Homecomings and Heart Feels

So much happening today; so much has happened already this morning.  For one, I awoke at four AM, and it’s been a tiring morning.  Needless to say there’s been a bit of stress in my life of late, and a bit of the stress pulled me out of slumbers.  It happened; you just go with it.  At least I can take a nap this afternoon and try to catch up on sleep this weekend.

This morning the story inched over the one hundred and fifty-nine thousand word line.  Eighty-one words to the one sixty mark–onward and upward.  I probably won’t make notice of the milestone until I hit one seventy-five, and then again at two hundred thousand.  Looking at where I am, this likely means I’ll go upwards close to three hundred thousand words–does this sound familiar?

We’ll get to that later, but right now . . . Ginger Hair Boy is almost home.  He’s been told to just be himself when he’s with Annie and her parents, and they’ll see just how good a person he is.  And guess what?  Kerry likes that idea.

 

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

He couldn’t find anything wrong with Ms. Rutherford’s assessment of the what happened in Vienna, or what might happen in the future. She was right: it didn’t matter what her father thought of him, Annie loved him, wanted to married him, wanted to have—well, what came next in that progression, but there wasn’t any need to bring that up now. It’s not something I should worry about now: it’s going to be a while before I spend any time with her family—maybe not until our D Levels—and since we know we marry . . .

They were on Newport Road and clear of the main part of downtown, and it wouldn’t be long before they made the left-hand turn on to the Albany Road. “Almost there.”

Just a quick left up ahead and it's home sweet home time.

Just a quick left up ahead and it’s home sweet home time.

“Yes, we are.” Bernice scrutinized him carefully. “You’re handling this separation better than last year.”

“Kinda.” He glanced out the passenger window. “It still hurts, but I remember what Erywin told me about hurt—the good and bad kinds. Right now I have the good kind—”

“Which is what?”

“It’s what you have when you know you’re going to see the person you love again.” He turned away from the window with a huge smile on his face. “Just two weeks, right?”

“Fifteen days.” She smiled back as they turned left off Newport and drove up Albany. “Pick you up in the afternoon and get you dinner.” She nodded towards the front of the car. “Unless you want to eat at home.”

“We’ll eat out—” The car turned off Albany and entered Timbers Square. “Something light, though: Annie and I will have dinner that night after we Adjust.”

“I love a good plan.” The driver pulled the car to the curb in front of Kerry’s home and shut off the engine. Kerry gripped the door handle as he started up at the front of the entrance of his house. “Well . . .” He smirked. “I’m guessing Indian takeaway awaits.”

“You’ll only find out if you go inside.” Bernice cracked open her door. “Shall we?”

“You bet.” Kerry was out of the car and had his backpack and luggage in-hand about a half a minute later. He was half way up the walk when the front door opened and his mother framed the entrance.

 

Now we’re home–well, Kerry is, we’re just watching as readers.  Kerry’s already thinking about what’s ahead two weeks in the future, and all of the fine dining that awaits him as Casa Malibey.  We’ve already seen that Kerry has become spoiled by the fine dining that is a trademark of the School at Salem, and when he returns home for the various holidays, he’s not happy with the home fare, but hey:  that’s what happens when you’re now having your food cooked for you by artificial people working with time spells.

Was he right?

 

“There you are.” She opened the outer door. “Welcome home, Kerry.”

“Hi, Mom.” He walked into the entrance hallway.with Ms. Rutherford right behind him. “Hey, Dad.”

“Hello, Kerry.” His father waved from the lounge entryway. “How was the flight over?”

“Good, good.”

“He got into Heathrow on-time.” Ms. Rutherford adjusted her purse on her shoulder. “Miracles do happen, even today.”

“Yeah—” He turned half-way back towards Ms. Rutherford. “It was just like magic.” He was afraid she wouldn’t get the little in-joke, but she smiled and gave him a little nod to let him know she understood.

“I’m glad you didn’t have any problems getting here.” His mother turned towards Kerry’s case working. “How long is Kerry with us?”

“Until 5 January. I told him I’ll be by to pick him up that afternoon, then it’s off to London and a late-night flight back to the States.” Bernice glanced towards the boy. “We went over this in the car just before we arrived.”

“Yeah, I got it all, Mom.” He gripped the handle of his luggage. “Then you don’t see me for five months.”

His mother chuckled. “I’m sure we’ll find a way to get by.”

Bernice felt it was time to go. Kerry needed no further information, and any additional updates would come too him through email and texts. “With that said . . .” She faced Kerry’s parents. “Mr. Malibey, Mrs. Malibey: Have a good holiday and a wonderful Christmas.”

Louise Malibey answered for them both. “You, too, Ms. Rutherford. Have a wonderful holiday.”

“I will, thank you.” She faced Kerry. “Enjoy the Yule holiday, Kerry.” A slight smile played across her face. “You’ll be back at school in no time at all.”

“I know.” He grinned back. “Have a good Yule, Ms. Rutherford.”

“Take care, Kerry.” She bid everyone a good evening and returned to the car.

 

Yeah, totally right.  Though he gets points for zipping off a inside joke that only Ms. Rutherford and he could get–for now.  Give that another five months we’ll see if mom and dad get the joke.

Speaking of mom and dad–

 

Louise locked the inner door before speaking to her son. “We didn’t know if you’d eaten on the flight or picked up something on the train—”

“I had a little something before getting on the train.” He fidgeted next to his luggage. “Nothing big, just enough to to hold me over.”

“Okay, well . . .” Louise seemed a bit embarrassed. “I had nothing planed tonight; we thought we’d just get some take away—”

Kerry resisted the urge to smirk. “That’s fine, Mom.”

Davyn Malibey spoke finally spoke up. “How do you feel about fish and chips?”

“That would be great, Dad.”

“That’ll work.” His father looked at his wife. “I’ll call Albany. We can have them deliver.”

 

By the way, the Albany Fish Bar is the place of which his father is referring, and it’s a real place, only about a kilometer from their house, and it gets a lot of good reviews.  Hard to say if this is the same place that Kerry said has fish and chips that don’t measures up to Salem’s, but–we already know he’s getting spoiled, and he better learn to Cook the Salem Way if he doesn’t want to spend the next hundred years going, “The pizza at Salem is better than this crap.”  Don’t disappoint yourself, kid:  take that step.

There’s a little more back and forth with his mother–who wants to know if Kerry is gonna have issues with jet lag–and then it’s off to his first floor room:

 

Kerry headed up the stairs to the first floor, taking the left from the landing directly to his room. He pushed the door shut with his foot—he was careful not to use magic to swing it shut from a meter or more away—and set his backpack on his bed. He wasn’t concerned about putting his clothes up at this moment, but he did want his computer set up right away.

He pulled the tablet computer and keyboard from his backpack, set them upon his computer nook between the northeast wall and his wardrobe, and powered up the system as he retrieved the power adapter. The system was up almost instantly due to the upgrades Isis had performed on his system for his birthday. He waited until his tablet was hooked into the house grid before taking time to admire his desktop wallpaper: a selfie of Annie and him snapped at the Starbucks the day Alex invited them to come in, sit, and chat. He’d considered changing the wallpaper before coming home, but decided to leave it as is: he figured if his mom or dad had questions about the girl in the picture, he’d tell them. After all they knew Annie was in his “dorm”, and that she shared classes with him—

And she’s already planning our wedding and I’ve met her parents and she’s said she’s carrying our kids— He sat on the corner of his bed, his eyes locked on the image of his Chestnut Girl, the girl of his dreams that he loved so dearly. I wonder what mom would say about that?

He lay back on his bed, placing his hands behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. Annie was going to do her Adjustment when she got home. He sighed softly. She should be getting up right about now . . .

 

Right now, I would give anything to be able to draw a picture of the selfie serving as Kerry’s tablet wallpaper.  I can imagine Annie holding her Frappuccino so it’s seen–or maybe Kerry had Alex or Penny take the picture with his phone, and they’re both holding their Starbucks drinks up while they sit, cheek-to-cheek, smiling like crazy and as happy as two kids in love can be.  It’s the one thing I love about their world being rooted in ours:  kids are still doing kids things, and once again stuffy witch Annie show everyone she’s really a teenager at heart.  Only she can kill you with her mind, which means you still gotta stay on her good side.

Now, if Kerry is wondering about Annie getting up right about the time he’s laying down, if you remember what happened during their time apart last Yule, you’ll know what’s coming next . . .

Cartref yn ôl ar Gyfer y Gwyliau

And with a title like the mouthful posted today, it means only one thing:  someone’s back home in Wales.  It goes without saying that this is probably not a good moment for my Ginger Hair Boy, because home is not a good place for him, but at least he didn’t have a break down moment like the last time he left a certain Chestnut Girl who was on her way back to Bulgaria.

He know he’s going to see her in a few weeks, and this slight pain he feels is a good one.  Or so he was once told.

Therefore let us to head off to the place of the return and see what transpires next.

No word if Kerry picked up a tasty steak pastry before leaving the station, however.

No word if Kerry picked up a tasty traditional steak pastry before leaving the station, however.

 

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

Kerry followed Ms. Rutherford out of Cardiff Central Station and headed towards the Audi saloon with the raised boot lid. He set his roll-on bag in the boot, tapped the lid to activate the auto-close mechanism, then got in on the rear passenger side, setting his backpack between his legs. The moment his seat belt clicked shut, the driver put the car in gear and pulled out.

Weather was about normal for this time of year for Cardiff: cloudy with a light winds and about eight Centigrade. The sun had set about an hour before, but the lights of the city kept everything bright. It was rare he saw this part of the city when it was dark: the few times he’d went with his family anywhere during the evening, they bypassed downtown by taking Western Avenue. Not that they ever went anywhere at night . . .

His mind wasn’t on being home: it was on Annie and on meeting her father. After the discussion he had with Ms Rutherford before their late lunch, he couldn’t get over the feeling of her dad scrutinizing him, of trying to determine if there was something different about him. He didn’t get that exact feeling while standing across from him in the jaunt waiting area, but a few hours later, after he’d had time to analyze the meeting, the meeting left him a little unnerved.

Annie told me there were things I needed to know about her family— He caught a quick glimpse of the prison as they drove eastward. She didn’t mention anything about her father doing his best to make me feel a bit insignificant.

 

After a few hours of sitting and lunching and enjoying some great sandwiches and talking with Ms. Rutherford, Kerry finally starting to get those “I just met my girlfriend’s father” jitters, and it’s not leaving him in a good place.  The last twenty-four hours have been pretty heavy for Kerry, with parents meetings and talk of babies.  What else can get laid on his twelve year old ass before he’s dropped off for Christmas?

 

Bernice sensed his contemplation. “Thinking about anyone I know?”

“Annie—” He looked straight ahead. “And her dad.”

“Ah, yes: the future father-in-law.” She almost chuckled at the sideways look Kerry sent her way. “There’s one thing I didn’t tell you about fathers—”

“What’s that?”

“The never think there’s any boy who’s good enough for their daughters. They spend their entire lives providing and protecting their little girls, and then along comes some boy who captures her heart, and . . .” She shrugged. “I want to say it shouldn’t be that way, but often times it goes in that direction. You do have one thing going for you—”

He looked across to his case working. “And that is?”

“Annie. From what I know, from what you’ve told me, she’s made her choice, and she isn’t about to change her feelings for you. Given the powers of persuasion she has with her parents, I believe when the time comes, she’d get her father to come around to her way of thinking.” She glanced out the window to her right. “More or less.”

“That’s comforting.” Kerry chuckled imagining that confrontation. “Guess there’s nothing I can do about it right now.”

“There’s nothing you can do about it, period.” She turned back towards Kerry. “Just be yourself, Kerry. If you try to actively impress her father, you’ll likely end up looking ridiculous. Don’t try to be someone else: be the one with whom Annie fell in love. That’s all you have to do.” She reached over and patted the back of his right hand. “That’s all that’s necessary.”

 

It seems like this holiday jaunt is a lot about the kid’s future, and while it seems like it’s Gang Up on Kerry time, you’ll see in a bit that Annie’s gonna get here share of questions, too.  This is a package deal, and you can bet someone in Annie’s family has a few questions, too.  And does it need to be mentioned that a time will come when Annie gets to meet her future in-laws, and who the hell knows how they’re gonna take this headstrong girl with a strange accent?  Especially Kerry’s mom:  she seems like a bit of a control freak, so what’s it going to be like when she runs into another one taking over her son’s life?  The Controlling Mom meets The Dark Witch.  Should be a good one.

But that’s for another time, and tonight I’ll get my shot and after that make another video to mark an occasion that happens this Sunday.  So much to do, so little time in which to eat, drink, and try to be merry.

At least I enjoyed my Cosmos with dinner last night.

At least I enjoyed my Cosmos with dinner last night.

Dweud Ffarwel i Gaerdydd

No, the title of this post is not my attempt at making it look like I’m clearing my literary throat.  That’s Welsh, aka Cymraeg, and it just sounds that way.  (Really, it sounds a lot like “Kemm-iag”, which should make it easier.)  The title is Say Goodbye to Cardiff, and that’s what Kerry is doing right now:  heading through the city on his way to Berlin.

There’s some unfinished business to catch up on while they make their way through the city

You turn here, Kid, so start talkin'.

You turn here, Kid, so start talkin’.

 

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

It was only after the salon made the turn onto Newport Road and began heading into city did Kerry speak. “Are you really going to give that letter to someone?”

“I fully intend to hand this letter over to the right people.” The right side of Ms. Rutherford’s face turned upward into a slight grin. “They’ll even see to it that it’s read and documented. And, as promised, in four to six weeks your parents will receive a letter from Salem—it will even have Headmistress Laventure’s signature affixed.” She pulled out her mobile phone and spent about thirty seconds sending a message before returning it to her purse. “Nothing will change in school policy, though, so no need to worry. I would, however, suggest that whatever you said to your parents—”

“Don’t say it to them again.” Kerry nodded. “I know. It was a dumb move on my part.”

“How so?”

“Mom sort of beat up on me in her own special way—” He felt there wasn’t any need to go into details of the conversation from two weeks earlier. “I blurted out something hoping it would get her to stop, and it only made things worse.”

 

There’s a bit of an in-joke at the start of that last line, one I didn’t realize until after I’d written it and I could look back and say, “Hey, I made a funny.”  Your Own Special Way is a Genesis song found on the album Wind and Wuthering, and it was written by . . . Mike Rutherford, Ms. Berenice Rutherford’s namesake.    Yeah, in joke . . . moving along now–

 

“Am I correctly in thinking it had something to do with the—” She twisted her right hand in the from the right to left and back. “—aftermath of the vision you had in March?”

Kerry shot a sideways glance at his traveling companion. “You know about that?”

“I know about almost everything that happened to you last school year. I have to: I’m your case worker.” Ms. Rutherford pushed herself into the corner of the seat and crossed her legs. “Don’t worry, Kerry: I’m good at keeping secrets.”

“Like?”

“You really want to know?”

He shrugged. “Only if you can tell me.”

“I don’t know all the details of your life. I know the details of your actions during the Day of the Dead attack; I know about your progress throughout your classes; I know about the awards and citations you’ve received—” Her mobile beeped and she took a moment to check the message before continuing. “I know that in April Annie and you left the school late on a Thursday afternoon and you both returned the following Saturday afternoon with injuries that made it necessary for you both to spend the night in the hospital.

“The information I have is that you were on a Guardian training operation, but I’m smart enough to fill in the blanks to realize Annie and you were out on something a little more detailed than training.” She glanced over the driver’s shoulder at the road ahead. “Like I said, I know almost everything—” She chuckled as she turned back. “Just enough to be there with a helping hand when you need one.”

“Good to know.” Kerry had wondered how much of his Aware life was know to Ms. Rutherford, and her quick explanation told him everything. Not that I was worried about her knowing all the details of Kansas City, but at least I know what I can discuss with her—when that time comes. “And you’re right: it was because of the . . .” He grinned despite his best effort to keep a straight face. “Aftermath.”

Ms. Rutherford nodded once as they turned onto Glossop Road. “Do me a favor?”

Kerry knew the answer to the forthcoming question. “Don’t do that again?”

“Exactly.”

As we turn onto Glossop Road, remember Kerry:  the wet dreams you have at Salem stay at Salem.

As we turn onto Glossop Road, remember Kerry: the wet dreams you have at Salem stay at Salem.

 

We finally get conformation as to how much Ms. Rutherford knows.  It’s a lot–not as much as Helena and Erywin know, but probably on par with what the Headmistress and Isis and even Deanna and Coraline know.  Otherwise how is she gonna be his best bud when he needs her the most.  It also helps not having to explain “aftermaths” that you shouldn’t have to explain anyway.  Then again, the whole of the B Level has the “I Gotta Come Out As a Witch” line hanging over him all year, so, you know, explanations are gonna be needed at some point . . .

That’s not for another one hundred and fifty thousand words, at least, so let’s talk about the real travel plan:

 

“Don’t worry. I won’t.” He tapped a rhythm on his thighs for a few seconds as the salon turned right on to Moira Terrace. “What’s the real travel plan?”

“We arrive at the train station and then jaunt straight to Berlin Tegel. You’ll get checked into The Foundation system there, and then we’ll take a car from the airport to the hotel.” Ms. Rutherford watched the walls of Cardiff Prison go by as the car merged with Adam Street. “That should only take about twenty minutes, maybe twenty-five.”

 

Hey, Cardiff Prison:  looking good this morning!

Hey, Cardiff Prison: looking good this morning!

 

“Are you staying with us in Berlin?”

“No. Once I get you to the hotel you’re on your own and I’m on my way back to London.”

Kerry checked the road ahead. “Got it. Anything else I should know? There weren’t any details in my travel package.”

“It’s all simple: ask for the manager when you arrive at the check-in counter, tell them you’re with the SIGEL and show your ID. They’ll get you checked in without a problem.”

 

No problamo:  just walk in and flash your ID.  It’s what all the cool twelve year old kids from SIGEL are doing this year.  Oh, and one last thing–

 

“Okay.” There was another thing that wasn’t in his travel package. “Do you know what room Annie’s staying in?”

Ms. Rutherford smiled. “That information will be waiting for you in your room.”

He frowned. “You can’t tell me?”

“Kerry . . .” The car hung a left on Stryd Bute, now only a few hundred meters from the station. “Don’t you want a surprise now and then?”

You're turning in here:  the least you could do is give Kerry some nice information to lighten up a gloomy place.

You’re turning in here: the least you could do is give Kerry some nice information to lighten up a gloomy place.

Cardiff is behind Kerry and me for a while, at least until I write about Yule.

Onward to Berlin!

Hangin’ At the Plass

The question I asked yesterday was “Would I write more?” and the answer came this morning.  One of the reasons this post is coming out at this time in the late morning is due to writing another twelve hundred an sixty words towards the new novel–which, if you’re keeping track, means I’ve written just over three thousand words over the last two mornings.

But I also needed to do a little research this morning as well.  For one, I needed to know the weather in Cardiff on the day Erywin came for Kerry, and that was easy enough to find, because the Internet has that information.  Also, since I figure people would want to know, I got a few pictures of the area that Erywin and Kerry are visiting.

Without further ado . . .

 

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

The Cardiff weather was chilly and cloudy, and this contributed to the lack of people milling about Roald Dahl Plass. Those who were walking about this late morning were dressed to protect them against the fifteen Celsius temps and matching wind coming in from the west.

Two people joined the small crowd, entering the plass east after walking around the north side of the Pierhead Building. Both, a woman and a young boy, were dressed for the conditions: both wore jeans, and the woman wore a jacket over his blouse while the wore a hooded sweatshirt. They made their way towards the center of the open amphitheater, pausing next to one of the large columns located near the a short flight of steps.

Erywin glanced to her left and right. “You know I’ve never been here.”

“They fixed it up nice after Torchwood Three blew up.” They both chuckled at Kerry pop culture joke. The Mistress of Formulistic Magic was a bit of a geek herself, and was one of the few instructors who understood what he talked about most of the time. “Really, you’ve never been here?”

“As your mother pointed out, I don’t have much of a need to come into Cardiff often.” She motioned towards her left and Cardiff Bay. “Let’s go over this way, shall we?”

 

If you know Cardiff, you know the Roald Dahl Plass.  First off, it’s named after Roald Dahl, the Cardiff-born author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I know most of you know, and who once worked as a spy for England during World War II–and who reported back to Ian Flemming, who later wrote stories about a little-known spy who liked martinis–and whose primary mission was to come to American and seduce Republican congresswoman Clare Booth Luce.  Apparently Dahl wasn’t the template for James Bond (that was reserved for Canadian Sir William Stephenson), because Dahl wrote back to his superiors that he needed to return home because, and this is an exact quote, “I am all fucked out! That goddamn woman has absolutely screwed me from one end of the room to the other for three goddam nights.”  And that’s probably why snozzberries showed up in two of Dahl’s work.

Back to the story . . . not only is the Roald Dahl Plass a well-know spot in Cardiff, but as far as the BBC is concerned, it is/was ground zero for a couple of their science fiction stories–

A TARDIS recharging station and the location of Torchwood Three?  Kerry should give tours of this place.

A TARDIS recharging station and the location of Torchwood Three? Kerry should give tours of this place.

Which is why Kerry makes the comment he does in the above excerpt.

Google Maps even has the names, so it must be true.

Google Maps even has the names, so it must be true.

Oh, and Mary Poppins visits this place from time to time.  Though that could be Missy . . .

Oh, and Mary Poppins visits this place from time to time. Though that could be Missy . . .

Either way, it’s where they come to chat about, well, things.  Things that, it seems, bother Kerry a great deal.

 

“Three people, run everything, and one of them’s an AP.” Erywin changed the subject. “How’s your holiday?”

Kerry had figured this question was coming, whether here or at lunch. “About as well as I can expect.”

“In other words . . ?”

He wasn’t going to escape giving his true feelings. “It sucks. I hate being home.”

“I figured as much in just the few minutes of watching the interaction between your mother and you.” Erywin didn’t want to prod anymore than necessary, but she sensed that while it might pain him, Kerry needed to talk. “Did you have any issues concealing what you’re really learning?”

“That was the easy part—” Kerry chuckled without a single trace of humor in his voice. “The morning after I came home they asked me three questions about school, and one of them was about the report card.” He glanced at the ground and scoffed. “They asked a few questions later in the week, but that was it.” He shook his head. “They don’t care: there’s no interest in anything I do.”

 

Erywin knows that Kerry wants and needs the acknowledgement of his accomplishments, and like it or not, his parents fall into the small group of people whom he’d like to hear, “Good job,” from once in a while.  However, we’ve also seen that Kerry’s parents are fairly cold and unaffectionate, and the number of shits they appear to give about Kerry’s accomplishments are zero.  Which finds him in the position of being around people he has to lie to about what he’s doing at school–remember, his parents don’t know he’s doing witchy things at school–but who don’t want to hear about whatever he’s lying about in the first place.

And he goes into great detail about his sadness:

 

They stopped under the overpass leading from the east side of the bay—where the Pierhead Building and the Senedd were located—to the west side and shops at Mermaid Quay. Here they were out of the slight but constant wind covering the plass. Kerry checked for nearby pedestrians before continuing. “I miss the school. I miss my room at the tower, and the commons, and the garden. I miss the grounds. I miss the classes. I miss . . .” He finally came to the truth. “I miss magic. I miss not having it in my life except when I’m alone at home.”

Erywin chuckled. “Gotten used to it, haven’t you?”

“Yeah. I have to be careful when my folks are home, but on they days they’re both at work, I’m using it around the house.” For the first time since leaving the house he smiled. “A couple of weeks ago I levitated a pot over a small fireball and cooked soup.”

Well done.” Erywin didn’t bother holding back her excitement, for what Kerry just described was something she wasn’t able to do until she was nearing the end of her C Levels. “I know you brought your broom home; have you been flying?”

“A few times. I gotta watch how I leave the house, because I gotta turn invisible quick as I’m going out the door.” He nodded. “But, yeah: I’ve been flying. One time even ventured into England.”

“Did you have your passport?”

“Of course.” He laughed this time. “My mom called me while I was out over Swindon, which is why I take my mobile with me everywhere.”

 

A few months before in story time Kerry wanted to hear from Annie about what it was like growing up around magic all the time, and now he’s finding out what it’s like not having it in his life.  And it sucks, big time.  He’s taken to doing things on his own when he’s alone, and also comes to admittance that he’s taken to the sky on a few occasions, venturing out at least a hundred kilometers from home.

Flying alone, of course.

Erywin points out a major truth for him, likely one he hasn’t even figured out for himself–

 

“If I’d known, I’d have gotten out my old broom and meet you for tea.” She moved a little closer and spoke and in low, intimate tone. “You know what you really miss, don’t you? You miss being with your own kind.” She didn’t wait for him to ask what she meant. “Your back in the world of the Normals, but you’re an Aware; you’re a witch. You’re one of us.” She shook her head slowly. “And now that you’ve had exposure to our world, you long to be part of it again.”

He glanced down at the ground. “Yeah.”

“You also miss the freedom that you have at school. Yes, there are rules and regulations, but there is also flying on the weekend, and long walks on wooded trails, and the Midnight Madness, and most nights where you don’t get to bed until after midnight . . .” The twinkle in her eye returned. “And those nights when Annie and you flew off to the Observatory and fell asleep in the viewing chairs.”

 

You’re not like all those kids you used to go to school with, Red:  you’re a witch now, and you’ve done magic and faced death and been out on secret missions and slept with your girlfriend–Um . . .

 

His head snapped up. “You knew about that?”

“Several of us did.”

How? From Isis?”

She shook her head. “No. She never said a word.”

“Must have been Deanna.”

The chuckle returned. “A good witch never reveals her sources.” She cleared her throat as she took a step back. “Speaking of your better half, how is Annie?”

 

Yeah, how is she, Kerry?  Well, I know, but you guys won’t–

Not until I write it, that is.