrupted?”
Annie was intrigued by this last statement. “How does astral energy become corrupted?”
“Astral energy is a component of all things found in the Physical Realm and we know there are areas in your world that epitomize the essence of corruption. Scenes of mass murder, genocide, butchery, battle fields—all of those achieve a certain corruption over time and that corruption can find its way into the Astral Realm.” She shrugged. “Ergo, corrupted astral energy.” She stared off towards the creature. “You know about Danvers Asylum, don’t you?”
“I’m in love with Kerry.” Annie chuckled. “Of course I’ve heard of Danvers Asylum.”
“Then you know for a long time it was one hell of a snake pit. People died there not only out of neglect, but some where—helped along from time-to-time.”
“You mean murdered.”
“Yeah, whatever.” The Phoenix offered her best smirk. “That place is still surrounded by corrupted astral energy, which acts like a tar pit for the essence of those who’ve died there. I’ve had to go in there on more than a few occasions and pull a few out so they could reach their Portal through The Veil.”
Now you know: Astral Energy can become corrupted. Gather enough of it together and sometimes it starts thinking on it’s own. And that corruption comes from us, from the Physical Realm, and if you know the history of Danvers Asylum–and you should since I’ve written about it before–then you know there’s likely a ton of corruption there, just as The Phoenix points out. And you shouldn’t have a problem figuring out where to find this shit.
Now just one last thing–
Annie knew what The Phoenix meant, so it wasn’t necessary to ask questions. When a person died their astral essence—what some often called a soul—was drawn to the edge of The Veil, which was the membrane between this universe and the space between The Multiverses. There they would find their Portal, the opening to the empty Space Between. Witches didn’t fear dead as did a lot of Normals, as they knew their essence carried all that they once were when alive, and that essence lived on for thousands of years in the Space Between, sometimes longer.
As for those essences that couldn’t make it to their Portals, those that became trapped in the Astral Realm for some reason…
And I’ll finish off Annie’s thought tomorrow.
Now, something is happening here. You may not see anything out of the ordinary at the moment, but keep reading–
Because this is a special excerpt.
You may not be able to see what’s written in the lower left hand corner, so I’ll show it to you:
“Annie knew what The Phoenix meant—” The word “what” is the one millionth word written in the series.
One. Million. Words. Now you know what the title means.
And in case you want a breakdown of the counts:
A For Advanced: 425,031 Words
B For Bewitching: 331,350 Words
C For Continuing: 243,728 Words and counting.
Total: 1,000,109 Words
Yep, I’m now like George R. R. Martin, only without the fame and money and a far lower body count in my novels. Of course I could use the money and maybe one day that’ll happen. For now I’m happy just to write again.
Yeah, all the way back on 1 November, 2013, I started with this paragraph:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
Though many of the surrounding mountains reflected the bright morning sunshine, there were still valleys that remained untouched. Within the hour, however, every valley in and around the resort of Pamporovo, Bulgaria, would lay bathed in light, but for now most remained enveloped within quiet shadows.
And now I’m back to getting the story told on this kids. And it makes sense that since the book started with Annie, a million words later her astral version is thinking about matters of death. A million words to get not even half way through the telling of their third year at Salem, which means–what? Another million words are coming? Maybe. Probably.
Yeah, if I get around to it–