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Speechcraft [Inspiration Monday]

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So, this is really old. But, you might have gathered I’ve been suffering a little writer’s block/procrastination lately. Anyhow, here it is. Let me know what you think in the comments:

Microphone head

Microphone head (Photo credit: sparetomato)

You’ve heard of witchcraft right? That weird thing people do with the spirits that can make people do strange things? Yeah, that thing. I think I’ve discovered another form of it: it’s called ‘speechcraft’. Stop laughing, I’m not being ridiculous. If you saw that woman you would think she was getting a little extra help too. I have never seen another person who can talk like her. She can make everyone like her, dash her opponents to the ground leaving no hard feelings and reprimand her followers to yield great results. What kind of person can do all that? It’s magic I tell you! 

Here she comes now: high heels, pin-straight hair, glowing smile. I can feel the spectators around me straighten up a little in their chairs. Is this what they have been waiting for? As soon as her name is announced a deafening roar of applause surrounds me. I join in, a little jealously, before she walks up to the front of the stage, her microphone clipped to her shirt. 

“Hello, how are you all today?”
A roar. I wince a bit, not expecting that.
She pauses, then smiles, “Me too.”
Against my will, the corner of my mouth lifts upwards.

I don’t know if it’s her glowing smile, or her graceful gestures or maybe even the earnest look in her eyes magnified on the big screen. But there’s some magic when she speaks. The very fact that she could engage a crowd, make them listen and absorb even a little bit of what she was talking about was amazing. Humans have short attention spans. Well, that is except for mindless entertainment; although, again you’re not really paying attention then either. So how in JKR’s hidden notebooks can she make something as mundane as environmental issues engaging and interesting? 

As she closed off her speech, I was compelled to clap, as I always was. My mind wandered a little now: thinking back to the speeches I made as a student and then as a professional. Those speeches were horrible in comparison. I stated facts with no interest and carried them with no humor. I did everything wrong. I was a bad speaker. Not so bad in person-in conversation at the bus stop-but during a presentation mind-numbing. I got up grudgingly and walked up to her.
“Great job. Everyone loved it. We should get going to the next place now.”
I gestured for her to go ahead and wrapped up with the event organizer. It’s bad business practice to show envy for your client.



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He stood in the cold of the back alley where he spent the last six years of his life. Clutching a battered guitar case and a backpack housing his life, he left. It was a long time coming. Did they think that they could treat him however they wanted just because they were his blood? Parents- what does that even mean anyway? Anyone could become a parent. He could right now if he wanted to.

He couldn’t feel his nose. This year’s winter has been cold. His life has been cold. His world has been dark. Except for one thing. Just like half the boy’s his age: that one thing is her. The one that makes him feel like this life is worth living. She makes him feel like he deserves better family than he has.

So, he left. He wants to go to her, but he can’t. He has to find somewhere to sleep. Somewhere warm. The tunnels? No. There’s one other place nearby. He’ll need a bus fare tho. He looks in his pockets; by some miracle he has just enough spare change to get to his safe house. The gods must be with him.

He hands the indifferent bus driver his fare and finds the only empty seat at the back of the bus. He looks down so no one will notice how young he is. No high school kid should be travelling around alone at this time of the night. He looks out the window and wonders if he can really do it. Still clutched in his right hand is the precious guitar that he saved up money working at the video store and restaurant for.

Money. He would need that too. But now he’s run away, he can’t go back to those jobs. He had quit that very morning. Well, he had made sure to get fired anyway. He wasn’t stupid. They would know something’s up if he just quit out of nowhere.


With nothing more than the bagel and cup of coffee he had devoured that morning, he was getting desperate. He had to find some way to make money – just some way. A gush of steam from a vent he was passing startled him. He was in the main square. Today it was quiet. Usually there would be someone playing here. He used to come to watch every somebody play their songs, other people’s songs, everything. Now, the square is empty.


‘Hey! Are you the performer?’

‘What?’ He realizes he still has his guitar with him.

‘Well, come on! We’ve been waiting already!’

He begins to protest, but realizes that this is his chance to be that somebody. Prove the world wrong. Prove his parents wrong. Make her proud. Although he hadn’t heard from her in days. Couldn’t be helped, he had to get rid of his phone. He nods at the middle-aged man.

A deep breath and he sings. He sings about her. How he feels about her. How she is with him. How he wishes she would be with him. He sings about his parents. His birth. His life. What his life would be. He sings it all, and he pours his heart out into the audience. In their eyes, his heart is pure. In his own, it is faulty.




Live, Nerd, Repeat

Making life better through the perfect application of humor and nerdery

Kurayami Monogatari

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