The Poogle Racer: Part Two
Calamity followed Belle curiously. "Now we go through here,
on this trail. Don't get lost," Belle said as she shoved through a bush.
Calamity stumbled after her, and then was shocked
to see some sort of racetrack. Sure, it was just a dirt track, with logs as
jumps, but still, it was pretty amazing. Groups of Poogles were gathered around
saying things like, "Let's get going! I'm ready to race!"
Belle pushed herself to the middle of the track,
with Calamity still following closely behind. "Hey no pushing," growled a red
Poogle. Then he paused and turned around.
"Wow! Look how she walks, lifting her feet up
high and shaking her head…almost prancing! As though she's the best Poogle out
there…" he said, attracting the attention of almost all the Poogles there.
"Wow, so confident," crooned another Poogle.
Other Poogles said their remarks too, most of them saying, "You could beat her
any time, Nevada! Then she won't be prancing around like she owns the place!"
Calamity glared at them. "I'm not prancing…and
I can beat you in a race!" she snapped at Nevada.
The red Poogle smirked. "Fine, race me and we'll
see who wins!"
Other Poogles began to disagree, "No, Nevada,
let me race her, you'll beat her easily. C'mon Nevada, you've won against Blaze,
so how will she stand a chance?"
"You've raced against B-Blaze," she stuttered.
She was really surprised at that…
Mistaking her stuttering for nervousness, Nevada
coolly turned around and said, "Yeah. A few times…"
"Right. You ready to race?" she said as she headed
over to what she thought was the starting line.
"You bet," he said expressionlessly as he set
himself at the starting line.
"As soon as my paw goes down, you can start.
Ready…Set…Go!" a Poogle shouted, who was acting as a referee, waved his paw.
Calamity started slightly after Nevada, but soon
caught up to him. "Hey, you're pretty good," he said to her as he easily propelled
himself over a jump.
As they were coming near a corner, Calamity was
right next to Nevada. She began to run faster, then her legs skidded and she
fell forward, rolling into a bush.
Nevada paused for a second, and then continued
running to the finish line, winning the race easily. "Yeah Nevada! You're the
best!" shouted a dozen Poogles, clapping.
Calamity slowly got up from the bush, pulling
herself free from the thorns. She sneaked past most of the Poogles and headed
Watching her, among the Poogles, was Blake. He
smiled. "She does have some hope. I'll tell her not to go around corners fast,
to slow down…"
Belle, the second she had seen Calamity skid
into the bush, instantly ran after her. "Hey, Cala, wait up!"
Calamity turned and faced her. "You know what?
They're all right. I'm not a Poogle; I'm a Uni!"
Belle sighed, thought about chasing after her
for a second, and then decided against it.
Calamity carried on walking furiously, no idea
where she was going. She was surprised when she came to a small barn. Cautiously,
she looked in, and seeing no one, she entered.
As she looked around, she saw a bulletin board
on the wall, with ribbons and pictures covering it. She looked closer at the
pictures; she saw many different Poogles, all smiling and grinning as they held
their trophies. She sighed, and then said aloud, "They all won a Poogle race;
which is the one thing I'll never be able to do."
"That's not true," a voice stated from behind
her. Calamity twirled around quickly and saw Blake standing there.
"Why would you say that? Didn't you see me racing?
I was horrible," she said, annoyed that he was there.
"Hardly. You were doing great. You just need
a little help from a pro."
She snorted, unable to help herself, "You call
yourself a pro?
He nodded, and then pointed out a picture of
himself, holding a trophy. "That's me. I don't race anymore because…of an injury."
"Um…" Calamity replied, at a loss for words.
She shifted with embarrassment and tried to think of something to say.
Blake then looked at her with mock sternness.
"You better get some sleep. I still expect you to show up early tomorrow."
Grinning, Calamity nodded, and headed out.
"Hey, Cala, get up! Blake's going to be furious
if we're late!"
Belle was screaming in Calamity's ear, but to
no avail; Calamity didn't even shift in her sleep. Belle glanced around for
some help, just as Blake walked in.
"You're late…" He stopped as he saw Calamity
fast asleep. Grinning he said, "Was that you yelling, Belle?"
Belle, surprised how Blake was acting, nervously
replied, "Yeah…She just won't wake up!"
Blake nodded and went outside for a couple of
minutes. He came back dragging a bucket of water and a horn. "You blow the horn
and I'll dump the water on her," he told Belle, as he began to lift the bucket
precariously over Calamity's head.
Calamity leapt high into the air, as she felt
freezing water drip down onto her head, and a horn, shrilly piercing her ears.
"What?!" she yelled, fully awake.
She shivered, and shook off some of the water
dripping down her face, and glared at the two laughing Poogles, rolling around
on the floor.
"That was awesome Blake! I wish I had thought
of doing that," Belle managed to say over her fit of giggles.
Blake got up and cheerfully said, "We better
head off to the training fields. Calamity, I believe I did warn you to not oversleep."
Once again, they continued
with the jumping exercises, and ran a few laps around the track. "We're going
to do something fun now," said Blake, smiling at their looks of surprise.
Belle cautiously looked at Blaze, and then replied,
Blake grinned once again and replied, "I've been
really impressed with you two…so I'm entering you two for the Poogle Nationals."
Belle stared at Blake, gawking. Calamity glanced
up with confusion and said, "Do you mean the real Poogle Nationals? Like, the
race Blaze is in…"
Blake rolled his eyes and responded, "Of course
I mean the real Poogle Nationals."
Calamity blushed, and then said, curiously, "So
what made you decided to enter us in it?"
Blake grinned happily, obviously expecting the
question, and then preceded to say, "You two need to see what racing is really
like…I don't expect you to win, of course, just gain experience. I wouldn't
mind if you won, though."
Belle nodded, saying, "So when are the Poogle
Blake's grin became even wider when he said,
"Today, in 15 minutes."
Calamity took a deep breath as she entered her
stall before the race. This is what I have dreamed of forever, and now I'm
finally getting a chance to race, she thought dreamily. Then, coming back
to reality, she leaned forward, ready to run as soon as the bell went off.
It seemed to take forever. One minute she was
standing there, the next minute she was running as fast as she could. She came
to the first jump, right next to a tall shadow Poogle. He snorted and pushed
off. Calamity jumped at the same time, but was thrown off balance when he leaned
into her. She went tumbling to the ground and could only sit there dazed for
a moment, watching various Poogles leaping over the jump and swerving out of
"It seems one Poogle is already out of the race…"
she heard the announcer say. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to get up
and continue running. It's going to take a miracle for me to catch up…I really
want to beat Blaze, though! With those thoughts in mind, she sped up, jumping
over all the hurdles with ease.
Her attention was soon only focused on one thing;
her running. She stared ahead blankly, the announcer's comments melting into
the background of her mind. As she leaped over a higher jump than she had previously,
she blinked. Did I just pass other Poogles? As she became tuned in to
the announcer again she heard, "A huge pile-up, that's what happens when Poogle
racers are running a tight race…"
Then she focused on one thing. Blaze. He ran
quickly, smoothly, and efficiently went over all of the jumps. I want to
beat him! That soon became her only thought, the thought that drove her
forward and kept her going. Then her chance came. Blaze had paused, as though
to see if anyone was still behind him. She sped up then, whipping around the
corner and became even with him. They ran side by side, jumped over a hurdle
as though in sync, and crossed the finish line.
Together, they separated at the same time, Blaze
giving her a surprised look when he recognized her. "You," he hissed, just as
the announcer cut in. "It's a photo finish! What a close race! Could Blaze have
possibly be beaten by…" Sounds of paper being shuffled was heard over the loudspeaker,
and whisperings, "What's that Poogle's name?" There was an awkward silence then,
"Sorry, could Blaze have possibly been beaten by Calamity?"
The wait was even more tedious. Calamity felt
tight with anticipation. She watched as Blaze yawned, looking as though nothing
had happened. Probably thinks he's going to win... She jumped up as she
heard the announcer.
"The judges have concluded the winners are both
Calamity and Blaze. Rare as this is, they both crossed the finish line at the
same time!" Blaze's confident smirk became a frown. He opened his mouth, and
then just shook his head as Jen walked towards him. Calamity smiled happily,
in shock that she had won. Jen turned and looked at Calamity for a second. "Calamity,
I'm sorry we had a slight disagreement. Would you like to come back to your
real home?" Jen said smoothly, a fake smile across her face.
Belle ran up to Calamity and hugged her. "Aww,
Cala, you won! I was so surprised! Congrats!"
Calamity nodded at Belle, then looked back at
Jen. "No. Jen, I'm not going back with you. You abandoned me and wouldn't even
give me a chance to become a Poogle racer. You never even gave me that much
attention; you were too busy with Blaze. I have a real family now."
With that, Calamity grinned at Belle and the
two walked off. Calamity didn't even go back to get her trophy.