In the Inn: Rest and Recolections

Yesterday, squeezed in between the thirteen hundred word blog post and the fifteen hundred words of note I did for the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, I managed to start the penultimate scene for Chapter Thirty-four and plow about six hundred words into it before shutting down for the evening.

Like they say, there it is.

Like they say, there it is.

I know some people will say, “How can you write so much for the other things and only half as much for this?” and that’s a good question.  I probably has to do with the fact that I’m making stuff up as I go along, trying to come up with dialog and figuring out how these two kids are reacting to each other at the moment–really, that’s how it feels.

Looking at my numbers I’m currently sitting at three hundred eighteen thousand, five hundred words total, so my guess is that I’ll clear three hundred twenty thousand at the end of this chapter, and three twenty-five by the end of the last, which is gonna put me right where I said I should end up as well as bringing me in a hundred thousand words short of the last novel.  Three quarters of a million words written in about two and a half years is quiet a lot, and I do feel the need to step back and relax for a bit after this ends.  Because I do want to get into the third novel, and I need my wits about me for that.

And where does that lead?  We’re not at the school anymore, so we must be somewhere else . . .

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie entered the room, left her bag near the door, and headed directly for the bed, where she dropped backwards with a thud on the mattress. She stretched her legs as she released a satisfied sigh she’d been holding in for the last hour. “This bed is just like I remembered from last year.”

Kerry set his bag next to Annie’s and looked about Room 308 of the Sea Sprite Inn, the same one Annie and he shared after finishing their A Levels last year. “The whole room looks the same.”

“Baseboard is a slightly different shade of white.” She closed her eyes and drew in a long, slow breath. “I noticed that right away.”

One of Kerry’s eyebrows shot up. “You noticed the baseboard?”

“I helped design a house, my love.” She giggled as she looked up into the bed’s canopy. “I have an eye for little details like that.” She raised her legs so she could examine her feet. “Alex did a great job with my pedicure.”

“Which I noticed right away if you remember.” Just like they’d done on their first night together, the Party of Five—now six with Kahoku coming over from his coven—had a small going away party on their floor with snacks and drinks. While they all talked about the summer holiday, music, movies, and video games, the girls rummaged through Annie’s collection of polish and did each other’s nails. Annie chose a deep metallic crimson that she’d gotten for Christmas and hadn’t tried, and before she asked what he thought, Kerry told her how lovely she made the color look, eliciting a smile and many kiss from her for the compliment.

 

Yes, it’s back to the Sea Sprite Inn, the same place they stayed last year and something that’s going to come up in a few more paragraphs.  The last paragraph is a good one in that it’s obvious Kahoku is really part of this little circle of friends, and if you remember from a long time back, when the kids returned from Yule, it was mentioned Sabrina left all the covens open so student could go from on to another without needing permission.  As Thursday night was the last before everyone started heading home, it was a good idea to open up everything so the kids could say their final goodbyes to friends.

It’s also interesting that everyone talked about the same thing while the girls we’re also doing each other’s nails.  Women:  we are multitaskers, are we not?  And we’ve already see that Annie likes getting her nails done, and she takes pride in having them done right.  Just wait until this summer:  Mama and her probably run off to one of the resort spas in Pamporovo to get their mani-pedis done every few weeks, because you can bet this is a habit Annie likely picked up from her mother.

Now that we know the who and where, is there anymore what?  Of course there is:

 

“Yes, you did.” She lowered her legs and patted the spot to her left. “Come rest for a moment. We have at least an hour before dinner.”

“As you wish—” He lay back on the bed and rolled over on his right side so he could hold her hand with his left. “Ms. Kirilova.”

She chucked again. “I loved hearing, ‘So nice you’re staying with us again’.” Annie rolled to her left so she could face Kerry. “Last year is was such a new experience, and this time I felt as if I were returning to a place we’d been visiting for years.”

“I think it helped that we’ve known for a week we were coming back. It wasn’t as big a surprise as last year.” This time Erywin came to them about twenty minutes after their return from Provincetown to let them know that, yes, they were once again sharing “special accommodations” this year after the school closed. “Last year it was like we didn’t know what to expect.”

“Uhmm—” Annie looked upward for a women. “I had a suspicion but nothing more. You, though—” Her smile lit up her face. “Wasn’t difficult to see you were still a bit clueless.”

Ha.” Kerry leaned closer and gave her a kiss. “Clueless no more, Ms. Kirilova.”

“I much prefer—” She snuggled close to Kerry to make it easier for them to kiss. “Mrs. Malibey.”

“Maybe Mrs. Kirilova-Malibey?”

She was about to give the question some consideration when they were a knock on the door. Annie turned her head in that direction. “It can’t be them this soon.”

“It’s not like we’re expecting any other guests.” Kerry slid off the bed as Annie sat up and smoothed out her skirt and blouse. He didn’t bother to see who was on the other side of the door: he figured it was one of the instructors from the school. It turned out he was only slightly right. “Oh, hi.”

 

That Annie:  she certainly loves hearing that married name.  It’s only a matter of time before a “Mrs. Malibey” slips out at school next year, leading to a lot of eye rolling and disgusted looks, because that’s exactly what teenagers like doing.  Oh, so much to write for the next book . . .

But before I get there I have to tell everyone who the “Oh, hi” was for, right?  I mean, that does make sense, doesn’t it?

Taking the Long Ways Home

Eight in the morning, and it’s time for the blog post–but only after two hours and just over a thousand words of novel writing.  Yes, I’ve been a busy girl, mostly because I’m off to get my nails done in a couple of hours and I need time to get ready.

But first, I’ve had this on repeat for most of the morning:  Moby’s God Moving Over the Face of the Waters.  Pay no attention to what the video cover page says: this version is the one found on I Like to Score, and is the one used as the outro music running over the credits for the movie Heat.  There are have been a few moments when this has started the tears a-flowing, because I’m imagining scenes where this can be used in my coming stories, and likely will.  Funny how my mind works, isn’t it?

The scene is over, and this is the last you’ll see of the school in this book.  After this everything takes place beyond the grounds, and half of the next chapter has my kids finally back in Europe for the summer.  But this goodbye is different than the one in the last novel.  Because this time they’re not standing around surrounded by silence–this time they’re surrounded by friends:

 

This excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry chuckled as he kept his arm around Annie’s shoulders and pulled her closer. “What are you guys going to do next?”

Penny quickly checked her phone. “We’re all jaunting out at the bottom of the hour to Logan and then on to Heathrow and to the local station at Paddington. We’ll spend about an hour and a half there, then Alex and Kahoku are going their own separate ways.”

“It’s already past twenty hours in Savannakhet.” Kahoku spoke of his home town on the banks of the Mekong River in Laos. “I told my parents I’d be home no later than twenty-two thirty, so that gives Alex and me time to say goodbye.”

“You get home just in time to eat and adjust.” Alex gave him a peck on the cheek. “Lose a day going home, but at least you get it in a few months coming back.”

“What about you, Alex?” Annie figured the Ukrainian girl’s home was much like her own in terms of time changes.

“I’ll get into Kiev about eighteen-thirty, then fly home to Dubno. That should take me about an hour.” She sighed. “Just in time to eat, talk a little, and then adjust.”
Annie turned to Penny and Jario. “What about you?”

“I’ll be home, and Jario is almost on the same time as Salem, so we’ll hang out until about eighteen local before we head for home.” She gripped his hand. “That’ll give us almost four hours together. Then he jaunts back to Caracas, and I’ll fly home from London.”

“Venezuela’s a half-hour behind Salem because we’re right on the middle of one of the time lines, so it’ll be pretty much a normal day for me when I’m home: no adjusting needed.” Jario looked down as he smiled. “My case worker will be waiting for me at the airport to jaunt me home.”

“Mine does the same for me.” Kerry shrugged. “I don’t mind considering I gotta go like a thousand kilometers this time.”

Penny learned against Jario. “If you’d learned to fly, dear . . .”

“I did: I didn’t care for it.” He kissed Penny. “You girls are the fliers: I’m good with riding.”

“Just remember that.”

 

Now you see just how everyone is spread around the world, and even with being able to fly and teleport, getting from one place in the world to another is still gonna mess you up due to time changes.  This is how they play out:

B For Bewitching Time Zones Home

Party of Four going all over the world.

As you can see where their homes are concerned it’s still morning for Jario, late afternoon for Penny and Alex–and Annie and Kerry for that matter, too–and going into the evening for Kahoku.  And think about the A and B Levels that are still flying home:  this is why The Foundation starts shipping kids back to East Asia and Oceania just before midnight on the last Thursday at school.

And this is how the jaunts look.  First Penny and the other to London.

Just a leap over The Pond.

Just a leap over The Pond.

Then Alex heads home:

Homeward towards the Great Gates.

Homeward towards the Great Gates.

Followed by Kahoku, who has to go to the other side of the world:

Where it's a quick meal and off to sleep for that boy.

Where it’s a quick meal and off to sleep for that boy.

And lastly there’s Jario, who’s doubling back on everyone.

Can we say he's going Back to the Future?  Probably.

Can we say he’s going Back to the Future? Probably.

Even though they’re going home, does that mean everyone’s stuck on their little homeland islands.  Maybe not:

 

Annie shifted her gaze among the members of her group. “Are you still going to try and meet this summer?”

“Going to try.” Alex nodded toward the girl to her right. “Penny and I have plans, and Kahoku’s pretty sure he can get into Kiev at least once.”

“I’m probably going to jaunt down to South America to see my honey.” Penny smiled at the blushing boy at her side. “I shouldn’t have any problems flying from the airport to his home town.”

Kahoku appeared sad for a moment. “It’d be nice if we could all meet up this summer.”

Penny grunted. “Yeah. Even though it’s getting easier to use to the jaunt stations now, it’s kinda hard at times to work out everything when we’re spread all through the world.”

“We should do something one summer.” Kerry’s face lit up as his mind worked out possibilities. “I mean, after we finish our C Levels Annie and I will be able to access the jaunt systems without needing permission from our parents, so that would make it easier for us to get around. Maybe not next summer, but the summer after that—”

“I agree.” Annie believe she knew where Kerry was going with his impromptu plan. “And not just a one day get together: maybe something for the a few weeks.”
Alex tilted her head slowly to one side. “Like what? Backpacking?”

Kerry laughed. “Or backbrooming.”

“Like the Polar Express.” Penny laughed. “I could see that.”

Annie nodded. “We should start working on that next year.”

Penny nodded back. “We will.”

 

First we see that once the kids are past their C Levels they’re permitted to use the Jaunt System without parental controls, and you know what that means?  Sounds like a certain couple will be hooking up for lunch and more in another year.  Kerry has a local station that will take him to London, or he could just jet off and be there in under an hour.  Annie as well:  she’s 150 km from Sofia and could fly to the airport in under thirty minutes.  And just imagine what it’ll be like when they start jaunting on their own–won’t be able to keep them apart.

As for Annie and Kerry’s idea of “backbrooming” with the other four–yep, that’ll happen one day.  Probably.  Maybe.  Could be.  Just not any time soon.  But you know I already have something in mind.

With all this out of the way, there remains only one last goodbye–

 

“And with that you should get going so you don’t miss your jaunt.” Annie gave Penny a hug. “Take care.”

“You, too, Annie.” Everyone began hugging and shaking hands, wishing each other a good summer holiday. Annie and Kerry waved their goodbyes to their friends as the four walked off the floor and vanished down the stairs, leaving them alone on the second floor.

Annie gave a near silent mummer. “Well, we’re one of the last in the coven—again.”

“Only this time—” Kerry turned and examined the empty, silent floor. “I don’t feel as sad as I did last year.”

“That’s because we knew we wouldn’t be returning to the first floor. Next year we’re back here, but when it comes time to say our goodbyes to our C Levels—” She rested against Kerry’s shoulder. “I imagine we’ll feel the sadness once more.”

“Probably.” He turned to her. “We have a lot to do next year.”

She nodded. “All new classes and a group of B Levels to help transition out of the fishbowl.”

“Uhh.” Kerry rolled his eyes. “Don’t say ‘transition’.”

“Don’t worry, my love.” Annie chuckled as she kissed her nervous soul mate. “I’ll be here to help you through that as well. After all—” She pulled down the neck of her blouse just enough to allow Kerry a peek at her glowing medical monitor. “We’re connected; I’m not going anywhere.”

He kissed her lips. “I’d never let you leave.”

“I’d never want to leave.” They stared at each other in silence for nearly fifteen seconds before Annie stated the obvious. “Come on: we have more goodbyes to say. I want to catch Professor Semplen before he returns home.”

“Yeah, we should get going.” He slipped his backpack over both shoulders and set it in place. “Let’s do this.”

Annie secured her purse strap around her body. “Lets.”

They walked hand-in-hand to the stair landing, turning just before exiting the floor, and spent a few silent moments regarding the place that was their home for the last nine months. Kerry raised his right hand and gave a small wave. “Take care, and see you next year.”

Annie offered a smile as she looked in the direction of her former room. “Goodbye and farewell. And thank you for the memories.”

Together their turned and slowly descended the stairs, leaving their latest home behind, but not forgotten.

 

No tears this time, no feelings of melancholy, because next year they’ll be back on the same floor, only a little closer to the stairs.  It’ll be interesting to see them “helping” the new kids when they move up into the B Area–not that the can’t handle being leaders, but it’s almost as if they’re getting one more duty stacked on top of all the crap they’ll already have waiting for them.  When you show everyone you’re a cut above the rest, you are expected to prove that point.

And with that we say goodbye to Salem and hello to a little place right on the water–

The Day Before the End: Goodbye Once More

It’s rare that I go through an emotional roller coaster like I did last night, but it still happens.  Probably because I’m due for my shot tonight, and when I get to that point it’s hard to keep from getting emotional.  Throw into that mix a collection of songs that are going to have meaning in the upcoming stories, and I was ripe for the waterworks.

This all falls along the backdrop of everyone going home for the summer.  The school is shutting down, the last classes were the day before, and some of the students returning to Asia and Oceania departed from Boston some nine to ten hours earlier.  The novel is currently skirting three hundred and twenty thousand words, and it was only about three hundred thousand ago that my kids were meeting in a hotel in Berlin, unaware that they were going to meet up with a couple of girls who were going help them establish ties that would remain throughout the school year.

So much has gone down–

Writing looks easy, but believe me, being in a public places allows you to drown out all other distractions. Um, yeah.

How did I ever manage to get this far?

Pretty much by sitting down and writing nearly every night, that’s how.  And in a few more weeks you can take a rest.  Until then–the goodbyes begin:

 

This excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The moment his computer shut down Kerry lifted it from its stand and slipped it into his backpack next to the portable keyboard and mouse. He turned his attention to his room while zip his pack closed, giving the place he’d spent most of the last nine months a final view.

His uniforms and shoes were inside his wardrobe, along with the few toiletries that he’d need when he return at the end of August. His bed was neatly made with the pillows set atop the comforter. The two framed works of art—the works that Annie gave him after each of the last two Ostaras—still hung upon the wall, but were marked with a note indication they were to be moved with the other things that were headed for the room where he’d spend his C Levels next school year.

He felt tears welling in his eyes as he looked about the room. I learned so much about myself this year—and about Annie as well. In a way he couldn’t believe he’d never set foot in this room again, but as always he’d wander back through his memories and remember the parting words of The Phoenix as he left his E and A: It’s okay to remember the past, but you can’t keep dwelling upon those moments. You have to keep writing new chapters.

 

Right there, those last lines from The Phoenix . . . I knew I was going to use them the moment I started writing this scene, because the one think Kerry has learned by coming to Salem is that his life is a story, and that’s something that resonates with him because, whether he’s aware of it of not, the summer of year before he started his A Levels, during a time when he knew the dreams he had of a certain Chestnut Girl were more than just dreams, and that there was something incredibly special about her, he heard one particular line in one particular TV show:

 

“Well, you’ll remember me a little. I’ll be a story in your head. But that’s OK: we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”  Doctor Who, The Big Bang.

 

Maybe subconsciously, like Kerry, I thought about that above line when I wrote it, but I can assure you there wasn’t a conscious connection when Kerry’s E and A was written in November, 2013.  It’s really one that I believe defines him these days, because it seems like he, as well as Annie, are constantly opening new chapters to their lives every day.

The thing is, when I brought brought up A For Advanced so I could copy and paste The Phoenix’s words, I started reading that part, the end of Kerry’s E and A, and I started crying like crazy.  I can’t say why, but I totally lost it.  I eventually resumed writing, but I needed about twenty minutes for the feeling to pass.  It was hard, trust me.  And I’m still surprised that going back into something I wrote three years ago can affect me so–

A lot like this, only worse. But I'm better now . . .

How is it I get this way reading my own stuff?

It’s a good think Kerry isn’t alone on the second floor, or he might be in his room crying for a while . . .

 

 

He allowed himself about fifteen seconds for a good cry before retrieving one of the towels in the hamper so he could wipe his face. “You were good to me—” He smiled as he looked about the room. “Be good to the next guy, ‘kay?”

There was a knock at the door. He finished wiping his face and tossed the towel back in the hamper before half turning to answer. “Come in.”

The door opened and Jario filled the entrance. “You about done?” He nodded to his left. “’Cause there’s someone out here who’s eager to see you.”

Kerry chuckled. “Can’t imagine who.” He hooked his backpack over his right shoulder. “Let’s not keep the girls waiting.”

Annie, Penny, and Alex were standing in the open area near the stairs talking. There were dressed the most relaxed either Kerry or Jario had seen them since the start of school. Alex wore a blue v-neck tee shirt and black capri leggings with sandals; Penny wore a yellow tank top and gray shorts with blue plimsolls; and Annie wore a light green floral print blouse with a black skater skirt and her favorite pair of brown gladiator sandals. Given that in the last week the temperatures had finally become seasonal—it was twenty-nine Celsius outside at nine hours, and was expected to top thirty-three C by late afternoon—the girls were dress for relaxed comfort.

All three looked in the boys direction as they entered the open space. “About time you show up, Kerry.” Penny laid her hand upon Annie’s shoulder. “Someone was about to see if they could break into your room and get you.”

“And she would have, too.” Kerry wrapped an arm around Annie’s shoulder and gave her a kiss. “Sorry. I just had to say goodbye.”

“I completely understand.” Annie kissed him back. “I hope it was a good farewell.”

“It was.”

“So was mine.”

“Um, hum.” Kahoku entered the second floor from the stair landing. He was attired just as comfortably as everyone else, wearing a white tee shirt, brown slacks, and black flip flops. “Don’t you guys ever get tired of these PDAs?”

Kerry exchanged a glance with Annie before answering. “Never.”

“Didn’t think so.” He moved in behind Alex. “Just so you know, you’re making it so the girls want more affection in public—”

“And there’s a problem with that?” Alex spun around in his arm. “Better watch out, or you might find there being fewer good night kisses next year.”

Kahoku looked sufficiently chagrined. “Consider it watched.”

 

The Return of the Dreaded Public Display of Affection!  And, it seems, some of the kids haven’t gotten used to them yet.  This is also the first time we’re seeing the boys in this little group of friends feeling the heat to also go PDA with their BGE, and Alex seems to be down in the “I want MORE” column for those affections, and has put her boyfriend on notice.  Hum . . . must be an Eastern European Girl thing.

Looks like everyone’s about to go their separate ways–but not before a short discussion . . .

The Year From the Bench

There was finally writing last night, all of one thousand, one hundred, and seventy-six words writing.  But it was done.  I let the TV run in the background and I kept working away at the story, and after two hours I finally managed to bring the scene to a close.

It’s all about the goodbyes, and some of the things that the kids are admitting to each other.  There is, however, a lot of silence, and when they do speak–well, you know how these two are by now . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

After a couple of minutes of lingering in the silence, Annie felt the need to express what was on her mind. “I know I said I wouldn’t let our separation bother us, but . . .” She clutched Kerry’s arm. “I will. I know I will.”

“I will, too.” Kerry lay his head against Annie’s. “But you already knew that.”

“I did.” She chuckled softly. “You’ve told me that several times in the last few weeks.”

He breathed deeply a few time, then snickered. “We were here the first night, when we came in.”

“I remember. I told you I loved you.” She looked across Kerry’s shoulder into his eyes. “You kissed me.”

“Yeah. First time that either of those happened to me.” He gently kissed Annie on the lips. “And I love you even more now that we’re leaving nine months later. Right here on our bench.”

“It is our bench.” Annie kissed her soul mate back. “No matter how long we life, it will always be ours.”

“You once told me that you’d remember your twelfth birthday a hundred years from now—”

“I did.” She wrapped her arm around Kerry’s body and snuggled against him. “I stand by that.”

Kerry still found the statement a little hard to believe, even if he was now aware that there was a good possibility that Annie was right, that they’d both live to see that moment . . . “I believe you. I also believe we come back here in a hundred years, this bench will be waiting for us.”

“And we’re do what we’re doing now: kissing—” Annie kissed Kerry once more. “—and reaffirming our love.”

 

A year ago on this spot he struggled to keep his emotions in check–now, it’s all about being with Annie and loving her this 1 June morning.  And, apparently, living another hundred years.  Which is could tell if you if happened, but . . . spoilers.

But they can’t stay on the bench forever–

Mostly because Kerry forgot to conjure a pink balloon.

Mostly because Kerry forgot to conjure a pink balloon.

–Which means it’s time to head off to the Great Hall, where they run into someone else . . .

 

They had just stepped out of the West Transept and were turning towards the Dining Hall when they heard a familiar voice. “Kerry.” They both stopped and turned as Emma approached from the east side of the Rotunda. “You going to eat?”

“Yep.” He squeezed Annie’s hand. “Last breakfast this school year.”

“Yeah, I just finished . . .” She eyed Annie for a few seconds before turning to Kerry. “Just wanted to wish you a good vacation, and check to see if you got my Skype address okay.”

“Yeah, I got that.” Emma had emailed him her Skype address last week; he’d mentioned it to Annie while they were on their flight on Graduation Day. “Don’t know if I’ll get much of a chance to chat, thought—”

“I know: seven hour time difference.” Emma shrugged. “If you can, that’s cool.”

“We’ll see what happened.” He wasn’t just saying that because Annie was standing next to him; he meant it. Seven hours difference would make conversation difficult, he’d either be speaking with her late in the afternoon or early in the morning his time. He simply didn’t think he’d find the right window to link up.

 

This is about as brave as anything Emma’s ever done.  Flying almost two miles above sea level?  That’s nothing compared to asking, “Did you get my Skype address?” with the Dark Witch girlfriend starting at you.  And Annie is being silent, and Emma senses that all is not well with her nervous looks in her direction.

But wait!  There’s more!

 

“Yeah. Um . . .” Her eyes darted towards Annie once more. “I was wondering: Vicky said she’s gonna pair people up in Advanced Flight, and I was wondering . . .”

He’d been expecting this question ever since Vicky confirmed they’d both be in Advanced Flight One. “I’ll be your wingmate.”

Emma’s surprise was mixed with delight. “Really?”

“Sure, why not? We’ve proved that we can work well together, and—” He chuckled as he turned to Annie. “Vicky will probably pair us anyway.”

Annie nodded. “I think you’re right. And you are right: you both work well together—” Emma smiled broadly as Annie turned her gaze in the girl’s direction. “In the air.”

It wasn’t difficult to pick up the slight inflection in Annie’s voice, and though Emma seemed a bit rattled by the statement, she continued smiling. “I guess . . .” Emma shrugged. “This is it for the year.”

Kerry titled his head slightly to the right. “I thought your bus doesn’t leave until ten?”

“It doesn’t, but I have a couple of things left to pack. By the time I do that and clean up, it’ll be time to gather in the Atrium.” She looked as if she were about to lean in and hug Kerry, then caught herself and waved. “Take care, Kerry; have a good vacation.”

“You too, Emma.” Kerry waved back. “Enjoy your holiday.”

“I will.” She looked to Annie before turning away. “Have a good vacation, Annie.”

“You as well, Emma.’ Annie made no effect to wave. “Enjoy your holiday, and we’ll see you next year.”

 

Yes, Emma:  we’ll see you next year.  Oh, and have a good time with Kerry–in the air.  Well, Annie could have said, “Keep your lips to yourself, bitch,” and made blood gush out of Emma’s nose–which, honestly, would have made for a great scene . . .

Even Captain Clueless caught the shade:

 

Once Emma was gone from sight Kerry half-turned towards Annie. “I saw what you did there.”

“You did?” She grinned slyly.

“Yeah: ‘You work well in the air’.”

“And only in the air.” Annie smile was bright, but her eyes were filled with complete seriousness. “She needs to remember that.”

Kerry chuckled and gently tugged Annie in the direction of the Dining Hall. “Why do I have this feeling you’re going to be waiting for me at the end of each of those classes?”

“Because most likely I will.” They entered the Dining Hall and headed for their old A Level table on the other side of the room.

 

And that’s about as much of a warning as Emma will ever get.  Dark Witches from Bulgaria don’t screw around, and next time they’ll be action should Emma try anything.  Which Kerry wouldn’t allow.  Trust me.

But do you think the strangeness is over?  Ha!  You don’t know me very well.

 

They were almost halfway across the room when Professor Salden approached them. “I figured I’d find you here.”

“Hello, Professor.” Kerry was still a little unsure if he should still address her by here title, or call her by her given name.

She sent him straight instantly. “Oh, please: we’re not in school right now.” She took in both children. “You’re in the European group—”

“Yes, we are.” Annie’s right eyebrow lifted slowly. “Why?”

“Supposed to leave at fifteen-thirty?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Yeah.”

“No.” Erywin minutely shook her head. “Change of plans.”

Annie’s appearance expressed her confusion. “What happened?”

“Problem with the hotel in Boston—they apparently lost your reservation.”

“Lost?” Kerry chuckled. “How’d they lose that?”

“Not certain, but these things happen from time to time.” Erywin lowered the tone of her voice slight. “Anyway, we’re managed to secure you special accommodations, so don’t leave with the rest of the European students; come to the Atrium at seventeen-twenty instead. We’ll leave shortly after.” Erywin turned away and caught herself. “Don’t worry about your luggage; it’s being transferred to come with us.” She nodded once. “Understand?”

Neither child were all that certain if they truly understood, but they both nodded slowly, with Annie answering for them both. “Yes, Erywin.”

“Good. See you this afternoon.” She spun on her heel and left the Dining Hall.

Kerry frowned a few seconds after the professor had left them, then turned to Annie. “What was that about?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you really think they messed up our reservations?”

Annie smirked as she looked at Kerry through half-closed eyes. “Do you?”

 

I’m with Kerry:  how did the hotel lose their reservation?  This is The Foundation we’re speaking of here:  they lose nothing!  And even the kids are buying this bullshit, so whatever lie Erywin is peddling, it’s not a good one.  And probably not just hers.

So what are these “special accommodations”?  Wouldn’t you know it–that’s the title of the next scene.

Moments in the Silence

Well . . . I didn’t actually finish that scene last night like I mentioned I was going to.  I did manage to add twelve hundred words to the scene, but finish it?  Nope.  And Nope.  And a lot more nope as well.

But I did get the dynamic of departure set up between Annie and Kerry a little more, particularly with the addition of another person . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

He kissed her back. “Yep.” Kerry hugged her against his body. “I really don’t want to go.”

“Neither do I.” She kissed Kerry again, this time on the lips.

“Ah, there you are.” The couple broke their kiss as Professor Semplen approached from down the boy’s side corridor. “Saying goodbye?”

“To the tower, Professor.” Annie quickly looked around. “While there were times I didn’t like being here alone, I did enjoy having not to share the floor with anyone but Kerry.”

“While you won’t be alone on the second floor, you’ll still have the B Section to yourself.” Holoč didn’t appear to care if Annie and Kerry were holding each other—or if he did, he didn’t let it show. “It’ll be quiet. And you’ll be farthest away from the stairs, so no one but you will be down in your area.”

Kerry chuckled. “Almost the same as being alone.”

“It is.”

“Speaking of being alone . . .” Annie finally stepped away from Kerry so she could face Professor Semplen. “We seem to be one of the last here.”

“You are. I think there are two up on the third floor, but they are the last. Everyone else is either in the Great Hall, on their way to Boston, or already home.”

“Just like Annie suspected.” Kerry knew the professor’s home town, which led him to his next question. “What time are you leaving, Professor?”

“Soon.” He motioned for the children to follow him. “Please: come with me.”

 

Holoč has been one of those unseen people for the most part, and the reason he hasn’t been seem more is because there hasn’t been a need.  As a coven leader his job is to run interference for students having a difficult time of things, or those who are in trouble with the administration and other instructors.  Since Annie and Kerry have been pretty well . . . adjusted to the new environment, the only time Holoč got involved with their deals was during the creation of their lab.

But he has been paying attention.

 

Annie and Kerry followed the professor off the first floor and down to the main floor commons. Like the rest of the structure it was silent and quiet: most of the light were off, and the flues of all three three fireplaces were sealed and the fires extinguished until students began returning at the end of August. Kerry had never realized how foreboding the tower felt once her realized there was almost no one else present except for the two people standing with him. “It’s sort of spooky here when it’s this quiet.”

“You should be here before the school opens.” Holoč looked about, smiling. “Then it’s spooky.” He looked at both children and his tone turned serious. “I wanted tell you both that it’s been an immense pleasure having you both in the coven. It’s not just the prestige you’ve brought to Cernunnos—and you have even if you may not have been aware of that fact—but it’s been a pleasure to see how you’ve both blossomed as witches and people. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next year.”

“I’ve loved being here, Professor.” Annie meant that. She had always wondered if she would end up in the same coven as her parents; it was almost unheard of for Legacies not to end up in the same coven, but it had happened. It was only after she was finished with the Phoenix that she wondered if Kerry and she would end up together. She also felt that, given they were the only A Levels in the coven, and they didn’t have to compete or interact with other students on their floor, they were allowed to excel without having to deal with inner level coven drama.

“I enjoyed being here, too.” Kerry appeared proud while making his statement. “I’ve never felt this way about school before—”

“I don’t find that usually.” Holoč faced Kerry. “I came from a Normal background as well: I felt the same way after my first year here.”

“I can’t wait to come back next year.”

 

Of course you can’t, Kerry:  and we know why . . .

 

Holoč figured that school wasn’t the only reason for Kerry wanting to return, but he said nothing. “I can’t wait to welcome you back to this coven, and to my class.” Holoč patted Kerry on the shoulder. “I understand you’re going to try out for the race team.”

“I’m thinking about it—”

Annie chuckled. “He’s trying out; don’t believe anything else he says.”

“As I thought.” Holoč’s smile was huge. “And we’ll wait until next year to see how that goes.” He checked the time bone his mobile. “It’s almost eight, and I told my wife I’d been home by fifteen-thirty local, so I need to grab a bite to eat and be on my way.” He held his hand out towards Annie. “Take care, Annie. Tya e udovolstvie i chudno da vi se nalaga tuk.”

She shook his hand. “Thank you, Professor. Ochakvam s netŭrpenie sledvashtata godina.”

Holoč nodded then turned to Kerry. “I’ll say the same thing to you: it has been a pleasure and a wonder having you here.”

Kerry shook the professor’s hand. “Thank you, Professor. I can’t wait until we’re back.”

 

There will be scenes in the later stories–yes, those will likely happen–where you get to see the school nearly deserted.  It is, indeed, a pretty spooky place when it comes right down to it, and being there with almost no people doesn’t help maters.

But being the (probably) only two people in the tower, my kids decide it’s time to empty it out completely.  And begin that long walk home–or at least the one they’re going to take to get breakfast.

 

Annie took in the silence of the commons for about fifteen seconds before turning to Kerry. “It’s time to leave.”

Kerry nodded. “I agree.” He took Annie’s hand. “Let’s do this.”

Annie nodded once. “Let’s.”

They left the tower behind and walked out into the breezy morning. The temperatures had climbed up over fifteen Celsius, and the Pentagram walls kept out most of the gusting winds. The sun darted in and out of the scattered clouds that were expected to remain in place all day. They made their way in silence down the covered walkway towards the Great Hall, holding hands, looking ahead when they weren’t casting hasty glances at each other. As they neared the end of the walkway Annie gently pushed Kerry towards the bench their considered theirs. “Let’s sit for a moment.”

“Okay.” Kerry waited for Annie to sit, then joined her as he always did, sitting to her right. He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled Annie closer to him, letting her snuggle against him. He watched her cross her legs and relax. “I’m surprised to see you in a skirt.”

“I wanted to be comfortable today.” She rubbed her cheek against Kerry’s shoulder. “I haven’t worn a skirt since getting here, and today is a good day for this one.” She’d brought two skirts with her when she’d first arrived: a yellow and orange maxi and the one she was wearing now, a light brown one that reached just to the top of her knees. “I may wear my longer one on the flight tomorrow.”

“With your sandals?”

Annie nudged her head against Kerry. “Yes. With my sandals. Because they’re comfortable if I don’t have to do a lot of walking. I told you that.”

“I know.” He leaned against her just a bit so they could mutually support each other, and sat next to each other without saying a word.

 

And that’s where I left it off with these two:  sitting on their bench in the breezy morning, with other things about to happen–mostly them talking to each other and Annie admitting something she’s not wanted to admit, and then . . . well, someone wants to tell Kerry goodbye and ask him a question.

I’m back writing, and things are so far going okay here at work.  Tonight I’ll get back into the story, because I would love to finish the scene–

After all, I'm so close to one hundred and five thousand words, and one ten is not far behind . . .

After all, I’m so close to one hundred and five thousand words, and one ten is not far behind . . .

We’ll see, won’t we?