So you can read my books

Sunday, May 9, 2010


It's my pleasure to enter Mia's Deleted Scene Blogfest

Of course, with my work schedule, I'm having to do it a little early again.

A little background on my deleted scene for my novel, SOMETIMES THEY LIE. I envisioned a life history for my hero, Luke Winters. A Lakota psychologist in Boston, witness to the mercy murders of his grandparents and exile from his tribe, Luke is trying to find meaning in the cold city of Boston.

As I was in the midst of the first chapter, I suddenly realized I wanted to tell another phase of his epic life -- one that occurred three years after this chapter -- so "Poof!" There went what I had written. The agents were as quiet as roadkill on my queries to them for SOMETIMES THEY LIE. But if you're interested in what replaced this first chapter, here's the link to "Sometimes You Don't" in the short story contest where I placed it :

And here is that deleted scene :


Her words were husky echoes. “They say you have a tragic past.”

“Don’t we all?”

She let my words hang in the air. She studied me. I studied back.

She was a striking woman. Her eyes were smoky gray windows into a burnt out soul. Other men in the bar were flicking appraising eyes her way. Perhaps they wondered why she was sitting at my table. Me, too.

Her own eyes passed over me, slowly, reflectively. Her slender fingers tested the ends of her long red hair. Apparently, both I and her hair passed our separate tests, and she spoke again.

“You don’t sound Boston.”

“I’m Lakota.”



Her lips curled in what she thought passed for a smile. “Oh, you mean Sioux Indian. You won at The Little Big Horn, didn’t you?”

“Yes, and look where it got us.”

“That was over a hundred years ago. Where your people are now is your own damn fault.”

“Story of the human race.”

“They say you’re a good shrink.”


“Whatever. I need your help. I need to die.”

I nodded slow. “You’re dying?”

“I’m dead.”


Her long face suddenly became all eyes as she murmured, “Rose red, black heart, ivory bones.”

And then she simply wasn’t there. One heartbeat she was looking at me as if the words she spoke were crushed glass. The next, her chair was empty. I sat still as my heart raced fast. What the hell had just happened?

I looked hurriedly at the other customers. They all seemed oblivious of my visitor’s impossible exit. I studied their faces to see if there was any echo of shock in their eyes. I sighed. None.

This was the brooding hour. Most who came here at this time of day were nursing wounds, some old, some new, some never to heal in this lifetime. Most never took their eyes from their glasses.

I looked down at my own glass. Last I heard ice tea had no hallucinatory effects. No answers there. Hell, no answers anywhere that I could tell.

I spilled a bit of my ice tea as a voice suddenly spoke above me.

“Luke -- hey, didn’t mean to startle you.”

I looked up. Monica. Long black hair. Short green skirt. Best waitress that Illusions ever had. I tried for a smile. Almost made it.

“Had a hard day that’s all.”

“What happened to the redhead? She was drop-dead gorgeous.”

“I think you’re right, Monica.”

She flashed me her imp’s grin. “I’m always right, kiddo. And what happened to the redhead?”

“Guess she couldn’t be late for the witching hour.”

“Luke, you know for an injun you talk funny.”

“I’m a psychologist. We’re paid to talk funny.”

“That’s a comedian you’re thinking about.”

“You’d be surprised how often the two are the same.”

“No, I wouldn’t. This block’s full of them, remember?”

“How could I not? I’m one of them.”

Her china blue eyes grew wet. “No, Luke, you’re not. You’re just their token Native American.”

She had pronounced the last two words with bitter pomposity. Her eyes suddenly couldn’t meet mine. She walked briskly into the shadows.

I whispered after her. “When you’re right, you’re right.”

I went to my apartment with even more mixed feelings than usual. I expected a waiting ghostly presence in my living room. None showed up there. Or in my bedroom either. I figured the bathroom was safe. You never hear of a ghost haunting a toilet.

The next few days I awaited a return visit. She never came. The circle of the seasons flowed slow and steady and unrelenting. The year passed like a kidney stone, full of pain and promises of more to come.

Mac put Illusions up for sale. He wanted to go back to the old country. Poland. Don’t ask. Long story.

The bar was sold, becoming even more upscale. Monica became the new manager, though she still waited tables. But now only when the mood struck her. The name was changed to an odd one.

Rose Red.

Yes, you guessed it. I had bought the bar. I changed the decor to something out of an old black and white film noir movie. You half expected Bogart to be talking to Ingrid Bergman at a secluded table.

With my typical luck, my secluded table only had Aaron Brookheim. Tall, dark, and quite possibly the most deadly man in Boston. He shook his head at me.

“Do you have a death wish, Luke?”

I paused before answering. Not from fear. True, he ran the most elite escort service in Boston. He owned the most elegant and illegal gambling casino in town. He also carried more weapons hidden on his person than I had regrets. And last, and known only to a select few, he was the Mossad’s representative on the East Coast.

But no, there was another reason I paused before answering. He was a friend. One of the few I had left that was still living. And he deserved the truth. And please, do not become Pilate on me.

“Yes. I believe I do.”

He flexed his long fingers as if keeping them from strangling me with an effort. “I can believe it.”

He pointed to the oil painting. “Where did you find a photograph of her and an artist in Boston suicidal enough to paint this?”

“I painted it.”

“You can paint like this? Hell, it looks like that von Stuck painting you have in your living room.”

“You mean Sin?”

“Yeah, if it’s that one with the snake.”

“Yes, it is. It’s one of the better portrayals of the evil temptress . One of the chief, if not the chief, theme of the Symbolism school of Art.”

He frowned at me. “What?”

“Symbolism. To clothe the idea in perceptible form.”

“I know what symbolism is, smart ass.”

He turned his eyes back up to the painting and shivered. “Damn, her eyes seem to bore right into you.”

I looked up. Yes. It was one of my better attempts since that night. In the smoky depths of those eyes you could imagine monsters swam. The monsters who haunt us or drive us or both.

He rubbed his face angrily at himself. “Forget that, Luke. Where did you get the photograph to do it?”

“I did it from memory.”

“Memory? That’s impossible. She died over thirty years ago.”

Words that were velvet sneers murmured above us. We both looked up. I went cold. Rose Red.

“It so pleases me that even after thirty years I am the subject of such dread and interest.”

Looking like the Dark Angel in Carlos Schwabe’s The Gravedigger’s Death, she looked down amused at the two of us. I studied the cold glitter to her eyes.

I changed my mind. No, her haughty look reminded me of Gustav Klimt’s Judith. He and Freud had been alike in their fascination with the association of death and sexuality, of Eros and Thanatos. My own past made me share their fascination and obcession.

And Rose Red, in her form clinging black gown, seemed to breathe both death and sexuality. She looked up at her painting. She cocked her head, studying it. All emotion bled white from that haunting face.

She turned back to me, echoes of regrets and lost innocence in her hollow gray eyes. “They say you help hurting souls.”

“They who?,” I managed to get out.

She smiled with her lips only and sat down. She no sooner sat than her body blinked out of sight as if it had never been there. Aaron dropped his shot glass.

Its shattering on the floor sounded like a fired gun. Far to my left another glass hit the bar with almost an equal loudness. Monica. She looked like she had seen a --

No, I won’t use that phrase.

Aaron husked, “What the hell was that?”

“I think you may have answered your own question.”

He shook his head firmly over and over again. His was a world of expediant assassinations, carefully crafted lies, necessary subterfuges, and deadly espionage. There was no room in it for the supernatural. None at all.

But I was Lakota. My grandfather had taught me that the white man’s view of the world was stunted, limited by his insistence that everything had to conform to his ideas of what was possible. But he had also taught me not to believe everything I saw, not to take what was before my eyes at face value.

“A hologram,” whispered Aaron. “It had to be a hologram.”

I nodded slowly. “That would be one school of thought.”

“Don’t go redskin on me, Luke. Someone is trying to pull something on us. We’ve got to figure this out.”

“What do you mean we, paleface.”

His look should have jutted four inches out of my back. “Very funny. That was supposed to look like the ghost of Anthony Vincent’s first wife. When word of this gets out --”

He didn’t finish. He didn’t have to. Anthony Vincent. Even I had heard of him. If you wanted to make a crooked dollar, first you had to get permission from him. The first fruits of every black harvest belonged to him. And to fail to pay tribute to Boston's dark Caesar was to die.

Like his first wife had died.

Actually, she had simply disappeared. Word on the street was that Vincent had murdered her with his own hands. I smiled bitter. Some things you just had to do yourself.


Hope you enjoyed that lost classic scene. And here is a haunting video to go with the haunting scene you just read :


  1. Spine tingling. Wow, I really liked this. It may just be my favorite. I'd have a lot of reading to do to figure that out though. :)

    Loved the way the eyes followed them. And the death wish line was great. I certainly hope ghosts stay out of the bathroom - but in case you haven't noticed, evil spirits lurk in the mirror.

    I'm not participating in this blog fest, but it was great to read your entry.

    Have a safe day.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. 'Perhaps they wondered why she was sitting at my table. Me, too.'

    I love those nods and winks at the reader. A very enticing and thrilling read. You build the atmosphere very well.

    Greetings from London.

  4. Many people have a difficult time letting go of big chunks of their writing like that. It's good you can do it.

    Interesting to do deleted scenes. I don't even save mine. If they aren't working, I just hit "delete".

  5. Wow!! This is brilliant, so haunting.

    Thank you so much for taking part! *hugs* I think I will read "Sometimes You Don't" now because if it's anything like this it will be great.


  6. It must be very frustrating to chop parts out! I wonder what the rest of you project entails, as this passage is very well written - strikingly poignant

  7. Very creepy. Nice work and too bad you had to cut it.

  8. A great read. What a shame you have deemed this a deleted scene.

  9. Very atmospheric, you write great dialogue. Love the phrase 'the brooding hour'.

  10. Wow. Why on earth is that a deleted scene? It's brilliant! Really pulls you in and, to paraphrase Donna Hole, gets your spine tingling.

    And again: Wow.