Boards creak as she steps up on the stage. There is a carpet in the center, a cheap mimic of a Persian rug, worn in spots and coated with a layer of beige grime. A dented microphone stand waits just at the edge.
The spotlight--pale as the moon, blinding as the sun--reduces all that she faces to an indefinite void. The seats are shadows--full or empty, she cannot tell.
An electric fence tingle dances across her lips as they brush the wire mesh of the microphone. “I’m sorry,” she says, “I can’t think of anything to say.”