Pestiferous

[For the Day Thireen Blogging 101 assignment, I am participating in KittyKat’s Word for Wednesday blogging event. As with other 101 assignments, the task I’m performing is similar to one I already do from time to time on my blog — use an interesting word I come across in my reading, and incorporate that word into a short scene of the novel I’m drafting.]

“Halt.” Coach Dan’s command was more pointed than usual as he turned his attention away from the bout he was officiating. His bearded chin pointed in the direction of the equipment sacks that sat, along with three members of the Bark Bay High School fencing team, at the far end of the large cafeteria floor.

“Can I ask what you’re doing over there, my friends?” In response to his coach’s question, Rune raised his head, greasy hair reflecting off the overhead lights.

“Just having some fun.” Sitting across from Rune, Butch and OK kept their heads down and giggled, their attention focused on the papers lying in front of them on the tiled floor. “Nothing to see here.”

“But there is over here.” Butch and OK raised their heads. “We’re here to fence, folks, not play games.”

Rune pointed at Rex, then Annie, as the two waited for their bout to resume. “They’re the only ones fencing now.”

And you should be watching them.” The voice of the English teacher and volunteer fencing coach boomed, seeming to amplify off the bare walls and floor. “You’re not going to learn anything about fencing over there, playing that pestiferous game! This is practice, folks — so let’s act like we’re practicing.”

He turned quickly, cheeks reddening under his black beard. And as he heard the three teens rising behind him, he waved Annie and Rex back to their en garde positions. “Now then — ” he spread his arms, palms down, toward the teens — “fencers ready?” 

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