I thought I might post the occasional deleted scene from POLTERGEEKS, and here’s the first one. It’s a scene where Julie is about to call out the spirit of Matthew Hopkins for the epic battle to come and where she comes to realize that she is very much in love with her best friend Marcus. As I’ve long lamented, I basically suck at writing romance and scenes like this were the hardest part of the revision process. The good news is I had excellent advice from my agent, her former assistant (now full blow agent) Ella Kahn and of course, the keen eye for detail and authenticity that is my editor Amanda Rutter. The scene below was replaced with a very poignant email to Julie in which Marcus takes the biggest risk of his life because Julie is the center of his universe and he might wind up being rejected. So, here’s the deleted scene … enjoy!
I shut the water off and stepped out of the shower to dry myself. I should have been terrified about what I was about to do, but the attacks on me and those I loved fueled a simmering anger and a desire to strike back.
I think Marcus liked it too, actually.
I hung up my towel on the back of the door and ran a comb through my damp hair. Marcus had stood by me, God love him, just like he said he would. It made sense for me to ask that he go home and wait to hear from me, but I knew that would fall on deaf ears. He’d already had a near-death experience tonight and it only acted to reinforce his resolve to be there for me, even when I was being a high maintenance you-know-what.
I decided that my feelings for Marcus had only grown stronger since the attack on my Mom and maybe it was the danger and the possibility of both of us getting killed, who knows? In the past, there was no way in the world that Marcus would hold my hand or put his arm around me out of his own accord. (Okay, his screaming like a girl when the Volatilis allowed me to defy gravity was kind of lame.)
Within minutes I was back down in the lab when I noticed my laptop was still open. I walked over and was about to shut it down when I saw the flickering image of the end of the YouTube video showing the attack on those poor dogs. I clicked on the browser icon and up popped four windows from my task bar. I clicked on the first two and saw that Marcus had been posting to his blogs again, but I didn’t recognize the third one.
I squinted at the header. “Passive Ramblings of a Smitten Soul?”
That didn’t sound like Marcus at all, so I read the latest blog posting simply entitled “So Damned Close.” What I read took my breath away:
She can spot the faintest traces of goodness in people and despite everything she’s been through, she’s keeping it together and I’m blown away by that. I want very much to see all the faint and wispy shadows that hide in dark places as she does but she shields me from the blackness and I’m at a loss for how best to tell her that I want so much to explore all those inexplicable anomalies alongside her. I held her hand, though – for me, that’s pretty huge. Her skin felt like warm velvet against my fingertips and I could have sworn that she squeezed my hand back. Did she?
I’d like to think this means she feels the same way as I feel about her – I mean it has to, right?
God! I have to stir up the courage to tell her how I feel and I came really close to doing it yesterday. Maybe my dorky moves left her speechless but I told her she was beautiful. She is so incredibly beautiful to me and I just wish she knew how I feel when … I don’t know… like when her red hair catches the afternoon sunlight that beams through the windows during Social Studies, you know? (As a side, I’m pretty sure her DNA has provided her with the right kind of genetic code that allows her hair to actually collect sunlight better than any Catadioptic Monoblock. Okay… that was really dorky sounding.)
Oh man … I am totally going to look like an imbecile of apocalyptic proportions if I open up to her, but I know that I have to do it. Anyway, there was a moment when I thought I might finally kiss her but it didn’t work out. Gastric issues … sigh. It was cute, though.
I’m going to ask her out, this much I know. I need to ask her out … soon.
I gulped for air.
It was a secret blog.
Though it was written anonymously, the posting was a pretty accurate depiction of our ‘almost’ moment yesterday, before my stupid stomach decided to step in and ruin everything.
I scanned the right column and saw the blog archive dated back a full three years. Holy crap! The guy I’d known since grade school had been writing daily devotionals that were honest expressions of pure joy he felt whenever he was near me. I could feel my throat tighten as I scrolled down and read other blog postings with headlines like “Planetarium Laser Beethoven Show” and “Stale Nachos, Flat Cola and Loud Robotic Explosions”. I felt my eyes well up with tears as I read a posting about how he’d been counting his heart rate whenever he was near me and there was a full month’s worth of readings!
My heart quickened as he described how he would sometimes walk past my house when I was away on vacation with my mom because even though I wasn’t home, the mere fact that he could look up at my bedroom window and know that I slept there helped him deal with the fact that he missed me terribly.
Marcus actually missed me.
I allowed myself a long and very heart-wrenching sigh. I held my hand over the keyboard and bit my lip hard because I wanted to put something in the comment section to tell him (anonymously) that I felt the same way he felt. I was just about to do it, too, but I had to stop myself. I didn’t want Marcus to think I’d been snooping on him.
I decided that when all this was over, I’d tell Marcus that I’d read his blog. I’d throw my arms around him and let him know how he touched my heart and that I felt the same way about him too.
All I had to do was to survive the night and save my mother’s life.