Empty Theater

This little scene was inspired both by a photo prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth and my own experience in watching how “interviews” are conducted where I work.  One of the things the interview committee always asks of the candidates is that they give a presentation that is open to all the employees.

**

36-6c76b3dbe1Jakob stood at the back of the theater and looked down at the rows of empty seats.  He bit his lip as he struggled to get control of his breathing and calm his racing heart.

In just a few hours, he’d have to give his presentation to the staff of the National Museum and Archives.  The members of the interview committee would be there.  That much was a given.  However, he was well aware that the invitation was an open one.  How many other people would attend?  Would the room be filled to brimming or would it just be a small handful of people?  Either way, the idea terrified him.

A light touch on the small of his back set his heart racing once again.  He glanced over his shoulder to see Stephen there and grimaced.  “I’m nervous,” he admitted, his voice faint.

“You know your stuff,” Stephen said, his voice soft.  “You’ll do just fine with the presentation and then… it’s out of your hands.  They’ve got four other candidates for the position, besides you.”

Jakob nodded slowly.  Stephen was right.  He was well prepared and he just had to give his presentation.  Even if the only people that came were the members of the interview committee, it wouldn’t matter.  Even if every seat was filled, it would be the same.  Either way, he’d pretend the room was just as it was now: empty, except for him and Stephen.  “Thank you,” he murmured.

“Anytime,” Stephen said, his voice soft.

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