Tender in the Mist

Tax time is upon us, but my mind was somewhere back three years and thousands of kilometers away.  My kids are wandering London, hanging out in the mists of Kensington Gardens.  This is one of those places I want to visit before I kick it off, but I have a feeling this is about as close I’ll ever get.

Then again, that’s my writing:  all about my fantasies and desires.  Go figure.

Let’s get back to the scene, shall we?

 

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

They strolled slowly along the tree-lined lanes of the garden, holding hand, hardly speaking as they wandered through the quite, misty park. After a while they came upon a bench that was almost completely dry due to be positioned under two overhanging trees. Normally they offered shade; today they’d formed a shelter for a couple in love.

Kerry waited for Annie to sit and get comfortable before joining her, settling in to her right. He set his backpack next to him before reaching inside and pulling out the letter he’d written that morning. “This is for you.”

“Thank you.” Annie took the letter and slipped it into her purse.

“I finished it just before Erywin called. I was going to post it, but she kept me clear of the boxes.”

“For good reason.” She wrapped her hands around Kerry’s left arm and pulled herself into his body. “This is just like our first night at Salem. That’s why I love this weather.”

“I love it, too.” He also loved Annie gloaming onto his arm and snuggling close to him. “Are you now going to tell me you love me, and that you’ve loved me for a long time?”

She chuckled before kissing him on the cheek. “Yes, I am. And I do. And I have.” She pressed the side of her face against his shoulder. “Is your mother still calling me The Girl Who Writes?”

“Yeah.” Kerry scoffed. “Better than being The Girl Who Waits.”

 

In the next scene with Kerry’s parent he’ll get to the root of those last statements, and you’ll discover where it comes from.  Hint:  if you know his parents, and Kerry, then you know.  At least Kerry’s still writing, still putting pen to paper.  I’ll have to figure out just how many letters these kids have written.

Given what Kerry said, Annie feels the need to retort:

 

“But you’re wrong.” Annie pulled away from Kerry, though she never let go of his arm. “I’m always waiting for you, my love. I’ve waited for you since the day we parted in Amsterdam, and I waited for you for in my dreams, and I waited for you at lunch.” She bushed her nose against Kerry’s cheek. “And I will wait for you until the end of August, when we come together once more before departing for school.” She kissed the corner of his mouth. “I wait until I once more stand y your side.”

“You’re wrong.”

Annie flinched at Kerry rebuttal. “What do you mean?”

“I wait to stand by your side.” He turned and hissed her upon her smiling lips. “Seven weeks.”

 

And just for the hell of it I went and checked the time between when “now” is supposed to be, and when they’ll get together again, and–yeah, seven weeks.  Kerry is clever.  But we knew that.

 

“Until we met again in person.” She drew in a deep breath. “Assuming we don’t meet for lunch again.”

“I’m not expecting it to happen. So . . .” He shrugged. “I’m guessing the next time we meet up is before we leave—”

“Berlin.”

“Is that where we’re meeting this time?” He was aware if anyone knew the location of the B Level departure city, it would be Annie.

“That’s what my mother told me last week. She heard about it from her friends in the Foundation.”

I wonder what else her friends have heard? After returning from Yule Annie told him a little of what her mother had learned about the Day of the Dead attacks, the awards they’d both been given, and his injuries that required his hospitalization. Annie said her mother made no mention of their night together, likely because Nurse Coraline had said nothing about what she’d discovered, and the only other person who was aware of what happened that night wasn’t speaking . . .

 

I was questioned about what Helena and Mama Kirilova may have talked about, and while I know–and of course I do–it does seem as if Annie’s mom only need make a few calls and she finds out things about her darling daughter.  Kerry has it pegged, though:  she probably doesn’t know about their sleeping together because no one is talking about that.  It does raise the question of what does she know about Annie’s time at school–or if she’s being a snoopy mom hoping her little girl isn’t getting into too much trouble.

As they say, however, all good things must come to an end . . .

 

Kerry’s mobile beeped, and the tone told him it was an incoming text. As he retrieved the phone, Annie leaned towards him. “Is it—?”

He read the message. “Yeah. They’ll be here in ten minutes.” He returned the phone to his backpack. “Not much time now.”

“No, there isn’t.” She stood, then pulled Kerry to his feet. “I’m sure they’re going to key in on your mobile; we should find a place in the trees for them to join us.”

They stepped off the path and found two trees which offered enough cover for their friend to jaunt in and rejoin them. She knew they wouldn’t stay long: Helena had promised Annie’s mother that her daughter would return by eighteen so she wouldn’t miss dinner.

That time was quickly approaching.

Annie stood before Kerry, her head slightly hung. “Stupid time zones.”

“I know.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled in close in a warm, loving hug. “I wish I could stay with you all day.”

“And through the night.” She secured her arms around his back. “It’s not fair that we only have these short moments together, that we can’t meet in our dreams as we once did—”

“At least we can write.” Kerry wasn’t happen with their holiday situation, either, but he’d quickly developed the mindset that since there was nothing he could do to improve their situation, it did no good to decry what was fair and what wasn’t.

“I know.” Annie buried her face against Kerry’s neck and shoulder. “But I want more.”

“And what Annie wants—” Kerry chuckled as he lifted her away so he could kiss her. “—Annie—”

Annie stared back with mist-filed eyes: a single tear slowly trickled down her right cheek.

 

And that’s where I left it, with Annie and a single tear.  I can hear it now:  “She’s crying?”  Well . . .

Only in the sense there's water that came from inside her body on her check.

Only in the sense there’s water that came from inside her body on her check.

When the scene ends, you’ll discover a little more about the why.  At least you know she can.

River Misting

One of the nice things about where I currently live is that I can see the river from balcony.  I’m eleven stories up, though the way they count the floors in this building, I’m actually twelve, but lets not quibble.  It’s one more, it’s eleven, and I’m good with that.

I stepped outside for a moment, just to take in the cool morning air while my computer finished booting.  Things are lit up, and there’s a bit of traffic on the street below.  But, off maybe two blocks, the river is dark, as is the opposite bank.  And rising off the river, up and down the length, is a light, cool mist, topping out at nearly the same height as my apartment.  It’s something I haven’t seen in . . . well, pretty much forever, since I’ve never lived by a river, and never lived in a high rise apartment.

But it’s something that I loved seeing.

Where I’m at now with life gives me a little different perspective on writing as well.  The Summer of ’13 was the pits:  looking for work, getting depressed about my last novel, struggling to get through a novella before cranking out a story that ended up turning into a novel–it wasn’t the best time of my life.  It all felt a bit disjointed and meandering.  And before heading out to The Burg I was seriously considering giving up writing, because I felt as if I were going nowhere fast, and getting there even quicker.

This is what depression does to you:  it screws up your perception of the world, and what’s going on around you.  It makes you want to kill your dreams, even when you know you shouldn’t.  I’ve gotten through it before–my time in The Undisclosed Location was nothing but depression, and I managed some great writing.  But this last summer was something else entirely:  it was like The Bad Old Days, and you don’t want to go through those.

One of the things that set my teeth to gnashing is reading all the comments from people who like to say that all writers are crazy.  “Oh, I was looking up how to murder someone with a pen, I be so nutty!”  Uh, huh.  I think I was doing that when I was nine, after someone in school pissed me off and I considering ramming a pencil through their neck.  No, there are crazy writers, but they’re nutty not cause the think things that no one else thinks, it’s ’cause they got demons chewing at their butt The and they want them the hell out of their lives.

Crazy is thinking you suck when you don’t, and putting yourself down because you can.  It’s being like me, an emotionally repressed person suffering with bi-polar disorder and gender identity issues most of her life, and has come extremely close on a few occasions to grabbing a bottle of sleeping tables, a liter of Gray Goose, and taking a midnight ride to the middle of nowhere to lay herself down to sleep one last time.

Now, though . . . I see the mist rising on the river and I’m ready to keep going.  The crazy can kiss my ass, I want to go on.  I did a short story, I’m working on my next novel, and I’m thinking about what I want to publish next.

I’m moving forward, and it’s a good feeling.

Or as Liz Parker once said in her journal:

 

“We try to live responsible, logical lives. But we can’t tell our hearts how to feel. Sometimes our hearts lead us to places we never thought we wanted to go. And sometimes our hearts can be the sweetest, gentlest things we have.

“Sometimes our hearts can make us feel miserable, angry, excited and confused. All at once. But at least my heart is open. And I’m writing again.

“I’m feeling.

“I’m breathing.”