Rex emerged from behind Coach Dan. He had been silent, his tall thin body seeming to disappear during the game of Castle, but as he spoke his presence filled the empty cafeteria. “Come on, Myles. You’ve beaten everyone here, there’s nothing left for you to prove.”
With eyes closed, Myles shifted his head left, then right. Not quick, not wide, but with just enough movement to signify that he did not agree. He opened his eyes, darted his eyes to his right — finding Coach Dan (talking with Annie) with his gaze, he turned. “There’s one person I haven’t faced yet.”
“And when — ” Coach Dan stopped in mid-sentence. Blinked. Frowned, then after shifting to an accepting smile, turned towards Myles. “I don’t think — ”
“You were regional champion in foil for, what, northern Illinois?” Grinning, Myles walked in Coach Dan’s direction. “And had entered a few tournaments in college before your — ” his face dropped in comic hyperbolic sorrow — “poor, unfortunate accident.”
“Myles — ” Annie was stopped from speaking further by a quick hand signal from Coach Dan, now staring intently back at Myles.
The freshman student at State and former captain of Bark Bay High School’s fencing team turned slightly, placing his right foot forward, left foot perpendicular. Bent his knees, and extended his right arm forward, holding a foil that he now aimed towards Coach Dan’s head. “But that was — twenty years ago? I’ve seen you leading drills, coach, I know you must be healed. So why — why is it that you don’t compete?”