The Literary Phoenix

Funny, the damage a silly little book can do. Especially in the hands of a silly little girl.

Jenny stood on her toes and closed her eyes.  An empty stage, threadbare curtains open.  Rudolphus was working on the light fixtures near the back of the house.  Klaus and Gina were at the piano, working on the latest song for the new performance.  It was a love song, and Jenny had heard so many different versions of it that the chords were in her veins, and every time Klaus knocked against the clunky ivory keys, something pulled in her heartstrings.  She couldn’t stop herself – she danced.

She danced with her bare feet against the uneven stage, not a concern in her mind about getting splinters in her feet, or falling off the edge.  Jenny swayed and spun with the music, her auburn hair falling around her shoulders in waves.  Someday, she would be a real dancer, and fill theatres much finer than this one.  Ones with cushioned seats and fine costumes and women who wore white gloves, men with walking sticks.  No more lusty creatures coming only to paw at her scantily clad breasts, to gawk at her as though she had no feelings.  Someday, she would be an object of desire no more.

The music stopped as Gina started squabbling with Klaus about the crescendo or something else of little importance to Jenny.  She just kept dancing, as if nobody could see her, as if she really believed she could escape.

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16 thoughts on “Prompt: To Be Free

  1. Lindy Smith says:

    Love how she danced even when the music stopped. Your last line was perfect.

  2. Oh, isn’t that wonderful?

    Such heartfelt prose – there is a true yearning here. I love it.

  3. jenhasapen says:

    The description of the theater was perfect. You included small details, but enough so that I felt like I could almost smell the exact place you were describing.

    I think dancing cures just about everything- the perfect escape.

    Job well done.

    1. I am a closed door dancer, meaning you will never see me at a club or in public… or ever really SEE me dancing… but it’s a great way to let emotion out… just moving your body to the music.

      I’ve glad setting was clear and vivid. That is something I struggle with.

      Thank you!

  4. lexy3587 says:

    I really like this. Really makes you think about the escapism in music, how she’s able to just throw herself all into it, even when it stops.

    1. Thank you, Lexy!

      As I’ve read through these prompts, I think many of us used escapism or inspiration for action through music… very cool to see the trends.

  5. sarahealy says:

    Overall, I loved the “feel” of this piece. It made me want this dancer to escape.

    This line was very good, “…every time Klaus knocked against the clunky ivory keys, something pulled in her heartstrings.” I liked the idea of knocking on clunky eyes — it made me hear and see these piano keys.

    You really captured the feel of dancing freely without caring; just moving.

    I agree with Lindy about the last line. A dancer’s heart doesn’t need the sound of music; it’s inside her all the time.

    Well done:~)

    1. Thank you! I have always found that the rhythm in the music is as important as the music itself… it’s that which, to me, really gets into us.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I have read about 10 of these, waiting to found ONE that got it. I LOVE how you she keeps dancing even when the music stops, how she keeps dancing, to escape the squabbling. The whole thing is completely credible to me.

    I wouyld love to know how long it took you to write that.

    I’m working on these memes in an effort to write faster.

    Mine took 25 minutes. And then an hour of editing down. Le sigh.

    Your feels so easy. Tell me it took hours. Days. 😉

    1. Sorry, not days. Not even hours. I am a prolific writer when I motivate myself properly, and this took about ten minutes. No editing (bad habit on shorts, especially ones just going to a blog).

      In defense of my lousy craft, though, Jenny is a character that has been with me a few years now, and although something that fits her doesn’t pop up often, when it does, it always seems to fit her beautifully and I am very happy with it.

      I learned how to write quickly and prolifically from a group that is no longer active on LiveJournal called 15MinuteFiclets. The idea, essentially, is to open a dictionary, point to a random word, and spend the next fifteen minutes writing a story which features, somehow, that word. The first couple tries are frustrating, but it’s an exercise I do from time to time, just to get my mind in order. When you only have fifteen minutes to write, to get to an ending, somehow putting the words down becomes more important than putting very pretty words down, and there is always time to touch it up later. 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comment!

      1. I just read your comment and wrote back, but I HAD to come back.

        Because.

        I was totoally trying to invoke New Orleans.

        I lived there for five years, and I’m going next week.

        How could you know that?

        {Or did you poke around my blog a bit?}

        Either way, I think your writing is beautiful, and you are officially on my “one to watch” list! Back to work on my book whilst the family is away this weekend!

  7. angela says:

    I really enjoy the feel of this, the music coming from inside her more than what she’s hearing.

    1. Thank you for your nice comment!

  8. Tina says:

    She just kept dancing. That got me, right in the heart.

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