One of the things that happens during the editing process is that things get . . . well . . . edited, sometimes all the way into nonexistence. That’s what happened with the chapter that details the crabbing adventure on Seth’s family’s boat. The guys still go on the trip—although it’s off-page now—but the aftermath no longer includes the following scene of death and untold destruction!
Seth handed Nate the machete and a rubber mallet. “Go for it, killer.”
“Gee, thanks.” Nate positioned the (thankfully) lethargic crab on the newspapers on top of the picnic table. He laid the edge of the blade along the middle of its body. “Like this?”
“Yep.” Seth grinned. “Right between the eyes, down the middle of its little crabby brain.”
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”
“Hey, just trying to expand your horizons. Maybe you can work crab assassination into the next season of Wolf’s Landing effects.”
“I’ll be sure and mention it to Hunter and Kevyan, assuming I ever meet them face to face—and assuming they’d take suggestions from me.”
“You’re stalling. If it recovers from the icing and starts moving around more, you’ll really freak out. Whack it, Nate. That’s dinner.”
“Dinner. Right.” Nate raised the mallet. Better do it right the first time—don’t want a Nearly-Headless Nick crab. He squinted, turning his head away slightly because—yeah, he could admit it, this was kind of more hands-on than he liked to get with the demise of his meal ingredients. He took a deep breath and brought the mallet down—
“Son of a bitch!” He dropped the mallet and the machete handle, his thumb throbbing like a tom-tom where he’d misjudged his aim. Yeah, the crab was now in two distinct parts, but his thumb—gah!
Seth clasped his wrist with gentle fingers. “Let me see.”
“It’ll be okay,” Nate said through clenched teeth, although black dots were dancing at the edge of his vision.
“Don’t go all manly and stoic on me, because that’s just stupid.” He tugged Nate’s hand away from where it was cradled against his chest—safely out of sight. “It’s really hard to do first aid on your own hands.”
“I know, but—“
“Dude. Sit down and show me your fucking hand.”
Nate sighed and gave in. His knees were wobbling anyway, so he plopped down onto the picnic table bench. Seth sat next to him, Nate’s hand cradled in both of his. He stroked Nate’s thumb, flexing the joint.
“Hmmm. No blood. Not broken. You’re going to have a hell of a bruise though. You and Ginsberg can compare notes.”
“There is no comparison. The stuff he goes through every day—”
“So what? Just because somebody else gets hurt more or more often, doesn’t mean that your pain now doesn’t matter. Have you got ibuprofen in the house?” Nate nodded. “Then let’s get you dosed and set up with an ice pack. Then you can play lovely assistant while I slaughter the rest of the crabs.”
(By the way, this was inspired by Anne’s own experience with a crab-killing mishap!)