Flash Fiction

Tiny Dancer

Lacey started dancing as soon as the breeze hit her face. She seemed to always to be dancing. Whether she was standing in line with her mother at the soup kitchen or standing by the bed at night, her mother dressing her in layer after layer of underthings to keep her warm in the frigid apartment.

She saw the sadness on the faces of her parents. The disappointment when her daddy came home without work. She wished she could replace their hopelessness with joy. She knew it was probably wrong that she felt like dancing in the midst of their sorrow.

But she couldn’t help it. It overtook her. It seemed to start somewhere in her imagination and wash down over her until it infected her feet and they began tapping, and then her legs began jigging. When this baptism was allowed to complete itself, her arms would extend and wave about, and she would bend at the waist and twist, tossing her thick, brown hair.

The music told her the steps. The music that came from somewhere just above her head. Sometimes, it was a waltz, and it would wrap her in a satin gown that swished as she moved in three-quarter time. Sometimes the music put clogs on her feet and she stomped the floor while holding her body erect and stiff, only her legs and feet moving. At other times, she was decked in crinolines and she leaped and bowed and spun in dizzying circles, her arms and hands drawing poetic lines in the space around her.


This was done as a ten minute exercise. I started with the first line, which had been provided for me, and just kept writing until the buzzer sounded. It doesn’t qualify as a story but could be developed further. I enjoy doing the ten minute exercises because they allow my right brain to take over, and I’m always surprised by what I come up with when my left brain censor is not allowed to dictate.


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