Along the Shore of The Foundation Pond

Thursdays are never a good writing night for me.  I was tired, for one, and actually napped sometime around six-thirty.  Then Singin’ in the Rain came on, and though I’ve seen that movie maybe a dozen times, I can’t turn away from its greatness.  The lateness of the hour plus being sort of out of it night resulted in just under six hundred words being written–

Ah, but it’s a great set up.

The title of this post refers to something said a long time ago by Nadine when she first started to tutor Kerry for the Ostara Performance.  She downloaded sheet music from their Internet, and mentioned that if it had been created, The Foundation had access.  Her comment at the time was, “Welcome to the Pond,” meaning here was the place where one could find everything The Foundation had their fingers upon.

It’s also a secretive little place as well, a much smaller location within the gigantic ocean that is the world as a whole.  That’s because The Foundation has things that no one else does, and for now they’re keeping it pretty much too themselves.  Like, you know, being able to heal even the worst injuries over night–like what’s happened to a certain kid from Cardiff a few times during the course of this story, or the repairs made to the broken arm and cracked skull that his girlfriend received some time back.

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone had that.

"Should I release one of our cures this week, or let the conspiracy theorists keep at it a few years more?"

“Should I release one of our cures this week, or let the conspiracy theorists keep at it a few years more?”

Here is what I wrote about Salem’s particular place in that pond.  Witches have gathered, but they’re not standing around a cauldron; it’s more like they’re relaxing comfortably while waiting for someone . . .

 

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

Mathilde closed the door to the First Floor Library in the Instructor’s Residence, gently pushing it against the frame until she heard the latch snap closed. She turned back to the other women assembled in the room with her. “I’m glad we didn’t have many students to meet tonight.” She sighed as she retook her seat. “It’s been a long day.”

“Graduation Day is always long.” Wednesday stretched her legs out before her and pushed her arms over her head. “It’s bad enough we have to get all dressed up—”

“Something you should do more often.” Jessica removed her heels and flexed her toes. “You’re so adorable when you look like an adult.”

Wednesday began laughing with a couple of the other instructors in the room. Besides being the youngest instructor in the room, she was also the one who still looked the most like a student. “Yeah, well, how about you kiss my ass, Jess? The kids don’t seem to mind, and neither does Isis. Besides, I ain’t an ex-model like you—”

“I can show you how to become one.”

“Maybe tomorrow.” She adjusted here skirt and crossed here legs. “I want to finish this up and take a long, hot, soaking bath.”

Erywin, who was sitting to Wednesday’s right, nodded. “Same here. I want to get undressed and into my night clothes and spend the rest of the evening snuggling.”

Sitting all the way to the left of the collected group of women, Helena chuckled. “I know how my time will be spent tonight.”

“Isn’t it spent that way most evenings?” Erywin turned to her right, where Mathilde sat. “It is a bit disappointing to have only four students tonight. I had hoped for a slightly larger selection this year.”

“Better four great students than eight mediocre ones.” Mathilde checked her smart phone display, which remained black. “At least we have two out of the way—”

“And two to go.” Jessica ran a long nail across the tip of her nose. “Saved the best for last, no?”

Wednesday nodded. “I’d say so.”

The screen of Mathilde’s mobile came on and she checked the message. “They’re here.” She turned to the women assembled upon her left. “Before we start, I have to ask: are you certain this is what we want?”

Erywin nodded. “We’ve discussed this for four days: it’s decided.”

“It has.” Wednesday folder her hands into her lap. “You know what I think.”

“It’s what I want to do as well.” Ramona Chai slipped her feet back into her low heels. “I don’t see a problem.”

Mathilde nodded. “Jessica? Vicky?”

The Mistress of Transformation leaned forward so she could see the headmistress better. “You know what I’ve said all along.”

Vicky shrugged and nodded once. “As well as with me. And there’s the other matter—”

“Yes, I know, Vicky.” Mathilde nodded back. “We’ll get to that tonight as well.” She eyed the last silent person in the room. “Helena? No opinion?”

“Only the same one I’ve given you for the last week.” She leaned against the right arm of her over-sized chair and crossed her legs. “It’s the same one I’d give you now.” Helena pointed at the phone near the headmistress’ right hand. “Now that you know the answer, go on and bring them in.”

Mathilde picked up the phone and held it close. “Send them up.” She set the phone aside as she stood and moved toward the door to great the new guests.

 

Astute people will recognize that not all these women are coven leaders–there are only two, in fact–and there are a two people here who seem a little out of place, namely Ramona and Vicky.  And why is Helena here?  Is she holding down the Guardian fort?  In this last moment of producing this post I suddenly realized:  I should actually model this library, because I want to see the scene–

And this won’t be the last time we visit this location.

Revelations in the Library

This happened last night:

I just beat Act One!

I just beat Act One!

As did this:

Looks like I'm gonna have to reset the counter

Looks like I’m gonna have to reset the counter.

So that’s the thing:  with Act Two’s end in sight, I passed both 150,000 words and 300,000 words total.  What am I guessing this will finish out at?  With three more scenes, maybe another five or six thousand words and she’s finished.  And then, this being NaNo, I can hop into Act Three–the final act.  And wrap up this story in another . . . let’s not talk of this, shall we?

As for NaNo . . . hit my word count, and edged in just over nine thousand words since I started writing on Saturday.  That’s not unusual:  I’m right around the ten thousand mark by the fifth day, and I’ll clear that tonight with ease.  At the rate I’m going, I should finish Act Two by Friday–which means I have Saturday to get started on Act Three.

What happened in the recently concluded scene?  Annie and Kerry are at the library, and Kerry’s doing most of the talking, Trevor Parkman–the librarian–is doing most of the listening.  Annie’s already heard this story a couple of times, but she doesn’t mind hearing it again.  For all we know–well, I don’t, but you do–Annie’s the one that got them there tonight.

And what is Kerry talking about?  No, his grandfather doesn’t know about Salem and his grandson being a witch–but he knows there was something strange in the family a long time ago . . .

 

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

 

“Her name is Aisling Callaghan. She’s my great-great-great-great-grandmother.” Kerry checked his tablet from time to time; his notes were there, and unlike when he’d first given Annie an overview, he wanted Mr. Parkman to heard what he’d told Annie the second time. “My grandfather knew she was born in Ireland in their early 1800’s, but he couldn’t pin down the exact year: he figured it was anywhere between 1804 and 1810. He had almost nothing on her except the name of a church parish near Galway, and some information that she’d moved to Liverpool when she was a girl—again, no exact date.

“He and my grandma went to Ireland in the late eighties trying to hunt her down, but they didn’t find anything useful—”

“Given the family name, if he didn’t have much to go on, he’d have a difficult time tracking her down.” Mr. Parkman sat back and crossed his arm. “Callaghan is such a common name.”

“That’s what my grandfather said. But he had a parish name to go off; it was suppose to be in an old town that had been located between Tuam and Headford.”

“Yes, so many towns up and vanished during the Ninetieth Century.” Trevor gave the matter a few seconds of thought. “Did he mention the closest town to where this town was suppose to have existed?”

Kerry check his tablet. “He mentioned Caherlistrane.”

“Okay.” Trevor filed the information away in his encyclopedic memory. “Go on.”

“Like I said, he didn’t find anything, even though he spent a couple of weeks in the area. So he just filed it all away and came back home after spending three days around Liverpool trying to find something on her.”

“He find anything there?”

“No.”

Trevor raised an eyebrow. “I find that a little strange. There aren’t many Catholic churches in that areas, and I’d imagine they’d have her name on a parish roll.”

Annie spoke for the first time since the conversation began. “Unless she didn’t attend church.”

Kerry looked at his girlfriend a little strangely, while Mr. Parkman chuckled. “Heaven forbid that thought. Even if they left the Emerald Isle and came to England, they found time to attend church.” He paused and his eyes took on a vacant gaze as he tried to remember something salient to the conversation. “They would have had a record of her at St. Peter’s, and then move those records to St. Patrick’s or St. Vincent at some point.”

 

All those places are real, and while Kerry’s grandfather didn’t find Great-Granny’s date of birth, you know I have it.

And there’s more, because when you have a good mystery hugging you around the neck, you don’t let go:

 

Kerry nodded. “Yeah. After my mom and dad were married in 1997, he and Grandma went back to Ireland that summer; he told me they’d planed to spend a month in around Galway checking every parish within a hundred miles of the city. He told me he’d mapped out the location of every church in the area, and even found the locations of parishes that had closed. He said he started checking all these places, and after two weeks he’d come up with nothing. Again, a lot of Callaghans—”

“Which is expected.”

“—But no Aislings. None at all. Or, at least none that fit the time for when she might have been born.”

Trevor held up a finger. “Excuse me, but what was he using as a point of reference for her date of birth?”

“She had two kids: Gwendolyn and Randal. He found birth records for Randal from . . .” He checked his tablet. “9 July, 1849, in Leeds. The hospital record listed the mother as Aisling, but only gave her age as ‘Early 40’s’. He figured from the birth record that she might have been born in the time frame he was checking.”

“I’m surprised they listed her age that way.” Trevor leaned onto his elbows and rubbed his palms together.

“Is that unusual for the UK?” Annie knew from her own family history that the records were fairly exact—but then, her family had information on their lineage going back seven generation.

“It depends if she knew her actual age.” Trevor shook his head. “Most of the time a person will still give an age and not bother with approximations. And a hospital wouldn’t normally list the mother’s age in such a fashion.” He looked at Kerry. “What sort of hospital was it?”

“My grandfather didn’t say, but . . .” He tossed his head to one said. “I got the impression that it was a pretty good one.”

“Which meant they wouldn’t have listed the age that way.” Trevor scratched at the back of his left hand. “Interesting.”

“No—” Annie cleared her throat. “The interesting part comes next.”

“Oh.” Trevor sat up and lay one hand over the other on the table top.

“Yeah.” Kerry chuckled. “You’ like this.”

 

We find a couple of more of Kerry’s ancestors, with Randal being his many-times-removed grandfather.  And born in England as well, which probably burns up his father.

But what’s this interesting thing Annie’s speaks of?  Kerry tells him:

 

“Okay, well . . . After a couple of weeks he tells me he’s got nothing to go on—none of the churches he’s visited have any information on the parish my ancestor was suppose to have attended, and a few even said the town he talked about never existed. The way he described things, he sounded pretty out of it ‘cause according everything he was finding, this Aisling didn’t exist.

“So my grandma and him are sitting in a cafe in Galway having lunch, and this woman comes up to them and introduces herself and says she’s with some historical preservation society that’s gathering data on all the old parishes around the country. She’s heard from several of the churches that he’s looking for information on an ancestor, and guess what?” Kerry threw up his hands an expressed surprise. “She just happens to have everything he’s looking for.”

Trevor was listening even more closely now. “That is interesting. What did she have? Parish records? Marriage records?”

“It’s better than that, Mr. Parkman.” Annie eyed the librarian closely.

“Do tell.”

Kerry grinned broadly. “There were parish records, information on her mother and father, travel documents to England, a few school records—” Kerry pushed his tablet to one side. “According to the documents my grandfather was given, when she was eleven she was sent off to attend a private school—in Scotland.”

Where in Scotland?”

Annie spoke up. “Near Edinburgh.”

Now Trevor was grinning as well, though his tone indicated he was skeptical. “You believe she went to ECMI?”

Kerry nodded tow his girlfriend on his left. “That what Annie thinks.”

“Edinburgh was built in 1808—” Annie was growing excited as she spoke. “Kerry said the papers he say said she started school in 1818. It makes sense.”

Trevor held up his hands as if to hold back the girl’s enthusiasm. “However, there were other private schools in Edinburgh—”

“There’s something else—” Kerry paused for effect. “She graduated from the University of Oxford.”

“What?”

He checked his tablet. “My grandfather showed me documents and pictures. She attended The Queen’s College and graduated in 1830.” He leaned forward, his voice serious but rising with excitement. “I checked, Mr. Parkman: Oxford didn’t accept women until 1878. There is no way she could have attended one of the colleges at Oxford in the 1820’s unless . . .”

Annie finished the statement. “Unless she had help from an organization like the Foundation.”

Trevor rubbed his hands together, working the fist of one in the palm of the other, while he thought. “The Foundation as we know was still forming, but The Lucifer Club was gathering considerable influence in England at that time, and they were doing much of the same things that The Foundation does today.” He pointed at Kerry. “You’re certain she graduated from Queen’s College?”

“Mr. Parkman . . .” Kerry took a deep breath. “My grandfather was not only given her diploma, but there was a graduation picture of her and four other people—three of them women.”

 

It was really nice of that woman–whomever she was–to simply hand over all that secret information without a second thought–right?  Edinburgh was one of the schools attacked during the Day of the Dead, and another of the larger schools in The Foundation.  So if Grandma Aisling went there . . . yeah, witch.  Not to mention she and three other women graduating from Oxford almost fifty years before women were allowed in?  Someone was playing around with records . . .

 

And the only way your great-over-grandmother—and whomever else was in the picture—could have done that would have been with help from The Lucifer Club, or one of the organizations affiliated with them.” He nodded slowly. “It sounds exactly like a Foundation shadowplay.”

“What’s that?”

Annie answered before Trevor could. “It’s where they change the identity of a person and give them a new life. I didn’t want to say anything when you were telling them this earlier, but since Mr. Parkman isn’t saying you’re wrong—”

“Then it’s likely the assumption is correct.” Trevor stood and stretched before leaning on the back of his chair. “If someone discovered she was a witch, it was prudent to move her out of Ireland as quickly as possible. It’s also likely that Aisling Callaghan isn’t her real name; the chances are the only people who would know her real identity is—”

“The Foundation.” Annie nodded. “And would you be able to access that information, Mr. Parkman?”

“If there is any truth to what Kerry is saying, then it’s likely she’s in the data base.” Trevor sat down behind one of the computer displays and began typing away on the keyboard. “Could you spell her name, please?”

 

So Trevor hops on the computer and starts checking the data base–and gets locked out.  He enters his security code–because he does have a right to see sensitive information–and he’s told to make a call . . . to Paris . . .

 

“Paris is the main headquarters; there’s always someone there. Not to mention this is through the Archivist Division, and they run 24/7—” Trevor’s call was connected. “This is Trevor Parkman, Librarian and Archivist for the Salem Institute of Greater Learning and Education. I’m conducting a data base search and I’ve triggered a security lock. Yes, it’s—” He read the code off the screen and waited about tens seconds before speaking to the person on the other end. “I’m performing this search at the request of one of our students . . . Kerry Malibey—M.a.l.i.b.e.y.. Yes, he’s here now—” He listened for a second, then lowered the phone and turned to Kerry. “Is your given name Kerrigan?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Um, yeah.”

Trevor was back on the phone. “He says yes.” He said and did nothing for the next thirty seconds save nod. When he did speak again, it was in a less authoritative tone. “I understand completely. I’ll let him know. Thank you.” He closed the call the returned his mobile to his jacket.

It was all Kerry could do to keep from shaking in his seat. “What happened?”

Trevor sighed and snapped the monitor off. “I was told you’ll get your answers tomorrow.”

Annie recalled a few times when her mother ran into situations like these, and what usually happened when her “answers” arrived the next day. “They’re being hand delivered, aren’t they?”

Kerry glanced from Annie to Mr. Parkman then back to Annie. “What? What do you mean?”

“What she means is we’re getting visitors from Paris.” Trevor leaned his elbows on the table and almost set his chin against the back of his intertwined hands. “Someone wants to speak with you.”

 

See what you get poking around, Kerry?  You should have been happy with the orgy of secret data your grandfather was given, but no!  You just had to go looking around.  And now you’re getting a visit from Paris.

Tomorrow.

Which is today.

And I will write that up tonight.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/2:  2,240

NaNo Total Word Count:  9,027

Time Spells Be Time

Things have almost gotten back to normal here at Casa Indiana.  Spent a lot of time running around yesterday, and even managed to get the writing in after Orphan Black showed.  But this morning was a nice time for me, because I did something I haven’t in a long time:  I lay in bed with the window open and listened to the rain falling.  I’ve written about doing this before, but this morning was the first time I’ve experienced this sensation in over a year.  Living in a city you almost never open your windows at night, not if you want to sleep.  And there’s no soft patter of rain on stone and grass when you live twelve stories above the street.

Nope.  You get stuff like this when you can, and I might not get it again for a year.  Or more.

And this morning I realized that, with all the years I’ve worked on this blog, I’ve spoken of my library, my private writing space, that I’ve never really shown it.  Not to friends, not to enemies, not to various passersby who might be curious about what’s going on inside my hovel.  So, here:  a panorama of my library of two thousand plus books.  Mind the mess:

You have to kind of step back and take in the whole mess . . .

You have to kind of step back and take in the whole mess . . .

And just so they don’t feel left out, here is my last book case of nothing but role playing games that hides behind the door . . .

For a while I may have kept White Wolf afloat in the 1990's--

For a while I helped keep White Wolf afloat in the 1990’s–

So that be that, people.  My writing space in The Burg isn’t quite as cluttered and messy, but then when I’m there I don’t have my favorite books right at hand, allowing me to look up quotes or passages when the urge strikes me.  Of all the things I leave behind, this is one of the things I miss the most.

But enough of that:  on with what’s important, right?  Like writing.

Ha!

I’d promised one person that I would finish the scene in the spell cell last night, and I kept my promise.  It took about five hundred and sixty words, but I put the cap on that scene in more ways than one.  And since I had a little energy left over after that–I was feeling sleep coming on in a big way, because I was still catching up from my Friday adventure–I started the next scene.

Since I’m in a good mood, and since I expect to do a little running around today before finishing this next scene, I though, what the hell, let me show you what I wrote last night, pretty much as it would look in the book.  The first paragraph I wrote a few days ago:  the next five paragraphs were written Friday night before collapsing.  The rest was written last night after I watched my beloved Clone Club.

Without further ado . . .

 

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

Kerry turned to Annie, his head slightly cocked to one side, and spoke with an over-enunciated English accent. “My dear, you are speaking to Mr. Timey Wimey. Trust me: if I can’t do it, it’s can’t be done.” He straightened up and shook his head a couple of time. “With that said . . .”

One of the problems with making charcoal the old fashion way was the time involved: even a small batch like they were going to make could take ten to twelve hours to prepare properly. That was why Kerry thought about using a time spell—they could speed up the process instead of having to watch wood slowly burn for half a day.

He realized the easiest way to do this was to set up a spell field where a minute outside the field would equal an hour inside the field. The hardest thing about doing this was how to create a field where minutes outside meant hours inside. Though he’d come up with an idea for that . . .

He imagined the field like a large analog clock face, with the numbers and the hash marks in between. In this vision he saw the numbers—the hours representation—vanish, leaving only the hash marks—the minutes representation. Then he replaced each hash mark with a number, all the way to sixty at the stop of the clock—each minute now turned to an hour.

With the visualization firmly in place, now all that was required was energy and willpower.

He brought the components together, imagining the oblate sphere he was about to create being slightly larger than the ball of cold fire and the wood it would soon rest upon and burn, a light grey mass of twisting, convulsing power. Kerry held out his left hand, pointing two fingers at the floating cold fire and felt the magic course down his arm and outward towards the glowing blue ball.

The grey sphere appeared around the cold fire, making it shimmer strangely. Kerry could only think of one reason why—

Annie noticed the effect as well. “I think you managed the effect.” She reached for the new sphere, almost touching the surface. “It’s flickering—”

“—Because one second out here is one minute in there.” Kerry hurried over to where his computer and phone were left. “Now to do a proof of concept.” He punched up something on his tablet before handing it to Annie. “Need just a second here . . .” He pulled hand grabber he’d taken from the greenhouse from his backpack and unfolded it before using it to hold his phone. He turned and approached their assembled spell work. “I’ve got a stopwatch program up on that—” Kerry pointed at the table Annie held, “—and I’m going to start the stopwatch app on my phone, and hold it inside the field.”

Annie nodded: they’d gone over this part earlier in the week, and once more in the library here. “And when I reach a minute, you’ll remove your phone and check the time.”

“Yeah.” He held his finger over the start button on his phone’s stop watch. “Ready?”

“Yes.”

“And . . . go.” Kerry immediately press his button and thrust the phone inside the field. He didn’t ask for updates: he knew as soon as the stop watch on the table reached a minute on his table, Annie would call—

Now.”

Kerry pulled the gripping back and hit the stop button on his app the moment the phone was completely clear of the time field. He stared at the screen for almost five seconds without saying a word, then turned the display for Annie to read—

She, too, stared at the screen for a few second—only because she couldn’t believe what it told her. “Fifty-nine minutes, twenty-four seconds.”

Kerry found it hard to stop grinning. “Yeah.” He gave a short fist pump. “Yeah. That’s right about where I want it.”

“Oh, that’s great.” Annie set Kerry’s tablet aside, then went over an hugged him. “That’s close enough to be perfect.”

“Means a twelve hour burn will take about fifteen minutes.” He wrapped both arms around his sweetie. “We did it.” He kissed her cheek. “We really did it.”

Annie looked at the bucket. “We’ve almost done it—” She barely moved her right hand and more water flowed from the container and formed a thick plug, half as long as the first container, and with a wide cap. It was formed in a matter of seconds with Kerry’s help; Annie froze it with little more than a stare.

She waved her hand and the plug sank towards the top of the encasement, pushing the time accelerated cold fire inside. It stopped upon making contact with the wood: Annie figured it was beginning to burn and char.

Annie leaned her head into Kerry’s shoulder. “And now we’re finished.”

“Except for the wood to burn with what little oxygen there is in the encasement, getting nice and charred while that plug pushes the fire down to burn what’s below.” He held her tight. “Should take about . . . fifteen minutes.”

She looked around the room. “Do we wait here? There’s no place to sit.”

Kerry slowly rocked back and forth. “I’m good right here.”

Annie nuzzled Kerry’s face and neck with her cheek. “I am too, love. I am too.”

####

The moment Wednesday heard the fire alarm sound she teleported from her office to the top of the stairs leading to the lower levels, then hurried down the steps. She was in a hurry not just because there was a fire in one of the spell cells, but because it was Spell Cell #3, the one in use by Kirilova and Malibey. I should have sent someone down there to be with them. Wednesday turned right at the bottom of the stairs and sprinted towards the cell. The enchantments will protect them for now.

Upon reaching Spell Cell #3, Wednesday’s worry turned to puzzlement. The light indicating an active fire was slowly flashing, but the indicator next to the door showing the presence of active enchantments was dark. The puzzlement slowly turned to bother, because she knew it was impossible for the fire alarm to go off while the enchantments that threw status spells on anyone inside before draining the fire of energy remained inactive. She knew this because she’d created the enchantments inside the cell.

Since the active enchantment light wasn’t on, that meant the fire door was unlocked. Which means I have no idea what I’ve going to find on the other side. Wednesday threw the door open with a flick of her wrist and stepped inside—

Kirilova and Malibey were wearing work gloves while loading what appeared to be charred wood into a couple of large canvas totes. They looked up as Wednesday stopped about a meter from them. She looked about the room before locking her gaze upon them. “What’s going on here?”

 

So there I left it with Wednesday coming in after what she perceives as an emergency, and finds the kids–loading wood?  No, nothing out of the ordinary there . . .

I’ll do what I can this afternoon and evening, but I’m going to try and finish the current scene.  Then . . . that’s when things change for my kids in a big way.  You’ll see.

Trust me:  I'm getting to that scene.  Slowly.  I must be stuck in one of Kerry's time spells.

Trust me: I’m getting to that scene. Slowly. I must be stuck in one of Kerry’s time spells.