Deleted Scene

The following scene comes from Small Town Witch but was removed from the final draft. This is from a subplot where a rumor started at the school that Heather was unlucky since she was the thirteenth student in the class. Rosa tried to quell the rumors by writing a poem called "Triskaidekaphobia" (Fear of the Number Thirteen). But since beta readers told me that the number of subplots in the book were too confusing, it got cut. Here, in its original glory, is Rosa's dramatic poetry reading.

Poetry Slam

On Tuesday after school, my mom took both me and my sister to the library. Instead of sitting around feeling bored, I went to the computer catalog and looked up a few subjects. There were no practical books about witchcraft—just some old history books—but I was able to find a few books about writing poetry which looked interesting, and a book of superstitions.

At home, I found out that the poetry books were useful, but the superstitions book didn’t really have enough information. It was more of a sensationalist book about all of the things that could be bad luck, from bad cats and broken mirrors to John Lennon and the number nine. Most of the entries were less than a page long. The description of the number thirteen was all stuff that I already knew, like tall buildings often don’t label the thirteenth floor and people call in sick to work on Friday the Thirteenth. None of this was going to help me at all.

I asked my mom if I could use her computer, claiming that it was for school research. After reminding me that I was still grounded and couldn’t email my friends or anything, she let me have an hour. I took a notebook with me and scribbled down every reference that I could find to the number thirteen and its alleged bad luck. I even found a new word: “triskaidekaphobia”, the fear of the number thirteen.

When the hour was up, I looked at my notes. I had a few dozen different references, and the ideas were spinning around in my head. I thanked my mom and went back to my room to start working.

On Wednesday morning, I went into school with the poem in hand. I took it to Julie and asked if I could read it for the rest of the class. She read through it with a smile, then laughed and said, “Sure, go for it. Maybe we can nip this rumor in the bud before it gets too out of hand.”

When my classmates had all arrived and it was time to start class, Julie called them to attention and nodded to me.

I stood up at the front of the room. “I wrote a poem that I think everyone needs to hear,” I said. “I wanted to start by saying that superstitions are silly and outdated. We all look for patterns to explain the things that go on around us, but sometimes we see patterns that don’t really exist. This poem is a reminder to stop and look at things around you to see if you might be giving something more power than it really has.” I cleared my throat and began to read.

Triskaidekaphobia 

Somewhere high in the cosmos near a river of stars
The Hercules cluster is glittering
But down here in the country of the Naval Jack
The crazy number counters are panicking
And you can't deny their thinking is harmless
If you've never seen their extreme distress
They skip high floors
And certain doors
They'll even count the letters in names  

Triskaidekaphobia takes over your brain
Look for the number and you'll find it again
Like all superstitious beliefs
Your fear will only bring you grief
And the number will drive you insane 

This is not a joke
Some people do take bad luck too far
They write theories about Jack the Ripper
And the death of the Knights Templar
You may not believe all their conspiracies
But have you ever stayed home on a Friday?
It's not just talk
About Tupac
The whole world is going insane  

Triskaidekaphobia takes over your brain
Look for the number and you'll find it again
Like all superstitious beliefs
Your fear will only bring you grief
And the number will drive you insane  

A placard reads "The End of Days"
This is more than just a silly childhood phase
It's not bad luck or a curse
Obsessing only makes it worse
It's no use running
Apophis is coming
So take warning!  

Triskaidekaphobia takes over your brain
Look for the number and you'll find it again
Like all superstitious beliefs
Your fear will only bring you grief
And the number will drive you insane. 

When I finished, I looked up at the class. There were mixed reactions around the room. Some of them, like Zil, Glen, and Ashleigh, just looked amused. Heather grinned at me. Lindsey was annoyed, but Peter was just bored; Daniela and Robert were ignoring me. Domenico smirked and shook his head. Anil and Kai looked thoughtful, and I thought the others looked a little embarrassed, because they turned their faces away from me and wouldn’t meet my eyes.

When I sat down in my seat, Heather leaned over to me and whispered, “Thank you. That was awesome.”

We were sharing a table with Glen and Ashleigh. Lindsey had stopped sitting with me at school. I didn’t miss her company. She spent all of her time fawning over Peter now, anyways.

Kai pulled his chair over to our table and sat down on Heather’s other side. He looked around her and said, “Fantastic poem, Rosa. Would you be willing to give me a copy for the paper? We might be able to squeeze it into this Friday’s edition.”

I blinked at him in surprise. “Are you serious?”

“Of course!” he said with a smile. “It’s timely, considering that the thirteenth is this weekend. We’ve been talking about taking contributions from guest writers at the school and I think it would be a good addition.”

I smiled and passed him the copy that I’d read aloud. “You can have this one. I have another copy at home.”

He nodded. “Thanks.”

I could see that Julie was about to start class, but I added quickly, “Oh, and since this is the first day of my not being grounded anymore, the four of us are going to celebrate by playing miniature golf later. Do you want to come?”

“Sure,” he said, and grinned.

Heather, sitting in between us, looked a question at me when Kai turned back to face the blackboard. I grinned sheepishly back at her. She winked and nudged me with her elbow. “Talk later,” she mouthed the words at me silently.

I nodded. “Lunch,” I mouthed back. We definitely had a lot to catch up on from the past week.