Off Into the Sunrise

The children are left behind, but they will return soon–tonight for sure.  Here we have the last time you’ll see any of the instructors chatting.  Salem is filtering away slowly, and this is the last of it right here.

For the school at Cape Ann is a memory now.  Sure, it gets mentioned, but in a few we’re not even going to be on the same continent.  We have three more counties to visit, and in the reverse order as we visited them almost four hundred thousand words ago.

Now, though, we have this:

 

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

Erywin sighed as she stood. “And with that I must leave you.” She leaned over and patted both children on their shoulders. “Enjoy your flight, and enjoy your time together.” She quickly left their cabin and made her way past the remainder of the students. She entered the closed-off section at the rear of the student section and shut the door behind her, letting out a loud sigh as she leaned against the bulkhead wall.

“Are they okay?” Deanna’s concern came through in her voice.

“Better than they were this morning.” Erywin took her seat to the left of Deanna. “But they’re still down. When Annie’s unable to push away her sadness after an hour, you know it’s serious.”

“It will be hard on them, but there’s nothing to be done.” Deanna crossed her legs and repositioned her tunic across her waist. “They’ll have to resign themselves to spending the summer apart.”

“I’m certain they have, but . . .” Erywin leaned closer to her traveling companion as the plane was pushed backwards out of the hanger. “Deanna, did we do the right thing letting them spend last night together?”

 

Erywin, as stated, is a lot like Kerry:  she wears her emotions out where all can see them.  Perhaps in the edit there’s a passage I’d like to add where Deanna mentions that Erywin is like Kerry, and that she identifies with both children, who in turn remind her a great deal of her own relationship.  But for now I’m leaving that out, because it’s not about Erywin, and that line would be a good one for the second scene of the next book, of which I know pretty much how the first six scenes will play out.

How does Deanna answer?

 

Though she possessed no doubts about their actions, Deanna needed to address Erywin’s concerns. “It was necessary.”

“I know you told us it was something we needed to do—still, they’re so miserable—”

“And how miserable would you imagine them this morning had they spent the night apart in the hotel with the rest of the students on this plane?” Deanna turned to face the woman next to her. “Yes, it’s possible one would have went into the other’s room, and it’s possible that wouldn’t have been allowed, given they weren’t being supervised by anyone from the school—”

“I know, I know. As you said, they were entitled to this moment alone, that it was important for their relationship.” She shrugged. “I do hope that all that happened last night—”

“They’re still virgins.”

 

Thanks for that TMI Update, Ms. Arrakis!  Though that wasn’t quite what Erywin was looking for . . .

 

Erywin raised an eyebrow and smirked. “I was going to say that all that happened last night was a lot of heartfelt moments between bouts of crying, but I suppose one can be thankful for that good news” She eyed the seer hard. “How do you know that?”

Deanna didn’t blink. “You know how I know that.”

“The same way you knew they needed to be together last night?”

“Yes.”

She knew she wouldn’t get an answer, but Erywin had to ask. “How much do you know about them?”

 

And there’s as damning a passage as any.  How would you like to have students under your charge, and know about the discussions they’re going to have about sex a few years in the future?  Or know that they had sex?  Or have a vision of them having sex?  Talk about a brain bleach moment.  But that’s something Deanna deals with, not just with these kids, but with others, and even with her friends and acquaintances.  As the next line shows, Erywin was also Deanna’s instructor at one time, and you have to wonder if she wonders if Deanna used to flash on details of their future together.  It’s one of those things that does have to drive you a little nutty, even in a world where nutty is pretty common.

So what does Deanna say?  Not what you might think–

 

Deanna stared at the bulkhead in front of her for about ten seconds, and Erywin was certain her former student would either ignore the question or reply that it was impossible for her to say. Instead Deanna responded in a low voice that could barely be heard over the whine of the starting engines. “Not as much as you think. When I first saw them I knew who they were—I’d seen their names, and I was aware of Annie’s family—but that didn’t register. Not even after I had the short vision of them at Memory’s End on Orientation Day did they register. It wasn’t until I spoke with Annie the following week, when she first discussed her concerns about Kerry and their dreams, that I realized they were a couple I’d seen in a few visions.”

She straightened her legs as she looked in Erywin’s direction. “There’s been a few others since they’ve arrived. Some you know, like telling Coraline to let Annie spend the night after the Day of the Dead. But there’s been others . . .” She shrugged. “I’ve seen one where they discuss the needs not to do that one thing, if you know what I mean—”

“I know what you mean.”

“It happens in the future, that much I know.”

“How?”

Deanna shook her head. “I can’t say. I can’t.”

Blasted Seers. Erywin almost rolled her eyes as the plane lurched on the way to its take-off point. Always teasing and never spilling. “Isn’t it true that even though you’ve had that vision, it doesn’t mean it’ll come true?”

 

In about a hundred words at the back end of a huge novel we finally see a little of Deanna’s visions, and the only snippet of what she has seen of these two in the future.  But if you think there’s more, you’re wrong.  Or are you?

 

“That’s true.” Deanna set her hand in her lap and began preparing herself for the flight. “A vision is only a possible future, and not only the future itself. There always exists the possibility that one of both of them will do—that—before they get married, and thus partially invalidate their feelings on their own vision.”

There was something in Deanna’s statement that caught Erywin’s interest. “You make it sound like they will get married.”

“I can’t say.” The seer exhaled long and slow. “Only the future knows.”

Only the future— Erywin stretched out her legs as the 777 made its final turn prior to departure. But you said you couldn’t say—not that it wouldn’t happen. She closed her eyes as the engines revved and the jet lumbered down the runway. How much do you know?

 

We won’t get an answer to that question, not here.  Not any more this story.  Nope, it’s flashing behind us as we sail down the runway on the way back to Amsterdam.  If there are any answers, they come later.

For now, we say goodbye.

So long, Salem Witch School.  See you next year.

So long, Salem Witch School. See you next year.

Thoughts of the Moya Spŭtniks

It sounds like it should be the title of an The Americans episode, and could be some day, but it’s really all about my kids and their relaxation by the pond.  Not the Amy Pond, which would probably follow them home if they asked it to come along, but the Pearl Hill one, which is going to stay right where it is for a few thousand more years, I’d expect.

Last night I managed almost as much writing in two hours as I had in the last two days.  Then again, it was Wednesday, which is my normal writing night, and thought I wasn’t at Panera–I stayed home due to the weather–I managed to get out the words.  Because it’s Wednesday, and I should have been wearing pink.  Perhaps.

This scene has probably went through more gyrations in the last three days any just about any other.  I started out wanting to write one thing, then began to drift off in another directions towards another line of thought, and finally ended up with the thirteen hundred words I did last night.  And what did my kids talk about?  A little bit of everything, as you’ll see.  That’s how writing is some days:  you think you’re going one way, and you sort of end up the other.

Let’s pick up where we were yesterday . . .

 

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

Right now it was streaming Annie’s favorite music channel with the volume set where it could be heard without being overwhelming. She looked down at the display. “I knew your birthday present would come in handy one day.” She chuckled while snuggling back into Kerry’s arms.

He glanced down at the tablet and smiled. “It came in handy on the way out here—navigation and music, all in one.”

“You didn’t need it to get us out here.”

“But it was nice being able to fly to Wind and Wuthering.”

Annie grinned as she remembered back to the beginning of their flight where Kerry asked if he could play one of his favorite pieces, and once it started there was the strange orchestral sound at the beginning of the first song—he said it came from a mellotron, similar to the one Professor Ellison played for them that first week in the Auditorium’s Keyboard Room—seemed to set their mood as they floated away from Cape Ann on their way to Ipswich. The album was also long enough that it played nearly the entire way to Pearl Hill. “It was nice.” She squeezed his hands close to her heart. “So nice.”

 

Kerry finally dipped into his old classic songs, and what Annie heard was this:

Not only one of Kerry’s favorite pieces, by mine as well, and I still remember hearing this on the radio when I was a teenager.  But we’re not talking abut me, we’re talking about the kids, and there is something on their minds.

 

He sighed and stared off across the still water of the pond. “Are you thinking about next week at all?”

Annie slowly closed her eyes and paused her thoughts for a moment before answering. “It’s all I’ve been thinking about.”

“Me, too.” He once more rested his head against hers. “This time next week we’ll be at our own homes.”

“I would invite you home, but I don’t think I could keep you hidden forever in the lake house.” She chuckled. “Mama would know anyway, and she’d tell my father. And your parents would wonder where you went.”

“Don’t bet on it.” Kerry didn’t want to bring up his home life, so he pushed that aside. “Are we going to be able to keep in touch?”

“I’m sure we will.” The subject came up in the last Madness Friday night, and she mentioned that she didn’t own either a mobile or a computer, and she wasn’t certain she could get the use of her mother’s laptop to be able to speak with Kerry over the Internet. “I do believe my mother would object if I bought a computer and then spent all day long using it to speak to you.”

“We wouldn’t do that.”

“Really?” She looked up and back, finding it difficult not to laugh. “You know we would, love. It’s all we do now when we have free time.” She rolled her shoulders, getting settled. “And free time is all we’ll have during summer holiday.”

 

There have been questions about Annie having access to devices that would connect her to Kerry during the summer, but I think, once the next novel in this line comes up–What?  I’m talking about more novels?–it’ll be easy to see why Annie isn’t getting to computers and phones and the such.  Part of the issues right now is that Annie isn’t in control of her money, so she has to go through her parents to get something that’s big ticket.  And that might not always be easy–or wanted.  Then again, you never know.  One day she’ll have her own computer and she can chat up Kerry all she wants . . .

"I wonder if I can run a spell through here and find out if he's called that ginger bitch from Bolder.  Hum . . ."

“I wonder if I can run a spell through here and find out if he’s Skyped that ginger bitch from Bolder. Hum . . .”

Stop it, Annie.

And the funniest things happen when they’re not talking about being home for summer–

 

The quiet once more settled over the shore as they sat and enjoyed their closeness. Annie stretched out her legs and began rhythmical tapping her feet together as she leaned back into her soul mate. “I could stay here all day.”

“And we just might.” Kerry chuckled. “Not like you can hike in sandals.”

“I’m not in a hiking mood; we do enough walking at school. And I like wearing sandals when it gets warm: I love the feel of the air on my bare feet.” She patted his thigh. “I should get you a pair.”

“I’m not a sandals sort of guy.” He shook his head. “I have ugly feet.”

“I can give you a pedicure—”

Kerry gently messed Annie’s hair. “Get out of here.” He laughed, pulled her back in his arms, and gave her a long, soft, comforting kiss. “You’re not doing my nails.”

“There’s more to it than just polishing your nails.” She reached up and kiss his nose. “I’ll show you one day.”

“I’m sure you will.” He stared into her eyes, relaxing into her gaze. “When would be the soonest we could get married?”

 

Okay, Kerry:  where did that come from?  First you’re talking about Annie’s choice of footwear–and she does usually wear only sandals during the summer, and switches over once the weather changes–to laughing about pedicures–and get one Kerry, they’re totally nice–to “When can we get married?”  Yeah, even Annie didn’t see this coming . . .

 

Annie’s eyes widened in shock; this was the last question she expected. “Are you serious?”

Kerry nodded. “I’ve been thinking about our vision when I go to bed—”

“We said we wouldn’t.”

“I know, but—” He shrugged once. “Can’t help it. I remember how we looked in it and I wondered just how young we were . . .” He averted his gaze for a moment. “It’s why I ask.”

Annie rested against Kerry’s leg, propping herself upon her elbow. “Age of Emancipation is eighteen. That way you get six years of school and one year of Life Experience out of the way before you take your place in The Foundation, or go back to school if you’re invited into a Continuing Education Program.” She rolled on to her back, using Kerry’s thigh as a pillow. “It would have to come after you turn eighteen, which means it would be the summer after our Life Experience year together.”

Kerry immediately picked up on the Annie’s last word. “We’ll do it together?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way, love.”

He lightly traced circles on Annie’s forehead and in her hair. “You think that’s when the vision happened?”

“I know it does. I have it written in my book that I want a June wedding.” She folded her hands across her stomach. “Right before summer begins. And given how we looked in the vision, I’d said that it probably happens the June after you turn eighteen.” She reached up and touched his cheek. “I wouldn’t want to wait.”

Kerry nodded slowly. “I don’t think I’d want to either.”

 

Kids talk about the damnedest things, but this is one for the books–or at least this book–and it even surprises Annie.  One at least discovers that she’s thinking to the year they spend after graduation from Salem, when they’re allowed to “walk the Earth”, more or less, and experience new things.  Kerry isn’t thinking about that, at least not directly.  And he does find out that, yes, Annie expects them to spend that year together, and that she knows the time of year when her wedding will take place.

It would seem that Kerry can’t get the maybe pending nuptials out of his head.  After all, it’s been a strange year:  you find out you’re a witch, that you do magic, that you’re also a sorceress, that you have to defend your school and fight monsters and kill bad guys, that you get sent out to fight more bad guys, and you rediscover your lost love who was always right in front of you and whom you’d fallen in love with again.  And that you’re getting married to her, because you both had a vision.

Pretty normal for this joint, but strange outside the walls.

 

A slight smile began to spread across Annie’s face. “We aren’t suppose to talk about this—”

“I know: the more you try to make a vision happen, the less likely it will.”

“And we’re talking about something that won’t happen for six years at the soonest.”

Kerry looked up and sighed. “I know.”

“But—”

“Yes?”

“That doesn’t keep me from thinking about us there, either.” She kissed the index and middle fingers of her right hand, then lightly pressed them against Kerry’s lips. “Obicham te, moya spŭtnik.”

Kerry did the same to Annie with his left hand. “Obicham te, moya spŭtnik.” He allowed his fingers to linger upon her face. “One day we won’t be apart when summer comes.”

“No.” Annie’s smile broadened. “We won’t.”

 

And ending it that way, with hope, was a lot better than ending it with depression over not being able to see each other.

Because . . . that’s still coming.

It can’t be avoided.

The Persistence of Visions and Love

It only took me about three hours–and staying up past my normal bedtime–to churn out just a word over fifteen hundred to finish the scene, put finish it I did.  It’s gonna need a good polish, because it’s not my best first draft, but it’s right where I want it, and that’s the idea behind a first draft.

Also, it does sort of have a rambling quality to the discussion.  I mean, we are talking about a twelve year old girl–twelve-and-a-half now, if you consider Annie’s birthday was in September–and Kerry just a few weeks short of his twelfth birthday, so it’s not unusual for them to be a bit inarticulate when it comes to pour out their hearts to an adult.  Although I should say Annie’s doing all the pouring right now, while Kerry has been sitting quietly.

So lets see what Annie has to say.  Do you remember she wrote something in that center part of her book?  She does:

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Before Erywin could question further Annie continued, her voice growing dream-like. “I’ve updated the portraits over the years. In the middle of August I did the first one of us together, and wrote next to it, ‘I’m off to Salem to see my love, my future husband’.” She turned a faint smile towards the professor. “Rather presumptuous of me, don’t you think?”

“We all do things like that when we’re in love, Annie.” She patted the young girl’s hand. “You feel in love with someone, and you wanted to share your life with him. I know that feeling, believe me: I’ve done the same.”

“Did you plan your life with Helena without telling her first?” Annie sighed and seemed to wilt. “I did. I went and decided I was going to marry, decided how it was going to be, how I was going to look—and when I found someone I loved, I went ahead and made them my fiance. Because that’s how I am: selfish.” She looked at the ground and snorted. “What Annie wants, Annie gets. Just ask my mother.”

 

And this has been a running theme with her:  Annie is a selfish girl.  She’s brought it up, Deanna brought it up, and her mother believes it all too well.  Annie’s beating herself up over it and getting right down to the core of the matter:

 

For the first time she turned to Kerry, who had sat quietly through her conversation with a face that showed almost no emotion. “I never gave you a choice, my love. I decided everything for us, and in the years we were together in our dreams—even before you know I was real, before I knew you loved me, even before you knew I was witch—I never asked what you wanted. I never thought that you might want the same thing I wanted. What if you wanted something else?”

She turned back to Erywin. “What if he decided to stay with me because he felt obligated? What if he did and then hated me for what happened? What if he was miserable because I never asked him what he wanted because I knew what I wanted.”

“And there’s the problem—” She sighed. “All these things I wanted, I desired, they were there every time we visited in our dreams. What if they influenced my visions? I had my lake house vision after I knew Kerry was real—what if I only saw him in that vision because I wanted him there? What if what I wanted directed Kerry’s visions? What if—”

“That’s impossible.”

 

Annie has a lot of “What If?” going on, and she finally comes out and asks Kerry, “What if you’re not happy?  What if this isn’t want you want?  What if you stay with me and you’re miserable?  What if you’re pretty, what if you’re rich, here’s what they said–”  Sorry:  Annie almost broke into song there.  It’s all interesting questions, until someone–probably the boy who’s been listening to this for a while–lays just a bit of a smackdown on her.

But Annie’s so convinced she’s right, she’s gonna give him an argument–

 

Annie’s turned towards Kerry, who was now staring back with a look plastered across his face that didn’t hide his feelings. “But when we were in our dreamspace I could manipulate parts of the dream—”

“Because your magic allowed it; it was a form of lucid dreaming.” Kerry bowed his head for a moment. “You couldn’t have affected my subconscious with your own subconscious desire; it doesn’t work that way in dreamspace.”

“But what I wanted could have ended up in your mind—”

“I doesn’t matter what you wanted: you would have had to actively implanted a notion, and then erased my memory of the event.”

Annie wasn’t going to accept Kerry’s retorts. “What I saw in my visions—”

“Has nothing to do with what I saw in my visions.” He stood, shaking his head. “Annie, I know you want to think that you made me have those visions, but you couldn’t. Deanna said something the other night: you can’t make someone have visions. I know that, too, because I read it in those books you had me study. That’s how I also knew that . . . thing that happened to me was really a vision.”

 

This is the problem when you give your boyfriend a lot of books to read:  he reads them, then has the answers you don’t want to hear.  And he’s right:  Deanna already told Annie that she couldn’t make them have visions.  Annie’s position is that she influenced him with her subconscious, but Kerry’s got that one down:  no, you couldn’t.  Doesn’t work that way.  I know ’cause I read about it.

And now that he’s on his feet, it’s time for him to get something off his chest.

 

He approached Erywin as he addressed her. “I know Coraline said I was bothered when she saw me that night, and I was—but not because of what I saw, but more because . . .” He grimaced a little as he looked for the right words.

Erywin stepped in to help. “Unexpected and messy?”

“Yeah.” Kerry rolled his eyes. “But by the time we made it to lunch, I knew I’d had a vision—I knew it because of all the stuff I’d been reading about divination and visions and dreams for months. I also knew from reading that the best odds you could get have for a vision being true or not were fifty-fifty.” He turned towards Annie, who was now listening silently. “This was before I knew you had your vision, and that it was the same thing I’d had—”

“But you had yours months later.” Annie appeared to want to jump out of her seat. “Yours could have occurred—”

“You couldn’t make me have a vision. It’s impossible. If Professor Arrakis couldn’t do it, you couldn’t.” He turned back to Erywin. “Coraline and Deanna probably mentioned that I was upset, that I was agitated, but it’s not for what you think—”

 

And that is probably the only time Kerry has ever talked back to Annie like that, because he has to cool her down, and the only way to do it is by telling here in no uncertain terms that she can’t be right.  Sort of like a good sorceress keeping their head about them . . .

Which is what he does as he continues on why he was “agitated”–

 

He stood in front of Annie. “I wasn’t upset that I saw us together on our wedding night; I was upset that there was a chance that what I saw wouldn’t happen.” He slumped as all the energy seemed to leave him. “If it didn’t happen, it’s because we split and weren’t together any more. Or . . .” He looked down, whimpering once. “Something bad happened to one of us. Something—”

Annie jump out of her seat and took Kerry’s hands. “My love, nothing is going to happen to us, not like that.”

 

There it is:  he made the connection that if it doesn’t happen, it means they are no longer together.  Either they broke up, or–in a point he’s made before–one or both of them are dead.  And there’s more coming–which means, if you know Kerry, you know what else is coming . . .

 

When he looked up Annie saw that Kerry was fighting to keep his emotions in check, but it was clear he was under tremendous stress. “The morning after we told each other our names I came downstairs in the morning, and my mother was like, ‘What’s wrong with you? Why are you so happy?’ I didn’t know it, but I was smiling: my mom said it was the first time in four months I’d smiled. You know what I told her? I said, ‘I’ve been bike riding with my Chestnut Girl’. She thought I was nuts; she even said so. But I didn’t care, because I knew it was true. It was the best time I’d had in a long time—and it was even better because I shared it with you.

“You’ve been in my life as long as I can remember, and I can’t think of what I’d do without you, Annie.” His shoulders started to heave as he started to lose the fight with his emotions. “I’m not good with expressing myself—I know that. My family isn’t like you’re: there’s no romance and little in the way of affection. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how I feel about you.” The tears started stream down his cheeks. “I don’t want anything to happen to you—to happen to us. I don’t want us apart; I don’t want you . . .”

Annie wrapped her arms around Kerry and comforted him as he released the pent up fear mingled with his love. “It’s okay, it’s okay. I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”

Kerry buried his head into her shoulder. “You said you never gave me a choice, that you decided everything for us.” He wrapped his arms around Annie’s waist and held her tight. “You been giving me a choice for the last ten minutes—” He pressed his cheek against hers. “I’m still here. I didn’t go. I couldn’t go. I don’t want to go.” Kerry kissed her cheek. “I don’t ever want to go.”

 

Annie told her mother about her Ginger Hair Boy, and we finally discover that, at one time, Kerry told his mother about his Chestnut Girl, and he was happy about it.  Mister Mope was actually happy after month of being sad and depressed, all because a girl in his dreams took him bike riding.  And yes, he cries, because Kerry hasn’t learned how to keep a rein on his emotions.  He’ll learn one of these days.

First scene out of the way, and it was a long one:  longer than all of Part Nine.

Funny how that works out.

Funny how that works out.

But the other three scenes should go quickly, because I don’t anticipate them being very long.  And I should point out that I’m about twenty-five hundred words away from fifty thousand for this act, which means Act Three is shaping up to be rather short compared to the first two.

Then again, I haven’t gotten to Part Twelve yet.

The Delicate Problem: The Discussion

I won’t say I was back in the swing of it last night, but I was, sort of.  By sort of, I mean I finished the scene with a fourteen hundred and fifty word run, so after only a handful the night before, I got it going on.  And that was with a lot of running around and stuff, trying to buy things before Snowmageddon descends upon The Burg tonight.

What do we learn in this scene?  Well, we learn that the kids are growing up, and . . . I should just let them talk.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

“To get to that point, however, we need to establish a bit of a baseline. My question to you both is: were you sexually active before these visions occurred?”

Annie and Kerry glanced at each other before turning back to the adults. Annie shook her head and Kerry gave his answer. “No, we never did anything.”

“Well, there are difference kinds of sexual activity, Kerry.” Coraline sat back and crossed her legs, trying to appear less like the school’s medical officer and more like a friend. “For example, at your age, the most common activity are visual fantasies coupled with self pleasuring, because it’s common for you, as puberty kicks in, to begin exploring your body.” She straightened slightly. “Since your visions, has this happened?”

 

Nurse Coraline, always getting to the bottom of things in a hurry.  Given what she knows, let’s just say she’s not all the surprised by the answer . . .

 

This time there was an extended pause from both children. Kerry finally nodded slowly. “Yeah.”

“Since last week?” Coraline wasn’t surprised to hear this; given how agitated the vision had made him initially, she felt it was only a matter of time before he . . . did something.

“Yeah. This last Wednesday night—” Annie shot him a quick stare. “—after Advanced Spells.”

“And were you imagining anyone . . .” Coraline didn’t want to name name’s—even though she was confident that Kerry only had one person on his mind. “. . . in this room?”

He nodded to his left. “Yeah.”

“I see.” She turned to the girl on his left. “Annie, I noticed the stare you shot Kerry. Any significance there?”

She took a deep breath. “I did the same thing.”

Coraline’s right eyebrow shot into her hairline. “When?”

Annie slowly turned to her soul mate. “The same night.”

Kerry turned his head towards her. “Really?”

“Yes. I started thinking about our visions and our dreams what we discussed with Professor Arrakis the morning before, and . . .” She slowly shrugged. “I couldn’t help myself.”

“Um . . .” A slight smile played out upon Kerry’s face. “I was thinking the same thing.”

 

I know someone once said, “Okay, you kids!  Get a room,” and apparently they did–their own!  Before they start getting their raging hormones, um, raging once more, Deanna steps in:

 

“I’ve noticed this in you both before—” Professor Arrakis’ soft tone interrupted the children’s train of thought before they started wondering about those vision discussions a bit too much. “I’m convinced that if whatever had been blocking Kerry’s knowledge of your shared dreams was absent that first day in Memory’s End, you both would had your shared vision simultaneously.” She looked towards Coraline with a bit of a grin crossing her face. “Though given what happened at the end . . .

“But there was a sameness to your auras that day, and it’s been noticed that you work together so well that more than a few of the instructors feel it’s almost as if you’re working at a level beyond conscious thought.” She slowly leaned back into her chair, much as Coraline had done. “I’m not surprised this happened.”

 

This is something that’s happened at a number of different points, one of which was Kerry thinking about Annie as he met his family in San Francisco, and Annie waking up at the same time and having her first thoughts be of Kerry.  Are those coincidences?  It would seem Deanna doesn’t think so.

It’s during this discussion we discover that the school has a plan in place to keep unwanted pregnancies down, because kids can get a little . . . crazy at these times, and there’s a lot of hiding places around the school for the crazy to get let out.

 

Coraline shook her head. “We hand them out every day—” A sly grin played across her face. “There’s enchantments in the food that work on both the girls and boys.”

Annie didn’t seem surprised, but Kerry found it interesting. “On us both?”

“Yes. The enchantments see to it that your little swimmers—” Coraline pointed at Kerry. “—don’t have the energy to break through an egg. Now, there’s always about a one and a half percent change that the they might, so our back up—” She pointed at Annie. “—is to make certain that the egg only has about a one percent chance of finding a resting place in your uterus. It’s also why if you came here with an irregular cycle, you’ll notice that problem doesn’t exist any longer.”

Annie looked off to the side as if she wasn’t concerned. “I never had that problem.”

Kerry nodded in agreement. “I’ve noticed.”

It took Coraline only a moment to put their last statements together and arrive at an answer. “Kerry, are you aware of Annie’s cycle?”

“You mean when she gets her period?” He looked at her as he nodded. “Sure. She told me months ago.”

“I figured it was best he knew.” She shrugged. “Better than being perplexed if I were to turn moody.”

He chucked. “Not that you do—”

“Not with you.”

“No.”

 

Being told months ago probably means back in November, after he declared his love, and Annie pulled him aside and said, “Kerry, there are moments when I’ve not a happy witch . . .” and then told him about the Sweet Mystery of Life and how it affects her.  And he doesn’t shy away from letting Nurse Coraline know when Annie gets “her period”:  knowing him, he’s got it marked out on his computer.

This leads Coraline to start talking about what they may want to do if they ever meet up over a summer–not this coming summer, no, I know they won’t, but when they get older–but Annie decides to let something out:

 

“Glad to hear that—I figured you’d remain monogamous even out of school. That leads to those instances in the future when you may find yourself visiting each other during the summer. In that case you’ll likely want to carry a contraceptive with you—”

“We won’t need it.”

Coraline had heard this line before, but hadn’t thought she’d hear it spoken by Annie. “I realize you’ll do your best not to go that far, but abstinence only goes so far—”

“We won’t do anything.” She shook her head. “I know we won’t because our wedding night was our first time.”

“I’m sorry—” Coraline nearly shook her head. “It was your first time?”

“Yes.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I do.” A mask of seriousness descended over Annie’s face. “I felt it, and I know it to be true.”

“I felt it, too.” Kerry leaned forward, keeping his eyes on Coraline. “It was our first time to do—that.”

“How are you so sure?” Coraline didn’t want to doubt them, but she’d been in this position a few too many times in the past, and didn’t want to find these two making a mistake.

“It was like . . . I was nervous, like I knew we were going to do something we’d never done before.”

“Which we hadn’t.” Annie nodded as she reached for Kerry’s hand. “You have to believe us, Nurse Coraline. We didn’t have intercourse before that night.”

Coraline released a breath she’d held for a few seconds. “I don’t want to disagree with you, kids, but I have trouble believing that—”

“I don’t.”

All eyes in the space turned on Deanna as shifted on here chair. “Children, I think we could use a break. Would you mind going down to the first floor break area and wait for me?”

 

“So, first time, huh kids?”  Being a doctor Coraline–despite the nurse title, she really should get over that, but it’s worked for her for eleven years, why change now?–she’s suspicious when kids tell her, “Nuh, uh, we ain’t gonna do that,” because she’s certain she’ll discover a few months later they did.  And she hates to tell Annie she’s wrong, but when it comes to something like this–again, trust me, Kids, I’m a Doctor.

So why did Deanna chase them out of the room?  Because . . .

 

Coraline checked that the lift was gone before facing Deanna. “Okay, I know you know something, so gimme.”

“Tuesday morning, when I spoke with them about their visions, they were able to go into great detail than what you gleamed from Kerry that first time.” Deanna stood and shook the wrinkles out of her long skirt. “If what I’ve heard from them is true, they didn’t just have a vision, they were there—”

“That’s impossible. You can’t be inside a vision.”

“No, but they were so immersed in this one, they may as well have been there.” She almost threw up here hands. “If they say they knew they were virgins on their wedding night, then they were. That’s not an opinion—”

“It just means that they believed what they felt in the vision.” Coraline knew she should be arguing these things with the School Seer, but it was one thing to talk about sex in visions, and sexual behavior in their students in the real world. “That doesn’t make it so.”

“I know.” Deanna lay her hands on the back of her chair and leaned in. “There’s something going on with these two at a level either of us has yet to understand. It really goes beyond these instances where they sync up on certain things.”

Coraline sat on the edge of her chair, thinking. “It’s a bit scary, isn’t it?”

Deanna chucked. “More than you can imagine. It’s kept me up thinking about it on a few occasions.”

“Because these things keep happening with them?”

“No.” This time she snorted. “Because I can’t find any reason why they should.”

 

Is the School Seer not seeing something?  (Say that fast five times.)  Hard to say, but she believes the kids when they tell her they were unsullied that night, and she pulls out the V Word to press home her point.  Coraline’s still having a bit of trouble believing, but at the same time she knows there’s something really off about these two.

And you may find out what that is if I ever get around to writing the next novel about them.  Trust me:  I will spill.

Next up they get to do something that none of the other A Levels have done yet–

Not that.  Get your minds out of the gutter.

Not that. Get your minds out of the gutter.

–and we’ll see them having a discussion about stuff and things in front of an already-famous witch known to millions.

No, really.  It’s true.

The Delicate Problem: Opening Statements

Today is that magical day when I hop in the car and head back to The Burg.  A day filled with sitting behind the wheel for eleven hours, with a stop here and there to recharge.  Not sure what time I’ll pull back into the apartment, but I’ll kinda sleep in my own bed tonight–probably also need to take something to help me sleep, because I expect traffic to be a little messy going back.

I would say I'd be doing this around Cleavland, but it's more likely I'll start losing my mind around South Bend.

I would say I’d be doing this around Cleveland, but it’s more likely I’ll start losing my mind near South Bend.  And, no:  it doesn’t rock.

Because of a lot of things going on at what seemed like one time I only had about five hundred words written last night.  Only.  After doing over seven hundred in the morning, that’s close to another NaNo goal.  But NaNo is over as of today, and there’s no need to rush to get this done today.  In fact, it’s likely to be a light writing day, if there’s any at all.

In the meantime, what did happen yesterday?

Well, let me show you.  Because I didn’t write that much, and it’s leading into something that is going to affect my kids, so why not just show you?

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Coraline knew she wouldn’t have long to wait for her visitors to arrive. The email she’d send last night said eight-fifteen, and they were running close to that time—and the person who’s volunteered to go pick them up in the Dining Hall was notorious for her punctuality.

She heard the lift arrive, and readied herself for what was coming next. The lift area was really the only permanent private area of the third floor: the rest was a single open area that could be configured however was necessary. Most of the time Coraline used this area for private examinations that she didn’t want others to know about, though they’d used this for emergency sleeping space and twice for a repair space for APs.

Deanna followed Annie and Kerry towards the circle of chairs about eight meters from the lift. Even from this distance it wasn’t hard to see that Kerry was a little anxious about Annie being present—particularly after Coraline had assured him last week that they’d met alone. But it was that meeting last week—and the discussions she had with Deanna in the wake of her conversations with both kids—that convinced her it best they all sit down together and have this chat.

“Hi there.” Coraline motioned towards the chairs. “Take a seat.” She watched carefully to see—yes. Kerry sat to Annie’s right. Never fails. “Okay, so . . . Kerry knows why we’re here, and Annie, the email you received last night explained the matter at hand.”

“I know why Annie’s here.” Kerry still looked a little nervous, but he’d settled down since entering the room.

Annie nodded. “We discussed it this morning before breakfast.”

“So you know this relates back to your visions.” Deanna took the chair across from Annie.

Kerry tried not to look bothered that everyone was going to discuss this matter together. “Yes, we get that.”

“It’s actually more than that—” Coraline sat and leaned forward. “Those visions—and Annie’s rune dream—have put you both in a delicate position of . . . I guess you could say it’s accelerated your sexual knowledge, particularly of each other, a bit more than what normally happens around here. Most of the time kids learn about sex the old fashion way, through stumbling and experimentation, though sometimes they come to me and ask questions before they’re too far along the path—and it’s always my intention to help them before any real damage is done.

“You don’t have that disadvantage any more: you’ve seen just about everything one could do on their wedding night, and I’ll take your word on it—” She pointed at Kerry. “—that you didn’t get to the main event in these visions.”

Annie and Kerry slowly stared at each other, then turned back to Coraline and Deanna, with Annie answering. “No. We didn’t see that.”

“Which is good.” Coraline turned to Deanna, then back to the kids. “We’re going to try and answer questions, and help you out when you find yourself in a situation that might find your willpower starting to falter.”

 

That Coraline:  she gets right down to business.  And it is an interesting position for her to find herself in, because these kids are in a unique position of having not only seen these . . . things, but also having felt the . . . stuff.  And once unseen and felt, you’re not simply gonna say, “Okay, forget all that and just go on with your lives.”  Naw, a little difficult to do anymore.

At least I’ll have plenty of time today to think this scene over.

It’s a bit awkward for me as well.

In Dreams: Kerry’s Dream

First off, where in the world am I posting from?

I think you've seen this place before . . .

I think you’ve seen this place before . . .

Oh, yeah:  a deserted rest stop.

Oh, yeah: a deserted rest stop.

I’m in eastern Ohio on my way home for the holidays.  And as such, I’m making my normal stops along the way.

I even look much better than last time--

I even look much better than last time–

Though you need to excuse the crazy eyes.

Though you need to excuse the crazy eyes.

Anyway, about four hours of driving down, and another, oh, six or so to go before I pull into my ancestral home in Northwest Indiana.  Somewhere along the line I’m going to try and write–probably at my next stop–but I’ll consider it a victory if I can get a thousand words in today, because the last time I made this trip I couldn’t write at all once I arrived home.  However, unlike last time I actually managed some sleep this time, so I’m not feeling as if I’m going to crash and burn before the next curve in the road.

The story left off yesterday with Annie admitting that she’d had a vision like Kerry’s–only it happened during their first moment at Memory’s End.  They only speak of the matter for a few seconds before Kerry asks the really important questions.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie looked to the sky as she swallowed a couple of times. “Back on Orientation Day. In Memory’s End.”

“Really?” He’d collected himself and his breathing. “When we had our visions?”

“Yes.” She sighed slowly. “Deanna put us both in a trance to see if we’d have visions. When I had mine—” She swallowed. “I saw you coming out of the bathroom towards the bed, towards me. You had your hand on the railing and you were looking down—”

“At the fire.” Kerry didn’t get close to Annie least they find themselves drawn into—something—as they were moments before. “And then you sat down next to me and . . .” She smiled softly as she looked towards the ground. “Well, if you saw what I saw, then you know what happened.”

“Yes.” He nodded as he kept his eyes on Annie. “Hey, wait—um . . .” He ran his hand over his chin. “I wasn’t, um—naked, was I?”

Annie looked up with a wide grin on her face. “Oh, yes.”

Kerry’s entire body clenched for a second. “Really?”

“Well, didn’t you see me naked?”

“Um . . . Yeah.”

“Then it’s only fair.” Annie finally moved closer to her soul mate. “You have nothing to worry about if the vision is any indication.”

He found he was able to chuckled. “Neither do you. Magic probably has something to do with that.”

“Transformation magic, probably. But . . .” She touched his arm gently. “I don’t think we were very old.”

 

Not old plus transformation magic equals pretty hot bods.  One can assume that ’cause Annie’s grinning, and not much brings a smile to her face, right?  They both figure out that their shared vision came on the wedding night before–as Kerry says–“things got serious”.  And the thing is Annie doesn’t need to have all the answers, because someone’s been doing their reading . . .

 

Annie laughed. “You could put it in those terms.” Her seriousness returned. “You saw everything from your point of view?”

“Yes, I did.” He nodded slowly. “And you saw it from yours?”

“Yes. You know what that means?”

After months of pouring through the divination books he’d been giving at the beginning of the school year, Kerry had a very good idea. “If one person has a vision, the best they can hope for is a fifty-fifty chance it’ll come true—”

“Except under unusual circumstances.” Like an accomplished seer having one on a plane the day before it happens.

“More than one person can see a vision, but it’s usually from a third-person point of view—”

Annie nodded. “Which can greatly increase the chances the vision will occur—particularly if they all see it within a few days of each other.”

“But we didn’t see the same thing within a few days of each other.”

“No: it’s been six months.” Annie set her hands on here hips and took several deep breaths. “And we experienced the same thing from our own points of view—”

“As if we were there at the same time.” Kerry knew exactly what this meant. “I think Professor Arrakis would say the odds of us not actually having that vision come true are, like, in the billions.” He looked down and away for just a moment—

 

Wait, Kerry:  why are you looking down and away?  Is something on your mind?  Something, yes:  and on Annie’s mind as well . . .

 

Annie caught something she hadn’t thought Kerry would do—did he grin? She didn’t ask if he had; she thought it better to confirm his belief. “It still might not happen: there are things that could occur between us—”

“I don’t want to go there.” Kerry’s tone turned dark and serious. “It’s not a good idea.”

It hit Annie what Kerry was saying: one of the things that could happen is one of us could die. “You’re right. We shouldn’t talk about that. But . . .” She held Kerry’s hand in hers. “You’re remarkably calm about all of this—it doesn’t bother you?”

He shrugged. “Not really.”

“Nurse Coraline and Deanna said you were agitated when you came in last night.”

“I guess I was—” He pulled his arms in close to his side and seemed to shudder. “But it’s not what you think.”

“What is it, then?”

“I’m not sure myself.” He shook his head. “I just know something bothered me. As for the vision—everything I read said not to try and force or prevent a vision—” He gave Annie the grin that she thought she’d spotted before. “Yes?”

“Yes.”

“Then I won’t.” He let a short laugh escape. “See? I did learn something reading all those books.”

“I can see that you did.” Annie found she wasn’t confused by the way Kerry was acting: she’d known he’d learn something reading the books she gave him. But there was something nagging her— Did I have him read those because I knew we’d talk about this vision one day? Did I know he’d have the same? Or is there another reason?

 

Annie did have a reason for wanting Kerry to read all those books, but now she’s wondering if her reasons were her own.  A very timey-whimy situation here now, because did she want Kerry to read those books–or was there a suggestion?  I’ll probably have an answer for you by the fourth novel.

The thing is, Kerry seems cool with it.  He knows you don’t try to stop or force a vision, and as he indicated, one sure-fire way not to have it come true is for someone to die, and that’s a bit of an extreme way to stop it from happening.

And this leads to Kerry’s rune dream, which I also have written out.  It was the last thing I did before getting ready for the road, and just as I did with Annie’s, here is Kerry’s dream, in its entirety.

 

I’m sitting at the base of my tree.  I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true.  It’s a tree back in California, and I used to go there all the time.  It was a nice place to hang out, because you couldn’t be seen there.

It’s a nice day but cool, like the ones I remember.  I miss this sort of stuff a lot.

“Hi there.”

A voice makes me turn to my left.  A girl’s there.  She got on jeans and sneakers and a Torchwood tee shirt just like I have.  Her hair is red, her eyes green, and there’s lots of freckles.  I’ve never seen her before, but she grins when I look her way.  “Who are you?”

“You know who I am.”  She looked around as if she never heard my question.  “You haven’t been here in a long time.”

It’s kinda weird that she knows about this place, but I just ignore that back.  “Yeah.  Not since leaving for Cardiff.”  And stand up and shake myself off, and a book falls to the ground.

She picks it up and reads the cover.  “A Fall of Moondust.  I should have guessed.”

I take the book from her and hide it against my stomach.  “Just leave that—“

“That’s what you read to her the first time, right?”

I don’t want to hear anything like that.  I try to ignore the comment, but it’s ringing in my head.  “What do you know about that?”

“I know you read it to her when you were about six; I know that you read to her twice more.”  She folds her arms across of stomach.  “I know you really liked reading to her.”

“You don’t know anything.”

“I know that.”  She stands alongside of me.  “I know a lot about you.”

“How do you know?”

“You know how.”  She reaches for my left hand.  “Come on; let’s go for a walk.”

I don’t think about saying no or pulling away from her:  I just take her hand and we walk along van Winkle Drive.  Nothing is moving; there aren’t any real sounds.  And there’s no heat from the sun, though it’s not uncomfortable.  “Where are we going?”

“Just around.”  She started swinging my arm.  “I wanna talk.”

“About?”

“Her.”  She looks at me out from the corner of her eye.  “Your Chestnut Girl.”

I don’t want to hear this:  I really don’t want to talk about her.  “Can we not?”

“Why?  Why don’t you want to talk about her?”  This girl stops swinging our hands and lets me go, so we’re just walking side by side.  “You knew her for a long time.”

“Knew.”  I say it again, louder so she gets the point.  “KNEW.  She’s gone.  She . . .”  I start to choke on the word and say something else.  “She went away.”

“No, she didn’t.”  The girl grabs my arm and stops me, makes me face her.  “She left you.  That’s what you wanted to say.”

I’m getting upset.  Not angry—I never get that way.  Just lost and empty . . .  “Yes, she left me.  She went away, just like my grandparents did.”

“Did they really go away?”

“I never hear from them.  They got a computer—I’ve written to them.”  I turn away, because I’m remembering something else.  “And forget about my parents; they don’t even want me.”

The girl shook her head.  “You just think that—“

“My mother told me she didn’t want me.”  I start crying, ‘cause I can’t ever help myself.  “She told me she wanted a girl.  She told me I wasn’t . . .”  My breath starts hitching; I hate this conversation, because it makes me feel so horrible.  “Why did she say that?  What did I ever do to make her feel that way.”  I turn away from this strange ginger girl and just let it come out, the thing I hate to say.  “Why doesn’t anyone love me?  I just want someone to say they do, just once, and mean it.”  I keep shaking my head.  “That’s all.  Why can’t that happen?”

The girl takes my hand, and I feel the area around us change.  We’re standing just inside the wall entrance from last night—Founder’s Gate.  She leads me through the garden towards the bench where I sat with Annie.  She sits me down and sits on my left, just like Annie did.

“Someone does love you, Kerry.”  She pats the bench.  “Someone who sat right here last night.”

I’ve stopped crying, but I still felt pretty sad.  “I know.”

“She’s just like you in some ways; she wants love and affection, but from the right person.”  She pokes me in the arm.  “From you.”

I remember what happened when we were waiting to go off to our tower together.  “She told me she loves me.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Just like I did last night, I twist around on the bench.  “She told me she has for a long time.”

“Yes, that’s true.”

“How could she?  I never met her until a week ago.”

“And that didn’t stop you from going all over London and Amsterdam with her, did it?”  The girl twisted towards me so we were speaking face-to-face.  “How could she know you?  Look around.  Today you spoke with a sorceress and witches; you saw people flying on brooms; you had a vision . . .”  She chuckled.  “Annie’s a witch, and that means things aren’t what you’re used to seeing.  You gotta stop thinking about things as they were and . . .”  She shrugged.  “Keep an open mind.”

“That’s what Annie told me today.”

“And see what you did?”  Her outfit changed into a black dress with a witch’s hat.  It was kind of unusual, because it look like a Halloween costume.

I almost laughed at her.  “You look like you fit in.”

“Yeah, but you’re the witch.”  She slid up next to me, closer than she’d ever been.  “I know why you’re afraid.”

“What?  Who says I’m afraid?”

“I do—‘cause I know you.”

“You don’t know me.”

She pointed at her head.  “See the witch’s hat?  I know more than you know.”  Her voice got soft, like she was trying to set my mind to ease.  “You’re afraid.  You think you’re gonna open up to Annie, say things to her that will make her want to love you more—and then she’s gonna leave you.  She’s gonna up and vanish like your Chestnut Girl.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but I had to.  “What if she does?”

“You won’t know if you don’t try.”  She looked up at something like she was thinking.  “Why did you kiss Annie last night?”

I shrugged.  “Because it felt like I should.”

“I’m betting because you remembered something, and it just came naturally.”  She leaned over and placed her hand over my heart.  “You know how to love; it’s still here.  But before you can give Annie your heart, you gotta knock down that wall you’ve built around it.”  She leaned back away from me and gave me a look that felt like it was full of pity.  “It’s not gonna be easy, it’s gonna take time, and there will be moments when it’s gonna hurt horribly.”  She sighed like she wanted to say more, but couldn’t.  “And don’t think about your Chestnut Girl—at least not until it’s needed.”

I had no idea what she was talking about.  “What’s that mean?”

“You’ll know when the time comes.”  She stood in front of me and smoothed out her dress.  “Ask Annie to fly with you.  You’ll be surprised what happens.”

Now I laughed.  “You think I can fly?”

“You’re a witch, aren’t you?”  She giggled.  “Witches fly brooms.”

“What if she says no?”

“What if she says yes?”  She stepped closer and laid her hand over my heart again.  “This . . . has nothing to lose if you ask.  Go for it, Kerry.”  She stepped back and smiled.  “Remember:  someone once asked you to go bike riding, and look how that turned out?”

Given when this happened there is some serious foreshadowing going on here, for we know Kerry asked Annie to fly with him, and a few months later he and Annie shared, in a strange way, their dream of him reading to her.  Not only that, but one of the things he mentioned to Annie then pops up here as well.

But bike riding?  What does that mean?  It means that the next scene has Annie asking early on one of the most important questions she’s ever asked:

“Kerry, who’s the Chestnut Girl?”

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/21:  2,221

NaNo Total Word Count:  39,619

In Dreams: Annie’s Dream

Finally, after all the hand wringing and such yesterday, I locked myself down and got some writing done.  I will admit I wrote part of this over my break yesterday, but even so I managed eleven hundred words at home, late at night, just enough to get my NaNo count up and over the line.  I have ten days to go, I’m 12,600 words from the finish, and I need 1,261 words a day to hit the fifty thousand.

The odds do seem to be in my favor, but I’m gonna have to push it if I want that winner code this year.

And considering I’m going to lose a couple of days traveling–well, maybe I won’t lose them completely.  We’ll see.

This is what some people have waited for, and even wondered about:  what was Annie’s rune dream.  Well, I’ll tell ya:  I’ve know it for probably a couple of years now, so I’ve finally reached the point where you can see it, too.  Here it is, in its entirety:  Annie’s Dream.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

I open my eyes and there is soft light all around.  It’s morning, but it feels different.  It is different, because I today I awake someone different—

There you are, in my line of sight.  Sleeping still, your hair tousled, your mouth slightly open, your freckles seeming to glow against your light skin.  You look peaceful in the morning light, safe and secure under the comforter.

I slide next to you and press myself into your body.  I’m not wearing anything, but then neither are you, and I feel warm and loved like this.  I lay my right arm over you and pull myself closer, then lightly kiss your lips and cheek while you sleep.  There isn’t a reaction at first, but half a minute you slowly open your eyes as a tiny grin plays upon her face.

I give your lips another soft kiss.  “Good morning, my love.”

“Good morning, Sweetie.”  You wrap your left arm over me, pull me tight against you, and kiss me in the way I’ve grown to love, and when we stop our faces remain against our pillows, centimeters from each other.  “I could get spoiled being woken up that way.”

“You can, can you?”  I kiss you again.  “We’ll have to see if you can find a way to spoil me, then.”

“Oh . . .”  Your grin is bright and amazing this morning.  “I can think of a few things—“

Before I can discover how you want to spoil me there is a buzzing.  I know what it is, as do you.  You roll onto you back with a tired look and slip your right hand out from under the covers.  You hold out your hand and summon your phone.  You read what’s on the screen floating above your face and chuckle.

I think of propping up my head, but rather like the softness of the pillow.  “Who’s texting this early?”

“My mom.”  You half turn your head towards me.  “She says your mother wants to know when we’re coming to the house for breakfast.”

“She’s a little early texting us:  we’re not supposed to be there until eight thirty.”

The phone twists so I can see the display.  “It’s eight thirty-five.”

I push against my pillow and laugh.  “Oops.”

“Yeah.”  You flip the phone back so you can see the display.  “Text mode . . .  Mom, Annie and I slept in; getting up and getting ready; see you in about an hour; go ahead and eat without us.  Bye.”  You tap the air and the phone slides away to rest on the end table.

I try to keep from laughing when I see the look on your face.  “I guess we shouldn’t start anything we can’t finish.”

“We could finish—“  I wrap my hand over your shoulder and kiss you.  “But we’d be even later.”

“And we wouldn’t want to do that to our waiting parents.”

“It’s not as if we won’t have time later.”

“Oh, yeah.”  You roll away to the edge of the bed, the comforter falling away.  I can see your bare back, smooth and soft, complemented by your shoulders.  A robe sails over from where it was resting on a chair and you slip it on before standing.

I wait until you are leaning against the railing and looking down into the living area before I climb out of bed.  I don’t bother with a robe, and join you at the railing as I slept.  I smile when you look at.  “You look as if you’ve never seen me naked.”

“Well, I haven’t for the first time today.”  You chuckle and scan the room below.  “I’ll use the shower downstairs.”

I reach for you hand.  “Bring up something for me to wear?”

“Sure.  What you want?”

I decide right away.  “My green sleeveless tunic, jeans, and my brown gladiators.”  I give your left hand a squeeze.  “It’s going to be a busy day; I want to be comfortable.”

You nod slowly, probably going over something in your head.  “Clean bra and panties?”

“Naturally.”  I lean my head against your shoulder.  “You remembered.”

“I’ve had some practice with that the last couple of years.”  You give my hand a light squeeze.  “You want some coffee?”

“Yes.  That would be lovely.”

“Consider it done.”  There’s a silence that stretches on for about fifteen seconds.  I’m almost about to ask what is wrong when you speak.  “Did you feel anything . . . different?”

“Yes.”  I release you hand and turn to face you.  “It was like my head cleared.”

“Same here.”  You face me.  “I guess that means they were right.”

“So it would seem.”  My right hand becomes entwined in your left as I draw closer.  “Now the question becomes, where do we go with this—“  I press against you and kiss you long and slow.  “Mr. Malibey?”

“The answer to that is simple:  anywhere and everywhere we want to go—“  You return the kiss, and when you step back, there is a gleam in your eye.  “Mrs. Malibey.”

 

And there it is:  signed, sealed delivered.

Naturally Kerry has something to say . . .

 

Annie stood, watched, and waited for Kerry’s reaction. He’d not said a word the whole time she’d related her dream, and when she reached the end, he started back as if he were seeing a person he’d never met before now. After about twenty seconds of silent she grew worried. “Kerry?”

He cleared his throat and spoke weakly “Yeah?”

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m . . .” He looked out over the lake to this right, then turned back to Annie. “Mrs. Malibey?”

She nodded. “Um, hum.”

“As in ‘Mr. and Mrs. Malibey’?”

“Yes.”

“As in—”

“Kerry, we were married.” Annie wasn’t exacerbated by any apparent reluctance he manifested, but she felt she had to tell him everything. “I know the time and place of the dream. The place is my lake out, the one on my parent’s property.”

“You’ve told me about that—” Kerry didn’t appear upset or overwhelmed, but now curious. “But I don’t know much about the place.”

“It’s something I had built just after I turned nine.” Annie relaxed, as Kerry didn’t seemed like he was going to fly in to a panic or bolt. “It all came about due to a dream I had—”

“Or vision?” Kerry was beginning to suspect that this rune dream wasn’t the only dream of Annie’s that showed her something from the future.

“I think it was a vision—it came after something that . . .” She looked down, shaking her head. “It’s not important. I saw it in a dream a few days later, and I was compelled to make my family have it built.

 

Now you know that Annie’s lake house was built on a vision:  it was something she saw and therefore, something she needed.  She also knows something else about that loft.

 

“There’s a small upstairs area on the north side—I told my parents it was meant to be a guest loft. There’s a bed, a small sitting area, and a walk-in closet which is also the entrance to a full bath. The south end of the loft is open so you can see everything in the living area below.

“It’s suppose to be for guest, but I’ve not had any guest, and no one has ever slept there because it’s meant for more than that.” She sighed as she took a step closer to Kerry, moving to where she was almost touching him. “That’s why I know when my dream happens, because the first person to sleep in the loft is me—on my wedding night . . .” She gazed into Kerry’s eyes. “With my husband.”

 

The lake house was built to be Annie’s honeymoon house, and she knows it, so if she’s sleeping in the bed in the loft with . . . “her husband” . . . and it’s morning, then her rune dreams if of the morning after and the honeymoon is over, and judging from smiled on their faces, it was a pretty good one.

Which means there had to be some kind of lead-in, and Kerry’s making connections so he mentioned the vision he had the night before.  He decides to say a few things about what he saw, and Annie is making the connection as well and coming out with her own truths . . .

 

Deanna’s words flew back into Annie’s memory: You must tell your dream first. That should get Kerry to open up about his vision. There were things she had to know now . . . “They told me you had a vision, but not what it was. Tell it, please. Tell me what you saw.”

He took a deep breath and described his vision. “I was in a room, but there was a railing and a lot of darkness on my right. There was only a little light in the bedroom area, but there was a light below in the darkness—”

“The fire in the fireplace—” Annie’s voice took on a dream-like quality. “Dying.”

“I think so, too. And there was this smell, like—”

“Cherry wood.” She smiled and moved closer to Kerry. “It’s my favorite. You were walking towards the bed—”

He nodded. “Yes, I was. And you were on it—”

“Kneeling; sitting back on my heels. And you came and sat on my—”

“Left side, because I’m left handed—”

“And I could use my right.” She reached for him, touching his arm. “And I touched you—”

“And I touched you—” Kerry lay his hand on a spot just above Annie’s heart.

“And I touched you . . .” Annie’s eyes grew wide and she quickly pulled her hands away, stepping back at the same time. “We shouldn’t be talking like this.”

Kerry leapt back as well and was now trying to control his breathing. “I know . . .” He bent slightly and caught his breath. “Did they tell you what I saw? ‘Cause I never mentioned that last—”

“They didn’t have to.” The redness that had crept into Annie’s face faded. “I had the same vision.”

What?” Kerry’s mouth dropped open upon hearing this news. “When?”

Annie looked to the sky as she swallowed a couple of times. “Back on Orientation Day. In Memory’s End.”

 

And now you know what Annie saw during her tea trance:  the same thing Kerry saw six months later.  Only, since that last line was the last thing I wrote last night, it won’t be until tonight you find out just how significant having a vision like that becomes.  Also, it’s evident that these two shouldn’t be alone when they talk about this vision, ’cause . . . just saying.

Also, there was mention in Annie’s dream of people being “right” and having cleared heads.  I know a few people will ask, “Wait, does that mean something, Cassie?” and all I’ll say is, yes, I do tell you what that means, only not in this novel, but the next one, if it gets written.  So you only gotta wait like, oh, another year or so and maybe two hundred thousand words to find out what it means.  That means I can’t tell you now, la, la, la, fingers in my ears, I can’t hear you . . .

As I’ve told a few others, I’ve not just plotted out this novel, but five others.  Yeah–five.  This is a long game, and there are events in this book that don’t get played all the way out until the second and third books, which have events that become major deals in later novels.  I have also mentioned something, in passing, in this book that doesn’t become a major deal until–here it comes–the fifth novel.  Yeah, I’m like that:  torturing you.  Just wait until I start killing off beloved characters, because George R. R. Martin shouldn’t get all the hate . . .

In the mean time, I need to finish the current scene and get to Kerry’s dream–

As you can see, it's coming.

As you can see, it’s coming.

And then I can get to the aftermath of what happens to these kids.

It’s fun, I tell you:  fun.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/20:  1,934

NaNo Total Word Count:  37,398