Thursday, April 14, 2011

Behind The Words // "The Night Walk Men" - Alternate Ending

I've been getting a lot of questions about how I work. I will, in time, write a lengthier piece about some of my habits as I put quill to digital paper for those of you that are curious about such things.

In the meantime, though, I thought I'd share some cut pieces from one of my more popular short stories, currently free at Smashwords.  This is done in the hopes that it may give a bit of insight into what gets tossed and what stays and how things evolve as I write. It's a small sample, but kind of fun for me to look back at too.

This bit was cut out of "The Night Walk Men" the short story which acts as a prelude to the coming novel series I'm working on. I cut this for a number of reasons, but mostly because it interrupted the flow or was just too "Sparrow-ish", that is to say, too arrogant, even for the extremely arrogant narrator of the story. In the end, it was one of the pieces from the puzzle that simply wouldn't fit with the rest and had to go.  The joy for me is in sharing it, even if it's not part of the "official" story.

For those of you who haven't read "The Night Walk Men", AHOY! SPOILERS AHEAD!

This would have been an ever-so-slightly different ending, one where Gabriela has a big tumble into the hands of the fates.  To everyone who has read the story and wants to see a slightly altered ending, enjoy!

Our Gabriela, she’s not really gone, is she?
I mean, she’s not gone for good, is she?
     I can’t tell you everything.  And it’s not because I want to hold anything back.  It’s not because I’m trying to punish you for something.  You should know it all.  Or, at least, you should know everything there is to know.
Even I don’t know it all.  If I did, I would be more powerful, and then, in turn, so would you.  You would be the next to get everything, every morsel.  It would only be fair.
But I don’t know every last detail. I only know a good heaping portion of it.
     I can tell you that our Gabriela didn’t hear a speech before her plummet.  Not a whispered version, not a shouted judgement.  No one said, “I am black volcanic glass to your white palomino skin.”  She did not hear these words.
And I can tell you that when she descended, when she swooped down like a bird with her small white shirt and her unwashed blonde hair flapping madly, she finally closed her eyes, closed them tight against seeing anything at all.
I can tell you that she didn’t see who caught her.  I can tell you that she doesn’t remember anything past the fall, that she doesn’t know how she came to be sitting in her parents' car in the parking lot with the back door swung open, or that she doesn’t how much time had passed or even if the fall really happened.
But I can tell you that it did.  When she is conscious again, she feels warmth on her back and on her thighs and on her shoulders – it’s the touch of Obsidion, of his black volcanic glass coming into contact with our Gabriela’s white palomino skin.  It was him who appeared and saved her from the fall.  He’s not human, you know, and I told you he could conjure nearly anything.


  1. ohhh...Mr. McIntyre..I might have to take this a bit personal. You know how much I love this story, and you are now going to mess with my head? What a tease! I am shaking my head in disbelief. How could you leave us just this tidbit, the tiniest morsal...knowing we will be left wanting more?

  2. Because I'm a cruel, heartless man.

    Just you wait until your read the novel. You'll flip your lid.

  3. cruel was exactly the word that came to mind..tsk tsk. I am so ready to read some well written words....Bring it word warrior! I will be flipping lids and cartwheels if its anything like 'The Night Walk Men'. I get the feeling you've only just started with the cruelty....sigh... do what you must. we are mere squirrels living in your world, hoping to get a NUT! heh heh

  4. If you're looking for a nut, you've come to the right place.

  5. Hi Jason! :) Thanks for letting us see a little of your writing process.

    I think this part of the story could have been included in it without a feeling of interruption on part of the reader. It doesn't sound odd or unfitting for the story to me.

    I liked the names of the two dogs in the story and the symbolism of the weather at the end. And poor Braille's heroism and Gabrielle's cuteness. You have some nice symbols and similes there!

    I can also see you have great plans for Gabrielle and the supernatural beings from Night Walk Men. :)

    Good luck on writing the novel that expands that universe.

  6. Berit, thanks for reading the short!

    You're probably right. The section *could* have been retained and few readers would have cried foul. It just didn't *feel* like it needed to be there. And a lot of what I do, as I may have said before is sit in a dark room and push buttons, pull levers and turn dials until things feel right.

    In truth, I'm trying to write more like you do, less wordy and more cutting to the point with fewer but more pointed words. We'll see how I do, since Sparrow's world is full of his own brand of depth, meaning and...well...sarcasm.

    Thanks for commenting!

  7. OMG...puhleeeze tell me I am misunderstanding that comment. I need the words...want to dive in and enjoy the painting being created...examples=>

    1.It’s the patter of water on pavement, water from sky onto road and roof, water against the clapboard siding of an old home that brings most of us out to do our Work.

    2. I am black volcanic glass to your white palomino skin.

    3. With each night, passing and flailing, you are a creature of the highest obligation

    4. Black and grey, churning against the stillness of the empty night, it burns down through the darkness from a hidden moon above the clouds.

    I will be inconsolable if I am to be tossed back into the wretched sea of literary mediocrity.. please Mr. McIntyre, dont change too much.

  8. Kimba, don't fret! Sparrow will continue to be the 'dripping-with-smarm' commentator and poet of the ages that you've come to know. The full-length novel will continue with the same voice and flowery interpretations of the world as in the novelette, "The Night Walk Men". If anything, it might even be further down this road than before, as I'm getting even more comfortable writing for the Night Walk Men and their extended tribe.

    Thanks for comparing some of my words to a painting. What a compliment!

  9. Thank you. I am so glad you haven't changed the tone of Sparrow and his far as painting, you write like Van Gogh painted..(ive also compared your words to drugs, lol)
    thanks, j. You really are my favorite author.

  10. Thanks, Kimba. The only questionable thing about Sparrow and his tribe being 'eternal' is that they're sure to outlast me. I hope I can complete the story before I finally succumb to my own end.

  11. I don't know, j....with this post being an alternative got me thinking The Night Walk Men would make a great never ending comic book with "choose your ending" publications occasionally thrown in...dark, gothic,"end of the world" kinda comic with snarky Sparrow as the hero/villian..(could become an action figure)..your children running the franchise long after you've passed from this world.....

  12. Well, my boy has a thing for 'dark magic' so anything's possible.


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