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The dancer

June 5, 2013

Nine o’clock in Taberno Agrada beach bar and the local músico begins to play his guitar, the slap of palm on cedar bringing the tourists in from the lengthening shadows.

The sea breeze brings with it a dancer. She pirouettes lightly on the wooden boards, skipping on to the cooling sands, whirling up dust in a golden arc as she flits from table to table. Folds of scarlet cloth flirt seductively between both human and furniture leg as she winds herself into ever greater contortions, deftly resisting grabbing hands.

All eyes are on her as, in time with the crescending music, she whirls faster, faster, feverishly around the room, stroking hands, ruffling hair.

A hairy fist seizes on a fold of cloth but she eludes his grasp, in time for one final whirl, a flourish, a sweeping arc of the cluttered room until finally the bartender, to cheers, chases her into a corner. She cowers; her time is over, her moment past. He crushes her crimson folds and stuffs her in a bulging pocket.

The red paper napkin will dance no more.

All’s been quiet on the blog front recently as inspiration and creativity has been sapped by that thing called LIFE – however, in between 2.30am starts for bike rides (I really WILL blog on that), working, holidaying and sleeping I did manage to pen the above, having been inspired whilst sat outside a beach bar in Spain by a dancing red napkin… who knew that a olive-oil smeared piece of paper could spark the creative juices?

It’s my entry to the Bridport Prize Flash Fiction competition, and I quite like the imagery. I also like the rules – fewer than 250 words means writing is short, and I actually seem to prefer the editing process to actually writing the original text. This shouldn’t surprise – I’m an editor by trade – and it’s much easier tinkering with something already there than starting afresh. This should really encourage me to just start writing without worrying how good it is – getting some words on to a page and then spending the time at a later date making them vaguely readable. As long as I get to that second stage…

From → Blog, Short stories

One Comment
  1. sue davies permalink

    I love the red napkin…beautiful prose.

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