The crowd's happy screams drown out the pounding of my heart as I ascend the stairs to the podium. I can’t believe I’m doing this, I think to myself. My knees shake and my palms sweat and although I clear my throat countless times during the seemingly eternal walk to the podium, my voice still cracks and wobbles like a turkey’s gizzard. I don’t want this. I never wanted this.
I look to the crowd and see three men in dark sunglasses and matching black suits watching me with frozen expressions, they looked like wax figures from here, but I knew better. I turn away, not wanting to draw attention to the three obviously indiscrete men. I’m on a mission. I can’t mess this up.
I step to the podium and tap the mic a few times before clearing my throat again. I adjust the mini speaker hidden in my ear, flick a little switch on the device, and suppress the cringe I make when a shrill shriek fills my eardrums.
“Sorry,” mumbles a voice in the speaker. I roll my eyes at the three figures in the crowd.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of Maple City,” the voice speaks again, but this time I repeat its words into the microphone on the podium.
“I thank you for your endless support and I am eternally grateful that you have selected me to be the mayor of your city.” Again, I repeat the words into the mic.
As I speak, I hear a gunshot and a ZING! as a bullet whizzes past my head. I immediately duck behind the podium and again I can hear the screams of the crowd, only this time they’re in fear. I pull the brown wig off my head and pull out my gun, pointing it at the culprit--a woman in her mid-thirties. Her red hair is unkempt and her clothes are wrinkled and disheveled. She looked like she was in between crying and screaming in anger.
“You’re under arrest for attempted murder!” I shout as I jump down from the stage and cuff her arms behind her back. The three suited figures approach and lift her into a police cruiser, and soon she is zinged off to the police station where she’ll await trial. I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn around. It’s the real mayor.
“I wanted to thank you personally for this service. When I got that threat I just knew it was real. You saved my life.”
I smile. “I’m just doing my job, ma’am,” I say and shake her hand.