Adjusting For Home

I said I’d have another post, didn’t I?  Sure I did.  Now, the writing’s been a bit slow this morning, ’cause I’ve had shopping, and I’m cooking a big pot of chili in my crockpot, and I’ve washed all my clothes as well.  Between running out and running up and down, and snacking and trying to stay awake, it’s been a busy morning.

Let’s not forget the other blog post, too.

Anyhow, a few things have popped up.  For one, I’ve had a discussion about Annie dreamwalking Kerry, and I brought up something that I’ve thought about for a while:  once Annie figures out how to do that, she can spend all her time with Kerry while they’re awake, and then, once they’re asleep, she can come and visit him in his dreams.  It means that if she’s in the mood, she can spend all her time with Kerry, and he with her.  This could make her a bit like a Magically Overly Attached Girlfriend, and that means she needs a meme:

"You wouldn't want other girls sneaking in here, would you?  That could be . . . bad."

“You wouldn’t want other girls sneaking into your dreams, would you? That might be bad.”

Annie will keep you safe, Kerry.  Don’t worry.  Ever.

Yesterday was also saw the road leading up to Kerry’s house, so why not look at the road leading up to Annie’s.  Well . . .

And it looks this way right now in the novel.  Sort of.

And it looks this way right now in the novel. Sort of.

That area heading off into the woods on the right is the route heading into the mountains and going right to the Kirilovi Home.  It doesn’t look that way, but it is.  And while Annie’s parents have cars–and they even take them out for a drive when they want to maintain appearances–most of their visitors don’t drive, if you know what I mean.  You can be if or when Kerry comes to visit, it won’t be via this road.  Doesn’t mean he may not take the car into town, but a visit to Annie won’t involve ground travel.

But right now Annie’s home, and if Kerry is home thinking about her, that probably means Annie is thinking about him . . .

 

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

Annie’s eyes gradually opened and took in the darkness of her room. There was some ambient light, most of which came from the glow of her digital clock. She locked her gaze upon the readout: 19:15. It’s seventeen-fifteen in Cardiff— She rose up on her right elbow and brushed the hair from her face. He’s probably home and finally getting the opportunity to relax.

She slipped her legs from under the covers and sat on the side of the bed as she wriggled her feet into here slipper. Annie brushed her hair back over her shoulders and brought the lights in her room to their lowest level; only then did she make perpetrations to rise and face the rest of her first day home for Yule Holiday.

Her necklace and charm bracelet were on the jewelry tree sitting upon her dressing table. She’d considered wearing the necklace to bed, since he’d left it on when she’d Adjusted on the flight from Berlin to Boston with nothing happening. Adjustment sleep was so deep and full that a person almost never moved—almost.

Annie let the locket dangle inside her night shirt, where it felt cool against the bare skin over her heart. She slipped the charm bracelet on after that, smiling as she thought back to only a few hours before when they arrived home and she removed her jacket, both parents caught side of Kerry’s gift dangling around her left wrist. Her mother finally made the inquiry, and she nearly laughed when she saw the look they exchanged upon her saying it was as gift Kerry gave her during their first day in Berlin. While her father wasn’t certain what to make of this gift, Annie saw her mother realized the significance immediately—

The robe floated off the back of the chair where Annie set it after unpacking and hung in the air. She stepped up and backed into it, slipping her arms into the outstretched sleeves. She’d begun practicing this move a few months before after watching Helena doing this with one of her leather coats, and seeing her get into her coat that way brought back the memory of her mother sometimes do this same thing with her winter coats. It was necessary, then, for her to try the same thing, and since her skill with the Levitation spell was excellent, she crafted this action in a matter of a couple of days.

Walking towards the door she wrapped her robe around her and tied the sash. I imagine I’ll be able to slip this onto my shoulders with another month of practice. She waited until she was right in front of the door before waiving it open. I wonder if I’ll be able to actually dress myself that way? Mostly likely it would be easy with a dress—

“Ah, you’re finally up.”

Annie instinctively clutched her robe and held it tightly around her neck when she saw the visitor sitting in her sitting room. “Papa. You’re not supposed to come up unannounced.”

 

While Annie doesn’t mind a little tea with her mother in her sitting room, it seems as if having her father pop up without making an announcement first is a big social no-no.  And it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out why he’s there–

You only have to wait until I write that part so you can see if you’re right.

Cartref yn ôl ar Gyfer y Gwyliau

And with a title like the mouthful posted today, it means only one thing:  someone’s back home in Wales.  It goes without saying that this is probably not a good moment for my Ginger Hair Boy, because home is not a good place for him, but at least he didn’t have a break down moment like the last time he left a certain Chestnut Girl who was on her way back to Bulgaria.

He know he’s going to see her in a few weeks, and this slight pain he feels is a good one.  Or so he was once told.

Therefore let us to head off to the place of the return and see what transpires next.

No word if Kerry picked up a tasty steak pastry before leaving the station, however.

No word if Kerry picked up a tasty traditional steak pastry before leaving the station, however.

 

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

Kerry followed Ms. Rutherford out of Cardiff Central Station and headed towards the Audi saloon with the raised boot lid. He set his roll-on bag in the boot, tapped the lid to activate the auto-close mechanism, then got in on the rear passenger side, setting his backpack between his legs. The moment his seat belt clicked shut, the driver put the car in gear and pulled out.

Weather was about normal for this time of year for Cardiff: cloudy with a light winds and about eight Centigrade. The sun had set about an hour before, but the lights of the city kept everything bright. It was rare he saw this part of the city when it was dark: the few times he’d went with his family anywhere during the evening, they bypassed downtown by taking Western Avenue. Not that they ever went anywhere at night . . .

His mind wasn’t on being home: it was on Annie and on meeting her father. After the discussion he had with Ms Rutherford before their late lunch, he couldn’t get over the feeling of her dad scrutinizing him, of trying to determine if there was something different about him. He didn’t get that exact feeling while standing across from him in the jaunt waiting area, but a few hours later, after he’d had time to analyze the meeting, the meeting left him a little unnerved.

Annie told me there were things I needed to know about her family— He caught a quick glimpse of the prison as they drove eastward. She didn’t mention anything about her father doing his best to make me feel a bit insignificant.

 

After a few hours of sitting and lunching and enjoying some great sandwiches and talking with Ms. Rutherford, Kerry finally starting to get those “I just met my girlfriend’s father” jitters, and it’s not leaving him in a good place.  The last twenty-four hours have been pretty heavy for Kerry, with parents meetings and talk of babies.  What else can get laid on his twelve year old ass before he’s dropped off for Christmas?

 

Bernice sensed his contemplation. “Thinking about anyone I know?”

“Annie—” He looked straight ahead. “And her dad.”

“Ah, yes: the future father-in-law.” She almost chuckled at the sideways look Kerry sent her way. “There’s one thing I didn’t tell you about fathers—”

“What’s that?”

“The never think there’s any boy who’s good enough for their daughters. They spend their entire lives providing and protecting their little girls, and then along comes some boy who captures her heart, and . . .” She shrugged. “I want to say it shouldn’t be that way, but often times it goes in that direction. You do have one thing going for you—”

He looked across to his case working. “And that is?”

“Annie. From what I know, from what you’ve told me, she’s made her choice, and she isn’t about to change her feelings for you. Given the powers of persuasion she has with her parents, I believe when the time comes, she’d get her father to come around to her way of thinking.” She glanced out the window to her right. “More or less.”

“That’s comforting.” Kerry chuckled imagining that confrontation. “Guess there’s nothing I can do about it right now.”

“There’s nothing you can do about it, period.” She turned back towards Kerry. “Just be yourself, Kerry. If you try to actively impress her father, you’ll likely end up looking ridiculous. Don’t try to be someone else: be the one with whom Annie fell in love. That’s all you have to do.” She reached over and patted the back of his right hand. “That’s all that’s necessary.”

 

It seems like this holiday jaunt is a lot about the kid’s future, and while it seems like it’s Gang Up on Kerry time, you’ll see in a bit that Annie’s gonna get here share of questions, too.  This is a package deal, and you can bet someone in Annie’s family has a few questions, too.  And does it need to be mentioned that a time will come when Annie gets to meet her future in-laws, and who the hell knows how they’re gonna take this headstrong girl with a strange accent?  Especially Kerry’s mom:  she seems like a bit of a control freak, so what’s it going to be like when she runs into another one taking over her son’s life?  The Controlling Mom meets The Dark Witch.  Should be a good one.

But that’s for another time, and tonight I’ll get my shot and after that make another video to mark an occasion that happens this Sunday.  So much to do, so little time in which to eat, drink, and try to be merry.

At least I enjoyed my Cosmos with dinner last night.

At least I enjoyed my Cosmos with dinner last night.

Willkommen in Wien: Das Setup

Well, now, it’s Yule Time in my world at this moment, and it’s time for the kids to get away and head for home.  And as you’ve probably noticed, the bad German in the post heading means they’re going someplace where German is spoken.  If you’re thinking, “Berlin,” wrong, because you only need look at my layouts to know where I’m going, and know that Wien means something else in English:

This means nothing to me/Oh, Vienna

“This means nothing to me/Oh, Vienna.”

If you remember from last year–yeah, about that time–when Annie left for home sweet home at Yule, she jaunted into Vienna.  And by now we know why we’re going to the airport, because The Foundation loves using airports for something besides flying . . .

 

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

Bernice Rutherford entered the waiting area of the Main Foundation Jaunt Transit Center located twenty meters under Terminal 3 of Vienna International Airport, having jaunted from London to the public center under Terminal 2 only ten minutes earlier. She scanned the room—about twenty by fifteen meters, with the main jaunt platform in another room just beyond a glass wall—and quickly counted just under a two dozen people. She knew they were there for the same reason she was there: children were returning from Salem for Yule holiday, and people were on-hand to take them home.

A number of the individuals gathered in the waiting area were like Bernice: case workers there picking up, for the most part, A and B Level students, though a few C and D Level students were still in need of transfer from here to their homes. In some cases one or both parents arrived with their child’s case worker, but most were waiting alone like her, and would leave as soon as their charge was ready to depart.

There actually wasn’t a need for Bernice to be in Vienna. Her charge lived in the United Kingdom which meant she should pick him up from the transit center under Heathrow, but an email she’d received on Wednesday informed her that her charge was entering Europe through another station, and she’d formulated a good idea why there was a change of venue.

She spotted a somewhat familiar face in the crowd, and as she head toward them to make her introductions, she wondered if they knew of this change in plans . . . “Hello, Mrs. Kirilova.”

Pavlina Kirilova turned towards the young black woman and spent only a moment searching her memory. “Bernice Rutherford, isn’t it?”

“Yes.” She held out her hand. “We met in Amsterdam when your daughter returned from her A Levels.”

 

Here we are, and I’m starting out the scene with the point of view not from the kids, but someone close to one of the kids.  It only makes sense that if Ms. Rutherford is in Vienna she’s probably going to run into someone who close to the other one of the kids, and she wasn’t disappointed.  And that other person remembers who Ms. Rutherford is close to as well–

 

Pavlina smiled as she shook the case worker’s hand. “My daughter and someone else, I believe.”

Bernice tightened her grip on the purse handles around her shoulder. “Yes—someone else.”

“Is that the reason you’re here?”

“Yes. Kerry emailed me Wednesday morning and told me he was returning through Vienna.” Bernice watched the face of Annie’s mother. “Were you aware he was coming?”

“Yes.” Pavlina glanced over Bernice’s shoulder, then shifted her gaze back. “The last letter from Annie informed me that Kerry was going to accompany her to Vienna, and from there he was going to either London or Cardiff.” She gave a quick shrug. “I received her last letter yesterday morning, though, so I didn’t have a chance to ask more about the change.”

“Oh, I see.” Based upon everything Bernice knew about Annie, it almost appeared as if the young woman was trying to head off a conversation by waiting until the last moment to inform her mother than she wasn’t traveling alone. “You could have contacted the school yesterday and asked for clarification.”

A few seconds went be before Pavlina chuckled. “Doing that would have made me look like one of those parents who micromanage their child’s life—and one thing I learned years ago is that Annie does as she likes. Contacting the school to speak with Annie—” She smiled while slowly shaking her head. “Besides, I trust Annie’s judgment: it’s not as if she’s doing something one might consider bad—”

“What are you two discussing?”

 

Yes, Annie’s mom knows all about Annie’s, um, friends.  Her close friends.  Her soul mates, you might say.  And here we learn that Annie waited until the very last minute to tell her mother that, hey, guess who’s jaunting into Vienna with me?  Not saying that Annie is being a little sneaky, but (1) she could have mentioned this at any time weeks before, and (2) she totally is.

But there’s really no harm here, because Annie’s mom has met Kerry, and Kerry her, and since they’re both headed for Europe why not leave together?  Kerry would have to kill time before leaving for London anything–because of the time difference he wouldn’t leave the school for another ninety minutes–and maybe they both thought it best to remove Kerry from a place where (1) Annie wasn’t around and (2) a certain red haired girl might throw caution to the wind and try something really stupid, which would lead to (3) Annie killing said girl, or at least messing her up bad.

But wait:  who is talking here at the end?  Because it’s obvious they’ve interrupted Pavlina–

 

Bernice turned and found a man about six centimeters taller than Pavlina standing to her right with short-clipped dark hair and brown eyes. He was dressed simply in jeans, tennis shoes, and a sweater. He wasn’t wearing a coat, but that was to be expected if he’d just jaunted from a home.

He handed a small cup of steaming liquid that Pavlina accepted without question. She took a small sip and nodded her approval. “Thank you, dear—oh, nothing much.” She turned to Bernice as she motioned towards the man who’d just joined them. “Bernice, I’d like you to meet my husband. Honey, this Ms. Rutherford.”

 

Remember me saying you’re going to meet someone you’ve never really met before?  Who has only actually appeared in the novel once, way back in the very first scene I wrote, which was Annie leaving for school.  He’s actually never appeared in the excerpts, but now, finally, you get to meet him.

Welcome, Annie’s father!

 

The man held out his hand. “Victor Kirilov. Pleased to meet you.”

She shook his hand. “Bernice Rutherford. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She sighed out a breath. “And, if I may, congratulations on this last season.”

He appeared pleased. “We fought hard to reach third, so it was a welcomed podium.” He turned to his wife. “Did I hear you talking about Annie?”

Pavlina nodded. “Yes. Bernice is a case worker, and she’s here to pick up her charge.” She peered over the rim of her steaming beverage with large, dark eyes. “She knows Annie through her charge.”

“I see.” Victor turned to Bernice. “Are they someone in Annie’s level?”

Bernice fought hard to keep the grin off her face. “Yes, they are.” She shot a look at Pavlina, not certain who should be the one to do the reveal.

Annie’s mother saved her with a quick nod and a gleam in here eyes. “Honey, she’s here for Kerry.”

Victor required a few seconds before turning to his wife. “That Kerry?”

 

That Kerry?”  Sort of like, “That slime mold?”

 

“Yes, the one and the same.”

“Didn’t you say he lives in Wales?”

“He does, but apparently he’s coming home with our dearest daughter.”

“Hum.” He cast as quick glance in the direction of the jaunt platform. “I see.”

Pavlina smiled at the now grinning case worker. “I believe you will.”

 

Yes, I believe you will, Victor:  you will finally meet your dearest daughter’s one and only.  And he’ll get to meet you.

Yeah . . . this should be fun.

Cold Facts Upon the Cold Tower

Though it feels like I wasn’t about to get a lot finished last night, I surprised myself–must as I’d done the night before.  For one, I had to drive out to the local car dealership to have a safety recall performed on my car, then I stayed for an oil and air filter change.  While there I managed to get a couple of hundred words written.

Yeah, the Lady Writer hard at work doing selfies between scribbling.

Yeah, the Lady Writer hard at work doing selfies between scribbling.

After getting out of there I got a quick bite on the road and headed back to the hovel to write seven hundred or so words to get my total to just a little nine hundred twenty-five.  Not a bad time for a scene that I had a lot of trouble starting.

It’s Yule, and that means it’s time to get the kids out of the school and back home to the parental units.  This means Annie and Kerry are getting split up–again!–and they have to do nice holiday things.  For Annie this means hanging with her parents and probably getting, I don’t know, the book Twenty Ways to Kill People Who Piss You Off, while Kerry will probably stay in his room worried his mother is going to ask him if he’s still masturbating before warning him that girls–like The One Who Writes–have ways to drive boys going through puberty crazy.  I don’t know, maybe she’ll ask Kerry if Annie makes a mean milkshake.

But that’s in the future.  Let’s deal with the now–

 

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

It was just after twenty-one when Annie and Kerry touched down on the viewing platform that ran around the upper level of Observatory Tower. Kerry brought his broom to a light touchdown just inside the open dome, while the free-flying Annie soared over his head before setting down about two meters away. While Kerry placed his broom inside his private Hammerspace, Annie headed for the locker where the blankets and heavy comforters were kept. She returned with two comforters as Kerry finished setting up a two-person recliner where they could look outside.

Annie pulled a couple of small pillowed from her Hammerspace and set them on the recliner before sitting down. Kerry waited for her to settle in and get comfortable before joining her. Together they pulled one of the comforters over them, keeping the other one in reserve in case they grew chilled. After only a minute they were comfortable and warm, pressed shoulder-to-shoulder under their blanket.

Normally the sky over the school was clear because of the enchantment found in the defense screens that bore through the light pollution surrounding Cape Ann. With tomorrow the beginning of Yule Holiday, that enchantment was shut down until student returned to school, so rather than looking up into a totally dark sky, Annie and Kerry saw the lights of Rockport and Gloucester reflecting off the low winter clouds slowly moving in from the Atlantic.

The couple lay under their cover holding hands in silence. Since meeting up in Berlin on 25 August they’d remained together for all but one night and day, and now, almost four months later, they would separate and return home for the holidays. Their mood this time was different: where as the year before Annie faced her return with stoic grimness and Kerry found it almost impossible to keep the depression of being away from his loved one for two weeks, this time they’d exchange a couple of letters over the holidays, and be back in each other’s arms in another two weeks.

Though they didn’t want the separation, it was something they would survive. And the return would be that much sweeter.

 

So the kids are off to the Observatory:

Remember this place?

Remember this place?

And if you look closely, you’ll see two figures standing out on the Viewing Platform–probably my kids thinking about going up there to hang out for the night.  Which is exactly what these two are gonna do.  It makes you wonder if anyone else ever thinks about heading up to the open dome to hang out, and so far we’ve not seen anyone, but that doesn’t mean one of the reasons the observatory dome is open when nothing is going on is because they know this can be a popular hangout–if you have a way of flying up to the dome.  Which both my kids totally have.

I just realized that I do need to indicate how they’re dressed.  It’s only a little above freezing outside, which means they’re in their winter coats and sweaters and jeans, and in Annie’s case thick socks and boots.  Yeah, can do that tonight.

With them snugly under the comforter, their minds begin to drift and wonder . . .

 

Annie finally rolled to her left and kissed Kerry’s cheek. “What are you thinking about, my love?”

“You.” He kissed her back, only on the lips instead of the cheek. “My little sarmi at home in the snowy mountains of Bulgaria—” He slid his left arm over her body and held her close to him. “All alone.”

She chuckled. There was something ridiculously romantic about being called a little cabbage roll, though she wondered if anyone but her mother would understand the feeling . . . “I won’t be completely alone: I’ll be with my family.”

“True: you’ll have them.” He stared into her deep, hazel eyes. “I wish I could be there.”

“You could.” Annie adjusted her position so she wasn’t looking at Kerry cross-eyed. “I could ask my parents if you could visit.”

“It’d be too much trouble; I’m not out yet, remember?” He referred to the fact that his existence as a witch remained unknown to his parents. “I think it might be difficult convincing them that your parents want to fly me out of London during the busiest time of the year—” He rubbed his cooling nose against hers. “—just so I can visit a girl to whom I write .”

She giggled. “You do more than write.”

“I know. But they’d wonder what was up if I was only there for a couple of days.”

“Humm.” She tapped the fingers of her right hand against his side. “Well, for one, my father can afford to fly you down because he could—”

“I know.”

“And two—why do you think it’d be only a couple of days?”

 

I just has this conversation yesterday with one of my readers, who obviously is dreamwalking me or something, because this is one of the things that’s been going around in my head for a while–if Annie and Kerry could hook up during Yule Holiday, would they?  As Annie indicates, it’s not a problem for Papa to look as if he’s flying the boy down for the holiday–if he wanted to, he could probably ask the F1 team to bring him down on the company jet, which they could if they wanted to make it look like Kerry was traveling Normal Style.  In reality he’d just jaunt right to the house, and leave the jet to fly off to wherever.

So, yeah, I’ve thought about this for a while.  And Kerry, ever the realist, has as well–

 

The revelation that Annie would invite him to stay in Bulgaria for more than a few days surprised him. He knew she was used to getting what she wanted, but convincing her parents to let a boy they had only heard about second-hand was something he didn’t think she could manage. Besides . . . “Even if you got your parents to agree, I think my would say no.”

“Not even if you told them your girlfriend is rich?” Annie began grinning manically. “Or at least is the member of well to do family?”

“I thought you didn’t like to tell people you or you’re family has money?”

“I wouldn’t tell your parents—” She barely touched his cheek. “You would.”

Kerry considered the possibility for about five second. “While a tempting officer . . .” He shook his head. “I can’t do it, Darling.”

“Why not, my love?”

“My parents . . . I know them, and while throwing money around got them to send me to school, the moment I start mentioning money and a ‘rich girlfriend’, they’re gonna wanna know more about you and your family, and—” He slowly rubbed her back and sadly gazed back into her darkening face. “I still gotta keep the witch thing hidden for now.”

She wanted to argue that he was wrong, but in a moment Annie saw what Kerry was doing: He’s protecting my family and me. It’s not that he wants to be miserable, that’s that he doesn’t want us in trouble with The Foundation. She pressed her face against his. “I understand, my love. You’re being selfless.”

“I wish I wasn’t—” He brushed his lips against her cheeks. “I’d rather be with you.”

“Yes, well—” She pulled her head back revealing a huge smile. “One day you’ll visit for the holiday. One day soon. I promise.”

 

Kerry’s already anticipating problems with nosy parents, and he’s also likely wondered if Annie’s parent really would want him on the homestead for the holidays.  He could just see them now:  “So Kerry’s here for a couple of days–oh, the rest of the week?  And where is he going to stay?  The lake house?  Your house, one you sneak off to all the time, Annie?”  In all seriousness, now that Annie has kind of admitted she likes sleeping next to Kerry, how long before Annie gets tired of sleeping in her bed in the main house and wanders down to the lake house to see if Kerry is in any need of cuddling?

Not long, me thinks.

Let’s also face it:  Kerry’s parents are a bit dickish, and they’d want to speak with Annie’s folks and know more about them, and start wondering why they live up in the mountains away from everyone else, and why they built a house for their nine year old daughter, and what are their daughter’s intentions for their son, and . . . it would likely get messy, because they’d just be super pains in the asses for everyone.

As much as it pains Kerry, he knows getting away for the holidays isn’t something that going to happen in the next week.  However, that doesn’t mean they can’t talk about those occasions–and what they’re going to do for the current holiday.

I mean, there's plenty of room to do all that.

I mean, there’s plenty of room to do all that.

And this is when you’re going to find out some interesting, fun facts about Kerry’s Little Sarmi . . .

The Boy With the Wingmate Searching

My poor, poor boy.  Bored out of his mind and looking for things to do.  That’s the way things are at Salem right now:  people have cleared out and there isn’t much to do but sit around or sleep.  At least my kid isn’t all sad and emo about his girlfriend heading back home for the holidays.  Or if he is, he’s not showing it.  Much.  He’s only drowning his sorrows in a different way . . .

 

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

Kerry had the library to himself, save for one of Mr. Parkman’s staff occupying his office and keeping an official eye on whatever happened in the cavernous space. He’d been half-reading a book on personal transformation magic, and was surprised by how simple it all seemed. But I’ve been doing transformation magic for four months now, and it’s no long something I thought never existed outside of books and movies. I can do this stuff now.

He had a lot of time to kill. It was only a little after fourteen, and the last notice he’d see said he wouldn’t leave until almost twenty-two. Sure, he’d take his adjustment mixture and sleep for two or three hours, but that left four or five hours where he was gonna need to find something to do—

“Hi, Kerry.”

He looked up and discovered Emma standing about a meter away on the other side of the reading table. He hadn’t heard her enter, but that wasn’t surprising since the size of the room made it difficult to hear things in other areas, and there were silence enchantment throughout the library. Kerry always wanted to ask Mr. Parkman if the Vashta Nerada helped keep things quiet, too. “Hey. How you doing?”

 

You have to ask yourself:  is Kerry the one making a Silence in the Library joke, or me?  Doesn’t get much more meta than that.  I’m gonna say it’s me, ’cause Kerry is just someone I made up, so even if you wanted to say he existed, it’s still me.  Anyway . . .

This is where we see a little of the fakery that goes on with The Foundation and some of the kids.  This is because A and B Levels aren’t “out” to their parents yet, and

 

“Yeah, no kidding.” Most of the C Levels and above who had remained up until lunch soon vanished after they ate. The only people currently on the school grounds were a few instructors, Nurse Coraline and Director Mossman, and the A and B Level students from North and South America. “You don’t know how huge this place is until there’s no one here.” She turned to Kerry. “What time are you leaving?”

“About twenty-two. I’m supposed to be on a United flight getting into San Fransisco about seven PM local. What about you?”

“I’m out of here about eight PM: the flight I’m supposed to take is due to land in Denver right around six.”

Kerry noticed Emma had easily switched back to using standard time instead of universal time. “I see you’re not gonna freak your parents out by saying, ‘When are we having dinner? Seventeen?’”

Emma laughed. “Yeah, it wasn’t that hard. What about you, though? You’re still using universal.”

“I live in Wales, remember?” He shrugged. “We use both times there, but all our clocks are on universal—same with my phone and computer.” He finally closed the book in front of him and set it aside. “No one will get confused if I start using universal. Even after he’d been in the country a while Dad still used it before we moved.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Emma chuckled. “I forget that even though you were born here, you live in England.”

Wales. My dad would be screaming at you right now if he’d heard you say we lived in England.”

“The UK, then?”

“That always works.” He leaned back and stretched his arms and shoulders.

 

Emma’s a bit geographically challenged, it would seem, so she better work on that before someone screams at her.  You might also ask, “Hey, Cassie, how do you know they would get into their respective cities at that time?”  Well, that’s ’cause I looked up real flights to check on times–

Just like The Foundation, I'm fakin' it.

Just like The Foundation, I’m fakin’ it.

Oh, and you might notice I’ve got seat locations down.  That’s because I went into the Seat Guru website and plugged in the flight numbers . . .

Second row, window seat on the right.  That's where Kerry would sit if he weren't teleporting to San Fran instead of actually flying out of Boston on The Foundation's buck.

Second row, window seat on the right. That’s where Kerry would sit if he weren’t teleporting to San Fran instead of actually flying out of Boston on The Foundation’s buck.

And it’s just a coincidence that he and Emma have the same seat assignments.  Sure.  Coincidence.  By the way, Emma’s on a better fake plane.  Just sayin’.

Now, is there a reason for Emma hunting down Kerry.  I know some of you are screaming, “Yes!”, and you’d be right.

 

Neither said a word for nearly twenty seconds. Finally Emma began looking a bit uncomfortable as she shifted in the chair. “Um, can I talk to you?”

He nodded. “Yeah, sure.”

“I mean in private.”

Kerry looked around the empty library. “It doesn’t get much more private than this.”

“I mean . . .” She looked up one floor towards Mr. Parkman’s office. “Where there’s no one around.”

Kerry had no idea what was on Emma’s mind, but now that she was making a big deal about getting away from everyone, he was curious to know what she wanted to say. “Sure. Whatcha got in mind?”

Emma motioned with a nod towards the doors. “Come with me.”

 

“Come with me.”  Hummm . . . and a talk in private.  It probably isn’t anything–and just a coincidence that she waited until Annie was 7399.153 kilometers–or 4597.62 miles, I looked it up–away from Salem before she wanted to speak with Kerry in private.

Sure.  Coincidence.

Emma on the left, Annie on the right . . . yeah, Emma's safe--FOR NOW.

Emma on the left, Annie on the right . . . yeah, Emma’s safe–for now.

Where In the World Is Yule Going?

In my novel the year 2011 is winding down, and people are leaving the school.  Yes, it’s true that there are people of all faiths attending my fictional location, but given that was it originally founded by a bunch of European witches in the late 1600, and that the school still celebrates the old holidays as were once celebrated centuries before, there’s little reason why they wouldn’t clear out the school for a couple of weeks to allow people some time with their families, and to pretty much keep the Åsgårdsreia kids from scaring the crap out of everyone by reenacting the Wild Hunt.

Annie’s leaving:  so is Kerry, though not at the same time.  Annie’s heading back to Bulgaria, and Kerry’s heading to California.  Just like in the days when they “met”, right?  Because of the time zones, Annie’s leaving out about nine AM, and Kerry–well, he’s going to be around most of the day, actually.  You’ll find out more about that in the next scene.

Right now, however, it’s all about getting Annie to the station on time–the teleport station, that is.  The one the school has stashed away for things like the beginning and end of the school year, and the mid-year holiday.

And how is our couple handing this departure?

 

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

Kerry waited in the corridor outside Annie’s room. He’d been there for about twenty minutes, and while he could have waited in the mezzanine commons, he thought it best to stay close to her door.

He didn’t want to miss a moment of walking her to the jaunt platform.

Annie finally emerged. She’d changed her top so she was wearing a dark sweater with a full collar, with her locket positioned outside in full view. She was still wearing her dark tan skirt and black leggings, but had changed out her flats for warmer, thicker, tan boots. She had a brown weekender bag slung over her shoulder, which she set to the floor as she turned to shut her door.

Kerry was on the bag in a moment. “I can carry that.”

“It’s okay: I have it.” Annie lifted it to her shoulder with ease. “There’s not a lot in it; most everything else is already being sent to the jaunt room.” She held out her right hand and Kerry immediately took it before they started walking towards the stairs.

 

Annie laid the same move on Kerry that she laid on her father before leaving for school, and almost a year ago, back when I started writing this novel.  She doesn’t want anyone carrying her bags for her.

And where is everyone at this very moment?

 

Students had been leaving the school for the start of the nearly two-and-a-half-week Yule holiday since late last night and early this morning. Unlike the start and finish of the school year, and A and B Levels were being jaunted to various staging locations around the world with their fellow upper levelmates. While Annie wouldn’t need documentation to explain how she arrived at her destination, Kerry knew once he arrived somewhere in San Francisco, he’d be given tickets and boarding passes to prove he’d taken a non-stop United flight from Logan to San Francisco International, and that he’d return to Boston on the second of January.

Cernunnos Tower was mostly cleared out, even now before nine AM. The East and Central Asian and Oceanic students had already departed, and the Western Asian, European, and African students were in the process of departing now, with some of the South American students departing after them. Except for those students living in Alaska or Hawaii, most North American students wouldn’t leave until late in the afternoon–or as in Kerry’s case, not until late tonight.

 

Because The Foundation has to snow the parents of those A and B Level kids, because they don’t know what sort of witchcraft their little love goblins are up to yet.  Hence the gaslighting being referenced, to make Kerry’s parent think he just spent several hours going to Logan International, and then sat on a flight sailing across country to his final destination.

But that’s for later:  Annie’s talking now.

 

“Both your parents are coming?” Kerry had asked the same question last night, but he was trying to keep his mind off her departure by making small talk.

“Yes.” Annie looked straight ahead as Kerry held first the inner tower door and then the other tower door. She continued staring straight down the covered walk as they strolled through the bright light and brisk morning air. “I wasn’t sure if Papa was coming, but Mama said there wasn’t any way he was staying home.” She finally turned and gave Kerry a smile. “Sometimes it seems like I have a difficult time with my parents, but I do miss them—it’ll be good to see them again.”

“Yeah, I can imagine.”

Annie didn’t want to dwell on her family holiday versus his. In the last five weeks Kerry had received two emails from him family: one confirming that he was coming to his grandparents home outside San Fransisco for Christmas, and the last one this past Tuesday requesting flight information. “You’ll have a nice time visiting with your grandparents; concentrate on that.”

He nodded and squeeze her hand. “I will. You going straight home after that?”

“Yes. We’ll jaunt home, then I’ll take my adjustment medication, sleep for three or four hours, and when I wake up we’ll go into town for dinner. By the time we get back it should be around midnight, and I’ll be ready for bed for real.”

 

Yep, teleportation, jaunting, whatever you want to call it:  it’s the only way to travel.

"You guys are flying back to Europe?  You're adorable."

“You guys are flying back to Europe? You’re adorable.”

But there’s a bit more to this story than just getting Annie in a room and sending her home.

You’ll just have to wait for it.

Dancers in the Dark: Away Into the Shadows

Chapter Twenty-Five is over and done, and the shadows had their say.  More or less.  You’ll have to continue reading to see what I mean.

Not only is the chapter done, but I’ve made some modifications to the rest of Part Eight, getting it set up for how I want to write the remaining part of Act Two.  As you can see . . .

It's always better with pictures.

It’s always better with pictures.

I’ve decided to move one scene up to the next chapter, and to actually delete a scene.  Why that one?  Because, in thinking about what happens there, it breaks the flow of the story, and I can actually show what happens there through conversation in two other following scenes.  It also sets up a nice transition, because Frisco Bound has Kerry arrived in San Francisco, and his last thoughts in the scene is right about now Annie should be waking up . . . and then break to the next chapter and Morning in Pamporovo, and guess who’s waking up?

Yeah, that’s how you do it.

But how did that chapter end?  Well, I had my kids dancing before a dying fire, and there was more on Kerry’s mind, it would seem, that a dance from a month before . . .

 

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

They grew close, one hand inside another, Kerry’s free hand around Annie’s waist with her other hand wrapped up and over Kerry’s right shoulder. They swayed back in forth in the shadows in front of the sofa, the dying fire to one side, and the nearly dark commons on the other. Neither spoke for almost a minute as they enjoyed the closeness and intimacy. Annie didn’t want to lose the moment—and she suspected that Kerry was still deep in thought.

She finally decided she had to know if Kerry was thinking about the same thing that had been on her mind for a few days. “What are you thinking about?”

This time he gave here a direct answer. “Yule holiday.”

He doesn’t say Christmas anymore. Annie pressed her head into his shoulder and smiled. “You’re thinking about being apart, aren’t you?”

Kerry nodded. “Yeah.”

Annie ran her hand up and down his shoulder. “I’ve been thinking about it as well.”

“Day after Boxing Day is our four month anniversary.”

“You’re keeping track?” She didn’t want to tell him that she knew this as well.

He laid his head against hers and let his voice drop to a whisper. “Every since the first month we were here—” His chuckle was so low as to be almost inaudible. “That was your birthday, after all.”

He realized; he knew all along. She wanted to put his mind at ease, even if her own wasn’t there. “It’s only going to be a couple of weeks.” Annie raised her head so she could gazed upon Kerry’s face and look into his eyes. “You’ll get to see your grandparent again, and I’ll be back home.” She rested her head against his shoulder once more. “I’m actually looking forward to seeing my parents. I told my father I’d have grown by the time I come home for Yule—”

“And you have. Maybe an inch.”

She thumped him lightly on the back of his shoulder. “Silly. That’s not what they meant.”

 

Yeah, you know what they mean, slick.  But she noticed that her birthday was the first month they were physically together–and I noticed it, too, last night while I was looking something up.  That’s one of the reasons I put dates on everything, and as I was getting the date they met in the bookstore in London, I realized, “Hey, that was a month before Annie’s birthday.”

27 August to 27 September.  I wasn't lying.

27 August to 27 September. I wasn’t lying.

But now that the missing and stuff is out in the open, what next?  Well . . .

 

“I know.” He glanced up the stairs past the mezzanine commons to the unseen entrance to the First Floor where there rooms were. “But we’ve gotta go to sleep soon.”

Annie slowly stepped away from Kerry. At first she followed his gaze up the stairs, then her eyes settled on the sofa. “What if we sat here for a while before heading up?”

Kerry stood next to Annie and let his eyes wander over the sofa. “We might get sleepy here.”

“It’s possible.”

“And . . .” He pointed to both ends of the sofa. “There are pillows and comforters here.”

Annie said nothing for a few moments, allowing the implications of the ideas they were considering settle. “It’s not like anyone ever slept here.”

Kerry picked up two pillows and laid them at one end of the sofa. “Otherwise why would they have this here?”

Annie picked up a comforter and spread it out. “Only makes sense.”

“It certainly does.” Kerry waited for Annie to pull the comforter back before laying down and pressing himself against the sofa back.

 

Hey, you kids:  what are you doing?  I’d say they’re getting ready to go to sleep . . .

 

Annie lay next to her soul mate on here right side, her back against him. She reached down and pulled the comforter over them, snuggling it over their shoulders and around their necks. “You know we could get detention—”

“I know.” He slid his left arm over her waist. “We’ll just have to get up about five or so and head up to our rooms.”

“That isn’t a problem.” She sighed as she watched the fire go out. “You’re not worried?”

Kerry rubbed his nose through Annie’s hair. “If we get detention . . .” He pulled back her hair and kissed her behind the ear. “It’s worth it.”

She took his left hand and held it tight. “A month ago you wouldn’t have said that.”

“A month ago I was only starting to know how I felt about you.” As the fire finally died and the embers began to smolder, Kerry brushed Annie’s cheek. “Good night, Annie. I love you.”

She touched the back of his hand. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.”

They relaxed and closed their eyes, Kerry’s arm once more around Annie’s waist, her hand still in his.

They drifted towards their dreams as the shadows embraced and held them tight . . .

 

And there they go, zero shits given if someone stumbles across them on a Sunday morning–which, traditionally, is a time to sleep in, so if they sneak up to their rooms on a floor they share with no one else, all should be right in the world.

I’m sure the shadows will tell them if someone comes.