Case in point ; I've recently finished a round of edits with Karen for my upcoming release, The Tender Bonds. In the last go-over, I got an e-mail from her with regards to some guardrails. A drunk driving accident is central to the book. On page 24, one of the characters recounts the accident, saying that one car catches the other sideways with enough force to send them both through the guardrail. Then later, on page 140, another character says there wasn't a guardrail on the highway at the time of the accident. So the guardrail that was there early in the book vanished into thin air later on. Neat trick, huh? It was an easy enough problem to resolve, but I'm grateful to Karen for catching the mistake.
I began to see where this is going, and I don’t want it to go there. It was as though I were in that car with my father, crossing and recrossing a double yellow line.
“Pearsons are coming into town like they do every Sunday. They pull out of Shore Drive onto 30. The car hits something in the road. A sharp stone, something, nobody knows for sure. Sharp enough, anyway, to blow out the front driver’s-side tire. Will Pearson pulls up on the shoulder. He goes and gets out the jack. He’s just getting ready to put it under the car when Jack comes barreling down the highway. He’s doing eighty-five at least, and he’s not too concerned about which lane he’s driving in.”
The room has gone cold. I'm going to throw up. Charlie stops a minute to ask if I’m okay. I nod at him.
“Jack loses it,” he says quietly. “He hooks the shoulder and catches the Pearsons’ car sideways with enough force to send them both off the road to tumble end-over-end down into the gully.”
“My God,” I whisper, a sort of prayer. I was in that car; I could feel it roll over.
Charlie’s eyes don’t meet mine. He stares instead at the handle on his mug. “Drunks, you know what they say about them. Jack pulls himself from his wreck with a few scratches. He heads up the embankment. Will Pearson is somehow still standing. He heads down towards the cars. And just as Will’s going down and Jack’s stumbling up towards him, something catches. There’s this huge boom and both cars are turned into firebombs. The rest of Will’s family is still in that car.” Charlie stopped again. He breathed deep and took another sip of coffee. “By the time the fire company and ambulance got there, there wasn’t much left to save.” He still wasn’t looking at me and I was glad for this, because it wasn’t just my hands that were shaking now. My whole body was.