The Dysasters (The Dysasters #1)(3)

Frizzy strands of fiery red hair flopped against her forehead, and she smoothed them back into her messy topknot. “So this person we’re meeting,” she began as she smeared ChapStick over her lips, “is he one of Doctor Rick’s former lab assistants who’s now a washed-up old science teacher or something?”

Cora slung her satchel over her shoulder and checked her phone. “Let’s go. It’s starting soon.”

Foster slipped the ChapStick tube into her pocket and turned to Cora. “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Kerry Washington?” She rubbed her lips together and smiled her most innocent smile.

“No, because I don’t.” The front door creaked as Cora opened it, and the room filled with sticky, cool air. “Now get your skinny white butt into the car.”

Foster sauntered to the door, pausing in front of the stocky woman, her cinnamon and cedar scents tickling Foster’s nose. “Who are we meeting?” A familiar tingle pulsed within her as she spoke.

Cora rested her hands on her hips. “When I see fit to tell you, you will know. And we’ve talked about that little trick of yours, Foster. Be careful how you use it.”

“I still don’t get how you know about my Jedi mind trick.” She hopped out onto the sidewalk and drew an imaginary lightsaber.

“There’s no such thing as Jedis, and I’m too damn smart to fall prey to your neuro-linguistic BS.”

“No such thing as Jedis?” Foster powered down her lightsaber and hooked it on her belt loop. “Broken my heart, you have. Ruining my childhood fantasies, you are.”

Cora pursed her lips. “Mmm, mmm, mmm. Strange, you are. Dorky you shall always be.”

“Was that Yoda-speak? Your training is coming along nicely, young Padawan. And speaking of training, are you going to drive to wherever it is we’re going?”

“No.” Cora unlocked the car and Foster slid into the driver’s seat. “And I don’t need training. I know how to drive. You’re just better at it than I am—all Evel Knievel–like.”

“You know I don’t know who all these old people are that you talk about.” Foster started the car and waited for Cora to punch the address into the GPS. “But unlike some people, I’ve been practicing.”

“Yes, I’d say you practice driving every day and I practice sleeping right here in this seat every day.”

“No, not driving. My Jedi mind trick. I made a whole rose bloom outside of that restaurant in Pennsylvania.” Foster pulled out of the parking lot, catching Cora’s suspicious glance as her gaze swept from her adoptive mom to the navigation screen.

“Okay,” Foster conceded, watching the vast, cow-dotted fields fade into the distance as they drove closer to town. “Maybe it just grew a tiny bit before it stopped listening. Oh, but I did get those clouds in West Virginia to look like giant Peeps. I was trying to make it rain, but shapes were all I could get. Remember that?”

“I remember the car’s air conditioner going out and us cooking in here. You could’ve swam in this car I was sweating so much.”

“Yeah,” she laughed. “That was pretty nasty.” Thunder rumbled overhead, and Foster let it pass before continuing. “I know there’s something out there that will listen one hundred percent of the time. Maybe not people, or flowers, or the clouds, but there’s something. I just have to find it.”

The car jostled as Foster flipped on the turn signal and pulled into a large field. She parked behind a giant Ford truck and turned off the car. “We’re here.”

Tall grass tickled Foster’s bare ankles as she stepped out of the car and onto the makeshift parking lot. “Wherever here is.”

“Go Panthers! Woo!” A gaggle of maroon-clad girls squealed as they jogged past.

Foster craned her neck to peer around the monstrous truck. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” She shot an annoyed glance at Cora. “A football game. Seriously?”

“Seriously.” Cora pulled her bag out of the backseat before locking the doors. “Now, kill the attitude. I’d like to try and make a good first impression.”

“Ugh,” Foster groaned, trudging behind her as she tugged at the ridiculous sweatshirt. “But it’s going to rain.” She tilted her chin toward the sky and studied the swollen, charcoal clouds. “And quite possibly tornado. The sky’s all sick-looking and green.”

“I’ll get you whatever you want from the snack bar,” Cora offered.

“Snack bar? Well, why didn’t you say there’d be food?” With a little more pep, Foster looped her arm through Cora’s and headed toward the stadium entrance.

* * *

Pockets stuffed with boxes of sour candy and an extra-large bag of popcorn in hand, Foster stood on the sidelines and studied the bleacher’s section signs. “One fifteen, no. One twenty, no. Ah, there it is! One twenty-five.” She tipped the bag to her lips and shook a few kernels into her mouth. “Ouch!” A sharp shove spun her around, knocking a box of candy and the bag from her grip. Popcorn spilled around her feet like salty snow. “Damn! You made me ruin the best thing about coming to this barbaric display of testosterone.”

“I’m the best thing about this barbaric display of testosterone.”

P.C. Cast, Kristin C's Books