The Splits in the Road

The chill has returned to the air here in The Burg and I may actually consider wearing a work dress in today, one that’s a little heavier than normal because the high will be a rainy sixty-five F, or eighteen C, and I don’t want to catch cold.  Don’t worry:  it’ll be back up close to ninety before we know it.

It rained like crazy last night, and I actually had to wait for about twenty minutes after I left work to walk home because I didn’t have an umbrella.  getting home saw another shower of a different sort, as I cried for about fifteen minutes straight because–well, who needs a reason?  All my gal pals out there know this.  I watched a little television, then sat and finished yesterday’s scene while Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome played in the background.  And I can never see or think about that flick without remembering a MechWarrior game I once ran where one of the players ended up in command of their rag-tag group of mechsoldiers, and one of the first things he wanted to do after getting a steady job with the Lyran Commonwealth (this was old school MW, none of this newfangled stuff) was piss it all away.  He wanted to run jobs on the side for whomever wanted to pay, he wanted to establish a casino and brothel on company grounds, and he wanted to build his own version of Thunderdome “out behind the mech sheds” so when people had a beef, they could go in there and do whatever the hell they wanted.

Unfortunately for him, the other players thought those were all bad ideas, and after he left that night a few people stuck around and told me, the GM, those ideas were such total bullshit they were gonna off his character.  Fortunately for him–and everyone else–he never returned after that evening, probably because he knew he’d brought the unit to within inches of mutiny, and thought he was a dickish player, he was smart enough to know something bad would happen if he returned.

This at least kept me from dreaming up a mission titled, Babe;  Pig in a Vindicator.

This at least kept me from dreaming up a mission titled, Babe; Pig in a Vindicator.

Bad gamers:  can’t live with them, can’t go full auto to the head on them with an Uzi.

Back in the garden, however, Annie and Kerry aren’t dealing with a bad gamer, though it would be interesting to see Wednesday playing Shadowrun–“You call this magic?  It all sucks!  This is magic!”  Her question was asked–was it answered.

 

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

“Unless you come and be my minions.” Wednesday stopped rocking left and right now that she was past the point of asking her question. “The question I have is: are you gonna feel strange helping out people who you see in other classes every day?”

The couple exchanged looks once more, and Wednesday could tell, based upon their expressions, he question was one they’d never considered before this moment. She also suspected that it wouldn’t take them long to come up with an answer . . .

Annie answered for them bother. “It won’t be a problem, Wednesday. We can do that.”

“You can?” Wednesday didn’t doubt Annie’s sincerity; she simply wanted to hear a conformation uttered by them both. “You’re sure?”

Annie nodded. “Yes, I’m sure.” She turned to Kerry. “What about you?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Yeah.” He glanced over to Wednesday. “I mean, it’s not like we’re really in class with everyone else—”

Annie nodded along with her soul mate. “Other than sorcery, we don’t have any crafting classes with the rest of our level.”

 

This is really the first time they point out to another instructor that they really aren’t in the same class as the other students, that they are beyond that B Level stuff.  So what does it matter if they come into the B Level Spells class and help out?  It’s the same as getting kids from the upper levels, right?

This is the road they take.  During their A Levels they started setting themselves up as apart from everyone else, and now, in their B Levels, they prove it as a fact.  Some would say this is pride talkin’, and we all know what that comes before . . .

It’s all set, and with that comes the good nights–

 

Annie remained latched on to Kerry’s arm once they were standing. “Thank you, Wednesday. We won’t let you down.”

“I know you won’t.” She gave them both a quick nod. “Good night, you two. See you around.” A soft pop followed her disappearance as she jaunted off to the Instructor’s Residence.

Kerry pulled his left arm—and Annie—in tight to his body. Though it was late, he cherished these moments when he could be alone with her, knowing that the chances of anyone stumbling across them were minuscule. “Sweetie?”

Annie mumbled her response with her head resting against his shoulder. “Yes, my love?”

“Do you get the feeling that this year we’re going to have almost no free time together?”

Knowing their schedule long before they’d departed for school, Annie was well aware that their free time would be far less than during their A Levels. “You know what this is, don’t you?”

“You know you’re answering a question with a question?” He twisted around and kissed the tip of her nose. “Just like on the train before we entered the Chunnel last year.”

“Really?”

They both hugged and giggled for a few moments, then Kerry kissed her once more. “Yes, I do know what this is—”

“What, then?”

“It’s a test. We’re being tested.”

“Yes.” Annie took his hand and they began walking towards the tower. “Last year we were out in the field; this year it’s being kept inside the walls.”

“Do you think the Guardians are behind this?”

“It’s hard to say. It could be, but then—” She shifted Kerry into a slower walk. “Helena was in the meeting last year when we were asked into all the classes. This could be something coming from San Francisco.”

Kerry had felt the same way since realizing, before arriving home, that they had been chosen for every advanced class—and had so far discovered they were the only ones out of their level in classes that weren’t something of an extended course from the year before. “At this point I don’t think it matters. We were asked, we had the choice to say no . . . and we didn’t.”

Squeezing Kerry’s left hand tight, Annie giggled in a tone filed with mirth. “No, my love, we didn’t. And I wouldn’t have expected us to say anything else.”

 

Nothing more or less, eh, Annie?  You know you’ve got your boy trained, don’t you.  That should be the next Act:  How To Train Your Dark Witch.  To be fair to Kerry, however, once he remembered all of his past with Annie, he started changing, and grew up a bit rather fast.  After his talk with Annie in his hidey-hole he knew the score, and decided on a path to follow.  A good deal of his story is about figuring out where he wants to go with his life.  Annie’s wanted to be a sorceress and a Guardian since she was a middle tweener, and Kerry has a lot of catching up to do in that regard.  But he’s getting there.

And speaking of sorceresses . . .

I see a bad witch arising . . .

I see a bad witch arising.

After I finish my running around tonight I get to write about Helena.  I love writing about her–

She’s always . . . interesting.