Springtime For Kerry: Bracing Concerns

Though it doesn’t happen often, I do find myself unable to finish a train of thought before heading off to dreamland–or in my case just crashing out into deep slumbers because I’m so tired.  And I been tired this week; it seems like I’ve played catch-up on my rest every day, including last night.  Which is why I’m usually in my pajamas when I’m putting the touches on my masterpiece.

I usually don't look this attentive when writing.  Or good looking, either.

I usually don’t look this attentive when writing. Or good looking, either.

And one of the things that keep me from moving ahead quickly with the scene last night was having to rewrite paragraphs.  One of them doesn’t appear here, but the last two in the excerpt I probably spent fifteen minutes on getting write, because after rereading what was originally written I about pulled out whatever non-existence hair I have.  I get that was a lot these days:  I put something down on paper–computer paper in this instance–and my eye immediately picks up that it kinda sucks.  In the instance of the first paragraph in question it was because I had all the thoughts there, but they were way the hell out of order.  This is why you edit:  so your stuff doesn’t suck.  At least not deliberately.

Because I didn’t get everything written as planed last night, that means you only get a small part of what I scribbled out.  But I think you’ll enjoy this part.  At least that’s my hope.  We’ll see.

 

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

Nadine waited until the hallway was clear. “How you feeling?”

“I feel okay.” Kerry leaned against the wall. “Pretty good, actually.”

“I was just wondering ‘cause when I saw you at lunch you looked like you were draggin’ a bit.”

Kerry shrugged. “I didn’t sleep much last night. Got a case of the nerves and had trouble going down.” He smiled. “If you noticed Annie’s dragging a bit, too.”

A slight smile flashed on Nadine’s face. “You both up late?”

“Just a little.” He stood and looked around the empty corridor. “What you really want?”

“Wanted to make sure everything’s gonna be okay out there today.”

“You mean when we race you guys?”

Nadine nodded. “Uh, huh.”

“Yeah. It’s all cool.” He turned a lopsided grin to the Mórrígan team captain. “I was given several personal assurances yesterday.”

“So was I. I just, you know—”

“Gotta make sure I know that you know everything’s good.”

“Something like that.”

Kerry chuckled. “There won’t be any trouble from either of us. Nothing to worry about.” He inwardly grinned, because they’d discussed this same matter after Advanced Spells the prior Wednesday. This is her job, though; she has to make sure the peace is kept. I can’t blame her for being a bit apprehensive . . .

There wasn’t a lot of activity in the aftermath of the Katahdin. Kerry spent the night in the hospital with Annie by his side, and when he was released the next day before lunch, Coraline discovered that while the magic and technology did their job repairing the damaged ligaments of his left knee, the scans indicated the repair wasn’t perfect. She decided that additional treatments were possible on an out-patient basis, and released him with the stipulation that he returned every morning for twenty minutes of treatment, and that he wear a brace until Tuesday morning, when she’d complete the treatments. She gave him a cane to use for additional support, but because she didn’t want him going up and down the coven stairs she had him sleep in the hospital Sunday and Monday nights—something that Annie did with him as well—allowing him to use the lift from the ground floor to get to the first floor ward.

During this time Emma maintained an extremely low profile, leaving Mórrígan tower only to eat and attend class. Her dormmates, Jacira Maciel and Leela Kaluwitharana, told others in their level that she usually sat on her bed and said little, though they said that Wednesday afternoon she let them know she’d be away from the tower for a while that night—

 

Now you know:  those little magical nanos aren’t getting Kerry’s knee all fixed up the way they should fix them right away.  This was something Coraline feared might happen, and now you see Kerry hobbling around the school wearing a brace while getting “out-patient” treatment.  This is also the first time he’s seen being made to sleep in the hospital while getting something done because Coraline doesn’t want him walking up and down stairs.  The hospital has a lift at the south end of the ward:  it goes down to the ground floor and the lower levels, and up to the second and third floor, and the later of those two are going to put in an appearance soon.

And of course Annie is spending the night with him as well because Coraline is an enabler and knows there’s no way in hell she can get Annie to head off to the coven to sleep down in the B Level section without her soul mate doing the same on the other side of the tower.  Good thing Annie’s considered part of the triage staff and her overnights with Kerry can be seen as, um, “therapeutic”.  Yeah, that’s right.  She’s helping him heal.

But this last paragraph about Emma?  Well, now you know she has mates with whom she shares a room.  And she’s been sticking to it because she knows she’s been a bad girl, and there are probably a couple of C Levels girls from The Tower of the Horned God looking to kick her ass.  So what did Emma do Wednesday night?

I know.  And I’ll tell you tomorrow.

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.

End These Bed #2 Blues

What starts always has an ending, and getting Kerry into bed and mended has reached that point.  I thought about all the stuff I could have added to the scene, but the reality is you keep the story stripped down too what is needed, and not what you want to show.  Even so, it took almost another eight hundred words to get to that point.

"I could have left in the part about Annie going down and whipping Emma with some rubber tubing, but I'll save that for another scene!"

“I could have left in the part about Annie going down and whipping Emma with some rubber tubing, but I’ll save that for another scene!”

Here we are, then:  Annie and Nurse Thebe discovering that, yes, Kerry had the crap scared out of him.  And it’s time to do some clean up . . .

 

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

After handing over the clean wipes Annie opened one of the bio-bags and held it while Thebe opened one of the sterile wipes and began cleaning Kerry’s groin. As she would use up the wipe, Thebe would drop it in the open bag and unseal another package. As she was opening the fourth package the nurse cast a sideways glance at her young assistant. “You may not want to mention that you were here while we cleaned feces from his nether regions.” She chuckled. “Or that you saw him naked.”

Annie calmly regarded Nurse Thebe and her comments. She had been right about one thing: seeing Kerry now, with parts of his body broken and twisted, and large sections of his skin discolored from sickening yellows to horrifying reds to deep purplish-blacks, was heart rendering. She wanted to use his injuries to further fuel her anger towards Emma, but instead she found it driving her to help him, to make him whole and healthy again. Hurting her won’t help him him get better—but working on his like this will.

As for Thebe’s last comment . . . Annie raised an eyebrow and kept an unwavering gaze upon her face. “Yes, well . . .” The right corner of her mouth curled upward for three second before settling back to something normal.

A slight grin played across Thebes. “Yes well—” She tossed the wipe into Annie’s bag. I’m done here. Seal that and throw it into the container.” She grabbed the catheter off the cart and began unwinding it. “Then you can give me hand with this.”

 

First off, Annie’s getting out of her murder mindset.  That’s good, because there was never any option open where Annie was gonna go off all Natural Born Sorceress on Emma and torture her for what happened.  She’s starting to understand that revenge isn’t going to work, no matter how much she wants to let the Dark Witch inside run free.

And two:  what’s with the raising of the eyebrow when asked about not saying anything to Kerry about seeing him in the all together?  Of course the idea is to leave the reader guessing about what that means–and that’s what I’m doing.  I mean, I know what she means, but that’s because I’m Annie.  And Kerry.  And Nurse Thebe.  It’s a little crowded in here, let me tell you . . .

 

Thebe slowly made her way to the foot of the bed and faced Annie. “First, we’re going to reset his dislocations; I can do the shoulder on my own, but you’ll need to help me with the hip. Then we’re going to wipe him down and get him as clean as possible without scrubbing him down—you’ll take the right side and I’ll take the left, because I need to reset his broken limbs and I know how to work around them before I put on the nanobindings.”

She looked down Kerry’s body. “I’ll place those on and immobilize his left side so the shoulder and collarbone will heal. I’ll clean his face and hair and get the skull cap on. All I’ll need to do after that is get him into a gown—”

“What will I do?”

Thebe laid a hand lightly upon Annie’s shoulder. “You’ll be back in the triage center helping out. I can do all those thing in about fifteen minutes.” She gave the shoulder a slight squeeze. “He’ll be in good hands, Annie. You’ve no need to worry.”

Annie slowly turned to her left and saw her love and soul mate still out, broken and bruised—and knew what Nurse Thebe was telling her was the absolute truth. I can’t help with the bindings, but I can help those who come into triage. Once I’ve helped clean you, my duties are elsewhere

“—My love.” The sigh that escaped was slow and low, as were her words.

Thebe didn’t ask need to ask Annie what she’d said because her hearing was better than those of a natural person. And she could imagine what this girl was feeling. But she’d allowed Annie to see her boyfriend’s condition, and she’d allow her to help him as much as was possible—

After that, she needed to seed her back where she could help others while Kerry slept and began mending.

She tapped Annie on the shoulder. “Come on; we’ll do his hip first, and then you can start cleaning while I do the shoulder.”

Annie turned back and smiled. “Yes, Nurse Thebe.”

 

Back to triage with you, Annie, where things are . . . well, we don’t know.  But there’s been a little adjustment to the time line, and that might give Annie something to do.  I know there is something in the next scene that should be pretty clear based upon the scene name.  And then after that we move on to other things . . .

Just like Poppy, it keeps growing.

Just like Poppy, this sucker keeps growing.

Really, the end for Act Two is in sight.  I can see it–

Pretty much like Annie can see something coming her way . . .