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The Maker frontAs I’ve mentioned before, not every scene makes it to the final draft. The Maker was worse than some. Apparently, I had a lot to say in this book. A lot of it wasn’t necessary, so I made the tough choice to cut it out. One such scene follows.

Ben is trying to keep Wil occupied so he won’t dwell on something that’s happened. He decides the best way to distract him is to give him the workout to end all. After hitting the heavy bag, Ben asks the sentient ship, Hammer, for something special from his youth.

Ben picked up a whiplike weapon, weighing it, feeling it’s balance.

“I didn’t know you used these. Don’t see them often any more, they quit making them about thirty years ago.”

“Yeah, I got that about fifty-three years ago. I can’t remember what the damn thing is called.”

Ben eyed the weapon critically. “It’s got a lot of names, I always called it a snake-hammer, but it is officially known as a shnack-haueter.”

Wil’s frown turned to a smile of enlightenment. “Oh, yeah! I remember now. I got it in the Primos bazaar. This really gorgeous girl was selling them, so I bought a couple. Made a good excuse to talk to her. She was so hot, she made my skin sizzle.” He grinned happily as Ben handed it back to him. “Hey, you’re from around there, aren’t you, Ben?”

Ben’s nod was curt, his brow raised. His expression was unreadable, even to Wil. “I grew up around these. My mother’s family made them for centuries. They stopped when her father died. She sold them in the bazaar.” His statement hung in the air between them like an accusation.

Wil’s face clouded. “Oh, God, Ben. I’m such an asshole. You’re going to hate me when I tell you, I can’t remember her name.”

He turned away from his son, hanging his head sadly. Ben clapped a work hardened hand on his shoulder that would have brought a normal man down.

“She couldn’t remember your name either. She just told me you had the most incredible eyes she’d ever seen, black as night and deeper than a well. That was how she described them. One look and she fell into those eyes. She said I looked a lot like you.” He pretended to be offended. “God, what an insult!”

Wil examined at him, unsure of how to respond. Ben’s mother had been dead several years, he knew and never married.

“Was she happy?”

“Very happy. I had a great childhood and a wonderful family. Where I came from, it wasn’t a big deal for a woman to have children by different men and never marry. I didn’t grow up like Riley.”

“Ben,” Wil hesitated, not knowing how to continue. “What was her name?” It was a plaintive request, odd coming from Wil, but it was important to him.

Ben smiled sympathetically. “Her name was Elisicia.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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