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As promised, here is the deleted/rewritten scene. Enjoy!
FATAL IMPULSE / DELETED SCENE 1
Lightning slashed the sky above us, and thunder rolled down the mountains. The wipers slapped furiously at the rain while Chad berated me for the way I had acted that evening. I stared straight ahead into the darkness, for I dared not disagree or correct him.
He started by saying that I had no idea how to act in the social circles he should be moving in, that I should have been more attentive through dinner, and complained that I had laughed too much at the gentleman seated to my left. Of course, he overlooked the fact that he had introduced me to the gentleman and that he had monopolized the gentleman’s time during the cocktail hour. All too often, he accused me of flirting with other men, and that night was no different. It never occurred to him that I found the man’s hobby of gem hunting to be interesting.
His accusations were tiring, and not at all true. We had just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, and I doubted that we would make it to our fifth, which caused me great inner conflict. My parents had raised me in central Missouri, where marriage is between a man and a woman, ‘til death do you part. The thought of telling anyone – especially my mother – that I had failed was not something I wanted to do.
His tirade was interrupted by a sharp bang.
I jumped and the SUV swerved on the wet pavement. Highway 50 was a good highway for a mountain road, but not one that you wanted to lose control on. The seatbelt grabbed and held me in place, and I instinctively braced myself against the dash with my hands. He held the steering wheel with an iron grip and kept control, guiding us onto the side of the road by sheer force of will. He slammed the shifter into park and set the emergency brake with a sharp yank, then turned to look at me, his dark eyes narrowed. He looked evil in the amber glow of the instrument panel.
“I had control. There is no need to grab the dash like that, like some idiot school girl. As you may recall, this vehicle is equipped with airbags. Had they deployed, your arms would have been broken. Please handle yourself accordingly in the future.”
I bit my lower lip, angry at the tremble I felt at his sharp words. I watched in his side mirror as the condescending bastard walked around and opened the back hatch. It only took him a moment to push his golf clubs to the side and get the jack out of the back of the Jeep. I took a deep breath and got out to stand on the narrow graveled shoulder, the rain plastering my hair against my head and the clothes against my back. My light jacket did little to protect me, and the rain was so cold it stung when it hit my exposed skin. I figured I could at least offer to help, in spite of him being an asshole. My heels sank with every step, and the wind pushed me so hard my left leg bumped the steel guardrail. I could hear him cursing under his breath. I moved past him to close the back hatch before everything inside got soaked.
“If you’re going to stand here, at least make yourself useful and hold the damned flashlight for me. There’s one in the emergency kit.”
A dark colored sedan passed us, splashing water as it sped by. I reached in the back and fumbled around, looking for the flashlight. Finally, my fingers closed around the black metal barrel of the Maglite. I flipped it on and took up a position just behind him, shining the light wherever he directed me to. I struggled to hold still as the wind whipped and howled around me. Chills racked my body and my hands shook, which made him madder by the minute. Finally, he yanked the shredded tire off and lifted the spare on. After a few spins of the tire iron, the job was done. He let the jack down with a thump and rolled the old tire past me, and placed the jack and iron back into their places.
He stuck out a hand and demanded my jacket.
“What?” I asked. I blinked as a raindrop struck me in the eye.
“Your jacket. Give it here. I need something to lay the old tire on so the carpet doesn’t get dirty.”
I shivered in the rain while he spread my jacket out and laid the muddy tire on top of it. He slammed the hatch shut, then turned to sneer at me.
“It’s a wonder I was able to get that thing changed with you shaking that light around all over the place.” He poked my chest with his index finger, hard. “It’s a damned good thing you’ve got me around to take care of you – you never could have kept control when that tire blew, and you sure as hell wouldn’t have been able to change a tire in good weather, much less in the driving rain like this.”
He laughed that cruel, mocking laugh of his and rocked back on his heels, his head thrown back. Lightning flashed across the sky, and he looked like a madman. His laugh seemed to echo around me, so that it seemed as though the mountains themselves were mocking me.
It was more than I could take.
I tightened my grip on the Maglight, and swung it like a baseball bat. He blinked and stammered, off-balance. His leg hit the guardrail and he tipped over backwards, his legs flying up in slow motion. He looked at me as he fell back, his eyes wide with surprise, and then he was gone. The ravine was deep. His scream echoed against the walls, his body crashed through the evergreens and then there was silence.
The flashlight felt heavy in my hand.
The emergency flashers continued their steady throb.
Thunder shook the ground beneath me.
I stood there, staring down into the darkness.
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