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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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 . . .

Homecomings and Heart Feels

So much happening today; so much has happened already this morning.  For one, I awoke at four AM, and it’s been a tiring morning.  Needless to say there’s been a bit of stress in my life of late, and a bit of the stress pulled me out of slumbers.  It happened; you just go with it.  At least I can take a nap this afternoon and try to catch up on sleep this weekend.

This morning the story inched over the one hundred and fifty-nine thousand word line.  Eighty-one words to the one sixty mark–onward and upward.  I probably won’t make notice of the milestone until I hit one seventy-five, and then again at two hundred thousand.  Looking at where I am, this likely means I’ll go upwards close to three hundred thousand words–does this sound familiar?

We’ll get to that later, but right now . . . Ginger Hair Boy is almost home.  He’s been told to just be himself when he’s with Annie and her parents, and they’ll see just how good a person he is.  And guess what?  Kerry likes that idea.

 

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

He couldn’t find anything wrong with Ms. Rutherford’s assessment of the what happened in Vienna, or what might happen in the future. She was right: it didn’t matter what her father thought of him, Annie loved him, wanted to married him, wanted to have—well, what came next in that progression, but there wasn’t any need to bring that up now. It’s not something I should worry about now: it’s going to be a while before I spend any time with her family—maybe not until our D Levels—and since we know we marry . . .

They were on Newport Road and clear of the main part of downtown, and it wouldn’t be long before they made the left-hand turn on to the Albany Road. “Almost there.”

Just a quick left up ahead and it's home sweet home time.

Just a quick left up ahead and it’s home sweet home time.

“Yes, we are.” Bernice scrutinized him carefully. “You’re handling this separation better than last year.”

“Kinda.” He glanced out the passenger window. “It still hurts, but I remember what Erywin told me about hurt—the good and bad kinds. Right now I have the good kind—”

“Which is what?”

“It’s what you have when you know you’re going to see the person you love again.” He turned away from the window with a huge smile on his face. “Just two weeks, right?”

“Fifteen days.” She smiled back as they turned left off Newport and drove up Albany. “Pick you up in the afternoon and get you dinner.” She nodded towards the front of the car. “Unless you want to eat at home.”

“We’ll eat out—” The car turned off Albany and entered Timbers Square. “Something light, though: Annie and I will have dinner that night after we Adjust.”

“I love a good plan.” The driver pulled the car to the curb in front of Kerry’s home and shut off the engine. Kerry gripped the door handle as he started up at the front of the entrance of his house. “Well . . .” He smirked. “I’m guessing Indian takeaway awaits.”

“You’ll only find out if you go inside.” Bernice cracked open her door. “Shall we?”

“You bet.” Kerry was out of the car and had his backpack and luggage in-hand about a half a minute later. He was half way up the walk when the front door opened and his mother framed the entrance.

 

Now we’re home–well, Kerry is, we’re just watching as readers.  Kerry’s already thinking about what’s ahead two weeks in the future, and all of the fine dining that awaits him as Casa Malibey.  We’ve already seen that Kerry has become spoiled by the fine dining that is a trademark of the School at Salem, and when he returns home for the various holidays, he’s not happy with the home fare, but hey:  that’s what happens when you’re now having your food cooked for you by artificial people working with time spells.

Was he right?

 

“There you are.” She opened the outer door. “Welcome home, Kerry.”

“Hi, Mom.” He walked into the entrance hallway.with Ms. Rutherford right behind him. “Hey, Dad.”

“Hello, Kerry.” His father waved from the lounge entryway. “How was the flight over?”

“Good, good.”

“He got into Heathrow on-time.” Ms. Rutherford adjusted her purse on her shoulder. “Miracles do happen, even today.”

“Yeah—” He turned half-way back towards Ms. Rutherford. “It was just like magic.” He was afraid she wouldn’t get the little in-joke, but she smiled and gave him a little nod to let him know she understood.

“I’m glad you didn’t have any problems getting here.” His mother turned towards Kerry’s case working. “How long is Kerry with us?”

“Until 5 January. I told him I’ll be by to pick him up that afternoon, then it’s off to London and a late-night flight back to the States.” Bernice glanced towards the boy. “We went over this in the car just before we arrived.”

“Yeah, I got it all, Mom.” He gripped the handle of his luggage. “Then you don’t see me for five months.”

His mother chuckled. “I’m sure we’ll find a way to get by.”

Bernice felt it was time to go. Kerry needed no further information, and any additional updates would come too him through email and texts. “With that said . . .” She faced Kerry’s parents. “Mr. Malibey, Mrs. Malibey: Have a good holiday and a wonderful Christmas.”

Louise Malibey answered for them both. “You, too, Ms. Rutherford. Have a wonderful holiday.”

“I will, thank you.” She faced Kerry. “Enjoy the Yule holiday, Kerry.” A slight smile played across her face. “You’ll be back at school in no time at all.”

“I know.” He grinned back. “Have a good Yule, Ms. Rutherford.”

“Take care, Kerry.” She bid everyone a good evening and returned to the car.

 

Yeah, totally right.  Though he gets points for zipping off a inside joke that only Ms. Rutherford and he could get–for now.  Give that another five months we’ll see if mom and dad get the joke.

Speaking of mom and dad–

 

Louise locked the inner door before speaking to her son. “We didn’t know if you’d eaten on the flight or picked up something on the train—”

“I had a little something before getting on the train.” He fidgeted next to his luggage. “Nothing big, just enough to to hold me over.”

“Okay, well . . .” Louise seemed a bit embarrassed. “I had nothing planed tonight; we thought we’d just get some take away—”

Kerry resisted the urge to smirk. “That’s fine, Mom.”

Davyn Malibey spoke finally spoke up. “How do you feel about fish and chips?”

“That would be great, Dad.”

“That’ll work.” His father looked at his wife. “I’ll call Albany. We can have them deliver.”

 

By the way, the Albany Fish Bar is the place of which his father is referring, and it’s a real place, only about a kilometer from their house, and it gets a lot of good reviews.  Hard to say if this is the same place that Kerry said has fish and chips that don’t measures up to Salem’s, but–we already know he’s getting spoiled, and he better learn to Cook the Salem Way if he doesn’t want to spend the next hundred years going, “The pizza at Salem is better than this crap.”  Don’t disappoint yourself, kid:  take that step.

There’s a little more back and forth with his mother–who wants to know if Kerry is gonna have issues with jet lag–and then it’s off to his first floor room:

 

Kerry headed up the stairs to the first floor, taking the left from the landing directly to his room. He pushed the door shut with his foot—he was careful not to use magic to swing it shut from a meter or more away—and set his backpack on his bed. He wasn’t concerned about putting his clothes up at this moment, but he did want his computer set up right away.

He pulled the tablet computer and keyboard from his backpack, set them upon his computer nook between the northeast wall and his wardrobe, and powered up the system as he retrieved the power adapter. The system was up almost instantly due to the upgrades Isis had performed on his system for his birthday. He waited until his tablet was hooked into the house grid before taking time to admire his desktop wallpaper: a selfie of Annie and him snapped at the Starbucks the day Alex invited them to come in, sit, and chat. He’d considered changing the wallpaper before coming home, but decided to leave it as is: he figured if his mom or dad had questions about the girl in the picture, he’d tell them. After all they knew Annie was in his “dorm”, and that she shared classes with him—

And she’s already planning our wedding and I’ve met her parents and she’s said she’s carrying our kids— He sat on the corner of his bed, his eyes locked on the image of his Chestnut Girl, the girl of his dreams that he loved so dearly. I wonder what mom would say about that?

He lay back on his bed, placing his hands behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. Annie was going to do her Adjustment when she got home. He sighed softly. She should be getting up right about now . . .

 

Right now, I would give anything to be able to draw a picture of the selfie serving as Kerry’s tablet wallpaper.  I can imagine Annie holding her Frappuccino so it’s seen–or maybe Kerry had Alex or Penny take the picture with his phone, and they’re both holding their Starbucks drinks up while they sit, cheek-to-cheek, smiling like crazy and as happy as two kids in love can be.  It’s the one thing I love about their world being rooted in ours:  kids are still doing kids things, and once again stuffy witch Annie show everyone she’s really a teenager at heart.  Only she can kill you with her mind, which means you still gotta stay on her good side.

Now, if Kerry is wondering about Annie getting up right about the time he’s laying down, if you remember what happened during their time apart last Yule, you’ll know what’s coming next . . .