Her palms prickled and a hollow dread feeling swept from her belly up to her chest. Tamza stood to the side of the stage in the great marketplace, staring at the wooden planks, forcing herself to notice every flaw, raised nail, splinter. To not think about what was coming.
She had positioned herself behind a group of loitering fire eaters, to keep as much distance between her and the audience. Most performers had been on already, to cheers or boos, depending on the fickle mood of the onlookers. Some, like her, were still waiting their turn. But Tamza’s act was the headline of the Festival of Many Gods, and tonight, for the first time, she’d be performing without her father.
She’d be the one speaking… from that stage… to the entire town gathered in the square.
Tamza gulped down the ticklish nerves that crawled up her throat. It was almost time.
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