Projections of the Astral Kind: Seeing Not All

I know it’s gonna seem strange, but–here I am with another excerpt.

I’m slowly getting back into writing–with slowly being the operative word.  The story is coming out, but it’s doing so in fits and spurts, as the words don’t flow as smoothing as once before.  But sitting down and making a concerted effort to write close to 500 words is something I haven’t done in a while, so doing it makes me feel better.

And where are we now?  Well, the kids were going to try doing a little astral projection.  And if one of the two were to actually craft the spell correctly, it would probably be this one…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The moment Annie’s eyes opened she felt disappointment. The ceiling to the room looked the same and upon sitting up she say the rest of the room was just as she’d left it prior to trying to project. She let out a big sign and folded one arm under her breasts so she could rest her other arm against it as she pressed a fist against her mouth. It didn’t work. She shook her head. It should have worked. I know I was in a trance

It was in that second after her last through that she began to reevaluate her disappointment as she quickly noticed two things: one, she wasn’t wearing any clothes—and two, Deanna was sitting up in the middle of her reclining body.

The seer smiled as she took in her student’s discomfort. “I see you made it.”

Annie examined her surroundings slowly. “This is the Astral Realm?”

“Of course it is.” Deanna stood and everything from her thighs down vanished inside her body and the recliner. “Though I’m going to guess that what you’re seeing is really nothing more than the room as you left it before projecting.”

She nodded. “Yes. Everything looks the same—” Annie looked down at herself and spoke with a tone of disgust in her voice. “Why am I naked?”

“Let me answer those questions in order.” Deanna stepped away from the chair and stood in the open. Now that Annie could see her whole body, she noticed the slight glow surrounding her. “First, the reason everything looks the same is because you are now seeing the Astral Realm with a completely new set of senses—”

“It didn’t look like this when we walked physically into the Realm.”

Deanna projected a warm smile. “That’s because you were seeing things with your physical eyes. Now you’re not: you’re seeing things with your astral eyes, which are nothing but projections of your real eyes. In order to see the Astral Realm properly while projecting, you have to learn to project everything around you back to your eyes.”

After a few seconds of considering the matter, Annie felt she understood what Deanna was saying. “I have to use Astral Sight, don’t I?”

“Why do you think I was teaching that before Astral Projection?” She motioned towards her student. “Go on: try that.”

Annie began crafting as if she were really in her body and not a conscious mind linked to her astral form—as she now remembered Deanna explaining weeks before, there wasn’t a difference—and five seconds later the Astral Realm flashed into existence…

 

So, as we’ve seen a few times before, Annie is the first one to figure this spell out.  And damn, but Annie’s nekked again–trust me, though, there’s a good reason for that.

And if you’re lucky you’ll find out why tomorrow.

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Projections of the Astral Kind: Settling In For the Trip

What is this madness?  In case you’re wondering, it’s an excerpt.

Yep. I finally sat down and did some writing.

Now, before you get all giddy: I didn’t do any of the writing I said I was going to do yesterday and for good reason: I was in Carlisle yesterday for their winter ice festival where there were all kinds of ice sculptures in front of businesses eager for your money.  I was there with two of my teammates–Shannon and Kellie–and Kellie’s girlfriend Sarah, and we were helping pass out team literature with the intention of finding businesses who could be interested in sponsoring the team for 2018.

We also drank.  As in like booze.  Because it was cold.  Yeah, that’s why.  We also took over the Carlisle version of the Iron Throne.  I didn’t have the heart to tell these ladies they needed to address me as Khaleesi after this:

Shannon, Kelli, Sarah, and me out doing their HARD sell. #HARD #DerbyGirl

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This morning, however, I decided I needed to get back into the last scene I started and put a finish on it.  And there’s a reason for that–

‘Cause it’s been a while–

 

I checked the dates and it’s been exactly two weeks since the last time I worked on this post.  Which is to say it’s been two weeks since I’ve written anything.  That is nearly the longest I’ve went without writing anything original.  Well, not really: I’ve gone longer than that after finishing a story, but before now the longest I’d gone without writing anything original was a couple of days.

The time was needed.  I had to finish this.

And I’m of the hope that now that I’ve gotten Chapter Twenty-One going, I’ll have the inclination to sit down and finish the sucker.

So, what is this chapter about?  Well, the title should give you an indication.  And the except–which is all of the first scene of this chapter–will set up the action:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

Contrary to what most Salem students believed, the Projection Room at Memory’s End wasn’t a small theater where instructors could relax while watching movies: rather, it was where Deanna went whenever she taught students how to develop the art of Astral Projection.

The Projection Room was also one of the few rooms in the Numerology Building used for non-numerological purposes. Deanna’s reasoning was that since the Numerology Building was seldom used these days—there were only six E and F level students studying this particular art—using a room in a far corner of the first floor of nearly abandoned building allowed her students the maximum amount of privacy with nearly zero distractions.

Like many of the rooms at Memory’s End, the Projection Room was functionally spartan. There were a few cabinets along one wall containing supplies, maybe a dozen pillows of various sizes on the floor, and six plush leather recliners that could stretch out flat should one want to take a quick nap. The lighting was constantly subdued and a soothing soundtrack often played just at the threshold of hearing to help place students in the proper frame of mind for projecting their astral forms.

After a month of study Deanna believed both Annie and Kerry were ready to attempt Astral Projection, though privately she suspected that Annie would likely be the first to accomplish this task. It wasn’t that Kerry wasn’t up to the task, but as he did at times, his approach to Astral Projection was a bit clinical, whereas Annie jumped into the art with her heart and soul as she developed her crafting, and that always gave her a bit of an edge in these matters.

Both students arrived promptly at 13:00 and Deanna went right into what she expected from today’s lesson. Annie and Kerry both knew that today was their first attempt at disengaging their astral form from their physical one and she wanted them as relaxed and focused as possible. There wasn’t any need to say she wanted them to do their best: that was a given. She only wanted them to have the correct mindset so they’d succeed.

At 13:30 Deanna figured there was little more she could say about how to project and decided it was time to move on to the next step. “All right, then.” She motioned to the line of recliners against the back wall. “Let’s get started.”

Kerry was sitting almost immediately. He’d told Deanna that while he didn’t think he’d project the first time, he figured wasting time getting ready wouldn’t help. Annie, on the other hand, was methodical about sitting down and reclining the chair to the correct position before getting comfortable. Privately Deanna agreed with Kerry that he likely wouldn’t project the first time, but as far as Annie was concerned…

“Are you ready?” Deanna dimmed the light even further with a wave of her hand.

Annie stared up at the ceiling. “I’m ready.”

Kerry gave a quick nod along with a slight wave of his left hand. “Imma go here.”

Deanna took her own chair, one facing her students, and reclined just enough that she could relax while still keeping an eye on her students. “Close your eyes and clear you minds. You know the process: imagine decoupling your astral form from your physical form and taking control with your conscious mind. Harder to do than it sounds, but as with any crafting, it’s a matter of exerting your willpower over the reality of your dual nature.

“Lay there: don’t respond to any of my comments.” She quickly opened one eye to check on Annie and Kerry. Both lay back with their eyes closed, appearing comfortable and deep in a trance. “Separate one self from the other and you’ll find your minds going free and bringing your astral form along for the journey…”

 

Astral Projection.  Not the same as dreamwalking, because when one dreamwalks they are limited to the space inside their dreamscapes.  With Astral Projection, you are limited to–well, the Astral Realm.  And that’s a lot of space.

But first, you gotta get in there–

Seven Days Out

And here’s where I get to talking.  Enjoy!

 

Here’s a photo of me at the showing with the artist:

 

 

Here’s the video of the pace line I mentioned:

The Stroll Back: The Old and the New

How goes it all this morning?  I’m down to the coffee shop for, well, coffee and a bit of tea ’cause I can’t handle caffeine like I did once.  After I finish up here I’m gonna grab a bite then head for the rink for a few hours of skating before going back to the apartment and working on a rules test.  This derby thing is like writing: it doesn’t seem to end.

I didn’t get a chance to see The Shape of Water yesterday: when I arrived at our little art theater that’s showing the movie people were lined up outside the building waiting to get tickets, which is something I’ve never seen happen there.  It looks as if I’m gonna head over there tomorrow afternoon to watch it, as nearly everyone will be at work and I’ll have most of the theater to myself.  I’ve had a couple of people say they loved the movie and one friend who said she was extremely disappointed with the final product.  Guess I’ll see how it comes out tomorrow.

Now, this writing…

Believe it or not I finished Chapter Twenty.

Put your month on “believe it.”

 

It only took exactly 600 words to get this scene in the word bank and put a “First Draft” on everything.  Which means it’s on to Chapter Twenty-one and some crazy shit–yeah, you have to trust me on this one, ‘kay?  But for now we’re gonna pick up where Annie and Kerry left off with their conversation–which… well, you’ll see.

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Probably because she wanted us to have this moment.” He sighed as he glanced off into the woods to his right. “I’ve a pretty good feeling we won’t remember any of this conversation tomorrow.”

Annie had been prepared to say the same thing and felt that since Kerry had vocalized her feelings there wasn’t any reason to speak on that matter. There was one thing, however… “It makes you wonder if this has happened before?”

Kerry swung Annie’s and his arms as the History and Arts Building came into view. “I wouldn’t want to know if it has. And I’m guessing if it did, it happened for good reason.”

He pulled Annie to a stop and looked about as if he were seeking someone; when he did speak he didn’t seem to be addressing anyone in particular. “If you are doing this, I get it: you don’t want us to know we’re helping one of your sisters. Otherwise, we’re gonna spend the next twenty or so years obsessing about the meeting.” He turned to Annie, though he was still speaking to the unseen presence he was certain was watching them. “If possible, though—can you clue us in the next time you do this?” He laughed and did speak to Annie this time. “Or maybe she has, yeah?”

Annie took both his hands and gripped them as she smiled. “It’s possible. Let’s hope if it has happened, it was for good reason.” With that said, she pulled Kerry along into and through the History and Arts Building, Åsgårdsreia Tower, and to the North Entrance of the Great Hall.

 

Not only are they accepting of the idea that they’re likely not going to remember the current conversation they’re having, but their starting to believe they may not remember the one they’re having now come the morning.  While I won’t say if Ol’ Phee has scrubbed their memory on past occasions, I did leave a slight clue in this last vision that indicates they may not remember everything that’s happened to them.  Needless to say, this may not be the last time this comes up for questioning–

Now, let’s move on and see if there’s anything interesting happening in the Great Hall–oh, look!

 

They walked into the Rotunda and headed directly for the stairs on their right leading to the First Floor and the Library, where they’d decided to spend some time on research before dinner. They were about to enter the Library when Annie stopped, her eyes focused on the video message board above the door. “What’s that about?”

Kerry scanned the messages on the board. “You mean the recruitment night?”

“Yes.” She glanced his way. “What’s roller derby?”

He thought for a moment before answering. “Did you ever see Whip It?”

Annie gave her soul mate a semi-puzzled look. “Is that a movie?”

“Yeah.”

“No.”

“I thought we might have seen it together.”

She shook her head. “I’d remember if we did.”

“Oh, yeah. Well…” He appeared slightly embarrassed as he scratched his head. “Roller derby is girls on skates going around a track, with one team competing against another. The idea is for each time to score while, at the same time, preventing the other team from scoring on them.”

Annie raised her brows as she tried to imagine Kerry’s description. “I’m not visualizing this.”

“It’d probably be easier to show you the movie.” He scanned the announcement. “The movie takes place on a banked track, but this says it’s for girl’s Junior league flat track.” He nodded a couple of times. “I’ve seen video of that: flat track games, I mean.”

“You have?”

“A couple of times.” He chuckled. “Usually when I’m up at night and I’m lookin’ through YouTube for something interesting.”

“Humm.” She took Kerry’s hand. “It’s next Thursday night.”

Kerry heard something in Annie’s voice he’d heard many times during the last two years. “You thinking about going?”

She waved open the Library door, pausing just long enough to turn to Kerry, a slight smile on her face. “I might. I mean, it could be interesting. And you know me.”

His head tilted slightly to the right as they entered the Library. “Oh, do I know you—”

 

And there you go: I’m bring Junior flat track derby to Salem–something I’ve already got worked out–and Annie seems… interested.  Because why would I include this shit if she wasn’t going to be interested.  I mean, I guess Kerry could play if he wanted–

But I don’t think he’s ready to make that switch.

Yeah, I know what I did there–

The Stroll Back: What, Who, Why

Here I am and, believe it or not, it’s Excerpt Time!  Really, I started working on the last scene of Chapter Twenty and decided, hey, it’d be nice to put out what I wrote tonight before I go to dinner.  So here it is–

Although I have to talk a little about my league’s Recruitment Night on Wednesday, which went really well.  We had about 15 people show up and if the last Recruitment Night is any indication, we’ll end up keeping about a third of them.  I wouldn’t use my Recruitment Night as an example as I’m the only one left over from that evening, so here’s keeping our fingers crossed.

We had so many new people come out we didn’t have enough equipment for them all, and a couple of the OG removed their gear and loaded it out.  We also got buddies that we are to stick with and help through the process of leaning to become a derby girl, and mine is Niki, who was really shaky in skates at first, but managed to make it through about half a pace line before rolling off to rest.  I’m looking forward to seeing her again on Monday, and do Fresh Meat practice on Tuesday.

Oh, and we got a group picture, just like last time.

Who’s that green haired woman on the left? She looks fetching!

 

Yeah, there I am on the left with the white socks.  Geez, I gotta fix that this weekend.  Really.

So, excerpt time.  The kids have left Memory’s End and are heading back to The Pentagon.  And they’re talking.  About?  What do you think is the topic of discussion?

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

They were on the long path back to the History and Arts Building, perhaps midway between the paths leading to Orchestra Hall and Gwydion Manor, before Annie decided it was time to speak about their vision. Since leaving Memory’s End Kerry hadn’t spoken once, but it was easy for Annie to see there was not only something on his mind, but it was disturbing him. “My love?”

Kerry continued looking straight ahead as he answered with his own question. “You don’t believe about what I said concerning Precognitive Amnesia, do you?”

“I believe it’s a real thing, otherwise Deanna would have called you out for lying.” Annie rubbed her fingers against the palm of Kerry’s left hand. “I don’t believe that happened to us, however.”

Kerry nodded as he slowed his pace. He looked about to see if they were alone, then continued. “When Deanna asked if you knew knew who the woman was, you said you couldn’t remember her name—”

“That’s correct.”

“But do you remember what she was?”

At that moment Annie realized what Kerry was saying. “Yes, I do—the same as you. You know, don’t you?”

“Yeah.” He looked straight ahead for a moment before glancing back at Annie. “You want me to say it?”

The corner of Annie’s mouth curled upward into a smile. “You know what I’m going to say—”

 

Well, dammit, then say it!  Stop playing this out!

 

“I do.” He gave Annie’s had a squeeze. “She was one of the Seven Sisters.”

Annie looked off to her left. “It was.”

Kerry swallowed once. “Did you try to say that when Deanna asked?”

The response was quick. “I did, but I…” She cast her gaze downward. “I couldn’t.”

“Neither could I. And since I didn’t think I could convince Deanna that I did know who it was, I just couldn’t say the words—” He signed. “I brought up the Precognitive Amnesia. I knew she’d believe that.”

 

If you need a refresher, someone mentioned that there are seven really powerful spirits located on different continents and that they go by the name The Seven Sisters.  Is there one in North America?  Surely you jest:

 

The feeling that the name was just on the tip of her tongue, but she was unable to speak, had bothered Annie tremendously when they were being questioned. Now that they were finally able to discuss the matter, she felt a way of relief. “I’m glad it wasn’t only me.” She looked back to Kerry. “It felt just like the day after our E & As.”

“Yeah, wonder why?” Kerry chortled as his mouth turned upward in a smirk. “I mean, who here at Salem would have an active interest in keeping the mention of a hugely powerful spirit out of our conversation with the school seer?”

The answer to that question was easy for Annie. “A concerned family member?”

“That’s my guess.” A loud exhale slipped from between slightly parted lips. “Why would she do this?”

“Because if we do meet with one of the Seven Sisters in twenty years time, it’s because something bad is about to happen.” She half-turned to Kerry as they continued walking.

“Why else would a spirit gust as powerful as The Phoenix appear in the Physical Realm so they could speak to a couple of humans in a restaurant?” Annie’s exhale was as loud as Kerry’s. “As you said, we were being called upon to save the world—”

“Which, if you think about it, is a scary thing if something like The Phoenix needs help from us.” Kerry chuckled again, but this time he sounded far more upbeat. “I think she’s letting us have this conversation now.”

“I do as well.” Annie tightened her grip around Kerry’s hand. “But why?”

 

The kids are thinking that, yeah, they did meet up with one of the Seven Sisters, and Sister North America–aka, The Phoenix–is jacking their memories around.  Because… well, it’s what she does.

At least that’s what the kids think–

For now.

Back From the Vision: When Reality Strikes

Wow, another excerpt!

Yep, it is.  And not only that, but I finished the penultimate scene of Chapter Twenty and I’m ready to set up some stuff that will likely come off being a little strange and unusual, as well putting the story off in a direction far different from what I’d envisioned years ago.  But that’s how stories go, right? You evolve, they evolve.

But before we get into that, would you like to see a picture of me with a mask?  Sure you would–only it’s not that kind of mask:

Okay, I've got my mask: let's cook! I mean, paint! #HARD #PaintTheWFTDA

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Next Monday the team is gonna tape down the floor at the rink and repaint the outlines of the WFTDA track, and since I’ll be in a room with paint fumes I was told if you didn’t want to smell them–or get light headed as fuck from them–it was best to get a paint mask.  So I did.  And there it is.

And if you don’t believe that I’m not going to lay a few Breaking Bad lines down when we’re painting, you don’t know me…

Yeah, I’m for sure saying this.

 

Now, about Annie and Kerry–

Yeah, they had a great vision, but they’re forgetting parts of it for some reason. So lets go back to the part where Kerry thinks he has an answer:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

No one said anything for at least ten seconds as the implications of the latest revelation were considered. Kerry was the first to break the silence. “Precognitive Amnesia.”

Deanna shifted on her pillow. “I have to agree.”

Annie glanced from her soul mate to her instructor. “What’s that?”

Once Kerry realized Deanna was allowing him to answer, he spoke. “It’s from one of the books you had me read when we were A Levels. Sometimes you have a vision of an event that’s so big, it’s like you’re not supposed to have seen it, you know? So your mind started shutting down you memory of the event—” He glanced over to Deanna. “Though some seers say it’s not your mind affecting you, it’s really reality stepping in and making sure you have no recollection of the event.”

“I happen to be one of those seers.” Deanna folded her hands in her lap and intertwined her fingers. “I think it’s more like a mild case of Blowback, with your memory taking the brunt of damage instead of your body.”

“That’s kind of how one book put it: you mind takes the hit and scrubs your memory.”

 

And there you have it: sometimes you have such a big vision that Reality steps in and says, “Hey, you know what?  There are some things people were not meant to know–and this is one of them.  Sorry.” And then you suddenly begin forgetting shit.  At least that’s what Kerry and Deanna believe.  Although–

 

Annie still found the answer a bit nonsensical. “I can still remember parts of the vision, though.”

“But not the important parts.” Kerry leaned closer to her. “We know we visited that town before, right?”

“Yes.”

“What’s the name?”

Annie pondered the question for a few seconds before answering. “I can’t remember.”

“Same here. I can’t even remember the name of the café now.” He shrugged. “It’s the same thing as having an extremely vivid dream: while you’re dreaming you’re certain that you’ll remember everything, then you wake up and…” He held up his hands. “You can’t recall anything but a few moments.” Kerry looked at the floor. “That’s what’s happened to us.”

In that moment a quick chill ran through Annie. It wasn’t that she’d never experience Blowback before: in the years before coming to Salem she’d had spells go wrong and hurt her, and a few times during the last two years she’d taken a couple of hits from Reality. Now she understood that Reality could come at her and render her incapable to remembering things—and she wasn’t enjoying the feeling. “It’s a bit unnerving. I mean, we know something important is going to happen—”

“You mean you’re going to save the fucking world?” Deanna smiled when Kerry winced. “Again?”

Annie couldn’t help but smile at Kerry’s discomfort. “Yes, that. But now, to have everything just fade away—”

Deanna gave her student a concerned look. “Annie, think about it. If you are going to become involved in something that incredible, do you really want to spend the next twenty or thirty years worrying about what comes next?” She shook her head. “I know I wouldn’t.”

“Neither would I.” Kerry sat up, looking a bit uncomfortable. “Just knowing we had this vision is enough.” He let out a long sigh. “Professor, do you need us to stay for the rest of the class?”

Though she was about to release both students, Deanna found it a bit strange that Kerry was asking if they could be dismissed. “No. You’re both free to leave.” She didn’t move as both students stood, gathered their things, and left the room hand-in-hand with only a goodbye once they were at the door. Though she suspected both kids were somewhat bothered by what they’d just discussed, their auras painted a completely different picture. Something’s bothering them both—and I have a good idea what that is

 

–It may seem as if Kerry is starting to thinking differently, and maybe Annie’s there as well.

And as soon as I write the scene you’ll know what that thinking is.  I think.