Their New Chemical Romance

My computer, aka The Beast, has been a pain in the butt this morning, deciding to run hot and cold, fast and slow, and at one point I had to reboot the sucker because of program load issues.  It’s almost like it’s telling me to take it easy today . . .

Pretty much me then and now.

Pretty much me then and now.

You are not the boss of me, evil old computer.  I’ll write on you as much as I like.  Just let me, you know, do that.  Thanks.  Onward.

Chapter Seven has become a thing–well, it’s started, is what I mean.  With the first scene out of the way, I’m about three thousand words from rolling over to fifty thousand, and that will likely happen during the quick chapter on the advanced transformation class.  This first scene took a little bit of work–slow, writing work–because when I have to start describing things and feelings and all that, it seems to drag.  Just like when I write action:  it may seem fast and furious, but not when you have to sit and figure it all out.  Nope, nope, nope.  Who said writing was a lot of fun?

I did mention that Erywin was the first to set up a special program for advanced students at the school, and that the advanced lab is used by no one else but advanced students.  Just like The Black Vault her pretty girl keeps safe, Erywin feels you only get to the top when it’s earned, and while everyone else has super great facilities–compared to what you’d find in a Normal chemistry class, the Salem equipment is the top o’ the pop–they don’t get their own special lab.

Of course, guess who gets to join this afternoon delight?

 

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

Annie entered the room, followed closely by Kerry. Both were still in their school uniforms; as with the other advanced classes street clothes were the norm, but Erywin was also aware that they had Astrophysics One right after dinner, and she supposed they figured it would be too much trouble to change back into their uniforms for Harpreet’s evening class.

“Welcome.” Erywin headed over to greet her newest students. “I figured you’d show about now.”

Annie clutched her hands. “We’re nothing if not punctual.”

Kerry took up position beside his girlfriend. “We hate being the last ones to show. Right, Sweetie?”

She leaned into him. “As always, my love.” She straightened and smiled. “How are you today . . . Erywin.”

“Oh, I’m fine.” She felt Annie’s hesitation due to not knowing if the familiarity they had not only in Wednesday’s class, but on their mission during the last school year, was the same here. “And you don’t have to worry: just like the other advanced classes, we’re on a first-name basis here.” Erywin examined the student’s jackets. “How do you like the new accouterments?” She touched the left lapel of Annie’s jacket. “Bit of an improvement, eh?”

Kerry spoke while Annie beamed. “It’s a bit of an improvement over last year, that’s for sure.” In place of the single green star that indicated they were A Levels were now two green stars, one placed over the other. “I noticed the C Levels on our floor have three in a triangle.”

“Yes, and in your D Levels they’ll form a diamond.” Erywin pointed across the room where she’d had two lab stations placed together. “That’s your set-up over there. Go ahead and take a seat.”

 

And just so you know, the E Levels’ stars form a pentagram, and the F Levels’ form a Seal of Solomon, both of which are powerful symbols.  I actually laid out pictures of this one–you back there, stop laughing!–so I should dig them out . . .

Oh, look.

Oh, look.

There you go:  green star markers for my kids.

During their set up time at their lab station–which is the only one set up for two people, go figure–they get a visitor and learn something . . .

 

“No, they aren’t.” They turned to find a slim, older student in a dark green dress standing behind them. She bushed her brown hair back from her face. “I suppose Erywin wants you to work together—probably due to your reputation.” She nodded towards them. “I’m Nesreen Shalhoub.”

Annie nodded back. “Annie Kirilova.”

“Kerry Malibey.” He began grinning. “Though you probably knew that if you know us by reputation.”

“Sorry about that.” She appeared almost embarrassed to speak. “I’m from Blodeuwedd; last year we used to hear about you all the time from Fidele and Collin—

“Collin talked about us?” Kerry was a little surprised to hear this. Annie and he figured Fidele Diaz, their levelmate from the Philippines, was the one who began calling them the “Lovely Dovey Couple”, but this was the first time either of them heard mention of Collin McCarty, the boy from Eire, discussing them as well.

“A great deal.” The girl nodded twice. “It seemed to be one of their main subjects of conversation in the commons.”

“Maybe that’s the real reason Collin didn’t return.” Annie smirked sideways at Kerry before questioning Nesreen. “How long have you been in this class?”

 

There’s that Lovey Dovey Couple crap that follows them around like a personal demon.  And keep that meme out there, Annie, that Collin didn’t return because he didn’t want to face your wrath, ’cause like Helena said, nothing like having a bad ass rep while you’re in school to keep the losers from bothering you.  Gee, I wonder what they were saying?  Obviously, if a then E Level heard their BS, that means a whole lot of the rest of the coven did as well.

Speaking of meeting new people–

 

“It was one of the reasons The Foundation wanted to get involved in magic, to find out how it could be used for scientific and technical applications.” Erywin turned and brought her companion forward. “Oh, and this is Honza Zelenka, one of your covenmates from the floor above you.”

“I’m an E Level.” He shook Kerry’s hand, then Annie’s. ”I heard Nesreen speaking; she’s not the only one who’s heard of you.” He looked at Annie. “Mluvíte Česky?”

She tilted her head slightly to the right and shrugged. “Ne moc dobře. Jak je váš Bulgarian?”

Honza twisted his right hand back and forth. “Tova ne e losho. Ne razbiram mnogo ot shans da go govori, vse pak.”

Annie half-turned her head to the left. “Tova e dobre za nyakoĭ, koĭto ne go govori chesto.” She turned to the smiling Kerry, who was used to hearing his sweetheart speak in her normal language. “I’ll tell you later.”

“Preferably after class.” Erywin say that all her students were present. “All right—” She waved the door shut. “Find your seats and we’ll get started.”

 

Now wait for the first Welsh student to show up, and Kerry will have his hands full–particularly since he’s not a native speaker.  Also, what is Kerry hearing Annie say besides, “I love you”?  We know that Annie switches over to Bulgarian when she swears, so he can probably tell through the tone of her voice when she’s muttering sweet Bulgarian nothings in his ear, and she’s ready to rip off someone’s head.

After introductions and a promise that Erywin’s gonna visit everyone, she gets with the kids to tell them how things work in this class:

 

“All right, you two.” Erywin set her elbows against the stations and leaned forward. “We do things a little differently here, but then you already knew that. The biggest in this class is that we involve ourselves in month-long projects, so what we start today you aren’t expect to complete until the last Monday in September—which means you have four classes to turn in your completed project.”

She had their attention, so having them understand the new world they’d entered was going to be easy. “We’re all about creating here. The idea is to teach you to create, to develop the formulas for your mixtures from scratch, based upon what you’ve already learned—”

“That’s a lot different from what we did last year.” While Kerry didn’t appear worried, his voice carried a hint of concern.

Annie felt the same way, but she also knew another truth. “But we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t felt we couldn’t do this, dear.” She lightly touched his hand. “Yes?”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

Erywin turned to Kerry: while Annie carried her own doubt now and then, he was the one who sometimes found himself falling into traps his mind laid. “Do you remember the very first mixture you created last year?”

“Yes.” He gazed at the surface of the counter as he thought about that class. “The petrification removal mixture.”

“That’s correct. Out of thirty-two student only three managed to produce it correctly. And only two decided to make it using the more complex alternate formula.” Erywin chuckled. “Listen to your significant other: you’re here not only because I believe you can do the work, but because you’ve proven me correct.

“What I want you to remember is you aren’t only here to learn, you’re here to think. You didn’t come to Salem to take tests and memorize data; you’re here to develop your mind into a first-class instrument. That’s what we do in this class—we get you to thinking.” She lightly tapped them both on the forehead, eliciting smiles. “It’s the thinkers who are gonna run this world, not the test takers. And I know which ones you’re becoming.”

 

In this world there are doers and thinkers, and the thinkers are gonna win every time, ’cause they’re outside the box lookin’ in, and that gives them all the advantages.  It seems like this is some pretty heavy shit for a couple of twelve year old kids to get into, but there’s something you, the reader, will discover in–um, I think two novels from now–that explains this.  Magic is tied into imagination, but the ability to use it also ties back to intelligence, and while some of these witches might seem dumb, it’s because they’re still kids.  Give them a few years to mature and get their wits about them–

It’s already been shown that can be the different between life and a hard death.

Sitting With the Visions of Your Life

Twelve hundred words is a grove thing, yeah?  I thought so.  That’s what I did last night, while The Poseidon Adventure played in the background, and eventually segued into Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, which should have sunk like the ship did the in original novel.  (In the first movie I like watching the guy do the fall into the lights, because you can see the stuntman’s setting himself up for the fall before he does, so he hits spread-eagle on his back.  Also the jump that Pamela Sue Martin’s character does:  she has on shoes, then she doesn’t when she jumps, then they’re back.  It’s like magic!)  I even stayed up until 11:30 last night finishing this, because I’m always so slow to get things started.

But here we are, the kids in the garden on the first Saturday night back, it’s late, and they’re tired.  They’re also back on their bench, and they’re talking . . .

The bench is just inside that covered walkway.  I should make a little one and put it there.

The bench is just inside that covered walkway. I should make a little one and put it there.

 

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

They walked towards the seat just inside the covered walkway that they considered “theirs”. So much had happened between them on this bench—their goodbyes before leaving school at the end of the year and right before Yule were two of the saddest—

But there were a few others that had brought them great happiness.

Kerry waited for Annie to sit down before joining her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, cuddling her against the warmness of dark brown hoodie he’d worn since the evening temps had dropped into the Celsius upper-teens. “Comfortable, Sweetie?”

Annie nodded. “Always with you, my love.” She pulled her arms tight around her torso, keeping her body heat trapped inside her light sweater. “I love this. So dark and quiet.”

“I know. It’s usually never this dark this close to the Great Hall.”

“Well . . .” Annie sighed. “It’s a beautiful night and a full moon—and most of the students are inside right now.”

“Yeah.” He looked towards the Great Hall as if he expected someone to exit the building. “It was like this last year, too.”

“Yes, it was.” She tilted her head slightly and looked up. “You know what today is, don’t you?”

Kerry had known since waking. “Today is the day we arrived at school last year.”

“Yes. And do you know what time it is?”

“I checked the HUD when we landed: it was around twenty-two.”

Annie was glad Kerry couldn’t see the smile on her face. “A year ago about this time we were sitting out here.”

 

Anniversaries are all around, and they remember them.  Good thing, too, because in a few years Kerry will be like, “Oh, shit:  is  that today?” and then Annie goes all Dark Witch on his ass, and . . . yeah, better remember those times, kid, and stay out of trouble.

 

Kerry pressed his head against Annie’s. “I remember it well—like it happened just the other day.” He kissed her cheek. “Another happy anniversary. The first time you told me you loved me—well—” He grinned before speaking in a soft voice. “At least the first time I knew you’d said those words.”

“But it was . . .” As she’d done the year before, Annie turned around so she was facing Kerry. “It was the first time I told you in person I loved you. All the other times happened in our dreams while we were separated by thousands of kilometer.” She took his hands and pressed them against her body. “It was a first time for something else, though: the first time I called you my soul mate.” She slowly lifted their hands to her lips and lightly touched them to their their fingers. “I’d never said that before, ever.”

“It was also the first time I kissed you for real—” He bowed his head. “I’ll never forget that.”

“Neither will I.” She bowed her head, resting her head against his. “You’re thinking of something again, I can tell. You’ve been like this ever since we left the Gift Center. You were particularly quiet when we were walking to the North Wall.”

She can always tell when I’ve got something on my mind. “Yeah. I’ve been thinking—”

“Yes?”

 

Yes?  What could be on your mind, Kerry?  It’s not as if anything strange has happened to you since . . . oh, wait:  never mind.

 

Kerry gently turned Annie around until she was cuddling securely between his left arm and shoulder. “The vision we had yesterday—” His breath caught for a second. “We were gonna have sex, weren’t we? I mean—”

“I know what you mean.” She exhaled slowly . “That kind of sex. Yes?”

“Yes. That kind.”

The vision had been on Annie’s mind since yesterday as well, but she knew how Kerry would get with their visions, and waited until he was ready to discuss what they’d seen. He won’t talk before he’s ready; I’ve learned that . . . “I’ve thought about it, too: that one and the first one.” She ran her right fingers down his arm. “Do you remember how you said that the only way the first one would change is if something happened to either of us?”

He chuckled. “After reading all those books I figured it’s the only thing that makes sense.”

“It does, but there are ways . . .” She turned slightly so she was she could rest the side of her head against his chest. “You felt, like me, that in that vision it was our first time.”

“I still do.”

“But what if that was the part of the vision that could change?” Annie settled against her soul mate. “The vision could come true and still end up changed.”

He nodded slowly. “Do you think that’s what the second vision meant? That our first vision would change?”

“I don’t know.” Annie couldn’t help but snort. “At this point you know more about visions than me.”

 

It’s bad enough that as kids get older that urge to want to, you know, experiment starts to take over and ends up becoming troublesome and confusing as hell.  So now, with the hormones beginning to come on, you discover you’re having visions of things that will happen in your future, and damned if they don’t involve when you’re gonna get intimate.  It’s a nasty thing to have happen to you, on top of, you know, learning magic and stuff, having things come to you and say, “No worry.  In about eight years you’ll be able to do it!”  Thanks, Future Sight.  You’re a lot of help.

Kerry has something else on his mind, however . . .

 

“Yeah, only because you made me learn.” Kerry pulled Annie snug against him. “It’s possible that’s what we saw: the first vision will happen, but things that we felt might not be the same.” He barley touched her cheek. “I have to tell you something.”

Annie picked up something in the tone of Kerry’s voice, but it wasn’t concern or fear she heard . . . “Tell me, please. You know you can tell me anything.”

“I know.” He remained silent for almost ten seconds before getting to the matter on his mind. “I want you to be my first time . . . I need you to be my first time.”

Annie looked at his face in order to gauge his feelings. “Need me?”

“Yeah.” He touched her cheek with a gentle caress. “I want my first time to be with someone I care for, someone I respect—someone I love. I don’t want to just do it and be done: I want to share it with only one person. Only with you, Annie—” He kissed her forehead before whispering in her ear. “Moyata polovinka.”

 

I’ve pretty well established that Kerry is a smart kid, but emotional clumsy as hell.  He’s also not the smoothest of characters; even with Annie there are things he says that don’t seem to come out right.  But when he gets serious, it doesn’t matter how it comes out–he does mean it, and it comes from the heart.  Deep down he’s as much of a romantic as Annie–and she is, never feel she isn’t–and by telling her, “I want you to be my first,” he’s not just saying something to sell himself to a twelve year old girl.  He’s known Annie all his life, and when he tells her something like this, he means it.  He has to, because Annie’s also known him all her life, and she’ll smell bullshit on him in an instant.

What does she feel in return?

 

There had been many moments where Annie felt her control slipping away, and all of them had been where Kerry was concerned. At the moment she felt that control slipping away, much as she’d felt after being kissed here last year, or in the seconds after she began dancing with Kerry after the Samhain Dance. Only he knows how to touch me in that way

She kissed him on his cheek before speaking in a low, soft tone. “Vie shte bŭdete v moyata pŭrva lyubov, i az shte bŭda tvoya.” She kissed him upon the lips. “You will be my first, Kerry. There will be no one else, ever.” She chuckled as she touched his lips with her finger. “And if our vision yesterday means we’ll not be virgins when we marry, then . . .” She kissed him again. “We’ll still share that moment together.”

Kerry held her close, warming her against the encroaching chill of the night, pulling her love nearer to his. “Another anniversary together.” He touched the charm bracelet on her left wrist. “And I didn’t get you anything.”

“This?” She shook her wrist, making the charms jingle. “That was for one anniversary.” She touched the heart-shaped locket pressed against her chest. “This was for another. But you did give me something tonight—” She touched his heart. “This. I know my future with you is not just a vision—it’s real. I need never fear you won’t be with me.”

Kerry rested his head against Annie’s. “You know I’ll be with you.” He touched her locket. “I want to be there in a hundred years when you remember getting that locket.”

Annie pressed her hand over his. “It’s almost ninety-nine years now—” She rested against Kerry and sighed. “You wait is growing shorter, my love.”

 

What Annie says in Bulgarian is, “I will be your first love, and you will be mine,” and she isn’t talking about exchanging friendship rings.  She’s also pledging herself to him–and the reference of still being together for Annie’s one hundred and twelfth birthday is about as long distance planning as one can get–

Is that a tugboat I hear pulling up next to this ship?

Anyway, the chapter is done, the kids are ready to start their first classes–the next chapter starts them in some of their advanced classes–and it’s only taken about forty-five thousand words to reach this point.

Let the magical games begin.

Through Home to Love and All Points Between

Last night I endured another face zapping, and the results this time were far better than the week before.  It still hurt, but it was manageable and I didn’t start crying like a baby due to two or three other things going on at the same time.  It was a far, far better experience last night–if having electricity shot into your face can ever be considered “better”.

Of course this means I was in a touch of pain by the time I arrived home, and this meant my mind wasn’t on my writing.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t write, but a little over five hundred words was all I managed.  I did that with a flaming face, so I guess I can cut myself some slack.

As far as the scene:  I’ve established that Annie can fly–and as I explained, that means without a broom, so she can kind of zip through the sky like a Bulgarian supergirl–and Kerry is a Mimic, which Jessica will explain to him in a later scene.  We’ve already seen that Kerry’s really good at copying certain things from other people, so you get the idea.

The day is almost over, and I indicate a date for these happenings, finally rooting everything in place.

 

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

Annie and Kerry made their way through the Pentagram Garden, taking their time as they walked up from Founder’s Gate. It was dark and clear, and the lights of the Great Hall and the Pentagram were extinguished to allow the stars in the pitch black to shine down, if only for a little while: the full moon was rising, and would be drowning out the stars in another thirty minutes.

This first Saturday back, 1 September, had been a long day for the couple. Early breakfast, then Gift testing. After that was lunch and a trip down to the Flight School so Annie could check out an Espinoza 3500 to use for the school year and Kerry could get his new locker assignment for Advanced Flying. He decided he’d wait until tomorrow to check out the Class 2 brooms: Vicky told him there wasn’t any hurry, that she’d have three available for running on the Green Line.

They spent the rest of the afternoon flying to various points around the grounds: up to the Witch House and the Observatory, back to Perquat’s Grove for a sit and a chat, then down to the spot where Kerry had hid during the Day of the Dead the year before, the small clearing where she’d asked Kerry if he wanted to be a good sorceress and a Guardian—if he’d be her Dark Witch—and where he’d said yes. After a summer’s wait, after months apart, after she presented him with a long, loving kiss, she asked him the same questions, and after her kissed her as long and loving as she had, his answers remained the same.

 

Annie’s doing a little of her own re-programming here.  After the near-disaster that emanated from this local in the woods–his Day of the Dead hidey-hole–she’s working to turn something negative into a positive.  Is she washing out the decision that nearly killed him to make it something positive for them both?  Magic 8 Ball says, “Could be.”

"That's it, Annie.  Have him think good thoughts about girls with cute accents, and bad thoughts about ginger brats."

“That’s it, Annie. Have him think good thoughts about girls with cute accents, and bad thoughts about ginger hair brats that nearly get him killed.”

From their it’s a lot of quiet, movie-montage walking . . .

 

Then it was dinner and hike out to Sunset Tower to enjoy the coming of night before taking a walk north along the Outer Wall. They didn’t speak much, just held hands and examined the scenery on both sides of the wall. Once they reached the North Wall, they remounted their brooms and flew back to the Pentagram, touching down just outside Founders Gate.

Throughout most of their A Level they spent little time wandering the gardens outside the Great Hall. Annie remembered the last time they’d strolled through here: after the Samhain dance, the first time she’s call him moyata polovinka, and his first experience with real déjà vu. She wasn’t interested in a replay of that even—Annie had more on here mind . . .

She gently tugged on Kerry’s arm. “See what’s ahead?”

There was plenty ahead that Kerry saw, but Annie’s question was more than rhetorical. “The Pentagram Wall; our tower; the walkway . . .” He turned and eyed her hard. “Oh, yeah: our bench.”

She playfully tapped his chest. “Silly. You knew I meant that.”

“You’re not exactly subtle, Sweetie.” He led her towards the covered walkway. “Wanna sit?”

She chuckled. “I thought you’d never ask.”

They walked towards the seat just inside the covered walkway that they considered “theirs”. So much had happened between them on this bench—their goodbyes before leaving school at the end of the year and right before Yule were two of the saddest—

But there were a few others that had brought them great happiness.

 

We sort of know what happiness came forth on that bench, but what’s going to happen now?  I do know that something important will happen here in a few minutes–well, “few” is a relative term when they’re waiting for the writer to get off her butt and write that moment.

I should get to that about the time I’m returning from the store tonight . . .

Light As a Feather, Changed and Now Bored

It’s almost forty-two thousand words into my new novel, and still not one day of class.  So much set up, so much to do even though I feel like I’ve done it already.  It’s one of those things playing at my mind, that I want to get into this story . . . and then I realize, I am in the story.  This is needed.  And I’m writing it, slowly but surely.

So let’s get going.  In the story is 1 September, and a year before Annie and Kerry were walking into this joint.  Today . . . they’re doing something different:

 

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

After the jaunt Annie slowly stumbled in through the south entrance of the Sloan Powers Center, escorted by one of the students who studied there. One of the girls who helped Vicky during Annie’s testing walked alongside: she wasn’t actively helping, but was rather there in case Annie needed any assistance.

Annie wasn’t completely worn out, but she felt the strain of the last two hours.

Doing magic required expending personal energy to extract magical energy: it was the trade-off that witches incurred in order to craft their art. Usually the person energy expended wasn’t close to the energy retrieved, but as with any physical activity, after a while the witch in question will grow tired—even more so if there is continual crafting.

None of the crafting she’d done over the last year required using a lot of physical effort; her most strenuous class from her A Level was Advanced Spells, and two hours of crafting there ended up being no more difficult than taking a long walk from The Pentagram to the Observatory. This time, however, she’d found herself crafting almost non-stop for two hours, and while she wasn’t exhausted, the experience had certainly tired her. Instead of the experienced feeling like a walk to the Observatory, Annie felt more as if she’d jogged there.

And she knew if she felt tired . . .

 

I’ve not talked much about the thing in the south part of the school, and for good reason:  there isn’t much there.  See below:

The Pentagram and all points south.

The Pentagram and all points south.

You can see The Pentagram and Great Hall, the Spell Center on the left, and the Transformation Hall, the Chemistry Building, and the Instructor’s Residence on the right.  In this image “above” those are the Tesla Science Center and the Sloan Powers Center, and slightly above them in a short, long building known as the Hanger.  Above the Hanger is the Aerodrome, and almost due left of that is the Flight School, sitting on the edge of the light green area that is Selena’s Meadow.

In the upper left we have The Diamond, the racing stadium that can also be used for training.  All the way at top center is the South Wall and Gloucester Bend of the Green Line, and beyond that the town of Gloucester.  Beyond that is a lot of forest, and the remains of what was once known as Dogtown.  Over in the lower right, where that portion of wall and a tower sit, is the area where Emma and Kerry crashed down during the Day of the Dead attack.

I should point out that the Hanger is on its third incarnation.  The first one was built in the 1930s; that was later taken down in 1971 and replaced with a structure that looks quite like the one standing today.  The second incarnation was blown up by Maddie’s husband in 2000, during the Scouring.

It’s in the Hanger that Annie was doing her Gifts testing–which is what is happening in this scene–and Kerry is doing his in the Sloan Center.  The Tesla building looks like a T, and the Sloan Center is to the right, shaped like a U.  That’s where the action is taking place, and this is a part of the school–a small part–that has not been seen yet, because this area is for the Gifted and the Mad Scientists who are also witches, but are more technowitches and “mutants” than anything else.  They need the love, too.

Speaking of love . . .

 

The girl stopped next to a door and opened it about half-way. “You can wait in here. The professors will be with you as soon as they’ve finished examining your results.”

“Thank you.” Annie nodded at the girl as she pushed the door open the rest of the way and walked into the room beyond. Its wasn’t large: there was a table and a few chairs to her right, and a few large chairs—much like the ones in their Pilot’s Briefing Room in the Flight School—only these reclined.

One close to the table was fully reclined: the person in the chair, who wore loose light blue lounging pants and a gray tee shirt just like hers, looked up and slowly waved. “Hey—” Kerry pointed to the chair to his left. “Come sit.”

“I will.” She sat in the chair and marveled at its comfort, recognizing it was likely enchanted to feel this way. She reclined so she could seen Kerry without having to twist around. “This is nice.”

“It is.” He slid his hand behind his head. “Where did they take you?”

“Over to the Hanger.” The Hanger was one of three structures on school grounds where air craft could be stored and tested, though its main purpose was so students from the Tesla Science Center had a place to work on their projects. “Vicky and three students did the testing.”

“What did they have you doing?” Kerry stretched as he tried to stifle a yawn.

“A lot of levitating.” Annie stared at the ceiling as she recounted her experience. “I’d levitate something, then I’d levitate myself; then a few other things, then myself; then more things, on and on.” She rolled over so she was facing Kerry. “Then they had me stay in the air for about an hour while I levitated dozens of objects.” Annie stretched her right arm out towards the top of the chair and lay her head down. “What did you do?”

“Minor transformations—” Kerry rolled towards Annie. “Trying to change things like hair, eyes, lips, complexion, then trying to copy the same things from two other students.” He rolled his eyes upwards. “One of them was a girl, and Jessica had me trying to mimic her hands and feet.”

Annie perked up. “Did you?”

“Twice.” Kerry shrugged. “Though I did her fingers first . . .” He flexed his right hand. “It sort of hurt ‘cause her hands were smaller.”

Annie held her left hand towards Kerry. “That tends to happen.”

He reached out with his right and touched her extended fingers. “I’ve noticed.”

 

Poor babies hanging out in nice easy chairs while wearing yoga gear.  It’s hard out there for a witch, I tell ya.  But I’ll get into the writing tonight, perhaps finish this scene and move to the next.

I really want to get into the classes.  I think.

Walking Through the Long Stay

Yesterday was one of those good and not so good days.  It was good because I went to a makeup party and hung out with some great women and had a lot of fun.  It was not so good ’cause I had to drive to Silver Springs, MD, which is just north of DC, which meant I needed to drive I-83 to 695 to 95 to 495, which can otherwise be known as Vehicular Hell.  The traffic is always moving, but it’s heavy all the way through Baltimore and Washington, and you can’t let up concentration for most of the route.  I was fine going in, but by the time I made the trek home I was already tired, and keeping my mind on the road proved to be a lot of work, so by the time I stumbled back into The Burg I was fairly exhausted.

Also, the moment I turned on the main light in my apartment–which is like my only light in my apartment–the bulb blew and I had nary a spare, so I had to run out and pick up a new one.  That meant it was at least another half hour before I could relax and watch the last episode of Mad Men, where it appears Don Draper’a navel gazing may have led to the creation of the most memorable TV ad that didn’t involve Barry Manilow.

Still, I had a great time and got to wear my orange skirt for the first time:

As one can see, I don't take great pictures in my apartment.

As one can see, I don’t take great pictures in my apartment.

I was at least comfortable as I drove.  As well as cool and comfortable.

Needless to say, I didn’t write a word yesterday.  I couldn’t even give much thought to scenes because the mind was on the road, and when it wasn’t it’d turned to stone.  I usually pride myself in being able to through some story ideas together, or even work out dialog and scenes, while I’m out on the road, but not yesterday.  Nope, a whole lot of nope.

It’s not that it’s needed.  I have a great idea of where this novel is going, and I know what needs to be said.  The next scene is gift testing . . .

Happens right here, in the building on the left.  we haven't been down here much.

Happens right here, in the building on the left. we haven’t been down here much.

And I’ll recount a little about what the kids went through for that.  It’s not much of a relaxing “Before school starts” weekend, but that’s how things go down.  As the scene that comes after this next will explain, Annie and Kerry are starting to realize that their B Levels are probably going to be a bit ass busting, between the advanced classes, getting called up for minion duty, and whatever else might come their way.  Oh, and that vision will get a little bit of discussion:  after all, why wouldn’t it?

Ah, my kids are growing up so quickly.  Which may not be a good thing.

Back to writing tonight.  Because I can only be so lazy for so long.

Full Tilt Visions

Well, nails are done, Orphan Black is watched, and the last working scene is completed.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might become, but I didn’t get my butt in gear until late in the afternoon, and didn’t finish up until about ten-thirty last night.  Which is normal for me:  I seem to write early in the morning or late at night.  Probably due to this work thing that gets in the way of the middle of the day most weeks.

The scene, as mentioned, is finished, and it only took me five days to write four thousand words–

I'd have finished in four if I hadn't screwed around for two days.

I’d have finished in four if I hadn’t screwed around for two days.

The remainder of the scene is a follow-up to what has already happened.  As the reader you know what went down, but Deanna doesn’t because she’s just a character in my world–then again, she’s somewhere inside me, so she knows the future because I know the future, and . . . nah, best not go down that rabbit hole.

But my kids have to go there–and it’s not easy . . .

 

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

“This.” Annie’s shirt was two-thirds of the way up her torso before she realized she was sitting in a classroom in Memory’s End—and that Kerry was facing her, helping her with her top. “Kerry.”

“Annie.” Kerry slowly pulled his hands back from where he was helping Annie with her top, his face a mask of embarrassment not over what he was doing, but the realization of where it was done. “I’m, um—”

“I know.” She pulled her blouse back to into position before reaching for Kerry’s hands. “I didn’t know—”

“I didn’t either.”

“I was just—”

“We were—”

Both felt saucers set against their hands. Deanna was there, hold their cups. “Here, have some tea. It’ll calm you.”

Annie and Kerry took their respective cup and turned away from each other and faced Deanna, who’d returned to her pillow seat. They sipped their tea in silence for more than a minute, never looking at each other until they’d felt their emotions returning to normal.

Annie was the first to ask the question on both their minds. “What did you see?”

Deanna didn’t need to ask to whom she was speaking. “First, tell me what you saw.”

She nodded, then went into detail of what she saw. Annie started at the floor as she reached the end. “You saw what happened at the end.”

“Yes, I did.” Deanna turned to Kerry. “What did you see?”

He said nothing for a few seconds, then slowly nodded in Annie’s direction. “Everything she saw.”

“Only from your point of view?”

“Yeah.”

 

This was what Deanna wanted to see–and she got her money’s worth.  She even admits that she saw them pantomiming some of their actions while they were having their vision:  it’s how she knew they were flying, because she watched them act as if they were.  Kerry also points out that it felt incredibly real, like they really were in the air streaking along at hundred of kilometers and hour.

But once more they’re sharing visions and dreams–and it looks as if you put them in a trance together, odds are they’ll start visioning together.  That could come in handy in a few years–“Honey, who should we invite to the party?”  “Why don’t we have a trans vision and see who shows up?”  “Good idea!”–but there are some downsides to that idea.  Like what they learn when Kerry asks how they came back to the real world:  did it happen naturally, or did they have help?

 

Deanna sat back a little in her pillow chair. “Do you mean bring you out of the trance?”

“No, I mean . . .” He swallowed. “I mean the vision.”

“No.” She shook her head slowly. “It’s dangerous bringing a person out of a vision. It can cause a great deal of problems—even harm—for the person experiencing the vision.”

“How far would you have let us go?” Annie was also staring at the floor.

Deanna wasn’t about to hide anything. “Until you came out of the vision.”

Annie looked up and meet the seer’s stare. “Even if I’d undressed?”

“Do you believe that’s what you were doing?”

“Yes.”

Denna nodded towards the entrance. “The door is locked and I’m in conference. We wouldn’t have been interrupted.”

Those words sent a chill through Annie. She wouldn’t have stopped us—couldn’t have stopped us. We would have had to see it through to the end. “What do you think it means, Deanna?”

 

Something like this came up during the rune dream discussion, when Annie and Kerry began talking about their wedding night vision, and as they felt themselves slipping into it, they panicked and stopped talking.  Here they get the conformation:  Annie could have stripped down to her nickers and Deanna would have let her because something bad could have happened if she tried to force her back to the real world.  I guess it goes without saying that having those visions together might not be a good idea . . .

Now the question is “When?” and there is at least one hint–

 

The seer considered the question for a moment. “Given what you know about each other, how did you look in your vision compared to now?”

“We were older.” Annie confirmed this with soul mate, who nodded. “We’re certain.”

“I wasn’t wearing glasses.” Reflectively Kerry adjusted the wire frames. “I didn’t have them flying—the goggles weren’t over-sized—”

Annie agreed. “No, they weren’t. And I could see your face clearly. You weren’t wearing them in the room, either.”

“That means it has to be a ways off in the future—” He turned to Deanna. “Right?”

“Perhaps.” A slight grin played over Deanna’s face. “Then again, you are taking Advanced Transformation this year, and learning how to adjust and correct your eyesight is something you’ll probably learn. I’d say by this next summer you may be on the way to doing away with your glasses either permanently, or at the least semi-permanently.”

 

What?  Are you trying to tell me you actually one-up Harry Potter and fix your eyesight with magic?  Oh, just wait and see what you can do, kids:  I got it all figured out.  But yes:  Kerry ditches the glasses at some point soon, because why do you need them when you can give yourself 20/20, or 20/15, or even 20/10 vision?  And since Kerry will come out to his parents when he finished his B Levels, better eyesight through magic is a must.  Just tell everyone else you got contacts . . .

Visions are out of the way–now, it’s time for gifts.  Um, I mean Gifts.  Everyone likes those, right?

The Hook at the Core

In yesterday’s post I said this:

 

In fact the scene is just short of thirty-one hundred words, which makes it a big scene, and it’s something I should finish tonight.  “Should” being the operative word.  I’ve seen that plan fall through more than once, but I’m confident I should finish tonight.  Should.

 

Yeah, about that . . .

Should came up last night in the form of a long nap, a trip out for dinner, a couple of adult beverages, and just a general feeling that this was a bad week and I needed some relaxation prompted me not to do too much.  I managed a few words, but I really wasn’t into writing.  I mean, it’s been a week of ups and downs, and for the most part I’ve been taking Friday nights off.  And, for the records, I wrote, from Monday to Friday, four thousand, five hundred, and fifty-three words, which is a nice weekly total.  If I throw last Saturday and Sunday into that mix, the total rolls up to almost six thousand, eight hundred words, and that’s a short story a week right there.

I’m not going to complain too much.  I really need to take a break now and then.

However, I’m never quite away from the story, even when I’m not writing.  So while I’m sitting at Red Robins sucking down a Baileys Irish Cream milkshake–and I had two, ’cause it was that sort of week–I thought of the hook for this story, what’s coming for my kids–

It’s change.  More than just being able to do magic, too.

The statement has been made a couple of times that the kids are growing up fast, that they’re more mature, at least in their relationship, that others at the school.  But in the last year both my kids saw a vision of their future, and it was . . . well, it was pretty straight forward about where they were headed.  And now, after yesterday’s post, it looks like they may be out on their own, and perhaps preparing to get their ya-yas out–

"Cassie, I hate being a character in your story and pretending not to know what you know."

“Cassie, I hate being a character in your world and pretending not to know what you’re talking about.”

Sucks, don’t it, Chestnut Girl?

Annie turns thirteen in this novel–pretty soon, actually–and Kerry goes through the same thing once the novel gets on towards the end.  For the first time in this world they’re beginning to realize that they are changing, and that there’s a whole lot about them that is different–

And that’s all a bit scary.

I thought out how this current scene ends, which I sort of knew, but I worked out the detail last night without writing anything down.  That happens today, and then we go on to their Gift testing, which is just another indication they’re different kids–but they already knew that:  they were out on a secret mission four months earlier–as they were reminded by Deanna–and how many others in their level did the same?  Um, let me see:  add nothing to nothing, twice nothing, take away the nothing . . .

You get the idea.  They’re different.  And now they’ll start realizing they’re just like the other kids who are going through the Big P, only none of those kids have see what may be waiting for them when they’re done with school.

There are no big bads stalking my kids in this series of stories, looking to snuff them out of existence so they can take over the world.  The enemy they face is something even worse:  their own lives, and how they’re affected by those around them.

In other words, being teenagers.  Magical teenagers who deal with a lot heavier shit than wondering if they can work up the nerve to ask Jenny out to the dance, or see if Billy wants to go to a movie.  At least in those Normal instances one never had to worry about a monster eating them while they’re out . . .

I promise I’ll write today.  I want to finish this up.  Besides, I need something to do before I go get food and my nails done, and I’ve got a that makeup party tomorrow . . .