Up On the Coming

This is one of those “I don’t know what to do for a post today, so here’s hoping I can pull something out of my butt today” posts, which I don’t have often, but which do come every so often.

I’m thinking here–really I am.

And then it hit me:  why not talk about what happened yesterday–

What did happen yesterday?  Glad you asked.  See, I’m a busy person:  I’ve got this novel going on, and I do TV recaps–of which I need to do two this weekend–and I’m ten scenes into this mermaid story that I’m about a day behind on, so I need to catch up on that.  Needless to say, I’ve got a lot going on in my life even though I bitch a lot about nothing going on.

Now, Reny–my long time reader who reads just about everything–had some confusing questions for me.  See, I have a Penny in my Foundations novels–Penny Rigman, who lives in England–and Penny the 9 year old mermaid in my mermaid story, and Reny was maybe a little confused that both girls were the same.  I had to point out that, no, they aren’t, it’s different universes, and the kicker of them all, Albuquerque Penny–the mermaid–is nine and white, while Salem Penny is a teenager and black.

What was her response?  “I didn’t know Salem Penny was black.”

I had to think about that for a minute, because I was certain when I introduced Alex and her in Berlin I’d mentioned she was black.  And I did–in a roundabout way.  When I first introduced Penny I mentioned that both her parents were from Barbados, which has a population that’s about 95% black.  I checked a few other places and nope, it seems like I never bring up her ethnicity again.  Because why?  It’s really not that big of a deal considering at school the majority of the kids are people of color.

And then…  I remembered Hermione.

You remember Hermione?  The witch from Harry Potter who everyone thought was white but ended up being played by a black woman in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which then led to J. K. Rowling more or less saying, “Well, I never said Hermione was white, did I?” and causing a large segment of that fandom to lose it hard as the arguments over her ethnicity started.

The way I saw it, I was setting up the same problem–

Please.  Hermione doesn’t need that shit again.

Yeah.

Figuring I didn’t need that to happen again, I got into the B Level novel, went to the “Welcome to Berlin” section of the story, and changed Penny’s introduction to say, without a doubt, that her family’s from Barbados and, oh yeah, she’s black.  I also changed something about Alex as well, because once you put about three hundred thousand words between sections you sometimes forget things.  And I didn’t want to do that, either.

That was me last night, fixing stuff in my novels and making certain I get it all right as much as possible.  Because what’s the point if you don’t? Michael Cimino said something like that while filming Heaven’s Gate, though I’m unsure if he was referring to the movie or all the blow everyone was doing.

I know I’m not doing blow, so getting it all right must have something to do with my writing.

It must.

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The Second Second Breakfast Run

All the tails of misery and pain are out of the way, or at least as much as possible for now.  Now it’s back to the regularly scheduled events of the week, which are normally fairly boring and easy going.

That means it’s time to get back to editing and one of my favorite couple of scenes in the book.

The last two days were spent getting into the scene I titled Second Breakfast way back in April, 2014, pretty much as a way of venting some frustration.  This all happened during a discussion with someone close to me who started complaining that two scene earlier, when Kerry first met Ms. Rutherford for breakfast she decided to have something to eat as well, and  they began questioning whether or not she’d had breakfast with the other kids, and if so, how could she eat again so soon?  Personally I felt it was really kind of a ridiculous thing to hang on, but it ended up being forty minutes of back and forth before I finally said I’d change the scene.

(There was also a forty-five minute discussion over the used of the metric system versus the imperial system for measurements throughout the story–her argument was that Americans wouldn’t read the book because they didn’t understand the system, while my argument was that The Foundation couldn’t call themselves a “world wind organization” if they were using a measuring system used in only three countries in the world–and that argument I one simply because it’s my story.  Nener, nener, nener.)

But this is really the first scene where we hear the terms “Legacy” and “Normal” with a Big Freakin’ N, and if you’re playing attention you realize there’s something going on with this Ms. Rutherford woman, and that Annie isn’t quite like the other kids.  And this is the beginning of the first time Annie began making her play for The Kid From Cardiff, and a question was asked:

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015, by Cassidy Frazee)

“What are we gonna do if we go out?” All Kerry had with him was £50 he’d hidden away over the last couple of years: there wasn’t any way he could get around London on that amount. “How we suppose to get around or do anything?”

Annie patted the envelope with her left hand. “Ms. Rutherford left prepaid debit cards with £200 on them for each of us to use. No need to worry about money for the day.”

“Oh.” Kerry’s stared off to a far corner of the room as he seemed to consider Annie’s comment.

Seeing the indecision on Kerry’s face, Annie knew the time had come to push the forty-four percent odds towards her favor. She reached out and touched his left hand: Kerry’s head swiveled around to face her. “Would you like to do something? Would you like to go somewhere with me, Kerry?”

 

There’s the question we’ll hear some, oh, three hundred thousand words from now, but here it gets asked three times, and this is also the very first time we see her do something to Kerry she’s never done before:  she touches his hand in a non-handshaking way.  Of course this  makes Kerry nervous, because girls, and this leads to a discussion of why she’s asking Kerry, and why she’s not asking the other two students with them.  Because Annie is a little girl who knows what she wants, even this early in the story.

And we get this right near the end:

 

She realized she’d made Kerry a bit uncomfortable, but there was also the possibility that he was completely focused on her, and if she asked him that question again, there was a good chance his mind wouldn’t wander this time.  “Would you like to do something?  Would you like to go somewhere with me, Kerry?”  She leaned every so slightly towards him.  “I’d rather not spend all day in the hotel, but I’d also rather not wander about London by myself.  I’d like you to join me.”  She sifted in her chair, sitting back while never allowing her gaze to drift from him.  “Please?”

 

That Annie:  such a forceful eleven year old girl.  If one didn’t know any better, one could say she was about to lean in for a kiss, but we know she’d never do that in public.

So much more to go, and the PDAs are already starting.

So much more to go, and the near-PDAs are already starting.

As the next scene is well over five thousand words long it’s likely going to take me a couple of days to edit.  But that’s the one where we get to see them walking around London–

And we know what these kids are like when they are left together on their own.

Coming to a Theater Near You–Again

After a night of interruptions–including a couple of romance scammers who spent well over an hour trying to convince me that I was the one for them–I finally finished the “movie trailer” for B For Bewitching.

This was a real undertaking, let me tell you, for my mind wasn’t actually seeing things as clearly this time around as last.  I should say I did see things clearly, but for some reason I didn’t bring them to life as well as I did the last time I posted one of these–which was only a week and a half short of six months ago–and I know that because I posted it for another writer friend who is in the process of trying to market her first novel, and she’s got the growing pains that come with trying to market yourself.  Of course, because her last name is Noble I like to call her Doctor Donna, because I’m like that.

What’s different this time around?  A couple of things.  First, this time around I left off a lot of the screenplay marks like “EXT. LAKE SHORE — DAY” and “EXT. TRAIN STATION— NIGHT”, because this was taking me a whole lot of time to write, and I was forgetting these things, to be honest.  Yes, I know, I’m bad.  Therefore, this is more like a first draft of a screenplay, with most of the camera set ups loaded inside the descriptions.

The other thing I did was include music, and this is where I really spent most of my time trying to tie scenes in with specific lyrics.  That’s what took the longest time, listening to the songs over and over and figuring out what scenes should go where.  That’s why you’ll see lyrics posted in the areas where the scene descriptions are located:  in a “real” trailer you’d hear the music in voice over (or here, V.O.) as the scenes plays out.  Not only did I include the lyrics, but I’ve also included the songs themselves at the appropriate areas, but there are two songs used, and they definitely show a change in the mood of the trailer.

I should also point out that neither song is played in its entirety;  about half the lyrics are missing from the first song and the whole second verse of the last song is missing.  Because no one is going to sit through like nine to ten minutes of trailer.  Five on the other hand . . .

Either way, you might want to give the songs a listen as you either read through, or before hand.  Just a suggestion.

During the reading you may encounter the phrase “beauty pass”.  This is a term where there’s a tracking shot over something that’s meant to show it off.  In Star Trek:  The Next Generation majestically sailing past the camera now and then was a beauty pass.  It’s also a term used in CGI rendering and for getting your hair and makeup done in New York City, but I’m doing neither of those.

Also, you’ll notice that a few people who are among “the hated” show up in this treatment, and they even have lines!  There’s also a character who you’ll recognize instantly–

Then, for better or worse, there’s the “movie trailer” for the second novel.  Enjoy.

 

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

FADE IN:

CLOSE UP ON CLOSED EYES:

The log drums intro of Crowded House’s Private Universe begins as the camera pulls back revealing KERRY MALIBEY laying in bed with the covers pulled to his chin. Once his face is in full frame his eyes open, but he seemed unaware where he is.

QUICK CUT:

The music continues as the camera focus across a room. ANNIE KIRILOVA sits up wearing a black cami top, her hair slightly mused, appearing slightly confused while looking at something just off camera.

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY are standing together in the bedroom, both in their night clothes moving towards the camera as she waves her hand.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“No time, no place to talk about the weather.”

QUICK CUT:

Camera POV from behind ANNIE and KERRY as they look out an opening door, revealing a sunny yard beyond.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Promise of love is hard to ignore.”

QUICK CUT:

KERRY and ERYWIN SLADEN walking across a open plaza.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Who said the chance wasn’t getting any better?”

KERRY
“It sucks. I hate being home.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY alone on a sofa.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Labor of love is ours to endure.”

ANNIE
“I hate being thirteen.”

QUICK CUT:

Camera POV making a beauty pass over the SALEM SCHOOL Pentagram and Great Hall.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Highest branch on the apple tree.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY siting on the second floor of Cernunnos Coven at night with PENELOPE RIGMAN, ALEXANDRIA CHORNEY, and JAIRO YBARRA.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“It was my favorite place to be.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE appearing serious and deadpan with KERRY standing in the background as she’s yelled at by LISA GLISSANDI.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“I could hear them breaking free.”

LISA
“Don’t you get it? No one cares what you want.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE dressed in her night clothes floating out of a multi-colored, iridescent fog.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“But they could not see me.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE, PENNY, and ALEX watching red blips inside a holographic bubble.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“I will run for shelter.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Endless summer lift the curse.”

QUICK CUT:

KERRY lifting ANNIE around her waist as she holds her hands over her head and cheers.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“It feels like nothing matters.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY dressed in summer clothes standing with bicycles in the middle of a country road on a sunny day.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“In our private universe.”

The instrumental bridge begins to play as we cycle through a number of scenes:

QUICK CUT:

DEANNA ARRAKIS is sitting in a room with ANNIE and KERRY.

DEANNA
“There’s something I’d like to discuss.”

KERRY
“Does it involve tea?”

QUICK CUT:

ISIS MOSSMAN twisting around in mid-air and lightly hands on her feet in front of ANNIE and KERRY while they stand inside the Aerodrome.

ISIS
“Do you want to be a mermaid?”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE wrapping KERRY in dark ribbons of shadow as she levitates him in front of Sorcery Class.

QUICK CUT:

KERRY on his broom alongside PENNY and ALEX on theirs as they enter The Diamond, a large, enclosed racing structure. All look up at something and break into smile as PENNY leaps off her broom.

QUICK CUT:

A blond KERRY and an aqua-colored hair ANNIE standing in the Pentagram Garden late at night. She kisses him on the nose.

ANNIE
“It’s been such a special night.”

The song picks up as scenes continue:

QUICK CUT:

KERRY is in Queens, New York, standing in the World’s Fair grounds with EMMA NELSON. They are both in their flight gear, and the Unisphere is in the background. He turns to her as she speaks.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“I will run for shelter.”

EMMA
“What is wrong with you? You’re twelve years old and you talk like you’re married.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY walking along a lake in the gray misting light rain.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Endless summer lift the curse.”

KERRY
“I wait to stand by your side.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY in their school uniforms standing close together in a large room with several students standing in the background.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“It feels like nothing matters.”

KERRY
“I’m gonna stand over here and watch you kick this guy’s butt—”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE smiles at his comment.

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE is floating over KERRY, who is in his night clothes, as is ANNIE. All around them multi-colored mist beings to take shape into recognizable shapes.

ANNIE
“Come to me. Come be with me.”

KERRY
“Annie?”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“In our private universe.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY are sitting in an airport lounge with darkness beyond the windows. He hands a small, gift wrapped package to her.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“And it’s a pleasure that I have known.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY are walking down a street wearing jackets on what seems a chilly day.

ANNIE
“I’ve never had people tell me that didn’t want me around.”

KERRY
“You can do two things, then: either change and be what they want—or ignore them and continue being yourself.”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“And it’s a treasure that I have gained.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE waking up inside a dark aircraft cabin. As the lyric is sung the camera POV shows her face rising up over an armrest.  The music comes to the foreground.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“And it’s a pleasure that I have known.”

QUICK CUT:

As the song moves back into the instrumental with an increased tempo KERRY is squirming in his sleep, mumbling.

KERRY
She’s not your CONCERN.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE is speaking with KERRY aboard the same plane.

ANNIE
“What were you dreaming about?”

KERRY
“I was talking to a girl.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE meeting with DEANNA lying on their backs, looking at a video. We cut to the video showing a scene from the year before, where ANNIE and KERRY met with DEANNA the first time. This time there are colorful outlines around bodies.

ANNIE (O.S.)
“Why does mine have that bright yellow border?”

DEANNA (O.S.)
“Bright yellow indicates a fear of something—losing control, losing respect—”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE appearing a bit sad.

ANNIE
“Losing someone you love.”

QUICK CUT:

KERRY sitting up in a hospital bed unable to move as ANNIE feeds him breakfast.

ANNIE
“Were you speaking with that girl again? The one you mentioned the last time?”

KERRY
“Yes, I was.”

ANNIE
“Who is she?”

KERRY
“I don’t know.”

QUICK CUT:

KERRY standing in a stark, gray fog, wearing his pajamas as he looks around.

KERRY
“You’re not Annie.”

A GIRL speaks but is not shown.

GIRL (O.S.)
“No, I’m not.”

KERRY
“Who are you?”

GIRL (O.S.)
“You know who I am”

KERRY
“Why do you want me to know everything about you?”

SMASH CUT:
BLACK SCREEN:

The music stops as the screen goes completely black. There’s a pause before we hear the girl speak.

GIRL (V.O.)
“Because you hold my life in your hands.”

The screen remains black as we hear a high hat strike before the famous eight-note bass intro of Queen’s Under Pressure begins.

FADE IN:

POV from across a large mat with a large circle in the middle. The camera looks over the shoulder of a student as we see ANNIE in her school uniform, her feet bare, standing in an outlined box opposite the camera. The mat is surrounded by students.

QUICK CUT:

CORALINE GALLAGHER is with DENNA in a comfortable looking room. CORALINE is dressed in a sweater and jeans; DEANNA wears a light blue abaya.

CORALINE
“Did you notice the one connecting thread in those dreams?”

DEANNA
“You’re talking about Annie—”

CORALINE
“She could probably be considered a trigging factor.”

DEANNA
“Five times is too often for it to be a coincidence.”

CORALINE
“You think it’s a vision?”

QUICK CUT:

A group of students in heavy winter gear are flying on PAVs through the darkening sky, with a touch of the sun to the right of screen.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Um ba ba be, Um ba ba be, De day da.”

POV over two students as Cape Ann is scene in the distance.

QUICK CUT:

We are in the headmistress’ office, where MATHILDE LAVENTURE is speaking with CORALINE and DEANNA. Until otherwise noted the song plays in the background.

MATHILDE
“I have to assume the student in question is Kerry Malibey.”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Pressure pushing down on me.”

CORALINE
“Given what happened last night with Kerry, we’d like to have Erywin help us.”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Pressing down on you, no man ask fore.”

MATHILDE
“So have her help you.”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Under pressure.”

DEANNA
“We’re asking for her official assistance.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY are in light blue coveralls getting into rigging hanging from the ceiling. RAMONA CHAI and HELENA LOVECRAFT are with them, helping the prepare.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“That brings a building down, splits a family in two.”

RAMONA
“Both signals are over the red line.”

HELENA
“How are you feeling?”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Puts people on streets.”

KERRY
“I’ve been looking forward to this since last night.”

ANNIE
“I can’t wait to start.”

QUICK CUT:

POV CLOSE UP on the face of someone that looks human, but is hairless. It’s gasping for air and appears confused.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Um ba ba be, um ba ba be.”

HELENA (O.S.)
“Don’t try to talk, just nod—”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“De day da, ee day da—”

QUICK CUT:

POV showing the upper torso of the human-like thing looking towards the camera as HELENA stands next to it, helping.

QUICK CUT:

POV showing another human-like thing looking towards the camera with RAMONA alongside. It smiles back.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“That’s okay.”

QUICK CUT:

CORALINE and DEANNA are meeting with ERYWIN in a library room, with comfortable sitting chairs, end tables, and subdued lighting.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“It’s the terror of knowing what the world is about.”

ERYWIN
“Do you believe he’s a danger?”

QUICK CUT:

CORALINE and ANNIE are next to KERRY’S bed in the school’s hospital. CORALINE stands over him as ANNIE sits to his left. He appears almost terrified as he closes his eyes.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Watching some good friends screaming—”

KERRY (In a near whisper)
“She’s coming for me.”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O. IN B.G.)
“Let Me Out.”

QUICK CUT:

Two racers on PAVs collide at the start/finish line; one slams into the ground as the other flies off their broom and towards the camera. At this point the song comes out of the background and plays over the scenes.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Pressure on people, people on streets.”

QUICK CUT:

DEANNA standing in a ghostly version of the school while dressed in ethereal armor. She throws up a glowing shield as an flickering, orange light bathes her face.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Turned away from it all like a blind man.”

QUICK CUT:

CORALINE, DEANNA, ERYWIN, and JESSICA KISHNA stand looking incredulously at something off-screen. ERYWIN shouts out something as she throws up her hand.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Sat on a fence but it don’t work.”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE in the hospital standing over an unconscious KERRY laying in bed while CORALINE stands at the food of the bed.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Keep coming up with love, but it’s so slashed and torn.”

QUICK CUT:

The air in front of ANNIE shimmers slightly as she is hit by a fireball that dissipates; she pulls back her right hand and looks down at something as a dark mass forms around her open palm.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Why—”

QUICK CUT:

Three racers in black with green piping drop down over the top of trees at high speed as they race past the camera’s POV.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Why—”

As the third “Why” in the song stretches out—

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE being held from behind as she looks on frightened.

QUICK CUT:

KERRY in a room screaming at someone or something.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Whyyyyyyyyy—”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE in her night clothes running out of her room into a dark, coven corridor.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Love, love, love, love, love.”

QUICK CUT:

Overhead POV as the camera follows a racer in their black uniform with green trim traveling over a rocky surface in snow before plunging over the slide of a mountain into a whiteout and vanishing.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Insanity laughs under pressure we’re breaking.”

QUICK CUT:

POV on KERRY on a busy street as he turns to face the camera.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Can’t we give ourselves one more chance.”

QUICK CUT:

POV on ANNIE sitting at a table in a restaurant, waving with a slight smile on her face.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Why can’t we give love that one more chance.”

SMASH CUT:
BLACK SCREEN — RUN TITLES:

Prepare

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Why can’t we give love give love—”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE with KERRY on a sofa inside a room as he kisses her.

SMASH CUT:
BLACK SCREEN — RUN TITLES:

To Be

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Give love give love give love—”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE in the dark with KERRY, both wearing winter gear, as she seems to float above and to his side. She leans in to kiss him.

SMASH CUT:
BLACK SCREEN — RUN TITLES:

Bewitched

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Give love give love give love give love.”

QUICK CUT:

POV CLOSE UP on ANNIE with KERRY standing in a court yard and dressed for a cool day. There are tears on his cheeks as she holds his face between her hands.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Because love’s such an old fashioned word.”

QUICK CUT:

POV CLOSE UP on ANNIE standing in a bedroom dressed in her night clothes as she smiles softly at something beyond the camera.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“And love dares you to care for—”

QUICK CUT:

POV CLOSE UP on A GIRL WITH RED HAIR in the same bedroom and dressed in her night clothe, smiling back at the camera.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“The people on the edge of the night—”

QUICK CUT:

ANNIE and KERRY sitting at an outside table at a cafe with PENNY, ALEX, JAIRO, and KAHOKU SAYASONE. All are smiling and laughing.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“And loves dares you to change our way of—”

QUICK CUT:

POV ANNIE and KERRY, at night, sitting on a bench under a covered walkway. It’s cool outside; he’s in a hoodie and she a sweater. ANNIE stays nestled against KERRY with is arm wrapped around her. They both look happy and content.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Caring about ourselves; this is our last dance—”

QUICK CUT:

An aqua-haired ANNIE and blond KERRY dancing: he with his arm high over his head as he is yelling out, while ANNIE dancing wildly near him.

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“This is our last dance.”

QUICK CUT:

POV ANNIE and KERRY, both in winter gear out on a gray day. He’s on his broom; she’s flying free. She waves for him to follow, and they head towards the camera. It turns and follows them as they fly out over a gray, churning ocean and quickly dwindle into the distance

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“This is ourselves. Under pressure.”

SMASH CUT:
BLACK SCREEN — RUN TITLES:

The Foundation Chronicles: B For Bewitching

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Under pressure.”

QUICK CUT:

KERRY sitting in a chair in what appears to be a family room. He speaks over the piano.

KERRY
“Mom, Dad . . .”

LYRICS FROM SONG (V.O.)
“Pressure.”

QUICK CUT:

As the song plays out POV ANNIE standing before a closed privacy curtain.

ANNIE
“You’ve yet to see me angry.”

POV KERRY sitting up in a hospital bed.

KERRY
“Uh, huh. And if you had been angry?”

QUICK CUT:

POV on ANNIE in her school uniform as she floats down from above, a cold loon on her face, a shimmering ice blue sphere in one hand, as purple-yellow ball of energy in the other. She comes to a hover half a meter above the mat—

SMASH CUT:
BLACK SCREEN — RUN TITLES:

Classes Start This Fall

FADE OUT:

 

And there you are;  three days of work that I hope were worth it.  And just think:  there’s another coming.

Maybe even before I age another month and reach my two year anniversary on hormone treatment, which is a month from yesterday.

Maybe even before I age another month and reach my two year anniversary on hormone treatment, which is a month from yesterday.

See you around the magical campus, kids!

How I Ended Before a Summer Vacation

We all know what’s going to happen today, don’t we?  It’s the end of the line for a certain story, just as I promised.

I do my best to keep my word even when it's not wanted.

I do my best to keep my word even when it’s not wanted.

Last night and this morning I wrote just one word short of fourteen hundred to finish the story of my kids and their B Levels, and because this is the last of that story, you’re getting it all with few interruptions.  Well, one of two, but that’s it.  And as stated before, since Kerry started this novel, it’s up to him to finish it . . .

 

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

The car was outside Cardiff Central Station when Ms. Rutherford and Kerry exited the train station not long after jaunting in from Berlin. Though the sun was still up—with it now a little after twenty hour, it wouldn’t set for another hour—it was falling behind the building of central Cardiff.

They didn’t stay long at the station. The boot opened as soon as they exited the station; Ms. Rutherford got in behind the driver as Kerry put his luggage in the back and closed the lid, and as soon as he was inside with Ms. Rutherford and his seatbelt was locked, the Mercedes C300 Sedan pulled away from the entrance and merged into early evening traffic.
They were only thirty seconds away from the station when Ms. Rutherford handed Kerry a small, button-like object. “This is your panic button. You know how they work.”

Kerry immediately picked up that his case worker was not asking a question but making a statement. “Activate the enchantment and you’ll teleport off to a predetermined location.”

“The spot picked for you is safe and secure, and you can go there any time, day or night. Once that’s activated someone will be with you within five minutes; I’ll arrive within fifteen. Ms. Rutherford gave Kerry a sharp look. “You need to either keep that on you at all times, or somewhere close by where you know it won’t be disturbed.”

Kerry opened one of the small, side pockets of his backpack and slipped the enchanted device inside. “It’ll be safe there.”

Silence filled the back of the Mercedes for almost another minute, the Ms. Rutherford glanced out the window at the passing scenery. “I know about your Gifts.” She turned to the boy on her left. “Both of them.”

He nearly did a double take with his case worker. “They told you? About . . .” He shrugged. “That?”

“The one that requires you being monitored?” She half smiled. “Yes.”

“Because you’re my case worker?”

“That’s one of the reasons.” Ms. Rutherford slid around in her seat as best she could with the seatbelt on so she could better see Kerry. “Because we sometimes have to hear secrets about our characters, my division is attached to the Protectors and not the Educational Council. That’s one of the reasons why I’m aware of your Bigender Gift. Also—” The half smile softened into something comforting. “I’ll be with the group that will come to get you should you have your first transition over the summer. I asked to be included as a member of Doctor Gallagher’s group as soon as I learned of her plans.”

“When was that?”

“A couple of weeks after your monitor was attached.” She face forward once more, softly chuckling. “Coraline agreed that it’d be best to have me deal with your parents while they prepared to move you somewhere—” She looked at Kerry out of the corner of her eye. “Well, where they can make you more comfortable.”

Kerry was made aware of this situation weeks back when all the B Level were given their “Returning Home” orientation. He knew he could call or text Ms. Rutherford at any time—he had her number in his phone—but the panic button was a special situation in case things at home took a turn for the worst and the student in question found it necessary to leave right that moment.

He was surprised by the revelation that Ms. Rutherford would be the person to speak with his parents should he have his first transition while home for summer holiday. Just that little bit of knowledge left him feeling that much more reassured that if the event did happen while he was home, he’d find himself being taken care of by people who cared. “Thank you, Ms. Rutherford. That means a lot.”

“It’s the least I can do for you.” She settled back in her seat. “It’s also my pleasure and honor to make certain you’re handled in the best possible fashion.”

 

I wanted to get a feel for how it looked in Cardiff as Kerry returned home, and found some new landscapes for Stellarium, and the one I found–well, it’s not in Cardiff, it’s actually from Sofia, Bulgaria, which must be come kind of strange coincidence.

Does this mean if you look hard, you'll see Annie and her mom out shopping?

Does this mean if you look hard, you’ll see Annie and her mom out shopping?

But it’s a good enough view, and I’ll stick with this.

This is also the first time we learn that Ms. Rutherford is actually a Protector, who are like The Foundation’s own police force.  If you want a comparison, The Protectors are like the FBI, The Guardians are like the CIA, and The Marshals, who haven’t really been discussed, are like The Foundation’s own special forces unit comprised of witches with military-grade, magically enhanced bang-bang.  She knows a lot of things, but not everything, about Kerry, because while she has a security clearance, it’s not as high as the one Kerry already has.

We also see the magical “Get Out of Dodge” piece of this homecoming:  every student gets a panic button just in case things at home suddenly go sideways and they need to beat a hasty retreat.  And you can bet someone will be checking up on Kerry over the summer, for should his parents go all tyrannical on him, he could just blast them through a wall and burn down the house.  People in The Foundation would much rather he just jaunt out of a bad situation rather than go full-on Natural Born Killer on his folks.  And given that the family abode is empty at least three days out of the week, how hard would it be for a team of Protectors or Guardians to jaunt inside and set up some of those bugs Helena once checked for in a motel room in Kansas City?  The answer is, “Not very.”

Speaking of the Malibey Home, we’re almost there:

 

Neither spoke during the remainder of the short ride home. It wasn’t until the car pulled up in front of his house and came to a complete stop that Ms. Rutherford spoke. “Remember, Kerry: if the situation should turn ugly in the next few minutes, it is not a reflection upon you. Who you are, what you are, should be judged on your attitude and behavior, not fear.” She gave his hand a slight pat. “Just be yourself and nothing more.”

Kerry looked up the path to his front door hoping that everything went well and didn’t degenerate into any of the worst case scenarios he’d worked out in his head over the last few weeks. “I’ll remember that.” He looked ahead at the seat back in front of him. “I guess we should get this over with—” He threw open the passenger door and stepped out into the cool, clear, Cardiff evening.

He was half-way up the walk when the front door flew open to reveal his mother ready to receive them. “Kerry.”

“Hi, Mom.” He immediately picked up on the tone of her voice: he was worried. Kerry wished he knew what she’d been told about his return, but I was impossible to ask that in front of her.

Ms. Rutherford held the outside door for Kerry. “Good evening, Mrs. Malibey.”

“Good evening, Ms. Rutherford.” Louise Malibey stepped back so Kerry could enter. She addressed him as he set his luggage on the ground floor landing. “How was your flight?”

“It was good, Mom.” He looked behind her and gave a slight wave. “Hi, Dad.”

“Welcome home, Son.” Davyn Malibey joined his wife. “Hello, Ms. Rutherford.”

“Good evening, Mr. Malibey.” She closed the door behind her and turned toward Kerry’s parents. “I’m happy to see you both.”

“Well, you did ask us both to be here when he came home.” Louise turned to her son. “Is everything all right?”

 

Being a mom, Louise Malibey goes right to the “What’s wrong?” option for his meeting.  Because we know something must be wrong if Ms. Rutherford wants to talk to his parents, right?  We know that’s not the case, and Ms. Rutherford step in to chill this shit out:

 

Ms. Rutherford cut off Kerry before he could reply. “Is it possible we could all sit down and talk?”

Davyn pointed down the hallway behind him. “We can all sit in the family room. Come this way—”

The family room was large room with lots of windows in the back of the house, situated between the kitchen and dining room, and the sun room leading to the back yard. Louise and Davyn sat on the sofa facing the television: Kerry and Ms. Rutherford pulled the chairs from either side of the sofa and place them so they could set facing his parents. As they were sitting Louise expressed what she was feeling. “Ms. Rutherford, when we got your message I got worried. It sounded so important, and yet—”

“I didn’t give you any details?” She set her bag on the armrest and crossed her legs. “It was a rather generic email, and for that I apologize. I didn’t mean to cause undo concern.”

“But the tone made it sound like there’s something important you needed to discuss.”

“And there is. But first, I need you to understand—” She looked at Kerry, sitting to her left. “This meeting has nothing to do with Kerry’s academic standing at school. He remains one of the best students in his level, if not in the entire school.” She gave him a broad, pleasant smile. “There’s only one other student I know of who is Kerry’s equal.

“This also has nothing to do with his behavior, either. Kerry’s disciplinary record is clean: it’s actually quiet outstanding. One might say—” She gave him a knowing look. “—he’s done far more than most students over the last two years to help out around the school.”

 

Hum, I wonder who this other student is who’s Kerry’s equal?  Maybe a soul mate from Bulgaria?  We’ll discuss that matter later:  right now, we’re getting down to the big moment–

 

“Then this is about what?” Davyn seemed perplexed that whatever the reason was for being in this discussion had nothing to do with his son’s grades or discipline.

Ms. Rutherford looked thoughtful for a moment. “This is more of a—you might say, a personal matter.”

“Oh, God.” Louise held her forehead for a moment. “Kerry, what did you do?”

Kerry turned to Ms. Rutherford instead of replying to his mother. “I should tell them.”

Ms. Rutherford nodded. “It’s time.”

“Yeah.” Kerry scooted to the front of his chair and leaned forward, resting his forearms on his legs. “Well, then: here goes.” He swallowed once and exhaled slow as he looked at his parents. “Mom, Dad . . . I’m a witch.”

The End

 

And that’s it:  that’s the end of the novel.  It’s over, it’s done, it’s 327,931 words written in 422 days, for an average of 844 words written per day.

There's the tale of the tape for all to see.

There’s the tale of the tape for all to see.

But wait!  What about Kerry’s parents response to his coming out?  What is that “The End” crap up there?  Well, you see, I’m leaving what happens after the reveal for the beginning of the next novel.

And I expect this to be the look on some faces while they do.

“Wh–wha–WHHHAAAATTTT?  CASSIDY!”

Yes, afraid so, folks.  I knew the ending of this novel before I ever began writing, and that ending had Kerry announcing his witchness followed by the words “The End.”  I also knew that the next novel, C For Continuing, is where the reader discovers his parents reaction, and this is something I’ve had planed since the days when I was laying out the time line for A For Advanced.  Yes, as Skye Hegyes commented about a week and a half back, I’m being a bad witch by ending the second novel on probably the biggest cliff hanger I could find, and I’m not doing it to be mean–that’s just the way this story rolls.

Don’t worry, though:  you’ll only have to wait a few months to see how this is going to turn out.

I mean, it’s not like we’re talking forever . . .

Semilive From The Burg

It’s one of those “Time is the Tyrant” things again, and I haven’t been able to do the things I’ve wanted to do this morning.  So what did I do?  Why, I made you a video!  Yes, I found time to make and upload a video, and in it you’ll see I have my eye on the prize, making me just like a certain girl living in the mountains of Bulgaria.

Here I am in all my early morning glory!

See you later when all the stuff and things are done.

Back to Berlin: Our Summer Goodbyes

Yesterday I was in a great deal of pain.  Right about seven-thirty in the morning I pulled a muscle in my left calf–the one that gives me a lot of trouble every so often–and spent the day hobbling around in pain.  Believe me when I say it made the mile walk from work really interesting and slow.

So went I finally made it home I spent most of the time with an ice pack wrapped around my leg, or with one of those portable head packs stuck on my calf.  I have the ice pack on now, and I’ll take it and a heat pack with me to work because baby gotta make that money.

But that gave me a lot of time to write, and I cranked out nearly twelve hundred words to put the penultimate chapter to bed.

There it is, snoozing away peacefully.

There it is, snoozing away peacefully.

As you can see there is one more scene, and the binder on the left tells the tale of the tape:  there aren’t any other acts or parts or scenes to follow.  The end really is here, and it’s likely coming this weekend.

Right now it’s time to get off the plane, ’cause there are people awaiting–

 

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

They proceeded slowly down the walkway, keeping in step and looking straight ahead the all the way to the terminal. Just as they’d done in Vienna they didn’t release their grips on each other’s hand, not even when they spotted Pavlina Kirilova chatting with Ms. Rutherford, both whom turned toward them as they approached.

They stopped when they were about four meters from the two women. Annie turned to Kerry. “Watch my luggage?”

“I got it.” He nodded towards her mother. “Go on.”

“Thank you.” Annie quickly covered the rest of the distance and threw her arms around her mother. “Mama—”

“Dobre doshŭl u doma, Anelie.” Pavlina hugged her daughter tight. “Mnogo mi lipsvashe.”

Annie looked up, smiling. “Az propusnakh Papa i ti sŭshto—”

While the Kirilovas were reuniting, Ms. Rutherford strolled over to her charge. “Welcome back, Kerry.”

“Thank you, Ms. Rutherford.” He spent a few seconds appearing sheepish. “I guess I’m glad to be back.”

“Hum.” She patted his cheek. “There are more than a few of us happy to see you home. And I’m certain your parents want to see you as well.”

“Yeah—at least for a few minutes.”

She leaned closer and allowed her voice to drop to a whisper. “Let’s try to keep a positive attitude. Now isn’t the time to sink into despair.” She lay a hand upon a shoulder. “Yes?”
Erywin appeared at his side with Helena behind her. “Listen to her, Kerry. She’s looking looking out for you.”

Ms. Rutherford smile. “I am.”

“I know this as well.” Pavlina and Annie joined the three women gathered around the young boy. “How are you, Kerry?”

 

The Kirilovas have a nice little reunion while Ms. Rutherford comes over and welcomes him home and gives him a little encouragement not to get down on himself without reason.  He’s worried about what’s coming next, and who can blame him?

Now even Annie’s mom is getting in on the act–

 

“I’m fine, Mrs. Kirilovi.” He smile, happy that Annie’s mother was actually concerned about his well being.

She seemed pleased with the answer. “Did you enjoy the rest of the school year?”

“Oh . . .” He glance over to Helena and Erywin before looking at Annie. “It was certainly a lot different from last year.”

“Just wait until next year: the C Levels tend to be even more difficult than the B Levels.” She wrapped an arm around Annie’s shoulders. “I’m quite certain you’ll both do better than expected.”

Annie looked over and up. “I certainly hope so, Mama.”

Kerry had to work at not laughing at Annie’s comment. “Where’s Mr. Kirilov? I thought he might be here.”

“He’s in Canada, believe it or not; Canadian Grand Prix is this next weekend, and his team is doing some testing in Montreal.” She looked at Annie. “He should be arriving home in about thirty minutes.”

“I understand, Mama.” A moment of sadness passed between Kerry and her. “We must be going—”

“But not just yet.” She released Annie and motioned towards the other three women. “I need to confirm a few things with your instructors about your ‘lunch dates’ this summer, and I think Ms. Rutherford should be a part of this as well. It shouldn’t take long.” Pavlina stepped away from the group. “Ladies, I think it’s quieter over this way . . .”

 

The date on the Canadian Grand Prix is correct:  it happened 9 June, 2013, the second Sunday after Annie came home from her B Levels.  And this is the first hint that things are going to be harder in the following school year, though at this point there’s no reason to believe it’s going to be that way.

Now, what is Mama Kirilova discussing?  Probably not much, but the kids pick up on this right away–

 

While all four women huddled together about five meters away, Annie slipped up next to Kerry. “That was nice of Mama.”

The smile on Kerry’s face found its way to his eyes. “She’s giving us a change to really say goodbye.”

“Yes.” A crestfallen look came over her face for a moment. “I know we’ll see each other in a few weeks, but—”

“I know.” He slightly lowered her head. “I don’t want to leave you.”

“I don’t, either.” She looked down for a moment. “I will miss you ever second you’re away, my mlechna banitsa.”

“And I will miss you, my malko sarmi.” He glanced over Annie shoulder to see if they we being watched, then looked upon Annie’s eyes and smiling face. “What?”

“If you’re going to kiss me, my love—” She grabbed the folds of his tee shirt. “Then kiss me.” She leaned in and kissed him slow and tenderly upon the lips. “After all, I am your wife.”

He chuckled after kissing her back. “About that—”

“I’m not ready to tell that to Mama. I’m certain she’d understand, but—” Annie shook her head. “Maybe in another year. Besides, it’s something I’d like you present for when that happens.”

Kerry instantly imagined him sitting with Annie and her parents, probably at a dinner, perhaps at her house. “I agree. And I’d like you present when we tell my folks as well.”
“Something else to plan for next year.” She pulled Kerry close once more. “I love you, Kerry.”

“I love you, Annie.” He held her by the shoulders as he leaned in and kissed her lovingly once more—

Annie.”

 

Yeah, Kerry:  you’re supposed to kiss your wife goodbye!  What’s wrong with you?  Also, you should get reminded probably, oh, once every day that Annie considers you guys married.  Then again, Kerry accepts that, so no big deal there, right?

But who caught these two in a kiss?  Only one person–or four:

 

They both broke their embrace and found Pavlina, Ms. Rutherford, and Helena and Erywin standing a few meters away. Annie acted as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. “Yes, Mama?”

“We must go.” She held out her right arm. “Dinner awaits.”

“Yes, Mama.” Annie gathered up her luggage and took a moment to touch Kerry’s face. “I’ll see you in three weeks—” She turned to the instructors. “Is that right?”

Helena shrugged. “About that long, yes.”

Annie let her fingers glide down Kerry’s cheek. “I will see you then.”

“I’ll see you then—my love.” He took her head. “And in my dreams.”

“Mine, too.” She moved next to Pavlina and gave Kerry a small wave before they walked off and vanished into the terminal crowd.

Helena and Erywin waved to Kerry as Ms. Rutherford took up position on his right. “Take care, Kerry.” Erywin gave him a warm smile. “See you in a few weeks.”

“Take care Kerry—” Helena offered a smile and a nod as she took Erywin’s hand. “Have a good summer.”

“I will. Thank you both.” He waited until they both vanished among the Berlin crowd before turning to Ms. Rutherford. “At last: just you and I.”

“Yes, it is.” She motioned them forward with a nod. “Shall we?”

He gave a nonchalant shrug. “Why not?”

They were about twenty seconds into their stroll when Ms. Rutherford offered an observation. “You’re better than last year.”

“You mean I’m not an emotional wreck.” He glanced over with a smile. “It’s okay. I was a blubbering mess last year.”

“And you’re not sad now?”

“I’m sad, it’s just—” He touched his heart. “That part of Annie you told me about is right here, and I know a piece of me is with her. There’s a hurt, but—” He remembered Eyrwin’s words from a year and a half ago. “It’s a good hurt.”

“I can hear it a little in your voice.” Ms. Rutherford slowed her pace. “Do you want a minute before we go on?”

He closed his eyes for a second as the emotions he tried admitting weren’t there began to welling upwards. “It might not be a bad idea.” He stared off into the distance. “Given what’s going to happen in the next thirty minutes, it’s better to have a good cry now than later . . .”

 

Annie gets busted and just blows it off like it’s no big deal.  Everyone says their goodbyes and leaves Kerry with Ms. Rutherford.  And Annie vanishing into the crowd of Terminal A is the last we see of her this novel:  she won’t show again until she opens the first scene of the next novel.  Kerry’s not a “blubbering mess” as he was last year, though he’s letting Ms. Rutherford know he’s probably going to need a moment to have a cry.  For he’s only a quick jaunt away from Cardiff–

Yes, the end is just about here.

Now to get Kerry home for that most important meeting . . .