The Only Ones

Well, now, it was writing time, but I wouldn’t say it was one of my finest moments.  It’s so difficult to get back into the swing of things when you’re tired and you know you have a few thousand words ahead of you to get done before you get into your personal stuff.  Yeah, busy weekends mean it’s busy catch up time on the novel front.

This means I was able to get just a few words over five hundred into the bank before I decided they weren’t coming any more and it was time for bed.  That’s not a lot, but I think–think, mind you–that things will go better tonight.  Besides, I have a goal to shoot towards–

Probably the only "close to six figures" I'll ever see.

Probably the only “close to six figures” I’ll ever see.

Yes, I’m one thousand, seven hundred, and fifty-five words away from hitting one hundred thousand words for the third time, and I’d like to hit this by Friday night, because that will stay with my current rate of cranking out about five thousand words a week.  As if it, it looks as if I’ll reach that milestone in the next scene, because this one is just about over.

So . . . Annie talking about sex–you know, that sex.  When I was last here I left off with a question by Deanna that, to me, feels like a good place to start up once again–

 

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

Deanna chose her next words carefully, because she didn’t want to make Annie overwrought. “Do you think it’s possible that either you or Kerry will have—sex with someone else before your marriage?”

Annie’s calm expression never changed. “No.”

Deanna leaned towards her. “I can understand you knowing your feelings, but Kerry—”

“No.”

“You don’t think he would?”

This time Annie’s calm began to shift into one of slight disbelief. “I said no, Deanna.” Before the seer could query the matter further, Annie shifted around so she was looking over the back of the sofa. “Do you see Kerry out there?”

Deanna spotted him right away, dancing in his own clumsy, flapping about with the rhythm way with Nadine. “Yes.”

“You noticed how Nadine asked me if she could dance with Kerry?”

“How could I not?”

“She did that because she respects our relationship, because she respects us both—” Annie turned back to her normal seated position so she was once again facing Deanna. “She did that because she respects me, because she didn’t want to impose herself by violating our personal boundaries.

“But did you notice what Kerry did? He waited to see what I would say. If I’d have said no, he’d have been as good with that answer as he was when I said yes. He did that because he not only loves me, but he respects me.” She slipped her hands together and rested them against her thighs as she now leaned towards the seer. “There is only one girl Kerry will lose his virginity to, and I am that girl. There are no others.”

 

I know what you’re saying:  “She’s only thirteen, how the hell does she know that?”  Because, I know, hormones and all that, Kerry has them, and they’ve been known to lead even the strongest willed boy astray.

But Annie is a different kind of thirteen year old girl.  There is something I know that you don’t–which is my normal mantra, “I know something you don’t”–and this very adult understanding of her soul mate might seem strange in other girls her age–who are often losing their shit over the fact that some guy they like was seen hanging out with another girl–it’s not strange for Annie.

And in case you’re wondering, “When will we learn why Annie is so different from other thirteen year old girls?” I can tell you:  sometime in the beginning of the D Level novel.  Say . . . four hundred thousand words from now?  Hang in their, kids.

This last statement has Deanna asking another question . . .

 

She appreciated Annie’s conviction in feeling that Kerry will be her first, and he hers, but Deanna knew there were other pressures at school that could skew that dream. “You don’t believe there’s anyone here that could tempt him?”

Annie glanced over her right shoulder towards where Emma stood speaking with a group of girls. “There are no other distractions—” She turned back to Deanna and deftly crossed her legs. “—worth mentioning.”

 

Ding, Ding, Ding.  What’s that, Emma?  Oh, that’s the elevator, ’cause you’re not on the same level as Annie.  In short, she just laid a bit of, “Bitch can suck it,” smack on her, and that’s that.  She gives zero shits about The Ginger From Bolder and doesn’t consider her a concern.  And in case anyone has any questions–and I know they’ll come–watch Chapter Twelve.  It’s coming.  Yes, it is.

Where does this leave us?

 

Deanne decided not to press the issue further because she knew the discussion would return to the same point each time, and now that Annie’s beliefs were out in the open, there was little point in continuing to examine them. “If that is true, then we’re back at the beginning: you’re afraid you’ll both falter and give into weakness.”

Annie cast her sight downward for a moment. “Yes. That second vision seemed to indicate the possibility exists.”

“But you’re forgetting something—” Deanna held up her finger for emphases. “The second vision could be wrong. You weren’t far enough along in that vision to witness the outcome, so it is entirely possible that you weren’t going to engage in . . .” She cleared her throat. “That act.” Deanna expected the girl to respond, but saw something in her body language that indicated that whatever she was going to saw, it wouldn’t come without prodding. “You felt something, didn’t you?”

Almost five seconds passed before Annie nodded slowly. “This last summer was far more difficult than I expected.”

Deanna said nothing; not asking questions at this moment was the key to getting her to open up. “Please tell me.”

 

Yeah, tell us, Annie; tell us how difficult this last summer was.  Because it sounds like The Chestnut Girl isn’t completely immune to her own feelings, which is why she’s having this conversation.

Looks like I have a summer to recollect ahead of me . . .

Frank and Forward

All the tunnel visiting and writing is out of the way, and the shopping is done, and the writing . . . well, it started.  In a way, that is, because yesterday I was tired.  Hiking and visiting and just generally spending the whole day doing something had a strange way of taking things out of me, and for most of Sunday I was sort of out of it.  Plus, I’m going in for electrolysis this morning–I actually leave about seven-fifteen AM to go to my appointment at about eight-thirty–and when I’m through with that horror show it’s back here and off to work, and then dinner with a friend tonight–

Suddenly I’m such the social butterfly.

Also, The Walking Dead Season 1 was on, and I was snaking like crazy.

Also, The Walking Dead Season 1 was on, and I was snaking like crazy.

But I did write last night, though my mind was elsewhere most of the time, and it was tricky trying to get my thoughts together.  I managed six hundred and sixty-eight words, but if you saw the cutting and pasting I needed to bring the scene into line with what I’d heard in my head–oh, man, such a strange thing.  This is why writing on a computer is good, ’cause I would have went through a whole buttload of paper if I were typing this out.

It was a good thing I figured out where these scenes were supposed to go ahead of time.

It was a good thing I figured out where these scenes were supposed to go ahead of time.

What follows is Annie and Deanna have a talk to discuss what’s on Annie’s mind, because by now Deanna is emphatic to Annie’s feelings, and she can tell when Annie wants to talk.  Or did Deanna see this conversation coming ahead of time and knew they were going to talk before they spoke?  That’s the crazy thing with seer:  you can never tell if they’re listening to you because they want to know what you’re going to say, or they already know what you’ve said and they’re being polite.

Anyway . . .

 

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

Annie reached the furniture setting where Kerry and she spent their time during the Midnight Madness. She waited for Deanna to settle herself on the love seat before she sat down on the sofa—their sofa. They’d started to think of this setting as theirs—their chair, their tables, their love seat—but it was their sofa they loved the most. So much love has transpired upon this sofa. She ran her right hand in a small, slow circle against the leather next to her. There is so much more that will happen here as well . . .

Deanna set her sword and shield on the coffee table, then set back and crossed her legs. “There is something on your mind.”

Annie wasn’t surprised that Deanna’s words came out as a statement and not a question. After a year Deanna knew Annie, knew her moods, and was aware of when she wanted to speak privately. “I’ve thought a great deal about our visions of late; the visions Kerry and I have experienced.”

Deanna folded her hands into her lap. “I can see how you would. I would think it almost impossible not to give it much thought.” She set her right elbow against the love seat arm and held her chin with her thumb and finger. “Is there something in those vision that bothers you?”

“Not so much bothers me as . . .” Annie pressed her lips against the back of her fingers while she paused in thought. “Is it possible for part of one vision to be overridden by something that happens in another?”

While Deanna was Salem’s expert on visions, she wanted more information before giving her educated opinion. “You’re referring to something changing in first vision?”

Annie didn’t acknowledge the seer’s question, though she appeared to remain in thought for a few seconds more. “Last year when Kerry and I spoke to Coraline and you about the specifics of our first vision, we mentioned that we knew our wedding night would be our first time . . .” She took a quick, short breath. “Doing that.”

Denna nodded once. “Having sexual relations.”

“Well—” A strange smile spread across Annie’s face. “I like to think of the act that lay ahead of us that night as engaging in physical love.”

“I see what you mean—or I believe I do. Can you elaborate?”

 

Doing that.  The thing that Annie has said they–Kerry and her–shouldn’t talk about.  But Annie knows what she’s talking about, and what she’s bending Deanna’s ear about is, you know, getting down with hubby-to-be-who’ll-was-actually-hubby-then.  But there’s something fairly specific she wants to discuss–

 

“I wonder if what we saw in our second vision—”

Deanna thought this might be the reason for her trepidation. “You feel that what could have transpired in the second vision may affect the first?”

Annie sighed. “You said you watched us pantomime our vision—”

“I heard you speaking, and . . .” Deanna’s right eyebrow shot up as she remembered the last thing that happened before Annie and Kerry came out of their vision. “And saw what you did at the end.”

She didn’t want to keep dancing about: Annie got right to the point. “I believe Kerry and I were going to have have sex.”

Hum.” Deanna rubber her lips. “There are all kinds of sex, and it’s possible—”

Annie shook here head. “The one we’re discussing—the one that Kerry and I will perform on our wedding night—” She looked Deanna in the eyes with an unwavering gaze. “That’s the most intimate, the most important. That’s what I imagine when I think of sex. As for the others . . .” She chuckled. “They’re just fun.”

Whenever Deanna thought Annie couldn’t surprise her, she’d come up with something that would. “I wouldn’t look at it that way—”

“It’s not important: it’s not relevant to what concerns me.” Annie didn’t want to get sidetracked into a discussion on her views on sexual activities and actions. “The second vision felt like Kerry and I were going to do something that would invalidate part of our first vision.” She looked away for a moment and sighed. “Is that possible? Can it happen?”

“That you can Kerry won’t be virgins when you marry?”

“Yes.”

Deanna chose her next words carefully, because she didn’t want to make Annie overwrought. “Do you think it’s possible that either Kerry or you will have—sex with someone else before your marriage?”

 

And, hummmmm.  So now you know:  when Annie thinks of sex, she thinks of it as a particular act, while the rest–eh, it’s for fun!  Okay.

Now, you may says, “She’s only thirteen,” and yes, that’s true, she is.  We’ve already seen, however, that Annie doesn’t appear to have issues with nudity–remember, she’s already discussed dancing around the bonfires with Kerry in front of other people, and told him she’s not that bothered that people will see her–and given this is a girl who’s been thinking about her wedding since like, oh, forever, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that she’s quite nonchalant about sex.  Annie’s a worldly girl and quite mature for her age, and to try and put her in the same light as other thirteen year old girls would be difficult.

Remember, when it came to actually just sleeping with Kerry in the same bed, she didn’t get all red in the face or jump up and down like she was at a Taylor Swift concert.  She was like, “Kerry, make sure you put your clothes in that dresser.”  Because sharing a bed with the one she loves is natural . . .

Let’s, for a moment, look at Deanna’s reaction as well.  She’s not all shocked, though she is a bit surprised, which is understandable.  Now, imagine if Annie were speaking with Kerry’s mother–ai, yi yi!  Mama Malibey lost her shit over nocturnal emissions and Kerry having the sex talk with a doctor without her permission first, so how is she ever gonna handle Ms. Annie “Those Are Just Fun” Kirilova?  I know exactly when that moment happens, and trust me, it’s gonna be good times all around.

But there is a whole quantum leap of understanding here.  Deanna doesn’t get crazy on Annie:  no, she falls into a frank discussion with the girl.  She treats Annie like an adult, and that may have something to do with her being a coven leader and a counselor, or it could have something to do with maybe Deanna knowing exactly what Annie has done with her magic up to this point.  Or . . . as they were getting ready to return to Europe after the end of the kid’s A Level, Deanna told Erywin Annie and Kerry were still virgins.  As Erywin asked, how did she know?  Probably don’t want to know . . .

But how’s that last for a cliffhanger?  I’m such a bad girl . . .

The Samhain Dance: The Final Reveals

Well, here I am with the late night edition!  Seriously, though, it’s been a long day, but way back fourteen hours ago, I promised this part of the scene, and here it comes.

There was a lot of crazy writing last night to get the last twelve hundred and fifty, and there was a lot of good music, too.  But the important thing was figuring out how to get my characters on stage, so to speak.  Like the one who’s about to show . . .

 

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

Annie watched Sutou Takara from Advanced Flight One join their group. Right behind her was Chunghee Pang—one of Takara’s covenmate and another of their Advanced Spells classmates—and a girl Annie knew as Amitee Jaramillo, Pang’s girlfriend from Chile and the only other D Level in his coven. Rivânia Suassuna, also from their Advanced Spells class, followed close behind Pang and Amitee.

She had no idea what each of them was wearing. Takara’s costume was like a military uniform—black pants and a red jacket—supplemented with a sword and two small metal boxes hanging from a belt around her hips

Rivânia’s outfit also seemed to be some kind of military-style uniform: a green, black, and gold suit under a matching sleeveless long coat, allowing her to wear forearm gauntlets. The biggest difference between her costume and Deanna’s was the gold helmet with large, forward facing horns, making it impossible not to notice Rivânia

By comparison Pang and Amitee didn’t appear that much different than she’d seen him in class, or either of them wandering around the school on the weekends: they wore jeans, tee shirts, and heavy boots. What set them apart was that their clothes was splattered with dried blood, and both carried knives and machetes secured in scabbards attached to their belts.

Kerry positioned Annie in front of him, keeping his arms wrapped around her waist. “If there’s anyone who can—” He nodded in Takara’s direction. “—it’s probably you.”

She nodded back. “Who am I?” She adjusted the heavy scarf around her neck. “Do either of you know?”

Annie looked up and back at Kerry, who shook his head. “Neither of us know.”

Hai.” Takara pumped her fist in a rare show of excitement. “You were the only ones outside East Asia who would recognize this outfit.”

Kerry rested his head against Annie’s shoulder. “Since I know Amitee and Pang are Maggie Greene and Gleen Rhee and Maggie Greene—”

Pang threw up his hands. “Obvious, huh?”

“A little. And Riv there—” Kerry chuckled. “She’s Lady Loki—”

Rivânia chuckled. “Or just Loki. Makes it easier to say when telling people to bow to me.”

“But you—” He smiled softly. “You gotta tell me.”

“Mikasa Ackerman.” Takara grabbed the straps holding the boxes to her belt and gave them a good yank. “You know Attack on Titan?”

“I’ve heard of it, but that’s all.”

“She’s one of the main characters.”

Kerry said nothing, instead snuggling his head up against Annie’s. “I think our secret is about to be unveiled.”

Annie turned slightly to the right. “You said she might know.”

“Well—” Takara stood with her feet slightly apart and her hands positioned before her stomach. “I do.”

Almost everyone in the group perked up when they heard this. Nadine was the one who spoke for them all. “Who are they?”

 

So we have another Marvel deity–probably looking for people to get to bow to her–a couple of zombie killers, and a character from an manga/anime.  It’s likely that, even as geeky as Kerry is, at that time in 2012 he would not have known Attack on Titan, and therefore would not have known the story of the last Asian girl in the world, even if she really was only half-Asian.

But given she's an manga/anime character, she still looks like every other girl in the world.

But given she’s an manga/anime character, she still looks like every other girl in the world.

Now, the argument could be made that Rivânia is cross playing her character like Penny is doing, but given that Loki does return as a woman at one point in the comics, she’s probably not–

And given the continuing state of Tom Hiddleston's hair, he'll be able to play her in the next movie.

And given the continuing state of Tom Hiddleston’s hair, he’ll be able to play her in the next movie.

But it’s now time for Takara to spill what she knows.  And she doesn’t disappoint–

 

“She—” Takara pointed at Annie. “—is Kaioh Michiru and, um, he’s—” She pointed at Kerry. “—Tenou Haruka.”

Annie dramatically brushed back here aqua hair and smoothed down her light blue a-line dress and did a slow, single twirl on the low heeled aqua pumps with matching ribbons that wound twice around her ankles. She laughed as she flipped her arms outward. “Finally. It was growing tiring not being able to say anything.”

Kerry tugged the lapels of the cream-colored jacket that matched the light slacks he wore with the dark blue button-down tee shirt. “You can blame me for that. I asked her not to say anything.”

Though Takara was able to identify Annie’s and Kerry’s identity, the others remained puzzled. Erywin asked the question that remained unanswered. “Who?”

“Oh, yeah—” Takara turned a bit to her left and right. “Annie’s Sailor Neptune and Kerry’s Sailor Uranus.”

Nadine finally figured the connection. “Oh. From Sailor Moon?”

“Yes.”

 

There you have it.  They came as characters from another manga/anime, which explains Annie’s aqua hair.  This also makes them Plant Guardians and members of the Outer Senshi, which given their magical powers is something they can probably do now–just like any other magical manga/anime character.

Though Kerry isn't that much taller than  Annie, and he's certainly not a better dresser than Haruka,

Though Kerry isn’t that much taller than Annie, and he’s certainly not a better dresser than Haruka.

An interesting point is brought up, however . . .

 

“Yeah, but—” Nadine looked at Kerry with a puzzled look. “Isn’t Sailor Uranus a girl?”

“I’m cross playing.” Kerry crossed his arms. “Besides, I prefer to think of Haruka as gender fluid.”

Pang chuckled. “You got that right. How come you guys didn’t come wearing fukus?”

Annie took her soul mate’s arm and pulled him close as his face grew red. “It will be a while more before I can convince my love to wear a costume like that.”

He stared down at the floor, still slightly embarrassed. “Probably a long while more.”

Helena appeared out of the shadows and joined Erywin. “Hello, everyone.”

Kerry looked up and waved. “Hey, Xena.”

Erwyin gave her companion an appraising stare. “You should let Kerry find a new costume for you next year; you’re wearing out the warrior princess, my dear.”

Helena pifted. “I’m a bloody Kiwi: what else am I gonna come as?” She turned and pointed a warning finger at Jairo, who appeared about to speak. “Say hobbit at your own risk, dear.”

 

So we have two cross players this year:  Penny as a male character and Kerry as a female character.  And as far as that fuku goes (that’s a Japanese girl’s school uniform, by the way, which is a lot like the uniform Annie wears at Salem), it likely will be a long time before Kerry ever works up the nerve to wear one to a dance.

It’s at this point that people start filtering away, most of them off to watch the Åsgårdsreia and Mórrígan girls beat the shit out of each other because why not?  This leaves just four people and one purple dragon standing in the group, and that quickly whittled down even more . . .

 

Within seconds all that remained were Annie, Kerry, Nadine, and Deanna. Annie appeared as if she were about to say something when Nadine moved next to her. “Um, can I ask a favor?”

She was surprised to hear Nadine be so formal with her. “Certainly.”

“Would you mind if I danced with your boyfriend?” She nodded in Kerry’s direction. “You know, a, um, ‘Welcome to the A Team, good race’ sort of congratulatory dance?”

Annie cocked her head to one side as she looked in Nadine’s direction, then turned slowly towards Kerry. Her grin was wide and warm. “I think that’s a great idea.” She squeezed Kerry’s hand. “Go enjoy yourself, my love.”

Nadine showed her dragon off her shoulder. “Go fly around the rafters; I’ll call when I need you.” She grabbed Kerry by the arm before he could speak. “Come on, Starbuck: let’s rock.”

Annie moved next to Deanna and watched Nadine drag Kerry to the dance floor, but she had something else on her mind . . . “Can we speak?”

Deanna glanced at the aqua-haired girl. “I saw you look in my direction before telling Nadine she could dance with Kerry.”

“That’s because I hoped you would noticed.” Annie glanced across the Dining Hall. “I see our sofa’s unoccupied—” She turned to the coven leader. “Shall we?”

Deanna motioned towards the other side of the hall. “Lead on—”

 

Annie wants to speak with Deanna?  Hummm . . . usually that means she’s got something soul mate related on her mind, and if you remember last year, her conversation with Deanna was about discovering that someone was worthy of love, and that if a certain boy asks you to do, say yes!

There you have it.  No writing tonight as I’ve been uploading video, which mean–get ready for a travel post tomorrow.

An Short Yet Annoying Interlude

I know you’re here looking for what a promised I’d have right now, but guess what?  It ain’t here.  And it’s not because I didn’t finish the scene last night, because I totally did.

I even put in other scenes to blabber on about as well.

I even put in other scenes to blabber on about as well.

Yes, I wrote twelve hundred and fifty words exactly last night and put the main Dance Away scene to bed–along with me, because it was close to eleven-thirty when I finally went to sleep.  I showed the rest of the children who are in the notes, what they were wearing, identified them, and then . . . we found out who Annie and Kerry had come as for the dance.  Oh, yeah.  Great times.

However . . . I have a special assignment for this morning, and because it take some time to put together everything with the proper images and accompanying snark, and because I’m supposed to be on the road in, let me check the clock, fifty minutes at six-forty in the AM, I figured I’d work on that post when I return from my travails.

Yes, you get two posts today!  Aren’t you the lucky ones?

In the mean time you can guess away all you like about my kid’s costumes, and you can wonder at whatever I’m implying with the titles of the sub-scenes shown in the image above.  Needless to say, I think the one between Annie and Deanna will likely generate the most comments, because . . . well, they’re talking about love, aren’t they?

But with me you never know what you’re getting:  I say one thing, and in my mind I’m thinking something completely different.  It’s one of the advantages of being the writer:  you are supposed to know what’s going on, and you leave the readers guess right up until the moment when you give them what you want.

I’m looking forward to writing that next scene, because it’s one that’s come to me over the course of the last week, and what would the school year be without Annie and Deanna having a heart-to-heart.  Actually, they have a couple of heart-to-hearts, because Deanna likes to listen, and Annie . . . give her the chance and she loves to talk.  And it must be something about which she can’t talk to Kerry about.

It must be serious.

It’s six on the nose and I’m ending the post now.  I’ll see you all later in the evening.

Play nice, kids.

The Samhain Dance: Stump the Geeks

Well, that was interesting . . .

Last night, I mean.  Not so much today, but last night, it just seems to go on and on, and it was hard getting into the swing of writing, probably because I’m looking things up as I go.  You’d think I’d know to have these things laid out ahead of time before I start, right?

But I still got it going, and I ended up with just about the same totals I’ve had the prior two nights:

 

Words 07/21/2015: 724
Words 07/22/2015: 895
Words 07/23/2015: 794

 

That’s what you have to call consistency.  I have a feeling I’ll hit close to nine hundred or so tonight, because I’m envisioning ending the scene tonight, then starting this post late in the evening so it will auto-post in the morning, because–believe it or not–I have to be on the road by about six forty-five in the AM tomorrow.  Why?  You’ll probably find out Sunday.

As for the eight hundred words that follow–do they advance the plot?  Nope.  A little information is given, but it’s a big of character building.  I love character building.  And as the title points out, there’s some stumpin’ going on . . .

 

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

Alex smiled before looking over her shoulder to snort. “At least you were good racer on your side.”

“Yeah, well . . .” Nadine looked about for her racing team mates. “I race clean ‘cause I don’t want to fly off a broom at a couple of hundred kilometers an hour.”

“Neither do I.” Penny shrugged. “I only got pissy with people on my own team today. Though . . .” Her eyes fell upon a mass of red hair a dozen meters away. “I was about to kick one ginger girl’s ass today.”

Annie looked in the same direction as everyone else, where Emma stood speaking with a few of the Mórrígan warriors who would soon venture forth to do battle with the Åsgårdsreia shield maidens. She glanced at Kerry, who stood showing no emotion. After their discussion while returning from The Diamond he’d not said a word about her or the races, his only mention of the event had been to promise Annie that he’d not go on about the events of the Mórrígan race, or let them bother him. He’s put it behind him—one way in which he’s not like my father . . .

“Who is she suppose to be?” Jairo scratched his head. “Kerry, you seemed to know these things—”

He did know who she was. “She’s Ginny Weasley.”

“I thought she was Hermione?”

“Nope. Hair’s straight for one, and—” Kerry pointed in her direction. “That’s a Gryffindor quidditch uniform she’s got on. Hermione didn’t play quidditch.”

Penny stared at the floor, shaking her head. “You gotta be kidding. How lame.”

 

Man, feel the Emma hate.  And given how the other racers as Salem feel about the magical sport of quidditch–which is to say, they think it’s laughable–it’s not an easy time tonight.  Plus–a witch pretending to be a witch?  M’kay.

"I'm a witch, and I fly a broom, too!  Watch me throw a block."

“I’m a witch, and I fly a broom, too! Watch me throw a block.”

Emma may be in for a hard time on the course, is all I’m gonna say . . .

However, someone comes along to help out a little on her behalf, and to answer some questions:

 

“Now, now.” Erywin joined the group. She wore a long, bright robe and a dark cloak, and sandals. She carried a spear in her left hand, and her arms and legs were covered in runic tattoos. The group parted as she stepped alongside Jessica. “Miss Neilson can’t be held responsible for her costume, for it’s my understanding she came up with it on her own rather than asking for ideas—” She nodded towards Kerry. “—as she had last year.”

Kerry remained quiet, not wanting to get drawn into the discussion. Alex had other ideas, however. “Professor, may I—”

“Erywin, please.” She slowly shook her head. “I left the professor title in my room for the evening.”

“Erywin, then. Did you do anything about how she raced today?”

Penny spoke up. “Yeah, she pulled some heinous shite out on the course today.”

“I spoke with her.” Nadine put her hands on her hips while her dragon friend flapped its wings once before hunkering down. “I’m team captain, and it’s my duty to let a team member know if their actions during a race were warranted.”

That wasn’t good enough for Penny. “And if she doesn’t listen to you?”

“Then I step in.” Erywin lay her spear across her chest. “And if I have to step in, someone’s gonna get their arse ripped open.”

“Yeah—” Kerry chuckled. “Don’t mess with Boudica.”

Erywin’s arms slipped to her side. “How did you know?”

Annie decided to answer, because she’d figured out the answer almost as soon as she saw the instructor. “Celtic warrior queen often associated with the goddess Mórrígan, which happens to be—” She set the tip of her left index finger under her chin. “Your coven, I believe?”

Kerry slipped an arm around Annie and tilted his head towards his left. “What she said.”

 

It’s bad enough getting outed by Kerry, but when Annie is owning you–well, it’s not good.

Who was Boudica?  Only one of the most bad ass queens who lived.  A member of the British Iceni tribe, the Romans made the mistake of taking her kingdom when her husband died, flogging her, raping her daughter and her, and then calling in their loads.  At that point she said, “You wanna know what my business is?  Killing is my business–and business is good,” and proceed to burn Roman shit down.  By the time she died on at The Battle of Watling Street–either by taking poison, from a cold, or killed in battle, depending on who’s telling the story–seventy to eighty thousand people were killed, and her army sacked and burned three settlements, including Londinium, and ended Roman rule in the south of England for about four hundred years.

A Disney Princess she wasn’t.

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful; hate me because I'm about to hang your ass from a cross."

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful; hate me because I’m about to nail your ass to a cross.”

But wait!  Time for another coven leader to put in an appearance–

 

“Maybe I’ll have better luck.” Deanna slipped up behind Erywin before stepping around her. Her costume was an elaborate warrior’s suit of armor, with dark leggings and undershirt worn under form-fitting armor across her torso and hips. She had gauntlets on both wrists, and her flat boots were fitted with guards that protected her knees. She carried a sword in a scabbard across her back, and held a small shield in her left hand.

“Well.” Annie’s eyebrows shot upward. “Quite a difference from last year.”

“My students have been after me to try something different.” The seer cocked her head to the right as she glanced towards Kerry. “Well?”

He stood silently for about three seconds before a smile began to form upon his face. “You gotta try harder, Lady Sif.”

Deanna shifted her eyes to her right to take in her fellow coven leaders. “He’s good.”

Jessica nodded. “Good thing he’s with us.”

“Good thing they’re both with us.” Erywin nodded towards Deanna while speaking to Kerry. “How did you know?”

“The look of the armor and the sheath on the back is right out of the movie. Plus Sif is a shield maiden, and . . .” He nodded towards Annie—

—Who immediately picked up on the clue. “Aren’t all shield maidens found in Åsgårdsreia Coven?”

Kerry nodded. “You guys—I’m on a roll. What can I say?”

“Maybe I can stop that roll.”

 

And Annie tips it in again!  But, yes:  Deanna showing up as another Marvel character, Lady Sif of Asgard, who I do not hide my admiration for, even if she is a fictional character.  The outfit does fit with her coven’s rep–because Åsgårdsreia Coven is the home of the Shield Maidens–and it’s also a modest outfit, which is keeping in what Deanna likes to wear–

"Read your fortune?  Run you through?  Makes no different to me."

“See your future? Run you through? Could be both are one and the same.”

But who is coming to break up the Lovey Dovey Couple’s streak?  Ha!  I know, but you don’t, at least not until tomorrow.  And we still don’t know what they’re wearing, do we?

Looking at the list, and . . . nope.  Still being a cliffhanger Nazi.

Looking at the list, and . . . nope.  Looks like I’m still a cliffhanger Nazi.

The Samhain Dance: Off to the Dance

It’s finally that time:  the big Samhain dance, aka Halloween for all the people outside the Salem Wall.  It’s a time of racing–which we got–and dancing–which is gonna happen–and bonfire walking, which is in the future.  And none of this Mother of Dragons bonfire walking, either.  Though at this place there are a few people who could pull that off.

Lets get into this, and I’ll lay out comments as I go . . .

 

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

The night was growing cooler now that the sun had set, but the sky remained clear, allowing the starts to shine bright in the enhanced darkness the light elimination enchantment allowed the grounds inside the Salem school walls. Annie and Kerry walked down the covered walkway from Cernunnos Tower to the Great Hall. They noticed the orange glow to the south and realized the Samhain bonfires were aflame and awaiting those who wised to walk between them and burn off the remnants of the last year.

Annie felt the nervousness she’d felt earlier in the evening fade now that Kerry and she were out in their costumes in public. She never thought of herself as having a comfort zone, but tonight, when they were putting their look together in their private lab in the lower levels of the tower, she’d felt slightly self-conscious about how they were going to look. Much like she’d done with Kerry earlier in the afternoon when she worked to remind him of his racing accomplishments, he’d reminded her that in a school full of witches and transformation experts, they were probably going to be the most sublime couple in attendance at the evening’s festivities.

 

Bonfires are going, so it must be time to party:

Looks like some witches have been hard at work.

Looks like some witches have been hard at work.  And pay no attention to that fire truck in the back . . .

Really, this is even a bigger symbolic event than Beltane.  Everyone wants to go walk between them; everyone wants to feel the heat wash them clean.  I used a metaphorical walk between bonfires to come out online, and Kerry would have used the moment to tell Annie of his love were it not for déjà vu.  That will even come up in a later scene–as well as something else.  Maybe?  We’ll see.

 

They moment they were through the West Entrance and into the transept Annie heard the music emanating from the Dining Hall. She wasn’t certain of the song, but it was made for dancing, and she was that was already underway. She’d waited since this time last year to dance again with Kerry, and he’d told her several times in the last week—including twice while getting ready—that he was ready to dance with her. Last year he approached the dance with a bit of timidness. She hooked her right arm around his left. Not now; this year, he couldn’t wait for us to arrive . . .

They stepped through the west back entrance to the Dining Hall where Netra Bonds, one of the member of the staff who oversaw kitchen operations and the management of the dining area, acted as one of the official greeters. She was much like she was last year, her human form transformed into a chrome and plastic body that most Normal imagined when they thought of artificial people.

Netra turned to the children as soon as they were inside. “Welcome to the evening’s festivities. Who may I have the honor of announcing?” Kerry removed a card from his jacket and handed it to her. She needed only a second to scan the card before turning to the revelers inside. “May I introduce Miss Annie Kirilova and her escort, Kerry Malibey, both of Cernunnos Coven.”

Kerry nodded and smiled. “Thank you, Netra.” With that he slowly led Annie into the gathering of staff, instructors, and students perhaps numbering one hundred at the moment, and likely to see the arrival of the rest of the school body in the next fifteen minutes.

 

Kerry was a bit nervous the last time because it was his first dance with a girl–really, his first dance ever, but having a date ramped up the nerves just that much more.  Also, there was the matter of a song dedication . . .

This time it’s Annie feeling the nerves because–of their costumes?  Hum, no mention of them yet–maybe in the next segment?

 

It was much like Annie remembered it being last year. The dance floor was in the front center of the room, where maybe half the people were dancing; around the outside of the floor were tables, chairs, and sofas; and in the darkest part of the room, to the south near the main entrance, were the seats where those who didn’t want to leave the room, but desired some privacy and quiet, retired.

A lopsided grin slithered out on to Annie’s face as she thought about the few people who’d head there later to snuggle and kiss. They go there to hide— Kerry slowed then stopped, and she did the same. They go there because they don’t want people to see them. They go there because they’re still afraid. She slid her hands down to take Kerry’s. We don’t need to hide

“We have nothing to hide.”

Kerry turned to his left. “What did you say, Sweetie?”

Annie turned to face him before touching the back of his left hand with here right. “I said we have nothing to hide, my love.”

“Why would we?” He chuckled as he turned his left hand palm up so he could play with her charm bracelet. “I’m glad you wore this.”

“Why would I take it off?” It was her turn to giggle. “I would wear anything you give me.”

Kerry’s right eyebrow shot upward. “Anything?”

Annie nodded slowly twice. “Anything.”

“Hey, you two.”

 

Hey, who could that be?  You’ll find out tomorrow.

And notice:  no mention of any costumes.  You’ll get that tomorrow as well, because I actually spent about an hour going over things for what the people we’d meet would wear.  And I guaranty there won’t be anyone in a “sexy witch” costume:  too many of the already real sexy witches would probably rag their ass if they showed up dressed that way.

Talk about taking the fun out of partying.

Friends and Comparisons

Sundays are becoming not so much a day of rest for me–though I did get a nap in after I went and had my nails done and had something to eat–because I started in on my after-race scene with Annie and Kerry that ran eleven hundred and fifty words, and I stat down and compiled my notes on Humans, and that ran another nine hundred words.  In other words, lots of words.

The novel worked out in two steps, with five hundred words written in the morning, and the rest written after I woke up from my nap.  It’s really a short scene, and I’ll likely finish it off tonight after I do my show recap, which usually takes a couple of hours of writing.

So what is this about?  It’s about results–or, in some cases, regretting the ones you had:

 

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

With the races over Annie was surprised to hear Kerry say he wanted to walk the nearly two kilometers back to The Pentagram rather than hop on their brooms and be back in the garden in about a minute. His explanation of mater-of-fact and to the point: he’d spent all day either laying down or sitting on a broom, and it was time he got on his feet and walked around for a while.

The weather was still excellent, with just a touch of overcast, and the temps remained at fifteen as it had for most of the day, so Annie agreed that a walk back through the forest would be both relaxing and not a little romantic.

After leaving The Diamond Kerry said as they walked hand-in-hand through the forest. She imagined he was re-running the races through his mind, examining what he did right and criticizing what he felt he did wrong. He’s always his harshest critic—he’s like me in that sense. But she didn’t want him to concentrate on what wasn’t: she wanted him to celebrate what was. “You’re thinking again, my love.”

Kerry looked down while chuckling. “I’m always thinking.”

“But this time you’re thinking about what you did—” She wrapped herself around his arm. “You’re thinking about your supposed mistakes, and not about your accomplishments.” Annie turned a sideways glance his way. “Aren’t you?”

He continued looking down for a few more seconds as a smile began to slowly form. “That last race—”

I knew it. “Yes?”

“I screwed up on two spots on the Green Line.” Again he shook his head. “Can you believe that?”

“You’re not going to run a perfect race every time.” She slowed their pace just a bit. “And it was your fifth race of the day; that will wear you out.”

“Yeah, but . . .” He sighed as he finally looked at her. “I shouldn’t have screwed up on the Green Line.”

 

Kerry loves to beat up on himself, because that’s the way he acts.  Annie is always sportive–as he is of her–but this time, while supporting, she says something she’s never said before . . .

 

Annie rolled her eyes. “You sound like Papa.”

Kerry’s eyes widened as her words sunk in. “Sweetie, do you know—?”

“—What I said?” Annie pulled them to a stop. “I just—”

“—Compared me to your father.” Kerry kept from laughing, but he couldn’t keep the smile from his face. “Anelie Kirilova . . .”

Ohhh.” She covered her eyes and chortled. “Mama would be laughing right now if she’d heard me say that.”

“Did she say you’d do that?”

“Not actually, but—” Annie had told Kerry about her conversation last Yule with her mother, who had hinted that Kerry was in many ways like Annie’s father. “She’s have found the comment amusing.”

Now that her statement was out in the open, Kerry was even curious about what was on Annie mind. “Why did you say that?”

“That you remind me of my father?”

“Yes.”

She tossed her head to one side. “Papa tends to ignore any of the good that happens to him during any of his races, and agonizes over all the issues and problems he’d experience. And you’re doing the same, my love: you’re obsessing on the worst of your races today, and completely ignoring all the success you’ve had.” She shook her head. “I can see why it would turn Mama somewhat mental.”

Mental?” Kerry chuckled once again. Based upon what Annie had said about her mother, he could imagine a number of moods for her, but “mental” wasn’t one of those. “Am I driving you mental?”

Annie held her right left thumb and index finger about a centimeter apart. “Perhaps . . . a little.” She giggled before quickly kissing on the lips. “Come on: we need to get to dinner.”

 

You can bet Annie heard her mother’s voice saying, “You fell in love with a racer,” as she was told back last Yule–a conversation Annie eventually relayed to Kerry.  But it’s one thing to talk about that, and then another to turn around and tell the boy you love something you probably told yourself you’d never do–

"I don't think you're anything like my father, Kerry.  For one, he's tall and has dark hair, and your a short ginger who'll everyone will come to hate--wait, I mean . . ."

“I don’t think you’re anything like my father, Kerry. For one, he’s tall and has dark hair, and your a short ginger who’ll everyone will come to hate–wait, I mean . . .”

At least Kerry takes it all in stride and laughs it off, because he knows it’s just a slip of Annie’s tongue, and she’s really telling him something else, which is he shouldn’t be hard on himself.  And really, she saw something happen during the race that makes her go into Please Do This For Me Mode–

 

Humph.” She swung their arms back and forth as they walked. “Promise me one thing tonight.”

“Anything, Sweetie.”

“Do not let Emma go on about your race together—or the fact that she placed better than you.”

There wasn’t any need for elaboration, because Kerry knew exactly what Annie was asking. During the Stage Two heat between Mórrígan and Cernunnos one of the Mórrígan fliers crashed coming out of The Sweep on the last lap and not only did not finish the race, but she was unable to race in the Stage Four heat—also known as the Battle Royale—between Mórrígan, Cernunnos, and Blodeuwedd. Since the rules allowed for a member of the B Team take the place of an injured flier—as Kerry had done—Emma was brought up to fill out the roster.

They’d both run great races, even though it was this race that Kerry felt he’d not done his best and was obsessing over before Annie mentioned the said obsessing. He’d finished sixth while Emma crossed the finish line in forth, and it was her finish that allowed Mórrígan to finish the heat in a points tie with Cernunnos, and for them to go on to win overall because of their first place podium finish over Alex’s second place finish. During the after-heat celebration Emma had pointed at Kerry and cut loose with a big cheer, as if to let him know in their first A Team race together she’d bested him . . .

Kerry smiled at Annie. “I promise I won’t let her bother me. If she tries to bring it up, I’ll tell her it was a good race and leave it at that.”

“Good.” She smiled back. “And if that don’t work, let her know I’ll curse her.”

“Just glare at her and I think she’ll get the message.”

“I will.” Annie grew quiet for a moment. “You know Emma was the reason you finished sixth.”

“Well—”

“She threw three blocks at you: the reason you think you ‘screwed up’ on the Green Line was because you didn’t anticipate her doing that. And the last she threw was as you were going into Helter Skelter.” Annie exhaled hard. “You lost two positions there, and it was the last lap. She also threw a block on Penny in South Side: I thought Penny was going to walk over and slap her after the race.”

“She almost did.” Kerry had pulled the fuming girl aside and said that since the race was over and the results were final, they should just let it go— “I let her know she could get another chance against Emma if she ever done another A Team race.”

 

It sounds like Emma wasn’t being a good races, she was being a greedy racing, and it also sounds like she was rubbing it in a little.  Bad Wingmate, and it’s a good thing Kerry didn’t let Penny come over and disqualify you for the last race.  But other things will come out in the remainder of this conversation, after which I can get into the dance itself.  Which should be fun–

Should be.