Tilting My Horizons

With all the writing I’ve been doing of last–believe it or not, about three thousand words yesterday–I haven’t had a chance to talk about something I’ve started playing with.  But if you have Goggle Earth on your computer–which is something that comes with Maps and requires a newer computer–then you’re in for a treat.  Because now, you can feel like you’re flying over cities, hills, and plains.

I discovered this one day while fooling around with images, and I saw one of the icons in the lower right that, when I hovered over it, said “Tilt the View.”  Being curious I clicked it and saw that, yes, the view did tilt, making the scene look as if I were approaching the area from the air.  I figured I’d return things to the “flat” view and clicked it again . . . and everything flattened out more.  Whereas the first view made it look as if I was pretty much overhead, this new view shows me everything as if I were sitting several hundred feet in the air and seeing everything all the way to the fuzzy horizon.

You know where I started going with this, don’t you?

When I started putting together Emma’s and Kerry’s Scavenger Flight, I started looking at the sights as they may see them.  Now, this kind of viewing isn’t perfect:  the computer is trying to render a stereo-graphic image of a satellite picture, and sometimes the scenes look as if they came right out of The Lawnmower Man.  Other times it looks pretty great, and there are some images that are pretty damn spot on.  But if you’re a writers, and you want to get an idea of what a particular area of the world looks like, and you want to see the area in a way that you can reimage your own way on the printed page, then this is a fun tool to use.

For example, this is what I see when I’m over Cape Ann looking west:

You can't see the school--only I can see it because magical.

You can’t see the school–only I can see it because magical.

Even if there were buildings there, most of what you’d see are trees.  We’re directly over Selena’s Meadow here, and you would see the Areodrome, the west wall, Sunset Tower, maybe a few other things, but that would be here.  That brown section of trees in the middle of the picture?  That’s where Emma and Kerry had to hide out during the Day of the Dead, and where Annie asked Kerry to be her Dark Witch.  Now you know.

Thirty clicks to the east you find the Danvers Apartments, site of the original insane asylum:

Looking just a touch Lovecraftian here--must be the non-Euclidean geometry.

Looking just a touch Lovecraftian here–must be the non-Euclidean geometry.

And way off to the west and southwest, the Connecticut capitol building in Hartford.

Pretty much see at the angle Emma and Kerry would see.

Pretty much see at the angle Emma and Kerry would see, though they would be closer.

You can actually hold down the left mouse button and move the image around a little, but if you hold down the shift and the left mouse button, you and start tilting and rotating the scene to get the best view.  Doing that helps you get things to look as you would like them to look.

South of Hartford we have the Port of New Haven, which Team Myfanwy had to visit–

As it would have looked while they approached from the north on their way to Long Island, just across the sound.

As it would have looked while they approached from the north on their way to Long Island, just across the sound.

And then, finally, their trip into Queens.

Ballpark, World's Fair site, Unisphere . . . and keep an eye out for aircraft landing or taking off.

Ballpark, World’s Fair site, Unisphere . . . and keep an eye out for aircraft landing or taking off.

On their way out of New York they’d head east again, down Long Island, and all the way to Montauk Point and the lighthouse:

Where, if they come in over the south shore, they'll see the cliffs there.

Where, if they come in over the south shore, they’ll see the cliffs there.

Now, that radar dish on the left of the above image:  that’s Camp Hero, a holdover from Cold War better known as the Montauk Air Force Station.  At one time there was a hidden coastal battery here that was kept ready in case the Russians decided to invade New York City, and once they came this way their ships would get blasted.  Or if there were aircraft, that radar would discover them and rat their commie asses out.  The radar is the only one of its kind in the world, and you can actually walk around it, though it’s behind a big fence designed to keep people out.  There are rumors–otherwise known as crazy ass conspiracy theories–that say all sorts of strange stuff happened out here, including mind control, time travel, teleportation, and contact with aliens.  Maybe The Foundation knows something about this . . .

While I was at it I looked up a couple of locations that made it into the last book.  Like a certain pedestrian bridge in Kansas City:

The Deconstructors must be making things look so strange.

The Deconstructors must be making things look so strange.

The Foundation hospital where Annie and Kerry were sent after the Battle of Link Bridge, otherwise known as the Center for Disease Control:

And not a zombie in sight.

And not a zombie in sight.

And, lastly, the take-off point for the Mile High Flight, Mount Katahdin.

That lower "Mt." label is just about in the spot from where they departed.

That lower “Mt.” label is just about in the spot from where they departed.

And, just for laughs, I included this:

Because airports in the middle of the desert are so interesting.

Because airports in the middle of the desert are so interesting.

You may ask, “Cassie, what’s this?” and the answer is, it’s Groom Lake Test Facility, but you know it better as Area 51.  Why would I include this, because it’s not been mentioned.  Could it be because it may get mentioned?

You be the judge of that.

Beyond the Valley of Ashes

It’s late, isn’t it?  Yep, but it’s been a busy morning, really.  And yesterday was all sorts of busy.  I was out shopping:

Total clothing score!

Total clothing score!

I had a great full-vegan lunch:

Mine is on the left, and I loved the ruben rice bowl.

Mine is on the left, and I loved the reuben rice bowl.

And, oh:  I checked out a Tesla S Sedan.

I could love this dash.

I could love this dash.

And jumpseats in the back for the kids!

And jumpseats in the back for the kids!

Looks good on me, don't you think?

Looks good on me, don’t you think?

This morning it’s been writing and getting some food.  Mostly writing, because that keeps me busy.  And it keeps the story moving forward, which is important, right?  Because, strangely enough, people are interested in my kids.

And this is an important part of the story, because Kerry is off the leash, he’s in a park with Emma, and Annie is four hundred kilometers away.  The last time Kerry was alone with Emma was when school was letting out for Yule, and we know what happened then.  So . . . Wingmates On the Loose.  What could happen?

Well, a lot of talking, actually . . .

 

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

It was no surprise they made it to New York City in two hours. Since Advanced Flight One began Emma and he had developed a great rapport as pilot and navigator. Kerry was great with maps and geography, so it didn’t take him very long finding their destinations and plotting a course. Emma had developed a good feel for reading weather conditions through the broom’s advanced look-ahead systems, and she could calculate times based upon time and speed in her head quickly and accurately the first time, which made filing a flight plan easy.

There was slowly strolling down Herbert Hover Promenade when it became obvious Emma was thinking about their flight. “What’s up after here? Montauk, right?”

“Yes.” For their Scavenger Flight Vicky they’d already visited five locations: the former location of the Danver Asylum; Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts; the Capitol Building for the state of Connecticut in Hartford; the port of New Haven, Connecticut; and Old Field Point on the northern short of Long Island, New York. The Unisphere was their current location, and only three more remained: Montauk Point Lighthouse on the southern tip of Long Island; Woods Hole, located on Cape Code, Massachusetts; and Plimoth Plantation, nearly fifty kilometers to the north. After the plantation, then only need to fly the eighty kilometers across Massachusetts Bay to return to the school—which if they did at three hundred and fifty kilometers an hour would put them on the ground in less than fifteen minutes later. “We just gotta fly out to the end of Long Island for that, then do another water crossing to get to Woods Hole.”

“Uh, huh.” She glanced at him out of the left corner of her eyes. “How did you know Montauk was at the end of Long Island? You said back at the school you’d tell me.”

“Right.” He stared straight down the lane, his eyes focused on their objective. “It was in a science fiction novel.”

Emma’s eyebrows climbed quickly towards her hairline. “What?”

“There was a scene in a novel where a couple of people had to go to a spaceport to get a ship, and it was stated it was out by Montauk Lighthouse. After I read the book I looked up the location to see if there really was a lighthouse there, and—” He shrugged. “That’s how I know.”

“More stuff you know because you just do.” She smirked. “You and your science fiction stories.”

“Well, that’s where juanting came from—” He cocked a strange look in her direction. “—or did jaunting come from The Foundation first, and the author put it in his story to tell people that it existed?”

 

Now you know what all those points on the one map I showed were for:  they were the points on their Scavenger Flight.  And they had a lot of them for some reason–probably because they’re so good at what they do.  Actually, that’s why, and it’ll get brought up later.

There’s Kerry talking about what seems to be his favorite novel again, The Stars My Destination–which happens to be one of my favorite novels as well.  And just so you know Kerry–and I–are telling the truth, I found a copy of the novel as it was serialized in Galaxy Magazine in 1956 and 1957, and if you look at the highlighted sections, you’ll see what Kerry was talking about.

See?  They even have jaunting.

See? They even have jaunting.

And that’s how he knew where Montauk Lighthouse was located, just like he said.

But Emma isn’t thinking about lighthouses–she’s got something else in mind.  No, not that, but someone else–

 

Emma shrugged. “I have no idea. Maybe Mattie will tell us in history one of these days.” They walked in silence for another thirty seconds before she brought up something that had been on her mind for a while. “I heard a rumor about Annie.”

Kerry was fairly certain he knew what this rumor was. “And?”

“Some of my covenmates said Annie didn’t use levitation in her Judgment Trial, but that she was actually flying—you know, like—”

“Like using a Flight Gift?” Annie had spoken with Isis the next night while Kerry was in Advanced Transformation, and she was told that while she wasn’t in trouble for using her gift to win her trial, the rumors going around the school about what she was doing with her Friday mornings at the Aerodrome were going to stop being rumors. Annie let Isis know that wouldn’t be a problem, and told Kerry that night that if anyone should ask if she could fly, he should answer truthfully. “Yeah, she did.”

“How long did you know?”

“Since the beginning.” Answer truthfully. “At the end of last school year we were told we’d be tested for gifts when we returned, and that’s what happened our first Saturday back. That’s when they told us about our gifts—”

Our gifts?” Emma looked at him strangely. “You, too?”

“Yeah, I’m a Mimic. That’s one of the reasons I’m in Advanced Transformation: Jessica’s teaching me how to better my ability to transform different parts of my body.”

“Wow.” She grinned widely. “Why didn’t you say something?”

“’Cause we were told not to talk about it to others.” He shrugged. “That’s why people didn’t know Annie could fly.”

“Hum.” Emma nodded once. “I can see that. So, what can you do with this Mimic? Just change parts of your body?”

“It’s more than that: I can change stuff so it’s just like that of other people. Here—” Kerry stopped Emma before looking around to make sure they were alone. “Watch this—” He looked at Emma for a couple of seconds before his hair grew out down to his shoulders, his now curly locks a duplicate of Emma’s. “See?”

Her eyes grew wide as she chuckled at the sight. “That’s just like mine.”

“Yeah, it should be exactly like yours—without the styling, of course.” He returned his hair to its natural state. “I could do this last year to a limited extent: just hair shade and complexion. I practiced with Erywin a few times—” He didn’t go into any detail on why he was trying to match Ewywin’s hair color. He turned and continued heading towards their objective. “Now Jessica’s got me learning how to narrow thing down so I can so different areas—”

“Like?”

“Eye color, nose and lip size—” He turned from Emma for a moment. “I’ve been doing extremities like fingers, hands, arms . . . It’s not hard with the guys, but trying to make changes with the girls isn’t easy. You guys have small hands.”

“Well, yeah.” She sighed, the smile still on her face as she examined Kerry and saw him as a completely different person. “So, how does it work? What kind of magic is it?”
Jessica had explained the way the Mimic Gift worked, but as Kerry didn’t want to spend five minutes giving that explanation to Emma, he pared it down. “It’s not really magic, it’s just something I do—that’s the way it is with Gifts. My aural aspect kinda touches yours, and since your aura is a reflection of your physical aspect, it means I can make it part of my physical aspect.” He shrugged. “It’s really a lot more complicated than that, but that’s basically what happens.”

“Okay.” Emma looked straight down the path towards the clearing ahead. “You practice with Annie? You know—” She quickly glanced in his direction. “Change things so your parts are like hers?”
He nodded. “Just my hair and complexion and stuff, though I’ve done her eyes.” He chuckled. “She gets a little weirded out by that.”

“I can imagine.” They stopped in a small half-circle where two wide, parallel paths converged so they was smaller and closer together as continued towards the Unisphere. “Do you know what this place is called?”

“I think it’s Astronaut Court.” He pointed to the statue to his left at the top of a small, terraced garden. “I know that statue is supposed to be famous, but I don’t remember what it’s called.”

She giggled. “Finally, something Kerry Malibey doesn’t know.” Emma looked towards their goal. “How’s Annie?”

 

Yeah, how is Annie?  Oh, she’s not here, is she?  Ding Ding Ding!  Let’s see where this goes . . .

 

“She’s good.” Kerry didn’t try to deflect the question: this was the first time Emma and he had been alone since they’d started flying, and he figured it was only a matter of time before she returned to a subject he knew had to be on her mind. “We’re both real busy, though, what with all the advanced classes and the Gift training.”

“Is that what she’s doing this morning?”

“Yeah. Isis and she are supposed to be flying around Cape Ann this morning, getting her more used to the colder weather.” He sighed. “She should be sitting down to lunch right about now.”

“Where as we have to settle for energy bars, jerky, and water.”

“Such is our curse.”

She laughed. “Yeah.” Emma grew silent as she seemed to grow slightly withdrawn. “Can I ask you something?”

Here it comes— “Sure.”

She slowly sighed. “Are you happy?”

“You mean with Annie?”

“Yeah?”

Just like with talking about their Gifts, Kerry didn’t want to hide anything anymore. “Yes, I am.”

She looked down at her feet. “I still like you.”

He nodded back. “I know.”

 

Eleven months after the cat was let out of the bag, it’s out again, though this time it seems as if Kerry was expecting something.  Well, let’s see where this goes–

Oh, wait:  that’s it.  That’s as far as I got before I went out shopping.  But!  I’m going to finish the scene this afternoon, and, I promise, I’ll post the remainder tonight so people don’t go to bed wondering what happen to these two.

Trust me:  you’ll see it almost as fast as I will.

A Trial of Judgment: Meet the Combatants

Time to go all A Song of Ice and Fire like with the post titles, ’cause we’re about to see some stuff go down here.  Yesterday you saw the opening paragraph to the scene, but now–well, wrote six hundred words last night and almost fourteen hundred and fifty words this morning, so that scene I thought would be about a thousand words ended up going double that.

And it's happening in that building, across from where Kerry likes to give Annie presents.

And it’s happening in that building, across from where Kerry likes to give Annie presents.

Let’s see how this sets up, because we already know it’s going down:

 

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

There were many Mistresses of Judgment since 1684, with three men joining the ranks during the Twentieth Century. Professor Ramona Chai, the martial arts and weapons instructor, was the current Mistress of Judgment, having assumed the roll when she began teaching during the 1999-2000 school year, and had done much in the last ten years to ensures combat was safe while also allowing witches to work out their differences by using all the skills they possessed.

Gwydion Manor was where all combat skills were taught, and it was here the witches of Salem settled their difference in Judgment Trails. This was Ramona’s world, and here her word was, for the most part, law. Such was her impartiality that not one of her judgments had been overturned by the Ruling Council of the school: the four administrative leaders—the Headmistress, Trevor, Isis, and Coraline—and the five Coven Leaders.

 

So this is something that’s been around a long time, with variations on the rules over the centuries.  At least we know Ramona isn’t going unleash zombies on Lisa and Annie, though that might make for some funny stuff, you know?

It goes without saying that any time you have an event with a few hundred years of history behind it, you’re going to have a bit of ritual to go with the proceedings.  It’s no different at Salem, where they still refer to the holidays by their old, traditional names:

 

There were nearly sixty students inside the Manor when Professor Chai stepped onto the fourteen by fourteen meter mat with the white ten meter competition circle set in the center. She waited for a hush to fall over the spectators before speaking. “I welcome all students to this trail, and ask that for the duration of the procedures that you remain behind the red line surrounding the mat, which is there for your own safety.

“We are gathered because there are two students who are unable to resolve their differences amicably, and the aggrieved party has requested a judgment by trial, which is the right of any student at Salem. This trial will proceed obeying the rules set down by the Mistresses of Judgment, from the first days of the school until the present.” Ramona scanned the gathered crowd. “And woe be unto those individuals who believe they are above those rules, for they will quickly discover they are not.” She looked straight ahead. “Now, who is the aggrieved party? Step forward and be recognized.”

 

And that’s it:  the game is afoot.  At his point Annie could just walk away . . .

 

Annie gave Kerry’s hand a long, firm squeeze before separating herself from the other students. She stopped at the edge of the white circle. “That would be me, Professor.”

Ramona waved her forward. “Remove your shoes and come to the center of the ring.” Annie so as instructed and entered the ring. “State your name, coven, and education level.”

Annie softly cleared her throat. “Annie Kirilova, Cernunnos Coven, B Level.”

“Welcome, Annie.” Ramona once more scanned the students beyond the mat. “Is the aggrieving party present? Step forward and be recognized.”

A few seconds later Lisa stepped out of the crowd, removed her shoes, and stepped onto the mat. “That would be me.”

“Come to the center of the ring; state your name, coven, and education level.”

Lisa stopped about three meters from Annie and crossed her arms. “Lisa Glissandi, Åsgårdsreia Coven, B Level.”

 

Everyone is now here with a whole bunch of people watching, getting ready to watch the magic fly.  Knowing that combat should be the last resort, Ramona explains the rules to both girls:

 

Ramona gave both girls a nod of acknowledgment. “Welcome to Gwydion Manor. Before we continue, I will ask: can this disagreement be resolved without combat? Lisa, as you are the aggrieving party, it is up to you to decide this mater.”

Lisa appeared to give the matter a few seconds of thought before shaking her head. She looked directly at Annie. “Bitch there wants a fight, she’ll get one.”

“I understand.” Ramona turned to Annie. “As the aggrieved party you have to right to walk away and ask for administrative punishment. There is no shame in reconsidering your decision and leaving the matter to the instructors.”

Annie had decided on her answer that afternoon during Advanced Formulistic Magic. “The things she said to me in front of the other students—” She shook her head. “I’m sorry, Professor: I can’t walk away.”

“I understand.” Ramona approached the two girl and stopped about two meters from them. “Then we will proceed with the Trial. As you may or may not know, a Judgment Trial allows an aggrieved student to seek their own justice from an aggrieving student. This justice is sought through combat, with the outcome varied. Should the aggrieved student win, they are allowed to pronounce a fair judgment upon the aggriever. I am the final arbiter of said judgment, and should I find it excessive I will demand modifications or, in some cases, a new judgment.

“Should the aggriever win, though, they escape judgment, and no further action shall be taken against them for that particular action.” She eyed Lisa hard. “They will be put on notice, however, that their continued bad action will likely result in their standing before me in this location once more.”

 

Ramona’s emphases on particular is to show that once this trial is over, their conflict for this matter is over.  Should Lisa start talking shit to Annie the moment they walk out of the building, Annie has the right to haul her ass right back inside and start again.  The teacher is also letting Lisa know that should she continue being a mouthy bitch, she’s gonna find herself standing on the mat again and again.

With things laid out, and knowing that it’s time to rumble, we can expect things to go smoothly–right?  Right?

 

Ramona paused to allow her words to sink in before continuing. “If there are no questions, we can—”

“I have one.”

Annie felt her chest tighten the moment Lisa spoke. For the last few hours she’d suffered through the nagging feeling that Lisa may try something to alter their confrontation, and if it were going to happen, now was the time . . .

Ramona turned to Lisa. “Yes?”

“Well, it’s not really a question; it’s more something else—” She crossed her arms. “I want a champion.”

 

And . . . wrong.  As the saying goes, once a punk-ass bitch, always a punk-ass bitch, and Lisa apparently wants to hang onto that title.  As you can imagine this isn’t sitting well with certain people–

 

Annie slowly turned towards Lisa. “Really?”

Ramona knew the rules: there wasn’t anyone out of line with Lisa’s request. She was, however, bound to question the request. “Why is that, Lisa?”

“Annie’s a sorceress and a better witch when it comes to magic.” Lisa cast a sideways glance at her opponent. “She’s also in your advanced class, which means she’s a better fighter. So I can’t hope to beat her, can I?”

“All that may be true, Lisa—” Ramona turned a puzzled look upon the student. “Why continue then?”

“Like I said, little bitch wants a fight—” Lisa smirked. “May as well give her one.”

Though Ramona didn’t care at all for Lisa’s reasoning, there was nothing in the rules that prevented her from taking this course of action, and that it was well within her rights to have someone fight in her stead. “As you wish. The rules state that you have twenty-four hours to present a champion—”

“I have one.”

It was Ramona’s turn to smirk. “I see you came prepared.” She turned her gaze to the students beyond the mat. “Who stands as champion for the aggriever?”

 

In technical terms, this is known as a dick move, but there’s nothing in the rules which state Lisa can’t ask for someone to beat on Annie while she stands on the sidelines and laugh.  The reason one asks for a champion is to avoid being bullied by a stronger opponent who has pulled them into a contest for bullshit reasons.  Of course Lisa isn’t getting pulled into this trial for bogus reasons, and she is correct when she says Annie could probably tear her ass up with little difficultly, but still–she’s gaming the system to get the better of someone she went out of her way to piss off, and now she’s going to walk.

On top of which–

 

A tall boy with dark hair stepped out of the crowd. “That would be me, Professor.”

Ramona waved him forward. “Step forward and be recognized.”

Annie watched him slowly remove his shoes, noticing the four stars on the lapel of his jacket, all tinted in the colors of Åsgårdsreia Coven. As he walked onto the mat, Annie finally realized that Lisa’s desire for confrontation wasn’t an accident—

Ramona waited until the boy was directly behind Lisa before saying anything. “State your name, coven, and education level.”

The boy spoke in a low, soft voice. “Rikkard Tuominen, Åsgårdsreia Coven, D Level.”

“And do you swear truthfully that you stand as Lisa’s champion?”

“I do.”

Ramona nodded. “Thank you. Lisa, you may leave the mat.” She waited until Lisa was back safe within the throng of students before she turned to the remaining girl. “Annie, I must inform you that Rikkard is a member of the Åsgårdsreia Combat Team, and that he is currently competing in his second year on their A Team.” She allowed herself a deep breath so Annie could gather her thoughts. “You have the right to reject this champion, but if you do so Lisa has twenty-four hours to choose a second one should she so wish. If you reject that person, and Lisa continues to demand a champion, you will have the choice of either fighting that individual or forfeiting the trial.” Ramona massaged the back of her left hand. “You also have the option of walking away from the trial if you so wish, with the results for doing so remaining the same as already indicated.”

 

So not only an older kid from her coven, but one skilled in combat–though I wonder if he’d have stood for Lisa if he knew about Annie’s performance in combat.  After all, this boy from Finland–which is where he’s from, trust me–probably hasn’t had to go up against Deconstructors, since if he were a member of the school’s Rapid Response Team, Ramona would have mentioned the fact.

Needless to say Annie’s not happy, and now she has to think about the coming battle.

 

Annie looked her new opponent over, feeling a slight rage take hold. Lisa must have had to do quite a bit of convincing to get someone from her coven combat team to fight for her. It was all obvious now: Lisa would goad Annie into a Judgment Trial, bring forth a champion, and force Annie to walk away in embarrassment—or be beaten in combat, which would produce the same result. “Professor?”

“Yes, Annie?”

“May I have a few minutes to consider my options?”

Ramona nodded. “I’ll give you five minutes to decide.”

“Thank you.” She turned and walked off the mat. She headed directly for Kerry, who was already over the red line, standing alone and waiting for her. She stopped just within arm’s reach of her soul mate and looked into his eyes. She shook her head slowly and spoke softly so they wouldn’t be overheard. “She set me up.”

“Yeah, well . . .” Kerry took Annie’s hand. “It is Lisa.”

“Yes, it is.” She glanced over her shoulder. “She’s a coward.”

“Yeah, she’s being a twat for sure.” Kerry exhaled slowly. “Sweetie—”

Annie turned back. “Yes?”

He nodded towards the students a few meters away on his right. “I’m gonna stand over here and watch you kick this guy’s butt—okay?”

She couldn’t hide her smile. “You think so?”

“I know so.”

She wrapped her arms around Kerry and kissed him slowly and with passion. “Thank you, my love.”

“Any time, my little sarmi.” He glanced over her shoulder towards the mat before gazing into her eyes. “Go get ‘em, Tiger.”

She kissed Kerry once more, then released him and strode towards the center of the mat. “Professor, this champion is acceptable.” She stopped the moment she crossed the competition circle and stood with confidence. “May we proceed?”

 

And the moral of the story is when your boyfriend says he’s gonna watch you kick someone’s ass, you don’t want to disappoint.  I like how I played out the scene between them, because Annie doesn’t ask Kerry if he feels she’s doing the right thing, and he give her dire warnings about what might come.  He knows her mind was made up before they ever entered the building, and given that they’ve faced death together, he knows Annie can handle herself.  Also, always being the geek, Kerry laid a classic comic book line on Annie, something Mary Jane Watson would say to Peter Parker before Spiderman headed off into New York City to tear up a few bad guys.

What next now?  Why, the rules, that’s what.

What?  We don't need any stinkin' rules!

What? We don’t need any stinkin’ rules!

Actually, you do . . .

Prelude Before Pummeling

There are times when I want to write, but real life circumstances prevent what I want from occurring as planed.  Before I get into that, a little strange, freaky treat that come from one of those coincidences that Arthur C. Clarke loved so much . . .

When Annie appeared at the Samhain dance she was rocking some aqua hair brought about by her own transformation hand.  Since I’ve based Annie off of a person chosen by someone else–and why change a good thing?–there are pictures of “Annie” found all over the all over the Internet, including one where the person in question has, believe it or not, aqua hair–a picture I did not know existed today, and wouldn’t have known it was going to exist, because I knew she’d come to the dance as Sailor Neptune like a year ago.

Here is the picture:

At this point in Annie's life Kerry is finally taking her out to cons.

At this point in Annie’s life Kerry is taking her out to cons.

So there you go:  Annie with aqua hair, sporting a Forth Doctor’s scarf, and generally wearing what she’d likely wear around the Salem School when the weather starts turning cold.  You’re welcome.

Now for the reason why I couldn’t write:  electrolysis.  Yes, the Demon Electric Probe was once against hard at work against my face, and it was doing one hell of a job zapping it up.  In fact I was about two hours and fifteen minutes in the chair, and there was a lot done–a lot.  I even got my eyebrows plucked as well, which hurt in a different kind of way, but there was still pain.

During the drive home I was barely able to smile because the entire lower half of my face was numb, and while it never throbbed, there was enough soreness to prevent me from doing anything worth while except sit around and kinda go, “Ouch.”

Oh, and get pictures.  Behold the electrolysis-induced Resting Bitch Face.

Oh, and get pictures. Behold the electrolysis-induced Resting Bitch Face.

Sides of jaw, lips, chin:  all swollen and hurting.  Yeah, I was a bit of a mess, and I didn’t feel like writing–

Believe it or not I wrote something.

Call me crazy, but I hate not writing, even when I don’t feel like writing.  So I started the next scene.  Problem was, I was in pain, a friend popped up in Facebook and asked me to check something for her, and . . . well, my mind was wandering around the hinterlands by this time, mumbling “La, la, la” the whole time, because thinking was not a task I was handling well.

Still I managed all of the follow, believe it or not:

 

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

In a community where it was possible to kill another person with little more than a look and thought, the Founders of Salem needed a way that allowed for witches to resolved personal difference without resorting to indiscriminate mayhem and even murder. With these intentions in mind, Selena Malthus, Founder and First Leader of Mórrígan Coven, designed the first rules for magical martial combat, and became the first Mistress of Judgments.

 

There you are:  the start of the next scene.  It’s only seventy-one words–probably the shortest amount I’ve ever written and clocked in as “official”–but it’s a start.  It was also enough to pop the story up over one hundred and five thousand words, which means I’m still on track to do one hundred and ten thousand words by this time next week.  On top of which I added another scene . . .

The Rules?  There are no rules in magical combat--are there?

The Rules? There are no rules in magical combat–are there?

Annie is all set to dispense some justice on behalf of Team Dark Witch.

All I gotta do is deal with the pain and write.

Final Moments in the Garden of Salem: The Entry

Where are we?  Back to the last Samhain scene, that’s where.  I promised I was going to write, and yesterday I did.  I actually stayed in all day Sunday and didn’t put on any makeup for the first time since I’ve started wearing the stuff, and between naps and watching The Walking Dead Season 2, I wrote.  I actually wrote a lot, because besides doing my notes for my recap of Humans, Episode 6–where I wrote about a thousand words–I wrote eleven hundred words for this scene, most of which is below.

A two thousand word day.  Not bad at all.

The dance is over and the kids are winding down, but there’s a few things they needed to do before getting to their current location:

 

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

They’d sat on their sofa for nearly an hour snuggling and chatting. Several people had come back to chat as well, including Wednesday and Isis, who were dressed respectively—according to Kerry—as Chell from the Portal video game and Samus Aran from the Metroid video games. She also managed to discover who Coraline was portraying: Ygritte from the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. When she asked if he was sure she wasn’t Merida from Brave, he smile and told her she knew nothing.

They spent the next hour and a half dancing. Fast dances, medium, slow: they were there for them all. The year before they’d spent most of the night sitting, and usually danced when the song tempo was slow. This year he didn’t care how he looked on the floor: as he said while they were on the sofa after dancing to her dedication song, he didn’t care if people thought he looked ridiculous, he wanted to dance with her.

After that it was back to the sofa for some rest before they made their way to Selena’s Meadow and the huge lit bonfires there. As they’d done the year before they walked between the majestic fires and paused in the middle to allow the heat to wash over them. She heard Kerry sigh amid the sounds and scents of the bonfire, and felt his hand tighten around hers. As they emerged from the other side she wondered if Kerry had felt the same sense of renewal as had she.

 

So now you know what was worn by Wednesday:

I wonder if Wednesday went the whole evening not saying anything?

Did she go the whole evening not saying anything?

Isis:

I can see a Chief of Security wearing something like this.

I can see a Chief of Security wearing something like this.

And Coraline:

Wonder if Coraline was dreaming of lots of snow?

Wonder she was dreaming of lots of snow?

And let me tell you, coming up with customs for twenty characters–I found my notes in one of the posts and counted–was not an easy task, but I not only came up with the outfits, I showed them!  Ha!  Take that.

But we’re still not in the garden–what happened before that?

 

After that it was back to the sofa for some rest before they made their way to Selena’s Meadow and the huge lit bonfires there. As they’d done the year before they walked between the majestic fires and paused in the middle to allow the heat to wash over them. She heard Kerry sigh amid the sounds and scents of the bonfire, and felt his hand tighten around hers. As they emerged from the other side she wondered if Kerry had felt the same sense of renewal as had she.

They walked hand-in-hand from the meadow to the path leading back to The Pentagram. They didn’t speak the entire time during their walk, preferring to enjoy the silence while surrounded by darkness. The met no one on the way, but Annie didn’t find that surprising: with it growing cooler many of the students took The Chunnel back to their towers, while those who could often flew or jaunted. She was aware they could have flown to the bonfire and then returned the same way, but Annie knew Kerry loved this walk, as did she. It wasn’t the same as finding a quiet place in the coven commons and snuggling, but she savored these moments alone with her soul mate as much as their times alone on a sofa.

They finally came to the end of the path and entered the clearing between the small parking lot and Founder’s Oak. There weren’t any vehicle in the lot; there never were, save for the first night they arrived in the bus from the train station. The people who come to the school don’t drive. Annie brought Kerry’s hand up and kissed the back. Even for Ostara people jaunt in to watch the program

 

Since everyone jaunts in to see the Ostara performances and show, that means the parents and relatives know their kids are witchy witches.  And that means unless you come from Legacy families, A and B Level kids will not have their folks and friends in for a show.  So Kerry is performing only to the school–or, I should say, one student in particular.  That means the only people who come into the school are jaunting, or perhaps they’re flying in on a PAV.  The parking lot is just for show; go jaunt or stay home.

Finally they’re in the garden–or, really, just right outside the walls . . .

 

Kerry looked around and sighed. “So quiet.”

“It’s late.” Annie leaned against Kerry as they walked. “It’s after midnight, my love.”

“I know.” They reached the path leading to Founder’s Gate and began heading up the slight incline. “I don’t feel tired at all, though.”

“Nor to do. I could stay up all night were it not that we have class in the morning.”

“I know; I feel the same way, Sweetie.” Kerry released Annie’s hand and placed his arm around her shoulders. “Though we have to get up in a few hours. That Advanced Self Defense class really puts a crimp in the weekend.”

“Well, we didn’t have to take it: we could have said no and slept in on Sundays.”

He chuckled. “Like we did last year?”

She sighed. “I know, my love. I know.”

They reached Founder’s Gate and stopped a couple of meters inside the immense archway bisecting the Pentagram Wall. Kerry wrapped his arms around Annie and pulled her close. “You cold, Sweetie?”

“No, I’m fine.” She rested her head upon Kerry’s shoulder. “This shawl is keeping me warm—and you’re doing a good job as well.” Annie kissed Kerry. “Ti si moyata vechna lyubov.”

He smiled shone through the darkness inside the gate. “I hope that was good.”

“It was.”

“Then the same for you, my darling.” He took her hand and led her the rest of the way through the gate and into the garden.

 

What does Annie say there?  I’m not saying.  Ha!  I’m being mean, but only because what she says is oh, so personal.

Finally they entered the interior of The Pentagram and head into the huge garden there.  And there are thoughts–

 

The Great Hall stood before them, blanked in shadows by the dim indirect light that remained on until one in the morning. Since it was still on, Annie knew it wasn’t yet one, though she guessed it wouldn’t remain on for much longer. I want to see them go out. She directed Kerry towards the path they’d taken many times on late-night walks through the garden before heading to their home away from their homes. I want to walk with Kerry through the darkness to our home, to our floor, to our beds— Another thought entered her head and Annie couldn’t keep her giggle suppressed.

Kerry glanced over. “What’s so funny?”

“I was wondering . . .” She pulled them into a slower walk. “It didn’t bother you at all that you were wearing girl’s clothes tonight?”

 

Um, Annie?  Are you trying to kill the mood?  No, it’s just how she is, and she knows she’ll get a response from Kerry:

 

He turned a half-smirk on his girlfriend. “I wasn’t wearing girl’s clothes.”

“Oh?” Annie raised an eyebrow. “Didn’t you show me pictures of how she was dressed in the cartoon?”

“Anime.”

“Anime, then. Isn’t your outfit—” She nodded towards him. “—what she wore?”

“Yeah.”

“Then they’re girl’s clothes.”

Kerry laughed softly. “I guess you’re right.”

Annie chuckled. “Aren’t I always?”

“Hummm—” He kissed her on the cheek. “Pretty much always.”

“Maybe next year we can wear those other outfits that Pang mentioned—” She playfully tugged against his arm. “What did he call them?”

Kerry gave a low sigh. “Fukus.”

Annie wasn’t trying to embarrass Kerry, but she loved the light flush that appeared upon his cheeks. So much like he was last year. “And what are those?”

“You should know: you wear one.” He laughed longer this time. “School girl’s uniforms, but more stylized because, you know, they’re magical girls.” He shook his head. “I don’t think I’m ready to wear one of those.” Kerry tugged on his jacket lapel with his free hand. “This is about as much crossplaying as I want to do right now.”

“Well—” Annie released Kerry’s hand and ran it along his back and shoulders. “I wouldn’t mind seeing you in a girl’s uniform one Samhain, my love.”

 

Yes, Annie is always right, and Annie–would like to see Kerry in a girl’s uniform for one Samhain?  Humm . . . his Bulgarian Buttercup has some interesting notions.  Then again, with transformation magic–of which he and she are learning the advanced versions–it’s likely that he may be able to grant her that wish one day.

They move on from them, with Kerry giving Annie a response and then . . . bringing up something old.

 

“Really? Maybe next year. You never know, Sweetie.” He came to a stop and checked their surroundings. “This was the place—”

“Which one is that, love?” Annie knew where they were: she couldn’t erase this moment from her memories if she’d wanted. But she left it for Kerry recall the time . . .

“This is where I almost said what I wanted to say.” He lightly touched her shoulders, moving them upward slowly to cradle her face. “This is where I was going to tell you that I loved you. And I would have—”

“Were it not for déjà vu.” A year ago they’d arrived at the dance, journeyed to the bonfires, walked between the fires, and returned to the garden. Annie remembered feeling then that something important was likely to happen, because that night Kerry had been all about showing her extra attention, only wanting to be with her—and a dedicating a dance that left her emotionally drained and light-headed.

They’d come here, and she’d call him moyata polovinka—my mate—for the first time, though at the time she’d told him it meant “My soul mate”, because she wasn’t certain if he’d understand. But she found out moment later, when his mood turned quiet and serious—

When he tried to speak—while they were kissing, actually—he complained of headaches. While he didn’t know what was happening to him, Annie believed, correctly, that he was suffering from déjà vu, from pain brought about by suppresses memories that wanted to come out, but were being held back due to magic. It turned out that was exactly what had happened to him, but at the time it was only a suspicion . . .

 

Yes, the scene of the big Déjà Vu Headache, brought about by Annie’s kissing and his desire to say that he loved her.  We know it didn’t happen that night, and it took near death before he overcame the Big Déjà and spit the words she wanted to hear out.

But they aren’t finished yet.  Oh, no.  There is something else on their minds . . .

Dedicated to the One I Love: How About a Song?

Here we are, at last, with the end of the dance upon us and another milestone reached.  As I expected I reached one hundred thousand words and then some during last night’s write.  I even managed a picture:

Because if you don't capture the moment it didn't really happen, right?

Because if you don’t capture the moment it didn’t really happen, right?

I like how the word count on the scene was one thousand, seven hundred and one words when I finished for the evening and snapped last night’s photo, because 1701–the registration number of the Enterprise from Star Trek–is a good number for me.  Looking at this I also realized just how big this chapter has become.  After this morning’s write–oh, yes:  I finished the scene this morning–it’s fairly obvious Chapter Ten is gonna finish up at something close to twenty thousand words.  I went and looked, and the next biggest chapter is only eleven thousand, six hundred words, which is why I think I should probably put all the racing in one chapter and the dancing in another.

Yeah, I think that way.  ‘Cause I’m a writer, yeah?

But the chapter’s finished, and so is the dancing.  And it only took about fourteen hundred words to get there.  Why so many?  Well . . . take a look.

 

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

They reached the floor and Kerry escorted Annie out to a slightly open space where they could moving without running into people. Given the size of the dance area and the fact there were only one hundred and seventy people in attendance, Annie thought they could dance anywhere they liked and not worry about bumping into anyone. But like with so many other things in the Dining Hall, this seemed to be their area for dancing. It was here they danced last year for most of the evening, and she recalled they’d just stepped onto the floor and finished the song when Erywin spoke as soon as the music faded . . .

The song ended and people began milling about waiting for the next. A few seconds later Erywin took her place on the raised dais where announcements were normally made. “Your attention, please.” She waited for the hush to spread over the students before continuing. “At this time I’d like the dance floor cleared as we have a dedication—”

Annie walked with Kerry to the edge of the floor, but she felt the eyes of nearly everyone in the room on them. They know this is for us . . . She turned and waited, along with every other student in the room, for Erywin to give the dedication.

 

Yeah, it would seem at this point when Erywin says, “We have a dedication,” it’s probably because those crazy kids over in the Coven of the Horned God are gonna shake it again.  And they wouldn’t be wrong–

 

Their friend looked directly at them as she spoke. “This comes from the B Level of the Cernunnos Coven, and the song is dedicated to Miss Annie Kirilova. The dedication reads: ‘Dear Annie. A year’s has pasted and we are here once more. Then I knew nothing, but I know so much more now—all due to you. All my love, Kerry’.” She pointed in their direction and waved them on to the floor with a smile. “Your dance, you two.”

Kerry took a step, turned, and held out his hand for Annie. “Shall we dance, Sweetie?”

Annie lightly placed her hand in his. “As you wish, my love.” They made their way to the center as the intro of the song began with a twanging guitar echoing throughout the entirety of the Dining Hall. As a synthesizer set a minor tone before the drums and bass set the rhythm, Kerry placed his right hand around Annie’s waist and held her right hand in his slightly extended left. He smiled. “Comfortable?”

Annie smiled back, and though there wasn’t any surprise this time, she felt the customary light handedness brought on by intense emotions beginning. “I’m always comfortable in your arms, my love.”

“That’s ‘cause it’s where I want you.” They began dancing the moment the singing started. Annie didn’t know the words—nor, as was usual with Kerry’s music, didn’t even know the song, but that wasn’t in any way important. What mattered is that once more she was in Kerry’s arms, her head slowly settling towards his shoulder, her body starting its slow press against his body as she held her tight to prevent her from slipping and falling.

The song flowed into the second refrain, and Kerry softly sang one line of lyrics—”Like dream in the night/Who can say where we’re going.”—followed by a soft kiss on Annie’s cheek. “It reminds me of our dreams.”

“And our visions.” Annie breathed deeply of Kerry, of his passion and love. “I knew you were going to do this.”

“I knew you knew I would.” He slid his hand up her back and held it against her shoulder blades. “It didn’t matter: I was giving you a dedication no matter what.”

And the song wound down and headed into an instrumental finish, Annie peeked over Kerry’s shoulder at the crowd ringing the dance floor. “I believe everyone else expected this as well.”

“Yeah, well . . .” He chuckled as the song faded, then segued into a soft, ethereal coda. “They should get used to that.” The song finished and Kerry gave Annie a final hug and kiss. “I love you.”

“Obicham te.” She kissed him on the lips for a few seconds, then on the tip of his nose, giggling. “Vie vinagi shte bŭde moĭ.”

He started to pull away. “What was that?”

“You’ll find out.” Annie’s smile was wide and her auburn eyes bright under her aqua hair. “Where you going?”

“I’m, um—” Kerry looked around and noticed no one else was stepping on to the floor—

 

Kerry’s dedication, far smoother than the year before, but no less tender.  But what song did he request?  Why, More Than This by Roxy Music.

That Annie and her tender Bulgarian words.  She enjoyed the dance, because as mentioned she started growing light headed once more.  But what is with his no one else stepping on to the dance floor once his song is over?  Well . . .

 

“We have another dedication.” He jerked his head up and spotted Erywin back on the podium. She was nearly laughing as she locked her eyes upon his. “Kerry. Basically, um . . . end of the world. But before the Toclafane arrive, someone who loves you wants to share a dance.”

At first Kerry wasn’t sure what was going on, then the first chords of Elvis Costello’s Pump it Up began playing—only it was muted and didn’t sound right. Annie began moving towards him, almost shimmying as she drew closer. He could hear her singing along with a woman—”Baby, baby, baby, you are my voodoo child, my voodoo.”

Then Annie whooped and spun around as the Dining Hall erupted with the sound of bass-heavy dance music.

It was only then, as he found his feet and began to moving with her, that he realized with a start that this was her dedication to him. As she danced around him, much in the way he’d seen her do before in private and here during some songs, he broke into a smile as he realized where he’d heard this song . . .

Kerry broke into a dance, moving back and forth, swaying his hips and upper body in time to the pace of the song. He watched Annie dance with wild abandon, which was her style when they were alone and something she liked came down the stream. She danced with her arms up and her eyes closed; she kicked out her legs and shuffled from side to side; she spun in circles, whipping her aqua hair around wildly. In their other dances tonight Annie had remained more restrained: now she danced like it was the end of the world—and given that Kerry knew where this song was used, he smiled knowing that last year, at this time, the end of the world was on its way—

She took his hand and swung them back and forth as the beat dropped off. She also sang along with the song—”You’re like Voodoo baby, your kisses are cold/Feel your poison running through me, let me never grow old.” Annie blew a kiss and released him, going up on one foot and spinning twice, her right arm straight overhead, laughing the whole time. She moved closer to Kerry, arms moving right and left as the beat returned.

Kerry waited for the arrival of the chorus and stopped moving so he could thrust his left arm straight up overhead, yelling out the trademark line—”Here come the drums!” He tried his own slow spin and almost fell, something seen by a laughing Annie. “Smooth, huh?”

She threw back her head, getting her hair from her face. “I have never seen you move like this.”

“You either. Where did you get this song?”

“It’s one of my favorites. Blame Erywin for telling me how you knew this.”

He shook his head. “I’m not blaming her for anything.”

The song headed into a final repeat of the chorus, then began to literally slow as the sound, rhythm, and beat faded away into nothingness in a matter of seconds. Kerry fell into Annie’s arms and let her envelop him in her embrace. He kissed her, his arms slowly wrapping around her torso. “I love you so much.”

“I love you.” She pressed her cheek against his as the dance floor began to fill once more. “You are my voodoo child.”

He giggled as he pulled her tight. “I’ll make sure you never grow old.”

Annie turned and looked deep into this bright green eyes. “I know you will, my love. I know you’ll do that your whole life . . .” She kissed him one more time. “And I will be there doing the same for you. I promise.”

 

Yes, surprise, surprise:  Annie sneaked in here own dedication!  No one knew this but me, ‘because I’ve thought of her doing this their second time at this dance from–oh, maybe a year ago?  And since I thought it was a good idea, I put it in the story.  So what is this song that Annie picked for her soul mate and her to shake their groove thing?  Voodoo Child by Rouge Trader.

Yes, Annie has far different tastes in music, but Kerry understands that–and, hey, he’s letting her use his computer to stream it now and then, so it must be love, right?

Since it seems that Kerry does know this song, the question begs, from where?  The answer is in what Erywin said during the dedication, for Voodoo Child was used in the Doctor Who episode, The Sound of Drums, and played diegetically during the scene where six billion Toclafane arrive from a hundred trillion years in the future to 2007 so The Master can use them to subjugate humanity–which he does by promptly ordering the Toclafane to kill off one tenth of the Earth’s population.  The first part of Erywin’s statement was taken right from the show, though “Kerry” was substituted for “Humans”.  And since she is nearly a big of a geek as Kerry, she knew where the song was from–as Annie confirmed–and that was why she was laughing.

And there we have it.  Up at five-thirty this morning to put the finishing touches on the scene, and then into the post so I can bring it too you.

This is how my screen looks when I'm going from story to blog, complete with notes, including what Annie said to Kerry.

This is how my screen looks when I’m going from story to blog, complete with notes, including what Annie said to Kerry.

The dance is over–but there are words remaining between my kids.  That means it’s time to move this conversation to the garden . . .

Dedicated to the One I Love: Get Out On the Floor

I was checking stats last night, and while it may seem hard to believe, I’ve been working on this chapter for three weeks as of 29 July.  It would appear that I began writing the first scene on 8 July, and posted that the following day.  In that time I’ve written close to seventeen thousand words and brought the story to within kicking distance of one hundred thousand words–

And I’m still going.

If you haven’t guessed what’s coming now based upon the title of this post, it’s time to have a special moment.  And, as you’ll see, it’s not unexpected:

 

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

Kerry came to the sofa with a smile on his face. He stopped on the other side of the coffee table and cooled himself by flapping his jacket. “Ah, much better.” He turned to Deanna. “How are you, Deanna?” He eyed Annie. “You need me to go somewhere for a few minutes?”

Deanna shook here head. “No, Kerry, you’re fine. Please sit.” She waved for someone in the crowd to come over. “I think we were just about finished.”

“Okay.” He came around the other end of the table and took his place at Annie’s right. He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Everything okay?”

“It is.” She turned on a quick smile and kissed him. “Enjoy your dance?”

“Yeah, it was good.”

“I could tell.”

Trevor Parkman joined them, stopping where Kerry stood only seconds before and facing Deanna. “You called?”

“Yes. I think we need to attend to official duties.”

“Of course.” Trevor helped her feet before addressing Annie and Kerry. He gripped the sides of his open jacket. “Either of you care to venture a guess?”

Annie turned to Kerry with her gaze case towards the library. “Do you know?”

Kerry chuckled. “Eighth Doctor. Haven’t seen you since the first time you were in San Francisco.” He shrugged. “Then again, I didn’t see you, per say. that was before my time, but then time—”

“—Is relative.” He held out his arm for Deanna. “Shall we?”

“Just one minute—” The seer turned her gaze upon Annie. “Concerning our discussion, my advice is, as with all things seen, to let events simply happen. Actually—” She slipped her arm into Trevor’s. “That’s all we can ever do with visions.”

Annie suspected that Deanna would offer this advice, but it felt better to speak her concerns and hear the instructor’s words. Sometimes all one needs is to have someone you respect to confirm your own beliefs . . . “Thank you, Deanna. I’ll do just that.”

“Good. Both of you: have a good dance. We’ll be around, so I expect to see you again before the evening’s over.” She looked to Trevor. “Lead on, please.”

He nodded at the children. “Have a good evening.”

“See you around, Lady Sif and Doctor.” Once the two adults departed Kerry wrapped his arm around Annie and pulled her close. “Miss me, Sweetie?”

 

And there we go:  Mr. Parkman, aka Trevor the Librarian, aka The Guy Who Looks Like He’s Becoming Deanna’s Squeeze, is running around dressed like the Eighth Doctor in one of his only two visual performances:

He gets a lot more bad ass right before he dies.

He gets a lot more bad ass looking right before he dies.

And he escorts Lady Sif off to do, um, Siffy Things, I suppose.  Actually, Deanna is one of the two coven leaders who help out with the Samhain Dance, the other being Erywin, as it’s her coven that it responsible for putting on this shindig.  And speaking of Erywin . . .

 

“Of course I did, my love.” She kissed him again, slowly and sweeter than when he’d first joined her. “But I needed to speak with Deanna, and you being out on the dance floor made it easier.”

“I’m glad you could speak without having to tell me to find something to do.” He half turned where he sat so he could better hold Annie.

Annie snuggled back and against Kerry, a position that allowed her to keep her smile hidden from him. As he turned to hold her, she saw his eyes flick to his left, towards the area where Erywin and Deanna stood when making an announcement to the students in the hall. While Annie hadn’t any idea of what he’d planed for last year’s dance, this year she fully suspected something to happen. He’s probably waiting for Erywin to return, and that’s when he’s going to ask me to dance

They sat in silence for nearly five minutes, Annie leaning against Kerry, who gently held her. It was much like the Midnight Madness, only this time there was music to go along with conversation and snacks. She felt him move behind her. “Would you like to dance, Sweetie?” He gave her a squeeze. “I feel like getting up.”

She spied the front of the room and saw Erywin speaking with Deanna. She twisted her head so she could see him out of the corner of her eye. “Of course, love.” She grinned as Kerry helped her to her feet. “I feel like getting up as well.”

Annie followed Kerry onto the floor and began dancing, feeling the music around her. Kerry wasn’t a good dancer, but he did his best not to look too clumsy as he moved in rhythm with her. She didn’t consider herself a good dancer, either: until last year’s Samhain dance she’d only danced alone, usually in the privacy of her lake house.

But this was more her music; this is what she liked to hear when she was alone, and that gave here an advantage when it came to letting herself go and enjoy the song. Kerry was listening to more of her music, though: when they were down in their lab she’d use his computer to find music to stream, and he was starting to remember the lyrics to a few. It won’t be long before he’s singing along as we are crafting spells together.

 

Now, if you may remember, Erywin was the one who announced Kerry’s last dedication to Annie, so it only makes sense she’d announce this one.  I do believe it’s interesting that Annie is expecting Kerry to do a dedication to her this time, and it appears she’s waiting for the moment to happen.  And it’s not like it won’t, because Kerry’s not the sort of kid to disappoint his soul mate . . .

Where does it leave the story?

Right here, just short of a hundred thousand.

Right here, just short of a hundred thousand.

And the reason I didn’t finish up last night is because this dedication dance is special . . .

Would I lie?