Final Moments in the Garden of Salem: The Promise

Another chapter is down and away in the history books.  Another that just slipped over ten thousand words, making it two in a row, and leaving the story hovering around one hundred and three thousand, five hundred words total.

It was another two thousand word day, too, because I wrote about a thousand words for my Humans recap, and then almost eleven hundred for this scene, which is below.  That’s a couple of two thousand word days back-to-back, and it’s also been a while since I’ve done that.  Part of it was getting into the groove, part of it was grooving out on some good tunes, including one song that is gonna play an important part in Annie and Kerry’s relationship.  I like that, with this story, I’m starting to integrate the music more than I did in the last.  Because, comes right down to it, kids love music, so why wouldn’t it be important to the little witches of Salem?  Which makes me wonder if they crank up the jams when they’re crafting the spells?  Probably do once in a while in Wednesday’s class.

Now that the kids are in the garden, where are they going with this?  Well . . .

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

Kerry barley pressed the fingers of his left hand to the bottom of Annie’s chin; there were there to steady her, nothing more. As she was still in her low heels he moved closer and stretched just enough upward to kiss her, his lips lightly touching hers. He closed his eyes and waited for that sensation he’d felt so often of late, one where he felt as if he were falling into her, thought her body and into her aura. It was a wonderful feeling, and every kiss he shared with Annie he desired this sensation as much as he desired her kiss.

He broke the kiss and wrapped her up within his arms. “I love you, Anelie Victoreva.”

She loved it when he used her patronymic, and though he didn’t actually have one, she had begun addressing them that way when they found themselves in quiet, personal moments like now. “I love you, Kerrigan Davynavich.”

He chuckled. “I hate my name.”

“But it’s your name, and since it’s attached to the boy I love, I love the name.” She leaned in and kissed him on the nose. “It’s been such a special night.”

Now, a little bit about patronymics.  Where Annie lives, family names are tricky.  The reality is–as it was related to me–the family name is Kirilovi, but the name changes when you’re discussing men and women.  Annie’s dad, being a guy, drops the “i”, which is why he’s Victor Kirilov, and Kerry didn’t realize that Annie’s father was a Formula 1 driver.  Her mother, Pavlina, substitutes the “i” for an “a”, and that makes the family name Kirilova, which is the same thing Annie does.

Middle names are easy for girls:  you take your father’s name and add “eva” to it.  So, Anelie–Annie’s real given name–Victoreva–her father’s name with “eva” added.  Annie did something different with Kerry’s name, however, because when it comes to boys, their middle name is the father’s name plus “vich”, and to make it sound right you can add an “a” or “i” before the suffix if you think it’s necessary.  Kerry’s father’s name is Davyn, hence “Davynavich”, though Annie could have easily said, “Davynvich”.

If you want some real fun, when Annie gets married to Kerry–noticed I didn’t say “if”–by Bulgarian law she take take her husband’s family name, or keep her family, or use a hyphenate of the two.  So she could marry and legally end up known as Annie Malibey, or Annie Kirilova, or Annie Kirilova-Malibey, or Annie Malibey-Kirilova.  And, if you really want to crank this up to eleven, she could become so well known by her patronymic, that she’d be known as Annie Victoreva.

Now that we have that information dump out of the way, Kerry’s got something on his mind:

“It has.” They began walking along the path leading to the walkway that would take them to their tower. “Did you have a good talk with Deanna?”

Annie had begun to wonder if Kerry was going to ask her about her time alone with the seer. “Yes, I did.”

“Did you discuss our visions?”

“Yes.”

“And?”

She shrugged. “She said that since we don’t know what happened in the second vision, there’s nothing to prove that our feelings in the first vision are unwarranted.”

“Which means means we should just let things happen—” He shot her a knowing glance.

She nodded as they stepped on to the walk between the Great Hall and Cernunnos Coven tower. “Exactly.”

Kerry let the subject hang until they were almost under the covered portion of the walk. “Wanna sit for a bit before going in?”

Annie leaned against Kerry. “Yes.” She led them towards their bench and sat, snuggling against Kerry the moment he sat. “She was right about that second vision: we don’t really know what happened there.”

“And we won’t until we actually encounter that room—” He slowly placed his arm around Annie’s shoulders and slid it down to her waist. “—whenever that is.”

This is something these two have discussed, so he knows what’s on her mind.  What they know about the second vision is that they don’t know what happened, so the best thing to do is let it be:

She made herself comfortable against her soul mate. “It happens in a couple of years; I’m sure of that for some reason.”

The vision had begun to weigh on Kerry for the last couple of weeks, and this impressions of the time frame were similar. “I think so, too. It’s just—”

“How are we out flying somewhere on our own?”

“Yeah.”

She slid a few centimeters to her left so she could set her head against Kerry’s shoulder. “We’ll find out in time.”

Of course you kids could ask me, but . . . not telling.

Since spending most of his A Levels reading up on divination and visions, Kerry had begun to hate the idea of having to wait to find out where the vision he’d had would come true. There’s wasn’t just the vision they’d both had at the beginning of this year, but the one he had his first time visiting Memory’s End, and they one they eventually shared months apart. “I still think our first time will be when we get married.”

“I believe the same.” Annie sighed. “That won’t happen until after you turn eighteen—at the soonest. We should be in the last months of our real life experience that summer.”

“Nothing more real life than getting married, right?” Kerry chuckled, but the unease he felt made his voice waver. “Six years: that’s a long time.”

“As long as I’ve loved you.” Annie twisted so she could glide her fingers across his cheek. “We will make it.”

“I know we will.”

That’s a good indication of how long this relationship has lasted.  Annie said she started falling in love with Kerry when he was six, she was almost seven, which makes her time frame correct.  And they knew each other before that, so to say they’ve known each other all their lives is not a misnomer.  They’ve been together a long time, and Annie fully expects them to be together another hundred years.

And now she gets into the really touchy-feely part of the discussion:

Since becoming aware of their wedding night vision they’d tried not to speak of the event, mostly due to not wanting to do or say something that might color how they’d handle the event when they were older. Annie knew this was for the best, but there was this single issue that remained important to her. “Tonight I told Deanna that I knew I would be your first, and that you would be my first.” She settled in against his body again. “I want to wait until we’re married, darling.”

He pulled her tighter against him. “I know; we should.”

“Dealing with that in our relationship . . .” She shook her head. “It brings another level of complexity I’m not ready to handle. You aren’t either: neither of us are.”

Kerry wouldn’t argue because there wasn’t any need. It was one thing to have the relation they shared now—one that was loving and caring and even, in the eyes of some, mature—but neither of them were that mature that they could handle the one thing that would bind them together in a way that nothing else would. “You’re right: we’re not ready. Not for many years.” He chuckled. “Probably not until we marry. There is one thing you’re right about, though—”

“Which is?”

“You will be my first. I promise.”

Annie leaned back just enough to see Kerry’s face. “Would you do a Sorceress’ Bargain with me to ensure that happens?”

He didn’t hesitate with his answer. “Yes.”

She kissed his cheek. “There’s no need for that; I believe you. And you can believe me when I say there will be no other boy.” Annie pressed her cheek against his. “I will be yours completely, my love.”

The light around them extinguished at that moment, plunging the Pentagram Garden into darkness. Annie pressed her arms tightly against her body, holding in the warmth that was slowly dispersing. “I think it’s time for bed.”

Kerry stood and helped Annie to her feet. “Wish we weren’t going to separate rooms.”

She walked slowly alongside her boyfriend. “Tonight we sleep apart; tomorrow—who knows?” She swung their arms. “Maybe the headmistress will give us a room of our own.”

“That would be nice, but . . .” He laughed at the idea of sharing a room in the coven tower. “I don’t see it happening any time soon.”

“Neither do I.” She kissed the back of his hand. “We will always have our dreams, though. We will share those when we can, my love, and live in them where we can’t here.” She let her sight draw out for many seconds. “For now, it is the best we have.”

One could argue that if they sit around and think about sex all the time, it’s gonna happy because they’re thinking about it all the time.  But they are convinced they will be the first for each other, and Kerry making the offer of a Sorceress’ Bargain is his way of making sure they stay together and stay, well, unsullied.  It’s a quaint idea, but Annie doesn’t want to trip off into the minefield that has destroyed other relationships, and Kerry is being supportive.  As pointed out by others at the school, their relationship is so mature it’s not like you’re looking at a couple of kids–then again, they have known each other for about a decade, so they’ve had time to understand each other.

Samhain is over:  it’s time to get into November, and I’m about to do it in a big way–

By hanging out in a manor?

By hanging out in a manor?

Final Moments in the Garden of Salem: The Entry

Where are we?  Back to the last Samhain scene, that’s where.  I promised I was going to write, and yesterday I did.  I actually stayed in all day Sunday and didn’t put on any makeup for the first time since I’ve started wearing the stuff, and between naps and watching The Walking Dead Season 2, I wrote.  I actually wrote a lot, because besides doing my notes for my recap of Humans, Episode 6–where I wrote about a thousand words–I wrote eleven hundred words for this scene, most of which is below.

A two thousand word day.  Not bad at all.

The dance is over and the kids are winding down, but there’s a few things they needed to do before getting to their current location:

 

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

They’d sat on their sofa for nearly an hour snuggling and chatting. Several people had come back to chat as well, including Wednesday and Isis, who were dressed respectively—according to Kerry—as Chell from the Portal video game and Samus Aran from the Metroid video games. She also managed to discover who Coraline was portraying: Ygritte from the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. When she asked if he was sure she wasn’t Merida from Brave, he smile and told her she knew nothing.

They spent the next hour and a half dancing. Fast dances, medium, slow: they were there for them all. The year before they’d spent most of the night sitting, and usually danced when the song tempo was slow. This year he didn’t care how he looked on the floor: as he said while they were on the sofa after dancing to her dedication song, he didn’t care if people thought he looked ridiculous, he wanted to dance with her.

After that it was back to the sofa for some rest before they made their way to Selena’s Meadow and the huge lit bonfires there. As they’d done the year before they walked between the majestic fires and paused in the middle to allow the heat to wash over them. She heard Kerry sigh amid the sounds and scents of the bonfire, and felt his hand tighten around hers. As they emerged from the other side she wondered if Kerry had felt the same sense of renewal as had she.

 

So now you know what was worn by Wednesday:

I wonder if Wednesday went the whole evening not saying anything?

Did she go the whole evening not saying anything?

Isis:

I can see a Chief of Security wearing something like this.

I can see a Chief of Security wearing something like this.

And Coraline:

Wonder if Coraline was dreaming of lots of snow?

Wonder she was dreaming of lots of snow?

And let me tell you, coming up with customs for twenty characters–I found my notes in one of the posts and counted–was not an easy task, but I not only came up with the outfits, I showed them!  Ha!  Take that.

But we’re still not in the garden–what happened before that?

 

After that it was back to the sofa for some rest before they made their way to Selena’s Meadow and the huge lit bonfires there. As they’d done the year before they walked between the majestic fires and paused in the middle to allow the heat to wash over them. She heard Kerry sigh amid the sounds and scents of the bonfire, and felt his hand tighten around hers. As they emerged from the other side she wondered if Kerry had felt the same sense of renewal as had she.

They walked hand-in-hand from the meadow to the path leading back to The Pentagram. They didn’t speak the entire time during their walk, preferring to enjoy the silence while surrounded by darkness. The met no one on the way, but Annie didn’t find that surprising: with it growing cooler many of the students took The Chunnel back to their towers, while those who could often flew or jaunted. She was aware they could have flown to the bonfire and then returned the same way, but Annie knew Kerry loved this walk, as did she. It wasn’t the same as finding a quiet place in the coven commons and snuggling, but she savored these moments alone with her soul mate as much as their times alone on a sofa.

They finally came to the end of the path and entered the clearing between the small parking lot and Founder’s Oak. There weren’t any vehicle in the lot; there never were, save for the first night they arrived in the bus from the train station. The people who come to the school don’t drive. Annie brought Kerry’s hand up and kissed the back. Even for Ostara people jaunt in to watch the program

 

Since everyone jaunts in to see the Ostara performances and show, that means the parents and relatives know their kids are witchy witches.  And that means unless you come from Legacy families, A and B Level kids will not have their folks and friends in for a show.  So Kerry is performing only to the school–or, I should say, one student in particular.  That means the only people who come into the school are jaunting, or perhaps they’re flying in on a PAV.  The parking lot is just for show; go jaunt or stay home.

Finally they’re in the garden–or, really, just right outside the walls . . .

 

Kerry looked around and sighed. “So quiet.”

“It’s late.” Annie leaned against Kerry as they walked. “It’s after midnight, my love.”

“I know.” They reached the path leading to Founder’s Gate and began heading up the slight incline. “I don’t feel tired at all, though.”

“Nor to do. I could stay up all night were it not that we have class in the morning.”

“I know; I feel the same way, Sweetie.” Kerry released Annie’s hand and placed his arm around her shoulders. “Though we have to get up in a few hours. That Advanced Self Defense class really puts a crimp in the weekend.”

“Well, we didn’t have to take it: we could have said no and slept in on Sundays.”

He chuckled. “Like we did last year?”

She sighed. “I know, my love. I know.”

They reached Founder’s Gate and stopped a couple of meters inside the immense archway bisecting the Pentagram Wall. Kerry wrapped his arms around Annie and pulled her close. “You cold, Sweetie?”

“No, I’m fine.” She rested her head upon Kerry’s shoulder. “This shawl is keeping me warm—and you’re doing a good job as well.” Annie kissed Kerry. “Ti si moyata vechna lyubov.”

He smiled shone through the darkness inside the gate. “I hope that was good.”

“It was.”

“Then the same for you, my darling.” He took her hand and led her the rest of the way through the gate and into the garden.

 

What does Annie say there?  I’m not saying.  Ha!  I’m being mean, but only because what she says is oh, so personal.

Finally they entered the interior of The Pentagram and head into the huge garden there.  And there are thoughts–

 

The Great Hall stood before them, blanked in shadows by the dim indirect light that remained on until one in the morning. Since it was still on, Annie knew it wasn’t yet one, though she guessed it wouldn’t remain on for much longer. I want to see them go out. She directed Kerry towards the path they’d taken many times on late-night walks through the garden before heading to their home away from their homes. I want to walk with Kerry through the darkness to our home, to our floor, to our beds— Another thought entered her head and Annie couldn’t keep her giggle suppressed.

Kerry glanced over. “What’s so funny?”

“I was wondering . . .” She pulled them into a slower walk. “It didn’t bother you at all that you were wearing girl’s clothes tonight?”

 

Um, Annie?  Are you trying to kill the mood?  No, it’s just how she is, and she knows she’ll get a response from Kerry:

 

He turned a half-smirk on his girlfriend. “I wasn’t wearing girl’s clothes.”

“Oh?” Annie raised an eyebrow. “Didn’t you show me pictures of how she was dressed in the cartoon?”

“Anime.”

“Anime, then. Isn’t your outfit—” She nodded towards him. “—what she wore?”

“Yeah.”

“Then they’re girl’s clothes.”

Kerry laughed softly. “I guess you’re right.”

Annie chuckled. “Aren’t I always?”

“Hummm—” He kissed her on the cheek. “Pretty much always.”

“Maybe next year we can wear those other outfits that Pang mentioned—” She playfully tugged against his arm. “What did he call them?”

Kerry gave a low sigh. “Fukus.”

Annie wasn’t trying to embarrass Kerry, but she loved the light flush that appeared upon his cheeks. So much like he was last year. “And what are those?”

“You should know: you wear one.” He laughed longer this time. “School girl’s uniforms, but more stylized because, you know, they’re magical girls.” He shook his head. “I don’t think I’m ready to wear one of those.” Kerry tugged on his jacket lapel with his free hand. “This is about as much crossplaying as I want to do right now.”

“Well—” Annie released Kerry’s hand and ran it along his back and shoulders. “I wouldn’t mind seeing you in a girl’s uniform one Samhain, my love.”

 

Yes, Annie is always right, and Annie–would like to see Kerry in a girl’s uniform for one Samhain?  Humm . . . his Bulgarian Buttercup has some interesting notions.  Then again, with transformation magic–of which he and she are learning the advanced versions–it’s likely that he may be able to grant her that wish one day.

They move on from them, with Kerry giving Annie a response and then . . . bringing up something old.

 

“Really? Maybe next year. You never know, Sweetie.” He came to a stop and checked their surroundings. “This was the place—”

“Which one is that, love?” Annie knew where they were: she couldn’t erase this moment from her memories if she’d wanted. But she left it for Kerry recall the time . . .

“This is where I almost said what I wanted to say.” He lightly touched her shoulders, moving them upward slowly to cradle her face. “This is where I was going to tell you that I loved you. And I would have—”

“Were it not for déjà vu.” A year ago they’d arrived at the dance, journeyed to the bonfires, walked between the fires, and returned to the garden. Annie remembered feeling then that something important was likely to happen, because that night Kerry had been all about showing her extra attention, only wanting to be with her—and a dedicating a dance that left her emotionally drained and light-headed.

They’d come here, and she’d call him moyata polovinka—my mate—for the first time, though at the time she’d told him it meant “My soul mate”, because she wasn’t certain if he’d understand. But she found out moment later, when his mood turned quiet and serious—

When he tried to speak—while they were kissing, actually—he complained of headaches. While he didn’t know what was happening to him, Annie believed, correctly, that he was suffering from déjà vu, from pain brought about by suppresses memories that wanted to come out, but were being held back due to magic. It turned out that was exactly what had happened to him, but at the time it was only a suspicion . . .

 

Yes, the scene of the big Déjà Vu Headache, brought about by Annie’s kissing and his desire to say that he loved her.  We know it didn’t happen that night, and it took near death before he overcame the Big Déjà and spit the words she wanted to hear out.

But they aren’t finished yet.  Oh, no.  There is something else on their minds . . .

Dedicated to the One I Love: Get Out On the Floor

I was checking stats last night, and while it may seem hard to believe, I’ve been working on this chapter for three weeks as of 29 July.  It would appear that I began writing the first scene on 8 July, and posted that the following day.  In that time I’ve written close to seventeen thousand words and brought the story to within kicking distance of one hundred thousand words–

And I’m still going.

If you haven’t guessed what’s coming now based upon the title of this post, it’s time to have a special moment.  And, as you’ll see, it’s not unexpected:

 

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

Kerry came to the sofa with a smile on his face. He stopped on the other side of the coffee table and cooled himself by flapping his jacket. “Ah, much better.” He turned to Deanna. “How are you, Deanna?” He eyed Annie. “You need me to go somewhere for a few minutes?”

Deanna shook here head. “No, Kerry, you’re fine. Please sit.” She waved for someone in the crowd to come over. “I think we were just about finished.”

“Okay.” He came around the other end of the table and took his place at Annie’s right. He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Everything okay?”

“It is.” She turned on a quick smile and kissed him. “Enjoy your dance?”

“Yeah, it was good.”

“I could tell.”

Trevor Parkman joined them, stopping where Kerry stood only seconds before and facing Deanna. “You called?”

“Yes. I think we need to attend to official duties.”

“Of course.” Trevor helped her feet before addressing Annie and Kerry. He gripped the sides of his open jacket. “Either of you care to venture a guess?”

Annie turned to Kerry with her gaze case towards the library. “Do you know?”

Kerry chuckled. “Eighth Doctor. Haven’t seen you since the first time you were in San Francisco.” He shrugged. “Then again, I didn’t see you, per say. that was before my time, but then time—”

“—Is relative.” He held out his arm for Deanna. “Shall we?”

“Just one minute—” The seer turned her gaze upon Annie. “Concerning our discussion, my advice is, as with all things seen, to let events simply happen. Actually—” She slipped her arm into Trevor’s. “That’s all we can ever do with visions.”

Annie suspected that Deanna would offer this advice, but it felt better to speak her concerns and hear the instructor’s words. Sometimes all one needs is to have someone you respect to confirm your own beliefs . . . “Thank you, Deanna. I’ll do just that.”

“Good. Both of you: have a good dance. We’ll be around, so I expect to see you again before the evening’s over.” She looked to Trevor. “Lead on, please.”

He nodded at the children. “Have a good evening.”

“See you around, Lady Sif and Doctor.” Once the two adults departed Kerry wrapped his arm around Annie and pulled her close. “Miss me, Sweetie?”

 

And there we go:  Mr. Parkman, aka Trevor the Librarian, aka The Guy Who Looks Like He’s Becoming Deanna’s Squeeze, is running around dressed like the Eighth Doctor in one of his only two visual performances:

He gets a lot more bad ass right before he dies.

He gets a lot more bad ass looking right before he dies.

And he escorts Lady Sif off to do, um, Siffy Things, I suppose.  Actually, Deanna is one of the two coven leaders who help out with the Samhain Dance, the other being Erywin, as it’s her coven that it responsible for putting on this shindig.  And speaking of Erywin . . .

 

“Of course I did, my love.” She kissed him again, slowly and sweeter than when he’d first joined her. “But I needed to speak with Deanna, and you being out on the dance floor made it easier.”

“I’m glad you could speak without having to tell me to find something to do.” He half turned where he sat so he could better hold Annie.

Annie snuggled back and against Kerry, a position that allowed her to keep her smile hidden from him. As he turned to hold her, she saw his eyes flick to his left, towards the area where Erywin and Deanna stood when making an announcement to the students in the hall. While Annie hadn’t any idea of what he’d planed for last year’s dance, this year she fully suspected something to happen. He’s probably waiting for Erywin to return, and that’s when he’s going to ask me to dance

They sat in silence for nearly five minutes, Annie leaning against Kerry, who gently held her. It was much like the Midnight Madness, only this time there was music to go along with conversation and snacks. She felt him move behind her. “Would you like to dance, Sweetie?” He gave her a squeeze. “I feel like getting up.”

She spied the front of the room and saw Erywin speaking with Deanna. She twisted her head so she could see him out of the corner of her eye. “Of course, love.” She grinned as Kerry helped her to her feet. “I feel like getting up as well.”

Annie followed Kerry onto the floor and began dancing, feeling the music around her. Kerry wasn’t a good dancer, but he did his best not to look too clumsy as he moved in rhythm with her. She didn’t consider herself a good dancer, either: until last year’s Samhain dance she’d only danced alone, usually in the privacy of her lake house.

But this was more her music; this is what she liked to hear when she was alone, and that gave here an advantage when it came to letting herself go and enjoy the song. Kerry was listening to more of her music, though: when they were down in their lab she’d use his computer to find music to stream, and he was starting to remember the lyrics to a few. It won’t be long before he’s singing along as we are crafting spells together.

 

Now, if you may remember, Erywin was the one who announced Kerry’s last dedication to Annie, so it only makes sense she’d announce this one.  I do believe it’s interesting that Annie is expecting Kerry to do a dedication to her this time, and it appears she’s waiting for the moment to happen.  And it’s not like it won’t, because Kerry’s not the sort of kid to disappoint his soul mate . . .

Where does it leave the story?

Right here, just short of a hundred thousand.

Right here, just short of a hundred thousand.

And the reason I didn’t finish up last night is because this dedication dance is special . . .

Would I lie?

The Samhain Dance: The Final Reveals

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’ve heard of it, but that’s all.”

“She’s one of the main characters.”

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes.”

 

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

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

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

An interesting point is brought up, however . . .

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

An Short Yet Annoying Interlude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It must be serious.

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

Play nice, kids.

The Samhain Dance: Stump the Geeks

Well, that was interesting . . .

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I thought she was Hermione?”

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

A Disney Princess she wasn’t.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Maybe I can stop that roll.”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Samhain Dance: Of Costumes and Congratulations

This installment was one of those I didn’t think was going to come off last night.  Why?  Because I didn’t start writing until about nine-thirty, due to the fact I was involved in a video chat with someone I know, and we were discussing dieting options.  It went on longer than I imagined, but hey, those thing happen.  I’m going to be jammed up a bit this coming weekend, and thing will turn hectic on the writing front.

But I’ll still be here.  Somehow.

Oh, and I finally shaved my head last night.  Now my wig stays right to my head with no moving around.  It’s something I’ve meant to do for a while, and now it’s done.  And, no:  there won’t be pictures.  Well, maybe a video . . .

Now the other people are starting to show up in the story, and that means you’ll start seeing costumes, of which I have a list because that’s how I roll.  Shall we begin, then?

 

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

They looked up in time as Nadine approached wearing a black and yellow-gold jumpsuit. Her red hair was layered around her shoulders, and something that looked like a small purple dragon sat upon her shoulder. “I was wondering when you’d show—” She stopped and gave both Annie and Kerry a careful examination. “Interesting outfits.”

“Thanks.” Kerry gave the “I could say the same thing—Kitty.” He looked up at the creature sitting on Nadine’s shoulder. “How you doing, Lockheed?”

Nadine chuckled at the dragon spoke using a combination of tweets, whistles, and chortles. “He says hi.”

Annie found herself impressed by Nadine’s outfit—and the dragon on her shoulder, which she figured was a homunculus. “Who are you supposed to be?”

Nadine looked to Kerry. “You want to tell her?”

He should his head. “I think I already did.”

Nadine turned her eyes upwards. “Yeah, you did.” She smiled at Annie. “I’m Kitty Pryde, and this—” She held up a gloved hand for the purple dragon to rub its face against. “—is Lockheed. He’s my best bud—aren’t you, dude?” The dragon spoke in the same gibberish language as before, seeming pleased and content.

Kerry filled in the blanks for Annie, figuring that she had no idea what they were saying. “Kitty’s a mutant—one of the X Men—just like the character Nadine played last year. You know how Wednesday’s call sign is Shadowcat ‘cause she can do phasing magic?”

“Yes.”

“Well—” He motioned towards Nadine. “Meet the real Shadowcat.”

 

Nadine seems to have a thing for playing comic book mutants, which probably means she reads comic books.  As Kerry stated, Kitty can phase through any material–walk through walls, if you will, just like Wednesday has shown she can do.  As for the creature on her shoulder . . . yeah, Lockheed, an alien who becomes Kitty’s best friend and companion, and who actually begins drinking heavily in one comic when it looks as if Kitty has died–which if you know the Marvel universe is almost always a load of bullshit.

A mutant girl and her dragon are never parted.

A mutant girl and her alien dragon are never parted.

His existence at the party will get mentioned, though it seems Annie is on the right track . . .

Now someone else shows up–

 

“Yeah, only I can’t do the same stuff Wednesday does, at least not yet.” Nadine shrugged. “I should start getting that this year.”

Annie looked forward to the day she would learn Phasing. Her mother once told her that she’d learned enough to be able to push small object through walls, but she’d always been too worried about something going wrong if she’d tried moving through a wall herself. “I hope Wednesday starts showing how that works; I’m eager to try.”

“Oh, I figured you would.” Nadine looked them both over once again. “Who are you supposed to be?”

“I was wondering that myself.” Jessica walked over dressed in a light, flowing white gown modified to allow her the use of her eight arms, four on each side of her torso. “I have to say I like the hair. Who did them?”

Annie pushed her aqua hair back from her shoulders. “Kerry did his, I did mine.” She reached over and mussed his now-bright blond locks. “This was one of the first things he taught me.”

“I see.” Jessica took a step closer to the couple. “Did you do something to your noses?”

“Thinned them out just a touch.” Kerry took in his Advanced Transformation instructor’s costume. “Are you Tou Mu?”

Jessica straighted a touch. “I’m impressed. Most people have guessed Kali.”

“Kali had four arms, not eight. And you’ve a star in one hand and the sun in another. Plus—” His hand moved up and down, as if he were tracing something upon Jessica. “Outfit’s all wrong for Kali, but not for a Chinese deity.”

Nadine looked down while shaking her head. “How do you know this stuff?”

“Learned it from a role playing game first, and then read more after that.” He shrugged. “Isn’t that what you did?”

“Kinda.” Nadine chewed her lower lip for a few seconds. “Comics with me, then started reading stuff on the Internet.”

Annie tugged at Kerry’s jacket sleeve. “Here they come.”

 

Jessica with eight arms–neat trick, but when you’re the Mistress of Transformation, anything is possible.  And Kerry is right:  you can learn about these things from role playing games, ’cause that’s where I first heard of Tou Mu, and then I went and looked her up.  By the way, Jessica didn’t change her complexion this year, so she’s straight-up dark Chinese deity.

She also doesn't look as if she came off a woodcarving.

She also doesn’t look as if she came off a woodcarving.

But now, there’s someone else.  Who is this “they” Annie speaks of coming?

 

“I see.” He raised his right hand in greeting. “Greetings, floor mates.”

Penny waved back. “Hail to you—” She stuffed her hands in the pockets of her black leather jacket. “Strange costumed creatures.” She turned to Jairo on her left. “You figure them out yet?”

“Are you kidding?” His shrug was almost hidden in the folds of his World War II military coat. “Bad enough they got that secret lab in the lower levels to work on their stuff.”

Annie giggled. “Can’t be much of a secret if you know where it’s at.” She smiled as she nodded in Alex’s direction. “You must be Rose, yes?” She already knew Penny was dressed as the Ninth Doctor from the show Doctor Who, and that Jairo had come as Jack Harkness from both Doctor Who and Torchwood. She’d gotten enough clues from Kerry to figure out Alex was dressed as one of the Doctor’s Companions.

Alex tugged on her Union Jack tee shirt. “Of course; just don’t ask me to speak in English accent.”

“You don’t want to hear it.” Penny shook her head. “It’s horrible.”

“I only have to pretend to be English girl—” She ran her fingers through her bangs. “At least I have proper hair.”

Kerry leaned towards Annie. “And it’s not even peroxided.”

Alex stuck out her tongue. “Which means I’m better than English girl.”

Oi.” Penny rolled her eyes before the three students moved closer to Jessica, Nadine, and their covermates. She faced Nadine. “By the way, I didn’t get the chance before, but congratulations on your win.”

“Thanks.” Nadine’s win came during Stage Two when Mórrígan raced against Cernunnos. “And congratulations on your two seconds.” She shook Penny’s hand before shaking Alex’s. “And a third, fourth, and fifth for you.” She shifted glances between all three of the Cernunnos fliers. “All of you; that was some racing out there today.”

 

So now their covenmates appear, and they look like they’re right out of An Empty Child:

And if you don't think Kerry won't say the trademark expression from this episode, you don't know me.

And if you don’t think Kerry won’t say the trademark expression from this episode, you don’t know me.

Also, for the first time we see someone crossplaying, as they say in the biz, ’cause Penny is being Penny, and she certainly wasn’t changed into a skinny white dude like Chris in the Middle in the above image.  Nope, she’s just being her awesome self playing a character neither her gender or ethnicity because she can.

So there we have nine hundred words of the scene continued, and that was enough to push the story over ninety-five thousand words.  And it allowed me to mark off people on my costume list:

Can't tell the characters without a--you know the rest.

Can’t tell the characters without a–you know the rest.

That’s the list of everyone who’ll be seen and/or mentioned, and they all have costumes.  I had to stretch my brain just a little to find something for everyone, and I have to say I did a good job.

Notice, though, that you still haven’t seen what Annie and Kerry are wearing.  Oh, sure, there are hints, but nothing for sure.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll show you.  Maybe.

The Samhain Dance: Off to the Dance

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Looks like some witches have been hard at work.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

“We have nothing to hide.”

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

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

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

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

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

Annie nodded slowly twice. “Anything.”

“Hey, you two.”

 

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

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

Talk about taking the fun out of partying.

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.

Let Us Gather ‘Round the Reading

Here’s the thing:  about a week back I started playing with this video stuff, because why not?  All the cool kids are doing it, right?  The first one I put up in Facebook got a big response, and it got an equally good one here.  Then I kinda said something along the lines of, “You know, maybe I’ll put up a video of me reading from my novel.”  Really, I didn’t think people would take me seriously–

Ha!  Hahaha!

"And now we come to the part of the story where Walter White blows up a nursing home.  Are you ready?"

“And now we come to the part of the story where Walter White blows up a nursing home. Are you ready?”

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, it’s that once you say something like that, it’s put up time, and you better be ready to go.  I decided that, you know, it might be fun to try at least once, and in the process I’ll learn along–like, you know, I might need a mic for some of this stuff.  But there’s the learning curve, yo, so don’t get to hatin’.  It’s all good fun.

Here it is, then:  I’m gonna lay it out for you.  This first video is an introduction of the Foundation and Salem, and a little about my two main characters.  It’s done late, about nine PM, after a long day of trying to upload a twelve minutes video and discovering that the software I normally used freaks out when that happened, and I had to get some other software.  This was one of those “learning curves” I was mentioning.

Video One:  The Intro.

 

The rest of the videos were performed on 30 July, 2014 (the one above was done on 27 July, 2014).  The second video sets up the where I am in the story before I start reading.  All I’ll say at this point is that it takes place during the Samhain dance.

 

Video Two:  The Setup.

 

Now, if you’re curious about what Annie and Kerry were wearing at the dance–and I know some people were–why, I have access to the same Internet that Kerry has, which means I can find the same things he does . . . though I’m sure he can use The Foundation’s search engine and get results a lot quicker.  Here you are, kids:  feast your eyes.

Though Annie isn't showing near that much cleavage.

Though Annie has a far different . . . necklace.

Yes, they went as Malcolm Reynolds and Inara Serra as seen in the Firefly episode, Shindig.  As stated earlier in the story, Annie’s gown didn’t show as much skin in the front and the back, but was otherwise a duplicate of that.

Now we get to the reading.  Since I didn’t want to deal with a long video that might take forever to load, I cut the reading into two parts.  Some of the sound quality may be iffy–after all, I’m not used to reading my own work out loud–and I did stumble in a few spots.  But you should still be able to follow along.

Here you go:

 

Video Three:  The Reading, Part One.

 

Video Four:  The Reading, Part Two.

 

And at the very end, I do a wrap up explaining something very unusual about this scene, and something that will likely surprise you.

 

Video Five:  The Wrap-up.

 

And since I don’t like to leave any stones unturned, here’s the song dedicated to Annie as she would have heard it on the dance floor of the Great Hall of Salem, echoing off the walls as she slow danced with her moyata polovinka while nearly every student–save for those making gagging motions at such a romantic display–and instructor looked on:

 

Like I said, that Annie’s, she’s a lucky girl.

 

Since I’m writing this the night before I post, I can say, “Back to writing tomorrow.”  And that’s when I start to get my George R. R. Martin on and get ready to kill some students.

Ya gotta show these kids who’s boss around here . . .

Renumbering ‘Tween the Bonfires

Before I get to the writing, I think I should make this official:  I now have a new video camera.  After breakfast I was like, “I gotta break up the routine a little,” and decided a new camera was just the thing to help me out with my multimedia experiences.  I’ve already charged it up, recorded, downloaded to the computer, uploaded to YouTube (sorry, none of the test videos are there), and presented one on Facebook.  I have this so down, trust me, though I might even play with getting things set with an SD card reader, just so I can make things fast.  Maybe.

Oh, and I visited two stores in order to find one pair of shoes I wanted, so also did the totally woman thing with my shoe shopping.  Yes, I rule.

There wasn’t a lot of writing accomplished last night, because it seemed like there were few times when I could write without interruption.  It was one of those moments in time when everyone had something they wanted to say, and they were saying it to me.  Not only that, but my mind wasn’t really focused on the task at hand, either:  I was trying to pulled out the purple prose to describe an event happening to my kids, and it wasn’t happening.  Maybe it was due to the interruptions, or maybe my head was someplace it wasn’t supposed to be.  Either way, I made four hundred and fifty words and called it a night.

Oh, and I also discovered that in the last three weeks I’ve written just over twenty thousand words.  How do I know that?  Shhh–spoilers . . .

But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t hard at work on the story.  You know that, “I’m always thinking about my story,” thing I’ve mentioned from time-to-time?  I was deep in that yesterday, and I began thinking:  I have a big event coming up right after Samhain, but not right away.  However, with this event in Kerry’s life–the one I’m calling his “Four Nights”–it would make sense if the second and third nights were, you know, closer together–

Allow me to explain.

These four nights have a profound effect upon Kerry’s life.  He’s already had the first one, that night in the hospital an week and a half before, story wise.  The Second Night is happening right now in the story:  the events of Samhain.  Now, the third night takes place the night of the attack, and it affects both him and Annie.  (The Second Night does this as well, but not in the same fashion.  First Night was actually initiated by Annie, but she doesn’t know that.)  In keeping with my little nudge at Shakespeare, Fourth Night happens some months off in the future, after the kids come back from Yule holiday and a few other things have taken place.  That one will rock both their worlds–

But we’re not there yet.

I decided that since Second and Third Nights are going to affect both kids, and affect them hard, it would make more sense to place them closer together.  So I pulled out my time lines and moved The Big Time up a week, to 1 November.  Because I can.

See how easy that was?

See how easy that was?

It’ll make for a more interesting time for my kids, particularly for Annie, who’s going to enter some tough times in the next couple of days.  But really, girl, I’m not doing it to be mean.

You want mean?  Here’s my second video.

Running on Sights

Long night–or should I say morning?  Was feeling a little emotionally out of it when I went to bed, and then I wake up at like three in the morning and having trouble getting back to bed because I’ve got a song stuck in my head and my dreams had me chased by the undead.  And as soon as I manged to fall asleep–zombie dreams come after me.  What did I ever do to them, other than have a couple of my students whack the hell out of them?  They should learn to mellow out.

Yesterday I said I’d post the video I made for one of my Facebook groups the other day, and when you get to the end of this post you’ll see it and a bit of my messy, somewhat stark abode.  But that’s at the end:  there are other things in between.

So three instructors arrive, two leave, and Annie is sitting there with Kerry and Professor Arrakis, and then this happens:

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie was going to make a comment about the departing instructors, but Emma chose that moment to hurry over and stand across the coffee table from them. “Hi, um . . .” She turned to Kerry. “Would you like to dance?”

Kerry froze for a few second, his eyes locked upon Emma. “Um, yeah . . .” He cleared his throat twice, casting a sideways glance at Annie before continuing. “Um, I was, uh . . . I wasn’t planing on dancing—”

Annie jumped in to save her nervous boyfriend. “Kerry, go ahead. I don’t mind.”

He quickly turned to Annie as if to make certain she wasn’t playing with him. “You sure?”

She lightly touched his left hand. “Go ahead. I want to speak with Professor Arrakis anyway—” She leaned closer to him as she lowered her voice. “Girl talk, you know?”

He nodded. “Got it.” Kerry quickly rounded the table and joined Emma. “Okay, let’s do this.”

Annie was careful to note as the two walked away that he didn’t touch Emma—he placed his hand close to her back but never made contact—and kept her to his right as they headed for the dance floor. She’s not to his left; I’m the only one who ever walks on his left

 

Emma:  still being a buzzkill.  Though Annie did let he walk away with Kerry and she didn’t throw a spell at her back before she vanished into the crowd.  Because she’s talking “girl talk” with the School Seer–

 

“You were surprised.”

Annie looked straight ahead. “Yes.” She turned her head just enough to see her. “I was.” She finally turned her body enough that she wasn’t uncomfortable looking at the instructor. “I wasn’t expecting to hear him nearly tell Emma that he wasn’t going to dance with her.”

“He was going to say more than that; he was about to tell her that he wasn’t planing on dancing with anyone but you.” Deanna slid around so she was resting between the back and arm. “He’s changed.”

“Yes, he has.” She looked for him on the dance floor, then decided she trusted him enough that it wasn’t necessary to keep an eye on him.

“Quite a lot after his accident a couple of weeks ago.” She looked over her shoulder also searching for Emma and him. “His night in the hospital must have had a profound effect upon him.”

Annie didn’t want to speak of that night in the hospital. She didn’t want to speak of her anger at him, of her after-hours apology, and of the moments she spent in the near dark watching him sleep. Though she wanted to talk . . . “He’s so different tonight. Kerry’s always been attentive, but tonight he’s noticed so many small things . . .” She looked off to her right, towards the exit into the East Hallway. “He’s been so complementary tonight. Telling me I’m lovely, I’m beautiful . . .”

“You’re waiting to hear something else, aren’t you?”

Her eyes flickered over the seer. “Yes.”

Deanna nodded. “Perhaps—” She turned to watch the students dancing. “—he finally feels he’s worthy of giving you love.”

Annie’s attention snapped back to Deanna, her eyes filled with curiosity and interest. She knew it wasn’t an accident that the professor spoke nearly the same words that she’d spoken to Kerry that night in the hospital, telling him he was worthy of her love, and deserved all that she felt for him. “What do you know, Professor?”

 

Forget it, Annie.  you aren’t getting anything out of her.  That’s what it means to be a seer:  you have all these secrets you have to keep . . . and Deanna Arrakis is very good at keeping them.  This is going to cause a little back and forth between the instructor and Annie, but if you think Annie is going to learn her future while sitting at the Samhain dance, guess again.

I’m going to work on this scene right after this post goes out (at the moment it’s 7:10 AM, so figure before 7:20), because my afternoon is going to be way busy and I need to get my writing in where I can.  And I want to finish this scene and get then next going because there is fun coming, I tell you, fun!

The next chapter is nothing but laughs!

The next chapter is nothing but laughs!

Since a lot of you asked for it, here’s my video.  I’ve been asked in my Facebook group to do readings of my work, and there’s a very good possibility that’s going to happen.  For now, however, enjoy this.