December 10th – She dressed, then wept as the music faded away
She could dance naked. Really dance.
Her skin was an instrument upon which all music played. It was as if she and the notes, all notes, were one harmonious thing: bass of spine and breast and thigh, treble of fingertips.
People watched, spellbound.
She would get lost, lose herself on the small stage space, her dancing improving as she shed each layer of unnecessary outerwear. For her, underwear was outerwear, and without it her body was the song, layers of intensity building as the layers of clothing fell.
The eroticism was secondary. She danced for herself.
The energy, her energy, was sexual, but it came from within and projected itself out. She didn’t need anyone to watch. But they watched, and they couldn’t tear their eyes away.
No-one could match what she did. No-one came close.
In comparison, the other dancers were obvious, a peacocking of sequins in formation, the standard shred. They were jealous, of course, but they knew they couldn’t do what she did. No-one could.
Takings were down.
There were plans, ideas, talk of shaking things up, doing something different. It was business. People came to see her, and then they left when she left the stage. Word had got out. Business dictated they had to stay.
So: a change. Something radical. A strip, but in reverse.
She didn’t understand.
They explained it, again. She would start as she finished, naked, but as her show progressed she would put clothes on, finishing dressed. Or almost dressed. Giving the audience something new, something they had never seen.
The other dancers were on board. She had to agree.
She watched, but didn’t watch, from the wings, the first night of the new. The house was packed, the audience expectant. The dancers played their part; robing rather than disrobing as the music played and the lights cast lithe shadows against the walls.
She felt wrong. It was wrong. Her skin was the climax, the overture, not the prelude. She was aware, for the first time, really, of the audience, their eyes on her, eating her up. Her nakedness was unnatural.
Nothing was right. Underwear, stockings, sequins were all out of time. The music was someone else, not her. The stage was not an extension of her. The lights worked against, not with her: the glister of sweat on her skin was lost among the fake sparkles of the clothes.
She finished dressing in time to the closing bars of the song, the blue stones on her dress duller than the flashes in her eyes. She left the stage in pieces as the music died.
Inspired by a prompt from here