A Certain Day in May: Wishes and Kisses

Here I am, down to the coffee shop on a rainy and gray Beltane, writing my butt off and feeling better than I did yesterday, which was probably one of the suckiest days I’ve had to push through.  But push I did, and I even managed to get in three hundred words last night, though I had zero motivation to do any writing.

However, Chapter Thirty-two is finished, and a little checking shows that this is the shortest chapter of the novel, shorter than Chapter Nineteen, which was just over fifty-one hundred words.  Hey, I’m still over three hundred thousand words total, so it’s all good.

And it's not like I've been slacking to get to this point.

And it’s not like I’ve been slacking to get to this point.

I should point out that last night’s and today’s writing has happened for the most part while Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue plays in the earbuds.  As a personal note, this has always been one of my favorites pieces, one that I discovered when I was in seventh grade, and one which I’ve loved dearly ever since.  In other words, I knew this before a certain airline made it famous in their TV ads.

Now that my kids are on “their” bench, where is their conversation leading?  Well, let’s listen in–

Continue reading

All the Time That Be Time

What is going on this morning?  Not a lot, to be honest.  I’m off to get my nails done in a couple of hours, so I’ve sort of piddled around trying to motivate myself to write.  However, I didn’t sleep for crap last night despite being tired as hell, so my mind is a muddled mess.  So much so that I knew anything I tried to put down in the system would come out full of suck, so I haven’t bothered.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy . . .

For a few weeks now I’ve meant to make some changes to the time line that is the story of my kids at school, though change really isn’t the right word:  additions is more like it.  That’s the way my mind works, with lots going ’round and ’round all the time and things always popping in and out.  What’s been bugging me, however, is that I haven’t done anything about these pop ups for a while, mostly due to just feeling too damn exhausted to get in there and put things into my little Book of History.

And while I’m doing this I should mention that I’ve been rocking out to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannons at the end.  Only in Russia would a composer think, “Now, I need an instrument to make the climax memorably;  what should I use?  I know:  cannons.”  Yes, Comrades, in old Russia, orchestra blast you!

Since I’m down to my last three chapters of this novel I’ve begun getting things in shape for the stories to follow, while I mostly concentrate on three events that happen outside of school, though I fourth started taking hold in my mind this morning.  Two of those event involve both of my kids, and two of them involve Annie alone.  My little Bulgarian Pop Princess all by her lonesome?  Why not?  She’s a big girl, she can handle herself.  And don’t worry:  it’s not as if Kerry doesn’t get enough screen time on his own.  But sometimes a girl needs a little Me Time just to chill and be herself.

Now, I’m about to lay out something I’ve only parts of here and there, but this is the real deal now:  here is the time line I’ve used for B For Bewitching.  At least this is how I take my cues when I’m putting the story together.  First, we have the sections for Annie alone and Kerry alone.

Just a little of what the kids go through on their own--

Just a little of what the kids go through on their own–

What is up there is pretty much all the key points from the start of the novel to the end.  You can see there are a few details off to the right that, I will tell you now, aren’t going to be in this novel, but in the next–that’s one of the reasons a couple of points have been scrubbed, because I don’t want you to know what they are.  I will go ahead and spoil this now:  the event in the upper right hand corner in “Annie’s Story”, the 02 June Meeting, that starts off the next novel, C For Continuing.  The first novel started and ended with Annie, and this current novel started with Kerry and will end with him.  That means the next novel starts and ends with Annie.  Simple, huh?

Below this is another layout, seen here:

And what they go through together.

And what they go through together.

This not only shows events they enjoy together, but the very bottom lays out some of the school’s event–like, the entirety of racing season.  You’ll notice that a few more events are scrubbed here, because that’s necessary, trust me.  Below this I even have a mark showing the time covers by each novel, and at the very top I show when certain holidays occur during the year, so if there’s a question about when something is happening, I can look there.

This is a little of what I keep hidden behind the scenes, and like I said at the beginning, I’m adding to this.  Adding mean thinking through the story, and that also means research prior to plotting.  Really, you wouldn’t believe what I’ve already discovered in the last couple of weeks playing around with these various ideas . . .

And just think:  you only have a few years to wait before you see them come to fruition.

A Certain Day in May: Salem Surprises

Well, today has been a strange morning, because, for the first time since making my way to The Burg, I didn’t set my alarm.  That means I woke up about a half-hour later than normal, and that means I couldn’t make coffee and there was little else I could do before the need to get ready for work took over.

"Do I have to go into work?  Can I just lay around and do nothing like I do on the weekends?"

“Do I have to go into work? Can I just lay around and do nothing like I do on the weekends?”

Now, I did get to writing last night, and managed a decent amount before I had to stop all that and gather my notes for Orphan Black, which was a bit of a chore in that so much was happening so fast that it was all I could do to keep up.  But I at least learned an Allisonisum:  if you’re a scientist and a lesbian, you never let anything go.  This girl is rather snarky.

The last scene in Kerry’s Birthday chapter sees him and Annie back at the school.  And it seems as if he’s in a good mood because of how dinner went–

 

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

Though the temperatures were only a few degrees above freezing, Kerry found he didn’t need more than his heavy robe to keep the cold at bay, and the thick set of wool sock he wore with his slippers kept his feet sufficiently warm. It didn’t matter that much: the sky was clear and dark, the wind still, and the one person he needed was walking along side.

Midnight was nearly here, and it was almost time to say goodnight to both Annie and his first day as a teenager.

The dinner at Turner’s Seafood was an incredible affair. Besides Annie and he, Helena was there with Erywin, Wednesday was there with Isis, and Coraline was there with her boyfriend, Gregory Everheart, whom they’ve met here a year earlier. They were both surprised to see Deanna and Trevor join them, as they weren’t “out” officially as a couple at school, but both children knew better.

They conversed for about forty minute after sitting down, enjoying their appetizers and drinks, though while everyone else enjoyed a glass or two of wine, Annie and Kerry had to suffice with sparkling apple cider. They continued speaking through dinner, enjoying their dishes and company, all the way into desert. The moment Kerry worried about came as soon as a small cake with chocolate frosting and five candles arranged in the familiar pentagram shape was brought to the table, and after sitting through another rendition of “Happy Birthday” Coraline and Kerry blew out the candles and looked at each other as if they were glad they wouldn’t need to do this again for another year.

The moment that was the most surprising came while Erywin was cutting up the cake and handing around slices. It was while he was passing a slice to Coraline that Gregory Everheart learned close and asked a question of the doctor of the School of Salem . . .

 

So, Annie and Kerry hanging with the power couples at school:  Helena and Erywin as well as Isis and Wednesday, who are finally stepping out.  Coraline’s there with her boyfriend–who was mentioned in the first novel during the kid’s time as the Sea Sprite Inn–and finally we have Deanna and Trevor stepping out together.  Everyone at the table a witch save one, and that’s Gregory, who is about as Normal as they come.

However, what is this thing he asks?  Well . . .

 

They were nearly to the covered section of the walkway leading to Cernunnos Tower when Annie leaned against Kerry’s arm and sighed. He was rather certain he knew what brought about his soul mate’s sound of happiness. “Something on your mind, Sweetie?”

“Oh, I was thinking once again—” She brought him to a stop so she could lean her head against shoulder. “It’s rather romantic getting engaged on your birthday, don’t you agree?”

“I do” He kissed Annie’s forehead. “And given how much of a romantic Coraline is, she thought so as well.” Kerry remembered how quickly the news spread around the Midnight Madness moments after Coraline entered the room and took her place with the rest of the instructors, and it wasn’t long before perhaps a their of the girls in the Dining Hall came up and asked if they could see her ring. They joined those students as they had been asked before returning to the school not to say anything to anyone, and pretend they weren’t aware of the event. “She certainly enjoyed showing off her ring tonight.”

“Of course she did: a girl is supposed to get engaged once in her life and turn it into an event.”

“Is that how it’ll be with you?”

“You’ll find out when you propose to me and we’re engaged.” Annie slowly pulled Kerry towards their bench. “Come, my love: let’s sit.”

 

And there you have it:  Coraline got engaged, which means she’ll one day go from being Doctor Coraline Gallagher to Doctor Coraline Everheart.  And she had fun showing off her new rock at the Midnight Madness, so it’s obvious she’s happy as hell.

This brings up another question and that is:  how the hell does Coraline go about breaking the news to her soon-to-be new husband that there’s something that makes her just a little different from all the other girls–

"Lesson One:  Bewitched is not a good example of our marriage."

“Lesson One: Bewitched is not a good example of how our marriage is gonna go.”

Needless to say, that’s gonna get covered her a little in the next part of this scene.  For now just know:  it’s something that Coraline will need to do, and it’s something Vicky and Jessica have done as well, and it’s something that Isis’ father did.  It happens that witches marry Normals, because there are a lot more of them than there are of the Aware, so make it work, guys.

So will Annie want to show up her ring when she gets engaged?  It sounds like she will.

Only question that remains now is the when.

A Certain Day in May: The Moment of Giving

Kerry’s Birthday Adventure is nearly over, and that’s because I managed my way through another night of nearly eight hundred word writing to bring this second scene to an end.  I didn’t think that was going to happen, but it did.

I even have proof, which is all that matters.

I even have proof, which is all that matters.

 

Now, there isn’t much to say at this point about the writing:  it was just writing, you know?  You wanna know the payoff, which is something I’ve promised for a while.  Well, here it comes, just like the blog title says.

 

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

 

They entered Salem Green, one of the numerous walkways found around downtown Salem, and they quickly found themselves in a small lot behind the restaurant where they would dine this evening. The moment she was certain they were alone Annie pulled Kerry to a stop before drawing him off to the side next to some trees. After a short kiss she reached inside her purse and pulled out a small, gift wrapped box. “Happy birthday, my love.”

“I wondered when you were going to spring this on me.” After removing his backpack and setting it down he turned the box over slowly in his hands. “Quite a difference from last year.”

“Yes, but just as important.” Annie leaned against Kerry resting her chin on the hand she’s clamped over his left shoulder. “Last year when I gave you the Espinoza, it was to allow you to become a better flier and, in time, an excellent racer. I wanted you to feel the sky and become comfortable being there. This, however—” She nodded towards the box. “It’s going to help you next year.”

“Really? Well—” He began to carefully unwrap the package. “Let’s see then.” In about thirty seconds he had the paper off and handed it to Annie to fold and place in his backpack. The uncovered box was slightly smaller than his mobile and completely unadorned. Upon sliding off the top he discovered a small silver clam shell case inside. He popped it open—

Inside was a compass.

Kerry lifted the small device from the case, snapped the case closed, and began examining his present closely. The compass itself sat at one end of a Plexiglas baseplate that curved around half the ring dial, and extended a few centimeters to where he noticed the rulers, an orienting arrow, and a small magnifying lens. He moved it about, watching the arrow slowly align on magnetic north no matter which way he turned.

“I’ve spoken with Penny and Alex about what they did on The Polar Express.” Annie moved around so she was facing Kerry. “I know how you navigate: maps and a compass and visual flight rules, nothing more. And as the navigator of your team you need know that the course you’re setting is correct.” She nodded towards his hands. “I was told by Alex that’s one of the best you can get: it’s what she used during their flight. It will adjust for magnetic variances, it glows in the dark so you can navigate at night, and best of all, that one is global: you can use it in both the northern and southern hemispheres.” She chuckled. “I don’t know if we’ll ever need that function, but I figured it was good to have because you never know where we might travel.”

 

I’m certain there are a few people reading this going, “Are you kidding?  That’s Kerry’s present?”  No, really:  that’s what she bought him.  I’ll even show it too you, because I do know what it looks like.

The gift that any witch with a couple of million Euros in a trust fund can afford.

The gift that any witch with a couple of million Euros in a trust fund can afford.

While that is the current 2016 version, the 2013 version is nearly identical–I know, I’ve looked.  But there’s a little more that goes with this gift . . .

 

“That’s really nice.” He was rather impressed with his new toy, and he not only flashed upon an image of him using it to plot a course on a map, but he also considered the notion that one day in the future he may be somewhere in the southern hemisphere using this navigation aid. “Thank you.” He pulled Annie close and kissed her with great tenderness. “This is a beautiful present, Darling.  I’m going to start working with this over the summer.”

“I as much figured.” She tapped the hand that held the case. “There’s more.”

He pushed away slightly in surprise. “There is?”

“Yes.” Annie chuckled slightly upon the utterance of his question. “Open the case and look inside the lid.”

Kerry did as instructed and saw what he missed when he opened the case the first time: the inscription inside the lid—

 

Tova shte vi otvede obratno kŭm men. Lyubovta, Annie.

 

He read it three times, hoping his nascent Bulgarian would be sufficient, but the only words he recognized were the last two. “I know the last part says ‘Love, Annie’, but I don’t recognize the rest.”

She moved next to her soul mate and pointed at the inscription. “It says, ‘This will bring you back to me’.” Annie turned and kissed Kerry with as much tenderness as he’d done with her moments before. “And it will. No matter where you are, when you want to reach me, you will.”

Kerry closed his eyes and heard her words in his mind once more, then a second and third time. Only then did he slowly open his eyes, though he couldn’t see for they were filled with tears. “Oh, Darling—”

Annie touched his cheek. “What is it, my love?”

“The gift.” He sniffed back the tears. “It’s just a compass, but the feeling you placed within—” He hugged the love of his life tightly. “What did I ever do to deserve you?”

She placed his face between her hands and, while gazing into his eyes, spoke to him in tones of hushed reverence. “You were born.”

 

I ran that last line of the except–“You were born”–over and over for the last week, and most of the time when I played out the last part of this scene I’d begin crying.  It’s touching because Kerry understands what Annie’s saying to him with such a simply gift:  no matter where you are, you’ll always find your way to me.  And since the inscription’s in Bulgarian, no one else–save someone who speaks Bulgarian–will know what Annie had inscribed.

It’s for them and them alone.

Now, something I want to touch upon, so bear with me . . .

The idea of a compass really came to me about a year and a half ago, though I have to admit I didn’t start doing my research on this until about a week back.  It seems like a cheap-ass gift–what did Annie spend?  About €50?  Yeah, about that.  Considerably less than what she spent on Kerry’s broom.

I’ve said several times in the past that they give gifts based upon feeling, not cost.  The most Kerry’s spent on Annie so far was a few hundred Pounds on the earrings, and mention will be made in the next scene about them.

As for this gift . . . I have a little something to show.

A few nights back–Monday the 25th around 10:30 to be accurate–I was chatting with my friend Tanya, who is the person who created the original Annie upon whom my Annie is closely modeled.  We were chatting about the story–which we tend to do–and I brought up the matter of Kerry’s gift.  And here’s what was said:

 

Cassidy Frazee
That will get mentioned, but he’s getting his present from Annie.

Tanya
Oh!!
Does she end up giving him the same thing or is it something else?

Cassidy Frazee
She gave him his broom for his twelfth birthday. This year, because he’s doing the Polar Express the next school year, she’s giving him an engraved compass.
They give gifts that mean something. :)

Tanya
Not just because??
lol
Maybe Kerry could use some chap stick
all that wind can’t be good on the lips

Cassidy Frazee
She’ll have written on the back, “This will bring you back to me. Love, Annie.”

Tanya
awe
that’s adorable

Cassidy Frazee
It’s what Annie would do.

 

Of course I hadn’t decided on the exact type of compass the other night, and once I picked the Plexiglas one engraving something on the back would have been out of the question, which is why it’s now inside the case lid.  But that’s beside the point:  what’s important is Tanya’s last statement:  “Awe.  That’s adorable.”  Only the Real Annie(tm) would understand the meaning behind the gift, and get that it’s not a matter of being cheap, it’s a matter of being on point.  This will allow him to navigate across hundreds of kilometers of wilderness in the middle of winter with the intention of returning to the school.  Which they consider home, because we know, home is where the love lay.

Home is where Annie waits.

So, the gift is Real Annie(tm) approved, and that’s all I need to hear.

And you can bet a certain kid is gonna spend a lot of time zipping around England and Wales over the summer making sure he can find his way home when it matters the most.

A Certain Day in May: Prelude From the Aftermath

Yeah . . . early in the morning and here I am hoping to get through another day without falling asleep at work.  Yesterday was horrible:  by two in the afternoon I was fighting to remain with my eyes open, and when I finally made it home, I fell asleep for about thirty minutes or so because I needed a nap bad.

I feel today may be just as bad, as I was up about four-thirty or so, but the weather is going to be cooler today, so I’ll dress for that and keep the carbs at a minimum at lunch so I don’t go into some kind of drowsy overload by one.

All this is probably why I didn’t feel as if I was writing much last night, and then, to my surprise, I discover I’ve about seven hundred and fifty words completed.  I really was hoping to get the scene finished, but you know how that goes.  It means that you have to wait one more day to discover Kerry’s present, but–there’s also a surprise that comes with that post.

So, Happy Birthday for Doctor Gallagher and Kerry, and Coraline knows she better get a nod of approval from the little witch in the back of the room before planting a kiss on Kerry’s cheek.  I wonder if Annie could call out Coraline if she felt the later was getting a little too affectionate with her soul mate?  That would be an interesting fight, given that we’ve sort of seen Coraline fight.

But what about this flight that’s coming up?  Here you are on that:

 

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

After the passing around of cake that the kitchen gladly made, there was a quick review of the flight before they headed down to the Hangar and prepped for the afternoon flight, the Four Point Timed Excursion. Brooms up at fourteen, four points to make with only five minutes to determine course to each location while in air with no landing, GPS not allowed, and the class was to return to Salem by sixteen-thirty.

That mean a flight of close to twelve hundred kilometers needed to be flown in two and a half hours, and there wasn’t going to be much in the way of room for error should it arise. Vicky and her minions—or, as she’d begun referring to them of late, her flying monkeys—were the only one who knew the actually layout of the course, but Vicky would be the one to call out corrections to the class if they were needed.

As Vicky said during the briefing, at this point in the class, any of the four teams selected for each leg that couldn’t hit their target by now would be in a precarious position for advancement to Advanced Flight Two in their C Levels.

Because it was his special day, Vicky left the choice to him as to whether or not Emma and he would have first of last leg. He picked first and learned their destination: Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. Kerry already knew the area from the last snipe hunt he’d been one, but the catch now was to get everyone there in thirty minutes. Almost two hundred kilometers in that limited time meant they’d need to maintain about four hundred kilometers an hour the whole way.

Fortunately Kerry knew how to handle that. As soon as they were airborne he instructed Emma to aim for a point a few kilometers north of Plymouth, New Hampshire, at which point they’d turn and follow I-93 fifty kilometers north to the Notch. If his calculations were correct—and as he told the flight he didn’t expect them to be wrong—they’d not need to slow at all until they were near their destination.

He was correct. They reached their turn less than a hundred meters off the line Kerry originally piloted, and there was a bit of excitement as the flight turned into the mountain valley and continued northward without braking. Seven and a half minutes later they were hovering over their destination and Team Myfanwy rotated to the back of the pack to let someone else take the ball.

The rest of the trip went smoothly. Their other three stops were The Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa, Ontario, the bobsled run at Lake Placid, New York, and the capital building at Albany, New York. After a mad dash across Massachusetts they were touching down in Selena’s Meadow eight minutes before they were due.

 

In case you were wondering–and you were–this is the area covered:

With minor variations, this is how it looks.

With minor variations, this is how it looks.

Franconia Notch is famous as the location of the formation known as the Old Man of the Mountain, which used to look like this:

Looking pretty good for a few million years old.

Looking pretty good for a few million years old.

The picture above was taken on 26 April, 2003, and it one of the last good pictures of the formation, because a few days later the formation collapsed and became no more.  As of 2007 it looked like this:

Quite a change, I know.

Quite a change, I know.

And for a little extra history, the collapse happened on 3 May, 2003, which means as the date in the story is 3 May, 2013, a decade has past since that time, so Emma and Kerry are gonna lead their flight right past this point on the anniversary.  Coincidence?  Knowing Vicky, probably not.

But they managed to get through the flight with little or no drama, and suddenly we’re back in Salem–

 

It was only once he was back in his uniform and out of the locker that he found out he wasn’t dining in the hall that evening—

They were half way down Essex and were just passing the location where the Bewitched After Dark walking tours met when Annie spoke. “You were wonderful today. And just the right amount of embarrassed when everyone sang Happy Birthday to Coraline and you.”

“I wasn’t acting—” Kerry couldn’t remember the last time anyone actually sang him a birthday song. “Coraline handles it better than me.”

“Let’s hope no one sings it again tonight.” Annie glanced towards Kerry with a smile on her face. “Though her boyfriend will be there, so who knows if he’ll ask for to have it sung.”

“I don’t want it sung for me again.” He nodded towards the store up on their right. “Otherwise I’m gonna take you in to Flying Monkey and get you something to commentate your ascension to that status today.”

“Shush, you.” She slapped him playfully on the arm. They’d passed the store several times in the past but never entered: during one of their window shopping excursions Kerry pointed out he was going to get her a “Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go to Salem” tee shirt, complete with a witch ridding a broom across a pentagram, to which she replied while she’d never hurt him, minor curses might not be out of the question—

“I’m not interesting in getting a tee shirt I’ll never wear.” She steered him towards one of the alleys leading to the Salem Green, located just behind their restaurant. “Over this way.”

 

I should point out that the locations refereed to above do exist, as does the shirt described.  Don’t be surprised if the later shows up again . . .

Now, does this mean Kerry gets his present tomorrow?  Yes, yes it does.

Oh, and I’m reminded by a Facebook post I made five years ago, on this day in history Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in a fight with natives of the Philippines. And what I mean by “killed in a fight” is that he was beaten to death with bastons by people who knew Eskrima, aka Arnis, aka Kali–though at the end of this “battle” I believe he also had a spear shoved through his face, which had to suck.

This happens to be the martial arts form seen in a lot of movie–Matt Damon uses this in his Jason Bourne movies, it was used by Vin Diesel and Jason Statham in Furious 7, and both Melissa McCarthy and Saoirse Ronan were trained to use this in their respective movies Spy and Hanna.  It’s also the art form that Annie and Kerry are learning and seem to be taking to it rather well, and the advantage they’ll have over all those other people I’ve listed above is (1) they can use magic with this discipline, and (2) unlike movie characters, they’ll actually be able to beat people to death with bastons likely made of magical energy.

Why am I mentioning this?  Oh, no reason . . .

A Certain Day in May: A Quick Remembrance

Only a few hundred words entered the Word Bank last night ’cause it was TV recap time, and twenty-one hundred words and pictures went out in that post, which meant I didn’t get much into this one.  I did, however, edge over the thousand words beyond three hundred K area, so I have that going for me.

But I got him out to his birthday dinner–sort of–and right below, there in the first paragraph, you discover the name of the restaurant that has become a favorite of theirs:

 

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

Kerry followed Annie out of the Museum Place and turned right on Church Street. The restaurant where they were dining, Turner’s Seafood, was down Church on their left, but before leaving Salem Annie mentioned that she wanted to walk around the block and stroll down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall before joining the others at what had become their favorite restaurant in Salem after visiting it during their school year end layover at the Sea Sprite Inn.

The sun was still up with perhaps an hour to go before setting. The temperatures were still cool, hovering between eleven and twelve Celsius, but the sky was clear and was expected to stay that way all the way through midnight tomorrow. Kerry hoped this meant warm weather would reach them before they left their school, and the rest of America, behind for the summer.

After all the cold Friday afternoon flying Kerry was ready for some warmth . . .

But the afternoon didn’t start off that way. Things were already different when everyone gathered in the Ready Room and the minions took their places at the back of the room. As promised Annie joined Nadine, Rivânia, and Nattat Adriano in the back of the room, but up front Kerry was completely surprised, and not a bit mortified, when “Doctor Gallagher” came out with Vicky and a big deal was made about the face that not only was it the birthday of the school’s Chief Medical Officer, but it was also the birthday of one of their class members—

At that point a cake was wheeled out and Kerry stood next to Coraline while everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” Coraline congratulated Kerry on becoming a teenager, and, just like last year, she gave him a kiss on the cheek—though she first looked to the back of the room and received a nod of approval from Annie before proceeding.

 

Yeah, Coraline knows better now than to give a kiss to someone who ain’t her soul mate.  That Annie is a possessive one.  And in case you’re wondering, Nattat Adriano is a Mórrígan C Level from Lucira, Angola, and the person whom finished ninth overall in the Individual standings for the 2012/2013 race season.  She was the covenmate who ascended the lower podium right behind Emma in the last scene of the last chapter.

So where are they walking?  Well, I had to put this together last night, too, so there’s more time taken right there.

These maps don't make themselves, you know.

These maps don’t make themselves, you know.

As Kerry is thinking about what’s happening Annie and he are probably at the corner in the upper right hand of the picture, which is as place they’ve been before:  they were here way back in Act One after they’d been dismissed as minions by their own levelmates, and Kerry gave Annie the “We Are Different” talk about why he didn’t care if the other kids their age accepted them or not.  This time they’re not talking about something that’s upsetting:  this is a day to celebrate, and there’s nothing gonna bring these two down.

And, yes, you’ll see the gift Annie is gonna give Kerry.

I know:  I’m the worst for cliffhangers.

A Certain Day in May: Frank Presentations

Sunday wasn’t too bad of a day.  I got my new earbuds, I got a brunch, and no one threatened to beat me up.  And I saw a sweet 2-in-1 laptop tablets for $650 that I’m really considering getting.  With a wireless keyboard and a display stand it would work out well here at the casa.

We saw the start of this little part yesterday, and the good news is I finished it yesterday.  That makes one scene down, one to go.

And the next scene is where Kerry gets his present.

And the next scene is where Kerry gets his present.

But first, there’s the issue of Annie flying with Kerry this afternoon during his flight class.  What’s all that about?  Well . . . this:

 

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

He almost reeled back in surprise. “What? You’re flying with us? During class?”

“Yes, I am.” Her grin was wide and bright. “I was asked if I wanted to be a ‘guest minion’ today.”

“When did this happen?”

“I was asked last week during Advanced Spells. When you went out to the bathroom during lab Nadine and Riv told me that Vicky wanted me to fly with the group today while you’re out on your 4 Point Speed Test.” She twisted her head back and forth in teasing way. “It may be because you’re the last teenagers to join Advanced Flight One, and we have to keep an eye on you.”

Kerry rolled his eyes. Since Emma’s birthday exactly two weeks before he was the last one of the B Levels to turn thirteen, and the kids in AF 1 had taken to calling him “The Last Tween”. No one had bothered with these distinctions the year before when everyone was turning twelve, but with the B Levels entering their first teen year, being the last twelve year old in the level made him stand out slightly from the others. “Yeah, you gotta watch me now—”

Annie smiled softly. “Because we know how teenage boys are.”

He arced his eyebrows. “Oh? How are they?”

“They can get a little wild, or so I’ve heard.” She removed his glasses and levitated them to the table before slowly running her finger down the bridge of his nose. “That’s why it’s best they have a soul mate whom they love and to whom they—” She started intensely into his eyes. “—are connected, and whom they—” Her breath grew shallow and slow. “—love with all—” She drew her fingertip over his chin slowly towards his chest. “—their heart—” Her eyes closed as she took a long, slow gulp.

After a few seconds Kerry touched her cheek. “Annie?”

Annie ran her fingers over the back of his hand, her eyes still closed. Her words were spoken as a gasp. “My love—” She finally looked into his eyes. “There are times when I hate being thirteen.”

 

Okay, then.  Let’s discuss this, shall we?

I get kidded from time-to-time about how Kerry is this rock of fortitude because it seems like he’s not acting upon his, um, hormonal drives.  Because we all know boys his age got on thing on their minds, and that’s playing Fallout.  Okay, maybe it’s the second thing on their mind, and that’s a bit of Sexy Time with someone close to them.  Probably after they beat a level in Fallout, but I digress.

What we never heard about is Annie, who has been showed to be far more mature than Kerry, mostly due to her upbringing, but mostly due to being smart and aware.  And when it came to knowing how to act upon her romantic interests during her A Levels, she was far more forward than her soul mate.

Should it be any surprise that there are other urges of which she’s aware?

"Kerry, Kerry, Kerry!  What about my hormones?"

“Kerry, Kerry, Kerry! What about my hormones?”

Annie is a teenage girl deeply in love with a boy she’s known nearly her whole life.  And teenage girls can be just as big a ball of simmering hormones as the boys.  Not to mention this is a girl who knew who she wanted to marry at the age of six and a half, and that means she’s been playing The Long Game for nearly as long as she’s known The Ginger Hair Boy.  She’s already shown she’s pretty casual with public nudity, and while she told Deanna that she hadn’t done intercourse because she wasn’t ready for it, she refereed to other acts as “something for fun”.  So should we be surprised she’s brought up this point?

And that leads to a discussion they’ve yet to have:

 

Her head shook slowly. “We witches have such a paradox in our lives. Externally we age so slowly: in a few more years we’ll lock down how we’ll mostly look for the next ten or fifteen years after that point.” She chuckled. “There’s something nice about being thirty and still looking eighteen.

“But the other side of that, because of the energy we take in to craft spells, we mature faster physically. Once we hit puberty things move quick. We finish developing well before fifteen, which means most of us are having growth spurts now through the end of the year. We develop everywhere—”

She closed her eyes once more and took a deep breath. “I know we’ve said we’re not ready for sex, because mentally and emotionally we’re not. But what about next year? I don’t know.” Annie slowly opened her eyes. “I know your urges, and you know mine. And if I thought we were ready to more further towards sex, I’d—” She swallowed hard. “I’d give you a special birthday present.”

 

Yeah . . . so there you have it:  that particular genie is out of the bottle, and it can’t be put back in.  Fortunately, the less mature member of The Good Ship ChestnutGinger didn’t give in to certain impulses–

 

Kerry held himself still, continuing to lightly touch Annie’s cheek. He felt the thing of which she mentioned: in the last few months he’d begun feeling changes that had only seemed to be a small part of him last year become more pronounced. Without realizing it, his breathing had changed to match his soul mates. Was it because of their bond, or was it because of something they’d felt before? “I know. I can sense it. But—” He shook his head. “We can’t.”

Annie held his hand against her cheek. “I know.”

“We just can’t do that. Not yet.”

“I know.”

Kerry pressed in and kissed her tenderly, not rushing the experience. It seemed like every since they’d discovered their bond last month things were becoming less like they’d had during last school year and becoming more advanced. Not that we’ve had a relationship like the other kids. We’ve been told from the start we’re mature together, and it seems as if that’s so true now . . .

He finally broke the kiss and held Annie gently. “We shouldn’t stay down here, not after talking like that.”

She nodded against his shoulder. “You’re right, we shouldn’t.” She tapped her fingers against his chest. “You’re not upset I brought this up, are you?”

“Nah.” He stood and helped Annie to her feet. “It’s not as if we haven’t known this moment was coming—”

 

They’ve known the moment was coming.  And trust me, it’ll get resolved.

Actually, it’s gonna get resolved in a few more scenes . . .