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Here is a scene from The Elphite that I found jotted in a notebook, most of which didn’t end up in the final book:

(This conversation takes place after Luke has followed Ellie to her home in Spain.)


“I’ve searched for answers, for guidance. I’ve been to monks, gurus, priests, medicine men, psychics, you name it.” She laughed tiredly. “I’ve been called everything under the sun: a god, the destroyer, an angel. One priest got particularly upset and declared me to be the devil when I told him there was no such thing as heaven. And that being trapped in this never-ending cycle with my memory intact was in fact hell.” She looked at Luke, was seemed a bit overwhelmed by what she was saying. “I don’t expect you to understand any of this. And to be honest, part of me is hoping that it will make you want to run away screaming. Just promise me you won’t try to get me put away in a mental institute. I don’t want to have to go on the run again.”

Luke didn’t know what to say. Instead, he pointed to the notebook on her lap. “What’s the book?”

Ellie looked down at the notebook, and her grip tightened on it. “Oh, well, in every life, as soon as I can, I record everything I remember from the previous two or three lives, as reminders of what I need to try to change. I mark dates on the calendar of the events I’d like to change, I also mark the ones I can’t., but can try to save as many lives as possible. There’s also a few key memories from all my lifetimes.”

“Can I read it?”

“No, I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Why not?”

Ellie frowned. “Would you really want to know your entire life path before you’ve lived it?”

Luke leaned in closer to her. “Am I in there then?”

“Of course you are. You’ve been in every lifetime. For some reason I can’t seem to get rid of you.”

Luke leaned back again, looking a little sad. “Why are you trying so hard to fight the attraction? I mean, I understand that this might be getting a bit old for you by now, but tell me this – when did you last let yourself enjoy our relationship? How many lifetimes ago did you focus on nothing but our lives together?”

Ellie sighed. “Many, many lifetimes ago.” She shrugged. “I can’t just ignore what I know. I can’t just forget it all.”

“Why not? Who says you can’t?”

“I do. There must be a reason why I am the only person on the planet who remembers. There must be some explanation for it. If it’s not so I can try to change things, then why is it?”

Luke was quiet for a moment. “If you were so set on changing things, why didn’t you go find someone else and marry them, so that we couldn’t be together?”

Ellie smiled. “I tried that. It didn’t work. It just ended up in a messy divorce.”

“Oh. He divorced you because you loved me?”

“No. He divorced me because he couldn’t stand you hitting on me all the time. You practically stalked me for two years before he’d finally had enough.”

Luke looked shocked. “Oh, I see. Wow, that really doesn’t sound like something I’d do.”

“Well do you normally chase women that you’ve just met on the train all the way back to their homes?”

Luke laughed. “Uh, no. So when it comes to you, I suddenly have a totally different personality?”

Ellie shrugged. “I guess so.”

“There must be a reason for that.”

“You’d think.”

Luke sighed and looked at Ellie, melting again despite her still slightly hostile gaze.

“Can I ask you something?” he said, before he could stop himself.


“Can I kiss you?”


Luke frowned. “Why not?”

“Because I don’t want you to stay. I don’t want us to be together this time. And if you kiss me, then that will ruin that idea.”

“What would you do if I kissed you anyway?”

Ellie raised an eyebrow. “I would wonder why you bothered asking permission. Then I would call the police and have you arrested for stalking me and then attacking me.”



Luke smiled. He liked her sense of humour. “I want to help you.”

“How do you propose to do that?”

“By changing things this time.”

“Go away then. Stop this happening before it begins.”

Luke shook his head. “No, I mean we can change things together. You can tell me what we’ve never done, what had never happened before, and we can do it. Together. I could even help you change the disasters and stuff.”

“So you want to be Batman and Robin,” Ellie asked sarcastically. “Saving the day?”

“Well, yeah. But only if I get to be Robin.”

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