One of the nice things about writing a novel like the ones I’m doing is having the ability to go in and do a lot of research on things that you never knew existed. I mean, I knew there was a city named Kiev and that when I was growing up the most famous things about it was that it was part of the Soviet Union and a famous chicken dish came from there–which leads to a lot of bad chicken jokes, but that’s another story.
When I decided to have Annie and Alex meed up in Kiev I knew nothing about the city save for it’s now in the Ukraine and one other thing I’ve known about since being in high school. And it was this last part that set up were I wanted the girls to meet. Fortunately for me a lot of things in the city worked out to my favor:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie exited the metro station and headed directly across the street into the park. For such a lovely day she was surprised there weren’t more people out, but then it was a Tuesday with lots of people working, and though it was sunny the temperatures were around 18 C with winds staying steady around 25 kph. And the few people who were out were dressed like her: jeans—or in her case, leggings—and a light jacket over a top. Unlike most of the people here Annie decided to wear her sandals because it was summer and she loved the feel of sunlight upon her feet.
She found Alex waiting on the other side of the park, sitting on a raised curb facing Yaroslaviv Val Street. She was dressed pretty much as expected: flight jacket over a blue tee shirt and faded jeans tucked into her black lace-up flight boots. Annie began waving as soon as the girl caught sight of her. “Hello.”
“Hello, Annie.” Alexandria Chorney rushed up and gave her friend and covenmate a big hug. “Did you have any trouble getting here?”
“Not at all. It was just as you said: Sofia International to Kiev International, then take the local jaunt to the Central Station, get on the Red Line subway, transfer to the Green Line, take that to Zoloti Vorota Station.” Annie held her arms out to the side. “And here I am.”
We know–or we’re at least guessing, you’ll find out tomorrow–that Annie’s mom jaunted her to the international airport outside Sofia, and from there Annie went on her own to Kiev. Then, as she says, she took the local jaunt into the main train station and from there took the subway to their location. Lucky for Annie there are only three subway lines in the city, so there wasn’t much of a chance Annie would get lost underground. Not to mention that the Red Line to Green Line transfer station isn’t that far from where Annie entered the subway.
And you can be sure she looked over a bunch of maps before getting to this point.
And once Annie’s off the subway and no longer hanging with the Morlocks, she’s right here in this part meeting her friend:
Right there, next to the raised curb, in the center of the photo. Without Col. Mustard, I should point out.
Humm… There’s a blurry sport in the middle of this photo right where the girls should be. Maybe they are…
Now that they are together the real bonding can take place:
“Yes, you are. By the way: welcome to Kiev.” She looked about as she shrugged. “You did say this was your first time here.”
“It is.” Annie looked up into the blue sky. “We picked a great day for a visit. Did you have trouble getting here?”
Alex shook her head. “No, the weather was perfect. Clear skies all the way.” She glanced down at Annie’s legs. “I love those leggings.”
“Thank you.” She looked down at the leggings which were electric blue shot through with lines of pink and coordinated with her pink top and blue jacket. “I picked them up in Sofia a few weeks ago. I’m going to bring them to school.”
“Those will be nice there. I’m gonna try and find a pair when we go shopping.” Alex cocked her head to one side. “Your Ukrainian has gotten really good.”
“Thank you: I’ve been practicing.” Annie leaned in towards her friend, placing her hand on her arm. “Your Bulgarian is excellent as well.”
“I’ve been practicing as well.” Alex scratched her head. “So how do you want to talk? If you don’t mind I’d like to speak in Bulgarian. I can practice and if I mess up you can tell me.”
Annie nodded. “We can do that: I don’t have a problem.”
“Great.” Alex seemed relieved that their communication issues were out of the way. “The place we’re going to eat is just up the street. I hope you didn’t have a big breakfast.”
“Not at all. I’ve only nibbled since I woke.”
Annie examined the large structure to her left that was the focal point of this particular park. “So that is the famous Golden Gate.” She kept her smile hidden as she didn’t want to explain to Alex that just two weeks earlier she more or less stood before another Golden Gate…
The incredible news here is that Annie is wearing blue and pink leggings, something we’ve never seen her wear. And she’s totally matching with her pink top and blue jacket. Top it off with her sandals and she looks like a normal teen girl–and given that Annie is probably carrying that purse, probably a well-to-do teen. Which, incidentally, she is.
But wait–another Golden Gate? As she thinks it’s funny that only a couple of weeks before she was sort of at one with Kerry, and now she’s at another with Alex. Only this Golden Gate–
Really is a gate.
And you’ll learn more about it tomorrow–along with how I knew about it as a teenager.