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hs85150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 85

Rebecca was shaking. Eleven singers sang eleven songs and they were all good – each one could carry a tune. The performers represented banks and schools, gift shops and hotels. Some were professionals who had released CDs and played at music festivals and toured the country. Her breath was shallow. She thought she’d hyperventilate.

She was the twelfth and final performer of the night. She froze when a local stand-up comedian — who also doubled as the event’s emcee — called her name. Her legs wouldn’t move. Devin nudged her. “Go,” he said.
Rebecca stumbled onto the stage. The audience applauded wildly. A chant rose up. “Half-squatch! Half-squatch! Half-squatch!”

Rebecca released the microphone from its stand. She nodded to the emcee to cue the music. By the time she reached the chorus, the crowd was screaming, cheering her on.

Half-breed, that's all I ever heard
Half-breed, how I learned to hate the word
Half-breed, she's no good they warned

Rebecca belted it out. That her voice was shrill and off-key was no matter. She tossed her head to the side and held the microphone above her face the way she imagined Cher herself might do. Rebecca’s fear dissolved. She was out of herself, caught in the rush. She didn’t want the song to end.

We weren't accepted and I felt ashamed
Nineteen I left them, tell me who's to blame
My life since then has been from man to man
But I can't run away from what I am

“Half-squatch! Half-squatch! Half-squatch!” The chant erupted again. Rebecca took a bow. Then she curtsied and thrust the mic into the air before running off the stage.

Backstage, she flew into Devin, her arms outstretched, almost toppling him to the ground. She was covered in sweat. Devin pushed her back gently. “Hey there, take it easy.”

Paula looked on, amused and smug.

“I’ve been talking with Paula here and we think it might not be a bad idea for you to have that little chat with her for the Reporter,” Devin said.

“Now?”

“It doesn’t have to this second,” Paula said.

“Can we do it tomorrow?” Rebecca jumped up and down beside Devin. “Please?”

“That’s not a problem for me,” Paula said.

“Alright then. Tomorrow it is,” Devin said.

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke