Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dance! (short story)

I swivel round and round and round....I hold the imaginary she in my arms: one hand at her lower back (not too low, I would not dare to do so) and the other hand holds hers.
Our feet easily manage the complicated pattern of our dance. And round and round again we go.

I look her in the eyes and drown in their blue depth, like drowning in a deep lake where the water nymphs sing their tempting songs. The music makes us move like one body. Her steps follow mine in a split second, only a careful observer sees the tiny difference. I am an excellent leader and she an excellent charming follower. We are causing little tornados of dust on the wooden floor but we don't care. We are not aware of the room we are in. All we are aware of is the music and the energy that makes us dance if we were born to do so.

You don't know me and you will never know me, that is why I tell you my little story. Please don't go, it will not take long and you might be curious how it ends.
I was born a long long time ago in a tiny little house in the woods. My parents married at a young age but never had children until they were almost middle aged. Mind you that 40 was called middle aged in their days.  I was their first and only child and there fore had a different upbringing than most children.
When you are young parents and you have a few toddlers, you still love them and care for them and protect them against bad things of course but at an older age with only one, my parents were over protective.
They kept me at home, within sight. They taught me reading, writing and numbers but did not allow me to go to school. I did not have friends, no one ever came to our house to play with me. I did not mind, my dog was my best friend, the forest my playground and my parents loved me with all the love they had to give which was more than some children get.

Yes, I was a happy child, very happy.
I know you are not stupid and wondering how I got on being a teenager. It is fairly normal for teenagers - so I am told - to be obstinate and stubborn, teasing their parents who, they think, do everything wrong being extraordinary 'old fashioned'. I am glad to tell you I wasn't such a teenager. "Bless your parents" I hear you say.
But did I ever meet a girl? Did I ever fall in love? Did I ever had a job? No, no and no.
I wasn't even aware of the fact that there were younger editions of the species of my  mother. And when my parents died, not long after each other, they left me in reasonable wealth. They saved every penny, just if they knew I needed it because, and here I am very honest, I was not at all socialized. I would never survive in the normal world.

I did not know about that world until I found literally, a small piece of it in the attic.
A place I wasn't allowed to go, a decision I never questioned.
It took a long time before I opened the door to the attic as I still respected my parents.
I don't know how I found the courage to go there; or maybe it was the knowledge that the whole house was mine, I can't recall.
The fact is, I went there on a sunny afternoon. I did not know what to expect but I certainly never expected an almost empty room with one table and a (as I understood from the little booklet that lay beside it) a gramophone. And a box of records. Good reading and practising (hard to avoid a few scratches) I learned to play the records and to listen to the music. I was astonished, I had never in my live heard something as beautiful as this. I did not even think of how it arrived in our house, where it came from and why I had never heard music before. Yes, the wind in the trees was music but this was so different!
Photo: Darren Nisbett Fine Art Photography
I moved the gramophone downstairs and listened to Leo Reisman and his Orchestra, Cannon's Jug Stompers, Vera Lynn (who became my dream woman and dance companion), Cole Porter and many, many others.
I noticed that I had a good feeling for rhythm and soon my feet lived their own life. They danced with me through the room, made me turn, swivel, jump and something that must have looked like the Charleston as
my feet went crazy!

I danced, danced and danced every day, every month and every year. I danced from the 40's into the 50's. At first I danced alone but than came she. I danced right through life into death. And even now I still dance and the music still playes.
And you my dear visitor, if you listen very carefully and beyond the dusty silence of my long abandoned house, might even hear the music. Might even here me calling "Dance!!!"


Word of thanks: the photo of @darrennisbett (Instagram) inspired me to write this story and I was given permission to use the photo as an illustration for which I am very grateful. Thank you Darren!

Link: the beautiful website Darren Nisbett Fine Art Photography

Note: the story is pure fiction!A figment of my imagination!


  1. Beautiful Story Helen
    I love old gramaphones and love that you have woven this into your dreamy text

    1. Thank you Darren! Your photo's are very inspirational!

      I am the happy owner of two and a lot of ancient 76 rpm records, my father was a collector :-)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words!! :-)