“Anyone who has ever felt unwanted, unliked, or socially awkward will find real comfort in reading about this strong woman who triumphs in spite of heartache,” wrote this reviewer who gave the book four-out-of-five stars.
He heard Randy say, “What the?” and then Micaela shrieked. “That’s Miss Treasure! Look Daddy!” She grabbed his ears and turned his head. Dennis looked at the dancer standing in the center.
“It can’t be,” said Randy.
Just then the dancer turned around. The silhouette from behind left no doubt. It was Treasure Blume in a painted on Stepper costume. She lifted her head to the nosebleed section and tossed her hat in the air. Her hair fanned around her face as she twirled and drew her pistols. She took huge skipping steps toward the audience, pistols held high. She shot once and then twirled them into her holsters, stopping just short of Mr. Moyle. She inclined her head and held out her arms. Mr. Moyle shakily stepped forward. He clasped her waist in his hands and started two-stepping. Treasure followed him, smiling toward the sky. When they reached the center, Mr. Moyle jerked Treasure toward him. Dennis thought for a minute that she might fall, but she slid under his arm in a complicated twirl and came out on the other side. They did the move again, faster and faster as the music crescendoed. They were a blur of flying fringe. Treasure’s hair looked like a low-lying strawberry cloud. The Steppers in the background were moving forward in an arrow formation. They fanned out behind the dancers and started twirling too.
Finally, on the last note, Mr. Moyle dipped Treasure backward to the turf. The rest of the Steppers dropped to one knee. They grabbed their guns and shot again, just as Treasure sprang up into Mr. Moyle’s arms. The entire audience stood up and cheered. They were on their feet.
Dennis whistled until his mouth went dry. Micaela clapped both hands on her dad’s head. Randy pumped his fist in the air and yelled, “Way to go, Steppers!”
The PA announcer said, “Let’s hear it for Ruby’s Red Hot Chili Steppers, with special guest Varden Moyle.” Mr. Moyle waved both hands at the crowd. He planted a kiss on Treasure’s cheek and jogged back to his seat.
Treasure stood in front of the crowd and closed her eyes. She took two deep breaths and smiled. Birdie and Grammy came forward and grabbed her hands. Together they bowed. When they came back up, Dennis found himself yelling her name. “Let’s hear it for Treasure Blume!”
Treasure’s eyes searched the crowd until she found Dennis. She grinned at him, her scarlet lipstick smeared. He looked back at her, and this time, he winked.
After the Steppers left the field, Dennis found himself rooted to the ground. He finally lifted Micaela off his shoulders after she knocked on his forehead like a door. “Earth to Daddy!” she yelled. “Let me down. I’m going to see Miss Treasure and Grammy Blume.”
Randy stood beside him, still shocked. “I guess LuNae was too hurt to perform. I can’t believe they let Treasure go on.”
“Did you know she could dance like that?” asked Dennis, visions of Treasure twisting and twirling like a flame still playing through his mind.
Randy shook his head. “She can dance, I’ve always known that. But I didn’t know she could dance like that.”
They stood shoulder to shoulder looking out across the empty field. Football fans were starting to filter back to their seats.
“She’s . . .” started Dennis, struggling to define exactly what he wanted to say about Treasure.
“What?” asked Randy, defensively.
“Oh. Yeah. She is that,” said Randy, relaxing his posture a little.
“And it was something more. There was just such joy in her. It was like she was really alive, you know?”
“Yep. I saw it,” said Randy. He looked like he was going to burst if he didn’t say something more. “I also saw how my little sister can fill out a pair of wranglers.” He shook himself, trying to pry the image out of his head.
Dennis had noticed too, but he wasn’t going to say anything about it to her brother.
Randy looked over at Dennis. “Dude, I’m sorry. Please, don’t say anything about it. It’s weird to say my sister looked hot dancing with a bunch of grandmas.”
“But she did,” said Dennis appreciatively. He still felt dazzled. Who knew she had that figure? He’d only ever seen her in lumpy sweater sets with pleated skirts and once, a clown suit. He knew she had a kind heart, but really, he never suspected that there was a hottie buried underneath all that polyester. For all Sheila’s trashy glitz and exposed skin, she had nothing on Treasure today.