High Moor 2: Moonstruck – Deleted Scene
I realise that things have been a little quiet around here for a while. Rest assured that I’m working away in the background on a whole bunch of projects. We have Great British Horror Volume 1 coming out in less than three weeks, the audiobook of the first High Moor novel is getting close to completion and we are putting the new cover and edits together on Horrific Tales first publication that isn’t werewolf related – the fantastic “Whisper” by Michael Bray. And of course, I’m working away on making High Moor 3 as good as it can be, although we are still a little way off finishing that one.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a deleted scene from Moonstruck. This was originally going to be the prologue and shows a scene from the original novel from Marie’s perspective instead of John’s. When I started writing Moonstruck, I fully intended to do 1/3 of the book as a childhood flashback from Marie’s perspective, covering her childhood as a werewolf and leading back up to the start of the first novel. Unfortunately there was just too much story to do justice, so it was shelved. For now.
High Moor 2: Moonstruck – Deleted Scene.
23rd June 1986. Marie’s House, High Moor. 08.00.
Marie laid in her bed and stared at the ceiling. Sunlight twinkled around the edges of her curtains and danced across the walls, but she made no move to open them and let the daylight in. She couldn’t if she’d wanted to. Michael’s transformation and death the previous night had left a gaping wound in her heart, the enormity of which threatened to swallow her whole. She couldn’t believe that both of her brothers were dead. She’d not yet fully come to terms with the loss of David, and still walked into rooms expecting to see him sitting there, with a cheeky grin on his face. Now Michael was gone as well, and the loss was more than she could bear.
She heard shuffling from downstairs, and knew that her mother was up. She’d spent the night in Michael’s room, sobbing. Marie didn’t think that she’d slept at all, but then, neither had Marie. Her Father had not said a word since they’d returned from the hospital. When her mother told him what had happened he got up from his chair, took a bottle whiskey from the sideboard and had gone into the dining room, closing the door behind him, leaving Marie and her mother alone in the kitchen with their grief.
Her mind turned to John. She’d heard the noises coming from his house during the night. Muffled, as if someone had left the television on in a different room, but unmistakable. Furious snarling and the sounds of things being broken. They’d stopped at around 4.30, when the first fingers of the dawn had broken the horizon. She hoped that he was alright, and that he hadn’t hurt anyone. John was the only person she had left.
She had to know that he was OK. Had to see him. Talk to him. She pushed back the sheets and leaped out of bed, then went downstairs.
Her mother was in the kitchen, making breakfast in a faded dressing gown. Her eyes were sunken, red-rimmed orbs and she moved about as if she were sleepwalking. “I’m making breakfast, love. Do you want any?” she said in a voice barely above a whisper, as if the effort of speaking was almost too much for her.
Marie shook her head. “No thank you. I’m not hungry.”
Joan Williams turned to her daughter and gathered her up into her arms. “It will be alright, Pet. I know it’s hard, but…” her voice cracked and for a moment she could not get the words past the lump in her throat.”But we’ve still got each other. I won’t let anything happen to you. You’re my little girl. My baby.”
Grief bubbled up from within Marie and she couldn’t speak. She held her mother tight and let the tears flow until she had no more to shed. She felt raw inside as the emotions tore at the fresh wound and reopened the old one again.
Joan released her grip and stood upright. “You should really have some breakfast, love. Will you eat something? For me?”
Marie nodded, knowing that it would make her mother feel better. “Mam, can I go and see John after breakfast?”
Joan’s face hardened. “No, love. I told you the other day that I don’t want you seeing that boy again. He’s not right. Did you hear the carry on over there last night? I want you to stay in today. You need to be with your family. I need you.”
“But Mam, I need to see him. To tell him about Michael.”
Her mother shook her head. “No. You can see John at school, and his Mam and Dad will tell him about your brother. Go and get dressed while I make breakfast, and please, Marie, don’t be difficult. I…I can’t handle that at the moment. Not today.”
Marie felt the pressure of fresh tears building within her, and she walked from the kitchen without another word, not wanting her mother to see her cry again. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, she could hear her Father’s guttural snores from the dining room and felt a hot coal of anger ignite within her. At least that bastard managed to sleep last night. Then she stomped up the stairs, back to her bedroom and slammed the door closed behind her.
She heard voices outside and the sound of car doors closing. She walked to the curtains and pushed them aside, to see John’s father loading suitcases into the boot of their car. After a few minutes, John was ushered out by his mother and bundled into the back seat. Then John’s parents got into the vehicle and started the engine.
The realisation that they were leaving hit her like a hammer blow. She put her hand against the window and her eyes locked with John’s as the car picked up speed.
“John, don’t leave me. You’re all I have left.”
John couldn’t hear her though, and after a few seconds the car turned the corner and vanished from site. Her last friend was gone. She was alone in the world apart from her overbearing mother and her drunken abusive father.”
The tears came again, and she fell onto the bed as her grief consumed her.
Eventually her tears subsided, and she lay on her bed, feeling numb. First David, then Michael, and now John had been taken from her, all within the space of a few short weeks. She would never again get angry with David for calling her “squirt”, or get into a fight with Michael. Never tell John how she felt about him. That she loved him.
Then she felt it. Deep inside, past the pain that constricted her throat and numbed her mind. Past the gaping hole where her heart used to be. A presence. Something inside of her that was somehow separate. An entity in its own right. She looked at the crusted scabs on her arm, where Michael’s fingers had torn her skin the night before. And she understood. Michael had given her something when he changed last night. Something terrifying and wonderful. She opened herself to the presence and felt it grow, whining like a new-born puppy in the back of her mind. Despite all of the pain she felt, she managed a small smile. She wasn’t alone. She’d never be alone again.