Let’s Dance!

It was late and the dance floor was sweaty; lithesome bodies competed for space. Two new arrivals gravitated through the dimmed light towards the bar, drawn by the sound of a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice and fine liqueurs. The man pulled out a wooden stool from the service counter and registered the attention of a member of the bar staff.
“Come on Danny,” said his female companion, pulling at his hand, “let’s dance, I just love this music!”
“But you’ve barely danced a step in your life Olivia, this is a quite ridiculous suggestion!” Danny’s body mass remained as motionless as a sunken ocean liner’s anchor, lost to the sea bed.
“Fuck-you Danny!” Olivia gripped both her hands around his wrist, managing to tilt the stool forward. “You taught me a few tango steps last year and I said we’d try them out at the next opportunity.” She tugged harder still, gritting her teeth in determination as accordion, violin and snare drum sounded, filling into all corners of the bar.
“I just came in here for a nightcap, we’ve not long eaten – you’ve already drank too much. This is a bad idea Olivia!” Sturdy heels put a brake on further progress.
“Come on Danny, less of the excuses, it’s Argentinian tango – my favourite!”
“Argentine.” He sighed. “Olivia! You will make fools out of both of us, the people here – they know well what they are doing.”
“So? So do you – for fuck’s sake. You taught a tango class for years!” The sight of an assertive young woman engaged in a fierce tug-of-war, caused a rippled of amusement amongst people within the immediate vicinity. “Take control – like how you’re good at, and guide me Danny. I’ll be your marionette for the rest of the evening.”
He relented, his eyes glancing heavenwards seeking divine intervention. “It really, truly doesn’t work like that, but, okay.” For a moment, he observed his partner, her serious expression melting into one declaring a satisfying victory. As her grip on his hand loosened, his fingers interlaced between her own and together they navigated between the busy tables, out toward a space onto the dance floor.

© Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (story inspired by a collage)

Not Any More

From a series of short form fictions taking inspiration from collage.

I’d once loved Alec, but not now, not anymore. After six months together, I realised I felt nothing for him, no affection, no real attraction. I didn’t actively dislike him, but a feeling of complete emptiness had taken over. The situation had become undeniable.

Over the last few weeks I’ve drifted away and become less available to him. Soon, I realised I had more fun doing things without him – things I knew he had no interest in. A weekly contemporary dance class I discovered, soon became one such activity. I loved the idea of dancing, but hadn’t attended formal lessons ever before. On impulse, I signed up.

I’m not exactly an outgoing type of person; I prefer the environment of a library as opposed to a nightclub. And yet, since going to the dance class, I’ve felt inhibitions to fall away. One had to let this happen naturally, the teacher had told me. I was not to try to force it or be anything I wasn’t. Over time, he said, I would locate an open door, give myself permission to walk through, and dance.

Class exercises were designed to facilitate bonding. I can still recall the sense of trepidation when I fell backwards for the first time – and with my eyes closed, into the arms of my partner Mira. We were instructed to repeat; the predictability of simply falling backwards eventually gave way to a random, physical collapse. Each time Mira would catch me and from there, a dance routine evolved, set to music played on piano by the choreographer. We swapped roles back and forth. Our improvisation received encouragement, gained complexity, while remaining effortless.

You see, I’m not sure if I’ve described this adequately – but placed altogether, it was an incredible experience. To put it this way… that’s when I fell in love with Mira.

Cindy Sage Went To The Dance

From a series of short form fictions taking inspiration from collage

“You’re not going to the forest dance party tonight Cindy, I forbid you!” Sean Murphy glowered at his young girlfriend, recently showered and now towel-wrapped stood in front of him. In the six months of seeing each other, these were the first crossed-words that had passed between them.

“I’m sorry Sean, sorry for you.” She turned away, proceeding to wipe condensation from the bathroom mirror. “You don’t have control over my decisions. I’ll go wherever I choose. I don’t require your permission or approval.”

Jealousy rose up inside him – a familiar sensation of coldness he wished would leave him forever. He watched as she leant forward slightly over the hand basin, massaging a light moisturiser in circles across her pinked cheeks.

“They’re all Hippies, there’ll be drugs and everyone will be getting drunk. You could get into all sorts of trouble, probably set-off a wildfire.”

Sean…” Applying eye-liner, Cindy examined her reflection closely. “You may have met some of them in passing, but you don’t actually know my friends from college. They don’t do anything more than smoke a little weed. And, it’s not true about everyone getting drunk – you can’t really enjoy a good night’s dancing if you’re completely off-your-face.”

He fell silent. He had no response. He knew he was being unreasonable and Cindy had intuitively sensed his conflicted internal struggle.

“Look,” she said, taking a pair of nail scissors from the cabinet and turning around, “why don’t you come along? It’s a beautiful evening for it – have you seen how wonderful-looking the sunset is? You can start to get to know my friends better. Mary, John and Peter will be there – I’m sure you’ve met those three before briefly, and Peter is a great talker. He’ll talk to anyone!” Cindy cocked her head to one side and beamed an affectionate smile to Sean.

“I don’t want to ‘come along’. I don’t want to ‘get to know’ your friends and Cindy, I don’t want you to go tonight.” These were Sean Murphy’s final words on the matter.