Back At the End: With Friends Like That–

It’s been a while since I’ve said this, but Chapter Twenty-one is finished.

Yes, it really is.

 

Now, yes: I finished Chapter Twenty-eight a couple of weeks back, so I have said this before. But I started Chapter Twenty-one a long time back and now, really now, it’s done. Complete. Fin.  And it didn’t take a lot time to finish it up.

So what happens?  Not a lot.  Just a bit of advice about spirits who may or may not have your best interests at heart:

 

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

 

Annie needed a second to absorb Deanna’s comment. “That’s possible, but—”

“But what?”

“I wouldn’t imagine The Phoenix could be that mean to one of us.”

“Not mean?” Deanna chuckled dryly. “She’s put students in the hospital because of whatever happened during their E and As.” She glanced at Kerry as if to ensure he was still asleep. “Her being mean to use is like us being mean to a microbe: I means absolutely nothing. She may find us interesting, but only in the way we may find a far lesser form of life interesting: it’s there to study, but not much beyond that.”

As interesting as Annie found the old spirit, Deanna’s words touched her considerably. As Kerry has said before, The Phoenix’s way of thinking, her motivations, her emotional responses—if she had them—were completely alien to them and they’d never be able to understand why she did some of the things she did. It’s entirely possible Deanna is correct about what The Phoenix did to Kerry—but that’s the past. So how do we handle future encounters? Ignore her? Somehow I don’t believe she’ll allow that to happen

She figured the person best to answer that question was next to her. “What should Kerry or I do if we encounter her again?”

Deanna shrugged. “Be cordial and don’t give her any attitude. She seems to respond well friendly conversation.” She looked away for a moment. “I don’t believe she’d hurt you if you’re projecting or walking in the Astral Realm, but one can never tell. The less you do to antagonize her, the better.”

“So just be her friend.”

“If that works, yes.”

Annie nodded. “I’ll do just that.” She looked down at the still sleeping Kerry. “I’ll tell him when he awakens.”

Deanna looked at him as well. “Maybe we should wake him.”

“No.” Annie ran her fingers through his soft, ginger hair. “He needs his rest.”

 

The thing we keep coming back to is that we can’t possibly know why The Phoenix does some of the shit she does, so just hang loose and try not to piss her off, ’cause she could kill you if she’s in the mood.  Isn’t she wonderful?

Now, it’s time to move on–and I knew just where I’m going…

Advertisements

Back At the End: About Your Friends…

Coming to you a little late today because–well, I just woke up from a nap.  I had a busy day driving around getting some food stuffs and visiting some spots.  Such as–

Soon…

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

 

Yeah, that’s a skate park near me and I’m considering hitting it early tomorrow with the GoPro because why not, right? Also, in a couple of weeks a meeting of Chicks in Bowls is gonna show up there and intend to put in an appearance after a four hour morning skating clinic put on by Satan’s Little Helper.  Yeah, you heard that right.

Wait for video: it’s coming.

Now it’s Writing Time and we’re back at Memory’s End and Deanna is gonna talk a bit to Annie about making friends with spirits:

 

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

 

There was something in Deanna’s tone that instantly put Annie on the defensive. “Why is that?”

The seer crossed her legs as she moved to a seated position next to her student. “We don’t know anything about her other than she’s at least thousands of years old—”

“She told Kerry and I she was one of the Seven Sisters.”

“Really.” Deanna’s eyes widened. “I happen to know that’s something she’s never admitted to Adric: as far as I know, she’s never admitted that to anyone who’s studied her. Yet the third time she speaks with you, she tells you this.” The seer leaned closer and spoke in a near whisper, as though she didn’t want to wake Kerry. “Did you ever wonder why she told you?”

Annie thought for a few seconds before shaking her head. “No. I never considered it beyond—”

“Her being nice to you?”

“Yes.”

 

Back during the actual Walk In the Astral Realm, Ol’ Phee confirmed that, yes, she was one of the famous Seven Sisters, seven powerful spirits found in various parts of the world.  Now we learn that Adric–the school’s expert and instructor on all things spirit–has never been told that fact, nor would it seem has anyone else.  As far as Deanna knows, this is the first time it’s been confirmed, which makes it an important piece of information.

And yet, Phee dropped that tidbit like she was talking about the weather.  To a couple of kids.

This is where you get into wondering why an old spirit would do such a thing.  And Deanna has an answer for that–and more…

 

Deanna shrugged. “It’s easy enough to do when she acts like she’s being nice—but is she? I think Kerry stated once that we can never really know why The Phoenix does the things she does because she’s… alien. She’s not human: not even closely related to us. She’s a different form of intelligent live that happens to share the planet with us.”

“I know that, but…” Annie knew she shouldn’t consider The Phoenix anything even close to a friend, but at the same time their conversation has been polite—up until the end. “Look at what she did for Kerry last year—for me as well. She unlocked his E and A so he wouldn’t go insane. She didn’t have to do that.”

“I agree. However—” Deanna leaned closer. “Did you ever consider the possibility that she allowed Kerry to get to the point where he almost went insane because she wanted to see what he, and those around him, would react?”

Annie grew visibly shocked. “No, I hadn’t.”

“Look at what she did. Kerry told us that during his E and A she turned him into a girl because she knew his mother always wanted one, so she gave him a way to reconcile with his mother. The only way she could have known that was to go through this thoughts.” Deanna paused for a moment as she gathered her thoughts. “If she knew that about his family life, it’s quite likely she was aware of his Bigender Gift, which means she’d know at some point during school he would begin having dreams as he approached recognizing his gift existed.

“While The Phoenix can say that she found Kerry’s transition interesting, keep in mind Kaity Caspersen and Lucyna Gorczynski were students then they each had their involuntary transitions. The only difference between them and Kerry is that we knew Kerry’s was coming and he didn’t hide it from us.” She gave Annie that warning look again. “She’s seen it happen before, so it’s likely she knew what Kerry was going through and she probably knew that keeping his E and A locked up would prevent him from reaching the last moment in his dreams where he accepted the gift.” She sat up and sighed. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say The Phoenix wanted to see how far Kerry could hold out before the mental strain became too great, as well as seeing what steps we’d take to help him acknowledge what was happening to him.”

 

For the first time the seeds of distrust are being sown and Deanna is making certain that Annie knows that The Phoenix is something so different from us that we don’t really know her.  Sure, she’s curious about Kerry’s change, but she saw the change happen in two other students–both mentioned in the last novel–with the main difference being no one else knew what had happened to them.  No one human, that is.

I should finished this up tomorrow, which means you may get a double post.  Or not.

One may never know my reasons for things, either…

Back In the End: Waking Up

After a lot of writing over the past few days I decided to take it easy and write just short of four hundred words.  Why?  Well, I’m a little tired.  See, last night was practice night and, for the first time in just about two months, I got to work out with the vets–

And I got my ass kicked.

I don’t mean like they literally hauled me off to a corner and started curbstomping me, but rather I was back to doing stuff I was doing last February, March, and April, before I got tossed in Derby Jail, and after two months of inactivity from what’s basically a lot of cardio, there were times when I felt like I was about to pass out.

I did 28 laps during pyramid sprints (you’re with a partner and while one of you skates, the other does squats and planks and other strength things), then five minutes of foot work. Then I skated a 27/5 and when that was over, we went back to doing about 10 minutes of foot work. Then we got into a pace line with about 15 people and did waterfalls.  This is simple: the person at the back of the pack skates on the outside of the pack to the front and as soon as they pass the person in front of them, they get in line and follow, and so forth and on. We did that like five times, so you get this continuous motion of the pack moving in the center of the track, while people on the outside line are moving around them.

Then, still in waterfalls, we did toe stops on the inside line–which is to say, starting with the front of the pack, someone drops out every 10 feet and does a 180 transition toe stop.  And just like with the ‘falls above, as soon as the person on your right gets back in the pack and goes past you, you follow.  We did that 5 times.  We also did the same kind of stops on the outside line 5 times.

I have to say I love this drill.  When you’re doing them right and you’re moving along at a quick pace, it’s a lovely thing to see.  And the more people in the pace line, the better.

Then we got into blocker/jammer drills and this is where I really had to draw on what little reserves of energy I had.  We were doing bridging drills, which is to say four blockers run a jammer back fifty feet from where “the pack” should be, which is a totally legal move designed to wear out the jammer, who, if knocked out of bounds, has to come in behind a blocker least she get a penalty, and then continue skating in the correct direction on the track.  (This is to prevent the jammer, who scores points, from gaining an advantage on anyone who she may not have passed for points.  If she doesn’t come in behind the person who hit her out, she gets a cut track penalty and has to go to the penalty box.)

So, we have four blockers on the track and one jammer who gets run back.  Everyone got to play each of the five positions.

Including me.

Being a jammer is a whole lot of cardio.  You’re skating hard, you’re jumping around on your toe stops–oh, and you’re getting hit as well.  Some people love being a jammers, but there are a lot of former jammers who’ll tell you they don’t miss it.

So, blocking wasn’t that big of a deal, though I was rusty as hell.  And tired.  So I hung in as best I could.

But when I was jamming?  Oh, shit.  A couple of times I got light headed and had to stop and reset because I thought I was gonna pass out.  Two months ago I’ve had kept going, but this is now and my endurance is down.  I got hit out; I got knocked down. I was winded and I did my best, but there’s a whole lot of room for improvement.

Then we did the same drill again, only this time we had to bridge the jammer forward as well, which means more skating hard, more getting hit, more–in my case–feeling tired.  But I’m getting there.

Then we finished out doing a lot of strength moves.  When I got home all my gear and clothing was soaked with sweat. At one point the tape I use to keep my left wrist guard on got so wet it wouldn’t stick any longer.  I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to move real well and I was right.

But… it was a lot of fun.  I missed that shit. And I hope to do some more next week.

Now, on to writing.

So Annie pretty much got bum rushed outta the Astral Realm, which means there’s only one place her essence could go.  And we’ll head there…

 

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

 

Annie drew a sharp breath as she became instantly awake after snapping back into her body. She didn’t make a sound as being forced out of a astral projection was much like a big snap, the sensation she’d experienced when her homunculus was killed why she was puppettering.

She was awake for only few seconds when the light came on at a low level and Deanna knelt by her side. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine.” Annie started to sit up and winced due to some pain in her lower back. “That hurt more than I thought it might.”

“What happened?”

“I encountered The Phoenix. We chatted for a bit and then she—” Annie mimicked her finger-flicking motion. “Sent me back into my body.”

“Sounds like something she’d do.” Deanna sat on the floor next to Annie. “How was your projection, besides that?”

“I was good. I felt like I had control the entire time.” Annie looked to her right where Kerry still lay, eyes closed. “I didn’t see Kerry.”

“He fell asleep.” Deanna chuckled. “I don’t believe that was his intention, however.”

Annie grinned. “He was probably more tired than he’d thought.”

“Perhaps.” Deanna’s tone softened. “How was your visit with The Phoenix?”

It was impossible for Annie not to hear the concerned in her instructor’s voice. “You suspected she’d show, didn’t you?”

“She did when we went Astral Walking, so why wouldn’t I expect her to show up now?” Deanna looked at Annie carefully. “My question still stands.”

Annie knew she’d not avoid this discussion so she spoke. “She seemed interested that I was there. She took me to the edge of the outer walls and talked about what’s outside. I saw a wendigo; she gave some explanation on The Curtain. Not much more beyond that.” She considered adding one more detail and did. “She came to me looking like Kerry’s female self.”

“Oh.” Deanna seemed surprised. “Did she give a reason why?”

“She didn’t say. I assumed she was just trying to be slightly annoying.” Annie glanced over at Kerry for just a moment. “She said she was curious about Kerry’s transition and told me she watched us.” She looked back at Deanna. “I gathered from the conversation she’s been watching us awhile.”

Deanna gave one quick, curt shrug. “I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”

 

I stopped here because I know what Deanna wants to see about attracting the attention of way old spirits who like to fuck with you, and I knew it might take more than a few hundred words to get it down, so I’ll bring it to you tomorrow.  You can guarantee that–

One Million

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.

Oh, so special.

 

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–

On the Astral Winds: Building the Magical

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.

I must be ready to film. #HARD #DerbyGirl #BoutDay

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

 

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…

And it's official! #HARD #BoutDay

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

 

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.”

“Exactly.”

 

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…

On the Astral Winds: Not So Chance Meeting

Holy Jeez, as Kerry may have said at one time, it’s a real post!  Even one with–shall I say it? One with an excerpt.  Yep.  I got out today and did some writing. But first, how I got here–

As you may, or may not, know from yesterday’s video, I was out skating in the morning. That meant I did some editing and uploaded the video to my YouTube account. I found out after shooting this video that I was slightly short as fat as skating the whole length of a WFTDA track, so when I got out at some point this week, I’ll make adjustments.  But here I am skating 12 laps with some commentary following.  Form could be a lot better, but keep in mind I was doing this a little after seven in the morning yesterday.

 

After this I got something to eat and then drove down to Lancaster–or as they say here, “Lan-kes-ter”–to watch Dutchland Roller Derby play a double header.  Naturally I had to post this info to social media:

Hanging out at the Dutchland double header.

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

 

And today I’m down to Little Amps, where I usually enjoy Sunday morning coffee, and got caffeinated before getting into the writing:

 

It’s also Bout Day for me and it’s my first home bout in two months.  Already the anxiety is hitting, so the chances are good I’m gonna need to take a pill about an hour before showing up to film. It shouldn’t affect me, but hey, shit happens, right?  Don’t worry, I’ll be all right.

So, novel…

Yeah, I started on the next scene of Chapter Twenty-one and not only is Annie astral projecting, but he’s off the leash and outta the building.  That means she’s floating around in the astral winds, seeing this real as it truly appears:

 

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

 

Annie was through the wall of Memory’s End and into the astral skies much like she’d done when Astral Walking, only her nakedness and the presence of the light tug at the small of her back told her this was a far different experience. For some reasons all actions seemed easier; everything felt more fluid. She didn’t required a lot of reflection on the matter: now she was a being of astral energy and as such all her actions were conducted by the rules of this realm.

She cut sharply to the left then gained about a hundred meters of altitude in but a few seconds. She stopped and looked at the school as it truly appeared in this world—

The trees were a shimmering dark green, thick and mostly unbroken. The outer walls were as dark and bright as obsidian glass. All the buildings seemed made of molten gold, each surrounded by a halo of pink and yellow energy.

Above the walls the air appeared to Annie as a dome of shifting grays, blues, and red, varying in brightness for only a few seconds at multiple locations. She realized this must be the outer defense screen that surrounded the school at all times and the bright flashes she witnessed was the result of something coming in contact with the screen, either here within the school walls, or on the outside.

She released a long sigh. “It’s magnificent.”

 

Yeah, for sure it’s beautiful out here.  But you know, if you’re floating about in the astral winds of the School of Salem, chances are good you’re not gonna float alone…

 

“Isn’t it, though.”

Annie spun around slowly. She recognized the voice, but she realized there wasn’t any way the actual person connected to that voice was astral projecting. A since glance confirmed her suspicion. “Checking up on me, Phoenix?”

The Phoenix—who looked exactly as she had when she mimicked Kerry’s female form when they were Astral Walking—mocked a hurt expression. “What gave it away?”

 

You know this bitch is gonna show up for something like this and just like in A For Advanced and B For Bewitching The Phoenix is appearing two different scenes.  But I’ll let you in on a secret: she’s gonna get a third scene in this book, though it’s not happening again until late in the Act Three.  I know she’ll make an appearance in every novel, but I can’t remember right now when and where she’s appearing in the next novel.  But trust me: she’ll be there.

But what about now, Cassidy?  Yeah, about that:

 

“Kerry’s in his normal form at the moment, so I can’t imagine him astral projecting as his female form. Also—” She cocked her head slightly to the right. “You don’t have a lifeline. Nor are you naked.”

“Damn.” The Phoenix chuckled. “You’re right: I don’t need a lifeline. As for being naked—”

“Please don’t.” Annie held up her hand. “I don’t need to see that.”

“At least not yet. Am I right?”

Annie floated closer to the ancient spirit. “What I have seen of Kerry, both dressed and undressed, is none of your concern. As for seeing his female form naked—” Her eyes narrowed. “I’ve seen her that way, which I’m sure you know.”

“Oh, yes.” The Phoenix appeared to think for a few seconds. “That’s right. You wanted to make sure she saw herself in the altogether.” She gave Annie a knowing look. “Your aura really reflected your true feelings then; would you like to know—?”

“So you were watching.” Annie had always suspected that The Phoenix not only watched over the school, but observed the actions of certain students from time-to-time. At the time of Kerry’s involuntary transition, she was convinced The Phoenix was watching their every action, if for no other reason than to see how they both handled the situation. I should ask if she watched us when we went to dinner in Salem that night, but I’d rather not know if she’s spying on us even there…

The Phoenix shrugged. “What can I say? It’s not like I’ve had a lot of opportunities to witness something like what happened to Kerry happen. You know?” She gave a little smile. “Believe it or not, there are some events even creatures like me find incredible—and what happened to her that day was one of them. Are you gonna hold it against me for being curious?”

 

Now we get some insight into what Ol’ Phee gets up to when she’s got time on her hand. As suspected, she does check in on individual students now and then and during Kerry’s transition she watch both Annie and her. She saw the moment when Kerry undressed in front of Annie while they were in ICU and she, as well as Annie, saw what Kerry looked like as a girl–saw it all.  And not only was Phee watching, but she spied on the kid’s auras, so she know pretty much what Annie felt at that moment when she got to see Kerry in a complete state of undress.  What did Phee see?  I know, but I’m not tellin’.

Now, does the excerpt today mean there’ll be an excerpt tomorrow.  Yes, there will.  I promise.  And you can yell at me if I don’t deliver.