Rick: Do you have a witness to call up here, Tom?
Tom: Yes. I have one, and then we’re done with the trial.
Rick: Thank God. I was beginning to think this trial would never end. So who are you calling up?
Tom: Richard Larson.
Tom: Do you think Dave and Mary had a good reason to fake his kidnapping?
Tom: Objection, your honor!
Joel: Objection to his objection!
Rick: Oh for goodness’ sakes. What’s going on here, Tom?
Tom: Richard is supposed to be on Dave and Mary’s side. That’s why he’s up here. He can’t say “No”.
Richard: Well, it’s the truth. The whole thing is stupid, but I think Dave has a point in why we should listen to him.
Joel: *mutters* This ought to be good.
Rick: Settle down, Joel. Go ahead, Richard. Where are you going with this?
Richard: Well, if we all remember right, it’s Dave and Mary who started the whole Nebraska series.
Tom: Right. So what about it?
Richard: Originally, Eye of the Beholder was supposed to be a romance between Neil Craftsman and Mary Peters. Then in chapter two, Ruth thought the story would be better if Neil turned out to be a slimy character. That’s where Dave came in. Had there not been the friction between Dave and Neil, a lot of what makes the story as good as it is would’ve been lost. The only reason Ruth did everything she did in that story was because she was listening to her characters. So when Dave is asking for Ruth to listen to her characters, it’s because the stories are better if she does.
Tom: Yes, very good.
Richard: And if it hadn’t been for Eye of the Beholder, she never would have went on to write more Nebraska books. Let’s face it. We’re a lovable bunch of characters, and all of us in Eye of the Beholder wanted Ruth to write our books. You and Jessica, Jenny, Joel, Sally and Rick, Isaac and Emily, and soon I’ll have a book. None of this would be possible if Dave and Mary hadn’t taken the initiative and been willing to be the first characters to be in Ruth’s historical westerns. It’s because of them Ruth fell in love with writing historical westerns. It’s because of them people fell in love with the Nebraska books. We can’t dismiss Mary and Dave’s contribution to Ruth’s career. I mean, no one would even know who she is without them.
Tom: Thank you, Richard. That’s all I have to ask, your honor.
Joel: *stands up and approaches Richard* How much did Dave and Mary pay you to say all that?
Richard: Nothing, Joel. I am capable of independent thought.
Richard: What’s your point, pipsqueak?
Joel: My point is you’re late. You overslept. You need to get your life organized. Aren’t you aware that the series is moving to our kids? It started with Dave and Mary’s oldest, Isaac, and will soon be Isaac’s friend, Clayton’s turn. You are the first book in the series unless Ruth does a book on our parents. It takes you forever to come up with anything, and now you expect us to believe that you came up with that whole “Dave and Mary started it all” spiel without help?
Richard: That’s the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard.
Joel: Do you really believe if it hadn’t been for Dave and Mary that Ruth would never have come up with plots for our books?
Richard: She might have come up with the same plot ideas, but the characters would’ve been different. We were all introduced in Eye of the Beholder. Do you know why some of the characters in her other books never got stories of their own? Because they didn’t scream loud enough at Ruth to write their books. We’ve been the most vocal bunch of all her characters, which is why we have nine books so far and one in the works and mine will be number eleven. None of that would be possible if Ruth hadn’t written Eye of the Beholder. So we owe Dave and Mary our thanks for that.
Joel: Aren’t you worried that if Dave keeps bothering her, she’ll stop writing Nebraska books?
Richard: No. The series is more than Dave and Mary now. It’s also you, me, Tom, Sally, Jenny, and all of our children. Dave and Mary are just two characters. Ruth might not write anything else with them in it, but there’s too many of the rest of us and our intriguing plot lines for her to ignore. George Lucas has Star Wars. William Shatner has Star Trek. Stephanie Meyer has Twilight. CS Lewis has the Chronicles of Narnia. Ruth has the Nebraska books. Do you know what all of these people have in common?
Richard: They all did other projects but one stands apart from all the rest. Sure, Ruth might write other series with other characters, but when people think of her, they also think of the Larson family, and that’s something Dave and Mary has done for us.
Joel: I hate it when you’re around. *turns to Rick* I have nothing else to ask, your honor.
This concludes the hearing. Tomorrow, I’ll open up the giveaway to the verdict in whether or not Dave and Mary are guilty. 😀