The Performance


The Performance

The hardwood floor was cool to touch, urging a hasty ascent to avoid touching it for too long. Her shin leaning onto the floorboards and hand pressing down, she hoisted herself onto the stage. With her back to the room she felt like everyone was staring at her, despite only a few early-birds scattered throughout the concert hall.

Glancing left and right from one friend to the other, she hesitantly smiled and shuffled towards the equipment. Smoothing the wrinkles in her skirt with one hand, and adjusting her shoulder strap with the other, she searched for her cable. Eyes following the tangled mess and coils, it wasn't long before she found the golden metal end and plugged one end into her guitar, then moved back towards her amp.

It's black velveted front, light metal grid, and silver knobs was electric to her touch. Hand dusting the top of it and fingering the front panel for the input channel's hole, she smiled. The low hum caused by the cable end against the input greeted her curious probing. With a clatter and sharp snapping buzz she joined her instrument to its speaker. The feedback, quick squeal, and thud of the two electronics echoed across the room, signaling her arrival.

Embarrassed by the heads turned towards her, she quickly twisted the volume control low and shrunk down towards the floor. Peeking from over her hunched shoulders, she grinned at her friends and scratched her head. The two laughed and continued tuning their instruments. One's drum set lightly being tapped, the other's bass rumbling and vibrating the floor. She quickly set herself to work tuning her guitar.

With the band on stage, all that was left were the mic checks. Thuds and echoing bumps rebounded around the room; followed by a cough and the clearing of a throat. The girl, nervously smoothing her skirt again before taking the mic in hand, started quietly talking. Moving her gaze from the ceiling to the stage manager in front of her, she gasped and fumbled the mic. The exasperated sigh of the manager as they waved to indicate speaking louder heard only by the lighting engineer nearby.

After fixing the mic stand and nodding to her band mates, she looked towards the manager again. Then to the bassist. Then to the drummer. Grinning from ear to ear, the drummer clicked his sticks and counted off a 4/4 beat. Hurriedly, the girl flicked the volume knob and fingered the first chord. As the music flowed around her, she relaxed, easing into her stance and became unaware of the crowd gathering. Her voice, clear and strong, rang out over them.

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