She Used to Dance


(Credit: BeKissable on Deviantart)

On the porch with his violin.

At sunset, he plays everything

That used to make her dance.


He is alone in the house now

With cobwebs and squeaking windows

Since the forest took her.


One summer I brought him small talk,

Groceries and many questions.

No answers ever came.


When I looked over my shoulder,

His silhouette was a statue

Staring at the forest.


It seems very painful with the

Memory and forest so close

One should think he would leave.


But he seems to be waiting and

At sunset, he plays everything

That used to make her dance.

A Dance For The Queen


(Credit: Zephyri on DeviantArt:

”Come, come,” the slave handler wriggles his pink sausage fingers at me, “aren’t you exited?”

“No.” My gaze is steady.

“Oh, but that won’t do!” He shakes his head and still shaking it continues, “when you stand in front of Her Majesty, you must bow low, like so,” his forehead comes within inches of his knees, “and you must assure her that it is the very greatest pleasure for you to be given into her service.”

I suck my teeth.

“Remember,” he smiles, “from tomorrow evening you will live in greater luxury than anyone in your tribe ever dreamed of. And all you have to do is dance for our most excellent Queen once in a while,” he gives me a conspiratorial wink.

“Gilded cage,” I mutter, “remember, my tribe would still exist, were it not for the Red Queen and her territory expansions.”

“Shush shush now,” he squashes his lips with one fat finger, “mustn’t call her that. Try on these.” He hands me an orange scarf and soft loose trousers. “Real silk,” he says.

Of course the monkey must be dressed up nice and bathed in rosewater before he dances for the Queen, I think, as I try on the clothes. But maybe, I let a finger run along the fabric of the trousers, maybe it will be possible to hide a knife in this fine silk costume.


Someone must have put a pouch under my porch or written my name and Saint George’s Park on a thigh bone, for I was drawn to the place even though my business lay across town. At the centre of a semi circle of gawking tourists I found her with a boa, a real one, around her shoulders and her bare feet seeming to float over the grass. There was something in her movements which called to me. She was comely of course, but it was more than mere lust. I loosened my tie as she moved close by me trailing the scent of lavender, and I wondered how fast I would have to run to make my appointment.

I was just about to turn, when she, having placed her snake with an assistant, began a new, wilder dance, flourishing many-coloured veils with sequins which flashed in the sun. The air caught in my throat as one of the veils writhed. Then it lunged, sinking its flashing teeth into my veins. I should have woven a protective spell or bought a charm, but by then it was too late, her venom was in my blood. I knew it as I clutched the silky veil in my hands, and I know it now; I must love her or die.

Silk Veils



Bellydance Veil Swirl 2

Bellydance Veil Swirl (Photo credit: VelvetJAM)

Silk veils float through the air around her as she dances. My nephew said her veils were like snakes, moving on their own, but snakes have no place in the ethereal vision I see before me.


She is lithe like a cat, but I feel the cheetah in her too. There is strength in those elegant legs that I suspect would be able to run down any antelope, and as I watch her I feel some of that strength return to my shrivelled body. I feel again the wind in my hair as I rode to battle in my war chariot, the arrow between my fingers as I drew back the bowstring.


Her dark eyes flash at me when she whirls past, and I remember the smell of blood and the sound of fracturing bones as I rolled over fallen bodies with my chariot.


She wraps a red veil around her hands and I see that my own hands are smeared with blood. Which is strange, because I always killed with my bow or my chariot and never touched a dead body, so how did so much blood end up on my hands?


Her movements slow, and her body writhes as if in agony. A pressure in my chest makes me gasp. It grows and I feel an urgency to hang on although I am not sure what I am hanging on to. So I fasten my eyes on the dancer and admire her full lips and long fingers, finding it still harder to breathe as her dance becomes faster. When darkness creeps in at the corners of my eyes, I think: ‘No. Not yet. She has not finished her dance.’ As if I expected that the darkness would not only be able to hear my thoughts, but also care about my wishes.


She leaps.


And I see no more of her dance.


Namé Hara – The Big Day part 2 of 2

‘Hi, Namé,’ Laila hugged her and Namé hugged back keeping her eyes on the door, but without finding the one she was looking for.

‘Hi,’ said Namé. Only about half the class had arrived, there was still time. That was what she told herself, but her heart was already panicking.

‘Namé!’ said Laila and Namé jumped.


‘I was talking to you.’

‘Oh, sorry…’

‘Why are you so nervous?’

‘It’s just, today is the day we have to choose partners…’

‘Don’t worry,’ said Laila, ‘I’m sure miss Jefferson will let us be partners for another six months. There aren’t enough boys anyway.’

‘Oh, uh,’ Namé throat was suddenly all dry, ‘actually, I thought that maybe,’ her voice was very small, ‘perhaps we should try ne… partn…’

‘What was that?’

‘New partners? Perhaps?’ said Namé.

‘What? Why?’

‘Err… well… Miss Jefferson said that it’s good practice to dance with someone you aren’t used to. And we could still you know, see each other when we’re not dancing.’

‘Are you trying to get rid of me?’

‘What? No. I just thought perhaps-’

‘Alright, go find some other partner then,’ was that tears in Laila’s eyes?, ‘see if I care!’ Laila stormed off into the corridor.

‘Wait!’ Namé went after her, ‘Wait!’ When she came out into the corridor, she saw Laila running towards the toilet. After a quick glance back at the studio she followed. Laila reached the toilet and slammed the door after her. Namé skidded to a halt in front of the door.


‘Go away.’

‘Laila, it really isn’t like that,’ said Namé.

Sullen silence.

‘I loved being your partner, I’d just really like to dance with… someone else.’

‘I understand,’ said Laila, ‘you just want to dance with anyone else but me. So go ahead, I don’t care.’

‘No, it’s just,’ Namé sighed, ‘it’s someone special.’

‘I said, I don’t care. Go away!’

‘I’m really sorry,’ Namé looked at her watch, it was five minutes to. ‘I’ll see you later.’ Namé ran back to the dance studio.

She made it just in time to see Natalia walking up to Victor with a smile, a smile that was perhaps a little bit more than just an ‘I-am-nervous’ smile, and Victor returned the smile, perhaps it was an ‘I-am-happy-to-see-you’ smile, and Natalia said something still smiling her ‘I-sort-of-like-you’ smile, and Victor smiled and nodded as if saying ‘I-like-you-too’, and right there Namé Hara first saw the ugly green monster they call jealousy, and she felt like destroying them or ripping them apart or… but then perhaps both smiles were in fact an ‘I-love-you’ kind of smiles, and perhaps if she had told them how she felt, they would not laugh or be angry, but be sad for her, for as her mother said, love was never planned, it just happened, and maybe they  would make each other happy, and perhaps they were happy, very very happy without Namé, perhaps everyone in the dance studio would in fact be much happier without Namé, and jealousy was pushed aside by grey despair and she left the dance studio without a word to anyone.

Namé Hara – The Big Day part 1 of 2

Today, Namé Hara told herself, staring into the eyes of her reflection, today was the day. Today was her chance and after today they would all know how she felt, and some of them might laugh, but that would only be the stupid ones, and she would not care about that.

Feelings were like steam her mother said, keep them inside and the pressure will just keep building, until you explode. Also, if things went as she hoped, she would spend at least the next six months in bliss. She saw the cheeks in the mirror redden, the lips smile. She could do it, she told herself, today.


Her belly was full of butterflies as she entered the dance studio. She was the first to arrive other than the instructor, miss Jefferson.

‘Hello Namé,’ she said, ‘you’re early today.’

‘Hello, Miss Jefferson,’ said Namé.

‘Do you know who you want to be your dancing partner for the next semester?’

Namé nodded.

‘I think I can guess who,’ miss Jefferson winked.

Namé stared up at her. She knew?

‘You and Laila are practically inseparable; you must have been sisters in another life.’

Namé sighed. She did not know. Laila was her best friend it was true, but she wanted to dance with someone else.


The other dancers trickled into the studio. Namé shifted her weight from foot to foot, waiting, waiting… Then Laila stepped in. On any other day Namé would have run over and hugged her, but today she experienced a strange sinking feeling as Laila saw her, waved and made straight for her.

Namé Hara and her Grandmother

By popular request I here bring a conversation between Namé Hara and her grandmother.

I hope you will enjoy 🙂


’I have to go now, grandmother,’ Namé Hara picked up her coat, ‘thanks for the cake.’

‘Are you going dancing again?’ her grandmother took a sip of earl grey tea.

‘Grandma,’ Namé sighed, ‘I haven’t danced since I was… what? thirteen?’

‘Pity,’ her grandmother put another lump of sugar in her tea and stirred it, ‘you were really good at it.’

‘I suppose…’

‘You reminded me of me when I was younger. Do you know I used to dance salsa?’

‘Yes, you’ve told me that.’

‘I can’t now of course because of my hip… and my knees… and my ankles of course, but if it hadn’t been for that I would still be flying across the dance floor in high heels.’ Her grandmother took a small sip. ‘Oh, those were the days.’

Namé buttoned her coat.

‘Why was it that you stopped dancing?’ asked her grandmother.

‘I already told you that,’ said Namé.

‘Tell me again,’ said her grandmother, ‘my memory is not what it used to be.’

‘I just didn’t feel like it anymore,’ Namé picked at a loose thread in her sleeve.

‘Can’t imagine why,’ her grandmother picked up a piece of cake and dipped it in the tea, ‘you seemed like you were having such a good time.’

‘Catherine is waiting for me,’ said Namé, ‘I’ll see you later.’

‘Take care dear,’ her grandmother waved with the soggy piece of cake as Namé closed the door behind her.

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