As I get ready to publish Episode 3 of EYE OF THE SCARAB I decided to cut a scene I’ve been trying to include since DANGER ON LIBERTY PIER. In this scene (set after Cindy and the Shadows escape Freaktown in Episode 2) the Mayor and Osbert connect and discuss their “real” boss. Mayor Lane then interrogates Bugs, a boy who’s loyalties are questionable at best.
Did I mention Bugs has a chest mouth?
Anyway here’s the cut chapter. To read the rest of the story buy EYE OF THE SCARAB Episode 3. If you think the chest mouth is screwed up just wait until the last two chapters.
“Do any of you precious pretty little things have a means to release me from my bonds?” Osbert asked, pulling against the rolled-up shirt that shackled his arms to a rusty spike jutting out from the wall.
Another error. Bugs. He with the abdominis dentata, reached out for Osbert. As he rolled over on his side, Osbert caught a glimpse of the boy’s heart beating through his chest mouth.
“Please fix me,” Bugs groaned.
Osbert chuckled. “Fix you? My dear child, while I do have a talent for extracting these abilities, you’ll notice I’m bound to the building. Wait. Do you hear that? Somebody’s coming to save me.”
The elevator slid open. Mayor Lane exited with several policemen behind him. “What did you let those children do? I was halfway home when they called me and told me there’d been a break out. When I left, we’d had a break-in. By Dogboy. What happened? You-know-who will not be pleased.”
Osbert turned to the mayor as a policeman cut away his bonds. “The group I found in your office earlier is to blame. That boy over there was with them. He’ll know where they are.”
Mayor Lane leaned over Bugs. He took a pen from his breast pocket and poked at the opening in his chest. “Fascinating. You can still breath and other functions?”
Mayor Lane jabbed the pen into the hole, pressing it against Bugs’ beating heart. “Where did your friends come from? Why are they here? Who sent them?”
Bugs’ squeaked as he saw the wild look in Mayor Lane’s eyes. “Don’t. Don’t kill me.”
“Then answer my questions.”
“I can do you one better,” Bugs said, licking the sweat from the peach fuzz on his upper lip. “You hate that Dogboy kid, right? What if I could tell you who he really is?”
Mayor Lane pulled out the pen then took a step back. “I’m intrigued.”
Bugs leaned on his arm, coughed, and looked the mayor dead in the eyes. “His name is Bronson Black. He goes to Woodrow Wilson Middle School and works at the old magic shop down on South 4th Street.”
“What makes you so sure, young man?” Mayor Lane said, his finger circling the trigger on the pen cap.
“He… His girlfriend Cindy told me. Plus he’s always wearing that Bronson kids’ clothes. How does nobody else see that?”
“Well, you’ll be glad to know you’re right.” The mayor leaned on the pen. Bugs winced. “But we were bound to catch him anyway. One last chance. Where did your friends take my soldiers?”
“Like I have any idea,” Bugs said. “Maybe they took them down to the sewers or something. We didn’t exactly come here expecting to bust out a bunch of superbrats.”
“How unfortunate for you.” He poked the pen through Bugs’ heart. The beating stopped as blood gushed out from the raw organ, the crimson soup pooling in the chest mouth. Bugs smiled for a moment before closing his eyes. Mayor Lane pulled his pen out, wiped it off with his monogrammed handkerchief, then placed both objects back in his breast pocket.
“That shop he was talking about,” a policeman asked, having released Osbert from the pillar. “Ain’t that the one we raided last night? The sarge is still down there with the owner. Want us to bring him in?”
“We’ll worry about that,” Osbert interjected, directing the officer toward the southeast corner of the arena. “I think my assistants might still be back there. Think you could check for me while I discuss this with the mayor?”
The officer nodded, lifted his gun, then crept toward the dark corner Osbert had indicated. He disappeared into the shadows. A scream. Silence. The jelly man bounced out with three riot helmets visible in its belly.
“I assumed you’d want them all disposed of,” Osbert said to the mayor.
“I suppose. It’s not like it matters. You-know-who has his own plans,” the mayor said. They stepped onto the elevator. “He doesn’t seem to care anymore. He’s even released the children.”
“What is Willowwood planning?” Osbert asked.
“By tomorrow night, our city will wake up, the forgotten will be remembered, and Bronson Black will leave Colta City to its evolution.”