It’s no secret I adored Hollow Pike and I’m a big fan of Junos’ writing, plus she’s such a genuine and hilarious person to chat to! I am therefore excited to share with you a bagelious deleted scene from Hollow Pike as part of the mini blog tour for her paperback release of Hollow Pike, it has purple edged pages and is tres pretty so if you haven’t already read it, go buy it on Thursday when the paperback is released.
Deleted Scene: “Plotting at Bagelicious”
A similar scene exists in Hollow Pike, but in the original draft there were two scenes where Lis, Kitty, Jack and Delilah plot Laura’s death. This is the second, and it takes place at Bagelicious, where Jack works.
By the time they’d discussed a potential trip to Leeds next weekend, they found they’d arrived at Bagelicious. Once inside the tiny, dimly lit sandwich shop, they saw it was empty except for a melancholy Jack behind the counter, sporting a green apron with a large smiling bagel emblazoned on the front.
‘Hello,’ he said, his weak smile betrayed by his sorrowful tone.
‘What’s wrong, muffin?’ asked Delilah, taking his hand over the counter.
‘You just missed Cameron Green, Laura Rigg and Harry Bedsworth. That was fun.’
Kitty pulled a bar stool over to the counter and Delilah perched on Kitty’s knee.
Lis stood awkwardly, not sure what to do with her arms. ‘What did they want? she asked.
‘Well, bagels. But I think they generally wanted to make my life difficult.’
‘How so?’ Kitty picked at a bit of cucumber.
‘The usual. Changing their minds, saying I’d got their orders wrong. Oh and Cameron wanted to know if you can catch ‘gay’ off a bagel.’
All four laughed, despite Jack’s obvious stress.
‘Ignore them,’ Lis volunteered.
‘It’s hard when you have your manager hovering over your shoulder.’
‘Maybe we should bring our Laura project forward by a few weeks?’ Delilah suggested.
Lis looked around, unsure of whether or not they should discuss this in a public place. Did they have CCTV?
Jack clearly picked up on her unease. ‘Don’t worry, Lis. My boss has gone on her lunch break and there are no cameras.’
‘Ah, OK. Cool.’
‘I’ve changed my mind,’ Jack started., ‘donking her on the head’s not good enough. I want her to suffer …’
The knife-like term suffer twisted in Lis’s gut.
‘I think we should maybe do it at half term. It would be easier to convince her to come into the copse,’ Kitty suggested.
‘Everyone knows that’s where they all hide their booze and fags,’ Jack added. ‘It would be easy to get her to go there.’
Delilah slipped off Kitty’s lap and helped herself to a bottle of water from the fridge. ‘The trouble is, darling, dog walkers go through the copse until after dark.’
Lis started to feel queasy. What had initially felt like a game was starting to feel a bit morbid. Kitty and Delilah had spent most of the walk into town discussing the gruesome subject. The newest idea involved somehow luring their victim into a gorge being used by residents as an illegal rubbish dump. Throw her over the edge and the whole town would think the silly girl was drunk and had fallen to her death … a tragic accident.
She remembered a time long ago when she and Sarah had gone walking on Anglesey. While running through sand dunes, free spirited, she’d come across a badly injured baby seagull. She could still hear its shrill alarm call, signalling to its absent mother for rescue. She recalled Sarah, older and wiser, reaching forward to put the helpless creature out of its misery, certain it couldn’t be nursed back to health. Even with the knowledge that Sarah’s actions came out of kindness, Lis had been unable to bear the thought of snuffing out a living creature’s light, and she’d turned away, unable to watch.
Laura Rigg was no helpless creature, but Lis knew that when the vital time came to push her over the edge, she would still see pleading brown eyes, begging her to have pity. She would not kill a living thing.
‘What’s wrong?’ asked Kitty.
‘We can’t really kill Laura.’ The words stuck at the back of her throat, coming out almost like a confession. How ironic, confessing she didn’t want to kill someone!
A second of thick silence hung until the others promptly erupted into hysterical laughter.
‘Oh, poor Lis!’ Kitty managed through a joyous tear.
‘Of course we aren’t going to kill her! Can you imagine? “Hi, Laura, would you stand still while we beat you to death?”’ Delilah asked with exaggerated politeness.
Jack came around the counter and gave her a little hug. ‘We do this sort of thing all the time!’
‘Plotting fiendish plans and terrible schemes!’ announced Delilah in a theatrically deep voice.
‘I am truly sorry, Lis,’ Kitty smiled. ‘Welcome to our twisted brand of fun! Too dark?’
Relief swelled inside inside Lis. She shook her head, wondering when she’d undergone such a humour bypass. She hoped the others didn’t think she was a total moron; it seemed that whatever friendship group you were in there was just a different set of rules to understand.
‘Seriously!’ Jack laughed, heading back behind the counter. ‘Can you imagine me in prison? I wouldn’t survive an hour!’