You froze in place. The pupils of your eyes quivered as you looked into the vast audience. The tongue in your mouth seemed to recede all the way down your throat as the lump forming deep within seemed to catch your woods like a sharpened fish hook. The crowd seemed vast, like an army of shadows with their attention all on you, and your eyes scanned across the sea of dark faces as your mind began to wander.
It was silent for a moment, and in the seconds you took to prepare yourself, it felt as if a year's worth of time passed you by as you stood there, silently panicking to yourself. Despite this, you quickly caught yourself and began to force the words out of you like an empty tube of toothpaste.
“Uhhh. I’m glad to have.” you looked down at the notes sprawled across the podium. “Wait I already said that.” using this moment to distract- buying you more time to fumble like a dingus for your entire kingdom. Even more distractions filled your head as you focused on the confused looks of the front row participants. “Haha I’m kind of new to this.” you blushed hard, awkwardly pandering.
A quick cough into your fist, the loosening of the tight neck seam of your dress, and a quick swipe of the sweat pooling in the coarse dark fur lining your forehead.
“I think this product is grand!” Your voice squeaked with an apparent lack of confidence. “We think you should buy it because it’s ready to change the worlds.” You thought to yourself for a moment. “Did I just say change the worlds?” the words were lost to your own mind. “Uhh I mean a world- the kingdoms!” You sighed, looking down, and noticing the tremors rolling through your hands like a powerful wave. A force seemed to build in your stomach the more you struggled on stage.
To the side of you, your advisor glared hard in an attempt to catch your attention. With a quick wave he got you to turn your head fully. Watching his gestures and mouth movements, you stalled on stage, with a confused look- you were only embarrassing yourself even more as the clock ticked on.
“Explain the features!” He mouthed as he pointed to his writing tablet. You looked down at the papers, and your mind was boggled by the random scramble of words, shapes, and graphs, further jumbling your mind. You flipped through them rapidly, keeping your eyes turned down, and away from the audience.
“Uhhh.” The tension was thick enough to cut with a knife as their eyes remained set on you. Their gaze pierced through your thick fur like a blade as your mind raced and you struggled to find some words. “So uhh. You see here” You held up a model, too small for the crowd to see. “It’s a motion machine we call the ‘care’”
“We already know!” a random male voice called from the crowd. It jarred you to the point of stuttering.
“We can’t see that?!” A second enraged voice rang from the crowd as it started growing more rowdy. You closed your eyes and took a moment to calm your mind, and when you opened them again, you saw distant stragglers approaching- climbing onto the flattened surface of the stage, and making their way angrily towards you.
Your quivering pupils took in the terrifying sight as your guards began a feeble attempt to push back the crowd. You were completely frozen, unable to move, and jarred as it became easier and easier for you to see the furrowed brows of your kingdom.
“Hey. wait!” you said, but by this time, even more folks were swarming around you, pushing, pulling, grabbing, and shooting tough questions at you. With a rip, you felt your dress tear, then a firm push to your shoulder. You stumbled backwards slightly, yet caught yourself, and yet the adrenaline quickly began taking over your actions.
Written by Driftingdragon on 29 September 2020