Chapter 6 – February 14A

The third Tuesday

Jimmy (who still refused to be called Mr. Saunders) held the epee, the blade resting along the palm of his left hand, his right grasping the handle. Then asked the same question that Rex (standing to Jimmy’s left) had asked last week.

Rune shook his head. “No, my aunt said that was all the fencing equipment the guy had for sale.”

“We’ll have to test weight.” Jimmy twisted the handle, brought the tip of the weapon up close to his eyes. Pursed his lips approvingly. “Coach, he got a test box back at his apartment — ” there was no need to keep it at the school, the team never got to practice with electronics — “he’ll make any adjustments necessary before Saturday.” He looked up at Rex, widened his eyes. “You are fencing Saturday.”

“Miss Blago, she’s gonna come over, stay with my family at the trailer.”

Jimmy blinked, understanding only enough to be certain Rex would indeed be fencing. Looked over at Rune. “How ’bout you, hot shot?”

Before the teen could answer, he heard Coach Dan’s voice behind him, calling his name. Rune saw him standing, foil in his right hand and mask in his left, wearing his tattered black plastron (purchased, for an undisclosed nominal fee, from Coach Gabby at the Academy). He tapped the foil’s tip twice on the tiled cafeteria floor, the sound barely audible but the signal unmistakably clear.

Rune raced over to the canvas sacks that contained the team’s equipment, quickly identified his preferred foil and mask, finally arriving a moment later in front of his coach. The middle aged English teacher at Bark Bay High School raised his foil, the blade extended in a line rising above the teen’s head, his salute matched by Rune; a swift downward swipe of their blades completed the action, and a moment later the teacher and his student, masks secured on their heads, crouched down into en garde position.

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