C Level Seeing: Seeing the Future of the Future

Happy Boxing Day to everyone.  Today’s the day you’re supposed to hand out presents to people like mail carriers and your in-house servants, so if you have either of those few best get on it.  Since I don’t have either I don’t need to worry too much, though an in-house servant would be nice from time to time.  But I can always dream.

This is probably been one of the busiest Christmas holidays I’ve ever been in.  I started Friday I staying up twenty-three hours straight, then went out Christmas Eve evening for a party.

I even have evidence that I wasn't home.

I even have evidence that I wasn’t home.

What was unusual about the Christmas Eve party was that I appeared to be the one person who wasn’t part of the close gathering of friends, which was kind of cool in a way.  I should also point out that the host of the party–well, the husband of the husband/wife through the party–had one whole room of nothing but Funko! Pop figurines:

The Game of Throne collection.

The Game of Throne collection.

 

And this one was In My Eyes.

And this one was In My Eyes.

It was quite a time but I had to bail at 11 PM due to exhaustion and anxiety.  Still, a great time was had.

Then yesterday I was out for Christmas, invited over by the manager of one of the restaurants I frequent.  He prepared a small spread for a small group of us and made sure we had wine.

And a nice tree.

And a nice tree.

Oh, plenty of wine.

Third glass here.

Third glass here.

And Ava got dressed up for the occasion wearing a flouncy skirt because it’s not something I can actually wear to work:

All dressed up and with presents!

All dressed up and with presents!

That’s been my weekend.  And I hope yours has been just as good.  But now, how are my kids doing?

It was Saturday that I published the vision Annie and Kerry had, and if you haven’t read it I would do so by clicking on this link before you get into the excerpt below.  I don’t often do that, but in this case I think it’s important.  And it will become obvious once you read the first few lines at the start of this excerpt–

Which begins now:

 

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

 

He was once more evasive for a few seconds. “I was looking across a room and…” He spent a moment wetting his lips. “There was a mirror.”

Annie touched his hand and gave it a squeeze. “He—”

Let me say it.” He finally looked up and made eye contact with Deanna. “I saw myself, but…” He glanced off to the right before regaining eye contact. “It wasn’t actually me. It was her.”

“Really.” Deanna turned to Annie. “You saw, um, him that way?”

“I saw her that way.” Annie turned to Kerry. “I knew before I even looked at you or heard you speak. It was as if I could feel it in my mind the whole time.”

Deanna knew she couldn’t ask the correct answers if she didn’t know what questions to ask. “Tell me everything that happened: don’t leave out any details.”

Annie and Kerry spent about five minutes describing everything they saw, heard, and felt. Once they had given their observations Deanna knew where to begin with her probing. “Kerry, did anything feel out of the norm for you? Concerning the dreams you were having last year, you said the first few times her and you swapped you felt somewhat disoriented, but that went away.” She gripped her hands together in her lap as she leaned a slight bit forward. “Was there any disorientation, or wasn’t that present?”

Kerry gave his head a slight shake. “Everything felt normal, like I was born in that that body. I didn’t ever notice anything strange about me.”

Annie tilted her head to one side. “So you didn’t even notice it when you brushed your hair back?”

He seemed confused. “I did?”

“Yes, when you pushed back your hood. Right after that the first thing you did was push her hair back so wasn’t creeping into your face.”

“I never noticed it.”

“You wouldn’t have noticed it if it was a reflexive action.” Deanna ran a finger over her right cheek. “Hum. If it didn’t cause you to question what you were doing, that would mean you had been a girl long enough not to notice.” Her eyes shifted from Kerry to Annie. “Do you have any feel for when this may have happened?”

 

Again it’s another shared vision between Annie and Kerry, but as we discover Kerry wasn’t quite “himself”.  Yes, Kerry’s running around someplace cold and dark as Girl Kerry, and it’s happening at a point in the future where not only doesn’t he feel there’s anything strange about being like her, but Annie seems completely unconcerned about it as well.

Based on some of the actions which occurred, it leads Annie and Deanna to think that Kerry had become acclimated to his female side.  Although this leads to some while guessing about the exact when–

 

Both children shrugged before Annie answered. “I didn’t feel that old.”

Kerry let out a loud sigh. “I think it was before we were married.”

Both Deanna and Annie was staring at him, with Annie asking the important question. “How can you be certain?”

“When we had a vision last year, we were able to tell we were a bit older than we are now, but this time it didn’t feel like we were a lot older.” He shrugged. “To me it felt like I was just a few years older. Also…” Kerry chuckled as he looked at Annie. “You had a nose piercing.”

What?” Annie’s eyes grew wide with surprise. “I did?”

“Yeah.” He touched the right side of her nose. “Right there.”

Deanna gave an almost imperceptible shrugged. “Just because she had a nose piercing doesn’t mean it happen before your wedding.”

“I know, but…”  Kerry glanced down and sighed. “She had it when I had the vision of our wedding night.”

Annie almost recoiled. “You never mentioned that.”

“I figured it wasn’t important. Besides, I didn’t want to say anything: I was afraid if I did you might not do it.” He glanced at Deanna. “Not every vision comes true, right?”

Deanna nodded. “That’s true.”

Annie was more interested in this new development. “What color was it?”

A faint smile played on Kerry’s face. “It was a sapphire.”

“My birthstone.” Annie glanced on the floor for second then chuckled. “That would explain your nose piercing.”

 

So now there is a couple of other bits of information.  One, Annie has a sapphire nose piercing–and Kerry reveals for the first time that it was something she had when they got married.  Kerry also seems convinced that the vision happened before they were married, though all that really appears to be is a feeling: Deanna and Annie are still not so sure, and the fact that Annie had gotten her nose piercing before they were married isn’t really compelling evidence that the vision happens before they were married.

And then comes the other news: Girl Kerry obviously has a nose piercing of her own!  Yeah, these kids are full of surprises–

With more of them coming tomorrow.

An Annoying Holiday Interlude

 

Let it be known that I actually have someplace I need to be going in about an hour and I got to get ready.  So even though I have a post that’s in the process of being readied, there’s no way I’m going to get it out the next half hour.  Therefore, I’ll just tell you that I have it out later this afternoon, and I hope I’m not too loaded that the post comes out in a semi-coherent fashion.

Because what day is it?  I’ll let Benifer answer that one:

Catch you all later.

Rebreaking the Heart

Old Deuteronomy may not be moving slow this morning, but I certainly am.  It was something of a rough night, and it woke at my normal time this morning–which is to say around five-fifteen in the dark morning.  I didn’t even have the alarm set:  I simply got out of bed and started getting ready for my early morning breakfast dining.

I usually get into a smooth writing mood on Saturday mornings, but not today.  I spent about twenty minutes stumbling over a paragraph at one point, and figured getting some food for the week, along with returning home to write this post, was the order of the day.  Also, I intend to take a quick nap after I’ve finished here, which is something else I’ve done a lot of late.  I will write more this afternoon, but I’ve started the scene rather nicely:

 

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

Whenever they were home the Kirilovis set aside time for afternoon tea and snacks. It was a tradition that Pavlina and Victor actually started when they were together at Salem, taking tea together in the Cernunnos commons on Sundays when they weren’t out shopping or sightseeing. After they married they carried on the tradition, with Victor even jaunting home from racing practice to spend an hour with his wife.

Annie joined in the tradition right away, swaddled and held against her mother the afternoon after her birth while her parents enjoyed tea in the hospital room. As she grew older she continued enjoying tea with her parent, though during the summer it was more difficult for Victor to escape commitments, so afternoon tea often consisted of Pavlina and Annie alone.

Now that Annie was away at school the only time she could enjoy tea with her parents was during the summer and Yule holidays. Yesterday the Christmas Eve tea became a spectacular event, with four generations of her family sitting together for the first time in a decade. Today, Christmas, was far more intimate and relaxed, with Annie and her parents sitting in the dining room conversing over their ritual refreshments.

It was a relaxed affair: all were in jeans and sweaters while music played at a low volume in the background. As was usual Annie sat facing the window while Victor sat to her left at one end of the table while Pavlina sat at the other end on Annie’s right. Conversation was minimal due to so much being said the day before at dinner and in the aftermath of opening presents that morning, so most of the niceties related to those two events.

There was someone at the table, however, who had something she wanted to discuss—

 

Who is that “someone”?  Probably a thirteen year old Chestnut Girl.  What does she want to discuss?  Hum . . . wedding plans?  Nah, too soon for that.  I think we can guess what she’s gonna talk about–I just gotta write it up.

Also, an additional treat:  I’m gonna design Annie’s family home!  I actually did the design a long time back, but I’ve finally decided to give her house the three-dimensional treatment.  You’ll finally get a chance to see Annie’s private sitting area.

Now, onto something personal . . .

Sometimes I go back over old posts, and yesterday was no exception.  I was reading something I posted in April, The Quey to the Square, and it showcased two scenes I’d written the night before.  The scenes in question were some of the first I’d written for the novel, where we got to see Kerry on his summer holiday.  It had been a while since I’d been in the file from which the scenes arose:  the information from Scrivener said I’d last edited a particular scene on 8 July, 2015.

There was one part of the except that did something to me.  Let me show you what I was reading:

 

Erywin turned her head so she could see Helena. “Kerry informed me that he’s been to Russell Square before.”

Helena turned to Kerry. “Is that so?”

“Yeah. When Annie and I were doing our walking tour of London last year, we stopped here for lunch.”

“Oh? Where?”

“At a Pret a Manger.” Kerry stopped and took in the street, remembering that moment almost a year earlier when Annie and he were allowed to leave the hotel where they were staying, and she showed him around the city. “It was right across from the tube station, so if it’s there—” He turned to his left towards Helena. “—then the restaurant is right behind—”

Helena took a single step to her left, giving Kerry an unobstructed view of the Pret a Manger behind her—

Annie sat alone inside the restaurant at a table next to the window. As her eyes met Kerry’s, a smile etched across her face as she raised her right hand and waved.

Kerry froze, unable to react. He finally turned back towards the two women who were now standing side-by-side. Helena took Erywin’s hand. “As clueless as always.”

Kerry finally found his voice. “You guys—”

“I told you mother I was taking you to lunch—” Erywin leaned into Helena. “I didn’t say you were dining with us.”

 

It was the line that starts with the word “Annie” that got to me.  Just as I’m doing now I started crying.

There are times when I shouldn't re-read my own work.

There are times when I shouldn’t re-read my own work.

I’ve said before that these novels have, from time-to-time, touched me in extremely emotional ways.  At times it’s difficult to separate myself from a few of these characters, and it’s easy to say that there are times when my feelings parallel theirs.

Yesterday I was missing someone terribly, and reading of Kerry being taken to Russel Square to reconnect with the girl he loves at a place that is close to both of them, left me in a bit of an emotional funk.  I knew how he felt because I wrote those words with much the same feelings–only there’s no one waiting for me to show up for lunch.  Not here, and certainly not in London.  Kerry gets the girl; I only get to tell everyone about that event.

I am not my characters, but I know how they feel, because I feel for them.  It’s just that they usually get the happy ending–

And all I get is to sit here and make it happen.

Maybe one day I can change that.  Maybe.

Cartref yn ôl ar Gyfer y Gwyliau

And with a title like the mouthful posted today, it means only one thing:  someone’s back home in Wales.  It goes without saying that this is probably not a good moment for my Ginger Hair Boy, because home is not a good place for him, but at least he didn’t have a break down moment like the last time he left a certain Chestnut Girl who was on her way back to Bulgaria.

He know he’s going to see her in a few weeks, and this slight pain he feels is a good one.  Or so he was once told.

Therefore let us to head off to the place of the return and see what transpires next.

No word if Kerry picked up a tasty steak pastry before leaving the station, however.

No word if Kerry picked up a tasty traditional steak pastry before leaving the station, however.

 

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

Kerry followed Ms. Rutherford out of Cardiff Central Station and headed towards the Audi saloon with the raised boot lid. He set his roll-on bag in the boot, tapped the lid to activate the auto-close mechanism, then got in on the rear passenger side, setting his backpack between his legs. The moment his seat belt clicked shut, the driver put the car in gear and pulled out.

Weather was about normal for this time of year for Cardiff: cloudy with a light winds and about eight Centigrade. The sun had set about an hour before, but the lights of the city kept everything bright. It was rare he saw this part of the city when it was dark: the few times he’d went with his family anywhere during the evening, they bypassed downtown by taking Western Avenue. Not that they ever went anywhere at night . . .

His mind wasn’t on being home: it was on Annie and on meeting her father. After the discussion he had with Ms Rutherford before their late lunch, he couldn’t get over the feeling of her dad scrutinizing him, of trying to determine if there was something different about him. He didn’t get that exact feeling while standing across from him in the jaunt waiting area, but a few hours later, after he’d had time to analyze the meeting, the meeting left him a little unnerved.

Annie told me there were things I needed to know about her family— He caught a quick glimpse of the prison as they drove eastward. She didn’t mention anything about her father doing his best to make me feel a bit insignificant.

 

After a few hours of sitting and lunching and enjoying some great sandwiches and talking with Ms. Rutherford, Kerry finally starting to get those “I just met my girlfriend’s father” jitters, and it’s not leaving him in a good place.  The last twenty-four hours have been pretty heavy for Kerry, with parents meetings and talk of babies.  What else can get laid on his twelve year old ass before he’s dropped off for Christmas?

 

Bernice sensed his contemplation. “Thinking about anyone I know?”

“Annie—” He looked straight ahead. “And her dad.”

“Ah, yes: the future father-in-law.” She almost chuckled at the sideways look Kerry sent her way. “There’s one thing I didn’t tell you about fathers—”

“What’s that?”

“The never think there’s any boy who’s good enough for their daughters. They spend their entire lives providing and protecting their little girls, and then along comes some boy who captures her heart, and . . .” She shrugged. “I want to say it shouldn’t be that way, but often times it goes in that direction. You do have one thing going for you—”

He looked across to his case working. “And that is?”

“Annie. From what I know, from what you’ve told me, she’s made her choice, and she isn’t about to change her feelings for you. Given the powers of persuasion she has with her parents, I believe when the time comes, she’d get her father to come around to her way of thinking.” She glanced out the window to her right. “More or less.”

“That’s comforting.” Kerry chuckled imagining that confrontation. “Guess there’s nothing I can do about it right now.”

“There’s nothing you can do about it, period.” She turned back towards Kerry. “Just be yourself, Kerry. If you try to actively impress her father, you’ll likely end up looking ridiculous. Don’t try to be someone else: be the one with whom Annie fell in love. That’s all you have to do.” She reached over and patted the back of his right hand. “That’s all that’s necessary.”

 

It seems like this holiday jaunt is a lot about the kid’s future, and while it seems like it’s Gang Up on Kerry time, you’ll see in a bit that Annie’s gonna get here share of questions, too.  This is a package deal, and you can bet someone in Annie’s family has a few questions, too.  And does it need to be mentioned that a time will come when Annie gets to meet her future in-laws, and who the hell knows how they’re gonna take this headstrong girl with a strange accent?  Especially Kerry’s mom:  she seems like a bit of a control freak, so what’s it going to be like when she runs into another one taking over her son’s life?  The Controlling Mom meets The Dark Witch.  Should be a good one.

But that’s for another time, and tonight I’ll get my shot and after that make another video to mark an occasion that happens this Sunday.  So much to do, so little time in which to eat, drink, and try to be merry.

At least I enjoyed my Cosmos with dinner last night.

At least I enjoyed my Cosmos with dinner last night.

Willkommen in Wien: Das Treffen

Here we are once more, with my quick and dirty just under seven hundred word, excerpt.  Not a lot is happening, but on the other hand, everything is happening, and it’s going to happen quickly.  Because, it seems, someone is getting set up here–

 

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

Bernice turned her back for a few seconds and smiled. She couldn’t prove anything, but the current situation so felt like Annie had tried to do something that didn’t sit well with her mother, and Pavlina decided that since her daughter was bringing her boyfriend with her to Vienna, she may as well bring Annie’s father along to meet the lad. If what I’ve read about Annie is true, I know where she gets her drive and stubbornness.

An announcement sounded through the room. “Vian atenton, mi petas. Teleportation de la Salem Instituto de Granda Lernado kaj Edukado ekkomprenas. Studentoj alvenante en dek kvin sekundoj.” People in the room turned towards the glassed in area anticipation of the arrival of children returning for the holidays.

 

In case your Esperanto is rusty, what was announced was this:  “Your attention, please. Teleportation from the Salem Institute of Greater Learning and Education is commencing. Students arriving in fifteen seconds.”  I really like there are a number of Esperanto translators around, and while this isn’t perfect, it’s good enough for my needs.  And my needs are simple.

But if there are students coming in from Salem, you know what that means . . .

 

A massive set of pops echoed through the platform room as just over a dozen kids jaunted in from America. Bernice looked for one child in particular, and she spotted him immediately. Kerry was up front near the edge, his bag on his right and Annie on his left. They stepped off the platform and proceeded through the opening glass doors into the waiting area. Bernice watched how they remained side-by-side from one room to the next—and that they held hands the whole time—

She wasn’t the only one to notice.

Annie broke from Kerry the moment she saw her parents. He wandered over to Bernice. “Hi, Ms. Rutherford.”

“Hello, Kerry.” This close to him it wasn’t difficult to see how different he seemed from this time last year. Then he was a tired, mopey boy who missed a young girl from Bulgaria terribly. Now he seemed better adjusted, less sad, a great deal more upbeat. “How are you?”

“I’m fine.” He smiled and patted the handle of his bag. “It was a good night and we had a good morning—”

Kerry.”

 

The last time Kerry heard his name called out like that he had to meet someone.  And, well:  it’s no different this time–

 

He and Bernice turned in the direction of Annie’s voice. Bernice suspected what was coming next, but as for the boy to her left—

He faced Annie, but his eyes were on the two adults with her—particular the man on her left. “Yes?”

“I’d like to introduce my parents.” She motioned to her right. “You remember my mother?”

“Yes, I do.” He held out his hand. “Hello again, Mrs. Kirilova.”

“How are you, Kerry?” She shook his hand. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“Good to see you, too.”

Annie motioned the man next to her forward. “And this . . . is my father.”

Once more he held out his hand. “How do you do? Victor Kirilov.”

Kerry took his hand. “Kerry Malibey.” They shook. “How do you do, sir?”

“I’m well, thank you.” Victor stared at Kerry; the boy stared back. Neither spoke while Victor seemed to regard the lad carefully. “So . . . The Ginger Hair Boy.” The right side of his mouth curled upward. “We meet at last.”

Kerry voice caught in his throat, the only sign he may have felt a bit unnerved. “Yes, sir, it appears we are.”

 

So, here we are:  both kids in Vienna, Kerry’s case worker there, and he’s facing both of Annie’s parents, but mostly it’s her dad who’s taking up his time right now.  How’s that feel, Kerry?

"I've fought monsters--this is just Annie's dad . . . I'd rather the monsters."

“I’ve fought monsters–this is just Annie’s dad . . . I’d rather the monsters.”

Hang in there, kid.  I’m sure I can give you more time tomorrow.

But for now, I gotta run, ’cause . . . stuff.  And things . . .

Cold Facts Upon the Cold Tower

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So the kids are off to the Observatory:

Remember this place?

Remember this place?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

She giggled. “You do more than write.”

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

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

“I know.”

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

“Why not, my love?”

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

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

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

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

 

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

Not long, me thinks.

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

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

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

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

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

Upon a Stakeout Dreary

You know, I’d like to say I have another scene finished, and I could show you everything that happen after the kids did their little magic act for Tanith–and quite well, I might add, they’re doing a great job as fledgling Guardian operatives–but I can’t, because I simply couldn’t get into the mood to write, and by “into the mood” I mean I was pretty much suffering most of the day yesterday.  I did managed to do something important regarding the scene that follows this one below, but I couldn’t get much beyond that.  Needless to say, I wanted to write, but I couldn’t.  I probably should have, it likely would have helped, but in the end I couldn’t roust myself to get in front of the computer and get it out.

Save for the little bit, about seven hundred words, that appear below.

I do feel that I’ll be able to finish this scene tonight, and start on the next one today–maybe even get enough of it in place to blog it out–because I’m eager to finish up this chapter before the weekend is over, and move onto the next part before end of the year.  There really isn’t that much left, and I’m starting to get that feeling that comes when you near the finish line and the excitement builds that your endeavor is nearly over.

Really, six more chapters are all that remains.  This current scene will push the story over sixty-nine thousand words, and the next will get it over seventy. and by the time I finish the next chapter, I’ll be over seventy-five thousand.

But first, I gotta finish the one below.  And it’s all Helena’s show now.

 

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

After several hours of standing across the street from the Granstrom’s house, Helena was about to take the unusual and direct method of walking up to the front door, knocking, and waiting for Kaden to opened it up.

More than ever, she wanted to see what was inside their house.

She’d arrived in Montgall Park a little after nine and began her invisible observations. She contacted Erywin the moment Tanith left the house and head for the bus, but since that moment about twenty minutes after her arrival, nothing had occurred at the Granstrom’s house save for the large living curtains moving aside just a little twice in the last hour. Helena figured Kaden was peaking outside, maybe to check on the weather, maybe to see if someone were hiding invisibly across the street in the park watching his house.

Helena wondered if Kaden was this paranoid on a daily basis, or if she suspected something was up and he couldn’t relax. There was never anything in the Guardian reports about this sort of constant observing, just as there wasn’t anything in the reports about the level of shielding he had surrounding their house.

There was a flicker of curtains once more, and Helena wondered if she could shoot a bolt of lightning through the window and knock Kaden out so she could just brute-force her way in and toss the place. She stopped wondering after a few seconds, because if she couldn’t use Far Sight to look around inside, then all the offense spells in her arsenal below a certain dark energy application would bounce off and alert Kaden that she was trying to take him out. And above the energy application, she’d probably blow holes wide enough in the walls to alert everyone in the neighborhood, and would likely see The Foundation offering her a short stay in Cloudland.

 

Wait a minute–what is Cloudland?  This has come up before in the story, and always as an aside.  It’s a maximum security prison The Foundation runs, but it’s nothing like the supermaxes you’ll see on the news.  Taking another page from the novel The Stars My Destination (or is it the other way around?), Cloudland is an underground prison located in the Bighorn Mountain Range in Wyoming.  It’s nicknamed Cloudland because it’s located almost directly under Cloud Peak, which is the highest summit in the Bighorn Mountains.  You can see the location below, with Cloud Peak on the far left and almost even with the town on the right:

Just turn left at Buffalo and start hiking when you run out of road.

Just turn left at Buffalo and start hiking when you run out of road.

When you have people who can teleport themselves with magic, you need a location that fairly impossible to get out of, and Cloudland is it.  Sure, it’s only been there since the 1940s, but it has a notorious reputation, and no one wants to end up there for any period of time.  Lets just say . . . it’s not a nice place.

But that little snippet does tell you one thing:  Helena’s powerful enough to blow holes through the walls of Normal homes, and one could conclude that all the construction at Salem is probably reinforced with lots of magic and super science.  And you surly don’t want to neighbors to know you’re standing outside a house blowing down the door with the magical equivalent of C-4.

Fortunately something happens . . .

 

A minute later the door slowly opened and Kaden stepped out on the porch. He looked to the left and right, then pulled the door closed before turning and hurrying off the porch. He turned left and headed towards the intersection before turning left at the corner. Helena watched him until he stopped before a car, entered, and drove away about twenty seconds later.

Helena was left with an empty house. Her options for getting inside were just as limited as they were before Kaden departed. She could hammer at the shielding until it came down—along with a door or part of a wall. Then she’d be back in trouble with people living on this block thinking there was some kind of terrorist attack going on, and she’d end up in front of the Guardians explaining how she found it necessary to take down a single family residence in order to get inside and investigate the ruins.

What she needed was subtlety. She though of possible solutions that didn’t involve magical mayhem. And she kept coming back to one possibility: for the few seconds Kaden had the door open, not only would it have been possible to use Far Sight to look inside the house, but the shielding in that area would be minimal enough to allow jaunting.

The only problem was Helena had not only not taken advantage of the weakness in Kaden’s shielding when she could have—

If she was going to get into the house, she was going to need to Jump.

 

And what’s a Jump?  You’ve already seen it:

 

She stepped back and waved him away. “With that said, you need to get the hell off the grounds. In about five minutes Mathilde is gonna contact Isis and find out if you’re still here—and if so, she’s gonna have Isis turn one of her pets loose on your ass.”

He shook his head as he chuckled. “Is that what you’re advising?”

“No, you dumb son of a bitch . . .” Helena grabbed the lapels of her coat. “She made that call an hour ago. How do you think I’m here without them knowing?” She jaunted out of the tunnel.

Gabriel turned and slowly made his way towards the stairs, realizing what he’d just seen. “I keep forgetting she has that Gift . . .”

 

You’ll find out more tomorrow, and you’ll see how a Jump may or may not have almost gotten her killed.

But that’s tomorrow.  Today is today.

Let’s see how I get through this one.

Dancers in the Dark: Away Into the Shadows

Chapter Twenty-Five is over and done, and the shadows had their say.  More or less.  You’ll have to continue reading to see what I mean.

Not only is the chapter done, but I’ve made some modifications to the rest of Part Eight, getting it set up for how I want to write the remaining part of Act Two.  As you can see . . .

It's always better with pictures.

It’s always better with pictures.

I’ve decided to move one scene up to the next chapter, and to actually delete a scene.  Why that one?  Because, in thinking about what happens there, it breaks the flow of the story, and I can actually show what happens there through conversation in two other following scenes.  It also sets up a nice transition, because Frisco Bound has Kerry arrived in San Francisco, and his last thoughts in the scene is right about now Annie should be waking up . . . and then break to the next chapter and Morning in Pamporovo, and guess who’s waking up?

Yeah, that’s how you do it.

But how did that chapter end?  Well, I had my kids dancing before a dying fire, and there was more on Kerry’s mind, it would seem, that a dance from a month before . . .

 

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

They grew close, one hand inside another, Kerry’s free hand around Annie’s waist with her other hand wrapped up and over Kerry’s right shoulder. They swayed back in forth in the shadows in front of the sofa, the dying fire to one side, and the nearly dark commons on the other. Neither spoke for almost a minute as they enjoyed the closeness and intimacy. Annie didn’t want to lose the moment—and she suspected that Kerry was still deep in thought.

She finally decided she had to know if Kerry was thinking about the same thing that had been on her mind for a few days. “What are you thinking about?”

This time he gave here a direct answer. “Yule holiday.”

He doesn’t say Christmas anymore. Annie pressed her head into his shoulder and smiled. “You’re thinking about being apart, aren’t you?”

Kerry nodded. “Yeah.”

Annie ran her hand up and down his shoulder. “I’ve been thinking about it as well.”

“Day after Boxing Day is our four month anniversary.”

“You’re keeping track?” She didn’t want to tell him that she knew this as well.

He laid his head against hers and let his voice drop to a whisper. “Every since the first month we were here—” His chuckle was so low as to be almost inaudible. “That was your birthday, after all.”

He realized; he knew all along. She wanted to put his mind at ease, even if her own wasn’t there. “It’s only going to be a couple of weeks.” Annie raised her head so she could gazed upon Kerry’s face and look into his eyes. “You’ll get to see your grandparent again, and I’ll be back home.” She rested her head against his shoulder once more. “I’m actually looking forward to seeing my parents. I told my father I’d have grown by the time I come home for Yule—”

“And you have. Maybe an inch.”

She thumped him lightly on the back of his shoulder. “Silly. That’s not what they meant.”

 

Yeah, you know what they mean, slick.  But she noticed that her birthday was the first month they were physically together–and I noticed it, too, last night while I was looking something up.  That’s one of the reasons I put dates on everything, and as I was getting the date they met in the bookstore in London, I realized, “Hey, that was a month before Annie’s birthday.”

27 August to 27 September.  I wasn't lying.

27 August to 27 September. I wasn’t lying.

But now that the missing and stuff is out in the open, what next?  Well . . .

 

“I know.” He glanced up the stairs past the mezzanine commons to the unseen entrance to the First Floor where there rooms were. “But we’ve gotta go to sleep soon.”

Annie slowly stepped away from Kerry. At first she followed his gaze up the stairs, then her eyes settled on the sofa. “What if we sat here for a while before heading up?”

Kerry stood next to Annie and let his eyes wander over the sofa. “We might get sleepy here.”

“It’s possible.”

“And . . .” He pointed to both ends of the sofa. “There are pillows and comforters here.”

Annie said nothing for a few moments, allowing the implications of the ideas they were considering settle. “It’s not like anyone ever slept here.”

Kerry picked up two pillows and laid them at one end of the sofa. “Otherwise why would they have this here?”

Annie picked up a comforter and spread it out. “Only makes sense.”

“It certainly does.” Kerry waited for Annie to pull the comforter back before laying down and pressing himself against the sofa back.

 

Hey, you kids:  what are you doing?  I’d say they’re getting ready to go to sleep . . .

 

Annie lay next to her soul mate on here right side, her back against him. She reached down and pulled the comforter over them, snuggling it over their shoulders and around their necks. “You know we could get detention—”

“I know.” He slid his left arm over her waist. “We’ll just have to get up about five or so and head up to our rooms.”

“That isn’t a problem.” She sighed as she watched the fire go out. “You’re not worried?”

Kerry rubbed his nose through Annie’s hair. “If we get detention . . .” He pulled back her hair and kissed her behind the ear. “It’s worth it.”

She took his left hand and held it tight. “A month ago you wouldn’t have said that.”

“A month ago I was only starting to know how I felt about you.” As the fire finally died and the embers began to smolder, Kerry brushed Annie’s cheek. “Good night, Annie. I love you.”

She touched the back of his hand. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.”

They relaxed and closed their eyes, Kerry’s arm once more around Annie’s waist, her hand still in his.

They drifted towards their dreams as the shadows embraced and held them tight . . .

 

And there they go, zero shits given if someone stumbles across them on a Sunday morning–which, traditionally, is a time to sleep in, so if they sneak up to their rooms on a floor they share with no one else, all should be right in the world.

I’m sure the shadows will tell them if someone comes.

Dipping a Toe Into the Week of Hell

First off, Happy Ostara to you all.  It’s finally spring, and Ostara is a celebration of spring.  The name is taken from the goddess Ēostre, which is her old English name, and when you look closely at said name, you’ll see it looks a lot like the word Easter, which is another way of saying, “Hey, you pagan Pagans, we’re ripping off another one of your holidays for our own religion–kthxbai!”  Funny how that all worked out.

At the school in my story, they get down to business and call those holidays by the names as they were once known, though there are changes allowed:  for example, the Samhain Dance looks a lot like a Halloween ball what with all the costumes, because even Legacy kids like to dress up, go out, and have fun.  It’s just when those kids are riding around on witch’s brooms, well, it’s not an act.

And at my school's Sanhaim dance, the transformation experts are real busy--you think it's easy making people over into zombies?

And at my school’s Sanhaim dance, the transformation experts are real busy–you think it’s easy making people over into real zombies and cat people?

Right now, in my story, my kid’s coven is preparing to the Ostara Talent Performance, where anyone who wants to take a chance at sucking can get up on stage and suck if they like–or be absolutely brilliant if they’ve worked out.  I’ve written about this “Taking your shot at sucking” thing already, and it’s the scene in my novel where Kerry more or less gets roped into agreeing to do his thing on stage–which could very well suck.  But then, Annie and his coven, Cernunnos, help put it on, so why not get up in front of hundreds of people and their parents and give it a shot, right?

What’s the worst that could happen?  The kids will throw fireballs at you?

I finished editing my friend’s novel, so it’s back to her and she’s happy.  It also frees me up to get into my editing, and tonight I’m getting into Week One of school in my novel.  And . . . it’s a scary thing, because it’s a huge part of what I’ve written so far.

"I am the one who guided you this far, all you know, and all you feel--"  Gee, thanks Guild Vocal!

“I am the one who guided you this far/all you know, and all you feel–” Gee, thanks Guild Vocal!

That number on the Part Three line tells me there are seventy-seven thousand , four hundred and some change words in awaiting me, and I’m not going to lie, I won’t get through all that in the next week and a half before I start writing anew on 31 March.  Then again, I look at what I’ve already accomplished, and when you run the numbers, one hundred forty thousand minus seventy-seven thousand equals a hell of a lot I’ve already edited in the last four days.  And that means with a few days off and nothing to do, I might just get . . . some of this first week of school hell . . . out of the way.

And the parts that were just edited–I loved the work, and I loved the story.  I’ve not changed anything save add something here and there.  And I had to check a time line just to be sure that when Professor Lovecraft told Annie something about here parents–“They were F Levels when I taught my first year–“–and sure enough, the time line backed me up–well, backed her up.

The Week of Hell awaits in more ways than one.  But there is a real possibility I can get a first pass edit finished on Act One before I start Act Two.  That would make things a lot easier, because while I could edit a chapter a night when I start Act Two, that will cut into my writing time–

And I am so looking forward to getting back into telling this story.  There’s such . . . fun ahead.

The Group Fade

There was something goofy with the computer last night, because I’m trying to edit and it’s making everything on the system drag.  Not to mention I was in one of those, “I do everything at once!” modes last night.  And my hair was driving me nuts, too.  What is causing this?  It’s not a full moon, that’s for sure.  The aftermath of a blue moon?  A change in the weather?  The impending end of Breaking Bad and the downfall of the Heisenberg Meth Empire?

Don’t want to say it’s aliens, but . . .

I realized yesterday that this coming Monday is Labor Day, and I’ll be spending it in The Burg alone.  In the past I was always around family during holidays, even when working in The Undisclosed Location.  This time–no.  Too far to drive.  I suppose if I were crazy enough I could leave out Friday night, spend ten hours in the dark driving, and arrive home about one in the morning–only to turn around and come back on Monday.  But that’s not how you do it.  That’s a waste of time and money.

I suppose I’ll get through  Maybe it’s time to explore . . .

I haven’t started writing anything new yet, but I think this weekend could be the time to start.  I’m getting to where I want to do something, but I don’t want to start on a novel or novella.  I don’t want to spend a month putting another thirty thousand words down, because I’m going to turn around and do that in November.  I’ve decided I will attempt NaNo, but I’m concerned I’ll actually “win” it this year.  Anymore it’s not about winning or losing:  it’s about writing a good story.  It’s about doing something you can publish–

Which, speaking of publishing, I need to get on my own stuff.  I need to do one last edit, then hand out my story and see about getting a cover.  I’m slacking there, but it’s not as if I haven’t had a lot keeping my busy of late.  The last month seems to have gone on and on with non-stop fun, though with September coming in things are starting to settle.  I think the next few weeks will see everything getting into a normal swing.  And once that happens, then I can start doing something else.

But I want that short story written.  And with it an article or two I’ve been sitting upon.  It need to be done.  And soon.

There was something in my dreams last night that I found unusual.  I was standing on the edge of something–building, hill, don’t know.  And there were thousands of people in an area below me, all of them mumbling something.  I looked out over them, then waved my hand and told them, “Go.  Leave.”  And they turned and started walking away, still mumbling, making their sounds.

I have no idea what that’s suppose to mean.  Was I looking over the past and telling it to leave me the hell alone?  Was it the present?  Were they the people I knew or know?  Or was it, you know, just a dream, one of those things where strange things happen–

‘Cause I was also stripping in the dream, too.

I didn’t look half bad.

The Vision of the Beguiled

Of late I’ve been rising very early.  Is this a return to my old habits, or is it that I don’t need that much sleep any more?  I don’t know–but I was sleepy for about an hour yesterday afternoon, a drowsiness that vanished about four PM.  I don’t want to find myself heading back into the cycle of work and exhaustion that I ran through over the summer.  That needs to end right now, and in a big way.

The mind was working overtime when I woke up, however.  There was a song in my head that shouldn’t have been there, and visions that I should have ignored.  This seemed to happen as well, probably because my brain is trying to pull me away from whatever dreams I had that were, in all honesty, crappy enough that they would have bummed me out in the long run.

Then I wake up, get on Facebook, and am greeted by another in a long line of post that indicate you are indeed a manly man if you wear a kilt.  I’ve even seen posts that say you’d never see a gay man wearing a kilt, which leads to me believe that somewhere on the Internet there is a picture of John Barrowman in a kilt–oh, look:  ask, and the Internet provides!  So much for gay men in kilts . . .

It’s the time of year for visions to be upheld, for things to be viewed through a dark lens of remembered that isn’t always that clean.  This time of month is when everyone goes on about holidays of the past, gathering with family, sitting around the tree and enjoying the kidlettes ripping up all those carefully prepared packages, then running off to their rooms for the next few hours while dinner is being readied.

I want to say I had a lot of memories like this, but I don’t.  Oh, I spent my time around the tree, getting presents.  I also remember getting yelled at a few times because I didn’t seem “appreciative” enough for what I got, and there was one time when I was yelled at for almost an hour to write a thank you note to my grandmother for sending me two dollars in a card.  Good times, yo.

I know you might find this strange, but the only really good Christmas memory I have as a kid was the broadcast from the moon by Apollo 8.  I didn’t listen much to what was being said–particularly the whole “reading of Genesis” thing, which I didn’t need under any conditions–because I was watching the landscape being filmed.  That was what drew me in:  not the words, but the vision.

We spend way too much time thinking of the past and using that to drive our present.  Where we fall down is there’s no vision for what’s to come.  I tell my daughter, “Do something that will make you happy, not what’s going to make you the most money,” and I mean it, because there is a singular lack of people following their dreams these days.  Seems like most people are scrambling to pay bills and get shit for the holidays that will be looked at, come March, with an expression similar to, “Why the hell did I need this?”  Or someone will look at that iPhone they received from Santa and thing, “Fuck this:  I need a new Android!” thereby proving that gifts of this nature are usually bullshit.

I don’t think about gifts this time of year, because I’m as generous as get out for 364 days of the year (365 this year, yeah!).  If someone needs something, I get it.  There was a time when Christmas wasn’t about some kid being born (which, in reality, he wasn’t–not at this time of the year at least, but don’t let that spoil the fun . . .), but more about lighting bonfires and making lots of noise because you thought if you didn’t, the Wild Hunt was coming for your ass.  Yule was a blow out party, celebrating getting through another year in one piece, and you decorated trees–not ones that were cut down, but those things that grow in something called a forest–to give your thanks to nature not dropping a Storm From Hell on you and your family, or infesting you with the Black Death.

Set a vision for yourself.  Go with it.  Make that your gift, not just to yourself, but to the world.  Maybe it won’t pay off right away, or even ever, but you owe it to yourself to do.  I saw the moon when I was eleven years old, and I wanted to go there.  I couldn’t in real life, but I could in my imagination.  It’s taken a while, but I’ve gone there, gone to other worlds, gone to other dimensions.  I don’t think about getting something for the holidays, because for me, it’s just another day.

Work your vision.

If you don’t, who will?