Challenge: Write about a loss in a three-part series.
The Volunteer-Part One
Her voice quivered unmistakably. The silence that hung in the dimly lit gymnasium amplified each tremor. The room built to seat hundreds accommodated twenty-eight people at most. Every empty space crept into the warm air and settled obstinately as a falter in the orator’s voice.
Shifting uncomfortably on the wooden bleachers, the audience kept their eyes fixed on the speaker. A screen on the large wall behind her projected images of a year’s worth of research. Numbers, maps, and percentages provided insight about the subject. Though her voice shook when she spoke, she was an expert.
After ten minutes, the presentation given in the inaugural summer heat was finished. No one from the audience raised a question or concern. Their eyes remained settled on the speaker as paper fans shuffled cautiously. She felt uneasy. Not knowing if the audience felt thoroughly educated, or if they were unabashedly disinterested, the stone-faced stares offered no response to the results of her labor.
Turning to retrieve her thumb-drive from the computer stand behind her, she breathed a sigh of completion. The project that was her focus for two years had ended. The final element was done, and she could walk home in the afternoon heat with a sense of humiliating accomplishment.
To be continued…