To the hopeful - no, this is not another chapter. These are some random scenes I wrote after putting up chapters, or stuff I cut out that was still buried in my old drafts. So...a little peek into my editing process.
Edgar's First Night
Some small scenes were thought up after reading LadyLore3's story, Retribution, which dealt with a lot of stuff I wish I had thought up. This was one of them.
He was scared to death.
The cage was a confining hell, a place where every day something might change – where he might be beaten one moment and ignored the next. But it had been familiar. It had been his home for as long as he could remember. He could pace it in his sleep; he could tell, with his eyes closed, where his food and water bowls were and where the opening was.
This horrible, brightly lit, large space, though, was just frightening.
It was so big and open; he, used to tiny spaces and lack of movement, found that there was too much freedom, not enough boundaries for him to navigate comfortably in. There were huge…things (furniture, though he did not know it) looming over him.
And the people. He was scared to death of the new people.
There had been a woman. She had been the one to drag him out of his home. She had taken him to yet another strange place, had washed him and forced into…he looked down at himself. These soft white things that covered him up. She had put strange smelling liquids on him, and wrapped up the places he had hurt. It had been nice. He had been taken care of. Very vaguely, he could remember, when he was very young, someone who had touched him and held him in a similar way. He found this treatment comforting. But he didn't know why…and that scared him.
The woman looked at him. He hissed at her; whenever anybody looked at him, he knew he was going to be hurt. It had always been better for him to be ignored, to be hidden.
She was taken aback, but didn't let him deter her. She crouched down. He stumbled backwards as she drew near, until he was backed into a corner, still spitting at her. She held out her hand and was shocked when he curled away, whimpering. When someone offered a hand, it had always brought pain. He waited for the lash.
It didn't come. The woman settled her hand on top of his head, and started to stroke him. Shocked, he didn't move for many seconds, waiting for her to slap him. Sometimes the man outside the cage would pet him, only to change his mind and hit him. He knew she would do this, was bracing himself for her…and the longer it took, the more the fear, the anticipation, seemed to grow, gnawing at his guts.
She withdrew, still looking at him. He raised his head just slightly, trying to look at her without making it obvious. She smiled at him. He drew further back, twisting his arms to his chest. Smiles were bad. When the man smiled, he was always preparing to do something particularly cruel. And yet…he peeked up again. The woman was still smiling, and was reaching for him again. He braced himself. Nothing. More petting, more soft touches to his head, his back.
This woman was different.
He recoiled from the thought. Nothing ever changed. When he thought things would turn out different, they never did. The man had pulled that trick on him. The man had enjoyed watching his hope die. But he knew hope just couldn't die. He would always wish that, just once, something might change.
Perhaps it would this time.
He moaned. He couldn't think that way.
He was hungry. He hadn't been fed at all. There wasn't only fear in him – there was the constant hunger. He wanted food so badly.
The woman moved away. He hoped – there it was again – that she would go and leave him alone.
No. She was back. He shivered. Things never turned out the way he hoped.
She pushed something towards him. Slowly he looked up. He could smell it. It smelled good.
He stared at her again. She was too close, watching him too eagerly. The man would always do that. Offer him something, wait for him to come, as he always would, then snatch it away. He wasn't falling for it from her, though.
She sighed and walked away into another room. Disbelievingly, he watched her go. This had never happened.
This woman was different.
Hesitantly he went to the bowl. It was blood. He resisted no longer, gulping it down until it was all gone and his stomach ached with the unexpected feeling of fullness.
The woman came back and he threw himself back into the corner, watching her with the intensity of a cornered animal for her reaction. But she merely smiled, said a few soft words – and he had never heard anyone talk to him that way before – picked up the bowl, and left.
He sighed, curling back in his corner. The woman went upstairs. He watched her go. The lights were out all over the house now. The darkness felt good. It was familiar.
Vaguely, before going to sleep, he wondered what had happened to the girl he had been introduced to before. He wondered if she was different too.
Edgar, Meet Bed
This was another written after Retribution. It also shows some of the effects an abused Bat Boy might have to deal with.
He had finally learned to trust them. He had stopped cowering when they came close, had stopped flinching whenever they raised a hand or spoke to him.
Now Shelley watched as her mother cupped the boy's head and half led, half pulled Edgar up the stairs, catching him when he stumbled, grabbing his arm when he tripped over his own limbs and almost went tumbling back down. To her, it was a familiar part of life; to him, it was an insurmountable crest.
They finally reached the top. Edgar followed Meredith, stopping occasionally to sniff a bit at a piece of decoration or furniture, but always moving whenever Shelley, right behind him, started to come too close.
Meredith opened a door. "You see, Edgar? This is your room."
Shelley wondered if he saw things the way she did. It was a guest room, but very bare. There were some cheap pieces of furniture – bed, desk, chair, dresser – all with an air of disuse.
Meredith sat on the bed, patting it lightly. Edgar paused, on all fours, watching suspiciously.
"Come on, Edgar. This is your bed. Bed. Can you say 'bed'?"
Evidently not, Shelley thought to herself, as the boy cocked his head to one side at her voice, but otherwise made no indication of understanding. The thing was an idiot.
Meredith sighed, not giving up. "All right, then. Come on to the bed, Edgar. This is where you'll sleep."
Edgar didn't move. He looked around, found a small enclosed space – the closet – and curled there, closing his eyes.
Meredith's jaw clenched, not because of what he did, but because of what that behavior signified. "No, Edgar." She shook him awake – he yelped and jumped away, crashing into the back of the closet – and led him to the bed. He followed her obediently all the way to the edge of the bed, then stood there, rocking slightly, unsure of what to do next.
"He doesn't seem to like the bed, Mom," Shelley commented from the doorway.
Her mother ignored her. "Come on Edgar. On to the bed." She placed her hands beneath his arms and lifted him up until his front half was settled on the bed, then pushed his legs on after. He was remarkably thin.
"You see?" she said. "You sleep here and – no Edgar!"
He had looked out the window; seeing a tree, had tried to leap at it and had slammed his face into the glass.
Shelley couldn't help it; she cracked up, laughing at Edgar's behavior, at the utter surprise on his face upon encountering what seemed to be an invisible barrier, and at her mother's shock.
"Shelley, stop laughing!" Edgar, rubbing his nose, was staring at her. Shelley forced the laughter back. Edgar hopped up and down on the bed, trying to make the same gasping sounds.
"What's he doing?" Shelley asked suspiciously. Edgar, seeing her expression turn hostile, stopped, pushing himself back to the wall.
"I think he's trying to laugh, Shelley."
"He kind of sucks at that, Mom."
Edgar settled on the pillow.
"Well, I need to tuck him in." Meredith pushed him down gently so that his head was on the pillow. He had an unfortunate habit of curling into a tight ball when sleeping, and Meredith had to disentangle his limbs. She covered him with a blanket – he snarled at it in much the same way he had when confronted with his first pieces of clothing – and tucked him in when he had settled down.
"Good night, Edgar," Meredith said, patting him once more. Edgar, finally getting that he was not going to be attacked by evil bedcovers, closed his eyes. It was a mark of how much trust he placed in them that he could sleep when they were nearby.
Shelley said, "Goodnight, Edgar."
Edgar, Meet the Bathroom
Yet another after Retribution. Only this one was kind of gross. Funnily enough, I found a Bat Boy video online later that was similar to this...
"Oh, that is disgusting."
Shelley stood, staring at the large wet patch on the bed sheets. Edgar was at her side, clothes stripped off, looking shamed, not sure what he had done wrong, only knowing he was the cause.
"Shelley?" Meredith called, coming up. "What is it?"
"Look at this!" Shelley pointed at the mess on the bed.
Meredith came closer and wrinkled her nose. "Oh dear, don't tell me…"
"He wet the bed, Mom!" her daughter yelled, now backing away. "I thought he was housetrained!"
"Would you really expect him to be that way in a cage?" Meredith asked, stripping the bed. She looked at Edgar and blinked. "Where are Edgar's clothes?"
Shelley shrugged. "I dunno. I just found him this way."
"Well help him!" Meredith bundled up the soiled sheets and rushed out.
Shelley looked at Edgar. He looked back, then started fiddling with the carpet. She groaned.
"You're a complete idiot, you know that?" He whined up at her, not understanding the words, but hearing the tone.
"Whatever. Come on, let's -" She wrinkled her nose. "Ugh, you smell horrible." She grabbed his arm, not very gently either, and tugged him into the bathtub. He slipped on the surface, still whining, completely bewildered. She turned on the shower head and made to spray him, trying to keep as far away from him as possible. He made the job easier by scrambling all the way to the back of the tub, screeching at the showerhead.
"Stop that! I have to wash you." She advanced on him; he, interpreting this as a threat, tried to escape out the side of the tub, succeeding only in slipping along the edge.
"No you don't!" Then she sprayed the water at him.
He spluttered, tried to struggle back, slamming into the shower curtains and knocking off the shampoo bottles and soap. She swore loudly, though it couldn't be heard over the commotion he was causing, aimed the water elsewhere, and –
"Shelley! What's going on up there?"
She turned the water off. Edgar was soaked and shivering with fear, bunched up at the back of the tub.
"Nothing, Mom!" she called back.
Shelley grabbed the thickest towel she could find and wrapped the naked boy in it, hauling him bodily out of the tub.
"Now put your clothes on!" she hissed, throwing them over his face. He yelped and slipped on the smooth floor, landing on his bottom.
"God, you are pathetic!" Shelley cried, pulling him to his feet. "Here."
She left the room, presumably to give him some privacy. He snuffed at the clothing, unsure what to do. The towel slipped off his shoulders unnoticed.
After ten minutes of waiting, Shelley opened the door. "Are you done – Whoa!" She pulled the door shut, seeing him naked once more. "Why aren't you done yet? MOM!"
Meredith came upstairs, a load of laundry piled in her arms. She sighed upon seeing the sight. "Here Edgar, let me help you." She put down the clothes and helped him pull on his shirt. "Shelley, you have to be patient with him."
"I thought he knew how to put clothes on!"
It ends there. I sort of lost inspiration.
Beauty and the Beast
This was written in one of my earlier drafts but cut out in favor of The Ugly Duckling. Beauty and the Beast is just used too often. (I lurked in The Phantom of the Opera fandom for some time, so I KNOW this to be true.) This occurs right before Rick came visiting and gets bitten.
Edgar went downstairs to the television that remained on. He watched passively as the commercial ended and a cartoon came on.
About two hours later Shelley joined him.
"What're you watching?" she asked, looking at the screen. She raised her eyebrows. "Disney? Okay, then…which one is this?"
Edgar didn't answer, intent on watching the colorful drawings.
"Hey, I know this – it's Beauty and the Beast!" She laughed. "Man, I hated this one!"
He looked over. "Why?"
"It's so mushy! I wanted to throw up during some parts! And the ending was stupid!"
She hesitated. "Well…I won't spoil it for you. But it's Disney; it will always be a happy ending."
They watched through the rest of it, Edgar more interested in it than her. The story of a hideous beast falling in love with a beautiful girl – and she falling for him – struck a chord in him, though he could not be sure why.
He looked once at Shelley, watching with one fist nestled under her chin, and felt a sudden rush of emotion, so strong and so unknown that it scared him.
Shelley, feeling his gaze, met his stare. "What?" she asked.
He focused back on the TV. Belle was cradling the Beast in her arms as he lay dying. The rose, a symbol of the time he had left before the curse became permanent, had dropped its last petal.
Onscreen, Belle whispered, "I love you."
I love you.
Now what did that mean? Edgar wondered.
When the cartoon was over (Belle happily dancing away with her Beast-turned-prince) he hopped madly away towards the bookshelf.
"Now what?" Shelley wondered aloud to nobody in particular.
This segued into Edgar asking Shelley to read The Ugly Duckling to him. I couldn't put TWO references in, so this entire section went out the window. It was sad, because I had more references thrown in throughout the story that had to be deleted too. Oh well.
Edgar's First Time Outside
This almost survived the editing process but was cut out at the last minute. I put it in, though it's quite similar to (once again) LadyLore3's Retribution. It occurs before the two go to the cave for the first time. Just my take, I guess.
After Meredith had run out of the house with a hurried explanation and an order to behave, Shelley and Edgar sat around in awkward silence, wondering how it was that Meredith's absence could leave them in a vacuum of silence.
"Sooo…." Shelley said, trying to break the tension. She didn't. "I guess…we could go outside."
Edgar clambered off the sofa eagerly.
"Huh. Guess you really want to leave the house, right?"
He nodded and ran to the door to further his point.
"Okay then. Let's head to the woods in the back." She opened the back door and hopped down the low steps. "There's a little trail leading to the mountains, and I think Rick once told me about this cave up there-"
She stopped, realizing Edgar hadn't followed, was, in fact, cowering at the doorstep.
He didn't answer.
"Hey! Come out!"
He whimpered and shook his head.
Shelley sighed. "Okay, fine. Are you scared?"
"Of what? The sun?"
He shook his head.
"The grass? The clouds? The sky?"
"What, the sky? Oh, you've got to be kidding me…" She grabbed his arm and dragged him out. "Look, it's harmless! It's the sky! Not going to hurt you!"
He twisted out of her grip and ran to the edge of the woods, grabbing the trunk and curling up to it. Shelley caught up to him and asked, panting, "What the hell was that?"
"Shelley…" he said, "…sky…big."
She rolled her eyes. "Well, duh. It's the sky. It's supposed to be big."
He leaned against the tree trunk and closed his eyes. After a moment he felt Shelley's hand on his arm.
"Hey, it's okay," she said. Then she smiled at him, and he felt a peculiar lifting feeling in his chest. "Sorry for yelling. Want to continue?"
He nodded and raised himself up.
And they go hiking to the cave. I thought that Edgar, after spending all his life in a cage, would be naturally scared of the open sky (agoraphobia, kind of), and wanted to show that.
The Women's Meeting
This is in mainly to show how badly I wrote before I got a copy of the script. Also, the entry on Wikipedia mentioned someone named 'Delia', though she never appeared in the script (not that I knew that, at the time). She had to get cut out. Later, I found a production that made her into a girl scout, making her entire role in this scene very, very strange. Where there are breaks indicate where the other scenes were intercut with this one (the Taylor kids, the men, etc.).
The morning sun lit upon Lorraine, Delia, and Daisy were silent as Mrs. Taylor finished her tale of woe.
"You have children too, don't you Delia?" she sobbed. "We've gotta protect 'em! Don't let 'em suffer the way my poor babies have suffered!"
The women nodded fervently.
"You're quite right, Mrs. Taylor."
"Oh, so right!"
"The Bat Boy is a menace!"
The three women bobbed their heads in unison.
"Then you know what we gotta do!" Mrs. Taylor pounded her meaty fist. "WE'VE GOTTA KILL THE BAT BOY!"
There was a little silence, finally broken by the sound of Lorraine coughing.
"That's nice, Mrs. Taylor, but… why, we're mothers and wives," she said. "We can't go killin' things – even Bat Boys."
Mrs. Taylor rose to her considerable height (and girth). "So you're saying we let the freak go."
"Oh no!" Daisy cried. "Not at all…but must we kill it? Dirty our hands and dresses with his blood?"
"YES!" Mrs. Taylor roared. "YES! HE MUST DIE!" She pointed her finger at them. "And you will – you must – join me! Protect our families! Protect our children!"
Delia wrung her hands. "Oh...Must we do that? I do abhor blood." Daisy and Lorraine nodded their agreement. Mrs. Taylor swelled with rage.
"You wanna leave your children to be sucked dry?" she screeched. "You wanna stay in your houses all day 'cause you're too scared to come out with the bat freak wandering?"
"No!" Daisy cried. "It's just – must we kill it? Perhaps Meredith Parker could put it down for us."
Lorraine quickly chimed in, "Mrs. Parker is a good woman. All she did was rescue the beast, out of the goodness of her heart." The women bobbed their heads in unison; all had had the experience of saving some wounded animal they had found on the streets.
"Maybe we can suggest it to her at the meeting," Delia added in a relieved tone.
"The hell with the meeting!" Mrs. Taylor cried. "The Sheriff's on her side! We've got to take action!"
The women screeched simultaneously.
"Oh but the Mayor herself will be there to decide!"
"We can't go running about like an unwholesome mob!"
"We must listen to them! They know better!"
Mrs. Taylor looked ready to kill. "NO! The Bat Boy dies TONIGHT!"
"If the Mayor's there, and the Sheriff, they'll tell us what to do!"
"Mrs. Parker's gonna be there! We'll convince her!"
"And Harlan Ellis! He's coming too!"
Mrs. Taylor stopped; the color left her cheeks as a calm betook her. "Mr. Ellis will be there?" she asked coolly. The women nodded, relief coloring their faces.
"I think I can wait a bit then, ladies," Mrs. Taylor said, now actually smiling. "Yes, you are right – actions like this are too drastic."
"We're so glad you agree, Mrs. Taylor," Lorraine said. "And we do give you our condolences for your children."
"Thank you Lorraine, and you Daisy, and Delia. My children know you care for them."
"Well ladies, I believe the meeting is upon us. Shall we go?"
There wasn't much cut out after. This was an alternate ending that was too darn happy and didn't address the whole incest issue properly, so it got rewritten for the current one. But here it is...a truly fluffy ending. Or as fluffy as my cynical self can get.
Some months passed. The days passed into a muggy summer. Shelley and Edgar tread carefully around their mother, feeling like a silent agreement had been reached, though it was never spoken of out loud.
Near the end of July, Edgar got a surprise.
"Edgar, do you still want to…marry me?" Shelley asked.
His eyes snapped open. "What?"
He slipped as he tried to sit up on the bed. "What…you…I don't…"
She dropped her gaze. "Oh…I see…"
"No!" he almost yelled. "No – I mean – what about…shouldn't you…" He was really gibbering.
"Uh…" Now she just seemed confused. "So…you want to?"
"I…" Every moral fiber in his body was saying 'NO!' and that things between them had gone too far; yet another part wanted nothing else. "Shelley…you deserve -"
She covered his mouth. "Don't," she said sternly. "Don't finish that sentence."
"I want you, Edgar. So…yes or no…"
He struggled internally for an answer. "I…don't know…Yes?"
She laughed in relief. "Edgar…"
Then she brought out two rings.
"What…?" he said.
"I bought them a few days ago, just for today," she explained, letting him see.
"Why today?" he asked her.
"Because it's our birthday," she told him gently.
He didn't speak for a moment. "My…birthday?"
"Our birthday," she corrected. "Since we're-"
"Don't," he interrupted quickly – the less said about it, the better – for him, anyway. "I didn't know…"
"Mom didn't want us to make a big deal out of it," she said, "at least, not until she thinks you've recovered."
He didn't think he would ever recover, but he did not say this out loud.
"So, Edgar? Will you marry me?"
Numb, he nodded, feeling a shiver of anticipation.
"I don't know the words…" he said.
"I don't either," she replied, "but I don't think it matters that much."
She took the larger ring and asked him, "Do you, Edgar, take me to be your wife?"
She smiled. "Actually, you say 'I do'."
"Ah…" And he had blown it. "Sorry…"
He swallowed. "I do."
A glow seemed to come over her as she placed the ring onto his finger.
"Do you…" For a moment he couldn't think of any words. "Do you…Shelley…take me…to be…your husband?"
She grinned. "Yes."
He stumbled. "I thought -"
"Oh, why not?" she laughed.
Her smile was infectious. He couldn't help but beam back. So he slipped the ring onto her finger, while she leaned over and kissed him.