My Scorpio Races, Chapter 2– Beach Training

I entered a roleplaying/fanfic version of the Scorpio Races. This is based on the book by Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races. It’s  on Tumblr, but I’m posting the fanfic stuff here for you guys, too.  Here is the link to the info and the account hosting if anyone is interested. Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~

I found out today that Miraculous likes to eat fingers.

I made my choice. I am going to race Miraculous and I am going to get over my fear. I told Sean Kendrick this. And then he told me that he didn’t have time to train me.

But he said he would send someone to the beach to help me.

So, here I was, not quite on the beach because I have better things to do this morning than get maimed by any other cappall. I get a few weird looks. Even though it’s more socially acceptable for girls to enter the Scorpio Races (Kate Connolly’s fault), there still aren’t many girls here on the beach and I don’t think anyone expected a timid church-mouse like me to be there at all.

I try to ignore the looks. I’m just standing here, holding three bags, and trying to look normal while I wait for whoever Sean is sending and Miraculous.

I get a strange surge thinking about the water horse. I don’t know if it’s excitement or nerves or both. Either way… I might throw up.

Before I get too nauseated, I hear someone call my name. I see a man coming this way, leading a gray cappall behind him. My cappall. My Miraculous.

The man was about my age, maybe a bit older. He smiles and holds out his free hand. “I’m Mal.”

I shake his hand. “Beth. Which I guess you know. Um…” I look at Miraculous. He actually seemed a lot smaller yesterday. He’s very still right now and he’s staring at the ocean.

Mal clucks, “We’ll have to train that out of him. Or at least try to.”

“Looking at the sea?” I ask.

Mal gives me a look that is almost condescending. “You don’t want him longing for the sea during the Races. Or any time, really, but especially not during the Races. Today’s training is all about getting you used to him and making sure that charms work. You brought the things Kendrick told you to bring?”

I nod and hold up the three bags I brought. One bag had daisies, bells, red ribbon, a chunk of iron, and, though heaven forbid we need it, holly berries. Basically all the charms any rider might need. Another bag had some raw meat I’d bought from the Grattons, which was trying to leak. And the third bad held my lunch.

I feel not quite confident, but I would have to get this over with sooner or later. “Can I touch him?”

Mal nods. “He’s your mount. Get that chunk of iron and hold it. I just want you to hold it, just in case. And if I were you, I’d rub his shoulder, not his nose.”

I have no intention whatsoever of rubbing Miraculous’s nose. That is just a little too close to his mouth for my comfort.

Miraculous’s grey coat feels like wet sand, the kind of sand that gets pulled out from under your toes as the sea comes in and out in waves. I feel the sea in him and how he wants it. And then I want it, too. I want the sea and to go into the briny water. It is calling me.

Suddenly, Miraculous rears and screams. That scream is something out of my deepest memories that I didn’t want to ever think about. I see his teeth. I stifle a scream of my own and trip over my own feet trying to get away.

I scramble to get off the ground before Miraculous decides I am a snack, tears streaming down my face. I keep tripping.

            Oh God, why? Why did You send this monster to me?

A minute later, I realize the screaming has stopped. Miraculous is calmly eating a brown paper bag. He’s very still again.

I realize that someone’s arms are around me, holding me tight to settle me. I turn and see Mal. He looks awkward and lets me go.

“Why are you not holding him?” is the first thing I ask.

Mal glances at Miraculous. “You trace a circle in the ground and spit in it. It confines them somehow.” He takes a deep breath. “And I’m glad it works on Miraculous. And the iron works, too, thankfully. He makes me nervous. I’ve never seen a cappall that can be so very still like yours.”

Like yours. Miraculous is mine. And he makes a person who works with cappail uisce everyday nervous.

And somehow, I still want him.

I stand up. Mal stands up, too. People are staring at us.

I think I need a break. For lunch and prayer. Lots of prayer.

I look around for my lunch bag. It’s not where I left it. Only the bag of meat and the bag of charms are left. Where is the third…

I look at Miraculous. That brown paper bag he was eating was my lunch.

Mal seems to have realized what happened. He’s grinning, trying not to laugh. “What was in that bag?” he asked, rubbing Miraculous’s flank.

I take a breath and grin at the appropriateness at my lunch choice, or rather, my water horse’s lunch choice.

“Chicken and cookies.”

More specifically, chicken fingers and lady fingers.

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