Marching With the Women

21 January, 2017.  By now most people in the world have a pretty good idea what happened that day.  Not only was the Woman’s March on Washington the single greatest demonstration event in this country, but it ranks as one of the largest worldwide events ever.  Not bad for something that started out as a Facebook post the day after the US presidential elections.

Given that I worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign beginning in August of 2016, I felt that in the aftermath of the election I could do one of two things: sit back and piss and moan, or get involved.  I decided on the former.  I registered with the Woman’s March knew the end of November, and a few weeks later I volunteered to be a bus captain, which meant I would be responsible for 50 to 60 people traveling on a caravan of buses leaving Harrisburg the day of the march.

So through most of January I prepared myself for what was to come.  I bought a battery charger for my phone as I would need my phone on most of the day.  (Though that proved to be unnecessary as you will soon see.)  I bought wool socks in case it was cold.  I bought new insoles for my mukluks in case I needed to wear them.  I bought thermal undergarments in case I was going to have to deal with near zero temperatures.  When I discovered the temperatures were expected to be in the mid-50s, I bought a fleece jacket to go over the sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes I was going to wear.

Last of all, I had my pussy hat: the ubiquitous pink hat that was made in such a way that the corners would look like cat ears.  Mine was crocheted by a member of the crocheting group I belong to and send to me all the way from Illinois.  And with all of that in place I was ready to go–

The night before the March–which happened to be the inauguration of Darth Orange–I expected to be in bed before ten and up at four so that I could be out the door a little after five.  As usually happens with me my plans blow up in my face: I really didn’t get to bed until about eleven-thirty and I was up at three, with maybe two hours of good sleep found during that time.  I got up, did my business, loaded up on some cashews and beef jerky, and got dressed.  I also took some antidiarrhea medication because only a couple of days earlier I’d been sick as a dog and I was completely unsure of whether or not it actually be a will to make the March.  By mid-Friday I was certain: sick or not, I was going to go to DC.  Nothing was going to stop me–not even lo0se bowels.

Here I am, ready to leave the apt at 4:50 AM.

Here I am, ready to leave the apt at 4:50 AM.

Believe it or not even though I arrived at the parking lot at 5:10 in the morning, I was not the first one there.  There were already close to a dozen cars in the parking lot and only a few of us were bus captains.  It didn’t take long for that to change, and well before the first bus arrived there were hundreds of people waiting to board.

womans-march-on-washington-walk-0121201702

My early morning people.

The process was simple: as soon as the buses arrived we began loading people on, first come first serve.  I was on the third bus to arrive and left in a group of six, all from the same carrier.  My job was to see that everybody was aboard was supposed to be there and keep them informed of what we expected to do once we were on the ground in Washington.

As you can see I was dressed the part.

As you can see I was dressed the part.

I should point out that we had an app our phones that was supposed to allow us to select a bus and checking passengers.  Needless to say, the app didn’t work for shit, and at no time during the day was I ever able to get it to do anything.  Not that it really mattered, because we discovered that once we were in DC we basically shut down the phone service: it was nearly impossible to get a signal to call out, and data and Wi-Fi were impossible to come by.  I managed a couple of live broadcasts, coming while I was back-boning off of the Wi-Fi from the National Archives.  This last part we had been warned about by people who had been in DC during large gatherings and who said it was impossible to use your mobiles.

With everybody aboard we left Harrisburg a little after 6:35 and we were soon on our way to Washington. I was soon on my feet explaining to my group what we expected to do and to beware of anyone who might be trying to get them to fill out questionnaires as they might have been people working to make us look bad, or others who were trying to track us.  Once my spiel was done I kicked back and enjoyed the ride.

womans-march-on-washington-walk-0121201704

The buses were parked at RFK Stadium, on the far east side of the downtown area.  While I had a Metro card which would allow me to take the subway into the center of the city, I decided to do something else: walked for two miles from RFK to the Capital.  And I wasn’t walking alone:

Leaving Buses.

Leaving Buses.

 

Leaving RFK.

Leaving RFK.

 

Waking down the road.

Waking down the road.

 

Pussy hats ahoy!

Pussy hats ahoy!

It took about forty minutes for the capital to come and view and this was probably the first moment I started to feel real excitement.  Because when you see a structure like this you know you’re right downtown in the middle of the nation’s capital and you’re about to engage in something historic.

Close--

Close–

 

Closer--

Closer–

 

Closest.

Closest.

Let’s keep in mind that we were coming in from the east and all of the action was going to be happening on the west side of the capital, in the area of The Mall stretching all the way out to the Washington Monument and the White House.  So it this point in the above photos, we couldn’t see what waited for us.  Not only that but there’s a reason they call the Capital “The Hill”: it sits on top of the hill and from there you’re actually looking down on the city.  So as were walking towards the crown we start hearing this now that would begin low and rise in intensity before sweeping over us like a wave.  The first time we heard it was somewhat indistinct, the second time we heard it it hit everyone walking in the group like a hammer.  I turned to the woman on my right and said, “That is chilling as hell.”  She told me that chilling was the appropriate word: she said it gave her goosebumps.

It was only a few minutes later that we saw what was causing the sound, and upon seeing the crowd I actually gasped.

And this is just a small part of the crowd.

And this is just a small part of the crowd.

On the right is the US Botanical Gardens, and if you look all the way down the street at what looks like a white barricade–that’s the stage where all the festivities were taking place.  The closest we got to the stage was about a block; you couldn’t get any closer because of the crush of people.  So slowly I made my way towards The Mall, as I was caught in a mob and my anxiety level was going right off the scale.

The scene at The Mall wasn’t much better: it was just there was more space for more people. There were also port-a-potties, which I had to use.  The one good thing was that there was some space in which one can catch their breath.

I could almost build a house here.

I could almost build a house here there’s so much room.

Here’s a video I made of my time on The Mall and it gives you some idea not only of the crowds, but how uncomfortable I was feeling in them.

After a while it got to be too much and I had to leave the crowds. It wasn’t anything personal, just a matter of anxiety and feeling a bit claustrophobic.  So I made my way off The Mall and headed up 4th Street towards Pennsylvania Avenue.  Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off and people were marching there, with most of them going around in a two block circle.  There were still a lot of people in this area the city: tens of thousands at least stretching down to The Mall and a block further north past the Canadian Embassy and up toward the federal courthouses.

Out of The Mall and heading towards Penn Ave.

Out of The Mall and heading towards Penn Ave.

 

Penn Ave looking west.

Penn Ave looking west.

 

Penn Ave looking east.

Penn Ave looking east.

 

Just north of the Canadian Embasy looking towards the stage which is about 2/3rds of a mile away.

Just north of the Canadian Embassy looking towards the stage are which is about two-thirds of a mile away.

It was while I was here that I cut another video, this time sitting in front of the Canadian Embassy.  It’s not long video, but at this point you could see that I was starting to get a little tired–mostly because at this point I had only two hours of sleep in the last thirty-six and I was quickly approaching nine hours awake.

I grabbed a quick bite and a quick rest as well. As I pointed out in the video I was feeling more dehydrated than I was hungry and I was in the process of trying to fill up on as many fluids as possible.  My appetite had vanished since Thursday, so it seemed as if I was living off fat reserves, a bit of beef jerky, and cashew nuts.  But I drank two large bottles of water on the bus trip down, another bottle of water and a power bar on the walk to the capital from RFK Stadium, and during lunch I had a Gatorade and a ginger ale.  I knew the fluids would get absorbed into my body and the less solids I ate, the less I would need to go to a port-a-potty.  I also wanted to get back to Pennsylvania Avenue before one PM, as that was the time the march started.

Only thing was, no one really knew where the march was starting.

Given the size of the crowd getting information out was sketchy as hell.  At eleven-thirty I’d spoken to a person who would just been in a conversation with a New York Times stringer and she was told that at that time, they were estimating the size of the crowd at between four hundred and fifty and five hundred thousand people.  As 1 o’clock approached I was hearing various rumors that the numbers were actually closer to six hundred thousand, and a few people had heard that we might be close to seven hundred thousand.  All of this was totally believable: at this point there were way too many people in the downtown Washington area, and people were walking the streets without any fear that we were going to encounter vehicle traffic.

It was just before one that the word came out that the march was starting.  What we were hearing was that we would not be allowed to march to the front of the White House, and that Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off a few blocks from where we were marching.  So right near the IRS Building on 10th, everyone hung a left and marched a block down to Constitution Avenue.  What we didn’t know at the time was that this still wasn’t the actual march: these people were actually the spillover from The Mall, whereas the true march was coming up 14th Street from Independence Avenue.  Essentially what was happening was three separate marches going on at the same time, which was similar to the situation they had in Los Angeles.

It didn’t matter: we were marching and doing so with a purpose.  Here are some of the shots I took on Constitution Avenue as we headed east.

Checking out the Washington Monument in the mist.

Checking out the Washington Monument in the mist.

 

womans-march-on-washington-walk-0121201722

The building on the left is the African-American History building, which looks incredible.

I also managed to pick up about a minute and a half of video footage as we were marching.  One thing I need the stress is that while the crowd doesn’t sound that loud on the recording, there was constant noise at all times, as well as a constant background on.  At no time did ever get completely quiet, and after a while you just sort of tuned it out.  But it never, ever went away

As we walked I had no sense of time; I was charging my phone during much of the march and since I couldn’t get a data connection there wasn’t any point in checking for updates from people.  And given the crowd I was in, it would’ve been ridiculous to try texting or reading a text while walking along.  They were far more important things going on which needed my attention.

I walked all the way down to 20th Street and headed north to C Street and headed back east towards the Ellipse, the park just to the south of the White House.  While I was still marching on Constitution I’d taken the time to speak with a few of the volunteers near the entrance to the Eclipse, and they had informed me that area was the closest anyone would be allowed to the White House proper.  It made sense as it’s a huge park, but what no one knew was it was already twenty minutes after two PM in the march was supposed to have ended at two.

And it was still going on.

So I snapped a few pictures while in the Ellipse before heading across the street to the Washington Monument, where I hope to be able get a better perspective by getting a little elevation on top of everyone.

People coming into the Ellipse.

People coming into the Ellipse.

 

People gathering on the Ellipse.

People gathering on the Ellipse.

 

Me more or less flipping el Presidente off...

Me more or less flipping el Presidente off…

And when I say “more or less”, we discovered that the new Pussy Grabber in Chief had decided to begin from the White House earlier in the day and didn’t return until late afternoon, were leaks report he was extremely furious about the coverage the march was getting.  One of the reports that’s been publicized is that he flew into a rage at one point and screamed, “Don’t these people know I’m the fucking president?”  Yeah, Donnie: we know you’re the president. That’s why we were marching.

I finally headed up towards the Washington Monument and got one more picture as well as a final bit of video trying to capture the last of the marchers coming it–or, I should say what I thought were the last of the marchers.  Because it was about three-thirty in the afternoon when I shot this last video and there was no sign that the people in the march were sending out.

Looking down on the Ellipse from the Washington Monument.

Looking down on the Ellipse from the Washington Monument.

When you watch this video pay no attention to the fact that my nose piercing and sticking way out, something I didn’t realize at the time.  Normally I keep it flush against the outer skin, but at some point I must’ve wiped my nose and pushed it outward, which is why it sticking up when you see the one shot of me.

After a good rest where I spent about twenty minutes speaking with another woman from North Carolina, I headed over by the World War II Monument and did some walking along reflecting, as well as using a port-a-potty for the last time.  I walked back up to the Washington Monument about four-thirty and the march was still continuing.  I discovered much later that the police had actually closed the parade route at four o’clock and turned away tens of thousands of people who were still waiting to march.  I continued to watch people filing into the Ellipse for about another ten minutes, then began making my way back to the Washington Metro system, where I boarded the train at the Smithsonian station.

I didn’t get any pictures on the train because they were packed: people were standing shoulder to shoulder in every car, and there were stories from different people in my car saying that lines and been shut down at least three or four times during the day because of all the problems they had with people overcrowding the cars.  The Washington Metro office reported that by 11 AM that day, they had serviced 275,000 transit passes, where’s the day before, during the inauguration, they said during the same time period they had serviced 192,000 passes.  Needless to say we were far bigger party, and a lot more jovial.

There were several people in the car with me were actually heading back to Harrisburg: it turned out there was right next to mine, so I helped lead them back to the parking lot.  One of the women in the group was in a walker, and she was growing rapidly exhausted as she had walked the entire march using her walker.  We took our time getting back and after only a few minutes of looking I found our buses and got everyone where they were supposed to be.  I came on board mine and begin making certain that everyone who is returning on the bus was there, as well as finally getting off my feet and having another water.

Oh, and I also took a picture of the buses getting ready to leave.

Oh, and I also took a picture of the buses getting ready to leave.

About twenty minutes after I sat down someone came around and gave us the news: AP and CNN were reporting that unofficial totals for our march showed nearly 1 million participants, and CNN said there were as many as 1.3 million.  I got on the loudspeaker and reported the news, which got everyone applauding. And throughout the time before we left, and while we were departing Washington, I kept giving as many updates as I could get on the numbers coming back from the sister marchers in cities around the country and the world.  It was while I was reading this information that everyone, myself included, realize just what a huge offense had taken place today.  It’s one thing to say half a million marchers showed up in Washington DC, but it’s entirely something else to hear there were maybe a million marchers in Washington, and 275,000 in New York City, and possibly 750,000 in Los Angeles, and that the Chicago march was officially stopped when the number of participants reached 300,000, but everyone going on and by the time they reached Grant Park it was estimated the crowd had reached a half a million.

When we heard that news, it became evident we had started something important.

That was the question I kept asking myself on the ride home: did we do something important?  Was our efforts worthwhile?  More importantly, did we start something that was going to continue onward and not just be some one-time, flash in the pan event that people would feel good about doing but wouldn’t amount to much in the end?

That was all answered for me last week.  Scientists are now planning a march in mid-March, and at last check there were nearly 800,000 people interested in the event in Washington.  There is also talk of another march on April 15 which will end in front of the IRS Building, and this will focus on the fact that the Liar in Chief refuses to release his tax forms.  Lastly, the Pride parade which is supposed to take place on 11 June is apparently going to become a rather huge event, and given that I’m hearing that there’s going to be an executive order which is basically going to allow legalized discrimination against anyone LGBTQIA, I imagine that is going to grow into something far bigger than just everyone parading and having a good time.  I feel is going to turn into something hugely political.

And seeing how people turned out to protest at airports this last weekend concerning the restrictions on travel for Muslim countries, it’s apparent that people are not letting up the pressure.  With the exception of those were comfortable with fascism, most people seem upset over what is occurring and they’re prepared to take action.

So what’s in store for me?  What actions am I going to take?  This Sunday I’ll be marching in Harrisburg in support of immigration and sanctuary cities for refugees, particularly those coming from Syria.  I’m already making arrangements to go to the Science March and I fully intend to participate in the Pride March in June, though that one is going to be tricky because I’m going to drive to Indiana on 8 June, attend my daughter’s high school graduation on 9 June, then drive to Washington on 10 June and do the march the next day.  Needless to say, exhaustion is probably going to set in somewhere around the night of 10 June and I’m going to sleep like a rock somewhere in a hotel on the outskirts of Washington.

It’s time to get political; it’s time to get active. I’ve always been somewhat active politically, but ever since working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year I seem to have found a need to actually put myself on the line and get things done.  As a trans-woman it’s easy to say, well sure, we know why you’re doing this.  But as I’ve said to others, it’s not just me on marching for.  Part of it is I’m marching for my daughter, who is likely to start growing up in a world radically different than she’s known for the last eighteen years.  I’m marching for my Muslim friends who suddenly have a reason to fear living in the US.  I’m marching for all my women friends who are about to watch all the rights safe for the last fifty years vanish.

I can’t just march for myself.  I have maybe 10 to 15 years left after which I really won’t much care if things are further going to shit, or if they’re getting better, or we successfully fought off the darkness.  But there will be so many other people I know will still be here, and they will care about these things.

One doesn’t march for the present: they march to make a better future.

And while I can, I will do my damnedest to make that future a better one for those I leave behind.

 

As a last note to the March, I worked out the route I walk that Saturday so that I could see how many miles I traveled.  The numbers are pretty impressive: I was on my feet for 11.67 miles/18.78 kilometers, of which I walked 8.67 miles/13.95 kilometers.  This was the reason I spent most of the following Sunday wine about taking aspirin so that my legs wouldn’t hurt.  Pretty impressive for someone who two days earlier was thinking about going to the hospital because they were so dehydrated.

My March in all its glory.

My March in all its glory.

The Remains of the Day: The Differences in Ourselves

Chapter Thirty-three is over, done, finished, and that also brings Part Ten to an end as well.

It's right here, all over the page.

It’s right here, all over the page.

This means that there’s one more part–Part Eleven, of course–two more chapters, and eight more scene to do before I put “The End” at the bottom of this sucker.  Not a lot left to do.  Figure, at best, if I spend two night and days on each scene, that’s sixteen days, and by 30 May I’m posting my excerpt for B For Bewitching.  The end is pretty close, isn’t it?

I will confess there was a bit of wine drinking going on as I wrote, and at the end, while listening to Distant Sun by Crowded House, I decided to raise a glass and get a picture:

Sometimes--

Sometimes–

Even two.

Even two.

So where does this excerpt go?  Right here, and it starts with Annie explaining this writ:

 

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

“It forbids us from studying the things mentioned by Deanna. We can’t buy any books that have that particular information within, or look up those books in a library, or even have someone do either of those things for us. I can even imagine that for school The Foundation would edit our texts, and if any of those things are discussed in class, we’d have to leave.” Annie leaned forward as she sighed. “I never imagined I’d find myself forbidden to study a particular type of magic.” She glanced sideways at Kerry. “You know why, don’t you?”

Kerry shot a glance back at his soul mate. “No, why?”

“Because we’re different. It’s what you told me back in October, that like it or not we weren’t like the others in our level.” She wrapped her arms around Kerry’s left arm and snuggled against it tight. “You said then we could either change and become an image of what others expect of us, or we can ignore them and simply be ourselves.” She killed Kerry’s cheek. “I embrace my differences. I accept that I will never be like those in our level—with the exception of one person: my love. My soul mate.”

He reached up and cupped her hands in his left. “The one person just as different as you, and who will never, ever tell you to change.” He laughed. “Not that you would if I said anything.”

Annie joined in his laughter. “You know me all too well.”

 

This was how Act One ended, with Annie and Kerry wandering the streets of Salem after getting dissed in minion duty during B Level Sorcery, and Kerry explaining what he thought “being different” meant to him, and how they both were different than the other witches.  Annie accepts that she’s different, and she has a different person as her side as well.  She’s always known she was a witch, but until now she hadn’t thought of herself as being a “different witch.”  Get with a geek and this is what happens.

It’s right here that they also make a decision on their future, with Kerry setting the tone:

 

“I’ve known you all my life: how could I not know you?” He rested his head against her. “We have our one vision and your dream that says we stay—” Kerry chuckled. “—pure until we’re married, and we have another that says we might not. Whatever happens will just happen. But I promise—” He gave her hands a light squeeze. “I won’t put any pressure on you to make a decision on what we do there. Whatever happens is going to be totally consensual, and totally up to you.”

Annie maneuvered so her chin rested upon Kerry’s shoulder. “Do you know how lucky I am to be paired with someone like you?”

“Not a lucky as I am to be paired with you—” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Mrs. Malibey.”

“Not yet: not for a while.” She stared into his bright green eyes. “Eighteen is the age of emancipation. We can always petition The Foundation for early emancipation, but the earliest emancipation can come is at sixteen. If we’re lucky we could get seventeen, but—” Annie gazed off to her right for a moment. “Probably another five years before you can call me by that title.” She winked. “Mr. Malibey.”

Kerry untangled his left arm from Annie’s grip and wrapped it around her shoulders. “We know the truth: we don’t need anyone telling us otherwise.”

“Of course they can’t.” Annie rested against Kerry, closing her eyes and feeling wonderfully comfortable in his embrace. “We’re different from those who’d try to change us—and I don’t care what they think about us—

“We are who we are. Always.”

 

So, no hanky-panky until Marrying Time, and Kerry promises he’ll never try to force Annie into, well, you know, that sex.  And that could be at least five years off in the future, as we see even The Foundation doesn’t consider these kid legal adults for that sort of stuff until they’re eighteen–though is is possible it could happen early.  As I say, I know.

At least we’ll probably have them calling each other “Mr. and Mrs. Malibey” when they’re alone, just because that’s something kids do because they see it as cute.  We’ll see how long it goes before it becomes annoying.

One last thing:  last night, after the noveling was finished, I was speaking with The Real Annie(tm) and we were going over some of the things I’ve done with the story, and she was showing me something she was working on as well.  During this time I showed her the image of “Annie” with the auqa hair, which she thought was perfect, and she mentioned that she was so happy that she picked Jodelle Ferland as the “body image” for my Bulgarian Pop Princess.  It was right then that I discovered another picture that I thought could be Annie when she’s away from school and relaxing at a certain location that was made expressly for her.

So here you go:  this is how I imagine Annie when she’s out to the Lake House, working on magic, listening to music, and thinking about her Ginger Hair Boy.

I'm totally not judging anyone out there.  Yet.

Completely relaxed and totally not judging anyone else she knows. Yet.

Dark Witch Affirmations

You can probably guess what I’m about to say:  Chapter Twenty-five is over!  Yep.  Almost six hundred words remained, and I finished them up during the evening rush through the second Thor movie and before I sat down to watch The People v O. J. Simpson, which was a lot better.  Oh, and yeah:  I made it through my anniversary without any issues, and even got a small box of Munchkins as a present from one of my friends.  I wore the outfit I said I was gonna wear, only I did wear stockings with it so I wouldn’t freeze my legs off.

Anniversary 02022016005

Which actually did a great job of hiding my stark, white legs.

That’s all over and done with, so on with the story . . .

After all the stuff that went down in Bay #1 I found it hard to bring an end to the scene.  I knew what was going to be said–I’ve known it for some time–but getting it written wasn’t flowing properly.  Maybe on the edit it’ll clean up better, but right now it feels . . . messy.  This is why we have editing.

For better or worse, then, we have it:  the end of the scene and the end of the chapter:

 

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

There wasn’t any need to ask Kerry if there was something on his mind: Annie knew instantly that he was troubled. “The race bothers you, doesn’t it, my love?”

He nodded. “Yeah. It’s—” Kerry lay his head against Annie’s. “Today before we started I told everyone that I just wanted to finish the race in one piece and that I’d be happy if I just pointed. I did all those things, but . . .” He sighed without looking meeting Annie’s gaze. “That should have been my podium.”

Annie glided her fingers over his cheek. “Kerry—”

“I raced hard; I raced clean. I know it’s my fault that I used magic to hold my knee still, and that I wouldn’t have finished without that, but I never thought—”

“That the finish was going to be as close as it was.” While Kerry slept Annie learned from Professor Semplen that today’s Top 10 finish was the closest in nearly twenty-five years, and having the top six racers finish within two minutes of each other hadn’t occurred since the 1960s.

“I thought we might spread out enough that my penalties wouldn’t matter.” He chuckled darkly. “ I had no idea I was only sixteen seconds behind Penny at the finish. I didn’t even see her.”
Annie slid upward just enough that her right cheek lay against Kerry’s left. “That last lap she was only twenty seconds ahead of you for much of the course. Once she figured she couldn’t catch Nadine she raced to avoid additional penalties.”

“I figured. That’s how Penny races.”

“And I know how you race.” She placed her hand on his forehead. “From here—” She moved it over his heart. “—with guidance from here. You know all the aspects of racing, but you strengthen that knowledge with your emotions—while at the same time you calm your emotions with your mind.” Annie’s finger traced a line across Kerry’s chin. “I know someone who’d probably love to watch you race.”

“Yeah?” Kerry had a good idea of whom Annie meant. “When are you going to invite your parents to a race?”

“Once they’ve gotten to know you better.” She raced an eyebrow. “Maybe next year?”

He heard the question mark at the end of her sentence. “Are you asking me?”

“Perhaps rhetorically.” Though they’d not discussed the matter, Annie certainly hoped Kerry could begin spending time with her parents so they could start the process of leaning more the person she considered the most important in her life. “But that’s a discussion for another time, my love. There’s another matter between us—”

Kerry lay back so he could see Annie’s face. “The race?”

“The race.” She sat up so they were now facing each other. “You raced hard, and you raced one of the best of this season. You encountered problems, you did what you could to get around them, and when you did wrong you admitted to his mistakes. No one could ask more of you. There will be plenty more races, plenty of podiums—” A warm smile broke out upon her face. “Even a few wins, my love: of that I’m certain. And you’ll be on Katahdin again next year, of that I’m certain.

“But of all the podiums you’ll ever stand upon, there is one that is more important to me than all others.” Annie took Kerry’s left hand and kissed it before she set his palm upon her heart. “You’ll always stand atop this podium. There will never be another there. Never.”

 

Being that she’s a Legacy, Annie can invite her parents to different functions, but so far she hasn’t, and there can be any number of reasons for that–like, she doesn’t want her parents to see her the way she is away from their influence–or maybe now she’s concerned they’ll be sitting in the audience for Ostara and hear a boy dedicate a song to her.  As with everything Annie, she has reasons, but in time we’ll see her folks wandering the halls of the school.

And in case you’re wondering, starting next school year Kerry can invite his parents to certain school events.  The question remains:  will he?

There you have it–

The end of the chapter, that is.

The end of the chapter, that is.

And as you can see the start of the next.  Just a couple of quick observations.  The first one is that Kerry’s flying chapter is about a thousand words longer than Annie’s flying chapter, though there was a lot more music and kissing in Annie’s flying chapter, which I’m almost certain Kerry would have liked for his.  And the second observation is that I may need another scene for Chapter Twenty-six, only because I know it needs one, and it would become the next penultimate scene for the chapter.  In fact I just added it, so boo to you, I know what I’m doing.

At least I keep telling myself that.

Full Tilt Visions

Well, nails are done, Orphan Black is watched, and the last working scene is completed.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might become, but I didn’t get my butt in gear until late in the afternoon, and didn’t finish up until about ten-thirty last night.  Which is normal for me:  I seem to write early in the morning or late at night.  Probably due to this work thing that gets in the way of the middle of the day most weeks.

The scene, as mentioned, is finished, and it only took me five days to write four thousand words–

I'd have finished in four if I hadn't screwed around for two days.

I’d have finished in four if I hadn’t screwed around for two days.

The remainder of the scene is a follow-up to what has already happened.  As the reader you know what went down, but Deanna doesn’t because she’s just a character in my world–then again, she’s somewhere inside me, so she knows the future because I know the future, and . . . nah, best not go down that rabbit hole.

But my kids have to go there–and it’s not easy . . .

 

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

“This.” Annie’s shirt was two-thirds of the way up her torso before she realized she was sitting in a classroom in Memory’s End—and that Kerry was facing her, helping her with her top. “Kerry.”

“Annie.” Kerry slowly pulled his hands back from where he was helping Annie with her top, his face a mask of embarrassment not over what he was doing, but the realization of where it was done. “I’m, um—”

“I know.” She pulled her blouse back to into position before reaching for Kerry’s hands. “I didn’t know—”

“I didn’t either.”

“I was just—”

“We were—”

Both felt saucers set against their hands. Deanna was there, hold their cups. “Here, have some tea. It’ll calm you.”

Annie and Kerry took their respective cup and turned away from each other and faced Deanna, who’d returned to her pillow seat. They sipped their tea in silence for more than a minute, never looking at each other until they’d felt their emotions returning to normal.

Annie was the first to ask the question on both their minds. “What did you see?”

Deanna didn’t need to ask to whom she was speaking. “First, tell me what you saw.”

She nodded, then went into detail of what she saw. Annie started at the floor as she reached the end. “You saw what happened at the end.”

“Yes, I did.” Deanna turned to Kerry. “What did you see?”

He said nothing for a few seconds, then slowly nodded in Annie’s direction. “Everything she saw.”

“Only from your point of view?”

“Yeah.”

 

This was what Deanna wanted to see–and she got her money’s worth.  She even admits that she saw them pantomiming some of their actions while they were having their vision:  it’s how she knew they were flying, because she watched them act as if they were.  Kerry also points out that it felt incredibly real, like they really were in the air streaking along at hundred of kilometers and hour.

But once more they’re sharing visions and dreams–and it looks as if you put them in a trance together, odds are they’ll start visioning together.  That could come in handy in a few years–“Honey, who should we invite to the party?”  “Why don’t we have a trans vision and see who shows up?”  “Good idea!”–but there are some downsides to that idea.  Like what they learn when Kerry asks how they came back to the real world:  did it happen naturally, or did they have help?

 

Deanna sat back a little in her pillow chair. “Do you mean bring you out of the trance?”

“No, I mean . . .” He swallowed. “I mean the vision.”

“No.” She shook her head slowly. “It’s dangerous bringing a person out of a vision. It can cause a great deal of problems—even harm—for the person experiencing the vision.”

“How far would you have let us go?” Annie was also staring at the floor.

Deanna wasn’t about to hide anything. “Until you came out of the vision.”

Annie looked up and meet the seer’s stare. “Even if I’d undressed?”

“Do you believe that’s what you were doing?”

“Yes.”

Denna nodded towards the entrance. “The door is locked and I’m in conference. We wouldn’t have been interrupted.”

Those words sent a chill through Annie. She wouldn’t have stopped us—couldn’t have stopped us. We would have had to see it through to the end. “What do you think it means, Deanna?”

 

Something like this came up during the rune dream discussion, when Annie and Kerry began talking about their wedding night vision, and as they felt themselves slipping into it, they panicked and stopped talking.  Here they get the conformation:  Annie could have stripped down to her nickers and Deanna would have let her because something bad could have happened if she tried to force her back to the real world.  I guess it goes without saying that having those visions together might not be a good idea . . .

Now the question is “When?” and there is at least one hint–

 

The seer considered the question for a moment. “Given what you know about each other, how did you look in your vision compared to now?”

“We were older.” Annie confirmed this with soul mate, who nodded. “We’re certain.”

“I wasn’t wearing glasses.” Reflectively Kerry adjusted the wire frames. “I didn’t have them flying—the goggles weren’t over-sized—”

Annie agreed. “No, they weren’t. And I could see your face clearly. You weren’t wearing them in the room, either.”

“That means it has to be a ways off in the future—” He turned to Deanna. “Right?”

“Perhaps.” A slight grin played over Deanna’s face. “Then again, you are taking Advanced Transformation this year, and learning how to adjust and correct your eyesight is something you’ll probably learn. I’d say by this next summer you may be on the way to doing away with your glasses either permanently, or at the least semi-permanently.”

 

What?  Are you trying to tell me you actually one-up Harry Potter and fix your eyesight with magic?  Oh, just wait and see what you can do, kids:  I got it all figured out.  But yes:  Kerry ditches the glasses at some point soon, because why do you need them when you can give yourself 20/20, or 20/15, or even 20/10 vision?  And since Kerry will come out to his parents when he finished his B Levels, better eyesight through magic is a must.  Just tell everyone else you got contacts . . .

Visions are out of the way–now, it’s time for gifts.  Um, I mean Gifts.  Everyone likes those, right?

Charting New Paths Through Old Environments

One of the things I find I enjoy is being drawn to something I’ve done in the past, and discovering new ways to bring it out and bring it to life.  It’s not something I do because I’m just a nitpicker for detail, but more because I find that the detail helps me see how something should be laid out creatively.

For example, going through Kolor Ijo, I see in great detail how much my style has changed over the year.  I know if I went and started reading over Suggestive Amusements, it would probably look even more different.  Though I can remember some of the things I’ve written after that–just a couple of things–and I’m not sure if the style has changed that much, but I do realized that after writing through much of 2012, by the time 2013 rolled in I’d started developing a bit more as a writer, and for 2014–well, it goes without saying my style changed a great deal, because I spent all that year working on one piece, and I’d decided before I started writing I’d change up one thing–no “he said/she saids” to anchor dialogue–and I went through that whole project doing just that.

Now I’m onto something else.  I’ll get back to Kolor Ijo, but first . . . I’m going to let you in on some secrets . . .

I’ve posted this information once before, a while back, but in one of the future novels Annie and Kerry take off–I mean, literally, they take off and go around Europe on their own.  I mapped out the route a long time ago, and it looks a little like . . .

I think it looks like this.

I think it looks like this.

It looks like they are visiting a lot of places, and they actually are, but a lot of that trip is flying.  Now, back in late 2011, I figured out the time they spent flying, but frankly, I don’t want to go over that document again, and I’m guessing some of it is, shall we say, suspect?

However, if you have a map, and you know how to figure out time, well . . . why not time line this?

That’s what I started doing last night.  I thought I can not only track how long it takes to hit certain points, but I can track time on the ground as well, and even figure out how long they are in certain locals.  For example, lets look at the first leg of the trip.

Pretty simple, huh?

Pretty simple, huh?

This is how I lay things out.  First, I know how long they are on tour, which is the first line in sorta red.  It’s basically six weeks on the road and in the air, with points in between.  The purple lines are the checkpoints, the amount of time spent in the air between landings.  And the green are Annie and Kerry doing something, whether it’s chillin’, thinkin’, or having a holiday in Roma.  I can take the points above and affix them on the map–

Like this map.

Like this map.

And you can see, they first stop in Lushnje for an hour, then fly a short distance to the edge of the Adriatic Sea, then zoom across to Italy.  Once over dry land, they head for Naples, take a right at Vesuvius, and turn northwest towards Rome, where I have them sightseeing for two days, but I may change that up once I have the line more plotted out.

And there’s detail on these remarks as well:

Because I can't keep all this in my head.

Because I can’t keep all this in my head.

You can now see that they left Annie’s house at seven-thirty, and arrived in Rome a few minutes before five PM, or seventeen hours.  They covered 1079 kilometers, or 670.5 miles.  They were taking their time, because in other detail I have them flying about 140 kph, save for the leg where they flew over the ocean, and then they kicked it up a bit.  That’s the nice thing:  they can get a lot of speed out of their equipment, so if they’re in a real hurry, it’s like taking a jet to wherever they want to be next.

Yes, it’s a lot of detail, and it’s a bit of work, but once this is done I’ll have it close to me, and I can make adjustments to the line whenever I am in the mood.  Nothing is really written in stone, and if I want them looking around somewhere for a while, they can.  And I can even map out a few side trips they’ll take, such as when they’re in Milan and Barcelona, and add them to this mix.

There you are:  my little side project while I finish this–

I figured I'd forgotten about this novel.  You were wrong.

I figured I’d forgotten about this novel. You were wrong.

Four chapters to go, and I can probably get through two of them tonight, and leave the big one for tomorrow.  Not bad for just working on my own.

Champagne Dreams

Yes, the post is getting out a little late this morning, but only because I just finished writing fourteen hundred words to finish up a scene I started last night.  And seeing how I said yesterday that it’s one with Annie and Kerry, some of you are probably wondering about the title of the post.  Trust me, they’re not getting hammered on Korbel when they should be spying on Tanith.  The title refers to something else.  But of course it does.

We jump ahead a few hours and we’re outside Tanith’s school.  Someone else is there, too . . .

 

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

Kerry sat with his back against the tree truck, keeping it between him and the steady wind coming out of the north. He’d pulled up his hood and keep his hands in his pockets trying to remain comfortable, and found he was succeeding marvelously. Once more he was happy he’d packed the microfleece hoodie his grandparent gave him for Christmas, because not only was it warm, but it had enough internal pockets to hold some of the devices he was using for this operation.

He was sitting on the front lawn of Lincoln Preparatory Academy waiting for his partner in crime to join him outside. While he’d waited for a delivery from Erywin, Annie was busy following Tanith and waiting for the right moment to secure another tag on her so she’d be easier to track with his tablet. She’d said she’d likely have an easier time of placing a tag on her, and he didn’t disagree: after all, if Tanith noticed a boy following her—tagging her with an enchantment wasn’t something they could do while bending light around them, not yet—she’d probably think it a little strange.

So he went outside to wait for his phony mother while also waiting for his real girlfriend . . .

 

The thing that comes from this is there’s a lot of waiting going on.  That’s the spy business for you:  a day’s worth of boredom sometimes punctuated by a few seconds of terror.  But the terror part’s the one that everyone likes, right?  Well, only if you’re the reader . . .

And what about that real girlfriend?

 

“Miss me?”

He turned to his left and watched Annie fade into view as her light bending field merged with his. “I was counting the seconds.” He patted the ground to his left and waited for her to get comfortable. “You have any problem tagging her?”

“No.” Annie partially unzipped her jacket and removed the light scarf around her neck. “I followed her into the bathroom and put it on her there.”

“The girl’s bathroom.” He chuckled. “The one place I can’t go.”

“It’s not that great.” She stretched out her legs. “Most girl’s bathrooms aren’t nice.”

“It’s not much better with the boy’s bathrooms, trust me. The only nice one I’ve seen is back at our school.”

Annie nodded. “I agree.” She nodded at the bag on Kerry’s right. “Lunch?”

“Yeah.” He set it in his lap. “Mom brought it about ten minutes ago.” Kerry stayed with the code names and pronouns assigned as they’d been told. He reached in the bag and removed a wrapped sandwich. “Lean roast beef with lettuce and onion—and a touch of horseradish—on rye.” He handed it to Annie. “Oh—” He removed another item. “And a dill pickle. Just as you ordered.”

“Thank you.” She partially unwrapped the sandwich and breathed in the aroma. “Lovely. What did you get?”

“Turkey with lettuce and onion—and a touch of mayo—on sourdough.” He removed a smaller bag from the larger one. “With a side of potato chips.”

“Not regular chips?”

“I will admit they do chips up better in Cardiff than they do in the States, so I passed.” He pealed open the wrapping and took a quick bite of his lunch. “Not bad.”

“Mine’s good, too.” She removed her pickle from the plastic wrap it came in and nibbled. “Though the school makes them better.”

“They do have an advantage other places don’t.”

 

In case you were wondering, lunch is served right under that tree.

In case you were wondering, lunch is served right under that tree.

The one thing to take away is if your girlfriend likes onions, you better have them, too, otherwise you’re gonna smell it on her all day.  And Kerry loves that turkey, it seems.  So, once more, they are enjoying a nice lunch together on a chilly day, only this time they’re invisible under a tree in Kansas City instead of sitting out in the open on a bench in a park in Salem.  They love their lunches together, and the discussions that come with them . . .

And their discussion this time was a bit about romance.  Annie talks about the things she’s seen her parents do–little touches, kisses, terms of endearment–and she tells Kerry that romance in a relationship is important.  It’s also noted that Kerry’s seen none of that behavior in his parents, and why am I not surprised?  Annie attributes part of his wanting affection to having spent a little of his life growing up around her, and there is probably some truth in that:  he felt her love early on, and his soul cried out for whatever she radiated.  Annie comes right out and tells Kerry the truth:

 

Annie stopped him abruptly. “You’re not your parents; not in any way. You want affection—maybe that’s because you grew up, in a way, around me and you felt what I felt.” She lay her head against his shoulder for a few seconds. “I couldn’t be with you if you were like your parents. It would kill me.”

“I know. I think that’s what the girl in my rune dream was telling me.” He rested his head against hers for a moment before sitting up straight. They both finished their lunches in silence after a few minutes.

 

Pretty harsh, soul mate, but a whole lot of truth there.  And as Kerry says, it’s what the girl in his dream was trying to tell him:  he couldn’t be cold to Annie, she would hate it, and he had to open his heart to her in order to make her happy.  Smart girl, whomever she was.

They discuss a bit of the dream from the night before, and it’s obvious that Kerry is done California Dreamin’.  They both come to the conclusion that it wasn’t so much the home that Kerry was attached to as it was the personal items he left behind.  There was love in the memories those things brought, and when he left them behind, he left behind those memories.  But the home–screw that.  He knows it wasn’t a home, not based upon the definition that Annie gave him.

And that’s when Annie begins the reminiscing . . .

 

Annie took Kerry’s hand in hers and held it tight. “About a month before my eighth birthday my mother and I went away to a house her parents own just outside Pocancy, France. That’s in the Champagne region—do you know it?”

“I know of it. It’s like north-east France, right?”

“Yes. Beautiful country: lots of low rolling hills and fields and wooded areas. My grandparents have had that house there since the 1950s, I believe.”

“Why did you go there?”

“My mother had spent the summer on a project and she wanted to get away and rest.” She cuddled up against Kerry. “We spent three weeks there, with my father popping in every so often when he wasn’t testing or racing.” She smiled as the memories came back to her. “Every other day my mother and I went bicycling.”

“You did?”

“Yes. We’d ride maybe ten, twelve kilometers, stay out all day. That was how I got to see so much of the surrounding area.”

Kerry squeezed Annie’s hand. “Sounds wonderful, Sweetie.”

“It was.” She paused just a moment before telling him the rest. “I’d love to live there one day.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I have it written in my wedding book. A little château, walled off, with a garden in the back where I can grow vegetables and herbs. Maybe a small house in the back where I can have a lab like my mother’s.”

Kerry turned to Annie, a huge smile upon his face. “You have it all thought out.”

“Yes, I do.”

 

Leave it to Annie:  she knows what she wants, and she writes it down so she doesn’t forget.  And once it’s down in her wedding book, well, hell, it may as well be set in stone.  And since this was right before she turned eight, she was already in love with her Ginger Hair Boy, so you can imagine she was probably imagining him as the Master of the House.

Maybe right close to where the grandparents live.

Maybe it’ll be right close to where the grandparents live.

She adds something else in, which Kerry catches right away:

 

“What about your lake house?”

“Oh, I’ll always have my lake house; it’s not going anywhere.” She turned and gazed into Kerry’s eyes. “That will always be there for me to us, and once we learn how to jaunt, it won’t matter where we live, we can go there for a night or a weekend and get away from everything, just rest and relax and . . .” She pressed her cheek into Kerry’s arm. “Do whatever we like.”

He didn’t need to have “whatever we like” spelled out for him; Kerry’s suspicion was that it had something to do with what they’d already seen in their wedding vision. “You just said something telling—”

“What’s that?”

“You said ‘we’. When ‘we’ learn to jaunt ‘we’ can go there no matter where ‘we’ live.”

She lowered her head slightly and looked up at him. “Does that bother you?”

He shook his head once. “No.”

“Good. Because given what we’ve seen—given the possibility that it’s going to be true—my lake house will be your lake house one day.” She gave him a quick kiss. “And my house, wherever I live, will be yours as well.”

“A little château in France?”

“That’s one possibility.”

 

What’s mine is yours, Kerry, and she isn’t hiding it.  She knows their future together is possible, and she’s going with that.  There’s also the “whatever we like” line which Kerry gloams upon right away.  It’s an unfortunate fact that they both saw something that should have remained imagined for some time, and that will have an effect on them as time moves forward.  Annie could be talking about getting the Monopoly game out and spending the evening trying to force Kerry into declaring bankruptcy, but I’m gonna say she’s got something else in mind.

Kerry’s imagining something as well–

 

Kerry slipped his hand out of Annie’s and wrapped his arm around her. “I’m thinking . . .”

“Yes?”

“One day I’d like to wake up early and get the bikes out, and ride into the nearest town. Find a small cafe and sit and have breakfast—”

“Alone?”

“No.” He pulled Annie against him. “I’d do this with the person I love.”

She chuckled. “Anyone I know?”

“You do: she’s right next to me.”

Annie closed her eyes so she could visualize Kerry’s words. “What happens after that?”

“Well, we spend a couple of hours eating and talking before getting on our bikes and heading off—maybe riding to the next town, or two towns over, or maybe even another beyond that. Then we buy some things for lunch—bread, meat, cheese—”

“And a little wine.”

“Have to do that if we’re in France . . . We take that and find a nice, shady place on the side of the road, and have a picnic. Eat, relax, enjoy the weather.”

“Sounds wonderful.”

“It would be. And when we’re done, we bike home, take a nap—’cause we’re gonna be tired—and then clean up and get ready for dinner. And if we are in France, and we can jaunt, there are so many places where we could dine.”

Annie saw all this in her mind’s eye: the riding, the picnic, resting at home, getting dressed and going out . . . “And is there anything after that?”

“Sure we go home, or . . . we go to our lake house where we rest, relax . . .” He kissed her on the cheek. “Do whatever we like.”

 

He’s going with the idea that perhaps their future together is in somewhere in Europe–maybe a walled château in France–and that they’ll have access to their lake house whenever they need to get away.  And Kerry’s words have an affect upon Annie–

 

Annie heart raced as Kerry’s ideas for their day together came together in her head and the images became real. She so wanted to speak his name right now, but knew she couldn’t, that even though the odds they were being watched were small, she didn’t want to go against the instructions that Helena gave them this morning.

She half-unzipped her jacket, then took his hand and held it against her chest. “Do you feel that?”

Kerry sighed. “Yeah, I do.”

She pressed their hands into her shirt. “That will happen one day. I promise.”

He said nothing for a few seconds. “No, you won’t.”

Annie turned her hand and gave him a shocked look. “What do you mean?”

“It’s not yours to promise.” He smiled. “It’s mine.” He quickly kissed her on the lips. “And one day that will happen. I promise.”

She had agreed last night they wouldn’t think about a future wedding, that they wouldn’t discuss the mater out of fear they would destroy the possibility of it occurring. But after hearing this, Annie could do nothing but hope and wish that their visions come true. “I’m going to hold you to that promise, my love.”

Kerry did his best to ignore his own racing heart, if only to keep the emotions running through is mind out of his voice. “I’d expect nothing less, Sweetie.”

 

Racing hearts and emotions.  I think the next novel will end up titled B for Because Hormones Are Out of Control, as that’s going to be a problem by next year.  Or will it?  Because there are probably more than a few magical ways to keep these kids from getting too carried away.

Then again, I know things about that story, and . . . I can’t say.  I’m a stinker, I know.  And until I write it down in a story anything I say makes me an unreliable narrator, because I don’t want to tell you too much of their future.

But we know now:  Annie wants a future in France.  And Kerry can see them sharing it.

Pretty nice deal coming out of a spy operation, wouldn’t you say?

In Dreams: Annie’s Dream

Finally, after all the hand wringing and such yesterday, I locked myself down and got some writing done.  I will admit I wrote part of this over my break yesterday, but even so I managed eleven hundred words at home, late at night, just enough to get my NaNo count up and over the line.  I have ten days to go, I’m 12,600 words from the finish, and I need 1,261 words a day to hit the fifty thousand.

The odds do seem to be in my favor, but I’m gonna have to push it if I want that winner code this year.

And considering I’m going to lose a couple of days traveling–well, maybe I won’t lose them completely.  We’ll see.

This is what some people have waited for, and even wondered about:  what was Annie’s rune dream.  Well, I’ll tell ya:  I’ve know it for probably a couple of years now, so I’ve finally reached the point where you can see it, too.  Here it is, in its entirety:  Annie’s Dream.

 

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

I open my eyes and there is soft light all around.  It’s morning, but it feels different.  It is different, because I today I awake someone different—

There you are, in my line of sight.  Sleeping still, your hair tousled, your mouth slightly open, your freckles seeming to glow against your light skin.  You look peaceful in the morning light, safe and secure under the comforter.

I slide next to you and press myself into your body.  I’m not wearing anything, but then neither are you, and I feel warm and loved like this.  I lay my right arm over you and pull myself closer, then lightly kiss your lips and cheek while you sleep.  There isn’t a reaction at first, but half a minute you slowly open your eyes as a tiny grin plays upon her face.

I give your lips another soft kiss.  “Good morning, my love.”

“Good morning, Sweetie.”  You wrap your left arm over me, pull me tight against you, and kiss me in the way I’ve grown to love, and when we stop our faces remain against our pillows, centimeters from each other.  “I could get spoiled being woken up that way.”

“You can, can you?”  I kiss you again.  “We’ll have to see if you can find a way to spoil me, then.”

“Oh . . .”  Your grin is bright and amazing this morning.  “I can think of a few things—“

Before I can discover how you want to spoil me there is a buzzing.  I know what it is, as do you.  You roll onto you back with a tired look and slip your right hand out from under the covers.  You hold out your hand and summon your phone.  You read what’s on the screen floating above your face and chuckle.

I think of propping up my head, but rather like the softness of the pillow.  “Who’s texting this early?”

“My mom.”  You half turn your head towards me.  “She says your mother wants to know when we’re coming to the house for breakfast.”

“She’s a little early texting us:  we’re not supposed to be there until eight thirty.”

The phone twists so I can see the display.  “It’s eight thirty-five.”

I push against my pillow and laugh.  “Oops.”

“Yeah.”  You flip the phone back so you can see the display.  “Text mode . . .  Mom, Annie and I slept in; getting up and getting ready; see you in about an hour; go ahead and eat without us.  Bye.”  You tap the air and the phone slides away to rest on the end table.

I try to keep from laughing when I see the look on your face.  “I guess we shouldn’t start anything we can’t finish.”

“We could finish—“  I wrap my hand over your shoulder and kiss you.  “But we’d be even later.”

“And we wouldn’t want to do that to our waiting parents.”

“It’s not as if we won’t have time later.”

“Oh, yeah.”  You roll away to the edge of the bed, the comforter falling away.  I can see your bare back, smooth and soft, complemented by your shoulders.  A robe sails over from where it was resting on a chair and you slip it on before standing.

I wait until you are leaning against the railing and looking down into the living area before I climb out of bed.  I don’t bother with a robe, and join you at the railing as I slept.  I smile when you look at.  “You look as if you’ve never seen me naked.”

“Well, I haven’t for the first time today.”  You chuckle and scan the room below.  “I’ll use the shower downstairs.”

I reach for you hand.  “Bring up something for me to wear?”

“Sure.  What you want?”

I decide right away.  “My green sleeveless tunic, jeans, and my brown gladiators.”  I give your left hand a squeeze.  “It’s going to be a busy day; I want to be comfortable.”

You nod slowly, probably going over something in your head.  “Clean bra and panties?”

“Naturally.”  I lean my head against your shoulder.  “You remembered.”

“I’ve had some practice with that the last couple of years.”  You give my hand a light squeeze.  “You want some coffee?”

“Yes.  That would be lovely.”

“Consider it done.”  There’s a silence that stretches on for about fifteen seconds.  I’m almost about to ask what is wrong when you speak.  “Did you feel anything . . . different?”

“Yes.”  I release you hand and turn to face you.  “It was like my head cleared.”

“Same here.”  You face me.  “I guess that means they were right.”

“So it would seem.”  My right hand becomes entwined in your left as I draw closer.  “Now the question becomes, where do we go with this—“  I press against you and kiss you long and slow.  “Mr. Malibey?”

“The answer to that is simple:  anywhere and everywhere we want to go—“  You return the kiss, and when you step back, there is a gleam in your eye.  “Mrs. Malibey.”

 

And there it is:  signed, sealed delivered.

Naturally Kerry has something to say . . .

 

Annie stood, watched, and waited for Kerry’s reaction. He’d not said a word the whole time she’d related her dream, and when she reached the end, he started back as if he were seeing a person he’d never met before now. After about twenty seconds of silent she grew worried. “Kerry?”

He cleared his throat and spoke weakly “Yeah?”

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m . . .” He looked out over the lake to this right, then turned back to Annie. “Mrs. Malibey?”

She nodded. “Um, hum.”

“As in ‘Mr. and Mrs. Malibey’?”

“Yes.”

“As in—”

“Kerry, we were married.” Annie wasn’t exacerbated by any apparent reluctance he manifested, but she felt she had to tell him everything. “I know the time and place of the dream. The place is my lake out, the one on my parent’s property.”

“You’ve told me about that—” Kerry didn’t appear upset or overwhelmed, but now curious. “But I don’t know much about the place.”

“It’s something I had built just after I turned nine.” Annie relaxed, as Kerry didn’t seemed like he was going to fly in to a panic or bolt. “It all came about due to a dream I had—”

“Or vision?” Kerry was beginning to suspect that this rune dream wasn’t the only dream of Annie’s that showed her something from the future.

“I think it was a vision—it came after something that . . .” She looked down, shaking her head. “It’s not important. I saw it in a dream a few days later, and I was compelled to make my family have it built.

 

Now you know that Annie’s lake house was built on a vision:  it was something she saw and therefore, something she needed.  She also knows something else about that loft.

 

“There’s a small upstairs area on the north side—I told my parents it was meant to be a guest loft. There’s a bed, a small sitting area, and a walk-in closet which is also the entrance to a full bath. The south end of the loft is open so you can see everything in the living area below.

“It’s suppose to be for guest, but I’ve not had any guest, and no one has ever slept there because it’s meant for more than that.” She sighed as she took a step closer to Kerry, moving to where she was almost touching him. “That’s why I know when my dream happens, because the first person to sleep in the loft is me—on my wedding night . . .” She gazed into Kerry’s eyes. “With my husband.”

 

The lake house was built to be Annie’s honeymoon house, and she knows it, so if she’s sleeping in the bed in the loft with . . . “her husband” . . . and it’s morning, then her rune dreams if of the morning after and the honeymoon is over, and judging from smiled on their faces, it was a pretty good one.

Which means there had to be some kind of lead-in, and Kerry’s making connections so he mentioned the vision he had the night before.  He decides to say a few things about what he saw, and Annie is making the connection as well and coming out with her own truths . . .

 

Deanna’s words flew back into Annie’s memory: You must tell your dream first. That should get Kerry to open up about his vision. There were things she had to know now . . . “They told me you had a vision, but not what it was. Tell it, please. Tell me what you saw.”

He took a deep breath and described his vision. “I was in a room, but there was a railing and a lot of darkness on my right. There was only a little light in the bedroom area, but there was a light below in the darkness—”

“The fire in the fireplace—” Annie’s voice took on a dream-like quality. “Dying.”

“I think so, too. And there was this smell, like—”

“Cherry wood.” She smiled and moved closer to Kerry. “It’s my favorite. You were walking towards the bed—”

He nodded. “Yes, I was. And you were on it—”

“Kneeling; sitting back on my heels. And you came and sat on my—”

“Left side, because I’m left handed—”

“And I could use my right.” She reached for him, touching his arm. “And I touched you—”

“And I touched you—” Kerry lay his hand on a spot just above Annie’s heart.

“And I touched you . . .” Annie’s eyes grew wide and she quickly pulled her hands away, stepping back at the same time. “We shouldn’t be talking like this.”

Kerry leapt back as well and was now trying to control his breathing. “I know . . .” He bent slightly and caught his breath. “Did they tell you what I saw? ‘Cause I never mentioned that last—”

“They didn’t have to.” The redness that had crept into Annie’s face faded. “I had the same vision.”

What?” Kerry’s mouth dropped open upon hearing this news. “When?”

Annie looked to the sky as she swallowed a couple of times. “Back on Orientation Day. In Memory’s End.”

 

And now you know what Annie saw during her tea trance:  the same thing Kerry saw six months later.  Only, since that last line was the last thing I wrote last night, it won’t be until tonight you find out just how significant having a vision like that becomes.  Also, it’s evident that these two shouldn’t be alone when they talk about this vision, ’cause . . . just saying.

Also, there was mention in Annie’s dream of people being “right” and having cleared heads.  I know a few people will ask, “Wait, does that mean something, Cassie?” and all I’ll say is, yes, I do tell you what that means, only not in this novel, but the next one, if it gets written.  So you only gotta wait like, oh, another year or so and maybe two hundred thousand words to find out what it means.  That means I can’t tell you now, la, la, la, fingers in my ears, I can’t hear you . . .

As I’ve told a few others, I’ve not just plotted out this novel, but five others.  Yeah–five.  This is a long game, and there are events in this book that don’t get played all the way out until the second and third books, which have events that become major deals in later novels.  I have also mentioned something, in passing, in this book that doesn’t become a major deal until–here it comes–the fifth novel.  Yeah, I’m like that:  torturing you.  Just wait until I start killing off beloved characters, because George R. R. Martin shouldn’t get all the hate . . .

In the mean time, I need to finish the current scene and get to Kerry’s dream–

As you can see, it's coming.

As you can see, it’s coming.

And then I can get to the aftermath of what happens to these kids.

It’s fun, I tell you:  fun.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/20:  1,934

NaNo Total Word Count:  37,398