In an interview with the lovely Victoria Stone, I was asked what I deleted from The Sentinel before it was published. The answer; I deleted loads, probably close to fifty thousand words was deleted before I then wrote new scenes. Edward was a new scene as was the scene with the cat and I love those scenes. But I also really love some of the stuff I deleted but they just didn’t fit in the final story. Here is one of my favourite deleted scenes. Eve’s diaries from when she was younger. The irregularities of being constantly protected seen through the naïve eyes of a child. The spelling mistakes are deliberate as I was trying to make it look like a child had written them.
I’ve always kept a diary. I think it helped my mind to organise those irregularities. Those moments when you get a feeling that something isn’t right.
After the coach crash last week, when that feeling escalated itself into something tangible, something glaringly obvious, something impossible, I found myself looking through the innocent ramblings of my younger self, scrawled in tattered worn old notebooks. In isolation my past experiences are slightly quirky, a bit peculiar at most. But together, when lined up as evidence in the case against normality, they produce some startling conclusions, conclusions that belong firmly in the world of books and movies, and certainly not in my mundane little life:
My diary, age 7 ½ January 13th
I got the afternoon off school today. Daisy from my class had a rash and a bad headache. I heard Mrs Trewin say it was suspectid menin jitus or somefing like that. My Daddy came to collect me, even before Daisy’s Mommy got there. He was in a meeting in France today. It must have been cancelled cos he got back very quick. I wasn’t even feeling poorly and Daddy took me to the tiny hospital to have tests done. It’s a very quiet hospital with no patients. But when the tests were done, Mommy took me for an ice cream. I asked why I went to hospital. She said its cos I’m fragile. I had white chocolate ice cream with marshmallows on top then we took Quinn for a walk.
My diary age 7 ¾ April 6th
A strange man was in school today. Me and Seth were playing in the playground when a man climbed over the fence. The really tall fence with spikey sharp bits on the top. He came to talk to us, he had somefing in his pocket that he wanted to show me. Mr Philips was suddenly in front of me. It was weird cos he wasn’t even on the playground before the man came over the fence. Seth told me he had seen a baby fox in the cellar and that we should go and see it. The cellar is a cool place that only me and Seth go to. We have been in there a few times when we have visitors in the school. When we got in there today Seth locked the door behind us, he said it was so no one else could see the fox. I didn’t see the fox either, Seth said it must have gone, but then he said we should stay there and miss Maths. We had a test so it was a good idea. We breafed on the windows and drew patterns in the mist. I saw the strange man again, Mr Philips and Mr Palmer were carrying him to the trees at the back of our field. I think the man wasn’t feeling well cos he seemed to be sleeping.
My diary age 7 ¾ April 13th
Its Seth’s Birthday today. I’m sleeping over at his house tonight. I’m on his sofa in his bedroom at the moment and Seth is on the landing talking to his Dad. His Dad is so big, like mine, he has green eyes like my Dad too. Seth’s Dad carries a big knife round with him. He wears it on his belt like an army man. Daddy carries a knife sometimes too, so does Mr Philips. Mr Philips showed his knife to that strange man that came to school last week. Somefing funny happened tonight at dinner. We were eating pizza, ham and pineapple, my favrite and I wanted the coke. The coke bottle just moved straight into my hand like it had string on it and I had pulled the string. I think Seth had played a trick on me cos he laughed when it happened. Or the table must be wonky. Seth’s Dad choked on his coke when he saw it.
My diary age 8 September 1st
Mommy was telling me a story tonight. It’s one of my favourites. It’s about a girl with super powers. She can turn invisible and fly and is really strong and she fights the bad guys, the Putarons and saves the world. Daddy was walking past my room when Mommy just got to the best bit when the girl shoots the Putarons with lasers from her eyes. Daddy stopped and listened and then he got really angry at Mommy. He was smiling but you could tell from his voice that he was angry. He was asking why she was telling me that story for. Mommy said it was just a story. Daddy said he wanted to talk to her outside my room. They started arguing in whispers. Daddy kept talking about the secret. Daddy came back in to my room and told me there was no such thing as super powers. It was only a story I don’t know why he was so angry about it.
My Diary age 8 February 12th
I found some old paintings I did in nursery today. There were in a box in a cupboard under the stairs. There were loads of pictures of lions called Quinn. There are paintings of me with the lion, me riding on the lions back, all labelled me and Quinn. Maybe I thought Quinn was a lion when I was younger and not a golden retriever. I clearly had a vivid imagination. In one picture I have painted a lion, a dog and a mouse and they are all called Quinn.
My Diary age 8 May 21st
I was walking Quinn through the woods today and there was a man following me. He was pretending that he wasn’t but he was. He was reading a newspaper as he was walking but he wasn’t even looking at it. There was a lot of shouting in the woods, it sounded like people were fighting. The man that was following me suddenly ran past me, towards the sound of the shouting but the weirdest thing was as he ran past me he yelled to Quinn, ‘Quinn get her out of here,’ he said. Quinn grabbed hold of my jumper and started pulling me out of the woods. Dad came running up the hill towards me, which was weird because I hadn’t even told him I was going to the woods. Dad said it was just kids messing about in the woods but he kept his hand on his knife as we walked back.
My Diary age 8 June 15th
I’ve started martial arts. Karate, Taekwondo and Wing Chun. Dad says it helps to keep me fit. I come home covered in bruises. I hate it. Seth does it too.
My Diary age 8 July 21st
I’ve just come back from my first fencing lesson. My teacher says he doesn’t believe in using the safety nibs. He says it makes you soft. He says that if you get stabbed once you’ll never let it happen again. He says fighting with real swords, sharp swords makes you fight properly, it makes you very aware. I was very aware of the three painful slash marks on my leg, arm and side. He says next time he will aim for the heart. There won’t be a next time. He won’t hit me again.
My Diary Age 9 May 19th
A new girl started at school today, Persia. She’s beautiful. She has red curly hair that jiggles when she talks. And she comes from Wales. She has the most coolest accent ever. I wish I had an accent. I wish I had red curly hair. My hair is boring. Steven Baxter was mean to her. He laughed at her accent so I kicked him. I think Seth met her before. When she came in he grinned and waved at her. Even Dad said I should invite the new girl round for tea. I hadn’t even told him about the new girl.
My Diary Age 10 June 15th
Me and Seth were playing at the ruins today. I tripped as I was running through the woods and a branch went through my hand. I screamed and Seth was next to me even though he had been quite far away from me when I fell. He must be very fast. He picked me up and carried me to a nearby house. He must be very strong too. He knocked on the door and the lady that answered was very old. I thought she might call an ambulance but she just wrapped a bit of bandage round me and then held my hand. My hand felt tingly, she said it was the antiseptic on the bandage. She told me not to take the bandage off for a few days. But I took it off tonight and it obviously wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. There was no hole and just a tiny scar. I’m such a wuss, I was screaming so much and now I realise it’s just a little scratch.
My Diary Age 11 October 31st
Me and Seth went trick or treating tonight. It’s funny because we only went to a few houses and everyone that we went to had green eyes like my Dad. We have been learning about genetics at school and how we have the eye colour that we have. Dad has grass green eyes, Mom has green eyes too. Mine are grey ish. But regardless what colour they are they are nothing like my Mom’s or Dad’s. Genetically that’s impossible. Seth said nothing was impossible.
My Diary Age 11 November 12th
Someone has been reading my diary. I found it open today when I came back from school and I normally keep it under my bed. I’m taking all my diaries over to Seth’s tonight. He said he will keep them safe. I trust Seth. I trust Seth with my life.