Standing at the curtain’s edge, he could already feel heat from the spotlights. Rubbing his palms on his pantlegs, he tried to ignore the beads of sweat popping up on his forehead. He was shaking and hadn’t even stepped on stage.

Taking a deep breath he released it twice as slow. He jumped upon hearing his name, then walked in front of five hundred people, knees knocking each step of the way.

The conference hall felt infinitely larger from a presenter’s perspective. The fifteen-minute practice session granted to him yesterday was nothing compared to standing in front of a live…

Russell Cordner

Writing crime, horror, & speculative fiction for adult and YA audiences. More at

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