Archive for May 2013

Patron Saint Update: Third deleted scene from the novel…


This scene made the novel’s first section a bit too long and needed to be cut, but consider it one of the episodes that happened, anyway.  The relic case mentioned in this excerpt contains an (alleged) fragment from Saint Drogo’s wooden shepherd’s staff.

A normal afternoon at the shop. Cynthia enjoys her cappuccino at a table near the front window. A weird-looking devotee stands in front of Drogo’s relic case. He’s been there for the past two hours. The guy is thirty-something, wears jeans and a black t-shirt, and has the greasy-haired look of someone you’d expect to see hanging out at an arcade and pretending to be seventeen. He’s bought three shots of espresso and four pieces of fudge. From behind the cash register I watch him tremble with caffeine, sugar, and holy fervor.

“I saw Drogo in a dream,” he says. “Everyone was in wheelchairs but he helped them stand up. Then he served coffee.”

“Wow,” I say.

“I’d like another double shot of espresso,” he says.

“Of course,” I say. I turn my back to grind beans for two shots. The sound of glass breaking. I swivel back around. The greasy guy pulled some sort of trophy with a fish on it out of his bag and used it to break the glass on Drogo’s case. He’s groping around for the piece of wood amid the shattered glass. I sprint out from behind the counter. All I can think is that we shouldn’t count on devotees as customers because too many of them are head cases.

There’s glass all over the floor and it’s a little slippery, but the black shirt guy moves more slowly than me so it’s easy to tackle him. The force of the tumble almost knocks off my shade. Glass pokes my arms, but at least he’s down. I’m pretty strong from lifting twenty and thirty-pound bags of coffee every day.

Cynthia is beside me quick, and grabs the guy’s arms. We haul him up and wrest the bit of wood from his fingers. I pin his arms behind his back and notice blood pinpricks on my own arms, but I’m so damn pissed that he tried to steal the wood that I hold him a bit more tightly than I should. Mom runs in from the stock room. Cynthia calls the police.

“I just wanted it for my grandpa,” the guy warbles.

“Are you okay?” says my mother.

“A couple little cuts from the glass,” I say. “Nothing bad.”

“Your shade slipped,” she says, wrinkling her nose and adjusting my visor.

Mom doesn’t say anything more, just waits for the police with me and Cynthia and the warbling guy. Later she and Dad get mad at me for risking myself and risking discovery when I tackled the whacked devotee.

Mom says, “What if the shade had come off?”

“You have to be more careful,” says Dad.

“I’ve been careful for thirty-seven years,” I say. “That guy could have made off with the wood.”

“Even Drogo isn’t worth exposure,” says Dad, though he doesn’t look as worried as Mom. If I hadn’t tackled the guy, I bet he would have cussed me out.