A Drop of Night is a fast-paced thrill ride that meshes together two genres we love: horror and historical fiction. The book is mainly set in present day, where a group of kids invited to an exclusive Parisian palace find themselves suddenly hunted, dodging traps from the people who brought them there and the shadows slithering through the tunnels they decided to hide in. In flashbacks, we get to witness a young aristocrat also fleeing into the tunnels… in 1789.
There are some seriously creepy similarities between the two stories, but we don’t want to spoil too much. Instead, in honor of the paperback coming out March 14th, we have a deleted scene from the author himself. Keep scrolling to read what Stefan Bachmann has to say about the process this spine-tingling adventure went through, and be sure to pick up A Drop of Night when it hits shelves!
Read a Deleted Scene From A Drop Of Night
There are a lot of deleted scenes from A Drop of Night. About 200 pages of them. The book got re-written 3 times from more-or-less scratch, so there are alternate beginnings, and alternate endings where everyone dies, and then alternate versions of the current ending where SOME PEOPLE ALSO DIE.
Anyway. I thought I’d share a deleted scene from A Drop of Night that I cut shortly before the book went to print. Meaning, it almost made it, but then during the final read-through I realized there was another scene that accomplished the same thing as this one, so it had to go. In this scene, the kids are already trapped 100 feet below ground, in the deadly Versaille-esque palace buried below the French countryside. They’ve been lied to. They’re wounded and tired. The palace is rigged with traps for mysterious reasons, and in this scene the kids realize they’re most definitely not alone . . .
“Uh-oh,” Will says. He’s stopped in the doorway three steps ahead of me, shoulders tense. Sweat glints on his neck in the dim light.
I scuffle up behind him, Jules and Lilly pressing close on either side. We’re looking into a vestibule of some sort: white paneling, gilt moldings. An alabaster vase of red roses, petals thick and velvety, stands on a table in the center. It’s almost beautiful, but like everything down here, you have to look twice . . . The second look makes my skin crawl. Floating throughout the room, as if paused mid-fall, are dozens of small steel orbs.
“What- ?” Jules breathes.
The orbs float at three different levels. Knee. Torso. Head. Three across, seven down, making a grid, suspended in the center of the room. They’re the size of Ping-Pong balls.
Will studies them, his blue eyes clear. Then he steps into the room.
I grab at him and so does Jules, trying to haul him back. “Are you insane?” I hiss, but he shrugs us off, slipping quickly between the floating orbs.
“Will, get back here!” Lilly whispers from the doorway.
He turns and points to the metal end of one of the drawstrings on his sweatshirt. It’s floating, doing weird circular motions in the air like it’s underwater.
“Magnetic,” he says, and he sounds fascinated. “There must be magnets in the walls. And in the floor and ceiling. Vertical and horizontal bars, pluses and minuses, and at the cross-point the orbs stop- ”
Clang. Will’s voice breaks off. My heart contracts so fast I swear it pulls a muscle. The sword Will took from the weapons room has ripped out of his hand and is stuck against the far wall. There are holes in the paneling there. Neat, round depressions, exactly the size of the steel orbs.
Will approaches the wall cautiously. He traces a finger around one of the depressions.
“Something comes in,” he says, his voice soft, like he’s talking to himself. “Something changes the temperature a bit, or puts weight on the floor, and the magnets in the walls and ceiling are charged. These orbs fly out . . .” He waves a finger toward the center of the room. “ . . . and rip into whatever’s standing in the way.”
Now he’s looking back over his shoulder at us, all puzzled, as if we’re being dense. “The trap’s already been sprung,” he says. “Something’s been through here.”
Lilly, Will, Jules, and I exchange looks.
“What?” Jules asks in a strangled whisper. “Who triggered it?”
“And what if they’re still close,” I say. I step into the room, hurrying to join Will on the other side.
I brush against the orbs as I pass. They’re cold, solidly in place even though there’s nothing holding them up. One, hovering close next to my eye, has a streak of blood on it, a fresh red film on the silver. It can’t be more than a few minutes old. Up ahead, out of this room, far away down those endless hallways, and past the mirrors and golden doors, I think I hear a sound: a warbling, animal cry . . .
SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHTS ON AFTER THIS ONE.
Brb need to go get a sweater because I just got the chills.
What’d you think of the trap beneath the Palace of the Butterfly? Good or bad sign that it’s already been triggered?