Finally Settling In: The Resolution

Upon arriving home last night I found myself in a position where I had to take care of business before getting down to the other business of writing.  So, it turns out, by the time I began writing I had a little over a half-hour before American Horror Story:  An Hour of Shit aired.  What’s a girl to do, then?  Voice Recognition, which is becoming my go-to writing.

In about a half-hour I scratched out five hundred and one words and not only finished the current scene, but Chapter Four as well as I’d forgotten it only had three scenes.  That mean when I start up tonight–well, we’ve worry about tonight in a bit.

Right now, let’s see how Annie handles Kerry’s worry.  And as you might expect, she does exactly what you know she’d do–


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


Annie’s eyes widened with surprise. She’d never thought of Kerry as being anything but loving, yet here he was worried that he was going to turn out to be an unloving, incapable of affection giving, father.  Suspected, however, that something was bothering him that lay far deeper than a dream.  I’ve never known him to be capable of anything but love. For him to imagine that he might not be able to show affection to our children tells me something else is bothering him.

“Oh no, my love.” She turned toward him and held left hand between hers.  “Don’t ever think of yourself that way. It isn’t possible that you’ll ever be anything like your parents.  It can’t ever happen:  I won’t allow it.”  She leaned in and kissed him gently on the cheek.  “I know you’re capable of great affection, my love: you show it to me all the time. Because that’s how you are, full of love and affection.”

She move closer and snuggled against him.  “Just because your parents are cold and indifferent to you doesn’t mean you’re going to turn out the same way, my love. our home will be warm caring and affectionate, and filled with a tremendous amount of love.” Annie raised Kerry’s hand to her lips and planted a warm kiss upon the back.   “While I won’t allow you to be that way, my love, I don’t believe for one moment that I’ll need to do anything to remind you:  you’ll simply know.”  She chuckled as she rested her head against his shoulder.  “You already know how to act better; you already know how to love.  All we now need are children to prove I’m right.”

Kerry laughed along with Annie as the meaning of her statement hit the both. He sniffed back a few tears as he wiped his face with the back of his hand. “I guess that’s true. It’s just…” He cleared his throat trying to clear the congestion. “I don’t know anything about raising kids.”

Annie answered in a deadpan tone. “Well, of course you don’t; you’re only thirteen.”

This time Kerry laughed even harder. “Listen to the expert.”

“Not yet, I assure you.” Annie gave him one more kiss and then stood. “Now that we have that out of the way, are you interested in doing something?”

“With you?” Kerry nodded. “ Always. What do you have in mind?”

“First, we need to put our things away. Then I’d like to freshen up a little getting in touch with Penny and Alex.”

He nodded toward his backpack. “I’ve got Penny’s number on my phone—”

“And I have Alex’s on mine. All we have to do after we contact them is call down to the front desk and find out which room Alex is in.”

“Sounds good.” Kerry stood and moved in front of Annie. He took her hands in his. “And then?”

Annie smiled broadly as her gaze softened. “And then I believe time to introduce everyone to a Parisian lunch—”


I like to say that my witches grow up fast and these two are living that life.  Thirteen year old kids who are Normal are thinking about getting a new phone or some game they want to play when they get home from school:  mine are thinking about what sort of parents they might be once the baby witches arrive.  Of course, there aren’t any Normal thirteen year old kids currently booked into a hotel in Paris and sharing a room–at least not that we know of–so it’s established that my kids are working on a whole new level.  Man, being a teenage witch can be exhausting.  Imagine if these two were using time travel to get to class…

Chapter Four is done and I’m on to Chapter Five–

Pass it off, baby.

Pass it off, baby.

–and this new chapter has seen the addition of two scenes in the last week.  Why?  ‘Cause they were needed.  But if the first scene is any indication, it appears Annie and Kerry found all their friends–

Finally Settling In: The Worry

Well, yesterday was interesting as was the night.  Tonight will likely be even more interesting since last night I was asked to work the desk by the door and not only do my phone bank calls, but set up people coming in to do phone banking since I already know the routine.

I am The Gatekeeper: are you The Keymaster?

A photo posted by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

Yeah, I’m just full of comments, aren’t I?

Yesterday we saw Annie and Kerry check in, but at least Paris isn’t like the Hotel California and they’ll be able to check out after checking in.  And now Kerry is relating a dream he had of them where Annie is in–how do I say it?  In a family way?  But there’s more–


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


“Really?” Annie was somewhat happy that Kerry wasn’t looking up as he spoke, because he couldn’t see the surprise she knew her face registered. This is the first time he’s ever mentioned us having children. I’ve brought it up a few times, but he’s only spoken of it after I have. “What happened in your dream?”

He looked up and alternated his glances between the wall directly in front of him and Annie. “We were going out someplace, I’m pretty sure of it. I know I was wearing something nice, maybe a suit: I’m not sure. You were wearing this metallic blue dress—it was gorgeous.I also noticed that you had shoes to match.” He chuckled. “I caught that right away.

“Anyway, I’m in a bedroom fixing my tie and you walk in. You were putting earrings in and you walked right up to me, so I couldn’t help but notice—” Kerry placed both hands in a semicircle about eight centimeters from his own belly. “You had a bump.”

Annie couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “A baby bump.”

Kerry nodded. “Yeah. I have no idea how far along you were, but there definitely was—” He placed his left hand on Annie’s belly. “You had one of our little witches in there.”

She seemed pleased with this news. “And how did I look?”

He finally turned to look at Annie and when he did, there was a light film of tears in his eyes. “You were beautiful: you’re always beautiful.” Kerry turned away as he sniffed. “I don’t think there’s anything that could happen to you, or anything that you would wear, that would make me see you as anything but beautiful.”

Whenever Kerry became emotional like this, Annie found it impossible not to fall even further in love with him. She knew that she was the center of his world just as he was a center of hers, but no matter how many times she heard Kerry describe her in various glowing endearment, whenever he described her appearance something inside her heart seemed to seize and she grew light-headed. Just as I want to hear him say everyday that he loves me, I love it when he tells me that I am beautiful.

There was something about his crying, however that bothered her. She touched his chin and turned his face toward her. “My love, what’s wrong?”

Kerry cleared his throat twice and sniffed back tears once before answering. “Annie, do you think—” He sniffed once more. “—do you think there’s a chance I’ll treat our children the way my parents treat me?”


Notice how Annie is really kinda chill about the idea that one day she’s not only going to be a wife but a mother as well?  Then again, she decide she wanted to get married about the time she was six, so why should we be surprised?  Once more you have to wonder where this is leading…

"Hey, Kerry?  This book on visions says dreaming about your girlfriend being pregnant before you marry is...  Hey, do you like big families?"

“Hey, Kerry? This book on visions says seeing your girlfriend pregnant before you marry is a sign of… Do you like big families?”

I’m sure Annie will be a lovely person while pregnant and never once turn into a raving she-devil full of crazy hormones lashing out one moment and crying the next.  I also gotta wonder if she’ll be given something to keep her from using magic during this time because damn, that could be bad.

Lastly however, Kerry is losing his shit over the possibility he’ll end up like his parent and turn into a cold, unfeeling person.  We know why he’s feeling this way but Annie doesn’t, so you can rest assured she’s gonna have something to say about this…

Finally Settling In: The Surprise

Last night, using voice recognition software and a bit of hand editing, I wrote nine hundred and sixty-four words for a scene, half of which you are getting today.  It still took about ninety minutes, mostly because I had to go back and edit as I went along, but it taught me a bit about what do when writing by spoken word and showed me how it’s really necessary to get your thoughts in place before you say something.  What was really nice was being able to rattle off twenty words in a row and have it down in the computer at about the same time I was finished speaking–yeah, you can’t beat that sort of efficiency.

Therefore it does look like Dragon is in the works for this computer.  I mean, almost a thousand words last night and all I had to do was talk?  Well, think and talk.  Well, think creatively and talk.  But you get the idea.

Oh, and also I spent about an hour doing research on something that concerns something Kerry will do during his C Levels.  Don’t worry:  it’s nothing dangerous.

But now let’s get these kids in their room and see what awaits:


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


Annie stepped about two meters into the room and stopped. She said nothing to Kerry until she heard the room door close. Before she spoke she sensed Kerry standing next to her. “Do you see this?”

Kerry set his luggage aside and looked about the room. “Yeah, I see this.” He glanced at Annie. “What does it mean?”

“I’m not certain.” Annie meant that, for she was rarely at a loss for words…

There was a queen size bed set against the middle of the wall.  To Annie’s left was the entrance to the bathroom.  Across the room, on Kerry’s right, were drawn gauze curtains hiding a set of double doors leading to an outside balcony.  The walls were painted a light beige, the ceiling eggshell white.  On either side of the bed where end tables with lamps; across from the foot of the bed was a large writing table, and above the table a flat screen TV was affixed to the wall.

Kerry spoke before Annie could utter a word. “Well, now we know what city we were flying into during our vision last year.”

“Yes, we do.” She left her luggage where she was standing and sat on the foot of the bed. “It’s not often I find myself a bit shocked, but…”

“But it’s not often you find yourself in the same hotel room that you’ve not only had a vision of, but dreamt about.” Kerry set next to Annie. “I gotta admit, I’m a bit freaked out.”

Annie didn’t want to consider herself, as Kerry put it, ”freaked out”, but she wasn’t certain how to process what she was before her. She lay her right hand on Kerry’s left thigh. “This certainly wasn’t what I expected to find upon checking into our hotel room; at least it wasn’t on my mind when I awoke this morning.”


Remember I said there would be a surprise awaiting them in Paris?  Surprise!  Yes, this looks to be the very room where Kerry seemed to help Annie remove her top after they flew into a city and the in one of their shared dreams where they woke up in a rather natural condition.  And while they’ve seen places in their visions and dreams, this is the first time they’ve visited a place they saw in a vision while at school–which is why Annie’s lake house doesn’t count, as that came about because of a dream she had before attending Salem.

Coming face-to-face with a place you’ve seen in your mind is a bit shocking and it’s not always easy to get past that moment.  But wait!  There’s more!


Kerry set his left hand atop Annie’s. “So does this mean our vision isn’t coming true during this visit, but our dream from last summer might?”

“I don’t think either will come true during this visit.” Annie turned her head enough that she could see Kerry without needing to turn her body. “I don’t believe that anything we don’t want to happen here will happen here.”

Kerry nodded. “It wasn’t like we were planning anything.”

Annie chuckled. “Do we ever plan anything?”

He followed with a chuckle of his own. “At least we don’t try planning anything.”

She sensed a touch of nervousness in her soul mate’s voice. “Is something the matter?”

“Yeah.” Kerry slowly looked about the room. “This reminds me of something.”


He looked down as he nodded. “The day I got my travel package—the same day I had the discussion with my mother—that night I had a dream. we were in it; we were in a bedroom.” He looked up at the television and sighed. “It was after we got married.”

Annie shifted her weight around so she was nearly facing Kerry. “Are you sure?”

“That we were married?”


“Um…” Once more he look down at the floor and this time he spoke in a low, soft voice. “You were pregnant.”


What?  Kerry’s dreaming of Annie with the bun in the proverbial oven?  Well, this is… interesting.  I wonder how Annie is going to take this news?

"I see nothing here about the care of little witches. Everything I wanted to know about babies, my butt."

“I see nothing here about the care of little witches. Everything I wanted to know about babies, my butt.”

I guess we’ll discover her feelings tomorrow.  Yeah, I’m sure of it.

The Setup to Settling In

Another late post because, what the hell, sometimes that happens.  Right now I have exhaustion sweats because I had only three hours of sleep last night and being awake for nine hours straight at this point–I got out of bed at 3:30–is putting a strain on me.  That also affected my ability to try and rush out a post early this morning because I was barely functioning.

I really hope I sleep well tonight.

Now, I managed to write a little after the massive blood bad aired on The Walking Dead, but I didn’t have Annie watch in horror as Kerry was air hammered over and over by some crazy witch–mostly because she’d kill any bitch who tried that in about ten seconds flat.  My Bulgarian Buttercup don’t play, that’s for sure.  But they are on their way up to their room and there’s a bit of interaction:


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


Annie followed Kerry up to the first floor and then to the second. They saw no one on the first floor, but heard someone walk by on the second as they climbed the stairs, though the person was gone by the time they reached the second floor landing. They paused as Kerry read the floor layout attached to the wall and got his bearings. She slid up next to him. “I remember—”

He looked over to his left. “Remember what?”

“I remember a boy who two years ago would have been out breath after climbing those two flights.” She took his hand and leaned towards him. “You’ve become much stronger.”

“Two years of climbing the stairs in the coven tower helps a lot.” Kerry pointed at the floor layout. “It seems our room is through that door there—” He pointed at the privacy door just beyond the stairs leading to the third floor. “—and all the way to the left.”

“Certainly nice and private.” Annie tugged on his hand. “Let’s get settled in.”

They headed through the door and to the left, walking down a short corridor. Their room was the last and only door on the left, which meant their room lay beyond. If they wanted privacy they had it: the room door closest to theirs was nearly five meters away and on the right side of the hallway, likely facing the street if Annie was correct.

Kerry stood before the door and held his key over the lock. “Should I do the honors?”

Annie rested her hands on the handle of her Louis Vuitton luggage. “You’re already there: wouldn’t make much sense for me to open the door.”

“No, it wouldn’t.” He slipped the card key into the lock and opened the door, holding it for Annie. “After you, Sweetie.”

She wiggled her nose and smile. “Thank you, my love.” Annie walked inside with Kerry right behind.


In case you’re wondering what that stair landing looks like, wonder no more:

I got this covered, yo.

I got this covered, yo.

Kerry would be right down there at the top of the stairs reading the evacuation route sign on the wall.  And Annie is right:  the A Level Kerry would have been huffing and puffing up the stairs, mostly because he would have needed to carry his luggage up the stairs.  Kerry is in much better shape these days due to all the walking and climbing they do at the school.

You also have to love that it’s pointed out that Annie has her Louis Vuitton luggage with her, because of course she does.  How soon before she buys a roll-on for Kerry so he doesn’t wheel around that junk he has.  Maybe when they’re older and pretending to be Normal people, Louis Vuitton will do a photo shoot with them and their old bags just to show they’ve used them all these year.  Though their old bags will probably still look brand new.  They must get them worked on all the time.  Must be.

So, they’re finally in their room.  Wonder what’s going to happen next?

The Beginning of the Return: Confidential Checkins

I know, this is late.  That’s because I was going to post this about an hour before heading off to three hours at the phone bank, but for some reason WordPress went belly up on me and ate my post.  This is why you’re getting afternoon entertainment.

First off, the scene is finished.  Wrote almost six hundred words last night and another almost six this morning and all is well with my kids now in Paris.

I know you believe me, but here's the proof.

I know you believe me, but here’s the proof.

This scene pushed the novel over fifty thousand words and it only took twenty-three days to write ten thousand words.  That’s only 434 words a day on average, but there are a few days here where I didn’t write, so in actuality I spent nineteen days writing, kicking the average up almost a hundred words more a day.  Lets hope the next ten thousand come faster.

Also, there’s something special about this excerpt.  I won’t say what it is until the end, but you’re seeing something here you’ve never seen before.  Just wait:  it comes right after my kids finish up there business.

Which starts now–


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


Kerry finally managed a warm smile. “Thanks, Mrs Kirilova.”

Pavlina gave the boy a quizzical look. “For?”

“For not being mad at me.”

“Well, you are in love with my daughter and I would expect you to express that love now and then.” Pavlina chuckled. “In the future, however, I would observe your surroundings before showing another such expression.”

Kerry nodded. “I’ll do that.”

Bernice nodded over her right shoulder. “Maybe it’s time you checked in?”

“A good idea.” Annie took Kerry’s hand and began leading him. “I’ve done this already: I can help.”

Kerry grabbed his luggage and proceeded to the check-in desk. The man behind the counter watched as they approached and when they was only a few meters away he finally addressed them. “ May I help you?”

“I’d like to check in.” Kerry set his backpack down next to his roll-on bag.

The man tapped something on his computer. “Name?”

“Kerry Malibey.”

Something else was entered before the man turned to Kerry. “Eble mi vidos viajn studento ID?”

Now that they were C Levels the Salem students were expected to know some common phrases spoken in Esperanto. “ May I see your student ID?” was one such phrase, and Kerry had practice this and a half-dozen others with Annie through their correspondence over the summer. He reached into one of the pockets of his backpack, retrieved his wallet, and pulled out his ID which he then handed to the man. “Here you are.”

“Thank you.” The man turned his attention back to the computer and begin entering data.

“I think it’s about time I get going.” Bernice walked up behind Kerry, her heels clicking on the tile floor. “You’ve arrived safe and sound and it doesn’t appear you need any assistance from this point on.”

Kerry turned and smiled. “Thank you for getting me this far.”

Bernice gave the boy a smile in return. “It’s not only my job, but it’s my pleasure.”

He glanced down word for just a moment. “And thank you for helping me get ready, back…” Kerry not add a little to his right. “You know.”

Bernice patted him on the shoulder. “I do know. And you’re welcome.” She turned to Annie. “You keep this lad out of trouble.”

Annie glanced to her right as she smiled. “I always do my best, Ms. Rutherford.”

“If you aren’t in a hurry, Bernice…” Pavlina stood next to Kerry’s case worker. “There’s a café I love located on the other side of the Seine. If you’re not in a hurry to get back to London, I wouldn’t mind some polite conversation over a croissant and coffee.”

“Why, thank you, Pavlina.” Bernice secured her bag on her shoulder. “I think coffee and a croissant is an excellent way to finish off this morning.”

“In that case we should leave these children get to their rooms.” She shifted her gaze between her daughter and Kerry. “I’m certain they’re in a hurry to get settled in.”

Bernice nodded. “I know I was when I was their age.”

Pavlina gave Annie a hug. “Pogrizhete se za sebe si, Anelie. Obicham te.”

Annie looked up and nodded. “Az iskam, Moma. I az te obicham.”

Pavlina came over and stood before Kerry. “I want you to have enjoyable year at school, Kerry. Remember, the summer’s over: concentrate on what lay ahead.”

Kerry was a bit surprised that Annie’s mother was telling him this. “I’ll do that, Mrs. Kirilova.”

“Pavlina.” She gave the young man a smile. “You should probably get used to calling me that.”


Run, Kerry, Run!  Annie’s mom wants you to get used to calling her by her given name probably because when she saw him come in and instantly lock his lips to those of her daughter, she wondered if she was gonna have ginger hair grandkids one day.  Pavlina knows her daughter and is well aware that when it comes to the Kid From Cardiff, he is the only one in her heart and odds are high one day she’ll be calling him “son”.  No word yet if Annie’s father will call Kerry, “That damn American who got my daughter pregnant,” but I don’t think Annie would stand for that.

There are a lot of things Kerry has gotten used to, but this is a new one for him…


“I’ll, um…” For the first time since meeting Annie’s mother Kerry felt slightly embarrassed by her words. Her comment was easy to read: she’s letting me know that we’re going to be related. But what actually embarrassed Kerry the most was her saying it in front of others. He suspected that she may have said this in front of Annie, but to say it in front of Ms. Rutherford… “That will take some time getting used to doing.”

The right corner of Pavline’s mouth curled upward. “There’s plenty of time for that: I don’t expect that to happen overnight.”

“That’s good.” Kerry chucked as if to show he wasn’t bothered. “I’ll need it.”

Annie touched his shoulder. “You’ll get it.” She turned to her mother. “Weren’t you going for coffee?”

Pavlina’s arched her eyebrows. “Yes, I do.” She turned to Bernice. “Ready?”

“I am.” Bernice nodded at her charge. “I’ll see you at Yule?”

He pointed at his case worker. “Sure will.”

“Have a good year, Kerry. Take care, Annie, and enjoy your year.” Bernice turned to the woman beside her. “Lead on.”

“This way.” Pavlina turned towards the hotel entrance and departed with Bernice following.

Kerry seemed to deflate once the women were gone. “I did not expected that.”

Though Annie’s registered a slight amount of surprise at Kerry’s comment her tone remained neutral. “Mama only wants you to be comfortable around her. I mean—”

“Yeah, I know what you mean—”

“Sir?” Kerry turned around and found the man behind the counter holding out his ID. “You’re all checked in.”

He took the ID and returned it to his wallet and backpack. “Thank you.”

“Here is your key: you’re in Room 202.” The man slid it along with a couple of papers across the counter. “Sign here, please.” As soon as Kerry finished sighing the papers were taken and vanished below the counter. “Enjoy your stay with us.”

“I will. Thank you.” He slipped on his backpack and grabbed the handle of us luggage. Annie and he were near the entrance before he spoke in a low voice. “You in 202?”

“Of course.” She tapped her purse. “I checked in about ten minutes before you arrived.”

“The guy didn’t—”

“He said nothing.”

“And your mother?”

“He said nothing about us sharing a room.” She chuckled as they turned the corner and faced the steep flight of stairs. “Welcome to your traditional European hotels.”
Kerry looked around. “Is there a lift?”

“There is but it’s small. Besides—” She gave her soul mate a knowing look. “We go most of the year without lifts: no need to use them now.”

“True.” He crafted a levitation spell while holding on to the handle of his luggage so it’d look like he was carrying it up the stairs. “You hear The Foundation rented out the hotel for the next three days?”

“I did.” Annie crafted the same spell and followed Kerry up the stairs. “Mama told me to keep the magic off the ground floor; it’s my understanding the majority of the staff won’t venture upstairs except to clean rooms in the morning and afternoon.”

Kerry smiled as they approached the first floor landing. “Almost like being back at the school.”

Annie chuckled in agreement. “Without the cohabitation, unfortunately.”

Kerry shrugged. “Can’t have everything.”

“Then we make up for that here—” Annie gave him a kiss on the cheek once she reached the landing. “I cannot wait to see our room.”


Yeah, Annie sure does want to see her room.  Don’t worry, Nini:  you’ll see it soon enough.

Now, what is so special about the excerpt?  Here we go:  it’s not all written.  While the second half of the excerpt was written this morning as I always do on Sunday morning, the first half was created last night using the voice recognition tool in Google Docs and then edited in Scrivener.    I “wrote” five hundred and ninety-five words and then edited it in about an hour, so even with a few bobbles here and there I finished it off a lot faster that if I’d done that by hand.  And if anyone has been following my weekend, they’ll have noticed I did two Black Mirror recaps, both of which were written the same way.  Talk about productivity!

It wasn’t perfect.  I had to put in quotes and actually spell out Kerry’s name, because every time I said it I got “Carrie” back, and he’s not a hormonal teenage girl having her first period–yet.  But it has helped my productivity on those nights where being tired and/or a little out of it for one reason or another–as I was both Friday and Saturday nights due to taking medication–making it worth further investigation.

At this point I’m considering springing for Dragon 13 VRS (voice recognition software) and using that to help write the novel when I’m home.  At the moment Dragon doesn’t interface with Scrivener for Windows–it only does that with the Mac/OS version–but I know how to get around that.  See, this is nothing more that another technological tool to help one create–

And if there’s one thing I do understand, it’s technology.

The Beginning of the Return: At the Digs

Here’s an interesting factoid from this scene I’m writing.  I’ve spent two days working on it and as with everything else, I’m keeping track of my word counts.  The first night I wrote 333 words; last night I wrote 888.  Hum…  888 is exactly two-and-two-thirds more than 333, so some interesting symmetry there.  Or not.  It could just be straight up bullshit with me being the only one who notices.

Or maybe it’s something magical?  No, probably not.  Just coincidence.

It’s also Back to the Future Day today, with this date picked in 1988 because, as was figured then, it was the day the Chicago Cubs could win the World Series–something that could happen this year.  There’s still a chance the Cubs could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, so who knows? Anyway, remember the immortal words of Doctor Emmett Brown, who recorded a video on this day last year:  “Yes, it (the future) is different than we all thought.  But don’t worry, it just means your future hasn’t been written yet.  No one’s has.  Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”

Yeah, that’s a good message to live by.  Which is something my kids will strive to do.

Speaking of my kids…

Kerry’s in Paris and approaching his hotel and one and only, so let’s pick up where we were:


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


“Believe it or not for my C Levels.” Bernice gave a soft laugh. “My A and B Levels were nothing like yours, though. My A Level departure was Stockholm and my B Level departure was London. Go to Rome for my D Levels and Amsterdam for my Es. Just like they always do, I finished my F Levels in Stockholm.” She turned to Kerry again. “You always end where your started.”

Kerry sat back and turned his attention to his passenger. “How come we don’t go there now?”

“Stockholm and London?”


“At the time we had a lot more students located in northern part of Europe so the majority of the cities were there. Once we started getting a steady trickle from Africa and Western Asia it was decided to move things a little southward.” Bernice stifled a yawn. “There’s been talk for a few years that we’ll move out of Rome and head eastward into either Hungary or Bulgaria, though there’s also talk of moving to Istanbul.” She shrugged. “It’s not up to me; the Council in Washington will decided that. And probably not for another twenty years.”

A thought instantly entered Kerry’s head: We won’t go to those places, but our kids will. Ever since the night when Annie said their children resisted inside her as eggs, there had been moments when he would imagine Annie and him married with a family. He thought of them with a boy, a few times with a girl, and even a couple of instances with one of each. And then there was one occasion…

He didn’t want to think about Annie like that, not right now. Kerry glanced at Ms. Rutherford. “What was Stockholm like?”

“Beautiful city. I remember the international airport was about forty minutes from the hotel where we stayed, which was right down town. That was my first time in another country—also my first time riding in a limo. I felt so important.” She looked across the vehicle to what was beyond Kerry’s window. “We’re almost there.”

He turned to his left just as the car turned in the same direction and saw the large park. “What’s that?”

“Place de la République: a nice, public square as well as a major subway terminal.” The car made another left followed by an almost immediate right. “We’re hitting all the lights; it won’t be long now.”

The car traveled two blocks down Boulevard Voltaire before taking a hard left—almost a u-turn—on to Rue de Malta. After driving just over half the block the car came to a stop outside their destination: Hotel du Nord et de l’Est. Bernice set her hand upon her bag. “Here we are.”


First, travelogue:  Place de la République is like a two to three minute walk from the hotel where he’s staying.  When I was there the traffic drove all the way around the area, but during Kerry’s time here it’s finally been finished–only two months before by the time in the novel–being turned into a pedestrian park with traffic prohibited from one side of the plaza.  Right near the center of the plaza and the entrance to the subway system is a huge statue of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic and the inspiration for both Columbia (the U.S.’ symbol) and the Statue of Liberty.

Take a bow, Marianne!

Take a bow, Marianne!

So down the street and up another, and finally they are at the hotel–seeing it pretty much as I saw it in 2006.

Yep, there it is.

Yep, there it is.

In real life you can get a nice room here for about $75/night, and while it might seem like you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’re a three-minute walk from two subway stations which can take you anywhere in the city and a five-minute walk from the Canal Saint-Martin, and area which is quiet nice.  Trust me, once you walk out the door, you’re only about thirty minutes from the Eiffel Tower.

But why stay here?  The other cities had bigger hotels, so why something smaller?  That’s easy:


Kerry examined the building just outside his window. “Not quite like the last two where we stayed.”

“Don’t let the appearance fool you: it’s a comfortable, quiet place.” She looked out Kerry’s side of the car. “Today through Wednesday night The Foundation has rented out every room.”

That caught Kerry by surprise. “Is this a Foundation place?”

“No. But The Foundation has used it many times in the past and they have a few contractual agreements with owners.” Bernice grinned as a light tone crept into her voice. “Paris is a huge and intimidating, yet wonderful city, and first time visitors can find themselves either overwhelmed or over-excited by the local. The Foundation believes that while it’s not exactly a which hotel it’s still a good place to rest, relax, and decompress.” She chuckled. “And knowing that no Normals will be here for most of the week, it’s easier for your chaperons to know who’s here and who isn’t.”  Bernice opened her door. “Let’s check you in.”

“Sounds good.” Kerry was out his door and heading back to the now-open trunk. He lifted his luggage and backpack out while Ms. Rutherford waited and the moment the trunk lid closed the car departed. He took three steps towards the entrance—

In the large picture window to the right of the entrance Annie stood with a large smile on her face, watching him arrive.


There you are:  The Foundation has rented out the whole hotel for three days for about thirty-five students and two, maybe three instructors.  No magic casting in the public areas, but you can have a good time upstairs and not worry about running into Normals.  And the instructors watching over the kids can lock the doors and keep some of the kids inside of shit gets too crazy.

So here we are with Kerry walking up to the front door and–who’s that?

Hi, Annie!

Hi, Annie!

Better rush inside and say hello…

If she were in this picture, she'd be right in front of the window.

If she were in this picture, she’d be right in front of the window.


Kerry hurried up the step and into the hotel and turned immediately into a small lounge. Annie turned to face him: she was wearing her locket necklace and her charm bracelet and she touched the silver heart resting against her chest as he approached. He set his roll-on aside, stepped up to Annie, wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her deeply as she placed her arms around him and pressed her hands against his back.

He finally broke the kiss and gazed into Annie’s hazel eyes. “Te obicham.”

Annie drew a breath and exhaled before answering. “Az sŭshto te obicham, skŭpa moya.”

Kerry rested his forehead against hers. “You been waiting long?”

A voice from behind answered. “Not long at all, Kerry.”

He closed his eyes as his face pinched upon realizing what he’d done. He opened them to find Annie smiling back at him before glancing over his shoulder. She quickly arched her eyebrows as if to tell him there was nothing he could do about his faux pas…

He turned around slow and a bit sheepishly. “Hello, Mrs. Kirilova.”

Pavlina Kirilova stood next to Bernice Rutherford just outside the entrance to the lounge: both were still smiling from what they’d witnessed. “It’s good to see you again.”

“Yeah. Um…” He half-turn towards Annie. “About what—”

“It’s alright, Kerry.” Pavlina closed the distance between her and her daughter’s boyfriend so she could speak in a low tone. “I was once your age and in love as well.” She glanced past him at her daughter. “Though it’s probably good your father isn’t here.”

Annie, still smiling, nodded. “I agree, Mama.”


Busted!  Kerry runs in, sees his Darling, and goes right to the lip locking.  Hey, dude:  always check your surrounding to make sure things are safe before you engage in any activity–don’t they teach you Young Guardians anything?  Fortunately for him his future mother-in-law is sorta cool about this, though mother and daughter both agree it’s a good thing Daddy Kirilov didn’t see this go down.

What I liked about writing that scene is that Annie did nothing to stop the kiss from happening even though she knew her mother was no only nearby, but probably in sight.  And once busted she’s like, “Whatcha gonna do, amirite?”  She doesn’t even hide her “I love you, my darling” which her mother had to hear.  One can almost imagine Annie and her mom are gonna have some kind of talk over morning tea when she’s home for Yule, because now Mama knows Annie ain’t bothered by those PDAs…

And just for reference, when I visited Paris I didn’t arrive at the same hotel via the route Kerry took–no, his route was how I left Paris on my way to Brussels via high-speed Thalys out of Gare du Nord.  No, I arrived through the Gare du Lyon, having arrived via TGV from, where else, Lyon.  I came in from the south and did roll right past the Bastille, so I had that going for me.

And if I'd done that on Bastille Day, it'd have been totally meta, know what I mean?

And if I’d done that on Bastille Day it’d have been totally meta, know what I mean?

I guess all that remains for Kerry now is to convince his future MiL that he’ll have a room all to himself and that he and Annie will won’t do any of that public face sucking–

Who are we kidding?  Get check in, kid.

Tripping the City of Lights Fantastic

Lots of crazy last night.  I went off for my GOTV training and was at the HQ until about nine PM.  During that time I learned where I’ll be working the next three weekends and part of election day–yes, I stepped up to help the ground game–told everyone in the building about being a transwoman voting for Hillary because I’m fighting for everyone else, and discovered that for GOTV I’m gonna kinda be a sorta location captain helping out the real captains ’cause I’m that good.

You know what this means?  Two nights a week for the next two weeks doing phone banks, two Sundays doing GOTV dry runs, working both Saturday and Sunday before the election, and working five to eight the night of the election.  Yeah…  I’ll be busy.

But you know what?  I still wrote and did research last night.  And here’s what developed–


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


Getting to Paris was easy. Ms. Rutherford jaunted them both from the house in Cardiff to a staging area for those Foundation people who knew of its location. From their they took the international jaunt station to de Gaulle Airport outside Paris, followed by a local jaunt to the station serving the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est train stations. They headed up into the Gare de l’Est and exited to find a Citroën C6 executive saloon waiting for them. A minute later Kerry’s bags were in the trunk and they were on their way.

After a few blocks Kerry felt how different Paris seemed from the other cities he’d visited so far. London came the closest in feel, but even that paled. While both cities were huge, London so often felt as if it was simply thrown together. Here, everything looked and felt orderly, fit together as if someone had constructed the city from Lego blocks, and that made him feel a sense or enormity all around.

Bernice glanced over from her side of the car, grinning. “Impressive, isn’t it?”

Kerry stopped looking out the window and turned to his right. “The city?”


“Yeah, it is.” He turned his attention back to the street as he chuckled. “I can see why Annie loves this place.”

“Oh, you haven’t even begun to see it.” Bernice folded her hands in her lap. “This is just a taste.”

Something in his case worker’s tone made Kerry believe she wanted to talk. “Were you here as a student?”

She nodded. “Yes.”


“Believe it or not for my C Levels.” Bernice gave a soft laugh. “My A and B Levels were nothing like yours, though. My A Level departure was Stockholm and my B Level departure was London. Go to Rome for my D Levels and Amsterdam for my Es. Just like they always do, I finished my F Levels in Stockholm.” She turned to Kerry again. “You always end where you started.”


Now, let’s look at what I’ve had to do just to get these three hundred and thirty-three words.

First:  I’ve known the jaunt path for some time.  That was the easiest part, as I’ve already established there is an international jaunt station under the main terminal at Heathrow, so it goes without saying there’s one in Paris as well.  Now we know there’s a local jaunt to the big train stations in the city as well–

That gives us this.

That gives us this.

Gare du Nord is the busiest train station in Europe and one that I’ve visited–yes, more on that in a moment.  Since I knew where Kerry is staying, finding his route to the hotel is easy.

In city terms it's just down the street.

In city terms it’s just down the street.

As for Kerry’s current position, this is pretty much what he’s seeing in the above excerpt.

The clouds are even there, as it's cloudy in the city during this time frame.

The clouds are even there, as it’s cloudy in the city during this time frame.

Now, I know the Gare du Nord and the hotel where Annie and Kerry are staying because I’ve stayed in the same hotel, rode down the same street that Kerry is on right now, and boarded the Thalys train to Brussels at Gare du Nord.  Yeah, I’m cheating a bit because, well, I can write from personal experience in this case.  And the four days I spent in Paris ten years ago are still among the most memorable I’ve ever had.  Expect Annie and Kerry to hit some of the same spots I did in the next few days.

That last paragraph where Bernice Rutherford speaks of her time at school and the cities from which she departed–that required about thirty minutes of timeline work last night, and it was something I did as soon as I was out of my work clothes and into my pajamas.  Some time back I put in her time at school, so with that in place I could take the cities I’ve already mentioned for my kids–Amsterdam, Berlin, and now Paris–and work backwards, substituting Stockholm and London for Berlin and, as you’ll find out, Madrid.  Here’s what that looks like:

So much craziness just for a paragraph.

So much craziness just for a paragraph.

And what Bernice said is true:  The Foundation puts the kids on a five-city rotation, so the city you depart from as an A Level becomes the same departure city for your F Levels.  You end where you started, which could be seen as some heavy philosophical shit were one to look at it that way.  Bernice will discuss this a little more in the next excerpt–

Which may not come out until Friday as it looks as if I’ll be busy tonight.  I’ve been invited to a debate party and I was asked again last night by my group leader to come on over and hang with the girls–and it is true, the majority of our volunteers are women.

So if various live video pop up here tomorrow, you’ll know I was probably out of my mind for most of the evening.