Furious Fiction – March 2018

The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—March 2018 short story competition was as follows:

  • The first word had to be MUSIC.
  • The story had to feature singing at some point.
  • The story had to include an invitation in some way.


Stage Fright

Music was, sorry is my life.

My friend, Valerie, from college finally opened her cabaret bar and formally invited me to sing on opening night. She knew it had been a while and she knew why.

I made sure I was immaculately dressed, that the mic had been tested, and that I’d done all my vocal exercises to prepare. I knew when I felt short of breath to count to ten and breathe slowly.

I took my glasses off before going on stage—another coping strategy. I didn’t need them to see entirely, but taking them off takes away the worry of the audience’s reaction to me.

I went up to the mic in my perfect red dress, curled hair, and took a deep breath before the magic happened. I started to sing again for the first time in five years, it didn’t sound terrible and everyone seemed to like me. I felt like my old self again.

After five years of struggle, therapy, tears, doubt, and hard work, I had conquered my anxiety.


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