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."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Entering In: Day 13

Word Count: 78,019

Summary of Events:
Traeton was sitting in his cell and overheard two officers talking about how they hoped to see him get a really long sentence. Hadia reluctantly departed from her house one last time and onto the ferry, where she finally saw her family showing sadness at the idea of leaving. Levi was at a family dinner party at his uncle's house and suggested the idea of creating a documentary of Spectaculaire's history that his grandfather wasn't really sold on. Traeton heard the verdict and the judges' final comments on the case and his sentence . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Traeton looked over at Mr. Erickson, who was nodding with the judge's words, while the prosecutor looked about set to explode in rage. It seemed that he was not in the least pleased with the verdict, and Traeton wasn't surprised, not with some of the testimony he'd heard over the course of the trial.
There was a bit more for closing remarks before Traeton was led away and to a different area of the courthouse than he'd ever been before.
"Could I talk to Mr. Erickson please?" Traeton asked.
"Just a minute," the officer replied.
Contrary to the officer's statement, however, it took a lot longer for Mr. Erickson to appear.
"So you're satisfied with the verdict?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Well, what does it mean?" Traeton asked.
"You're sentenced to four years of community service, as well as to get your high school diploma, and some trainin' to send you into the workforce," Mr. Erickson replied.
"But where am I staying?" Traeton asked.
"I'm not sure," Mr. Erickson replied. "Considerin' that you're on probation, I'd reckon you'd be stayin' at a halfway house somewhere in town."
"You mean, I'd be free?" Traeton asked.
"No," Mr. Erickson replied. "You'd be under the supervision of an ankle monitor that would broadcast your location to someone at all times, and if you ever go into an area you're not supposed to be in, or go farther than you're allowed, it'll alert the cops and you'll be hauled back. There's also likely to be a curfew that you have to be in the place you're stayin' by, otherwise you'll be picked up."
"Oh," Traeton said, trying not to belie his disappointment. He'd been hoping that his sentence would either be maybe a year to two of prison time, or that he'd be allowed to go free. He didn't want to stay here. He couldn't stay here.
If he stayed here he'd be found, and if he were found, well . . . he'd be killed. He had survived, mostly by maintaining anonymity and otherwise hiding, and now that his name had been published it was out there for the finding, as was his location.
He couldn't let this happen, he had to get away, but the question was, how? How could he get out of this situation? How could he escape and get away to some sort of safe place?
"Was that all?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Yes," Traeton replied. "Thank you for representing me."
"You're welcome," Mr. Erickson said. "Even if you were somethin' of an interestin' case, I'll admit."
Traeton nodded, although he felt badly, because he was sure that Mr. Erickson wanted to help him, and he was sure the people of Vicksburg wanted to help him, but they couldn't keep him safe after exposing him to danger, and so he had no other choice than to find a way to leave."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Entering In: Day 12

Word Count: 72,030

Summary of Events:
Hadia was visited by her Sunday School teacher again and was much more negative toward him this time. Levi had a chat with his mom about his accidental injury and other topics over iced tea and cookies. Traeton was questioned by Mr. Erickson quite thoroughly and began to think that Mr. Erickson didn't believe him any more than anyone else. Hadia was watching people help her family pack for the move — being as she had no interest in participating — when she got upset at one of the helpers . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Hadia glanced over at Anne and Sophie, both of whom seemed positively rooted to the floor, staring at her with rather mournful and disbelieving expressions. She then turned and hurried back down the stairs before heading around to return to the backyard.
She had her head down and ended up colliding heavily with someone who'd come from the laundry area, which knocked her onto her backside.
"I'm sorry Hadia," she looked up to see Pastor Mark offering a hand to help her up.
Hadia looked at him defiantly and got up on her own before turning back the way she'd come and heading out the front door. If she couldn't hide in the tree anymore she might as well not even bother being anywhere near the house.
It didn't take her long to get to the stables, and from there to Maiden's pasture. Stopping short, Hadia noticed that Maiden wasn't in her pasture. But she was always in her pasture. She knew that the stables were rather unoccupied, as there was a bit of a friendly competition over in Hazelton where most everyone was going to be for the weekend; but Hadia was the only student who'd been using Maiden for their lessons because she'd injured her knee in a jumping accident, so she didn't usually have more than one or two students who did the basic, introductory things, and maybe a little bit of a start into jumping before they transitioned to a different horse.
Quickly Hadia started around the stables, desperately looking for Maiden. In the stables Hadia found that all the stalls were empty — as would be expected, considering all the horses were either in Hazelton or in the pasture — including Maiden's.
Going to the tack room, Hadia checked and saw that Maiden's tack was gone, which gave Hadia a dreadful feeling. Maiden had a new student.
Slowly she walked to the indoor arena and looked inside. Eli, Mrs. Blanch's oldest son, was riding Serene, a grey mare that'd recently been bought from a dressage stable where she was being retired from active competition at the Grand Prix level — which was the level whose riders went to the Olympics.
Eli wanted to pursue dressage at that level, and so Serene had been bought for him to work at advancing his skill and doing some competitions, as well as to help other advanced dressage students get higher.
He noticed her and trotted Serene over. "Do you need something?"
"I was just wondering where Maiden was," Hadia replied quietly.
"Liam took her out on the trails because she hasn't been out in awhile," Eli replied.
"Oh," Hadia said. "Okay."
"Did you come to say goodbye?" Eli asked.
"No," Hadia replied. "I just came for a visit."
Eli nodded. "Well Liam might not be back for another couple of hours, he didn't leave that long ago."
"Oh," Hadia said. "Thank you.""

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Entering In: Day 11

Word Count: 66,002

Summary of Events:
Traeton watched as the old woman he'd robbed was disagreeable for the prosecution lawyer, but responded well to Mr. Erickson, mainly because he talked like they were out for coffee, as opposed to grilling her. Hadia and her mom talked a little after supper before Hadia somewhat unintentionally upset Sara and then fled to her room feeling bad. Levi was feeling stressed over his grandfather's intent to have a press conference and so went to his car to relieve stress, but accidentally hurt himself while doing so, yet proceeded to go and watch Twilight's race before seeking medical attention . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"The horses filed by, Levi noting that of the five notable horses in the field, Sweet Sister had the best draw in second, with Aspen Gold following in third, Nemesis Q in fifth, and Cadbury Jack in eighth.
Rod gave a wink to Levi, who nodded feebly. The pain in his side was already excruciating, he didn't know how he was going to make it through the race without letting it be known he was wounded and bleeding.
Probably the biggest misfortune about Sweet Sister drawing second was the fact that the majority of the horses had to wait outside the gate for her to load, and she made them wait; in fact, all of the pony riders started leading the horses around in circles to keep them limbered up.
Once Sweet Sister was loaded it took hardly any time at all for the rest of the horses to load. In fact, Levi was inclined to venture that the nine horses that loaded after Sweet Sister had loaded in less time than she had when all their loading times were combined.
The race started off, and Levi noted that Sweet Sister broke and got going a lot better, although she still seemed rather fussy and wasn't really running the straightest. Twilight had broken well and settled in toward the outside of the middle of the pack, Aspen Gold had shot out to the lead, while Nemesis Q and Cadbury Jack were actually between Twilight and Sweet Sister — who was bringing up the rear.
Levi clutched desperately at his side as he watched the screen that showed the horses as they went down the backstretch, with both Nemesis Q and Cadbury Jack getting to be a little more ahead of Twilight coming into the homestretch. Twilight edged up a bit, but not too much, and Sweet Sister's lag was getting worse.
Aspen Gold led through the whole first lap, with Cadbury Jack making a forward move toward the corner. The field rounded the corner into the backstretch again with Cadbury Jack really breaking away to chase Aspen Gold, while Nemesis Q roared up along the rail. Twilight had edged up a little bit more, but not enough, Levi feared.
Coming into the final turn the crowd gathered along the rail, some pressing Levi fairly into it, passionately screaming for the horse they'd betted on, some even waving their betting slips in their hands.
Aspen Gold was passed by Nemesis Q, who broke away, with Cadbury Jack hot on his heels. Twilight burst out from the pack on the corner and flew along the rail, whipping pas the determined Aspen Gold like he was almost standing still before sliding between Nemesis Q and Cadbury Jack to fly over the finish line with a length and a half lead.
Between the roaring of the crowd around him and his heart pounding in his ears, Levi couldn't hear anything. He was sure he had never seen Twilight run that fast, and he'd seen her run incredibly fast on the practise track at home and everything."

Monday, June 12, 2017

Entering In: Day 10

Word Count:  60,030

Summary of Events:
Hadia was visited by the Sunday school teacher and also didn't end up getting mad at him, although she disagreed with him. Traeton sat through testimony as the trial got underway, getting quite hurt by the words of the first witness, but not quite so much by the words of the second. Levi had to answer to his grandfather, uncles, and father, about his statements at the press conference, and was extremely stressed by his grandfather's negativity in particular.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Mr. Erickson then accepted the offer to question the witness in turn and walked up to Mr. Martin in the stand.
"Now Mr. Martin," Mr. Erickson said. "I'd like to know what gives you the impression that the accused is a petty criminal type?"
"The fact that he was kind of shoddy and unkempt," Mr. Martin replied. "You know, real gangsters have fancy getaway cars so they're not taking off on foot, and they're usually holding a gun in their hand, not to mention they have pretty swanky clothes that are usually a lot shaggier and baggier than his. He looked like a kid who'd grown up going to Sally Ann and maybe kind of wanted to be like real gangsters, but wasn't quite there yet."
"So you'd describe his family as bein' lesser off?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Yeah," Mr. Martin replied. "The sort of person who lives in a Project."
"Would you be inclined to say, then, that he did this act out of desperation?" Mr. Erickson asked.
Mr. Martin shifted his jaw. "Maybe. I mean, it's not entirely out of the question, really. I'm kind of offended that he would victimise a nice woman like the one he did, though."
"Could you please explain why you're offended?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Well, mostly because of the fact that, well, she's such a sweet woman," Mr. Martin replied. "I mean, I don't know her intimately, but I've seen her around, I'm familiar with her, and to see her distraught and suffering cut pretty deep. The worst thing is that she said he offered to help her push her cart and then loaded her groceries into her car before running off. That's just kind of heartless, you know?"
Mr. Erickson nodded. "Considerin' that the accused won't be locked up very long — if even at all, possibly — he'll probably be out again before long. How much of a risk to reoffend to you think he has?"
"Well," Mr. Martin replied. "I think there's a good risk, unless he gets a job or something like that and maybe tries to make a little something of himself."
"How much punishment do you think he'll have to receive to dissuade him from continuin' a life of crime?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"If he's worked with properly," Mr. Martin replied. "I think that whatever the jury gives him for this could be enough. If nobody really bothers with him, then I think it might take more, a decade plus, it'll probably end up being off and on, but if it were all in one big block I think it'd be better."
"Those are all my questions," Mr. Erickson said. "Thank you Mr. Martin.""

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Entering In: Day 9

Word Count: 54,030

Summary of Events:
Hadia's best friends came to visit and discussed the fact that Hadia's family was moving and how they could keep in contact — not that Hadia had accepted the move. Levi had a lengthy solo press conference on the fight he had with Mr. Saville that got more focused on their horses than the fight. Traeton's mind wandered at the preliminary hearing and he was frightened when the judge struck his gavel, which he found rather embarrassing. Levi worked running the yearlings through their paces for the trainers to choose which horses they wanted to work with . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Smooth and even, the colt trotted around Levi, his head high, his muscles rippling the sleek coat and showing already how well-developed he was. He saw Tom making notes as the colt continued to move.
Levi asked the colt to change direction, which took a little bit of work, but once the colt was around the other way he started up again smoothly and after several more circuits Levi brought the colt to a stop.
It was Picking Day, when Spectaculaire's five trainers surveyed the latest crop of yearlings with some basic groundwork training and decided which ones they wanted to train, and any that weren't picked were worked with until autumn, when a second pick happened just to be sure, and then the still-unpicked yearlings would be sold off for others to work with.
Tom, having been the longest-employed trainer, got first pick of the horses, and if he turned a horse down the trainer who'd been hired next after him picked, and so on until the most recently hired trainer — who'd been hired just five years before — got to pick.
The trainers would then come up with a work schedule to work with the yearlings at the Breeding Farm before they were brought to the Racing Stables after Christmas to get ready for their maiden race.
"Well Tom?" Donald asked.
"I'll take him," Tom replied.
Levi handed the colt off to one of the grooms and accepted the next horse, a gelding, although not officially, considering that neither of his testicles had been removed, but because one had failed to descend, rendering him sterile.
Leading the colt to the centre again, Levi got him started. He wasn't as well toned and took a little more to get going, but he had good action and a willingness to please, not to mention he really was an eye-catching horse, having a coat of the standard penny-copper chestnut, but a mane that was noticeably darker, not to mention a broad blaze split his forehead, but other than that, he had nothing for white markings.
The colt suddenly startled and reared up, thrashing his hooves in the air. Levi tightened the rope at once and got the colt to come down, but he was quite unsettled. Quickly Levi looked around for a bird or something that might've flown through the open door allowing a cooling breeze into the arena to get rid of the heat the previous days had brought and had collected in the arena like an oven.
Levi saw nothing, however, and the colt continued to try and rear, with not even Levi or his father's efforts of soothingly talking to the colt helping. One of the trainers suddenly shouted and made for the viewing stands while all the others startled.
Tom darted at the sand and picked up a writhing snake. "I think it was this!"
"Get it out of here!" the trainer in the stands shouted.
Calmly holding the snake behind its head, Tom carried the snake out into the downpour. With how thickly the rain was coming down, he was quickly lost in the mist for a few moments before returning to the arena soaked to the skin."

Friday, June 09, 2017

Entering In: Day 8

Word Count: 48,046

Summary of Events:
Levi met with his grandfather about his getting into the fight and their exchange got so heated his grandfather called a family meeting that went little better. Hadia got into a bit of an argument with her mom, and then also one with Matthew over the move to Victoria before being told to pray about it and see what came of that. Traeton was taken to a room to meet with the court-appointed defence lawyer who would be representing him . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""Now I think the first order of business should be how you plead," Mr. Erickson said.
"Guilty," Traeton replied. "The DNA matches."
"Now, considerin' that you're admittin' your guilt, you've gotta give the jury a reason to go easy on you," Mr. Erickson said. "A reason to feel badly for you, and to think that maybe you're just a victim of your circumstances, but that you ain't really the sort'a person who likes bein' a criminal."
Traeton shifted his jaw.
"I don't think it would be a good idea to show a hard face like that, though," Mr. Erickson said. "It would give conflictin' reports, and actions often speak louder'n words, which would mean people would be inclined to be harder on you if you're goin' to look like that."
"So what do you want?" Traeton asked.
"Well," Mr. Erickson said. "What sort'a situation are you in? Why did you take the woman's purse?"
"Because I don't have any money," Traeton replied.
"And why don't you have any money?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Because I don't stick around in one place long enough to work a job," Traeton replied.
"And why don't you stick around?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Because I usually get run out of town before I can try," Traeton replied.
"And what gets you run outta town?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Usually somebody finding me trespassing on their property to find a place to sleep," Traeton replied. "Or they find me dumpster diving for food or something."
"Do you check out homeless shelters?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"That's where I get my clothes from," Traeton replied. "But I'm just another face to most of them. They don't have the resources to adequately care for everyone."
"Don't you have family?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"No," Traeton replied. "My mom's dead and I've never known my dad, and my grandparents never wanted to see me again after my mom moved out."
"How long's your ma been gone?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Five years," Traeton replied.
"And she obviously didn't leave you with much," Mr. Erickson said.
"I ran away from my stepfather when she died," Traeton replied. "He was abusive and we hated each other."
"Why didn't you ever know your pa?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Because he'd just been vacationing where my mom lived and they made love and all that and then he left and that was the end of that," Traeton replied.
"So you're the child of a one-night stand, and your grandparents didn't want you around, and you didn't get along with your stepfather, so when your ma died you ran off and you've been livin' off the streets wanderin' from place to place tryin' to find a place you can stick around and maybe become a respectable citizen, but people keep drivin' you off for tryin' to find a place to sleep or food to eat, and you were desperate for money, so you took the old woman's purse," Mr. Erickson said.
"I was more desperate for food," Traeton corrected. "But money buys food, so I went for money because it was a little bit easier, and it doesn't spoil.""

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Entering In: Day 7

Word Count: 42,014

Summary of Events: 
Levi managed to watch Twilight's entire race from where his family was sitting as she won for a third time — being as the horse that appeared to have tied with had been lapped by the field. Traeton arrived at a prison near Vicksburg where he was to stay until his trial and went straight to bed. Hadia was visiting Maiden at the riding school again and ended up getting into a conversation with her riding teacher about moving to Victoria . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"I don't think that's true Hadia," Mrs. Blanch said. "I think your mom has a great deal of sympathy toward you and your siblings, and she wants to do everything she possibly can to see you and your siblings happy and well cared for, even though she has to do that all on her own."
"If she really wanted to see us happy and well cared for she wouldn't make us move," Hadia said bitterly.
"Hadia, there aren't really many jobs here in Prince Rupert that will pay well for someone like your mom, or even your brothers," Mrs. Blanch said. "Especially considering your mom probably doesn't really have a résumé. And there's not really enough people around here for her to go trying to build a business. If your mom could get a job here, she probably wouldn't be able to make even half of what your dad was making, and if she tried to start a business you might go for awhile without money, which could lead to you all going hungry, or maybe even losing your house. If you live with your grandparents, they can front a little bit of the money to carry you all through and your mom could probably build a good business doing something like cleaning houses, because there's quite a few old people in Victoria who don't have the ability to keep their houses clean very well on their own, or young people who are too busy to keep their houses clean. There's more money to be made in Victoria, so it's probably best for your family to go to Victoria."
Hadia glared at Mrs. Blanch. "Don't you want me to stay here and keep riding?"
"It would be nice to see you be able to get back on a horse again and keep up your riding, yes," Mrs. Blanch said. "But that's not important Hadia. What is important is that you're well cared for, which will better happen in Victoria because your mom will be able to make more money, and probably much quicker there than here."
"You're the same as Mom!" Hadia cried. "You don't care!"
"I care," Mrs. Blanch said. "I don't want to see you starving or possibly kicked out of your house."
"Nobody cares!" Hadia cried, jumping to her feet. "Not you, not anybody! Everybody wants to ruin my life!"
"Hadia!" Mrs. Blanch exclaimed, sounding horrified.
"Leave me alone!" Hadia cried, running off back toward Maiden's pasture, but then past it and into the trees where there were some basic riding trails.
Mrs. Blanch called after her, but Hadia didn't stop until she felt like she was good and far away where no one would find her. She then sat down under a spruce tree and cried. If Dad were here they wouldn't be moving. If Dad were here everything would be better. If Dad were here none of this would be happening. But Dad was gone, and he was never coming back."

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Entering In: Day 6

Word Count: 36,022

Summary of Events: 
Levi was visited by a reporter and gave him an interview mostly about Twilight and her race; after the interview they bandied about the idea of the reporter doing a documentary about Spectaculaire. Hadia got mad at her mom and Matthew for seeming to be giving away all of her dad's things, and then realised with the proposed move she would be deprived of horses. Traeton was told by the police officer that the DNA he'd given by drinking the Coke had matched what'd been scraped off his leg by someone attempting to apprehend him at the robbery — not that he was surprised — and was strip-searched to find the money before being returned to his cell to await extradition, where he pondered why the cells had glass for one wall, considering it was breakable . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"He flinched at the thought of broken dishes and the unbidden memory of Bryan's reaction to Lexus dropping and breaking a plate.
She'd been helping Mama wash dishes — being as they couldn't afford a dishwasher — and the plate had been a little wet when she'd grabbed it, and she didn't have as good of a grip on it as she'd thought she had, causing it to fall to the floor and shatter.
Bryan, hearing the sound, had instantly appeared in the room, bellowing with rage, and had smacked both Mama and Lexus around before taking and throwing all the plates Lexus had dried onto the floor, and then taking another plate from the cupboard and breaking it over the countertop.
He'd then taken the chunk of it that had remained in his hand and used it to make cuts across both of her palms, as well as slashing across her abdomen.
At that point, having heard the ruckus and the shrieking, Traeton had intervened and attacked Bryan, only to himself get cut on the hands, arms, and abdomen before they'd both ended up stepping on glass shards on the floor and had been distracted.
In renewed fury, Bryan had ordered Mama to clean up the mess that he'd then blamed on her, before smacking her around and leaving to tend to his injured feet.
Before cleaning up the mess, Mama had helped Traeton get the glass out of his feet and tended to both his and Lexus' other wounds. Thankfully Bryan had some issues getting one piece of glass in particular from his foot, otherwise he might've seen the acts and lashed out at Mama for as much.
Viciously Traeton shook his head and brought himself back to the present, where he was standing alone in a cell he presumed was just for holding people until they'd been tried, convicted, or — in his case — extradited.
He looked down at his hands which, even still, five years later, showed the slightly pale scars — especially on the backs of his hands — that Bryan had inflicted on him, from that incident, as well as many more enraged outbursts over the more than six years Mama had been married to Bryan.
Pain and rage swelled within him and almost tempted him to take a run or a swing at the glass, momentarily emboldened to break his way out of this place and go back to Alabama to see if he couldn't find Bryan and inflict revenge on him for all the suffering he'd caused — especially now that he was fully grown and, thus, better able to give Bryan a run for his money.
The memory of gunfire ricocheted through his mind and instantly silenced his resolve to escape and fight.
Bryan was the one with the gun. He had nothing. If he ever dared try to hunt Bryan down and attack him he was the one who was going to get killed, not Bryan — the one who deserved to die for all that he'd done."

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Entering In: Day 5

Word Count: 30,021

Summary of Events:
Traeton went to leave Tallulah, but was caught trying to get onto the train and was arrested after a lengthy chase. Levi watched Twilight run her second race to a three-way photo finish that, after review, it was determined she won. Hadia couldn't sleep, so she went downstairs where she found Jonathan looking through a photo album, which she joined him in doing until falling asleep. Traeton was brought out of his cell and taken to a room to talk with another officer . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""When we booked you, you gave your name as Shea London," the officer said. "But upon searchin' your backpack, we found a birth certificate for a Traeton Stasiak. Considerin' that the two don't match up, you've got some explainin' to do. Are you Shea London or Traeton Stasiak? And if you ain't Stasiak, then what'd you do to him?"
He swallowed. He'd forgotten about the birth certificate.
The officer seemed to hardly blink as he stared. It was hard to sit and face that stare — especially considering the officer's eyes were such a light and almost eerie blue.
"I'm Traeton Stasiak," he said finally.
The officer nodded with satisfaction. "And my guess is, young Mr. Stasiak, that you're wanted for some other crime somewhere of you're goin' and hidin' your real name with an alias."
Traeton shook his head. He wasn't going to confess about the purse — after all, they didn't know his name either.
"Are you sure?" the officer challenged.
Setting his jaw, Traeton met the officer's gaze, doing his best to keep from cracking under the pressure to confess.
"You see," the officer said. "One of our people was piqued by your mugshot, and so compared it to a composite drawin' we got the other day from Mississippi, and you look pretty durned close to that drawin'."
Traeton held his jaw shut.
"Bein' as you were hoppin' on a train to git out of town here," the officer said. "It wouldn't be impossible for you to've done the same to git out of that town."
"But if you don't mind my sayin'," the officer who'd brought Traeton in said. "We didn't find no cash on him. And that report said that the lady'd had more'n a thousand dollars in her purse."
"That's the problem," the officer said. "We didn't find no money on you, or in your bag, so did you bury it? Or is it still hidin' on you somewhere?"
"I thought the system was innocent until proven guilty," Traeton challenged. "You're treating it as guilty until proven innocent."
The officer glared at him. "You seem to have somethin' against the law."
"Being practised wrongly, yes," Traeton replied.
"I'm the officer of the law, kid," the officer said. "And you're the punk who done went and broke it."
"When I don't have a driver's license or money what else am I supposed to do?" Traeton asked defiantly.
"Hitchhike or get yourself a job," the officer replied. "There's other ways to travel than by train."
Traeton set his jaw. "What if I like travelling by train?"
"Kid," the officer warned. "Your mouthin' off like this ain't goin' to get you out of this place any sooner."
"Well stop accusing me of crimes it's not proven I've committed," Traeton spat.
"We'll see about that kid," the officer said, taking up a little baby can of Coca Cola.
He opened it and slid it across the table to Traeton.
"Drink up," he said, in a way that was more an order than a suggestion."

Monday, June 05, 2017

Entering In: Day 4

Word Count: 24,003

Summary of Events:
Traeton decided to go to the library and look up some names to create an alias with hopes to maybe try and stop running eventually. Hadia and her family went to Alberta — where her dad had bought a grave plot — and she got mad at her cousins for not seeming to grieve her dad or understand her grieving. Levi was shown a video by one of the grooms of the Bensonville owner deriding Twilight and getting mad at Levi's comments about his horse. Hadia sat with her family through the funeral and then rose into the procession as they went to do the burial . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Matthew and Jonathan, in black suits, then went, with Hadia walking beside Emily — both of them in black dresses — and Timothy and Sara both being carried after them by Grandma and Grandpa Shannon, who were then followed by Grandma and Grandpa Onderka, and then all the aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Hadia kept her walking track slightly to the left of where she'd been told to be, mainly so that she could see the officers carrying Dad to the hearse outside, which was a black carriage, drawn by four black horses, driven by one of Grandpa Shannon's longtime friends who drove wagons for a living — but had refused to be paid for this one because Dad was a Mountie.
Being as the cemetery wasn't that far away everyone was just going to walk behind the hearse, and as it pulled away, the four handsome black horses looking quite beautiful in the sunlight, much less in the harness, Hadia felt tears pricking her eyes.
She kept up her stride, even though she wanted to falter and stop, while Mom followed close behind the hearse, the two columns of officers having split into lines of three and fallen back to be walking alongside Matthew and Jonathan in stoic unison.
Hadia watched as the hearse turned into the cemetery before she made the turn herself, following the hearse over to where the hole was dug and ready. The officers quickly picked up speed and formed into one unit between Mom and the hearse as the hearse pulled ahead and parked.
The door was opened and the officers gently removed the coffin before carrying it over to the hole, which was framed by a silver fence that had two broad green straps spread across the short way, with a lot of extra strap rolled up on either side.
With great care the officers set the coffin down on the straps, where it wiggled a little bit, before they removed the great big piece of elasticised red fabric from around the coffin that had been holding the flag down.
Two officers then removed the flag, folded it neatly into a triangle, and presented it to Mom, who nodded a teary thanks and clutched the flag to herself.
Everyone gathered around the hole, the pastor appearing at the head of the coffin, where he opened his Bible and read a few passages. An assistant produced a little tube, from which he poured sand in the shape of a cross onto the coffin pretty much directly on top of where Dad's head was.
The pastor then prayed and one of the funeral home people caused the straps to start unrolling and lower the coffin into the hole. Mom uttered a loud sob and Grandpa Onderka came forward to hug her, while Grandma Onderka knelt down by Emily and held her close.
Tears Hadia had been long striving to restrain flowed down her cheeks as she watched the dark wooden coffin be settled down onto the boards that had been placed down at the bottom."

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Entering In: Day 3

Word Count: 18,005

Summary of Events:
Hadia and her family ended up receiving word from one of her dad's fellow officers that her dad had been fatally shot while helping conduct a police raid. Levi, his grandfather, his father, and one of his uncles held a press conference after all the races because everyone wanted to talk to Levi about Twilight. Traeton arrived in Tallulah and discovered that the woman he'd robbed had been carrying a significant amount of cash, he then managed to pinch some unattended running shoes because he'd lost one of his in the robbery.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Silently Hadia stood in the pasture beside the contentedly grazing mare, whose tail switched from side to side as she nibbled her way across the pasture. Mom had talked with Mrs. Blanch over the phone the day after they'd gotten the news and they'd suggested that she cancel her riding lessons.
Hadia didn't want to, though. She liked horses, especially Maiden. Even though Maiden wasn't hers, she'd become good friends with Maiden, and Maiden knew all kinds of secrets even Mom didn't know. She didn't want to be without the ability to talk to Maiden.
As a result, Mom and Mrs. Blanch were of the mind that she wasn't going to have any more riding lessons, but she'd be free to come out whenever she needed to and spend time with Maiden.
Part of Hadia wants to ride still, and she'd begged Mom and Mrs. Blanch to let her do it, but as she'd be tacking Maiden up she'd been assaulted by memories of Dad first taking her to the stables, and him riding in the Musical Ride in his dress uniform, and him riding with her when the stables had hosted the weekend trail ride last year — when she'd finally been experienced enough to go on it — and before she knew it she'd had her head buried in Maiden's shoulder and been found sobbing by Mrs. Blanch.
It was mostly that which had caused Mom and Mrs. Blanch to decide that she could still come and visit Maiden whenever she wanted, but she wouldn't be asked or expected to ride Maiden.
She was sure Maiden didn't mind not having to be ridden, but she knew Maiden liked being around her, after all, Maiden had whinnied and trotted over to her when she'd come to the fence and called.
Even though she wasn't riding, Hadia felt rather comforted by standing beside Maiden, who looked so beautiful, with her glistening black coat — part of why Hadia had chosen Maiden to be her horse, being as she was a black horse like the Mounties rode — the narrow blaze down her forehead, the white pastern on her foreleg, and the long white stocking on the hind leg across from that foreleg.
Dad had said Maiden was a pretty horse, although Mounties typically went with horses the closest to full black as possible, and there were some times that Hadia had imagined becoming a policewoman, but considering that it wouldn't involve horses all that much, she'd pretty much decided she didn't want to do it. If there was any one thing for certain that she wanted to do, it was some sort of work with horses."

Pronunciation:
Blanch: blahnsh

Friday, June 02, 2017

Entering In: Day 2

Word Count: 12,007

Summary of Events:
Hadia's dad arrived home from work and got into something of a heated discussion with her mother due to Hadia's presence in the kitchen when he romantically greeted her. Levi felt nervous about Twilight's first race even though it was the seventh race on the day and the first race hadn't run yet, so he went and visited Twilight to help settle himself down. Traeton, looking for food or money, helped an old woman load her groceries into her car before making off with her purse. Levi, still nervous, watched all the pre-race preparations on the backside . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Once all the horses were on the track Levi stood along the rail, tension seizing him again as all the horses were led around to stand neatly along the homestretch for the crowds to observe before being led back to the gate, where they loaded.
From here Levi had a decent view of the gate, and definitely a better idea of how the horses were loading than someone in his grandfather's position. The Bensonville horse put up a touch of a struggle, but not as bad as the five horse.
Twilight loaded like a dream and the horses after her weren't too bad. Then there was the painfully tense moment of waiting that always seemed to drag on too long, yet always end prematurely.
The horses shot out and Levi clutched the rail desperately, watching as they thundered out of sight, only the din of their hooves to be heard as they took forever to round the corner and come along the backstretch.
Twilight wasn't in front, but she was holding her own in the top five, the Bensonville horse was ahead of her.
Tom's hand settled gently on his shoulder. "You know how she runs, don't worry."
"Too late for that," Levi replied as the horses disappeared back onto the homestretch, the crowd roaring and rising to their feet in a wave that couldn't have been better if it'd been choreographed.
The horses soon appeared again and Levi couldn't see Twilight initially, but as they got closer he saw that she was ahead now, in third place, the Bensonville horse trailing behind her.
"Fly!" Levi shouted. "Fly Twilight!"
As they disappeared around the corner he saw her start to pull away from the rail in a homestretch charge. His ears strained to make out the announcer's call.
"And the nine horse, Twilight of Destiny, is making her move now. She's really pulled away! She's in the lead!"
Levi put his hands over his face, not sure what he felt.
"And without any doubt it is Twilight of Destiny with the win, with a photo for second and third."
"Yes!" Levi shouted.
"So what was all that worrying for?" Tom asked.
"I don't know," Levi replied. "But it doesn't matter now."
Still trembling with the exhilaration of the moment, Levi followed Tom around to where Rod and Twilight — who looked to still be trembling with excitement herself — were waiting for them.
"What'd I tell you kid?" Rod called. "She was made for this stuff!"
Levi hurried onto the track and clasped Twilight about the neck. He held her without moving for a long time before he pulled back and clutched her head to his chest.
"That is my girl," he whispered, feeling moisture in his eyes at the excitement. "That is what I always want to see.""

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Entering In: Day 1

Word Count: 6,048

Summary of Events:
Levi watched his filly in her morning training run, as usual, and talked with Tom, the trainer, and Rod, the jockey, afterwards. Hadia got tired of waiting for her older brother to get up and so went and woke him up herself, only to get into an argument that led to him mocking her for being rather short. Traeton arrived in Vicksburg and managed to get a little something to eat from a restaurant dumpster — although he got wounded fending off the crows and seagulls also vying for sustenance — before managing to steal some food from a truck at a grocery store that would get him through the next day without the same battles. Levi readied for his grand entrance at the family's Derby Eve Ball . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"With a light touch, Levi stroked cologne onto his collarbones before shrugging the crisp, fresh white dress shirt over his shoulders and buttoning it up neatly.
He then pulled on the perfectly pressed deep charcoal grey dress pants and tucked the shirt inside before putting on the vest of rich, deep navy.
Before he put on the jacket that matched the pants, he flipped up his collar and tied the bowtie of silvery satin and affixed the rhombus-shaped cufflinks, set with turquoise, save the S that filled them, which was set with mother-of-pearl.
Finally the jacket was on and Levi exited the washroom to put on his socks and polished black dress shoes, and then exited the bedroom to appear at the top of the balcony.
Shutters clicked and flashes flickered as the media gathered at one of the premier events on the calendar of the rich and famous who came to Louisville for Derby Week eagerly catalogued his outfit.
Slowly Levi walked along, drawing close to the rail so as to slide his hand along it while the media and the women gathered in the receiving hall swooned at his appearance.
Admittedly, he felt something like the Great Gatsby — not that he'd ever read the book, but he had a general idea of what it was about — and the fact that he was inside an opulent Georgian mansion that was decorated in the vogue of the late nineteenth century only helped the mood.
Stopping at the centre of the entryway onto the landing just below the balcony, Levi stopped, almost as if he'd been frozen stiff suddenly, and he did so long enough for an uneasy murmur to ripple through the crowd.
He then whipped around to face them, stepped down to the landing, and leaned against the railing that separated him from the twelve-foot drops to the floor below.
As he looked down at the crowd a thought came to his head. It was a thought he'd had before, and, at times, much more seriously entertained; but he was much to exhilarated right about now to give it much more than passing notice: what if the railing gave out and caused him to plummet to his death?
The thought never scared him. In fact, there were times when he relished in it, but things were good right now, he had no reason to think of such morbid things, he had a filly racing on Saturday who was his — or, at leas as much his as his grandfather would allow.
Technically, he only had a fifty percent interest in Twilight. His father had twenty five percent — although he'd been willing not to have anything — and his grandfather had the remaining twenty five — which was the least he had on any horse that lived on his property."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

June Novel Essential Information

Novel Title: Entering In
Time Setting: 2009
Genre: Life
Minimum Word Goal: 120,000
Timespan: May–October
Locations: Paris, Louisville, & Lexington, Kentucky; Prince Rupert & Victoria, British Columbia; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Tallulah, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Elmont, New York
Main Characters: H. Levi Cavanaugh, Hadia Shannon, Traeton Stasiak
Background Information:
Levi is the only child his parents were able to have, and also the only grandson on his father's side, and as a result of the latter, has lived a life with little obscurity.
His grandfather started a horse racing stable in 1953, as well as a breeding farm in 1958 — when he couldn't bear to sell the horse he'd raced which was then at retirement age — and a riding school in 1966 — when his oldest son wanted to take riding lessons.
The racing stables produces many quality racehorses for his grandfather, or for others via their breeding stables, and some famous equestrian athletes have trained and/or taught at the riding school, which has led to experts estimating the value of the three businesses alone at more than $6 billion.
The three businesses — known collectively as the Spectaculaire Equestrian Corporation (SEC) — are headed up by Levi's grandfather, with Levi's father and two uncles working as presidents over one area each, although the control is still in his grandfather's hands.
Because Levi is the only grandson of his grandfather many are speculating that Levi will either receive the greatest portion of the SEC, or possibly even the whole thing. Regardless, Levi's handsomeness and the fact that he's, at least unofficially, considered Kentucky's most eligible bachelor have made him famous in spite of his association with the prestigious SEC.
Not, though, that Levi lacks talent in and of himself. He's been well known to be an adept horseman, but that's going to be truly put to the test beginning in May.
Levi's father chose to preside over the breeding farm, and allowed Levi to be involved in the operation from a young age. Three years ago, at the age of seventeen, Levi was allowed to pick an entire pairing whose resultant foal's profits would be divided so Levi got half, and his father and grandfather each getting a quarter. Levi picked a mare and stallion who were considered horses with good confirmation and mediocre bloodlines who'd barely had average careers on the track, which has surprised everyone.
The resultant filly, everyone agrees, is beautiful, but considering her bloodlines, no one really thinks she'll do all that well on the track. Levi, on the other hand, is certain that there is something great about this filly, and he can only hope that he's right.

Hadia is the oldest daughter and third child of six living in a generally normal Canadian household. Her father is an RCMP officer, and her mother stays at home, homeschooling all of the children.
She was born in Alberta, but promotions throughout the ranks of the RCMP caused her family to move to BC when she was nine, and they've lived there since then.
In part because her father is an RCMP officer — and because he went on the Musical Ride tour just a couple years before the family moved to BC — Hadia has always had an avid interest in horses, and so has been taking riding lessons since the family moved to BC.
She's not entirely sure what she wants to do with the riding lessons, or if she wants to get into some sort of other horse-related job, but she is certain that her life would be nothing short of pointless if there were no horses in it.

Traeton is the only child his mother had, by his father, and he was born significantly sooner than all of his siblings, having been born when his mother had just graduated from high school. She'd moved to Los Angeles from her native Baker, California in the hopes of going to college, but an encounter with a handsome man on the beach led to his conception and her returning home to her family.
When he was three years old his mother met a trucker from Alabama whose accent won her heart and he took her and Traeton to Alabama to live with him. The trucker and his mother had a daughter together before their relationship fell apart when Traeton was six.
A year or so later, still living in Alabama, his mom fell in love with another man, whom she married, despite the fact that he and Traeton didn't get along.
The man turned out to be a gambler and a drunk, as well as being highly abusive — although he fathered five children with Traeton's mother — and Traeton's life with him was difficult, especially as the disagreements between him and his stepfather grew.
Finally, at the age of fourteen, five years ago, Traeton ran away from home, and since has wandered around the South in a mostly homeless and vagrant way, looking for a place to live, but yet paranoid still that his stepfather will hunt him down and beat him into oblivion for running away, which prevents him from sticking around in any one place for too long.

Pronunciations:
Cavanaugh: kahvahnaw
Traeton: traytin
Stasiak: stahseeack
Spectaculaire: specktackyoul'air

The novel begins June 1.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trustful: Day 15

Word Total: 90,004

Year to Date: 510,047

Summary of Events:
Rosemarie received one of the dresses Wolfgang had found and sent her own back with the eagle. Wolfgang cut up the dress and sent it back to Rosemarie before packing and helping her get out; Hulda noticed them, however, and managed to destroy the part of the fortress that led to the trigger to open the door down the stairs, but Wolfgang made use of another secret passageway to wake up the ghosts so that they'd distract Hulda, however, one of them ended up wounding him . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"A low groan brought her attention back to Herr Edler, whose eyes opened and appeared to be shining  a bright white. Rosemarie shrieked in fright and turned to flee, but the eagle's squawk stopped her.
She looked into the eagle's eyes. His stare was intense, but nothing short of relieving and reassuring. She suddenly felt that she ought to get out one of the oils and apply it to Herr Edler's wounds.
Although her hands still trembled, Rosemarie did as she felt she ought. Herr Edler's body relaxed; his eyes, wide open, glowed a white-blue, almost the colour of moonlight, Rosemarie felt, for a time before the light faded and his eyes returned to their natural blue colour.
After a few moments his chest seemingly convulsed back into action and he blinked before trying to sit up and look at her.
"Josef," Rosemarie whispered, relief flowing through her.
The eagle took off and Rosemarie pulled Herr Edler to his feet. He looked shaky, but normal.
"Are you alright?" Rosemarie asked.
"All things considered," Herr Edler replied.
"I've got the serving platters, come," Rosemarie said.
She took up the platters in one hand and grabbed his hand with the other. He staggered after her initially, but seemed to regain strength as he went with her.
Rosemarie led him up the stairs, but then stopped. "Now where do we go?"
"It's a gamble," Herr Edler replied. "But I feel there might be another trigger for the door."
Rosemarie nodded while Herr Edler took a platter from her hand and led her out along the causeway to the north, across from the crumbled ruins where her bedroom — among other things — had been.
Seeing a large window and an opulent bed now made visible by the rubble, Rosemarie stopped.
"What?" Herr Edler asked.
"That's the room," Rosemarie said.
"I know," Herr Edler replied. "That's where I found the dresses, come on, the ghosts look to be losing, we can't waste any time."
Rosemarie hurried after Herr Edler, slowing when he slowed and walked more at a normal stride. She heard a grinding of stone before the door opened.
"What made you think there would be another trigger?" Rosemarie asked.
"I don't know," Herr Edler replied. "I just hoped that there was another one. Not that it's to worry about now, come on."
He led her into the corridor, down the stairs to the landing that went to the exit door. Setting his serving platter down, he sat on it.
"We're going to slide down the stairs on serving platters?" Rosemarie asked in disbelief.
"Yes," Herr Edler replied. "The children at court did it all the time. Carpet makes it quieter, but it makes a trip down the stairs much faster regardless."
He carefully slid his platter forward until it tipped down the stairs and rattled off.
Nervously, Rosemarie set her platter down, sat the same way as Herr Edler had, and followed his lead."

Next post will be on May 31.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trustful: Day 14

Word Count: 84,017

Summary of Events:
Wolfgang tried to think of anywhere he'd been where there was a long stretch of wall that could be hiding a secret door, and then realised that Rosemarie's tower fit the clue he'd been given by the Elven-Lord. Rosemarie and Wolfgang had a long conversation that was somewhat an argument as Rosemarie was frustrated that Wolfgang wouldn't just cut up either her cloak or her blanket to finish off the ladder. Wolfgang decided to examine the stone that opened the secret door to the stairs, and by doing so ended up being spied by Hulda, who pursued him; he got into Rosemarie's room and, while hiding behind the door, discovered several bricks were loose, so he went to see what was on the other side of them . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sliding out from behind the wooden object, Wolfgang couldn't believe his eyes. He was, indeed, standing in the very same room Rosemarie had described. He had to be.
There was a long wall to his left which appeared — and only appeared, Wolfgang was sure — to have no doors, and an equally long wall to his right which had a truly immense window in it, right at the head of the bed, which was comfortably dressed.
Beside him — having just been pushed out of the way by him to get into the room — was a wardrobe, above him were horribly cobwebbed rafters, and ahead of him was an incredibly grand fireplace, although the hearth was cold from long going unused.
Quickly Wolfgang turned to the wardrobe and opened it.
He almost wanted to shout for joy and relief. Fabric! He'd found fabric! There were three dresses in the closet fit for the cutting and using in the ladder.
Wolfgang pulled them out of the closet and nearly embraced them with elation. He drew out his dagger, but then paused and looked at them.
These dresses were not made out of plain, undyed linen, but were made out of coloured cotton, and in the closet he also spied a leather corset of the type that peasant women wore on the outsides of their dresses — that way they could make their dresses the size to accommodate them with child, but yet have them appear normally sized when they weren't carrying a child.
So the which room had the Elven-Lord been referring to? Because, with these dresses, Wolfgang could cut up Rosemarie's dress and give her these cleaner, nicer, more comfortable — he was sure, as he'd only touched linen and found it to be quite itchy — dresses to wear, which would make her not look quite so out of place.
Unless the Elven-Lord's riddling rhyme had been referring to both rooms. He could see that, being as both rooms fit the description.
Taking up the corset, Wolfgang felt it. It was tough, hard to manipulate, and rough to the touch. Hulda had oil they could use to soften it up again, they'd just have to do it as they went.
Wolfgang then shifted his jaw. Hulda was still waiting for him somewhere, he was sure. How was he supposed to get out of here with the dresses to get them to Rosemarie, much less get the two of them out of the fortress in all due haste? After all, it would probably be best for them to get out of the fortress as quickly as they could.
But, then again, it might be an idea to wait one more night and then make their escape in the morning; that way Hulda would, hopefully, give up on waiting for him to move, or whatever she was doing, and have let her guard back down a bit so they could make their escape."