“I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous… I’m so FREAKING nervous…”
“Shh!” We receive a couple of glares from the backstage staff, being such a large group breaking through somewhere we shouldn’t.
“Ezme, chill…” One of them says. A new year 11 walks past and gives us a more sympathetic look. We must be like a sad soppy group of tramps, begging for anything.
“Ez, I can tell the others you’re pulling out; there’s still time.”
“No!” Ezme turns quickly to her, and her voice is hard and determined. “I have to do this… For me.”
“Well okay, but if you change your mind…”
We look around the backstage area of the talent show stage. It’s dirty and cluttered with many props from various school productions, including last year’s Macbeth.
Crowns, sceptres, and other things of beauty rub shoulders with items of darkness or peasantry: boiling-pots, cloaks, even the occasional make-up tray for warts.
The guitar strums of the previous pupil’s act flutter down, like butterflies guided by the winds of time, softly, slowly and leading the audience ever on. Leading them to Ezme.
One of the outcasts breaks into the hazy picture.
“I heard Daniel sent you a ‘good luck’ text.”
Ezme stiffens, and her expression becomes focused.
“I’ll do it!”
And now the voice rings out over the loudspeakers: “Ezme.”
“FrankiE…” The girl snarls before storming onstage.
“Sing your heart out!” We grin and yell to her.