In the Chunnel of Love

After what seemed like a very long day–finally I managed to get down to writing.  There wasn’t a great deal going on, mostly because part of my “at home” time was taken up speaking with my therapist, and then digesting what was said afterwards.

In time, however, I managed to get into writing.  By the time the writing came around my energy levels were low, but I felt pretty good about what I was doing.  As long as I’m not crashing at the keyboard, it’s a good writing night.

One of the reasons I’ve been going slow through this scene–the trip through Chunnel on the way to Amsterdam–is that the mood of the piece has changed.  In the snapshot version Kerry was far more aware of what was happening in the train–which was really a holdover from his trip around London.  He isn’t like that, though.  Somewhere my characterization of him got away, and he became more of a leader than quite follower.  So on the train he’s a little more confused about things; he’s not sure what’s all happening with Annie, and the few times Alica speaks to him just sorta goes over his head.

Like this:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry sat in the aisle seat with Collin to his left. Annie sat across from Kerry, and Alica was to her right. Collin didn’t care about anything outside the window; he was lost in the football magazine he’d picked up at the station before they boarded. Alica watched the scenery flash by, alternating between being bored and looking half-angry.

Then there was Annie—

Yesterday’s tour of London had been fantastic. During last night’s dinner it was all he could do to keep from going on about it; he only spoke about the day trip after Ms. Rutherford asked Annie and him about their day. He tried not to gush, but it was difficult not to mention all the places Annie had taken him, and the things they’d done. It annoyed Collin and Alica to no end, but Kerry couldn’t help how happy he’d felt—

Though he didn’t say it at the table, it had been was one of the best days of his life.

What had made everything so fantastic was Annie just being there—like she was now.

Sitting there looking at him . . .

She was quite, almost never speaking. She sat with hands folded in her lap and ankles crossed. Every so often she’d glance out the window or down the aisle, but for almost the entire time since leaving St. Pancras she’d sat looking straight ahead.

He didn’t have proof, but he knew she was looking right at him.

It didn’t make him nervous, but it did make him wonder why. She was friendly, that much was true: since meeting her in the book store she’d been extremely nice to him, and always sat next to him, on his left, when they were eating. The fact she’s asked him to join here on her walked tour proved she trusted him, and thought of him as a friend.

Still, though—what was she doing? Why was she staring at him? Was there something she wanted to talk about, but didn’t know how to ask?

He finally turned away from the window. “Annie?”

Her expression didn’t change. “Yes?”

“Is there something you wanna talk about?”

The right side of her mouth twisted up for a moment. “No.”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Okay.” He returned to looking out the window. He casts a couple of quick glances out of the corner of his eye and . . .

He quickly turned his head, catching her as she shifted her gaze towards her hands. “What?”

“What?”

“What are you doing?”

Annie tilted her head to one side. “Nothing.” The word came out as a soft coo encased in her accent. “Is something wrong?”

“I don’t know . . . you’re looking at me.”

“Am I?”

What is going on? Now Kerry was majorly confused. Why is she acting so strange? He shook his head. “You use a lot of questions to answer questions.”

“Do I?” Annie chuckled while here face remained as impassive as ever. The only thing that seemed to change was the glint in her eye—

Alica turned away from the window rolling her eyes. “Oi, you two.”

Kerry snorted. “Oi, yourself.”

“She’s playing with you, Malibey.”

He considered her words for a moment. “You know this how?”

She drew one leg up and pulled her foot up onto the chair. “You’re a bit of a thick git, aren’t you?”

Annie only half-looked in Alica’s direction. “That’s not a nice thing to say.”

Alica giggled dryly. “Don’t worry; I ain’t trying to hurt the poor lad.” She wiggled her eyebrows as she shot a smile Kerry’s way.

 

Girls:  one day they’re showing you around London, the next they just stare at you without saying anything.  Who knows what’s going on inside their heads?

Certainly not Kerry.

The most interesting note I left in the story should be reached tonight.  Kerry’s hearing isn’t too great, and he starts to wonder about something Ms. Rutherford said–

Of course both words start with "D", so it's easy to misunderstand . . .

Of course both words start with “D”, so it’s easy to misunderstand . . .

Yeah, I’ll get to that tonight.  It’s about time to get this train into the station so I can rewrite something else.

Chunneling Through the Storm

Today has been a bit of a disappointment.  First, I run over to Panera for my morning coffee and blogging.  I get everything I need and, boo–the Panera page won’t go past the log-in.  It was really a shame, too, ’cause I’m totally in Allison Mode, which means I have my thermal top on under my turtleneck sweater, and my little gold hoop earrings, and I could almost pull off the “I’m a horny, pissy soccer mom who’s also a clone” look.  Oh, well:  can’t have it all.

Then I get back to the apartment and I discover that a pair of boots I must have didn’t get shipped.  Why?  Maybe because the story doesn’t know how to keep track of their inventory on their web page, and they lead you to believe they have said boots when they don’t.  Bummer.  They were so cute, I gotta have them.  Which means I now have to hunt for another pair that’s probably going to cost me an arm and a leg in the process.

Oi, such a bad morning.  Lets hope the rest of the day is filled with much mirth.  Or at least some happiness.

The story.  Oh, yes, the story.  They’re out of history class, and there was a mention of them attending algebra right after.  Now it’s onto flight school, but there’s one hell of a storm blowing around outside–which is actually different from the weather for that day and time, but I changed it because–well, I wanted the storm.  I have my reasons.  That’s all you need to know.

Anyway:  Chunnel.  So named because when the tunnel was opened on the same day the first breakthrough happened at the English Channel Tunnel, which was 30 October, 1990.  It’s the biggest and longest tunnel at the school, and people started calling it The Chunnel about the same time the thing was opened.

It keeps the students linked to all thing south of The Pentagram.  Chunnel AboveSee here:  when you look south, you see The Pentagram and the Old Classes to the left, the science centers, the Hanger, and the Aerodrome in the lower middle, the Flight School in the upper middle, and all the way to the right The Diamond.  From Founder’s Gate at the south end of the Pentagram Wall to the Flight School is about a kilometer hike over uneven ground.  And it’s raining hard.  Not a lot of fun to walk at the moment.

What are students to do?  Go underground.

Here’s The Chunnel is all its glory, running from Chunnel Belowthe Transformation Passage straight to The Diamond.  One thousand, eight hundred sixty meters long, twelve meters wide, seven meters high.  For those of you not digging metrics that’s six thousand, one hundred feet–or 1.15 miles–almost forty feet wide, and twenty-three feet high.  Everything is connected, so all the students have to do is hit the cut-off tunnel from The Great Hall’s lower levels to the Chunnel, hang a left about six hundred meters along, and trundle over to the Flight School.

It’s quiet, it’s fairly warm, there’s romantic low lighting, and most of all, it’s dry.  You can’t even hear the storm raging overhead because you’re under a several meters of granite.  Along the way two more characters will put in an appearance, and then we get to . . .

Are they going to fly in this weather?

You never know.