Monday, November 25, 2013

Victory Dance!

Yahoo! And I'm even done early so that I can run away for Thanksgiving and not be counting words or fretting about any of my characters getting left behind!

Here's a little snippet from chapter two...a fun launching pad for a rather exciting series of adventures!

It was the day after their trip to Spain and the students were debriefing with Mr. Wiseman during their Gifted and Talented class. They had been anxious to finally reach the last period of the day so they could finally break the silence and talk about their mission. The class waited patiently as Mr. Wiseman read back through the report, watching him as he periodically popped a lemon drop in his mouth from his stash on his desk.

Espi sat in her usual seat in the front row, chewing on her thumbnail and swinging one foot nervously from side to side. X sat just behind her, staring at his empty desktop with his hands tucked in his lap. Every few seconds, he glanced up at his teacher, blinking rapidly, before he returned his gaze to his desk. Peter’s long legs stuck out into the aisle as he sat with his elbows propped up on the desk positioned immediately behind X. He chewed on his lower lip and counted the ceiling tiles again. The twins sat a few rows over and whispered in their secret language. Charlie sat with his left foot resting on the seat of the desk in front of him, an ice pack covering his bandaged ankle.

Mr. Wiseman cleared his throat and all the students sat up at attention, eyes focused on the top of their teacher’s head. A few moments of expectation passed, but Mr. Wiseman continued reading, making a few notes with his red pencil. “A false alarm,” Peter said in a quiet voice resulting in a few chuckles from his fellow students. The laughter finally broke the silence that filled the room, the spell that seemed to hang over everyone. Leaning forward in his seat, Peter tapped X on the shoulder. When his friend turned around, he whispered, “Maybe it’s my terrible writing that has him so enthralled. He doesn’t usually take this long to review our reports.”

“That’s what I was thinking. I hope there’s wrothing nong. Uh, nothing wrong,” X stuttered. “I’ve been nervous all day. Ever since we got back yesterday and Charlie was injured, I’ve had this terrible feeling that we just had our trast lip. Last trip.”

Peter nodded and patted X on the shoulder before responding. “Mr. Wiseman would never just pull the plug on our missions. He would be sure that we all had a chance to talk it through. This is the first trouble we’ve had since the trip to the circus, and I’m sure he’ll take that into consideration.”

“I hope so. I’ve been chewing my nails all day long. Mira...look at my hands,” Espi thrust her hands onto X’s desk. “Mi mamá took me to get a manicure this past weekend and now look. They are a mess. My mom is going to explode. Ugh.” She shook her head sadly and went back to chewing on her pinkie nail.

Peter leaned back in his chair and turned to face Charlie. “How’s the ankle? Is it still swollen?”

With a wince, Charlie leaned forward and shifted the ice pack. “Yeah, it’s pretty puffy.”

“The doctor wants the swelling to go down...” Charlotte added.

“ they can do the x-ray.”

“Then they’ll know whether he needs...”

“...a cast or a splint.” Charlie finished with a frown.

“Sorry, man,” Peter said. “Let me know if you need help carrying your backpack or anything.”

“Thanks. So far, Charlotte has been...”

“...your pack mule,” she said with a smile, “Hee-haw!”

At the sound of Charlotte’s donkey sound-effects, Mr. Wiseman looked up from the report and smiled. “Thanks for being patient, team. I know you are anxious to talk through yesterday’s mission, but I needed to get my thoughts in order. You can imagine my surprise upon your arrival yesterday afternoon, so it’s been very helpful for me to have Peter’s report to grasp a better idea of what transpired while you were gone. Peter, great job with the write up, by the way. You managed to paint a very complete picture for me of what happened on that street and I believe that it will be helpful as we make decisions related to future missions.”

“What do you mean ‘decisions’? Espi blurted. “We were as careful as we could be. Please let us go back. Por favor, Señor Wiseman.” Her fellow students nodded, leaning forward in their seats in support.

Mr. Wiseman lifted a hand in the air. “Calm down, calm down. I have no intention of terminating our Time Bender missions.” A collective sigh filled the room. “What I mean is that we need to learn from this experience before moving on. By making appropriate changes, you will be a better team and better able to face any new challenges you might face. Do you understand?” The students nodded silently.

“Okay. Good. Now, I did have an opportunity to talk with Charlie and Charlotte’s mom and dad yesterday. I called them just before the bell rang, after you five reappeared in a pile on the floor in front of my desk.” This memory garnered a laugh from everyone.

Peter chuckled, “The look on your face, Mr. Wiseman, was priceless.”

“Yeah, your eyes were bugged out of your head,” giggled Espi.

“Well now, put yourself in my place. You had only been gone a moment and then suddenly there you are: Espi gripping Charlotte’s pigtail, Charlotte clutching the cuff of X’s pants, X clinging to Peter’s belt loop and Peter grasping Charlie’s hand who is sprawled on the floor grabbing his ankle. What a mess!”

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