Since this is “prom season”, I have decided to share this little excerpt from my first book, “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind”, with you. Although I assume most of the schools have had their proms by now, the memories we create at our high school proms are timeless treasures that we keep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. My first prom was very special to me, as my husband, who was also my high school sweetheart, was the one who took me. In this scene, Corey, who is a high school teacher, is talking with some of the other teachers as they wait for the students to begin arriving. As he and his wife, Karen, are both teachers, (Karen teaches middle school), they soon find themselves on a mission to create a “path for learning” for their children, as advised by the mysterious Native American friend he meets, who has a hand in preparing them for their upcoming vacation, one that will take them on a journey that they will never forget. So, without further ado, here is an excerpt from the prom scene in the book:
Also, the book now has a new cover, although you may still see the old version of it for a while until it has time to update in their system, however, if you order the print version, you will receive the new version. My books are also in the Kindle Matchbook program, which means if you buy the print version, or have in the past, the Kindle version is free. Visit the page for more info. Get your copy and join the Wilkersons as they are about to embark on a journey they will never forget!
He drove cautiously through the neighborhoods. Already, limos were parked here and there, waiting for their passengers, elegantly dressed young men and women posing out in their yards as cameras snapped away, preserving the memories that would be treasured years down the road.
He showed his teacher’s ID badge to the security officer and drove into the already fast filling parking lot. It was still a little early but many were arriving early to get into the line where pictures were being made, although some had chosen to have theirs made professionally. A handful of teachers and staff had arrived and stood around sipping punch and talking as he walked into the elaborately decorated gym turned dance floor.
“Hi Corey!” a couple of them called out to him. A few parents had come to help serve refreshments and were helping to set up the table. The DJ for the evening was busily setting his equipment up. If he hadn’t known better, he would have never known it was a gymnasium. For this year’s theme, they had set it up to look as though one had walked onto a cruise liner.
“They did an excellent job on this didn’t they?” Kathy Harrelson, one of the eleventh grade English teachers, commented as he walked up and joined them.
“Yes, they certainly did!” he replied. “I would have never known the difference!”
“Makes you want to go and take a cruise doesn’t it?” James Edwards, an Algebra teacher added.
“It sure does!” Corey said, looking around really taking note of it all for the first time.
“Actually, my husband and I are supposed to be going on one this summer! We’re very excited about it!” Kathy said enthusiastically.
“I know you’re looking forward to it!” James said. “Well, it’s about time for our guests to begin arriving! Think I’ll go and sneak one more cup of this punch,” he continued, excusing himself.
“Now, save some for the students!” Kathy called after him, smiling.
“Seems like I heard someone say we were going to start having the prom at a hotel ballroom next year,” she said in a questioning tone.
“Yes, they were talking about it at the board meeting,” Corey answered.
“I didn’t know. I wasn’t able to make the meeting,” she said.
“Well, that would be a nice change,” Tom Knudson said. As students were beginning to arrive, they all made their way to various locations, some near the door to greet those coming in. Then, in the next moment, it happened.
The lights went down, now replaced by special lighting that made one think of being in the ballroom of a cruise ship. In an instant, the whole scene was transformed. The “magic” of the evening had begun. A local lighting business had even donated a couple of less expensive replicas of chandeliers such as those used on cruise liners for them to use for the evening. Suddenly, it was as though they had all been transported to another place. It was truly amazing how they could do this so well, that it was almost convincing.
Now came his favorite part. Being the outgoing, well-liked teacher that he was, he had taken a place near the door. He loved watching their faces light up as they came in, their expressions star-gazed as they looked around, taking it all in. They had even had some help in constructing something similar to the front end of a cruise ship. This was where the king and queen would be introduced later in the evening.
Just then, Rudy Jenkins, the school’s principal, walked over and said something to the DJ, who then handed him the microphone. After a quick welcome announcement along with a reminder to everyone to help make it a safe and fun evening for all, he handed it back to the DJ, who took it and immediately began speaking. He spoke quickly and enthusiastically, starting the song playing when he was halfway through.
“Alright, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this year’s prom, the event you’ve been waiting for all year long! This year’s theme is “Cruising”, so all aboard! Our “ship” is now departing, so hope this will be a wonderful evening for everyone! Now, to start things off, I’ve had a request to play this song in memory of Aiden Jacobson, who was last year’s prom king, so in his memory, and in honor of our theme for this year, here’s a special song to get this ship sailing, so take your lady or your man by the hand, get close, and hope everyone has a lovely evening!”
There were gasps and comments of approval as couples took to the dance floor and began moving slowly with the music. It was the love theme song from a movie about the Titanic. The enchantment of the evening had begun. It always had a way of working its “magic” on him. He stood sipping punch and watching as they let the music take them away. More continued to arrive, and each time, the same amazed expressions as they looked around. “Welcome aboard! Hope you enjoy the evening!” he said as they entered. He always enjoyed seeing all the new styles and designs of dresses and tuxedos. It was like a sea of colors as he watched them, their dresses swishing and swaying as they danced through the evening.
If you enjoyed this sneak preview excerpt and would like to read more, you can purchase “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind” from Amazon. My other book, “River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose”, first in the “Enchanted River of the Rose” series, which is also a time travel fantasy, is also available for purchase. Check back or subscribe to my email via the tab above so you can receive an email as more titles become available in the near future!