The Moment of Calling

Short scene, my butt.  Well, somewhat short, if you call nearly fifteen hundred words short.  I didn’t exactly zip through the evening–Con Air was playing on the television, and I was chatting with an old friends at the same time I was working on the novel–but eight hundred and eighty-four words flew out of my fingers, so I’ll consider it a good evening.

So, we know Lisa doesn’t like big lesbian instructors–and she’s probably even more upset since it’s now known that her spells instructor is seeing the school’s Chief of Security.  Yeah, sucks to be homophobic at this joint.  And that sort of gets pointed out . . .

 

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

Kerry snorted and rolled his eyes. “Give it a break, Lisa. The snarky southern girl routine doesn’t work that well for you—” He stretched his arms back, loosening up the muscles in his shoulders. “You come off sounding more pissed than snarky.”

“Not to mention you’re picking on the wrong instructor.” Annie crossed her legs as she gave Lisa a satisfied glare. “It’s never nice to make fun of the one instructor whose life partner not only teaches here, but is probably the most dangerous instructor here—”

“And she doesn’t care for you.” Kerry tapped the corner of his forehead. “Smart.”

Lisa threw her nose up in the air and turned back to Franky. “Ah, what do you expect from those two? They’re all teacher’s pets.”

Franky nodded and spoke in a soft voice with enough volume that everyone within ten meters would hear him. “Particular Kirilova—” He hissed out his comment. “The Black Queen’s favorite.”

 

The Black Queen.  This is a nickname you’ll hear used on Helena from time-to-time, and it really fits her well.  There was a Black Queen in Marvel comics:  one was called Selene–hey, sounds like a certain flier we know–but the first was named Emma Steed, which is a play on the name Emma Peel, who was played by Dame Diana Riggs on the show The Avengers.  The character was so closely tied to Dame Diana that the character’s original appearances had her looking a great deal like the actress.  Needless to say, it’s not a nickname that gets used in front of Helena much–same with her other nickname, which is “That Bitch.”

I’m sure you’re asking, “So, is there a White Queen?”  Yes, there certainly is, and her name is Emma Frost.  She’s another Marvel character who is a powerful psionicist, but is best known for dressing as if she’s going clubbing at all hours of the day and night, something you can do that when you have gravity-defying boobs.  As the Black Queen has dark hair, the White Queen has white, or lighter, hair, and I guess chestnut is light, so . . . maybe Annie gets a new nickname one day?

The interesting thing is there’s also a Red Queen, who has–believe it or not–red hair, and could be either Margali Szardos of Madelyne Pryor.  Good thing Emma isn’t really good with sorcery . . .

Back in the scene Lisa is going down the same nasty path as Franky:

 

Lisa glanced back over her shoulder at the couple who’d finished storing their soil and manure and were now sitting away from everyone else. “Oh, yeah: she’s got her nose totally up Lovecraft’s ass. Same with her loser boyfriend.”

Annie stiffened upon hearing the comments. Normally she didn’t react when other students made comments about her, because it was common knowledge that the less advance were going to talk about her—some out of frustration, some out of jealousy. She hated it, however, when those same people cast aspersions at Kerry. She didn’t know if they said these things because he was from the same background as them and worked hard to be as advanced as her—or if they said these things only because he was with her.

Kerry never cared what was said about him, however. She was aware that he didn’t like people saying things about her—and Annie was fully aware of the one time he did something to the person who did—but as he’d mentioned, he’d grown so used to hearing people make derogatory comments about him that he ignored them. Annie was also aware that Kerry’s comments there weren’t entirely true . . .

He stood and helped Annie to her feet. “Let’s put the cart back and we can start prepping our beds.”

Lisa shouted out a response to the rest of the class before Annie could reply. “That ain’t the kind of bed Annie’s thinking about.” About a third of the class laughed along with Franky and Lisa.

Annie turned a cold glare upon Lisa. “You should know when to keep your mouth shut, Lisa.”

Kerry touched his soul mate’s hand. “Let it go; they’re just trying to get a rise out of you.”

Franky lightly tapped Lisa on the shoulder. “Are you saying what I think you’re say?”

Lisa raised her head. “That she’s DTF?” She turned her sleazy stare upon Annie once more.  “Oh, yeah:  totally.”

Annie’s head snapped around. “What?”

Kerry knew what Lisa had said and tried to keep the situation from escalating. “Let it go, honey—”

She wasn’t about to let anything go, however. “What did you say, Lisa? What does that mean?”

Lisa did nothing to advert her gaze from Annie’s. “Down to fuck. You know, as in—” She set her right forefinger between the fore and middle fingers of her left hand and slid it back and forth. “I’m sure you know what I said now.”

 

Yeah, that Lisa:  she’s about as nasty as it gets with the personal slurs.  And what she just said–and implied–is something you don’t say aloud in mixed company.  You can, however, say it when the instructor’s not around–which Professor Simplen isn’t–and a portion of your classmate think what you’re saying is probably true.

 

Annie didn’t hear the laughter of the others in the class, nor did she feel Kerry at her side. All she saw and heard was Lisa, and all she felt was the anger building inside. “How—dare—you.” She didn’t raise her voice, but her tone told everyone in the room her current emotional state. “How dare you say that about me—”

“What?” She stepped away from her planting bed and stood alone in the aisle. “Say what? Are you saying Kerry hasn’t inoculated you against virginity?” She giggled. “Is he gay or something?”

Kerry isn’t—” She closed her eyes, realizing that Lisa was trying to get her to deny a non-fact that she could use against Annie. “Just shut up. I’m tried of hearing you say these childish, hurtful things.”

Lisa held up her hands as if she was warding off an attack, but she did this as a prelude to mock Annie further. “Oh, the little ass kissing sorceress is all upset—” She began pouting. “What are you gonna do about it, Annie?”

There were many thing Annie knew were possible. She could ignore Lisa, but the more she ignored her, the more it emboldened her. She could go after her as she’d done after Lisa had wrecked Kerry on The Diamond oval and put him in the hospital, but that would get her into more trouble than it would Lisa. She pushed down the anger inside and slowed her breathing: there was an option she’d not used before, one that Vicky had suggested—and one that was needed now.

Annie slowly walked towards Lisa. “What am I going to do about this?” She stopped two meters from the now-smirking girl. “Something I should have done last year.” Annie’s voice grew just loud enough so that no one in the room would mistake what she was saying . . .

“I’m taking you to The Manor, Lisa.  I’m calling you out.”

 

Now you've done it; you make her angry.  Prepare to die, Lisa.

Now you’ve done it, Lisa; you made Annie angry. Prepare to die.

That, by the way, is Story Annie in the picture:  the person upon whom Annie is modeled physically.  So when she’s looking at you that way, that’s how Annie’s looking at you–though Story Annie is probably appearing a lot colder, like she wants to rip out Lisa’s lungs–oh, wait:  that’s what she wanted to do to Emma.  She’s probably going to take Lisa’s spine out after that remark.

And where is she gonna do that?  In The Manor, of course.

And she’s gonna do it with magic.

Come Down in Race Time

Even though I was home, it was travel time yesterday, because I was off to my HRT doctor for my one year check-up.  To get there I have to drive two hours into New Jersey, which isn’t a bad drive in of itself if you ignore the idiots around Allentown, where we are not living.

The news was good:  nothing abnormal has shown up in my labs; my lungs were clear; my heart was good; my blood pressure was the lowest it’s been (120/68); and the girls are growing.  My weight shot up a bit, but I can manage that with diet and exercise.  So, because I am a “graduate in good standing”–meaning I haven’t abused my hormone regiment and my health is good–my doctor wrote me a year-long script for my testosterone suppressant, and I have a new scripts for my estrogen which I can renew once, which means I’m good on that for a year.

Naturally, when I left the office I was all smiles . . .

Happy girl; happy face.

Happy girl; happy face.

I do labs again in December, but unless they are totally nuts, I only need to do them annually.  And my doctors visits are, for now, every six to eight months.  I don’t go back until February now.  It’s a good time.

I was almost eight hours on the road, and once back I had to write my Humans recap for this last episode–it was a good one filed with bad android sex–but I still got into the novel because I wanted to finish the scene, and five hundred forty-six words later, I did.  (If you’re keeping score, that’s also ten thousand, five hundred words for the chapter, and ninety-three thousand, four hundred for the novel.)

We left off with talk of Emma, but someone is a little tired of that . . .

 

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

Annie didn’t want to speak of Emma any longer. “Don’t let her get to you tonight. I want you to remember—”

He held Annie’s hand tight. “Yes?”

“You pointed in every race you were in today: not just on the A Team, but your two races on the B Team. You had two podiums on the B Team, and one was the win against Åsgårdsreia. And in your second A Team race you had a second—against Mórrígan.” Annie brought them both to a stop again, and she drew in several deep breaths before continuing. “If you hadn’t been blocked so many times in that last race, you would have finished fourth, maybe third, and Cernunnos would have likely won the Battle Royale.” Her last breath came slow, and when she exhaled her eyes burned. “I hate what she did to you, and I hate what that did to us.”

 

There you have it:  on the B Team Kerry had a win and a third (not mentioned, but that’s what it was), and on the A Team side he had a second, a fourth, and a sixth.  And the emphases on Mórrígan is Annie’s way of saying, “You placed second against the best.”  Since I have the results for that race figured out, it’s also evident that Kerry was the only member of his team to hit the podium against the best team in the school.  There will be some mention about that . . .

But Annie is a little pissed, it would seem–

 

Though he could be clueless, Kerry found it easy to understand Annie’s words. “You don’t like what happened to our coven.”

“No, I don’t. I just—” She looked away for a moment. “I never imagined I’d feel this way about racing. Then again, I never imagined I’d have a soul mate racing on the A Team.”

Kerry shrugged. “Just for today.”

“Oh, really?” Annie hugged Kerry, laughing softly. “You scored three out of three races, which is something Hasan hadn’t done since starting on the A Team. And don’t say you were lucky: the Samhain races are hard, and it was even harder for you because you ran five races.”

“Emma ran four—”

Annie clutched Kerry, pressing herself into him. “I don’t want to hear about Emma.” The submerged anger in Annie’s voice leaked out. “She had her second in the Battle Royale and an eighth in the last round. She didn’t do what you did, so stop making it sound like she’s somehow your equal—she isn’t.”

 

This is really the first time Annie has come across as even a little upset when there’s mention of the Soul Mate Stealing Bitch From Boulder, and she knows Kerry is trying to be nice, but dammit!  She wants him to remember what he did, because it was great.  Screw that Mile High Bitch, dude–

You're gonna make Annie angry; you don't want to do that--

You’re gonna make Annie angry; you don’t want to do that–

It does sound a bit like Annie wanted to bounce out of the stands and give Emma a good slapping.  I’d say some girl better not come over during the dance and ask if she can dance with Annie’s boyfriend.  It might not turn out as she expects.

Annie just wants the best for Kerry, and she’s trying to tell him–

 

Though their conversations about his wingmate were always cordial, Kerry imagined that perhaps Annie harbored some animosity over what Emma tried last Yule, and his thoughts were now made real. “I’m sorry. I just—”

“—Can’t see how good you are?” Annie took one step back, holding Kerry’s hands in each of hers. “You get too close and all you see are flaws, but I see how you really are. I see the wonderful witch, the serious sorceress, and now the amazing racer. I see them all, my love; it’s impossible not to see this.”

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and kissed him—not lightly like before, but with more strength, more passion, more love. Everything she felt flowed from her to him in that kiss, and the light headedness they’d spoken over before began to creep in and fog her mind. “Hold me, dear. Hold me tight.”

Kerry got his hands around Annie’s waist and pressed her against him. “I have you, Sweetie. Don’t worry.”

“I never do when I’m in your arms.” She chuckled as the faintness began to slowly subside. “My mother—”

Kerry lightly stroked her hair. “What about her?”

“She told me I’d fall in love with a racer.” She tilted her head back and kissed his cheek. “I shouldn’t have doubted her.”

Kerry kissed her back. “How could you have known?”

“Because I’m my mother’s daughter.” Annie tapped her finger against Kerry’s lips. “How could I not have known?”

 

It’s over:  all the racing is, for now, finished.  Now on to the dance.

It’s time to make the costumes.

A Walk Through the Reticent

This morning did not start out good.  Because of I’m a certain age and gender, I tend to get hit upon by scammers who are, first, looking for romance, and, second, looking for your money.  They almost always appear as single dads whose wife has left them or died, and they have at least one child, usually between the ages of six and twelve.  And for the extra topper, they’re almost always stationed in Afghanistan, because of course.  Who’s going to say no to being wooed by a person in the service.

Well, me, for one.

But I digress.  They have the same stock rap and the same smooth operations, and anymore I almost never bother friending them except to allow them to chat me up enough so I can report them to Facebook before blocking them.  Which is what I did with this assclown this morning.  The problem was I was looking for a theme for the post today, and Mr. Lookin’ For Romance–he whom claimed to have read my profile; he whom said he was being directed by god to find someone’s heart he could touch; he whom picked the atheist lesbian to lay his rap upon–totally took me out of my creative space and sent me into a pissed-off spiral that forced me to let him have it good before the reporting, blocking, and unfriending commenced.

All that, however, just sort of sent me into a bit of a pity spiral.  I was feeling crappy last night, and for the first time in a long time didn’t go out to Panera to dine and write.  And there are times when the loneliness of my situation really comes crashing down on me, and I feel as if I can’t take another moment.  I ran all that through my head before getting ready and heading out into the walk to work, where–

It was snowing.

There’s a light snow coming down this morning, and we could get between three and five inches before it stops.  It’s been a long time since I’ve walked in falling snow:  it was something I loved to do as a kid, and often when it was snowing I’d bundle up and go outside for thirty or forty minutes to walk up and down the road and feel the cold flakes upon my face.

I did that today as well.

A bit like this, only far more urban.

A bit like this, only far more urban.

Once I was on my way, once I was heading through the Capitol Park and alone with my thoughts, I imagined Annie and Kerry wandering the paths of the school, hand-in-hand, as the snow falls.  Kerry wouldn’t see this sort of thing much, and he’d likely be enthralled by it–though given the snow that’s fallen this year, maybe they wouldn’t be that excited.  Right now they’d be in their D Levels and waiting for school to end in another two-and-a-half months, but at that moment–parallel to what I was feeling–they’d enjoy a little snow falling on their faces.

I was smiling by the time I walked into work, because I love seeing myself come through the door all bundled up in my coat and boots, with the hair from my wig peeking out from my hood.  My mood has improved, if only because I felt something that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Simple joy.

If only I could have shared that with another person at the same time . . .

The End of the Recriminations

In the last three days–well, two nights and two mornings, actually–I’ve written just short of four thousand words for this first scene of Chapter Thirty-Nine.  And let me tell you, it was hard.  Every moment of writing was difficult.  I only managed a little over three hundred words last night, one because I was tied, and two before it was just hard pulling up the strength I needed to get those words down.

There were a lot of emotions on my end about writing this scene.  I may not seem like it, but it’s a hard thing to point out that even though you’ve created this nice, seemingly perfect society which is trying to make the world a better place for everyone, it’s disconcerting to know that your society is still littered with shitbirds pushing their own agendas.  But The Foundation ain’t Utopia, and the Guardians deal with problems not only in this world, but . . . well, in time you’ll find out.  If I ever get to those novels.

So, yes:  this scene and the last chapter show there’s just a bit of cynicism circulating about the halls of power that run this world.  Everything is flawed, because even super-powerful world-controlling witches are, deep down, nothing but people.

But they do want to help you.  Really.

It’s just that Maddie did something bad.  And in doing so she pissed off the wrong sorceress.  Oopsie!

 

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

Maddie took a step back from the angry sorceress, unsure of what the woman would do next. “I’m sorry, Helena, but I had my reasons—”

“I give zero shits about your reasons.” Despite knowing that she shouldn’t get angry, Helena felt her anger starting to slip loose from where she kept it hidden. “Kerry saved your life, you ungrateful bitch—”

Maddie’s temper came on strong in that moment. “That was an accident.”

It doesn’t matter. He saved you.” Helena regained control and returned to her smoldering, cool demeanor. “You’d be dead right now were it not for him. And you repay that by being a spy. By telling the Guardians—”

“What they needed to know.” Maddie spit the words at Helena. “Both of them, they’re the sort of students the Guardians are looking for, and you know it’s the truth.” She slashed her arm downward in a dismissive manner. “If you were doing your job—”

“I am doing my job: I’m the Head Sorceress of Salem.” Helena’s face twisted into a near snarl. “I train students, not spy on them. That’s what I do.” She jabbed a finger in Maddie’s direction. “It’s what you should do, too.”

 

Yeah, you gotta admit, that’s a pretty crappy thing to do–have your life saved by some scared kid and then continue to justify your actions because what he did was an accident.  Maybe she included that in her rat

 

“Someone in San Francisco evidently doesn’t think that’s true.” Maddie smirked. “Maybe they wanted a different point of view from someone who’s suffered because of the Deconstructors.”

Helena paused for about five seconds in the wake of Maddie’s declaration of loss. When she spoke, her response came in a low, tight tone. “David blew himself up taking out four maniacs in powered armor. That was your husband’s choice, and he did it to save the school, save the students, and save you. It hurt that you lost him, I get it . . .”

 

In the prequel novel to this, you meet David, Maddie’s husband, who is also an instructor at the school.  You learn they were coven and level mates, and they married after completing their Life Experience Travels.  David encountered an instructor working for the Deconstructors and three students getting ready to start their powered armor that they’d built in class–now you know a little of what goes on down in the super science areas–and were going to tear up the school when David decided the only way to take them out was to blow up a suit of bio-armor he was working on and take out the bad guys.  Unfortunately for him, he was wearing said bio-armor, and died along with the bad guys.

So, yeah, Maddie is still hurting from that, and she doesn’t want to see anyone else go through that pain.  The problem with that explanation is that you have to give it to someone to someone who can’t imagine what you’ve gone through and hope they sympathize.

Who does she tell, though?  Helena.

Bad move . . .

 

Her voice tightened as she once more drew to within half a arm’s length of the coven leader. “But you justifying you actions because of loss isn’t going to work. ‘Cause The Scouring didn’t just end here, it kept going for about two years after that shit parade started on these grounds. You wanna talk loss, Maddie? You wanna talk about Tower One, hum? You wanna talk about what I lost? I lost coven and levelmates; I lost colleagues; I lost friendsI lost my fucking legs.” She grabbed the lapel of Maddie’s jacket and yanked the woman towards her. “Do not ever justify your shitty actions on the death of your husband, because even with all I’ve lost, I’ve never went running to the Guardians and told them confidential things about our students because I thought it just might help The Foundation Cause. I will protect these students; I will never sell them out.”

Harsh reality is Helena has tried her best to protect people, and even when it seems like she’s playing people, there’s keeping certain students in mind.  She let Annie into the Black Vault because she wanted to know what she was trying to learn.  And by knowing that, she has a good idea of what she’s showing Kerry.  One might question her letting Annie do that last, but there’s a reason for that, too, and she’ll let on more about that in time.  That seems to be a theme with me:  in time.  Everything gets resolved eventually.  It’s just I’m the only one who knows when.

Helena throws out a final warning to Maddie–one of which is along the lines of, “If I catch you doing this again I’m coming to your house and we’ll . . . talk,” and she jaunts off to The Pentagram with Erywin.  as they’re walking in there’s this conversation:

 

They teleported to a point near Founder’s Tree and began walking, hand-in-hand up to Founder’s Gate. Erywin said nothing right away, but as they passed through the huge, vaulted archway, she found she couldn’t maintain her silence any longer. “Are you going to say anything to the other coven leaders or Mathilde?”

“No. It’s not my place to go to Mathilde and tell her what I found. If Maddie wants to resign that’s up to her, but I’m not going to pressure her to do so.” Helena sighed. “What she did was shitty, but that doesn’t mean she’s a terrible instructor.”

“But do you think she’ll stop sending things to the Guardians?”

“Yes.” She turned to her right and nodded. “She knows I’m watching her now, and knows if I catch her passing along anything again, I’ll come after her.”

Erywin didn’t really want to know the answer to the next question, but she had to ask. “And do what?”

Helena didn’t blink as she answered. “Kill her.”

“At her farm?”

“Yes.”

Erywin squeezed her companion’s hand. “You would really do that, love?”

Helena cast a sideways glance back. “Honey . . .” Her face broke into a smile. “You know me better than to ask that.”

 

Hey, Helena’s smiling!  Now you know what makes her happy:  the idea of coming after you and putting you down.  And while people may question why Helena wouldn’t try and get Maddie kicked out–Helena’s still a Guardian, and just like all her brethren, she’s playing angles.  And who’s to say Helena won’t use this leverage on Maddie later to get something she wants?  Well, I’m the one to say that, that’s who.  Really, it’s a bitch getting burned in this sort of business, because then you sort of become a chum line for other sharks to feed upon.  Maybe Maddie won’t resign, but all the while she remains at school she’s gotta wonder if today is the day she looked up from her desk and discovers Helena standing in the doorway with a big smile on her face . . .

Nope.  Not something I’d want.

"Why is Helena having me look up all this Sailor Moon porn?  Maybe death would be better . . ."

“Why is Helena having me look up all this Sailor Moon porn? Maybe death would be better . . .”

Sometime today I start in on the Mile High Club scene, and the return of a certain wingmate that I know some people would like to see die as well.  Where is that scene going?

Into Thin Air.  Really.

The Boy Who Set His Wingmate Straight

Last night was a good time to turn off most of the Internet, turn on the music, and get to writing.  Because there was so much to say, and I needed to get it all said last night, because there isn’t a fourth novel in The Millenium Trilogy, and I could only wring out one more The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo reference before I would run out of snappy titles.  There you go:  I write based upon how witty my blog post titles are.

Really, though, I needed to pull this one together, and trust me, these last seventeen hundred words weren’t easy ones to write, because I changed how this scene was going to play out maybe five times before writing what I did last night.  I needed to, because every time I’d go down one road I’d think, “Okay, now would Kerry say or do that at this point in his life?”  And the answer to most of those paths were “no”, because the kid still has a bit of growing up ahead of him.

Needless to say, Emma’s “Don’t you mean soul mate?” shot was just the opening–

 

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

There was something about Emma’s tone that Kerry wasn’t enjoying at all. “What do you mean by that?”

“Oh, please. You told me you knew Annie for a week before you walked through Founder’s Gate, and she’s your soul mate?” She rolled her eyes. “What’s wrong with you, Kerry?”

Kerry’s voice began rising as it always did when he became upset. “What do you mean what’s wrong? Nothing’s wrong.” He jabbed a finger at Emma. “What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m trying to make you see that you’re not in love with her, you’re just infatuated.” Emma started waving her arms about. “You know what it is? It’s those big brown eyes and that long brown hair—”

“Her eyes are hazel and her hair is chestnut.”

“Whatever. She starts playing with her hair and looks at you with those big eyes, and then she turns on that accent . . .” Emma began curling her hair around a finger and stared at the ceiling while speaking in a poor, exaggerated imitation of Annie’s voice. “Karri, my loov, wold yoo liik tu hoold my hund?” She batted her eyelids several times. “Puulsse?”

Kerry wasn’t amused in the least. “She doesn’t talk like that.”

Emma didn’t appear to hear the comment. “And she’s not all that nice, either. She’s cold to everyone—”

“She’s not like that to me.”

“Oh, no? What about in the hospital after we wrecked? She seemed pretty pissed off at you to me.”

His breathing became ragged. “What do you care?”

“I care because you’re my friend.”

You’re not acting like my friend.” Kerry’s voice was growing louder as a feeling he’d not had much experience with began rising as well.

Emma took a single step forward, and she spoke in a softer tone. “Kerry, she’s not right for you. She not really your soul mate; she’s just some girl whose got you wrapped around her finger, and you aren’t smart enough to see—”

Kerry didn’t need to hear anymore; he’d had enough. Any hope Emma had for a private conversation vanished as his bellowing voice echoed down the narrow corridor and into the East Transept. “You know nothing about Annie. Everything you’re saying is wrong, and you need to shut up now. Shut up. Just SHUT UP.” He spun around and ran out of the corridor.

Good thing this conversation wasn't happening three years later.

Good thing this conversation wasn’t happening three years later.

And there, in that fifth sentence, is proof that Kerry actually doesn’t remember his dreams–at least not the important ones that Annie talks about.  Otherwise, as astute readers might have noticed, he’d remember someone he claimed he lost . . .

Kerry runs out of there and runs not into the main part of the Great Hall, but up to his left and the other corridor leading to the teachers offices.  He runs in there, hunkers downs, and starts crying.  Why?  He feels betrayed, so much so that he did something he’s never done before:  he lost his temper and yelled.  Emma’s the first person he ever completely loses it on, and since he’s not the sort of person who starts punching walls–he’s more the sit in his room and brood and, if it gets to that point, cry–he does the later.

Of course, this doesn’t mean he does it alone . . .

 

“Kerry.”

His head snapped up: Emma was standing three meters away, half hidden in shadow. “Go away.”

“Kerry, I’m—”

GO AWAY.” He looked down as he fought to keep from hyperventilating. “What is wrong with you? Why did you say those things about Annie? Why? I thought you were my friend.”

Emma slid closer to him. “I am your friend.”

“Friends don’t make up lies about people they love.” He wasn’t shouting like before, but Kerry wasn’t making an effort to keep his voice down. “I’m hurting, Emma. I love her and I miss her so much right now . . . and then you come and start talking crap about her; you make fun of her; you make up lies about her.” His voice rose to a shout. “I love Annie. She’s my soul mate. You’re not going to change that, ever.”

 

Kerry has never discussed his relationship with Annie to anyone.  Every time something has changed between them, it’s happened in private.  The closest to a public declaration he’s made about his feelings was the dedication he made to her at the Samhain dance–and one other time to Emma, which I’ll get to.  He pours out his feelings and kindly told Emma to piss off as well.  How does she take it?

 

Emma stood silently looking as if she was in shock. She wiped something away from her right cheek before kneeling on the floor about two meters from Kerry. “I didn’t know.”

He sniffed back snot and tears. “Know what?”

“A lot of people talk about you two.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that.”

She hung her head. “Most of the people think you guys are just, I don’t know, pretending that you’re all lovey dovey and romantic—”

“Why do they think that?”

“Because you’re eleven years old.” She looked up, and in the dim light Kerry saw the tears streaming down her cheeks. “Because you’re just kids, and what do kids know about real love, right?”

 

And that’s another thing that’s been mentioned, as Kerry pointed out.  Other kids do talk about them, and most think they’re nuts or full of it.  Sure, Annie’s really twelve and all grown up, but still:  to the other eleven and twelve year olds, the way they act looks like an act.  And that’s one of the reasons that a few of the adults feel what’s going on between them, because they’ve had time to mature and develop their feelings–and this sense that this is the real deal with these two.

And now Emma’s sensing it, too . . .

 

He slowly shook his head as he choked out his word. “It’s not like that with Annie and me. I told you up at the Observatory, there’s times it feels like I’ve known her a long time—”

“I know; I remember.” She chuckled. “I was asking all those questions about you guys because I was trying to figure out what was going on—”

“And ‘cause you like me.”

“Yeah . . .” She snorted and cleared her throat. “’Cause I like you. And ‘cause I was like everyone else believing that you guys are just infatuated with each other.” She slid a little closer. “Now I know.”

“What do you know, Emma?”

She closed with him until she was only an arm’s length away. “Remember when I asked if Annie was really your girlfriend?”

“Yeah, I remember.”

“You told me something in Bulgarian—”

“Moyata polovinka.” Kerry swallowed hard, clearing his throat. “It means soul mate.”

“I know; I remember that, too.” Emma wiped her eyes again. “You remember I walked away after you told me that?”

“Yeah. You had a strange look on your face—”

“That’s because I saw something in your eyes I’d never seen before.” She exhaled hard twice. “I saw it again.” She lightly touched Kerry’s cheek, getting him to look at her. “Tell me you love her.”

Kerry stared directly into Emma’s eyes. “I love Annie.”

“And?”

“She’s my soul mate.”

Emma nodded slowly. “Yeah, there is it.”

“What?”

“I see it in your eyes, Kerry.” She gently touched his face just outside his right eye. “The truth.” She pushed back off her knees and sat on the floor, stretching out her legs. “I screwed up.”

 

Thank you for admitting that, Ginger Girl from Colorado.

 

Kerry couldn’t look at her. He was angry at what she’d said, but at the same time hearing her say those last three words felt like something twisting in his gut. “If you thought you were going to get me to like you by talking crap about Annie, yeah, you did.”

She winced. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I know nothing about how to get someone to like me.”

Kerry chuckled. “Hey, join the club. If Annie hadn’t spoken to me first, I wouldn’t have said a word to her. I just . . .” He looked up at Emma with sad eyes. “Until Annie I never talked to girls.”

“Same with me with boys.” She turned to Kerry. “I’m sorry I kissed you like that. I kinda threw myself at you.”

“Yeah, you did.”

Emma looked down at her left hand as she made circles on the floor. “You going to tell Annie?”

“No, not anytime soon.”

“You afraid of what she’ll say?”

“I’m afraid of what she’ll do.” He wiped his face dry. “Remember she was gonna Air Hammer Lisa for hitting me in the back of the head with a bottle?”

The memory flew back into Emma’s mind. “Oh jeez, yeah. You both were gonna do that.”

“Yeah. And in front of Lovecraft and Sladen.” He drew in a long, deep breath. “We got reamed for that move.”

 

Kerry doesn’t know what Annie almost laid on Emma, or what she did to Lisa:  he’s going off of what he’s picking up from her in the last few weeks from her little forays to The Black Vault.  That, and he knows she knows a death spell.  Deep down he knows Annie could be a dangerous girl, and as controlled as she acts most of the time, she’s also a twelve year old girl, and that in of itself can be a little scary.  He’s also lying about getting reamed, but I’ll forgive him for that.

But that leaves one question unanswered:

 

Emma stared at a spot on the wall across from her, keeping her face turned away from Kerry. “Can we still be friends?”

He was wondering the same thing. “You said some pretty nasty things—”

“I know.”

“Even if you didn’t think we were serious about each other, you were wrong to throw those at me.”

“I know.” She sniffed once, fighting to keep from crying.

“Thing is, if I stop talking to you, Annie will ask why, and I’ll have to tell her what happened, and I’d rather avoid all that . . .” He scooted to his right, getting closer to the weeping girl, and extended his arm. “Take my hand.”

Emma finally looked towards Kerry. “What?”

“Take my hand.” She tentative reached out and loosely held his hand. “You’re my wingmate and my friend. You screwed up, and you admitted you screwed up. So . . . I forgive you, Emma.”

She looked down and nodded. “Thank you, Kerry.”

The tone of his voice changed slightly, growing more serious and stern. “But I want you to know that if you ever talk about Annie again like you did—to me, or to anyone else—I won’t just be pissed: I won’t be your friend anymore, I won’t forgive you, and I won’t speak to you ever again.” He gave her hand a squeeze. “That’s a promise, Emma—understand?”

“Yes, I do.” She slowly pulled her hand away. “You sounded like when you were questioning Lisa when we were doing Drought of Submission in Sorcery class.”

“Well . . .” He shrugged. “A sorceress has gotta do what a sorceress has gotta do.” He raised an eyebrow. “Right?”

 

And when I wrote that last night, I asked myself, “Does Kerry know what he did with that last move?”, holding hands and swearing all that is right and wrong by Emma.  The answer is, “Yep,” and he did a sort of half-assed version of a Sorceress’ Bargain, letting her know without letting her know–because they haven’t gotten that far in Sorcery class–that if she screwed up again, that’s it:  game over.  She probably sensed something, because of the comment she made about him sounding as he did when he more or less put the boots to Lisa and had her writhing on the floor in pain during the Drought of Submission test.  That would be a class that Emma would remember, mostly because she had to square off against Annie, and she wasn’t digging that at all.

Did he actually do that with her?  Hum . . . probably not.  Probably.

Three out of four scenes complete.  Only one remaining, and I know exactly what’s going to happen there . . .

Not to mention it allows me a touch of symitry with the next chapter.

Not to mention it allows me a touch of symmetry with the next chapter.

And those three scenes put me closer to finishing Act Two.  Not to mention there’s something coming up here real soon.

Watch this space.

And don’t say bad things about Annie.

Just Another Bad Racin’ Deal

After the mess that was Sunday, Monday night’s offering were much better.  It was a far better time at work, and a far better time at home, even if I did have to pay my taxes and a few bills.  But for the first time in a while, I came home and wanted to write.  Because I not only had to finished my scene in the hospital, but I had to set up something else.

When we left off our duo of adult female instructors and staff, a duo of female students, and a lone boy all by his lonesome, it looked as if the women were getting pretty pissed at each other.  In fact . . .

 

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

Vicky took a deep breath and put her hands on her hips. “Don’t go there, Coraline. You know this sort of thing happens once in a while.” She nearly stuck a finger in Coraline’s face. “I can’t keep an eye on all the kids all the time; I also didn’t know they were going to get so far out in front—”

“Maybe they wouldn’t have if you hadn’t put them on advanced brooms this soon.”

Silence closed in on the ward as the School Doctor and the Flight Instructor stood staring at each other, each waiting for the other to say something. The silence was broken not by either woman, but when Kerry spoke. “It’s okay, guys.”

 

That’s it, Kerry: step right in between two women about to throw down. Mr. Clueless to save the day! What could go wrong?

Plenty, because he starts up with some really bad excuses for why he’s lying in bed with a broken ankle, a almost busted skull, and his knee destroyed. He would have made some stock car drivers happy with his “It’s just one of those racin’ deals” words–but with this crowd, not so much:

 

“Yeah, I mean . . .” Kerry found himself at a loss for words as he felt the stares of the two adults in the room upon him—

But mostly he felt Annie’s stare—and it wasn’t pleasant. As she had done moments before with Emma, her eyes were unwavering hazel orbs that radiated extreme cold. Kerry felt she wasn’t so much looking at him as she was seeing something she’d never encountered before—and she wasn’t happy about finding said object before her.

She slowly drew in a long, deep breath and momentarily held it, her eyes locked on him, never once turning away. As she exhaled a sound emanated from somewhere deep in her throat; Kerry had never knew such a sound could come from Annie, and he didn’t like what he heard. He almost looked away, but became afraid of what might happen if he did.

Annie spun on her heel and addressed the head of the ward in a low, dark tone. “Nurse Coraline, since Kerry can’t move, can I take he’ll be eating dinner here?”

Coraline glanced for a moment at the now quaking Kerry. “That’s correct, Annie.”

“Am I permitted to dine with him?”

Coraline fought hard to keep the smile off here face. “Are you sure you want to do that?”

“Oh—” She turned to once more stare at Kerry for a few seconds. “I’m sure.”

 

You’ve officially gotten The Look, kid. Congratulations. The growl was extra. No charge.

So Annie leaves, and Kerry decides to double down on being Mr. Clueless with Nurse Coraline, who, were she a real person, is having a field day with this kid, because she’s getting to school him on the Ways of Piss Off Girls–and she’s having a blast.

 

It was only when it was just Emma and Coraline that Kerry finally found the courage to speak in a soft, quivering voice. “Nurse Coraline?”

“Yes?” She moved out of the ward hall and into the space between the beds. She had a good idea about what he was going to ask.

Kerry didn’t disappoint. “Is Annie mad at me?”

“What do you think?”

“Uh . . . yeah?”

“Yeah is right.”

He looked off to his left, unloosing an exasperated sigh. “Why? What did I do?”

Coraline leaned closer and lowered her voice. “She’s upset about your accident—and the excuses Emma and you gave.”

“But—”

“Kerry, her dad was a racer here, and he did a bit of it on the outside after he got out of school.” She rested her hand against the headboard of the bed. “And she’s probably also heard all the same lame-ass excuses you gave her a minute ago.”

Learning back as best he could, Kerry threw up his arms and spoke in a squeaky, out-of-breath voice. “I didn’t know that. She never talks about her family or her father—how’m I supposed to know?”

Coraline sat on the edge of Kerry’s bed. “Red, let me tell you something about girls in general, and your girlfriend in particular.” She leaned forward until she was a few tens of centimeters from his face. “Saying that you didn’t know something—?”

Kerry gulped slowly, feeling like he didn’t want to know the answer. “Yeah?”

She scrunched up her face. “Doesn’t work.” She shook her head several times and smiled. “Nope. Not one bit.” She quickly stood. “I better check on Annie: it wouldn’t do if she tears up the menu by accident.” With that she departed the bay, leaving him almost alone.

 

Nurse Coraline’s bedside manner sometimes leaves a little to desire, but you can bet Kerry’s gonna remember all of this. Not that it’ll make much sense.

But really, the coda here elevates this beyond the mundane. Because obviously Emma hasn’t been paying attention for most of the last month and a half:

 

“Hey, Kerry?”

He turned towards Emma, who had been sitting quietly while Annie had gone cold on him. “Yeah?”

“Is Annie really your girlfriend?”

Uhhhh.” Kerry fell back into his pillow and stared at the ceiling. “Emma, I’m in so much trouble . . .”

 

Way to rub that salt into those wounds, Emma. Maybe you should have taken Kerry’s leg off, then he might have garnered more sympathy. And you would have been killed in front of the adults, but shit happens, right?

With this out of the way I’ll add a new scene tonight.  You’ll see it on the graphic below, and it’s something that I decided needed to be shown, in only because the following scene makes a little more sense with it.  Also, it’s going to open up a dynamic in the kid’s relationship, and important things will get said.  But one scene comes in, and I’ll pull another out because it’s not needed.   I’ll talk more on this tomorrow.

And old scene leaves, and a new appears.  It's the Circle of Writing, yo.

And old scene leaves, and a new appears. It’s the Circle of Writing, yo.