Chapter 6 – February 4H

Rune had a tennis ball he’d retrieved from the far end of the cafeteria, while The Bird held a sock given to her by Coach Dan. Rune held the ball with his fingertips up to The Bird.

The Bird asked Rune if he wanted to go first. “Sure.” Rune shrugged. “I don’t care.” The Bird replied that she could go first, if that’s — “I said I don’t care, just take the ball already.” The Bird asked him why he sounded so upset. “I’m not upset.” Rune’s eyes flared. “I just wanna get this dumb drill over with.” Sensing Rune was about to throw the ball at her, The Bird took it from his fingers.

Following the instructions of her coach, The Bird began the drill, holding the ball in her right hand while spinning the sock in front with her left. She took a step back, but stopped when she saw Rune’s hands on his hip.

“You’re doing it backwards.” The Bird replied that she was left-handed, it was easier for her to work the sock with her left. It’s like fencing a lefty, she said.

Rune shook his head, his greasy red hair quivering from the motion. “Whatever. It’s a stupid drill, anyway.”

Unable to heed the cautionary voice that told her that further questioning would do more harm than good, The Bird asked why he thought that way. Rune waved a dismissive hand in the direction of Coach Dan, after first glancing over and seeing he wasn’t looking in their direction. “He spent all that time making fun of me for what I said about looking at the arm, look at the shoulder instead, and then he has us do a drill where we never look at the shoulder!”

The Bird suggested that he was missing the point, that the drill was about using your peripheral vision.

“Like I said, whatever.” Rune squatted down into on-guard position with an air of resignation, as if he were being pushed down by an invisible giant hand.

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