In editing down the long drafts of the published novel, I cut out many bits and pieces, rewrote others, and melded everything into a finished product. The average novel is 75,000 words.
In this scene, Axandra’s elderly friends from Gammerton are preparing to be moved as a result of tidal flooding. The sister planet, Soporus (which means “dead world”) is quickly approaching and reeking environmental havoc through her increasing gravitational pull.
Depositing yet another load of novels in to the crate, Anna dusted her hands together and surveyed the job at hand.
Several more shelves stood loaded with books and circulars, collected over decades by the two residents of this small bungalow. The mantel clock chimed 10:30. When the chimes faded, an old woman hummed in the next room, replaying the short half-past tune. The humming grew louder as Jeanette entered into the greatroom.
”Oh, Anna dear, “praised the old woman with more sags and wrinkles in her face than in her ill-fitting clothes. “Thank you so much for your help.” She chuckled at a photo in her hand, then placed the frame in another crate. “The movers will be here tomorrow to ship all of these crates to storage on the mainland.”
“Tomorrow! We’ve got so much to do! ”Anna looked across the one-story interior. “We’ll never get you ready to go.”
“Oh, we’re not going—just these things.” Jeanette gestured to the crates. “We wanted to make sure the books and the arts went back to the community. Dora and I will stay here. The Ocean will take us if it wants.”
A lump formed in the younger woman’s throat. ”You can t stay!” she rejected. Her face flushed angrily. “Our entire village is going to be underwater. You’ll drown!”
Jeanette didn’t appear phased at all. ”We’re too old to relocate, “she explained, shuffling to the shelves for more books. “Too many people have to take care of us now. We’ll stay and wait for the water. If it is our time to go, we welcome it.”
Anna didn’t have much in the way of mental abilities, but she could see in Jeanette’s body language that the old woman meant what she said.
“This is Jon’s fault, ”Anna balked. “He started this, complaining that his old girlfriend was playing a nasty trick. Now lots of people think they’ll be just fine if they stay,” She slammed a lid on a full crate. “Jon’s house is already flooded. Half of it is in the ocean.”
Jeanette waved her arm dismissively. Doesn’t matter, Dora and I never planned on leaving Gammerton for the rest of our days. It just seems those days are going to come a little sooner.” Humming again, she continued on through the house to bedroom in search of items worth saving.