In Through the Out Time

Today is post number one thousand, four hundred, and in another hundred I’ll be up to fifteen hundred.  For this event today, I’ve decided to answer another reader’s question, and this is from Joanne Brunetti, another of my buddies in Hodgepodge Crochet on Facebook.  But this isn’t a writing question:  it’s a personal one–some might say an extremely personal one.  And the question is . . .

 

Was there a specific event that led to you making the decision to go ahead and live your true life?

 

That’s certainly an interesting question.  And I answered it, but not in writing.  I decided that it was just too much to write down, so I recorded a video to talk about the moment when–

Well, you’ll have to watch yourself.  It’ll take about twenty minutes, and I promise it won’t bore you.  So enjoy.

The Path to Knowing is In the Missing

Here is an interesting quandary:  I was supposed to work on Kolor Ijo last night, because when you’re in the editing, you should edit, right?  And editing doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, because the novel is only (I would put that in quotes but then it feels like I’m showing off if I do) twenty-four chapters long, with a prologue and a code that stretches it out to twenty-six chapters, the whole novel is sixty-eight thousand, eight hundred words total.  And nearly all of the chapters are short:  in Part One the longest chapter is just under three thousand words, and that was a standard with my last novel.

See?  Just little bitty chapters.  The good ol' days when you could rip off something like this in a month.

See? Just little bitty chapters. The good ol’ days when you could rip off something like this in a month.

The nice thing that comes from editing a work like this is that you can take your time reading the tome and see what needs to be changed, and what has to be changed.  I found a lot of interesting but messed-up sections in the chapters I’ve read, and without a careful re-reading, that crap would have slipped through.  That’s one of the hazards of NaNoWriMo:  you’re writing so quickly at times that words just flying into the page, and there are sentences where those words make no damn sense.  I found about a dozen of them so far, and it’s a scary thing, let me tell you.

But at the same time I’m editing this–and I should mention I’m taking my time editing, because I’m reading this once for the first time in over two years, and it’s taking me time to get to know the characters once again–I’m thinking about another couple–and you know who they are.  Over the weekend I began thinking about something that happens to the kids–here it comes–after they leave Salem, because they do have a life outside the reinforced walls of that environment, and the things that happened to them when the Real Annie and I started thinking about their lives at school have changed slightly.  Meaning their future has changed slightly as well.  This is a perfect example of Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff going on, and one must adjust.

There are things that happen to them both that need to be adjusted, because what happened before was, frankly, a little strange.  Also, life is a little different in The World of the Foundation, and it’s pretty obvious that Annie has her sights set on doing something that she wants to make her own, and it seems likely that Kerry may follow in her footsteps.  They’re gonna be busy kids from their F Levels on for a couple of years, and later on into their lives.

In fact, one of the things I was time lining out was . . . hum, should I do this? Naw, better to keep you guessing and wondering.

I don’t need to wonder:  I know what’s coming.  In both the future and the past.

I just gotta get their on my own power.

 

The Characters That Are In My Life

Last night was just a bit boring.  I worked on a project at Panera, but I didn’t get real far with it before my head wasn’t in the right spot.  It was slow going.  Perhaps tonight will be better, with the right mind set and a nice dinner and some coffee here, because I have stuff to do.  You know . . . things.

I did make another map, though.  What does it look like?

Looks kinda . . . mappy.

Looks kinda . . . mappy.

It’s amazing where my imagination takes me when I let it.  And there is a scene associated with this map that, when I get around to writing it, will melt your hearts.  Well, at least mine.  It melted mine last night.  And it’s another of those that needs a drawing, but . . . it sorta has one already

But today I thought I’d answer a reader’s question.  So, for the first question to answer, I turn to a read who has enlightens and frustrated me to no ends at times, just because.  I’m smiling when I say that, because there have been some great conversations around my characters.  So take it away for the first question!

 

Renxkyoko Iglesias
I’d like to know who the characters are that you most relate to. You can also talk about the characters that you like most, besides Annie and Kerry.

 

First off, this is a bit of a trick question, because when it comes to relating to characters, Kerry is number one with a bullet.  As I’ve mentioned before, Kerry came about original from a role playing game, and if you know anything about role playing, you’ll know it’s not all that difficult to throw a bit of yourself into the mix when you’re throwing numbers down on the page.  More than a few of the things that have happened to his so far in the story happened to me, and I’ve drawn on that hurt a lot when I needed him to hurt.

I would not be lying if I said I’ve Mary Sued him just a bit, and I’m okay with that.  I’m okay with it, and at the same time I’m a bit hurt by it as well, because when you’re writing about characters who are somewhat stylized versions of yourself, you try not to make them too good, or give them too many nice things.  Kerry has a lot of flaws, not the least of which are his fears of being abandoned and of going through life not having anyone.  Now, the “not having anyone” fear isn’t as much any more, not since he returned completely to his Annie, but the fact that he freak out in the first place thinking she was leaving him is pretty much the proof in the one hundred and twelve ounce can of pudding that he isn’t completely free of his doubts, and that will come back to haunt him from time-to-time.

Kerry has something at his age that I didn’t have, and that’s love.  He feels it from Annie, and he loves her back tremendously.  That’s the thing when you write about characters who possess extensions of your own essence:  you can give them thing you desire, and he has that with Annie.  Kerry would move a mountain for that girl, and . . . well, you’ll see.  One day.  If I ever get around to writing that particular novel.

Now, what about characters I like the most.  That’s easy.  They are, with their birthday’s included:

Erywin Sladen (10/23/1967), Helena Lovecraft (03/29/1968), Deanna Arrakis (06/26/1985), and Wednesday Douglas (06/11/1986).

Of all of these characters, Helena was created first, and she’s went through the most changes.  I’ve admitted that she was based upon Lucy Lawless, in particular the character she played in Battlestar Galatica.  But as I started putting this world together I didn’t like that she was just another Basic White Girl, and I started thinking:  what if her mother’s line were still witches, but they were native to New Zealand?  What if they were Māori?  What if Helena’s grandmother was the first Māori to go to Salem, and ended up becoming Head Sorceress for a while?  What if Helena’s father–also a witch–married her mother against the wishes of his family?  What if . . ?

And that’s how Helena changed into the dark haired, black eyed, tattoo markings, take no nonsense woman she is today.  And, I believe, a far more interesting one that I first developed.  Others went through similar changes, but Helena pretty much changed the most.

Deanna is an Iraqi woman.  She was born there but her parents left in 1989 and moved to France.  Mother is a doctor, father is a manager of procurement for a shipping company.  Her family is Muslim, but pretty moderate in their practice.  Deanna used to wear a hijab when she first attended Salem–it was her own choice, not that of her parents–but after the Scouring she began to wear it less often, and by the time she was an E Level she’d stopped the practice, though she still tends to favor long skirts and slacks and jeans, sweaters in the winter and lovely, colorful tunics in the fall, spring, and summer.

We know Wednesday also played a part in the Scouring, and Isis and she pretty much did something that saved the school.  We also know that Wednesday’s father was a former Russian spy, was relocated to Arizona, and eventually wound up in Austria working for a pharmaceutical company.  Wednesday got her name because that’s the day on which she was born–look up the date if you don’t believe me.  Of all the instructors Wednesday is the most easy going, and the one who seems to relate to her students on a person level–though we know she’s not the only one.

Last but not least there’s Erywin, who is probably my favorite character of the whole bunch.  She’s a witch, a Wiccan, and a lesbian, and I’d always developed her that way.  I’ve also developed her with a relationship with Helena in mind, too, and she’s always been forward and outspoken–mostly because as a kid she put up with a huge amount of crap.  She relates to Kerry the most–as Helena relates to Annie–because she sees a lot of herself in the lad, with a few interesting parallels in their lives, too.

It’s interesting to see them lined up in my head.  Erywin has always been style conscious, and it shows in the way she dresses.  Helena is pretty casual and not a bit scary with her black slacks and thick heels booties, her dark pullover and her long, leather jacket.  Deanna is colorful and modest, and the most demure of the women, and Wednesday is just like the students she teaches:  open, friendly, and not a bit wild.  I can see them in my mind’s eye, looking a little like Disney characters . . .

An interesting thing about them, though.  Erywin and Helena are lesbians, and Wednesday–even though she’s in a relationship with Isis–considers herself bisexual.  Deanna is straight, and someone has her in his sights–she knows that Trevor Parkman finds her “interesting”.  Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

And they are only a year apart from the person next to them.  Erywin is a year older than Helena, and Deanna is a year older than Wednesday.  Also, Erywin is a coven leader, as is Deanna–must be the age thing.  Because witches age slower, Erywin and Helena can pass for their early to mid-thirties, Deanna looks college age, and Wednesday could, with the right outfits, pass for a teenager.

There you go.  I hope that answered most everything.

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.