Divining the Divine: Diversions Among the Devine

It’s now Wednesday and I have tonight and two more nights to get everything together for the big march on Saturday.  The cold that has been coming on for the last few days is still sort of lingering, but I think I’m holding it off successfully.  I may end up marching on Saturday with a bit of discomfort and maybe even a stuffy nose, but I will be in DC.

The plan now is to pick up some trail mix and a few power bars so I have something to eat, and possibly a water bottle.  I still have to print out my passenger manifest, which I intend to do on Friday.  I’m considering taking a cab to the rendezvous point, or possibly even bring over if there’s anyone out on the road at six in the morning.  And then finalize my attire on Friday night, because I’m going to need to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning to get ready on Saturday as our buses are leaving Harrisburg at six.

Soon, so much to do.  Chances are good I’ll get it done.

Today is also a big excerpt.  Were down near the end of Deanna’s scene for the first day of class, and given what is about to be mentioned it would be ridiculous to split it up into parts.  We know it started out with someone making a smart ass comment, but what you don’t realize is that Deanna is ready for such comments–and she has a bit of history when it comes to “burning” a witch over them…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Several students rolled their eyes while a few more groaned. The two students who knew her the best, however, were less circumspect in hiding their displeasure, and didn’t care if their outburst saw them getting into trouble.

Annie half turned and glared out of the corner of her eyes as she literally spit the words in Franky’s direction. “Proklet nevezh fanatik.”

While Kerry wasn’t certain of what Annie had said, he wanted to make sure there was no mistaking his comment. “Way to out yourself as an asshat, Franky.”

“That’s enough, you two.” Deanna didn’t want to show favoritism to Annie and Kerry in class, and couldn’t allow their outbursts to go unchecked. “Come see me as soon as class is over.” She then turned her attention to Franky. “By ‘Your people’, I assume you mean people from the Middle East, or Muslims, or both. Would that be a correct assumption?”

Franky shrugged as if the subject had already bored him. “Yeah, whatever.”

This wasn’t the first time Deanna had been asked this particular question and knew it wouldn’t be the last, so as she’d done in the past, the seer moved to make quick business of Franky. “You are right away: there are certain elements of the faith in which I was brought up that would say because I can do magic and I am involved in divination, I am well on the way to my eternal downfall. However—” She levitated her tablet to her and pulled up some information from the school database. “You were raised a Protestant, weren’t you?” She read something on display. “Anglican Church of Canada, am I correct?”

He was suddenly looking a bit uncomfortable. “How do you know that?”

“Because The Foundation compiled a great deal of information about you before you even came to school—and since they know, I now know.” Deanna gave a mysterious smile. “Is it true?”

 

The Foundation knows everything about you, Franky!  Doesn’t everyone at Salem realize this by now?  Kerry knows he’s been followed since a young age, and it goes without saying that The Foundation has probably been aware of Annie’s doings since she was a toddler.  There’s also a fair amount of certainty that they have monitored everyone who has ever walked through Founder’s Gate for several years before they were outed as witches.  Which means they know what sort of church you went to, Franky, and they would know if he was some sort of crazy religious person at this point.  What they would do with him if he was a crazy religious person is open to interpretation, and in certain it’s something that has happened at least once or twice in the past.

And speaking of religion… Well, get ready for some lessons on what to do if you ever encounter a witch.  Which everyone at the school does on a daily basis.

 

Once more Franky shrugged. “Yeah, it’s true. So?”

“Then you must remember some of your scripture teachings—or didn’t you study the Old Testament?” She didn’t wait for her student to answer the question. “Leviticus 20:27 is very clear on the subject: ‘A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.’ Now, while I’m not a necromancer, I am most certainly what one would consider a medium. Would you like to go outside, gather some stones, and lead the rest of the class in putting me to death?”

She allowed a few moments for Frank his discomfort to grow before continuing. “The verse that is most definitive on what to do with witches is Exodus 22:18: ‘You shall not permit a sorceress to live.’ Look about the room.” She held her arms wide. “Ten of your levelmates have moved on to Professor Lovecraft’s C Level Sorcery class, so you need to put about a third of the class to death.” Deanna moved towards Annie and Kerry and stopped just a couple of meters from them. “You might consider putting the two sorceresses in your level who are the most experienced with Morte spells to death first, as I’m certain they would take exception to your plan to kill their fellow sorceresses.”

Annie let out a short, harsh laugh before looking up at Deanna. “He could try killing me.”

Kerry half turned towards the now squirming boy. “’Try’ being the operative word.”

Deanna gave a short chuckle. “Maybe that’s something you need to try outside of this class.” She stepped away from the couple. “You should speak to Vicky about the things she learned about witchcraft while practicing Judaism as a child. Did you know the Talmud believes that most Jewish women used to practice witchcraft regularly? As far as it was concerned we couldn’t help ourselves; it comes naturally. And any gathering of women was considered suspicious; Pesahim 111a says that if two women are sitting at a crossroads facing each other, they are most certainly engaged in witchcraft.

“There is even a bit of an interesting connection between the Apocrypha and the Quran: it’s where humans learned witchcraft. The Apocrypha says that women learned it from angels, or Nefilim, as they were called, and the end for those women was spelled out in the Testament of Reuben, 5:5-6, in particular this passage: ‘For every woman who carries out these schemes will suffer eternal punishment, for it was thus that they led astray with their witchcraft the Nefilim before the flood.’ Not a very nice way to go, don’t you think?

“The Holy Quran looks at the origin of witchcraft a little differently: it said that sorceresses were taught witchcraft by jinn. And to do so pretty much damns you, as a portion of sura 2, ayah 102 states: ‘But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.’ To put it another way, we never realized that we were damning ourselves when we learn magic.”

Deanna ran her right hand casually through her hair, brushing it back from her ear and exposing a dangling gold earring. “I don’t know about you, Franky, but I was born with my gifts: I didn’t learn them from a jinn. But in case you were wondering, I have met a jinn and they are not the sort of creatures you want to learn magic from—and I don’t believe the one I met would have taught me had I asked. Since I was born with these talents, since I was actually starting to have visions before I knew what they were, I don’t see how they could be viewed as something horrible. It’s like saying I’m a terrible person because my eyes are a different color than yours, and because of that difference I need to be put to death. That’s ridiculous.”

 

Deanna has her quotes down, and not just from Christianity but from two major religions as well.  And believe it or not–though you know what I’m about to tell you is true, so the chances are you will believe it–those few paragraphs above pertaining to the preaching found in four different text took me about three hours of hunting down and research to make certain I got them right.  And not only did I need to determine the right, but I had to figure out how to fit them into the context of the story.  There was also the matter of deciding which translation to use, ’cause trust me, all this stuff has at least four or five different translations available, and each translation says something a little different.

I was surprised to discover the Talmud believed that nearly every woman was a witch.  It’s just something we do, I guess.  And while I knew about the Quran’s version of magic being learned from jinn–who were in league with demons, by the way–I did not know that the Apocrypha believed we had learned it from angels.  It all gets rather complicated after a while, but the core concept is the same: if you’re a witch, you’re bad.  And we know what folks back then loved to do to bad people–

 

She began to turn away and stopped halfway through. “By the way—” She gazed at Franky indirectly. “That quote from Exodus is usually translated these days to mean one should not let a witch live and not just sorceresses. Unless I’m mistaken, Franky, you’re a witch, and that means there are a certain number of your people who practice your faith that might be just as likely to kill you as those who practice my faith would kill me.” A smile gradually formed upon her face. “And unlike your scriptures, there’s nothing in the Holy Quran about killing witches.”

Deanna finished turning it and walked towards the large group of pillows in the middle front of the classroom. “I don’t mind having conversation on faith and how it relates to our unique positions in life, but anyone wishing to try and have that sort of conversation in this class is doing nothing more than wasting time: the classes and mine.” She stopped just short of the pillow pile and faced Franky, and for the first time there was the barest hint of anger in her eyes. “Don’t do this again, Franky, or you will find one of your proficiencies taking a hit for the day.”

She covered the last couple of meters to her seat of pillows and sat, folding her legs in the lotus position. “Now, who’s up to learning on how to see the future?” She gave her right hand a slight twist and the light level in the windowless room dropped by about a quarter. Using the same hand she snapped her fingers and a book appeared floating mere centimeters above them, and she levitated it towards her. “Get out your books: we have a lot to cover this year.”

 

There you go: you go to Deanna’s class, they get a history lesson concerning how different religions view dealing with everyone in her class.  It goes without saying that over the centuries anyone defined as a witch tended to get an express ticket to the afterlife, because like Exodus says, don’t let those witches live.  Which is one of the other reasons why The Foundation is one the great links to keep their existence, and the existence of their people, hidden from the Normals.  They hide in plain sight and have learned how, over the last two hundred years, to use their abilities to cover up their existence, as well as the existence of other entities like themselves.  And they’ve obviously gotten good at it, because if they can hide something the size of the School of Salem from the people living just on the other sides of the main wall, they can hide themselves from the rest of the world.

And this means they can go about teaching their kids in relative peace without fear of reprisal from the Normals.

"Sorry, you people without magical ability, but the witch killings have been put on hold--FOREVER."

“Sorry you people without magical ability, but here the witch killings have been put on hold–FOREVER.”

And now that we know where Deanna is taking her class, we have one last class to visit–

Wouldn’t you know it deals with those sorceresses we can’t suffer to live?

Divining the Divine: Seeing Where We’re Going

Always leave with the good news first, so that’s exactly what I’ll do.  Chapter Eight is done, finished, finito, fin.  It’s been a bit of a struggle to get through it, and the last scene has seen me either writing twelve hundred words in a couple of hours or three hundred words in a couple of hours; there’s been little in between.

And there was something about that last scene–

If I stare at these numbers maybe they'll tell me...

If I stare at these numbers maybe they’ll tell me…

Oh yeah: the last scene is the longest in the novel, and it’s nearly twice the length of the next longest scene in this chapter.  Why is that?  Because I had to do something they didn’t want to do, and it took me a while to do it.  Which is to say, something sort of bad happens in that last scene and I really had to work my way through it.  I hated when I have to do that.

That means Chapter Nine is gonna start tonight.  The chapter title is Freaky Friday, but you can rest assure you there’s nobody swapping going on here.  What is happening is it’s the first Friday of the first week of school, and that means we’ll get a peek at what’s going on at the start of Advanced Flight Two, will see the beginning of the first Midnight Madness of the year, Kerry will get a chance to find out how someone else’s coming out went over the last summer, and Annie is going to be asked an extremely important question.

Sounds dreadfully important, doesn’t it?  Only time will tell.

And speaking of time–we were speaking about time, weren’t we?  Or was it just some strange woman talking about the future?  Because yesterday we left Deanna beginning her monologue about what to expect in her class, Introduction to Divination.  And maybe now is a good time to see what she has to say–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

She straightened and clasped her hands in front of her once more. “Sounds dreadfully dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, in a way it is a bit dramatic. I mean, you’re seeing your future—or are you? You can also be seeing someone else’s future—but is that true as well? The future is a nebulous thing and it’s affected by the actions you take today. So is always a possibility that what you’re seeing may not be true—and yet, at the same time, it could very well be true. And that’s because—” Deanna pointed at the ginger haired boy at the front of the class. “Kerry, what is time?”

He glanced down at the floor for a moment as he tried, and failed, to keep from smiling too broadly. “It’s a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.”

Deanna chuckled. “I somehow knew you’d have the answer.” She faced the rest of the class. “While that’s a rather simplified and somewhat entertaining description, it’s also extremely true: it is impossible to define time in absolute terms. Even when you see the future in a vision there’s always the possibility that it won’t be the actual future, but rather a possible future that may come about due to, or in despite, your actions.

“This class is meant to address all the different matters concerning divination. You learn about the different ways you can channel your Sight, how you can trigger a vision, how to interpret one, and most of all, what you should and shouldn’t do if you have a vision. Because we don’t know the future, we can’t say what actions will either make it happen, or prevent that from happening. And that is likely going to be the hardest lessons I will teach you this year, for we have a natural curiosity about the future.”

 

This last paragraph is one thing that Deanna keeps harping on constantly: even though you had a vision of the future, you’re not certain what steps need to be taken to get to that point.  And when that occurs, it becomes almost impossible to determine what one should do to reach the point they’ve seen in their vision.  Like with Annie and Kerry: they’ve had a vision of them getting married–well, technically, not getting married, but the aftermath of getting married–and it seen themselves flying in to what they now figure is Paris and then going to a hotel for the evening.  Those are all pretty simple visions, but what isn’t simple is how do they get to those points?  No one really knows, and given that marriage is at least five years away at the soonest, there’s no way in hell they could ever predict that their next action is going to bring about that vision coming true.

It’s never as simple as, “Don’t go out on dangerous missions,” because come the day after you turned on a dangerous mission you can find yourself being run over by a car–and that will probably put the wedding vision on hold, possibly permanently.  The future is a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff, and there’s no way in hell you gonna navigate around it unless you know how to navigate.  And that’s what this class is going to teach the kids.  Or at least Deanna will try to do her best to teach the kids, because as we all know some kids are unteachable.

Maybe one of them even shows up and this next set of paragraphs…

 

Though she didn’t walk about the room, Deanna shifted her weight from one leg to another as she spoke. “Every witch has the capacity for Sight, but just like with crafting magic, Sight comes differently to all of us. For some it never develops, or will develop to the point we may have only one or two meaningful visions throughout your entire life. For others it develops to the point where they can only have a meaningful vision with an enormous amount of triggering—and even then their visions are limited and often ill-defined. And there are some who can only have visions under certain conditions which involve either helpful triggers or dreams.” Though she didn’t look directly at them, her eyes shifted toward Annie and Kerry. “I’ve already encountered a few students who’ve fallen into this last category.

“There are only a few of you who’ll make it to the point where you become what is known as an Active Seer, a person to whom visions come without any prodding and tend to take over your life for a few seconds when you least expect it. I can’t say for certain if there’s anyone in this room who could be considered an Active Seer because they are rare: extremely rare. Maybe one of you is like that, but I doubt if I’d be more than that in this room.

“Not only will we learn about divination, but I will attempt to trigger you all to get you to experience a vision. Some of these triggers will use runes, some will use deep trances, and some will require the use of—” Deanna pointed to a point between two of the doors. “Ouija boards. Yes, while a Ouija board cannot be used to summon a demon, it can be used to trigger a vision, something that Professor Lewiston and I joke about quite often.”

Deanna stopped moving about and glanced around the room. “Does anyone have any questions?” Two seconds later a hand shot up Deanna didn’t need to check her attendance because she knew the owner of this hand. “Yes, Franky?”

Franky Smith cleared his throat. “Does it ever bother you that because you’re a witch your people want to kill you?”

 

It’s nice to know that in my world a Ouija board will not summon a demon, but it can cause you to have a vision of the future.  And now that I pointed that out, you know there’ll be at least one scene where a Ouija board is used to bring about a vision.  So what does one use to someone a demon?  That will be answered in a later book, you can rest assured.

And now this last comment with Franky being a smart ass, which is something that Franky does rather well.  But you have to realize that this isn’t the first time that Deanna’s been asked about “your people” wanting to do her harm because she is a witch–

She’s so good at dealing with the subject that I just had to write about it…

Divining the Divine: Seeing Over the Beginning

Though today is a holiday I have to go and work: I’m actually supposed to be there in a little more than an hour.  And I don’t feel like going.  I’m still getting over whatever it is started coming on Thursday evening and my head is all fuzzy from medication I’ve been taking.  All this so few days from now I’m not a complete mess while in in Washington D.  C.  For the Women’s March on Washington.

Not even sure how long I’ll have to work today.  It’s likely I’ll be done by noon, and if that’s the case, I’ll come home take a nice long nap.  If I don’t do it at my computer first.

"Don't worry, I'll get back to writing as soon as... zzzzz..."

“Just resting my eyes, that’s all.  Back on my feet in no time.”

The scene I’m currently working on has suddenly become the longest in the novel.  Last night I took it just up over sixty-seven hundred words, and the chances are it will pass seven thousand before him done.  This means I also passed the hundred and ten thousand word mark, which only took me fifteen days to reach, due in part to the fact that there were few days when I wrote little or nothing.  Now I’m about closeout Chapter Eight the whole lot of words.

And speaking of a whole lot of words, were about to get into the first moments of Introduction to Divination.  As it’s taken me all day to get to this point, why wait any longer?  Let’s go!

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The heat that had remained over the weekend was still at the school, and even though it wasn’t that hot—even now, just after lunch, the temperature was only 27 Celsius—no breeze coupled with an oppressive mugginess made the temperatures seem much more oppressive. For the first time since the end of their B Levels, Annie wore her school uniform without tights and Kerry and she used the tunnel system to go to Memory’s End. As she told Kerry when they left the Great Hall, while he was used to this sort of weather, it wasn’t something she experienced that often—and when she did during the summer, she was often lightly dressed.

 Since they knew their way around Memory’s End finding the staircase to the ground floor wasn’t difficult. When they stepped out to the main hallway they found a couple of students milling about wondering if they should enter the first room on the right near us the main entrance, or if they should use one of the three doors on the left. Their schedule said class would be held in Room #1, which was not the doorway close is the main entrance, but rather the one three-quarters of the way down the hall. Deanna explained to Annie sometime before that Room #1 was something of a misnomer: all three doors on the left leading into one large room which could be partitioned into three smaller rooms for more intimate classes. For the C Level’s Introduction to Divination they would use the entire space.

Being familiar with Deanna’s teaching methods neither Annie or Kerry were surprised when they entered the room and found the floor covered in large pillows. About a third of the students stood along the sides of the room looking as if they expected desks and chairs to appear at any moment, while the rest were sitting on the pillows waiting to see what happened next. Annie and Kerry had spent some time with Deanna on Sunday and learned that besides them, only six other C Levels came out to Memory’s End to visit with her—about a third of the C Levels.

Annie wondered how Deanna dealt with the other C Levels who saw her last Friday, and she couldn’t help but wonder if Deanna tried to coax a vision out of them as well…

 

It goes without saying that Annie and Kerry know their way around Memory’s End, because they’ve been out here more times than the other C Levels.  We’ve yet to get an accounting of how many of the C Levels actually visited Deanna during Reacquaintance Day, but at some point will hear the story and you may be surprised by the numbers.  Needless to say, the other C Levels haven’t visited quite as often, they were just plain scared to come out.  The reason for that may have something to do with how Deanna not only views herself, but how she sees others viewing her:

 

The alarm on Kerry’s phone began beeping as Deanna entered the room and waved the door closed behind her. After two years of contact with her, Annie had seen how Deanna dressed for class, and today it was obvious that she was trying to make an impression. She wore her dark hair brushed back over her shoulders so one could see her dangling amethyst earrings. Her long sleeve silk tunic was a lovely robins egg blue and she wore number of bangles on each wrist. Her flowing Palazzo pants were a dark forest green and were long enough that they nearly hid her leather sandals. Annie noticed something she’d never seen before: she wore three rings, two on her left hand and one on the right.

Deanna took a moment to scan the room with her tablet so she could determine who was whom before levitating it towards a large grouping of pillows at the front of the room and setting it gently on the floor. She faced the students, clasped her hands together, and gave a warm, inviting smile. “Well, you’re finally here. After two years of attending classes you get to find out if all those rumors and stories about the strange Iraqi girl whom they say sees the future are really true.

“In case you are lost this is Introduction to Divination and I am Professor Deanna Arrakis. I know some of you feel the urge to chuckle when I say the word ‘professor’, and they really are times when I have to remind myself that even though I turned twenty-eight this year, I am not only an instructor at the most famous school in The Foundation’s educational system, but also the leader of one of the five covens of Salem—the one to which I was assigned when I first came here. And before you ask: no, I didn’t have a vision of me doing either of those things.” There was a smattering of laughter around the room.

She pulled a metal flask of water out of Hammerspace, took a sip, and returned it before continuing. “It’s likely you’re asking yourself, ‘What am I going to learn in this class?’ It’s simple: you going to learn about divination. You going to learn about visions. You going to learn about Pronouncements.” While looking about the room Deanna made a slow motion with her right hand and the lighting in the room came down by about a third. “You going to learn whether or not you have Sight and if you do, you’ll learn how to use your Sight.” She took a couple of slow steps towards the students. “You’re going to learn how to see the future.”

 

After six hours stint at work, where I had the over the massive cold medication hangover, and a boozy, four-glasses-of-wine dinner, I finally get my blog post out.  Sorry it took so long, but sometimes real life is a pain and it gets in the way.  And unlike Deanna, I can’t see the future, so I don’t know when it’s going to be a pain.

Let’s hope, like Scarlett thought, tomorrow will be a better day…

C Level Seeing: What to Do About the Future?

The big event of this weekend was finishing Chapter Seven last night.  It came quickly and easily even though the last scene of the chapter required quite a bit of research to get right.  In fact, the scene before that also took a bit of research to get right, but it was a different kind of research.

Anyway, Chapter Seven is in the bin and I’ll start on Chapter Eight tonight.

It's right there all nice and neat just waiting for me.

It’s right there all nice and neat just waiting for me.

Given that I ended the chapter, it’s a good time to end the current scene, which means I’m about to dump a big excerpt.  It’s okay, because there are two full scenes remaining in Chapter Seven for me to excerpt before I get to the next chapter which I’ll start working on tonight.  That means you’re going to get to see the entire conclusion of what’s happening with Deanna, Annie, and Kerry.

Yesterday we discovered Annie had, at some point in the future, got her nose pierced–and it seems her partner-in-crime did the same.  Well, at least one part of “him” did…

 

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

 

Now it was Kerry’s turn to be surprised. “Wait, what? I had a nose piercing?”

“Yes, here.” Annie touched the left side of her nose. “I saw it when we were in the bedroom. I don’t know what color was, but it was dark. Given the lighting conditions—” She shrugged. “I’m guessing it was an emerald.”

“So you had your birthstone as well.” Deanna rubbed her chin. “Interesting.”

Annie wasn’t done with what she saw in the vision. “Kerry also had dual piercings in her ears.”

“For real?” Kerry didn’t even question the fact that Annie had referred to him using a feminine pronoun. “You sure they were pierced?”

Annie nodded. “Two small hoops going through your earlobes. There was no possibility they were clip-ons.”

“Wow.” He shook his head. “At least we’re twinsies.”

“In what way?”

“You had twin piercings as well. Only yours were a small hoop in the front and a diamond stud in the back.”

“Really.”

“Yeah.”

Deanna allowed a few moments of silence to pass between the couple before she spoke. “Whenever this happened, it’s obvious it’s at a time where Kerry has grown accustomed to his female half—” The seer turned toward Annie. “So much so that he doesn’t mind mimicking the same adornments as you.”

“It seems likely.” Annie was still hung up on the time frame of the vision. “But he didn’t have a nose piercing in our wedding night vision. So—”

“It means nothing. Do you seriously believe that in the next five years neither one of you will become confident enough with transformation magic that you couldn’t hide something as simple as a nose piercing? I tend to believe that less than anything else I’m hearing.”

Kerry grunted softly before letting out a low laugh. “I’m still trying to believe I’d actually have pierced ears.”

Annie and Deanna chuckled together with Annie responding to the comment. “Girls usually have their ears pierced by the time they’re teenagers. I had mine done when I was eight. In your case you’re starting a little late.”

Kerry wrapped his arms around his chest. “Probably. That isn’t any stranger than the idea they’d let us wear earrings for something like that.”

Deanna caught the slight nod from Annie and felt it necessary to inquire. “What do you mean, Kerry? Who would let you wear earrings?”

 

Not only is Kerry out as a girl with this special girl, but by this time she’s comfortable enough to get her ears pierced and mimic Annie with a little nose bob of her own.  Annie’s comments about Kerry catching up to her by getting her ears pierced late due to–let’s say “circumstances”–may give one reason to believe that she’ll likely push to get that done as soon as Kerry becomes used to walking around in the new body.  Or not.  But you have to imagine that Annie will play an important part in getting Kerry acclimated to all the girl stuff she’ll need to know.

Now the question was left hanging as to “who” let them hang on to their jewelry in this vision, and there is an answer:

 

Once more Annie stepped in and answered the question as she glanced at Kerry. “The Guardians.”

He rocked slightly with his arms still wrapped around him. “Wherever we were, we weren’t there because we wanted to be there.”

Annie looked at Deanna. “We were there on a field operation. I couldn’t tell you where we were or why we were there, but it definitely felt as if we were working for The Guardians.”

Deanna sat quietly as she gathering her thoughts. “You’re positive of this, both of you?”

Both answered in unison. “Yes.”

The instructor squared his shoulders. “It’s always possible—”

“Shouldn’t we tell them?”

Of the two Deanna suspected that Annie would be the one to ask this question. “You can’t do that, Annie.”

Kerry released the hold on his chest but began fidgeting. “You can’t just do nothing about this.”

“That is exactly what you going to do about this.” Deanna responded with a bit of an edge in her voice. “Kerry, you’ve read all these books on sight and vision–and you’re aware of this as well, Annie. You can go send off a message to The Guardians telling them you suspect something’s going to happen in the future that’s going to require your presence. In a sense you’re trying to set up the outcome of the vision—”

“But I feel we should say something.” Though she wasn’t fidgeting like her boyfriend, it wasn’t difficult to mistake the agitation in Annie’s eyes. “We can’t just let this go.”

“And were not going to let it go. In a situation like this I’ll send the information off to the Prognosticators Division and let them figure it out. That standard procedure.” Deanna pointed a warning finger at both children. “But you are to do nothing. You don’t tell Helena about this, you don’t and try contacting San Francisco on your own—and you do not try to analyze this vision in an attempt to somehow prepare yourself for what you think may be coming.”

Kerry finally glanced up at Deanna. “But—”

The seer shook her head. “No but, Kerry.”

Annie’s jaw tightened. “Still, though—”

For the first time in the three years of having these meetings the smile vanished from Deanna space and her voice rose slightly. “And no still, either.” She closed her eyes and calmed herself. “I know you want to do the right thing, but saying and doing nothing is the right thing. This is one of the things were going to learn in class, and it’s one of the hardest lessons we learn, that by trying to affect the outcome of a vision we may make it happen—and it’s possible it could even have more disastrous results.” The smile returned to Deanna’s face. “Please, you have to trust me.”

Annie and Kerry exchanged looks before Annie finally nodded. “You are the expert in this matter, so we will defer to your knowledge and your wishes.”

Deanna immediately picked up on Kerry’s hesitancy to agree with Annie. “Kerry?”

He finally nodded. “I agree with Annie: I defer to your knowledge.” He glanced at Annie once more. “However—”

Deanna fought hard not to sigh. “Yes?”

“Would it hurt if I just kinda do some research on this?”

“We won’t say anything.” Annie brushed a few strands of hair away from her face. “But would we compromise the vision if we were to at least get an idea where we were?”

Deanna glanced back and forth between her soon-to-be students for a couple of seconds before giving her answer. “Astamae li.”

The moment the Arabic phrase was said Annie’s and Kerry’s eyes closed as they both slumped slightly. Deanna waited nearly ten seconds before being certain they weren’t about to come out of their trance. She gripped her hands together in her lap and looked towards the floor, deep in contemplation. I didn’t want to do this, but it was necessary. They would understand if I told them everything I knew, but if I did that would I be invalidating the other visions? I can’t take that chance.

She looked up with cold determination in her eyes. “When the time is right you’ll remember this moment. I hope, when that happens, you’ll find it in your hearts to forgive me…”

 

Okay…  several things here:

The kids have been around long enough to figure out that what they’re “seeing” is a Guardian Field Op, and if it is it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.  All we know is that it seems to be in a somewhat urban area, it’s cold, it’s dark, and there aren’t a lot of people around.  Should be interesting.

Now we know of the Prognosticators Division where all visions go, or at least it’s something of a given that Deanna sends some their way.  Which makes you wonder if those other visions Annie and Kerry have had ended up with them as well.  And where are they located?  Not telling.

There there’s that last thing that Deanna did–and what exactly did she do?  Obviously she put the kids into a trance so she can–what?  Futz with their memories of this vision?  Probably.  Has she done this before?  I’m not telling.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Now that all the seeing is out of the way, it’s time to move on to another instructor the kids are gonna have for the first time–and a bit of technogeek talk.

C Level Seeing: To See What We See

You would not believe the day I had yesterday.  I was up at three yesterday morning and by the time I got to bed, it was nearly 2 AM today.  Yes, I was up for nearly 23 hours.  Why?  Because I wrote in nearly 5000 word recap for the two hour Sense8 episode.  A recap that took nearly 6 hours to write and edit.  Don’t judge me: I’m just doing my job.

"Yeah, keep it up, Louise. I'll only have the rest of your life to make you miserable."

“What job is that, Cassie?  The one that doesn’t pay you any money?  That one?”

Shush, you.  I don’t need your snarky opinion, even if it is mine.

But that’s all behind me.  Today I promise something special and you’re going to get.  Today you’re going to get a vision.  Not necessarily one of loveliness, but a vision nonetheless.  The event of the C Level novel and it may or may not mean something in the long run.  I’m sure the majority of you will take that to mean, yeah, it does mean something, and… You may be right.  Partially.  Somewhat.  Kinda maybe.

You’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, let’s get this party started.

 

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

 

Kerry prepared the kettle while Annie prepared the infusers and the cups. Once the water was near a boil Deanna had Kerry take his cup and sit next to Annie. A few moments later Deanna returned with the kettle insert before her soon-to-be students. “You seem exceptionally ready for this to begin.”

Kerry held his saucer tight, his thumbs upon the rim of the cup. “I guess I’ve kind of come to look forward to this.”

“It’s the same with me—” Annie stretched out her legs before re-crossing them. “Now that I know we can have visions under certain conditions, I’m interested in knowing what those visions will show.”

Deanna’s face remained free of expression as she poured water from the kettle into each of the cups. “Remember, you’re not using his visions as a way of seeing future outcomes: instead, they’re meant to act as a learning experience so that you may interpret your future in the past you may take to arrive at that point.” She sat on the large pillow and set the kettle on the floor. “Let the tea seep a little before you stir.”

Annie and Kerry held onto their saucers are keeping their vision locked upon Deanna least they start their trancing too soon. They waited for a nod from Deanna before they looked down and begin to slowly stir the liquid. Neither took their eyes on the surface as it swirled around the hidden bowl of the spoon. As they had done twice before they freed themselves from conscious thought and fell into encroaching darkness…

 

It’s pretty obvious that by now the kids are loving the fact that they’re seeing bits and pieces of their future, even if they don’t know what that future meets.  Deanna’s comment about using these visions as a learning experience is meant to throw little cold water on their enthusiasm.  ‘Cause the day will come when they’re going to have a not so nice vision, one that may even show a glimpse into their fleeting mortality.

Yeah, these visions are all fun and games until you have one that shows a fireball blasting through your torso.  Then it kinda sucks.

Since I’ve been hyping the sucker for a bit, it’s probably time to show it.  So here you go: here’s the vision.  And we’ll figure out right away who’s actually seeing this…

 

Looking down the street, one that is dark and covered in snow. There is a small stand of trees to your left and around you a number of houses. It doesn’t look as if you’re in a large city: the houses are not that close together and each seems to have a yard. They have one thing in common: every one of them is dark. You turn to your left and keep turning until you’re looking down the street that was behind you. It’s the same view as far as you can see, maybe near to a kilometer. Snow-covered roads; a few cars; a few trees; dark houses. No lights anywhere.

“I think it’s over there.”

You keep turning to your left and there’s Annie. She’s dressed in one of the white hooded parkas you’ve worn during winter flying, but there’s something different about this one that you can’t quite figure out. She wears a baklava under her fur-lined hood—though her face is fully exposed—and thick white mittens on each hand. She’s pointing to something almost in front of her, barely visible through trees. “Isn’t that the movie theater?”

You look in the direction she’s pointing and see a large, dark structure. “Yeah, that’s it.” You point off the direction almost forty-five degrees to her left. “That house should be over there, maybe a couple hundred meters away.”

She nods. Her face seems to indicate something is bothering her, but it’ difficult to read her body language through the heavy parka. “We’ll use that. Even if it doesn’t have any power, it should be large enough for us to heat with a small fire.” She gives you what looks like a tired, half-hearted smile. “Come on; they’re expecting us to contact them soon.”

You fall in next Annie and begin walking as you always do on her right side. You hear the crunch of snow underfoot and when you look down you are both wearing white snow pants and Arctic-grade boots. The outfit reminds you of those you’ve wore during past winters and the cold upon your face brings back memories of flying through New England and Canada.

You glance up into the sky but there’s nothing there, not even stars. Like the environment around you the sky is pitch dark. You don’t even see clouds in the Stygian darkness.

You slow up just enough for Annie to take notice. She takes your hand and pulls you to a stop. “What is it?”

Your voice sounds small and far-off. “It’s all darkness. Everything.” You seemed to deflate as you sigh. “I’d love to see the aurora.”

Annie squeezes your hand and there’s a weariness in her voice when she speaks. “So would I, my love.” She gives you a slight tug. “Not much further; it’s just around the corner.”

You turn right at the intersection and walk maybe another seventy meters to your destination: a large, somewhat well-to-do house with a large yard behind and to the side. As with all the other houses there are no lights on. While she is still a couple of meters from the door Annie crafts a spell and tries to open it. It doesn’t open, so she walks up to the door, removes the mitten on her left hand and sets it upon the surface, then phases her arm all the way past the elbow through the door. A moment later locks are disengaged and the door opens. She yanks her arm out and enters without saying a word.

You follow and close the door behind. You’re in a small entryway where there are various shoes and boots waiting. There is an opening in the wall: Annie steps through and you’re right behind. It’s the living room, one surprisingly large and well furnished, with good wallpapering and drapes, a couple of easy chairs, several tables, a sofa, and in entertainment center with a flatscreen TV. It’s obvious that whomever lives here has some money.

Annie examines the room. “We can use this for the broadcast. We can sit on the sofa—”

You push back the hood of your parka and roll up your baklava until it sits upon your head like a hat. “No heat in here.” You point to the far end of the room. “We can set up a small fire in the corner over there, and over here by the entrance.”

Annie pushes back her hood and does the same with her baklava. “It’s possible they have a LPG tank and all we need to do is relight the pilot.” She pulled off her mittens and let them hang at the end of her sleeves while she removed the woolen gloves underneath. “I won’t hold out hope for that, however.”

You shake your head. “We’re better off supplying our own heat.” You have stepped back into the hallway. “We should check to see if there’s anyone here.”

Annie looks over your shoulder. “I’ll take the left side, you take the right.” You had the first door on the right side of the hall, but before you go in you watch Annie outside her door, steeling herself before waving it open. She forms a light point and goes inside the room.

You remove your mittens and gloves, ready your light point, and wave open the door.

At first glance it looks as if it could be a girl’s room. There’s a twin bed before you partially covered by a light-colored comforter that’s been thrown back as if someone had leapt out of bed. There are a couple of stuffed animals at the foot of the bed and a small stuffed hippo lay at your feet. On the other side of the bed is a small dressing table and facing the foot of the bed is a wardrobe. There are posters on the wall of what looked to be young men, though you recognize none of them.

But there’s no one here and you know it’s been a while since anyone slept in this bed—

“The master bedroom is empty.” Annie moves through the doorway and slides up to your left. “It’s like the other residents we’ve investigated.”

You shake your head as a wave of sadness courses through your body. “Yeah, I guess it was asking for too much find someone home.” You half turn towards her. “You really think it’s necessary to explore the rest of the house?”

She shakes her head. “There’s no one here but us.”

You swing the light point around so that it comes to a rest at the foot of the bed. “Yeah.” Your gaze first focuses upon the wardrobe before slowly panning left. “We should probably get some heat going so we can ditch these coats—”

Your gaze stops upon something at the far end of the room directly in front of you. You pause only a second before letting out a yelp as you’re startled…

 

There you have it: the complete vision.  So what is left?  After all, there’s usually some sort of aftermath to these visions; at least that’s all seen the last two.

You’re not going to be disappointed by this outcome

 

Kerry screamed as he fell backwards on to the nest the pillows behind him. He lay on his back for a few seconds trying to catch his breath and calm his speeding heart. He felt his chest and stomach, expecting to be drenched by tea and was surprised to find he was completely dry.

What surprised him even more was to find Annie lying next to him staring up at the ceiling as she gripped a pillow while slowing her breathing. Five seconds later she rolled on her side and propped herself up on her elbow. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Kerry checked his tee shirt again then looked at Annie. “You’re not wet.”

“I took the tea from you before anything bad could happen.” Deanna was leaning forward on her pillows, the cups of tea on the floor to her left. “What happened? I heard your dialogue—”

Annie brushed her hair from her face as she returned to her pillow. “We were speaking?”

Kerry sat back up with a grunt. “Again?”

“Yes to both questions.” Deanna waited until both young teens appeared settled before asking her own questions. “First, was this another shared vision?”

“It was.” Annie flipped her hair back over her shoulders. “Just like last year.”

“I suspected that: your interaction indicated you were together.” Deanna looked Kerry, who appeared uneasy once more. “Kerry, what caused you to act that way? It was obvious something affected you first and that pulled Annie out of the vision as well.”

At first it almost seemed as if Kerry wasn’t going to respond, as his eyes shifted from left to right and his fingers tapped away on his thighs. He finally replied without making eye contact with the seer. “I saw something.”

Deanna’s right eyebrow arched upward for a second. “And what did you see?”

 

Whatever Kerry saw it scared the shit out of him.  And it would appear Annie saw it as well, as it was a shared vision and she gave every indication that this vision shook her as well.  So the question becomes, what did they see?

Good thing tomorrow is Christmas ’cause that give me an excuse to give you present in the form of an answer…

Putting It in a Point of Perspective

What is there today about this morning?  It’s rainy, it’s humid, it’s gonna suck walking into work because I’ll have shoes and lunch in my bag along with carrying an umbrella.  This is one of those days where I feel like driving in because I don’t want to deal with all the walking BS and having wet feet.

*le sigh*

The one good thing is that I started Scene Three of Chapter Three and not only finished the day with close to nine hundred words, but I’m inching closer to thirty-five thousand.  Won’t be long before I get that “official novel” status going on my page and I can kick back and say that I’ve written another novel.  Published is another thing altogether, but writing these suckers is a blast.  Right?

But the scene I’m into now?  It Mom Time at Casa Malibey, and right off the bat Louise Malibey isn’t at her best–

That’s to show tomorrow, however: Continue reading

Styles and Curtains

Like I said in my long video yesterday, the current scene was going to be long and it was:  just over thirty-eight hundred words.  But it is complete, even through here were a few computer hiccups along the way like the machine locking up on me for about a minute and a half because of a network change on the internet router here at the coffee shop.

But done is done and here it is.

But done is done and here it is.

Now, I also said yesterday that I not only picked up a new dress but I was expecting some new outfits in the mail.  I managed to get the mail guy before he locked my stuff away and was able to try on everything so I could decide what I wanted to send back, but I did end up with a new pair of jeans, a lace top, and a jacquard-style dress.

Never mind the "I'm Going to Hit You" pose.

Never mind the “I’m Going to Hit You” pose.

And for the dress I picked up yesterday morning, I now own a Christian Siriano dress:

I keep stylin'; haters be hatin'

I keep stylin’; haters be hatin’

There you have it:  my sartorial splendor.

Back in the realty of my fictional world you learned that Deanna is going to teach Annie and Kerry stuff they wouldn’t normally learn for another couple of years.  Some of it is pretty simple–if you consider seeing the magical electrical field around a person simple.  But as I indicated in yesterday’s video, there’s other things as well…

 

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

 

“Quite so.” Deanna enjoyed her first bite, taking her time to relish the dish. “I’m also planing to teach you more than that.”

Annie began refilling her tea cup the moment she finished swallow her first slice of lamb. “Such as?”

“Oh—” Deanna turned her gaze down at her plate while she separated her food. “Astral Projection and Astral Walking.”

Instead of skewering another piece of lamb Annie set her fork aside. She swallowed once so that her voice didn’t quiver when she spoke. “Seriously?”

“Absolutely.” Deanna set her fork aside and waved the server over to ask for another cup of coffee. “I can tell you’re surprised.”

“I am. I mean, I know Kerry and I have been learning spells a level or two over our actual level, but…” Annie giggled as she looked from the dining room to the scene outside the window and back to Deanna. “I’ve always concentrated on sorcery; I never imagined I’d learn a spell that would allow me to entered a completely different world.”

Deanna nodded with a slight smile on her lips. “You were content to remain in the Physical Realm.”

“Most witches are.”

“Well—” Deanna chuckled. “I’m not most witches. And neither are you. Or your significant other, either.”

 

The Astral Realm is a magical reflection of our world and while it usually mirrors what you see in the Physical Realm, there are changes here and there that one wouldn’t expect to find.  There are also things there:  spirits and entities that can make one’s life hard, or even non-existent.  That’s why when Deanna walked in that one time she had her armor and sword to protect her, though they were really more than that

Needless to say it’s not always the friendliest of environments, and getting there isn’t always half the battle.  Let’s also not forget that one may encounter things we think are friendly–

 

Annie found herself almost too excited to eat. What Deanna wants to teach us incredible. I’ve seen a little of what the Astral Realm looks like from Dreamwalking, but I’ve never imagined walking about in there. “So we’ll learn how to open The Curtain.”

“Astral Walking is pretty much worthless if you can’t.” Deanna chuckled. “You should see your face right now, Annie: I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you like this before.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re visibly excited. At school you always maintain a controlled demeanor.”

“I know.” Annie finally found the means to eat a couple of bites before going on. “Every one thinks I’m this ice princess who feels nothing—”

“Except love for your Ginger Hair Boy.”

“Yes: except for that.” Annie filed this moment away for now and pushed the conversation back to the discussion of lessons to come. “I’ve always understood that the Astral Realm can be a bit dangerous.”

“It can be; there are things in there that can react badly to an invasion by someone from the Physical Realm.” Deanna interlaced her words between bites. “However, within the walls of Salem we’re safe.” She looked up from her plate with a half-grin. “We can thank our Benefactor and Protector for that.”

Annie knew that could mean only one person. “The Phoenix.”

“Yes. She always gets a bit testy whenever anything enters the astral space around Cape Ann.” Deanna gave a slight sigh. “Though if we catch her on a bad day ‘anything’ can extend to us as well. She can be tricky that way.”

“Oh?”

“We’ll discuss that when we’re at school and Kerry’s with us. For the most part, though, we’ll be able to spend as much time on the other side of the Curtain as we like, which means I’ll be able to teach you Astral Weapons and Astral Defense without fear of needing them right away.”

 

–but can sometimes be a pain in your ass.  We know from the one time Deanna walked the plain that The Phoenix likes to screw with people, if for no other reason that she can.  It’s not like you’re going to give her a harsh talking to because she’s jacking you around, and for all we know she can kick a person back to the Physical Realm if they decide to give her too much shit–or just kill you and make your body disappear.  Because, once again, she most likely can.

The one thing you can be sure of:  she’ll put in an appearance in this novel, just as she did in the A and B Level books.  Hey, it’s a hard job protecting the school–sort of–and she should get some exposure,

Speaking of mean things that like to jack with you, the next scene is talk between Kerry and his mother.  I wonder how that’s going to go?