Storytime Sunday: Night Dance

Firefly-PathHer feet were bare against the cold earth and rough matter discarded by tree and bush. A breeze twirled lightly through her dress and played with the strands of her hair, filled with the twilight lullabies of birds.

She had Dance in her bones and Song in her voice, but the dance paired with no music and the song was in a language even she didn’t know.

In the descending dusk, fireflies lit the path at her feet, little flickering lanterns guiding her all the way to the secret place that was only secret in light of its sheer ordinariness. No one else ever even saw it. The last threads of daylight faded beneath the horizon as she reached the lonely spot. She stood on her toes and closed her eyes, stretching her hands into the darkening sky as she breathed deeply. Keeping her eyes closed, she opened everything else and listened for the voices of the gods. Without fail, they chorused in the creaking violins of crickets and in the soft hooting of a distant owl, in the whispering press of lovers’ bodies and the muffled shouts of fighters’ accusations, in the rains falling half a world away and in the distant roar of starfire.

She listened to the infinite voices of divinity speaking the same language as her bones and blood, past her own human comprehension, and she lifted her voice in the Song spoken in the language even she didn’t understand and she lifted her body in the Dance that paired with no music.

The nightdarkness faded the edges of her skin in the shadow that covered the rest of the sun-forgotten lands, and the stars filled her as she danced until she was indistinguishable from the sky. The fireflies who guided her now took up the Dance with her and laughter entered the Song.

Her feet gripped the earth and released it as the wind gently pressed her waist and led her into a spin. All around her, the crickets and nightbirds made music no orchestra could ever hope to replicate.

In the nearby road, an angry horn blared and ripped the Song apart. She felt the stars leave her and the edges of her skin draw themselves against the sky. With a sigh and a smile at the dispersing fireflies, she followed the dark path back to the world of bills and dishes.

Storytime Sunday is a weekly installment of short fiction or personal anecdotes. Some will be complete stories, others will be snippets of projects that have gone to the Graveyard of Tales Not Going Anywhere, and a few will be previews of upcoming publications. Basically it’s a sketchbook for writing. Feel free to send me prompts in the comments or on Facebook!

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