Silence. You can hear a pin drop throughout the dead air of the auditorium. The switch flicks, now everyone hears the tiny screeching sound coming through the stereo like the distant sound of seagulls at a crowded beach. For the first time, I speak softly into the microphone choking on my words. Testing, testing. Clear my throat. Testing. Although the voice isn’t heard by others, it is heard by me. Keep, keep. Keep speaking you are not heard. Speak louder, gain confidence. The microphone guides me. I, who am too shy and timid to answer questions in class even when I have the answer, am standing in front of a crowd. With a microphone. The microphone and I, two opposites combined to make one diverse idea. The tiny, smooth black object has so much power, which I have none of. No power to share, not that I care, though. I’ve always been the same. So much to say, but no way to say it. The microphone has given me this opportunity, so I slowly begin singing. As I sing, it teaches me. It teaches me how to release the energy that shines within the part of my soul I usually compress. Suddenly I’m a different person. I am a puppet, with my strings being controlled by the microphone. Ignorant to the sound I’m making, all I hear is what the microphone tells me. I know this, yet I am not upset by it. I am thankful. I love hearing a voice similar to mine but changed and perfected by the device I sing into. Really, it’s the voice of the microphone I hear because deep down I know I’m too scared to sing in front of a crowd. My last note is held, and then I finish. The once dry, cone shaped object is now sweaty and clammy from the sweat of my hands. I untangle myself from the wire wrapping around my ankle and from the illusion that the microphone sang for me. Greed overcomes me and I claim the applause for my own. Like a thief, I steal the credit for my voice. The microphone goes back to its place on the stand as I walk off of the stage. No one but me hears it cry as I switch it off, moaning about the trick I have pulled. I know it’s wrong to treat my teacher in this way, but at the moment I’m busy getting compliments for my plagiarism. I shake hands with some of my audience members and wonder if they too now feel the magic left on my hands. The magic that rubbed off of the microphone and onto my clammy hands. The magic that smells like metal and rust but feels like gold. I have touched the gold. Thank you, microphone. Thank you for your magic.