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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Deleted Paragraphs

These paragraphs were cut from the version of In Twilight's Shadow that I submitted to my editor. I thought I'd share them here because it hurt me deeply to remove them and I didn't want them to sit forgotten on my hard drive. :-/ Sometimes the cuts hurt, but they have to be done anyway. This was one of those times.

To set up the scene, kind of, this is probably the most pivotal moment in Maia's life (She's the heroine of Twilight's Shadow), and although Ryne is too young to realize it, it was a pivotal moment in her life as well. (She's the heroine of In the Midnight Hour which comes out August 2007). I'll also tell you that this is first draft writing--since I cut it, I never bothered to revise.

She was jealous--of Blackwood for getting his powers back and of her sister. Maia had done the healing on Creed that he'd asked for, and while it had improved his condition a little, it had been an incremental change. She would have had to do long healings over a period of a couple of days to do half of what Ryne had done in mere minutes.

Maia hated feeling envy--she loved Ryne. Oh, sure, over the years, she'd had small bursts of the emotion, but the jealousy never lasted more than a second or two--at least not since her sister was a toddler.

Her hands closed around the arms of her chair as the past came flooding back. She'd resented Ryne when she'd been born--a lot. In Maia's opinion, the baby would monopolize her parents' scarce time and she'd been right about that, her sister had received a great deal of attention. Her jealousy had grown and Maia had refused to have anything to do with Ryne, unwilling to even play with her sister.

Until Maia had neared her seventh birthday.

She'd been at the coffee table, coloring and Ryne sat on the floor, babbling and annoying Maia. She'd been so sick of her sister and how everyone was thrilled that she was talking. Big deal, Maia had been talking for years and no one even listened when she spoke.

Maia was trying to ignore Ryne when their mom entered. Her sister's face had lit up, and with excited gibberish, she'd pulled herself to her feet. Their mother, though, hadn't seemed to see either of her daughters as she scanned the room. Ryne started toward their mom, and although she'd become better at walking, she wasn't steady. Her sister made it halfway before their mom turned and left. Maia hadn't thought much of it since incidents like this happened often, but she'd been positioned perfectly to see the hurt bewilderment on Ryne's face.

In that moment, Maia had felt the baby's pain as if it were her own. How many times had she gone through this same thing before she'd stopped expecting anyone to notice her? Now Ryne was experiencing it. Maia put down her crayon. "Come here, baby," she'd invited, holding out her arms.

Her sister had turned and looked at her, not moving as she'd weighed the invitation, but Maia hadn't lowered her arms, and after a moment, Ryne had come to her. As she'd settled her sister on her lap and wrapped her arms around the toddler, Maia had whispered, "It's okay, baby--" She stopped short; her sister had a name. "It's okay, Ryne, I'll take care of you. I'll always take care of you. Sisters have to stick together, right?"

Ryne had looked up at her with those dark brown eyes of hers, then, with a grin, she'd wrapped her pudgy arms around Maia's neck. And that easily, the horrible jealousy she'd felt toward her sister had disappeared.

Last night, though, it had roared back. Maia grimaced. She longed for her magic, wanted it to the very depths of her being and it was gone forever. Sometimes she wished she hadn't done the spell to give them up, but there'd been no other option. As much as it pained her to admit it, she'd been a lost cause. If she hadn't ceded her magic, the council would have assigned Ryne to bring her in, and the job would have destroyed her sister.

When the pain grew too great, that's what Maia remembered, that she'd shielded Ryne--she'd taken care of her sister like she'd promised. Besides, if Maia had been brought before the ceannards, not only would they have stripped her of her magic, they'd have taken all her memories of the Gineal as well. Voluntarily giving up her powers had allowed her to hold onto her past--to hold on to her only family.