Friday, June 23, 2017

Entering In: Day 20

Word Total: 120,014

Year to Date: 630,061

Summary of Events: 
Hadia was unpacking and discovered a Christmas present with her name on it that included a letter from her dad which she was supposed to receive that coming Christmas, and found out that her grandparents had enrolled her in riding lessons. Levi stayed home from the racing initially, not wanting to see Twilight lose, but couldn't take it and managed to arrive in time to see her pull off an amazing win from a four-way photo finish. Traeton got up to make his escape and, after saying goodbye to Monty and distracting the dogs with food, Traeton went to hang his monitor on a train, which started to move before he was finished, forcing him to have to jump off at near full speed . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Edging close, Traeton watched as the land flew by. He checked to his left to see what was upcoming landscape. A thick stand of trees.
He needed to jump now. He went to push off when the car leaned slightly and he slipped, dropping off of the car nearly straight down.
His backpack jerked and he felt himself suddenly being pulled at a rapid speed. He swore. He couldn't lose his backpack.
But he also didn't want to be dragged to death by a train either.
As quickly as he could, he managed to pull himself out of his backpack. He planned to try and pull it off, but a tree caught his foot and pulled him free.
He tumbled down the slope a bit before slamming the side of his ribcage into a tree.
Grabbing onto the tree, he worked to push himself up, but the long, wet grass under his feet caused him to slip and slide down a steep slope until the ground dropped off suddenly and he landed on a pile of damp clay.
Traeton swore. He needed to find his backpack. Even if he wasn't going to identify himself by Traeton Stasiak to other people, he still felt like it was important to have his real birth certificate, besides, there were other useful tools and possessions in there.
He got to his feet and struggled up the slope, using trees that, thankfully, grew thickly down the slope, and pulled himself up to the trackside, where cars from the train were still going by.
Crawling alongside the track on his hands and knees, Traeton kept one hand on the gravel base of the track bed and the other on the grass, feeling for something, until he realised that his backpack probably would've rolled down the slope and thus would be down toward where he'd fallen.
He looked down at the trees and swore. How was he going to find his backpack in the dark now? How could he even be sure it'd fallen off of the train? He was supposed to have gotten a head start by this!
Suddenly his body's hold on the ground let loose and he started sliding down the slope again, all of his efforts to grab at passing trees failed miserably until he finally dropped down into a stream.
Swearing, Traeton scrambled to his feet, although too late for his waist down to have any hope of having a dry thread. He looked around and saw a rock breaking up the flow.
For some reason, Traeton decided to go over to the rock. He put his hand on it and felt that it was wet cloth. His backpack!
Hauling it out of the water, Traeton squeezed it to get some of the water out and hurried back upstream toward Vicksburg until he found where the trees ended and the slope softened enough that he could get out of the water."

Due to having committed to volunteer at a camp for the summer, there will be no novels in July or August. Have a great summer and check back for the next post on September 2.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Entering In: Day 19

Word Count: 114,062

Summary of Events:
Hadia started unpacking before her mom came to get her for supper and showed a happiness at Hadia's unpacking that made Hadia cry. Traeton started to fold the laundry while Monty taped Traeton's foot into the freezer and they discussed what Traeton should do for a getaway plan once the monitor was off. Levi was bored and decided to look up what the internet said about Twilight, and was horrified, including by a forecast given for her upcoming race . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Probably the biggest two year old race of the season, this race will be our last time seeing the unbelievable Twilight of Destiny before she takes a six-month hiatus from racing — with all speculation that she's preparing for the Derby next May — as well as the last time we'll see the Big Four all in one race together.
After this, Sweet Sister and Aspen Gold will head down to Florida, with Aspen Gold to race in three more races before the end of the year, after which he'll be rested, and Sweet Sister running until as late as February, getting in some early Derby-prep races early, with talk she'll also run one in April back up in Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Nemesis Q and Cadbury Jack will continue to race north of the Mason-Dixon until early December, with their owners stating that there are plans for them to run Derby-prep races approximately three weeks before the Derby itself after a winter rest.
Betting so far heavily favours Twilight of Destiny, with Cadbury Jack as a strong second, however, the weather forecasts for the weekend predict rain, which is a condition few of the horses have raced in before, suggesting the one of the other lesser — if not entirely unknown — horses of the field could gain an upset win, such as the filly Three's My Number, who has raced and won three times in rainy, muddy conditions, and will be in her first race against Twilight of Destiny and the Big Four before she, too, heads to Florida for the winter, although there's little likelihood that she'll run for the Triple Crown.
If the race is merely run under cloud cover, Twilight of Destiny has a chance, but there has been speculation that she, especially, could fare poorly in rainy, muddy conditions, and suffer the first loss of her young career.
The forecast is that Twilight of Destiny will lose. How badly is unknown. We recommend that you not bet on her, but instead choose a horse like Cadbury Jack, who's raced in the mud before and done well, or Three's My Number, who's yet to lose on mud, considering that Saturday is the second day with a rainy forecast for the area, meaning the likelihood of rain is strong.
Other long-shots with decent records on wet tracks include Dominatrix, Ginger Tea, Even Keeled, and Maureen's Rocket, who would all be well worth betting on.
Levi's hands trembled as he stared at the screen, the first sentence of the second-last paragraph seared in his mind like an iron brand had put it there. He could hardly believe that people thought she would lose.
No, granted, she hadn't raced in rain before, but she couldn't lose! Not now! She couldn't go into the Derby on a loss!"

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Entering In: Day 18

Word Count: 108,034

Summary of Events:
Levi watched as Twilight was given a light workout before he turned her out and watched her enjoy being a horse. Hadia learned from her grandpa that her family might end up staying at her grandparents' house permanently, instead of moving into their own house elsewhere in Victoria. Traeton got back from his community service work and was soon greeted by Monty . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""How's the leg?" he asked.
"Meh," Traeton replied.
"Not better?" Monty asked.
"No, not really," Traeton replied. "If I could actually rest it would be great."
"That might just happen," Monty said.
"How?" Traeton asked.
"Yer workin' on a construction crew, right?" Monty asked.
"Yeah," Traeton replied. "We do everything until the house is ready for paint and carpet."
"Will the crew work in the rain?" Monty asked.
"Not outdoors," Traeton replied. "That'd be kinda stupid, but I don't know that we have any interior work we aren't waiting for plumbing, heating and air conditioning, or electrical for either, so my guess is that if it rains anytime soon we'll probably be told to stay home."
"I din't think so," Monty said. "Forecast says there's goin't be some rain comin' up before the weekend, and I've got a plan."
"What's the plan?" Traeton asked.
"We're goin't do the laundry," Monty replied.
"But that's one of the girls' chores," Traeton said.
"I know, I know," Monty said. "But there's a freezer'n there."
"So?" Traeton asked.
"We need that," Monty replied.
"For . . . what?" Traeton asked.
"For gettin' that thing off'a yer leg," Monty replied.
"What's a freezer going to do?" Traeton asked.
"Y'll find out when we do the laundry," Monty replied.
A knock sounded on the door.
"Vittles," Mrs. Braun said tiredly through the flimsy door.
Traeton slowly got up and hobbled across the room to the door, which Monty held open for him before closing it behind him and taking the lead to open the door to the stairway, which Traeton hobbled through before using the railing as a bit of a crutch to carry himself up the stairs and into the dining room, where he sat down at his spot. Brock was sitting in his spot looking rather pale and ill, as he'd been looking since his injury.
"Mr. Braun," Monty said as the food started to get passed around. "Shea and I was wonderin' if'n we'd be allowed t'wash the laundry."
"Laundry isn't done until Thursday," Mr. Braun replied.
"I know," Monty replied. "But on Thursday, could we do it?"
"Why?" Mr. Braun asked.
"Just because it's somethin' different," Monty replied. "I mean, we boys prob'ly need to be learnin' the finer points of keepin' our own house so that we kin survive once we've been entirely released back into society too."
Shifting his jaw, Mr. Braun looked at Monty sceptically — not that Traeton blamed him, he could only hope Monty would win the duel — his forkful of overcooked chili poised in midair.
Traeton didn't take any bites of chili while he waited for Mr. Braun's answer — although he also did it because the chili was overcooked to the point that even the vegetables were mush, not to mention it tasted rather dry and too much like fresh tomatoes for Traeton's liking; he'd eat cooked tomatoes, not fresh ones — while Monty continued to eat as if nothing were going on.
"Only if there ain't anything else y'all could be doin'," Mr. Braun replied.
Monty nodded. "Yessir.""

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Entering In: Day 17

Word Count: 102,006

Summary of Events:
Hadia learned from her grandpa the reason why the analogies he'd given her the other day meant anything. Levi watched more races, while thinking some about the documentary, which would begin filming in November, before watching Twilight's race. Traeton got picked on by one of the other men staying at the house and got into a fight with him before Mr. Braun stopped the fight by allowing the dogs to attack them.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sweet Sister, for being sans jockey, was doing quite well. If it weren't for the lack of a jockey she'd be considered in fifth place, and she actually moved up to be running alongside Twilight, who'd pulled ahead of Nemesis Q on the homestretch.
They headed into the final backstretch with Cadbury Jack making a run for Aspen Gold and Nemesis Q going to pass Twilight and Sweet Sister.
Around the final turn Aspen Gold really started to flag, while Cadbury Jack broke away with Nemesis Q hot on his heels.
Twilight slid out from between the rail and Sweet Sister and flew around Aspen Gold, past Nemesis Q, and hot onto the tail of Cadbury Jack, whose jockey worked the whip as if that was what would push his colt across the line in front.
Sweet Sister was coming up hot behind them as Twilight came neck and neck with Cadbury Jack in the last furlong before Twilight stretched out her neck and surged ahead just enough to negate the need of a photo finish and take the win, stretching her undefeated streak once more.
Despite the fact that the race was over, however, Rod seemed intent to keep pushing Twilight, and it took a moment before Levi realised that Rod was out to catch Sweet Sister, who was still running.
With ease Twilight caught up to Sweet Sister, who was running along the rail, and then — to Levi's astonishment — Rod moved from Twilight to Sweet Sister, keeping a hold on Twilight's reins, and worked to rein Sweet Sister in around the backstretch before finally getting her to stop over by the gate, where her jockey was waiting.
Rod then switched back to Twilight and rode over to where all the other horses were gathered. Levi quickly got up from his seat and hurried outside onto the track. He quickly congratulated Twilight before turning his attention to Rod.
"Why did you do that?" he asked.
"To stop her," Rod replied.
"So, how does she ride?" Levi asked.
"Beautifully, actually," Rod replied. "I was surprised."
"Well then why would she buck all the time then?" Levi asked.
"Jockey handling, in part, I'd say," Rod replied. "Didn't you see how he was riding her head?"
Levi nodded.
"That's bad bananas right there," Rod said. "I'm not sure why she's so spirited before races, but the jockey's treatment of her doesn't really help her racing."
Nodding again, Levi's gaze turned to seek the source of an equine scream, he saw that Sweet Sister had broken away from her trainer's hold, trotting off in long strides, her head and tail high, completely ignorant of his shouts for her to return.
Proved in part by her good run without a jockey, it seemed that Sweet Sister was a talented horse, and almost all the problems seemed to be with the people who handled her, not with her."

Monday, June 19, 2017

Entering In: Day 16

Word Count: 96,010

Summary of Events:
Levi and his family met with the group interested in doing the documentary and Donovan agreed to the filming, but attempted to spring contract talks on them, which Levi, for one, helped prevent. Hadia intended to sneak out of the house and run away or something, but her grandpa was outside and so she went and talked to him. Traeton was enjoying his free time between his community service work and suppertime by doing nothing . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"He heard the living room door open and looked over his shoulder to see it was Josie.
"Here you are," she said, sashaying toward him.
She sat down on his lap and draped an arm around his shoulders.
"Are you sure Mr. Braun won't come down and see this?" Traeton asked.
"Yes," Josie replied. "He's too busy watching Monty scrub the floors."
"But I just scrubbed them three days ago!" Traeton exclaimed.
"They have to be scrubbed daily around here," Josie said, leaning in closer to him and raising her shirt to reveal the glittery piercing in her bellybutton.
"So, do you want something?" Traeton asked.
"Not other than cuddling," Josie replied. "For now."
"Oh," Traeton said. "Well, um, then, ah, do you mind my asking why exactly you're here?"
"You mean what did I do?" Josie asked.
"Yeah," Traeton replied.
"Well, I was buying and selling stolen property," Josie replied. "And I was stealing it too."
"What kind of stolen property?" Traeton asked.
"Mostly stuff from crime scenes," Josie replied. "I worked for a company that would go in after the body was taken away and go clean up the crime scene, so I'd pick up stuff and sell it, and I'd buy some other stuff people were selling, sometimes to resell it for more money, and sometimes just to have it because I wanted to."
"Why would you do that?" Traeton asked.
"Because it's lucrative," Josie replied. "Besides, I like that stuff."
"What do you mean?" Traeton asked.
"I like death," Josie replied, sliding her shirt up a little higher, exposing more skin. "It gets me excited."
"I don't like death," Traeton said, shifting uncomfortably underneath Josie, who was starting to wiggle herself.
"Even talking about it is exciting," Josie whispered, clutching her hands about Traeton's neck and then sliding her hands up through his hair. "Kiss me Shea."
Traeton licked his lips somewhat uncertainly and collected her head up in his hands to bring to his mouth so that he could kiss her passionately.
Before he could touch his mouth to hers, however, he paused, and started to lower her.
"No! Kiss me!" Josie protested.
"But Mr. Braun said that we're not supposed to do this," Traeton said.
Josie rolled her eyes and swore casually. "He won't notice."
Traeton lifted her mouth to his and kissed her softly. She responded passionately by pulling his head against hers to the point where he was certain that their teeth were going to start grinding against each other."

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Entering In: Day 15

Word Count: 90,028

Summary of Events:
Levi watched a YouTube video that showed what happened after the horse standing in for Sweet Sister had been led away, which included a comment by Eric's dad about possibly selling her. Hadia had a rather thought-provoking conversation with her grandpa, brought on by their having a fire outdoors and memories of camping. Traeton arrived home from another day of community service work and met his new roommate; they quickly got talking about why they were both at the halfway house . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""What happened?" Monty asked.
"I stole an old lady's purse that happened to contain a grand in cash," Traeton replied.
Monty swore again. "You hit the motherlode! What were y'gonna use it for?"
"Food," Traeton replied.
"Just food?" Monty asked.
"That's all I need," Traeton replied.
"Really?" Monty asked.
"Well, when you're living on your own for five years without a job things get kind of hungry," Traeton replied. "And it's painful trying to fight a flock of seagulls and crows for every bite."
"Oh," Monty said. "So why're y'on yer own?"
"Because I ran away from home," Traeton replied.
"Hated yer old man?" Monty asked.
"The man who was pretending to be him, yeah," Traeton replied.
"Y'mean yer ma weren't married to yer old man?" Monty asked.
"No," Traeton replied. "I don't even know who he is. Mom didn't even know."
"So did you have plans to do somethin' other than run around lookin' for food and shelter?" Monty asked.
"Well, it kind of all depends," Traeton replied. "The thing is, my stepdad hates my guts so much he's out to kill me."
Monty swore. "Wow."
"Once he's dead or safely locked away for good I might try doing something," Traeton said. "Unless I find a place where I'm safely far enough away from him."
"Ah," Monty said.
"Which is why I want to try and get out of here," Traeton said.
"I don't follow," Monty said.
"My name was published when I was tried because I'm old enough, so my stepdad knows where I am and can come and kill me," Traeton replied.
"Oh," Monty said. "And y'can't just ditch?"
"No," Traeton replied, pulling up his pant leg to reveal the monitor.
Monty nodded. "I know those, that's actually why I'm here."
"What do you mean?" Traeton asked.
"Well, I went and robbed some rich people at gunpoint because I wanted some money for these," Monty said, indicating his inked arm. "And I got caught and locked up for awhile, and then they gave me one'a those things when they put me out on parole, but I got it off and ran again, so they caught me, locked me up again — mainly because I stole a car to get away — and now here I am, but I'm under supposed twenty four hour surveillance."
"Oh," Traeton said. "How did you get out of this?"
"I can show y'if y'want," Monty said. "But not now, let's give it a little time, y'know?"
"I want to get out of here as soon as I can," Traeton said.
"I know, I know," Monty said. "But y'can't be too stupid about these things, y'wanna have a plan in place and stuff, y'cant just jump'n run."
"So then what're we going to do?" Traeton asked.
"We're goin't go outside," Monty replied, standing up.
"Why?" Traeton asked.
"Because I need a smoke," Monty replied."

Friday, June 16, 2017

Entering In: Day 14

Word Count: 84,009

Summary of Events:
Hadia talked with her grandma about the move rather civilly before being invited to help process fresh fruit into preserves and things if she wasn't going to unpack. Levi talked with the reporter who wanted to do the documentary about meeting with the family to discuss the idea before getting ready to watch Twilight's race. Traeton settled into the halfway house he'd be staying in . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"The bedroom was small, and even smaller visually, considering that there were two bunk beds fit into it. Apparently they wanted to maximise occupancy or something.
Traeton carefully stuffed his backpack under the bed where it was nice and out of sight, but not far enough away that he couldn't reach under the bed and grab it quickly. For the time being he was the only occupant in this room, but from what he'd heard he was supposed to be getting a new roommate soon.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed he'd chosen, Traeton pulled up his pant leg and looked at the band around his ankle. It looked like it would be pretty easy to get rid of, it was just a kind of flimsy plastic-rubber thing, almost like the bands of those useless toy watches offered as fast-food kid's meal treasures.
However, he'd been told that there was a wire running through it that, because of the special lock thing that fastened the ends, made a circuit, and if that circuit was broken, the police would be on him in no time at all.
Not to mention, Traeton had a feeling he would get a bit of a shock from cutting the band if there was a wire in there; it all depended on how much of a current was going through the thing.
The important piece was on the outside of his leg, and it about looked like the face of one of those kid's meal watches, except with no buttons or digital display, it was just a little black rectangular thingy that apparently was transmitting a signal not only to a receiver in the master bedroom somewhere, but somewhere else too.
A knock sounded on his door and he looked up to see the somewhat haggard and beleaguered Mrs. Braun — who ran the house — standing in the doorway.
"If'n y'all want some vittles, you'd better git on upstairs," she said.
Traeton nodded and rose to his feet. He followed her out of the room and through the door to the stairs, and then up to what he was pretty sure, in most houses, would be the living room. In this house it was the dining room, and there appeared to be no actual dining room, from what Traeton could tell.
Six other people — four women and two men — were gathered at the table, along with Mr. Braun, who was the corrections officer responsible for keeping an eye on them; which Traeton thought was an interesting arrangement.
Mr. Braun rose to his feet. "Everyone," he said in a commanding bass voice. "This is Tr–"
"Ah, if you, please," Traeton interrupted. "I prefer to be called by my middle name."
"And what is that?" Mr. Braun asked.
"Shea," Traeton lied. They were the same length and contained the same vowels, but, legally, Shea was not his middle name."