Monday, August 26, 2013

Magazine Launch (short story) 7/7 by Leanne Dyck

In 2009, my husband and I left Mayne Island to attend a magazine launch in Victoria so that I, as one of the contributing authors, could read Because She Believed In Me

Installment 6

Magazine Launch

“And, now, I’m pleased to welcome to the stage, Leanne Dyck. Leanne will read from her creative non-fiction story Because She Believed In Me. Leanne Dyck.”
            Applause. Byron squeezed my hand. I pushed my way out of the audience and onto the stage. My face cracked into a nervous smile. There are too many people here—and I don’t know any one. But… I located Byron  in the audience. He looks so nervous. I can do this. I can do this. I fumbled with the zipper, opened my purse and withdrew my index cards. “To set the scene:  I am about seven years old and we are in my grade two classroom.
            “ ‘Leanne, read the next passage,’ the teacher says, throwing me to the jackals.
            “My hands begin to shake. My forehead tightens.
            “ ‘Oh, no, not her. We’ll be here all day,’ sneers a fellow student.
            “I peer at the page, attempting to find sense in the swirl of words that confront me. The letters leap, spin and twist—refusing to be captured. I focus all my effort on one word, the first word. I wrestle with it, attempting to contain it.
            “The first letter is an ‘s’, I tell myself. It makes the sound of a snake.
            “I smile contently. I have begun.
            “Next letter, I look at it.
            “That’s a ‘p’, I think.
            “I look again and in front of my eyes, the letter has undergone a magical transformation. It has become a ‘t’.
            “Panic grips me.
            “This is taking way too long.
            “I feel eyes drilling holes in my flesh. A clock ticks loudly. The sweet aroma of the teacher’s perfume engulfs my nostrils. Outside a bird calls. My senses are assaulted. I can’t shut anything out. I can’t focus.
            “I just want this to end. Please, please I don’t want to be here any more, I pray.’ I pause. “Flash forward…wow…a lot of years and I’ve grown from an elementary school student struggling with dyslexia to a mystery author gifted with dyslexia. What happened to cause this change? Would you like to solve that mystery? Well, what you do is this…get your hands on the Island Writer magazine…flip to my story Because She Believed In Me—all will be revealed. Thank you for listening. Happy Holidays.”
            Applause. Sweet applause. I left the stage and joined the audience. They showered me with praise. “You should be an actress,” they told me. “You did a very good job.”
            Two women approached me.
“I’m Samantha Robins,” one of the woman said. “And this is” I recognize the name. She’s…she’s…a prolific author. I resisted the impulse to hug her.
“I really enjoyed your story."
I blushed.
"In fact," she continued. "I’d like to encourage you to write more about your experiences as a dyslexic.” The Author told me.
Her words stayed with me.
            In the car, I told Byron, “I want to do more readings.”
            He kissed me. “You’re amazing,” he said.
            Know what? I think he’s right.