Out On Their First Flight: Magical Bonding

Part of last night’s festivities was watching The Neon Demon on Amazon.  That is one strange ass movie, but I think I’m gonna have to give it another viewing because it’s also interesting.  It’s certainly not a movie for everyone, but the damn thing is beautiful as hell.

It’s that sort of thing you need to step back and decompress from time to time.  I needed decompressing bad last night and watching a movie about beautiful young women was the ticket, even if it didn’t make a lot of goddamn sense.  Then again, this is why people watch Transformer movies:  don’t need to think or worry about the plot, just watch giant robots beat the shit out of everything.

You’ll find no giant robots here today, though you may find a beautiful girl–and let’s face it, most of the witches at Salem are beautiful and/or handsome.  And some have equally good-looking sisters–

 

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

 

“So what happened after that?”

“We went inside and had breakfast, and this time my parents and sister were asking all sorts of things about school. They actually spent the better part of that first week asking me stuff about school, particularly Ronnie, who was at home with me all summer. She wanted to know about everything here: about spells, about what we did in class, and all about the people here with me.” Emma tapped her fingers against the metal water bottle before passing it back to Kerry. “I think that’s the first time we ever spent a week together where we didn’t fight.”

Though they’d broached the subject in the past, Kerry felt the need to bring it up again. “Did she ask you if you thought she’d end up coming school with you?”

Emma’s eyes to the slow role. “Oh geez, yeah, she asked if I thought it was possible that she get asked to come to school, ‘cause now that she knows I’m a witch she really wants to be a witch.”

Kerry got up return his drinking bottle to his backpack. “You can’t blame her. I mean, she knows you’re a witch, so why shouldn’t she be one, too?”

“I know, it’s just—” Emma pinched her upper lip as she looked at the ground. “I couldn’t tell her that the odds of us both being witches were real low: I really didn’t want to hurt her feelings.” She glanced up at Kerry. “You know about that, right?”

He ignored the jab as he returned to his rock to sit. Rather than try to dance around Emma’s question, he decided to ask something different. “I asked about flying you said ‘Not this time’. Does that mean you took Ronnie flying?”

 

In Emma mentioning that she didn’t want to hurt her sister’s feelings she just had to get a little dig in there at Kerry, who famously made the comment to Emma while they were in Queens, New York, that he hadn’t wanted to hurt her feeling when it came to them never being an item.  Does this mean she’s still a little stung by what happened?  Perhaps.  I guess we’ll have to see if she tries taking him out on the race course this year.

Now, about that possible extra flying…

 

A slight grin appeared on Emma’s face. “Yeah, right near the end of June. Both my folks work at the University of Colorado, Boulder, so Ronnie and I are home all the time by ourselves. She got interested in watching me practice magic and one day asked if we might be able to go someplace. I knew what she meant; she didn’t have to explain herself.

“So one day after my parents go to work, I tell Ronnie to grab a jacket and her swim goggles and I pulled my gear out and got dressed. I had Ronnie bring her backpack, too, so we can throw our stuff in there, then we headed out to the backyard, hopped on the Espinoza, and took off.”

Kerry could only imagine how Emma felt flying with her sister behind her. Kerry had flown with Annie on the back of his broom a few times, but they always stayed within the school walls. He was pretty certain they went further than a few kilometers. “What did you guys go?”

“We flew up to Estes Park. We flew down to Boulder Canyon Drive and hooked up with the Peak to Peak Highway and took it to Colorado 7. After that we took it all away in to the town: it was about sixty kilometers one way.” Emma snickered as she looked down. “I’m sure if you’d been navigating we would’ve taken a more direct route.”

He wasn’t interested in navigating as much is the reason for Emma choosing that location. “You guys went to the Stanley Hotel, didn’t you?”

“We sure did.” Emma’s smile was bright and wide. “We hung out in town for a while and a little shopping before going up to the Stanley for lunch. My parents always talked about going there but it never seemed as if we made it, so soon as I can get around without them, we decided to do it ourselves. After lunch we hung out in the lobby for a while and walk around the grounds, then got back on the broom and headed home. We took U.S. 36 out of the mountains and headed south for Boulder.”

“Did you guys do any other flying over the summer?”

“Oh, sure. We flew down the Golden a couple of times and even flew into Denver once. Once we flew into Rocky Mountain National Park and had a little picnic, then flew all the way up to the Alpine Visitor Center. That was almost like during the Mile High Flight, only the ground was always a few hundred meters below us.” A wistful look appeared on Emma’s face as she stared off to her left. “It was actually a pretty good summer; the first one I can’t remember where I was fighting all the time with my sister.”

As miserable as his summer had been for the most part, Kerry was happy to hear that his wingmate’s summer had not only not been a disaster, but that she actually seemed to bond with someone with whom she’d had issues in the past. “Well, with all the flying you did, you should be up for a nice little high-speed run in the Pennsylvania.”

Emma got to her feet. “How far is it to the Speedway?”

“Just a little over three hundred and fifty kilometers.” Kerry stood and levitated his backpack towards him. Once he had it in the position he slipped his arms through the straps and adjusted them so it sat comfortably on his back. “We can do that in under an hour, I bet.”

Emma did the same levitation spell with her backpack and as she put it on, she looked out upon the bright sunlight glistening off Lake Champlain. “I don’t see why we couldn’t—” She turned toward her wingmate with a huge smile on her face. “It’s a beautiful day for flying.”

 

So just like Kerry Emma got out of the house, only she had her sister riding on the back of the broom, which meant she couldn’t zip along at a few hundred kilometers an hour–at best she was probably doing about a hundred.  And like she says she likely would have taken a better route if she were a navigator, which she isn’t, and that’s why she didn’t realize she’d flown closer to eighty kilometers instead of sixty.

But when you're flying down canyons and over mountains, who cares, right?

But when you’re flying down canyons and over mountains, who cares, right?

But where she really trumped Kerry in the geek department is that she got to hang out at the Stanley Hotel for lunch.  If this means nothing to you, allow me to mention that this is the hotel where Stephen King stayed and developed a extinction-level anger towards his family that made him feel like taking an ax to the lot of them would be a damn good idea–so good, in fact, that he turned that anger into The Shinning and forever tied The Stanley to The Overlook Hotel in the minds of just about everyone who know this shit.

There are a lot of places that Kerry would love to visit and The Stanley is one of them.  You know if he ever gets out Denver way he’s gonna hop on the broom and rocket off to Estes Park–and since he is a navigator he’ll plot a good course there.  What he’ll do there is hard to say, but walking around muttering “Redrum” and “All work and no play make Kerry a dull boy” are probably high on the list.  And give it a few more years and both Annie and Kerry could be a bit of a problem for the staff…

"Sir, the young couple in Room 217 say if their bill isn't waves they'll turn ghosts loose on everyone."  "That's ridiculous.  What are they?  Witches?"

“Sir, the young couple in Room 217 say if their bill for the week isn’t waved they’ll turn ghosts loose on everyone.” “That’s ridiculous. What do they thing they are? Witches?”

Um, yeah, about that…

So the Wingmate Get Together is over and it’s time to come back to the school.  And talk.  And do…  other things.

Out On Their First Flight: Family Involvement

There was a whole lotta writing going on yesterday.  A whole lot.  Put on the recapping hat last night and did my first recap of the year for Humans Season 2, and that took up about two thousand words in ninety minutes, then it was into the novel for a short rest, where another eight hundred words were set into the mix.

Why so little for an original work?  When you’re recapping you just watch and make notes, then turn the notes into detailed descriptions.  I had to imagine everyone in a building that I designed, then I and to pull up that design so I could make sure I had dimensions right.  Then I had to image things about the superlab and that led to looking up clean room requirements and codes so I could get one line right.  And I’m still getting notes on chemical processing equipment down, because finding information on how to put a superlab together for something other than making meth is a bitch.  It’s like they figure you know how to put a lab together already.

And on top of all this I’m in the middle of Erywin describing something and my mind goes, “Hey, remember you just listened to the song #9 Dream?  I got a great scene that will go with that!”  And just like that I gotta take about ten minutes to visualize it and figure out what’s going on.  Because my mind is like a bag of cats trying to get comfortable and this is its way to letting me know I can’t rest for too long or I’m gonna get another scene thrown my way.

But the hell with all that:  Emma’s got a broom and she’s not doing any cleaning.  And she wants the whole family to watch something…

 

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

 

“We have a bunch of trees out in our backyard, so I get us in a group of them and I tell everyone to get in tight around me. I didn’t tell them what I was doing, I just throw up a light bending spell so the neighbors can’t see what’s going on. Now that I know no one can see us, I put the broom in hover and bring up the HUD again and start explaining everything to my parents. But instead of just letting the broom hover like I did in my bedroom when I was speaking with Ronnie, I get on the broom while I’m talking. That way I knew I’d have my parents attention and they could see something that were used to seeing all the time.

“Now that I showed them what the broom could do I told them to watch and let them know that once I was like twelve feet in the air I was going to vanish because of another spell. I got my feet back, pulled just enough on the column to get it to move, and rose slowly into the air. Just like I knew would happen I got four and a half meters off the ground and they start looking around because they can’t see me. So I hover for about five seconds and then slowly push back toward the ground and settle right down the middle of them.

“I explained to them how there’s a levitation and movement spell built into the broom and the processor on the back feeds energy into it to keep it going. I start telling them things about how fast and high it can go and tell them about the different race courses at school and the Mount Katahdin race course, and I tell them about how I did in the races over the school year.

“Then I decided to try something a little strange. I’m sitting side saddle on the broom and look at Ronnie and asked her if she wanted to go up with me.”

Kerry had avoided speaking up to this point but felt the urge to interrupt. “You asked your sister if she wanted a ride on the back of your broom? That’s pretty ballsy.”

 

This is the smart thing to do:  find something that isn’t too scary but is nonetheless magical–and what’s more magical than a witch’s broom?  Of course it’s cool when those brooms have radar and altitude/speed sensors and a lot of the conveniences found on a commercial jet, but it’s still a damn broom.  And then she asks her sister–the little brat, mind you–if she wants to go up.

And she says..?

 

Emma grinned as she shrugged. “I figured if there was anything that was going to get across the whole ‘I’m different from you because I’m a witch’ thing, it was going to be using some form of magic with someone in the family. And I saw how Ronnie looked at me when I pulled out the broom, so I figured this would be a good way to kind of bond with her over our differences.

“After she said yes I extend the seat for two people then told her to get on behind me. I let her know that her feet would automatically curl up behind her when she got on so she wouldn’t have to worry about holding them in place, and when she was on o put her arms around me and just hug me. Once she was in place I asked her if she was ready, and once she gave me the go-ahead I pulled on the column and off we went, straight up.”

“How high up did you take her?”

“Seventy-five meters. I figured that would be high enough to give her a good look around and at the same time give her a feeling of what it was like to be on the broom.”

“Good idea.” Kerry rubbed his chin as he considered his wingmate’s sound logic. “Did you fly any?”

She shook her head. “Not that time; all I did was a slow spin so she could get a good look at everything. I could tell she was a little nervous going up, but once we were on location and she was seeing everything she was calm, really cool about the whole thing. She even asked me how high I’ve been up on my broom and I told her, I’ve been up about two miles on this thing.” Emma chuckled for a few seconds. “I think that was first time I’ve ever heard Ronnie gasp.”

“But she liked it?”

“She dug the hell out of it. After we landed she was all excited about how we went up in the air together and it was just so cool being on the back of this thing… I mean, she really loved it.”

Kerry tapped his hands against his knees. “She takes after her sister.”

Emma considered statement for a few seconds before nodding. “Probably.”

 

I should remind everyone that the Neilson Sisters were doing their Rocky Mountain High thing in their pajamas and Veronica likely marveled a bit at how nonchalant Emma seemed.  And if anything it not only made the parents a little less worried about their Ginger Witch, but likely caused the sisters to bond somewhat:

"I'm sorry I was mean to you."  "I'm sorry I called you a brat."  "No, you're not."  "Okay, got me there."

“I’m sorry I was mean to you.” “I’m sorry I called you a brat.” “No, you’re not.” “Okay, got me there.”

But Emma said something in one of the paragraphs about and it’s going to lead to a little more bit more of an explanation…

Out On Their First Flight: Making First Impressions

A lot of interesting things happened yesterday, though not all of them were good.  First, I had tacos for Valentine’s Day.  Tacos are love, so I had a little love.  I also had two margaritas, which are a whole lot of love.  And a whole lot of booze.

When you don't have a Galentine, tacos are a girl's best friend.

When you don’t have a Galentine, tacos are a girl’s best friend.

So I got home and right off the bat I had to deal with a catfish.  I’m on a couple of dating apps and so far everyone is contacted me has tried to catfish me.  Which leads me to believe that dating apps are as much bullshit as Facebook.  I’ve also done a lot of reporting: I even reported someone early this morning who claimed that they were on a secret mission with the US military in West Africa and not actually 69 miles from where I live.  I told him that just by telling me that they were in violation of the Military Code of Justice and then I reported them.

You don’t get one over on me that easily.

Then I watched Humans, which was good, so that I can get prepared to write my recap for tonight.  After all this nonsense I finally got to the point where I could work on the novel.  The let me state this: as I pointed out Chapter Ten is all about Annie and Kerry in special classes.  It’s a whole week of special classes.  And right off the bat I’m going into the special class of Advanced Formulistic Magic.  Fortunately for me, I have a list of everyone who are in those classes.

Unfortunately, I forgot to update the list when I started the C Level novel.

So here I am, going through the attendance for AFM making certain that everyone who I say is there is supposed to be there.  I knew one person had graduated, so she’s gone, but I had to make certain that no one else had dropped out.  I only did it for AFM, but tonight I’m going to need to go through that list and make sure it’s all updated for the C Levels.

Oi.  The things I do to myself.

Still, I started the new chapter:

See? New chapter all shinny!

See? New chapter all shinny!

But before we can get to the new chapter, I’m still finishing up stuff in the old chapter.  Because I’m way ahead of you–though if I only continue to have five hundred word nights, you’ll catch up to me eventually.  I mean, it’s just math.  No tacos involved.

Speaking of tacos Emma didn’t have them for dinner after coming out as a witch.  She had something else, as well as an interesting night and following morning…

 

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

 

This time Kerry did laugh. “Are you kidding? Your mom asked if you were hungry and that she made meatloaf?”

Emma looked down and shook her head. “I know, right? I’m expecting everyone to freak out at this point and everyone’s acting like, hey, time to eat. By the way, that was the quietest my family ever was during dinner: there was almost nothing said at the table. After I ate I excused myself, got my bag and went to my room, and after sitting up a while to see if anyone wanted to talk I went to bed.

“Next morning I get up and go to the bathroom. We live in a tri-level so all the bedrooms are up above the garage and the living area is all pretty open, so on the way to and from the bathroom I can hear my parents talking. There’s an island in our kitchen and my parents will usually sit at it in the morning the weekends and drink coffee and talk.

“After I’m done I go back to my room and close the door. I’m in there about two minutes and there’s a knock on my door. I figure it’s my mom because when I’m in my room and she wants to talk to me, she knocks on my door. I opened it but it’s not my mom: it’s Ronnie. Now I’m kind of freaked out because my sister never knocks, just the sort that just throws open the door and starts yelling at me. She looks at me for about five seconds and then asks if she can come in. I didn’t know what she wanted, so I told her she could.

“She comes in and without thinking I waved the door close, you know, because we do it all the time here. She looks at the door and back at me and she asked if I used magic close the door. I sit down at my desk and I tell her, yeah, that’s how we open and close doors at school. She asked me if I’m really a witch and I told her, yes, I’m a witch. I may not be able to do as much magic as some people, but I’m as good as most of the students at school.

“Ronnie sits on the end of my bed and I can tell she’s got a lot of questions. So I decided to make it easy for her and I start telling her about all the things we do at school. I tell her about normal spells class, I tell her that we took astronomy, I tell her about Formulistic Magic class, I tell her about transformation class, and about sorcery. And the last thing I tell her is that I have a broom and I’m on the race team and that I finished tenth overall in this last season.

“I figured that would interest her and it did. She was like, you really have a broom? And I smile and say, yeah: would you like to see it? I stand up and I pulled it out of Hammerspace, because I hadn’t removed it from the night before. When I pulled out she didn’t freak: she gets his big smile on her face and she’s like, whoa, that’s cool. So I put in the hover and bring up the HUD and I start explaining everything through her—

“And that’s when I get an idea. I snatched the broom out of hover and tell Ronnie to follow me, and I put on my slippers and head down toward the kitchen. Just like I thought my parents are sitting at the island having coffee, so I walk past them with the broom in my hand and I’m like, let’s go out back, I want to show you something.

 

See, having an inquisitive sister, even one who is usually a pain in the ass, is a good thing, because the chances are good she doesn’t hate you that much and wants to know if this magic thing is true or BS.  Just imagine if Kerry had a sister–no, don’t.  She’d probably be a spoiled little brat whom Mommy has thrown all her hopes and aspirations into while he just sits on the outside looking in while simmering.  And could you imagine Kerry having a mean sister and she meets Annie for the first time?  Kerry would quickly become an only child.

In the end here Emma appears to want the whole family to join in the fun, and that’s what’s coming tomorrow.  Today, though, you can listen to Fox on the Run, because I was on a Guardians of the Galaxy kick last night and the second movie can’t get here soon enough…

I’m that kind of girl…

Out On Their First Flight: Magic in the Mountains

Last night in Harrisburg… Yeah, it sounds like something important.  Maybe it is.  Actually, a lot got done yesterday.  First off, I finish the scene which means I finished Chapter Nine.  Which means I’m officially done with all the single digit chapters and I can move on to double digits.

Let's take a minute to say goodbye together.

Let’s take a minute to say goodbye together.

What’s coming up in Chapter Ten are four slices of what happens in the advanced classes.  Or I should put it this way: you get to see what happens in three of the advanced classes and what happens in one specialty class.  It should be interesting and it’s going to lead up to an event that may end up becoming the talk of the school after a while.

In fact, there’s a whole lot of stuff is coming out–I mean, the step of having a novel, correct?  But that’s beside the point.  The next two chapters are going to get real interesting and they are leading up to a big event.  And it won’t be long before we get there.

In the meantime we have to deal with what’s happening now, which means were dealing with the past.  Which means were about to see what really happened when Emma came out.

And it’s right here–

 

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

 

“Well, I was sitting there listening to Miora speak, but I’m hardly even listening. All I can think is the moment I come out my parents are going to freak, and I’m trying to put together was going to happen after that. Then, all of a sudden, Miora says ‘Emma, you have something to tell your parents, don’t you?’

“I knew what she wanted me to say, but I couldn’t get the words to come out. I just sat there like an idiot with this dumb stare on my face and all I can see is my family staring back at me. Just as Miora is about to say something, I sat up real straight and just said it: ‘I’m a witch.’ And I then sat back like it was no big deal.”

Kerry knew Emma well enough to imagine she was probably in a state of semi-shock the entire time this was happening at her home. Though she wasn’t quite the weak willed witch she had been during their A Levels, there were times when she was easily rattled, though those moments always happened away from the track. He suffered a great deal of nervousness during his own coming out, but he couldn’t imagine himself just sitting there and staring at his parents. “What did they do when you told them?”

She shook her head as she looked off to one side. “They just sat there: they didn’t do anything. My parents were looking at me like they didn’t quite hear what I said and my sister is sitting there rolling her eyes. That’s when Miora leans over and tells me that maybe I should show them some magic. So…”

“So you did.”

 

So Emma started laying out the magic.  It sounds like this is something that every coming out B Level does, and you have to wonder if there are tales of witches who were so nervous they botched their spells and did shit like set the dog on fire by accident or blow out a wall in the family abode.  So, what did she do?

 

“I did. It wasn’t anything spectacular: I did the Illuminate spell and levitated a couple of things. The one that got everyone, though, was when I made a small fireball—”

Kerry began laughing. “You crafted a Fireball spell in your living room?”

Emma’s blush was bright. “I know, right? I mean, they were duly impressed with the other spells, but when they saw me holding a fireball between my hands—” She smiled as she nodded twice. “There was no way they could say I was somehow faking things.”

“I know what you mean.” Kerry didn’t mention that his parents had the exact reaction that Emma didn’t believe her parents would have. “So what happened after that? What did you?”

“That’s the thing: my parents did nothing. After all that they just sat there on the sofa staring at me like they didn’t know what to say or do. Miora asked them if they had any questions and my father’s just like, no, I think were good. Even Ronnie—”

“Who’s that?”

“My sister Veronica: we call her Ronnie for short. She’s always the first person to mouth off and even she just sat there looking shocked and not saying a word. I really didn’t know what to think; it was kind of unnerving.

“Since my parents didn’t want to say anything, Moria decided to leave and she asked me to walk her to the door. When we got there she reminded me that I should contact her if there’s any issues, and if worse comes to worse I had the panic button. I didn’t think I had anything to worry about I told her so, but she wanted me to know just in case.

“After she leaves I go back in the living room and I just stand there looking at everyone waiting for my parents to say something. After like fifteen seconds my mom looks at me and says, ‘I made meatloaf; are you hungry?’.”

 

At least she had a good teacher when it came to the Fire spell:  Kerry told her during their first overnight flight that he’d help her with it.  So yeah, Kerry.  Those teaching lessons with Annie came in handy.

But you have to love her mother’s reaction:  “Oh, you’re a witch?  Um… I made meatloaf.”  Kerry’s parents are giving him and his case worker shit because they can’t believe this was kept hidden from them and Emma’s family are suffering from just a bit of shock, which is what you’d expect most parents to do when their thirteen year old kid drops this mic on them.  Your kid creates fire out of nothing and shock is probably going to set in–

The question now becomes:  how does the Nelson Family handle this new news?

Out On Their First Flight: Arriving in the Mountains

Life is full of surprises.  I was surprised yesterday during lunch I met someone who was actually interested in wanting to speak with me, and so for about forty-five minutes I ate and talked while she listened and asked a few questions.  I was surprised attending another political meeting when I learned of some of the things they wanted to support and some things they said they could live without.

I was also surprised when I was getting ready to watch The Walking Dead and I discovered my cable box was dead and not reanimated like the zombies I was about to see.  This means if I want to watch the show, I have streamed off my computer tonight after I arrived home from work.  And, I’ll have to do the same thing tomorrow when I go to recap the first episode of Season 2 of Humans.  Should be fun; at least I don’t watch as much TV as I used to, or at least watch it through cable itself.  And if I find I can do things this way, I may just end up dumping the cable box, and cable, later this summer.

Now, speaking of surprises…

One of the things I’ve been leading up to it this point is discussion of what happened to Emma when she returned home for the summer.  So without further ado, let’s shift our sights westward and see how things went in the mountains of Colorado:

 

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

 

Emma had been eager to talk about what happened to her over the summer since arriving at school, but she found it was almost impossible to do so during the other classes, and the special classes Kerry took on Tuesday and Wednesday nights prevented her from seeing him and discussing it then. “It went pretty well.”

“Just pretty well?” Kerry was a bit surprised that Emma was being so reserved.

“It was better than pretty well.” She eyed her wingmate carefully. “I’ve heard anything about your summer holiday, though.”

Kerry glanced upward as he spoke. “That’s because I haven’t talked about.”

“How did things go?”

“It sucked.” His disgust was all over his face. “My parents were not happy to learn they had a witch and a sorceress living under their roof. Oh, and my parents know that I have a girlfriend and they are not happy about that, either.” He motioned with his hands as if he was drawing Emma towards him. “I want to know how your summer went. Come on: tell me.”

 

Kerry is not interested in talking about his shitty summer.  He knows it was shitty and he wants to leave it that way.  He wants to hear from someone who didn’t have a shitty summer and that means you’ll have to listen to the person directly in front of him.  But first we have to ask an important question: how did she get home?

 

She waited a moment as she decided on how to begin her story. “Well, just like everybody else I was nervous. I didn’t think it was that bad until we jaunted into Denver International that I started to get shaky. I mean, from there, I’m only ten minutes away from home—”

“Where do you jaunt into in Boulder?” Kerry didn’t mean to interrupt, but it was a question that he’d always wanted to ask but never had. “Just curious, is all.”

A slight chuckle escaped from between Emma’s lips. “The city jaunt station is in the basement of the National Weather Service headquarters. The first time I came out of there about died.”

“Why?”

“As that place is exactly one mile from my house—” She grinned again. “I mean, one point six kilometers.”

Kerry grinned along with her. “You’re forgiven. Go on.”

“Okay. We get the car just waiting for us and we had for my house. It’s only like a four minute drive, so I don’t have that much time to actually prepare for what’s going to happen. I guess I figured I’d be ready for before jaunting home, but that didn’t happen.

“When we pulled into the house I’m a nervous wreck, you know? Just nervous as all hell. Were walking up to the front door and my mom’s got the door open before were even halfway there, which doesn’t really put me at ease because I know they’re thinking I’m in some sort of trouble. My caseworker, Miora, she immediately chills my mom out, so while I’m putting my luggage down and getting it out of the way, she’s telling my mom and my dad let’s go sit down and will explain everything.

“So were all in the living room. My mom and dad are sitting on the sofa and my sister Veronica, she’s sitting in easy chair, and my mom has set up two chairs in front of the TV, one for Miora and one for me. We sit down and Miora starts her talk, telling my parents that I’m not in any sort of trouble and this has nothing to do with anything disciplinary at school, it’s just that there something really important that I’m supposed to tell them.”

The memory of going through nearly the identical experience brought a small smile to Kerry’s face. “I kind of did the same thing. I can imagine how you felt.”

Emma let out a long sigh. “I imagine everybody went through some variation of anything.”

“I’m sure they did. What happened next?”

 

Boulder was kind of a challenge but it came to finding usable, fixed jaunt point.  Like so many places in the United States it doesn’t have a train station, and the only airport is a shitty little one runway job out of which Cessnas mostly fly.  I was about ready to put the fixed jaunt station somewhere on the grounds of the University of Colorado when I remembered that the federal government does have a certain presence in the city: namely a large National Weather Service installation.  And since The Foundation loves hiding in plain sight, why not put the jaunt station there?

At least when you arrive and ask, "How's the weather?" you won't wait long for an answer

At least when you arrive and ask, “How’s the weather?” you won’t wait long for an answer

We also learn something else: Emma lives a mile away from here.  And I do mean that: when I was measuring this out the drive from the National Weather Service to her home was almost exactly one mile.  So it made getting her home even easier.

And it’s fairly obvious that the set up to her coming out appears very similar to the set up for Kerry’s coming out.  Only Kerry didn’t have a little sister waiting for him to possibly throw shade in her direction once the Witch Word was unleashed.  Is that really what happened?

You’ll find out tomorrow.

Out On Their First Flight: Going Over the New Team

Friday was something of a milestone for me as this novel finally pushed over one hundred and twenty-five thousand words.  Some of your may think, “Wow!  That’s so good that you’re going so fast,” but I look at it and go, “Man, that took some time.”

See, I keep track of everything and how long it takes me to reach certain milestones is one.  I do that because that’s how I am:  it’s probably a form of OCD or something.  So when I checked the time it took me to go from one hundred thousand to one twenty-five, I was not surprised to discover it was forty-two days.  That works out to five hundred and ninety-five words a day, which considering there’s probably a week full of days where I didn’t write, it seems pretty good.

When you look at it from this point of view, it does seem nice.

When you look at it from this point of view, it does seem nice.

If I consider I did write during thirty-two days during this period, then my average goes up to seven hundred and eighty-one words, which is a whole lot better.  But you can’t have everything, can you?  The only thing to do is try better…

But enough of my emo whining about how little I’m writing when most everyone else things I’m writing a shitload.  It’s time for my kids, yeah?

Kerry has something to tell Emma and while most people won’t give a shit about this discussion, it still happens.  And it brings to light the fact that as things change, they stay the same:

 

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

 

Kerry had put off saying anything to Emma about his quick meeting with Vicky once the Ready Room cleared out. He had told his wingmate that once they were at their first stop he’d tell her what happened—and now that they were at that stop it was time… “Vicky asked me if I wanted to join Air Assault. She told me that being a good flier and a sorceress was the sort of thing they were looking for, and now that they had a few openings they wanted me to be one of the new people. So I said yes.”

Emma seemed surprised by Kerry’s announcement. “Wow. I always figured they’d ask you to join Air Assault; I’m just surprised they waited this long.”

He shrugged. “Getting asked to join Air Assault last year was the farthest thing from my thoughts. I’m just glad she thinks I’m worthy of the team.”

“What you think Annie’s going to say when you tell her?”

“Oh…” Kerry’s face broke into a broad smile. “Vicky told me Ramona and Helena were going to ask Annie to join Rapid Response today. I told her I thought she’d say yes.” He scratched his right cheek. “Looks like we’re both going to have new jobs when it comes to defending the school.”

For a moment Emma looked a bit crestfallen. “Does this mean I’m going to need a new wingmate when I do observation patrol?”

Kerry waived the sides of his flight jacket to cool himself down. “You’re still gonna fly observation patrol if we’re attacked again?”

She nodded. “I’ll have to. I’ll look like some kind of coward I don’t go up the next time we’re needed.”

“Then you got nothing to worry about.” He grinned. “If something were to happen I’d be on observation patrol first, just like everybody else was back during Day of the Dead.”

“So just like last time.”

“Yep. It’s just that if things go sideways you’ll go to ground and I’ll head for my rendezvous point. At least I won’t have to worry about hiding out in the woods.” He chuckled grimly. “And you won’t be outside where you might be attacked by an Abomination.”

Emma rolled her eyes. “I’m fine with that. I never want to see those damn things again.”

Considering that Emma was almost eaten by the Abomination that attacked her, Kerry understood why she was a bit reluctant to encounter another. Her statement gave him the opportunity to change the subject of the conversation. “So, uh, if you don’t mind talking about it, how was your summer holiday?”

 

Now we have the plan:  if another attack comes Emma and Kerry will do their observation patrol of the outer walls just like during their A Levels.  And if things go to shit Emma goes to ground and Kerry heads off to meet up with others in Air Assault so they can start kicking ass.  And if all goes well Salem will come out victorious and Kerry won’t have to worry about hiding because his broom doesn’t have power, while Emma will be inside nice and safe and away from Star Spawn of Cthulhu that want to dine on her tasty hide.

"Emma, don't go!  I'm gonna make espresso!"

“Emma, don’t go! I’m gonna make espresso!”

Which you’ll drive after you eat her legs, I know…

Emma is right, however:  she set herself up by volunteering for observation patrol and should she be needed again she has no choice but to put her ass on the line once more, least people say she’s a coward.  We do know being attacked by a monster messed her up, as she indicated that she had bad dream and flashbacks for a while, but she seems better now.  Then again, maybe she won’t do so well when the Abominations come knocking:  maybe she’ll lose her shit and run away as fast as she can–

Which is fine with Kerry.  When they get to that point he has a new job and it doesn’t involve making sure Emma doesn’t want to leave a hidey-hole:  he’s got a whole school to help protect now.  And since he doesn’t want to discuss how he might have to leave Emma’s ass should she freak out, he deftly changes the conversation–

And we’ll get to see how someone else’s summer holiday went.

Out On Their First Flight: Checking Off the Points

The last couple of nights have seen slow progress: I’ve been lucky to write about five hundred words a night.  Part of it has just been my mood, which is very little on the dark side of late.  I’m also finding this novel a bit more challenging than the last two, simply because I’m having to deal more with complex feelings.  My kids are growing up fast and are at that point where they’re still kind the kids, but they’re so ready to start being adults, too.

And with witches is even more difficult because immature so much faster.  Yeah, all that magical energy flowing to your body does strange things to you on top of the hormonal changes you’re already feeling.  As I’ve stated before, the staff at Salem know that the school is a bit of a pressure cooker in that there are a hundred and fifty tweeners and teens all away from home for probably the first times in their lives, all going through puberty, and all learning magic.  Things do get a bit nutty and when Coraline has mentioned that she’s had to sit with students and work with them through bad romantic and sexual encounters, she’s not kidding.  Actually, why do you think the school has three counselors?  Because they got a deal down that Witches R Us?

Now that we’ve dealt with Annie’s Friday morning, it’s time to deal with Kerry’s Friday morning.  Of course, he’s not on school grounds.  In fact, he’s not even in the same state–

 

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

 

Kerry opened his jacket and gazed through the thin foliage on the southern flank of Mount Defiance at Lake Champlain a couple of hundred meters below, then glanced to his left and spotted Fort Ticonderoga a couple of kilometers away. Making certain his flight gloves were secure he removed his phone from an inside pocket and examined the photos he’d taken from the air only five minutes earlier before snapping another one so he can remember what the fort looked like from this vantage point.

“Hey, Kerry.” He turned and saw Emma rummaging around in her backpack. “You want a turkey or roast beef sandwich?”

“Roast beef, please.” Kerry headed back toward their small encampment with their backpacks resting against one tree and their brooms against another. Emma levitated the sandwich toward him and he snatched it out of the air the moment it was within arm’s reach. “Thanks.”

Emma nodded and leaned back against the tree as she unwrapped her own sandwich. “You’re welcome.” She took a bite of her sandwich as she stretched out her long legs. “Ugh, that feels so good. Felt for a while like my knees were hyperextending.”

Kerry sat on a rock outcropping a couple of meters from his wingmate. “I thought the broom was supposed to automatically adjust for your height?”

“It’s supposed to, but Vicky told me that may need to be some adjustments made.” She grunted. “It’s just a little bothersome; it’s not gonna kill me. Just need to stretch my legs for a few minutes when we reach each of our checkpoints.”

He nodded. “No problem. Just let me know how you feel when we get to them, okay?” He crafted up a small ball of cold fire and forced the sandwich wrapping inside, where was vaporized instantly. “Don’t forget to give me your trash before we leave.”

She flicked her trash and Kerry’s direction and watched it fly across the open space before he grabbed it and pushed it inside the cold fireball. “Keeping the Earth litter free through magic.”

Kerry shut down the cold fire spell. “And what better way to keep everything clean than by incineration.”

 

You finally get an idea of how the school gets rid of their trash; it’s very likely they have large bins full of cold fire and they just chuck stuff into them.  If the fire is hot enough there’s almost no residue left over, and in Emma’s and Kerry’s instance, it’s likely all their leaving behind is some real fine ash that would be hard to detect with the human eye.  And at the school, it’s probably a simple matter of transforming the ash into something that’s either easily transportable or easy to use in other applications–like say, transforming the ash into a form of fertilizer that can be used in the garden.

 

Emma looked off to her right and the Lake Champlain Valley. “We’ve got Fort Ticonderoga checked off the list. What’s the next two?”

“The next one is Pocono Speedway.” He closed his eyes as he drew in a deep breath of fresh air. “That’s about four hundred kilometers away in Pennsylvania. Then after that we come back into New York and get pictures of the Woodstock concert site.”

She sat back and stared off in the space. “You know where this speedway is at?”

“Sure I do. It’s outside Long Pond. I know the location from when I used to watch NASCAR.”

“Let me guess: the Woodstock concert site is near Woodstock.”

Kerry made a loud buzzing sound. “Oh, I’m sorry, Emma, but that is wrong. You care to try your luck at Double Jeopardy, where the prizes are bigger?”

Emma let her hands drop into her lap as she rolled her eyes. “Okay, smart ass. I’m sure you’re going to tell me exactly where the site is without looking.”

He got up to retrieve a metal water bottle and returned to his seat before answering. “It’s in Bethel, New York, about seventy kilometers from Woodstock.” He took a long swig off the bottle washing down his sandwich.

She didn’t doubt her navigator was wrong, but she was curious about the differences in location. “So why is it called the Woodstock Festival if it’s not in Woodstock?”

Kerry finished the rest of his sandwich and took another drink before giving the explanation. “They wanted to hold the festival in Woodstock but the promoters couldn’t get permission. They eventually held in on Max Yasgur’s farm outside Bethel.” He set down his water bottle and his feet. “The Woodstock concert location is kind of a trick question. It’s probably why Vicky gave it to us: she figured if she gave it to anyone else they go to Woodstock and get lost looking for the place.” He stretched his arms and shoulders. “Instead, we get to have our picture taken next to the Woodstock stage.”

The corner of Emma’s mouth turned upwards of a smile as she gave an approving nod. “And you’re probably the only kid in class who knows this.”

“Probably. It’s another one of those useless facts I happen to have hidden away in the back of my head.”

“I’m glad you do because it makes our job of finding these places a lot easier. Since we don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for our targets we can just race there, get our pictures, and get home before everyone else.” She levitated Kerry’s water bottle toward her so she could get a drink. “What did Vicky want to ask you without me present?”

 

Since I’m not going to answer Emma’s question today we may as well get to this snipe hunt Team Myfanwy doing for their first day of Advance Flight Two.

First off we have the points they are visiting and they are way the hell out away from the school:

Like states away out.

Like states away out.

Emma and Kerry are flying over a thousand kilometers through five states so they can get pictures at three different locations and be home by lunch.  For these two it’s not a problem:  Kerry knows his locations and Emma can stay a course like no one else.  And zipping between destinations at 400 kph isn’t a problem, either, ’cause they both know they won’t miss their targets.

Their first stop–where this scene takes place–is on Mount Defiance overlooking Fort Ticonderoga, located in northern New York state.

If you look hard you can almost see the kids.

If you look hard you can almost see the kids.

Fort Ticonderoga is famous for being taken during the Revolutionary War by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boy.  The legend says that when the British demeaned to know on whose authority Allen demanded entry, he replied,  “In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”, but historians know Allen was pretty much an atheist and an extremely profane man, so people who’ve studied this moment believe Allen probably said, “Open the goddamn gates, you bastards!”  Why didn’t we learn this in history?

Then it’s down to Pocono Speedway in Pennsylvania–which is a nice track but if you’ve seen one NASCAR track, you’ve seen most of them–and then off to the site of the Woodstock Concert, which is right where Kerry says it is, and is there for the same reasons stated.  These days the site is a music and arts center with a covered concert pavilion, but that isn’t the Woodstock stage to which Kerry was referring–the area where the festival was held is now something of a tourist attraction and a historical site, and a duplicate of the stage is there to remind people how the place looked minus all the rain, mud, and trash.  And the musicians tripping on acid, but that’s another story.

You can't see it, but there's a peace sign cut in the field, because of course.

You can’t see it, but there’s a peace sign cut in the field, because of course.

And knowing Kerry they’d someone get up on stage for their photo.  Because that’s how he rolls.

Now that we know the sights, what about the meeting?  Well…