stranger we become

in this rewrite of “The Place Where We Belong” (whose title is going to change, this one felt right at the beginning, and is now wrong somehow), I realized there was a whole 40-page chapter that probably no longer fit. My MC goes into work, and just as she’s about to close up, one of the possible/maybe antags (this one is the Blood King) shows up. There’s another character, who works for the Blood King who has become more important to the story, and my wee subconscious was telling me that with his previous introduction in the text (when he was being all undead blood drinky), we had the connection we needed to the BK and his nefarious ways, so perhaps he wasn’t needed – perhaps he was better lingering in the sidelines like a dangerous shadow.

So I deleted the chapter (saved for posterity, of course because I liked it a lot)and started writing it anew. This time I was going to have a friend of the MC (who she feels betrayed by) show up so they could have a Chit Chat of epic proportions.

No sooner did I open the door, and bam! the Blood King is like IAMHEREBITCHES, because he is nothing if not ego and did not want to lose his scene (he has a really important scene near the end, but apparently that wasn’t quite enough for him).  So there you go. I deleted the chapter, only to be told that I have to write it again. It’s different, slightly, as the MC has more information than she did before, and although I’m glad I can re-purpose a bunch of the previous version, I’m also amused by the BKs pushy-ass ways.

The complexity, here, is that he’s a good guy, but my MC doesn’t know that. For the reader, I don’t want it to be obvious – because even “good guys” have an agenda.

**

“And you and Quince?”

I tugged on my t-shirt, stretching out the ace of hearts print. There were no words to describe what Quince and I were, nothing that didn’t require notes and a diagram and all of my fingers and toes. “He’s my alibi,” I said, instead of the complex answer. The Blood King laughed.

“Emerick loved him, too,” he said, and watery pink-stained tears formed in the corners of his eyes. He smiled, a half-true, searching smile, both sad and wistful.

“You ruined that,” I whispered and he shook his head.

“Some things are bigger than all of us,” he murmured and the tattoo on the back of his hand shifted, grew another leaf, birthed another star.