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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Poetry: Love is Not Tough

Buddhism 150He stands doe-eyed
as he faces a fear disrobed from its darkness,
sprawled naked before him.
Behind the flash of terror
an animal runs into the thicket
of safe and soft and warm.

The world imagines this is the part
where we get to hit him with bamboo
shake the bushes, rattle the cage
fill the safe spaces with the noises of hell
to make him come leaping out.

This, we are told, is what the old masters would do.
Shine the lights on every hiding place until
exposure was the only option
and the fear killed you. Buddha would spring
from the wreckage wearing your clothes
his mouth as wide as a newborn’s

But here is what I think: clarity from trauma
can only come with the softness
and the distance of time.
So when I see him, the whites of his eyes
flashing and frozen, see him retreating
I want to hide with him
Breathe with him
Fear with him

Then, when the panic restores our vision
I turn him around in our safe spaces
and watch from a distance as we notice
what we’re afraid of is never as big as we think
and even when we grow closer
its size, its rough edges
remain dulled, shrunken.

But that’s my idea, a step here, a small bolt of genius
that strikes us when we examine ourselves
after we’ve given in. I have no use for bamboo.
I am a Soto kid
in a Rinzai world.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Buddhism

 

The AFI Top 100 Films: Singin’ in the Rain (#10)

Entertainment 150Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds
Written by Adolph Green and Betty Comden
Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

It’s interesting to me that so many movies chronicle the rise of the “talkies” and the demise of so many silent film stars once pictures had sound. It must have been the last truly apocalyptic moment in movie-making; the monumental shift in acting from pantomime and stage-ready hamming to smaller gestures and voice-heavy emoting saw an entire class of major stars suddenly fade in a few years’ time, giving rise to a new crop of actors who could look and sound the part.

Some films — like the amazing Sunset Boulevard — take a dramatic look at the toll on the psyche that summary rejection brings you. Singin’ in the Rain takes the path of the romantic comedy, instead, where the disruption of the talkies and the influx of new talent actually allows most of its stars to move on to bigger and better things. Of course, the broad plot is mostly window dressing for a number of really amazing musical productions — mostly choreographed by Gene Kelly himself.

Kelly is Don Lockwood, who is one of the biggest silent screen stars of his day with partner Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). They’re always in love on film, and Lina has taken to thinking that they’re lovers off-screen as well. Neither Don nor his former partner, Cosmo Brown (O’Connor) like Lina very much, though. When talking pictures hit big, Don’s voice is a perfect fit for the kinds of roles he plays — Lina, whose voice is shrill and high, doesn’t do so well. It’s decided that her voice be dubbed over with Kathy Selden’s (Reynolds), a struggling actress that Don almost immediately falls in love with instead.

It’s easy to guess where the film is going from that set-up, but the destination isn’t the point — how entertained we are getting there is. And that’s where Singin’ in the Rain really shines. Kelly and O’Connor have a great chemistry, and they riff off of each other quite well. Both of them are workhorses when it comes to song and dance, and they attack each number with a ferocity I don’t think I’ve ever seen. O’Connor’s work on “Make ‘Em Laugh” is rumored to be so difficult he was bed-ridden for three days trying to recover, or so the story goes.

Every. Single. Song.

They just dance like this for every song.

Hagen is great as Lina Lamont. She’s calculated her performance with just the right amount of charisma so that you love to hate her. She’s a ridiculously fun villain, and she understands just what she’s for in every scene. So many of the movie’s highlights belong to her; whenever the proceedings are in danger of becoming too sappy, she punches it up with the right amount of tartness.

But the movie unquestionably belongs to Kelly. When people think of the big Hollywood musicals of the 40s and 50s, this is the movie they think about — and with good reason. Every song crackles with energy, the cast is obviously having a great time, the whole affair moves with a briskness that makes its 100-minute running time seem even shorter. It’s an iconic movie, the one that every golden-age musical is judged against. It’s a timeless movie that somehow manages to catch the distinct style of entertainment in the 50s while chronicling a subject that swept through cinema twenty-five years earlier.

If your tolerance for musicals is low, then chances are you won’t really dig Singin’ in the Rain. If you’re curious about them, though, and wonder why a lot of those old movies have such a devoted following after all these years, this should be the film you watch to see why.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in AFI Top 100, Movies, Reviews

 

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The Writing You Would Like to See

One of the things I would like to do with the writing desk is post up stories that I’m still noodling around with — character studies, scraps of short fiction, posts talking through the process of setting up character, theme, plot. I realize the dangers of talking an idea out of existence, but I think with these it might help to have a bit of feedback from folks. The public forum would also encourage me to push through any resistance to make sure something goes up here every Friday.

To that end, I’d like to ask you what you’d like to read. Please take a moment or two to read through the synopses below and vote in the poll afterwards to let me know what you’d like me to write on Fridays for the month of February. By telling me what you would like to read, I can get a better sense of what you guys would be most engaged by. I’ve got three different ideas to move forward on, all featuring stories that I’ve written about here before. Now’s the time to take another pass at a deep dive for them:

Sleepwalkers
Sarah Rhinehart comes from a broken and abused family, so she figures the visions that she sees are just her way of dealing with the horror of a monstrous father every day. However, when they start to bleed over into aspects of her life they’ve never been before — and when other people acknowledge their existence — she begins to think that something else entirely is going on.

This Chimerical Life
The Earth is under attack. Immense, mysterious alien beings have taken up residence in our oceans, and every once in a while invade our coasts. The people unlucky enough to come into contact with them during an incursion end up…changed. Matthew is one of those people, and must now face the horrifying, alienating experience of a transformation that will force him out of his old life into something new.

Origin Story
Bryan Boyd is a harried undergrad working on his English degree. While working on a newspaper assignment at Claw and Atom — the pre-eminent science and research company in the country — a strange set of circumstances lead him quickly into an insane world where his understanding of the way the world works is completely upended. What’s worse, he just might be the vanguard of the next stage of evolution for sentient lifeā€¦

Of course, none of these three settings might be grabbing you; if there’s another playground you’d like to see me working in, let me know in the comments!

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Furries, Writing

 

Friday Fiction: Cleaning Up

Writing 150(I wanted to do something relatively small and slice-of-life, but still furry. A friend recommended a short short about two siblings cleaning up a room, and this is what I came up with. 750 words.)

Emily took a deep breath and opened the door. Charles was inside already, next to the bed, holding a broom down in both paws like it would fly off without him. He looked up at her, startled, and began sweeping again. He had clearly been lost in thought.

“Hey,” he said, staring down at the floor. His long ears and whiskers drooped. He clutched the broom like a crutch.

“Hey,” she said, and stepped inside. The room was just the way it was the last time she left it; it was halfway between something lived in and something clinical. Mom’s scent was fighting for dominance with plastic, deodorant, medical equipment. The bed hadn’t been made, she noticed. If she looked close, she could see the imprint of a body in the folds of the sheets.

The thought made her eyes sting and her whiskers bristle the way they did when she inhaled powdered pepper, so she abruptly turned away and faced the far wall. Boxes were stacked there, only half-packed with mom’s things. Charles, as usual, hadn’t been careful. He always favored speed over efficiency. She took in the brown cardboard in front of the bland, pastel wallpaper and breathed. Focus on the problems, she told herself. She was going to have to be clinical to get through this.

“Is this everything?” She walked towards the boxes, pointing at them. Charles looked up from where he was sweeping and shrugged. “I would have thought she’d have more stuff than that.”

“There’s probably only a few things they would let her have. You know she was bad at the end.” He mumbled this straight at the floor, probably knowing her hearing was good enough to pick it up. She had to wonder if he had any friends who couldn’t hear as well as his family could. Probably not. At the slightest provocation he curled into himself and bristled. Grandma always joked that he should have been a hedgehog.

Emily sighed. She would have to manage the packing, and she would have to manage Charles. But that was good. She’d be too busy thinking about what she needed to do to think about anything else. Don’t look at the bed, she told herself, and you’ll be fine.

“Well, I’m going to make sure everything’s packed well before taping up the boxes. Not that I think you did a bad job!” She put her paws up as soon as she caught his glower. “It’s just that we want to make sure this stuff survives the trip to storage. Is there a clean spot on the floor I can set the boxes?”

Charles pointed to a spot on the floor that looked like there was a small gathering of dust bunnies. Brown fur rolled towards the edges of the wall like miniature tumbleweed. Emily sighed, and shook her head. She would have to sweep again once Charles was gone. That meant a longer time resolutely staring away from the bed, and not thinking about how that bed was her mother’s entire world for the last three months of her life.

She set one of the boxes on top of the floor and opened them; there was a collection of keepsakes littered on a field of crumpled newspaper, protected but haphazardly placed. In one corner was one of her frilled lizards, an animal she collected and loved. There was a note pad, with her spidery handwriting skittering across the surface. A deck of cards, an ashtray that had been cleaned, a framed picture of her and Charles. Each one of them brought back a memory that she didn’t feel like dealing with, a reminder that she would never see her again.

She heard sniffling, then looked to see Charles flop on the bed. He slumped, shoulders rounded, ears folded, whiskers drooped. It hit Emily that she was about to cry just before he did. “She’s gone,” he said, and then began to sob.

Emily felt herself walking over to her brother before she knew what she was doing. She sat next to him, put her arm around him, and he turned and really cried on her shirt. She felt all of the resistance drain out of her, the stress that was holding her together, all melted onto the sheets and the half-filled boxes of her mother’s life. Suddenly she was so, so tired.

She buried her face in the back of Charles’ head. Her breath caught in her throat, and the tears fell freely.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Furries, Writing

 

The AFI Top 100 Films: It’s a Wonderful Life (#11)

Entertainment 150It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore
Written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra (screenplay) and Philip Van Doren Stern (story)
Directed by Frank Capra

Part of what makes It’s a Wonderful Life such an indelible movie is its inextricable tie to Christmas and the mood we all wish to be in during that holiday. We want to see the best in mankind, we want to believe that a community can come together to take care of one of its own when they’re in trouble, we want to believe that things turn out all right in the end. It’s a Wonderful Life indulges that desire in spades, giving us a bittersweet fable of small-town, picture-postcard America that’s at turns heartbreaking and life-affirming. It’s quite an interesting film, actually, when you think about it beyond its sentimentality.

James Stewart is George Bailey, a young man from the small town of Bedford Falls with a dream of traveling around the world. His family serves a vital function of the community; allowing the working poor to receive loans to start businesses and buy homes for themselves. Their nemesis is an old Wall St. type named Henry Potter (Barrymore), an exploitative slum lord who represents the ideal of the free market, I suppose. The only thing that stands in the way of his complete capitalist tyranny is the little Bailey Building and Loan Association.

George’s father has a stroke right when his brother graduates high school, which means he’s the only one who can run it — his brother isn’t ready and his father and uncle are both unfit now. He puts off his dream to sort out the mess, and his brother goes to college instead. When his brother returns, it’s with an enormous job offer that George knows he can’t turn down. He kills his dream of leaving Bedford Falls for the betterment of his brother, taking on the burden of running the Building and Loan by himself.

The pressure from Potter intensifies, especially after the market crash of 1929. George gives up more and more of his life, sacrificing the nest egg he had squirreled away for his honeymoon to prevent a run on the association. Meanwhile, his brother enlists during World War II, becomes a fighter pilot ace, travels the world and comes home to a hero’s welcome. On the day of the parade, George’s absent-minded uncle misplaces $8,000 of the bank’s money. Without that deposit, the Building and Loan is sunk and Potter wins.

Distraught, George berates his children and one of their teachers, yells at his wife, crashes his car and nearly commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. Here is the part of the story everyone knows — his guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) comes down to show him a dystopian Bedford Falls where he had never been born to show him the difference he’s made in people’s lives. Filled with joy at knowing the effect of his good works, George races through the streets of Bedford Falls towards his home, just in time for a Christmas miracle of the community’s own making. It really is one of the finest, most touching endings in cinematic history. I’m not ashamed to admit it makes me cry, every time.

What makes the ending so effective is what makes the rest of the movie so interesting and surprisingly complex. A lot of people ding this movie for its sentimentality, claiming that it gives easy answers that wouldn’t quite fly in the real world, and I disagree. What makes George Bailey such an extraordinary hero isn’t just that he tries so hard to do the right thing — it’s that sometimes he actually fails to. He’s not a saint; it’s clear that he resents his family and his community because of the choices he feels he has to make, and he doesn’t take care to find an outlet for it. The final straw simply uncovers what was already there — a man who feels trapped by responsibilities that may or may not be his, by the burden of being the difference between people’s happiness and their oppression.

It’s completely understandable that George would feel this way; he’s regularly sacrificed his happiness for other people, and he never seems to get a break. The rest of the community shows their appreciation at times, but they’re also just people — subject to mob mentality, panic and petty thoughts. Most people don’t have the emotional fortitude that Bailey possesses, and it’s rather difficult to be fair-minded about people you’ve stuck out your neck for but end up taking the easy way far too often.

This is the problem of the idealist; the world really doesn’t mold itself to your ideals all that often. And that disappointment can lead to a sort of desperation, the attachment that something good must come of your beliefs and deeds. As that disappointment continues, it poisons into resentment.

What It’s a Wonderful Life does is remind us that we do make a difference with our actions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. If we put goodness out into the world, it really does help. Life in Bedford Falls isn’t perfect, especially for George; his Building and Loan may be saved by the end of the movie, but it’s still stressed. He still has unfulfilled dreams that he’ll likely never be able to return to. He’s still surrounded by people who are prone to panic, small-mindedness and failing their own ideals. Nothing’s changed but his perception, and a newfound appreciation for the things that have gone right.

Capra has become known for his “perfect” Americana pieces, but I think this movie doesn’t quite get its due because of it. It’s a Wonderful Life shows us the worth of the transformative mindset, what happens when we let go of the expectation that good things will happen to us because we do good things. Karmic feedback rarely takes the form that we’re looking for, and success can take on a wide variety of definitions. George struggles, but he succeeds because his community does; they never would have been able to help him when he needed it most without his life lived helping them.

What makes me so enamored with that lesson is the idea that a life well-lived matters in ways we never see, but it also cautions us to take care of our own desires. Or at least, how we deal with them when they’re unfulfilled. We must pay attention to ourselves every once in a while if we’re to continue living our ideals.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a wonderful movie. For those of us who are community-minded, it’s a gem that justifies our beliefs and reminds us of the worth of the individual. There’s a lot going on underneath the candy-coated exterior of Bedford Falls, but isn’t that always the way of a small town?

 

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Hey Furries, Meet Sci-Fi/Fantasy!

Fandom 150Further Confusion 2014 is in the record books now, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you it was a hell of a convention. There were nearly 3,600 attendees this year, and it felt like there was an unending parade of things to do, people to see and places to be. I had a tremendously fun time hanging out with new friends and old, getting to know quite a few people better, catching up with folks that I had fallen out of touch with, and learning more about the creative process. I really couldn’t have asked for a better con.

I was on a few panels over the course of the convention, and pimped out this blog at the end of most of them. So, if you’re new to the Writing Desk — welcome! I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my cozy little corner of the Internet. I’ll be talking about writing, storytelling, spirituality and personal development, movies and fiction here. Feel free to drop a comment if you see something you like and/or disagree with!

One of the panels I was on over the weekend was “Furry vs. the Mainstream,” which talked about what the fandom has to offer the broader sci-fi/fantasy community, how we got to be a bit estranged from it in the first place, and why the time is right to make a push for our place at the table. The fandom at its best is a wonderfully inclusive community with a broad range of voices, experiences and viewpoints. We’re just the type of fresh blood the SF/F community needs if it’s going to adapt to the times and thrive.

That being said, I do think it’s important we gain a better understanding of the people who make up the SF/F community and what they think. One way we can do that is by taking a look at the things that are popular in the genre right now. Who are winning the awards? Who regularly pops up as a guest of honor at conventions large and small? What sort of themes and settings are people talking about? What are the similarities and differences between the ideas that are being played with by the SF/F community and the furry community?

We should think about this so that we understand the situation we’re stepping into. That way, we can put our best foot forward as a group and work to repair years of bad publicity, stereotypes and assumptions. We should be prepared to answer pointed questions and talk about uncomfortable subjects. We should think of ourselves as diplomats from a misunderstood and exciting country. We should be proud to be who we are, and come from where we do. But we must also understand the objections other people might have, and be patient while we work them out. It may not be easy all the time, but it IS worth doing.

I promised some of the attendees of the panel that I would recommend a few short stories and websites so they could take a look at the broader community. Feel free to recommend your own resources in the comments!

WEBSITES
io9 — This is the sci-fi/fantasy geek arm of the Gawker sites, and while your mileage may vary with the coverage and community there I’ve found it to be surprisingly smart and engaging. People can be snarky, but overall the editors of the site do a great job of signal-boosting both corporate and fan-made creations. Best of all, they regularly pay attention to the written word, sharing and broadcasting exciting novels and short stories from the genre.

Apex Magazine — A periodical featuring short stories and essays covering science-fiction, fantasy and horror. Great, wonderfully lyrical stories and essays that broach interesting topics I’ve never thought about abound here. Two authors with roots in the fandom have even been featured here — Tim Susman’s “Erzulie Dantor” was featured in the November 2012 issue and “Jackalope Wives” from Ursula Vernon was published in the January 2014 issue.

Tor Blog — A long-standing genre imprint that has published all manner of major names, Tor has a fantastic online community and blog that features posts from thoughtful writers and publishes short stories and novel excerpts that have been curated by the editors. It’s so easy to get lost here, and the variety is astonishing. You’re bound to find something you like, even if you have to do a little digging.

SHORT STORIES
“It’s a Good Life” by Jerome Bixby — Most people remember The Twilight Zone episode that came afterward, but the original short story from Jerome Bixby is a perfect little gem of strangeness and horror. Straightforward prose is peppered with evocative, descriptive language that heightens the mood wonderfully. One of my absolute favorites.

“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu — This is the first work of any length to sweep the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. It’s a wonderful modern-fantasy story that comes from the distinct experience of a Chinese-American person. “Mono no Aware” is also a great short story, marking Ken Liu as a powerful voice in the genre.

“Life in the Anthropocene” by Paul Di Filippo — A broader sci-fi short story that features a furry supporting character, this was the story I had talked about during the panel. It tells of a vastly different Earth than the one we’re used to, where humanity has moved to mega-cities at the poles of the planet post-ecocide. I wasn’t able to find it free online, I’m afraid, but the Kindle copy is only a dollar.

OTHER RESOURCES
WorldCon — These guys put together the biggest science-fiction convention in the world, moving it from site to site (the upcoming one in August 2014 will be based in London) and its membership votes for the Hugo Awards. Even if you can’t show up to the convention, membership will help you keep your finger on the pulse of the science-fiction community.

DragonCon — These are the big dogs on the fantasy side of the coin, they cover everything from literature to costuming and every type of game you can imagine. The convention will be held in Atlanta this year, at the end of August. Even if you can’t go, browsing the site will give you a number of ideas about who the moves and shakers of the fantasy/geek scene might be.

I’ll reiterate what I said at the convention — these are all just jumping on points, and it’s quite easy to follow trails to get yourself more invested in the sci-fi/fantasy community. Just grab on to what interests you and follow where it leads. Be patient with stories, discover things that you really get excited by and see what’s related. Talk about these with your friends, and apply those things to your own creative, furry-specific endeavors. Cross-pollination not only benefits the bigger community, but ourselves as well!

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Furries, Pop Culture, Reading, Writing

 

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Friday Fiction: Player of the Game, Part 1

Writing 150(This is a small bit of fiction I’ve written for the FBA, the Furry Basketball Association. My character is one Dan Quvianuq, a giant polar bear center who’s been having a rough month of it. This is the first part of two.)

It’s been about a month since I could eat before a game. I wake up on game day a little queasy, and it takes me fifteen minutes to settle my nerves before I can get up. But even then, I just know it’s going to get worse through the day. By the time we’re shutting out the distractions and getting ready to go out on the floor, it’s all I can do to keep from shaking and I’m sure I would be throwing up if I had anything in my stomach.

Slumps are a fact of life when you’re a basketball player. Your shot feels off, for a while you’re a half-step out of sync with the rest of the team, breaks just don’t go your way. That you can deal with. If you’ve got a good coach, you’ve been trained for that. Just block out the things you can’t control, focus on your training. They’re called “drills” for a reason; the movements have been drilled into you. It’s second nature, it’s instinctive. Just let your body take over while you get your brain in order.

This feels so much worse, though. The problem is my brain is working fine, but I just can’t seem to make my body do what it knows how to do. I see the shot in my head, know what I need to do to make it, but I can’t get my paws to work right. I see a path through the chaos in the key so I can be right there to grab a missed shot, but when I go for it I slam someone to the boards and draw a foul. If I see someone coming hard at me on the perimeter, I know that Buck or Red are in the paint waiting for me to take advantage of the heat I’ve drawn away from them. But I shoot instead. And you don’t need to know a thing about basketball to know that an eight-foot-tall polar bear is going to have a miserable three-point shot.

My name is Daniel Quvianuq, and I’m the starting center for the FBA World Champion Dakota Bikers. Right now, I’m playing the worst basketball of my life.

Every part of my game has been terrible. I’m not sticking to the high-percentage shots that are my bread and butter, instead shooting outside the key and making way too many three-point attempts. I’m as jumpy as a deer when someone brings hard D, and my body just dumps the ball at the basket before my brain can tell it that B-Hop’s open. I’m a big fat lump under the basket, to the point that teammates have to reach around me to pull rebounds. Redfield’s gotten really good at it. He’s a good enough friend not to rib me too much about it, but not good enough to call me on this shit. I’m not pulling down blocks like I know I can, I’m not drawing heat well enough to open up Malone or Hopper so my assists are abysmal, and my turnovers are embarrassing. I could chalk this up to the faster pace of the FBA, or a bit of court rust after coming back from my surgery, but those excuses feel hollow. With what I’m being paid, there’s no excuse for how I’m playing.

And when I think about that my stomach tightens enough that there’s not room for anything in it but nerves. I was the no. 2 draft pick in 2012. I signed an $8 mil. contract with the Bikers the same year Buck Hopper joined the team. Anything less than the FBA Championship trophy would be a disappointment. I was thinking to myself during the preseason that this was it, I was getting in on the ground floor of a dynasty. Then my knees blew out and I lost my entire rookie season.

The way I see it, I only have one year to justify that $8 million dollars, to make sure the Bikers want to keep me around, to prove to myself and the rest of the league that I belong here. If I were playing for some team in a “rebuilding year,” like Biloxi or Hawaii, the pressure wouldn’t be nearly as bad. But here in Sturgis, with the talent we’ve got, excellence is expected. And you really feel it when you’re not living up to it.

Tonight we’re up against the Kahunas. They’re a really fun to team to play, even if they aren’t that good yet. Alphonse Norwich IV is their guy, and he’s good. A scrappy little bastard who reminds me a lot of Wendy Brown — fearless, aggressive and fiercely loyal to his team. Dylan’s really not looking forward to covering him; they both play with a chip on their shoulder, and that aggression is probably going to flare up a couple of times tonight. Right now he’s sitting in front of his locker, staring at the floor and ignoring the rest of us with his headphones. Malone reminds him to keep his head in the game twice, and the second time they snap at each other. It’s amazing how much herbivores look like carnivores when they’re fighting. Same kind of quick vent of steam, same kind of charge in the air. Still, it doesn’t go any further than that — Dylan’s earned Skywalker’s respect through his play, and the ‘roo stood by him when the whole Rufus thing went down. They’ve got each other’s backs, and they both understand how intense the other one is about his game.

It’s that kind of camaraderie that I feel is missing with me. Malone comes up to me, and he gives me a long look. It makes me wonder if he’s thinking whether or not I’m worth the effort, if I’m a lost cause that’s just going to have to be carried through the rest of the season. I try to look focused, determined, anything other than scared. But I can’t meet his eyes. “You know what to do,” he says at last. “You’ve got this. Good luck out there.”

I nod, and then he’s gone. I look around to see if anyone else caught the exchange, but Dylan’s pacing now and Buck is stretching. Kenta Yamashita is covering for Jack tonight, since he’s injured. I wonder if he feels as lost as I do, but if he does he doesn’t show it. He’s totally chill, staring straight ahead, breathing deeply and evenly. I don’t know him that well, but I’m guessing he’s doing some sort of Eastern trance thing. Maybe I’ll ask him about it sometime. Maybe it’ll help with the nerves.

The coach comes in and that’s how I know it’s almost time to head out there. The nerves come back full-force, and I wonder if anybody can tell that I’m shaking. I can’t remember what he said, but it’s got people pumped; Buck is practically bouncing off the walls, and both Malone and Red are walking out like they’re going to eat the other team. The rustle of Kenta’s quills brings me back to myself and I stand up, and I walk quickly, and then I’m swallowed by the lights of Sofawolf Arena.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Furries, Writing

 

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