If you know me from authonomy, then you know that I’m a POV (Point of View) Nazi. I don’t allow myself to headhop – or add a POV character that will only have one scene, or maybe two at most.
So I’ve got some scenes I deleted because they don’t fit.
This is one of them:
The Emissary – Part III
Liz walked through the gate between the sections. She almost locked the gate behind her, but remembered that Candy was still with the travelers.
Candy would be sure to lock it behind her.
She had to tell Rob and the other men about the alliance with the clans. They had to agree. They would starve otherwise.
Erica stirred the soup pot. Rabbit skin and guts lay in a bucket on the ground next to her. Candy’s daughter Missy cried as she seared the meat in a frying pan.
“I boiled the beans first, now I’m cooking them in fresh water.” Erica looked at Missy with compassion. “She did it herself, poor baby. She’s so brave.”
They’d been living on the razor’s edge of starvation for so long that a couple of pounds of beans was a treasure. There were three quart jars of beans on the picnic table, next to a bunch of spring onions.
“Save some to plant,” Liz suggested. “We can have our own beans in the fall.” They’d raked gravel, made beds, used rabbit manure and leaves to make mulch. The plants were sprouting, but had only produced greens. Salads didn’t fill the bellies of hungry children, or adults, but salads kept them alive.
The bunnies thrived on a diet of weeds. The doe just produced her second litter of six. The meat searing was the largest of the first litter. There were only five bunnies left.
Liz mentally counted her supplies. Five rabbits, three pounds of beans, twenty cans of vegetables and five of soup, that was it. She longed for bread, thick, crusty French bread smothered in butter.
She found her husband in the far corner of the garden, where he was least likely to be overheard, talking to Orlando, Bryan and Chris. It was even worse than she feared – they were plotting to kill the travelers.
“One horse will feed us for a month,” Chris said. “We can keep them alive until we need the meat.”
“You can’t!” Liz trotted up to them. “You can’t – they’ll help us.”
“Their supplies will feed everyone.”
“No – don’t! Listen to me!” Liz grabbed Rob and made him look at her. “They want an alliance.”
“Don’t be a fool.” Chris scoffed. “We don’t have shit they need.”
“These are clans! We don’t know how many of them there are.” Liz tried another tack. “If we kill them, the others will attack us.”
“Clans, clams – it’s all bullshit.” Bryan rolled his eyes. “They’re nobody and nothing without their horses.”
“Listen to me – please?”
“Okay, guys give her a chance to speak.” Rob hushed the other men.
“Beth is an emissary from the McLeod’s to the Davidson’s Clan. She said they’d give us beans and rice if we agree to let them stay here again.”
“Come here? Why?” Bryan gave her disgusted look.
“They’ll help us! Please, Rob, think of our boys!” Liz could see that Rob had already made up his mind. She was going to have to warn the travelers – tell them to get away.
“Nobody said a word to me about it,” Rob sounded petulant.
“I just spoke to Beth not five minutes ago. She wants an alliance.”
“What is this, ‘Survivor’ in the Zombie Apocalypse?” Chris sneered.
“Rob, please!” Liz forced him to make eye contact again. “Think about more than tomorrow, think about the rest of this year. Think about next year.”
They all looked at her blankly – making the transition was difficult for all of them. Just as difficult as it had been for her.
“This place is safer than any place we’ve been in three years. We can make it here. We just need some help – they’ll help us if we give them a safe place to stay. Look around – we’ve got more junk than we know what to do with. We can trade some of that for food, seeds and medicine.” Her voice cracked. “We can stop living from hand to mouth and start over.”
“Start what over?” Orlando asked.
“Civilization,” Liz said, near tears with the force of her feelings. Just the thought of civilization, of bread and whole clothing, was enough to make her cry. “We can’t do it alone. But with an alliance, with the two clans, we have a chance.”
“It sounds good,” Rob said in his ‘keep the peace’ voice. “But one of those horses will feed us for weeks, and give us leather for shoes. They’ve got seven horses, more food than we’ve seen in months.”
“At least talk to Beth.”
“Honey, we’ve got kids to feed.”
Liz looked at her husband for a moment. He’d made up his mind. She looked Orlando, Bryan and Chris, thugs who were always pushing at Rob. He’d have to do this just to save face. The other wouldn’t let him change his mind.
Candy had it right. Men had destroyed the old world, now it was up to women to make it right. She spun on her heel, her keys jangled with each step.
When she got to the gate, she locked it behind her. She had the only key.
They could stay in the garden until they saw reason.
Until they saw things her way.