While going through the process of editing a story and readying it for publication, some scenes just don’t make the cut. They slow the pacing, wander off topic or generally don’t work to make that finished read. I learned a long time ago to never permanently delete scenes—I just save them to another file during the slash and burn process. Who knows? They might come in handy someday. (And yes…my closets are overly full due to the same reasoning.)
What follows is a deleted scene from MY HIGHLAND LOVER. It gives a bit of backstory on Granny and her ongoing war with the snarky town busybody who picks on Trulie before the time jump back to the thirteenth century introduces Trulie to the man destined to be hers.
This couldn’t be good. Granny and Mrs. Hagerty had declared open war ever since Granny had beaten Mrs. Hagerty at her own game. Mrs. Hagerty was the town busybody and took it upon herself to ensure everyone walked the straight and narrow or suffered the consequences.
When Mrs. Hagerty had announced to the entire town that old Mr. Cleary was paying overnight visits to the Widow Beams, Granny couldn’t stand idly by and allow two meek, innocent people drown in the wake of Mrs. Hagerty’s wrath.
Mrs. Hagerty had told everyone who would stand still long enough to listen that she had undeniable proof that Mr. Cleary was spending his nights at Widow Beams’ house. In fact, the randy old goat, as Mrs. Hagerty so delicately put it, had done so several nights in a row.
Mrs. Hagerty had even gone so far as to march the entire congregation of her church down to the widow’s house one Sunday morning and pointed out Mr. Cleary’s truck parked in the widow’s driveway. Here was the undeniable proof—at least in Mrs. Hagerty’s mind—that the two were carrying on an illicit affair behind the back of Mr. Cleary’s poor, Alzheimer-stricken wife.
Needless to say, Granny was livid when shy, humiliated Widow Beams told Granny what happened. As it turned out, the only reason Mr. Cleary’s truck was parked in her driveway was because Mr. Cleary’s son had surprised his parents with a new minivan and there was no room in Mr. Cleary’s driveway for his old truck.
Granny reassured the distraught Widow Beams, hung up the phone, then declared open war on Mrs. Hagerty. The following Sunday, Granny waited until all the folks had filed into the tiny white church and taken their seats. Just before the pianist played the opening hymn, Granny interrupted the service.
In a voice ringing loud with feigned emotion, she had beseeched the minister and the congregation to follow her to Mrs. Hagerty’s home. Granny convinced them all to be quite concerned for poor Mrs. Hagerty because after all, in all the woman’s years as member of The First Divinity Church of Masonville, how many times had Mrs. Hagerty failed to attend a service? Suitably more curious than worried, the parishioners poured out of the church and followed Granny.
With Granny at the front of the crowd, they arrived at Mrs. Hagerty’s pristine house that sprawled the width of the city block. Loud banging and shrill screeching could be heard coming from behind the brightly painted double front doors. Once Granny checked to ensure she had her audience’s complete attention, she pointed at the rattling doors and called out, “Mrs. Hagerty are you all right?”
As soon as Granny spoke the words, the front doors burst open and a very disheveled Mrs. Hagerty tumbled out onto the wide front porch. The red-faced woman pulled up short when she discovered a good portion of the small town’s population standing in her wide circular drive.
“What are you all staring at?” Mrs. Hagerty’s high-pitched shriek could crack glass as she hopped back and forth across the porch like an angry bird protecting its nest. “I was trapped in my own house. None of the doors would open. Why aren’t you all in church where you belong?”
The crowd drew in a collective gasp when from behind Mrs. Hagerty, bare-chested George Helman, the amiable town alcoholic who made his living by digging through garbage and selling scrap metal, strolled out of the wide entryway and joined Mrs. Hagerty on the front porch. George smiled, waved at the crowd then finished zipping up his pants.
Mrs. Hagerty’s shriek rose to an even higher pitch as she pummeled poor George with the handful of plastic flowers she ripped from the window box on the porch. The crowd roared as plastic petals flew through the air as Mrs. Hagerty herded the laughing George off her land.
Once the crowd finally disbursed, only Granny had remained on the walkway in front of Mrs. Hagerty’s house. Mrs. Hagerty had stood panting and red-faced just inches from Granny’s nose. “I don’t know how you barricaded my door. I don’t know how you put that man in my house but I know it was you. You…you…witch!”
Granny hadn’t said a word. She had just smiled and walked away.