Cold Facts Upon the Cold Tower

Though it feels like I wasn’t about to get a lot finished last night, I surprised myself–must as I’d done the night before.  For one, I had to drive out to the local car dealership to have a safety recall performed on my car, then I stayed for an oil and air filter change.  While there I managed to get a couple of hundred words written.

Yeah, the Lady Writer hard at work doing selfies between scribbling.

Yeah, the Lady Writer hard at work doing selfies between scribbling.

After getting out of there I got a quick bite on the road and headed back to the hovel to write seven hundred or so words to get my total to just a little nine hundred twenty-five.  Not a bad time for a scene that I had a lot of trouble starting.

It’s Yule, and that means it’s time to get the kids out of the school and back home to the parental units.  This means Annie and Kerry are getting split up–again!–and they have to do nice holiday things.  For Annie this means hanging with her parents and probably getting, I don’t know, the book Twenty Ways to Kill People Who Piss You Off, while Kerry will probably stay in his room worried his mother is going to ask him if he’s still masturbating before warning him that girls–like The One Who Writes–have ways to drive boys going through puberty crazy.  I don’t know, maybe she’ll ask Kerry if Annie makes a mean milkshake.

But that’s in the future.  Let’s deal with the now–

 

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

It was just after twenty-one when Annie and Kerry touched down on the viewing platform that ran around the upper level of Observatory Tower. Kerry brought his broom to a light touchdown just inside the open dome, while the free-flying Annie soared over his head before setting down about two meters away. While Kerry placed his broom inside his private Hammerspace, Annie headed for the locker where the blankets and heavy comforters were kept. She returned with two comforters as Kerry finished setting up a two-person recliner where they could look outside.

Annie pulled a couple of small pillowed from her Hammerspace and set them on the recliner before sitting down. Kerry waited for her to settle in and get comfortable before joining her. Together they pulled one of the comforters over them, keeping the other one in reserve in case they grew chilled. After only a minute they were comfortable and warm, pressed shoulder-to-shoulder under their blanket.

Normally the sky over the school was clear because of the enchantment found in the defense screens that bore through the light pollution surrounding Cape Ann. With tomorrow the beginning of Yule Holiday, that enchantment was shut down until student returned to school, so rather than looking up into a totally dark sky, Annie and Kerry saw the lights of Rockport and Gloucester reflecting off the low winter clouds slowly moving in from the Atlantic.

The couple lay under their cover holding hands in silence. Since meeting up in Berlin on 25 August they’d remained together for all but one night and day, and now, almost four months later, they would separate and return home for the holidays. Their mood this time was different: where as the year before Annie faced her return with stoic grimness and Kerry found it almost impossible to keep the depression of being away from his loved one for two weeks, this time they’d exchange a couple of letters over the holidays, and be back in each other’s arms in another two weeks.

Though they didn’t want the separation, it was something they would survive. And the return would be that much sweeter.

 

So the kids are off to the Observatory:

Remember this place?

Remember this place?

And if you look closely, you’ll see two figures standing out on the Viewing Platform–probably my kids thinking about going up there to hang out for the night.  Which is exactly what these two are gonna do.  It makes you wonder if anyone else ever thinks about heading up to the open dome to hang out, and so far we’ve not seen anyone, but that doesn’t mean one of the reasons the observatory dome is open when nothing is going on is because they know this can be a popular hangout–if you have a way of flying up to the dome.  Which both my kids totally have.

I just realized that I do need to indicate how they’re dressed.  It’s only a little above freezing outside, which means they’re in their winter coats and sweaters and jeans, and in Annie’s case thick socks and boots.  Yeah, can do that tonight.

With them snugly under the comforter, their minds begin to drift and wonder . . .

 

Annie finally rolled to her left and kissed Kerry’s cheek. “What are you thinking about, my love?”

“You.” He kissed her back, only on the lips instead of the cheek. “My little sarmi at home in the snowy mountains of Bulgaria—” He slid his left arm over her body and held her close to him. “All alone.”

She chuckled. There was something ridiculously romantic about being called a little cabbage roll, though she wondered if anyone but her mother would understand the feeling . . . “I won’t be completely alone: I’ll be with my family.”

“True: you’ll have them.” He stared into her deep, hazel eyes. “I wish I could be there.”

“You could.” Annie adjusted her position so she wasn’t looking at Kerry cross-eyed. “I could ask my parents if you could visit.”

“It’d be too much trouble; I’m not out yet, remember?” He referred to the fact that his existence as a witch remained unknown to his parents. “I think it might be difficult convincing them that your parents want to fly me out of London during the busiest time of the year—” He rubbed his cooling nose against hers. “—just so I can visit a girl to whom I write .”

She giggled. “You do more than write.”

“I know. But they’d wonder what was up if I was only there for a couple of days.”

“Humm.” She tapped the fingers of her right hand against his side. “Well, for one, my father can afford to fly you down because he could—”

“I know.”

“And two—why do you think it’d be only a couple of days?”

 

I just has this conversation yesterday with one of my readers, who obviously is dreamwalking me or something, because this is one of the things that’s been going around in my head for a while–if Annie and Kerry could hook up during Yule Holiday, would they?  As Annie indicates, it’s not a problem for Papa to look as if he’s flying the boy down for the holiday–if he wanted to, he could probably ask the F1 team to bring him down on the company jet, which they could if they wanted to make it look like Kerry was traveling Normal Style.  In reality he’d just jaunt right to the house, and leave the jet to fly off to wherever.

So, yeah, I’ve thought about this for a while.  And Kerry, ever the realist, has as well–

 

The revelation that Annie would invite him to stay in Bulgaria for more than a few days surprised him. He knew she was used to getting what she wanted, but convincing her parents to let a boy they had only heard about second-hand was something he didn’t think she could manage. Besides . . . “Even if you got your parents to agree, I think my would say no.”

“Not even if you told them your girlfriend is rich?” Annie began grinning manically. “Or at least is the member of well to do family?”

“I thought you didn’t like to tell people you or you’re family has money?”

“I wouldn’t tell your parents—” She barely touched his cheek. “You would.”

Kerry considered the possibility for about five second. “While a tempting officer . . .” He shook his head. “I can’t do it, Darling.”

“Why not, my love?”

“My parents . . . I know them, and while throwing money around got them to send me to school, the moment I start mentioning money and a ‘rich girlfriend’, they’re gonna wanna know more about you and your family, and—” He slowly rubbed her back and sadly gazed back into her darkening face. “I still gotta keep the witch thing hidden for now.”

She wanted to argue that he was wrong, but in a moment Annie saw what Kerry was doing: He’s protecting my family and me. It’s not that he wants to be miserable, that’s that he doesn’t want us in trouble with The Foundation. She pressed her face against his. “I understand, my love. You’re being selfless.”

“I wish I wasn’t—” He brushed his lips against her cheeks. “I’d rather be with you.”

“Yes, well—” She pulled her head back revealing a huge smile. “One day you’ll visit for the holiday. One day soon. I promise.”

 

Kerry’s already anticipating problems with nosy parents, and he’s also likely wondered if Annie’s parent really would want him on the homestead for the holidays.  He could just see them now:  “So Kerry’s here for a couple of days–oh, the rest of the week?  And where is he going to stay?  The lake house?  Your house, one you sneak off to all the time, Annie?”  In all seriousness, now that Annie has kind of admitted she likes sleeping next to Kerry, how long before Annie gets tired of sleeping in her bed in the main house and wanders down to the lake house to see if Kerry is in any need of cuddling?

Not long, me thinks.

Let’s also face it:  Kerry’s parents are a bit dickish, and they’d want to speak with Annie’s folks and know more about them, and start wondering why they live up in the mountains away from everyone else, and why they built a house for their nine year old daughter, and what are their daughter’s intentions for their son, and . . . it would likely get messy, because they’d just be super pains in the asses for everyone.

As much as it pains Kerry, he knows getting away for the holidays isn’t something that going to happen in the next week.  However, that doesn’t mean they can’t talk about those occasions–and what they’re going to do for the current holiday.

I mean, there's plenty of room to do all that.

I mean, there’s plenty of room to do all that.

And this is when you’re going to find out some interesting, fun facts about Kerry’s Little Sarmi . . .

The Girl With the Family Secrets

It was an interesting after-work situation yesterday, only because I did something I rarely do, which is venture out into public.  I was out because I had to pick up a book–yes, I still read–and then it was over for dinner.  However, the internet at my local Panera wasn’t working, so all I could do is write.  Damn it all, as they say, are you trying to make me productive?

It was a good thing there wasn’t an internet, because I cranked out nearly six hundred words in about twenty five minutes.  Ah, to be back in the old zone.  It was a good feeling.

 

 

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

“A little.” He nodded his head back and forth. “Mostly, though, I used to do computer racing.”

“I’m sorry?”

“A few years ago I got a racing program for my computer. It was really more of a simulation for grand touring cars—”

Annie couldn’t help but grin. “FIA-GT.”

“You know that?”

“Oh, yes; I know that. Go on.”

Kerry wanted to ask how she know about that particular series, but decided to tell Annie his story. “I have a steering wheel at home that I plug into my computer—gear shifter and foot peddles, too , so using the program was as much like driving the car as possible. The tracks were modeled perfectly on real courses, so when you raced at, say, Spa, it felt like you were really racing there with other drivers.”

“Did you race there?”

“Spa?”

“Yes.”

He nodded. “Yeah, that was one of my favorites. I did the twenty-four hour endurance race there a few times.”

This time Annie chuckled. “I know all about that one.”

How do you know about that?”

Like she’s going to tell you, kid.  Actually, you’re going to find out in just a bit.

This part was really easy to put together, because Kerry is speaking from the writer’s experience.  I used to do a lot of racing on my computer, using my GTR2 racing simulation game.  I also had the same wheel set up he had, which is how he know it was like driving a race car.

Ah, there you are!  Remember all the laps we put in before I wore you out?

Ah, there you are! Remember all the laps we put in before I wore you out?

That was my rig right there.  I wore out the gear shifter, and because I was unemployed at the time it went belly up, I didn’t use the rebate for the wheel to by a new one.  Which is probably a good thing, because I drove thousands of lap on that game.  Remember Kerry saying he did the twenty-four hour endurance race at Spa?  I did two.  The first one was in the rain and took 550 laps to complete.  The second one was in good weather and I managed 600 laps.  I didn’t drive both of them in twenty-four hours straight.  That’s insane.

He tells Annie about how racing was a challenge to him.  It wasn’t recklessness; it was about being good at what you do and having your car in one piece at the end of the race.  And he talks about setting Emma up:

 

“She threw a couple of blocks at me in the north part of the course. I figured out that she was trying to throw me off, to get me upset, so I’d do something dumb and lose ground to her. So . . .” His grin turned positively ornery. “I set her up on West End, and when she threw a block on me in Sunset—” He demonstrated with his hands how he got around Emma. “She wasn’t thinking about how this course is three dimensional. So I got her.”

Annie giggled and almost applauded. “I’m impressed. That’s a good thing you did there.”

He looked off to his left and scoffed. “Then again, if I hadn’t gotten in front of her, she wouldn’t have crashed into me.”

She gave his hand a stronger, lingering squeeze. “If you decide you want to race, you’ll quickly discover these things happen.”

“Is that what happened with your dad when he was here?” Annie grew still and quiet, though she didn’t turn her eyes away. “Professor Salomon told me a while back your dad used to race here, and Nurse Coraline told me the same.” He quietly swallowed, clearing his throat. “Does he still do that?”

“You could say that. He still races PAVs now and then, but . . .” She took his hand in both hers. “My father is Victor Kirilov; he races in the Formula One series. He also raced in FIA-GT for a while, which is why I knew about that.” She slowly breathed in and out. “The team he drives for is owned and run by The Foundation. They de-engineer super science technology and test it on their cars, so it can be used on Normal vehicles.”

 

So there it is:  it’s out.  Annie’s finally admitted that Daddy’s a big deal.  Of course Kerry is confused by the name.

 

“Oh.” Her smile was soft and enchanting. “That’s how it is with Bulgarian names. My family name is Kirilovi, with an ‘I’ at the end. My father’s name is the masculine version of the family name, which removes the final ‘I’. My mother’s name, and mine, are the feminine version of the name, with an ‘A’ at the end—hence ‘Kirilova’.” She leaned back slightly, hoping she hadn’t confused Kerry too much. “Do you understand?”

He nodded slowly. “It’s sort of like with Russian names.”

“Yes, something like that.”

“I get it.”

 

Clever boy.

The scene finishes with Annie’s true apology.  Sure, she was mad, but her real reasons for seeing Kerry tonight are as such:

 

“That’s okay; I understand—” He looked up as the lights in the ward flashed twice. “Is that your two minute warning?”

Annie was looking up as well. “Gretchen is letting me know my time here is almost over.” She took her time lowering her gaze, little by little, until she once more settled into his deep green eyes. “There’s my apology. I won’t be mad at you for the things you want to do, or at least try. I won’t ever tell you what to do or try either, Kerry. I can offer suggestions, or give advice, but you have to gain these experiences on your own. I’m never going to be that girlfriend who tells you what you have to do, what you must do, and what you can never do.”

She scrunched up her eyes and shook her head. “I know you like to fly, and there’s a fair chance you’ll want to try racing. And . . .” She tightened her grip on his hand. “I love flying with you, and though it might scare me horribly, I’ll watch you if you end up racing.” She bent over and kissed his hand. “I’ll never try and keep you from being the person you’re meant to be.”

 

And there you have it:  the real reason Annie’s there.  To let him be himself, she has to let him be himself.  Of course, there’s also something else going on here, because a while back she confessed to the School Seer that there was a lot more going on than meets the eyes.

Something I’m going to write about tonight.

They’ve got a few minutes before Gretchen kicks them out to get things said . . .

You are getting a lot bigger, you know that?

You are getting a lot bigger, you know that?