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The Return Dinner: A Walk Along the Langelinie

While I’ve yet to write today, it will happen later this evening.  That’s exactly what I did last night and I ended up writing just over two thousand words. Not bad, huh?  And it’s an important scene because it’s not only the First Day of Winter, 2013, but Kerry learns about Annie’s morning tea and how she likes it handled.  Also, you learn something interesting about Victor in that scene, too, but it’s probably not what you think.

But this scene–this is the same day that Kerry arrives in Pamporovo, but after Annie and he adjust, which is to say it’s dinner time.  Or really, after-dinner.

 

 

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

 

Kerry strolled down the Langelinie hand-in-hand with Annie, enjoying the cool night air next to the waters of the harbor. They’d spent about ten minutes at the Gefionspringvandet getting photos before walking a couple of hundred meters to the Langelinie Pavilion. There paused there long enough to get a quick snuggle and kiss before continuing onward.

When Annie’s parents said they were going out for dinner, Kerry expected they’d probably jaunt into Sofia, but instead they jaunted to Copenhagen, where they dined at a semi-casual restaurant on Esplanaden. Kerry was even more surprised when he was told her could order anything he liked, so he started with fried scallops and chose the duck confit as his entree.

It was an enjoyable evening, going on for about two and a half hours before Pavlina and Victor decided it was time to leave. But they didn’t go home: standing on the corner of Esplanaden and Bredgade, Pavlina took Victor’s hand and told Annie they were going for a walk and that she should take Kerry down to the Langelinie, telling her that they’d catch up with them at the statue. Victor said they should enjoy their walk before heading off across the street with Pavlina, his arm around his wife’s shoulders as they vanished into the evening crowd.

As they walked down the promenade Kerry was silent, taking in the cool night air. There wasn’t any snow on the ground and the temperature hovered around 5 C. If it weren’t for the light drizzle, he would have found it a perfect evening.

Annie wrapped her arm around his. “What are you thinking about, my love?”

“Dinner, what else?” He smiled as he looked straight ahead. “When I visited my grandparents two years for Yule I got leftover pizza; last year I got take away. This year it’s scallops and duck.” He looked at Annie as he chuckled. “Quite a departure.”

“It is.” She leaned against him, snuggling into his body. “Plus you ate in Copenhagen for the first time.”

“That I didn’t expect at all. Why come here?”

 

It’s been pointed out in other excerpts that Kerry is developing quite a taste for the sort of food Annie has enjoyed growing up, and this is just a continuation of that.  It may not be a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, but jaunting off to Copenhagen, Denmark, to grab a bite isn’t something he does on a regular basis.  As he pointed out, his last two “Welcome Home” Yule dinners were leftover pizza and takeaway curry.  Now, dining out with the Family Kirilovi, he’s getting fried scallops and duck confit.  Gotta admit, it’s a big step up.

We get to see Pavlina and Victor head off on their own little night walk, first holding hands and then Victor wrapping his arm around his wife as they stroll across a street.  It wasn’t so much they wanted the kids to be alone as it was they wanted to be alone, and Annie probably knows this.  So Kerry and she walk down to the Langelinie, which is a major park in the city.  And they enter the Langelinie by passing the Gefionspringvandet, which is Danish for the Gefion Fountain, dedicated to the Norse goddess of plowing, foreknowledge, and virginity. The statue itself depicts a story from the Ynglinga saga, where King Gylfi promised her all the land she could plow in a day and a night. So she turned her four sons she’d had with a giant into oxen and chewed up so much land that it split away from Sweden and became Zealand.  Because of course.

Since she’s a virgin she’s gotta do a different kind of plowing…

 

Now that the history lesson is out of the way, the question remains: why come here?  Well–

 

Annie slowed her pace slightly as she took Kerry’s hand. “Mama and Papa own a house here, so they know the city rather well.”

This was news to Kerry. He’d never heard Annie mention that her parents owned property elsewhere. “I wasn’t aware.”

“I don’t talk about it, but tonight there’s no reason to keep it secret.” She tightened her grip on Kerry’s hand. “The bought the house here five years ago: at the time Papa used it as a place to stay when he was racing in this part of Europe. Three years ago they bought another house in Feldafing, Germany, about thirty kilometers from downtown Munich. Last year they bought a farm outside San Sebastián, Spain. I’ve yet to see that one, but I figure I’ll get to spend some time there in the coming summer.”

“Wow.” He found the news extremely interesting. “Why the buying jag all of a sudden?”

“Mama says they’re getting ready for retirement. Papa is probably going to stop racing full-time not long after I graduate and he may become a part-owner of his race team. If he does that, they’ll likely spend most of their time either here or in Germany.

“But Mama told me the properties in Germany and Spain were bought through The Foundation using fake identities. I think those places are meant for when my parents are in their eighties and nineties and people are wondering why they still look like they’re in their fifties.” She glanced over at Kerry. “They can’t stay in Pamporovo once that happens.”

Kerry understood the matter perfectly. Once he’d learned that witches age far more slowly than Normals, he came to the understanding that it wasn’t possible to remain in one place for more than twenty or thirty years, least neighbors begin wondering why you didn’t appear the age. He knew Annie’s parents were edging into their late 30s, but it wasn’t hard to confuse either of them for people ten years younger. He was also aware they’d go through this as well and the lack of visible aging was one of the reasons they were unable to pin down just how far in the future some of their visions occurred.

He sighed. “I guess we’ll have to do the same one day.”

“Of course.”

“So once your parents move out of Pamporovo, what happens to the property?”

“I get it. I’ll always have the lake house, but I was told I’d get the main house as well.” She pointed to something ahead. “Look. We’re here.”

 

As we now know, witches don’t age like us Normal folk and when Pavlina and Victor are in their eighties people will probably think they are in the late forties, early fifties, and if they’re still in Pampovoro that sure as shit won’t do ’cause too many people will know them.  But fall out of the public eye for a while, move to another part of the country, and before you know it The Foundation has set you up with a new identity and you have another sixty, seventy years to kick it.  Annie suspects that’s why her parent have other properties in Europe under different names, ’cause when the time comes Pavlina and Victor are gonna take it on the run and disappear, but not, if you know what I mean.

And we hear here, for the first time, that Annie gets the property at some point in her life.  Not just the Lake House, which is always hers, but the main house and her mother’s greenhouse/lab as well.  Sure, she wants to live in France–and Kerry will bring this up later–but she’s also gonna keep her roots in the mountains of Bulgaria.

Until then, they have a watery guest to entertain soon…

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