Mother’s Little Annoyance: All Those Changes

Yesterday was a bit of a strange day.  I’ve been hyper-focused on work of late, so I’ve been zooming through my assignments like no one’s business–so much so that I’m now sitting around for hours waiting on specifications.  This gives me a chance to look up things and think.  One of the things I looked up was a possible adventure in Manila, The Philippines, for Annie and Kerry–because there is a Foundation facility there–and at the same time I discovered that a gigantic meth superlab was found in the foothills of Mt. Arayat, leading me to believe that Walter White didn’t die, he just moved to Asia.

Not a part of The Foundation, believe me.

Not a part of The Foundation, believe me.  They keep their superlabs where kids can use them.

But this thinking has also brought me to consider a few changes in my life and I think I’ll discuss them in a video tomorrow.  Nothing bad, mind you, but they are things I believe I need to do because–well, reasons as always.

But back to what’s going on in my fictional world–and that’s a discussion of stuff and things…  Mama wants to know what you can do with transformation magic, Kerry, so maybe you should tell her?

 

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

 

He wondered how much he should tell his mother, then figured if she wanted to know what he could do, he should tell her everything. “I can change the color of my hair and change my complexion; I’ve gotten pretty dark—” He thought it best he didn’t tell his mother about his Mimic Gift. “And I can do it pretty fast, too.”

“You can change your hair?”

“Yeah. I’ve been black, brown, blond.” Kerry’s chuckle was so soft as to be almost unheard. “I can do that to others, too. I’ve practiced on a couple of instructors and I changed Annie’s hair color for our last Samhain dance.”

Louise’s head tilted slightly to the right. “Samhain?”

“You’d call it Halloween: we go by all the old names.” He began shifting his weight from foot to foot out of habit. “We have a costume dance. Some of the kids and instructors get pretty inventive.”

“I see.” Now that Louise had raised this particular question she had to know— “What color did you make her hair?”

“Aqua.” He rushed through his mother’s sudden eyebrow raise. “We went as characters from an anime. I made my hair blond.”

She was certain she wouldn’t understand anything about any characters Kerry and his little friend were imitating so Louise didn’t ask more there. “You had blond hair?”

“Sure. I could give you blond hair, too, if you ever wanted to see.”

“No, thank you.” Louise was concerned for only a second that she may have come off too strong. “I like my hair as it is. What else can you change besides your hair and skin color?”

 

“Kerry and his little friend.”  Jeez, Louise, could you be a little more condescending even if it is in your own thoughts?  The boy is thirteen:  he doesn’t have little friends.  And the one he does have could kill you in about ten seconds flat.  For that matter, so could Kerry, but let’s not go there yet–

This is really the first time that Kerry has mentioned to either of his parents that Annie and he have done anything together other than have a sex talk, that is.  And if a girl allows you to change the color of her hair–yeah, you can bet Louise filed that one away rather quickly.  “Little friend” my ass:  a whole bunch of letters over two summers, an angry retort about a girl’s name, and a sex talk at school = My Son’s Got Somethin’ Goin’ On.  But she isn’t saying anything about that yet.  Oh no, not yet.  She has other things she wants to know–like what else can you change?  And don’t you know Kerry really wants to talk…

 

Kerry gave a slight shrug. “Eye color, though that’s always tricky. I’m also getting good at…” He shook his head one time. “I’m to where I can change different—parts. This year I’m gonna work on things like size and weight alterations and anthropomorphic alterations—”

His mother’s puzzled look returned. “What’s that?”

Go on: tell her. “It’s taking on the aspects of other non-human creatures. You know: sonar like a bat, or wings, or…” He pushed past his fear of looking silly. “Annie and I figured it would also be possible to create gills and a dolphin tail. Like a mermaid—you know?”

If Louise was shocked by this she didn’t let it show. “A mermaid? Seriously?”

“I…” He nodded. “I’m sure I’ll have it figured out by my D Levels.”

“Well…” Louise broke into a slight smile. “You really mean you’d be a merman, don’t you?”

“Oh, yeah: that’s what I meant.” Kerry had decided a few seconds before there was no way he was going to explain his other Gift right now. “It’s just that everyone thinks of mermaids—”

“It’s popular, I know.” She slowly pressed her right fist against her mouth, something she did when she was thinking. “You said you take advanced classes—”

“All of them.”

“In what?”

 

Size and weight–or really mass, but laypeople don’t really understand that as much as weight–alterations are on the menu for the C Levels, and while they won’t allow you to become the Incredible Shrinking Man or the 50 Foot Woman, they go a long ways towards making people think you’re someone you’re not.

And animal stuff like wings?  Yeah, that can happen and has.  In fact, people who are  really good with transformation magic can make themselves over into just about anything, and Jessica once used an animal form–a lioness–to maul another witch to death.  Sure, she could have stopped their heart or pulled organs out of their body:  nope, Jessica wanted to rip them to shreds and did.  This is just another reason why you don’t mess with her.

But mermaids?  Yeah, Annie and Kerry talked about that.  You gotta figure it makes swimming underwater easier and once you get past the whole “I’ve got gills and I’m breathing water” thing, one could get used to being that way for a while.  And since one can now get a job as a mermaid–really, look it up–it’s a good cover for something they could do while working undercover for the Guardians.

"It's a lot of fun.  You're in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!"

“It’s also a lot of fun. You’re in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!”

Now Mom and Kerry are on to the other advanced classes.  Hum…  I think things are about to get even more interesting–

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Witchy Fixing

I woke up about twenty minutes ago and my first thought was, “It’s only Thursday.”  Seriously.  I feels like the week should be over right now, but it’s not.  There’s still today and tomorrow to get through, and it’s sort of bumming me out.  Not that I have anything exciting planed for this weekend, but really:  I’m so over this week and I’m ready to stop going into work.

At least the time at the phone bank was productive and I was actually chatting with a few of the women last night, so by the time I finished my two-and-a-half hours I was in a pretty good mood.  And I’ve been there long enough that I was helping a couple of new people out when it came to what to do and say.  I must be an expert now, yo.

Speaking of experts–now that it’s been established that Kerry is on his way to Paris and Louise knows he’s been jaunting around the world for the most part instead of flying like a Normal person, she decides to bring up something that is apparently bothering her…

 

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

Continue reading

Mother’s Little Annoyance: I’m On My Way–Almost

Happy International Day of Peace, y’all!  Today you’re supposed to show peace to everyone around you, but the unfortunate truth is there are some people who just wanna make you smash their face in with a brick, so if you encounter those folks it’s best to turn the other cheek and walk away.  It’s up to you if you wanna smash them with a brick, however.

Speaking of hitting a pain in the ass in the face with a brick, Kerry now has his travel package and his mom has a case of the sads.  It also made Kerry give her a “I win” smirk, which is probably a first for him.  But where does this lead?  Well…

 

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

Continue reading

Mother’s Little Annoyance: It’s That Time Again

Yes, it is that time again:  it’s time to get out the school travel packages.  In the last novel they came two weeks before the kids departed for Berlin, and while Kerry left for London at the last minute Annie had her orders in hand two weeks before heading out as well.  It’s a thing that happened all over the world, and just as it’s happening to Annie and the various friends she and her soul mate have made during the last year, it’s also happening to a certain boy in Cardiff, Wales.

It does appear, however, that he has a bit of a complication to work through:

 

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

 

The moment the bell ran Louise Malibey was out of the chair in the sitting room and heading towards the front door. She was aware of the day: it was one she’d had marked on her personal calendar for nearly and had applied for a personal day from work at the beginning of the month. She’d told Davyn over the weekend that there were “things” she wanted to do today, but he knew exactly why she was staying home—

That reason was now standing at the door.

She opened the inner door and found a young woman dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt standing beyond the outer door. Louise unlocked the entryway and greeted the woman. “Yes?”

The woman held tight to the strap of the messenger bag slung over her left shoulder. “I have a package for Kerry Malibey.”

Louise presented her best smile as she held out her hand. “I’ll take that.”

The delivery woman smiled back. “May I see your ID?”

The smile on Louise’s immediately became a frown “Why?”

“So I can confirm you are Kerry Malibey.” She woman slid her hand down the strap and rested it against the bag. “The package I have can be given to him only.”

“You don’t understand—” Louise stood straight and spoke firmly. “I’m his mother. If you have something for him, then I can accept it for him.”

The woman shook her head. “I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I can only give this package to Kerry.”

“And I’m telling you—”

“I’ll take that.”

Kerry slid around his mother without looking at her and addressed the messenger. “I’m Kerry.” He held out his right hand. “Here’s my student ID.”

The messenger woman took the ID and gave it quick examination before looking up at Kerry. She returned the ID and pulled a tablet from her bag. “Palm print, please.” She held it out, surface up, and Kerry set his left hand upon the surface until it beeped. After a quick glance at the screen she woman returned it to her bag and removed a standard mailer envelope that she handed to him. “Here you are.”

“Thank you.” Kerry slid his ID into his pants pocket before taking the mailer.

The woman gave him a curt nodded. “You’re welcome. Have a nice rest of the day, Kerry.” Without acknowledging Lucile’s presence she spun on her heel and head out to the car waiting at the curb.

Kerry waited the car to pull away before turning away. He gave his mother a thoughtful glance before walking back into the house and heading towards the kitchen.

 

So there you go, Mom:  first part of your plan thwarted and the witchy teen living in your house has one-upped you, even if he did have a lot of help from the organization that sends him to school.  (And maybe an email or two telling him to wait for someone to show up exactly at a certain time just so he could sucker punch Mommy Dearest.)

From here it’s all about details–including one that’s going to be a bit surprising and a few more that won’t seem that way.  Before that happens, however, we need Louise Malibey to give her son the Bitch Face From Hell–

Be assured, there's nothing resting about what comes next.

Be assured, there’s nothing resting about what comes next.

Putting It in a Point of Perspective

What is there today about this morning?  It’s rainy, it’s humid, it’s gonna suck walking into work because I’ll have shoes and lunch in my bag along with carrying an umbrella.  This is one of those days where I feel like driving in because I don’t want to deal with all the walking BS and having wet feet.

*le sigh*

The one good thing is that I started Scene Three of Chapter Three and not only finished the day with close to nine hundred words, but I’m inching closer to thirty-five thousand.  Won’t be long before I get that “official novel” status going on my page and I can kick back and say that I’ve written another novel.  Published is another thing altogether, but writing these suckers is a blast.  Right?

But the scene I’m into now?  It Mom Time at Casa Malibey, and right off the bat Louise Malibey isn’t at her best–

That’s to show tomorrow, however: Continue reading

Future Epiphanies Are Us

Saturday afternoon, right?  You know what that means?  It means a long video today with a lot of talk about magic and a few characters we know and love.  Enjoy.

How I Magically Spent My Summer Vacation

It’s been a bit of a crap morning so far.  Here it is, 5:02 as I look at the clock on the computer, and I’ve been up for an hour and a half so far.  Panic attack, you know?  I’ve spent a half hour trying to figure out what I want to wear to work, and there’s a new pair of boots I want to wear but I’m afraid I’m gonna tear up my feet if I were them because they are new.  Oi.  See what happens when you get up and your mind is full of fuzz?

I didn’t do too bad with writing last night:  I just figure I’ll do horribly with writing tonight.  Or not.  It all depends on the nap I take when I get home, and I know I’ll take one ’cause I feel it already.

One of the things I did last night was make a change that I said yesterday I would make, and that was to reference how Deanna was dressed.  And here you go:

 

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

 

“Blagodarya ti mnogo.” Finally here, Annie faced her guest as her smile brightened. “Deanna.”

The instructor finally left her chair and went to her young friend. “Hello, Annie.”

They hugged each other for several seconds before breaking. Annie appraised her guest for a few seconds. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you dressed this way.”

The school seer nearly blushed as she tugged on the short sleeves of her pullover. “Given the informal state of our meeting I thought jeans and tennis shoes were completely appropriate.” She retook her seat as did Annie. “It is so interesting hearing you speak Bulgarian. I sometimes forget it’s your native language.”

 

See?  Simple.  Maybe not as simple as the part below, which required going in and doing some work to my notes as I wrote the following:

 

“She’ll probably start showing you how to refine this art this level.  Heads up—”  The server returned with their drinks and took their lunch order.  The moment he was out of the area Deanna returned to her prior question.  “Have you worked on any spells?”

Of all the things she thought Deanna might ask, this was the one question she was most eager to chat about. “I’ve worked on a couple. I’ve been practicing Blend With Darkness—”

Deanna appeared surprised. “Really?”

“Yes. Helena showed it to me last year and I’ve been reading up and trying to get it perfect. Right now—” Annie shrugged. “I’m like forty percent good: I’m getting blended, but you can still see me.”

“That’s a tricky one. I remember it took Isis a couple of years to get it perfect.” Deanna sniffed her coffee. “Oh, this is wonderful.” She took a long sip. “Delicious, too. What else have you worked on?”

“Kerry showed me how Compress and Expand work, so I’ve started on those. And…” Annie gave the briefest of smiles. “I’ve been trying to learn Aqua.”

“That’s a fun spell.” Deanna thought back to her time in C Level Spells when she first began learning to craft that element of the art. “Once you figure out how to control a small container of water you keep wanting to do larger ones.”

“I know. I can make a small bowl move around and I’ve figured out how to make a torus out of water and stand it on its side.” She chuckled. “When I told Kerry about this he called me ‘Sailor Mercury’.” Annie shook her head. “He had to explain it to me.”

“Something to do with one of his fandoms?”

“It’s from an anime and manga: the same one from where we got our character costumes for last year’s Samhain.”

 

What do you think witches talk about when they’re having lunch?  Deanna has always been somewhat curious about both kids and she doesn’t hide that.  Or maybe she does, because she is rather good at keeping secrets.  But when one witch is an instructor and the other a student–a highly motivated student who taught herself how to kill someone about the time she was ten–you’re going to ask if they’re working on magic.  Because we know that’s what Annie does when she’s out at her lake house.  We know this because she’s said so a couple of times.

Blend With Darkness is that spooky one where you can stand in shadow and become one with it.  Or, if you’re in a darkened room, just sort of make yourself one with the darkness.  It’s a form of invisibility, though in this case there isn’t any light to bend or the need to make everything in your body translucent:  in this case you really are one with the shadows because you pretty much wrap yourself up in them and let them keep you warm.

As warm as the absence of light can make one, that is.

As warm as the absence of light can make one, that is.

And if a person who can Blend With Darkness can also use that darkness to make deadly ribbons–yeah, look out.

We sort of knew Kerry was working on Compress and Expand because that’s something he can use on these overnight flights, and those lead directly to the Polar Express, and at some point before the end of their B Levels he got good enough that he started teaching Annie–and long before he started teaching his wingmate, too.  While Compress doesn’t allow you to remove all the mass from an object–you can’t shrink an SUV down and then carry it in your backpack ’cause it’s still gonna retain about sixty-five percent of its initial mass–but it still makes packing a lot easier.  Particularly if you need to bring a sleeping bag, cot, and parts of a tent with you.

But Aqua is the most interesting spells here and one with a lot of implications.  As implied, it’s all about water manipulation and all the cool, neat, and dangerous thing you can do with it.  It’s usually taught during one’s C Levels and when you’re in Wednesday’s Regular Spells class one starts working out with a volume of water that you’d find in a normal-sized Tupperware container.  When Wednesday teaches it during her Advanced Spells Class–which apparently she hasn’t done yet with Annie and Kerry–she starts you out with a volume simply to that of a normal-sized bathtub.  With the advanced kids it’s all about scale.

With Aqua one can do things like turn water into solid surfaces, like a table or bench.  One could actually walk across a body of water by hardening the surface tension under their feet.  Most of all, you can turn water into a weapon, and anyone who’s ever been hit by a high pressure hose can tell you, it can hurt.  Now imagine a stream of water coming at you not as a spray under pressure but as a solid volume that’s been scooped out of a bathtub and thrown at you at close to 100 kilometers an hour, and you’re either gonna get messed up bad or even killed.

Knowing Kerry it’s surprising he didn’t call Annie a “water bender”, though there’s plenty of time for that.  (Actually Annie has air and fire bending down pat, so it might not be long before Kerry starts calling her The Avatar.)  Instead he fell back on that old standard of naming her after the member of the Inner Senshi, Mizuno Ami, whose family name means “Of Water” and who likes to use a lot of water based attacks.

I don't see Annie getting on the blue fuku and doing this anytime soon, however.

I don’t see Annie putting on the blue fuku and doing this anytime soon, however.

And you know it’s only a matter of time before Kerry is working on those water skills as well.  Can’t wait for Franky to start giving Kerry shit in a bathroom only to have Kerry smack him with a blast of water from one of the toilets.  Wonder how often that happens.

Anyway…  back to the lunch and–

 

“That makes sense.” A grin spread across Deanna’s face for a moment as she turned her gaze towards the table top. “Are you going to teach Kerry what you’re learning?”

“Yes, of course.” Annie finally tasted her tea. “Good sorceress and all.”

“Naturally.” She continued looking down in silence for a few moments. “How is he?”

“It hasn’t been easy.” Annie gave a slight shake of her head. “His parents don’t want to accept that he’s a witch and it’s causing a lot of stress…” She turned towards the window as her words trailed off.

Deanna didn’t need to view Annie’s aura to know she was troubled: her body language said everything the seer needed to know. She won’t admit it, but she’s feeling the stressed as well… She cleared her throat. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about it now: you’ll only relay second-hand information and Kerry will want to talk about it when you return to school in a few weeks.” The was a faintest hint of a humph. “Won’t be long now: travel packages arrive in five days.”

“I know.” Annie turned her attention back to her guest. “Next Monday. Hotel assignments in Paris and orders for travel.”

“Excited?”

“Yes.” A happy sigh emerged from Annie. “Not only will I be back with Kerry, but we’re going to meet our friends as well. I can’t wait.”

“Good. Because—” Deanna sat back and took a more commanding demeanor. “School is one of the reasons I wanted to have lunch with you. I want to talk about something that’s going to happen to you, and to Kerry, during you C Levels.”

 

Yeah, there is a reason Deanna wants to talk to Annie that goes beyond hanging with the girl and talking about magic and hearing her sigh as she imagines camping out with him for a few days in Paris.  I wonder what it could be?