Acceptance Into a Dream: Separates Together

To get all the personal stuff out of the way immediately, yesterday’s spa day was a lot of fun.  I needed to sit and get some pampering in, and to be with a friend who doesn’t mind talking about any and everything, and just be ourselves.  There was a lot of laughing going on, and when I arrived back home ten hours after I left, the first thought that popped into my head was, “It was a good day.”

Smiling long before I get my feet encased in melted wax.

Smiling long before I get my feet encased in melted wax.

In only two days nearly thirteen hundred words are written, and the penultimate scene is complete.  Not only did I put this scene to bed, but I passed two hundred and eighty thousand words in the process.  Only one short scene remains and this chapter and part are complete–

And I can most away from Kerry being tortured by Girls From the Id.

And I can then move away from Kerry being tortured by Girls From the Id.

Yesterday morning was the set up of the final dream, and as I mentioned there I needed to bring one other person to bring into this mix to make the scene complete.  And I don’t disappoint:

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie took his hand and gave it a squeeze. “I’m right here, my love. I’ll not say anything, but remember I support you.”

He turned and smiled. “I know.” He returned the squeeze. “Not like we’re going anywhere, are we, Darling?”

“Not at all, my love.”

Kerry straightened slightly and stared at the door. “Here we go.” He walked to his computer station and stood facing the entrance to his room. “Come on in.”

Annie saw the door open but didn’t see the girl as she continued standing in the hallway. Annie did, however, hear her soft, lilting voice. “I’m surprised you’re greeting me.”

“It’s not like I don’t know you’re coming.” He motioned his other dream self forward. “Don’t stand in the hall.”

 

And just like, the final player appears:

 

The girl entered the room and Annie immediately noticed that she was dressed for sleeping though her attire was slightly different than Kerry’s, as she wore leggings and a cami top. Annie pursed her lips as her mind as she began imagining see this scene while awake. I wonder if Kerry will wear something like this to bed one night soon . . .

The girl gasped the moment she spotted Annie and Kerry rushed between the two girls to forestall any problems. “It’s okay: she was brought in here. You have to know that happens sometimes.”

The girl nodded. “Yes. I remember you both share dreams. I guess that’s why this one feels strange—”

“We must be in our shared dreamspace.” Annie held her hands in front of her. “We both think I’m supposed to be here.”

“Because you’re linked.”

“You know that?”

The girl nodded towards Kerry. “I know what he knows.”

Annie chuckled. “And a few things he didn’t.”

The girl’s cheeks blushed bright red, made even more obvious by the cascading ginger locks framing her face. “I was affected a bit by his block, but I did remember you. Only—” She sighed. “I couldn’t say everything ‘cause—”

“It’s okay: it all worked out eventually.” Annie looked the girl up and down. “What should I call you?”

“I know this will sound strange, but—” The girl’s vision shifted slightly to the left. “Kerry. I mean, that’s the name I was given when I was born, though no one knew that.”

“Because no one knew you.”

Kerry cleared his throat. “That’s gonna sound strange later on when this, um, you know—” He pointed between him and he girl self. “When people finally see you for real.”

Girl Kerry nodded. “I see how it could confuse people.” She glanced down for a moment. “So you are going to let me live.”

 

The thing Kerry’s been told from the start is that he holds this person’s life in his hands.  We now know what she meant with that simple phrase, and her it comes one last time:  “You are going to let me live.”

I should also point out something that may not be obvious:  Kerry’s given name is, as stated a few times, Kerrigan, and that is a gender-neutral name that is used by both girls and boys.  Is there a reason I’m bringing this up now?  No, not really . . .

Now that all the introductions are out of the way, only one thing remains for these two kids–

 

Kerry tossed his head to one side. “The way I understand things I don’t think I can stop you. But I’m not as scared now: I was told what this means and what to expect.” He reached out to Annie. “And I have support.”

Annie took his hand. “Always, my love.”

Girl Kerry smiled at Annie. “And will I have your support as well?”

She nodded back. “No matter how either of you look, you’ll be the same person—the one I love.”

“Well—” Girl Kerry chuckled. “I hope I don’t screw things up.”

“You won’t.”

Kerry released Annie’s hand and took a step towards his female half. “I, um, guess we should do this.”

Girl Kerry nodded. “We should.”

Annie moved back closer to the bed. “What are you going to do?”

Kerry had the technical answer. “We have to integrate our auras, so—”

Girl Kerry finished the thought. “We hug.”

Annie glanced between the two. “That’s all?”

Kerry spoke first. “There’s really more than that going on—”

And Girl Kerry completed the sentence once more. “But that’s how it’ll look here.”

He nodded. “You ready?”

She nodded back. “I am.”

“Well, then—” He spread his arms wide. “Come here.”

Annie watched silently as the two came together and embraced each other slowly, with Kerry’s smaller female version of himself enveloped by the taller male version. For a few moments all seemed the same, then she felt a lightness about her body, as if gravity were slipping away. The light in the room changed, growing dimmer and most defused, and Annie realized it was because gray astral mist was slipping into their space and filling in around the hugging couple.

While both halves of Kerry became obscured by the mist Annie felt herself being slowly pulled backwards and away from the room, and her last sight of her soul mate was a sudden flash of violet-purple light from within the cocoon of astral mist—

 

And there you go.  All that remains now is for–well, something–and then I can get to the business of closing out the school year–

Three parts, six chapters, and probably a couple of dozen scenes.  That’s all that remains.

Acceptance Into a Dream: Waking and Wondering

Here I am, Day 2 of Still Having WordPress issues, though I believe it’s narrowed down to some crap my internet provider is doing and not me or WordPress.  But since I’m going to be out most of the day with a friend, this is something I’ll deal with tonight or, better yet, tomorrow when I log on at another facility and discover that I can get into the WP.

And just like that . . . here come WordPress working in all its glory.  Someone must have seen this and knew I was pissed.

Given that I’m gonna be away from home most of the day, I’ve gotten the next five hundred words out and I’m presenting them to you with little preamble.  There’s no need to go into a lot of detail, because with the kids asleep it’s only natural as to what’s coming next:  Kerry’s dream.  Only logical, right?  And as some have guessed, it’s only natural that he not be alone:

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Opening her eyes Annie felt how different everything was. The light in the room was different—not quick full light, but they’d went to bed in near pitch-darkness and now she could see—and she couldn’t see the monitors that should be right overhead. And lastly, she was alone in bed: Kerry wasn’t at her side. It was true that he could have gotten up and headed to the bathroom, but Annie was certain that wasn’t the case.

Beside, there was something else about her surroundings that didn’t fit. There was a wall to her right and Bed #1 was gone. There was a wardrobe to her left. And the ceiling wasn’t high enough for it to be the hospital bay.

It was then that all the strangeness and difference came into focus and she realized where she was. This is a dream— She sat up slowly and confirmed her suspicions. This is Kerry’s dream—the dream.

Sitting upon Kerry’s bed she saw the rest of the room before her. There wasn’t much to see: the doorway to the hall was on her left, there was pretty much a blank wall before her, and Kerry’s computer station was to her right. Kerry, still wearing the pajamas he’d worn to bed, sat before his computer, but he remained still and unmoving, staring straight ahead and seemingly unaware that Annie was present.

Annie thought back to the last time she was in this dream and she applied what she’d seen there to what was before her now. That’s not him, not actually. Kerry’s actually in the girl’s body walking up the stairs right now; this is just a placeholder his mind has created.

His head gave a twitch, then another. The fingers of his right hand began to tentatively flex, as if he were slowly establishing control of a form with which he wasn’t familiar. Annie grinned, as his action reminded her of when they did their marionettes training and how they acted when they began taking control of their puppet. He wasn’t moving like he would normally, but she was certain he was back in his body, or at least starting to return. “Kerry?” Annie stood but made no move to approach her soul mate. “Are you there?”

An awareness began returning to his eyes, though when he spoke it seemed as if he were still not fully returned to his normal form. “Annie?”

She took a step towards him. “I’m here.”

“You’re here?”

“I am.”

He was finally able to swivel his chair towards her. “How?”

Annie couldn’t help but chuckle quietly. “I think you wanted me here.” She took a deep breath as she looked about. “Deep down we both wanted me here.”

Kerry was finally able to stand. “Yeah.” He took a step towards her. “Given everything we’ve been thought today, it wouldn’t seem right for you not to see what’s going to happen.”

She glanced towards the door. “You were in her, weren’t you?”

“Yeah.” Kerry half-turned towards in the direction of the entrance to his bedroom. “I left her out on the landing. She should be knocking on the door any moment now.”

 

There we are.  The dream is about to go down and all the players are on the stage.

Well, not all of them.  There’s one more person I have to invite to this party–

The Inevitable Answers: Back In the Residence

This has been a strange morning.  I’ve been up since just after five; I went to get groceries at six-thirty, and I started writing at about nine after I’d act breakfast and did a few things around the apartment.  This is how my weekends go:  most of yesterday I did the same, with a bit of napping here and there.

A couple of other things have happened as well.  First, I’ve made a few additions to my time lines, because, well, it was necessary.  In doing this it got me thinking about a trip Annie and Kerry would one day take together, as well as something else that could happen in their lives soon, because as I’ve pointed out from time to time, while I have a lot of metadata for my novels, that doesn’t mean things don’t change now and then, or become developed further.

And in thinking about that second got me to thinking about the third, and that is what sort of fighting style will Annie and Kerry develop?  Sure, they can use magic to drop your ass, but they’re also taking Advanced Self Defense, and that means Professor Chai is probably teaching them styles of fighting that will allow them to become very dangerous without having to resort to bleeding out every jackhole who gives them shit.

What fighting styles will they develop?  Here you go:  Arnis/Kali mixed with Pencak Silat/Kuntao.  What the hell is this?  Arnis and Kali are the same thing:  they’re the national sport and martial art of the Philippines, and it also goes by the name of Eskrima.  You can use it empty handed or with weapons, the most famous of the later being the baston, a fighting stick about two-thirds of a meter, or two foot, long, and used in pairs with one in each hand, and the balisong, or what we in the U.S. would call a butterfly knife.  Pencak Silat is a form of silat found in Indonesia, and Kuntao is an martial art used by Chinese in the Malay Archipelago, Indonesia, and the Philippines, that is so close to silat in its forms that a lot of people can’t tell the difference and usually don’t bother calling it anything but silat.  Pencak Silat also uses weapons, one of which is the kris, a wavy blade knife that is considered magical in some circles, and was traditionally made by infusing poison into the blade while it was being created, and take years to finish as the blade’s metal is folded hundreds of times.

What does this mean?  It means that once they get good at this they won’t need magic to kick someone’s ass, they just will.  And when they start making their own bastons on the fly out of ball lightning sorcery spells, sit back and pity the poor bastards who decide to try and do something stupid to them–like, say, mug Annie and take her purse.  (One day I’ll need to write up the time someone tried mugging Coraline and she kicked him about ten meters/thirty-three feet into a dumpster.  Good times, yo.)

It's also even money she'll beat someone up if they call her "Anniemae".

It’s also even money she’ll take someone to The Manor if they call her “Anniemae”.

But before we get to the point where we need a Rocky-like montage of Annie and Kerry going through their martial arts struggles to learn their forms, we gotta get out of Kerry’s dream and back into the real world.  And wouldn’t you know, that’s happening right now–

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

GET OUT, GET OUT—”

Annie was barely aware she was back in the library when she was jerked off the sofa by Deanna and fell into her arms. She spun around and found Kerry on the sofa, his eyes closed and his body twitching and jerking while screaming the same phrase over and over in a fighting, high pitched voice. She knew immediately what was wrong: He’s still in the trance; still in the dream

Deanna held on to Annie tightly as she yelled at Coraline. “Wake him up.”

Coraline was hovering over Kerry right away, speaking quickly and clearly in a loud voice. “Kerry, I’m gonna count back from three—”

Kerry continued screaming. “GET OUT.”

“—and when I clap my hands you’ll wake up.”

GET OUT.”

“Three, two—”

“GET—”

ONE. Clap, clap.”

“OUT. GEtttt Oooouu . . . AhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHH.”

Kerry threw back his head and thrust his palms against his eyes as he cried out in as loud a voice possible. After nearly going the whole school year without having a crying jag he let out everything, weeping out whatever pent-up emotions he held. After a few seconds he rolled to his left and collapsed on the sofa, continuing to sob loudly.

Deanna nearly pushed Annie away before she jerked out of her hands. “Go to him.” She was on the sofa in seconds, sliding his head up into her lap. Kerry buried his face against her thighs as he continued sobbing while Annie gently stroked his hair. “Shush, shush. It’s all right.”

He could barely get out his words between tortured breaths. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“I know. It’s all right. Shush. You’re with me now.”

 

Point of Order, Your Honor:  if Kerry is setting his palms against eyes, what about his glasses?  Well, back when Coraline was hypnotizing him she was supposed to remove them, but, unfortunately I forgot to have her do that.  That made it necessary to go back today and fix a certain paragraph, with additions in bold:

 

Coraline moved closer to the love seat until she was about a meter away, then knelt down before the boy.  “Let me get these off—”  She removed his glasses and set them on the end table.  “Wouldn’t want anything to happen to them.  Okay, lights low.”  The room grew darker, leaving everyone seated in quiet gloom.  She rested her left hand above her head and made a small pinpoint of light appear.  “Kerry, I want you to look at this light and continue looking at it while I speak.  You understand?”

 

Now that I’ve fixed that, let’s get on to one soul mate calming down the other, and see what else falls out of this experience–’cause simply based upon things that have happened in the past, it’s likely there’s a few upset people in this room.

 

Nearly a minute and a half passed before Kerry settled down and stopped his sobbing and he returned to a sitting position. His face was a mess: hair was plastered to his forehead, his eyes were bloodshot, snot trickled from his nose, and his cheeks were wet and red from tears. He started down at the floor, not meeting anyone’s vision, as he constantly and loudly sniffed trying to clear his nose—

“Kerry.”

He finally looked up and turned to the person who’d spoken his name. He silently regarded Deanna with pain in his eyes.

The seer looked down for a moment and sighed before meeting his stare. “It wasn’t my intention to deceive you, but it was necessary. When this action was discussed earlier in the afternoon, I was the one who mentioned that if you knew I’d bring Annie with me to view your dream, you’d fight being hypnotized, and if you were put into a trance, your knowledge that Annie was dreamwalking with me could cause you to try and alter the dream.

“I know you’ll find it difficult to believe, but Annie needed to be there; she needed to see the struggle you’re having in your dreams. Right now I can’t tell you why, but I’m asking you to believe me when I say she knows as much as possible about what is happening with you.”

She looked down again. “I know this means nothing, but I hurt knowing I needed to talk this step.” She looked at Annie, then back to Kerry. “I only hope that in time you both come to forgive me for my actions.”

As she turned away a strangled voice called out softly. “Deanna.”

She slowly turned back and saw the boy staring at her through teary, bloodshot eyes. “Yes?”

He struggled to speak as he wiped his nose and face with tissue given him by Coraline. “You’re right: if I’d known you were bringing Annie, I’d have fought you. I wouldn’t have agreed to being hypnotized, and if I were, I would have struggled. And . . .” He sniffed back tears for a few seconds. “She needs to know. I haven’t been able to say what is going on with my dreams, but—” He glanced over to Annie before taking her hand. “She needs to know.”

He took a deep breath before clearing his throat. “I forgive you, Deanna.” He managed a weak smile. “There’s no sin.”

Annie turned to Deanna as well. “It hurt seeing those—” She closed her eyes trying to block out the memories of the last few minutes. “—thing, but I know you’re only trying to make him better.”

She nodded slowly. “I forgive you as well.”

Deanna put her hands together and gave him a slight shake. “Thank you, both of you. It means a lot knowing you don’t hate me.”

As Coraline and she returned to her seat Erywin was the first to speak up. “What it what we thought?”

“It was.” She crossed her legs. “He had the mirror dream.”

Kerry’s voice was almost back to normal. “Mirror dream? What are you talking about?”

 

Kerry’s a mess, but now that he’s had his fit and moment of pain and embarrassment, he can’t hate ’cause he knows Deanna is right about him.  Annie can’t hate either, because she knows Kerry well at this point, and she understands that sometimes you can’t tell him everything, least not right away.  Hey, she was tricked into his dream, and he was tricked into not knowing she’d be there, but why stay pissed off at one of the people who’s looking for an answer someone can’t seem to give?

Also, these kids aren’t–excuse the pun–normal, and they have a maturity not found in most twelve year old boys and thirteen year old girls, the majority of whom would have likely stormed out of the library after calling everyone bitches.  The really scary part is that two members of the school administration–the headmistress and school doctor–and three coven leaders are sitting in a room with a couple of kids who have yellow flagged student files, and they deliberately set in motion a process that was pretty much designed to upset both the scary little sorceresses.  Now, we know Coraline can magically kick ass and Erywin probably has a big weapon stashed away in Hammerspace, but what if both kids lost it and fireballed the whole room?  Notice that Coraline didn’t sit down until Deanna did?  Yeah, she was probably going to give both kids a magical slapping if they got too bent out of shape.

Now that all the crying and recriminations are out of the way–what is the mirror dream?

Notice how I raise these questions without answering them right away?

The Inevitable Answers: The Dream Meeting

Ninety minutes and eight hundred and eighty words of writing later and I’ve finished Kerry’s dream, which left a few people expressing a bit of disbelief that I ended the excerpt where it ended.  Lately I’ve been on a cliffhanger kick, but given all the stuff happening in this section of late, why not lay those cliffhangers out?

But today, since I’m on a bit of a time table, and because this is really the dream to watch, I’m just gonna lay out all of what’s been written in the last ninety minutes with, as we used to say back in the good old Earl Scheib days, no ups and no extras.

Hold questions until the end, class.

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

A crown of ginger hair appeared as the mysterious dream girl made her way up the stairs. Annie couldn’t see her face, but having seen it up close a few dreams back there wasn’t any need. The girl made it to the top landing and paused, staring straight ahead for a few moments before turning to ascended the last two stairs to the first floor.

Annie immediately noticed the discrepancy Kerry mentioned. “She didn’t turn right; it was just as he said.”

“Yes: just as he said.” Deanna gripped Annie’s shoulders as the girl stopped just outside the door to Kerry’s bedroom. “Brace yourself: this may feel a little strange—”

Annie’s vision blurred as they seemed to quickly slid from their spot outside the first floor office door to a spot next to the headboard of Kerry’s bed. The room was the same as she remembered it from their dreams: bed situated under a window to her left, a dresser and wardrobe on the other side of the bed, and Kerry’s computer desk directly in front of her directly opposite the door. Kerry sat at the desk, though he wasn’t wearing his current clothes. “He’s back in his pajamas.”

“That’s because this is an interactive replay of the dream, so a few elements remain the same.” Deanna hovered just to the left of Annie’s head. “Did you notice what the girl was wearing.”

“Pajamas, too.” She scrutinized her soul mate. “Why does he seem frozen?”

Kerry moved ever so slightly in his chair. “He’s not frozen any longer.” A slight creaking came from the door. “It’s about to start.”

Annie fought not to rush to Kerry’s side. “Yes.”

The girl stood just inside the room, just visible beyond the edge of the dresser. She stare straight at the boy seated as his desk before speaking in a sigh. “Kerry.”

The moment he head his name Kerry hung his head and released a weary breath. “Go away.”

“I can’t go away.” She took two steps into the room as the door behind her closed. “You know that’s impossible.”

Kerry half spun around on his chair. Annie saw his face clearly for the first time: he was in pain, almost on the verge of tears. “I don’t want you here; you have to leave.”

“And go where?” She held out her arms as she looked about the room. “Where do I go? You know there’s only one place for me to go now—”

Leave me alone.” Kerry was out of his chair and facing the girl, standing maybe a mater and a half from her. “Just . . . go. Go away and don’t come back.”

“I can’t.”

“You have to.”

“I can’t.” A tone of pleading crept into her voice. “Why are you doing this?”

Why?” His tone became one of exasperation. “You know why. You’re going to screw up my life if this happens. Don’t you understand?” Kerry fought to keep from sobbing. “I’m finally happy: I don’t want to go back to being miserable. And that’s what’s gonna happen if you keep pushing me to do this.” He shook his head. “I can’t do this to my life.”

“What about my life?” The girl held out her hands, pleading for understanding. “Do you know how hard it is to see what you have and not be able to share? To see you have a life? Please, Kerry—” A single tear ran down her right cheek. “My life is in your hands—”

He looked down, shaking his head. “No.”

“Let me live.”

No.”

She reached out with her left hand. “All you have to do—”

GET AWAY FROM ME.” Kerry threw himself backwards, stumbling into his desk before he threw up his hands as if to push her away. “Don’t touch me. DON’T TOUCH ME.”

Annie had never heard Kerry scream this way before, but she’d seen this look on his face before: the night of the Day of the Dead attacks, when they were in the hospital and he came out of the dream where he was being chased by the Abomination. He was terrified then and he’s terrified now

Though Deanna told her not to draw attention to herself, Annie couldn’t help her taking a step towards Kerry and yelling at the girl. “Leave him alone.”

The girl turned towards Annie, a look of incredulity on her face. Annie glanced at Kerry and discovered him staring at her the same way. He stepped away from the desk. “Annie? What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here—”

Annie’s breath caught in her throat as she realized Kerry wasn’t the only one speaking: the girl spoke as well—

They stood side-by-side, staying at Annie. “You’re not supposed to see this—”

Speaking the same words—

“You need to leave—”

Simultaneously.

“You need to get out. You need to get Out Now.”

Annie’s breath quicken as she tried to understand what was happening. “Kerry?”

He and the girl took a step towards Annie, their voices rising. “You Need To Get Out. Get Out. GET OUT.”

Annie stepped backwards as her soul mate and the mystery girl continued screaming.

“GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT.”

Hands gripped Annie’s shoulders and she felt herself being pulled backwards off her feet—

 

There you have it:  what was making Kerry scream.  Though I think the part with Annie in it, that’s only happening in this dream.

The question is now:  what happens next?

The easy answer is I work on the next scene.

The easy answer is I work on the next scene.

The Inevitable Answers:  The Coming of Carrot Girl

First off, let me tell you, there’s nothing more frightening that having someone knock on your door at about eight-thirty at night–or twenty-thirty hours as my kids would say–and when you look out the peephole you can’t see anyone standing there.  And then it goes on for about three or four minutes.  Right off the bat let me tell you:  I live alone, which can be scary enough for some women, but as a transwoman my chances of being murdered are about fifty percent greater than those of a csiwoman, so where there are mysterious knocks on my door at night and I can’t see who’s knocking, I don’t answer the door.

Come to find out it was the Harrisburg police, four of them, investigating a report from the hospital across the street that “someone” there saw “something” in one of the apartments.  Four guys who were a lot bigger than me who instantly got paranoid when they couldn’t see my right hand.  It was a real uncomfortable couple of minutes while they checked that yes, I did live alone, and that, yes, you couldn’t see into my apartment because I keep my blinds pretty much closed at night.  I also got a couple of strange stares from a couple of the officers, who hurried away as soon as they got a call that they really needed to get to the floor below because that seemed to be the location of the action.

I guess the next time when I deal with the police I better get a lawyer in love.

I was told that yesterday’s post was a super cliffhanger.  I guess that’s going to make this one a super-duper cliffhanger, ’cause right here, right now, we are deep in the dreamspace and things are about to unfold pretty much in the way I’ve mentioned in the title to this post.  However, the point of view for this scene has become altered ever so slightly . . .

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The moment Annie opened her eyes she noticed three things that weren’t normal. The first found her no longer facing a seated Headmistress Laventure, Professor Kishna, or Erywin, and the second saw here no longer seated. The reason for the first two problems were solved by the third: it was clear she was no longer in the library in the Instructor’s Residence. Though after a moment of gathering her wits she immediately recognized the location—

“Annie.”

She spun to her right and discovered Deanna standing behind her just out of her peripheral vision. “What is—?”

Deanna put a finger to her lips. “Shhh. Keep your voice down, please.”

While she lowered her voice, her tone remained somewhat anxious. “This is Kerry’s house—it’s his dream.”

Deanna looked round the space in which she stood with her young friend. “True on both accounts, my dear.”

Annie knew the layout of Kerry’s house because she’d been there before in their dreams. Deanna and she stood on the first floor landing with a bedroom door behind her that Kerry had once told her led to an office his mother used when she wanted to work on something away from the office. To her left was the door leading to his parent’s bedroom, one with a large bay window overlooking the street. Directly in front of them were the bathroom doors: the one to the immediate right of the leading to the toilet, and the one facing Annie leading to the tub and the sink.

 

The layout of the first floor of Kerry’s house it accurate, and I’ve known it for years because, believe it or not, I found floor plans for the exact house his parents “own”, and I’ve had them for–well almost three years now.

And I keep them close buy when writing--like, almost in the same window.

And I keep them close by when writing–like, almost in the same window.

However . . . I actually went to look at the image of the first floor as I had it loaded in the project, and–Damn!  It wasn’t coming up!  I never figured out why it wasn’t appearing in this novel, or in A For Advanced, so I had to hunt around on my computer for a bit to find and reload the image.  That took me all of about twenty minutes, making it another of those, “Wasting time again, I see,” moments.  That and cops at the door are good for killing more time than you can imagine.

Now that we have the floor mapped and out of the way, Annie has a question of her own that needs answering:

 

The most important door was the one on the left leading directly off the stairs: that was the door leading to Kerry’s bedroom. If what Kerry said about this dream were true—and she had no reason to doubt that he’d lie—he was in there now, waiting once more for the confrontation they were here to witness—

Deanna lay a hand on Annie’s shoulder and leaned closer to her head. “There’s something you need to know—”

Annie turned to her left to address the seer. “Such as how did I get here?”

“Oh, that. Well—” A slight grin came to Deanna’s face. “Coraline was aware that Kerry wasn’t the only one susceptible to being hypnotized, and by sitting between him and you it was a simple matter of crafting a spell that—” She shrugged. “As he was being put into a trance, so were you. It’s nothing that I haven’t done before.”

“But why?” She set her hands on her hips. “Why did you bring me here?”

“Because if this is what we think it is—” Deanna lay her right hand on Annie’s shoulder. “You need to see this. You need to know what’s happening.”

Why?”

 

You know, when you can trance-out kids through a little bit of teacup magic, getting them both under at the same time is pretty much child’s play.  It also means that Deanna must be a hell of a dreamwalker if she can find Kerry’s last dream and yank his girlfriend in as well so she can hang out and watch things unfold because she needs to see things.  And Deanna’s being a big vague on the why of things–

Unfortunately she may not have to explain . . .

 

The answer wasn’t forthcoming for in that moment a sound filtered up from the ground floor. Annie recognized it only because she’d heard her it here once before. Someone’s opening the front door— “She’s coming.”

“She is.” Deanna moved behind Annie and kept her hands upon her upper arms. “From here on we need to be as unobtrusive as possible. We can speak, but only in hushed tones. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.”

Annie turned and looked back over her left shoulder. “Why?”

“Because it could be bad for us. By observing this dream we could alter what happens by accident, and it could turn on us if we’re not careful.”

“But Kerry knows we’re—well, you’re here.”

“His conscious self knows, but the unconscious part of his mind that’s already had one bad experience with this dream doesn’t care what his conscious mind want. You’ve already been thrown out of one dream by this girl: given Kerry’s agitation last night things could go far worse for us.” The sound of creaking wood came from the floor below. Deanna leaned close and whispered in Annie’s ear. “She’s here.”

 

Damn right she’s here, and that’s the part I work on tonight.  We finally get to see what Carrot Girl said to Kerry that freaked him the hell out, and we find out Annie’s response to the aftermath of that conversation.

It’s almost over.

Except for maybe the screaming . . .

Hospital Visitations: Questions Asked

Today I’m feeling better, more chipper I think you could say.  Last night I felt beat down and worn out, and that’s never a good way to face your story.  I felt as if I was slightly back on form because I managed to get out a bit over eight hundred words, but it was hard going all the way.

This feeling comes and goes.  It’s hard when you’ve been on a project for a long time and everything in your mind is telling you that you need a rest.  It doesn’t help that everything at work is repetition these days, and unless you’re one familiar with the same repetitive stuff day in and out, you have no idea how draining this becomes.

Enough of that bullshit, right?  This is about writing in the face of fear–hey, that would make a good title for a blog post.  I should try that some time.

There are times when I shouldn't re-read my own work.

And then keep crying over what you’ve written because it manages to get to you.

Because there is a lot of fear in my writing at the moment.  I’ve been here before, and it’s an uneasy feeling.  You get over after a few hundred words–or a thousand or so–which means I’m getting to where I can sit and not feel uncomfortable about what I’m about to put down on, um, paper.  Maybe by the end of the week I won’t feel so crazy, but right now–yegads, I feel like a slimy bitch the moment I set fingers to keys.

But enough of how I feel?  How’s Kerry?  Well, he’s where you’d expect him to be, and that means people are talking about him at one in the morning . . .

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

“It is.” She got up slowly from her chair. “It’s why I called you in, because I felt, along with my fellow counselors—” Coraline motioned to Deanna and Erywin who were sitting along the wall to her left. “—that Kerry’s situation may have turned serious, and that warranted closer observation.”

“Is he in any danger?” Holoč set his hands inside the pockets of his robe.

“No, he’s not.” Coraline mustered a slight grin while slowly shaking her head. “But I feel it best to have him spend the night here given what happened to him earlier tonight.”

Holoč stood and stared at the floor for about three seconds before looking up at Coraline. “I’m certain you’ll do your best for him.” He rubbed his chin. “And I’ll let you get to that. Good night, Doctor.” He turned to Deanna and Erywin. “Good evening, ladies.”

Coraline didn’t close the door to her office until Holoč was through the waiting area and out of the hospital. Erywin sat back and sighed. “I expected Holoč to ask more questions.”

“He’s good about that. He knows I won’t BS him about the condition of his fliers, and I’ve never mislead him about any of his coven kids.” She leaned back and rested against the door frame. “I told him we were looking at Kerry the same day Annie and he came to Deanna and me. I didn’t tell him all we knew, only that we were helping Kerry with a personal issue, and that it wasn’t serious enough that the boy was a threat to others or himself.”

“And how is Kerry now?” Deanna stood and gave her abaya a slight shake to straighten it around her ankles.

“He’s not too bad. When I got here I checked on them and he was awake and responsive. But when Gretchen brought him in—” Coraline twisted a bit to her right so she could see the curtained-off bay where Annie and Kerry were currently residing. “She told me that when she arrived at the coven tower Kerry appeared almost catatonic: he was unresponsive and appeared to have difficulty recognizing people.”

 

Holoč is literally the odd man out at Salem, for he is the only male coven leader, and there are times when he’s viewed a little differently than the four women who manage and oversee the other four covens.  There are times when he tends to come off more like an overprotective father than the head witch for one of the covens, but then some of the women come off as overprotective mothers as well, so it evens out.

Erywin’s question indicates that there’s at least one of the two remaining coven leaders–they would be Jessica and Maddie–who are a bit more taciturn when it comes to getting news that one of their kids screamed themselves catatonic because of a dream.  It also indicates they probably don’t have a lot of issues over by der in Cernunnos Coven, probably because of all the yucky boy stuff happening there.  Which isn’t fair to say, as there are boys at the other covens:  I’m certain Erywin is only getting in another dig about there being too many boys on the coven’s race team . . .

If you read between the lines it’s likely true that Coraline is also the one who has to deliver all the bad news to coven leaders and instructors about the mental stability of their charges.  She is the school’s Chief Medical Officer, and that sort of falls under her area of control.  And it’s true that just like any other school, Salem has their issues with stressed out kids, depression, and even the occasional suicide attempt.  Only here, when someone decides to end it all, they just set use magic to light themselves on fire, or simply stop their heart.  Which is one of the reasons why every one is watched so closely.

No one is worried about Kerry hurting himself.  But someone wants to get to the crux of the matter tonight–

 

Erywin asked the question to which she was certain she already knew the answer. “Did he say he’d had one of those dreams?”

“Yes.” Coraline turned back to the guest in her office. “Annie told Gretchen that he’d confirmed he’d had a dream: when he arrived he told her the same when she asked him to confirm his story.”

“Well, shit.” Erywin ran her fingers through her hair. Normally she’d begin pacing, but with three people in the office that was impossible. “How’s Annie?”

“Doing as you’d expect. She’s stoic and putting on a brave face, but her aura tells me otherwise.” Coraline stared up at the ceiling for a moment. “She’s stressed out. I’m probably going to have to give her something to help her sleep, otherwise she’ll sit by his bedside all night long, and she won’t be any good come morning.”

“When you arrived did she reiterate her story about how she was awoken by Kerry’s screams?”

“She told that to Gretchen when she arrived at the coven, and Gretchen relayed it to me when I arrived here.”

“What’s our next move?” Deanna sat on the edge of Coraline’s desk. “It would seem these dreams have taken a turn for the worse, and we’re no closer to an answer on what they mean or how Kerry should handle them.”

Coraline released a long, exhausted breath. “We don’t even know the questions.”

Erywin turned to face the other women. “If I may suggest something—”

“By all means.”

“Perhaps we could gather at lunch time to go over what we have and see what makes sense. Also—” Erywin gathered her thoughts. “Jessica gave me some new data to examine. I received it late last week, but Ostara made it impossible to find enough free time to look it over.”

Deanna pushed herself up a little further on the desk. “Is that information related to your due diligence report?”

“It is, but at this point anything I share with you won’t affect anything that goes into that report.” She grunted. “Assuming I need to write one now.”

Coraline liked the idea of getting everyone in a room and brainstorming things out. Deanna and she had spent a couple of weeks coming up with different hypothesis that never panned out, and while Erywin wasn’t nearly the expert on dreams and visions as Deanna, she had ways of examining information that were far different than Deanna or she would. “We’ll worry about the due diligence later. I agree: we should get together, look at this new data, and see if it relates to what we’re following now.”

“Do you mind if I bring Jessica?” Erywin rolled her shoulders forward and stretched. “She told me yesterday there was something she wanted to discuss, but she figured we’d do it later—”

“Today?” Coraline chuckled. “Then she picked a great time. Where do you want to meet?”

 

What does Erywin have that Jessica handed over?  Could it be . . . video?  Yeah, I think that’s it.  Which means we’re probably going to get to see Kerry doing his Mimic thing.  But before that happens we need to get through this night.

And see something else we’ve never seen before . . .

Speculations of the Dreaming Kind: Sleeping Suppositions  

Because today is something of a big day for me, I promised I would get the last scene out of the way and finish up what’s going on in Chapter Twenty.  And guess what?

Totally did that.

Totally did that.

Oh, and also:  I came within four hundred and seventy-five words of one hundred and eighty thousand words.  Woot!  Another month and I’ll crack two hundred thousand . . . didn’t I say this novel would finish up around two hundred and twenty-five thousand words?  Yeah . . . about that–

Forget about that for now:  at the moment Coraline’s sitting with Deanna in her school apartment, and the question “What does it mean?” has been asked.  Where does that take us?  Here:

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Deanna wished she had tea at this moment, as the simple act of holding the steaming cup brought her comfort. “If we were talking about another boy in another relationship, I’d venture that the girl is a subconscious desire to warn the boy that his relationship is wanting or doomed.” She rubbed her fingertips together. “But we are talking about Annie and Kerry—”

“Yeah.” Coraline glanced at her slippers and chuckled. “There’s no way those two are in danger of breaking up.”

“I agree.”

 

Seers and doctors alike agree:  these two lurv each other.  No breaking up stuff for them!  Onward:

 

“So we’re back to the question of ‘What does it mean?’ again.”

Deanna knew that wasn’t exactly true. “There are two other possibilities. One is that someone is dreamwalking him; the other is that he’s having a vision.” She switched arms and now rested her chin against her left hand. “Both have their merits and problems.”

“A vision can’t kick you out of a dream.” Coraline leaned forward, her hands on her thighs. “That’s something a dreamwalker would do.”

“There is a lot of truth there—and it would be difficult to dreamwalk a real vision. But a dream vision?” Deanna shook her head. “There are schools of thought on the matter that a skilled dreamwalker could enter a dream vision—”

“Do you believe that?”

“I do. I’ve never tried it, but then, one would never know if they were inside a dream vision or a normal dream unless they knew what they were seeing.” Deanna slowly ran her right index nail up and down the middle of her upper lip. “What did you think of the school uniform the girl was wearing?”

“A Cernunnos B Level?” Coraline remembered the look they’d exchanged when Kerry mentioned that detail. “That can’t be coincidental, either.”

Deanna shook her head. “Annie didn’t think so, either.”

“She did her damnedest not to react when she heard that one.” Coraline chuckled darkly. “It’s a good thing there isn’t a student like that here now—”

“Yet.”

 

The detail of the school uniform that Carrot Girl–a favorite name from one of the readers that I have adopted, because we’re all about our veggies here–was not mentioned in the scene where Kerry discussed his dreams; one of the ideas with this scene is that far more was discussed after I ended the prior scene.  Now we know:  she was a Cernunnos B Level.  Which is why the following comes up:

 

Coraline saw the meaning behind the word. “You think it’s a vision?”

“It could very well be. Perhaps next year, or the year after—”

“Or the year after that.”

“—We’ll see a girl like the one Kerry’s described walk through Founder’s Gate and get placed by The Phoenix in Cernunnos—”

“Where she’ll run into something when she’s a B Level that will require Kerry saving her life?”

 

Coraline’s only asking that because Kerry’s already proven that he’ll jump in and do stupid things to save the lives of ginger hair girls.  Well, not stupid:  I’m sure nearly everyone at school who knows of him saving Emma from the Abomination thinks his actions were brave.  Unless their name is Annie.  Then they likely think he was stupid.  Though they’ll never say that in public.  Well, maybe once.  Or twice.  We’ll see.

This gets Deanna to pointing out that the idea of Kerry saving someone he’s never seen before isn’t all that strange for this joint . . .

 

Deanna shrugged. “Stranger things have happened here, haven’t they?” She sat the tip of her nose against the top of her left index finger and looked away from the woman across from her. “Did you ever imagine when school started in 2011 that one of the first things you’d do is tell a boy from Cardiff that a Bulgarian girl was in love with him?”

“No, I didn’t.” Coraline replayed that particular memory that moment, remembering how concerned Annie appeared when she asked Coraline to examine the boy who helped her to the hospital; how Kerry stared when Coraline began using the scanner; the way he seemed talking about wandering Amsterdam with Kerry before coming to school; and the look upon his face when she told him that Annie was madly in love with him. “I do remember, however, that when I was telling you guys what happened the next day you didn’t seem all that surprised.”

“Well, you did tell us at the end of Orientation Day and I’d already met them, so . . .” She left the question hanging. “Maybe I already suspected something about their relationship?”

“Sure.” Coraline flashed a slight smile as she got to her feet. “Anyway, what’s next?”

“Just as we advised—” Deanna rose and escorted Coraline to the door. “Kerry keeps track of his dreams, and when this girl appears again—which I’m certain she’ll do—he’s to write down what happened, then come and see us.” She hesitated before waving the door open. “Perhaps more information will make it easier for us to determine what’s happening.”

“You really don’t know what’s happening—” Coraline turned to face the seer. “Do you?”

Deanna shook her head slowly. “Not a clue.”

Coraline pursed her lips. “It must suck not knowing.”

“Actually, no, it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s nice not knowing.”

“Really?”

“Sure.” Deanna waved her hand and the door opened slowly and quietly. “I do like to be surprised from time-to-time, you know.”

 

Deanna likes surprises.  That’s one bit of good news.  And this thing with Kerry is . . . surprising her.  Um, yay?  Is she really surprised, or is she just telling Deanna that?  Hum . . . well, I know, but I’m not saying.

Chapter Twenty-One is next, and it looks like it’s full of Express Farewells, puppets, and death.  You know what?  That sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.

I better get to writing that tonight.