Happy whatever you are or aren’t celebrating today, for there are so many things that are and aren’t happening that it’s impossible to cover them all. As I pointed out yesterday, Christmas Eve was once celebrated as Mōdraniht, which was a night when all the women got together and had a nice little fertility celebration for the coming year. And today was considered part of the Wild Hunt, when Odin and the boys would go out and kill all the draugr that had collected during the year. Draugr were undead, so yeah, it was a Walking Dead Holiday, and you needed to stay inside least you got mistaken for a Walker–which means Carl would totally have gotten smoked since Lori couldn’t keep him in the house . . .
But it’s April in my story, and in the last two days I’ve written just over two thousand words to finish up this current scene. Thing didn’t progress as I’d planed, but I expect the next scene to start and finish today, and then . . . well, we’ll see what comes next, right?
As it is my kids are getting things set up for Tanith, and they’re not beating around the bush–but as I was informed yesterday, too, that’s sort of how kids are. Why beat around the bush when you’re twelve and a witch? Hop on the broom and zoom . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“Your father went to the same school we attend.” Annie moved a step closer to the girl. “He graduated a while ago and got a job with the people who run our school.” She looked down for a moment. “That’s where he met your mother—where they worked.”
Tanith closed her eyes. “You know about my mother?”
“We know where they met, what your father did, what your mother did—”
“What has he never told me any of this?” She stared at a point between Annie and Kerry near the base of the tree they stood alongside. “Why didn’t he tell me about magic?”
“Probably because of what happened to your mom.” Kerry tilted his head to one said and spoke in a low voice. “After your mom died your dad freaked a little and thought the people who run our school were getting into his life a little too much, so he left Albuquerque and came here.” He sighed. “He probably thought they were gonna start getting into your life, too, which was another reason why he left.”
“Why would he want to get out of Albuquerque, though?” Tanith shook her head. “I loved it there. This place—” She shook her head. “It sucks: I hate it.”
Hey, magical girls hate moving, too! She liked it there in the Fictional Meth Capitol of the United States, and is not cool with Daddy uprooting her to one of the Rib Capitols of the World. And why was that?
“The people who run our school have a large presence in Albuquerque. That was one of the reason your father wanted to move: to get away from them. And like . . .” Annie almost forget to use Kerry’s code name and caught herself at the last moment. “Gavin said, he was probably worried they would start watching you. Maybe he knew what was happening to you.” She watched Tanith closely. “Have strange things been happening around you?”
Tanith nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
“It’s like . . .” She brought her hands together into a fist and rested them against her chin. “Sometimes I’ll be looking for something and I can’t find it, and it’ll just show up. Usually a top or bra or something like that.”
Kerry chuckled. “I had that happened a couple of times; I’d look for a book and it’d be sitting on my desk.” He looked at Annie. “I didn’t talk about it until after I’d started school and begun using magic.”
“It didn’t matter by that time.” She turned away from Kerry and back to Tanith. “That’s fairly common: it’s called Involuntary Translocation. You’re basically calling something to you, but you have no real skill in crafting the spell, so it just pops in somewhere close. I had the same thing happen to me when I started becoming Aware, but I was like five at the time.”
“My mother and father are witches, as are my grandparents.” Annie tried not to sound like she was bragging, but she couldn’t help being proud of her lineage. “We’ve had witches in our family lines going back seven generations.”
“Oh.” Tanith glanced at Kerry. “You, too?”
“No. I come from what you call a Normal background—that’s with a capital ‘N’.” He scratched himself as he smiled. “There was a witch in my family about five generations back, but I’m the first one since then.” He motioned towards Tanith. “You’re more like . . . Nadya: you’re a Legacy.”
For the first time we hear that Kerry noticed some strange things happening to him as well, but he’d started doing magic before he ever had a chance to talk about it–or did he? After all, he spoke to Annie in his dreams, and after she told him she was a witch, you’d think he’d say something like, “You know, there’s some strange stuff happening to me . . .” But did he? Hum . . . maybe I know if he did, maybe I don’t. I’m not saying–least not yet.
But all this talk of Normals and Legacies and levelmates, it brings out things that one shouldn’t be showing . . .
Annie shot Kerry a quick glance. “That’s someone who comes from witches—”
Kerry laid his hand against Annie’s arm. “Of which she’s the only one in our level. The rest of the witches are like me.”
“No, they’re not.” Annie reached around and took his hand. “None of them are like you . . .”
They stared at each other for a few seconds and only broke eye contact when Tanith cleared her throat. “Um, are you two like together, or something?”
“Or something.” Kerry dropped his hand from Annie’s arm.
“Um, huh.” Tanith turned to the smiling girl standing next to the smiling boy. “You said I’m becoming like you?”
Damn, kids, keep it in the hotel room, will ya? You’re gonna scare the proto-witch with the long, lingering looks if you keep that up. I blame the hormones . . .
But what’s the point of coming out here to the park and going all invisible and stuff if you’re not going to do something. Well, the something is about to go down.
“You guys did that floating . . . thing in the mall.” The look in Tanith’s eyes said it all. “Can you show me more?”
“That was the idea.” Annie glanced over to Kerry. “Ready to do what we were talking about?”
“Sure thing.” He went and stood next to Tanith and spoke to her in a low voice. “Watch this.”
Annie stood with here hands at her side and stared straight ahead, right through Tanith and Kerry. Her eyes shifted to Kerry for a moment as the crease of a smile radiated from her face. Centimeter by centimeter Annie rose off the ground, as if she were being lifted into the air by unseen cables. In twenty seconds she was three meters above the ground, floating without a hint of wavering or shaking.
Tanith’s eyes grew wide. “Wow. That’s incredible.”
“That’s Levitation.” Kerry crossed his arms an smiled up at Annie. “She’s really good at doing it to herself. I’m still learning to do it that way, but I can levitate other things—”
“You ready?” Annie folded her hands in front of herself as if she was still sanding on solid ground.
“Sure thing.” He leaned over and whispered to Tanith. “Don’t get too freaked out.”
“At?” Tanith began waving her arms about. “Whaaaa—”
He took her left hand and held on. “Relax: she knows what she’s doing.” He looked down and saw Tanith and he were already a good fifteen centimeters off the ground and rising slowly. They’d planed for Annie to do this to them both due to her skill. In about thirty seconds they were both almost eye level to her. “And here we are.”
“Who’s doing this?” Tanith looked around, her worry replaced with wonder.
“I am.” Annie still appeared as relax as if she were discussing the weather. “I levitated myself and then lifted you both.”
“Don’t you need like a wand, or something?” Tanith looked down and moved her feet back and forth.
“Naw, that’s just for fictional witches.” All three children dropped slowly towards the ground as Kerry explained magic to Tanith. “It’s all about visualizing the effect, then powering the spell, then crafting it all with your willpower. It’s the middle part that makes your aura glow—”
“Because you’re constantly drawing upon that mystical energy—” Annie set them down as gently as if they were stepping off a curb. “Even when you’re not casting.”
Now you know why the aura is always glowing with these witches: mystical energy is in their bodies at all time. We also see just how good Annie’s gotten since that first Wednesday in October, when she was on the verge of despair because she couldn’t levitate a small plush; now she’s levitating herself and her boyfriend and another girl. And no wands! That’s really gonna cut down on selling ideas if this story ever becomes a movie . . .
This means that there’s a question to ask Kerry–
“Cool.” Tanith poked Kerry. “And what can you do?”
“He’s good with transformation magic.” Annie’s eyes twinkled. “Aren’t you, dear?”
Tanith’s brow furrowed. “Dear?”
Kerry ignored her. “Let me show you what she means . . .” He lightly touched her hand, barely brushing his fingers across her skin. Seconds later Kerry’s hair changed, darkening and becoming as curly as Tanith’s. A moment after that his complexion darkened, becoming a perfect match to hers in under five seconds.
He bent his head to one side and held up his hands in mock jubilation. “Ta da.”
For the first time since they’d gotten together Tanith laughed. “Oh, cool. You could be my brother.”
“Maybe.” His hair changed back to the color Kerry was using and his complexion changed back to his original. “I’ve found I can do this pretty easily; it’s like all I have to do is be around a person, and I can do a small personal transformation.”
“You changed your hair and complexion—” Tanith scoffed. “That’s small?”
“We’ll be able to do full transformations into just about anything in a few years.” Annie patted Kerry on the arm. “Ready for the next?”
There’s been hinting that Kerry is extremely good with transformation magic, and the things they both did here in the scene will be mentioned later in the story, because these things Annie and Kerry did here, the things they’re good at–they’re really good at them.
And as Annie indicated, they’re not finished . . .
“What’s next?” The smile on Tanith’s face grew wider. “There’s more.”
Annie nodded. “A little sorcery this time—”
“Sorcery? Like black magic?”
“What you might call black magic, yes. It’s mostly magic that can be used against another person either offensively or defensively.” She held up her right hand, keeping it close to her side. In about five seconds a small ball began to form just above the palm of her hand. A few seconds later the bright blue ball was about fifteen centimeters across.
Tanith moved a little closer to examine Annie’s magic. “What’s that?”
“Cold fire. On the surface it’s room temperature—” She ran her fingers over the top, just inside the interface before she reached out and levitated a stick towards her. “But inside . . .” Annie grabbed the stick and thrust it into the center, where about five centimeters of the end burst into flame. “It’s as hot as any natural fire.”
Kerry nodded. “Or a lot hotter.”
Annie blew out the fire on the stick before dropping it to the ground. She flicked her hands to the side, vanquishing the cold fire. “If you know what you’re doing, you can incinerate a body in less than a minute.”
Tanith said nothing, just taking in the information. She looked at Kerry. “Can you do that?”
“I’m working on it, but . . .” He grinned as he raised his left hand. “I’m working on something else.” A bright pin-point of light appeared over Kerry’s upturned palm. It expanded to almost the same size as Annie’s cold fire, with a dull violet color instead of bright blue. “A different kind of ball.”
“Is that—” Tanith leaned closer to it to hear the faint crackle and feel the charge running near her skin. “That’s electricity?”
“Ball lightening.” He flexed his hand and the ball vanished. “Same thing, though, more or less. I’ve been working on that for a few months.”
“He’s become good with the spell, too.” Annie took Kerry’s arm; at this point she didn’t care of Tanith saw them acting this way or not. “Though he’s convinced he can do better.”
Kerry shrugged. “That’s just me.”
Tanith ignored the touchy-feely stuff going on between these two: whatever story they were trying to pull off, “Nadya” and “Gavin” were far more than friends, and it showed before this moment. “Would I be able to learn that if I, you know, went to your school?”
And there’s that “touchy-feely” stuff going on again. Annie doesn’t care: she can only stay away from her “brother” for so long before she’s gonna hold hands or something. Since Ms. New Witch noticed this already, no need to hide any more, right?
With the magic show over, it’s time to state why they’re really here . . .
Annie shook her head. “We’re more than that. We wanted to tell you that you’re becoming like us—”
Kerry placed his hands in the pockets of his jacket. “Show you that magic exists—”
“And let you know you, too, can learn.” Annie linked her arm through Kerry’s. “We were sent here to bring you in.”
Now Tanith was back to being confused. “Bring me in?”
“Yes. The idea now is to take you somewhere and have you meet with the rest of our group, then visit your father, speak with him, and . . .” Annie glanced at Kerry, who was looking back at Annie. “Convince him that it’s best you embrace your new life.” She smiled softly. “It’s time to bring you home, Tanith.”
“It’s time to bring you home . . .” Salem as home is a point that’s going to pop up time and again in the story of Annie and Kerr, because The Foundation–and Salem in particular–is becoming their home. The dream space was their first home, and now the school is becoming their next home. What homes will they have after that? Stay tuned.
I also did something here I’ve not really done before: I wrote a small snippet that was so nice that I moved it ahead to another scene.
But the last seen is done. Now on to the next–
And something else I have to do.