I Began to Talk

 “The panel will see you now.”

I rose slowly, my eyes following the menacing fella in front of me for a few steps. I swear, I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my life. I began after him, shoulders down, neck slumped, walking with my peculiar rolling stride.

When we came to the stage door, I stopped dead in my tracks, sighed, and ran my fingers through my disheveled red hair.

This was the panel that would decide if I could go back home or not. Pretty much, my life as I knew it depended on myself and my presentation.

I took a few deep breaths and walked into the blinding stage-lights.

I peered into the house.

A dozen or more stern-looking men were scattered throughout the seats, gazing expectantly at me.


They stared at me. And for a while, or what felt like a while, I stared back.

People back home used to tell me I was the master of the pause.

I prayed to God that they were right.

I stood there, transfixed on the darkness of the house, for a full minute.

And then I began to talk.

The End

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