Deleted Scene – Gemma Gets High

(This short scene was one I found very hard to cut. I always pictured Gemma as a bit of a testy hippy in early drafts. Here, in Escalon, she mellows out with Clair and Jesse’s help.)

Theo took Cashile around the front of the theater. Clair hadn’t been given instructions, so she followed Gemma and Jesse to a small door at the back of the hall. The walls looked on the verge of collapse, but the lock on the door worked just fine, and the hinges gleamed in the starlight.

“In here, quickly.”

Gemma switched on a torch. From a locked closet in a windowless interior office, she produced a red box with a white cross on it.

“We don’t have long,” she said, pulling a dusty wooden chair up to a dusty sink and sitting down. “You’ll have to do what you can.”

Jesse opened the box while Clair cut through the layers of cloth over Gemma’s shoulder. The wound was messy and sticky with blood, flesh bruised where it wasn’t a fiery red. When Clair moved the joint to get the remains of her top free, Gemma hissed loudly and closed her eyes. That didn’t stop her giving orders.

“Stop the bleeding–that’s the priority. There’ll be something in the kit for that, and for the pain, and a brace to keep the whole thing still afterwards.”

Jesse seemed to know what he was doing. He rummaged in the first aid kit for a moment and then went to work. Several creams, patches and jabs later, Clair could tell that Gemma was feeling the effects. Some of the color returned to her face. She sat more easily.

“Christ, thank you,” she said, opening her eyes again. Her arm was now strapped securely across her chest, hand clinging to the waist on the opposite side. She patted Jesse’s cheek with her left hand, which was indented in red from the silver cross she had been holding. “You might have overdone it with the painkillers, though. Help me up. Hey.” She swayed on her feet and touched her forehead lightly, as though making sure it was still there. “Yes, that’s the ticket.”


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