Well, well, it’s just a little after ten and here I am getting my post going after writing just over six hundred words. Or I should say, adding six hundred words, because I know I’ll get to writing more this afternoon–like getting the next scene going, which I don’t think will be a long scene, maybe a thousand words or so. Yeah, you’ve heard that one before, I’m sure. But this time I mean it! Unless, of course, I don’t.
It’s an interesting morning, as I drove down to The Burg’s Old Uptown area, where there’s another branch of the coffee shop where I’ve been hanging out on Sundays. The one I walk to is closed on Saturdays, and since I’m going to be busy tomorrow morning, I decided to head out here, get in my writing, then make a quick stop at the office to print out something before retiring to the apartment for the afternoon. At the moment I’ve got my caffeine on and I’m typing away like a little madwoman, so all is good in the world.
Yesterday I showed everyone what happened in the week after Kerry’s Big Wreck, but I didn’t show it all: I reached a point where I thought stopping was good. One reason for that was I wanted to finished the thought I started, and, if possible, I wanted to finish the scene, which I did. I ended the preceding post with a certain Colorado Ginger maintaining a low profile, maybe out of shame, maybe out of not wanting to get her butt kicked, maybe out of not wanting fireball tossed at her–though that last is probably a stretch, ’cause Annie now knows better than to attack someone in a way that may get her tossed out of school. Particularly when we have seen that Annie can throw a fireball big enough to light up a big damn bonfire, so setting a girl slightly taller than her in the middle of a massive conflagration that could reduce her to cinders in a matter of minutes wouldn’t be much of a stretch.
What was Emma up that Tuesday night? Let’s look, shall we?
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Friday morning all members of the coven race teams were called to the Flight School and assembled in the ready room. Though Kerry wasn’t yet cleared to fly he was told to attend, as was Annie, who sat in the back of the room next to Professor Semplen. Once everyone was in place, Emma got up in front of everyone and began apologizing . . .
She apologized for her actions during the Katahdin race; she apologized for her actions over the course of the season. She apologized for those she’d hurt, and faced Kerry while saying that not only was she sorry that she’d put him in the hospital twice during the season, but that he was right: she had slid into him because she saw him as a threat and she didn’t want him to be the first B Level to stand on a podium for the first time in forty-two years.
She told everyone she’d spoken with both Erywin and Vicky, and that neither of them had placed pressure on her to make the apologies, or to take her follow actions: she sat herself down for the next race, agreed to a thirty second penalty that would get applied to the race the following week, and that while her standings up to and including Katahdin would stand, and the points she generated for the Mórrígan team wouldn’t be affected, she would take a fifty point reduction in her totals in the Individual standings, which would push her back to eighth place and only six points ahead of ninth.
After Vicky had Emma sit with her team she let everyone else know that Emma had also requested that she be placed on probation for the remainder of this season and the entirety of the next, to which she and the rest of the team captains agreed. The probation terms indicated that if she deliberately endangered anyone on a course during this time she’d find herself removed from the team for good. Erywin spoke to the teams as soon as Vicky was finished and stated that while Emma’s actions were the best possible for her and for the coven, and she applauded her to being proactive in doing what she could to repair her current reputation.
There you go: she want to Vicky and Erywin and let them know she was being a shit of a racer, and that she wanted to do something to redeem herself. What she did isn’t unusual: in Normal racing circles it’s not out of the question for the new kid who’s been something of an asshole on the track to get up in front of the other teams and tell them they know they’ve been a butthead, and they want to take steps to fix things before something bad happens to them–
Now one could say, “Well, Emma didn’t really do this on her own; Vicky and Erywin are covering for her–” Now, Vicky might cover for someone–she kinda did it for Annie, though she still gave her detention for doing things she wasn’t supposed to do–but have you been following Erywin? That witch covers for no one. If she hadn’t pulled Emma aside right away to sit her ass down, it’s because she was waiting to see if the Bad Girl From Bolder was gonna step up on her own. Which she did.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all over, does it? Nope, not quite–
During Emma’s mea culpa Kerry felt as many eyes upon him as upon his wingmate. Everyone in the room were not only aware of his relation with Emma, but their history as well, and the longer things played out, the more he felt he’d need to say something—
While Erywin made her way to the back of the room Kerry stood and faced Emma along with everyone in the room. He said that he’d told her earlier in the week that she needed to fix things with him and everyone she raced against, and he glad to see her doing that. He said that he forgave her and hoped she’d become the racer he knew she was, because he’d hate to not be able to race against her in the future. He ended by saying he felt the matter was closed and there was nothing further to say.
That same afternoon he reiterated the same feelings. Advanced Flight 1 spent the afternoon going over the process for modifying PAVs to achieve greater performance, which meant spending the entire class in the Flight School hangar. About an hour into class Emma tried to bring up the morning in the ready room: Kerry’s response was to smile and tell her everything that could be said was said, and there wasn’t any need to go over the same things again.
The Ostara races were the first since Katahdin where Kerry would be on the course at the same time as Emma—in fact, the first heat of the series was Cernunnos and Mórrígan. He was aware that everyone from both teams were watching them, particularly since someone had started a rumor that he was going to wreck Emma in the first race . . .
Once again Kerry takes the high road and tells everyone the matter is closed, let’s move on. I know there’s a feeling that Kerry should just tell Emma off and snub the hell out of her, but he’s not like that. He’s had to apologize for so many things in his life time that he knows what it’s like to want to be forgiven, so he’s forgiving type, at least publicly. Privately he’s already told Emma that if tries any shit with him he’ll wreck her, and they both know he can do this because he’s the better flier.
The thing is if these two just happened to “get together” on the course during the first heat of the day and Emma just happened to end up busted and battered and probably in a coma when it’s all over, you can almost bet that Race Control would shrug and mumble, “It’s one of those racin’ deals,” and maybe lay a five second penalty on Kerry, and that would be that. Unless he did something stupid like spear her with his broom, but he’d never do that so no need to go there.
Given there’s a rumor going around, however–probably started by a real bad racing girl–Nadine’s gonna check even though she knows he rumor is total BS . . .
Nadine nodded and smiled. “I know there won’t be trouble. It’s just—”
“You gotta make sure, I know.”
“Yeah.” She tapped Kerry on the shoulder. “We better get downstairs. Gonna be a big day today.”
“You know it.” He bounded down the stairs alongside his friend. “The penultimate hurrah.”
Annie waited at the bottom of the stair. Nadine greeted her before heading off to join her own team, leaving the couple to hook up with the Cernunnos racers. Annie leaned against Kerry’s shoulder the moment he took her hand. “Is everything good?”
“Yeah.” He walked slow, seemingly not in any hurry to get to the infield. “Even though Nadine knows everything’s cool, she’d gotta be team captain, too.”
“She wanted to make certain there wasn’t any outstanding issues.”
“You got it.”
Annie slowly swung their arms as they walked. “Are you all right?”
Kerry shot her a quick look. “What do you mean?”
“You look tired.”
“Nadine said the same thing.” He kissed her hand. “Just nerves, Sweetie. That and not getting to bed until almost three.”
“You mean not getting to sleep until then.” She leaned closer as she lowered her voice. “I believe we were in bed well before that.”
“On the sofa, at least.” He chuckled. “I’m good, don’t worry.”
“I don’t worry.” She looked straight ahead with satisfied expression etched across her face. “I know you’ll do your best out there.”
“Of course I will.” He stopped them and gave Annie a long, soulful kiss. “Doing my best is what I do best.”
Annie brushed her fingers lightly over his cheek. “And I, of all people, know that the best.”
“I believe we were in bed well before that.” Annie, you scamp! Keeping your soul mate up late the night before a big race, you should know better. Wonder if her mama did the same thing with her papa as well? Could be. Maybe it’s time to say, “Like Mother, Like Daughter,” which might get a fireball tossed my way, because even though Annie is a fictional creature, it’s still something she’d do. She takes no shit from anyone.
Here we are then:
Helter Skelter is up next, and funny thing: if there was ever a good place for a wreck, it’s there. Makes one wonder . . .