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Dance in Chains
by Kara Dunham 
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I stood in the foyer, my fingers caressing the cold iron handle of the door. My bare-feet were cold against the hard stone floor. Looking down I saw shackles draped around my ankles; the chains resting on the floor. My dress was nothing more than an old shabby nightgown, the color drained with time.

I pulled hard on the massive wooden door.The door opened into a large hall, lively as the foyer was dead. A large banquet table stretched across the span of the room. The rest of the room was filled completely by people. Laughing, dancing, feasting people.

Forgetting my attire and chains I rushed forward into the crowd of merrymakers. Music was being played by an unknown source, buried in the mass of people laughing and shouting. I was lost in the euphoria.

A strong bold voice called out my name. A man stood at the head of the table on a throne-like chair, one foot resting on the edge of the table. His position gave him dominance over the rest of the room; his eyes were seeking out mine.

He seated me to his right, his eyes were deep and captivating, pulling me into them. I felt almost hypnotized. Before me the table was filled with all sorts of delicacies and treats. My host graciously filled my plate. I had never before seen such refinery. Excited, I picked up my fork and scooped up a large piece of chocolate cake. As I brought it to my lips, I raised my eyes and locked onto the man sitting across from me.

The man before me was in every way opposite to the man who had seated me. My host encouraged the noise and the life of the party, whereas this simple man in grey managed to somehow be removed from his surroundings. His plate was full but untouched, as well as his glass. My impression of him was dull and boring but his eyes told me otherwise.

Sadness, deep sadness, and yet joy and self-contentment, all seeping through his gaze. I looked away, realizing I was still holding the fork to my lips. Just for a moment I felt uneasy, but it quickly passed.

I slipped the fork into my mouth, letting the smooth cool chocolate rest on my tongue. Pressing my lips down I slowly pulled the fork from my mouth. My tongue began to tingle and my mouth began to water, the deliciousness of the cake melted into my being. Ecstasy encompassed me, pulling me from the room. I felt delight tingle my toes. Eager for more I opened my eyes, ravenous for more cake.

My host seemed pleased to see me in such rapture. Gathering up a sleek silver goblet he filled it with sweet bubbling wine. If the cake had given my mouth a dance, the wine made it soar. I could not imagine any other wine being such a perfect balance of sweet and fruity. The silkiness lingered in my mouth long after I swallowed.

I lost track of how much I consumed, alternating between the wine and cake, I had never been so pleased. I was completely engulfed in the cacophony of the party. I found myself laughing and dancing, as carelessly as the others, numb to all else.

Time escaped me. The man in grey was standing before me. I looked up into his eyes. The party began to transform. My mouth was sour and bitter, I was in pain. I had forgotten the chains. When I looked down blood covered my legs and feet, leaving a trail on the floor. The bitterness in my mouth only worsened.

The dancers around me, lost in in their own pleasures were in the same condition. The floor was a mess of blood and mud. The elegant table that had been covered with luxuries and treats was full of decay and death. My mouth was filled with bile, burning my mouth and throat. Then it was blood. Hot metallic blood pouring from my lips. The slow steady drip oozing down my chin.

I felt alone. Tears flowed down my cheeks running into my mouth, adding saltiness in the mix of blood.

I felt a gentle hand grab my arm and pull me away. He spoke my name, and wiped the tears form my eyes. He gently pulled my chin up forcing me to look in his eyes.

I once was lost but now I'm found, and the chains fell away.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Betty Castleberry 12 Aug 2010
This pulled me along as I read. Your images vivid. Nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom  09 Aug 2010
This is so outstanding. You drew me right into the story. i could picture and taste everything. it's a shame you didn't get this entered,as I have no doubt it would have done very well! I'm excited to read more of your work!
Seema Bagai  05 Aug 2010
The imagery is vivid and I could almost taste the cake. There a few tiny rough spots that could use some polishing. PM me if you want more specifics. There is a great message in this piece. Good work.
Shirley McClay  05 Aug 2010
Beth's word, tangible, is perfect for this. You really did have amazing imagery here. I was so relieved when she was rescued though. Whew!
Amanda Brogan 27 Jul 2010
Amazing imagery! I'm sure this would have placed really high if you had been able to submit it. Hmm, I wonder what delightful morsel you have prepared for this week ... ;)
Beth LaBuff  25 Jul 2010
Wow! This is tangible... from the delight over the chocolate cake and wine... then to the transformation. What an excellent allegory of what is offered by the world today! You had me completely engaged! Nice work!


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