Trying to Stop Time Chapter 7 section One Tales of Dead Armadillo Novel By Esteban Erik Stipnieks all rights reserved



Monday came and the crosscountry team walked with pride. They were coming into their own. As Stephen processed the negatives from the football game, he made it clear to Susan that odds were he would not be running district at the varsity level. She seemed surprised at how cool he was. It was clear that the chemistry had taken place that would propel the team to regional’s. Stephen King was more then happy with it. That was surprising. The letter was a means to an end he had gotten it and accepting JV status with grace.  He would get a precious second letter though in 1993.  That meant that Unicorn letter count was was equal to the Bronco letter count.  Ace had accomplished his goal now he was with a team he loved.  He was going to do all he could to make sure Coach Bob would get two Gold medal teams.  Being along for the ride was great consolation.  Kimber, Scott, Brett, himself and Tara were the very new form of school spirit at NBHS.  Amanda seemed understand now the rebels were really reactionaries.  What she did not know was how much Unicorn DNA was replicating itself in Denton.  The football negatives were in the dryer as the first bell rang. French Fried caught him going to first period. It was clear that he Stephen was not going to be varsity. Ace joked he was now Allen guard the voice of an incident that would talked about during crosscountry class. Lunch was powerbar with the smell of the print lab attached to the food. The contact sheet was done so he could report to Coach Bob's classroom.

As they walked out Steven Ray then said "Well you sabotaged us from a full JV boys are consistent." Ace was fast with a verbal backhand  "Its funny we talk about who parties and who deserves to get busted anybody but us." Ace continued, "If a whacked out family life was license for us to be stupid we would have more fools at this place." Ace then said, "Besides you got next year I am staring at the last two meets of my career."

Tara was feeling at ease she and Leisha were stuck with Linda and Amanda, the run would long hot, and boring yet Amanda had spoken with giddiness this maybe my last time running district but it was something new and different. The guys could take it. So the pressure off was a flavor added to the race to the end of the train. Julie could see the effect of her faith she had in common change things.

Tom lead the stretching as most of the team gathered in the circle encompassing the bulk of the track. He had a smile. Then it was time for golf course for the girls and a slightly longer Pit Stop for the four bullets. Tom's smile hid the grief but revealed the excitement of a team that believed and the fact guido was behind with his own set of steel toes to make sure the team would not grow fat dumb and happy.

As the they took off Ace realized his role. He would have to be more reckless if anything this week would be harder for Ace.   He kept pace with Raul, French Fries and Bo, which sped them up briefly. This had lasted beyond Oakwood Baptist church. It was a bit into lactic acid but it had its desired effect. It also sped Thomas, and Mike up along with Serg and Tom. As they continued near the cattle, crossing it was Tom, Thomas, Mike, Serg and Ace. Tom smiled "Feeling reckless?" Ace replied, "Would rather say I had balls then wondered what I could have done." The continued running loop 337. Sweat and fire mixed with fire of a team believing. The girls were running hard still. This was the last meet before district and the end of the line hung in the hearts of Bo, Serg, Ace and Tom. The idea of district glory had been secured though so the bitterness now had the flavor of sweetness. Bo saw Stephen King pushing it as he began is return leg Raul and Aero had just passed "Don't stop believing" was what he uttered as he have his tiring teammates a high five Ace made sure he was actually at Pit Stop when he turned around. That line was good so it was used on Stephen Ray and Troy. Then when Amanda and Linda came by Serg said "Go out on top!" The high fives were exchanged as per custom. The run was still long Aces legs had a slight but of fire but only about three quarters of an Eden Home remained. The pace was not shy of the lactic acid threshold but it was not too far above it...through about half the distance between Pit Stop and Unicorn Stadium. Raul and French Fries were ahead with Bo not to far behind them. It was not so much a chase but the feeling of being a hunt was shared between the group of seniors and juniors though it was felt differently. For the seniors it meant going out with a bang. For juniors it was a strange turn of events. As the group came on Oakwood Serg started a kick.  . Without fanfare Serg surged. Thomas and Mike noticed....Ace let out a chuckle of grim determination as he realized what was going on. Tom was just ahead a bit surprised as he heard footsteps, as he looked back one look in Serg's eyes. Ace was going to try his best to keep up the pace. As they progressed apartments got in sight by the Unicorn drive Inn.  The pain was getting intense in the legs. He kept trucking desire was greater then the discomfort he felt as they group was now near the high school closing in fast finally they crossed loop 337 In 30 seconds they all arrived at Unicorn Stadium. The legs felt like they had completed a speed workout. Ace had barely gotten to the Exceed bucket when Steven Ray and Troy looked as back as he did.

Coach Bob saw it happen and started laughing he could see Serg was the one that started it. Coach Noel heard the laugh. "Serg something got through his thick skull." He then said"Gold." Noel responded "Yes it was funny." The smile on Noel Scott‘s face revealed that he could indeed do mischief. Coach Bob was surprised.  Coach Bob replied "Between Amanda, You and Ace I am feeling I am decoration."  Scott responded "You complained about the lack of effort on the guys to Ace the last two years right?"  Bob was shocked "Yes." Scott replied "You made it clear where you wanted the throttle Ace and Amanda heard your call."  Bob processed it he was once again surprised how few team secrets.  The team had given him the victory which he still savored. The glint Coach Bob saw in his assistant‘s eye got him smiling. He then said, "Serge wants gold." Coach Bob then said "Golden district is nice.” As the guys approached the two men cheered them on. Both wore a smile.

Tara and Leisha had come from the town their worlds were different. The two ran the long at decent clip. Kimber had grown quiet excited yet sad...Amanda and Linda had grown to a leadership role. Kathrine Whe had become quiet...seniors were always crazy and this was going to be a long hot run. The girls kept close to the last two guys like vultures. They were running an keeping a solid pace. Tara felt the boredom the struggle of just the desire to go and stop for the day but the team dynamic had grown strong. It was pulling her and she was liking it. Her physical beauty had gotten attention from the people but they were not what she had left behind and only one worthwhile at Fellowship Bible was taken. They continued all the guys had gone all the way to Pit Stop and come back with encouragement. When Amanda came by on that run, she made it clear to go the full distance. Second fiddle to the guys meant not slacking just believing in their dream. Tara went the extra 10 yards on the round trip and had long since lost sight of the guys just her Leisha and the Texas sky as Linda and Amanda once slowly went further ahead and eventually harder to spot as the speed difference on the 5 mile run played out. She felt the fire of faith keep her going as she closed in on the goal. She was exhausted when she got back to the high school. Kimber was greeting her and said thanks....Ace had Exceed cups waiting and handed them.  Sadness and joy mingled. 

The size of the run affected the size of the meals consumed. It was a tired team that crashed hard that night at home. The last race pre district was closing in faster. This was the last week and the seniors were feeling it. The meals consumed by all team members that night were large and the homework was slogged through. It was early bed as the team physically weary and the homework all was draining also sleep they all knew was imperative to completing the efforts of the hard workout from that day.



Back to Index page