Day by day she sits in the window staring out as drab-dressed townsfolk pass by. At times one may turn and look at her. Their reaction was always the same: one of macabre desire. Her lips are painted cherry red, her eyes are a bright blue with sparkles, she wears a dainty emerald green dress which neither reveals nor covers too much of her thin body, her hair pushes out in black spiky waves, pointing in all the directions of a compass. And there upon those lips of red, she always wears a smile.

The man who loves her, who also hates her, makes her sit day by day in a wooden chair crafted just for her in front of the window. The window itself is painted with gold leaf letters and looks out over a busy cobbled street. And the people passing by, they stop and gape, stop and smile, stop and shake their heads. Some give the man money as thanks for the dance he makes her perform each afternoon and night.

Lo! There he comes again, for though she is worn around the edges and bears scuffs and scars and dings, the beauty of her youth still shines through. He lifts her carefully from her little wooden chair then threads his fingers through the ropes he had long ago attached about her wrists and ankles. He walks her to her stage and the lights grow dim and that same wretched, gawdy music plays once more. And through years of practice, of working together, he hardly need touch those strings which guide her movements, those motions to which she quickly responds in kind. So she dances and twirls and kicks and blows kisses while he pockets the change the people toss at her feet and his crow’s feet grow deeper as his laughter grows louder and she dies just a little bit more inside.

tara caribou | ©️2018

22 Comments on “Dancer

  1. she always wears a smile but at the same time she dies just a little bit more inside – torturous … how much does the abused allow the abuser and indeed are they separate people? sometimes? often? we torture ourselves, our own abuser, are these even different people? is she looking into a mirror – she/he – two sides of the same coin … how interesting what someones writing makes me think …

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for reading. You obviously put a lot of thought into this story. Perhaps more than I did…. and now that’s got ME thinking. Interesting thoughts you’ve put forth. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. That’s all I can say to this one…wow. Powerful and vivid in many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There does seem to be a magical quality, like a sad snapshot but dressed up. Well written, as always, and conveyed. Love your use of twinkling things on a sad stage.

    Liked by 1 person

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