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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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((Roderick Kanuho continued from Ceremony, although appearing earlier in the timeline))

Roderick would arrive when he arrived. This was understood. As inevitable as Earth rotating round the Sun. Soon the 2014 Arizona state wrestling championships would be here and Roderick, who had not lost a match in scholastic competition or off-season tournaments since the 2013 state semifinals, would be off again to pursue honour and glory. It had been all he could think about for a month and near the front of his mind all year and now he could practically taste it, feel it in his grip when he closed his hands. He'd spent more time on a wrestling mat or in the weight room than in class and had half a mind to skip classes entirely during this runup in favour of training, training, training.

Coach had laughed and gone "sure, go ahead" until he realised Roderick was serious. Roderick had read up so much on his likely opponents in the tournament he was vaguely sure he knew more about them than their own mothers, watched match videos so often he could reenact them with his eyes closed, drilled moves and situations until while in idle thought doing homework last night he caught himself doodling diagrams of wrestling techniques on his worksheet. People knew where he was going and what he was preparing for and the air was heavy with expectations and hopes and people remembering that last time he almost got to the top of the mountain. Perhaps that was why his teachers were so forgiving.

Now, more than any other time in the season, this little thing he had with Latanna and Olivia and anyone else who flitted in and out of the study group as their needs demanded was essential. It wasn't that he didn't have the brain for his work so much as he didn't have the time, so rather than fill any empty spaces with electives and further classes he chose to have a free period or two. If he was done with his work he could train, if he wasn't he could polish it off.

The faint smell of sweat and a hasty locker room shower radiated off his skin, drawn tight over his muscles. Someone from the school paper'd wanted a sit-down while he wasn't in class, then he'd been off to do a few quick sets in the weight room, then he zipped over to the gym to roll out a mat and spar with some of the teammates. Not running the gauntlet like Coach had been having him do the past few practises, just keeping himself fresh and getting the blood flowing and having them wrestle like some of his opponents would wrestle. In all the commotion, somehow he'd remembered this meeting was a thing.

Some seconds after Olivia, the door swung open again and in he strolled in tank top and jeans, backpack loose over one shoulder. He didn't even need to look where he was going, he knew their table just like he knew the perfect instant to hit someone with a blast double or fireman's carry or lateral drop. All 195 pounds of him stalked over like a tiger through tall grass and dropped into his usual seat, glancing first to Olivia, then to Latanna, and nodding.


No need to ask if he was late. He either was, or wasn't.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.

18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!

16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene

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Sometimes when we reach for the stars... · Memories from the Past