Mother’s Little Annoyance: If Only–

It’s official:  I crossed the forty thousand word make, and The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing is a real novel in terms of word count.  I hit it after nearly five hundred words of writing this morning:

It's all right here.

It’s all right here.

And here’s the breakdown:

 

Total time to this point: 78 days.
As of now: 40,195 words, 515 words a day average.

 

So I’m bad, I’m nationwide, and the writing continues, but I can hold my head up and say, “There’s another novel.”

Speaking of holding their head up–

If you look closely at the above picture you’ll see I’ve finished the second scene, which has also become the second largest scene in the book.  The last excerpt ended with Kerry being a bit of a smart ass towards his mother, which we’re gonna see may not have been the wisest action…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Louise’s eyes narrowed moments after Kerry’s curt retort. “Your father and I are going to discuss this.”

Kerry shrugged. “Sure. Whatever.”

Her tone turned icy. “He will know about what you’re really learning at school—”

“Which he should know. I wanted to tell this to you guys months ago.”

“He’s also going to know about you and Annie.”

Kerry nodded. “He should know about her, too. Nothing to hide there.”

Louise took a deep breath. “I have serious questions about what you’re taught. Or what you’re allowed to do there.”

It was impossible for Kerry to hide the smirk. “You gonna write another letter to the headmistress?”

You shut your fucking mouth.”

 

And there we go:  Louise finally loses her shit on her son and drops the big one on him.  And since this is something she’s never done to him, it’s impossible for Kerry not to take notice:

 

Kerry recoiled slightly from his mother’s profane outburst. “Wow, Mom. You finally crossed the f-bomb line.” He kept his tone as neutral as possible. “Really, though: who are you gonna talk to about your ‘questions’? I guess you could speak to people at the school—”

“I would if I could.”

“From what I understand you can contact the school that I’m out. But I know what they’re going to tell you: the instructors are given free reign to do what they feel is necessary when it comes to their students’ education. It’s something that Annie’s parents understand because they went there; it’s something Dad and you need to understand, too.”

Kerry’s sigh was difficult to hear. “There’s nothing wrong with what I know—and there’s nothing wrong with me.”

Louise eyed him closely. “If I could I’d never let you go back to that place.”

Kerry’s mouth twisted to one side. “You have no say in the matter.”

“So you say. Doesn’t mean I can’t have a say here.”

There was something in his mother’s tone that didn’t set well with Kerry. “Mom—”

Louise snapped her head in a quick node to the right. “Get out of my sight.”

 

Yeah, she’s not taking this well.  And Kerry knows better than to stay around when Mom flips the bitch switch–

 

Kerry snapped up his travel package and left the dining room. He made his way up the stairs, averting his eyes at the top landing so he didn’t have to see himself in the mirror, then hurried into his room. Once inside he locked and sealed the door behind him so his mother couldn’t walk in or listen from the outside. He tossed the mailer envelope on the desk next to the computer and sat on the edge of his bed, already deep in thought.

He wondered if maybe he’d pushed things too hard, but pushed the idea aside as he reminded himself that it was likely his mother had wanted a confrontation of sorts. She waited until the last minute to discuss the school and magic because she wanted to have this out her way. Otherwise I’d have had plenty of time to explain everything my way, and she couldn’t have that.

He lay back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. I hope this isn’t any indication of how this year is gonna go

 

Though it didn’t end on an up note, everything about Kerry is out in the open.  Well, almost everything–

"Mom, Dad?  You know how we're told we change during puberty?  Well . . ."

“Mom!  Guess what else I learned at school this year?”

Oh, yeah:  that’s coming…

Now all the parents stuff is out of the way, which means maybe it’s time to finally see something I’ve waited a novel worth of words to write–

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Love Among the Witches

Thirty days hath September and all that jazz, right.  We’re about to kiss the ninth month goodbye and head into The Witching Month, which is a good thing ’cause my witches are about to get down to some serious business.

Though not like this.  Seriously, Erywin would be mocking you so hard--

Though not like this. Seriously, Erywin would be mocking you so hard–

But there are a few more things to get out of the way before the kids leave for Salem.  Trust me, though:  they’ll get there before the end of October.  Maybe.

So…  Kerry has a girlfriend and Mom now knows.  And we know that some mothers forget they were young girlfriends at some point and think all the girls their sons are dating are evil little witches.  Though in Annie’s case that argument could be made that she’s not an evil little witch but a cute little Dark Witch, which is just how Kerry likes her.

Being the sort of person Louise is she instantly jumps to certain conclusions and begins the slow, spiraling decent towards becoming the subject of a Pink Floyd song and decides she’s going to go there

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

After several seconds of hard staring Louise shifted her mood and questions. “Are you doing something with this girl?”

Kerry returned a puzzled look. “What do you mean?”

She began tapping her fingertips together. “Are you doing things with Annie?”

It came to him what she was asking a moment later. “Are you asking if we’re having sex?”

“Yes.” Louise looked down as she swallowed. “Are you?”

“No, Mom. Why would you even think that?” Kerry was certain he knew why his mother was asking this—

And he wasn’t disappointed. “You had that talk your first year at school; you said you and Annie were called in and had it together.” Louise seemed to lean forward a bit towards Kerry. “Are you fooling around with her?”

He shook his head. “No.”

“Are you sleeping with her?”

 

Yes, The Talk has come back to haunt Kerry, but he’s had a year to deal with what happened then and doesn’t freak out and start shouting out stuff because his buttons have been pushed hard.  He’s grown a bit due to the ton of shit he’s had thrown at him during his B Levels and gives his mother an answer she likely wasn’t at all expecting…

 

Kerry glanced off to the side as he sighed. “Every Friday and Saturday night we have something called the Midnight Madness. It’s like this big pajama party for all the students and staff. We go to the Dining Hall in our pajamas—that’s a rule, by the way—and sit around and have snacks and talk and generally relax after a whole week of hard classes.

“Annie and I have a place we always sit. There’s a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a couple of end table. Sometimes our friends will come over and chat with us; sometimes the instructors do. Most of the time we sit and drink hot chocolate or apple cider and eat banitsas and kozunak—”

“What’s that?”

“Bulgarian pastries that are really good. Anyway, we start at twenty-one hours and Annie and I go like that until about twenty-three, then we sort of sit and cuddle.” He ignored his mother’s body language and continued onward. “Sometimes—most of the time—we lay back and pulled the comforter up over us and fall asleep like that.”

Louise wasn’t enjoying this news. “You’re allowed to do that?”

“Mom, there’s like a hundred and seventy people in the hall: it’s not like we’re doing anything. Besides—” A slight smile formed at the corner of his mouth. “Some of the instructor have told us they think it’s romantic. Even cute.”

Cute.” The way Louise spit out the word showed she didn’t share the same opinion as Kerry’s instructors.

He ignored her. “Anyway, about half-past midnight someone comes and wakes us up and we head back to the coven tower—”

“You live in a tower?”

“Yes, I do. We get back to the tower and head up to our floor. I give Annie a kiss goodnight before she goes—” Kerry once again put his mother’s discomfort out of mind. “And we head to our rooms and go to sleep.

“Every day I see her in the morning, we have breakfast, we go to class or whatever is planed for that day, we do lunch, do more class and things, then have dinner. Some nights we have class, some we don’t, and there’s the Midnight Madness. Every night I kiss Annie goodnight.” He looked down as the memory of those moments came rushing to him. “We’re not sleeping together, Mom: we’re not having sex. We can’t have intercourse: we both know it wouldn’t be right.” He wisely left off the magical reason why for this decision, but as the decision not to have intercourse came before they learned about their Astral Binding, Kerry knew he wasn’t lying. “So there’s nothing to worry about.”

Louise wasn’t about to let the matter go, not yet. “Why, then, did you have… that talk?”

“Well—” Kerry kept his voice steady. “I did tell you why we were there last year—”

“You told me why you were there. What about Annie?”

Kerry stared up at the ceiling for a moment as he sighed. “If you must know—” He stared directly at his mother. “Annie admitted to a counselor that she masturbated while thinking about me. That’s why we were talked to together: they thought they would help us understand our budding sexuality.” He rested his finger under his nose for only moment before dropping his arms in semi-exasperation. “Now you know. Happy?”

Louise’s eyes narrowed moments after Kerry’s curt retort. “Your father and I are going to discuss this.”

 

This is about as touching and heartfelt a statement about Annie that Kerry has ever made to another person, possibly because where it comes to their friends they don’t have to say anything:  they already know.  The Kerry of a year ago wouldn’t have ever been able to admit to his mother that he kisses Annie every night before they go to bed, and he certainly wouldn’t have given Mom the dig at the end by telling a truth that he knew his mother both wanted and didn’t want to hear.

A lot of this is due to the change in Annie and Kerry’s relationship.  Kerry fought to remember how they’d known each other before meeting, then they dealt with their wedding night vision, and now, knowing that they are meant for none others but each other, he’s accepted fully that she’s gone from Witchy Poo to Witchy Wifey Poo and now it’s a matter of waiting to get old enough to make it all legal.  And since Mommy was pushing hard, he pushed back with a hell of a lot of truth bombs.

Only a few hundred more words before this scene finishes–and it should be noted that I’m within a few hundred words of hitting forty thousand.  Maybe I’ll save that for the start of Witching Month.

Because that’s a good way to start.

Mother’s Little Annoyance: You’re Not In Love

I know what I said.  I know what I wanted to do.  And I know what happened.  But really:  it’s not my fault.

Last night was Phone Bank night where I head down to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party headquarter and do my “get out the vote” thing.  Last night I did almost three hours of calls across fourteen sheets of paper with sixteen names on each page.  As you can tell that’s a lot of calls.  Most are people who let their phones go right to voice mail, but I’m still calling, still trying to get through.  And fortunately for me, I’ve yet to call anyone who’s a supporter of the Orange Dumpster Fire, but I figure the odds are I’ll get at least one at some point during October.

"I understand, Sir: you want to 'take back the country'. If it helps, I do have access to a TARDIS and I could take you back to 1730. Does that interest you?"

“I understand, Sir: you want to ‘take back the country’. If it helps, I have access to a TARDIS and I could take you back to 1730. Does that interest you?”

Now, we don’t always yack away on phones like robots.  We do talk to people and I’ve had some good phone conversations.  We also talk among ourselves as well because, well, there is a bit of stress involved in what we’re doing, and there are a lot of busy people there.  And trust me, last night was hopping, with close to a dozen of us calling and maybe another six to nine people entering data into the system to keep the rolls up to date.

So, on the personal side, what happened last night–well, there were two things.  First, one of the organizers in the office asked me about my nose piercing and said she wanted to get one of her own, so I not only told her she should get one from the same place I did, but I’d go with her and hold her hand.  So next Sunday is Nose Piercing Day, and once that happens there will be three of us in the DNP/HRC office with those.

And second, there were three of use women sitting at the same table and we did take some time to sit and chat from time-to-time.  The woman sitting across from me said she loved my passion and that I was the sort of person who should be a part of her organization, which is the Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  She told me I should come to one of their mixers and get a feel for it, and I took that to mean she felt I should join.  So…  I’ll probably contact her tomorrow to get more info.

All and all it looks like I’m making some good connections while helping get someone elected at the same time.

What this means is that I had a limited amount of time to actually feel the worlds flowing and write.  It’s not much, but here’s what happened after Kerry made his Annie Admission.

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

He didn’t even pause. “She’s my girlfriend, Mom.”

Louise regarded her son for a few moments. “You have a girlfriend.”

“Yes, I do.”

“And how long has this been going on?”

Kerry considered stretching the truth a little before deciding to be as honest about his relationship as he was about his magic. “Since the start of our A Levels. You could say we connected in London before going to Amsterdam, and by the time we reached he school—” He smiled. “We’ve been together since.”

Louise pressed her fingers into her forehead while muttering in a lot voice. “I don’t believe this.” She looked up and sighed. “Let me guess: if your letter writing is any indication you’re both deeply in love.”

Kerry turned on a half-smile. “How did you know?”

“You cannot be serious.” His mother was becoming more animated as spoke. “You’re thirteen.”

“So?”

So?” Her nostrils flared twice. “You don’t have the emotional maturity to understand something like love. And I doubt that Annie does, either.”

Kerry wanted to scream out that they understood completely, that there was so much more to their relationship than simply holding hands and cuddling, But to do so would be to ask his mother to believe too much, and at the moment she wasn’t ready. “Annie knows; so do I. I mean, we’re taught Morte spells and the school feels we’re mature enough to control and use them, so why wouldn’t we be mature enough to understand real love?” He shook his head. “Geez, Mom: come on.”

 

Louise is all upset:  first her son is a witch, then he knows death spells–and now, horror of horrors, he’s got a girlfriend.  One of those female types who are soft and have long hair and big, batty eyes–and, well, Louise knows what else they have.

So you can pretty much expect the next question coming from her…

Checking in From Post D.C.

A quick check in ’cause I can’t seem to go away.  After getting off work yesterday I spent two and a half hours on the road driving to Washington, D. C., to visit a friend from West Virginia who was lobbying Congress on behave of the Sierra Club.  She was staying in the Marriott Marque, which was a pretty swanky joint:

Though you wouldn't know it from this blury picture. :)

Though you wouldn’t know it from this blury picture.🙂

I didn’t return home until 10:30 PM, so there was no writing.  There was, however, a lot of listening to music on my phone since I’d just bought a whole lot of data and could affords to let it run for about forty-five minutes.  And it also allowed for me to find a new opening to the next scene that will show Kerry doing something he’s never done up to now.  It’s gonna be fun.

In the meantime I broke a nail this morning–really, it snapped and then I had to pull the acrylic overlay off–

It looks worse than it is.

And being it’s Wednesday I’m in full Mean Girl regalia:

Even have the right Resting Bitch Face for pink.

It’s a quick check in and it means I’ll be into the writing tonight after I return from the phone bank.  I hope to finish up the last of the meeting between Kerry and his mom, which would mean getting into the next scene and showing something surprising and something special.

You just gotta wait.

Mother’s Little Annoyance: I Am Not the Danger

If my fantasy were a reality, right now a young girl would be getting up from breakfast and setting out to handle the events of the day.  She would have awakened to find a young man waiting to escort her to breakfast and he’d end up spending the rest of the day with her.  At some point in the afternoon he’d take her to the shores of a lake where they often sat and give her a present, for this is her most special of days.

Today is the day Annie Kirilova turns 17 during her last year as a student at the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning.

Kerry would get her a special cake, too.

Kerry would get her a special cake, too.

Little Annie is gonna be all grown up by this point and getting ready to head out on her year of Real Life Experience with her soul mate at her side.  And in another year she’ll turn 18 and then wait until Kerry turns 18 so they can wait until as close to the summer solstice as they can get so they can get married and live happily ever after and maybe even have a few little witches of their own, which we know Annie is already carrying in her belly.  But you say, “What about the ones Kerry will have?”  We’ll worry about that later…

And speaking of Kerry, he’s still with his mom in the here and now of my fictional realty.  I thought I would write more than three hundred and eighty-five words last night, but I got caught up in the debate and was having a great time making fun of the Orange Dumpster Fire.  However, I did get to something important–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Louise shook her head. “I still think it shows a lot of irresponsibly on the part of your school to allow you to learn those—” She puckered her face. “Dangerous spells.”

“You mean our Morte spells?” Kerry snorted. “The only people who are taught those spells are the kids responsible enough to know not to use them—”

But you’re just kids. That’s the point. You’re admitting you have the ability to kill someone—

“You have the ability to kill someone every time you get in a car.” Kerry felt himself getting wound up and spend a few seconds getting his emotions under control. “Anyone in a car can kill someone if they wanted—”

“And we’d go to jail if we did.” Louise was getting wound up as well, though she was having less luck at controlling her temper. “It’s not the same thing.”

“The Foundation has their own jail, too, as well as police.” He shook his head. “If I killed anyone just because I could, I’d go away, Mom. I’d get punished. I’d go to jail.” He snorted aloud. “You act like there are no repercussions if we go out and start hurting people with our magic. If we did we’d been in so much trouble it’s not even funny.”

Kerry leaned against the table. “The reason Annie and I are able to learn those spells is because we’re trusted. The school and The Foundation knows we’re not crazy, we’re not irresponsible, we’re not gonna act like maniacs. That’s the reason we’re in C Level Sorcery; that’s the reason Annie can teach me what she learns from Professor Lovecraft.” He stood and straightened. “You don’t have to worry about us, Mom: the school doesn’t.”

Louise spent a few seconds regarding her son in the now-silent dining room. She crossed her arms just under her breasts. “What does this girl mean to you?”

Kerry was somewhat taken back. “Who? Annie?”

“Yes. You’ve mentioned her several times, and just now when you talked about being trusted you included her.” Louise rubbed her chin. “It wasn’t ‘I’ it was ‘we’.” She exhaled slowly. “What is she to you, Kerry?”

He didn’t even pause. “She’s my girlfriend, Mom.”

 

We know, as does Annie and Kerry, that if they went around killing people they’d go to jail.  Probably Cloudland, too, since these two would be looked upon as crazy maniac witches who need to be put in their place.  So even though it’s not been discussed in the first two books, you can rest assured that Helena or Isis or both sat them down and told them, “This is what happens if you step out of line.”  And it won’t be pretty.

But lastly:  “She’s my girlfriend, Mom.”  It’s finally out in the open around the Malibey house that The Girl Who Writes is really Kerry’s One and Only.  And sometime tonight I should be able to get Louise’s reaction to the fact her son is, um, “dating”.

You know it’s gonna be good.

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Your Son, the Sorceress

In the last except Kerry’s mother, Louise, decided she was gonna push the boundaries and get right to the heart of the matter of what her son learns at school, and discovered–somewhat to her dismay–that it’s not anything like those nice witch school you read about in books where they do stuff like change birds into cups.  Nope, Mama Malibey discovered that some students know how to kill someone with their brain, and guess what?  Her son is one of those people who’ve learned how to do that–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Louise seemed to stop breathing for a few seconds as Kerry’s single word hit her. “Are you serious?”

Kerry nodded. “Completely.”

“I—” Louise wiped the back of her left hand across her brow. “Did you teachers show you that?”

“No.” Once more he looked down as he drew in a breath. “I taught myself.”

What?”

“I read about the spell in a book from our library and stared figuring it out on my own. I practiced for most of the school year and finally got to where I could control it completely.”

“And your teachers let you do this?”

He shrugged. “I had help.”

Who?”

“Annie.”

Louise swallowed hard. “They let her help you?”

“Yeah.”

“How in the hell could they—?”

“Because she already knew a Morte spell.” He kept his face free of his feelings but the quiver in his voice spoke of the combination of fear and frustration running through him. “Annie learned the spell when she was ten, so when she entered Salem for our A Levels she had what we call a ‘yellow flag’ on her student file: it means you know and can control a Morte spell. Since she was already able to do one of those spells already, the Head Sorceress more or less had her help me.”

“And the school allowed that?”

“Yeah, sure.”

 

Right about, oh, now, Louise should be shitting he knickers ’cause her son–you know, the one she’s mentally and emotionally abused for years–is admitting to knowing how to use these spells, and admits even further that he’s learning them from The Girl Who Writes–who, it also turns out, is not only someone Louise has been tossing shade at for at least a year, but is a little Dark Witch in her own right who learned one of these spells when she was ten.

Needless to say, this news has her head spinning:

 

Louise stared up at the ceiling while shaking her head. “I can’t believe her parents would allow her to learn something like—”

“Her parents are witches, Mom.” Kerry leaned on the table as he sighed. “From what she’s told me they were pretty good sorceresses as well and had a lot of books on the subject around the house. They got her a book of her own when she was nine because they wanted her to learn the right way.”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this.” When she decided to question Kerry about his schooling she’d anticipated some bad things could come out of the discussion, but she hadn’t any idea that this sort of nonsense occurred. “Your school allows a girl your age to teach you a spell to kill people—”

“Why not? They let me teach her the spell I knew.” He didn’t wait for his mother’s shocked gasp to dissipate and vanish. “Professor Lovecraft, the Head Sorceress, says that good sorceresses not only learn but can teach what they know, so she got the school to allow Annie and I to teach each other things. She gets mentored in advanced things by Helena—”

“Who?”

“Professor Lovecraft. She gets mentored by her and then teaches me and I teach Annie the things I learn in Advanced Transformation. We’re evaluated on how well we do with the lessons in the same way we’re evaluated in class.”

Louise closed her eyes as she shook her head. “I can’t even comprehend how your school can allow these things—”

“That’s because it’s not the Normal world.” Kerry was certain his mother though he meant normal with a small “n”, but after two years at school he knew better. “We do things differently at school because—” He shrugged. “Because we’re different:  we’re witches.  We don’t learn the same as other kids.”

“Like kids you used to go to school with.”

“Yeah, like that.” He nodded once. “Like Normal kids.”

 

And there is lay the rub, Louise:  your son isn’t like all other kids with whom he used to attend school, and maybe that’s the reason you should have spent the summer getting to know him instead of Gish Galloping him a few weeks before he heads back to school.  Maybe he wouldn’t have freaked you out as much–

"See, right here, Mom, the school says we can't use death spells against our parents--not without permission first--"

“See, right here, Mom, the school says we can’t use death spells against our parents, not without permission from a teacher–“

–or maybe not.  The point is you spent most of your life ignoring the boy before he discovered he can do magic and now you’re having an even harder time getting to know him.

But since he keeps bringing up the name of his Bulgarian Buttercup, maybe now is a good time to learn a bit more about her–and what she means to a certain Ginger Hair Boy…

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Dark and Stormy Spells

Given that I didn’t do a lot of writing yesterday I figured today would be a good day for a data dump.  I’m out this cool morning wearing my fall attire:

J. J. Abrams snuck in behind me when I wasn't looking.

J. J. Abrams snuck in behind me when I wasn’t looking.

And I’ve had my first hot cider of the year.

Hot cider and writing.

A photo posted by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

So I’m ready for fall.

Kerry, however:  he’s ready for school.  Travel package in hand–more or less–he’s eager to get on that jet for a few months of learning at his home by the sea.  Now his mother is finally asking questions about his time with the witches and she seems genuinely interested, so much so that Kerry is starting to relax.  And when Kerry gets relaxed he doesn’t mind talking…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Regular spells, Formulistic Magic, Transformation—” Kerry wrapped his arms around his body as if he were cold. “Advanced Flight Two and Advanced Self Defense. Flight is pretty much what is it, though this year we’re learning about various way of tricking out our brooms for additional performance and how to spend time out in the wilderness.”

“Why that?”

“Well, a Class 1 PAV—that’s the official designation for our brooms—is great for flying out into the middle of nowhere. I was on a few overnight camping trips last level and I’ll do a few more this year.”

Though she didn’t want to admit it, Louise found this all a bit interesting. “And this self defense class?”

Kerry stepped behind the chair and leaned against the back. “We’re all being taught different disciplines. A few are learning kung fu and tai chi; a few taekwondo; a couple judo. One student has been learning silat for a couple of years.” He picked up on his mother’s “What’s that?” look in a matter of seconds. “That’s a martial art out of Indonesia. It’s pretty effective.”

“I’ll take your word for it. And what are you studying?”

He looked down for a brief moment. “I’m studying Kali?”

This time Louise didn’t bother hiding her shock. “Kali?”

“It’s from the Philippines. It’s better known as Arnis or Eskrima: it’s a combination of using your hands and feet as well as weapons, just like with silat.” He straightened as he spoke with obvious pride. “Annie and I are the only ones learning Kali.”

Louise went back to showing little emotion. “Just you two.”

“Yeah. Our instructor, Professor Chai, says that we’re suited to the art. She said she’s never seen anyone pick it up as fast as us.”

As much as Louise wanted to hear about Kerry’s work with this Bulgarian girl, she was interested in something else. “Ms. Rutherford mentioned that you were a sorceress.”

 

This is the first we hear that Annie and Kerry are the only ones getting all that great training in Kali with a side of Silat thrown in.  At least he’s not telling his mother, “Oh, and we use batons made of magical energy so it looks like we’re giving you a beat down with light sabers.”  Louise isn’t ready for that one yet.

Also, he’s doing it with that “Bulgarian girl” and Louise isn’t missing the fact that her name keeps coming up in the conversation–as in, “Annie and I are doing blah blah blah.”  You can be sure that Kerry isn’t being absent-minded about this:  by now he’s probably ready to spill the beans on their relationship.  I mean, if Mommy and Daddy aren’t hip with his being a witch, why care if they know for sure he’s got a witch girlfriend?  Watch this space and see where this goes.

However the S Word has come up and Kerry knows to tip toe around this subject–

 

He paused for a few seconds before answering. “Yes, I am.”

“Is that one of your advanced classes?”

Kerry wiggled his right hand back and forth. “Yes and no. There are no actual advanced classes for sorcery: everyone takes it during their A and B Levels. But in order to take the C Level class you have to be invited and not everyone got an invite. Maybe half the B Levels moved up.”

“I take it you did?”

“Yeah. Annie and I knew months before we were going to C Level Sorcery.”

Louise made note of the face this was the third time Kerry made mention of this Bulgarian girl when speaking about himself. “Was it like that with your other advanced classes?”

“Getting an early invite?”

“Yes.”

“Not really. We knew we were moving on without being reminded.”

“You and Annie.”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

Louise figured to move on to something else. “What happens in this Formulisic Magic?”

 

“The Bulgarian Girl.  Coming to a theater this fall!”  Louise really has a problem with The Pamporovo Princess’ name:  it’s like Annie is the Heisenberg of Magic.  “You know who I am, Louise.”  “No, I don’t.”  Sure you do.  Go on:  Say My Name.”  She is gonna have so much fun with her future mother-in-law.

At least Kerry managed to get out of that trap and moved smoothly on to another subject–

 

Kerry chuckled. “That’s just a fancy name for Magical Chemistry.” He sipped his juice a couple of times and remained standing in one place without shifting his feet. “We take different formulas and come up with the various mixtures. Sometimes we keep them in liquid form, sometimes power or solid, like a hard tablet. A few times we’ve had to create gel caps out of the stuff we’ve made.” He glanced off to his left and sighed. “This year we get to use the superlab—”

Once again one of Louise’s eyebrows angled upward. “That sounds a bit intimidating.”

“It is a little. We’ll be working in mixture batches that can be anywhere from fifty to three hundred liters in volume before final processing. This will be more about quality control and creating mixtures according to established protocol. We’ll even have to write up out own for mixtures we need to do without existing procedures.” He shrugged. “It’s the first step in learning how to do this professionally.”

“They certainly cover everything.” Louise had to admit that what Kerry was doing went far beyond anything she imagined of his life at school. There was one final question about that world she needed to know— “So, do you know spells that will hurt people?”

 

Okay, so maybe he’s not out of the trap yet.  Louise can be just as tenacious as her boy when she wants something and rarely lets up until she gets it.  Maybe she won’t make the connection…

 

The sudden shift in questioning caught Kerry off-guard. Up until now the conversation was pleasant and he’d hoped this was an indication of a thaw in the tenseness that had existed between them all summer. Suddenly, however, he felt himself being forced to scramble for the answers to the questions he expected were coming. “Mom…”

“Do you?” Louise finally placed a hand on the chair to left as if to steady herself. “Does magic like that exist?”

He glanced about the dining room for a few seconds “Any magic can hurt you if a witch puts their mind to it. I mean, transformation magic for sure; formulas can do damage as well if you know what you’re making. Even some simple common spells and put a person in the hospital if used with that intent—”

“What about sorcery?” Louise’s stare bored into her son. “I did some reading on this the last couple of weeks—”

“You can’t trust the writings of people who aren’t real witches.”

“It’s that something like dark magic?”

Kerry sighed. “We don’t call it that.” He knew better than to tell his mother what they called the power they used to power these particular spells…

His mother turned her head a little to the right. “What do you call it?”

“We call it sorcery. Not dark magic; not black magic; and for sure not the dark arts.”

Louise drew in a breath and straightened her back. “Is there a death spell?” The way he looked down with a pain expression more or less told her everything she needed. “Is there?”

 

Annnnnnd she does.  This is what happens when The English Patient is running around Avada Kedavraing everyone in sight:  you begin assuming your witchy son who is also a sorceress can do the same.

For his part Kerry doesn’t lose it cool, but he’s not gonna try taking a trip down Bullshit Lane.  He knows exactly how to proceed:

 

Kerry turned his eyes to the ceiling knowing he wasn’t getting out of this easily. “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes.”

“No, there isn’t.”

“Well that’s—”

“There’s close to a dozen.” He didn’t wait for his mother’s shocked expression to fade before continuing. “We have a subset of spells in sorcery known as Morte; those are designed specifically for gravely injuring or killing someone.” He shrugged as if he found the conversation uninteresting. “You wanted to know—now you do.”

“Yes, I do.” She regarded her son coldly. “Do you know anything like that?”

He closed his eyes for a moment. “Yes.”

 

One gets the feeling that Kerry’s done playing with his parents, particularly his mother.  Once bringing up this question he knows she won’t let it go, so he sees no reason to tell her lies that she can use against him later should she discover the truth.  It’s not like the people at school, students and instructors alike, don’t know his abilities, so since Mom is being a pain in the ass about trying to learn things about her son, the dear boy sees no reason not to fill her in.  Good or bad, he’s not in the mood to keep dancing to her tune, so he’s taken over the band and he’s calling out the steps.

The question that remains is how this will be taken  I’m so sure Louise will take this news as she’s taken everything else concerning Kerry–