Somnolence at the Bequest

There are more than a few things going on in my life at the moment, and depression is one of them.  It’s been weighing sort of heavy on me the last couple of weeks, and yesterday, after returning from work, it was on of the first times that I fell asleep in my recliner for about thirty minutes, and when I awoke I sort of lay there staring out the window for another twenty minutes.  Really sucky, let me tell you.

And when that happens in your life, it’s sort of hard to kick start the writing engine and get your butt in gear.  Last night I had a bit of cleanup work to do, changing what I knew to be an incorrect work into the correct phrase.  How long does something like that take?  Well, I went through a seven minute song twice before I’d completed the task, so there you are.  Then I set about changing the names of some of the scene in Chapter Fifteen, because after a while they aren’t making any sense, so you gotta switch thing up, right?

And you try to come up with something that seems a little more realistic for your fantasy world.

And you try to come up with something that seems a little more realistic for your fantasy world.

That was done and out of the way.

As you can probably see if you’re examining the above graphic, I didn’t write a lot.  In fact, this scene is short, really short.  Probably not the shortest I’ve ever written for a story–in my story Echoes there is a chapter that runs right around seven hundred and fifty words–but this has to be one of the shortest scenes ever written in this series.  But, you know, that’s okay, because you write what’s needed and move on.

And what is happening?  Annie’s trying to dreamwalk.  Let me tell you, when you’re trying to image how something that’s never happened before in real life actually works, it’s a pain in the butt.  That’s one of the reasons one, it took me about two hours to write five hundred and twenty words, and two, why the scene is so short.  What is there to say?  You imagine how Annie is crafting the spell and you put that down in the document.

Simple.  Kinda.

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

She understood the concept: in order to dreamwalk one needed to place themselves in a proper meditative state of mind and then, visualizing their surroundings within the dream realm, use magic to fall asleep and transport their consciousness to this tiny subsection of the Astral Realm.

Like all magic the process, as described, appeared simple. The practice was something completely different. Not only was Annie trying to perform magic designed to make her fall into sleep, but she was attempting to project her magical essence into a realm which she’d never seen. She’d read a much as possible about the Astral Realm, but imagining herself there was difficult, and it was one of the reasons Dreamwalking wasn’t taught until students were at least D Levels and had found some success with Astral Projection.

Only Annie had never performed Astral Projection, so trying to craft the spell for something she’d never seen made visualization that much more difficult. Not that this dissuaded her from doing her best . . .

 

Yepper Prepper, Annie doing her best is usually a hell of a lot better than nearly everyone else at school.  After all, she’s a very methodical girl . . .

 

She took one final breath and held it for a few seconds before releasing it, purging it and her thoughts from her body. Annie’s eyes shifted behind now-closed lids as she concentrated her willpower upon the image and sensations in her mind. As her body relaxed she wrapped her willpower around the other two elements of her spell and pushed with the last remnants of her consciousness mind as she slipped away into peaceful sleep . . .

 

And where does this lead us?  Well . . .

Here perhaps?

Here perhaps?

The first image has most of the answers.

It’s like searching for something in a dream, let me tell you.

Fall and the Dreamland Express

It is the First of September, the day that people who are supposed to track these sorts of things say is pretty much the day fall begins.  Never mind that here in The Burg today and the next two days are gonna see temps get up above ninety Fahrenheit, it’s fall, which means I need to get into my jeans, slip on my Ugg boots, and go sip a pumpkin spiced latte and get a selfie while standing in leaves next to pumpkins.

I've got the boots ready, as you can see.

I’ve got the boots ready, as you can see.

Today is also post number one thousand, six hundred, and in one hundred and fifty days I will reach post one thousand, seven hundred and fifty; that will occur on Friday, January 29, 2016, or one day short of two years after post one thousand, titled Millennium, was written. Continue reading

Acts of Forgiveness

Chapter Fourteen is finally out of the way.  It didn’t seem like a long chapter, but it was tough to write.  There were so many things I had to figure out–and, yes, the tone of the chapter actually changed several times.  In fact, the penultimate scene where Annie quizzed Kerry on his dream, Coraline was supposed to show up, but I decided to keep the focus on them both, and not bring her into the mix.

Still, plenty happened–

And plenty still to come.

And plenty still to come.

–and this finishes up the conversation in Emma’s hospital bay.

 

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

“Professor Salden sat me down for the next race.” Emma’s voice grew soft and reserved as she addressed Kerry. “She told me if I race again like I did yesterday, she’d send me back to the B Team—” She looked down as she swallowed hard. “And if I don’t shape up after that, I’m off both teams for good.”

“That’s not gonna happen—” Kerry shook his head. “You know better now, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

“I know.” Heavy frown lines creased her brow. “I’m gonna miss all the races this weekend

“But you won’t miss the Red Line race the weekend after.” He was referring to the race held the second weekend of December, which was the second use of the Red Line course, the most difficult on the school grounds. The first time the course was run was the weekend before the Samhain Races. “And you’ll be around for the next one in January.”

 

We’ve yet to see a big race on the Red Line, and there will be a mention of it in the next chapter.  But we now see that Erywin has laid down the law:  Emma’s not racing, which is a hit in personal points, and if she screws up again she’s off the A Team, and maybe out of Coven Racing all together.  Since you can’t give her detention, it’s serious enough.  That and the hospital stay, and learning that she almost lost an arm.

But she has questions . . .

 

“Yeah” She sat quietly with her handing resting on her thighs, both sets of fingers tapping against the heavy covers. When she raised her head she looked to Annie instead of Kerry. “Do you still want to fly with me? Be my wingmate?”

Annie raised one eyebrow. “I do not tell Kerry whom he can and can’t have as a wingmate.” A slight grin played upon her face. “That’s his decision.”

He didn’t give an answer, but asked his own question instead. “Did Vicky tell you how we did on the scavenger flight?”

Emma looked his way. “She told me we not only had the most targets and the farthest to fly, but that we found everything without needing a lot of looking around.”

“Right. That’s because we worked great as a team.” His face framed a bright grin. “I had the best pilot with me—”

“And I had the best navigator.”

“And if we’re gonna do the Polar Express next year, we need both working together—otherwise I’m not going.” Kerry slowly pushed himself up, using his cane to support him. “A third of the school year is up, and we probably wouldn’t get new wingmates until Advanced Flight Two anyway. I can put this behind me if it means having the best advanced flight team in the air.” He nodded towards the girl in the bed. “It’s up to you: whaddya say?”

 

I know:  Kerry’s being nice again.  But so is Annie.  In fact, Annie sort of sets the mood at this point–

 

Annie chose to offer an observation in that instance. “My father has not always worked with people with whom he’s had the best relationships, but when they are on the track, racing for their team, he’s always put his differences aside.” She pointed out the obvious. “You’re going to only have another year and a half of classes left: if your team is the best, why break it up now?”

For a moment Emma appeared conflicted, as if she didn’t know which course she should follow, which decision she should make. She finally found her voice. “I know—” She locked eyes with Kerry. “Nothing’s going to happen between us.”

“No.” He shook his head. “It won’t.”

“But you still want to be friends.”

“I know I can—I think you can, too.”

Emma looked down, making a faint sound as she exhaled. “Then . . .” She held out her right hand. “Wingmates?”

Kerry reached out with his right hand and clasped hers. “Team Myfanwy stays flying. And we’re gonna show them all when we do the overnight in a couple of weeks.”

 

No breakups, but Emma’s been schooled a bit.  She’s been warned by her coven leader and race coach; she’s been warned by people on her team, and she been warned by Annie to knock off her shit.  She’s apologized, though, and maybe even grown up a little in the process.

She does have one last question, and it’s one that others who’ve viewed these proceedings have asked as well:

 

“Kerry.”

He turned back towards the bed, the curtain barely open. “Yeah?”

“Why—?” Emma once more looked as if she didn’t know if she should ask what was on her mind. “Why are you always so ready forgive me?”

Kerry looked away and stared at spot on the floor for a few seconds before replying in hushed tones. “Because I know what it’s like to want something you can’t ever have . . .” He sighed slowly as he met her gaze. “It hurts.”

“Yeah.” She wiggled her toes under the covers. “Does it go away?”

“It does.” He gripped Annie’s hand. “Something better always comes along.”

 

Something better always comes along.  We know what Kerry lost in his move from California to Wales, and what came along that was better, and like it or not, those two events helped define him now.  He’s been hurt a lot, and that’s one of the reasons why he doesn’t want to hurt anyone else.  And because he’s twelve and isn’t that good picking up on different social situations, he doesn’t realize that he’s been hurting Emma more by not shutting her down right away.

He tells her what he understands best:  I know you want me, but you can’t have me.  I’ve been there, and it hurts, and that sucks.  And I don’t want to do that to you . . . but it gets better, because something else good will come along.

It did for him.

He’s gotta figure it will for her as well.

Applogies and Admonishments

After all of the excitement of yesterday–which involved three hours on the road, two hours of dining, two and a half hours of getting the nails done, and not arriving back to The Burg until about seven-thirty last night, I managed to finish the scene I debuted yesterday morning.  However, after writing eight hundred and sixty-five words this morning, you’re not going to see how that scene finished–after all, I gotta keep some secrets, right?

On the other hand you get to check out my nail porn, which is an OPI gel called "Deutsch You Want Me Baby.".

Though you do get to check out my nail porn, which is an OPI gel called “Deutsch You Want Me Baby.”.  Well, don’t you?

Don’t worry, the excerpt this morning is gonna be a good one.

See, it’s the last scene of Chapter Fourteen, the title of which has already been shown to you in another post.  I may finish up the chapter tonight before getting into my Fear the Walking Dead recap goes down, or I may wait until tomorrow.  Either way, I start up on the next part and the Salem Overnight chapter real soon–Tuesday at the latest, baring something like hospitalization or death.  Keeping my fingers crossed until then.

That brings us to what I’ve done so far this morning.  And . . . well, see for yourself.

 

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

This close after the completion of dinner the first floor hospital ward was more quiet than usual. Kerry leaned on his cane while standing \next to the hospital privacy curtain. “You ready?”

Annie glanced towards the curtain. “As ready as you.”

“Okay, then—” He unhooked the latch and moved it aside. “After you, Darling.”

“Thank you, my love.” She entered the hospital bay and stood at the foot of the bed while Kerry secured the curtain. Annie waited for him to join her before speaking to the bed’s occupant. “Hello, Emma. How are you feeling?”

Emma sat up in bed, the covers pulled up to her waist, revealing only her lilac-colored pajama top. The casts were off her arms, but her head remained bandaged. “I’m better. At least the room isn’t spinning around when I sit up.”

Kerry nodded. “Yeah, I’ve been there. It’ll probably go away by tomorrow.”

“I hope so.” She offered a weak smile. “I see you’re up and around, though.”

“Yeah, Coraline released me at fifteen, but I’m not exactly ready to go dancing.” He held up his cane for a few seconds. “I’m gonna need this for a couple of days at least, and Annie’s got a jaunt pad for us to use when we head out to Astrophysics tomorrow night—I was told not to walk that far yet.”

“Yeah.” Emma’s smile vanished as she thought about the pain Kerry was likely experiencing. “I’ll probably get the same when I’m released tomorrow.”

All three students stood look at each other for a few seconds. Kerry decides to pick up the conversation. “Erywin said you wanted to see us?”

 

As some readers have suspected, this is gonna be about Emma swallowing a big heaping of crow that may or may not have flown over from Westeros.  It goes without saying that a whole lot of people blame her for the ending of her particular heat, the hospitalization of two students, and her coven getting jacked in the final standings, and she has one of two choices:  say “Screw you all” and give zero shits about her actions, or shoulder the blame.  And . . .

 

“Yes.” Emma looked down at her folded hands setting in her lap. “I want to apologize for what happened yesterday.”

Kerry shrugged. “It’s okay—”

“No, it’s not, Kerry. I . . .” He sighed and looked up, shifting her gazes between the couple. “I was upset by what happened Friday, and I let it get to me. I was racing mad at you, and I wasn’t thinking.” She sniffed hard though there weren’t tears in her eyes. “Nurse Coraline told me that if you hadn’t jerked your broom away like you did, you’d have probably speared me and ripped off my arm.”

He rested both hands on his cane. “Yeah. Then they’ve have sent you to New York—”

“Where I would have been most of the week getting it reattached with healing spells. I know: I was told a couple of times.” She sniffed hard again. “Did Professor Sladen tell you how fast we were going?”

“She said I was going about two seventy-five, and you were going about two hundred.” He signed and shifted his weight around. “So our impact speed was about seventy-five kilometers an hour.”

Emma closed her eyes. “Yeah. Pretty fast.”

“Fast enough.”

 

Things could have been a lot worse:  we could have had detached limbs instead of mere broken ones, and that could have actually led to someone dying before they were rushed off to a hospital in another city–not that dead is always permanent here.  Chances are, however, that the necromancers aren’t getting called out because someone was racing with their head up their ass.  Odds are excellent that if Emma had died at the end of the race, the Guardians would have put their “memory experts” to work, and Emma’s bratty little sister would have found herself in the room she always wanted.

In case you were wondering, Emma was going about one hundred and twenty-five miles an hours–mostly because she was too busy dicking around with Alex–and Kerry was going about one seventy.  Crash and burn indeed.

And this brings us to probably the hardest thing that’s ever happen to my Boulder Ginger:

 

Annie noticed the slight distress on Kerry’s face. “Do you need to sit?”

“I think so.” As he was turning around Annie levitated one of the chairs from the corner of the bay to him. “Thanks.”

Emma said nothing, watching how effortlessly Annie used simply magic. “You do that so well.”

“It’s pretty common for us these days.” She leaned against the back of Kerry’s chair. “You’ll get there soon.”

“I hope so.” She sighed a couple of times, seeming unsure of what she should say next. “Annie . . . I’m so sorry I’ve acted this way. I’ve disrespected you and pretended to act like you aren’t there.” Emma snorted. “Looking at you both now—really looking at you—I see just how you act as a couple. It’s . . .” Her head bobbed a few times. “Pretty freakin’ incredible.”

“Thank you, Emma.” Annie was surprised to hear Emma admit to something Annie had felt for a while. “I accept your apology.”

A look of relief flowed across Emma’s face. “Thank you. I want you to know nothing like what happened Friday will ever happen again.”

“That’s nice to know.” Annie patted Kerry’s shoulder. “I never feared that Kerry would stray from me, which is why I never said anything.” She tilted her head slightly to the right. “However . . .” Her tone turned flat and cold. “Should this happen again, you and I will have a talk—alone.” Annie’s eyes narrowed. “It won’t be pleasant.”

Emma gulped after feeling Annie’s coldness for the first time. “I can imagine—” She inhaled sharply. “Point taken.”

Annie softened her expression. “As long as you understand.”

“I do.”

“Good.”

 

“You and I will have a talk—alone.  It won’t be pleasant.”  From time-to-time the question has come up, “Why doesn’t Annie say something?”  Because Annie’s not the sort to toss around warnings.  But a few things have happened.  One, she kicked some ass in a Judgement Trial.  Two, Emma hit on Kerry–again.  Three, Emma Raced While Pissed at Kerry and put them both in the hospital.  As the Bulgarian Buttercup stated, she never worried about Kerry straying–something she told Deanna–but she’s finally reached the point where she’s letting Emma know she’s had enough of her shit.  No screaming, no voice raising, no finger pointing–just that cold stare and that flat voice telling her, “It won’t be pleasant.”  Since Emma has already seen how unpleasant Annie can make a situation when she’s pushed, Emma’s really not eager to bring the Wrath of Annie down upon her ass.

There you are:  enough for today.  there’s more, but I need to have something to post tomorrow, so I’ll save it for then.

Otherwise you guys will get spoiled . . .

The Morning Questions

Hola, everyone.  The morning has been a strange one, let me tell you.  I have some traveling and pampering to do today, so I was not only up at five-thirty to have coffee and think about what lay ahead, but I also started in on getting this post ready, because I need to be on the road in about–well, about ninety minutes right now, and before I can get ready and dress and put on my makeup, I have to bring over what was written last night and get it set up–

But then I start looking at the new scene I started the night before and I want to do things.

I ended the evening going about six hundred and fifty words into the scene, and I was good with that because I wasn’t really feeling the writing mood.  You may know how that goes:  it’s all blahs and stuff, and you sort of push yourself along to get the words out.  I figured I’d do a little polish this morning before bringing over the excerpts.

But as soon as my polishing was completed I’m sitting here looking at this scene and I’m thinking, “I can’t just leave it where I found it, can I?”  Nope, sure couldn’t.  So I started writing.  Not a lot–just two hundred and five words–but it added a bit more to the narrative.  Not to mention it lets me get a head start on tonight’s writing, because I fully expect to end this scene tonight after, well, after all the stuff I have planed for today.

Oh, and in putting in the extra two hundred words, I pushed the final count over one hundred and twenty-four thousand words, which means I could go over one hundred and twenty-five thousand tonight, and maybe be at one thirty by the time Labor Day weekend starts.  Which, if that happens, means I’m well into the next chapter and perhaps the next part.  Rockin’ good news.

But that’s in the future.  What’s happening in Bay #1 in Salem right now?  This:

 

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

When Annie pulled back the privacy curtain and floated the levitated breakfast tray into Bay #1 Kerry was waiting, awake. She returned the smile he beamed her way. “I see you’re finally up.”

“Up is a relative term.” He glanced about his body, which was for the most part still frozen in place. “The casts are gone but I can’t move.”

“It’s the immobilization enchantment. I asked Nurse Gretchen about it, and she Coraline would take care of it when she came in after breakfast.” Annie elevated the head of the bed so Kerry was mostly sitting up and positioned the tray over his stomach. “In the meantime I’ll take care of you.”

“Well, thank you, Darling.” He examined the tray. “Princesses and tomatoes, fruit, yogurt, tomato juice.” Kerry closed his eyes for a second as he breathed in the aromas wafting off the tray. “Quite the breakfast. Won’t be long before you having me eating Bulgarian food all the time.”

“Why not? I do.” She unfolded a napkin and lay over Kerry’s chest. “Hasn’t hurt me once.”

“You have an advantage I don’t.”

“Do you remember the dream we had when I turned eleven, where you told me you couldn’t wait to try the same food I ate?” She picked up a princesse slice and held it so Kerry could take a bite. “Your wish came true.”

He swallowed before answering. “Yes, it did. That and a few others.” He enjoyed a couple of pineapple chunks before speaking again. “What time did you get up?”

“Normal time: about five-thirty.” She offered him a slice of tomato before giving him a sip of juice. “I spoke with Nurse Gretchen and went down to the kitchen to see about breakfast.”

“Did you see Coraline?”

“No. She was in about three: Emma woke up about that time and was apparently undergoing some sort of distress, so she came in to calm her down and help her get back to sleep.”

“I can imagine.”

It’s likely you do know what she experienced. Annie dabbed the napkin at the corner of Kerry’s mouth. She’s never found herself hurt like this, and you have, so you know the pain and disorientation of returning to consciousness in the middle of the night. At least you had someone in the bay to calm you—she had no one . . .

 

Now, I know what some of you are thinking:  “Why is Annie feeling sorry for that little bitch?”  It is true that given the right circumstances, Annie would rip out Emma’s lungs and stomp on them–that is a given because the Real Annie told me so herself.  But My Story Annie also ins’t a vindictive person, and she hasn’t exactly run down to the end of the ward where Emma has spend most of the day unconscious to screw with her IVs and rearrange her casts and yank out her catheter–no, she’s spent her time with Kerry and not really said anything mean or nasty.  Why would she?  After all, it’s not like Emma crashed him and walked away in slow motion, a smirk playing over her face while Kerry’s broom explodes in the background like they’re both in the next Die Hard movie.

No, she damn near killed herself in the process because she was stupid.  And while there are a lot of things Annie might beat her ass over, Emma getting hoisted by her own petard isn’t one of them, even if she did put Kerry in the hospital at the same time.  All you Elsas can take her advice and let it go, ’cause Annie knows when to go dark witch on someone, and this isn’t the time.

That out of the way, Annie’s thinking about something else entirely . . .

 

She didn’t want to dwell on Emma waking up in the middle of the night—there was another night event she wanted to discuss and learn more. “You were dreaming last night.”

“Yeah, I was.”

She was surprised to see him nod. “You remember?”

“I remember I was dreaming . . .” For a moment his face took on a dreamy, far-away expression. “That’s about all, though.”

If he remembers dreaming, maybe he knows more and I can learn something— “Do you remember any of the dream?”

“I was speaking with someone—”

“I could tell: it sounded like you were speaking with another person.”

“Wait—” He appeared surprised. “You could hear me?”

“It was like we were back on the flight from Berlin and coming out of adjustment.” She offered him another bite of princesse so he couldn’t remark right away. “Though this time you didn’t mention my name.”

What?” Kerry tried to sit up, but the immobilization enchantment held him in place. “I talked about you the last time?”

“You didn’t mention my name, but it was obvious you were talking to someone about me.” She moved the tray to one side and slid up onto the bed, careful not to bump into Kerry’s arm. She offered him a sip of tomato juice. “Were you speaking with that girl again? The one you mentioned the last time?”

He took three sips and waited about five seconds after swallowing before nodding slowly. “Yes, I was.”

 

Oh, that girl again?  The term “that girl” gets tossed around a lot here, and it’s a phrase I like to use when someone–usually Annie–is talking about someone who isn’t worthy of being mentioned by name.  At least Annie remembered what was said in Kerry’s dream–

Done with a little help from split-screen writing, mind you.

Done with a little help from split-screen writing, mind you.

But there’s another reason why this dream maven is called “that girl”, and it’s really quite simple:

 

The right corner of Annie’s mouth curled upward. “Who is she?”

“She’s . . .” He closed his eyes and opened them in a slow motion blink. “I don’t know.”

“Really?” Annie keep her face impassive while holding the fork with a speared strawberry only centimeters from his lips. “She’s a complete stranger? You haven’t met her before? She hasn’t told you her name?”

He took the strawberry and chewed it slowly, taking his time to answer. “No.”

“I see.” Annie smiled to show she wasn’t up. “Another dream mystery.”

“I don’t mean it to be that way.” He lay back, resting his head against the pillow. “It’s like I can see myself speaking with her, but everything is so . . .” He nodded his head from side-to-side. “Fuzzy.”

Should I tell him what I heard? Annie was unsure if mentioning what she’d heard would trigger his memory, but she quickly put that thought aside. This isn’t like the mental block he had with our dreams; déjà vu isn’t involved here. “It sounded as if she were bothering you.”

Kerry did his best to shrug. “She probably was.”

Annie’s expression changed quickly. “Why do you say that?”

“Because she’s just . . . annoying.” He ate another pineapple chunk offered and followed it with a sip of tomato juice. “It’s like she wants to bother me just to bother me. And I don’t know why.”

 

There’s a moment here where Annie is really pressing for information, and Kerry isn’t forthcoming.  It does seem as if Annie’s more concerned with a dream girl than the real one a few ward bays over, but that’s the way Annie becomes at times.  She’s curious about why he’s talking in his sleep, and she wants to know more–

And . . . maybe she’ll find out.  After I’m through with pampering.

Conversations in the Bay Redux

Writing happened again, but so did research, which is just a valuable a component to writing as, well, writing.  Now, I research a lot of different things, but as any of you know who follow this blog–and this ongoing novel–one of the things I love to look up is weather.  Because while this is a magical world in which my kids live, it’s also part of the real world, and sometime I’m a bit of a butt about keeping some events real.

So for the first chapter of Part Five I spent a good chunk of the evening–well, maybe forty minutes–looking up weather conditions for certain parts of Eastern Seaboard while keeping The Beach Boys’ Kokomo on repeat because that’s how I roll.  And what did I discover?

Someone's gonna be cold when they're camping out.

Someone’s gonna be cold when they’re camping out.

That’s the camp site that’ll be used in my Salem Overnight chapter.  And not only will it be cold, but it’s gonna be dark:  sunset at 3:51 PM but the chapter takes place at 8:00 PM.  Yozza.  Actually, most of the flight will take place at night, which is why there are experienced fliers leading the pack.  Hey, no one said you get to set up your tent in bright daylight, and do you know how fast it gets dark in Northern Canada?

But what about the writing, Cassidy?  Well, I did that as well.  I finished the scene and then did my research.  Really simple, yeah?  And here is the simple:  what happened in Bay #1 after my little cliffhanger yesterday.

 

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

Annie watched carefully from her bed, the covers pulled nearly to her neck. Kerry said nothing for almost a minute, and she thought that perhaps he had only spoken in his sleep. As she started to close her eyes he spoke again in the same, sleepy voice. “No, I don’t want to . . . Just go away; stop following me.” He slowly sighed as the air leaked from his lung, then shook his head quickly. “I don’t know you. Why do you keep asking?”

She pulled back the covers and sat up slowly. He’s not talking in his sleep—he’s dreaming. She swung her legs over the edge and eased her feet into her slipper. It’s the same thing that happened on the flight from Berlin . . .

Annie was standing next to his bed in three short steps. Like last year there was just enough light that she could make out his facial features, and she saw his cheeks and the corner of his mouth twitching while his eyes moved beneath his eyelids. What is he seeing? She touched his hand, wondering if he’d feel her hand against his. Who is he seeing?

Kerry’s breath hitched again: once, twice, then on the time he moaned—not softly, but in a normal voice. “No, I don’t want . . . I don’t want to see that. No—” He turned his head to the right, slightly wincing. “I know what that means—I know, I know . . .” His breath turned to a slight wheeze as he returned to mumbling. “Go away, please. Just go away—” Annie flinched as he screamed. “Go away.”

She couldn’t take any more. Annie squeezed his hand as she leaned close enough that she expected he could hear her whisper. “Kerry. Kerry, darling.” She lightly shook his shoulder. “Wake up. Wake up.”

Kerry’s eyes were open instantly. His vision shifted left and right before he settled on Annie. “Sweetie—” His voice was soft and still possessed a dreamy quality. “What time is class?”

She nearly snorted. I’m not certain he is fully awake— “You were dreaming, my love.”

“I was dreaming.”

“Yes, you were. You were speaking to someone.” She touched his cheek. “Are you all right?”

Kerry seemed to see through Annie. “Should I get up? I have practice in the morning.”

Annie couldn’t help but chuckle softly. “You’re grounded for the week, love.” She touched him on the tip of his nose. “Flying is what got you here.”

He stared vacantly for a few seconds then yawned slowly. “We can go flying this weekend.” His eyes fluttered as his speech grew more slurred. “I was dreaming . . .” Kerry’s eyes closed and a matter of seconds later his slow, measured breath indicated he’d fallen back into deep sleep.

Annie watched him sleep for almost a minutes before she was convinced he wasn’t waking up any time soon. She didn’t know what to make of what she’d just seen: the last time Kerry was disturbed by a dream in this bay, he’d awakened in a state of extreme distress and she’d soothed him back to normalcy.

But that was a far different situation. She gazed down upon his soft, relaxed features. Then he’d faced death for the first time, and the pain and medication began breaking down a barrier of his own makings that affected his subconscious memories and emotions

She kissed the fingers of her right hand and touched them to Kerry’s lips. “Spete dobre, moeto momche dzhindzhifil kosa.” She quickly leaned down and kissed them. “Obicham te mila moya.”

Annie returned to her own bed and was soon under the covers, snug and warm. As her consciousness began to ebb, she focused on her soul mate beside her. I wonder if he’s going to remember his dream this time . . .

Doesn’t get much more simple than that.  Kerry dreams, Annie wakes him up, he is out of it, and they both go back to sleep.  Not a very long scene, but it’s about the same length as the prior scene.  So I have a feeling that this chapter won’t end up being too wordy.

However, I did a little more research, and discovered that last night Act Two passed the novel tipping point:  just over forty thousand words were reached.  Need proof?

Not really, but I'm going to show you anyway.

Not really, but I’m going to show you anyway.

I’m just half way through the penultimate scene, and there’s maybe–hum?  Another ten thousand words to write?  Needless to say, Act Two is gonna be big.  And as I did further checking, Act One clocked in at eighty-one thousand, four hundred words, so this part is half as long as the first act.  And there are, let me see . . . yeah, three parts to go.  Big Act.

Don’t worry:  I think I can top it.

Salem Bay One Dreamin’

Well, now, it seems I’ve moved on from the last scene and into the next.  This chapter is moving by now, with almost eight hundred words down in the story bank, and only two scenes left before I move on to the final scene of Chapter Thirteen.

I should mention that I didn’t just write last night–I looked up something.  Something I can see using the Google Earth function.  Wanna see?   Sure you do–

What is all this stuff I'm looking at, Cassie?

What is all this stuff I’m looking at, Cassie?

About the middle of the picture, where the peak on the right and the one in the center meet with the slope on the left–that’s where Annie lives.  We can’t see her home and the lake and her lake house, because we are but mere Normal people, but it’s all there, trust me.  I see it, and now when Annie says she’s a mountain girl, you know what she means.

Right now she isn’t in the mountains.  No, she’s hanging out about thirty meters above sea level, and, conversely, she’s waking up in the middle of the night.  Yes, she spent the night in the hospital; yes, she’s in Bay #1; yes, she’s sleeping in the bed next to Kerry’s, because he’s far too busted up for her to share his bed.  And it gets her to thinking . . .

 

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

A smile grew as Annie thought back to earlier in the evening. Holoč and Vicky returned not long after Kerry woke to see how he felt and to congratulate him on his win. Erywin and Helena arrived just before the Madness began to do the same, and Wednesday, Isis, and Jessica popped in while the Madness was underway to offer well wishes.

Penny and Jairo arrived with Alex and Kahoku, and they sat with them for about an hour, with the girls sitting on the empty bed and the boys taking over the chairs. While they were having their Mini Madness Nadine and Malaya from the Mórrígan team arrived to check on Emma, and on their way back to the Dining Hall stopped and offered their congratulations to Penny, Alex, and Kerry for sweeping the podium. Neither girl bore the Cernunnos team any ill will: as Nadine said it was a well-fought match, and were it not for an unavoidable incident at the end, the result wouldn’t have been that much different.

This activity went on until about twenty-three hours, when Coraline stopped by to give Emma a final examination, then checked in on Kerry before getting him comfortable for the evening and adjusting his pain management before wishing them both a good night and leaving them in the darkened first floor ward.

 

It was a good time, even if Kerry was all busted up.  A huge difference from the year before when it was just Annie and no one else to mourn over his broken body.  Which leaves us late at night, with Annie laying under her covers and watching her Ginger Hair Boy.

Annie's not looking out scared; but try finding a picture of a girl lying in bed that isn't a bit . . . porny.

Annie’s not looking out from them scared, but try finding a picture on the Internet of a girl laying in bed that isn’t a bit . . . porny.

It’s all so peaceful, which means . . . something’s going to happen, right?

Right.

 

Kerry’s breath hitched as his head moved slightly as if he were looking for something.

Is he dreaming again? She nearly shook her head as she considered the irony. The incident the year before that had her rushing to Kerry’s aid was a nightmare brought on by his earlier escape from an Abomination. That moment, however, was the precursor to Kerry not only remembering Annie as “The Chestnut Girl” from their shared dreams, but it let them to relive part of one of their more memorable and tender dreams, and it allowed Kerry to finally open up and express his feeling for Annie.

He fell in love with me a second time— She shifted slightly as she watched him. I was upset later that he hadn’t remembered me from our dreams, but Deanna was right: how often does a girl have the same person fall in love with her twice?

She was about to roll over on to her back and go back to sleep when Kerry mumbled in a low, slurred voice. “Why do you keep bothering me? Why don’t you go away?”

 

Hey, don’t bother Kerry, you . . . dream, you.  And that last part there, that’s where I ended, because it was getting on towards ten-thirty and I didn’t want to keep writing into the night.  Plus, it’s recommended that you always ended a scene on a cliffhanger, because it lets the writer jump back into what’s happening that much quicker.

Which means I’ll get back into this pretty quick tonight, right?