The banquet hall was quickly filling up when Paula arrived. It wasn’t going to be easy to find a seat. Fortunately she saw Peter trying to get her attention. He waved her over and told her to have a seat. He was also holding a seat for Wilma Jenkins and her friends, the Cey’s. Paula had only met Karen and her son, Bryce, and was looking forward to meeting Ron. 

She tried not to stare at Peter, looking dapper in is powder blue suit and red necktie. Paula never thought she’d be attracted to a man dressed that way. She always went for the bad boy look. The guys she went out with had more than just the look, though. They turned out to be just plane bad. Some worse than others.

Paula stood as Wilma came toward the table, with Karen following behind holding hands with, she assumed, her husband. Both women had on a dress that went down to their ankles. Karen had on a gold bracelet around her right ankle. Wilma sat in it chair beside Paula and introduced her to Ron. 

Ron reached over and shook her hand, “How do you like living on the island?”

“So far I love it,” Paula nodded. “I love sitting in front of the fireplace on those cold nights. Looking forward to doing the same outside during the summer.”

The disc jockey introduced the Mayor. 

He accepted the microphone from the DJ, “Good evening and welcome to the tenth annual Spring Fling. Before we get started, I’d like to bring Wilma Jenkins up, if I may.”

Wilma was clearly shocked as she walked to the middle of the room, stopping beside the Mayor.

He turned to her raising the microphone below his chin, “For your life long service and deadication to the island, I present you a key to the island.” He handed her a big gold key, “And that’s not all. 

Peter and another man rolled an easel from the kitchen.

“Thank you Peter and Charlie,” the Mayor shook their hands. “Wilma, on behalf of everyone it’s my honor to give you this,” he pulled the cover off and revealed a portrait of her and Harlan on the ferry.

The room erupted with applause. Wilma was visibly shaking with emotion.  The Mayor hugged and kissed her on the cheek, and handed Wilma the microphone.

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor.” Her voice shaking. “I don’t know what to say,” scanning the crowd. “It was our pleasure, and we loved doing it. I know,” she looked up, “Harlan is smiling down on us all. And he was just as proud as I was running the ferry for so long. This means more than words can say. Thank you so much. Let’s all have a great time tonight,” she handed the microphone to the Mayor.

Published by authorjturley

R James started writing bad poetry in his mid-30's. While taking a couple writing courses he wrote short stories with interesting characters. R James has been published in, Creepies 2: Things that go Bump in the Closet, Deviant Shadows: Tales of the Parabnormal, among others. R James got sick of the northern winters, and writes from the sunshine state, where the sun sets into the Gulf of Mexico.

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