Prompt for July 6, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

He wiped his hands on his pants leaving damp spots that were easily hidden by the black material, but his hands were still clammy. Sebastian Sarendon hated public speaking. Perhaps “hate” was too mild a word for what he felt and experienced. From an early age when his parents forced him to stand up and recite poems and sing songs for friends and family to signing him up for drama and debate club, he had always been “out there”.

He hated being social. He preferred to stay at home, reading a good book, or bad book, hell, any book, rather than being the centre of attention. Of anyone’s attention. But, at some point, he had to get over this trepidation he felt whenever he needed to speak to more than one person at a time. His agent forced him to go on a publicity tour for his novel. Forty cities in fifty days. In each city two, three or even four stops to make and at every stop – people.

He pulled out his handkerchief, mopped his brow and put the now sodden square of fabric back in his jacket pocket. He wiped his hands once again on his pants and started hopping back and forth on his feet waiting for the introduction so that he could step out on the stage.

“Nervous?” said a voice from behind him. He spun quickly and lost his balance. A hand reached out and grabbed him, stopping him from crashing into the wall. As he recovered he looked up into the most beautiful green eyes he had ever seen. He stopped sweating. He stopped hopping. He just stood and stared.

“Well, that’s a change,” said the voice coming a few inches below those remarkable eyes, “most guys seem to look a little bit lower.” The voice was filled with liquid humour and he blinked for probably the first time since he saw those eyes. He pulled back and tried to look at the rest of the person, but after barely registering the fact that it was a striking looking woman a few inches taller than his own five-foot ten frame, she turned him around and propelled him towards the stage.

“And now,” said the disembodied voice, “introducing the author of Never in Love – How to Live Alone in the Digital Age, Sebastian Sarendon.” He turned to say thank you to the woman but she had disappeared, taking a bit of his soul with her.

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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