Ever wondered if authors ever have to “cut” pieces of their book? Are there deleted scenes, just like in the movies? Of course there are! In fact, here’s one scene from Sole Fire Safari that had to be cut before the final print.
It was supposed to come between Chapters 8 & 9. Instead of the Jeep hitting a rut at the end of chapter 8, I had originally written that the jeep came to a screeching halt, reminding Riley that she was in Africa. Then this scene happened. I liked it a lot, but some things had to go!
Deleted Scene from Sole Fire Safari
Two guys almost as big as Jomo, but with mean looks on their faces, squinted at us through the windows of our Jeep.
Mom looked at me from the front seat. “Don’t say anything.”
“Stay inside,” Jomo said, and he got out.
I slumped down as far as I could and shut my eyes real tight. I started to pray, but all I could think of was that crazy Psalm ninety-one that Dad read to me before our plane crash-landed in Montana. The part I kept thinking about was where it says that God will order His angels to protect you wherever you go, and so I prayed that God’s angels would be in between me and those big guys just outside my window.
Then I heard a tap.
Please be an angel.
I kept my eyes closed, but then I heard the tap again.
“Riley,” Mom whispered, “He wants you to look at him.”
“The guy at your window.”
“I don’t wanna look.”
“Just do it, honey.”
Please be an angel, please be an angel, please be an angel.
I turned my head, and opened my eyes. The tapping guy jumped back, looking startled. Maybe he thought I was dead or something, and I scared him by coming back to life. He snarled, and then he went over to Flip’s side of the Jeep to snarl some more. He grunted out the word mzungu, and motioned for Flip to come out of the Jeep.
“Here.” Flip handed me his camera. “If anything happens to me, “I want you to give this to Brady.” Then he pulled out his gum. “For you, to remember me by,” he said.
I held up my hand. “Keep it. I think I’ll remember you just fine.”
Flip and Jomo took the two guys over to the back of the trailer that Fawn’s Jeep had been pulling. They opened the back and brought out several shoe boxes. Flowery ones—with my name on them. They opened the boxes, and one by one took the time to show the men the shoes.
“What are they doing?” I asked Mom.
“Whatever works,” she said.
Next thing I knew, they were back in the Jeep and the scowling men were waving us along. Apparently this was their road today, and the good news was that it only cost us ten pairs of Riley Mae shoes to drive on it.