The question I asked yesterday was “Would I write more?” and the answer came this morning. One of the reasons this post is coming out at this time in the late morning is due to writing another twelve hundred an sixty words towards the new novel–which, if you’re keeping track, means I’ve written just over three thousand words over the last two mornings.
But I also needed to do a little research this morning as well. For one, I needed to know the weather in Cardiff on the day Erywin came for Kerry, and that was easy enough to find, because the Internet has that information. Also, since I figure people would want to know, I got a few pictures of the area that Erywin and Kerry are visiting.
Without further ado . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
The Cardiff weather was chilly and cloudy, and this contributed to the lack of people milling about Roald Dahl Plass. Those who were walking about this late morning were dressed to protect them against the fifteen Celsius temps and matching wind coming in from the west.
Two people joined the small crowd, entering the plass east after walking around the north side of the Pierhead Building. Both, a woman and a young boy, were dressed for the conditions: both wore jeans, and the woman wore a jacket over his blouse while the wore a hooded sweatshirt. They made their way towards the center of the open amphitheater, pausing next to one of the large columns located near the a short flight of steps.
Erywin glanced to her left and right. “You know I’ve never been here.”
“They fixed it up nice after Torchwood Three blew up.” They both chuckled at Kerry pop culture joke. The Mistress of Formulistic Magic was a bit of a geek herself, and was one of the few instructors who understood what he talked about most of the time. “Really, you’ve never been here?”
“As your mother pointed out, I don’t have much of a need to come into Cardiff often.” She motioned towards her left and Cardiff Bay. “Let’s go over this way, shall we?”
If you know Cardiff, you know the Roald Dahl Plass. First off, it’s named after Roald Dahl, the Cardiff-born author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I know most of you know, and who once worked as a spy for England during World War II–and who reported back to Ian Flemming, who later wrote stories about a little-known spy who liked martinis–and whose primary mission was to come to American and seduce Republican congresswoman Clare Booth Luce. Apparently Dahl wasn’t the template for James Bond (that was reserved for Canadian Sir William Stephenson), because Dahl wrote back to his superiors that he needed to return home because, and this is an exact quote, “I am all fucked out! That goddamn woman has absolutely screwed me from one end of the room to the other for three goddam nights.” And that’s probably why snozzberries showed up in two of Dahl’s work.
Back to the story . . . not only is the Roald Dahl Plass a well-know spot in Cardiff, but as far as the BBC is concerned, it is/was ground zero for a couple of their science fiction stories–
Which is why Kerry makes the comment he does in the above excerpt.
Either way, it’s where they come to chat about, well, things. Things that, it seems, bother Kerry a great deal.
“Three people, run everything, and one of them’s an AP.” Erywin changed the subject. “How’s your holiday?”
Kerry had figured this question was coming, whether here or at lunch. “About as well as I can expect.”
“In other words . . ?”
He wasn’t going to escape giving his true feelings. “It sucks. I hate being home.”
“I figured as much in just the few minutes of watching the interaction between your mother and you.” Erywin didn’t want to prod anymore than necessary, but she sensed that while it might pain him, Kerry needed to talk. “Did you have any issues concealing what you’re really learning?”
“That was the easy part—” Kerry chuckled without a single trace of humor in his voice. “The morning after I came home they asked me three questions about school, and one of them was about the report card.” He glanced at the ground and scoffed. “They asked a few questions later in the week, but that was it.” He shook his head. “They don’t care: there’s no interest in anything I do.”
Erywin knows that Kerry wants and needs the acknowledgement of his accomplishments, and like it or not, his parents fall into the small group of people whom he’d like to hear, “Good job,” from once in a while. However, we’ve also seen that Kerry’s parents are fairly cold and unaffectionate, and the number of shits they appear to give about Kerry’s accomplishments are zero. Which finds him in the position of being around people he has to lie to about what he’s doing at school–remember, his parents don’t know he’s doing witchy things at school–but who don’t want to hear about whatever he’s lying about in the first place.
And he goes into great detail about his sadness:
They stopped under the overpass leading from the east side of the bay—where the Pierhead Building and the Senedd were located—to the west side and shops at Mermaid Quay. Here they were out of the slight but constant wind covering the plass. Kerry checked for nearby pedestrians before continuing. “I miss the school. I miss my room at the tower, and the commons, and the garden. I miss the grounds. I miss the classes. I miss . . .” He finally came to the truth. “I miss magic. I miss not having it in my life except when I’m alone at home.”
Erywin chuckled. “Gotten used to it, haven’t you?”
“Yeah. I have to be careful when my folks are home, but on they days they’re both at work, I’m using it around the house.” For the first time since leaving the house he smiled. “A couple of weeks ago I levitated a pot over a small fireball and cooked soup.”
“Well done.” Erywin didn’t bother holding back her excitement, for what Kerry just described was something she wasn’t able to do until she was nearing the end of her C Levels. “I know you brought your broom home; have you been flying?”
“A few times. I gotta watch how I leave the house, because I gotta turn invisible quick as I’m going out the door.” He nodded. “But, yeah: I’ve been flying. One time even ventured into England.”
“Did you have your passport?”
“Of course.” He laughed this time. “My mom called me while I was out over Swindon, which is why I take my mobile with me everywhere.”
A few months before in story time Kerry wanted to hear from Annie about what it was like growing up around magic all the time, and now he’s finding out what it’s like not having it in his life. And it sucks, big time. He’s taken to doing things on his own when he’s alone, and also comes to admittance that he’s taken to the sky on a few occasions, venturing out at least a hundred kilometers from home.
Flying alone, of course.
Erywin points out a major truth for him, likely one he hasn’t even figured out for himself–
“If I’d known, I’d have gotten out my old broom and meet you for tea.” She moved a little closer and spoke and in low, intimate tone. “You know what you really miss, don’t you? You miss being with your own kind.” She didn’t wait for him to ask what she meant. “Your back in the world of the Normals, but you’re an Aware; you’re a witch. You’re one of us.” She shook her head slowly. “And now that you’ve had exposure to our world, you long to be part of it again.”
He glanced down at the ground. “Yeah.”
“You also miss the freedom that you have at school. Yes, there are rules and regulations, but there is also flying on the weekend, and long walks on wooded trails, and the Midnight Madness, and most nights where you don’t get to bed until after midnight . . .” The twinkle in her eye returned. “And those nights when Annie and you flew off to the Observatory and fell asleep in the viewing chairs.”
You’re not like all those kids you used to go to school with, Red: you’re a witch now, and you’ve done magic and faced death and been out on secret missions and slept with your girlfriend–Um . . .
His head snapped up. “You knew about that?”
“Several of us did.”
“How? From Isis?”
She shook her head. “No. She never said a word.”
“Must have been Deanna.”
The chuckle returned. “A good witch never reveals her sources.” She cleared her throat as she took a step back. “Speaking of your better half, how is Annie?”
Yeah, how is she, Kerry? Well, I know, but you guys won’t–
Not until I write it, that is.