On the Floor: Reprise and Challenge

The story below is the revised version of my first attempt at fiction. I issued a challenge to develop a new ending: a) after “The music ends” and b) in 75 words or less.

New endings will either be posted as comments on this post or as the whole story with the new ending the reader’s blog with links to this post. See the Challenge page for more information as long as it remains published.

I  encourage others to read all the endings. Do you have a favorite ending? Thanks for participating.

aFaShortStoryChallengeThe music starts – its tempo and rhythms define the dance. He approaches her table, and extends an inviting hand. She accepts. 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 move to the music’s sharp, fiery rhythms that are intertwined with sensuality. Their eyes continue gazing 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 rhythm.

He rolls her out – they flick in unison. He tugs to roll her back into his arms. She shrugs him off by returning to hold with her head turned away. Their steps continue.

He steps back – a lunge – a corté. She steps forward and raises her leg against his, and slowly moves it downward as a caress. He notices – she’s got his attention. As he returns her to upright, their eyes connect through a glimpse – yet each looks away.

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

She leans her body into him and her head is no longer facing away. They lock their eyes for the first time, and her eyes and face speak to him when. 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 slides naturally along her sleek frame. He notices the curvature of her hips. His head is not as high as he looks toward her with hopes of connecting again.

To him, her face displays desire. Her eyes are closed, but only she knows why. 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 fantasy.

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 – each smiles to the other. She says, “Great dance”. He responds, “Absolutely” as they high-five.

Sounds of the different tempo and rhythms of the next song now filling the hall as they walk off the floor without knowing the thoughts of the other. One looks at the other saying, “Now that’s a tango.”

176 thoughts on “On the Floor: Reprise and Challenge

  1. (The music ends.) “The music’s stopped,” he says.

    “Has it?” she asks. She’s still close, moving with him.

    “We are making a scene.”

    “I think we were already doing that,” she says. There’s a murmur from the crowd. “Told you I wasn’t interested. I just like to dance.”

    And so he moves with her. The music is well and truly gone. She is breathing into his neck. “Now this,” she whispers, coming closer to him, “is a tango.”


  2. I’m posting this for Craig @ Entertaining Stories http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

    (The music ends.) She pulls him close, and slips a tracker onto the back of his jacket. No larger than a single thread, it will never be noticed.

    She allows her hand to slide down his arm, until they part at the fingertips. A single tear runs down her cheek as she makes her way to the restroom.

    Screwing the silencer on her pistol, she speaks into her wristwatch. “He’s marked. Make sure you have my money ready.”


  3. (And, because I’m weird:)

    (The music ends.) “That was great,” she tells him. “I’m so happy, you wouldn’t believe how happy I am… Here, let me show you.”

    She picks him up with a hand and throws him into the air. He hollers as he comes perilously close to the rafters. But before he can land, she’s jumped into the air with him, caught him, and bashed a hole through the roof. Just like that, they’re flying.

    “Well,” she says, “ever danced up here before?”


  4. My alternative ending

    (The music ends.) She keeps her hand on his face and says, “Now that’s a tango.” Knowing his thoughts, he smiles and nods. He walks her to her table to the different rhythms of the next song.

    She invites him to sit. They cheerfully talk. Several songs later, the slow, Spanish rhythms captures their ear. The Bolero – the dance of love. They dance, and their night is now young.


  5. (The music ends.) Yet, they dance on slowly, then quickly and always rhythmically.
    Everyone else, silently watching, hears deft feet sweep the floor, feels adoring hands caress wanting bodies and holds their collective breath.
    The dancer’s eyes almost lock. Words from wanting mouths’ avoid meeting.
    Tears are heard falling down cheeks of those following wanton desires.
    Suddenly, abandoning needs of the dance, their perfect movements unite in defiance. Lips to lips, their dance ends. A new music begins.


  6. Ok, Frank. Here we go! Hope you like it. I had to cut, of course. I’m used to 100 words at least. 🙂

    (The music ends.)

    He glanced at her across the room. As if their dance had never happened, she laughed and sipped wine. He would ask her to dance again. But when he looked for her curves, she was nowhere.

    The next morning, he remembered the caress of fingertips. His wife had risen early for a tennis match and was back already.

    “Honey, I’d like you to meet my new doubles partner.”

    It was her. His partner.


  7. (The music ends.) As they slowly parted to their own tables their hearts were beating fast.
    Beating so hard that the music almost seemed In rhythm.
    She took a sip of her ice water and slowly looked up to see his dark eyes eyes were still watching her every move. She wiped her lips from the ice water and never broke the state.
    They both got up simultaneously and walked towards each other for a new tango.


  8. I was going to link my post here but will do as everyone else!

    (The music ends)

    He walks her back to her table, flushed and bright-eyed, and raises her hand to his lips. “Until next time”, he whispers, and walks away.
    She shakes her head and sits down to catch her breath and is startled by her boyfriend’s voice. “So, really, there is nothing going on between you two, right? Sure as hell didn’t look like it to me. Do you have something to tell me?”


      • I’m so far behind…..took me 15-20 minutes to read down this far!!!!! WOW! I think you’ve started something good, aFa…and it just gets better and better. What fun. So….is this the one of Dales you eluded to in response of/to….something I’ve now forgotten? This is good but I do like Trents, too. So many choices………!!!!
        Well done!
        And, while I’m here, absolutely like your blogging “community” post. So true what all commenters have mentioned. Adding to…..there seems to be an innate understanding of silence when silence occurs. A space that is there and being held open. Saved, if you will, when, until, if ever…the silence becomes what it was…colourful. RRR


        • I agree with you Raye! Trent’s was Fabio-lous!
          So true what you say about the silence. After Mick was hospitalised and then passed away, I was silent from the blogging community. Well, of course I was. When I returned and explained my absence, the love that came my way was almost overwhelming. My heart filled so big that it was like a confirmation that what goes on within these “walls”, for lack of a better term, is a most wonderful thing.
          And just think! Through you, I met Frank and well, let us just say another huge plus in my life!
          Love to you both! xoxo


        • Dale & Raye … Trent did two …. which one rocks the most in your worlds?

          Great examples of the impact a blogging community can have on a person. And yes …. I consider myself to be lucky that have positive relationships from so far away.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Raye,
          I’m happy that you found your way to this post because I knew you would enjoy it. Oh yes … much reading here at this point, but hey – great variations!

          Great point about the understanding of silence. The counterpoint being that silence also causes worries.


  9. Well done Frank. This was a great short story when you originally published, and it’s a marvelous crowd-gathering challenge. I’ll be back tomorrow to see all the great variations. 🙂

    My torrid tribute and skewed salute to Frank’s fancy fandango….uh, tangled tango, is published as a complete post over at the Archon’ Den, and linked back here. Feel free to sashay over and express your awe. 😉


  10. Pingback: The Music Ends | Beyond the Sphere

  11. Oh, I don’t know, Frank. I can’t decide on my favourite ending… I like the Superwoman one (I should have gone down that route!), but then again, I liked the boyfriend one… and the ex-wife one… and the tennis partner one… and the Bolero one… too many! Too many to choose from!

    It was a fun challenge though, and as I have two left feet, very challenging as well!


  12. [The music ends.]

    ‘If only’, she sighed.


    ‘If only you did anything with the passion you dance’, she finally opened her eyes and stared into his, it was clear they were not strangers but instead knew each other well.

    ‘Truly, if only you had learned to dance with passion before this’.

    ‘I always did, you failed too partner me you fool’, she sighed again, ‘the papers are with the attorney sign them’.

    She turned and walked away.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. )The music ends.) 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. Their eyes are locked for moments that transcend the time and place. She does not break away and whispers in his ear.
    “I’m married,” he says.
    “I know that silly. It doesn’t matter to me.”
    “It does to me.”
    She pulls away and looks down.
    “I’m sorry,” she says.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your story is really good, Frank. Your ending is very nice and keeps the story quite “real,” I think. But I do like the “tracker” and the suggestion that our gentleman is a marked man. Great screenplay material!


  15. I am thoroughly enjoying all the endings, Frank. This is fun.

    I’m not coming up with anything tonight Frank, and I forgot to plan ahead. So I will just go with the others. I’ll take one of each.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This has been a fun read for me this morning. It was entertaining, hot, steamy and full of angst. 🌹
    I thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s endings. Some were better than others but all of them could easily be your ending. Of course, your story was perfection for them to take over from.
    I hope to participate soon when my energy improves. For now, I’m off to read the ones who posted on their blogs. Thanks for having so many interesting things for us to respond to on your blog.
    p.s. I think Dale should get the award for “Most Responses”. She’s fantastic !!! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This was so much fun to read. I love the one that starts with “She leans her body into him…”. It’s just so darn romantic. And I think you know I love a romantic, mushy moment Frank :). Now I need to go buy a new chick book LOL.


  18. Pingback: Alternate Story Ending Challenge – To Breathe is to Write

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  20. I finally made it to this post, I enjoyed reading those various endings, here is mine…

    (The music ends)

    “Mr. Howard, why are you out of bed?”

    “My Nancy…we were dancing…like the old days…she was here…” His words trail off as reality overwhelms him.

    “Yes, I’m sure she was Mr. Howard, now come on, you know you mustn’t get out of bed alone.” The nurse takes a firm but reassuring grip of his frail arm and gently leads him back to bed.

    He lays down and tears roll into the pillow. “My beautiful Nancy.”


    • Mouse,
      This was a great success, and I had a lot of fun. A lot of twists, especially Craig and Archon who went in very different directions.Speaking of parties … I need to have another one! Hmmmm ….

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This was awesome, Frank! Look at what you started! I don’t think I would have the courage to take something like this on, so cheers to you! It was so much fun reading all of the endings. Of course the whole premise of your story just melts me and all of your other female readers I’m sure, because the dance off the floor is always what’s most exciting. You’ll have to do this again!


  22. Pingback: Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 285 | A Frank Angle

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