3.7 – Race
Qaggre - pronounced: Yog(rhymes with "log") - a(as in sodA)
<old 1600-era paintings of a strangly beautiful ladies>
Fi: Lady Luck. A fictional character often referred to by superstitious people. Why? Just like her name...she either brings luck...or takes it away. But what exactly is luck? It is just a series of weird coincidences? Or do only certain groups or people have it?
<old 1600-era paintings of obviously ugly, evil ladies>
There's a creature called a sfix. They unknowingly lure humans into a situation that only luck controls...
<a Las Vegas casino, shots of different games and machines>
Such as betting, gambling, you know, that stuff. Then, usually when they're around, luck goes the bad way.
<back to the bad-lady paintings>
And when that happens, watch out...those sfixes get really mad. And do THEY target certain people? People say that sfixes tend to choose people that have had previous bad luck...and like I said, more bad luck is usually on the way.
<October 1>BANG! "And they're off!" a TV broadcaster announces. Carey is the only one in the tour bus's living room, watching the horse races on the television. "Come on...come on!" Carey yells. "And #56 rounds the last bend...and it's the last lap, folks!" the man announces. "Come on!" Carey yells. "And here comes a winner! It's a close one, folks, either #23 or #45!" the broadcaster says. "23! 23! Go! Go!" Carey yells. "And...and...and the winner is #45, Stargate!" he announcers. "Darn!!!" Carey yells, reaching into his pocket, and brings out a whole pile of papers. He starts ripping them up. Do do do do do do do do doo. Do do do do. Do do do do. Carey starts to get nervous as the Irene cell phone rings. He slowly and cautiously picks it up and presses "Send" to take the call. "Hello?" he asks weakly.
<October 12>"OK guys! This way!" Ned yells to the roadies, as they take equipment into the club. "OK...so we'll use these chords instead?" the band asks. Molly is talking with the band onstage. "Yeah, Carey said he couldn't make it, so the sub we're getting can only play in this key," Molly explains. "OK," they say. Jack and Fi are playing a game on Fi's laptop. "Yeah...yeah...let's go!" Jack says. "No! No! Stop!" Fi laughs, both of them moving all around as they move their controllers. "Yes!" Jack says. "No!" Fi says. "Well, it was just a lucky shot," Fi says. "Yeah, whatever," Jack says, getting up. "Where's Carey?" Irene asks, walking into the club from an office. "Yeah, I haven't seen him around lately," Ned says, following Irene. A lady follows them, the owner of the club. "Well, he said he couldn't make this gig, so we're hiring Matt," Molly says. "What? I gotta have a talk with him," Irene says, walking off. Then, Carey walks into the club. "Carey!" everyone yells. "What?" he asks, looking tired. "Carey, why can't you make Molly's performance?" Irene asks him, walking over to him. "Oh, that, I have other plans," he says. "Well, next time, inform me! And you're lucky we got Matt to take your place...there won't always be someone else," Irene says. "OK, sorry mom," Carey says. "OK," she says and walks on. Carey falls into a chair, exhausted. "What's wrong Carey?" Fi asks, sitting next to him. "Oh, hey Fi," he says, "Nothing...just tired. By the way, do you have $175?" "What?" Fi laughs. "Never mind," he smiles, and takes a deep breath.
That night, Jack sleeps on the bus, as his visions progress further. He pans around the castle, then the red glow sucks him in. He walks down the "O'Shannon" hallway, but when he walks down, the pictures Fi saw aren't there. He opens the two door, and sees a bright light. It subsides when two torches are removed from the doorway. He walks into the huge, royal room, and walks onto the carpet. He walks down, with different people lined up on both sides of the carpet. Suddenly, one person bends down to Jack. (NOTE: WE HAVEN'T SEEN THE KNIGHT's FACE, ONLY HIS BACK) "Carey!..." he says, in Jack's voice, but a little deeper. "I am not Carey...but I say, beware, Jack, beware," the Carey-look alike says, and goes back up. When he does, Jack can no longer see his face. Jack walks on, and another head comes down to him, taps him on the shoulder, and Jack jumps. Jack swings up in his bed, breathing heavily again. He shakes his head, and lays back down.
<October 13>The next morning, before the sun has risen, Carey sneaks into Fi's room and takes the laptop. He sneaks back onto the top bunk, and logs online. He types in "www.easymoney.com." He scrolls down and clicks on a link "Horse Races." "Since I missed yesterday's race for practice, I gotta find out if I won or lost," he mumbles. It loads a page of races, names, and numbers. He scrolls down and puts his finger on one name. He moves it across, and sees that it came in 3rd place. "Dang!" he yells, a little too loud. "Carey?" Irene says, walking into the room, still asleep. "What?" he asks. "What are you doing? And why are you up so...YAWWWWWWN!...so early?" Irene asks. "Uh..." he says. Irene looks at the screen. "Horse races? Carey, what is going on?" she asks. "Uh..." he stutters. Molly walks out, "Guys, why are we up at," she looks at her watch, "5 AM??" "Um..." Carey says. "OK, Carey, what's going on?" Irene asks, as Ned walks out. "Horse races?" Molly reads the computer screen, "Are you gambling Carey?" "Gambling??" Irene says. "What?" Ned asks. "Mom, dad, let me explain!" Carey says. "Gambling? Betting?" she says. "Mom!" he protests. "No, that's enough! Tell me everything, and now!" Irene demands. "Yeah, let's here your story," Ned says. "OK..." he says. "I'll...be going," Molly says, and ducks out. "OK...what's up?" Irene asks. "Mom, dad...I'm right now, $600 in debt," Carey says. Irene looks speechless, "$600? Carey, where do you suppose you'll get that kind of money?" "Uh...the band?" he asks. "Carey, it'll take you five years to make that much!" Irene says. "Four," he mumbles. "Oh, that's much better!" Ned says. "But guys! I like it!" he says. "Yeah...you liked drinking too!" Irene says. Silence settles in for a moment. "Carey...I...just...grrr!" Irene says, and storms back into her room. Ned shrugs his shoulders, shakes his head, and walks out too. Carey sighs, and closes the laptop lid.
"..But Rebecca moved in, yeah, she moved me, she was the best friend I'd ever had. And then one day she went away, didn't think I'd ever feel that bad..." Molly practices a new accompaniment to "Rebecca," with more guitar. Carey is online and looking for a way to make money. Irene walks over, and Carey sees her. He closes the lid. "Carey, I'm sorry I snapped at you this morning, but, I was just...so...mad. And frustrated. Honey, you gotta get a way out of this," Irene says. "Thanks, mom. But how?" Carey asks. "I dunno. But I'll help you anyway..." Irene says, but sees the laptop leaning off of Carey's lap. The lid falls open a little, and Irene sees the page, titled "Get Rick Quick NOW!" "You were going to go ahead and try to bet your money back, huh? Huh? Grr!" Irene yells, and storms away. Carey sighs, as everyone looks from him to Irene.
"You WILL get back my money, right?" a voice says on the phone. "Yes, yes," Carey says, hiding in his room on the bus. "Good...and I want it this evening! I will stop by your club to get it." With that, Carey hears a click and a dial tone. "Carey!" Jack says, busting into the room. "Jack!" Carey yells, surprised. "Carey, your mom says that since you can play, she wants you down there," Jack says. "OK," Carey says, "Tell them I'm getting ready." "OK," Jack says, and walks out. Carey starts going through his clothes, frantically.
"...Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie." The crowd cheers and Molly starts to play "She Sells." Backstage, Fi hears the stage door open, and walks back to check. She sees a man in a suit, wiping his feet. "Um, can I help you?" Fi asks. "Yeah, I'm looking for Carey Bell," the man says in the same hoarse voice we heard on the phone. "He's playing right now," Fi says. "Can I wait?" he asks. "Uh, sure," Fi says. "Thanks," the man says, and comes around to where the rest is sitting. "Who's this Fi?" Jack asks. "Uh...he wants to see Carey," Fi says. "Carey? What do you want?" Irene stands up. "Um, he owes me some money," he says. "Oh, that. I'm sure he has it. Sit down, wait 'til he's done," Irene suddenly becomes more friendly. "Thank you," he says, and sits down. "Goodbye! Mint flavored air pollution!" "He's almost done," Ned says. "Good," the man smiles. Fi keeps taking glances at him. She can't help but think there's something wrong about him. "...she sells, she sells! Goodbye! Goodbye!" The crowd cheers, as the band walks off stage and Molly says good night. Carey runs backstage and Irene says, "Carey, this man is here for money." "Money?" Carey suddenly becomes panicky. "Yes, Carey, I'm Tom, your, I guess you could say, debtor," he says, "Come, let's talk in a more private place," and he takes Carey outside. Irene just smiles like "Yeah, that's right. This'll teach you." The door shuts, and Fi whispers to Jack, "I don't like him," Fi says. "Why?" Jack asks. "I don't know," Fi says, just staring at the door. "Hey guys!" Molly runs over to them, "I got a real bad craving for ice cream! You want to go get some?" "Sure," Fi smiles. "Why not?" Jack says, and they walk out another exit. "I'll bring Carey in the van," Ned says, "After he's done and I help the roadies." "OK," Irene says, and she walks out.
"Carey, I must remind you, you owe me $600. Now, do you have it?" Tom asks Carey outside. "Uh, um, actually, I don't," Carey says, and reaches in his pockets pulling out papers of bets, phone numbers, and everything else, "But I'm in the process of finding it!" "Not good enough," Tom says. Carey looks at him and steps back, as Tom begins morphing into an ugly creature. When he is finished, Carey looks and sees a very ugly lady, in old 1600-style clothing. "You have crossed the Priske!" the lady says in an even hoarser and nastier voice than before. "What? What do you want? What are you?" Carey asks. "I am a sfix! I follow you, Carey Bell, in your every foot step!" it says. "What? What's going on?" Carey yells, as the creature is making an odd, swirling noise. "You have overcome me once with your drinking problem, but not this time! No! I have overcome YOU!" it says. "What? My drinking?" Carey asks. "Yes, that was my first attempt to control you! But that meddling QAGGRE had to cure you!" it says. "A...yaga...what?" Carey says. "Never mind. No one can help you this time, Carey Bell, no one!" it says, and laughs. It begins to make a ring around Carey, stretching itself into a big coil. Suddenly, Fi runs out. "Fi! Help!" Carey says. "Carey!" Fi yells, "Don't worry!" The sfix stops to sniff at Fi, and hisses, "Another!" "Another what?" Fi thinks, but then remembers what she came for, "All the time, goes 'round and 'round. Stop this terror, make not a sound! Luck has nothing in store for you! Be gone, forever, yes, now, be through!" she yells. The sfix yells, "Foolish girl...lllll! Nooooooooo!" and sprials itself into the sky. "Thanks...Fi," Carey says, shook up, "What happened?" "Carey, that was a sfix," Fi says. "A what?" Carey asks. "A creature that follows people with bad luck, and then tries to give them more bad luck," Fi says. "So...why did you come back?" Carey asks. "I was getting on the bus, and thought about 'Tom' for a minute. Then I ran to my room, looked up a spell online, and came back, hoping my instincts were right," Fi answers. "Oh...well, thanks again," Carey says. "Don't mention it. Now let's go get some ice cream," Fi says, and they run through the door.
<October 14>The gang has stopped at a rest stop on the turnpike. Carey stayed on the bus, alone, just playing with his guitar. Then the door opens, and he sits up. "Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Carey! Happy birthday to you!" everyone sings, as everyone carries on a cake. Carey blows out the candles. "Thanks guys!" Carey says. "No problem," Irene smiles. "So how old are you, Carey?" Jack asks. "Twenty!" Carey says. "Wow..." Ned says, "My first baby is twenty years old." Everyone laughs, as Molly cuts the cake and gives everyone a piece. "So, what did you wish for, Carey?" Molly asks. "Um...that I stay...as lucky as I have been," he smiles. Everyone else smiles, but doesn't really understand him. At the same time, right above the bus, the sfix hovers for a moment, then flies back into space.