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Author’s Introduction---

Arlene Millicent is both wise and daring (a dangerous combination). She is about to reveal to one of her best friends some old secrets for the first time, an act which will require her to place her dignity on the line. And the only reason for doing so is that it feels right to her.

Considering this recent flare in her boldness, Arlene can feel her world rocking. But nothing can predict what is about to change her forever…and it’s not gonna be easy! What will it take to bring order back to her world?


“…Now as we stand together in unity and pride,

We’ll always remember dear Caddo Magnet High!”

-from Caddo Parish Magnet High School’s Alma Mater

Graduation day is supposed to be the very last time the whole class is together, but for some reason, to me it feels like this class is a tightly-woven tapestry. Standing here in the middle of the Hirsch Coliseum floor, I can sense the disbelief, the jubilation, and the awe that accompany the surreal reality of having made it to this crowning moment.

I scan the surrounding rows of my classmates. There’s Alan and Daniel and Martin and Jason and Maxwell…wow, Maxwell is one of the few who have been my friend since middle school. For him and those few others, this fall will be the first time in seven years that we’ll be attending different schools.

I look up at the crowd of families in the bleachers. It’s hard to tell whether it’s them or us who feels more of the glory of this occasion-after all, it is Mothers’ Day, May 13, 2007, and there are near as many mothers here heaving sighs of relief and cheering as there are students, 269 of us, silent in the realization that our lives are over and just beginning all at once.

I’ll never forget any of this; the magnitude of it all is a force of gravity on my imaginative mind. It’s not just a dream anymore: it’s a live memory in the making. Nothing else seems more unforgettable.

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."-Jeremiah 33:3, King James Version

"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."-Psalm 119:105, New Living Translation

The present and future are not about who you were in the past-rather, they are about who you are and who you will become.

"Writing is truly glorious in that an author can put on paper the words that fear denies the voice to speak."-from my short story, "Set Free"

"...What you feel is what you are;
What you are is beautiful..."
-from "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls

Life surprises you! And I'm talking about the good stuff, because a bad surprise is not a surprise at all, it is just shock and horror. All of these good surprises, they are rewards, and the things that happen to remind you that you matter and that you should make yourself faithful so that you can be deserving of all of life's good surprises. Every wonderful surprise in life is a chance to flourish, so grab life by the horns-but don't ride, steer instead: life's horns are life's joystick. You can handle it, because your life's horns are made especially for you. If you don't give up, all of this will hold true and life will continue to surprise you.

Aubri, a. k. a. "Leopard Lady"

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The following comments are for ""Set Free": Author's Introduction and Prologue"
by ArsPoet2789ica

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