Beyond the Threshold of a Dream

Let’s discuss stuff . . . and things.  The last few days haven’t been all that bad, but I found myself in a strange position after dinner and libations last night.  Strange as in, “Why do I do these things to myself,” you know?  At least I survived the events of last night–and allow me to say right now that they weren’t that dangerous or bad, I was just in a bad mood that I had to fight to get past.

But that’s all beside the point:  there was writing, just over seven hundred words, and they were good.  Finally we get to see them in their shared space at a place we’re heard of before, but you have to go back to the first time that Kerry finally realized who Annie was to understand this part of the story–

 

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

Kerry called the place Napa Country, after the wine growing region near his old California home. He originally wanted to call the place Golden Country, but decided avoiding any links to 1984 dreams landscapes was a great idea. He figured the more he stayed away from dystopian hell-holes that had a chance of coming true, the better.

But Napa Country was far more than just a place that grew grapes. It was a pleasant countryside with roads winding through hilly, tree-line fields with no indication of encroach of civilization other than a directional sign here and there. Since it was a dreamscape one never grew tired walking or cycling, it was never too hot or cold, and the breeze over the hills was always refreshing.
And when it was time to take a break, there were many hills upon which one could sit and enjoy the countryside with the company of another—

 

I don’t mind saying that 1984 was an important book to me when I was younger, and much of it stuck with me and remains there today, forty years later.  Now, I’ve never been to Napa region of California, mostly because I’ve never been to California, but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine the place.  Kerry would know it for sure, because he didn’t live too far from there, and likely had a few chances to visit the place.

But how would Annie know of it?  Well, she came to California in a way, didn’t she?  In some recess of her memories she probably remembered one of their dreams from when Kerry stilled lived on the Left Coast, and when they first met in Cardiff Dreamin’, she pulled that memory out and made it dreamy real.  And there’s a particular spot in that world where they like to go . . .

 

There was one hill in particular he enjoyed, and it was one Annie and he hadn’t visited in a while: the last occasion has been the evening of his eleventh birthday. So much had happened on his hill which sat about fifty meters back from the road and maybe fifteen meters higher, with a small grove of trees maybe ten meters behind them. It was here that they came that first dreamwalk after he moved to Cardiff and they learned each other’s true name; a year later Kerry professed his love for Annie, and she let him know she’d loved him for some time; a few months after that moment, the night of Annie’s tenth birthday, she confessed that she was a witch, and that she could do magic in the real world.

It didn’t matter what roads they took: like Rome, all roads eventually led here. Kerry understood that was how dreams worked, that while he might find himself in a factual layout of a town or building or house, there were times when things turned absolutely Escher-like and roads, halls, and paths would go places one never expected, or simply double back on themselves.

This time, after the landscaped formatted and the mountain bikes appeared, they rode past their hill—as with so many other places where important events occurred to them, he thought of the place as “theirs”—five times while traveling various highways. It was only while approaching their hill for the sixth time that they both received the message that perhaps there was a reason it wouldn’t vanish somewhere beyond the dream horizon.

After setting their bikes aside, they walked hand-and-hand up the side of their dream hill an sat for a few minutes before laying back so they could hold hands while staring up at the sky. It reminded Kerry of their second weekend at school, when they spent part of Saturday flying about the grounds before coming to rest on the north shore of Lake Lovecraft and spent a few hours laying in the grass. He understood now why that moment seemed so normal and nearly perfect: his memories of this dream place, locked away behind a mental barrier he’d created out of sadness, pain, and fear, were leaking into his mind, reminding him of this place he’d shared with the girl beside him.

They spoke for what seemed like an hour, though time was subjection in their shared dreams. He told Annie about the Christmas Eve argument with his mother and the aftermath that night; she told him of her request for a phone or computer and how her parents refused to consider the idea right now. Neither was happy to hear the news the other brought, but given their age and distance, there was little they could do to help improve either situation for the other.

“Do you think they’ll let you get a phone this summer?” Kerry gave Annie’s hand a gentle squeeze. “Or do you think they’re just gonna blow you off?”

“I haven’t any reason to believe they’ll ignore me.” Annie still wasn’t as skilled with English idiom and slang as was Kerry, so they didn’t attempt that often. “They know by now that I can become rather insistent when I becomes necessary.”

Kerry chuckled. “What Annie wants—”

“I usually get.” She chuckled with him. “But this time—”

“Yes?”

“Their refusal felt different.”

“How so?”

Yes, how so?  Stop with the sucky fact stuff, kids, and get to the point.

Yes, how so? Stop with the sucky face stuff, kids, and get to the point.

You should know by now that I’m not getting to that “How so?” until tomorrow, because I need to write it tonight, yeah?

At least, at this point, they’ve discussed the things that have happened to them in the last few days, and Mommy Malibey should be careful who she’s slapping, because her future daughter-in-law isn’t an ojamajo doremi and would put a serious dent in her ass if she thinks it would help Kerry.  That should be an interesting discussion for one day:  “So . . . Louise.  I’d like to speak about all the times you’ve been mean to my soul mate . . .”  And since Annie literally can kill you with her brain, I somehow don’t believe she’ll have many of the same mother-in-law issues that some wives have.

"I'm unhappy with you, Louise.  Go to your room--now."

“I’m unhappy with you, Louise. Go to your room–now.”

For sure I’ll write tonight because I don’t anticipate much writing happening Saturday.  But I’ll have more on that tomorrow.

Floating in the Domain of Dreams

Before all gets started, major mistake that I’m dealing with today.  Yesterday I mentioned that I was heading off that evening for electrolysis and that today I’d have a messy, swollen face.  Guess what?  That’s tonight!  Yep, I screwed up my dates, and now I’ve got cactus face that I have to carry around at work all day, and walk around in public, so I’ll have the whole “Don’t look at me!” thing going on today.

Then tomorrow I deal with all the pain and swollen face stuff, and won’t that be fun?  Booyah.

Annie’s still off in her dreamwalk, and let me tell you:  writing about this stuff is hard.  Really.  Trying to come up with descriptions of something that I’ve known was coming, but only had a rough idea of what it would look like.  And then, in the body of the work below, I set up some new rules:

 

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

Annie appeared to hover a meter from the outer surface of her dreamspace, but she was aware this was the way her mind interpreted her surroundings. This wasn’t the real Astral Realm, but rather the small portion that filtered through and powered her aura. It wouldn’t matter how far she traveled from her dreamspace to another, dreamwalking would never reveal the real realm to her. In order to see the Astral Realm as it really was, Annie needed to learn Astral Projection—or better yet, master the ability to pull back the Curtain and Astral Walk.

The outer surface of her dreamscape seemed to flow and pulse. She wondered if it was reacting to her own heartbeat, but since she couldn’t tell how her heart was beating at the moment, everything was conjecture. The surface of the space was a combination of blueish-green interlaced with ribbons of pale chiffon flowing through the mass. A smile began to slowly etch upon her face as she realized her dreamspace was nearly the same color as her hair during the Samhain Dance a month before. She wondered if that meant something, if perhaps her subconscious retained the memory and held on to it as something favored and loved. Given what she’d read about dreamwalking, it was entirely possible.

She spun around and looked off in the direction of where she felt Kerry’s dreamspace lay. Normally finding another person’s dreamspace required being in close contact with that individual, or have something of theirs that possessed and astral impression that one could use a guide. The best way to dreamwalk another person was to have a close relationship with the individual, and use the impression left upon you to home in on their presence. Given her love for Kerry, Annie believed she’d find Kerry’s dreamspace without a problem. And if her feelings were correct, it was off that way—

Annie was no more that ten meters from her dreamspace when she caught another structure out of the corner of her mind. She wasn’t exactly certain what she’d seen here besides colored mist and floating dreamspaces, but she didn’t expect to see what looked like a corridor of shimmering golden light. As eager as she was to reach Kerry, she needed to investigate. She changed course and shot off to her left.

No, not this kind of dream corridor. Try again--

No, not this kind of dream corridor. Try again–

What she found was less a corridor and more a tube about a meter across. It sat fixed against her dreamspace and angled up and away to her right. Annie moved her head closer and followed the direction of the tube—

About thirty meters away was another dreamspace. But Annie already knew it wasn’t Kerry’s: it felt wrong. She pushed herself off in its direction, moving slowly upward. Two-thirds of the way to the new space she looked back at hers and saw how much smaller it appeared compared to this new space. It was only as she was about to touch the surface of this new space that the realization hit her:

This is the space Kerry and I share. This is our dreamspace.

Maybe there's a tree in there, too. We'll see.

Maybe there’s a tree in there, too. We’ll see.

Here we are now, with Annie just outside their shared dreamspace.  She still hasn’t found Kerry’s, but she’s found something that indicates their dreams together have a place where they happen.

Also, Astral Projection, Astral Walk, and The Curtain:  completely new spells and terms.  The Curtain is gonna come up again in this story, just to let you know, but not for a while.  What is it?

You’ll just have to wait and see.

Once Upon a Dreamspace Dreary

You wouldn’t know about it to look at it, but the eight hundred plus words I wrote for the latest scene took about two and a half hours.  I was super distractionable last night (is that a word?  Is now) and it seemed as if it were never going to get written—it damn sure wasn’t going to write itself, because my characters are too tired to do it without help, and guess who that is?

Also, after writing the longest scene of the novel, I turned around and wrote the second shortest.  Must be a “I need some time” thing happening there.  But, believe it or not, there is a lot happening in this scene.  It’s not just filler between one event an another:  it’s something more.

Here you go–you get it all.  Enjoy and be puzzled.

 

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

The second Kerry opened his eyes he recognized the dreamspace Annie and he shared. No matter the location there was always something that made him understand he was in a dream, and that his physical body was sound asleep. Most of the time it was because he was dressed in his pajamas, and he found it necessary to change into more suitable clothing.

Tonight it was easy to well he was in a dream: everything was a uniform gray, much like when he was was in the clouds near the top of Mount Katahdin prior to the Mile High Flight. He felt something solid under his bare feet, but it was hard to say if he were standing inside a structure or not: there was nothing here that gave any indication of shapes or forms near him—

“Hello, Kerry.”

It was a girl’s voice, though none he’d ever heard before—for certain it wasn’t Annie, for even here her faint Bulgarian accent came though. He quickly found the owner of that voice, however: she was standing directly across from him, perhaps eight meters away, slightly shrouded by the grayness. He wasn’t surprised that he’d heard her voice so clearly, for sounds and images came across far differently then they did in real life.

“You’re not Annie.” He didn’t shout, for there wasn’t a need. Just as she’d spoken in a normal voice, Kerry knew she’d hear him perfectly.

The girl took a step towards him. “No, I’m not.”

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Though she wasn’t completely clear yet, Kerry saw her look about. “And yet here I am.” She chuckled softly. “Can’t say why Annie isn’t here, but it’s probably a good thing, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know about that.” The gray spread away from his dreamspace visitor, and Kerry was able to see her clearly. While he couldn’t quite judge her height, he figured she wasn’t much taller than Annie or him. She wore a faded pair of jeans, sneakers, and a V-neck tee shirt. Her hair was shoulder length, curly, and a shade of red almost identical to his. Though he couldn’t make out her facial features well, even from this distance he saw she shared the same pale Irish complexion his mother and he possessed. “I’d rather Annie was here.”

The girl shrugged. “Maybe tomorrow night.”

Kerry finally found the opportunity to ask the question he wanted to ask at the start. “Who are you?”

The girl grinned. “You know who I am.”

“Afraid I don’t.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, well.” She snapped the fingers of her left hand. “Funny how memory works, isn’t it?” She took another step in his direction. “Don’t worry: in time we’re going to know each other well.”

Something twisted around in Kerry’s head, making him shiver even though there wasn’t any way he could feel a chill. “What do you mean?”

“You’ll see.” She motioned for Kerry. “Come a little closer.”

“Why?”

“Because eventually you’ll want to see me better.” She giggled. “You gotta trust me on that one, Red.”

Kerry took one step closer towards the girl, even though he thought getting closer to her was a bad idea as soon as it was mentioned. “How do you know that?”

“Know what?”

“That nickname.” He slowly took another step towards the strange girl. “Only Coraline uses that nick.”

“Oh, well . . .” When she smiled her teeth were bright against her alabaster skin. “You’ll find there’s a lot about you I know.” She she half-turned her head to the right as she pointed at him. “It’s you that needs to know about me. That’s why we’re finally meeting.”

Taking another step towards the girl made Kerry uneasy, but at the same time the urge to discover who she was and why she was here was a bit frightening. I should be able to make myself leave the space, but things are playing out for some reason. It’s like what happened with Annie and me in the last dream . . . “What’s some important about me getting know about you?”

“Because you need to understand—”

“Understand what?”

“Everything.” It was only after she winked at him that Kerry saw her eyes were as green as his. “You have to know everything.”

He finally forced himself to stop moving towards the girl, which seemed to surprise her. “Stop it.” After the evening he’d just had with his parents at dinner, he’d wanted to spend time with Annie talking and cuddling—not dealing with some dream sphinx. “Stop with the puzzles.”

“Sorry.” She stopped walking as well. “I forgot you’re analytical: you don’t deal with the abstract—at least not until you’ve had a chance to give it some thought.”

“Yeah.” He huffed out a semi-held breath. “Why do you want me to know everything about you.”

“Because . . .” She hooked her thumbs in the pockets of her jeans. “You hold my life in your hands.”

 

“You hold my life in your hands.”  Not like Kerry hasn’t done that already, but this is . . . something different.  How different?  You’ll find out–in time, of course.

So, there is only one scene to go in this chapter . . .

Looks like someone's making a Skype call to America.

Looks like someone’s making a Skype call to America.

And the novel is just over the fifteen thousand word mark.  This next scene may or may not throw it out of novelette size and into novella length, but if not, that will happen by the following scene, of that I’m certain.

And then it’s off to Berlin and a “Welcome to the Next Nine Months” meeting with a certain Chestnut Girl.

Home is Where the Dreamspace Lay

Sometimes last night Chapter Thirty-Five was finished, tidied up and put to bed.  The last of the four scenes was completed, and I’m happy with them–

I wasn’t happy with how I felt, but that’s another story.  Maybe a change of pace going out tonight will liven things up just a bit.  I don’t know:  of late I’ve been in a massive funk and it’s affecting my work and my writing, and I’m not sure how to stop it.  Maybe some plotting and time lining tonight will fix things up a bit and get my mind off in a different direction.

I did catch a minor flaw in my writing, last night–at goof, if you will.  After a conversation I had yesterday about Annie and her statements concerning her attending Salem, I went back and checked out the parts of the story where she mentioned this fact.  It happened with Deanna way back at the start of the school year, and I happened with Kerry twice:  once on 1 April in Salem, and then three weeks later in Kansas City.  There was one point where Annie remembers something about the time different without realizing it has something to do with something she did her in “Last Dream”, so I left it in because, yes, these kids both have slip-ups in memory, and that’s something relating to her dream.  (And I can also have her remember that when she’s in KC, I love how to work that . . .)

But the mistake I made came about three hundred thousand words apart.  When Annie is speaking to Deanna she mentions when she discovered Kerry’s real name and wrote it down.  She also mentions that later to Erywin.  We know she told Erywin it was after Kerry moved to Cardiff, which happened after he turned eight and the summer before she turned nine.  But she tells Deanna it happens before she turns eight.  Oops.  This is where I have to make sure I get some keywords in place in Scrivener so I can keep facts like this straight, because I know stuff I wrote in November, 2013, is probably just a little off from things I wrote a year later.

But you don’t want to hear about that.  You want to know what happens next, right?

Well, Annie’s standing in the middle of a road . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie squinted as diffused light stuck her eyes. The scenery began coming into view, and she glanced right and left, taking in her surroundings. She was standing in a tree-lined street with houses on either side, though there wasn’t any traffic, nor were there any cars. Sound was absent: wind, animals, music, people being outside—there was nothing was dead silence.

She gazed down her body towards her feet. She was still dressed in her blue silk pajamas and her feet were bare. She touched the pavement with here toes: it felt like she was walking on the bed’s comforter and not something hard and unyielding.

She was aware shouldn’t be here, because she was in bed asleep.

Annie remembered getting under the covers and turning out the lights. She remembered Kerry telling her good night and that he loved her, and she doing the same. She remembered rolling onto her right side and feeling Kerry cuddle her and kiss the back of her neck before spooning up against her back and sliding his left arm over her tummy.

She remembered feeling content and happy and loved before closing here eyes—

 

Oh, Annie, you lovely girl.  Talking about falling asleep in bed with your soul mate.  But now she’s standing in the middle of a street in her pajamas.  And . . .

 

“Annie?”

She turned to her right and there he stood, slightly behind her and maybe five meters away. He was also dressed in his pajamas, but he wasn’t wearing his glasses. He always wears his glasses. She took two steps in his direction as he began walking towards her. The only time I’ve ever see him without them is when . . .

The moment he was within arm’s length Kerry took Annie’s hands. “Is this what I think it is?”

Annie looked up. “Does everything feel a bit strange to you?”

“Just a little.” He reached up and touched his face. “I’m not wearing my glasses.”

“No, you’re not.” She looked down the street past Kerry, then back to him. “This is—” A huge grin broke out on her face. “We’re dreaming.”

“This is our dreamspace.” He laughed aloud. “We’re dreaming again.”

 

Finally they are back.  This is what it’s like for them:  everything looks real, but there’s just enough off to make it seem not real.  And there’s a little test, just to see if it is real–

 

She wasn’t certain how they were doing this, but Annie was ecstatic to see them back in a space they’d shared so many times in the past. “Wait—see if you can change your clothes.”

Kerry closed his eyes and appeared to concentrate. A few seconds later his pajamas vanished and he was wearing the same outfit he’d worn from Salem. He looked down at himself. “Wow. I can do this.”

“Of course you can—” Annie’s own clothing changed, though instead of wearing the outfit she’d worn from school, she was wearing a tank top, jeans, and sandals. “You’re a witch, just like me. And if I can change, so can you.” She laughed and leapt against him. “I can’t believe we’re here.”

Kerry had never seen Annie so happy before—but then, this was their private world; this was a place they’d shared so many times in the past, and now, it seemed, it was open once more . . . “When we were talking about this tonight, something must have unlocked that allowed us to get back here.”

“It must have.” Annie continued hugging Kerry tight. “We were together last night—”

“But we didn’t figure out our last dream.” Kerry spun Annie around, laughing. “Oh, man. This is fantastic.”

“It is.” Annie kept her arms draped around his shoulders as she checked their surroundings. “Do you know this place? I don’t recognize it.”

 

We’ve seen Annie singing and showing off here nail polish, and now she’s leaping for joy.  Pretty soon she’ll want to go shopping, and she’ll end up dragging Kerry into every store she can find.  But that’s for a later date and a latter time.  Right now questions are asked, and Kerry does have an answer . . .

 

He nodded. “I know it.” Kerry pointed to the house behind her. “That’s my old house on Van Winkle Drive. This is Sleepy Hollow.”

Annie stared at the house. “I’ve never seen it from out here.”

“No. The only time you ever saw it in our dreams was out on the back patio and in my bedroom.”

She remembered something that he’d mentioned after returning from Yule holiday. “You didn’t go by here when you were visiting your grandparents, did you?”

He shook his head. “No.” He looked to his left, staring down the road. “My parents did, but I didn’t want to.”

Annie slowly untangled herself. “Why not?”

“I just—” He cleared his throat and looked away from the structure. “I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.”

 

Abandonment and separation play a big part in Kerry’s psychology, and both seem to go together.  It seems as if his life in California wasn’t much better than his current one in Cardiff, but he seems to have an answer of why he misses this place so much . . .

 

There were many things that Annie remembered from their last eight months together, but the thing that stuck out this very moment was one of the first things he said to her after she’d told him she loved him. “’This is a new chapter for me’.”

He shook himself. “What?”

“You said that our first night in the garden after you told me that no girl had ever said they loved you or called you their soul made.” She gently placed his left hand between hers. “You were talking about your E&A; it was the only thing you could remember.”

He allowed his mind to wander back to that moment. “I remember I was told not to dwell on the past.” He looked at the dream house and slipped his hands into his pant pockets. “And I haven’t been dwelling—”

“So why didn’t you go by and say goodbye?”

Kerry looked down and shook his head. “I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.”

Annie touched his chin and slowly raised his head. “My love . . .”

He blinked twice. “Yes?”

“Why can’t you say goodbye?”

“Because . . .” He swallowed and motioned towards the building. “I didn’t want to say goodbye without you.” He lowered his arms to his side. “I didn’t know why at the time I didn’t want to see this place; I kept thinking it had to do with what I remembered from the E&A, that I have to write new chapters and move forward.  But I know now:  this is where we met, were we played, where we learned about each other.  That’s why I couldn’t go . . .” Kerry stared deeply into Annie’s eyes. “You should be there when I say goodbye to my home.”

 

It’s not so much the memories he shared there with family and friends, but he now knows this is the place where he first met Annie, and he wants to be with her when he finally waves this place off.

However, Annie has some words of wisdom for him–

 

She turned and pointed towards the house. “That’s not your home, darling.”

“I know: it’s just a dream.”

“No, I mean . . . it’s not your home; it never was. It was a place that you lived until you were eight, and then you moved to Cardiff.” She took his hands. “Until you find a place where you can live with someone you love, and who loves you, and you both fill that place with your love, you won’t really have a home.”

She stood to his left and hugged him as they faced the front yard. “We shared many memories there, and many more in Cardiff, but those don’t mean nearly as much to me as bike riding in our dream countryside, or the place in the mountains where we picnicked—or your tree where you read to me.” She wrapped her arms around him and closed her eyes. “That place means more to me than either of these places you’ve lived.”

Kerry sniffed once and lightly pressed his head against hers. “I never thought of it that way.”

She nodded. “I know. You think of this place as where we first met, but really—” She pulled slightly away and looked around. “This place, our dreamspace, is where we first met, where we played, where we learned about each other. This is why I’ve missed out dreams: because this was our first home.”

He chuckled. “It is, isn’t it?” Kerry turned to Annie and kissed her lightly. “It’s our home.”

“And our home is filled with our love.” Annie nodded towards the house. “One day we’ll say goodbye to this place in person, but—” She stepped back and tugged lightly on his arm. “Show it to me so we can say goodbye now.”

 

When I wrote the above passage last night I was only concerned with getting it right, with writing it in Annie’s voice–which I do hear when I’m writing her dialog–and it didn’t affect me then, but just rereading it now . . . I teared up big time.  Yeah, I know:  I’m like Kerry.  Big surprise there.

But in those words you find the one reason out of many why Annie wanted Kerry to remember his dream, and why she wanted to return to sharing them with him:  because this is their home.  And you realize–and it’s something that gets brought up in another scene–that even Annie wants and needs a home.

Probably with here husband-to-be, but we know how goes, right?

And there’s on last thing:

 

“There were.” He laughed softly. “You really want to go inside?”

“Yes.” She kissed his cheek. “And then I want to see our tree again, and rest in its shade.”

He faced the house, holding Annie’s right hand in his left. “You ready?”

She stood alongside and faced the house as well. “I am.”

“Okay, then.” Kerry nodded sharply once. “Let’s do this.”

Annie nodded once. “Let’s.”

 

Those last four lines will get used at least once a novel, assuming I ever get around to writing them.  I also know something special about those words, too–I just can’t tell you, not just yet.

So, out with the old and in with the new . . .

Just like all my other plans so far, it's coming together--more or less.

Just like all my other plans so far, it’s coming together–more or less.

And as you can see I’ve already started some house cleaning.  I’ll finalize this layout tonight, and probably do a little writing an a little time lining, and in no time we’ll be through the Kansas operation–

Safe and sound, I hope.