By Karen Bethea
No one had planned for a honeymoon as the brides and grooms had needed to get back to their jobs. During the reception at the Event Center, the head to the Veterans Museum had whispered something in one of musician’s ears and the “The Flashbacks” had stopped singing.
Taking the microphone, the president of the Veteran’s Museum said, “We have one more surprise for the couples as well as our new friend, Jake. “ And he made his announcement and then invited Sheriff Blinky up to the microphone to make his.
Later, the party was in full force at the Florabama. All of the guys that were at the wedding were dancing to “Sweet Home Alabama” and getting the names and phone numbers of the college girls. It was spring break for both Auburn and Alabama.
Raquel and Buck were slow dancing to every song, Maggie was laughing at Bobby Tom, who, good naturedly, was making every attempt at dancing, although he had zero rhythm. Jake was sitting at a table in a corner maintaining an avid conversation with a beautiful Auburn sorority girl on one side and an Alabama sorority girl on the other.
The platoon members were still kids. Most of them had done two tours in Iraq and still were only in their early twenties. So young, yet so wise.
Jake had gotten the shock of his life. When Raquel had been taken by Rock, the governor of Alabama had offered a $25,000 reward for anyone with information. Jake had, for once, been at the right place at the right time in that alley in Branson. He was treating everyone to a party at the Florabama and enjoying paying back some of the good times others had shown him.
The newly married couples had been given a surprise for the honeymoon. Buck and Bobby Tom’s platoon had also been included in the surprise announced at the reception. It had just so happened that seven of the Museum Board members owned condos on the same floor of one of the new condominiums in Gulf Shores. The couples each received the use of a condo for a week and the other five condos were large enough to accommodate the rest of the entourage.
The trip to Gulf Shores had been hilarious. All of the cars, even the cars that had been loaned to all of their buddies, were decorated with all sorts of wedding paraphernalia. Buck and Raquel brought up the rear; Bobby Tom and Maggie were leading the caravan. Written in huge white letters on the back windshield of Buck and Raquel’s car was, ”I’m Falling In Love Tonight.”
By Karen Bethea
- As The Small Town Turns
- Church Bulletin 8/7/12
Epilogue: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: The News Courier editorial staff chose Karen Bethea’s epilogue for our original novel. Our runner-up this week was D.K. Hutchins. We would like to thank all of our talented authors who contributed to “As the Small Town Turns” over these weeks. It has been a very enjoyable and satisfying endeavor for The News Courier and we hope it was enjoyable for those who participated. In coming weeks we will publish photos and short biographies on all of our authors whose chapters were chosen for the novel. But whether your chapter was chosen or not we would like to say thank-you to all for being such good sports and getting into the spirit of this project.
Chapter 16 As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 16 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns ...” is written by Karen Bethea. Runners-up are D.T. Hutchins and Cynthia Boris.
It’s time for a bang-up conclusion for the saga of Raquel and Buck. The novel will conclude Dec. 19 and the only thing that remains is the epilogue.
If you haven’t sent in a submission, now is the time.
If you make it exciting enough, we might have to revisit them for a satisfying epilogue. Please see novel rules in this section and we look forward to your conclusion.
Chapter 15: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 15 of The News Courier original novel, As the Small Town Turns, is written by Diane Hutchins. This was a week that brought several fine submissions. Runners up Karen Bethea, Cynthia Boris and Elizabeth Carter are printed in this section. It’s time for a bang-up conclusion for the saga of Raquel and Buck. If you haven’t sent in a submission, now is the time. If you make it exciting enough, we might have to revisit them for a satisfying epilogue. Please see novel rules in this section and we will be looking forward to your thrilling Chapter 16.
Chapter 14 ‘As the Small Town Turns’
Editor’s note: Chapter 14 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” is written by Karen Bethea. We had three excellent submissions this week. Runners-up are Harriette Rost and Cynthia Boris. The action has turned wild. With only two more chapters, now is the time to jump in for the big conclusion. If things get too hot, who knows? This saga could live for yet another chapter.
Chapter 13: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 13 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” is written by Cynthia Boris. Our runners-up this week are Karen Bethea and Elizabeth Carter, whose submissions are published in this section. Readers and potential contributors have just three more weeks as we draw the saga of Raquel and Buck to a conclusion with Chapter 16 on Dec. 12. There’s still time to get in on the action.
Chapter 12: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 12 of “As the Small Town Turns” is written by Bill Hunt. This week’s runner-up submission is by Cynthia Boris. The News Courier is anxiously awaiting Chapter 13 as the story heats up. Please keep sending submissions. Hint: Wouldn’t it be great if somehow Bobby Tom could meet Raquel’s friend, Maggie…? We’re just saying. Please review the rules of the game in this section and get your submission to Karen Middleton by Wednesday.
Chapter 11: As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Chapter 11 is written by Harriette Rost. Our single runner-up this week is Cynthia Boris. We continue the story as Rock tries to disguise his abducted daughter Roxanne Marie’s identity as he prepares to go on stage in Branson to compete in an Elvis impersonator contest. The law is involved now. The News Courier staff is excited to see how our readers will come to the toddler’s rescue -–– if it’s not too late. If readers have previously submitted chapters that were not chosen to continue the saga of Raquel and Buck, please do not be discouraged. Hint: Let’s not forget Bobby Tom stuck up in a veterans’ hospital recuperating from wounds. Let’s get him back in the action.
Chapter 10, As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: Once again, Cynthia Boris has submitted an excellent chapter to As the Small Town Turns. We received no other submissions last week, so there are no runners-up. However, we welcome your Chapter 11 submissions, so please review the novel rules in this section. We continue the story as Rock speeds toward Branson with his abducted 2-year-old daughter Roxanne Marie. As The News Courier looks forward to drawing the novel to a conclusion by the end of the year, please jump in and help us resolve this cliffhanger.
Chapter 9, As the Small Town Turns
Editor’s note: The Chapter 9 submission chosen for The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” was written by Cynthia Boris. As readers will remember, from Chapter 8, Raquel’s ex-husband, Rock Roddenheimer, abducted their daughter, Roxanne Marie, from her bed in revenge for having been thrown out of the house and humiliated by Raquel’s new friend, Buck. Now, as Rock speeds toward Branson in his 18-wheeler, the gravity of his rash actions begins to soak in, and back in the small town, Raquel is devastated to learn that her daughter is missing. Other excellent chapters were submitted by Karen Mastich and Carol Schwarzenbach, which are printed in this section along with rules for submitting Chapter 10.
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