The Enemy

The Enemy

So the first draft of the prologue chapter of “Waking Dream” (the working title for book 5 in the Dreams series) is done, and we (and Sara) get our first, very brief, glimpse of her nemesis-to-be:

Sara is in a glass-walled meeting room, somewhere high up, overlooking what she realizes must be the Potomac River.  It’s a large room, with a long boardroom table that could comfortably seat at least twenty, and right now about half the seats are filled. 

It’s an even split between men in suits on one side of the table, with their backs to the floor-to-ceiling window, and a party of uniformed men and women across from them – Air Force officers, one and all. 

One of the men in the suits is Brian, and Sara knows the moment she sets eyes on him that this is his dream.  He’s leading the meeting, focusing everyone’s attention on a large screen mounted on the wall past the far side of the table.  He’s got a laptop computer open in front of him, and now he’s leading the group through a Powerpoint presentation.

Sara has seen this presentation more times than she cares to count; she’s been his practice audience for the last two weeks, until he finally pronounced himself fully prepared.  The practice was not wasted; here in the dream, he’s going through it flawlessly, and his audience seems quite impressed.  Laughing, Sara thinks to herself that he can now literally say “he can do it in his sleep.”

As Sara watches her husband, her heart swells with pride as the Air Force delegation – including, Sara now notices, a General – enthusiastically follows along with him.  But in the midst of his success, Sara suddenly feels a chill, as though someone opened a window and let a draft of cold air into the room. 

But there is no window open, and even if there were, this is the middle of summer; any air that came in would be hot and stagnant.  Sara turns, and a glass door leading out into the hallway is closing, although she didn’t see or hear it open. 

Just for an instant, Sara thinks she sees someone just as they disappear down the hallway and around a corner – a woman, she’s sure.  But she didn’t get a good look; the only thing she can recall for sure is the color red.  Red shoes, and a red dress.

As she turns her attention back to Brian and his meeting, she wonders why he’s dreaming about a woman in a red dress, who has to run away the moment Sara notices her…

I wasn’t sure about bringing her (she doesn’t have a name yet, but I know where she fits into the story, and what she’s trying to do) in so early, but I finally decided that it makes sense to set her up right at the beginning.  The next chapter will pick up five months later, and, not having seen the woman in the red dress again, Sara’s convinced herself that, maybe, she was imagining things.  She’ll learn soon enough she’s wrong about that…


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