Seeking the Unknown Light

My madness knows no bounds, it seems.  When I started this process of figuring out who is attending the advanced classes, I find I’m digging myself into a nice, deep hole of my own crazy.  Because once I began the process of getting into attendance for advanced classes, that turned into something bigger . . .

Once starting on the process of getting names together for classes, a little switch in my head snapped open and told me, “Hey, you better make sure you don’t pull in more people from a coven than you already have.”  It told me this for no other reason than I like to keep my books balanced, or at least keep people from coming back and telling me I’ve got like six E Levels from one coven attending classes, and that ain’t right.

Which meant there was only one thing to do:  set up a grid and start plugging in names for the covens.

It’s not as hard a task as one might think.  After all, I have people for the advanced classes, I have names for the Cernunnos racing team, and I know all the students currently occupying the B Levels of every coven.  So once I had my grid up, and my covens in, and the levels set for each level, all I needed to do was copy/paste names.  And brought up some interesting things . . .

Interesting things.  Like "Why do I do these things to myself?"

Like “Why do I do these things to myself?”

Right off the bat we see something interesting with the West and East Points of the Pentagram, also known as Cernunnos and Mórrígan Covens.  Cernunnos seems to be a little heavy on the boys, while Mórrígan is so heavy with the girls that there are no boys in the B Level.  That’s a fact, Jack, and it just came out that way.  I guess the way to look at this comes from Cernunnos being the only male aspect deity out of all the named covens, while Mórrígan is famous as the great Celtic queen associated with battle and strife.  Åsgårdsreia is named to honor the Wild Hunt and the Valkyries, so it joins the other covens named after goddesses.

And see how lonely that B Level in Cernunnos looks?  Actually, the whole second floor of Cernunnos has fewer people than the second floor of Mórrígan, and there are two levels on that floor in Cernunnos.  Maybe the Phoenix is beating that joint down because of all the boys–then again, she’s the one putting them there, so perhaps the stories are true that she is a sadistic bitch.  Whatever the reason, maybe there’s a story there.  Maybe.

This wasn’t all I worked on yesterday.  There was writing, too.  Oh, yes:  almost eight hundred words of the next scene went down before I finally called an end to the day.  We are into another late night, and since it’s a Wednesday evening, that must mean it’s Wednesdays with Wednesday.  And the little witch isn’t one to waste time . . .

 

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

Wednesday didn’t wait any time getting the returning students in Advanced Spell Casting going: she put them all to work things they’d never touched before. For Annie and Kerry, that meant being put on their spells for the month: Far Sight and Aura Reading. Wednesday said they weren’t supposed to begin learning until near the end of the C Levels, and that most people don’t become proficient with either until near the middle of the D Levels, but she was certain they both would start getting the hang of the spells before Samhain, if not sooner.

After a year at school Kerry knew of both spells—some from reading, some from discussions with Annie. Aura Reading let a witch read another person’s aura, just as the spell advertised, which Annie told him was great way to not only know if a person was Aware, but if they were lying. She mentioned that the first part would be far easier to determine than the later, but she was confident they’d figure out both in no time.

Far Sight was something even more important, for it allowed a witch to extend their sight and hearing far beyond their physical being. Wednesday mentioned that Far Sight was something everyone on the Rapid Response team possessed, as it allowed them to scan areas of the school hundreds of meters from where they were and, if need be, jaunt there to handle a situation. She also mentioned that once they mastered Far Sight, the next step was to master Far Touch, which was far more difficult, but once perfected would allow them to craft spells in the distant area they were viewing.

 

Far Sight and Far Touch are a great combo for a sorceress but are a pain to do together, mostly because if your target is moving, its simply easier to remotely see them, jaunt to their location, and put the whammy on them.  Helena was trying to use Far Sight in Kansas City, and she couldn’t because Tanith’s house was shielded against that spell, and for very good reasons.  Nearly every witch’s house is shielded against this spell, as well as every structure at Salem.  Particularly the covens, because kids will be kids, and none of the students could dress or go to the bathroom in peace if the towers weren’t shielded.  Of course the school could work off the honor system and think the kids wouldn’t do that, but . . . nah.  You get shielding, and you get shielding, everyone gets shielding!

After class the students go to the Great Hall to relax, then with less than an hour before midnight they break p and had back to their covens.  Wednesday follow Annie and Kerry out, because–well, she’s curious–

 

The young witch walked to Kerry’s left, hands behind her back, trying to appear nonchalant. “How do you guys think you did tonight?”

“I think I was starting to get the hang of Aura Reading.” Kerry shrugged. “Can’t say the same for Far Sight.”

Annie leaned forward enough to see Wednesday. “For a couple of instances I thought I saw a faint outline around Kerry.” She righted herself and focused on the covered walkway ahead. “It’s more difficult to do than it seems.”

“That’s because you trick your mind into thinking you’re seeing an aura when in reality you’re not.” Wednesday chuckled. “When you get to where you think you’re seeing Kerry’s aura—or you her’s, Kerry—then I’ll work with you so we’ll know for sure.”

Kerry turned to the instructor. “How do you do that?”

“I give the person being read a set of instructions about what to think, and I compare what the reader is telling me they see with what I’m seeing.” Wednesday unhooked her hands and slowly swung her arms. “I’m also reading the same instructions as their reading, so I can gauge what they’re feeling and know how their aura should appear.” She glanced at the children on her left. “Pretty simple, huh?”

Annie clutched Kerry’s arm. “It sounds rather simply, yes. Can I ask a question?”

“Sure.”

Annie gently pulled Kerry to a stop and turned to face their instructor. “What do you want?”

Wednesday faced the couple. “You guys are perceptive.”

Kerry didn’t bother hiding his smile.  “Well, most of the time you say goodnight to us in the West Transept and then jaunt off to the Instructor’s Residence. The only time you follow us out into the garden is when you want to tell us something—”

“Or when you want to ask something.” Annie was smiling as well. “If you have something you want to tell us, you usually start as soon as we’re outside the Great Hall, so you must have a question in mind.”

“Yeah.” Wednesday nodded towards their bench just inside the covered walkway. “Care to sit for a few minutes?”

 

Sure, they’ll sit for a few minutes, because I said they can.  You gotta hand it to Annie, though:  she doesn’t waste time screwing around.  Kerry picked up on what was going on as well, and as soon as his Sweetie kicked open the door, he ran in after her.  But then, they have proved they work well together–just watch out when they start finishing each other’s sentences.  Oh, wait . . .

Back on track with writing and world building.  There are better ways to spend the weekend, but for now I’ll take these.

It’s almost as fun as getting my nails painted a bright blue like I did yesterday . . .

To the Head of the Class

When I set out to write these stories of Annie and Kerry, I knew one of the challenges was figuring out what kind of classes they were going to attend.  Developing the school was easy:  getting the classes together–all the classes, mind you–was a pain in the butt.

When one is world building one must stick to their rules, because if you don’t you end up having some strange things pop up in your stories–like, say, handing over a time machine to a student so they can go to two different classes at the same time, mostly because you need to use their time machine as a Class Three Deus ex machina to work out your story at the end.  I don’t have any of that in my stories:  the rule I have is that the Peter Capaldi version of The Doctor shows up in the TARDIS and he’s not in a pleasant mood . . .

"Let's go back and kill that bastard Vold--what?  You want a time machine just so you can go to class?  No, no, that's brilliant, Missy.  Just fuckin' brilliant."

“Let’s go back and kill that bastard Voldi–what? You want a time machine just so you can go to class? No, nothing wrong with that.  I mean, that’s brilliant, Missy. Simply fuckin’ brilliant.”

He never really learned to put his Malcolm Tucker side away, it seems.

Getting the classes together hasn’t been an easy thing.  You have a limited number of instructors to teach all the classes, and if someone should die The Foundation dips into their pool from the other schools and hurries someone over to take up duties as quickly as possible, ’cause the last thing you want are a bunch of bored witches hanging around class looking for something to do.  Busy witches are happy witches, or at least that’s something the headmistress wants to believe.  Actually she knows that’s BS, but since Salem prides itself as the best school in the system, they don’t want their kids sitting around with nothing to do for too long, and getting right back into teaching is a good way to get the kid’s minds off of the reason why they have a new instructor.

You’ll see in a few future scenes that when instructors are needed elsewhere at the school, they’ll usually schedule lab time for their kids, and send a minion or two over to keep an eye on things.  And since no one really gets sick here–the last thing Coraline worries about is someone coming down with a cold, ’cause that doesn’t happen unless her little witches are coming back from an extended stay in the Normal world–there’s no need to have a pool of substitutes ready to step in an teach.  If they really have to get a substitute, they get someone in-house to teach.  Just keep it all in the family, so to speak.

Now, about advanced classes . . .

Full disclosure here:  I didn’t come up with the original concept.  The real person upon whom Annie is based was the one who thought up the idea that in a school full of people who could do amazing things, you’d find people in said school who could be even more amazing.  It made sense, so I took her idea and expanded upon the basic premise.  Which is why you have a group of advanced classes, and that the only way you’ll get into those classes is if the instructors of said classes see that you’ve moving well beyond what the rest of the kids in your level are doing, and you need a challenge.

Let’s look at the classes as I have them laid out for the first two years.

Remember this sucker?

Remember this?

Busy witches, happy witches, and for your first two years you stay plenty busy.  There are no advanced classes for the A Levels–well, there aren’t supposed to be:  it was already stated that moving Annie and Kerry into Advanced Spells as A Levels was something that she’d said she’d never do, and Jessica came right out and told her Advanced Transformation class that while a few of them came in as C Levels, there were reasons why she was bringing these two B Levels in . . .

The advanced classes I have set up so far as as such:

Not a lot of advanced students, to be honest.

Not a lot of advanced students, as you see.

The reality about Advanced Flight One is that it’s a carry-over from the A Level’s Basic Flight class:  if Vicky thinks you are good enough to move on, she’ll invite you in.  And if she thinks you’re good enough to move on to Advanced Flight Two during your C Levels, you get moved up.  There are no more flight classes after that:  anything you learn from that point, you learn on your own.  And as seen, if you’re invited in, you don’t have to attend, but that doesn’t mean you’re cut out–Annie’s listed as “Auditing on Demand,” which means she can come in if and when she feels like it, and you’ll see Annie has the same deal going with Vicky’s class.  The only reason she’s not in AF1 is because she’s a casual flyer, something she stated in one of the scenes in this novel.  She’ll leave the navigating and all that to Kerry.  Besides, one of the things you learn in AF1 is PAV Maintenance, and Annie probably already knows how to take care of a broom . . .

The only advanced class for the B Levels not on this list is Advanced Self Defense, and I need to work out the roster for that class.  Needless to say only a few A Levels moved up to that class, and you already know who two of those people are.  Ramona Chai does the same thing Vicky does:  she advances people from the A Level Basic Self Defense class, and they stay with her as long as they like.  It’s no great secret that a lot of people who stick with her through their E and F Levels usually end up working for the Protectors, and a few even go on to work with the Guardians.  The great thing about Professor Chai’s advanced classes is that you’re involved in “practical applications” with homunculi, but even more so than was seen in The Walking Tests scene where my kids laid waste to a bunch of mindless zombies.  At some point in this novel you’ll get to see a “meat puppet”, and find out just how they fit into self defense training.

What’s left after this?  A few things that you only get into after you start taking classes that are offered from the C Levels and up.  There’s Advanced Spirit Studies after Basic Spirit Studies, there’s Advanced Astral Training after Basic Understanding of the Astral Realm, and there are two advanced classes that are offered at Salem and one other school and nowhere else:  Demonology and Necromancy.  What is listed on the class title is what you get;  Demonology is all about the summoning and binding of demons–yes, kiddies, they do exist–and how to kick their asses should it become necessary.  And Necromancy is all about going out and finding the astral essence of people who’ve been dead for a while, whose essence has likely passed beyond The Veil, and bringing said essence back and dumping it into a body.  Necromancers are a dime a gross of a baker’s dozen and are, as you might guess, usually a bit scary to be around.  But if you absolutely, positively, need to bring back a crossed-over spirit, they’re the ones to do the job . . . usually at a Resurrection Center.  Like the CDC.  Where Annie and Kerry were sent . . .

There you have it:  a little more of my madness.  Hey, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy making this stuff.

Away and Display

First off, the matter of business is:  how went the torture of the face?  Answer:  not well.  Second time now I started crying, this time about fifteen minutes, maybe twenty minutes in. It wasn’t good, and after that I simply couldn’t relax, and I did a quick laser session, which burned off a few of the remaining dark hairs.  I discussed the situation with the women who does my treatment, and we sort of figured out that (a) I’ve been beating up the same section of my face for three weeks now, and it’s probably causing a lot of the pain, and (b) I’m not getting the numbing cream on right, and that means nothing but pain.  So we’re going to try something different next week, and see how that works.

Also, my Orphan Black tee shirt came yesterday, and Pupok has the story of my transition right there in gray on purple.

Also, my Orphan Black tee shirt came yesterday, and Pupok has the story of my transition right there in gray on purple.

The real burning question–see what I did there?–is, “Did you write?”  Like a good aircraft, I did seven hundred and thirty-seven words, and inched to within fifty thousand before the events of the day caught up to me and I finally went to bed tired as all hell.

In the battle for your novel, 502 words is the same as inches.

In the battle for your novel, 502 words is the same as inches.

Considering how I felt like night, I considered the output to be something of a victory, because I felt ill by the time I returned from the face zapping place.  I really needed to write, even if it wasn’t easy getting the words down.  I really need to get through this chapter and onto the next, even though I know on of the scenes in the next chapter will probably raise some hairs on the backs of some people’s necks.  And that’s good, because writing is suppose to be about pulling out the emotions.  Maybe I could stop putting mine out there all the time.

In our last post Jessica wanted to say something to her students.  Now, after the writer got zapped, she gets her chance.

 

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

Jessica stepped behind Kerry. “This is our newest student: Kerry Malibey, a B Level from Cernunnos.” She watched the exchanges between the other four students, noticing Annie catching her own share of glances. “I know you find that a bit surprising, as the soonest any of you were invited in was at the end of your B Levels or the start of your C Levels, but I have my reasons for inviting Kerry and his girlfriend Annie—” She watched a couple of sets of eyes light up at the mention of Annie an Kerry’s relationship, though one of them wasn’t Fekitoa’s. “—into this class. Allow me to explain . . .

 

Well, of course a kid from their coven isn’t going to be surprised to hear about these two:  by now we’ve figured out that Annie and Kerry are kinda minor celebrities in their own tower.  It’s also interesting to hear Jessica call Annie a girlfriend, because she’s seemed to avoid mentioning the relationship at all, save to give one or the other a bit of crap in class.  The more we get into the year, the more it seems like the staff just accepts that there’s more here than hand holding and a lot of snogging.

What does Jessica have to say?

 

“Kerry is one of the best at transformation crafting I’ve seen, as is Annie—please, join us.” Jessica motioned the girl—who had done as much as possible not to look as if she was an official member of the class—to stand with them. “This is the reason I forwarded the invitation. Now, Annie won’t be in class most of the time: she gave good reasons for not accepting the invitation, and after giving the headmistress and me her reasons, we both agreed with them.” Jessica smiled at the girl. “She’s sort of auditing the class this evening, and while she’ll like not come to many, she’s welcome to join us any time.

“Kerry will stay with us for this year, and, I hope, for more to come. Because he needs to catch up to the rest of us, I’ll spend extra time with him now and then.” She put on her best smile. “Don’t take this as a sign that I’m trying to make him fit in: I assure you, he’ll be right along side you in no time.”

Jessica took a step back from the group, who turned to face her. “Dig out your notes on Invisibility: we’re going to start in on that again, since a few of you were just getting the hang of it at at the end of last year. While you’re reviewing those, I’m going to have a word with Annie and Kerry over in the corner.”

 

Oh, now it’s Invisibility:  the real thing, not just light bending.  Yeah, just what you need to teach to these two–well, to Kerry, and then he’ll run off and teach Annie.  Speaking of which . . .

 

Once they were away from the rest of the group Jessica threw up a privacy spell so they wouldn’t be overheard. She sat against the edge of a table before addressing Annie. “I hope you didn’t think I was putting you on the spot—”

“Not at all, Jessica.” Annie had half-expected Jessica to try and convince her to join the class full-time, and was surprised when she didn’t. “Thank you for not pressuring me to reconsider.”
“Oh, I considered asking you to do just that, but after discussions with Erywin and Helena, I better understand your position.” She nodded in Kerry’s direction. “As you said, in order to be good sorceresses, you have to be able to teach what you know—”

“And this is something that Kerry can certainly learn to teach.” Annie grinned at him. “Isn’t that right, love?”

“As rain.” Kerry hadn’t minded being put on display in front of the other, older students, but something struck him as odd. “You didn’t mention anything about me being a Mimic.”

“I didn’t because I don’t want that to get out—” Jessica shrugged. “At least not yet. Once you’ve been in class a while, and you’ve learned to developed your Transformational Art, people will likely figure it out on their own.” She shifted position to make herself more comfortable. “When it comes to Gifts we’ve found that the knowledge of who has them usually finds its way to the rest of the students in due time—making announcements become unnecessary.”

Jessica moved to a nearby chair, and invited Annie and Kerry to join her. “I want to bring up one thing, Kerry—something that wasn’t actually covered last year because, well, there wasn’t a need. But now that you’re about to take the leap into some major transformation magic, it’s time to make you aware of lay ahead.” She slowly crossed her legs, letting the wonder of what she would say next grow. “It’s no secret that people are afraid of sorcery, and with good reason—” She eyed Annie for a few seconds. “But you both already have first hand knowledge of that reason, so there’s no need to tell you something you already know. But have you ever noticed how skittish people get around witches who are the mistresses and masters of transformation magic?”

 

Yes, Jessica, we have, but what do you mean?  Oh, you’re not telling us until tomorrow?  Well, that’s not very nice!

The one thing to get from this is the public shout outs Jessica gave to both kids.  Now is the time when they are being touted, and not only is it going to show with people in their own level, it’s gonna show up with others.  Jessica isn’t one to hand out complements, but this is an advanced class, and we’ve seen those are a whole different mixture around this place.  One of the reasons Kerry likes it at school is that it’s the only place where he’s recognized for his skills, and not treated like a “strange kid.”  And Jessica is giving him and Annie high praise–something she’s not known for doing.

Tomorrow we’ll find out for sure what Jessica’s going to say–and maybe even get into the next scene as well.

In the Evening, in the Morning, In the Center

With yesterday being a big travel day–it’s two and a half hours to Indy, then two and a half back, so a lot of time taking in the sights and fighting traffic–I was pretty well worn out later in the evening.  It happens.  Driving the Two Lanes of Hell that is I-65 from Indy to Indiana 10 it something I used to do twice a week, every week, in 2012, and I do not miss it one bit.

I always love seeing this place during my trip, though.  And yesterday I wanted to drop a few on some drivers . . .

I always love seeing this place during my trip, though. And yesterday I wanted to drop a few on some drivers . . .

Really, though, I needed to get a scene started.  It was time for the summoning, for my kids to appear before Professor Wednesday and get–well, they seem to feel it wasn’t going to be good . . .

 

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

There was as knock against the open door to her office.

She looked up from her monitor and found Annie and Kerry standing just outside her doorway. Both looked a little frazzled, and she couldn’t blame them for being worried about why she wanted to see them. She stood up and waved them forward. “Come in, come in.” As Wednesday walked out from behind her desk she pointed to the two chairs she’d set in front that morning when she’d arrived. She looked at the door and it shut quietly.

With Annie and Kerry in their chairs—Wednesday noticed immediately that they sat as they always did, with Annie to Kerry’s left—it was time to get to the point of why they were summoned. While most instructors were able to lean against their desks with few problems, Wednesday’s height made that act a touch difficult, so she planted herself on the surface and let her legs hang. “Thanks for coming, guys. I’m glad you could come out this early.”

Annie and Kerry shifted their eyes in each other’s directions before Annie asked the obvious question. “Is this about yesterday, Professor?”

“Yes, it is, Annie.” Wednesday leaded forward, her hands in her lap. “First off, let me say this: what you did in the spell cell was astounding. I was shocked, if you couldn’t tell. That was . . .” Wednesday tried to find a word that didn’t sound like she was spouting so much hyperbole. “Incredible. Some of the best spell casting ever. And . . .” Time to shift the dialog. “Also some of the most dangerous I’ve seen, too.”

 

Yeah, even though she’s young and pretty much the Witch with the Mad Skills, Wednesday wasn’t happy.  See, in the world I have set up, the Spell Center handles the normal spells–you know, the regular stuff you throw out for shits and grins–while The Witch House handles all that deadly sorcery stuff.  You know, like the spells that are labeled as Morte, because having seven or eights different ways to kill someone is really the way to roll.

And while cold fire isn’t really a Morte spell, well–it is fire.

 

The moment Wednesday mentioned The Witch House Annie realized her mistake. Though neither Professors Douglas or Lovecraft mentioned that sorcery could only be practiced in one location, with all the time she’d spent in the Black Vault Annie should have known—or at least asked ahead of time. But I didn’t think I’d have a problem with it. And if there hadn’t been that slight problem at the end . . . “I’m sorry, Professor. I didn’t think about telling you.”

“I’m sorry, too, Annie, because I didn’t think about asking.” Wednesday slid off the desk, because she was afraid she looked too much like another student wearing jeans and slip-on boots, sitting there swinging her legs. Despite how much he didn’t like doing this, she did her best to lean against the edge of her desk. “I know you had a little problem shutting down the spell yesterday, and that was enough to trip the alarms—but what if it’d gotten away from you? What it if had gone out of control when you started casting? The alarms would have went off, but the enchantments wouldn’t have done a thing. There wouldn’t have been any stasis fields protecting you, and nothing trying to drain the energy out of the spell.” She looked at the floor as she paused for effect. “It could have engulfed the entire cell; you both could have burnt to death.”

 

Students burning to death inside a big, blue fire–yeah, that’s what you wanna hear right after breakfast on a Saturday morning.  Yesterday it was zombie zapping up close and personal; today it’s “This is Your Death From Sorcery, Kids!”  I guess you develop a cast iron stomach, or you start skipping breakfast, and probably lunch as well.

Now here’s the strange thing:  that first paragraph you see above, I finished that last night about ten PM.  I was falling asleep pretty quick at that point.  I’d written almost seven hundred words–which including a few that I added to some old scenes I was cleaning up before getting into this one–but I simply couldn’t write anymore beyond that.

So where did that second paragraph come from?  Well . . . I was up at five-thirty this morning, and I just couldn’t simply leave the scene like that until tonight.  It was bugging me too much.

Which means . . . I was writing.  Early.  Probably the earliest I’ve written in a long time.  And it’s all about Wednesday getting into some faces, particularly Mr. Time Lord in Training–

 

“Right: we’re just across the courtyard from Earth Sciences and the Greenhouse.” She slid down until she was directly in front of Kerry. “And you with your time spell—those are tricky, Kerry. There are people who do nothing but work with them, and even they’ll tell you to watch out when working with them, because futzing around with time is serious business.” She leaned in towards him. “What if your spell had gotten away from you? What if the field had expanded and filled all of the spell cell? You two could have been trapped inside, and you would have been unable to interact with anything outside the field—which means you couldn’t have opened the door to get out.”

He looked up at Wednesday, his eyes reflecting what he was seeing in his imagination. “I didn’t think . . .”

“Right: you didn’t think about what could have happened. What if you’d gotten stuck in there for a half-hour? Or an hour? Or even two hours? One hundred and twenty hours, Kerry—how many days is that?”

He did the calculation in no time. “Five days.”

“Right. Five days without food and water. It probably wouldn’t have killed you, but could you imagine Annie and you trapped in a field with no food or water for that long?”

Annie didn’t want to imagine that, but at the same time she felt she needed to speak up for them both. “Professor, we were—”

Wednesday held up her hand, cutting Annie off. “Please, let me have my say. You’ll have your chance to speak in time.” She turned her attention back to Kerry. “What if you’d screwed up the temporal variation? What if you’d managed several hours per minute? Or weeks? Or months? Or years?” She again paused to let the kids to take in her words. “What if I’d went down there after an hour and found your dead and decaying bodies? Hum?” She shook her head as she began pacing about her office. “I don’t want to be the one who not only has to report your deaths to the Headmistress, but then has to write a letter to your parents telling them how you died.” She moved next to Annie. “I should say, write a letter to your parents. Since we can’t yet tell Kerry’s parents what he’s really learning here, we’d have to lie and say he fell out of the clock tower, or something.”

Wednesday watched the children closely. Annie was quite, stoic as usual, but her body language gave her away: she’d grown tense and her her eyes had taken on a dull, almost lifeless sheen. Kerry was easier to read since he was far more openly emotional: he was squirming in his chair and clutching his hands, mostly looking at the floor. He particularly didn’t like her comment about having to lie to his parents: he was well aware that The Foundation didn’t allow students from a Normal background to tell their parents what actually went on at the school until after finishing their B Levels, believing that after two years of working in the shadows parents would see that their now not-so-Normal children didn’t represent a problem, or threat, to them.

 

Well, doesn’t that suck?  For the first couple of years you can’t even tell your own parents what you’re doing if you’re a Normal kid.  So, technically, Kerry could get offed by one of the students and the school would have to cover up his death and tell the parents he walked in front of a bus, or something lame like that.

Of course, Annie would probably torture the shit out of any student dumb enough to go after her soul mate like that–hum . . . that would make an interesting scene.  Maybe later.

Where is this all leading?  I mean, Wednesday’s a pretty nice teacher–but there are times she’s gotta be the bad witch, right?

 

It’s time to bring this to a close, to tell them why they’re really here. Wednesday returned to the front of her desk, but stood before Annie and Kerry instead of using it to prop her up. “Kids, I don’t want to see something bad happen to you—”

Kerry barely managed to whisper a reply. “We won’t do it again.”

“And I believe you mean that, Kerry—for now. But in a few weeks, when you guys get bored and decide you want to try something a little more challenging, what then? And don’t tell me it won’t happen: you’re both showing a remarkable aptitude for blowing through simple stuff and throwing yourself into . . . let’s say harder things.”

Wednesday set her hands upon the desk and leaned back slightly. “I’ve spoken with the Headmistress, and I told her that I feel it’s necessary to . . .” She waved one hand about as she searched for a word. “Rein in this propensity you both have for trying out magic well beyond your level of expertise. The Headmistress agrees with me, and has given me permission to follow-through on my suggestions.”

After sitting quietly for so long, Annie needed clarification. “Professor, are we getting detention?”

“No, Annie.” Wednesday shook her head slowly, her expression grave. “I’m afraid it’s more than that.” She looked away for a moment, allowing the tension to build. “Effective immediately, you and Kerry are out of the Tuesday Basic Spells class.”

 

Hum . . . looks like Bad Witch is in the office today–

 

WHAT?” Even the normally unflappable Annie’s voice rose in pitch and volume, matching that of Kerry’s, as they spoke as one. Kerry looked like he was about to lose it completely. “You’re kicking us out?”

Annie gripped the arms of her chair tightly. “You can’t do that, Professor.”

Wednesday nodded. “Oh, I can, Annie, and I have. And it’s necessary . . .” She peered over their heads at nothing for a few seconds before speaking to them directly. “Because I’m moving you both to my Advanced Spells Class on Wednesday nights.” Wednesday—who’d remained grave and serious from the the moment she motioned for them to enter—broke into a huge smile as she held her arms wide as if to reach down and give them a hug. “Congratulations, kids. You just made history.”

 

And there it is:  when I said everything that happened the day before on 30 September was gonna lead to a major change in the kid’s lives, it led to this.  When someone says “You just made history,” then you can bet things are going to happen that haven’t happened before.  There will some clarification at a few points beyond this, but for now, things have just got dialed up to eleven, and Annie and Kerry are about to feel that rarefied air.

Almost a thousand words this morning, putting me at almost sixteen hundred and fifty words for the scene–

Right there--write while the idea is hot!

Right there–write while the idea is hot!

I can finish this tonight.  And maybe even start on the next part/chapter as well.

You’re moving on up to the Big Time, kids.

Um . . . maybe that wasn’t the right phrase to use.