The Wise and the Called

It’s not often that I take a week to write a scene, but that’s what happened here.  After getting back from having my nails done–non-magically, unfortunately–I picked up some groceries, returned home and ate dinner, and began the slow task of finishing up the scene.  By the time ten-thirty rolled around, I’d added another six hundred and seventy-nine words, and pushed the novel closer to the end of Act Two–

One of the things I’m debating now is moving the last part of Act Two–Part Seven–and making it the first part of Act Three.  I’m thinking this because the end of this chapter would make a great cliffhanger, and Act Two is already around 115,000 words.  (Act One finished up around 80,000 words.)  The next part is gonna be hefty, so I’m thinking . . . yeah, I’ll likely move it tonight.

It's right there, it's not that big of a deal to move.

It’s right there, it’s not that big of a deal to move.

But the question right now is, “How does Kerry react to the Color Purple?”  Maybe not how you’d expect–

 

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

Kerry’s face froze into a mask of bewilderment as he started into the space between Emma’s and Linh’s work cubicles. He didn’t reply to Emma’s questions, nor did he notice Annie slowly moving up to his left until she whispered his name. “Kerry?”

He snapped out of his stupor and answered Emma. “Yeah, I can do that.” He enacted the color change quick and presented it to Emma with a smile. “See? Doesn’t look bad.”

“No, it doesn’t.” She sat down, her eyes shifting between Kerry and Annie. “And you’re right: it looks good.” She glanced over to her covenmate Linh. “I can’t wait to learn that.”

“Like I said, it’s really just a matter of visualization.” Kerry removed the spell from his nails and they changed back to their normal color. “That’s really the hardest part, and it’s what you’ll probably go over in lab.” He slowly turned to his left, catching Annie standing just a step behind him—

“I wonder what else he visualizes with his girlfriend?”

There was no mistaking Gavino D’Addario’s Italian accent; nor did Kerry need to turn around to see the next person speaking in a loud whisper, as he recognized Lisa’s American southern accent. “They probably sit around in their private lab and compare nails when they’re not, you know—” There were a few chuckles from a couple of students in the room, and while Kerry didn’t know what Lisa did, Annie’s angry, slowly narrowing eyes told him everything.

 

Leave it to Lisa:  she could get her own TV show with that title.  And any time the instructors are giving Annie and Kerry a shot at teaching the other students something they taught themselves, you know a few of others are gonna belittle–

Although it doesn’t quite work out as well this time . . .

 

“Watch it, Lisa.” Franky Smith chuckled softly. “A certain sorceress is gonna get angry.”

“Did I mention any names?” Lisa raised her voice just a touch. “I didn’t even mention her loser half—”

“Why don’t you just suck it, Lisa?”

The classroom went silent as Kerry—who’d spun around to glare at the Åsgårdsreia girl—clenched his fists and growled out his next words. “You have a big mouth and you push buttons. And that’s all you do; you just mouth off all the time and piss people off.”

Lisa calmly stared back. “And what are you gonna do about it, Kerry”

“Today? Nothing.” He snorted as he relaxed his shoulders. “Thursday night I’m leaving on an overnight training flight, so I don’t have time to call you out—” Kerry glanced to his left as he smirked.  “Which means I don’t have time to kick the butt of the champion you send after me ‘cause you’re way too scared to fight me yourself.”

Darkness drew down over Lisa’s face as she stared at Kerry with unabashed hate. “You suck, Malibey.”

“You and your friends, Lisa—” Kerry drew in a slow breath. “You’re all cowards.”

 

And that’s about as big a throw down as you’re going to get.  “Yeah, I’d call you out, but then I’d have to kick someone’s ass because you’re too chickenshit to face me.”  And then lumping all of her little clique in with her as cowards–it’s a ballsy move.  Some might say, “Annie should have done that,” but remember:  Annie’s really the analytical one while Kerry’s the emotional one, and it’s more in his demeanor to say this than Annie.  Annie just lets it build until she decides it’s time to act, and while Kerry has also let it build, right before things get nasty he just lays out some smack and cuts everyone down.  He knows he may pay for that–he pretty much called out three people at once, and could end up in over his head–but he got it out there for all to hear.

And that includes the instructor–

 

Lisa was on her feet in an instant. “You mother—”

“That’s quite enough.” Jessica finally stepped up next to her minions as she addressed the room. “We’re here to learn, not call out each other.” She laid a hand on Kerry’s shoulder. “Are we good?”

He looked straight ahead as he nodded. “Yes.” He looked up at her and managed a weak smile now that his anger was dissipated. “I’m sorry, Professor.”

“I understand, Kerry.” She gave him one last comforting pat. “We can discuss this tonight during Advanced Transformation.” Jessica didn’t immediately look upon the rest of the class as she addressed the one student who hadn’t realized their short confrontation was finished. “You need to sit, Lisa.” She finally gave the angry, defiant girl a stern look. “And you need to reconsider speaking because what will come out of your mouth will likely earn you a weekend’s detention.” She slowly raised her right eyebrow and continued staring until Lisa retook her chair.

“With that—” Jessica half-folded her arms just under here chests. “—I believe a break is in order. Fifteen minute to use the bathroom and whatever else, then we’re back in here in three groups to start lab.” She glanced at Annie and Kerry for just a second before turning back to the rest of the room with a slight smile on her face. “And anyone who isn’t comfortable accepting instructions from my minions will simply have to make do with me . . .”

 

As stated much earlier, a weekend detention with Jessica usually means getting turned into a sofa or chair or statue or something like that:  the woman is the Mistress of Transformation, and she can do that stuff with her eyes closed.  It’s not fun, and maybe because Lisa’s already been through that detention, she’s not ready for it again.

The “We can discuss this tonight during Advanced Transformation” is also kind of a subtle jab at the detractors.  Sure, she could give Kerry some form of punishment, but instead, she lets everyone know they’ll have a “discussion” that evening, because when you’re an advanced student you are treated differently from the rest of the rabble.  And while Kerry might get some kind of punishment, it’ll probably be something minor–like having to pinkie swear he won’t disrupt a class again by trying to make someone to call him out.  Which was exactly what he was trying to do.

Next scene is a Kerry scene as well–in fact, the next three pretty much are.

I wonder if anything bad is going to happen?

House of Magical Styling

Here we are again, and everything is far better than it was yesterday.  I think I know the problem:  though I didn’t mention it, yesterday was 5 December, and that was Flight 19 Day, which means my head was lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, and that made me just incoherent enough that there wasn’t a chance in hell I was gonna make sense, or understand what was happening.

However, today is different.  I’ve written another six hundred words–this damn scene seems to be coming out in six hundred word chunks–and I managed to get a lot of sleep last night after a watching a wonderful end to this year’s season of Doctor Who.  Oh, yeah, and something else happened:

Notice anything shinny?

Notice anything shiny?

Yes, yesterday I got my nose pierced, and it didn’t hurt a bit in case you’re wondering.  I’ll let this set for a few weeks, then maybe right before Christmas I’ll get a birthstone bob–which, for me, would be an emerald–and have it screwed in and left there.  Then I’ll have to wonder if I’m getting a third ear piercing next December, but I’m not gonna trouble my pretty little head with that today, because in about an hour or so I’m off to get my nails done–

And speaking of nails, that brings us to the excerpt for the day!  You see what I did?

I guess you do.

I guess you do.

We’re back to magical fashion styling, and it sounds like this is a big hit with people, fictional and otherwise.  And yesterday we had a question from the gallery to Kerry about doing something, but there was some concern about it being too weird for a boy.  But this kid fought Cthulhu Junior, so if you believe he’s gonna get freaked out by this request . . .

 

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

Kerry looked down for a moment as he shook his head. “Nah, Elisha, it’s okay—” He started pacing around the room as Annie had when she’d lectured. “Like Annie said, large-scale changes are easy, which is why changing things like your complexion and hair are simple. When you get down to the small stuff you want to change, it become more difficult because you’re fine tuning your crafting skills and localizing you imaging.”

He held up his hands for all to see. “Nails are easy to do because they are small and you can see them clearly without having to use mirrors or streaming video. You can actually get them right in your face and focus on them and nothing more, so right there you’re stepping up your ability to visualize . . .

“Annie said when she does an inanimate change she visualizes everything being over-bright, and she’s right: that does help you get the material change right. But changing yourself is more intimate, more detailed, because why you can have an imperfection in an object, people notice when there’s something wrong with you. So when I’m doing fine crafting of a small area, I see it like I’m looking at an HD video, all the detail right there in a little space.”

Kerry held out one hand so everyone could see while he looked down at his other hand. “Like I said, when you do this sort of crafting your nails are nice because not only can you watch—” The nails on both hands changed from their normal flesh-tone hue to a bright matte blue. “—and others can watch as well.”

 

And when he’s talking about “others”, you know he’s talking about Annie, because whom else has seen him do this?  Something he confirms in his thoughts a few seconds later–

 

Elisha was almost chuckling with glee. “I love that. Can you make them, um—”

He knew where she was going because of the time he’d practiced this with Annie. “You want to know if they can be shiny?”

“Yeah, like there’s a top coat on them.”

Kerry concentrated and a few seconds later his nails began to glisten as if they were slightly wet. “Yeah, that’s actually easy to do. You just have to imagine them being a little like wet mirrors.”

“That is so cool.” Elisha nearly came out of her seat before she calmed. “Can you do other colors?”

“I can do better than that.” He walked over to her. “Is it okay if I hold one of your hands for a second?”

“Sure.” She held out her right hand. “What are you going to do?”

“You’ll see.” He held her hand between his. “What color would you like?”

Her head jerked slightly as she understood the question. “Really?” Kerry nodded. “Um, I’d loved a light pink.”

 

Up until now he’s only tried this little trick on two other people:  Annie and Erywin.  This is the first time he’s ever tried this with another student, but if he can change someone’s hair color under the imminent threat of death, doing another girl’s nails in a classroom should be a snap–

 

Kerry nodded down at her left hand. “Watch—” After five seconds Elisha’s nails changed to a light, almost sparkly pink. He released her hand. “How’s that?”

Elisha gasped as she examined Kerry’s work. “Aman bu harika.” She looked up at Kerry, who was still standing just beyond her work cubical walls. “Do you need to remove this?”

“Naw.” He waved at her. “I haven’t gotten to the point where I can self-sustain a spell for another person, so that enchantment will die in about a day. Nothing to worry about.”

She nodded slowly. “And you’re gonna show us how to do this?”

“Well, we’ll see—”

“Um, Kerry?”

Months of flying together conditioned him to recognize his wingmate’s voice instantly. “Yeah, Emma?”

“Could you, um . . .” Her cheeks flashed bright red. “Can you do purple? I really like purple, and since we both have about the same skin tone—” Emma looked up for a second and squared her shoulders. “I think it’d be a nice color. Can you show me?”

 

I can hear it now:  “Emma, just stop.”  At least she didn’t ask for him to do it to her, probably because there’s a certain Chestnut Girl standing a few meters away.  We also learn, for the first time, that the spell will “wear out” after about a day, which means if you can’t add a little extra to the spell to make it run on its own, it’s gonna drop after a fashion.  And how would one do that?  I’ll tell you later, or they will, I guess.

Now, am I gonna finish this scene tomorrow?  We’ll see, ’cause I’ll have time this evening to add a few hundred more words to this story, and given that this scene has grown like Topsy, it might be a good time to close it out–

Though I’m really digging these magical lessons.  I guess my kids were cut out to be minions . . .

Late Yet Fanciful Colorings

Let me tell you, I’m dragging a bit this morning.  It feels like I have no energy, and that’s never a good thing.  It’s a bit of an ongoing thing, actually, because the last two nights I’ve crawled into bed about ten PM, which is usually ninety minutes earlier than I often get to sleep.  And it seems as if I can’t get into gear to write:  the six hundred words I present today I’ve had to drag out of my system.  Really, I don’t like it at all–

"No, no:  I'm getting to this story.  Only, right now, the inside of my eyelids look so nice . . ."

“No, no: I’m getting to this story. Only, right now, the inside of my eyelids look so nice . . .”

I have a feeling, however, that once I do a little running around, and I eat and take a nap, I may just finish this scene today.  I would like to get it out of the way and move on, because I’m really not enjoying this lurching about in the story.  Like Battlestar Galactica, it’s happened before and will happen again, but that doesn’t mean I like it one bit.

Where are we?  Oh, yeah:  Transformation Class, and minion Kerry was about to do his dance–

 

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

Kerry appeared a touch embarrassed for a second before picking up the lesson from Annie. “You can do the same thing, but it takes a bit of work to get the same sort of gloss that Annie’s getting because you’re changing the appearance of your own body.” He took a couple of steps closer to the class. “It’s almost like working with material but, you know, not.” He flashed a quick smile. “Just like with Annie, I started out with the larger changes first: hair and complexion. After I got those down I started working on finer control—”

Loorea Barling broke into Kerry discussion. “You can change hair and complexion?”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

“Like?”

“Well . . .” Kerry approached Loorea, holding out his hand the moment he reached her work area. “Give me your hand.”

She set her hand in his. “What are you going to do?”

“Nothing much—” He smiled, keeping his eyes focused on indigenous Australian girl. In a few seconds his skin and hair darkened as his pale complexion and ginger hair became a match for her darker skin and hair. “Just that.”

Loorea’s shock was evident. “Holy . . . You look like you could almost be my brother.”

 

It would be interesting to see him do this in the A Level Transformation, because there’s a student in there who may have some lingering memory of Kerry working this identical spell on her, and wouldn’t it be interesting to see if that tiny prod would be enough to bring her out of her memory adjustment.  Awkward for sure!

This leads into something else that happened back in good old Kansas City . . .

 

“I’ll take that as a complement.” He released Loorea’s hand and began backing away, letting his hair color and complexion slowly revert to their natural hues. “This is pretty easy for me; you’re not the first person I’ve practiced with, and I’d worked on changing my hair last year—”

“He’s can also do the same to others.” Annie held her hands in front of her as she rocked on her heels. “He sometimes practices on me.”

Loorea went from surprised to curious. “Can you show us, Kerry?”

Kerry turned slightly red before nodding. “Sure, I can do that.” He turned to Annie. “I need an assistant—”

“I can help there.” She stood in front of him, taking his hands. “Ready when you are, my love.”

Kerry ignored the light tittering from the few students who found Annie’s term of endearment amusing. He glanced at Loorea. “You watching?”

She nodded. “I am.”

“Okay, then—” A few seconds later Annie’s hair transformed from its normal lustrous chestnut color to a shade of red identical to Kerry’s. “There you are.”

Annie turned to face the class with a huge smile stretched across her face. “He did this same thing to me for Samhain, when we had aqua and blond hair for our costumes.”

 

So now we now that Kerry was the one who did their hair styling for the Samhain dance.  Wonder if he likes Annie as a ginger girl?  Because someone has a smart ass comment about Annie the Ginger Hair Girl–

 

Before Loorea had the opportunity to speak, Pleasure Pimenta, another of the members from Mórrígan coven, commented to the person sitting to her right. “She probably has him change her hair so she can dream about their kids.”

“I don’t dream about our kids—” Annie took two steps forward, the right side of her mouth curled upward. “But I do think about them. And I know they’ll be incredible regardless of the color of their hair.”

Elisha Tasköprülüzâde’s hand shot into the air. “Um—”

Eager to get back on track, Kerry dropped Annie’s transformation and turned to Elisha. “Go ahead.”

“Could you show us the nail thing?” The Turkish girl looked down for a moment, unused to this attention. “Back home my parents won’t let me wear nail polish, and it would be kinda cool if I could change the color of my nails when I go out with friends—” She looked around the room. “You know, ‘cause it would be nice.” She looked back at Kerry. “Does that make sense?”

He gave Elisha a warm smile. “I understand, really.”

“Do you mind showing? I mean . . .” She seems slightly flustered. “You being a boy, it might be weird.”

 

And now I have to write that part, yeah?  Because we all want to see if Kerry gets all weirded out because he’s a boy.  Who knows?  This could be the start of him becoming the lead singer in an 80s New Wave band . . .

Witches Over Salem: the Delayed Discussion

For a while I didn’t think I was going to make it through the day:  I’d lost all my internet and cable at the apartment, and it was a dull time with nothing but my writing and napping to keep me occupied.  Fortunately I took a long nap in the afternoon–almost ninety minutes–and not long after waking the television started working, and about two minutes after that the internet came back.  Huzza!

Then I managed to get back into my writing–because without music, Cassie is a dull girl when she writes–and I finished the scene while drinking a Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout:

You know nothing about drinking, Jon Snow

You know nothing about drinking, Jon Snow

And then, between moments of trying to work out what to say next, I decided to figure out how to take pictures without using a flash and manged a few off my balcony:

What you see without me--

What you see without me–

 

And what you see with me.

And what you see with me.

And between all this BS I managed to finish out the scene with another five hundred words, making my total for yesterday around seven hundred and twenty-five words.  Now all that remains is one scene, and I should knock that off today, which means by tomorrow Chapter Twenty-One will be a done deal.  And the next chapter should see me finally pushing the novel over two hundred thousand words, and means I’ll finish up this novel in another twenty-five thousand words.  Right?  Right . . .

Now, what happens with my kids while they’re sitting way up over the city of Salem talking.  If you sit tight, I’m gonna let them tell ya . . .

 

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

Kerry chuckled while shaking his head. “You get used to it, but you don’t like it. You seem to be doing okay, though.”

“I’m a mountain girl; ten below isn’t that unusual for me.”

“What about the thirty below?” He leaned towards her as much as he could without off-balancing the broom. “I noticed you slowly down a little here and there.”

Annie said nothing for a few seconds. “You were right about the cold building up around you: it gets a bit oppressive after a while.” She slowly spun to her right, looking out towards the ocean. “The view is magnificent up here.”

Kerry couldn’t disagree with his soul mate’s statement. The clear sky allowed them to see dozens of kilometers in every direction, and not only was the whole of Salem laid out below them, but Beverly and most of the small towns were visible to the north, Marblehead and the north Boston neighborhoods were clear off to the south, and Manchester, Gloucester, and most of Cape Ann were clear in the east. Kerry even saw planes taking off from Logan, launching north-northwest into the wind before turning on to their proper headings. “It is beautiful today.” He rubbed his nose with his right mitten. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day to fly.”

 

I’ve already shown one image of what their scene looks like to the north, and I also have similar images for the east–

Though we're looking more out to sea and not towards the school.

If you look hard enough you can almost see the school–if you were a witch, that is.

And another off to the south:

And right there in the middle of the picture is there favorite Starbucks.

And right there in the middle of the picture is their favorite Starbucks.

If there is any question about how far they can see, I did consult the Distance to the Horizon Calculator, which allows one to plug in an altitude and tells a person just how far they can see on a clear, clear day.  The kids are sitting eight hundred meters over the train station, and according to the calculator they can see one hundred and one kilometers.  The school is twenty-five kilometers away, so their sharp little eyes would see it pretty well.

Now that the travelogue is out of the way, let’s get to what’s on someone’s mind–

 

“I hope they’re all like this . . .” Annie finished her slow spin and faced Kerry. “May I ask something?”

“Sure. You can always ask me anything.”

“What happened during our Morte demonstration last week?”

Since the moment when Helena asked him pretty much the same thing in the aftermath of his demonstration last Thursday, Kerry expected Annie to ask the same. He knew she wouldn’t ask right away—that wasn’t her style—but he knew the question was coming because Annie had to ask. I know she tells Helena stuff about me, because it concerns my training; it’s the same thing I do with Jessica when I have to tell her how Annie’s doing our transformations lessons. “You mean when I froze for a few seconds?”

 

This is the first time we get any conformation that Kerry is having discussions with Jessica about Annie and her transformation instruction.  So Annie confers with Helena, and Kerry confers with Jessica, and both the little witches have to be completely honest about the abilities of the other to instructors who are considered the toughest and most intimidating at the school.  Though it’s never been shown, one would have to know by now that Annie told Kerry not to hold anything back, and to be honest about her instruction, because Jessica was going to know if Kerry were fibbing about Annie’s lessons.

No, not a lot of pressure at all.

Now that Kerry has been asked, and has known the question is coming, he readies his answer . . .

 

She nodded. “Yes.”

He slid his broom forward so he was not only as close as he could get to Annie without having her rest against him, but he managed to block the wind that was blowing into her face. “I froze for a second because the girl zombie reminded me of someone.”

Annie immediately knew of the person to whom Kerry was referring. “The girl from your dreams, right?”

“Yeah. The moment I saw the ginger hair I just—” He drew in a breath as he looked off to his left. “It was like there was something in the back of my head that was telling me something—” He shrugged and turned back to Annie. “I have no idea what it was.” He sighed. “It was a one-time thing: it won’t happen again, because I know not to let it happen.”

Though she didn’t show anything, Annie found his comments interesting. This girl was in his rune dream trying to tell him about me; what is she trying to tell him now? “Have you had anymore dreams about her?”

 

Yeah, what is that girl trying to tell Kerry?  But does Annie look bovvered?  Well . . . maybe?  And since she wants to know if that ginger-haired dream creature has appeared again . . .

 

“No, not a one.” He elaborated when he saw Annie was about to ask another question. “I promised I would tell you if I saw her again, and I’m keeping that promise. If I saw her, I’d tell you the next morning.”

This was all the explanation Annie need. “I believe you.” She floated a little closer and touched his hand. “There’s no need to discuss this any further.”

There was something Kerry needed to know, however. “What are you going to tell Helena?”

Annie wasn’t going to lie to the most important person in her life. “I’m going to tell her—when she asks, mind you—that what happened resulted due to a specific trigger; that you recognized that trigger; and that you won’t let it happen again.” She bowed her head slightly as she kept her eyes locked on Kerry’s. “It’s nothing any of us should consider a problem.”

He nodded slowly. “Does that mean I’m still Guardian material?”

“Oh, my love—” She floated the rest of the way and hugged her soul mate high above the City of Witches. “You’re always been Guardian material. The only one you’ve needed to convince of that fact is you.”

 

Annie’s happy with Kerry’s explanation, and she’s not worried that this is a one of those freakouts that’s going cause a problem if they’re out in the field–say, tomorrow–and the shit once again hits the magical fan.  He’ll do his duty, and that’s that.  No more to discuss, and they can finish out the rest of Annie’s first solo flight in peace.

There you have it, the full finished scene–

See, only one more scene--

And see, only one more scene–

–In this chapter, I should say.  Chapter Twenty-Two awaits, and after that comes Part Seven, Elements of Joy and Terror, and that, my friends, is where things really start to get serious . . .

The Hard and the Soft of It

Hola, survivors of U.S. Thanksgiving.  I made it through the day yesterday, heading down to Maryland to relax with friends, then back up to The Burg for a late-night brow waxing before heading home to call family.  Yes, busy day all around.

And you know what that means:  no writing.  Not yet, at least.  I did it yesterday morning, and you saw that, but I didn’t write before going to bed because I was just too tired.  Now, since I had a two hours drive down yesterday, and two hours back, I had plenty of time to figure out things with my kids, and even lay down a couple of scenes, one of which will get played out in the next book.  Wait, am I really talking next book?  Yeah, I am.  I’m strange that way.

I also started thinking about Motre spells and how they could be looked at in the same way martial arts is examined.  Why is this and what am I talking about?  First, they why, and it came from a comment from my friend and fellow blogger renxkyoko, who made this statement the other day:

 

Just a lame observation……

Annie’s is more feminine…. I mean, ribbons ? He he
And Kerry’s is manly…. I mean, a sword ?
I guess it’s natural instinct. They gravitate towards what they prefer, deadly shadow ribbons for a girl, and a sword for the guy.

 

Now, I don’t see those as either feminine or masculine traits, because a lot of women in fiction where fighting is involved use swords–several animes would tell you so, I’m sure–whereas there are certain martial arts films where you see guys doing a lot of deflecting and misdirection.  And this is where I start looking at Morte spells where they are seen as hard and soft disciplines.

To lay it out quick and dirty, a hard martial arts style is often defined as power coming from the outside the individual, using fast, strong, direct attacks against your opponent, while a soft martial arts style is usually defined as power coming from within, using relaxed, slow, indirect defense against your opponent.  In terms of martial arts, Shaolin Kung Fu, Eskrima, and Karate would be considered hard styles, while Tai Chi, Aikido, and Hsing-I are considered soft styles.

The different spells are used different ways, just as in martial arts you have different ways of pretty much doing the same thing.  When Annie did her Morte demonstration she used ribbons to bind–soft restraint there–and then used magic to turn one’s body against itself:  in short, she bleed out her opponent.  She could be seen as a practitioner of a soft style that didn’t require any outside attacks, and given that her signature Morte spell is Exsanguination, the way she goes about killing someone isn’t going to be all that flashy or noticeable:  just look at how she took out the female Deconstructor during the Link Bridge battle.

Kerry went full-on external using Electrify as his signature spell, and even went a step further by showing he could craft an electrical sword.  We can guess why he started learning Electrify:  because he’d seen it used within various entertainments in geek culture, and if you haven’t figured it out, that’s also one of the reasons he was initially drawn to transformation as a magical form as well.  At this point in his schooling Kerry is going with what he’s seen, knows, and loves, but he’s still young–I mean, he’s not even a teenager yet, right.

At the same time the kids known how to change up their styles.  First, look at how Annie fought her Judgement Trial.  Everything was external, full of deadly Air Hammers and an Electrify kill shot.  She had to because there wasn’t room for subtlety:  it was go or blow, and Annie doesn’t not blow when it comes time to show her stuff.  She also had a point to prove:  mess with me and I’ll put you down hard.  It was a bit different from the point she made in her Morte demonstration, which was, “If I want to take you out, you won’t see me coming.”

Kerry is still learning his styles, but now that he’s learning Exsanguination he’ll change up when the need arises.  Remember, Annie’s had a few years to develop her signature Morte spell:  Kerry’s only been working on this stuff for about a year.  When he took out the homunculi during his Exsanguination training it became an “Ah, ha!” moment for him, when he learned that for some spells overthinking–or over attacking–isn’t what’s needed; sometimes you just kick back, flick your finger at someone, and let the magic do the rest.  Now, Helena mentioned that Kerry knows the same stuff as Annie, but you can bet all his fellow B Levels remembered from that class is how he lobbed a zombie head in their direction.

And one last thing that I find interesting.  Helena has been played up as a major bad ass, and rightfully so.  And yet, we know Kerry has killed someone, Annie has as well, so has Erywin, and it’s been implied that Maddie and Jessica killed people during the Day of the Dead attack.  Now, we’ve heard that Helena has killed people, but have you seen her throw a Morte spell?  No.  One day I’ll have to write up the time she killed a student . . .

So, there are my musings for the day.  Tomorrow I’ll have more for you to read–

And I expect this to be the look on some faces while they do.

And I expect this to be the look on some faces while they do.

The Sorceress’ Mantra

Between the early morning and the late evening, the first scene finished up, leaving me to move onto the next.    I’ve actually gotten into the habit of leaving myself a couple of hours to write before bedtime so I can move along quickly and not be bothered by distractions, and so far it seems to be working.  Also, I was tired when I finally crawled into bad, and this morning was the first time I remember the alarm waking me instead of getting up before it went off.

So . . . Kerry’s mom doesn’t have a problem smacking her son across the face.  I can still vaguely remember my mother doing the same thing to me for similar reasons Louise Malibey did it to Kerry, and it’s not a lot of fun.  I spanked my son a few times, and I’ve never raised my hand to my daughter, and they’re both doing okay.  I would have to say that being fearful of being hit again did something to me, and if I remember it happening almost fifty years after the last time it went down, then it made an impression upon me, and likely not for the right reasons.  Because the reason is to install fear of speaking out, instead of teaching appropriate ways of establishing a dialog.

Except in this case in the story, the dialog established was Kerry calling out his mom on her bullshit, and her not liking what was said.

 

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

Kerry touched the warm spot on his cheek and said nothing. It had been a long time since his mother had struck him: the last he could remember was back in California right after he turned seven, and just like this time he said something his mother didn’t like and she reacted much the same way. He remembered crying and running off to his room, and his father yelling, telling his mother to get her “Irish temper” under control. Later that afternoon she came to his room and apologized for striking him—

He was fairly certain she wasn’t about to apologize this time.

“You little shit.” His mother’s face was a dull share of red, slightly less luminous than her hair. “Is this what they’re teaching you at that school? To be a smartass towards your parent?”
“No, Mom.” He strained to keep his voice level. “They teach us to think for ourselves.”

“Then you have better think about this attitude you’re developing, because you’re becoming a tad insufferable, young man.” Louise’s tone soften slightly, but her emotions continued to shine through the words. “You started changing over the summer, Kerry—you began acting differently.”

“I don’t know how.” He stopped rubbing cheek. “I don’t think I changed.”

“That’s your problem: where you should be thinking, you’re not.” Louise snorted. “You don’t ever question what I think is best for you, do you understand?”

Kerry wanted to argue, wanted to tell his mother that he didn’t need her making decisions for him for everything, but he knew that was an argument he’d lose because his mother would keep at him until he made a mistake and gave her reason to yell at him again. I won’t let her get to me the way she did before I left; I’m not making that mistake again. “I got it, Mom.”

 

Kerry has never really called out his parents on anything.  Oh, sure, maybe a snide comment here and there, but never a full-out, “I know why you really did this,” statement like he did with his mother about her supposed outrage at this discussion he had with Nurse Coraline.  Kerry’s right:  his mother never got to say “no”, and one wonder if and when they were going to have “The Talk” with their son.  Maybe after Annie was pregnant?

 

“Good.” Her tone continued turning cold and distant. “Go to your room.”

He turned back towards the sink. “Let me put my—”

I said go to your room.” Her voice didn’t grow that much louder, but she laid out her anger in every word. “Do it now.”

Kerry left the kitchen, headed up the stairs, and hung a left at the top of the flight, and bolted straight into his room. He was already standing at the foot of his bed when he flipped his hand behind him and shut the door: he was fully aware he was doing magic before coming out as a witch to his parents, but as his mother didn’t follow him up the stairs, and he father was still at work, there wasn’t worried that he’d have to explain how the door closed on its own.

The room was quiet: no sounds penetrated from below, and his computer was on standby. He remained still, his hands at his side, while staring out the window over his bed’s headboard. He slowed his breathing and drew down his anger while running his favorite mantra through his mind: A good sorceress keeps their wits about them while everything goes to hell around them. Kerry finally took one long, deep breath, and exhaled the majority of his stress away—

He looked down body and saw the spheres of ball lightning hovering in the palm of in each hand.

 

This is something we’ve seen with Annie, when she was so pissed off at Emma that she let slip a Morte spell and started to bleed the little Bolder Ginger out.  Now we’re seeing it with Kerry:  Mommy pissed him off, he goes up to his room, shuts the door–magically, I might add, because he got away with it.  And because I may get asked:  yes, students are warned not to use magic before they come out as B Levels.  They’re also warned to keep the magic on the low after they do come out because they don’t want a literal witch hunt on their hands because some fifteen year old kid decided to get fancy and start cutting loose with spells in their hometown square.

And what happens to those who just won’t listen, who just say “The hell with it” and go nuts?  They usually get a memory wipe and kicked out of school, that’s what.  The way they look at it, if you can’t keep your shit together and not act like a witchy jag in public, then why do they want you?  They don’t.  So enjoy the old life you would have had if you weren’t a witch, ’cause for damn sure you aren’t getting a new one.

And there’s always Cloudland as a last resort . . .

 

Kerry shook his hands as he pulled the dark energy from the Lightening spell. He was a little surprised to see the spell just happen, but Annie told him during one of their lessons that under times of extreme stress, a knowledgeable witch could craft a spell without being aware they were doing so. This is what Helena means by keeping your wits about you. He checked his hands to make certain the spell was off: nothing remained. You can’t let Mom wind you up: if this had happened downstairs, Mom would be screaming and you’d probably be on the phone to Ms. Rutherford explaining what happened.

He fell upon his bed, rolling over on his back with his hands under his head. Kerry closed his eyes as he damned his situation, trying not to imagine how things were going to be in just over five months when he finished his B Levels and told his parents what he was really learning at school—

“Happy-freakin’-Christmas Eve.” He blurted out a rude sound as he inched his way up the bed so he could rest his head upon his pillow. “I’ll be Annie’s having a great time—” He closed his eyes and sighed, imagining her all dressed up and mingling with her family of witches . . .

 

And this is why Helena gave them that mantra back as A Levels:  she saw something special in them both, and she wasn’t about to see them waste it all by doing stupid stuff like, you know. Air Hammering another student into the hospital in front of their levelmates.  This is also one of the reasons she only teases about Morte spells early on, but doesn’t get into the actual teaching of them until a student’s C Levels.  If you’re gonna act all crazy and shit, the last thing the Mistress of All Things Dark wants to do is give you access to killing spells–she saves that for the people she knows can handle the deal.

And it’s likely the same reason she’s letting a couple of B Levels instruct each other on these things.    I mean, how easy might it be for Kerry to throw an electrical charge Mom’s way, then tell his father, “I don’t know; maybe something shorted out?”  Sure, The Foundation would figure it out, but probably not his family.  The fact he didn’t even go there is a good indication he’s one of the ones to trust–you might go so far as to say he’s one The Foundation could trust to be a Guardian . . .

Here we are, then–

Writing, always writing.  And more writing.

Writing, always writing. And more writing.

And since the next scene says “Pamporovo local”, you can bet we’re going to look in on Christmas afternoon with the Kirilovi Family–

Through the Foam

First off, a bit of strange news.  Because of some things–and, of course, stuff–said on this blog of late, I’ve told my friend Skye Hegyes, whose blog I’ve followed for a while and whom I verbally joust with now and then, that I would do a post on Genesis concerts and where the recordings, bootleg and otherwise, can be found on YouTube.  I’m going to do that Saturday morning, because why not?  It’ll give me a break from having to dream stuff up, and you can see where Kerry gets his knowledge.  In fact, one of the shows I’ll mention became a driving reason for him wanting to get out and about with Annie the first time they were alone in London . . .

Depression wasn’t that bad last night, but it’s still there.  This has been the longest stretch I’ve had, going on about two weeks now, but I think I’m getting out of it.  Think.  It doesn’t make for a good time of things at home, let me tell you.  And tonight I need to run out and get my face zapped, so I imagine this evening’s session isn’t going to go  well.  I may just opt for ninety minutes and ask to have my brows cleaned up.  We’ll see.  I am not dreading the moment tonight, but I’m not looking forward to it, either.

And so there was writing . . . just under seven hundred words, because I’m making up stuff like crazy now, and finding the correct descriptive words is a pain in the butt.  It all came out pretty much correct, and so we find out how Annie did with her art crafting–not to be confused with arts and crafts . . .

 

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

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