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Stephanie Long

Stephanie Long and Lucie Corner (#30) dance until it’s time to go to the back porch and get interrupted making out by a startled Miguel Sebanon (#8) and continue from the back of the cab to Stephanie Long’s apartment. The cat won’t leave them alone. Lucie Corner pries herself away at three in the morning and leaves Stephanie Long with her shirt off, her pants on and a throbbing petulant disappointment, then comes back at seven and they get in the shower and Lucie Corner leaves again and finally, sleep.

Stephanie Long isn’t sure who’s supposed to call whom. Neither does.

Stephanie Long

Last year the Stone City Thunders went two for five in the quarterfinals against the Richmond Roar, during which series the Roar temporarily stole Carol Tolliver (#41) via contract loophole. So when the Thunders beat them in early season play, it’s a good excuse for a party.

Stephanie Long actually attended the home bout this time. Standing in the box with her graph-paper score pad reminded her of watching games with her mother, and therefore she finds herself gliding into a corner on vodka skates.

“Hi,” says the person there, above the music.

“Hi, Lucie Corner (#30),” says Stephanie Long.

Simon Yu

Lucie Corner’s back the following week, so they throw a receiveoff (or possibly a sendon; signs are unclear) to welcome her. You get traded a lot in Electric Magnajoust if you’re in it for the money.

Imani Rhodes (#17) has never been traded.

“Don’t do it,” Simon Yu tells Stephanie Long, as they lie on the roof with their feet in the window.

“I’m not,” protests Stephanie Long.

“Don’t hook up with Lucie Corner,” says Simon Yu. “She’ll wring you out, Stephanie Long. Stop coming to her parties. I mean it.”

Which shows how much Simon Yu (#0) knows about women.

Simon Yu

The locker room of St. Avarice Arena is cramped and fluorescent, floored with a queasy peachlike material. There’s only one room. It’s a coed sport.

It’s hard to care about mere nudity when you’re preparing for Electric Magnajoust.

Simon Yu (#0) restraps his neodymium footbrakes, worried that they might be wobbling, and also that Imani Rhodes (#17) isn’t speaking to Lucie Corner (#30).

“At least stop by her sendoff,” he says.

Imani Rhodes shakes her head. “Game tape to watch.”

“Electric Magnajoust isn’t everything,” says Simon Yu quietly.

“Yes,” says Imani Rhodes, “it is,” steps onto the launch rail, and vanishes.