[Prompt] Dragon Dances

Dancing Snake Lady from Manga Matrix
Dancing Snake Lady from the book, Manga Matrix

Needed some inspiration to kickstart the writing juices the other day, so got Nick and Des to give me random numbers. This is the first page, second one’s coming a bit later. Let’s see if this will be a story…

The last dancer in the circus hung gracefully from the long ribbon that extended from the roof of the tent all the way down to the ground. Her movements, as she danced, were sinous, graceful, and just that little bit defiant. Her eyes were closed throughout much of it, for she dropped, then pulled herself up, twisting, turning, extending a leg out, pulling it back in, hanging upside down with only a single leg twisted in the ribbon for support…

She defied gravity in that sinuous dance, somehow managing to suggest the smoothness of a snake’s body and its grace, but without the limitations of a singular body. Her hands extended out from her as she caught the ribbon gracefully, halting her fall. The ribbon caressed her body, holding her even as she released herself from its clutches.

There was no need for music here, no need for any kind of sound, but that of the woman and her dance. The audience shared a collective gasp when she seemed to have slipped, but she turned it into a graceful cling instead, looking as though she meant to do it. There was silence from the hall as the woman performed; whenever she opened her eyes to look at the audience, the look on her face challenged THEM to stop her.

And no one did. No one dared to. They were all mesmerised by her acrobatic skills, by the grace in her movements, spellbound into silence.

It was as though the ribbon on which she clung to was the Thread of Life itself, and she was a magician who knew how to make it unravel. Her relationship with the thread bordered on erotic, yet also reverent, for she clung and looked up its length into the light, the expression on her face like a child who is hoping to see the Face of God.

She danced, and put on a show the audience would be talking about for hours afterwards. If not days. Then, by the end of it, she slid slowly, and carefully down the ribbon. The audience held its breath again, waiting for her next movement.

She opened her eyes slowly, and turned around, so she would be facing each and every part of the circus tent. More than a few women held their hands to their chest, men who suddenly clenched their hands into fists.

For the look she gave them was one of contempt, of anger, of resentment.

Then she turned away and walked away, leaving the circus ring in barefeet, the snake-textured costume that she wore giving the impression that she was little more than a snake which happened to have two feet and two arms.

It was then, when she had long disappeared, that the audience began to clap wildly for her. They got to their feet and shouted, demanding an encore. Tonight though, there was to be none. The Ringmaster came out and apologised, thanking the audience for coming, and that the snake lady would perform again the next day.

The audience left, though a few of the more adventurous ones tried to sneak behind the tents to find the dancer. They were soon caught by the guards and booted out unceremoniously.

The Snake Dancer immediately went to her caravan. She did not want to walk the streets in her current outfit, or even in the same makeup. The first night was always the worst in a new town; they could never be sure if the audience would hate it, or love it.

And so she went to remove her makeup.

Naoko @ Geminianeyes

2 comments

  1. To love that which is offered unto you, by one who has contempt for you… This is a powerful and difficult-to-express experience.

    Yet well expressed nonetheless.

Comments are closed.