Well, here it is, the day before I begin my week-long trip back to Indiana, and I’m not ready. I have a dinner to go to and I have no packed. And I don’t intend to pack until tomorrow morning. I’m not even certain when I’ll be leaving, but it won’t happen at 3 AM as I’ve done in the past.
I went out skating last night for a couple of hours and my body didn’t like it as much as it had the night before. I gotta remember to pace myself because I don’t recover from this stuff like I used to. At best I was able to do five or six laps on the rink before needing a quick rest, because there was fatigue in my legs and I didn’t want to fall. When I returned home I iced down my right shoulder as it was hurting like hell, and then–
Why, I finished my current scene.
Yeah, even with an ice pack on my shoulder I finished it up with about five hundred words. And I could start tonight’s scene, and likely will, which means the story inches over the 175,000 words mark, for I’m like sixty words away from that milestone.
You see, it is coming along.
Yesterday we saw Kerry was down, but we didn’t know how out. Now we know:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
The school nurse slid her hand scanner into a pocket of her smock. “He has first and second degree burns on his left jawline and neck, as well as his left arm and the back of his left hand. His hair is singed and most of his left eyebrow is gone; we can fix that up in the hospital in no time.” Her tone turned a bit more grave. “His left forearm is broken and he has four broken ribs. Also, I believe he may have a crack in his sternum, but it’s so fine the hand scanners are having trouble picking it up. We won’t know for certain until we get him to the hospital.”
Ramona hated to see any match end this way, particularly when there was evidence of chicanery involved, but she didn’t see that she had any choice other than to do what was necessary. “All right, Bianca. Get the stretcher and let’s—”
“I’m sorry, Kerry, but we need to get you to the hospital.” As tenacious as she knew both Annie and Kerry to be, she didn’t see any point in continuing hurt as he was. “Bianca—”
Kerry groaned as he sat up with a little help from Annie. “Can the four of us speak privately?”
Kerry’s busted up and still he wants to talk. But he wants to take steps to make sure they’re not overheard because…
Ramona considered saying no, but changed her mind and threw up a privacy screen around them. “Okay, we’re private.”
He looked up at Nurse Bianca. “Do you have nurse-patient confidentiality?”
She nodded. “Of course I do. The only thing I can say to Coraline or anyone else are those issues that might lead to the injury of others.”
Kerry gave a quick nod then turned to Ramona. “You know what we were doing with those puppeteer rigs here last year, don’t you?”
Ramona’s gaze darted from Kerry and Annie and back. “Yes, I do.”
“And you know who ordered those test?”
“Then you know what Annie and I are training towards once we’re out of school.”
A crooked grin appeared on Ramona’s face. “I think you’ll find there are more people who know what’s going on between you two and the Guardians than you now imagine.”
He didn’t find this surprising. “Then you know there’s going to be times in the future where I may get hurt like this and I’m not going to be able to the tell someone else to stop so I can go to the hospital.” With his good right hand he gave Annie’s hand a squeeze. “And she couldn’t do that and I neither can I. You have to let me fight Franky.”
He doesn’t have to do this, but then, when Annie took a Deconstructor blast and broke her arm, she didn’t have to save Kerry. She could have just played dead and waited for him to leave and–
Yeah, that was never going to happen.
This isn’t a fight against Deconstructors, but as Kerry sees it, he’s in about the same shape as Annie was when she saved everyone’s bacon on the Link Bridge in KC and he can’t walked away. And this isn’t rooted in ego–
Ramona’s Instructor Face reappeared. “I don’t have to let you do anything, Kerry. I’m the one who decides who fights and who doesn’t, and—”
Kerry exhaled hard as he spoke in a choked whisper. “You send me to the hospital and I guarantee you Franky will call off this challenge. In fact, if I get up to fight and you tell him we are going to continue, he’ll wanna back out.” His eyes went out of focus slightly as he worked through whatever pain held him.
Annie glanced over at Franky as she spoke. “You know he will, Professor. You also know there was nothing accidental about what he did.”
Ramona looked straight ahead for a few seconds as she worked the events of the last couple of minutes through her head. “I think you both may be right.”
Kerry grit his teeth against the pain he was feeling. “I think all Franky wants to do is brag that he got a good hit on me and sent me to the hospital. Beyond that, he doesn’t care about the slight: this is what he wanted.”
“Kerry’s right.” Annie nodded in Frankie’s direction. “Right now, he’s over there talking to Lisa, probably proud over what he did.” She turned away from that couple. “We’ve talked about this and thought there was something suspicious about Frankie’s action, and I think something was planned out and this is what they wanted to do.” She affixed a hard stare on Ramona. “The worst Franky could get is detention for what he did. Meanwhile, Kerry goes the hospital and Lisa and he get the brag about how he hurt him.”
Does this mean Kerry’s gonna fight even though he’s messed up.
Well… It wouldn’t be the first time.