There hasn’t been any writing today–at least not yet. I found myself struggling most of the morning with things that happened then–yes, I love getting text messages at seven in the morning to do things that don’t concern me–and things that happened last night. And about last night…
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love to convince myself that I can’t do something. It’s not just moments of doubt: it’s getting into my head and pulling out all the reasons why I can’t do something. And I did that last night after practice. I didn’t have a good 27/5–in fact it was horrible–and though the rest of the night wasn’t that bad, I focused on that and just kept hammering back into my head. By the time I went to bed last night I was convinced I should quit because I’m never going to do the one thing that will make my dreams come true.
I was even harping on it a little this morning. For so long I’ve heard I’m not special, that I’m nothing but a disappointment, that there are so many times when that’s all I see.
There’s something we need to do for certification that I call a 1 In 13. It’s one lap of the track in thirteen seconds or less from a standing start. It’s just hit it the moment the whistle blows and go full-tilt boogie for one lap. It’s like Olympic short track ice skating when everyone gets nuts, only it was me and another girl out there and not a half-dozen other people looking to take your ass out.
When I did it maybe 7 or 8 months back, I think my best time was 12.6 seconds. Last night I did it three times and each time I was down around 11.5 seconds, with my fastest being 11.3 seconds. There was nothing stylish about it: I just powered down both straights and coasted through the turns as close to the inside line as possible. And the time I skated was the time needed to skate 27 laps in 5:05.
I need to channel that energy into my flying laps, ’cause it’s my guess if I’d gone three or four more laps I’d have likely hit a couple of sub-11 seconds laps. And that would get me to where I need to be.
I have to stop listening to the voices of the past ’cause they haven’t done shit for me. Ever.
Speaking of someone who’s past voices have pretty much told him he’s not special, either, is on this way to where he’ll spend Yule Holiday. It’s all new for him.
And he’s not listening to the voices of the past.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
The jaunt station at Vienna International Airport flashed into view as Kerry steadied himself against his luggage. He normally didn’t get dizzy or disoriented when jaunting, but he’d turned his head to the left to check on Annie just as they departed Salem and the sudden transition threw him. In a matter of seconds he had his orientation and followed Annie off the platform and into the waiting crowd.
There were no problems leaving Salem—other than Kerry needing to go and finish packing Annie’s luggage which was done with no issues, as Coraline had promised. He spent the night in Bay #1 with Annie, sleeping next to her in Bed #1, which was a first for them both. Then a quick release, breakfast, and waiting until it was time to leave for Vienna—
Which brought them here.
While Annie made her way towards her parents, Kerry headed towards Berniece Rutherford, who had contacted him earlier in the week to let him know she’d see him off. “See him off” wasn’t the correct terminology, however: as she explained, it was necessary for her, as his case worker, to make certain the people taking him in for the holidays were actually there. It didn’t matter that she knew who Annie’s parents were and that she’d spoken with them before: there was protocol to follow and she wouldn’t break the rules.
Kerry was actually happy to see her. If there was one constant away from school that he could count upon, it was Ms. Rutherford looking after him. As she’d told him many times over the last year, if he needed help, she’d be there for him.
Just like now.
She appeared happy to see him as he approached. “Hello, Kerry.”
He stopped about a meter and a half away. “How you doin’, Ms. Rutherford?”
“I’m well.” She held her tablet in her crossed hands in front of her tummy. “Looked forward to the holiday?”
“Actually yeah, I am.”
“Well, let’s get you processed so you can be on your way.” She turned and walked with Kerry the few meters to where Annie and her parents stood. Bernice addressed each. “Annie; Ms. Kirilova; Mr. Kirilov.”
Annie’s mother almost seemed ready to roll her eyes. “Berniece, please— Pavlina and Victor.”
“Sorry, old habits. Speaking of which—” She patted Kerry on the shoulders. “I need to establish proof that Kerry left with you. So if you will—” Ms. Rutherford held out her tablet. “I need both your signatures and thumbprints.”
Victor stepped forward. “Of course.” He signed and affixed his print. “Wouldn’t want The Foundation of accusing us of losing Kerry.”
“We certainly wouldn’t want that.” Pavlina did the same as her husband. “I hope that satisfied everyone.”
“It does, indeed.” She turned to Kerry and gave him her warmest smile. “I want you to have a good time. Please enjoy your holiday—and if you need me—”
“You’re just a call away.” He smiled back. “No problem. Have a good holiday, Ms. Rutherford.”
She turned towards Annie and her family. “And I’ll extend my wishes that you all have an incredible Yule. Annie; Pavlina, Victor.” She took a step back. “See you all in a couple of weeks.” She turned and departed the station.
There you have it: Kerry’s made it out of the school and into the Vienna Airport, and Annie’s family have taken responsibility for his well-being. And you know they will. After all, if something happened to him, a certain Chestnut Hair Girl would probably lose her shit in a major way.
Now, the next section has a large part spoken in Bulgarian, but I’m gonna provide translations. Because that’s how I roll.
Pavlina looked to her husband. “We need to leave as well: these kids need to adjust so they’ll be on our time when we go to dinner.”
“We’re going out to dinner?” Annie fell in line next to her mother as the Kirilovi Family turned towards the exit.
“Yes. We thought it’d be nice to save the home cooked meals for tomorrow.” Pavline looked at Kerry. “Come along. We wouldn’t want you to get lost.”
“I’m right behind you.” He fell in next to Annie as soon as they were outside the jaunt station and walking towards the open area were people could jaunt in and out of The Foundation-controlled areas. He watched Annie closely and noticed her limping slightly after about a minute of walking. Coraline had warned her that while she was healed, she might not be back to one hundred percent mobility for a couple of days.
He wasn’t the only one who noticed the limp: Pavlina glanced at her daughter a few times before speaking to her in Bulgarian. “Zashto kŭlvash, Annie? (Why are you limping, Annie?)”
Annie replied in a matter of fact-like tone. “V posledniya mesets se prisŭedinikh kŭm rund derbi liga. Schupikh desniya si krak i kitkata snoshti po vreme na trenirovkata. (I joined a roller derby league last month. I broke my right leg and wrist last night during practice.)”
Kerry didn’t know what exactly Annie said—it didn’t bother him that her mother and she were speaking in their native language as it’s probably how they talked when he wasn’t around—but he was certain that she’d said she broke her leg during derby practice the night before, since “rund derbi liga” sounded enough like “roller derby league” to indicate the subject.
While Annie didn’t act like it was a big deal, her father and mother thought otherwise. Victor gave her a strange look while Pavlina seemed perplexed. “Roler derbi liga? Kakvo e tova? (Roller derby league? What’s that?)”
He was walking next to Annie when she gave her reply, looking straight ahead with a smile on her face. “Tova sa momicheta na rolkovi kŭnki, koito obikalyat edna pista i se blŭskat edin drug. (It’s girls on roller skates who go around a track hitting and blocking each other.)” She turned towards her mother. “Tova e mnogo zabavno. Kharesva mi. (It’s a lot of fun. I like it.)”
Pavlina seemed surprised. “We’ll discuss this tomorrow.” She motioned towards one of two large portals set in the right wall. “Here we are.”
That Annie: already she’s acting like getting hurt was part of what she signed up for–and if you remember, she was told “when” not “if” she got hurt. Now, she might not be so flippant if she had to wait twelve weeks to get back on skates like my teammate did, so having access to magical healing powers can help you keep that attitude. It might be a different story had she shown up in a wheelchair being pushed by Kerry.
Now that Annie and her mother have that business out of the way, it’s time to move on:
There were two public jaunt area in the area under the airport to allow witches the ability to jaunt in and out of the facility without having to go through security and leave via the same routes as Normals. One area was set aside for incoming jaunts and another for outbound. They turned through an archway located under the sign “Departures/Foriroj” and entered a huge, well-lit circular area painted in horizontal lines of sky blue and lemon yellow, with “Departures/Foriroj” emblazoned upon the wall in black letters three meters high opposite the archway.
Pavlina and Victor stepped to a point near the wall about six meters from the wall. Victor held out his right hand. “Annie, let me take your luggage.” She passed it to him: he instantly switched it to his left hand and held out his right again. “Take my hand, Nini.”
She nodded as Pavlina spoke to Kerry. “You stand next to Annie and give me your luggage, then take both our hands.”
Kerry was familiar enough with what was about to happen that he didn’t ask questions. In a matter of seconds he passed off his luggage and took both Annie’s and her mother’s hand. “I’m ready.”
Victor looked down the line to his right. “Everyone else?”
Pavlina nodded. “Take us home, love.”
Kerry felt the scenery around him shift again—
And tomorrow you’ll see where Kerry ends up.