Source: faveprettythings.blogspot.com via Anna on Pinterest
Anna Meade from Yearning for Wonderland is at it again with yet another flash fiction contest. This one is called "Behind the Curtain" and has a Behind the Curtain Pinterest board for inspiration. The catch is that the entry deadline for the story is TONIGHT! And I only just heard about the story. The story can have as many as 400 words. Our stories were meant to have a darker edge to them this time around, but I have never been very good at writing dark stories. Here is my entry:
She appeared again. Every time I glimpsed her, she was dancing. She only danced in the snow. It was as if the sparkling, crystalline snowflakes drew her out into the cold, crisp air, beckoning her to move within it. And each time I caught a glimpse of her through my window, the dance’s magnetism grabbed me and pulled me nearer. My breath frosted the window as I watched her, but I couldn’t look away. I’d even tuck my long hair behind my ears, so that it wouldn’t get in the way of watching her.
I don’t know what it was about her dancing that called to me. Maybe it was her freedom. She twirled and leapt with elegance and energy, but she also moved with abandon, as if she didn’t care who watched; she danced for herself, for the sheer joy of dancing. I longed to feel that sense of freedom, of abandon.
Every time I watched her, it was the same; I’d feel a gentle burn inside, a sudden need to go out there and dance too. What magic was this? What spell tugged at my soul so strongly every time I witnessed the dancing?
I was not brave enough to go out there and pirouette through the snowflakes with her. I worried about who would see me. I worried that I would not be graceful or elegant, that I wouldn’t have her grace or her beauty. It would be better for me if I could stop watching her, just ignore the call of her dance.
Yet I watched. Every time she appeared, I gazed out that window and felt the pull, the need to ignore my fears and just dance.
I had never glimpsed her face, as her movements were so that her copper-colored hair that was so like mine always shielded her face. Today was different. She started dancing just before the sky began darkening in that in-between time of twilight and continued her graceful movements as daylight faded. And as the moonlight filled the night sky, its light making the snow glisten as if it held a thousand stars, she stopped to face me and smiled, joy lighting her face.
And just before she faded out of sight in a swirl of the magic I had never allowed myself to believe in, I saw my own face out there, looking back at me.
This is quite wonderful. I sussed the ending, but not too soon.
Through a glass, brightly.
We have several dancing granddaughters. The oldest was the Snow Queen in a local production of the Nutcracker last year, so this hit home with me.
This year, she is the Sugar Plum Fairy and youngest granddaughter is a mouse and a GingerSnap.
I'm really glad you chose this picture, it was one that crossed my mind too! Your story brought out all those insecurities we have...we just need that extra little bit of courage to get up there, or out there, and dance! Beautiful writing!
A beautiful use of the prompt - and I didn't guess the ending, but I loved it. Magical!
Brilliantly done - the juxtaposition of the dancer's abandon and the watcher's insecurity which resolves in the end ... would that life were like that!
Well I didn't see the end coming but I could really associate with the inhibitions of the watcher. Perhaps in time we will all get out there and dance. Lovely piece.
I guessed the ending but I loved watching the watcher as she slowly realised she could dance that way too. So glad you made the deadline and entered, I really enjoyed your tale.
Unlike the others, I didn't guess the ending. I was mostly sad that she'd never get to know who the dancer was...
Gorgeous image and even more gorgeous writing! So glad you entered this in the nick of time--simply beautiful : )
Diane beat me to it. Simply beautiful. :-)
Lovely, Rebecca, with a touch of magical realism. So glad you made the deadline - thanks for entering!
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What a nice twist at the end!
Glad I finally got a chance to read this! You chose a beautiful picture and paired it with beautiful language. The end was lovely and I didn't expect it. It makes you reflect on yourself.
Glad I finally got a chance to read this. You chose a beautiful image and paired it such ethereal language, crisp details and a surprise ending that makes you think much more than you expected to. Brava.
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