Sorry for the late post–again. I’m super swamped with work and, you know, the whole being-pregnant thing, so I’m falling behind in getting them done before noon. Oh well, at least they’re still coming!
A while back, I wrote about how sometimes we need to decide which scenes need to stay and which ones don’t really deserve a spot in the novel. You can read that blog here.
Anyway, I decided to give you a peek into one of those very scenes from Martyrs. This scene was in the first rewrite and cut out of the second. Needless to say, now that I’ve written the story four times total, there’s absolutely no remnants of this scene at all.
That’s for a few reasons:
One, this scene makes Thorn seem way whinier than I want her to be. Thorn’s character changed significantly after this version, so it had to change.
Two, this scene doesn’t really carry any importance to the book other than to slightly develop her character–which I don’t like, since it makes her seem whiny.
Three, I’d had this ambitious dream of having a “mirror scene” in every book. Not only was that kind of a weird idea anyway, but it got really hard when I decided to write seven instead of just four books.
Anyway, enjoy! Don’t mind the writing. It’s probably three or four years old.
* * *
At four in the morning, Thorn woke up like clockwork. Before her alarm even went off, the slender, white arm reached over the edge of her bed and turned it off. Her bare legs slid over and her bare feet touched the soft, azure carpet of her bedroom. With a back-cracking stretch, she pulled herself up. Her smooth, raven hair fell back into shape as though she had been asleep for only a few hours. She had.
As she got to her feet the mattress shifted. A small blue creature, sprawled across the second pillow with its red-webbed wings splayed wide, shifted and chirped. He didn’t wake up as Thorn softly stroked his tiny head. He purred in his sleep.
Thorn’s room was untouched. Dust rimmed the top of her headboard and surface of her dresser. As she walked swiftly to the private bathroom, the air felt as still and unused as the rest of it. Her time spent there was only noticeable in small, subtle ways: the soft wrinkling of where her body had laid on the still-made bed; shampoo and conditioner bottles sitting at the bottom of her shower; a clothes hamper, filled less than half a foot deep.
The violent crack running vertically across the bathroom mirror.
Dull bulbs in the bathroom hid most of the room’s details, but the crack was hard to miss. The mirror itself was perhaps the primary receptor for Thorn’s abuse. She hated the thing: it was nothing more than a constant reminder that she was who she was. That morning, she glanced into it, into her own, half-empty eyes. She could still see the eyeliner’s light, grey trails down her cheeks. They fell to her chin. Into her hairline. Across the bridge of her nose.
Thorn cursed and struck her own reflection. The class creaked under the stress but did not break any further. The two, asymmetrical halves stared back at her. She looked down.
Her knuckles dribbled blood slowly into the sink. She turned on the water to remove both the wound and the evidence it had left behind. A small sound at her door made her turn. The creature watched her, the light from the bathroom framing him in the walkway. He watched her with big, beady eyes. She smirked, sighed, and turned away.
She ran the shower cold and stripped down. Subconsciously, she fingered the thick scarring on her left wrist and forearm before tossing her clothes into the hamper.
The water was frigid. As Thorn stepped into it, the cold sheets of icy water pounded on her back like angry rain. The hairs all along her body stood up in protest and her breathing came in quick, ragged gasps. Lungs contracting, trying hard to keep warm beneath the insulating layer of muscle and flesh, argued with her heart. “Why cold” they seemed to ask. “Why do we always bathe in cold water?”
“Because,” her heart replied mournfully, “cold is followed by numbness, and when I’m numb, I don’t hurt.”