The spotlight found her and then stayed still. Beneath it she trembled. Curled inwards. And then, becoming aware of her audience, the room of eyes watching her, she stretched out her arms, opened her mouth, and started to perform.
At first it was a slow dance, with the words of the song low and soft, gentle as a whisper. And then, as her confidence grew, as she started to enjoy it and believe in her ability, believe that these people actually wanted to watch and hear her, she started to speed up and the song became almost wild, a celebration of life.
Minutes later, because it was all over so fast, she stopped and stood still and, as the light snapped off leaving her in darkness, alone again, carefully observed the reaction of the audience. They looked content, impressed. Some looked like they might want to hear more. It was a good start. She might go far, as her grandmother believed. And yet, it was only the first day, the first audience, and it was just a cruise ship, so she might just as easily amount to nothing like her washed up soak of a father predicted each time he saw her and asked after her. Conflicting vie