Crashing Through the Real

Yesterday was strange, and this morning has already started off strange, so I guess having a section of the novel that doesn’t delve into strangeness is a good thing.  I’m hoping today and tonight are a little better, but I’m not all that confident.  We’ll see, I suppose.

The race is on, which is to say the witchy kidlettes are on their brooms zooming around in circles making left turns.  Don’t worry:  Vicky changes the direction every so often, because what sort of person is only comfortable making left turns?  Anyway, as you can imagine, the best fliers, aka, the best racers, started out in the middle of the pack and have worked their way to the front, with Emma pretty much powering her way out of the group and right down the line.  Of course, now she’s turned into all the slower fliers at the back of the pack–and that doesn’t take long to do, trust me–which means the two fliers who are hanging back a little have found the right moment to pounce . . .

 

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

I see what he did. Vicky checked on Annie, who was now away from the rest of the pack and zooming towards Kerry. He waited until Emma was held up, then made his move. And now that he has the momentum . . .

Kerry took the inside turn and flew around Emma, then went up and over two of the slower students to get into the lead.

Emma saw Annie coming and threw a block at her, killing her momentum. Emma stayed low on the track and moved up quickly, while Kerry continued flying on the high side. They went into Turns One and Two with Emma hugging the bottom and Kerry diamonding the apex between the turns. When they came out of Turn Two Kerry went back up near the outer wall while Emma drifted up to the middle of the course. After being held up by Emma Annie was finally on the straight, catching up to Emma. Vicky was impressed: she’d never seen Annie this interested in racing, but she suspected it might have something to do with who was currently running first and second—more to the point, who was running second.

Kerry sped into Turn Three and stayed high on the curve to get around two slower students on the inside. Emma held up a bit and moved up to Kerry’s line, while Annie entered Turn Three high and started to dropped low into Turn Four so she could carry speed down the straight, but she held up as another student recklessly flew through Turns Three and Four before sliding up the track coming onto the straight—

It was Lisa, who slammed hard into Kerry and jammed him viciously into the wall. She dropped away as Kerry tumbled for almost ten meters before crashing to the surface of the track and sliding down into the infield.

 

Ouch.  That Lisa, she’s such a nasty girl.  Why does Kerry have all these different women in his life . . ?

What Lisa did is known in the racin’ biz as “Stuffing you in a wall”, and it’s bad enough when it’s a couple of cars going about a hundred miles an hour; it hurts even more when you’re on a broom and, even with safety spells in place, you’re getting face planted.  And it’s going to hurt, so much so that you’re gonna get hauled off to the hospital.

And that means if you have a girlfriend, she’s probably going to be checking up on your condition . . .

 

Annie found it difficult to sit still in the hospital waiting room, particularly since she was still wearing her full racing leathers, pads, and boots, while her broom, gloves, and helmet took up space on a couple of chairs. She was worried about Kerry, and also a little worried about Professor Soloman, who was in the bay with Nurse Coraline and Kerry. Annie wasn’t suppose to be here; she’d been told, with all the other students, to stay in class and work with the minions on safe flying, but the moment the professor and Nurse Bianca jaunted away with Kerry on a stretcher, she walked to the nearest exit, headed outside, and flew as quickly as possible to the Great Hall.

She fully expected to get into some kind of trouble over this, but she didn’t care.

Right now, Kerry’s well being was far more important.

 

Annie skips class without permission, and that’s not good.  At least she gets to see Kerry, who also isn’t good.

 

Professor Salomon stood in the space between Beds #1 and #2. Kerry’s right arm and leg were in a cast, and Annie saw a immobilization spell around his hips. She saw the same kind of bandaging around his collarbone and right shoulder as he had when he’d broken both during the Day of the Dead. His left wrist and head were bandaged, but what drew Annie’s the most was the form around his neck—

She wrapped her hand around Kerry’s left hand before turning to Coraline. “Why is he wearing a neck brace?”

“Because he got a nasty whiplash from all the bouncing around.” Coraline began pointing out the various injuries. “Also, both right arm and leg are broken, as well as the right hip. He’s fractured his right shoulder and his collarbone, and broke five ribs, as well as fracturing his left wrist.”

Annie’s gaze turned to Kerry’s left leg. “How’s his knee?”

“That’s the one thing that’s totally okay.” Coraline patted it softly. “I expected it to get torn up, but no: it’s all good.” She looked at the slightly propped-up Kerry, who didn’t seem to be bothered by his predicament at all. “Congratulations, you’re the first person to break all four limbs this year.”

He did his best to snort. “Do I get an award?”

 

Yeah, you get the “Busted Up Flier Award,” Kerry.  Which this school probably has, because when you’re being attacked by monsters and you fly around on high-tech magical brooms to attack them back, you need a little dark humor to lighten the mood.  Expect to see that added to his collection of awards.  He’s also got a nasty concussion which is going to keep him in bed for a while, maybe two days–just like Lisa, hey!–and he might not be allowed to do much for the rest of the week.

This means he needs a little rest, so Annie is chased out, which is good ’cause she’s gotta return some stuff to the Flight School, and she’s hoping to skip out of the hospital before . . .

 

“Yes, Nurse Coraline.” She turned and headed for the waiting room hoping that she wouldn’t hear someone ask her—

“Annie.”

Professor Salomon was standing right behind her. “We need to talk.”

“Yes, Professor.” She had a pretty good idea what the conversation would entail . . .

Vicky, who wasn’t in racing gear but was dressed for flying, crossed her arms. “You were suppose to stay in class. I got a message from Nadine that almost as soon as I left you flew off and came here.” She gave Annie a disapproving stare.

Annie didn’t meet the Vicky’s gaze. “I know, Professor.”

“I can’t have you cutting out of class just so you can check up on your boyfriend.”

“I know, Professor.”

Vicky lowered her arms to her side. “I’m gonna have to give you detention for this. Say . . . ninety minutes this coming Saturday morning. I’ll have you clean up some brooms while Kerry’s off getting tutored.”

Annie wasn’t going to argue: she knew what she’d done was against the instructor’s orders, and even if she was checking up on Kerry, the professor wouldn’t be able to show her any favoritism when it came to disobeying the rules. “I understand, Professor. That’ll be fine.”

“Okay, Annie.” She nodded at her equipment taking up a couple of chairs. “Grab your stuff and we’ll jaunt back.”

“I’d rather fly, if you don’t mind.” Annie stuffed her gloves in her helmet and grabbed her broom before heading for the door.

 

Yeah, it’s not a good time for Annie.  Not only did she get to watch Kerry get splattered on the track, and she sees how bad he is in the hospital, but she got in trouble for leaving class and now she’s gotta pay for that.

Annie's got those "I Blew Off Class to Check on My Boyfriend and Now I Got Detention" Blues.

Annie’s got those “I Blew Off Class to Check on My Boyfriend and Now I Got Detention” Blues.

It’s really the first time they pay for something someone else did, even though if Annie had stayed back in class she wouldn’t have gotten in trouble, she probably wouldn’t have wanted to do anything in class, and . . . yeah.  She probably would have begged to go to the Great Hall, and if said begging was ignored, the Dark Witch would have hauled ass out of there on her broom.

Did I mention Annie’s torment isn’t over . . .

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/11:  2,120

NaNo Total Word Count:  22,588