The Night Air: Embracing the Madness

It’s 15 F/-9 C outside, which means I’m gonna have a cold walk into work in about an hour.   It’ll be almost Annie and Kerry cold outside, but don’t worry:  I keep bundled up.

How I normally look walking back and forth to work this time of year.

How I normally look walking back and forth to work this time of year.

My coat even has a hood, so I could go flying if I wanted to fly–assuming, you know, that I had a broom or could fly like a bird like certain characters of whom I write.  But I can’t do that, so I have to deal with trudging around in the cold on foot.  Flying to work would be nice, since it’s only a mile away and I’d be there in no time.

Speaking of getting somewhere in no time . . .

The next part of the scene has been in my head for a long a long time–probably a bit longer than the “Resting in Fenway” scene as a whole.  I’ll get to the part I really love in a second, but here are the kids, with the music on, and it’s bringing back memories of a far warmer time than what they’re experiencing now:

 

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

Annie couldn’t prevent the smile from appearing on her own face. Kerry’s reference wasn’t difficult to pick up: when they were together in Berlin, she’d played Muse’s song Madness more than a few times when they were in their hotel room—sometimes so much that she expected Kerry to make mention of the replays, or at the least roll his eyes every time began playing.

To her surprise he not only didn’t complain or mention the constant performances, but after a while Kerry actually appeared to enjoy the song, and there was one time when Annie came out of the bathroom and caught her soul mate reading the lyrics on his computer while the song played. The song played during the last Samhain dance, and Annie wondered if perhaps Kerry asked one of the instructors—maybe Deanna, though more likely Erywin—to play it early.

She leaned in close, stretching out her body so she was nearly perpendicular to her boyfriend. “You like this, hum?”

“Well . . .” He turned up the volume just a little. “It reminds me of a special few days.”

“Oh?” She moved her face closer to his. “I felt it was a special time as well, my love.” She touched the tablet display and turned up the volume as loud as possible, letting the sound fill the dark, empty stadium. “No one around to hear—”

“Only us.” Kerry sat back in the broom’s saddle with his eyes half-closed. “A long way from summer in Germany.”

“I have on my charm bracelet; that means it’s always summer no matter where we are.” Annie slipped through the air until she was hovering over the end of his broom. “And no matter what is happening with these dreams, know I’ll always be here for support.”

Kerry grinned as she semi-mimicking the current lyric. “So is this real love, or is it just madness?”

Umnik.” For the first time since leaving the school she flipped back the hood of her coat. “You know better than that.”

 

What Annie said there was “smart ass”, but the literal translation is more like “big nerd”, showing that Annie can swear and be on point the whole time as well.  We’re heard Annie swear before, but usually she just calls someone a bitch, and that usually comes right before she starts to light them up.

This scene does relate back to the days when the kids were in Berlin, way back in the early parts of Act One.  And it also relates back to the song mentioned in the scene.  This was another one of those, “Ah, ha!” moments for me, because when I decided to use this song in the background of the story, I first saw it in this scene, which then set me to wondering, “How did it get there?”  A little quick research showed that the song was released just the week before my kids hit The Big B, and knowing Annie’s taste in music is a little more modern than Kerry’s, I had no problem seeing her dancing around her room and the lake house while getting ready to leave for school with her dancing around to the beat–something she’s already told us she does.

Pretty much a Chicken coming before the Egg moment, wouldn’t you say?  First I see the scene in Fenway, then I think of the song, and then I incorporate how the song came into my kid’s lives before I write the scene in which that happens.  Yes, my mind works in strange ways.

Oh, and here’s the tune in question, in case you want to imagine what’s happening next with a little music to make it complete.

For your interesting worthless fact of the day, if you played the video, you heard a distinctive “Bromm bromm bromp” through much of the song.  The instrument making that sound is a Misa Kitara digital MIDI controller, which looks a lot like a tablet surface built into a guitar, and is played a lot like one, only instead of strumming strings, you run your fingers over the tablet.  Now you know something you likely didn’t a few minutes before.

Annie has her hood back–what could that mean?

 

“Yes, I do.” Kerry flipped back this coat hood as well, exposing a relaxed face and affectionate eyes as the song segued into the guitar break. “So much, Sweetie.”

She twisted her body around until her feet were away from Kerry and appeared to be swimming towards him. Isis said that first day we were mermaids of the air. The song reached the crescendo as she pushed with her arms towards him, as if she were moving through water.  I am more than that.

Annie whispered a version of a line from the song while centimeters from his face. “Imam nuzhda ot vashata lyubov, skŭpa moya.” She took hold of the collar of his coat and turned her head as her lips met his. She felt the music swell around them as she held the kiss while floating together meters above the ground. She didn’t want to break the kiss; she wanted to hold it, to press it into herself and keep it there through the winter, into the spring, and take it home for the summer—

I love him so much. My soul mate; my husband to be. She finally broke the kiss so she could stare into his eyes—

Kerry sighed as his head tilted back, enraptured in ecstasy. He took Annie in his arms and clenched her tight. “Will come to me in my dreams—” He whispered into her ear. “Will you come and rescue me?”

Annie pulled herself against him tight. “I will come anywhere to rescue you, my love.” She kissed him again. “Anywhere.”

The song finished and Annie looked up as she found them surrounded in silent. “A little more of this—” She reached down and stopped the music stream. “And a little more of this.” She took his face in her hands as she kissed him once more.

 

Leave these kids alone for a few minutes, and before you know it the lip locking is underway.

Leave these kids alone for a few minutes, and before you know it the lip locking is underway.

 

 

Now . . . what Kerry said there at the end goes back to one of the lyrics of the song.  What is sung is, “Come to me/Trust in your dream/Come on and rescue me”, and some people–if they were, say, a writer–would say that’s foreshadowing.  Perhaps they’re right.  Perhaps they’re not.  Only I know for sure.  Bwah, hahahaha!

Annie also said something, more or less, from the song.  Her whispered line is, “I need your love, my darling,” which is something that’s sung after coming out of the instrumental bridge, and happens when the song moves towards the crescendo.  Her love, her soul mate . . . her husband to be.  Annie’s always got her eyes on the prize, and at that moment she had him right there, all alone in the dark in a baseball stadium.

There isn’t much left to this scene, but I have to say:  after waiting just about a year to get it written, I’m finally glad to have made it real.  Now if I could only get someone to draw a picture of the moment.

That would be perfect.

Stillness in the Heart

I had a hard time writing last night.  One of the issues before me was how to get the scene started, because words weren’t working.  There was also a certain amount of distraction around, but none of it had to do with my usual face burning, because I’m not doing that until Wednesday.  It was just my mind being all over the place.

But there was a section of my brain that felt a little bit of suffering, and it didn’t have anything to do with getting an electric probe shoved into my skin, it was about emotions.  Feelings.  Wantings, you might say.  I’m in the down section of my hormonal cycle, and I was slipping into sad mode while I thought about, and wrote, the scenes before, because it began pulling up old feelings I’ve had for quite a while.  And it was hitting me hard, because . . . well, let’s start the excerpt and perhaps you’ll see.

 

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

Seconds after opening his eyes, Kerry sensed the silence and the darkness. The darkness was easy to notice: even in the aftermath of the Midnight Madness there was always ambient light available so any students who stayed until the end—or had fallen asleep, as Annie and he had done on many occasions—could find their way out of the Dining Hall without fear of running into or tripping over furniture.

Then there was the silence. Even at the end of a Madness there was some kind of soft noise: students or instructors speaking; the shuffling of feet; the crackling of dying embers in the huge fireplace. None of that existed at this moment. The room was beyond deadly quiet: it was as if Kerry awakened in the quietest room in the world.

If not already aware that this was the Dining Hall, Kerry might have believed he was lying in his bed back in his room—

Except for one thing . . .

 

It not hard to figure out what that one thing is Kerry has here in the aftermath of the Midnight Madness, and not back in his room.

 

He propped himself up on his left elbow and watched the still-sleeping Annie. During all their moments when they’d slept together, she was usually the first to wake, or she’d wake at the same time. The only time he’d ever seen Annie sleeping was the morning after returning from Yule holiday, when he’d found her on the sofa in the Mezzanine Commons, she she didn’t look much different then than she appeared now—face soft and slack, lips parted slightly, eyelids smooth and forehead unfurrowed, her hair piled to the sides around her ears.

Kerry imagined this was how she’d looked every night, so completely different from the person he’d seen in his dreams for almost a decade. It seemed impossible that this was his Chestnut Girl, the one he’d played with as a toddler, the one he’d read to when he became a tweener, the girl he’d loved for so long before telling her—and the girl who he’d forgotten, and whom he’d fallen in love with once again before remembering he’d never loved anyone else.

After watching her for almost a minute, Kerry touched his finger to her lips, applying the slightest of pressure. At first Annie did nothing, then her head shifted to the left before slowly returning to the prior position. He did the same thing, but this time Annie’s head rolled back slightly. She gasped before speaking in a soft, sing-song voice. “Ummmm, az sŭm na toplo. Drŭzhte me tuk, Obicham da sŭm na toplo.”

He’d chuckled, for he’d never heard Annie talk in her sleep. It made sense she’d speak in Bulgarian, with it being her native language; his only regret was not knowing what she’d said—save for obicham. He’d come to recognize that word so well that when writing over the summer to Annie, he’d ended his letters with the phrase “Obicham te”—”I love you.”

He kissed her on the cheek, touching her as gently as he had her lips. Annie sighed as a tiny smile began to form. He kissed her again, and she squirmed the slightest bit, her hands moving slowly under the comforter. Kerry gave her a light kiss on the lips—

 

This kids and their watching someone sleep moments.  We’ve already seen Team Annie at work as she’s done her Edward bit a couple of times and watched Kerry for a few minutes in the hospital before saying screw this and moving right up into the bed next to him, and now it’s Team Kerry not only watching, but doing a little touching.  And smiling.  And kissing–let’s not forget the kissing.

And this is where I was having problems writing, because feeling Kerry do those things–I so wanted to do them myself.  When I wake up in the middle of the night, it’s just to stare up at the ceiling and wondering about things and people:  I never get the chance to look over and see someone sleeping and dreaming away the night.  I needed to get up and walk away for a bit, to just recompose myself after bring out that scene.  It’s only a few hundred words, but it touches me, and even hurts a little–

So many times Kerry sat awake in the dark, when there was no one, even in his dreams, to comfort him.

So many times Kerry sat alone in the dark, where there was no one, not even from his dreams, to comfort him–

And for so long now, I’ve felt the same.

Ah, enough of this.  Let’s finish up with my kids, because this is their story.

 

Annie gave the softest of moans as her hand blindly reached upwards and touch his head and shoulder. He held the kiss for about fifteen seconds, and when he pulled away he was peering down into her now slightly opened eyes.

“Ummmahhhh.” Annie arched her back as she stretched. “You woke me with a kiss.”

He ran a finger over her left cheek. “I thought you’d like that.” He kissed her again, and while he didn’t hold it as long as the last, it was far more passionate. “There’s something you need to know . . .”

Annie was fully awake now. “What is it?”

“We’re the only ones in the hall. It’s empty.”

She was sitting up a moment later and looking around. It took but a moment to confirm his statement. “Hummm.”

“Do you know who was in charge of winding down things tonight?”

“I think it was Helena and Erywin.” Annie lay back and looked up at her boyfriend. “It looks as if she thought we needed to speak to each other.”

Kerry knew what she mean, for this wasn’t the first time they were allowed to sleep on after the Madness was over. Back at the end of March Professor Lovecraft let them sleep over so the Dining Hall could clear out and Annie could ask him an important question . . . “So it would seem.”

 

And that last time in the Dining Hall was the lead-up to the final “Do you want to be a Good Sorceress?” question, and that turned out all right.  At least for now.

The remainder of this scene has been changed a lot from how I first saw it, and I should get to that tonight.

I’ll remember to stay out of the dark.

The Staking of the Claims

I almost said Staking of the Clams, which would be funny, as that might indicate there are vampire clams in an around the school.  Not that their couldn’t be; around this place we know there are squid-like creatures living in the walls, getting ready to lash out at bad guys and maybe a misbehaving student or two.  Vampire clams?  Maybe Kerry will order them for his birthday dinner.

Also, in other news, with this scene over, the novel is just over six hundred and seventy words from hitting the four hundred thousand word mark, and that should happen sometime tonight while writing the next scene.  That is a long time writing, and I can’t say if I’ll ever get up there again–okay, maybe when I write the D Level story, ’cause that’s a big one, too.  And the E Level.  Maybe.  At least I think I can keep most of the B Level book to around one hundred and fifty thousand words.  Until I really start going from meta to detail plotting, that is . . .

So Kerry gets a present–and I’m told Coraline’s being cheap, too, because a used hospital gown and a kiss?  You can bet Coraline’s getting more than that for her birthday–unless she’s got like a dozen cats back in her room in the Instructor’s Residence, then maybe not.  I would imagine that she gets a lot of offers for date, but being a romantic at heart, she’s probably picky about who she lets close to her.

The truth is, as we saw with Kerry’s gift to Annie, things are more from the heart around here.  You’re a witch, you do magic, you’ve done some amazing things–I need to give you something to remind you that when you walked in the front door you were this gigantic mope when you started, and you fought monsters and lived to fight another day–literally in Kerry’s case.  Every time you see this you’ll remember that day, which may or may not be a good thing, ’cause you could be suffering from PTSD in a few years.  Here’s hoping you’re not.  And also you get a kiss from the hottest doctor at the school . . .

That’s said, being the touchy-feely doctor she is, sometimes she’s not thinking about who’s around when she hands out the affection . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

“Thanks.” He watched Coraline’s face as her eyes shifted towards Annie and locked with hers for just a moment. Kerry turned his head towards Annie just enough to catch the look on her face, which was something of a cross between surprise and annoyance. He wasn’t quite certain why she was starting at Nurse Coraline that way, but he was wise enough to know it had something to do with the kiss she planted on his cheek.

Coraline’s chuckle was almost inaudible at she continued looking at Annie. “I guess I should have asked permission first.”

Annie stood with arms crossed. “Yes.”

“I’ll remember that in the future.”

A smile began spreading across the girl’s face. “Thank you.”

With that over Coraline turned her attention back to Kerry. “You can leave those things here; I’ll see to it they get sent to your rooms. Wouldn’t do to have you carry them around for most of the day.”

“Thanks.” Kerry waited for Annie to returned her smock before he lay his folded hospital gown back in the box and turned back to face the somewhat blushing school doctor.

“Okay, you two—” Coraline nodded towards the door. “You better get off to breakfast. Oh, and Kerry?”

“Yes?”

“Stop by the security office before you head off to class. Isis wants to see you as well.”

While he had figured that Coraline wanted them up to the hospital to give him a birthday greeting, he couldn’t figure out what the Chief of Security wanted with him. “Will do.”

 

First, why see Isis?  You’ll find out.  Second:  Annie’s handing out the stink eye?  Uh, oh.  That doesn’t sound good.  And you find out why just a minute or two later . . .

 

Kerry turned and was out the door to the first floor walkway with Annie alongside. He waited until they were at the stop of the stairs leading to the Rotunda below before he asked his question. “Why did Coraline look at you so strangely? Was it because she kissed me?”

“Yes.”

“Can I ask why?”

Annie stopped half way down the staircase and turned to the puzzled boy. Her smile grew wider as she analyzed his confusion. “Still a bit clueless?”

“Just a little.”

“When we meet her the first time, after our E & As, she put her arm around your shoulders and hugged you because she wanted to force a reaction from me—”

He remembered that night well. “She wanted to see if you really loved me.”

“Yes, and she found out I did.” The smile wavered just a little. “All these months later, she has no doubt that I love you, and you love me—and she still kissed you.” She ran the tip of her middle finger over Kerry’s right cheek. “Right here.”

 

Yes, a long time ago, Coraline hugged Kerry just to watch Annie’s eyes open wider and nostrils to flare, because she wanted to know if the girl really was in love with Kerry.  She got her answer, and has proceeded onward with that knowledge.

Months later, Annie’s even more in love, and–

 

Annie left her fingers against his skin, barely touching. “Just as I’m doing now, I’ve touched this cheek; I’ve caressed it; I’ve kissed it many times, mostly when we’re laying together in bed, comfortable in each other’s embrace. This cheek is as much mine as it is yours, my love.” She removed her fingers, taking many seconds to pull them away as she dropped her hand to her side. “When she kissed you there, she invaded my space—without my permission.” Annie shook her head. “I can’t have that, my love. Ever.”

Kerry knew that their love was deep and intense: he felt it from his end, and he was certain Annie felt it as much or more. It was only now, however, that he understood the full extent of her feelings. “I’m sorry.”

“I don’t blame you.” Annie’s stare burned into Kerry’s eyes. “But you’re mine, my darling, and to have someone else being too familiar with you . . .” She lowered her eyes and smiled as she gently straightened his jacket. “That is a problem.”

 

Annie’s marked her guy, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a grown-up ginger doctor–and Coraline is–in her thirties:  get too affectionate with him in front of her, and there may be . . . trouble.

"My name is Annie Kirilova.  You kissed my future husband on the cheek; prepare to die!"

“My name is Annie Kirilova. You kissed my future husband on the cheek; prepare to die!”

And though we know Coraline can take care of herself, because we’ve seen her fight Professor Chai, Annie might still have the advantage because death spells.  It hard to say if she’d bleed out someone who kissed Kerry–unless said person is another ginger girl, this time from Colorado, and that fight might get a little ugly.

Let’s just hope Kerry doesn’t play the fool and let girls kiss him on the cheek, and then turn around and say, “Not my fault:  she wanted to kiss me.”  Yeah, he’s been warned, too, and I’m certain there are ways Annie can show her displeasure with him without resorting to violence.

That’s my hope, at least.

He’s a smart kid; he’ll figure it out . . .

Quiet Moments with the Mile High Kissers

It’s been cold here the last couple of days, which makes walking back and forth to work an experience, for sure.  That’s been making it cold in the apartment, and my hands were so chilly last night that I had to get out the wrist wraps made for me by my friend Tanya and wear them because I was feeling a real chill in my hands.

Action shots of me in my red pajamas and purple sweater.  It doesn't get more meta than this.

Action shots of me in my red pajamas and purple sweater typing away. It doesn’t get more meta than this.

Yes, that’s me typing away at the current scene that produced exactly seven hundred words last night.  Now you know what my computer looks like when I’m home, and the TV in the background, and a few pair of my boots standing against the wall.  Beyond those boots is the balcony and the outside world, and I don’t go out there unless I have to.

If you look closely you’ll see I have Scrivener up, and behind that is the dashboard for my blog.  Yep, exciting nights in Casa de la Burg.  As I told a friend last night, “This is what I do for excitement.”  Kill me now.

The title of this point–hum, yeah, that comes from something I wrote last night, something that happened to Annie and Kerry within the first five hundred words, and since I’m nice I should let you see what that was.  And it’s going to open up something on Annie as well:

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

From the Observatory the glow of the Beltane bonfires were visible, and a small part of Annie wished they’d been invited to the Bonfire Dance, but she understood why A Levels weren’t allowed to attend. She hugged Kerry’s arm tighter. “Would you have liked to have gone to the Bonfire Dance?”

“Well . . .” He chuckled as he leaned on the viewing gallery railing and hung his head. “I don’t think I’m ready to get naked and dance around in front of a bunch of people.”

Annie hugged him tighter. “Not even me?”

“That’s a question I can’t answer.” He kissed her forehead.

“Why not?” She chuckled now. “You’ve seen me naked.”

“Yeah, in vision of something that happens in a few years. Not like now, and—” He wheeled around and wrapped his right arm around Annie’s waist. “In person. Besides . . .”

She was fairly certain about what he was going to say next. “Yes?”

“I don’t know if I could handle seeing Erywin and Helena and Wednesday and the other instructors not wearing any clothes.”

Annie didn’t think she’d be that bothered, but then she’d gone with her mother to a spa many times over the last two years, and she was used to catching glimpses of women in various stages of undress. Kerry is so different there. His family doesn’t even like to hug and touch him: public nudity is something he’s not used to being around. “I can see why that could bother you—” She ran her fingers along his left cheek. “At least you know with them having transformation magic they’ll be close to perfect.”

“True there.” He looked over his shoulder. “Maybe next year—if we get an invite.”

“I feel that just might happen.” She took his hand and dragged him towards one of the large deck chairs. “After all, we’re celebrities now: we’ll get invited to all the important soirées next year.”

Kerry laughed as he settled into the deck chair next to Annie. Upon their return from the Mile High Flight the whole flight was lined up for the group pictures, but before they were allowed to leave Trevor—the school’s archivist and the one directing the photos—requested that they take a picture together. Trevor told them that not only were they the first to “kiss on station,” but they were the first known couple to do the flight, ensuring their place in the school’s history books.

Once they were back to the Dining Hall for the Flight Dinner Annie noticed all the students glancing in their direction, with a few of them giggling, a few glaring. Though they’d spent the entire year holding hands and cuddling in public—and even sharing a little kiss now and then—this was their first real display of affection where everyone at school saw it happen. Though they’d shared the dedication dance at Samhain, and they hugged and danced close, Annie kept her kisses to little pecks on Kerry’s cheeks.

This time, however, they’d locked lips for almost fifteen second thirty-one hundred meters above sea level, and they’d not hid it from anyone.

Like it or not, they’d always be remembered as the Mile High Kissers.

 

Annie and nudity:  she’s down with it!  And like Kerry says, asking him if he wants to see her naked–okay, Annie, we know where you’re going with this.  You also find out she goes to spas with her mother sometimes, which seems like a very un-witch like thing to do, but then again she is the daughter of a Formula One driver and has a few million euros in her own trust fund, so you gotta expect her to go off and do, you know, Rich Girl Things now and then.  But she doesn’t wear pink on Wednesdays–though now I have to write a scene of her doing just that and have Kerry comment on it.

And the Mile High Kissers.  Doesn’t have quite the same ring as the Lovey-Dovey Couple, but they are now famous at the school, and will probably have that photo go up on the Wall of Remembrance in the East Hallway of the Great Hall.  Just wait until their parents see that!  Really, though, that’s another drawing I wish I could do, of them sitting on their PAVs at thirty-one hundred and fifty-five meters, side-by-side, smooching away, and then hugging each other closely while Vicky and their fellow fliers look on.  I can see it done in manga style right now, leading to some incredible facial expressions.

It’s funny, but I’d really wanted to write about something else here, which means I’ll have to do it tomorrow morning, as I won’t get a lot of time for writing on Saturday due to getting the nails done and going out for a little dinner in the early evening.  No Mile High Kissing, however, I can promise you that.

The Boy Who Found His Wingmate Troubling

Where were we?  Oh, yeah:  let’s go off somewhere private and talk.  This is one of moments that I knew I had to write, but . . . really, I’ve sort of dreaded it.  Even more so that having Kerry fight a monster and then end up in a slight coma for his trouble.  But, you know, you do what you have to do.

Right?

Yeah.  Moving on now . . .

 

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

She didn’t take them far. Not far inside the first floor of the East Transept were two corridors leading to the Instructor’s Offices, located on the north side of the transept. Emma entered the first corridor and walked in about four meters.

Kerry followed her in and looked around. “There’s no one here?”

“The only instructors still around are Douglas, Kishna, and Palmescoff.” Emma’s eyes flicked towards the transept. “I checked the notices display. Douglas and Palmescoff are at the residence; Kishna’s over in Ceridwen Tower.” She turned back to Kerry. “We’re alone here.”

"Here" being that little corridor just to the right of center.  Good thing the headmistress went back to France . . .

“Here” being that little corridor just to the right of that staircase in the center. Good thing the headmistress went back to France . . .

 

I know where everything is in my hall–more or less–but you have to admire how cheeky it is to go talk in private right where some of the instructors have offices.  This is the are that Erywin spoke of when she said Helena was taking care of some business before they jaunted back to England.  The reason for this is simple:  some instructors–like Helena and Vicky and a few others–have main offices that are so far away from the students that they have locations closer to the action.  Now, with Helena, she could just jaunt out to The Witch House–which she does–do a few things, and then jaunt back.  Vicky’s the same way, as are most other instructors.  Some instructors don’t need to use these spaces because they already have a couple of offices.  Erywin, Jessica, and Deanna are like that:  they’re coven leaders, so they not only have an office in their towers, but in the buildings where they teach.

Deanna is interesting, however:  it seems like most of her interesting business, like speaking to distraught young girls about their boyfriends, takes place not in her coven offices, which is right there in The Pentagram, but out at Memory’s End, which is a nice little walk if you don’t know how to teleport.  Maybe she likes the seclusion . . .

Let’s get back to the action, so to speak.  What’s on Emma’s mind.  It sort of looks like life and death:

 

He still didn’t know why she needed them to be completely alone, but now that they were here— “Okay. What’s up?”

She looked at the floor and sighed. “I never thanked you for saving my life.”

Now Kerry stared at the floor, embarrassed. “Oh. It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not. I mean . . .” Emma’s eyes continued to shift back and forth away from Kerry as she spoke. “I couldn’t visit you in the hospital, and then after . . .” She finally managed to make eye contact. “I just couldn’t find the time to come and say something.”

“Well, it wasn’t like you didn’t know where I was.”

“I know, it’s just—” She chuckled. “I just couldn’t.”

She probably felt bad about not saying anything to me right away. “Like I said, it’s okay.”

“No, Kerry—” She seemed about to smack him in the arm, then stopped. “You saved me twice. You kept me from falling to my death, and then from being eaten by a monster.”

“I know.”

“And then Wednesday, when we had the awards ceremony . . .” She shook her head with her eyes half-closed. “You and I being up there with the other people on patrol was great, but then when they starked talking about what you did—”

Kerry had been embarrassed enough by last Wednesday’s awards ceremony, with The Foundation people coming in to honor those who participated in the defense of the school during the Day of the Dead: he didn’t want to go over it again. “What I did I would have done for anyone with me that day, Emma.” A big grin broke out on his face as he almost laughed. “I saved myself that first time—”

“You saved me the second time, and you could have died.”

There was no arguing about what he did, what he would have done no matter what or who, and he decided to accept the accolades. “Yeah, I can see that.” He stared at the floor for a few seconds as he tried to keep from blushing. “You’re welcome.”

Emma’s face lit up. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

 

And this is all true:  Emma didn’t come by to see Kerry in the hospital, but then she was a bit of a gibbering mess at the time, too.  And he was in a coma and was being watched over by a girlfriend who wasn’t all too happy with a certain wingmate at that point in time.  So coming by the hospital to say hi, thanks for saving my life–not a good idea.

That’s why you wait until they’re five thousand miles away to say your piece.  Oh, and to do this . . .

 

She stretched out her arms. “Can I get a hug?”

“Um, sure.” Kerry closed the narrow distance between them and wrapped his arms around Emma’s shoulders as she did the same around his waist. She lay her head upon his shoulders and stayed their for a few seconds before she slowly broke the embrace. Kerry didn’t look directly at her; he was fully aware that he’d just hug someone since coming here that wasn’t Annie, and it wasn’t setting right with him. “Okay, so that’s out of—”

Emma wrapped her arms around Kerry’s neck, pushed him back into the wall, and kissed him hard.

Kerry was frozen by shock at first. It was as if he brain couldn’t register what was going on, what was happening to him—why was Emma doing this? He put his hands on her shoulders and started pushing her off: it seemed like it was taking forever, but Kerry knew he was stuck in some strange time dilation, and that her hard, stumbling kiss had lasted only a few second.

He’d only managed a few seconds of pushing when Emma backed away from him. Her eyes were bright and shinning, and a smile slowly formed. She exhaled as color returned to her face. “I never kissed a boy before.”

Kerry was afraid to move from the wall. “Emma—”

“I’m glad you were my first—”

Emma.” He wasn’t processing completely the event that just happened. “Why’d you do that?”

“Because I didn’t do it two it two months ago.” She turned away for a second; when she turned towards Kerry again her face was bright and shinny. “I so wanted to kiss you when we were hiding out in the wood. I was going to if you hadn’t passed out—”

“No.” His head was shaking back and forth like he’d lost control “Why did you kiss me?”

She stared at him for a few seconds as if she hadn’t understood the question, then began to chuckle. “You really don’t know, do you?”

 

As my daughter would say, “Okay, then . . .”  And for anyone asking, yes, when I began writing this novel almost a year ago–I began this novel the evening of 30 October, 2013–I knew this event was going to happen.  I even knew it when I was plotting it out.  And, just as Emma said, it originally was going to happen when they crashed landed, but I changed it up to this moment because, well, it made more sense.

But I knew Sneaky Emma would get in her kiss.  And I also knew Kerry’s reaction . . .

 

The moment the question left Emma’s lips his stomach sank as he flashed back to his first night at the school, and the moment when Nurse Coraline asked a question that eventually changed his life: You really don’t have a clue, do you, Red? His hands slowly rose towards his face. No, no: this can’t be. He touched his warm checks as a strange fear started oozing up from somewhere deep inside. This can’t happen; this isn’t happening . . . “Emma, please—”

“I like you, Kerry.”

He put his hands against his head and turned in place. “Don’t say that—”

“I’ve liked you from before we went out on patrol.”

He stooped turning and faced her. “Emma, you can’t.”

She looked confused. “Why can’t I like you?”

“Because you can’t. Not that way.” It wasn’t a matter of telling her the truth; it was more that he didn’t want to hurt her feelings—but he didn’t see how he could tell her the truth without hurting her feelings. “I like you as my friend. I like flying with you; I like you as my wingmate. But . . .” Just say it. “I can’t like you any more than that. Annie’s my girlfriend—”

“Don’t you mean ‘soul mate’?”

 

First off, we have the return of Captain Clueless, who wouldn’t know he was being liked until, well, there are lips upon his, or a ginger doctor telling him that a girl loves him.  And I ended last night’s writing with the “soul mate” remark, and I can hear how she says it in my head, and what comes of tonight’s writing–

Let’s just say it’ll be . . . interesting.

The Birthday Girl

I didn’t think it was going to happen, because yesterday was such a lazy day and nothing seemed to wanna move.  But at some point–probably after The Longest Day finished and my mini-tacos were consumed, but before I got into a long conversation with another woman over guys that have been hitting on me on Facebook of late.  But I got my writing done–a lot of writing done.  Like two thousand words on the nose writing done.

Right there:  2000 words.  And a First Draft label all over the place as well.

Right there: 2000 words. And a First Draft label all over the place as well.

As you may have guessed from the post title, the scene concerned one of the kid’s birthday.  Since Professor Semplen gave his birthday greeting as “Chestit rozhden den”, it’s probably a safe bet that it wasn’t Kerry’s birthday.  Not to mention the title of this post has “girl” in it, so that pretty much narrows down the character in question.

Yes, Annie turned twelve, and it was an important moment.  Her last year as a tweener, sure, but this occasion involved something she didn’t expect:  a present from the last person she expected to see one from.  Kerry tried not to act like a goof, and since they had a lot of time before Astronomy class, he walked her up to the north shore of Lake Lovecraft, the place where they’d rested after flying around the school grounds the second Saturday they were there.

And what gift did he give her?

 

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

There wasn’t a need to feign surprise: the last thing Annie expected was a present from Kerry. “How did—?” She took the package from his hands and held it close to her body. “When did you find time to buy this?”

“I had help.” Kerry had gone from looking at the ground to looking at Annie when he spoke. “I asked Professor Sladen and Nurse Coraline for advice, and then if they could pick it up for me.”

“That was nice of them.” She examined the package, which was slightly larger than a paperback book. “This is unexpected.”

“I felt it was needed.” He nodded in her direction. “Go ahead: open it.”

“I will.” She unwrapped the gift it slowly, careful not to tear the paper, which she then handed to Kerry and asked him to fold it into a small square. The package was a brown, unmarked box that felt far too light resting in her hand. She popped open one end, found brown packing paper, and pulled it out. There was something smaller inside: Annie tipped the box to one side—

A red jewelry box slid into her hand.

“Kerry . . .” There weren’t a lot of moment where Annie found she couldn’t express her feelings, but now was one of those moments. “It’s—”

Kerry cleared his throat. “I hope you like—”

Shush, you.” She locked eyes and Kerry instantly grew quiet. Annie stared at the red box in here hand for maybe five seconds, then opened it slowly.

A silver heart-shape locket lay in the middle of a red velvet pillow.

 

Awwww.  In some countries giving a gift like that is pretty much the same as getting married, dude.  Particularly after you had Sladen and Nurse Coraline engrave something on the back.  Something that Annie saw.  Something that touched her deeply:

 

“You—” Annie’s gaze met Kerry’s. “Do you mean this?”

A red haze returned to Kerry’s cheeks. “You mean about the love part?”

“Yes, silly.”

“Well, I mean . . .” He place the wrapping paper and brown box back in his backpack before answering. “As much as I’ve learned about loving you this last month . . .” He rolled his shoulders as he looked at scenery around the lake shore. “Yeah, I mean it. I mean—” He sighed slowly, the red in his cheeks growing brighter. “You needed to see that and keep it close to you all the time.”

Annie clutched the locket in here right hand, then opened the clasp before turning her back to Kerry while holding the ends of the chain above her shoulders. “Would you fasten this, please?”

Kerry fastened the clasp while Annie held her hair up. Once in place she smoothed her hair, then faced Kerry. She pressed the locket to her chest. “I love this. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He managed a slight smile, though his cheeks remained bright red. “I know it’s not a lot—”

Shush, you.” Her right index finger shot up like she was going to press it against Kerry’s lips. “Don’t ruin the moment, my love.” Once again Kerry grew silent, saying nothing more least he raise Annie’s ire.

 

Yeah, be quiet, Kerry.  You’re gonna get the evil eye if you keep that up–and given that Annie is your Dark Witch, she probably can do something evil if  she puts her mind to it.  Not that she’d do it to you.  Ever.  You’re lucky there.

Because Annie is so happy–after all, this is the first time she’s gotten a present from someone other than a close family member–things . . . develop.  Tender things.  Kissing things.  And just like in The Princess Bride, they must be read:

 

Annie felt the difference in their embrace. Since the first Midnight Madness and the kiss under the comforter, there had been pecks and brushes, tiny kissing on the cheek, but nothing like the first night when she admitted her love. She allowed Kerry to feel his affection for her, to grow used to her presence—perhaps to remember something they’d shared in a dream. Kerry had not taken an initiative to advance their romance beyond the hand holding and cuddling—

This wasn’t the same. Her soul mate’s kiss came back to her with the same passion she gave him. Her right hand moved from his chest to his shoulder, slid over it, held him from behind. Annie pressed her lips against his, their kiss fueled by the emotions flowing between them. Their lips parted, then kissed, parted once more, kissed, parted . . .

Annie noticed the light pressure along her waist, then around her lower back, then sliding up to the middle. She was relaxed in Kerry’s embrace, leaning back into his arm. He’s holding me; he’s pulling me closer. She tightened her hand against his shoulder, drawing him into her. He’s not pulling away; he’s not hesitating. He’s not afraid to kiss me like this . . .

She finally stopped the kiss but didn’t pull break the embrace. She met his gaze nose-to-nose. “You didn’t run.”

Kerry’s eyes were having difficulty focusing. “I what?”

“You didn’t run. You didn’t stop. You didn’t tell me you didn’t know how to react.” She cocked her head left to right, examining him in the gathering gloom. “You weren’t the way you were—”

He placed a finger upon her lips. “Shush you.” He kissed her on the nose. “Don’t ruin the moment, Sweetie.”

Annie hugged him tight. “You’re right. I don’t want to spoil this moment.” She twisted them them from side-to-side. “I’m only taking this off when I sleep and shower. The rest of the time I’ll wear it for everyone to see.”

 

Whole lotta shushing going on, you know?

This was an important scene for me, because things are happening here, stuff is opening up, and changing are occurring.  Chapter Fourteen starts out disgustingly fun–you’ll see–and then moves into something that’s going to change things for the kids in ways they didn’t expect.  That starts today, getting into the first scene which I do hope is not only geeky, but disgusting as well.  Because sometimes you gotta roll that way, and my Self Defense and Weapons Instructor doesn’t keep boggarts in her wardrobes . . .

Lots of "To Dos" on my To Do List.

Lots of “To Dos” on my To Do List.

Rough Night in Nox

Today I was hoping to end out my first week in the new digs with a quick day at work, a little lunch in a new cafe, and finishing up Chapter Eleven tonight before turning in and figuring out what I’m going to do for the weekend.  That’s what I thought about last night.

However . . . my body and my mind thought otherwise.

The headache is still here, though not as major as it was the other day.  Last night I managed to edit about twenty-five hundred words in Couples Dance, and did a very good job of it, if I may say.  I watched a hilarious version of Pulp Fiction on AMC while I edited, because things were cut out and words were completely edited, and if you were using this movie as a guide to figure out what was going on, you’d probably get lost.  Any movie where The Gimp isn’t present, but you get to hear someone tell a young boy about how they kept a watch stuck up their ass for two years is a strange time indeed.

With all that behind me I headed off to bed . . .

And woke up about two AM with the guitar solo from Firth of Fifth running through my mind in a never-ending loop.  I felt warm, I felt a little disoriented, I felt uncomfortable.  I got up and washed off my face, then rolled back into bed and spent hours tossing and turning.  I didn’t seem tired, but I didn’t want to get out of bed, because I knew that once up, I’d be up the rest of the night.

I know I finally fell back to sleep because I had a dream that I drove up to my house and found people I didn’t know working on it, and who had put some of my things out on the curb for garbage pickup.  This did not please me, I can assure you, and there were words spoken, though being it was a dream I don’t know what was said.  I think at some part I ended up driving away and going for a walk in the woods because why not?

There were other moments, too, where I felt like I may have been awake, may have been asleep, and I didn’t know if I was dreaming, if I was hallucinating, or just had strange thoughts running about my head.  For one I was out shopping at Catherine’s, getting a couple of outfits for work, and Donna Noble–not Catherine Tate, the actress, but the actual character–was waiting on me, giving me the strange eye the whole time.  There was another of these moments where I swear the reason I was having trouble sleeping was because I’d just gotten breasts implants, and having big boobs in bed was bothersome . . .

Lastly, though, I was with someone I know, a special friend shall we say, and I spent a considerable amount of time kissing her from her cheeks to her toes and back.  This was topped off with something special that, while it took some time, the end result was great for us both.  The last part of this moment that I remember was holding her and calling her, “My dark witch,” to which she replied, giggling, “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.”  Then she spooned into me and drifted off to sleep.

That’s what will likely happen to me tonight.

The drifting off to sleep thing, you know?