Here is Part 6! Only one more part to read! Enjoy!
A Christmas Disaster
“You’re right about this scene. There’s no way we can get it back up again in time. But,” he added as his brother looked up quickly, “I do have another idea.”
Within thirty minutes of when Mia went to start the phones ringing, the students of Coolidge High School were pouring into the theater in wonder and stopping short with exclamations of dismay at the sight of the damage on stage. As they arrived, Mia and Bennett hurried them to seats and sent all the officers of the classes to meet with Derek on stage.
When it appeared as though all the students had gathered, Jerry Ledford, president of the senior class moved to the front of the stage and began to speak.
“Well, I guess you all can see some of the problems we have. Derek told us that the only scene that could be fixed for tonight is the living room.”
Murmurs of distress ran through the student body, but Jerry continued. “We have two choices. We can either call the last performance off and just go home, or we can take Derek’s advice and create a whole new sequel to the play.” He held up his hand for quiet. “The first one would be the easiest while the other will take a lot of hard, fast work and determination. All the officers of each class have talked it over and have agreed to put it to a vote. All those in favor of just calling the whole thing off raise your hand.”
Not a single hand was raised. At least not any high enough for Jerry to see.
“All right then. Derek,” Jerry turned to the stage manager, “come up and tell us your idea.”
A hush fell on the students. Derek glanced about and then spoke. “Well, as Jerry said, there is only one scene that can be put back together quickly enough for tonight. Now, this is our problem. We, all of us here, are responsible for tonight’s performance. It’s the last one, and I say let’s make it the best one yet!”
Loud cheers echoed across the floor.
Derek grinned and held up his hand. As quiet once more prevailed, his face grew set and his voice was firm, almost stern as he continued. “It’s going to mean a lot of hard work. We’ll all have to pitch in and work like we’ve seldom worked before. We’re going to have to divide you all into groups—” he turned to look questioningly at Jerry.
“As soon as you’ve spilled your idea, we’ll divide up and set captains over each group. And, Derek, I hope you’ll consent to be the overseer for the lot of us.”
Someone in the crowd shouted, “All in favor of Derek acting as commander-in-chief say aye!”
“Aye!” came back a thunderous reply followed by cheers.
How long that might have gone on, is uncertain for Derek raised his hands and shouted, “Then shut up and listen good!”
How those students worked! New lines were created and memorized, costumes put together, tried on, readjusted and finalized, music reworked, the stage cleaned off, repairs made on the living room. Everyone was busy. Around lunch time a group of students drove off in a car and returned some time later with boxes of pizzas. There was no set time to eat; when a group of students could fit in a few minutes, they rushed for the pizza and grabbed a piece or two. If it hadn’t been for Jerry shoving a piece of pizza into his hand and threatening to force feed him, Derek wouldn’t have gotten to eat for he was too busy to stop. As it was he ate that piece on the run. Throughout the day a group of students would suddenly dash from the theater, pile into a car or truck and race off, only to return in twenty minutes with bags, boxes, pieces of wood or paint. Other students went about mumbling lines and staring vacantly at nothing.
At last four o’clock came and Derek, who was nearly hoarse, ordered everyone to the front rows of seats. It was a tired, hot group that sank gratefully down, most of them too tired to whisper to their neighbor. “You all have worked hard,” Derek croaked. “We have three hours until the doors open. Not much time, but I think we need to run through it once. After that everyone can go home and change. But be sure you are all back by six-forty-five, please!”
As director, Don Summers took charge of the run-through. “I wouldn’t call it spectacular,” he said after the final curtain call. “But it’s not bad considering how little time we’ve had.”
Lydia laid her baton down and smiled. “I think this orchestra can play anything. Well,” she amended, “at least in the way of Christmas music.”
“Can they play Handel’s Messiah?” Bennett teased, jumping down from the stage.
“Parts of it,” she retorted laughing. “Weren’t you listening?”
Mr. and Mrs. Marley were puzzled over their children’s tiredness and nervousness. Bennett had called to tell them that they wouldn’t be home until supper time, but he hadn’t told them why.
“I hope Mr. Sheets didn’t make you all go through that play again,” Mrs. Marley said anxiously as they began eating.
“No, Mom, he didn’t,” Mia began. “We weren’t working on that play at all.”
Derek kicked her under the table and Mia, bending over her plate, began to eat rapidly.
Somehow Derek managed to get through supper without saying a word. He knew his parents would really wonder if they knew he didn’t have a voice. “And probably Mom would think I’m coming down with something,” he snorted to himself as he tied his shoes and grabbed his coat.
What is going to happen?
Was this what you expected?
Will you be back to finish the story?