dance

A Little Dance

The following submission is by Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer for the prompt Show Relationship.

While he collected the spices, she got out the meat. He reached for the chopping board and knife as she pulled vegetables from the refrigerator. “Do you want red and green peppers?” she asked.

”Let’s do both,” he answered.

She started heating the skillet and slipped behind him to reach for the plates. He ducked under her arm to pick up the celery, rinsed and draining by the sink. Planting a brief kiss on his neck as she passed, she stirred the meat sizzling in the pan. He reached over her to add the chopped vegetables. Arms around her waist he nuzzled her ear until she squealed. Giggling, she turned to face him. After a lengthy kiss she said, “Time for the wine. I’ll get the glasses.”

It was their regular Saturday night dinner dance.

Gotta Dance

The following is by Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer, inspired from Prompt-a-Month: Dance.

“You there, Kevin! Stop adding those curlicues and follow the plan!”

Kevin, embarrassed, quickly found his place in the formation and continued practicing with the other dancers. He stumbled a few times, which added to his embarrassment, but gamely continued with practice until the choreographer called a break. Shoulders slumped on his lanky frame, Kevin ambled to the corner where he had stashed his pack with his water bottle.

“Don’t be discouraged,” Angie, an older, more experienced dancer, said to him, handing him a towel. “Barrett is hard on everyone. He gets great results, but we all work like the devil getting there.” She looked Kevin over. ‘You have good moves and a classic dancer’s body. You’ll do all right.”

Kevin smiled his thanks for the encouragement, pushing a lock of his dark hair off his forehead. “It just seems to me that the moves are too simple. Any second year student could do them. I wanted to add some pizzazz.”

“If you want to stay in this game, remember rule number one: always do what the choreographer says. He sees the routine from a different perspective, from the audience’s view. HE’s the artist; you are just his tool.”

“Thanks. Say, do you want to get something to eat?”

“Sorry,” Angie held up her own lunch. “I really have to be careful with food. I’m not as lucky as you youngsters. Ask Lindsay there”. She nodded towards a petite blonde.

Kevin moved towards the younger girl. “Hi, I’m Kevin the bumble-footed. Would you like to get some lunch? I hear there is a deli around the corner with great salads.”

Laughing the girl replied, “I’m Lindsay the famished. I’d love to have yet another salad. Maybe there is something there without lettuce.”

After covering the requisite information about backgrounds, the two young people continued their conversation with dance topics. “I love ball room dancing,” Lindsay said. “I was on a ball room dance team in college. We won some competitions. It was a lot of fun.”

“Congratulations. That must look great on your resume. I prefer jazz dancing, and physical, creative tap.” (more…)

The Dancer Still

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, and is based upon the Prompt-a-Month: Dance.

Texturized art effect of ballet dancer on pointe in arabesque.Toe pointed. Leg elongated. Feel the burn through the calf muscles as they push the reach even further. Thigh muscles combine to lift and stretch the leg beyond the normal range, a straight arrow pointed toward the floor away from the body, toe not touching, every line straight and arched in all the right places as if coaxing the toe longer a little more. Just a little more. Reach, strain, stretch, push, tighten, balance, yet relax. Don’t let them see the pain. Head tilted down at an angle, shoulders pulled back, arms thrust forward reaching but hesitating, palms up, thumbs wide, fingers closed, curled, begging. The other leg bent, knee aligned in the direction of the other, heel down, glued to the floor, a stable foundation. An illusion of stability. A brush of wind would knock her over. A forward step paused in mid motion. Make it look effortless. Make it look like it is a gentle yearning, a pleading with the body to take just one tiny step in that direction, ahead but holding back, cautious. It is a dangerous step. One that leads to another, and another, and another step forward into the unknown.

Elaina kept this position for as long as she could, keeping the tension in her body in a tug of war between relaxed and tight, straining with the effort. She didn’t hear the clock ticking in the hall, the purring of the cat wandering nearby, nor the roar of cars outside the door on the street. She heard pain, a sweet familiar pain, ringing through her body, buzzing in her ears, knocking against her heart begging her for release. She felt the warmth of a spotlight against her closed eyes, the moment frozen, ready to burst out onto the stage with the unheard embrace of the music’s thrust.

She ignored the fact that it was only the morning sun through the front window peaking through the pale blue curtains. Through the rushing noise of the passing cars, she heard the gasp of an audience at her entrance, one step, then frozen in this pose, waiting for the music to queue that next step, but held, anticipating the moment she would take that next move, ablaze in feathers, sequins, and chiffon, disguised as a worn-out house dress.

When her body could no longer hold the moment, the audience straining with her now, feeling the tension, breathing with her, on the edge of their seats, she took that step forward, placing her right foot on the carpeted floor, pushing herself forward over the toe, leaning down and up into the move, her body straightened, head up, arms lifted higher, her other leg straight out behind her at a point. She held this for thirty seconds, allowing the clanging to quiet in her head, the body now in a more stable, relaxed state.

Her cat wandered by and wound around her standing ankle. Elaina opened her eyes and looked down into those wide golden eyes framed with soft gray hair. The cat meowed, the open mouth turning into a yawn with a whining sound as she completed another rotation then headed off toward the kitchen where she knew food would soon appear. (more…)

Round Robin: The Smell was Familiar III

The following is one of the prompts created by members of Writers in the Grove in response to Prompt: Round-Robin Writing in a Group. Please note that there was an overall time limit for the writing and not all stories completed well.

Susan: The smell was familiar and touched a deep place in my heart. It took a moment to register but it was an Avon scent. Roses, Roses. I remember the bottle clearly as it sat on the mahogany vanity. It was made of a silky looking, almost clear glass in the shape of a flower. The center of the flower had a small plastic cup that turned, and when opened, delivered a heavenly fragrance. It was a very special bottle and was only used on rare occasions. The last time the bottle was opened as when Dotty went to the dance at the old grange hall.

Margaret: When I got there I was taken aback by the big crowd. There were a lot of young men there. I thought I should be able to take my pick, but every time I looked again, he had disappeared. What should I do now, she wondered. There was nobody there I knew. Maybe I should just leave.

DK: As I turned to go, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and a soft voice asked, “May I have this dance?”

I looked up into the face of the most handsome young man I had ever seen. My words fled from my brain and my mouth, and I was barely able to say “yes.”

He put his arms around me. The music was slow. “My name is Brad,” he whispered. What’s yours?”

“Monica,” I replied.

“What’s that perfume you are wearing? It smells wonderful.”

Lorelle: I blushed and dropped my head to his shoulder. I could hear the beat of his heart echoing through my body, and felt my heart slowly match his rhythm as our feet moved across the floor of their own volition. As I seeped into him, pressing closer, his breath warm through my hair, tickling my ear, I knew I’d found home.

The scream of anguish cut through my peaceful senses. Brad and I whirled toward the noise as everyone came to a halt on the dance floor. The musicians instruments made awkward screeching sounds as they trailed off to quiet.

Dotty stood at the edge of the dance floor, tears pouring down her face. Her dress was dirty and torn, bits of dark flesh peaking through. She put her hands up to her face and screamed again, then pointed at me.

Cheri: Dotty and I had a history, and much of of Dotty’s history was wrapped up in histrionics. She was drama, and when you couple that with her desire to receive the most attention, her fit made sense. Was this another attempt to get attention? I wouldn’t hold it past her. Last year at the church picnic, she almost “drowned,” men flocking to her side to “save” her. It was always something. But the real injuries on her body seemed like something more, something real – after all, how do you fake real injury and why would you want to? But the real question was, “What does this have to do with me?” In a million years I wouldn’t hurt a soul. Does this have something to do with this amazing man I just met? Suddenly it all made sense. Dotty was…

Susan: …willing to die to get all the attention. Everyone here knew her and her games. It appeared as someone was tired of them and had shot Dotty. Dotty was dramatic but harmless, so why would someone shot her? Someone had obviously called 911 and the paramedics were arriving. I was pushed closer into Brad as they passed by. Brad’s arms held me closer with a firm loving grip. It was as if we had know each other all our lives.

Bev: But why had she pointed at me before she collapsed? Or had she? In the crowded room I could have mistaken her pointing at us. Maybe she was reaching out for help? I pushed through the crowd and rushed to her.

“Dotty, what is it?”

“Monica, I’m, sorry,” she whispered.