If you loved The Revenant by Sonia Gensler even half as much as I did, then you are in for a real treat. Today, Sonia has graciously shared an exclusive deleted scene/outtake from the book. Below, you’ll find Sonia’s notes about the scene and the excerpt itself!
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In the revised world of THE REVENANT, this never happened. But in the original version, Eli appears under Willie’s window and demands that she come down. Afraid he will cause a scene and get her fired, she makes her way down to silence him. But there’s something very strange about him. Strange and vaguely menacing. (This happens a couple of months after their encounter in the library at the Bell house.)
I pulled my shawl around my shoulders and quickly buttoned up my shoes. Not daring to light my lamp, I eased through the door and felt my way along the corridor and down the stairs. My heart was pounding faster now, but I could not resist the force that pulled me to the small side door and out to Eli.
He stood between the turret and the main entrance, safe in the darkness between the windows. When I reached him he grabbed my arm and led me away from the building. I fumbled for something to say, but what were the proper words for a teacher’s midnight tryst with a student? Anything I said would sound ridiculous, so I merely walked alongside him, waiting until he chose to stop. Waiting to see what he would say.
He kept walking. It might have been centuries that passed as we walked and walked. My feet began to hurt, for the shoe leather was rough on my bare skin. I clenched my teeth to keep them from chattering in the damp cold. The path ran through pastureland, with no homesteads in sight. Finally came the realization, and it nearly knocked the wind out of me. We were following a path toward the river.
I tried to pull away, but his grip on my arm was like a vise. When I stumbled he reached over and lifted me in his arms. This sudden intimacy – the feel of his arms around my body and his heart beating next to mine – silenced me. I could do nothing but tremble like a snared rabbit.
The trees thickened around us, blacking out the sky, and the path veered steeply downwards. I could hear the water splashing, smell its dankness. In the distance, a dog howled. We continued downwards, the path so steep Eli had to shift my weight for better balance. When we neared a clearing by the riverbank, he set me down and pulled my body around to face him. In the moonlight, his skin was ghostly grey and his eyes empty holes of darkness. I started to cry, already feeling his hands covering my mouth, encircling my throat.
“Please don’t hurt me,” I whispered.
“I could never hurt you,” he said, crushing me against him. His lips were soft but ice-cold, and I shivered against him.
He broke the kiss, his body swaying as he pulled away. He drew a strangled breath.
Then he fainted.
That was the end of the chapter! I’d intended for Eli to be possessed by the ghost, but in the end my editor and I went a different direction. I was very attached to this weirdly sexy scene, however, and it took a long time for me to adjust to the fact that it had to go!
For the comments: What do you think of this deleted scene/outtake? Tell us below!!