Thanks to a lovely email from a reader, I remembered that I have long wanted to post some of what was deleted from This Is Shyness during the editing process. In my original manuscript, I included seven chapters told from the points of view of characters other than Wolfboy and Wildgirl, namely: Ortolan, The Kidd, Guadalupe, The Dreamer, Paul, Blake and Diana.
If people ask me - and they always do - what caused the Darkness, I only have one answer and that is this: a sorcerer threw his cloak high up into the sky and it hung there on a spell, shutting out all the light. More than one customer I’ve lost by saying that, but still, it’s my only answer.
The problem is, most of us were not given a ticket into other people’s minds or a key to other parts of the world, those parts running behind and beyond, so it’s only natural that most people think the world turns on them, their cares and their wishes.
The Darkness doesn’t bother me. The night now is thick and deep, like an ocean, with currents and tides like the ocean too. I tie myself to bed when I sleep so nothing can pull me away in my dreams.
But you want to hear about the girl, this wild thing that my boy has brought me. I will tell you only one thing: she has powers of her own, even though she doesn’t know it yet. She thinks that she is not free but she is. All the troubles she has told me, these things will melt away.
But she doesn’t trust, doesn’t trust anyone except herself.
I told her I think she came to Shyness for my boy. Because he has no one, and he needs someone, even if it’s only for one night. But I’m not sure how serious she is, this girl. She jumps from one thought, one feeling, to the next, like flames flickering through whatever they can consume. So I tell my boy to stay close to the girl.
My boy grows dark like the moon on the wane. He thinks his sadness caused the Darkness, or his mistakes. Everyone in this place does. People think the sun fell because of them, and them alone.