When writing a novel, I sometimes envision a scene many chapters ahead of where I am. If I feel the scene is good and I’m afraid I might later lose the feel for writing it, I stop and write a quick draft for it.
Sometimes after returning to the novel and writing several thousand more words, I discover the scene in which I thought was so great no longer has a place. This is what happened with the short scene below. Perhaps I can fit it into another book of the series.
Setting the Scene: Two main characters, Alaura and Bronwyn, are trailing Keiron—a man who has kidnapped a child—through the forest. They meet a strange dwarf, much older than Bronwyn, dressed in ragged clothing. They ask him if he’s seen Keiron. After pointing them in the right direction, the stranger begins to share more information:
“You know…that hauflin was a peculiar one.” He leant closer to Alaura and Bronwyn as if someone were listening and whispered, “He thinks his girl is a boy.” The dwarf quickly looked from one side to the other, his eyes wide and alert. “It is obvious to someone as blind as me that she gives off the female scent.” He giggled and shook from head to toe. “I tried to tell him…he insisted he knew better.”
“Did he threaten you?” asked Bronwyn.
“Threaten? They all do…but they wouldn’t dare harm me!” The dwarf leant in again and said, “I have something none of them want to share.”
Bronwyn glanced at Alaura and wondered what this old man could possibly have that convinced Keiron, a cold-blooded killer, to leave him pass safely.
“This!” The dwarf held up his hand as if to halt a passing parade. They looked at the design embedded in his right palm. It was an open eye surrounded by a black circle. It looked like a tattoo.
“What is it?” asked Bronwyn.
“It’s an Eye for an Eye. You have never seen one before, yes? Let me demonstrate how it works.”
Alaura stepped back. She sensed bad magic had created the Eye for an Eye.
“Hit me,” said the dwarf. Bronwyn hesitated. He had no reason to strike the aged man. “Come on. Hit me,” he chided. “Just once. Right here. As hard as your might will allow.”
“Bronwyn, I don’t think this is wise,” said Alaura.
“I don’t want to hit you,” Bronwyn told the man.
“Chicken?” He began to cluck like a fowl and prance around with his arms bent like wings. “Here be a chicken as chicken as can be. He’s too chicken to hit an old man like me.”
Bronwyn grinned at Alaura, looking for support. “What could possibly happen?”
“I don’t know,” said Alaura. “I have a bad feeling about this.”
The old dwarf flew up into Bronwyn’s face and ogled him with wild eyes. His stringy hair danced in the sunshine. “Here be a chicken as chicken as can be. He’s too chicken to hit an old man like me.”
Bronwyn fought the urge to answer the tease. The flibbertigibbet was getting on his nerves.
“Hit me, ya sissy,” he hissed. With a crooked little finger he poked Bronwyn’s chest.
Bronwyn could resist no longer; he clenched his fist and struck him. The old man flew to the ground, landing with a thud. Suddenly an invisible force punched Bronwyn, and he hit the ground, dazed. As he shook his head to get his senses, he realized the power behind an Eye for an Eye. If Keiron had killed the dwarf, he would have die, too.
The old dwarf jumped to his feet and slapped his behind. “Teehee! Teehee! I’m off you see! Teehee! Teehee! I’m off you see!” He circled the pair once at a canter then dove into the brush where he quickly fell out of sight. His strange singing was carried on the wind for several minutes before it faded in the distance.
Alaura reached out to help Bronwyn to his feet. “Did you learn your lesson?”
“Yeah,” said Bronwyn, rubbing his jaw. “I pack a punch. I hope I never hit myself again.”
…Feeling down? Saddle up. ~ Author Unknown