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A tango by lightning

by Karen Cave 2 years ago
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A short drama

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/ArtTower-5337/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=108483">ArtTower</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=108483">Pixabay</a>

They danced, and they danced, and they danced. The lightning flashed around them, as if they were both cloaked in white light, and rain hissed as it fell and hit the pavement all around them.

It was night, and he couldn’t say how long they had danced for, except that his feet ached in his smart shoes, and his heart ached too, for he knew that he loved her. More than words could even begin to explain, and more than I can ever sum up in a story. He danced because he loved her, and he loved her because they danced.

Red velvet soaked darkly as her long dress flailed around her, getting drenched but not caring, her limbs long and graceful as she moved, her back arched and her chin held high. Her dark hair swept up in a high bun, with long tendrils escaping and flying around her face. She turned and she span and they kept in perfect harmony, as the lightning storm zapped and spat and crackled around them, as if to match their passion.

The lightening would not abate, and people were coming from all around to watch the couple who danced and danced, and who never seemed to tire. Maybe the power from the storm was energising them. One person thought that it was in fact the other way around; that the couple were creating the storm. This person was a transfixed child, and it is amazing how children have an intuition about this stuff, untouched as they are by doubt, or cynicism. She watched them twirl around and around, like the ballerina in her musical jewellery box.

As the couple upped their intensity, so too did the storm; purple and violet and bright white streaks forked down from the heavens with increasing volume and frequency, and the crowds started to scatter nervously, fearing they would be struck. The rainfall became so intense too that the couple could barely be seen, except when the lightning illuminated them for each brief second.

Soon, only one person was left watching; the little girl appeared to be alone. She watched it all, appearing to be unaffected by the driving, brutal rain that flattened her hair to her head, and soaked her little body. She watched the multicoloured flashes, and she watched the couple as they continued to turn and spin, always connected, always moving. Flinging each other back and forth, around and around, but never stopping.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the rain began to die down, and the lightning flashes became gentle, subdued, as the couple started to slow. The sky was becoming lighter again. The little girl watched the man begin to fall to the ground, every last ounce of energy having finally left his body. He had given all he had, and now his dancing partner was done with him; he was of no more use to her. He lay sodden in the dark puddles with a shocking stillness, like a rag doll, and the little girl, who was normally so quiet, opened her mouth and began to scream.

*

Sarah and her husband Gary enjoyed their early morning walk with their little terrier, holding hands and watching the golden and pink sky as the sun rose. They headed along their usual route along the footpath, then headed over the small hill. As they were coming down the other side, they could both see the silhouette of a figure dancing.

“It looks like a woman,” Sarah said, frowning, peering to see.

Gary nodded, but he said nothing. He was already feeling a pull, and he sped down the hill until he was tearing ahead of Sarah. All he knew was that he needed to be there with her. He’d let go of the dog lead, and Sarah shouted in annoyance and confusion as she fought to catch the dog who was barking loudly at the sudden commotion and the deep rumbles of thunder that had erupted from the once clear sky.

Sarah stopped, aghast, as the heavens opened. She watched Gary reach the bottom of the hill, and she saw the woman stop dancing, and turn to him.

Sarah’s bewildered protests were lost amidst the racket of the deafening storm. She peered through the gloom, looking for him, looking for the man she had spent the last decade with, and saw the two of them entwined; him and the stranger. They appeared to be dancing, spinning around and around. The sky cackled with glee and poured out its thunderous tears.

And the little girl stood in the rain once more, and she watched.

BASED ON AN IDEA BY MY CLEVER DAUGHTER, ELLIE! X

About the author

Karen Cave

A mum, a friend to many and I love to explore dark themes and taboos in my writing. I am an optimist with a dark side... enjoy!

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