The Midnight Window: Plans of Future Past

It’s been a good morning, though I could have done with a bit more sleep.  Hey, you can’t always get what you want, right?  Since it’s a long weekend I can nap whenever I feel it’s necessary.  Until then, I just keep plugging words into the right places.

Rocking out to Domino as I go about my day.

Rocking out to Domino as I go about said plugging.

Chapter Thirty-four is finished due to plugging in one thousand and twenty-five words to the chapter.

Right here's the proof--more or less.

Right here’s the proof–more or less.

Now all that remains is Chapter Thirty-five and four scenes, maybe six thousand words total, two of which will be “The End.”  One more scene in the Sea Sprite Inn–which may or may not be needed, I’ve yet to decide–one on the plane, one at the airport in Berlin, and the final one at Kerry’s house.  I’m actually considering moving the first scene of Chapter Thirty-five to the plane simply because there’s something I want to do, and having everyone at the plane makes that thing happen easier, so that may be what happens.  As soon as I start writing, I’ll know.

If that is the case this could be the last scene at the Sea Sprite.  And remember that thing that Annie wanted to discuss?  Well . . .

 

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

Kerry crossed the room and sat on the bed as Annie asked. He watched her as she went over to her bag on the luggage stand, opened the bag, and unzipped one of the compartments. Her body shielded what she was removing, but upon turning it was easy enough to see, for she was holding a large book bound in a plain white cover. She floated the book in his direction and waited until it was nearly in front of him before she moved towards the bed.

He kept his eyes focused on the book as it came to a stop before him. “Is this what I think it is?”

 

Yes, Kerry:  it’s exactly what you think is it.  And is there a reason this book is coming out?  Sure there is, and Annie’s going to tell you–

 

Annie didn’t answer the question: rather, she began speaking as she climbed on to the bed. “The Sunday after your birthday I wrote to my mother and asked if she’d ever shown her wedding book to Papa, and if it was common for wives to do so after they were married. A few days later she wrote back and told me that, yes, she had shown her book to Papa—

“My mother and father were married 20 June, 1997. My mother wanted to be married near the first day of summer because it’s considered an auspicious moment when one marries at anytime on or close to a solstice point. They graduated in 1994, did their Real Live Experience the following year, and were invited in for a year of the school’s Continuing Educational Program before leaving in ‘96. Since that counted as two years of college, they then went off to Uni in the fall and finished another year while Mama planed for their marriage. They finished Uni the next year and graduated right before they celebrated their first anniversary.

“After that they settled to Pamporovo full-time and built the main house; it was finished in October, and they were all moved in before winter hit.” A sheepish look came over Annie’s face. “That’s where I was conceived.”

Kerry touched Annie’s hand. “Right around Christmas, if my math is right.”

She nodded. “Mama told me that it likely, um, happened right at Christmas. She told me she was trying to start a family, and conceiving a child at that time—”

“Is considered auspicious?”

“Obviously: look how I turned out.” After they both giggled Annie continued. “So on their next anniversary Mama was pregnant with me, and that would be their last one with just them together. Papa treated her to a spa treatment at one of the hotels in town, then they jaunted into Sofia, saw a movie, and had a romantic dinner. She wrote that it was one of her best days ever.

“After they returned home they visited what was going to become my nursery before heading off to bed. She wrote that they didn’t go to bed right away: she pulled out her book and showed it to Papa, showing him everything she’d planed from the time she was a little girl until even a few days before the wedding. That was—” Annie blushed slightly. “That was when she picked out names for her children.”

“She knew what she wanted.” Kerry squeezed Annie’s hand once more. “Like mother, like daughter.”

“Um, hum.”

“Was your name in the book?”

“She told me I was at the top of the girl’s list.” She chuckled softly. “She said she told Papa that as they were starting a family, and she didn’t believe they would ever not be a couple, she saw no harm in sharing those memories with him. She also wrote that while it isn’t that common for wives to do this, once you know you’re in a relationship that will last forever, there’s no harm.”

 

Now you know so much more about Annie’s family:  their schooling, their marriage, and the, um, “special Christmas” they had in 1998.  Just think of all the times now Annie will be down in the family room, look over at the door leading to her parent’s bedroom, and thing, “Yep.  That’s where I was made.”  Not that she probably didn’t know.  Then again, her mother has probably known for at least three years that Annie had the lake house built for one reason in mind, and she sort of shakes her head whenever she looks up towards the loft.  And now that she’s met Kerry . . . probably a bit of face palming now and then.

It’s a given that I know when Annie’s parents were married, because–

I have a time line for everything.

I have a time line for everything.

And if you notice there’s an end date on their marriage:  15 November, 2126.  That means, according to the calculation determined by Aeon Timeline 2, they remain married 129 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days.  When we talk about the longevity of witches, there’s a prime example right there.  And you can guess their marriage ends because one of both of them die, which means both of them are over a hundred and forty when one of them passes beyond The Veil.

Now, as far as their school time together–

I have it right here.

I have it right here.

Things get a bit interesting.  Jessica, Trevor, Mathilde, and Matthias were all older students when Pavlina and Victor started school, and Maddie and her now-deceased husband were only a year old.  Ramona and Coraline were only a year younger, and Adric and Holoč a couple of year behind them.  We can also see that Harpreet entered Cernunnos Coven the year after Holoč, and you have to wonder if C Level Holoč showed the same welcome to B Level Harpreet when she first arrived on the second floor.  And Isis came on to the first floor of Cernunnos Coven at the same time Pavlina and Victor were doing their only years of the school’s Continuing Education Program, so it’s possible the may have encountered the future Chief of Security for the school while they were essentially graduate students.

In case you’re wondering about the above line colors, they correspond to covens.  Red is Cernunnos; yellow is Ceridwen; sea green is Blodeuwedd; orange is Åsgårdsreia; and blue is Mórrígan.  Yes, Erywin and Helena are covenmates with Maddie, which is likely another reason why Helena was ready to kill her when she found out she was a Guardian mole.

Now, why is Annie showing Kerry her book?  There is an excellent reason for this:

 

She gentle lay her left hand upon the cover of the unopened levitating book. “As I see it, my love, we’ve been married for thirteen years, and I believe we’ll be together for the rest of our lives.” She slipped her right hand out of Kerry’s and set it over his chest where the personal medical monitor set. “Like you pointed out, we’re joined in more ways than one, and I have no fear you’ll ever take up with someone else.”

He placed his hand over her chest as well. “I wouldn’t leave, ever.”

Annie nodded once as she and Kerry set their hands back to their laps. “In five years we’ll be eighteen—well, you will: I’ll be eighteen in a little over four, but . . .” She retook his left hand in hers. “By then we’ll have graduated from school and have finished our Real Life Experience, and if we’re asked back for CEP studies, I want us to return as a married couple.

“I want to show you everything I’ve dreamed about and planed for the last seven year. I want you to see my sketches, my dress designs, the first drawings I made of the lake house—”

“And the names of our children?” A broad grin spread across Kerry’s face.

“I don’t have those—yet.” Annie’s face broke out with a smile as well. “Also, I want a June wedding: like my mother, I want to be married as close to the solstice as possible; I want the moment to be auspicious for us as well.

“But there’s another reason I’m doing this: there are some things in which I want you to have a hand as well. I told you about the rings I’ve designed, and I want you to see them so—” She rested her head against his shoulder momentarily “—you can have your input. While the things in her are my plans and dreams, there are a few items for which you should have some say” She turned a coy look in his direction. “It’s only fair.”

Kerry felt his eyes misting over again and he put a stop to it right away: he didn’t want tears to fall into Annie’s most prized book. “I’m honored you trust me with this.”

“If I can’t trust my husband, who can I trust? Come, my love—” Her eyes twinkled in the darkness as she flipped the book open. “We have a wedding to plan.”

 

“We have a wedding to plan.”  And right there, Annie is letting her soul mate know there’s no more screwing around:  in five year’s time there’s gonna be wedding bells, and they’re gonna ring in June.  She’s always got her eyes on the prize, and the prize involves getting hitched to the Ginger Hair Boy.  Though you have to wonder if she starts putting names in the baby section if she’ll tell Kerry, or if she’ll ask for suggestions.  Or if she’ll say something like, “My love, we need to pick to baby names,” and wait for him to ask why.

Yeah, I think that’s the end of the Sea Sprite until next year, because anything else in that building is anticlimactic after that last statement.

Don’t worry:  they’ll be back next year . . .

Etchings From the Heart

Here we are, the end of the scene as  promised, and I’m not gonna say much because I was writing this post at ten forty-eight last night because I’m probably somewhere on the road back to Indiana as you read this.  Right here, however, you can see the scene is finished:

I don't lie about this writing thing.

I don’t lie about this writing thing.

Here is the scene, and I’ll probably talk about this a lot more tomorrow, when, you know, I’ve recovered from a thousand kilometer drive and people have questions.

Until then, here is another view of my kids getting personal, and Annie cluing Kerry in on another part of his new world . . .

 

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

“When we were in the airport yesterday you mentioned an Astral Etching—”

She nodded. “I remember. And you want to know, yes?”

“Yes.”

Annie backed against a tree in Derby Square standing in the shadow of the Salem Old Town Hall so they were out of the westward wind. “I’ve told you before how I learned I was a witch: Mama had to tell me about magic, and how Papa and she were witches—and how I was one as well. She did so because I was starting to notice that nearly everyone we ran into in public didn’t do some of the same things as us, and she wanted to make sure you didn’t say or do anything in public around Normal people . . .”

She grinned as she pulled Kerry closer. “When I was a bit older our family began spending more time with other Normal families: this was because of Papa’s position with the race team. Right away I noticed something: the mothers and fathers of other kids I met wore wedding rings, but my parents didn’t. And it wasn’t because my parents didn’t love each other, because I knew they did.

“I was curious, because my mother wore other jewelry, and I asked her one day why she didn’t have a wedding ring.” She snuggled against Kerry, warming herself against him. “She told me she did, and that Papa did as well, only they were special rings: they were Astral Etchings.

“She told me that when two witches are married, they take an enchanted stylus and they imprint aural energy against each other’s skin. The way she explained the process you figure out the design first, then practice etching the design—and when the time come to craft the spell on your special someone—” Annie lightly touched the ring finger on Kerry’s right hand. “You get the idea, don’t you, my love?”

“I do.” He held Annie’s hand between his. “Have you ever seen your parent’s rings?”

“No. They’re only visible when you use Astral Sight or Aura Reading.” She chuckled. “This summer should be the first time I see them. From what Mama told me, they’re rather beautiful.”

“Did they come up with the designs?”

“Yes. Mama told me she worked on Papa’s etching for about six months, and Papa told her that he’d spent close to a year coming up with something Mama would like.” Annie sighed as she buried her nose in Kerry’s coat to warm it up. “Even then they made slight adjustments to the other’s design, which she told me is normal.”

All these things were something Kerry never imagined possible—but then he was only a year and a half into what he called “The Witch Life”, and every day offered the chance to become a learning experience. “Did you mother have an engagement ring?”

“She did: it was a simpler version of her wedding band. Papa had the same thing.”

“Your father had and engagement ring?”

“Yes, he did, but Mama said that’s not all that unusual.”

Kerry closed his eyes for a moment and breath the cold, still air. “You have my ring designed, don’t you?”

Annie nodded as her face broke into a smile. “I started on it not long after you told me you loved me.” Her mittens glided over his right hand once more. “It was time.”

Knowing that Annie probably had his astral ring sketched out in her wedding book brought forth a memory he’d not thought about since summer. “I just realized—”

“Yes, my love?”

“In our wedding vision—we weren’t wearing rings.”

“I was wondering when you’d finally notice that part.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and shoulders and touched her nose to his. “When I had a chance to remember our visions without distractions, I saw that immediately.” Annie slowly kissed him as she pressed into his coat. “I’ve known about that for a while, so I did have an advantage, my love.”

She removed the mitten from her right hand and spread her fingers. “I told you in Vienna when the time comes I want something special: now you know what I meant.” She raised her hand so Kerry could better see. “When the time comes I’ll wanted you to etch a ring upon my finger, and I know the design will be beautiful because you’ll have created it with your love.

“I want your etching upon my finger—and know this: it’ll be part of me forever—”

Kerry touched her hand. “Forever?”

“Yes. The etching draws power from your aura, and your aura is a part of you until you die.” She kissed his gloved hand. “My ring will be with me until I die—and so will yours.” She kissed his cheek. “And your ring—”

“Yes?”

“It’s beautiful.” Annie slipped her mitten back on. “One day you’ll see.”

He wrapped his arm around Annie and protected her against the cold, kissing her to warm her lips before getting her scarf in place. “I’m going to have to start working on your ring now so I’ll get it right.”

“You will; I know you will.” She pulled him towards Front Street. “And don’t worry: not only do we still have time, but I’ll help.”

 

If I get the chance I’ll pop in from the road and say hi.  And you can wonder about what happens in the scene to come . . .

The Open Book

As much as I wanted to crank out about fifteen hundred words last night, it was impossible to do that.  Not only was I fighting off fits of depression yesterday–I thought I was done with that, but I was wrong–I started suffering back spasms throughout the day, and it was difficult to sit at the computer for very long and type without feeling the needs to go lay down for about twenty minutes after sitting at the computer for about the same amount of time.  It feels better now, but then I’ve been laying down for the last six hours.

We’ll see what tonight brings.

As such, I only managed about six hundred and seventy words–but as I’ve said in the past, they were good words.  This is a point where Annie is talking about her book, her wedding book.  Erywin asked how it came to be in her possession, and in these six hundred and seventy words she tells you a little about what she’s done with it.  Not a lot, but . . . we learn a few things about what’s inside the book . . .

 

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

She nodded slowly. “I have. I knew a girl when I was growing up that had one, and a few of my students have had them.” She softened her tone, trying not to shake Annie. “When were you given yours?”

“On my fifth birthday. My mother gave it to me in private, after my father had departed to return to his work. She explained what it was for, what I was suppose to place upon the pages. I wasn’t certain what she meant: I was five, and while I knew about my parents being married, I didn’t know what I would do with my own book.

“A few weeks later I was staring at all the blank pages in the book, and I began having ideas. I’d started sketching about that time—I wasn’t very good because I was starting to learn—but I loved to draw.” Her eyes focused on something beyond Erywin as she thought about her first drawing. “It was my wedding dress. I’ve made much better sketches of it since that time, but the first one is still there.”

“I’m going to take a guess and say your wedding dress is pretty simple.” Erywin lay her hands on her thigh. “I can’t see you wearing something grandiose, Annie.”

She nodded slowly. “Yes, it’s something simply: no long train or massive amount of embroidery, just a simple white dress and matching dress sandals.” She continued staring off at something off I the distance. “I drew how the ceremony would look behind my parent’s home, in the field—that’s why I’ll wear sandals: it’s summer.”

“Sounds wonderful.” Erywin didn’t try to make eye contact with Annie, who seeing her memories. “And the reception?”

“There’s a small hall in Pamporovo that I want for that. I don’t anticipate a lot of people attending the wedding—just family on . . .” Annie paused and met Erywin’s gaze. “Both sides.”

“I see.” Erywin didn’t want to ask the obvious question, so she took the round about method. “What else do you have drawn in there?”

“My bridesmaid’s gowns—though I don’t expect to have a lot of them. I don’t even know if I’ll have them . . . The sketches of my lake house are there: all of them. Everything I wanted it to be, I drew there first.”

“That makes sense. According to Deanna, that’s where you’re going to spend your wedding night.” Erywin tip topped carefully into the next question. “Was that a vision as well?”

“Yes, it was. I saw it while I was standing by the short of the lake—it’s just over four hundred meters from my parent’s home—and I turned around and I saw the house . . .” Annie’s eyes rolled up just a touch. “And someone else.”

Erywin figured she didn’t need to make more than one guess. “Someone who’ll spend the night there with you?”

Annie didn’t try to obfuscate her answer. “Yes. My husband.” She barely made a sound as she cleared her throat. “The center of the book is where you’re support to write your name, and across from your name you write the name of the boy you’ll marry. When I attended private school before coming to Salem, a couple of the girls who had books talked about how they already had two or three names across from theirs.” She snorted. “Stupid girls.”

“And how many names do you have in your book?” This was another question Erywin didn’t have to ask, but knew it was necessary.

“Just one.”

“And when did you write that down?”

Annie sighed and closed her eyes: it wasn’t that she didn’t want to see Erywin, but she didn’t want there to be any chance she’d notice the expression of the third person present. “The night he told it to me.” She opened her eyes slowly. “I should say, the morning after he told me. The moment I woke up, I went to my book and wrote in Kerry’s full name. Later that day I did a rough sketch of him and, over time, managed to capture his likeness as he was then.” She leaned towards Erywin. “My name is across from his, and my portrait sits below my name, staring at Kerry’s.” She grew silent as her eyes turned towards the sky.

 

I suppose there’s a meme here where someone says to Annie, “You only had one name in your book!  One NAME!” and then if it’s the Worried Annie she give them the worried look, and if it’s the Not Worried Annie, she probably sets them on fire.  I just joke about that:  Annie hasn’t set anyone on fire–

Yet.

But now we know some of what’s in the middle of that book.  We know there are names and sketches, and it’s been mentioned in the story–back when they were in their last night in Amsterdam–that Annie had the chocolate wrapper Kerry gave her on the Chunnel ride there, and there’s something else written that we’ve yet to hear about.

But you know we will.

And we’ll probably hear from Kerry as well–who has been awfully quiet during all this.  Hard to say what he’s going through–well, I know, but you don’t.  You’ll have to find out.

The upshot of all this is that Act Three is just a few tens of words past forty-six thousand words.  It’s also a couple of thousand past three hundred and fifty thousand, so I upped the counter once more–to four hundred thousand words.

One more bump is all I can take.

There’s been a whole lot of upping of late.

With three parts remaining, I expect the counter to get upped one more time, and then that’s it:  no more upping.  There won’t be any need to up it beyond that–

You can’t go too far beyond “The End”, you know.