Mother’s Little Annoyance: If Only–

It’s official:  I crossed the forty thousand word make, and The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing is a real novel in terms of word count.  I hit it after nearly five hundred words of writing this morning:

It's all right here.

It’s all right here.

And here’s the breakdown:

 

Total time to this point: 78 days.
As of now: 40,195 words, 515 words a day average.

 

So I’m bad, I’m nationwide, and the writing continues, but I can hold my head up and say, “There’s another novel.”

Speaking of holding their head up–

If you look closely at the above picture you’ll see I’ve finished the second scene, which has also become the second largest scene in the book.  The last excerpt ended with Kerry being a bit of a smart ass towards his mother, which we’re gonna see may not have been the wisest action…

 

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

Louise’s eyes narrowed moments after Kerry’s curt retort. “Your father and I are going to discuss this.”

Kerry shrugged. “Sure. Whatever.”

Her tone turned icy. “He will know about what you’re really learning at school—”

“Which he should know. I wanted to tell this to you guys months ago.”

“He’s also going to know about you and Annie.”

Kerry nodded. “He should know about her, too. Nothing to hide there.”

Louise took a deep breath. “I have serious questions about what you’re taught. Or what you’re allowed to do there.”

It was impossible for Kerry to hide the smirk. “You gonna write another letter to the headmistress?”

You shut your fucking mouth.”

 

And there we go:  Louise finally loses her shit on her son and drops the big one on him.  And since this is something she’s never done to him, it’s impossible for Kerry not to take notice:

 

Kerry recoiled slightly from his mother’s profane outburst. “Wow, Mom. You finally crossed the f-bomb line.” He kept his tone as neutral as possible. “Really, though: who are you gonna talk to about your ‘questions’? I guess you could speak to people at the school—”

“I would if I could.”

“From what I understand you can contact the school that I’m out. But I know what they’re going to tell you: the instructors are given free reign to do what they feel is necessary when it comes to their students’ education. It’s something that Annie’s parents understand because they went there; it’s something Dad and you need to understand, too.”

Kerry’s sigh was difficult to hear. “There’s nothing wrong with what I know—and there’s nothing wrong with me.”

Louise eyed him closely. “If I could I’d never let you go back to that place.”

Kerry’s mouth twisted to one side. “You have no say in the matter.”

“So you say. Doesn’t mean I can’t have a say here.”

There was something in his mother’s tone that didn’t set well with Kerry. “Mom—”

Louise snapped her head in a quick node to the right. “Get out of my sight.”

 

Yeah, she’s not taking this well.  And Kerry knows better than to stay around when Mom flips the bitch switch–

 

Kerry snapped up his travel package and left the dining room. He made his way up the stairs, averting his eyes at the top landing so he didn’t have to see himself in the mirror, then hurried into his room. Once inside he locked and sealed the door behind him so his mother couldn’t walk in or listen from the outside. He tossed the mailer envelope on the desk next to the computer and sat on the edge of his bed, already deep in thought.

He wondered if maybe he’d pushed things too hard, but pushed the idea aside as he reminded himself that it was likely his mother had wanted a confrontation of sorts. She waited until the last minute to discuss the school and magic because she wanted to have this out her way. Otherwise I’d have had plenty of time to explain everything my way, and she couldn’t have that.

He lay back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. I hope this isn’t any indication of how this year is gonna go

 

Though it didn’t end on an up note, everything about Kerry is out in the open.  Well, almost everything–

"Mom, Dad?  You know how we're told we change during puberty?  Well . . ."

“Mom!  Guess what else I learned at school this year?”

Oh, yeah:  that’s coming…

Now all the parents stuff is out of the way, which means maybe it’s time to finally see something I’ve waited a novel worth of words to write–

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Love Among the Witches

Thirty days hath September and all that jazz, right.  We’re about to kiss the ninth month goodbye and head into The Witching Month, which is a good thing ’cause my witches are about to get down to some serious business.

Though not like this.  Seriously, Erywin would be mocking you so hard--

Though not like this. Seriously, Erywin would be mocking you so hard–

But there are a few more things to get out of the way before the kids leave for Salem.  Trust me, though:  they’ll get there before the end of October.  Maybe.

So…  Kerry has a girlfriend and Mom now knows.  And we know that some mothers forget they were young girlfriends at some point and think all the girls their sons are dating are evil little witches.  Though in Annie’s case that argument could be made that she’s not an evil little witch but a cute little Dark Witch, which is just how Kerry likes her.

Being the sort of person Louise is she instantly jumps to certain conclusions and begins the slow, spiraling decent towards becoming the subject of a Pink Floyd song and decides she’s going to go there

 

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

 

After several seconds of hard staring Louise shifted her mood and questions. “Are you doing something with this girl?”

Kerry returned a puzzled look. “What do you mean?”

She began tapping her fingertips together. “Are you doing things with Annie?”

It came to him what she was asking a moment later. “Are you asking if we’re having sex?”

“Yes.” Louise looked down as she swallowed. “Are you?”

“No, Mom. Why would you even think that?” Kerry was certain he knew why his mother was asking this—

And he wasn’t disappointed. “You had that talk your first year at school; you said you and Annie were called in and had it together.” Louise seemed to lean forward a bit towards Kerry. “Are you fooling around with her?”

He shook his head. “No.”

“Are you sleeping with her?”

 

Yes, The Talk has come back to haunt Kerry, but he’s had a year to deal with what happened then and doesn’t freak out and start shouting out stuff because his buttons have been pushed hard.  He’s grown a bit due to the ton of shit he’s had thrown at him during his B Levels and gives his mother an answer she likely wasn’t at all expecting…

 

Kerry glanced off to the side as he sighed. “Every Friday and Saturday night we have something called the Midnight Madness. It’s like this big pajama party for all the students and staff. We go to the Dining Hall in our pajamas—that’s a rule, by the way—and sit around and have snacks and talk and generally relax after a whole week of hard classes.

“Annie and I have a place we always sit. There’s a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a couple of end table. Sometimes our friends will come over and chat with us; sometimes the instructors do. Most of the time we sit and drink hot chocolate or apple cider and eat banitsas and kozunak—”

“What’s that?”

“Bulgarian pastries that are really good. Anyway, we start at twenty-one hours and Annie and I go like that until about twenty-three, then we sort of sit and cuddle.” He ignored his mother’s body language and continued onward. “Sometimes—most of the time—we lay back and pulled the comforter up over us and fall asleep like that.”

Louise wasn’t enjoying this news. “You’re allowed to do that?”

“Mom, there’s like a hundred and seventy people in the hall: it’s not like we’re doing anything. Besides—” A slight smile formed at the corner of his mouth. “Some of the instructor have told us they think it’s romantic. Even cute.”

Cute.” The way Louise spit out the word showed she didn’t share the same opinion as Kerry’s instructors.

He ignored her. “Anyway, about half-past midnight someone comes and wakes us up and we head back to the coven tower—”

“You live in a tower?”

“Yes, I do. We get back to the tower and head up to our floor. I give Annie a kiss goodnight before she goes—” Kerry once again put his mother’s discomfort out of mind. “And we head to our rooms and go to sleep.

“Every day I see her in the morning, we have breakfast, we go to class or whatever is planed for that day, we do lunch, do more class and things, then have dinner. Some nights we have class, some we don’t, and there’s the Midnight Madness. Every night I kiss Annie goodnight.” He looked down as the memory of those moments came rushing to him. “We’re not sleeping together, Mom: we’re not having sex. We can’t have intercourse: we both know it wouldn’t be right.” He wisely left off the magical reason why for this decision, but as the decision not to have intercourse came before they learned about their Astral Binding, Kerry knew he wasn’t lying. “So there’s nothing to worry about.”

Louise wasn’t about to let the matter go, not yet. “Why, then, did you have… that talk?”

“Well—” Kerry kept his voice steady. “I did tell you why we were there last year—”

“You told me why you were there. What about Annie?”

Kerry stared up at the ceiling for a moment as he sighed. “If you must know—” He stared directly at his mother. “Annie admitted to a counselor that she masturbated while thinking about me. That’s why we were talked to together: they thought they would help us understand our budding sexuality.” He rested his finger under his nose for only moment before dropping his arms in semi-exasperation. “Now you know. Happy?”

Louise’s eyes narrowed moments after Kerry’s curt retort. “Your father and I are going to discuss this.”

 

This is about as touching and heartfelt a statement about Annie that Kerry has ever made to another person, possibly because where it comes to their friends they don’t have to say anything:  they already know.  The Kerry of a year ago wouldn’t have ever been able to admit to his mother that he kisses Annie every night before they go to bed, and he certainly wouldn’t have given Mom the dig at the end by telling a truth that he knew his mother both wanted and didn’t want to hear.

A lot of this is due to the change in Annie and Kerry’s relationship.  Kerry fought to remember how they’d known each other before meeting, then they dealt with their wedding night vision, and now, knowing that they are meant for none others but each other, he’s accepted fully that she’s gone from Witchy Poo to Witchy Wifey Poo and now it’s a matter of waiting to get old enough to make it all legal.  And since Mommy was pushing hard, he pushed back with a hell of a lot of truth bombs.

Only a few hundred more words before this scene finishes–and it should be noted that I’m within a few hundred words of hitting forty thousand.  Maybe I’ll save that for the start of Witching Month.

Because that’s a good way to start.

Mother’s Little Annoyance: You’re Not In Love

I know what I said.  I know what I wanted to do.  And I know what happened.  But really:  it’s not my fault.

Last night was Phone Bank night where I head down to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party headquarter and do my “get out the vote” thing.  Last night I did almost three hours of calls across fourteen sheets of paper with sixteen names on each page.  As you can tell that’s a lot of calls.  Most are people who let their phones go right to voice mail, but I’m still calling, still trying to get through.  And fortunately for me, I’ve yet to call anyone who’s a supporter of the Orange Dumpster Fire, but I figure the odds are I’ll get at least one at some point during October.

"I understand, Sir: you want to 'take back the country'. If it helps, I do have access to a TARDIS and I could take you back to 1730. Does that interest you?"

“I understand, Sir: you want to ‘take back the country’. If it helps, I have access to a TARDIS and I could take you back to 1730. Does that interest you?”

Now, we don’t always yack away on phones like robots.  We do talk to people and I’ve had some good phone conversations.  We also talk among ourselves as well because, well, there is a bit of stress involved in what we’re doing, and there are a lot of busy people there.  And trust me, last night was hopping, with close to a dozen of us calling and maybe another six to nine people entering data into the system to keep the rolls up to date.

So, on the personal side, what happened last night–well, there were two things.  First, one of the organizers in the office asked me about my nose piercing and said she wanted to get one of her own, so I not only told her she should get one from the same place I did, but I’d go with her and hold her hand.  So next Sunday is Nose Piercing Day, and once that happens there will be three of us in the DNP/HRC office with those.

And second, there were three of use women sitting at the same table and we did take some time to sit and chat from time-to-time.  The woman sitting across from me said she loved my passion and that I was the sort of person who should be a part of her organization, which is the Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  She told me I should come to one of their mixers and get a feel for it, and I took that to mean she felt I should join.  So…  I’ll probably contact her tomorrow to get more info.

All and all it looks like I’m making some good connections while helping get someone elected at the same time.

What this means is that I had a limited amount of time to actually feel the worlds flowing and write.  It’s not much, but here’s what happened after Kerry made his Annie Admission.

 

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

 

He didn’t even pause. “She’s my girlfriend, Mom.”

Louise regarded her son for a few moments. “You have a girlfriend.”

“Yes, I do.”

“And how long has this been going on?”

Kerry considered stretching the truth a little before deciding to be as honest about his relationship as he was about his magic. “Since the start of our A Levels. You could say we connected in London before going to Amsterdam, and by the time we reached he school—” He smiled. “We’ve been together since.”

Louise pressed her fingers into her forehead while muttering in a lot voice. “I don’t believe this.” She looked up and sighed. “Let me guess: if your letter writing is any indication you’re both deeply in love.”

Kerry turned on a half-smile. “How did you know?”

“You cannot be serious.” His mother was becoming more animated as spoke. “You’re thirteen.”

“So?”

So?” Her nostrils flared twice. “You don’t have the emotional maturity to understand something like love. And I doubt that Annie does, either.”

Kerry wanted to scream out that they understood completely, that there was so much more to their relationship than simply holding hands and cuddling, But to do so would be to ask his mother to believe too much, and at the moment she wasn’t ready. “Annie knows; so do I. I mean, we’re taught Morte spells and the school feels we’re mature enough to control and use them, so why wouldn’t we be mature enough to understand real love?” He shook his head. “Geez, Mom: come on.”

 

Louise is all upset:  first her son is a witch, then he knows death spells–and now, horror of horrors, he’s got a girlfriend.  One of those female types who are soft and have long hair and big, batty eyes–and, well, Louise knows what else they have.

So you can pretty much expect the next question coming from her…

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Your Son, the Sorceress

In the last except Kerry’s mother, Louise, decided she was gonna push the boundaries and get right to the heart of the matter of what her son learns at school, and discovered–somewhat to her dismay–that it’s not anything like those nice witch school you read about in books where they do stuff like change birds into cups.  Nope, Mama Malibey discovered that some students know how to kill someone with their brain, and guess what?  Her son is one of those people who’ve learned how to do that–

 

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

 

Louise seemed to stop breathing for a few seconds as Kerry’s single word hit her. “Are you serious?”

Kerry nodded. “Completely.”

“I—” Louise wiped the back of her left hand across her brow. “Did you teachers show you that?”

“No.” Once more he looked down as he drew in a breath. “I taught myself.”

What?”

“I read about the spell in a book from our library and stared figuring it out on my own. I practiced for most of the school year and finally got to where I could control it completely.”

“And your teachers let you do this?”

He shrugged. “I had help.”

Who?”

“Annie.”

Louise swallowed hard. “They let her help you?”

“Yeah.”

“How in the hell could they—?”

“Because she already knew a Morte spell.” He kept his face free of his feelings but the quiver in his voice spoke of the combination of fear and frustration running through him. “Annie learned the spell when she was ten, so when she entered Salem for our A Levels she had what we call a ‘yellow flag’ on her student file: it means you know and can control a Morte spell. Since she was already able to do one of those spells already, the Head Sorceress more or less had her help me.”

“And the school allowed that?”

“Yeah, sure.”

 

Right about, oh, now, Louise should be shitting he knickers ’cause her son–you know, the one she’s mentally and emotionally abused for years–is admitting to knowing how to use these spells, and admits even further that he’s learning them from The Girl Who Writes–who, it also turns out, is not only someone Louise has been tossing shade at for at least a year, but is a little Dark Witch in her own right who learned one of these spells when she was ten.

Needless to say, this news has her head spinning:

 

Louise stared up at the ceiling while shaking her head. “I can’t believe her parents would allow her to learn something like—”

“Her parents are witches, Mom.” Kerry leaned on the table as he sighed. “From what she’s told me they were pretty good sorceresses as well and had a lot of books on the subject around the house. They got her a book of her own when she was nine because they wanted her to learn the right way.”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this.” When she decided to question Kerry about his schooling she’d anticipated some bad things could come out of the discussion, but she hadn’t any idea that this sort of nonsense occurred. “Your school allows a girl your age to teach you a spell to kill people—”

“Why not? They let me teach her the spell I knew.” He didn’t wait for his mother’s shocked gasp to dissipate and vanish. “Professor Lovecraft, the Head Sorceress, says that good sorceresses not only learn but can teach what they know, so she got the school to allow Annie and I to teach each other things. She gets mentored in advanced things by Helena—”

“Who?”

“Professor Lovecraft. She gets mentored by her and then teaches me and I teach Annie the things I learn in Advanced Transformation. We’re evaluated on how well we do with the lessons in the same way we’re evaluated in class.”

Louise closed her eyes as she shook her head. “I can’t even comprehend how your school can allow these things—”

“That’s because it’s not the Normal world.” Kerry was certain his mother though he meant normal with a small “n”, but after two years at school he knew better. “We do things differently at school because—” He shrugged. “Because we’re different:  we’re witches.  We don’t learn the same as other kids.”

“Like kids you used to go to school with.”

“Yeah, like that.” He nodded once. “Like Normal kids.”

 

And there is lay the rub, Louise:  your son isn’t like all other kids with whom he used to attend school, and maybe that’s the reason you should have spent the summer getting to know him instead of Gish Galloping him a few weeks before he heads back to school.  Maybe he wouldn’t have freaked you out as much–

"See, right here, Mom, the school says we can't use death spells against our parents--not without permission first--"

“See, right here, Mom, the school says we can’t use death spells against our parents, not without permission from a teacher–“

–or maybe not.  The point is you spent most of your life ignoring the boy before he discovered he can do magic and now you’re having an even harder time getting to know him.

But since he keeps bringing up the name of his Bulgarian Buttercup, maybe now is a good time to learn a bit more about her–and what she means to a certain Ginger Hair Boy…

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Dark and Stormy Spells

Given that I didn’t do a lot of writing yesterday I figured today would be a good day for a data dump.  I’m out this cool morning wearing my fall attire:

J. J. Abrams snuck in behind me when I wasn't looking.

J. J. Abrams snuck in behind me when I wasn’t looking.

And I’ve had my first hot cider of the year.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKx8sOmBxRj/?taken-by=cassidyfrazee

So I’m ready for fall.

Kerry, however:  he’s ready for school.  Travel package in hand–more or less–he’s eager to get on that jet for a few months of learning at his home by the sea.  Now his mother is finally asking questions about his time with the witches and she seems genuinely interested, so much so that Kerry is starting to relax.  And when Kerry gets relaxed he doesn’t mind talking…

 

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

 

“Regular spells, Formulistic Magic, Transformation—” Kerry wrapped his arms around his body as if he were cold. “Advanced Flight Two and Advanced Self Defense. Flight is pretty much what is it, though this year we’re learning about various way of tricking out our brooms for additional performance and how to spend time out in the wilderness.”

“Why that?”

“Well, a Class 1 PAV—that’s the official designation for our brooms—is great for flying out into the middle of nowhere. I was on a few overnight camping trips last level and I’ll do a few more this year.”

Though she didn’t want to admit it, Louise found this all a bit interesting. “And this self defense class?”

Kerry stepped behind the chair and leaned against the back. “We’re all being taught different disciplines. A few are learning kung fu and tai chi; a few taekwondo; a couple judo. One student has been learning silat for a couple of years.” He picked up on his mother’s “What’s that?” look in a matter of seconds. “That’s a martial art out of Indonesia. It’s pretty effective.”

“I’ll take your word for it. And what are you studying?”

He looked down for a brief moment. “I’m studying Kali?”

This time Louise didn’t bother hiding her shock. “Kali?”

“It’s from the Philippines. It’s better known as Arnis or Eskrima: it’s a combination of using your hands and feet as well as weapons, just like with silat.” He straightened as he spoke with obvious pride. “Annie and I are the only ones learning Kali.”

Louise went back to showing little emotion. “Just you two.”

“Yeah. Our instructor, Professor Chai, says that we’re suited to the art. She said she’s never seen anyone pick it up as fast as us.”

As much as Louise wanted to hear about Kerry’s work with this Bulgarian girl, she was interested in something else. “Ms. Rutherford mentioned that you were a sorceress.”

 

This is the first we hear that Annie and Kerry are the only ones getting all that great training in Kali with a side of Silat thrown in.  At least he’s not telling his mother, “Oh, and we use batons made of magical energy so it looks like we’re giving you a beat down with light sabers.”  Louise isn’t ready for that one yet.

Also, he’s doing it with that “Bulgarian girl” and Louise isn’t missing the fact that her name keeps coming up in the conversation–as in, “Annie and I are doing blah blah blah.”  You can be sure that Kerry isn’t being absent-minded about this:  by now he’s probably ready to spill the beans on their relationship.  I mean, if Mommy and Daddy aren’t hip with his being a witch, why care if they know for sure he’s got a witch girlfriend?  Watch this space and see where this goes.

However the S Word has come up and Kerry knows to tip toe around this subject–

 

He paused for a few seconds before answering. “Yes, I am.”

“Is that one of your advanced classes?”

Kerry wiggled his right hand back and forth. “Yes and no. There are no actual advanced classes for sorcery: everyone takes it during their A and B Levels. But in order to take the C Level class you have to be invited and not everyone got an invite. Maybe half the B Levels moved up.”

“I take it you did?”

“Yeah. Annie and I knew months before we were going to C Level Sorcery.”

Louise made note of the face this was the third time Kerry made mention of this Bulgarian girl when speaking about himself. “Was it like that with your other advanced classes?”

“Getting an early invite?”

“Yes.”

“Not really. We knew we were moving on without being reminded.”

“You and Annie.”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

Louise figured to move on to something else. “What happens in this Formulisic Magic?”

 

“The Bulgarian Girl.  Coming to a theater this fall!”  Louise really has a problem with The Pamporovo Princess’ name:  it’s like Annie is the Heisenberg of Magic.  “You know who I am, Louise.”  “No, I don’t.”  Sure you do.  Go on:  Say My Name.”  She is gonna have so much fun with her future mother-in-law.

At least Kerry managed to get out of that trap and moved smoothly on to another subject–

 

Kerry chuckled. “That’s just a fancy name for Magical Chemistry.” He sipped his juice a couple of times and remained standing in one place without shifting his feet. “We take different formulas and come up with the various mixtures. Sometimes we keep them in liquid form, sometimes power or solid, like a hard tablet. A few times we’ve had to create gel caps out of the stuff we’ve made.” He glanced off to his left and sighed. “This year we get to use the superlab—”

Once again one of Louise’s eyebrows angled upward. “That sounds a bit intimidating.”

“It is a little. We’ll be working in mixture batches that can be anywhere from fifty to three hundred liters in volume before final processing. This will be more about quality control and creating mixtures according to established protocol. We’ll even have to write up out own for mixtures we need to do without existing procedures.” He shrugged. “It’s the first step in learning how to do this professionally.”

“They certainly cover everything.” Louise had to admit that what Kerry was doing went far beyond anything she imagined of his life at school. There was one final question about that world she needed to know— “So, do you know spells that will hurt people?”

 

Okay, so maybe he’s not out of the trap yet.  Louise can be just as tenacious as her boy when she wants something and rarely lets up until she gets it.  Maybe she won’t make the connection…

 

The sudden shift in questioning caught Kerry off-guard. Up until now the conversation was pleasant and he’d hoped this was an indication of a thaw in the tenseness that had existed between them all summer. Suddenly, however, he felt himself being forced to scramble for the answers to the questions he expected were coming. “Mom…”

“Do you?” Louise finally placed a hand on the chair to left as if to steady herself. “Does magic like that exist?”

He glanced about the dining room for a few seconds “Any magic can hurt you if a witch puts their mind to it. I mean, transformation magic for sure; formulas can do damage as well if you know what you’re making. Even some simple common spells and put a person in the hospital if used with that intent—”

“What about sorcery?” Louise’s stare bored into her son. “I did some reading on this the last couple of weeks—”

“You can’t trust the writings of people who aren’t real witches.”

“It’s that something like dark magic?”

Kerry sighed. “We don’t call it that.” He knew better than to tell his mother what they called the power they used to power these particular spells…

His mother turned her head a little to the right. “What do you call it?”

“We call it sorcery. Not dark magic; not black magic; and for sure not the dark arts.”

Louise drew in a breath and straightened her back. “Is there a death spell?” The way he looked down with a pain expression more or less told her everything she needed. “Is there?”

 

Annnnnnd she does.  This is what happens when The English Patient is running around Avada Kedavraing everyone in sight:  you begin assuming your witchy son who is also a sorceress can do the same.

For his part Kerry doesn’t lose it cool, but he’s not gonna try taking a trip down Bullshit Lane.  He knows exactly how to proceed:

 

Kerry turned his eyes to the ceiling knowing he wasn’t getting out of this easily. “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes.”

“No, there isn’t.”

“Well that’s—”

“There’s close to a dozen.” He didn’t wait for his mother’s shocked expression to fade before continuing. “We have a subset of spells in sorcery known as Morte; those are designed specifically for gravely injuring or killing someone.” He shrugged as if he found the conversation uninteresting. “You wanted to know—now you do.”

“Yes, I do.” She regarded her son coldly. “Do you know anything like that?”

He closed his eyes for a moment. “Yes.”

 

One gets the feeling that Kerry’s done playing with his parents, particularly his mother.  Once bringing up this question he knows she won’t let it go, so he sees no reason to tell her lies that she can use against him later should she discover the truth.  It’s not like the people at school, students and instructors alike, don’t know his abilities, so since Mom is being a pain in the ass about trying to learn things about her son, the dear boy sees no reason not to fill her in.  Good or bad, he’s not in the mood to keep dancing to her tune, so he’s taken over the band and he’s calling out the steps.

The question that remains is how this will be taken  I’m so sure Louise will take this news as she’s taken everything else concerning Kerry–

Mother’s Little Annoyance: All Those Changes

Yesterday was a bit of a strange day.  I’ve been hyper-focused on work of late, so I’ve been zooming through my assignments like no one’s business–so much so that I’m now sitting around for hours waiting on specifications.  This gives me a chance to look up things and think.  One of the things I looked up was a possible adventure in Manila, The Philippines, for Annie and Kerry–because there is a Foundation facility there–and at the same time I discovered that a gigantic meth superlab was found in the foothills of Mt. Arayat, leading me to believe that Walter White didn’t die, he just moved to Asia.

Not a part of The Foundation, believe me.

Not a part of The Foundation, believe me.  They keep their superlabs where kids can use them.

But this thinking has also brought me to consider a few changes in my life and I think I’ll discuss them in a video tomorrow.  Nothing bad, mind you, but they are things I believe I need to do because–well, reasons as always.

But back to what’s going on in my fictional world–and that’s a discussion of stuff and things…  Mama wants to know what you can do with transformation magic, Kerry, so maybe you should tell her?

 

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

 

He wondered how much he should tell his mother, then figured if she wanted to know what he could do, he should tell her everything. “I can change the color of my hair and change my complexion; I’ve gotten pretty dark—” He thought it best he didn’t tell his mother about his Mimic Gift. “And I can do it pretty fast, too.”

“You can change your hair?”

“Yeah. I’ve been black, brown, blond.” Kerry’s chuckle was so soft as to be almost unheard. “I can do that to others, too. I’ve practiced on a couple of instructors and I changed Annie’s hair color for our last Samhain dance.”

Louise’s head tilted slightly to the right. “Samhain?”

“You’d call it Halloween: we go by all the old names.” He began shifting his weight from foot to foot out of habit. “We have a costume dance. Some of the kids and instructors get pretty inventive.”

“I see.” Now that Louise had raised this particular question she had to know— “What color did you make her hair?”

“Aqua.” He rushed through his mother’s sudden eyebrow raise. “We went as characters from an anime. I made my hair blond.”

She was certain she wouldn’t understand anything about any characters Kerry and his little friend were imitating so Louise didn’t ask more there. “You had blond hair?”

“Sure. I could give you blond hair, too, if you ever wanted to see.”

“No, thank you.” Louise was concerned for only a second that she may have come off too strong. “I like my hair as it is. What else can you change besides your hair and skin color?”

 

“Kerry and his little friend.”  Jeez, Louise, could you be a little more condescending even if it is in your own thoughts?  The boy is thirteen:  he doesn’t have little friends.  And the one he does have could kill you in about ten seconds flat.  For that matter, so could Kerry, but let’s not go there yet–

This is really the first time that Kerry has mentioned to either of his parents that Annie and he have done anything together other than have a sex talk, that is.  And if a girl allows you to change the color of her hair–yeah, you can bet Louise filed that one away rather quickly.  “Little friend” my ass:  a whole bunch of letters over two summers, an angry retort about a girl’s name, and a sex talk at school = My Son’s Got Somethin’ Goin’ On.  But she isn’t saying anything about that yet.  Oh no, not yet.  She has other things she wants to know–like what else can you change?  And don’t you know Kerry really wants to talk…

 

Kerry gave a slight shrug. “Eye color, though that’s always tricky. I’m also getting good at…” He shook his head one time. “I’m to where I can change different—parts. This year I’m gonna work on things like size and weight alterations and anthropomorphic alterations—”

His mother’s puzzled look returned. “What’s that?”

Go on: tell her. “It’s taking on the aspects of other non-human creatures. You know: sonar like a bat, or wings, or…” He pushed past his fear of looking silly. “Annie and I figured it would also be possible to create gills and a dolphin tail. Like a mermaid—you know?”

If Louise was shocked by this she didn’t let it show. “A mermaid? Seriously?”

“I…” He nodded. “I’m sure I’ll have it figured out by my D Levels.”

“Well…” Louise broke into a slight smile. “You really mean you’d be a merman, don’t you?”

“Oh, yeah: that’s what I meant.” Kerry had decided a few seconds before there was no way he was going to explain his other Gift right now. “It’s just that everyone thinks of mermaids—”

“It’s popular, I know.” She slowly pressed her right fist against her mouth, something she did when she was thinking. “You said you take advanced classes—”

“All of them.”

“In what?”

 

Size and weight–or really mass, but laypeople don’t really understand that as much as weight–alterations are on the menu for the C Levels, and while they won’t allow you to become the Incredible Shrinking Man or the 50 Foot Woman, they go a long ways towards making people think you’re someone you’re not.

And animal stuff like wings?  Yeah, that can happen and has.  In fact, people who are  really good with transformation magic can make themselves over into just about anything, and Jessica once used an animal form–a lioness–to maul another witch to death.  Sure, she could have stopped their heart or pulled organs out of their body:  nope, Jessica wanted to rip them to shreds and did.  This is just another reason why you don’t mess with her.

But mermaids?  Yeah, Annie and Kerry talked about that.  You gotta figure it makes swimming underwater easier and once you get past the whole “I’ve got gills and I’m breathing water” thing, one could get used to being that way for a while.  And since one can now get a job as a mermaid–really, look it up–it’s a good cover for something they could do while working undercover for the Guardians.

"It's a lot of fun.  You're in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!"

“It’s also a lot of fun. You’re in the water the whole time and you get a clam-shell bra!”

Now Mom and Kerry are on to the other advanced classes.  Hum…  I think things are about to get even more interesting–

Mother’s Little Annoyance: Witchy Fixing

I woke up about twenty minutes ago and my first thought was, “It’s only Thursday.”  Seriously.  I feels like the week should be over right now, but it’s not.  There’s still today and tomorrow to get through, and it’s sort of bumming me out.  Not that I have anything exciting planed for this weekend, but really:  I’m so over this week and I’m ready to stop going into work.

At least the time at the phone bank was productive and I was actually chatting with a few of the women last night, so by the time I finished my two-and-a-half hours I was in a pretty good mood.  And I’ve been there long enough that I was helping a couple of new people out when it came to what to do and say.  I must be an expert now, yo.

Speaking of experts–now that it’s been established that Kerry is on his way to Paris and Louise knows he’s been jaunting around the world for the most part instead of flying like a Normal person, she decides to bring up something that is apparently bothering her…

 

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

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Mother’s Little Annoyance: I’m On My Way–Almost

Happy International Day of Peace, y’all!  Today you’re supposed to show peace to everyone around you, but the unfortunate truth is there are some people who just wanna make you smash their face in with a brick, so if you encounter those folks it’s best to turn the other cheek and walk away.  It’s up to you if you wanna smash them with a brick, however.

Speaking of hitting a pain in the ass in the face with a brick, Kerry now has his travel package and his mom has a case of the sads.  It also made Kerry give her a “I win” smirk, which is probably a first for him.  But where does this lead?  Well…

 

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

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Mother’s Little Annoyance: It’s That Time Again

Yes, it is that time again:  it’s time to get out the school travel packages.  In the last novel they came two weeks before the kids departed for Berlin, and while Kerry left for London at the last minute Annie had her orders in hand two weeks before heading out as well.  It’s a thing that happened all over the world, and just as it’s happening to Annie and the various friends she and her soul mate have made during the last year, it’s also happening to a certain boy in Cardiff, Wales.

It does appear, however, that he has a bit of a complication to work through:

 

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

 

The moment the bell ran Louise Malibey was out of the chair in the sitting room and heading towards the front door. She was aware of the day: it was one she’d had marked on her personal calendar for nearly and had applied for a personal day from work at the beginning of the month. She’d told Davyn over the weekend that there were “things” she wanted to do today, but he knew exactly why she was staying home—

That reason was now standing at the door.

She opened the inner door and found a young woman dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt standing beyond the outer door. Louise unlocked the entryway and greeted the woman. “Yes?”

The woman held tight to the strap of the messenger bag slung over her left shoulder. “I have a package for Kerry Malibey.”

Louise presented her best smile as she held out her hand. “I’ll take that.”

The delivery woman smiled back. “May I see your ID?”

The smile on Louise’s immediately became a frown “Why?”

“So I can confirm you are Kerry Malibey.” She woman slid her hand down the strap and rested it against the bag. “The package I have can be given to him only.”

“You don’t understand—” Louise stood straight and spoke firmly. “I’m his mother. If you have something for him, then I can accept it for him.”

The woman shook her head. “I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I can only give this package to Kerry.”

“And I’m telling you—”

“I’ll take that.”

Kerry slid around his mother without looking at her and addressed the messenger. “I’m Kerry.” He held out his right hand. “Here’s my student ID.”

The messenger woman took the ID and gave it quick examination before looking up at Kerry. She returned the ID and pulled a tablet from her bag. “Palm print, please.” She held it out, surface up, and Kerry set his left hand upon the surface until it beeped. After a quick glance at the screen she woman returned it to her bag and removed a standard mailer envelope that she handed to him. “Here you are.”

“Thank you.” Kerry slid his ID into his pants pocket before taking the mailer.

The woman gave him a curt nodded. “You’re welcome. Have a nice rest of the day, Kerry.” Without acknowledging Lucile’s presence she spun on her heel and head out to the car waiting at the curb.

Kerry waited the car to pull away before turning away. He gave his mother a thoughtful glance before walking back into the house and heading towards the kitchen.

 

So there you go, Mom:  first part of your plan thwarted and the witchy teen living in your house has one-upped you, even if he did have a lot of help from the organization that sends him to school.  (And maybe an email or two telling him to wait for someone to show up exactly at a certain time just so he could sucker punch Mommy Dearest.)

From here it’s all about details–including one that’s going to be a bit surprising and a few more that won’t seem that way.  Before that happens, however, we need Louise Malibey to give her son the Bitch Face From Hell–

Be assured, there's nothing resting about what comes next.

Be assured, there’s nothing resting about what comes next.

Snackable Thoughts

Here it is, just before five-thirty in the morning, and I’ve not only been up since about a quarter to four, but I’ve been writing for nearly the last fifty minutes while listening to ABBA and Crowded House.  Sometimes you can’t sleep because you had a sore, irritated eye from the night before that made writing difficult; sometimes you can’t sleep because you’ve got a scene rummaging around in your head and you gotta get up and write out five hundred or so words–which is what I’ve done this morning.

Picture snapped at 4:45 this morning--what? You don't get up and start writing in moments like this?

Picture snapped at 4:45 this morning–what? You don’t get up and start writing in moments like this?

So what’s got me up this morning?  Kerry.  Actually Kerry and his mother, who is hovering over him like a UFO looking to abduct him so they can conduct strange experiments upon his young body.  Mommy Malibey seem to have a bit of a bug in her bonnet, and she’s not getting off to a good start after Kerry tells her about the great lunches they have a school–a point she continues upon before they delve into family matters–

 

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

Louise crossed her arms as she watched her son finish making his lunch. “It would appear. Do they serve filet mignon every night, too?”

“No, just on Wednesdays and Saturdays.” He quickly changed the subject. “What time’s dad coming home?”

“He’ll be in the office until about three or four—” Out of habit she checked the digital clock on the wall, which was set to the familiar AM/PM cycle; Kerry found it amusing that she never grew used to universal time. “You know how Christmas Eve is: they have to go over all the final sound edits for all the specials tomorrow.”

Kerry finished pouring the last of his soup into a bowl and set his sliced sandwich around the edge of a plate. “Yep—” He set the bowl in the center of the plate and grabbed a spoon. “Wouldn’t want the TARDIS sounding doggy on Christmas.”

“No, we wouldn’t.” His mother finally broke into a smile. “He said he’ll be home for dinner no matter what.”

“Sounds good.” He headed into the dining room and took his normal seat at the table. For a moment he thought his mother might join him at the table, but instead she headed into the family room and sat on the sofa watching television. It was obvious, however, that every few minutes his mother would glance in his direction and watch him eat, and he thought there was something on her mind that she wanted to share with him, and it had nothing to do with lunches, at home or school.

He was correct. After five minutes his mother found the need to open up. “I tried contacting your school.”

Kerry finished chewing before answering. “What for?”

“I wanted to speak to your headmistress about her response to my letter.”

“Oh?” He looked down and away just long enough to roll his eyes. “Didn’t you get one?”

“Yes, but . . .” Louise crossed her legs and pulled a sweater around her shoulders. “I felt her response was a bit too formy for me.”

“Formy?” Kerry stared into his soup bowl, smiling. “Is that a new word?”

“You know what I mean.” Louise got up and walked into the dining room, putting on the sweater before she took her normal seat to Kerry’s right. “I wanted to discuss a few things with her, so I called the school.”

 

Here we are again, back to “The Letter” about “The Talk,” and Kerry doesn’t seem too want any of this–well, he sort of looks at it as nonsense.  Nor does he want to hear about it again, so he tries to deflect the conversation . . .

 

“How’d you get the number?”

“It was in the literature we were given last year.”

“Oh.” Kerry was vaguely aware it was possible for the Normal parents to call a number that was linked to an office somewhere. The idea was if something important came up and a person couldn’t get in touch with the school through email, they could place a call that would eventually get passed along to the people in charge at Salem.

Louise ignored his exclamation. “I never did get the chance to speak to her, however. I was told she’d contact me when time became available.”

“I’m not surprised—” He finished the last of his sandwich and wiped his mouth. “Headmistress Laventure is pretty busy. About the only time we ever see her is when there’s a all-student announcement, and everyone has to show up to hear her.”

His mother seemed not to care for her son’s explanation. “Well, I would think—”

“Mom, we have students from all over the world.” He polished off the soup and pushed the plate forward. “I’m sure she hears stuff from parents all the time, and has to find time to talk to them all.” He headed into the kitchen to get a glass of water: when he returned his mother was still at the table. “I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“You wouldn’t?” She waited only long enough for him to sit then continued. “This thing that happened with you—”

Kerry started across the table, focusing on the wall between the dining room and the kitchen. “Mom, let it go.”

Louise started at her son, almost unsure if she heard him correctly. “What?”

“I said let it go.” He set down his water glass. “That talk happened almost nine months ago, and it’s been four months since I told you.” He slowly shook his head. “You still act like it’s the worst thing in the world that’s ever happened to me.”

 

What Kerry is doing right now is something the Kerry from a year ago–really more like eighteen months–would have never done.  The Kerry we first met about five hundred and seventy-five thousand words back was moody and quiet, and for him to tell his mother to “Let it go”–well, in another year he could get up and start singing the most infectious earworm ever released upon humanity, but right now they’re words of advice he’s offering his mother–

Who doesn’t seem to enjoy having her son tell her to let something go.  Especially when she damn sure isn’t ready to do just that.

 

Nothing in the way of a visible emotion crossed his mother’s face, but Louise sat silently contemplating her son’s words for almost ten seconds before formulating a reply. “The point isn’t about if what happened was the ‘worst thing in the world,’ it’s that your school allowed the doctor there to discuss a . . . private matter with you without asking your parents if she could.” She slowly and deliberately set her hands upon the surface of the table and moved slightly forward. “You’re surrounded by girls—you said so yourself. What is it? Five times as many girls—”

“Between three or four girls for every guy.” Kerry glanced as his mother as he nodded.

“Between three or four then. What I’m saying is you’re starting puberty, and with all these girls around you’re going to have . . .” A look of unease crossed Louise’s face. “There’ll be temptations—”

“Mom.” This time Kerry didn’t hid the eye rolling.

“I’m only saying, it’s a challenge you’ll face, and given the personal nature of the matter, your school’s doctor should have at least told us she was going to have this discussion so we could give our input.” Louise cleared her throat. “And despite your belief that no harm was doing, I still believe that we should have had this talk with you, not—”

“Why didn’t you?”

 

Now, first off, Kerry’s tired of his mom harping about this thing that happened.  He’s moved on–well, sorta.  I mean, it’s not like he can go, “Oh, hey, Mom?  The real reason we had this talk is because your future daughter-in-law and I had a vision of ourselves in our birthday suits getting ready to do the Wedding Night Boogie.”  Yeah, that would go over real good.

Secondly, while Kerry may not have a problem expressing himself at school, his social skills at home suck.  Back at Salem he has pretty normal and honest conversations with adults who, quite honestly, have offed people with the flick of a wrist, so having an adult conversation with one of his peers isn’t that big of a deal.  (In case you’re wondering, that includes three of the five coven leaders who are also their instructors–Maddie, Jessica, and Erywin–along with Wednesday, Helena, Ramona, Harpreet, and in Kerry’s case, Vicky.  You can throw Isis into that mix as well, since she’s instructing Annie as well with Kerry tagging along.)

The point is, Mom is not Helena Lovecraft–hell, she’s not even on par with one of his fellow B Levels.  Unfortunately, Kerry’s brain isn’t registering this fact, and once more his mouth is working faster than his mind because Mom has a way of winding his ass up.  Or maybe he is thinking and has just had enough, because he lays some cold, hard facts on Mommy Dearest:

 

The interruption disrupted Louise’s thoughts. “I’m sorry—what?”

“Why didn’t we have that talk?” Kerry finished off his water before turning to his mother. “I told you about the girl-to-boy ratio last year when we were at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s for Christmas, so you knew about that for five months before I came home from my A Levels. Then I didn’t tell you about the talk until the middle of August, when I got my travel package, I was was here—what? Two and a half months? Since you knew that there was all this possible—” He half smirked. “—’temptation stuff ‘ at school, why didn’t you have this talk with me over the summer? I mean, it wasn’t as if we were busy doing anything, and since there’s always a couple of days every week when we’re home while dad is at work . . .” He shrugged before standing and gathering his dishes. “Plenty of time for that talk we never had, Mom.”

He walked into the kitchen with his mother close behind. He didn’t look at her as he deposited his dishes on the counter and so he could clean them. “You know what I think? I think you’re upset ‘cause you never got the chance to say no.” Louise stood to Kerry’s right, regarding him coldly. “I don’t think this has anything about Dad and you wanting to have a talk about sex—more like it’s all about not getting to control what was said—or what you wanted me to hear.” He rinsed off the dishes and set them on the drying rack before turning towards his mother. “Isn’t that right?”

Louise slapped her son hard across the face.

 

And . . . that last line is why I was up writing.  I needed to get that out of my system before heading off to work.  I had to bring that section of the scene to a conclusion and get it out in the open because I simply couldn’t sit on it for another ten, twelve hours.

I’ve seen this coming for a while, and while it’s a horrible thing to lay on one of my kids, it needed doing.

It’s times like this he really needs Annie close by . . .