Along the Scenic Dreamways

Trying morning today because stupid computer is being a pain in the butt, but I may have tamed the beast.  Maybe.  I’ll find out in a bit, I guess, but it’s likely it’ll keep frustrating me for another hour or so.

This was so unlike yesterday, which was nice and sunny and warranted getting out of the apartment and doing a little shopping.  The shopping part sucked a lot when it came to finding shoes, as none of these damn stores carry anything in an woman’s 11 wide, so I’m pretty much wasting my time going in there to look.  Note to DSW:  you lost out on about a hundred dollars of sales yesterday because you continue to think everyone has a narrow foot.  Get with the times, loser.

But the trip out to Lancaster was fantastic, and it was the first time in a long time I was flying down the road with the windows down–

And I actually had hair for the wind to blow through.

And I actually had hair for the wind to blow through.

'It's a town full of losers, I'm pulling out of here to win."  Now all I gotta do is find my Mary.

‘It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win.” Now all I gotta do is find my Mary.

I should point out that those pictures above were taken with a mobile phone while I was traveling  at 70 mph/110 kph, while traveling in a straight line with no one near me.  Don’t try that at home, kids, unless you’re professional.  Like me.

I also managed to catch the first episode of Season 3 of Orphan Black, which was amazing as always, and made me feel sad for some of the seestras.  Why do they torture my poor clone girls?  Oh, wait:  I do that to my characters, too.

Speaking of which . . . I wrote.  I ended up producing fifteen hundred and fifty words, and finished the dream scene I’d started the other day.  Remember how I said I’d likely end up with ten thousand words written after the first week?

Yes, I believe I said I'd do that.

Yes, I believe I said I’d do that.

I believe I left my kids in a hotel room in dreamland, and . . . well, let’s see what happened next.

 

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

“Obviously.” Annie swung her legs to the floor, stood, and made her way to the red curtains on Kerry’s side of the room. She spread the curtains, exposing the balcony beyond the closed French doors. “Look out here.” She opened the doors and stepped out on to the open space beyond the bedroom.

The balcony was large enough for two people to sit close using one of the small chairs set in the far corners. The space between allowed that same couple to stand close together—something that Annie and Kerry were used to doing. The both leaned upon the railing and examined their surroundings.

They were on the second floor of their hotel; there was another floor above them. Their balcony overlooked a large, enclosed courtyard mostly covered in shadow at the moment. The courtyard was empty, as were all the remaining balconies for the other rooms. All of the balcony doors were closed and the curtains drawn.

They were the only ones here; the only ones present within their private universe.

 

Most of the time they are alone, but like a lot of dreams, they also get instances where they are in a crowd with other people.  Not this time, however.  And there’s something else–

 

Annie looked up to the cloudless, slate gray sky. “This feels like we’re in Europe.”

“I think so, too.” Kerry laid his hand over Annie’s. “It’s the way this place looks. It doesn’t seem like it’s in England, though—” He looked to the girl at his left. “Probably mainland.”

“I agree.” She twisted her right hand around and grasped Kerry’s. “It’s lovely, wherever we are.”

“It does feel like a real place—” He smiled. “Doesn’t it?”

“It does. It also feels—”

“Like it’s not a real dream?”

“Yes.”

Kerry searched his memory for any mention of instances where more than one person shared a dream vision. The books he’d read all thought his A Levels were thorough, but given that after his own experiences with dream visions, he’d gone over those chapters again before returning the books to the library . . .

He looked around as he sighed. “This is not happened before.” He looked over his shoulder into the room. “But you’re right: it feels more like something that’s going to happen to us instead of the last couple of dreams.”

Annie turned around, leaning against the railing as she peered into the room. “We should leave the room and see if there’s anything there.”

 

We know they’ve had the same vision, but they weren’t in it together at the same time–which may have been a bit strange if they had, and . . . we won’t go there.  Oh, and as an aside:  one day I will explain what Kerry’s first vision means, and why they had the same vision months apart.  Because I always figure those things out.

Eventually they leave the room, but what they find isn’t what they expect . . .

 

“Thank you.” She headed straight for the door with Kerry close behind. She designed an image in her mind of walking through the door and out onto the south deck of her lake house, a place Kerry had yet to see in their dreams. She opened the door, but rather than finding a hallway—or the deck she visualized—there was a sunny, tree-lined yard beyond. She stepped through the door and into the yard, walking about four meters before she stopped to examined their surroundings. “This was not what I wanted—or what I expected.”

Kerry began walking around in circles, looking at everything. “What did you want?”

“The deck of my lake house.”

“I don’t see a lake—” He pointed from where they’d just entered this area. “—and given what you’ve told me, I don’t think this is your house.”

Annie turned and gave a slight gasp when she saw the house. “No, it’s not, but . . . I know this place.” She turned to Kerry. “It’s my grandparent’s house in France.”

Kerry well remembered Annie describing her time this house, located outside the town of Pocancy, in the Champagne region. She’d told him about her time there during a lull in their Guardian field operation, as well as telling him of another dream of hers . . . “This is pretty nice. I like the yard.”

“I love having trees around a house.” She did a slow pirouette, taking in the grounds. “I haven’t thought about this in some time.”

 

Some of us remember the discussion about the house in France, which sort of morphed into a discussion about Annie wanting to live there one day–and not by herself.  As they walk through their dreamscape out to the dreamroad, the conversation turns back to that discussion, and the implications of what it means, and Kerry has to state the obvious . . .

 

Kerry noticed the use of the plural right away. “So this is where our house will be after we marry?”

Annie glanced out of the corner of her eye. “No: this is where we’ll make our home.” They stopped a couple of meters short of the road, with the gray, sunless sky beaming down on them. “Do you remember what else I said to you when we were on our field operation?”

There were a number of things Kerry recalled discussing while they were in Kansas City, but given their location, and Annie’s references, it wasn’t difficult to understand what she wanted him to remember. “What we talked about in our dream.”

“Yes. What we discussed outside your house in California.” She turned to him, never letting go of his hand. “You’ve lived in two houses, but you’ve never had a home.” She glanced at the ground for a moment. “That’s not completely true: you’ve had one near home—”

He was curious about this last statement. “Where?”

 

Yeah, where Annie?

 

“At the school—at Salem.” She slipped closer. “Do you know why? Because there you find love.” Annie held Kerry’s hand tight. “There is Vicky and Wednesday; there is Deanna and Coraline; there is Erywin and Helena.” She pressed herself against Kerry. “And I am there, above them all: your soul mate, the one who loves you most.

“I told you in our dream that a home is made of love, which is why you’ve never had a home. You have lived in California and you live in Cardiff, and while you have had some love in your live, you’ve never found in where you live. Your parents say they love you, but they don’t show it, they don’t offer the affection you require.

“I know this because I’ve been with you almost as long as they, and I know your wants, your dreams, your desires.” She kissed him, holding it for what seemed like forever. “We will marry—” Annie pressed her fingers against Kerry’s lips. “I know we are not supposed to speak of this, but here we are allowed to dream, are we not?

“We will marry, and we have a home. Maybe here, maybe in America, maybe in Bulgaria. I don’t care, as long as we are together. We will make that our home, because we will find love there. And we will say that to each other, every day, as I said I would do to you—and as I know you do for me.” She told both of his hands in hers and pressed them between their bodies. “Even when I can’t hear the words, I know you say them.”

He nodded slowly. “Every morning, and every evening. From now—”

“—Until the day you die?”

Kerry took a slight breath, ready to say the truth he’d held inside for many months now. “Until the day one of us dies.” He pressed his head against her shoulder. “That’s my promise.”

Annie held him against her. “I’ll hold you to that, love.”

 

Annie is not scared that talking about The Big M might be jinxing them in some way.  She doesn’t care;  she’s twelve, she’s a witch, she’s a hell of a sorceress who’s already racked up a body count, and she wants to give Kerry the love and affection tell him his parent are incapable of giving.  It’s likely she understands this last because she’s heard Kerry speak of it enough that it’s become as much a part of here as it is him.

And Kerry is right there, promising to tell his Sweetie that he loves her every day . . . until one of them die.  Yeah, a few people are going to read that line and say, “That could be tomorrow!” and start clutching pearls.  He’s also twelve, just a quarter year into that age, hanging out in a dream with a girl he’s known most of his life, and while he admitted last year that it’s possible they could die at any time, he’s now pushing that thought aside.  After all, Kerry’s been in the “I’ve cheated death” position three time in the last year, so he’s also developing that feeling kids his age get where they think nothing is going to happen to them.

Besides, His Dark Witch is gonna teach him to get those Morte spells up to speed while he teaches her to be a shapeshifter.  These kids got life by the ass right now–

Then again, if anyone believes that, they’re likely in the market to buy a bridge.

Back In the Dream Time

Semi-rainy, somewhat foggy, overcast morning here in The Burg, but there is so much going on.  Mostly due to the fact that last night was not all about writing, but rather about getting zapped with a laser.  That’s right:  I’ve started the process of getting the facial hair removed, and session one involved having someone who knows what she’s doing go over my face with a laser.  So it was a half hour drive out to where I needed to be, I waited a half hour to get in, an hour of zapping, and a half hour home with a slightly numb face and the smell of burning hair lingering in my memory.

I don't look none the worse for it, either.

I don’t look none the worse for it, either.

This morning there was almost nothing to shave away, and once I did my face was smoother than ever before.  Monday I go back for some electrolysis to burn away the dark hairs on my upper lip, and we see how I handle that to know how much more is needed.

And what did I do once I was home–other than hope the feeling returned to my cheeks and upper lip?  Wrote.  What else?

It’s on into Chapter Two now, and while I’m still with Kerry, Annie comes back–not for lunch, but for something . . . well, you have to see for yourself.  Which you will.  Below.

 

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

Kerry opened his eyes and realized he wasn’t in his bed—or his bedroom. For one, the bed was far larger than his. For another, there wasn’t a window over the head of his bed, so no sunlight coming from that direction.

And lastly, Annie was lying in bed next to him, slowly opening her eyes.

She blinked a few times before slowly looking about room without moving her head. She finally settled her gaze upon the boy next to her. “Kerry.”

“Annie.” He grinned and slipped closer to her. “Did you do this?”

“Put us here?” She barely shook her head. “I’ve tried to dreamwalk to you, but haven’t managed it yet. This was—” She smiled. “It happened.”

 

Those crazy dream are at it again.  Are you wondering a time frame?  Don’t worry:  Kerry has you covered–

 

“I’m glad it did; it’s been two weeks since we had lunch and I was missing you.” Remaining under the covers, he moved until they were close enough to kiss. “Strange to wake up in bed while still in bed.”

“I know.” Annie leaned into the kiss, making it sweet and tender. “I could get used to this.”

Kerry chuckled. “I’ve heard that somewhere before.”

She laid her hand upon the side of his arm and slowly side it towards his waist and hip. “If I remember correctly, it’ll be in a couple of—”

The second Annie touched Kerry’s hip her hand stopped, and he knew why, for he had reached for her waist at the same time. Both stared at each other in disbelief.

 

Okay, so the kids are in bed dreaming that they’re in bed, and . . . what would make them stare like that?

 

Annie was the first to find her voice. “Did you wear pajamas to bed?”

“I always do.”

She chuckled. “Always?”

He swallowed before speaking. “What about you?”

“I always wear pajamas or a night gown to bed—”

“Except for—”

“Let’s not go there.” Annie lifted her side of the covers enough to stare down at her body. “Didn’t expect that.”

Kerry caught a quick peak of himself as well. “Yeah, um . . .” He had a hard time keeping the smile away. “Maybe we should think about getting dressed.”

 

Yeah, maybe you should, kids!  It would really be embarrassing if someone dreamwalked their butts right now and found them in flagrante delicto–though they’re not actually doing anything except dream blushing.  And making jokes about being naked in a dream.  It’s just that when we have dreams like that, the other person we’re dreaming about usually isn’t really there.  It would sort of be like the time Jean Grey caught her scumbag husband Scott fooling around with Emma Frost in his mind.  The dumb was strong in those mutants . . .

But they’re rectifying the problem pronto–

 

“Some night clothes at the least.” The spaghetti strap of a night gown appeared on Annie’s shoulder as she visualized a proper night garment to wear. “There: much better.” She sat up and began to pull the covers back.

Hey.” Kerry quickly visualized a sleep shirt and lounging pants—his normal sleep attire—around his body before Annie exposed him.

Now she was laughing. “Remember, I’ve seen you, my love.” She fell along side and kissed him once again. “Or did you forget?”

“I do remember—” How can I not remember something like a wedding night that won’t happen for years? “That doesn’t mean you get to see the goods tonight.”

“Prude.” She stuck out her tongue, then looked about the room. “Is this anything you know?”

“I was going to ask you the same.” He sat up gave the room some scrutiny. It wasn’t a large room, but the lock on the door, the instructions next to the door, no visible closet, a door to his right behind Annie, and the large red window curtains to his left told him all he needed. “We’re in a hotel.”

 

I guess this means when they’re back at school and they start locking lips at the Midnight Madness, when they’re told, “Get a room!” they can yell back, “We already have!”  Oh, and if you’re wondering about there being some meaning to this place . . . maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe could be?  Room me maybe?

Anyway, that’s the start of the scene, and you’ll see where it leads tomorrow, because I’ll get to writing once I’m home and I’ve eaten and I’m ready to go.

It's easier to put these things together when I've not let people use ray guns on my face.

It’s easier to put these things together when I’ve not let people use ray guns on my face.

Also, I’ve put up a poll that I would love everyone to fill out.  If you can.  Please.  With sugar on top.

That would be great.

 


The Sadness, the Songs, and Everything

The first chapter of the new novel, Chapter One, is a done deal.  Almost seventy-eight hundred words in five days–

I have proof right here.

I have proof right here.

Which isn’t a bad start to things.  It’s not a NaNo Start, but close enough.  I only do NaNo Starts during NaNoWriMo, though getting through ten thousand worlds in the first few days isn’t that big of a deal for me–I’ve done it a couple of times before.  Not this time.

So . . . Annie’s crying.  Well, one tear’s worth of crying, but still, it’s a start.  She doesn’t do more, but in the course of events we learn that, yeah, this isn’t the first time.  What was?

 

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

“Do you know what was the hardest part of the day we returned from Salem? Going to dinner with my parents.” Annie’s eyes didn’t leave Kerry’s, and they seemed to reflect her emotions. “I sat there and was pleasant and answered questions and tried to keep a smile on my face through most of the evening, but the entire time we were together all that mattered was seeing your face as I left you in Amsterdam. I felt the pain of out separation with every step I took.”

“So did I.” Kerry pulled Annie in and held her close. “Ms. Rutherford had to clean me up before she could take me home.”

Annie brushed his cheek with her fingertips. “I’m so sorry that happened.”

“It’s not your fault, Sweetie.”

“No, but I don’t like to see you in pain.” She rested her head against him for a moment. “When we returned home that night, my mother wanted me to sleep in my room in the main hour, and I tried, but after an hour I gave up and went out to the lake house and started a fire—”

“Did you use cherry wood?” The scent of cherry wood burning in the lake house fire place as he experienced it in the vision of their wedding night remained strong within his memory.

“Yes, I did—” Her mood began to lighten a little. “I sat on the sofa and stared into the fire and thought of you at home looking up at the moon and imagining me looking back at you. I got up and went to the deck and sat and did the same; it wasn’t until I started to write that first letter to you that I realized my cheeks were wet.” Annie kissed him slowly, at first brushing his lips with hers before showing her full affection. “You’re the only one who’s ever done that to me. My parents haven’t made me cry since I was about five, but you—” She touched his chin, then ran her fingers across his chest. “I’m away from you for a few hours, and I’m crying.”

She signed and leaned into him. “Don’t tell anyone, particularly Helena. I don’t want them to know.”

“Your secret’s safe with me—” He touched his head to hers. “Forever.”

“I know.” She wrapped her arm around Kerry’s back. “I love you.”

He reached for her hand, found it, and gave it a squeeze. “I love you.” He kissed her cheek. “You know how much I’ve wanted to say that to you since we left America?”

Though she suspected the answer, she couldn’t ask because they suddenly found they were no longer alone. “There you are.”

 

Helena and Erywin:  Romance Buzzkills Since 2011.  That’s one of the problems with people being able to teleport in and out:  they just show up and there they are.  Just as long as the don’t know it at the lake house during “The Moment”, if you know what I mean.

We hear about cherry wood again, and that aroma seems to haunt Kerry a little, probably because he wants to smell it first hand.  And now we know that seeing how you’ll be away from your soul mate for months will bring a tear to the eyes of a girl who hasn’t given her parents the satisfaction of seeing her cry in seven years.  That Annie, she’s a tough one.

Still, there are still things ahead, and stuff to do . . .

 

Annie’s arm remained around Kerry as she turned to face the owner of that voice. “Hello, Helena.” She nodded to the women standing next to her. “Hello, Erywin.”

“Hello, Annie.” Erywin hung her right hand on her purse strap. “You been taking care of Kerry?”

She turned to him and smiled. “I’ve given him more attention in the last four hours than I’m certain he’s had in the last four weeks.”

Helena nodded. “I’m sure he’s not gone without” She pulled out her phone and checked the display. “I told your mother I’d have you back for dinner, and it’s almost eighteen.” She dropped the mobile in a jacket pocket. “We need to leave.”

“I know.” Annie began to step away from Kerry, then turned and hugged him passionately. “I wish I didn’t have to go.”

“I wish I could stay with you the rest of the summer.” Kerry didn’t want to release her: he wanted to go home with her, see her parents, visit her lake house, sit before the fire and gaze up at the loft where their vision said they would one day consummate their love . . . “It isn’t fair.”

“No, it isn’t.” She gazed into his eyes. “But I must.” Annie touched his lips. “Promise me you won’t cry.”

He nodded slowly. “I’ll have a smile on my face when you leave.”

“You better.” She walked slowly towards Helena, turning around two-thirds of the way there to address her soul mate as she walked backwards. “Seven weeks, yes?”

“Seven weeks.” He pulled one strap of his backpack—which he’d been carrying since leaving the bench—over his right shoulder. “Pogrizhete se, prekrasnata mi srodna dusha.”

Annie laughed as she took her place at Helena’s right side. “You’ve been working on your Bulgarian.”

Kerry shrugged. “What else am I gonna do this summer?” He forced a smile. “See? Smiling. Just like I promised.”

“Just as you promised.” She reached for Helena’s hand, but stopped short. She kissed the right index and middle finger of her right hand, then held them out in Kerry’s direction. “Obicham te, Kerry.”

He did the same with his left hand and fingers. “I love you, Annie.”

She smiled and managed a small wave before they jaunted out.

 

Those kids, laying the lips on each other right in front of the adults.  Should be mentioned that they’re adults who’ve gotten them rooms at hotels/inns, but still . . . the kissing parts.  You have to read them.  And there has been a lot of kissing on this lunch date.

And kissing leads to–singing?  Yep, because I said I was going to work a certain song into this scene, and damned if I didn’t.  Behold!

 

A second after Annie departed Kerry’s smile vanished. He closed his eyes and started sobbing, fighting to stay on his feet. He felt as if he were back in Amsterdam, watching Annie follow her mother out of the airport. The afternoon was perfect—even the weather was unable to dampen their enthusiasm and love.

He felt a light touch on his shoulder, and Erywin was next to him, singing.

I turned around she was gone
All I had left was one little flower in my hand

But I knew
She had made me happy

Flowers in her hair
Flowers everywhere

Even with tears streaming down his cheeks, he couldn’t prevent himself from smiling. He’d heard her once before, when she was under a spell that compelled her to sing, and while others in Sorcery class had laughed and joked, Kerry could only imagine her on stage during the Ostara Performance, back when she was a student, singing to the school the way she was singing to him—

I love the flower girl
Was she reality or just a dream to me?

I love the flower girl
Her love showed me the way to find a sunny day

 

And in case you were wondering:

Always have your notes for different languages and song lyrics at hand and ready.

Always have your notes for different languages and song lyrics at hand and ready.

That’s always how I do things, by keeping my notes close at hand for just the scene.  One day I’ll need to move all my Bulgarian comments to a separate text file so I’ll have them for reference.  Not to mention a few songs I’ve used here and there, though in the last novel I only did one song, and Kerry referred to it in the scene above.  I’ve had my kids go to the Russell Square Pert a Manger in both novels, and Erywin has sung in both novels?  What else can I set up as happening every year?

But it helps to have things around, and that’s one of the reasons I like that little strip over on the right of Scrivener:  it gives me places to keep things.  Such as that word count.  I wrote in two different locations and I kept track of what my count was at each station.  I also finished up this last section during the first thirty minutes of The Americans, mostly during ads and when no one was speaking Russian, because when that happens you gotta check the subtitles.

How’d you like that song, Red?

 

Kerry sniffed a couple of times between the chuckles. “What’s that? I’ve never heard that song.”

“It’s something my mother used to sing.” Erywin slipped her hands into her jacket and hugged here purse close to her body. “It was one of her favorite songs. Whenever she was feeling down she’d sing, and that was part of her repertoire.”

“Nice.” He wiped his face clean with his hand. “You have a lovely singing voice, by the way.”

“Thank you.”

“Did you ever do Ostara?”

There was a slight pause before she answered. “Yes.”

 

Why the pause, Erywin?  I’m sure there’s a story there–well, I know there is, because I’m also Erywin.  And a song Kerry didn’t know?  Yep.  Because his mom was an egg when that one was popular, and more than likely didn’t listen to it as a kid.

Now that he’s crying, Kerry wants to know–

 

He decided not to pursue any more questions there: he sensed it was something Erywin didn’t want to discuss. “Does it ever get better?”

Erywin shifted her weight from one leg to the other. “What?”

“The pain.”

She shook her head. “No. You get better at managing it, but the actual pain never gets better.” Erywin looked off into the distance, concentrating on something. “If it’s any consolation, the pain doesn’t get worse. Usually.”

“Yeah.” He slipped the other strap of his backpack over his shoulder and adjusted it into place. “I’ll learn.”

“You will.” Erywin moved so she was standing in front of Kerry. “Do you like ice cream?”

He laughed. “I’m twelve; of course I like ice cream.”

“There’s a little shop in Brighton that has the most incredible confections.” She cocked her head to one side. “Care to give one a try?”

“And ruin my appetite for the wonderful take away we’ll probably have tonight?” Kerry wondered what sort of meal Annie was going to sit down to later in the evening . . .

“In that case, we can share a parfait.” Erywin gave Kerry’s arm a squeeze. “How’s that sound?”

“Sounds good.”

“I’m glad.” She punched the location into her phone app before holding out her hand. “Let’s go.”

He stared at her hand. “Don’t we have to wait for Helena?”

“No. We discussed this before coming here, and she’ll meet us there.”

“Oh.”

“We considered taking you both, but then thought—” She lowered her hand. “You would probably rather have the time alone.”

“Thanks.” He sighed loudly as he looked around the still-empty park. “This was the best four-and-a-half hours of the summer.”

She reached for him once more. “Don’t worry: we’ll take you both next time.”

Kerry took the outstretched hand. “Will there be a next time?”

Erywin winked. “You know it.”

 

Ice Cream!  Everyone likes ice cream, especially twelve-year-old boys.  I love that line, actually:  was quite proud to think it up, and it seems the sort of smart ass thing Kerry would say to someone with whom he’s comfortable as a friend.

Where they matching making?  Don’t need to do that with kids who’ve seen their wedding night.  More like a couple of friends knew it was the mid-point of the summer, and it might be a good idea to let these two have some time together.  But there is the promise of another outing, and while I might not happen this novel, it’s something that will happen with some regularity.

One chapter down, many to go.

It’s a good start.

Tender in the Mist

Tax time is upon us, but my mind was somewhere back three years and thousands of kilometers away.  My kids are wandering London, hanging out in the mists of Kensington Gardens.  This is one of those places I want to visit before I kick it off, but I have a feeling this is about as close I’ll ever get.

Then again, that’s my writing:  all about my fantasies and desires.  Go figure.

Let’s get back to the scene, shall we?

 

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

They strolled slowly along the tree-lined lanes of the garden, holding hand, hardly speaking as they wandered through the quite, misty park. After a while they came upon a bench that was almost completely dry due to be positioned under two overhanging trees. Normally they offered shade; today they’d formed a shelter for a couple in love.

Kerry waited for Annie to sit and get comfortable before joining her, settling in to her right. He set his backpack next to him before reaching inside and pulling out the letter he’d written that morning. “This is for you.”

“Thank you.” Annie took the letter and slipped it into her purse.

“I finished it just before Erywin called. I was going to post it, but she kept me clear of the boxes.”

“For good reason.” She wrapped her hands around Kerry’s left arm and pulled herself into his body. “This is just like our first night at Salem. That’s why I love this weather.”

“I love it, too.” He also loved Annie gloaming onto his arm and snuggling close to him. “Are you now going to tell me you love me, and that you’ve loved me for a long time?”

She chuckled before kissing him on the cheek. “Yes, I am. And I do. And I have.” She pressed the side of her face against his shoulder. “Is your mother still calling me The Girl Who Writes?”

“Yeah.” Kerry scoffed. “Better than being The Girl Who Waits.”

 

In the next scene with Kerry’s parent he’ll get to the root of those last statements, and you’ll discover where it comes from.  Hint:  if you know his parents, and Kerry, then you know.  At least Kerry’s still writing, still putting pen to paper.  I’ll have to figure out just how many letters these kids have written.

Given what Kerry said, Annie feels the need to retort:

 

“But you’re wrong.” Annie pulled away from Kerry, though she never let go of his arm. “I’m always waiting for you, my love. I’ve waited for you since the day we parted in Amsterdam, and I waited for you for in my dreams, and I waited for you at lunch.” She bushed her nose against Kerry’s cheek. “And I will wait for you until the end of August, when we come together once more before departing for school.” She kissed the corner of his mouth. “I wait until I once more stand y your side.”

“You’re wrong.”

Annie flinched at Kerry rebuttal. “What do you mean?”

“I wait to stand by your side.” He turned and hissed her upon her smiling lips. “Seven weeks.”

 

And just for the hell of it I went and checked the time between when “now” is supposed to be, and when they’ll get together again, and–yeah, seven weeks.  Kerry is clever.  But we knew that.

 

“Until we met again in person.” She drew in a deep breath. “Assuming we don’t meet for lunch again.”

“I’m not expecting it to happen. So . . .” He shrugged. “I’m guessing the next time we meet up is before we leave—”

“Berlin.”

“Is that where we’re meeting this time?” He was aware if anyone knew the location of the B Level departure city, it would be Annie.

“That’s what my mother told me last week. She heard about it from her friends in the Foundation.”

I wonder what else her friends have heard? After returning from Yule Annie told him a little of what her mother had learned about the Day of the Dead attacks, the awards they’d both been given, and his injuries that required his hospitalization. Annie said her mother made no mention of their night together, likely because Nurse Coraline had said nothing about what she’d discovered, and the only other person who was aware of what happened that night wasn’t speaking . . .

 

I was questioned about what Helena and Mama Kirilova may have talked about, and while I know–and of course I do–it does seem as if Annie’s mom only need make a few calls and she finds out things about her darling daughter.  Kerry has it pegged, though:  she probably doesn’t know about their sleeping together because no one is talking about that.  It does raise the question of what does she know about Annie’s time at school–or if she’s being a snoopy mom hoping her little girl isn’t getting into too much trouble.

As they say, however, all good things must come to an end . . .

 

Kerry’s mobile beeped, and the tone told him it was an incoming text. As he retrieved the phone, Annie leaned towards him. “Is it—?”

He read the message. “Yeah. They’ll be here in ten minutes.” He returned the phone to his backpack. “Not much time now.”

“No, there isn’t.” She stood, then pulled Kerry to his feet. “I’m sure they’re going to key in on your mobile; we should find a place in the trees for them to join us.”

They stepped off the path and found two trees which offered enough cover for their friend to jaunt in and rejoin them. She knew they wouldn’t stay long: Helena had promised Annie’s mother that her daughter would return by eighteen so she wouldn’t miss dinner.

That time was quickly approaching.

Annie stood before Kerry, her head slightly hung. “Stupid time zones.”

“I know.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled in close in a warm, loving hug. “I wish I could stay with you all day.”

“And through the night.” She secured her arms around his back. “It’s not fair that we only have these short moments together, that we can’t meet in our dreams as we once did—”

“At least we can write.” Kerry wasn’t happen with their holiday situation, either, but he’d quickly developed the mindset that since there was nothing he could do to improve their situation, it did no good to decry what was fair and what wasn’t.

“I know.” Annie buried her face against Kerry’s neck and shoulder. “But I want more.”

“And what Annie wants—” Kerry chuckled as he lifted her away so he could kiss her. “—Annie—”

Annie stared back with mist-filed eyes: a single tear slowly trickled down her right cheek.

 

And that’s where I left it, with Annie and a single tear.  I can hear it now:  “She’s crying?”  Well . . .

Only in the sense there's water that came from inside her body on her check.

Only in the sense there’s water that came from inside her body on her check.

When the scene ends, you’ll discover a little more about the why.  At least you know she can.

Talking on the Town

There is this thing called “Real Life” that gets in the way of what writers do for either a living or for free.  That was pretty much me yesterday, as I spent most of my time out on the road until about seven PM, at which point I was completely out of it in terms of having creative juice left to stir.

First off, I walked into work in a pair of shoes I shouldn’t have.  This means I was in pain by the time I got there, because of really large blisters on my heels.  Which I popped at work, which came back as I walked home.  Which means by the time I treated them at the apartment before heading off for my appointment means I was in a lot of pain and having trouble walking.  Like I am this morning.  They’re sort and tender and . . . yeah, you get the idea.

But I have good news on the medical front.  My prolactin count has peaked–that’s one of the new hormones I’ve got stored inside my body–so no need for an MRI, my blood pressure was down about twenty points, and “the girls”, as the doctor calls them, are still growing and firming up nicely.  It’s good news all around.

The drive out to see my doctor is long; the drive back, longer.  Which means by the time I reached The Burg I was pretty burned out as far as getting anything done was concerned, and I didn’t get into the novel until after eight PM.  Closer to eight-thirty, actually.  I didn’t feel much like writing, but I wanted to keep going as I’ve been going because, well, writing.  You want to get back into that grove, that rhythm, that pops up when you’re starting a project.  You get to writing, not making excusing.

I managed a little over five hundred and eighty words, and here they are:  my kids back together again.

 

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

After lunch the urge existed to find things to do, but as Annie said, “We have plenty of time in the future to sightsee—I’d rather be with you.” That was what happened: they left the Pret a Manger and headed to Russell Square park and wandered about there for a while before returning to the tube station and taking the Underground to Lancaster Gate, across Bayswater Road from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

They headed over to the Kensington Gardens side of the park and walked hand-in-hand. They walked south past the Italian Gardens and along the west side of the Long Water. They stopped at the Peter Pan statue and lingered there for close to twenty minute nearly alone. The cool, rainy weather kept people indoors, and there were few pedestrians to cast wondering glances at the young couple walking close together, their hands intertwined.

They deviated for the lake’s shore and headed inland, standing for a while inside the Queen’s Temple when a light rain began to fall. Kerry finally chose this moment to ask Annie about how she ended up coming to London for Lunch.

“She visited Sunday.” Annie leaned against the wall catty-corner from where Kerry stood. “My mother and her spoke for about two hours while I was out at the Lake House; Helena made a point of insisting they speak alone.” She set her hands behind her back and shook her head. “I should have realized she was planning something.”

“I watched your dad race Sunday.” Kerry had streamed the British Grand Prix from Silverstone that day.

“Yes, he came in fifth. I watched it later after he returned home.”

Kerry couldn’t imagine Annie sitting with her father watching a race, but he had no reason to believe she’d lie. “You think your mom and Helena were talking about lunch the other day?”

“I’m not sure. Mama said they talked about what I’ve done in sorcery and some of the thing Helena planed for our B Level, but that was probably just a small part of what they discussed.”

Kerry thought that was likely true as well. He couldn’t see why Helena would discuss sorcery with Annie’s mother and not have her present as well; it was completely unlike her. “I take it she showed up today?”

“Yes, right after lunch. She spoke with my mother for a few minutes, then came up to my room and said she was taking me to lunch, and told me I didn’t need to change my clothes, because where we were going the weather was similar, and that she’d return later.” She repositioned her hands before her. “So I only nibbled until she returned.”

He nodded. “Was your dad there?”

“Yes, he was.” Annie grinned. “He knows Helena by reputation, and was cordial to her. I think having three sorceresses in the house made him nervous.”

He almost laughed thinking about her father—whom he’d never met—trying to remain casual while Helena and Annie’s mother chatted before Annie joined them. He has to know just how great a sorceress she is by now. “Hope he wasn’t too scared.”

She looked down at the ground for a moment. “He survived the experience.” Annie reached out and took Kerry’s hand. “It’s turned to mist; I want to walk.” He followed, a large grin stretched across his face, as he loved walking in cool mist as well.

And he liked it even better walking along with Annie.

 

I should mention that I also spent about half an hour looking though Google Maps and checking out Underground routes just to get those first three paragraphs right.  I could have spent less time, I admit, but I was tired, and it was a nice diversion to keep the mind semi-sharp.  And I like maps.

And I snapped this right before I went to bed.  Resting Bitch Face is all you can muster after a long day.

And I snapped this right before I went to bed. Resting Bitch Face is all you can muster after a long day and you’re not wearing makeup.

What will today be like?  I’ll find out soon enough.

So will my kids.

The Quey to the Square

As a beginning writing weekend, it’s been pretty successful.  I finished the scene I started in yesterday’s blog post, and wrote, and finished, the one that followed.  I ended up writing a little over sixteen hundred words, and the novel is about five thousand words into the first chapter.  One more scene and Chapter One is done and I move onto Chapter Two.

So I pick up where I left off, where Erywin asks . . .

 

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

The chuckle returned. “A good witch never reveals her sources.” She cleared her throat as she took a step back. “Speaking of your better half, how is Annie?”

A moment passed as Kerry’s thoughts turned to his soul mate. “She’s good.”

“I take it that item you have to post is for her?”

“Yeah.”

“How often are you exchanging letters?” Erywin was aware from discussions before the end of the last school year that Annie didn’t have immediate access to a computer or phone.

“I’m writing two, three letters a week.”

“Writing, or—?”

“Writing.” He made a motion with his left hand, as if he were holding a pen and jotting something down. “Just like she asked.”

“That must be quite the task for someone who was used to doing everything on a computer.”

“At first it was, now . . .” He shrugged. “Not so bad.”

“Good to hear.” There was one question that Erywin had wanted to ask the moment she met Kerry, but could do so in front of his month. “Have you seen each other in your dreamspace since the holiday started?”

He nodded. “A little over a week after we got home we had dream time together. Annie said something about how she was trying to dreamwalk me—she’d read about it and wanted to try making it happen—”

“That sounds like something one of you would try.”

“She wasn’t certain if it was a dream walk, or if we were dreaming together like we did in Kansas City.” Kerry smiled. “It was—nice. Being with her is always nice.”

She didn’t need to ask how nice: Erywin saw the experience written all over Kerry’s mooning face. “Is that the only time it’s happened?”

 

Yeah, being in a dream with Annie is . . . nice.  And Erywin asks if this is the only time if they meet in dreams, and Kerry confirms this.  Is he doing something that’s keeping them apart, since they used to do this automatically all the time, and now–nada.  Maybe their favorite Seer can help there.

But Kerry goes on a little further in his discussion of summer with Erywin, and that’s when he comes to this:

 

“I suppose.” There were times when Kerry didn’t know if he would make it, however. He wasn’t about to tell Erywin of the moments when he grew sad and depressed over Annie’s non-presence. “It’s just—”

“Yes?”

“She was always there at the school. I saw her first thing in the morning, and she was the last thing I saw at night.” He let his gaze drop towards the ground once again. “The morning after I arrived home I came out of my room and half-expected here to be standing outside my door waiting to go to breakfast. It took a couple of more days before I realized I wasn’t going to see her again for three months.” He sighed. “The first Monday I cried for about ten minutes because I was eating lunch alone, and there was no one to talk to.” When he looked up and turned his face towards Erywin, his eyes were misting over with tears. “I miss her more than anything, Erywin. Even all the stuff I told you I miss? It’s nothing compared to her.”

“I’ve been there, Kerry.” She gave his shoulder another squeeze. “I was there for most of my school summers when I was dating Helena, and there were a few moments after we left school where I wondered when I would see her again.” She slipped her arm around her young friend and gave him a hug.

Kerry turned and hugged her back. “Does it ever get better?”

“No.” Erywin released him. “But you get better at dealing with the sadness. And who knows? By this time next year you both might be dreamwalkers.” The mobile in her purse beeped. “I think that’s my pretty girl.” She checked the display. “Yes. She’s finished up and ready for us.”

 

Make no mistakes:  Kerry missing Annie terribly.  Before Salem he took being alone in stride, and figured that he’d see Annie at some point in his dreams.  Now he doesn’t even have the dreams, and he’s feeling the loneliness.  He wants Annie by him, but he can’t have that.  Ergo, this summer really sucks.

And then it comes time to leave–Helena sends a message saying she’d finished–and Kerry asks if they’re going to eat at nearby Mermaid Quey, which is pronounced “key”, which is how you say today’s titles, “The Key to the Square.”  I’m sure some of your knew that, but now there is full disclosure.

Anyway, they jaunt off–

 

The moment they completed their teleportation Kerry suspected they weren’t in Cardiff. The weather felt the same, and the park where they appeared could have been any number of parks in and around his home city. Still, something felt off . . .

He looked down and immediately realized the difference. “It’s rained here.”

Erywin released his hand. “You are clever, you know that?”

“So I’ve been told.” He slowly dropped the light bending spell, allowing them to reappear as they stepped out of a small collection of trees. Erywin got her bearings. “This way.” She turned to her left and began walking; Kerry was alongside in seconds.

They emerged from the park and stepped out into a busy intersection. A prominent sign on the opposite side of the intersection told him their location. “We’re in London.” He pointed at the sign. “We’re close to an Underground station.” He turned around and saw the name of the park they’d just left. “Russell Square?”

They began crossing the street. “You know this place?”

“This is where Annie and I came for lunch when we had our free day before going to Amsterdam last year.” He smiled as he looked around. “We didn’t get down to this section, though, but—” He pointed to her right down Bernard Street as they crossed. “I believe the station is down that way.”

“Which is a coincidence—” Erywin turned right the moment she set foot upon the sidewalk. “That’s where we’re headed.”

They didn’t speak as they walked eastward down the street. As they approached the end of the block Kerry spotted another familiar figure: Salem’s Mistress of All Things Dark, Helena Lovecraft, the school’s Head Sorceress. Kerry was a little taken back, because of what Helena wore: a light blue tee shirt, jeans, and sneakers. If it wasn’t for the addition of her ever-present long leather jacket, Kerry might not have recognized the instructor.

He waved as they grew closer. “Hi, Helena.”

“Hello, Kerry; welcome back, Darling.” She took a moment to give her partner a kiss before stepping over to Kerry’s right side as they continued walking slowly. “Erywin been keeping you company?”

“Yeah, we been having a nice chat.” He looked down and across the street. “There’s the tube station.”

Erywin turned her head so she could see Helena. “Kerry informed me that he’s been to Russell Square before.”

Helena turned to Kerry. “Is that so?”

“Yeah. When Annie and I were doing our walking tour of London last year, we stopped here for lunch.”

“Oh? Where?”

“At a Pret a Manger.” Kerry stopped and took in the street, remembering that moment almost a year earlier when Annie and he were allowed to leave the hotel where they were staying, and she showed him around the city. “It was right across from the tube station, so if it’s there—” He turned to his left towards Helena. “—then the restaurant is right behind—”

Helena took a single step to her left, giving Kerry an unobstructed view of the Pret a Manger behind her—

Annie sat alone inside the restaurant at a table next to the window. As her eyes met Kerry’s, a smile etched across her face as she raised her right hand and waved.

Kerry froze, unable to react. He finally turned back towards the two women who were now standing side-by-side. Helena took Erywin’s hand. “As clueless as ever.”

Kerry finally found his voice. “You guys—”

“I told you mother I was taking you to lunch—” Erywin leaned into Helena. “I didn’t say you were dining with us.”

Kerry threw his arms around both women and hugged them. “Thank you.”

They hugged them back. “I got your number from Ms. Rutherford—” Helena stepped back as soon as they finished the hug. “I’ll message you when we’re ready to met up again. Until then, you’re both on your own.”

“Okay.”

Helena nodded towards the restaurant—and the waiting girl—behind him. “You better get going; she’s been waiting almost five minutes.”

Kerry didn’t offer his goodbyes: he nodded, then turned and hurried into the Pret a Manger. The moment he was inside, Annie was out of her chair and standing with open arms next to the table. He rushed into her embrace and lost himself in her long, gentle, loving kiss.

 

As the scene was just over seven hundred words, I presented it all, because, well, it’s a nice scene.  And I’ve had the image of Annie sitting alone, waiting for Kerry, for some time now.

Though I doubt she's begun working on her wine drinking yet.

Though I doubt she’s begun working on her wine drinking just yet.

When I wrote the line about Annie sitting and waiving at Kerry, I began getting weepy, because it’s a lovely image.  I’ve missed something like that in my life for a long time, and, well, I wanted my kids to have this time together.  They deserve their happiness.

As we all do.

Hangin’ At the Plass

The question I asked yesterday was “Would I write more?” and the answer came this morning.  One of the reasons this post is coming out at this time in the late morning is due to writing another twelve hundred an sixty words towards the new novel–which, if you’re keeping track, means I’ve written just over three thousand words over the last two mornings.

But I also needed to do a little research this morning as well.  For one, I needed to know the weather in Cardiff on the day Erywin came for Kerry, and that was easy enough to find, because the Internet has that information.  Also, since I figure people would want to know, I got a few pictures of the area that Erywin and Kerry are visiting.

Without further ado . . .

 

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

The Cardiff weather was chilly and cloudy, and this contributed to the lack of people milling about Roald Dahl Plass. Those who were walking about this late morning were dressed to protect them against the fifteen Celsius temps and matching wind coming in from the west.

Two people joined the small crowd, entering the plass east after walking around the north side of the Pierhead Building. Both, a woman and a young boy, were dressed for the conditions: both wore jeans, and the woman wore a jacket over his blouse while the wore a hooded sweatshirt. They made their way towards the center of the open amphitheater, pausing next to one of the large columns located near the a short flight of steps.

Erywin glanced to her left and right. “You know I’ve never been here.”

“They fixed it up nice after Torchwood Three blew up.” They both chuckled at Kerry pop culture joke. The Mistress of Formulistic Magic was a bit of a geek herself, and was one of the few instructors who understood what he talked about most of the time. “Really, you’ve never been here?”

“As your mother pointed out, I don’t have much of a need to come into Cardiff often.” She motioned towards her left and Cardiff Bay. “Let’s go over this way, shall we?”

 

If you know Cardiff, you know the Roald Dahl Plass.  First off, it’s named after Roald Dahl, the Cardiff-born author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I know most of you know, and who once worked as a spy for England during World War II–and who reported back to Ian Flemming, who later wrote stories about a little-known spy who liked martinis–and whose primary mission was to come to American and seduce Republican congresswoman Clare Booth Luce.  Apparently Dahl wasn’t the template for James Bond (that was reserved for Canadian Sir William Stephenson), because Dahl wrote back to his superiors that he needed to return home because, and this is an exact quote, “I am all fucked out! That goddamn woman has absolutely screwed me from one end of the room to the other for three goddam nights.”  And that’s probably why snozzberries showed up in two of Dahl’s work.

Back to the story . . . not only is the Roald Dahl Plass a well-know spot in Cardiff, but as far as the BBC is concerned, it is/was ground zero for a couple of their science fiction stories–

A TARDIS recharging station and the location of Torchwood Three?  Kerry should give tours of this place.

A TARDIS recharging station and the location of Torchwood Three? Kerry should give tours of this place.

Which is why Kerry makes the comment he does in the above excerpt.

Google Maps even has the names, so it must be true.

Google Maps even has the names, so it must be true.

Oh, and Mary Poppins visits this place from time to time.  Though that could be Missy . . .

Oh, and Mary Poppins visits this place from time to time. Though that could be Missy . . .

Either way, it’s where they come to chat about, well, things.  Things that, it seems, bother Kerry a great deal.

 

“Three people, run everything, and one of them’s an AP.” Erywin changed the subject. “How’s your holiday?”

Kerry had figured this question was coming, whether here or at lunch. “About as well as I can expect.”

“In other words . . ?”

He wasn’t going to escape giving his true feelings. “It sucks. I hate being home.”

“I figured as much in just the few minutes of watching the interaction between your mother and you.” Erywin didn’t want to prod anymore than necessary, but she sensed that while it might pain him, Kerry needed to talk. “Did you have any issues concealing what you’re really learning?”

“That was the easy part—” Kerry chuckled without a single trace of humor in his voice. “The morning after I came home they asked me three questions about school, and one of them was about the report card.” He glanced at the ground and scoffed. “They asked a few questions later in the week, but that was it.” He shook his head. “They don’t care: there’s no interest in anything I do.”

 

Erywin knows that Kerry wants and needs the acknowledgement of his accomplishments, and like it or not, his parents fall into the small group of people whom he’d like to hear, “Good job,” from once in a while.  However, we’ve also seen that Kerry’s parents are fairly cold and unaffectionate, and the number of shits they appear to give about Kerry’s accomplishments are zero.  Which finds him in the position of being around people he has to lie to about what he’s doing at school–remember, his parents don’t know he’s doing witchy things at school–but who don’t want to hear about whatever he’s lying about in the first place.

And he goes into great detail about his sadness:

 

They stopped under the overpass leading from the east side of the bay—where the Pierhead Building and the Senedd were located—to the west side and shops at Mermaid Quay. Here they were out of the slight but constant wind covering the plass. Kerry checked for nearby pedestrians before continuing. “I miss the school. I miss my room at the tower, and the commons, and the garden. I miss the grounds. I miss the classes. I miss . . .” He finally came to the truth. “I miss magic. I miss not having it in my life except when I’m alone at home.”

Erywin chuckled. “Gotten used to it, haven’t you?”

“Yeah. I have to be careful when my folks are home, but on they days they’re both at work, I’m using it around the house.” For the first time since leaving the house he smiled. “A couple of weeks ago I levitated a pot over a small fireball and cooked soup.”

Well done.” Erywin didn’t bother holding back her excitement, for what Kerry just described was something she wasn’t able to do until she was nearing the end of her C Levels. “I know you brought your broom home; have you been flying?”

“A few times. I gotta watch how I leave the house, because I gotta turn invisible quick as I’m going out the door.” He nodded. “But, yeah: I’ve been flying. One time even ventured into England.”

“Did you have your passport?”

“Of course.” He laughed this time. “My mom called me while I was out over Swindon, which is why I take my mobile with me everywhere.”

 

A few months before in story time Kerry wanted to hear from Annie about what it was like growing up around magic all the time, and now he’s finding out what it’s like not having it in his life.  And it sucks, big time.  He’s taken to doing things on his own when he’s alone, and also comes to admittance that he’s taken to the sky on a few occasions, venturing out at least a hundred kilometers from home.

Flying alone, of course.

Erywin points out a major truth for him, likely one he hasn’t even figured out for himself–

 

“If I’d known, I’d have gotten out my old broom and meet you for tea.” She moved a little closer and spoke and in low, intimate tone. “You know what you really miss, don’t you? You miss being with your own kind.” She didn’t wait for him to ask what she meant. “Your back in the world of the Normals, but you’re an Aware; you’re a witch. You’re one of us.” She shook her head slowly. “And now that you’ve had exposure to our world, you long to be part of it again.”

He glanced down at the ground. “Yeah.”

“You also miss the freedom that you have at school. Yes, there are rules and regulations, but there is also flying on the weekend, and long walks on wooded trails, and the Midnight Madness, and most nights where you don’t get to bed until after midnight . . .” The twinkle in her eye returned. “And those nights when Annie and you flew off to the Observatory and fell asleep in the viewing chairs.”

 

You’re not like all those kids you used to go to school with, Red:  you’re a witch now, and you’ve done magic and faced death and been out on secret missions and slept with your girlfriend–Um . . .

 

His head snapped up. “You knew about that?”

“Several of us did.”

How? From Isis?”

She shook her head. “No. She never said a word.”

“Must have been Deanna.”

The chuckle returned. “A good witch never reveals her sources.” She cleared her throat as she took a step back. “Speaking of your better half, how is Annie?”

 

Yeah, how is she, Kerry?  Well, I know, but you guys won’t–

Not until I write it, that is.