Four Seven Four

Last night, about eleven-forty PM or there about, I posted this on a few pages on Facebook:

 

And this just happened a few minutes ago:

From and including: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
To and including: Sunday, February 15, 2015

Result: 474 days

It is 474 days from the start date to the end date, end date included
Or 1 year, 3 months, 17 days including the end date

That’s how long it’s taken me to finish this latest novel.
It’s done; it’s over.

 

I even have the photo conformation:

If you don't see "The End" it really didn't happen, did it?

If you don’t see “The End” it really didn’t happen, did it?

Sunday was all about writing.  Finishing up Kerry’s return home and blogging about it in the morning; editing a book for about three and a half hours in the afternoon; taking a nap and trying to get back into writing in the early evening; writing Kerry’s last scene before The Walking Dead came on at nine PM; and writing Annie’s last scene–and the last scene in the novel–after ten PM and finishing it up in the time it took me to hear the live version of The Duke Suite by Genesis–and that time is twenty-eight minutes and thirty-six seconds.

As soon as I was finished I backed it up to my two off-line drives, posted the information on my author’s page, and calculated how much time it had taken me to write this novel.  There were a few days where I didn’t write, but 424,674 divided by 474 days works out to 896 words a day.  If I hadn’t missed four or five days because I simply couldn’t write, or because there were some nights where it was impossible to get more than a few hundred words down, I likely would have averaged a thousand words a day, for 1 year, 3 months, and 17 days.

That’s a lot of writing to get out of the way.

And it makes my novel look so pretty.

And it makes my novel look so pretty.

No more excerpts, no more discussing how much they love each other–or if they really do–no more Midnight Madness, no more Mile High Clubs, no more putting their lives in danger and sending them to the hospital with concussions and broken bones and forcing them to spend the night in Bay #1, Bed #2.  Yeah, that last was a real hardship, let me tell you.

But that’s over:  they’re home for the summer, and both are sad.  Kerry is back in Boring City, wishing he was back at The School, and Annie?  She just wishes she was with Kerry.  She wants to touch and hold him.  She thought she wouldn’t miss it that much, but no matter how much of a cold Dark Witch you are, you will miss the embrace of your warm Soon-to-be-Dark Witch of your own.  It’s why she know’s there’s eighty-six days remaining before she hold him again, and you can bet, she will.

I have a little more writing work to do on other things, but for now this novel is over.  What started as a promise in 2012 to tell the tales of these two kids came to an end almost three years later.

The tale is told.

The kids made it, learned, and grew.

And I didn’t even cry when I wrote “The End”.

I’ll leave that for later.

Not Everything

There’s another out of the way.

Last night I started on another scene, one which had been The Moon and the Tree, but that I’d renamed the same as this blog post, and which you’ll see why I renamed the scene in a few.  It’s Kerry coming home, getting a little bit of advice from Ms. Rutherford along the way, and finally stepped through a door he’s exited nine months earlier.

He not comfortable being home, and he shouldn’t be there.  I know this because I put him there.  But he’d twelve:  what else is he going to do?  Live in a lake house in Bulgaria because a dark witch wants him there?  Don’t answer that.

So here is Kerry, back home in Wales.  He be rollin’, they see him frownin’.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

It was only a short drive from the Cardiff Central railway station to his home in Timbers Square—three and a half kilometers—and Kerry watched the city outside the salon window. The sun set at twenty-one twenty-two, and there was still enough twilight to see everything clearly. Kerry hadn’t been in the city for the last nine months, but he wasn’t interested in the view and they turned off Fitzalan Place and headed east on Newport Road—

His mind was elsewhere. Part of it remained inside a walled school in Massachusetts, and the other part was nestled somewhere in the mountains of Bulgaria. He didn’t want to be here.

 

The time is 21:55 on 2 June, 2012, and I know what the sky looked like at the time, because I brought it up–

You can find anything if you know where to look.

You can find anything if you know where to look.

I also know the streets because I did a little Google Mapping as well.

Please don't go to his house and bother him:  he's sad.  Also, he doesn't live there, and the real family will probably call the PCs on you.

Please don’t go to his house and bother him: he’s sad. Also, he doesn’t live there, and the real family will probably call the PCs on you.

So when I mention roads, distance, and time, I’ve got a good handle on things.

Ms. Rutherford is with him, too, and she has a few last things to say:

 

Ms. Rutherford felt differently, though, as there was something she needed to say. “The first summer back is always hard. You have to readjust to living in a world without magic, and you aren’t allowed to tell your parents about your true nature. The later may not be that difficult, but you’ll discover quickly how much you miss not having it around.

“As your case worker, my job it not only to get your from home to your departure point and back, but to help you out when you feel like you’re being overwhelmed. That’s why I gave you my contact information, so if things at home become too much, you can contact me.” She turned to Kerry. “If you need to talk about anything, don’t hesitate to call. We’ll have lunch or go for a walk or just find a nice quiet park and sit—but know you have someone who will come when you call. I’m here for you, Kerry.”

He recognized their location: they were well out of the downtown area now. “Thank you, Ms. Rutherford. If I gotta talk . . .” He sank back into the car’s seat and sighed. “Is the first summer really that hard?”

“It can be. Just relax Kerry—” The car bore left on to Albany Road and continued left through the roundabout. “The summer will go quicker than you think if don’t about how long you’ll have to wait before you see Annie again.”

 

Just chill, kid, and you’ll see your girlfriend again before you know it.  And if you get really lonely, you can always Skype that girl in Bolder–

That’s just a joke.  Really.

But the lack of daily magic will be a big deal after a while.  After all, Kerry was getting to where he could open and close doors with a spell, and levitating things when he wants them was something he was doing six weeks earlier.  If he only had a toy lightsaber, he could pretend he was Luke Skywalker!  But now he can’t do any of that, because he’s not allowed to let his parents know he’s a witch, so keep that magic stuff under wraps.  Particularly those things that you learned that would let you kill people.

And finally we’re here.

 

He nodded and returned to looking out the window. The car made a left onto Timbers Square and drove about twenty meters into the neighborhood before pulling up in front of the first house on the left-hand corner. Kerry stared at his home for about three seconds before chuckling. “Just like it was when I left. Everything’s still the same.”

Ms. Rutherford touched him lightly on the right arm. “Not everything, Kerry: not everything here is the same.”

He nodded and smiled. “I see what you mean.” He exited the car and retrieved his luggage from the boot, then walked with Ms. Rutherford to the front door.

 

Nope, not everything, kid, because if there’s one big thing that’s changed, it’s you.  I changed the title of this scene because of a post I wrote almost a year ago, when I headed back to Indiana and stopped at a point on the Ohio Turnpike where I mentioned that everything in the place was the same . . . and then I put up a picture of myself as Cassidy and said, “Well, not everything.”

That’s Kerry as well.  Not everything’s the same, my boy.  You’re different–way different.  But to your parents, you’re still the same strange kid . . .

 

The door opened seconds after he rang the bell, and his mother held the door open wide for her returning son. “Kerry, so good to have you back.”

“It’s good to be back.” He hoped he sounded at least a little enthusiastic about being home.

His father wandered in from the living room. “Hello, son. How was your trip?”

“Long.” He half sighed as he set his luggage aside. “Two flights, cars, trains: I had it all today.”

His mother lay a hand on his shoulder. “You must be tired.”

“Not really; I slept a lot on the flight over from Boston.”

“Speaking of flights . . .” Ms. Rutherford moved up next to Kerry so she could address everyone. “As I explained to Kerry he’s due back at school on 30 August, so expect his travel package to arrive two weeks before. I’ll be by to pick him up a few days before he departs, just like this last time. The package will arrive by courier—”

Kerry’s mother looked up from her son. “Your Foundation doesn’t take any chances, does it?”

“Not when it comes to someone as gifted as Kerry, no, they don’t.” She glanced from person to person in the foyer. “Well, then, I should leave you all to get reacquainted.” Ms. Rutherford turned to Kerry. “You have a fantastic holiday, and if you need anything—”

“Get in touch.” He smiled. “I will.”

“Take care, Kerry.”

“Take care, Ms. Rutherford.”

She gave a small wave. “Good night, everyone.” Ms. Rutherford turned and left the reunited family behind.

 

And there he is:  all alone with the family.  at least he didn’t lie about sleeping on the flight over:  he was out for most of that trip.

Now that he’s home, and it’s about 10 PM, what does his family have planned for his return feast?

 

Kerry’s mother stood before her son as his father shut the front door. “Are you hungry?”

“A little.”

“We knew you’d return late, so . . .” She glanced towards the kitchen. “We picked up some take away.”

“It’s chicken tikka.” His father walked around his son and turned back as if he expected Kerry to follow. “One of your favorites.”

His mother noticed a strange look appear for a moment on her son’s face. “Is everything okay, Kerry?”

He wanted to say it wasn’t. If I were back at school I could have fresh chicken tikka, and fish and chips, and London broil, and lamb güveç that Annie shared . . . But he couldn’t say that. He couldn’t say that he missed his girlfriend and he wished he could dine with her, because it would raise too many questions. You’re home, so make the best of the situation

“I’m just tired, Mom: that’s all.” He sighed and nodded at his father. “Let’s eat.”

 

You’re home.  Eat and be merry.

For the end is near.

Two scenes left to go . . .

Two scenes left to go . . .

Amsterdam Farewell: A Final Goodbye

Well, that is that.  I’ve been writing for the last hour and a half, working my way through the end of this scene, and It hasn’t been a happy moment for me.  Mostly because, just like Kerry at the end, I gave in to the inevitable and went with the fact there wouldn’t be any happy moments in this last thousand or so words.  It’s the last time in just over four hundred thousand words that my kids are together, and it’s not a good time.  There were no tears from me, but it’s a sad time when you have to pull apart this couple on Valentine’s Day.

There was the question, “Who called out Kerry’s name?” and that’s where this picks up.  Because of course it does . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry.”

There was his name again, being called by a voice he knew so well. He turned to see Annie standing close by with someone else. “Kerry, there’s someone I’d like you to meet: this is my mother.” She stepped slightly to one side with her attention on the older woman. “Mama, this is Kerry Malibey.”

Pavlina Kirilova held out her hand. “I’m pleased to meet you, Kerry.”

He shook and tried to look happy. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Kirilova.” He half-turned to the women on his right. “This is Ms. Rutherford, my case worker.”

“Bernice Rutherford, Mrs. Kililova” She shook Annie’s mother’s hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Pleased to meet you. You’re to take care of Kerry?”

Ms. Rutherford nodded. “Um, hum. That’s the plan.”

“I hope you do a good job.” Pavlina cast a glance at her daughter standing on her right. “Otherwise you may hear from someone I know well.” Annie’s eyes half-closed as she cast a perturbed glance at her mother.

 

Annie’s mom, Pavlina, really loves to get those digs in on her daughter.  It’s as if she knows exactly how much in love Annie is, and she’s doing her best to say, in a passive-aggressive fashion, that not taking care of Kerry means having to deal with the Wrath of Annie.  Not that Annie would do anything to Ms. Rutherford if something were to happen to Kerry, but . . .

And just to show the Lovey Dovey Couple just how much she does know–

 

Pavlina ignored her daughter’s stare and instead spent a few seconds taking in the person before her. “I finally get to meet the Ginger Hair Boy in person.”

Kerry chuckled. “Yeah, Annie told me you know about that.”

“What else did she tell you?”

He examined Annie’s mother as he tried to come up with the correct answer. Annie’s got her mom’s face and hair, but her cheeks are a little different—as are her eyes. She got those from her dad. “Just—a lot of different things. I know how long you’ve known about me.”

She smirked. “Not quiet as long as you’ve known Annie.”

Annie was on the verge of rolling her eyes. “Mama.”

 

Yes, throw that out that you know of their dream time together, and how Young Annie would talk about her Ginger Hair Boy.  Because it’s not like they need any more reminders that they’re about to split up for the summer . . .

 

“It’s all right, dear—” Her face softened as she smiled. “I’m just having a bit of fun with your young man.” She turned to her daughter. “We have to be going; your father is waiting for us.” Pavlina turned back to Kerry. “You must understand, given the time, we’re expected for dinner.”

Kerry knew that given it was almost twenty hours, a lot of people were expecting to have dinner as soon as they arrived home—himself included. “I understand.”

“I hope that one day you can come visit Annie in Pamporovo.” Pavlina’s eyes cast downward for just a moment, as if she didn’t want to say what was coming next. “Not this year, but maybe one summer.”

“I would like that.” Kerry looked Annie, and watched as she her face hardened into a mask of impassiveness. “I’d like that a lot.”

Annie didn’t take her eyes off Kerry. “I would like that as well, Mama.”

“Maybe next year, then.” She adjusted her purse on her shoulder. “Take care, Kerry. Have a good holiday.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Kirilova.”

“Come along, Annie.” Pavlina turned away and took two steps—

 

And being the dutiful daughter that she is–

 

Annie wasn’t following, however, She took two steps in Kerry’s direction, instead. “I have to go.”

“I know.” Kerry fought to keep from breaking down in front of Annie’s mother, as he’d promised.

Annie held out her right hand. “Have a good holiday, my . . .” She caught herself before she said the next word.

Kerry reached out with his left hand and took Annie’s. He was oblivious to all those standing around him: he didn’t care that Ms. Rutherford and Mrs. Kirilova were watching him with the girl he loved. He only wanted to touch her for one last time . . . “Have a good holiday, Annie. See you in—” His voice hitched as he forced himself to continue. “See you in August.”

“Yes.” Annie’s voice dropped slightly as her face grew less impassive and began to show what she was feeling. “See you in August. Don’t forget to write.”

“I won’t.”

“Come along, Anelie.” Pavlina motioned for her daughter to follow. “We must go.”

Annie gave Kerry’s hand one final squeeze. “Goodbye, Kerry.”

He squeezed back. “Goodbye, Annie.” He released her hand and watched in silence as she turned and took her place at her mother’s right side. They entered the concourse, turned to the left, and walked away.

 

And there she goes, not to be seen until the very last scene of the novel.

Naturally Kerry is taking this well–which is why Ms. Rutherford hustles his away from the waiting area to the special areas The Foundation keeps for their people.

 

They stood in another of the “airlocks” that Kerry has seen as San Francisco International Airport. He figured there was a bank of escalators on the other side of the doors he was facing and having trouble seeing because his vision was blurring due to the film of tears forming over his eyes. He waited for Ms. Rutherford to open the door so they could leave, so he could take the escalators down under the airport and find the station and do . . . whatever they were going to do . . . Go home. Return to the place he’d been nine months before. By himself. Alone . . .

He felt an arm lay across his shoulders and pull him into soft, dark cloth and hold him close as he screamed out his frustration. He wrapped his arms around his support, crying in anguish over what he’d just lost. He finally glanced away from where he’d buried himself and looked up into the face of Ms. Rutherford. “Why does it hurt so much? Why?”

“It hurts because you’ve lost something, Kerry.” She directed them to the row of seats along one wall and sat. “You see, when you’re in love—deeply in love—it’s more than just emotional or physical: it’s always spiritual, and when you reach that level of commitment, you give a part of yourself, your essence, to that person.

“When you’re together you don’t notice this, because you’re still in close proximity to this part of your being. But when you are about to become separated by a significant distance, you feel it leaving you. The pain inside is that part of your essence that Annie has taken with her.” Ms. Rutherford lay her hand across Kerry’s wet cheek. “There’s one thing you need to know, however.”

Kerry sniffed back the discharge from his nose. “What’s that?”

“Annie felt the same thing. Did you see her face as she was preparing to leave? I know she’s good at hiding her feelings, but even I could tell she was hurting there before she left with her mother.” She patted Kerry’s shoulder. “She’s left behind a piece of her essence inside you, and while she may not show her pain in the same fashion as you, she feels it, Kerry. Right now she feels every moment of being away from you.”

 

If there is one thing Kerry has going right, it’s that there are better mother figures for him than his mother.  His mother wouldn’t have held him or spoken to him that way, because–well, trust me,  She wouldn’t.  It’s not that she’s a stone cold bitch, it’s simply that she, like her husband, don’t get their son.  As he pointed out, they don’t understand why he’s so emotional, why he’s such a geek, why he’s not like all the other boys his age.  And if they were to hear about his love affair with The Dark Witch of Pamporovo, it’s likely there’d be a massive amount of eye rolling and statements like, “You’re too young to understand!” thrown in his direction instead of a little tenderness and hugging to help him though the loneliness.

Nothing left to say here, save this:

 

Ms. Rutherford dug into her large purse and pulled out a handkerchief. “Here, dry your eyes and clean up your face. I can’t take you back to your parents looking as if I’ve abused you.”

He chuckled as he wiped himself clean. “How much do you know about Annie and me?”

“Everything. As your case worker I’ve read your counseling reports—” She smiled as a concerned look appeared on Kerry’s face. “Don’t worry: all your secrets are safe with me. Nothing will be discussed unless you want to discuss them.”

“Thanks.” He returned the handkerchief back. “I don’t want them seeing this, either.” He shrugged, getting his backpack comfortable. “Almost done now, aren’t we?”

“Another twenty minutes or so, yes.” Ms. Rutherford straightened a few things in her bag. “Do you want to eat before we leave?”

Kerry shook his head. “No.” He slowly stood and tilted his head slightly to the left. “No point in putting this off—

“Let’s go home.”

 

Yes, Kerry:  it’s time to go.

Don't worry, kids.  It's only a matter of time before I get you back together--so you can be separated at the end of the school year.

Don’t worry, kids. It’s only a matter of time before I get you back together–so you can be separated at the end of the school year.

Amsterdam Farewell: The Beginning

It has not been a good morning so far.  I woke up crying, one of my ear piercings began bleeding like crazy, my nails are chipped to hell and gone, and I dropped one of my earring fasteners down the sink, never to be seen again.  On top of that, it’s in the single digits Fahrenheit here with dangerous wind chills, and I have a mile walk ahead of me in about forty minutes.

Like I said, not a good morning.

And then I have to deal with this scene . . .

This is truly the beginning of the end.  This is the last scene in which Annie and Kerry appear together, and it’s hurting me.  I’ll finish it tonight, but it’s all over but the going home.  Of the three scenes that remain, there are two with Kerry and one with Annie, and that’s it, she closes out the story.  The last three are pretty much a mirror image of the first three:  Kerry coming home with Ms. Rutherford and greeting his parent; him in his bedroom alone for the first time and looking at the moon; and Annie at her lake house, also looking at the moon.  If there is a second novel it’ll bookend the same way:  It’ll start with Kerry and end with Kerry.  The third would start with Annie and end with her.  I’m not sure about the fourth and fifth, but the last one would have both of them at the start and finish, so I’ll have to do some bookending for the others.  (I do know the fifth starts with them together, too; gotta come up with an ending.)

Here they are, fresh off of landing at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.  The plane actually hooked up to a gangway and everyone is waiting to head up to the waiting area.  And they have a few things to say before they leave . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

He popped the handle on her roller bag and watched Annie sling her purse as she stood next to her luggage. “I guess this is it.”

“Yes.” She looked over her shoulder as the hostesses prepared to open the cabin door. “We don’t have much time now.”

“No.” He hung his head. “We don’t.” He stepped up to Annie and wrapped his arms around her. “I love you.”

“I love you, too, darling.” She waited for Kerry to finish his kiss before she spoke. “I need you to listen—”

He knew by the tone of her voice that she was being serious. “I’m listening.”

“I want you to write to me. That’s how we’ll stay in touch.” She looked up and smiled. “I didn’t want to say anything before, because I was afraid you’d over-analyze my request and—”

“I know what you’re going to say.” He held her tight as he chucked. “I do that a lot.”

“Forget about that now . . . I will write to you. I will send you a letter soon, and if you send to the address on the envelope I’ll have your reply in two days.” Her voice began to waver as she continued. “And I want you to write—” She touched his hand. “With this; with your left hand. I don’t want a printout from your computer—I want a letter . . .” She lay her hand upon his chest. “From here. I want you to send me your heart.”

Kerry had done his best to hold himself together, but Annie’s words were forcing him to consider that he wasn’t going to see her for almost three months. The emotions he’d held in check since last last night were about to pour out, and he knew once they started . . .

“My love.”

Annie’s voice brought him back to the cabin. “Yes?”

“Do something else for me?”

“Yes.”

“Please don’t cry in front of my mother.” A slight grin forced its way to her face. “It wouldn’t look good.”

“Yeah.” He took several deep breaths. “I won’t; I promise.”

 

Annie didn’t want to talk about Kerry writing because she knew he wasn’t a writer–not by hand, at least.  And she seems to have figured out the same thing The Foundation did:  don’t give him time to think about his options, and he’ll go with the best one.  Or, at least the one Annie wants. It’s truly how he rolls.

Now that Annie got her promise, it’s time to talk that last walk of the year together.

 

She wrapped her arm around his shoulders and kissed him, holding it as she pulled him into her. She exhaled as she broke the kiss. “We should go.”

“Yeah.” He nodded his head slowly as he touched his bag’s handle. He turned and held out his left hand. “Together?”

“I would never say no.” Annie took his hand and walked before him as they exited their section, passed through the cabin door, and walked down the gangway to the waiting area.

They took their time walking. There wasn’t any one behind them, as they’d waited for most everyone to clear off the plane before exiting. The gangway bent slightly to the right on the way to the waiting area, and Kerry expected Annie to release his hand then, because they would be in direct line of sight of anything standing in the doorway to the concourse. She didn’t: if anything she held on tighter.

The moment they entered the waiting area Annie leaned close to him and spoke in a whispered. “There’s my mother.” She finally pulled her right hand out of Kerry’s and waived towards a woman looking in their direction. “Mama.” Kerry slowed to a stop as Annie hurried ahead to greet her mother.

He faced away from whatever Annie was doing: it was private for her, and he didn’t want to seem like a lurker. As he turned to his left he found a familiar face standing about a meter and a half away. “Hi, Ms. Rutherford.”

“Hello, Kerry.” She kept her hands clenched before her as she examined him. “I told you I’d be here. Did you have a good flight?”

He nodded. “Yeah, it was okay.” A chuckle managed to escape despite his mood. “We slept most of way—”

Ms. Rutherford glanced to her left. “Which it why it was a good flight—”

Kerry.”

 

Who’s calling?  Someone Kerry knows, but you’ll see that tomorrow.  The interesting thing is Annie didn’t want to let go, even when she knew her mother would see.  Kerry is her boyfriend, soul mate, or just plain mate, and she’s not gonna let Mama bring her down with some side eye over hand holding.  That’s how Annie rolls.

So, most of this scene is finished, and the last three after this–they aren’t too long.  As it looks, I could finish this weekend.

Won't be long and they'll all say "First Draft".

Won’t be long and they’ll all say “First Draft”.

First I just wanna get through this day.

The weekend will work itself out.

Off Into the Sunrise

The children are left behind, but they will return soon–tonight for sure.  Here we have the last time you’ll see any of the instructors chatting.  Salem is filtering away slowly, and this is the last of it right here.

For the school at Cape Ann is a memory now.  Sure, it gets mentioned, but in a few we’re not even going to be on the same continent.  We have three more counties to visit, and in the reverse order as we visited them almost four hundred thousand words ago.

Now, though, we have this:

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Erywin sighed as she stood. “And with that I must leave you.” She leaned over and patted both children on their shoulders. “Enjoy your flight, and enjoy your time together.” She quickly left their cabin and made her way past the remainder of the students. She entered the closed-off section at the rear of the student section and shut the door behind her, letting out a loud sigh as she leaned against the bulkhead wall.

“Are they okay?” Deanna’s concern came through in her voice.

“Better than they were this morning.” Erywin took her seat to the left of Deanna. “But they’re still down. When Annie’s unable to push away her sadness after an hour, you know it’s serious.”

“It will be hard on them, but there’s nothing to be done.” Deanna crossed her legs and repositioned her tunic across her waist. “They’ll have to resign themselves to spending the summer apart.”

“I’m certain they have, but . . .” Erywin leaned closer to her traveling companion as the plane was pushed backwards out of the hanger. “Deanna, did we do the right thing letting them spend last night together?”

 

Erywin, as stated, is a lot like Kerry:  she wears her emotions out where all can see them.  Perhaps in the edit there’s a passage I’d like to add where Deanna mentions that Erywin is like Kerry, and that she identifies with both children, who in turn remind her a great deal of her own relationship.  But for now I’m leaving that out, because it’s not about Erywin, and that line would be a good one for the second scene of the next book, of which I know pretty much how the first six scenes will play out.

How does Deanna answer?

 

Though she possessed no doubts about their actions, Deanna needed to address Erywin’s concerns. “It was necessary.”

“I know you told us it was something we needed to do—still, they’re so miserable—”

“And how miserable would you imagine them this morning had they spent the night apart in the hotel with the rest of the students on this plane?” Deanna turned to face the woman next to her. “Yes, it’s possible one would have went into the other’s room, and it’s possible that wouldn’t have been allowed, given they weren’t being supervised by anyone from the school—”

“I know, I know. As you said, they were entitled to this moment alone, that it was important for their relationship.” She shrugged. “I do hope that all that happened last night—”

“They’re still virgins.”

 

Thanks for that TMI Update, Ms. Arrakis!  Though that wasn’t quite what Erywin was looking for . . .

 

Erywin raised an eyebrow and smirked. “I was going to say that all that happened last night was a lot of heartfelt moments between bouts of crying, but I suppose one can be thankful for that good news” She eyed the seer hard. “How do you know that?”

Deanna didn’t blink. “You know how I know that.”

“The same way you knew they needed to be together last night?”

“Yes.”

She knew she wouldn’t get an answer, but Erywin had to ask. “How much do you know about them?”

 

And there’s as damning a passage as any.  How would you like to have students under your charge, and know about the discussions they’re going to have about sex a few years in the future?  Or know that they had sex?  Or have a vision of them having sex?  Talk about a brain bleach moment.  But that’s something Deanna deals with, not just with these kids, but with others, and even with her friends and acquaintances.  As the next line shows, Erywin was also Deanna’s instructor at one time, and you have to wonder if she wonders if Deanna used to flash on details of their future together.  It’s one of those things that does have to drive you a little nutty, even in a world where nutty is pretty common.

So what does Deanna say?  Not what you might think–

 

Deanna stared at the bulkhead in front of her for about ten seconds, and Erywin was certain her former student would either ignore the question or reply that it was impossible for her to say. Instead Deanna responded in a low voice that could barely be heard over the whine of the starting engines. “Not as much as you think. When I first saw them I knew who they were—I’d seen their names, and I was aware of Annie’s family—but that didn’t register. Not even after I had the short vision of them at Memory’s End on Orientation Day did they register. It wasn’t until I spoke with Annie the following week, when she first discussed her concerns about Kerry and their dreams, that I realized they were a couple I’d seen in a few visions.”

She straightened her legs as she looked in Erywin’s direction. “There’s been a few others since they’ve arrived. Some you know, like telling Coraline to let Annie spend the night after the Day of the Dead. But there’s been others . . .” She shrugged. “I’ve seen one where they discuss the needs not to do that one thing, if you know what I mean—”

“I know what you mean.”

“It happens in the future, that much I know.”

“How?”

Deanna shook her head. “I can’t say. I can’t.”

Blasted Seers. Erywin almost rolled her eyes as the plane lurched on the way to its take-off point. Always teasing and never spilling. “Isn’t it true that even though you’ve had that vision, it doesn’t mean it’ll come true?”

 

In about a hundred words at the back end of a huge novel we finally see a little of Deanna’s visions, and the only snippet of what she has seen of these two in the future.  But if you think there’s more, you’re wrong.  Or are you?

 

“That’s true.” Deanna set her hand in her lap and began preparing herself for the flight. “A vision is only a possible future, and not only the future itself. There always exists the possibility that one of both of them will do—that—before they get married, and thus partially invalidate their feelings on their own vision.”

There was something in Deanna’s statement that caught Erywin’s interest. “You make it sound like they will get married.”

“I can’t say.” The seer exhaled long and slow. “Only the future knows.”

Only the future— Erywin stretched out her legs as the 777 made its final turn prior to departure. But you said you couldn’t say—not that it wouldn’t happen. She closed her eyes as the engines revved and the jet lumbered down the runway. How much do you know?

 

We won’t get an answer to that question, not here.  Not any more this story.  Nope, it’s flashing behind us as we sail down the runway on the way back to Amsterdam.  If there are any answers, they come later.

For now, we say goodbye.

So long, Salem Witch School.  See you next year.

So long, Salem Witch School. See you next year.

Logan Outbound Preparations

The Inn is behind me and right now it’s all about an aircraft hangar at Logan International Airport in Boston, because that’s where that big silver bird that’s about to take my kids home is sitting.  I started in on this while listening to music last night–the television was off and the place was quiet–and before I knew it I had a little over eleven hundred words into the scene, reaching the cutoff point I wanted to reach.

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t find time to do a little research.  Last night I discovered the site Travel Math, and I was fortunate I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole and get hooked on this sucker all night.  I did find the travel times from the other cities Annie and Kerry will depart from in the future (Berlin to Boston is an hour more, and it’s about the same flight time from Paris as it is from Amsterdam), but mostly I needed to find out how long it would take them to return to Europe.  Because when Erywin is thinking this in the opening paragraph:

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Erywin wandered forward through the cabin of the 777 that was returning them to Amsterdam seven and a half hours after they’d depart Boston. The European students were almost always the last to return, and because it was necessary to have them back on the continent as a decent time, the homeward-bound students were required to arrive at the airport and be in their seats before six-thirty, leaving most of them as they were now: hungry and a bit sleepy. They knew what awaited them, however: breakfast would arrive within an hour after takeoff, and everyone would be sound asleep thirty minutes later.

 

She knows what she’s talking about:

Always know where to look!

Always know where to look!

And there you have it.

But what is she doing wandering through the aircraft?  Looking for someone–someones.  And where are they, you ask?  Well . . .

 

The forward cabin of the aircraft would have been used as a first or business class cabin on a Normal flight; here it was almost a duplicate of the closed off section that Erywin would share with Deanna. There were seating for eight in chairs that lay flat as beds, complete with a full surround entertainment system for anyone who decided to remain awake for the duration of the flight. The seats were clustered together, two-by-two in two rows near the bulkheads, allowing for a large center aisle.

There weren’t eight students here this time: there were only two. The two she was looking for, sitting in the first row on the left side, right where Erywin expected to find them. She entered the cabin and cleared her throat as she approached the seats. “How are you doing?”

Annie and Kerry both looked up in unison, their hands still clutched together. He presented a soft smile as he spoke. “We’re okay, Erywin.”

Annie nodded in agreement. “We’re fine, Erywin.”

She thought they were anything but fine. They’d appeared at their early morning breakfast appearing as if they’d been awake most of the night, their eyes red and, in Kerry’s case, cheeks raw from wiping them dry. Now, a little more than an hour later, they looked slightly better, and Erywin figure she’d let the air hostess know that they would likely be unconscious not long after finishing their breakfast, and that she should be ready to retrieve their meals as soon as they were finished.

 

We know they were up late, and the chances are they didn’t get much, if any, sleep.  It’s probably a fact that they will crash out right after eating, probably trying to grab each other before they drift off.

We also learn that Helena jaunted on ahead to England and she’s getting the house ready for Erywin’s return and their summer together.  This lead Annie to wonder–

 

Annie quickly glanced to her right before looking back to Erywin. “Neither can I.” She leaned into Kerry. “Is Helena going to meet us at the airport?”

Erywin shook her head. “Oh, no. She’ll be waiting for me at home. I’ll use my device to jaunt home, then I’ll clean up and we’ll head out for a nice, quiet dinner together.” She sighed softly. “She’s even planing to dress up a little, put on . . .” She stopped when she noticed the slightly crestfallen looks of both children. They’re imagining the same thing for them—only it’s just that: their imagination. “I apologize: I shouldn’t have went on.”

“Erywin—” Kerry looked up, a bit of a smile dancing upon his lips. “You’re an adult—we understand.”

“You are allow to have a life.” Annie lay her head upon Kerry’s shoulder. “And to be with the woman you love.”

Erywin was at a loss of words at Annie’s and Kerry’s comments. She knew they were trying to make her feel better because they dearly wanted to experience what she would experience tonight, but it had the opposite effect of making her feel bad and guilty that she’d be enjoying herself this evening while the children before her would head off to beds separated by twenty-five hundred kilometers.

 

My poor kiddies:  getting down in the dumps because someone they know is gonna have a good time, and all they have waiting for them tonight is the Moon.  This is also the last we see of the kids in this scene, but not the last of Erywin–or Deanna, for that matter.  This scene is, however, the last we’ll see of any of the instructors from the school.

We’re Euro Bound, and finally saying goodbye to this side of The Pond.

The Final Five

There isn’t a penultimate chapter remaining now:  it’s done, it’s over.  As I expected, I finished Chapter Forty-two with a short scene of just under seven hundred and fifteen words, bringing the chapter to just under thirty-seven hundred words.  And that’s all there is of Annie’s and Kerry’s experience at the Sea Sprite Inn.  All that remains is for them to get on the jet and fly back to Europe, and part for the summer.

The title of Chapter Forty-three says it all.

The title of Chapter Forty-three says it all.

It took me a while to pen this last scene only because I wanted to find the right mood.  I knew it wasn’t going to be long, but it had to mean something to me.  And it does.  It means so much . . .

I have them sitting in the bay window, near midnight, with Annie sitting against the pillows and frame and Kerry resting against her.  It’s pretty much the opposite of what you’d expect from a scene like that, but that’s how these guys roll.  It’s how I see them.

And all there remains is for them to make a few final plans while they find it impossible to sleep . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

“Tomorrow night, when you’re home in your room, and you’re preparing for bed, I want you to look out and see the Moon.” She rested her cheek against his head. “And when you see it I want you to know that you’re seeing the same moonlight I’m seeing, or I have seen, or I will see.” She clutched him tight as her voice dropped to a hoarse whisper. “The moon will keep us connected; it will bring us together.” She lightly kissed his forehead. “It will be our constant through this coming summer.”

“Except when the moon isn’t up.” Kerry shifted slightly so he wasn’t pressing too hard against Annie. “Rotation, orbits: you won’t see much of the Moon after the full moon, and for a few days it’s invisible in daytime.” He caressed her leg with the fingers of his right hand. “I know what to do, though.”

“What’s that?”

“You can find it up there, too.” He pointed towards a point in the sky to the left of the Moon. “If the Moon isn’t up, look for the brightest star in the sky. If I can see it from Cardiff, you can see it in Pamporovo.” He let his hand rest upon Annie’s leg. “When you see it, know that I sent it to you, that it’s there to light your way through the darkness—” He choked on his words. “It’s leading you through the darkness back, back . . .” His voice caught as his emotions began to overwhelm him. “It’s leading you through the darkness back to me.”

Annie lightly touched Kerry’s now-wet cheek. “Shush, shush. It’s okay.”

“I don’t want to go.” He started breathing hard through hacking sobs. “I don’t want to be away from you for the summer.”

Annie swallowed hard to force her own raging emotions down. “I don’t want to leave either. But . . .” She drew in a deep breath. “We have no choice.”

“I know—” Kerry couldn’t hold back any longer; he curled up and wrapped his arms around Annie, holding her tightly as he broke down completely.

Annie ran her fingers through Kerry’s hair as she let his tears soak into her. “It’s okay, moyata polovinka.” She kissed him tenderly. “Just look at the Moon, my love. Look at the Moon.”

 

And that’s it for this part of the school year.  Next scene is Erywin and Deanna, and then it’s kids getting in their final goodbyes and their final feelings.  And I need the layout for a 777, but that’s just me, for something I need in the next scene.

Five more to go.

Then I can rest.