Salem Bay One Dreamin’

Well, now, it seems I’ve moved on from the last scene and into the next.  This chapter is moving by now, with almost eight hundred words down in the story bank, and only two scenes left before I move on to the final scene of Chapter Thirteen.

I should mention that I didn’t just write last night–I looked up something.  Something I can see using the Google Earth function.  Wanna see?   Sure you do–

What is all this stuff I'm looking at, Cassie?

What is all this stuff I’m looking at, Cassie?

About the middle of the picture, where the peak on the right and the one in the center meet with the slope on the left–that’s where Annie lives.  We can’t see her home and the lake and her lake house, because we are but mere Normal people, but it’s all there, trust me.  I see it, and now when Annie says she’s a mountain girl, you know what she means.

Right now she isn’t in the mountains.  No, she’s hanging out about thirty meters above sea level, and, conversely, she’s waking up in the middle of the night.  Yes, she spent the night in the hospital; yes, she’s in Bay #1; yes, she’s sleeping in the bed next to Kerry’s, because he’s far too busted up for her to share his bed.  And it gets her to thinking . . .

 

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

A smile grew as Annie thought back to earlier in the evening. Holoč and Vicky returned not long after Kerry woke to see how he felt and to congratulate him on his win. Erywin and Helena arrived just before the Madness began to do the same, and Wednesday, Isis, and Jessica popped in while the Madness was underway to offer well wishes.

Penny and Jairo arrived with Alex and Kahoku, and they sat with them for about an hour, with the girls sitting on the empty bed and the boys taking over the chairs. While they were having their Mini Madness Nadine and Malaya from the Mórrígan team arrived to check on Emma, and on their way back to the Dining Hall stopped and offered their congratulations to Penny, Alex, and Kerry for sweeping the podium. Neither girl bore the Cernunnos team any ill will: as Nadine said it was a well-fought match, and were it not for an unavoidable incident at the end, the result wouldn’t have been that much different.

This activity went on until about twenty-three hours, when Coraline stopped by to give Emma a final examination, then checked in on Kerry before getting him comfortable for the evening and adjusting his pain management before wishing them both a good night and leaving them in the darkened first floor ward.

 

It was a good time, even if Kerry was all busted up.  A huge difference from the year before when it was just Annie and no one else to mourn over his broken body.  Which leaves us late at night, with Annie laying under her covers and watching her Ginger Hair Boy.

Annie's not looking out scared; but try finding a picture of a girl lying in bed that isn't a bit . . . porny.

Annie’s not looking out from them scared, but try finding a picture on the Internet of a girl laying in bed that isn’t a bit . . . porny.

It’s all so peaceful, which means . . . something’s going to happen, right?

Right.

 

Kerry’s breath hitched as his head moved slightly as if he were looking for something.

Is he dreaming again? She nearly shook her head as she considered the irony. The incident the year before that had her rushing to Kerry’s aid was a nightmare brought on by his earlier escape from an Abomination. That moment, however, was the precursor to Kerry not only remembering Annie as “The Chestnut Girl” from their shared dreams, but it let them to relive part of one of their more memorable and tender dreams, and it allowed Kerry to finally open up and express his feeling for Annie.

He fell in love with me a second time— She shifted slightly as she watched him. I was upset later that he hadn’t remembered me from our dreams, but Deanna was right: how often does a girl have the same person fall in love with her twice?

She was about to roll over on to her back and go back to sleep when Kerry mumbled in a low, slurred voice. “Why do you keep bothering me? Why don’t you go away?”

 

Hey, don’t bother Kerry, you . . . dream, you.  And that last part there, that’s where I ended, because it was getting on towards ten-thirty and I didn’t want to keep writing into the night.  Plus, it’s recommended that you always ended a scene on a cliffhanger, because it lets the writer jump back into what’s happening that much quicker.

Which means I’ll get back into this pretty quick tonight, right?

Remembrances of a Year Past

The close of business yesterday wasn’t the best.  I had to run out and get a new inflatable bed because my last one sprung a leak, and in the process of doing that my bank thought someone was using my card and disallowed the charge (fortunately I had backup), and I split a nail.  Not chipped, not broke:  split it right down the middle.  It wasn’t a bad one, but this is the first nail issues I’ve had in months, and it totally pissed me off to have to cut and file and watch my manicure become damaged.  I know, First World Girl Problems.

That didn’t put me in the best of moods for writing, not to mention I was fading like crazy after carrying this heavy inflatable bed from car to elevator to underground passage to elevator to apartment and then having to set it up.  But there was work to do, and I got to it.  First, I got Act Two organized so I’ll know how many words I’m into it, and still be able to see how much has been added to the novel as a whole.  I filled out the coven rosters a little bit more, and ended up putting Not-Tanith-Anymore where she belonged, and made a change to the racing team rosters because, oops, I made a mistake in the original setup.

My head was all over the place, but still:  six hundred fifty words in, one thousand eighty total for the scene, and here it is, all for you, because you got to hear about other things yesterday:

 

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

Kerry felt complete calm as Annie and he finally reached the Great Hall. The last Saturday of October was Samhain Celebration, and everyone was already in the mood to hang out, relax, and enjoy the festivities—particularly the last part, with the high point being the costumed Samhain Dance. Kerry realized how lucky Annie and he were to still have their lower level lab to used as a place to practice magic and plan other activities, because Penny, Alex, and Jario were driving them crazy trying to learn about their costumes. As Annie told Penny during last night’s Madness, “You’ll see our costumes when you see them.”

Keeping their outfits for the dance under wraps wasn’t the only thing on Kerry’s mind. Unlike last year, where he and Annie spent most of the time hanging out in the Observatory watching racing before getting ready for the dance, this time he’d run at least one race as a member of the Cernunnos B Team. The B Team heats ran from nine-thirty until eleven-thirty, all of them three lap races with Class 1 PAVs on the Green Line. After the B Teams were finished there would be an ninety minute break, and the A Teams would take over from thirteen until fifteen-thirty. Each coven would complete three times over five heats, flying Class 2 PAVs for six alternating laps starting on the Green Line before moving to the Blue Line, and then moving back to the Green.

This month he’d run two races as a member of the Cernunnos B Team, and had done well in both races. While he’d not won yet, the last race he’d finished forth, just missing a podium, and his first race he’d finished second. The schedule had him in a heat at ten between Cernunnos, Blodeuwedd, and Åsgårdsreia, and depending on the outcome of that race, he would either race Ceridwen and Mórrígan, or Ceridwen and either Blodeuwedd, and Åsgårdsreia again. Before last night’s Madness Professor Semplen told Kerry he had a good chance at another podium finish during the first heat, as he’d gotten his podium finish during a race with Åsgårdsreia.

No matter the outcome of his race or races, Kerry would finish by noon, after which Annie and he could relax in the Dining Hall, watch the afternoon races, and get ready for the dance. It wa going to be a good day for racing, and an even better day to enjoyed the evening’s entertainment.

Not to mention having the opportunity to take another stroll through the garden at midnight with Annie at his side . . .

 

B Team stuff there, and though it’s just two races, Kerry seems to be doing well, with a podium and near-podium finish.  And if you’re not familiar with that, think of when you have first, second, and third standing together on boxes, only the boxes are a podium, and that’s what we’re talking about.  Here they take their racing seriously, and laugh at fictional games on brooms.  I mean, flying around throwing a big ball through a hoop while enchanted cannon balls try to knock you out?  Really?

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

 

There was a tap on the back of his left hand: Annie was doing it to get his attention. “You’re off in thoughts again, my love.”

“Yeah, I know.” He waved open the doors of the West Entrance and waited for Annie to enter ahead of him. “Just running over everything in my head.”

“You mean for today.”

They slowed as they walked through the West Transept. “I’ve got the race on my mind, then just, you know . . .” He shrugged and smiled at her as they walked into the Rotunda and turned right. “The dance tonight.”

Annie gave a slight node. “Um, hum. Are you thinking of anything else tonight?”

“Yeah: the walk between the bonfires.”

“As am I.” She stopped him, swung him around to face her, and moved to within centimeters of his body. “I’m also thinking of something after that, my love.”

“So was I, Sweetie. Maybe—” He smiled. “A walk at night in the Pentagram Garden?”

She ran her fingers lightly along his jaw line. “That would make for a perfect end to a wonderful day. Like you, I want to walk between the bonfires.”

 

Walking between bonfires is a highly symbolic ritual at Salem:  you’re basically cleansing the old you of crap you no longer need, and preparing yourself for the seasons ahead.  The bonfire walk as Samhain prepares you for winter and spring, and those at Beltane prepare you for summer and autumn.  And ritual is huge at Salem:  they have just over three hundred years of school history to draw upon, and centuries more that came before that, so it’s there:  it’s always present.  The way certain events are kept in the memories of the students shows just how much the school still believes in ritual and traditions.

Speaking of memories . . .

 

Kerry remembered their walk after the dance, where they’d slowly walked between two huge bonfires letting the heat wash over them before they walked back to The Pentagram in the cool, misting rain. At the time he’d thought it was as perfect as thing could be: their first school function, where they mingled and chatted and danced, where he’d dedicated a song to Annie and they shared the floor alone, a moment where he’d held her close because he feared she may grow light-headed and faint.

It was an important moment for Kerry, for that night he almost told Annie that he loved her. This was before he’d remembered he’d known her through his dream all his life, and that he’d expressed his love to her years before. Last Samhain all he knew was that Annie loved him, that he’d fallen in love with her, and he was being a horrible person because he’d been afraid to express that love.

He’d wanted to tell her that night, but fear and déjà vu prevented the words from coming out. It was only a few days later, after the school was attacked during the Day of the Dead, after he’d saved people and was almost killed by an Abomination, after a night in the hospital where an old dream finally began breaking through the wall of around his mind and heart that he’d accidentally created causing him forget Annie, that he finally told her he loved her—

“My love?”

 

Kerry knows all this now.  He remembers all the stuff about Annie and him before losing his memory of her, and how he re-developed his love of her over time.  As he’s said, maybe there was something in the back of his mind pushing him to remember, and that’s possible, but there new memories of how he fell in love with her again will never go away, either.  It has to be incredible to know that you did return to loving someone as you had once before, and it would have to mean that you were made for each other, yeah?    Deanna was right when she told Annie, “He fell in love with you twice:  how many girls can say that’s happened to them?”

Not many girls at Salem.  Scratch that:  none of the girls at Salem.  Annie’s the only one.

 

Kerry snapped back to real time, to where they were standing just under the first floor landing on the west side of the Rotunda. “I’m sorry—” He slipped his arm around Annie’s shoulders and hugged her. “I was thinking about last year, Sweetie.” He kissed her forehead. “My little sarmi.”

Annie laughed as she playfully slapped his chest. “I am not stuffed cabbage leaves for you to enjoy.”

He laid his hand over hers. “But you do taste good.” He cocked his head slightly to the right and slowly raised his brows.

For just a quick moment Annie blushed, then placed her fingers over Kerry’s lips. “Shush, you. You’re supposed to keep that to yourself.”

“I will, then.” He nodded towards the dining hall entrance. “Shall we?”

 

In case you’re wondering, sarmi is a Bulgarian dish of cabbage leaves wrapped around a mixture of meat and vegetable–in other words, stuffed cabbage leaves.  And Bulgarians love to cover it in a tomato sauce and serve it with a side of sour cream or yogurt.  First she was his pumpkin, and now she’s Kerry’s savory cabbage roll–

Annie:  tasty and delicious since 2011.

Annie: tasty and delicious since 2011.

With all this talk of food, it’s off to breakfast, yeah?

 

“Yes.” She lightly slapped his chest again. “You need your strength.” Annie took him by the hand and led him towards the Dining Hall and breakfast.

They didn’t go far, however. They were just passing the stairs to the hospital when a voice they knew called out. “Kerry.”

He looked up the stairs; Penny was standing about a quarter of a way from the top. “Hi, Penny.”

“Hi.” Penny seemed ill at ease. “Could you come up? We need to talk.”

 

That certainly sounds serious.  And if I’m not too burned out tonight, you’ll find out just what it is going on.

The Forgotten Light

Strange morning today, this Boxing Day that we don’t celebrate in the U.S..  There’s snow coming down, but it’s not going to stick.  It’s also very light, so it’ll be more of an annoyance than anything else.  I’ll pretty much be one of the only people in the IT department today, and it’ll be another light day at work.  All in all, it’s one of those days where I should be home working on something else besides work.

Can’t have everything, I suppose.

I didn’t write as much as I thought.  I got to talking to people on line yesterday, which helped keep me from slipping off into the darkness.  Even still, I managed over eight hundred words, which got my total up over eighty-five thousand, which means that sometime tonight I’ll reach the pinnacle of second biggest novel.  Which may or may not mean anything, but still gives me something to shoot for.

Still, it was a tough write.  Things I wanted to say weren’t there.  I was suppose to say something, but what I wanted to say seemed to be locked up inside my head and fighting to come out.  So it was writing in little spurts all the time, here and there, word by word until I had what I wanted.

And even then . . .

I finally got to bed about eleven, and as I was crawling under the sheets I started thinking about the scenes I’d just created, and no sooner was my head against the pillow that I thought, “I forgot the red lights.”

Allow me to explain:

The scene I was working on had to do with my kids getting to their night class at the observatory.  I’ve already posted part of that, but if you pay close attention I’ve never mentioned the lighting.  This is something important, because when you’re working at night like this, the lighting should be red, to help preserve your night vision.  Since it was dark outside when they arrived, there should have been a mention, probably in the first paragraph when they entered the observatory tower, I should have mentioned the red lights being on.  In fact, they should have seen that before they entered the tower:  there should have been a red light hanging outside, illuminated to indicate that the lights inside were red as well.

Tonight, then, I need to go back and rewrite something at the beginning before I continue on with the rest of the scene.  Not a big deal:  in fact, I’ll probably think about what I’m going to write throughout the day, and pen that sucker up before I get on to writing the good stuff.

I should have remembered it, because all the time I was thinking of this scene I had red light in mind.  Blame it on distractions.  Blame it on whatever I like.  At least I caught it before it got away from me.

This is how I go at times, forgetting little details and then remembering them at the craziest times.

Who knows what I’ll forget today.

 

Remembrance of the Falsehood

Yeah, it’s been a not-so-bad weekend, and it’s coming to a close fast.  I’ve almost finished Part Ten of Diners at the Memory’s End, and I went to sleep knowing that I’ll probably finish up that part in less than five hundred words today.  I mean, after what one of my characters did last night, not much else for them to do now, save go somewhere and blow off some steam.  Which is one more, it’s Part Eleven.

So there is that.  But today, I’m of a different mind today.  On about something else, I am.

If you’re on Facebook–and who am I kidding, you are, just admit it–you know that 3 July, Andy Griffith died.  You couldn’t help notice it because just about everyone was posting things:  links, pictures, cats–yeah, everyone posts cats, that’s a law on the Internet.

Anyway, there was a lot of emoting about how childhoods were shaped by the TV show, and how it was a great time, and how fond everyone was of Mayberry.

Yeah, about that . . .

First off, the show in question, The Andy Griffith Show.  It was only funny when Don Knotts on was.  Search your feelings, you know this to be true.  You found Goober funny?  You’re amused by car wrecks, aren’t you?

Second, the thing I always remember Griffith for was A Face in the Crowd, which remains brilliant to this day.  “Lonesome” Rhodes is everywhere today; just flip on Faux News, and you’ll see him in the flesh.

Now, thirdly, that feeling of living the idyllic life, the sense of peace that comes from growing up in a small town . . . yeah, sorry.  I’m gonna call bullshit on ya, ’cause there was nothing idyllic about growing up in a small down in the 1960’s–

See, that was me.  I grew up in a small town in Indiana through the 1960’s and 70’s.  Some might argue that with a population of 6,000, it wasn’t small enough to be a small town, but we were one of those strange places where we were cut between two different school systems, so while I went to school in town, a much larger segment of the town actually went to school in a town about 10 miles away.  There was even a small part of the town that went to school in another town, but we never speak of Lowell.

So it was a small town, with a small school system.  There were 165 people in my graduating class.  I attended 6th Grade in a building that had alarms that went off whenever the pressure in the main boiler became too great, and when that happened, the building would have to be evacuated because said boiler might explode within the next half hour.  A pastime at my high school was calling in bomb scares, and when that would happen we were immediately sent onto the football field to wait to see if the school was going to explode.  This once happened during January, when the outside temperature was hovering around zero, and we weren’t allowed to grab coats before being marshaled outside–where we stood for almost two hours.

Can’t complain, however.  One of the things I spent time doing in school was trying to make nitroglycerin from some home-made formula one of my friends discovered.  I think we came very close to blowing ourselves up once, but it’s hard to say:  when it started smoking like hell we dumped it down a sink, and abandoned our attempts for that year.  We didn’t start up again the following year because one of the guys I was working with moved to Colorado with his white-supremacist family–which is not a joke when I remember his father–and the other guy was busted for selling drugs, and was kicked out of school.  I decided that I’d go it alone, and spent a couple of years learning how to build pipe bombs.  No, really.

I lived 30 miles south of Gary, and in pre-EPA America, it was pretty common that when looking to the north you’d see, not a blue sky, but one that was a muddy brown.  It was even worse during the summer, when you could almost taste the crap in the air, and I remember several times when a murky fog would drift around the town, and people would go, “Oh, it’s the mills,” and accept what was happening.

Minorities didn’t exist in my school, or in most of my town.  It was all white kids, with families divided between farmers and factory workers, with a few people involved in home construction here and there.  There were a few “wealthy” kids in my school:  a couple whose parents were doctors, and a couple of kids whose family owned a very successful marina.  The rest of us got by.  I didn’t go without, but by no means did my family have a lot of money.

Speaking of my family . . . my father was from Tennessee, and my mother was from Chicago.  Racists, both.  My grandparent:  racists.  The majority of my relatives:  racists.  But I shouldn’t hold this label on just my parents, ’cause the majority of my friends, and my friend’s families, were like that as well.  But that’s another story, so lets stay on what I know . . .

Everyone close to me feared the following in this order:  Negros, Mexicans, “foreigners” (I know, they really keep those options wide open), hippies (1960’s, remember?), radicals, and anyone who wasn’t like them.  It was a wonder anyone could go outside due to fact there was a good chance they might run into someone who fit any of the prior criteria.  Needless to say, growing up I heard a number of things about killing minorities, or harming minorities, or beating up hippies and radicals–or killing them . . . yeah, that’s how it was.

And if I wasn’t happy with small town life in Indiana, for a few weeks every summer I was hauled off to small town Tennessee life, where damn near everyone lived in a state of mind that started with losing the Civil War, and thinking that, any time now, they South was gonna Rise Again.  A place where I was once told I couldn’t listen to a transistor radio inside my aunt’s house, because it might offend them (apparently they were way off in batshit insane religious territory, but I didn’t know about that until much later), and where I was once publicly castigated by relatives, at what would have been the ripe old age of nine, for saying something nice about Dr. King.

Small town life, for me, wasn’t idyllic.  It was fraught with being looked at as something of an outsider.  It was being set up as someone who didn’t fit in.  I’ve blogged before about how my musical choices in high school had people calling me a freak because I wasn’t listening to Top 40 pop.  I was even beat up once in, 1976, by a “friend” who got pissed off at me for saying that British bands seemed better than American bands, and then having the temerity to back up my statements.

I also walked away from everything my parents believed and feared.  I went to college with all the sorts of people they hated.  I even went out on a couple of dates with a girl from Jamaica, and at the end of each night, kissed her.  Oh, yes!  I kissed a black girl!  Something my parents told me would force them to, and I quote, “throw you out of the family.”

Consider myself tossed, ‘kay?

TV is not meant to be reality.  Not even reality TV, which is just as scripted as any other program you might see.  And during the 1960’s, TV was about as far from reality as you could get.  It might make you feel good, but all one had to do was look out their front window and see that the real world was nothing like the small towns portrayed on the tube.  It’s all a fiction.  It’s all unreal.  It’s meant to entertain, not be a blueprint for life.

Remember all you like about how great your life was, but I’m pretty certain you’re not remembering your life–you’re remembering the life you wish you had.

Good think my dreams these days are of the future . . .