Tag Archives: dance

Flower Names for Girls (2nd Revision)

Daisy, Violet, and Rose. The young girls displayed out in the window, stretching leg muscles in the last rays of a cherry-colored sun, backs to fluorescent lights. Legs placed high on the poplar bar, swaying back and forth. Daisy’s leg quivers. Violet slumps more than stretches; her instructor straightens her out. Rose has been growing so much, the shirt she’s always worn now raises to show her strained belly button, pulling against itself. There were others, but these were his flowers. He came here one day, in the fog of one winter evening and glanced upon the girls smiling and standing on their tip toes. He would stop by on his way home from work and watch them. Because they had none (that he knew of), he eventually gave them all names and stories. Evan stands on a curb across the street, smoking cherry-scented cigs. He was here yesterday and he’ll be here tomorrow.

Daisy’s pliés are sloppy, but she’s been getting better these past months. He can picture her practicing at home, using her sink for support. She looks into the mirror, sees her mousy hair and freckles and thinks “I wish I was pretty and talented like Rose is.” Her parents are always away at work and she has to take care of herself. She packs her own lunches and the kids at school make fun of her. They used to call her “glasses kid.” The name didn’t bother her (it’s a dumb nickname anyway), but the fact that she’d been singled out, excluded, treated as an “other” would sometimes make her cry when she got home from school. She convinced her parents to get her contact lenses, but she still cries sometimes when she gets home.

In the studio, when the teacher passes by, Daisy always puts her head down. Evan always see the instructor’s finger flicking upward. He is telling her to keep her chin up, which she does, but her eyes still look like she’s somewhere far away and miserable. Evan can tell she is just looking at her reflection in the window. She is telling herself that she is not pretty or talented enough. One day, Evan will walk and and put his arms around her and tell her that everything is going to be okay. He’ll support her small figure as she performs a perfect plié and glides through the air like a sparrow through the glades.

Violet isn’t interested in improving herself. She doesn’t go to classes as much anymore. She sometimes runs late and gives Evan strange looks. Evan is worried that she might suspect him and tell the instructor and he will call the police. If they knew about him, it would ruin the purity of their dance. Violet isn’t pure, though. Evan is pretty sure that she knows and wants him to look. She likes to have men give her attention. She must have a boyfriend that keeps her from practice. Evan thinks she must come from a poor family that wants her to dance, but she just wants to smoke and listen to music and make fun of ugly kids. Violet often argues with the teacher. She doesn’t take ballet seriously and the teacher knows it. He has given up on her, would rather she didn’t stay and wilt the beautiful bouquet he has arranged in his studio. If someone nurtured her, loved her for who she is, to give her light where she is accustomed to darkness. Maybe she would open up… Evan stomps out his cigarette and lights another. Violet always gets him flustered, makes him feel urges he doesn’t want to. But when he watches Rose, all his worries melt away.

Rose is the image of blissful serenity, the idol of the class. She’s probably been here since she was a toddler, the older pupil that everyone looks up to. Fifteen or sixteen and almost a woman. She ties down her breasts. They’ve grown out more than she’d like and it gets in the way of her dancing. She combs out her hair so each strand flows free, glistening with a reddish hue in the sunlight. Evan imagines her as the head cheerleader and valedictorian. She is almost too mature and soon she will be too old. She’ll miss out on her childhood and she’ll look back and regret it. Her parents are trying to make her into something they never managed when they were her age. They push her hard to be studious, to get good grades and excel. She can feel the pressure burning at her heels, but she never lets on while she’s in class. She just grits her teeth, an unconscious rebellion against her parents who paid for all the beautiful dental work. She tries to convince herself that she’s dancing for herself. Her parents want her to get good grades, work in all sorts of extra-curricular activities. She’s on the debate team and works with the school newspaper. If she has time to go out with friends, her parents won’t let her go. They’re worried about her “safety.” She is alone. Without dancing, she has nothing, no one.

Evan pictures himself behind Rose, wearing black tights. He supports her from the shadows, lifting her high into the air. But nobody notices him. They cry out “Rose! Rose!”  They only see her, how beautiful and elegant she is. All the while,  he supports her. High into the air, she flies away from all the pain and the loneliness. And they would only talk about her and her beauty and her grace… and they would love her. He wouldn’t let his parents touch her. Nobody was fit to touch her. They would watch and love her, but only his love was real…

Evan thrusts his cigarette to the ground without stepping on it. He tucked his hands into his overcoat’s pockets, pulling it tight on his shoulders and shuffled away. He was here yesterday and he’d be there tomorrow. The cigarette remains on the curb, smoldering, the cherry still burning red.

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Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction

Flower Names for Girls (Revision)

Because they had none, he gave them all names and a story.

Daisy, Violet, and Rose. Evan watches them through the window as he has a smoke. He was here yesterday and he’ll be here tomorrow.

Daisy’s pliés are sloppy, but she’s been getting better these past months. He can picture her practicing at home, using her sink for support. As she does this, she looks into the mirror and sees her mousy hair and freckles and thinks “I’m not pretty or talented enough like Rose is.” Her parents are always away at work and she has to take care of herself. She packs her own lunches and the kids at school make fun of her. They call her “glasses kid.” It’s a dumb nickname. The name doesn’t bother her, but the fact that she’s been singled out, excluded, treated as an “other.” It makes her cry when she gets home from school. In the studio, when the teacher passes by, she always puts her head down. Evan always see the teacher’s finger flicking upward. He is telling her to keep her chin up, which she does, but her eyes still look like she’s somewhere far away and miserable. Evan can tell she is just looking at her reflection in the window. She is telling herself that she is not pretty or talented enough. One day, Evan will walk and and put his arms around her and tell her that everything is going to be okay. He’ll support her small figure as she does a perfect plié.

Violet, on the other hand,  isn’t interested in improving herself. She doesn’t go to classes as much anymore. Violet looks at Evan with strange looks sometimes as she crosses the street, usually running late. Evan is worried that she might suspect him and tell the teacher and he will call the police. He doesn’t want them to notice him and break their concentration. If they knew about him, it would ruin the purity of their dance. Violet isn’t pure, though. Evan is pretty sure that she knows and wants him to look. She likes to have men give her attention. She must have a boyfriend that keeps her from practice. Evan thinks she must come from a poor family that wants her to dance, but she just wants to smoke and listen to music and make fun of ugly kids. Violet often argues with the teacher. She doesn’t take ballet seriously and the teacher knows it. He has given up on her, would rather she didn’t stay and wilt the beautiful bouquet he has arranged in his studio. If someone nurtured her, took love her for who she is, to give her light where she is accustomed to darkness. Maybe she would open up… Evan stomps out his cigarette and lights another. He shakes the cobwebs out of his head. His conscience is clear. Is pure.

Rose is the idol of the class, the older pupil that everyone looks up to. Fifteen or sixteen and almost a woman. She ties down her breasts. They’ve grown out more than she’d like and it gets in the way of her dancing. Takes good care of her hair, too. It shines golden with a reddish hue in the sunlight. Evan imagines her as the head cheerleader and valedictorian. She is almost too mature and soon she will be too old. She’ll miss out on her childhood and she’ll look back and regret it. Her parents are trying to make her into something they never managed when they were her age. They push her hard to be studious, to get good grades. She can feel the pressure burning at her heels, but she never lets on while she’s in class. She just grits her teeth, a unconscious rebellion against her parents who paid for all the beautiful dental work. She tries to convince herself that she’s dancing for herself. Her parents want her to get good grades, work in all sorts of extra-curricular activities. She’s on the debate team and works with the school newspaper. If she has time to go out with friends, her parents won’t let her go. They’re worried about her “safety.” She is alone.

Evan pictures himself behind Rose, wearing black tights. He would support her from the shadows, lifting her high into the air. But nobody would notice him. They would only notice Rose and how beautiful and elegant she is. And he would support her, though nobody would notice. High into the air. And they would only talk about her and her beauty and her grace… and they would love her. He wouldn’t let his parents touch her. Nobody was fit to touch her. They would watch and love her, but only his love was real…

Evan thrust his cigarette to the ground without stepping on it. He tucked his hands into his overcoat’s pockets, pulling it tight on his shoulders and shuffled away. He was there yesterday and he’d be there tomorrow. The cigarette sat on the curb, smoldering.

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Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction

Flower Names for Girls

They practice every day at noon. Evan has a smoke as he watches them through the second floor window. Because they had none, he gave them all names and a story.

Daisy is the shy one. Her pliés are sloppy, but she’s been getting better these past months. He can picture her practicing at home, using her sink for support. She looks at herself and thinks that she’s not pretty or talented enough like Rose is. In the studio, when the teacher passes by, she always puts her head down. Evan always see the teacher’s finger flicking upward. He is telling her to keep her chin up, which she does, but Evan can tell she is just looking at her reflection in the window. She is telling herself that she is not pretty or talented enough.

Violet, on the other hand, hasn’t been improving at all. She doesn’t go to classes as much anymore. Violet looks at him strangely sometimes as she crosses the street, usually running late. Evan is worried that she might suspect him and break the illusion. He doesn’t want them to notice him and break their concentration. If they knew about him, it would ruin the purity of their dance. Violet isn’t pure, though. She must have a boyfriend that keeps her from practice. She comes from a poor family that wants her to dance, but she just wants to smoke and listen to music and make fun of ugly kids. Violet argues with the teacher. She doesn’t take ballet seriously and the teacher knows it. He has given up on her, would rather she didn’t stay and wilt the beautiful bouquet he has arranged in his studio. If someone nurtured her… Evan stomps out his cigarette and lights another.

Rose is the idol of the class, the older pupil that everyone looks up to. Fifteen or sixteen and almost a woman, she ties down her breasts. They’ve grown out more than she’d like and it gets in the way of her dancing. She takes good care of her hair. It shines gold in the sunlight. Evan imagines her as the head cheerleader and valedictorian. She is almost too mature and soon she will be too old. Her parents are trying to make her into something they never managed when they were her age. They push her hard to be studious, to get good grades. They won’t let her go out with friends. She is alone.

Evan pictures himself behind Rose, wearing black tights. He would support her from the shadows, lifting her high into the air. But nobody would notice him. They would only notice Rose and how beautiful and elegant she is. And he would support her, though nobody would notice. High into the air. And they would only talk about her and her beauty and her grace…

Evan thrust his cigarette to the ground without stepping on it. He tucked his hands into his overcoat’s pockets, pulling it tight on his shoulders. The cigarette sat on the curb, smoldering.

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Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction

In

Through the intraveration tube, there’s a world where molotov cocktails really are cocktails, more delicious than any martini or Cosmopolitan. There are salsa dancers who are also delicious with chips. In this world, everyone celebrates their birthday by trick-or-treating and everyone sells their soul for candy if they’re decent human beings. If rabbits enter the intraveration tube, they turn into ponies. If ponies enter, they turn into Snausages. Keep your ponies tethered at all times (unless you’re really hungry). Alimony is paid by driving your car into your spouse repeatedly. World War II happened in reverse. Nails are made of pure moose and Teddy Roosevelt’s zombie eats a big bowl of nails for breakfast every morning. The Iran-Contra scandal happened exactly like it did here, except there they called it “Operation V8”. Koalas eat humans. In intraveration tube, hooch distills you.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XII

War Dance

Encino Tenenbaum treats the tango like war. Proper stance. Keep your enemies close. Never put on your dance shoes unless you intend to dance. While the other competitors watch Dancing With the Stars in their spare time, Encino is reading Sun Tzu. While the others are “practicing their routine,” Encino and his partner spar until one of them can no longer stand.

Latisha Beauregard always believed that the tango was about love and romantic passion until she met Encino. It wasn’t because he had persuaded her otherwise; she just hated Encino and so it was easier for her to think of him as an enemy on the dance floor. On top of that, Encino was a tango prodigy. He had won 5 national championships by the age of 23, which is nothing to sneeze at. Latisha knew going into this partnership that it was either Encino’s way or her way with some no-talent monkey.

Their sparring matches are brutal, fashioned so that two dancers enter and only one may leave. Encino and Latisha never have a set routine but instead dance so that they can get the lead over the other or keep their own lead. They feed off of each other’s energy often to the point where they are no longer dancing the tango at all. Instead, they are locked in a test of wills, feet jumping over the other so as not to get tripped up, hands locked like they were wrestlers. They twirl around each other, bend each other backwards, and by the end of the dance, their faces are pouring with sweat and their muscles are aching. Encino bows to Latisha. Latisha curtsies to Encino. They repeat this exercise every day until the next competition.

Latisha is the only dancer who has ever been able to keep up with Encino, having been with him almost a year and a half. Most of Encino’s partners don’t even last three months. They always quit in tears, half-crazed, spirits broken. None of them worthy opponents until Latisha. Like Encino, dancing had been her passion, but she mostly took ballet and a little jazz. The ballet had taught her how to endure pain, which was useful with Encino. The only thing she had to learn was how to keep looking into the man’s eyes. She found she could tell everything about what he was going to do next by never breaking with his concrete gaze and simply feeling out all the rest. It took a lot of practice and frustration, but now she can easily dance around his feet without smashing her elbow or twisting an ankle. Sometimes she dreams that she in the jungles of Vietnam and Encino is Charlie. Sometimes the dream ends with her taking a knife to Encino’s throat but most times he grabs her from behind, tells her that her moves are sloppy, and slits her throat. The dreams drive her insane but they keep her sharp.

By the time they are ready for competition, sometimes Latisha takes the lead for part of the dance, twirling Encino around on his steadfast heels. The advantage never lasts for long; Encino always learns from his mistakes. Only one judge ever questioned the idea of a woman leading during part of the dance. “If she can best me,” Encino had said, “then she deserves to lead.” It was the closest thing to a compliment Latisha had ever heard from Encino. Though unorthodox, the community has decided that their dance is something entirely pure in its own way, and if nothing else, it’s fun to watch.

Encino’s only dream is to die dancing, literally in the act of dancing. Latisha’s not sure of what she wants to do, but she knows that any doubts about her future will give Encino the upper hand. So she decides not to think about it. She doesn’t remember the life she left behind, either. There’s only the dance and her opponent, for as long as she can keep it up.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session VIII

Experiment #842

Scientific log: Experiment #842, Day 1

Disc jockeys (hereafter referred to as “DJs”) are a menace to society. They play loud techno music at all hours of the day, making people deaf. These “DJs” are often participants in drug culture and they are in support of the decay of society. For mankind to survive, they must be eliminated.

I’ve started construction on a robot that will destroy all of these “DJs.” Specifically, I shall be using one of those Japanese Asimo models, but I will replace its microchip with one of my own design. And because it is an agent of justice, I shall bestow upon it a cowboy hat and a six-shooter. I am calling it John Waynebot. He shall be my vengeful angel.

Scientific log: Experiment #842, Day 24

Because of my difficulties programming the movement of the bipedal robot, I’ve left the original chip within John Waynebot. However, this may have been a mistake. While John Waynebot used to just want to kill DJs, now he has a great fondness of dancing. He performs the moonwalk flawlessly as well as the cabbage patch and a vast knowledge of disco. I find it strange that even though I made him to look like a cowboy, he refuses to line dance! It may take a while, but I am going to have to remove the Asimo chip and just try to articulate his movements myself.

Scientific log: Experiment #842, Day 25

John Waynebot is gone! But who would have taken him? The padlocks had to have been removed from the inside. The police can’t know. They wouldn’t understand my brilliant vision. I’ll look for him myself. And whoever took him will pay!

Scientific log: Experiment #842, Day 26

I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. I searched the nearby dance clubs in hopes that John Waynebot was initiating his protocol and destroying DJs. I was overjoyed to hear that at a particularly repulsive hovel called the Purple Chapel, the twisted youth had seen a robot of my description. They pointed to the dance floor and I saw my child, my beautiful John Waynebot dancing to the nefarious heartbeat of DJ Wizzle. I left that horrible place. Though I’d rather forget that John Waynebot ever existed, I know that I must learn from my mistakes. Experiment #842 was a failure.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session VII