Visualizing the Unseeable Flow

Here it is, Sunday, and I’ve been hard at work since about six this morning.  Yesterday I bought a program that will allow me to do videos of what is on my computer screen while I’m working, so this means that video I’ve wanted to do on Dragon will become that much easier to create and put up on the blog.  You can expect to see that sometime soon–and you going to get a little treat along with that, because I’m actually going to write in the novel as I’m demonstrating Dragon.  Call it spoilers if you will.

Speaking of the novel and the current scene… When I said during the yesterday’s video that I expected to current scene run maybe two thousand words or so, I lied.  I’m already past two thousand words and I’m now expecting it to run maybe another thousand before I’m finished. I also checked the timeline on Chapter Ten for the novel and found that I started five weeks ago, back in the middle of February.  Based on these dates, it’s likely this is the longest I’ve worked on a chapter in any of these three novels.

In Friday’s post we had Kerry getting ready to teach Advanced Spells all about time.  Well, he’s up in front of the class having a few last thoughts…

 

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

 

He rolled his eyes as he faced his audience. On his far left sat the two new B Levels, Naomi and Subhan. To Subhan’s left sat Pang, and on his left was Kerry’s empty chair. Though Naomi had the option to cluster herself with the rest of the girls, she stated that she felt more comfortable sitting with someone from her own level.

To the left of his empty chair sat Annie, looking at him with friendly intensity. Nadine sat next to her, and to the ginger girls left sat Regina and Serafina respectively. Kerry knew he didn’t have to worry about any of these girls, though last year Serafina made it known that she wasn’t all that interested in time spells and he half expected her to ignore him for most of this class.

 

What Kerry is doing is very similar to something I used to do when I taught. Yes, way back in the early 1980s I actually taught computer classes. Let me tell you, it can be a bit intimidating getting up in front of a bunch of students who are looking to you for the answers–or who really don’t give a shit if you have anything to say.  And I was far older than Kerry at the time, so you can imagine how he’s feeling.

Fortunately, he knows most everybody there, so getting started doesn’t seem to be much of a problem–

 

He stared at the floor in front of his empty seat for a few moments before looking up. “I find time to be an interesting concept. Not just from the point of view of someone who enjoys reading stories about time travel and time manipulation, but also from the point of view of someone who has come to somewhat understand how it can be manipulated.” A smile crossed his face as he scanned his fellow classmates. “Also, given how long all of us will live, I guess you could say we’re already cheating time before we even learn how to cheat time.

“What makes time spells so tricky, at least to my way of thinking, is that it’s difficult to visualize how to craft the spells necessary to pull off various effects. I mean, it’s difficult enough for some people to pull off what we now consider simple spells and even some of us have trouble with crafting the more difficult spells due to their concepts, so it’s not completely out of the question that understanding time is going to be an easy thing.

“As all of us now know, time is not always a simple progression of cause to affect—and, no: I’m not going to tell you what I think it is because all of you’ve already heard my explanation.” He flashed a quick smile around the room at the relieved looks of students who didn’t want to hear about timey whimy balls of stuff. “Though right now I know how to accelerate and slow down time, I’m not quite as good as those witches who have actually learned how to stop and reverse it. But, I think slowing it down and speeding it up are more important to us right now.

“One of the really interesting things about time spells is that they can have an introvert effect on objects in physical space—and those effects can be harmful. Let me show you something.” He turned towards Wednesday. “You ready to be my handy assistant?”

Wednesday conjured a small box of yellow tennis balls that popped into existence near her right waist and floated alongside. “I’m all set, Teach.”

 

I’m sure there was a point in Kerry’s life where he was lying on his bed in his dorm in the coven tower, staring at the ceiling, thinking, “Man, all those years of watching Doctor Who have finally paid off.”  Though it probably wasn’t just this show they got them started on the concepts of working with and bending time; I’m sure he got a bit of an education reading ‘—All You Zombies—’ by Robert A. Heinlein, a story he wrote in one day on 11 July, 1958.  That story, along with another, By His Bootstraps, were full of quirky paradoxes which shouldn’t happen, but did within the stories.  Heinlein love playing with time paradoxes, and these two create some of the most fantastic paradoxes ever.

And in terms of how time can be affected at the School of Salem, these are likely paradoxes that one would not want to have happen to them.  Helena learned the hard way that one needs to avoid paradoxes, and through geek culture Kerry is probably quite aware of how poorly things turn out when you go back in time to inform your past self of something they should or shouldn’t do.  It’s quite likely he knows that playing with time that way is quite similar to what happens when you try to manipulate the present to either bring about or prevent a future vision you’ve had.  As Dan has pointed out, without a frame of reference from which to work, it’s highly likely that whatever you are setting out to do will never happen.

Now, comes the obligatory warning: the excerpt you get tomorrow is going to be full of science.  Sure, there’s magic, but sometimes that magic comes with a sprinkling of science–

So says the writer who has a girl who can fly.

And Filling in Today Is…

Believe it or not, I finally finished the penultimate scene.

Really, I’m not making this up.

Last two nights saw about thirteen hundred words written, which was just enough to put the finishing touches on one of my longer scenes–one that I thought was going to keep going on and on and on.  Some scenes are like that, you know: you don’t expect him to last that long, but before you know it is spending the better part of a week getting everything done.

This means that tonight I can start final scene in this chapter, which I think I have a good idea of how that particular scene will proceed.  Or maybe I don’t.  I suppose I won’t really know until you sit down and begin writing–which these days involves putting on a headset and talking everything out.

Now, you’re probably wondering about the title of this blog post.  I know it can be a bit confusing, but trust me: a clear up the confusion rather quickly.  Like, it’ll be cleared up in the first paragraph–

 

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

 

Wednesday pace back and forth a few times deep in concentration, the soles of her Doc Martins making not a sound. “As I said, I’m not a fan of time spells but I know how to use them. However, we do have two students were rather good with them, and one of them is downright masterful. If none of you object, I’d like to have Kerry perform a few practical applications for us and explain how he is able to pull off some of his crafting.” She stopped and glanced from one student to the next. “Anyone have any issues with that?”

There were a few seconds of silence before Nadine Woodley crossed her legs and readjusted her short skirt as she got comfortable in her chair. “We all know Kerry knows this shit the best and Annie’s right behind him—” She looked across the semi circle at the two B Level students. “Well, maybe they don’t know, but they soon will.” She drew in a long breath as she dropped her shoulders. “I got no problem.”

“I don’t have a problem, either.” Rivânia Suassuna nodded as she looked at Nadine. “The majority of us have been in this class long enough to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t mind learning from someone whose knowledge in a particular type of magic is better than mine.”

Wednesday didn’t expect push back from the two girls who were generally regarded as being the leaders of this class. If they say they’re fine with the situation, the others will follow their lead. After a few more seconds of silence she acknowledged the will of the class. “Very well, then.” She motioned that Kerry. “Come on up here.”

 

It probably didn’t hurt Kerry’s chances of acceptance and that the two girls who vouch for his abilities are also team captains of their respective coven’s race teams, as well as being friends with both Annie and him.  Though Nadine is rather outspoken and if she thought Kerry sucked with the spells, she’d say so.

But we know Kerry is good with time spells, because we been hearing about it here and there throughout the last hundred and forty-three thousand words of this novel.  So it makes sense that the instructor who teaches advanced spells would have someone who’s more advanced in their advanced spells than her to come up and show the rest of the class how it’s done.

Which, if you think about it, can be a bit intimidating…

 

Kerry was a bit self-conscious about getting up in front of the class. It wasn’t that he had been in from of this particular class before: it hadn’t been unusual over the last two school years for everyone to perform a spell or two in front of the rest of the class. He also wasn’t that put off at the idea of offering instruction to other students—after all, Annie and he were minions in both sorcery and Wednesday’s other spells classes as well as coming into Transformation and Formulistic Magic classes. Since they were often asked for assistance during lab sessions, it wasn’t uncommon to show one or more students how to make a spell work correctly.

But this time the situation was a little different. This wasn’t lab work in the actual sense: Wednesday had told Kerry Monday during lunch that she wanted him to actually lead the class in the discussion on time spells, as he had a far better grasp of them than she—

She was asking him to teach.

That didn’t scare him. He taught Annie what he’d learned in Advanced Transformation and had to give a report on their time together to Helena every week. But teaching Annie and private was one thing and having to get up in front of class and do the same thing Wednesday did–that was a completely different matter. It meant going from a relaxed, private environment with Annie to being out in front of everyone here in the Spells Center.

His hesitation must have shown because Wednesday placed a hand on his shoulder before he had a chance to turn and face the class and spoke in a near whisper. “You gonna be okay with this?”

He nodded slowly. “I’ll be okay. It’s just that—” Kerry wanted to turn around and look at Annie, knew that would be a bad move as it might because the other students to doubt his abilities. “It’s a little intimidating doing this, isn’t it?”

“It is, just a bit.” Wednesday’s grin was slight yet knowing. “First time I got in front of a class one of the students asked when the teacher was coming. Not too embarrassing a way to start off.” She leaned in slightly so that this time she was able to whisper. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”

Kerry looked off to his left as he nodded. “Naw, I got this.”

Wednesday’s smile flashed into a full grin. “All right, then.” She stepped away from Kerry and headed off to his right. “Take it away, Doctor.”

 

It isn’t difficult to imagine Wednesday stepping up in front of her first class and being asked by students about when the instructor will appear, since Wednesday still comes off looking like a student from time to time.  Which is in her youthful appearances. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you.

While Kerry is pretty comfortable teaching Annie, he still has some trepidation about getting up in front of a class full of students.  But this is a small class where everyone is pretty much intimately entangled with one another and that makes the process of teaching easy, so Kerry shouldn’t have any issues.

If he did, I wouldn’t have another four thousand words from the scene to offer–

Time Be Time

So here we are, back where we should be.  Or lease where I should be.  And at long last, you’ve caught up to the same scene I’m working on.  Though, if I’m able to get in an hour or two of writing tonight, that won’t last too long because I nearly finished the scene last night.  I only stopped because it was getting tired and I needed to do a few things before going to bed.

Today’s excerpt brings us to Advanced Spells, Wednesday’s class on Wednesday nights.  Believe it or not, I’m still a little proud of the whole “Wednesdays with Wednesday” saying I put together back in the first novel, and this is the first time we visited her class since then.  We don’t get into classes all that much, simply because the story isn’t about just learning magic and slinging spells: it’s about a couple of interesting kids who happened to be witches.  But every once in a while you get to find out what they’re doing in class, and this group of excerpts that have been running for a few weeks show just that.

Since we’ve had the opportunity to see what’s going on in some of the other classes, it’s only fair that we get to see a special night in Advanced Spells.

 

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

 

“Time: what is it?” Wednesday Douglas looked around the semi circle of students who made up her Advanced Spells class. “There are some who would say it’s a river; there are some that say it’s a stream from which we can never escape. There are some who say it is a logical progression of cause to effect, though there are few of us here who know that’s not true.” She winked at Kerry as a way of keeping him from saying what she knew he was going to say and replied to her comment.

Wednesday love the expressions on the faces of her students. It seemed to be divided halfway between those who understood the concept completely and were comfortable in their understanding of time, and those who seemed utterly confused by what they were about to discuss and do next, particularly when it came to her two new students.

Though her Advanced Spells class had remained static the previous year, this year saw a couple of changes. For one Hasumati Choughury, one of two Blodeuwedd students, graduated and moved on to her year of Real Life Experience. Though she was usually quiet, Hasumati had been one of her most attentive and had usually been among the first of her students to work out and master a spell.

But she offset this loss with the addition of two new students. The first was Naomi Rohner, an Åsgårdsreia coven girl from Switzerland who was short, blonde, spoke French and German fluently, and asked a lot of questions during Beginning Spells. The second was Subhan Najafi, a quiet yet intense boy from Pakistan who was a member of Mórrígan coven. Though he’d experienced some initial difficulty finding himself surrounded by so many people from all parts of the world, by the end of his first month he become completely at ease with who he was and where he was receiving instruction.

Her two new students where the ones who seemed the most confused by her opening remarks, though Serafina, her remaining Blodeuwedd student, also seemed a little confused, which wasn’t surprising since Serafina seem to have a bit of an issue with time in general. Which was likely why their past work in the upcoming spell casting had always given her something of a problem…

 

Yah gotta keep Kerry from answering the question “What is Time?” because, by now, everyone in the damn school probably knows what he’s going to say.  Wednesday sure did and cut him off before a single word slipped from his mouth.

The classes are changing, too.  We’ve seen a student graduate and leave Formulistic Magic and now we have someone who’s done the same here.  But two new students have entered the fold and just as Annie and Kerry did when they were nearly brand new A Levels, they are feeling a bit intimidated by the older kids.  Give it another month and they’ll not have a problem.  Or they’ll have burned the joint down.  Either one is possible.

What is it about time that bothers witches?  Let’s find out–

 

Finished with her dramatic pause, Wednesday continued. “All of us here know that time is far more complicated and far more simpler than that. All of us have worked with time spells in this class—with varying degrees of success, I might say.” She smiled at Serafina, who rolled her eyes in response. “There are even some witches who are in possession of the Jump Gift, and are actually able to make small movements up and down the timeline.” She half smiled as she shrugged. “I’ve read about what happens to these people if they make a mistake with their gift, and the results are not pretty.

“That’s because time is a rather unforgiving element of reality. Everyone here has experienced a mild version of Backlash whenever they weren’t precise enough in their crafting. For those witches were adept at manipulating time, even the smallest miscalculation in their crafting can result in some rather horrendous Backlash. There was an old ad on American television that said ‘It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature’. That’s so true, ’cause when it comes to a screw-up in time, Mother Nature can be a rather foul bitch.

“Now, the sort of Backlash were talking about here occurs were trying to do major disruptions in the time stream. However, you’ve all dealt with what we would consider minor disruptions of the time stream—like when we set up enchantments to produce time variations inside closed rooms. All the lower-level coven kitchens have them and some of the study rooms and labs have them as well, so we know, if done right, there are no dangers and playing with time.

“What we are dealing with tonight are individual time spells, the kind that we can use to assist us in everyday tasks, or to help us out where we need something extra when crafting our spells.” Wednesday ignored the pained looks from Serafina and Chunghee Pang, her Ceridwen coven student from South Korea. Though she knew they could handle the crafting, nether student was particularly fond of time spells. “I know we went over this a few times in the last couple of years and it hasn’t exactly been something that the majority of you have enjoyed. I myself am not a huge fan of time spells, but I recognize their usefulness. And I want everyone in this room, before they graduate, to recognize the same.”

 

If what happened to Helena on a certain day in September isn’t an indication of what sort of beating nature can give you if you fuck around with time without considering what you’re about to do, then you won’t mind if the world goes all Donny Darko on your ass and pound you into the ground.  When messing with time you better bring your A Game–

I wonder if there’s anyone in this class who’s gotten really good with time spells?

Magic With a Touch of Science

Well, finally.  I seem to be back on the blog, though it’s slow due to having a few days off on the road and a ton of work to do on the writing side that will likely keep my busy for a week.  Such is my curse.

Anyway…  here’s the last of Jessica’s class, and this puts you, the reader, within four thousand words of where I’m at right this moment.  I’m not worried, but I am feeling the pressure:  produce or die.  Well, maybe not die, but something along those lines.  I hear ya and hope to keep working.

As it was we left off with The Two Jordanas and it’s what some people call “a moment”:

 

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

 

Both students stared at each other in disbelief for nearly five seconds before Jordana looked up at Jessica and spoke in a choked voice. “He’s the same height as me.”

A low chuckle slip from between Jessica’s lips. “You mean ‘she’, don’t you?”

Kerry bristled slightly when he heard Jessica use the pronoun “she”, but rather than dwell on the matter he stepped in before Jordana could argue. “When you Compressed her, it affected her aura, too, didn’t it?” He looked away for second as he dispelled the uneasiness felt by speaking in such a strange voice that wasn’t his, and yet, was.

Jessica nodded. “That’s exactly what happened. In an inanimate object it’s not necessary to worry about affecting an aura because they don’t have one. With living creatures, however, their aura adjusts along with their physical size.” Jessica moved closer, appearing to tower over both children. “That’s why when you Mimicked her, Kerry, you matched her size exactly.

“Now I want to do something else—” Jessica squared her shoulders as she turned towards the real Jordana. She moved her hands in front of the girl’s face and seconds later, as the spell dissipated, she was back to her normal size. Jessica nodded in the direction of the other students. “Go sit down.” She stared down at Kerry. “When I give the word, I want you to change back to your original self.”

He understood what Jessica wanted to show, though he was a bit skeptical if things were going to work the way he expected they were supposed to work. “No problem.”

“All right then…” Jessica waited five more seconds to allow the anticipation to build. “Change back now.”

Kerry concentrated on going back to the way he was, back to his original body. It was what he’d always done when he’d mimicked before and given that he never had a problem then, he didn’t expect one now. As always, there was a second of disorientation as his form changed, only this time the disorientation hit him just a little harder as he instantly grew eight centimeters.

He threw out his hands as if to steady himself. “Whoa.” He let out a sigh as he grinned at Jessica. “Back to my old self.”

 

At least we know Kerry’s fears of not going back to Boy Kerry were unfounded, so he’s nice and happy.  But, the pronoun dig…  Jessica was actually chuckling at Jordana’s discomfort, but Kerry felt the hit only because–well, misgendering is a real issue for him one of these days.  Not right now, but it makes one wonder how does someone handle those pronouns when you’re using magic to pretend to be someone on the other end of the gender binary?  Not easy to figure out–though it really is when you think about it.

Now, the title mentions science and here it comes.  Enjoy.

 

“That’s because your original aura was unaffected.” Jessica alternated her glances between Kerry and the rest of the class as she spoke. “As I explained once before, Kerry’s original aura possesses a sort of memory of his original form, which includes his current shape and size. This is why when he Mimics back to, well, his original form, he doesn’t have to go through any additional transformation magic. Mimicking wouldn’t be worth a damn if you can go back to being your old self after being someone new.” She looked at Kerry and motioned towards the chairs. “You can sit down now.”

With everyone in their seats Jessica was able to continue with the lesson. “Now, the advanced form of Compress treat size and mass the same. While it is possible to reduce the height, and consequently size, of a living creature to a maximum of about fifteen percent of its original volume, you’re only able to reduce the mass of the original, at that size, to about thirty percent of the original weight. While this doesn’t exactly work the same way as the Normal version of the square-cube law, it does present an interesting limitation in that we can’t take something the size of a car and compress it so it’s small enough to carry comfortably in our backpacks.” Jessica gave everyone an interesting grin as she looked around the room. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t witches who haven’t tried: it’s just that their level of success varies.

“Now, while this means that when Kerry goes off on the Polar Express next calendar year, he’ll be able to take about thirty kilos of equipment and stuff all of that into his backpack and it will weigh right around ten kilos. That comes in very handy for those times in the future we decide you want to do hiking and you need to bring along a tent and sleeping bags and food and water, but you don’t feel like carrying around fifty kilos of gear. Though trust me: I’m sure after Kerry’s been flying for eight hours with that ten kilos on his back, he’s going to wish it weighed a lot less.

“Using advanced Compress on humans, however, can make it difficult to maintain an illusion that a very small person looks like a child is not what they seem. For example—” Jessica pulled out her tablet and checked the display. “Jordana is 165 centimeters, so if I was the Compress her down to twenty percent of her size, should be the approximate height of a two-year-old girl. However—Jordana, how much do you weigh?”

The El Salvadoran girl wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to give this information. “Sixty-six kilos.”

“Sixty-six kilos. That means when she’d reduced to the size of a two-year-old, her weight would be around twenty-six and a half kilos, which would put her weight around what is considered average for a seven-year-old girl.” Jessica levitated her tablet over to her desk and set it down. “Anyone trying to pick her up would immediately notice a discrepancy between the size and the overall mass, and they’d wonder what was wrong.” She once again looked around the room from student to student opening her point wasn’t missed. “For those of you who might decide to use this form of transformation to achieve that sort of effect, it’s something you need to keep in mind.”

Kerry raised his hand and spoke once he was acknowledged. “If I were to mimic, say, a six-year-old, would my weight match theirs, or would it go against the same sort of limitation we see with the Compress spell?”

Jessica already knew this answer. “Since your Mimicking Gift bases your appearance off the aura of the person you’re mimicking, you’re going to match them in every category, including weight.” She gave a slight grin. “Quite an advantage you have there.”

As there was not much left to say, Jessica was ready to start the evening’s class. “All right then.” She clapped her hands together and began rubbing them like she was eager to start. “Who wants to be the first guinea pig in this miniaturization game?”

 

Now, in case anyone isn’t paying attention, there’s no Ant Man shit going on here, though no one has said anything about expanding things–  I would imagine that has a whole new set of issues that requires a bit of ingenious dealing on the part of the crafter.

And speaking of ingenious crafters, it’s time to learn about time.  No, really…

Fearing an Unknown Known

Believe it or not I’m fairly busy this morning.  Yeah, I know, it sounds like I’m doing nothing but running around today and the reality is, I am.  I’m gonna go do taxes and about ninety minutes then after that I have to drop off some papers to change accounts due to my name change, and as soon as I’m done with this post I have to call my insurance agent and get things changed on my name as well.  Yes, I know, I could’ve done this last year. I didn’t. Sue me.

So what you’re going to get is a quick and dirty excerpt from the scene we’ve been in for a while, but haven’t heard from for a few days due to me being on the road.  Doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing, but it does mean I haven’t been posting much. At least not much of the novel.  But now you get to see that.

So we pick up right after Jordana has been made a little smaller by the Mistress of Transformation.  And she has something else she wants to show now…

 

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

 

“I just—” Jordana shut her mouth quickly, for she knew the wrong word could see her being punished in ways she wouldn’t find pleasant. “I was thinking that you would only make me a few centimeters shorter than Kerry, that’s all.”

“That’s exactly what you are: a few centimeters shorter than Kerry.” The wicked grin that had appeared earlier crossed Jessica’s face once more. “Eight centimeters shorter, if we were correct in our first assessment. Isn’t that right, Kerry?”

He gave a quick nod. “Yeah, we kinda figured out that she was a couple centimeters taller than me.”

“Which means that now we’ve seen how the spell works at the advanced levels, I want to show the class something else.” Jessica waived her right hand and conjured a poncho-like cloak. She held it towards Kerry. “Would you put this on, please?”

As Kerry took the cloak he began feeling a nervousness that he suspected Jordana was feeling moments earlier. He slipped it on over his head and let it fall to his sides, with the him coming to a point just below his knees. He made a few adjustments and then stood staring at Jessica. “Is this okay?”

She nodded. “That’s perfect.” She turned to the other three students. “I want to show you an unseen aspect of the Compress spell.” She half turned Kerry and pointed at him. “I want you to Mimic Jordana.”

Kerry exchange looks with his fellow classmate, but before he could say anything she turned to Jessica. “Professor, you know I don’t—”

“I don’t give a shit what you don’t like.” Jessica took a step forward as she crossed her arms and glared at the girl. “We spoke about this last year and we will not discuss it again. So unless you want to end up half a meter tall for the next twenty-four hours, you won’t complain when Kerry Mimics you, nor will you afterwords.” She leaned forward slightly, her dark eyes emotionless. “Are we clear?”

Jordana glanced downward as she swallowed once. “Yes, Professor.”

Jessica nodded slightly, content that she had gotten her point across. She glanced at Kerry. “Go ahead: do it.”

 

Jessica is apparently still pissed at Jordana for not wanting to be mimic the year before, and she’s not playing that game this year.  So this is sort of her revenge and like it or not, Jordana is going to get a twin sister.

Although, it seems as if the erstwhile twin may be having second thoughts of his own–

 

There was a moment where Kerry felt an incredible amount of fear gripped him internally, because he knew what he was about to do wasn’t simply a matter of using his Mimic Gift and becoming a duplicate of Jordana. Near the end of the last school year Annie and he were shown the video of the time he had Mimicked Sudarat and Kaisa, so he was aware that in the process of Mimicking a girl there was a moment where he was his female self—Girl Kerry, as Annie called her.

He wasn’t worried that the others would see this: it happened so quickly that no one saw it happened this last March. But he was immediately gripped with an irrational fear that when it came time to drop the Mimic and return to himself—

What if he stayed Girl Kerry?

He closed his eyes enforce the notion from his mind. He had been reassured, time and again, that he could only transition into his female self after the first involuntary transition occurred, so any fear he had now about his Mimicking going wrong was unfounded.

He opened his eyes and stared straight ahead as he imagine himself to be Jordana. He threw his willpower into the transformation—

Less than a second later he was eye to eye with the real Jordana.

 

Kerry’s got that clock ticking, ticking, ticking, and he’s aware that the moment he mimics Jordana there will be a moment when he’s going to turn into that cute little redhead that he’s only seen in his dreams–oh, and in a video as well.  It’s legitimate for Kerry to fear that the moment he changes back he may not change back to himself–well, at least not the self he was when he walked in the room that night.  Even though he’s been told many times that what he’s worrying about is impossible, that doesn’t prevent the Ginger Hair Boy from thinking that they impossible could happen.  After all, for a while in his life he grew up believing magic wasn’t possible and he certainly proved that shit wrong.

So, we finally get to see The Two Jordana’s together and both appear to be about the same size.  Maybe if I’m not to rush for time tomorrow you get to find out why…

Getting Back By Example

So, I’m locked in a cycle of insanity right now.  Last night I had two meetings and didn’t return until 9:30.  Then I went to bed at eleven and woke up at three, so I’m a whole lot tired at the moment.

Tonight I need to write my TV recap–which I’ve put off for two days–and pack and prepare to spend eleven hours on the road back to Indiana.  Sunday is prep-time for taxes, Monday is Tax Time and getting stuff done at American Express, then Tuesday it’s test the car, get my tags, and drive back to PA and return to Harrisburg around midnight.

This is where being a jaunting little witch with a girlfriend would be nice.

Speaking of that lad–who, if he were around in real life, has already run through the Great Hall one last time yelling “Erin go Braless!” to celebrate his Irish ancestry–he’s made Jessica happy by relating Normal science facts.  As we’re about to learn, however, she’s going to reject your reality and substitute her own…

 

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

 

Jessica laughed along with the rest of the class. “As we’ve discovered, all things that we do are supposed to be impossible according to Normal science. We are not supposed to be able to transform ourselves, to change our appearance and our size. And yet—” In about three seconds she morphed into a duplicate of Kaisa Božic, her Åsgårdsreia student, matching her size, light brown hair, hazel eyes, and light complexion. “We know that’s not true.”

In a few seconds Jessica was back to her normal self. “Tonight, were going to be in working with the advanced form of Compress. Now, this does not mean that once you master this version of the spell you’re going to have free license to go around shrinking people simply because they’ve offended you, as you will find yourself in serious trouble for using magic on another student and you’ll likely find yourself doing a weekend detention with me.” She saw the worried looks exchanged between her students as they all knew how she handled weekend detentions.

“Before we get into the lesson allow me to give you a practical demonstration.” She had known who she was going to select even before walking into class that evening. “Jordana, would you please join me?”

Jordana Sauceda approached the front of the somewhat afraid of what was going to happen next. Ever since refused to allow Kerry to mimic her in last year’s class, her relationship with Jessica had become a bit rocky and she’d given serious consideration about returning to class for her last year. Part of her wanted to follow instructions so she could get back on Jessica’s good side, and part of her wanted to run because she expected the worst—

Jessica picked Jordana because at 165 centimeters she was her tallest student, edging out Kerry by a couple of centimeters. She read the concern in the girls aura but immediately pushed that concern aside: Jessica was here to teach and not to massage the bruised egos of her students. She pointed to her left. “Please stand here—thank you.” She was about to start the demonstration when Jessica realized there was something she needed. “Kerry—” She motioned for him to approach. “Come stand to Jordana’s left.”

 

In case you need some Memory Refresher–and there is a spell for that–Jordana was the girl who didn’t want Kerry Mimicing her during the Gender Switch spell class where Kerry’s Inner Girl was seen popping out before she was ready.  At the time Jessica said she was going to have a “talk” with Jordana, though she didn’t go into detail about what she was going to say.  Whatever it was, Jordana hasn’t forgotten–and, apparently, neither has Jessica.  And now she wants Kerry of All the Normal Answer to join in on the fun–

 

The two students cast glances at each other as Jessica addressed everyone in the room. “I selected Jordana because she is the tallest student here, and I selected Kerry because, as the second tallest student, he adds a frame of reference for you to use.” She moved behind the two students and placed her hands over their heads. “As you can see, Jordana is a couple of centimeters taller—something that won’t last much longer.”

The El Salvadoran girl rolled her eyes before casting a glance at Kerry and speaking in a near whisper. “Oh, shit.”

He cast a glance back. “Don’t worry; it’ll only be for a little while.”

Jordana rolled her eyes again. “You’re too funny, Malibey.”

“Enough, you two.” Jessica returned to her place at Jordana’s right and faced the class that she spoke. “Now, this crafting will involve not only reducing the living organic material, but reducing the inorganic coverings as well. After all—” She gave Jordana a wicked grin. “We wouldn’t want her garments to fall off, now, would we?”

Jordana try to keep her voice level and normal, but her expression gave away what she felt inside. “You’re not going to do too much, are you, Professor?”

“No.” Jessica gave her head a slight shake. “Not much at all.” She stared at her student for a few seconds before raising her right hand lightly touching the nail of her index finger to her forehead as she half closed her eyes.

For a few seconds Kerry didn’t see anything happening to his fellow classmate. It was only when Jordana drew in a sharp breath that he realized that her eyes were now level with the tip of his nose. A couple of seconds later he caught a glimpse of the top of her head and realized that she was now at least six centimeters shorter.

A faint whimper escaped Jordana’s lips when the effects of the spell ceased a few seconds later and she realized she was at least ten centimeters shorter than Kerry. She glanced up at the now taller boy with a look in her eyes cycling between fear and anger. “¿Qué? ¡Hijo de puta!” She turned to Jessica. “I didn’t think you would make me this short.”

“Oh?” The instructor shrugged. “Were you expecting to be shorter?”

 

Never tell Jessica that she didn’t something that has surprised you ’cause she’ liable to ask someone to hold her beer and show everyone what she can really do.

And that’s why she’s not done with her example–

Not at all.