On the Floor

(This is my first attempt at fiction, so this is for the fiction writers have encouraged me through the years to try it. It was fun and I tried, but I don’t think writing fiction is me. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t try again. Thanks for the encouragement; and I’ll accept positive and negative feedback.)

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The music starts. Although some DJs announce the dance, the music’s tempo and rhythms define the dance. He approaches her table, and then extends a hand as an invitation. She accepts, so they take to the floor. He offers a hand and a frame. Again, she accepts, but looks away while in hold as if to say, “I’ll dance – but I’m not interested.”

They begin to move to the music’s sharp, fiery rhythms that are intertwined with sensuality. Their eyes gaze in opposite directions to avoid a visual connection, yet their bodies touch. They dance – they move – sometimes slow – sometimes fast – but always sharp and to the music.

He rolls her out – they flick in unison. He tugs to rolls her back into his arms, but she shrugs him off by returning to hold with her head turned away … yet, the steps continue.

He steps back as a lunge – a corté – she comes forward and raises leg against his, then slowly moves it downward as a caress. He notices – she got his attention. As he returns them upright, their eyes connect through a glimpse – yet they each look away.

The pace seeming hastens, but the musical beat remains steady. Their moves remain sharp, yet their eyes are starting to communicate to the other through glances.

Her body now has more of a lean, and she no longer faces away – thus her eyes and face speak to him when they lock their eyes for the first time. She places her head on his chest. The normally sharp fans are now slow and smooth – yet still to the music’s rhythm. As she turns, his right hand naturally slides along her sleek frame, thus noticing the curvature of her hips. His head is not as high – but starting to look down in hopes of connecting again.

Her eyes are closed, but only she knows why – yet to him, her face displays desire. They are now in another place. To him, they are in the midst of passion. To her, she is the seductress who has succumbed to his desires.

He responds to the music’s fire with 8 fast steps down the floor. He rolls out as before, but on her return, she is close – and her right hand slowly caresses his face.

The music ends. They pause, and then smile to each other. She says, “Great dance”. He responds, “Absolutely” as they high five.

They giddily walk off the floor to sounds of the different tempo and rhythms of the next song now filling the hall – yet they walk without knowing the thoughts of the other – and then one looks at the other saying, “Now that’s a tango.”

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95 thoughts on “On the Floor

  1. That was pretty good Frank. You could feel the tension. You did good. 🙂 (just watch those grammar mistakes. Just little things like leaving the s off of come, things like that) All in all I think you did pretty darn good. 🙂

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  2. Wow…first: I was thinking Scent of a Woman and that fantastic Tango. Second: I was thinking that’s Frank and I after dance practice as we perfect our tango moves. The high five proves we done good! Well done, You. And, yes you are my favourite Cinnci!

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    • Raye,
      i knew you would enjoy this story. After all, it’s tango! I didn’t have Scent of a Woman in mind because she (in the movie) didn’t know tango … something that the participants knew in this story.

      The high 5s was an acknowledgement of a good dance, plus a sign they could know each other … and that they were clueless of what was going on in the other’s mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love it, Frank! Yay, you did it. I’m proud of you. Good tension throughout. I like that you kept it contained to the one dance, really exploring that whole scene, their eyes and their steps connecting. Well done. I was kinda hoping for a kiss at the end. 🙂

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    • Amy,
      Glad you saw this, after all, you encouraged me more than once. The end was an intentional twist, after all, they didn’t know what was going in the mind of the other.

      Like

  4. What Jots said! And Amy!
    I was reading this and I swear my breath and heartbeat quickened… That was seductively tense and, and, and… high fives!!! Awww come one, Man!

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    • Dale,
      Seems I established the intensity, but the ending was intentional. After all, the dancers didn’t know what was in the mind of the other … and given the high fives, they could have known each other.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes it was a hot! I didn’t want to mention it as I was focussing on your story but oooh la la… and I’m a hands woman and he has the most perfect ones… sigh…

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        • Oh yes … the video has much more steam than the story. WOW! Finding the right video was a also a challenge. The one I originally had a great song, but the dance was more of a Paso Doble.

          Liked by 1 person

        • No doubt potential, but I went with my natural contrarian tendency. But I just got an idea … using the same story, but changing the endings. What do you think?

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        • Well he was, technically hired as his “babysitter” just for a week-end. Assistant sounds so much better, don’t you think?

          And yes, absolutely a classic. One of those rare moments where Al actually smiles and seems to enjoy himself for the sake of enjoying himself…

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  5. The first rule of writing fiction as a beginner is to write what you know. Tick!! I love the juxtaposition of the steamy dance, the reality of two people, the intrigue …… The second rule of writing is proof-read, proof-read, proof read….. extract extraneous words [then, so, but, yet, etc] Avoid using the same words in the same sentence or paragraph. Read it out loud. Better yet have someone else read it out loud and note where it jars, feels wrong, sounds wrong. Rewrite. This is the technical side of writing. The boring bit.

    Personally I think you should keep writing, keep honing, keep practising. If this is your first go at writing fiction – it’s impressive!!

    Signed: Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher!

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    • Pauline,
      Many thanks for the constructive feedback and pointers – after all, those are items I don’t know! Writing fiction is so not me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try again.

      Like

  6. Yes, this is great dance… this is Tango… From the beginning to the end there was Astor Piazzolla’s music in my mind and I was sure Tango will hit at the end… You are amazind dear Frank, you pictured, you expressed and you made heard this music too… Thank you, an you know how much I love Tango… Love, nia

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  7. On your April 27, 2015 post, “On The Blogging Blues,” I commented that I valued your blog for its intellectual scope, professional writing, and entertaining variety. Now add to that your ORIGINAL FICTION! Great job on your first dive into mankind’s most noble form of creativity. Brother, you done well! Come to think of it, the three things (four now) which I look forward to in your blog, also keep me picking up my No. 1 favorite print publication, “The New Yorker Magazine.”

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    • Tim,
      Thanks for the support. Knowing how I’m wired, I don’t foresee myself jumping into the fiction arena on a regular basis … thus I admire those who do it as a craft. I better be careful at asking for feedback from the supreme creative writer in your household.

      Like

  8. Congratulations Frank, pretty cool that you took the step and went for it. You brought a bit of sauce, mystery and energy as your writing created wonderful imagery. Who knew?!

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    • Kay,
      Glad you enjoyed this. I can say most of this is from experience either as a dancer or an observer … then there’s stuff that I had to add because it fit … plus a little imagination.

      Like

    • Mouse,
      I had to return to the post to see the second line. 🙂 I wanted intense and imagination … plus to be in the mind of each but without one knowing what the other was thinking.Glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Frank, you ol’ dog–this is really good. I’m really impressed! (I can’t write fiction, which is why I write creative non-fiction; it is easier to keep the characters and action in place if I can revisit a memory.) I loved the visual tension of the dance. It is obvious you know this subject well. By the time I got to paragraph six, I had to go get a glass of ice water! But you dropped me like a hot potato with “The music ends. They pause, and then smile to each other. She says, ‘Great dance’. He responds, “Absolutely” as they high five.” Seriously, Dude. A high five after that amazing “Scent of a Woman” scene. That scene has to lead me to a breaking point somehow (still keep the mystery), but I want to feel that tango tension pulling at the characters in the end in such a way that you wonder if they fled to the car and “got in on” in the back seat, or “will they meet again,” or maybe they were once married, are now divorced, but that is why that “love-hate” tension within the dance and they break away with disappointment, anger, remorse and I (the reader) am left on the dance floor without a partner watching this obvious love story in dance skid off the rails yet again. Go for it, my friend!

    P.S. Did you ever see the tango scene in Moulin Rouge? My word, I almost didn’t live through that scene. I was exhausted when it was over. That is what I want to feel in your ending. (They did a lot more than “high five,” I can tell you that much!) Exhaust me, Frank! 🙂

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    • E-Tom,
      Your reaction is confirmation to what I was aiming for. Love the dropping you like a hot potato analogy. I wanted the tension to be within each of them, but without one knowing about the other … hence the dropping. After all, who spoke the last line?

      Then again, this story could have gone in multiple directions, thus that may be a future challenge right here.

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  10. Is it hot in here or is it just me. The last line, exquisite mystery. Enjoué. Who knew tension in dance could be like two Fiats chasing each other through the streets of Paris; now that’s a tango. I wouldn’t call this fiction Frank, I’d call it writing; wear your new badge proudly. A solid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvn9IAqd-a4 grunt on the old Hudson Howl scale when words fail to express a high level excellence.

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    • Calvin,
      Oh my … the grunt for excellence is a new one for me. I’m honor.

      I developed the story based on me dancing, watching others, seeing excellent dancers doing tango, and the story behind tango. It was fun to write, and for me, the surprise ending made it. Eleanor told me I dropped her like a hot potato.

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      • I read the ‘E’s’ comment. I may have to rent Moulin Rouge. I seen Last Tango In Paris though, a different kinda dance there.

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        • Will be curious what you think. I didn’t see the movie because of the many how didn’t like it. BTW … many thanks for your gracious email. 🙂

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  11. Wow. what a start …..!!! Must be the Italian side of you …. well done. Great imagination and well written. Not easy to describe a tango. A little steamy story. Excellent job!

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  12. question – why the high five? until then, i had an image of them as having a classic style and maturity, being on another level of romance that goes beyond just two people dancing. but the high five brings them down to a more “normal” level for me. not sure if i’m explaining that well, but does that scrap of a comment make any sense?

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    • Rich,
      You make perfect sense. I wanted some steam so I could intentionally let the air out from the the reader’s balloon by normalizing the people who could be friends (we don’t know).

      Like

      • here’s a small thing, but a big thing: As she turns, his right hand naturally slides along her sleek frame. – where you placed “naturally” makes it synonymous with “obviously,” giving the idea that it is something we should expect to happen, but i don’t think that’s what you want. if you make it “slides naturally” instead, then you make it so that his hands are in a very familiar place, where they’ve been before and will be again.

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  13. Frank, my friend, thanks for pointing this out to me. With my schedule, it’s nigh impossible to keep up with posts but I’m glad you flagged this piece of fiction, because I liked it. It’s just hot and I think you create an excellent mood and setting in a very few set of paragraphs. I would encourage you to delve in and trust the actions of your characters – they clearly know what they are doing, and so do you, so let the words dance. Some examples:

    “They begin to move to the music’s sharp, fiery rhythms that are intertwined with sensuality. Their eyes gaze in opposite directions to avoid a visual connection, yet their bodies touch. They dance – they move – sometimes slow – sometimes fast – but always sharp and to the music.”

    ((That first sentence is unnecessary, in my opinion. It’s clear that this is sensual, you don’t need to tell us. Just rely on the actions, don’t tell us what we are supposed to feel; simply show us what these characters are doing – which you do very well – and we will get the rest. The best fiction leads us in directions and lets us travel on our own; trust your writing, and trust the reader that they will make the journey with you.))

    A line like this: “She places her head on his chest.” is very simple very effective. Just tells you how heated this whole thing is, and you don’t need to say anything to accentuate it. Simple descriptive writing that brings it all together, wonderfully done. By the way, avoid the use of the word “thus” whenever possible, it takes you out of the story at times (might just be a personal preference).

    Other things I really liked: the high five, and the very last line. I think you have the trick of ending fiction well, which is the hardest part of all.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing with me. I don’t see much fiction on WordPress, which is a bit of a frustration to me, as I’m always looking for voices to inform my own. Thank you for providing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trent,
      Wow … many thanks for your thoughtful feedback. This is an example of what I wanted to receive from those that know a heck of lot more about fiction than I. Maybe in the future I will post a rewrite. After all, that’s one way we learn.

      FYI: I have it in my mind to use the bulk of the story another way .. that is challenging readers to write an ending after a designated point. Will keep you posted.

      Thanks again for taking the time for the sincere feedback.

      Like

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