Here I am, up after sleeping in until six AM, which for me is sleeping in. Given that there have been huge trucks and power ‘dozers on the street outside my apartment building for most of the evening, it’s a wonder I’ve gotten any sleep at all. The snow removal has gone on all night, and while I’m not supposed to go into work today, I’m probably going to head in for a bit after I finish this post, because if I don’t clock in I don’t get paid.
I was out last night, however, getting my face zapped and lasered–oh, and getting my brows done at the same time. It actually wasn’t that bad of a time, though the laser hurt like hell for some reason and I needed to ice down my face while I got my brows plucked. Might have something to do with my hormone levels, which were confirmed by a paper I’ve received from the lab that did the work last month. According to them, my hormone level–taken, I might say, in the period right between one shot and another–show that I’m either ovulating or in the first trimester of pregnancy. Okay . . . so now I know why I’m so moody. I see my doctor in a few weeks and I’m already wondering what she’s gonna say. Maybe, “When are you due?”
I know someone who isn’t ovulating, and that’s Kerry. No he’s flying around a bunch of mountains with a busted knee and a lot of pain and a decision to make. It’s not a good decision, and it is definitely one that has consequences . . .
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
With only a few seconds remaining before he entered Squeeze Through, Kerry quickly cast a transformation spell to immobilize his left knee. He wasn’t killed the pain by keeping the nerves from working, he was only trying to keep it from moving around a lot. It really didn’t matter, as the action was considered a bit illegal. And since the race uniforms were designed to pick up magic being used on or around then, he figured it wouldn’t be long before—
“This is Race Control. What are you doing, Kerry? Over.”
“Stand by one.” He clenched his jaw as he pulled hard left into Squeeze Through and up to the hard right at Climbing Water. He knew he was on the private channel, so he could say anything he liked. “Go ahead, Control. Over.”
“The question stands, Kerry.” Vicky’s tone wasn’t at all pleasant. “What are you doing? Over.”
“I immobilized my knee.” He started the short three hundred meter left-hand climb to Tiny Tip. “It got screwed up when Emma ran into me. Over.”
He’d never put Vicky in the position of having to access a penalty for an illegal action, Kerry made it easy for her. “Do what you gotta do, Vicky. I know I wasn’t supposed to use magic. Over and out.”
Kerry reached Tiny Top, angled downward, and began the three hundred and fifty meter drop to one of the toughest turns: Hard Right. It wasn’t that it was a ninety degree turn that required a racer to come to a near stop to negotiate the turn, but that they dropped into the turn from a near forty degree angle. He steeled himself for the deceleration, then let the back end of his broom drop in behind him before heading off towards Slip with a two-and-a-half gee burst of speed.
He was in the middle of the easy climb when the news he expected came. “This is Race Control. Ten second penalty assessed against Number 11, Malibey: illegal use of magic.” Kerry blew it off: There’s a lot more ahead; worry about that. Worry about Ready, Steady, Go—
There you have it: Emma busts up Kerry, and he get a penalty for the matter. And in the process he lets Vicky off the hook by telling her, “I know I did wrong, so do your job.” The last thing he wants is having someone going, “See? Everyone plays favorites to him and his little . . . witch!” All the nope here because he doesn’t want to put someone in that position. And he didn’t. So there.
We’re right in this area now, and we’re picking up at Spot #2, bad knee and all:
Slip flew by, dropping off to Kerry’s right as he made his way through the kilometers and a half turn leading up to Go. He was running three-fifty through here, and though he’d removed the gee meter from his HUD, it felt like he was pulling right around a normal gee through the turn. As he flew into Ready he caught sight of Rivânia five, maybe six hundred meters ahead. He made the quick and probably foolish decision to kick up his speed just a bit, because he knew she’d slow a little heading into Steady before turning it up to maximum speed in Go. He needed to make up time on her, and this was one of the chances he’d have before getting into Section 4 of the course.
The forest closed in just a bit as Kerry entered the pass that was the lead-in to Steady and prepared to punish himself. He was gonna need a huge burst of acceleration to catch Rivânia before she entered Needle, and the only way to accomplish that feat was to push forward and push fast. He readied himself for the pain that was about to come into his world—
Half-closing his eyes, he pulled his broom into a hard right turn, willed on the acceleration, and slid out on to three hundred meters of empty space.
We sail out into open air with Kerry as he tries to catch up with his Advanced Spells friend from Uruguay, and hope he doesn’t bust up his knee, or wrack up any more penalties–
Or maybe worse.