Of Mistresses, Masters, and Monsters (ch 14-17)

Thriller written by AlexScribe on Friday 15, September 2017

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a mystery novel

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Chapter 16 -- Thanksgiving That Thanksgiving had been scheduled at Marion and David’s but my confinement kept me home so Meg and I had originally planned a quiet lunch and more paper processing. Somehow – I was never able to determine exactly how – that morphed to the world coming to our house. Or, at least, a significant portion of said world. Fortunately the weather pulled a magnificent Indian summer day out of its grab bag: not even a quarter of that mob would have fit inside the house. The attendees included Marion’s family and David’s parents, naturally, plus Tanya since she practically lived here now and her actual family was in Ohio where she wasn’t all that inclined to go anyway. Sally and Jackson had also been invited and told to ask other neighbors and a small herd thereof showed up, most of whom I didn’t even recognize although I appreciated their support (I chose to believe they were here on my behalf rather than their stomachs’). Nate Bixby’s son Martin was visiting so naturally he came, too. In addition there were a number of women who apparently belonged to Meg’s various book clubs; and a gaggle of others whom neither Meg nor I recognized. We thought some news people might have sneaked in but, if so, nothing intimate regarding the festivities appeared in the media. And, of course, most attendees brought their kids. And the food! In addition to Meg’s large bird, David had shown up early wheeling in his Green Egg on a dolly and he barbecued four medium sized turkeys one after the other. Everybody else brought something and we ended up with four borrowed long tables in the yard, all laden just short of the point of collapse, plus additional dishes stuck here and there wherever there was a flat surface. In addition to the assembly we could have fed a large college dorm. The leftovers we weren’t able to pawn off on departing guests lasted us nearly a month. I had a chair and TV table squeezed into the small space outside the patio door within my electronic leash’s range. I encountered a few acquaintances and met many new ones among the near-constant stream of people coming by to wish me luck and assert their complete faith in my innocence. Their belief was undoubtedly based more on trust in Meg’s insistence that I was home with her when the crime occurred than on any feeling for my own character; she is far more social and personable than I. Regardless, all that support was certainly comforting – although not as comforting as it would have been had any of those supporters the slightest chance of being allowed on my jury. Danny Boy and Allie, our grandchildren, teamed up with some other eight- or nine-year olds for a new game they invented called ‘get papa arrested’ which they played at random times throughout the day, accompanied by hysterical laughter. The game consisted of stealing papa’s food or drink and holding it just out of his reach or sneaking up and startling him, anything to get him to move out of the safety zone and set off the monitor. It absolutely defies logic that we love the little imps! All in all, despite my initial misgivings, it was a totally pleasant day and a much needed break from legal matters.

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    This is really well-written and nicely presented. You display excellent knowledge of how the legal system works.

    One little thing: In the middle of Chapter 17, you have an extended dialog passage which is quite good and could be excellent. What you need to add to it is a bunch of "he said, she said." It gets very confusing as to who is speaking.
    Hey, KT, so what's the problem? You just make a chart: #1 said, #2 said, etc., remember that a missing quote mark at the end of a paragraph means the following is by the same speaker, ...

    OK, I'm joking! Thanks for catching this. It's a bad habit I have to work on. I know who's talking (after all, they're usually using my words) so I presume the reader will also. The reader should be confused by the intricacies of the plot, not the syntax. One of my own my pet peeves when reading is having to go back and do a "Tom said, Jack said, Tom said,..." analysis: I certainly shouldn't inflict that on my readers.

    Thanks again,