Yeah, I know it’s been a while, but here I am in the, um, well, sorta the flesh, I guess.
It’s been a long, boring day and I think I’m going to write tonight, but I spent most of the day watching movies. The first was the Netflix original How It End, and the answer to that is “Not fucking well.” Really, a dumb, simple, slow-ass movie where little happens and the actors–Forest Whitaker among them–appear to phone it in with little or no enthusiasm. It’s getting rocked like the Casbah and if your were of a mind to watch this, don’t. Trust me on this.
After that turd I watched American Psycho, which I hadn’t seen in about ten years, and I’m sorry, but I laugh at a lot of the lines in this flick. Really, if you wanna be shocked read the book, which is a horror story mixed in with commentaries on commercialism–along with a crazed cameo by Tom Cruise–and it’s not for the faint of heart.
But enough of murders and executions. Let’s get our butts to Bulgaria.
Kerry has a hot kettle and he’s heading up to the stair to the first floor, which is Annie’s sanctuary. And what happens? Let’s find out.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
Due to his work in the school’s superlab, Kerry had become somewhat proficient at negotiating spiral staircases, but this was the first time he’d had to walk up one while levitating an object. He peeked up over the side as he grew closer to the first floor and saw Annie seated at a table, her back to the stairs. He took in her posture: she was sitting upright, one hand in her lap while she sipped from the cup in the other. She looked almost regal. And it suits her…
She set down her cup and half-looked over her shoulder. “You can come up: I won’t bite.”
“I had to make sure.” He made his way to the first floor landing and looked around: it was a somewhat plain space with two large windows and two closed doors, one to his immediate right and another in the corner on his left. He approached the table at which Annie sat—the only furniture in the space. “So… this is you sitting room, I take it?” He took the only other seat, the one opposite Annie.
Back in the day when I was excerpting the first novel, a few people felt Annie came across a little cold and a bit entitled, with the word “princess” getting bantered around once in a while. Yes, Annie comes from money, but she also comes from manners, and as she points out, she’s doing something that proper ladies have done for a considerable amount of time–
She ran her finger around her cup as she seemed to examine Kerry. Much like her mother she wore silk pajamas, only hers were a dark burgundy. “Every girl should have a sitting room so she can entertain visitors.” Annie raised her right eyebrow, mimicking her mother from a little over thirty minutes earlier. “I mean, you wouldn’t expect me to entertain you in my bedroom at this time of day, would you?”
Kerry set the kettle down and removed the time spell. He sat back as a puff of steam came out of the neck. “No, I wouldn’t. That would be rude.”
“Exactly.” Annie placed a tea ball in a cup and poured in the hot water. “I know you like a breakfast blend for morning tea, so I had one made for you.” She finished pouring and levitated the saucer and cup toward him. “Take any of the snacks here: Mama made plenty.”
Now, one could argue that Annie should haul her ass downstairs and had tea with Mama at the dinning room table, because having a sitting room where you entertain visitors totally smacks of privilege. And it does, no lie there. But this is how Annie was raised, to be a proper lady. And she is. She isn’t putting on airs for people: this is something important to her.
But who else would like to imagine how many people have actually sat across from Annie who weren’t of her immediate family? The answer to that–and you know I have it–is not a lot: maybe a couple of classmates before she headed off to the Big Witch School.
And, as she points out, this isn’t something she’ll do for much longer:
While he hadn’t seen the snacks up close when he first woke, he recognized them as a combination of mekitsa and banitsa. He picked up a mekitsa and set it in a small place, after which he spooned a small amount of jelly next to it. “Your mother and you do this every morning?”
“Ever since I was seven.” Annie added hot water to her cup and chose a banitsa to nibble. “Sometimes it was the only time we had to see each other during the day and we wanted to make the most of that time. We started out with tea and eventually it ended up becoming a ritual that could go on for hours if we allow that.” She sipped her tea and slowly set the cup down. “It won’t be long before I won’t have this time with Mama, so it’s important I make the most of the time we have together.”
Kerry sat back in his chair, slowly chewing a mekitasa as he glanced out the window to his right and behind Annie. While it was still dark outside, the sky was clear and gave the impression the sun was rising soon. “What time does the sun rise around here?”
“I’m surprised you don’t know.” Annie looked up from her food and laughed.”
“Yeah—” He rolled his eyes. “I should have checked.”
“It’s all right. The sun’s fully up about fifteen before eight, but the mountains to the east tend to keep our meadow in twilight until about nine. Funny this is, while this is the shortest day of the year, after this sunrise comes a little later every day until the middle of the first week of January, then they start coming earlier while sunset comes later.”
“Interesting.” He crossed his legs. “So, what’s the plan for today?”
“Oh…” Annie held her tea cup before her face and looked up over it. “I think you already know.”
Annie knows all these things she does with her family will soon come to an end and she wants to get the most out of those events–though when your mother can pretty much jaunt to just about anywhere in the world, who’s to say Annie won’t still have morning tea with Mama? I’d say the odds are pretty good.
As for what the kids are going to do once it gets light outside–I think you can guess what’s coming next…