Teardrops and Titillations

Over the weekend I came to the realization about something in my stories.  It’s nothing major, but . . . I’m probably going to have to remove the song lyrics used in both novels, only because I likely will not be able to afford the rights to use them.  A lot of times you can get permission from the artist for their lyrics, but it’s also true that a lot of time the songs aren’t owned by the artist and are instead owned by someone who’s gonna say, “Sure, go ahead and use the song, Cassie,” but rather, “Where’s my money, bitch?”  It’s not a big deal–there are only four locations–but one of them is for a great scene that I’ll have to butcher just a little to make work.

I shouldn’t complain too much:  I’d probably go after fan fiction writers, or maybe not.  Haven’t decided on that yet.  I guess I need someone to do fan fiction first.

So, back to the airport and the gift Kerry gave.  He’s really free with the presents to Annie–so far two birthday gifts, one “Our First Meeting” gift, and now a Christmas gift.  Is he setting himself up for the time when he has to hear, “Remember when you gave me a charm bracelet for our First Meeting Anniversary?  Yeah, what ever happened to that guy?” followed by some mumbling in Bulgarian.  That will never happen, because Annie doesn’t expect gifts–that’s pretty much a given.  And as we see here . . .

 

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

Annie attempted a disapproving look, but the best she could manage was a half-smile. “We agreed we wouldn’t exchange Yule presents.”

“Yeah, well . . .” Kerry held out the present. “You can yell at me later.”

“Then I should see why I need to yell—” She carefully unwrapped the package, only to find a smaller wrapped box inside. She unwrapped this box as carefully as the first and discovered the contents to be a small, felt-covered box. “More jewelry, I see.”

“I once heard a girl can’t have too much jewelry.” He smiled. “But this is a little different.”

“Oh?” She popped open the box and discovered a pair of earrings: dark blue stones within a silver teardrop setting. “Kerry . . .”

He sat still, smiling back. “Am I gonna get yelled at still?”

 

No, you’re not gonna get yelled at, Ginger Hair Boy.  Not one bit.  And what are they?

 

“I don’t—” She removed one earring from the box and held it up to the light. “Kerry, are these . . ?” She set it back in the box. “They’re sapphires, aren’t they?”

“Yeah.” He nodded slowly. “I wanted to get you something with your birth stone.”

She stared into the box. “They’re beautiful. But—”

“I know I shouldn’t say this, but I didn’t spend a lot. I mean, I saw a few that were over a thousand pounds, but you’d have had a fit if I got those.”

“You’re right: I would.”

“I was going to get you lapis lazuli earrings because they’re also a September birth stone in the UK, but when I saw there wasn’t that much of a different in price, I went with the sapphires.” He tilted his head to the left as he admired Annie. “And I think teardrops suit you: nice looking without being too ostentatious.”

 

Sapphire earrings.  Kinda like–

Well, like these.  But with silver.

Well, like these. But with silver.

Yeah, what’s your twelve year old boyfriend gotten you lately?  A Starbucks drink?  It helps that Kerry has a bit of money to spend, and it should get pointed out now:  he’s not spent much on himself.  The big ticket items have been for Annie, and he’s figured not to spend that much.  He does point out that he had help buying them–he had Erywin and Helena jaunt him over to England one Friday when Annie was flying with Isis–and that he bought them in November.  And there’s a reason for that–

 

“Sneaky.” She crossed her arms across her body and sat back. “These aren’t the sort of earrings you wear every day.”

“No, they’re not. I figured they were something you could wear for special occasions—like Ostara, the Samhain Dance—”

“Going out to dinner with my parents at Yule?” Annie brightened the table with her smile.

Kerry nodded as he fidgeted with his tea cup. “Something like that.”

“Why didn’t you give them to me before we parted for the holidays?”

“Because . . .” He blushed once again. “I wanted to be the first to see them on you.”

He knows they’re not for everyday, but the idea that he wanted to be the first to see her wear them–that’s really sort of sweet and kind.  And Annie not only obliges, but brings up something else–

 

“You did? Hummm . . .” She removed her gold studs and replaced them with Kerry’s gift. Annie brushed her hair back so the earrings caught the light better. “How do they look?”

“Beautiful. Just like you.” He snapped a picture with his phone and passed it to Annie. “See?”

She scrutinized the photo, touching her earrings as she admired how they appeared. “You’re right: these are for special occasions—” Annie returned the phone. “Like returning home together.”

“You mean Salem home?”

“Do we have another at this point?” She crossed her legs. “You’ve given me a locket, a bracelet, and earrings as gifts—what’s next? A ring?” She held up her right hand and wiggled her fingers.  “Like—?”

“Umm . . .” Kerry tried not to show surprise, but given what Annie insinuated, he couldn’t help but feel a bit shocked. “We’re still kinda young for that, aren’t we?”

“Just a little.” Annie giggled as she leaned forward so she could speak softly. “My parents would have a fit if I were to become engaged now—even if I explained it was because we did see ourselves getting married.” She lay her right hand over Kerry’s left. “Besides, when the time comes for that, I want something far more special—”

“What’s that?”

“An Astral Etching.” She slowly rubbed Kerry’s hand. “My Mama and Papa both have them.”

Simple based upon the name Kerry was able to piece together an idea of what Annie meant. “Sound interesting.”

“And beautiful, because you created them—”

 

And here we have it:  the ring thing is finally mentioned, and Kerry isn’t so clueless that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  Annie is also smart enough to know that were she to come home that summer–at thirteen–wearing an engagement ring, there would be hell to pay.  Her parents would flip and she knows it.  We won’t even talk about Kerry’s parents . . .

But here’s something being mentioned for the first time:  an Astral Etching.  In time you’re going to find out exactly what those are, but for now it’s sort of left hanging.  However, like Kerry you can probably figure out what they are, and given that both her parents have them, it’s likely something engaged and married couples share.  And yes:  you’ll get to see one eventually.

But when all else is said for this scene, it’s Annie who finally drops the mic in a big way . . .

 

Just then the airport public address system sounded to let everyone know an announcement was forthcoming. “Ihre Aufmerksamkeit, bitte. Wird Herr und Frau Malibey bitte an der Kasse melden? Ihr Flug wird bald verlassen. Danke.” The message repeated in English. “Your attention, please. Will Mr. and Mrs. Malibey please report to the ticket counter? Your flight is departing soon. Thank you.”

Kerry continued looked upward for a few seconds after the announcement completed. He slowly lowered his gaze towards a smiling Annie. “Mr. And Mrs. Malibey?”

Annie quickly stood, pushing her chair back in. “I had to leave a message for when it was time to leave, and I wanted something that would catch our attention.” She took Kerry’s hand after his chair was in place. “We’ll be leaving in about twenty minutes.  Shall we?”

“Coming, Darling.” He walked with Annie, left hand in right, heading for the escalators that would lead them to Level 1, and the stairs there that would take them under the airport and to the jaunt station. He looked out through the Level windows at the tarmac beyond and spoke in a broad English accent. “Yes, sir, going home—” He raised Annie’s hand to his lips for a kiss. “Going home.”

 

There, she went and did it:  Mr. and Mrs. Malibey.  Over the loudspeakers.  In an international airport.  For all to hear.

"Attention, please.  Will the young man running screaming through the concourse please report to the Information Desk.  Your Wife-to-Be is waiting for you."

“Attention, please. Will the young man running screaming through the concourse please report to the Information Desk. Your Wife-to-Be is waiting for you.”

Good think Kerry loves Annie, or he would get . . . worried.

But they are finally going “home”.  And they’ll be there for almost the rest of the novel.  Where only good things will happen to them–

Right?

Willkommen in Wien: Das Treffen

Here we are once more, with my quick and dirty just under seven hundred word, excerpt.  Not a lot is happening, but on the other hand, everything is happening, and it’s going to happen quickly.  Because, it seems, someone is getting set up here–

 

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

Bernice turned her back for a few seconds and smiled. She couldn’t prove anything, but the current situation so felt like Annie had tried to do something that didn’t sit well with her mother, and Pavlina decided that since her daughter was bringing her boyfriend with her to Vienna, she may as well bring Annie’s father along to meet the lad. If what I’ve read about Annie is true, I know where she gets her drive and stubbornness.

An announcement sounded through the room. “Vian atenton, mi petas. Teleportation de la Salem Instituto de Granda Lernado kaj Edukado ekkomprenas. Studentoj alvenante en dek kvin sekundoj.” People in the room turned towards the glassed in area anticipation of the arrival of children returning for the holidays.

 

In case your Esperanto is rusty, what was announced was this:  “Your attention, please. Teleportation from the Salem Institute of Greater Learning and Education is commencing. Students arriving in fifteen seconds.”  I really like there are a number of Esperanto translators around, and while this isn’t perfect, it’s good enough for my needs.  And my needs are simple.

But if there are students coming in from Salem, you know what that means . . .

 

A massive set of pops echoed through the platform room as just over a dozen kids jaunted in from America. Bernice looked for one child in particular, and she spotted him immediately. Kerry was up front near the edge, his bag on his right and Annie on his left. They stepped off the platform and proceeded through the opening glass doors into the waiting area. Bernice watched how they remained side-by-side from one room to the next—and that they held hands the whole time—

She wasn’t the only one to notice.

Annie broke from Kerry the moment she saw her parents. He wandered over to Bernice. “Hi, Ms. Rutherford.”

“Hello, Kerry.” This close to him it wasn’t difficult to see how different he seemed from this time last year. Then he was a tired, mopey boy who missed a young girl from Bulgaria terribly. Now he seemed better adjusted, less sad, a great deal more upbeat. “How are you?”

“I’m fine.” He smiled and patted the handle of his bag. “It was a good night and we had a good morning—”

Kerry.”

 

The last time Kerry heard his name called out like that he had to meet someone.  And, well:  it’s no different this time–

 

He and Bernice turned in the direction of Annie’s voice. Bernice suspected what was coming next, but as for the boy to her left—

He faced Annie, but his eyes were on the two adults with her—particular the man on her left. “Yes?”

“I’d like to introduce my parents.” She motioned to her right. “You remember my mother?”

“Yes, I do.” He held out his hand. “Hello again, Mrs. Kirilova.”

“How are you, Kerry?” She shook his hand. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“Good to see you, too.”

Annie motioned the man next to her forward. “And this . . . is my father.”

Once more he held out his hand. “How do you do? Victor Kirilov.”

Kerry took his hand. “Kerry Malibey.” They shook. “How do you do, sir?”

“I’m well, thank you.” Victor stared at Kerry; the boy stared back. Neither spoke while Victor seemed to regard the lad carefully. “So . . . The Ginger Hair Boy.” The right side of his mouth curled upward. “We meet at last.”

Kerry voice caught in his throat, the only sign he may have felt a bit unnerved. “Yes, sir, it appears we are.”

 

So, here we are:  both kids in Vienna, Kerry’s case worker there, and he’s facing both of Annie’s parents, but mostly it’s her dad who’s taking up his time right now.  How’s that feel, Kerry?

"I've fought monsters--this is just Annie's dad . . . I'd rather the monsters."

“I’ve fought monsters–this is just Annie’s dad . . . I’d rather the monsters.”

Hang in there, kid.  I’m sure I can give you more time tomorrow.

But for now, I gotta run, ’cause . . . stuff.  And things . . .