Deleted Scene: Juan Sees A Ghost

**scroll past this lame intro if you want to dive straight into the short story**

The “Deleted Scene” series will be a collection of scenes that do not appear in The Edinön Trilogy. They will contain zero spoilers. What they will provide is a deeper insight into the characters. You don’t have to read the books before reading these to understand what is happening, although they may raise unanswered questions. Deleted scenes narrated by Juan and Kandi will be in first person, like in the books, whereas deleted scenes narrated by secondary characters will be in third person.

Sign up for my weekly newsletter to receive a special, exclusive “deleted scene” in your inbox on your birthday! If you have a specific request (like the character POV, the setting, year, etc.), don’t hesitate to email me: marvithilii1000@gmail.com. I would be more than happy to fulfill any request, within certain parameters, of course. (Don’t forget, if you are one of the first 50 subscribers and a U.S. resident, you will have a chance to receive a free paperback copy of Liquid Death!)

If you would like to read the books before the bonus scenes, here are the Amazon links: Liquid Death (Book 1), Dawning Life (Book 2), Burning Space (Book 3).

The next “Deleted Scene” will be posted on Halloween in Kandi’s POV. 🙂

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Deleted Scene #1:

JUAN: THE GHOST

Oct. 19th, 2011 | San Diego, California

I’ve never been inclined to believe in the supernatural, so I couldn’t tell you what makes this warehouse so… creepy.

Raul steps somewhere off to my left on a piece of glass. I shine my flashlight his direction and catch him paused with his foot in the air. He winces apologetically and veers his next step from the broken beer bottle on the dusty, cement floor.

It’s not like anyone is nearby to hear us. At least no one we can see. But that prickling on the back of my neck, which I am sure Raul feels as well, renders any unexpected noise in this vacant building unwelcome and alarming. My only source of comfort is the cold, heavy Glock 19 tucked into the back of my waistband. I have practiced endlessly the art of whipping it out in front of the mirror, surprising imaginary enemies with three pops before they can blink. I am also a pretty good shot – my dad took me to a shooting range when I was eight or nine, and the skill I developed there has only improved with time.

“Have you found it?” Raul asks. His light shines on my face.

I turn the other way, illuminating the ancient graffiti on the smooth walls and shaking my head. This is a stupid job. Emanuel sends us on the oddest errands, like a couple of 13-year-old boys have nothing better to do when the Rangers and Cardinals are playing. I don’t care about the game, but Raul the chatterbox does. Baseball and girls are all he cares about in this world.

Our steps echo in the giant space. I skim my light over the ground in search of the secret door to the basement, where Emanuel wants to move our headquarters. The dust is so thick in the air that I feel it tickling my esophageal lining. It floats in the beam of my flashlight and coats my sneakers in gray. Where are the windows? Why is it so dark and cold when it is perfect outside? Who built this place, and for what purpose?

“Oh, I think I found it!” Raul announces. I follow his light to the left side of the room. Until the light disappears.

“Raul?” I jog in the direction I heard his voice, shoes crunching over glass for a few steps. I stop when I hit a wall and turn, scanning the room, heart quickening. “Hey, where’d you go?”

I wait for an answer while I continue sweeping my light over the dark area. It is so dark, however, that I can only see within a radius of approximately twenty feet. He must have gone through the door to the basement. It has to be near where I’m standing. He wasn’t very far.

I clear my throat and walk around. The prickling at my nape turns to an itch that I have to scratch for relief. While scratching, I look back at the wall where I thought I heard Raul. The red and yellow graffiti reads: “Greater Destiny” with a crown over the ‘i.’ What could that mean?

My stupid flashlight flickers out. I smack it with the heel of my hand, and it gleams back to life. The beam hits a vaguely girl-shaped column of smoke that hadn’t been there before. My breath blows so cold my teeth ache. I squint and run the light across the smoke. The shape changes as it ascends to the metal bars over the ceiling. I rub my lips together, following it with my light until it vanishes into the paneling, then return my attention to where it originated. Oh, good. Now the graffiti is gone.

“Raul!” I yell, storming forward and running the inner perimeter of the warehouse, feet kicking over dust, old garbage, and glass. Where’s the door?

“Here, Juan,” says someone who is not Raul.

Not-Raul is a petite, transparent blond girl in pink pajamas. She looks about my age.

I try so hard to refuse drugs whenever they’re offered by my friends, and this is how the universe repays me. Perhaps there is something in the air…

“Hi,” I greet impatiently. The light shines through her body. She must be a projection. This is a prank. “I’m looking for Raul. Did he set this up? I’m going to kick his-”

She starts crying. Her shoulders shake while she covers her eyes with her hand.

“Hey, don’t do this. Look, I get it. It’s almost Halloween. Ha, ha. Just tell me where Raul is.”

Her sobbing escalates to screaming as she sinks to her knees. “Please! Stop!” She shields her head with her arms.

“Wow, you’re really good,” I mutter under my breath. Despite the fact that I know this isn’t real, her performance is sending chills down my spine. This hits too close to home for me. Raul is going to pay dearly for this.

Her screams carry upwards with her body. From toe to head, she turns to smoke.

Forget Raul. I’m out.

I sprint to the opposite end of the warehouse, fueled by fire in my stomach. The exit is at the top of three stairs arranged along the side of the wall with a steel railing. I traverse them in a single bound and bust the door open, flying into the brush.

***

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

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