** If you’ve not yet finished reading Of Mice and Murder, stop here to avoid spoilers **
This deleted scene falls roughly between chapters seven and eight.
“I was afraid you wouldn’t come by,” Bea chuckled. “I’m starting to look forward to our early-morning trips to the circus.”
“Very funny, Bea,” Angela said, handing Bea an iced coffee. “Breakfast first?”
Angela dangled the paper bag in front of Bea’s face with a corny grin on her face. “It’s your favorite egg on English.”
“OK, hand it over and I’ll shovel it in. And if you’re eating yours before we go, you better keep up. Let’s get crackin’!”
“Just coffee for me this morning,” Angela said, taking a sip. “But why are you so interested in how the stage crew is doing, anyway? You’ve already predicted the play’s going to be a disaster. Nothing we’ve seen so far would change your mind,” Angela sighed.
“C’mon, Angie. Besides all the screw-ups, there’s the undercurrent of animosity. It’s like a soap opera with a cast of clowns. And you know I can never resist bumbling. It’s one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Maybe my most favorite. And this show really delivers.”
Bea unwrapped the sandwich and crammed a third of it her mouth in one bite. Soggy bits dangled from the side of her lips as she chomped with fierce determination. “Issh better than McGregrrr ah his worst.”
“Can I suggest you eat a little more slowly? We’ve already had two people go from the inn to the ER in as many days.”
Through the wet blob of egg, bread, and cheese, Bea said something about needing a “frequent customer card” for the hospital. She burst into a hysterical cackle, slapping her knee and tipping her head backwards. Then she went quiet and made a motion like she was trying to cough.
“Bea!!” Angela shrieked. She ran around behind Bea and hit her between her shoulder blades several times, then wrapped her arms around her friend’s tiny torso. As she jammed her clasped hands under Bea’s rib cage, she lifted Bea almost effortlessly. Finally, the glob of sandwich shot out of Bea’s mouth and splatted on the mirror above her desk. The glob slid downward and plopped onto a vintage Christmas figurine, eventually clinging to Santa’s toy bag.
“Thanks, girlie!” Bea said cheerfully.
“You have to be careful about eating so fast, Bea. It only takes a minute to pass out from choking, and then, probably, less than a minute more—” Angela said anxiously. Her eyes were welling with tears.
Bea jammed most of the remainder of her sandwich into her mouth and sputtered something in reply that sounded like, “You worry too much, Angie. I’m always safe with you.”
Bea swallowed the big bite with a gulp. “You know every type of first aid there is. And I think you’ve made up a few new ones.” With another jarring laugh, Bea popped the last bit of her breakfast into her mouth.
“What if I hadn’t been here?” Angela cried, throwing her arms over her head.
Bea put her index finger in the air and marched deliberately around the room, all the while chewing in a slow, exaggerated fashion. “There. Satisfied?”
“Yes. Thank you.” Angela stacked some napkins and cleaned up the blob of egg sandwich, her nose crinkled.
“Just FYI, I do eat more carefully when I’m by myself. And you know, a person can do that jam-the-abdomen trick all on her own. You just need a chair like this.” Bea demonstrated the process of ramming her midsection into the top of a desk chair. “Pays to be short. This chair is just my size.”
Angela frowned. “I wouldn’t want to rely on that method. Isn’t it better just to slow your chewing down to lightspeed?”
“Don’t knock it ’til you try it, Angie.”
“The starving racehorse eating routine? Or the personal choking rescue?”
“Both. At my age, you gotta know how to save yourself, because there isn’t always time to eat slow. How many more egg sandwiches am I even gonna get in this lifetime? Not to mention how many more ringside seats for a world-class foul-up fest. Hiring you was smart, but your competence is pretty darn boring.”
Angela sighed. Her expression softened into a smile. “Let’s not forget, I’m supposed to be helping the crew avoid world-class foul-ups. Shall we go see what’s going on?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m talking about! Just don’t help them too much. Don’t spoil my fun!”
Thanks for reading this deleted scene! If you’d like to read the epilogue of Of Mice and Murder, visit this page.
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