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Rated: 13+ · Prose · Contest Entry · #2158623
Writer's Cramp Prompt - write about a concert from a performers POV
It was Open Mic night. The night that I had been preparing for and now.... it was here. My friend Levi had showed up at my house and brought my guitar with him. I didn't need to hide it at his place anymore. Tonight was the night I was débuting my talent.... whether I fell flat or kicked ass.

Already my body was betraying me. Heart palpitations and cold sweets had me wanting to call the whole thing off, but Levi insisted. His encouragement was a balm to my fractured center. I had to do this.

We arrived at Sweet Beans and made our way over to the table our friends had nabbed early. I was not the only one of my group to try this, but I was the only one doing it for the first time in front of an audience. My friend Kyle and his girlfriend loved to perform and they had been giving me bits of advise over the past few weeks once I had mentioned that I was going to do this. I needed to do this because I had said I was going to. Fear or no fear. Tonight was the night.

I kept my back to the entrance not wanting to see who all showed up. My parents were due to come, but the thought of them being here, seeing me perform, sent more ripples of terror through me. It wasn't my Dad that worried me, it was my mother's reaction. I had no idea how she'd take it; if she would accept my performance or... something.

When my name was called I thought for sure Levi could hear my heart beating in my chest when he handed me my guitar and pointed me for the stage. His grin a mixture of pride and encouragement. I could not let him down.

“You are going to rock this,” he whispered for only me to hear. The rest of my friends hooted and called out encouraging things, but I could only nod as I moved away and stepped up onto the small stage they had in the corner of the room. I sat myself down on the single stool and adjusted the mic. Then I settled my guitar more comfortably around me. Without looking out into the crowd, a full house, I had heard someone say, I pulled in a calming breath and thought a prayer for my heart to steady, my fingers to play and my voice not to break. I also prayed I would not forget the words as my mind was empty with fright.

I heard Levi call out from the audience. His encouragement seemed to relax my fingers. I began to strum the guitar’s strings and finding the song’s rhythm I felt my body relax. I closed my eyes and pretended to be alone. The song found its way and my voice held strong and true. I forgot where I was, lost in the song and it was not until the final strum and the audience’s applause that I remembered where I was. I opened my eyes to see a sea of faces smiling and clapping. Levi’s cheers were joined with others. My heart swelled with pride. I had done it.

As I looked around the room I saw my Dad standing further back clapping and gesturing towards me. I was sure he was telling others that I was his daughter. Beside him, my mother stood clapping and smiling. It was not one of her standard smiles, but one of her genuine ones. The one that had her eyes smiling and I did not doubt there were tears in those eyes as well.

I found my voice and said thank you before shifting to get up.

“One more.” I heard someone call out and I stopped and looked over to Levi. He smiled back and nodded. After a moment’s hesitation I shifted back onto the stool and settled back into the next song. It was easier this time, but I still closed my eyes, letting myself get lost in the melody. This song was powerful, a tribute to my brother who had died more than a decade before. It brought tears to my eyes, but I was grateful that my voice held strong and did not tremble over the words.

When the song ended the audience's applause engulfed me. I felt buoyed up. Lighter. With a smile on my lips I thanked them, then moved off the stage for the next person. I was immediately enveloped into Levi’s embrace. “You did it! I knew you would slay them.” His excitement was contagious and I could not wipe the grin off my face.

My parents were there as well. Dad wrapped his arms around me and gave me a great big hug. “I’m so proud of you.” He told me.

When he set me back I looked over at my Mother. She was standing there looking all put together, so prim and proper, but when I looked into her eyes I saw them glittering with unshed tears. “That was... wonderful,” she told me her voice just loud enough for me to hear. “I never imagined....”

I could feel the swirl of emotion and I smiled over at her, my own eyes shimmering with moisture. She pulled me into a hug, not worrying that I would smudge her outfit. “I’m so proud,” she managed around a thick throat. I could not help feeling like a victory had been achieved in more ways than one.

Words = 921.


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