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Springtime For Kerry: Ready Room Inception

Since today’s post has the word “inception” in the title, I have to include this:

I mean, it is the law.

The question that arose yesterday was, “What’s wrong with Kerry?”  He’s not a quitter, we know that.  He’s also a tough racer–we saw that in the last chapter.  If he hung in for two hundred and seventy-five kilometers with a busted knee, then he should be able to handle four hundred kilometers of Blue Line with some rest in between.  All this means there’s something different about this race, and as one of my faithful reader pointed out, was Kerry afraid he’d run into Penny?  Maybe.  But Kerry’s been in that position before, drafting up on someone fast, and he’d handled it before.  Why is now different?

Well, I didn’t really answer that last night.  As with any time i get a scene started, I’m usually slow on the start.  And last night my editing side kept kicking me in the side, telling me, “No, what you just wrote is crap.”  Which meant I was doing a lot of writing and rewriting throughout the night.  And that means only about three hundred and eighty-five words were penned.  This seemed to be a habit with me when I’m starting out:  take your time getting started and then kick it into gear the next day.  That means I’ll likely do six hundred or so tonight.  Maybe.  It’s always possible.

If you must know, the first two paragraphs of this excerpt took about thirty minutes to write due to writing and re-writing.  Particularly the second one:  for some reason I simply could’t get the words to fit, if you know what I mean.  It’s a strange sensation when you look at what you wrote, change it, and tell yourself, “No, that’s not right.  Try something else.”  That’s when I’m glad I write on a computer, because I’d go through a hell of a lot of paper otherwise.

Let’s see what’s happening back at The Diamond.  It’s not gonna be much of a surprise that it starts out with a Chestnut Girl . . .

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie headed for the Cernunnos ready room within seconds after hearing Kerry had declared a DNF and was returning to The Diamond. She wasn’t allowed up right away, but was told instead that she needed to wait for someone to arrive from the hospital before she could gain access. Ninety seconds later Coraline appeared. She smiled and nodded up the stairs: Annie followed her up without a word.

There were only two people in the ready room when they arrived: Kerry, who was one of the large recliners in the back of the room used for rest between heats, and Professor Semplen, who was hovering close to seated racer. Kerry’s hard helmet and gloves were off and his feet were elevated. He sat slouched in the chair, a blank expression affixed upon his face while he stared into space through slightly closed eyes.

Coraline held the door for Annie and let it swing shut behind her. “How’s our boy?”

Holoč rested a hand upon the top of Kerry’s recliner. “He’s not injured, which is good. He told me on the way up here that he had trouble focusing.”

“I see.” The school’s doctor reached the recliner side and gave Kerry a quick glance. “Okay, Holoč, thanks. I’ll take it from here, and I’ll notify you if we have to head back to The Pentagram.” There wasn’t any point in elaborating: Holoč was aware that when she said “The Pentagram” she was referring to the hospital.

While Professor Semplen and Coraline didn’t appear troubled, Annie was genuinely concerned. She’d seen Kerry through a variety of moods, but even in the midst of his worse emotional plight, he appeared animated and aware of his surroundings, but right this moment he was neither. Annie couldn’t remember a single situation where Kerry didn’t respond to her presence, and even when they finally met after their gifts testing he looked over as she walked through the door and offered a greeting.

He’s simply laying there. Holoč said goodbye to them both and left the room. There’s nothing going on inside his mind; it’s as if he’s shut down

The moment the door to the ready room latched closed Coraline squatted beside the recliner. “Hey, Kerry.” When he didn’t respond after a few seconds she lightly touched his arm. “Hey, Red—”

 

No way in hell Annie wouldn’t be down there trying to find out what’s wrong with Kerry.  One has to wonder if Coraline sent out a message saying, “Don’t let Annie up until I get there,” because that does sound like something she’d do.  The supporting evidence here is the fact she came out personally.  Kerry busts himself up on Katahdin and Nurse Bianca heads out with her “assistance” to pick up the lad; at the school Kerry pulls himself out of a race and the Salem’s Chief Medical Officer–which is Coraline’s real title–shows up to take matters in hand.  Probably because she knew there was a concerned girl waiting to see him as well.

I started thinking about if the roles were reverse:  would Kerry be right there wanting information on his Sweetie?  You know he would.  Now all I had to do is find a case where Annie is rushed to the hospital–

"Beat up in a match?  Not a chance.  Hurt by Deconstructors?  Perhaps.  Passing out because I was pregnant?  Urrr--"

“Beat up in a match? Not a chance. Hurt fighting Deconstructors? Perhaps. Passing out because I was pregnant? Ummm–“

Let’s hold off on that last one; all those little witches in your belly aren’t needed right now, Annie.

More tonight for sure.  And maybe that will be enough to snap Kerry back into reality.

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