A Deleted Scene:
Something smells...Strange

I have TONS of outtakes from The Quirks series saved on my computer. Here's one deleted scene I recently rediscovered in my files...I always did like this one. But sometimes (even when you love stuff in your story), if it just doesn't fit, it has to go.

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, Molly had begun to notice something in the house had started to stink.

It wasn’t the usual smell of coffee or unwashed dishes or the spicy egg salad that Cork sometimes made and then forgot out on the counter overnight. This was a stench of a different kind. This stink smelled like unwashed body and greasy hair and garden mud and even a little bit like lunchroom French fries.

Molly began to hunt for the source of the strange smell, but couldn’t pin it down. It was as if the odor moved around day by day, sometimes settling over the kitchen and sometimes wafting through the living room and almost always permeating the halls outside their upstairs bedrooms.

Finally, she figured out where the smell was coming from: her brother. Molly was sitting at breakfast, thinking about what she was going to make for her Halloween costume, when Finn scooched under the table and took up residence in the seat next to her.

“Morning, Molly,” he said, squirming into his seat.

Molly sniffed, her nose crinkling. “When is the last time you took a bath, Finn?” That’s when she noticed that Finn’s skinny chest was streaked with dirt, and he had faded marker tattoos all up and down his legs. His hair, which was usually a little shaggy and overgrown, had actually begun to take over his head, like a kind of fluffy fungus. Does he have little dreadlocks sprouting up? she wondered. Molly reached out a hand to touch her brother’s hair, but pulled it back at the last moment. She couldn’t be sure what was hiding inside the mess on his head.

“Um,” Finn scratched at his belly, and Molly noticed that bits of dirt came flaking off, peeling off his skin in tiny curlicues. “About a month,” Finn said, taking a bite of toast.

Molly leaned over and sniffed her brother’s arm. Then she dared peek under the table at her brother’s socks. They were filthy, and she thought it possible there was something furry growing on them. “You stink, pal.” Molly scooted over, giving herself some space. “We gotta get you in a nice, hot tubber.”

“Not happening,” Finn said, grinning.

Molly realized her brother’s front teeth were finally beginning to come in, tiny little jagged white things pressing through the soft skin in the open space in his mouth. “I don’t do baths.”

“You don’t do baths?” Molly asked, laughing.

“Nope. Don’t do them.”

Molly was concerned that his skin might start to eat itself. “Since when?”

“Since I went on a bath strike,” Finn said. He popped the rest of his toast in his mouth and slipped under the table. “See ya.”

Molly considered this as she polished off her breakfast and finished getting ready for school. A bath strike? What kind of five year old goes on a bath strike? The problem, she realized, was that Finn was going to be distinctly and oddly noticeable in the neighborhood, smelling the way he did. Even when no one could smell him, surely everyone would be able to smell him—and that was sure to make things interesting this Halloween…