The lights are bright and hot, as they always are. Hideko feels distant and cold, as she always does.
She turns the page and smiles serenely out at her audience. The men in the wooden stands across from her bask in relative darkness, but they seem to be handling the temperature less well than she; several of them are fanning theirselves. She makes deliberate eye contact with each of them before opening her mouth to continue.
The lights start to flicker, as they often do. She keeps reading; she knows the words well enough. She's been practicing from this manuscript for over a week.
The room goes dark, and Hideko breathes in, and then -- the lights buzz and sputter back on and reveal a complete stranger standing inexplicably in the middle of the room.