Call and response
Your eyes scanned the crowd; they darted back and forth for longer than you would have liked to allow it, and the sea of faces seemed to turn to swirls of colors and shapes as the anxiety creped through your body. The sound of their muttering was like the crashing of water onto a shore, you began to feel light headed as the seasickness began to take over your mind. The words didn’t seem to come to you, but your thoughts kept racing. All you wanted to do was get this over with; have someone take over for you.
Without thinking, your eyes fell upon a particularly well dressed character within the crowd. A fellow taur, yet much smaller than yourself. The crimson fur of this young man glowed brightly beneath the beaming light, and it was as if his fiery fur was almost indicative of his attitude. Among the others, this person was exceptionally glamorous compared to the rest, yet the way he looked up at you stuttering at the podium seemed to give you more confidence. Something about his face was even a bit familiar to you.
“Do you see that man!” you pointed into the crowd at the stranger. The audience fell silent and their gaze shifted from you to him. “I’ve worked with him closely over the past few months to help us proceed with this research!” you beckoned him onto the stage. “This one shall continue the speech for you, letting you know everything we had rehearsed beforehand, far better than I could have ever done so.”
For a moment he didn’t seem to know what was going on, yet quickly, he leaped into character. With a sly smile, the other helped him onto the raised platform and he took his place right next to you as you continued to negate the attention. Your people began to cheer and applaud once again as he dusted his divine clothing and prepared himself to speak.
You shot him a quick glance as to communicate the farce to this mysterious person, and he winked back at you. The sign was quite clear; you can trust this one, but there was something about his crooked smile that didn’t sit well in your stomach as he took the podium.
“Ahem.” he cleared his throat and took a look at the confusing papers set on the lectern, he took a moment to comprehend them, and it was clear to you that he understood far better than you previously had.
“This is fine.” you thought to yourself as you stepped aside. “He’s had just as much preparation as I had, but only…” you took one final glance over the audience. “Something about him seems like more of a people person” you reassured yourself just as he started to speak.
“Thank you for allowing me to take part in this momentous occasion.” he began. His voice was deep and charismatic, and it seemed to captivate the audience with every well thought out word he uttered with confidence. Time seemed to move in slow motion, and from the side of the stage, you could see the confused faces of your peers. “I would like to thank the princess, her team, as well as all the other people who could make this possible.”
Suddenly, from behind you, your advisor caught your attention. The look on his face was of deep concern and confusion.
“Pardon me princess… What are you doing?!” his tone gave away that he was much more distraught than you anticipated.
“Um…” You thought for a moment. Still trying to hide your lack of preparation, you came up with yet another lie to cover your butt. “You may not have known this, but this person was a big help to our team! He jumped on board, and despite the customs not allowing him to work with us, the team benefited greatly from his contributions.
“I see… Well maybe it’s not the best idea to let him act as a figurehead for this project.. It was planned for that to be your job.” the words droning from his mouth seemed mundane and boring to you. You almost wanted to completely tune him out, yet a little voice in your head seemed as though his words had a deeper significance.
Written by Driftingdragon on 27 October 2020