keeps this site and its author alive.
Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 125: Takano 50
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Beam 104
Tommy was surprised at how soon after lunch Lauren stopped at a residential apartment block. Then she remembered, it was a training day. They took the time to get their gear settled into one of the apartments, and then returned to the common area.
“Night before last,” Lauren said, “you were walking on that pipe. Do you think you could walk on the back of that bench?”
“The back of the bench?” Tommy responded somewhat incredulously. “It’s awfully thin.”
“Well, let’s give it a try. If you go over to your left, land on the seat; I’ll stand to your right and catch you if you come my direction.”
Tommy decided not to question whether Lauren would be able to catch her. Trepidatiously she walked over to the bench, stepped on the seat, and then put her foot on the back. Seeing Lauren positioned to the other side, she gave herself a boost and brought her other foot up in front of her.
“Walk,” Lauren said. “Your forward momentum will help keep you balanced.”
Leaning to the forward foot, Tommy stepped forward, and then again, and then before she reached the end of the bench she knew she was falling.
“Balance with your arms,” she heard, and tried to do so, but she was already overbalanced.
Lauren caught her. “Actually, that was very good,” she said. “I would have preferred a better balance beam, something a little wider and flatter, but this was easier than a tightrope, and you managed three steps. Balance is a big part of what I do; I was trained in it rather intensively in my early martial arts lessons. I had already taught myself some significant balancing abilities, but Master Raiden put a lot of emphasis on it.”
“Raiden?” Tommy responded in surprise.
“Oh, no, not that Raiden,” Lauren laughed. “There’s a long story, but he believed that Raiden had saved his life, and so he took the name to honor the god. That was in the vampire Philadelphia world. So, let’s see. Pushups and sit-ups, I think. We don’t have a lot of good gym equipment, but then you should practice falling and rolling. We can pull a couple mattresses off the beds in the apartment, and you can do it in the living room.”
Tommy spent most of an hour on all of this, although part of it was spent dragging mattresses from the bedrooms to the living room, which Lauren said was also good exercise. By the time Lauren was asking what she wanted for supper (and was positioned at the living room computer screen ready to order it) she was feeling the soreness of the workout.
“I’ll order, you get a shower,” Lauren said. Tommy had forgotten that there were showers in the apartments, and was pleased at the suggestion. “Maybe you’d prefer a hot bath,” Lauren said, “although I don’t have any bubble bath.”
Tommy remembered that she did, and decided that sounded good. Lauren was ordering pot roast, and that sounded good enough to Tommy, so she headed for the showers with her towel, robe, bubble bath, and other toiletries in hand.
It also occurred to her to do her laundry. It had been a few days, and she didn’t have that many changes of clothes. She called back to Lauren, “Order us some laundry detergent while you’re at it. I’m sure one bottle will do for both of us several times.” Then she vanished into the tub.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #401: Characters Hiking. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: