There were hundreds of eyes watching her. It felt like thousands but the auditorium didn’t hold that many. They were like pinpricks of anxiety on her skin, little goosebumps of shivering fear. She hadn’t even made it to the podium in the middle of the stage and she was already shaking from the onslaught of watchful faces. She absolutely, one hundred percent, did not want to be there.
She placed her papers on the podium. They had nothing much useful on them but they gave her something to fiddle with so she didn’t have to think about her hands. She shuffled them and cleared her throat. She glanced up but the lights shining on the stage blinded her against the silent audience.
She coughed again and introduced herself. She was almost certain that she was speaking far too fast but her brain just wanted her to get this over with and would not let her mouth slow down. She babbled through her small speech about how she came to be there, messing up a couple of times trying to pronounce the name of the theatre.
The audience were respectfully quiet and had been for the four people who had gone before her. Struck petrified in the centre of their soundless gaze she felt more alone and more self-conscious than ever before. Her throat might close up at any second, her mouth was dry and her hands shaking visibly as she gripped the paper tightly.
She took a swig of the provided water.
She took a final deep breath and glanced at her very vague notes. She knew this. She had practiced and practiced and she knew this off by heart but in her brain, very briefly, everything went blank.
She opened her mouth and somehow, by some magic or miracle, the flow of her prepared speech fell out. She couldn’t relax but she could speak.
Tales written from a prompt in just 10 minutes.
Copyright © 2016 - 2017 10 Minute Tales