Well, now: yesterday wasn’t a bad day, but beyond getting a little shopping done and having a good lunch–couldn’t eat much for dinner since I’m fasting for blood work today–there wasn’t a lot going on. I was in sort of a strange, negated funk about doing something, but ended up doing little of anything.
But I did end up writing.
I left my Åsgårdsreia students ready to meet the oncoming horde of homunculi emerging from the cabinets. This wasn’t taken very well:
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
The homunculi shambled out of the cabinets, all the size of the students facing them and dressed in tattered and dirty school uniforms. Their skin was discolored and blemished; some of the homunculi showed open sores and, in a few cases, showed extensive damage to their heads, faces, and hands.
They were the literal representation of a class of zombie Salem students preparing to attack their living counterparts.
Nine of the homunculi were out of the cabinets and advancing when the first reached the yellow line. The shield there dropped, allowing the Åsgårdsreia students to attack. Four of the students began to move forward—
Then the Åsgårdsreia students stopped and groaned. Most of them raised their hands to their faces: all of them had looks of disgust. Several of the students grumbled in their own languages, including Anna Laskar, who nearly fell to her knees while screaming in German—“Der gestank ist entsetzlich. Lassen sie mich: ich will nicht hier sein.”—and trying to hold herself upright with her fighting pole. Half the students turned pale; a couple gagged several times.
Well, that’s never a good sign.
But there’s eight of them, so things should have went well, right?
They fought through whatever was bothering them and moved on the twelve homunculi advancing upon the coven team. Lisa Glissandi and three other people ran up to the homunculi in the front; Lisa wound up her jō, ready to swing, and struck Dariga Dulatuli in the face. She screamed as she dropped her jō, clutching her face as she turned and sprinted towards the red line, blood running over her mouth and over her chin.
This didn’t deture Lisa, who hit the homunculi on the shoulder twice. When her third strike did nothing to halt its advance, she drew her jō over her head—and struck Balgaire Ibanez’s head. The boy staggered to his left, falling into Anna and Shauntia Okoro, before steadying himself.
I’d watch where you’re swinging that thing, Lisa–you could hurt someone. And you aren’t the only one your coven mates need worry about:
Daudi didn’t see the homunculi shamble up from behind and sink its teeth into her neck.
The girl’s scream was high pitched and flooded with pain as blood fountained from the source of the bite. The blood arced from the wound and sprayed Dongsun in the side of the head, making him flinch. Daudi’s eyes rolled back in her head and she fell backward, making a loud thud when she hit the mat.
It’s always a good Self Defense class when you instructor turns killer zombies loose on the kids, isn’t it?
Needless to say, save for three students who “died” by being bitten, the rest of out Brave Åsgårdsreia Shield, um, maidens and dudes, ran for the red line. Brave zombie killers they were not.
That was enough for Professor Chai. She waved her hands and the enchanted side shields vanished. “Well . . .” Her gaze bored through the panting and huffing Åsgårdsreia students at the other end of the mat. “That didn’t turn out very well, did it?” The professor waved her hands again and the unconscious students began to move, shaking off the enchantment they’d fallen under when they were bitten. They slowly regained their feet and joined the rest of their coven mates.
She turned to the rest of the students, some of whom still appeared shocked by what they’d seen. “The mat is in need of a cleaning—” She turned and waved at the homunculi, who turned and shambled back to the cabinets. “All will take a ten minutes break—except for the next team. They need to prepare.” She turned to Annie and Kerry. “Cernunnos: you’re next.”
Sorry, kids: I didn’t mean to leave you hanging like that. I’m sure everything will turn out just fine–