The Midnight Window: Remembrance of the Hurting

At the moment the novel is moving forward in little five hundred word increment, as if I know the end is right around the corner, and if I hold off from finishing just a little long, I can say I’m still telling their story, or some crap like that.  I guess there’s a fear that once I’m done I may not pick up again, but then again, the next novel is gonna have a lot o stuff in it, and if I don’t pick up the story–

*le sigh*  Things like this drive you crazy, you know?

Anyway, yesterday I played with Stellarium because I noticed something about it that was throwing me:  while you can move around the world and see the sky from anywhere, and change the day and time, the program keys off the system date and time of your computer.  So even if I’m looking at the sky over Cardiff, the program thinks it’s looking at it based upon the time back here in The Burg, which is to say Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

That means when I look at the sky right now for where I live–

With a lot more buildings around me, naturally.

With a lot more buildings around me, naturally.

I see the time and date below.  But when I shoot over to Cardiff–

Which also has a lot more buildings.

Which also has a lot more buildings.

I see the local, but the time is still mine.

So the thing to do is change the system time to reflect the area you want to view, then restart the program.

And just like that I'm where I'm supposed to be.

And just like that I’m where I’m supposed to be.

That means I can now set the date and time for the Cardiff area and see, pretty much, how the sky is going to look when Kerry arrives home at the end of this novel.

And we see it'll be growing dark, just like his mood.

And we see the sky is growing dark, just like Kerry’s mood.

Oh, and this program lets you plug in longitude and latitude for a Earth location which means I can zoom in on where the kids are staying, set my system time for that area, and know exactly what they’re seeing.  Spoiler Alert:  Kerry’s first morning on The Polar Express he’ll see the International Space Station crossing the sky because this program lets me know where the Earth satellites are for viewing from the ground.  There’s something I didn’t realize I could write into the story.

Speaking of story, you’re probably wondering what’s happening with the kids back in the bay window, and what Kerry is feeling.  Since you waits this long, I’ll tell you:

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry looked out the window, staring up at Altair. “Last year I fell in love, found out I’d been in love, almost died with you—almost all of a year was spent around you, being with you, loving you. When we were getting ready to leave for the summer I didn’t know if I’d see you again until we showed up in our next staging city before coming back for our B Levels.

“This time . . .” His voice caught for a second, but he continued without too much emotion changing the tone of his words. “We’ll be apart, but not for the whole summer. We’ll write, we’ll probably see each other in our dreams—”

“You know we will.” Annie reached up and touched his chin. “I’ll make it happen.”

“I know. And we’ll see each other at least three times for lunch.” This was something that was relayed to them by Helena and Erywin, that they were setting aside at least three times where they could transport both of them to London for lunch. Erywin said she’d bring them together sometime in late June—there was mention that Helena was going into a Guardian clinic the Monday after they returned to England and wouldn’t be able to help out during the month of June—and that they ‘d find times for them in both July and August.

“I know we won’t be away from each other for long: we’ll see each other this summer.” He looked down and this time, when he looked back up, a few tears had made tracks down his cheeks. “I’m sad, and I don’t want to leave you, but this isn’t forever. At least it doesn’t feel that way.” He turned Annie enough that he could kiss her slowly and tenderly. “The hurt is there, but I know, this time, it’ll go away sooner than before.”

 

At this point in the story last year Kerry was a blubbering mess, being gently rocked by Annie while they decides they would both know the other was out there by looking at the moon or stars.  That was Kerry’s abandonment issues talking there:  after finally returning to the Chestnut Girl of His Dreams he was leaving her again, and it was likely he’d go the whole summer without seeing her.

Now his attitude is that he will see Annie a few times over the summer–if not in their dreams, then at least three times in person thanks to the help of Professors Lovecraft and Sladen.  And before anyone asks, you know if they didn’t meter out the visits they’d be jaunting these two all over Europe like they were a couple of magical soccer moms taking the kids off for get togethers.  It’s almost like they’re showing them how to be good little witches and not get greedy–or do they have something else in mind?  You never know with these two.

Given Kerry’s confession, what’s Annie’s reaction?

 

Annie peered into Kerry’s eyes for the longest time without saying a word: then she closed her eyes as she turned away from him and began muttering in Bulgarian. “Iska mi se da ne se nalozhi da vi ostavya; Iska mi byakhme zaedno zavinagi.” She turned back to Kerry, a misty film of tears in both eyes. “I feel this hurt, too, and even though it will go away, I could live without ever feeling it there.”

Kerry sighed quietly as he gently wiped the tears away. “You don’t want anyone to see this, remember?”

“I do: and I know you won’t say anything.” She leaned up and kissed him. “As I told Coraline, my tears are for you to see; no one else is allowed.”

“And I’ll never break that confidence.” He held her close. “Ahh. 1 June. About twenty hours to go.”

She light tapped his cheek. “Don’t make it sound so bad. Remember—” She placed his hand over the medical monitor in the center of her chest. “We’re in this together—in so many ways.” She sat up and twisted around so she could face him. “Come.”

“What?” Kerry sat up, a puzzled look on his face.

Annie slid out of the bay window and got to her feet. “Come.” She tugged on Kerry’s arm and brought him to his feet. “There’s something I want to discuss.”

 

Annie is back with–well, not exactly tears, but they are in her eyes.  And they are only for Kerry, because he touches her so.  She’s not going to get into out-and-out bawling like her significant other does, but if she’s not fainting she’s feeling her heart being pulled upon, and that brings out feelings she’s kept under wraps from everyone around her.

Now there’s something she wants to discuss.  I wonder what that can be?

Well, I do know–I only have to write it up.

The Midnight Window: My Moon and Stars

I’ve reached the last scene of the penultimate chapter, and the end is pretty close at hand.  There are only four scenes remaining, and I may actually remove one of those because it might not be necessary.  I guess when I start writing these scenes this weekend I’ll know of the one I think needs removing goes.

But that’s for later, maybe Friday–no, make that Saturday, because tomorrow night I’m gonna be super busy–but for now I need to start my kids out on what for them is their last night together in North America as B Levels, and the next time they’re back in this longitude they’ll be ready to take over as the C Levels of the Second Floor.

It’s also the last day that this novel visits:  1 June, 2013.  There are no more days after this, either, so you know this is gonna end on a particular note.  But that’s as few thousand words away.  Right now that day is starting–and about as early as you can imagine:

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry sat in the bay window of Room 308, his back pressed against the window frame as he gazed out upon the darkness over Salem Harbor at just a little past midnight on the first day of June. The residents nearly two kilometers across the water were dark, and the only major light source in sight was the small light station a half a kilometer away, located at the end of Derby Wharf.

The rest of the area was as dark as the skies he remembered the first night he spent at Camp Baxter during his first overnight camping flight, thanks to the same magic used to screen out all local light pollution.

 

So we’re back in that bay window at the Sea Sprite Inn, only this time we’re seeing things from Kerry’s perspective rather than Annie’s.  And when the time is stated as a little after midnight, that’s not a joke:  the scene is listed in Scrivener as taking place at ten after midnight.  Like I said, start of the day.

And I even have sort of the view of the area:

All thanks to Google Maps for making this possible.

All thanks to Google Maps for making this possible.

The Sea Sprite Inn would be right in the middle of the frame at the edge of the shore, and the room overlooks the harbor beyond.  The lighthouse is over middle right, half a kilometer from the inn, and the far shore is, as measured, almost two klicks off in the distance.  No word yet if anyone’s going to be eating at Witch’s Brew Cafe in the morning.

 

The evening went almost the same as last year. They walked to the same restaurant they visited last year—the same where Kerry’s birthday dinner was held—and met up with Coraline and her fiancé, though this time Trevor joined them for dinner: he was staying with the other A and B Levels in Boston and would fly with them in the morning. After they returned to the Sea Sprite Annie and Kerry rested for a bit talking and listening to music, then cleaned up and prepared for the night ahead.

Just like last year, neither expected to get much sleep.

Annie shifted around in Kerry’s embrace, getting comfortable against him and the pillows they were resting upon. She rested against him as she also gazed out the window. “No moon tonight.”

“No, it’s waining tonight.” He tightened his arms around her slightly, giving her a long, slow hug. “I checked before we left the school.”

“Hum.” She pointed out the window to star about twenty degrees above the horizon. “The red one there: what is it called?”

“That’s Antares, in Scorpius. It’s one of the largest stars that we can see, too.” He knew what she was doing and pointed to another start in the sky, a little further to the east. “But that one is brighter.”

She lay nearly on her back and stretched her legs. “And what is the name of that star?”

“That’s Altair. It’s also a big start, and spins so fast that it spreads out at the equator.” He played with a few strands of Annie’s chestnut hair. “Either are the brightest stars in the sky, so just like last year we can use them both.”

 

And what is Annie doing?  She’s looking for the brightest star ’cause the moon isn’t up.  It’s a continuation of what they pledged the year before:  when you see the moon, look at it and know I’m looking at it, too.  And if you don’t see the moon, pick the brightest star in the sky.  Any day now Kerry’s probably going to teach Annie to say “My Sun and Stars” in Dothraki when he tells her she’s the “Moon of My Life,” because the kids at Salem don’t need another reason to roll their eyes at these two.

So what are they seeing?  Oh, something like this:

My god: it's full of stars!

My god: it’s full of stars!

This is a screen shot from my newest program, Stellarium, which is open source and free–though you should leave a little donation, as I did–and is a powerful planetarium program that will allow you to track the sky, day or night, from anywhere in the world.  Yesterday, when I should have been writing, I was playing with different sky views, and I actually got an idea of the sort of sunshine Kerry’s going to get when he’s off on The Polar Express in the next book.  Spoiler:  it’s not a lot.

This means I’ll have something else to waste my time on–I mean, use as a tool to help with getting scenes right.  After all, I can now use this to see the local condition as a particular location–like when Kerry has to face his parent at the end of the day, novel time.  So much fun.

So, what becomes of this star gazing?

 

“Good.” She pointed towards Altair. “I like the blue star: it reminds me of coolness, and that which is cool can be warmed through cuddling.” Annie looked up at Kerry and smiled. “Red is anger, and I never want to be angry when thinking of you.”

“Or of a scorpion.” He chuckled before kissing her on the forehead. “Altair is it. Though watch out for the Monster From the Id.”

Annie giggled for several second. “What are you talking about?”

“Nothing—” He gave his head a single shake as he quickly glanced out the window with a slight smug on his face. “I’m just being silly.”

“Better than how you were last year.” She reached up and touched his cheek. “No tears this year; I like that.”

He pressed his hand against hers. “It isn’t because I’m not sad—”

“Then tell me.”

 

That’s where I left off, and when this starts up again, we’ll discover just why Kerry has no tears.  And . . . we’re gonna see something else as well.  Something you would never imagine.

Now, as I leave off, I must delve into a bit of geekness due to something Kerry said above.  While looking at Altair he tells Annie, “Though watch out for the Monsters From the Id.”  In the movie Forbidden Planet Altair was the star around which the planet Altair IV orbited, and that’s where the crew of the United Planets Cruiser, the C-57D, landed, made contact with Doctor Morbius and his daughter Altaira, learned about the Krell–and then had everything go straight to hell on them when their were attacked by the invisible monster later known as The Monster From the Id, which was really nothing more than an energy construct created by Doctor Morbius’ subconscious while he dreams.

In a way, this is a form of Dreamwalking that may just be possible in my world, and if it is, people better look out, because this Monster From the Id vaporized a space ship just to keep it from leaving the planet.  Any witch who could do this would be a force to recon with–

Which, come to think of it, is sort of how Annie looked when she had Emma backed into a corner--

Though, come to think of it, this is sort of how Annie looked when she backed Emma into a corner–

The movie had a budget of $1.9 million, which in 1956 was a hell of a lot of money for any movie, and unheard of for a science fiction movie from the 1950s.  The Monster From the Id was animated by Joshua Meador, who was on loan from Walt Disney Pictures (making this the first time Disney allowed one of their own people to work on another movie), and he actually slipped in a couple of what we would today call “easter eggs” during the attack sequence:  the creature has a small goatee (Doctor Morbius is the only person in the movie with the same feature), and the monster roars much like MGM’s (the studio that made the movie) Leo the Lion does at the start of the movie.

The biggest contribution from the movie was to science fiction itself.  Two of the main props–Robbie the Robot and the model of the C-57D–were used for years in other movies and TV shows.  (Robbie has twenty-five credits to his “name”), Gene Roddenberry was heavily influence by the movie when he created Star Trek (as I’ve pointed out before, the time the C-57D enters orbit around Altair IV is 17:01, which is also the registration number of the Enterprise), and both Babylon 5 and Firefly/Serenity borrowed from the movie.  In fact, a large part of the end of Serenity is related to Forbidden Planet in that the crew finally travels to Miranda and discovered information about the creation of the Reavers in Alliance rescue ship, C57D.   Forbidden Planet is based in part on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and in that play Miranda is the daughter of Prospero, a great sorcerer, so the crew of the Serenity reach Miranda and discover that the Reavers are pretty much the Caliban of their universe.

Joss, like Gene, has the geek gene.

Joss, like Gene before him, has the geek gene.

There you have it:  we start out with my kids stargazing together, and end up with lesson in science fiction history.

Never let it be said I don’t give you anything.

The Final Days and Nights: Summertime, and the Visits Are Easy

So, writing.  Yes, I did it.  Not as much as the two days before, but some of that was due in part to writing a two thousand word recap a few hours before, and that tends to drain me.  The good news is I only have one more Monday night recap to do and then I can sort of take the summer off.

Though, you know, I’m not sure what that means.  Take a summer off and do nothing?  I don’t know if I can handle that.

So what happens in the next five hundred words?  Plans, that’s what.

 

This excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Jairo shook his head. “That would never happen. You guys have been too much fun; we’ve enjoyed hanging with you.”

Kerry ran his finger around the rim of his mug. “We’ve enjoyed hanging with you guys as well.”

Penny pointed a finger at him. “I hope you won’t forget we got a lunch meet up this summer.”

He nodded. “How could I forget?” Penny had approached them both at the Midnight Madness the night of his birthday, with Alex, Jairo, and Kahoku in tow. Not only did they all want to wish Kerry a happy birthday, but Penny wanted to set up a lunch date between Kerry and her, as they were both in the UK and could fly to just about any location in the country. Penny also made it clear that she wanted Annie to know about the invite, and that she knew if Kerry were to ask her about getting together for lunch over the summer, he’d do so with Annie and Jairo present. “Just text me whenever you feel like meeting.”

“Which reminds me—” Alex turned to Annie. “Would you object to getting together over the summer? I’d love a lunch date with someone from school.” She looked around the table. “It was hard to do so last year, and may be difficult for Kaho this year. I thought it might not be a problem for you, though.”

Annie actually felt honored that a friend other than Kerry would asking about meeting over the summer. “I’d love to, Alex. I think it’d be fun.” Annie gave the matter a moment of thought. “Could you fly to Kiev? We could met there.”

Kahoku nervously coughed. “Or are you—?”

“Say that word and die.” Alex rolled her eyes as she glanced at her boyfriend. “Durnyy, bozhevilʹnyy khlopchyk.” She turned back to Annie, a slight grin playing upon her face. “Sure, I can do that. Dubno’s only three hundred kilometers away; I can make that in an hour.”

 

So there you have it:  at least once during the summer Kerry and Alex are going to get together for a lunch date–one where Annie was present when the asking was done, ’cause one girlfriend is respecting the personal space of another–but Annie’s gonna leave the mountains behind for a day and meet up with Alex.  The kids are getting out next summer, and not just to meet with each other–yes, that’s gonna get mentioned later in one of these last two chapters.  Even though they can’t be together all the time, they’re gonna meet for lunch.

Annie picks Kiev because not only is it in the Ukraine where Alex lives, but it’s likely easier for Annie to jaunt over a thousand kilometers than it is for Alex to do the same.  Alex can hop on her broom and jet across the country to get to her destination–

Three hundred thirty-four kilometers, no waiting.

Three hundred thirty-four kilometers, no waiting.

Whereas Annie needs her mom to jaunt her to the Sofia airport so she can take the jaunt station to the main train station in Kiev.

"Don't worry, Mama:  I'll call when I'm though visiting another country."

“Don’t worry, Mama: I’ll call when I’m though visiting another country.”

And since Pamporovo and Kiev are in the same time zone, there’s no trying to figure out when Annie should get there.  In fact, if she knows Alex is gonna meet her around eleven, she can leave home about fifteen minutes before to ensure she’ll arrive in time–depending on where it is they’re gonna meet.  And I know where they’re gonna meet–I’m just not saying right now.  Same with Penny and Kerry:  locked down their meeting area a few months ago, but you’ll just have to wait on the where.

This portion of the conversation leads into something else that has been asked about already–

 

“Good.” Annie sat back with a smile on her face and her hands folded before her. “You can send a message to my school account: I can access that from my mother’s laptop when I’m home.”

“When you getting your own phone?” Penny scratched behind her right ear. “That way we can just text you.”

Kerry looked across the table and while he kept quiet. They’d discussed this matter more than a few times since returning after Yule, and Annie promised that once she was home and settled in, she’d do everything possible to convinced her parents to let her buy a smart phone. He believed her, too: he was more than aware that when Annie wanted something . . .

Annie’s response was simple and direct. “I’m working on that. You may say it’s my summer project.”

Kerry noticed their four friends exchanging glances between themselves. “Something up?”

Being the closest to him, Alex answered Kerry. “We were wondering if you might like another project for the summer—”

Penny glanced at Annie to her left. “Both of you.”

 

Yes, Annie’s gonna work on getting a phone, and yes, that issue will come up in the next novel.  I know some of you are thinking, “She should have one by now, she’s thirteen!” but you ain’t Annie’s mother:  I guess I am, and I know why they haven’t gotten her a phone yet.  Just chill and wait.  You’ll see.

Now, what is the summer project that is going to be asked of Annie and Kerry?  Well, that’s tonight’s business.

And that means you have to wait until tomorrow to see.

The Final Days and Nights: Presents and Perceptions

As much as I thought writing this scene would be difficult, I’m finding it pretty easy to get the words out.  Yesterday there was a little over seven hundred twenty-five words written; today a hundred more than that.  Maybe it’s the coffee:  maybe it’s just that I’m getting the writing feeling again now that I’m near the end of this novel.

Maybe getting out on a cold morning gets the creative juices flowing.

Maybe getting out on a cold morning gets the creative juices flowing.

Whatever the reason, I’m probably half-way through the scene now, and my Party of Six has begun making their rounds of Provincetown.  In fact, I even know where they’re headed:

 

This excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

They’d decided to take lunch there because of the central location as well as being close to the water and at the entrance to MacMillan Pier. Before arriving, however, they’d wandered about the town examining the local and doing a little window shopping in the process. Though they weren’t wandering without a destination in mind: they headed south to see a bed and breakfast before walking down to Commercial Street to look at a rental property. He’d discovered both locations during his examination of Provincetown the week before, and joked with the others that he was considering the possibility of using either of the locations in the future for a holiday.

While the other chuckled at his comment, Kerry knew Annie took his comments seriously He’d discussed the possibility of using their Foundation connection to perhaps stay at one of the locations in the future, maybe even for a weekend when they were older. He’d told her spending one of the graduation weekends there might be allowed once they were D or E Levels.

By the time they arrived at Lopes Square they’d walked two and a quarter kilometers and lunch was definitely required. They sat outside, moving two tables together so they could sit as a group. Being slightly off-season there weren’t a lot of people about, and the chilly, gray weather reduced the number of visitors considerably. No one minded: they were used to these conditions, and had hot beverages to offset the chill.

 

Part of what I’ve done this morning is lay out their walking route.  They want to look up a few places before they sit down to eat, and leave it to Kerry to set up an itinerary.  Either that or you got everyone going, “Where to next?”

When you have an itinerary, you always know where you're going.

When you have an itinerary, you always know where you’re going.

Kerry heading up to the Roux isn’t completely out of the question:  it is a well-know bed and breakfast in PTown, but it’s also one of the locations for the Cape Cod Writing Workshops, who I’ve followed for a couple of years.  It’s my hope that this year I’ll save enough to do a weekend retreat–though not on 15 October of this year, which is when Bride Pride, the largest lesbian wedding in the world, takes place.  Unless, you know, I just happen to be getting married . . .

The other place where Kerry stops is also a real rental property, right there on the bay shore.  Is he really serious about getting away for a weekend with Annie at some point in the future?  Hummmm . . .  that boy’s really thinking ahead.  And it sounds like Annie wasn’t adverse to the idea.  We’ll have to see, won’t we?

The distance they walked is about about one and four-tenths miles, and while that may seem like a lot, keep in mind these kids have spent the last nine months covering distances like that every day.  Sure, Kerry hops on the broom, gets Annie on the back, and takes off when they’re in a hurry, but for the most part Annie and he are all about the walking thing at school.  And just think, a year and a half ago this sort of walk would have killed Kerry, but now he’s just dealing with the stroll like it’s no big deal.  And if he can handle this, so can the other kids.

Now that everyone’s down to eat, it seems one of the girls has become a big inquisitive–

 

They were only thirty seconds into their lunch when Penny cleared her throat. “Annie, can I ask a question?”

Annie stopped in mid-sip and put down her beverage. “Naturally.”

“I, um—” Penny appeared embarrassed that she was bringing up the question. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way—”

“I won’t know what way to take your question until you ask.” She smiled broadly. “What do you want to know?”

Penny pointed to Annie’s purse, which was slung over the back of her chair by the shoulder strap. “Is that a real Louis Vuitton bag?”

Annie gave a slight nod. “Yes, it is.” She reached down and gave it a light touch. “It’s a birthday present.”

Alex joined the conversation. “You got a Louis Vuitton bag for your birthday?”

“Yes: when I turned ten.” Annie finished the interrupted sip before saying more. “The day after my tenth birthday party Mother and I went to Paris where she bought the bag at the main store. She told me I was old enough to have a real handbag.” Annie took a bite of her sandwich. “Mama has three: she says a woman needs a good bag for every occasion. Oh, she bought me a wallet as well.”

 

By now it’s a given that Annie comes from a bit of money, as both parents do rather well for themselves.  We know she dresses well, and it’s hinted that when there’s shopping to do, Mama and she jaunt off to one of the various cities around Europe to make their purchases.

Now you know:  Annie doesn’t have just any handbag, she’s walking around with a Louis Vuitton bag.  That she got in Paris.  For her tenth birthday.  Maybe she doesn’t like to show off the face she’s got money, but when an eleven year old girl walks into school with a bag that, at the time, probably cost a bit more than €1000.00, kids are gonna take notice.

And, yes:  I know what her bag looks like.

Because you know I do.

Because you know I do.

It’s an Alma BB, which is one of their smaller cross body bags without being a clutch.  You can put your keys, your compact, you phone, and–oh, yes, your wallet in there and be set for the day.  And the wallet is from the Paris store as well, because of course Mama isn’t going to get her little girl a proper bag without a matching wall.  One that, I have to point out, has her initials stamped inside–

In gold, because naturally.

In gold, because naturally.

But it doesn’t just end at the bag and wallet:

 

Penny and Alex exchanged looks before Penny turn back towards the Bulgarian girl. “Of course. Is that also when you got that roll-on bag?”

“Oh, no.” Annie shook her head. “That was a going away present for school. That was actually Papa’s idea: he wanted me to have good luggage for when I was traveling.”

Kerry set his drink down. “She also has a passport holder.”

Penny nodded. “I’m not surprised.”

 

Yes, that roll-on we’ve seen her with when traveling is also from the Paris store, only this time Daddy got it for her.  And she has a cover for her passport, so this girl is covered.  She didn’t go that time, but you can imagine she had a good time going with Mama when they picked out her birthday present–

I can now point out that I have been to the Louis Vuitton store in Paris, where I bought someone a bag for a special occasion, and while I was waiting for them to make up their mind about what they wanted, I hung out in the luggage section of the store and watched as a mother and daughter–no, not Annie and Mama, the daughter was older than Annie–bought a couple of pieces of luggage for, oh, a lot of money, and while the salesperson rang up the sale and checked the warehouse for availability and delivery times, he brought out a bottle of champagne, cracked it open, and poured them a couple of glasses to enjoy while they waited.  You can bet it wasn’t cheap stuff, either:  you drop low five figures on luggage, you’re getting something a lot better than the bottom shelf shit.

It’s probably easy to imagine Annie sitting in the store drinking sparkling apple cider from a champagne flute, however . . .

All this talk of her fancy goodies has some effect on Annie’s mood, however:

 

Annie immediately felt she’d done something that she’d always said she wouldn’t do while at school. “I’m sorry: I must sound like I’m bragging.”

Alex leaned over the table. “No, not at all. I mean, if I had a bag like that, I’d show it off like mad.”

“Yes, but I’m not trying to show off—” She set her hands on the table, appearing a bit nervous. “I don’t like to bring up anything about the fact my parents have money. Yes, I have my bags and luggage and clothing, but this is just how I am, how I look. I don’t try to appear better than everyone else.” She looked across the table to Kerry, who sat opposite her so the other couples could sit together. “I don’t want people to imagine I’m some spoiled rich girl.”

Penny reached over and patted Annie’s right hand. “I don’t think that, Annie: none of us do.” She gave her friend’s had a light squeeze. “Believe me, I had that bag I’d be rockin’ the shit out of it all the time. I wouldn’t do it to show off; I’d do it ‘cause it’s my bag.” She offered a smile. “I don’t think you’re spoiled.”

“I don’t, either.” Alex offered her friend a smile as well. “We’d never think that of a friend.”

Penny nodded. “Truth.”

Annie’s face softened as she put away the concern that had affected her for a moment. Normally she wouldn’t allow herself to feel overly bothered by the notion that she may have been acting ostentatiously, but Penny and Alex were close to her, and she never wanted them to feel as if she was trying to come off as being better. “Thank you, both of you. I wouldn’t want to ever hurt your feelings.”

 

Annie doesn’t like to hold up her privilege to others, and it does bother her when it’s noticed by people she likes.  You know she wouldn’t give a shit if Lisa started in on her, but Penny and Alex are now close friends, and she doesn’t want them feeling bad because she’s gotten lucky in the parental lottery.  It’s also one of the reasons why she doesn’t talk about any of this stuff with Kerry, though it’s impossible to keep it from him.  Fortunately, he doesn’t care if she has money:  he loves Annie for being her.  Though there will come a point when he finally sees the Lake House, and he’ll likely be a bit astounded if not a little shocked, as he knows why that house is there . . .

Now that the class discussions are out of the way, the kids can get down to eating–and who knows what else–

The Final Days and Nights: PTown Bound

Better late than never, but there’s always a reason why I’m coming to you so late, an that’s because I’m keeping my mind off eating.  I intend to head out after this is posted to do a little happy hour just down the street, then come back here for a nap before I do a little more writing tonight.  I’ve also been busy getting things ready for this post and, believe it or not, fixing a mistake I found in my story.  But more on that later.

We come to Chapter Thirty-four, and this is the penultimate chapter of the novel.  There remains one more after this, but the writing’s on the wall:  another couple of weeks and B For Bewitching is finished, and with it another year of my life spend working on a novel.  Two days ago someone asked me, “What’s next?” and you probably already know the answer.  But I need a rest first; I’m in a serious state of burn out, and I need to recharge and do some editing before I can even consider getting into another original story.

But all that stuff is for later.  Right now my mind is on this:

The scenes are coming, but not for long.

The scenes are coming, but not for long.

This chapter deals with the last week at school, and the next chapter, Thirty-five, deals with the last day Annie and Kerry spend together before going their separate ways for the summer.  And with the day set forth in this scene, the last Sunday at school, there’s less than a week before they say their B Level goodbyes.

But first, there’s something on their agenda for this day–

 

This excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Though the day was overcast and cool—as was the case with most of this May—everyone was in great spirits. Kerry felt there was something about getting away from school and being out on your own for just a little while that instantly lightened moods and had people enjoying their surroundings.

Though he had to admit the start of this little adventure hadn’t come without issues . . .

Today was Graduation Day at Salem, and the majority of activities were geared around the students who had completed their studies and their families who were there to celebrate their children’s success. Because today’s focus was on the seventeen departing F Levels, that meant the remaining one hundred and twenty-three students moving on to their next school levels were pretty much free to do as they pleased.

And what pleased Annie and Kerry the most was the ability to leave the school grounds, with permission, on their own.

 

It was the thrid paragraph that gave me trouble and made me start looking around for twenty minutes because there was a mistake in my history.  I know:  gasp!  It happens.

What went down was this.  I know how many students there are at school:  for this year it’s one hundred and forty-nine.  Seventeen students are graduating, and with nine not doing well enough to move on to the next level, that meant I have one hundred and twenty-three students coming back next year for Annie ‘sand Kerry’s C Levels.

Only I noticed that when I added up all my F Levels from each coven I had sixteen, so I need to figure out where I was light and fix that.  After that I decided, what the hell, I’ll check all the numbers.  And what did I find?

I was missing a student.

It took me a moment to figure out the missing student was in Blodeuwedd, and it took me a few more minutes of number checking to figure out I was light one D Level n that coven.  With that know I put a maker there for a student, reran my numbers to make sure everything was good, confirming that they were.  Now that I had all my students accounted for, I could get on with my writing.

See the insanity I put myself through?  It would be so much easier to just make shit up, but noooooooo . . .

Now that we know what makes my kids happy, what are they gonna do about it?

 

During their A Levels Annie and he had taken the day and flew westward, where they spent most of the day relaxing at Pearl Hill State Park. This year, however, they had a different destination in mind, and they decided they wanted to enjoy their time in the company of friends, so earlier in the weekend they asked Penny, Alex, and Jario if they wanted to come along, and let Alex know her boyfriend Kahoku was invited as well. By the end of the day all four friend accepted the invite, and Kerry, Penny, and Alex filed their plans with Vicky the next day.

All six gathered in the Pentagram Garden right before nine-thirty, well after breakfast so they had plenty of time to return to their covens and grab a few things before leaving. The plan for reaching their destination was simple: Annie, Penny, Alex, and Kerry were going to fly while Jairo and Kahoku would ride on the backs of their girlfriend’s brooms. Alex and Kerry brought their backpacks which gave Penny and Annie a place to set their purses, and Kerry had his tablet computer mounted on the control shaft of his Espinoza so they would have music for their short trip.

Right at the bottom of the hour they lifted off from the garden. Rather than use a broom, Annie rose into the air under her own Gift, wearing her new flying jacket for the first time. They ascended to three hundred meters, put their light bending spells in place, and headed off towards their destination: Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the tip of Cape Cod.

Though Jairo and Kahoku knew where they were going, the four fliers thought it best not to tell their passengers all the details of their flight there. They headed south towards Bass Rocks, but instead of turning right and to the west, the flight turned slightly to the left and sailed out over the Atlantic, picking up speed until they were cruising along as a comfortable one hundred eighty kilometers an hour. Annie and Kerry took the lead while Alex and Penny pulled into position behind them, and both seemed to enjoy having their boyfriends clutching on to them for fear they were going to be lost at sea.

 

Unlike last time they are not going out on their graduation flight alone but with friends, and rather than go to a park they’re heading to a town. Provincetown, MA, is one of the nicest places I’ve ever visited, and one of these days I’m going to find a way to attend a writer’s retreat there.  That’s why this scene is labeled Party of Six, for the Cernunnos Five, plus Alex’s boyfriend, make for six.  I also find it a bit funny that other than Kerry the two boyfriends have to ride on the backs of their girlfriend’s brooms, because those boys should have stuck to flying if they wanted to ride along side their ladies.

Here’s their quick trip across the ocean, though we’re being very liberal with the term ocean here.  Still, if you don’t like being over open water, you’re probably not going to be happy out here.

It's ocean if you only look at it that way.

It’s ocean if you only look at it that way.

The total distance is only about seventy-seven km/forty-eight mi, which is why at the speed they were going they were able to make the trip in about thirty minutes.  It would have taken them a lot longer to hug the shore and make the trip that way, and at some point flying across open water was the only way to get there without being crazy about thing.

And once they arrive at their destination, the rest is simple.

 

Kerry would glance over at Annie every minute or so as she kept about a four meter separation between them. This was her first flight since her last solo flight, and her flight helmet and goggles couldn’t hide the pleasure she felt being airborne once more. Nearly every time he looked to see how she was doing she’d look back and smile, letting him know she felt wonderful. There wasn’t a need to talk during the flight: there was no mistaking her joy.

Twenty-five minutes after leaving land behind they rapidly closed on the tip of Cape Cod, passing directly over the center of the Provincetown Airport runway as they approached their landing area: a grove of trees near the Pilgrim Monument on a hill overlooking the main town. They set down and remained invisible until they were certain they were alone before unmasking. After that it was a simple matter to leave the park, head down High Pole Hill Road to Bradford Street before strolling down to the main part of the town, where they would wander around window shopping before stopping for lunch at the Coffee Pot Restaurant in Lopes Square.

 

I would seem that both Annie and Kerry don’t mind flying out over the water now, probably because they know they could be back over land in about five minutes if they really wanted to turn on the speed.  I checked and most of the flight is never more than thirty kilometers from the shore.  I don’t know if the two boys would enjoy zipping into shore at three hundred kilometers and hour, however.

This is the area where they landed:

Well, near here, anyway.

Well, near here, anyway.

The area where they landed, the Pilgrim Monument, is just out of sight in the upper left hand corner, and the street the kids walk down is right there disappearing toward that direction.  Their eventual lunchtime destination is right in the center of the picture:  the Coffee Pot, where one can get things other than coffee.  And the area around there looks nice, too.

A nice street view which obviously wasn't take on the day my kids were there.

A nice street view which obviously wasn’t take on the day my kids were there.

This is where the rest of the scene takes place.  Which I’ll get to tonight and tomorrow.

Assuming I don’t find any more mistakes.

The Remains of the Day: Setting By Sunset

There was writing last night–a whole lot of it.  Naturally with it being Monday most of it went into my Fear the Walking Dead recap, but I still managed just over four hundred words on my own novel, pushing everything up over three hundred and the thousand words total.  It seems like only yesterday I was pushing up over three hundred thousand words–well, two weeks ago on 24 April–but three twenty-five is getting closer all the time.  And so it the end of this novel.

Before the words come there’s something else that needs mentioning.  I left work early yesterday because it was time for a new hairdo, which means it was time for a new wig, so I headed off for a fitting.  And I found something that, so far, everyone tells me works well.

What did I decide?  I decided to join the most hated group of people ever:  I became a ginger.

I'm not evil. I swear.

I’m not evil. I swear.

I’m really liking the color and style, and surprised at how much hair there is on this wig.  I was told this is “happy hair,” and it really does make me look and feel better.  Also, my friends tell me this suits my complexion better than blond, and if I like this, it may just become the color of choice.  Not that I have a problem with doing such a thing.

Now, about that writing . . .

I wanted to have a bit of a melancholy feel for the rest of this chapter, and to do that I needed a good setting.  So I found one, because they are all over the school.  You just gotta know where they are and when to use them.

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

A bright spot of light lingered in the western overcast, marking the location where the sun had settled below the horizon only five minutes earlier. Annie thought the coming evening would be much nicer were the sky clear, but at least the wind was calm and the temperatures had finally begun moving into the upper teens Celsius.

Despite all that happened today, the day was winding down into something lovely.

After their meeting with Deanna they went through the rest of the day as they’d planed: they went down into their lab and watched a movie on Kerry’s computer tablet; they went into Salem with other students and had lunch with their friends; they spent the afternoon window shopping and returned to the school for dinner.

There was one thing they didn’t do during all this time, however.

While Kerry avoided discussing their morning meeting, Annie found she wasn’t eager to talk about the newest revelation about their relationship. It wasn’t that she was afraid to bring up anything, it was more about not giving Kerry anything more to worry about or concern himself with the end of school, and his return home, so near. She wanted him to relax and enjoy their classes and what little remaining time they had together, and not bother with one more thing impacting his life.

There remained, however, what she wanted . . .

They were headed back to the tower to rest a little before changing for the Midnight Madness when Kerry made the suggestion that they head out to Sunset Tower and, as he stated, relax. Annie found the idea a bit unusual in that they’d never done this at any time since arriving for their A Levels. On a few occasions they’d walked the walls just to observe the world beyond the school walls, but they’d never taken the time to come out to the wall to be alone. They’d been to Observatory Tower on many occasions, and sat on the roof of The Diamond to watch the Beltane bonfires burn, but the wall? Never.

And they’d never visited Sunset Tower.

The tower was famous because, before what became known as The Dogtown Expansion to the south occurred, Sunset was the furthest western point of the main school walls, and just as Sunrise Tower on the other side of the grounds was first section of the outer wall to receive the morning light, Sunset caught the last light of the day. While this was no longer true, the tower retained the name and the reputation, and was responsible for the large, fast Green Line turn being given the name Sunset Boulevard.

 

Sunset Tower has been visited once before:  it’s where Wednesday went to reactivate the nodes controlling the detection and communication grids during the Day of the Dead attack, and where Erywin almost zapped her while doing this.  But as far as the kids going there, as stated they’ve been on The Wall before, but not out to Sunset.

Real close by, you know?

There it is. all by it’s lonesome.

And as was pointed out, there’s a section of the Green Line that goes past there, and it’s where Emma was racing Kerry before they were told to stop and Emma screwed up Kerry’s knee in a slight collision.  But no one remembers that except some Bulgarian girls with long memories.

B For Bewitching Sunset Tower Far

There’s that long bend that led to Kerry having knee problems at eleven.

This is a good view of the school showing nearly all the main class buildings and The Pentagram Complex with Sunset Tower all they way out there sitting off in the woods.  It doesn’t look like it’s that far, but it’s about a good kilometer from The Pentagram, and while it can be reached by tunnel, most kids don’t bother walking there.  Now from the air . . .

And a note about something mentioned in the excerpt.  We discover that the push for land in the south was known as The Dogtown Expansion, and that’s because Dogtown was once a real place on Cape Ann.  It was once the major community on the Cape and was the location of the main road between Rockport and Gloucester.  After the War of 1812 people moved out of the area and settled on the coast, and the only people who were supposed to be in the area after that were, um, witches.  What a shock, huh?

Today, in my story, Dogtown is right outside the Gloucester Gate, the southern entrance into the school.  That way people can visit there without having to walk into the grounds, but as with everything else, if they get too close to the walls–well, magic takes over and they think they’ve gone on a long walk in the woods.  It’s better for everyone that way.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, maybe we’ll find out what’s happening with my kids . . .

Mornings With the Seer: The Future Couple

First off, I’ve been a busy little beaver this morning.  Up at almost five, which sucks when you think about it.  But while I was up I managed to finally get my licence for my new version of Aeon Timeline 2, and gave it a spin–

New look; new feel; same old time lines.

New look; new feel; same old time lines.

I figured out how to put square floors in a circular room–for reals–and after all that I headed down to the coffee shop for some writing.

And some coffee as well.

And some coffee as well.

There was a lot of writing, like over thirteen hundred words.  I finished the scene because I felt it was necessary, and because I know I have laundry and napping to do tonight before sitting down tonight for a little more writing.  One day I’m getting paid for all this, right?  Yeah, probably.

With this in mind, it’s time to find out what’s going on.  And that means Deanna’s gonna start her rap as soon as I’m finished–

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

“It’s something—” Deanna turned her gaze to the ceiling for a moment. “You’re not the first couple we’ve discovered with an astral binding. Over the last five hundred years that witches first began noticing this phenomenon, they’ve discovered these bindings—prior to yours—in forty-one known couples. Given that at any time in the last two hundred years that the total world-wide Aware population was between five and ten thousand people, we’re not talking a common event.” She held up her left index finger the moment it became apparent Kerry was about to speak. “And I asked Erywin if there was any significance with the number forty-two, and as she assured me there was, so there’s no need for you to comment.”

Kerry snapped his fingers in mock disappointment. “Darn.” He looked to his left where Annie was giving him a bemused look. “I’ll tell you later.”

 

It’s nice to know that Erywin is the Geek Instructor on the Spot when the other instructors want to know something, and we know this is one of the reasons why Kerry and she get along so well.  For those of you who know what Kerry was going to say you can groan, and for those of you who don’t, well, you need to brush up on your geekness a little more.  Or ask me:  I’ll tell you.

 

Annie turned back to Deanna. “You were saying?”

The seer was back on track immediately. “Maybe two and a half centuries after the first astral binding was discovered a few pre-Foundation researchers that a few of the individuals began exhibiting unusual abilities later in their lives. No one knew why at the time, however, while only a few of these people had Gifts, spawning new Gifts later in life, particularly in one’s thirties, was not known to happen.

“It was only in the mid-Nineteenth Century that researchers noticed that the couples who were experiencing this ‘spawned Gifts’, as they called them, had found each other at an early age, married, and then consummated their marriage soon after. And it wasn’t just all couples that appeared to do this, but only the few who were performing a particular ceremony during the marriage—one that turned out that witches in some parts of the world had performed as part of an older tradition.”

It was impossible for Annie not to appear interested. “What was the tradition?”

“The couples in question were partaking of an exchange of their physical essences during their weddings.” Deanna did a slight toss of her head to the right. “There are several different interpretations as to what constitutes a ‘physical essence’, but it would seem we’re looking at fluids or semi-living tissue.”

Kerry’s eyebrows shot upward into his brow. “Like skin? Or muscle tissue?”

“Perhaps. It appears to have differed from couple-to-couple.”

Annie wasn’t interested in the particulars: she was drawn back to one of Deanna’s questions. “Why is this called the Three Bindings?”

 

So, are we talking cannibal wedding in the future?  These crazy witches, it seems like just when you have them figured out there’s just a bit of weirdness floating about that proves they’re a little different than us.  Do I know what passed for physical essence?  Silly people, of course I do.

But Annie’s like a little Bulgarian bullet who wants to get to the heart of the matter, because that’s how she is . . .

 

“Because the couples were bound together in three separate ways.” Deanna sat up and kept her gaze flickering between her two guests. “The first binding is the astral binding, naturally. None of this can happen unless you were both bound to each other at birth. The second binding is known as the physical binding, the process of connecting the couple through personal elements found in the Physical Realm.

“The last binding is known as the life binding, which is meant to represent the simultaneous exchange of essence that is used to consummate another life—” She gave a dry chuckle. “In short, sexual intercourse.”

Now the first question made sense to Annie. “That’s why you wanted to know if we’ve had sex.”

“Exactly. I wanted to see if you’d already broken the bindings.”

“What do you mean ‘broken the bindings’?” Kerry felt a uneasy feeling build in his tummy as he imagined the possibility dire consequences behind Deanna’s words. “Have we done something wrong?”

“No, you haven’t.” The seer eyed them carefully. “Not yet.”

Annie’s stare grew in intensity. “Meaning?”

“It appears that in order for the Three Bindings to occur the binding process must happen in the order I defined—” She leaned forward, resting her forearms against her desk. “Astral first, then physical, then life. Go out of order, or performed the magic necessary for the ceremony used in the physical binding, and it doesn’t work.” Deanna stared back at Annie with the same intensity the girl showed her. “That’s why out of the forty-two couples known to have an astral binding, there are only ten who are documented as having went all the way through the Three Bindings.”

 

This story is all about being different, and the rarities that are sometimes brought up by these differences.  Way back in Act One Kerry mentioned to Annie, right before they headed into Starbucks and starts hanging with the older kids who liked them, that they were different, and they could either ignore that or accept the fact and embrace the difference.  And we’ve seen it:  Annie can fly; Kerry is a mimic; they are a couple of levels ahead of everyone in their level; and eventually Kerry can also be a girl when he likes.

We learned earlier about their astral binding, and now this.  Even within their own little group of witches, they are to extra witchy that they’re really in a level of their own.  But when you’re different, it means you need to face a whole different set of issues . . .

 

“And why are you telling us this?”

“Because you needed to know—and I wanted you to know before you did something you shouldn’t.”

Kerry twisted up the left corner of his mouth. “Like have sex?”

“That’s one.” Deanna looked directly at Annie. “Or do something that could prove harmful.”

It only took a few seconds for Annie to figure out the meaning of Deanna’s last sentence. “You were worried we’d find out about this on our own and learn how to do this ceremony for the physical binding. Weren’t you?”

“Yes, I am.” Deanna ran her right index finger slowly along her upper lip. “Both of you have shown a tendency to strike out on your own when it comes to learning magic, and even with being in the advance classes everyone’s aware you’re still pouring over books in the library to find ways of crafting new spells, or finding variations on the ones you know.” She tilted her head slightly to one side. “That’s most of what you do in the Black Vault, isn’t it, Annie?”

“Yes.” Annie knew there wasn’t any point in trying to deny the accusation. “Like you say, everyone’s aware.”

“Yes, they are. Which is another reason why you’re here.” Deanna sat back and pulled a tablet out of her Hammerspace. “I’ve filed a Writ of Exclusion with The Foundation forbidding either of you from researching any and all information, magical or otherwise, relating to astral, physical, or life bindings, as well as anything pertaining to the Three Bindings.” She slid the tablet across her desk. “The writ went into effect today at six, Paris Local Time, which was time last midnight our time. You can examine the writ if you like, but I believe you’ll find it in order.”

 

This right here, this last paragraph, is probably the sternest thing that’s ever been leveled against either kid.  A Writ of Exclusion is pretty much The Foundation being told, “Hey, we don’t want this person or persons doing something, and so lock them own when it comes to them trying to do so,” and just like that, they’re kept from doing so across the whole of The Foundation.  And as you can imagine, every library in The Foundation, and every bookseller as well, have a magical way of knowing who’s accessing what book, and so you can imagine if they walk into the school library and pull down one of those books they’re not supposed to read, Trevor’s gonna know and he’ll be down in a flash to pull said volume from their eager mitts.

In short, they’re banned for the time being from reading anything relating to their current condition, or anything they could do in the future to change this.  Needless to say, they’re not happy . . .

 

Though Annie was famous for keeping her emotions under control, she couldn’t help the sudden rush of blood that made her cheeks feel as if they were on fire. “What? Why did you do that?”

“Because, as you say, Annie, everyone’s aware of how you both turn to books when you want to learn something new, and I could see you trying to attempt the physical binding magic in a couple of years—”

Annie scooted to the edge of her seat. “Why would we?”

Deanna waited a few seconds before answering in a soft voice. “You know why.”

Kerry rolled his eyes as he signed. “We’re not ready for sex; we’ve said that over and over.”

“I know, Kerry, and I get that—” Deanna nervously patted the back of her left hand with her right. “What about when you’re E Levels? Or even D’s?” She looked off towards the right side of her office. “What about next year?” She turned her gaze back on the young couple across her desk. “You’re not like the other couples here, and you know this. You know you’re going to get married and be together for the rest of your lives, and you’ve already developed an emotional maturity concerning your relationship that goes beyond that of your fellow levelmates, so it’s not inconceivable that what you’re not ready for today won’t be true in a few years—or even a few months—time.”

She leaned forward again, softening her tone so that she came across less as a coven leader and more as a friend. “I know this is gonna sound like adult bullshit, but I’m doing this to protect you. I don’t want you trying something that you might just screw up—” Deanna held up a hand to hold off the protests. “You both know as good as you are you’re not immune to mistakes or not crafting a spell correctly the first time, so just drop that argument now. I don’t want you screwing up and blowing this thing, because you know if you do you’re going to hate yourselves.” She tapped her fingers against the desk top. “As it is, I’ve given you a choice.”

 

I’m reminded once in a while that these kids have hormones, and as they get older they’re gonna become hell to ignore.  They haven’t acted upon whatever urges pop up from time-to-time, but as Deanna knows, it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves in a quite, private moment, and one of both go, “Hey, since we’re getting married in a few years . . .” and the rest is history.

However, Deanna has left then with a choice–

 

Annie had finally pushed her anger away and could speak with little strain in her voice. “The choice of whether we want to wait for this or not.”

“Yes.”

“And what happens if we wait and manage these Three Bindings correctly?”

“Then something will happen.”

Annie jumped up straight in her chair. “Something?”

“That’s the best I can offer. It seems to affect each couple differently. One spawned the others existing gifts; another seemed to develop a mental connection that allowed them to speak with each other no matter where they were in the world.” She shrugged. “Who know what could happen with you? At least now you know what could happen—”

Kerry sighed as he turned to Annie. “If we wait.”

She nodded. “Yes, if we wait.”

Though she was aware that this action wasn’t being received well by her friends, Deanna knew it was the right course to follow. They’re upset for the moment, but in time they’ll understand why this is necessary. “I know it may be hard, but as with everything else here at school—” She offered a slight smile. “It’s entirely your choice as to what you plan to do with your life together. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

It’s been drilled into these kids that their actions at school are up to them.  Now Deanna is taking it a step further:  something wonderful could happen to you if you don’t fool around and wait until your wedding night to do that–which they knew in one vision they had, while a second vision left them doubting that possibility–or just do the deed and blow any chance you have of making The Three Bindings a part of your life.

Deanna’s playing the odds here, because as much as she understands the relationship these two have, and how their biological changes would affect it in the future, she’s also betting on the fact that when it comes to magic, they’re both pretty driven to be better than the rest–

Only one more scene in Chapter Twenty-three remains, as I’m pretty certain I’m going to delete one that I’d defined a while back when plotting everything out–

I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but you can bet it's coming.

I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but you can bet it’s coming.

And this will end pretty much as you might expect–

With the kids weighing what comes next.

Like Deanna said, it’s all up to them . . .