An Anniversary in Bed

Here we are, the start of a new week, and I’m back into the old grid.  Yesterday went well save for one of our people taking a few punches from a Nazi-type who decided to show up and counter-protest on his own.

I did, however, start Sunday off right:

Yes, I’m really a mermaid.  And now I’ve been told I need mermaid booty shorts for skating.  Hum…

We’ll get back to that later.  Right now, it’s time to head back to school.  I believe there’s a boy in a hospital bed who is waiting for his private nurse–

 

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

 

Kerry slowly opened his eyes to discover the hospital bay slightly visible in the dim light that had replaced the near pitch black darkness he had set maybe thirty minutes earlier. Though he couldn’t turn his head, could still see that he wasn’t alone: Annie was taking off her slippers as she prepared to slip under the covers of Bed #1.

He gave a low, raspy cough to let her know he was awake. “Hey.”

Annie hurried over to his side. “I’m sorry. I just changed and was trying to get into bed without waking you.”

“It’s okay; I been drifting in and out of sleep for about the last forty minutes, anyway.” He reached over with his free right hand and took Annie’s right hand. “How was class?”

“It was good.” She eased the chair over and sat next to his bed, her hand still held within his. “We went over the Aqua spells tonight; Wednesday brought in several tubs of water.” Annie chuckled. “The new kids made a bit of a mess tonight.”

Kerry found it humorous that any could refer to the new B Levels as “the new kids”. “They’ll get the hang of it in time.” He gave her hand to squeeze. “Did you miss me?”

“Of course I did, my love.” Annie kissed the back of his hand. “Do you realize that this is the first time we haven’t attended a class together?”

“What about Advanced Transformations? And my Advanced Flying classes?”

Annie made a scoffing sound. “The first class I audit and second set of classes I’ve never taken. This is the first class we both taken together regularly that only one of us attended.” She pressed his hand against her cheek. “I missed you incredibly. Did you miss me, my love?”

 

This is quite and accomplishment, to have spent two years together and not missed a class together–though technically Kerry never finished his first Sorcery class because a certain Dark Mistress of All decided to use him to see if Annie would flip the fuck out and try to hurt her.  That didn’t happen and the rest is history.

As for the loaded question of “Did you miss me?”, well, what do you think?

 

Kerry brought out his best smile. “Why do you think I spent most of my time dozing tonight? It was kind of lonely in here, Sweetie.”

“Well, you have no need to be lonely now.” Annie’s radiant smile matched her soul mate’s. “You do know what happened just about two years ago today, don’t you?”

He certainly did. “Emma got me to race with her, we crashed, my knee got screwed up—” Kerry managed to turn his head slightly to his right so he didn’t have to see Annie out of his peripheral vision. “I ended up spending the night here.”

“Oh, there was much more than that.” Annie rested her head against Kerry’s arm. “I got angry, came back later to apologize, and—”

“And got me to thinking about my real feelings towards you.” Kerry close his eyes as he spent a moment remembering that evening. “That’s when I started falling in love with you—again.”

Annie giggled. “And to think there are some girls here who haven’t yet had anyone fall in love with them once. I consider myself fortunate.” She ran her fingers up his arm and across his shoulder. “That was the first evening you began breaking down those barriers around your heart and your mind.”

Kerry snorted. “At least that’s what my other half told me.”

 

Yes, it’s been almost two years, novel-wise, since that day when Kerry got suckered into racing the Boulder Ginger and she screwed up his knee, which lead to–love?  Yeah, but between the two kids who were already in love, one of which just didn’t know it.  And it started a process that Kerry learned about during his Rune Dream, where he encountered the other girl who would change his life.

Yeah, a lot of recollecting here…

Rest and Recuperation

Well, after twelve hours on the road I’m finally back in The Burg.  The trip had it good moments and its bad, and there’s the possibility I’ll need to go back again in a few months, but I won’t know that until tomorrow.

Anyway, it was a fairly good time coming across country–

–and tomorrow I get back into the grind, though today is gonna be busy as hell.  Trust me on that.

We’re down to the end of Kerry’s time with Annie and their friends, and with Coraline on the scene they get to hear the dirt on the other patient:

 

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

 

Annie got up and moved out of Coraline’s way in case she wanted to use the equipment over Kerry’s bed. “I take it he’s not being a model patient?”

The school’s doctor glanced around the bay. “All four of you have been in here at one time or another with various broken bones and limbs, and all of you together have not been as much of a pain in the ass is that kid.” She activated the monitor so she could check Kerry’s vitals. “He has done nothing but bitch about his pain. Even after giving him both a general and a local nerve block on his shoulder, he was still complaining that he could feel pain.”

Kerry rolled his eyes. “Oh, man. Seriously?”

Coraline nodded. “I finally gave him something that pretty much put him into a stupor.” She looked down at her patient. “I realize it’s been a couple of occasions when you come in here all busted up while you were unconscious, but you were never a complainer after you woke up.”

“Mostly because I was numb.” Kerry resisted the urge to shake his head, which he couldn’t do because it was immobilize. “I mean, how can you feel pain through a nerve block? That’s impossible.”

“Because some people have too active an imagination.” Coraline snapped off the monitoring display. “You’re healing up nicely. Chances are good I’ll have you out here by nine tomorrow, though I’m letting you know now I may keep bandages on your burned areas. Just to be safe, you know?” She gave him a wink. “I’m going to want to check up on you Saturday morning to see how those burned areas are doing. If they look a little tender—”

Kerry knew where this was headed. “You won’t let me race this weekend.”

 

You knew Franky would be a whiny little shit when it came to dealing with a broken limb.  His mouth wrote a check his ass couldn’t cash and now he’s paying for that hubris.  Which means his girlfriend will likely try to avenge him, which could turn out bad for her.  Kerry will deal with her, so keep your fingers crossed.

Now, about those burns…  Yeah, Coraline might ground him for that.  Because?

 

“I can’t run the risk of you getting an infection.” Coraline sighed as she slipped her hands into her smock pockets. “Even using magic burns can have a lingering effect on tissue and it’s not all that unusual for a mild infection to pop up not long after the original treatment.” She patted Kerry on his right shoulder. “Look at it this way: at least you’d be able to dance that night. That’s better than getting an irritation from your race uniform and having to spend the night here to keep it from becoming something worse.”

Kerry found he couldn’t argue with the choices Coraline was offering. “Point taken.”

Coraline turned on the girls in the bay. “As for you three…”

Annie turned to Nadine and Rivânia. “I believe someone is trying to tell us we need to get to class.”

Rivânia tapped Nadine on the arm. “Yeah, we need to go.” She turned Annie. “We’ll be in the waiting area.”

“I’ll be along momentarily.” Annie circled around Coraline and gave Kerry a quick kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be back after class, my love. Rest well.”

“Have a good time in class.” He blew a kiss at Annie as she hurried out of the bay. Finally alone with Coraline he looked up at her and smiled. “I promise: I’ll be a good patient. Just let me race Saturday, okay?”

Coraline smirked. “Hey, who’s the doctor here?” She chuckled as she headed out of the bay. “I’ll send Gretchen in with a menu so you can order dinner.”

Kerry watched Coraline walk away leaving him alone. He elevated the bed slightly, just enough so he could see into the corridor. He sighed and tried to get as comfortable as possible while wondering what he would do next as he was completely alone for the first time in a long time…

 

Despite all the bullshit from the day Kerry is in good spirits, even if he’s unable to be with Annie while he recuperates.  He’s worried that he might not race, but–you know he will, right?  How could he not given it’s gonna be a special day for Annie…

Speaking of Annie, next excerpt we get to see what happens when she returns from class.  Let’s hope it’s good.

Deal and Dealing

Greetings this afternoon from Ohio, where I am cranking out this post.

 

See? I’m in Ohio. Really.

And the reason I was back in Indiana was because my daughter graduated from high school yesterday, which also happened to be her 18th birthday.

She doesn’t get the exposure she deserves.

She’ll work over the summer before heading off to Indiana University Bloomington, where she’s going to major in epidemiology, which happens to be the study of infectious viruses and how they spread.  Needless to say, I expect her to save us all from the zombie apocalypse at some point in the future, because that’s the sort of girl she is.

This doesn’t mean she’ll help witches as she isn’t one herself, but you never know…

Back to Kerry and the others in the hospital, and the question is on the table:  what’s gonna happen to Lisa if she starts shit?  And the answer is…

 

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

 

Rivânia shrugged. “I’ve let her know we’re going to park her for at least one race; Deanna wants to do two, maybe even three. If she doesn’t straighten up after that, the next option is to either put her on probation for the season or just send her down to the B Team and keep her there for a year.”

Annie was well aware of how racing protocol demanded that the flier be given every opportunity to atone for their mistakes while paying their penalty—that she was also aware that some racers weren’t too keen on learning and that they needed more of a stick than a carrot to continue competing at the same level as those that have wronged.

Nadine was right in saying that while it took most of a race season for Emma to realize how wrong she’d acted on the course, she finally realized her mistakes and, in a sense, took the lead to punish herself. And while it might have taken Kerry and she to finally convince Emma to see the error of her ways, she was smart enough to know she was wrong and needed to fix things.

And Lisa was not nearly as smart as Emma…

Kerry stared off into space for a few seconds before raising his right arm and giving a dismissive wave. “Whatever. I’ll deal with her crap if it comes my way.”

Annie took his hand and she is one between hers. “As it should be, my love.”

 

All sorts of options are open and it sounds like she may not be a A Team member much longer if she keeps up her shit.  Not matter what the outcome, Kerry doesn’t seem to give a shit:  if she comes at him, he’ll deal with it, which is something of which Annie approves.  This could be a new Kerry talking, or it could be a hormone comedown, but either way:  what happens happens and he’ll deal with biz then.

Speaking of biz…  It seems Kerry made a hit during his judgement match:

 

“At least you won’t have to worry about Franky calling you out again.” Natalie leaned up against the bed next to Rivânia and chuckled. “That was some pretty wicked shit you pulled on him.”

“When you know Kali you don’t need magic to hurt your opponent.” Kerry glanced over at Annie and smiled before turning his gaze to his other two racer friends. “Annie and I discussed a couple of strategies before we got out to the Manor. I wasn’t exactly what I had planned to do: it was kind of a Plan B sort of thing.”

Nadine nodded. “What did you want to do?”

“I wanted to go over there and just slap him around a little bit, but I couldn’t do that with a broken arm.” Kerry stared up at the ceiling as he took a deep breath. “As I was getting ready to fight him I considered creating an Electrify-effect sword so I could go over and chop off his arm.”

“Of which I am deliriously happy you didn’t do.” Coraline threw back the privacy curtain and entered the bay. “Otherwise I’d have needed to send him to New York to get it reattached, after which she’d come back here for therapy. Given the pissing and moaning he’s been doing since we admitted him, I can imagine how he’d have acted after getting his arm reattached.”

 

So there you have it.  One, you don’t need magic if you know a martial art form that’s designed to kill people with ease.  And two:  Kerry nearly made a light saber so he could run over and cut off Franky’s arm!  You know, if that shit works for Obi-wan Kenobi, it’s gonna work for Kerry.

“Imagine you’re in a bar, Franky…”

The kicker is Coraline lets everyone know that Franky is a bit of a pain in the ass patient–but you won’t find out just how much of one until tomorrow, for it’s 3 PM and I need to get heading eastward.

See you tomorrow.

Risk Assessment

Today’s going to be a busy day.  I have to do a bit of running around then go to a graduation later this afternoon.  Tonight I have to start packing up and in the morning I have to load my car and returned to Pennsylvania.  It’s going to be kind and nonstop–

oh, and I’ll have to get an excerpt out tonight so that he can post in the morning.

One of the things I did last night was get the layout for Chapter Fourteen started and finished.  This is going to be the Samhain Morning chapter, or we get ready to receive Annie’s parents.  It’s not a big chapter: I actually laid it out in three scenes–

Such a cute little thing.

as you can see it takes place in the morning, with all the action around 8 AM, which means Annie and Kerry can sit down with Annie’s parents and have a nice, relaxing breakfast–which is just how chapters going to end.  I’m sure won’t be too nerve-racking…

As I mentioned once before Annie’s father Victor is supposed to be getting ready for the Indian Grand Prix in  Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.  Fortunately for him, early morning in Salem is late afternoon in India, so by some strange coincidence from 5 PM on Victor is going to be busy with “things”.  And some stuff as well, I gather.  Naturally, I had to check to make certain the times were right–

 

Boston (USA – Massachusetts) Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 7:45:00 am EDT UTC-4 hours
New Delhi (India – Delhi) Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 5:15:00 pm IST UTC+5:30 hours
Corresponding UTC (GMT) Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 11:45:00

 

— and wouldn’t you know, they were.  This means that Victor doesn’t even have to do an adjustment to come see his daughter’s boyfriend race: when this is all over he’ll just popped back to his hotel room in India, use a little transformation magic to get a good nights sleep, and be ready to race in the morning.  Which means he’ll be completely wide-awake the whole time he spending the morning with his daughter and her boyfriend, and while he sitting in the stands likely critiquing the hell out of everything Kerry does on the course.

I’m not sure Annie will want to ask her parents to come to a race again after this.

In the meantime, were back in the hospital bed some days before Chapter Fourteen takes place.  Now, what was it that Kerry wanted to ask?

 

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

 

As he knew both girls had been present at the Judgment Trial, there wasn’t a need for set up. “Do either of you think Lisa’s going to come after me on the course sometime soon?”

Rivânia, the Åsgårdsreia team captain, shrugged. “I would hope she wouldn’t—but then we all know Lisa.”

Annie set her hands in her lap and smirked. “We do know her—but you should know her the best, Riv. Do you think should do anything?

Rivânia sat against Bed #1 and crossed her feet at the ankles. “Deanna and I spoke with her after the wreck last weekend and while we let her know we were sorry to see her in the hospital, we also let her know that she more or less put herself there. I’ve given her two warnings about her racing this season; last weekend was the first Deanna gave her one.” The Uruguayan girl shook her head. “Trying to get through to her is like try to get through to a rock. She just doesn’t want to listen.”

Nadine snorted. “She’s like Emma was last season—only, she doesn’t have Emma’s intelligence.”

Annie affixed Nadine with a hard stare. “It took nearly the entire season to get through to Emma, however.”

“It did, but the big difference is when she realized just what a tremendous jerk she was becoming, she chilled out.” Nadine crossed her arms and stared down at the floor. “Lisa got talked to a lot last season and it doesn’t seem to have done a damn bit of good as she’s right back to the same shit this season.” She nodded to the girl on her left. “And it’s not Riv’s fault: she’s given her a lot of chances and she’s penalized her where it was necessary. It’s like she says: you can’t get through to Lisa. She just does what she damn well pleases.”

Kerry was aware Rivânia had likely done everything she could to make Lisa see the light and stop acting like an idiot when she raced. But, like the two team captains, he was also aware that Lisa didn’t take advice—at least not good advice. “So what you’re telling me is even if she’s warned, chances are good she’s going to come after me.”

“I’d say yeah, it’s a possibility. I mean, this weekend is the Samhain races—” Rivânia tilted her head from side to side a couple of times. “If she wants to make a big splash that everyone is gonna see, that’s the most likely time.”

“And then what happens to her?” Annie was a firm believer in preventive action, but with Lisa you couldn’t very well punish her simply on the premise that you felt she was going to do something. Even though everyone knew it was quite likely she would…

 

Now we have two race team captains–one whom has Lisa on her team–basically telling Kerry that he can expect some sort of retribution.  Which Kerry kind of already figured out because he’s not an idiot.  And here we see that Riv is kind of at her wit’s end because Lisa simply will not listen to good advice.  While she may be a decent racer, her need to act like a complete ass hat on the course tends to overwhelm her intellect, which means it hurts her, her team, and usually someone else in the process.

Since we got the set up in this excerpt, that means tomorrow’s excerpt will probably answer Annie’s question.  Or, we could learn that Isis is raising a herd of velociraptors in the north part of the school and she’s ready to turn them loose on misbehaving students.

Which, if you think about it, would make for an interesting chapter–

Off For Repair

Seems like two days ago I was actually writing one of these…

So here we are, back in Excerpt Land, and I did a lot of running around yesterday.  I even packed up three boxes of books and I intend to get at least four or five more boxed today.  At the moment it looks like I may be taking five boxes of books back with me and maybe a couple of boxes of DVDs.  Nothing final, but I have until tomorrow to finish packing.  As for the rest I’ll leave it behind and put it in storage.

I said I was going to show a picture of my therapist, with whom I met Tuesday.  So here you go:

At last, she come out of the shadows!

 

So now you get to see the person help me through my transition, who first saw me sitting in her office nervous, upset, unsure of where I was going to go.  And now, five years later, she remarked on how nice I look, how well I feminized, and how I seem more confident and relaxed.  There’s some truth to that, but I still feel as if I’ve a long ways to go.  Then again, that’s what’s known as life.  And you don’t get where you want to go quickly.

I started on the last scene of Chapter Thirteen  last night.  I didn’t get too far because I was pretty exhausted by the time I got around to writing, and I was actually nodding out in a few points.  But I plugged in more than five hundred words, which is what I always try to get.

See? Here I am, telling the truth.

 

I don’t expect this scene to run too long, though “too long” to me sometimes means fifteen hundred words, but that’s beside the point.  I’m going to shoot for about fifteen hundred words, max but if I can bring in for less, then make it so.  After that it’s on to Chapter Fourteen, of which I was running the first scene around in my head this morning while I was getting ready.  Like I said, it’s not going to start nice: there’s going to be some nastiness.

Just like when we take Kerry to the hospital–

 

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

 

Kerry lay back in his bed, Annie sitting at his right side, while the other six students from Advanced Spells and Wednesday Douglas did their best to fit inside the confines of Bay #1 and not make too much noise was a spoke with their laid up classmate.

Because of the burns on his face, neck, and arms, Coraline was handling Kerry a bit differently than she had in the past. For one, a magical salve was placed over his burned areas and held in place with light gauze bandages. Also, to help regrow his left eyebrow and had hair that was singed away, a different type of salve was used, necessitating putting a half-cap bandage over the left side of his head.

A three-quarter cast was attached to the lower portion of his forearm to mobilize and help heal the break: this was done to allow the burned areas to breathe. It was trickier dealing with his broken ribs and burnt torso. His chest received the same burn treatment as his arm, face, and neck, but Coraline used an mobilization spell to lock the ribs in place so they could heal. She then used the same type of spell to lock Kerry’s arm to his side so that he wasn’t waving at about, and it was also used to limit the ability for him to turn and move his head.

And because it was always the risk of an infection—even where magic was being used for healing—Coraline told Annie and the others that no one was allowed near Kerry’s left side. She joked that at least for this evening Annie would need to make special accommodations and be happy with her boyfriend’s right hand.

 

After all of the fighting in the Manor Kerry gets brought back to the hospital where he’s fixed up quite nicely.  Not only that, it gets a bunch of visitors: the entire Advanced Spells class, including Wednesday, show up to pay their respects.  Because if it wasn’t made obvious, Kerry’s not going to class tonight.  Coraline once in the heal up, which means he staying in bed for the evening.

And while he’s grateful that everyone showed up, there are some people he wants to see more than others–

 

Annie watched the reaction of Naomi and Subhan, as this was her first real interaction with any of the Advanced Spell students beyond class and the “winding down time” they spent in the Dining Hall once class was over. She saw they both appeared somewhat nervous, as if being invited to visit the bedside of an upper level mate was something they were unsure of doing. It was only after Annie assured both B Levels that there wasn’t any issues with their presence that they finally grew more relaxed.

Kerry was grateful for the turnout and thanked everyone for coming. He even joked to Wednesday to make sure she kept Annie busy, as this would be the first time she attended a regular class without him. But there were two students in particular with whom he needed to speak, and twenty minutes after everyone arrived he finally looked in Wednesday’s direction. “If you guys don’t mind, I need to speak with Nadine and Rivânia.”

Wednesday had a pretty good idea why Kerry wanted to speak with the two racing team captains and she gave him a slight nod. “Okay, everyone. Let’s give them the room.” She turned to the two older girls. “Just head on over the class when you’re done.”

Rivânia nodded. “This shouldn’t take too long, Wednesday.”

As soon as the others were gone Annie got up and closed the privacy curtain, locking it in place. “We can talk.”

 

As both Nadine and Rivânia are racing team captains, one could draw the conclusion that Kerry wants to speak to them about a racing matter.  And if we recall, our racing matter is what got Kerry into this hospital bed–in an indirect way, of course, but if it hadn’t been for something that had occurred on the track earlier, Kerry would be here now.

In this meeting can mean only one thing…

Time to Throw Down: the Smack Down

So here I am in sunny Indiana–which, is sunnier and warmer than Pennsylvania.  It’s also still held to drive around here, and my trip getting through Indiana to Valparaiso was quite the experience–when I don’t wish to do again.

But already I been out for breakfast:

Because you got to have it

And I’m sitting down to write after spending the morning talking and watching TV.  Normally him down to the coffee shop, but that’s back in Harrisburg, and I thousand kilometers from Harrisburg.  I have to go out and do some running this afternoon, so perhaps I’ll find coffee shop do a little relaxing this afternoon.

Oh, and last night I also finish my mermaid story. The question now becomes do I decide to publish it as a novella–which it twenty-seven thousand, six hundred fifty words it certainly is–and maybe make a little cash off of it, or do I just let it lay?  I know a couple of people who might be willing to do a cover cheap and if they would, then I might just throw it up on smash words and Amazon and let people have it for ninety-nine cents.  Hey, why not?  Writers gotta to write and eat.

 

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

 

“I was thinking—” Franky fidgeted as he glanced in Kerry’s direction while speaking to Ramona. “I decided I don’t need to do this.”

“You did, hum?” Ramona glared as she crossed her hands in front of her.

“It’s just that—” Frankie’s face grew impassive as if you were trying to hide his emotions. “I’m willing to let this go.”

I’m not.” Ramona jabbed a finger in Frankie’s direction. “You were given the opportunity before this judgment trial started to walk away and you refused. You are about to discover, Mr. Smith, that all actions have consequences, and the actions you’ve taken today have led you to this point.

“You are going to participate in this judgment trial whether you like it or not. And your choices, once I begin the trial, are simple: you can either fight, or you can step out of the ring and forfeit the judgment. Either way, the choices made next going to be yours, not mine.” She glanced down toward his trousers. “Are you going to tell me how many spell casters you have remaining?”

Franky gave Ramona a pissed-off look at he removed his other spell casters. “Two.”

“I suggest put them to good use.” She turned a deadly gaze upon him as he put the spell casters back into his pocket. “You currently have two yellow penalties against you. Keep your hands where I can see them until after the match begins.”

She pointed at both boys, keeping a close eye on Franky, who held his hands out away from his body, palms down. “And—BEGIN.”

 

Waste an instructor’s time and you are liable to find yourself in deep shit with said instructor.  Ramona gave Franky every opportunity to walk away from this judgment trial: it was actually the first thing offered.  But he didn’t, so in the process he decided to fight, broke the rules, sucker punched the hell out of his opponent, and now wants to walk away.  Ramona is having none of it: Franky wanted this fight and Franky is going to get this fight, and if he doesn’t want to fight Kerry, he can just forfeit the match by stepping the hell out of the ring.  And given the amount of latitude the instructors at Salem are given, Franky can bitch all he wants but is not can get his way.

Franky has two more prepackaged spells ready to go and he’s up against someone who is fighting in obvious pain.  Kerry’s not able to concentrate well, which means Kerry isn’t going to be able to throw around magic the way he did when Annie and he did their little zombie test.  But here’s the thing Franky never took away from that zombie test: Kerry doesn’t need magic to beat your ass.  Sure, Annie used it, but Annie was in good shape physically and wanted to use her considerable talents to light up her opponent so she could make a point.

Kerry can’t use his considerable talents to light up Franky–but all Kerry needs are a couple of, to him, simple spells.  And Kali.  Because when you know Kali, you don’t need magic:

 

Kerry wasn’t about to see what Franky was going to throw at him: he didn’t care. He had to get this match over, and fast, because there was only so much he could do to kill the pain in his arm, face, and chest, and he figured in a couple of minutes he’d be unable to continue—

Which meant he needed to deal with Franky fast. Fortunately he knew how to do just that.

Crafting was going to be sketchy so he stuck with things he knew he could do. He threw a huge Illumination spell at him, flicking on the light source so for about two seconds it was like having a strobe light go off in his eyes. Then Kerry visualized wrapping himself in one of his “wear it like a suit” time spells, jumping his personal time upward by a factor of ten, and sprinted hard to his right.

Everything around him shifted into slow motion as he jogged about four meters to his right-center of the mat. He wanted to be able to see Franky while at the same time staying out of his line of fire. He pushed his pain aside as he watched him, right hand reaching for his pocket, react to his Illumination attack, wincing and throwing up his left hand reactively. That was exactly what Kerry wanted, as it was going to make what he wanted to do next easier…

He pivoted and ran at Franky, covering the distance between them so quickly that the other boy didn’t have time to react. The moment he was alongside him Kerry dropped his time spell and swung around, using his right arm to take hold of Franky’s left. Fighting against graying out, Kerry placed an arm lock on Franky and held him for a few seconds to put pressure against his shoulder joint and make him wince in pain.

Kerry kicked hard at Franky’s left shin, knocking him off balance. The boy fell forward, which is what Kerry wanted. Using Franky’s weight and momentum against him, Kerry twisted his arm and jerked in another direction. He felt Franky’s shoulder pop out of its socket, followed closely by the sound of his left bicep breaking. Kerry let go and left Franky to slam hard the mat, screaming as hit face down.

 

I’ve done a bit of foreshadowing a couple of times concerning Kerry in time spells, and considering he taught Wednesday’s class how to use the old “pull this time field around you like it’s a suit and you can do incredibly crazy things faster or slower than other people”, it only made sense this was going to be his go to spell.  The Illumination spell was just a throwaway: at this point Annie and he probably toss those out when they enter a dark room because it’s easier than looking for the light switch.  But the time field?  Kerry only had to keep it in place for a few seconds, which means he’s had plenty of time to visualize it and likely knew just how much energy he needed to keep it up.

Franky never had a chance.

And then when Kerry is up close and personal with Franky, he locks his arm, pushes him forward, and then uses Franky’s own momentum to break his arm and dislocate his shoulder.  Because of you going to make a point, do it with as much pain as possible.  And Franky is in a lot of pain.  Because this kid has not experienced the sort of damage over the last two years that Kerry has.  As it’s already been stated, Kerry’s literally broken every limb he has, and has suffered a couple of concussions.  Oh, and also, he’s come close to dying a couple of times.  So he has learned, through experience, how to push that pain away long enough to get a job done.

On the other hand, Franky has probably never suffered anything worse than a bad muscle pull.  Actually having to fight someone hand-to-hand?  Nope.  Getting his arm broken during that fight?  An even bigger nope.  Again, if this was some sort of master plan Franky, and by extension Lisa, had to embarrass the hell out of Kerry and give themselves some bragging points, it just blew up in their face.

And since Kerry loves to do his Vin Diesel imitation when he has someone in this kind of position–

 

Franky rolled over on his back, unable to concentrate as pain reverberated throughout his body. Gasping for air, he looked up and saw Kerry, burnt and ashen, standing over him, maybe two meters away. He wanted to yell at him, but he couldn’t as he found himself crying uncontrollable from the pain in his broken arm.

Kerry stared at him for about five seconds before he smirked. “So what you wanna do, Franky?” He did his best to shrug. “I can keep busting you up all day, dude, so what’s it gonna be? Your call.”

Looking to his left Franky saw Ramona standing about three meters away, saying nothing but waiting for something to happen. He nodded twice as he stammered out an answer to Kerry’s question. “I—I qu—quit. I quit. I quit—”

Ramona thrust her arms to her sides. “Stop.” She pointed at Kerry and then behind him. “Kerry, return to your starting position.” As soon as he was in place she waved Nurse Bianca on to the mat.

Bianca was half-way to Franky when she turned and pointed at her equipment against the wall. “Annie, bring me the stretcher.”

“Yes, Nurse.” Annie walked over to the stretcher, making certain she didn’t hurry herself. She knew Nurse Bianca asked her to get it because one, she was still part of the hospital’s Triage Team, and two, she suspected Bianca knew having Annie help would piss off certain students. She was right: Lisa glared at her the entire time she carried the stretcher out to Bianca and she continued glaring as Annie levitated Franky into the air—something that she didn’t really need to do, but knew it would hurt Franky even more if she did—so Bianca could get the stretcher under him and move him to the hospital.

After Franky was gone Ramona waved Kerry out to the center of the mat. Though he was still on his feet, his skin was pale and clammy. “Kerry, I declare you the winner of this Judgment Trial and as such, no judgment or punishment can be given to you for the slight of which you were accused. Do you have anything you’d like to say?”

Kerry held out his right arm which Annie slipped under so she could support him. He swallowed before speaking in a soft, far-away tone. “If it’s all right with you, I’d like to go to the hospital now.”

 

Even Nurse Bianca gets in on the action by asking Annie–a member of the Trauma Team–to help out, and she does so knowing it’s likely going to piss Lisa off. Which it did.  Of which Annie gives zero fucks about.  The take away here is that instructors and staff recognize a bad actor when they see one, and it’s quite likely they’re not gonna kiss your butt because you try to pull a fast one on everyone.

So the Judgment Trial is over and Kerry is on his way to the hospital.  Are we going to follow him?

I’d say the odds of that happening are pretty good.

Time to Throw Down: Show Me You Can

Ohayo!  Or actually, Ohio.  Which is where I am right now.  It’s an old joke.

As old as me, apparently.

As I did last time I’m keeping track of my progress and stops, and a few hours ago I was in North Somerset getting fuel and something to drink.

Come for the gas.

 

Stay for the drink.

 

Oh, and in the continuing saga of me trying to become a roller derby girl, I came up with my name while on the road.  Because I can.  It’s fun.  You should try it.

So, last time Kerry got blasted and hurt–bad.  Well, not that bad:  he’s been worse.  Like in a coma worse.  So don’t cry for him, Argentina, he’s actually in good shape compared to some of the times he’s been brought into the hospital.

And he even has a few tricks up his sleeve…

 

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

 

Kerry closed his eyes as a sigh of relief exhaled. “There, better.”

Ramona cocked her head to one side. “What happened?”

“I numbed the pain in my arm and ribs: I should be okay for a bit.” As if to prove his point a bit of color begin returning to his cheeks. “Professor, I know this is going to sound stupid and egotistical, but I can’t let Franky walk away from this. At least give me a chance to fight him, to show him I’m not going to go away after getting sucker punched. Please.”

Ramona needed five seconds to decide what to do with Kerry’s request. “Here’s what’s going to happen. If you can get up, on your own, stand, and walk over to your starting position without appearing as if you’re about to fall over, I will continue the trial. However, if I think for even a second you’re about to go down because you are physically unable to continue, the trial stops. Those are my conditions; what do you say?”

He needed only a couple of seconds to make up his mind. “Sounds good to me, Professor.”

“All right, then.” Ramona stood as did Annie and Nurse Bianca. With a wave of the instructor’s hand the privacy screen around them vanished. “Let’s get you on your feet.”

 

There are some who would say, “Why would Ramona let him continue banged up like he is?”  Well, she is Annie’s and Kerry’s martial arts instructor and who’s to say she hasn’t whacked these two around a little already?  Maybe not as hard as breaking an arm, but part of her instructor is to teach her students how to be mentally tough so they can ignore the pain.  Deep down she’s probably like, “Hell, yeah, this is what I want to see!”

Deadening the pain in his body is a little trick Kerry learned in Advanced Transformation.  Since the match hasn’t started he decided to help himself out and Ramona isn’t saying shit about it, so it must be okay.  It’s likely something he isn’t supposed to do, but do you think Ramona won’t cut him a little slack right now?

So, now:  on your feet, kid!

 

Kerry sat for a moment to clear his head then, after taking a deep breath, began slowly making his way to his feet. Even with the numbing spell he crafted on his chest and arm, it still felt a bit like little knives were being driven into him. Though he finally managed to stand, his head spun just a little as he tried to hold his balance.

Kerry. Look at me.” She stepped a bit closer and pointed at her own eyes. “Look at me. Are you okay?”

He took a couple of deep breaths before nodding once. “Yeah.”

“Do you wish to continue?” Ramona said it loud enough so the students in the room could hear her clearly.

He drew another deep breath. “Yeah.”

“Very well.” Ramona pointed to the test mat. “Return to your starting position.”

 

He’s up and he’s ready to go.  There’s someone wants to say something before he goes, though:

 

Annie caught Kerry’s eyes before he walked off. Her eyebrows raised slightly as she smiled. “I’m going to stand over here and watch you kick his butt.”

He looked down as he chuckled. “You think so?”

“I do.” She kissed his right cheek. “Go get him, Tiger.”

Kerry moved slowly toward the mat and his starting square. Ramona was already standing in the center of the mat waiting for him and she gave him a nod as soon as he returned to his starting position. He resisted the urge to nod back as he felt just a touch lightheaded.

When Ramona was satisfied that Kerry wasn’t about to fall over she addressed the crowd. “Despite Kerry’s injuries, he wishes to continue. Therefore, we—”

“Um, wait a minute.”

Just as they said he would do. Ramona turned to Franky. “You wish to say something?”

 

In case you don’t remember, Annie’s words to Kerry are nearly identical to his words to her before she started her trial, so we come full circle in a way.

And, in the role of Weaselly Little Shit tonight is Franky Smith, doing exactly as Ramona reminds us she was warned.  The question now is:  if Franky wants to back out, do you think Ramona will let him?

If you do, you don’t know my instructors…

Time to Throw Down: Damage Control

Well, here it is, the day before I begin my week-long trip back to Indiana, and I’m not ready.  I have a dinner to go to and I have no packed.  And I don’t intend to pack until tomorrow morning.  I’m not even certain when I’ll be leaving, but it won’t happen at 3 AM as I’ve done in the past.

I went out skating last night for a couple of hours and my body didn’t like it as much as it had the night before.  I gotta remember to pace myself because I don’t recover from this stuff like I used to.  At best I was able to do five or six laps on the rink before needing a quick rest, because there was fatigue in my legs and I didn’t want to fall.  When I returned home I iced down my right shoulder as it was hurting like hell, and then–

Why, I finished my current scene.

Yes, I did! Aren’t I a good little roller girl?

Yeah, even with an ice pack on my shoulder I finished it up with about five hundred words.  And I could start tonight’s scene, and likely will, which means the story inches over the 175,000 words mark, for I’m like sixty words away from that milestone.

You see, it is coming along.

Yesterday we saw Kerry was down, but we didn’t know how out.  Now we know:

 

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

 

The school nurse slid her hand scanner into a pocket of her smock. “He has first and second degree burns on his left jawline and neck, as well as his left arm and the back of his left hand. His hair is singed and most of his left eyebrow is gone; we can fix that up in the hospital in no time.” Her tone turned a bit more grave. “His left forearm is broken and he has four broken ribs. Also, I believe he may have a crack in his sternum, but it’s so fine the hand scanners are having trouble picking it up. We won’t know for certain until we get him to the hospital.”

Ramona hated to see any match end this way, particularly when there was evidence of chicanery involved, but she didn’t see that she had any choice other than to do what was necessary. “All right, Bianca. Get the stretcher and let’s—”

“No, don’t.”

“I’m sorry, Kerry, but we need to get you to the hospital.” As tenacious as she knew both Annie and Kerry to be, she didn’t see any point in continuing hurt as he was. “Bianca—”

Kerry groaned as he sat up with a little help from Annie. “Can the four of us speak privately?”

 

Kerry’s busted up and still he wants to talk.  But he wants to take steps to make sure they’re not overheard because…

 

Ramona considered saying no, but changed her mind and threw up a privacy screen around them. “Okay, we’re private.”

He looked up at Nurse Bianca. “Do you have nurse-patient confidentiality?”

She nodded. “Of course I do. The only thing I can say to Coraline or anyone else are those issues that might lead to the injury of others.”

Kerry gave a quick nod then turned to Ramona. “You know what we were doing with those puppeteer rigs here last year, don’t you?”

Ramona’s gaze darted from Kerry and Annie and back. “Yes, I do.”

“And you know who ordered those test?”

“I do.”

“Then you know what Annie and I are training towards once we’re out of school.”

A crooked grin appeared on Ramona’s face. “I think you’ll find there are more people who know what’s going on between you two and the Guardians than you now imagine.”

He didn’t find this surprising.  “Then you know there’s going to be times in the future where I may get hurt like this and I’m not going to be able to the tell someone else to stop so I can go to the hospital.” With his good right hand he gave Annie’s hand a squeeze. “And she couldn’t do that and I neither can I. You have to let me fight Franky.”

 

He doesn’t have to do this, but then, when Annie took a Deconstructor blast and broke her arm, she didn’t have to save Kerry.  She could have just played dead and waited for him to leave and–

Yeah, that was never going to happen.

This isn’t a fight against Deconstructors, but as Kerry sees it, he’s in about the same shape as Annie was when she saved everyone’s bacon on the Link Bridge in KC and he can’t walked away.  And this isn’t rooted in ego–

 

Ramona’s Instructor Face reappeared. “I don’t have to let you do anything, Kerry. I’m the one who decides who fights and who doesn’t, and—”

Kerry exhaled hard as he spoke in a choked whisper. “You send me to the hospital and I guarantee you Franky will call off this challenge. In fact, if I get up to fight and you tell him we are going to continue, he’ll wanna back out.” His eyes went out of focus slightly as he worked through whatever pain held him.

Annie glanced over at Franky as she spoke. “You know he will, Professor. You also know there was nothing accidental about what he did.”

Ramona looked straight ahead for a few seconds as she worked the events of the last couple of minutes through her head. “I think you both may be right.”

Kerry grit his teeth against the pain he was feeling. “I think all Franky wants to do is brag that he got a good hit on me and sent me to the hospital. Beyond that, he doesn’t care about the slight: this is what he wanted.”

“Kerry’s right.” Annie nodded in Frankie’s direction. “Right now, he’s over there talking to Lisa, probably proud over what he did.”  She turned away from that couple.  “We’ve talked about this and thought there was something suspicious about Frankie’s action, and I think something was planned out and this is what they wanted to do.” She affixed a hard stare on Ramona. “The worst Franky could get is detention for what he did. Meanwhile, Kerry goes the hospital and Lisa and he get the brag about how he hurt him.”

 

Does this mean Kerry’s gonna fight even though he’s messed up.

Well…  It wouldn’t be the first time.

Time to Throw Down: Sucker Punch

Well, it’s June and that means it’s Pride Month.  Which means it’s Pride Month on my blog because–surprise!–I happen to occupy a couple of letters in the LGBTQ+ label.  Now, nothing out of the ordinary is gonna happen, though you never know if I’m gonna start show Pride stuff in my posts.  It’s possible.  You never know.

In the continuing story of Cassie the Roller Girl, I went to practice last night and did pretty well.  I managed to actually skate, as in I made it around the rink many times at pretty good speed.  I fell three times, two of them being a flat-out lay out more or less, but other than a couple of bruises I came away from it okay and made it to the end.

 

The upshot of all this is that since I was actually, you know, working out last night, I am sore as hell today.  I’ll get over it, but it’s feels like the shape of things to come.

But let’s hear about fighting–or, in the case, the aftermath of Kerry being hit with a spell and sorta, kinda blown back by a combo Air Hammer/Fireball.  And Franky getting caught with his hand in his pocket–literally.  What does it mean?  Well…

 

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

 

Franky withdrew his hand showing an object which looked like a stick of lip balm. “Just this.”

“That—” Ramona approached the student slowly, recognizing the object instantly. “You have a spell caster?”

“Well, yeah.” Spell casters were enchanted devices that contained a prepared one-shot spell that could be used by a witch who may not be proficient in certain areas of magic or sorcery. “I checked the rules; it says I can use this.”

At the moment Ramona wasn’t concerned with how he got it: she was more concerned with something else— “You’re supposed to tell me you have one.”

Franky looked down, a sheepish look upon his face. “I didn’t know.”

If you read the rules concerning spell casters you know you’re supposed to tell me.” Ramona thrust a finger in his direction. “I’ll deal with your bullshit in a moment; stay right there.” She hurried across the mat to see how Kerry was doing.

 

First off, you have to love that in front of half the student body–and probably a few instructors as well, for they’re invited to these things, too–tells a student that she’ll deal with his bullshit later.  Ramona doesn’t get made often, but when she does you don’t want to mess with her.  And she is not happy that someone jacked with her Judgment Trial traditions.

Now, spell casters:  if you can invent something like a Panic Button, which is pretty much an enchanted object with an teleportation spell set inside, it’s gonna be easy to make something that will do a quick and dirty spell for those who can’t normally.  Franky couldn’t fight Kerry one-on-one, not with Kerry being a good sorceress and Franky not, so it stand to reason he’d need help–and here it is!  Why didn’t Lisa use these?  Because she was called out and the rules say you can have someone fight in your place if they agree.  The rules aren’t there to be liked, they’re there to be followed.

Though Franky was supposed to tell Ramona he had one of these and not go, “Oops, I forgot!”  Which is why she’s gonna deal with his bullshit later.  Right now–how’s Kerry doing?

 

Nurse Bianca was running a scanner over Kerry while Annie knelt beside him, stroking his hair. The left arm of Kerry shirt was blackened by fire and there was an odor of singed hair surrounding him. His eyes were half open, which meant he was unconscious but merely dazed. Ramona knelt down next to Kerry’s left knee with Annie to her left and Bianca across from her. “How is he?”

Kerry chose that moment to stir. His eyes open fully Annie stared at the ceiling for a couple of seconds before he began to moan. “Unnn, unhhh, uhhhhhmmmm, ahhhh…” His body jerked from both pain and frustration. “FUCK.” He closed his eyes to calm himself and slow his breathing: when he opened them he realized who was standing over him and had likely heard his explitive. “Sorry, Professor.”

Ramona chuckled as she patted the back of his right hand. “Given what just happened, you’re forgiven.”

Annie turned her gaze upon her martial arts instructor. “What happened? What was that?”

“Franky had a spell caster in his pocket. I’m guessing he got it from the Spell Center before coming here—something he was supposed to tell me and conveniently forgot.” Ramona looked back over her shoulder where Franky stood. “When I saw his hand sliding into his pocket that’s when I called stop, but Franky went ahead and triggered the effect anyway.” She looked down at Kerry. “Good thing you can get your shields up fast or this would’ve been worse. Bianca, what’s the story?”

 

I told you Kerry was going to drop a f-bomb and there it is.  But, you know, getting set on fire and blasted by of wall of air sometimes wants to make you say stuff like that, so all is forgiven.  For now.  He probably knows he’s not gonna be able to drop that on Ramona in class one day–

How bad is Kerry?

You’ll have to tune in tomorrow, ‘kay?

Time to Throw Down: The Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal

As this is the last day of May, sometime tonight I’ll finish the last scene of my little mermaid story for #MerMay, which means I’ll have something to say about that tomorrow.

In the meantime…  You know how I say I never seem to have enough time to do everything?  Well, just to prove I’m a liar I added something else.  Like–

Yeah, that’s me in all kinds of padding with a helmet and skates on, trying to get fit to be a derby queen.  And last night was killer:  I had to actually lay down three times ’cause I was on the verge of passing out.  Out of freakin’ shape, I am, but if I stick with this I’ll get back into shape by the end of summer.  And maybe even get my old skating form back.

Now, speaking of form–or lack thereof–it’s time to get back to the mat and see what’s up in the Kerry-Franky Throw Down.  Needless to say, go time is here:

 

 

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

 

She ended the same way she ended the last judgment trial Kerry attended. “Remember to always respect your fellow combatant during the trial; the greatest honor we show our opponents is when we treat them as individuals and not objects in need of defeat.” She eyed Franky hard as she spoke this last line. “The moment you remove respect for your opponent, you lose respect for yourself. You never want that to happen.”

Ramona walked backwards slowly to her position at the top of the mat. Given the differences in skill twenty-two combatants, Ramona did not expect this match to last long. As soon as Franky removed his jacket and set it aside she straightened and addressed the crowd. “All spectators will remain behind the red lines to keep you protected from whatever happens within this ring.” She raised her arms the protective enchantments into place. “Watch, and learn, from this lesson.”

She looked to her right and left. “I wish you well in this trial.” She slowly raised her arms until they were chest high—

 

So we have Kid Cardiff squaring off against the Newfoundland Kid.  I wanna see a clean fight–

 

Kerry cleared his mind, keeping his eyes focused on the boy on the other side of the mat. For his part, Franky didn’t appear to concerned about what was to happen next. Though Annie and Kerry discuss the possibility that Franky was going to do something nefarious, right now Kerry couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, though he did wonder why Franky slowly slipped his right hand into his trouser pocket—

Ramona set her defensive spells in place and checked the auras of her combatants to make certain they weren’t powering up spells. “And—STOP.”

Kerry never had an opportunity to comply with Professor Chai’s instructions as the year before him exploded in a massive fire rushing in his direction. Though we wasn’t supposed to use magic, his overriding sense of self-preservation forced him to throw up the shield he was already visualizing. Some of the heat and flames made their way through before the quick-cash shield stopped the effect, but a second later he was struck by an Air Hammer that knocked him off his feet and threw him a meter or two backwards hard into the floor.

Ramona dropped the safety enchantments: the moment they were down Nurse Bianca Gaillard, who was over from the hospital to lend medical assistance should be needed, rushed to Kerry’s side as did Annie. She turned to Franky, who was still in his start position. There was a shocked expression on his face and his hand was still in his pocket—the reason she halted the trial before it began. “What do you have in your pocket? Show me now.”

 

Naw, brah, that shit ain’t about to happen.

Come on:  you knew this was coming.  You knew Franky was going to try something sneaky and do something to Kerry, and in the trailer for this novel you see Kerry getting blasted back during an event at school, so it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to know what happened in the trailer happened here.

Franky is a little shit who doesn’t always play nice.  And he just did–what’s that thing you say, Wash?

Yeah, that thing.

Yeah, that’s it.  Franky did something to get in that quick sucker punch and Kerry caught it.  Not all of it, but enough that it’s gonna hurt.  But, did Franky break any rules?  Well…

I’m not gonna say–at least not today.

Time to Throw Down: The Comfortable Setup

Looking over my blogging from yesterday and Sunday, I see that I published a total of eight articles in two days–and two articles each on Friday and Saturday as well, for a total of twelve articles published in four days.  Not a bad amount of writing, and I even managed to get out and do stuff once in a while.  Especially yesterday: it seemed like I did get out and do things, but at the same time it seemed like I spent a lot of time sitting down behind the computer.  Which I did.  No getting away from that.

This is going to be a weird week. I could go out and do something tonight; I’m getting my nails done tomorrow; I have to write a TV recap Thursday night, which will likely take up most of that evening; and Friday night I’m having dinner with someone.  But it goes without saying that since I’m returning to Indiana this coming weekend, is highly unlikely I will get any writing done on Saturday after having driven a thousand kilometers.  But we’ll see.  I sometimes full of surprises.

Now that I have Kerry and Franky inside Gwydion Manor, it’s time to get them ready to rumble.  Though, if you remember back to the first time we went through this situation, there is a little bit of tradition each kid needs to go through–

 

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

 

Kerry stepped out of the crowd instead his backpack and jacket down just inside the protective redline, then removed his shoes before walking over to the mat. Though all his items would be inside the protective field shielding the combatants and Professor Chai from the combat, he knew an additional protective shielding would fall over his personal items so they couldn’t be accidentally destroyed. He stepped to the edge of the mat but didn’t step in to the yellow box that indicated where he was supposed to start; as he had seen with Annie’s judgment trial, there was a certain protocol to follow and he didn’t want to come across as some sort of know it all ignoring tradition.

As she did during Annie’s Judgment Trial the year before, Professor Chai stepped into the middle of the mat and held out her arms as a way of quieting everyone. “I welcome all students to this trail and ask that for the duration of the procedures that you remain behind the red line surrounding the mat, which is there for your own safety.

“We are gathered because we have two students who are unable to resolve their differences amicably and the aggrieved party has requested a judgment by trial, which is the right of any student attending Salem. This trial will proceed obeying the rules set down by the Mistresses of Judgment, from the first days of the school until today.” Ramona scanned the students in the room. “And woe be unto those individuals who believe they are above those rules, for they will quickly discover they are not.” She glanced from left to right. “Now, who is the aggrieved party? Step forward and be recognized.”

 

Just like a good programmer reuses code they find in another program, I basically took some of the lines from the B Level novel involving Annie’s Judgment Trial, modified him a bit, and laid them down here in this excerpt.  That was probably one of the reasons why I was able to get through this section rather quickly, though it still required me going through the other novel, cherry picking what I needed, and then making the necessary changes.

Though you’ll see below, I cut out a significant portion of Ramona going over the rules as was done in the last novel:

 

Franky stepped up on to the mat, his shoes off but still wearing his jacket. “That’s me, Professor.”

“Come to the center of the mat, please.” She continued as soon as Franky joined her. “State your name, coven, and class level.”

“Franky Smith, Ceridwen Coven, C Level.” He almost seemed uncomfortable standing in front of everyone giving this information.

“Welcome, Franky.” Ramona glanced to her right where Kerry stood. “Is the a grieving party here? If so, step forward and be recognized.”

Kerry stepped onto the mat and walked directly to the center, after bowing to Ramona—and receiving a bow in return—he gave his identifying information without being prompted. “Kerry Malibey, Cernunnos Coven, C Level.”

Ramona glanced at each boy. “Welcome to Gwydion Manor. Before we continue, I must ask: can this disagreement be resolved without combat? Franky, as you are the aggrieving party, you must decide on this matter before we can continue.”

Franky shook his head. “He called me an idiot and made disparaging remarks about my girlfriend. I’m not gonna let that go.”

“I understand.” Ramona turned to Kerry. “As the aggrieved party you have to right to walk away and ask for administrative punishment. There is no shame in reconsidering your decision and leaving the matter to the instructors, whom I am sure would come to a quick decision.”

Even though Ramona was letting Kerry know that if he were to walk away it was unlikely he’d receive any detention, Kerry was aware that if he backed away from Franky, he’d become a source of ridicule. “It was just a heated discussion, Professor, not one really worth getting called out over. That said—” He looked at Franky and smiled. “I’m not walking away from this one.”

“As I would imagine.” Ramon approached the two boys and stopped when she was about half a meter away. “Then we will proceed with the Trial—” She began going through the instructions for what would happen during the trial and the overall outcome depending upon whom would win. When she asked if there were any questions, none were asked, so she proceeded on to what they could and could not do during the match, as well as detailing the penalty system. “Do either of you have questions?”

Franky shrugged. “No, Professor.”

Kerry faced his martial arts instructor when he spoke. “No, Professor.”

Ramona raised her hands. “Face each other and bow—” As soon as they finished she pointed to the white rectangles at opposite ends of the circle. “Go to your respective start positions.”

 

There you have it: the combatants are in place and the spells are ready to fly.

So who’s going to get off the first blow?  You probably have to wait until tomorrow to find out…

Time to Throw Down: Bringing People Together

Here it is, Memorial Day, and in The Burg it’s rainy as hell.  While people were likely still sleeping, or at Lee staying comfortable under the sheets, I headed out for breakfast, something I do on a regular basis whenever there’s a holiday.

 

Yes, we have a Denny’s in the area, and starting out the morning with steak and eggs and coffee is not a bad way to go.  After I’m done with this post I’ll start on my Sense8 recap, and when I’m finished with that I’ll head over and get some ribs over at the Artfest a few blocks away.  This was dinner yesterday:

When I return I get out the first of two mermaid excerpts I need to write, maybe watch a little Mr. Robot, then work on the novel before finishing off the evening with the last mermaid scene of the evening, which will get me all caught up on that story.

In other words, no big cookouts for me: it’s going to be another day of massive writing.

The scene I’m working on, the first part of which I’m excerpting today, has been going rather well. Last night it did well over eight hundred words, and when I have worked on this scene the fewest words I’ve written were right around seven hundred.  I don’t know that things are going easier, but it does appear that I’m making my way to the scene rather effortlessly.  As always, the biggest obstacle I have is simply getting started, but it seems that as of late I’ve been more eager to start writing, and get into writing, and get it done.

So maybe this is a turning point: maybe I’m getting back into the swing of things.  We’ll see, ’cause I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again–and just because instead doesn’t make it true.

In the meantime, it’s time to get Kerry and Franky on the mat.  But before that happens, there’s all the preliminary stuff:

 

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

 

As seem to be the case whenever word got out that either Annie, or Kerry, or both, were about to engage in combat at Gwydion Manor, a sizable number of students appeared so they could watch the action. By the time Annie and Kerry arrived, they estimated at least seventy students were present, which was nearly half the enrollment of Salem. Annie, however, did not see this is a good sign. “I can’t believe this many people are showing up to watch you go up against Franky.”

Kerry didn’t take Annie statement as a slight against his ability. On their walk to the Tesla Science Center for their Practical Super Science class, they continued to express disbelief that Franky believed he could go up against Kerry and win his judgment trial. “Not only that, but who is spreading around word that we’re going to do this?”

“That answer is easy.” She spied Franky and Lisa standing on the far side of the combat mat. “He tells Lisa, Lisa tells her friends, her friends spread the word to their friends. Before you know it half the school knows what’s going on.”

Kerry glanced about the room. “Literally.”

Annie turned to face Kerry, coming as close as necessary so as to not be heard by anyone else. “You need to be careful. There’s a lot about this I don’t like.”

He nodded. “Don’t worry; I’m good.”

She cast her eyes downward for just a second. “Do you need to take another dose?” Annie referred to the gel caps Coraline gave him after their visit to the hospital and his examination. She told him they would help with the raging flux of hormones with which he was currently dealing and to take two more in the evening, as well as tomorrow morning, if he continued feeling stressed out. She was quite aware that what Coraline had given Kerry was nothing more than a light dose of the same hormonal medication Coraline gave to girls suffering from PMS. As she didn’t know how Kerry would react to that news, Annie felt it best not to mention anything.

He shook his head. “No, I feel good.” He reached into his jacket pocket and gave her the tin with the six remaining pills. “I think it’s best if you hold on to this, though.”

Annie took the tin just as Professor Chai walked into the Manor. “It’s like you’re about to start.”

He removed his backpack and slipped out of his jacket. “Better get this over with.” He wrapped his left arm around Annie’s shoulders and gave her a warm, slow kiss. “Wish me luck.”

“You’re not going to need it.” She nodded toward the mat. “Go on.”

 

In case anyone was wondering you now know: Kerry is being given PMS medication to keep his hormones balanced.  Because why not?  One hopes Coraline tells him what she’s giving him after he becomes a she, because by then who will care if she freaks out?  Actually, she should be on medication so she probably won’t be able to freak out, so that’s good.  Though after she transitions back to Male Kerry, there will be that hint of understanding that he was getting PMS medication so he could chill.

Yeah, this kid is getting his mind messed with in a big way.

Since the festivities are about to begin that means the magic is about the fly.  Still thing Frankie’s up the something?

Maybe you’ll find out tomorrow.