The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Tea Dance
by Alex Grehy
There were other couples there, of course,
but I only had eyes for him, What a cliche
I thought, then his amber gaze
captured me, his charm reaching out
even as he extended his hand.
“Lady, will you dance with me?”
I’d met him on the subway, just a week ago,
went for a coffee, chatted for hours, agreed
to meet again, spending a little more time
together every day. Which seems so unlike me,
when I think on it, in those lucid moments
when I am not dreaming about the soft
attraction of his voice, unthreatening, platonic.
He invited me to this tea dance,
“Lady, will you dance with me?”
He asks again, kissing my hand. He sweeps
me into a waltz, my feet following his lead,
so courtly, so strong, one hand in mine,
the other on my waist. When the music stops,
so does the dance, the couples standing still,
sculptured and lovely.
He leads me to the gramophone, flips the
heavy shellac disc, laying the stylus on the
outer groove. He bids me turn the handle.
The dancers come alive.
I tug my hands loose, wanting
to applaud the dancers.
The plush furnishings disappear,
we are in a bare basement,
grey concrete, the only decoration
four bright red hosereels and
the antique gramophone.
I see the others moving strangely
to rhythms that have nothing to do
with the vintage orchestra that
I hear playing from the horn.
The men are smiling, their lips parted
hungrily, even as their partners gyrate.
A tango, the twist, a jive, they dance to
music only they can hear, in a place only
they can see.
I laugh, their antics are so funny. I snap
out of my torpor – what am I doing here?
Why did I come to this shabby dive with
a man I barely know. Why am I being
such a bitch, mocking these strangers,
when I should be warning them against…
Against what? They look so happy.
My partner cups my face in his hands.
Immersed in his beauty, I am, once again,
a lady, a porcelain treasure, as I have
always secretly dreamt of being.
He sweeps me round the room, the other
dancers no more substantial than shadows.
I am elated, fulfilled, as I have never felt
before, then the music stops.
He holds my hand, turns it gently,
kisses me on the wrist, the sting of
his teeth so tender. I am lost in his
gaze. How kind he is I think, to drink
my blood so gently.
He pauses for a second, whispering
that I am special, that I can join him
if I choose. I nod and smile, he drinks of
me once more.
The ecstasy of his bite overwhelms
my will. Yet still I turn my head to
watch the others feeding,
The women’s mouths are open.
Screaming, I assume, but the
sounds are just a descant to the
melody that guides my feet.
I feel a jewelled tear flow down my cheek,
he wipes it away with a soft hand,
“Do not be sad” he whispers,
“they will not suffer long.”
But my tears are for my beautiful
beaded silk dress, the trailing hem
hopelessly stained by the
blood drenching the floor
Fiction © Copyright Alex Grehy
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Alex Grehy:
After a lifetime of writing technical non-fiction, Alex Grey is fulfilling her dream of writing poems and stories that engage the reader’s emotions. Her work has been featured by a wide range of publications including Siren’s Call, Raconteur, Bookends Review, and Toasted Cheese. One of her comic poems is also available via a worldwide network of public fiction dispensers managed by French publisher, Short Edition. Her ingredients for contentment are narrow boating, greyhounds, singing and chocolate. It is a sweet life, yet Alex’ original view of the world has led to her best friend to say ‘For someone so lovely, you’re very twisted!
Please click here to discover more!
I think her dress is the least of her worries here!
Characters in horror never learn 😀
Very macabre and twisted, an excellent story.
Thank you 🙂
Alex, you’ve gone & done it again! This is one of the best vampire poems I’ve read! It’s got all the elements of deadly mystique and l’amour, the sensual arousal necessary to be valid. Bravo! I want to see this one in other places that feature vampires!
Thank you so much – wasn’t it a gorgeous prompt 🙂
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I love how your words paint such a vivid picture, covering our eyes with a thin veil until we see the true shadows form beneath, but it’s too late. We are already swept away, and don’t let anyone tell you that vampires have been done and played out. There’s always room for more stories to be written. 🙂