And as promised, the scene and chapter are finished, after going through what was probably the biggest day of writing I’ve had in the while. I did a little over eleven hundred in the morning, and a little over eleven hundred at night, which means I wrote two thousand, two hundred, and thirty-three words total on the novel, then took about a thousand words of notes for the TV recap I’m writing up tonight for The Walking Dead . . . and that’s over three thousand if you’re keep track, and I haven’t done three thousand words in a day since NaNoWriMo 2013, ladies and gentlemen.
The chapter is put it way, it’s over, it’s history. And in the process of doing all this, I’ve set up the scene for another long day for my kids. It was left off with Kerry’s dream friend, Carrot Girl, seeming like she wants to come out and play since she’s standing right there in the holographic display where he should be standing. As the kids say today, “What is this sorcery?”, though Helena would give you a good argument that there isn’t any sorcery involved, but that’s another story . . .
Anyhow, being this is transformation related, Erywin turns to the one person in the room who is the expert on transformation for an answer. And she has one–
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
The instructor stared at the display as dumbfounded as the other two women in the room. “I have no idea why that happened.”
Erywin’s face became a mask of disbelief. “What do you mean? You don’t know?”
“I mean I don’t know.” Jessica held up her hands, motioning towards the display. “I’ve never seen that happen before.”
Coraline was feeling just as surprised as Erywin appeared. When it came to matters of transformation magic there were few in the world better than Jessica, so to say she didn’t understand something that appeared to be transformation related, it was worrisome. “Maybe there’s something particular to him as Mimic that’s doing this? Something buried down in his mind?”
“Mimicking doesn’t work that way.” Jessica turned to Coraline with an exasperated sigh. “When you mimic another person you go from one physical form to another there’s no need for a transitional form. I’ve worked with mimics before: this doesn’t ever happen.”
Deanna clicked her tongue. “Perhaps Kerry doesn’t realize he’s doing this. He is new to this gift, after all.”
“No.” Jessica shook her head. “It doesn’t work that way.”
I may have mentioned this before, maybe not, but the saying of, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach,” does not apply to the instructors at my school. The instructors at Salem are among the best in their field, and in Jessica’s instance there are maybe five other witches who perform at her same level. When she tells you, “It doesn’t work that way,” she’s not saying that because she’s blowing you off: she’s saying that because it’s true. She knows, and don’t try to tell her otherwise.
Erywin is also the best in her field as well, but she’s also smart, and while there’s an argument going on about what’s happening on-screen, she’s got an argument going on in her head . . .
While the other women argued Erywin continued examining the changing boy in the display. Deanna’s right, that does look like the girl he’s describing in his dreams. There was something tickling her memory, however, playing right at the edge of her thoughts. She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate. He transformed into this form while going from csimale to cisfemale—
Jessica’s voice returned: There’s no need for a transitional form.
Erywin took a deep breath. Then why would he do this?
Deanna’s works suddenly struck home: Perhaps Kerry doesn’t realize he’s doing this.
This wasn’t making sense to Erywin. Then if he doesn’t realize he’s doing this, what is the cause?
Once more words came flooding back from her short term memory. A Mimic interfaces their aura with that of another person.
There’s no need for a transitional form.
Perhaps Kerry doesn’t realize he’s doing this.
Her breath quickened. Maybe this happened because he had no control over the process. Maybe it was invol—
She slowly opened her eyes, locking on the holographic image before her.
Erywin pressed her fists against her forehead. “Son of a bitch.” She spun around and faced the surprised women. “That makes sense.”
Coraline found enough mirth in the situation to chuckle. “Is there something you’d like to share with the class?”
She ignored Coraline’s comment and turned to the one person in the room who could likely answer her question. “Deanna, what can Trevor access from the Paris archives?”
Deanna didn’t find it unusual that Erywin was asking this question: everyone in the room was aware that Trevor and her were more than friends, and that she knew a bit about his role as School Librarian and Archivist. Given that, it didn’t seem unlikely that they’d never discussed the huge underground archive The Foundation maintained near the main headquarters in Paris. “He’s mentioned that he can access all but about five percent of the archive.”
“And the other five percent?”
“Well . . . He’s mentioned that four percent of that he can access with a request from either Mathilde or Isis, and the last one percent—” She shook her head. “It requires more security access than we have here.”
Coraline’s curiosity was getting the better of her. “What the hell is in the Paris archives that you suddenly need so badly?”
Erywin slowly faced the doctor and spoke in a cool, measured tone. “I want to see Lucyna Gorczynski’s diaries.”
And that is a name I know you haven’t heard before, because it’s been sitting on my time line for a while and I’m not in a habit of showing you my time lines. But there is a mention for Lucyna Gorczynski there, and now she’s coming out to play. The interesting thing is the other three women in the room appear to know that name, and their reaction isn’t what you’d expect–
Silence fell over the group, appearing shocked at Erywin’s mention of that particular name. Jessica glanced at the monitor then back to Erywin. “You aren’t suggesting—”
“What do you think I’m suggesting?” Erywin pointed at the frozen display behind her. “If you don’t know what that is, then it’s time to start grasping for answers, and based on a few things I’ve heard here, looking there makes fucking sense.” She sighed long and loud. “I remember reading that she turned over the last of her diaries ten years ago, so the entire collection is there. It’s just a question of whether or not we can access them.”
Coraline glanced between Jessica and Erywin. “Why do you think there’s any relevance here?” She motioned to the display. “How is what’s happening there—”
Deanna blurted out a single word in a surprised voice. “Dreams.”
Erywin nodded. “Yeah. It’s been twenty-five years since I read anything on Gorczynski, but there was something there—”
“About dreams.” Deanna quickly nodded. “I remember something when I was doing my dream studies during my D Levels.” She looked from side to side. “There was something about her in a section on dreams as they related to non-visions—”
“Yeah, I remember there were dreams. And something about transitions—” She closed her eyes as she hung her head. “It’s all fuzzy; that’s why I didn’t think of this before.”
Coraline was just as fuzzy on the matter as everyone else, but she knew the name and saw where Erywin was going. “We’ll probably need to get Mathilde involved.”
Erywin grunted. “I don’t doubt that.”
“What are you going to tell The Foundation when you put in the request?”
“That I’m doing research for due diligence on an LGBTAIQ matter.” She turned her gaze upon Coraline. “I don’t have to tell them any more than that.”
“Not until it’s necessary.” Jessica moved closer to the two women. “So we go to Trevor and Mathilde—”
“No, we don’t.” Erywin pointed at her feet. “We bring them here. Here we’re secure and we can speak without being overheard. And if the four of us head to the library and grab Trevor before heading off to the Headmistress, people will see us and begin spreading rumors. No: we don’t allow that to happen.”
Deanna joined the group. “I agree: we’re in a much better place to speak here, and we can show them the video.” She nodded towards the computers. “Trevor can even contact Paris from here: it’s as secure as making the request from either of their offices.”
“We’re going to need Mathilde with us on this anyway.” Jessica glanced over her shoulder at the display. “If this turns out to be true, Paris is going to freak.”
“There’s something we’re forgetting—” Deanna glanced side to side. “If we’re looking for something in Gorczynski’s diaries relating to her dreams, it’ll be difficult to compare them to Kerry’s.”
By “Paris”, Jessica is referring to The Foundation headquarters there, in cased you didn’t pick up on what I was saying throughout that last passage. So whatever is happening could possibly make The Foundation freak out, and that’s something that doesn’t normally happen, ’cause when they freak out as a whole, it’s usually something that’s not good.
There is something else going on here, however, and Deanna’s brought it up for the others to figure out:
Coraline slowly lowered her gaze towards the floor. “Yeah, he’s been reluctant to go into any details—”
“Or unwilling—” She caught the shape look Coraline. “We have to consider the possibility that he’s deliberately obfuscating.”
Erywin set her hands upon her hips. “How do we fix that?”
Deanna leaned her head to one side. “There is a way.”
Jessica picked up on Deanna’s comment first. “Are you certain you want to do that? That we need to do that?”
Coraline avoided looking at the others as she pursed her lips and remembered a promise she’d made to a couple of sleeping children. “I told Annie we’d figure this out and we’d do it fast, ‘cause right now I’m suppressing Kerry’s REM functions, and I can’t do that forever, not without harming him.” She looked at Deanna for a few moments turning to the others. “We may not have a choice except to go with Deanna’s idea . . .”
There you have it: my brain trust has gathered and found something. Chapter Twenty-seven was all set-up.
And a pretty nice set-up at that.
Now comes the next step: research and a solution. Well, actually, you’ll miss all the research, and the solution actually comes in Chapter Twenty-nine.
Right now, we’re about to watch people get their hands dirty.