Dreams Of Walking Past

Did I write yesterday?  Yes.  Did I write in the novel?  Urmmmm…  Ya got me.  But remember that whole “Ahead of the curve” thing?  Yes, got that rocking out so nicely.

Now, the question about Kerry dreamwalking has come up and it’s pretty much a give that he likely is doing just that.  But we need conformation, so…

 

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

 

He couldn’t hold back his excited chuckle any longer. “Yep.”

Annie was almost ready to bolt from her dream bed. “How?”

Kerry pushed himself against the headboard and planted himself next to Annie on the bed. “A couple of weeks before we left school I emailed Deanna and asked her for a good book I could use to learn dreamwalking. She gave me the name of the book and told me Mr. Parkman could order it for me; I told her I’d rather get it myself and asked if Bount Books carried it and Mr. Parkman told me they did. So I let them know I’d get it when I got home.”

“Did you order it?”

“Nope: went myself and got it.”

Annie sat back on her heels as she spun around to face him. “You flew, didn’t you?”

“Sure.” He seemed both pleased and embarrassed. “I mean, I brought my broom home, so why not? I left the Monday after I got home: there was no one home, so why not? It was only a couple of hundred kilometers, so I was able to get there after about forty-five minutes.”

Annie found herself both surprised and pleased that he’d taken this step to do things as were needed. “Where did you land?”

“Ashland Place, near Paddington Street Gardens. Remember: we passed all that on the way back to the hotel after—” He looked towards his bare feet as his voice grew softer. “After we meet in the book store.”

“I remember that well.” What Annie remembered was Alicia complaining nearly all the way back to the Park Plaza and Collin asking three or four times if they were in the right part of the city. But what she remembered the most was the feeling of loss and despair that the shy, ginger boy walking alongside didn’t remember her, while at the same time noticing that he only paid attention to and spoke with her and tended to ignore the others who were no longer with hem. And all the way back he stayed to my right, even insisting we walk so he was between the traffic and me. Even with his memory blocked he must have known something. “So you bought the book that day?”

“I did, then went home and started reading. And practicing. And here it is—” He shrugged. “—either the night of 7 July or the morning of the 8th. Only took me about six weeks to finally do this.”

Annie clapped. “That’s fast.”

“Keep in mind that after your first time you spent the next couple of months telling me all about how you did it.” He tapped the side of his forehead. “I was listening.”

“That’s because you’re a good student.”

“That’s because I have a good teacher.”

She threw her arms around her soul mate and hugged him tight. “This means we can be together so much more now. With both of us able to dreamwalk, it increases the odds we’ll see each other at night.”

 

So now Kerry can dreams walk and these two can spend all the time together when they are apart.  And when they’re together.  And when they’re sleeping right next to each other.  This could be good–or bad…

Where In My Dream

No, Annie isn’t that possessive.  Yet.

This was one part of the story that I needed to do a little research on as it dealt with something I wrote about three years ago–and that is the book store where Annie and Kerry first met in physical space.  There were a few things I needed to know.  Like first, the area around the book store.  I needed to see just how long it would really take Kerry to get there:

Answer:  not long.

Answer: not long.

Like he said it’s a couple of hundred kilometers, so he could be in London in about forty minutes if he went along at about three hundred kph.  It’s also a no-brainer for flying:  nearly straight due east.

Now the store itself.  In the novels it’s called Bounts Books, but in reality I based it off of an existing establishment in London, Daunt Books:

As you can see right here from the street.

As you can see right here from the street.

It’s famous as a place with a lot of books on travel, but it’s the interior that really drew me to the place.  The story on Marylebone High Street–where the kids order their books for their A Levels–was an original Edwardian bookstore before it became Daunt, and that means it has a gallery with a long skylight bringing in natural light that brightens the ground and first floor.

Tell me this doesn't look like a place where witches shop.

Tell me this doesn’t look like a place where witches shop.

If you want to see what the area below the ground floor looks like here is a Google 360 view of the downstairs.  It’s beautiful, but it’s that staircase that drew me in ’cause in their first meeting Annie is sitting in a large chair hidden by the shadows of a staircase.  And right there you have that staircase–  With a little adjustment in the building that could easily be the spot.

Could this be the setting for a meeting of two witches in love?

Could this be the setting for a meeting of two witches in love?

Though I did state that they met on the ground floor and there was natural light and all that, but hey:  it’s my story and I’ll move stairs around as I like.

As for the mention of the aftermath of that first meeting, I did a little checking to see where the bookstore was in relation to where they were staying at the time, which was, of course, the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street.  And just as Kerry pointed out the next day everything they did with their running around was something of a test, because the book store was real close to the hotel and Berniece Rutherford could have easily taken an hour to walk the kids over, get their books, and walk them back. But no:  better to have them do it themselves.  After all, it’d give at least a couple of witches the chance to get used to walking together.

Maybe it's only six minutes, but that's a start.

Maybe it’s only six minutes, but that’s a start.

Right there you see the first route Annie and Kerry took together in real life.  How’s that saying go?  “A trip of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”  In this case, a walk through life together starts with a six-minute stroll through London.

And they’re still strolling.

The Undisclosed Fears

The last sixteen hours have been interesting to say the least.  It’s not that there’s been a ton of shit happening to me:  on the contrary.  After the bad day I had Thursday I spent Friday in much better spirits.  For one I had this song, Foreigner’s That Was Yesterday on heavy rotation at work, listening to it for about three hours non-stop.  And since this was the European extended remix, you know it’s good:

Once I was home I decided it was time for a little movie time, so I got comfortable and watched Ex Machina and Advantageous, both unusual science fiction movies, both designed to get you thinking.  It was a nice way to decompress and gets thoughtful at the same time.

And as you can see, I'm comfy as all hell.

And as you can see, I’m comfy as all hell.

I wrote until about midnight, getting another four hundred and fifty words into the story before crashing out.  I woke up right around six and thought, “You know, I haven’t done an morning writing session at Panera in a while,” and got ready, got dressed, threw on as little makeup as possible, and head out the door.

Writing with a little coffee:  it's what I do.

Writing with a little coffee: it’s what I do.

And it was a good session because I wrote nine hundred and fifty words and finished the first scene of Chapter Two.

Proof, yo!

Proof, yo!

You probably won’t get the rest of this scene until Monday, but know that it’s in the word bank and that the novel is now hovering around eighteen thousand five hundred words.  Not quite back on track, but I’m getting there.

We are now pretty certain that Kerry’s mom has figured out her son’s relationship with The Girl Who Writes, and likely suspects she’s also The Girl Who Kisses.  Oh, if she only knew about all the PDAs she’d probably have a heart attack and likely blame that Bulgarian Hussy for corrupting her boy.  Yeah, sure.

What does happen, then?  This:

 

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

 

Berniece figured it was only a matter of time before Kerry began revealing more of his relationship with Annie to his family, but at the same time she noticed that he didn’t say what she meant to him. “Did you tell your mother she was your girlfriend?”

“I told her that Annie means a lot to me.” He turned away from the gorge so he was facing Berniece once more. “I wanted to see if she was going to ask if Annie was, and when she didn’t I let it drop.”

“Not a bad idea.”

“I figured she’s guessed.” He told Berniece of him watching his mother preparing to walk off with one of Annie’s letters and his suspicion that she was going to throw it away. “She wouldn’t have acted the way she did if she didn’t suspect, and after my trip to London I think she has to know.”

“Hum.” She cocked her head to one side for a moment as she regarded her charge. “So what did you want to talk about? I mean, you texted and asked me to meet you here: I figured you had something you wanted to discuss.”

 

I won’t keep you in suspense:  in one of the upcoming scenes Louise will ask Kerry about his relationship with Annie, and then his mother will have to deal with that whole “My son is dating and that girl simply isn’t good enough for him” stuff some parents go through.  Gee, I hope this doesn’t mean Louise is gonna cop an attitude when she meets her future daughter-in-law for the first time, ’cause that’s a battle she’ll never win…

Since Kerry called this party together there must be a reason.  And there is–only…

 

Kerry removed his glasses and scratched just above his right eyelid. “I just—I don’t know. I wanted to talk to you.” He slipped his glasses back. “Just to let you know I’m having a few problems but, you know, I’m managing.”

“I see.” Berniece turned towards the gorge as Kerry had done moments before. “You came here prepared to leave home, didn’t you?”

He didn’t answer the question: instead he replied with one of his own. “Why do you say that?”

“Because of the way your backpack it setting.” She half turned in his direction. “I’ve seen you at airports and jaunt stations enough to know it only sets like that when you have something of weight in there, and I’m guessing you have your computer with you.” Berniece slid her hand into her pockets. “You wouldn’t have your computer with you unless you were thinking of leaving home, would you?”

Kerry looked down at the ground. “No.”

“I know from your reports you can craft simply compression spells, so I’ll also bet you have a change or two of clothing in there as well.” She took as step towards him, her voice softening a little. “Am I right?”

Ohhhh.” He shaded his eyes with his left hand.

“But you don’t want to do that now, do you?”

Kerry barely shook his head. “No. Not now.”

“What made you change your mind?” Berniece didn’t have to ask that question because she knew he answer. He was here ten minutes before me and had a twenty minute flight: plenty of time to over think the problem and change his mind.

Kerry spent a second looking off to his right before turning his head to gaze out over the River Avon gorge. “It’s only been a month; I need more time.”

“Time for what?”

Kerry’s face twisted up into a expression of pain and unhappiness. “To prove I ain’t—” He threw his arms down out of frustration as he forced out the words. “I ain’t goddamn Voldemort. That there’s nothing wrong with me.”

 

When all else fails always compare yourself to The Dark Lord because how many other evil witches will your Normal parents know?  Saruman?  Too geeky for his folks.  Kerry is assuming the worst here, that his parents are afraid of him and he desperately wants to alleviate their fears.  It’s a noble idea, and Berniece will spend the rest of the scene discussing this matter.

What’s important is that Kerry showed up ready to leave.  Without saying so he confirmed that he has his computer and some clothes with him and he was going to tell Berniece he was ready to relocate.  And as Berniece told Annie, if he goes with his gut right away he’ll act on that impulse, but give him any time to think about the problem and the likelihood he’ll to it rapidly drops towards zero.  Kerry could have just as easily called his case worker and told her to come and get him, or better yet just hit the panic button, but he was also wracked with doubt about the decision.  He was ready to go, only he wasn’t completely sold on the idea, so he gave himself an out by asking to meet at a remote location.  It’s totally logical, and totally Kerry.

Don’t be too hard on the boy.  He’s faced monsters and bad guys, killed zombies, flown two miles into the sky, over the freezing ocean, and a mile in the air in a fifty below wind chill, and not only raced and won but crashed and burned and lived to race another day.  Even with all that he’s still a thirteen year old boy who can be an emotional mess at times, and that means under the right circumstances he’s gonna think and act like any other teenage boy.

Don’t be too hard on the kid.  When he squared off against the Abomination and the Deconstructors he didn’t really know them–but he knows his mother.

And she’s a lot scarier at times.

The Bad Back Home

Okay, so last night wasn’t the greatest in the the world for me  Lots of depression, lots of crying, lots of struggling.  The last month has been a lot like that and after a while it weighs pretty heavy upon you.  I managed to get through a night of writing–almost five hundred words again–but I can’t really deal with too many days like yesterday.  Let’s hope it’s better today–

Unlike Kerry’s day, which seems to be getting darker and crappier by the moment.  But then that’s why he’s here, right?  So how did your lunch date with Annie of Pamporovo go, young man?

 

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

 

“Well, we hung out in London from about eleven until right about seventeen-thirty, when Annie had to go home. We bounced down to her place, I said goodbye, and then Erywin took me home.” He gave an exasperated sigh. “Mom was waiting for me when I got home.”

Berniece almost drew them to a stop. “Wait: I thought your parents worked on Wednesdays?”

“They do. Only last Wednesday Mom came home ‘cause she said she wasn’t feeling good.” Kerry snorted. “What a load of crap.”

She didn’t need to hear the frustration and disappointment in his voice to know thing didn’t go well. “Why was she there? Was she really ill?”

“She didn’t seem that way. I think—” He glanced towards the gorge as they walked. “Erywin called the day before to finalized everything. I think Mom may have heard me saying I’d see her tomorrow and took it upon herself it see if I was really out of the house.” He finally looked back at Berniece. “Since she’d told them at work she was sick she could then spend the whole afternoon waiting for me.”

 

First, let’s look at the positive.  Not only did Annie and Kerry have a good lunch, but in the end he jaunted home and saw her to her front door, maybe even went inside and said hello to Mama Kirilova and perhaps even Papa and said hello while they set up the time for the July lunch date.  I’m sure Annie’s dad, if he was there, is thinking it’s nice Annie’s getting out with Kerry, though you still have to wonder if he understands the seriousness of their relationship.

And then Kerry heads home and there’s bullshit waiting for me.  Lots of bullshit…

 

“What happened?”

“Oh, she wanted to know where I’d been and what I was doing, so I told her.” He tisked once before continuing. “I told her I’d been to London and I’d had lunch with Annie before spending the afternoon with her. I was we hung out and chatted and had a good time, and when we were finished Erywin came back for us and took us home.”

There were many things Berniece suspected may have happened, but she figured upon the worst occurring. “How did your mother react?”

Kerry shook his head dismissively. “She got pissed. She told me I had no business leaving the house without telling Dad or her, and I certainly shouldn’t be running off to hang with my ‘witch friends’ and that I shouldn’t be in a city like London with adults around.” His laugh was sarcastic and a bit dark. “That’s exactly how she put it: ‘Witch friends.’ I mean—” Another sigh escaped as he rolled his eyes. “I told her she had to be kidding.”

“You did?”

“Yeah. I told her I’d been going in and out of the house during the summer since I was old enough to carry a key—which I reminded her was about the time I turned six. I told her I’d been to London the summer before with Annie and when we’d met for school the last two years we’d spent time wandering alone through London, Amsterdam, and Berlin. I told her my older ‘witch friends’ knew we wouldn’t get into trouble, but if we did we knew how to get out of trouble.”

Uh, oh. Berniece didn’t like how Kerry phrased that last line and figured that might have caused his mother to question what he’d said. “How did she respond to that?”

He shrugged. “She acted like she wanted to ask me about how I would get out of trouble, but didn’t. She just looked at me for about ten seconds before asking why I kept saying ‘we’. I told the truth: that Annie and I hang out all the time—at and away from school—and that before we go back to school in the fall we’ll hang out and sightsee while we’re in Paris.” He came to a stop and folded his arms across his chest, setting his hands under his armpits, before turning towards the gorge. “Yeah.”

 

Now Kerry has “witch friends” and he’s hanging with them and having a good time, and Mother Malibey isn’t happy.  Though it seems as if the black cat is out of the bag and there’s a witch friend, one in particular, that Kerry not only hangs with, but hangs with a lot, and one might say they’re having adventures together–and Kerry’s mom is suddenly realizing what those adventures might entail–

''How do I tell Mom that sharing a hotel room in different cites and killed bad guys ever so often is normal witch friends stuff?"

”How do I tell Mom that sharing a hotel room in different cities and killing bad guys every so often is normal witch friends stuff?”

I don’t think she’s gonna buy any of that, Kerry.  Particularly if she finds out about the locket you gave Annie.  And the charm bracelet.  And the rare book.  And the expensive leather flying jacket…

Like it or not, while the word hasn’t yet been said–at least not in this excerpt–Louise likely had the term “girlfriend” floating about in her brain there for a second, and that means there’s another girl in your son’s life.  A girl who is going to replace you in his life–

Who am I kidding?  You can only replace someone if they were there in the first place.

Making Your Life a Line

Last night was my first night on the phone banks and it wasn’t bad.  I had something like 120 numbers to call in two and a half hours, and most of them were either no answer or straight to voice mail, which is the new “I don’t want to pick up” of the Twenty-first Century.    I didn’t get any video of me talking, but I did get this:

No one yelled at me, no one cursed, but one guy on the banks kept getting people who say they were voting for Trump and he was having fun with them.  But a fun time was had by all and I’ll be back to do it again next Wednesday.

For now, it’s time to get back to Bristol, England, about three years ago–

Kerry and Berniece Rutherford are together and it’s time they get back to talking.  It’s chilly and damp where they are, but that’s not going to stop them from having a conversation.  Though his case worker notices it’s a bit one sided–

 

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

 

While this short conversation occurred Berniece watched Kerry’s movements and body language, listened to his words and the tone of his voice. Though not quite the expert in interpretation as some in her office, it wasn’t necessary. All his answers are short and to the point, all his comments clipped. He hasn’t relaxed once since I arrived and he’s tense as hell. He is nothing like the boy I dropped off a month ago.

She knew the exact question to ask to put her in a position to assess the reason for being here. “How you doing, Kerry?”

He gave a one-shoulder shrug and answered without looking at her. “I’m okay.”

Berniece didn’t look at him as she replied. “Are you really okay, or are you just saying that to shut me up?”

Kerry half turned to his right with a slightly embarrassed look. “I do say that a lot, don’t I?”

“You have an annoying tendency to use that as your go-to answer for everything.” Berniece turned so she was facing the boy. “It makes it difficult for me to know if you’re having real issues because you’re replying to my inquiries with bullshit responses.”

 

Finally!  Someone calls out Kerry on his bullshit.  Kerry does like to hide things from others and that doesn’t make him bad, it just means he’s a teenage boy still having trouble getting in touch with his feelings.  Given that Berniece has never shown any frustration when dealing with Kerry, this is a first for her.  Though she’s not the first to feel this way…

The look everyone makes when Kerry says "I'm okay".

The look everyone makes when Kerry says “I’m okay”.

It’s a good thing Kerry knows when he’s being called out and he’s willing not to get pissy and clam up–

 

He nodded a couple of times as a real look of regret appeared upon his face. “I’m sorry.”

“I know you are, Kerry. But you have to understand—” She moved closer and leaned in, lowering her voice into a comforting tone. “I can only help if you let me help. And I want to help. It’s not just my job, you know.” She lay her left hand upon his shoulder. “It hurts me to see you troubled.”

Kerry looked down and away for a few moments so he didn’t have to look directly at his case worker. Even when he spoke he had difficultly meeting her gaze. “You trying to tell me you’re my friend?”

“I’m someone who understands.” Berniece dropped her hand to her side. “That’s one of the reasons I’m a case worker.”

Kerry finally stopped glancing about and looked directly at the young woman. “Okay. I won’t do that again.”

“Good.” She gave him a half-grin. “So… how are you feeling?”

He sighed loudly. “It’s not good: I’m not good.”

“What’s the problem.”

“Oh, not much.” He stared out towards the gorge again. “It’s just that my life has pretty much become a Doctor Who tag line.”

Berniece decided to let him work his way towards the point he was trying to make, because she knew that was how Kerry often acted. “What do you mean?”

He glanced up towards the sky for a moment before looking directly at her. “Silence has fallen.”

She didn’t need elaboration. “Come on.” She waved her hand beckoning Kerry onward. “Let’s walk up the path a bit.” Kerry fell in alongside and they they followed the path towards the tree line to the north. “What are your parents doing?”

“That’s just it: they’re doing nothing.” He snorted. “They’ve been getting a lot colder towards me: at least it feels that way.”

Berniece kept her pace slow. “Tell me everything.”

Kerry rotated his shoulders, resetting his pack, then started talking. “Last Wednesday Annie and I met up for lunch. Erywin picked me up and jaunted us off to Russel Square to meet Annie, and she and I had lunch at our usual spot there.”

“Prêt à Manger.”

Kerry shot Berniece a quizzical look out of the corner of his eye. “Do you have that in a report?”

She smiled. “Yes. Please continue.”

 

Finally:  he’s admitting that things are home aren’t the best and it’s getting to him.  He’s also a bit surprised to hear Berniece tell him that she knows where Annie and he go for lunch during the summer because it’s a report, but Annie has probably figured this out already–since she knows about all the reporting–and it’s only a matter time before Kerry wonders what else is in those reports.

In the mean time you’re probably going to wonder what comes next.  And, in time, you’ll find out–

Beginnings at Bristol

Before we get into all the writing stuff there is all the personal political things I have to do, because this will be me for like the next eighty days.  I was at the opening of our DNC headquarters in Harrisburg last night, and it was hot and crowded and pretty exciting.  I was fashionably early, sort of:  this picture of the entrance was taken about thirty minutes after I arrived–

C For Continuing Dem Office 0816201601

And it was all hot and crowded and still in the process of being set up when started doing the speech thing:

C For Continuing Dem Office 0816201602

And as I tend to do I found someone to speak with most of the evening, and her name was Amber and she’ll usually do the voter registration while I’m here doing phones.

C For Continuing Dem Office 0816201603

Speaking of phones I do that tonight, and I hope I don’t freak out or go into a crying jag at some point and need a good hug.  We’ll see.

And since I’ll be there from six to eight tonight, I still have time to put in some writing, just as I did last night.  And that brings us to the start of Chapter Two.

Originally this was going to be a much different scene.  At first this was all about Ms. Rutherford going back down to see Annie and telling her the latest news about Kerry, after which there would be much commiserating.  Then I thought, “Why have this be about Annie hearing news?  Why not show what happened?”

And that’s why this scene is the way it is now, with the focus turned from Annie hearing to Kerry telling.  Not only that, but it allows me to open up and show a few different locations around the world, which is what this chapter actually does:  each scene actually takes place in a different location around the world, though one will throw you a little at first.

But that’s for later; why not get to the first scene now?

 

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

 

Berniece Rutherford popped into existence behind some bushes and spent the next ten seconds making certain no one was close by before dropping her invisibility spell and stepping on to the paved path. She spent a moment admiring the view before turning to her right and walking along the path.

Normally at this time the park around the Clifton Observatory would be crowded with people, but the overcast sky threatening rain and the chilly 14 C temperatures meant only those brave individuals who didn’t mind a brisk day would be here today. She wasn’t worried that the person she was meeting wouldn’t be here since her reports indicated he’d flown in weather far worst than this—

She’d walked almost forty meters when she spotted Kerry standing fifty, maybe sixty meters further up the path. Berniece noticed a moment of hesitation as he tried to decide if she was whom he was waiting for, and she waved to let him know she recognized him. Once she was closer she saw Kerry was in his flight jacket—with the call sign patch prominent—and wore his black jeans over his flight boots. It made complete sense given their location and how he arrived.

She called out to him when she was ten meters away. “I should have warned you that I was coming like this.”

Kerry waited until she was almost next to him before answering. “I should have figured you’d come looking like yourself and not the older version.”

“No need to do that anymore now that you know my real appearance.” She looked him over and realized he was wearing his backpack. “Have a nice flight?”

“Wasn’t bad.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets which led Berniece to believe he’d places his gloves, helmet, and goggles in Hammerspace with his broom. “There wasn’t much in the way of rain.”

“You been here long?”

“About ten minutes.”

“I see.” She turned to her left and looked out over the Riven Avon Gorge and towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge two hundred meters away. “You know this is the first time I’ve been here?”

“Same with me. I’ve always wanted to see the bridge: never thought to come out here, though.” He walked around behind Berniece and turned to face the gorge, keeping her on his right as he did almost ever woman he knew. “The few times I’ve flown into England I always cross the Severn right about where the second bridge is located. This was the first time I’ve flown directly over the Bristol Channel.”

“How long did it take you to get here?”

“Not long. It’s only forty klicks from my house to here, so even puttering along at one-twenty I was only in the air for twenty minutes.”

 

First lets talk the location.  We’re at the Clifton Observatory, which is a park in Clifton, England, next to Bristol.  The Observatory is really more of a location for artist to come and paint and sketch, and generally enjoy the grounds, while the building itself houses a camera obscura that offers views of the surrounding territory via a mirror on top of the structure.

The biggest sight to see in this area is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which was completed in 1864 and spans the River Avon gorge.  The bridge is used in a lot of promotional pictures, and it was from here that the first modern bungee jump took place in 1979, preformed by David Kirke and Simon Keeling of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club.  When you’re at the observatory it’s hard not to miss the bridge because they are close to each other:

Like really close.

Like really close.

Which means this is the view Berniece has when she pops on to the Observatory grounds on her way to meet with Kerry:

I even found a picture where it's cold and gray, too,

I even found a picture where it’s cold and gray, too,

As for Kerry’s claim that he flew forty kilometers to get to their meeting?  He’s fibbing a little:  it’s only thirty-six kilometers.

But what's a few kilometers  between friends.

But what’s a few kilometers between friends.

This scene takes place on 3 July, a week after Annie and Kerry meet in London for lunch–and I’m certain Kerry has a lot of stuff to tell his case worker–

The Start of the Waiting

Tonight I have a detour in my life:  I’ve been invited–personally, I might add—to the opening of the building space being used in Harrisburg by the Committee to Elect Hillary Clinton.  I also had an apology because I’d been asked to work phone banks last Wednesday and no one called, so I assumed they didn’t want me, but for sure I’ll be doing it tomorrow.

But tonight I’ll keep on my dress from work and drive over not long after I return home and party a little with he gathered staff.  I guess if I’m getting invites to these shindigs I must be considered a volunteer asset they want to keep, so I got that going for me.  Tomorrow I’ll be a little more comfortable as I go through the horror of calling people and hoping I don’t get cursed–much.

Speaking of getting cursed, we were talking about Kerry’s mom and his already-knows-she-is wife Annie–

Here are the last few hundred words of the kids dream, all nice and pretty.  The novel hit sixteen thousand words last night, but this is the last part of Chapter One, so let’s savor what’s before us:

 

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

 

Annie tossed her hair “Then she’ll need to get used to you having a witch wife.” She chuckled. “Which I am.”

“Oh, jeez.” He watched the dream traffic flow by for a moment. “I can’t even get into that yet.”

Given what they were discussing Annie felt it was time to ask the most important question on her mind. “Are you thinking of leaving home?”

He turned back to her. “No.”

“Why not? You don’ t sound happy.”

“I’m never happy when I’m home.”

“They why not leave?”

“Because they’re not doing anything bad to me.” A momentary frown crossed his face before he shrugged. “Their not doing anything to me that they haven’t done before. They just ignore me and act like I’m just renting out the room for the summer.”

Annie leaned forward and rested her crossed arms against the table. “What they’re doing is a form of psychological abuse—and you’re smart enough to realize it, my love. I know you know that.”

Kerry winced as Annie’s statement hit him. “I know. It’s just—I guess I’m used to it.”

Berniece’s words from their meeting after Kerry came home returned to Annie’s memory: For Kerry to leave something traumatic will need to occur. And that meant there wasn’t any point in pushing him on this point. Nothing traumatic has happened, only a continuation of their passive-aggressive behavior.

She nodded. “Let’s talk about something else.” She gave her soul mate a bright grin. “Maybe you’d like to see some of the places we’ll visit?”

“I’d rather see those places in person with you.” He pressed his finger against his lip. “But a walk along the Seine would really be nice after this.”

“As you wish.” The smile remained affixed upon her face so that Annie wouldn’t give away her current thought: His mother’s biggest problem is that after thinking for so long that there wasn’t anything special about her son she was proven wrong…

 

There’s the real truths laid out.  First, Kerry admits he’s never happy at home but he’s used to the treatment, so leaving doesn’t seem likely.  And there’s Annie remembering what she was told, that Kerry was going to need a powerful incentive in order to leave home.

Also, Annie is laying out what they and we already know:  as far as she’s concerned they are already married, which means they already have in-laws.  And while Annie’s parents seem okay with Kerry, Annie is likely anticipating that her relationship with Louise Malibey may require a lot of willpower not to do anything bad

Louise: "You need to remember, Annie, that Kerry was raise a certain way--" Annie: *If I bleed her dry I don't think Kerry will be too upset...*

Louise: “You need to remember, Annie, that I raised Kerry a certain way–”  Annie: *If I bleed her dry and just jaunt out I don’t think Kerry will be too upset…*

But here’s the first time we see the phrase “psychological abuse” uttered by either kid, and Annie is hitting it right on the nose.  Kerry is in a relationship where he’s being hit with psychological abuse, and he knows it, but he’s not ready to do something about it.  And before you say, “But he’s smart and he has Annie and he knows better!” remember back to someone you knew in a bad relationship who was told by their friends time and again that the relationship sucked and they needed to leave, whereupon they came up with every excuse in the world why they couldn’t leave–and now make that person a thirteen year old kid with abandonment issues and you’ll see what’s happening in Kerry’s head.

And if you think this is complicated, just wait until the next scene.

Dead Letter Watching

Before I managed to get off to sleep–and while I was waiting for the video I shot last night to get edited properly–I ended up starting Chapter Two and getting another four hundred or so words added to the mix.  So, a thirteen hundred word day:  not bad.  Not bad at all.

And the first scene of Chapter Two is in an interesting location, one that just came to me because I’d once read about it on Wikipedia a couple of years back.  But then I changed everything about this first scene at the last minute and took it back to the idea I had for it originally.  Tonight it’s just a matter of editing what was written and adding to that.  And getting to he heart of a matter.

But now, back to our dream…

There has been some discussion about why Kerry wanted Annie to send her letters on certain days, and we ended yesterday’s excerpt with Annie asking about this change.  And Kerry doesn’t hesitate:  he immediately tells her the reason:

 

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

 

Kerry stared at the tabletop for a few seconds before raising his head and meeting Annie’s gaze. “I caught her intercepting your last letter.”

Annie grew cold inside. “What do you mean?”

“Last Tuesday Mom was home ‘cause that’s one of her normal days off. I was up in my room checking the time ‘cause I know about what time the mail comes, but I had to use the bathroom so I went; I figured I was good ‘cause I had about ten minutes before the woman who usually delivers showed up.” A severe frown crossed his face. “I didn’t: she showed up just as I was getting out. I was on the top landing and saw Mom accepting your letter, and then—” He closed his eyes and sighed. “She turned, looked at the letter for a couple of seconds, then took a couple of steps towards the kitchen.”

Annie didn’t need to hear more: the implications of what Kerry was driving at were enough. “She was going to throw it away.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I think so. When I called down and asked if she had my letter before she vanished, she had this surprised look on her face like she knew she’s been caught at something. I can’t prove it, but I think she was gonna toss it in the bin.”

 

There you have it:  Louise Malibey, doing her best to maybe keep those witches from talking to each other.  Like tossing Annie’s letter in the bin is going to keep these two apart–especially since they were going to meet in a few days anyway and the first words would have been something like:

Kerry:  I haven’t gotten your letter.
Annie: I sent it a week ago.
Both:  Hummmmmmm

And the outcome of that conversation wouldn’t have been good.  As it is, someone just got on Annie’s shit list:

"You were going to toss my letter in the bin? Louise: we need to talk."

“You were going to toss my letter in the bin? Louise: we need to talk.”

And we all know what happens when Annie wants to have a talk–

Also, while Kerry likes to keep things nice and even and on the low most of the time, he hasn’t been infected with estrogen yet.  Once that happens all the “I’ll just stay in my room and listen to music and brood for a while” shit goes right out the window and Louise may just discover the hard way that she isn’t the only woman in the house with a bad Irish temper:

"Mom, you thought having one angry, hormonal girl witch angry at you was bad? Well, guess what!?"

“You thought having one angry, hormonal girl witch mad at you was bad? Well guess what, Mom!?”

Yeah, Louise, just wait until your house turns into a scene from Carrie.  Just wait…

Anyway, this talk of binning letters doesn’t set well with The Bulgarian Buttercup and she lets it be known:

 

A cold fury gripped Annie and for just a second she imagined her sleeping body tensing as her inner emotions took hold. “That horrible bitch.”

Kerry was more shocked that Annie swore in English—she almost always switched over to Bulgarian when she cursed—than he was by what she said. “Yeah, no kidding.”

“Why would she do that?” She didn’t bother hiding her exasperation.

He twirled the straw around in his smoothie. “Probably because she’s figured out you’re more than just a friend.”

This was a moment that Annie knew would come one day, though in all honesty she’d expected it to happen at some point during the last summer. “She suspects I’m your girlfriend.”

“I think so.”

“Why doesn’t she ask you then?”

“I think she doesn’t want to know.” Kerry sipped at his drink as he considered his reply. “Remember when I told you in my first letter she gave me a strange look when I told her you were a witch?”

Annie shifted around her in chair. “I do.”

“I think my mom always imagined that when I was ready to start dating I’d go out with some Welsh girls I met at school, or I’d end up hooking up with someone when I went away to college.” He chuckled. “Probably deep down she hoped I’d met up with a nice Irish girl, get married, and have a gaggle of gingers she could spoil.”

“That certainly isn’t happening.” She found herself thinking that she couldn’t wait for the moment when she told her future mother-in-law that the only children her son was having were coming from her uterus.

“I know, My Moon and Stars. All our future little witches come from us.” He smiled as he looked at his drink. “And that’s probably what’s got my mom freaked. She’s finally figured out that all the kids I hang with regularly are witches and that means anyone I date is gonna be a witch—”

“And in time that means marriage.”

“Exactly.”

 

“That horrible bitch.”  Way to start off the relationship with your future mother-in-law, Annie!  Sure, it’s Louise’s fault, but it doesn’t bode well for there being a lot of harmony between the two.  And I can’t wait for the moment when a teenage Annie points at her tummy and tells Kerry’s mom, “The only grandchildren you’re gonna see are coming from this uterus!  And they’ll be witches!  Deal with it!”  Good times, yo.

But all that stuff is in the future.  For now we have to deal with the aftermath of this dream–

Tomorrow.