Interesting morning, let me tell you. If I were more superstitious I’d say the people in Philadelphia who said today is the end of the world may have been on to something, but it’s really more like someone’s been jacking around with the firewall filters, and that’s messed people up. Never the mind: I have my excerpt, and maybe a little something else that I’ll mention at the end.
Still in Vienna and still with Daddy Kirilovi. Now, you know Annie’s dad isn’t going to lose the opportunity to ask a certain Ginger Hair Boy a few questions, and so, yeah–he does . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Another protracted silence fell between Annie’s father and Bernice’s charge, and she wondered who was going to be the first to speak. Annie watched them both, her eyes flitting from Kerry to her father and back, examining both the way her father was examining the boy standing before him. It was Victor who broke the stalemate. “Are you enjoying school, Kerry?”
He nodded. “Yes, sir, quite a lot.”
“Must have been something of a shock to find out you were Aware.”
“Um, yeah, it was a bit.” He cast a glance towards Annie for just a second.
Victor noticed the glance. “Have you enjoyed your time with Annie?”
Annie’s face darkened as she glanced towards her father. “Papa.”
Annie would really like to look more peeved, but do you know how hard it is to find that picture?
Yeah, Papa, you wanna watch going there with Daughter Dearest standing next to you, ’cause she’s protective of the moyata polovinka and she’ll get all up in someone’s business if they aren’t kind. Fortunately, Kerry’s not gonna freak:
Kerry held up his hand for a moment. “Naw, it’s all right, Annie.” He started to relax, though there was a hint of nervousness in his voice. “Annie did a lot to help me fit into this new world; she helped me understand The Art so I could become a better witch—and a better sorceress.” A light grin played across his face. “She’ll say that’s not true, but I know different.” He smiled at her before facing her father. “I value every moment I’m with Annie, sir. She’s . . . She’s a special person. The most special.”
Bernice knew of the things that Kerry had already surmounted, but over the last minute she’d watched him present his bravest face ever. Victor Kirilov was an imposing man even though he wasn’t tall or large, but his confidence gave him an unshakable persona. She saw, as did Annie, and Kerry was a bit unnerved, but he didn’t cower—and if the look on Annie’s face is any indication of her current mood, she’s proud as well.
Victor turned to his wife. “We need to get home.” He placed a hand on Annie’s shoulder. “This young lady needs to do her adjustment before we go to dinner.”
“I agree.” Pavlina turned to Bernice. “It was pleasure meeting you again.”
She adjusted her purse so it set better on her shoulder. “Same here, Pavlina.” Bernice held out her hand. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Kirilov.”
“The pleasure was mine.” He shook her hand, then held his out for Kerry. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Kerry.”
“Thank you, sir.” He gave Victor’s hand a quick shake. “I’m glad I got to meet you.”
“Oh . . .” The right corner of his mouth curled upwards once more. “I’m sure it won’t be the last time.” He spread his arms as he took a step back. “Shall we go?
Pavlina waved to Kerry. “It was nice seeing you again, Kerry.” She shot a sideways glance at her husband. “I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.”
“I’m sure.” Kerry held out his left hand towards Annie. “I’m, um, I guess—”
“Hold on—” She spun around as her parents prepared to leave the waiting area. “I’d like to say goodbye to Kerry.”
Pavlina looked towards the young man. “Go ahead.”
Annie’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Privately?”
Victor seemed about to say something when Pavlina hooked her arm in his. “We’ll wait in the corridor.”
Bernice patted Kerry on the back. “I’ll be outside, too.”
Now, one might say Annie’s dad cut short the meeting, but really: in a public place, do you really expect him to ask something like, “Are you doing kissy-face stuff with my daughter?” Victor is a somewhat public person among Foundation people–being an F1 driver who just finished a season in third place will do that for you–and it wouldn’t do to have him getting all intimidating on a twelve year old boy. Even if he did see that boy holding hands with his daughter. Who wants to say goodbye to that boy Privately. Did you get that, parents? She wants privacy.
She headed into the corridor and leaned against the wall waiting for the kids to finish their goodbyes. She saw the Kirilovis standing about five meters from the entrance, speaking quietly to each other, and Bernice could only imagine the conversation they were having . . .
Annie and Kerry stood against one wall of the waiting room, and were just visible to Bernice. She saw their heads bowed and close together as they faced each other, holding hands. Annie touched Kerry’s cheek as she said something that appeared to relax him: it was only then that Bernice noticed his right hand quivering slightly. He listened as Annie spoke, stroking her arm as if to confirm she was there.
There was a moment when they gazed into each other’s eyes before hey kissed long and tenderly. Once the kiss finished then broke into a hug, and she observed Annie whisper something into his ear—something obviously pleasant and meaningful, for he was smiling as the turned and headed hand-in-hand for the waiting room exit . . .
They held each other’s hands tightly one last time in the corridor. Annie beamed. “I’ll see you in a couple of weeks, my . . .” She caught herself before speaking the last words within earshot of her parent. “I’ll write.”
“I’ll write back.” He quickly kissed her hand. “Have a good holiday, Annie.”
“Have a good holiday, Kerry.” She released Kerry and waved to Bernice. “Take care, Ms. Rutherford. Have a good holiday.”
“You, too, Annie.” Bernice waved back. “Enjoy your holiday.”
“I will.” Annie kissed two right fingers and held them towards Kerry. “Goodbye, mlechna.”
He did the same with his left fingers. “Sbogom, malko samri.”
She turned away with a giggle and smile and rejoined her parents. Kerry watched them walk away for a few seconds before her turned and approached Bernice. It was only then, while facing her, that his shoulders slumped. “Wow.” He let out a long, deep sigh. “Wow.”
“Let’s go sit in the lounge for a few minutes—” She pointed down the hall behind her. “Let them get to the public platform so they can jaunt home.”
“Sounds like a good idea.” He followed her to the small lounge where those who arrived early for an arrival or departure could wait in comfort. They found a couple of cozy chairs in a corner away from the few people there and sat. “Better?”
“Yeah.” He tapped his fingers on the arms of the chair as Bernice set her bad on the small, round table in front of them. “Why did he act that way towards me?”
She knew exactly to whom Kerry was referring. “Annie’s dad?”
Oh, you thought that was a grilling, Kerry? Better watch out: you may break under pressure.
Annie was about to lay “My love” on Kerry and caught herself. One day soon she’s just gonna have to throw caution to the wind and kick it out there. What she did call him was “sweet”, as in “sweet banista”, which is what she called him the night before at the Observatory, and Kerry responded with “Goodbye, little cabbage roll”, which is less romantic than “darling”, but darling might have had Daddy asking more questions.
Even so, Kerry got himself a case of the “First Time Father Meeting” nerves, and now gets to ask Ms. Rutherford about this. Being that she’s a girl, she may have some experience in this matter . . .
Now, lastly, some news. Yesterday I had someone ask me if I’d like to submit a series to Channillo, which is a website where people can post, in a continuing way, their novel series. There are hundreds of writers already there, and it’s something that I may consider. However . . . one of their stipulations is that whatever series you post there cannot be offered elsewhere for free, and were I to put, say, my first novel up, I’d have to go back over two years of posts and strip out excerpts that are hanging out on my blog. Which, quite frankly, is a huge pain in the ass.
At the moment I’m wondering if this is a route I want to go, because I don’t figure to do a hack and slash on my blog that way. The other choice would be to take another work of mine–say, one that isn’t selling all that well–and post it there with the promise of doing new content after the initial novel. That’s a ballsy move, and one that would probably take up the majority of my time right now.
Right now I’m considering my options–one of which is I don’t think people are gonna pony up $5/month to read my first novel. Maybe for another work, but not this one.\
So many decisions, so little time to do all the things I want to do.