On Beyond the Curtain: After All That

It was such a long… weekend.  Seriously.  It seemed to take forever to get in everything, and last night it felt like I was constantly going from six in the morning until ten last night.  But that’s all done and it’s Monday–

Which means I’m right back at work.

Seriously, I need one of those retreats where I just sit and write and relax.  Maybe next year?  At least find something on the ocean where I can set the laptop and listen to the waves crash while I figure out how to torture my kids.

But I’m not torturing them anymore–at least not in this chapter.  Seems Phee has a few words to say on that subject–

 

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

 

The Phoenix stood silently for a moment then slowly clapped her hands. “Bravo. I’m impressed.”

Annie’s face twisted around into a half smirk, half smile. “By?”

“When one says some of the things I’ve said to you to other kids your age, the common response is to deny everything I’ve said, because who wants to admit, at least at your age, that they’re not nearly as perfect as they’d like to believe? But not you guys.” The Phoenix gave a soft smile as she shook her head. “You both might’ve been pissed off and upset by what I said, but you never once denied my words. That’s a sign of maturity, being able to know when you have flaws and that you can work towards correcting them.”

 

Going all the way to the early days in Russel Square, what has been the ongoing mantra?  “It feels like we’re being tested.”  And when you get to school, who’s the biggest tester around?  I mean, getting into the school requires having to get your shit messed with by this old spirit, and who knows what else she does when she’s bored?

Really, though:  the whole conversation has been all about the button pushing.  And those they didn’t like it, Annie and Kerry never felt back on the, “That’s not true!” line.  Got a problem?  Sure do.  And I know it, so let me work on it.  And she likes to hear that.

This means she has but a few last things to say…

 

She stepped closer to the couple before turning to Annie. “I know how you feel about your parents, and it’s safe to say that one day you and your father will resolve your differences. It’s not going to happen overnight, but…” She playfully tossed her head to one side. “Eventually it will happen.

“As for you—” She turned towards Kerry. “I’d like to tell you everything is going to work out to your satisfaction, kiddo, but I can’t. It’s likely to get worse before it gets better—but just like with your significant other, in time you’ll work everything out.” The Phoenix patted Kerry on the shoulder. “Just remember: when you look like me, don’t forget the people you can turn to for help.”

He gave Annie’s hand a squeeze. “I won’t.”

“And with that—” The Phoenix half turned to her left and looked out upon Selena’s Meadow. “My business here is finished, Seer.”

Deanna took two more steps before stopping just short of the entrance to the ghostly pavilion. “As soon as I was brought here that became my immediate assumption.”

The Phoenix nodded. “They’re all yours, Deanna. Take care of them: you’ve got a couple of good students here.” A moment later the spirit winked out of sight with nary a sound.

Deanna joined her students in the pavilion. “Are you okay?”

Annie nodded slowly. “I’m fine.”

Kerry mimicked her actions. “As am I.”

“I’m glad.” Deanna sat on one of the long, translucent benches. “Now, if you wouldn’t mind, would you care to tell me what actually happened?”

Both kids looked at each other and started laughing, leaving Annie to respond. “Not at all, Deanna. It’s good to talk of these things…”

 

It’s not many kids at Salem who can say they’ve had a talk with the School Protector and walked away with only hurt feelings.  Before you know it they’ll be hanging out and telling tall tales.  Or not.  More likely the later.

Anyway, start of a new chapter tomorrow and all sorts of fun is about to go down…

On Beyond the Curtain: That Smothers Problem

Believe it or not I’ve been on a writing tear of late.  I week ago today I wrote over five thousand words, and since then I’ve actually been averaging about fifteen hundred words a night one I do write.  This is what happens when you’re writing two stories and a bunch of recaps at the same time: you just start adding up the words.  And while I’m not likely to have a five thousand word day today, I do anticipate getting close to two thousand done before I head off to dreamland about 11 PM tonight.

It’s kind of an interesting situation, all this writing for the hell of it.  I can hear few people I know saying, “Why don’t you get paid for this?”  I would love to get paid for it; it’s just that I don’t.  Maybe one day I will, but for right now I don’t.  And if you have to wonder why I continue to do so much when I’m not getting paid, I think your attitude proves that you could never understand why I do the things I do.

That’s an attitude that Kerry should take up.  Maybe he’s going to really soon.

And speaking of Kerry… A lot of people–okay, well, a few–sorta figured out what’s on Kerry’s mind in terms of being bothered by this whole gender transition thing.  Because by now, you know my boy well.  But it goes a little deeper than that–

 

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

 

He released a long, slow sigh. “If I transitioned at home I wasn’t totally worried that my parents were going to find me—I mean, it was possible. The more I thought they might see me, though the more I began wondering—” He finally looked up at Annie. “What if my mom liked me better that way?”

Annie didn’t need additional information to understand the basis of Kerry’s fear. She was intimately aware of the taunting and semi-abuse he received as a child, but of all the things his mother had stated, the one that seem to have bothered Kerry the most was his mother’s declaration that she wished she had never had Kerry and that she had given birth to a girl instead.

And now that he was moving closer to the day when he’d get to fulfill his mother’s wishes, Kerry was worried that of all the people who may find themselves disturbed by his change of gender, his mother wouldn’t be among them.

Annie rested her forehead against his and looked into his eyes. “Your mother will have to get used to the idea that no matter how you look, you are still the same person.” She gripped his hands as she straightened. “And you need to understand that as well. Stop worrying about what we see—” She placed her hand over his heart. “And remember what’s in here.”

Kerry nodded slowly. “I tried to, but it’s so hard. Every time I imagine my mom seeing me like that, I just—” He closed his eyes just before a tear trickled down his right cheek. “I keep thinking she’s gonna start making comparisons and she’s gonna wanna—”

Stop it.” Annie gave both his hands a shake. “You’re letting an irrational fear of something that has not happened take you over.” She glanced to her left before returning to her soul mate before her. “You do remember what we’re discussing?”

He drew in a breath as he nodded. “Flaws.” Kerry brush tears away from his eyes and cheeks. “And that’s when I have: fears about things that haven’t happened. And I just keep blowing them up into problems before they ever pop-up.” He brought his breathing under control and nodded twice. “And then I get to where I don’t even want to talk about them because I’m afraid of how silly they’re gonna sound.”

 

As it sorry been pointed out, Kerry desires affection, particularly from his mother.  Of course, now that there’s an extremely good likelihood that he’ll soon turn into the sort of person that his mother wanted so badly, he’s worried that he’s going to get that affection for all the wrong reasons.  And that brings up the reason for the title of today’s post.

Everybody of a certain age–that is to say, old like me–probably remember The Smothers Brothers, who had an extremely successful comedy variety show on CBS in the late 1960s.  And believe it or not, they were actually kinda cutting edge for their time, as well as being somewhat political.  In fact, despite being successful, the programming heads at CBS yank their show off the air because they were just talking way too much shit about the War in Vietnam.  Censorship: It’s Not a New Thing.

A big part of their act consisted of the brothers getting into a “fight” while performing, leading brother Tommy to yell at brother Dick, “Mom always liked you best!”  Yeah, it doesn’t sound like it would be right up there with one of George Carlin’s bits, but for the 1960s it was good enough.  And it usually came after some considerable witty back and forth which eventually led the exasperated Tommy into in coherency.

So now you have a conundrum: what happens when you discover that mom likes your sister better than she likes you, the brother?  Normally that leads one to the sulk a lot–I know it did with me.  The real bitch here is, what you do when you’re not only the brother, but also the sister?  Imagine the sort of inferiority complex that’s going to build up a new when you find yourself dealing with being ignored as one gender, but being accepted as another.  That’s some fairly heinous shit to have to deal with, especially when you’re thirteen.  Puberty is hard enough without having to deal with parental favoritism of one of your genders over the other.

Then again, we’ve also established that Louise Malibey is a stone bitch, so there’s also a distinct likelihood that she won’t give a shit what gender her child is sporting, she’s still gonna be cold and unfeeling towards that child.  And maybe even more so because she knows that no matter how her kid looks on the outside, inside they’re still a goddamn witch.  And so far she’s not suffering that shit.

But after all this crap, the kids finally have something to say to The Phoenix about this examination of their flaws–

 

Still holding on to Kerry’s left hand, Annie turned to face The Phoenix. “Whatever issues I have with my father, they do not override the fact that I love him. And I will not allow those issues to interfere with that love.” She slowly shrugged. “Whatever flaws I have, in time I will correct them.”

Kerry sniffed back the last of his tears. “I know I’m screwed up.” He also turned to face The Phoenix. “I’m trying to get past my problems. It’s not easy for me, because I’m too used to keeping things to myself.” He nodded towards Annie. “At least I have someone to remind me that I don’t need to keep quiet.”

 

Basically, screw you Phoenix, we know we got flaws, we know we’re screwed up, that doesn’t mean we can’t work through them and make ourselves better.  And in the case of both kids, it can be argued their flaws are more like minor psychological issues–although, may be an Kerry’s case it’s a bit more than minor.  Either way, it sounds as if they both reached the point with are not interested in listening to anymore of The Phoenix’s bullshit.

And how’s Phee  going to take this attitude?

I guess you’ll find out tomorrow.

On Beyond the Curtain: The Other Face

Looking at my stats I see that after creating this post I will be ten posts away from post 2,500.  Which likely means I need to put together a special post for my bi-millennial and change post.  The thing is, I don’t know if I have anything interesting to say at this point, as it’s all been said for the most part.  Maybe I’ll huff paint on camera, which would be a bit crazy and somewhat entertaining.

I also got a critique on my mermaid story from the eleven year old daughter of a Facebook friend who, after reading the last scene which does a seven year time jump, says she wants what happened to my little mermaid while under the sea.  Needless to say there wasn’t a lot of singing and dancing.  Though I hadn’t considered it, I’m going to do some flashback scene to get that part of the story out there.  And…  it also looks like I’ll be doing scenes on this into June.

There was also over seven hundred words written into the current novel, and believe it or not, Kerry verbally smacked the shit out of someone.  It was an interesting conversation, but in the end Kerry finally told someone off and then did a Bye Felicia on them.  Will that be the end of it?  Well…

While you consider that, let’s continue with Phee doing her best to give my kids their own unhealthy coping mechanisms?

 

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

 

Kerry had been working hard to avoid The Phoenix’s gaze, but with this last statement is eyes locked with her as he threw back a nearly malevolent stare. “Why don’t you just leave me alone?”

The Phoenix squared off in front of Kerry, not looking away for a second. “You’re gonna be looking at this face in the mirror one day—”

“Yeah, no shit. You keep telling me so it’s hard to forget.”

“’Cause you need reminding that this is a part of your future, of your life. And you know it’s coming because you can feel it. All that unease and emotional vulnerability you’ve been feeling of late? You know your hormones are in flux, which means you know transition is coming sooner than later.” She stepped up closer to the half scared, half angry boy. “Did you ever mention to anyone your biggest fear of transitioning over the summer?”

 

It’s no big secret that The Phoenix started out this little adventure by attempting to trigger the hell out of Kerry by putting a future event on display for him to relish, and seeming to twist that “Hey, this is gonna be you one day” knife a little harder at every chance.  She knows he’s going through a bit of hormonal stress at the moment and seems to feel that The Big Change is sooner than later.

And what of this biggest fear?  Well–

 

Kerry’s frown deepened as he turned and stared off over the astral image of Selena’s Meadow. Nearly five seconds past by before he answered with a single word. “No.”

“I thought so.” The Phoenix took a single step toward him. “Because I hadn’t seen anything that tells me you are discussing this matter with anyone.”

He continued staring out across the meadow. “I didn’t want to talk about it.” There was no anger in his voice: his tone was soft and unemotional. “It’s something I have to deal with alone.”

Though she took another step closer to Kerry, The Phoenix seemed as if she was cognizant of not getting too close. “Are you sure?”

He was about to answer when Annie stepped up from behind him and wrapped her left arm around his shoulders as she took his right hand. “Are you sure?”

Kerry gazed at the floor as he shook his head. “I don’t know, Annie. I don’t know that you can do anything for me.”

“There’s only one way to know that for certain.” Annie stepped around and faced him, taking each of his hands in hers. “That’s for you to tell me. Or tell Deanna, or tell Coraline, or Jessica, or, Erywin. But we can’t ever begin to help you, none of us can, as you tell us what’s troubling you.” She kissed him gently on the cheek. “The Phoenix is right about one thing, my love: we’re wife and husband. And I hate to see my husband suffers.”

Kerry bowed his head for a few moments, his eyes closed as he mustered his thoughts. “You sure you’re not gonna think this is kind of stupid when I tell you?”

He has to be especially afraid of something to ask such a question. “I’m here to support you, my love, not make fun of you.”

 

Annie has been by Kerry’s side ever since his second Gift was unveiled and she’s still there.  And what does she have to support this time?

You can probably figure it out, but I’ll post just in case you can’t…

On Beyond the Curtain: The Other Family

Last night was a night of relaxation–who am I kidding?  Writing, baby!  Maybe not novel writing, but you know, between a TV recap and a mermaid scene, and thirty-two hundred words bit the dust before it was all said and done.

Like I said, however, no novel writing.  I’ll likely get to that tonight as I don’t have to start on recaps for another few days, so I got some buffer time.  I see to know my schedule better, so fitting in the time isn’t that big a deal.

I’m still torturing my kids with making them look into a mirror and see how… not perfect they are, though a lot of kids at school still think they are.  Phee’s pretty much done with Annie–which means…

 

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

 

Annie kept her emotions as much in the control as she had ever done in her life, for she didn’t want to give The Phoenix a chance to see what she was really feeling. “He’s right: it is a matter between my father and me. And I understand Kerry wants me to work it out my own fashion, because—” Her voice caught as she looked toward Kerry. “I try not to tell them how to fix things between his family and him. All that does is lead to trouble.”

The Phoenix nodded slowly as she glanced back and forth between both children. “Interesting.” She turned towards Kerry, evidently finished with questioning Annie. “Speaking of your family… Yeah, let’s talk about them.

“We know what you want, Kerry. We know all you’ve wanted your entire life is affection from your parents. Now, it’s true: you get all the affection you’ll ever want from your little Bulgarian Princess here—” The Phoenix motioned toward Annie. “—But you’ve never felt that same affection from your parents. Your father seems afraid to open up to you—maybe because, as he’s said, he has trouble understanding you—but when it comes to your mother there’s no excuse for her actions: she’s just cold as hell.

“It’s easy to understand why your father’s hesitant to express his emotions: he grew up in a household with an alcoholic father and an abused mother, so he’s developed some rather unhealthy coping mechanisms from before he was your age. But as far as your mother being way she is?” The Phoenix shrugged. “Even I can’t say. It’s not because she decided she didn’t want to be a homebody like Annie’s mother; she took to that part well after you were born. And she’s never had a problem juggling her professional and personal lives—though one could say been a bit neglect with leaving you home at an early age so she could go back to work.”

 

Not much has been said of Kerry’s father’s life.  Kerry mentioned at least once that he’s only seen his fraternal grandfather once, and now we know why:  the dude was/is a drunk.  Also, we know his fraternal grandmother is no longer alive, which could have happened for any number of reasons.

But like Phee points out, Kerry’s dad grew up in an even shittier household, so he’s got a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms in his life.  And one has to wonder if he, too, considered the possibility he was going to be a shitty father–like, say, his own kid might do one day.  It’s likely that happened–

–But there’s a big difference between Kerry and Davyen, his father.  Kerry has a loving girl who does what she can to support him as much as possible and guide him when it’s called for.

And Davyen had…  Louise.

You know, when The Phoenix can’t figure out your mom–or is refusing to come right out and say, “Your mom’s a bitch”–there’s something really, really wrong in the household.  And Phee knows all about that six year old latchkey kid shit, ’cause she brings it up.  How does Kerry deal with that?

 

Kerry chuckled. “She hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have bicycled down to my tree to read. And if I hadn’t done that—” He cast a smile in Annie’s direction. “I’d have never gotten the chance to read to my soul mate.”

“True enough there. I guess the only thing we could say is that she’s a bit cold hearted in the emotions department—at least where you’re concerned, that is. And when she does show you emotion…” The Phoenix shook her head. “It seems to be a lot of anger of late.

“But that doesn’t mean you still don’t want that affection. You want it so much, particularly from her.” The Phoenix began walking around Kerry slowly. “Don’t you two make a fine pair: her with her daddy issues and you with your mommy issues. And when it comes to affection from your mother—” The old the elemental spirit leaned in close to Kerry, her face mere centimeters from his. “There’s an additional wrinkle you have to deal with, isn’t there?”

 

Yeah, it does seem as if my kids have issues getting attention/affection from someone in their family and a vexed for their troubles.  But what of this additional wrinkle?

You know I’m gonna get to that tomorrow…

On Beyond the Curtain: The Issues With Daddy

It’s usually at this point that I talk about what I wrote last night and how many words came out and stuff like that.  Usually that’s true.  Today–well, it’s sorta true, but not.

I did finish the 16th segment of my mermaid story and posted it on my blog last night.  A Facebook friend’s daughter is reading the story and enjoying it a great deal, but she was surprised by something I said in last night’s scene.

See, I indicated that clam shell bras only happen in the movies and real mermaids swim around topless.  When my friend’s daughter read this she said, “That means they sleep half-naked!  And what about sharks?  They need to protect their boobs, mom!”  Because when you can be bitten in half by sharks, protecting your boobs with clam shells is important.

I do love, however, that she is so hooked on the story.  Which was the idea.  And while I’ll keep writing it through the rest of the month.

Now, back to our normal programming…

Phee is about to twist the knife in a little, but before she does she’s about to stick the knife in and twist the damn thing–

 

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

 

While Kerry was unsure about how to answer The Phoenix’s question, Annie had no problems. “Kerry is unaware of the situation between my father and myself because I have not made him aware of the situation.” She kept her tone even and normal, but it was impossible not detect the edge in her voice. “It’s a private matter between my family and myself—”

“And that doesn’t involve the boy you’re going to marry?” The Phoenix looked down as she chuckled. “Oh, excuse me—” She stared at Annie with a mischievous grin on her face. “I forget: you’re already married. You’re just waiting to reach the Age of Emancipation so you can sign a paper, have a ceremony, and head down to your lake house so you can get busy making those little witches.” She looked toward Kerry as she arched an eyebrow. “At least then you can spend as much time as you like smooshing your genitals together so you both don’t have to go to your rooms and masturbate yourselves to sleep.”

What—” Annie’s eyes grew wide with anger. “Do you spend all your time spying on us? How dare you.”

 

Yeah, about that…  Do we really want to believe that The Phoenix is checking up on everything the people at Salem do?  I mean, if she’s curious about humans–and it seems like she is–then she’s in the right place to see a cross-section of humanity in all it’s witchy possibilities, because it’s right there in front of you.

It’s not so much that Phee made the statement she made–it’s that Annie reacted by asking if they’re being spied upon.  Which kinda means…  well, you’ll figure that out in time.

In the meantime The Phoenix is giving zero shits–

 

“I do dare.” The Phoenix cocked her head slightly to the left as she approached Annie. “I dare all I like, because I can.” She stopped about ten meters from Annie hand stared down. “What the hell you going to do about what I just said, Annie? Challenge me? Call me out for a judgment match?” The spirit laughed. “I could kill you, bring you back to life, and kill you again before you ever had a chance to figure out what spell you were going to use—and we both know what you’d throw at me first, which means no mystery there. So you can be pissy toward me all you like, but if you think that’s somehow going to affect my mood—” She smirked as she shook her head. “Guess again.

“What I don’t have to guess at is the source of all your daddy issues.” The Phoenix stepped away, grinning. “I believe the word ‘Daddy’ is the key here. It’s bad enough that he, like your mother, walked away from sorcery because they were—how did he put it? ‘Intimidated by the power.’ Yeah—” She have closed her eyes as she nodded. “That was it exactly.

“And not long after that happened there was that period where they tried their damnedest to talk you out of your interest in sorcery, didn’t they? Particularly your father. He was so worried as little girl was going to screw up and do something bad—like say, burn down the house, or maybe kill yourself. And the more he said that, the more that need for you to have them say they were wrong and admit how good you are grew. Maybe that’s not what pushed you later, but at the start: oh man, you just had to show them.

 

If what Phee is saying is true–and given that she’s been inside the heads of both Annie and Kerry, so there’s no reason it’s not try–then it appears at one point the Family Kiralovi tried to talk their littlest witch out of playing with those Dark Energies.  But, hey:  she wanted to show her parents she wasn’t “intimidated by the power” and just went ahead and did that shit.  Which means you gotta wonder what her folks would say if they knew she killed a couple of people.  It’s probable they wouldn’t be happy.

And now a little more twisting over the whole broom thing–

 

“But what really drove the wedge between you and your father—”

Annie squared her shoulders. “That’s enough.”

“—Was him giving you that Espinoza 3500 and then not showing you how to use it.” The Phoenix leaned against one of the spectral support post of the pavilion and crossed her arms. “Oh, we both know he was busy: it was either a tire test, or he had a team meeting, or he had to meet with officials from either the FIA or The Foundation. No matter what it was, every time he said he was going to take you flying he let his little girl down. And you damn near died trying to prove to your father that she didn’t need his help.” She turned towards Kerry. “I take it you know about this?”

He nodded. “She told me one night.”

“And?”

Kerry shrugged. “And nothing. It’s Annie’s business, not mine. Besides, I got enough crap to deal with without getting in between Annie and her father. It’s really for her to solve, not me.”

After a few moments of stunned silence The Phoenix turned back to Annie. “What do you say about that?”

 

Yeah, Annie:  what do you say about Kerry passing the buck back to you?

Well, she’ll likely say something tomorrow.

On Beyond the Curtain: Remembering That Day in September

The next chapter is underway and it’s starting out well–or as well as most of my chapter begin.  It took me a while to set the scene, but after about ninety minutes I had close to eight hundred words written, which leaves me with a warm and fuzzy.  Does that mean I’m going to get some writing in tonight?  Maybe.  I have to start on my next Sense8 recap, and given that those generally turn into three thousand word monsters, I may just get half-way through it, watch the next episode of Better Call Saul, put in a mermaid/MerMay scene, and then call it a night.

It all depends on how that recap goes.  Always.

Anyhow, it’s time to get back to my kids being psychologically abused by an old spirit, with particular emphases on a non-female member of Annie’s household:

 

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

 

“Are you really going to make me spell it out, Annie?” The Phoenix cocked her head to one side, much as she had done when she first met Kerry. “Do I really have to talk about the daddy issues you have?” She turned to a slightly shocked Kerry. “Don’t tell me you’ve never thought about them?”

Kerry glanced over at Annie before turning back to The Phoenix. “We don’t talk about her father that much. I mean, I know not everything is perfect between them—”

“Perfect between them doesn’t even begin to cover the sort of shit that has happened.” The Phoenix looked up towards the sky as she laughed. “Damn, dude. You really have no clue about your one and only’s real relationship with Daddy Dearest, do you?”

While there had been much discussion about Kerry’s situation at home, little was ever said of Annie’s relationship with her parents. He knew Annie got along well with her mother—and her mother had always been nice to him—but the same could not be said about her father. He remembered feeling unnerved by him the first time they met, but as Ms. Rutherford had explained that was likely due to her father sizing him up, determining if he was worthy enough to date his daughter.

But as often as she talked about her relationship with her mother, Kerry realized almost nothing was discussed concerning her relationship with her father. Except, Kerry suddenly remembered, there was one thing…

 

The term “daddy issues” hasn’t come up because we haven’t actually seen much interaction between Annie and her father, except for those moments when Kerry and she have meet them at a jaunt station.  And there have only been hints about this–like when Annie recounted how she almost died trying to fly on her broom by herself because Papa was too busy to help her.  And now Kerry is remembering a moment from their past…

 

The Saturday after their first full week at school was when Annie went to visit Deanna for the first time at Memory’s End and he was with Vicki checking out on the Espinoza 4500. That was the day they were both given free rein to fly around the school grounds unmonitored, he on his 4500 and Annie on and Espinoza 3500.

Near mid-afternoon, after they’d eaten lunch and flown a couple more hours, they set down on the northern shore of Lake Lovecraft and rested, laying side-by-side in the grass as they stared up into the sky. It was during that time that Annie made the most unusual request: she said to Kerry that no matter what happened, she would like it if he never mentioned what they had done to her father.

At the time Kerry didn’t think the request was all that unusual—then again, at the time, Kerry didn’t remember that he had known Annie nearly his entire life. In the two years since that incident occurred he’d never given the moment any thought—until now.

With The Phoenix insinuating that all was not perfect between Annie and her family, that particular moment on the shore of Lake Lovecraft stood out sharp and Kerry’s memories. And seeing the displeasure on Annie’s face had him realizing that there was far more to that innocent comment than he’d ever imagined.

 

Remember that little nugget?  Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  For those who don’t–the majority, I’m assuming–let’s hop in the TARDIS and head back a little more than two years, novel time, and relive most of those moments:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

At no time in her life did Annie believe she’d share a moment like this with anyone. Her mother told her more than a few times that her Papa was the flier in the family, that she’d done what was necessary to get through A Level Basic Flight, and that they rarely flew together except during class, though that changed a bit after they graduated and married. Annie was aware she wasn’t much of a flier, either, and after her disastrous first flight, her interest had become less than zero.

But when Kerry asked her to fly with him, she couldn’t say no. His desire to see her fly, and his confidence at her unseen abilities, drove her to show him, her love, that she could meet his expectations. And his confident spilled into her being, for she’d never expected to sit upon an Espinoza and have it perform as expected.

Today, she’d piloted her broom as if she’d piloted one for years.

They flew another thirty minutes after lunch before setting down on the northern shore of Lake Lovecraft, unzipping their flight jackets and laying down next to each other upon the grass. Everything seemed so perfect to Annie—or as perfect as anything she’d felt since meeting Kerry two weeks ago. The weather, the company, being together on another adventure: given how the day has begun, she couldn’t ask for a finer interlude.

Yet something nagged her, and she soon understood that there was something she had to tell Kerry…

She stared into the sky while moving closer to him. “Can I ask you to do something for me?”

Kerry was lost in his own thoughts, but he heard Annie’s voice clearly. “Sure.”

“If you should ever meet my father—” She reached for Kerry’s left hand, holding it tightly against her stomach. “Please don’t tell him about this day.”

He knew the chances were slim that he’d meet Annie’s parents any time soon, but he respected her wish enough not to ask why. “Sure, Sweetie.”

“Thank you, my love.” She held on to his hand, as if she expected to float away without an anchor. “Thank you for everything.”

 

Yeah, don’t tell my father that I had a good time flying with someone who isn’t my daddy, and getting on a broom and flying around the school was no big deal

Now, you may ask, “Well, if Annie has a need to get recognition for her achievements, why wouldn’t she say something?”  Annie did talk about her classes at school and there were mentions of picking up her flight skills rather quickly and even doing the Mile High Flight.  It’s just that when it came to this particular flight–well, it was one she was asked to take, and she was asked to take it by the one person in the world who means more to her than members of her family–

That’s the sort of flight you don’t want people to know happened.

If it sounds like I’m spending a lot of time picking on Annie, don’t worry:

Kerry’s just about to get placed in the Phoenix’s spotlight…

On Beyond the Curtain: Disappointed in the Hype

You may have noticed something interesting yesterday–or not, it really depends.  Yesterday I created four posts:  two for my mermaid story and two that were recaps for shows I’m following.  Not one of them had anything to do with my current novel, and if my memory serves me right, this is the first time, while writing one of my novels in The Foundation/Salem Series that I’ve gone a full weekend without an excerpt.  Whole lotta posting going on, but not one had anything to do with my novel.

How much did I write yesterday?  5,321 words.  I have not written that much in one day since NaNoWriMo 2012, of that I’m sure.  But yeah:  it’s been almost five years since I had a five thousand word day.

That’s not all.  On Friday I finished Chapter Twelve with nearly a thousand words that brought that scene to 5,700 hundred words, making it one of the biggest scenes in the novel, and I laid out Chapter Thirteen.

It’s right here. See?

This is the last chapter before we get into the three that have to do with Samhain Race and Dance 2013 and this is gonna be a good one.  And I’m starting this tonight, so you should get the first excerpt from this next week–

–’cause I’m still in the middle of The Phoenix grilling my kids long and hard.  And it’s about to get harder for one of them…

 

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

 

“Am I?” The Phoenix move close enough to Annie that they could touch each other. “You’ve indicated that your parents had quite a few books on sorcery around the house. And Professor Lovecraft has mentioned that both your parents were good sorcery students.” Her eyes narrowed into a squint. “If they were so good at sorcery, why didn’t either of them go on to become sorceress?”

Annie’s jaw tightened as her stare intensified. The Phoenix didn’t give her a chance to answer, however; she turned to Kerry instead. “You know what Annie’s mother told her when she was about seven years old? She said Victor and her stepped away from sorcery. She said they did so because they were uncertain about how to deal with the responsibility that comes with being a sorceress.”

She turned back to a fuming Annie. “Of course, your seven-year-old self took that to mean they were scared of the power inherent in sorcery—didn’t you?” The right side of The Phoenix’s mouth curled upward into a smirk. “And later, when your mother told you about being a Protector, well, she pretty much threw a gauntlet at your feet, didn’t she?”

Kerry had never heard much about Annie’s mother wanting to become a Protector: beyond mentioning the fact, Annie never spoke of the matter. He felt, however, that The Phoenix was doing her best to force a conversation from her. “What does she mean?”

Annie looked down as she drew a deep breath. She exhaled slowly as she turned toward her soul mate. “After a couple of years of pharmaceutical research my mother considered becoming a Protector. She knew she wouldn’t need much training as she already had a great grasp of sorcery and hand-to-hand fighting—though sorcery isn’t all that important in terms of becoming a Protector.”

“So what kept her from becoming a Protector?”

Annie cast her gaze downward. “Me.”

 

Does Annie feel guilty that she was conceived and that keep her mother at home?  It may seem that way, but don’t go on first impressions–

 

Kerry took a step towards her, noticing all the changes occurring in her aura. “What do you mean?”

She looked up. “It wasn’t long after she took the test she discovered she was pregnant with me. She decided then that rather go through the training, she’d have a lab built near the house and continue with pharmaceutical research.” She gave a soft snort. “With the lab next to the house, she never had to worry about taking care of me: I was right there at work with, all the time.”

Kerry took both of their hands in his. “That one of the reasons why you wanted to become a Guardian? Because your mother didn’t become a Protector?”

Annie nodded. “It’s one.” She glanced over Kerry shoulder. “I’m certain I’m going to hear about others.”

The Phoenix touched herself lightly over where a human heart should be. “Me? Tell you more about why you did things you did? I’m merely pointing out that the failure of either of your parents to become Guardians, to embrace that sorcery they both knew, was one of the reasons why you did want to become a Guardian. This also falls towards that need you have for acknowledgment, so you could have your parents look at you and say, ‘Oh, Annie, we’re so proud of you’.” She stepped closer to them both positioned herself so she was nearly touching Kerry’s right arm as she stared at Annie. “But it’s not so much your mother driving you towards that decision as much as the other half of your family…”

Annie release Kerry’s hands and turned to face The Phoenix. When she spoke the stress in her voice was evident. “What about my father?”

 

Oh, yeah, what about Daddy?

Let’s just say we’re about to find out what sort of issue Annie has there…