Mid-Level Samhain: First Up It’s–

I’m dragging ass a bit today as I was up late after a hard practice and, yeah, I gotta do it again tonight.  I’ll likely take a nap when I get home, then write a little, then start editing video from last night, which includes a hilarious minute of me gagging on my mouthpiece just as I’m about to throw a shoulder block at someone.  Yeah, we know how to have fun.

Also, my friend Mary–a person with whom I’ve done many a protest–has strapped on a pair of skates and decided to be her own hero.  After watching our bout on Sunday she decided she had to come out and see what all the fun was about.  And now she’s hooked and will return tonight.  And probably next week.

I have a strange influence on people…

Speaking of strange…  Samhain.  There’s a dance going on and Annie and Kerry are about to meet–someone.  And they have a neat costume:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

They approached Nadine, whose costume seemed to consist of a red and gold suit of armor. They stopped when they were about a meter apart and Annie gave her a slight nod and smile. “Aren’t you hot in that, Pepper? Or, should I call you… Rescue?”

Nadine turned to Kerry with half-closed eyes. “You told her, didn’t you?”

Moi?” He fended surprise. “Why would you say that?”

“Because the name Rescue wasn’t used in the last movie and only someone as geeky as me would know what she was called in the comics.” She pointed at Kerry. “Ergo, you.”

He glanced at Annie, who glanced back. “I… may have had something to do with tipping her off.” He spent a few seconds admiring Nadine’s costume. “You do look fantastic.”

 

We already know Nadine–who has been the first to welcome Annie and Kerry to the last two dances–is something of a Marvel geek, so it goes without saying she’s dipping into the well once more.  Now, what is Kerry and she talking about?

Well, it’s like this:  when Nadine mentions “the last movie” what she means is that Iron Man 3 was out during the summer of 2013, which would sort of make that the last movie in a way.  In that movie Tony’s girlfriend, Pepper Potts, got to wear the suit for a bit as a bit of a shout-out to the fact that at one point in the comics she had her own powered armor suit–and when that happened her code name was Rescue.  Nadine knew that and, as she points out, only someone as geeky as her would know that, too.

We’re looking at you, Kerry.

We not only get a little elaboration on her outfit, but we start seeing what Team Dark Witch is sporting:

 

Nadine gave a little bow. “Thanks. A couple of Mads in my coven helped whip it up for me.”

“That’s what we thought.” Mads was the nickname students had for Mad Scientists, witches who leaned heavily towards combining magic and science. Kerry figured Nadine got help from Itsaso Ocampo, a F Level girl from Mexico, and Kouassi Nazaire, a D Level boy from Côte d’Ivoire, as they were the best known Mads in Mórrígan. “They did a great job.”

“That they did.” She gave Annie’s and Kerry’s costumes some scrutiny. “I have to say I love your costumes, too.”

“Thank you.”

“Particularly you, Annie. You’re really rockin’ that brunette goth look.”

She held open her long coat and performed a slow pirouette. “I’m glad you’re impressed.” She checked to make sure her top hat was secure. “I wasn’t certain how I was going to like being a brunette. Or this goth-like.”

“It suits you.” Nadine laughed. “Besides, you gotta go dark for that character.”

Annie placed her hands on her hips and cocked them to one said. “Of course I’m dark. I’m there for them all. And when the last living thing dies I’ll put up the chairs, turn out the lights, and lock up the universe.” Annie gave a sheepish grin. “Or something similar to that, yes?”

Kerry gave her hand a squeeze. “Close enough, Sweetie.”

“So who are you guys?” Penny and Jario walked up with Alex right behind them, all three attired in outfits—Penny in a white sweater dress and thigh high boots; Jario in a black turtleneck and matching pants; and Alex wearing an off-orange dress, low heels, and her long blond hair made short and brown—that Kerry recognized instantly. “You look great, but I have no idea who the bloody hell you are.”

Jario sighed. “This is what comes from them working on their costumes in their private lab.”

Kerry ignored his friend’s jab and stayed focused on Penny. “Aren’t you gonna try and guess?”

Penny screwed up the left side of her face. “Noooope.”

Kerry chucked. “At least you stayed in character.” He turned to Annie. “She’s Death—” He pointed to himself. “And I’m Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams.”

 

Wait?  Annie is Death and Kerry is the Lord of Dreams?  What does this all mean?

Well, if you were geeky like Kerry–and me–you’d know already.

As it is I’ll have to tell you tomorrow.

Mid-Level Samhain: It’s Time to Start

It’s that time of year again as we reach The Dance–which by now means we’re heading off to the Dining Hall to show up costumes, talk to friends, and likely watch a couple of kids we know dedicate songs to each other.  The funny thing is I seem to hit that point around this time when I’m writing.  Or at least it seems that way…

Let’s get in there with the kids–but first, an introduction:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Ms. Annie Kirilova and her escort, Mr. Kerry Malibey, both of Cernunnos Coven.”

As was tradition, Annie waited with Kerry at the entrance to the Dinning Hall as Zora Gronowski, a member of the kitchen staff, announced their arrival to the crowd. She always enjoyed this moment, for while the Samhain Dance was meant to be a fun celebration, the little touches of pomp gave it a more formal air than any of the other gatherings held here throughout the year.

They both nodded at Zora before walking arm-in-arm into the hall. One of their other customs was to wait until about two-thirds of the student body was present before putting in their appearance. Though she didn’t actively check out the observation of other, she did notice a few stares in their direction coupled with a couple of looks of confusion. It was times like this she welcomed Kerry’s knowledge of pop culture and entertainment, for she felt his choices were not only fantastic, but well suited for a couple.

And she simply loved this year’s costume as it was, once again, a departure from how she normally appeared. But that was true of every year. Their first costumes had been one of style, seeing her in a lovely dress that, as Kerry stated, was enhanced her beauty, a comment that made her blush as much as she tried to prevent that from happening. Last year’s costume choice was one fully of whimsy and Annie loved spending the night with such an unusual hair color.

This year they went off in a completely difference direction, going simple while at the same time bringing about its own style aesthetic. Though Annie had found herself a bit skeptical about the outfit and makeover when first show to her, since seeing herself in it a few times before the dance made her realize how nice it appeared, but, as she was reminded, she completely owned the look.

From across the hall a familiar student approached them, just as she’d done the previous two years. Kerry leaned in and spoke in a low voice. “Here she comes.”

“I see that.” Annie appraised the costume. “She put a lot of effort into that.”

“I think she got help from Isis and some of the Mads down at the Tesla Center.” Kerry smiled at her. “You want to greet her?”

Annie smiled back. “I’d like to, however—”

“Oh, yeah.” Kerry told her the character the approaching student represented. “Got that?”

“Of course, my love.”

He motioned her forward. “Lead on, my dear.”

 

Keep guessing about who they’re gonna meet and what they’re wearing–

It’s not like this is going to leave any time soon.

Visiting Slyly: The End of the Visit

So let’s make this quick:  first, today is my home bout game day and my afternoon and evening are gonna be a little…  crazy.  I’ll help set up the track and then video the bout for tomorrow night’s review, but even with all that work I’m ready for the game.  Oh, I am so ready–

 

Yes, that’s me with green hair–or I should say, a kelly green wig.  Managed to find on at Make Believin’ in York, PA, and finding that place was a bit of an adventure in of itself as I screwed up and took the wrong turnoff to get there and had to do a lot of backwoods driving–I even had to resort to using Google Maps directions to find the place.  But I found it, I got a wig, and I’m really to roll this afternoon.

Today I’m also presenting the last of the first scene of Chapter Sixteen because you’ve waited two days for it and it’s just long enough to fill out this post nicely.  In case you had forgotten, Pavlina asked Kerry to come stay with the Family Kirilovi over Yule.  And what does Kerry say?

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry already knew what he was supposed to say, but as he’d had a few minutes to think about what he’d originally told Annie this morning, he felt it was necessary to amend his original answer. “Annie invited me this morning and I wasn’t open to the idea. However…” He gave Annie’s hand a long, slow squeeze. “I’ve had time to reconsider what I said and I realize I was caught up in my own drama at the time and gave a stupid, wrong answer. What I should have said—what I should always say to such an invitation—is yes.” He turned and glanced between Pavlina and Victor. “I would love to stay with you. Thank you for having me.”

“Thank you for accepting our invitation.” She turned to Annie with a smile. “Looks as if you’ll now have reason not to sulk in your room all holiday.”

Annie gave her mother a slight glare before breaking into a wide grin. “Yes, it seems I will, Mama.”

Pavlina tugged at Victor’s arm. “We need to be leaving soon. Why don’t we say a few goodbyes before going?”

 

You knew Kerry was going to say yes.  At the same time he’s doing what he can to make up for his original bad answer.  Again, it’s likely that, in time, he’d have come to this same answer after having some time to think about why he said what he said–it’s even more likely he would have reversed himself by the time the dance rolled around.

Now that the answer has been given, Pavlina thinks it’s a good time to leave the kids alone for a bit–

 

He nodded. “I would like to have a few words with Holoč before leaving.”

“Then let’s find him and do so.” She glanced at Annie. “How about if we meet Kerry and you in the main Cernunnos commons in twenty minutes? Assuming Kerry can leave, that is.”

Annie nodded. “He should be able to leave soon. We’ll meet you there.”

“Good.” Both adults turned and left the hospital bay.

Certain that they were alone Annie leaned in closer to Kerry. “Why did you change your mind?”

He chuckled. “Did you think I would say no to your mother?”

“You did to me.”

Kerry lowered his gaze and sighed. “And for that I’m truly sorry. I have no excuse for saying no other than I was caught up in my own drama and I couldn’t see how not accepting your invitation would hurt you.” He sat up and kissed Annie on the lips. “I won’t make that mistake again. I don’t ever want to hurt you.”

Annie caressed his cheek for several seconds before kissing his lips for what seemed like a long time and continued caressing it after she broke the kiss. “Apology accepted. But don’t do that again.”

He lay his hand over hers. “I won’t. I promise.”

“I’ll hold you to that.”

“Oh, you two—” Coraline entered the bay, a huge grin on her face. “Is there a particular reason for this smooching other than you guys can’t help yourself?”

Annie laughed. “Kerry’s coming to stay with me over Yule.”

Coraline shot her a surprised glance as she motioned for Kerry to lay back. “And your parents know about this?”

“My mother was the one who made the invitation.”

“Well, lucky you.” Coraline ran her glowing hand over Kerry’s body while watching the monitors. “As I thought: you’re completely healthy. No deep tissue pulls or bruising.

Which means—” She snapped off the monitor. “You can go get some dinner and then get ready for the dance.”

Kerry smiled as broadly as Coraline had when she entered the bay. “Thank you.” He slid off the left side of the bed, his hand still holding Annie’s. “See you at the dance.”

They were out of the hospital and heading towards the Rotunda before Kerry spoke again. “You know, as bad and crazy as this day’s been—”

Annie leaned against him holding his hand and arm tight. “Yes?”

He rested his head against hers. “I think tonight is gonna be magnificent.”

 

There you go:  racing is over, Kerry is fine, and Annie is happy that he’s gonna be her guest over the holiday.  This means from the time they met in Paris before the start of school they’ll be together until school is over and Kerry returns to Cardiff.  A whole nine months of being in each other’s lives–

Why, one might almost think they were married.

Up next:  let’s get to dancing.

Visiting Slyly: What Are You Doing This Yule?

Tonight I’m going out to do some work for Planned Parenthood, which means I won’t get back to the hovel for writing until about seven-thirty tonight.  I should, however, finish this current scene tonight because I’m nearly there now.

I have the next two scenes laid out nicely in my head, so getting through them shouldn’t be bad.  I am still crossing my fingers that I hit 200,000 words at the end of Act One, but if I don’t I’ll be right there.  It doesn’t actually matter that much–does it?

Since we have a set up for an invitation, all that remains is for that invitation to get made.  That gives Kerry a little time with his thoughts…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry lay on his bed saying nothing as he was aware that since the curtain didn’t open Pavlina was still in the bay with him. He reflected on how she handled his faux pas with Annie’s invitation in comparison to how he was fairly certain his mother would have handed the same situation. While his mom would have likely berated and belittled him, Pavlina merely told him that kids his age don’t always make good decisions and she would help him correct the matter.

But what he loved most was her compassion. At no time during their short discussion did Pavlina make him feel like crap because of what she assumed was his earlier answer. She calmed him down when he became upset and didn’t once yell at him—which was so unlike his mother…

The privacy curtain cracked open and Annie peered inside before turning her head to her left and addressing someone unseen. “He’s awake.” She opened the curtain the rest of the way revealing her father standing on the other side. While he moved into the space between the beds Annie returned to Kerry’s left side so she could take his hand. “How are you feeling, my love?”

 

If there’s one thing Kerry wants more than affection it’s compassion.  Louise Malibey has all the compassion of a Tasmanian Devil and as Kerry imagined, she probably would have made him feel like shit over his previous decision.  Pavlina, on the other hand, didn’t dwell on the bad:  she wanted to make things right.  It won’t be long before Kerry starts making comparisons…

Now that Annie and Victor are present it’s time to get the show rolling–

 

He kept his eyes locked on hers as he didn’t want to see her her father’s reaction to the second use of the phrase. “I feel good.”

“I’m glad. How long have you been awake?”

“A couple of minutes.” Which was true: he’s only spoken with Pavlina for no more than that.  Kerry looked around. “Where’s your mother?”

Pavlina chose that moment to reenter the bay, acting as if she’s just come through the waiting area. “Oh, just in time.” She turned on a grin as she answered the question. “I was in the bathroom.” She turned to Victor. “Did I miss anything?”

He shook his head. “No, my darling.” He reached out and took her hand. “We’d just arrived.”

“Ah, good.” Pavlina looked about as if expecting someone to speak. “Kerry, Annie tells us you have nowhere to go for Yule.”

He slipped on his game face and nodded. “Yeah. They’re going to Australia for the holiday.”

“And what about the rest of your family?”

“My grandparents are going on a cruise to Mexico, so I can’t stay with them.”

“I see.” She glanced at Annie then her husband. “I think we could help out here, my dearest.”

Victor instantly picked up on her train of thought. “I don’t see why not.”

“Well, then—” Pavlina turned to the boy in the bed. “Kerry, we would love to have you as our company over the coming Yule holiday. I can assure you, we won’t have to change our schedule or go out of our way to accommodate you, as we have plenty of room and no set plans. Also—” She cast a quick glance at Annie. “I can think of one person here who would love to have you as a guest. What do you say?”

 

We know what Kerry’s going to say at this point, but he’ll also say more.  I know this because I’ve already written what he says.

Needless to say, he better start brushing up on his Bulgarian.

 

 

Visiting Slyly: Let’s Fix This

What’s new, pussycats?  Well, writing for me, that’s what.  Though it’s strange, but you’re catching up to me.  With what I wrote last night you’re now about 600 words behind me, which is the closest you, the reader, has come to me, the writer, in the divulgence of this novel.  I can stay ahead for a while and hope to pull ahead this weekend, though who knows?  We’ll see.

Anyway, while I wrote last night I processed some of the video I shot at Monday night practice.  I’ll go into detail on this in a later post, but here you can watch me, along with the other Freshies, going through our drill.  I hope to get more footage tonight.

 

Now, back in the Salem Hospital–Bay #1 to be specific–Pavlina Kirilova is asking Kerry about his Yule plans.  And after he gives them, Pavlina has…  things to say:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Pavlina regarded Kerry’s answer for nearly five seconds before speaking in a low voice. “During your A Levels—the first year you we both together—Annie handled being away from you over Yule rather well. She was in good spirits the whole time, though she and I often spoke of you during our morning tea. She was happy that you were in San Francisco with your grandparents because she knew how much you missed them: it was for that reason that she could stand not speaking to you the entire time.

“But last Yule—oh, that’s a completely different story. Knowing that you were only a couple of thousand kilometers away she so wanted to speak with you, even see you. She’d spend much of each day alone, either in her room or out in the Lake House. When Annie and I would have morning tea she spent at least a third of our time together distracted, wondering about you. Last Yule you were on her mind more because her love for you had grown.

“And now—” Pavlina gave him a disapproving look. “Knowing your current relationship with your parents and knowing how they abandoned you, Annie is going to be greatly concerned about your wellbeing this Yule. But if you spend it away from her—away from us—you are going to do the one thing you’re trying to prevent: you’re going to ruin her holiday. And you don’t want that, do you?”

 

Pavlina is savage as hell in her assessment:  you go somewhere else for Yule, Ginger Hair Boy, you’re gonna fuck up your soul mate’s holiday.  And do we want to imagine an upset, moody, pouty Annie?  No.  It’s not a good thing.  And Pavlina knows it’s not a good thing because she knows her daughter.

And now that Kerry knows…

 

“No, I—” Kerry lay back and started sobbing as the thought that his actions would destroy Annie’s Yule holiday became overwhelming. “I didn’t know: I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t mean it. I just wanted—”

Pavlina was immediately by his side, placing a comforting hand against his shoulder. “There, there, Kerry. It’s all right.” She smiled down at him. “I was once thirteen and I didn’t always make the best decisions at that age either. Yes?” She waited until Kerry managed to smile through his tears before continuing. “And now that we know all that, we can set about making it all right.

“This is what’s going to happen. I’m supposed to be in the bathroom, so I’m going to have to vanish here rather quickly. Annie and Victor will arrive shortly to see if you’re awake and I should appear not long after. After a few pleasantries are exchanged I’ll bring up the matter of having you for Yule and extend an invitation.” She gave Kerry a probing look. “And you’ll say—?”

He knew there was only one answer. “Yes.”

“Good.” Pavlina moved to the foot of his bed. “I’ll be back in a bit. And do I need to remind you that—”

He shook his head. “You were never here.”

Pavlina smiled. “Clever boy.” A moment later she vanished.

 

In the end Kerry realizes he screwed up bad–but Pavlina is there to help him fix it.  She’s not only making sure he sees the light, but also lets him know he’s welcome to stay with them and that thirteen year old kids don’t always have the best decision making abilities in the world.  Kerry thought he was doing the right thing at the start of the day.  He wasn’t.  It’s gonna be fixed.  End of story.

Let’s remember:  one, he is thirteen years old.  I know it’s easy to slip up and think Annie and Kerry are far older than they act, but then they’ll turn around and prove they are just fourteen and thirteen respectively.  Under the best of situations a teenager is expected to fuck up more than get it right, and that’s a right Kerry is allowed.

Which leads to two:  Kerry isn’t a normal teenager.  On this day he’s been hit with his deepest fear while dealing with a hellstorm of emotions due to his hormones being all messed up.  And he’s had to deal with his girlfriend’s parents being around and then–and then–going out and getting into an on-and-off-track altercation with a crazy person.  Sure, Annie’s invitation happened at the start of the day, but one of the things not mentioned here is that Annie had weeks to work on Kerry–

Which leads to three:  What Annie Wants, Annie Gets.  And she will ’cause Mama has had a little clandestine meeting with Kerry and planned the setup–

Now to make it work.

Visiting Slyly: You’re Awake

It’s time to move on to Chapter Sixteen, the last chapter in Act One.  The act I started just over a year ago and which is likely going to close out at around two hundred thousand words.  And I think I need to point something out:  when I say that Act One of A For Advanced was 150,000 words, that was only after an edit and partial rewrite.  Originally the first draft was about 125,000 words.  So right now I’m almost seventy-five thousand words past that, which is nearly like writing the Act Ones for both A For Advanced and B For Bewitching.

Which means I don’t feel that bad about taking almost a year to knock out this part.

Meanwhile things are getting quite interesting back in the hospital…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

When Kerry awoke the bay was still sealed and the lights were low. He lay on his back and stared up into the gloom for several seconds, searching for the pain that had been there before he was medicated. What had existed was gone and that allowed Kerry to breathe a slight sigh of relief. “Oh, that feels better.”

“Ah, you’re finally awake.”

Kerry started to roll to his right but Pavlina Kirilova stopped him. “No need for you to turn completely over to see me: turning ahead alone will suffice.” She watched as he followed his instructions and waited until he appeared comfortable. “Can you see me?”

“Uh, huh.” He touched the bed adjustment control and elevated the head slightly. “That’s even better.”

 

Kerry wakes up and discovers that he’s got company and it’s not Annie.  And given that it’s her mother, Kerry can assume that some kind of shit is about to get real–

Pavlina doesn’t disappoint.

 

“Good.” Pavlina sat in a chair close to Bed #1 with her hands in her lap. “We don’t have a lot of time to talk, so I would appreciate it if you not ask a lot of questions and you make your answers short and precise.” She raised her right eyebrow while giving him a rather quizzical glance. “Do you understand?”

“I do.”

“Excellent. Now, while we were having dinner Annie mentioned that your parents are going on holiday during Yule and that you are not accompanying them. It was also mentioned that you can’t spend Yule with your grandparents, as they are also going away on holiday.  Lastly, though, she told us that she invited you to spend Yule with us. Is this true?”

Kerry spent a few seconds in silence before speaking. “Yes.”

“She didn’t give us your answer, but judging by her body language and her aura, I take it you didn’t accept the invitation.” Pavlina stared at him for nearly three seconds. “Is this true?”

Kerry gave a single nod. “Yeah.”

“Would you care to explain why?”

“I thought—” He swallowed hard and looked up at the ceiling as he answered. “I thought if I was at your home I’d end up ruining plans for you and becoming a distraction. I was just…” He turned his head so he could see Annie’s mother. “I didn’t want to ruin her holiday.”

 

If we ever wanted to know who is in charge of the Kirilovi Household, now we know.  and Pavlina not only handles family matters, but those matters that touch her family–like certain soul mates who decides to turn down her daughter’s request to come and stay with her during Yule holiday.

I’m sure you can see where this is going…

Post Race Parade: The Aftermath

Busy weekend is through being busy, and I’m sorta back to normal.  I actually spent part of the day cooking yesterday, hung out with some of the people from my team, and came home to relax and watched Whip It, because what else is a roller girl gonna watch?

Oh, and I started Chapter Sixteen–

Please try to contain yourselves.

I know, it’s not a lot:  almost two hundred and fifty words, but I was tired and cranky and I really felt like going to sleep at nine-thirty last night.  And I wanted to get this started so I could at least say the end of Act One is one its way.  And as you can see, once though this scene it’s on to the dance and probably on to the bonfire and garden–and off to bed–as has happened in the last two novels.

Really, it’s a good way to end the first third of the book.

And speaking of ends it’s time to patch up Kerry and move on with the story.  So let’s do that:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Pavlina tugged on her husband’s arm. “Come along, my sweetness, and let Annie say her goodbyes.” She glanced at her daughter. “We’ll be down in the Dining Hall waiting for you, honey.”

Annie waited until she was certain they were completely alone before she leaned over and kissed Kerry. “And that’s my congratulation.”

“Is that for winning?” Kerry couldn’t keep the smile from his face.

“It’s for all the racing, but I know how hard you fought for that win.” She touched his right shoulder, running her fingers over the racing uniform he still wore. “I’m certain you had a few reasons that you wanted to win so badly.”

“Like having a certain famous Cernunnos coven racer in attendance today?”

“That would be one reason.”

“Well, you’ll be happy to know you’ve impressed him.”

“And that is a good thing.” Kerry stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds. “I’m glad this is all over: at least nothing else is going to happen to me today.”

Annie lightly rubbed Kerry’s cheek. “Don’t say that: we haven’t gotten to the dance yet—”

 

Now you know:  Annie’s mom calls Annie’s father “My sweetness”, which is just a short jump to “My love”.  Like mother, like daughter, right?  And when Annie lets Kerry know they haven’t gotten to the dance yet when he says nothing else will happen to him, is she just talking about dancing?  Hum?

Anyway, time to leave, Annie!

 

“And you’re never going to get there if you don’t get the hell out and let me make your soul mate all better.” Coraline stood about a half a meter behind Annie tapping her foot. “You should go join your parents for dinner.”

Annie slowly turned to face the school’s doctor. “How long is he going to be out?”

“About forty-five minutes, that’s all.”

After Annie hurried out of the bay Coraline was finally able to give her patient some attention. “It’s nice you have a fan base, but sometimes they get in the way.”

Kerry did his best to shrug your shoulders while laying down. “Sorry about that.”

“You don’t have to be.” She winked at him. “I’m just messing with you.” Coraline held up the vial in her right hand. “You know how this works, right?”

“Sure do: drink it, wait a minute, go into rigor mortis for about ten seconds, fall asleep.”

“Spoken like a true expert.” Coraline help raise Kerry’s head so he could drink the mixture: once he was finished she set him down. “Okay, rest up. I see you in a bit.” She closed the privacy curtain so Kerry wouldn’t be disturbed.

Kerry lay on the bed staring up at the ceiling, feeling the mixture course through his body as he relaxed. The day started out rough and had become difficult throughout the afternoon, but now that he was lying here, waiting for his medication to take effect, he finally felt a bit of peace starting to—

His jaw clamped shut as his body grew rigid. Kerry didn’t try to fight the feeling: he allowed it to grip him as he knew it would and quickly. In a few seconds it was and he went limp for a few seconds, feeling completely relaxed, before slipping into unconsciousness…

 

Kerry’s finally on the mend and it won’t be long before he can go and get ready for the dance.

Though maybe something else will happen to him first…

Post Race Parade: Race Control Realities

Well, yesterday is a part of history, at least for me.  Attended Harrisburg Pride Fest and worked our HARD booth, helping the set it up and speak with people about how wonderful it is to get out on skates and knock the hell out of people.  While we didn’t get a drag queen show up during our shift to take a photo with all of us, we did have a good crowd. We also learned that by 4 PM–two hours before Pride Fest ended–we given out all two hundred and fifty of our coupons for next Sunday’s bout.

Needless to say, it was a pretty successful day.  It was also a beautiful day, albeit a bit windy in the morning.  That doesn’t mean we weren’t happy:

 

 

After getting my pedicure and coming home and finishing a movie, I went out for a drive because, basically, I was bored.  After having such a great day I wanted to talk to someone about it, but there was no one around.  Social the hazards of being alone.  Maybe this time next year that will be the case.

Now, we know someone who isn’t alone–in fact, he has quite the crowd in his hospital bay.  In some of those people have instructions they like him to hear.  Let’s find out what those instructions are, shall we?

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Vicky’s tone softened slightly as she placed her hands on the bed’s baseboard. “I want you to understand, Kerry, that even though you were provoked to take the actions you did today, it was still necessary to penalize you—”

He nodded. “I understand. I did something wrong and you can’t show favoritism to me by saying I was completely faultless.” He gave a slight shrug. “I’m fine with what happened; I won’t contest the penalties.”

Holoč stepped forward. “None of us thought you would. Whenever you’ve received a penalty in the past you’ve never argued the point.”

“We also recognize that your actions on the course today isn’t something you’ve done before.” Erywin squeezed in over Vicky’s right shoulder. “We know we won’t have trouble with you in future.”

“That’s for sure.” A slight smile formed on Kerry face. “Then again, I hope I never have to go through that sort of thing again.”

“Speaking of what happened on the course today—” Annie scanned the faces of the members of Race Control. “Can I assume you didn’t have this exact same conversation with Lisa?”

 

As we saw during the Mount Katahdin race, when Kerry makes a mistake on track he owns it.  Just as he told Vicky to penalize him then, here he says he knows what he did was wrong and he will contest the penalties.  It doesn’t matter if he was provoked into performing those actions are not: he did them and he has to own up for them.  This shows that Kerry is a far bigger person than say, oh, certain parents who are real chicken shits about saying goodbye to their kid and then telling them at the last moment they’re abandoning him for Yule holiday?

Annie wants to know about the conversation that Race Control held with Lisa. And guess what?  They’re going to tell her:

 

Deanna stepped around Holoč. “I assure you, Annie, we did not have the same conversation with Lisa. The conversation we had was quite different.”

“Are you certain she won’t try anything else?”

“We’re certain.” Erywen flashed a slight smile. “Lisa was set down for the next two race weekends—” She nodded to her right. “It was Deanna’s call.”

Kerry almost sat up in bed even though he wasn’t supposed to do that. “You sat her down for two weekends?”

Deanna crossed her arms and nodded. “Not only sat her down, but did so with the warning that if between now and next year’s Samhain races she does anything remotely like what she did today, she’ll be sent back down to the B Team for an entire year. And if her attitude should change after that, she’s out of racing completely.” She shook her head while looking angry. “She cost the coven dearly today and I am finished with her antics.”

Vicky leaned on the baseboard of the bed. “As are we all.”

Coraline returned with her mixture for Kerry and cleared her throat. “Now, if Race Control is finished with their lecture—”

 

On top of the twenty-five seconds penalties handed out at the end of today’s race and the future penalty of having two positions knocked off during her next race, Deanna has sat her down for two weeks.  This means that she is going to miss out on a whole lot of points regarding her individual standings, and when she comes back from this the best shall be able to finish in that race is third.  Not only that, but she’s also on probation for an entire year, not just to get sent down to the B Team, but to see whether or not she remains in racing at all.

In terms of penalties she pretty much got the book thrown at her and depending on how severely she messes up the next time, she’ll either not be racing with the adults, or not racing at all.  What remains to be seen is whether or not Lisa straightens up, or she decides to go nuclear in try taking out the entire field during her next race.  One can guess she’s going to be told that when she races the next time, the moment she starts getting out of control the race will be red flagged and she’ll be removed from the course.  And if she doesn’t go willingly, you can bet Vicky and Erywin and a few others will go out and convince her to leave.

With that drama out of the way, Coraline’s ready to treat her patient. All she has to do is get these pesky adults away from Kerry–

 

Erywin motioned for everyone to leave. “I believe were being given a hint.”

“Indeed we are.” Holoč turned and gave Kerry a quick smile. “Congratulations on that last win. I’ve already congratulated Penny and Alex for taking the other two positions on the podium.”

Kerry suddenly felt a great deal of pride well up from within. “Thank you, Professor.”

After instructors and staff left all that remained were Coraline, Annie, and her parents. Coraline glanced about the bay. “I’m going to give everyone about ninety seconds to say your goodbyes and then I’m going to start shooing you out.” She turned and hurried away.

 

All in all things pretty much went Kerry’s way.  His penalties didn’t hurt him in the long run as everyone was penalized, and Lisa got her comeuppance.

All that remains now are the last goodbyes.

Post Race Parade: Visit Two

This post is gonna seem kinda hurried because in about thirty minutes I need to head out the door so I can go work the Harriburg Pride Festival.  I will be out there with my HARD team, letting people know about derby and our upcoming game next Sunday.  Then it’s off to get a pedicure and then maybe helping tear down our booth at 6 PM.

But do you want good news?

‘Cause here’s the good news…

Chapter Fifteen is in the writing bank, clocking in just short of ninety-five hundred words, and bringing the story to exactly 194,900 words.  That means Chapter Sixteen will quite likely push the novel, and Act One, over two hundred thousand words, ’cause how could it not?  And in doing so it will become my longest act of all, nearly a third of the length of the second novel and almost half the length of the first.

Like I said, this is gonna be a long book.

Did I mention Kerry’s getting more visitors?  He sure is–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“I can guarantee you’re going to the dance.” Coraline stepped into the bay and, after greeting Pavlina and Victor, stood next to the monitors situated over Kerry’s head. “According to the scan, you have a lot of deep bruising, but as you say nothing is broken. And the most important news: absolutely no damage to your knee.”

He turned his eyes toward the ceiling and smiled. “I didn’t think there was, but is good to hear there isn’t.”

“It’s great news.” Victor stepped up alongside Coraline. “By the way—” he held out his hand. “Congratulations on the great day of racing, particularly that win at the end. You fought hard to come home first.”

Kerry reached up and shook the outstretched hand. “Thank you, sir.”

Pavlina moved so she could be seen on Coraline’s left. “All of your races were hard-fought today, Kerry. You should feel proud.”

“I do, Mrs. Kirilova.”

She flashed a crooked smile. “Pavlina.”

“Pavlina.”

“Thank you, Mama and Papa.” Annie turned her attention to the school’s doctor. “So what are you going to do for Kerry?”

 

Kerry has officially impressed a Formula 1 driver who just happens to be his soul mate’s father, and Annie’s mother as well, who is probably even a harder sell even though Kerry might not be aware of that.  Given all the shit Kerry’s been through so far, his parents can suck it, ’cause when you impress a Formula 1 driver who finished the season in third, you can officially look at your folks and go, “Who did you impress today?”  I think Louise would be looking for a place to die if she were in the hospital right now.

So yeah, Doctor Gallagher, what are you gonna do for Annie’s soul mate?

 

“No, nothing more than give him the mixture I use for healing strained muscles.” Coraline snapped off the monitors and pushed them back into the place. “I’ll mix a little something else in there to help alleviate the bruising. Can have him taking you to the dance all bruised up, can we?”

Annie was about to answer when a voice from behind spoke first. “Before you do that, we’d like a word with your patient.”

Everyone with the exception of Kerry turned in the direction of the voice. Vicky stood at the opening to the bay, with Holoč, Deanna, and Erywin behind her. She hooked her thumbs in the belt loops of her jeans. “After all, if he can’t come to Race Control, Race Control will have to come to him.”

 

Yeah, just because you went to the hospital, it doesn’t mean The Powers That Be aren’t gonna come to you.  And there are here with a message–

 

Coraline nodded. “Well, while you’re speaking with my patient, I’ll be getting his medication ready. If you’ll excuse me—” She negotiated her way out of the bay and vanished.

The four adults stood at the foot of his bed while Kerry elevated the head so he could face them without having to sit up. Vicky spoke for the group. “Before I start, know that Jessica and Maddie are not here by choice: they felt we could convey our message to you the best. So don’t believe their absence means anything special.

“The message we’ve conveyed to all other members of the teams involved in the altercation at the end of the last race is that such actions will not be tolerated for the rest of the season, and should it happen again, the parties involved in such infractions will be penalized far more heavy than they were today. And this message will be relayed to the other three teams prior to next week’s races.”

 

And..?

Oh, does this mean you’re going to give us the rest of what they have to say tomorrow, Cassie?

Why yes:  yes, I will…

Post Race Parade: Visit One

The weekend is almost here and–surprise!–I’m gonna be busy.  I have a party on Sunday and tomorrow I’ll be working a booth at our local Pride celebration, which comes a month late in The Burg because it’s The Burg.  I’ll try to get pictures.

Oh, and this morning someone recognized me from our roller derby team page on Facebook and wanted to say high.  So there you go:  I’m known to some of our team’s fans.

Speaking of having fans…  Kerry is so over this race, but the race isn’t over with him.  Let’s find out what’s going on:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

After the award ceremony four racers required enough medical attention that they were taken to the hospital. The punch to Anna Laskar’s jaw was severe enough to split both her upper and lower lip and loosen two of her teeth. The multiple punches Lisa took to her eye required treatment to eliminate the swelling and bruising. The kick Darius Roy took to his groin caused one of his testicles to swell dramatically.

And then there was Kerry…

Though he was able to use crutches to ascend to the top of the podium, he needed Penny’s and Alex’s assistance to make it down due to the pain in his left leg. Because of this, Nurse Bianca felt it best to transport Kerry to the hospital in a wheelchair, and one was summoned.

After helping them into Bed #2 in Bay #1 Nurse Bianca ran a quick scan on his leg. However, she didn’t tell him the results of the scan: instead, she told him to lay back and relax while she went and consulted with Coraline as to the best form of treatment. This didn’t make Kerry feel all that optimistic about his chances of making the dance this evening.

His spirits rose a few seconds later when Annie arrived with her parents following. She immediately headed to the left side of his bed and took his hand, completely oblivious to the stairs she received from her mother and father. “How are you feeling, my love? Were you told what’s wrong?”

Kerry had fought the urge to glance at Annie’s parents at the moment she called him “my love”. He was fairly certain that her mother wouldn’t have reacted to the comment—but it was her father he had wanted to observe. Instead, he kept his eyes locked on Annie’s. “Nurse Bianca just finished a scan on me she didn’t say a word other than to say she was going to go and consult Coraline.”

“I’m certain it’s not severe, Kerry.” Pavlina adjusted her purse on her shoulder and folded her hands in front of her torso. “The nurses today aren’t likely to be any different than the nurses were when we were students. Isn’t that right, Victor?” She gave her husband a smile. “After all, you had quite a bit of experience dealing with doctors and nurses then.”

Victor gave a small chuckle. “Indeed I did.” He looked at Kerry. “I’m sure it’s not severe. From what we were able to see on the screens, it didn’t look as if this Glissandi girl made hard contact with you.”

Kerry gave a tired sigh. “It may not of look like much, but it certainly didn’t feel that way.” He gave Annie’s hand a squeeze. “At least I know nothing’s broken.”

Annie returned the squeeze with a bright smile. “Which means we may still be able to make it to the dance.”

 

Right there, Annie crossed the Rubicon:  she called Kerry “My love” in front of her parents and there was no way in hell they didn’t hear her.  And Kerry wanted to see how Victor took it, ’cause even he knows Papa might flip just a bit hearing that.

In the aftermath of the big fight four people ended up in the hospital, and all of them are there because of Lisa.  And let’s remember that if Lisa is in the hospital, that means Race Control hasn’t spoken with her–

Yet.

Samhain Racing: The Reckoning

And in the never-ending story of me doing roller derby, after a not-so-great practice last night I’ve decided to skip the next two practices in an effort to allow my foot to heal properly.  I was probably at 90% last night when I started, and I likely ended up at about 80% by the time I arrived home.  I figure a week of complete rest will get me back up to near 100% for next Monday night.  And while I may go and film tonight, I won’t be on skates.

Oh, and I almost passed out last night because–I don’t know.  Probably due to a lack of proper hydration and not eating enough.

My coach came over at one point and said I was as green as my tank top.  I have no reason to disbelieve her.

I also had a Facebook friend tell me last night that I’ve inspired her to sign up for a derby boot camp next month.  I say, “Put some skates on, be your own hero.”  Because hell yeah.

And speaking of being a hero, it’s time to see what’s going to happen to Kerry, as it’s time for Race Control to hand out the pain–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The silence in the diamond went on for about another fifteen seconds before Vicky’s voice spoke once more. “Your attention, please. This is Race Control. Penalties for individual racers have been assessed and we will now give you our results.

“Penelope Rigman: ten second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—fighting.”

Penny shrugged. “I expected that; I threw the first punch.”

Vicky continued. “Alexandria Chorney: ten second penalty conduct unbecoming a racer—fighting.”

Alex looked from side to side. “Well, I did punch Lisa rather hard.”

As Kerry listen to the penalties being assessed it became obvious that everyone on both teams was being assessed some sort of penalty for their actions. Everyone was given a five or ten second penalty for fighting, with the exception of Rivânia and Manco were both given and second penalties due to their inabilities, as team captains, to control the teams.

He noticed something else as well: neither Lisa’s name nor his was mentioned as penalties were affixed. Kerry figured the worst was being saved for last, and that his actions on the track were going to involve a hefty penalty.

After just over a minute he heard his name mentioned. “Kerry Malibey: a two penalty assessment—”

 

It may sound like Race Control is being a little heartless, but hey, you get into a fight, you gotta pay the price.

Now it’s Kerry’s turn:

 

He hung his head. “Here it comes.”

“Penalty one: five second penalty, rough racing. Penalty two: five second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—striking another racer on course.”

He waited for more but it didn’t come and he gave both Penny and Alex a look of disbelief. “I thought it would be more.”

Alex tilted her head to one side. “Professor Semplen did say he was going to fight for us if anything happened out on the course.”

“Looks like he did.”

As Kerry had thought earlier, Race Control was saving the worst for last. “Lisa Glissandi: a four penalty assessment. Penalty one: five second penalty, rough racing. Penalty two: five second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—striking another racer on course. Penalty three: five second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—fighting. And penalty four: ten second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—attempting to deliberately wreck an opponent.”

But it appeared Race Control was not finished. “In addition to the aforementioned penalties, Ms. Glissandi is given a two position penalty to be applied during her next race.”  Lisa looked up at the scoreboard as Vicky continued speaking. “This penalty is being assessed due to the severity of her actions taken on the course today, and as a reminder to other racers that your actions toward others are noted and that Race Control will act when necessary.

“At the conclusion of the award ceremony for this race, all racers—with the exception of those needing to go to the hospital to receive immediate medical attention—to report to the Flight School Ready Room to speak with the members of Race Control.

 

So, Kerry had two penalties that weren’t, in the overall scheme, that bad.  But Lisa?  Twenty-five seconds total plus she’s getting docked two positions in her next race, which means the best finish she can hope for is a third.  And she was reminded that Race Control is always watching, making the likelihood of her doing this again slim.

And just to make sure what happened today sinks in, everyone that isn’t bound for the hospital has to sit in a room with Vicky and the coven leaders–the people who make up Race Control–and get a ream out.  Not a lot of fun.

Now that this drama has played out…

 

“With all penalties assessed, they are now applied to the unofficial race times.” The times on the scoreboard were adjusted in nearly all positions on the scoreboard shifted.

“Here are the official times for the the last heat. The days racing is completed and we will now move on to the final award ceremony. Thank you all for coming, and enjoy the rest of your day.”

The inside of The Diamond filled with considerable cheering and yelling. On the floor the Cernunnos team erupted in celebration, while the mood in Åsgårdsreia was less than jovial—and in a few cases, some team members appeared ready to take out their frustrations on one of their own.

Penny, Alex, and Kerry looked up at the scoreboard and began congratulating each other. Penny slapped Kerry on the shoulder twice. “You got it: you won the race.”

“Yeah, but—” he scanned the scoreboard one more time before addressing the two girls next to him. “You guys ain’t seeing it.”

Alex looked at him strangely. “Seeing want?”

He pointed at the scoreboard. “The three of us: we’re all on the podium. We swept it.”

Penny and Alex looked up simultaneously and broke into laughter nearly the same time. Alex pointed at the board. “Bozhe. We did it.” She turned to her friends. “I wonder when this last happened?”

“Probably about the time Annie’s father was racing here.” Penny wrapped an arm around Kerry’s shoulder and gave him a hug. “Way to make an impression, mate.”

“You know it.” Kerry slid off his jet ski, but the moment he tried to stand his left leg buckled from pain. He caught the handlebars of his PAV before going down. “I may need some help getting to the podium. And… You think you could call a nurse?”

 

Not only did Cernunnos have a good day, but in the end they took the top three positions, which is something they hadn’t done in a while.  They’ve taken two positions on the podium more than a few times, but now they’ve swept.  Like Penny said, way to make an impression, mate.

This was something I needed to figure out and it took about 40 minutes total to get it right.  Below you can see how it worked out.  On the left is the unofficial finish, then we have the penalties, the new times, and lastly the official finish with points earned.

 

As noted Lisa was knocked completely out of contention–if she’d just raced her race she’d have finished second–while Anna and Rezi Lahood moved up considerably.  Even so, Cernunnos was the big winner of the day, and Kerry managed a win in front of Annie’s family.

About what happens next…

Samhain Racing: The Aftermath

Another weekend down, a last full week in July to enjoy.  And as expected, I’m gonna be busy as hell.  I have things planed all the way through Thursday and I may even have something going down Friday.  Then it’s busy Saturday and busy Sunday, which means I could be rocking and rolling every day this week.

And a few months ago I complained I never got out of the house.

The Rumble Outside Rockport is over and The Race Powers That Be have ordered everyone back inside The Diamond.  But in order to get here, you have to go there…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Penny helped Kerry over to his jet ski.  “I imagine we’re in some pretty shite now.”

Kerry grunted as he retrieved his helmet and gloves and place them in his lap as he sat upon his PAV.  “You think?”  He gave Penny a quizzical look.  “Why’d you start the fight with Lisa?”

“Because she damn near wrecked me in Helter Skelter.”  She grunted.  “I wasn’t about to let that slide at all.”

 

I actually had to go back and add this part because when I originally wrote it I had nothing to say about why Penny did what she did.  Now you know:  she was one of the people who were almost wrecked by Lisa when she received her first “rough racing” time penalty.

 

Both teams returned to the interior of The Diamond, never saying a word or casting a glance at anyone on the other team.  As soon as I entered the enormous structure Kerry looked up at the holographic scoreboard and instantly noticed the two most dreaded words one could see at the end of a race: Unofficial Results.  He glanced over at Penny and Alex, who were on his right.  “That’s not good.”

Alex nodded.  “They’ve already assessed a penalty to Lisa and it’s not up there.”

“It’s because they’re busy assessing penalties to all of us—” Penny nodded over her left shoulder.  “For what happened back there.”

Kerry felt his heart sink.  He knew he likely get penalized for his actions on the track: it was just a matter of how severe those penalties would become.  After all, he not only reached over and struck Lisa while they were racing, but he deliberately hit her PAV in an attempt to gain an advantage over her.  When he added up everything in his head, he realized he could be looking at a fifteen or twenty-second penalty, which could move him far enough back standing that not only wouldn’t he get a podium, he might not even point for this race.

As both teams came to a stop in their respective tram areas Vicky’s voice boomed throughout The Diamond.  “Your attention please.  This is Race Control.  As the moment we have unofficial results posted for the race just concluded.  We are in the process of determining penalties to be assessed to individual racers.  Once all penalties are determined, we will announce those penalties and post the final results.  Please stand by.”

Penny came over and stood by Kerry, who remained seated on his PAV due to the pain in his left leg.  “Don’t worry, mate.  I don’t think they’re going to hit you up bad.  It wasn’t like you were involved in the fight.”

“That’s true.”  Alex nodded in agreement.  “You were trying to stop things out there.”

He sighed as his shoulders slumped.  “It’s not what happened in the fight; it’s what happened out on the track.  They’re liable to nail me for that.”

 

The calm before the oncoming storm.  Tomorrow you get to view the damage.