A Glimpse of the Coming Year: Reporting as Ordered

After such a long time I’m finally rolling into Chapter Eight.  It seemed like a good time to get into it, given that I’ve been writing here for a while.

Looks pretty nice, doesn't it?

Looks pretty nice, doesn’t it?

As you can see I’m about eight thousand words ahead of where this excerpt is starting, so I have plenty of stuff to put out before you catch up to where I’m at now–by which time I’ll have moved on to Chapter Nine.  And even though I didn’t write a lot last night–I only managed a bit over three hundred because I started writing late and had reached the point where if I continued writing I have been up until midnight–I’ll probably make up for that tonight and Saturday.  Or at least I’ll try.  Good life doesn’t always turn out the way we wanted to turn out.

Now, I said a while ago that Chapter Eight is where we actually start seeing the kids get the class, but I lied.  Actually, they are sort of in class, but they’re not.  As we start getting into the excerpt of the beginning of the first scene, you’ll see what I mean–

 

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

 

With the sky overcast and the temperatures in the low 20s Celsius Annie and Kerry decided to walk to the Witch House. They talked about it over breakfast and decided that while the weather was still good they should take every opportunity to enjoy the still warm temps: it wasn’t because they were worried about why they were reporting to the Witch House at nine—

The emails requesting their presence were sent out late in the evening and both children noticed some on their computer terminals when they awoke. There was no need to question why Helena Lovecraft needed to see them so early: as had happened the year before, both children figured they were going to hear about any possible Guardian-related activities with which they may be involved.

They didn’t even find it unusual that the message consisted of nothing but an order to report to the building at nine. After a year and a half of scrutiny by The Foundation’s intelligence gathering division, they’d come to believe that most of the discussions relating to Guardian activities would be done in a secure location.

And there were a few places at the school more secure than the Witch House.

Kerry closed the main entrance as Annie headed directly for Helena’s office. She looked inside and shook her head as Kerry approached; she wasn’t there. Both children headed directly for the stairs leading to the lower level, for if the Head Sorceress was in her ground-floor office, she was certainly in her more secure, lower level office, and in the dimness of the lower levels she saw the light coming from there with ease.

Annie gave a brief knock on the door frame before walking right in. “I should’ve known you were here from the beginning.”

Helena shrugged and leaned back in her leather chair. “Next time don’t have to wonder.”

Kerry was right behind Annie and he waved the door close as he greeted the other person in the room. “Are you always involved in this now?”

Erywin leaned against the left arm of her chair and crossed her legs. “I’m here more as an adviser, but since I’ve been involved with you in this agency since you became involved, it only makes sense I continue onward.”

 

Just like the year before it’s time for a little Guardian Gathering, and the Magical Four are doing their talking in the Lair of the Dark Sorceress.  However, they aren’t ready to get into the whole “Let’s discuss these orders” thing just yet:

 

Helena flipped her left hand towards the door, activating the security enchantment. “You both have a good time last night?”

Annie smiled as she crossed her arms. “Are you checking up on us now?”

“No, I’m not. It’s just…” Helena turned slightly in her chair and stared at Erywin.

Erywin cleared her throat. “It’s my understanding that you were both seen disappearing into the lower levels of the Great Hall around nineteen and no one saw you for the rest of the evening.”

Kerry tried to seem unconcerned. “We didn’t do anything wrong, did we?”

“As Helena said, not at all.” The Formulistic Magic instructor began drawing small circles on her chair arm with a fingernail. “I just assumed you headed off to your hidey hole for a few hours to get reacquainted.” She was smiling when she raised her head. “I would’ve thought you’d gotten enough of that in Paris.”

Annie and Kerry exchange sideways glances before Annie spoke. “And do all the instructors who matter know about that as well?”

Helena leaned a little further back in her chair. “Pretty much. And you have to understand that none of them really give a shite what you’re doing. As long as your extracurricular activities don’t interfere with your schooling, you can snog down there all day and night as far as anyone is concerned.” She sat up in her chair. “Ready to get started?”

Kerry was eager to do anything that didn’t involve discussing his personal life or his private affairs with his wife-to-be. “Sure thing.”

“Right that.” Helena touched her computer monitor screen twice, using the touch functions to retrieve data. “I received this yesterday around sixteen hours, which means San Francisco send it off just after lunch their time.” She cause for a moment to allow the suspense to build. “There is an excellent likelihood both of you will be assigned to a field operation at least once during the school year. They’re not giving a timetable, but reading between the lines of their message, I’m guessing whatever they have in mind will happen in 2014.”

 

Well, I guess the Private Universe isn’t as private as the Lovely Dovey Couple thought.  Just as with the instructors being aware of their off-site cohabiting, their home away from home isn’t exactly a secret, either.  This doesn’t mean that they know where this hiding place is located, but it’s known.  So how long before someone busts in on them?  It’ll probably be students and they better hope they don’t make anyone mad…

And here is the first conformation:  the Guardians are going to use the kids for something.  And since it looks like it won’t happen until after the Yule holiday, the kids have plenty of time to get ready.

However, there is a twist…

Back to Berlin: Our Summer Goodbyes

Yesterday I was in a great deal of pain.  Right about seven-thirty in the morning I pulled a muscle in my left calf–the one that gives me a lot of trouble every so often–and spent the day hobbling around in pain.  Believe me when I say it made the mile walk from work really interesting and slow.

So went I finally made it home I spent most of the time with an ice pack wrapped around my leg, or with one of those portable head packs stuck on my calf.  I have the ice pack on now, and I’ll take it and a heat pack with me to work because baby gotta make that money.

But that gave me a lot of time to write, and I cranked out nearly twelve hundred words to put the penultimate chapter to bed.

There it is, snoozing away peacefully.

There it is, snoozing away peacefully.

As you can see there is one more scene, and the binder on the left tells the tale of the tape:  there aren’t any other acts or parts or scenes to follow.  The end really is here, and it’s likely coming this weekend.

Right now it’s time to get off the plane, ’cause there are people awaiting–

 

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

They proceeded slowly down the walkway, keeping in step and looking straight ahead the all the way to the terminal. Just as they’d done in Vienna they didn’t release their grips on each other’s hand, not even when they spotted Pavlina Kirilova chatting with Ms. Rutherford, both whom turned toward them as they approached.

They stopped when they were about four meters from the two women. Annie turned to Kerry. “Watch my luggage?”

“I got it.” He nodded towards her mother. “Go on.”

“Thank you.” Annie quickly covered the rest of the distance and threw her arms around her mother. “Mama—”

“Dobre doshŭl u doma, Anelie.” Pavlina hugged her daughter tight. “Mnogo mi lipsvashe.”

Annie looked up, smiling. “Az propusnakh Papa i ti sŭshto—”

While the Kirilovas were reuniting, Ms. Rutherford strolled over to her charge. “Welcome back, Kerry.”

“Thank you, Ms. Rutherford.” He spent a few seconds appearing sheepish. “I guess I’m glad to be back.”

“Hum.” She patted his cheek. “There are more than a few of us happy to see you home. And I’m certain your parents want to see you as well.”

“Yeah—at least for a few minutes.”

She leaned closer and allowed her voice to drop to a whisper. “Let’s try to keep a positive attitude. Now isn’t the time to sink into despair.” She lay a hand upon a shoulder. “Yes?”
Erywin appeared at his side with Helena behind her. “Listen to her, Kerry. She’s looking looking out for you.”

Ms. Rutherford smile. “I am.”

“I know this as well.” Pavlina and Annie joined the three women gathered around the young boy. “How are you, Kerry?”

 

The Kirilovas have a nice little reunion while Ms. Rutherford comes over and welcomes him home and gives him a little encouragement not to get down on himself without reason.  He’s worried about what’s coming next, and who can blame him?

Now even Annie’s mom is getting in on the act–

 

“I’m fine, Mrs. Kirilovi.” He smile, happy that Annie’s mother was actually concerned about his well being.

She seemed pleased with the answer. “Did you enjoy the rest of the school year?”

“Oh . . .” He glance over to Helena and Erywin before looking at Annie. “It was certainly a lot different from last year.”

“Just wait until next year: the C Levels tend to be even more difficult than the B Levels.” She wrapped an arm around Annie’s shoulders. “I’m quite certain you’ll both do better than expected.”

Annie looked over and up. “I certainly hope so, Mama.”

Kerry had to work at not laughing at Annie’s comment. “Where’s Mr. Kirilov? I thought he might be here.”

“He’s in Canada, believe it or not; Canadian Grand Prix is this next weekend, and his team is doing some testing in Montreal.” She looked at Annie. “He should be arriving home in about thirty minutes.”

“I understand, Mama.” A moment of sadness passed between Kerry and her. “We must be going—”

“But not just yet.” She released Annie and motioned towards the other three women. “I need to confirm a few things with your instructors about your ‘lunch dates’ this summer, and I think Ms. Rutherford should be a part of this as well. It shouldn’t take long.” Pavlina stepped away from the group. “Ladies, I think it’s quieter over this way . . .”

 

The date on the Canadian Grand Prix is correct:  it happened 9 June, 2013, the second Sunday after Annie came home from her B Levels.  And this is the first hint that things are going to be harder in the following school year, though at this point there’s no reason to believe it’s going to be that way.

Now, what is Mama Kirilova discussing?  Probably not much, but the kids pick up on this right away–

 

While all four women huddled together about five meters away, Annie slipped up next to Kerry. “That was nice of Mama.”

The smile on Kerry’s face found its way to his eyes. “She’s giving us a change to really say goodbye.”

“Yes.” A crestfallen look came over her face for a moment. “I know we’ll see each other in a few weeks, but—”

“I know.” He slightly lowered her head. “I don’t want to leave you.”

“I don’t, either.” She looked down for a moment. “I will miss you ever second you’re away, my mlechna banitsa.”

“And I will miss you, my malko sarmi.” He glanced over Annie shoulder to see if they we being watched, then looked upon Annie’s eyes and smiling face. “What?”

“If you’re going to kiss me, my love—” She grabbed the folds of his tee shirt. “Then kiss me.” She leaned in and kissed him slow and tenderly upon the lips. “After all, I am your wife.”

He chuckled after kissing her back. “About that—”

“I’m not ready to tell that to Mama. I’m certain she’d understand, but—” Annie shook her head. “Maybe in another year. Besides, it’s something I’d like you present for when that happens.”

Kerry instantly imagined him sitting with Annie and her parents, probably at a dinner, perhaps at her house. “I agree. And I’d like you present when we tell my folks as well.”
“Something else to plan for next year.” She pulled Kerry close once more. “I love you, Kerry.”

“I love you, Annie.” He held her by the shoulders as he leaned in and kissed her lovingly once more—

Annie.”

 

Yeah, Kerry:  you’re supposed to kiss your wife goodbye!  What’s wrong with you?  Also, you should get reminded probably, oh, once every day that Annie considers you guys married.  Then again, Kerry accepts that, so no big deal there, right?

But who caught these two in a kiss?  Only one person–or four:

 

They both broke their embrace and found Pavlina, Ms. Rutherford, and Helena and Erywin standing a few meters away. Annie acted as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. “Yes, Mama?”

“We must go.” She held out her right arm. “Dinner awaits.”

“Yes, Mama.” Annie gathered up her luggage and took a moment to touch Kerry’s face. “I’ll see you in three weeks—” She turned to the instructors. “Is that right?”

Helena shrugged. “About that long, yes.”

Annie let her fingers glide down Kerry’s cheek. “I will see you then.”

“I’ll see you then—my love.” He took her head. “And in my dreams.”

“Mine, too.” She moved next to Pavlina and gave Kerry a small wave before they walked off and vanished into the terminal crowd.

Helena and Erywin waved to Kerry as Ms. Rutherford took up position on his right. “Take care, Kerry.” Erywin gave him a warm smile. “See you in a few weeks.”

“Take care Kerry—” Helena offered a smile and a nod as she took Erywin’s hand. “Have a good summer.”

“I will. Thank you both.” He waited until they both vanished among the Berlin crowd before turning to Ms. Rutherford. “At last: just you and I.”

“Yes, it is.” She motioned them forward with a nod. “Shall we?”

He gave a nonchalant shrug. “Why not?”

They were about twenty seconds into their stroll when Ms. Rutherford offered an observation. “You’re better than last year.”

“You mean I’m not an emotional wreck.” He glanced over with a smile. “It’s okay. I was a blubbering mess last year.”

“And you’re not sad now?”

“I’m sad, it’s just—” He touched his heart. “That part of Annie you told me about is right here, and I know a piece of me is with her. There’s a hurt, but—” He remembered Eyrwin’s words from a year and a half ago. “It’s a good hurt.”

“I can hear it a little in your voice.” Ms. Rutherford slowed her pace. “Do you want a minute before we go on?”

He closed his eyes for a second as the emotions he tried admitting weren’t there began to welling upwards. “It might not be a bad idea.” He stared off into the distance. “Given what’s going to happen in the next thirty minutes, it’s better to have a good cry now than later . . .”

 

Annie gets busted and just blows it off like it’s no big deal.  Everyone says their goodbyes and leaves Kerry with Ms. Rutherford.  And Annie vanishing into the crowd of Terminal A is the last we see of her this novel:  she won’t show again until she opens the first scene of the next novel.  Kerry’s not a “blubbering mess” as he was last year, though he’s letting Ms. Rutherford know he’s probably going to need a moment to have a cry.  For he’s only a quick jaunt away from Cardiff–

Yes, the end is just about here.

Now to get Kerry home for that most important meeting . . .

Back to Berlin: The Almost Final Farewells

It’s Penultimate Scene Time and the living is easy.  Or so I imagined before I blew out the only light bulb I had in the house and had to use a few of the light in the apartment to get around.  It wasn’t that bad, but it was a lot dimmer than I usually have in the joint.

 On the other hand, it sets the mood perfectly if you wanna be goofy and work on your heart hands display.

On the other hand, it sets the mood perfectly if you wanna be goofy and work on your heart hands display.

The flight is over, and my kids are on the ground, more or less, out of their seats and ready to take the last few steps to the terminal.  But while they are ready, they are hardly willing–

 

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

Outside the plane the sun was setting and twilight would soon come to the city of Berlin. None of that was of concern to Kerry: at the moment he was standing by his luggage not far from their seats in the nose of the A330-300 and waiting with Annie as they watch the other students file out of the aircraft and head down to the walkway to Gate A10 of Terminal A of Tegel Airport.

Neither Annie or he were in a hurry to leave the aircraft. Once they were out on to the walkway it was a thirty second stroll to the terminal, where Annie’s mother and Ms. Rutherford were waiting for them. Once they were with them they would likely have another couple of minutes together, and like that—poof. They’d go their separate ways and not see each other again for—well, not the entire summer as they had expected last year, but a few weeks would pass before they could spend half a day together having lunch, strolling through London, and missing each other completely.

This was one of those moments when Kerry wished he could go home with Annie and spend the summer living out of her lake house, though he knew that dream was impossible.

 

I know what you’re thinking:  why doesn’t Kerry go spend the summer with Annie?  Just tell Ms. Rutherford he doesn’t want to go home and head for the mountains of Bulgaria, right?  One, it doesn’t work like that:  unless The Foundation thinks his parents might just kill his ass the moment he outs himself, he still has to go home and tell his folks the true.  And Two:  if you were Annie’s mom, would you want The Ginger Hair Boy of your daughter’s dreams sleeping four hundred meters away from your child?  While she might trust them not to do, um, things, maybe she doesn’t want Annie out there playing sucker face with her boyfriend all the time.  “Mama, I’m going out to the lake out to, um . . . work on spells.  Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do.”  Mama Kirilova isn’t stupid, you know.

Right now they are siting at Gate A10, which is right below, in the lower center of the picture, where the plane closest to the center line is parked.

From one international terminal to another.

From one international terminal to another.

And I got to use my neat astronomy program as well to see what the sky was like–

Even left the date and time in place to prove I've in the right space/time coordinates.

Even left the date and time in place to prove I’ve in the right space/time coordinates.

Strangely enough, the first paragraph had me setting the time about an hour later, cause I wrote in the first paragraph that it was almost dark outside and the light were doing a great job of holding back the darkness–and then I thought, “I should check the sky, just to be sure.”  And . . . I needed to rewrite that first paragraph, ’cause I would have looked stupid if I’d left that line in place.  And I don’t want to look stupid.

Now that all the geographical stuff and reasons for Kerry going home are out of the way, let’s see what my kids are about to do–other than be sad, that is:

 

The last few students deplaned as Kerry looked down at the floor. “About time to go.”

“Yes, it is.” Annie hooked her arm around his. “You know what to do, my love?”

He nodded. “Don’t cry in front of your mother, and write to you: not type, but write by hand.”

She stood before him and kissed his lips. “You are too good to me.”

He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “You’re supposed to be treated good all the time, so I do.”

“Hey, you two.” They turned and saw Helena standing in the doorway to their section of the cabin. “You’re the last on the plane, and these people want to go home as well.” She motioned at them. “Come on, party’s over, let’s go.”

They headed out towards the entrance, Annie leading the way. Helena stepped out of the way so they could make their way into the plane’s entry area. Erywin stood on the other side of the open door. Annie sigh was full of sadness. “It is time to go, isn’t it?”

“’Fraid so, Deary.” Erywin walked over and gave Annie a gentle hug. “Don’t worry: we’ll get you back with your ginger boy soon enough.”

“And for that we thank you guys.” Kerry looked at Helena as he spoke. “You guys are doing so much . . .” He started to choke up as his emotions started getting the better of him.

Annie reached for his hand. “My love—”

Kerry quickly wiped his eyes and nodded. “I’m okay.” He took three deep breaths so he could regain his composure. “Really, I’m good: I won’t lose it.”

Helena wrapped an arm around Kerry and gave him a solid hug, then did the same to Annie. “Come on, let’s get the hell out of here.”

“Yes, let’s.” Erywin went over and gave Kerry a final hug. “You remember, if things go bad at home—”

“I won’t forget, Erywin.” He managed a slight smile. “I’m certain Ms. Rutherford won’t either.”

“She better not.” The Formulistic Magic instructor stepped to the side of her sorceress partner. “We’ll follow you out.”

Annie smiled at them. “Thank you.” She turned and held out her hand. “Shall we, my love?”

He took her hand. “Let’s do this.”

She nodded once. “Let’s.”

 

If there is anything you can say about The Mistress of All Things Dark and her Don’t Call Her the Potions Mistress partner, it’s that they do care for these two a great deal.  As has likely been noted, and even pointed out, Helena and Erywin are kind of the father/mother figures both kids are looking for, because for all her hard ass attitude Helena is quick to heap praise on Annie where it’s deserved, and for all her snarkiness and “don’t give a shit” attitude about most things, Erywin is the one who knows how to comfort Kerry and, yes, even show him affection.  If you don’t believe this “Come Live With Us, Kerry” move wasn’t Erywin’s doing to start, you’re not paying attention.

Sure, Helena agreed to it because she, too, likes Kerry, but she did it partially because Erywin probably wanted it, and partially because if she’d said “no”, she’d have had a pissed off little Bulgarian sorceress giving her stink eye.  And we can’t have that.  It’s the same with getting them together over the summer:  Helena knows how much it means to Annie, so . . .

So the goodbyes from the Favorite Instructors is over and the plane is finally empty.

All that remains are the last goodbyes . . .

In the Inn: Stated Feelings

Novel writing was had last night, and it was a bit more than I thought:  Six hundred an sixty-six words.  Oooooooh!  I’ve done that before, too, so maybe this isn’t a coincidence.  You never know, right?

I was jamming through some interesting music last night, as I got back to my Chicago pop roots while writing.  Started getting into some old Cheap Trick, particularly their 80s stuff, which is when they were writing some great pop while sounding a lot like early-60s Beatles.  Some of the stuff was successful, but one of my favorite songs was I Can’t Take It, which didn’t do well as a single or video, but was always a hit with the fans, probably because all of us have been in the position laid out the lyrics.  I also love the lyric progression during the song, which makes it difficult to sing if you don’t have music.

And the other I’ve got in my head this morning is If You Want My Love, which is probably their most Beatlesque song ever.  This is the alternate version of the song, which returns over four lines of lyrics before the ultimate fade out::

Yeah, I’ll probably have these stuck in my head most of the day, and at some point they’ll get added to Kerry’s song list.

As for Kerry–well, he’s learning that Erywin and Helena have made an offer to put him up should he get kicked out of the house by his parent, and now that we return from yesterday’s fade-out, we find it’s more than that:

 

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

 

“Thought—” Helena crossed her arms and looked satisfied. “I believe we’re your only choice.”

There was something about the certainly in Helena’s statement that caught Kerry’s attention. “What do you mean?”

“She means we have rigged the game slightly in our favor.” Erywin glanced at the women on either side of her before turning back to the young couple at the foot of the bed. “The afternoon of your birthday, while Annie and you were out flying, we—Helena, Deanna, and I—contacted your case worker, Ms. Rutherford—”

Deanna deftly cut in on the conversation. “Actually, we went to see her: we jaunted to London.”

Erywin gave her a quick nod. “Yes, that’s true. We met with her for about an hour, and Helena and I explained how we thought if your situation at home were to deteriorate, we wanted you to come and live with us.” The instructor looked down for a moment. “We have a guest room at the Woodingdean house that we’ve never used because, well, we don’t actually have guests stay over night: anyone who shows up doesn’t require an overnight stay.”

“I went as a fellow coven leader and counselor.” Deanna looked to the women on her left with a slight grin on her face. “I wanted to assure your case worker that neither Erywin or Helena were intent on showing you any favoritism at school, nor would having you live with them affect the way they’d instruct you in the future.” She chuckled. “Which we know they won’t, but it helped to have another person with the same status as Erywin tell this to your case worker.”

 

Here is appears that all three instructors left the school the afternoon of 3 May, 2013, jaunted to London to meet with Ms. Rutherford, and let her know that The Mistress of Formulistic Magic and the Head Sorceress would put up Kerry for how ever long he’d require, and oh, don’t even consider any other location.

And what is meant by “The Woodingdean house”?  That’s Erywin’s house in England, specifically her home within the nice confines of Woodingdead, a suburb of the city of Brighton and home to about ten thousand people who maintain a village-like atmosphere while being completely unaware there are a couple of witches living in their confines.  It’s a nice, quiet place to live, and one that probably matches both women’s demeanor when they’re away from the school.

Just when you think you wouldn't know where witches live--

Just when you think you wouldn’t know where witches live–

And if Erywin has a home, does Helena as well?  Yes, she does, down on the North Island of New Zealand outside the town of Ngongotaha, which is located just north of Rotorua.  The place is also, I’m told, home to a large Māori population, and the second most spoken language in the area is Te Reo Māori, or The Language of the Māori.  All of which fits right in with Helena’s background.

So how does Kerry feel about this?  About how you’d expect:

 

For several second Kerry was unable to say anything. He knew Erywin and Helena—and Deanna, for that matter—considered Annie and he to be more than just students, that they considered them friend and respected the fact that they never tried to take advantage of that friendship. But this seems to go beyond mere friendship . . . “I don’t know what to say, guys.” He struggled to keep his emotions in check.

Erywin came over and slipped her arm around the boy’s shoulders. “You’re with friends, Kerry: there’s no need to say anything. We know how you feel.”

“And we knew this news might be a bit overwhelming—” Helena allowed her arms to drop to her side. “Which is why we didn’t spring this on you at dinner.”

“The thing is, Kerry—” Erywin’s tone softened slightly. “—I’ve been though this myself. I had to leave home mid-way through the summer after my C Levels because it had become too dangerous for me to stay. It happens even now: there are a couple of your levelmates who aren’t going home because The Foundation is fearful of what might happen when they come out to their parents.” She squatted down so she could better see Kerry’s face. “The same could happen to you, and if it does we want you to end up with people who not only care for you, but will try to make the event less traumatic.” She gave his hair a quick tousle. “That soul mate of yours isn’t the only one who loves you, you know.”

 

Finally we have one of the instructors expressing something that sounds a lot like maternal affection for Kerry, and likely Annie as well–after all, who was it who hooked these two up for a London lunch at the beginning of the novel?  It’s been stated that Erywin probably sees a lot of herself in Kerry, or at least Helena does, and that they also see a lot of Helena in Annie.  It’s quite likely that Erywin would probably be a better mother towards Kerry that Kerry’s own mom, and who know?  Maybe we’ll see that one day.  Makes one wonder how he’s flourish if he were to move to that environment.

After that there’s just a show fade-out:

 

Kerry couldn’t hold back any longer. The moment he wrapped his arms around Erywin and began hugging her, the tears began flowing. Though he’d always suspected Erywin’s—and, as well, the other instructors in the room— care for Annie and he went beyond mere academic interest, this was the first time any of them professed such deep affection. “Thank you, Erywin. And you know—” He choked up for a few seconds. “I feel the same way for you—” He looked towards the other women in the room. “All of you.”

Annie stood next to Kerry and held him close. “As do I—” She gave him a kiss on the cheek and turned to the older instructors whom she loved nearly as much as the boy who was her soul made. “As I always will.”

 

And we leave that part of the adventure behind.  There is but one last scene in Chapter Thirty-four, and once that’s written we’re prepared to not only leave Salem behind, the the whole of North America as well . . .

In the Inn: Setup Options

I was pretty much a–well, I won’t say bad girl.  Tired girl, yes.  Mostly due to starting some allergy medication yesterday that had me wanting to lay down for a nap about one-thirty yesterday afternoon at work.  Which I finally did when I arrived home and after l ate.

"I'll have Kerry professing his darkest secrets to Annie here just as soon as I lift my nose off the 'V' key."

Summertime, and your medication has you on the nod.

I also had a TV recap run about twenty-eight hundred words, because I’m a wordy bitch, and when I make promises to recap, I keep them.  The good thing is that was the last one for a Sunday for most of the coming summer, so that day is now free.  Of course I won’t be writing much over the summer, so there’s that, too.

So by the time I got to noveling I was beat as hell.  I manage almost four hundred words, but that was it:  after that point I was ready for bed–which, of course, I didn’t reach until almost eleven-thirty.  But!  I did tell everyone who is coming to visit in their Inn by the Sea:

 

 

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

Annie expected to see Erywin enter the room, and she did—along with Helena and Deanna, the same instructors who came to the Sea Sprite with them last year. Helena looked around the room with a smile on her face as Kerry shut the door and moved back close to the bed. “I hope we weren’t interrupting anything.”

She sat on the edge of the bed and crossed her legs. “Nothing out of the ordinary.” She reached for Kerry’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Is there something with which we can help?”

Deann placed her hands in front of her, lacing her fingers together. “Actually, we’re here to see Kerry.”

“You’re here to see me?” He moved next to Annie and nearly put his arm around her shoulders before he stopped himself. “What for?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary.” Erywin took a step forward. “Actually, we’re here because of what’s going to happen tomorrow.” She lowered her head to clear her voice. “You’re aware of your options if things don’t work out at home after you come out?”

“I sure do.” Last Friday morning all the B Levels were summoned to the main conference room across from the Headmistress’ Office, the same place where Annie received her wings, and they were given an hour presentation on what to do if, after revealing their true nature and what they were really learning at school. “If things start to go sideways with the folks I’m to contact my case worker and tell them I need to be removed.” He raised his eyebrows for a second as he cocked his head to the side. “I mean, you were there—so was Deanna. So you should know.”

“Indeed I do.” As all coven leaders were present at the meeting headed by Isis and Trevor, Erywin knew exactly what Kerry and the other B Levels heard. “Therefor we want you to know that should things go ‘sideways’, as you say, and you are removed, you’ll be placed in another home—the home of more accepting witches.” She released a short sigh before smiling. “Helena and I have indicated that if you need to be placed in another home, we’d like to be your first choice.”

 

There you have it:  Kerry is getting an official invite from Helena and Erywin to come stay with them should he get kicked out of the house for being a witchy witch.  Which knowing his mom that might just happen.  All the hows and whys of this I’ll cover tomorrow–just let it be known, at least someone’s got his back and is looking out for his well being.

The Calm Before the Light: History and the Oncoming Girl

Needless to say I’m still suffering from the effects of this cold, but it’s not quite as bad as it was a few days back.  I’ve also been busy writing away:  four hundred words last night, and just over a thousand this morning, all because there’s somewhere I need to be a ten AM, so I’m under the gun just a bit to get this post out.  Sure, it’s just before eight right now, but I gotta get ready and put on makeup and–you know:  girl things need a-doing.

Maybe like a certain character in this story is going to discover one day.  But I get ahead of myself.

The part I started last night detailed a little of this history of this Bigender Gift, and what there is known about it and how it works.  It seems that, as Jessica hinted, this all deals with auras, in particular, a person’s aura that is changing not slightly, but considerably.  It’s at this point that what little everyone knows about this gift starts coming out–

 

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

Just as they’d planed that afternoon, Deanna handed this part of the discussion. “It’s true that everyone has one aura, but in the instance of those few who’ve developed the Bigender Gift, they have another aura—I suppose you could say it’s a sub-aura, something small and underdeveloped, but created at the time the person is born the same as the person’s regular aura.

“This secondary aura has continued to grow, but there’s an issue here: it needs to integrate itself with the primary aura and become part of the whole—and in order to do that, it seems the person’s mind undergoes some sort of realignment to allowed for this integration.”

Little of this made sense to Kerry, but it sounded as if everyone sitting across from him seemed to finally understand what was happening. “Why is there a realignment? Why do I have to get used to the idea?”

“Because of what change this new aura brings about.” Erywin shifted around in her seat, leaving a few moments for Kerry to prepare himself. “We only have six recorded instances of this Gift seen over the last three hundred years, and in each instance the secondary aura took on the aspect of a form from the opposite end of the physical gender spectrum. So, of the six, five were born female who developed auras with male aspects. The other, like you, was born male and developed—”

“A girl aura.” Kerry appeared pensive as he considered this news. “That’s why I’m seeing this girl in my dreams, right?”

“That’s right. She your mind’s way of taking what it knows about this new aura and giving it too you in a fashion you can try and understand.” Erywin glanced down at her feet for just a second. “This afternoon we perused some of the diaries of Lucyna Gorczynski, a Polish witch was first discovered to have this Gift in 1952. She had been writing about everything that had happened, and was happening to her, since she had her first dreams during the summer of 1946. She came forward with this information only after The Foundation discovered the existence of a second person with the Gift, an English woman named Kaity Caspersen who had been living as as a man off and on since 1943 on both coasts of the United States.

“Lucyna began handing over most of what she’d written down about her experience, and one of the things she mentioned were the dreams she had leading up to the Acceptance phase—”
Kerry rolled his eyes. “What do you mean by these phases?”

“In her diary Lucyna pointed out that she felt her dreams progressed in three phases. The first is Adjuration, which Deanna already mentioned: your mind’s appeal to accept the coming change. The second is Acknowledgment, where the person in question has what she called the ‘mirror dream’—finally seeing yourself as that other person and accepting that it’s going to happen—and then stating aloud that you this other person is you.” Erywin cleared her throat. “Two others who’ve had this gift have mentioned that part as well.

“And the last phase is Acceptance, where you have a last dream together with the manifestation that’s your secondary aura, and you allow your mind and body to initiate the change.” Erywin gave a slight chuckle. “Lucyna was big on alliterations.

 

There is Lucyna Gorczynski, she of the diaries that Erywin finally wanted to see.  In that one paragraph about how she came out due to the discovery of Kaity Capersen I had developed an entire history about how Capersen was discovered and why Gorczynski came out.  I may include it in this novel, or I may wait until the next to talk about that moment in time.  Needless to say, it’s interesting.

And so six other people during the last three hundred years.  How do I know?  You know how I know:

I have the time of my lines, that's how.

I have the time of my lines, that’s how.

There you see it starting in 1691 with Remy Durivage before moving into the 1700s and 1800s with Catrina Severo, Pesha Petrakis, and Tamae Miyazawa.  Then we’re heading into the Twentieth Century with Kaity Caspersen, Lucyna Gorczynskim, before finally, with only eight months left in the century, there’s the birth of Kerry and we pass on into the Twenty-first Century.

For something like this I had to know the information, just like I needed to know where certain parts of the school were built.  This is why I sometimes get crazy with the time line, and why I used them to help plot things out.  Just wait until I finish this novel and I show you how I figured out the B Levels . . .

But there’s still more history to come.  Now it is time to learn about these phases and what they mean–

 

“You’ve passed through the Adjuration and Acknowledgment phases—”

“What if I hadn’t, you know, said what was needed to be said after this dream?”

“Lucyna indicated she went through the dream three times before admitting she knew the identify of the boy in her dream. Another person with the Gift, Pesha Petrakis, indicated she went through the dream seven times before admitting to the true nature of this other, strange boy.”

The Phoenix finally spoke after several minutes of silence. “And if I hadn’t removed that block to your E and A, you’d find yourself stuck trying to verbalize the name of that girl.” She raised an eyebrow as she shrugged. “That would kinda suck.”

“Kinda?” Kerry snorted while shaking his head. “I don’t know about you.”

The spirit smirked. “Most people haven’t for the last three hundred years.”

He ignored The Phoenix and returned to the conversation. “What happens after this next dream?”

 

This is where I came up with the titles for this chapters–

Which I happen to have right here.

Which I happen to have right here.

I’d actually figured out these names before I started writing the first novel, so the Three A’s have been with me since about late 2012, early 2013.  And for obvious reasons I’ve kept these chapters under wrap for a long time, which always sort of sucks when you know you have to do something big, but at the same time you need to sit on it for a while.  Just like with the Big Time, which I’d started developing in 2011, and didn’t write about the very end of July, 2014.

Yeah, that’s how these things go.

Now that we know what happen, what’s going to happen next?  Well, I have the answer–

 

Coraline perked up. “I’ll take this—” She faced Kerry with a smile. “First, allow me to explain something that has us all a little excited. With the other six individuals who had this Gift, no one knew what had happened to them until after the fact. Since we know so little about how this gift works, you’re going to find yourself monitored a bit.” She held up her hand as Kerry appeared about to protest. “The Headmistress and I have already discussed this matter, and given your status as a minor we can keep monitoring as unobtrusive as possible. We’re not going to allow you to become a sideshow attraction, Kerry—I won’t allow that to happen. I’m going to see to it you’re protected, because no one has ever seen or monitored what you’re going through right now, nor have they had the opportunity to measure the upcoming events.

“What is coming, then? From what we understand you’ll have a last dream where full aura integration takes place. Then you wait for the next event, which is an involuntary transition—”

“Wait: what?” Kerry didn’t much care for the word involuntary.

“An involuntary transition. At some point in the next year you’ll go to bed one night as the person you are now, and wake up—” Coraline raised her right hand and shrugged playfully. “—as the other you. We don’t know about the first two people to which this happened, but the last four said they transitioned as early as sixty-three days after the last dream, and as late as two hundred and eighty-six days after their last dream. This is why we figure it happens within the period of a year.” She shrugged once more. “As stated, these so much about this Gift we don’t know, and you’re going to help us compile a lot of data on the subject.

“Your transitional form will be that of a biological girl. In a way it’ll be like Mimicking, but in many ways it won’t. With Mimicking, you copy the exterior of the other person’s physical aspect, but everything inside is still you, so even when you Mimicked those girls in Jessica’s class the other night, nothing inside you changed.

“This new form, however: it’s you outside and in. We already know what your exterior looks like—we’ve seen her.”

Annie’s eyes widened. “How?”

“On video recorded during Kerry’s gender Mimicking from last week.” Jessica glanced at the woman next to her. “Erywin spotted it when we were in the process of reviewing, and we discovered Kerry was filtering through this secondary aura before Mimicking the aura of his female subject. He didn’t even realize he was doing it—”

Erywin cut in. “And that process may have actually sped up getting into this previous dream.”

Not every day you go to bed as one person and wake up as another, but this is something Kerry’s gonna have to start living with, at least for the next year.  And before you ask:  yes, there are measures being put in place to deal with this should it happen while he’s back home in Cardiff.  That actually is dealt with in the next chapter.

But first, there’s a touchy little matter that Coraline needs to break to the Ginger Hair Boy . . .

 

Coraline nodded. “That’s entirely possible. Anyway, we’ve seen what she looks like—what you’ll look like. But what you need to understand, Kerry is that the changes won’t simply be external: they’ll be internal as well. When you are in that form you will be biologically female, and that means . . .”

Jessica leaned closer to Erywin and muttered softly. “Here it comes.”

She shot the transformation instructor a warning look. “Just wait—”

Coraline moved ahead hoping for the best. “Inside you’ll be just like us. Your body will produce estrogen instead of testosterone, so when you are in your female form for any amount of time you’ll notice it developing as would the body of any girl your age. Most importantly, however, is that you’ll have a working female reproductive system. This means you’ll have all the same equipment as all of us—a vagina, a uterus, and ovaries—and because of that, should you spend any time being a girl, you’ll develop a natural cycle; again, just like the rest of us, Annie included.” She sat back and waited for Kerry to understand the ramification of her comments.

He sat quietly for nearly ten seconds, blinking several times as he analyzed this new information. It was then that his eyes grew wider as he finally comprehended Coraline’s statement. “I’m gonna have a period?”

 

Don’t worry, Kerry:  Shark Week isn’t that bad.  Is it?  He may or may not ever know–

Because the rest of those ramifications come tomorrow.

The Calm Before the Light: Let’s Talk About Change

Let’s get the Report From the Sickness Ward out of the way first thing:  I felt like I was dying last night.  Really, work was a blur, and while I managed to stay awake all day and not fall asleep at my computer, the walk home hurt.  I couldn’t relax, I could sit right, I couldn’t lay down.  I was stuff and coughing up a lot of fluids.  Not a good time at all.

If I were younger and a ginger and had a real bed, this might almost be me.

If I were younger and a ginger and had a real bed, this might almost be me.

However, I did have a plan.  Everyone kept asking, “Are you going to see a doctor?” and the answer is always, no, they won’t do anything for you beyond telling you to rest and keep pounding down warm fluids.  So I stopped off to get some warm fluids:  specifically, a bottle of Rémy Martin VSOP cognac, which is my drink of choice when I’m looking to burn out a cold, and has served me well twice in the past.

"$120 for a doctor visit, $40 for a bottle of Rémy. Here's to getting well!"

“$120 for a doctor visit, $40 for a bottle of Rémy. Here’s to getting well!”

While I won’t say I’m one hundred percent, my nose is drained and I don’t feel the fluids building in my upper chest like I did last night.  There’s still a bit of a cough, but nothing like I had last night, and more importantly, I slept, so this morning I feel alive than I did throughout the rest of the week.

The downside to all this is try as I might, the six hundred and fifty words I wrote last night were a hell of a struggle, and I didn’t attempt to push past that number once it was obtained.  However, I did get that party started, and here’s what became of that:

 

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

All eyes shifted towards Erywin, who had been chosen ahead of time to answer these questions. “First off, let me explain why I’m here. Because of some—concerns about the evasiveness of your answers regarding the last few dreams, I was asked to investigate whether or not there was a possibility you might be transgender, and that you were avoiding discussing the matter.”

He cleared his throat. “I thought that might be the reason you’re here.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you—”

“It’s okay.” Kerry waved his hand as if pushing the idea away. “I understand. Did you find anything? I mean—that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”

“It is, indeed.” She leaned against the arm of her chair, making herself more comfortable. “I’ve examined what you’ve already told Coraline and Deanna, and I’ve seen the video of you performing your csigender transformation—and that video is what put on the track to the truth about what’s happening to you.

“First off, something you’re probably eager to hear: you’re not transgender. Based upon what I’ve seen of the physical evident, and what we’ve learned since this afternoon—and are learning now—my report is going to indicate there’s no need to proceed with discussions along those lines.

“However . . . that doesn’t mean there isn’t a gender-related issue to discuss.”

It was impossible for Kerry not to appear confused. “If I’m not trans, then what?”

Erywin meshed her fingers and pressed her thumbs together as she often did when she was about to make an important point. “You have a Gift.”

 

Of all the questions that’s hit me in the last couple of week, the biggest one has been, “What’s going on with Kerry?”  And since I’m like George R. R. Martin and I have to sit back and watch others pull out their hair while their favorite characters put through hell–and that’s the only thing I share with that gentleman–I couldn’t say a word about what I’ve known for like–three years?  Probably.  Maybe longer, because the first time I really starting thinking about this was late summer, 2011, and that’s closer to four and a half years.  Yeah, I’ve been sitting on this that long.

So he has a gift, and it’s one that keeps on coming apparently.  And here it is in part:

 

A few seconds passed before he understood the meaning of Erywin’s last word. “A Gift? I already have a Gift.”

“It’s not unheard of for someone to have two Gifts, though it doesn’t happen that often. But since Deanna was able to put the last piece in place—”

Annie spoke this time. “You mean this mirror dream?”

“Yes, that. Evidence we received early this afternoon indicates you have one of the rarest Gifts ever cataloged.” She paused to allow Kerry to ready himself for what was about to come. “You have the Bigender Gift.”

His eyebrows slowly rose from a combination of surprise and confusion. “What’s that?”

Erywin glance towards Jessica, who picked up the conversation. “You understand how Mimicking works?”

He nodded. “Yes. I interface my aura with that of another person and then use that information to change my physical form to match theirs.”

Coraline chuckled. “He sounds like you, Jess.”

Her smile was uncharacteristically pleasant. “He’s a great student with a great instructor.” She turned back to Kerry. “As you’re likely aware, your aura is not only a reflection of both your mental and emotional states, but it’s the astral aspect of your aspect in the Physical Realm. When you both begin your studies of Astral Magic you’ll discover that someone well versed in both transformation and astral magic can adjust a person’s astral aspect and have that change reflected in their physical aspect. In short, you change a person’s aural form, you may be able to change their physical form.

“The Bigender Gift does that while also acting a bit like being a Mimic as well. It’s really nothing more than altering your physical aspect—your body—based upon the selection of a astral aspect. As you change that form, your physical form changes as well—”

 

Did you get all that?  This is one of the reasons that the whole Mimicking Gift was explained a couple of times during this novel, because it was sort of a setup for what was coming.  It’s also nice to know that some asshole witch who’s powerful enough to do both astral and transformation magic can alter your aura and your body, and leave the proper authorities–i.e. The Foundation, probably The Guardians–unable to tell if you really were changed or not.  Which should tell you a little about transforming people, in that if you body changes your aura probably doesn’t.

Also Jessica seem quite pleased that Kerry can ramble off that mantra about how Mimicking works and sound like a pro.  Jessica gets like this sometimes, and it’s one of the reasons some people feel she’s a bit stuck-up and tends to feel superior over others.  The fact that she can turn you into a potted plant is probably another reason everyone acts strangely around her, but I’m only guessing here.

One thing, however, and Annie figures it out right away ’cause she’s that kind of girl–

 

“Wait.” Annie was sitting quietly up until now, but something Jessica said didn’t seem correct. “Whose aura is Kerry accessing in order to change his physical form?”

The transformation instructor half turned her head in Annie’s direction. “His.”

“That’s impossible. If Kerry’s aura is a reflection of his physical aspect, how can accessing it affect his body? He only has one aura—”

The right corner of Jessica’s mouth curled upward into a wicked smirk. “At the moment.”

“What do you mean?”

 

Yeah, Jessica, what do you mean?  What’s the “at the moment” stuff, huh?  Well, if I’m feeling better tonight, you’ll find out tomorrow.

And so far, I feel good.  I knew that I should now, too.