Monday, July 2, 2012

Kaleidoscope, Ch. 3

As Serenity expected, Rumichi left her and Kurama in the dust at the start. For a few seconds, she and Kurama were keeping a similar pace, but in a burst of energy he suddenly left her behind. I’ll get you, Fox… she said to herself, jumping down to the ground for the advantage of relatively level terrain, pumping her legs faster in an effort to close the gap—
Suddenly, Serenity felt herself falling in what seemed like slow motion. “Shoot!” she yelled in surprise. She didn’t even remember tripping over anything, and she refused to believe that her feet had tangled beneath her. She squeezed her eyes shut in preparation for the impact that would surely follow...
The ground never rushed to meet her. Instead, Serenity found herself back among the treetops with nothing more than a shallow scratch near her ankle. Dazed, she tried to assess the situation as she began to pick up speed. The fallen log that marked the finish line was just within her range of vision. Rumichi and Kurama weren’t anywhere in front of her as far as she could tell, and they weren’t close behind either. At least, not yet, she admitted, but what in the world happened down there?
A rustling through the leaves a little ways behind Serenity made her realize how slow she’d been moving. She didn’t know which one of her opponents was chasing her, but it didn’t quite matter. Gotta win this, gotta win this.
Less than ten yards now separated Serenity from a long-sought-after victory over Rumichi. A triumphant cheer was just beginning to form in her throat when a fist struck her left side. Serenity winced as Rumichi’s voice whispered :No holds barred: in her mind again. She hardly noticed the loud “No!” that escaped her as she pushed forward, but she felt a momentary weightlessness of her body. Before she could even wonder what had happened, she crashed to the ground, about a yard past the fallen log. She looked up to see Rumichi jog to her side a mere second later.
Panting, Rumichi put her hands on her knees, reverted back to her human form, and glared at Serenity. “What...the heck...was...that all about?” she wheezed.
Serenity sat up, fingering the barcode tattoo on her wrist thoughtfully. “Michi, I honestly have no idea.” She acknowledged Kurama as he smoothly stepped over the log and walked toward them. “Earlier, I must have tripped over something,” she explained to both of them, watching as Kurama became his usual red-haired self again. “But instead of hitting the ground, I found myself in a tree. What do you guys think happened?”
Kurama pondered this deeply. The answer he eventually came up with was met with surprised expressions from both girls. “Teleportation.”

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