Leaving it All Behind Once Again: Departing is Such Sweet Sorrow

It’s been a long, busy morning.  And a lot of writing, believe me–over three hundred and fifty last night, and almost thirteen hundred this today.  I’ve been up since 5:30, made a few calls, did my laundry, and lunch is a-cooking.

Busy little bee, am I.

The writing yesterday and today has put an end to the first scene.  The next scene will likely be a short one, then the scene after that has everyone getting off the plane in Berlin and saying whatever goodbyes they have to say before going their separate ways.  Lots of thing still to come.

Lots of changes coming, mostly of a time kind.

Mostly of a time kind, it seems.

First, however, there’s a goodbye that needs to be said right here and now.  And the person saying the goodbye is . . ?

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie turned towards their visitor and gave her a slight yet warm smile. “Hello, Anna.”

“Hello, Annie.” The German girl from Åsgårdsreia turned her head to her left. “Hello, Kerry.”

Kerry relaxed as he faced Anna, keeping Annie’s hand in his left. “How you doing?”

“I’m . . .” She shrugged with an embarrassed look on her face. “I’m as good as could be expected right now. I didn’t get a chance to meet with you at school, but I wanted to say goodbye and wish you both a great summer holiday.”

Annie was truly touched. Though they’d had little contact with their levelmate the year before, she’d begun noticing a change in her behavior not long after her judgment battle with Lisa’s champion, and saw how much more open and friendly she’d become after being promoted to her coven’s racing A Team. “Thank you, Anna. We hope you have a great holiday next year, too.”

“Thank you.” Once more the look of embarrassment came over her. “I also want to thank you both for showing what Lisa was really like. It—” She cast her gaze towards the floor.

“It’s hard to admit she had me fooled so badly last year.”

Kerry was the one to speak after a quick exchange of looks. “I know all about doing things that make you feel dumb; I’ve done that more than a few times.”

Anna seemed to consider how she should answer that comment, finally making a decision five seconds later. “She actually had me thinking that she cared for me.” She looked right at Kerry as she spoke. “You proved that otherwise during Sorcery class last year.”

Now it was Kerry’s turn to look embarrassed as he recalled that particular Sorcery class lab and his successful use of the Draught of Submission on Lisa—which resulted in her subsequent outing as a possible lesbian. He’d felt a great deal of guilt for a week afterwords, but was reminded several times that it remained Lisa’s choice not to say anything and that she could have stopped the incident at anytime. “I’m sorry if I caused problems for you—”

“It didn’t.” Anna looked across the terminal for a moment. “We were sharing a room at the time, and that night she was pissed; she wouldn’t let what happened in class go. I asked why she didn’t just say my name that . . .” She glanced upwards. “I found out later it wasn’t me that she thought of in those moments.

“Then this year she starts hanging with Franky more, which I didn’t mind, but then when we made the B Team, she was pissed at me that I tried out without telling her. It was as if she didn’t want me on the same course with her, that I was going to somehow—”

“Show her up?” Kerry chuckled. “Might be because you’re a better racer.”

“Danke. Then after Annie beat up her champion she went nuts.” Anna glanced at Annie. “She wanted me to challenge you.”

“What?” Annie’s eyes went wide in disbelief. “Why?”

“She told me some BS about being able to hurt you in the ring—” Anna shook her head. “I told her if she were so eager to go after you, she should call you out and do it herself. It wasn’t long after that I asked for a new room and we were separated.” Her sigh was quite loud. “She really hates you both.”

 

Anna, who has remained mostly in the background for most of two novels, is stating to come out into the open.  We find out that Anna was used by Lisa, and that she even wanted Anna to challenge Annie to a match, which would have involved Anna getting her butt kicked hard.  And we hear that Lisa hats the Lovey Dovey Couple?  Color me surprised.

And with this in mind, we hear something surprising, as well as some personal information about Anna:

 

“I’m not surprised.” Annie stepped forward and placed a hand on the German girl’s arm. “I’m sorry you went through that, Anna. I’m also glad you’re doing better, too.”

Anna’s smile contained a touch of sadness. “I am.” She looked at Kerry. “Now to get through what’s next.”

“We will.” He patted her shoulder. “We don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens, so best not to give it a lot of thought.”

“Well, that’s why I can’t wait to get on the plane and sleep most of the way home.” Anna turned and saw activity at the gate. “Shouldn’t be too long now.”

After Anna’s confession Annie felt there was only thing she could say at this moment. “If you ever want to hang with us, consider this an invitation. You can—” She smiled. “—whomever you want to bring.”

“Really?” Anna’s face brightened. “I’d like that.”

Kerry began chuckling. “Though it might get a little confusing with the Annie/Anna stuff.”

Anna laughed at the comment. “Well, you can always call me Sabb.”

“Sabb?”

“That’s my nickname. It’s short for Sabine; that’s my middle name.”

Kerry immediately perked up. “Like Sabine Schmitz?”

Anna’s face broke into a surprised smile. “You know her?”

“Yeah, the Ring Queen. Everyone knows her.”

“I didn’t think many people outside Germany knew her.”

Kerry nodded. “If you follow racing, you do.”

“Yes, you do. My father and I rode with her around the Nordschleife three years ago, right before she stopped driving.”

“Wow.” Kerry was about to ask about the right when he noticed the playful look he was getting from the person on the right. “Maybe next year we can talk about that.”

“I understand.” Anna glanced between Annie and Kerry, grinning cheerfully. “I hope to see you when we arrive in Berlin, but if I don’t, I’ll see you next year. And if you ever happen to be in Berlin, or any German city, let me know: I’d love to meet up.”

“We’ll do that, Anna.” Annie folded her hand against her stomach. “Have a good flight.”

“You, too.” After giving a wave to Kerry Anna turned and headed for her luggage.

 

Anna Sabine Laskar:  we have her whole name, and she’s the first student who’s full name we know other than Annie’s and Kerry’s.  And the back and forth between Anna and Kerry is legitimate:  Sabine Schmitz is a real person, as anyone who follows racing and/or the BBC program Top Gear knows.  One of her nicknames is “The Ring Queen,” and during her time driving a BMW M5 “Ring Taxi” around the gigantic Nordschleife road course–essentially she was hired by people to drive them around the course as fast as possible–she believes she drove twenty thousand laps, which is a lot of driving.  She’s won the 24 Hours Nürburgring twice in a BMW M3, and once on Top Gear drove a van around the 20.8 kilometer course and almost brought a ten minute lap doing so.

Yeah, you can bet Kerry’s found someone new to talk racing with next year.

The nice thing about Annie’s invitation is that she kept open the gender of whatever “friend” Anna might want to bring.  She doesn’t care with whom she shows up, and honestly, at this point, Annie’s going to have to deal with the idea that one of these days in the future she’s gonna show up at one of these get together with a girlfriend of her own.

All of this sparks some curiosity, but before they get too far–

 

It wasn’t until the girl was out of hearing range that Annie spoke. “That was unexpected.”

“I’ll say.” Kerry eyed the woman standing behind the ticket counter at the gate. “At least we know Lisa’s actively looking to get back at us.”

“It’s not as if we didn’t believe that—”

The woman Kerry was watching picked up a mic and spoke. “You attention, please. We are ready to board passengers for the Air International special charter to Berlin, German. Will all passengers holding a pass for this flight come to Gate E7B. We will begin boarding in a few minutes. Thank you.”

Kerry grabbed on to his luggage handle “That’s our cue.”

“Indeed.” Annie began walking toward the gate with her luggage in one hand and Kerry’s in the other. As there were fewer than two dozen students and instructors taking the flight back to Europe boarding proceeded quickly. After the woman at the gate—who Annie recognized as one of the air hostesses from their flight at the start of the school year—quickly scanned their boarding passes Kerry and she proceeded down the gangway to the aircraft entrance.

Trevor Parkman, dressed comfortably in jeans, polo shirt, and sneakers waited for them just inside the airframe with a tablet in hand. “Ah, we meet again.”

Kerry nodded as he let Annie pass through the doorway first. “Seems like we saw each other just yesterday.”

“So it does.” Trevor asked their names and took their palm prints. “By now you’re experts with these flights—” He held the tablet close to his chest. “Have a good flight home.”

“Thank you, Mr. Parkman.” Kerry nodded towards the front of the aircraft. “First class?”

Annie raise a questioning brow. “Do we travel any other way?” They made their way into the spacious front cabin of the aircraft, allowed the hostess to stow their luggage, and gave their drink orders before selecting two seats in the middle of the cabin.

Kerry snapped his belt into place and left rest loosely in his lap. “I don’t imagine we’ll be here long.”

Annie accepted her tomato juice and took a good sip before speaking. “Be like when we were in Berlin.”

He checked the time on his phone. “It’s six forty-one: Helena say last night we were supposed to be wheels up at six forty-five—”

A woman’s voice came over the speakers. “Attention, this is your pilot. The doors are closed and we are about to push back from the gate. We have been given priority takeoff clearance on Runway 22 R and should be airborne in a matter of minutes. Flight crew, secure for takeoff.”

 

Now it’s time to go, and here’s the route the plane is going to take as my kids get ready to leave:

I have pictures of everything!

I have pictures of everything!

According to weather history, the wind is coming out of the southwest this day, so the planes taking off can leave the terminals and leave on the right runways, while the inbound planes land on the runway on the left.  This is the way you run an airport, although Boston may run their own differently.  I prefer my way, because it’s my world, yeah?

All that’s left now is for my kids and sit back and enjoy what’s coming next:

 

Annie set her right hand on the armrest between Kerry and her. “You were right; they have nothing to hide now—”

“So why wait?” He set his left hand over Annie’s. “A little over eight hours and we’re back in Europe—” He half-looked at Annie. “Back home.”

“No, my love.” She turned her hand palm-up and entwined her fingers around Kerry’s as the plane made its way to the end of the takeoff runway. “We’re going back to our families; it’s our home we’re leaving behind.”

They sat in silence as they made the final turned to get into position for takeoff, and as had happened three times before the engine sound subsided for only a moment before they were set to full thrust and the A330 was propelled forward. Maybe twenty seconds later the nose came up,and the vibrations caused by the runway vanished as the landing gear thumped into place. The plane made a climbing turn to the left and only leveled out when the sun was no longer visible in either window.

Kerry pointed towards the windows on the left side of the airframe. “Look: you can just make out Cape Ann.” He gave a small wave. “Goodbye, Salem. See you in a few months.”

Annie gave Kerry’s hand a squeeze as she imagined the now-empty school greeting the new day upon the barely visible island. “Farewell for now.” She turned to Kerry with a smile upon her face. “We’ll be home soon.”

 

There we go:  the plane is in the air and heading back to Berlin.  And can we see what the kids see?

Of course they can, 'cause I figured it out.

Of course they can, ’cause I figured it out.

It would be some ways off in the distance, but Cape Ann could be see on a clear day–and this is a clear day.  And the next scene is going to take place somewhere on this picture:

Likely a lot more on the left side of the line than the center or right.

Likely a lot more on the left side of the line than the center or right.

I may even state that tonight.

A Day At the Races: Pretty Racers All In a Bunch

The snow is bearing down on us as I write this, and in about twelve hours we’re gonna get hit with Snowmageddon 3:  This Time It’s Personal.  Bring it:  I’m ready.  I went out after work to get my staples, and I’ll make it through no matter what.  Plus I’m crazy and I’ll walk down to something if it’s open–if being the operative word.

Needless to say today will be Panic in The Burg, and I’m certain at least one person at work will yap on about this shit for more than a few hours.  It’s even possible we’ll be sent home early because The Burg shuts down once there’s a couple of inches on the ground–or, as we say back over by Chicago der, “It’s Friday.”

Anyway . . . after getting home I started writing, and for the first time in a while I actually felt like writing.  Even though I had to do a bit of calculating in the next section of about eight hundred words–at one point I had four tabs open, each with an online calculator ready to go–I was still a happy girl as I tapped away at the keys.

"Maybe I'm having a good time because I know there's mayhem right around the corner?"

“Maybe I’m having a good time because I know there’s mayhem right around the corner?”

Yeah, that could be entirely possible.

There’s racing, and know I know who the hell is doing want.  And here they are–

Have at it, kids!

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The course straighten and vanished into the gray, misty forest. Kerry pushed forward hard as the acceleration tried to force him backwards and off the broom’s saddle. Jaramillo stayed on Kerry’s left while Iglesias stayed about half a broom length to the left and back from her, and all three quickly reached a hundred and eighty kilometers an hour as they closed on Manco and Soroushi. Kerry pushed his speed, hitting two hundred then two-ten, but the girls from Blodeuwedd and Ceridwen stayed with him, as did the gaggle of racers coming up through his draft.

He needed to clear the people in the front in the next twenty seconds, otherwise the people behind him were going to jam on him and the girls to his left, while he jammed into the two fliers in front—the sort of situation that might see someone getting pushed into the safety enchantments and maybe crashing, or blowing an elevation gate and taking a five second penalty. Maybe all of those.

Kerry jerked a few centimeters to his left, just enough to make Jaramillo think he was going to tap her, then cut to his right as he lay his body over the control column and pushed on nearly five gees of acceleration. Two seconds and two hundred meters was all he needed to boost his top end to just over five hundred thirty kilometers an hour. He sailed past Soroushi—who had finally pushed her speed to what seemed like a bit over two hundred—and moved back to the center of the track.

Unfortunately, all the others behind him had the same idea. Fortunately, a few of them did pile up behind Manco and Soroushi, which meant they’d have to catch up at some point later on the course.

 

That “two seconds and two hundred meters” was the first of those things I needed to calculate, and it necessitated having to open three calculators.  First to find out how much speed I’d pick up if I pushed on five gees of acceleration–which, in case you’re wondering, is 49 meters per second squared.  Once I knew how fast I’d go, I looked up another calculator to make sure my meters per second to kilometers an hour I was calculating on my computer was correct.  (It was.)  Then I brought up a third calculator to see how much distance I would cover.  Two hundred meters, by the way, is six hundred and fifty-six feet, and in case you’re wondering how far that is–

It's this far, folks.

It’s this far, folks.

Kerry flew from the far side of the West Wing of the White House to the other side of the East Wing in two seconds.  That’s some pretty good flyin’ there, kid.

But now he’s go something else to do–

 

Kerry didn’t care. He was entering the South Branch turn at four hundred thirty kilometers kph, and though he thought he should kill some speed so he didn’t bounce off the safety enhancements, he decided to gamble, because he knew if he didn’t, people behind him would. He pulled his broom to the left and entered the turn.

The gee force wasn’t bad—he figure he was pulling two and a half gees at the most—but it went on for a bit longer than the seven or eight seconds needed to get through Observatory Bend. He held the turn as he made the slight climb towards Twelve Cut, then cut his speed considerably as he reached the right turn and head off and up.

 

What I didn’t point out is that the fourth calculator I used here told me that Kerry held that speed through the turn for about twelve to thirteen seconds.  And my calculations may have been off just a little, but that’s why this is a first draft, so I can go back and fix things later.  Sometimes I’m a bit too eager to make sure my kids do it right.  Or at least I get it right.

Anyway, this leaves Kerry almost in the lead.  Only one thing up ahead . . .

 

The climb to Barrell Around was a good hundred meters, and the only one between him and that crest was Anna, who was only about eighty meters ahead. Her flying surprised him, because Nadine told Annie and him after last Wednesday’s Advanced Spells class that most pole sitters fade on the South Branch climb, and it was extremely rare for them to stay in the lead all the way to Pond Switchback. Kerry figured she might hold on to the lead through Barrell Around, but he was going to take her through the flat of Twin Peaks before they did the quick ninety meter drop to Pond Switchback and made the difficult left-hand turn and nearly two hundred and seventy meter climb to North Climb.

Anna flew into Barrell Around and vanished into the right hand turn. Kerry went after her, picking up speed through the blind corner leading into Twin Peaks, the narrow passage between two five hundred fifty meter hills. He hit the acceleration and caught up to the lead girl just as she was dropping out of the passage down the cut dropping almost a hundred meters to the hairpin switchback overlooking the Lower South Branch Pond—which they could almost see through the barren trees.

Kerry noticed Anna’s helmet twitch: she was checking her mirrors and knew he was behind her. She pointed down and to her left, indicating that she was letting a faster, more experienced flier pass. He pulled to the center of the turn as Anna slid a bit to her right—

He was a quarter of the way through the turn when Emma slid hard into Kerry, nearly knocking him off his broom, then straightened herself and pulled away from the Switchback and up the side of North Ridge towards North Pass, almost a kilometer away and three hundred and fifty meters higher.

 

Emma!  How you doing, you little race-bumping ginger bitch?  So here’s Kerry racing Anna, who is being nice and safe and using hand gestures–which are legit and used in a few different series–and who comes along and runs into Kerry–again?  Can you say it?  Say it again!  LOUDER!

I wonder what might happen now?  Well, I know what’s going to happen.  But you’ll have to come back tomorrow to read about it, because I won’t write it until tonight.

Assuming I’m not buried in snow on the walk home.

Course Corrections

Here I am only six hundred and fifty-four words away from two hundred thousand, and this second scene is over and done, big fin for all to see.

See?

See?

It was strange with this scene because I spent three night working on it and is seems like every night I wrote about a hundred to a hundred and fifty words more than I wrote the night before.  Probably had a lot to do with my moods at the time, but it’s still a little strange to see that happen.  At least I know that in the last three nights I wrote almost seventeen hundred and fifty words, which is pretty good for me these days.

In the next almost seven hundred words we come to the end of the race.  More thoughts and more observations, and Kerry is brought back to a race moment that happened about one hundred thousand words earlier in the manuscript . . .

 

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

Snow blew up behind Kerry the moment he dived into The Trench. He expected to see Anna vanish and reappear further back, but she crept out of the snowy backwash, centering herself directly behind his PAV so she could draft. She wouldn’t get a good draft as they were slowly drifting to the left into Quarry Turn before doing a little back and forth before getting back into the air, and as Kerry didn’t have any snow in his face he could open up a little space . . .

Anna hung with him all the way through Quarry Turn and the quick S-turns through the trees, so she was only four PAV lengths behind as they approached Observatory Bend. The sky wasn’t completely clear of haze, but it didn’t make seeing the elevation gates impossible. Kerry peeked at his rear view display and saw Anna setting up for the inside sweep. He smiled as the one-eighty turn approached—She’s watched the video of my first race and she’d doing the same thing Alex did on that last lap. He leaned over the handlebars of his Class 2 broom and began his turn.

He hit the turn hard and fought the gees as they quickly built. A quick peek saw Anna cutting a half meter to the inside to pull a tighter turn—only this time the strategy didn’t work. Kerry pushed his broom just a few meters a second faster through the turn, keeping a two PAV lead on his pursuer and keeping third for himself. As he came out of the bend he slipped his PAV to the left, causing Anna to brake just enough that she dropped back three lengths. Sorry, but I came up with a few tricks since that time I had Alex behind me, Anna— Kerry chuckled as he flew towards Helter Skelter. Annie; Alex; Anna . . . He quickly made his way down and through the tricky turn and blasted out the other side. Penny; Emma; Lisa. How is it I come to witch school and end up knowing all these girls with two syllable names?

 

I came up with his last way, way, way back in 2011 when I was role playing Kerry, and he actually came up with this thought while patrolling with Emma during the attack on the school–they happened at a different time than the Day of the Dead then–and the thought was something like Annie, Anna, Emma . . . how do I know all these girls with names that sound the same?  I don’t know:  maybe witch girls like to keep their names simply.  I will throw this out, however:  Annie’s, Alex’s, Penny’s, and Emma’s names are the only ones that are shortened versions of their real given names, while Anna’s and Lisa’s aren’t.  Coincidence?  I think . . . I’ll continue with the excerpt–

 

Kerry pushed hard through Residence and Aerodrome, but Anna pushed harder, and by the time he flew through Back Path the little German was back to a couple of PAV lengths behind him. As he dipped and rose into Van der Kroff Heights he wondered if he shown too much too soon, then disregarded it as he swept hard to the left and flew down towards South Side Dive. I’m a better flier and racer; she’s not gonna take me here.

He came out of South Side Dive with Anna still a couple of lengths back. Kerry knew her plan: she was was gonna turn tight on his inside and try to get ahead—or baring that, she’d get along side, keep him close to the enchanted safety barrier, and drag race him to the finish line. All he had to do to spoil her plan was get through the turn faster, keep her at least a half a length behind him, then get in the center of the course and open up with as much speed as possible all the way to the end.

He set himself in the saddle. He didn’t see any problems: he’d beat her and do it clean.

Kerry reached The Sweep and held nearly all his speed going through the long turn. He watched the turn ahead, but was aware that Anna was on his left, close but holding her fast line. She pulled up close, maybe a half a PAV length back, but she was still behind him and that was all he needed once the turn was completed—

There was a blur in the rear view but before he could register just what it was something slammed into the back of his PAV and slammed it hard to the right and into the safety enchantment. He tried to jerk it straight but Anna hit him hard before she when pinwheeling down the course. Kerry rolled hard to the right, felt the slight electrical surge of the safety enchantment before hitting the barrier. He bounced off the magical wall and tumbled over and over into the middle of the course, managing to see a departing broom before he fell into darkness—

 

Like I said, we come to the end of the race, and here’s the section of the course covered:

We start at the arrow and proceed to where X Marks the Spot.

We start at the arrow and proceed to where X Marks the Spot.

Some people suspected that certain shit would go down, but most of them figured that Anna was gonna crash Kerry.  Well, sorta:  it would appear she was crashed out as well.  Now, would anyone like to take bets on who the did the dirty deed?

If you don’t, no worries:  you’ll find out as soon as Kerry wakes up.

And I write it out.

The Cold Calculations

Today’s post title kinda comes from a story written before I was born.  Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equations was published in 1954 and, about fifteen years later, was deemed a classic of the science fiction field by The Science Fiction Writers of America.  A long story short, it’s about an emergency space ship sent to deliver medical supplies to a colony world, and the pilot discovers there’s an eighteen year old girl hiding aboard the ship who decided to hitch a ride because she wanted to see her brother.  However, the ship carries only enough fuel to handle the delta v needed to get from the mother ship to the planet’s surface based upon the calculated pre-stowaway weight, and because she weighs slightly more than a cell phone, at the end of the story she’s sent out the airlock like Laura Roslin herself discovered the girl.

The moral of the story is the universe doesn’t care who you are, you screw up and you’re gonna die.  Which is pretty true when you think about it, because the universe doesn’t give a shit about you–and if you read anything about the things were discovering out there, you’ll see it’s looking for new and inventive ways to kill us.

But nobody dies today; everybody lives, ’cause The Doctor said so–and besides, there’s no need for killing, at least not yet.  Not in my fictional word . . .

Kerry’s a little lost in his thoughts as he zooms over Selena’s Meadow, and it set up the post’s title, because if there’s one thing Kerry’s starting to understand, it’s cold.

And for your viewing enjoyment, follow Kerry's route along the line from left to right.

And for your viewing enjoyment, follow Kerry’s route along the lower line from left to right.

 

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

The race started well. Kerry began on the inside in fifth but shot to third half way through Woodland Path. He went after Rivânia Suassuna from Åsgårdsreia and Penny the moment they were over Selena’s Meadow. This was their first race with snow on the ground, and Kerry had to fall back so he’d know where the leaders were, as he didn’t want to run into them—

Which he’d continue to do for that and the next six laps.

They only place anyone could make time without fear of hitting anyone was in the air, and the moment they were airborne and picking up speed the wind chill came down on them hard. The minus fifty wind chill the Salem Overnight flight encountered was mind-numbing, but Kerry never spoke much of the minus twenty wind chill they dealt with for their overflight of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. He never mentioned it because it was something they—the entire flight—knew they would need to withstand when they were on The Polar Express, and to do so for far longer than the few hours before arriving home.

There was a huge difference between that cold and the chill Kerry felt now: on the first and this last overnight flight, all that was necessary was set a heading and fly straight. Here he had to keep his mind on rising, diving, and turning, all usually being done while avoiding other racing and the safety enchantment.

But he didn’t have time to think about what had already happened: it was the last lap, and he was approaching Meadow Climb at high speed. Turning to the left as he cleared the trees, he pulled his broom to the right and set up in the middle of Pentagram Pass. It was only as he began passing Blodeuwedd Coven tower that checked to see if he still had someone behind him.

An Åsgårdsreia flier continued to stalk him from about five PAV lengths back. He quickly checked the ID on their broom and had his suspicions confirmed: it was Anna Laskar, who’d stuck with him since this point in the first lap. Kerry relaxed, because Anna didn’t worry him. Her B Team records showed she was a clean racer, and in those sections of the Blue Line where someone could get aggressive and dangerous, she’d decided not to push her luck and remained behind him. He knew it was entirely possible that she was going to make a move against him at some point during this last lap, just as Alex had during his first Blue Line race—and there was even the possibility that she may do something to hurt him because she was friends with Lisa—

As he set up for his dive into The Trench he discounted this last thought: Anna wasn’t racing like someone who was out to get him. She was being careful and deferred his experience where necessary. There was also the moment before the race processional, when the fliers were setting up inside The Diamond, where Anna came over and not only wished everyone a good race, but said she’d do her best not to cause a problem on the course, and that she’d get out of the way of the more experienced racers if it should come to that.

No, Anna didn’t worry Kerry. But he’d not seen Lisa since the green lights flashed . . .

 

It would appear that (1) flying in low wind chills isn’t fun, (2) racing in them is even less fun, and (3) Anna seems to be a good sport and not an evil little bitch like her friend Lisa, who is still on Kerry’s mind.  But we’re only about a quarter of a way through that last lap, and like I said, the universe doesn’t give a shit if you’re cold or worried–

And neither does the author.

But then again, I am the universe here.

Tracking Through the Snow

Not a slow start to the morning, but a bit of one last night, because a new scene started and there was all the stuff I had to do for research and pictures and thinking how I’m gonna start–you know, the usual nonsense I go through with every scene for like the last six hundred or so thousand words.  One might imagine that I’d be used to this stuff by now . . .

At least I wrote nearly five hundred words before sitting down to watch Fargo, which is coming to an end next week.  And which is a shame, because I’ve enjoyed the hell out this season as much as I’ve enjoyed the last.  But all good things come to an end, Bunky, just as this novel will one day, as will this story.  Then it’s just muddle through the Christmas holiday season and the month of January, and make the best of the fact there’s nothing on to watch.  I’ve done it for two years in a row now, and I’ll make it through this year.

Maybe that gives me more time to write?

As you may have guessed by the title, I’m back to racing.  And it’s not a pleasant race.  Since the last time we saw Annie and Kerry it was the end of January, that means the calendar couldn’t have gotten advanced too much, and you’d be right.  To 9 February, 2013, to be precise.

Notes:  I haz them.

Notes: I haz them.

Remember, I keep all these little notes on the side of my scenes, and as you’ve seen before, this is another example.  I know what happens here, so I take the historical weather data I’ve located and apply it to a particular area of my fictional world–

Which would be this area for starts.

Which would be this area for starts.

And then I start on the first four hundred and fifty words . . .

 

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

Kerry roared through the Blue Line’s Woodland Path blasting icy haze behind him. Seconds later he entered Selena’s Meadow at better than two hundred and fifty kilometers an hour, his PAV sucking the light snow ground cover into his jet wash. He had no idea who was behind him, and wouldn’t until he reached Meadow Climb. He didn’t feel the steady wind out of the north northeast because he pushed his broom to three twenty-five kph and the minus twenty-five Celsius temps he’d felt for nearly the whole race returned.

He was happy this was the last of eight laps, because racing today was miserable as hell.

Kerry was in the primary race, the match between Cernunnos and Åsgårdsreia. Everyone knew today wouldn’t see the best flying conditions: the day before had been cold, windy, and snowy, and before the Midnight Madness began Professor Bashagwani advised all race teams to expect all of the same except for the snow. Come race time they discovered her forecast was correct save for one thing: in the early morning frozen fog covered everything with frost, and mist and haze remained once the fog vanished.

Each of the pre-race meeting warned the teams that they may face sections of limited visibility, particularly in the areas where the course skirted the ground. The racers were told to pay particular attention to conditions in The Trench, Quarry Turn, The Swoop through Diamond Lane, and Helter Skelter, though nearly every racer figured the respect they showed the last turn would be enough to prevent any serious issues there.

Kerry’s major concern wasn’t with the course, however. His real concern centered on Åsgårdsreia’s newest A Team members . . .

The prior week’s Battle Royale on the Green/Red Lines saw two members of Åsgårdsreia crash out against a member from Blodeuwedd as they headed into Sunset Boulevard. While all racers were out of the hospital, both the Åsgårdsreia were injured severely enough that Coraline refused to clear them for this week’s race, and that meant the coven needed to bring up replacement fliers from the B Team—

The two best fliers on Åsgårdsreia’s B Team were Anna Laskar and Lisa Glissandi.

Kerry was informed of the moves before leaving Advanced Flight One. Vicky pulled him aside and gave him the news. She reminded him that she and others were aware of his history with Lisa, but that he should just race his race and not worry that something could happen. As Vicky said, he knew all about how racing deals worked, and the only one who could keep him safe on the course was him.

He understood this perfectly, and let Vicky know he’d do everything he could to stay out of Lisa’s way.

 

And there you have it:  I’ve got the notes for the scene, I’ve got the location, and I’ve set up the action.  Now to tell you what’s going to happen . . .