Dream Family update

Dream Family update

Nine chapters finished, almost 63,000 words.  This one is going to be the longest of the books so far.  They’ve each got 16 chapters plus a prologue and epilogue.  Dream Student came in at 94,000 words, and both Dream Doctor and Dream Child ended up around 87,000.

This one is looking more like 100,000 words or so.  And – I’d like to believe – they’re pretty good words.  In the most recent chapter, the legal troubles from Sara’s mistaken arrest are finally resolved (her personal troubles aren’t quite done yet, though), and her father gets a nice moment to stand up for her.  Sara and her family have just walked out of the hearing at which the charges against her were formally dropped:

In the hallway outside, just a few feet away, stands the prosecutor.  I’m happy to just turn my back and walk away, but – oh, God, I don’t want him to! – my father wants a word with him.  “Excuse me, sir,” he says.  The “sir” has an edge that could cut glass.  “I think you owe us an explanation.”  I’ve never heard this from my father, this cold rage.

Mr. Watson takes a step back, and I don’t blame him.  I would, too, if  those words, in that voice, were directed at me.  “Excuse me.  I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about, sir.”  The way he says “sir” this time, it could cut steel.  “You tried to ruin my daughter’s life without any investigation at all.  You didn’t ask any questions, you didn’t do a thing.  My wife figured out what really happened in an hour.  You,” Dad has to take a deep breath before he can continue, “you wanted to put this beautiful, compassionate woman, who’s never done anything her entire life but help other people – you wanted to put her in prison for ten years, without making the slightest effort to check if you had the right person or not.”

Mr. Watson stands his ground.  “The system worked.  Your daughter is free to go.  What more do you want?”

Mom is holding Dad now; she’s afraid he might go after Mr. Watson physically, and I think she’s right.  Dad stares hard at Mr. Watson, and if I had to guess what’s going through his head, he’s weighing the satisfaction of killing the man with his bare hands, right now, versus the consequences of doing it. 

Dad finally comes to a decision.  “You’re right.  There isn’t anything I want from you.  You’re a cowardly, dishonorable son of a bitch and you’ve got the morals of a sewer rat.  Nothing you say could possibly be worth hearing.”  And with those words, he turns his back on Mr. Watson.  “Let’s go home,” he says to me, and before Mr. Watson recovers his wits, we’re already in the elevator and on our way out.

I really like her father, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to use him a little more in this book.  He had a very nice moment in Dream Student, and a smaller one in Dream Doctor, but he doesn’t get much to do in the third book, so I’m happy to give him some “screen time” here.

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