Sundays are becoming not so much a day of rest for me–though I did get a nap in after I went and had my nails done and had something to eat–because I started in on my after-race scene with Annie and Kerry that ran eleven hundred and fifty words, and I stat down and compiled my notes on Humans, and that ran another nine hundred words. In other words, lots of words.
The novel worked out in two steps, with five hundred words written in the morning, and the rest written after I woke up from my nap. It’s really a short scene, and I’ll likely finish it off tonight after I do my show recap, which usually takes a couple of hours of writing.
So what is this about? It’s about results–or, in some cases, regretting the ones you had:
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
With the races over Annie was surprised to hear Kerry say he wanted to walk the nearly two kilometers back to The Pentagram rather than hop on their brooms and be back in the garden in about a minute. His explanation of mater-of-fact and to the point: he’d spent all day either laying down or sitting on a broom, and it was time he got on his feet and walked around for a while.
The weather was still excellent, with just a touch of overcast, and the temps remained at fifteen as it had for most of the day, so Annie agreed that a walk back through the forest would be both relaxing and not a little romantic.
After leaving The Diamond Kerry said as they walked hand-in-hand through the forest. She imagined he was re-running the races through his mind, examining what he did right and criticizing what he felt he did wrong. He’s always his harshest critic—he’s like me in that sense. But she didn’t want him to concentrate on what wasn’t: she wanted him to celebrate what was. “You’re thinking again, my love.”
Kerry looked down while chuckling. “I’m always thinking.”
“But this time you’re thinking about what you did—” She wrapped herself around his arm. “You’re thinking about your supposed mistakes, and not about your accomplishments.” Annie turned a sideways glance his way. “Aren’t you?”
He continued looking down for a few more seconds as a smile began to slowly form. “That last race—”
I knew it. “Yes?”
“I screwed up on two spots on the Green Line.” Again he shook his head. “Can you believe that?”
“You’re not going to run a perfect race every time.” She slowed their pace just a bit. “And it was your fifth race of the day; that will wear you out.”
“Yeah, but . . .” He sighed as he finally looked at her. “I shouldn’t have screwed up on the Green Line.”
Kerry loves to beat up on himself, because that’s the way he acts. Annie is always sportive–as he is of her–but this time, while supporting, she says something she’s never said before . . .
Annie rolled her eyes. “You sound like Papa.”
Kerry’s eyes widened as her words sunk in. “Sweetie, do you know—?”
“—What I said?” Annie pulled them to a stop. “I just—”
“—Compared me to your father.” Kerry kept from laughing, but he couldn’t keep the smile from his face. “Anelie Kirilova . . .”
“Ohhh.” She covered her eyes and chortled. “Mama would be laughing right now if she’d heard me say that.”
“Did she say you’d do that?”
“Not actually, but—” Annie had told Kerry about her conversation last Yule with her mother, who had hinted that Kerry was in many ways like Annie’s father. “She’s have found the comment amusing.”
Now that her statement was out in the open, Kerry was even curious about what was on Annie mind. “Why did you say that?”
“That you remind me of my father?”
She tossed her head to one side. “Papa tends to ignore any of the good that happens to him during any of his races, and agonizes over all the issues and problems he’d experience. And you’re doing the same, my love: you’re obsessing on the worst of your races today, and completely ignoring all the success you’ve had.” She shook her head. “I can see why it would turn Mama somewhat mental.”
“Mental?” Kerry chuckled once again. Based upon what Annie had said about her mother, he could imagine a number of moods for her, but “mental” wasn’t one of those. “Am I driving you mental?”
Annie held her right left thumb and index finger about a centimeter apart. “Perhaps . . . a little.” She giggled before quickly kissing on the lips. “Come on: we need to get to dinner.”
You can bet Annie heard her mother’s voice saying, “You fell in love with a racer,” as she was told back last Yule–a conversation Annie eventually relayed to Kerry. But it’s one thing to talk about that, and then another to turn around and tell the boy you love something you probably told yourself you’d never do–
“I don’t think you’re anything like my father, Kerry. For one, he’s tall and has dark hair, and your a short ginger who’ll everyone will come to hate–wait, I mean . . .”
At least Kerry takes it all in stride and laughs it off, because he knows it’s just a slip of Annie’s tongue, and she’s really telling him something else, which is he shouldn’t be hard on himself. And really, she saw something happen during the race that makes her go into Please Do This For Me Mode–
“Humph.” She swung their arms back and forth as they walked. “Promise me one thing tonight.”
“Do not let Emma go on about your race together—or the fact that she placed better than you.”
There wasn’t any need for elaboration, because Kerry knew exactly what Annie was asking. During the Stage Two heat between Mórrígan and Cernunnos one of the Mórrígan fliers crashed coming out of The Sweep on the last lap and not only did not finish the race, but she was unable to race in the Stage Four heat—also known as the Battle Royale—between Mórrígan, Cernunnos, and Blodeuwedd. Since the rules allowed for a member of the B Team take the place of an injured flier—as Kerry had done—Emma was brought up to fill out the roster.
They’d both run great races, even though it was this race that Kerry felt he’d not done his best and was obsessing over before Annie mentioned the said obsessing. He’d finished sixth while Emma crossed the finish line in forth, and it was her finish that allowed Mórrígan to finish the heat in a points tie with Cernunnos, and for them to go on to win overall because of their first place podium finish over Alex’s second place finish. During the after-heat celebration Emma had pointed at Kerry and cut loose with a big cheer, as if to let him know in their first A Team race together she’d bested him . . .
Kerry smiled at Annie. “I promise I won’t let her bother me. If she tries to bring it up, I’ll tell her it was a good race and leave it at that.”
“Good.” She smiled back. “And if that don’t work, let her know I’ll curse her.”
“Just glare at her and I think she’ll get the message.”
“I will.” Annie grew quiet for a moment. “You know Emma was the reason you finished sixth.”
“She threw three blocks at you: the reason you think you ‘screwed up’ on the Green Line was because you didn’t anticipate her doing that. And the last she threw was as you were going into Helter Skelter.” Annie exhaled hard. “You lost two positions there, and it was the last lap. She also threw a block on Penny in South Side: I thought Penny was going to walk over and slap her after the race.”
“She almost did.” Kerry had pulled the fuming girl aside and said that since the race was over and the results were final, they should just let it go— “I let her know she could get another chance against Emma if she ever done another A Team race.”
It sounds like Emma wasn’t being a good races, she was being a greedy racing, and it also sounds like she was rubbing it in a little. Bad Wingmate, and it’s a good thing Kerry didn’t let Penny come over and disqualify you for the last race. But other things will come out in the remainder of this conversation, after which I can get into the dance itself. Which should be fun–