After the mess that was Sunday, Monday night’s offering were much better. It was a far better time at work, and a far better time at home, even if I did have to pay my taxes and a few bills. But for the first time in a while, I came home and wanted to write. Because I not only had to finished my scene in the hospital, but I had to set up something else.
When we left off our duo of adult female instructors and staff, a duo of female students, and a lone boy all by his lonesome, it looked as if the women were getting pretty pissed at each other. In fact . . .
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
Vicky took a deep breath and put her hands on her hips. “Don’t go there, Coraline. You know this sort of thing happens once in a while.” She nearly stuck a finger in Coraline’s face. “I can’t keep an eye on all the kids all the time; I also didn’t know they were going to get so far out in front—”
“Maybe they wouldn’t have if you hadn’t put them on advanced brooms this soon.”
Silence closed in on the ward as the School Doctor and the Flight Instructor stood staring at each other, each waiting for the other to say something. The silence was broken not by either woman, but when Kerry spoke. “It’s okay, guys.”
That’s it, Kerry: step right in between two women about to throw down. Mr. Clueless to save the day! What could go wrong?
Plenty, because he starts up with some really bad excuses for why he’s lying in bed with a broken ankle, a almost busted skull, and his knee destroyed. He would have made some stock car drivers happy with his “It’s just one of those racin’ deals” words–but with this crowd, not so much:
“Yeah, I mean . . .” Kerry found himself at a loss for words as he felt the stares of the two adults in the room upon him—
But mostly he felt Annie’s stare—and it wasn’t pleasant. As she had done moments before with Emma, her eyes were unwavering hazel orbs that radiated extreme cold. Kerry felt she wasn’t so much looking at him as she was seeing something she’d never encountered before—and she wasn’t happy about finding said object before her.
She slowly drew in a long, deep breath and momentarily held it, her eyes locked on him, never once turning away. As she exhaled a sound emanated from somewhere deep in her throat; Kerry had never knew such a sound could come from Annie, and he didn’t like what he heard. He almost looked away, but became afraid of what might happen if he did.
Annie spun on her heel and addressed the head of the ward in a low, dark tone. “Nurse Coraline, since Kerry can’t move, can I take he’ll be eating dinner here?”
Coraline glanced for a moment at the now quaking Kerry. “That’s correct, Annie.”
“Am I permitted to dine with him?”
Coraline fought hard to keep the smile off here face. “Are you sure you want to do that?”
“Oh—” She turned to once more stare at Kerry for a few seconds. “I’m sure.”
You’ve officially gotten The Look, kid. Congratulations. The growl was extra. No charge.
So Annie leaves, and Kerry decides to double down on being Mr. Clueless with Nurse Coraline, who, were she a real person, is having a field day with this kid, because she’s getting to school him on the Ways of Piss Off Girls–and she’s having a blast.
It was only when it was just Emma and Coraline that Kerry finally found the courage to speak in a soft, quivering voice. “Nurse Coraline?”
“Yes?” She moved out of the ward hall and into the space between the beds. She had a good idea about what he was going to ask.
Kerry didn’t disappoint. “Is Annie mad at me?”
“What do you think?”
“Uh . . . yeah?”
“Yeah is right.”
He looked off to his left, unloosing an exasperated sigh. “Why? What did I do?”
Coraline leaned closer and lowered her voice. “She’s upset about your accident—and the excuses Emma and you gave.”
“Kerry, her dad was a racer here, and he did a bit of it on the outside after he got out of school.” She rested her hand against the headboard of the bed. “And she’s probably also heard all the same lame-ass excuses you gave her a minute ago.”
Learning back as best he could, Kerry threw up his arms and spoke in a squeaky, out-of-breath voice. “I didn’t know that. She never talks about her family or her father—how’m I supposed to know?”
Coraline sat on the edge of Kerry’s bed. “Red, let me tell you something about girls in general, and your girlfriend in particular.” She leaned forward until she was a few tens of centimeters from his face. “Saying that you didn’t know something—?”
Kerry gulped slowly, feeling like he didn’t want to know the answer. “Yeah?”
She scrunched up her face. “Doesn’t work.” She shook her head several times and smiled. “Nope. Not one bit.” She quickly stood. “I better check on Annie: it wouldn’t do if she tears up the menu by accident.” With that she departed the bay, leaving him almost alone.
Nurse Coraline’s bedside manner sometimes leaves a little to desire, but you can bet Kerry’s gonna remember all of this. Not that it’ll make much sense.
But really, the coda here elevates this beyond the mundane. Because obviously Emma hasn’t been paying attention for most of the last month and a half:
He turned towards Emma, who had been sitting quietly while Annie had gone cold on him. “Yeah?”
“Is Annie really your girlfriend?”
“Uhhhh.” Kerry fell back into his pillow and stared at the ceiling. “Emma, I’m in so much trouble . . .”
Way to rub that salt into those wounds, Emma. Maybe you should have taken Kerry’s leg off, then he might have garnered more sympathy. And you would have been killed in front of the adults, but shit happens, right?
With this out of the way I’ll add a new scene tonight. You’ll see it on the graphic below, and it’s something that I decided needed to be shown, in only because the following scene makes a little more sense with it. Also, it’s going to open up a dynamic in the kid’s relationship, and important things will get said. But one scene comes in, and I’ll pull another out because it’s not needed. I’ll talk more on this tomorrow.