The more time I have the less work I do – odd how that works out. When I only have an hour or so to work on my edits I get right down to it. When I have time to spare I futz around – check email, look at comedy sites (Over Heard In New York), in general waste time and end up editing, futzing, editing.
I’m putting more attention to detail this edit – at one point a woman writes down a phone number and puts it into my hero’s jacket pocket – sounds pretty simple but it’s a very hot day, my hero hasn’t been wearing a jacket up to this point & later when he gets home he isn’t wearing a jacket – if he is wearing a jacket what is it? a sports coat? – not his style – a jean jacket? what else has pockets, because having her ‘force’ the number on him is important. Having her put into his pant pocket was way too sexual, at this point, for her. But he does wear hoodies later in the book – so I opted to go with a hoodie after eliminating the jacket & first trying to have the note shoved ‘into an outside pocket of his shoulder bag’ – which seemed like too many words & too clumsy.
Here’s another of the scenes that got chopped – I liked having my two leads interact as they worked together on the ‘curse’ but it didn’t add enough to their interpersonal conflict & also felt too rom-com – it added little momentum at a point in the plot I didn’t want things to slow down even this much –
“So there isn’t anyway of breaking this curse? Because us acting on it hasn’t done much. Our not acting on it hasn’t done much either.”
“I did go to a … spiritualist … a woman who knows all about this sort of thing. Even this was new to her. She think it’s really a gift. That I have the eye of love, sort of the opposite of the evil eye.”
“Fuck. Why didn’t you say that sooner. Father Theodosius will know what to do, for sure.”
“Theodosius. From the Greek Orthodox off the Danforth. My yaya once got him to bless our kitchen to ward of bad spirits when she was baking.”
“Well this is more than yaya’s bad spirits.”
“Come on you gonna dismiss one faith for another?”
“I didn’t dismiss it. It just that …”
“You believe. Like you didn’t believe about this curse at first either.”
“Yeah but Tobias had religion. It didn’t help him.”
“How do you know?”
“Okay, I don’t know but I’m not … of the faith. You think he’ll what …. light a candle say a prayer to the Virgin and this will go away?”
“It’s worth a try isn’t it.”
“I don’t know. It would feel to weird to go into a church. We were never a religious family, you know.”
“Would it feel anymore weird than this.” He grabbed Harris hand and put the palm on his crotch. Harris tired to pull it away but Alex held it there.
“I guess not.”
“Then let’s get out of here.” He went to the door.
“Why not. He doesn’t live too far from me anyway.”
It took them about an hour to get to Father Theodosius’s house.
The door was answered by an ancient woman all in black. She had them wait on the porch. After five minutes Father Theodosius came out. Alex explained why they were there and Harris gave him the diary to read. They sat on his front porch as he read through the Tobias papers.
“This is a very ancient spell. One of those that promises good but doesn’t reveal the cost. How has it manifested in your life Harris?”
“Exactly as it says, I guess. I became a dad without even knowing it.” He told Theodosius about his aunt.
“Yes but what makes you believe in this?”
He told him about Francis.
“There was no mistake. That was you in the security footage. Very curious. And now Alex brings you to me. Has he … have you …. ”
“No Father.” Alex avoided the Father’s gaze. “But I have had the thoughts.”
“I can see why you would be distressed. Even in today’s permissive society some things are to be shunned. The synod condemns unreservedly all expressions of personal sexual experience that are so contrary to God’s ordinance and the laws of nature.”
Harris stood. “Either you can help me, us, or you can’t.”
“There is nothing in the canon for dealing with superstition. Even the evil eye. But I can give you a prayer of St Michael. He is the saint that protects us from evil.”
He went back into his house.
“You really think this is going to do anything?” he asked Alex.
“We’ll try what he suggests. What do we have to lose. Then maybe we’ll do what my Yaya would do for the evil eye.”
Theodosius returned before Alex could explain.
“This will help you.” he gave Harris a small rolled parchment about the size of a match. “Take it to the church. Light it one candle and use it to light another. The flame will carry your prayers to the ear of Our Savior and perhaps he will intercede with his Father on your behalf.”
“ Efxaristo Father Theodosius.”
They left the veranda.
“The church isn’t too far from here.”
They went into the small church. It was dark. He mimicked what Alex did. Lit the candle and let the parchment burn up.
“How do you feel? Alex asked him when they got outside.
“Alex St.” Father Theodosius’s housekeep whispered loudly from the shadow beside the church.
Alex went to her. She spoke urgently to him in Greek. Harris could see him nod a few times. She handed him an envelope.
“Efxaristo.” he said as she scurried away.
They walked along the Danforth.
“What was that all about?” Harris asked.
“I was just tanking her for this.” He held the envelope up and opened it. He dropped two amulets with thin chains into the palm of his hand. Each of the amulets was a little blue eye woven into a small cross.
“These ward off many things. I should have thought of this before, you know.”
He kissed one amulet and put it around Harris’s neck. He gave Harris the other one. “Now you do the same.”
“It’s a bit late to ward it off. But thanks.” Harris kissed the amulet and put it around Alex’s neck as he did he wanted to kiss Alex. He moved a away from him “Whew.”
“I wanted to … kiss you just then.”
“Yeah I felt it too. But you didn’t. Maybe all this is working.”