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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Widdowson

Deleted Scene from The RH Factor

Updated: 4 days ago

torn paper, flowers and notepad in front of window

This week I’m taking another break from “The Indie-Author’s Arsenal” series and offering a quick read of a deleted scene from my first book, The RH Factor. Originally, I had a different idea of why Pax wanted to become a cop. He was still motivated by something that happened in his life, but it was a completely different event.

I ended up not using this scene because I was unsure about its believability. If you have an opinion about whether I should have used this scene instead of the one I chose (you'll have to read the book to know what it was), leave a comment below. Maybe if enough people like the original version better, I’ll find a place for this scene involving a different character in another book.

Waiting for his dad to come home from work, Pax was in his room playing with his Legos when he heard the front door slam. Thinking it was his dad, he ran down the hall to greet him. But he stopped when he heard a strange man’s voice screaming, “Get on the couch!”

He stood frozen in the hallway. The house was small. If the man looked around the corner from the living room, he would see him. But he didn’t. Pax could just see the man’s back as he stood in front of his mother, sitting on the couch. He was pointing a gun at her. She screamed, “What do you want?” Then she glanced down the hallway and saw Pax standing there and shook her head violently. Pax wanted to help her, but he didn’t know what to do.

“Help!” she screamed.

The man got in her face and put the muzzle to her head. “Scream again, bitch. Go ahead.” His mother clamped her mouth shut, and he took a rope out of a bag and tied up her hands. Then he demanded in a low, calm voice, “Where’s the money?”

“What money?”

“I know you have money hidden here. Don’t fuck with me!” The man looked over and saw his mother’s purse sitting on the kitchen table. “Might as well get the easy stuff first,” he said, walking into the kitchen. He opened her purse and dumped the contents onto the table. He turned his back to her as he took the money from her wallet and stuffed it in his pockets.

What happened next was like something out of a superhero comic book. Pax stood in amazement as he watched his mother stand up quietly, and with her wrists still tied together, somehow manage to pick up the heavy ceramic lamp from the end table, jerk its plug out of the wall socket, and smash it over the man’s head. The loud thunk of the lamp slamming against the man's skull made Pax flinch. The lamp broke apart, pieces of aqua blue pottery flying everywhere, and the intruder fell to the floor.

His mother walked out of Pax's line of sight, and he heard her pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1. There were scrambling noises, and then she came running down the hall, the rope between her hands now cut apart. Still glued to the same spot, she picked him up and smothered him in a bear hug.

“It’s OK, Pax. Everything’s OK. You’re such a brave boy!”

Pax saw that the man was already getting up. His mother saw it too, and she crept down the hall, into her bedroom, and locked the door. She put her finger to her lips. But he could hear the intruder’s footsteps on the hall's wooden floor. The bedroom door splintered when he kicked it open. Rubbing the back of his head, he shook his gun at them and yelled, “Tell me where the fuckin’ money is! I’m not fuckin’ around anymore, bitch!”

“We don’t have any money! Take what you want! I don’t care. Just don’t hurt my baby!” Pax snuggled up as close as he could to his mother as she wrapped her arms around him tightly. But he couldn’t take his eyes off the burglar. The man cocked back the hammer of the gun just as they heard sirens and the squeal of tires outside the house. The intruder’s eyes grew wide. He panicked and ran down the hall and out the back door.

Pax watched out the bedroom window in awe as the police chased the intruder through their backyard and tackled him to the ground. After handcuffing him and taking him back to the squad car, two police officers came into the bedroom and told them they were safe.

From then on, Pax wanted to be a policeman. He thought if he could help just one person the way those officers had helped his mother and him that night, he would feel like a hero.

Pax never found out why the man thought they had money in their house. But later his father told him that the burglar was convicted on a string of home-invasion robberies.

What do you think? Should I have used this flashback instead of the one I chose? Should I use it in another book? Is the mother pulling the heavy lamp out of the socket believable, or is the final version more interesting, more dynamic? Did I make the right decision by changing it?

By the way, for many years, I owned a lamp just like the one I described in the scene. It was really heavy. But I think with enough fear, I could have yanked its cord out of the wall and slammed it into someone’s head. But maybe I think I’m stronger than I really am. I would probably just stand there frozen in fear. I think we all like to imagine we could be a hero if the circumstances called for it.

Writing is an interesting thing. It’s a personal journey. Unless you’re co-authoring your book, the story comes from your brain alone. But you also want other people to enjoy reading it. I want to make sure my books are exciting, but I also want to make sure they’re believable. I don’t want the reader to be brought back to the real world by reading something that causes them to think “That’s just stupid. That would never happen.”

My alpha and beta readers help to make sure I don’t do that, but everyone has a different opinion, a unique background from which they approach a story. Some people may be more accepting of things that are perhaps a bit too unbelievable.

I hope you enjoyed this deleted chapter. If so, I’ll throw a few more out to you. Stay tuned next week for a return to “The Indie-Author’s Arsenal” series when I talk about the tools I used in the publishing step of self-publishing my books.

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1 Comment

10 hours ago

For me, that scene is not needed and sounds almost contrived. I think your instincts were working for you when you decided it wasn't believable enough.

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