Shown: "Mastery", YAY INTRO TO NEW CHARACTERS COMING UP. Technically, this one's been cameoing since the beginning, but now you get to finally meet him.
The Mana Farms story line frequently contains mature language, topics, and situations. The characters within are fictional beings with weaknesses and faults, and I cannot promise you that you will like them for what they believe, say and do.
Join the community of MANA readers! Start from the beginning. (New readers, it is strongly recommended you begin this series from the very first story...which can be found here: [link] ) Thanks!
The first thing that crossed Freddy Sanchez’s mind when he flew under the wire was how much of his newly obtained winnings were going to go toward child support today. It was ironic because Freddy had never been good at math to begin with. Over twenty years ago, he’d been the kind of kid who had gotten straight Ds in his high school in Pomona, California supported by the kind of parents who expressed pride to his bewildered teachers that their horse crazy son accomplished at least that much. But since his divorce, Freddy Sanchez had learned a whole lot about numbers. In fact, one could say he’d gotten particularly adept at subtraction and division.
It wasn’t that he didn’t love his kid. He’d made that clear in front of the judge. He loved his daughter, Adoncia Lily Sanchez.
It was her mother, Ignacia Sanchez, he hated. But of course...as was tradition in the United States...the judge couldn’t understand the distinction Freddy had tried to get across.
No one could. It was obvious when he lost custody in a case that was over before his attorney’s coffee could cool. And still obvious when he spent three long years appealing for at least visitation rights, which he won, but won only a weeks worth of annually. It was obvious every time he showed up for that same single week and his ex-wife Ignacia stood there with her arms folded tightly across her chest unwilling to even give him that much and his daughter had to be coaxed, actually coaxed now, into the taxi.
It was only a day or two later after a good race, when he wrote out a check in brisk blue pen strokes and took the long dusty walk with the other divorced jockeys to the track post office, he’d remember that they’d been in love once. He’d think about her in her white wedding dress, and the sweat beaded across her smiling upper lip when she passed him Addy swaddled in a soft blue and pink hospital blanket. But this woman he once loved, who claimed to once love him too, had never taken the time to explain to him what had gone so wrong. Instead, she explained it to a judge and various social workers, to Adoncia’s elementary school teachers, and their neighbors, to their friends Janet and Doug, the family doctor, the family dentist, and, of course, the church. And none of them ever gave him a chance to fix things. No one believed him when he said she had locked herself in the bathroom and beaten herself black and blue with her own hairbrush.
A month later he was already making the walk of shame to the mailbox with his child support check in his sweaty hands like every other jock, reading some blurb about his arrest for domestic battery in the racing papers, noting the cynicism in the tone of the writer about another abusive jock. In the locker room at Saratoga right now at least three of them had seen their marriages go up in smoke and spent the jail time for it.
She beat herself with a hairbrush. He had to admit, it sounded absurd even to him.
The most interesting member of their sad fraternity was probably Brett North. The small white jock would sit there in the low boughs of a shady tree as the others deposited their checks into the mail, watching them from the canopy of leaves with one hand wrapped around an imaginary envelope. From the look on his face, the guys knew that Brett North had a check to send that he wasn’t sending. He had to be a lousy child support dodging son of a bitch. But one day, over a Corona, the truth came out. Freddy had one week a year with his kid at the amazing price of seventeen percent of his income annually. Brett North would never see his kid no matter how much he was willing to pay. That made Freddy’s beer taste decidedly better, and Brett seemed relieved to have someone to vent to.
The jocks of the Travers came into the room and peeled the silks from their flak jackets like skin from an orange. Stygian may have come in fourth, but the copper haired jock was all grins, probably because Ellie Campbell, on the horse that had won the Triple Crown, had come in a dismal sixth place. It wasn’t enough to guarantee that Subversive’s career was over for a consistently reckless (or enthusiastically sportsmanlike if you preferred) Mana Farms, but enough to leave both journalists and the idiots who commented on their blogs wondering if Ellie Campbell deserved to continue riding the most valuable animal on the track with Eddie Ne, the horse’s rightful jock, in a wheelchair. The horse obviously wasn’t hurt that anyone could see, and, from what Freddy heard during the gallop out, Ellie had given Brett a good fight around the final turn only to have the horse decide she was a shitty boss and spit out the bit. The bloggers would be blogging, so the grinning Brett was grinning.
“Hey Freddy, how much was that?” Brett began.
Freddy dropped his saddle to the bench and held out his counting fingers like a good mechanic, “Oh I don’t know, Mastery get sixty percent, I get ten percent of that, my agent get twenty of my ten and my ex wife takes seventeen.”
“Don’t forget Uncle Sam,” Brett smiled.
“Aw man, Uncle Sam and Uncle California get thirty percent don’t they?”
“Ten percent of six hundred thousand is sixty thousand,” Brett shrugged. “Not bad.”
“Joe get twelve thousand. The government get twenty. Which mean I get twenty eight thousand and the ex takes seventeen percent...that’s sixteen hundred dollars.”
“Twenty five thousand big ones, Freddy, not bad,” Brett laughed, “For two minutes of sticking your bony ass in the air.”
“Sweet Jesus, if I could get paid twenty five thousand for two minutes of work I don’t know which I would be more like to do. Ride my girlfriend or ride a horse,” Louis Shore shouted from a shower.
“With your tiny dick, Louis?” Brett warned, “I’d stick to horses.”
“You should all stick to horses,” Santa Castillo-Reyes chimed in.
The ensuing roar from the rest of the room gave Freddy the chance to slip by the central bench where Brett North was reapplying a coat of deodorant and Leclerc was busy bathing in cologne. He propped his shoulder against the nearest empty locker and leaned in for the confession. “Hey...Brett, Mastery’s people are holding a dinner tonight. They invited me.”
“Congratulations, Fred, you and the horse ran a great race. It’s the Travers. Live it up.”
Freddy gave him an intense pause. “Someone say they invited you too.”
Brett paused and looked at him. “Oh yeah?”
“You aren’t trying for my horse are you?”
“Freddy...how many beers have we shared?”
“Enough to make a temporary shortage in Bakersfield.”
“You know me. Mastery is white-collared and I like my horses like my beer. Cheap, watered down and toxic to tourists.”
“Then why they invite you?”
Brett tossed his deodorant back into his locker and slammed the door shut. “Because I know one of the girls,” he mumbled.
Freddy raised an eyebrow and caught the wary glance Brett cast over his shoulder toward Laurence Leclerc. He knew immediately what girls the former hockey player meant. Cosmopolitan girls with chic expensive summer dresses, branded sunglasses, and drinks in their manicured hands. The ones that had posed for the picture in the Winner’s Circle, with one hand demurely holding down the hems of their skirts from the wind. Freddy gave him a suspicious grin. “The one with the tits or the one with the legs?”
“The one with the legs.”
Freddy narrowed his eyes at him.
“I’m sorry, I thought you usually go for tits,” Brett replied.
“And I thought you said you like your horses like your beer.”
Brett groaned, “Freddy, you frugal son of a bitch, I’m not after Mastery so stop doing all those fancy equations in your head.”
“I’m not doing any math right now.”
“Yes, you are. I know you are. You’re trying to figure out how long you can make your twenty five thousand from today last.”
Freddy shrugged sheepishly.
Brett leaned against his locker and faced him “Look, I know Legs. She and I go back some years. This isn’t anything to do with your horse, Fred. This is about Philadelphia. This is nothing but Philly.”
“And what about your other filly? The French one? This have anything to do with her?”
Brett opened his mouth and closed it again with a click.
“Yeah, I thought so,” Freddy smirked, “See you at dinner tonight.”
Thanks, Poots. I've really missed it too. GAQ and I had to put our collab on temporary hold, so that means I am going to be running with this and taking it in another direction, but I'm really excited about it and I'm glad you missed it too. Now to see if I can get back all the old readers who gave up on me when I didn't write as often.
Well its been about
2 weeks since my
last giveaway right
:?:star: To enter
simply Fave :+fav:
:star: - and this is
not required, but I
would like to get my
youtube channel out
there so I would be
honored if you could
take some time to
check it out(also
A few days ago we
had a chat to
issues and solutions
(see the original
thanks to everyone
who came and raised
took 45 minutes for
the volume of talk
to max out Sta.sh
limit and this chat
went for two more
For this tutorial
series I am
elements you can
create or modify
with the help of
CSS. The level of
experience that is
needed to be able to
tutorials can differ
and will be in no
order. However I
will try to explain
the things as simple
The Price Cap For
Commissions Has Been
30% Off Fine Art
Last Day to Shop
etpurple: The Stock
Don't forget to
feature if you like
it.You can also "+1"
a selection from
r:Have a close
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More