ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Friday, 24 February 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Challenge No 32 - My flash fiction - The Perfect 9.5

There are many opportunities to write offered on the internet - blogfests, competitions, memes and more. RomanticFridayWriters is just one of these opportunities. Every second Friday, a group of writers practise their craft by writing to prompts, reading everyones' stories and offering critiques when asked. Members find writing to stimulus gets the creative juices fired up, and editing to 400 words helps make every word count. If you haven't already, I hope you will read some of our stories.

Each week there is a Featured Writer chosen. Last week it was jointly shared with two amazingly-talented writers, Madeleine Maddocks from Scribble and Edit and Erin Kane Spock.


I hope you enjoy my story, inspired by a visit to Madrid, Spain, in 2011.


The Perfect Dance

The women danced. Their dresses, bodices decorated with jewels, shimmered in the semi-dark. The movements began slowly, the dancers moving like fish floating across a luminescent ocean. Soon the slow dance became a crescendo of whirling, twirling patterns across the barn-like room. This was excellence, the best of the best.

He cast his eyes to the stage. The musicians stood tall, their faces gleaming, sweat dripping from their black curls. They played the trembling guitars, stroking the strings with a thrumming like a thousand fluttering winged birds, softer now, then louder. Their white shirts were blue under the light, their tight black high-waisted trousers gleamed and shone. Their cowboy boots were glittering glass as they stamped to their own beat.

Mirrored lights swirled over the dancers, silvering the sequins on the flounces of skirts as the frills vibrated with the dancers’ steps. It was a kaleidoscope of red, purple, yellow and white, checks, polka dots, stripes. He counted the heavy, clacking beats as the black dancing pumps met the timber floor, shaking the room. A hundred shoes in perfect time as the dancers followed the thrum of the five flamenco guitars.

But there was only one dancer on the floor who set his blood boiling.

Her auburn ringlets, her lithe body clad in a slash of brightest red, her waist an invitation for a man to span with joined fingers. His Angelique. Her lower body kicked yards of frills, revealing slim legs in satiny black stockings. Her arms held above her head, the clicking fingers, were a perfect sculpture of beauty and tension. His eyes followed her every movement. How could he fault her? Did she miss a beat? No, every call of the sobbing guitars was met, every whirl perfection, every stamping foot in perfect timing.

Source*
Soon it was only a competition between two – Angelique and a fiery redhead who looked imperiously at the judge’s table each time she shimmied by, daring them to eliminate her. She was perfection herself, her body screamed. Find a fault if you dare! I’m the perfect 10!

Angelique was asked to leave the floor. How could they send her away? Only he saw the tear she brushed from her eye. He half stood in his seat, mortified.

‘9.5!’ The judges score his Angelique.

‘They might give you a less than perfect score,’ he thought to himself, ‘but to me you’re the perfect 9.5.’

©DeniseCovey2012


Word count: 400 ish. FCA.

*Photo taken and edited by L'Aussie Images.
 (Lucky enough to be inspired by a night of
 flamenco dancing in Madrid, Spain, in 2011.)

I hope you enjoyed my story and that you will visit some other writers who're writing to this challenge. Click on the links below...

Here is an excellent youtube video on flamenco dancing:












45 comments:

  1. Hi Denise,
    You have also written about a dance contest. So cool that you wrote about flamingo dancers! So colourful! I can see their skirts flying! I hear the guitars! I even smell their sweat! And the 'punchline' is that he loves his woman even if she did not win first place.

    Lovely story.
    It's all there.

    Best wishes & hugs,
    Anna
    Anna's Perfect 9.5 for RFW No 32

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    1. Thank you Anna. I'm glad you got a story up. I'll be around as soon as I can to read. D.

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  2. So atmospheric and mesmerising words - I was there in the rythm with the dancers and musicians. A beautiful, beautiful piece.

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    1. Thanks Margo! D. I hope you get a chance to write for us again soon! Missed you! D.

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  3. Bien foutue!
    I enjoyed this so much, I put this youtube on, and re-read it again: http://youtu.be/8w9yJdkeryI

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    1. Thanks Weissdorn. I checked out the opera segment. Beautiful! I've also added a youtube to this. D.

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  4. I love the descriptions of the dancers!

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  5. Weissdorn is right : it does belong where people can enjoy it. My entry is 495 words, and uses my belief that love can be at its most precious and perfect when all is dark around you. Roland

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  6. Angelique was a perfect 9.5. This is a perfect 10, sensuous and rhythmical. It flows like a poem, the climax wonderful in its emotional evocation. I'm caught up at the climax in "his" emotion. I think this is one of your best!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author of In the Mirror & Imprisoned

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    1. Oh Ann, high praise. I loved writing it. It took me right back to a great night in Madrid watching these glorious dancers. The guys were pretty hot too! D.

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  7. Loved this story, Denise - amazing description that held me spellbound!

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  8. I loved your story. It was wonderfully vivid!

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  9. Lovely dance Denise. The setting well portrayed with the musicians, the costumes, the intoxicating beat of the guitars. Makes me want to be there, watching, feeling the exhiilariation of the competition.

    One thing I would have liked however is a stronger connection with the narrator. He is obviously in love with Angelique, but it was unclear if he was a judge, a spectator, or her lover. Perhaps less description on the setting, and more focus on what attracts Angelique to would deepen the sensuous feel and project it onto the dancer herself.

    You did a marvelous job of creating atmosphere with intimacy with such a limited wordcount. I loved the video too. Wow, wish I could dance like that.

    ......dhole

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    1. Yeah Donna, you hit my weak point. He was a judge in my mind at first then I sort of thought it didn't matter. I let myself flow with the description (which readers seem to have enjoyed) and sacrificed being more specific about 'he'. I thought afterwards I could have at least given him a name, lol.

      Thanks for your critique as always.

      Denise

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  10. Such fantastic imagery--I felt like I was there, could feel the beat of the flamenco.

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    1. Thanks Julie. I'm glad you felt so in it! D.

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  11. Beautiful description...loved this.

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  12. Hello Denise, it has been a while since I visited you, it could be since the last challenge and this year's is just around the corner! I enjoyed the dancing tremendously. It is the Spanish spirit that is so passionate.

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    1. Great to see you again OceanGirl. Good to link up again. Yes, that passion! D.

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  13. That was a great dance story, with wonderful descriptions. So glad I popped over to read it.

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  14. I could feel the tension of the dance, Denise, and the way he watched her. Great atmosphere building!

    Jai

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  15. Hi Denise. As always your writing is beautiful and your ideas are wonderfully creative. I loved it.

    It's good to be back in the blogging world. I've missed all my blogging buddies, and this lovely writing makes me wonder why I took so long to get back.

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    1. Welcome back Tony! Great to know the move is over and you're getting back into the blogging world. Looking forward to reading your posts again. D.

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  16. Bravo! I love your take on the theme. Great description of the dance and the MC's passion for Angelique.

    I have an idea for a flash fiction for this theme, which I may write and post late.

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    1. Great Maddy that you might yet come up with a story. D.

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  17. As always, great descriptions that pull your readers into the story and make them stay there. And a nice, unexpected ending.

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  18. The description in this was so rich, I went back and read it again :-)

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  19. Hi Denise
    Excellent story, you should be in the running too. I wasn't sure at first if this was the Spanish dance or a Square Dance. I loved how the hero only sees his own love despite the competition.
    Nancy

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    1. I guess the barn-like room got you there. Must get rid of that! Thanks for your kind words. D.

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  20. Great description, Denise. Your story captivated from the beginning to the end. There's been many times I've thought you deserved the featured writer badge. This is one of them:)

    Nicely penned!

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    1. Thanks Adura. Judging by your comments maybe others think it should be you, lol! D.

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  21. I felt like I was there, in that room, caught up with the dancers and the dancing. Absolutely lovely
    Laura x

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  22. I feel like many of the commenters above - that I was there watching the dance. Your descriptions are so vivid and so full of feelings. Your writing is great – it really is an art to be able to write well.

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    1. Thank you Vagabonde. I'm glad you like it. D.

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  23. The thrumming, stomping, swirling - I felt the heat and frenzy of the room. Beautiful word painting. To him, Angelique was perfect -- and if the judges declared her 9.5 then 9.5 must be perfect. His pride and love were so endearing. Great piece.

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  25. Hello Denise.
    Dancing is one of my favorite pastimes. I love Flamenco music...the passion & rhythm...so sultry & the dancers just leave me mesmerized.
    Loved your entry...the scenery, the descriptions. I was right there partnering Angelique - we made good music together (smile).
    Perfect entry for this week.
    Thanks for sharing & for always encouraging me.

    I'm also following you on Linky too. I might just get rid of GFC & use Linky instead. It has a lot more fun features than GFC & it has its own built-in reader! I'm also on Google+

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    1. Oops...sorry, the link to my G+ is wrong. This is the correct one: Google+

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  26. I loved the descriptions of the dancing and the competition. Beautiful and intense. And, aww, on the ending.

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