Crazy things this morning as today may be the day I get my new state ID badge, and I’m running all over the place trying to get my paper work in order–which, by the way, is a lot more than I had to put into place to change my name and my Social Security card. But I think I have everything in place, so I should be good.
Now, about the writing . . . last night I really stumbled through this section because, as you likely noticed yesterday, Annie was having trouble speaking correctly. Damn these homunculi mouths, they just don’t work like the real things right out of the box. I mean, I’ve got to talk this stuff out either aloud or in my head, and it’s tough. What I did today is give you a translation of what’s being said, just in case you don’t know what’s being said. Because when I was writing it down this morning I needed to think about what was being said, and I wrote this stuff last night.
So how’s that puppeteering going, Annie?
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Taking careful, tiny steps, Annie moved away from the recliner where her homunculus was seated and towards the middle of the large training room that made up much of the ground floor of Gwydion Manor. Her steps felt strange and halting, and she imagined it was because she wasn’t the one walking, but rather she was making something else walk. She couldn’t remember how it had been when her mother taught her to walk as a toddler, but Annie imagined it was a bit like this, with Helena standing alongside as her proxy mother.
Management of the puppet came slowly, but after a couple of minutes of making her way across the main floor she felt more in control. While Annie believed it would be a while before she could master picking up anything with her hands, she wasn’t shuffling as much as she had when starting to walk. “Iumm . . .” Annie cleared her throat, and put the difficulty to speak out of her mind. “Isst gittin essier.” (I’m . . . It’s getting easier)
Helena turned a smile towards her student. “Walking?”
Annie nodded twice. “Yuss.” She chuckled deep in her throat. “Uh cun aulmos suy—” (Yes. I can almost say–)
Annie whipped her head around to the right and almost stumbled were it not for Helena catching her. Halfway across the room she saw the source of the voice being helped by Ramona. “Keerry?” (Kerry?)
He was half turned towards her and began smiling seconds after hearing her voice. “Yoos sonne leek mue.” (You look like me.)
“I duuo.” She giggled at how different her soul mate sounded working through another body. “Uurr soo strenge luken.” (I do. You’re so strange looking.)
He laughed as well. “Yoos louk luk uh Burbie Dull.” (You look like a Barbie Doll.)
Helena leaned in and spoke in a gentle tone. “You want to walk over and say hi?”
She looked at Helena out of the corner of her eye. “Cun uh?” (Can I?)
“Sure.” Helena escorted her towards the form approaching them. She addressed her fellow instructor, who was approaching them. “How’s he doing?”
“About as well as your charge.” Ramona stopped at the same time as Helena, when both their students were about three meters apart. “You think we should let them try to walk to each other?”
“I don’t see why not.” She released Annie at the same time Ramona released Kerry. “Take it easy, you two, and remember that falling won’t hurt that much.”
Yeah, don’t worry: falling isn’t that bad. It’s not like you’re hurting yourself.
Now, with them close up, we finally get a good idea of what they look like–or rather, what their puppets look like:
The two puppeteers took their time moving towards each other, their arms held out slightly before them. Annie saw that Kerry’s skin was exactly like hers: smooth and wrinkle-free, without marks or blemishes. When they were close enough to touch they spread their fingers wide and allowed them to intertwine as they pulled themselves close.
Face-to-face now, Annie gazed into Kerry’s eyes. “Tey aurnt geen.” (They aren’t green.)
Kerry tiled his head slightly to the right. “Urrs arunt heesil.” (Yours aren’t hazel.)
She pulled her right hand free and ran her fingers over Kerry’s cheek. “Ess nutten luk urr rill fas.” Annie glanced at Ramona. “Ess luk tuusin plestuc.” (It’s nothing like your real face. It’s like touching plastic.)
“It would; I didn’t process these homunculi as much as I have others.” Ramona glanced between the two students. “Would you like to see?” They both nodded, and the martial arts instructor waved her hands and turned the air before the puppeteers solid and reflective.
Both of them were naked, but it wasn’t a concerned because, at the same time, Annie saw why Kerry said she looked like a Barbie Doll. Her body, like Kerry’s, was smooth and fairly featureless. She was completely hairless: nothing on her head, no eyebrows, nothing visible on her legs, and no growth in her public area. Her face wasn’t even a close approximation of her own: there were eyes, a nose, a mouth, but free of lines and wrinkles that would allow her expression. He jaw and chin were little more than a soft oval, and without facial definition her cheeks were almost impossible to see.
She possessed breasts, but only in the sense that there were small, rounded mounds of flesh affixed to her torso. Her groin was the same: featherless and flat, without a single hint of genitalia. Annie had already noticed the same things about Kerry: his torso was devoid of any of the muscle tone he’d developed over the last year and a half, and he also lacked genitalia. “Wue du louk luk dools.” (We do look like dolls.)
“Uh, huh.” Kerry started to lean forward, looking almost as if he were going to tumble to the ground before he caught himself. “Wuh ur we luk dis?” (Why are we like this?)
Yeah, why are they like that? Because you don’t want to leave Kerry alone with Annie in a doll-like state for too long, as his mind goes off in strange directions . . .
But this isn’t the end of the road for out puppet kids–oh, no. I’m still writing the scene, and the chapter is now nearly as large as the last one. Which means it’ll get larger. Which means I’m getting closer to two hundred thousand words. What that means I haven’t a clue.